Monday, April 6, 2015

The Trading Post #29: Highly Subjective and Completely Arbitrary

I had plans to watch the NCAA National Championship game tonight, but a trade package in my mailbox from Brian at Highly Subjective and Completely Arbitrary (which many bloggers are simply shortening to HSCA) superseded that plan. I do have the game streaming on my iPad mini off to the side of my desk, but a blog post seemed to be in order.

Brian commented on my 2015 Topps Heritage post just a few days ago, saying he had a Rockies team set reserved for me. We also exchanged emails that day, and he offered some 2015 Donruss and Opening Day as well. I have no idea how it got here so quickly. There was even a postal holiday in there! It's almost like using Amazon Prime.

2015 Donruss #83 Charlie Blackmon
Anyway, as promised, I got my first in-person look at 2015 Donruss tonight. It's not all that different from the 2014 set, as the colored banner of tiny baseballs simply runs top-to-bottom rather than side-to-side. However, they got rid of the script for the team name, and made the player's name much more prominent, while omitting the player's position. I like it a bit better, and don't think it deserves the derision it seems to earn in the blogosphere. Personally, the complete incomprehensibility of Bowman's set structure gets under my skin way more than a "meh" design.

2015 Donruss Stat Line Season #81 Troy Tulowitzki /340
And I like it even more when it's nice and shiny! Serial numbered cards are always appreciated (numbered to 340, the same as his average), and Panini's decision to reserve the foil treatment for parallels is more appropriate than what Topps has done in their flagship sets for almost two decades.

Tulowitzki drove in the first run of the Rockies' 2015 season today, as they routed the Brewers 10-0 to spoil the fun in Milwaukee. Tulowitzki had three hits, following up Carlos Gonzalez's 1st-inning double with a two-bagger of his own, well on his way to another solid batting average in 2015. Maybe the Badgers will win tonight and take some of the sting out of it for the Wisconsin fans.

2007 Topps Moments & Milestones Milestone Autographs #MA-GA Garrett Atkins (AU)
As small as my autograph collection is, it completely amazes me when I end up with a duplicate autograph card. You might remember this one from Moments and Milestones as the card I won at a monthly card show last year. His autograph looks pretty similar from card to card, although the one Brian sent was clearly signed when Atkins' Sharpie had a lot more life in it.

2015 Topps Opening Day #41 Carlos Gonzalez
He also included a couple cards from 2015 Opening Day. Carlos Gonzalez, who scored the first Rockies' run this year on Tulo's double, marks my second Rockie from this set. I pulled Tulowitzki's card from this weekend's Target blaster, so fortunately I didn't end up with a duplicate.

If not Tulo, then who was on the second Opening Day card?

2015 Topps Opening Day Mascots #M-10 Dinger
Dinger! And he's looking very patriotic in that American flag outfit.

Last year, I had to rely on some luck and a second blaster to get the Dinger mascot card. This year, thanks to the generosity of my trading partners, one showed up in my mailbox as if by magic.

In addition to the great cards above, the main attraction of this trade package was a complete Rockies team set from 2015 Topps Heritage, including the short prints of Tulowitzki, Gonzalez (really, Topps?), and Corey Dickerson.

2015 Topps Heritage #72 Nolan Arenado
Nolan Arenado is my favorite Rockie, and I fully intend to wear my #28 jersey to work on Friday in honor of the Rockies' home opener. No one bats an eye when the Broncos are playing on Monday Night Football and everyone is decked out in orange, so a white jersey with pinstripes shouldn't be too big a deal.

2015 Topps Heritage #239 LaTroy Hawkins
Rockies closer LaTroy Hawkins looks rather more perplexed by a baseball than you'd expect from a 20-season veteran. Maybe that's why I'm not so wild about this year's heritage set. The photography is just...odd.

2015 Topps Heritage #93 Wilin Rosario
See? They likely used a short focal length lens to shoot this one, which gives you all sorts of distortion when you're up close for a portrait. At least it's a pretty good image of the logo on the bat knob. Can you imagine if the 1989 Fleer Billy Ripken card were photographed like this? Maybe then it would have caught someone's eye before it went to print.

But smack in the middle of that Heritage team set was an unexpected card.

1991 Stadium Club #463 Tim Wallach
At first, I wasn't sure why this was in here. My initial thought was that Brian intended it for the blogger who is trying to collect all the Tim Wallach cards. Literally, all the Tim Wallach cards. Maybe it snuck (yes, it's a word) into the wrong pile. But suddenly, it clicked.

It's an Eight Men Out card!

With the addition of this Tim Wallach, I'm only one single card short of completing Series 2 of 1991 Stadium Club! I believe that was the first set to include gold foil, and it was super premium stuff in 1991.

Brian's really an awesome trader. I have two older envelopes from him that I haven't blogged about yet. One contains the Rockies from his recent late-'90s group break, and the other includes lots of assorted Rockies that I need to take another look at. I still owe him cards in return for my share of the group break, but I'm afraid I won't be able to get them to Brian with the same lightning speed this shipment had.

Thanks to the generosity of Brian and others in this community, checking my mailbox these past several months has been a lot more fun!

And I won't complain at all that the Rockies haven't yet given up a run this season.


  1. I thought of that Atkins auto because of the Matt Holliday card from that set on one of your recent posts - kind of a bummer that you already had one, but glad I could upgrade the signature a bit from the faded one!
    I haven't sent anything over to the Tim Wallach guy yet (I actually had a small twinge of guilt sending one out to someone else) , but I do find myself making little piles of Wallachs when I got through my boxes looking for things to trade.

  2. I was happy to see the Rockies destroy the Brewers! I was kind of making fun of Kyle Kendrick for being an opening day starter, but he pitched well against a pretty potent lineup.

    Great cards from Brian!