Thursday, July 31, 2008

Aloha Mr. Hand

Greetings from Aruba!

Look I know that all of you have been wondering where I've been recently and worried that I may be in sort sort of trouble. I thank you for your concern, but I'm OK. Better than OK. I'm in a place where the beer flows like wine. Where beautiful women instinctively flock like the salmon of Capistrano. I'm talking about a little place called Aruba. So far I've been unable to find any baseball cards.

What I have been able to find is 90 degree heat, wind, $5 11oz. cans of Balashi beer, the occasional margarita, and a few fruity, panzy foo-foo drinks that for some reason gave me a stomach ache.

I've been largely unable to keep up with the current baseball happenings. I do catch an occasional score on a TV in a casino, however. And last night the breaking news on ESPN was that "Roger Goodell hopes to talk to Brett Farve on thurday". I'm crappin' you negative. That was the breaking news. That two guys may or may not have a conversation about something.

I also see that the Tigers have traded Ivan Rodriguez for Kyle Farnsworth. I know nothing about this trade other than that it has happened. I haven't looked anything up and know next to nothing about what either of these players are doing this year, what they are making, and when they are free agents. That, however, will not stop me from giving my opinion on the matter.

  1. Are you freakin' kidding me Tigers? Why in the world would you give up an all star catcher to help out the Yankees? The Yankees are in a terrible spot at catcher and you help then out? Really? It would serve you right if you met them in the playoffs and Pudge hit a walk off in game 7.
  2. For Kyle Freakin' Farnsworth? I know you need bullpen help but wasn't Farnsworth was the best you could do? For Pudge? I haven't seen the stats but I'm pretty sure Kyle is a dude who gives up the occasional long ball. I'm fact, I hate the Yankees, but it would be funny if Pudge hit that HR off Farnsworth.
  3. It's almost like Costanza is still working for the Yankees and he came up with this trade (similar to the Griffey Jr for Bernie Williams idea). And the Tigers said "OK...sounds good to us"
  4. I think the Tigers GM should be immediately fired for helping the Yankees and made to watch a marathon of Olson Twins movies.

Anyway, I''m going to get back to the beach. The weather and the water are beautiful. The scenery is pretty nice too. Over all, it's not much different than Cleveland.

Aloha means goodbye.

Wednesday, July 23, 2008

Achiever Contest #1

Welcome to the first contest on the Achiever Blog. There are a posible 2 prizes to win

  1. First Prize: The card represented in the above picture.
  2. Grand Prize: My undying respect and admiration.

To win the first prize all you need to do is tell me who the player is. Yes kids, it's just that easy.

To win the grand prize you need to tell me the player, year and set. This seemed like it was probably too hard to require.

The best part is the same person could win both prizes! Wouldn't that be somethin'?

Whoever is the first person to guess right will get the card and maybe a few more or whatever I feel like sending them.

The contest ends whenever the hell I say it does.

Tuesday, July 22, 2008

Random Movie Quote: # 1

This will be a recurring feature on the Achiever Blog. It's not very original, nor is it very interesting for that matter. What is important to understand is that I can do this in a few minutes from work. I haven't yet figured out how to use my work computer to post scanned cards and pictures from the interwebs. So I'll keep trying to come up with more goofy stuff to keep myself amused.

The Random Movie Quote will be posted whenever the hell I feel like it. It won't be relevant. And, it won't have much to do with anything whatsoever. It may be from a movie I've recently seen. It may be from one from a long time ago that just happened to pop into my head. The quote may or may not be completely accurate and I encourage anyone to correct any errors. They will all be quotes that I find amusing for one reason or another.

So, without further adu, here is today's quote:

"You know me Lo...I'm only good at 100 plus with a couple of cops on my tail"

- Ice Cube - XXX:State of the Union

Why is this quote awesome?

Mostly because Ice Cube said it, and it is the most ridiculous thing uttered in at the end of a movie that is in the 99th percentile for ridiculousness. This movie was a train wreck. I have no idea how the hell it even got made. If you haven't seen it, I highly recommend it. Just don't expect it to be good. Or to even make the remotest amount of sense. It isn't, and it won't. But watching a movie this bad is almost like joining a club. For example:

Guy #1: "Has anyone here seen XXX?"
Guy #2: "I have"
Both: Hahahahahahahahahaha

You don't want to be left out of that conversation, do you? I sure don't.

