ROYGBIV – Oranger

Baseball cards are wonderful things with a ton of variety.  Some of that variety is from different manufacturers that employ techniques intended to set themselves apart from their competition.  Some of that variety is from the same company attempting different product lines with themes intended to catch unique sub-sections of the collectors out there.  Some, really most, is from forced diversity in the form of parallels.  An array of colors and/or printing techniques with assigned rarities designed to entice collectors (I hope).

Each year, it seems like more and more variations are added to the production line, which is odd, because just about every color of the rainbow has been covered.  Not all of them work on cardboard, but that doesn’t stop companies from trying.

In “honor” of these attempts, I wanted to create a short series going through that rainbow.  A lot of focus in my past blog posts have been on the rarer parallels, or ones that compliment the uniforms, but I have a bunch of cards with all kinds of colors and so why not celebrate the ROYGBIV aspect of collecting, right?

The first part of this series was back in August.  Now we’re on to part two after a lengthy delay, because I finally found the song I wanted to show off.  I didn’t spend a lot of time actually physically looking for the song. Most of the time was spent searching my memories and trying to avoid going with the more obvious “Orange Crush” from R.E.M.

For red, I picked a song that was a little personal to me and wanted to try to continue that here.  Here’s the crazy part, though. I don’t know if I can keep it up past this post and I might abandon the song thing altogether.

Anyway, transporting myself back to college again. One summer, a friend of mine made a mix-CD that he passed around to his friends as a little end-of-summer thing. I don’t remember all the songs from it anymore, but I do remember that there was quite a bit that I didn’t already know, including this one.  So, why did it take me so long to find the song?  Why not go back to the CD?  Well, I might have the case with the liner back at my parents house, but the CD itself was stolen along with my car many years ago.

Still, memories of the song have remained and I finally tracked it down.  Eggtooth by the band Oranger has such an infectious opening synth keyboard and goes into what I would describe as a mix between 90’s alt and 60’s rock, but you might disagree.  Anyway, it’s the kind of song that would have me playing some air piano while walking to class while people walking past me stared at me in disgust. Or admiration. Take your pick.

Well, hit play if you’re so inclined and join me in checking out the range of oranges at our collecting disposal.

Like a traffic cone

Fair warning: A lot of these are going to be Bowman.  This is the most neon of those, more than what shows in the scan, and I kind of dig it.

Like a dirty traffic cone

It’s better than these burnt orange that come off as brown or gold in the scans.

Like a mis-produced traffic cone

Up until more recently, there really haven’t been many sets that have tried using orange as a parallel color, and honestly that’s a good thing.

Like the same set of traffic cones because it is the same set

Even though I like the neon from above, it’s still an abrasive color and doesn’t mesh well with a lot of teams.

Like another orange thing

Here’s the last of the Bowman’s I’m showing and you can see that it switched to a different shade, one that’s a little brighter and more obvious. I mean, if you “have to” go for it, then go for it.


Of course, chrome cards changed the game a bit. They are breeding grounds for new and ever expanding arrays of colors.  This particular card goes through a few different shades all on its own.

#/99 found at NSCC

Orange works best when it’s shiny.  It matters less that the colors don’t match your favorite team (and trust me it doesn’t match your favorite team). The tire treads are a different story.  I don’t need a monster truck rally in the background.

Almost matches that Reds jersey

So, this is what orange looks like with a pronounced curl.  It’s bending the light even more so it comes off as red, but I promise this is one of those terrible retail rack pack exclusive things that are still a thing, except they’re pink now.

Not so curly

Here’s a better look at an orange refractor.  Also the best shade of the three.  It shouldn’t work with the purple, but again, the shiny makes things better.

It doesn’t even fit the gem motif very well

I’m not as keen about seeing orange in the higher end products.  These shouldn’t have endless parallels, and I’d much prefer they stick to the basics if only so I did’t have such large rainbows to collect.

This thing is very thick

This last card is badass, but that’s because it’s thick acetate with an on-card auto.  The orange ring is the worst part of it, because it’s like someone left a can of orange crush sitting on it.

Damn, maybe I should have used that song after all.

Can’t Spell “Really Big Card Trade” Without GCRL – Part 3

I’m happy with the progress I’ve been making with the blog lately.  It’s surprising how frequently I’ve been able to write (haven’t been able to read all that much). I don’t know how long that will keep up, but I’m enjoying it while it lasts.  It’s hard to balance my hobbies, sometimes.  It’s not a perfect balance right now by any means, but things could be worse.

