Pack Break: Hit Parade Baseball

Written by Steve on April 7th, 2014


With my last order from Dave and Adam’s Card World, I decided to throw in a $10 “Hit Parade” pack.  Love the concept and it’s a great way for them to unload mediocre “hits” that they don’t want or need.  Here’s what I got:

  1. 2009 Upper Deck Inkredible #INK-JH J.A. Happ (Autograph)
  2. 2009 Upper Deck Goodwin Champions Mini #98 Jason Giambi
  3. 2000 Black Diamond Rookie Edition #143 Ryan Franklin (Jersey Relic) (USA)

Nothing really awesome, but the J.A. Happ auto is a nice addition to my collection (I collect autographs).

2009 Upper Deck Inkredible #INK-JH J.A. Happ (Autograph)

2013 Topps Update Series HTA Jumbo Box Break

Written by Steve on April 3rd, 2014

Finally getting back to cataloging my backlog of new cards, here’s a summary my jumbo box of 2013 Topps Update, really quick:

Still don’t see the point of “silk cards”:

2013 Topps Silk Collection #NF Nick Franklin (Serial#36/50)

I also don’t care for manufactured relics, but at least this one looks nice:

2013 Topps Update Record Holder Rings #RHR-RH Rickey Henderson (Manufactured Relic)

Always love the autographs, but it’s always a disappointment to get a mediocre middle reliever:

2013 Topps Chasing History Autographs #CHA-RP Ryan Pressly (Autograph)

Found some good luck on the one camo card I found in the box.  Solid pitcher:

2013 Topps Update Camo #US106 Clayton Kershaw (Serial#16/99) (All-Star)

Jersey relics have lost some of their luster over the years, but this is a good one:

2013 Topps Update All Star Stitches #ASR-MM Manny Machado (Jersey Relic)

Overall it was an okay box.  I didn’t get anything I really want to keep, so these will probably go on the auction block or act as trade fodder.

Pack Break: 2013 Panini Cooperstown

Written by Steve on February 18th, 2014

2013 cooperstown

Opening up a pack of 2013 Panini Cooperstown:

  1. #38 Mickey Cochrane
  2. Lumberjacks #55 King Kelly
  3. Historic Tickets #12 New York/New York
  4. #46 Charlie Gehringer
  5. #4 Christy Mathewson
  6. Colgans Chips #JG Josh Gibson

Panini Cooperstown is just what my collection needs.  Most collectors probably don’t have many players from the early 20th and late 19th centuries in their collections.  In this pack I got my first King Kelly and Mickey Cochrane cards.

I don’t care much for the design of the set though.  The style is a bit busy, and more recent photographs look a bit awkward when placed in a gaudy frame.  Panini’s lack of an MLB license sets them up for some confusing cards.  For example, I got a “Historic Tickets” card commemorating the 1936 World Series matchup between the New York Yankees and the New York Giants.  However, the card goes through great lengths to avoid mentioning “Yankees” or “Giants” — the Yankees are referred to as “NYY” and “NEW YORK (A)”, while the Giants are referred to as “NYG” and “NEW YORK (N)”.

The Lumberjacks cards however, are pretty cool.  It’s a card with a wood front (or at least it feels like wood).

Classifying the cards is a bit difficult.  The Colgan’s Chips card has no number, just a last name.  It took me some time to figure out that the Historic Tickets card was not part of the base set.  There are also short printed cards in the base set that I don’t know how to differentiate, but I’m assuming I didn’t get one.

