Tuesday, March 12, 2024

Seasons Greetings from Oren

A timely big bundle of cards that is finally revealed a few months later. 
'Tis the season (*checks calendar*)... oops, it's March! Well, as the sun breaks are starting to increase and daylight savings is in full effect, let's check out a fantastic batch of stuff from super generous trader Oren.

For one reason or another, Dylan Carlson seems to have settled into a role as fourth outfielder after arriving in the dreaded 2020 season with much hype. Assuming some semblance of health, Gold Glove-winning infielder Tommy Edman is the anointed starting center fielder (?), but I felt like the outfield had the best overall balance with Carlson in center over the last couple of seasons. That's not to knock what Edman has done in the outfield, as I feel like he could probably capably hold down any position on the field. I'd just prefer Carlson in center for now, at least since Harrison Bader was sold off.

I had never seen one of these white bordered 2020 Topps Heritage cards. In fact, I had completely forgotten that they existed. I think my scanner gave the red printing more of a pinkish glow than it really has, but this is still pretty striking.

I'm a sucker for a black bordered refractor. I also really like the rare black bordered flagship cards a lot, especially during the days when they shared a bit of sparkly magic with the much more attainable gold parallels.

Matty Mo is looking pretty formidable on this busy Donruss Leather & Lumber design. I feel like this brand is one that Panini has unleashed rather sparingly since acquiring the DLP portfolio (though how they didn't retain the L part of that conglomerate is a story I've long forgotten about.)

Here's a young, beardless Jason Motte who was still trying to be a catcher, in a weird photo that makes it look like he was trying to look like he wasn't just caught doing something weird in the locker room. Is that even a locker room? What's going on in the background?

It felt like it took Rob Kaminsky forever to make it to the Cardinals major league team since he was drafted in 2013, and it really did. It was only in his second stint with the club in 2020 when they were keeping an active stable of, I don't know, like 45 pitchers because at any given time a third of them were getting sick. This was all in an attempt to salvage what ended up being a 60 game season. Let's just pretend none of this ever happened, at least in baseball.

I wish this was still a time when a Hall of Fame election meant a serious boost to card values, but if you take even a slight glance at any Scott Rolen cards on the market you'll see that is sadly not the case. Of course, that means all the more for me. People would still rather throw money at some young prospects who may or may not pay off big someday. (They won't.)

Next up is a pair of Cards cards from the much delayed 2021 Topps Chrome Platinum... something, something. I kind of nodded off before I could complete my thought here.

These cards look nice, but yet another variation on the first full scale Topps baseball card set was not perhaps the most original thing that they could have thought of. I do prefer these (and their parallels) to the 2022 set, which likewise happened to be released a year late. The 2022 set looks very off, like most of the photos were AI generated or enhanced.

It's not all just Cardinals here, although that would certainly be nice enough. Thanks to Oren, I was fortunate to add another numbered card to one of my very favorite player collections.

CJ Elleby was a solid Pac-12 (RIP) player, but it didn't seem like he was cut out for the NBA. He's still just 23, but it doesn't seem like he's up to much at the moment.

The Blazers have been a sad mess for the past few seasons. Elleby probably won't evoke many feelings of nostalgia for this specific era, unfortunately.

I will get nostalgic about the Jusuf Nurkic days, however. Like many a Blazers center before him, he eventually became a scapegoat for fans' negative feelings about the direction of the whole team, but this is a guy who went out and did his often thankless job night in and night out in an NBA era that isn't really built around big men like him anymore. He's doing fine in Phoenix.

Noah Vonleh was a lottery pick who played for a lot of NBA teams in his near-decade long career. He's with the Shanghai Sharks these days which is basically a meme, even though he's still just 28.

There were even football cards on offer. Today was apparently some sort of NFL free agency day as my phone kept blowing up with Eagles notifications. They were busy! 

This is just a good looking card. It's probably the green. Blount is an Eagle here but a Duck first, so he goes into the Ducks collection.

I wanted to like Nelson Agholor, especially after the Eagles wisely moved him to the slot and started taking advantage of his speed more than his pass catching ability, but... I don't know, never trust a guy from USC, I guess.

Well, we've reached the end of the scans, but there is so much more. What all can you spot in this photo? There is some amazing stuff!


  1. Your scan pictures at the end of this post look like my office which is STILL in disarray. We just moved from St. Louis to Lenexa Kansas, outside of KC. However, I'm a life long Cardinals fan and plan to continue to follow my Redbirds. Keep up the good work.

  2. Always happy to send Eagles cards where they belong, which is preferably to a wonderful collectors like you, or anywhere but my apt lol...Looking forward to our next trade!

  3. For a Prizm baseball card, that Bob Gibson looks awfully good.


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