Friday, April 28, 2017

Barry Larkin Collection 518: 2000 Fleer Showcase - #8

Barry Larkin
Year:  2000
Brand:  Fleer Showcase
Card number:  8

The 2000 Fleer Showcase set is a strange set for me.  I can't decide if I love it, hate it, or what exactly it is I feel about the set.  On the positive side, I love the back of the card - the head shot of Larkin, the full statistics, the team logo, and the easy-to-read card number are all great.  The front of the card is also (mostly) nice.  The action image is quality and the name plate looks suitably fancy (yet still readable).  The problem, though, is the stupid floating logo.  It distracts me so much from the beauty of the card that I think it almost manages to ruin the entire thing.

There are two other versions of this Larkin card in the set (both parallels).  The first is a Legacy Collection parallel numbered to 20 and the second is a one-of-one parallel called Masterpiece.  I don't have either of those...but it'd be interesting to know if the same stupid floating logo problem occurs on both parallels.

Thursday, April 27, 2017

30DayBBCChallenge: Day 19: Outside the United States

Today's prompt is supposed to be my favorite card from outside the United States.  However, I don't actively collect cards from outside the US and so I don't have anything good for the prompt.  That said, I can't let that be my only answer for today, so let's change it up slightly.

A Card Featuring a Country Other than the United States

There, that's better.  I have lots of cards to choose from now!  My favorite cards featuring other countries though come from Allen & Ginter - and among the various insert sets that involve other countries, I think the 2007 50 Flags of All Nations set is my favorite.

This is a set that I've been working on for awhile now (and I'm still not done with it).  For the purposes of today's (changed) prompt, I decided to go with my favorite card that I own from the set that features a country that I haven't yet visited.  The winner?

Love it!  A great flag image with the ship in the background - something showing off Portugal's once mighty fleet of ships.  This is the perfect marriage of good design and historical intrigue that I find so appealing about a lot of Allen & Ginter sets.

There's still a number of 30-Day Baseball Card prompts remaining, here they are:

Wednesday, April 26, 2017

Barry Larkin Collection 517 - 2000 Fleer Mystique - #40

Barry Larkin
Year:  2000
Brand:  Fleer Mystique
Card number:  40

The 2000 Fleer Mystique set is the second set in the short-lived Mystique brand.  The 1999 Mystique set was quite nice, but the 2000 set didn't live up to expectations (and it wouldn't be long from 2000 when Fleer itself would no longer exist).  Personally, I don't mind the back of this card at all (it's a fairly standard Fleer design) but the front of the card is quite atrocious.  In fact, I hate the "mystique" writing in the background - and the blurry photo with Larkin looking away from the camera doesn't help things at all either.  Tack on the dinkiest team logo you've ever seen on the front of a card and you end up with something that's less "mystique" and more "mistake."

Tuesday, April 25, 2017

30DayBBCChallenge: Day 18: A Rose by Any Other Name

Today's 30-Day Baseball Card Challenge prompt is:

A card of a player who would go on to manage your favorite team.

The Reds have had a number of player-turned-managers.  Lou Piniella may have been one of the best ex-player managers of the Reds (at least during my lifetime) but the player that immediately came to mind for me for today's prompt is none other than Cincinnati's own Peter Edward Rose.

Pete Rose is, by almost all accounts, a fairly terrible human being (at least morally).  However, he was undeniably talented...and his scrappiness/toughness made him an instant favorite in a town like Cincinnati that prides itself on being a blue-collar, tough kind of place.

By the time Rose became manager of the Reds, Cincinnati was well past its heyday of the Big Red Machine.  Instead, the 80s Reds were mostly a middling machine missing a few key cogs.  They would, happily, put together one dominant wire-to-wire World Series winning team in 1990, but by then Rose was banned from baseball for his moral (betting) transgressions.

Perhaps most interesting about Rose and managing is the fact that Rose was a player and manager.  Oh sure, his best playing days were well past him - but still, you don't see player/manager on a baseball card much these days (in fact, was Rose the last player manager in the game)?

Here are the rest of the 30-Day Baseball Card prompts:

Monday, April 24, 2017

30DayBBCChallenge: Day 17: My First Hand Collated Set

Today's 30 Day Baseball Card Challenge prompt asks:

What is the first hand-collated set you put together?

As a set collector, you would think I would have a firm grasp on my first set that I put together by hand...and yet, I'm actually drawing a blank.  As a kid, I know that I acquired a lot of cards from a lot of different sets, but I never actually finished off (being pre-eBay made set completing much more difficult than it is today).

Thinking it through, I think the first set that I may have completed by hand was actually from 1997:

That's the All-Stars insert set - and I bought an awful lot of Collector's Choice that year in an attempt to finish the set.  Truth be told, this probably isn't my first set - but it was the first set that came to mind that I distinctly remember attempting to complete by it gave me a good excuse to pull out my binder of Collector's Choice and look through the set (that's a win for me since I still love the set today)!

Here are the remaining prompts: