Sunday, June 29, 2008

18th Episode Special

Well, here we are, halfway home.

Despite the mathematical impossibility of completion, we're not doing too badly. Counting in the cards that I previously had, we're up to 326 of 660, almost 50%. Of course, I've replaced all but 20 of the original cards out of this box, so the actual number from this box alone is 306 of 660, still not too bad.

It's interesting that I'm missing a whole lot of the purple cards and the lowest number I've pulled thus far is 3, Tim Raines.

All that said, pack 18 yielded another 11 cards to the set bringing the total since pack 13 to 50 new cards out of 68 possible.

Here we go...

Pack 18 (+11)
68 Vince Coleman
72 Barry Larkin
88 Alfredo Griffin
218 Calvin Schiraldi
115 Milt Thompson
130 Brian Fisher

314 Joe Sambito
326 Tracy Jones
223 Dave Martinez
429 Juan Castillo
431 Phil Garner
339 Mitch Williams
458 Dave Stewart
462 Jim Winn
478 Jeff Musselman
593 Rick Manning
598 Ross Jones

The shining star of this pack is Barry Larkin. I don't think there's anything that can keep him out of the Hall of Fame in a few years. He's one of the good guys in baseball that really knew how to play the game and I wouldn't be surprised if he popped up as a manager at some point in the future.

Larkin accomplished some pretty amazing things over his nineteen year career. He was a twelve time All Star, three Gold Gloves and nine Silver Sluggers. All of that was capped off with the 1995 National League MVP Award.

Saturday, June 28, 2008

Pack 17

Pack 17 (+14)
90 Bert Blyleven
95 Rob Deer
110 Roger Clemens
125 Curt Young
140 Charlie Hough
145 Dennis Walling
297 Terry Francona
303 Wally Backman
317 Frank Williams
348 Dave Leiper
352 Pat Dodson
449 Ron Kittle
451 Bob Dernier
469 Bruce Bochy
580 Jeffery Leonard
572 Donnie Hill
577 Jamie Quirk

I don't have a lot to say about today's pack, and I'm going to start trying to get these things done earlier in the afternoon. Like I've said the past several days, this no sleeping thing has got to stop. I got a new job (well same place different job), and I'm not used to the schedule yet. I love my schedule, 7 to 4 everyday, which isn't much different from my old schedule, but something just hasn't clicked yet. I'd like to have two days off in a row just to work this sleep schedule out, but whatever.

Moving right along.

Like with McGwire and Canseco, it's hard to look at Roger Clemens in the perspective of 1988. I could go on and on about how he's tarnished his reputation for ever, but what good does that do? If I'd pulled this card twenty years ago, I'd have loved it. I didn't know what steroids were when I was seven years old.

I'm happy to have pulled this card, he was amazing pitcher in the late 80s. In 1988 he was coming off his second straight Cy Young year and went 18 - 12, finishing sixth in CY voting.

We're still moving along at a very good pace. 39 of the last 51 cards have been added to the set. We will soon be passing the 50% mark.

Pack 16 and lots of rookies...

Pack 16 (+11)
62 Gary Gaetti
78 Will Clark
82 Terry Steinbach
188 Roger McDowell
192 Rey Quinones
208 Brian Holton
320 Jim Gott
325 Gary Carter
230 Larry Owen
427 Mike Flanagan
433 Wallace Johnson
338 Eric Show
518 Don Aase
522 Jay Howell

630 Steve Kiefer – RP
625 Jody Reed – RP
628 Pete Stanicek – RP

This is another late one, my no sleeping lately led to a crash after work, so I'll probably up up late again. Oh well.

I'm very pleased with the way the last packs have turned out. After crossing the barrier of mathematical impossibility, I've managed to add 25 cards to the set with the last two packs. Out of a total of 34 cards, 25 isn't half bad. Plus, we're over 300 cards into the set now.

This turned out to be a pretty good pack, with two major stars and three rookie prospects.

The stars you can read about anywhere. Will Clark had an excellent career, not a superstar, but a very solid career winning a Gold Glove in '91 and making six All Star teams.

Not much needs to be said about Gary Carter, I'm just surprised he wasn't a first ballot HoF incudtee. He was an eleven time All-Star and won the MVP of the Mid-Summer Classic twice. Pretty impressive.

While I could go on and on about Clark and Carter, and I'd like to, what I really want to talk about tonight are rookie cards.

It's always amazed me that rookie cards of the next greatest thing are such a hot commodity. I'll even admit to getting swept up in it once. In 1990, Steve Avery was billed as being the greatest thing since sliced bread, and he was, for a few years. I went out and got every one of his cards I could find. What are they worth today? Not much, probably more than the Todd Van Poppel rookie card I pulled from a pack of '91 Upper Deck, but not much.

