Friday, January 9, 2015

The Trading Post #14: The Lost Collector

Shortly before Christmas (yes, I am a little behind on trade posts), a package arrived from The Lost Collector who specializes in Yankees. Thanks to my dad's boyhood home of pre-Mets Queens, I've been instilled with an affinity for the Yankees, and I was able to send some good stuff to The Lost Collector.

The trade package I got in return had gems like these:

2004 Topps Opening Day #130 Larry Walker
Much discussion has occurred about the conspicuous (and often welcome) absence of foil in Topps Opening Day. These days, it's the primary differentiator between it and the Topps base set, aside from that little red, white, and blue banner that appears on each card, as well as some pretty great inserts. As you can (somewhat) clearly see in the above, this was not always the case. Remember 2000 Opening Day with its freakishly huge silver seal?

2000 Topps Opening Day #85 Chipper Jones
In addition to the use of foil, many not-that-long-ago releases of Opening Day had different-colored borders, such as a red border in 2008, and a simple white border in 2007 that I think looks way better than the black-bordered and relatively unloved 2007 base set.

2007 Topps Opening Day #131 Orlando Cabrera
Another card from 2004 that The Lost Collector included is this copper-foil Upper Deck card (a metallic finish that UD seemed to love):

2004 UD Diamond All-Star #30 Preston Wilson
I don't recall having seen this set before it came via this trade, but I've already run across a few others like it in other trade packages I received shortly after this one.

Preston's swing has quite the follow-through, doesn't it?

Those were some of the newer cards he sent over, though there was a 2005 Opening Day (with blue foil) and a card from 2014 Update. There was a good bit of 1990s shininess as well.

1996 Metal Universe #158 Bill Swift
I'm not sure I really get what this set is all about. BaseballCardPedia says it's supposed to blend in comic book elements. Regardless, it definitely is...different. Those chains are unique to Swift's card; each of the 249 other cards had their own design elements.

1996 Fleer Tiffany # 373 Bruce Ruffin
This card from 1996 Fleer isn't particularly shiny by itself. It only gains a relative shininess when you remember that 1996 and 1997 Fleer had a matte finish, which really stood out in the UV-coated 1990s. It's from the "Tiffany" parallel set, which came one-per-pack. Strangely, I have about as many Tiffany cards as standard base cards from this set. That year, Fleer also made 20-card Team Sets for nine teams including the Rockies. They had a glossy coating but lacked the refractor finish on the foil.

Couldn't hurt to show the matte base card of recent Hall of Fame inductee Craig Biggio, who holds the MLB record for most hit-by-pitches, surpassing Don Baylor shortly before his retirement.

1996 Fleer #402 Craig Biggio
Next, a little more mid-90s goodness from one of my favorite parallel sets, Upper Deck Collector's Choice Silver Signature.

1995 Collector's Choice Silver Signature #443 Walt Weiss
That 125th Anniversary patch keeps showing up! There are many horizontal cards to be found in Collector's Choice, but the orientation of the signature is a little strange, especially since all the other elements are rotated correctly, even the brand logo.

On the earliest Rockies and Marlins cards, it's common to find a player listed as a Rockie but shown in a previous uniform, like submariner Steve Reed as a Giant.

1993 Fleer #414 Steve Reed (RC)
1993 Topps Series 2 saw some actual Rockies uniforms, but we had to wait for 1993 Fleer Final Edition to see a true Rockie in this design, one of the first that I collected.

1993 Fleer Final Edition #F-40 Steve Reed
Judging by the backgrounds, there were quite a few more fans watching Reed as a Rockie than as a Giant.

1993 Triple Play #154 Dante Bichette
In addition to the unfamiliar Brewers uniform, Dante Bichette's card from 1993 Triple Play even has a very early Rockies logo that was changed before they ever played their first game. The current logo differs in that the baseball is shown to travel farther, the arch is black instead of silver, and the lettering on the arch is silver instead of purple.

1998 Fleer Ultra #145 Dante Bichette
There, that's more like it, although it does look mighty cold out there at Wrigley. According to Baseball Reference, the Rockies made a two-game stop in Chicago in mid-April 1997. This photograph is most likely from that short series.

On the topic of well-attended stadiums, this last card shows Mile High Stadium packed to the gills with Rockies fans, where they played in 1993 and 1994 while Coors Field was under construction.

1994 Score #650 Checklist / Colorado Rockies
This is probably from the home opener on April 9th, 1993, when the Rockies packed 80,000+ fans into a stadium with a capacity of 76,000. Standing room only, anyone? The Rockies attracted almost 4.5 million fans that year, myself included (twice), a record that still stands today. The Rockies themselves might have broken their own record in 1994 if the infamous strike hadn't occurred.

As usual, I had trouble narrowing this down to just a few cards, made more difficult by the few non-Rockies cards that snuck in here for illustrative purposes. Thanks for reading as I continue to catch up on trade posts from many new trading partners!


  1. I'm more behind than you and haven't showed what you sent yet...but I will. I'm already working on sone more stuff for you. Thanks for the trade!

  2. Seeing all these Opening Days gives me an idea for a post.

    Love that Mile High Stadium card!

  3. I'm with Nick, since I'm a Broncos fan, I love the card featuring Mile High!