All For Naught

It doesn’t happen too often, but occasionally bloggers will get cards out of the blue.  Typically we’re not those guys.  There’s usually a reason for us receiving something from somebody.  And speaking just for myself, I’m fine with that.  I get so wrapped up in the various aspects of my life that I can’t spend the time getting a random pack of stuff together and ready to ship.  I’m also in favor of knowing beforehand that someone will need the specific things I’m sending.

But random packages do happen, and while I love opening them, I can’t help but feel like a modest mom on mother’s day saying “oh, you didn’t have to do that.  That’s too much!”  Speaking of parents, maybe now would be a good time to welcome our newest reader: my father.  Assuming he actually is visiting the blog like he said he would.

Hi, dad!  Come see how much Brian from Play at the Plate likes us!  See, we’re doing just fine and making friends and everything.  No need to worry.  Try not to correct my grammar too much.

Hi Brian!  You really shouldn’t have.  You didn’t have to do that.  This is way too much.  Have you eaten? There’s leftovers in the fridge if you’d like.

Okay.  End mom-mode and start slightly guilty card breakdown.  Let me just say in advance of showing everything, thank you.  This really is a generous gesture and I know card-ma will treat you well.  (Dad, that’s a term we bloggers sometimes use instead of “karma” because we’re nerds that like puns)

#008/400. I feel like there's a Bond joke in there. Or maybe Bonds.

First I’ll show the “hit.”  Normally I save such things for last, but I like to end on a positive note, unlike Sammy.  This goes towards Andy’s loose & lazy Cubs relics collection, but my guess is he’d be willing to trade for something he’s more actively pursuing.

That "award" looks like an elephant to me.

So, I’m not sure if Ultra wasn’t allowed to use the actual award names, or they wanted to make up their own, but “Top Glove” isn’t a thing.  Greg has another card in this insert set, also for a incorrectly titled award.

Golly, that pinnacle logo shore is purdy

Kind of a fancy looking base set, don’t you think?  The mid-90s is when companies started to get a little loosey goosey with the foiley.  Might as well make the whole thing gold foil.

Love the shine

I wasn’t collecting baseball in 1995, so I didn’t come across this design until I opened my 2005 Leaf box a while back.  If I had seen this back then, I would have bought as much as my allowance allowed.  Some may find fault with the massive team name and the hard to read player name, but I love the look.  I didn’t like it in the 2005 set, because it doesn’t have this foily/shiny thing going on. It’s a solid purple color that I didn’t understand. Now I do, and I’m converted.

It would be cooler if the glove was raised

Another insert with a fake award name.  Okay, that’s not exactly what Great Gloves is since all the players are included for their defense.  At this point, Maddux had won five consecutive gold gloves. I think that qualifies as great.

He wants "Big Hurt" on his Tombstone

I love food issue cards. They’re some of my favorites, and I’ve half-assedly campaigned before to bring them back.  This particular card is already well-loved. It’s tough to see the crease and the worn corners on the scan, but trust me.  I recently stopped back home and found what looks to be another copy of this card still in the wrapper.  Not sure if I’ll open it up yet.

Have you seen a fancier checklist?

Frank Thomas was a popular player.  He not only had his regs Ultra card, but he also had two subset cards and two checklists.  That’s all well and good until you realize that Ultra released Gold Medallion versions of all of them (this being one), and then went one step too far with the Platinum Medallion version #/100 (or #/98 for one series 2 subset card).  Oh, and 13 insert cards for this year. At least they didn’t parallel the inserts in 1998.

Blueprint for a terrible scan

I know it’s tough to see, but this Swing Time insert looks like something you’d create in some high school architecture/shop/drafting class.  It’s an interesting concept, but I think I’d rather see blue on my blueprint instead of silver foil.

Who needs a description when the back of the card writes it for me?

“You could hit even if you were asleep, right T? Thought so.  Even blindfolded? Wow. How about underwater?  Jeez.  Know what? Anybody who can hit over.300 in fifteen straight seasons, and collect 3,000 career hits [which you should this season] could probably hit with one hand.”


2000 Topps & Chrome will be the bane of my Gwynn collecting existence

Remember when Topps Chrome was a full parallel set?  I don’t, but I’m learning now.  Here’s one of the subset cards for the best players of the century in different categories.  Tony Gwynn would not crack the top 10 all-time leaders in batting average, but he was #1 amongst active players with a then .339 avg.  Frank Thomas was fifth in 2000 at .320.  Cool card, even if a little busy on the front.

Even cooler in person

Who remembers when Stadium Club had a Chrome parallel set?  I don’t, but I’m learning.  Get ready Andy.  This is what you have to look forward to.  This here is a sweet clear acetate card that Stadium Club did so well.  The white you see is my scanner peeking through. It’s not quite so orange in person, but it is quite badass.

Ooo, shiny and numbered!

This is the real best card in the bunch.  I don’t know much about Donruss from this era, but I’m pretty sure this would have to be a parallel.  As you can see at the bottom, it says career stat line.  What that means is the card is numbered to some career achievement.  In Captain Video’s case, it’s his career batting average, which ended up being .338.  This card is 229/338 for those of you logging such things in some master database.  I love getting cards like this in the mail. It makes me feel like I’ve accomplished something.  Maybe not a .338 career average like some birthday boys, but still a small personal victory.

For doing absolutely nothing.

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