Saturday, January 26, 2013

Report SPAM. Please help.

Spam blogs are a big problem on the internet. They steal others' posts to drive traffic to their sites, and then they add advertisements or phony links to earn money.

There's a spam blog out there stealing posts from one of my blogs, This Card Is Cool. Literally stealing. If you want proof, go to Google, and search for "Baseball Card Stores in Japan" (use the quotes). You'll see their (stolen) posts first, then mine. There are a couple other spam blogs ripping off my site, but the one at the top of the search lists is the worst - they don't even attribute the posts to me. And it's not just my blog; they're stealing at least one other person's posts.

You can help. Report the site to Google as spam by following this link. It should auto-fill in the URL of the offending site. Then click submit. That's all you need to do. By the way, I'm not mentioning the name of the site or driving traffic to it. If you follow the search above, you can discover the site and see for yourself.

I'm cross-posting this on my three blogs to hopefully help get this site removed quickly. I reported it about a week ago, when I was alerted to its presence, but the site remains.

Thank you for your help!

Friday, January 25, 2013

2003 Donruss

Set Size: 400 cards

Design Notes: Full-bleed photography is the focus of this set, with a team-color bar across the bottom with the player's name, position, and team logo. There is no foil on these cards. Backs contain a highlight and statistics.

Parallels and Similars: Six parallels exist: two convention issues (Chicago and Atlantic City), two sample issues (silver and gold foil), and two pack-inserted parallels (Stat Line Career and Stat Line Season).

Distribution: Cards were sold in packs of 13 cards, with 24 packs per box.

Thoughts: The lack of foil and use of minimal designs make this a fairly attractive set. The team colors help the logo stand out, and the photography is pretty good. Overall, the design is pretty sharp and is one of Donruss's least-cluttered designs (only the similar 2004 issue has fewer design elements). When the photography is top-notch, the cards are beautiful, but posed photos or those with little action are kind of dull. The printing quality is pretty good, though! This issue has no short prints, which makes it a bit easier to complete the 400-card base set.

Thursday, January 24, 2013

2003 Donruss Champions

Set Size: 309 cards (301 cards in the original release, 8 additional update cards)

Design Notes: This set is defined by its large side border highlighting an accomplishment the player made in his career, such as winning awards. Backs contain prior year and career statistics and a write-up describing the player's accomplishment.

Parallels and Similars: Metalized (/100) and Holo-Foil (/25) parallels were issued in packs, as well as autographed and autographed notation partial parallels. Samples with silver or gold foil stamps on the back were also distributed via magazine inserts (partial parallel - 100 cards only).

Distribution: Each box contained 24 packs with 8 cards per pack.

Thoughts: I really like the concept here - highlight players' historical accomplishments by issuing cards that focus on their feats. However, I have a couple problems with the execution. Let's use the Alomar card above. He's pictured with his 2002 team, the Mets, and the card has a National League logo on the left border because of that. However, he won the AL Championship Series MVP in 1992 with the Blue Jays, so he should be pictured with the Blue Jays, the card should have a Blue Jays logo, and the league logo should be for the American League. Additionally, while the back devotes a large space to describing what Alomar did to receive the MVP award, the statistics at the bottom are unrelated; it would be much better to have the stat line from the 1992 ALCS down there instead.

The design isn't amazing, but if I was just starting to build my Awards Collection, I would seek out this set. Actually, I think several of these cards are already in my Awards Collection.

Wednesday, January 23, 2013

2003 Donruss Classics

Set Size: 211 cards (100 in the short set, 100 short-printed Legends and Rookies, and 11 Update Rookies)

Design Notes: A thick silvery border surrounds the image; the top and bottom of the card have extra design added. The player's name, position, and jersey number are on the bottom with a team logo at the top. The backs carry the same basic design and include some statistics and a highlight write-up.

Parallels and Similars: Silver and gold-foil samples of the first 100 cards were included in issues of Beckett Baseball Card Monthly, and cards 1-200 are paralleled for the NSCC with an embossed logo. Packs included Timeless Tributes parallels serial-numbered to 100.

Distribution: Cards 1-200 were sold in packs; each box contained two mini-boxes with nine packs each, and each pack contained seven cards. Each mini-box contained one legend, one rookie, and one hit; the legends and rookies are serial-numbered to 1500. Cards 201-211 were randomly inserted into packs of DLP The Rookies, and are serial-numbered to 1000.

Thoughts: The silver border looks kind of dull on this card, since there's no foil or foilboard to make it jump out. Yes, I don't like foilboard, but thick, plain grey borders just remind me of an overcast day. And for those who complain about how tough it is to finish Topps Heritage, consider that with 4 SPs per box, this 200-card set with 100 SPs would take at least 25 boxes to complete with perfect collation. This isn't a bad release, it just blends in with other issues and can become easily forgotten.

Tuesday, January 22, 2013

2003 Donruss Elite

Set Size: 200 cards

Design Notes: The mostly-empty foilboard background is interrupted by two horizontal white lines, between which is a blurry background photo. The player's name, team, and position are easily found along the side. The backs are much easier to view (and scan) with recent statistics and a highlight writeup.

Parallels and Similars: There are five parallels to the set: Aspirations and Aspirations Gold, Status and Status Gold, and an Atlantic City National parallel. Donruss Elite designs, similar to Bowman, remained somewhat similar from year to year. Additionally, the Extra Edition set made things a little more confusing. However, the Donruss Elite logo contains the year making identification fairly easy.

Distribution: Hobby boxes had 20 packs with five cards per pack. The last 20 cards in the set are serial-numbered rookies (/1750).

Thoughts: Foilboard never scans well on my scanner, and that makes it impossible to see the small background photo. I enjoy that part of the photo, because the foil helps it stand out as almost holographic, especially on the gold parallels. Elite sets were much more beautiful in the 1990s, though (especially the inserts) - the 2000s issues have gone the way of Bowman with a lazy design concept and instead relying on rookie and/or hit (autograph/relic) selection.

Additional Images: COMC image of Status Gold to show background detail:
2003 Donruss Elite Status Gold #128 - Bartolo Colon/24 - Courtesy of