I also want to know how the hell Dafoe ended up in this. I understand Cube. He wants to be an action star. I understand SL Jackson. He'll be in anything that amuses him, no matter how lame. It's part of what I love about him. But how the hell did Dafoe end up in this turd? Was he blackmailed? Or does he have the world's worst agent?

Anyway, back to the quote. It's at the end, after the big climax, when Cube is talking to his special lady. It's that scene that's been in countless movies where the girl wants the guy to settle down with her, but he's too much of a free spirit and can't be tied down, no matter how much he loves her. This quote might be the best explanation of why the hero must remain untethered that I've ever heard. I feel the same way myself.

If either of you readers can think of others I'd love to hear them.

Wednesday, July 16, 2008

The Evolution of Oscar Gamble

Everyone knows Oscar Gamble. At least, every collector knows Oscar Gamble's cards. There were a few others in the 70's that sported the fro-tire such as Bake McBride, bit none pulled it off with the same panache and style. Oscar grew his with a reckless abandon and devil-may-care attitude that rendered his fro both glorious and timeless.

So imagine my delight when, upon waking up this morning, I was treated in the local paper to a short article on Oscars most famous of baseball cards, the 76 Topps Traded. It is linked to here and is better and more thorough than anything I could possibly write on the subject. I recommend you read it in it's entirety. It isn't that long. For those of you who lack the time or inclination, the gist of the story is that Oscar is still recognized more from his cards than from his playing career. He grew it initially in an attempted to get more playing time from his manager. And, he cut it when traded to the Yankees, not unlike Johnny Damon.

He's bald now. This fact led to my favorite quote in the article. "I didn't decide to get rid of it, it made that decision on it's own." Too funny.

Anyway, it made me curious as to Oscars other cards. I decided to post a sort of retrospective. Call it Oscar through the years. Here they are:

The 1970 rookie card. This is the earliest one I could find and see no reason to think there were any prior. This is a good start as there is no fro at all. This will make what we all know is too came all the better.
1972 Topps. This one appears to be a little more developed than a few years ago. Still nothing to write home about, but you can see the confidence growing. Oscar is definitely not a rookie anymore.

1974 Topps. The Legend starts. I have absolutely no data to back this up, but I imagine that this fro-tire would put him top 10, possibly top 5 in the league at this point. It's good, but the hat still fits and is a reasonable size.

1975 Topps. Here we are! Now we're cookin'! Oscar is through messing around. This is serious business now. I doubt anyone can touch this.

1976 Topps Traded. This is the money shot. This is the one that guarantees Oscars place in the pantheon of baseball cards. An All-Timer. Look at the size of that hat! Years later, when people would comment on the growth in size of Barry Bonds hat in conjunction with his (alleged) steroid use, I don't know why he didn't point to Oscar Gamble as a comparison. After all, no one has ever accused Oscar of using steroids, right?
When people think of these big baseball fros, this is the card that they think of.

1977 Topps. Damn you George Steinbrenner and your stupid stance on facial hair and grooming. Fascist!

1978 Topps. OK, now that he's out of New York and their medieval autocracy, Oscar can let himself go again. At least a little bit. However, I fear that the salad days are over and a complete return to form is not in the cards.

1979 Topps. Not bad, not bad. Still, it's just not the same.

1980 Topps. Oscar is back with the Yankees and the fro is, not as glorious as it once was, but...I guess flourishing could be appropriate here. Not bad at all really. You can almost see him giving George the finger here.

1982 Topps. Definitely past his prime. I guess all good things must come to an end.

1984 Topps. Oscar's last card until some later "looking back" type cards. So this is how it ends. Not with a bang, but with a whimper. And a normal size hat.
Most things come back into style. Why not the fro-tire? I do believe it's about time. Someone get Curtis Granderson on the horn. He's got work to do.
That's it. Hope you enjoyed this little retrospective. Both of you.

