Sunday, June 10, 2012

Please Mr. Postman (A trade post) -- Artist's proofs

Art has never been my forte.

I never did well on any projects at school where we had to draw. I felt lucky to escape with a "B" in my sophomore year art class. I guess some people have it, and some don't.

I definitely don't.

But there's no denying that TTG, author of the blog "Friars on Cardboard", has it.

He won my first-ever contest on this blog. Since I'd never run into another hobbyist who collects Padres, I had tons of extras to send him. I insisted that he didn't have to send anything back, but I was enthused to find a package waiting for me in the mail from the fellow contest winner.

I quickly found that it was unlike any other mailer I had ever received before.

All the cards were grouped in individual "packs". Not only that, but he included his own original artwork on the cover of each individual one.

I don't think I've ever received a "themed" package before, which made each individual pack even more fun to open.

I knew that the first pack had some minor leaguers and minis, but I wasn't sure exactly which ones. I knew one of the packs had some sort of Yankees cards from 1992 to '96, but still didn't quite know what to expect.

It beats a three-dollar pack of Bowman any day of the week. To put it shortly, the wrappers were awesome.

But just as great were the cards inside...

Few times does a baseball card physically make me laugh.

Sometimes, I'll smile or let out a brief chuckle, but very few cards have earned the tag as a "laugher".

This is one of those few cards. I don't have any idea who Rich Batchelor is, but that doesn't factor in to how great this card is.

I don't know that those big, round glasses have ever looked good. I instantly thought of Gilbert from Revenge of the Nerds after I pulled this card from the "pack".

Either that, or a grown-up version of McLovin.

TTG must've read through a few of my older posts, because I've talked about cards like these before.

There's actually a lot more cards that feature the children of big leaguers than I originally thought. The Matt Williams is a pleasant addition to my "mini-collection" of those.

The Dykstra has to be one of the earliest "throwback" cards out there, from 1993 Score. I guess it's fitting since "Nails" was a bit of a throwback himself.

I've always found minor league cards of future stars to be fascinating.

No one knew who Bobby Abreu was in 1993. Nineteen years and over 2,400 hits later, he's still a big leaguer. Abreu was actually an expansion pick by the Devil Rays in '98, but was quickly traded to the Phillies for shortstop Kevin Stocker.

I bet they wish they had that one back.

Perhaps even more interesting are minor league cards of thirty-somethings who are still hoping for another shot at the big leagues, like Steve Howe.

Howe was 31 years old when his above '91 Triple-A card was released, toiling in the Yankees' minor league system after battling drug and alcohol problems in the '80s.

The Yanks would give Howe another shot in '91, and he made the most of it, managing to stay in the bigs until 1996.

A true success story.

My favorite part of the package, however, was the six-card "Anything Goes" pack that I featured earlier.

I was ecstatic to find that all six were Jim Abbott cards, easily one of my favorite players.

This was my favorite card from the package.

I guess it's fitting since it's a work of art in itself. I've always loved the hand-painted early '90s Upper Deck checklists. You won't find many more visually-striking cards out there.

All in all, I don't know that I've ever had more fun going through a trade package.

Much thanks goes out to TTG for the awesome cards and unique artwork!


Josh D. said...

Think about how easy it would be to meet women with a name like "Rich Batchelor." Every grandma would want to set you up with her granddaughters in a heartbeat....
Grandma: "He's rich. He's a bachelor. Go talk to him, Sweetie!"

TTG said...

Thanks for the kind words; glad you enjoyed opening it as much as I did doing it. There are still a few more "packs" headed your way.