I learned a lot that day; that card prices had fallen quite a bit, overproduction cards were available for next to nothing, there were neat little relics of uniforms and bats, there wasn't much left in the way of Score or Donruss, and cards had gotten pretty shiny.
But the thing that stood out the most were serial numbers. Right there on the card was very official-looking proof of a card's scarcity. I came away with a nice stack of numbered refractors from 2003 Topps Chrome, just amazed that I had one of only 199 copies of each of the Black Refractors I purchased, like the below.
|2003 Topps Chrome Black Refractors #327 Jose Hernandez /199|
But that affinity for documented scarcity made a particular trade package from #Supertrader head honcho Jaybarkerfan's Junk pretty amazing. I had a really hard time narrowing down cards to scan for this post, because pretty much all of them had this:
|2002 Upper Deck Ballpark Idols #239 Rene Reyes /1750 (RC)|
It has all the correct dimensions of a standard card, but only has borders on three sides. The actual photo and the top banner continue right up to the edge, sort of like the Tibetan Flag. UD also uses one of their favorite devices to create a virtual 3D appearance, letting the photo overlap the other boxes, which makes the player appear to pop out of the card.
|2002 Diamond Kings #160 Aaron Cook (RC)|
Cook's red beard is painted the correct color, but his hair isn't. He has red hair too, but the artist chose to go with a reddish-brown for the canvas background, rather than Cook's hair, which would have been correct. What I do like about these cards is that they have a rather unique surface, a lot like a playing card.
|1993 Armando Reynoso The Queen of Spades|
|1997 Topps Chrome #26 Eric Young|
Topps Chrome was only around for two years when this was printed, and already the dreaded curl was starting to show up. This isn't too bad, nothing like some of the 2010s I saw. And they used a mirror finish, rather than the odd dot pattern found in the inaugural 1996 set.
|1996 Topps Chrome #122 Craig Biggio|
|2008 Finest Refractors Black #139 Seth Smith /99 (RC)|
|2013 Bowman Chrome Mini #137 Corey Dickerson|
A couple of top prospects like Jon Gray and Tom Murphy were also included, but Dickerson is the only one to have made a name for himself in the Majors. He's not even on the Rockies anymore; instead he's having a decent season so far down in Tampa Bay.
|2016 Topps Heritage #311 Jason Motte|
Also, that's my first look at 2016 Topps Heritage. 1967 isn't my favorite vintage set, but I do like the pale green of the card backs.
But Adam, where are all the serial numbers you promised? You've only done three so far, and one of those you already owned!
Fine. Brace yourselves.
|2007 Topps Co-Signers Silver Bronze #4a Garrett Atkins w/Jeff Francis /175|
|2008 Topps Co-Signers Silver Red #42a Todd Helton /400|
At least it's not a fractured set. But I can see why it flopped.
|2012 Bowman Prospects Blue #BP12 Rafael Ortega /500|
|2011 Topps Lineage Diamond Anniversary Platinum Refractors #118 Todd Helton|
|2002 Donruss Production Line #PL-25 Larry Walker SLG /662|
Incidentally, Night Owl received a pretty similar package, filled to the brim with scarce cards like this. Of course, his were Dodgers, but like that Orlando Hudson card from Colbey, another rogue NL Wester snuck into mine.
|2003 Upper Deck Classic Portraits #152 Chris Capuano MP /2003 (RC)|
|2004 Studio Rally Caps #RC-18 Joe Kennedy /999|
I remember David Freese's Rally Squirrel card, but I don't know if the Angels' Rally Monkey ever made it onto a card.
Superstitious lot, us baseball fans. I've sported a rally cap at Coors Field more than once.
|1996 Donruss Elite #71 Dante Bichette /10,000|
|2013 Bowman Chrome Purple Refractors #36 Troy Tulowitzki /199|
The paragraphs on the card backs of a prospect-heavy set like Bowman can usually be considered a scouting report, but with an established star like Tulo, his talents are well-known, like his "outstanding plate discipline" and that he's a "smooth defender with [a] rifle arm".
|2012 Topps Tier One Relics #TSR-TT Troy Tulowitzki /399 (MEM)|
It's hard to tell, but this doesn't look like silver foil to me. Rather, it looks more like a white gold. The color-coding is excellent, and the photograph is crystal clear. They chose an interesting stat for the back, writing about his career .389 average with the bases loaded. I imagine that's dropped a bit since then, but this is an absolutely gorgeous card. I wonder if this particular bat was used on any of those plate appearances.
|2015 Bowman's Best Best of '15 Autographs #B15-BR Brendan Rodgers|
Though it doesn't have a serial number like most cards in this post, it's a bold yet simple design, and is evidence of a Rockies farm system that is stronger than I can ever remember it being. Rodgers has lots of promise, Story is absolutely on fire, David Dahl is still coming along, and there are a slew of top pitching prospects to show for the Tulowitzki trade.
This was an amazingly generous trade package, and trust me when I say that the life of a #Supertrader is a good one. We still have openings for the Royals, Marlins, and Indians if you want in on some of this magic!