Monday, July 14, 2008

All Star Lineups

All star lineups have been released (not that you needed to come here to find out). Here they are:

American League:
1. Ichiro (Mariners) rf
2. Derek Jeter (Yankees) ss
3. Josh Hamilton (Rangers) cf
4. Alex Rodriguez (Yankees) 3b
5. Manny Ramirez (Red Sox) lf
6. Milton Bradley (Rangers) dh
7. Kevin Youklis (Red Sox) 1b
8. Joe Mauer (Twins) c
9. Dustin Pedroia (Red Sox) 2b
SP Cliff Lee (Indians) lhp

National League:
1. Hanley Ramirez (Marlins) ss
2. Chase Utley (Phillies) 2b
3. Lance Berkman (Astros) 1b
4. Albert Pujols (Cards) dh
5. Chipper Jones (Braves) 3b
6. Matt Holliday (Rockies) rf
7. Ryan Braun (Brewers) lf
8. Kosuke Fukudome (Cubs) cf
9. Geovany Soto (Cubs) c
SP Ben Sheets (Brewers) rhp

American league:
C - To tell you the truth I may have this one wrong. I just don't know too much about Soto. I haven't seen him play. I do know that I really like Mauer so he gets the nod from me.

3b - Look, Jones is great. He's having a great season, and I really do hope he hits .400. That would be incredible. But he's up against a guy who is arguably the greatest ever.

lf - If you are picking a guy for your team for the long haul you definitely go with Braun. If you need one guy to give you a big hit in one game you go with Ramirez.

cf - Josh Hamilton has 95 rbi. 95. I'll write it again, Hamilton has 95 rbi. Fukudome has a name that is fun to say and a shitload of singles. The guy is a slappy. This one's no contest.

rf - Ichiro has een soing it for a long time. Holliday is great but do you really pick him over Ichiro away from Coors? Let me ask it this way. If you were pitching, who would you rather face with the game on the line? I'd rather face Holliday. If you disagree, well, that's just like, your opinion, man.

National League:
SP - I'm a Cleveland guy. I love Cliff Lee. What he's done this year is incredible. He may win the Cy Young AND Comeback Player of the Year. I don't know if that's ever been done before. But I think you really have to go with experience here, and Sheets has more.

1b - Berkman vs Youklis is no contest.

2b - Dustin Pedroia is scrappy. He's a gamer (whatever the hell that means). But, if given the opportunity, even Red Sox fans would trade him for Utley in about 1/2 second. Why? Because Red Sox fans are annoying, not stupid. Another no contest.

ss - I like Hanley. He's going to be great for a long time. Just maybe not at short for too long. And Jeter may be the most overrated player ever. Now, New York fans probably wouldn't trade Jeter for Ramirez. Why? Yankee fans are annoying AND stupid.

Prediction? One game with this level of talent...anything can happen. Has the AL dominated this past decade because they are a better league? Possibly. They ARE a better league. But, I think that this streak is just random. You can flip a coin and come up with 10 straight heads too. It just isn't likely. That doesn't mean heads is better on the next flip. I don't necessarily think that the AL is a better All Star team. The lineups look pretty even to me.

Final: AL8 - NL3. Just because when it rains, it pours.

IPod Extravaganza! #1

During the week I'm usually at work where I have no access to a scanner or my cards. This drastically limits what I can post. I have a few really stupid ideas. This is only the first. That's right kids! There's plenty more crap where this came from!

The IPod Extravaganza is a feature where I hit shuffle on my IPod and let you know what comes up. I know you're excited but try to settle down. I guess 5 songs is as good as any other number. No cheating - I promise.

OK, here we go!

#1/3904 - The Full Bug - Van Halen (Diver Down)
This is one of those Van Halen songs with David Lee Roth from when I was too young to really be a fan. I became a huge fan with "1984" and continuing with Sammy Hagar (You got a problem with that?). Then I had to go back and get the whole catalog. Whatever you might think about Roth now (he's a lunatic), that dude used to be a rock God. The guy held his own against and even possibly overshadowed Eddie Van Halen. EDDIE VAN FEAKIN' HALEN! The guy pretty much invented a new way to play guitar and is in the conversation for best/most influential of all time. Roth's ridiculous radio show can never take that away.

#2/3904 - Regeneration - Stone Temple Pilots (Shangri - La Dee Da)
You probably only know this song if you are a die hard STP fan. It's not one of their best but it's solid. It's also unmistakably STP. That's a good thing, by the way.

#3/3904 - In the Light - Led Zeppelin (Box Set)
I'm sure Zeppelin wrote a song I don't like. I'm sure of it...give me a minute...huh...let me get back to you on that. This song is another one of the solid ones. Not at the top of my list of favorites but good. This song is like Mel Hall.

