Monday, January 4, 2016

Nostalgic Box Break: 1996 Collector's Choice Series One (Part Two)


A few days ago I ripped the first part of this box of '96 Collector's Choice. Now onto the next twelve packs.

 Pack 13- You can tell this is a 90's upper deck product because of all the diagonal shots of 90% sand.

 A very cool toss from Manny Alexander. This was the year that the Orioles nabbed Roberto Alomar, so Manny must not have gotten a ton of playing time.
Checklist of Randy Johnson throwing fire.
And a really cool shot of Ricky Henderson narrowly escaping the tag from Jose Valentin.

 Our game card is of Fred McGriff, who probably won't be joining the two fellows on his left in the hall of fame. Bagwell seems like he's headed in Wednesday night. Ozzie's one of the greatest shortstops of all time.
 Pack 14- And in come the Yankees and Dodgers.
 Tony Fernandez, the answer at short before Jeter's arrival, tags out an Atlanta Brave, which is pretty prophetic for what'd happen that October.
Will Clark in a very cool layered shot for the Rangers.

 Of course the star here is this amazing Multiple Exposure shot of Hideo Nomo, which is pretty damn cool, especially given Nomo's elaborate windup.
 Kirk Gibson's final season was in 1995, so UD gave him a Tribute card, which was nice of them. Eric Karros and Rondell White were still pretty big in 1996.

 Pack 15- Yay for Canada.

 Had to point out this shot of B.J. Surhoff hitting from a tee. In 1996, Surhoff had 79 strikeouts-his 2nd most. So that's a pretty ironic shot. He probably missed the tee, too.

 Another excellent shot of John Vander Wal, one of the more photogenic no-names of the 90's, just hanging around the dugout.

 Two guys on the HOF ballot. Walker's repping Canada in the International Flavor subset. Piazza is hanging with Eric Karros.
 And a Game card of Don Mattingly, on his last legs (no pun intended)

 Pack 16- more Borderline HOFers!

 Two really good horizontal shots that I forgot to rotate. So just tilt your head for this one.

 A very cool, very VJ-Lovero-esque shot of Andy Benes warming up. Great color contrast.

 John Kruk's last season was 1995, as a member of the White Sox, which went pretty poorly for him, actually. He still managed to nab a Tribute card.
And, of course, Greg Maddux in a Fantasy Team subset.

 Tim Raines, a guy who should be a Hall of Famer by now, in a very cool zoomed-in shot. And of course Fernando-mania throwing for the Padres.

 Finally, our game card is of base-stealing Kenny Lofton.

 Pack 17- This set does skew toward its full bleed All Stars/Award Winners/Tributes, but the white border ones still work.
 Here's Ozzie Guillen practicing what he's going to do to Kenny Williams when he fires him.

 Two landmark 80's-90's arms. David Cone was just becoming a member of the colossal Yankees team for the late 90's Dave Stewart had just finished his career with a return season in Oakland.

 Two members of the 90's NL Braves dynasty. Chipper was just breaking out. Maddux was already the best pitcher in the league.

 Pack 18- This pack is very midwest-intensive.

 Baerga was just rounding the corner of one of his last few relevant seasons. Alan Trammell, still on the HOF ballot this year, was just finishing up his career in Detroit.

 Two guys who were good at their job FOREVER. Martinez was just a little less consistent than Maddux.

 Pack 19- The steroids are strong with this one.

 Here's Mark Carreon flipping off any Londoners in the audience, and Hideo Nomo, what else, throwing absolute fire in '95.

 Weird to see Jason Schmidt without an appropriate amount of facial stubble on his chin.

 Raul Mondesi, here in another Traditional Threads insert, and Fred McGriff just chilling on the sideline.

 Two guys that probably took steroids from the same guy.

 Pack 20-Not a ton to say about these ones.
 Thomas Howard looks pretty happy to be a bench guy on a lackluster Reds squad. Bonds is juuust starting roids here, probably.
Also, a really cool posed shot of Brad Ausmus. What's more, his elbow overlaps the design, which is pretty awesome. If Ausmus doesn't get any votes on Wednesday, he'll still have this.

 Craig Biggio was biting his nails this time last season, and now he's definitely a Hall of Famer. Galarraga is a smiling recipient of another International Flavor card.

 This is literally the embodiments of good and evil in the baseball world.

 Pack 21- Not a ton of eye-popping photography in this one, but some names.

 Two Hall of Famers, deservingly so. Alomar was on his way to Baltimore when this set was released. Gwynn was riding high on another excellent season.

 Terry Pendleton, in the early 90's, proved you can get an MVP by dominating in the hits and average categories. Nearly got another one in '92, too. In '96 he was splitting time between Miami and Cincinnati, rounding out his career. Ron Gant, meanwhile, was still in the midst of his strong little career.

 Pack 22- The box is beginning to wind down here.

 Traditional Threads is of Roger Clemens, fresh off his cameo in Kingpin. Kirby Puckett, in one of his last few cards, runs it out.

 Cordova didn't do too much after 1996, but this shot is certainly a nice one, with the right amount of sun on his profile.
 A Game card of Kevin Appier, one of the winningest pitchers in Royals history, rounds the pack out.

Pack 23- More midwest love in this one.

 A very cool gold parallel of Bobby Higginson.

Lou Whitaker finished things up in 1995, hence his very nice tribute card. Additionally, a Fantasy Team card of Barry Larkin, and a cool posed card of HOF-ballot member Trevor Hoffman.

 Pack 24- A ton more dramatic shots in this one, for some reason.

 The top card commemorates a 12-player blockbuster trade between the Astros and Padres. Steve Finley was one of the few big names involved.
Bottom card is an ultra-cool one of recent retiree LaTroy Hawkins.

 Two cards that are definitely heading to my binders, of two of my favorite players. Jim Thome, seen hitting a home run, is definitely headed to Cooperstown in 2 years. Lee Smith, signing autos for Angels fans, should be in, but the voters don't seem to think so.

A very dramatic shot of Randy Johnson, and a very now-or-never moment for Roger Clemens, next to a Game insert from Wade Boggs.

2/3rds done. A lot of really cool stuff in this box. I'll try to get the last part up tomorrow or Wednesday.

1 comment:

  1. Re: Ausmus, I always loved that little detail of the player overlapping the design. You see it a bit in 1993 and it's almost like having a 3D card.