Thursday, June 9, 2016

Cards Which Are Baseball (aka A Return to the Norm)

After a brief sojourn into football and basketball, we now return to our regularly scheduled content. Namely, cards depicting America's national pastime.  More specifically, Mets cards!

At the last card show I attended, it was a case of barely walking through the door and getting sucked in by the very first table I came across.  It was a friendly and familiar vendor, but one who usually does not bring any dime boxes.  But, he apparently acquired a few collections recently and wanted to try something different, i.e. dime boxes.

Well, "different" worked for me, as I spent about 90 minutes going through the boxes and pulling cards.  In other words, I was in "the zone."

The boxes held a lot of Topps flagship and Bowman from the past five or six years, which is normally not the most enticing mixture.  However, there were tons of parallels, refractors and inserts peppered throughout, thus making this an Easter egg hunt worth the time and effort.

In the lead-off spot, a 2011 Topps Wal-Mart exclusive Blue Diamond insert.  Topps went kinda kookie with the diamond theme back in 2011 as a means to celebrate 60 years of producing cards.  At the time, it seemed like overkill, but looking back it produced a lot of fun variations to chase.

Y'know, like the sparkly Diamond Anniversary parallels from Series 1 and 2.

Plus the Cognac parallels that were available through packs of '11 Update.

A 'first' for my collection was this throwback logo parallel, the likes of which were exclusively available via Target retail packs.  I've seen these around the blogs and eBay in the past, but there is more than meets the scan, so to speak.

I had no idea these cards were a printed on sturdier, thicker card stock and featured cardboard backs.  Very cool and completely nostalgic!

I was pretty happy to find a couple of these throwback Mets during my hunt.

Keeping with the theme of retail-only cards from 2011, I was fortunate to find a pretty good run of these black-bordered specials, which were exclusive to Wal-Mart stores.

I think I might like these the best out of all the colored variations from flagship, including the blue, red and gold. Yes, they're tougher to find and/or keep in good shape since the corners and edges will magnify any imperfections, but there's just something about these.  They're so damn sharp looking.  Especially with the 2011 template.

The 2010 version wasn't so terrible either...

Man, I would love to track down the complete team sets for these black variations.  For the time being, I'm pretty stoked to own these.

Jumping back to 2011 for a moment, with some refractor action...

Your regular old chrome refractor here featuring former backstop Mike Nickeas.

And then a notch above with the x-fractor with Jason Bay.  Normally, I wouldn't necessarily be looking for refractors or x-fractors, but when they're in front on you and they're Mets cards and they cost a dime, you don't skip past them!

Might as well stick with the chrome refractor theme with these next few...

A 2008 copper refractor of Carlos Delgado numbered to /599.

Jose Reyes' 2008 Bowman Chrome refractor.

A 2010 Bowman Chrome refractor of Carlos Beltran, who -- at the time of this writing -- has homered in three straight games for the Yanks.

One of the best photos from 2012 Topps, here's an x-fractor of Ike Davis.

More Ikes...

A 2014 red hot foil of the former New York first-sacker.

And, to cool things down, a Wal-Mart blue parallel.

I still see a few glowing embers from that RED HOT parallel, so maybe another cool blue to handle matters.

Speaking of hot...  So, this Murphy guy sure can hit, huh?  I'm still a fan of Daniel Murphy and I have nothing but love for him. But, damn, I wish he was putting up these numbers in Oakland or Seattle or something. Having it happen within the division and just a few hours down I-95 really stings!

One of my favorite all-time Mets card photos right here.  The gold version of Marlon Byrd's only Topps card as a Met.  Marlon put up solid numbers during his short stint in New York.  Sorry to hear that he's recently become another PED statistic.

Some other fun Mets cards I was able to dredge from the various monster boxes...

A Ron Darling insert from 2008 Update.  Ronnie started three games in the '86 Fall Classic, posting a 1-1 record with a 1.53 ERA.

Not truly a "Mets" card, you could argue, but it's still going to be counted among them in my collection.

I love coming across these Spring Fever cards!  I found one (David Wright) at my local card shop a couple of weeks ago, but that one cost me half a buck.

It's funny, but I was looking for this card on eBay not so long ago!  Nice to have it fall in my lap for a dime.

Does Bowman still do the State and Hometown parallels?  If not, whatsa matter with them??

A black-bordered Doc mini from 2014 A&G.

I never knew a first-year Bowman card even existed of part-time player Eric Campbell.

And now I have two versions of it.  This hobby -- like life -- can be very strange!

It's Roberto Alomar, it's die cut and it's fun!

This strange thing is from the 2003 Topps 205 set.  It's what's known as a "Brooklyn Triple Folder." On one side you've got a black-and-white action photo featuring a pair of players.

While the flip side includes color portraits of the two players involved.  The flaps are held down by some sort of adhesive, but I don't intend to unfold this thing.

Pretty tough to top a well-done insert featuring the two greatest base stealers of all-time.

Shinjo rookie!!!!

Not just a 1991 Topps Traded Hubie Brooks, but a 1991 Topps Traded Tiffany of Hubie Brooks.

It's probably appropriate to end with an oddball, so here ya go.  McDonald's HoJo from 1992.

Thanks for taking the time today (or tonight, depending on when you're reading this) to rejoin me on the baseball trail...



  1. WOW! That might be one of the best dime box hauls I've seen. Those Target Retro Topps with the sturdy old cardstock are some of my favorite modern parallels, and I would scoop up ANY Cognac parallel I didn't have already from 2011 Topps at a dime. Unreal haul my friend!

  2. Great finds and nice digging!

  3. Ah, The Zone. I know that feeling well. A dime box like that will do that to you! Tons of great finds here. I also love the defunct Wal-Mart black parallels, and I especially enjoy ones like the Reyes that make the card look like something out of a low-budget horror movie.

  4. You dime boxed ALL those variations?!?!?!?! You suck! Lucky man - nice haul!

  5. Nice pickups. Love the Black parallels. I agree they may be my favorites too.

  6. I never knew they made Ring of Honor cards for baseball. One of the very few football cards I own is John Elway's from that set.