Sunday, April 10, 2016

A Baseball Card Pick-Me-Up

For the second straight year the Boston Bruins executed a pretty epic choke-job down the home stretch of the regular season, and for the second straight year there won't be any playoff hockey in Boston.

Thankfully baseball season is here to help me forget that though, and to celebrate I've got a whopper of a trade package that came recently from my buddy Twitch.  We exchanged cards years ago but it's been some time, so I was pretty excited to receive a bubble mailer absolutely brimming with new Sox cards.

Before we get to the brands you all know like Upper Deck, Donruss and Topps let's start off with this great one-of-a-kind sketch card drawn by Twitch himself!  It's not very often that I receive custom artwork in a trade package.  What a great sketch of JBJ, and I love the choice of the bright, red background.

What an awesome card, this one makes me want to bust out the pencils and take a crack at one of these myself.  Maybe someday...

As far as the other cards that were sent, man were there a lot!  Dozens and dozens of fantastic Red Sox cards.  Anything I already had went into my dupes box to be shipped out to Mark Hoyle or another Sox collector, but with those cards aside I still ended up with over 50 new additions to my ever-growing collection.

The cards were all over the map, from players who are still on the current roster like David Ortiz here...

...to cards that were released before I was even born!

It's going to be bittersweet watching David Ortiz's career wind down this season.  He's off to a hot start, if he plays like this all year he'll certainly be going out while still on top of his game.

I was a fan of a lot of Topps' efforts last year, including the flagship set, so I ended up buying more wax on the year than I usually do.  Was still missing these inserts though.

Same with this one, which fittingly also symbolizes the end of a fantastic career.

I picked up a few of these amazingly colorful Prizm parallels last year, but did not have Pedroia.  These aren't something you see every day, Twitch really sent some high-caliber cards in this package.  As you're going to see, it wasn't all about quantity, there were some really choice pieces of cardboard here.

Big Mini Papi!  I used to struggle with storing these things, but now that I've got the proper binder pages they're actually quite enjoyable.  Ortiz here is already stored with the rest of my Red Sox minis.

Definitely got a solid boost to my David Ortiz collection with this delivery.  Not surprisingly, he's one of the Red Sox players that I have the most cards of.  After getting through all of these, I'm up over 220 unique cards of the longtime DH.

I received one of these Prizm Passion inserts from Mark Kaz just recently; this Bradley pairs well with it.  Doesn't hold a candle to the custom sketch I led off the post with though.

Sweet!  I know Buchholz has really been a bust, and his first start of this season wasn't very encouraging either, but I'm a total sucker for the colored refractors in Topps Chrome.  This Orange Refractor from the 2012 set was one of the few Red Sox I was still missing, and was on my want list prior to going through this envelope.

My penchant for colored parallels knows no bounds, so I happily accept this purple Bowman Platinum Anthony Ranaudo.

A nice little section of 1998 Topps Chrome greeted me about halfway through the package.

These were much appreciated, especially since I had no Red Sox from this release previously.

It's hard to believe just how long Tim Wakefield pitched for seeing him on this late-90s release.


I'm well on my way to a team set now.

Another set that made a few contributions to this trade package was the 2008 TriStar PROjections release.

These are Reflectives parallels, easily distinguishable due to their foil backgrounds.

All of these are Red Sox farm teams, which based on my own little team collecting rules means they count.





Wow, quite a few Red Sox made the checklist for this Allen & Ginter Hometown Heroes insert set.  Crazy part is I'm still missing a few even after this.

Got a bunch of these in a trade package years ago, but was still missing Papelbon.  Nice!

This is one of those odd-sized "tallboy mini" inserts from Archives.  I really thought Middlebrooks was going to have a long and successful career in the bigs, but he seriously dropped off the radar the past couple of seasons.

No, you're not experiencing deja vu.  I did show this same card earlier in the post, but this is the refractor version!

I'm one who rarely buys complete team sets, so it's amazing sometimes just how many basic commons I'm missing, even from the years after I began collecting again.

Both of these Allen & Ginter base cards fall into that boat.

So does this lineage Youkilis.  This set had real promise, but suffered from some of the most uninspired card backs ever produced.

Doubront has pitched with the Cubs, Blue Jays and A's since being shipped out of town in 2014 largely due to disagreements with the coaching staff.

