Baseball Card Memories

Barry Bonds - A Baseball Card Timeline
I've been kicking around the idea of doing a daily or weekly baseball card of the day to keep things interesting, not needing a lot of maintenance, but also sparking some nostalgia and believe I'll start it late next week or the the following but to get things started, below is everyone of Barry Bonds standard issued Topps baseball cards starting from his 1986 Topps Traded and ending with his 2007 Topps card. In between are 762 home runs, 2,935 hits, 2,227, runs, 2,558 walks, 7 MVP awards, and countless amounts of steroids. Take a look at his rookie card compared to his last card (oh, I threw another pic in as well). Hope you like.


1988 Topps
1986 Topps Traded
1987 Topps

1991 Topps
1989 Topps
1990 Topps

1994 Topps
1992 Topps
1993 Topps



1995 Topps
1997 Topps
1996 Topps
1998 Topps
2000 Topps
1999 Topps
2003 Topps
2001 Topps
2002 Topps

2004 Topps
2006 Topps
2005 Topps



2007 Topps
1987 Topps vs. 2007 Topps


Breaking Down 2012 Bowman Draft Picks & Prospects
Bowman Draft Picks and Prospects isn't for everyone that's for sure, but if you're a rookie card hunter and don't mind waiting a few years for the value of the contents within the box to rise then look no further. Bowman Draft Picks and Prospects is an end of the year release focused more on rookie cards of players called up throughout the year as well as draft picks (not considered rookie cards, but first player cards. Remember there are new rookie card "rules" put in place) from the current years draft. Some big names can be scored annually in this release, you may just not know it for some time. I consider myself up on prospects and as I tore through this box I recognized maybe 10% of the draft pick names, which mean more fun in a year or two as these guys start to make names for themselves in the minors. Here's are some details on the box and a look at what my box had in it...

Box Cost: $60
Packs Per Box: 24
Cards Per Pack: 7, 2 of which are chrome
Cards Per Box: 168
Extras: One Chrome Autograph per box

Standard Cards
Bowman Draft Rookie Cards (40): Trevor Bauer, A.J. Griffin, Yoenis Cespedes, Drew Smyly, Jose Quintana, Yasmani Grandal, Tyler Thornburg, A.J. Pollock, Bryce Harper, Joe Kelly, Tanner Scheppers, Casey Crosby, Quintin Berry, Martin Perez, Addison Reed, Matt Moore, Wilin Rosario, Jarrod Parker, Devin Mesoraco, Irving Falu, Edwar Cabrera, Stephen Pryor, Jesus Montero, Drew Pomeranz, Jordany Valdespin, Andrelton Simmons, Xavier Avery, Chris Archer, Leonys Martin, Brian Dozier, Will Middlebrooks, Kirk Nieuwenhuis, Derek Norris, Wei-Yin Chen, Wily Peralta, Yu Darvish, Anthony Gose, Brett Jackson, Alex Liddi, Matt Hague
Bowman Chrome Draft Rookie Cards (10): A.J. Griffin, Tyler Thornburg, Bryce Harper, Wade Miley, Irving Falu, Norichika Aoki, Xavier Avery, Will Middlebrooks, Wily Peralta, Brett Jackson

Inserts
Chrome version shown
Bowman Chrome Draft Picks Autograph Refractor (1): Paul Blackburn
Bowman Chrome Draft Picks Blue Refractor (1): Hudson Randall
Bowman Chrome Draft Picks Refractors (6): Michael Wacha, Tyler Gonzalez, Peter O'Brien, Brandon Brennan, Jake Lamb, Matt Wessinger
Bowman Draft Picks Silver Ice (1): Mike Murdon
Bowman Draft Picks Blue (1): Alexander Muren
Bowman Draft Blue (1): Anthony Gose
Bowman Draft Orange (1): Hisashi Iwakuma
Bowman Draft Dual Top 10 Picks (4): Dylan Bundy/Kevin Gausman, James Ramsey/Jacoby Ellsbury, Andrew Heany/Jarrod Parker, Justin Verlander/Danny Hultzen

Total Beckett Value: $181.35



Carbaord Memories: 2000
We finally gotten to the 21st century, however not a lot has changed as we saw the number of releases increase after a down year in which there were a total of 54 products, with 7 updates/traded/ sets, and a total of 26 sets that are 150 cards or less. Short printed cards are becoming part of just about every regular set and just about all card companies are offering an autograph at this point per hobby box.

That said, once I again I'll only show examples of cards from sets 160 cards or larger and were significant to this year, are significant players, or just some of my favorite cards or random Tigers. Here we go...

Name: Mark Buehrle
Team: Chicago White Sox
Position: Starting Pitcher
Card: 2000 Black Diamond Rookie Edition Jsy
Number: #131
Status: Rookie Card/Relic Jersey
Beckett Hi Value: $25.00
Comments: Buehrle had only 5 rookie cards in 2000 with this being a very popular version and great example of how "relics" were becoming more prevalent

Name: Francisco Rodriguez
Team: Los Angeles Angels
Position: Closer
Card: 2000 Bowman Best
Number: #154
Status: Rookie Card/Serial Numbered to 2999
Beckett Hi Value: $8.00
Comments: K-Rod took card industry by storm in 2002 when he received a late season call-up with the Angels where he struck out 13 hitters in 5.2 innings (of 22 hitters faced) and then struck out 28 18.2 innings while the Angels went on to win the World Series

Name: Adrian Gonzalez
Team: Florida Marlins
Position: First Base
Card: 2000 Bowman Chrome Draft Picks
Number: #86
Status: Rookie Card
Beckett Hi Value: $15.00
Comments: In 2000, Bowman put out their first Draft product. This was very similar to the Topps Traded sets where they were only available in set form with this being the Chrome version.
Name: Carlos Zambrano
Team: Chicago Cubs
Position: Starting Pitcher
Card: 2000 Bowman Chrome
Number: #303
Status: Rookie Card
Beckett Hi Value: $3.00
Comments: Bowman's Chrome version of Zambrano was found at a much higher value until his recent fall off of being one of the leagues top pitchers
Name: Grady Sizemore
Team: Montreal Expos
Position: Outfield
Card: 2000 Bowman Draft Picks
Number: #109
Status: Rookie Card
Beckett Hi Value: $6.00
Comments: Sizemore's only rookie card in 2000. Bowman Draft Picks were only sold in set form,but did come with an autograph per set. Sizemore's goes for $40, but before injuries these cards were in the $20 and $100 range
Name: Roy Oswalt
Team: Houston Astros
Position: Starting Pitcher
Card: 2000 Bowman
Number: #395
Status: Rookie Card
Beckett Hi Value: $6.00
Comments: Oswalt's 12 year career could be coming to end but not before he racked up 163 wins and a 3.28 ERA and contending for the Cy Young award six times
Name: Derrick Turnbow
Team: Los Angeles Angels
Position: Starting Pitcher
Card: 2000 Crown Royale
Number: #4
Status: Rookie Card/Short Print
Beckett Hi Value: $1.00
Comments: Turnbow had two solid years before a ballooning ERA pushed him out of the league

Name: Mike Piazza
Team: New York Mets
Position: Catcher
Card: 2000 Fleer Focus
Number: #109
Status: N/A
Beckett Hi Value: $.75
Comments: Focus is a premium release from Fleer to try to compete with Topps and Upper Deck
Name: Brad Ausmus
Team: Detroit Tigers
Position: Catcher
Card: 2000 Fleer Tradition
Number: #291
Status: N/A
Beckett Hi Value: $.30
Comments: Ausmus only played in Detroit for two years but was a solid, reliable catcher who was know for his defense but hit .270 with 105 RBI over the course of his tenure
Name: Tony Gwynn
Team: San Diego Padres
Position: Outfield
Card: 2000 Metal
Number: #1
Status: N/A
Beckett Hi Value: $.60
Comments: After 2000, Gwynn only had 33 hits left in his bat before retiring with 3,141
Name: Shawn Green
Team: Los Angeles Dodgers
Position: Outfield
Card: 2000 MLB
Number: #455
Status: Foil/Short Print
Beckett Hi Value: $2.50
Comments: MLB Showdown was a dice game that you could buy packs of cards for to bolster your team. The foil versions were short printed, normally of a star, and valued higher
Name: Nomar Garciaparra
Team: Boston Red Sox
Position: Shortstop
Card: 2000 MVP
Number: #184
Status: N/A
Beckett Hi Value: $.50
Comments: MVP was similar to Victory for Upper Deck who was producing this cost friendly product for the average collector.
Name: Sammy Sosa
Team: Chicago Cubs
Position: Outfield
Card: 2000 Pacific Crown
Number: #53
Status: N/A
Beckett Hi Value: $.75
Comments: I hate just about every Pacific release ever made. This is just another one of them
Name: Cal Ripken Jr.
Team: Baltimore Orioles
Position: Third Base
Card: 2000 Pacific
Number: #60
Status: N/A
Beckett Hi Value: $3.00
Comments: See above
Name: Randy Johnson
Team: Arizona Diamondbacks
Position: Starting Pitcher
Card: 2000 Paramount
Number: #13
Status: N/A
Beckett Hi Value: $.50
Comments: This is actually the copper version that books for $2 as a parallel
Name: Xavier Nady
Team: USA
Position: Outfield
Card: 2000 Uppder Deck Pros & Prospects
Number: #155
Status: Rookie Card/Serial Numbered to 1600
Beckett Hi Value: $4.00
Comments: Love this card with Nady in his team USA jersey and because it was serial numbered. Nady was one of 18 players since 1965 to go straight to the Majors, where he played one game before being sent to the minors

Name: Joe Crede
Team: Chicago White Sox
Position: Third Base
Card: 2000 Sky Box
Number: #208
Status: Short Print
Beckett Hi Value: $1.50
Comments: Another company like Pacific that should have stayed out of the baseball card market


Name: Jeff Weaver
Team: Detroit Tigers
Position: Starting Pitcher
Card: 2000 Sky Box Dominon
Number: #246
Status: N/A
Beckett Hi Value: $.20
Comments: Weaver pitched only four and half years for the Tigers (seems like a lot longer then that) where he went 50-62 and was then sent to the Yankees as part of a 3-team trade that landed Carlos Pena and Jeremy Bonderman for the Tigers

Name: Carlos Beltran
Team: Kansas City Royals
Position: Outfield
Card: 2000 SPx
Number: #118
Status: Autographed/Serial Numbered to 500
Beckett Hi Value: $40.00
Comments: SPx had quite a few cards part of their base set that were serial numbered and autographed. This wasn't mainstream at the time, but became the norm for products like Bowman Chrome
Name: Mark McGwire
Team: St. Louis Cardinals
Position: First Base
Card: 2000 Stadium Club
Number: #200
Status: N/A
Beckett Hi Value: $1.50
Comments: Only 699 different McGwire cards made in 2000, the card manufacturers must have been slipping
Name: Brett Myers
Team: Philadelphia Phillies
Position: Starting Pitcher
Card: 2000 Stadium Club Chrome
Number: #236
Status: Rookie Card
Beckett Hi Value: $2.50
Comments: The chrome version of Stadium Club didn't last to long as a product. Amazingly, Myers rookie card books at $6 for the regular Stadium Club release because it was short printed vs. the Chrome version that wasn't

Name: Miguel Cabrera
Team: Florida Marlins
Position: Third Base
Card: 2000 Topps Chrome Traded
Number: #T40
Status: Rookie Card
Beckett Hi Value: $60.00
Comments: Look how small the future Triple Crown winner looks. Can you imagine having Cabrera and Adrian Gonzalez on the same team? BTW, there is a 2000 Topps Traded autograph of Cabrera that goes for a measly $500

Name: Barry Zito/Ben Sheets
Team: Oakland Athletics/Milwaukee Brewers
Position: Starting Pitchers
Card: 2000 Topps Chrome
Number: #451
Status: Rookie Card
Beckett Hi Value: $8.00
Comments: Topps did it right as both pitchers looked like future aces
Name: Bobby Higginson
Team: Detroit Tigers
Position: Outfield
Card: 2000 Topps
Number: #87
Status: N/A
Beckett Hi Value: $.20
Comments: Played his entire career with Detroit (I thought he had played elsewhere) where he racked up a .272 average and 187 home runs over 11 seasons

Name: Pedro Martinez
Team: Boston Red Sox
Position: Starting Pitcher
Card: 2000 Topps Stars
Number: #62
Status: N/A
Beckett Hi Value: $.75
Comments: I'm not sure we really comprehended how good Pedro Martinez was when he played, but statistically he's right there with Roy Halladay and Randy Johnson according to Baseball-Reference.com
Name: Mike (Michael) Young
Team: Toronto Blue Jays
Position: Second Base
Card: 2000 Topps Traded
Number: #T46
Status: Rookie Card
Beckett Hi Value: $5.00
Comments: I actually had no idea he came up with the Jays before being traded to Texas for Esteban Loaiza in 2000. SCORE!!
Name: Juan Encarnacion
Team: Detroit Tigers
Position: Outfield
Card: 2000 Ultra
Number: #57
Status: N/A
Beckett Hi Value: $.30
Comments: Had so much potential but could never get the batting average above (or close to) .300. Eventually was traded to Cinci for Meathook
Name: Ken Griffey Jr.
Team: Cincinnati Reds
Position: Outfield
Card: 2000 Upper Deck Gold Reserve
Number: #358
Status: N/A
Beckett Hi Value: $1.25
Comments: 2000 was the kids first year in Cinci where he hit .271 with 40 bombs
Name: Gabe Kapler
Team: Texas Rangers
Position: Outfield
Card: 2000 Upper Deck
Number: #509
Status: N/A
Beckett Hi Value: $.30
Comments: The Tigers gave up on Gabe the Babe after just one season as they lumped him in Justin Thompson and five others for Juan Gonzalez and two others
Name: Ryan Anderson
Team: Seattle Mariners
Position: Starting Pitcher
Card: 2000 Upper Deck Ovation World Premiere
Number: #70
Status: Short Print/Subset
Beckett Hi Value: $60.00
Comments: Baseball America rated Anderson, the 19th pick in the '97 draft out of Divine Child High School as high as the 7th best prospect in baseball and was out of baseball by 2006, never pitching in the Majors
Name: Greg Maddux
Team: Atlanta Braves
Position: Starting Pitcher
Card: 2000 Upper Deck Victory
Number: #49
Status: N/A
Beckett Hi Value: $.60
Comments: See MVP
Name: Ryan Vogelsong
Team: San Francisco Giants
Position: Starting Pitcher
Card: 2000 Fleer Tradition Update
Number: #140
Status: Rookie Card
Beckett Hi Value: $3.00
Comments: Vogelsong is one of the great stories in baseball, as he was out of Major League baseball and pitching in Japan between '07 & '09 before revitalizing his career with the Giants in 2011 after Barry Zito was hurt

Breaking Down 2012 Topps Five Star
On November 14th, Topps released and ultra premium product called Topps Five-Star which unfortunately I will never pony up to buy due to the cost. That said, all the info I'm sharing is second hand knowledge that I've gathered about the release. If you're reading this and have gone in on this product, I'd love to hear about it.

Box Cost: $350-$415 on eBay
Packs Per Box: 5
Cards Per Pack: 5
Cards Per Box: 25

Doing this break down a littler differently for this product, each box will include one of the following: active player autograph, retired player autograph, autographed relic, autographed booklet or additional autograph, and 1 jumbo jersey/patch, bat plate, or bat knob on top of the 4 "base" set cards in the pack which happened to be serial numbered to 80.

Base Card
The standard cards include most of today's stars and some retired stars such as Roberto Clemente, Nolan Ryan, and Joe Morgan. There are also parallel's to these base cards that are serial numbered to 10. The base cards commons price out on Beckett's high side at about $10 with the Bryce Harper rookie card being the prize at $250.

Active Autograph
Active player autographs (Pujols to the right) again are focused around the stars and some rookie stars such as Mike Trout, Bryce Harper, Miguel Cabrera, and Ryan Braun. These cards are serial numbered to 150 (or less) with parallel's numbered to 25. There are also quotable autographs that have a special inscription and are serial numbered to 10 and include Fielder, Kemp, and Verlander. Pricing the Active Autographs have commons at $25 with Albert Pujols topping out at $300

Retired player autographs are numbered to 208 and include the likes of Nolan Ryan, Al Kaline, Mike Schmidt, Sandy Koufax, and Ernie Banks. There is also a Quotable set numbered to 10 here as well and includes Bob Gibson, Cal Ripken Jr., Johnny Bench and more. According to Beckett the commons for the Retired Autographs are around $25 and up to $400 for Sandy Koufax

The autograph relic cards include either a swatch of jersey or piece of bat, is numbered to 97 and has a gold parallel numbered to 55 and rainbow numbered to 25. Players cards include current and retired and include Hank Aaron, Miguel Cabrera, Albert Pujols, Al Kaline, and a lot more. Beckett prices out the commons at $25 with Hank Aaron being on the high side at $300.

Unfortunately the pricing of these things becomes a little sketchy from here as items that are numbered under 30 typically will not have a Beckett value due to scarcity.

The autograph patch set features just 20 players numbered to 5 and focuses on players under 30 including JV, Cabrera, Harper, Felix Hernandez, Fielder, and Giancarlo Stanton

Retired Relic
Autograph Jumbo Relick Book set has just 5 players in it, numbered to 99 with a Gold parallel numbered to 10 and rainbow (1 of 1). The player list include Harper, Jose Bautista, Jered Weaver, Matt Holliday, and Sandy Koufax. Bautista books for $60 with Koufax at $600

The Bat Knobs list has 29 players and are 1 of 1 cards. Players include Babe Ruth, Duke Snider, Joe DiMaggio, Mickey Mantle (2), and Ty Cobb

The Bat Plate (players name on the bat) checklist is also 29 players and 1 of 1. These include Kaline, Ripken Jr, Lou Gerhig, Mantle, Cobb, and Willie Mays

I can keep going, but these inserts are less likely to be seen and they include Cut Signatures (1 of 1), Dual Signatures Book (#'d 10), Dual Signatures Patch Book (#'d `10), Dual Signature Logo Patch Book (1 of 1), Jumbo Jersey (#'d 92, Gold #10, Rainbow #1), Letter Set (1 of 1), Legends Relic (#'d 25), Dual Legends Relic (#'d 10), Dual Active Players Patch (#'d 5), Triple Patch (#'d 5), Quad Patch (#' 5), Octo Patch (#'d 5), Silver Ink Autographs, 3-Piece Signature Book (#'d 99, #'d 10, 1 of 1), 4 Piece Signature Book (#'d 99), Quadagraph Book (#'d 10), Six Signature Books (#'d 5), and Eight Signature Books (#'d 5)

Other pricing has the Jumbo Jeresey's as low as $12 for a common and up to $80 for either a Bryce Harper or Mike Trout card.

