Living in the rural reaches of Alberta, Canada, it's rare I get a chance to hit the card shop. It's only on rare trips to the city on even rarer times when I can convince my wife we need to stop that I can run in and grab a pack or five. Sure, I can get boxes and the like thanks to this Internet thing, but it's not the same as going at it one pack at a time.
Enough rambling. Went to the shop, asked for a pack of 2008 UD, dealer asked regular for $5 or the rack pack with double the cards for $5.50. Duh? I assumed there'd be little to no chance of inserts in the rack but $5.50 for 36 cards - I splurged and went with two packs. Here's the results (some pics are at the bottom of the post):
Pack 1, top portion
Hot Commodities HC26. Hanley Ramirez, Marlins
These are two per rack, I'm guessing a rack pack exclusive. Looks like a mix of the old Fleer Smoke 'n Heat and mid-90s Upper Deck Predictors.
Yankee Stadium Legacy 3038. Elston Howard, Yankees (duh!) (07/27/1961). One down, 6499 more to go for the set.
229. Manny Ramirez, Red Sox
It's looking like a pack for fans of players with the last name Ramirez. Has Hanley been dubbed Han-Ram yet by ESPN? If not, I've got dibs on the trademark. Seriously, one of the coolest photos I've seen on a card in a while.
190. Brian Giles, Padres
151. John Maine, Mets
112. Barry Zito, Giants
86. B.J. Upton, Rays (I will avoid making a lame and crude joke about him being pictured on his knees combined with his name.)
203. Shane Youman, Pirates
89. Josh Wilson, Rays
11. Roy Oswalt, Astros
297. Derek Jeter, Yankees
141. Sergio Mitre, Marlins
102. Derek Lowe, Dodgers
63. Brad Thompson, Cardinals
306. Jerry Blevins RC, Athletics
387. Fred Lewis, Giants "Season Highlights"
324. Joe Koshansky RC, Rockies
360. Eric Byrnes, DBacks "Team Checklist
Hot Commodities HC50. Tim Linecum, Giants
Starquest Promo with Jeter
148. Mike Jacobs, Marlins
70. Rick Ankiel, Cardinals
I'm still not used to seeing this guy as a position player.
73. Jason Marquis, Cubs
268. Placido Polanco, Tigers
164. Chad Cordero, Nationals
242. Jason Hirsch, Rockies
8. Casey Kotchman, Angels
281. Mark Buehrle, White Sox
99. Conor Jackson, DBacks
60. Geoff Jenkins, Brewers
21. Dan Haren, Athletics
258. Ross Gload, Royals
180. Aubrey Huff, Orioles
351. Vladimir Guerrero, Angels "Team Checklist"
Another very cool shot. This one has a beaming Vladdy being congratulated by his teammates with pats on his head. It looks better than any of his cards I have in my Expos collection.
303. Wladimir Balentien RC, Mariners
330. Nyjer Morgan RC, Pirates
369. Jake Peavy, Padres "Team Checklist"
Gotta wonder how those jerseys got approved back in the day.
Pack 2, top
Hot Commodities HC6. Derek Jeter, Yankees
Yankee Stadium Legacy 3063. Roger Maris, Yankees (09/06/1961)
Two down in this set, 6498 to go!
109. Matt Kemp, Dodgers
265. Todd Jones, Tigers
Yes, he still around. And looking at the stats on the back (nice and complete - just the way I like them), Mr. Todd had the third-highest save total of his career in 2007 with 39. I also learned that he had 96 strikeouts in 1995 and started a game in 2003. My wife was thrilled to hear this news.
226. Doug Mirabelli, Red Sox
187. Kevin Kouzmanoff, Padres
122. Jake Westbrook, Indians
239. Ken Griffy Jr., Reds
Wouldn't it be nice to see Griffey hit his 600th HR in a Mariners uniform?
125. Joe Borowski, Indians
47. Edgar Renteria, Braves
216. Gerald Laird, Rangers
177. Miguel Tejada, Orioles
138. Richie Sexson, Mariners
393. Johan Santana, Twins "Season Highlights"
333. Josh Newman RC, Rockies
366. David Wright, Mets "Team Checklist"
348. Eugenio Velez RC, Giants
396. Matt Holliday, Rockies "Season Highlights"
Hot Commodities HC30. Ryan Howard, Phillies
I hated Starquest cards in 1999 and I still think they're lame.
85. Dioner Navarro, Rays
46. Brian McCann, Braves
7. Orlando Cabrera, Angels
241. Jeff Francis, Rockies
31. Shaun Marcum, Blue Jays
200. Shane Victorino, Phillies
278. Jason Bartlett, Twins
44. Rafael Soriano, Braves
5. Scot Shileds, Angels
18. Ty Wigginton, Astros
291. Andy Pettitte, Yankees
255. Joel Peralta, Royals
294. Joba Chamberlain, Yankees
321. Rob Johnson, Mariners RC
339. Justin Ruggiano, Rays
375. Matt Holliday, Rockies "Team Checklist"
312. Willie Collazo, Mets RC
There you have it. My expectations were pretty low, but I think after these two packs I may go out and trade for the rest of the base set. No gimmicks, a decent checklist of current players, complete stats and GORGEOUS photography. This is exactly what Topps Stadium Club should be. Oh, wait. That brand doesn't exist. Instead we have Milestones or whatever the heck it is with all mirror cards and $2 one-of-one cards.
So the damage was a wallet-friendly $11 and I've got a good chunk of the set down, not to mention some happy times sorting.