I have been sporadic at posting to say the least since my grand return to the blog. The major reason is because I am still working on the 2013 Quarry Unlimited set, but I have also been trying to come up with some new feature ideas as well. Today will show off the first of the new features. I call it Top 10 & Bottom 5. In this series, I will be opening something: a blaster, a box, a repack or something related to cards. After opening I will pick out the top 10 cards and the bottom 5 cards and show them off. Okay so it's not exactly cutting edge stuff here, but I think the bottom 5 will really add to the concept. Not only will everyone see what I like, but what I don't like as well.
The first thing I am going to open is a Super Value Pack rack pack. I'm sure you guys have seen these at your local big box store for $5. Earlier this year, I bought one and was not completely turned off so I decided to press my luck again. It was worth it as you will soon see, at least to me. But first let's start off with the bottom five, from "best" to worst.
THE BOTTOM FIVE
#5 (tie) 1988 Topps #350 Will Clark & 1999 Pacific Crown Collection #135 Jose Offerman
Try as I might I couldn't decide between the worst of these two. Jose Offerman is a much less likable player, but I had never seen nor owned this card plus he is with the Royals and not the Dodgers. Will Clark is not one of my favorite players and this is one of my least favorite of his cards and he is with the Giants. I call that a tie.
#4 1995 Upper Deck #383 Al Martin
The bottom four in this pack were all damaged in one way or another. The least objectionable of the damaged cards was this Al Martin which only had a couple of dinged corners. It is a decent photo of the guy that replaced Barry Bonds in Pittsburgh.
#3 1996 Fleer #146 David Hulse
It's hard to see but there is a good sized crease in the upper left corner of this card featuring the outfielder I most associate with Texas. The appearance of the teal Brewers uniform would have put this card in the bottom 5 even without the damage. It is at #3 only because I did not this card before today.
#2 1989 Topps #103 Tim Birtsas
What's worse than a nearly forgotten relief pitcher from one of the most overproduced sets of all time? The answer is a nearly forgotten relief pitcher from one of the most overproduced sets of all time that is severely damaged AND a card of which you already have 4 copies. Double ugh.
#1 1990 Donruss #123 Eric Yelding
It will take a lot to be worse than the previous card, but the speedy Eric Yelding is just that. Not the card itself, it is a decent looking rookie card of a player that was productive for a few years. What's makes this the worst card out of the pack can be summed up with two words: WAX STAIN. Wax stains are much worse than any other damage because an unchecked wax stain can spread to other cards.
Enough about the bad stuff, let's check out the good of which there was a lot in this pack.
THE TOP TEN
#10 1985 Donruss Highlights #54 Vince Coleman
The #10 slot was difficult to cut down. I also consider a 1994 UD Tom Henke with a cool throwback and a 1994 UD Randy Tomlin where his face just has to be seen to be believed. But in the end I chose this card of "Vincent Van Go" from the mostly forgotten (but highly missed by me) Donruss Highlights year end box set. I also needed to showcase a Cardinal that I like for some good luck tonight in Game 3.
#9 1990 Swell Baseball Greats #38 Sal Maglie
The early 90s brought out a bunch of smaller companies printing cards of players from years gone by. Some were very good like The Conlon Connection, others were comparatively mediocre. This Swell set is probably closer to mediocre than good, but it is cool to get, I believe, my first card of Sal Maglie. In this pack, I also got Carl Erskine and Ken Forsch from this set.
#8 1990 Pacific Baseball Legends #3 Luke Appling
The most successful company that started out making these "old-timers cards" is Pacific. Eventually they got their license and produced 9 years of some of the most imaginative cards in history. However, here they were basically drawing Hall of Famers. Either way, Luke Appling is one of the greatest players of all time and I got his card for a nickel. Money well spent.
#7 1999 Topps #345 Barry Larkin
As we get closer to the modern era, here is the first of two cards of the most recent HOF inductee Barry Larkin. I am on record as saying that the 1999 Topps set is bad, in fact I called it the worst flagship Topps set in history. In spite of the design problems I have with the set, this card does have a relatively good visual appeal. Gotta love the flip downs.
#6 1997 Bowman's Best #30 Barry Larkin
The second Barry Larkin card comes in at #6 with this entry from the 1997 Bowman's Best set. I don't have very many non-Rockies cards from 1997, so that automatically makes this card good. Secondly, it is a Larkin card that might make be useful as trade bait. Which makes it that much better.
#5 2010 Topps Chrome #134 Justin Verlander
Speaking of useful trade bait, here's Justin Verlander. This card is from the most irritating sets of all time due to the "pringling" effect of the cards. That being said, it is still a modern card of one of the most dominant pitchers around today. Here's hoping he can beat the Red Sox in Game 3 after the garbage that happened last night.
#4 1981 Fleer #147 Rowland Office
Where to begin with how much I like about this card. It's Rowland Office, so we have to begin with the 'fro which is present, but quite frankly it gets overshadowed. The dominance on this card is the outfit Office is wearing. It appears to be some type of rubber button-down shirt over top of a pre-Rockies purple T-shirt. The only thing that would have made this perfect would have been a flipped up collar, but it is still pretty snazzy.
#3 1981 Fleer #148 Ellis Valentine
Next up is another entry from 1981 Fleer, the very next card in the set for that matter. Ellis Valentine was a pretty good slugger for several years in the late 70s/early 80s, but his inclusion on this list is purely for that fantastic photo. Early 80's Fleer is (rightfully) mocked for bad photography, but they got a good one here. This card has to be close to a record for the sheer amount of recognizable faces in the shot. Fantastic card.
#2 1993 Donruss #752 Armando Reynoso
This card is the only Rockies card that I pulled from the pack. Actually it is the only Rockies card that I have pulled from any of the three packs that I have opened. So why is it only sitting at #2 on this list. Simple, I already have the card. But it is still deserving of a high spot on my countdown. When I opened the pack I knew it would take quite a bit for this to not be #1 despite being a dupe, but lo and behold I found one that I actually collect.
#1 1981 Fleer #45 Clint Hurdle
Coming in at #1 is this 1981 Fleer card of the future (and former) manager of the Rockies. Earlier this year, I listed my Mountains to Climb in 2013. One of my goals was to start player collections for every Rockies manager in history. I have been a bit lax on that goal, but there is still time to get rolling with it. This card may just be the kick in the pants I need to get it set up.
When I first purchased this pack, I expected the usual mix of "overproduction era" cards, but I was pleasantly surprised with the mix in these packs. I got one earlier this summer that had a nice chunk of 1980 Topps. This one had some 1981 Fleer, 1983 Fleer, and lots of mid to late 90s cards. There were some overproduction era cards, but not a lot. Overall, this was an extremely good buy for $5 and a lot of fun to go through. I will be opening one of these packs again soon.