As is true for many of our collections, 1996-2003 is a bit of a dark period. This break was particularly interesting, as the boxes Brian opened were these:
- 1996 Pinnacle
- 1999 Fleer Ultra
- 2002 Topps Gallery
- 2002 Fleer Greats
- 2003 Stadium Club
Although I was shut out of the Fleer Greats box (in fact, there are only a few expansion teams represented in that set), I ended up with some pretty nice cards from an underrepresented part of my collection.
As you might imagine, there were more than a few cards of Helton and Walker.
|2003 Stadium Club #94 Larry Walker|
No one did full-bleed designs better than Stadium Club, although Fleer Ultra ran a solid second for a few years.
|1999 Ultra #154 Darryl Kile|
|1999 Ultra #8 Mike Lansing|
|1999 Ultra Gold Medallion Edition #179G Larry Walker|
Next up is 1996 Pinnacle, starting with Andres Galarraga signing some autographs for what looks to be some young New York fans.
|1996 Pinnacle #93 Andres Galarraga|
I must admit, inconsistencies like that bug me a little. I suppose that obsessive tendencies aren't all that uncommon among baseball card collectors. I'm sure that more than a few set collectors were irritated when Topps "retired" #7 in their flagship set. I could write a whole blog post about card designs that are oriented opposite to what "feels" right to me.
In fact, I just might.
|1996 Pinnacle #139 Dante Bichette NAT|
Bichette's batting gloves are quite prominently featured both front and back, and that is one piece of equipment that's evolved quite a bit in two decades. They almost look like gauntlets now.
2002 Topps Gallery was a fine final choice. The images are all painted, and with cards like Gypsy Queen and Diamond Kings out there, Gallery is easily the best example of a painted card. Some of the late-'80s Diamond Kings look downright creepy.
|2002 Topps Gallery #105 Juan Pierre|
|2002 Topps Gallery #43 Mike Hampton|
I'm not sure whether I fared better or worse than the other break participants, as I don't recall seeing many other related posts. Regardless, these cards will go a long way to fill some gaps in my collection, and this was a fantastic idea on Brian's part!