Sunday, September 18, 2016

Cards from The Lost Collector

AJ a/k/a The Lost Collector is one of the good guys in the hobby. There are plenty of people who are nice to others, and, frankly, there are a fair number of complete trolls unfortunately. 

By trolls, I'm not talking about people who just complain all the time -- I mean, why would I call myself a troll? -- but rather I mean the people who feel the need to denigrate others and what they collect. I complain too much about Topps and especially about Topps Now, but it's not because I don't want Yankee collectors like AJ to get 35 cards in every set Topps produces. Well, actually, that is why I complain -- I want a little more equal time for the Brewers. 

The people I am talking about are those who call others names, make unwarranted claims about people's collecting, or, as one person did, say that a good guy like AJ is only in the card collecting hobby for money. Stuff like that actually annoys me. If given the opportunity with a card with value, I'll sell something. I do it very rarely, and I haven't done it in a couple of years -- choosing, instead, to send whatever I get out to folks in trade rather than selling. Plus, if AJ is only in this for the money, how can random troll explain all the money AJ spends on postage and supplies to send out packages -- as he did recently -- to people like me?

I'm in a theme music mood today, so let's get Lost with the Lost Collector and the cards he sent to me.

Getting lost in the shuffle with Drivin' N' Cryin', first of all. I've mentioned in the past that I listened to Drivin' N' Cryin' a lot during college -- especially their album Mystery Road, but also their "big" album called Fly Me Courageous. I listed to both albums enough to know all the words to all the songs back in the days when I actually had to listen to CDs rather than streaming music. "Lost in the Shuffle" always felt a bit like a filler song to me. It isn't bad, but it isn't nearly as good as other songs.

Now, I'm not saying that any of these cards are "filler" cards. But, there's a bit of "filler set" about the "First Edition" sets Upper Deck put out as well as the "Opening Day" set that Topps puts out every year. Same goes for those parallels that came out for a while that were exclusive to a particular store. I view those as ridiculous.

Brendan Katin in a prospect set like Bowman Heritage was definitely filler, though. Katin never made the major leagues -- not even for an at bat. He got closer to setting records for the Nashville Sounds than he should have. As this article from 2011 noted, he was within 24 homers and 47 RBIs at the beginning of the year to set career records in each for the franchise. 

Sadly for Katin, he was denied even that bit of fame, as hit hit only 11 homers and drove in just 25 in 34 games for Nashville that year before knee injuries and knee surgery shelved him. In late 2011, this story noted that his knee was so bad at the time that he might have to get a partial knee replacement. He is known now more for the fact that he appealed a 2007 drug suspension successfully than anything else.

I enjoyed finding a version of Top Gun with Spanish subtitles. This scene is weird on so many levels -- not the least of which is that the song makes no sense to sing in an effort to pick up a woman since it's a breakup song. I did enjoy hearing Leah Remini's story about Tom Cruise apparently serenading Katie Holmes at their wedding with this song too. 

Of course, Tom Cruise is weird.

1990s cards are weird too. Even the cool ones like Stadium Club went down paths that are best seen only in the context of what everyone else was doing -- like that Pinnacle Aficionado card that I thought, at first, was completely coming apart. 

Strange days indeed. And, the less said, the better.

The song "Lost On You" is by LP -- the stage name for singer Laura Pergolizzi. The model in the video is Laura Hanson Sims.

I had never heard of either before writing this post. But, I wanted something new to go with three new cards that AJ sent.

The Topps Bunt physical cards were a very good idea by Topps. Sure, they bear a resemblance to some cards from the 1990s, so design-wise we may be going back to that crazy era. But the reason these were a good idea is because kids play on their parent's phones and their own phones constantly. Tying a physical card product to the successful app that it has already is a great way to get at least a few kids to cross over into physical cards. 

At least I hope so. I want cards to continue being issued.

For the next set of cards, I needed something appropriately 1990s. It's not that these next cards are the weird crazy cards from the later 1990s, either. No, I needed grunge.

1990 was the last year that Topps issued its "big" cards. By the look on Bill Spiers face, you can tell that some fatigue had set it by that point with the cards. I'm still trying to figure out, though, who thought that Paul Molitor should be given a portrait that makes him look somewhere between psycho killer and annoying little brother.

And, finally:

Yeah, Bastille is pretty morose at times but their moroseness is couched in such catchy songs that I can't resist their music. Plus, they are so very English. That's worth a lot to me too, oddly enough.

I don't think that the song really relates to the cards below, other than the cards and this song both being from the recent past.

The highlight here is the Gilbert Lara green refractor parallel serial numbered 3 of 99. Seeing this card reminded me that if the Brewers do follow through on reports and trade Ryan Braun for Yasiel Puig (which is an interesting idea, but the Brewers must get more than just Puig), then I will not have any current Brewers players or prospects as PCs. 

I have a thought on a guy I'd like to develop as a PC, though I almost don't want to mention his name. The guy is Isan Diaz. Diaz was the real gem in the Jean Segura trade to the Diamondbacks (well, other than getting 3 months of Aaron Hill and the only Topps Now card for the Brewers in the first half of the season). Diaz is Puerto Rican and went to high school in Springfield, Massachusetts. He was the D-Backs second round pick in 2014. In 2015, he put up video game numbers in the Pioneer League -- in 312 plate appearances, he hit 13 HRs, stole 12 bases (but caught 7 times), and slashed .360/.436/.640. Yes, you read that right.

I have two fears about Diaz, though. He is still a ways away from Milwaukee, having just finished up his first full-season experience in A ball in the Midwest League. Granted, he did incredibly well again -- 20 HRs, 75 RBI, 11 SB (out of 19 tries...) and slashing .264/.358/.469 at the age of 20. But, that's a long ways away. 

The other fear is that his doing this well over the past two years -- and being likely to be named the Brewers Minor League player of the year this year -- will cause his cards to go skyrocketing upwards in cost. Heck, I may be too late for that already based on looking at eBay.

But, hey, if you guys want to send me his cards, I'll definitely take them.

And, speaking of taking them, I am glad that AJ sent me these cards and that the card package did not have an invoice. I mean, after all, he's supposedly all about the money.


  1. Thanks for the kind words, Tony. I appreciate it! Hope you needed a few of theee Brewers.

  2. That Molitor Topps Big card looks like someone asked him to smile and he did his impression of a 5 year old being asked. That is an over the top, teeth showing expression.

    Spiers, on the other hand, just got woken up.

  3. Screaming Trees! Thank you. They played at my college. Good show. Excellent post.


  4. Screaming Trees always appreciated here as well!