How anyone like Jim manages more than one active blog at any given time is far beyond me. He’s originally known for his blog GCRL (hence the title) and creator of several side blogs. He is now writing for cards as i see them.  As you know already, I completed a nice big trade with him late last year and you can catch the first part of the trade here, if you’d like. Second part here.

From what I can tell, there should be two more parts after this, but this will be the only one to feature non-2016 Cubs players.  There was a random assortment of my previous player collections and I don’t have a great way to lump them together. I mean, I rarely do when talking about trades. But, let’s see what kind of stuff I got for those retired players.


Cooperstown is probably one of the better sets that Panini put out, and I especially liked seeing a lot of HOFers that normally don’t get cards.  I understand why it shouldn’t be a yearly set, though.  For this one, I’m missing any of the color parallels.

Such a great perspective

Crazy that I didn’t have this card as of yet, but I didn’t. A couple of the chromes, yes. The black border parallel, yes.

Not bad, just unnecessary

Sometimes the First Editions looked better than the regular cards.  I go back and forth for 2009.


I remember a couple years back that UD teased they were going to make baseball cards again with their MLBPA license, but then it got scrapped. I wonder if they’re going to give it a shot again, or will be given a shot again.

Gotta be getting kind of close

I wonder how far away I am from getting all of Kerry’s Indians cards.  Maybe I’ll do a count after the National.


I discovered that I have a few different versions of this 2001 Topps card, but I don’t have any of Kerry’s normal base card/chrome/opening day.  Weird how that works out sometimes.

Not a great photo effect

I will never open a pack of 2001 Heritage.  It’s so weird to even own one. At this point with the cycle of reprints and reboots from Topps, it’s much easier to assume that this ’52 design would be from a different product altogether.

I’m not great at telling, but looks like Wrigley

I’ll end with a couple of newer cards.  This one is not from Heritage as they have not quite reached this year. Instead it’s from baby heritage Archives.

Run from the…flames?

Lastly is a retail exclusive Topps Fire card from last year.  I bought a couple boxes from 2017 (and have one sealed still), but didn’t buy any for 2018 since I got into a break. Here’s another non-Cub I no longer need thanks to Jim.

Thank you very much for the cards and we’ll see some more of that trademark variety in the next parts very soon!

The Moment I’ve Been Waiting For

Well, this journey was shorter than I imagined it would be.  It look slightly less than a month and only 14 posts to show off 222 new cards on the blog (including this one), allowing me to take delivery on my sportlots order and even things out again.

Of course, a big reason as to why it was this short is that I purposefully found multi-card scans I could exploit.  Not that anyone would care.  The overall goal is still the same from here on out, try to show off more than I take in, with the exception of trades and the National.  I doubt I’ll be buying anything more from any card sites for a while, with or without credit, just so I can stay on track with that. I have so many more cards that have yet to be shown.

For instance, I have shown 978 different Greg Maddux cards on the blog, including what’s below.  I have 1612 different ones, and a few more coming from that SL delivery. That’s 634 for Maddux cards alone that have yet to see the spotlight (currently split up between over 130 “master” scans).  If I plan to show everything, I need to scale back my non-trade acquisitions.  Those cards will be waiting for me. This whole thing is a marathon.

Not unlike a certain marathon set we all know and only some of us love. Let’s celebrate this small moment with…you know.

I’ve only shown one of the 1993 Cy Youngs so far

Strikeout #17
April 20, 1993 – Atlanta Braves at Florida Marlins

Maddux singled in a run earlier in the game to give the Braves the lead and he was still protecting that in the 6th inning when he struck out Chuck Carr for the second out.

I currently have 43 of them

Strikeout #22
April 25, 1993 – Atlanta Braves at St. Louis Cardinals

This third strikeout of the game showed that Maddux was settling down a little too late. The Braves were already down 4-0 when Ray Lankford went down looking with a runner on first.

Out of 197

Strikeout #23
April 25, 1993 – Atlanta Braves at St. Louis Cardinals

From the same game, his next K was Greg’s last. He was pulled after this fourth inning but still managed to get Bernard Gilkey swinging.

That’s almost 22% for that card number

Strikeout #24
April 30, 1993 – St. Louis Cardinals vs. Atlanta Braves

His next start was also against the Cardinals, but it went a lot better. Maddux lasted 10 of 11 innings and struck out twice as many.  This card is for the first of those eight, which came in the first inning, but after the Cardinals scored their first run. Mark Whiten couldn’t keep the singles train going and left two runners on.