They do mean something to me though. As a Braves fan, they mean something. And honestly, I'm still a Steve Avery fan. I have fond memories every time I see him in a highlight reel or look at one of his old cards. I think he was just too young and too good, but not ready for the Major Leagues.

Granted I never spent more than $10 on a Steve Avery card. But it just doesn't compute in my brain that cards of completely unprooven rookies can bring hundreds. Sure, these guys may go on to hit 900 home runs, win 300 games or strike out 7,000, but they could also blow an ACL or destroy a rotator cuff tomoorow and never play again.

Wait five years, if they're still a star, then their rookie cards will be worth something. Until they've prooven themselves, the cards are just flaps of cardboard.

Now, onto today Rookie Prospects.

First up is Jody Reed. He was a 26 year old rookie in 1988 and placed third in the AL Rookie of the Year voting. He had a very solid, ten year, offensive career, posting a batting average of .270, three points higher than the league average from the period. Not a lot of speed and not a lot of power, he did however manage to get him self on base with 120+ hits in all but four seasons.

He was never the greatest defensive player at second base, but was consistent with a lifetime fielding pct. of .985 (league FP 87-97 - .980).

Pete Stanicek posted good numbers in the minor leagues, batting .317 and .315 in '86 and '87. He was batting .297 at Rochester before being called up to the Orioles in 1988.

His major league career is nothing special. In two seasons with Baltimore he batted .243 in 113 games.

There's not a lot to say about Steven George Kiefer, and not a lot of information to be found. He played parts of six seasons with the A's, Brewers and Yankees, appearing in 105 games with a .192 career batting average. He's another one that posted average numbers in the minors, but never made the transition to a good Major League player.

He does have a nice looking rookie card.

Maybe at the end, we'll do a Class of 1988 Rookie Prospects Extravaganza and see where they are now.

Friday, June 27, 2008

2:24am, awake , the mystery Expo and some thoughts

I don't intend for this to be a mutiple post per day kind of thing, but it's 2:24am, I'm awake and have a few things on my mind.

First, if you read the comments from the previous post, you'll see that Expert Expo Spotter Andy from 88 Topps noticed an Expo in the background of the Steve Bedrosian Highlight card.

The only time a Phillie and an Expo should be on the field as defensive players at the same time is during an All Star game. As Andy correctly points out, if we assume that this photo was taken during the 1987 All Star game (juding from the green fence of Oakland Coliseum it seems like a pretty good guess), the only two Expos were Tim Raines and Tim Wallach.

Digging around through Baseball-Reference I've come up with this:

Steve Bedrosian replaced John Franco in the bottom of the 9th and was then pinch hit for in the top of the 10th. Now's where it gets tricky. Both Raines and Wallach came into the game as replacements in the bottom of the 6th. Both stayed in for the remainder of the game, with Tim Raines eventually driving in the only two runs of the game in the top of the 12th. So this photo had to have been taken in the bottom half of the ninth inning, because at no other point in the game would these players have been on the field.

Andy guesses, judging by the skin tone, that the mystery Expo is Tim Raines. For this to be the case, he's playing very very shallow. But for it to be Tim Wallach, the infield would have to be shifted drastically towards the right side with the thirdbaseman positioned where the shortstop usually plays.

So what do you think? A shifted, shadowy Wallach, or a confused Raines?

And some thoughts as it nears 3am. This no sleeping thing has got to stop.

I've got a second box of '87 Topps sitting on the shelf waiting to be opened and it will after these 88 Score are finished. But I don't think I'll be done with this website when the box is empty. I want to finish the set and maybe do a page by page run down of nine cards at a time. I'd thought about doing the same for the '87 Topps, but that's been done before, and done very well at Awesomely Bad Wax Packs. So I don't want to take anything away from that site.

What I really want to do, and I mentioned this a few days back, is try to put together a set of 1981 Topps. But, having been away from the hobby for fourteen years, I don't know how difficult that task may be. And right now, I can't justify spending $100 for a box of wax.

Any thoughts on how to go about this?

And now I think I'm off to bed.

Thursday, June 26, 2008

15 > 14, '08 Topps Opening Day

Pack 15 (+14)
(duplicates are indicated by bold text)
57 Tom Henke
63 Bob Boone
77 Dan Plesac
204 Garth Iorg
216 Jimmy Key
113 Ruben Sierra
261 Tom Neidenfuer
279 Willie Upshaw
281 Terry McGriff
427 Mike Flanagan
433 Wallace Johnson
338 Eric Show
538 Walk Terrell

542 Joe Boever
447 Greg Booker
656 Steve Bedrosian – '87 Highlights
653 Kirby Puckett – '87 Highlights

A bit more to say than yesterday. Overall the best pack out of the last ten, in terms of cards added to the set. I've had the set tracker going for a while and it's updated after every pack, but I'm gonna try something else in addition to that. Starting today, and running for as long as I remember to do it (probably just today), next to the pack header, I'll be showing how many cards were added to the set with that day's pack. So today, we're +14.

