Sunday, June 13, 2021

Ultra Ball

My daughter has been playing a lot of Pokemon Sword and Shield lately. There's an attack move in the game called a Gyro Ball that reminds me of a former Red Sox pitcher. There's also a capture move called an Ultra Ball that you throw to catch a Pokemon if you want to add it to your team rather than attacking it.

She's also collecting Pokemon cards but I don't think she has this one. Anyway, the reason I bring this up is because a player can decide when to throw this Ultra Ball and (in the video game, at least) decide which Pokemon to collect. 

I've got over a thousand Ultra ball cards from 1992 to 1994, specifically baseball and basketball. With the base sets completed I turned my attention to Ultra inserts from 1993. 

This Roger Clemens Strike Out King insert is my fourth of the five cards in the set (still need the Nolan Ryan.) I acquired this card in a TCDB trade with Dantheman. I do not recommend trading with him. The offer was in his favor, which I didn't mind, but the cards I received weren't in great shape. Dan also takes his sweet time sending cards; in both of our trades he had received my end before shipping his. 

I might need to upgrade this Clemens eventually (note the top right edge) but it's a Red Sox card so I'll keep this in my team collection regardless. 

There are seven insert sets in 1993 Ultra baseball. I'm only interested in these and Home Run Kings for now.

Here's another 1993-adjacent insert card I acquired in a TCDB trade. I sent 12 baseball dupes to user M_ -- eleven of which were from 1993 Leaf and 1993 Studio. In return I received a Manny Ramirez base card, two hockey cards from the 1995-96 Playoff One On One TCG, and this Charles Barkley Rebound Kings insert from 1993-94 Ultra:

I'm guessing this photo was taken during the 1993 NBA Finals, but I could be wrong. The top half of this card is very strange, with a pink cloud and Chuck's head decapitating Horace Grant (and the ref). 

This is my second of ten Rebound Kings cards. I'm not planning to "catch 'em all" but I thought it would be neat to have a card that recognizes the Round Mound of Rebound's board work. The top edge of this card is a bit chipped, too.

The one insert set I do like from 1993-94 Ultra is Power In The Key. My collecting friends and I really enjoyed these back in the day; they seemed like tough pulls. I'm not going to chase this nine-card set considering the Michael Jordan alone sells for about $200.

One more 1993-ish card arrived in a TCDB trade, but it's not an Ultra.

This Brad Daugherty comes to Collector HQ courtesy of TCDB user BubbaV304. I shipped another half-dozen dupes to Bob (including four 1992-93 Ultra basketball singles) for four more of those Playoff One On One hockey cards, a Phil Simms single from 1989 Score and this Daugherty here. This one's got a couple corner touches but it fits right in with the rest of my All-Division inserts. It probably sounds like I'm complaining about condition but the Simms is actually in worse shape than any of these.

This card brings me to 65% of the set (13 of 20). I might check out Sportlots to fill some of these insert sets if I can't acquire any more in trade.

Secret Base is previewing a three-part documentary on the history of the Cleveland Cavaliers. I'm sure the Daugherty-Price-Nance teams of the early '90s will be mentioned. 

As for this blog, I have a basketball post planned as part of a potential NBA Week/Weekend similar to my NFL Week promo a few months ago. Still working out what I'll discuss and when, but it will likely include a PWE swap offer if anyone is interested in offloading some NBA cards.


Thanks for reading!



  1. For a moment, I thought you were going to tell me Pokemon came out in 1993, which seemed way off to me. As it turns out, it came out in 1996, so it wasn't nearly as off as I thought it was! After one passes a certain age, "new" things seem a lot newer than they are. B^)

  2. You motivated me to dig through my box of Jordans to see if I have a copy of that Ultra Power in the Key insert. I don't. And if they sell for that much, I never will. Kind of a bummer, because it's a great looking insert.

  3. I've never seen that Clemens before..weird attempt to go for an outer space feel. I can't help but think of the Star Wars quote "That's no moon..."

  4. $200 for any card from 1993 seems kind of obscene.