I suppose I could start by thanking Matt from Bob Walk the Plank for organizing and running the whole Secret Santa deal. I guess I could also thank my Secret Santa, that being Andy from Ain't Nobody Got Time for Cardboard. He dropped a package on me the likes of which I'm still in awe of. It had so much stuff, in fact, that I'm going to have to split it up into two posts. This particular post will feature the hits that were thrown in.
Here's the lone football relic card, a basic A.J. Green card. Nothing wrong with this at all, as a matter of fact I actually kind of like it. It's not a basic plain white swatch, no it's a basic black swatch. I think it fits in rather nicely though with the orange and black color scheme of the card. I'm hoping that Green has good comeback next year as he ended the season on injured reserve and this was the first year with less than 1000 receiving yards
Chris Gruler was, at one time, a promising pitching prospect for the Reds, even being rated #77 in pre-2003 rankings by Baseball America. However, injuries constantly derailed his career before it even began. He spent four seasons in the Reds minor league system, never advancing above low-A Dayton and only appearing in 25 games over the course of those seasons. I think a fun article one of these days would be to go through the cards of Reds prospects that never reached the majors and see just how far each of them got.
When the Reds were hot from 2010-2013, Chris Heisey was a formidable fourth outfielder with some good pop off the bench when needed. However, he got too expensive for a Reds team that fell from grace pretty fast after 2013. He was traded off to the Dodgers for Matt Magill, a trade that amounted to more than a salary dump than anything. This is a really nice looking card and anything Gypsy Queen I definitely enjoy.
These were probably my two favorite relic cards included in the package. I really like the look of the Kearns card, not to mention its got the pinstripe going down the left side and the blue on the sides gives it a pretty unique look. Speaking of unique looks, the Paul O'Neill card has a pretty unique way the jersey piece is put in the card. O'Neill's stint with the Reds seems to always get forgotten about so getting a card like this is nice in the grand scheme of things.
A couple cards with plain grey pieces, not that there's anything wrong with that. Scott Rolen has never officially retired, unless I missed something somewhere and felt like a steal when the Reds got him from Toronto in 2009.
To close out the hits, this orange parallel signature of Tony Cingrani, who has one of the most illegible autographs I've ever seen. Seriously, it looks like the number 3 and a squiggle afterwards. Oh well, it's still a really nice card.
That's just part one of the awesome cards Andy sent over, part two with all the parallels and other craziness will be coming up in a few days.