PWE From Shoebox Legends

Sorry, I couldn’t think of a more clever title than that.

I have a number of cards I’ve received via two of the proverbial Plain White Envelopes from Shoebox Legends International.  I’d already featured the two imported English “Footballer” cards from the first PWE in this prior post, but have not given the remainder of the cards their due.

When the first PWE was mailed out, Robert Whalen was a Mets pitching prospect.
2014 Bowman Chrome Robert Whalen
A few days after I received the PWE, Whalen was a Braves pitching prospect, because he was one of the players sent to Atlanta for Kelly Johnson and Juan Uribe. It’s all good because it’s a card I still want in my Mets collection, but the potential significance of this card will be back again later in this post.

Topps Opening Day is a funny beast for me… I often enjoy the inserts, but not the base set, so while I don’t buy more than one or two packs a year (plus anything I might get in repacks down the road). I always think I should track down the inserts later… and then don’t.  Ramble, ramble, ramble, my point is that I’d forgotten I wanted this card featuring Jose Reyes and Angel Pagan…
2011 Opening Day  Superstar Celebrations Jose Reyes
…Making it one that I appreciate more than your average insert featuring Mets.

During the 1980’s I generally tried to keep up on Traded sets and the like, but wasn’t always good about sets like the Donruss Rookies sets. As a result, I think this is my first card from the 1987 Rookies set…
1987 Donruss The Rookies David Cone
…and yet another type of set to add to my “Ya know, I really should have a wantlist for those…” list.

Gypsy Queen is a set I normally can take or leave…
2014 Gypsy Queen N174 Tom Seaver
…But any cardboard featuring the esteemed Mr. G. Thomas Seaver of Fresno, California is always appreciated in my household.

(I scared myself a tiny bit by remembering off the top of my head that Seaver’s from Fresno… especially considering I can’t always remember more important facts like the names of the children of my cousins and friends;  “Hey, how did… um… your daughter do in that… uhhhhhhhh… tournament thingie last weekend?”)

I’m such a big fan of Mookie, that it doesn’t even have to be Mookie Wilson.
2015 Heritage Mookie Betts
Any and all Mookies are welcome.

The second PWE turned out to take a good-sized chunk out of my 2015 Stadium Club wants, particularly for the Orioles.
2015 Stadium Club Gold Bud Norris
Like Michael Whalen above, Bud Norris (represented by a Gold parallel card) recently was asked to leave his place of employment. This is a disturbing trend in these PWE cards, especially given another Stadium Club card in this batch:
2015 Stadium Club Wei Yin Chen
Wei Yin Chen is one of 49 different pending free agents on the Orioles roster – I may be overestimating a bit – and I wonder if my having his card means that he’s not long for Baltimore.

I desperately hope that’s not the case for Jonathan Schoop…
2015 Stadium Club Jonathan Schoop
…Or Kevin Gausman.
2015 Stadium Club Kevin Gausman
We need both of those guys to stick around a while.

Finally, the crème de la crème of the second PWE was an additional 1960/61 A&BC Footballer card, this one featuring Ron Wiley of Aston Villa.
1960-61 A&BC Ron Wylie
Since I don’t know much about Mr. Wiley’s on-field accomplishments and I don’t know which British Football sites can be trusted to be factual and not be malware-laden, I’ll instead mention that my first reaction to seeing this card was that Ron Wiley bears a passing resemblance to Christopher Eccleston, who I know as The Ninth Doctor from Doctor Who, but has had roles ranging from John Lennon to Destro (from the G.I. Joe-niverse).
1960-61 A&BC Ron Wylie back

I would like to thank my benefactor for his generosity, and close out the proceedings with what I consider to be the unofficial theme song of Shoebox Legends, courtesy of Barenaked Ladies… At least this is what often pops in my head when I think of “Shoebox”… even though I trust that his Shoebox is not a “Shoebox of lie-ee-yi-yi-yies”.


Pack Animal: 2015 Stadium Club

True confessions:  I’m not really much of a Stadium Club guy.

I like the cards just fine, but the value’s not there for me.  They cost – what? – a little more than twice as much per card as regular Topps?  The thing is, I don’t like them twice as much.  Sure they’re nice, they often have nice photography and are glossy glossy… but I don’t see them as being twice as nice. As a result, I generally don’t buy many packs.

Let me put it this way… Only once have I ever bought a wax box of Stadium Club.  It was a box of these…

1992 Topps Stadium Club Series 3 Pack

…And I bought it earlier this year.

…For five bucks.

I keep a couple of packs in my car for when I need a pack-bustin’ fix during the work day.

But this week at work has been… Well…. Let’s just say that it’s been a bit short on stimulation and fulfillment.  I needed something a little more exciting than 23-year-old packs… even if those 23-year-old packs contained “SUPER PREMIUM PICTURE CARDS”.

So, off to Target I went.  I bought a repack (which I’ll tell you about in a few days) and I bought this:
2015 Stadium Club pack
What the heck, y’know?  See what the excitement’s about.

It’s a loose pack from Target, I’m sure the pack feelers have already been and gone, but we’ll see what happens.

First card:
2015 Stadium Club Steve Pearce
Sweet!  An Oriole I would’ve been looking for anyway.  Steve Pearce made a nice catch yesterday in Boston, one that clearly irritated David Ortiz (who’d hit the ball).  Anything which annoys Big Papi is worthwhile in my book.

The card design – such as it is – is OK, but it most likely will fail my “can I read it while it’s in a binder?” test.

The backs are pretty nice.
2015 Stadium Club Steve Pearce back

Second card:
2015 Stadium Club Oswaldo Arcia
Oswaldo Arcia does an impression of the Salt Vampire from the original Star Trek.

Third card:

Tanner Ro-ark of the Nationals (at least that’s how the Nats broadcasters say it).
2015 Stadium Club Tanner Roark
Down at the bottom of the card, where they’ve got the photo sort of faded out, it looks sort of like he’s got his pants hiked up and not wearing any socks.

Fourth card:
2015 Stadium Club Justin Morneau
Justin Morneau of the Rockies… something I’m still not quite used to.

Fifth and final card:
2015 Stadium Club George Brett
George Brett, and he’s surrounded by The Ood.  (Hey, as long as I’m making nerdy references…)

…And I’m already done. 

I had more fun with the repack.

Unless one of these cards is a short print, that’s not much return for $3.  And this is why I don’t buy packs of Stadium Club.  But what the heck, it served it’s purpose and gave me a little bit of fun after a less-than-fun day.