Sunday, May 31, 2020

Affordable Group Break - 1995 Topps Stadium Club Football Series 1 & 2

** 06/03/20 UPDATE ** Prices have been lowered for all remaining teams.

Time to change gears after a week off. This break will feature two Hobby boxes of 1995 Topps Stadium Club football - Series 1 & 2. This set consists of 450 cards with each pack consisting of 13 cards, 24 packs in each box. For more information on this set including checklists, be sure to visit the Trading Card Database. There are some very nice inserts in these two boxes that we'll be chasing including laser cut Medalists and MVPs and a chrome Nightmares set with commentary by comic legend Vampirella?!

ALL cards ship! Price is listed beside each team. The price does not include shipping. Like with my recent previous breaks, stacking applies so if you bought into a previous break or want me to hold your cards until you see what's next, I'll send you a PayPal invoice for shipping whenever you're ready.

We'll break this box Live on my YouTube channel as soon as the break fills up. I'll update all of my social media outlets (FB group, Twitter @flywheels) as the teams are claim. We’ll break this box on Friday evening, 06/05/20 at 9 PM Eastern.
To claim your team(s) please comment with your request and submit your payment at that time. If you haven't participated in one of my breaks, please email me your name & mailing address. Please send your payment as Friends & Family

Arizona Cardinals $1
Atlanta Falcons $3 - Roy G PAID
Buffalo Bills $2 - Roy G PAID
Carolina Panthers - Colbey PAID
Chicago Bears - Colbey PAID
Cincinnati Bengals $1
Cleveland Browns $1 - Tim H MAILED
Dallas Cowboys $3 - Ben M PAID
Denver Broncos $2 - Roy G PAID
Detroit Lions $2 - Ben M PAID
Green Bay Packers $2 - Ben M PAID
Houston Oilers $2
Indianapolis Colts $2 - Tim B PAID
Jacksonville Jaguars $2 - gcrl PAID
Kansas City Chiefs $1
Los Angeles/Oakland Raiders $2
Miami Dolphins $3 - Spiegel83 PAID
Minnesota Vikings $2 - gcrl PAID
New England Patriots $2 - Tom T PAID
New Orleans Saints $1 - Roy G PAID
New York Giants $1
New York Jets $1
Philadelphia Eagles $2 - Kerry B PAID
Pittsburgh Steelers $3 - Tim H MAILED
San Diego Chargers $1 - Roy G PAID
San Francisco 49ers $4 - Dustin D PAID
Seattle Seahawks $1
St. Louis Rams $1 - Wade F PAID
Tampa Bay Buccaneers $3 - Ben M PAID
Washington Redskins - Colbey PAID

Tuesday, May 26, 2020

Retrospective: 1990

Welcome to Retrospective, a new series of posts where I look back at sets in chronological/alphabetical order since the year I began collecting. These posts will have a decidedly Braves feel (of course) and will feature my overall opinion including the highs and lows of the different sets released.

The year is 1990. This was the year a friend of mine first introduced me to the world of baseball cards and collecting. Prior to 1990 I don't believe I ever paid baseball cards any attention. I grew up playing baseball, but my interest in the sport didn't carry off the field. I didn't know what the term "junk wax" was, let alone had I heard the term in 1990. My eyes were being open for the very first time to a world of collecting something other than Hot Wheels or GI Joe. Little did I know this was the beginning of a very long journey that I'm still taking part of 30 years later.


   * The size of the cards returned to the traditional measurements in 1990
   * Minimalistic design lead to larger photos

   * Card backs were done in a monotone blue and featured non-traditional stats

I saw very little of Bowman in my first year of collecting. Most of my card purchases came from drug stores or the occasional gas station. Hobby shops weren't on my radar at this time and that's where it seems you had to visit to purchase Bowman. For this reason I don't have much to say about this release.

Classic Blue

   * A design that screams 90's
   * Trivia...who doesn't like trivia?
   * I like the inclusion of an autograph space on the bottom of the card back
   * Card backs remind me a little of Donruss

   * A design that screams 90's
   * Lack of team logo on the front
   * Minimum stats on the back

Even 30 years later I still don't have many Classic cards in my collection. While I don't actively search them out, I haven't had many sent to me in trades or see them in dime boxes at shows. I kinda like the design and the bright colors and wouldn't mind picking some up...if I can ever find any.

Classic Update (Pink)

   * More of the same from the blue set

   * I don't mind gaudy colors sometimes, but the pink on these cards hurts my eyes

Like with the blue Classic set, these cards of eluded my grasp thus far. I'm not too big on the pink and blue color scheme so I doubt I'll be searching these out any time soon.

Classic Update (Yellow)

   * Color choice isn't nearly as bad as the first update set
   * Trivia and autograph spaces return on the card backs

   * Why couldn't Classic have combined these two update sets into one?

I see to have found more cards of the yellow update set in the wild than I have of the blue or pink sets for some reason. While the yellow isn't nearly as bad as the pink used in the other update set, I still prefer the blue. My love for bright yellow cards hasn't yet come to fruition (though that happens next year courtesy of Fleer!)


