Bright And Shiny, Man

One of the stupendous internet pals whom I’ve befriended on Twitter over the past year is Steve Brightman (@1brightman1, give him a follow), a devoted Pirates fan. I’ve sent him a couple packets of boys in the black and gold, and in return he’s sent a couple things my direction. One of those things was a signed copy of Transatlantic, by Colum McCann* – one of my favorite authors! I mentioned his books in someone’s “need something to read” threads, and Steve and I connected over our shared affinity for McCann. Then he sent me a signed book! Holy smokes!

Anyhow, this latest package was a quick salvo of ‘Stros. The 1987 Donruss Highlights up here was especially welcome, as it was also supposed to be in a recent TCDB swap but my trading partner couldn’t find it. I think that finishes my team set, although I didn’t do my due diligence to make sure.

* Sidebar: McCann is returning in April for the Inprint Brown Reading Series, and I’m definitely not going to miss him this time around.

There were a couple of older ‘Stros in the pack as well. I had both of these, so Womack went toward one of those eternally long vintage set builds I tend to attempt. Attempt is a verrrrrrrry loose term here, it’s really more of an “any needed cards will accumulate in the eventual set build pile” sort of thing with very little actual effort involved. The ’76 Cruz may wind up in one of those piles, but for now I’m keeping it in my “potentially get signed” box.

From the older stars, we’ll jump to the new ones. It’ll be interesting to see what Correa can do in the postseason, given that he’s spent a good bit of time on the shelf with a stiff back. I needed both of these, so they were most appreciated.

Steve’s package lived up to his name as well, featuring a pair of super-shiny refractors in the mix. Brantley is a chrome refractor from this year’s Heritage. While I liked the offseason pickup when it was announced, I must admit I figured we’d be getting a decent bat and that he’d spent a bit of time on the injured list, given his history. He’s had a career year and hit like mad, and you have to love it when a signing works out like that.

The Bregman is one of those pink retail bonus refractors from this year’s Chrome set, and, well, I really like it. I love the fact that Bregman’s last name got pinkified as well.

Perhaps my absolute favorite card in the envelope, though, was this 1999 Upper Deck Retro card of my boy Jeff Bagwell. Any new Bagwell card is almost certainly bound to be my favorite in a package, and this was a set which I really enjoyed back when it was released. I remember it being a pretty popular one, as well. It’d be interesting to look back at the design* throughout the set and examine what UD chose as retro elements, and how it worked or didn’t.

That’s more of a SABR Baseball Card Blog topic, though, so you probably won’t see it here. I do suspect if we were to have an open discussion about what we “want to see” in new flagship designs, we would wind up at something like “not Heritage copies but rather something that utilizes graphic elements in similar ways and looks to the past for inspiration.” When I think about this set,* I bet it would fare pretty well in that arena.

* It should be noted that this card is not Bagwell’s primary card for the set, and thus not the best representation of the design.

Thanks again for the lovely package, Steve!

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