Monday, July 14, 2014

Mark Prior Monday - 2005 Leaf Century

When I think of Leaf, my first thought is that they were the Donruss version of O-Pee-Chee. Canadian parallels. Sure, it was kind of neat to find a Cubs card every now and then, but I didn't seek them out. Then in 1990, they came out with their own standalone set, powered by a Frank Thomas rookie card, and released sets for a few more years.

Then it goes dark for me as I exited the hobby for a little bit. When I came back, it seemed like Leaf had reinvented themselves as an upscale brand. Or maybe that was just the direction the hobby was headed. Limited serial numbers, relics, boxes that came with memorabilia. No wonder that was a short re-entry into the hobby for me.

As far as I can tell, 2005 was the only year they released Leaf Century. I kind of like it. I usually prefer the home pinstripes but the black and white background with the player kept in color really pops, at least on this Mark Prior card. The postmark down on the bottom with the city and year the club was founded is a nice touch. Inserts for the set include actual postage stamps on the cards with autographs and/or relics.

The hobby boxes had 10 packs with 5 cards in each pack. With perfect collection, it would take at least four boxes to complete the 200-card base set. But I couldn't tell you what that would cost because as of this writing, there aren't any boxes on eBay or Dave and Adam's Card World. I couldn't even find a team set (any team) for sale on eBay, let alone a complete set.

The Cubs were heavily represented in the set, coming in at 12 cards.

18 Moises Alou
21 Sammy Sosa
50 Nomar Garciaparra
108 Andre Dawson
116 Aramis Ramirez
131 Greg Maddux
134 Kerry Wood
146 Matt Clement
160 Derrek Lee
161 Mark Prior
162 Carlos Zambrano
189 Todd Walker

By comparison, the Diamondbacks only had one (Randy Johnson). The Rockies and Tigers only had two and the defending champion Red Sox only had 10.

Aside from the Prior, I surprisingly have no other cards from this set. A hunting I will go.

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