Archive for Albert Pujols

Are Goodwin Champion minis underrated?

Posted in Newspaperman with tags , , , , , , , , , on August 13, 2010 by Cardboard Icons

So the other day I completed a small trade for some minis from Topps Allen & Ginter, as well as UD Goodwin Champions. Among them were two black border parallels — a 2009 Allen & Ginter Albert Pujols and a 2009 Goodwin Joe Mauer. These two cards reminded me of a thought I had late last year — are Goodwin minis underrated?

Allen & Ginter gets a lot of love because people dig A&G with a passion. But what about Goodwin? Sure, it has been treated as an A&G knockoff, but truth is UD’s Goodwin line is a rendition of an old tobacco brand, just like Topps’ A&G.

The thing I like about the Goodwin cards is that there is a sense of realism about them. Aside from the cloudy background, UD used actual pictures on their cards, where as Topps’ ran the images through a filter on some photo editing software to get this artistic feel.

I suppose it’s a matter of taste; there really is no wrong answer as to which is better because they both are good-looking cards. I just think that Goodwin may not have gotten the credit it was due. Afterall, UD’s brand was cheaper and did have minis of Michael Jordan, Tiger Woods, Alex Ovechkin and Smarty Jones last year — all of which look pretty damn cool if you ask me.

Cardboard Porn: 2005 UD Mini Jerseys Albert Pujols

Posted in Cardboard Porn with tags , , , , on July 15, 2010 by Cardboard Icons

Cardboard Porn: Because sometimes words just get in the way.

This is the sixth in an on-going series of card images titled “Cardboard Porn.”

Thrift Treasures Part XXIV: A Prospectors Nightmare: Bowman Chrome Edition

Posted in Thrift Treasures with tags , , , , , , , on March 30, 2010 by Cardboard Icons

When it comes to finding baseball cards at thrift stores, I always envision two very grandiose outcomes. One, I find a heaping pile of vintage baseball cards that yields some of the finest cardboard treasure known to mankind. Two, there is a very toxic smelling Bowman Chrome stash sitting there just waiting to be picked. Well, the latter came true on Tuesday … only it was evident that I was a few years too late.

In what can best be described as a scene from a prospectors graveyard, there were probably 200 binder pages chalk full of Bowman products from about a decade ago, teasing me with the possibilities, but in the end yielding maybe five cards that I can honestly say I will hold in my collection.

The cards in the picture posted here at the top of this blog would have netted the seller probably about $150 cash in 1999 when these cards were brand new. Abraham Nunez and Wily Mo Pena were two of the budding stars from this one-time legendary 1999 Bowman Chrome set. And in this thrift store, being sold for a NICKEL each were four Bowman Chrome base rookies and a refractor of Abrham Nunez. Want another kick to the nuts? The Refractor is drop dead gorgeous. No “Chrome Curl”, no refractor lines, no dinged corners, just a perfectly centered copy that would have surely netted a very hefty sum in 1999.  As for Pena, there were three Chrome rookies and a base Bowman rookie that I am not sure why I purchased.

Football or Baseball? How about neither.

Speaking of failed prospects, when I saw this 1999 SP Top Prospects card of Drew Henson, I knew it had to be mine. Henson turned out to be such a waste of talent. The guy was supposed to a two-sport star and what he wound up being was the ultimate sports cock tease. This card shows him juggling two baseballs and a football while staring off into the distance with the “ooh” face. Let it serve as a reminder the next time you start banking big dollars on baseball cards of some “very athletic” guy who should be able to hit a baseball with a little training.

While there were probably 1,500 total cards for sale, I walked out with only about 40 cards for $3, and I was probably stretching it as you can see from these next few not-so-exciting rookies.

This guy used to be awesome, now not so much

I actually needed this one for my rookie collection.

We all love rookie cards of closers.

But even though most of these cards are not exactly worth much, that’s not to say there was not a fair share of neat things I was able to get for almost nothing. Take for instance these refractors.

1999 Bowman Chrome International Refractors #’d /100

Or this very cool looking 1999 Bowman International card of Jung Bong.

Or these two autographs of failed Major Leaguers Ron Wright and Peter Bergeron.

Or this still very cool looking 1995 Bowman’s Best refractor card of Juan Gonzalez and Carlos Beltran, or should I say Juan LeBron? There was a time when this was one of the hottest cards on the market, need I remind you?

And now we get to the cream of the crop.

