Posts Tagged ‘Omaha Royals’

2007 omaha royals team set review

July 16, 2008

2007 Omaha Royals team set
Official Score – bases loaded WALK
Manufacturer: MultiAd Sports
Retail price: $10.00ish

The Omaha Royals used MultiAd’s black bat and baseball (Style M) template for their 2007 team set. If you wish to read a review of the same style used by a different team, be sure to check out my previous review of the 2007 Albuquerque Isotopes team set. I’m not a fan of the dark baseball bat image used to display the player name, number, position and team name. Still, the Royals cards aren’t as dark as the ones issued by the Isotopes.

Decidedly thin with a glossy surface, these cards will accept a nice Sharpie signature with minimal surface preparation. My preferred treatment is to scatter a small amount of baby powder on the front of the card, lightly rub it across the surface, dump any excess on the next card that needs preparation, and finally wipe the card clean with a soft acid-free cloth… okay, the front of my t-shirt. The backs consist of two-color (black and red) printing over white matte, typical player stats and short bios. A small grayscale headshot of each player on the back of each card is useful in player identification, and would be even more so if they had been taken without baseball caps on.

Well, what do you know? A 35-card checklist! Nice start.

1 – checklist (Flags at Rosenblatt Stadium)
2 – Justin Annin (trainer)
3 – Mike Aviles (3b)
4 – Brian Bannister (p)
5 – Angel Berroa (ss)
6 – Andres Blanco (ss)
7 – Terry Bradshaw (hitting coach)
8 – Ryan Braun (p)
9 – Craig Brazell (dh)
10 – Jace Brewer (ss)
11 – Billy Buckner (p)
12 – Tom Burgmeier (pitching coach)
13 – Fernando Cortez (inf)
14 – Shane Costa (of)
15 – Gabriel DeHoyos (p)
16 – Joey Gathright (of)
17 – Roberto Giron (p)
18 – Ben Hendrickson (p)
19 – Justin Huber (1b/of)
20 – Mike Jirschele (manager)
21 – Richard Lewis (2b)
22 – Tyler Lumsden (p)
23 – Mitch Maier (of)
24 – Thad Markray (p)
25 – Neil Musser (p)
26 – Jorge Padilla (of)
27 – Paul Phillips (c)
28 – Ken Ray (p)
29 – Jason Shiell (p)
30 – Jeff Stevenson (trainer)
31 – Matt Tupman (c)
32 – Matt Wright (p)
33 – Spike, Herman, Casey (mascots)
34 – Rosenblatt Stadium
35 – Billy Butler (p)

Obviously these are a must have for even your average fan in Kansas City. I can’t think of a single reason that every house in Omaha doesn’t own this particular set of baseball cards. But truth be known, only a few thousand were printed, and I imagine that more than one set failed to survive the evening they were handed out to fans before a game at Rosenblatt Stadium.

Photo credits are assigned to Dennis Hubbard, Christopher Szagola and “Omaha Royals Staff.” The photos used for these cards range in quality from very good (Buckner, Costa, Gathright and Wright) to not so hot (Bannister, Berroa, Butler and Markray). The majority of the remaining cards in the set fall in between. That is to say they are okay, just don’t expect to see any Pulitzer Prize winning photography in the set.

This card of outfielder Shane Costa is a stellar example of one of the nicer cards in this set.

There is quite a bit going on in this Mike Aviles baseball card, including belt adjusting in the dugout, a fan keeping score, and some kid playing with his seat instead of sitting on it. Notice, if you will, that the child’s guardian appears oblivious to the possibility that the tyke might be annoying the krap out of the people in front of him. There is also a fan drinking a beverage from a can. I can’t even remember the last time I saw cans served at a ballpark, so I am assuming this shot was taken during one of those retro evenings. Or perhaps it was the hugely popular “BYOB to the Ballpark” promotion. All I know for sure is that the background activity in this card alone seems to justify the Aardvark’s share of the set’s price tag.

The 2007 Omaha Royals team set contains cards of 13 position players. I would like to see players in the act of fielding more often in the mix, as the hitting shots get pretty redundant. Exceptions to this rule are the cards of Andres Blanco and Mitch Maier. Give me a true action shot like this one of Andres Blanco over a stale photo of a hitter holding a bat any day of the week. I suspect I’m not the only fan who would like to see the Omaha Royals include more cards like this in future releases.

