Two Weeks To A Year

Tomorrow is our daughter’s first birthday. It’s been crazy watching her grow. In two weeks it’ll be Father’s Day again for me, which means the cards I posted about two weeks ago have now been in my collection for a year. I was supposed to post about some of the other cards I got at that show as well, but well – I haven’t posted since then. So let’s get to it.

First up, some Astros autographs I stumbled across for the collection. These came from a dealer with a pair of big boxes of 70’s OPC, which I dug into looking for ‘Stros. When I hit a clump of them, I was surprised to see about a dozen autographs, all very reasonably priced. I was very happy to pull in the Jesus Alou as well as a Tommy Helms, who I’d struck out with a few times TTM at that point.

I landed a couple in the Jim squad as well. Stewart passed away in 2012, so this was a nice pickup for the collection.

I landed these as placeholders until I can potentially upgrade them to Astros unis. Pearce will require a custom for that. The Magnante was the only thing I bought from one dealer, while the Pearce came with the next couple cards.

These are both sticker autos, and while Fontana never made it up with the club before being traded away, it slides into my Astros Relics & Certified Autos box. The Humber was really low numbered as well. These and the Pearce were all dollar finds if I recall properly.
This Chris Burke was in that lot as well. He’s listed as a Diamondback, but is still depicted as an Astro and that’s definitely a piece of an Astros uniform, so I snatched it. It’s #70/99.
The same dealer who had the OPC boxes had a huge smattering of Astros oddities, including a nice stack of pocket schedules. I’m sure Cliff (@OriolesRise) would go nuts. He wanted a dollar a pop for them, so I limited myself to two nice unfolded ones. First up is this 1992 pocket schedule with our hero Jeff Bagwell gracing the cover.
I nabbed a 1984 schedule as well, since I didn’t have one yet and it’s the year I was born. Field level seats were under 10 bucks!
These were from the same dealer as well. He had tons of the police issue cards, but I only picked these up for TTM, since he still wanted a dollar a pop for them. The coaching staff card was in the April TTM Report, it’s now signed by Gene Clines (lower right). I’m debating sending it off to Marc Hill next.

Oversized Smokey Bear post-card that I nabbed from the same dealer as well. You might want to buckle up, because this is going to be a loooong post. I just decided to go ahead and slog through the rest of the show highlights instead of breaking it into more posts.
Let’s stick with the oddballs – I hauled in some Mother’s Cookies. Don’t remember which year these are offhand, but it’s probably 1990. Gotta love all the pitchers with bats that show up in the MC sets. Gullickson looks ready to hack away.
Some hawt prospects in their youth. Love the pose on the Cedeño.

In 1986, the Mother’s Cookies set was all painted portraits of former Astros All-Stars. The All-Star game was in Houston that year, hence the deviation from the norm. This means short-term ‘Stros were ’86’d from their best shot at an Astros card that year. *ducks tomato*
Baseball Card Magazine throwback to the ’69 design. Finally checked this one off the list.

Yikes! We’ve hit gridlock. The Sosa was the last ’76 I needed. Throop had a very short stint with Houston, and it’s impossible to find a color shot of him in uniform, which has been keeping me from writing him. The modern card is an ’09 UD Goudey, if I remember right.
Look out, it’s die-cut time! Found some 1995 SP Top Prospect needs, including my pal Scott Elarton and a nice insert of young Richard Hidalgo. 

More stellar die cuts. The Hunter is a “Blue Chip Prospects” insert from ’95 Upper Deck. Get ready to see many more Hunter cards in this post, I hit the parallel jackpot and he is very well represented. The Montgomery is a Press Proof from 1997 Donruss. Not only is it shiny, but there are notches cut out at the top and bottom.
Time to hit warp speed and buzz through that parallel universe. I’ll try to make it quick.
As I mentioned, Brian is extremely well represented. I should probably check TCDB to check how many of his cards I added to the collection with this haul. First up are a pair from 1995: Collector’s Choice SE Silver Signature and a Sportflics Artist Proof (that’s what the rectangle above “Brian” denotes.)

Press proof time. 1996 Donruss and a Bronze Press Proof from 1996 Leaf.
Bronze and Gold press proofs from 1996 Studio as well.

Of course, there was some superb Pinnacle starburst action going on as well. Nice pickups here from the 1994 and 1995 Museum Collection parallels.
Even had some pitchers in the lot. A Golden Rainbow from 1994 Stadium Club and a Silver foil from 1996 Bowman. That’s my pint-sized fireballing hero Billy Wagner on the right.

More Orlando Miller parallels! An Artist Proof from 1995 Pinnacle and another Press Proof from 1996 Donruss.

I really racked up when it came to the mid-90s parallels and inserts. Here’s a few more to feast your eyes upon. So glad I was able to nab one of the 45,000 copies of that Orlando Miller card. The Hunter is a crazy foil insert from ’95 Select.

Foiled-out Bowman. The Mouton is a preview, which would have been released in Stadium Club if I recall properly. The Truby is a regular card in the ’96 set, which really threw me for a loop.

Some sweet Mouuuuuuuuuton rookie inserts as well – a very nice looking ’94 Gold Leaf Rookie insert and a Hot Prospects insert from ’94 O-Pee-Chee. 

More minor league goodies! I love checking these off the old want list.
Some postseason heroes. I think this was my first Beltran base card showing him as an Astro.

Hotshot rookie infielders. That’s a 1990 Best minor league card of then first/third baseman Luis Gonzalez before Bagwell came along and bumped him off first base and a hot corner occupied by Ken Caminiti resulted in Gonzo shifting to the outfield. Bowman thought Russ Johnson had a shot at ROY in 1998 – you may remember that this design got reused in 2017 Bowman as well.

And I didn’t just land the one copy, but I pulled off the trifecta of this insert! Base insert, Chrome, and refractor versions were found in a single box. 

Is #catcherface a thing? It is now, right? Calling it. This is a swell blue parallel of Mitch Meluskey from ’99 Fleer Brilliants and a lovely card of fan favorite and epic dance robot Hank “PandaCrusher” Conger.

More tallboys!

 Ah, the local coffee shop owner. Always nice to pick up some new Pence cards.

A gardener, and a short gardener. Apologies to Nick V. I just think the position names are really funny.
Well, what a show, right? Pretty good haul if I may say so.
Wait – you didn’t think I left without some new Bagwell cards, did you?
Of course not, silly. Here’s some of the highlights. I think I grabbed around 25-30 new cards of Jeff.

I was able to load up on some later career post-Astrodome Bagwell cards, which was pretty nice as that end of the collection was definitely lighter. I finally feel that it has rounded out fairly nicely, but it was pretty light. That’s why even these semi-boring offerings were welcome additions.

These two, however, were very nice. That’s a great Finest design, and it really works with the Sunday alternate red unis. I’m too lazy to pull out the binder and check right now, but I think these are both from 2004. That’s a really strong Topps Gallery set. Way better than last year’s weaksauce.

Fleer got into the fray as well. The Avant card is really cool in hand, it has some acetate stuff going on with the photo. I just realized that these are really similar photos, too. Even got a similar dirt spot on the left knee. I wonder if they’re consecutive frames.

Ok, we’ll close out this monster of a post with another nice pair of Bagwell cards, this time from Upper Deck. Some might say that the UD MVP design on the left is a bit busy – I think it really works, but perhaps I’m biased. The Diamond Collection card on the right loses a bit with the scan botching the name foil, but it’s another nice card.

If you made it all the way here, give yourself a pat on the back, and maybe crack a cold one for your efforts. I’ve got a flurry of trades to catch up on still, but at least I’m now current through June of 2017.

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