Tuesday, November 1, 2016

You've Got Mail #46: The Lost Collector

It's November! Consider yourself lucky that you survived Halloween. I myself may have overdone it a bit on the pumpkin spice and sugar intake but I had fun anyway. I hope everyone enjoyed Project Halloween, it'll be back in some form next year not sure exactly how though. Anyway, with Halloween officially over and done with until next year, it's time to dig back into what built this place to begin with and that is cards ... and lots of them.

I'm sitting on a bunch of trade packages that I need to recap and I'll try to do them in the order they were receieved. I'll start with this package from A.J., the mind behind the Lost Collector (and a guest on Beckett Radio back in the late summer). He dropped a bubble mailer full of Reds cards on me right about the beginning of September. Since I was already committed to Halloween and fall content, I had to sit on this until I started covering cards again, which just happens to be now.

I remember opening a lot of packs of Collector's Choice when I was a kid, mainly because it was only about a dollar a pack and even I, being in middle school at the time, could afford that. I always liked this design because of the different illustrations for the positions on the bottom left and the stripes reminded me of notebook paper. Jose Rijo didn't pitch much for the Reds in the mid-90s after injuring his elbow, but he sure appeared on lots of cards doing random things like toting a Super Soaker and sporting these crazy shades. Jeff Brantley is now a TV and radio broadcaster for the Reds. I remember when the Reds signed him as a free agent in 1994, it made the Reds bullpen incredibly solid and helped take them to the 1995 NLCS.

1998 Score is another product I have fond memories of opening. I remember for Christmas that year my aunt and uncle bought me some sort of retail pack that had about 10-12 packs in it. Ever since then, it seems like it's incredibly hard to find stuff from this period at card shows. I always liked mid to late 90s Score, the photography is always pretty solid and the designs were fairly catchy.

Let's move on to a couple of sets I don't remember, that being 1998 Donruss and 1997 Stadium Club. I really like the design of the Donruss and I might have to start looking for more of these to grab. Not a big fan of the Stadium Club design but it gives me new cards of Pete Schourek and Dave Burba who anchored the Reds staff from 1995-1997, so I won't complain too much.

Moving from the 1990s into the 2000s now, this is where my collection lacks a lot. Bob Boone managed the Reds from 2001-2003 and had a 190-238 record to show for it. Of course, the teams he had didn't exactly set the world on fire and his first season out of the gate was a disastrous 66-96 season. During that time though, the Reds did have a few good players, Sean Casey being one of them. It's nice to add this card to my Casey collection. The Phillips card is a nice early Reds card of his. Now the Reds want to deal him to free up salary room since his contract is up after next season.

This next batch has a bunch of pitchers that I'd forgotten about, so let's do a little Reds career recap of each one:
Jung Bong --- Appeared in three whole games for the Reds in 2004
Luke Hudson --- Played parts of three seasons (2002, 2004, 2005) in Cincinnati, mostly as a starter. Compiled a 17-18 record and a 5.11 ERA during his Reds career.
Jimmy Haynes --- Finished up his career with the Reds from 2002-2004, started the first game in Great American Ballpark.
Hey Topps, how about more Topps Total with fun designs and obscure players please!

Moving on to more recent cards ... Jay Bruce really struggled after his trade to the Mets back in August. It'd be nice to see him back in a Reds uniform sometime but I don't think that will ever happen. That card though reminds me of something from the 90s with all the colors. Another person who the Reds sent off in a trade for prospects was Todd Frazier. He's done pretty well for the White Sox this year and hopefully he can sustain is momentum. These are guys I'll still collect, no matter what team they play for. Speaking of prospects, John Lamb really couldn't find his footing, being part of the Springfield tire fire that was Reds pitching this year. I'm hoping that he can get more seasoning down in the minors and get whatever affliction that causes him to never win games fixed.

Now the two gems of the package. First this framed Allen & Ginter relic card. I'm not a big Ginter person, but if I can find cheap singles of players I like I'll snatch them up. I'm not sure what part of uniform this relic came from but it's definitely unique. It's grey mostly with some tinges of blue, so perhaps its from a road uniform.

Then there was this, an extremely well loved Johnny Wyrostek card. You can tell someone really cherished this as at one point it got ripped apart and a kind soul hastily put it back together with tape. The tape has faded over time and has now become part of the card itself. It definitely gives this card some character and oh if it could talk, what a story it would tell.


  1. Sorry for the old taped up card. I received that quite a ways back, and figured a Reds fan should have it. Not my tape job though!

  2. I can honestly say I have never seen a card torn completely in half and taped back together, but as you said, someone must have cared for that card quite a bit. It certainly makes for an interesting conversation piece!