Saturday, November 20, 2010

My first Obak pack

Obak is a card set that I should like. It's a tribute to an old, old vintage set. It's filled with baseball history. These are all good things. But I just can't get behind it.

I think the major reason is the look of the set. Some of those old-timey sets were ugly in a primitive sort of way. Primitive is cool sometimes. Other times it's just plain primitive. I like my sets to pretty themselves up a little bit.

The other reason is there just doesn't seem to be a lot of Dodger connections in Obak. I've seen a couple. But mostly what I've seen are Braves and Cal Ripken. Jason Heyward seems to be in every pack.

I'm not going to collect a set that's full of Braves. Why would I do that?

Still, I finally decided to nab a single pack of Obak the other day just to see what it was all about and to test my theory that there was a Heyward in every pack.

Here it is:

Ban Johnson. He founded the American League as a "clean" alternative to the National League. As a proponent of the NL's dirty style of ball I have to say I'm highly insulted. Johnson also had a part in helping along the Black Sox scandal, by ignoring warnings that his "clean" AL players might be associating with gamblers. Nice work, Mr. Grumpy.

Hey! It's an all Black Sox Scandal pack! The cool part of Obak is that it allows you to pull old-timey guys like Eddie Cicotte, who was one of the Eight Men Out for the 1919 White Sox. It's not everyday that you can pull cards of players banned from baseball. Cicotte is also credited for being the first knuckleball pitcher. The knuckleball is a pitch the Dodgers have taken advantage of many times in their history.

Dummy Taylor was responsible for helping invent pitching signals, according to the back of this card (they're very informative as you may know). This is your one-per-pack mini, by the way. The backs on the minis are very hard to read. Tiny type.

Oooh, a picture of a building. Only Allen & Ginter can get away with this. Tri-Star just doesn't have the resume for this stuff. But if you like historic buildings or Clydesdales or beer commercials, I guess this isn't so bad.

Jim Abbott. In a rather un-California-looking uniform. It's always cool to get an Abbott card. But I think I'd like Obak better if it was all players from the pre-1940s.

That's the pack. Not a single Brave. Not a single Dodger either.

I doubt I'll buy anymore of this. I'll file it under "meh," where most of the card sets of 2010 reside.


  1. Unlike Ginter, almost all of the non-player cards have a connection to baseball. I agree it's not for a team collector but no set can match this one in terms of it's quirkyness of baseball related history. (ok, I sometimes have trouble writing a decent sentence.) You get my drift.

  2. I'm glad I'm not the only one that thought baseball cards in 2010 where "meh".

  3. I like the design... but I probably will never bust any of this stuff. However... maybe down the road, I'll come across someone who built this set and is dumping it at a cheap price.

  4. I love the Ginter set...but I can't find myself getting behind any other set that is similar in nature. It might not make a lot of sense, but I'm with you and say "meh" to Obak. (And that's without even bothering to open one pack!)

    WV: refluct. As in, Obak really refluct'd that one up and thus I won't buy it.

  5. I've got Jim Creighton, Charles Ebbets and Frank Howard set aside to satisfy your Obak needs. I could use the Dummy Taylor mini if you're not terribly attached to it.

    (if it helps my cause any, Dummy played for the New York Giants)

  6. Hrm. Upon review, Jim Creighton actually played with the Brooklyn Excelsiors, not the Dodgers. He actually dies a decade before the Dodgers existed. I also have a card of a seedy looking character named Doc Newton who played for the Los Angeles Pacific Coast League team, also not the Dodgers. You can have 'em if you want 'em.