Jul 21, 2010

Those are the breaks: from Nachos Grande

A few months ago (time passes quickly here). Chris of Nachos Grande hosted a pair of group breaks, showcasing a variety of sets from the late '90s and early-mid 2000s. Here are some of the highlights.

Mike Schmidt and Ryan Howard from 2005 Upper Deck All-Star Classics: The prediction was correct; Ryan Howard became an all-star in 2006, 2009, and 2010. Mike Schmidt had 11 all-star appearances (12 total elections)

1997 Collector's Choice Ricky Bottalico and Lenny Dykstra: Is that the arm that saved 34 games in 1996? I would have to say no, that is his left arm.
2003 Upper Deck Honor Roll Pat Burrell and Bobby Abreu: This was a weird set, the checklist is basically composed of image variations of the other half of the set. I like the juxtaposition of the new Phillies 'P' on the card with the old Phillies 'P' from Burrell's retro uniform.

1995 Topps Stadium Club Jim Eisenreich: Show me a person who doesn't like Jim Eisenreich, and I'll show you a person that doesn't like "Field of Dreams" (and we all know what that implies)

2004 Upper Deck Vintage Roy Oswalt jersey: As a kindness, Chris included this jersey in the group break. I appreciate the sepia vintageness of the card.
2004 Upper Deck Vintage Jim Thome: So nice he even received an ovation after hitting a home run against the Phillies this year while with the Twins (of course his HR sparked a 5 run rally in the 9th inning that led the Phillies to lose the game, but the fans didn't know that at the time)
1998 Collector's Choice Griffey, Walker, and McGwire: These were the HR leaders of 1997, Griffey led the AL with 56, Walker led the NL with 49, and McGwire led everyone with 58 while being traded from the A's to the Cardinals during midseason.
1999 UD Choice Alex Rodriguez: A-rod in a simpler time.
1998 Collector's Choice Griffey and Galarraga: Remember how potent the Coors Field effect was during the pre-humidor days. You could draft any Rockies marginal player on your fantasy team and he would have 100 RBIs and high batting average (except for Jeff Cirillo)
1999 UD Choice Ken Griffey Jr: I have yet to punch this out and build the mini bobbing head.

Above are more Griffeys and A-Rods from 1998 and 1999 Collector's and UD Choice.
Lastly, 1998 Collector's Choice Starquest Edgar Martinez: Here is the greatest DH hitter so far since its institution. I think he deserves a fair shake at the Hall of Fame (I have not examined his candidacy in full yet though). Just check out those rate stats.

Side Note: Do you remember the contest when Collector's Choice first came out as a brand in 1994? The winner received a card in the next year's set pictured with Ken Griffey Jr. Anyone remember what you had to do to win the contest?

Thanks for the cards, Chris. It was very fun.

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