Sometimes, the headlines are written for you:
Who am I to disagree?
Wes and I are trading barbs and envelopes and boxes across the Georgia/Alabama border. It's not quite a Border War along the lines of Missouri v. Kansas -- which, come on guys, quit being like Texas and Texas A&M and get your dadgum rivalry game back on your football schedules -- but this war is definitely heating up. I mean, it's a none-too-veiled threat to receive this guy in your mailbox:
Monster #2 was a much smaller salvo in the war than the first monster box that showed up here at Hiatus Central, but...well, let's have JBF explain:
So, shiny and sharp. I break them down into shiny and sharp PC guys and shiny and sharp non-PC guys for the team collection. Let's start with the PC guys.
In the last few months, the Jeromy Burnitz collection stagnated as my sources for late 1990s cards dried up and as other collections -- Ryan Braun in particular -- flourished. This Shiny & Sharp package pushed things forward, though:
Those Topps Gold Label cards in particular just feel high end in my hand, and those card corners are sharp! I almost got a paper cut. Would that earn me a Baseball Card Purple Heart? And, it would be difficult to be any shinier than that Pacific Revolution card.
On the other hand, the Bowman's Best card is almost as creepy as Michael Myers (the guy in Halloween, not the sidearm-throwing former Brewers/Marlins/Tigers/Rockies/ Diamondbacks/Mariners/Red Sox/Yankees/White Sox lefty). Why did card companies think that having two photos on the front of the card -- one of which looks like some sort of dissolving stalker composite photo you see on the TV news -- would be a good idea?
Let's move on.
Speaking of my Ryan Braun collection, I think I've added something like 50 Brauns to my collection since the start of the 2015 baseball season. I guess people are starting to realize that I actually collect him. Now, to be fair , I decided to demote Braun and all the other active Brewers in my player collections to be "guys I'll collect as Brewers only" (though I did not remove the non-Brewer Carlos Gomez cards from my lists) because, as I thought about it, I almost certainly would not chase cards for any of those guys if they were traded away.
So what shiny and sharp Brauns did JBF send my way?
There were a few that were duplicative of cards in my PC already, but I am pretty sure that most of those will migrate into the Brewer team collection. The obvious highlight is the Baseball Heroes Navy Blue Jersey card, serial numbered 47 out of 50. The sharp card is that die-cut insert from 2014 Topps Chrome. That thing is dangerous.
Starquests and Refractors for Prince Fielder. It's really good to see that Prince appears to be healthy again and is taking advantage of the favorable hitting conditions in Texas. As of this writing, Prince is leading the American League in hits (73), runs batted in (38), and batting average (.361). I'm glad I loaded up on his cards last year, while he was hurt.
Just one Cirillo in this group, but it's an early Topps "peel and eat shrimp" finest card. I'm about 95% sure that I'll peel off that protective plastic.
All that glitters is not gold, the old saying goes. This one, though, is no chalcopyrite -- it's the real McCoy as a gold Chasing History insert from the 2013 Topps set.
As an aside, if Topps wants to go nuts with parallels, they should incorporate educational information into their parallels. Rather than gold, silver, and platinum parallels, they should use the Mohs scale -- have 10 parallels ranging in commonness from Talc to Diamond to teach kids subliminally about the Mohs scale.
Or, maybe, go completely off the charts and do parallels based on series on the Periodic table. "Hey mom, could you buy me this pack of Topps Science Baseball cards? I'm trying to complete the inert gases parallels!"
Okay, I don't know where that came from. I think I need more coffee. Or maybe less.
One of the highlights of Monster #2 is this Ben Sheets Donruss 2002 Season Stat Line Parallel. The stat line Donruss used was Sheets's win total -- 11 -- so this card is serial numbered out of 11. Just awesome. The Finest is a refractor too, so that's really shiny.
Eldred pitched barely into the shiny card era, so there's just one card for him:
It is one of those Cyberstats parallels, where Topps projected out the rest of the 1994 season to point out to everyone what a great season we missed out on when King Bud decided with his owner cronies to cancel the season after the beginning of August.
I think the star of this three-card show is the Fleer E-X card. The almost rubbery feel of those cards gives it more substance and weight. If I were ever lost in the woods with only my Geoff Jenkins collection available to me, I'd sacrifice this card to use it as a hatchet to gather firewood.
Don't get me wrong -- I actually like that E-X card a lot -- but I think it would last the longest being used as a tool.
To be fair, I think that there were four or five of these Corey Hart golden parallels. I'd say it was a Golden Harting, perhaps. But not a golden shower. That's just weird.
Shiny and sharp? Certainly. Especially that Artifacts Apparel serial numbered 22 of 130. The Bowman Chrome Refractor actually kept my cat Gus entertained as he chased the reflection off the lights in the room around for a while until he got bored with it.
Other Highlights of Shininess and Sharpness
To keep this from extending into another post, here are the highlights from the cards that went into my team collection. I have to keep it from extending into another post for a good reason...that will be disclosed at the bottom of this post.
That Keith Ginter card probably should have been left on the drawing board -- thanks for the Astro-dressed Brewer "prospect", Select! And didn't Gene Altman direct M*A*S*H? Oh, wait, that was Robert Altman. For Select's information, I don't believe that Gene Altman was ever a prospect unless you think a closer in the Midwest League who splits time between two organizations while putting together a 6-0 season with 17 saves is a prospect (hint: minor league closers are almost never prospects). In 7 minor league seasons, Gene had an ERA of 5.67 and a WHIP of 1.637.
And yes, that's yet ANOTHER printing plate. I think that is now 6 printing plates that have come over from Hazel Green.
But I might be wrong about that. After all, this is what showed up on my front doorstep yesterday afternoon:
In fact, THREE monsters from Hazel Green showed up yesterday. An envelope labeled as Monster #3, a single box in the four above was identified as Monster #4, and then three of those boxes above were labeled as Monster #5.
Will we be able to defeat the monsters? We'll see. The Shiny & Sharp monster will be tough to top!