|2014 Topps Chrome Black Refractors #190 Carlos Gonzalez /100|
In addition to that gorgeous rarity above, Brian sent a little bit of everything, starting with a brand that wouldn't be out of place in one of Nick's horror movies.
|2014 Topps Gypsy Queen #9 Nolan Arenado|
I feel like these tobacco-era reproductions have gotten a bit long in the tooth, although this year's Gypsy Queen is a strong effort.
|2001 Topps Heritage #147 Masato Yoshii|
I usually find facsimile signatures completely distracting and interfering, but in the '52 set, there's a perfect little spot for them. And the first-ever Japanese player to suit up for the Rockies gives us one of the most interesting facsimile signatures of them all.
Brian was sure to include some mid-1990s cards decked out in gold foil. Of course, pretty much every card from that era had gold foil, but Topps Gold arguably kickstarted that trend.
|1993 Topps Gold #606 Jayhawk Owens|
|1997 Pinnacle Inside #147 Neifi Perez|
One fun fact about Pinnacle cards that I learned quite recently is that they have an anti-counterfeit measure. We all know about the Upper Deck hologram, but Pinnacle did something similar starting in 1991. Flip almost any Pinnacle card over (or even Score, if you move a few years forward in your collection), and you'll see a small, gray rectangle with very narrow black lines.
|1997 Pinnacle Inside #147 Neifi Perez (Reverse)|
I'm sure this could easily be defeated with the high-definition imaging tools we have today, but it was a clever and hopeful idea to implement as the baseball card bubble inflated.
Die cut cards may have been a bit less clever. There's really not much you can do with them besides cut a fairly boring curve or two, or just go completely nuts and give it more facets than a cut diamond. There's not a lot of middle ground.
|2000 Crown Royale #45 Rolando Arrojo|
Although, if anyone cared enough to send off a card like this for grading, finding a Gem Mint 10 with that many opportunities for flaws seems next to impossible.
|2004 Ultra Gold Medallion #179 Rene Reyes|
Die cuts are usually interesting to look at, but they're pretty delicate, and are pretty tough to put in a 9-pocket page without dinging at least one of their many edges. Maybe I'll change my tune a bit if I complete one of those hexagonal triumvirates combos from 2014 Stadium Club.
|1993 SP #153 Bret Saberhagen|
This (literally) Super Premium set from 1993 gives you that aforementioned Upper Deck hologram in gold, as well as the usual legendary Upper Deck photography, and a bit of color-coding, to boot.
I'm guessing he wasn't pitching that day.
|1995 Fleer Lumber Company #7 Fred McGriff|
What's extra special about this card is that it was from my Eight Men Out list! This particular card of the Crime Dog happens to be the last one I needed to complete this 10-card insert set, and it's the third time Brian spent the time and money to pick up a specific card on my behalf. The Eight Men out list has already been a huge success, and I have bloggers like Brian, as well as my family, to thank.