Wednesday, June 26, 2024

A Mid-Week PWE Round-Up

A new pile of plain white envelopes includes my first look at Series Two from and much more! 
This year's Topps flagship Series Two release date came and went without me finding (or really looking for) any packs or boxes. I did finally grab a pile of loose packs last Friday, but Marc Brubaker's all-Cardinals mailer happened to hit my mailbox first that day. Series Two always gets the least amount attention (from me, anyway) of the year's three flagship releases. These days, it's a combination of Photoshopped photos of players that changed teams in the past offseason, guys that were held back from the previous release, and some overlooked rookies.

Speaking of rookies, here are a couple of RCs of players who will definitely not be playing for the Cardinals in 2024. I can honestly say I'd never heard of Irving Lopez when I saw him on the checklist, but he made a handful of appearances late last September when I wasn't watching a lot of baseball. Lopez appears to be out of organized baseball right now. Drew Rom was part of the team's return in the Jack Flaherty portion of their trade deadline fire sale. The Cardinals, as always, are short a quality starter in the rotation and Flaherty would certainly look nice there. Rom was a disaster last season on the mound, but the club kept throwing him out there. Maybe they like his peripherals, or something else even less tangible (like his "stuff".) I believe he's probably out for the season with a shoulder injury, or a biceps problem, or whatever else you can find in your search injury.

Ivan Herrera, shown here wearing last season's Victory Blues, picked up a lot of playing time this season, only to find his role behind the plate usurped by rookie Pedro Pages. I think he's always going to be seen as more of a bat-first catcher on a roster that already has a prominent one (hello, Willson Contreras), so Pages' turn as an excellent pitch framer and, at least in one series, a clutch home run hitter is starting to make Herrera feel expendable.

Newcomers (if you also count Lance Lynn's return) make up three-fifths of the Cards rotation. Here's a couple of veteran guys in their Photoshopped best.

Here is the team celebrating something in 2023. It was a rare sight.

Of course, the Stars of MLB are back and this time there are three Cardinals to collect. I still need Masyn Winn and Sonny Gray, plus all of the Chrome versions.

From Fuji came this trio of Redbirds that look awfully familiar. A closer look would note that there's no foil on the Topps logo, giving these more of an Opening Day look. However, these otherwise ordinary looking cards are from a special promo set for a company called Clear Travel, which seems to be in the business of providing similar services to TSA PreCheck and similar things at other large venues.

The backs of the cards are pretty standard. You can see that these have a different numbering system and I believe the set contains 100 cards in total. I haven't run a free group break in awhile, but this is definitely the type of thing I'll be looking out for when I get around to doing one again.

Thanks to spectacular card-swappers like gcrl, I am now just two (non-SP) base cards away from completing the low series run of 2024 Topps Heritage. I say "low series" because we all know there's probably going to be a high series, whether we want it or not. These are so colorful that they're always fun to scan together.

I wish I had paid more attention to the idea of collecting SI For Kids cards. I've managed to pick up a few more recent ones that fit my collection, but it makes me wish I had kept a subscription for all those years, as weird as that would be for someone my age. (Well, okay, maybe not.)

Much had been made of the Cardinals wearing red during regular season games for the first time when they rolled out their City Connect uniforms, but red jersey tops had been a thing for a number of years during the spring. They actually had to drop these uniforms this season due to the limit of five jersey styles per team imposed by the league, or Nike, or some combination of the two. (In addition to the standard home whites and road grays, the Cardinals also have a cream colored retro-inspired jersey worn exclusively on Saturday home games and a powder blue counterpart worn exclusively on Saturday road games. And, uh, those City Connects.)

This purple partial parallel (PPP) marks the second appearance of Ivan Herrera in this post (along with Drew Rom above.)

Last up is certainly the most unique card I've received in quite some time, which came in a single-card mailer from blogger and contest-pariticpater The Diamond King. It's a shiny Donruss Optic insert parallel of then-rookie Stephen Piscotty. The colored border variation reminds me a lot of the original 1988 Donruss The Rookies set, which makes me wonder why this wasn't the color choice to begin with.

What makes it so unique? Well, check out that serial number! I only have a couple of cards with fewer copies in existence than this one.

Thanks to everyone who has sent these (non-TCDB transaction) envelopes over the past couple of months. I would love to see more, and I have plenty of things to get rid of!

1 comment :

  1. A. Had no idea that Sonny Gray was with the Cardinals. Just looked him up and he seems to be having a really solid season. A lot of former A's find a way to land in St. Louis.

    B. Never seen that SI for Kids set before. Had to look it up... and discovered a Gwynn I need for my collection.


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