The Quad Relics are questionable as there is limited info, but Longoria is going for $150 with Verlander and Darvish at $250

Triple Relics book at $150 for Mattingly, $120 for David Wright and Mike Schmidt, $80 for Ryan Braun, and $250 for Stan Musial

All in all, this product looks to be amazing chalked full of current and past stars relics and autographs, it's just to bad that most of us will never get our hands on it.


1999 Cardbaord Memories
Cardboard Memories continue on to 1999 where we see for the first time since a value was put to cards, a drop in the number of products. Albeit the number of products is still to large at this point, we saw the number drop from 48 in 1998 to 42 in 1999. Back is Topps Traded with Score completely disappearing giving us still two "update/traded sets" and 15 mini-sets of 200 cards or less. That said, once I again I'll only show examples of cards from sets 160 cards or larger and were significant to this year, are significant players, or just some of my favorite cards or random Tigers. Here we go...

Name: Matt Holliday
Team: Colorado Rockies
Position: Outfield
Card: 1999 Bowman Best
Number: #172
Status: Rookie Card
Beckett Hi Value: $2.50
Comments: For a premium brand, a $.50 difference between this card and Bowman show me I made the right choice in bi-passing this product

Name: C.C. Sabathia
Team: Cleveland Indians
Position: Starting Pitcher
Card: 1999 Bowman
Number: #344
Status: Rookie Card
Beckett Hi Value: $5.00
Comments: A much slimmer Sabathia seen here, C.C. is just one of the great rookie cards from this set
Name: Josh Hamilton
Team: Tampa Bay Rays
Position: Outfield
Card: 1999 Bowman Chrome
Number: 431
Status: Rookie Card
Beckett Hi Value: $30.00
Comments: As mentioned above, '99 Bowman really knocks one out of the park with their rookie selection
Name: Alfonso Soriano
Team: New York Yankees
Position: Shortstop
Card: 1999 Finest
Number: #286
Status: Rookie Card
Beckett Hi Value: $8.00
Comments: 1999 proving to be a great year for rookie card hunters and next to Bowman, Finest may be the best place to find them
Name: Tony Clark
Team: Detroit Tigers
Position: First Base
Card: 1999 Fleer Tradition
Number: #16
Status: N/A
Beckett Hi Value: $.20
Comments: The standard Fleer issue before going to a more classic look in 2000. Clark was coming off the best season of his career in 1998 where he hit .291 with with 34 homers and 103 RBI
Name: Rick Ankiel
Team: St. Louis Cardinals
Position: Starting Pitcher
Card: 1999 Fleer Tradition Update
Number: #U1
Status: Rookie Card
Beckett Hi Value: $8.00
Comments: One of two Ankiel's rookie cards in 1999 and with Ankiel winning 11 games in 2000 with a 3.50 ERA and a 10 K/9 ratio, was a major hit before Ankiel uncorked in the playoffs against the Braves
Name: Manny Ramirez
Team: Cleveland Indians
Position: Outfield
Card: 1999 Metal Universe
Number: #211
Status: N/A
Beckett Hi Value: $.50
Comments: Manny racked up 165 RBI in '99 which is tied for 14th most of all-time and the most since Jimmie Foxx knocked in 175 in 1938
Name: Pat Burrell
Team: Philadelphia Phillies
Position: Outfield
Card: 1999 Fleer Mystique
Number: #134
Status: Rookie Card/Serial Numbered to 2,999
Beckett Hi Value: $30.00
Comments: Mystique was a short lived product, but made on premium stock paper and offered anything from serial numbered rookie cards to autographs
Name: Jeff Weaver
Team: Detroit Tigers
Position: Starting Pitcher
Card: 1999 Crown Royale
Number: #107
Status: Rookie Card
Beckett Hi Value: $2.00
Comments: Definitely a different look from Crown Royale, but with 43 different products out, it's best to try to grab the consumers eye with something different

Name: Jeff Bagwell
Team: Houston Astros
Position: First Base
Card: 1999 Pacific Omega
Number: #103
Status: N/A
Beckett Hi Value: $.50
Comments: Not sure I really like this product, but do like the two looks of Bag's and there are a ton of these $.5 0 Bagwell cards out there if you're a fan (479 different Bagwell cards in 1999)


Name: Damion Easley
Team: Detroit Tigers
Position: Second Base
Card: 1999 Paramount
Number: #88
Status: N/A
Beckett Hi Value: $.20
Comments: Yet another Tiger (Clark) having a career year in 1998, where Easley hit 27 dingers and collected 100 RBI
Name: A.J. Burnett
Team: Florida Marlins
Position: Starting Pitcher
Card: 1999 Skybox Premium
Number: #246
Status: Rookie Card
Beckett Hi Value: $.75
Comments: A few manufactures put out Beckett rookies in '99 but not as much as you would think with a few of them coming in at the $25 range
Name: Mike Mussina
Team: Baltimore Orioles
Position: Starting Pitcher
Card: 1999 Skybox Thunder
Number: #125
Status: N/A
Beckett Hi Value: $.30
Comments: Yep, another release from Skybox and who the hell comes up with these product names?
Name: Alex Rodriguez
Team: Seattle Mariners
Position: Shortstop
Card: 1999 SP Authentic
Number: #77
Status: N/A
Beckett Hi Value: $1.50
Comments: SP Authentic was a very respectable premium brand of Upper Deck, which of course was the first premium card in the space. ARod in '99 was having just another ho-hum season hitting .285 with 42 homers and 111 RBI
Name: Bobby Higginson
Team: Detroit Tigers
Position: Outfield
Card: 1999 Sports Illustrated
Number: #113
Status: N/A
Beckett Hi Value: $.30
Comments: Not a bad release from Sports Illustrated and Fleer, but to late to the baseball card game to make a name for themselves and will be out of the marketplace shortly
Name: Austin Kearns
Team: Cincinnati Reds
Position: Outfield
Card: 1999 Stadium Club
Number: #338
Status: Rookie Card/Short Printed
Beckett Hi Value: $4.00
Comments: Kearns was the 7th pick in the '98 draft and had a lot of buzz behind him and although still going at the age of 33, he never really lived up to the hype
Name: Brad Lidge/Mine Nannini
Team: Houston Astros
Position: Starting Pitchers
Card: 1999 Topps Chrome
Number: #441
Status: Rookie Card
Beckett Hi Value: $4.00
Comments: Lidge racked up 225 saves to this point in his career and could dominate at times. Nannini, not as much, as he never made the Majors


Name: Carl Crawford
Team: Tampa Bay Rays
Position: Outfield
Card: 1999 Topps Traded Chrome
Number: #T75
Status: Rookie Card
Beckett Hi Value: $8.00
Comments: Only one of four products that included Crawford in '99, two of which were traded sets (both Topps) and the others were both Bowman sets (standard & Chrome)
Name: Mark Mulder
Team: Oakland Athletics
Position: Starting Pitchers
Card: 1999 Topps Gallery
Number: #144
Status: Rookie Card/Subset
Beckett Hi Value: $2.50
Comments: Mulder was the 2nd pick in the '98 draft and flourished early on winning 21 games his second season before injuries took over in 2006 and ended his career by 2008
Name: Nolan Ryan
Team: Houston Astros
Position: Starting Pitchers
Card: 1999 Topps Ryan Reprint
Number: #17
Status: Insert - Ryan Reprint
Beckett Hi Value: $5.00
Comments: Topps inserting reprints of a certain player isn't new as they had been doing so since '96, but I really liked the Ryan reprints for some reason
Name: Derek Jeter
Team: New York Yankees
Position: Shortstop
Card: 1999 Topps Stars 'N Steel
Number: #34
Status: N/A
Beckett Hi Value: $10.00
Comments: Another ultra premium release from Topps that didn't live long
Name: Adam Dunn
Team: Cincinnati Reds
Position: Outfield
Card: 1999 Topps Traded
Number: #T50
Status: $4.00
Beckett Hi Value:
Comments: Once agian, like Carl Crawford, Topps beat the other manufactures to market with Adam Dunn's rookie cards
Name: Josh Beckett
Team: Florida Marlins
Position: Starting Pitchers
Card: 1999 Ultimate Victory
Number: #138
Status: Rookie Card
Beckett Hi Value: $15.00
Comments: One of two rookie cards (Fleer Tradition Update) for Beckett in '99
Name: Juan Encarnacion
Team: Detroit Tigers
Position: Outfield
Card: 1999 Ultra
Number: #164
Status: N/A
Beckett Hi Value: $.30
Comments: Encarnacion had a lot of promise but injuries cut his career short as he was out of the game at age 32. Juan was a key piece in the trade that brought Dimitri Young to Detroit.
Name: Derek Jeter
Team: New York Yankees
Position: Shortstop
Card: 1999 Pacific
Number: #294
Status: N/A
Beckett Hi Value: $2.00
Comment: Zzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzz
Name: Roy Halladay
Team: Toronto Blue Jays
Position: Starting Pitcher
Card: 1999 Upper Deck
Number: #269
Status: Subset
Beckett Hi Value: $5.00
Comments: Not a rookie card, but for $5 not bad for a guy that is 1 win away from 200.
Name: Rickey Henderson
Team: New York Mets
Position: Outfield
Card: 1999 Upper Deck Encore
Number: #58
Status: N/A
Beckett Hi Value: $1.00
Comments: Upper Deck's version of Topps Chrome and it lasted a year
Name: Alex Rodriguez
Team: Seattle Mariners
Position: Shortstop
Card: 1999 SP Signature
Number: #4
Status: N/A
Beckett Hi Value: $4.00
Comments: Tons of opportunity in this premium product at signatures. ARod's signed version goes for $50



Name: Mark McGwire
Team: St. Louis Cardinals
Position: First Base
Card: 1999 Victory
Number: #432
Status: Subset
Beckett Hi Value: $.75
Comments: Just an example of the McGwire madness after he broke the home runs record as some products had chronicled every home run on individual cards. In all, McGwire had 1,354 different cards in 1999

 
Carboard Memories 1998
Now that the off season has set in, "Cardboard Memories" are back to help pass the time. We last left off with 1997 and if you wish to revisit, check out the Cardboard Memories page for all our baseball card entries.

Now on 1998 where we saw 11 new releases bringing the tally to a whopping 48 releases, two of which were updates or traded sets. Following the trend of smaller sets (200 cards or less) we have 20 of those. I show some of the more untactful cards from '98 but going to leave out examples of all sets of less than 160 cards to save time and space. Continuing trends include autographs and short prints and Topps actually cut its "traded" product in '98. One thing to remember is this is the year of the home run race between Sosa and McGwire so there will be a ton of their cards in 2nd series and really taking off in '99. Off we go....

Name: Carlos Lee
Team: Chicago White Sox
Position: Outfield
Card: Bowman Best
Number: #154
Status: Rookie Card
Beckett Hi Value: $3.00
Comments: A slim view of El Caballo. This version is the basic, but the "Atomic Refractor" will net you $40

Name: Jimmy Rollins
Team: Philadelphia Phillies
Position: Shortstop
Card: 1998 Bowman Chrome
Number: #181
Status: Rookie Card
Beckett Hi Value: $8.00
Comments: Bowman and Bowman Chrome are the only sets in 1998 to have a Jimmy Rollins card in them
Name: Magglio Ordonez
Team: Chicago White Sox
Position: Outfield
Card: 1998 Bowman
Number: #185
Status: Rookie Card/Uncorrected Error
Beckett Hi Value: $5.00
Comments: Unlike Rollins, Ordonez made just about every major set in '98
Name: Kevin Millwood
Team: Atlanta Braves
Position: Starting Pitcher
Card: 1999 Collector's Choice
Number: #123
Status: Rookie Card
Beckett Hi Value: $.60
Comments: Millwood cards were a hot commodity early in his career after putting up a 40-18 record his first three seasons. Unfortunately he'd only win 16 or more two more times in the next 13 seasons.
Name: Jim Thome
Team: Cleveland Indians
Position: First Base
Card: 1998 Donruss Collections (Elite)
Number: #420
Status: N/A
Beckett Hi Value: $1.50
Comments: Very nice design from Donruss and something we would be seeing down the road in their Elite product releases.
Name: Mike Lowell
Team: New York Yankees
Position: Third Base
Card: 1998 Donruss
Number: #327
Status: Rookie Card
Beckett Hi Value: $1.25
Comments: Lowell only played eight games in the Majors with the Yankees before being traded to the Marlins for three no names
Name: Paul Konerko
Team: Los Angeles Dodgers
Position: Third Base
Card: 1998 Donruss Preferred CB
Number: #139
Status: N/A
Beckett Hi Value: $3.00
Comments: Konerko only played one full season with the Dodgers and only a handful of games at third before being traded to Cincinnati for Jeff Shaw
Name: Nomar Garciparra
Team: Boston Red Sox
Position: Shortstop
Card: 1998 Finest
Number: #140
Status: N/A
Beckett Hi Value: $1.50
Comments: Finest since it's introduction has always been Topps best release in my opinion from photography to ROI
Name: Justin Thompson
Team: Detroit Tigers
Position: Starting Pitcher
Card: 1998 Fleer Tradition
Number: #152
Status: N/A
Beckett Hi Value: $.30
Comments: To give you an idea of how crazy the baseball card industry was in '98...Justin Thompson had 159 different baseball cards. Ridiculous!

Name: J.D. Drew
Team: St. Louis Cardinals
Position: Oufield
Card: 1998 Flear Tradition Update
Number: #U100
Status: Rookie Card
Beckett Hi Value: $3.00
Comments: The next Mickey Mantle had collectors going out of their minds including this one who spent $100 on a PSA 10 (Gem Mint) graded version of this card. Whoops!
Name: Rickey Henderson
Team: Los Angeles Angels
Position: Outfield
Card: 1998 Leaf
Number: #34
Status: N/A
Beckett Hi Value: $.75
Comments: A much cleaner look for Leaf then some years past and a very nice premium type card
Name: Troy Glaus
Team: Los Angeles Angels
Position: Third Base
Card: 1998 Leaf Rookies & Stars
Number: #314
Status: Rookie Card/Short Print
Beckett Hi Value: $40.00
Comments: The 3rd pick in the previous years draft played 48 games with the Angels in '98 and then went on to club 47 homers two years later. Health cost Glaus getting to 400 (or more) home runs and was out of the game at age 33

Name: Jose Cruz Jr.
Team: Toronto Blue Jays
Position: Outfield
Card: 1998 Metal Universe
Number: #1
Status: N/A
Beckett Hi Value: $.30
Comments: It takes a lot of hype for 2nd year player to get card number one of a set and Cruz had it with 26 homers in 104 games in '97. He'd go on to top that twice more over a 12 year career, but hit just .27 for his career with 1,147 k's
Name: Cal Ripken Jr.
Team: Baltimore Orioles
Position: Third Base
Card: 1998 Pacific
Number: #33
Status: N/A
Beckett Hi Value: $2.50
Comments: The thing to note on all Ripken cards in '98 was his move from SS to third base
Name: Travis Lee/Ben Grieve
Team: Arizona Diamondbacks/Oakland Athletics
Position: First Base/Outfield
Card: 1998 Omega Face to Face
Number: #8
Status: Insert
Beckett Hi Value: $5.00
Comments: Thought this was a cool card with all the hype between Grieve and Lee. Grieve went on to win the ROY in '98 and have a couple real good seasons before flaming out. Lee had a little bit longer of a career but never met the hype either.

