A place where Colorado Rockies baseball card collectors (all 3 of us) can waste some time reading about our favorite sport. The Rockies and their cards will be the primary focus, but I like to go off on tangents as well so anything and everything baseball related may be covered here.

Friday, October 25, 2013

Rating the Rookie Cups - 1989

Since we are in the middle of the 2013 World Series, I figured it would be appropriate if this week's Rating the Rookie Cups featured a team with both a Red Sox player and a Cardinals player.  However, I am a stickler for my own rules and am going in the original order that I have set out.  Therefore, this week's 1989 team does not feature players from either Boston or St. Louis (but the trivia question features them).  One change that I have made this feature has been inspired by the welcome comments of Dime Box Nick.  Since this is primarily a card blog, I am now going to include the categories of "Best Card" and "Worst Card" in with the usual categories. 

Damon Berryhill - Chicago (NL) - C -          (Rookie)   5   (Career)  3
Mark Grace - Chicago (NL) - 1B -              (Rookie)   6   (Career)  7
Ron Gant - Atlanta - 2B -                             (Rookie)   6   (Career)  6

Chris Sabo - Cincinnati - 3B -              (Rookie)   7   (Career)  4
Walt Weiss - Oakland - SS -                (Rookie)   5   (Career)  5

Jay Buhner - Seattle - OF -                             (Rookie)   5   (Career)  5
Cecil Espy - Texas - OF -                               (Rookie)   3   (Career)  2
Dave Gallagher - Chicago (AL) - OF -            (Rookie)   4   (Career)  3

Tim Belcher - Los Angeles - RHP -         (Rookie)   6   (Career)  6
Paul Gibson - Detroit - LHP -                 (Rookie)   3   (Career)  2

Strongest Team Members (in 1992) - Chris Sabo, Ron Gant, Mark Grace

Strongest Team Members (Career) - Mark Grace, Ron Gant, Tim Belcher

Weakest Team Members (in 1992) - Paul Gibson, Cecil Espy, Dave Gallagher

Weakest Team Members (Career) - Paul Gibson, Cecil Espy, Dave Gallagher

Rockies on the team (Present and future) - 2 (Ron Gant, Walt Weiss)

Best Card (IMHO) - Damon Berryhill (best of a mediocre lot)

Worst Card (IMHO) - Mark Grace (looks like a minor league card and not in a good way)

Overall Team Rating (1-10 compared to other RAST teams)    2

Following the fantastic rookies of the 1987 season, this team is full of mediocre players.  The outfield is one of the weakest ever with a half season of Jay Buhner far and away the best year produced.  There are a few solid careers that came out of this group, but by and large this was a very forgettable year for rookie classes.


Here are the players I feel should have been on this Rookie All Star Team.  This is based on rookie year data only.

Catcher - Damon Berryhill - Chicago (NL)
This was a difficult choice because Berryhill had almost identical stats as Nelson Santovenia of the Expos.  The only stat that was slightly different was batting average and Berryhill was a bit higher.  Neither player was a very strong candidate though.

First Base - Mark Grace - Chicago (NL)
This was a pretty easy choice with Grace the only rookie to play a full season.  I did give consideration to Philadelphia's Ricky Jordan who had a very strong half season, but not nearly as strong as Grace.

Second Base - Ron Gant - Atlanta
The toughest battle by far was this position with Gant versus future Hall of Famer Roberto Alomar.  I stuck with Gant due to his better power numbers and relatively even numbers everywhere else with the exception of defense.   If only Gant had played 1 game in the outfield, where he would play exclusively later in his career, I would have put both players on the team easily.

Shortstop - Walt Weiss - Oakland
Another tough battle featured the 1988 AL Rookie of the Year, Weiss, against a very strong competitor in Jody Reed of Boston.  Their stats were very similar, but I chose Weiss for better defense and more games played over Reed's higher average.  I never forget that a player's most important ability is availability.

Third Base - Chris Sabo - Cincinnati
In pure contrast to the middle infield, this was the easiest selection to make.  1988 NL Rookie of the Year, Chris Sabo was the strongest rookie at any position and his only competition was a half season of Rene Gonzales of the Orioles.  Advantage: Spuds.