I had been showing the 1992 Cy Youngs

Strikeout #90
June 21, 1993 – Atlanta Braves at Philadelphia Phillies

Skipping ahead a few months and this game gives Maddux his seventh win of the season. Only 4 Ks in the match, but the Braves were winning handily when Ruben Amaro swung and missed to start the bottom of the sixth.

Of those, I have 76 of 199

Strikeout #99
July 7, 1993 – Atlanta Braves at St. Louis Cardinals

Back to the Cardinals. Can’t escape them in this run, and they handed Greg his 8th loss today.    Maddux still managed 7 strikeouts and this second one happened against the second batter of the second inning, Brian Jordan.

And I’ve shown 51 of those..Not bad

Strikeout #114
July 16, 1993 – Pittsburgh Pirates vs. Atlanta Braves

In the top of the 1st inning, Maddux had allowed three straight singles to open the ball game, but no one had scored yet.  The bases weren’t loaded, however as lead-off man Tom Foley was out at third on one of those singles.  That means there were runners on first and second for Orlando Merced, who whiffed on that third strike. The pirates would score later that inning.

There are also smaller “Wins” cards

Strikeout #120
July 16, 1993 – Pittsburgh Pirates vs. Atlanta Braves

Surprisingly, we’re in the same game. This card is for the last of seven strikeouts, which happened in the top of the 7th inning.  With the Braves leading 3-2 Jay Bell watched the pitch fly by him to end the inning, stranding a runner on second.

I have 8 and 1 of those, respectively – all in good time

Strikeout #197
October 2, 1993 – Colorado Rockies vs. Atlanta Braves

The last strikeout on one of the last games of the season.  The Braves needed this win (which they got easily off of the expansion Rockies) as they were in a heated battle at the top of the standings with the Giants, both tied at 103 wins after today. This last strikeout came in the sixth inning as Daryl Boston swung and missed to end the frame. Not much you can do against a Cy Young winner (and eventual repeat winner).

-2 left to show before taking Sportlots delivery.

Crackin’ Into Some Update

My group break buying has slowed a little bit. I bought into a Series 1 break for the Cubs, but that’s been it in 2019. No packs of baseball cards this year, either. Only Garbage Pail Kids.  Knowing I’m going to the National means I kinda want to wait to buy any boxes at the show, if I’m going to buy them at all.  I’m patient.  Besides, maybe this will make it easier to trade with me if I don’t have hardly any new stuff?

I guess the gap in products also has something to do with it.  After all, these 2018 Update cards were from October-ish? and Series 1 is in late January or early February, I think?  Tough to buy new things if there’s nothing new for a budget conscious collector to buy.

Anyway, when I do buy new stuff, it’s still mostly coming from group breaks these days and so in those rare occasions, I also mostly go to Crackin’ Wax.  Sometimes, it’s a race to get the Cubs, but I managed to win out for the 2018 Update case break.  Let’s take a quick look at what I got.

Odds of having three all-starts in 2019 is low

Several copies of each of these cards.  I’m only showing the players I collect, but the team set is a bit larger than this.  Having a decent Cubs presence through the All-Star game and HR derby certainly helped. 2019 Update may not be all that great for my collections unless we trade a bunch to other teams.

Dude in the front row needs to watch the game

You can’t avoid inserts in the Topps flagship set, of course and I did reasonably well.  I’m not wild about these ’83 style cards, or the large insert set that takes a historic design, but they’re common enough that I shouldn’t have tons of trouble tracking them down.

Needs to be lenticular

I remember this look from 2016 Finest.  Not any better here, either.  I would expect this insert would focus on the fastest people in the game, but here’s Kris Bryant because star players are more important than thematically correct ones.

Here he is again

The home country thing has been done a bunch as well, and I have to say I’m disappointed that there are so many US players represented in this set.

This player choice works

I also don’t understand the design choice.  What do these hexagons and circles have to do with anything?  And the colors don’t change to match the country.

Topps saluted just about every player

He’s changed a few individual games.  I haven’t been following very closely this year, but I think he’s been one of the best offense players for the Cubs so far.

And did so in multiple forms

I didn’t get any player collection parallels like gold or rainbow foil or anything, but I did the the blue version of this insert.  It looks like 2019 Topps stopped that nonsense with their inserts, thankfully.

Reserved fist pump

There were also plenty of cards for people I don’t collect and these are probably the heaviest hitters for that.  If anyone is interested in trading, I have more than just this, of course, but you’re looking at the Vintage stock Morrow and a couple Banks cards from those silver pack box loaders. That blue is nice.

Thanks a lot to Crackin’ Wax for holding his group break, a portion of the proceeds going to charity each and every time. I’m always happy to take part when possible!