#4/3904 - Slow and Low - Beastie Boys (License to Ill)
What a crazy album License To Ill was. If you didn't rock out to No Sleep Till Brooklyn in Jr high, well...I don't know what to tell you. You probably weren't very cool. Sorry. Hell, if you wouldn't rock out to No Sleep Till Brooklyn now you probably aren't very cool. Slow and Low is yet another solid effort from a great album that at some point in my life I could probably recite from memory.

#5/3904 - Lost Cause - Beck (Sea Change)
Here it is. This is the pull of the box if you will. I like Beck but Sea Change (Beck's breakup album) is incredible. It is like nothing else he has done. Acoustic, melancholy, and devastating. It is simply a beautiful album and my favorite by Beck. Lost Cause is probably the best song on it. This is the auto jersey #d to 100 pull of the extravaganza.

"There's too many people you used to know. They see you come (!) and, they see you go"

translated - "you are a complete whore"

Wow, The guy is brutal on this album, but if you don't listen to the lyrics it sounds almost sweet. I highly recommend you check it out.

Well, that's about it for the pilot installment of IPod Extravaganza. Hope you enjoyed.

Final analysis: A decent pull with none of my wife's songs (when her stuff shows up you'll know) and one great pull. I'm sure I'll have better packs, but this one could have been worse.

Sunday, July 13, 2008

2008 Topps Chrome Box Break

Welcome to my 2008 Topps Chrome box break. I'm very excited. This is the first set I've decided to try to put together since my glorious return to the hobby. The reasons are these: I like the look of the cards. There is a good checklist with a good mix of stars and rookies. There are some pretty cool inserts and parallels. The price is reasonable. The set is manageable in size. And, there are some of my favorite Indians to get excited about.

I got my box just around the corner from my house at a warehouse card shop that I never knew was there. I found it just by luck on the Topps website. Tom's place is really just a warehouse that deals mostly in boxes and sets. He sells mostly over the interwebs and to other dealers. He won't have many singles, which is OK with me as there isn't much in the way of singles that you can't get on ebay anyway. He seems like a good guy and he has a great selection. His website is I really recommend you check him out if you are in the market for boxes or cases.

So here is a breakdown of what is in the 2008 Chrome set:

Base - 170 veterans
50 rookies (allegedly)
35 rookie autos

Heritage Chrome - numbered to 1959
Black - numbered to 59
Refractor - numbered to 599

Inserts - Baseball Card History
All Rookie Team
Mickey Mantle Story
Mickey Mantle Home Run History
Inserts available in:
Super-fractor - 1/1
Red - /25
Copper - /100
Refractor - /500

Parallels - All base cards have to same parallels as the inserts (Super-fractor, Red, Copper, Ref)
Auto rookies also have a blue refractor numbered to 200

There are 2 autos in each box.

OK lets see what we got!

Pack#1 : 205 Brian Bocock (Giants)
37 Tim Hudson (Braves)
C159 Tadihito Iguchi (Padres) Heritage 0038/1959
43 Aaron Hill (Blue Jays)
Call me cynical but I'm not too excited about my Iguchi heritage card. Underwhelming start.

Pack#2 : 130 Bobby Abreu (Yankees)
6 Dice - K (Red Sox)
C144 Chin-Lung Hu (Dodgers) Heritage Rookie 0473/1959
100 Lance Berkman (Astros)
Hu card is kind of cool looking I guess.

Pack#3 : 33 Jeremy Hermida (Marlins)
9 Joe Mauer (Twins)
C176 Ted Lilly (Cubs) Heritage 0158/1959
151 Curtis Granderson (Tigers)
Ted's heritage is pink. Iguchi's is yellow. I have no idea if this means anything. Probably not.

Pack#4 : 217 Kazuo Fulcumori (Rangers)
MHRC450 Mickey Mantle Home Run History
ARC10 Albert Pujols (Cards) - All Star Rookie
171 Luis Castillo (Mets)
I like these cards. They are kind of Old Timey and New at the same time, if that makes any sense.

Pack#5 : 45 Carlos Zambrano (Cubs)
MHRC440 Mickey Mantle Home Run History
3 Scott Kazmir (Rays)
188 Noah Lowry (Giants)
I don't really get all of these Mantle cards. I like the Mick. Obviously one of the all time greats. It seems like Topps is trying to make everyone hate him. I'm all ready getting sick of Mantle and I've only been at this for about a month.

