Monday, March 23, 2015

My First Group Trade

Recently I participated in my very first "group trade", held by Brian over at Highly Subjective and Completely Arbitrary.  The concept was an interesting one.  Like myself, Brian has some pretty large gaps in his collection between the years 1995 and 2005.  To address this shortcoming he picked up 5 wax boxes from within that time frame and ripped them.  You could get all the cards pulled of a team of your choosing, and in return all you have to do is send Brian a package with some cards from the same era (and probably some Twins!).

What a great concept.  All the excitement of a group break without the buyer's remorse if you don't end up with much.  Brian picked some products that are right up my alley as well, most of them focusing on awesome photography and solid base sets.  I think I did quite well in terms of getting a nice selection from each product.  Here were the cards I was lucky enough to end up with that were new to my Red Sox collection.

What a nice smile from Mike Greenwell.  I can't believe I didn't have a single card (anymore) from this set before this package arrived.

If that last card was an example of a close-up done right, this is certainly one done wrong.  I find it hard to believe that Score didn't have a better photo to go with than this one.  Oh well, as a team collector they can't all be winners.

This one, from The Naturals subset, is much better.

The next product that Brian ripped was 1999 Fleer Ultra.  I've mentioned numerous times that full-bleed sets with great photographs are nearly automatic winners in my book.

This Bret Saberhagen suffers from some sort of printing or stock error.  You can see a straight line going down between the 'e' and 'r' in his last name.  To the right of it, nice and shiny.  To the left, not so much...

Probably my single favorite photograph of all the cards I took home in this trade.  Appropriate for this time of year too, as the photograph was taken at Fort Myers during Spring Training.

The cards I landed from this break leave me just a single shy of a complete team set (#26 Darren Lewis).

I was fortunate enough to end up with a Gold Medallion parallel as well.

Next box was 2003 Stadium Club.

I ended up with all three of the remaining cards I needed for this team set.  I'd call that a success.

Even scored a Royal Gold parallel of Manny Ramirez.  These are super thick.

An insert from Stadium Club as well!

2002 Topps Gallery was the next product opened.  I had no Red Sox at all from this one, so anything that was pulled here was great.  I ended up with four cards featuring paintings of Boston players, some done better than others.  I actually got two of this John Burkett, so Mark Hoyle will be getting one in my next package to him.

My records tell me I'm up to nearly 70 different Nomar Garciaparra Red Sox cards at this point.  With the insane number of cards I've received in trade this past week alone waiting to be scanned and inventoried, I wouldn't be surprised if I topped the century mark very soon.

Probably my favorite painting of the four cards, HOFer Pedro Martinez.

The final box opened for the group trade was 2002 Fleer Greats.  This is a great Tris Speaker card, but it's a bit confusing to say the least.  The bottom says Boston Red Sox, but he's depicted with Cleveland, and the back of the card has Cleveland's logo on it as well?  Since it says Red Sox on the front it counts in my book, but it seems like this one may have slipped past the editors at Fleer.

This is a nice looking set, and again one I didn't have any cards from prior to participating in this.  I like the simplistic design, and the player selection is solid.

Two of the best hitters in Boston history right there...

I ended up with two copies of Jim Rice's card, and again that dupe is headed to Mark.

This insert had to be randomed off between the Red Sox and Reds participants, and apparently luck was on my side.

Being the generous guy that he is, Brian even included some bonus Red Sox content to bolster my collection further.

The Jim Rice and Rich Gedman cards are from the over-sized 1986 Donruss All-Stars set...

...and according to Zistle this may be an insert from the same set?  Not 100% sure on that.

Brian, I love the concept of the group trade and I have to say you did a great job with it.  The box selection was perfect, and I'm very happy with the return.  I finished packing up your cards this evening, and I hope you enjoy the bubble mailer headed your way as much as I enjoyed these!


Mark said...

The 2001 Gallery set is still one of the nicest base sets ever made in my eyes. It's a shame the set doesn't get as much love due the the absolutely stacked lineup of products that year. At the time I thought it was a far nicer product and more interesting concept than Heritage, and time hasn't swayed that opinion.

Tony L. said...

The group trade was a ton of fun, definitely. Those popups are actually from 1987, I think.

Hackenbush said...

I agree with Mark. Love the Gallery.

Tim B. said...

Love that Tris Speaker!

Mark Hoyle said...

Cool. I don't think I have any 2002 Topps Galleru.. The hole in my collection is very similar. I put any Speaker card in my Sox collection.

Anonymous said...

The group trade looks like it was an awful lot of fun!

Those pop-ups are from 1986 - they feature the Metrodome in the background because the 1985 All-Star game was in Minnesota. The 1987 set has the Astrodome in the background because Houston hosted the 1986 game.

...And from the way Donruss marketed the cards, it might be more correct to say that the oversized all-star cards were inserts for the Pop-ups. The boxes and packs all say "Major League All-Stars Pop-Up, Puzzle And Cards" and the pop-up was on top of the cello packs.

Brian said...

Yep - all from 1986 - I bought a lot of 20 cello packs hoping that I would get close to a complete set from the last time Minneapolis hosted the All-Star Game. Lots of Duplicates, so that's good news for everyone else!
I think that card of Pedro signing at Spring Traing was one of my favorites of the bunch, too/

LoCoDe said...

The ball on that Saberhagen card is a very bad photoshop by the looks of it.

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