The 25 Best 19th Century Players

Written by Steve on December 10th, 2013

I’ve been doing some research into revamping my Greatest Players list, and came across Baseball-Reference’s Career Leaders for Wins Above Replacement list.  While there are some things I would change about this method of determining players’ greatness, it is fairly close to what I’ve been working on.  Here’s a glance at the greatest 25 pre-1900 players based on Baseball-Reference’s career WAR analysis:

Cy Young

Cy Young

In order of career WAR, from highest to lowest:

  1. Cy Young
  2. Kid Nichols
  3. Cap Anson
  4. Tim Keefe
  5. George Davis
  6. Roger Connor
  7. John Clarkson
  8. Dan Brouthers
  9. Old Hoss Radbourn
  10. Jim McCormick
  11. Pud Galvin
  12. Ed Delahanty
  13. Amos Rusie
  14. Tony Mullane
  15. Monte Ward
  16. Mickey Welch
  17. Billy Hamilton
  18. Charlie Buffinton
  19. Jack Glasscock
  20. Jake Beckley
  21. Tommy Bond
  22. Bob Caruthers
  23. Jesse Burkett
  24. Al Spalding
  25. Jim Whitney

So if we could gather all 25 of these players together to play as a team in 1900, what would the roster look like?

Starting Lineup

  1. Billy Hamilton CF
  2. Cap Anson C
  3. Ed Delahanty LF
  4. Dan Brouthers 1B
  5. Roger Connor 3B
  6. George Davis RF
  7. Jack Glasscock SS
  8. Monte Ward 2B

Working with what I have, I put Cap Anson at catcher because he’s the only one out of these 25 players with any experience at the position.


  1. Jake Beckley
  2. Jesse Burkett

Only two hitters on the bench, but both good hitting lefties.

Starting Rotation

  1. Cy Young
  2. Kid Nichols
  3. Tim Keefe
  4. John Clarkson
  5. Old Hoss Radbourn

I simply put the best 5 pitchers into the starting rotation, since all of these pitchers were starters.


  1. Jim McCormick
  2. Pud Galvin
  3. Amos Rusie
  4. Tony Mullane
  5. Mickey Welch
  6. Charlie Buffinton
  7. Bob Caruthers
  8. Al Spalding
  9. Jim Whitney

Considering how 19th-century baseball was played, the bullpen really doubles as the bench, with any of these players able to come out and hit or pitch as needed.


  1. Tommy Bond

With a 1.091 career WHIP and lots of strikeouts, he makes a good game-ender

Pack Break: 2013 Bowman Platinum

Written by Steve on November 20th, 2013

I have here two packs of 2013 Bowman Platinum:

2013 bowman platinum

Pack 1:

2013 Bowman Platinum #39 Bryce Harper

  1. #BPP75 Daniel Vogelbach
  2. #39 Bryce Harper
  3. Chrome Prospects Refractors #BPCP44 Kyle Crick
  4. #82 Alex Rodriguez
  5. #BPP15 Nick Castellanos

Pack 2:

2013 Bowman Platinum Diamonds in the Rough #DIR-HA Hanser Alberto

  1. #BPP99 Luis Sardinas
  2. Diamonds in the Rough #DIR-HA Hanser Alberto
  3. #29 Mariano Rivera
  4. #BPP58 Cody Buckel
  5. #BPP16 Archie Bradley

The first thing that hit me when I opened these packs was, “These cards are beautiful”.  It’s a clean, metallic design with a rainbow shimmer.  The gloss is just enough to give the cards a premium feel without going too far and making them feel plastic-y and cheap.

Overall, I found a good mix of big-name veterans, big-name prospects, and names that I’ve never heard of (yet).  The packs are fun to rip and the design is beautiful.

Pack Break: 2013 Topps Allen & Ginter’s World Champions

Written by Steve on November 19th, 2013

2013 allen and ginter

  1. #35 Kevin Harvick
  2. #266 Henry Rollins
  3. #136 Panama Canal
  4. #124 Olivia Culpo
  5. #198 Jayson Werth
  6. #151 R.A. Dickey
  7. Mini #215 Aroldis Chapman
  8. Across the Years #ATY-WMY Willie Mays

2013 Topps Allen and Ginter Across the Years #ATY-WMY Willie Mays

I take exception to these being called “baseball cards”.  I suppose they’re technically not, as the pack calls them “Picture Cards”, but I was nonetheless a little disappointed.  Out of 6 base cards, only two of them are of baseball players.  Sure it’s fun to see each card for the first time, but I don’t have any place in my “baseball card collection” for stock car drivers, performers, “engineering world wonders”, or Miss Universes.  I kind of wish all the base cards are of baseball players, and all the other stuff gets shoved into fun insert sets.  Seriously, what am I going to do with a “Panama Canal” picture card?

