Sunday, November 22, 2009

2009 SP Threads #187, 2009 SPx, SPx Rookies Silver, and SPx Rookies Silver Holofoil #179, and 2009 Upper Deck #254 Sebastian Vollmer

Yeah! Sebastian Vollmer cards are available. I'm a little surprised. Offensive linemen generally don't have the most sought after cards so card manufacturers don't produce many of them. Add that Vollmer isn't from a high profile school and wasn't a high profile player (he wasn't invited to the NFL combine), and it's even more surprising that he has cards. Maybe his fascinating story helped.

Sebastian is from Germany and didn't even play football until he was 14 years old. When he came to UH, he spoke little English and was a tight end. After back surgery, he switched to playing tackle. In his senior year, he was named All Conference USA.

He was then selected in the second round of the 2009 NFL draft by the New England Patriots. He was the first European player to ever be drafted in the NFL. He got some playing time beginning with the first game of the season and has been starting since week 6.

All of the images appear to come from one event. Considering these are all Upper Deck products, I guess that's not too surprising. Very disappointing that there aren't any pictures in a UH uniform.

First we have Upper Deck #254.

Next we have SP Threads #187.

Finally we have SPx #179. This comes in three variations: Base, Silver, and Silver Holofoil (not shown). The Base is numbered to 799, Silver to 399, and Silver Holofoil to 25.

SPx Base

SPx Silver

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

New Checklist November 18, 2009

OK... The checklist hosting issue has been solved. Please use the links to the left to access the player and card checklists in both PDF or Excel format.

As part of resolving the issue, I have updated the checklist itself. I know it has been 5 months, but fear not, I have been keeping the list updated this entire time. I just need to post it online more often.

We have a new player on the list, Sebastian Vollmer. Look for a post about his cards soon.

Lots of cards were added. In total 400 cards were added to the checklist.

The biggest additions:

  • Donnie Avery - 158

  • Hakeem Olajuwon - 96

  • Clyde Drexler - 87

  • Michael Bourn - 18

  • Kevin Kolb - 12

Other players with new cards include Fred Couples, Jesse Crain, Elvin Hayes, and Chris Synder. As usual, you can tell the newly added cards by their highlighting.

So get to work Cougar fans. 400 new cards should keep you busy for a while.

And if you know of a card missing from the checklist, please let me know. If you want to send a scan of it too, even better.

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

Checklist Files

It appears that my checklist host is having some issues or doing some updates. Hopefully all will be well soon.

Please leave a comment if you have any questions about accessing checklists.

Saturday, November 14, 2009

2009 Topps #572, 2009 Topps Gold Border #572, and 2009 Topps Black #572 Michael Bourn

Congratulations to Michael Bourn for winning his first Gold Glove Award this year.

In honor of Michael Bourn, today's cards are 2009 Topps cards #572. First is the base card. Next is the Gold Border card numbered to 2009. The final card is the Topps Black numbered to 58. There is also a Topps Platinum which is a 1 of 1. Plus there are four printing plates where are also 1 of 1s.


Gold Border


Sunday, October 25, 2009

2009-10 Prestige #123 Elvin Hayes

Hooray! New Elvin Hayes cards are starting to come out for 2009. This is the 2009-10 Prestige #123 from Panini.

It's not the best looking card. Layout? I guess it's OK. The picture? Again OK. Are the edges washed out from the lights or is that a poor Photoshop effect?

One thing I do like is the classic Rockets uniform. I like the red and yellow so much more than the red and white or the red, white, and blue.

Saturday, October 17, 2009

1998 Hoops Shout Outs #22 Hakeem Olajuwon

Sometimes you may like a card because it has an autograph. Or maybe it has a piece of memorabilia. Or it has chrome or foil printing. Or maybe it is a refractor. Or over the top graphics. But sometimes a card is great due to its simplicity such as the 1998 Hoops Shout Outs #22 featuring Hakeem Olajuwon.

First you start with a good photograph from an interesting angle. Second you use a simple card design. Instead of using excessive graphics, the underutilized technique of using white space doesn't detract from the photograph. Instead it enhances the picture. Finally using a simple, understated font completes the less is more theme of the design.