Pack#6 : 2 Barry Zito (Giants)
224 Kevin Hart (Cubs) Rookie auto Blue refractor 100/200
TCHC20 Grady Sizemore (Indians)- Trading Card History
132 Chipper Jones (Braves)
I guess this is supposed to be the big pull of the box. I like the blue and everything, but, I just can't get too excited about Kevin Hart. I looked him up and found out that he's somewhat of a comedian. Looks different in this video, though.

The Sizemore card is awesome, by the way.

Pack#7 : 97 Troy Tulowitzki (Rockies)
229 Clay Buchholz (Red Sox) Rookie Auto
TCH29 Ivan Rodriguez (Tigers) - Trading Card History
87 Mark Teixeira (Braves)
The 2nd rookie auto. I guess if you Get Buchholz you've got no complaints. What the hell is that signature supposed to be? Who the hell does this guy think he is?

Pack#8 : 5 Miguel Cabrera (Tigers)
41 Brandon Webb (D-backs)
32 Johan Santana (Mets)
127 Tom Gorzelanny (Pirates) Webb is having a pretty nice year.

Pack#9 : 113 Ryan Braun (Brewers)
203 Gregor Blanco (Braves)
MMSC47 Mickey Mantle Story
164 Eric Chavez (Athletics)
Thank God...I hadn't pulled a Mantle inset in 3 whole packs. I was starting to get worried I might never get a Mantle Card again. There aren't too many of them out there.
I wondered why Braun's card would have him bunting of all things. This is what I came up with. Braun might never bunt again in his entire career. They got a photo of him bunting and decided it was too rare of an opportunity to pass up. This may end up being the only card ever made with him bunting.
There is no "off" position on the genius switch.
Pack#10 : 161 Asdrubal Cabrera (Indians)
C139 Melky Cabrera (Yankees) - Heritage Refractor 535/599
46 Ben Sheets (Brewers)
63 Roy Oswalt (Astros)
Sorry accidentally deleted Melky's card and don't know how to get it back. No great loss really.
Also, the first Indian base card I pull is now in AAA. Fantastic.
Pack#11 : 162 Gary Sheffield (Tigers)
90 David Ortiz (Red Sox)
29 Ryan Howard (Phillies)
136 Jeff Francis (Rockies)
Anyone calls me Francis...I'll kill ya.
Settle Down Francis
Pack#12 : 89 Brian Roberts (Orioles)
129 Geovany Soto (Cubs)
107 Alex Gordon (Royals)
147 Josh Beckett (RedSox)
I picked Gordon's card to scan because he has an awsome swing. I still think he will be a star. Also, it wa either him or Josh Beckett. And fuck Josh Beckett.
Pack#13 : 61 Gil Meche (Royals)
121 Derek Jeter (Yankees)
111 Hanley Ramirez (Marlins)
3 Scott Kazmir (Rays)
Fuck Jeter too
Pack#14 : 210 Randor Bierd (Orioles)
146 Curt Schilling (Red Sox)
TCHC19 Ichiro (Mariners) - Trading Card History
28 John Lackey (Angels)
I think this Ichiro card is my favorite so far. I just like the look of it and the colors. The Japanese writing makes it look unique and special. (To me anyway)
Pack#15 : 117 Pedro Martinez (Mets)
13 Dontrelle Willis (Tigers)
TCHC28 Chase Utley (Phillies) - Trading Card History
168 Frank Thomas (Blue Jays, sort of)
Is Utley doing anything this year? I haven't heard.
Pack#16 : 169 Aaron Rowand (Giants)
65 Hunter Pence (Astros)
34 Anrew Jones (Dodgers)
91 Derrek Lee (Cubs)
Boring Pack
Pack#17 : 25 Alex Rios (Blue Jays)
MMSC51 Mickey Mantle Story
18 Chris Young (Padres)
111 Hanley Ramirez (Marlins)
Take my word for it...keep your eye on this Ramirez kid. He might turn out to be half way decent. No really. You heard it here first.
Pack#18 : 126 Rocco Baldelli (Rays)
MMSC52 Mickey Mantle Story
ARC5 - Chipper Jones (Braves) - All Star Rookie
8 Jimmy Rollins (Phillies)
Bad news. I think my Baldelli card may have to go on the 15 day disabled list. To bad. That card has a lot of potential.
Pack#19 : 93 Fausto Carmona (Indians)
125 Freddie Sanchez (Pirates)
ARC9 Jimmy Rollins (Phillies) - All Star Rookie
140 Raul Ibanez (Mariners)
It's about time I got another Indian. Faust too. Good Times. Here's hoping he can make it back soon and pick up where he left off last season.
Is there any way that Freddie Sanchez's nickname isn't "dirty"? I say no way.
Pack#20 : 196 Joey Votto (Reds)
153 Kazuo Matsui (Astros)
TCHC30 Josh Beckett (Red Sox) - Trading Card History
31 Justin Moneau (Twins)
Nice! Joey Votto. Good Times! Here's hoping that In a few seasons Joey changes his name to Albert. You know, for old time sake.
Pack#21 : 209 Fernando Hernandez (Athletics)
105 Travis Hafner (Indians)
TCHC27 Manny Ramirez (Red Sox) Trading Card History
175 Richie Weeks (Brewers)
Travis! My Man! I haven't given up on you dude.
Pack#22 : 82 Carlos Delgado (Mets)
219 Denard Span (Twins)
197 Josh Beckett (Red Sox) Copper Refractor 005/599
184 Adam Laroche (Pirates)
Nice Refractor card. I guess the baseball card gods have decided that I'm a big Josh Beckett fan. I did not know that.
Pack#23 : 197 Nick Blackburn (Twins)
149 Ronnie Belliard (Nationals)
29 Ryan Howard (Phillies) Copper Refractor 335/599
64 Mark Buehrle (White Sox)
Two Copper Refractor's in a row. It's all commin' together. Plus Ronnie Belliard! So there's that too!
Pack#24 : 157 Carlos Beltran (Mets)
109 Nick Swisher (White Sox)
C108 Kei Igawa (Yankees) - Heritage 1819/1959
71 Dan Haren (D-backs) Anytime I pull a Buckeye he gets scanned. This list consists of Nick Swisher (that I know of)
OK, that about does it. Wraps her all up. Things seem to have worked out pretty well for the dude. Made me laugh to beat the band. Parts anyway.
Let's look at the stats:
base cards: 71/220 32%
rookie auto: 2/35 (although there are only 19 according to the checklist. I don't really understand that)
Heritage: 5
Trading Card History: 5
All Rookie Team: 3
Mickey Mantle Inserts: 5 (Seems like 5,000)
Indians: 4
I figure 3 more boxes will give me most of the base set leaving only a few to fill in.Maybe in one of them I can pull one of those fancy-schmancy superduper-fractors.
Sorry, for some reason the blogger is jamming everything together in the 2nd half of this post. I don't know why and I don't know what to do about it. Oh well.

