Thursday, March 30, 2017

Christmas in July...err, March

Jedi Jeff, hero of 2x3 Heroes  recently sent out his 'Tis the Season giveaways, and I was one of the lucky recipients.  I claimed a lot of 2016 Archives and 2013 Panini Golden Age.  I claimed the Archives because I am half-heartedly collecting the set and thought this could spark a more concerted effort.  And the Golden Age was intriguing to me because I had never owned any of it and it seemed like a pretty fun set.  I ended up getting more than I expected, which is never a bad thing when it comes to free cardboard.

Here are some of the best faces Jeff sent from the 1953 design.  I once read an article about Max Scherzer's dichromatic eyes, and apparently they are his favorite physical attribute.  Jose Altuve looks like somebody's annoying little brother here, and apparently Nelson Cruz was standing too close to the canister of tear gas in the spring training clubhouse. 

Moving to the 1979 design, we see some clubs that did not exist when this set made its original appearance.  One of the things I about throwback sets is the anachronistic look.  I like seeing the Marlins teal on this design, a color which was not there the first time around.

Likewise, my favorite thing about the 1991 style last year was seeing the older guys in a design that is iconic to my childhood, but still well after the player's time.  I especially like the Maris and Boudreau and their ilk, the ones who are more likely to be seen in black-and-white than the color here.  For some reason, these photos just pop to me.

As for the Golden Age, I was not disappointed.  I really like the cards I received in this set.  Here we have some historically significant baseball influencers.  Kenesaw Mountain Landis was the first commissioner of baseball.  His appointment was spurred by the Black Sox scandal of 1919, and it was partially his ruling against gambling that led to Pete Rose's banishment by commissioner Bart Giamatti about 70 years later.  Josh Gibson was simply the greatest power hitter of the Negro Leagues.  Curt Flood can be credited (or blamed, however you would like to view it) for the institution of the modern-day free agent system in baseball.

Some great old-timey entertainers made an appearance.

 As a history buff, I really like owning cards of some historically significant people.  Since Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid were born Utahns, they're everybody's favorite outlaws in these parts.  Only in the West do people have have favorite outlaws, I think.

More historical cards here, including the Lusitania, whose sinking by German u-boats during World War I turned Americans away from the widely held preference for isolationism.  Animosity toward Germany began to increase, eventually leading to American involvement in the war.

And, of course, there were other legendary athletes included, as well.  Now my only decision is whether or not I want to track down the entire set.  I'm still debating it, but this was definitely a fun addition.

Jeff also included some 2016 Diamond Kings.  This was first time I'd ever seen any of these cards, and I like them a lot.  I'm not a fan of unlicensed Panini, but with these vintage looking cards, it worked.  Here we have some of the greatest hitters to ever swing a bat and one-third of Chicago's most famous double play team.

To go along with the names that everybody knows, I got a chance to learn about some people that I had to learn a little more about.  I have no problem with researching guys for my hobby.

Jeff included some of my favorite modern-day players as well.  I'm still not used to seeing Ichiro in a Marlins uniform.  I don't think it will ever look right to me.

Some of last year's more ballyhooed rookies arrived in the package too, including Gary Sanchez and former top-three pick Jonathan Gray.  Overall, I thought the set was great.

Included in the package was a note from Jeff wondering why we've never traded yet.  Well, Jeff, now that I have your address, I plan on unloading some White Sox on you.  I'm hoping I have a few that you need.

Nothing like some free cardboard to celebrate the Christmas season in Spring.

But the Christmas feeling didn't stop there.  Oh no, Johnny's Trading Spot got in on the action, too.  In one of his posts, he mentioned that he had picked up doubles of this Jim Kelly holiday promo card:

Isn't that festive?  When I saw it on his blog, I immediately wanted it.  Why?  Well, this is why:

This is the football homescreen of Zistle.  I have seen this card listed first every single time I have pulled up the football page on Zistle for over a year.  When I saw a copy available in real life, I snatched it up, just so I could own the number one listed card on my favorite card organizing site.  Now that Zistle appears to be going the way of the dodo, all this appears to be a moot point.  But for novelty's sake, I'm still glad that I own the card.

So from 'Tis the Season giveaways to holiday promo cards, Christmas made another appearance in my mailbox this week.  Thanks to Jeff and John for the great cards!


  1. That's a really awesome Jim Kelly card. I have never seen it or heard of it. Wonder if I can hunt one down now lol

  2. If you decide to work on the Golden Age set, I have quite a few duplicates that are looking for a good home. Just let me know what you need, and their yours. And that Jim Kelly promo is really fantastic!