Sunday, March 13, 2016

The Trading Post #57: My Best Friend Collects Chipper Jones

There isn't room for everyone in the SuperTraders group, but that hasn't stopped trades from arriving from elsewhere in the Cardsphere. You might call My Best Friend Collects Chipper Jones from Mark a newcomer, but he celebrates his one-year anniversary today! Join me in congratulating Mark on this milestone!

2014 Topps Archives #177 Carlos Gonzalez
CarGo seems happy about it, as he appears on a Topps Archives card based on the 1989 design. It's definitely no Stadium Club, but this set keeps growing on me year after year. There's just something so distinctive about the feel of Archives' card stock, which really helps differentiate them. Especially when it's an expansion team, it breathes new life into designs we've seen ten million times, and they even seem to use recycled photos less frequently than in other Topps sets.

Not that anyone would think one this is an original 1989 card, but there's not much risk of confusion anyway, unlike with the glossy reprints of very recent cards found in Cards Your Mom Threw Out and 60 Years of Topps sets. Night Owl made a point of how tough it is to tell the originals from the reprints on a series of Mike Piazza cards last week.

2015 Topps Archives #162 Nolan Arenado
Plus, it helps me learn the old designs a bit better. I can pick out the mid-'80s and on quite easily, but many 1970s sets confuse me. Is this Arenado supposed to be based on 1973, 1976, or 1979? '73 and '76 both have a little player outline in the lower corner, but both '76 and '79 have solid-colored bars at the bottom. A quick Google Image search confirms that it's 1976. And all the little pennants in 1974, 1977, and 1980 tend to throw me too.

So Archives is helping educate this collector that came up in the overproduction era, one who had allowance money for packs of 1991 Score and 1993 Fleer, but not for much in the way of vintage.

1995 Stadium Club #618 Larry Walker TA
Another day, another subset from 1995 Stadium Club that I've never seen before. Like the Extreme Corps card that came from Wes, apparently TSC made a Trans Action subset in their High Numbers release that year. News to me. I like the color scheme on this one a bit more than Extreme Corps card.

1994 Upper Deck Electric Diamond #483 Ellis Burks
Ellis Burks, a member of the Blake Street Bombers with Larry Walker, gets an action shot on 1994 Upper Deck, breaking a three-card string of Guys Resting Bats On Their Shoulders. I'm guessing this is a spring training shot, as there's an obvious A's fan in the crowd, and the Rockies didn't wear black jerseys in the regular season until many seasons later.

Cards like this make me miss Upper Deck. The sparkly finish on Electric Diamond cards predated Topps' Sparkle parallels by almost two decades. Topps has always been my favorite manufacturer, but it would be really nice to have some competition in the market.

2015 Stadium Club #32 Nolan Arenado
Still, the return of Stadium Club does help ease UD's passing, as the look of pure joy on Arenado's face puts this card head and shoulders above all the pitchers' straining faces we've seen in Topps Base for like five straight years. The only downside is that the same Arenado photo on the back can be found on at least three Topps cards.

2010 Topps Chrome #143 Troy Tulowitzki
I've been known to buy a pack or two of Topps Chrome. Some years are shinier than others, but in my opinion 2010 was the worst for "the curl". Curling on the horizontal axis isn't so terrible, and we're all pretty much used to it by now, but on the vertical axis it gets kind of weird, and many of the cards from a blaster I once bought of this are pretty much curled from the lower left to the upper right. Even now, I can glance over at my rows of binders and know exactly where my 2010 Topps Chrome cards are, since they don't lay flat and cause the pages to bulge.

2007 Upper Deck Spectrum #62 Todd Helton
They just keep getting shinier from here on out. This is from Upper Deck Spectrum, and it's one heck of a base card. Shiny silver with a hint of rainbow, vertical black borders (sort of like the 2007 UD base set), and a reflective Tron-like surface on the bottom. I'll have to find a way to squeeze this into my 2007 Upper Deck binder pages, which are already filled with what feels like a dozen and a half sets they made that year.

2008 Donruss Elite Extra Edition #17 Charlie Blackmon
Pre-beard Charlie Blackmon gets a card in the shiniest Donruss Elite set I can recall. I'm more familiar with their recent sets, and they used a lot more red in those. I can't quite place his uniform though. None of the Rockies' minor league clubs have cities or names that could match "JACK".

Maybe it means Jackpot, since starting in outfield for the Rockies was pretty close to my childhood idea of winning the lottery.

That, or owning my own jet airplane.

2013 Finest #12 Carlos Gonzalez
Though CarGo's road uniform doesn't look quite as striking as Tulo's purple pinstripes, 2013 Finest fits well with the other shiny silver cards Mark sent my way. The hexagonal theme of 2003 Finest remains one of my top three favorite Finest designs (along with that gorgeous green of 1994). The rows of circles on this design look a little bit like one of those mesh park benches, or a Connect Four game board.

2008 SPx #30 Matt Holliday
Die-cut cards seem more appealing every time I run across one, and Upper Deck did a stellar job with this one. The shading seen in each corner really makes this look like it's a two-layer card. Of course, there's a nice rainbow finish and cute little baseballs in each corner, but I am super impressed with this card. Every time I touch the corner I expect to feel another edge, although the visual effect isn't quite as pronounced on the back due to the lack of shininess.

My scanner never feels the same way about die-cuts, as it has enough trouble auto-cropping a perfect rectangle. But I'll appreciate this one for a long time to come.

Finally, I'll be doing a mail run in the next day or two, to recipients both on and off the #Supertraders list. Check the below list for your ZIP/Postal code!

N2H 5M5

Thanks for reading!


  1. It appears as though Blackmon attended the Georgie Institute of Technology, who are known as the Yellow Jackets. That seems to be a picture from Charlie's college days then. Also, you absolutely hit the nail on the head with 2010 Chrome. It's by far the worst for curling.

    1. I really should have put that together. My grandfather played football there back in the '40s.