Outfield - Jay Buhner - Seattle, Dave Gallagher - Chicago (AL), Cecil Espy - Texas
This was quite possibly one of the weakest outfields in All Star rookie history.  Buhner had the best career, but his rookie half-year was nothing to write home about.  Gallagher makes it on the strength of a .300 season and Espy with 33 steals.  The only other rookies under consideration were half seasons of Baltimore's Brady Anderson and Darrin Jackson of the Cubs and they weren't even starters on their own teams.

RHP - Tim Belcher - Los Angeles
This was another tightly contested position in 1988.  Belcher's 12 win 152 strikeout season for the Dodgers was a bit stronger than Don August of the Brewers, California's Bryan Harvey, and Melido Perez of the White Sox. 

LHP - Greg Cadaret - Oakland
This was one of the weakest positions not only in 1988, but it was weaker than every single year that I have studied so far.  In a battle of middling middle relievers, Oakland's Greg Cadaret had a better year than Paul Gibson and should have been rewarded with a trophy on his card.


As of 2013, how many members of the Topps All Star Rookie teams are enshrined in the Hall of Fame?

Answer:    18
Willie McCovey - 1960
Ron Santo - 1961
Billy Williams - 1962
Tony Perez - 1966
Joe Morgan - 1966
Rod Carew - 1968
Tom Seaver - 1968
Johnny Bench - 1969
Carlton Fisk - 1973
Gary Carter - 1976
Jim Rice - 1976
Eddie Murray - 1978
Andre Dawson - 1978
Paul Molitor - 1979
Ozzie Smith - 1979
Cal Ripken - 1982 & 1983
Ryne Sandberg - 1983
Kirby Puckett - 1985


Name the Rookie All Star Teams that have featured at least one player from both the Red Sox and the Cardinals.


The 2010 team appearing on 2011 Topps.

Thanx for reading.

Monday, October 21, 2013

Top 10 & Bottom 5 - 2013 Topps Update Hanger Pack

Last week I started this feature with a repack which showcased  a variety of sets and designs.  This week I am going modern with the newest release upon the masses, 2013 Topps Update.  The 2013 set has me very confused.  It is one of my favorite Topps sets of the 2000s, but it is also the flagship set I have purchased the least amount of since I got back into collecting.  It has one of the best designs of the 21st century, but it also has some of the worst photos as well.  My use of the term worst will not appeal to some because for some people they are great photos.  For me, they are not very good at all and in some cases they are really bad.  I did get one example of that phenomenon in this package and you can judge whether I am fair or unfair in my assessment.  Just like last week's (and every week's) installment, I am going to begin with the bottom 5.  Let's get started.


#5) Postseason Heroes #PH-19 Jim Palmer
This is not an indictment of Jim Palmer in any way because I have nothing against him.  This is more of a shot at this particular insert set in general.  It has no meaning to me in any way and the use of retired players in all of these insert sets has become overused and tiresome to say the least.

#4) #US251 Aaron Harang
Let's now have an appearance from a player that could easily be the title character of the Walking Dead.  He really does look like a zombie.  If you don't believe me check out this card.  Harang spent about 5 days this season as a member of the Rockies purely on paper before being traded to Seattle, but that is not the reason for his inclusion.  The reason is he is now a member of the Mets, so this Update card needs updating already.

#3) #US89 Michael Pineda
Why is this man that has not made a single big league pitch in TWO! full seasons on a 2013 Update card.  What exactly are they updating here?  It is stupid that there are several dozen worthy players that could have been included in this set, but Topps chose to give Pineda a card in Update again.

#2) #US173 Reed Johnson
This is the card that I was referring to in my first paragraph.  I really do not like these multiple player cards being used as a solo base card.  Other offenders this year I have seen are Brandon Inge, Ryan Ludwick, and even the great Todd Helton in his probable final Topps card among many others.  I like the photo and I think this would make an excellent Braves team card should they ever bring those back.  However, a solo base card should focus on the individual.  This one is not AS bad because Johnson is the person in the middle, but there were other photos of just Johnson that could have been used here.

