Tag Archives: Ryan Klesko

I Was a Teenage Prospector: Ryan Klesko

Klesko Classic Best

1991 Classic Best

In 1990, I was absolutely obsessed with John Olerud. I had been interested in the guy since learning that he was a legit two-way threat, a batter who could also pitch well (I was enthralled with the Babe Ruth legend at the time). Around that time, I started hearing about recent draftee Ryan Klesko, another two-way threat, though it’s hard to believe these days. Let me tell you, though, that was all I needed to hear, and he was on my want list. Of course, I had some trouble finding Klesko cards, as he wasn’t in any of the major sets. Thankfully, the 1990 minor league sets took off, and next thing you know, I have a bunch of Klesko cards.

Of course, we know how his career turned out: okay, passable, but never a real superstar, which bummed me out. I was convinced that somehow he would be the next great thing. I’m sure the warning signs were there: lack of plate discipline, high strikeout-to-walk ratio, the whole deal, but then…well, it was just as much about the legend of the player as the reality. And Klesko was quite a legend for me in the summers of 90 and 91.

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Filed under Atlanta Braves, I Was a Teenage Prospector

Box Break: 2002 UD Authentics

I haven’t disguised my love for this set, that’s for sure, and yet I’ve always found the boxes tantalizingly out of reach, either too expensive or difficult to find, so when I found a box going for an obscenely cheap amount on Ebay, I bid and sat on that auction. Yesterday the box finally arrived.

Stated odds, as you can see, are 1 in every 16 packs. The box is obviously meant to echo the 1989 box design, as everything in this set is a loving homage to that original set. Including the setup when you open the box:

As you can see, they’ve used that same paper material that UD used in their 1989 issue:

The whole thing gave me nostalgia goosebumps, down to the authentic (heh) feel of opening the first pack.

Now, as to the actual content of the box. Well, first, I should note that I was supposed to get two reverse-negatives card in this box, but I only got one, this Jason Johnson:

And that’s A-okay by me. The reverse negative gimmick is easily the crappiest, most annoying thing about this set, as I’d have preferred to get the base Johnson, which I still don’t have. Sigh. Oh, I’m also okay with it because I not only beat the odds for relics on this box, I pulverized them. 1 in 16 packs, right? 18 packs in the box, so maybe, tops, I could have gotten two if I was extremely lucky. Yeah, I got four, including a reverse-negative game-used card and a gold reverse-negative game-used card. I didn’t even know the latter existed. My first ever hot box!

Very, very cool stuff. I love it. Oh, I also got two inserts: their version of the Baseball Heroes, numbered to 1989

And a 1989 Flashback Mark Grace, numbered to 4225 (though that Cubs picture is more recent than 1989, he didn’t have that facial hair until the 90s).

I also got a mess of base cards that I needed; only two doubles in the whole box, and a small stack of cards that I already had. Look for those cards to wind up in some trades in the near future.

I’m still quite a bit short of the set, so I may pick up another box when I have some money. Overall, I give the box an A for the presentation, the hits, and the collation. Totally worth the money and exceeded my expectations. Oh, and all these cards save the base cards/reverse negative are available.

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Filed under 2002 UD Authentics, Wax Breaks

Finds From The National Part 8: The Throwbacks

As always, I’m a sucker for old-school style revivals, and I came across some that I had never seen before during The National.

Not sure how I feel about this. There are some pretty significant changes to the 1989 design, and they’ve thrown some foil on it. It’s also a lot glossier than the original issue. So it’s not really true to the original, but the set still seems worth having. Just a note, this is the second A-Rod 1989 design card I have, each with a different team. Now they just need to make one in a Yankees uniform and I’ll complete the trifecta. Oh, and I got one other card of this set:

Now that’s a sweet card.

I also found some cards that I was blissfully ignorant of: chrome versions of old Bowman cards! I scooped up every copy I found, which wasn’t much. Anyone know more about these and how many there are?

I also picked up a few 2002 Donruss Originals for my set, short prints, but I haven’t gotten to scanning them and they’re already in the binder with the set. Oh, well. Their time will come on the site.

Okay, only one more entry to go! I thought this might end up taking the whole week, and it looks like it will. Stay tuned…

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Filed under 2010 National Convention