Well, it’s been two months since I’ve posted anything here. Things feel pretty much the same as they did – the government’s response is inadequate, Houston is holding steady for now but things have been getting bad of late, and we’re still limiting our contacts. We did take a small trip last week, venturing out to Nashville via a straight shot (packed lunches, stopped only for bathrooms and gas both ways) to spend time with my brother and his wife and no one else. We played a lot of cards, sampled some hard seltzers, and went for a hike to a waterfall – more on all that in a future post to be determined.
Oh, and while I have limited prospects about the feasibility of any season, we are at least getting team workouts, so we’ll likely have, uh, two weeks of baseball games? Who knows. Baseball cards still exist, though, and I’ve been able to make some trades – and even a few small purchases. Let’s talk about some things that arrived lately.
The esteemed Mark Hoyle lives in the utopia of Utzland, where baseball cards come in bags of potato chips. We don’t have those luxuries here, so Mark keeps me in mind when he pulls an Astro, for which I am exceedingly grateful. I think I’ve already waxed poetic about this design, but it’s great. The Verlander and Bregman above arrived separately, but both are courtesy of Mark, giving me three Astros altogether. Thanks Mark!
Tim (BamaBomb23 over at TCDB) turned out to be a localish trading partner from Texas. I put together a small swap with him via the trade manager and crossed off the 1990 Score 100 Superstars needs for my Astros binder.
Of course, trading with a fellow Texan gives me a pretty good shot at picking up some new Astros cards. That also included this Mike Scott from the 1990 Fleer Award Winners box set, and another minor league card from 1992 Classic Best (I love this set).
This package rounded out with a pair of needs from the 2015 Topps Archetypes inserts. I think I’ve broken the halfway mark on these. I should probably add my needs to the Most Wanted section in the sidebar – I’ve been meaning to update that.
J.D., another TCDB trading partner (CSUBiochem), turned out to be a fellow Texan as well. We worked out a swap that netted me some newer Astros, including these three Heritage cards. There are a lot of Astros in Heritage, thanks to all of the cards dedicated to league leaders and playoff games. I’m still short a few, and that doesn’t even count the SPs.
There were some other great pickups in this little package as well. I think Gypsy Queen looks pretty slick this year, and while I’m sick of the design retreads, I’m always accepting new Astros inserts so this 1985 Bregman doesn’t bother me too much. I’ve gotten over a page worth of Astros from last year’s Gold Label set now, and they look great paged up with those diagonals running through them – they fit together a lot of the time. The last card in the package was Verlander’s ASG card from 2019 Chrome Update, which polished off that team set for me.
Our esteemed pal Chris, aka Nachos Grande, is understandably short on Astros to send my direction, given all our trading, but he dug around and found a few Reds for some sets I’m working on, including a 1993 Hostess card of his favorite fella, one Barry Larkin! The others come from the 1988-89 Pacific Legends set(s), something I’ve been meaning to focus on for quite a while. I’m putting together all of the 1988-1991 legend sets, as many of those cards informed my childhood knowledge of the greats of the game. That includes the Pacific Legends and Swell Baseball Greats sets, both of which ran for three years. I was a little surprised to see Craig on the Reds, I most associate his playing days with the Dodgers.
Nick V. has been running a custom series of his fellow Stanford alums in the style of the manager cards from 1978 Topps, and I absolutely love this set, because it is clearly made with a lot of love. He sent a Hinch my way earlier in the run, and when he posted these two Astros to Twitter in some batches of his recent work, I immediately chimed in about needing copies. They even have college stats on the back! Nick also sent along a copy of his incredible Johnnie “BOO” LeMaster custom, which I think many of you are going to want. You certainly don’t have to be a Giants fan to love this card.
Nick also found one of my few remaining Quaker Oats needs from the 1986 food issue set. I think I’m down to just three cards for both that and the 1984 Ralston Purina sets. I kinda love that these are numbered on the front. I guess Nick is trying to prod me into collecting my collegiate alums as well, with this José Duran card. We’ll see about that, although I may have to at least kick off a Wally Moon collection, because duh.
Finally – and we’re going to leave this one large because it is a drop-dead gorgeous card – Julie of A Cracked Bat sent this spare Altuve my way. She said she came up with a dupe and determined he needed to go to another loving home where he’d be properly appreciated. This threw me for a bit of a loop at first, but it turned out to be a Profiles insert from last year’s Prizm set, and it is a beauty. Thanks Julie! José is definitely feeling the love here.
Y’all stay safe now, and wear your damn masks if you have to go anywhere.