Friday, January 3, 2020

Secret Santa Comes with Some b(ase)b(all)cardz

One of the reasons I love the Secret Santa is that it offers an opportunity to give to and receive from people I have never dealt with before. That was the case on both ends, as I had never dealt with my giftee (Tim B., of the dormant "I Love the Smell of Cardboard" blog and current Twitter "CardpocalypseNC") and my Secret Santa. My Secret Santa this year was Mr. Stadium Fantasium, who goes by the name bbcardz in the cardsphere.

The package arrived on Monday, just two days before Christmas. Perfect timing. Inside were some unopened products and team bag of goodies.

The unopened products were a pack of 2018 Archives and 2019 GQ, plus a cellophane pack of 1990 Pro Set with 4 cards in it. I don't know where these would have been distributed back in the day.

I went ahead and opened these packs. The one card that stays in my collection is a GQ Wil Myers. This Coming Attraction Walker Buehler was a pretty good find, too.

When I first opened the package, I gave the cards a quick glance and then was distracted by my kids. It wasn't until I returned to them later in the week to log them into TCDB that I realized just how extraordinary this package was.

Aside from the Pro Set, there were just two other football cards included. One was legendary Reggie White, commemorating his 133rd sack to become the league's all-time leader. I didn't realize that it happened against the Bears, which makes it just that much cooler to me. The other was a 1991 Pacific Flash Card. The front of this card is a math addition problem, the back a football card. I've seen these cards before, but I discovered when I added this Ed West to TCDB that I previously didn't own any.

There were a few Cubs base cards that I didn't have. I especially like Zo making a catch in front of the Ivy.

Santa didn't kill my 1993 Hostess set needs, but he left it on life support. These cards, besides being some of the top names of the 90s, are four of the final six cards I needed for the set. I only need Gary Sheffield and Kirby Puckett to finish it off.

Javy Baez was the focal point of this package. All of these cards were new to me. Heritage Chrome cards are always cool to me. When I first looked through these cards, I pegged the Chrome as my favorite of the package. It was when I examined these next cards more carefully that I realized what I had here.

At first I thought this was a 2002 DK base card. When I flipped it over to find the card number that I noticed this:

The gold "SAMPLE" stamp. I don't know much about this Sample set, but it apparently included every card in the set. There were also silver stamps with gold logos, gold stamps with gold logos, and silver stamps with silver logos to go along with the gold stamp and gold logo. Samples are always cool to me, though.

I only bought one pack of GQ this year, but I remembered that the box toppers this year were Chromed. I didn't register at first that this shiny GQ Baez was a box topper. Very cool! The Fortune Teller minis are a great insert set, and I didn't have the Baez, so this was already a great card. Once again, it wasn't until I was trying to log it on the database that I noticed this isn't a base insert. This is an Indigo parallel, numbered 152/250. Whoa! That's a nice upgrade.

The last card in the package was this 1969 Leon Wagner. When I was logging this one, I noticed what great shape this card is in. Look at how sharp those corners are! This card is half a century old, and you could put an eye out with them! Not only that, but there's no paper loss or creasing anywhere. This is a beautiful addition of a relatively forgotten All-Star Game MVP who doesn't have too many cards out there.

So a close examination of these cards revealed a sample card, a box topper, a numbered mini parallel, and a 50-year-old vintage in beautiful condition. I'd say bbcardz knocked this Secret Santa package out of the park. A million thanks to you!


  1. Great group of cards here. That Wagner is a beauty! I forgot all about those Pacific flash cards until I cataloged my collection and found a Joe Montana. Those Hostess cards bring back memories, too. 

  2. That Kerry Wood sample card is my favorite. I have a few different sample cards from that set. I purchased some at card shows, but my first one came in an issue of Beckett or Tuff Stuff.

  3. The Wagner is so sharp and well centered that I thought it was going to be one of Topps' modern reprints, it's hard to believe that it is indeed an original!

  4. Hey Trevor, sorry I'm late to the comment party. I'm so glad you like the cards. And I love the title of your post!

    Those 1990 Pro Set cellophane packs were a stadium giveaway to fans attending one of the 1990 Raider games back when the Raiders were playing at the L.A. Coliseum. I used to work at the L.A. Coliseum back then and found a bunch of them the day after a game. I still have a box of unopened packs.

    1. Cool! That's awesome to learn where the cellophane packs come from and to hear that you worked at the stadium at the time. Thanks again!