Nick of Dime Boxes
fame has certainly been doing his part to spread holiday cheer this season. I've seen his PWEs popping up on a number of the sports card blogs that I read in recent days. Well, I too was the lucky recipient of one recently. Let's dive in...
Coming out of the gate strong with this 1970 Topps Scratch-Off of Yaz. These were inserted into the first couple of series of Topps' flagship product in 1970, at least I believe that's where they originated. Maybe someone with more knowledge can confirm that in the comments. Either way, this is the first of these to enter my collection and it's a really cool little piece of memorabilia. Here's what the scratch-off game looks like when unfolded, for those of you who haven't seen them:
Simple concept, but this would have been right up my alley. Had I been a kid in 1970 I could totally see my brother and I spending an afternoon with a couple of pennies and a stack of these.
Of course Nick's PWE was jam-packed with more standard cardboard fare, like this Youk from the beautiful 2009 O-Pee-Chee set. I agree with most collectors that this release was definitely a high water mark for Upper Deck before they lost their baseball license. Someday I would love to track down a cheap wax box of this to jump start a set, but it's far down my list of collecting priorities at the moment.
Here's one of those Farm's Finest minis from 2015 Bowman Chrome. A nice looking little card if you like shiny. Blake's playing time was reduced pretty significantly last year, and he appeared in just 19 games after playing in 84 in his rookie season the year prior. We'll see what 2017 brings...
I had to do a couple of minutes of research on this one, as this set was unfamiliar to me. Turns out this is a 1982 TCMA Baseball's Greatest Hitters Joe Cronin. I appreciate this one because you don't see a whole lot of Cronin cards out there. I think I have less than ten out of the thousands and thousands of Red Sox cards I own.
This Leo Kiely is one of those Archives cards from the '90s, when Topps issued complete reprints of the '53 and '54 sets (I think '54 was done in 1994).
Steve Avery here is from the 1997 Upper Deck SP set. This is one of those rare cases where a card looks better in a scan than it does in person, as the holographic SP sections on the left and right sides are more vibrant. Like the Kevin Youkilis card above, I'm guessing that Nick ended up with an extra copy of this in his "players signing autographs" collection.
Up next is a Tim Naehring from Pacific Paramount. I can see what Pacific was aiming for with the design here, but I'm not sure how well it worked. Mainly because it is quite difficult to make out the player's name. It's actually more legible in the scan than it is in hand, but as you can see even here it's not exactly crystal clear.
This Bowman Chrome mini of outfielder Bryan Hudson is actually a refractor, and is serial-numbered to /125 on the reverse. Bryan is still just 21 years old, but he hasn't risen above A-ball in the years since this card was released. Cool card though!
When I first saw this card, my initial reaction was that it was kind of busy and ugly. After a day or two though when I looked at it again it was more along the lines of "it's not that bad". Posting it now even a few days later though, I think I'm coming around and I actually kind of like it. What can I say...it's not every day that you receive a card featuring a forest backdrop. I give Panini credit at least for coloring outside the lines and coming up with something a little more creative than much of what I've seen from Topps inserts in recent years.
Speaking of Topps inserts, here's a First Pitch card I didn't have yet from the 2016 flagship release. Must be cool to be featured on the cover of Sports Illustrated and
have your very own officially licensed sports card all before the age of 16!
I think I'm one of the few bloggers who has managed to resist the temptation of the 2016 Topps Holiday retail boxes featuring the snowflake cards. Just because I haven't wanted to pluck down the money for a box does not mean I don't enjoy the cards though. This is the first one I've seen in hand and while I think this gimmick would get tiring if repeated year after year, it is a nice variation for the holiday season. I seem to have gotten a bunch of variations of Jackie Bradley's 2016 Topps card, at this point I could probably put together an entire binder page of them.
The snowflake card wasn't the only "2016 first" of the package for me, as Nick was kind enough to include this beautiful Topps Gold Label Yaz. Other than scans on a couple of blogs, I had no exposure to these before receiving this one, but I have to say that Topps did a pretty solid job with this release. I can't put my finger on why exactly, but this is one of the more attractive Yastrzemski cards I've picked up in quite some time.
The Blake Swihart wasn't the only mini card I got this time around, as I found this '75 Topps Mini Petrocelli as well. I absolutely love these, and given that they are reasonably priced I'm not really sure why I haven't made more of an effort to complete the team set. I really appreciate this one, and I think it's going to motivate me to pick up some others in 2017 here.
Last, but certainly not least, Nick included a buyback as well! This black foil buyback from this year's Topps set is #461, which is great as that number was missing from my franken-set previously! Rob is already nestled inside the binder, and I'm one card closer to completion!
Franken-set Progress: 251/792 (32%)
"Rejected" Buybacks: 59
Nick, thank you for the extremely thoughtful package. I hope you and your family have a Merry Christmas, and I will certainly be sending you something in the next week or two to properly convey my gratitude.
On a side note, despite this being my fourth trade post here since Monday, I'm still falling behind. Card collectors are really in the holiday spirit this year I guess! I've got great packages from Douglas Corti, Angus, and another, even greater, PWE from Nick still to be featured in the near future here...