I was a big fan of last year’s Obak set and am very happy to see that it will be returning in 2010. With so many sets doing the same things with the same players over and over again, Obak is a breath of fresh air and a very fun set to collect. The best part of these sets are the cards celebrating the history of baseball. There’s a lot to be learned just reading the backs of these cards.
The Obak set isn’t licensed since Topps has the MiLB exclusive license, but for the best cards in this set it doesn’t really matter if they are licensed or not. For the athletes in the set, if you don’t mind some airbrushing and lack of team names, then you’re going to end up loving this set.
Charles Ebbets is one of the cards that can be found in the Game Changers subset. Other people in the set include Eberhard Anheuser for the beverage of choice during ballgames, George Eastman whose advancements in film helped get pictures of the game to fans and Jefferson Burdick who is known for The American Card Catalog which became the standard for identifying and organizing trading cards produced before 1951.
History’s Greatest Players includes Roger Clemens, Andre Dawson, Hank Greenberg, Dale Murphy and Cal Ripken Jr bringing some established star power to the set.
There’s a Minor League Player of the Year subset that includes such names as Don Baylor, Johnny Bench, Jose Canseco and Jason Heyward.
The Can You Believe subset looks like it will be both fun and informative. The subset includes one-armed pitcher and Olympian Jim Abbott, Wally Pipp who supposedly sat out a game due to a headache which led to the start of Lou Gehrig’s legendary streak and Moe Berg who also a spy during World War II.
There’s a Multi-sport subset, but it seems like it would have been a better fit in last year’s set that included Bo Jackson and Gene Conley. Throw Brian Jordan in there and you’ve got the start of a great subset. This year’s set consists of “Hopalong” Cassady, Dave DeBusschere, Francis Ouimet, Kyle Rote Sr. and Charlie Ward.
Tri-Star also has the TNA Wrestling license and make use of it in this set. There’s a one card Pop Icon subset that consists solely of Hulk Hogan. The Historic Names subset has a Tinker, Evans & Chance card which is cool. Those three players also appear individually on short prints along with Todd McFarlane and his balls and a card featuring both William H Taft and Barack Obama.
The mini autograph checklist looks to be a good one. You can find Jim Abbott, Johnny Bench, Starlin Castro, Roger Clemens, Jason Heyward and Hulk Hogan in that set.
The modern sized cards have some nice autographs available as well. You can find Heyward again as well as Castro, Drew Storen, Michael Trout, Abbott, Baylor, Bench, Canseco, Clemens, Dawson, Gooden, Hulk Hogan, Dale Murphy, Cal Ripken and Darryl Strawberry. One of the more intriguing autographs available is that of Todd McFarlane. I already have his autograph in my collection, but it would be interesting to have it one a baseball card.
There’s one cut autograph card that’s going to command a lot of attention and that is the card containing autographs of Stephen Strasburg and Bryce Harper. If these were on-card autos that card might be the card of the year. Who knows, it might still be with the cut signatures. Other interesting pairings for cut signatures are Buster Posey with Matt Wieters, Hank Aaron with Tommie Aaron and Stan “The Man” paired with Pujols. There are also cut autographs of Joe DiMaggio, Mickey Mantle and Obama.
The box toppers look very cool this year. They are oversized cabinet cards and it looks like they feature a picture of each team’s stadium with a player from that team on the reverse.
Each box contains 11 hits. You get 4 autograph cards which are numbered to 125 or less, 2 parallel cards numbered to 50 or less, 1 T212 mini parallel cards numbered to 50 or less, 3 short print cards and one of the T4 cabinet cards numbered to 75 or less.
Last year’s Obak set was great and it looks like this year’s will be even better. You’ve got fun facts, a great autograph checklist and something different than everything else out there. Obak comes out on August 11th unless you are going to the National where you can pick up the product on the 5th.