Saturday, July 18, 2015

The Monster Coda

Back about 6 weeks ago, a militant Jaybarkerfan had declared war on me. In the end, unlike most wars, we declared an amicable truce.  Also unlike most wars, I feel assured that both of us ended up in a far better position in terms of our collections than before we started the war. 

During the war, Monster #3 was a monster about potential. As Wes put it in his letter to me...well, let's just see the letter and Dracula again:

There is nothing like a case break of a product like Archives or Heritage or Gypsy Queen to assure you of getting a team set for your favorite team.

The Archives product was one I really liked a ton when I first got back into collecting. I got a few packs in a repack product and really liked the use of some of the designs I remembered collecting as a kid.  Last year's product left me disappointed, though, due to the lack of Brewers overall in the set. 

Last year helped me learn the lesson that, as a blogger wiser than I put it more eloquently than this (and sorry for losing attribution on this), opening packs yourself is a loser's game. You are assured that you will not receive all the cards you want. You are assured that you will receive a bunch of cards that you don't care about. And, you will probably get frustrated with the whole thing unless you're someone who breaks and sells nearly everything.

That's where these case breaks come in and make collecting fun again. Guys like Chris at Nachos Grande (who's at it again with Allen & Ginter) break a case of a product and people sign up to get the team or teams they actually want.  Wes was kind enough to sign me up for the Topps Archives case break -- and it was definitely a fierce monster!

Here are the base cards from Archives for the Brewers for this year:

This angle hides the monstrous fork sticking out of my back

Hi, I'm Carlos Gomez

As much as I really like the 1957 set generally -- and I do -- it is clearly the least of these three designs. The color combinations used are difficult to read and tend to get lost in the photo. On the other hand, I have always liked the 1983 set design, and this version is solid. Of course, it's not 100% true to the original design, but that doesn't really bother me.

Yet, the clear winner for the Brewers cards for me is the 1976 design. To be fair, I despise the photo that they used for Aramis Ramirez, and I guess I have to add Khris Davis's card to my Carlos Gomez collection since, well, that photo is Carlos Gomez (Gomez is #27, Davis is #18....see?). 

But the color scheme just pops, is easier on the eyes, and is more attractive than either of the other two designs.

The case that Chris broke had some great Brewers parallels and inserts too.  

These 1968 Topps Game inserts leave me a little cold, what with the seventh use of that same Carlos Gomez photo that started in Archives last year and at least the third use of the same Jonathan Lucroy photo (2015 Gypsy Queen and the 2015 Oversized 1952 Topps Team set are the others). 

Part of me hopes that Carlos Gomez gets traded soon just so he'll get different photos on his cards.

This case did yield some great Braun cards though.

That's the silver parallel of his Archives base card, serial numbered to 199.  Then, there's the "1990 All-Star Rookies Insert" because who doesn't need more 1990 Topps in their lives.  But the topper of them all is that Gold Parallel of the 1990 All-Star Rookies Insert because it is serial numbers out of fifty.  

Speaking of silver parallels serial numbered out of 199, here's the Paul Molitor!

Wes being Wes, though, he wasn't satisfied just to send the Archives cards to me.  Nope -- he had to add in some other goodies.

2015 Bowman Mini of Monte Harrison

Gypsy Queen Mini of Wily Peralta

Matt Clark from 2015 Diamond Kings. Unfortunately, Clark will almost certainly never be a true diamond king, being a 28-year-old at Triple-A Colorado Springs hitting .258/.315/.436 in 340 plate appearances this year....

Prince Fielder Finest Moments from 2008 Finest

Another addition to the Lucroy PC -- this time the "cracked ice" parallel (or whatever Topps decided to name this parallel this year)

Segura's on the trade block thanks to the fact that Orlando Arcia is getting closer and closer to the big leagues.  I guess if the Brewers can get more for Segura than for Gennett, I'd trade Segura too. Otherwise, trade Gennett and move Segura to second.

Two more Diamond Kings -- Gomez and Lucroy -- to add to the player collections. Despite my general aversion to unlicensed cards and their lack of logos, these cards are very attractive cards that I don't hate. That's a major statement for me.

Matt Garza's White framed Gypsy Queen parallel

A 2011 "60 Years of Topps" insert of Robin Yount caps off the package.

Wes, as always, your generosity is truly a blessing to all of us in the hobby who trade with you. Thank you very much for all the great cards and other items you've sent my way, and long may you prosper!


  1. They'll still use the same photo for Gomez; they'll just Photoshop his new team's uniform onto him.

    1. Unless he's traded to the Yankees. Then, he'll be featured in every insert set and every base set with completely different photos for each one.

  2. Wow that Gomez-Davis switch is bad. I don't recall 1976 Topps mistakenly switching any players, so Archives can't even claim a Heritage-like tribute.

    1. Yeah, I thought about that being a possibility. Then I realized that yes, this is Archives and not Heritage and, in addition, every copy of the Khris Davis card that I have is like this and no one else has said anything about any photo variations.

  3. It bugs me when Topps reuses photos from other years and then turn around and have short print variations of other players. If they can get multiple photos of some of the guys, the least they could do is get ONE new photo each year of every player.