7 left to show before taking Sportlots delivery.

Trading To Fill In Some Junk Wax Gaps – Part 4 of 4

I think I’m just about ready to start soliciting new trades again.  The surgery sidelined me for a bit, and then other personal stuff kept me off the sidelines even further, but very soon I think I’ll be able to make something happen, and I have an exciting idea to announce with that to possibly bolster my trades in one way or another. I’m thinking later this month that will happen.

In the meantime, I still have some older packages that haven’t been completely shown off here.  There were a couple that came in before my surgery that are still waiting for their turn, and that will come soon – just have to scan some stuff still.  For now, I’m going to stick with trying to close off some multi-post trades.

One of those is from John, known on the Trading Card Database as herkojerko (here’s his profile, should you be so inclined, and you should).  You can see the first part of our exchange right here, and the second part here and the third part here.  As I mentioned in previous posts, many of the cards he sent were from the so called junk wax era, which is not a problem at all.  I still need a lot of that stuff.  Often times, it’s so prevalent that people may forget to even check those years, including myself.

Thankfully, John didn’t forget and so I have a few gaps filled.  Today, we’re looking at the last of the Frank Thomas stuff he sent as well as some Fowlers that may not be junk wax, but too many people treat them that way.

ankle biter

Honestly, this is the only card for today that would typically be considered part of the junk wax era.  It’s from my baseball dead zone. I was already slowing down my basketball collecting in 1996 thanks to being a teenager with a part time job and a car payment.

not from the same game

In fact, here’s a card from just last year.  I did end up buying some 2018 Diamond Kings of my own, so I probably have a duplicate of this now.  I am still missing the “Big Hurt” variation, though.

I don’t think the Rockies need him back

When looking this up to tag the set, I guess wrong on the year twice.  That’s how much I pay attention to Bowman, I guess.

The Astros certainly don’t need him back

I still tend to forget his stint with Houston, even though that’s where the Cubs got him from.

I was sad to see him leave the Cubs

The smoke effect really comes alive in a shot like this.  In just about every other shot, not so much.

But, he’s doing well for the Cubs as a Cardinal

I have yet to get any of the 2019 Donruss, but hope to buy a box at the National this year.  The design is a far cry and vast improvement from this. It’s a little surprising it lasted as long as it did, when Pinnacle and Select died after a year.

Anyway, thank you very much again to John for the great trade! I appreciate you reaching out and hopefully we can do it again soon as I get more trade bait all sorted and ready.

20 left to show before taking Sportlots delivery.

Check the Tek-nique

You know, sometimes you just need to put together an easy post.  I spend way too much time looking through my scan folders for cards that have a theme that I feel like talking about on any given day.  I try to avoid the easy stuff, even if it doesn’t seem like it.  Color matching is too obvious mostly.  Same sets and same brands? Sometimes…please see below.

Possibly more importantly is can I think of a title?  Something that screams, “Yeah, sure. Good enough.”

<insert picture of me inviting you to the blog with open arms, except not really because I don’t like taking pictures of myself>

Today, I’m going with a weak bit of word play and a brand that I’ve passed over so, so many times in the past because it didn’t seem interesting enough.  But hey, I gotta feature them sometimes, and honestly the Teks are piling up a tiny bit (as are the Moments & Milestones).

Like always, we’re going to be playing a little game called “Name the Pattern.” You all are welcome to help me out.  I’ll throw out my random thoughts, but if the group outwits me (a strong possibility) I’ll change it.

1999 30B

Pattern #30B – Wafer Cookie

I haven’t had one in a long time, but this makes me think of splitting open one of those wafer cookies with that frosting cream stuff in the middle.  You know the ones, right?

2000 3

Pattern #3 – The League

Wow, you can see the card number and pattern poking through on the left side.  Anyway, this is a bland pattern.

2000 7

Pattern #7 – Hometown Star

The name of the city will change for each player, which is pretty interesting. This level of customization would never happen now.

2000 11

Pattern #11 – BA Pyramid

Pretty self-explanatory. I wanted to incorporate the tri-force on this, but I already used it once and don’t want to repeat myself too much.


Running away from the vortex

There are no pattern numbers for these from 2014 and newer and the names are pretty widely, but not universally, agreed upon already.  This one is Net


Unphased by the vortex

Some may call it a Grid, but I prefer Net.


Follow the..oh we’re back at the start already

This is the spiral bricks pattern, and I think it’s the most common one from this year.  A simple numbering would help identify that.

1999 7A

Pattern #7A – Worst Maze Ever

Back to unnamed patterns.  I’m definitely open to other suggestions on this one.

