David Wright 2008 Upper Deck X Xponential X4 #X4-DW
This is supposedly the most difficult tier of insert to pull in the maligned 2008 Upper Deck X set. The inserts were really the only part of the set worth looking at. David Wright is insanely popular among collectors, or at least those that I've contacted through the blogging community.
Felix Hernandez 2011 Topps Chrome Purple Refractor (349/499) #105
Along with Justin Verlander, Clayton Kershaw and perhaps one or two others, King Felix can be considered one of the greatest pitchers in the game. This card is flashier than most of the stuff I've posted here.
Mickey Mantle 2006 Bazooka Stamp #16
2006 was the beginning of Topps Mantle overload, as far as I can tell, but I like these stamp inserts (and virtually everything about 2006 Bazooka) even if they're not really stamps.
Nolan Ryan 2011 Topps Gypsy Queen The Great Ones #GO16
I don't have a lot of great things to say about Gypsy Queen, but they have put out a few nice looking inserts. Nolan Ryan always looked best to me in an Astros uniform, but that probably has a lot to do with it being the team he played for when I started paying attention to the game and collecting cards.
Albert Pujols 2008 Topps Heritage T205 Mini #HTCP1
While having nothing to do with Topps at all, these T205 tributes appeared in the Heritage packs as exclusive Target inserts. They looked so nice that I decided to collect them all. They certainly beat Walmart's Dick Perez portraits if you ask me. I still have nightmares thinking about the Tim Lincecum painting.
Josh Hamilton 2000 Topps Gold Label Class 3 #62
Some people have player collections that only include cards of a player on a certain team, or in some cases only excluding a certain team. I wonder if there are any Devil Rays-only Hambone collectors.
Josh Hamilton 2000 Topps Gold Label Prospector's Dream #PD10
Mark Langston 1984 Fleer Update #U-70
Langston is a 4-time All-Star and 7-time Gold Glove winner. 1984 Fleer Update cards don't exactly grow on trees.
Ozzie Smith 1982 Topps #95
Just a classic early Ozzie card from the hockey stick set that I have in duplicate.
Mike Trout 2012 Topps Opening Day #85
Trout cards should be handled with rubber gloves, or, preferably, not at all.
Mike Trout 2013 Topps Opening Day Superstar Celebrations #SC-23
Speaking of Pujols, he appears here to share a little bit of the limelight with Trout on this brand new Opening Day insert card.
Manny Machado / Dylan Bundy 2013 Topps Heritage #201
This seems to be destined to be the "hot rookie card" of the year, or at least in the Heritage set. Topps at least was kind enough not to banish it to short printdom. I've been fortunate enough to pull two of them from packs, so I can share one with whoever claims it.
Gordon may not be The Man That Saved Royals Baseball, much to Keith Olbermann's dismay, but he's become a fairly reliable outfielder who has at least shed the dreaded "flop" label.
Robinson Cano 2012 Topps Heritage New Age Performers #NAP-RC
Cano is one of the best players in baseball at a position where stars are slim-to-none.
Bob Feller / Pedro Martinez 2001 Topps Heritage Then and Now #TH8
One of the things that motivates me to go to card shows is that it seems to be the only way I have a chance in hell of acquiring 2001 Topps Heritage cards.
Greg Maddux 1994 Church's Chicken Hometown Stars #4
Nothin' says lovin' like a regional food issue superstar card. The strange thing about this card, aside from the fact that it is officially a Chicken Card, is that it was produced by Pinnacle and basically looks like a Score card on the back. Yet, there is no MLB license for some reason.
Joey Votto 2008 Topps Heritage #146
I love the 1959 Topps design.
Bruce Sutter 1979 Topps #457
Blah blah blah cropped image blah. I have no recollection of Sutter as a Cub, but history and Topps tell me otherwise. He looks silly without a beard, which is exactly the opposite of how I feel about 98% of guys I encounter on the streets of Portland every day.
Norichika Aoki 2009 Bowman Chrome WBC Prospects #BCW21
Nori Aoki didn't start playing Major League Baseball until 2012, but because of the World Baseball Classic we were treated to a "pre-rookie" card of sorts. Aoki had a fine first season but has struggled this season, as has most of his team.