My only problem with this card is the little "sh" and the large "out." The text appears to spell shouts instead of shout outs. That's a minor flaw in an otherwise great looking card.

Tuesday, September 29, 2009

1990 Topps Traded #129T Alfred Oglesby

Cougar great Alfred Oglesby passed away Saturday.

Oglesby played for the University of Houston from 1987 to 1989. That great 1989 Coog team was known for its offense that scored 53.5 points per game and produced a Heisman trophy winner. But the defense was amazing too, allowing only 13.6 points per game with two shutouts.

Oglesby was a standout on the 1989 team. He led the team in tackles with 104. He was a Sporting News All American Honorable Mention and an All Southwest Conference first teamer.

He was selected in the third round of the 1990 NFL draft by the Miami Dolphins. He played in the NFL from 1990 to 1995 for the Dolphins, Packers, Jets, and Bengals.

Today's card is his only rookie card, the 1990 Topps Traded #129T. Unfortunately it's not the most exciting design or photograph.

He was also featured on three cards in 1992: GameDay #411, Topps #434, and Topps Gold #434.

Saturday, September 12, 2009

Coogs Win!!!!

Congratulations to the Coogs today! The University of Houston football team beat #5 Oklahoma State in Stillwater, OK.

Today's win is the first road win against a top 5 opponent since UH beat 6-0-1 #3 Texas on 11-10-1984. The Coogs went on to be Southwest Conference Co-Champions tying with SMU. Houston went to the Cotton Bowl based on its victory over SMU.

While UH has been known for its offense for much of its history, the 1984 Coogs had some incredible defensive players that went on to the NFL. Three of them are T J Turner, Audray McMillian, and Simon Fletcher who are featured below.

T J Turner
1989 Topps #294

Audray McMillian
1993 Fleer #259

Simon Fletcher
1994 SkyBox Impact #75

Tuesday, September 1, 2009

Cougar Cards

Attention University of Houston students! You are very lucky. Why?

1) You are a student at the University of Houston
2) You have a professor like Simon Bott that cares about you and the University of Houston
3) You have a great opportunity to collect some unique Cougar trading cards

Since this blog focuses on Cougar collectibles, this post is about item 3.

The Daily Cougar recently had an article on Cougar Cards, a way to increase student participation in UH activities, a way to collect Cougar memorabilia and learn more about the school, and a way to get prizes.

As much as possible, every UH student should participate in school activities. It improves your collegiate experience, creates a stronger community, and most importantly, it's fun! And now you get the bonus of receiving Cougar cards.

The checklist is amazing. You have Cougar legends like Clyde Drexler, David Klingler, and Jim Nantz. You have current athletes like Case Keenum and Aubrey Coleman. You have athletes from sports other than football and basketball like swimmers, soccer players, and softball players. (I had a great time attending almost every sport when I was in school. I especially loved going to volleyball matches.) You have coaches like Kevin Sumlin, Tom Penders, and Bill Yeoman. You have important campus figures like President Renu Khator, Regents, Student Government President, and new Athletic Director Mack Rhoades. All that and more.

Below is a sample card. I hope to have more images soon and will post them if & when I get them.

Check out the Cougar Trading Cards website for more information like a complete checklist, events where you can receive cards, and a list of prizes. The event list is very diverse so there is something for everyone. Looking at the list makes me really miss my college days. Sure you have obvious things like football games and volleyball matches, but you also have non-sports related events like going to the Rocky Horror Picture Show, watching Friday the 13th, or hearing a recital or concert. Other more serious educational events such as Time Management, Resume Writing, and Job Search workshops are included which I highly recommend. I'm amazed at how many people in the business world don't know the basics of putting together a resume or conducting a job search. I'm thankful I went to several workshops while I was a student.

So start going to these events today.

Saturday, August 29, 2009

2007 Sweet Spot Pigskin Signatures Dual #KS Kevin Kolb

Sometimes the concept of a card sounds great, but the card fails miserably. The 2007 Sweet Spot Pigskin Signatures Dual #KS featuring Kevin Kolb falls into that category.

The concept is great. Two highly drafted rookie quarterbacks. Both of their autographs on a piece of a football. Pictures of both players. Only 50 copies of the card. That sounds wonderful.