Pack Break: 2013 Topps Pro Debut

Written by Steve on October 29th, 2013
2013 pro debut

2013 Topps Pro Debut

  1. #153 Kyle Crick
  2. #179 Mark Bordonaro (Pro Debut)
  3. #44 Dylan Cozens
  4. #33 Zoilo Almonte
  5. #86 Gary Brown
  6. #18 Jorge Polanco
  7. #165 Nicholas Martinez
  8. #136 Luis Merejo (Pro Debut)

2013 Topps Pro Debut #179 Mark Bordonaro (Pro Debut)

I was really looking forward to opening my pack of Pro Debut, but ended up a bit disappointed.  I really like the concept, but I guess I ended up with a dud of a pack.  I keep regular tabs on minor league baseball, but I’ve never heard of any of these players.  Nothing exciting here, though it was refreshing to see the quirky minor league logos and colorful jerseys.  I think I would have enjoyed opening up a box of this rather than just a single pack.

According to Beckett, Mark Bordonaro and Dylan Cozens are the two most valuable cards in the pack, so I figured they must be a couple minor league stars who somehow escaped my radar.  However, taking a closer look I really have no idea why they are supposedly the best players in this pack.  Mark Bordonaro was drafted in the 25th round of the 2012 MLB Draft by the Mariners.  He owns a 3-4 record with a 4.65 ERA as a relief pitcher in single-A ball this past year.  Maybe it’s the 10.2 SO/9IP where people see promise?  I dunno.  The other guy, Dylan Cozens, shows a little more promise.  He was drafted in the 2nd round of the 2012 MLB Draft by the Phillies.  In 2013, he hit .265 with 9 home runs and 11 stolen bases while playing in low-A ball.  That’s okay, but hardly numbers to get excited about, especially at such a low level.

If I had to choose one player from this pack with the most upside, it would be Kyle Crick.  He was a 1st round Giants draft pick in the 2011 MLB Draft.  In 2013 he started 14 games at the high-A level and went 3-1 with a 1.57 ERA, while striking out 95 batters in under 69 innings.  He is the #42 prospect in’s Top 100 Prospects list, and was also ranked #66 on Baseball America prior to the 2013 season.

Box Break: 2013 Topps Series 2 HTA Jumbo (hot box?)

Written by Steve on October 22nd, 2013

Yes, I do have an unopened box of 2013 Topps Update Series sitting on my desk.  However, I’ve been so busy lately that I never got around to posting about the Series 2 box I opened up this past summer.  I think the wait was worth it, as this box was a bit different than other ones I’ve opened.  Take a look at the top 5 cards from the box… all “hits”!

Here’s the first 1/1 I’ve ever pulled:

2013 Topps Cyan Printing Plate #458 Jake Peavy (Serial#1/1) (Printing Plate)

They attached a “Made in China” trinket to a piece of cardboard and called it a “Relic”:

2013 Topps ROY Award Winners Trophy #ROY-AD Andre Dawson (Manufactured Relic)

This guy just had a breakout season and was named a 2013 All-Star:

2013 Topps Chasing History Autographs CHA-JK Jason Kipnis (Autograph)

A chunk of bat from “The Reverend”:

2013 Topps Chasing History Relics #CHR-HP Hunter Pence (Bat Relic)

Wilin Rosario has been showing some promise for the Rockies.  In 2012 he hit .270 with 28 homers.  This year he hit .292 with 21 homers:

2013 Topps Chasing History Autographs CHA-WR Wilin Rosario (Autograph)

You might be thinking 2 autographs, 2 relics, and a 1/1 in one jumbo box???  Yep, apparently it happens.  I hope the luck carries over when I rip open my box of Update Series.  I’ll report on that one later.