For the first several days, I was also adding the Magic Motion Trivia Card into the list, but I dropped that... ok, I forgot about it. I think at the end of the box, I'll do a run down of all of those little pieces of goodness.

No real big stars in this one (not counting the Highlights cards), but I did always like Ruben Sierra. He had a very solid twenty year career, retiring in 2006. Over 20 seasons, his batting average was a few points higher than the league average, and he finished second in MVP voting behind Robin Yount.

I'm not saying he's a candidate for the Hall of Fame, but I wouldn't be surprised if he stays on the ballot at least for a few years when he's eligible.

Here's a nice picture of Sierra swinging for the fences. This may be the first blue card I've shown here. I always liked the blue border the best. '88 Score was divided into six colors of 110 cards each.

And now the two Highlights cards for this pack.

First up is Kirby Puckett. What an amazing player he was. I was always amazed watching that fat man move. Sure, he had some issues come up in his private life after baseball, but while he was a player he was nothing but class.

Watching Atlanta lose the 1991 World Series (no Kent Hrbek jokes today) was helped a bit by getting to see Puckett play.

This '87 Highlight card commemorates Kirby's ten hits over a two game period, August 29 and 30.

Sadly, his career ended far too early after losing sight in his right eye during Spring Training in 1996 (where he was hitting .360). What could he have done with another ten years? 4,000 hits? 400 home runs? Would he have continued to hit over .300? The world will unfortunately never know.

He was elected to the HoF in 2001, and died five years later. Rest in Peace Mr. Puckett, you'll always be one of my favorites.

1987 was a banner year for Steve Bedrosian: 5-3, 2.83 ERA, 40 saves. He set a Major League record for consecutive saves and ended the year with some pretty impressive accolades. He was selected to the All-Star team, and was eventually named as The Sporting News Pitcher of the Year, Rolaids Relief Man of the Year and, most importantly, National League Cy Young winner.

This is a long one, but we're almost finished.

I was at Wal-Mart this afternoon and picked up a box of 2008 Topps Opening Day cards for less than $10. 11 packs of 6 cards each. For that price, I may go back and get the other four boxes they had.

Nothing special, but fun to open and see what all's going on the world of baseball cards these days.

I did get this though:

It may be a common, and he may be out for the year. But he is without a doubt a future Hall of Famer and one of my all time favorites.

Wednesday, June 25, 2008


This is the worst pack yet for doubles. In all, I added eight cards to the set. I'm hoping this doesn't start to slow down. After making pretty good progress through 13 packs, I hope I don't end up needing more than 100 cards. The chances of getting 100 needed cards from a second box isn't very good, so we'll see how it goes.

Here we go.

Pack 14
60 Julio Franco
65 Dwight Evans

80 Joe Carter
202 Todd Worrell
218 Calvin Schiraldi
115 Milt Thompson
266 Willie Randolph
274 Dick Schofield
286 John Shelby

430 Neal Heaton
435 Steve Jeltz
340 Paul Molitor
536 Paul Kilgus

544 Scott Sanderson
441 Mel Hall
567 Tommy Hinzo
562 Jeff Blauser

There's not a lot to talk about here and I'm not really in the mood to dig for something to say. So we'll leave it at this for tonight.

Tuesday, June 24, 2008

40% and unlucky 13...

I decided to try a new layout. Lastnight's fairly lengthy post was a bit awkward to read confined in such large margins. I think I like this better. We'll see though.

Pack 13
(duplicates are indicated by bold text)
52 Bill Doran
68 Vince Coleman

193 Joaquin Andujar
207 Craig Reynolds
213 Mickey Brantley
251 Scot Fletcher
269 Mickey Tettleton
271 Marc Sullivan
418 John Cangelosi
422 Kelly Gruber
438 Keith Comstock
527 Al Nipper
533 Scott Garrelts
547 Steve Henderson
559 Rob Murphy
556 Mike Aldrete
553 Craig Leffets

Unlucky Pack Thirteen. This was the key pack in deciding if I was going to be able to complete the set out of this box. The answer? Let's look at the math and assume just for a second that the world is perfect and I don't pull another double in the remaining 23 packs.

1988 Score = 660 cards.
40% of 660 = 268 cards.
23 packs remaining X 17 cards per pack = 391
391 + 268 = 659.

660 - 659 = 1

There's your answer.

Since this pack didn't really provide anything of interest and just left me rather depressed, I'll move on to a somewhat lighter subject. Lance Blankenship.

In a few hours of insomnia last night I was flipping through some old Fleer cards when I came across Mr. Blankenship. The name sounded kinda familiar. I was really getting into baseball in the late 80s and the first World Series I remember watching was 1988. At the time I liked both Los Angeles and Oakland, and being seven years old I didn't know who to pull for anyway.