But just look at this. The pictures look fine. The pigskin background looks good. But the autographs... What should be and is the focal point of the card looks horrible. The autographs are completely illegible. Some players have bad autographs in general, but that is not the problem here. Generally Kolb's signature is very stylized, but it is usually legible. In this case, the texture of the football makes both signatures unrecognizable scratches of silver.

Good concept. Disappointing card.

Monday, August 24, 2009

1992 Stadium Club #259 T. J. Turner

A Cougar great passed away today. T. J. Turner died from complications of a stroke.

T. J. played defensive tackle for the University of Houston from 1982 to 1985 and had an incredible career. He was captain of the 1985 team along with center Todd Schoppe. His name is all over the Cougar record books.

  • 1st in career tackles for a loss with 66

  • 3rd in career sacks with 30

  • 8th in sacks for a season with 11 in 1984

  • 2nd in tackles for a loss with 23 in 1984

  • 4th in tackles for a loss with 21 in 1985

  • Led the team in sacks in 1982, 1984, and 1985

He also was awarded several honors.

  • Football News Freshman All American in 1982

  • Sporting News 2nd Team All American and AP & UPI Honorable Mention in 1984

  • 2nd Team All Southwest Conference in 1983

  • 1st Team All Southwest Conference in 1984 & 1985

He was selected by the Miami Dolphins in the 3rd round of the 1986 NFL draft where he played from 1986-1992.

My prayers go out for him and his family.

Sunday, August 16, 2009

1968 Topps #239 Bill Henry

This is the last card released of Bill Henry while he was an active player.

What a classic looking set. The canvas border is beautiful and the colors are classic 1960s. The pose is funny like so many vintage poses are. He looks like he just completed a very awkward throw. I'd bet he never had a ball in his hand posing for this picture.

The back of the card is typical of 1960s cards: Basic player data, career statistics, and cartoon with a trivia question. Not creative, but solid and consistent.

This is a great vintage card that you can pick up for a couple of dollars. A Venezuelan variation is also available. The Venezuelan variation is very rare compared to the US release.

Friday, July 31, 2009

2009-10 Upper Deck NBA Draft Edition Alma Mater #FC Fred Couples

Here's an interesting card... the 2009-10 Upper Deck NBA Draft Edition Alma Mater card #FC featuring Fred Couples. Why is a golfer included in an NBA set? Several non-basketball players from several sports are featured showing the school they came from.

This card features a picture of Couples post-swing. It includes the University of Houston "wet cougar" logo on a shield, a logo not in existence when Fred played at UH. It also has a Fred Couples autograph. With only 99 cards printed, this is a pretty nice collectible despite the oddity of it being in a basketball product. Other variations of this card without an autograph are a black card (1/1), blue card (#'d to 99), green card (#'d to 50), red (#'d to 25), and a non-numbered base card.

Hakeem Olajuwon is also featured in this set with Draft Pics and Tournament Titans inserts.

Of course Fred Couples is one of many Cougar golf greats. He played golf at UH from 1977 to 1980. He later went on to the PGA where he won the Masters and was Player of the Year in 1992.

In 2000, he was inducted into the University of Houston Hall of Honor.

Wednesday, July 15, 2009

1994 Stadium Club #455 Allen Aldridge

Too often Anthony Alridge's last name is listed as Aldridge.

The University of Houston did have a great Aldridge though, linebacker Allen Aldridge. Aldridge played at UH from 1990-1993. The Coogs were great his Freshman year going 10-1 finishing the season #10 in the nation. Unfortunately his remaining years at UH weren't as successful.

In 1993 Allen tied with Stephen Dixon to lead the team in sacks with four, and he was selected to play in the Blue Gray game. In 1994, he was selected in the second round of the NFL draft by the Denver Broncos.

He played for the Broncos from 1994-1997 and for the Detroit Lions from 1998-2001. He started for the Broncos in their Super Bowl XXXII victory.

Today's card is one of many rookie cards, the 1994 Stadium Club #455. The front features a full bleed action photo of Aldridge, probably in training camp. The Topps Stadium Club logo and 94 Draft Pick logo are featured in gold foil. Allen's name is also listed in gold foil with a shadow that makes it very challenging to read.