#1) #US254 Brian Wilson
How do you make the most despised (in my opinion) baseball player of the last few years even worse?  You move him from Hated Team #1 to Hated Team #2.  Normally moving him from my least favorite team to my second least favorite team would improve his standing, but no.  Simply because the Dodgers have regained their rightful place at #30 on my team hierarchy.  

My only happy statement for this section is that I did not get any of the 745 Yasiel Puig Update card variations in this pack.  Okay enough of these guys, let's get to the good stuff.


#10) Making Their Mark #MM-33 Starling Marte
This is the only insert out of 4 that I received in this pack that features a current player.  Just for that this card deserves a spot in the top 10.  But irregardless of that, this is a good card.  I like the MTM "crest" along with the basic, yet somehow complex, design.  Marte is also a good young, although he is probably one of the worst baserunners in the league among speedsters.

#9) 1971 Topps Minis #TM-27 Stan Musial
Now I railed a little earlier about the many retired players being included in the insert sets.  I am going to keep that stance, but this is a great photo of one of the greatest players of all time.  If it had been included in a set like Archives then it would be much higher on this list though.  As far as the 71's go my question is, what happened to the 1972 minis?  

#8) #US278 Jose Alvarez emerald parallel
In 1989, a guy like Alvarez with a fairly boring photo and not much of a chance to be in the majors for much longer would have been quickly put into a box or a page and forgotten about by me.  After all according to the back of this card Alvarez is only 511 wins away from tying Cy Young's record of 511 wins.  Of course this is 2013 and this card now stands out because it has been Bedazzled by Topps.  If you don't think the Bedazzler and baseball have anything in common then you obviously haven't seen this advertisement yet.

#7) #US230 Scott Kazmir
One of my favorite stories of the 2013 baseball season has been the complete resurrection of the career of Scott Kazmir.  This guy looked like a great player 6-7 years ago in Tampa, but the wheel just kind of fell off in 2009 and then came a couple of bad years with the Angels.  In 2012, Kazmir was plying his trade with the independent Sugar Land Skeeters, which also famously served as Roger Clemens comeback team in 2012.  Kazmir came back strongly with Cleveland this year and if he is not the AL Comeback Player of the Year then they should just stop giving that award out.

#6) #US219 Pedro Alvarez
Normally I am not a fan of cards which do not feature either a baseball cap or a batting helmet.  I don't care to see a player's expensive hair cut on a card.  However like the Musial card above, there are room for exceptions in my worldview.  There is one reason I love this card and that is the appearance of the gold baseball which only comes out of hiding for each player's last out of the HR Derby.  I'm sure it has been shown on a card before, but I don't remember seeing it.

#5) #US91 Prince Fielder gold parallel #0310/2013
I mentioned above that Puig has many variations in this set.  Not to be outdone, Prince Fielder appeared three times in this particular pack for me.  First with this gold parallel (which I still love), then with the base version of this card, then with his base All Star card.  Normally that would bother me and I would go a rant about the 100 middle relievers that didn't get a card this year, but I actually like this card.  The thing I love about this card is the "Fruit Stripe" batting glove that Fielder is sporting.  I would pay many dollars to get a relic card featuring that glove.

#4) #US189 Kyle Lohse
The idea of the throwback jersey for me is a double-edged sword.  Part of me is really cynical in knowing that the only reason we keep seeing these jerseys pop up every year is so teams can sell them and continue making obscene amounts of money off the backs of fans.  The other part of me just wants to be happy that I am seeing one of the best uniforms of all time on this card.  The Brewers "baseball glove" logo is the best of all time and this Harvey's Wallbangers era uniform is right up near the top as well.

#3) #US22 Carlos Beltran
This card is included on this list for one reason alone and that is the fantastic photo.  I believe every color ever thought of, with the exception of yellow, is included in this picture.  Not only that, but it is also an underused angle as well.  This is just a great card.

#2) #US247 Casper Wells
I mentioned earlier during my assessment of Aaron Harang that I am not a fan of an Update card that still needs updating.  This Casper Wells card is another example of a card that needs updating because he ended the year as a member of the Phillies.  Much like my other exceptions, the photo on this card was just too awesome to ignore.  The concentration on his face, the appearance of a towel bar, and the low camera angle are good, but what makes this card great is the faces behind the cage.  They look a little spooky and this is the perfect time of the year for that.