   * One of the first sets I was introduced to
   * Diamond Kings
   * Card backs feature a decent amount of stats and other info

   * Design - it may be "iconic" 30 years later, but it hasn't aged well
   * Lack of a team logo on the front
   * I never cared for how the players names differed from the front to the back
   * Very thin cardstock

This set holds a special place in my memories as it was partially responsible for getting me hook on cards in the first place. While it's not the worst design by Donruss (the 1991 set holds that designation) this set hasn't aged well. As a kid I had a hard time reading the script used on the front for the players name. Today I like the script used as it's different and stands out from other sets released during 1990. I keep resisting the urge to take a trip down memory lane and build this set. So far I've resisted, but the cheap prices on sealed boxes does make it tempting at times.


   * Clean design
   * Colorful an well laid out card backs

   * Boring photography on many of the cards

While most of my 1990 collection consisted of Donruss and Topps, I did manage to find a few packs of Fleer here and there. I was a fan of the overall design. The colored ribbon around the photo combined with the white borders were a nice tough, especially when compared to some of the "louder" designs of Classic, Donruss and Topps of the same year. I don't have much attachment to this set and as a result I've not sought out many of the Braves.


   * Clean design
   * Good amount of stats and other info on card backs

   * Scarcity
   * Higher price tag

I remember the first time I saw these cards in an issue of Beckett and I instantly was intrigued. The design (front and back), the player selection, the photos...I loved everything about this set. Too bad cards from this set were out of my grasp for the most part in 1990. I would eventually track down most of the Braves, but now I'm looking for other key cards in the set. I've never opened a pack and would love some day to crack a box and build this set.

Panini Stickers

   * Surprisingly feature some good action shots

   * Stickers, not cards

While technically not cards, Panini was the king of stickers and still is today. It would be several years into my collecting before I would come across my first Braves sticker. I've never seen the album these stickers go in, but that's OK as I treat them as very thin cards!


   * Colorful design
   * Cardback features color headshot and packed with stats and info
   * Large set to build

   * Multiple colored boarders
   * Bright borders are a dead giveaway that this set is from the 90's

Score is another brand that I didn't see a whole lot of in 1990, but would go one to become one of my favorite sets each year. Initially the only '90 Score card I would have in my collection was this RC of David Justice. Eventually I'd pick up the rest of the team set. 30 years later this is a set I've been eyeing to buy a box or two of and building the set. My only real gripe with this set is the use of different colored borders. I wish they would have stuck with one color, preferably blue.


   * Lenticular technology
   * Card backs

   * Curling cards
   * Small set

I have always loved lenticular trading cards so imagine my surprise when I discovered the Sportflics brand years after I started collecting. The cards don't scan or photograph all that great, but are fun to look at in hand. I like the colorful card backs, but the large photo doesn't allow for a lot of player stats. These cards do have a tendency to curl a little bit because of the lenticular front and the stock used, but that doesn't impede on my enjoyment of this set.


   * Responsible for my introduction to the hobby

   * Overall design, front & back

This is where it really all started for me. I know this set gets dumped on a lot by collectors, but Topps (and '90 Donruss) were responsible for getting me hooked on this hobby. If I'm being honest I don't care for the design, front or back, but nostalgia is real and it was too hard for me to say no to recently buying a few boxes. I'm slowly opening the packs and reliving the memories from 30 years ago.

Topps Big

   * All horizontal set

  * Oversized measurements
  * Design

I still remember the first time I saw these oversized cards at a local card show. I didn't know what to think about these. Why were they so big? Did other collectors like these? While I know that today the Topps Big sets do have their fans, I never cared for this set and thus have zero in my collection. Had then been traditional size I'm sure I'd have the Braves players, but then that would defeat this set's overall gimmick of being "Big".

Upper Deck

   * Minimalistic design
   * Great photography

  * Higher price tag

Much like '90 Leaf ushered in a more premium card, so did Upper Deck the prior year. Back for it's second set, Upper Deck featured a white card stock, great photography (front & back) and had UD's signature hologram on the back of each card. Thanks again to Beckett, I would drool over the thought of adding some of the Braves from this set to my collection. As a kid I only managed to open a few packs as I wasn't able to come by them very easily. It's not my favorite 90's UD set, but one set that has aged quite well over the years in my opinion.

1990 sure had it's hit and misses, but will always remain an important year for me. It's funny how viewing these sets 30 years later hasn't changed my opinion all that much. Even as a teenager I knew what I liked and what I didn't like. I dubbed 1991 as my first "full year" of collecting as I didn't open my first pack until mid-summer 1990. 1991 would be just as memorable, if not more than 1990.

Friday, May 22, 2020

2003 Fleer Hot Prospects / 2003 Upper Deck Standing O Group Break Results

For this week's edition of our Affordable Group Breaks we broke two boxes from 2003 - Fleer MLB Hot Prospects (Hobby) and Upper Deck Standing O. Below is a quick recap of some of the highlights, along with the video from Friday night's break.