In this mountain of hot, stinky mess was a lot of 18 rookie cards that come from the now legendary 2001 Bowman Chrome set, popular for the almighty Albert Pujols rookie card. Seeing these cards made the possibilities seem endless. Needless to say, there was no Pujols. But there was this nifty Cody Ross card (Honestly, had no clue his rookie was 2001 BC; it’s going in the Rookie Card Collection now), a gold refractor of Rafael Boitel (#’d 98/99) and an XFractor of Noel Devarez.

I would like to draw your attention to one card in particular though. Look at the Yhency Brazoban card. I think he’s got problems spelling his name. Kind of reminds me of the 2007 Bowman Chrome card of Johnny Cueto. Or is it Jhonny Cueto?

Rookie Card Showcase: 1990 Leaf Frank Thomas

Posted in Newspaperman with tags , , , , , , , on December 18, 2009 by Cardboard Icons

This is part 17 of an ongoing series. To see the rest of this series, click here.

Before there was Albert Pujols, there was the Big Hurt Frank Thomas. Laugh all you want, but when Thomas was healthy, there was no better first baseman in the game. He was the game’s premier power hitter, and arguably the greatest hitter (in terms of average) of the early and mid 1990s. Every time he stepped to the plate, he was fixin’ to put a hurtin’ on the other team. His on-field success lead to extreme hobby status and this 1990 Leaf card was THE card to have. In an era where card were produced in the millions (or close to that anyway) the Leaf product of 1990 was considered the elite brand due to its “limited” nature. The Thomas card rivaled the 1989 Upper Deck Ken Griffey Jr. as the best active player rookie card to own at the time; each was being sold in excess of $75 at the time. To put that into perspective, boxes of basic cards like Topps and Donruss were still being sold for about $18 per. Thomas’ career was marred by injury starting in the late 1990s and his hobby status began declining as a result. (it should be noted that Thomas still has plenty of hardcore collectors willing to pay a pretty penny for the extremely rare cards) His Leaf rookie began showing up for discount prices; Gem Mint copies like the one shown here can be had for a little more than $20. That’s a hell of a collectible at a great price if you ask me.

Thrift Treasures XIX: Taste of a New Generation

Posted in Thrift Treasures with tags , , , , , , , on November 19, 2009 by Cardboard Icons

Food-issue cards can be fun. They can be a mother-bleeper to chase and they can cost a pretty penny, too, if you’re forced to go onto the secondary market and pick them up. But all in all, they offer a little variety to your collection and are well-worth the cost if you’re a player or team collector.

Recently I uncovered a slew of 2003 Fleer Pepsi cards for an unbelievable price: about a penny an a half per card.These cards aren’t exactly rare, and to buy one of your favorite player one would not have to break the bank. But alas, they are not as common as base cards and I was ecstatic to find a lot of roughly 150 cards for $1.98.

This set is comprised of 30 cards (one player per team) which were issued one card per specially marked 24-pack of Pepsi cans in 2003. The set contains some of the hobby’s biggest names, including semi-early releases of Albert Pujols and Ichiro.

After sifting through the unorganized cards, I wound up with two full sets (one set is pictured below) and a bunch of extras.

Here is the tally for the extra cards I have available if anyone is seeking them:

Troy Glaus (Angels), No. 1 — 2 avail

Chipper Jones (Braves), No. 2 — 3 avail

Randy Johnson (D-Backs), No. 3 — 4 avail

Tony Bautista (Orioles), No. 4 — 7 avail

Magglio Ordonez (White Sox), No. 5 — 7 avail

Ken Griffey Jr. (Reds), No. 6 — 7 avail

Omar Vizquel (Indians), No. 7 — 2 avail

Todd Helton (Rockies), No. 8 — 2 avail

Bobby Higginson (Tigers), No. 9 — 2 avail

Luis Castillo (Marlins), No. 10 — 3 avail

Jeff Bagwell (Astros), No. 11 — 4 avail

Mike Sweeney (Royals), No. 12 — 4 avail

Shawn Green (Dodgers), No. 13 — 5 avail

Richie Sexson (Brewers), No. 14 — 2 avail

Torii Hunter (Twins), No. 15 — 1 avail

Jason Giambi (Yankees), No. 18 — 1 avail

Pat Burrell (Phillies), No. 20 — 2 avail

Brian Giles (Pirates), No. 21 — 1 avail

Trevor Hoffman (Padres), No. 22 — 2 avail

Barry Bonds (Giants), No. 23 — 1 avail

Ichiro (Mariners), No. 24 — 1 avail

Alex Rodriguez (Rangers), No. 27 — 3 avail

Carlos Delgado (Blue Jays), No. 28 — 4 avail

Kerry Wood (Cubs), No. 29 — 3 avail

Pedro Martinez (Red Sox), No. 30 — 3 avail