We Don’t Just Hold Contests – Sometimes We Win Them Too

College Football will be starting up again very shortly.  I’m not much of a football guy.  If I were a football guy, I don’t think I would be a college football guy.  I understand the argument as to why the college game is better.  I also understand that I don’t care to keep track of teams guaranteed to not have the same players up to 4 years later.  Too many teams in college ball.  Too many players to keep track of.  Too much for my little brain to process.

I only follow one college team, and they aren’t division I-A.  Of course, I’m talking about the SIU Salukis.  The only reason I keep tabs on them is because I want to see how well they’re doing.  In theory, the better they do in sports, the more recognition the school gets.  The more recognition the school gets, the less I have to explain my college.  The less I have to explain my college, the more valuable my two Bachelor’s degrees (ended up with a BA and a BS — BABSin’ it up!) should be.  In theory.

Well, not only do I know nothing about college football, but neither does my blogging & business partner Andy.  That didn’t stop him from entering a College Bowl Pick ‘Em contest over at Cards on Cards, however.  Not only did he enter, but he won second place.  That was good for a slew of cards, some of which he was kind enough to donate to my collecting causes.  That contest ended sometime in January of this year.  According to my computer, I received and scanned these cards in April.  You can see how far behind things get sometimes.  I plan to play catch-up shortly.

For some reason I have several scans in my folders that are ambiguously labeled.  They came to me along side other cards from Andy, and I wasn’t able to determine what came from what.  Still, I’m going to show every card that I know for sure (I hope) was from the winnings.  There may be more lurking, but we’ll deal with that later sometime.

The ol' stained wood look

Wooeee is this puppy border heavy or what?  It looks like my entertainment center to a degree with the black wood and the different compartments I’m not sure what to do with but cram things into anyway.  I’m not concerned with “official” versus “non” when it comes to rookie cards, but this is essentially his rookie card from Bowman.  I only bring this up because on the back, there are “Now & Then” pictures.  My, he looked so young 6 months ago.  My, that comment would go over better if I had scanned the back.

More side borders

Why is it I prefer the “kid” friendly versions to the flagship?  I almost always like the Opening Day look more without the foil.  I like the gold and lack of foil here on the First Edition.  What does this say about me as a person? I’m probably in the minority, but I wish foil fronts weren’t the standards.  Then again, maybe if 2007 UD was all gold, I’d like the silver more just because it was different.

Very similar design to 1987 Donruss - see below

Fake background: Yes or No?  Maybe not fake, but possibly not from the same photograph.  That sky is too cool and the grass is very green and lush.  I have a tough time believing stars aligned for this portrait shot.  Still, it’s a very nice spring training site shot and one I’ll inevitably see many times as I go through the Bowman & BoChro parallels.

Rated Rookie! Flavor Savor!

Sure, we may be in junk wax country, but it’s still a Greg Maddux rookie card!  I know I risk avalanches coming my way by saying this, but I love junk wax.  Not just because it’s cheap, but they remind me of the purity of collecting.  There are no parallels of this to be found.  There are no chrome versions, no printing plates, no die-cuts.  The hit was the card you wanted.  Maybe we should all grow our mustaches out and bring cards back to the good old days.

Annoying size wise at the time and today

I have shown very little junk wax on the blog. That’s going to change during this post.  It’s virtually all 90s from here, fellows.  I hated the early revival of Bowman as a kid for a couple reasons.  One, they were damned expensive.  It was the hottest of shits, and prices reflected that.  Strasburg wasn’t even walking yet, so who knows what people were thinking.  Two, the size.  Everyone knows they’re slightly taller than the standard we all know and love.  This made storage a pain and damaged cards nearly unavoidable.

Speaking of high priced cards

Forget 2012 Topps (I’ll maybe post my impressions of that soon.  Maybe I’ll wait until it’s released since most have already chimed in), 1991 Stadium Club was a game changer for me.  This was the kind of pack I would save my allowance for a couple weeks to buy.  I think between my me and my brother, we might have opened 10 packs – most of which were the less expensive series 2.  I don’t remember getting any superstars, but opening those packs made me feel like every player was a superstar.  No wonder Andy’s trying to collect every Stadium Club baseball card ever.  Very happy to have this card.

