Tuesday, October 14, 2014

The Trading Post #3: Chavez Ravining

In a bid to narrow his focus, Alex at Chavez Ravining recently offered some of his extras for sale. I took him up on three of his "mystery packs" for a small PayPal payment. He might even still have a few left as he has been moving the parts of his collection that don't fit anymore.

I debated whether to file this under my "Trading Post" theme as I didn't actually send him cards in return, but I am leaning toward filing anything that is sourced from the blogosphere as a "trade", just because this is a great community and it's easy to hyperlink. Ctrl+K for the win!

These mystery packs consisted of a wide assortment of recent cards, with plenty of shiny stuff and die cuts to keep things interesting. He may have read a recent post of mine in which I covered what might be the craziest die-cut card to ever hit the industry, as I now have another Chrome Collections card, and it's of a Rockie, no less!

2013 Topps Chrome Chrome Connections Die Cuts #CC-CG Carlos Gonzalez
As my longtime readers know, one of my projects is a mini-collection consisting of photos taken in Coors Field. As you might imagine, finding cards like this that aren't Rockies or even NL West teams are quite scarce. Nonetheless, Miami Marlins ace Jose Fernandez appears here delivering a pitch with the forest in the background.

2014 Topps Gypsy Queen Dealing Aces #DA-JF Jose Fernandez
Though this card highlights some impressive feats of Fernandez's 2013 season, his 2014 campaign was sadly cut short due to Tommy John surgery. I hope to see him come back strong next year.

As an aside, the area beyond the center field wall at Coors Field has a lot going on. There's a water feature that's been there since day one, which gets turned on after Rockies home runs and wins. Over the years, they've added many evergreen trees that are native to Colorado, ivy on the batter's eye, solar panels, and boulders sourced from local quarries. The visitors' bullpen is directly attached to this area, so out-of-town pitchers can see how beautiful Colorado is. There is even the occasional family of ducks out there. It's part of what makes it one of the most beautiful ballparks in the whole sport.

As I'm generally a Topps fan, I must admit that I haven't paid much attention to recent Panini releases, nor their resurrection of the Donruss brand. But from what little I've seen, they seem to be paying proper homage to past releases.

2014 Donruss Press Proofs Silver #96 Matt Carpenter /199
The card back is a straight replica of pretty much every Donruss back you remember from the overproduction days, and they even brought back the "Press Proof" parallels from the mid-1990s. I recall pulling one of Matt Williams back then, which is still in my collection.

1995 Donruss Press Proofs #365 Matt Williams
1995 Press Proof parallels have a stated print run of 2,000 (a number that seemed impossibly scarce in 1995), though they weren't serial numbered, much like the early Topps Stadium Club First Day Issues.

I mentioned there were lots of shiny cards in these mystery packs, and this one from 2014 Heritage especially caught my attention.

2014 Topps Heritage Chrome Purple Refractors #THC-432 Jay Bruce
Labeled as a "refractor" on the back, I seem to remember earlier years of Heritage refractor parallels having serial numbers, where the print run matched the year they were reproducing. This one would have been /1965 had that trend continued.

Alex also included a nice assortment of insert cards. From the pyro-themed Fired Up insert set, here's Jason Kipnis getting ready to throw his batting helmet in either disgust or celebration.

2014 Topps Opening Day Fired Up #UP-30 Jason Kipnis
Fun fact: Kipnis was a high-school classmate of my coworker's younger brother.

Poor Yu Darvish. He alone sums up the Rangers' struggles when they're only one out (or strike) from history.

2014 Topps The Future is Now #FN-28 Yu Darvish
This card recalls the unfortunate events of April 2, 2013, where Darvish took a perfect game two outs into the 9th inning, then gave up a hit. He did almost the same thing this past May, losing a perfect game in the 7th, but maintaining a no-hitter until he had only one out to go. I'm sure I don't have to bring up the 2011 World Series to Texas Rangers fans, when they were twice within one strike of winning it all in Game 6, but couldn't seal the deal. David Freese, the deciding factor of that game, was knocked out of this year's playoffs as an Angel.

I recently expressed admiration for 2013's Chasing The Dream insert set that I have been...chasing. This doesn't look quite as good without the White Sox color scheme as seen on Addison Reed's card, but it's still an elegant design and I'm on the hunt for more.

2013 Topps Chasing the Dream #CD-22 Drew Smyly
To wrap things up, I mentioned in a previous post that I was considering building a set of 2013 Topps Emerald. I found quite a deal on eBay last week, and won an auction for over half the base set! The Mystery Packs added to that with another Emerald.

2013 Topps Update Emerald #US176 Matt Lindstrom
Alex may be narrowing his focus, but he hit the sweet spot of my collection.


  1. Glad you liked the cards! I still have quite a few mystery packs left. I'll probably end up just throwing them into my next few trades. I'll take a look for some of the cards you were looking for above and see what I can send your way.

  2. Alex is a good dude. Those mystery packs look like fun!