Trade Madness

How about that Walking Dead season finale?  The first half of the season was terrible, and still not wild about all the inconsistencies and random changing of the rules on the fly, but at least we got a nice action packed ending.

Oh, right.  Cards.  This is going to be a big one.  Get ready.

I worked out a massive trade with Offy from Sports Syzygy several months ago.  He sent over 81 NBA stickers (5 of which ended up becoming dupes thanks to the separate trade I showed a short time back), including 3 or 4 shiny ones and 2 of the cloth stickers which I absolutely love.  It knocked off a huge portion of my still very large NBA Album want list, but the best part is that he helped me complete my first 3 teams.  That may not sound like much, but when the album is 378 stickers long and each team has 11 stickers, it’s a taller task to complete a team than in the MLB book.

That's a lot of sticky

Smack dab in the middle is one of the half-picture stickers.  You can see the left border is missing.  You won’t get to see the finished product yet, because that page isn’t done.  Those multi-sticker pictures were always my favorite as a kid.  I really enjoyed trying to line them up perfectly in my He-Man book.  I hope Panini gives us some 4 sticker pictures next time.

Rockets Before page 1

Luis Scola is horrified at the emptiness of the page.  Each team has a top player and an international themed sticker.  The Top Player is in reflective foil and the International just has a country flag.  You’ll see.

Rockets Before Page 2

You can see they include a large portion of the roster.

Rockets After Page 1

Luis Scola is ecstatic with the full page!  Aaron Brooks is the top player?  I guess that’s true, but my gut would have said Yao Ming.  Ming must have been injured too much.

Rockets After Page 2

I caught a couple Bulls games on TV when Brad Miller still played for us.  I liked what he brought to the court.  Also, why was Chase Budinger in the Slam Dunk contest this year?

Hornets Before Page 1

I’m not terribly familiar with current players.  I think that’s David West?

Hornets Before Page 2

I don’t know some of these guys.  I like the stats for each player.  The background design is minimal, but who needs exciting when it’s going to be covered up?  What’s left of the space is utilized well.

Hornets After Page 1

The Team logo cloth stickers have 3 parts to them.  Half goes in the upper left.  Then there’s a part that goes in the front of the album.  The last part is supposed to go on your text books or locker or whatever else kids put stickers on.  I put it close to the head coach since they don’t get stickers.

Hornets After Page 2

I don’t know about you guys, but I still consider the Hornets a Charlotte team.  I completely dismiss the Bobcats as a franchise, despite Jordan’s involvement.

Nuggets Before Page 1

Any Oz fans out there?  Who else thinks he looks like Augustus Hill?  All he needs is the wheelchair and some crazy 90′s camerawork.

Nuggets Before Page 2

As you can see, the International players aren’t always on the first page.  Oh yeah, I forgot there’s also a Leaders sticker.

Nuggets After Page 1

Can I say that Chris Andersen annoys the piss out of me?  He’s probably a nice guy, but I can’t get past the physical appearance.  I’m not a fan of the Birdman nickname, either.

Nuggets After Page 2

No Dikembe Mutumbo sticker, unfortunately.  I missed the boat on that one.

Most of you guys aren’t here for NBA stuff, but it is March Madness time and I do enjoy the game of basketball, even if I don’t currently collect a whole lot of it.  How about I make it up to you by showing off some of the baseball portion of our trade?

That dugout scene behind him looks messed up. What are they doing?

The magic of trades and want lists.  When this and the next card I’m about to show arrived, I thought for sure they were doubles.  I remember Diamond King sent the entire 10 card Commemorative Series set in our swap.  Thankfully, I looked at the back because I had no idea there were 2 “Special” cards as well.  Just goes to show how perceptive Offy is.  Much more so than I.

And with that, my non-autographed 1992 Gwynn Commemorative Series is complete

According to baseballcardpedia, These were available by sending in 10 wrappers and $1.  Not a bad deal.  I wonder why I didn’t do that myself when I was a kid?  S1 talks about his copious notes and hours spent watching film to constantly adjust his swing.  S2 is an interview with Fleer where Gwynn explains that Nolan Ryan is the toughest pitcher and that Kent Mercker, Chris Gwynn and Darryl Kile are players to watch.

When you see it: Only you can prevent doubles.