Friday, July 11, 2008

What is an Achiever?

Those of you who have seen The Big Lebowski know what an Achiever is. This post is for those who have not yet seen the film. It is a way to try to explain how this blog came about it's name.

It really will take a viewing of the film to understand, but here is what an Achiever is. A Little Lebowski Urban Achiever is an inner city child of promise without the necessary means for...the necessary means for a higher education. If it is still vague then 2 clips are provided for your viewing pleasure.

#1 is a clip that explains the plot of the movie. This explains the over-riding impetus for what is happening on screen.

If it still doesn't make a lot of sense then this clip will be able to put it into it's proper context. This is a short synopsis, or outline if you will, of the entire movie.

Generally it is best if you just watch the whole thing. Repeatedly. The best viewing usually occurs between the 10th and 13th time.

Hope this helps, man.

Good Night Sweet Prince

This isn't exactly breaking news, but it's the first I've become aware of it. Thurman Munson's wife and kids have decided to auction off a lot of the late catcher's memorabilia. The auction will be in New York over the All Star game. Here is a link to the story in the Cleveland Plain Dealer. Some of the items will include World Series rings, a uniform, game worn undershirt, and the coup de gras, a custom Mercedes Benz convertible. Whether or not you have to be present or if you are able to bid over the phone/net I'm not sure. Just seems like a good opportunity for any Munson or Yankees fans who are interested. Even as a Yankee, Munson was always considered one of our own in Northeast Ohio. He is still loved here to a degree that no other Yankee has ever been or will ever be.

Bustin' Packs: 93 Stadium Club

Back again with more packs to open. This time it was 4 packs of 93 Stadium Club series 1. (Told you I had a bunch of junk to open). These actually came in the old style (from what I remember) wax packs. They certainly weren't foil. No gum, though.

The style is very similar to the 94 Pinnacle I opened yesterday. Basically they are just shiny post card like pictures with a name on them. Not much to them. Truth be told they don't look a whole hell of a lot like baseball cards. Not What I think of anyway.