Name: Mark McGwire
Team: St. Louis Cardinals
Position: First Base
Card: 1998 Parmount
Number: #232
Status: N/A
Beckett Hi Value: $1.25
Comments: 1998 was his year so had to include him. Decent design, but at this point Pacific was just spitting out releases
Name: Greg Maddux
Team: Atlanta Braves
Position: Starting Pitcher
Card: 1998 Pinnacle
Number: #14
Status: N/A
Beckett Hi Value: $1.25
Comments: Maddux continued to be a bad mutha in '98 winning his last ERA title and carrying a 2.15 ERA from '92-'98. He was such a bad ass, he had 707 different cards in 1998.
Name: Tony Clark
Team: Detroit Tigers
Position: First Base
Card: 1998 Pinnacle Performers
Number: #266
Status: N/A
Beckett Hi Value: $.20
Comments: An absolute ugly design from Score. What you could come to expect.
Name: Hideo Nomo
Team: Los Angeles Dodgers
Position: Starting Pitcher
Card: 1998 Score
Number: #3
Status: N/A
Beckett Hi Value: $.50
Comments: The luster had worn off of Nomo by '98 after back to back seasons of his ERA creeping upward (4.92 in '98). The design of the card isn't as bad as the Clark card above, but come on...
Name: Mark McGwire
Team: St. Louis Cardinals
Position: First Base
Card: 1998 Score Rookie Traded
Number: #25
Status: N/A
Beckett Hi Value: $2.00
Comments: Not fully sure why McGwire has a card in Score's Rookie Traded set, other than this being released late in the season and another way to get a McGwire card out
Name: Ken Griffey Jr.
Team: Seattle Mariners
Position: Outfield
Card: 1998 SP Authentic
Number: #180
Status: N/A
Beckett Hi Value: $1.50
Comments: A great looking premium card that was tied to a lot of signatures tied in to packs
Name: John Smoltz
Team: Atlanta Braves
Position: Starting Pitcher
Card: 1998 Sports Illustrated
Number: #113
Status: N/A
Beckett Hi Value: $.50
Comments: Smoltz had racked up 146 wins by the end of the '98 season

Name: Frank Thomas
Team: Chicago White Sox
Position: First Base
Card: 1998 SPx Finite
Number: #72
Status: Serial Numbered to 9000
Beckett Hi Value: $2.50
Comments: Finite, was a unique concept where every card was serial numbered. Ranges varied from 1 to 9000 with the smaller numbers valued higher


Name: Derek Jeter
Team: New York Yankees
Position: Shortstop
Card: 1998 Studio
Number: #163
Status: N/A
Beckett Hi Value: $2.00
Comments: A decent looking card from Studio and am happy they put an action shot in the background vs. the head shots from years past
Name: Roy Halladay/Matt Clement/Brian Fuentes
Team: Toronto Blue Jays/San Diego Padres/Seattle Mariners
Position: Starting Pitchers
Card: 1998 Topps Chrome
Number: #264
Status: Rookie Card
Beckett Hi Value: $5.00
Comments: The Chrome version of the Topps release showing Halladay along side of two other decent pitchers. I love the triple rookie look.
Name: David Ortiz/Richie Sexson/Duane Ward
Team: Minnesota Twins/Cleveland Indians/Houston Astros
Position: First Base
Card: 1998 Topps (Minted in Cooperstown shown)
Number: #257
Status: N/A
Beckett Hi Value: $2.50
Comments: Not actually a rookie card as these players had previously released cards. The amazing thing about this card is that the potential ranking went Ward, Sexson, then Ortiz. Oh, and the card shown is a "Minted in Cooperstown" signified by the stamp in the right corner. That card books for $30

Name: Juan Gonzalez
Team: Texas Rangers
Position: Outfield
Card: 1998 UD3
Number: #239
Status: N/A
Beckett Hi Value: $2.00
Comments: UD3 wasn't around long and don't like using the same photo in multiple pics, but really liked the design of this card for some reason. By the way, this meat head will be playing for your Detroit Tigers in just two short years

Name: Barry Bonds
Team: San Francisco Giants
Position: Outfield
Card: 1998 Ultra Season Crown
Number: #212
Status: Subset/Short Print
Beckett Hi Value: $8.00
Comments: Ultra was one of a couple companies that started short printing inset cards routinely and did so in their 2 series release with Season Crowns and Pizazz

Name: Ken Griffey Jr.
Team: Seattle Mariners
Position: Outfield
Card: 1998 Upper Deck EP
Number: #620
Status: Subset/Shortprint
Beckett Hi Value: $4.00
Comments: Very similar to Ultra, Upper Deck for a couple of years included short prints in to their sets with 1997 being a key year for this and taking the industry by surprise




A Look at 2012 Topps Update
In order to manage by baseball obsession and baseball card addiction, I was considering creating a new blog soley dedicated to baseball cards, but instead think I'll keep it on Pepper and move things over to the "baseball card geekdom" page (at the top).  That said, I am going to add something new as long as the market remains stable to only a handful of production release (compared to 50+ in the 90's).  Our first look will be at the annual release of Topps Update.

Update is normally released at the end of the MLB season as an extension to the Topps Series 1 & 2 releases and meant to capture the late season trades, rookies call-ups, and All-Star game appearances.  For me this product has proven itself as a must buy as it captures the late season rookie call-ups like Starling Marte which limits the number of rookie cards a player will have.

Vitals:Box (cost on eBay): $65
Packs: 36
Cards per Pack: 10
Cards per Box: 360
Other: One autograph or relic (jersey,bat, uniform, etc) per box
Cards in Set: 330
Parallel's: Black (1 of 61), Platinum (1 of 1), Golden Moments (1:4 packs), Wood (1 of 1), Printing Plates (1 of 1), Gold Silk (1 of 50), Gold (1 of 2012)

Relics Gold Futures Coins (5, #'d to each players jersey #), Award Winner Gold Rings (25), Gold Hall of Fame Plaques (15), Solid Gold Futures (4, 1 of 1), Gold Engravings (3), Golden Greats (1 of 10), Blockbuster (1 of 50), 1969 Mickey Mantle Reprint (1 of 69), Blockbuster Autograph Relic (1 of 5), Golden Greats Auto Relic (1 of 5)

MLB All-Star Relics
All-Star Stitches, Gold Parallel (1 of 50), Platinum Parallel (1 of 1), All-Stitches Autographed (1 of 25), All-Star Jumbo Patches (1 of 6), All-Star Jumbo Patch Autographs (1 of 6), All-Star Stitch Duals (1 of 25), All-Star Stitch Triples (1 of 25)Inserts
Blockbusters (30, 1:4 packs), Golden Moments (50, 1:4 packs), Golden Greats (25, 1:8 packs), 1987 Topps Mini's (50, 1:4 packs)

Autographs
Golden Moments (25), Gold Parallel (1 of 10), Golden Debuts (15), Gold Parallel (1 of 10), Blockbuster (1 of 25), Golden Greats (1 of 10)

What to look for: 
  • Besides the inserts above there are 52 rookie cards in the set including Yoenis Cespedes, Brett Jackson, Will Middlebrooks, Starling Marte, Yu Darvish, Bryce Harper, Trevor Bauer, Drew Smyly, and Matt Harvey
  • The big splash in the set is a tradition of Topps creating short printed (SP) variations of standard cards and they've done it again in Update.  Most variations are the All-Star cards and with the SP's of the player attending an All-Star event in street clothes.  The All-Star SP's are rumored to be found easier then the short prints of players traded (Ichiro, Adrian Gonzalez, Youkilis, Crawford, Loney, Beckett, Punto, Thome) with the All-Star SP's carrying a price tag of $10-$25, while the traded player SP's carry a price tag between $120-$200 according to Beckett Monthly
Overall the product looks like a really good buy at $65 for a box between base rookie cards, SP's, and a guaranteed relic or autograph in every box. I highly recommend picking this product up!

~sK

Baseball Card Pride & Joy
It's been a while since I've had something about baseball cards on here and trust me I will get back to favorite/important cards by year, but a lot of times I get the question of 'what's you most expensive card?', so I figured I show you what I've got.  Keep in mind these are images I picked off the net so they may not be exact matches as most of the more expensive cards I have a limited print runs and actually come from more recent years than not.  Also, I have a few cards that are so rare (1-of-1's) that there isn't a price against them so I left them off.  Ok, so here are my 10 most expensive cards to date...

Name: Mickey Mantle
Team: New York Yankees
Position: Outfield
Card: 1958 Topps AS TP
Number: #487
Status: All-Star Subset
Beckett Hi Value: $200
Comments: Was a Christmas present from my dad at some point in the '90's.  Been sitting in my safe ever since.  Although, I did't see the Mick play, he was one of my favorite players of all-time with the stories I heard growing up from my dad and Uncle

Name: Derek Jeter
Team: New York Yankees
Position: Shortstop
Card: 1993 SP Foil
Number: #279
Status: Rookie Card
Beckett Hi Value: $150
Comments: Mine probably doesn't carry this exact value as this card is ultra sensitive because of the foil and can be damaged easily


Name: Mickey Mantle
Team: New York Yankees
Position: Outfield
Card: 1994 Upper Deck All-Time Heroes - 1954 Archives
Number: #259
Status: 1954 Archives
Beckett Hi Value: $100
Comments: In 1994, Upper Deck actually licensed the use of these cards from Topps


Name: Josh Hamilton
Team: Tampa Bay Rays
Position: Outfield
Card: 2001 Topps Fusion Autograph
Number: #FA8
Status: Autograph
Beckett Hi Value: $100
Comments: Nice pull from a box of Fusion, but at the time was only worth about $20 with all the problems Josh was having


Name: Clayton Kershaw
Team: Los Angeles Dodgers
Position: Starting Pitcher
Card: 2006 Bowman Chrome Draft Picks Blue Refractor Autograph
Number: #84
Status: Blue Refractor Autograph, Numbered to 150
Beckett Hi Value: $300
Comments: One of the last things my dad and I ever did together was carry on the tradition of where he would buy me a box of cards for Christmas every year and I pulled this from it, and in the same trip I bought a box and pulled the card below.


Name: Evan Longoria
Team: Tampa Bay Rays
Position: Third Base
Card: 2006 Bowman Chrome Draft Picks Refractor Autograph
Number: #66
Status: Refractor Autograph, Numbered to 500
Beckett Hi Value: $300
Comments: Yep, pulled this out of the 2nd box.  How cool is it to have this as a lasting memory of a tradition that my dad and I shared together (you better believe I am already storing "Christmas boxes" away for my son).  BTW, these may not say rookie cards, but they are the first cards of these players


Name: Mike (Giancarlo) Stanton
Team: Florida Marlins
Position: Outfield
Card: 2008 Bowman Chrome Draft Prospect Autograph
Number: #BDPP115
Status: Autograph
Beckett Hi Value: $200
Comments: Had no idea who he was when I pulled it, I do now...


Name: Brandon Belt
Team: San Francisco Giants
Position: First Base
Card: 2011 Bowman Chrome Prospect Autograph Blue Refractor
Number: #BCP93
Status: Blue Refractor Autograph, Numbered to 150
Beckett Hi Value: $150
Comments: This card isn't fully representative of the Blue Refractor I have but close enough.  I'm pulling for Belt to figure it out and become a big star!


Name: David Wright
Team: New York Mets (or is it?)
Position: Third Base
Card: 2011 Topps Heritage
Number: #478B
Status: Error Card, Short Print
Beckett Hi Value: $150
Comments: Heritage purposely put short printed error cards in to their sets.  This one if you look close enough will realize the team listed for Wright is the Cincinnati Reds


Name: Bob Gibson/Roy Halladay
Team: St. Louis Cardinals/Philadelphia Phillies
Position: Starting Pitchers
Card: 2012 Topps Timeless Talents Dual Relics
Number: #TTH
Status: Dual Relic
Beckett Hi Value: $100
Comments: Ok, so this isn't the actual card as Topps hasn't sent it to me yet as I received a "redemption card", but if you can picture either two game used baseball shavings or something from their jersey's/gloves in the card then you'll have what I'll be looking at in a month or so

Well hope you enjoyed and if you have any baseball card questions for me, shoot them my way.  I'd be happy to answer them.

-sK

Breaking Down 2012 Topps Heritage
Topps has done it again with another successful year with their Heritage product which take a classic design, this time 1963 and place current players in that design.  To add a twist to this years release not only does Heritage have "high" number short prints or intentional short printed errors like last year, but this years errors include the photos on the card flipping from the circle to the main part of the card (See Troy Tulowitzki below left), as well as red and blue bordered short prints from Target and Walmart blaster boxes and other various errors.  The other cool feature of this product is a first look at a lot of players in their new teams jersey's including Pineda (left), Prince, Jose Reyes, and many more.

The best pulls from the box for me was the Chrome Refractor of Gaub/Reed/Chambers/Betances at $20, the Pill/Chambers/Field/Pomeranz Chrome at $10, and six short prints ranging from $6-$8.

The only issue I had, was the box said every box comes with an autograph or relic card, but apparently not mine!

Box Cost: $70
Packs Per Box: 24
Cards Per Pack: 9
Cards Per Box: 216

Standard Cards
Rookie Cards (9): Brad Peacock/Devin Mesoraco/Justin DeFratus/Joe Savery, John Gaub/Addison Reed/Adron Chambers/Dellin Betances, Chris Parmelee/Steve Lombardozzi/Pedro Florimon/Jordan Pacheco, Steve Lombardozzi/Pedro Flormion/Matt Dominguez/Devin Mesoraco, Liam Hendriks/Alex Liddi/Matt Moore/Chris Schwinden, Steve Delabar/Tom Milone/Luis Marte/Jared Hughes, Drew Pomeranz/Nate Spears/Corey Brown/Adron Chambers, Jesus Montero/Austin Romine/Tim Federowicz/Wilin Rosario, Jemile Weeks
SP's (6): Troy Tulowitzki (BW), Jose Altuve, Jeremy Affeldt, Justin Upton, Josh Hamilton, James Shields

Inserts
Baseball Flashbacks (1): Hank Aaron
Chrome (3): Evan Longoria, Chris Iannetta, Brett Pill/Adron Chambers/Thomas Field/Drew Pomeranz
Chrome Refractor (1): John Gaub/Addison Reed/Adron Chambers/Dellin Betances
New Age Performers (2): Jered Weaver, Robinson Cano
News Flashbacks (3): Penn Station, University of Alabama, Valentina Tereshkova
Stick-Ons (4): Miguel Cabrera, Andrew McCutchen, Curtis Granderson, James Shields
Then & Now (1): Luis Aparicio/Michael Bourn

Total Beckett Value: $240.95


Cardboard Memories: 1997 (Baseball Cards)
Yep another year, another four more releases added to the annual baseball card releases, that makes 37 in total.  By now a few trends are starting to take place...1) autographed cards are becoming more prevalent 2) uptate/traded sets don't exist any longer 3) A handful of sets are only 150-200 cards, meaning more stars and less commons 4) short prints starting to make their ways in to standard sets more

1997 from a baseball standpoint was a wash for me being in college but did make sure that I purchased some Bowman, which in turn started the tradition of making sure that I buy every year if nothing else to get the first rookie cards of a player.

So on to the cards, again here are some of my favorites, some that impacted the industry, and others just to give you an idea of the design.   Enjoy...

Name: Miguel Tejada
Team: Oakland Athletics
Position: Shortstop
Card: 1997 Bowman's Best
Number: #114
Status: Rookie Card
Beckett Hi Value: $4.00
Comments: Like it or not Tejada was on par with Nomar, ARod, and Jeter for a while as one of the best shortstops in the league.  He actually ranks fairly well on the Hall of Fame index  according to Baseball Reference.
Name: Roy Halladay
Team: Toronto Blue Jays
Position: Starting Pitcher
Card: 1997 Bowman Chrome
Number: #212
Status: Rookie Card
Beckett Hi Value: $40
Comments: Bowman beat everyone to the punch again and had Doc's first rookie card, not to mention this is first Chrome product for Bowman (standard Halladay Bowman card books for $12)

Name: Kerry Wood
Team: Chicago Cubs
Position: Starting Pitcher
Card: 1997 Bowman
Number: #196
Status: Rookie Card
Beckett Hi Value: $5.00
Comments: Remember when Kerry Wood struck out 20 his rookie season?  His rookie card sky rocketed up to $20 and then it all fell apart

Name: Travis Lee
Team: Arizona Diamondbacks
Position: First Base
Card: 1997 Bowman
Number: #389
Status: Rookie Card
Beckett Hi Value: $0.60
Comments: I couldn't resist adding Travis Lee's rookie card to this list, as he won the Golden Spikes award and was a hot prospect with his card booking in the $10 range.  Lee had a decent career but never got to star status

Name: Travis Fryman
Team: Detroit Tigers
Position: Third Base
Card: 1997 Collector's Choice
Number: #110
Status: throws like a girl
Beckett Hi Value: $0.20
Comments: He's either throwing a shot put or throws like a girl, just not sure

Name: Derek Jeter
Team: New York Yankees
Position: Shortstop
Card: 1997 Donruss Limited
Number: #83
Status: Serial Numbered to 1100
Beckett Hi Value: $15.00
Comments: Serial numbers have been around on cards in insert sets since the early '90's but are becoming more prevalent in base sets

Name: Jeff Bagwell
Team: Houston Astros
Position: First Base
Card: 1997 Donruss Preferred G
Number: #177
Status: n/a
Beckett Hi Value: $6.00
Comments: Although Donruss Preferred didn't call some of their cards in the sets short prints, there were definitely short printed based on letter given to the card

Name: Roberto Alomar
Team: Baltimore Orioles
Position: Second Base
Card: 1997 Donruss Signature
Number: #9
Status: n/a
Beckett Hi Value: $0.75
Comments: A decent premium release from Donruss but the value was around the signatures that you could score in packs

Name: Vladimir Guerrero
Team: Montreal Expos
Position: Outfield
Card: 1997 Donruss
Number: #355
Status: n/a
Beckett Hi Value: $0.75
Comments: The card says rookie on it, but truth be told, Bowman beat Donruss to the punch two years earlier

Name: Chipper Jones
Team: Atlanta Braves
Position: Third Base
Card: 1997 EX 2000
Number: #54
Status: n/a
Beckett Hi Value: $2.00
Comments: One of those premium releases with 150-200 cards in the set

Name: Ryne Sandberg
Team: Chicago Cubs
Position: Second Base
Card: 1997 Finest B
Number: #2
Status: n/a
Beckett Hi Value: $2.00
Comments: Similar to Donruss Preferred, cards aren't listed as short prints in the set but they exist and signified by a letter designation

Name: Ken Griffey Jr
Team: Seattle Mariners
Position: Outfield
Card: 1997 Flair Showcase
Number: #24
Status: Row 1
Beckett Hi Value: $4.00
Comments: Flair looked at short prints differently and designated by rows with 0 being the most scarce to 2.

Name: David Arias (Ortiz)
Team: Minnesota Twins
Position: First Base
Card: 1997 Fleer
Number: #512
Status: Rookie Card
Beckett Hi Value: $25.00
Comments: Fleer and Ultra are actually the only releases that have a David Ortiz rookie card in 1997, unfortunately they got the name wrong and put Ortiz's teammates name instead

Name: Barry Bonds
Team: San Francisco Giants
Position: Outfield
Card: 1997 Leaf
Number: #65
Status: n/a
Beckett Hi Value: $2.00
Comments: Leaf started to refine it's look in '97.  Also, start to take note of Bonds size on his cards as it's believe '99 is when he started with PED's

Name: Hideo Nomo
Team: Los Angeles Dodgers
Position: Starting Pitcher
Card: 1997 Metal Universe
Number: #104
Status: n/a
Beckett Hi Value: $0.75
Comments: Seems like Fleer's version of "chrome"

Name: Roger Clemens
Team: Toronto Blue Jays
Position: Starting Pitcher
Card: New Pinnacle
Number: #21
Status: n/a
Beckett Hi Value: $1.50
Comments: Not sure why Pinnacle needed new Pinnacle but they sure were trying to compete with most products in the market in '97 it seemed

Name: Dwight Gooden
Team: New York Yankees
Position: Starting Pitcher
Card: 1997 Pacific
Number: #151
Status: n/a
Beckett Hi Value: $0.30
Comments: Someone really should have talked to Pacific about their product designs...

