The last 24 hours or so have been very trying. Oh, everything is fine health-wise and I'm still employed. But, my faithful laptop has passed from this world. On Tuesday night, my trusty Gateway wouldn't fire up and, after a trip to the Geek Squad, was pronounced dead at 5:17 p.m. yesterday. I'm trying not to be overly dramatic about a piece of plastic and metal, but it was my first laptop and I had become rather attached to it. After all, it was with me at the inception of this blog.
Anyway, life goes on and I was able to procure it's replacement in short order; an open-box special at Best Buy for a song and a dance. I'm not much of a techie and basically just need something to capably navigate the internet and burn the occasional CD. And, yes, it has to be compatible with my scanner.
But, you're not here (if you are here) to hear about my electronics purchases. And since you've been good enough to stop by, please allow me to share the goodness that arrived in my mailbox a few short days ago.
A new trading partner came my way recently in the form of T.J., otherwise known as the Junior Junkie. You've likely been a visitor at his blog if you're a regular baseball card blogger or blog reader. If you haven't, stop messin' around here and check out his site! (But please remember to come back and finish reading my post, will you?)
I contacted T.J. not even a week ago about a potential swap and -- voila! -- a yellow mailer from down Louisiana way arrived this past Tuesday. And, as impressive as that turnaround time is, the contents of the mailer were even better.
The "Junkie" hit my player collections hard. Including the brutal talent known as Albert Belle.
Seeing this card reminds me how terribly underrated Pinnacle was as a brand, specifically this 1997 edition. Is this not a beautiful photo of the slugger in full swing? It's a great-looking base card design as well.
But this wasn't the only card of Mr. Belle in the package.
I got all these bad boys, too. And there were even more, but I didn't want to get too crazy with the scans. I absolutely love the two Upper Deck cards with the gold foil All-Star Game stamp, specifically the press conference shot. Right above that is a '95 Collector's Choice parallel -- blue borders an all! Great card! And perhaps a clue as to some of the other contents in this package? Stay tuned...
Staying on the Indians theme...
Another great card of one of my all-time faves, Carlos Baerga. Boy was I excited when the Mets traded for this guy. Unfortunately, the Tribe dealt him for a reason. Still, nobody played the game with as much love and dedication as Carlos did. He had some memorable moments as a Met -- not many, mind you -- but 17-year-old Me really admired this guy for his passion for the game.
By the way, is that not the best Upper Deck design of the '90s or what? Maybe the best UD base set design ever? What do you think?
What's that, more Indians cards you say? Aw heck, why not. How about a couple more of my favorites who happened to suit up for the Tribe at one time or another?
Kind of a yin and yang here. Bell began his playing days on the Lake, while the great Keith Hernandez spent his final big league days as a member of the Tribe. Oh, and for everyone who is going gaga for the 2013 Topps base set design (and I don't necessarily blame you), how about that snazzy lil' diamond featured in 1989 Score. Now THAT's a baseball diamond!
Okay, enough of these Clevelanders already. After all, I am a Mets fan.
Ah, much better! A totally radical and futuristic Rey Ordonez card from 1997 UD3. I miss this guy, I really do. Watching him play shortstop in Flushing was...well...it was like watching art in motion.
I've gushed about Todd Hundley a lot on this blog. Sadly, Hundley's accomplishments as a Met have all but been forgotten thanks to the uber-heroics of Mike Piazza. But, I'm still doing my best to keep No. 9 alive.
T.J., you've made a friend for life by including a handful of Butch Huskey cards in this package. That Donruss card is outstanding! Then again, it's tough to make a bad baseball card when you use a photograph taken from within the Friendly Confines.
But, as much as I love those '90s Mets, you can't beat the wild and reckless Mets of the '80s.
Are there any "bad" Darryl Strawberry cards? I haven't come across one. Whether you're talking about a regular issue or an oddball, the Straw is always badass.
Ditto for Doctor K.
Full marks for this 1986 box bottom. Love it! I really fiend for those things, but I rarely come across any at hobby shows. And they're mostly overpriced on eBay or COMC, etc. Thrilled to have this one.
Last, but not least, T.J. helped me out big time with a hearty helping of 2013 Wal-Mart blue parallels.
With all the assistance I've been getting from all my blogger friends -- both new and old -- I'm starting to believe I may actually reach my goal of completing this set some day.
Well, this was a tremendous first experience with the good-hearted Junior Junkie. A big thank you for all the neat stuff, T.J.! You've helped take some of the sting out of the loss of my poor, innocent laptop.