Thursday, August 29, 2013

The mystery box, Pt. 2

Just a fair warning, folks.

Until I can get the hang of this whole job and school thing, the vast majority of posts I'll be writing around here will be either the recap of one of my many backlogged trades, or a simple "look what I got!" write-up.

I want to write about my usual, random batch of topics, but I just don't have the time or energy to do so at the moment. I'm planning to get back on my feet with those posts soon, though.

But, hey. Those "look what I got!" posts are quite a bit of fun, too. Right?

Besides, I still have a bunch of flea market finds to gloat about around here. After I posted about "Part 1" earlier this week, I thought we'd look at the second half of that big "mystery box" tonight.

As I mentioned in my initial post about this purchase, the inclusion of so many mid '90s cards is what sold me on the box. More than perhaps any other era of the hobby, there are an absolute slew of under-the-radar gems from those years.

One of the cards that stood out most to me was the '95 Upper Deck Jeff Fassero you see above. It's a great dugout shot, one that features a camera angle we don't usually get to see in this hobby.

Still, that was just the beginning.

There were a whole bunch of great '95 UD treasures left to discover.

Up until now, I've basically been indifferent towards Upper Deck's efforts in 1995. It was a "meh" for me, at most.

After digging through this box, though, the set is starting to move up the spectrum. I think it crossed over from "meh" to "like" territory. It's true.

I like 1995 Upper Deck.

Between the digital clock in the background of the Mike Blowers card, the fantastic "double dips", and the great Manwaring "play at the plate" shot, this far from a "meh" set.

I'm not sure why I didn't come around earlier.

One set I've always been on board with is 1993 Upper Deck.

I still find great cards from this checklist at staggering rates. As I've said before, '93 UD is the king of photography. And, to top it all off, they're fairly easy to find.

There were a few budding stacks in this box, just waiting to be picked through.

I scanned every one of the above cards for a reason, but I think the Dykstra "centerpiece" just about takes the cake here. In a very high-quality shot, there's actually dirt flying off of "Nails" in that beauty.

I can't help but think of Pigpen from Peanuts.

As far as single sets go, 1994 Topps was probably most prevalent in this mystery box.

I found at least a couple hundred of these during my dig, both of the base and gold variety.

For reasons I can't quite explain, I've long wanted Eddie Guardado's '94 Topps issue. I found about three copies in this box alone.

Plus, I absolutely love the Bob Feller decal cameo on the Tino Martinez. There should be more of those on cards.

Speaking of which, mound conferences have never received a lot of airplay in this hobby. The "centerpiece" of this page features a terrific manager/catcher/pitcher combo.

If you ask me, 1994 Topps is very hit-and-miss when it comes to photography.

But, when it hits, it really hits.

I'm still not all that big on 1997 Topps.

Although I this mystery box resulted in quite a few cards from this set, it's not into "like" territory for me...yet.

I'll admit, though, this purchase did get me appreciating '97 Topps at least a little bit more. (As did a recent trade package I haven't posted yet.)

As usual, the "centerpiece" of this page is my favorite of the bunch. Those red "Canada Day" Jays uniforms are certainly out of the ordinary.

All things considered, though, it's still a "meh" set.

For now.

Moving away from the full-page scans, I thought I'd close out the mystery box with one of my favorite topics to write about.

My mini-collections!

Yes, there were certainly a fair share of those to be found. The mid '90s seem to be a great period for my wacky collecting interests.

Take this crazy Scott Servais card, for example. It managed to hit both my "multiple-exposure" and "play at the plate" needs in one shot.

It's the first I've seen of that particular combo.

The Leiter is another combo first for me.

I've never come across anything that combines my "behind the camera" and "cards with kids" themes before.

And, of course, the Clayton is yet another terrific add to my "double dip" collection. He seemed to have quite a few of those during his cardboard career.

For further evidence, just look at the middle-left portion of the '95 UD page I featured earlier.

As I've said in the past, front or back doesn't really matter to me.

If it fits into a mini-collection. I want it.

Sure, the front is preferred, as we have with the terrific L.A. Angels throwback on Brian Anderson. But the back works, too. I'm not one to turn down a "pitcher on the basepaths" card.

In fact, I didn't even discover the back of the Neagle until my second or third go-around through my mystery box. Just another lesson. Always take a look at the "flip sides" of your cards, kids.

You never know what you might be missing.

Oddly, crowning a "Best Of" from this box wasn't all that difficult.

For me, Mr. Vizquel here took the honor without much of a fight.

That's six (count 'em, six) different images squeezed into one single, solitary card. The term "multiple-exposure" doesn't even begin to do this thing justice.

As if that weren't enough, those six (six!) different shots show the beauty of a double play in motion. That's another combo mini-collection need for all of you scoring at home.

And quite possibly the best one I've ever found.

I'll admit, I very nearly balked at the chance to purchase an entire box like this at first. I wasn't sure it'd be worth the twenty bucks I plopped down for it.

But, after having gone through the experience and digging up a shocking number of gems, I'd say it was an overwhelming success.

Worth every penny.


Rosenort said...

I love 1995 UD, one of my top 5 sets of all time, the Weiss and Manwaring are amazing cards.

petethan said...

I've never seen that Vizquel. Truly a card made for your tastes. Power of the Random, man. I'm convinced that nothing beats the mystery... box, pack, PWE, whatever. Obviously we want the cards we want. But getting the card we didn't know we wanted is simply more fun.

The Junior Junkie said...

Yes! '95 UD is among the greatest of all time. '94 Stadium Club and '93 UD are also pretty awesome. Great box so far. That Vizquel is sick.