Monthly Archives: May 2009

Birthday Break: 2006 Fleer

Hidden behind that 2008 Topps in the two-pack was a pack of 2006 Fleer. This is one of the repack companies’ favorite tricks: hide a not-so-great pack behind a somewhat decent one.

06 Fleer wrapper

I seem to remember my mother-in-law-to-be (at some point, not engaged just yet) has the entire 06 Fleer set.

06 Fleer Panel 1

Ryan Freel, Aramis Ramirez, Brandon Claussen (another Nats relative), and Ryan Jorgensen

06 Fleer Panel 2

Chris Duncan RC, Brandon Inge, Daniel Cabrera (there he is again!)

06 Fleer Panel 3

Mets Team Leaders, Khalil Greene (again), and Barry Zito

Nothing exciting int his pack at all. Okay, maybe the Mets card.

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Birthday Break: 2008 Topps Heritage

I didn’t realize I had bought a few packs of these back in 08 until I opened it up.

08 Heritage Wrapper

So. Did I miss something? It says eight cards, but I only got seven. What a ripoff!

08 Heritage Panel 1

Joe Borowski, Daniel Cabrera (doesn’t even count as a Nat anymore), Richie Sexson

08 Heritage Panel 2

Fausto Carmona, Ryan Church (ex-Nat looking rather queasy there), Steve Pearce, Carlos Pena

Still no Nationals; only a few people somewhat related to the team. And the rookie here isn’t even that great. Grrr…

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Birthday Break Part 2: 2009 Topps

All right, on with the show…

09 Topps wrapper

09 Topps Panel 1

Alex Gordon, George Kottaras, Geovany Soto, Brian Roberts

09 Topps Panel 2

Josh Banks, Tim Lincecum ToppsTown (redeemed), Mike Mussina, Tug Hulett

09 Topps Panel 3

David Wright, Juan Castro, Ryan Church, Eric Gagne

Not too bad. I’m always happy to get a gold card, no matter who it is, and the Topps Town Lincecum was a great find; just turned me on to that site.

Now for a break. More later…

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Birthday Break Part 1: 2009 Upper Deck

Yeah, it’s my birthday, and I’m sick, so I stopped off at Rite Aid on the way home to get some Cepacol and Tylenol. The Rite Aid also happened to have some packs in stock:


So, of course, I went for it, with the idea of putting it up here. First pack, 2009 Upper Deck Jumbo.

09 UD Wrapper

09 UD Panel 1
James Parr, Jake Barrett, Indians Team Leaders, Jim Thome

09 UD Panel 2
Jeremy Hermida, Mike Aviles, Edgar Renteria, Brandon Lyon

09 UD Panel 3

Josh Whitesell (wish we hadn’t let him get away), Rays Leaders, Nick Blackburn, Alexei Ramirez

09 UD Panel 4

Jason Giambi, Eric Chavez, Edwin Jackson

09 UD Panel 5

JJ Putz, Khalil Greene, Matt Stairs
Not overly exciting. I did get better cards, though, as we’ll see in Part 2 in a bit. Again, if you’re interested, email me at crimnos at Love to trade or just send them your way.

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Expos Star: Pedro Martinez

This card gets another shout-out to John at Old School Breaks, who sent me this along with the Milton Bradley auto and some other goodies. Thanks again, John!

Martinez Matrix

Pedro Martinez
1997 Stadium Club Matrix #12
Position: SP
Bio/Summary: I’ve spoken about Pedro’s career, and really, what else is there to say? Instead I thought I’d take a look at the Expos years. 1997 was Pedro’s breakthrough year, when he went 17-8 with a 1.90 ERA and a 0.93 WHIP. Really, Montreal? Really? You thought it was good to get rid of this guy? Sigh…
Did You Know?: These inserts were limited to two to a box in the 1997 Stadium Club set.
Rating: 9/10 – John said it on his site, and I’m agreeing – it’s hard to really capture what this parallel looks like; there’s a kind of wavy effect that I’ve never seen on another card. It gives it a depth that I’m not used to, and I like it alot.

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Nationals Star: Jose Vidro, Pt 8

Slowly, ever so slowly, we edge toward the end…

Vidro auto

2005 Leaf Century Postmarks Silver #197
How Did I Get It?:
Won it in an auction at eBay in 2005.
Did You Know?: Vidro was named an All-Star for the first time in his career in 2000.
Rating: 9/10 – Love this card, even if it’s a sticker auto. I mean, look at how the sticker’s color actually fits in with the theme of the card, and it’s stamped, too! I was so thrilled to get this card, and I’m pretty sure I got it for a steal way back when, too.
Vidro 05 Donruss
2005 Donruss #249
How Did I Get It?:
Pack of 2005 Donruss in 2005.
Did You Know?: Emiliano Fruto – one of the keys to the Vidro to Seattle trade – is no longer affiliated with a Major League team after being released by the Braves this year.
Rating: 7/10 – I like 2005 Donruss, even if the photo is less than inspired. I like the minimalist layout, and especially the stamped look of the position on the bottom of the card.
Vidro Victory
2003 Upper Deck Victory #50
How Did I Get It?:
Got it in a 2003 Victory pack in a repack blaster.
Did You Know?: Chris Snelling, the other piece of the trade, played for Team Australia in this year’s World Baseball Classic.
Rating: 3/10 – Man, that year’s Victory design was not good at all. Just not crazy about any of those cards.
Vidro Best

2004 Bowman’s Best #JAV
How Did I Get It?:
Got it in a pack of 2004 Bowman’s Best.
Rating: 5/10 – Bowman’s Best is so weird. I love the autos, but good lord do they make some butt ugly cards. This falls into the “eh, it’s okay” camp, strangely enough. Not as butt ugly as it could be, but not great, either.