The back features a grayed out version of the picture on the front, not one of my favorite card design elements. It also lists college senior and career total statistics as well as a description of Aldridge's game.

Thursday, July 9, 2009

1988-89 Fleer #101 Greg "Cadillac" Anderson

I started school at the University of Houston in 1986. Growing up, I wasn't a big basketball fan, but after a painful football season and since I wanted to support my school, I went to almost every home basketball game. Players like co-captains Greg Anderson and Rickie Winslow got me hooked on the game.

As a freshman, Cadillac played on the 1984 Championship runner up team backing up Akeem Olajuwon as Center.

In 1986 Anderson was All American Honorable Mention and Second Team All Southwest Conference
In 1987, he was First Team All Southwest Conference.

His name is all over the UH record books. Some of his rankings include:

Points - 9th with 1,662
Rebounds - 3rd with 1,045
Blocks - 3rd with 227
Games Played - 9th with 123

He's a member of the 40 point club scoring 41 vs Arizona State on 12/6/86. Only 11 Coogs have scored 40+ points in at least one game.

He led the team in scoring in 1986-87 with 545 points.
He led the team in rebounding in 1985-86 with 360 and in 1986-87 with 318.
Led team in blocked shots in 1984-85 with 72, 1985-86 with 75, and in 1986-87 with 56.

His teams made the NCAA tournament in 1984 and 1987 and the NIT in 1985.

After his college career at UH, he was the 23rd pick of the first round of the 1987 draft, selected by the San Antonio Spurs.

He had a solid career as a role player in the NBA even though he bounced around. He played 10 seasons for 6 teams. He averaged 7.3 points, 6.2 rebounds, and 0.87 blocks per game.

Today's card is Cadillac's rookie card, the 1988-89 Fleer #101. The front features and action shot of him backing down a player. I assume he's dribbling, but you can't see the ball. The card border colors match the Spurs team colors. When the colors of a card's border matches team colors, that usually improves the card design.

The back features career stats, in this case one season. Because he'd only played one season, there's plenty of empty space. That's a small price to pay for having career stats on all cards. The colors on the back are fairly hideous, but at least it's a clean, simple design compared to too many over the top designs with lots of flash but little substance.

Monday, July 6, 2009

2009 Topps Magic #86 Kevin Kolb

2009 Kevin Kolb football cards are here. One of the best looking sets I've seen so far is the Topps Magic set.

Topps Magic continues the card industry trend of copying vintage card designs. In this case, the set is patterned after the 1951 Topps Magic set. The set features players in their college uniforms, just like the 1951 set. As usual, I give bonus points for Cougars in their UH uniforms.

There are four variations, the base card which is standard sized, the autographed card, the mini card (not pictured) which is the size of the original Magic cards, and the black bordered mini card.

Donnie Avery is also featured in this set.



Black Bordered Mini

Saturday, July 4, 2009

2008 Leaf Certified Materials Souvenir Stamps Autographs USA Flag #14 Donnie Avery

Happy Fourth of July! And to celebrate the Fourth, here's the 2008 Leaf Certified Materials Souvenir Stamps Autographs USA Flag #14 with Donnie Avery.

I won't get into questions like why would someone want to put a stamp into a football card or why couldn't this card be designed so that the bottom of the signature isn't cut off? This is a very rare card though with only five made.

I'll just say God bless America and enjoy this patriotic card.

Sunday, June 21, 2009

2009 Playoff Prestige Rookie Review #15 Donnie Avery

It's only June, but several 2009 football cards are already on the market. Cougar great Donnie Avery is featured in one of those offerings, 2009 Playoff Prestige, specifically the Rookie Review subset.

There are four variations of Avery's Rookie Review, the base card, Materials, Materials Prime (not pictured), and Autographs.

Base card



Wednesday, June 17, 2009

Checklist Update

Yes! We have new cards listed. To be more precise, we have 95 new cards listed. Please see the checklists section to the left.