Like yesterday I had Mrs. Scratcher open up 2 packs and I opened 2 myself. Once again I got shit and she got some nice players. Not that she had any idea. She didn't seem annoyed when I gave her the packs so that is something, I guess.

OK...Let's see what we got!

Felix The Cat Fermin. One of 4 Tribesmen pulled. I'll always have a special place in my heart for Felix. I liked him as a player but the best thing he ever did for Indians baseball was get traded for Omar Vizquel. He was trade in the winter of 93 along with Reggie Jefferson for Omar the Great. A year later Felix was a free agent. Omar went on to become one of the great defensive shortstops of all time. There is not much that a Clevelander will argue about more vigorously than Omar as the greatest defensive shortstop ever. What do I think? I think that it's impossible to say for sure, but anyone who dismisses Omar didn't get the privilege of watching him play for years. He was magical. I don't know if he was the best. I do know that there isn't anyone I would have traded him for.

Good karma goes to anyone who can tell me what the hell is going on in this picture. Is this the best they could get?

The first of the parallels. Larry Walker Members Choice. I like Larry a lot. I don't know if the picture is the same on the base card or not. I have a feeling that the only difference at all is that they wrote "members choice" below the player name. Very clever. Can't wait to get them all.
The back features some info on the player instead of stats. Let's see what we can learn about Old Larry. Huh...apparently "Walker's flexible approach to hitting virtually assures him of continued success". I guess they used the word "virtually" as an out. No need to stick your neck out too far. Am I right?
How 'bout this: "When pitchers make an effort to finesse him with breaking stuff, Walker shortens his swing, allowing him to wait the necessary extra time before committing himself" No shit? Sounds good to me.

The second Members Choice card in 4 packs! I'm on a roll now buddy! And Travis Fryman at that! A former (or future, if you decide to look at it that way) Indian. I did love Fryman. Dude was solid. Let's see what they have to say about Travis
"Fryman gets out of the box quickly and is aggressive" (That's what she said). "Travis Fryman is being talked about as a major star - the next Cal Ripken, people are saying. And why not?" Exactly, why not. Let's compare Travis to Ripkin. That shouldn't be too much pressure.

Bobby Bonilla. Or as Barry Bonds refers to him "That other dude in the outfield who wasn't half as good as me" Bobby was good. Maybe he didn't last as long as Barry because he was using the wrong trainer. We'll never know.

Hey Kruky! Lookin' good my man. Svelte. Little story I heard about Kruk. 2 stories actually. May be that neither are true but I'll tell them anyway. #1 Kruk was in a bar after a game smoking a cig and drinking a beer. A woman walks up to him and says something about how she can't believe an athlete would drink and smoke like that. Kruk says "Lady, I'm not an athlete...I'm a ballplayer". I love that.
#2 Most people know that Kruk had a battle with testicular cancer and had to have one of his "boys" removed. The next training camp he showed up in a tee shirt that read "If you don't like the way I play I'm taking my ball and going home". That is too awesome not to have happened. I've loved Kruk ever since I heard that.
I don't care what you do. I choose to believe those stories.
The only insert card pulled. This insert set was (as far as I could find) entitled 93 Stadium Club Insert Set. I think it must have been friday and damn near 5:00 when they came up with that. The back features a list of all 36 players who were taken by the Marlins in the 92 expansion draft. I won't list the players here. I will say that I have no idea how the hell they won a single game that 1st year. This just makes it even more painful that they've won 2 World Series, one against the Tribe.
Sorry about that.
Is there anyone else like me? Does anyone else ever wonder if they've ever opened a pack and NOT gotten a Kevin Seitzer? Death, taxes, and Kevin Seitzer in my wax.

Another former/future Indian. (7 in all) Jeff Kent was traded in 96 along with Jose Vizcaino to the Tribe for Carlos Baerga and Alvaro Espinosa. I was pissed. I loved Baerga. I remember going on a rant to my dad about what a "stiff" Kent was. I just couldn't believe it. Kent didn't last long with the Tribe. He was traded in the offseason. Baerga went on to lead the league in cocaine snorted for 3 straight years. Kent went on to win the MVP and set the record for most HR by a second baseman ever. EVER.
OK, so maybe I was a little off on that one.