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2000 Bowman Chrome Pulls

I recently joined in on a group break over at Bad Wax, picking up two Bowman packs. Here’s what I managed to pull; alas, no Expos. Oh, well. Any of these are available just by emailing me at crimnos at I’ll pay for shipping and everything.

First pack:

Pack 1

Jose Canseco, Geoff Jenkins, Ramon Soler, Ryan Minor

Okay, Canseco is definitely the star of this pack. Not a bad card at all, but I wasn’t bowled over by the pack.

Pack 2:


Mark Grace, Michael Tejera, Kevin Nicholson, Manny Ramirez “Meteoric Rise” insert.

Okay, now we’re talking. Still no real star rookies, but that Ramirez is really nice. I got a box of Bowman Chrome a few years back and pulled a Randy Johnson of this insert set; really liked it. I was glad to get Manny here.

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Former Expo: Dale Murray


1976 Topps #18
Bio/Summary: Okay, so can you believe that’s a rookie card? It sure is. He looks old to me, but okay. Murray was strictly a reliever, and a passable one, for a good number of years. He had a stretch of years up until 1982 when he was fairly reliable if not spectacular (though he managed a 337 ERA+ in 1981).
How Did I Get It?: Bought it from
Did You Know?: One of Murray’s similar players is Dave Schmidt, who’s been covered here recently.
Rating: 6/10 – My card collecting white whale is the 1976 Topps set; I’ve been picking up cards for this set off-and-on since 2004. Murray was one of a bunch that I recently ordered, as I was trying to get as many Expos as I could. I dig the background; it’s nice to be able to see those old-school Spring Training ads, even if I can’t quite make out what they are. It reminds me of my childhood.

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1988 Topps Traded


Bret Barberie
1988 Topps Traded #9T
Failed Prospect
Position: IF
Bio/Summary: Here’s a guy I thought couldn’t miss. I didn’t think he was going to be a huge superstar or anything, but at least attain some level of respectable production in the major leagues. But no…it just never quite panned out for Bret (I’m not going to cry for him, though, given that he’s married to Jillian Barberie – check out what Bret looks like these days, hehe). Bret looked like he was going to be something in 1991, when he OPS+ed 168…but he never achieved that high again. In 1993 he went to Florida and ended his career with a 93 OPS+ (inflated by that first year).
Rating: 4/10 – Does he look 12, or is it just me? Regardless, I’m a bit of a sucker for those cheap old Team USA uniforms, but this card just doesn’t do a whole lot for me.
Luis Rivera
1988 Topps Traded #94T
Expos Also-Ran
Position: IF
Bio/Summary: I remember Luis Rivera as a strictly mediocre middle infielder with little power. I’m glad to see that my memory does not deceive me. The guy topped out at a .258 average in full-season play, with eight home runs.  I didn’t really remember him with Montreal, but this was his last season there.
Rating: 5/10 – Is that Tim Raines in the back left? I’m not entirely sure. Could be. Eh, either way, not a very exciting card. At least it’s an action shot.

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Senators #10: Frank Howard (Pt 1)

I have a decent handful of Frank Howard cards to get through in the future, but I’ll start this series as I start all series, with one card.

Howard Killebrew Yastrzemski

1968 Topps #6
Bio/Summary: Frank Howard was a superstar for the Senators; his legacy still casts a shadow over Washington, as I heard so much about him as the Nationals prepared to come to town. I admit I was not as familiar with him as a Senator as I was Killebrew (who will be featured as a Senator as well), but once I read up on him a bit, I came to like the awkward-looking guy. A nerdy-looking guy who could mash 40 dingers in RFK? Yeah, I saw where that ball landed, too. Very impressive. Anyway, Frank got all the way up to 48 homers in 1969, his career high, and finished his career with 382. I’m impressed with the arc of his OBP as well – going from 320 as a rookie in 1960 all the way up to 416.
The other guys on this card? You’ve probably heard of them. Like I said, I’ll cover Killebrew in the future, and Yaz is outside the scope of this site, but I have a fond place in my heart for him, as well.
How Did I Get It?: Bought it at
Did You Know?: Frank was the 1960 rookie of the year.
Rating: 10/10 – Look at that beaut of a card; two hall of famers and one hall of very good-er. It’s also in one of my favorite classic sets, which doubles the sentimental value of it. It’s no joke to say this is one of, if not my absolute, favorite cards in my collection.

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