Friday, April 22, 2016

The Trading Post #62: Ain't Nobody Got Time for Cardboard

The Cardsphere is still drawing in new participants, like Andy from Ain't Nobody Got Time for Cardboard. He reached out to me a few weeks ago offering up some Rockies, and really took the time to understand what I liked as a collector, sending over a few shiny cards from other preferred teams of mine. I still owe him a return package, but please help me welcome him to the community!

2015 Stadium Club #206 Julio Teheran
Andy knows I am a big fan of Stadium Club, and though I have never cared much for the Braves, I am fairly certain this is a Coors Field card! There's a glimpse of a blue spruce past the center field wall in the Coors Field Forest, which happens to be Colorado's (and Utah's) state tree. There's a nice 40th Anniversary patch on Teheran's sleeve commemorating Hank Aaron's record-breaking 715th home run, and if my botany skills are correct, then this is from Teheran's start on June 11th, 2014, which the Rockies won by a score of 8-2.

2008 Upper Deck X Xponential #X-CW Chien-Ming Wang
At first glance, this card of Taiwanese pitcher Chien-Ming Wang looks like it might be from Coors Field as well. And though the Yankees did visit Coors Field in 2007 (and got swept, in fact), Wang did not appear in any of those games. That forced me to do some digging, and called into question any card I deemed a Coors Field card based on a low center field wall with foliage behind it. Turns out that Jacobs Field, home of the Indians, has a similar setup, and Wang did start there in an injury-shortened 2008 season on April 27th. This set was released late in the 2008 season, so it's plausible that the photo is from the same year, even though photos often predate the copyright date by a year.

Anyway, this card has lots of shine, lots of texture, and lots of Upper Deck's favorite letter, X, along with a shot of a commemorative patch for the final year of Yankee Stadium, further indicating that this photo is from 2008.

2000 Finest #190 Carlos Delgado
I was never a fan of these Blue Jays jerseys, but it's balanced out by 2000 Finest, a year from that brand I've always enjoyed. Delgado was originally a catcher, but turned into quite the slugger, spending most of his career on the Blue Jays and Mets. He ended up with darn near 500 home runs by the time he called it quits. One of those might be depicted on this card. Usually they know if they get under it and sky one to an outfielder.

2014 Donruss #301 Mike Trout
Even though he's not a Rockie, Mike Trout has appeared on this blog a few times already. Being the best player in baseball will do that. The unlicensed brands are happy to have him, I'm sure. We can't really tell that it's him, but the jersey is definitely the right color.

2016 Donruss Stat Line Career #71 Carlos Gonzalez /500
2016 Donruss keeps making appearances, but instead of a base card, this is a numbered parallel documenting CarGo's career stat line for slugging percentage. It's on the 1991-esque 2016 design, and after three years of this, it's becoming apparent that Donruss isn't planning on mixing it up that much from year to year, just like the late '80s and early '90s.

2016 Topps Opening Day Blue Foil #OD-38 Jon Gray
This Jon Gray card should look pretty familiar. The only differences from my previous post are that this is from the Opening Day set and is a foil parallel. I'd love to see a Trevor Story-esque performance from him when he returns to the Majors, like six straight wins or something, but we'll we'll see what happens once he makes his season debut tonight against Scott Kazmir and the first-place Dodgers.

1993 Rockies Team Stadium Club #29 Roger Bailey
Roger Bailey was an early draftee by the Rockies, and pitched for them for three seasons, coming up just short of a .500 record. This is from the same Team Stadium Club set as that Jeff Parrett card I had on my Eight Men Out list, and Andy included about two-thirds of that 30-card set. Bailey's got on a great piece of 1990s apparel, an official team Starter jacket. Anytime a pitcher donned one of these after hitting the basepaths, I looked on longingly. They're a bit out of fashion now, but this card serves as a reminder of how awesome these were when I first became a baseball fan.

1998 Upper Deck Special F/X #48 Neifi Perez
Unassisted Triple Play-er (in the Minors, that is) Neifi Perez is turning two against Dave Clark and the Cubs in this Upper Deck card from a partial parallel set. This is almost certainly a spring training shot, as that outfield wall is definitely not plant-based, as it would be if Clark were wearing his home uniform during the regular season. The back of the card shows the completion of this play, and has a sentence about Perez helping turn five double plays in one game against the Giants on June 26th, 1997. I remember Perez as a better defender than a hitter, and the last couple posts have confirmed that.

1997 Stadium Club #59 Andres Galarraga
First basemen are typically on the receiving end of a double play, with most of the magic being worked by the other infielders. The best first basemen can dig out a short hop or stretch to grab a ball a split second before a runner's arrival. But they have to be ready to field a pickoff attempt anytime there's a man on first. That looks to be the case here, as Carl Everett and Galarraga both check with the umpire to see what happened. Shea Stadium and its giant sea of blue is pretty easy to spot, even without the benefit of a Mets cameo.

Other than all the blue, the thing I remember most about Shea Stadium was that "No Pepper Games" sign printed on the wall behind home plate. It's also where the Rockies played their first-ever game in 1993.

2016 Wacky Packages MLB #85 Pop Fly Corn
Mmm... popcorn.

OK, how have these been a thing for almost 50 years and I've never heard of them? Is it because they finally started including these Wacky Packages sticker cards as inserts for 2016 Topps Baseball? Perhaps they're a bit too whimsical for my tastes, but Andy threw in three of these, and since popcorn is one of my favorite snacks, I figured I'd show it. I don't usually go for the buttered stuff, just a bit of salt and some dried herbs on the stuff I make on the stove. But yes, if you drench it in butter it might cushion an incoming baseball a bit. Even at ballpark prices, it should be marginally cheaper than catching one with your beer.

Seems like the perfect thing with which to catch a [puts on sunglasses] can of corn.

2013 Panini Cooperstown Green Crystal #7 Walter Johnson
But seriously, how about one of the all-time great pitching legends on a modern Panini card? He's the career leader in shutouts with an astonishing 110. I see that record standing for at least a few more years. There are a few colored parallels of this set, and somehow Andy knew I'd love the green one. And as good as Walter Johnson was, you don't really see that many cards of him in sets containing Hall-of-Famers.

If you ever ran across a 2011 Topps Chrome Atomic Refractor (and who hasn't?), the sparkle pattern on this Panini Cooperstown card is about the same. Lots of little rainbow triangles of varying size arranged haphazardly, sort of like little shards of broken glass encased in tile.

There are so many sparkle patterns from Topps that I had to check several binders to find the card I was thinking of, and here it is:

2011 Topps Chrome Atomic Refractors #21 Carlos Ruiz /225
That might be the pinnacle of my scanner's career. I've never seen a shiny card get captured that well, let alone on the first go. Picture that pattern on Johnson's card.

Panini. Catching up to Topps, one unlicensed set at a time.

Andy, thanks for the cards, and welcome to the blogging world!


  1. Glad you like! The pop fly corn was thrown in as a play on your blog title, and since balls fly so far at Coors, haha!

    1. Haha, thanks! I definitely did not put that together.