1999 16A

Pattern #16A – Deco Balls

A lot of the 1999 patterns have that art deco feel to them.  The stitching from the balls going into the straight lines creates a neat optical illusion.

Alright, well, that’s a start.  Not a start because I’ve done this before.  A middle.  Part of a middle.  It’s a thing you either read or scrolled through quickly or ignored completely.  Whatever the case may be, odds are high that I’ll be back with more as soon as I can think of more word play with the name Tek.

26 left to show before taking Sportlots delivery.

Last Year’s Card Shop Visit

Back in April of last year, I had to go to Rockford where my company’s home office is for some office-wide training.  That was pretty standard stuff, but also only lasted half of the day.  They let everyone go home afterwards, which was fantastic.  Since my home was over an hour away, I planned in advance to kill some time at a local card shop before heading back.

At this point, unfortunately, I don’t think it’s even worth mentioning the name of the shop as it’s since closed down for good.  I learned that when I tried looking up their hours for a repeat visit recently.  Their advertised last day was a couple days before I was scheduled to be in town with time on my hands.  That’s too bad.

The owner also sets up at the nearby mall for their regular card shows (or at least did in the past, and I think he helped organize them).  Those shows are kind of tiny, but were fun to browse the couple times I’ve been able to go.

I spent probably close to two hours or so in that card shop on this first and last visit. It was a big place and I did want to go back to look for more.  Most of the space was memorabilia and supplies that I didn’t care for.  But I gravitated towards the ten-to-fifty cent boxes and loaded up heavily, mostly on the dime side.  After I was done with that, I picked up quite a few Kerry Wood relics from the case, but I’ll show those another time.  For the time being, I’ll simply showcase a tiny portion of those cheapy deals.

Star power

I really don’t make it a habit to buy base cards, but these were a dime or less. I think there was a buy X get Y free thing so it probably landed in my stack to meet a quota

Wood designs look okay in chrome, too

Same goes for the next few.  I didn’t find a lot of Maddux cards that I needed, but I’ll snag an old Bowman Chrome.

No non-refractor versions

I don’t like Bowman’s Best, but I like the price.  Crazy that I didn’t have this yet.

Not wild about the name placement

Sweet Spot is a high end thing, so it’ll be more rare for a fellow card blogger to have one of these to trade me.  Love the red foil.


A small end to the Maddux portion of my haul.  Yep, this was it for him, but I’m cool with that.  A gaudy Goudey to move on to some of the main attraction.

Welcome to Broder country

I’m currently writing this with thunder storms passing through the area.  Let’s hope for no actual power surges.

Some of these have no year or other identifiers

I’m not sure who had the most unlicensed cards made, but Frank Thomas has to be in top 5 for baseball, if not top 3.  Look at that foil!  Look at that meteor that’s gonna get smacked away from our precious planet!

1990 Rookie Superstar

By now you’ve probably guessed that most of my stack was Frank Thomas oddballs and unlicensed stuff.  Makes sense they would end up in a mostly local shop, and of course I’m going to pile up when they price is right.

Put that in your locket

Several were from this American Sports Monthly thing, and they’re not terrible looking cards.  I’m not too familiar with that institution or how these were distributed, but it went on for a while with several different designs and Frank was heavily featured.  You’ll see a lot more later.

Overall, I have a couple dozen more cards of the Big Hurt that look equally awesome and not-major-company quality.  The toughest part is identifying them, and checklisting them, but maybe I’ll save that discussion for another day.  Too bad I can’t go back to that shop another day.

35 left to show before taking Sportlots delivery.

Still Stuck On A Trade From 2017

I’m at the point now where I want to start building up some more trade bait for the blog so I can get new packages coming in, since I’m so close to giving credit to all the packages that have come in.  I just need a little time and motivation to actually work on that instead of other hobbies.

It’s hard to balance my time properly and I always feel like I’m not giving enough consideration to something I really enjoy.  I’ve also been having computer problems lately and am slowly transitioning to a new laptop.  I haven’t scanned cards that came to me in February or updated my spreadsheets yet.  Anyway, these are all just ways to slightly rationalize how pathetic it is that I still haven’t shown everything from a trade package that came in back in 2017.  If you recall, not so long ago I mentioned that Kerry, also known as Madding, also known as Cards on Cards just keeps sending me more stuff out of nowhere and I’m very far behind in showing off every card.

I think the next post I make for his mailings will put me into 2018 finally.