Name: Mark Grace
Team: Chicago Cubs
Position: First Base
Card: 1997 Pacific Prisms
Number: #84
Status: n/a
Beckett Hi Value: $2.00
Comments: See Pacific comments...

Name: Tony Gwynn
Team: San Diego Padres
Position: Outfield
Card: 1997 Pinnacle Certified
Number: #45
Status: n/a
Beckett Hi Value: $1.25
Comments: I would imagine Pinnacle is trying to compete with Finest but need to find another gimmick

Name: Brady Anderson
Team: Baltimore Orioles
Position: Outfield
Card: 1997 Pinnacle Inside
Number: #
Status: n/a
Beckett Hi Value: $
Comments: Yep, this guy hit 50 bombs the previous year, 2nd career high is 21.  These cards actually came in a collectible can which was unique I guess

Name: Nomar Garciaparra
Team: Boston Red Sox
Position: Shortstop
Card: 1997 Pinnacle
Number: #172
Status: n/a
Beckett Hi Value: $1.25
Comments: Design doesn't differ very much from '96, maybe it's because they had 42 new products!

Name: Ivan Rodriguez
Team: Texas Rangers
Position: Catcher
Card: 1997 Pinnacle X-Press
Number: #35
Status: n/a
Beckett Hi Value: $0.30
Comments: Pinnacle's 5th release and that doesn't include Score or Select...

Name: Hideki Irabu
Team: New York Yankees
Position: Starting Pitcher
Card: 1997 Score
Number: #551A
Status: Rookie Card
Beckett Hi Value: $2.50
Comments: My gosh, there is so much great stuff to say Irabu, there's just not enough space.  All I can say is Steinbrenner referred to him as a "fat pussy toad" and then there's Harry Carey pronouncing his name...kind of

Name: Bubba Trammell
Team: Detroit Tigers
Position: Outfield
Card: 1997 Select
Number: #125
Status: Rookie Card
Beckett Hi Value: $0.50
Comments: One of my favorite Tigers during the terrible years for whatever reason.  He might be my poor man's Brandon Inge

Name: Carlos Delgado
Team: Toronto Blue Jays
Position: First Base
Card: 1997 SP
Number: #179
Status: n/a
Beckett Hi Value: $0.40
Comments: Delgado to me was one of those fringe superstars that with a few more solid years could have been a Hall of Famer

Name: Mike Piazza
Team: Los Angeles Dodgers
Position: Catcher
Card: 1997 Sports Illustrated
Number: #112
Status: n/a
Beckett Hi Value: $1.25
Comments: Oh yes they did!  SI tried getting in to the baseball card game but way to late and way to common of a product

Name: Nomar Garciaparra
Team: Boston Red Sox
Position: Shorstop
Card: 1997 SPx
Number: #13
Status: n/a
Beckett Hi Value: $2.50
Comments: Another hologram but these were done better and had a bunch of variations that booked much higher

Name: Manny Ramirez
Team: Cleveland Indians
Position: Outfield
Card: Stadium Club Members Only
Number: #244
Status: Members Only Parallel
Beckett Hi Value: $3.00
Comments: More great photography and a couple parallel's to add value

Name: Andy Pettite
Team: New York Yankees
Position: Starting Pitcher
Card: 1997 Studio
Number: #5
Status: n/a
Beckett Hi Value: $0.50
Comments: Basic, but still pretty decent release and competes with Topps  Gallery



Name: Jackie Robinson
Team: Brooklyn Dodgers
Position: Outfield
Card: 1997 Topps Chrome
Number: #42
Status: Tribute Card
Beckett Hi Value: $2.00
Comments: Chrome parallel and nice tribute to Jackie

Name: Eric Chavez/Adam Eaton
Team: Oakland A's/Philadelphua Phillies
Position: Starting Pitchers
Card: 1997 Topps
Number: #479
Status: Rookie Cards
Beckett Hi Value: $2.00
Comments: Chavez was one of those talented guys that looked like he had a ton of potential to be a star but just could never stay healthy

Name: Orel Hershiser
Team: Cleveland Indians
Position: Starting Pitcher
Card: 1997 Topps Gallery
Number: #7
Status: n/a
Beckett Hi Value: $0.50
Comments: One of the more underrated pitchers in the game in my opinion

Name: Lance Berkman
Team: Houston Astros
Position: Outfield
Card: 1997 Topps Stars
Number: #125
Status: Rookie Card
Beckett Hi Value: $10.00
Comments: One of three rookie cards for Berkman in '97

Name: Alex Rodriguez
Team: Seattle Mariners
Position: Shortstop
Card: 1997 UDS
Number: #50
Status: n/a
Beckett Hi Value: $2.50
Comments: Upper Deck's shot at short premium sets with lots of stars

Name: Brian Giles
Team: Cleveland Indians
Position: Outfield
Card: 1997 Ultra
Number: #354
Status: Rookie Card
Beckett Hi Value: $1.50
Comments: Giles had four huge years with the Pirates between '99 & '02 but never regained 30 homer + power after being traded to the Padres

Name: Mark McGwire
Team: Oakland Athletics
Position: First Base
Card: 1997 Upper Deck GHL SP
Number: #420
Status: Short Print
Beckett Hi Value: $8.00
Comments: Upper Deck gets in to the in set short print game

Name: Ivan Rodriguez
Team: Texas Rangers
Position: Catcher
Card: 1997 Zenith
Number: #15
Status: n/a
Beckett Hi Value: $0.60
Comments: Put the mouse back in the house Pudge!



Breaking Down 2012 Topps, Series 1
The longest produced brand has done it again with it's 61st annual release of Topps baseball cards.  This year Topps made early noise with the Skip Schumaker Rally Squirrel short printed card that's currently booking for $120 and then continued the noise with other short printed variations throughout the set, along with cards with gold foil on them (compared to diamonds last year).  I have to say my box wasn't that impressive, however it was loaded with inserts (about 2 per pack) and I scored a Matt Moore Golden Sparkle that books for $12 on the high side.  Along with the Moore card, came a John Axford Golden Moment "relic card" which books at $12 and a David Freese "Black" card which books for $15, so all-and-all decent value.  Here's a breakdown of what that looked like...

Box Cost: $60
Packs Per Box: 36
Cards Per Pack: 10
Cards Per Box: 360

Standard Cards
Rookie Cards (18): Hagadone, Montero, Taylor, Mesoraco, Pomeranz, Romine, Pamrelee, Moore, Lombordozi, Reed, Rosario, Dominguez, Herrera, Hudson, Benson, Betances, Delabar, Liddi
Short Prints (0): n/a

Inserts
1987 Topps Mini's (10): Kendrick, Ackley, Halladay, Jiminez, Kimbrell, Gardner, Howard, Posey, Greinke, Latos
Topps Black: David Freese
Topps Classic Walk-Offs (5): Mazeroski, Fisk, Bruce, Thome, Ordonez
Topps Golden Giveaway Code Cards (5): Braun, tulowitzki, Halladay, Clemente, Suzuki
Topps Golden Greats (10):  Gerhig, Ryan, Cobb, DiMaggio, Mantle, Ripken Jr., Koufax, Aaron, Seaver, Ruth
Topps Golden Moments (9): Kershaw, McCutchen, Mattingly, Rice, Belle, Ju. Upton, Berkman, Pujols, Maris
Topps Gold Futures (7): Britton, Arencibia, Gordon, Tabata, Nova, Goldschmidt, Kipnis
Gold Sparkle (13): Simon, M. Young, Bard, Guerrea, A. Jones, M. Moore, Venable, Lannan, Herrera, Gwynn, Freese, Werth, Hamilton
Topps Gold Standard (5): Schmidt, F. Robinson, McCovey, Smoltz, Seaver
Topps Timeless Talents (5): Mattingly/Hosmer,  F. Robinson/Bautista, Pettite/Lee, B. Gibson/Halladay, Maris/Granderson

Total Beckett Value: $364.60



1996 Topps Series 1 Box
Cardboard Memories: 1996 (Baseball Cards)
1996 was an interesting year as the card industry continued to grow to 33 regular season releases which was almost triple that of the 12 released in '92, however we see the traditional update and traded sets all but disappear.  This has to be the start of the end for a few of these manufactures and Major League Baseball as many of these companies will have their licenses revoked more than a decade later.

One notable release for 1996 was Topps Chrome as it was a duplicate to the standard Topps set but offers a "chromed" look and making the product more valuable.  It also spawned a following called "Chromies" (made more popular when Bowman started producing a Chrome product).  Chromies are collectors who of course only collect Chrome products

So on to the cards, again here are some of my favorites, some that impacted the industry, and others just to give you an idea of the design.   Enjoy...

Name: Roger Clemens
Team: Boston Red Sox
Position: Starting Pitcher
Card: 1996 Bazooka
Number: #62
Status: n/a
Beckett Hi Value: $1.00
Comments: General release focused at kids as collectors offered at the low end of products cost-wise
Name: George Lombard
Team: Atlanta Braves
Position: Outfield
Card: 1996 Bowman
Number: #204
Status: Rookie Card
Beckett Hi Value: $0.50
Comments: 2nd rd draft pick of the Braves was one of the best prospects in baseball from '96-'98 as Lombard showed 5-tool potential.  This card once booked for $6...BUST

Name: Carlos Guillen
Team: Seattle Mariners
Position: Shortstop
Card: 1996 Bowman's Best
Number: #162
Status: Rookie Card
Beckett Hi Value: $2.50
Comments: Traded from the Houston Astros to the Mariners in part for Randy Johnnson.

Name: Bob Hamelin
Team: Kansas City Royals
Position: Designated Hitter
Card: 1996 Collector's Choice
Number: #571
Status: n/a
Beckett Hi Value: $0.20
Comments: The 1994 Rookie of the Year never matched his 24 home run total from that year and was out of the league by 1999

Name: Carlos Perez
Team: Montreal Expos
Position: Starting Pitcher
Card: 1996 Donruss
Number: #317
Status: n/a
Beckett Hi Value: $0.30
Comments: Sweet turtle neck dude

Name: Derek Jeter
Team: New York Yankees
Position: Shortstop
Card: 1996 Emotion XL
Number: #90
Status: n/a
Beckett Hi Value: $5.00
Comments: A very nice premium release from the Fleer Company

Name: Livan Hernandez
Team: Florida Marlins
Position: Starting Pitcher
Card: 1996 Finest
Number: #G294
Status: Rookie Card
Beckett Hi Value: $10.00
Comments: Only logged a few innings in '96, but Hernandez was a prized prospect from the Marlins after defecting from Cuba.  Livan finished 2nd in the ROY voting in '97 and took off in the post season thanks to a wide strike zone and a complete game 5, 15 strike out win against the Braves

Name: Tom Glavine
Team: Atlanta Braves
Position: Starting Pitcher
Card: 1996 Flair
Number: #198
Status: n/a
Beckett Hi Value: $1.50
Comments: Flair seems to have gone after the more of an artistic design with the '96 release

Name: Rail Ibanez
Team: Seattle Mariners
Position: Catcher
Card: 1996 Fleer Update
Number: #U81
Status: Rookie Card
Beckett Hi Value: $2.50
Comments: Yep, I was pretty shocked that Ibanez was once a catcher too

Name: Darin Erstad
Team: California Angels
Position: Outfield
Card: 1996 Leaf Limited Rookies
Number: #2
Status: Rookies Set
Beckett Hi Value: $4.00
Comments: 5-tool guy for a 4 year span but injuries got the best of Erstad over his career

Name: Marty Cordova
Team: Minnesota Twins
Position: Outfield
Card: 1996 Lead Preferred
Number: #54
Status: n/a
Beckett Hi Value: $0.30
Comments: Rookie of the Year in '95 had a great '96 but never able to stay healthy for a full season after

Name: Derek Jeter 
Team:  New York Yankees
Position: Shortstop
Card: 1996 Leaf Signatures
Number: #118
Status: Autograph/Short Printed/Serial Numbered to 700
Beckett Hi Value: $300.00
Comments: A very tough pull being short printed but signifies things to come with  autographs inserted in to packs

Name: Tony Clark
Team: Detroit Tigers
Position: First Base
Card: 1996 Leaf
Number: #30
Status: n/a
Beckett Hi Value: $.030
Comments: Clark had some solid years for Detroit hitting 124 home runs between '96 & '99 but fell of and had only one more 30+ homer season ('05 with Arizona) after

Name: Craig Biggio
Team: Houston Astros
Position: Second Base
Card: 1996 Metal Universe
Number: #175
Status: n/a
Beckett Hi Value: $0.50
Comments: Metal had this space age design approach to its cards...that didn't last long

Name: Alex Rodriguez
Team: Seattle Mariners
Position: Shortstop
Card: 1996 Pacfic
Number: #416
Status: n/a
Beckett Hi Value: $1.00
Comments: Thankfully Pacific got away from the shiny terrible design and put more emphasis on the photography

Name: Mike Piazza
Team: Los Angeles Dodgers
Position: Catcher
Card: 1996 Pinnacle Aficionado
Number: #124
Status: n/a
Beckett Hi Value: $1.50
Comments: Really like the Aficionado design, it's to bad this isn't a product that stuck around longer

Name: Deion Sanders
Team: San Francisco Giants
Position: Outfield
Card: 1996 Pinnacle
Number: #25
Status: n/a
Beckett Hi Value: $0.30
Comments: Not quite sure how Deion and Barry's heads fit in one clubhouse.  On the other hand, another very clean design from Pinnacle

Name: Mike Sweeney
Team: Kansas City Royals
Position: First Base
Card: 1996 Score
Number: #492
Status: Rookie Card
Beckett Hi Value: $0.75
Comments: There was a time when Sweeney just destroyed the Tigers not to mentioned was part of one of the biggest Tiger/Royal brawls ever.

Name: Cal Ripken Jr.
Team: Baltimore Orioles
Position: Shortstop
Card: 1996 Select
Number: #19
Status: n/a
Beckett Hi Value: $1.50
Comments: I like the wood grain and double photo Select offered in '96

Name: Manny Ramirez
Team: Cleveland Indians
Position: Outfield
Card: 1996 Select Certified
Number: #51
Status: n/a
Beckett Hi Value: $0.60
Comments: Yep, just Manny being Manny

Name: John Smoltz
Team: Atlanta Braves
Position: Starting Pitcher
Card: 1996 SP
Number: #24
Status: n/a
Beckett Hi Value: $0.60
Comments: Another solid release from SP (Upper Deck) but lacked a major rookie card unlike years past with Jeter & ARod

Name: Mark Grace
Team: Chicago Cubs
Position: First Base
Card: 1996 SPx
Number: #15
Status: n/a
Beckett Hi Value: $1.25
Comments: Never a big fan of the hologram cards

Name: Barry Bonds
Team: San Francisco Giants
Position: Outfield
Card: 1996 Stadium Club TSC
Number: #202
Status: Topps Stadium Club/Short Printed
Beckett Hi Value: $2.50
Comments: Another trend about to take off in card collection...short printing of in set cards making it tougher for set builders to complete sets

Name: Bernie Williams
Team: New York Yankees
Position: Outfield
Card: 1996 Studio
Number: #44
Status: n/a
Beckett Hi Value: $0.40
Comments: Did you know that Bernie plays guitar? :)

Name: Ken Griffey Jr.
Team: Seattle Mariners
Position: Outfield
Card: 1996 Summit
Number: #86
Status: n/a
Beckett Hi Value: $1.25
Comments: Can you believe anyone would have Griffey bunting, especially in his pre-Reds days??

Name: Cal Ripken Jr.
Team: Baltimore Orioles
Position: Shortstop
Card: 1996 Topps Chrome 2131
Number: #28
Status: n/a
Beckett Hi Value: $6.00
Comments: The Chromies start here...

Name: Ray Durham
Team: Chicago White Sox
Position: Second Base
Card: 1996 Topps Gallery
Number: #96
Status: n/a
Beckett Hi Value: $0.50
Comments: Love the mid air capture

Name: Mike Mussina
Team: Baltimore Orioles
Position: Starting Pitcher
Card: 1996 Topps Laser
Number: #125
Status: n/a
Beckett Hi Value: $1.25
Comments: Kind of cool cards with the cut design, but very tough to protect from catching snags

Name: Sean Casey
Team: Cleveland Indians
Position: First Base
Card: 1996 Topps
Number: #25
Status: Rookie Card
Beckett Hi Value: $4.00
Comments: Can you believe this guy was once thrown out from left field?  Oh, this was Casey's only rookie card in '96

Name: Pedro Martinez
Team: Montreal Expos
Position: Starting Pitcher
Card: 1996 Ultra
Number: #233
Status: n/a
Beckett Hi Value: $0.50
Comments: '96 was the year before Pedro really took off as a pitcher, he was still a bit of an unknown at this point in Montreal

Name: Alan Trammell
Team: Detroit Tigers
Position: Shortstop
Card: 1996 Upper Deck YH
Number: #106
Status: Young at Heart Subset
Beckett Hi Value: $0.30
Comments: Just liked that Trammell was labeled "young at heart"

Name: Roger Clemens
Team: Boston Red Sox
Position: Starting Pitcher
Card: 1996 Upper Deck VJ
Number: #VJ13
Status: V.J. Lovero Showcase Insert
Beckett Hi Value: $4.00
Comments: Early signs of roid rage?

Name: Raul Mondesi
Team: Los Angeles Dodgers
Position: Outfield
Card: 1996 Zenith
Number: #47
Status: n/a
Beckett Hi Value: $0.30
Comments: Pinnacle had to have one bad design in '96 right?



- sK


Cardboard Memories: 1995 (Baseball Cards)
Looking back at my personal collection this was one smallest amount of cards I had from any year and really only had bought boxes of Upper Deck and Donruss and had yet to catch on to the rookie card monopoly held by Bowman (that was '96).  Disposable funds were low due to college and my fondness for beer so I'll complain further about the market expanding to 28 standard product releases in 1996 and that doesn't include many of these core brands being released in two series meaning buying multiple boxes.  A few trends that I did noticed first was how quickly it was becoming more about the inserts then standard sets themselves since that's value was at the time.  Number two was that with products having multiple series releases that actually allowed for updating players teams when traded or signed as free agents as well as catching hot rookies, but it also eliminated the need for sets like Donruss Rookies and other update and traded sets. Finally that a lot of sets core and premium were actually decreasing the number of player cards in a set which is a shift from the very early 90's when sets ballooned to 800+ cards in their sets.

