Saturday, July 3, 2010

From the Draft Folder - 2008 Masterpieces Hobby Box

As I sit here on my couch with the windows open, listening to the sound of fireworks exploding, I figured it was as good a time as any to clean up some drafts that have been sitting for what feels like forever. Way back in the beginning of April, I bought a hobby box of 2008 Upper Deck Masterpieces from Blowout Cards. I completed the 2007 Masterpieces set (I know, not much of a feat at a mere 90 cards) and had only a few scattered Red Sox from the '08 set. I'd debated about picking up a hobby box for a while, the price was only $31, and I wanted something to go with my Champs hockey box to qualify for free shipping anyway.

The box contains 12 packs, 6 cards per pack. I'm too lazy to look up what the odds for "hits" are, nor do I really care. I'm in it for the base set, which Upper Deck made harder to complete than the '07 version by adding 30 short prints (which fall every other pack in hobby). All in all, I pulled 56 of the 90 base cards, no duplicates. Here are 5 of my favorites:

#17 - Manny Ramirez - I don't particularly miss Manny, and the Sox are certainly on fire this season without him. I think I heard something the other day about him being out of the lineup in LA with hamstring issues. Sounds like nothing's changed. I do like how the blurred background on this card really brings Ramirez to the foreground for a 3-D type effect.

#19 - Ryne Sandberg - Nothing too flashy here, I just thought this was a great looking card.

#23 - Jim Thome - I actually chose Thome's card not because I like it, but because I think it's horribly done. Look at the bat in that painting?!?!?! I would've been ashamed to submit that for a high school art assignment, nevermind a licensed MLB trading card. Ugh.

#67 - Eric Chavez - Typically, I cringe whenever I pull an Eric Chavez card, which seems to be quite often given the very limited amount of wax I bust. In this case though, this may be my favorite painting/photo in the box. As usual, I prefer the horizontal cards in this set and this one is just very well done.

#83 - Ozzie Smith - Finally we have The Wizard. I think most collectors have those 5 to 10 guys who they don't actively collect, but whose cards they will always hang onto and accumulate when they come across them. Ozzie is definitely in my list of 10. Who's in yours?

In addition to the 56 base cards, I got my 6 short prints:

#116 - Albert Pujols - Meh. I know Albert is one of the best, if not the best player in baseball but it doesn't excite me when I pull one of his cards.

#106 - Don Mattingly - Getting a little better. Even though Mattingly is a Yankee, his cards were huge when I was a kid in the late 80's/early 90's so I never mind pulling one.

#98 - Johnny Bench - Johnny is sporting some big ol' sideburns on this one.

#114 - Willie Stargell - Those Pirate uniforms were hideous.

#97 - Carlton Fisk - My favorite of the 6 short prints. The only thing that would make this card better would be Fisk depicted on the Red Sox rather than the White Sox. I also received 4 of these Yankee Stadium Legacy cards:

I know I'm not alone in saying this, I can't stand these cards. The design is boring and every time I pull one I just think "that could've been another base card". OK, onto the framed parallels...

3 Black Border Parallels - Pretty much struck out here. Two Tigers and an Indian, all modern era guys and not very exciting paintings/photos either. Into the trade/giveaway box they go...

Robin Yount Red Border Parallel - At least this is a retired Hall-of-Famer, better than I did with my black border parallels. Not particularly fond of the card though, Robin looks zombie-like to me.

Dave Winfield Short Print Green Border Parallel (#'d/75) - Once again, not terribly impressed. Too bad, the framed parallel cards are one of the strong points for the Masterpieces set, but I really struck out with this box. Finally, the two "hits"...

Stroke of Genius Auto - Glen Perkins - I didn't look at an autograph checklist before buying the box since hits aren't why I purchase a product. That being said, I know I've seen a Clay Buchholz (I think it was on Saints of the Cheap Seats) Stroke of Genius, and I also saw a kid pull an Evan Longoria Stroke of Genius when I was in the hobby shop one day, so I figured maybe I'd get lucky and pull something decent. As you can see, that did not happen. I have no idea what's going on with this guy, but after posting an ERA of close to 6 in 18 appearances last year, he does not look like he's pitched in the Majors at all in 2010. I should've known.

Captured on Canvas Jersey - Cal Ripken Jr. - Probably the highlight of the box for me. Yes, I know this is just a cheesy jersey card that I could probably pick up on eBay for 99 cents. This is my first Ripken relic though, and as a kid it was impossible not to like Ripken as he progressed through the streak in the mid-90's, breaking Lou Gherig's record and bringing countless frustrated fans back to baseball after the strike. Besides, at least it's not Glen Perkins.

Well there you have it, a less than stellar hobby box of 2008 Upper Deck Masterpieces. This, like my last few hobby boxes before it, put such a sour taste in my mouth that I haven't purchased a single hobby box of anything since. Especially when I looked afterwards and realized I could've purchased the entire 120 card set, with all 30 short prints, for less than what I paid for this box. Pretty easy to see why I've been on a vintage kick lately huh?

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