In case you hadn't heard, the always generous Julie has picked the flag back up at A Cracked Bat, her wonderful blog that had been dormant for most of 2016. True to form, she included lots of high end cards that I have no idea where she gets. It's good to have a female perspective on the hobby, but as I recall it's pretty much just her and Ana Lu from Hobby Cards Europe, aside from the occasional guest post.
|2006 Fleer Tradition #165 Ryan Shealy (RC)|
So that doesn't leave a lot of room for guys like Ryan Shealy. He was drafted by the Rockies in 2002, and showed promise in his rookie 2005 season, but there just wasn't room for him. He was traded to the Royals for a couple relief pitchers, but only played three partial seasons for Kansas City.
Upper Deck had acquired Fleer by this time, and they kept the Tradition, um, tradition going for another couple years. Unlike the retro cardboard sets released around the turn of the millennium, this Tradition set is glossy and on white card stock. The yellow band at the bottom reminds me of the very yellow 1991 Fleer set, and I like the color coding and the little hat containing the team logo, a nod to 1981 Topps. 1981, of course, was the first year in ages that Topps had company in the marketplace, with Donruss and Fleer hitting the shelves. Fleer was on life support by this point, but Upper Deck was doing its best to save it.
Anyway, regardless of what was going on in the Hobby in 2006, it's for the best that the Rockies didn't unload Helton to make room for Shealy.
|2006 Fleer Tradition Triple Crown Contenders #TC-8 Todd Helton|
Julie must have opened a box of this stuff since there were a half-dozen or so cards from it in the package. But these two vying for first base stood out to me.
|2015 Topps Mini #683 LaTroy Hawkins|
You can imagine how tiny the statistics are printed, especially on a mini. Of course, 2017 cards omit all but the last five stat lines, which could be even fewer than five seasons if a mid-season trade took place. That new design decision also calls into question what a sunset card even is, since they won't have complete career statistics on their final card anymore. 2015 wasn't really that long ago, but a lot has changed.
The rosters have changed too, and it's surprising how different the roster is even a couple seasons later. Julie included the entire mini Rockies team set, minus Arenado and Justin Morneau's league leader card, who won the batting title in 2014. Blackmon, De La Rosa, LeMahieu are all in there, but plenty more, maybe even a majority, are long gone.
|2015 Topps Gypsy Queen Mini #78 Charlie Blackmon|
Makes me wonder how close I am to the rainbow. Probably still pretty far away, knowing Topps these days.
|2016 Bowman Platinum Top Prospects #TP-JH Jeff Hoffman|
Hoffman isn't in the regular rotation yet, but with the unfortunate return of Chad Bettis' cancer, he might be appearing in more 2017 games while we wish Bettis a speedy and full recovery.
|2016 Diamond Kings Framed #169 Tom Murphy|
When I got a similar card recently from UD Masterpieces, I even said that Diamond King cards were going for that type of look. With this card, I'll say they finally got what they were always after.
|1994 Collector's Choice Silver Signature #304 Eric Young|
|2016 Topps Tribute #17 Nolan Arenado|
Going back to the humidor from my previous post, this card points out that Nolan is the first Rockie to put up a 40-homer season since it was installed. Not even Todd Helton did that in the post-humidor era. Which makes a possible Hall of Fame case for Arenado more likely. I hope we don't have to wait that long to see a Rockie in Cooperstown, but if Larry Walker keeps getting the snub, I don't see who else would be on the horizon, other than Helton, who's a borderline case to begin with.
|2016 Topps Museum Collection #79 Corey Dickerson|
It's quite a striking card, the black border with the thin silver foil frame. Some of the lines around the Museum Collection logo are surprisingly even thinner and mostly uniform. And the photograph is as sharp as they come. When I hold such a card, I can't help but wonder how they can even print something like it. That Eric Young card is pretty nice compared to something twenty years its senior, but we're definitely living in the high definition era.
|2016 Topps Triple Threads Amethyst #88 Carlos Gonzalez /340|
Topps changed the Triple Threads logo for 2016, making me wonder if there was yet another high-end set out there. And as long as we're on T words, how about tessellation? The pattern of triangles in the background illustrates that concept of closely stacked similar shapes. By the way, Nolan Arenado isn't the only recent Rockie to hit 40 homers. CarGo accomplished the same feat in 2015, just a few days after Arenado hit the mark.
|2014 Topps Triple Threads Unity Relics #UJR-JCH Jhoulys Chacin /36 (MEM)|
Sometimes I wonder how these things are constructed. I'd certainly never tear apart a card like this, especially one with such a low print run, but I am curious as to how these little scraps of fabric stay in place so firmly. I'd be surprised if it were glued, as I'd expect an adhesive to discolor and seep through the fabric. Perhaps one day I'll appease my inquisitiveness and sacrifice a relic card.
You know, for science.