You've decided to read this post.
No matter how or when you happened to stumble across my blog this evening, I thank you for your readership.
But I wasn't kidding.
You might want to have some aspirin handy for this one.
Because I'm about to take you into the world of headache-inducing cardboard.
Cool. Let's get on with it then.
As far as I'm concerned, there are quite a few designs out there that will never get boring to me.
Sets like '65 Topps, '75 Topps, '84 Donruss, and '93 Upper Deck, to name a few.
They've been "head-turners" in my collection for as long as I've had baseball cards in this household.
Then again, for every "legendary" set, there are about twenty forgettable ones.
And for every twenty forgettable designs, one or two are just downright headache-inducing.
I'm talking about sets like 1999 Upper Deck "HoloGrFX".
First off, the name. If the awkward combination of capital and lowercase letters is any indication, card companies repeatedly tried to be "hip" with their releases in the mid-to-late '90s.
And almost every single attempt failed miserably.
In my nearly two years of reading blogs, I don't think I've seen a single specimen from this set featured anywhere in the blogosphere.
That's probably for the better, though.
Although they might not be that blinding at first sight, try staring at this Randy Johnson card for about twenty seconds.
Need that aspirin yet?
I've been meaning to do some sort of write-up on this one for a while, but it just never seemed to fit in with any of my other post ideas.
It's just too crazy of a card.
Well, your time has finally come, Metal Universe.
I really don't know what to make out of this set.
It's obvious that it was intended for the younger audiences of the time, but I'd have to believe that even kids have their limits.
I was five years old when '97 Metal Universe was released. Although I couldn't say for certain, I'd bet that I would've been freaked out by this Vinny Castilla card at the time.
What is that ominous figure in the backdrop? What has he done with Castilla's torso? Why does he have tentacles?
Wow. Maybe this card does still freak me out a bit.
Too many of these in a row is bound to give someone a headache.
And probably a few nightmares, too.
Next to Topps and perhaps Upper Deck, Pinnacle is my all-time favorite brand of cardboard.
Although people might argue to the contrary, I put it ahead of both Donruss and Fleer in my rankings.
However, that doesn't mean I'm about to just gloss over Pinnacle's 1997 offering.
Those things were downright hideous.
I mean, they chopped off Todd Hollandsworth's legs just to squeeze those barely decipherable words in there.
What was that about?
I tried reading each of those little gold-plated words on one of my '97 Pinnacle cards once.
It didn't take long before the headaches started to set in.
In the past, I've confessed that I'm a sucker for these gimmicky "see-through" cards.
Since I collect Rick Ankiel anyways, plucking this pair from a dime box was a no-brainer.
But then I did a little more research on just what this whole "Topps Tek" thing was about. My inquisitive mind at work again.
That's about when the headaches started.
Here's a quote taken directly from my self-labeled "big book o' cards"...
"Please note that there are 20 variations of the 45-card base set."
Each base card has twenty different variations?!
So that means that there are eighteen more versions of this Rick Ankiel card floating around out there?
I'm not chasing those.
Two is enough for me.
I pity anyone who actually decided to build this set back in the day. What a quest that probably shaped up to be.
I'm sure those people gobbled down bottles of aspirin every day.
Wait a minute.
These aren't really headache-inducing, are they?
1999 Skybox Thunder may be a boring set, sure, but I doubt the fronts would give many people headaches.
The backs, however, are another story...
The people down at Skybox managed to give their cards quite a powerful kick back in '99.
A kick so powerful, in fact, that they still give me headaches to this day.
Rap in general just gives me headaches.
I don't mean to disrespect anyone who happens to listen to that genre of music, but it's just not for me.
Now, rap lyrics that were probably written by some pasty executive down at Skybox, well...
I don't think "headache" is a strong enough word.
First of all, any write-up that includes the word "ain't" probably isn't a winner. (Any that aren't attempting to quote Dizzy Dean, anyways.)
But, more than that, any card that includes more than one "o" in the word "so" is just painful.
Plain and simple.
If you've made it this far, you might note one glaring omission from this list. I'll bet that a few of you are thinking about it right now.
"What about 1995 Fleer?"
Well, fellow reader, I happen to like that set.
When it comes to '95 Fleer, I'm happily headache-free.
But, if you'll excuse me, all this talk about "HoloGrFX" and Topps Tek has my head spinning.
I'm off to the medicine cabinet now.