Arrieta was not a 2015 All-Star…

I’ve purchased the NL All-Star blisters for 2017 and 2018 (and might for 2019, depending on who’s in it), but didn’t get this year since the Cubs hadn’t won the whole thing yet.  Thankfully they’re available nationwide so I can get this slight numbering variant that’s oh so important to fools like me.

Digging the potato sack set

Kerry is a Heritage set collector as well as a Cardinals collector, so I like to try to help with his sets here and there as I can.  In return, he sometimes sends me his duplicates like this Rizzo short print.

Crazy how much the border changes

Hendricks is not an SP, but he is someone I needed as I only bought a single blaster of this.

You lead that league!

I’ve said it before but it always bears repeating until the quest is complete.  Base cards are a trading-to-me-person’s best friend. There are so many I need.

I don’t know the other two people

He may not be named on the front of this card, but I do count this as a Dexter Fowler card on my checklist.

More obviously a Fowler card

It was nice of Dexter to continue playing for the Cubs while technically playing for the Cardinals.

Such a pained look on his face

I really haven’t begun on this chrome rainbow except for one of the gold refractors, but I’ll take any start I can get.

Glad I don’t have to also go after a league leader

I haven’t paid close attention to Chrome, so I don’t know for sure if these X-fractors are retail exclusives or not, but I like that the design is changed each year

Mr. Willson

No matter where they came from, I’m glad they’re with me now.  Just a handful more players to obtain.  If any of you out there have them, let me know!

Thank you again to Kerry for the old trades, for the new trades, all the surprise packages.  There’s still way too much to show, but at least I’m moving forward on the timeline.

44 left to show before taking Sportlots delivery.

Introducing the Jon Lester Collection

This is part twelve of a twenty-five part series chronicling my budding collections of the 2016 World Series champion Cubs.  Obviously, I’ve already starting showing off some of those cards, but I wanted to offer a formal introduction to the various players.  With my legacy player collections, I’m still going to attempt to show every single card on the blog, but with these new guys I’m taking a different approach as you’ll see here where I lump cards in one scan, and will probably skip many of the more basic cards I get unless I can get a good theme together.

I’ll be honest.  A big reason why I’m focusing on Jon Lester today is so I can get that Sportlots delivery number down in a quick and easy fashion.  Those 200+ cards are waiting for me to pay for shipping and I really don’t want to wait a whole lot longer to meet my goal.  Back-to-back larger posts will certainly help quite a bit in that regard. So, how’s about we take a look at the career of Lester so far.

I started out with a nice array of Lester cards – more than I expected

Jon came into the league in 2006 with the Boston Red Sox in June after being drafted by them in 2002. In that first year, he posted a 7-2 record before being put on the DL in late August.

Takeaways from my Documentary case and a heritage to even out the scan

What started as back pain complaints turned into a diagnosis of anaplastic large cell lymphoma.  Luckily, it was treatable and Lester was pronounced cancer free just a couple months later and he returned to the majors in the middle of 2007.

Side note: As with all players in 2008 Documentary that I collect, I’m tracking their card record to see how well the team fared in the games represented by his picture.  I don’t count the gold parallels.  Lester has 12 cards in the set and I’ve shown one elsewhere before.

Lester Red Sox card record:  4-2

See? I had some good stuff already like inserts, #’d and minis

2007 also saw Jon’s first World Series championship. He pitched and won the clinching game against the Colorado Rockies, completing the four game sweep.  The next year, he kept rolling and pitched his first no-hitter, only allowing two walks and recording 9 strikeouts in the effort)

And, I had a lot of it for Lester for whatever reason.  Must have been a magnet without knowing it

He would stay consistent, if not improving, with Boston and earned his first three All-star appearances in 2010, 2011, and 2014.  Shortly after the 2014 AS game, he was traded to the Oakland A’s with Johnny Gomes for Yoenis Cespedes.

Some of this was from slightly after I started collecting him, but 4 full scans is great

That tenure with Oakland only lasted the one half season and later in 2014, he signed as a free agent with your Chicago Cubs on a six-year deal.  That first year saw him post a 3.34 ERA with over 200 strikeouts, but 2016 would be better.

Last hurrah for Fleer

In that famous 2016 year, my shared namesake would win 19 regular season games (for what that’s worth) and lowered that ERA to a career-low 2.44.  He found himself on another All-Star roster and finished second in the NL Cy Young voting.  And then there was the playoffs.

I should have shown Cubs cards, but I didn’t for whatever reason

He pitched in one game of the NLDS against the Giants, which he won allowing zero runs over 8 innings.  The NLCS gave him two starts. He went 1-0, allowing two runs, nine hits and two walks over 13 innings with 9 Ks and nabbed the title of NLCS MVP.  In the World Series, he pitched three games (two starts and in relief for game 7), had a 1-1 record and struck out 16 over 14.2 innings while giving up 7 runs, 6 earned on the way to the title.

