There seem to be a lot of cards picturing Carlos Gonzalez sliding into home. One came over from Foul Bunt not long ago.
|2013 Topps Chasing History #CH-72 Carlos Gonzalez|
That card refers to his streak of 20 or more stolen bases in consecutive seasons (which he continued through 2013), but I highly doubt he is actually stealing home in that shot. Now that the steroid era has come to an end, perhaps the game will focus a bit more on well-rounded players that can not only hit for power, but also get on base frequently and steal. Sort of like Barry Bonds did in his early days.
Here's another card that documents how CarGo can do more for a ballclub than just mash home runs in the thin, dry air of Denver.
|2011 Topps Opening Day Stars #ODS-2 Carlos Gonzalez|
3-D cards never scan well, but it's a recurring favorite in Opening Day sets. Maybe that's why us collectors seem to like Opening Day insert cards so much—Topps reuses a few of the same great themes from year to year. Superstar Celebrations, these 3-D ones, and of course the sought-after Mascot cards. You'll find these old standbys in addition to a few new insert sets each year, and I think it's a winning formula.
Speaking of the thin, dry air of Denver, to say that Coors Field is a hitter's park is a massive understatement.
|2010 Topps Update More Tales of the Game #MTOG-8 Mile-High Humidor|
Arizona has kicked the humidor idea around as well, and if an MLB team ever plays in Las Vegas, I'm sure they'll consider it too.
Topps Archives sets of the last few years haven't been at the top of my favorites list, but they appear in discount boxes rather frequently, so it's neither hard nor expensive to see which sets Topps has chosen to recreate. However, I do really like the semi-gloss coating on these cards. It's pretty easy to pick them out by touch alone.
|2014 Topps Archives #24 Michael Cuddyer|
Cuddyer was a Home Run Derby participant in 2013, but since he's wearing his Rockies home jersey with the Mets All-Star Game patch rather than just a National League jersey, this must be from the exhibition game itself. The NL pulled off a streak of wins after many years of AL dominance, but it looks like the tables may be turning again, as the NL has now lost two in a row, including this game where Cuddyer was a starter.
One thing the Rockies aren't known for is All-Star pitchers. There have been a few, including Ubaldo Jimenez, who might be the best hurler to ever take the mound for the Rockies, but with a 6-11 record last year, Tyler Matzek isn't likely to make that short list.
|2011 Topps Pro Debut #163 Tyler Matzek|
|2013 Topps Update Emerald #US206 Reid Brignac|
Anyway, moving on from current cards, there was an eye-catching assortment from 1999 Stadium Club, the brand that made a terrific comeback in 2014.
|1999 Stadium Club #9 Vinny Castilla|
|1999 Stadium Club #83 Darryl Hamilton|
Two other cards from this set look fantastic when viewed side-by-side, and I'd wager they're even from the same game. Based on the cameo, it must have been from when the Rockies were visiting Philadelphia.
I am fully sold on having a "most-wanted cards" list, which I call "Eight Men Out", because it's already helped fill a few gaps in my collection.
|2011 Topps Town #TT-48 Troy Tulowitzki|
The baseball community is still mourning the loss of Ernie Banks, so I thought it would be appropriate for Mr. Cub to make another appearance to wrap this up.
|2012 Topps Timeless Talents #TT20 Ernie Banks/Troy Tulowitzki|