Thursday, October 17, 2019

Traveling Through the Years with Thunderfoot

Of my many recent trades on TCDB, a few of them have been blockbusters. One particularly large trade was with a member who goes by the name of Thunderfoot. He is apparently a fellow football set collector, and I had a lot of dupes from my 1995 Collector's Choice and 2013 and 2017 Prestige builds that I was more than happy to send out in bulk. We both received more than 250 cards in the trade.

He had a few cards from my actual wantlist, like this pair of Heisman winners.

Or some All-Decade players. There are some great cards here, including Roger Craig getting a blow on the oxygen, a nice LT hologram, and a die-cut Ben Coates. I also like the Richard Seymour rookie and the early Stadium Club of Charles Woodson, but my favorite here has to be the throwback uniform of Champ Bailey. I think the old spearhead helmets are the best uniforms in Redskins history.

And, of course, I'll always welcome some former Cougs to my collection. Detmer and Beck remain two of my all-time favorites some of my favorite BYU memories come with them at the helm of the offense. Those memories seem to be all we fans have for a program that seems to be heading in the wrong direction and is slogging through another disappointing season, having dropped three in a row, including losses to Toledo and South Florida (who made BYU their first FBS win since 2017 last week). Now down to the third-string QB and facing a Top-15 Boise State team, the team may have a rough Homecoming weekend.

Most of the cards I got from Thunderfoot, however, didn't come from my wantlist. Instead, I perused his substantial tradelist for sets that were not represented in my collection. I have an unofficial side project in my collection, a Frankenset with one card representing any [base] set I can add to my collection. Right around 1992, that Frankenset starts to look a little nuts with so many products suddenly flooding the hobby. I was able to click "add" on a lot of cards from sets that needed some representation in my "Through the Years" Frankenset.

Let's travel through time with some football cards. We're starting in 1995 with Isaac Bruce in Playoff Contenders. This scan goes into 1996 with Troy Aikman on a Topps Gilt Edge. I already owned a few of these, but those cards are in other binders. It's a pretty weird set, I think, and I'm not sure that I like it.
More 1996 here, beginning with Tony Brackens as a big-name rookie in Score. Ed "Christian's Dad" McCaffrey represents a beautiful gold-foiled 1997 Pacific design. This ends with in 1998 with J.J. Stokes on Leaf Rookies and Stars.

Return-specialist extraordinaire Tamarick Vanover continues 1998 on Topps Chrome. 1999 flashes though--literally, as it is mostly shiny. I'm a big fan of the Stadium Club shot of Detroit DB Terry Fair returning a kick and being tracked by placekicker Michael Husted. Upper Deck Ovation was always a nice looking and textured card. Charles Johnson kicks off 2000 on Collector's Edge Supreme.

This is where things get weird for me. I have very little from 1999-2012, and to be honest, not too many of these sets interest me much. In fact, much of the decade we're about to see looks very similar from year to year. Of the year 2000, I like the Leaf Certified, shown here by Simeon Rice, the most.

2001 offerings here, and my favorite is clean, classic looking Pacific Eric Moulds. I'm also a fan of Topps Gallery and the rare look at Jeff George as a Redskin. I don't think I have any memory of that particular partnership.


Finest is the finest of 2002, in my opinion. I like the shiny blue and the odd squares along the side. Upper Deck and Stadium Club, as always, represent well.
I hardly had anything from 2003, so there is a lot of new stuff here for me. I don't see anything from this scan that I would necessarily like to see binder pages full of, but Bowman (Reggie Wayne) doesn't look too bad to me.


2003 continues on here, and I like this selection a little more than the last. Finest and Absolute are nice and shiny. Prestige is simple, yet interesting. And SPx, wow! That is a crazy looking card. Realistically, I could see myself building a Prestige set from this year if I decided to chase one from 2003.

Marching on to 2004. This year seemed to improve a lot in terms of design. Score (Steve McNair), Upper Deck (Kyle Boller), Finest (Jimmy Smith), and Prestige (Tedy Bruschi) all look pretty good. Check out the return of Zenith! I didn't even know that Donruss had resurrected that brand from Pinnacle, but it's good too. The big card to me here, though, is the Lofa Tatupu rookie. He had a pretty good career going for him until injuries derailed him.
2005 brought some fancy shine from SPx and SP Authentic. I like Topps's 50th Anniversary set from this, and bonus score for a Thomas Davis rookie. I've always liked Davis's game. Fleer Ultra looks good with the late Sean Taylor on front.
Now we're going to slow down a little, as I have more cards from these later years. Only two new sets from 2006 were added. Oddly, 2006 Bowman Chrome was already represented in my Frankenset--by TJ Houshmandzadeh. Now he's on the page twice in two different finishes of Bowman cards.
2007 was not too impressive. In fact, I really dislike the Donruss Classics design (DeAngelo Williams). Why try to fit the photo into a keyhole?
Two 49er quarterbacks show my two favorite designs I added from 2008. JT O'Sullivan is on a nice Contenders card, while the guy he backed up, Alex Smith, has Upper Deck Icons covered.
Only one 2009 set was new, although I already had a few of these, just in other parts of my collection. Vincent Jackson, whom I watched play collegiately at Northern Colorado, will fill the spot in my Frankenset.
Now we get into the current decade with some cards that are starting to look much more familiar to me. 2010 saw the introduction of Topps Prime (Clinton Portis here), which was great while it lasted.
From 2010 to 2016, Thunderfoot didn't have any cards for trade from sets that lacked representation in my binder. I've been busy collector in those years. However, there were a few Panini offerings in 2016 that I did not sample. I like the looks of all three of these sets, though they are all quite different. The red background on Edelman's Crown Royale is especially nice, I think.

This was just a sampling of a much larger trade through TCDB. While it didn't hit many needs for me, it was a lot of fun seeing sets that I wasn't familiar with and choosing the right cards to fit in my Frankenset binder. There are so many sets out there that I don't anticipate ever getting a sample of all of them, but it is fun to flip through and see the evolution of sets and brands. Thank you, Thunderfoot, for adding to that enjoyment!


  1. I've been a big fan of the 2001 Topps Gallery design. But I had no clue that Topps used it for their football set too. Looks like I'm gonna need to go out and track down that set for my collection.

  2. The Roger Craig oxygen card is a classic! And I never knew that there was an LT hologram? I'll have to keep an eye out for a cheap copy of one of those.

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