So on to the cards, again here are some of my favorites, some that impacted the industry, and others just to give you an idea of the design.   Enjoy...

Name: Albert Belle
Team: Cleveland Indians
Position: Outfield
Card: 1995 Bazooka
Number: #116
Status: n/a
Beckett Hi Value: $0.20
Comments: Decent design and was priced on the very low end for everyone

Name: Vladimir Guerrero
Team: Montreal Expos
Position: Outfield
Card: 1995 Bowman
Number: #90
Status: Rookie Card
Beckett Hi Value: $15.00
Comments: Bowman beats everyone to the punch again as this and Bowman's Best were Guerrero's only rookie cards in '95

Name: Scott Rolen
Team: Philadelphia Phillies
Position: Third Base
Card: 1995 Bowman's Best
Number: #B87
Status: Rookie Card
Beckett Hi Value: $20.00
Comments: Similar to Guerrero, Best and Bowman are Rolen's only rookie cards

Name: Michael Jordan
Team: Chicago White Sox
Position: Outfield
Card: 1995 Collector's Choice Select Edition
Number: #238
Status: n/a
Beckett Hi Value: $2.50
Comments: The last year Jordan's cards were produced in standard baseball card sets

Name: Karim Garcia
Team: Los Angeles Dodgers
Position: Outfield
Card: 1995 Collector's Choice
Number: #39
Status: Rookie Card
Beckett Hi Value: $0.10
Comments: The "Latino Bambino" signed with the Dodgers at the age of 16 and was known more for off the field issues then on, including stealing Derek Jeter's glove in hopes of selling it

Name: Cal Ripken Jr.
Team: Baltimore Orioles
Position: Shortstop
Card: 1995 Donruss
Number: #83
Status: n/a
Beckett Hi Value: $2.50
Comments: A very crisp design from Donruss with very little in the way of rookie cards, but a decent amount of inserts

Name: Barry Bonds
Team: San Francisco Giants
Position: Outfield
Card: 1995 Emotion
Number: #192
Status: n/a
Beckett Hi Value: $2.50
Comments: Confident, that's one way to put it...

Name: Hideo Nomo
Team: Los Angeles Dodgers
Position: Starting Pitcher
Card: 1995 Finest
Number: #228
Status: Rookie Card
Beckett Hi Value: $10.00
Comments: DON'T PEEL THE STICKER!  No really each card had this sticker over it that was used to protect the cards surface.  I'm not sure if the card carries the same value if the sticker is peeled, my gut says no

Name: Pedro Martinez
Team: Montreal Expos
Position: Starting Pitcher
Card: 1995 Flair
Number: #164
Status: n/a
Beckett Hi Value: $0.75
Comments: Flair was an underrated brand I think as the quality and photography blew competitors away but the scarcity wasn't there

Name: Greg Maddux
Team: Atlanta Braves
Position: Starting Pitcher
Card: 1995 Fleer
Number: #311
Status: n/a
Beckett Hi Value: $1.25
Comments: Yep, it's ok to ask wtf is wrong with that card.  In '95 Fleer decided to have a different design for each of the baseball divisions and this was the NL East's version

Name: Will Clark
Team: Texas Rangers
Position: First Base
Card: 1995 Leaf Limited
Number: #20
Status: n/a
Beckett Hi Value: $0.75
Comments: Decent design for a premium brand that had only minor impact in the industry

Name: Mark Grace
Team: Chicago Cubs
Position: First Base
Card: 1995 Leaf
Number: #277
Status: n/a
Beckett Hi Value: $0.50
Comments: Wow, so Leaf went in a completely different design direction then their first iconic release

Name: Fred McGriff
Team: Atlanta Braves
Position: First Base
Card: 1995 Pacific
Number: #12
Status: n/a
Beckett Hi Value: $0.30
Comments: One word...Fugly

Name: Ken Griffey Jr.
Team: Seattle Mariners
Position: Outfield
Card: 1995 Pinnacle
Number: #128
Status: n/a
Beckett Hi Value: $0.75
Comments: Is that Ken Griffey Jr. or the Arnold Schwarzenegger as the lady in Total Recall on Mars?

Name: Randy Johnson
Team: Seattle Mariners
Position: Starting Pitcher
Card: 1995 Score
Number: #222
Status: n/a
Beckett Hi Value: $0.50
Comments: Score, welcome to being irrelevant

Name: Ozzie Smith
Team: St. Louis Cardinals
Position: Shortstop
Card: 1995 Select Certified
Number: #55
Status: n/a
Beckett Hi Value: $2.00
Comments: I have nothing on this unfortunately other then do you think Ozzie was thinking, "man I need to do another back flip so I can be a Hall of Famer" after grounding out weakly again?

Name: Don Mattingly
Team: New York Yankees
Position: First Base
Card: 1995 Select
Number: #101
Status: n/a
Beckett Hi Value: $1.25
Comments: Donny Baseball's last professional season and still hadn't caught on that mustaches weren't cool in the 90's

Name: Vinny Castilla
Team: Colorado Rockies
Position: Shortstop
Card: 1995 SP Championship
Number: #43
Status: n/a
Beckett Hi Value: $0.40
Comments: Yet another gimmic set like Select Certified, Collector's Choice SE, and on and on.

Name: Paul Molitor
Team: Toronto Blue Jays
Position: Designated Hitter
Card: 1995 SP
Number: #203
Status: n/a
Beckett Hi Value: $0.40
Comments: I always liked SP but have to question the design with the writing on the left side cutting in to the picture


Name: Tony Gwynn
Team: San Diego Padres
Position: Outfield
Card: 1995 Stadium Club
Number: #475
Status: n/a
Beckett Hi Value: $1.00
Comments: Who shrunk Tony Gwynn?  Ok, I'm mailing it in at this point.


Name: Rickey Henderson
Team: Oakland Athletics
Position: Outfield
Card: 1995 Studio
Number: #123
Status: n/a
Beckett Hi Value: $1.00
Comments: Had given up on this product by now, but I have to say I really like this design

Name: Ben McDonald
Team: Baltimore Orioles
Position: Starting Pitcher
Card: 1995 Score
Number: #4
Status: n/a
Beckett Hi Value: $0.15
Comments: Man, I hope his teammates gave him sh*t over doing the whole put your hand behind your bicep "trick" to make it look bigger

Name: Carlos Beltran/Juan LeBron
Team: Kansas City Royals
Position: Outfield
Card: 1995 Topps Traded
Number: #12T (LeBron), #18T (Beltran)
Status: Rookie Card Errors
Beckett Hi Value: LeBron $6.00/Beltran $12.00
Comments: Yep, Topps Traded did the a big mix up putting Beltran on LeBron's card and LeBron on Beltran's card and was never corrected.

Name: Mark McGwire
Team: Oakland Athletics
Position: First Base
Card: 1995 UC3
Number: #51
Status: n/a
Beckett Hi Value: $2.00
Comments: Kind of like Sportsflics I guess...no thanks

Name: Sammy Sosa
Team: Chicago Cubs
Position: Outfield
Card: 1995 Ultra
Number: #139
Status: n/a
Beckett Hi Value: $0.75
Comments: Ultra won't find a place in the market until the David Ortiz rookie card in '97 and they start short printing cards in'98

Name: Bobby Higginson
Team: Detroit Tigers
Position: Outfield
Card: 1995 Upper Deck
Number: #233
Status: Rookie Card
Beckett Hi Value: $0.75
Comments: I can't recall which I did more, liked Bobby Higginson or hated him...

Name: Kirby Puckett
Team: Minnesota Twins
Position: Outfield
Card: 1995 Zenith
Number: #65
Status: n/a
Beckett Hi Value: $1.00
Comments: See SP Championship comment



Stepping Back To 1994 ( Baseball Cards)
So 1994 hits and I've lost all interest in baseball cards for the most part as I graduated from high school that year, went to college, and the baseball strike it.  So with little income, no baseball, and the card market expanding to 21! regular season releases I can't say I had many of these cards outside of Upper Deck.  New for 1994 was Bowman's Best a super premium release from Bowman (Topps), Collector's Choice which was a ho-hum release from Upper Deck, Leaf Limited a similar type release to Bowman's Best, and  one of the ugliest releases of all-time...Pacific.

Here's some impact cards from '94 as well as examples of some of the other manufactures (although I can't bring myself to post any of Triple Play or Fun Pack):

Name: Jorge Posada
Team: New York Yankees
Position: Catcher
Card: 1994 Bowman
Number: #38
Status: Rookie Card
Becket Hi Value: $8.00
Comments: Only his Bowman Best rookie card is worth more ($10)
Name: Jeff Bagwell
Team: Houston Astros
Position: First Base
Card: 1994 Bowman's Best
Number: R53
Status: n/a
Beckett Hi Value: $0.75
Comments: '94 was the first big year of Bagwell's career with 39 dingers
Name: Cal Ripken Jr.
Team: Baltimore Oriokes
Position: Shortstop
Card: 1994 Collector's Choice
Number: 240
Status: n/a
Beckett Hi Value: $1.50
Comments: I'm pretty sure he's on the phone with Zack Morris or maybe Mr. Belding
Name: Ozzie Smith
Team: St. Louis Cardinals
Position: Shortstop
Card: 1994 Donruss
Number: #35
Status: n/a
Becket Hi Value: $1.25
Comments: Great photo and believe Donruss actually started to cut back on production at this standpoint

Name: Barry Bonds
Team: San Francisco Giants
Position: Outfield
Card: 1994 Finest
Number: #230
Status: n/a
Becket Hi Value: $8.00
Comments: Another very good release from Finest, however the rookie card selection is missing

Name: Alan Trammell
Team: Detroit Tigers
Position: Shortstop
Card: 1994 Flair
Number: #53
Status: n/a
Becket Hi Value: $0.50
Comments: My Tiger card for the year, Flair was a pretty nice release with a thick card stock, good photography, but missing on rookie selection

Name: Mark McGwire
Team: Oakland Athletics
Position: First Base
Card: 1994 Fleer
Number: #268
Status: n/a
Becket Hi Value: $2.00
Comments: Big Mac still looking pretty small on his card in '94 and a pretty basic release for Fleer

Name: Roberto Alomar
Team: Toronto Blue Jays
Position: Second Base
Card: 1994 Leaf Limited
Number: #75
Status: n/a
Becket Hi Value: $1.50
Comments: Very similar to Flair and Finest, Limited was a high quality release with a small production run

Name: Mike Piazza
Team: Los Angeles Dodgers
Position: Catcher
Card: 1994 Leaf
Number: #436
Status: n/a
Becket Hi Value: $1.50
Comments: '94 must be the year for ugly products

Name: Don Mattingly
Team: New York Yankees
Position: First Base
Card: 1994 Pacific
Number: #430
Status: n/a
Becket Hi Value: $1.25
Comments: The worst looking release of the group

Name: Trot Nixon
Team: Boston Red Sox
Position: Outfield
Card: 1994 Pinnacle
Number: #270
Status: n/a
Becket Hi Value: $1.25
Comments: A very clean look from Pinnacle and great photo quality.  By the way, I was pushing for my son's name to be Trot, my wife didn't buy it

Name: Derrek Lee
Team: San Diego Padres
Position: First Base
Card: 1994 Score
Number: #585
Status: Rookie Card
Becket Hi Value: $1.50
Comments: Lee struggled in 2011 and 2011, but lets not forget he is a career .281 hitter with 331 home runs

Name: Barry Bonds
Team: San Francisco Giants
Position: Outfield
Card: 1994 Select
Number: #211
Status: n/a
Becket Hi Value: $2.00
Comments: His head still looks normal, no GHB yet...

Name: Alex Rodriguez
Team: Seattle Mariners
Position: Shortstop
Card: 1994 SP
Number: #15
Status: Rookie Card
Becket Hi Value: $80.00
Comments: Before ARod's injuries and admitted steroid use, this card would book for $100 easily

Name: Ken Griffey Jr.
Team: Seattle Mariners
Position: Outfield
Card: 1994 Stadium Club
Number: #85
Status: n/a
Becket Hi Value: $1.25
Comments: As the materials in the cards become a bit more quality and the production starts to drop, cards values start to increase.  This is a prime example.

Name: Barry Larkin
Team: Cincinnati Reds
Position: Shortstop
Card: 1994 Studio
Number: #168
Status: n/a
Becket Hi Value: $0.50
Comments: Just loved the sleeveless Cinci pinstripes

Name: Derek Jeter
Team: New York Yankees
Position: Shortstop
Card: 1994 Topps
Number: #158
Status: n/a
Becket Hi Value: $3.00
Comments: Lets me honest, this card gets its value from Orlando Miller's career .259 average and 24 career homers that or add up the other 3 guys on here and see if they equal that of a five seasons for Jeter

Name: Wade Boggs
Team: New York Yankees
Position: Third Base
Card: 1994 Ultra
Number: #93
Status: n/a
Becket Hi Value: $0.50
Comments: Ultra really didn't become all that relevant until they started short printing cards later in the '90's, we'll get to that...

Name: Jose Canseco
Team: Texas Rangers
Position: Outfield
Card: 1994 Upper Deck
Number: #140
Status: n/a
Becket Hi Value: $0.50
Comments: Yep, one of those WTF cards...

Name: Michael Jordan
Team: Chicago White Sox
Position: Outfield
Card: 1994 Upper Deck
Number: #19
Status: Rookie Card
Becket Hi Value: $8.00
Comments: Yes, you weren't tripping on acid in '94 (or maybe you were but..) Jordan actually quit basketball to give baseball a try (that or he was quietly suspended for gambling)
If you're keeping track of how the market took off from an annul manufactured set release, here's a simple line graph to display what I've been complaining about.  The BLUE line represents sets like Topps, Donruss, SP, etc.   The RED line represents releases like Topps, Donruss, SP, but also includes late year sets like Topps Traded, Donruss Rookies, etc


Stepping Back To 1993 ( Baseball Cards)
The year is 1993 and the baseball card market is exploding with new releases not to mentioned I'm a junior going in to my senior year of high school so the baseball card collecting thing starts to slow down a little bit for me for the next five or six years.  So forgive me if I leave some things out as my finances were limited and was focusing my attention elsewhere at times.  What I can tell you about 1993 is a few things happened that impacted the Baseball card market.  The first was Derek Jeter's rookie year was in '93 and most standard issues caught wind of Jeter early on and included him.  The second was the release of the ultra scarce (meaning a little more expensive) SP product by Upper Deck.  Finally with the SP release as well as the other premium releases of Finest, Flair, to go along with the cheaper product releases of Select, and Fun Pack, the card market had now bloated to 17 standard releases!

Again, here are some of the more impactful cards from '93, a rookie bust or two, and some others just mixed in...

Name: Albert Belle
Team: Cleveland Indians
Position: Outfield
Card: 1993 Leaf
Number: #18
Status: n/a
Beckett Hi Value: $0.30
Comments: One of the best hitters in the game but retired early at the age of 34 with degenerative osteoarthritis in his hip
Name: Preston Wilson
Team: New York Mets
Position: Outfield
Card: 1993 Bowman
Number: #594
Status: Rookie Card
Beckett Hi Value: $1.50
Comments: Was named the top high school player in the country in '92 and was drafted by the Mets in the first round
Name: Armando Reynoso
Team: Colorado Rockies
Position: Starting Pitcher
Card: 1993 Donruss
Number: #752
Status: n/a
Beckett Hi Value: $0.10
Comments: Chose this card not only because this is another fine example of a great mustache but also because it was an expansion card for the first year Colorado Rockies

Name: Mike Piazza
Team: Los Angeles Dodgers
Position: Catcher
Card: 1993 Finest
Number: #199
Status: n/a
Beckett Hi Value: $15.00
Comments: Not a rookie card as Bowman beat everyone to the punch in '92 but a significant card none the least as it was a premium release by Topps
Name: Cal Ripken Jr.
Team: Baltimore Orioles
Position: Shortstop
Card: 1993 Flair
Number: #157
Status: n/a
Beckett Hi Value: $4.00
Comments: Flair was a premium release by Fleer, printed on very thick stock and a limited amount of cards in the set

Name: Nolan Ryan
Team: Texas Rangers
Position: Starting Pitcher
Card: 1993 Fleer
Number: #690
Status: n/a
Beckett Hi Value: $2.00
Comments: Really a boring release from Fleer again and simple design
Name: Jason Kendall
Team: Pittsburgh Pirates
Position: Catcher
Card: 1993 Pinnacle
Number: #458
Status: Rookie Card
Beckett Hi Value: $1.25
Comments: Pinnacle had a cool look to it as it built off of it's '92 all black design.  Kendall was taking the league by storm as he was a catcher who could actually run
Name: David Nied
Team: Colorado Rockies
Position: Starting Pitcher
Card: 1993 Score
Number: #553
Status: n/a
Beckett Hi Value: $0.10
Comments: Nied was a prospect with the Braves but was left open for the Expansion draft and was the #1 selection by the Rockies (I'll bet you can't guess who the Marlins was without looking it up...answer at the bottom)
Name: Ozzie Guillen
Team: Chicago White Sox
Position: Shortstop
Card: 1993 Select
Number: #128
Status: n/a
Beckett Hi Value: $0.20
Comments: Another attempt by Score at a bit of a more premium card
Name: Derek Jeter
Team: New York Yankees
Position: Shortstop
Card: 1993 SP Foil
Number: #279
Status: Rookie Card
Beckett Hi Value: $150.00
Comments: Very similar to Finest, SP was a premium product with limited production.  This card is valued so high also as it is tough to find in great condition  because the foil tends to show dings and bends
Name: Johnny Damon
Team: Kansas City Royals
Position: Outfield
Card: 1993 SP Foil
Number: #273
Status: Rookie Card
Beckett Hi Value: $8.00
Comments: Damon's only rookie card in '93
Name: Rickey Henderson
Team: Oakland Athletics
Position: Outfield
Card: 1993 Stadium Club
Number: #8
Status: n/a
Beckett Hi Value: $2.50
Comments: Stadium Club photography has always been great and this is just another example of it.


