Card Draft II Countdown Part 2: 15-6

Hey y’all!  We’re jumping right back into the Card Draft Countdown, taking it down just shy of the top-5.  Light it up and go in hot.

#15

1974 Topps Traded Ron Santo..

1974 Topps Traded Ron Santo..

This one is a little bittersweet.  Your best friend only moved across town, but you still get the sense that it’s the beginning of the end of your friendship.  Everything changes and life goes on, but it’s sad in the moment.  And you know that career is coming to an end when the team they’ve been with for their whole career lets them go.  But still, you gotta remember the good times, and Ron Santo was great.  So this is a bittersweet keeper.

#14

1974 Topps Al Kaline..

1974 Topps Al Kaline..

Another late-career card of a Hall of Fame slugger.  It is beat to hell, which is why it’s so low on the countdown, but still a fine card nonetheless.  I’m willing to trade this one away though.  Not my team, not my town.

#13

1974 Topps JR Richard..

1974 Topps JR Richard..

And now for the “what could have been” I mentioned in the previous post.  JR Richard had the stuff to be an all-time great, but he flamed out probably not even halfway to immortality.  But the little we got was just crazy electric amazing.  This badass card is a keeper.  I’m working on a single page of him, and was able to score a couple more for the page in Card Draft III.

#12

Harold Baines RC..

Harold Baines RC..

A RC of the 2nd or 3rd best more-or-less pure DH of all time.  If Edgar Martinez is getting into the Hall one of these years, which seems like a very real possibility, then Harold Baines belongs there too.  Edgar has a better slashline .312/.418/.515 to .289/.356/.465.  But Harold has him in hits 2866-2247, 384-309 in home runs, and 1628-1261 in RBI, all of which Edgar would struggle to reach if given the extra 3+ seasons Harold played.  You would have to tack those years on at the beginning and/or end of his career, and he did all his best work from age 32-40 (dude never hit over 18 HR in season before that), so only the hits would maybe be in danger.  You can complain about accumulating all you want (and Harold Baines was unquestionably an accumulator), but if you put up 2866 hits, 384 home runs, and 1628 RBIs together, that’s Hall of Fame-worthy career, DH or not.

In other news, I completed a Harold Baines trifecta earlier this month thanks to landing this card in the draft.  I got the auto late last year, this in Card Draft II: The Search for Son of Curly’s Electric Boogaloo, and finally the relic courtesy of eBay.  Being that Harold Baines is probably my dad’s favorite player, all three are currently displayed on the parents’ entertainment center.

#11

'61 Moe Thacker..

’61 Moe Thacker..

An early ’60s Cub?  Of course I’m going to to take it.  I don’t really team collect anymore, but I have a binder for cool Cubs stuff I like that doesn’t fit into a specific player collection or set or single page.  There’s a place in it for vintage, rookies/prospects, inserts/parallels, hits, and certain oddballs and things.  So yeah, this be a keeper.

#10

1986 Topps 1000 Yard Club..

1986 Topps 1000 Yard Club..

What better way to jump into the top-10 than with the greatest running back of all-time?  I have several cards from Sweetness’ playing career (including his RC!), but nothing from about 1981-86, so this starts to close that sad gap in my collection a little bit.

#9

Dock In Action..

Dock In Action..

Another ’70s pitching great with a dedicated binder page the card drafts have started to fill up.  I only had a single Dock before this, from epic time suck that was the Diamond Giveaway.  It should’ve been two though, Topps.  Thanks for screwing me out of the ’75, the only card from his playing career that could top this card and the next on the countdown.

#8

'72 Dock: regular version..

Dock not in action..

My ordering might’ve gone off the rails in this part of the list, but that’s okay.  It’s hard to beat a ’72 for anyway.  This was early in the era where I argue Topps peaked (from 1971-1985, they simply didn’t make a bad looking set, and ’71, ’72, ’75, and ’83 are all-time greats), and while the design is way… oh, let’s say flouncier, than ’71, it still positively reeks of the same kind of class as the straight black ’71s.

#7

Upper Deck Ovation Future Forces Ray Allen..

Upper Deck Ovation Future Forces Ray Allen..

From the height of Topps powers to the height of Upper Deck’s, this is one of those scan doesn’t do the card justice types.  These days Ray is the most prolific 3-point shooter of all-time and a future Hall-of-Famer.  Amazing then that he might only be the fourth best player in his draft class!  Kobe, while kind of a douche, is unquestionably the best of the class, Allen Iverson is 6th in NBA history in points-per-game at 26.7 (from a guy not even legitimately 6’0″ tall!), and Steve Nash is a 2-time MVP and one of the greatest point guards in NBA history.

