Saturday, March 21, 2009

Pack Four

Pack 4 +12
157 Kent Hrbek
263 Charlie Puleo
10 Randy Milligan
129 Teddy Higuera
443 Vince Coleman
22 Rob Murphy
171 John Candelaria
352 Mike Davis
32 Wade Boggs
212 Rich Renteria
371 Bob Ojeda
93 Jack Morris

Pretty good pack today, another Hall of Famer and one of the top pitchers of the 1980s.

But first let's look at today's sweepstakes card.

It's a reprint of a 1954 Bowman Ted Williams that according to the back of the card, was worth an estimated $1,500 in 1989. It's a nice looking card and very similar to the design Topps chose for 1989.

Here's 2005 first ballot Hall of Fame inductee Wade Boggs. It's a spring training shot, most likely taken in Winter Haven, Florida.

I wish I had more of the '89 Topps set so I could compare the photography. '89 Topps may be my next project.

Despite a 6-14 record in 1989, Jack Morris was the winningest pitcher of the 1980s, finishing the decade with 162 wins and five top ten Cy Young finishes. He was also known to throw a wild pitch or two, leading the AL in '83, '84, '85, '87, '91 and '94.

Morris finished his career with a 254-186 record.

Friday, March 20, 2009

Pack Three

Pack 3 +12
177 Ken Phelps
215 Alvin Davis
24 John Dopson
227 Jim Sundberg
268 Mike Aldrete
210 Harold Reynolds
425 Gary Redus
278 Lonnie Smith
174 Rafael Santana
466 Rick Reuschel
156 Al Newman
189 Mike Moore

Howard pointed out that the list of replica cards is printed on the back of the sweepstakes card, so that answer my question from yesterday about how many different sweepstakes cards there are. I pulled a second Duke Snider from this pack.

"Should I smile or look serious? I'm just not su..." CLICK. Actually, it kind of reminds me of my driver's license. When the lady said OK, I looked up and smiled. What she actually meant was "OK, we're done."

Spring training in Arizona. I love the rocky hills in the background.

This is, in my opinion, one of the classic baseball poses and this card just looks great. It took me a long time, but I actually do like Harold Reynolds on TV. He was a little shaky at first and even now he talks too much sometimes. But overall I think he does a good job.

Tomorrow will be the final pack of the top layer, maybe we'll get something good. For now, I've got to figure out what to do with this gum. Maybe I'll save it all and build something at the end.

commenting works now

I don't know what was going on, but it wouldn't let anyone comment. I fixed it somehow.

Thursday, March 19, 2009

Pack Two

Pack 2 +12
265 Paul Assenmacher
92 Frank Tanana
23 Wes Gardner
142 Gary Sheffield
68 Ivan Calderon
185 Gene Nelson
244 Tony Castillo
411 Jim Gott
195 Stan Royer
152 Juan Berenguer
308 Manny Trillo
110 Mel Stottlemyer, Jr.

I hadn't realized that there were different sweepstakes cards. I say this because I distinctly remember the sweepstakes card I got from my one pack in 1989 was also Duke Snider (pictured yesterday). When I opened today's pack and flipped the top half over, there was Yogi Berra's awkward, goofy, but lovable face looking up at me.

It's a nice touch and makes these cards much better than the standard WIN A TRIP TO SPRING TRAINING cards Topps threw in with their base set. Kinda reminds me of this year's ToppsTown cards, pretty useless, but nice to see something different every pack.

I'm curious how many different sweepstakes cards there are. I wonder if emailling Topps would get me anywhere.

Here's our first player who's still active. There won't be many in this set, but there are a few. We saw Bonds yesterday and while he's not officially retired, I doubt we'll ever see him in a major league uniform again.

I like this shot of a young Sheffield playing the infield. It's a much better picture than his awkward looking '89 Topps Future Star card. I wonder if his well known difficult personality had manifested itself at this point in his career?

He's another known steroid user and was named in the Mitchell Report.

Stan Royer. Who?