Name: Tony Gwynn
Team: San Diego Padres
Position: Outfield
Card: 1993 Studio
Number: #100
Status: n/a
Beckett Hi Value: $0.75
Comments: A decent release, however Studio's "thing" was not showing shots on the field

Name: Chad Mottola
Team: Cincinnati Reds
Position: Outfield
Card: 1993 Topps
Number: #56
Status: Rookie Card
Beckett Hi Value: $0.10
Comments: The #5 pick in the '92 draft is a prime example of a bust as his cards were in the $2 range when first released, but Chad only played 59 games in the Majors and could be described as a quad-A player

Name: Todd Helton
Team: Team USA
Position: First Base
Card: 1993 Topps Traded
Number: #19T
Status: Traded/Rookie Card/Olympic Card
Beckett Hi Value: $10.00
Comments: So in college, my team played at a school in Tennessee in which Todd Helton had played against as well and legend had it that he hit a ball so far over the right field fence that it crossed the street and on top of one of the houses.    Been a fan ever since...

Name: J.T. Snow
Team: New York Yankees
Position: First Base
Card: 1993 Upper Deck
Number: #23
Status: Rookie Card
Beckett Hi Value: $0.75
Comments: Snow, a top defender at first was traded from the Yankees as part of the Jim Abbott deal and played 16 years in the show

Name: Tim Salmon
Team: Los Angeles Angels
Position: Outfield
Card: 1993 Upper Deck
Number: #25
Status: Rookie Card
Beckett Hi Value: $0.30
Comments: Salmon hit 31 homers as a rookie and won Rookie of the Year honors taking his rookie card up to $5.00.  Salmon is considered one of the best Angels of all-time

*Answer to the above question...is Nigel Wilson who was in the New York Mets system
-sK

Stepping Back To 1992 ( Baseball Cards)
1992 is yet another good example of the card manufactures over producing.  Ultra and Upper Deck "hi" had a lot of hoopla around it with cards seemingly scarce for Ultra and the inserts for Upper Deck hi, specifically the Ted Williams Best and Frank Thomas/Tom Selleck cards.  In the end there were 13 products in total for the year with Score's Pinnacle and Donruss's Triple Play (ugh) making their debuts and Bowman was truly the only impactful brand that still carries any dollar value weight for the year.

Since there are so many brands at this point I am going to try to pick either rookie cards or maybe memorable cards as well as show one card from each manufactures design.

Name: Mariano Rivera
Team: New York Yankees
Position: Relief Pitcher
Card: 1992 Bowman
Number: #302
Status: Rookie Card
Beckett Hi Value: $50.00
Comments: The home of the rookie card got it right again with Rivera.  Bowman scared collectors away with its previous two years releases and scarcity drives value here


Name: Barry Bonds
Team: Pittsburgh Pirates
Position: Outfield
Card: 1992 Donruss
Number: #243
Status: n/a
Beckett Hi Value: $1.00
Comments: Another ho-hum release from Donruss

Name: Travis Fryman
Team: Detroit Tigers
Position: Third Base
Card: 1992 Leaf
Number: #304
Status: n/a
Beckett Hi Value: $0.15
Comments: Released in two series, had a parallel "black gold" series

Name: Tom Glavine
Team: Atlanta Braves
Position: Starting Pitcher
Card: 1992 Score Dream Team
Number: #890
Status: Dream Team Subset
Beckett Hi Value: $0.10
Comments: Loved this card when it came out.  Glavine I believe had a chance to play pro hockey with Kings as well

Name: Brien Taylor
Team: New York Yankees
Position: Pitcher
Card: 1992 Topps
Number: #6
Status: Rookie Card
Beckett Hi Value: $0.25
Comments: The #1 overall draft pick in the '91 draft and was only the second #1 pick to never make the Majors (Steve Chilcott '66) = Rookie Bust

Name: Cal Ripken Jr.
Team: Baltimore Orioles
Position: Shortstop
Card: 1992 Topps Gold
Number: #40
Status: Gold Insert
Beckett Hi Value: $30.00
Comments: Inserted in to random Topps packs, the Ripken card pictured with Gehrig did a bit of foreshadowing

Name: Carlos Delgado
Team: Toronto Blue Jays
Position: Catcher
Card: 1992 Bowman
Number: #127
Status: Rookie Card
Beckett Hi Value: $10.00
Comments: Like Rivera, this is Delgado's only rookie card in '92

Name: Cecil Fielder
Team: Detroit Tigers
Position: First Base
Card: 1992 Upper Deck
Number: #255
Status: n/a
Beckett Hi Value: $0.10
Comments: Kind of random with the San Diego Chicken

Name: David McCarty
Team: Minnesota Twins
Position: First Base
Card: 1992 Upper Deck
Number: #75
Status: Rookie Card
Beckett Hi Value: $0.25
Comments: The only RC for the #3 draft pick of the '91 draft who never amounted to more then a utility player in the Majors but his rookie cards were hot early on.  BUST

Name: Frank Thomas/Tom Selleck
Team: Umm...New York Yankees
Position: First Base
Card: 1992 Upper Deck SP
Number: #SP4
Status: SP Insert
Beckett Hi Value: $1.00
Comments: This card was as hot as they came in '92 when it booked for as high as $20 at one point

Name: Jeff Bagwell
Team: Houston Astros
Position: First Base
Card: 1992 Upper Deck Williams Best
Number: #T12
Status: Williams Best Insert
Beckett Hi Value: $1.25
Comments: Back before insert seeding was put on a pack, these cards got to be very hot at the card shows ranging from $5-$10 each before falling back to earth

Name: Ken Griffey Jr.
Team: Seattle Mariners
Position: Outfield
Card: 1992 Ultra
Number: #123
Status: n/a
Beckett Hi Value: $0.75
Comments: In '92 this card may have booked for more like $2-$3 because it was a high quality card but print production screwed that up

Name: Manny Ramirez
Team: Cleveland Indians
Position: Outfield
Card: 1992 Pinnacle
Number: #295
Status: Rookie Card
Beckett Hi Value: $4.00
Comments: Not his only rookie card in '92 but one of a few.  Pinnacle brought a nice quality card to Score and had some hot inserts like Team Pinnacle that year

Name: Mike Piazza
Team: Los Angeles Dodgers
Position: Catcher
Card: 1992 Bowman
Number: #461
Status: Rookie Card
Beckett Hi Value: $20.00
Comments: Piazza's only true rookie card in '92 as the rest lived in either update, rookie, or traded sets

Name: Mitch Williams
Team: Philadelphia Phillies
Position: Relief Pitcher
Card: 1992 Studio
Number: #80
Status: n/a
Beckett Hi Value: $0.10
Comments: Just have to love the 'stache and headband looks

Name: Nolan Ryan
Team: Texas Rangers
Position: Starting Pitcher
Card: 1992 Fleer Pro Vision
Number: #710
Status: Pro Vision Subset
Beckett Hi Value: $0.50
Comments: Just loved the smoke coming off the ball

Name: Sammy Sosa
Team: Chicago Cubs
Position: Outfield
Card: 1992 Stadium Club
Number: #628
Status: n/a
Beckett Hi Value: $0.50
Comments: SC was released later in the year as Sammy was in a White Sox uniform for his early releases

Name: Shawn Green
Team: Toronto Blue Jays
Position: Outfield
Card: 1992 Upper Deck
Number: #55
Status: Rookie Card
Beckett Hi Value: $1.00
Comments: Green had some amazing years for the Jays and Dodgers and looked like he could gain Hall of Fame type consideration but chose to retire at the age of 34 to spend more time with his family

-sK



STEPPING BACK TO 1991 (2.16.12)
The title may be a little dramatic but 1991 is a very good year to start looking at the death of the baseball card and card collecting as we know it.  The previous three years saw a new product released (two in 1989) each year for a 1990 total of six.  In 1991 that exploded with the launch of four more product releases in Stadium Club a Topps premium release, Ultra which was Fleer's premium release, Studio which I guess was a half ass'd attempt by Donruss to do something different and O-Pee-Chee Premier which who knows what that was supposed to be.  That made TEN regular releases not including update, rookie, or traded sets and make things worse, the manufactures saw what Leaf did in 1990 broke up the release of the sets in two series which allowed for series one to be released early in the year (or previous year as I remember getting a box of 1991 Donruss for Christmas in 1990) and then update with late free agent signings in series 2.  To make things worse, the manufactures outside of Topps decided to take the 660 card base sets and expand them.  Score went as far as making their 1991 release a 881 card base set!  This is the first time that baseball cards didn't feel like it had a personal connection with me and the businessmen took over to make a buck.  Furthermore, 1991 was a pretty bad year for rookies in the standard sets, even the big buzz and bust guys so the product felt somewhat flat unless you picked up the update/traded/rookie sets.

The two things that I saw went right in '91 was actually breaking apart the product releases to two series and even though it meant for many years that I would only buy a box from one series or the other I like that you could get players cards on the updated teams.  The second thing that I think went right and this is even taken to an extreme in the future years is the insert cards.  Each product had at least one set of insert cards while others like Fleer may have had two or three.

Below is a mixture of some of my favorite cards and impactful cards from 1991...


 Player: Michael Jordan
 Team: Chicago Bulls
 Position: Shooting Guard
 Card: 1991 Upper Deck
 Number: SP1
 Status: SP Insert
 Beckett Hi Value: $8.00
 Comments: And we only thought Jordan was kidding about trying to play baseball professionally.  He proved us wrong in 1994 (kind of)



 

 Player: Todd Van Poppel
 Team: Oakland Athletics
 Position: Starting Pitcher
 Card: 1991 Score
 Number: #369
 Status: Rookie Card
 Beckett Hi Value: $.25
 Comments: The 14th overall draft pick from 1990 actually pitched 11 seasons but never really found it (other then 2001) with a career 40-52 W/L and a 5.58 ERA.  I bet Voss has a ton of these babies in his closet
Player: Steve Lake
Team: Philadelphia Phillies
Position: Catcher
Card: 1991 Studio
Number: #216
Status: n/a
Beckett Hi Value: $.10
Comments: This is one of those wtf cards...


Player: Ryan Klesko
Team: Atlanta Braves
Position: First Base
Card: 1991 Leaf Gold Rookies
Number: #BC21
Status: Insert - Gold Rookies
Beckett Hi Value: $1.50
Comments: Klesko had a lot of fanfare in '91 as he was known as a potential big time power hitter and he didn't fail at that having some big years for Atlanta and San Diego

Player: Rico Brogna
Team: Detroit Tigres
Position: First Base
Card: 1991 Upper Deck
Number: #73
Status: Rookie Card
Beckett Hi Value: $.05
Comments: Brogna was supposed to be Detroit's next big star as he was rumored to have the bat and glove to be an impactful big leaguer.  Rico did have a couple 100 RBI seasons, but they were in a Phillies uniform as he only played nine games in Detroit and was traded away

Player: Phil Plantier
Team: Boston Red Sox
Position: Outfield
Card: 1991 Fleer
Number: #107
Status: Rookie Card
Beckett Hi Value: $.25
Comments: Plantier came out blazing in 53 games during the 1991 season where he hit .331 and clobbered 11 home runs but the .331 average was by far and away his best season (.257 in '95 was next best) and he hit 34 homers in '93 but just 91 for his 8-year career.  BUST

Player: Pedro Martinez
Team: Los Angeles Dodgers
Position: Starting Pitcher
Card: 1991 Upper Deck Final Edition
Number: #2F
Status: Rookie Card/Final Edition
Beckett Hi Value: $8.00
Comments: This card has significance for a few reasons, the first being it's Pedro's rookie card, second because it is from Upper Deck's Final Edition set which only lived for one year, and lastly it captures Pedro in a Dodger hat before he was traded to Montreal

Player: Mike Mussina
Team: Baltimore Orioles
Position: Starting Pitcher
Card: 1991 Ultra Update
Number: #4
Status: Rookie Card
Beckett Hi Value: $5.00
Comments: Ultra missed Mussina in their regular season release but caught his rookie in its update set

Player: Jim Thome
Team: Cleveland Indians
Position: Third Base
Card: 1991 Bowman
Number: #68
Status: Rookie Card
Beckett Hi Value: $5.00
Comments: Bowman lived up to their phrase "home of the rookie card" with Thome as this was his only true rookie card in '91.  A Thome rookie could be found in Upper Deck's Final Edition set as well.

Player: Jeff Bagwell
Team: Houston Astros
Position: First Base
Card: 1991 Stadium Club
Number: #388
Status: Rookie Card
Beckett Hi Value: $3.00
Comments: Stadium Club is one of three regular season card issues (Studio & Upper Deck)that contained Bagwell rookies, otherwise you'd need to check update or traded sets.  Stadium Club booked much higher in '91 as scarcity concerns were abundant for this premium type card
Player: Ivan Rodriguez
Team: Texas Rangers
Position: Catcher
Card: 1991 Bowman
Number: #272
Status: Rookie Card
Beckett Hi Value: $4.00
Comments: This is Pudge's only true rookie card as Bowman did it once again but the other manufacturer's would catch up with their Rookies/Update/Traded sets late in '91

Player: Frank Thomas
Team: Chicago White Sox
Position: First Base
Card: 1991 O-Pee-Chee Premier
Number: #121
Status: n/a
Beckett Hi Value: $.50
Comments: These cards skyrocketed when they were first released based on the perceived scarcity that the earlier Hockey release had, not the case and a one time Frank Thomas card that booked for $10 is now $.50

Player: Chipper Jones
Team: Atlanta Braves
Position: Shortstop
Card: 1991 Topps
Number: #333
Status: Rookie Card
Beckett Hi Value: $3.00
Comments: Topps along with Score, Bowman, and Upper Deck caught Jones before he actually was pictured in a professional jersey for his rookie card in '91.  Be on the look out for a Desert Shield variation of this card that books for $200 and was released to the soldiers over in Iraq during the campaign

Player: Cecil Fielder
Team: Detroit Tigers
Position: First Base
Card: 1991 Donruss Diamond Kings
Number: #3
Status: n/a
Beckett Hi Value: $.05
Comments:  Needed to fit in Donruss somehow to my listings but overall it was a boring set with poor rookie selection






-sK
A box of unopened 1990 Leaf
STEPPING BACK TO 1990 (2.15.12)
Taking a step back once again to look at the 1990 baseball card releases and a year that saw another new product release in the premium and scarcely found brand of Leaf.  I'll never forget that it was my 14th birthday and my grandma asked what I wanted and you guessed it, a box of Leaf.  The cards were very clean and based on a limited print run so the prices for these cards were going through the roof at times, especially catching key rookies like Frank Thomas, Sammy Sosa, and Larry Walker.

Outside of the Leaf set, the other big news that I recall for the year was the Bo Jackson black and white card and what was rumored a limited quantity of Score being released which sent boxes and packs upward in cost as it did to the individual players cards.  The industry learned later on that it was just a rumor and there was in fact no scarcity or limited number of cards produced as the market reset over time.

Here's a look at some of the more impactful cards as well as some of the rookie busts as the 1990 sets were great for rookie cards now and then.

Name: Todd Zeile
Team: St. Louis Cardinals
Position: Third Base
Card: 1990 Topps
Number: #162
Status: Rookie Card
Beckett Hi Value: $.10
Comments: Zeilie came up with a lot of hype and expectations after hitting 77 home runs in his first four minor league seasons but Zeile was injured a bit through his prime years and although he had a solid 16 season career, he never amounted to collectors expectations

Name: Sammy Sosa
Team: Chicago White Sox
Position: Outfield
Card: 1990 Leaf
Number: #220
Status: Rookie Card
Beckett Hi Value: $12.00
Comments: Sosa's card was once in the $60 range but fell based on the steroids allegations and the perceived scarcity diminishing a little bit for the Leaf set
Name: Frank Thomas
Team: Chicago White Sox
Position: First Base
Card: 1990 Topps NNOF
Number: #414A
Status: ERR/Rookie Card
Beckett Hi Value: $700.00
Comments: Notice something missing?   So did Topps, but not before a few of these slipped out the door




Name: Reggie Jackson
Team: n/a
Position: Outfield
Card: 1990 Upper Deck Heroes Checklist
Number: #9
Status: Heroes Insert
Beckett Hi Value: $1.50
Comments: Thought this was significant as it basically was the start to insert cards and autographs being stuffed in packs

Name: Mo Vaughn
Team: Boston Red Sox
Position: First Base
Card: 1990 Bowman
Number: #275
Status: Rookie Card
Beckett Hi Value: $1.00
Comments: Mo was a perennial MVP for quite a few of his prime years and flamed out at the age of 35

Name: Marquis Grissom
Team: Montreal Expos
Position: Outfield
Card: 1990 Upper Deck
Number: #9
Status: Rookie Card
Beckett Hi Value: $.50
Comments: Grissom was one of three amazing Expos rookies in 1990 (Deshields & Walker) and had a good career but the power never came around until his speed started to fall of.  Still Grissom had 76 and 78 steals in '91 & '92

Name: Larry Walker
Team: Montreal Expos
Position: Outfield
Card: 1990 Fleer
Number: #363
Status: Rookie Card
Beckett Hi Value: $1.00
Comments: Walker was the best of the bunch for Montreal and went on to hit 383 home runs with a career .313 average and an MVP award

Name: Kevin Maas
Team: New York Yankees
Position: Outfield
Card: 1990 Upper Deck
Number: #70
Status: Rookie Card
Beckett Hi Value: $.25
Comments: If you don't remember Kevin Maas that's ok as Maas had a short 5-year career but took the league by storm when he set the record for quickest player to hit 10 home runs (72 at bats) and then also to 13 (110)  and 15 (133) dingers.  Maas of course couldn't continue that pace the following season and although he hit 23 homers in '91, he did it in 500 at bats and hit .220