What a draft that 1996 class was.  4 Hall of Fame locks (the above mentioned Kobe, AI, Nash & Allen), 4 of the better all-star/Hall of Very Good journeymen ever (Antoine Walker, Shareef Abdur-Rahim, Stephon Marbury, Peja Stojakovic) and several significant contributors and long-lasting role players (Kerry Kittles, Marcus Camby, Zydrunas Ilgauskas, Derek Fisher, Jermaine O’Neal).

Oh, and I guess this card is available, but only reluctantly.

#6

Aramis Ramirez BowChro Blue Refractor #'ed /250..

Aramis Ramirez 2012 BowChro Blue Refractor #’ed /250..

This card is so so pretty with that deep blue border and surprisingly decent for a Bowman product design (although 2013 is pretty decent too).  The only thing keeping it out of the top-5 is the Cubs’ next Hall of Famer having moved on to the Brew Crew after the 2011 season.  Usually I stop actively chasing players when that happens, but I finally officially went over 100 Aramis Ramirez cards early this year and am still going strong, if mostly focused on using my own money to get his autograph cards right now.  I figure when I get back into trading again, the lower-tier Aramis base cards and inserts will start filling out some more.

Well, there you go.  I might even be questioning my list myself, but those are my 15-6 from Card Draft II.  That’s all for this one, lonely souls.  Thanks for stopping by and reading my rambles and looking at my cards.  Check back next time for the top-5!

Next time, Gadget…

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Card Draft II Countdown Part 1: 25-16 + Extras

Lovely parting gifts..

Lovely parting gifts..

With Scott Crawford on Cards‘ Trade Bait Draft III probably happening tonight (If you got $20 or a good trade to offer him, and an hour or two free, hit him up!), I thought it was way past time to start showing off my stuff from my first go-round in his draft’s second iteration.  With the five bonus rounds and five extra throw-ins, I ended up with a total of 30 cards, but I’m only going to count down the drafted cards.  The extras are at the top of the post.  And now, without further adieu, let’s count ’em down.  In my opinion, here are 25-16:

#25

2011 Bowman Mike Moustakas Bowman's Best Prospects..

2011 Bowman Mike Moustakas Bowman’s Best Prospects..

A late-round set need pick for a set I’m waffling pretty hard on whether or not I want to finish.  My love of Bowman’s Best stems from 1996-1999, not from the product’s first year, which this set is aping.  Keeper (for now I guess).

#24

1974 Topps Goose Gossage..

1974 Topps Goose Gossage..

Chosen entirely for the sake of “Hall of Famer in a White Sox uniform”.  I don’t even particularly like Goose, because his opinions on baseball invariably annoy me on the mercifully rare occasions he voices them.  Available for trade, because I don’t want to look at Goose every time I pass the shelves the White Sox cards I give my dad are on when I’m at the parents’ place.

#23

BowChro Jameson Taillon die-cut..

BowChro Jameson Taillon die-cut..

I like Taillon and think he is going to be very good.  The only reason this one is so low on the countdown is the card itself.  Topps has gone crazy with the die-cuts the since 2011, but these are one of the very few that don’t really do it for me.  Available for trade.

#22

Kurt Suzuki Heritage Chrome Green Refractor..

Kurt Suzuki Heritage Chrome Green Refractor..

Although I like that the refractor color matches the player’s team, Suzuki is pure trade bait, most likely for Shot Not Taken if he needs it.  He has no less than a dozen hits I have varying degrees of interest in, and three I absolutely have to get whenever we trade again.  Plus he always seems to pull a few wrestlers I like when he busts pro graps cards, so it’s no wonder we trade so often.

#21

1969 Topps Johnny Podres..

1969 Topps Johnny Podres..

It’s a cool card, no doubt, but mostly a case of picking the best card still remaining on my draft board.  Available for trade, especially if you have a fairly equivalent Cub from the around that time.

#20

Laser Emmitt Smith Sample..

Laser Emmitt Smith Sample..

Even though I don’t actively collect samples and promos anymore (or think that highly of Emmitt Smith as a football player), I can’t say no to a little blinged out ’90s greatness.  Available for trade.

19

1974 Topps All-Star Catchers Fisk/Bench..

1974 Topps All-Star Catchers Fisk/Bench..

Chosen for the Carlton Fiskiness of it all.  Goose started it off, and here is the second appearance in a long run of ’74 Hall of Famers (and one all-time what could have been) in varying degrees of rough condition.  Many more to come.  Reluctantly available for trade.

