Acetate Card of the Day – 2005 Donruss Studio Jason Varitek

Last week I wrote about my love for acetate sports cards and my experiences collecting them. I figured I would start a post every week or so about an acetate card in my collection. I will be discussing the design, set, and anything else I feel is pertinent to the discussion. And with 2010-11 Panini Contenders hockey coming out today with their acetate insert set, I figured it would be a good day to start. My box is probably being sent out today, but I have plenty of other acetate cards laying around.

Featured acetate card of the day:

2005 Donruss Studio – Studio Stars – Jason Varitek

2005 Donruss Studio was one of the first sets I worked on in my return to the hobby in 2005. Studio Stars was one of the first insert sets I completed as well. Sadly, when I moved a bunch of my cards left over in Connecticut out to Oregon, a box with this insert set in it went missing. Luckily, I keep all my Red Sox cards separate from the others and they survived.

2005 Donruss Studio was fun because of the city scape in the background. I know it’s been done for years before that but I enjoyed the player on the front with the city in the background. There was also a bunch of nice insert sets with some pretty nice patch or autograph hits. The highlight of my several boxes of 2005 Studio was a Masterstrokes Auto/Jersey/Bat of Miguel Cabrera numbered out of 25. But I always loved the acetate insert set.

The design of this card is definitely top notch. The player is featured in the middle of the card with a fiery background which makes the player pop out from the card. The lettering on the top and bottom is bold with team colors on top of the clear area making it pop out even more and easily readable, even if shown through my back window. The foil area on the top left changes according to the parallel, this time being blue as this card is numbered out of 50. Overall, absolutely beautiful looking card.

Jason Varitek is currently the backup catcher for the Boston Red Sox. He has spent his entire Major League career with the Red Sox after he was traded as a prospect from the Seattle Mariners in one of the best deals in Red Sox history. The Red Sox traded Heathcliff Slocumb to the Seattle Mariners for prospects Derek Lowe and Jason Varitek. Needless to say, this deal would reap great benefits for the Red Sox. Derek Lowe would throw a no-hitter and become a central piece to the 2004 World Championship team. Jason Varitek would become one of the best defensive and offensive catchers in the league as well as the best caller of a game in the league. He went on to catch no hitters from Hideo Nomo, Derek Lowe, Jon Lester, and Clay Buchholz which is a Major League record. He may have had another when Devern Hansack had a no hitter through 7 innings, but the game was called due to rain. He was the first Red Sox captain since Jim Rice and in my eyes should be in the Baseball Hall of Fame someday.

Preview: 2011 Upper Deck Goodwin Champions

First off, please God, we can only hope this is not as bad as World of Sports. I want to get into the whole multi-sport thing, but World of Sports wasn’t Upper Deck’s best effort. You can check the review tab for my personal box break and review of that product.

Anyway, this product is filed under baseball on most website, but you can find a ton of autos from a large cross spectrum of sports in this product. The best part about this product is that every card is hard signed. Finally companies are starting to give what the collectors want and that is hard signed autographs. This product will have 20 packs with 5 cards per pack. The base set is 150 cards so it will take 2 boxes to make a complete set.

Every box will contain a total of three of the following: Hard signed autographs, Memorabilia, Embroidered patch cards (more manu-patches! ew), or a 1 of 1 printing plate. Every pack will have a mini, a short print, or an insert inside it so you will get your insert fixes. Also, this marks the return of the 5×7 box topper in all the boxes. Personally, I think all boxes should have some sort of box topper and this is a great addition.

Included as relics in this product are several intriguing possibilities. World leaders from the past and present, inspirational people, and landmarks from around the world. Did I mention the bugs are back? Yes, Entomology is making a comeback with all new bugs and beetles and all that stuff if you are into it. They were a hit last time, but personally I would squish them. I’ve never been a fan of non sports in my sports cards. I can understand the occasional Americana relic in certain sets, but bugs? Not my piece of the pie. Although animals involved in sports are different. There will be Kentucky Derby winner relics in this product as well which I don’t mind.

Although this is not officially licensed in any sort of way, the design of the cards is nice and it looks like the checklist is full of stars from the sporting world. Most of the cards have the player in a casual, non-competitive setting which I’m not crazy about, but I don’t hate it either. It’s definitely different but hopefully in a good way. But I don’t think it will be hard to do better then World of Sports.

Right now it’s set to come out the first week of July 2011. The price point is around $70 for a full hobby box.

Site News: Incoming Boxes

For all you who enjoy box breaks of nice products, I have 3 boxes coming in. One from each of the 3 major league card companies.

– 1 Box 2010-11 Upper Deck SP Authentic Hockey

– 1 Box 2010-11 Panini Contenders Hockey

– 1 Box 2010 Topps Triple Threads Football

I wanted to do a “fight to the death” of Upper Deck and Panini hockey products. I think Contenders has a serious chance to take SP Authentic on as one of the hockey favorites of the year. So this will be a head to head product break and review.