Name: Juan Gonzalez
Team: Texas Rangers
Position: Outfield
Card: 1990 Topps
Number: #331
Status: Rookie Card
Beckett Hi Value: $1.00
Comments: Gonzalez had Hall of Fame power when he was on the field, however injuries and later on steroid implications hindered him but not enough to win the MVP twice.  And then there was his time in Detroit..ugh
Name: Delino Deshields
Team: Montreal Expos
Position: Second Base
Card: 1990 Donruss
Number: #42
Status: Rookie Card
Beckett Hi Value: $.25
Comments: Deshields had a ton of speed and a decent bat as he came up and wasn't the hot rookie bust that an Eric Anthony was but did enough to finish 2nd place in the Rookie of the Year voting and showed a bunch of promise but never really improved upon it.  Deshields did steal 463 bases over his 13 year career
Name: Eric Anthony
Team: Houston Astros
Position: Outfield
Card: 1990 Topps
Number: #608
Status: Rookie Card
Beckett Hi Value: $.10
Comments: Anthony was one of the hottest rookies when this set was released after he had hit 88 home runs in his three previous minor league seasons but Eric was more like a quad-A player as he couldn't transition to the pro game and although he reached double digits in home runs 5 times in his 9 year career, he only had a career .231 average which equals a rookie BUST
Name: Bo Jackson
Team: Kansas City Royals
Position: Outfield
Card: 1990 Score FB/BB
Number: #697
Status: n/a
Beckett Hi Value: $.50
Comments: Between the rumors of the scarcity of the Score product and this card, in its heyday this card could fetch $5 easily
Name: Cecil Fielder
Team: Detroit Tigers
Position: First Base
Card: 1990 Bowman
Number: #357
Status: n/a
Beckett Hi Value: $.10
Comments: Besides Leaf, this was big daddy's only regular released card in 1990
Name: Bernie Williams
Team: New York Yankees
Position: Outfield
Card: 1990 Score
Number: #619
Status: Rookie Card
Beckett Hi Value: $1.50
Comments: Bernie really didn't start to get recognized as a good ballplayer until '95 and you could say that may have hurt his chances at being a Hall of Famer as he picked up power  in his late-20's and recorded five 100 RBI seasons.  Did you also know Bernie was a musician?  Sorry I couldn't resist, as it seems like that is always brought up with his name

Name: Ben McDonald
Team: Baltimore Orioles
Position: Starting Pitcher
Card: 1990 Upper Deck
Number: #54B
Status: Rookie Card
Beckett Hi Value: $.25
Comments: McDonald was another hot rookie coming up as he had played for LSU and just led the Olympic team to a gold medal in 1988, not to mention he threw a complete game shutout in his first start.  Ben had a great season in 1990 where he was 8-5 with a 2.43 ERA but never really pulled it altogether and was out of baseball with shoulder problems by 1998. 
-sK
Boxes of  Upper Deck can be had on
Ebay for $88

STEPPING BACK TO 1989 (2.14.12)
This edition of stepping back takes me to 1989 and what was a revolutionary year for baseball cards with two major products entering the marketplace.  The first was 1989 Bowman, which quietly entered the market place with cards that were slightly overszied (2.5"x 3.75" vs. the standard 2.5"x 3.5") and focused mainly on rookies.  The product didn't receive much respect in the first few years until 1992 when the card was made in a premium format sending rookie card prices upward.

The second release was that of Upper Deck.  The first truly mainstream premium cards released.  I'll never forget my dad coming home and telling me he put a deposit on box for me and the box was going to cost a whopping $27 which was quite significant when you consider Topps boxes may have been going in the $15-$20 range.  The '89 Upper Deck changed the hobby altogether to the point that each manufacture was releasing premium and super premium annual sets to the way cards are packaged today (UD was foiled wrapped and sealed).

Below is a look at some impactful cards then and some still now for that matter...


Player: Randy Johnson
Team: Montreal Expos
Position: Starting Pitcher
Card: 1989 Topps
Number: #647
Status: Rookie Card
Beckett Hi Value: $2.00
Comments: Randy made 11 appearances for the Expos before being traded to the Mariners in 1989.  Randy's first Mariners cards can be found in the 1989 Traded sets

Player: Ricky Jordan
Team: Philadelphia Phillies
Position: First Base
Card: 1989 Score
Number: #548
Status: Rookie Card
Beckett Hi Value: $.25
Comments: Played for the Phillies for 8 seasons but his 11 home runs in and .308 average in 1988 had colletors looking for his rookies but Jordan didn't like the walk very much and suffered because of it.  Over his career, Jordan was a .281 hitter but knocked only 55 our of the park and took 77 walks in 2200+ plate apperances...BUST




Player: Curt Schilling
Team: Baltimore Orioles
Position: Starting Pitcher
Card: 1989 Donruss
Number: #635
Status: Rookie Card
Beckett Hi Value: $4.00
Comments: Schilling's only 1989 card and yes he came up in the Orioles system before being traded to the Hoston Astros in 1991.
Player: Paul Gibson
Team: Detroit Tigers
Position: Relief Pitcher
Card: 1989 Score
Number: #595A
Status: n/a
Beckett Hi Value: $1.00
Comments: What, $1.00 for a Paul Gibson card?  Take a look at shortstop Luis Salazar behind Gibson.  See what he's grabbing?  The reason this card is $1 is that Score actually airbrushed Salazar's leg which was the more produced version (valued at $.05)


Player: Nolan Ryan
Team: Houston Astros
Position: Starting Pitcher
Card: 1989 Upper Deck
Number: #145
Status: n/a
Beckett Hi Value: $4.00
Comments: I chose this card as it was the first "3x" card that Ryan did and besides something like a Sportsflics, there really wasn't anything like it at the time

Player: Jose Canseco
Team: Oakland Athletics
Position: Outfield
Card: 1989 Donruss 40/40
Number: #643
Status: 40/40
Beckett Hi Value: $.25
Comments: Canseco was the hottest name in 1989 besides Orel Hershiser who broke the record for scoreless innings, but Canseco's powe and speed made him the first 40/40 member

Player: Ken Griffey Jr.
Team: Seattle Mariners
Position: Outfield
Card: 1989 Upper Deck
Number: #1
Status: Rookie Card
Beckett Hi Value: $40.00
Comments: One of the most impactful cards in baseball history.  Griffey is a keystone to the Upper Deck set and it's popularity.  Griffey's card once "booked" for $100


Player: Chris Sabo
Team: Cincinati Reds
Position: Third Base
Card: 1989 Fleer
Number: #170
Status: Rookie Card
Beckett Hi Value: $.40
Comments: Not sure if it was the glasses or his abillity that made me a fan of Sabo or maybe because he was a UofM standout but I was always happy when I pulled a Sabo card from a pack.  "Spuds" won Rookie of the Year in 1988 and a key componant of the sucesful Reds teams from the early 90's
 

Name: John Smoltz
Team: Atlanta Braves
Position: Starting Pitcher
Card: 1989 Upper Deck
Number: #17
Status: Rookie Card
Beckett Hi Value: $5.00
Comments: Wasn't really aware that Smoltz was the key part to the Doyle Alexander trade at the time and not that it mattered.  I did become a Smoltz fan early on though from playing travel ball with his cousins


Player: Jim Abbott
Team: California Angels
Position: Starting Pitcher
Card: 1989 Topps
Number: #573
Status: Rookie Card
Beckett Hi Value: $1.00
Comments: Abbott was a popular card to collect for many reasons other then his handicap as he was a very good left handed pitcher for a while in the early '90's

Player: Jerome Walton
Team: Chicago Cubs
Position: Outfield
Card: 1989 Upper Deck (hi series)
Number: #765
Status: Rookie Card
Beckett Hi Value: $.50
Comments: Walton is another rookie card bust as his '89 Upper Deck card was booking for as much as $20, but that was based on an unfound sense of scarcity for the hi series cards.

Player: Jack Morris
Team: Detroit Tigers
Position: Starting Pitcher
Card: 1989 Bowman
Number: #93
Status: n/a
Beckett Hi Value: $.10
Comments: Just wanted to share some Tiger love and have a Bowman card on this list


Player: Dwight Smith
Team: Chicago Cubs
Position: Outfield
Card: 1989 Upper Deck (hi Series)
Number: #780
Status: Rookie Card
Beckett Hi Value: $.50
Comments: Like Jerome Walton, Smith's cards were booking at one time at $20.  Smith finished 2nd in Rookie of the Year voting in '89 with a .324 batting average

Name: Craig Biggio
Team: Houston Astros
Position: Catcher
Card: 1989 Donruss
Number: #561
Status: Rookie Card
Beckett Hi Value: $3.00
Comments: $3 for a rookie card of a guy in the 3,000 hit club, not bad.  I liked this card best of his '89 rookies since it shows him catching before his full time move to second base (and outfield) in 1992



Player: Bill Ripken
Team: Baltimore Orioles
Position: Second Base
Card: 1989 Fleer
Number: #616A
Status: "Fuck Face" Card
Beckett Hi Value: $30.00
Comments: You didn't think I would leave this card off this list did you?  I was lucky to pull this card at a card show right after there was a write up in the Detroit News about it and was one of the hottest cards ever with one of Billy's teammates playing the trick of writing F"uck Face" on the bottom of his bat knob.  There are actually six variations of this card with the most expensive being the white out on the knob which currently books for $120.

-sK
On the left is a open box of 1988 Score and on
the right is the cards on the bottom of the box


STEPPING BACK TO 1988 (2.13.12)
The year was 1988 and I was 12 years old and really getting in to baseball cards at this point.  What an exciting year this was as it was the first time that a new baseball card company was producing cards since 1981 when Donruss and Fleer joined Topps in putting out an annual set.  This time it was Score that would be putting a 660 multi-color card set and I was geeked to see it in the local card shops (you remember those right?) in their plactic baggy wrapper that included something like 15 cards and spotflic type trivia card.  I had my first job that year cutting lawns around the neighborhood and would hope to scrape together $15 each week so I could buy a box of ToppsDonruss, or Score (Fleer was always a little more expensive for some reason).  I'd get done with my last lawn and hop on my bike and head up to the store to see what magic could be pulled out of those boxes.   Here's a look at some memorable and not so memorable cards from 1988...
 
 Who: Tino Martinez
 Team: Team USA
 Position: First Base
 Card: 1988 Topps Traded Olympic
 Number: #66T
 Status: XRC
 Beckett Hi Value: $3.00
 Comments: Team USA Olympic cards are nothing new to Topps as they were part of the 1985 regular Topps issue (Mark McGwire), but this time Topps tossed them in to the traded set.




Who: Sam Horn
Team: Boston Red Sox
Position: First Base
Card: 1988 Topps
Number: #377
Status: Rookie Card
Beckett Value: $.10
Comments: Horn was the toast of baseball for a short while at the end of the '87 season when he hit 14 home runs in 46 games and knocked in 34 runs, of course he proceeded to hit a buck forty-eight the next two seasons and fell off the map until he landed in Baltimore in the early ninties for a couple of seasons.  Heck he even has a formum named after him by Red Sox fans called the sons of Sam Horn


 Who: Roberto Alomar
 Team: San Diego Padres
 Position: Shortstop???
 Card: 1988 Donruss Rated Rookies
 Number: #34
 Status: Rookie Card
 Beckett Value: $2.00
 Comments: That's right, Robbie Alomar was a Padre before a blockbuster trade sent him to the Toronto Blue Jays in a blockbuster off season trade before the 1991 season that included Alomar and Joe Carter for Fred McGriff and Tony Fernandez.  Side note...Alomar only actually played 5 games at shortstop over his career (in 1990).


 Who: Matt Nokes
 Team: Detroit Tigers
 Position: Catcher
 Card: 1988 Fleer All-Star
 Number: #1
 Status: All-Star insert
 Beckett Value: $1.50
 Comments: Nokes was coming off the best season of his career in '88 and all his cards were hot as had hit 32 homers and knocked in 87 for the Tigers in 1987.  Unfortunately all his numbers slipped in 1988 and never regained them in Detroit although he had a couple solid seasons with the Yankees in '91 & '92.


Who: Ken Caminii
 Team: Houston Astros
 Position: Third Base
 Card: 1988 Score
 Number: #164
 Status: Rookie Card
 Beckett Value: $2.00
 Comments: The 1996 NL MVP had some pretty solid seasons as a third baseman in the NL (only played 54 games in the AL) but only topped 100 RBI one time ('96) for his career and was hurt quite a bit later in career.  Caminiti may be best known however for his admittance to steroid use in a 2002 Sports Illustrated cover story and his death from a drug overdose in 2004.


Who: Ellis Burks
Team: Boston Red Sox
Position: Outfield
Card: 1988 Topps
Number: #269
Status: Rookie Card
Beckett Value: $.40
Comments: Burks was another of the young Boston Red Sox players to burst on the scene in 1987 as he hit 20 home runs and stole 27 bases for the Sox.  Burks improved his numbers in '88 and the Sox thought they had a 5-tool player in Ellis.  Injuries ate at Burks over his career and he only stole 20 or more bases twice again after the '88 season and his baseball cards never recovered.  Side note...before 1995, Burks never hit more then 21 home runs in a season ('90), but went on to hit 40 and 32 in 1996 & 1997 for the Colorado Rockies.
                                                     
Who: Tom Glavine
Team: Atlanta Braves
Position: Starting Pitcher
Card: 1988 Donruss
Number: #644
Status: Rookie Card
Beckett Value: $2.50
Comments: Glavine actually lost 21 of his first 30 decisions as a Major Leaguer, he then went on to only have 4 other losing seasons over a 22-year career where he racked up 305 victores, which was was 102 more then he lost.  The future Hall of Famer didn't have the ERA that former teammate Greg Maddux had but Glavine new how win and was a key factor in the Braves dynasty of the '90's

Who: Mark Grace (& Darrin Jackson)
Team: Chicago Cubs
Position: First Base
Card: 1988 Fleer
Number: #641
Status: Rookie Card
Beckett Value: $3.00
Comments: Grace wasn't quite a Hall of Famer but he played at a high level for many years and was a class act on and off the field.  A career .303 hitter, Grace never hit for power but had a knack for the double, racking up 511 for his career.
 Who: Robin Ventura
 Team: Team USA
 Position: Third Base
 Card: 1988 Topps Traded Olympic
 Number: #124T
 Status: XRC
 Beckett Value: $1.50
 Comments: Ventura had just won the Golden Spikes award (top college player) and was the 10th pick in the 1988 draft.  Ventura was a late September call-up in 1989 and traveled north with the White Sox in 1990 as the starting third baseman.  Robin, was partnered up with Frank Thomas in the early 90's (known as batman & Robin) and had some very productive years for the Sox and then the New York Mets.  Side Note: Ventura took over for Ozzie Guillen as manager of the White Sox for the 2012 season

Who: Tim Flannery
 Team: San Diego Padres
 Position: Second Base
 Card: 1988 Fleer
 Number: #582
 Status: n/a
 Beckett Value: $.20
 Comments: hmmmm

Who: Matt Williams
 Team: San Francisco Giants
 Position: Third Base
 Card: 1988 Fleer
 Number: #101
 Status: Rookie Card
 Beckett Value: $1.50
 Comments: Williams was one of those guys that didn't come out of the gates blazing but improved his game over his early years and then took off.  He took off so much that it was one of those times that you went back in to your cards to see what cards you had of him (this card was once $5).  Williams like Grace went on to have a very good career and played MVP type baseball for quite a few years.

Who: Greg Jefferies
Team: New York Mets
Position: Shortstop
Card: 1988 Donruss
Number: #657
Status: Rookie Card
Beckett Value: $.25
Comments: Unlike Matt Williams, Jefferies bust on the scene hitting .321 and hitting 6 homers over a 29 game late September call-up in 1988.  His rookie cards take off up to $5 in some cases and he comes out in '89 and hits .258 with 12 dingers.  Greg did have a prosperous 12 year career but never met that hype that surrounded him in '88.

Who: Edgar Martinez
 Team: Seattle Mariners
 Position: Third Base
 Card: 1988 Fleer
 Number: #378
 Status: Rookie Card
 Beckett Value: $5.00
 Comments: Can't really say I collected Martinez cards off the bat in '88 and probably didn't do so until the mid-ninties when he started racking up 100+ RBI seasons and hitting well over .300.  Martinez is one of those borderline Hall of Fame guys as his numbers indicate he could go in, but he accumulated them mostly as a designated hitter.

-sK


STEPPING BACK TO 1987 (2.6.12)
It's been a while but I wanted to get back to posting about some of my favorite baseball cards over the years with a follow up to my 1985 & 1986 posts with one for 1987.  These cards one way or another have resonated with me for some reason or another as so many had from this era.  My favorite player Mark McGwire as his first card since '85 in these sets and we see star power all over these sets with players making their first regular product debut (not traded or rookies) like Barry Bonds, Will Clark, Rafael Palmeiro, Greg Maddux, Barry Larkin, as well as the once "hot" Devon White, Billy Jo Robidoux, B.J. Surhoff, Pete Incaviglia, Greg Swindell, and the great Mike Greenwell.  I mean, do you remember when the prvious four mentioned were hot commodities and had cards just as expensive or more then guys like Palmeiro or Larkin.  Of course that was short lived like numerous other rookie busts, but cool to remember at the very least.  Ok, so here are some of my more memorable cards from 1987...

