The thoughtful mother that she is, she picked three cards from my "Eight Men Out" wantlist and ordered them from eBay!
|1998 Collector's Choice #443 John Olerud|
As I mentioned yesterday, Coors Field has been through some changes over the years. Just last season, The Rooftop opened where you see most of those stands in Olerud's card. They tore down the upper right field seats all the way to the corner (just barely visible on the right side of this card) and built an outdoor patio, complete with lounge areas, premium food and drink, and standing-room terraces with great views of the ballpark, Downtown Denver, and the mountains to the west.
Olerud, one of the few players to go straight to the Bigs without ever playing in the minors, certainly doesn't look too pleased about whatever just transpired on the diamond. He spent a few seasons as a Met, but I remember him as a Blue Jay, and a key part of the 1993 World Series, the first one I ever watched.
Not only does this card give you a great view of Coors Field's architecture, but also of Colorado's summertime weather. That is a pretty angry-looking storm cloud looming beyond right field, which is a pretty common occurrence in the Denver area. True rainy days are quite rare, but quick isolated thunderstorms are pretty common in the afternoons. They usually go west to east, meaning that whatever precipitation this cloud has in store is likely safely past the stadium and on its way to hammer the Eastern plains and airport.
That was your meteorology lesson for today, so let's move on to the next card.
|1995 Fleer Lumber Company #2 Albert Belle|
Notice I said "most" insert cards from 1995 Fleer. That statement does not include "Pro-Visions" cards, which are a perfect accompaniment to the crazed base set.
|1995 Fleer Pro-Visions #6 Manny Ramirez|
|1995 Fleer Pro-Visions #5 Tim Salmon|
But I already completed that set, as well as three others from 1995 Fleer. There's one card I need to finish off the 10-card League Leaders set, and it's of the late Tony Gwynn.
|1995 Fleer Ultra League Leaders #6 Tony Gwynn|
Apparently, Fleer was so busy in 1995 making some truly wacky cards that they couldn't be bothered to give Tony Gwynn a different card number in their premium set. It's still #6 (of 10, even). Paul O'Neill suffered the same fate in that checklist. I have relatively few cards from 1995 Fleer Ultra, and, as is common for mid-1990s cards, this is the first time I've known of or seen this particular design.
So, there are lots of questions to answer here. Is this the precise Tony Gwynn card from my Eight Men Out list? Not exactly. Is there a reasonable likelihood of confusion for a non-collector or eBay seller, based on Fleer's numbering snafu? Absolutely. Is this new to my collection and baseball card knowledge base? Yes.
Does it matter that I got a different Tony Gwynn League Leader card #6 of 10 printed by Fleer in 1995 than I had been on the hunt for? Nope. Am I grateful for having such wonderful loved ones that spend time and money on indulging this little hobby blog of mine?
You'd better believe it.