I'll start with this Robert Stephenson manu-relic. I'm not totally against cards like this like but I'm not completely for them either. I'll be honest, if I opened a box of Topps Flagship and got a manu-relic as my only hit, I'd be a little bummed. However, if nice cards like this become available, I'm certainly not going to pass them up. For someone like me who collects on a budget, they're certainly a nice way to get "hits" of superstar players or players that would normally command a higher price (such is the case of Robert Stephenson around my area) for cheap. Stephenson had a decent showing in the limited time he spent in the majors this year, but didn't completely blow anyone away either. I'm hoping he works out the kinks and contends for a rotation spot in 2017.
To say that this package was varied would be an understatement. These are from the assault on the eyes and the mind known as 1995 Fleer. I have to believe that the NL Central design is probably the most subdued of any of the six designs they came up with. One time, I went to a Reds game and had seats along the third base side near the visitors dugout. Since I was there way early, Xavier Hernandez of the Reds was sitting on top of the dugout signing autographs. I was about 9 years old and had brought a softball glove with me in case a foul ball came my way. I walked up for an autograph and handed him my glove to sign. He looked at the glove, looked at me and said "That's a little too big for you, don't ya think." He signed it with a sly grin and I still have the glove to this day.
There were tons of shiny and chrome cards included. Bowman isn't my favorite product to get as I'm not a prospector, plus I've never really been a fan of the designs but these I like. The big topic this offseason will be if the Reds will trade Zack Cozart. Personally, I don't think they will but then again, they shipped off Todd Frazier last offseason so anything is possible. Raisel Iglesias started Opening Day this year for the Reds but ended up being put into the closers role after coming back from injury and after J.J. Hoover had what most would consider a nuclear meltdown.
I picked up exactly zero Stadium Club this year but it's all good as Andy loaded me up with a giant lot. I wasn't sold on the design at first but after having the cards in hand, I've definitely changed my mind. I'm not going to chase the set or go buy any packs right away but these are certainly some nice cards. The one thing these have going for them over last years design that I really like is that it's much easier to tell the gold parallels from the base cards, such as the Peraza card.
Donruss Optic was another product that I was introduced too via this package and again, I really like these. I like these enough that I might see about getting a box of them over Christmas when there are some good sales to be had. I really like the Diamond Kings "chrome" cards for lack of a better term.
Speaking of chrome cards, here's some Topps Chrome from this year along with some sepia toned parallels of the same. I'll admit, I almost fell over when I saw the Stephenson cards were included.
Topps Bunt was a hit when it was released over the summer, at least for lower end collectors like myself. This is my first taste of this and I really, really like it. The inserts like the "Future of the Franchise" are really nice looking and just a generally fun set.
Closing out the Reds portion were these oddballs from the 1988 Pacific Eight Men Out set, which is one of the better baseball movies out there. It's been a while since I've seen it but I remember that in a pre-law class during high school, a friend and I had to write up a defense and a case summary for the Black Sox to be presented in front of the class.
Moving on to the Indians part of the package, first up some nice new Francisco Lindor cards to add to my collection.
I've been waiting to get some of the 1969 Super inserts from this year's Archives. This Andrew Miller card is the first one of them I've gotten so far. If I can find some more for cheap, then I'll pick them up. I like the clean simple design on them. I'll get these added to the want list so if anyone has any extras lying around, feel free to send them my way.
Gypsy Queen is one of my favorite releases every year. I need to see about getting some of the Queen's Throwback inserts as well to go with my new throwback uniforms mini-collection.
To pad out the package, Andy threw in a bunch of random Indians cards which I can totally appreciate.
This is my favorite batch of the Donruss Optic cards that were included. There's a Jason Kipnis base card, a parallel, a Tyler Naquin Rated Rookie, and a Michael Brantley Diamond King. To me, these come across as better than Topps Chrome just because of the different variety of things.
Speaking of which, here's more Chrome including a Tyler Naquin RC and a Carlos Carrasco sepia parallel.
I'll close out the Indians portion just like I did with the Reds portion, with some Bunt cards.
Normally I only go for Bengals cards or legends cards when collecting football. I typically stray away from college stuff mainly because I don't have deep connection to any local college. If I had to pick though, I'd say Miami of Ohio or University of Cincinnati since that's where I went to school. Ohio State is really big here though and since Andy asked before sending these, I was cool with it.
This is my first taste of 2016 Donruss football and I like it. The feel is definitely there of the 1990 Donruss baseball. After getting my hands on these, I'll be on the lookout for more Bengals and for some of the legends cards from the set.
There were a lot more Bengals cards included than what I've shown here. The Prestige cards are ok, not my favorites but they are another 2016 product that was thrown in and that I got a sample of. The highlight for me here is the Ickey Woods card which catches him probably in the midst of him doing the Ickey Shuffle. Cold cuts for everyone!
I'll end this post by showing off the hockey and wrestling cards that were sent over. The hockey cards were a good smattering of Devils cards with Mike Modano and Jaromir Jagr thrown in for good measure. The WWF cards all feature action from WrestleMania 6 in 1990. The feature bout on that show was Hulk Hogan vs. Ultimate Warrior in a match that was better than it had any right to be.
This was probably the most extensive trade package I've gotten in a while. All my collections were covered and I got a good sampling of some 2016 products that I hadn't tried yet.