It had been a while since I'd made a CardBarrel run. I'd only made a haul from their once since their rebrand from JustCommons. And it had begun to show- several times, I'd throw out the contents of a cart because it had been too long and a lot of the cards weren't in the catalog anymore. So if I wanted to make a run at anything, I'd need to be quick.
And aside from one or two cards, including the ever-elusive lead singer of Pearl Jam, I succeeded in being quick this time out. I got a lot of set needs, a lot of OCD-needs for my own neurosis, and a lot of cool stuff. Let's dive in, year by year, shall we:
To clarify my neuroses listed above, one of my goals with players I collect is to nab all of their Topps issues as a backbone for their placement in my binders. I'll usually stack it so that canvas-esque, cooler cards go first, then other base cards from other sets, until finally, oldest to newest, a player's Topps base cards can be displayed. So I'm still rounding up a few of those, including two HOFers, like Biggio and Yount, as well as some fun fringe players like Robin V, Kenny Lofton and Lou Whitaker.
Two unusual ones for me: Dale Murphy in Philly, and Harold Baines in Oakland. Interesting that the guy on the right is a Hall of Famer, and the other one isn't.
1994: HOFers on top, including that awesome multiple-exposure Ryno, plus a cool Ozzie. Favorites on bottom: you'll see a few more Dutch issues in here, but none more 90s.
1995: Fairly basic here, but I do LOVE that Daulton one. He looks so happy.
1996: This set is underrated as far as photography is concerned, man. Just some cool stuff going on, regardless of weird design. Lofton's and Ventura's are nice here.
1997: I swear, we'll get to non-Topps stuff soon, guys. Here we reach our first of many Bartolo Colons of this purchase, and a rare Topps issue of Tim Raines before Topps decided to stop making base cards of the guy for...some reason.
Great shots here, too. Obviously the Loftons weren't flying off the shelves, but that final Sandberg issue is a nice one.
1998: Obviously, Robin V wasn't selling out, either. That Edmonds one is a cool one, though. Been looking for that one for a while.
1999: A fun bunch of Indians players in this. Also, forgot that I needed the reigning MVP. Fun stuff.
2000: 2000 Topps is one of those sets I pretty much have covered, but every once in a while one card pops out of my grasp. Robin V was one of those. Not enough cards of him on the Mets, Yankees or Dodgers.
2001: Surpisingly needed a lot from this set, hence all these HOFers. I loved that this set wasn't afraid to go horizontal for surprisingly commonplace shots.
Plus all of these fun ones. A lot of coolness here, from the posed shot with Manny, to Nomo as a Tiger, to the ability to zoom back a bit on shots like Nomar's, to the cool red of Dunn's, which actually came from the traded set.
2002: Yes, finally some non-Topps-base stuff. I still have fond memories of old Topps inserts, and love that they gave one to J-Rol in his second year. Thank god they had one still.
Speaking of J-Rol, he's one of four UD40-man ones from '02 that I got. I honestly prefer the 2003 issue, as it's a bit more...set-like, but this one's nice too. These are some of the less-oddball choices from this set, but they still work.
A few 2003 Leaf issues, because nobody talks about that set anymore. And also because my search was clearly for Bart-as-Expo cards.
2003: Yes, but this is among the last of it. Feels weird that Omar was in Cleveland so long that he got to wear those odd 'I' hats and blue-maroon jerseys. Plus, I love that the Marlins were still rocking teal in 2003. Yes, they'd phase them out after the WS win, but...still cool.
Toldja I was after cards of Bart as an Expo. These ones had evaded me. The UD MVP insert is...very awesome.
2004: Okay, he's not an Expo here, but still.
2005: Some Update needs.
2008: Yes, I'm still trying to collect Trading Card History. And yes, both of these cards look awesome. THIS is why I'm still trying to collect this set.
2010-11: Too lazy to break these up by year, so here they are together. Getting more into finding old Pro Debut issues of people, even if they're not worth quite as much as Bowman. These are not only XRCs of both Jose Iglesias and Jean Segura, but they're both pictured for teams they'd barely ever play for: Iglesias for Boston, who'd trade him (and Frankie Montas) for Jake Peavy; and Segura for Los Angeles, who'd trade him to Milwaukee for Zack Greinke.