I wanted to get Topps in on the madness so I also ordered a box of Triple Threads football. Probably the second best Topps football product of the year (after 5 Star) and just fit in my price range.

And finally, to add one more bit of madness to this, I ordered 2 of the boxes from Blowout and the other box from DA Card World. There will be blood! I will review both companies afterwards as well.

The Triple Threads should be here first, as Contenders isn’t released until Wednesday. At least, I think that’s how it works. I’m not sure if the product will be sent to arrive after release date or if they have to wait to send until street date.

So I hope you’re looking forward to the breaks and reviews. At least I have some time to think of more ways to make an idiot out of myself on camera.

Depending on when they come in and when I can get something totally awesome done for this site, I might be having some giveaways in celebration. Stay tuned.

The Ethics of Pack Searching

Today I went to Fred Meyer to search for a blaster of 2011 Topps Gypsy Queen or 2011 Bowman. Freddy’s had neither but I saw an open retail box of Gypsy, loosys as many people know them as. They were all mixed up, turned around, sideways, obviously rifled through. When purchasing loose packs you always run the chance that someone had come by and tried to search them for the “hits”, game used or autographs. Needless to say, I opened 5 of the remaining 15 packs and didn’t get much.

Were these packs searched? I don’t know, I couldn’t tell.

Pack searching is the act in which someone goes to a retail or hobby store and molests the packs of cards with their hands or other devices in which to try and find the hits. I would estimate about 10-15% of collectors are known to do this in one form or another whether they admit it or not. I wouldn’t be surprised if that number was higher. But why do they do it? Greed is probably the most common reason. Self-esteem issues because their collections may not match that of others they know online or in person is another. Finally, maybe they don’t know what they are doing is wrong. Ethically, searching packs is wrong.

Hits are put into boxes according to odds, it says so on the back of packs and boxes. These searchers are the ones who try and defy these odds, therefore taking what is supposed to be random out of the equation. If some little kid or myself wants to go to the store and buy a pack of cards and receive the same odds as everyone else, we usually end up just buying a blaster or hobby box because we don’t know what has been done to those packs. The searchers create an atmosphere in which nobody is getting the same odds and is in effect, unfair to those who come later. Sure, you may say those odds will change by those who pick randoms themselves but those people are not trying to get 1:1 instead of 1:3500.

Also, the pack searchers often damage the cards in itself causing the monetary value of what is purchased to be lower. Now not only are the random odds being taken away, the money being spent is now going to a complete waste. Do you want to be the victim of such practices?

I avoid all cases in which I could possibly be a victim, except for last night. I should of known better, but every once and awhile I just like to open new packs for fun and just see what’s inside without worrying about what is actually inside. But how can one protect themselves?

  • Buy from newly opened boxes
  • Save your money and stick to just buying boxes from reputable dealers
  • Go to a dealer who is honest in themselves (shop owners are known to do this as well)
  • Buy loose packs from dealers who keep them behind counters

All of those points are ways to protect yourself to make sure you are getting the same odds as everyone else when buying packs. Why would you not want to get what you are paying for?

In all fairness, pack searchers are the bottom feeders of the hobby. They ruin the pack opening experience for both the young and the old, the newbies and the veterans. The card companies have taken some measures to counter their actions, but it seems like the searchers always find ways around it. The best stride I have seen companies take is just to put single packs inside clam shell packaging so people can’t molest the packs. This is not cost effective so it doesn’t happen as much as it is really needed.

In the end, the only protection you will get is the protection you will give yourself. You can help others too. Report pack searchers to the store employees as they are most likely damaging products. The stores won’t take too kindly to that.

Finally, I leave you with some words of wisdom. Wheaton’s Law states, “Don’t be a dick.” You should live your life by that motto, it may come back to…mess with you.

Preview Update: 2010-11 Panini Dominion Hockey Brass Bonanza Found

I asked Tracy Hackler of Panini for an image of what the Hartford Whalers Brass Bonanza set would look like so I could see what I will be searching the ends of the earth for. He got back to me he that he would find something for me.

In the mean time, I’ve done my own detective work. This is PROBABLY what Tracy would of sent me anyway. Maybe I can convince him to send me an image of a card not seen yet.

But I unveil you this:

Oh it was so tiny. Now it’s blurry because I had to make it bigger. But at least this will give you an idea of what to look for all you Whaler fans out there.

It looks like Shanny is confirmed.

My personal checklist would be:

Gordie Howe (UD exclusive, sadly), Brendan Shanahan, Ron Francis, Bobby Hull, Kevin Dineen, Geoff Sanderson, Pat Verbeek, Dave Babych, Ulf Samuelsson, Dave Keon, Sean Burke and Mike Liut

I would add Andrew Cassels just for the fact he has the most career goals…knocked in with his face. Check out his first goal with his face and his second goal with his face.

Anyone else going to go for the full set of Bonanza Brass? I can’t wait for July to come.