The next box that I purchased from Dave and Adam’s Card World was 2006 Upper Deck Future Stars Baseball. As I wrote previously, I’m not one to chase autographs, but for some reason this set appealed to me. It might have been the fact that the autograph set is filled with Red Sox (Papelbon and Lester) and former Sox that I either watched play in the bigs or followed in the minors (Hansen, Hanley Ramirez, Anibal Sanchez). It might be that a large percentage of the autographs are good ones as opposed to most sets where 95% of the autographs are bums even if you are paying $35 a pack. This box cost just as much as one of those packs and you get five autographs. There’s also a shot at a Dice-K pre-rookie insert card. All in all, it’s not a bad box to bust open especially for a Red Sox fan.
I’m a set builder at heart. I started collecting during a time when sets were still fairly easy to put together. I knew that I wouldn’t be able to put this whole set together with the large number of autographs in the set, but I figured that I would at least get close to the 75 card base set since you get around 60 of those cards in packs. I couldn’t have been more wrong. I got 27 cards for the set and 32 doubles. Actually, I got 19 doubles and 13 triples. That’s ridiculous. It’s a shame because I like the look of the cards, but after seeing that collation I just wanted to take what I had and chuck it in the trash. Screw the set collectors, this product was all about the hit chaser and no one else.
So, since this set is all about the hits you might be wondering just which ones I got. In that department, I really can’t complain. My big hit in the serial numbered parallels was a Red Sox. This is the red parallel numbered to 299. I’m not a huge fan of Curt Schilling the big mouth, but I’m a huge fan of Schilling the ball player. He is one of a couple of guys who put their career on the line to help deliver a World Series victory in 2004 (the other being Keith Foulke who was never the same after his amazing 2004 postseason performance). The red background looks really good on a Sox card. I pulled Agreu and Hafner in the green which are numbered to 499. I pulled Jeter, Tejada, Big Unit, Damon, Luis Gonzalez, and Eric Gagne in the purple which are numbered to 1799. Three Yankees? Any Yankees fans out there? I also pulled Sidney De Jong and Len Picota in purple version of the World Future Stars insert set. I wasn’t lucky enough to pull the Dice-K card, but I got the second best card in Chase Utley.
Now onto the moment that everyone is waiting for, the autograph pulls.
Anderson Hernandez – Then Mets, now Nationals. Career .232 hitter. Has only appeared in 63 games over 4 seasons.
Anibal Sanchez – Florida Marlins. Anibal was obtained by the Marlins along with Hanley Ramirez in the blockbuster trade that sent Josh Beckett and Mike Lowell to Boston. After a spectacular rookie season where he went 10-3 2.83 ERA and threw a no-hitter, injuries have gotten in the way of Sanchez joining the ranks of elite pitchers in the league. If healthy, I think that’s exactly where he’ll end up.
Russell Martin – Los Angeles Dodgers. Martin is a rarity in baseball. A catcher that isn’t an offensive liability. He hits for average with a little bit of pop and good speed. Playing for the Dodgers brings about the obvious comparisons to Mike Piazza. While Martin isn’t on par when it comes to things like power numbers, he does have a few tools that Piazza didn’t like speed and the ability to throw out baserunners.
Ryan Zimmerman – Washington Nationals. Zimmerman missed a big chunk of time in 2008 due to injury, but he’s one of the top young stars in baseball at the moment. He hits at a .282 clip for his career and should produce around 20 HR and 100 RBI for the Nationals. He’s also got a pretty cool signature.
My feelings about this set are mixed. I really like the look of all of the cards from the base set to the autographs. I did pretty well when it comes to my autograph pulls, but I can’t get over the horrible collation of this box.
I give this set an A, but I have to give this particular box a B-.