One of those aforementioned people who sent me cards is Brian from Highly Subjective and Completely Arbitrary. I've probably mentioned this before, but Brian is the first person I traded with when I started this blog and we've been sending cards back and forth ever since. This time, he loaded me up with a good number of Reds, Expos, Indians, and some great vintage goodies.
I'll start things off with one of my favorite cards of the package, this Topps Gallery Tony Perez bat relic card. This is a really, really nice piece. I like the uniqueness of the color palate on the side and the painting of Perez is pretty much perfect.
Shiny objects! I think like most everyone, I'm attracted to shiny objects, like these cards here. The card on the left, Ben Lively, is a die-cut. Don't remember him playing for the Reds? That's OK because he didn't, he's just pictured in a Reds uniform because that's what Bowman does. Also, he was traded on New Year's Eve 2014 to the Phillies for noted malcontent Marlon Byrd.
More shiny cards, this time of the mid-90s variety. I've always had this dilemma to peel or not to peel on early chrome cards. I peeled once and instantly regretted the decision. Therefore, I think it's best just to leave it as it. Plus, it makes the card a bit more unique.
Shiny cards weren't the only thing Brian threw in, he also loaded me up on some Reds from the 1994 Fleer set. I must say, that's a really fun looking set, compared to the Fleer cards of the early 90s.
Are you down with OPC? I certainly am. I found some 2009 O-Pee-Chee rack packs completely randomly at the local grocery store last spring. I jumped on them and I'm glad I did as I haven't seen them since. The one thing I don't really like about this set is that the majority of it is a staged studio shots and those are no fun. The Bronson Arroyo card isn't though, it's neat, kind of POV shot of him lobbing the ball towards home. I really hope he manages to make the team this year in his comeback attempt.
A couple new cards for the Votto collection. Donruss Optic was good in small doses, just not a whole box of it like I did but the New Age Performers insert is one I've always liked with Topps Heritage. Speaking of Heritage, who else is excited that this year's design is the classic 1968 design? I definitely am!
To wrap up the Reds portion of this, here are a few more shiny cards from Score Certified Premium. I had to scan these in a binder page as they were suffering from that wonderful thing that chrome-type cards do something, curl. Regardless, they're really nice looking cards and will slot nicely into the Reds binder I'm currently working on.
Moving upstate now, Brian included a good selection of Indians cards, including some Bowman, some Panini Contenders (which was an awesome release), and a first home run card of Brandon Phillips, who the Reds traded to the Braves last week for a mere pittance.
These highlight of the year cards I find really neat mainly because of the old players and old team logos that are sometimes featured. For a moment, I though it was Bob Feller on the card but instead it's Bob Lemon. That's okay though as it's still got someone in an old school Indians uniform with the old logo as well.
A couple more Indians and two pretty interesting cards. First, the Jody Gerut card on the left is a Diamond Kings card from the early 2000s, complete with frame around it. The other is a card celebrating Asdrubal Carrera's unassisted triple play. I feel it's proper that's on a card titled "Rarities".
I love the 80s! Especially when they're Expos cards from the 80s! You can't really go wrong with cards of Gary Carter and Tim Raines from 1982.
Another thing that is always appreciated is vintage Expos and these are just perfect. I didn't know that Maury Wills ever played for the Expos so this was new to me. Apparently he was picked up in the expansion draft from the Pirates but was traded back to the Dodgers mid-season with Manny Mota of all people in exchange for Ron Fairly and Paul Popovich.
The final batch of Expos I'll show here are some more modern offerings. The Gold Label Vlad Guerrero card is just awesome, but then again, anything featuring Vlad Guerrero is pretty awesome.
If what I've shown above isn't enough, here's the real meat of the package. I really dig these autograph cards, especially the Kearns back when he showed a lot of promise. The Mike Clevenger card is from Bowman's Best, a release that usually comes late in the season when I've usually moved on to hockey cards.
Some autographed Expos cards with crazy 90s pitcher Carlos Perez and a card I actually have sort of wanted, a really nice Jose Vidro autograph from Topps Archives.
But this, this is the jewel of the package, a 1951 Topps Grady Hatton red back. This makes the first 1951 Topps that I now own and I'm pretty impressed at the condition for it being 65 years old. By the time you read this, I've already secured it in a penny sleeve and a top loader and it will hang out with with all the others in my box of "good stuff".
Thanks again to Brian for sending over all these awesome cards, plus the others I didn't show. Sorry it took me so long to get a post up about them.