Last card I scanned. Scott Brosius. Good player. Layed out. Making the play. Nice card.
The last thing I'll bring up is a fantastic offer I plan on taking Topps up on. That's right, Topps has offered me membership in the exclusive Topps Stadium Club! Jealous much?
With this membership I will receive limited edition members only stadium club cards. They are exclusive to MEMBERS ONLY. So don't even think about trying to get them. You can't. It's only for members. Like me...pretty soon anyway. A one year membership is only $29.95. and includes Topps Magazine and a personalized stadium club membership card and ID number.
And I'VE been asked to join! How great is that?
Honors and benefits already at the age of 33.
Don't worry, I'll put in a good word for all you little folks.

Wednesday, July 9, 2008

Bustin' packs: 94 Pinnacle

Well, I got another delivery today, in addition to my Ernie Camacho cards. This was a big bunch of hobby boxes from all kinds of different sets. They are all from the mid 90s, ranging from 92-96. They are all cheap. There is nothing particularly exciting or noteworthy about them other than the fact that I now have a shitload of packs to open. There are 15 boxes in all. They should keep me busy for a while.

I let my lovely wife pick out the first box to open. If I can get her even a little bit interested in cards there's a lot better chance that she won't divorce me. She already went way below her league when she married me. This might be the straw that breaks the camel's back if I can't manage to suck her in with me, at least a little bit. I live in constant fear that she will one day wake up and realize that she can do much better.

Anyway, on to the cards. She picked a box of '94 Pinnacle and we each opened 2 packs. The cards themselves are nothing great. They look more like small post cards than baseball cards. That are shiny, though. So they've got that going for them. Which is nice. I don't know much about the inserts. There are Artist's proof, Museum Collection, Rookie Team, Run Creators, and a few others. I guess I'll find out what they look like if I pull one.

The first card up top is #490 Chris Sabo. Growing up in Cleveland we are taught to hate the Bengals. Almost as much as the Steelers. OK not nearly as much as the Steelers, but still a lot. And just because they've slipped to 3rd on the hated list behind the Ravens doesn't mean that there is any love. Icky Woods can take his shuffle and shove it straight up his ass.

The Reds are a different story. There's really no animosity toward them. I guess it's because they are in a different league. When the Tribe played them this year it was just like any other series. Back in the late 80's/early 90's I liked them. Barry Larkin was great. Pete Rose wasn't too far removed and it was before most of his trouble. I absolutely LOVED Eric Davis. And Chris Sabo had his glasses. To tell you the truth I wasn't even aware that Sabo played for the Orioles. In my mind he will always be at the hot corner for the Reds. Back in the good old
days when Marge Schott couldn't speak two words without offending someone.

No matter what you think about
Danny Darwin...that man had some balls. Looks like about 6 of them.

Another player I always liked was David Cone (#325). I put this card up because I think it looks great. One of the best action shots I've seen in a long time. With that arm out and peering over his shoulder. Right hand cocked and ready with the split finger. Perfectly balanced on his right foot. This batter has no chance. No chance at all. Beautiful picture.

And then there's this. What the fuck is going on here? Is this the worst card you've ever seen? I'm going to keep my eyes open for terrible action shots like this and compile them into one entry. Eventually. I think I'll be hard pressed to come up anything worse than this. Seriously, who picked this? Someone had to make the decision. I think whoever that was...Meares must have nailed his wife or sister or something. It's the only thing that makes sense.

This is the one and only insert out of the 4 packs. A Bryan Harvey Museum Collection. For the life of me I can't figure out why they call it the Museum Collection. I can't even fathom a guess. The difference from the base is the sparkly Teflon coating that they sprayed on and the background. It looks like Bryan just jumped to hyperspace or something. Not bad I guess. Kind of fun to look at.

And hey...Bryan Harvey...not too shabby. Am I right kids?

OK, there was one other insert. This is actually the first redemption card I've ever pulled. If I can manage to get it in my dec 31, 1994 I'll pick up Museum Collection card #279. From what I've been able to research I think this is Rob Nen. OK then.

I think I'll send this in anyway. Why the hell not? Maybe someone will get it and get a good laugh out of it. Maybe even send me something back. You never know.

Other players pulled include:
Edgar Martinez
Luis Gonzalez
Tim Raines
Jeff Bagwell x2
Larry Walker
Wally Joyner
Pedro Martinez
and a sweet Roger Salkeld rookie card...among others.

Not a bad 4 packs

Fingers crossed on that redemption