I don't know if it's just me (I don't think it is), but it seems as though the online card collecting community was even more giving than normal this holiday season. There have been numerous times over the past month where I finally got caught up on trade posts, only to be inundated with a flood of new packages in my mailbox the very next week.
This happened again in the week or two leading up to Christmas, and it was just such a busy time for me that the packages sat on my desk for a good stretch there. It will be nice if I can catch up again to start off the new year, and towards that end I've got three awesome trade packages to highlight today.
The first was yet another PWE from the man who is quickly becoming one of my most frequent trading partners, Joe Shlabotnik of The Shlabotnik Report. Inside this envelope were some 2015 Topps Series 2 needs, of which I picked my favorite pair to lead off with here. I'm nearly done with Series 1 and Update, but sorely lacking when it comes to Series 2 this year, so these were great.
Joe crams a whole lot of variety into a small envelope, which is something I try to reciprocate when shipping cards his way. This time was no different, as we jump from a 2015 release to one that's over a decade old now with this Topps Total Pedro.
We've even got some minor league representation here with this awesome Yonder Alonso from Topps Pro Debut. I enjoy these Pro Debut sets so much that I may just make some want lists and attack all of them in the coming year.
Switching over to hockey now, here's the latest in a steady stream of '82-83 Topps Stickers that Joe's been laying upon me in recent months. I'm sure most hockey fans recognize the subject of this one as Rick Middleton.
Back to baseball, and going all the way back to the '70s with this awesome SSPC Petrocelli. This is another set that I really adore, featuring some of the best photos from any set of the decade.
Finishing it off strongly, Joe provided me with what is easily one of the coolest buyback cards I've received all year! I know I'm in the minority here generally speaking, but I will never get tired of these regardless of what year and product they are from. Great stuff.
Thanks for another excellent batch of cards Joe, I'll be sure to get another PWE off to you early in the new year...
Next is a blogger who is so kind that he has sent me cards numerous times now, even though I've yet to reciprocate. The beautiful, and very thoughtful, Christmas card above came from Angus at Dawg Day Cards
. Angus collects Cleveland Browns football cards, of which I have none to send him...
...but that didn't prevent him from sending me some great O-Pee-Chee baseball cards!
Nice to land the O-Pee-Chee version of what is one of the more humorous hairdos in Red Sox cardboard history.
Angus even went back as far as the '70s with the O-Pee-Chee goodness. Oh, and hockey was not to be left out either:
This 1991-92 O-Pee-Chee hockey pack was a definite trip down memory lane. This set hit the shelves right around when I was turning 9 years old, and I certainly recall busting many a pack of this way back then. Let's see who I got!
For starters, as you can see in the pic, the gum was decimated. I made no attempt to ingest any.
Here's my "Special Card" insert, Jarmo Myllys wearing a North Stars jacket but listed with the Sharks. Jarmo was a netminder with Minnesota before San Jose snagged him in the expansion draft, thus his inclusion as a special card insert.
Greg Adams here was the lone card in the pack that I already had a copy of.
Next up is Murray Craven, who became a Hartford Whaler not long after this card was printed up.
First HOFer of the pack in goaltender Ed Belfour! Leave that much upper net exposed in today's NHL and you're getting scored on within about 10 seconds.
Back to back goalies, and a sweet retro Penguins sweater. I love it when the Pens bring these sweaters back, which they seem to be doing frequently these days.
Brian Propp was an under-rated winger, and while his name may not be instantly recognizable to casual fans of the game, he did rack up over 1,000 points in his lengthy NHL career.
Another HOFer here with a subset card honoring Brett Hull for winning the Hart Trophy. I guess awarding the MVP isn't too difficult when you've got a guy who lit the lamp 86 times
as a candidate!
The honor of being the final card in the pack with the wax stains on the back goes to Joe Nieuwendyk, who is also the third HOFer in the pack. That was a pretty fun pack to open. Thanks for the cards and the holiday wishes Angus, I'll have to see if there are any Browns cards kicking around next time I make it to my local hobby shop!
Completing today's trifecta of trade are the contents of a killer bubble mailer from Jeff at 2x3 Heroes. He'd reached out to me letting me know that he had some Stadium Club cards off of my want list, and boy did his package ever help me get closer to a complete set.
I got a whopping 17 needed cards in all, my favorite of which has to be this Bip Roberts which I've long admired from afar on other card blogs. The perfect goofy image for a Stadium Club card if you ask me.
I'm sure this set will be very high on, if not atop, many "best of the year" lists that will inevitably be popping up soon.
I won't show you all 17 cards Jeff sent, I'm sure most of you have seen them all anyway, but I think these four alone give you an idea just how great an assortment was included.
Of course, Jeff also threw in a bunch of random other cards as well, because he's just that kind of guy. In fact, he's been giving away stacks of cards like crazy on his blog the past few weeks.
In this case, I got a bunch of new cards towards my Red Sox team collection. Some of which I already had copies of (but they will be delivered to a good home - aka Mark Hoyle's collection), others like this Bowman Chrome Manny were totally new to me.
I can't believe I still need cards from 1994 Fleer Ultra, but I do!
Two less at least thanks to this package.
This Panini Cooperstown Yaz is unlicensed done right! What an awesome photograph, tell me that's not a man who's enjoying his profession right there.
One of the things I enjoy most about Jeff's blog, as well as his many posts on A Pack to Be Named Later, is that he really seems to sample a huge variety of new releases.
I guess it should come as no surprise then that I'm receiving cards in the mail from him from sets that I haven't even had a chance to see in person yet.
These three 2015 Bowman Draft cards are the first from this set to enter my collection. The last two are also my first cards of the team's first round draft pick from this past summer, Andrew Benintendi!
Jeff is a hockey collector as well, and he shockingly managed to deliver a trio of junk wax Whalers that I was somehow missing from my collection.
Closing in on 1,500 unique Whalers cards, you'd think I'd have all the junk wax sets knocked out at this point, but I assure you there are still plenty of missing pieces.
That number decreases with every thoughtful package like this one that I receive though! Thanks Jeff, your generosity is truly appreciated and it's not lost on me that I really
owe you some return cardboard at this point. You're right at the top of my list as far as outbound packages go.
Again, thanks for all of the great cardboard gents, and for taking the time to read my random musings here. I look forward to enjoying your great blogs for another year in 2016!
The generosity of bloggers is symbolic of the season; it's really quite inspiring.
I'm especially fond of the Draft/Dividends inserts from Bowman - it's a cool and novel concept from an otherwise stale brand.
My brain still can't adjust to the PWE concept... I saw the Yordano Ventura card leading off the post, and I said "Aw, man... Someone sent him one of those already!" and then I quickly realized "Oh, it's *ME*!" :-D
I've had the buyback sitting around for a year, and I ultimately decided that you'd appreciate it far more than I ever would... and then during the COMC Black Friday promo I bought my own non-buyback Tiefenauer just because my brain would still have it mentally filed as "I already have this".
That OPC pack is near the upper end of my hockey collecting era, but it looks like it was a fun pack to bust, even though there wouldn't be any relics, autographs or other lottery-type inserts.
You'll be happy to know that I picked up some stuff for you here on my visit to my mom in Arizona. (I think it may even include that Collector's Choice Cassels.) I'll be mailing it before I head home tomorrow night.
I saw Cassels play quite a few games for the Ottawa 67s.
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