Thursday, February 22, 2018

2008 Topps Sterling White Suede Parallel #227

Year: 2008
Manufacturer: Topps
Set: Topps Sterling
Card Number: 227 (RY11)
Card Type: Parallel 
Parallel Set: White Suede
Card Attributes: Serial Numbered
Serial Number: 25/50

I will be the first to tell you how much I hate the new trend in the trading card market.  The move away from affordable products with large base sets to hit driven, expensive, low card count products is one of the things that is slowly killing the hobby.  But back in the mid 2000's the higher products were more like going to a car showroom.  Most car companies have multiple models that are affordable and met different consumer's needs, and sure there was some overlap in the models and what they offered, but they also offered some higher end models for those clients that could afford it.  That's what the early and mid 2000's felt like.  For the most part the hobby was affordable with multiple, ok, a lot of products to choose from with some higher end stuff mixed in for those with a little deeper pockets.   Starting in 2006 Topps brought out a new Cadillac, Topps Sterling.  This was Topps' high end brand.  And it was nice.  The cards were fancy, the hits were pretty, and very low numbered, even if most players featured had lots of different cards.  And in 2008 with Sterling being HOF-centric and featuring player themed boxes, I loved it. Not enough to drop the $200-300 a box this stuff was going for, but definitely enough to seek out some of Robin's hits and all of his base cards.  The set featured a large base set with all cards numbered to 250.  You also got a few parallel sets.  The base being numbered to only 250 made the cards fairly rare, but not too expensive or hard to find, thanks ebay.  The next most common parallel is the white suede.  Numbered to just 50 copies and very, very white.  I've been slowly picking up these parallels as I find them for a decent price.  Robin has 11 base cards in the set so it been a slow process and I think I've manage only 3 so far, but the hunt is most of the fun anyway.

Wednesday, February 21, 2018

2011 Topps Gypsy Queen Sepia Mini Parallel

Year: 2011
Manufacturer: Topps
Set: Gypsy Queen
Card Number: 61
Card Type: Mini parallel
Parallel set: Sepia
Card Attributes: Serial Numbered
Serial Number: 81/99

I'm a sucker for gimmicks.  And the gimmick I'm the biggest sucker for are the tobacco mini's.  I don't know why.  Maybe it's the homage to the birth of baseball cards and baseball card collecting.  Pacific may have been the first to put out the first tobacco sized mini insert, but it was Topps' 2002 206 set that really hooked me.  I'll be honest they are one of my favorite inserts and parallels.  And I really love it when I can chase cards with Robin on them.  In 2011, Topps decided to cash in on the retro card market it had helped pioneer by creating a new retro-vintage card set with Gypsy Queen.  Robin was include in the set, and many since, and of course that means mini parallels and parallels of those parallels.  The 2011 set was a direct homage to the original Gypsy Queen sets from the late 1800's and the sepia parallel really kind of captures that.  Sure the black border parallels look cool, but I think the sepia has a great vintage feel.  

Tuesday, February 20, 2018

2005 Playoff Absolute Memorabilia Tools of the Trade Red

Year: 2005
Manufacturer: Donruss/Playoff
Set: Playoff Absolute Memorabilia
Card Number: TT-173
Card Type: Insert Parallel
Insert Set: Tools of the Trade
Parallel Set: Red
Card Attributes: Serial Numbered
Serial Number: 029/250

2005 Playoff Absolute Memorabilia is one of those mid-2000's sets that really pushed the envelope in how many insert parallels you could put in a set.  It is a Donruss product after all and like so many of their products it's mind numbing to try and keep track of just how many parallels there are.  But that's what the Trading Card Database and Beckett are for.   Anyway, presented here is Robin's Red Parallel.  Actually this might be considered the base for Tools of the Trade, I'm not sure. There are at least two other base color parallels, blue and black, and they have lower serial numbering.  

Like so many of these base parallels from the mid-2000's it was designed with the relic and autograph parallels in mind.  So we get a small photos of Robin off to the left side.

