Thursday, October 23, 2014

Mini Christmas in October

Do you ever open a package or a pack of cards and feel like you're 10 years old again? Maybe that's every package or pack of cards for you, or maybe it happens every once in awhile. Sometimes I get caught up thinking about what I'm supposed to open versus what I could open, and that takes away from my enjoyment of this great hobby.

One of those throwback 10 year-old moments happened to me yesterday when I opened a package from Duane, who collects A&G minis and tracks his wantlists and trades on his blog, Democratic Roadkill.

It's going to take me awhile to return the favor after such an awesome package. It'll also take me several posts to cover what Duane sent. Despite the title of this post, I'll start with the full-size cards.

First up some masterpieces of Cal. The first is from 2008 Upper Deck while the last two are from 2007. Why put the 2008 card first, you ask? I misread the year on the 2008 card. I collected a number of masterpieces from the 2009-10 Upper Deck basketball insert set, and these look pretty similar in design. I've always thought these cards were underrated, and it was nice to see several of one of my favorite baseball players. Of the three, I prefer the 2008 Cal.

You all are familiar with the 2014 Ginter design I am sure, as well as the Pastime's Pastimes insert set. I am pleased to add a card of Orioles 2nd baseman Jonathan Schoop (pronounced 'Scope', if by chance you are unaware) to my collection. Adam Jones has a pastime of Philanthropist. The card back tells how Jones earned a key to the city for his work with Baltimore youth. Chris Davis spends his time at the gym.

Moving on to the great stack of cards from 2013 A&G. A few members of the 2014 AL East Champion Orioles. Wei-Yin Chen had a fine season going 16-6 with a 3.54 era. Although Chen was the losing pitcher in game 3 of the ALCS, can't fault his performance, giving up 2 runs in 5 innings. Could have used both of the other two guys in the lineup for sure.

Next up some Braves legends, including my first cards of Warren Spahn and Phil Niekro. In a trip to Turner Field over the summer, seeing statues of these three greats was a treat. My dad's also a big Spahn fan. 

And another all-timer along with two current Braves. It will be nice to see Medlen back in the rotation next season (one can hope!). Kimbrel was a treat to watch in 2014 and one of the bright spots for the Braves as they struggled post All-Star break. 

Rounding out the full-size cards for this post are a couple of Kershaws, one from 2012 and one from 2013, and a Grady Sizmore. My favorite out of the three is by far the 2013 Kershaw. I assume that is his dreaded curveball.

These minis from 2012 Topps, using the design from the 87 Topps set, might be my favorite group of cards from this post. Neat to see different Orioles logos used for the current and former players. Nice job on these, Topps!

These minis are new to me, Kimball champions from 2011 Topps Update. Zach Britton went 11-11 in 2011 as a starter, a pretty good record given his 4.61 era and that the Orioles only won 69 games that year. And we have Vlad Guerrero in his final season and only as an Oriole. I assume each card from this set has a checklist on the back as these two do. Now that I'm up to three (recently received the Markakis in a trade package as well), why not go for the whole Orioles team set?

More minis coming in a future post. Thank you Duane, what a treat to open this package from you!

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