But 1989 came along. One of the defining television moments of my childhood was the 1989 Loma Prieta earthquake before the beginning of Game 3. What does all this mean?

Lance Blankenship was a member of that '89 Series winning Oakland team. Hence the familiarity with the name.

His career isn't really worth mentioning. Six seasons, .222 average, nine home runs and a handful of RBIs.

What makes him worth mentioning here is his somewhat embarassing 1989 Fleer rookie card. The photo on the front is pretty good, but the stats on the back... aren't. Granted he only played in ten games, but do these numbers really warrant a baseball card? Couldn't they have waited until the 1990 set where he had some actual numbers? 125 ABs in '89, good for a .232 avg.

I'm interested to see how many rookie cards today have stats like these on the back. Probably not many. If you know of one, let me know.

Monday, June 23, 2008

Pack 12, the Ryan Express & What's going on in Atlanta?

I'm a little later getting this one up than I'd like, but I was watching Ben Sheets pitch a pretty brilliant game against my Braves. But more on that later. Here's pack twelve.

Pack 12
(duplicates are indicated by bold text)
55 Dave Winfield
70 Tim Wallach
75 Darrell Evans
210 Dave Concepcion
215 Oddibe McDowell
120 Dale Sveum
263 Lonnie Smith
277 Harold Reynolds
283 Mark Wasinger

425 Kent Tekulve
440 Graig Nettles
332 George Frazier
539 Bill Long
541 Jeff Sellers
573 Jamie Moyer
578 Jay Aldrich
575 Nolan Ryan

Looks like I should have waited on the previous post about Jamie Moyer. I found his card flipping through some '08 Topps and I wanted to say something about him. I honestly thought I had his '88 Score card, but I guess not. Until today.

That said, let's move on to more important things.

I've always been a fan of pitching. Sure the home runs are fun to watch and I try not to miss the Home Run Derby before the All-Star game, but I'd much rather see a 1 - 0 pitching duel than a 13 - 11 smash-fest.

However, I was never a fan of Nolan Ryan. I understand that this may be considered blasphemy, and if it is then strike me down now with lightning bolt baseballs. But his approach to the game never really worked for me, and I honestly think he was pretty over-hyped.

Seven no-hitters, ok, I'll give him that. That's an amazing feat, and so are the strikeout numbers. But dig a little deeper into his stats and a few less than spectacular things pop up.

I won't criticize him for his losses, any pitcher that plays as long as he did can expect to lose his fair share of games, it's just a by product of longevity.

But he gave up a lot of walks, 2,795, most all time. He threw of a lot of wild pitches and hit a lot batters.

Don't take this to mean I don't think he should be in the Hall of Fame. I think he's very deserving of his enshrinement at Cooperstown. But it's hard to say he's the best, and I was surprised that he was a first ballot inductee.

Despite not being my favorite player, I'll never complain about pulling a Nolan Ryan card. 20 years ago, I had a few friends who were big Nolan Ryan fans and this card would have netted me several good cards in trade.

It's not a bad looking card either.

This is going to be a long one, and for that I apologize, but there's something else I've gotta say. Being a Braves fan for nearly 20 years now has led to its share of heartache and irritation. 1991 was fun, despite Hrbek's atrocity. 1994 was shaping up to be a good run between the Expos and Braves, but we all know how that one ended up.

1995 was sweet. I'll never forget game six. Glavine pitched a masterpiece and Justice silenced all the naysayers. But after losing in '96 it all started going downhill. They kept winning, 100+ wins five times since winning it all in '95, but only one trip to the World Series (1999). They just can't seem to pull off wins when they need them.

Then the streak of consecutive division titles ended in 2006 with their first season below .500 since 1991.

What's going on in Atlanta?

In March I thought this year would be the one. I think a lot of people thought this year would be the one. We've got the best team on the field, in my opinion, since that 1995 team. A good outfield, when Kotsay is healthy, and the best infield in the division, and probably the league. If Chipper doesn't win the MVP award this year something's wrong.

Pitching. We all thought "hey look, Smoltz and Glavine are back together, this can only go well." It hasn't. Smoltz is out for the year, Glavine's on the DL. The bullpen is a concern, again.

In fact, the Braves bullpen has always been a concern, you just didn't notice it too much when Glavine, Maddux, Smoltz, Millwood and company were blowing by teams and getting deep into games. But now with inexperienced starters and aging starters, the pen is called on by the 6th, instead of the 8th.

There's a lot of talent on this team and they continue to show flashes of brilliance, but never seem to be able to string it together and win eight of ten. They've got to find a way to start winning on the road.

What changes need to be made? Honestly I don't see any, other than maybe adding one more veteran starter. Tim Hudson can't do it all alone, and Jo Jo Reyes is still learning. Team chemestry isn't a problem and Bobby Cox certainly isn't to blame.