In baseball, five players have 2009 cards.
Michael Bourn - 9 new cards
Jesse Crain - 2 cards
Garrett Mock - 2 cards
Chris Snyder - 11 cards
Doug Drabek - Here's a surprise, an Upper Deck 20th anniversary autographed buy back

In basketball, four players had additional 2008 cards. There are some all time greats here including autographs.
Otis Birdsong - 5 new cards
Clyde Drexler - 18 cards
Elvin Hayes - 4 cards (More Big E!!!!)
Hakeem Olajuwon - 33 cards

And 2009 football cards are already hitting the shelves
Donnie Avery - 8 new cards

As usual, there are two lists, players and cards. They are also in Excel and pdf formats. Plus players and cards that are highlighted indicated cards added since the last update.

Friday, June 12, 2009

1964 Topps #133 Dan Birdwell

Dan Birdwell was a defensive lineman for the University of Houston from 1959 to 1961. In their their last season in the Missouri Valley Conference, the 1959 Coogs only went 3-7, but they managed to share the conference title with 9-2 North Texas State by going 3-1 in conference.

In 1960, the Cougars went 6-4 in their 1st year as an independent. In 1961, UH went 5-4-1 in Harold W Lahar's last season as coach of he Coogs. Birdwell then went on to play in the All-American Bowl.

I don't know any more about Birdwell's college football career. If you know more about it, please leave a comment. Sharing knowledge about Cougar players is what this blog is all about.

In 1962, Dan was drafted in the fifth round of the NFL draft by the Detroit Lions and the sixth round of the AFL draft by the Oakland Raiders. He decided to play for the Raiders.

Birdwell played for the Raiders from 1962 to 1969. In 1967, he was a starter for the AFL champions, but the Raiders lost to the Green Bay Packers in the second AFL-NFL Championship Game aka Super Bowl II. In 1968, he was named to the Pro Bowl and was first team All Pro.

On February 14, 1978 he passed away at the age of 37 due to a heart attack.

Dan Birdwell is featured on several collectibles, but he he is only featured by himself on one major brand card, the 1964 Topps #133.

While he may only have one major card, it is a great one. What a sharp looking vintage card. First, the photograph is a headshot with the background removed and replaced with a Cougar red field. I'd guess the color is a coincidence. These days, the background would be removed using a program like Photoshop. Obviously that was not available then and there is a very harsh cropping of the image. Underneath the photo is a black box listing name, team, and position. The card has a white border with blue stars. What a beautifully designed card.

The back doesn't have stats, but it does have a narrative about his skills and history which includes a mention of playing three years at UH.

Monday, June 8, 2009

Antowain Smith Rookie Cards

Antowain Smith has some very interesting rookie cards from 1997. I'm not talking about the card design. I'm talking about poses and pictures.

We'll start with a basic pose but still sharp looking. It's the 1997 SkyBox Premium Autographics #54. Even in a t-shirt holding a helmet, Smith looks smooth. Also nice to have an autograph.

The next step up is on the 1997 Pinnacle Inside #141 featuring Antowain sitting on his helmet looking cool. There's also a smaller insert picture of him looking focused, but I hope he doesn't play with the earring on. The back has another pic of Smith smiling while wearing his helmet.

One more step up is the 1997 UD3 #16. Antowain looks like he's having a good time at this photo shoot. The pose on the front is a playful pose. More subtle, but still funny is the back photo with Smith smiling as he catches a ball in front of a garden of flowers.

Next is the 1997 Collector's Choice #316. I don't know how they took the picture on front, but it's just crazy.

On the next card, 1997 Topps Gallery #19, I love the picture and the card layout. Another fun photo shoot for Antowain with him posing in fake snow.

Finally we have the 1997 Upper Deck #16. This is the most interesting pose of all. Is he trying to break out of a cage? He certainly does look intense.

Wednesday, June 3, 2009

1994-95 Hoops #257 Hakeem Olajuwon

Where have all the big men gone? Just look at this 1994-95 Hoops #257 featuring the scoring leaders from the 1993-94 NBA season.

The top 3 scorers are all centers, David Robinson #1, Shaq #2, & Hakeem #3. Patrick Ewing is also in the top 10.

Compare that to the 2008-09 NBA season. There is only 1 center in the top 10, Al Jefferson at #8. And he's only in the top 10 in points per game. He only played 50 games. The next center is Dwight Howard at #25, then Yao at #29.

Is the scoring big man a thing of the past?