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?

Tuesday, June 2, 2009

1994-95 Fleer Towers of Power #7 Hakeem Olajuwon

I'm usually not a big fan of overly busy backgrounds on cards, but I'll make an exception for the 1994-95 Fleer Towers of Power #7 featuring Hakeem Olajuwon.

The front features Hakeem shooting in front of an electrical device straight out of Frankenstein or a Tesla laboratory.

The better photo is on the back. I don't know what was going through Olajuwon's head, but the look on his face is that of a mad scientist. That's a perfect fit for the card theme.