Saturday, November 28, 2015

The Trading Post #46: Cardboard Clubhouse

Besides my first packs of 1987 Topps and 1990 Fleer, the 1993 Rockies Team Stadium Club set is one of the longest-tenured pieces of my collection. It's a 30-card team set, with color coding and a large gold foil baseball in the upper right. Ten or so teams got this treatment, including the expansion Rockies and Marlins, along with the Rangers, Yankees, Angels, and a few others.

As you might imagine, most of these cards are in fairly rough shape. Nothing stays pristine in the hands of a nine-year old for long. Even worse, the second law of thermodynamics seems to have dictated that my 30-card set didn't stay whole. Whether it got traded, cast off as a duplicate, or fell into a black hole, Jeff Parrett's card #9 didn't survive into my adulthood, leaving me with a slightly incomplete set of one of my earliest card products.

1993 Rockies Team Stadium Club #9 Jeff Parrett
That is, until Adam from Cardboard Clubhouse came to the rescue, knocking off another Eight Men Out need. Fellow bloggers, if you don't have a short wantlist like that, make one.

Parrett didn't even play for the Rockies that long, mostly appearing in relief during their inaugural 1993 season. But he still appeared in this fairly scarce set, and I'm glad that I got the chance to right that wrong.

1993 Rockies Team Stadium Club #26 Steve Reed
Even better, Adam just went ahead and included the whole darn team set for good measure. I saw this team set at the antique mall a couple months ago, but it was priced at over $6 per 9-pocket page. I knew I needed that Parrett card, but didn't want to spend that much to get it. Much better to rely on this community, and Adam got to add to his collection, too.

Steve Reed was of my favorite pitchers in the early days of the Rockies. His right-handed submarine delivery was fascinating to watch, and since I was so new to baseball then, I probably assumed that every team had a submariner.

His name came up in a statistic I heard recently. Apparently, he's in the top-ten list of career wins as a Rockie despite never having started a game in his entire MLB career. That means two things. One, the Rockies were completely awesome at come-from-behind wins in their early years. And two, the fact that only nine other guys have surpassed a late-inning reliever with 33 Rockies wins to his credit means they have always had absolutely terrible pitching.

2015 Topps Archives #238 Troy Tulowitzki
But we have had good shortstops. At least, we used to.

Tulo's smiling face appears on this resurrection of the 1983 Topps design as part of this year's Archives set. Though it's not a fan favorite, Archives is growing on me more and more. The semi-glossy finish they use front and back makes these cards a cinch to pick out by feel alone, which I think is a great idea for this type of set. There are way too many reprints out there (like Cards Your Mom Threw Out) that can easily be mistaken for the real thing, especially if you're only glancing at the front. I especially enjoy seeing the treatment Topps gives to expansion teams on these old designs. Sometimes they work uncannily well.

2013 Topps Archives #155 Wilin Rosario
Like this Wilin Rosario card from 2013 Archives. That's based on 1990 Topps, of course, probably my least favorite Topps base issue of the overproduction era. The random colors and tiny dots everywhere give it a jarring look against some pretty boring photography. But put a modern Rockie on that purple background that didn't match any MLB team at the time, and suddenly it looks completely perfect. It's a shame the Rockies and Marlins weren't around back then; they could have made that set make a lot more sense.

2013 Topps Archives #155 Wilin Rosario (Reverse)
But maybe that mustard-colored back and art-deco font was just too much to overcome.

2015 Diamond Kings #136 Troy Tulowitzki
Another recent set with a pretty unique feel is 2015 Diamond Kings. Nachos Grande opened a box of this for a group break earlier this year, and my girlfriend helped me realize that these are meant to feel like a playing card. This Tulowitzki, along with the Charlie Blackmon I got in the group break, means I got both Rockies that appeared in the 200-card base set. Not great representation there, and that's part of the reason why I struck out a bit on his most recent group break. But that had a silver lining, which you'll see in an upcoming post.

2015 Topps Rainbow Foil #34 Charlie Blackmon
Speaking of Charlie Blackmon, Adam also sent this Rainbow Foil parallel from 2015 Topps. I've seen one or two others by now, and while it's no 2013 Topps Emerald, it's a nice-looking card. The background becomes rather muted in this finish, which blends in well with the stucco-like pattern of the upper border.

2015 Topps Allen & Ginter Starting Points #SP-83 Matt Holliday
I haven't seen many Matt Holliday cards recently. He hasn't been a Rockie in many years, and he's done so well as a Cardinal that his time on the Rockies flies under the radar a bit. So I was glad to see this Allen & Ginter card in the package, part of a huge 100-card insert set. Believe it or not, there's a second insert set in A&G this year that's just as large. The base set remains at 350 cards, but Topps' flagship product grew to 350 cards per series this year. Clearly, the card industry isn't exempt from inflation.

2014 Topps Pink #275 Nolan Arenado /50
Last, here is a pretty special colored parallel from 2014 Topps. It's no secret that Nolan Arenado is my favorite current Rockie, and while I'm not wild about the pink border, the serial number is a pleasing 50/50. There are actually quite a few serial numbered cards in my collection, but none other comes to mind with the final number in the print run. It's a satisfying little detail, easily offsetting the clashing colors found on the front.

This was a surprisingly awesome trade package! Adam and I discussed the Parrett card via email, and other than "maybe a few Rockies extras", I wasn't expecting anything like this! Big thanks to Cardboard Clubhouse for keeping the trading ball rolling.

1 comment:

  1. Thanks for the trade! Glad you enjoyed the package.