The card of Mitch Maier is the only player card in the set that exhibits a horizontal orientation. The focus is a tad soft, but I like the card anyway.

Although the Craig Brazell card is out of focus and lacks creativity, it still doesn’t qualify as the worst card in the set. That diSTINKtion belongs to the Angel Berroa offering. I will spare you from even having to look at that one.

The 2007 Omaha Royals team set contains a dozen cards of pitchers, including photos of twirlers on the mound, players warming up on the sidelines and even a headshot thrown in. The variety of backgrounds visible on these cards really helps improve the overall set. This Billy Buckner card is perhaps the strongest card overall. The yellow seat covering at Rosenblatt Stadium combined with the bright white uniform results in a card perfect for autographing.

This Roberto Giron card is representative of the lesser quality cards of pitchers included in the set. While not “terrible,” the photo used for this card really isn’t much more than a snapshot that could have been vastly improved simply by the photographer moving around to the sunny side of Giron. Roberto has a nice sideways signature, so I will assume he prefers horizontal orientation to cards just like me.

This 2007 Omaha Royals team set contains a pair of catchers. The images of Phillips and Tupman are completely different, and both are of good quality. I enjoy it when players work their jersey number into their autograph like Matt has in this instance.

The team set contains two cards that would be good for getting signatures of players who didn’t make the set. These include a nice overview shot of Rosenblatt Stadium looking in from the outfield, and a shot of the flags at the stadium set against a light blue sky with puffy white clouds. The stadium card includes a short historical blurb on the back, while the “flags” card is used for the checklist. Both are welcome additions to this set.

If you are shy, and only want to purchase this team set online without having to speak to another human, expect to pay between eleven and thirteen bucks on the secondary market. In spite of the fact that you can’t currently find the 2007 Omaha Royals team set for sale on their website, I got confirmation from Jason Kinney (Royals Merchandising Manager) that they do in fact still have some in stock. I recommend you contact them yourself and order a set before they are sold out. Jason may be reached at (four-zero-two) 738.5104. Tell him I sent you!

On an interesting side note, Kinney also pointed out that outfielder Brian Buchanan pulled one over several people at the beginning of this season by posing as a pitcher for his 2008 baseball card.

I totally overlooked that as part of my review of the 2008 Omaha Royals team set, so I was left with no option but to score that as an “E Kris.” Amused, I pulled up Buchanan’s lifetime baseball stats and was pleasantly surprised to learn that he has pitched before- just not for the Omaha Royals (yet). Buchanan has spent 12 seasons in the minor leagues since breaking into professional baseball at the age of 20 in 1994. Brian pitched one complete inning for the Colorado Springs Sky Sox in 2006 and gave up only a single hit. Buchanan didn’t fare nearly as well in 2007 when he pitched one inning for the Louisville Bats. In that outing, Brian coughed up a solo homer, walked a batter and watched as his career ERA shot up to 4.50. Buchanan did not pitch in any of the 115 major league games he has appeared in since 2000. So now you know!

– Kris

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2008 omaha royals team set review

June 25, 2008

2008 Omaha Royals team set
Official Score – one out DOUBLE
Manufacturer: MultiAd Sports
Sponsor: Brad Williams Photography
Retail price: $ ??? Rosenblatt Stadium team shop, $12.00 secondary market
Checklist: 29 cards

1 – Luke Hochevar (p)
2 – Justin Annin (strength coach)
3 – Mike Aviles (inf)
4 – Terry Bradshaw (hitting coach)
5 – Brian Buchanan (of)
6 – Tom Burgmeier (pitching coach)
7 – Shane Costa (of)
8 – Kyle Davies (p)
9 – Brandon Duckworth (p)
10 – Damon Espino (c)
11 – Jeff Fulchino (p)
12 – Roberto Giron (p)
13 – Damon Hollins (of)
14 – Mike Jirschele (manager)
15 – Joel Peralta (p)
16 – Chris Lubanski (of)
17 – Tyler Lumsden (p)
18 – Mitch Maier (of)
19 – Dave Matranga (inf)
20 – Neal Musser (p)
21 – Brad Salmon (p)
22 – Ryan Shealy (1b)
23 – Jason Smith (inf)
24 – Mike Stodolka (1b)
25 – Matt Tupman (c)
26 – Drew Van Dam (trainer)
27 – Matt Wright (p)
28 – Casey, Herman the Nut & Spike (mascots)
29 – Angel Berroa (ss)

