Predicting the World Series with Cards turned out to be kind of a dud series here on the blog, so I'm killing it off. I ran out of time to get a post up before Saturday night's game anyway. I hope the Mets can turn it around. For now, here's a pack rip to kill some time. There were half a dozen or so of these '96 Fleer Update packs at the local hobby shop last time I was there (which was way too long ago now). I grabbed only one, but after opening it I wish I'd picked up all six to stash on my pack shelf for a rainy day.
A whopping fourteen cards per pack, let's see what's inside...
I've always enjoyed the full-bleed photography and matte finish combination of 1996 Fleer, though I believe this is my first look at the Update set if I'm not mistaken.
This one's sort of random in that Eric Davis is probably most often associated with the Reds, however this card represents his one-year second stint with the team in 1996. He had not played the previous season at all, having announced his retirement for the first time after the '94 season.
Pretty random to get two cards in a row of guys who sat out the entire 1995 season. While Eric Davis was a personal choice to "retire", Gooden was suspended the entire season due to testing positive for cocaine use multiple times.
Would you believe this stat line for Lance Johnson in 1996 with the Mets? .333 batting average, league leading 227 hits, league leading 21 triples, 31 doubles, 9 home runs, 69 RBI, an All-Star appearance and even a couple of NL MVP votes? Believe it!
Here's my lone insert, a Headliner Manny Ramirez. Fleer/Fleer Ultra had some killer inserts back in the day, but in my opinion this isn't one of them. Pretty boring, I would have rather had another base card.
Some pretty good star power in this pack, especially with HOFer Paul Molitor in the mix!
One of my favorite photographs in the pack, thanks to all those Expos jerseys and that great mullet.
Mark Brandenburg actually finished his career with the Red Sox, throwing in 60 games out of the bullpen between '96 and '97.
Here's another guy who played for Boston. In fact, he was dealt from the Red Sox to the Phillies during the '96 season, so this would have been one of the first cards to depict him with Philadelphia.
The one per pack "Tiffany" parallel (glossy finish and some foil) was another Phillie, outfielder Pete Incaviglia.
A nice checklist card of Barry Bonds, presumably chasing down some 'roids with a refreshing cup of water.
Al Leiter signed as a free agent with the Marlins in the '95 off-season. He had a great year with Florida in '96; posting a sub-3.00 ERA in 33 starts he was elected to the NL All-Star team and even garnered a couple of NL Cy Young votes.
Last card of the pack is another checklist, this time featuring The Big Hurt. That was a great pack, some big names especially by 1996 standards.
I got one of these game cards as well, didn't win. Shocker...