Monday, February 24, 2020

Not Enough Verlanders?

Still winding down 2019 with @forgotaboutblay and some cards from nearly all the sports. 

I haven't had a change to ask Dennis of Too Many Verlanders how he feels about his blog's namesake these days. The transgression of Verlander seems more serious than, say, becoming a Yankee, but it's more of a guilt-by-association thing. It's hard to lay much blame at the foot of a pitcher for being a team member of a team caught participating in a scheme that allowed their hitters to get immediate knowledge of what pitch was coming ahead of time. Of course, Justin Verlander is someone you'd expect to be a veteran leader in the clubhouse at this point in his career, so... probably conflicting feelings are what you're going to have?

I actually own an Astros shirt (was bought for me during the recent playoff run) and have a couple of minor personal collections of their players in my household (Erin's Altuves and my Springers.) These guys are definitely on the side of the ball that could have benefited in a scheme like this, but I'm still not sure how I feel about it. I didn't feel like buying any Springers or Altuves from the dime box in the card show I recently attended. I don't feel like burning their cards, either. I don't really know what I feel at the moment. I do know that the Astros aren't my team (that much is clear) and I am tired of hearing about them every time I turn on my TV in the morning.

Well, baseball is back in business, as you've most likely heard. Spring Fever! Dennis sent me a bunch of stuff late in 2019, and these cards are from the last (Christmas!) batch he sent. It's well documented that I'm a big fan of the Fleer Greats sets, and while I'm not sure that this "Rookie & Greats" set from 2003 is part of that lineage, it looks really cool.

I went to the Blazers 2000's Decades Night game last night, and it was tons of fun. Unfortunately, the team apparently wasn't extremely successful in bringing back players from those years, but it wasn't really unexpected, either. Brandon Roy is more or less estranged from the franchise over the way his career ended. The problem is, of course, that there was no way the end of Roy's career was going to be anything but awkward and sad. Rasheed Wallace wasn't likely to participate in anything cerebral, especially involving the Blazers. Scottie Pippen apparently pre-taped some stuff at the Blazers practice facility, and the recently retired Zach Randolph probably doesn't want to look back in the mirror at his career right now. That left Travis Outlaw, surprisingly-cool-about-being-fired longtime TV announcer Mike Barrett, and Damon Stoudamire to make the appearance. Stoudamire is the head coach of a college team (University of the Pacific), so it was cool that he made time to come back.

Aaron McKie was more of a '90s guy for the Blazers, although he'd pop up a lot in the 2000s, especially as a long time member of the Allen Iverson-led 76ers.

It wouldn't be a TMV trade without Oregon Ducks cards. As usual, I held most of the football cards back for future Good Luck Ducks posts. I do really like the strange stained glass pattern of Marcus Mariota's card here.

The meat of the envelope came in the form of Ducks hoops cards, however. Dillon Brooks has been huge for the Grizzlies this season after everyone probably forgot about him due to his lost 2018-19 season.

Luke Jackson is a throwback to the 2000's, as he was the one-time teammate of LeBron James when he entered the league. Let's just say that LeBron learned all of his moves from Luke, okay?

Finally, in a shocking twist, Dennis sent me a printing plate of the former Duck Joe Young. Young transferred to UO from Houston and immediately was their best player. He spent several seasons bured deep on the bench in Indiana before ending up in China. It looks like he was destroying the CBA last season, but I haven't seen much news about him this year.

Frustratingly, I wasn't able to add this to the TCDB database because it's one of those acts of Panini trickery where they inserted these in some other product (2016-17 National Treasures, I guess.) The cards these plates were made for were in most cases just as rare as the plates themselves, and Panini is famous for not publishing the actual card numbers for most of their "hits", so actually creating and maintaining a checklist for this is going to be a dreadful if not impossible task. It's a really cool card thing to own, though, so I'm very thankful for that.


Chris said...

I've never seen the 'Rookies & Greats' before. And I don't know how Dennis feels about JV but I'm not too happy to be a Red Sox fan - or a David Ortiz collector - right now. Calling Mike Fiers a "snitch" sounds to me like he would have done the same thing the Astros did (and neither Papi nor the Sox have a squeaky-clean reputation as it is)

Jon said...

Ooh, look at this variety! I think that Brandon will end up rejoining the fold at some point, it just might be a few more years (hopefully not decades) before he does so.