The leaflets heading to Alabama have shown Off Hiatus's superiority to date. Don't get me wrong -- the PWEs I have received have been excellent, and the number of serial numbered cards and jersey/bat inserts are large. But, as JBF himself admitted, Off Hiatus prevailed in the first round. And that win was based not on serial numbers, but on vintage and oddballs.
We will see how future rounds proceed. To be fair, I am expecting that, eventually, I too will be as overwhelmed as Bob Walk the Plank became...and let's be honest, if Matt can get overwhelmed, there's no way I will avoid it.
Wes hit my mailbox machine-gun style in the first days of the war. On the first day, there was one PWE, then two, then three, then four...and then five and six.
Those five and six showed up on the same day here in Georgia. Here's what that looked like:
Yes, eleven PWEs!
Let's just run right through these, same as we did before, but rather than posting all of the cards, I will hit the highlights.
From Envelope one, JBF hits me right in the Player Collections. We have the Peter Gabriel parallel from 2014 (that's what I call it...it's red rain, pouring down...) and a Rickie Weeks All-Star Game work-out Jersey relic from the 2011 Topps Update set.
What about PWE 2? More PC cards. There's a B.J. Surhoff as a Toys 'R' Us Kid, er, Rookie and then two Yo's -- one from 2010 Upper Deck at the plate (and Gallardo was/is an excellent hitter...too bad he is in DH land now in Texas) and one piece of his jersey or undershirt or arm sleeve from Gypsy Queen. Very nice indeed!
Now, the third envelope didn't have any PC guys, but it did have a beautifully framed John Axford Allen & Ginter relic, with the frame color-coordinated with the color of the relic. If Topps did that more often for its relics, I would not complain!
On the other hand, the fourth PWE had four PC cards -- two more Surhoffs, a Plesac Sportsflics card, and a Burnitz swatch in lovely gray nylon:
PWE #5 was highlighted by some mid-2000s cards that I did not have an a relic from the same time from from the much-traveled Chris Capuano (who is making his 2015 debut for the Yankees as I write this) and a card from the equally well-traveled Mike Cameron:
Yes, halfway...this next one is the middle envelope -- or the median, for you math guys. This one is highlighted by a Yellow Deer, a color-coordinated Ramirez, and a Cobra sighting.
The next envelop had another B.J. Surhoff card that I needed (this time for the team collection), a Chris Johnson pitcher-type who never made it past Double-A and probably got on this card through a nice win-loss record (13-6) and ERA (2.98) in 1990, and Johnny Estrada Relic. I'd almost forgotten he was a Brewer.
Envelope 8: It's a Rickie Weeks Wal-Mart Parallel from 2014 and a Bill Hall NL Artifact from Upper Deck serial numbered 45 of 50 -- Sweet!
The 9th envelope of the eleven brought another Wal-Mart Parallel -- this time of Khris Davis -- and a full-sized card relic from 2014 Allen & Ginter of PC guy Jean Segura (who appears to be playing pretty well despite finding himself on the DL currently):
The tenth envelope had the one card from before 1980 that popped up in the PWEs and a Carlos Lee "Ovation Apparel" relic:
And, finally, we have a Robin Yount sighting...it's a 1983 Topps card that I have already, but it's still a Robin, and it was accompanied by an autograph from a guy who didn't last long in the Milwaukee system named Tim Bausher:
Bauser started with the Seattle system in 2001, got released, pitching in the indie leagues for a little while in 2003 where the Brewers saw him and signed him. Bausher has a Brewers uniform on him -- probably from his time in Beloit in 2003 -- but, by the time this 2004 card was issued, Bausher had moved on to Colorado's Double-A Tulsa affiliate. By 2005, Bausher was in Triple-A with the Red Sox organization. In 2006, he moved on to the Reds organization. For 2007, he was with the Royals system, got bombed in Double-A Wichita, and ended up in the Independent leagues again at the age of 28. That's where Baseball Reference loses him.
So, now, for me, it's on to battle a monster. The first monster, actually:
Pray for me, y'all.