Maybe this is one of those rebuilding periods and we haven't heard the last of the Atlanta Braves.

Pack 11

Pack 11
(duplicates are indicated by bold text)
48 Tony Pena
52 Bill Doran
182 Alex Trevino
198 Mark Eichhorn
202 Todd Worrell
286 John Shelby
294 Tony Phillips
306 Steve Buechele
391 Mark Davis
409 Chris James
411 Ken Dixon
473 Darren Daulton
550 Cal Ripken, Jr.
442 Gerald Young
589 Dave LaPoint
599 Gary Matthews
596 Steve Lake

Only one double in this pack, but several others that I already had, meaning I was only able to add ten cards to the set.

Not much to say. I always liked Darren Daulton, even if he is a bit... odd.

The best part of this pack? Cal Ripken, Jr. He's probably my all time favorite player. Like I said before, he played the game the way it's supposed to be played and he played every day.

Back in 1988 I don't think anyone had a clue he'd eventually break the consecutive games record. In fact, in 1987, Ripken's consecutive innings streak ended on September 14 at 8,233.

Saturday, June 21, 2008

Pack 10, twenty years later...

Pack 10
(duplicates are indicated by bold text)
62 Gary Gaetti
67 Mike Boddicker
64 Luis Polonia
162 Bob Walk
178 Mike Kingery

291 Alan Wiggins
309 John Moses
311 Bill Schroededer
440 Graig Nettles
432 Mike Dunne
437 Jack Lazorko
450 Dale Murphy
442 Gerald Young
447 Greg Booker
627 Kirt Manwaring
633 Dave Clark
647 Ron Gant

Pretty good pack today, a nice change from the last two. Where to start, where to start...

Dale Murphy. Why is this man not in the Hall of Fame? Yes, I'm a Braves fan, but that's beside the point. He deserves to be there. But why isn't he? I have a few guesses.

His lifetime batting average was only .265. Excluding 1977, where he played in 16 games, he only hit .300 or better twice: 1983 and 1985. He stuck out, a lot. In 18 years he struck out 1,748 times and walked only 986 times. That's good for 13th place all time.

His 2,111 hits fall well short of the standard 3,000 hit mark that many HoF'ers reached.

While the numbers aren't big, look at his accomplishments. Seven time All Star, five straight gold gloves and four silver sluggers in a row. Pretty good, eh?

But wait, there's more. Mr. Murphy won the National League MVP twice. That alone should put him in the Hall.

The career numbers don't jump out at you like a Mays or Aaron. But you have to realize that Murphy played on a very sub-par team for much of his career. What would his numbers be like had he played in Atlanta during the Maddox-Glavine-Smoltz era? No one can tell.

Should he be there? I think so. Will he? No, probably not.

Moving on to another Brave, Ron Gant.

I always liked Ron Gant, but limited playing time the last several years of his career really hurt his numbers.

This is his rookie card.

But why am I really showing this here? Well, we just heard from Kent Hrbek a few days ago, so we have to see Gant.

Just know this, all of you who aren't old enough to remember Game 2 of the 1991 World Series. Hrbek, despite all his goodness and kindness of soul, pulled Gant off the bag. That's all you need to know about that game, that series, and Kent Hrbek.

These days Gant can be seen doing the pre-game show for the Atlanta Braves on FSN South and SportSouth.

Finally, twenty years is a long time. Most players are lucky to make it ten. Those who make it fifteen are rare. How many make it twenty in this era? Not a lot. There's a few: Glavine, Smoltz, Maddox, Randy Johnson... Jamie Moyer.

I've never been a huge fan of Jamie Moyer, but that's been changing over the last several years. The more I see of him and the more I learn about him, the more I like. A starting pitcher virtually all of his career, his (at the moment) 237 and 182 win/loss mark is impressive. Will he reach 300 wins, I doubt it. But that shouldn't take anything away from his career.

Here's his 1987 Topps card, next to his 2008 Topps Series 1 card. Enjoy.

Friday, June 20, 2008

looking ahead.& Do You Remember?

I know there hasn't been much to say the last two days, but hopefully the next packs will get me back on track. I'd hoped to be able to complete the set with this box, but with the last three or four packs I've only been able to add between ten and twelve new cards to the set. So I'm not so sure now. I do have every intention of completing this set though, however I have to do it.

Up next is a second wax box of 1987 Topps. I'm itchin' to get into that one because I'm relatively close to finishing the set. But I'm going to wait until this box of Score is finished.

I'd also like to see what I can do wit 1989 Topps, because I've got a good start on that set with cards I bought 20 years ago. So that may be coming up after the second box of '87 Topps.

Lately though, I've been thinking really hard about trying to put together a set of 1981 Topps, the year I was born. Could be a challenge, but I'd like to give it a shot. After these two boxes of course.

