Thursday, February 9, 2017


Right now I'm kind of stuck in my dorm room. But, arguably, for the best reason possible.

There's got to be at least 10 inches of snow outside. Probably fourteen. I'm not going out there with a ruler, mostly because, other than to trek all the way to the crappier dining hall later today, I don't feel like going outside much today.

So, thankfully, a JustCommons order arrived just yesterday for me to sift through. It all kind of works out.

As I'm up at college, no scanner, but there is the usual array of iPhone photos set to my bedspread. It's not wonderful, and it makes the blog look second rate, but...I mean, look at it, it's already pretty damn close to second rate as it is. But, I digress.

I focused a bit less on set-completion here, even though I did slide some in, and more on player-collections and stuff I wanted to invest in.

But before we get to that, the aforementioned...


As you can see, I'm still making progress on completing quite possibly one of the most ubiquitous sets of the 1980s (besides 1987 Topps, which, thankfully, I already completed). 1988 Donruss is slowly coming along, and I got a great deal of the set through this order.

 I picked out four highlights. Yes, there is a Hall of Famer here, but also, Keith Hernandez was still a Met, Jeffrey Leonard was still playing, and Rafael Palmeiro hadn't bulked up yet.

 I picked out 4 needs from 1995 Stadium Club as well. I didn't go for a ton of SC needs this time around, but Lee Smith was at least a nice touch.

 Also...this card arriving means I have OFFICIALLY completed the 1990 Topps set. It took a bit longer than I would have liked,'s done. Finished. Kaput. Along with 1986, 1987 and 1988 Topps...I've completed Topps sets from scratch...which is pretty nice.


Yeah. Here we go. I wanted to focus on some guys I either wanted to focus more on, or...already was focusing a ton on and wanted to replenish. Dexter Fowler was one of those guys I was fringe-collecting, even though I wasn't sure whether or not he'd be good. Now that he's a definite standout with Chicago, now St. Louis, I figured I'd go harder, with some Rockies and Astros issues.

 This one's a little less serious, but these two John Lackey cards are from sets I love, so it kind of made sense to throw these in, as i didn't have enough Lackey-Angels issues.

 Raul Ibanez will always be a sentimental favorite for his time in Philly, but I wanted to get these two late-career issues just because I could. I didn't know they made an Angels issue in Gypsy Queen, either.

 Brandon McCarthy's another cool fringe player that I'm contemplating collecting, so getting some early-career issues with Chicago is definitely a nice touch. That '06 UD one is pretty great, posed shot notwithstanding.

 Scott Rolen...yes, he's not a Hall of Famer, but he's a former Philly player, so...I got to. I don't have a ton of his stuff on the Reds, even if, All Star gigs aside, he was slowing down a bit. I do like the '11 Heritage one.
 And...never enough Konerkos. He's that good. 2007 SP Rookie Edition is a 'new to me' set that apparently exists, and it's simple enough. The '07 Heritage one is a sentimental favorite, is that set.

 Also, since Rich Hill has burst onto the scene as one of the most amazing comebacks in baseball, I'd figured I needed some earlier Cubs issues of his. Lots of Upper Deck ones from 2008 though.

 Carlos Ruiz will be likely playing backup for the Mariners this year, my mind, he's always gonna be catching for the Phillies. That Bowman one is a pretty fantastic one, even if it is, well a Bowman release.

 Never enough Adrians though. NEVER ENOUGH.
The '07 Ultra one is great because...yeah, those throwbacks are awesome.

 Wanna know one of the reasons why I miss Upper Deck?
If somebody was traded in the offseason...they'd get a first new-uni issue like THIS ONE. Spring Training, great colors, dynamic shot. Dan Haren looked pretty damn cool, even if he hadn't even pitched a game for Arizona yet.

 More Harens. He looks kinda drunk in the '08 Heritage one, but the '08 Goudey is pretty great. Also, a reminder that he played for the Nationals.

 Jim Thome was 8-year-old Jordan's favorite player. Made me like the Phillies for a spell. I have so much appreciation for his 3 years in Philly, however short they were. Again, that '03 UD issue was our first taste of Thome as a Phillie, though the '04 Ultra one is freaking awesome.

 Later-career Thome. I dig the '06 Upper Deck one, mainly because I'm just figuring out now how awesome that set was.
 Speaking of Phillies I'll never stop collecting, some Cliff Lees. I do have a soft spot for the period in 2010 when card companies thought he'd be sticking around in Philly for a bit, like the UD issue down below.

 Verticals. the 2011 Topps Chrome one is great because it's a different shot from both the flagship base and the update base, as the signing happened in between. it's an example of Chrome using a different photo because they bloody well can...and there's a reason why I bring that fact up.

 But...we can't have a segment on player collections without at least mentioning one of my favorite players to collect, Juan Pierre. So many amazing cards of this guy. This '04 Ultra one is so deep.

 Dodger Pierre. More '07 SP Rookie Edition, though I do adore the Bowman Heritage one, showing off his #1 trait of a quick bunt.

 Later career. I'm sorry, but his stuff in Philly for 2012 was absolutely fantastic, and so much fun to watch.

First of could you not love that card? It's just fantastic all-around.

I figured I'd nab a ton of Raines cards, which turned into fine-tuning collections of Hall of Famers in general.

