Sunday, June 23, 2019

Catching Up with Joe Shlabotnik

Lazy Sunday for me after back-to-back Dave Matthews Band concerts the past two evenings.  Seems as good a time as any to catch up on an amazing envelope that showed up a few weeks back from my longtime hobby friend Joe Shlabotnik.  As you'll soon see, Joe really out-did himself with this latest delivery.  Let's dive in...

Of course, the bulk of the delivery consisted of new Red Sox for my team collection, including this absolutely awesome Andrew Benintendi from 2019 Opening Day.  This is actually my very first card from this year's Opening Day effort, but there are a few others from this set to come later in the post.

Benintendi also provided me with my first look at 2019 Donruss.  I kind of like what they did with the design this year, but lacking a license these are pretty much for team or player collectors only for the most part.

Let's turn the clock back about 25 years here and knock off a pair of cards from the 1994 Score Rookie/Traded set.

Feels great plugging holes from somewhat random or obscure releases like this.  I'm not sure the two photos mashed together without any type of border or fading where they intersect works too well, but I appreciate them regardless.

This envelope actually contained my first base card from last year's Opening Day set as well.  A great one at that, I appreciate any new Devers card for sure.  Still just 22 years old, he's improved his numbers each year since his debut.  He's currently sporting a .309/12HR/48RBI stat line with an OPS of .864.  I've actually been grabbing a bunch of his rookie cards lately just because they're still relatively cheap and he if continues to progress at the rate he has been that may not be the case much longer.  I can cross Opening Day off my list thanks to Joe!

How about a tandem from Topps Gallery?  The artwork on this David Ortiz came out fairly well.

This Chris Sale though?  Not so much.  I guess that's the double-edged sword element of illustrated sets like Gallery.

Let's move into Topps Heritage territory for a few cards.  I'm still somewhat amazed by how Hanley Ramirez's career wound down.  Seemed like he was still hitting the ball fairly well when Boston let him go, yet next thing you know he was out of baseball.

Many of the Red Sox have photographs from in front of this same generic wall in 2018 Heritage for some reason.

A nice Boston Bashers combo card to close out this portion of the package.

Still not done with the Red Sox additions though!  Next we've got a trio from everyone's favorite line, Topps Total.  Third baseman Bill Mueller....

...the great Tim Wakefield...

...and a couple of unfamiliar names get me three cards closer to owning every Red Sox Topps Total card ever produced!

Into some oddballs next, with a trifecta from the very colorful "Baseball Immortals" release.  Love these cards, and rarely come across them for whatever reason.

Aside from the bright design that's reminiscent of 1975 Topps baseball, the set contains a lot of names that you just don't run across elsewhere in the hobby all that often.

Just my fourth card of Herb Pennock here.  His 1922 American Caramel card is a white whale of mine.  They do pop up from time to time, but you'd be shocked and amazed at what they sell for.

Would have absolutely stuck this one on my grade school folder or trapper keeper back in the day.  Nowadays it ticks my Red Sox collection up by one.

Joe tossed in a pair of the 150 Years inserts that I'm assuming he either pulled himself or possibly dug up at a show for me.  Either way, they're some of the better inserts that I've seen from Topps in recent years.  In the annals of Red Sox history you can't find many names bigger than Ted Williams...

...and David Ortiz.  Topps used some odd white outline effect on Ortiz here, and it makes it look like this is a photoshop fake if you ask me.

I loved the 2008 Upper Deck baseball release, and even completed that monster of a set.  Was missing this Hot Commodities insert though, score!

Here's another Williams insert, slightly less successful if you ask me.  I guess it's a photo I haven't seen a thousand times though at least.

A nice enough photo on this Fred Lynn, but a definite example of excess foil gone wrong.

Sticky Yaz!

I'm having trouble identifying this oddball.  Anyone know what it is?  I didn't think to measure it, but the dimensions are slightly less than a modern trading card.  I'm thinking a Baseball Card Magazine type thing, but I couldn't find it on The Trading Card Database to be certain.

Best oddball in the package has to go to this Tetley Tea Wade Boggs disc.  Simply fantastic!