Evan Gattis 2013 Topps #418
The man, the myth, the legend. This guy went from mowing my lawn and taking out my recycling bins for a living to crushing baseballs 500 feet at a time.
Jose Reyes 2010 Bowman Blue #12 (373/520)
Is he still The Most Exciting Player In Baseball?
Tim Lincecum 2009 Topps 206 #NNO
The best thing about Lincecum's recent 391 pitch no-hitter is that he never once broke a sweat because all of that long hair wasn't clinging to his neck. Short printed for your pleasure!
Max Scherzer 2007 Tristar Prospects Plus Protential #PT-MS
Scherzer started the season 13-0 before finally losing his last start before the All-Star Break. Part of me died a little inside when I typed the "word" Protential. Oops, I did it again.
Zack Wheeler 2010 Bowman Topps 100 #TP86
Only time will tell how Wheeler will impact the league, but for now it's setting up like he'll make up part of a pretty talented tandem with Matt Harvey.
Jean Segura 2012 Bowman Platinum Top Prospects #TP-JS
Jean Segura, who had just three ABs with the Angels before he was traded, has been carrying the Brewers this year. He leads the league in hits and triple as of this writing.
Joey Votto 2008 Topps Stadium Club 1st Day Issue Retail #112
2008 Stadium Club was a confusing beast, sort of a throw back to the Topps Tek days of a set that nobody could really understand how to complete even if they wanted to.
The Bagwell for Larry Andersen trade still stands as one of the worst of all-time. One of the original Killer Bees, Bagwell spent his entire big league career with the Astros. I realize that the further that we distance ourselves from the '90s, the less impressed we are with the whole thing. I could see that turning around eventually.
Carlos Gonzalez 2008 Bowman Chrome Draft #BDP19
Sometimes I have a hard time differentiating between fantasy value and baseball card value. CarGo is a terrific young outfielder and someone anyone would love to have on their team, fake or otherwise. No one seems to give a crap about his baseball cards, rookie or otherwise. I would like to see that change.
Pablo Sandoval 2006 Bowman Heritage Prospects #BHP36
Sandoval is probably best described as the Big Papi of the west. It's surprising to see that he's just 26 and that his power is probably still developing.
Michael Bourn - 2005 Topps Chrome #471
Bourn is a valuable fantasy player and two-time All-Star, but is not exactly a household name. This card is a true rookie card, as far as I know.
Derek Jeter 2003 Upper Deck Victory Orange #54
This set seems to have been a colossal failure, but it has a brightly colored multi-tiered parallels, and that's alright with me. Orange is apparently "Tier 2", with 1 being the most common parallel (green) and 5 being the least common.
Fred McGriff 1993 Topps Finest #106
The inaugural Finest set is revered as if a priceless work of art, a gem of a limited set in an era of vast overproduction. When I look at the "all-stars" design, I sort of get what the hype is about.
Dave Winfield 1993 Topps Finest #162
In contrast to the McGriff card above, this just doesn't look all that exciting. I'm sure I'd feel different if I had the coveted refractor version in hand instead.
Mike Trout 2012 Topps Heritage #207
Here's one last Trout. This is his first (major league) Topps Heritage card, but not a rookie card. If it was a rookie card, it would literally be worth $7,136,549.
Johnny Bench 2012 Topps Tribute #5
Topps Tribute is something I never pay much attention to because it costs a fortune to buy the packs. The base cards always look nice, though. I received this as a throw-in on a Listia auction.
Hanley Ramirez 2009 Upper Deck Goudey #282
Hanley was one of the leaders of the rejuvenated Dodgers charge in 2013. This is a "Heads Up" short print from the final year of Upper Deck's brief Goudey revival.
Juan Marichal 2009 Upper Deck Goudey #252
Upper Deck's Goudey revival picked legends from all major sports to feature as subjects in a short printed portion of their set.
Patrick Roy 2009 Upper Deck Goudey #250
I don't know how many Canadiens fans read my blog, but perhaps a few of you never finished that 2009 Goudey set and need this short printed card of the legendary goalie.
Troy Tulowitzki 2007 Bowman Heritage #248
Tulo is the best offensive shortstop in the game. His body just needs to cooperate with him. I hate to say it, but I fear the day that someone gets the bright idea for him to replace a certain Yankees shortstop when the time comes.
