Monday, October 20, 2014

Nostalgic Box Break: 1995 Upper Deck Collector's Choice (Part 2)

We're nine packs into the box, and already I'm enjoying the set. Makes you remember how much effort they put into card sets back then. I couldn't imagine anything like this showing up nowadays.

Anyway, on with the break.

Pack 10- The two front-of-pack inserts include a silver sig of Mike MacFarlane, in a cool catcher's shot. Also, this pack has a rookie card of Joe Randa, one of the better fringe players of the early 2000's.

Cards of two sluggers who would both be on the decline after this season. Joe Carter's the better of the two, and his card has a very cool feel to it, especially with the stadium in the background. Meanwhile, Dante Bichette just has a powerful-looking pose.

Here are a few cool looking sideways cards, featuring Brian Hunter fielding a catch, Kirk McCaskill pitching, and Rich Becker waiting in the dugout.

Pack 11- Three cards that were worth a lot more in 1995. Listach basically stopped functioning after this season, Grieve never went on to be as big as the hype was in 1995, and Bonds...well, you know.

A few really cool shots, including a sliding Spike Owen and Eddie Taubansee picking up his catcher's mask.

Pack 12- Two cards of two very well known Hall of Famers. Brett must have been due to the late news of the slugger's retirement after the 1993 season, and it's meant as a tribute card. Puckett was still leading the leagues two years before his departure from the game, this time in RBI.

A nicely posed shot of Pete Schourek, and a shot of still-technically-a-star-era Jose Canseco. Man, if it weren't for Liar, Liar and that episode of the Simpsons, nobody would remember him.

Two cards of some 80's stars still in the game. Sutcliffe's on the bottom signing autographs, and that's a great shot. However, the standout is Orel Hershiser, who is one of my favorites, as he went to my high school.

Our Crash the Game card is of Manny Ramirez, back then still the slender, likable home run hitter for Cleveland. As per the rules, if Manny hit a home run on the printed date, August 13th 1995, this would be sent and redeemed for some prize of some sort. Unfortunately, Manny hit no such homer- the Indians' only homer against the 2nd-place-Yankees would be from Albert Belle.

Yet not even Manny was the best card in the pack...

Yep. That'd have to be Andre Dawson, in a really cool pre-game shot in Boston. Even with a season or two left in the tank, he still looks awesome, and he still has that commanding presence he had in his younger years.

Pack 13- Two full-bleed shots start the pack. One is a 'final tribute' shot of Ryne Sandberg, who bowed out halfway through the 1994 season due to injuries. Thankfully, he'd be back in 1996 for two more seasons in Cubbie blue. Meanwhile, Bob Hamelin won the Rookie of the Year back in 1994, and UD rewarded him by giving him a nice shot.

Three really nice back-of-the-card sets, which remind me how much I love Upper Deck products.

A bunch of cool front-of-the-card-shots, including Jose Valentin in action, and Mark Whiten hitting one out.

This is sort of a final tribute for Charlie Hough, the somewhat-legendary knuckleballer who was the first huge star in Miami, and was a part of some great rotations in Los Angeles and Arlington. Wish they would have given it the full-bleed treatment, but not complaining.

Pack 14- Meh inserts, save for the really cool drawn one of Mike Piazza.

Left to right- An overpaid, still being overpaid outfielder, a nice shot of a Dodger that nobody remembers, Beavis and/or Butthead.

Hey, what's goin' on Raul? Another You Crash the Game insert. So, did Raul Mondesi hit a home run on July 27th 1995? YES! YES HE DID! In a 9-4 win against Atlanta, Raul hit a home run, as well as essentially batter down Kent Mercker for the majority of the afternoon. Wow. Some kid in 1995 must have gotten something cool.

To follow that victory, here are two guys that will be on the Hall of Fame ballot this January. The guy on the left is likely getting in. The guy on the right is likely going to have to wait a while.

Prior to opening this box, I had no real idea that Jack Morris was a Cincinnati Red. Well, now I have proof, and now I have another great player in an unfamiliar uniform to add to my binder. Plus, on the offside chance that he makes the Hall of Fame soon, this could be worth something.

Pack 15- Base card highlights, including a Colorado Rockie with a name tag, and a sliding Roberto Kelly.

Oh yeah, I almost forgot. Larry Walker was traded to the Rockies in the offseason. So did Upper Deck evidently, so they made Walker one of the trade-in update set cards.

Pack 16- How's this for a mid-box pull? A semi-rookie card of one of the greatest shortstops ever to play the game. This is pretty nice, especially for a junk-wax era box. Plus, it's a great-looking card. It's like they knew.

A mixture of nice shots, including a double-play ready Chuck Knoblauch, and a ball-bobbling Don Slaught.

A couple of really nice back shots, including William Van Landingham trotting around the base paths in a jacket.

Two borderline Hall of Famers, who would be in opposite uniforms in five years' time. Baines had his shot on the ballot. Raines has been on the ballot for a while, and probably won't get in.

Pack 17- A couple of nice inserts. Larkin's is the silver sig. Yount's is a really nice final tribute. Mondesi's is is NY ROY card.

Some card back shots, including Greg Colbrunn wielding a bat sitting down, and a Primetime Bunt.

Our two highlights include an aging reliever and an up-and-coming Dodgers rookie, who would be the ROY in two years' time.

Pack 18- A nicely drawn fun shot of Griffey.

Photo highlights including Jose Rijo doing his impression of the guy from Raiders of the Lost Ark, John Wetteland, whom John Rocker briefly disguised himself during his three-episode-long stint on Survivor, and Manny Lee charging a slide.

BO! Any card of Bo Jackson is awesome, even if he's at the end of his career.

Well, those are another nine, so we're halfway through. I might get to post some more tomorrow.

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