Tuesday, April 4, 2017

An Opening Day Hero & Other Miscellany

Yesterday I rushed home from work to catch the Red Sox Opening Day game.  It was a 2pm start, which meant trying to avoid any spoilers while at work and catching the game on my DVR.  Thankfully I was able to do just that, but before I got started I checked the mail and found a surprise PWE from my buddy Dime Box Nick waiting for me!

It turned out to be a great evening, as the Sox won the game.  Not only that, but I found this sweet rookie card of top outfield prospect Andrew Benintendi within Nick's PWE.  Andrew was the star of the show for the Red Sox in their opener, as his three-run home run was the difference in the game, and it was awesome to receive his official Topps flagship rookie the very same day.

I'm not sure there's a single card in the 2017 Topps flagship set that I would have chosen to receive over this one, but Nick was just getting started...

Benintendi's rookie wasn't the only 2017 flagship card I found, as I was the recipient of this Rainbow Foil League Leaders parallel of yesterday's starter (and winning pitcher) Rick Porcello.  Very eerie, almost seems like Nick knew his PWE would arrive on the day that it did.

Rounding out the 2017 Topps flagship offerings was this insert of Big Papi that represents his winning of the Hank Aaron Award as top hitter in the AL in 2016.  Ortiz will definitely be sorely missed, though his absence from the lineup is eased by the crop of exciting young talent the team has assembled over recent seasons.

I've seen these "Incredible Eats" inserts from 2017 Opening Day posted on a few blogs, and I'm grateful to Nick for sending me my first example, featuring the infamous Fenway Franks!  There seems to be a wide variety in opinion on these among collectors, but you can count me as one who appreciates these cards as something a little different.  When it comes to my Red Sox collection I enjoy a nice oddity like this from time to time.

How about one of the seemingly endless number of inserts from the mid-'90s?  Yup, Nick's got that covered as well.  Cory Bailey lasted just two seasons with Boston, then it was off to St. Louis, San Francisco, Kansas City, Japan, and finally China!

This one scanned a bit dull, but in hand it is gloriously shiny.  Pretty much the entire frame around Pedro's portrait shimmers and sparkles while tilted in the light.  If the Black Diamond releases looked this good on the hockey side I might actually collect them!

Nick hit me up with a trio of cards from one of my favorite Red Sox players of my youth, Nomah!  Despite the fact that this one clearly reads "Leaf 2001 LINEAGE" across the bottom, this is actually a 2002 Leaf Lineage card.  I guess collecting was every bit as confusing around the turn of the century as it is now...

Speaking of turn of the century, here's an Upper Deck Century Legends Garciaparra.  I don't recall having seen the baseball version of this before, though I have some similar cards from the hockey release of the same name.

Here's the last of the trio of Garciaparra cards, this one from last year's Allen & Ginter set.  This is my first taste of The Numbers Game inserts, and I have to say I'm a fan.

What would a PWE from Nick be without at least one total oddball card out of left field?  Love this Star Mike Greenwell, where he's sporting what is easily one of the shiniest jackets I have ever seen!  What material is that anyway?

A couple of cards from the Fleer Sports Illustrated releases of the late '90s made this particular PWE as well.  From the 1999 set comes this interesting shot of Rico Petrocelli preparing to take an at-bat.

From the 1997 release, here's a fantastic card featuring the SI magazine cover from May of 1991.  This was one of many times that The Rocket would grace the magazine's cover over the course of his career.

Last, but certainly not least, Nick tossed in a few buybacks along with a nice note that he's been enjoying following the franken-set project here on the blog.  Let's see how they did!

1979 Topps #264 - Darrell Jackson

Darrell Jackson spent his entire 5-year MLB career with the Twins.  He made 60 starts over that stretch, 102 appearances total, and finished with a career ERA on the wrong side of 4.00.

This much older (and significantly yellower) Bob Davis buyback already holds the title for #264.  Though I'm generally not a fan of hat-less portrait shots, I'm hesitant to dislodge a 1961 buyback from the binder at this stage since I have precious few of them in there.  I also find it amusing that Bob Davis never actually played for the LA Angels.  I believe Nick refers to cards like this one as "zero year" cards, so I think he'd understand why...

...DJ's out in a close one.

1987 Topps #34 - Jose Rijo

Here's an early-career card of starter Jose Rijo.  Just three years after this card was printed up, Rijo would dominate the very team he's depicted with here in the World Series as a member of the Cincinnati Reds.  He won the opener in a route, but really made his mark on history in the clinching Game 4.  The A's got up in the first inning, scoring a run on two hits off of Jose.  Rijo collected himself though, and flat out owned Oakland from there on out.  He finished the game without giving up another hit, and was deservedly named World Series MVP.  That had to have felt amazing on the world's biggest stage, and against the franchise that traded you away a couple of years prior!

Slot 34 is currently home to Pat Dobson, famous for being one of the four 20-game winners on Baltimore's pitching staff in 1971.

Another close contest here.  A Jose Rijo buyback from his days with the Reds, especially a '90 Topps, would have won in a landslide, but in this case Dobson eeks it out.

1979 Topps #61 - Bo Diaz

The last buyback, however, was a definite winner as it provides a new number for the project and fills a previously empty slot in the binder!  Not only that, but it features my last name, which earns the card some bonus points with me for sure.  Bo tragically passed away at age 37 after an accident involving a satellite dish.  Weird to think about considering I'm already 34 myself.  Bo was the sixth card to be added to his page in the binder, so hopefully that's a page I'll be completing (and sharing) soon here.

Nick, this was a varied and completely awesome delivery of cardboard for sure.  Thanks for making my Opening Day that much greater!

Franken-set Progress:  373/792 (47%)
"Rejected" Buybacks:  163
Total Buybacks in Collection: 536


Hackenbush said...

The shiny Pedro is my favorite.

Nick said...

You're very welcome, Shane! I had fun putting that PWE together. I'm also in the camp of collectors who enjoy the "Incredible Eats" inserts, and I'm glad Diaz made the buyback frankenset!

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...