Thursday, September 5, 2013
My weakness, Pt. 2
While it's been tempting at times, I can't say I've ever looked too hard at Craigslist ads and such.
Tales of people wanting insane amounts of money for their 1989 Topps commons are pretty much the norm when it comes to those.
Then again, I have seen ads by people who simply want to give their cards away, offering them to anyone who'd volunteer to haul them out of the garage.
Opportunities like that are intriguing, but I'm always worried that I'll simply be coming back with more '89 Donruss singles I don't need.
To many, I'm sure the term "big box of free cards" conjures up an image of forgotten overproduction era cards. Understandably, of course.
And, although the majority of what I showed in Part 1 of this mini-series was pretty much comprised of cardboard from that time period, the contents of the box I received from Jeff of "Cardboard Catastrophes" did include its fair share of recent issues as well.
In fact, I'd say the selection was pretty much split 50/50 between so-called "junk wax" and newer cards.
It even included a few minis, including the black-bordered "Tex" you see above.
I'm not sure it gets much better than free minis.
A nice add to my HOF collection, this particular Yogi insert hails from the 2006 Greats of the Game checklist.
In fact, it's the oldest card you'll see in this post.
I never much cared for either of these brands back in the day.
Even over five years later, my feelings haven't changed much. SP Authentic and UD Future Stars are still barely blips on my collecting radar.
Nevertheless, these are both new pieces for a couple of my player collections, which are always welcome around here.
I can't say I liked either of these sets at first, either.
However, as opposed to yawnfests like Future Stars, I've recently grown on both 2009 Goodwin Champions and 2008 Topps Opening Day.
The Goodwin Champions checklist offers up its fair share of beautiful cardboard. And I quite like the "fire engine red" borders of '08 Opening Day, something that really distinguished it from the base Flagship design that year.
Unfortunately, that's more than I can say about the current state of Opening Day.
More new player collection adds.
I know, I collect an ungodly amount of guys.
And it's not something I see stopping anytime soon.
These were a couple of the largest and most ill-conceived insert sets in history.
In 2009, Upper Deck launched a massive 2,500-card "20th Anniversary Retrospective" checklist, one that wasn't exclusive to baseball players. Everything from Arnold Schwarzenegger to internet viruses can be found in that set.
Needless to say, a card of Derrek Lee in Padres garb stands tall within that monstrous and flat-out strange checklist.
Oddly enough, UD had already outdone itself the year before with its "Yankee Stadium Legacy" set, one that chronicled every single home game in the history of, you guessed it, Yankee Stadium.
The checklist consisted of 6,752 different cards.
I'll say that again.
It consisted of 6,752 different cards.
Chrome-y cards are hit-and-miss in today's hobby, but I happen to like these two quite a bit.
Besides, it's hard to not enjoy a card as shiny as that Votto.
I bet you've heard of these guys before.
Of course, both Ryan and Ruth were probably the most dominant players of their respective eras.
You'd be hard-pressed to find free cards of theirs.
Same with these guys.
Save for Mariano Rivera, Aroldis Chapman is probably the most dominant closer in the game today. And, call me crazy, but I have a feeling Anthony Rizzo will be in baseball's elite class within a few years.
That might just be the Cubs optimist in me, though.
Free cards of Mike Trout and Stephen Strasburg?
Before this box came along, I didn't think such a thing was possible.
Finds like these are why I'll forever be a sucker for free cardboard.
Perhaps the most exciting aspect of Jeff's free box, however, was the inclusion of quite a few 2009 UD O-Pee-Chee cards.
While it wasn't the most hyped product in its day, I've always been a huge fan of the brand. For me, arguably the biggest tragedy of UD's demise was the fact that we never got to see another OPC release.
The inserts were simple and to the point, something I've always liked.
And, of course, I'm always happy to take unwanted Ichiro cards.
The meat of the set, though, were the base cards.
With beautiful stadium shots like these, OPC produced some of the best team checklists ever. In fact, I don't think I own a better Dodger Stadium card.
That's a packed house if I've ever seen one.
This, I think, was my favorite card of the entire box.
As a part of Night Owl's banner for a long while, Mr. Halladay here has already gained a bunch of much-deserved blogosphere acclaim.
OPC certainly had its fair share of boring posed shots, but this one was absolute gold on Upper Deck's part.
Thanks to this copious amount of free cardboard, I now proudly have a copy in my collection.
My next mission?
Track down the black-bordered version.
Until then, this one will indeed take its place amongst my favorite cards of the last five years or so.
With everything from oddballs to minis to Hall of Famers, I seriously doubt you'd find anything like this on Craigslist or other sites of the like.
Because it's filled with generous people like Jeff, gestures like this are pretty much exclusive to the blogosphere.
I feel honored to be a part of such an awesome community.