Park Pedaler

The more cynical collectors will see this and ask themselves why did he buy that?! It’s bad enough that it’s the 2016 smoke design, they will say, but what’s worse is that it is one of those gimmicky cards.

Yes, I know all about your hatred for the 2016 design and to each his own. I’ve mentioned it before, but the design did grow on me over the baseball season. Had this been one of the ‘Topps Now’ designs, I would not have bought it. As it is, I picked it up because it seems like one of those oddballs that were an extension of the base set (regionals, for instance) that I’ve chased over the years. Plus, throw in the fact that Zobrist is a pretty class act and that all proceeds from the sale of this card will be going to charity, and I was more than happy to spend ten bucks.

It was funny, this package. I’ve complained before about how Topps’ fulfillment company used very little protection in the shipment of their Now cards. Well, this baby made me wonder if Ben’s bike was inside. It was shipped in a large bubble mailer. Inside of that was the above envelope, wrapped in more bubble wrap. And inside of this?

A plastic case holding the card- which was sandwiched in between two pieces of foam, making the entire package kind of like a Russian doll.


Flat-Out Fun

Among the more interesting releases of the late-90’s, Topps Action Flats featured a card along with a plastic figure that resembled one of the most beloved toys among young boys of the twentieth century. Like the wildly popular Green Army Men, the Flats had very little depth to them and featured the player on a plastic base (allowing them to stand). The figures were hand-painted and were produced in both “home” and “away” uniforms- with the “away” uniforms being more scarce. A total of twelve players were included in the checklist.

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The Action Flats cards resembled that year’s Topps design (the 1999 set) and featured a gold-foil Action Flats stamp towards the bottom right corner. The photo used on the front was different from each player’s regular Topps issue, while the backs were the same- with the exception of the Action Flats logo and a different card number.

1999 Topps Action Flats Checklist

  1. Chipper Jones
  2. Greg Maddux
  3. Mark McGwire
  4. Sammy Sosa
  5. Kerry Wood
  6. Barry Bonds
  7. Alex Rodriguez
  8. Ken Griffey, Jr
  9. Cal Ripken, Jr
  10. Juan Gonzalez
  11. Nomar Garciaparra
  12. Derek Jeter


  • Retail-only
  • Hanging, plastic-windowed box-featuring one figure/player card
  • SRP $2.99


Collection: Yes, the four pictured above (I think I have a Chipper somewhere, too).

If you have any available for trade, let me know and maybe we can work out a trade.




Silver Linings

In my previous post I explained how I took part in my very first National Baseball Card Day this past weekend but missed out on the spoils of the celebration. As disappointing as it was, not all was gloomy. The opportunity allowed me to, once again, experience the kindness of strangers in our collecting community.

It was early Saturday evening and I was checking the Facebook feed for a collecting group that I’m a member of. One member posted a photo of the cards he received during his trip to the LCS, prompting a number of comments from fellow collectors. One guy, who I’m presuming owns a shop (or works at one), said they had some singles that customers had left behind at the shop- and if anyone needed some to let him know. I explained to him what had happened to me & that I’d be interested. He replied and asked if there were any players or teams that I collect. I listed a few players I’d be interested in, if he had them, and was surprised by the list of names he was going to send my way. I was even more thrilled when he was still willing to send me the cards, even though I could only come up with three for him.

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The cards remind me of an early to mid-90s Upper Deck product, which isn’t necessarily a bad thing. I don’t collect Upper Deck products (save a few singles), but can certainly appreciate them. Anyway, as one who enjoys oddball stuff, I’ve decided to finish the set and a quick visit to eBay led to a purchase that should help me in completing it.

Hopefully there will be another NBCD in 2017. Unfortunately, my choices in shops is pretty limited.

A New Era

While recent Major League Baseball All-Star games have been an opportunity for fans to say goodbye to future Hall of Famers such as Chipper Jones, Mariano Rivera, Derek Jeter and (this year) David Ortiz, last month’s mid-summer classic left me feeling good about the future of the game. The reason? All the young talent on Petco Field that night.

Each league featured either a reigning MVP or former MVP who are under the age of 25. Those two (Bryce Harper and Mike Trout) were appearing in their forth and fifth All-Star games, respectively. But they weren’t the only young talent on display. In all, there were 34 first-time All-Stars and an amazing 27 players who are 26 years-old or younger.

This talent on the diamond is good for both the game and the hobby and has me excited about a new era of baseball cards.

lids packs 


After years of little in the way of odd-ball and food-issue cards, we’re beginning to see Topps try to bring in new collectors through promotions such as the Marketside Pizza promotion at Walmart and through their partnership with New Era Caps. This latest venture resulted in a nine – card offering at over 800 participating LIDS, Locker Room by LIDS and LIDS Clubhouse stores.

2016 Topps/New Era Checklist:

  1. Bryce Harper
  2. Jacob deGrom
  3. Andrew McCutchen
  4. Joc Pederson
  5. Buster Posey
  6. Kyle Schwarber
  7. Marcus Stroman
  8. Dellin Betances
  9. Josh Donaldson

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Scan 197

Beginning June 3rd, and while supplies last, a four-card pack of the Topps/New Era product will be available with each New Era cap purchase.

In addition to these limited-edition cards, Topps and New Era will also be including player-worn relic cards featuring swatches of MLB Authentic Collection 59Fifty caps and autographed versions as well. The regular swatch cards, randomly inserted into packs, will be numbered to 99 each, while the signed copies will be limited to 1/1. The six players with signed copies are: Harper, Posey, deGrom, Pederson, Schwarber and Stroman.

Set Completed: Yes