The First Cards of the New Year

I’m going to try and do the thing this year* where I actually blog about cards as they arrive. I mean, I have almost a year’s worth (a very active year, by the way) of trades to post, and I hate the perpetual catch-up feeling. So in 2020, we’re still playing catch-up, but I’m going to do my best to avoid further adding to the backlog. The goal here will be that at the end of each week, I’ll have posts for everything that arrived over that span.

* Oh, and I also need to do a 2019 recap and State of the Blog update, but that’ll get tabled for the moment. Perhaps later in the week.

So let’s talk about a few small TCDB trades that rolled in the other day. I suppose, depending on how much of a stickler you are, that you might consider these the final trades of 2019. But they’re the first cards to arrive, and new year, new cards, right? This batch of 8 Astros from the 1997 Pacific Crown Collection set will take the prize, although each of the three trades here arrived on the 3rd. It even has my first new Bagwell of 2020! Many thanks to Andrew C. (alchapman) for the swap. I really dig that horizontal Ricky Gutierrez card and the concept of a top banner as a nameplate. Hmmmm.

The next batch came in from RJ (RJSmith), and featured a few more new Astros. I actually asked for two of this Cangelosi – I love the non-glossed 1996 and 1997 Fleer sets, and I’d like to use this to pick up a sig of the short-term ‘Stro if possible.

The other cards from RJ included a pair of rookie prospects from the 2002 Upper Deck Victory set. These scream early-aughts. Just look at all those diagonal corners! I’m not sure about the carat in the top banner, though.

My third and final trade to come in on Thursday was a swap with John C. (herkojerko), whom I traded with way back when. The first two cards involved helped me tackle a pair of food-issue sets I began working on* this year. The Huggins is a Cracker Jack reprint, so it is not nearly this size. The Kruk comes from the 1993 Hostess set, which I have about half of now.

John also packed in a pair of unexpected extras with these two Kimball Champions inserts from 2011 Topps, another small set I’m building. I’m starting to become a sucker for a paged-up tobacco-sized set.

* If you’re adventurous, some of them made it onto the Oddballs, Inserts and Subsets tab of the wantlist recently.

One of the real fun parts of this trade, though, was this trio of 2019 Heritage Minor League cards. Bukauskas was shipped off in the Zack Greinke deal, of course, but Abreu looked really promising in his time here at the end of the season, and Toro has become a really intriguing piece of the system. He’s fun to watch, has a great beard, is Canadian, and caught the last out of Verlander’s no-hitter. What’s not to love? I certainly love those sharp Corpus Christi Hooks uniforms, too.

Finally – probably unbeknownst to John – he provided my second new Bagwell card of the year. I think this one caught my eye in Nick V.’s post on his 1994 Topps set build, and I immediately headed over to TCDB and popped it onto the want list. I don’t hunt Astros cameos, but I have started setting them aside when I see them, and I certainly wanted this one. Thanks for the assist, Nick! And many thanks to Andrew, RJ, and John for the trades.

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