Saturday, March 12, 2016

The Trading Post #56: Highly Subjective and Completely Arbitrary

Brian might not have the longest blog name in the Cardsphere, but it easily wins the "Most Likely to Score 800 on the SAT Verbal Test" award. Many of us have simply taken to shortening Highly Subjective and Completely Arbitrary to HSCA, but I keep getting that acronym mixed up with HFCS, so I just spell the whole thing out.

Brian's a fellow #SuperTrader, and a PWE from him landed in my mailbox a few weeks ago, packed with some fairly unusual Rockies cards.

2012 Topps Black #242 Eric Young, Jr. /61
Not much unusual about the 2012 Topps base set, as we've all seen it numerous times. But this is a pretty darn rare border, the black bordered card numbered to /61. That's the rarest variety of this card, save for the /1 printing plates and such. Rather than just a plain black border, this is more of a charcoal gray, and matches nicely with EY Junior's purple.

1998 Fleer Tradition Promising Forecast #PF6 Todd Helton
I was out of collecting in 1998, so this is my first exposure (pun intended) to this weather-themed Fleer insert card. It's from the Promising Forecast insert set, but the weather pattern approaching (or leaving) the Carolinas looks pretty ominous, maybe even the remnants of a hurricane.

Helton was a Major League newbie in 1998, but his forecast turned out to be quite accurate, "fill[ing] the prodigious shoes of...Andres Galarraga." Modern superstars like David Ortiz, Paul Konerko, and Miguel Tejada also appeared in this set, but so did guys I've never heard of, like Brian Rose and Eric Milton. There was a bust or two (i.e. Kerry Wood), and the remainder were guys who went on to have more or less average careers, like Brad Fullmer, A.J. Hinch, and Ben Grieve, a player who particularly liked to beat up on the Rockies in the early days of Interleague play.

2007 SPx Winning Materials Blue #WM-MH Matt Holliday /175 (MEM)
Upper Deck's favorite letter forms the outline of a Matt Holliday relic card, numbered to /175. The S and P letters to the left have a very shiny rainbow finish, stealing some attention from the random black lines on the left. Holliday contributed plenty of "Winning Materials" in 2007, earning NLCS MVP honors that year.

2006 Upper Deck Future Stars #117 Josh Wilson AU (RC)
Brian threw in a couple other UD hits, these from the Future Stars set. Unfortunately, the forecast accuracy has run out, as neither of the players depicted ended up having a "Clear Path to Greatness". Josh Wilson never even suited up for the Rockies in the regular season, and I have to wonder about UD's photography here. The player's outline on this acetate card looks absolutely nothing like the photograph above the sticker autograph.

2006 Upper Deck Future Stars #156 Choo Freeman AU (RC)
Choo Freeman spent only three years in the Majors, and 2006 was his last. At least his picture looks right. Fortunately, the Rockies seem to have little trouble developing outfielders, and Josh Wilson has been a utility player as recently as last season. He's even come on as an emergency pitcher a time or two in his career.

Regardless of how the players turned out, I had no idea that Upper Deck dabbled in acetate cards a decade ago. Always something new to learn in this hobby.

1995 Score Hall of Gold #HG19 Dante Bichette
Like a Topps Stadium Club card sent by our fearless SuperTraders leader, this 1995 Score insert card is new to me, despite the fact that I opened several packs of 1995 Score in 1995. I'm familiar with the one-per-pack Gold Rush parallels, but the Hall of Gold insert cards are apparently something different. It's a huge 110-card insert set, so I'm really surprised I've never seen one of these before.

Bichette's record of 6 RBIs in one Rockies game has since been eclipsed—by Matt Holliday, in fact, but that performance and an All-Star selection earned him this shiny insert card. I've always found the foil on these Score cards to be a bit fragile, but this one looks to be in tip-top shape.

It's really quite amazing, getting a PWE that was pretty much brand new to my eyes, except for the 2012 Topps base design. The SuperTraders strike again!

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