The Omaha Royals opted to take advantage of MultiAd’s unobtrusive (Style C) template in the creation of their team set this season. I am unquestionably a fan of this design as the greyscale cigar-band strip across the lower margin of the cards creates a great spot for the player and team names and logo. Also present are the player positions and numbers- that I suppose many fans like to see on the front of the cards. I could care less, as long as the data does not compete with the photograph.

At risk of sounding like a corrupt mp3 file, card thickness is typical for a minor league team set. Perhaps I would be better off saying “card thinness.” Surfaces have been covered with a clear coat that gives the cards a shine without the hassle of true gloss. The backs consist of two-color (black and blue) printing over white matte, player stats and short bios. Cropped greyscale photos of the players also are located on the backs of the cards.

Taking this team set and spreading it across my desk, the one card that immediately stands apart from the crowd is Kyle Davies. A fantastic photo that appears to have been shot in that magical hour when the lighting is perfect, Davies is captured in the middle of his delivery to the plate. The blue tarps covering the unused seating provides excellent contrast to Davies’ snow white uniform, while the orange and yellow seating at the top of the photo combine with the green grass to provide warmth to the photo.

Unfortunately, the warmth present in the Davies card does not continue through the entire set as many of the photos appear to either have been over exposed, or over manipulated in Photoshop. Luke Hochevar seems to have been singled out to have an absolutely terrible card. Seriously, they couldn’t find a photo of the number one pick from the 2006 draft that was in focus? Perhaps he wasn’t in Omaha long enough, but I find that difficult to believe. If you are wondering why I don’t include a scan of the card to support my claim, it is because I feel that Luke deserves better. If you want to see the card, order a team set from the Omaha Royals team shop.

Normally, I’m not a fan of cards of strength and/or conditioning coaches and trainers, but this offering of Justin Annin is deserving of a little cyberpress. When I saw the card initially, I assumed it was a gag card with Annin performing some sort of Dorf routine to make the guys laugh. Upon closer examination, I realized that A) I was mistaken, and B) I had no idea what was going on in the photo. Eventually I decided that C) it was none of my business, and that it would be best to just continue with my review as if nothing had happened. (Oh, and I love that the upper left corner of this card contains the word “internet.” If this card had a walk-up song, it would surely be Saga’s “The Runaway.”)

Shane Costa waits on a pitch in order to demonstrate that the use of light colored uniforms in front of a dark background can result in a pleasing image. With an attitude like that, I’m almost certain that he drove a scorching liner back through the middle of the field for an RBI single immediately after the camera shutter closed.

I particularly like this card of Mitch Maier as you can clearly see Nashville Sounds hitting coach Harry Spilman standing motionless in the visitors’ dugout- not breathing and hoping that Maier doesn’t deliver a monster homer over the right field fence.

Speaking of hitting…. I wouldn’t want to be sitting in the outfield grass not paying attention when Ryan Shealy warms up and begins launching bombs. If he can stay healthy, it is only a matter of time. Along with the following scans of cards of Damon Hollins and Jason Smith, this card demonstrates one of the weaknesses of this set… lack of variety in action. I’m assuming that we’ve all been to enough baseball games to know that many other interesting things happen besides pitchers getting ready to throw and batters waiting on a pitch to arrive. Each of the 11 pitchers included in the set are shown on the mound.

Not counting the six non-player cards, the only non-pitchers shown in anything other than the classic batting pose include catchers Matt Tupman and Damaso Espino- and infielder Mike Aviles who is shown in the process of making a play under the watchful eye of the GEICO gecko.

I’m sure that Omaha’s Rosenblatt Stadium is a beautiful ballpark. The 2009 team set would prove an excellent opportunity to show off the facility by including different parts of it in the background.

Subjectively yours,

– Kris