Saturday, December 26, 2015

The Trading Post #51: Cards My Mother Didn't Throw Out

Another Christmas has come and gone, and I hope everyone's was wonderful. With both my parents out of town, the usual Christmas traditions didn't take place as they normally do, but that left plenty of time to forge a few new ones.

Shortly before Christmas, reader Jared reached out to me inquiring about a trade, seeing if I had some Diamondbacks to swap. Daniel at It's Like Having My Own Card Shop has ended up with most of what I had available over the past year or so, but I was able to find enough in the extras box to fill a 9-pocket page for a PWE.

Jared has been so impressed with our little community that he decided to start up his own blog, Cards My Mother Didn't Throw Out. I have the honor of being the subject of his inaugural post, which went up today! Go check his blog out and welcome him to the Cardsphere! If anyone out there has Diamondbacks to trade, Jared's on the lookout, specifically for their purple and teal uniforms, and of course that 2001 World Series team.

Jared and I happen to be located in the same state, so swapping PWEs had a pretty quick turnaround, and he put together a pretty nice one to kick off his blogging career.

1998 Stadium Club #209 Neifi Perez
The Raised Baseball set (aka 1998 Stadium Club) makes another appearance on this blog, with a fantastic action shot of Rockies infielder Neifi Perez diving back to first to avoid a pickoff. That's quite the cloud of dust, so he must have been taking a huge lead here. That is a road jersey, though, and the color of the turf in the background looks artificial to me. So maybe the infield dirt just doesn't really get watered in those stadiums. Probably why it always seemed to pile up at the base of the pitcher's mound and along the basepaths.

1995 Leaf #296 Bruce Ruffin
That's definitely natural grass on Ruffin's card, in fact the grass at Mile High Stadium. You can spot a couple orange seats behind the outfield wall, and this 1995 Leaf card uses a shot from the 1994 season, the Rockies' second and last at Mile High before they moved to Coors Field.

Leaf is another one of my favorite sets from 1995. Both that giant team name and the headshot on the left have a rainbow foil finish, along with fairly readable gold script lettering for the name. The stats on the back are a little sparse (to say nothing of the strike shortened season), but there are no fewer than four photographs of the player on this card, including the back.

1995 Leaf #286 Bruce Ruffin (Reverse)
It also has one of the larger card numbers that I can recall, made even bigger by the huge silver seal surrounding it. Leaf used the baseball stadium shape prolifically in this design, as it made up the Leaf logo, the headshot frame, and the central design focus of the card back, with the player's vital statistics cleverly forming the foul lines.

2002 Fleer Ultra #153 Alex Ochoa
Fleer was still a going concern in 2002, and they were still going with the borderless look that pretty much everyone but Topps had adopted on all but the retro sets.

Alex Ochoa, only a Rockie for about half a season, is riding the cushioned pine in a very blue dugout. That is definitely not Coors Field; as they use a dark green. I'm thinking this might be Shea Stadium. That, or the Rockies were playing an exhibition game against the Smurfs.

2008 Stadium Club #56 Garrett Atkins
I've seen this card before, but can't remember whether I posted about it. Horizontal cards usually contain an interesting photograph, and this one is no different. You can just see the ball coming into the frame in the lower right, and the photographer used a fast enough shutter speed to even freeze the rapidly spinning laces. This one looks like it's about knee-high, but you know how balls like that can dive out of the strike zone. Hopefully Atkins laid off this one.

I am not terribly familiar with 2008 Stadium Club. It's a far cry from the awesomeness they've put out the last two years running. But I feel like Topps got the color scheme wrong here. Not the first time I've seen that in a color-coded set, but powder blue has never been a Rockies color. This set has appeared on Infield Fly Rule twice before, and both of those had a proper purple and gray.

Somehow it seems that Atkins got the Tampa Bay Rays treatment, at least on the front. The card back does have the correct color scheme.

2008 Stadium Club First Day Issue Unnumbered #129a Elliot Johnson (RC)
See what I mean?

That's a fantastic action shot, by the way. I hardly know a thing about Elliot Johnson, and even less about whoever he's smacking into at the plate, but I guess 2008 Stadium Club wasn't all that bad. Like Panini Prizm, it's another generally disliked set that doesn't really bother me.

2015 Bowman Chrome Prospects Blue Wave Refractors #BCP187 Kyle Freeland
As is usual for recent Bowman sets, or any Bowman Prospect set for that matter, I have never heard of Kyle Freeland. The Rockies drafted him in 2014, and he's been inching his way up the farm system for a couple seasons. Turns out he's a local kid, having attended Thomas Jefferson High School in southern Denver. And he wasn't even born when the Rockies played their first few games. He was a first-round pick, so he's indicative of the Rockies' new focus on developing young pitchers. Hopefully he, Jon Gray, and the guys they traded Tulowitzki for pan out.

This is a delightfully shiny card, and surprisingly thick. The rainbow lines catch the light from a few different directions. and obviously it has a blue border, one of only two bordered cards Jared included in the whole envelope.

After checking Beckett, I don't think it's the Blue Refractor, as it lacks a serial number. Nor is it the Blue Twitter Refractor, because what even is that? That leaves the Blue Wave Refractor, an un-serialed parallel that matches the shape of the rainbow lines on the front.

2015 Topps Triple Threads Unity Relics #UJR-CDN Corey Dickerson /36 (MEM)
Jared said that he recently picked up a "sweet" Rockies card which he promised to send to me. That must be this one, which contains by far the largest relic I've ever seen. I do know they have those jumbo swatches, but I've never run across one. So this double-tall bat relic from 2015 Topps Triple Threads, numbered to just 36 copies (double chai for us Hanukkah celebrators), takes the crown for Largest Relic In My Collection. Pretty cool.

Thanks Jared, and welcome to the community! Hopefully you can strike up a trading relationship with a few more of us.

1 comment:

  1. I got the blue wave refractor from an online case break earlier this year. I don't know how many prints they run for this particular card, but the card shop making the break mentioned that Topps inserts random "waves" of cards in "hit boxes".