Monday, February 6, 2017

COMC Black Friday #5: Jonathan Lucroy

It's been one week since I wrote on here. That's thanks to my five-day sojourn to Palm Desert, California, and back for a work convention. I went out there on Tuesday because of having meetings all day Wednesday, and I didn't make it back to Georgia until Saturday due to having seminars on Thursday and Friday. 

It wasn't a bad place to be for five days.

I thought about posting yesterday, but I just did not have the energy for it until much later in the day -- after reacclimating to the time difference and all that -- and that would have put the post in the midst of the Super Bowl. After watching that game, I think most people now understand truly how terrible it is to be a fan of teams in Georgia. I only picked up a Georgia Bulldog affliction, and even that is terribly bad for my mental health. I can't imagine what it's like to be a lifelong Falcons fan at this point, though.

At any rate, now that the Super Bowl is over, baseball is just around the corner. Pitchers and catchers report across MLB next week, and the World Baseball Classic isn't far behind. The WBC roster for the United States features two catchers -- Leesburg, Georgia's own Buster Posey and the pride of Eustis/Umatilla, Florida, Jonathan Lucroy. That is an excuse to me to post my Jonathan Lucroy cards from my COMC Black Friday haul. 

Let's start logoless:

I pay very little attention to Panini products, and that is probably a little unfair. Actually, it's not unfair -- it's just how I think. I don't think of Panini when I think of cards. I'm starting to think that I should eschew buying any Panini except for my player collections. Not having logos hurts its products badly. Having to recolor jerseys makes things worse. 

Then, suddenly, I get to the end of a year and realize that there is a chrome Donruss product. I literally have no idea when this Optic product came out, what it's composed of, what Brewers are in it, what stupid overwrought parallels there are, and whether I should even care as to what the answers to those questions are. 

But, I do care a little bit. Enough to buy them if I see them cheap.

Speaking of overwrought parallels, I bring you King Bowman of the Parallels. I picked up a green parallel serial numbered to 150, a refractor serial numbered to 500, and a bubbles refractor serial numbered to 99. And yes, I had to look that up on my Lucroy collection page. Almost to 200 now -- ringing in at 196. Gotta love all those parallels fattening up the Lucroy Collection.

What? There are more parallels?

Of course, and this will not be the end of them. I think one of these is the Topps Limited Parallel, one is a mini, and one is the Chrome "Prism Refractor." By the way, did I miss out on hearing that Topps failed to label its refractors in the 2015 Chrome set? I'm pretty sure I have one, but I can't tell for sure because I don't think it's labeled.

See, this is the problem with being both a completist and too busy to pay attention to everything. I miss news from like 18 months ago and look like a moron here asking about it.

But seriously, any help on this?

Then, we have the purple chrome things from Heritage. I really feel like Chrome in Heritage makes little sense. I can understand the desire to have old cards with that new card shine and all, but why make it an insert in the regular Heritage set? I'd prefer it as a standalone product, to be honest, because that way I can choose whether I want Heritage Chrome. 

Plus, purple cards look dumb to me. It's way too much like 1990s sports logos for my tastes, and 1990s sports logos tended to be very dumb.

More Parallels! This time, from 2015 Finest, including the Refractor, the Purple Refractor serial numbered to 250 (there's that damn purple again!) and the Prism Refractor. This card is nice and all, but the only thing that differentiates it from Panini is the fact that (a) the Brewers logo is in the lower left corner, and (b) the colors are right.

I actually like some of the parallels in Topps Triple Threads. I do. But the "amethyst" parallel on the left is just another purple. It is. It's serial numbered to 354, and this "amber" is serial numbered to 125.  

My brain immediately scanned my mental playlist and out comes a song by a band I've never really liked but which has kind of catchy songs. 

My problem with 311 is that the songs are repetitive and nearly all of their songs sound the same. Seriously. Now, it's not terrible music -- at least this one isn't, thanks to being all chill and beachy and all that -- but stuff like "Down" or "All Mixed Up" or "Beautiful Disaster" suck. It's the same damn chord progression with nearly the same rhythms.  At least that is the way it strikes me.

