Monday, January 2, 2012

We're living in a parallel universe

How many versions of one card does a guy need? I'm telling you, it's truly a parallel universe.

Although those cards do look nice next to each other in my binder. From left to right, that's the 2008 Upper Deck Heroes Ryan Theriot base, black parallel, emerald parallel (/499), charcoal parallel (/399), beige parallel (/299), red parallel (/249), navy blue parallel (/199), brown parallel (/149), and sea green parallel (/99).

I'm out of breath.

Believe it or not, there's still a few more '08 Heroes parallels of Theriot that I don't own. Seriously, a brown parallel? A sea green parallel? And that beige one looks EXACTLY like the base card!

In small quantities, parallels are great. I've always liked the Gold parallels in the Topps base set each year.

But on the other hand, card companies always seem to go overboard with them. Case in point: the 2011 Topps Cognac diamond parallels (or "liquorfractors"). If only they would've just stayed with the regular diamond parallels. But the Cognacs introduced 990 new parallels to the 2011 Topps set. A true nightmare for team or set collectors, I'm sure.

I wasn't collecting yet in the late-'90s, but it seems like the executives at Topps were hopped up on a little too much caffeine from what the "survivors" of that era have said. Parallels, parallels, must have more parallels!! Gold, silver, whatever you can make, just get me more parallels!

Although card companies have settled down a little since the 1990's parallel extravaganza, it's still a mad, mad, mad, mad world for the everyday player or team collector. With canary diamond, sepia, and double rainbow parallels or whatever the heck else is around nowadays, you can forget trying to own every single issue of a player. Not going to happen.

Simple, but brilliant. I'm not 100 percent sure about this, but I'd guess that the '75 Topps minis were the first parallels to ever be issued.

No extremely rare 1/1 parallels or anything else you can't find anywhere. Just a simple mini version of the base card. Simplicity. I stress this.

Back in '75, I'm not sure how accessible the minis were as I believe they were only locally distributed. But today, they're not overly hard to find and they're not expensive at all (save for the Brett and Yount rookies). Heck, this Dusty Baker one only set me back a quarter.

Whatever happened to simplicity?


night owl said...

I guessed that '75 minis were the first parallel a few months ago, and was told that parallels go way back to tobacco cards from the early 20th century.

I have 9 versions of Andre Ethier's baseball heroes card. One day I'll finish it off. I'm a sucker for colored parallels.

Nick said...

That does make sense now that I think of it. A lot of those old tobacco cards had different backs and such.

The colored parallels are fine every once in a while, but they seem to be in almost every set nowadays. The partial '08 Heroes "rainbows" I've got do look nice together in my binders. Not sure if any parallels could beat the '75 minis, though.