#1) #US206 Reid Brignac Wal Mart blue parallel
This is my only Rockie so naturally it is number one, but it is also my first ever card of Reid Brignac as a Rockie.  He nearly fell into the category of a Update card needing an update, but after he was traded to the Yankees in May he was released a couple of months later and rejoined the Rockies AAA club.  Therefore, he is still a Rockie and now he is forever a Rockie in my binder.  He is one of 4 Rockies (Oswalt, Ottavino, and LeMahieu are the others) that got their first ever Colorado card in this set.  That brings the current total to 332 different Rockies appearing on a solo Rockies card.  By the end of this week, I will have 329 of them.

I was surprised that I only pulled 1 Rockies card because the Rockies do have a heavy presence in this set.  I am thrilled with pulling the Brignac because it is the first ever retail parallel I have pack pulled for my team.  That is so much more satisfying than just buying it.  I am probably going to go with something less modern next week, but I do have to say I enjoyed this pack more than I expected to.

Thursday, October 17, 2013

Rating the Rookie Cups - 1994

Last week brought the grand return of Rating the Rookie Cups.  This week, I will try and settle back and get into a groove.  Today I am focusing on the 1993 Topps All Star Rookie Team which was featured on 1994 Topps.  This group is significant because it features the first appearance of the "wooden base" rookie cup which is still in use today.  It also features the first appearance of a Marlin in their inaugural season.  The Rockies, who also debuted in 1993, would not have their first member until Todd Helton in 1998.

Mike Piazza - Los Angeles - C -            (Rookie)   8   (Career)  8
J.T. Snow - California - 1B -                  (Rookie)   4   (Career)  5
Carlos Garcia - Pittsburgh - 2B -            (Rookie)   4   (Career)  3

Mike Lansing - Montreal - 3B -              (Rookie)   5   (Career)  5
Wil Cordero - Montreal - SS -               (Rookie)   4   (Career)  5

Jeff Conine - Florida - OF -                   (Rookie)   6   (Career)  7
Wayne Kirby - Cleveland - OF -            (Rookie)   3   (Career)  2
Tim Salmon - California - OF -               (Rookie)   8   (Career)  7

Greg McMichael - Atlanta - RHP -         (Rookie)   6   (Career)  3
Steve Cooke - Pittsburgh - LHP -           (Rookie)   5   (Career)  2

Strongest Team Members (in 1992) - Mike Piazza, Tim Salmon, Jeff Conine

Strongest Team Members (Career) - Mike Piazza, Tim Salmon, Jeff Conine

Weakest Team Members (in 1992) - Wayne Kirby, Wil Cordero, J.T. Snow

Weakest Team Members (Career) - Wayne Kirby, Steve Cooke, Carlos Garcia

Rockies on the team (Present and future) - 1 (Mike Lansing)

Overall Team Rating (1-10 compared to other RAST teams)    4

This team is all about three players: Piazza, Salmon, and to a slightly lesser extent, Conine.  The remainder of the team were fairly mediocre both during their rookie year and throughout their career.  Topps just generally did a bad job on picking this team.  Follow me to the next section for the proof for that statement.


Here are the players I feel should have been on this Rookie All Star Team.  This is based on rookie year data only.

Catcher - Mike Piazza - Los Angeles
In one of the easier decisions of all time, the 1993 NL Rookie of the Year Piazza gets the nod over platoon seasons for Oakland's Scott Hemond and Erik Pappas of the Cardinals.

First Base - Troy Neel - Oakland
This must have been a case of Topps not wanting to separate Snow and Salmon.  There is no other explanation for why Snow was selected over his AL West counterpart Troy Neel.  In fact, I would have Snow 4th on the list behind Neel, Florida's Orestes Destrade, and Kevin Young of the Pirates.

Second Base - Brent Gates - Oakland
Here is case #2 of an Athletic getting passed over for an inferior rookie, although this one wasn't as egregious.  Gates had a better average and OBP, while Garcia had slightly better power numbers.  Gates' lead was bigger than Garcia's, so I went with him.  The best rookie on defense, Rich Amaral of Seattle, was a close third.

