Tuesday, November 12, 2013

Dingo 2013-14 Adelaide Bite - Series One Checklist and Initial Thoughts on the 2013-14 ABL Cards

I received five of the 2013-14 ABL team sets produced by Dingo Cards in the mail last week, which when added to the 2012-13 Canberra Cavalry Championship set of cards I bought at the ABL's opening game, means that I have all of the sets from the first "wave" of releases ... I think

The uncertainty is because it's still a bit unclear to me as to how many sets were meant to be released. The way that I had read the initial advertising was that each of the 6 teams were meant to have an 8 card set released during each of the three waves, making 18 sets, plus the Canberra Cavalry 40 card Championship Edition set making a 19th set.

The Series One 8 card set for the Cavalry failed to materialize at the merchandising stores at games, andis  not appearing in the online ABL shop. I'd hazard a guess to say that the Championship Edition set is the only Canberra Cavalry release we'll see during the first wave, and that we will only see 18 sets released in total. I'll try and chase down what has happened to Canberra's Series One release - it's definitely shown on the Release Schedule cards as existing separate from the Championship Edition set, but it doesn't seem to have been released yet, despite advertising to the contrary.

Here are some quick thoughts on the 8 card team sets.

  • Australian players. There appears to have been a focus on choosing Australian players for the team sets with no imports making it into the first wave of team sets (although the Canberra Cavalry Championship set is another matter entirely, featuring most of the 2012-13 Canberran roster which is mainly made up of non-Australian players)
  • Affiliated players. Although focussing on Aussies, there was also a focus on Australian MLB affiliated players. The 40 players included 4 former MLB players, 14 players who played in the Minors during 2013, 3 players currently signed by MLB teams but yet to play in the Minors and 9 players who have previously played in the Minors, leaving only 10 players across the 5 sets who haven't played for a MLB organisation (and 6 of those were from the one team - the Adelaide Bite).
  • They're really 10 card sets. Although they're listed as 8 card sets, each card holder contains 10 cards - the 8 numbered player cards, plus two unnumbered cards. The first unnumbered card is a Header card with the team logo, set information, and the set checklist on the back. The second card set is a release schedule for that teams cards. The release schedule card includes images of three header cards for that team - presumably the header card for the team set released during each wave. Master set collectors will need six of these Release Schedule cards -  one card from each team.
  • Blurry images. The preview images online came across as being quite clean and crisp, however a number of the player photos on the cards appear to be a bit soft and blurry. The card text is pretty crisp, suggesting that the image issue lays more with the photos that were chosen for use on the cards rather than anything to do with the card printing.
  • Card quality. Although there are some question marks over the images, the card stock itself is fairly strong and the cards have a strong glossy finish, giving them a professional look.
  • Good packaging. The card sets themselves are released in rigid plastic card holders that hold ten cards, rather than the usual foil or cellophane wrapper or cardboard box. The team sets I had received in the mail were also bubble wrapped inside the Express Post bag. I mention the bubble pack wrapping as last season there were issues of card sets just being thrown into directly into packages in their team set plastic baggies, and arriving to customer with dinged corners. Having said that, the plastic card holders are going to make these expensive to try and send overseas.

Anyway, enough of my commentary. Here's the front and back of the Adelaide Bite Series One header card.

Dingo 2013-14 Adelaide Bite Series One Header/Checklist Card - front

Dingo 2013-14 Adelaide Bite Series One Header/Checklist Card - back

And here's the ten cards that make up Dingo's 2013-14 Adelaide Bite Series One set of cards:

Card Number: Player: (Nationality, current or past MLB affiliation)
001 Stefan Welch (Australia, played in Pittsburgh Pirates organisation in 2013)
002 Chris Adamson (Australia)
003 Josh Cakebread (Australia)
004 Jeremy Cresswell (Australia)
005 Darren Fidge (Australia, played 5 years in the Minnesota Twins organisation between 1992 - 1997)
006 Ben Lodge (Australia)
007 Richard Olson (Australia)
008 Angus Roeger (Australia)
unnumbered - Header / Checklist card
unnumbered - Release Schedule for Adelaide Bite card sets

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