I got a big ol' package from P-Town Tom, Cubs fan and proprietor of the popular card blog Waiting 'Til Next Year, possibly the most perfect name for a Cubs blog ever conceived. You might think a Cubs fan would also pull for the Mariners being that they are in a similarly unsuccessful baseball boat; but Tom saw fit to send me a slew of M's, and among them were a few real gems.
The first was this lovely severed head of Harold Reynolds who, if you drink a couple fingers of scotch and squint, is indistinguishable from the Kid (it's the mustache). I happen to know that Junior has one of these heads available, and he is most definitely not smiling on it. I'm putting this on my Griffey cabinet anyway.
I did, indeed, find something, and I'm saving the big surprise for last.
Here is a set I've been chasing for some time, the 1994 Dairy Queen gold parallel set. These cards are a tough get and tend to go for a few bucks each. Tom sent me the whole set. I was giddy already.
Arguably the most famous card from this set is the "Spiderman catch" which just hurts to look at. It also reminds Griffey fans of the tragedy that would come from one of these catches just a few seasons later.
Promo cards from what may be my favorite year of SPx. Beautiful.
A sweet branded oddball from Kraft. This is one I hardly ever see let alone in trade packages. Solid airbrushing here.
While I don't consider myself a Mariners collector, there were some great cards in this package. I love cards of Ken Phelps, and this one from Fleer is the perfect example of why. He looks like a cool uncle who would let you take sips of his beer so long as you "don't tell your mother." To this day I want to go to a barbecue at Uncle Ken's house. Great ear flap, too. Certainly the second-best southpaw named Ken the Mariners ever had.
Nice try, Swell. And man, does Leon love his chewing gum or what?
I want all the '89 Donruss. All of it. Storage space be damned. These three were nice and crisp, too.
Youngest to 2000 K's is what I've been hearing, and that Goudey makes him look really young. Go get 'em, King.
Speaking of the King, the Mariners roster looks pretty strong thanks in part to Felix and these two guys. The Cubs have a lot to be excited about, too, despite being in a strong division. And the Astros are one of the top teams in baseball right now (though they'll likely blow it in the last few weeks of the season because they're the Astros). Still, the future looks promising for a few perennial also-ran teams. I can't even imagine what the playoffs will look like in three or four seasons. As an underdog fan, I'm hoping for fireworks.
Speaking of fireworks:
This thing is stunning and in what I would consider mint condition. I didn't even feel right opening it up to read.
I normally flatten things like this out on the scanner, but I had no intention of damaging the perfectly intact spine. Here are a few iPhone pics of the cards inside.
Looking a little out of place there, Lindros.
The back is this really beautiful sketch of the Kid with just a tinge of color.
Congratulations, Gam Gam. I guess.
I suppose you really wanted that.
To be on a baseball card.
With Ken Griffey, Jr.
And to all those to whom I still owe trade posts, keep your eyes peeled! I'll be firing a few of these off this week...