Time to Address That Growing Pile of Manilla Envelopes
October 5th, 2011 by slangon

I don’t know about you, but I often seem to run into this problem. A manilla envelope shows up in my mailbox and I know that it means one thing: sweet, sweet cardboard. Sometimes, I have the time to crack that sucker open right then and there and see what’s in it, sometimes I don’t. Either way, it ends up in a spot on my desk dedicated to manilla envelopes full of cards that need to be gone through, sorted, scanned and blogged about. That pile has been getting a little unruly as of late and it’s high time I did something about it.

One trade I made recently (and by recently I mean like a month ago) was with reader Steve, who is a fellow Mets fan and was looking for some cards of various favorite players such as Ike Davis, David Wright, John Olerud and Edgardo Alfonzo, among others. One thing about being a team collector, and I’m sure many of you out there can attest to this, a lot of people you trade with will throw in a couple of cards that they feel you’ll be interested in on top of whatever the terms of the trade were. That’s a really cool thing about trading, but the draw back is that you often end up with lots and lots of doubles. Thanks to that, however, I had a nice little pile of cards of the different guys that Steve was looking for that I was able to send his way. For his part, he had a bunch of various mid-90’s to early-00’s Mets cards that I needed for my Topps team sets.

Interestingly, according to Pete’s BR Bullpen page, “He quit using smokeless tobacco while with the Cincinnati Reds; his career declined precipitously and irretrievably afterwards.”

I freely admit that I’m not a big fan of most 90’s cards. I always felt that the designs were just too over the top and unnecessary. I really like this particular card, though. 1997 Topps happens to be a set that I have very few cards from, so I never really gave it too much thought. It’s certainly not one of my favorite all time card designs, but it’s kind of cool. It’s certainly unique. I also like the choice of photograph. It’s not everyday that the camera well is allotted that much real estate on a card.

Unlike the ’97 Topps card above, this ’99 Tops Traded card moves into the period of Topps designs that for whatever reasons all look the same to me. The weird thing is that when you look at the 1999 design, the 2000 design (shown below), the 2001 design, the 2002 design and the 2003 design, they all look quite different. For some reason though, that whole span of years is all one in my mind. I can’t find any explanation for it. Maybe because I wasn’t collecting back then and even when I got back into it I spent more time focusing on either more current sets or older sets?

Here’s 3 more from that era, which also happen to be 3 of my favorite Mets from those years.

Actually, the more I look at these, the more I find it ridiculous that I lump all those years together. They look nothing alike.

Stupid brain.

Don’t you know the difference between gold and gray?

Steve also helped me cross off one more card from this years set. I think I’m roughly halfway done with the Mets team set, and it was all done without buying one pack of 2011 Topps cards. Wait. What? 2011 Topps Update just came out? Damn.

Steve also threw in a bunch of other random Mets cards. Here’s a sampling of some of my favorites.

It seems to me that Fonzie must’ve just hit one out of the yard judging by his trot. It also seems to me that he broke his arm, judging by the awkward way he’s holding it.

I feel like I don’t see too many non-Topps League Leader cards. Maybe it’s just me. The weird thing about this card is that Al Leiter didn’t win the E.R.A. title in 2000. He was 6th, which is still pretty good. But he didn’t win it. He was 6th.

I’m sure I’ve made it pretty clear by now that I’m first and foremost a Topps man. I will say, however that the 1984 Fleer set is one of my favorite non-Topps issues from the junk-wax era. That’s also a pretty fantastic photo of Mike Cameron going to the wall, caught at the split second before the ball hit leather. I don’t quite understand the whole “Signed By:” thing right above his name.

Get it? His name is REDman and the card is RED. Ha!

Since the dawn of time, there have been certain cards of certain players that for whatever reasons show the player in the uniform of their former team. I get it. Sometimes you don’t have time to get a photo of them in their new uni, or you don’t have time to deal with airbrushing. That’s all fine. It’s part of the game. I wonder though, how many other cards like that show the player in the uniform of their old team playing in a game against their new team. I do believe that’s Jose Reyes scooting back into first on the pick-off attempt.

One thing I love about baseball cards is that they can remind of the good times. Or sometimes they just remind you of a time. Like, you remember that time Brad Emaus was a Met? Yeah. Me neither.

2 Responses to “Time to Address That Growing Pile of Manilla Envelopes”

  1. I see I need to stop ignoring Bowman Platinum & make sure that I get Brad Emaus’ Mets card – I don’t think he made it into any other sets this year.

    The “Signed By” reference on the 2004 Mike Cameron card is there because that photo is from 2003 when he was still a Seattle Mariner. I think I liked it better when the card companies didn’t spend so much effort on digitally enhancing photos to create “updated” cards.

  2. […] from Condition:Poor made me reconsider Bowman Platinum when he showed a scan of Brad Emaus‘ card. Since I forgot that Emaus also had a card in […]

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