Homer Bailey 2004 Topps Traded #T72
Until a certain Freak had to screw it all up, Homer Bailey was the author of the last two no-hitters in baseball.
Mike Mussina 1997 Topps Stadium Club Matrix #21
I know almost nothing about this card, other than that it's some sort of shiny parallel. It's very shiny. Mussina isn't quite the household name he was during the '90s and early '00s, but he was an undeniably great pitcher.
Sometime around the release of Topps Update, I bought a bunch of packs and was met with an onslaught of Wil Myers cards. The kid has a bright future, or so they say, but he has no place in my collection. I also had no idea Topps Chrome Update was a thing, and at least in my neck of the woods it has disappeared from the shelves as fast as it arrived.
Wil Myers 2013 Topps Chasing History #CH-140
This card actually touts the minor league accomplishments of Wil Myers. No, he hasn't done anything huge at the big league level yet, though voters handed him a Rookie of the Year award for a half season of contributions.
Jackie Bradley Jr 2012 Bowman Chrome Prospects #BCP66
After last spring's hot start, Bradley may finally get his shot at a full-time job in Boston with Jacoby Ellsbury out of the picture. I dug up another one of his rookie cards.
Bryce Harper 2011 Bowman Chrome Retail Exclusive Silver #BCE1
Topps went a little nuts with Bryce Harper and threw in a special shiny refractor of his as an incentive to buy a box of packs whose exact contents escape me at the moment. It must have worked on me, because I have one of these to show for it.
Mickey Mantle 2011 Topps Target Red Diamond #RDT7
I have to confess to not understanding the market for modern Mickey Mantle cards at all, but Topps was certainly producing a lot of them for a time. I have a bunch, and I thought I'd throw this out there as a feeler to see if anyone likes this stuff. This is a Target-exclusive insert.
Stephen Strasburg 2010 Topps Update #661
This is the most common, pack-pulled non-gimmicky version of one Stephen Strasburg's Topps rookie card. People used to hyperventilate over him. Now he's merely a really good pitcher. Just a reminder, folks - the majority of Roy Halladay's cards can be had for a nickel, and he was amazing.
Paul Goldschmidt 2012 Bowman Chrome Refractor #131
Goldy has been the most impressive offensive player in the National League in 2013, but his team coming up a bit short of the playoffs could cost him MVP votes.
Mike Trout 2013 Topps #338
This guy again. So emotional.
Buster Posey 2010 Topps #2
I think this card started the run of base Topps rookie cards with actual value. I wonder if Trout's card from 2011 Topps Update and recent stuff like Manny Machado's base rookie cards will continue to have actual value years from now.
Starling Marte 2011 Bowman Chrome Prospects #BCP178
Marte is putting together a really nice season as the Pirates are still very much in contention. If you're reading this, keep in mind that I am writing this in May.
Juan Marichal / Justin Verlander 2012 Topps Heritage Then and Now #TN-MV
Topps Heritage has done the Then & Now thing every year since its inception. Sometimes the pairings are odd, and sometimes it's just two great pitchers like this one.
Don Mattingly 2012 Topps '87 Mini #TM-140
Slightly more valuable than an actual '87 Topps Mattingly, I think. That just doesn't seem right.
Derek Jeter 2008 Upper Deck X Xponential2 #X2-DJ
With Derek Jeter announcing his Captain Jeter 2014 Farewell Tour (w/ special guests Motley Crue), I thought I'd throw a few of his cards out to the wolves. I have many Jeter cards. Do you want?
Tom Glavine 1988 Fleer #539
This is the best of the regularly issued rookie cards of the newly elected Hall of Famer. I am pretty sure I was only 12 when I pulled this card, so I am pretty thrilled that it still seems to be in great shape (to my eyes).
Derek Jeter 2012 Topps Archives Stickers #67S-DJ
Jeter the Elder does not make the most compelling floating head.
Mike Trout 2012 Topps Stickers #93
Yeah, yeah, I know. It's a sticker. But it's Trout. Troooouuuuuuut!
Homer Bailey 2004 Topps Chrome Traded #T72
Until a certain Freak had to screw it all up, Homer Bailey was the author of the last two no-hitters in baseball.
Don Mattingly 2010 Topps The Cards Your Mom Threw Out #CMT157
There's plenty more Mattingly's where this came from.