I like A&G X because of it being black. Of course, because it went well in year one (the card above, of course), Topps brought it back for another year despite the fact that it really was A&G XI.  

Apropos of nothing, let's listen to Len.

For whatever reason, one of the comments on YouTube made me laugh: "you can tell it's the 90's because no one is sleeved out with tattoos."

Hilariously true. 

Okay, the final cards may be parallels, may be base cards, but there are six left and I'm quickly running out of what little inspiration I had today. Still sleep deprived, I think.

So, scan dump of Jonathan Lucroy. That Topps Tribute from 2015 is very busy. All those swirls and weird lines trying to make it look high end only succeeds in making it look contrived.

On the other hand, Lucroy in a Wal-Mart parallel makes sense, somehow. Luc's a catcher. There aren't flashy catchers. Even the ones with some flair -- say, Tony Peña -- had plenty of substance and got run over more times than they could remember. That might have been the concussions, though.

The middle row features a Bowman silver parallel and a chrome rookie card for Lucroy. His ascent to the majors was so quick in 2010 that he featured both in the Draft set and the regular Bowman Chrome set -- but not in the base Bowman package.  

Finally, on the bottom row, we have a 2016 Stadium Club and a 2016 A&G Mini with an A&G back. Well, it might not be the A&G back, but back parallels are the most worthless and pointless of parallels, so let's just say it is. 

We need to close with a song, right? 

Speaking of overwrought and the 1990s, it's Scott Stapp and Creed, "With Arms Wide Open." Why would I subject myself and you to this? Because Jonathan Lucroy grew up in Umatilla, Florida. Umatilla also counts among its "notable residents" one Jaclyn Nesheiwat Stapp. Jaclyn was Miss New York USA in 2004 and Mrs. Florida America in 2008 -- after she married Creed frontman, Scott Stapp.

Thanks for rumbling through!


  1. Do you feel slightly emasculated buying and blogging about bubbles refractor parallels? I bet in a parallel universe there is only one card and design issued per set. The Purple is clearly an homage to Prince. The A&G X is sweet. Isn't Logoless in the Tolkien books? I did not click the Creed link.

    1. Emasculated with bubbles refractors? Naw.

      Emasculated by linking Creed? Yup.

  2. Steal My Sunshine? I had forgotten about that song! Awesome!
    Bubble refractor? Is that what it's really called? Regardless, I really like the look of it. Almost at 200... that's quite a milestone!

    1. I'm not sure how Steal My Sunshine hit my brain tonight. It might have been on the side bar for Amber or something like that on YouTube. But it made sense in this context.

  3. Those bubble refractors are a guilty pleasure of mine, I've picked up more than a few the best of which being a Bogaerts RC and a Bruce Harper. Funny you linked to 311's Amber, I'm not a huge fan of them but that song is on the "no play" list in my house because my wife gets the chorus stuck in her head so badly that it drives her nuts for days. Totally random.

    1. That makes sense to me about the song "Amber," because it is now stuck in my head too. Unfortunately. :-)

  4. Oh wow that a bigazz load of Lucroys!!!! I have absolutely no idea how people keep up with this stuff. It's mind boggling.

    Amber is one of my wife's favorite songs. We actually went to see those guys just so she could hear them play it.

    And here is a secret I wouldn't admit to anyone else but you, Tony. I went to see Creed TWICE with my then teen aged sons. As usual...oldest guy in the place each time.

    1. Sounds like this post would be quite welcome in the Commish's house!

  5. The fall of Creed has to be one of the biggest in music history. They were arguably the biggest band in the world for a couple of years and BOOM it was gone just like that. You watch here in 10-15 years they will start touring again and it will be a big deal just because of nostalgia.

  6. Hey... you take it easy on those purple cards. They're the best.

    Also, did I ever send you a bundle of A&G X Brewers? I thought I did, but if not, I have to get on that. Perhaps the Lucroy was one I was missing?