Wednesday, October 29, 2014

The Trading Post #5: All the Way to the Backstop

When it nears the end of a month, things tend to get a little crazy at work. Though I am awash in cards right now (I've picked up a 5000-count box at each of the last two monthly card shows), it's unlikely that I'll be able to make another post in October, which means that I've done a whole month of nothing but trade posts!

Wrapping up my first round of trades, I received a shipment of assorted cardboard from Marcus, the writer of the Padres-focused All the Way to the Backstop. I found plenty of Gwynns and Finleys for him, as you can see here.

Before this shipment, I was not familiar with this insert set from 2013 Topps. This example of Making Their Mark shows Wilin Rosario taking a mighty cut in Coors Field.

2013 Topps Making Their Mark #MM-10 Wilin Rosario
There's just enough purple in this design without it being distracting. It's more of an accent, even showing up in "Baby Bull's" batting gloves and in the dugout roof (perhaps the best clue for spotting a Coors Field Card).

I haven't been this much into collecting in many, many years, so I've gotten to know the 2014 Topps set pretty well. That's why this Dylan Bundy card jumped out at me, since I didn't recognize it at all. I did a little digging and it turns out this is a rare variation short-print card, few of which I've seen in person.

2014 Topps #531B Dylan Bundy SP (USA Jersey)
This inspired me to re-examine several stacks from my extras box, and I was able to locate a couple others, like this "Rally Squirrel" variant of David Freese's 2012 issue.

2012 Topps #273B David Freese SP (Holding Squirrel)
These short prints are a bit of a pain to identify in a giant stack of duplicates, but...Squirrel!

For all the overproduction cardboard out there, I seem to have relatively few insert cards from that era. They're much appreciated, especially when they're of Griffey, Jr. or his superstar twin, Frank Thomas, the two who tended to command the highest Beckett values in those heady days.

1992 Fleer All-Stars #23 Ken Griffey, Jr.
It's a bit off-centered and has an unsightly print spot, but 1992 was before card companies got crazy with gold foil and LSD designs. Just a nice, simple, black-bordered card with a bit of gold accent to catch the eye.

Marcus also threw in some extra-premium cards, one from a millennium-era SP Authentic set, and another from the ultra-expensive Topps Museum Collection.

2000 SP Authentic #52 Fernando Tatis
2012 Topps Museum Collection #23 Tony Gwynn
These two have surprisingly similar designs, considering they're from different companies and separated by a dozen years. I believe this is now my fifth card from Museum Collection (equivalent to a pack), and I doubt I've paid more than a buck or two for them all. Which is odd, because a box of merely twenty usually retails in the $200 range.

2013 Topps Museum Collection Green #95 Harmon Killebrew /199
And two of those five are serial numbered, like the one above, which I believe came from a dealer's dollar box. How this sort of stuff ends up in discount boxes is beyond me.

The baseball playoffs, and especially the World Series, tend to remind me of the history of this great sport. The copper-colored Sweet Spot Classic set is one of my favorites that features stars from long ago.

2005 Sweet Spot Classic #60 Mickey Cochrane
The back of this card gives a short history of Mickey Cochrane's World Series successes, noting that he won three rings with two different clubs, including two under legendary manager Connie Mack. Depending on what happens in Game 7 tonight, we'll either have a slew of first-time winners, or some October veterans adding to their collection of championships, just like Cochrane.

It's been a great series, as we've witnessed some very impressive defense and pitching performances. Regardless of the outcome, the conclusion of Game 7 is sure to be a bittersweet moment. Spring is a long time away.

1 comment: