Friday, January 20, 2017

The Trading Post #87: cards as i see them

Veterans of the Cardsphere (am I the only one still using that term?) know garvey cey russell lopes as one of the well-known early entrants into our community. Its writer wrapped up that particular blog in 2015, but couldn't stay away blogging for long, starting up a new one in September called cards as i see them. It has his trademark no-capitalization style, though I can confirm that his handwriting doesn't follow the same pattern, based on the PWE I got from him right around Christmas.

2013 Topps Chrome Update #MB-15 Michael Cuddyer
Inside that envelope was another iteration of Michael Cuddyer's 2013 Update card, this one of the Chrome variety. Right around the same time, the Gold version arrived from It's Like Having My Own Card Shop. I can't decide which of the colored borders I like best, but orange with the silver background looks surprisingly good. I had to look up why the card number has "MB" in it, and it's because these cards were sold in "Mega-Boxes" back in 2013. It's pretty much just a blaster, so I'm not sure why that packaging warranted a card number like that, but that's how they did it.

I just don't think I quite get Update.

2013 Topps Update 1971 Topps Minis #14 Troy Tulowitzki
Maybe it's just Chrome, though. Because this mini of Tulowitzki makes much more sense to me. I'm sure anyone who actually collected 1971 Topps will wonder what the heck I'm talking about, but I grew up being able to afford reprints, not the real thing. So current players on old designs seems like quite a good idea.

This is definitely a recycled photo, but it does look good when placed next to Cuddyer's card, as they've both been captured at precisely the same point in the swing from the same angle. Tulo looks a little behind the ball here, but it's a Coors Field shot, and this particular cropping of the photo shows us that they were playing the Padres that day. As we know now, the Padres are the last pro team remaining in San Diego, with the Chargers moving to L.A. next season. I didn't know this, but both the Rockets and Clippers of the NBA originally played in San Diego, before moving to Houston and Los Angeles, respectively.

Good thing Los Angeles already has two pro baseball teams, otherwise San Diego might be without a major league team before long.

2014 Panini Prizm Prizms Red White and Blue Pulsar #100 Jorge De La Rosa
Panini Prism took a page from Topps Chrome and went a little crazy with colored borders. There are more than a handful listed on Beckett, and this one is the particularly odd Red, White, and Blue Pulsar variety. Rotate it 90 degrees clockwise and you have the French flag, which actually looks pretty cool when held at arm's length. And I was so distracted by these colors and the dot pattern in the background that I didn't even notice there were no logos! Well, other than Nike. But I've flogged that dead horse before.

2011 Topps Heritage Black #C94 Ubaldo Jimenez
When 2011 rolled around, it was time for Topps Heritage to use the 1962 design that I so adore. Of course, it got the parallel treatment too, such as this Black variety. The border isn't entirely black, but they gave it this sort of charred wood look which looks great. It's a clever idea to implement on a woodgrain design. I'm interested to see if they do the same thing in 2036 when the 1987 design gets its turn with the Heritage treatment.

Of course, that assumes that Heritage, or even Topps itself will still be around in 2036.

Maybe by 2036 the Rockies will have had a 20-game winner. As it stands now, Ubaldo holds the Rockies single-season record, with 19 wins. This card was printed the year after that, so his 19-8 record is proudly displayed on the back. He finished third in NL in strikeouts, wins, and Cy Young voting. Perhaps the fact that he led the NL in wild pitches and finished second in walks issued hurt his chances at that accolade a bit.

2009 O-Pee-Chee #73 Ian Stewart
I never opened any, but I'm probably getting pretty close to completing the team set from 2009 O-Pee-Chee. It's an understated retro set, although the photos are significantly sharper than they are on Heritage, making it feel just a little bit too modern. I'm sure this was taken in Hi Corbett Field, the former Spring Training home of the Rockies. That scoreboard just visible on the left matches up with photos I've taken of it.

2016 Topps Update #US256a Nolan Arenado AS
Ian Stewart held down the hot corner for several years, but was traded to the Cubs for DJ LeMahieu, and clearing the way for Mr. Arenado and his four straight Gold Gloves.

Arenado was an All-Star in 2016, meaning he had the privilege (?) of wearing the retro yellow and brown All Star jerseys in San Diego. He did better in the field than at the plate, but anytime you're on the All Star team, you're pretty much guaranteed to get a card in Topps Update.

Starting this season, the All-Star Game is just going to be about having fun and putting on a show again, rather than determining the league with home-field advantage. But perhaps that doesn't really matter. In the 14-season period that the All-Star Game "counted", the NL was 3-11, but 8-6 in the World Series. However, in the three seasons the NL did have home field, (2010-2012), they also won the World Series.

I'm sure there's more in-depth analysis out there than that. But either way, if the Midsummer Classic can just be about having fun and wearing oddly-colored jerseys, I am fine with that.


  1. I've learned to embrace the logo-lacking Panini products. Donruss base is ugly, Prizm wasn't much better but i love the inserts. The r,w & b pulsars were some of my favorites.

  2. I am a big fan of Panini Baseball stuff. Just wished they were MLB logo'd