Trader’s Backlog: Johnny’s Trading Spot

Whoa. I’d forgotten all about this one. Back in May, Johnny sent me a whopper of a package filled with fantastic new Astros cards. Get ready for a marathon post, because we’re just gonna slam through this awesomeness! I’ll finally put May to rest with this one.
First, we have a lovely trio of MINIS! These are from the 1986 Fleer mini set. The sticker in the center gives me both versions now – the stars and the stripes. These were very cool. It’d be fun to get one of these tiny cards signed.
After that, its time for a bit of a Mike Scott bonanza. Here’s a pair from late-80’s Fleer box sets. The first comes from the 1987 Baseball’s Best Sluggers v. Pitchers, the other is from the 1988 Award Winners box set. These were both new additions, and I think they both put to rest my Astros needs for these small sets.
There was also a pair of glossy Mike Scott cards from Topps which I needed as well. One is a Glossy Send-In, the other is from a Woolworth’s box set if I remember correctly. Both of these were also new.

There were new Killer B’s to be found in there, of course! This early card from Pacific’s pivot to full-on crazy designs is just incredible. What a busy card. Meanwhile, Jeff Bagwell is resting in a very angular re-hashing of Zenith, under the Donruss brand name. I prefer mid/late-90’s Pinnacle Zenith, myself. Hmm, does Panini own the rights to Zenith now?

More Biggios! 2000 Finest if I remember right, although they start to blend together around this time. The Game Time design is just far too complicated. I wonder what Nick V. thinks about this one?
MOAR BIGGIOS! It’s 2002, so we have to bust out our ‘Murica and have a Studio set full of the flag. The photo strip in the background appears to consist of three identical shots of the Houston skyline.* The onslaught of Fleer sets continues in 2003 with Fleer Genuine. Not bad. Not great, but not bad.
Hm, I also wonder if Nick needs one of these for his photography-themed card collection?

It’s DOUG DRAWBACK OF THE HOUSTON DISASTROS! Oh man, those Card-toons cards are a trip. I still need Money Bagswell, but landing this was pretty stellar. The Finest is a great pickup as well. Must resist urge to peel off protective coating…

More 90’s favorites from my childhood. I love that posed Caminiti. This Derek Bell insert from 1996 Score definitely has a bunch going on here.

Young Doggy! He’s just a baaaayby on that ’94 Bowman! I’ve said it before, but ’98 Ultra is one of my favorite sets from this time period.

Oooh, rookie cards of flame-throwing closers! The Billy Wagner comes from the ’93-’94 Classic Images set and shows him in his Ferrum College uniform. The ’99 Chrome card features Brad Lidge’s first year of cardboard appearances.

Oh, baby. Are you ready for some Pacific craziness? Because it was here in spades in this trade. WTF is even going on with this card? I LOVE IT.

It’s the year 2000, and “Ruby” parallels are the hot new thang in town. Here’s a Derek Bell from Pacific Paramount and a Wilfredo Rodriguez from Skybox. Just in case you forgot, Skybox has reminded you that Wilfredo is a PROSPECT, y’all. 
YO, PACIFIC DIE-CUT CRAZINESS. I don’t even care if it is Julio Lugo, this card is great. They made a whole set like this!

I hope you weren’t expecting too much commentary on this post. I’m trying to plow through this and acknowledge a ton of cool cards Johnny sent me without dragging this into three separate blog entries. Johnny did send me the solitary card depicting Doc as an Astro. There are a couple variations of it, but this is the only design of the hurler who pitched four innings in one appearance for the club in 2000.

This kid, though – this is a damn fine rookie card, even if Fleer did put a stupid filter on the action shot. Johnny sent me several cards from this set.

Speaking of rookies, I hope you’re ready for a barrage of them. We have super-duper Morgan Ensberg rookies (the Donruss on the right is serial numbered)…

Hawt Prawspects that never made it to the club, or even the majors…

Some “Classic” rookies – who also never played for the Astros…
And Chrome’d out rookies who I got to see play in Houston! This is a rare example of a three-up featuring two guys from the same team.

I love goooooooooooooooooold –  parallels! The late-90’s and early 00’s Ultra Gold Medallions are really nice, in my opinion. This Ensberg is a gold parallel from 2002 Topps Traded & Rookies.
Minor League Lance! Oh, these were really nice pickups. I’ve had a signed copy of the one on the right for about two decades now, but had never replaced it. That Just ’99 set was a really nice minor league set. I remember it being a big hit when it came out.
These were far from the only Berkman’s in the package though.

Here’s serial-numbered-prospect Lance, from Fleer Mystique. He’s numbered 1257/2000.

Insert Lance! The Ultra card appears to be mimicking a Polaroid, right down to the monochrome’d grid logo. I’ll have to send Nick one of these if I come across a spare. 

Lance wants you to own the game. Like really own it.
No seriously, own the game already. I like the other design better, I’m afraid. This one is very – 90’s Pacific gone wrong?

There was lots of fun Ultra stuck in this package. I really like this version, which I think is from 2005. Nice and clean, still uses the nameplate well, good photos. There’s even a Bagwell cameo in the back of that Oswalt card. It’ll be interesting to see where these two guys finish in the HOF voting this year.
There were a few new cards in there as well, including the throwback ’84 version of Justin Verlander from this year’s Donruss set. The Newspaper special from Heritage is just fabulous (sorry Night Owl, gcrl and the rest of you Dodgers fans), but I hadn’t noticed until writing this that Topps just put a pair of empty boxes at the top. Ugh, they can get things sooooooo close to correct, and then just punt the last 10 percent.
Still, I think I’d take 50 of those cards if I could. Maybe I should try and get one signed by each guy on the squad. Hmmmm.
The last card I wanted to show off was one you’ve seen on the blog before – it’s my high school alumus, Phil Barzilla! So that’s where I picked up this card to send him. In retrospect, this is probably one of the coolest cards in the package.

Thanks for the cards, Johnny! I’ll have to find something to send you before long.

0 Replies to “Trader’s Backlog: Johnny’s Trading Spot”

  1. If you blinked, you missed it. Signed in the offseason, made one 4-inning appearance, purchased by Tampa on April 13, released by Tampa on May 25 without having pitched for them, Yankees signed him as a free agent on June 11, made it into 2 games, and that was it for Doc.

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