 Sox Raines. I know he didn't do anything to rival his stuff in Montreal, but the point is he didn't especially have to. He was already an outstanding player, and his White Sox, and later career, numbers were just icing on the cake. The Pinnacle card is a pretty nice one though.

 THIS, however, takes the cake.

The sky looks beautiful, the fields look green, and Tim Raines never looked more optimistic. 1993 Upper Deck has a ton of outstanding shots like these.

 I also went for some Eddie Murray, because...why the hell not, really? His Dodgers stuff is always great, but it's also great to see him as a Met.

 Later career Murray. The Pinnacle one is a great card, and the Circa one, as frenzied as it is, is a great design for Murray's late-career trip to Baltimore.

 And finally, pictures of two Hall of Famers in the last stages of their careers. Ivan Rodriguez as a National, for 2010 T206, and Jeff Bagwell's last hurrah as an Astro for 2006 UD.


Just a few cards of players in odd uniforms I felt like getting. Adam Dunn as a D-Back! Yoenis Cespedes as a Tiger!

 Heck, 2009 Heritage High Numbers had a few of these, from Coco Crisp's Royals stint to...Bartolo Colon's initially career-ending tenure in Chicago.

 This one's more important, I think.

I don't think anyone remembers that Orel Hershiser played for the New York Mets. Upper Deck apparently did, giving him a base card of that in 2000 Topps. Again, he was near the end of his career, and he was giving up a few too many runs, but...still. It's Orel.


I'd like to talk for a moment about 2008 Topps Chrome.

You're all asking why.

2008 Topps Chrome is a great set, at least in my eyes, because it gave collectors something rarely found in a Chrome set- effort. A good 70% of the photos in this set are different from the ones in Flagship Topps, even for players who hadn't changed uniforms. For someone who'd been used to the sameness in 2008 Topps for years, this is an amazing change of pace, and leads to some really nice moments. It's just a pleasing set for I just got a shit-ton of it.

 Hall of Famers. Glavine's photo is a Spring Training one...and I do not care. Even if 2008 was his last season, he still did his best to keep the team afloat.

 Retired Stars. Bobby Abreu's stint in New York wasn't exactly memorable...but it's still Bobby Abreu as a Yankee, so...I got to. And, of course, Jim Thome's shot is pretty great.

 More recent-retirees. Again, if that Haren shot would have been used in 08T, it'd be a ton better than the airbrushing. The Konerko and Burnett are just more out-there shots than the standard, unmemorable ones we were getting in 2008.

 Active but Irrelevant players.
Josh Hamilton and Nick Swisher's photos aren't just airbrushes of Reds and A's photos! Carlos Ruiz' photo here is a completely different one, not just the exact same one as his 2007 Topps issue. Jered Weaver's looks cool. I mean, this is what you get when you have to design a set in May rather than December.

 Active but not-as-powerful. VICTOR MARTINEZ CATCHING! Maybe it's been so long, but I forgot that was a thing.

 Active stars. Again, if Miguel Cabrera's first Tigers issue was this, instead of the airbrushed one we got, wouldn't we all breathe a bit easier? This difference is clear, guys.

 I also nabbed a few cards from Topps' 2010 Topps Retired Legends set, throwing Hall of Famers into anachronistic but cool sets. This Seaver in 2007 one is one of the better ones.

 Not all of them are its, and the '81 set looks kind of awkward here, but when it works, it's kinda cool, even with the Smith and Ott.

 Even if I'm not a huge fan of the Bunt concept, the tangible Bunt set that came out last year was a pleasant, inoffensive idea. A few base highlights, at least for my collections' sake. I rather like the Maik.

 And, of course...Ichiro. I couldn't not.

 Also, in honor of the World Baseball Classic, a few reminders of the actually-kinda-nice 2008 Topps subset. Chut and Adrian are pretty nice here.

 Ortiz is probably my favorite, because you have to imagine how pumped he had to be to play for the DR team, and give back to his roots.

 And, finally...because it's me, here are a few cards from the new 2017 Topps First Pitch set. I actually pulled this Joan Jett out of a pack a few days ago, but...hell, I'm fine with having two. it's Joan Jett!

 Actors in uniforms. It saddens me that such a great actor like John Goodman is a Cardinals fan. At least he looks great here.
Keegan Michael Key's Dodger card makes him the first Whose Line is it Anyway cast-member to appear on a base card...though, not the only one in this set...

Just...just look at this.

This is iconic. This is a pretty amazing card, even if it is just just of Stephen Colbert. Like the real Colbert, you can't not love the card, especially the over-the-top nature of the costume. Just a great addition to the First Pitch set this year.

That brings this JustCommons order to a close. I'll be spending the rest of the day avoiding going out in the snow.


  1. Great way to spend a snow day! Too much to comment on individually. Great stuff overall. If you could give the exclusive license to Upper Deck, would you?

    1. Indeed I would. I feel like they'd use it a ton better, and more creatively, than Topps has.

  2. Like Hack said, there's nothing better than a new batch of cards when you're snowed in. Lots of great variety here, really nice mix.

    I've seen other bloggers mention Just Commons but I never really looked into it. I think I'll check it out this weekend, once I'm able to update my wantlists.