Monday, November 30, 2015

Onward, Rose City!

With the Timbers advancing to the MLS Cup final, a timely envelope arrives.

Thorzul's annual Trade Me Anything affair is always a good time, and this year was no exception. I was able to snag a low numbered parallel and an unnumbered parallel from this year's Topps Update set in exchange for some goodies that I had cooked up. As a surprise bonus, Thorzul included a refractor of Timbers star Darlington Nagbe. (Thorzul's Twitter feed clued me in that he is a PTFC supporter.) Nagbe finally joined the US Men's National Team earlier this month for a World Cup qualifier and got to top things off with a berth in the MLS Cup final after the Timbers dramatic win yesterday.

The Timbers have a long history in Portland that dates back to the '70s and the old NASL. I was too young at the time to have clear memories of their NASL days, but I remember plenty of their bumper stickers on soccer mom van's in the old neighborhood as a kid. The club went through a few incarnations, but the fanbase really started to grow in the ought years as they navigated their way through US pro soccer's second tier before being awarded the current MLS franchise that began play in 2011. I won't claim to be Timbers Fan #1 and was heartbroken when their newly remodeled MLS-ready stadium permanently displaced the PCL's Portland Beavers franchise, but I had enjoyed attending their games in the past and currently follow them when I can. It's been an exciting playoff run so far and the big match against the Columbus Crew on Sunday should be exciting as well.

I should probably get around to getting some Timbers team sets, but they are unsurprisingly overpriced in this area.

As far as the cards I knew I was receiving, both were of the Cardinals variety, as is my standard operating procedure. I haven't checked the odds, but I seem to have pulled (and received in trades) far fewer of these rainbow foil parallels this year than last year's "red hot foil", 2013's "emerald something-or-others", 2012's "gold sparkle", and (don't forget) 2011's diamond anniversary sparkletastrophes. I might just be unlucky this year.

I'm lucky to own this card, however. There are very few Topps flagship black parallels in my collection, so I'm always up for taking what I can get. Mark Reynolds doesn't make a very exciting low numbered pull exactly, but I suppose it could have been worse. There are a lot of relief pitchers in this year's Update set.

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