2012: These were the last two of three non-shortprinted 2012 Archives needs for me (Babe evaded me). I also threw in ONE short-print...
Yeah. Whatever. I'm from Philly, I can take it. I think he lives not too far from me, too, despite apparently being a horse's-ass in real life.
And an XRC of Marcell Ozuna for the road.
2013: Two of the hardest throwers in baseball this year. I'd forgotten Fried was a San Diego farmhand. Think they got him in the Kimbrel trade.
2014: These were the last of my non-SP base needs for 2014 Archives. That Ernie Banks card is a gem.
I've probably mentioned this on the blog once or twice, but 2014 Finest was a frigging awesome set. I try to get as many cool-looking commons from it as I can.
Although 2014 Stadium Club may be my favorite set of the decade. Just amazing all-around. And as I'm collecting that one as well, here are four more solid base needs.
And these two fireballers got decent horizontal shots. Down to my last few big ones for this set.
2015: Look, I dunno what prompted these, but...2015 Bowman's Best was cheap, I collect all of these players, and these cards scan surprisingly well. What else is there to say?
A couple Detroit rarities. The Yoenis is cool because Yoenis never got a proper Topps card as a Tiger, and DK gave him a base anyway. Nice job Panini.
...and then there's that Jack White card, from 2015 Topps' First Pitch insert, which I have legitimately been looking for since it was announced. Yes, I'm a White Stripes fan, I like the Raconteurs, and I really like Jack's solo stuff. So finally getting this was therapeutic. Now the search for Eddie Vedder's card continues.
2017: Two more Pro Debuts. Honeywell hasn't made his debut yet, but he's coming, and he's probably gonna be really good for the Rays. Spencer Turnbull has been pitching well for Detroit so far, so I'd say this was a fine investment.
A...relatively rare issue of Rich Hill pre-Dodgers trade, and another First Pitch I've needed for a while, of SNL legend Jon Lovitz.
And now...let's talk about some Short Prints.
Yeah, for some reason, CardBarrel had a TON of cheap short printed variations from 2017 Update. Maybe they weren't so short printed, as I recall pulling 3 SPs easily from my limited number of packs I bought from that set. Maybe they threw 'em in to satisfy collectors who were upset about the lack of traded players (it didn't work).
Anyway, these three fun shots were from that year's All Star Game. Cano's is the classiest, Harper's is the most fun..
...well except maybe this shot, from the Home Run Derby, or the Kraken high-fiving with enemy Chris Sale. See, even Topps believes in unity between sworn enemies. Classy all around.
The 2017 SPs get weirder than that...
These two were also pretty affordable. Like...Reggie cards aren't usually too affordable these days, so that was nice. And that Eddie Murray card is just menacing as hell.
And then there was one I kinda HAD to have...
If 2017 Update was a normal set, this would be a common. But 2017 Update sucks, so this was a super-short-print that I had to wait 2 years to get my hands on. Why? Because Topps is hella lazy. Hell, I can barely even confirm that he's really in a Dodgers uniform, as some elements look a bit airbrush-y. But...this is the 2017 Update Yu Darvish card that could have just been...a regular base issue.
And at least I finally have the damn thing now.
2018: Cutch-a-palooza. As one of my favorite players has hit the 'we can't keep up with which uniform he's wearing' phase of his career, here are some solid entires from last year. As awesome as that Aurora insert is, it's an obvious Pirates uniform. And that Bowman's Best may be my sole card, so far AND ever, of Cutch as a Yankee. I will cherish it.
2019: One of the first real issues of Cutch as a Phillie. Hopefully the first of many.
...and let's end with cards of two of the best arms in the minors right now.
Sixto's is NOT his XRC, but it's close, and it's a zero-year card, as he's been traded from Philly to Miami, where he's been throwing fire in the minors.
Mize's...IS the XRC. At least from Pro Debut. That is Casey Mize's rookie card, which is a pretty damn big deal considering how well he's been pitching in AA. He could be a Detroit Tiger as soon as next year, or even, like September, the way he's blowing through the minors.
I could be wrong on both of these two, but I have a feeling that this may have been a good choice.
And that concludes my massive CardBarrel purchase. If you're stuck along for the entirety of this post...good for you. I'm glad people still do that. Hope you enjoyed the fun pictures.