The other side of premium

And then there was Ultra.  I had nothing against these cards and still don’t.  The silver/gray borders should illicit the same response as 2007 UD, but for some reason I don’t mind it.  Obviously the next couple years really bumped up the “high-end” qualities of Ultra, but this wasn’t a bad first try.  What saves the card for me is the back.  Only one line of stats, but 3 pictures, including one with the player popping out of a diamond.  Good stuff.

Pitcher batting!

While I’ve abandoned my short-lived pitchers batting collection, I still like seeing what makes the NL great represented on cardboard.  On the back is a picture of Mad Dog sliding into third.  He was a baseball player in the truest sense of the words and can tell just from looking at this specific card.

Kind of has the dirt-stache going

I know I keep referencing the backs of cards without actually showing them, but does anyone know what that weird strip on the bottom of Pinnacle cards are all about?  They look like something you can put a red filter strip or 3-D glasses over to read, but I remember trying that and it didn’t work.  I loved Pinnacle when I was younger, but mostly for the inventive subsets.  I think I have one of those to show off another time.

Would welcome any Topps Gold and/or Winner Gold

If the picture looks familiar just from reading this blog, you’d be right.  I have shown this photo before — on the O-Pee-Chee issue.  I bought the snot out of this stuff.  I may have even been the first full box of cards I bought (shared with my brother).  So many scratch-off cards for Golds.  I imagine I had this one somewhere in my basement, but if I didn’t find it before, I don’t have to go looking now.


I bought much less of this.  After 1992, I started making the switch over to basketball.  I bought some baseball here and there, but this set is not as “home-y” as ’92.  I still don’t catch much of a vibe from it.  It’s alright, I guess.  I just don’t feel the spark.  What I’m saying is, it’s not you, it’s me.

1993 Upper Aeck

Everybody loves this set, right?  I think the design is serviceable.  The pictures tend to be pretty cool.  I mean take a look at how much better this image is compared to a similar shot in the Topps card above.  Maybe I’ve been inundated with it, and now I’m getting sick of it now.  It’s the same reason I won’t eat Pop Tarts anymore.  I had them so much in my freshman year of college, that I avoid them at all costs now.  It’s easier to avoid Pop Tarts than it is 1993 Upper Deck.

Fast forward 15 years

Enough junk wax.  It’s time for junk current era.  I don’t understand the complaints about 2010-12 Topps designs when 2008 existed just a short time ago.  Be thankful it’s nothing near as atrocious as this.  There have been deals on ebay I’ve passed up specifically because it’s this design and I’d rather not bring it in my house.  At least I only have the Black, Chrome, Chrome Blue Refractor, Chrome Copper Refractor, Chrome X-fractor, Gold Border, Gold Foil, Opening Day, and Opening Day Gold to go.

I will never tire of this look.

Sure, Upper Deck got the idea from a Family Circus cartoon, but I love it.  Greggy looks right at home in the middle of that crinkled paper/marble background.  Unlike 2008 Topps, this is one set where the parallels will be welcomed into my house with open arms.  I’ll welcome the Topps, too, just with folded arms and a shake of my head.

This black parallel (the charcoal is numbered, which I think is the only way to tell them apart) puts me at 115 Greg Maddux cards shown on the blog.  My count may be off, but that’s what I have in my “Posted” folder.  I have a long way to go before I complete my mission of doing a little write-up on every card in my player collections, but at least I got a little chunk of junk wax out of the way.

Thank you to Andy for the donation, and thank you very much to Madding for holding the contest.  We’ve since worked out a fantastic trade (isn’t that always the way with me?) and I’ll be sure to get to that one of these days, too.  I’m going to try to work my way through the backlog so I don’t take 4 months anymore.  A card collector’s job is never done.

1 comment to We Don’t Just Hold Contests – Sometimes We Win Them Too

  • I used to have the same feelings about the design of 2008 Topps, but after getting the set (nearly) together, I am starting to love it. Sure the Topps udder is “udder”ly useless (Thank you folks, I’ll be here all week), but the bubble letters really give this a unique look. Which after 60 years is hard to do on a small piece of cardboard.

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