I recently got a box of something like 500 cards from Julie over at A Cracked Bat, and the contents of the box covered so many aspects of my collection – Mets, Orioles, and a couple of players I collect – that it was almost like I’d been to a card show then got conked on the head with a heavy object (to use a plot device from The Flintstones and numerous other shows) and forgot everything about what I’d acquired. (But at least I’m not calling myself “Frederick”).
Truth be told, I got the box two weeks ago and I’m still working my way through it. I’ll probably get a series of posts out of this, but for now I’m just going to highlight a handful of cards as the first batch (and my first opportunity to publicly thank Julie for this windfall).
You know what?
WalMart hates me.
I’m convinced of that. Not only do they design their stores and parking lots in such a way that just entering their domain raises my blood pressure a few points, but when I go into their stores to look for something particular, they never ever have it. This year it happened when I made at least eight trips to four different WalMart stores looking for 2017 Topps Gallery, and this sad little display is as close as I came:
The 2016 version of this story was the Topps “Marketplace” set, where baseball cards were inserted into boxes of pre-made pizzas. I struck out completely… which is probably just as well, because I’m admittedly a pizza snob and I don’t know what I would’ve done with a WalMart pizza. But now, over a year later, I finally have my first card from the Marketplace set, and it’s Mr. Met, no less.
Now I can see why people were excited about these cards… not only is it fun to receive cards with food, it’s a nice-looking card… yet another example of “Better looking than the flagship set”.
This is my first “Fire” card, from last year’s insert set…
These are pretty nice, but I can’t help but think of them as a licensed response to Panini’s Diamond Kings sets of the past couple of years.
The box also included my first card of Tim Tebow. This appears to be from this year’s Panini Father’s Day set, which I’m guessing was some sort of promotion that I was unaware of being that I don’t have any hobby shops within an hours drive which participate in any kind of promotion like this.
A pretty nice-looking card and one which doesn’t suffer tremendously from the unlicensed nature of the card.
I find the whole Tebow situation interesting, but I don’t have a problem with it. Sure, his presence is mainly based on promotion value and merchandise sales… I’m sure that his minor league teams have benefited greatly from his presence. But the dude is athletic, he doesn’t seem to be completely lost out there on the field, and it does seem like he responds well to a challenge. I don’t see his presence on a baseball field as a travesty.
Another “first time I’ve seen this” card, this time 2017 Bowman Platinum (another Wal-Mart exclusive, if I’m not mistaken) and featuring an Oriole who may not be an Oriole for long.
All kinds of rumors floating around about the Orioles listening to offers for Manny. Even though I’m an Orioles fan, I don’t have a problem with this… because if he’s not gone in 2018, he’s gone in 2019. There’s no way the O’s will pony up the money that Manny will get on the open market.
This is a “negative” parallel from 2017 Topps… Kind of an odd parallel if you ask me. This strikes me as someone in the Topps graphics department looking through the various tools and effects in their graphical software and thinking “Which of these can we use for a parallel?”
Maybe next year they’ll have a “players standing in really thick fog” parallel which will just be a plain white front.
…And because it’s the holiday season, I feel like I should proclaim “This fog is as thick as peanut butter!”
This next card amused me because the way they did the player’s name on the back, at first glance it looks like this particular Mets’ name is “Odd Hundley”.
It’s the Fairly Odd Hundleys!
I suppose I should show the front as well.
Another Manny, this time from the 2016 National Baseball Card Day set… another one where this is the first card from this set that I’ve held in my hand.
Not that I don’t appreciate getting this, because it was definitely on my want list… but those MLB Wacky Packages were a disappointment for me because they weren’t… well, they weren’t wacky.
I grew up with Wacky Packs being subversive, right up there with Mad Magazine. Orioles sunflower seeds? Hell, that could be an actual product.
…But it does remind me of a pack of 50th Anniversary Wacky Packs I bought earlier this year which were almost as disappointing. I didn’t get this next one in my box, but since I found it amusing and I did scan it a while ago, here it is anyway.
This might be a generational thing, but I hear people refer to Taylor Swift as “hot” and… well… I really don’t get it. To me she’s a “on the cute side of average” woman who has very talented people working on her makeup, hair and clothing. Feel free to call me deranged.
Thanks again to Julie for the awesome box!
I’ve just scratched the surface of the box, so there’ll be more thanks forthcoming in the future.