While it was nice to get away and relax for a while, the hobby was still in the back of my mind. I was frequently glancing at the many roadside stores, curious if I might find a card shop nestled in one of those towns. As we were preparing to head out of Arkansas and back toward Oklahoma City, my vigilance was rewarded just outside Fayetteville.
|1992 Bowman #611 Bill Swift (FOIL)|
I spotted a small white sign as we were about to leave town. A few quick turns later, I walked through a windowless and unassuming white door. Inside, I found Cleve's Baseball Cards and Collectibles to be a well-stocked shop, and after wandering around for a few minutes, I asked for a box of baseball singles to dig through, affording me a #walletcard photo op.
Bill Swift's card above was the first one I picked out of that box, which more or less ended up being a quarter box, once we settled up. Gold foil from the early '90s draws me in no matter which state I'm in.
|1994 Score Gold Rush #118 Willie Blair|
|1999 Upper Deck 10th Anniversary Team #X5 Cal Ripken|
There's a tiny photo of Ripken's actual 1989 card on the back, and they picked a pretty similar shot for this anniversary card. I didn't know the specifics of this card when I set it aside, but an iconic design is always worth a second look.
|2001 Topps Through The Years Reprints #50 Derek Jeter '93|
Topps released many reprints in their golden anniversary year, spanning insert sets, a large subset of the Traded set, and even some gold-bordered Factory Set exclusives.
|2001 Topps Through The Years Reprints #42 Ken Griffey, Jr. '92|
|1994 Leaf Slideshow #6 Barry Bonds|
It's full color and everything. And if you could hack a slide projector to fit a baseball card, I'm sure it would project nicely before melting.
And now, how about a few cards with absolutely no gold foil at all?
|2005 Finest #162 Reggie Jackson RET|
I've compared the hexagon-heavy 2003 Finest to 2014 Stadium Club Triumvirates, so if one wants a preview for what Topps has up its sleeve in coming years, Finest seems to be a good place to look.
Speaking of 2014 Stadium Club, this was the first time I found the set in a discount box.
|2014 Stadium Club #53 Willie Mays|
2014 Stadium Club is only a 200-card set, and I'd love to build the whole thing. I've yet to purchase any 2015, but from what I've seen so far in the blog community, I don't like it as much as this epic 2014 set.
|2000 Topps Tek Pattern 5 #9 Andruw Jones|
|1996 Leaf Preferred Steel #2 Paul Molitor|
|1992 Kellogg's All-Stars #1 Willie Stargell|
|2000 Pacific Crown Royale #89 Rickey Henderson|
Henderson in a Mets uniform is pretty unfamiliar, but he did play for quite a few teams in his long career, especially toward the end. Unlike, say, John Elway, he didn't quite know when to hang them up, and he kept signing with whatever team would take him.
Just when you thought Pacific cards couldn't get any crazier, they go and do something like this:
|1998 Pacific Paramount Special Delivery #20 Jose Cruz, Jr.|
The back looks like a postcard, with a second photo in the upper right made to look like a postage stamp, echoing the overall outline of this card. The font on the back is script, clearly mimicking handwriting. It's sort of like the Studio credit card idea on steroids. Which is entirely appropriate for 1998.
I guess when you stumble on a card shop a thousand miles from home that's run by a Rockies fan, anything goes.