Monday, April 27, 2020

Coronavirus Packages Episode III - Revenge of the Nick

Time for the next installment in the series of posts covering packages that have arrived at Shoebox Legends World Headquarters during this COVID pandemic, courtesy of some friendly collectors.  As the post title indicates (yep, sticking with the corny Star Wars naming theme for now), today's batch of cards come from Nick at Dime Boxes!

Nick and I have been sort of blind trading for years now.  Every so often he shoots me an envelope chock full of Red Sox cards, and every so often I send a stack of randomness his way.  This latest batch contained the typical wide array of brands and years that I've come to expect from Nick.  This Tim Wakefield might be my favorite of the cards in today's post, as I just love the complete randomness of Wake taking a bite out of a ball.  I had some weird, chromed-up version of this one before, but I much prefer this base card.

National Chicle was definitely a hit or miss set for me depending on the artwork, but I'd call this one a hit!

I loved the 2009 O-Pee-Chee release from Upper Deck.  I've thinned down the size of my collection too much to try completing the entire set, but I do intend to knock off the Red Sox team set at the very least.  I was surprised to find that I didn't have this odd "John Smoltz as a Red Sox" card yet.  Great stuff.

In an earlier shelter-in-place trade package, Douglas Corti hooked me up with some awesome parallels from the 2020 Donruss set, and in this one Nick is responsible for my first base card from the release with this JD Martinez.

A large part of this stuffed team set bag contained 2020 Topps Heritage, which is fantastic.  Haven't purchased so much as a pack of the stuff, and probably won't given that I don't really leave home much these days.

That makes these Red Sox from Nick extra appreciated!

Even if some of the players are no longer with Boston...

I do wish the team set were a little more varied, as so many of the Red Sox cards feature them posing in front of this exact same backdrop (which, if I'm not mistaken, is the same backdrop that was regurgitated in last year's Heritage set).  Every new card I get of a Sox player standing in front of a row of hedges with a green wall behind him makes me shake my head.

Just seems a bit uninspired on Topps' part I guess.

I'll never complain about a new Xander Bogaerts card though!  200 unique Bogaerts, here I come!

I'm fairly certain this photograph was taken in the same location, just angled more directly towards the wall is all.

Man, that does get repetitive after a while, no?  Are other teams in this set like this, or is this abundance of posed photographs with similar backdrops unique to Boston?

As Heritage goes, I think I was most surprised to find this card of all.  The reason?  This is a high-numbered short-print, the final card on the 500-card checklist as a matter of fact.  I know SPs can be really tough in the world of Heritage collectors, so I truly appreciate Nick's willingness to share this one with me!

After that run of 2020 cards, let's get back to some older releases, shall we?  I don't recall having heard of this 2007 Upper Deck SP Rookie Edition set before, and TCDB shows this is indeed my first card from the release.

These, on the other hand, I certainly recall fondly!  I had a few of these Collect-A-Books as a kid, and I recall them being one of the cooler available items at our middle school book fair one year.  A stretch to call these books, but they do have the word in the title so I guess that counts.  Nice to add the Clemens from the set to my team collection.

Now we get to the oddball portion of the package.  I honestly had no idea what set this Carlos Quintana was from when I came across it in the stack, but thanks to TCDB I learned it was produced in the late '80s by Pacific Cards & Comics.  I love any card featuring a parking lot in the background, so this one is indeed a winner.

Here's another from the same unlicensed brand, but from their aptly named American Flag release.  Sort of reminds me of those International parallels from Bowman where the background is replaced by the flag of the player's home country.

The last oddball I have for today is my favorite though.  I love the simplicity of the design, and something about Roger Clemens against a plain orange background with blue stars just works.  This one has rounded corners, which you don't see that often outside of gaming cards.

While we're on a Clemens kick, here's an insert from last year's Chrome Update set.  At the rate I'm going, Roger will be included on the list of players that I have 100 cards of very soon.

This 1963 Eddie Bressoud is certainly well loved!  Wrinkles?  Check.  Scratches & scuffs?  Check.  Mystery substance?  Check.  Tell you what though, I didn't have one of these in my team set previously, so I'll take it.  Some day I'll upgrade it, but at least I can check the box for now.