I just think these are cool looking and wanted to show them

Since then, he’s still been solid for the Cubs and 2017 saw him hit his first career home run and notch his 2,000th strikeout, and 2018 was another All-Star year.

At least I included a blue border

In terms of collecting, the team switch and the pretty clear career trajectory means his cards aren’t too expensive.  They are plentiful, though at nearly 1400 total for me to chase.  As of now, I’m doing well at nearly 20%.  Onward and upward!

55 left to show before taking Sportlots delivery.

Maddux Overload – 2002 Edition


The New England Patriots beat the St. Louis Rams for their first NFL championship shortly after the tragic events of 9/11, so a lot of people put extra meaning on that team winning, but I’ll let you decide if it was warranted.

The Los Angeles Lakers win their third straight title, this time against the Nets, so of course they did.  The Charlotte Hornets moved to New Orleans creating a string of team naming events that still confuses me to this day.  On the WNBA side, the LA Sparks also repeated to take their second straight title.  The New York Liberty returned to the finals after a year away for the loss.

Lennox Lewis keeps the Heavyweight Boxing title after beating Mike Tyson in real life, but I don’t know he would be able to beat him in the NES game.

Lance Armstrong wins the Tour de France. Again. Again.  Oh, oops.  Wait.  No he officially didn’t. Again. Again.

Tiger Woods wins the Masters in back to back years and was the only player to end the U.S. Open with a score under par.

Canada wins both Olympic gold medals, but Detroit takes the Stanley Cup against the Carolina Hurricanes.  I’m unsure how many Canadians played for either of those teams.

Serena Williams wins 3 of 4 major tournaments, but misses out on the Grand Slam as Jennifer Capriati takes the Australian Open.

The Anaheim Angels (not yet of Los Angeles) win the World Series in seven games over the San Francisco Giants.  Mike Trout, and even year bullshit, were both still several years away for their respective clubs.

And in 2002, card manufacturers released 384 cards of Greg Maddux that I deemed worthy of my collecting efforts.

Thanks to the generosity of reader Jeremy, originally mentioned in our landmark 500th post (and in my 1993 Overload post, and 1994 post, and 1995 post, and 1996 post and 1997 post and 1998 post and 1999 post and 2000 post and 2001 post), I now have 38 more of those cards as I did before.

2002 Before Jeremy – 17/384 cards – 4%

2002 After Jeremy – 55/384 cards (including zero upgrades) – 14%

After seeing the yearly totals go down for three straight years, 2002 gave us a leap of over 100 more cards over 2001’s total. We’re going to keep going up for a bit, too as the industry collectively decided to cram a bunch of new parallels into everything.

In the many years since Jeremy’s package, I’ve acquired 27 more 2001 cards, bringing my total to 82 for the year ’02, and putting me at slightly over 21% for that year.  Still, as always, there’s plenty of progress yet to be made.  For now, let’s focus on what Jeremy sent.

Not a real piece of jersey on the right side

The collecting road is going to be long for Absolute Memorabilia. A good portion of this product is, understandably, memorabilia. Not as much this year as in other years, but there are also a lot of insert parallels that makes this daunting

Creepy eyes

There are too many Bowman sets these days. Heritage didn’t last all that long and my quest for this year’s Heritage is over. Regular Bowman, Chrome and Best haven’t even begun.

Normal eyes

It’s still weird to me that Diamond Kings is its own product. It’s like Gallery meets Studio, which is fine, but it’s hard to break free from the idea they should be subsets in regular Donruss (like how it is now…while also still being its own product).

Not a diamond King subset

I never noticed that those corner icon things are baseball diamonds. And terrible ones at that.

Big E

Elite is elite.  It always looks the same, but somehow continues to exist.  At least the inserts and things haven’t gotten too crazy yet.

It’ll be a while before I’m done with Originals

This card looks like it’s primed for a relic window, but there isn’t a relic version.  There are of other Donruss Originals inserts, but not this one.

One time when “L” is good

Super Estrellas is not such as super design. At least it’s a basic set collecting-wise.

This would stand out in a pack

In fact, after this insert, which looks better in person for obvious reasons, all I need is the poster from this set.

The background is like a 90s after school special title screen

E-X parallels are highly sought after, if I’m not mistaken.  It looks like there’s also a jersey card, which should be interesting with the acetate.


Finest is so hit or miss.  This one is a miss for me.  Too busy in the background with a bunch of useless garbage and the dot matrix font along the edge does it no favors.