-- Do You Remember? --

Do you? I didn't. I'd forgotten all about those little Magic Motion Trivia Card things that came in every pack of '88 Score. It was a 56 card set, meaning there's no way to complete a set out of one box. They're gimicky, but kinda fun. They're actually more fun now than they were 20 years ago. There's a lot of words on the back and I never wanted to read all of that back then, but looking at them now is interesting.

Yep, eight of them. I got a double of my Magic Motion Trivia Card. Oh well.

Pack IX

Pack 9
(duplicates are indicated by bold text)
28 Jose Cruz
32 Juan Samuel

48 Tony Pena
173 Lee Lacy
187 Tim Burke
229 Jim Dwyer
231 Andre Thornton
249 John Mitchel
382 Mark Thurmond
398 Danny Jackson
402 Chuck Crim
493 Chris Speier
507 Willie Hernandez
513 Juan Nieves
657 Mike Schmidt – 1987 Highlights
654 Benny Santiago – 1987 Highlights
651 Super Shortstops

Another pack not really worthy of much comment. Better than pack eight yes, but nothing special. Three doubles, but in the end I was only able to add 10 cards to the set.

The two '87 Highlights cards are nice though.

This one is for Schmidt's 500th homerun. Remember, that was a big deal.

Thursday, June 19, 2008


Pack 8
(duplicates are indicated by bold text)
38 Chris Bosio
42 Fred Lynn
58 Ken Gerhart
152 Mark McLemore
168 Ernie Whitt
172 Chris Bando
285 Ted Simmons
300 Bob Stanley
305 Hubie Brooks
393 Mike Young
407 Jeff Kunkel
413 Frank DiPino

482 Gary Roenicke
498 Jeff Dedmon
502 Reggie Jackson – New York
627 Kirt Manwarnig – Rookie Prospect
622 Floyd Bannister

Not a lot to say about this one. Four doubles and a few that I already had before. I did add 11 new cards to the set, so that's not too bad over all.

Maybe there will be something to say tomorrow.

Wednesday, June 18, 2008

Pack seven, oops, and a link

We'll start with the link first. Please, if you haven't seen it before, check out Mario Alejandro's Wax Heaven. It'll have a permenant spot on links list here as well.

Oops, because I mentioned several days ago that I was going to open the series 2 rack pack of '08 Upper Deck. I found them on the floor under the bed when I went to retreive today's pack of '88 Score which the cat batted off the desk and onto the floor. I'll assume she's also responsible for the UD cards taking a floorward journey.

Nothing too special in the pack. I pulled a Kelly Johnson, one of my favorite current Braves, so not too bad overall.

Now to the topic at hand.

Pack 7
(duplicates are indicated by bold text)
37 Alan Trammell
43 Kent Hrbek
176 Greg Minton
184 Danny Darwin
196 Dan Pasqua
239 Doug DeCinces
241 Rich Gedman
259 Ed Romero
393 Mike Young
407 Jeff Kunkel
413 Frank DiPino
502 Reggie Jackson – New York
518 Don Aase
522 Jay Howell
646 Jeff Treadway – Rookie Propect
649 Speed and Power (Eric Davis, Tim Raines)
659 Mark McGwire - 1987 Highlights

This is the best pack so far.

There's not much to say about Alan Trammell that isn't already out there. He had a great career, all of it in once city which by the 1980s was becoming a rarity. Should he be in the Hall of Fame? By his numbers yes. But as much of a celebration of talent as it is, the HoF is also a popularity contest. Unfortunately, Trammell played on a small market team and didn't get the exposure as his counterparts in New York, Chicago and LA.

I'm confident that he'll make it though. He was just too good not to be there.

Next we have Kent Hrbek. As a Braves fan it's taken me seventeen years to get over game 2 of the 1991 World Series. But I'll admit, grudgingly as it may be, that he had a pretty good career. Beyond his career he's done a lot of charity work and is all in all an upstanding citizen.

But come on Kent, we all know you pulled Gant off the bag.

I lack one more card of completing the Reggie Jackson subset (of five cards, woo). This is the Reggie that everyone remembers.

And finally, we have this. See yesterday's post for comments on steroids and the like.

Like I said about Canseco, Mark McGwire was one of the biggest things in baseball in 1988 and he deserves to be here, highlighted for what he did 20 years ago, not what he did in 1998.

In 1987 McGwire hit 49 homeruns as a rookie. That's impressive. Especially considering how skinny he was back then.

Tuesday, June 17, 2008

Pack six & Where have you gone Julio Franco?

