Monday, October 23, 2017

Barry Larkin Collection 559: 1996 Topps Stadium Club Members Only - #20

Barry Larkin
Year:  1996
Brand:  Topps Stadium Club Members Only
Card number:  20

The 1996 Topps Stadium Club Members Only set was a standalone set that featured 50 different players.  I never heard of this set until I acquired the Barry Larkin card...and since there is only one other Red in the set (Reggie Sanders) I don't see myself ever chasing the full set.  However, I am happy to have the Barry Larkin card in my possession as it is rather nice.

The front of the card has some funky fonts (typical of the mid-90s) but it also has a team logo and a decent photograph of Barry.  The backside of the card has a nice write-up, although it does say that Larkin's stats from his 1995 MVP year were "underwhelming."  Despite that, the rest of the write-up lays the praise on Larkin thick and he undoubtedly deserved at the time.  This ends up being a nice card from an otherwise forgettable set (can you actually call a set you didn't know existed "forgettable" though)?  I'm happy to have it in my collection.

Sunday, October 22, 2017

Delivery Time! Cards from The Collective Mind

I've been working like a mad man trying to get my collection fully reorganized...and as part of my efforts, I'm trying to make sure that incoming mail doesn't sit around on my desk for too long before I open it, catalog it, scan it, write about it, and finally, file it away.  For today, that's exactly what I need to do with a trade package that arrived last week from Greg over at The Collective Mind.

Greg sent me an email a few weeks ago saying that he had some 2000 Topps that I needed.  He certainly didn't disappoint - he sent me over 20 cards from the set that I still needed including my favorite of the bunch:

Poor Bichette looks like he is about to be swallowed up by the Wrigley Field ivy.  It's a great image from an underappreciated flagship set - and it's a card that I'm happy to be able to tuck away in its appropriate spot in the binder!

As with many trades that I receive (and send), Greg included a couple of other goodies for me including two different Gypsy Queen cards that I needed.  The first was from the 2011 set - a set that I seem to have all but stalled out getting even one card from the set is awesome (and promising that maybe someday I'll actually finish the darn thing).

The second Gypsy Queen card came from the 2013 set - and Indians fans might not want to see this one.

Yeah, I think Edwin's injury pretty much cost the Indians their chance to move past the Yankees in the ALDS.  That's a shame too because I liked the Indians (especially seeing Jay Bruce do well) and I never, ever root for the Yankees.  As for the set, I'm actually closer to completing the 2013 Gypsy Queen set than I am to completing the 2011 edition...even though I've had two extra years of collecting (and begging) for 2011 cards.  

Much like Topps Heritage, I've sworn off collecting any more from the Gypsy Queen brand until I at least finish off one of the GQ sets that I've been working on (seemingly) forever.  

The final card that Greg sent my way was from a Heritage set...but this was the Topps Heritage American Heroes set - and it's a Heroes of Spaceflight insert.

I love the Heroes of Spaceflight insert set - and one of these days I'll probably break down and simply purchase whatever cards that remain on my want list.  Until then though, I'll happily acquire as many as I can via trades.

Thanks for all the cards, Greg.  And, as always, if anyone else would like to trade - be sure to check out my want list and make an offer!

Saturday, October 21, 2017

Barry Larkin Collection 558: 1996 Topps Finest - League Leaders Bronze Blank Back

Barry Larkin
Year:  1996
Brand:  Topps Finest
Insert set:  League Leaders Bronze Blank Back
Card number:  (no number)

Every now and then, I stumble across a Barry Larkin card that throws me for a loop when I try to identify it.  This is one such card.  After searching through the web, I failed miserably until I stumbled across a post on Check Out My Cards which called this card a League Leaders Bronze Blank Back.  Based on the name, it would seem like there might be other versions out there (silver? gold?) of the card.  Even worse, I still don't have any concrete information on the card or the insert set.  Why is the back blank?  It's printed on the kind of paper that you'd expect to hold a sticker...and for all I know, this card could be a sticker (I won't try and peel it since it's my only copy). 

Does anyone out there know anything more about this set?  How could you acquire it?  How common/rare is it?  Who else is on the checklist?  Are there other versions of the card out there?  Are there non-blank back versions?  So many questions!

Friday, October 20, 2017

Flashback Friday! A Pack of Old School Leaf Baseball

Two years ago, I started a feature (called Flashback Friday) that I thought might become a regular thing here at Nachos Grande.  It was a regular thing for all of two consecutive weeks.  Then, about a year later, it made a glorious one week comeback.  If you are interested, you can read my previous three Flashback Friday each for:

As you can see from the above list, Flashback Friday gives me the opportunity to look at a random set from the past - and who knows, maybe even discover some long lost gems from yesteryear!

For today's Flashback Friday, I have another random pack of yore.  In fact, this particular pack might be the first pack that I'll ever open from the 1992 Leaf set.

As you can see from the golden wrapper, this pack contains cards from the 2nd Series of 1992 Leaf baseball.  The pack contains 15 cards....and frankly, I'm kind of excited to open it up since almost every card from the set should be new to me!

So what does the pack hold?  Here it is, in the order they appeared in the pack.

470.  Andy Stankiewicz

476.  Doug Strange
482.  Mike Gardner
478.  John Wetteland
282.  Omar Olivares
Gold Edition:  270.  Jose Vizcaino

391.  Lou Whitaker
332.  Mark Gubicza
339.  Ruben Amaro
346.  Mike Pagliarulo
319.  Rich Rodriguez
300.  Chito Martinez
355.  Luis Rivera

350.  Albert Belle

345.  Bobby Ojeda

The Gold Edition parallels are seeded one-per-pack if I'm not mistaken.  Other than that, this wasn't an overly interesting pack (though the Luis Rivera card is a definite keeper for me since I like the strangely cropped photograph).  Also, how often does one get a card of Albert Belle bunting? 

So that does it for today's Flashback Friday.  Will the feature return again this year?  Who knows...but it was fun for today!

Thursday, October 19, 2017

Barry Larkin Collection 557: 1996 Pinnacle Zenith - #19

Barry Larkin
Year:  1996
Brand:  Pinnacle Zenith
Card number:  19

The 1996 Pinnacle Zenith set never interested me much as a kid.  And, to be honest, it doesn't interest me much now that I'm an adult either.  The front of the card is alright (though the image of Larkin is quite dull).  The back of the card seems to be trying to channel Stadium Club in that it has an "interesting twist" on the usual statistics.  However, the card back is also plagued by a boring photo of Larkin (seriously, is there another card out there with two more boring, yet different, photos)? 

Luckily for me, there is only one parallel of the base card (called Artist's Proof which I need to track down still).  The only other Larkin card in the set is a Mosaics insert card which I featured way back as card #434 in my ongoing Barry Larkin Collection series.