Saturday, January 24, 2009

1992-93 Stadium Club Beam Team #4 Clyde Drexler

When Stadium Club Basketball hit the market in 1992, it revolutionized the hobby. First of all, the price was much higher than other cards. I just couldn't justify buying them at the time. Too expensive. Now compared to the $100+ packs these days, these are cheap.

Next was the images. The photographs were such high quality. They were frequently well cropped action shots. At a minimum, the pictures were always interesting. And they were full bleed all the way to the edges.

Third was the card quality. True photo quality instead of cheaper print techniques.

Finally, there was the Beam Team insert set. The Beam Team rookie card of Shaquille O'Neal had people buying pack after pack. But all of the Beam Team cards were highly sought after because of their perceived scarcity. Today we know that they really aren't that scarce, but they're still very nice cards to collect.

The 1992-93 Stadium Club Beam Team #4 features Clyde Drexler. Let's start with the card layout. The Beam Team logo is in the top right. Clyde's name appears at the bottom. Oddly the Topps Stadium Club logo is front and center. In my opinion, it's too large and in much too prominent a part of the card. Finally the background/border features what I assume is supposed to represent lasers bouncing around. I don't really like it, but it was considered one of the most high tech card effects at the time.

The picture features Drexler going up for a dunk. I never really noticed, but something odd about this card is the fans in the background. They seem so uninterested. You can see some people talking to each other and others not watching Drexler going to the basket. Usually if there is a about to be a dunk during the game, you'll see fans clapping, standing, and showing enthusiasm. I wonder if this picture wasn't taken during warm ups. Even if it is, it's still a nice picture on a card worth collecting.

Tuesday, January 20, 2009

2008 Upper Deck A Piece of History Red #144 Rob Johnson

Rob Johnson only played one season for the University of Houston in 2004, but it was a very solid season for him. The Cougars only went 30-29 that year, but Johnson made the most of it.

He led the team in RBIs with 46. Second best on the team in home runs (47) and doubles (16). He had the third best average on the team at .341. He had the eighth longest hitting streak in UH history at 17 games. (Travis Tully had the fourth longest streak earlier that season with 21.)

He was selected by the Seattle Mariners in the fourth round of the 2004 draft.

In 2007, Johnson made his Major League debut for Seattle playing in six games. In 2008, he played 14 games for the Mariners. Let's hope he has a solid career in the Majors.

Today's card is the 2008 Upper Deck A Piece of History #144 Red Variation. As with many current cards, there are several variations with several colors and with or without autographs. I count 11 variations. I have selected the Red variation. If the player can't be in a UH uniform, at least we can look at a Cougar red card.

Saturday, January 10, 2009

2008 Donruss Sports Legends College Heroes #7 Elvin Hayes

It has been 40 years since Elvin Hayes' first basketball card was released. Amazingly, new Elvin Hayes cards are still being manufactured. That is a testament to how great a player Hayes was.

Today's card is the 2008 Donruss Sports Legends College Heroes #7. I love this card. One of the main reasons is that it features Elvin in his University of Houston uniform. What Coog fan wouldn't want a card of him in his Cougar jersey? The background is a little busy for my taste. I prefer solid backgrounds when it's a cropped photo. But the background isn't distracting. The photo itself is a little disappointing. Instead of an action photo of Hayes going to the hoop or pulling down another rebound, we get a hand on hip, walk down the floor, look up at the scoreboard pic. Are there no good pics of Hayes as a college player? I guess I should be happy that at least you can see his face unlike the cover of Sports Illustrated after the Game of the Century.

The back is fairly bland. No picture. A short description of some of his college achievements. There is a UH logo which I like, but it is a logo that Elvin never wore. Old school players should have the old school logo.

This card shows so many of the differences between cards today and Hayes' early cards. The card stock and print quality is amazing today compared to the old cards. Many cards are now numbered to assure customers that there wasn't a ridiculous print run. This card is numbered to 1000. There are also several variants which were not available in vintage cards. This card comes with gold, autographed, and relic variations. That's great if you like those things. If you want to collect every card for a player, the variations make it very difficult.

Saturday, January 3, 2009

Updated Checklist - All Sports

Before I talk about the updated checklist, why didn't anyone tell me that the links haven't worked for almost two months? Evidently AOL dropped their file hosting with minimal notice. Oh well. Sometimes with free service, you get what you pay for. I was working on an updated checklist anyway.

Links to the new checklists are on the left. As usual, they are available in Excel and pdf formats.

Here's what is new on the updated list:

  • First, I have combined all sports instead of having separate checklists for each sport.

  • Second, I have created a player list so you can quickly check what players have cards and how many there are.

  • Third, several sports have been added including golf, track, volleyball, and women's basketball.

  • Fourth, print runs have been listed in the Comment column when available. Now with some cards you can find out if the card is a 1 of 1 or if there are 100,000 copies.

  • Fifth, some football players including Anthony Alridge and Donnie Avery have been added. Alridge has 93 cards and Avery has 719 cards already so get started on that collection.

  • Sixth, tons of cards and collectibles have been added. There are now 13,864 collectibles listed. Collectibles that have been added since the last update are highlighted. 2,531 new collectibles have been added to all lists since the last update.

If you know of players or collectibles that need to be added, please e-mail me at

Now that the checklist is updated, what are my next blog/checklist steps? Here are my 2009 Cougar Cards blog resolutions:
1) Post more frequently, at least two to three times a week. Sometimes I get lazy and post as often as I'd like. That was especially true when I was working on updating the checklist.
2) Update the checklist frequently. Now that I think the checklist is fairly complete, updates should be pretty easy. I plan on updating monthly.
3) Gather more images of cards. I currently have 1,414 card images. With 13,864 collectibles listed and front and back images available, I have a long way to go. Anyone want to help?
4) I would LOVE to create a website with search and image capabilities similar to this Duke basketball card site. I'd want to add links to the images so you could see the cards too. Of course I only have basic Visual Basic skills and no web VB skills, but it will be good for me to learn. Those skills could probably help me at work too.

That's a pretty ambitious set of resolutions, and that's only for this blog. We'll see how it goes.

Thanks to all of you who visited this blog in 2008. I hope you visit and comment frequently in 2009.

Friday, January 2, 2009

2008 Armed Forces Bowl Ticket

Here's the latest addition to my collection, a ticket to the 2008 Armed Forces Bowl. It's so great to have a ticket to a bowl game with a University of Houston win.

Congratulations to Coach Kevin Sumlin and the Cougars for their 34-28 victory over Air Force. Hopefully this will be the start of a bowl winning streak.