I don’t see Maddux in that clipping

We’re moving on to Fleer and holy hell there are a lot of Fleer cards to collect each year.

Not how the stars and stripes works

For instance, there are three more versions of this insert card to get.  All three of them are relics: single and dual and patch.

Genuinely dumb

I’ve never liked the Genuine set.  I don’t get it.  Here’s the good news, though.  This is a one and done set for Maddux.

Old man Maddux with his bat cane

So many relic cards in Fleer products.  Three of the 5 I still need are jersey or patch cards here too.  You’d think with this kind of flood, it’d be easier to find some of them.

Back when I scanned things dumb and cut off the sides of some cards

Tradition is a relatively basic set compared to other Fleers, but most of what’s left is very low numbered parallels.

Anyone have these curtains in their house?

Tradition update is basically the same thing, but adds an autograph #/99 to the chase.

make sure to adhere your pictures with blue tape

Alright, we’re at the end of the Fleer portion of our program.  Time to put it in the scrapbook

Black sheep of the family

Did you ever want to know what 2001 Leaf would look like?  Well, 2002 Leaf has you covered for some reason.  Nope, that wasn’t confusing for me to find in my checklist at all.


Buckle up for a slew of Rookies and Stars.  Here’s what I believe is the normal base card showing a sweet throwback uniform.

Closer to rookie

This throwback photo is listed as a short print.  I don’t know if that’s true, but I’ll go with it.

Get used to this design

This set had a subset, which is surprising.  Most would be turned into inserts instead.

Different pictures are good

I don’t know how many other players are in this part, but Maddux shows up 4 times.


I got three of the four.  Next step is the longevity parallels of all the above #/100.  Easy!

Oh look, half a background

I know I say this pretty much every time, but…man is SP Authentic extremely boring.  I just don’t get it. Was this a hit chaser’s product or something?

Dead ball era, but for card designs

SPx has had ups and downs.  This is a down. I need some flair. Some holograms. Some die cuts. Something that brings it back to its more premium roots.

Even Stadium Club isn’t immune from a boring look

Surprisingly, Stadium Club is very light this year.  No parallels to chase. Just a relic.  That seems like a mistake, but I’ll take it.


2002 Topps is an okay design, I guess but that border kills it.  They liked to pick odd colors and they don’t always work.

Far too busy

Remember when there were some interesting subsets in Topps?  Now it’s all about rookie cups and rookie debuts and rookie’s first rookie rookie who led the league in being a rookie.

Iceman the best

A rare mini appears.  Well, not rare in that it’s an SP, although maybe? But I don’t think so.  Rare in that this massive package that we got, there simply were not many in there.  This is still the only 206 mini I have so far.

Since I’ll never buy a box

This is the second time in the last three posts that 2002 Heritage has appeared.  What an interesting photo effect that was used for these.  Not ideal, but interesting.

Ah yes, good old shoulder number and shoe letter

Topps Reserve is suffering from SP syndrome.  What is this supposed to be accomplishing here?

Don’t want it back

I’m not on the Topps Total bandwagon.  The only benefit is that some people get cards when they wouldn’t otherwise. Everything else about it is terrible.

Pointless timelines bug me

I think that Upper Deck is the toughest company to keep track of.  It’s really hard for me to tell what is an insert from their flagship product and what is a brand new one.  I’m pretty sure that this is its own thing.

Just need two more Ultra cards

I hadn’t thought about it before, but there are very few pictures of pitchers running to cover a base (or field a ball).  Them in set position waiting for a grounder, yeah.

Missing the electrics

I’m also okay not seeing 40-Man, although I like the look of these a lot more.  Crazy that there’s a jersey card to chase in this set too.  Seems like every set had a Maddux jersey.

Have this insert, but not the base card

This is a card that’s begging for texture.  Foil, embossing, die cuts, or something.

I’m okay with everything but the photo choice

Okay, so not every set had a Maddux jersey.  This one had a Maddux bat card.

Need the silver parallel

Here’s the texture I was looking for.  Ovation is usually good for that and I appreciate it.  I’m not standing up or anything, though.

Two balls on the same play? Sounds like cheating to me

Last one is a checklist from the Collector’s Choice successor.  It’s a simple set with just a single parallel to chase, so that’ll be a small Victory once I’m done with that. For now, I will go ahead and thank Jeremy again, wherever you are.  It’s amazing that I’m still working through this in some fashion so many years later, but I hope to finally put a bow on it by the end of 2019.

104 left to show before taking Sportlots delivery.