Wednesday, February 14, 2018

1992 Leaf

Year: 1992
Manufacturer: Donruss/Leaf
Set: Leaf Flagship
Card Number: 64
Card Type: Base

Today we go back to a simpler time in baseball cards.  Back with gray borders were suppose to represent silver and high class.  Fleer Ultra tried this as well.  Had this card been produced a few years later or even today it most likely would be foil board or the boarder would be made completely out of foil with a foil logo.  What we get though a very clean looking baseball card.  While the plain battleship gray is kind of boring it works well showcasing the great color photo on the front of the card.  The name plate below fits well into the card as does the team logo.  The only thing really missing is the team name.

The back of the card has full career stats and a large second photo, although I question Leaf's choice.  It looks like Robin's about to crack his neck, but why put that on a baseball card?

Tuesday, February 13, 2018

1984 Brewers Police Issue - Milwaukee Police Dept.

Year: 1984
Manufacturer: ??
Set: Brewers Police SGA
Town/Police Dept: Milwaukee Police Department
Card Number: NNO

If you collect Brewers cards, and I know there's at least 3 of us that do, the Brewers Police sets are pretty iconic.  Starting in 1982 and running till 2007, each 30 card set featured most of the team with a card for the coaches and manager.  The Milwaukee Police Department cards were given away as an SGA or Stadium Giveaway.  But there are also hundreds of local Wisconsin police station variations.  I know in my hometown that the cards were passed out by law enforcement during the 4th of July parade and festivities.  From 1982 to 1990 the cards were oversized and a pain to store and display, but in 1991 the cards went to standard trading card size.  The set from 1982 to 1989 all kind of look the same with the card being oversized card a player picture and then the name and sponsor below.  The standard catalog numbers these cards by the number on the front of the card which is the player number, but I consider these cards unnumbered.  Fellow Brewers collector Tony L. from Off Hiatus Sportcards sent me over some extra Brewers Police cards a while back and I can't remember if this 84 card was one of them or if this is one that I already had.  I have a running list of town variations on their on page on the blog.  Tony was nice enough to send me a copy that he had acquired and while I can't guarantee that it's complete, it is the best list I've seen compiled and believe every town listed has been confirmed to exist.

Monday, February 12, 2018

2005 Upper Deck Origins

Manufacturer: Upper Deck
Set: Origins
Card Number: 101
Card Type: Base

I really miss the days when we had multiple manufacturers in the baseball card market.  The junk wax era of the late 80's and early 90's gave way to what would culminate in the mid-2000's in an over saturation of the card market from too many products being produced.  But that over saturation would result in some truly unique and different card sets and packaging.  Pinnacle Inside anyone.  Upper Deck also had many unique offerings.  And not just in types of cards, but how those cards were packaged and sold.  Take the 2005 Origins set.  The cards came in a tin that had a foam insert that held the cards.  You also got a small tin sign.  The cards were not protected in any way other than the cut out of the foam insert so these cards had some condition issues.  You also got 2 relics,one auto, and two serial numbered parallels per tin.  The set was split up between the base cards and the Old Judge set.  I've included a Youtube tin break below if you're interested.   Someone can correct me but I think the base cards were based on one of the Old Judge designs.  

The overall design for the base set was pretty simple, but you get a great action shot of Robin playing shortstop, about to snag a grounder or maybe a short infield hit.  Robin also has an Old Judge insert card, all the color parallels, and an autograph card in the set.

Thursday, February 8, 2018

2014 Panini Hall of Fame - Crusades Base Blue/Yellow

Year: 2014
Manufacturer: Panini
Set: Hall of Fame
Card Number: 83
Card Type: Insert
Insert: Crusade (Base - Blue/Yellow)

It's here we finally made it the end of my COMC Black Friday delivery.  And I've not saved the best for last, but still a great looking card.  Over the last year and during COMC's Black Friday sale I was able to pick up a good amount of the 2014 Panini Hall of Fame cards I didn't have.  Picking up my first Crusade cards and a few of the low numbered base cards.  I've saved Robin's base Crusade card for last mainly because I think it looks the best.  Blue and Yellow (or Gold) are the Brewers colors and they go so well together.   In hand these Crusade cards are very pretty.  But I'm a sucker for chromy gimmicks like this.