Pack 6
(duplicates are indicated by bold text)
40 Willie McGee
45 Jose Canseco
60 Julio Franco
155 Marty Barrett
170 Mike Pagliarula
277 Harold Reynolds
283 Mark Wasinger
297 Terry Francona
381 Bob McClure
399 Cecil Fielder
401 Don Carmen
480 Richard Dotson
485 Pete Incaviglia
500 Reggie Jackson – Oakland
591 Bill Buckner
601 Dennis Martinez
604 Tony Bernazard

I don't want to, but I'm going to have to say a few things here about Mr. Canseco before we get on with anything else. Regardless of what he did or didn't do, Jose
Canseco was just about the biggest thing in baseball in 1988; and pulling this card 20 years ago would have made me ecstatic, today it just makes me rather contemplative.

I liked Jose as a kid, I think all of us growing up in the 80s did. I was really starting to get into baseball around the time Jose appeared on the national map, 86-87, sometime around there, and he was so much fun to watch.

He was a big guy in a bright green uniform. He looked like a superhero, with a big smile on his face. Then we all got a little older and something just didn't seem right. I don't want to get into the steroid issue here, it's a problem that hopefully baseball can figure out and deal with.

I will say this though. I was never a fan of Barry Bonds, so I don't care what happens to him. I wish for the sake of baseball and those of us who love it, that he'll come clean and say "yes I did," or "no I didn't." But as a person, I don't care what happens. But Canseco, I don't know, I don't have a lot of respect left for the man, but I still like him, in the way that you'll always like your first car. No matter how many times it blew up or broke down, you'll always have a special place for that car.

I got to see him play once, May 2, 1997, Oakland vs. Baltimore. My 16th birthday actually. Jose was back with Oakland, just before they traded away McGwire to St. Louis so I got to seem them both together for the last time.

Canseco went 1 for 4 with an RBI, McGwire went 0 for 3 with two strikeouts.

By that point I didn't care about either one of them much anymore. I was excited at the chance to see Cal Ripken Jr. play and he didn't disappoint, going 2 for 4 and scoring two runs.

Here's the box score.

Jose... you let us all down.

Moving right along.

What makes this pack a good one is Julio Franco. It looks like he's finally decided to hang up the spikes after a 673 year career. His wasn't one of those rarely used off the bench 25 year careers either. The man was impressive. He was a lifetime .298 hitter pushing 50 years old.

Hall of Fame? I don't know. He never reached the 3,000 hit mark and didn't really put up a lot of power numbers, but he could hit. Three time All Star (MVP of the 1990 game) and 1991 AL Batting Champion. Yes, he deserves to be in the Hall, just for his longevity alone (he never really showed weakness in his late 40s either), but time will tell.

I doubt he's done with baseball either. He'll probably show up as a manager somewhere before too long.

Monday, June 16, 2008

Pack Five

Pack 5 (6/16/08)
61 Charlie Leibrandt
71 Keith Moreland
171 Pat Sheridan
189 Gary Templeton
191 Larry Parish
324 Dan Gladden
221 Kurt Stillwell
239 Doug DeCinces
338 Eric Show
335 Mike Scott
340 Paul Molitor
472 Ellis Burks
480 Richard Dotson
475 Frank Viola
601 Dennis Martinez
619 Don Robinson
621 Nelson Liriano

Not a bad pack. No doubles which is always nice. Only two doubles in five packs isn't half bad. That means out of 85 possible cards thus far, I have 83 unique cards. If the rest of the box is this good, I may be able to complete the set. So far, adding in what I already had, I have 178 of 660 cards. Pretty good with 31 packs left to open.

It's always nice to pull a Paul Molitor. As far as I'm concerned, pulling any Hall of Famer, no matter what the monetary value of the card is always nice.

Sad note in this pack, Eric Show (1956-1994). A very outspoken player, and a good career until the drugs got him.

Sunday, June 15, 2008

Pack Four

Pack 4 (6/15/08)
(duplicates are indicated by bold text)
12 Ozzie Smith
28 Jose Cruz
32 Juan Samuel
162 Bob Walk
178 Mike Kingery
254 Johnny Ray
266 Willie Randolph
274 Dick Schofield
369 Mike Birkbeck
371 Dave Collins
389 Pat Clements
447 Greg Booker
453 Rafael Belliard
467 Jerry Mumphrey
588 Gene Nelson
583 Jeff DeWillis
586 Andy Allanson

42 Ebbets Field, 4/15/47

Four packs in and the doubles start to show up. For now it doesn't look like doubles in this box will be as irritating as in my last box of '87 Topps. In the Topps box, if you pulled a double, you knew there was a good chance that the next two to four cards would also be doubles.

There's nothing in this pack to get excited about. No rookies, nothing special at all. I did always like Rafael Belliard though, gotta pull for the underdog.