Third Base - Mike Lansing - Montreal
Despite not having the strongest of rookie years, Lansing was a relatively easy choice at the hot corner.  1993 was a down year for third base rookies with the biggest competition being Craig Paquette of Oakland.  Was Oakland composed entirely of rookies in 1993?

Shortstop - Ricky Gutierrez - San Diego
It was a close battle between Cordero, Gutierrez, and Philadelphia's Kevin Stocker.  Stocker had the best averages, but only had a half season's worth of play so I knocked him out.  Gutierrez was slightly better than Cordero in just about everything except power.  The other person I considered was Colorado's Vinny Castilla who started out at short for his first year, but he didn't have that good of a rookie year in comparison.

Outfield - Tim Salmon - California, Jeff Conine - Florida, Chuck Carr - Florida
In my mind, Salmon and Conine were absolute locks.  The third spot was a tough call between Carr, Kirby, and Al Martin of Pittsburgh.  Carr had the speed, Kirby had the defense, and Martin had the power.  In fact if you combined the three players into one, you might have a Hall of Fame type career, but player each was fairly one dimensional.  I chose Carr because his one dimension was much bigger than the other two.

RHP - Armando Reynoso - Colorado
This was the toughest decision by far as I had 6 fairly good choices for this position.  Reynoso, McMichael, Jason Bere of the White Sox, St. Louis' Rene Arocha, Boston's Aaron Sele, and Pedro Martinez of the Dodgers.  You could make a strong case for any of them being the selection, but I went with the leader in WAR Reynoso simply for his being the ace of an expansion team in the extreme hitter's environment that was Mile High Stadium. 

LHP - Kirk Rueter - Montreal
There were only two major left handed rookies in 1993 and Topps picked the wrong one to honor.  Normally in a battle between two players, I give the edge to the player that play the entire season over a mid season call up.  However in this case, Rueter's 8-0 record, 2.64 ERA run following his call up was much more impressive than Steve Cooke's full season of 10-10 record, 3.89 ERA.


Since its inception in 1960, how many Rookie of the Year Awards winners were NOT included as members of the Topps All Star Rookie team?

Here they are from the most recent to the oldest.
2009 - AL winner Andrew Bailey replaced by Tommy Hanson of the NL
2005 - NL winner Ryan Howard replaced by Dan Johnson of the AL
2004 - AL winner Bobby Crosby replaced by Khalil Greene of the NL
1999 - NL winner Scott Williamson replaced by Billy Koch of the AL
1989 - AL winner Gregg Olson replaced by Tom Gordon of the AL
1987 - NL winner Benito Santiago replaced by Matt Nokes of the AL
1981 - AL winner Dave Righetti replaced by NL winner Fernando Valenzuela
1979 - NL winner Rick Sutcliffe replaced by Mark Clear of the AL
1978 - AL winner Lou Whitaker replaced by Paul Molitor of the AL
1976 - NL co-winner Butch Metzger replaced by AL winner Mark Fidrych
1976 - NL co-winner Pat Zachry replaced by AL winner Mark Fidrych
1973 - AL winner Al Bumbry replaced by Rich Coggins of the AL and Johnny Grubb and Gary Matthews of the NL
1965 - NL winner Jim Lefebvre replaced by Joe Morgan of the NL
1962 - NL winner Ken Hubbs replaced by Bernie Allen of the AL

Some of these are extremely egregious omissions such as Sutcliffe and Howard, but others are understandable such as Metzger/Zachry and Righetti.  The thing I find most interesting is that of the three times a ROY winner was replaced by someone from his own league, twice it was by a future Hall of Fame player in Paul Molitor and Joe Morgan and the third time was with a reliever that had a lot more staying power in Tom "Flash" Gordon.  Maybe Topps did have a little insight after all.


As of 2013, how many members of the Topps All Star Rookie teams are enshrined in the Hall of Fame?


The 1988 team appearing on 1989 Topps.

Thanx for reading.

Tuesday, October 15, 2013

Top 10 & Bottom 5 - Super Value Pack #1

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.


#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.

#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.