According to Baseball-Reference, he was drafted by the Braves in '85 but didn't sign. He was drafted again, and signed, with Oakland in '88. Though pictured here as an Athletic, Royer never saw a big league pitch as an A.

Near the trade deadline in 1990, Royer was part of a package that sent Felix Jose to St. Louis in exchange for Willie McGee.

Royer made his major league debut as a pinch hitter in the sixth inning of a 3-1 loss against the Pirates on September 11, 1990. His first start came on September 22.

As a member of the Boston Red Sox, Royer played his final major league game on July 22, 1994.

Pack three coming up tomorrow, and be sure to stay tuned to 1988 Score as we run through the 1988 Score Young Superstars set.

Wednesday, March 18, 2009

Pack One

This should be fun. Before we start let's see what we get. 36 packs to a box, 12 cards to a pack. I'm not sure what these cost in 1989 and there's no price on the box. I think they were a little more than base Topps, but I can't remember for sure (I think wax packs of '89 Topps were $.65).

Here's the first pack that lets us know that this is the Comeback Edition! Yes, I used my cat to prop the pack up for the picture. She wouldn't move, so I figured I'd put her to work.

According to the back of the pack, I can win "a complete set of 1953 color bowman baseball cards. Approximate Value: $10,000." We;ve also got the ingredients for the gum.

Speaking of the gum...

I think you could build sturdy, low income housing out of this stuff.

And before we get started, here's a scan of the wrapper, and the sweepstakes card.


I wonder if the offer for the binder pages is still good. They'd probably open an envelope with three old wrappers and think "what the hell..." Does anyone know a good place to get appropriately sized binder pages for this set? I probably should have thought of that first.

Anyhoo, on to the cards. If you're familiar with how I did the '88 Score box, this'll be similar. The pack number followed by how many cards were added to the set, then the cards and a few highlights and lowlights of the pack.

Pack 1 +12
33 Jim Rice
86 Brook Jacoby
356 Andy McGaffigan
175 Mike Pagliarulo
256 George Bell
480 Brett Butler
13 Jim Traber
207 Mike Jackson
426 Barry Bonds
145 Rob Deer
279 Geronimo Berroa
389 Mark Carreon

Pack one is a pretty good one. Right off the bat we get one of the newest Hall of Famers in Jim Rice and a few other guys who were star players in 1989: George Bell and Brett Butler.

The photography in this set, well judging by this first pack and what few surviving cards I have from 1989, is better than Topps used in their flagship release. Maybe because this is the re-introduction of Bowman they tried a little harder. There's a good assortment of action shots, casual shots and classic baseball card posed shots.

Since this is the first pack, for anyone not familiar with this set, I'll put up a scan of the back of one the cards.

Here's Jim Rice:

I didn't like this back in 1989 because I couldn't exactly make sense out of it. Then when I found a few mangled '89 Bowmans going through my cards again last summer for the first time in 14 years, I still didn't like it.

But now that I think about it, I do like it. I still prefer full stat lines. But if you want someone's full stat line, you don't have to look any farther than one of the other '89 releases. This is a nice glimpse of how the player did against other teams in the league.

Funny, this is the second Barry Bonds card I've seen today, and considering I don't particularly like Mr. Bonds, the first one made me very happy. This one ain't half bad either. Bonds has a very nice signature and it's a classic pose. It also shows how skinny Barry used to be in that the P and S are almost under his armpits, leaving him irate...

I don't remember Geronimo Berroa playing for the Braves, at all. Granted I was only 8 years old, but I remember a lot of Braves baseball from the days when they were bottom feeders, but I don't remember Berroa.

When I hear his name, I think Oakland because he put up good numbers in Oakland. After Berroa's retirement, Jason Grimsley accused him of using steroids. Maybe that explains the fact that he hit 88 home runs in three and a half years as an Athletic, and 13 in seven and a half seasons else where (but he did play nearly everyday in Oakland, something he didn't so anywhere else).

So there's pack one. This was a long one, the rest won't be as long.

I hope everyone enjoys reading this site and I know I'll enjoy ripping this box. Come back tomorrow for pack two.

It's here...

It's here. Check back later this afternoon for pack one.