Sunday, January 17, 2016

Nostalgic Box Break: 1994 Collector's Choice Series One (Part Three)

Piazza. Puckett. Griffey. Bonds. Three people who won't be looking at the fourth joining them in Cooperstown anytime soon. But mostly, four of the poster-boys on packs of 1994 Collector's Choice, the inaugural, successful, fan-loved release of the behemoth product.

Today we tackle the last third of the box. I'd have posted sooner, but I was mourning one of my heroes. That, or I forgot to post for a few days. But mostly mourning Bowie.

 Pack 25- Much less variety in the photography here. A lot more stuff akin to current Topps, though there are some bright spots.

 Two momentary giants of baseball. Jack McDowell was coming off a Cy Young season, and David Justice was coming off another 30+ home run season.

 Pack 26- This is more like it. This is Collector's Choice in its prime. Not too many 'typical' shots in here.

 This is probably the most atypical of the bunch. Jose Rijo wearing ridiculous sunglasses. Man, you have to appreciate how out-there the 90's were.

 Meanwhile, Kevin Stocker is going for a steal, as one of the many 1993 Phillies in this set.

 I love this card because there aren't too many cards documenting Lee Smith as a Yankee, and this is a pretty damn nice one.

 GREAT double play shot. Just the absolute right moment to shoot the picture. Plus, Phillips looks pretty damn focused.

 A very cool on base shot for Carl Everett's rookie, and an even cooler Randy Johnson shot for his Performers subset.
 And of course, an ultra-awesome shot of Tony Gwynn signing a jersey. You have to respect the man.

 Pack 27- More horizontal domination.

 Gutierrez' is a shot that's a ton cooler when it's a horizontal like that. Put that in a vertical and it loses most of its luster.

 Also, he's perennial cool 90's shot guy Rick Wilkins fielding a ball.

 I love this card, because it's a complete contrast to Phillips' card as how not to enter a double plat. Man, dare I even call it a reverse-Utley.

 Ah yes, a throwback to 1993, when Albert Belle was leading EVERYTHING.

 Pack 28- Dupes abound, but some serious standouts here.

 Sooner or later both these guys would be holding down a hollow rotation. Gordon would take over as the head of the Boston rotation after Clemens' departure, while Sele would try to keep Seattle's afloat after Randy Johnson's trade.

 Oh my gosh. This may be one of my favorites in the entire set. He looks like he's sneaking around, waiting to throw the entire contents of the barrel on somebody's head. It's fantastic.

 Pack 29- The dupes are beginning to take over here, but there are still some cool cards left.

 Luis Gonzalez has the better shot here, but I love Doug Strange's because the managed to get the traveling ball in the shot. Only Collector's Choice would do that.

 I had to get a shot of O'Neill, because he was one of the greats back in those great Yankee seasons.

 Pack 30- A bit blurry here, but still worthy of mentioning.

 Fairly simple shot here, but handled really well.

 Another amazing shot. It's one thing to just zoom in on him jumping, but CC gets THE ENTIRE SHOT. INCLUDING THE GROUND. You HAVE to admire that crap.

 Two leaders cards here. Lofton as SB leader...yeah, that I could have called. But John Burkett AND Jack McDowell tying Tom Glavine in the wins category? That I did not see coming.

 Pack 31- So much drama in this pack.

 McLemore's is great because he's just so passionate about that run. Gilkey's is as the dust is beginning to settle, and it captures the impact on Gilkey. Very dramatic.

 As a plus, here's a cool shot of HOFer Greg Maddux stretching out, or catching a high ball, on the mound.

 Uh, can move now...

 Pack 32- Nothing worthy of shooting here. Mostly doubles.

 Pack 33- Now we're talking.

 Not a ton to talk about in this pack, but Sandy Alomar's back shot kind of says it all. I don't think Tony Pena (or whoever that is) especially wants to be in that photo.

 Pack 34- The writing's on the wall in the box, but there are one or two decent cards left.

 For instance, here's Billy Wagner's rookie card, fresh off his okay numbers on the HOF ballot.

 Also, here's Minnesota DH Dave Winfield sliding into third.

 Jose Lind is our gold parallel on the box, which is kinda cool.

 Pack 35- Penultimate pack. Still lots to talk about.

 I assume Greg Harris was the guy Jack Armstrong dumped all those balls on a few packs ago. I doubt he's happy about it, either. Meanwhile, Jeff Conine's rounding the bases in Miami.

 Nolan Ryan's last hurrah as an active player. Can't help but respect it.

 A very focused, very cool-looking Moises Alou.

 Here's a very fun warm-up card of future Expo and Hall of Famer Pedro Martinez. Gotta love it.

 Pack 36- The end.

 A rare shot of David Segui playing defense.

And to end it, here's a very cool batter's box card of Andy Van Slyke, a year away from his retirement.

Well, that's the box. Ton of fun to rip, with a ton of awesome photography swimming around. I might get another box posted sometime soon, as January's been very blank recently.

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