Monday, February 29, 2016

The Trading Post #54: Jaybarkerfan's Junk

As you may be aware, I am the Rockies representative in the #SuperTraders group spearheaded by Wes of Jaybarkerfan's Junk. He might be the most prolific trader in our whole community, as many bloggers quake in their boots at the prospect of a "bombing", a personalized trade package that really can't be matched, hard though you might try.

As a Rockies collector, there are relatively few overproduction cards of my team out there, other than 1993 and 1994. While I'm still buried up to my neck in cards from that era, like we all are, few of them come via trade packages. A coworker dropped a stack of at least 200 cards from 1991 and 1992 Topps on my desk at work today, and while many of the things he found when cleaning out his garage this weekend ended up in the trash, he knew he had a buddy that would be happy to thumb through some old Topps cards.

My inaugural #SuperTraders trade package, of course from Wes, had a few from 1993, but a surprisingly large portion of this shipment contained cards and sets I had never seen before.

2014 Bowman Sterling Prospects #BSP-9 Jon Gray
Cards like Bowman Sterling, a very shiny card with a basic silver background. It has sort of a cloudy appearance near the corners (much like 2016 Topps Base), and not quite the same mirror finish as Pinnacle Certified, but you could probably use this thing to tie a tie in case of emergency. It has some of Possible Future Rockies Ace Jon Gray's vital stats spelled out on the front, sort of a combination of Allen & Ginter and 1995 Fleer.

So there you go. Put 1995 Fleer, any A&G card, 2016 Topps, and 1997 Pinnacle Certified in a gene splicer, and you'll get 2014 Bowman Sterling, a new set in my collection.

2005 Artifacts Rainbow Blue #93 Todd Helton /100
Upper Deck made a ton of sets in the mid-2000s. MLB Artifacts definitely sounded familiar, and I did manage to find a lone card from 2005's release already in my collection. This Todd Helton card is the Rainbow Blue variety, with Todd Helton's initials in the background having the appearance of being carved in marble. The dark blue foil is a little hard to read, but you pretty much have to do something with the color to make a parallel, and with no border, foil it is.

2009 Bowman Chrome Blue Refractors #93 Brad Hawpe /150
A Bowman card of Brad Hawpe also gets the blue parallel treatment, though with a slightly more plentiful print run of 150. This is from the 2009 set (yes, I had to look it up), but I do give this card an extra nod for including the player's uniform number in the lower left. Few card brands do that, but it's a nice addition when not accompanied by a zillion other things. I'm looking at you, 1996 Donruss!

2010 Topps Copper #429 Seth Smith /399
The serial numbered goodness continues with this 2010 card, from Topps' 59th year of production. The left-hand curve makes this a distinctive set, as does the gigantic team logo in the lower left, something Upper Deck was not permitted to do that year. I don't remember what we agreed this set should be called (the curve set?), but to me, it's the "Lording It Over Upper Deck" set.

At first glance, you might think this is one of the gold parallels, but the border color is actually copper, an entirely different parallel set, with about one-fifth the print run. Or five times scarcer, if you prefer your math that way. I really dislike saying there is "more less" of something, which is what you're basically doing when you use a multiple with a word indicating less. No one says "My wallet has five times less money in it than it did before I did a beer and snack run at the ballpark."

Just a style preference. But anyway, /399. And it's my first 2010 copper parallel.

1995 Stadium Club #499 Andres Galarraga EC
Most of what I've shown you so far is pretty unfamiliar to me. I recognize a couple of the base designs, but there are definitely no duplicates so far. Same goes for this Galarraga card. I recognize the 1995-1996 Stadium Club logo, but never ran across an "Extreme Corps" card before. That's surprising, since I actually opened packs of this set in my first round of collecting. 1996 Stadium Club was one of the last sets I bought before I lost interest for several years.

Even more surprising is that this isn't even an insert. It's a subset. It's just a base card from 1995 Stadium Club, and I'm baffled that I never knew it existed.

So this is what a JBF bombing looks like, eh? I think I like this Super Trader thing.

1995 Finest #68 Dante Bichette
Finally, something I recognize! All those new cards were blowing my mind a little bit, so it's nice to return to normalcy for a few paragraphs.

Topps Finest was three years old by this time, and though it doesn't have the gorgeous green shade of 1994, I was still pretty blown away that a baseball card could look so much like a jewel. Then Topps turned it into one of those atrocious fractured sets, and it took a while before I started liking it again.

If there's one thing I could banish from the history of baseball cards, it would be fractured sets. Manufactured relics, sticker autographs, dozens of colored parallels, junk wax, reprints of five-year-old cards, the mind-numbing sameness of Bowman, <insert your most hated year> Donruss, and all the other things we card bloggers like to nitpick could all stay. Even short prints. Fractured sets are the devil.

2005 Upper Deck Marquee Attractions Jersey #MA-TH Todd Helton (MEM)
And now we're right back to cards I've never seen before. This one happens to have the playfully coincidental card number of "MA-TH", but there's also a pinstriped swatch relic in there! The design of this UD card hides the presence of the relic like no set I've ever seen before. It took a few trips through the stack before I even realized there was one. I like it, though! It has sort of an art deco look, perhaps what a relic card would look like if they existed in the mid-20th century. And like all UD cards, it contains that reassuring hologram on the back.

2000 Upper Deck Hitter's Club #84 Ben Petrick HS
If not for a very recent Mystery Pack, this Hitter's Club card would have been another novel set to me. It has the same mint green foil as that Marlins card, but this time with a Coors Field shot in the background!

There are a few bloggers out there with Ben Petrick player collections. I don't remember much about him other than being one or two fans away from getting his autograph before he retreated into the dugout, but I didn't look into his story until recently, after wondering why a Giants blogger was so interested in the guy. Turns out, he was diagnosed with Parkinson's disease in his rookie year. Despite that, he still hung around the Majors for five years, before having to retire at 27 due to the condition.

He remains active in the baseball world, and as an advocate for the disease. I'm not sure whether any of his cards reference this, but to have a Major League career of any length while battling that is quite amazing.

2010 Upper Deck Tape Measure Shots #TMS-20 Ian Stewart
1955 Bowman, and 1962 and 1987 Topps will always be the woodgrain sets, but there are insert sets that carry on the theme. Fleer's Lumber Company comes to mind, but not as much as this UD insert card from 2010. This year was the end of Upper Deck's presence in the baseball card market, which is unfortunate, to say the least. This is a pretty cool card, and I especially like the details of the exact date. UD has always been really good at helping collectors date cards, even if they took it way overboard with their 5,000-card Documentary set.

464 feet is a pretty impressive distance to hit a ball. That's about a 7-iron for me.

2014 Topps Opening Day Stars #ODS-7 Carlos Gonzalez
I'll close with one of the few sets I knew existed before this package arrived. I have a few cards from this 3D insert set found in 2014 Opening Day. And I should, since I bought two blasters of the stuff. Still, though the Rockies were well-represented in the Opening Day Stars insert set, CarGo and Tulo's cards have eluded me until now. I think. Unless they're in the 5,000 count box that these fifty-plus trades have been going into for the past couple years.

I have lots of binder work to do, especially since I'm now a #SuperTrader.

But not as super as Wes.


  1. Do ya really want some Rockies? Ask Wes if it is okay I send you a few. (that is what I call a few) he'll know what I mean.

  2. That tape measure shot card is really cool.

  3. That Galarraga insert gave me chills. The good kind of chills.