Here's some kick arse cards that I've gotten recently:
Here's a 1997 Pacific of Darin Erstad, one of my favorite former Halos. You can't tell from the front, but this card is bilingual, the back is primarily in Spanish with an English translation. You also can't tell but the bottom photo is actually an acetate cutout that you can see through on both sides. Pacific sure didn't make very collectible cards in the 90's, but they sure made some nifty gimmicky ones.
A couple of nice Upper Deck X cards from the last two years. I wasn't a huge fan of the sets in packs, but for some reason the singles really speak to me. I love the die-cuts too, and the shiny Vladdy doesn't suck. It's numbered X4-VG, and I know there were several levels of Xponentials, not that I care one iota about that, I just like the shiny.
Wally World makes a return to my blog pages in the form of this lovely 1990 Leaf. Back in the day I bought maybe a pack or two of this stuff, not really being into baseball at the time - I spent the 90's collecting Football and Hockey for some reason. Hey at least I don't have a ton of junk wax from the overproduction era, I got rid of my entire Football collection in 1998 when I moved from San Diego to Los Angeles. Wow, what a tangent. In any case, I have a special affinity for First Basemen, being that's what I played in Little League my last two years, and I was pretty good at it I have to say. I even modeled my swing after Rod Carew, the Halos PREVIOUS All-Star at first. I learned something too by reading the back of this card, Wally went to BYU, and I can only ASSume that he's a practicing member of the LDS church (as are my in-laws). SO that's kind of cool I guess. Next time I'm in Utah, maybe I can look him up and grab an autograph.
From 2007 We have this retro 1972 Gary Matthews Jr. card. I always loved the 72 design, with it's garish color scheme and it looks even better on today's stock. I can see where they were trying to go with this doozy, 1972 was Gary's papa's first season, but alas, his RC is in the 1973 set, and it's one of those old multi-player cards. Probably a small detail that no one at Topps caught.
The 2009 Halos Fab-Four...err...well Fab Three and a Half? I dunno, sure it's a great card of four of the Halos studs, but considering that two of the four will probably be gone before the next season starts, this card is kind of bitter-sweet. Plus Kendrick didn't do a whole lot this season. What could have been, what could have been. I do simply love these Goudy 4-in-1s, but I have no idea how they did the numbering. I guess I could look it up on Upper Deck's site, but again, I'm pretty lazy these days.
As I was typing up this blog post the mail arrived, and I got yet another package, this time from Greg in NY. Greg sent a nice stack of Halos, from all eras, and I couldn't be happier. Here's a few choice samples:
This would be my first ever "ticket stub" card, and while I'm really pleased that it's a card that actually features a Halo who ACTUALLY PITCHED on the game in question, I'm a bit miffed that Topps doesn't make any mention of the outcome of the game on the back. Sure it talks about some of Big John's other good performances, but it doesn't say anywhere on the card that the Halos won the 32nd Athletics home game in 2008, nor does the stub have the date of the game on it either. Lets face it, we all have tons of ticket stubs from games we've been to, or we throw them away. Unless the game is majorly important, like a playoff or championship, stubs are mementos of our PERSONAL experience in the game. Why I would want a stub from an A's game from 2008 is beyond me. BUT, it's a cool card and I'm happy to have it. I just wish that the colors on the card and the stub itself were from an ANGELS home game, but I guess that's too much to ask. Hell the sample shot they have on their website is of Evan Longoria and the stub on his card is an Angel game so go figure.
Oh and there's also a little legal text on the back that says "FOR TRACKING INFO, PLEASE SEE WWW.TOPPS.COM CODE #00003142". I always check that stuff out and I could find NOTHING that has anything to do with this set. Not only that but on the site this particular card is supposed to be numbered /125, and the actual card is numbered /110. Not that I'm complaining about that.
Rodney Cline Carew is probably my all-time favorite Angel. I was 8 when he was signed by the team, and I remember my parents taking me to an early season game where he scored a run in the first inning and from that moment on he was my hero. Like many of my boyhood heroes (CF Kareem Abdul-Jabbar) from the era, Rod wasn't always the media's darling but who cares when you put up the numbers he did on the field. Sure he wasn't a power hitter, and it seems that the days of the spray hitting infielders are long gone, but I still have a soft-spot in my heart for the Panamanian born Carew. Since his playing days he's been a coach for both the Halos and the Brewers, and his daughter Michelle tragically succumbed to leukemia in 1996. I would think that the Halos would like to employ Rod for some great PR these days; as I see he's still involved in the periphery of the game. And hey, dig that crazy headband!
Hey, it's another crazy Pacific Die-Cut card, this time from their 1999 Crown Royale Collection. I still have a TON of the Hockey version of this set in storage, and even more of their successor Hockey die-cuts - as I really liked the one version that was a die-cut of the team logo. No other commentary here, other than I sure do like die-cuts don't I?
At first glance this appears to be a "broder" or unlicensed/bootleg card. However, turning the thing over I see that it's actually a Pacific card from 1989! But wait,is it really? It's part of a set called "Baseball's Best Four", and there were other sets numbered one through three. The Pacific Cards though is not our former friends in Washington state, nope, it's from Pacific Cards & Comics, Los Angeles, CA. Now I didn't live in LA in 1989, but I did visit a lot, and I can tell you that it was most likely a store set issued by a now-defunct card/comic retail shop. It's typical of the era too, no stats on the back, blurry picture on the front and thin paper stock. Looks like it was made at Kinko's to be honest. How fun!
Both Mario over at Wax Heaven and Dinged Corners have featured Fleer/Skybox's Metal card sets before, and I have to say I didn't much care for them when they hit the market. See, I'm a comic collector first, and back in the 90's we were bombarded with trading card sets based on comics, as comic shop owners tried everything they could to fleece their clientele of their hard earned cash. One of them was a Marvel set from Fleer way back in 1995, the progenitor of the brand. While that set did have a KICK ARSE full Metal promo card (which I do remember acquiring at some point only to sell it or trade it away) I thought the cards were way too busy and too "comic booky". You know what, I still think that about Fleer Metal Universe, and I'm glad that no one is endangered of having to buy a 21st Century version of those sets. But I'm always about the shiny, so here you go.
1979 was the first set of Topps that I remember getting a whole lot of. My father at the time was working as a L.A. Times delivery driver and I guess each morning during his run he'd stop at some donut shop on Santa Monica and Bundy and get some donuts, smoke some cigs and buy me a couple packs of 1979 Topps. Before I threw the lot of them out sometime in the 80's (they were beat all to hell at that point) I think I had about half the set. Memories...misty water color memories. Hey check the porn stache! This would be Aase's first Angel card, but not his RC.