I don't think this guy ever made the show, but I appreciate this relic card just because you don't see a whole lot of Lowell Spinners hits out there.  I've actually never managed to see a Lowell Spinners game, but I have seen Wilco play in their ballpark so I guess that counts for something...

One last oddball here, the Queen of Clubs Bob Zupcic.

And one last Fleer sticker as well.

I really enjoy cards featuring Wally the Green Monster.  I think I've got just about a complete run at this point, and thanks to Joe I can add the very latest available example to that small collection.

This Chris Sale from Archives is a Silver parallel and is numbered to a relatively scant /99.  A very cool card to throw in as a surprise.  Note the same wall and bushes that I commented on in the Topps Heritage cards above.

Perhaps the coolest thing to spill out of the envelope were a pair of Red Sox postcards!  I believe Joe landed these at a postcard-specific show that he attended a while back.  I'm so grateful that he was kind enough to keep an eye out for a couple of Sox postcards for me while perusing around.

This Tom Burgmeier appears to be from a late '70s team-issued set possibly?  A nice black-and-white close-up shot.

The other postcard I received is in glorious color.  Check out that fantastic Don Baylor!  These are really cool collectibles, I'm going to have to get some different Ultra Pro sheets to start storing these in my binders.

There were a few hockey cards sprinkled into the package as well, like this awesome Glenn Resch Topps sticker.  This is one of the best looks at the short-lived Colorado Rockies in my entire hockey collection.  Love it.

Here's a nice reprint of Gerry Cheevers' Topps RC.  I don't have an original, it's one of the many big cards from the '60s I hope to eventually track down one day.  Until that day comes this is a great placeholder.

Acetate is an automatic win, you can't go wrong sending me a see-through card.

Finally, as if all of that (and the buybacks I showed previously) weren't enough, Joe knocked a trio of cards off of my '59 Topps want list!  Rocky Nelson...

...Whitey Lockman...

...and Jack Meyer are already crossed off my list, and tucked snugly into their appropriate slots in my '59 Topps binder.  This is a slow-burn of a set build for me, just been picking away at it for years.  It has really added up though over time, as these three take me to 304 cards in my set now.  Well past the halfway point, but I have a lot of the big cards left to go so I've still got years before I close in on this set.

Joe, thanks so much for this amazing delivery!  Sorry it took me so long to properly thank you with a post.  The sheer number of cards that needed to be scanned and sorted is my only excuse, but it's a poor one.  This package was a ton of fun, and I'll be sure to reciprocate soon.

Thanks for stopping by, and enjoy the rest of your Sunday everyone!


Jeff said...

The Roger Clemens card is a 1933 Goudey style replica-card from the 1991 Baseball Cards Presents Baseball Card Boom magazine.

Nick said...

That's quite a trade package there! I can't say I see many people sending each other Topps Total anymore.

Chris said...

Very cool stuff! I like the Sox content-especially the Manny HC insert-but that Chico Resch Rockies sticker pops off the page.

The Shlabotnik Report said...

Glad you enjoyed your package! Some of these, like that Lowell Spinners relic, have been waiting for a non-PWE package to be sent your way (and I pulled that relic out of a repack, FWIW). It also seems like when I open new packs, I have tremendous luck in pulling cards from Red Sox and Cubs (which go to Dime Box Nick). Chico Resch also got pulled from a pack... in the early 1980's. You once made a comment about one I posted on my blog, and I had a double, so I added it to the Shoebox pile.

I'm glad someone else recognized that Roger Clemens card, because I had no idea. Found it in a dimebox (as with the Tetley Boggs).

Oh, one last thing... I'm planning on doing a Dead Parrot post featuring cards you've sent me... But my scanner is giving me fits and it's taking longer than I'd hoped... but it will be up soon!

gregory said...

That really is a great shot of the Colorado Rockies uniform on the Resch sticker. Great Wade Boggs oddball, too!

Bulldog said...

So many great cards. That Manny is my favorite but it was tough to decide. Great mail day and friend.

Fuji said...

Back to back concerts? That's impressive. Don't think I could pull that off at my age. Lots of stuff here. Love the postcards!

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