Monday, April 11, 2016

The Trading Post #60: The Junior Junkie

Shortly before the birth of his son, The Junior Junkie cluster bombed the Cardsphere with a huge stack of trades. Clearly he has his hands full with the new addition, as his blog has been quiet the last couple weeks. Congratulations to him and his family on a healthy baby boy!

We might not see much activity from this #Supertrader for a while, but I did get a nice stack of cards from him, starting with this partially transparent Todd Helton card:

2013 Pinnacle Clear Vision Hitting Single #59 Todd Helton
It's a lot more silver than it looks in the scan.

I saw that giant Pinnacle logo in the lower right, and at first glance, I thought it might be from their then-final 1998 release. But Helton didn't have a goatee then, and the copyright date says 2013. I guess I didn't realize that Panini resurrected the Pinnacle brand, but that only lasted a year. 

The "single" lettering in the transparent area leads me to believe this is probably the most common in a series of parallels. Sure enough, Beckett confirms this, with Double, Triple, Home Run , and 1/1 Cycle varieties listed.

Flip this card over and the clear cutout section looks a lot like the State of Illinois. And that font they used for "Single" looks a lot like the old United Airlines logo. This card does have a 1990s feel, reminding me of those see-through Skybox E-X 2000 cards from 1997, not to mention Pinnacle of that same year. And you don't often see that much gold foil anymore, at least not all in one spot.

2016 Donruss #103 Charlie Blackmon
Panini is definitely looking to the past to create their new designs, as I can't really see anything other than 1991 Donruss in this design. Also a bit of 1989 Topps in the two rounded border corners. Just like how the tiny baseballs of 2014 and 2015 Donruss look pretty much like the 1987 set, the slant of the background design mimics 1991, though without all the random colored lines and dots and squiggles. I haven't blogged about that set before, but it might be the most overproduced set in history, so you shouldn't have much trouble picturing it. The backs are standard Donruss too, though they used a pleasant sand color, which is a nice backdrop for the black text.

1998 Crown Royale #50 Ellis Burks
With all this talk of older designs, there were actually a few older cards in here, including a "princess card" of 30-30 man Ellis Burks. There's a glimpse of the Rockies' 1998 All-Star patch, but the giant gold die-cut crown pretty much steals the show. The back points out that he started the 1998 season with five home runs in his first eight games.

Nice, but not quite Trevor Story numbers.

1992 Upper Deck Gold Hologram #710 Ryan Turner
Though he never progressed past AA, Ryan Turner was the first-ever player in the Rockies organization. We see the pre-inaugural Rockies logo that was never used on the field, as well as a very Ted Kluszewski-style sleeveless shirt. The back talks about the bidding war between the Rockies and Marlins for Turner, as well as the expansion draft, scheduled for November 1992.

What makes this card more special is the rare gold hologram. Unlike most gold parallels of the day, this was not a one-per-pack treasure. It was only found in factory sets. I've run across a few like that, which always slightly disappoints me. Somewhere out there, a Factory Set is missing its Ryan Turner card.

1999 Topps #442 Matt Holliday / Jeff Winchester (RC)
Like Ryan Turner, Jeff Winchester never made it past AA-ball. But his cardmate, Matt Holliday, continues to have a highly successful career. He won the NLCS MVP award with the Rockies in 2007, a World Series ring with St. Louis in 2011, and has been elected to the All-Star team numerous times, including last year.

That is a long career with a lot of recent success, and Holliday's tenure on the Rockies doesn't seem that long ago. But the fact that this card is from 1999 is a little hard to comprehend.

2008 Upper Deck #775 Troy Tulowitzki CL
I can always appreciate a Upper Deck base card, even if I have a bit of trouble telling the years apart. This is actually a checklist card, but it still shows Troy Tulowitzki in excellent form. More relevant to the current Rockies season, we also see the right-center outfield wall, which is no longer in the form pictured on this card. They raised the outfield wall eight feet from by adding a chain-link fence from the right field scoreboard to the edge of the bullpens.They also raised the wall five feet down the left field line.

Interestingly, there's no yellow line at the top anymore, which is surprising. Surely no one will leap that high, but I'm sure umpires would like to have it. It also is a telltale signature for spotting Coors Field cards, which just got a little more difficult. But not too many stadiums have a coniferous forest just past the center field wall.

2015 Topps Triple Threads #13 Troy Tulowitzki
One nice thing about these super-thick cards is that I don't have to worry that a corner will get dinged if I drop it off a table. Though you can't really put them back-to-back in a 9-pocket page, they always feel....important. We don't get a great look at an actual Rockies logo here, as it's partially hidden under Tulo's wrists. If you were just browsing, this could be mistaken for a Panini card, perhaps from their Immaculate Collection premium set.

2006 Upper Deck Signature Sensations #SS-GA Garrett Atkins (AU)
In addition to all these great cards so far, The Junior Junkie threw in a couple of Autographs. This isn't my first Garrett Atkins auto, and he definitely signed a lot of cards in his heyday. From Castilla to Arenado, third base for the Rockies has always been a prime position. Though it's a sticker autograph, Upper Deck wisely used a sightly rough surface for the signature area, reducing the likelihood of the ink to bleed or smear. Just another UD innovation that we can expect Topps to adopt in the next decade or so.

2007 UD Masterpieces Stroke of Genius Signatures #SG-JB Jeff Baker (AU)
I have a few Jeff Baker autographs too, most of which came from Matthew at Bob Walk the Plank. I've noticed that Baker's autograph tends to be more consistent than Atkins, but I'm happy with either, as they were both members of that fabled 2007 pennant-winning team. And with all these UD autograph cards, I have plenty of tiny facsimile signatures of Richard P. McWilliam, whose printed autograph on the back certifies the authenticity of all these signed cards.

Unfortunately, Upper Deck forgot the "i before e except after c" rule, misspelling "masterpeices" (sic) on both front and back, an error they made in the entire memorabilia set. It's a fairly glaring blemish on a beautiful design and paper surface. Not exactly a "stroke of genius". But unlike Atkins' card, this does have a gold hologram.

1987 Topps Custom #NNO The Junior Junkie (AU)
To top it all off, this #Supertrader threw in a custom, printed up by none other than Topps itself on the classic 1987 design. The current Mariners logo didn't exist at that time, but neither did 1989 Upper Deck. Yes, that's one of the more famous examples of a #walletcard in our community, though I can't really explain the rest of this card other than the beads. He's from New Orleans, and that is a ubiquitous Mardi Gras accessory. He even sent me a purple necklace in our first trade last year.

Topps executives might be a little ticked seeing Upper Deck's most important card on an iconic Topps design, but if The Junior Junkie wants to make a custom, sign it, and address it to me by name, I'm fine with that. I like this product offering from Topps, and it reminds me a bit of those custom-printed M&Ms you can order. Great for marketing, events, and promoting your blog!

That marks three autographs in one package, and I could even make a meta-wallet card of the Junior Junkie's wallet card if I wanted to.

Those are the highlights from this veteran of the Cardsphere! And on the Rockies Rookie front, Trevor Story's home run streak came to an end Saturday, but he did hit one more in yesterday's series finale, bringing him up to seven.


  1. I always think of Matt Holliday as a relatively recent force to emerge in the MLB. However, you're quite right - the fact that his rookie card is from 1999 is a sobering fact.

  2. "Topps executives might be a little ticked seeing Upper Deck's most important card on an iconic Topps design"

    I was thinking this when I put the card together on the Topps site! I'm a sneaky devil...

    Glad you like the cards! Never noticed that Masterpieces typo.