If I'm not mistaken, this is the final card I needed to finish the 2009 Upper Deck Spectrum team set.


This 2009 O-Pee-Chee Varitek is among my favorite cards in the entire package, despite being a "lowly" base card.  This set was very visually appealing, and this shot of captain Varitek at Minute Maid Park is a good example of why I like them so much.  One of the products I'd most like to find a cheap wax box of someday.


A couple of nice base cards there of some of the stars from the mid-'00s.

This package presented a couple of new cards from 2013 Topps Heritage also.  Felix Doubront is from the short set...

...and Clay Buchholz is a short print!

Early '90s junk wax, but needed early '90s junk wax!

A classic, sunny wind-up shot.  Really looks like a beautiful day in this photograph.

An Archives insert featuring Fred Lynn and his locks.

Had never seen this one before, but I like it.  One of the brighter Pedroia cards in my collection.

I don't see how any Red Sox fan could help but to love this insert, depicting possibly the greatest home run in franchise history.

I've really been liking the Panini Donruss releases the past couple of seasons.  I know I've said this about a hundred times or more, but I don't see why they shouldn't have an MLB license.



A trio of inserts there that aren't exactly the most inspiring Topps has ever produced, but something for the team or player collector at least.  He's had some good seasons, but comparing Jacoby Ellsbury to Tris Speaker is a bit of a stretch.

A new Xander Bogaerts, and his first Bowman card no less!  While I'm not crazy enough to try to track down everything, Xander is the closest I come to player collecting at this point in time, so this was a truly great card to encounter among the many gems Twitch sent.

Here's a Purple parallel from the same set.

I remember seeing these on other blogs back in the day, but this is my first 2009 Topps Ticket to Stardom card.  The bottom is perforated to resemble a torn ticket stub.

Like I said, it wasn't all about quantity with this package.  I know relics don't carry the weight that they used to, but I can still appreciate them.

This was the oldest card in the package, what an awesome checklist.  Doesn't get much better than Yaz for a Red Sox collector, and it's cool to think this was printed up not long after the conclusion of the 1967 Impossible Dream season.  Whoever was checking this off was doing pretty well in their set pursuit too, having already knocked off Orlando Cepeda, Juan Marichal and Harmon Killebrew just from the 30+ cards listed here!

This is my first Gypsy Queen Black Mini, numbered to /199.  Already sitting beside the David Ortiz from earlier in the post in my mini binder.

This Jimmie Foxx really had me smiling.  I'm a total sucker for the Legends Variations Topps printed for a few years beginning in 2009.  That includes the Diamond Anniversary parallels like this one.  I had the Cognac version of this card, and what a duo they make with this one alongside.

This was certainly an amazing batch of cardboard.  Oh, and I haven't even shown my overall favorite card yet...

This 2009 Topps Youkilis is one of those Target Retro parallels.  I remember seeing them on a few other blogs over the years.  I used to ask myself what the big deal was, I mean I like the old-school Topps logo but other than that it's no different than his regular flagship card from '09.

Well, not enough blogs focus on card backs.  Either that, or my memory is going (which is entirely possible), because I hadn't recalled this:

These are printed on the vintage card stock that takes me back to my younger collecting days.  Might be a little difficult to tell in the scan, but they're really slick (or not so slick, rather) in hand.  Some of the better parallels I've seen from the last ten years.

In fact, I like them so much I've already picked up a few other Red Sox on COMC.  They're not the easiest cards to come across, however.  If you've got any of these kicking around that are available for trade I'm certainly interested!

Twitch, thanks for the extremely generous package.  I'm sorry that it took me so long to post this, but that's only because I was overwhelmed with the amount of organization, scanning, cropping and inventorying that went along with processing as large a batch of cards as the one you sent.  The good news is that my latest COMC shipment is slated for delivery tomorrow, at which point I'll have a return mailing heading your way!

4 comments:

Tony Burbs said...

Nice to see Jim Dwyer show up on the cardsphere- he's a local product who was a family friend back in the day. Also, that sketch is top not Have!

Jeff Jones said...

Man that is a lot of new cards. Love that USA Pedroia

Matthew Scott said...

I love Wakefield cards. Wish he had more Pirate cards for me to chase.

The Junior Junkie said...

If I'm not mistaken I, too, have a Twitch original, only mine's a Griffey (obvy). Nice haul of cards!

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