Here's an interesting one.  This (license plate-themed?) card is actually a base card from the 1998 Skybox Dugout Axcess release.  No, 'Axcess' in the previous sentence was not a typo, as you can see from the small "crossed-bat" logo in the lower right there.  Chalk it up to this being released in the late '90s.

For whatever reason, I never seem to end up with much if any Topps Finest from year to year.  Maybe it's because it's not really known as a retail product, and folks buying retail tend to be the ones I trade with more?  I'm not entirely sure, but I am happy to have this Benintendi!

Insert from last year's Topps set.  I've shared my opinion on the majority of Topps' modern inserts plenty of times by now, so for today I'll just say "meh".  Meh is not a great reaction for a card featuring Ted Williams and Mookie Betts.  I appreciate any and every new Sox card, but this one just a degree less than the others Nick sent.

On the opposite end of the spectrum, here's a completely awesome "alternate universe" 1963 Topps Yaz card, courtesy of their All-Time Fan Favorites release.  This card is simply fantastic, and it's even printed on thick, cardboard stock.  What can I say, they don't make 'em like they did 15 years ago I guess.

I gave this card serious consideration to lead off today's post.  Gimmicky?  Yes, but I love the giant, over-sized bat.  Plus, Trot Nixon was such a hard-working fan favorite for so many years.  I simply cannot believe that I'd failed to obtain a copy of this card until now.  Thank you Nick!

While not as exciting or random as the Trot Nixon, I appreciate this Ryan Lavarnway from Bowman Platinum, since I love all X-Fractors.

Here's a cool one!  I seem to have precious few Jason Varitek cards.  I believe he didn't sign with Topps for a number of years during the earlier part of his career, if memory serves.  This is an awesome minor league card from 1997 Best, featuring the soon-to-be-gone Pawtucket Red Sox.  Another contender for favorite card in the package for sure.

A serial-numbered Sun-Woo?  Sure!

You'd think that by this stage I'd have acquired most of the early to mid '90s Red Sox inserts.  You'd be wrong though.  This Team Leaders card from 1994 Fleer is the latest hole to be plugged on that front.  Not a bad design, actually.  I like it better than the Topps Williams/Betts insert from above, even though this one predates that card by a good 25 years.

At first I thought I already had this 2018 Allen & Ginter Wade Boggs, but then realized it's a "Hot Box" parallel.  The difference is that on this version the dark grey background extends all the way to the ornate border, whereas on the base card the darker patch behind Wade's head is there, but not the lighter grey patch.

Closing things out, one of those Topps On Demand exclusives from a couple of years back that re-imagines the 1978 design without the white borders.  I have to say, I've seen these on a couple of other blogs (including Nick's own) and have been curious about them.  Happy to finally have one in hand at last.

I'm going to call it there for today, as this post is already long enough, but the reality is that this is only about half of what Nick sent my way.  I'll be featuring more great cardboard from his latest package in my next trade post.  Until then, thanks as always for stopping by!


Tim B. said...

Great stuff from Nick, as always!

Matt said...

That Wakefield is amazing! Lots of great cards in this post!

Elliptical Man said...

Some nice star power with Yaz, Clemens, Schilling, and Mo.

A couple interesting gimmicky cards - Wakefield and Nixon.

My vote goes to the minor league Varitek though.

Jeff B - Wax Pack Wonders said...

What's going on with Wakefield's eye on that card?

Metallattorney said...

I'm jealous of that Quintana. I have never seen that one before. He was one of my early favorite players.

Fuji said...

That Wakefield is awesome! My buddy sees him each year at a golf tournament in Tahoe (well... probably not this year). I might need to pick up a copy of that card and ask my buddy to get it signed.

Nick said...

Glad you enjoyed! I accidentally bought two copies of that '78-style Sale in my latest COMC order, so my inattentiveness is your gain! And I LOVE the giant bats featured on some of those '90s minor league cards. Sure, they're gimmicky, but they're still awesome. (Might have to do a post on that, now that I think of it.)

gregory said...

On his 2020 heritage card, Jackie Bradley, Jr. looks like he's just hit a smooth pitching wedge to the green.

Shlabotnik Report said...

Nick is the man! Nice cards all around.

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