Tuesday, March 15, 2016
Ducks on cards in blaster form. College Week continues.
I know that there have been institution-specific sets for some of the bigger schools out there, but I never dreamed that Oregon would get the their own card set from a major manufacturer. Oregon's athletic program has been on the rise in recent years and they make waves nationally from time to time with their silly uniform designs and ties to Nike, but I still see this having limited appeal outside of a Bi-Mart store in Willamette Valley... which happens to be where I found this blaster. I almost went for just a single pack, but they hooked me with a guaranteed ("on average") hit in each box. Also, at just 49 base cards in the set and 80 cards in the box, I figured I might be able to knock out a complete set if I was lucky.
Mariota is probably half the reason this thing even exists. I don't think his cards have been on fire exactly, considering his pro team is the football equivalent of an open sewer line, but I think he showed enough in his rookie season to still be excited about him.
In addition to the base cards, there are also inserts and parallels (and parallels of inserts), because when are there not inserts and parallels?
For such a small base set, there are a lot of filler cards. This one is takes the cake.
The set does provide a look back at some of the uniforms of the past, including the much derided diamond plate look. I was personally a fan. I never did get completely behind the silver wings, even if they were at least some what bird themed.
Hoopsters are also included, although Panini's pool of them is limited to who they currently have under the NBA license. There are only a few active NBA players who came out of Oregon, including Pacers rookie Joe Young. Speaking of Ducks basketball, don't forget to sign up for the contest!
Long time pro QB Kellen Clemens goes way back to the days when Oregon had completely sane uniforms.
Before LGB became best known in his Duck days for The Punch, he was one of my favorite players - a tall back with power and incredible leaping ability.
Oregon's got a (somewhat) new basketball arena, folks! 9 of the first 10 cards of the set do not feature any player.
It seems odd to feature Luke Ridnour in a set without his counterpart Luke Jackson, but Jackson couldn't quite stick in the NBA due mostly to injuries. He coached Northwest Christian University to a conference title this season, earning his team a bid in the NAIA Division II national tournament.
Ridnour spent 12 seasons in the NBA but opted to sit out this season and may be mulling retirement.
Just to show what a strange set this truly is, Will Murphy was a former walk-on at UO and played sparingly. His time spent on NFL practice squads in two recent seasons meant that he is part of the NFLPA and therefore gets to be included in the set. This makes it hard to claim this set as a comprehensive look at the stars of Oregon athletics over the years. No retired greats or recent stars who didn't get a look at the pros, but we get Will Murphy. Cool, though. I now have a Will Murphy card for my Ducks collection, and the guy did get to play a lot more Ducks football than I ever did.
Here's the hit of the box, and it's the star of last year's Ducks basketball team (and current Pacers rookie) Joe Young. Oh yes, we already saw him above. The jersey cards and autographs also have parallel versions, and this is apparently the gold version since it's numbered to 25.
I didn't end up with the full base set, but I am going to throw up a want list, mostly to keep track of for myself. I may just snag another blaster just to see what I can get for a hit next time.
I also scooped up this Ridnour autograph from his Timberwolves days, courtesy of a Listia auction. I don't often post about Ducks (or pro Ducks) basketball, so I didn't know where else to put this. Even if Ridnour never plays another game, he and Aaron Brooks can hold their heads up high as the premier members of an era of excellent Ducks point guards.