2007 ogden raptors team set review

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2007 Ogden Raptors
Official Score – DOUBLE
Manufacturer: Grandstand
Retail price: $ tough luck

The Ogden Raptors were the 2007 Pioneer League affiliate of the Los Angeles Dodgers. The Raptors finished the 2007 season in third place of the South Division with a record of 34 wins against 41 losses. The Rookie League players included on the Raptors roster ranged from 18 to 25 years old.

There is no printed checklist for this team set. While compiling a comprehensive list for this review, the thought occurred that many of you might scan the entire list without recognizing a single name. I guess one of my pet peeves while watching videos of box breaks of current Topps and Upper Deck products is when the collector reviewing the cards expresses disdain for the manufacturers because they don’t know who some of the players are. The funny part is that those collectors are failing to accept the responsibility to actually follow the sport well enough to recognize players who have already appeared in major league games. Prospects are not grown on major league benches. Instead, they are raised in minor league farm systems. Of course YOU already know this, or you probably wouldn’t be reading this blog.

Here then is the official checklist of the 2007 Ogden Raptors baseball card team set.

1 – [52] Craig Bjornson (pitching coach)
2 – [6] Bobby Blevins (p)
3 – [47] Rodney Brantley (p)
4 – [23] Doug Brooks (p)
5 – [22] Jeremy Brown (of)
6 – [45] Johnny Caraballo (p)
7 – [8] Jeff Carter (manager)
8 – [37] Henry Cruz (hitting coach)
9 – [9] Parker Dalton (if)
10 – [34] Chales Dasni (p)
11 – [36] Wilfredo Diaz (p)
12 – [3] Justin Fuller (if)
13 – [31] Austin Gallagher (if)
14 – [49] Alex Garabedian (c)
15 – [41] Kalen Gearhart (p)
16 – [12] Tim Gray (p)
17 – [10] Michael Gardner (p)
18 – [16] Jonathan Haldis (p)
19 – [15] Elian Herrera (if)
20 – [50] Kenley Jansen (c)
21 – [5] Erik Kanaby (of)
22 – [51] Paul Koss (p)
23 – [43] Kristopher Krise (p)
24 – [14] Given Kutz (p)
25 – [40] Matt Sartor (p)
26 – [35] Brian Mathews (if)
27 – [33] Jessie Mier (c)
28 – [21] Jaime Pedroza (if)
29 – [‘07] Tycen PoVey (of)
30 – [27] Jovanny Rosario (of)
31 – [11] Cal Stanke (p)
32 – [26] Travis Vetters (of)
33 – [29] Matt Wallach (if)
34 – [‘07] Cody Cure (strength coach)
35 – [‘07] Pete Hite (trainer)
36 – [‘07] Oggie (mascot)

I am not including a scan of the Raptors dinosaur mascot “Oggie.” I don’t care for mascots. Baseball insiders will tell you that mascots are needed to keep children interested. While I’m not buying into that argument, I did have to laugh when I read Oggie’s bio and discovered that his hobby is “eating children” because “They Taste Like Chicken.” The Ogden marketing staff must suffer many sleepless nights given that they have a mascot that consumes their youngest fan base.

One non-player card that almost earned an appearance in this review was that of strength and conditioning coach Cody Cure. He would have made the cut had he been the team’s athletic trainer. However, New Mexican Pete Hite had already filled that position.

This team set consists of a total of 31 player cards, including 15 pitchers, 3 catchers, 8 infielders, and 5 outfielders. Although each of the five outfielders is depicted on offense, there is plenty of variety in the action, backgrounds and uniforms to make sure that there is no feeling of redundancy. Leading off for the outfielders is this card of Jovanny Rosario captured in the process of preparing to slap a bunt down a third base line.

rosario_jovanny_2007_grandstand_27

Even within the eight-card infielder subset, the angles and backgrounds are so varied that you’ll likely have to look two or three times to notice that 75 percent of the players are wearing the same style of uniform. Jaime Pedroza is not among the majority.

pedroza_jaime_2007_grandstand_7

The three catcher cards included 2007 Ogden Raptors team set exhibit a considerable level of variation in all areas. A representative sample of cards for this position is this offering of Alex Garabedian.

garabedian_alex_2007_grandstand_49

Selecting one of fifteen cards of pitchers to feature was never easier than with this team set. If I were to compile a starting lineup of baseball players that share my name (as has been the recent rage of baseball card bloggers Kevin, Billy, Greg, Jim, Steve, Harold and Paul), I would be certain to name Kristopher Krise my team kaptain. But fear not, I’ve never been much of a joiner.

krise_kristopher_2007_grandstand_43

Next up, Henry Cruz. What do you know, a former big leaguer. Cruz actually only played in the majors for part of four seasons. The rest of his playing career was spent in the minors and in Puerto Rico. The Cleveland Indians also employed Henry Cruz for a decade as a scout. Cruz hit .353 for the Albuquerque Dukes in 1977 before he was released by the Los Angeles Dodgers, and was signed by the Chicago White Sox.

cruz_henry_2007_grandstand_37

Surface treatment of the cards is a semi-gloss that requires no surface preparation prior to asking politely for an autograph. Photo credits for this team set are given to Noall Knighton. Overall, I believe Mr. Knighton did a very good job of photographing the Raptors. You can tell that he didn’t take all of the photos from the same location, and that really helps fans get a feel for the home ballpark.

The backs consist of four-color printing over a white background with a stylized grey baseball seam and short bios. There are no stats on the backs of these cards, but paleontologists around the globe are salivating over the presence of the Ogden logo that features a cartoonish green raptor. You were expecting what, a caveman?

Only time will tell how far many of these players advance through the system, but it is reasonable to assume that as many as half may play in Albuquerque within the next few seasons.

Possibly you can still pick up a 2007 Ogden Raptors team set at the team shop at Lindquist Field the next time you find yourself traveling through Utah. No need wasting your valuable internet time searching for it on their website though- they don’t offer them. Your best bet is to purchase one on the secondary market, where you should expect to shell out between $15 and $19 plus shipping.

– Kris

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One Response to “2007 ogden raptors team set review”

  1. morineko Says:

    “The funny part is that those collectors are failing to accept the responsibility to actually follow the sport well enough to recognize players who have already appeared in major league games.”

    I am so glad to find another person who agrees with me on that. I can understand team-specific fans not recognizing names of players in the other league, but if one is collecting cards for an entire sport I would normally assume that one would know more than just the names of the superstars.

    Of course, I found myself being unduly irritated by a few World Baseball Classic liveblogs where it was evident that the blogger wasn’t going to bother doing due diligence with the official WBC site + B-R + Baseball Cube + Google to find out who any of these lesser-known players were–they only existed to be snarked at, even though one of them has been ranked by various prospect watchers as one of the top 25 prospects in his organizatino.

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