For the past two years, I’ve financed all of my larger sports card purchases by selling off my old Transformers from my childhood. Back in late 2007, I sold off 5 or 6 of the better Transformers as well as my A-Rod 1995 Upper Deck autographed jumbo and raised a little over $400 for the big Shriner’s card show in Wilmington, Massachusetts. I walked away from that show with 2007 Allen & Ginter, 2007 Turkey Red Baseball, 2006-07 Turkey Red Basketball, 2007-08 Topps Basketball HTA Jumbos, 2007 Bowman Baseball (yuck) and the 2004 Upper Deck Red Sox World Series set. That’s not what this post is about though.
This post is about a recent Transformers funded shopping spree at Dave and Adam's Card World. After spending a lot on just one box for my last purchase, I decided to go for quantity this time around. I was hoping that I would get quality as well. Whether I did or not will be revealed over the next few days.
The cheapest box that I got very well may have been my favorite. That box is 2007 Upper Deck SP Rookie Edition Baseball. I got a box of this for Christmas and enjoyed it so much that I decided to get another one.
I think that one of the main things that I dislike about the hobby at the moment is that so many sets are nigh impossible to put together. I did the majority of my collecting when sets were pretty easy to put together. I’ve got sets of 1992 Bowman, 1993 SP Baseball, 1993 SP Football, 1994 SP Baseball and a bunch of other sets released around that time. Now that I’ve busted open two boxes of this stuff, I’m going to look into putting a set together, but with all of the short prints it might be more trouble than it’s worth. Enough about the set, let’s get on to the box!
I really like the base cards in this set. You’ve got nice, close up shots of the players in front of a colored background. It’s a nice simple design. The names are in foil, but since the foil is nice and large it isn’t tough to read.
The two autographs that I pulled were nothing to write home about. I got a Kory Casto (Who I also got in my first box) and Joaquin Arias (whose autograph looks like a math equation). Arias was once a top prospect and was the player to be named later in the A-Rod trade to the Yankees, but a shoulder injury changed all of that. Casto hasn’t done much in the majors yet and I don’t think he’s got a position to start at this year.
I got a decent batch of rookies out of the box. Being a Sox fan, I was happy to see a couple of Okajimas in the box. What appeared to many at first as a signing to make Dice-K happy turned out to be a steal as Okajima had a dominant rookie season and a very solid sophomore season. Boston has an exceptional bullpen heading into 2009 and the work load on Okajima should be reduced and that will hopefully lead to another dominant season for Oki.
Speaking of Dice-K, I got the two common rookies from the set. I already had one of them so that will go with my other Dice-K rookies. Dice-K had a good rookie season and a Cy Young caliber sophomore season. If he didn’t miss a few games due to injury he would have brought the award back to Boston. Dice-K, Beckett and Lester are a formidable trio are the front of the Red Sox rotation. Once they get to the playoffs, it is going to be tough to beat them in a playoff series.
While these aren’t technically rookies, they’re still Josh Hamilton cards and worth posting. Hamilton powered my fantasy team last year, but he and the rest of my team slowed down at the end of the season leading to my quick elimination in the playoffs. Hamilton, Longoria (injury), Hanley Ramirez, Ellsbury, Markakis and Doumit all seemed to do nothing late in the year after blowing it up early in the season.
This was the best part of the box. I pulled three Lincecum rookies including one of the short printed ones. Lincecum was also on my fantasy team and I was glad to see that the Baseball Writers gave the NL Cy Young Award to the right person. It’s rare when the writers overlook wins for other stats, but Lincecum was by far the best pitcher in the National League in 2008.
So, after busting two boxes of this stuff, I have 172 cards out of the 284 card set. As you can see from the checklist on the left, most of the cards needed are SPs and will probably cost me an arm and a leg to acquire. If you happen to have any singles from this set that I need, please let me know and we’ll work out a trade. You can click on the image to the left to open a larger picture.
Overall, I like this set a lot. I’m a sucker for the retro designs and I like the base design as well. There are some good rookies in the set including two BoSox rookies. The collation is pretty good on this stuff. I didn’t get any doubles in my first box and after opening the second box I had just 47 duplicates. You can’t pull anything out of this stuff that’s going to make you rich, but it is loaded with great rookies and is fun to break open for what it sells for these days. I give the set in its current context an A. The grade would have been a lot lower if I purchased this stuff when it was brand new though.