Who: Will Clark
Team: San Francisco Giants
Position: First Base
Card: 1987 Topps
Number: #420
Status: Rookie Card
Beckett Hi Value: $1
Comments: Will "the thrill" was one of my favorite players growing up as he burst on to the scene and looked like a Hall of Fame type player early in his career

Who: Ruben Sierra
Team: Texas Rangers
Position: Outfield
Card: 1987 Topps
Number: #261
Status: Rookie Card
Beckett Value: $.50
Comments: Ruben was another guy that had an amazing start to his career as he hit 30 home runs in '87 and 29 in '89

Who: Pete Incaviglia
Team: Texas Rangers
Position: Outfield
Card: 1987 Donruss
Number: #224
Status: Rookie Card
Beckett Value: $.40
Comments: Incaviglia broke the home run record for a season in college (for Oklahoma I believe) and was a hot name coming in to the season where he also hit well swatting 30 home runs in '86 which ended up being a career high followed up by 27 in '87.  In the end, Inky's strike outs got the best of him and he never hit more than 24 home runs in a season after 1993


Who: Mike Greenwell
Team: Boston Red Sox
Position: Outfield
Card: 1987 Topps
Number: #259
Status: Rookie Card
Beckett Value: $.25
Comments: Played his first full season in 1987 where he hit 19 home runs and compiled a .328 (career high), followed up by a 22 homer and 119 RBI campaign in 1988 where he hit .325 and it was all down hill from there...
Who: Lou Whitaker
Team: Detroit Tigers
Position: Second Base
Card: 1987 Topps
Number: #661
Status: n/a
Beckett Value: $.10
Comments: Had to throw a home town guy in here, especially in '87

Who: Bo Jackson
Team: Kansas City Royals
Position: Outfield
Card: 1987 Topps
Number: #170
Status: Rookie Card
Beckett Value: $3.00
Comments: Bo knows rookie cards and everybody wanted this back in the day as Bo dominated the sport until 1991, although his career batting average was only .250

Who: Barry Larkin
Team: Cincinnati Reds
Position: Shortstop
Card: 1987 Fleer
Number: #204
Status: Rookie Card
Beckett Value: $3.00
Comments: Had to include the Hall of Famer on this list although he didn't become a hot name until 1988 when he hit .296 with 12 dingers, and 40 steals while winning a Silver Slugger and becoming an All-Star

Who: Wally Joyner
Team: California Angels
Position: First Base
Card: 1987 Topps
Number: #80
Status: Rookie Card
Beckett Value: $.40
Comments: Wally could always hit for average, but in his second full year ('87) he knocked a career high 34 homers out of the park and added his second season of 100 RBI or more.  Ironically, it was also his last 100 RBI season and he never hit more then 21 homers ('91) and ended up with 204 for his career.

Who: Rafael Palmeiro
Team: Chicago Cubs
Position: Outfield
Card: 1987 Donruss Rated Rookies
Number: #43
Status: Rookie Card
Beckett Value: $4.00
Comments: Raffy could always hit, he just couldn't hit for power until he added some "bulk" in 1991 where he hit 26 home runs (previous career high was 14) and added 49 doubles.  Palmeiro had such an impressive career, it's just to bad he is tied to PED's


 Who: Mark McGwire
 Team: Oakland Athletics
 Position: First Base
 Card: 1987 Topps
 Number: #366
 Status: n/a
 Beckett Value: $4.00
 Comments: My favorite growing up, McGwire hit a rookie record 49 home runs in 1987 and was an instant success

 Who: Greg Maddux
 Team: Chicago Cubs
Position: Starting Pitcher
Card: 1987 Donruss Rated Rookies
Number: #36
Status: Rookie Card
Beckett Value: $10.00
Comments: Can't say I knew Maddux's name in '87 or until he landed on the Braves but the stache alone makes this card worthy of being on here not to mention he does not have standard set issue rookie for Topps or Fleer in '87.

Who: B.J. Surhoff
Team: Milwaukee Brewers
Position: Catcher
Card: 1987 Topps
Nunmber: #40
Status: Rookie Card
Beckett Value: $.40
Comments: For a catcher, Surhoff sprung up on the league with a .299 average 68 RBI's and even 10 steals in 1987.  Surhoff moved out from behind the plate in 1993 and had a solid career but little back up the potential card collectors had for B.J. in '87


Who: Barry Bonds
Team: Pittsburgh Pirates
Position: Outfield
Card: 1987 Fleer
Number: #604
Status: Rookie Card
Beckett Value: $12.00
Comments: Back when Bonds had a normal sized head he was still very damn good and in '87 slugged 25 home runs and stole 32 bases.  This card once booked for close to $60 but with the steroids implications has deflated in value over the years.  The '87 Fleer rookie card is still one of the most sought after cards from the '80's however.

- sK






BREAKING DOWN 2011 BOWMAN (6.7.11)
Well finally Bowman was released and was able to get my hands on a couple boxes although they're a hot commodity with the first card of Bryce Harper in licensed jersey not to mention one with his autograph (not pictured to the left) which recently sold on EBay for over $1000 and "booking" now for $800.  Boxes were up around $100 on eBay the first week of release and have decreased with more dealers getting their hands on the product.

Bowman boxes offered 1 autograph or "relic" card (bat, jersey, etc) and within each 10 card pack you will find a mix of standard set cards filled with today's top talent, prospect cards (like the Bryce Harper to the left, $20 btw), 2 chrome prospect cards, and other inserts.  I was lucky enough to pull 2 autographs, but not just any autograph of a prospect but a chrome blue refractor autograph of Brandon Belt, serial numbered to 150 with a Beckett value of $250.  Here's a break down of one of the boxes I purchased:
Box Cost: $75.00
Packs Per Box: 24
Cards Per Pack: 10
Cards Per Box: 240

Standard Cards
Rookie Cards: Trumbo, Schmidt, Morel, Halman, Maya, Revere, Romine, Bougusevic, Alonso, Descalso, Conger

Prospects
Prospects (49): Most notable, Harper,  Arcia, Chen
Chrome (41): Most notable, Goldschmidt, Cosart, Machado
Refractor:
Autograph Blue Refractor (1): Belt

Inserts:
Bowman Best (4): Utley, Hamilton, Heyward, Strasburg
Bowman Blue (1): Braun (serial numbered to 500)
Bowman's Brightest (3): Moustakas, Machado, Gyorko
Bowman Chrome Autograph (1): Jake McGee
Bowman Finest Futures (6): Matusz, Santana, Alvarez, Carter, Braun, Kershaw
Bowman Gold (24): Most notable, Posey, Strasburg, Heyward
Bowman International (2): Markakis, G. Sizemore
Bowman Topps 100 (8): Liddi, Norris, Myers, Flores, Harvey, Erlin, Withrow, Ackley
Bowman Topps of the Class (3): Sands, Trumbo, Rizzo

Total Beckett Value: $494.55

STEPPING BACK TO 1986 (5.24.11)
A couple weeks ago I listed a few of my favorite baseball cards from 1985 which was the first year I collected and wanted to carry that over to 1986 and on over the next few months as this seemed to have resonated with some readers.  '86 was a bad year for me as I was really getting in to cards and ugh, used rubber bands for my 1986 Topps cards (Donruss and Fleer were always a premium) so I tossed most of them over the years so please excuse me if this list is heavily Donruss Rookies and Topps Traded focused.  Here's my list of my favorite cards from the 1986 season...

Who: Jose Canseco
Team: Oakland Athletics
Position: OF
Card: 1986 Donruss Rated Rookies
Number: #39
Status: Rookie Card
Beckett Value: $10.00
Comments: This was it, if you had this card then you had one of the hottest cards of the late '80's as Jose busted on the scene and later was the first member of the 40/40 club in 1988.


Who: Alan Trammell
Team: Detroit Tigers
Position: Shortstop
Card: 1986 Donruss
Number: #171
Status: Standard
Beckett Value: $0.25
Comments: Was more of a Lance Parrish and Sweet Lou fan but loved this card for whatever reason

Who: Bo Jackson
Team: Kansas City Royals
Position: OF
Card: 1986 Donruss "The Rookies"
Number: #38
Status: XRC (Not an official rookie card as is comes from a subset)
Beckett Value: $5.00
Comments: Bo-mania occurred in the late '80's with Jackson playing two sports and dominating on the baseball diamond

Who: Orel Hershiser
Team: Los Angeles Dodgers
Position: Starting Pitcher
Card: 1986 Donruss Diamond King
Number: #18
Status: Standard - Diamond King
Beckett Value: $0.50
Comments: Had a great rookie season and when he broke the scoreless inning steak in '88 his cards were on fire

Who: Barry Bonds
Team: Pittsburgh Pirates
Position: OF
Card: 1986 Topps Traded
Number: #11T
Status: Traded/XRC
Beckett Value: $15.00
Comments: Barry was talented from the get go but wasn't even my favorite Pirate as that went to Bobby Bonilla.

Who: Fred McGriff
Team: Toronto Blue Jays
Position: First Base
Card: 1986 Donruss Rated Rookies
Number: #28
Status: Rookie Card
Beckett Value: $8.00
Comments: McGriff was feared from the get go, especially by Tiger fans who saw the Blue Jays quite often in the AL East.

Who: Kirk Gibson
Team: Detroit Tigers
Position: OF
Card: 1986 Topps
Number: #295
Status: Standard
Beckett Value: $0.15
Comments: Enjoyed this card as he was just done swinging and could tell it was at Tiger Stadium with the blue dugout in the background.

Who: Pete Incaviglia
Team: Texas Rangers
Position: OF
Card: 1986 Topps Traded
Number: #48T
Status: XRC
Beckett Value: $0.40
Comments: Incaviglia was a hot card right out the gate as I believe he had just broken the college record for home runs in a season and garnered a lot of hype.  Someone probably should have checked his strike out totals too...

Who: Will Clark
Team: San Francisco Giants
Position: First Base
Card: 1986 Donruss "The Rookies"
Number: #32
Status: XRC
Beckett Value: $2.00
Comments: One of my favorite players growing up.  "The Thrill" had such a perfect left handed swing.  I believe I have this card autographed at home.

Who: Pete Rose
Team: Cincinnati Reds
Position: OF/1B
Card: 1986 Donruss Record Breaker
Number: #644
Status: Standard - Record Breaker
Beckett Value: $0.75
Comments: I didn't understand the magnitude of what he did and am sure glad my dad called me down from my room to watch Rose break the record now could remember this card because of the split panel.


Hope you enjoyed this trip down memory lane.  What were some of your favorites from '86?

-sK



A TRIP DOWN MEMORY LANE: 1985 TOPPS (5.11.11)
To continue to prove that I'm a baseball card geek here are 6 of my favorite cards from the 1985 Topps set that first got me in to collecting

Who: Don Mattingly
Team: New York Yankees
Position: First Base
Card: 1985 Topps
Number: #665
Status: N/A
Beckett Value: $2.50
Comments: His '84 rookie was far more coveted but I got in to collecting in '85 and at that point kids wouldn't trade an '84 Mattingly for anything so I had to settle for his second year card



Name: Eric Davis
Team: Cincinnati Reds
Position: Outfield
Card: 1985 Topps
Number: #627
Status: Rookie Card
Beckett Value: $2.00
Comments: Davis could flat out do it all until one fate full plunking by Melido Perez changed his career forever. 





Name: Dwight (Doc) Gooden
Team: New York Mets
Position: Starting Pitcher
Card: 1985 Topps
Number: #620
Status: Rookie Card
Beckett Value: $2.00
Comments: For the first few years of his career it seemed like he was going to break every modern day pitching record out there and then cocaine addiction got to him.  I remember selling one of my duplicates to a friend for $8.00 which was big money those days.




Name: Roger Clemens
Team: Boston Red Sox
Position: Starting Pitcher
Card: 1985 Topps
Number: #181
Status: Rookie Card
Beckett Value: $15.00
Comments: One of the best pitchers of our generation was a hot card from the very beginning and with the recent steroid talk has taken the card down in value but as a kid Clemens was a must have.




Name: Kirby Puckett
Team: Minnesota Twins
Position: Outfield
Card: 1985 Topps
Number: #536
Status: Rookie Card
Beckett Value: $12.00
Comments: Besides Tigers, Puckett was one of my favorite players growing up as his stocky frame and personality on TWIB would draw me in.  I actually went to a card show way back when and got this card signed.


Name: Mark McGwire
Team: USA Olympic/Oakland Athletics
Position: First Base
Card: 1985 Topps
Number: #401
Status: Rookie Card
Beckett Value: $20.00
Comments: This was it for me as I was a McGwire fan from the beginning and even enjoyed the card more with Tiger Stadium in the background.  I can't remember if I was bonkers or not in '85 for the card as Mike Dunne and Cory Snyder were bigger names but by '87 this was by far my favorite card.


-sK




Breaking Down 2011 Topps Heritage (5.16.11)
Well, my beloved Bowman baseball cards we delayed until later this week but that didn't stop me from picking up a box of 2011 Topps Heritage and tearing through it. 

If you don't know about Topps Heritage, it's an annual set (some times includes a high number additional set) that takes current players and places them in a card design from years past.  This year's Heritage are based on the 1962 Topps set.

What I found was a good mix of stars, rookies, and inserts in the set and every box includes either a relic card (bat or ball on a card) or a signature.  I got the Evan Longoria Clubhouse Collection bat card.  Within the set, cards in the 400's were short printed, meaning there will be less in a box and making them more valuable ($6 on up).  The Lincecum ($12) was my best short print, well next to the short printed David Wright error card (Valued at $200!).  If you look closely you see the team listed for Wright as the Cincinnati Reds and not his actual team the New York Mets.  With that find it turned this box opening in to a great deal.  The details of the box are listed below:



Box Cost: $78
Packs Per Box: 24
Cards Per Pack: 9
Cards Per Box: 216

Standard Cards
Rookie Cards: Luebke, Freeman, Sinkbeil, Gee, Walden, Bousevic, Hellickson, Coleman, Ciriaco, Worley, Barney, Mangini, Gregory Infante, Halman, Jennings, Dyson, Wallace
Short Prints: Lincecum, Ruiz, JD Drew, V. Guerrero, Wright (error), Eckstein, Castro

Inserts
Baseball Bucks (1): Adrian Gonzalez
Baseball Flashbacks (2): Brooks Robinson, Harmon Killebrew
Chrome (3): Hill, Pelfrey, Salas
Clubhouse Collection Relics (1): Longoria
New Age Performers (2): Sabathia, Pujols
News Flashbacks: Cuban Missle Crisis, Dodger Stadium
Then & Now: Marichal/Sabathia

TOTAL BECKETT VALUE: $443.60






BASEBALL CARD GEEKDOM PART 2 (5.10.11)
On Friday I covered the rookie cards of the Tigers starting infield, today we'll cover off on the outfield, rotation and a bullpen guy or two.

Outfield
Who: Brennan Boesch
Position: OF/DH
Card: 2010 Topps Chrome
Number: #182
Status: Chrome/Rookie Card
Beckett Value: $2.50
Comments: Boesch actually has cards from the 2007 Bowman set but the definition of Rookie card is different these days so a card is not a players rookie card until that player has played in the Majors or is but on the 40 man roster.  Boesch's 2007 Bowman Chrome Prospects card goes for $2.50 as well



Who: Austin Jackson
Position: Center Field
Card: 2010 Topps 206
Number: #166
Status: Rookie Card
Beckett Value: $1.25
Comments: Like Boesch, Jackson had plenty of cards issued before 2010 starting with Donruss Elite Extra Edition autograph in 2007 which books for $30.00





Who: Magglio Ordonez
Position: Right Field/DH
Card: 1998 Upper Deck
Number: #570
Status: Rookie Card
Beckett Value: $3.00








Starting Rotation
Who: Justin Verlander
Postion: #1 Starter
Card: 2005 Bowman Chrome Autograph
Number: #331
Status: Autograph/Chrome/Rookie Card
Beckett Value: $60.00
Comments: Other more standard Verlander rookie cards go for $1.50 to $3.00






Who: Max Scherzer
Position: #2 Starter
Card: 2008 Topps Allen & Ginter
Number: #297
Status: Rookie Card
Beckett Value: $2.50











Who: Rick Porcello
Position: #3 Starter
Card: 2009 Upper Deck
Number: #945
Status: Rookie Card
Beckett Value: $3.00
Comments: Just like Boesch and Jackson above, Porcello had a handfull of cards released all the back to 2006 Bowman Aflac card when Rick was named to the high school Aflac (All-American) team and is valued at $60.00




Who: Brad Penny
Position: #4 Starter
Card: 1997 Bowman
Number: #199
Status: Rookie Card
Becket Value: $3.00
Comments: Oddly enough, this is Penny's only rookie card







Who: Phil Coke
Poistion: #5 Starter (for now)
Card: 2009 Topps
Number: #327
Status: Rookie Card
Beckett Value: $1.25








Two From The Pen
Who: Ryan Perry
Position: Reliver
Card: 2009 Topps
Number: #451
Status: Rookie Card
Beckett Value: $2.00








Who: Jose Valverde (Papa Grande)
Position: Closer
Card: 2002 SP Authentic Autograph
Number: #144
Status: Autograph/Rookie Card/Serial Numbered
Beckett Value: $10.00








-sK



BASEBALL CARD GEEKDOM (5.6.11)
Let me start by saying yes, I am a baseball card geek.

I just watched a program on cards the other day on the MLB Network and am just cracking a book (Mint Condition, thanks Tim) that was recommended which spurred this entry. 

My collecting has slowed over the years as I'm pretty sure my wife would rather just throw them out vs. know their value so now in May and December I buy a couple boxes of cards when Bowman release their regular collection and draft and trade collection and that's about it.  Since I'm so excited for Bowman to release it's 2011 boxes next week (which will have Bryce Harpers prospect card in it) I thought I'd share from time to time random cards from Tigers, favorites, or whatever.

So lets start with something easy.  Let's go around the field and look at the rookie cards of the starting lineup.

The Infield

Who: Alex Avila
Position: Catcher
Card: 2009 Bowman Chrome Draft Picks
Number: BDP 13
Status: Chrome/Rookie Card
Beckett Magazine Value: $1.25










Who: Miguel Cabrera
Position: First Base
Card: 2000 Topps Traded
Number: T40
Status: Rookie Card/Traded
Beckett Value: $15.00









Who: Scott Sizemore
Position: Second Base
Card: 2010 Bowman Chrome Autograph
Number: 199A
Status: Chrome/Rookie Card/Autograph
Beckett Value: $12.00









Who: Brandon Inge
Position: Third Base
Card: 2000 Bowman Chrome
Number: 297
Status: Chrome/Rookie Card 
Beckett Value: $5.00










Who: Jhonny Peralta
Position: Shortstop
Card: 2002 Bowman Draft
Number: BDP107
Status: Rookie Card
Beckett Value: $2.50










Who: Victor Martinez
Position: Designated Hitter/Catcher
Card: 2001 Donruss Class of 2001 Phenoms
Number: 258
Status: Serial Numberd to 625/Rookie Card
Beckett Value: $50.00










- sK

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