#18

1986-87 Fleer Maurice Cheeks..

1986-87 Fleer Maurice Cheeks..

This is a great card, and it only fell this far down the list right before I started writing the post.  It was #12 when I got the list back out to start this up.  Oddly, I’ve only ever owned three cards from the legendary ’86-87 Fleer set, and all three of them have been 76ers (Dr. J and Moses Malone were the others).  Reluctantly available for trade.

#17

2013 Topps Yu Darvish '72 Mini..

2013 Topps Yu Darvish ’72 Mini..

YU!  I dunno about these mini sets of sets that were never mini in the first place.  I think Topps may be scraping the bottom of the barrel of their endless nostalgia crazed wankfest.  Yeah, wankfest.  They are clearly in love with themselves and their history, despite how INCREDIBLY MEDIOCRE that history is.  Yeah you never made a bad set from 1971-1985, but a lot of what came before is only well thought of because it’s old, and you’re still spotty as hell and losing ground in modern times.  You NEVER even innovated a damn thing in 25 years of relatively uncontested ruling over baseball cards, and really cards in general.  So, I think you and your history kinda suck!  And I will never, EVER stop resenting you for your current exclusive deal, or MLB for giving it to you.

What can I say I’m a Paul Heyman Upper Deck Panini anyone willing to put up a decent alternative to Topps guy.

But I’ll take a YU! every chance I get.  This, despite my rant, is a reluctant keeper.  At least until I finish and can start upgrading my Yu Darvish page.

#16

2011 Score Colin Kaepernick RC

2011 Score Colin Kaepernick RC

What a thrill to watch last year.  Even Kaep’s early struggles were of the rather epic variety (the infamous halfback toss to nowhere that, iirc, eventually cost the Niners that game).  Can’t wait to see what he can do over a full and hopefully healthy season.  I’ve never seen a running QB with such deadly timing on designed runs.  Just unreal what he can do.  It is never a good idea to anoint a team, but the 49ers are built to compete for championships for years on end, and it will be a huge disappointment if they don’t get at least one.

That’s it for the first of what will most likely be three of these countdown posts.  If Card Draft III does end up being tonight, I will hopefully be able to get the countdown done before the next bunch of cards arrive.  Thanks for stopping by!

Until our next…

I Want Your Prizms

It seems nobody out there likes Panini’s Prizm baseball offering.  Well, despite the dubious 2012-ness of them (c’mon Panini, these came out even later in 2013 than 2009 UD Signature Stars came out in 2010), I love the things.  The lack of logos don’t bother me any.  The design is quality, and the cards are thick & substantial.  I think I’ve bought about 10 packs without even a lot to show for them and I’m not regretting the purchases at all.

I dunno if what it is about Panini’s alternate take, or if it’s just because it is a viable alternate take to Topps’ increasingly forgettable Chrome, but I’m fine basically paying out the ass for these when I’ve never been okay doing that with Chrome, even in years when it doesn’t suck.  To compare, my less than half as many Topps Heritage, and a lone pack of the putrid lameness that is 2013 Gypsy Queen, were met with immediate regret.  Topps tone-deaf nostalgia-based offerings both have more cards, but Heritage rarely fails to leave me feeling empty inside, and 2013 is no exception (the exception would be 2009).  I also know 2013 GQ has probably the finest looking slate of inserts, parallels, & hits of it’s brief three year tenure as a thing that exists, but I didn’t pull any of that good stuff, and the base set is just ass.

So yeah, whatever.  I like Prizm enough to take an actual (if probably ultimately doomed) stab at the base set, if not an all out mini master set of base + all inserts.  So if you have some, I want them.  I want them ALL!  I’ll take regular and colored (blue, red, greengold?  I might be wishful thinking on that last one ;)) refractors (Prizms, whatevs.  They are the same thing.  Prizms just haven’t been run into the ground yet.) off your hands too if you have them.  No chance at getting complete sets of them cuz money is hard, but I wouldn’t mind landing some of my player collections and a Sensational Single Page of randoms of the regular and first three colors anyway.

Feed me more..

That’s all I got to say right now.  Thanks for stopping by to read me ridicule Topps’ shitty early season offerings while praising that thing all of you seem to hate so much.  Just hit me up in the comments or email me (address is on me google account linked on the sidebar) if you have some unwanted Prizms (I also need at least 3/4 of the Finalists set from the basketball version of Prizm if you got ’em), and we can work out a deal.  I’ll also try not to take so long between posts.  It isn’t like I’m hurting for things to jibba-jabba about.  Peace.

Still here, just getting there…