Saturday, June 14, 2008

Pack 3 and Upper Deck

Pack 3 (6/14/08)
14 Jim Rice
126 Dave Valle
134 Bob Brenlry
146 Robby Thompson
290 Dan Quisenberry
295 Mike Morgan
310 Ron Guidry
389 Pat Clements
379 Ed Olwine
504 Reggie Jackson - Oakland
501 Reggie Jackson - Baltimore
491 Mike Loynd
603 Ozzie Guillen
617 Dave Engle
623 Randy Milligan

Two Reggie Jackson cards make this pack a pretty good one. In 1988, Score celebrated Jackson's final tour of the league with a special five card subset featuring his career.

Card #504 is his final regular issue card and has hit career stats, cards #500 - #503 give some information on his time with each of the four teams he played with.

The rookie of the pack is Randy Milligan. Who? Milligan was a guy with some potential who never really caught on. He played with six teams over the course of his seven year career. Currently he's a scout with the Orioles organization.

And, as promised, here's my first experience with 2008 Upper Deck.

I know this is nothing new to most of you, but when my interest in baseball cards resurfaced a few months ago, it was focused mostly on older cards. Cards and players I knew as a kid. But while out buying some card pages I spotted a rack pack of '08 Upper Deck, series one and two. So I bought one of each.

Last night I opened the Series 1 pack and I have to say I'm pretty impressed with the quality and design of these cards. I didn't get anything too special, but I enjoyed it and will probably end up picking up some more of these cards.

Tonight I'm opening the Series 2 rack pack, I guess we'll see what happens.

Friday, June 13, 2008

Pack Two

Pack 2
68 Vince Coleman
65 Dwight Evans
70 Tim Wallach
129 Ozzie Virgil
131 Lance Parrish
149 Bobby Witt
276 Gene Larkin
284 Luis Salazar
343 Jerry Don Gleaton
346 John Morris
349 Earnest Riles
487 Tony Armas
484 Rich Yett
481 Kevin Mitchell
651 Super Shortstops (Fernandez, Ripken, Trammell)
559 Rob Murphy
561 Manny Lee

54 Ebbets Field, 9/16/24

Nothing great here, except the Super Shortstops card.

(please pardon my nearly ten year old scanner... the smudges are on the scanner, not the card)

Cal Ripken Jr. has always been one of my favorite players of all time. He played the game the way it should be played, he played every day, and he was really good at what he did. Actually, Ripken along with his 2007 Hall of Fame classmate, Tony Gynn, have my deepest respect as people and as baseball payers.

Any card with Mr. Ripken is a good pull in my book.

The other two guys featured on this card had great careers as well.

Despite being a first set, '88 Score is one of the best looking sets of the '80s. The photography was good, most were action shots. But I'm not sure what went wrong with this card. Tony Fernandez is barely recognizable and Ripken and Trammell are both mostly in shadow. Oh well... this picture was probably taken at the only opportunity given with all three players in the same place.

The Budweiser sign is interesting too. Where Topps usually airbrushes that stuff out, Score either didn't notice, or didn't care.

Tomorrow, pack three and my first experience with 2008 Upper Deck.

Thursday, June 12, 2008

Fist post and Pack One

Greetings all.

Why 1988 Score?  This set gets very little respect, and it probably doesn't deserve much in the long run.  But I like it.

Because twenty years ago, when I was seven years old, before I got into Topps, Donruss, Upper Deck and the like, the first packs of baseball cards I bought were 1988 Score.

A lot has happened in the world of baseball cards since I bought my last cards in 1994.  But a renewed interest has been sparked, and I wanted to go back where it all started.

17 Player Cards and one Magic Motion Trivia Card. I'd forgotten about the Magic Motion Trivia Card.

The box isn't in the greatest of shape, but the first pack of cards are perfect. So, let's begin.

Pack 1 (6/12/08)
17 Dave Parker
12 Ozzie Smith
20 Tony Fernandez
170 Mike Pagliarula
175 Mike Greenwell
190 Terry Pendleton
312 Jose Nunez
328 Bill Dawley
392 Jose Rijo
397 Randy St. Claire
394 Willie Fraser
538 Walt Terrell
533 Scott Garrelts
536 Paul Kilgus
585 Bill Gullickson
600 Fernando Valenzuela
605 Chili Davis

Great Moments in Baseball (GMIB)
38 Polo Grounds, 10/3/51

Not a bad first pack. Certainly nothing to write home about, but I don't know how much of 88 Score is going to be worth writing home about. A few good players here, especially Ozzie Smith and Fernando.

What's interesting here though is Dave Parker and Jose Rijo. In 1988, Rijo was traded from Oakland to Cincinnati for Parker. The '88 Score set's photographs were taken during the '87 season and depict the two players in their old uniforms. Not interesting in and of itself, but fun to have both players in the same pack.

Parker was nearing the end of his pretty good career. While Rijo would become the eventual hero of the 1990 World Series against his former team.

For future installments, I'll try to get my scanner working, but seeing as I've had it since my freshman year in college (1999) it's not exactly compatible with my new computer.