I chose this card to feature, because it’s one of only 4 cards I have in the binder from 1993.  That just doesn’t seem possible.  How is that possible?  Is that possible?  I don’t think that’s possible.  I guess it’s time to go back home and raid the parents’ basement and see if I can rectify this oversight.

Glorious

You know…if Topps does anything with their Gold themed year in 2012, they should strongly consider bringing back Black Gold.  Look at how awesome these cards still are!  I coveted these cards with a passion back in 1993.  If they revisited this look again, I bet a lot of people would feel the same.

Reminds me of a "Coming Attractions" bumper at the theater

More gold.  This time with special guest star Crime Dog, Fred McGriff.  The All-Star golds always felt a little lacking to me.  If it were me, I would have put that text at the top in gold foil as well.  Maybe that was too expensive for them back then.

If anyone ever pitches three balls at the same time, he's ready

3 bats = 3 gold cards!  I’ll tell you right now, Offy really came through big time on the Frank Thomas side of things.  All sides, really, but you’ll see that there’s some especially cool stuff for FT on deck.  I’ll need 3 bats to hit it all.

Beam him up

After showing off 3, now 4, gold cards in a row, is there any question that I’m a shiny things addict?  This is part of a 24 card set that fell one per pack.  While not incredibly rare by today’s standards, it is incredibly shiny.

Don't forget Jazz Hands while running to 3rd or it's an automatic out

The back talks about how the Big Hurt hit 30 home runs in the first half of 1994, one of only 12 players to date to do so.  He ended with 38 in 113 games.  Imagine what might have been if it were a full season.

A little more head room on the die cut

Die cuts don’t come along every day.  Die cuts from the mid-90s certainly don’t cross my desk frequently.  SP Championship was a slightly cheaper alternative to the SP line of cards, but they were still a little too rich for my young blood.  My 15-year old self is jumping up and down with it’s perceived scarcity and confirmed badassness.  Fun fact:  The die cuts have a silver hologram while the non-cut have a gold hologram in order to thwart potential fake die cuts.

It looks the same size on here, but it's not

I’m going to need a few 5X7 pages.  I’m also going to need to find me a box of these Zenith cards some day.  If you don’t know, this is essentially a common rip card.  There was a normal sized card snugly tucked away in Frank’s belly.  Someone played doctor with an exacto knife and C-sectioned the card out.

The presence of the Cubs runner in the background confused me for a bit

There’s those blackened, soul-less eyes again.  Even in a larger format, you can barely see the whites.  I’m becoming more and more convinced that he’s an alien.  Of course, his offspring has busted out of the card’s chest (which for the purposes of this analogy is on the back) and is running lose in the spaceship as we speak.

Jazz Hands out of their holsters...steady....

Whoever extracted the cards did a good job.  There’s minimal damage to the back.  I hope they found something worthwhile, because I don’t know if I would personally risk cutting up any of these players only to find a Neifi Perez inside.

It's shinier and cooler looking in person

These Impulse parallels fell 1:7 packs (there’s also a Gold Impulse version /100).  I don’t know if the parallel 5X7′s increased your chance of finding a rarer parallel or insert inside.  My guess is no.  Offy, if you were the one to open these up (and you make it this far down the post), let us know if you remember.

Uh oh. Also need the Maddux

Even with the 5×7 cards and the cloth stickers and the black gold, I think this is the coolest part of the trade.  I don’t think this made it past the Inaugural Edition.  Hope my computer is qualified to run this thing.

Baseball cards on the computer? That's crazy. You're crazy, Donruss

Here’s the actual card..er, I mean disc.  I didn’t throw it into my CD-ROM drive.  The shape scares me.  I’m afraid it would rattle around and fly out and break something.  It looks cool.  Maybe if I get a spare one of these days, I’ll try it out.  If that happens, I’ll be sure to find a way to record it so everyone can see what’s on this puppy.

Still, it’s really cool to have this in my collection.  I’m not exactly sure how to store it, but no matter.  It’s still one of the most unique pieces in my collection.

Which begs the Free Box Break Question (if you made it this far, you deserve a reward, right?):  What is the most unusual card or item in your collection?  If you’ve posted it on your blog at some point, please feel free to link it up so we can all ooh and aah.

Again, a big thanks to Offy for the amazing trade.  If any of you get the chance, I highly recommend dealing with him.  Send some Mike Piazza’s and Boston stuff his way, will you?

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