|1995 Flair #344 Dante Bichette|
The more I look at these Flair cards, the more I see where Topps Gold Label got its inspiration. In fact, Flair pretty much singlehandedly invented this type of super-premium card printed on thick card stock. Topps Museum Collection, Triple Threads, Panini Immaculate Collection, and plenty of others can trace their lineage to this brand right here. 1995 was a couple years into Flair's run, but they had the formula down by then. This one's still thin enough to fit in a standard top-loader, but it's as sturdy as a sheet of metal compared to its competition in 1995.
|2009 Upper Deck Icons #41 Garrett Atkins|
That was something I remember the Rockies doing a lot of in their last couple playoff appearances, especially once they reached the World Series, and in 2009. Later in the game, everyone who got up to the plate was clearly trying to hit a home run, and it usually resulted in a lot of strikeouts. Just putting the ball in play and getting guys on base is enough, as the Padres reminded the Rockies of last weekend, scoring 29 runs in the first two games of the series.
|2004 Fleer Ultra #293 Vinny Castilla|
|2002 Upper Deck #720 Larry Walker|
But now I'm second-guessing myself, since Walker doesn't have batting gloves on. More likely he nonchalantly trotted home from third on someone else's extra-base hit.
By the way, that's a fairly rare occurrence for the Rockies, to begin the season at home. more often than not, especially in recent seasons, they open up on the road and come back to Coors for a weekend series.
|1993 Leaf #312 Alex Cole|
|1993 Leaf #312 Alex Cole (Reverse)|
The skyline in Denver has changed quite a bit in the last few years. Coors Field was still under construction when this was printed, and looking at an aerial photo from 1993's home opener (also a season they started on the road), you can see that Denver has grown significantly since then. So has satellite mapping technology, for that matter. McNichols Arena and the old Mile High are gone, but Coors Field, the Pepsi Center, an amusement park, an aquarium, an expanded transit hub, residential high rises, and lots more have gone up since 1993, with more under construction.
|1996 Score #74 Vinny Castilla|
|1996 Pinnacle #107 Walt Weiss|
In all these years of looking at 1996 Pinnacle, I never noticed the tiny silhouette of a batter in the center of the gold pyramid. And I didn't even need my magnifying glass to finally spot it. I pulled out my 1996 binder and confirmed that they all seem to have it, even the pitcher cards. It never ceases to amaze me the things I still manage to unearth after a lifetime of collecting.
|2008 Topps Update #UH286 Aaron Cook AS|
Since the early 1960s, the National and American leagues alternated the host city of the All-Star Game until 2007, when the Giants hosted a year after the Pirates. This was done to ensure the All-Star Game in 2008 would be held in Yankee Stadium, its final year of existence before being replaced. In that research, I learned that there were two All-Star Games each year between 1959 and 1962. My first thought is that they played one on each coast to accommodate the teams that had recently moved out West, so players wouldn't have to schlep out to the East Coast for a single exhibition game. But the real reason turns out to be pretty dumb.
And that alternating trend will be broken for the foreseeable future, as NL parks are scheduled to host through 2018, marking four consecutive years including last year in Cincinnati. I don't know if that's because the AL always seems to win and they want to level the playing field a bit, or just because the NL has been building more new stadiums lately.
Probably the latter.
|2008 Topps Heritage #548 Glendon Rusch|
|2015 Topps Rainbow Foil #680 Nick Hundley|
|1995 Upper Deck Minors #101 Neifi Perez SH|
From some Minor League trivia to a tiny detail in a sea of gold foil, my first trade package from #SuperTrader Night Owl expanded my knowledge quite a bit.