Wednesday, May 22, 2013
The Kindness of Strangers
A fella by the name of Scott who resides in Austin, Tx. contacted me via email last week or so and mentioned he had some contributions towards my listed player collections. Never one to turn my nose up at a friendly stranger looking to send me cards through the mail, I went about exchanging emails and, eventually, addresses with him. And over the weekend, voila, a yellow mailer arrived carrying my loot.
So let's get to it, shall we? Highlights of the trade package in three, two, one...
The card given cover star status for this post -- a 1997 Fleer Todd Hundley "Golden Memories" insert -- is particularly special because it captures a historic moment for Hundley and the Mets from the '96 season. That is Hundley's record-breaking 41st home run of the campaign, surpassing Roy Campanella's mark for round-trippers by a catcher in a single season. I still remember it like it was yesterday.
Next up is a most-excellent Doc Gooden insert from '92 Fleer. I've seen plenty of Gooden cards over the course of time, but this is one I can honestly say I've never seen before. And, quite simply, it is brilliant. I love the black border, the layout, and, naturally, the photo of Dr. K ready to fire home.
I don't know Scott from Adam, but he certainly knows of my card crush for Butch Huskey. Perhaps I have mentioned that on an occasion or two during my blogging residency. Who knows. Anyhow, owning a copy of big Butch's silver signature parallel from '94 Collector's Choice makes me downright giddy.
Love him as I do, Huskey's career never unfurled into stardom. The same is true of one-time super-prospects Paul Wilson and Alex Ochoa. Still, the two cards above represent a time period that was downright exciting for Mets fans and Mets collectors alike. Full of hope and peel-away protective coatings. So what, it never produced much in the way of serious contention; at least we got some pretty cool cards as a result.
These two guys were essentially run out of Flushing by the fans, the media, the clubhouse veterans or some combination of the three. Both went onto satisfying careers elsewhere, Kent especially. I like the "Team 2000" Pinnacle cards. Looking at them now it's kinda funny to see how many (or few) of the guys chosen by the best brains in the Score situation room circa 1992 actually were relevant -- much less still playing -- by the year 2000. But, hey, far be it from me to condemn a company for some forward thinking in an attempt to make a cool insert set.
I've come across some of the most amazing Manny Ramirez cards in existence over the past few months thanks to through-the-mail trades. The 2008 Stadium Club and '08 Upper Deck issues spring to mind. This one, from 1995 Score, deserves to take it's place among those great ones. Score really featured some tremendous photography during this era, did they not?
Along with Manny, these two guys had some very prodigious statistical seasons by the Lake. Albert Belle sends one into orbit, while Carlos Baerga readies himself in the on-deck circle. I swear, I think I discover a new Pacific set every time I get a trade package or attend a card show. It's astonishing!
Here is a pair of rookie cards featuring two of the greatest run producers the Dominican Republic has ever produced. I may be wrong, but I think Pinnacle Inside were the cards that came packaged inside of a can. Right or wrong? As for the Sosa, I was kinda surprised that I didn't already have this one. But I'm glad I have it now!
Remember when the Mariners roster featured the likes of Alex Rodriguez, Ken Griffey, Jr., Edgar Martinez and Randy Johnson? Me neither. Okay, well, I do actually, but that might as well have been 100 years ago. Ya know, I bought a lot of those '92 Score 100-card hanger packs and I never once landed this Griffey. Well, it took me 20-plus years to finally get it, but the best things in life are worth waiting for I suppose.
Hey man, these Olerud cards are Classic, eh? No, really. Classic. I think in a previous post I expressed my new-found appreciation for Classic brand. Nothing about this pair of Oleruds does anything to alter that. The dugout shot with the satin jacket is the true winner here.
A good way to conclude any trade post is with a card or two of the greatest offensive catcher in baseball history. Mission accomplished. By the way, what do we have to do to get Topps to resurrect some of their now-defunct "fun" brands like Bazooka or Total? Topps, keep your Opening Day and give us one or both of those instead. Thank you.
A truly great group of cards towards my ever-growing collection. Thanks for cards, Scott!