Sunday, May 16, 2010

Did they say "mojo" in 2002?

After work last night, I opened all 10 of the 10-year-old packs that I dug out of the cheapie bucket at the card shop.

I'm really glad I saw that bucket. I almost missed it. It sits on the floor and is at the eye level of a newborn baby. Plus, they moved it from one end of the counter to the other. I nearly left the place with nothing, even though I was in such a card-buying yank that I considered grabbing some 2010 Upper Deck base packs.

OK, not really. But I was desperate.

The 10-year-old packs I picked up put me in a much better frame of mind. Especially one particular pack of Topps Gallery from 2002.

Five of the 10 packs that I bought were '02 Topps Gallery. I like most of the Gallery sets, some more than others. This is one of the better ones. Painted photos, by a stable of artists. They all have a water-color look. It's nice.

I never had an opportunity to buy these when they first came out since it was a collecting dark period for me. I'm fairly certain I didn't even know what a "hobby edition" pack was then. So pulling cards from these packs was a fun little discovery activity after the tedium of work.

The second pack that I opened got my attention. Here it is:

Ryan Klesko. This guy was determined to play for every team I dislike. I was under the impression that he killed the Dodgers. There's no time to look that up. But I'd love for someone to prove me wrong and burst the myth of Klesko.

Rafael Furcal. The current Dodger shortstop, if you can call him that. Injuries just kill this guy. He's so good when he's in the lineup. And then, before you know, he's on the DL again.

I was very happy to see this card. It's a Hideo Nomo card that I need and it's a rather pleasant, pastoral painting. The pack was well worth the two bucks I paid with this card.

This more than made up for the cash I spent on all 10 packs. I don't pull very many relics, but when I do, it's often times a Brave. For me, if someone asked me which Brave I'd want a relic of, I would mention Henry Aaron first and Greg Maddux second. He's probably the best pitcher I have witnessed in my lifetime.

I don't recall Maddux featuring the stache and longer hair at all. In fact, if you told me that wasn't Greg Maddux, I'd believe you.

Here is the base Maddux card from the set:

That looks much more familiar.

The pack tailed off after that. But in the name of completion:

I definitely can't complain about that pack. It's a lot better than what I've been finding at Target lately.


  1. For Greg's stache, check here:

    Also, I didn't even know Gallery had jersey pieces. That is effing sweet dude, nice pull.

  2. I like that set. I bought a box a while back, but I have not added things up to see how close I am to the set.

    The relics and autos are super rare. I didn't pull a single one out of the box.

  3. sweet jersey pull, even though it looks like a shorter version of John Smoltz...

  4. Klesko's greatness against the Dodgers is an illusion. He hit .268/.351/.458 against the Dodgers which is below his averages. It may seem that he did well because he played against them so much. 577 plate appearances against LA which is second for him to the Rockies (608).

    There may have been some timeliness with his homers. Of the 23 he hit against the Dodgers, nine gave Klesko's team the lead and five tied the game.

    While not busted, I have to think the myth is deflated a bit.

  5. Thanks MG. That guy has bugged me for too long.

  6. I remember buying that and never saw a jersey card. That is definitely from a time when jersey relics weren't a dime a dozen.

  7. The Maddux card is really Smoltz.
    Someone at Topps screwed up.

  8. Forget the jersey card, that is one great looking Tony Fontana Red Sox card. No reason I would point that one card out.

    No reason at all...

  9. I just started a Maddux collection (will post the scans of the 80s junk wax I'm starting with soon). That, my friend, is a dream pack and I will gladly try to trade with you for either/both if you're so inclined (also for Maddux as a Dodger doubles you may have).