We'll start with Standing O. While looking up this set I discovered that this took the place of Upper Deck's Ovation line and I believe Standing O was retail only. This was a small box, but it still packed a lot of fun thanks in part to the 1:1 seeded die-cut parallels.

We got a nice selection of base cards featuring some good names. Just about all the teams were represented. The checklist was odd with some teams only having one or two players represented.

World Premieres were short printed and seeded 1:4 packs. Can't say I've ever heard of these players, but AJ (@Lost_Collector) said he knew Jason Anderson made it the majors with the Yankees for a short time.

These baseball shaped parallels were the highlight of the least in my opinion. I had forgotten the front of the card had a baseball like texture feel and the seams were embossed.

Onto the hobby box of Fleer MLB Hot Prospects next. This large box yielded 15 packs. What I didn't realize however was that 4 "hits" were guaranteed as well. This was a nice surprise for me.

The base cards look really nice, printed on a thicker than normal cardstock. The design may be a little busy, but I've seen far worse before. Like with the previous box, we got a nice selection of players/teams from the base cards.

Cream of the Crop inserts were seeded 1:5 packs so the odds were spot on that we pulled 3 - Pedro Martinez, Nomar Garciaparra and Hideki Matsui.

The first auto pulled came early in the box and was of Cory Stewart. This card is numbered 106/500. Adam McKenzie played "clean up" and grabbed the Padres at the very end for super cheap. Congrats!

The next "hit" pulled was this Future Swatch card of the White Sox's Joe Borchard. This card contains a piece of pants worn in a spring training game and is numbered 1019/1250.

The other auto pulled was this nice looking Player Graphs of Angel's prospect, Francisco Rodriguez. This card is numbered 269/400.

The last two cards pulled were from the Class of... insert set and featured two different players from two different teams. One was the base version and the other featured two pieces of game worn jerseys. The memorabilia version is numbered 293/375.

With the Class of... cards featuring more than one player, these were randomized between the participants using

Overall this was another successful break in my opinion. I don't plan to break multiple boxes the same night all that often, but this was fun. I'm going to wrap this up so I can get these cards sorted out and filed away. If you were a participant and you're ready to have your stack of cards shipped, please let me know. You can leave a comment on this post or send me an email if you'd like. Thanks again to everyone who participated!

Sunday, May 17, 2020

Affordable Group Break - 2003 Fleer MLB Hot Prospects (Hobby)

** UPDATE 05/21/20 - All full! **

This break will feature 2003 Fleer MLB Hot Prospects (Hobby). This set consists of 123 cards with each pack consisting of 5 cards, 15 packs in the box. For more info on this set, be sure to visit the Trading Card Database or BaseballCardPedia for checklists.

I'm posting these signs up to the Facebook group, my blog and on Twitter all at the same time so if you want to claim a team(s), I recommend you don't wait. This time around we'll be breaking two different boxes the same night, so look for the two separate sign up posts.

Price is listed beside each team. The price does not include shipping. Like with my recent previous breaks, stacking applies so if you bought into a previous break or want me to hold your cards until you see what's next, I'll send you a PayPal invoice for shipping whenever you're ready. We'll break this box Live on my YouTube channel as soon as the break fills up. I'll update all of my social media outlets (FB group, Twitter @flywheels) as the teams are claim. We'll be looking to break this box Friday evening, 05/23/20 at 9 PM Eastern.

To claim your team(s) please comment with your request and submit your payment at that time. If you haven't participated in one of my breaks, please email me your name & mailing address. Please send your payment as Friends & Family

Anaheim Angels $2 - Tom T. paid
Arizona Diamondbacks $3 - Adam McK. paid
Atlanta Braves - Colbey paid
Baltimore Orioles $1 - Adam McK. paid
Boston Red Sox $2 - Roy G. paid
Chicago Cubs $3 - Trevor P. paid
Chicago White Sox - Colbey paid
Cincinnati Reds - Colbey paid
Cleveland Indians $1 - OhioTim
Colorado Rockies $1 - Adam McK. paid
Detroit Tigers $2 - Scribbled Ink paid
Florida Marlins $2 - @RubenCollects
Houston Astros $3 - Marc B. paid
Kansas City Royals $3 - @jmswyo paid
Los Angeles Dodgers $3 - Spiegel83 paid
Milwaukee Brewers $1 - Mark E. paid
Minnesota Twins $1 - Adam McK. paid
Montreal Expos $3 - Tom T. paid
New York Mets - Colbey paid
New York Yankees $5 - @Lost_Collector paid
Oakland Athletics $1 - Adam McK. paid
Philadelphia Phillies $2 - Adam McK. paid
Pittsburgh Pirates $1 - Wade F. paid
San Diego Padres $1 - Adam McK. paid
San Francisco Giants $2 - Dustin D. paid
Seattle Mariners $2 - @AlexK245 paid
St. Louis Cardinals $3 - Kerry B. paid
Tampa Bay Devil Rays $1 - Adam McK. paid
Texas Rangers $3 - Tim B./@cardpocalypseNC paid
Toronto Blue Jays $1 - Adam McK. paid