I have recently received a couple of mystery packages from names I don't recognize. I hope that I have not been making trade arrangements in my sleep and then deleting the e-mails related to them. If you have sent me a package in the last month or so and not gotten any kind of response from me, it is because I don't know who you are and I can't find anything in my e-mail history that matches the name on the return label.
Others have reached out to me via e-mail or blog comment about potential trades. The card collecting part of my life is rather disorganized right now, and I am having some difficulty agreeing to trades because I don't have a good idea of what I have to trade and/or where exactly any trade bait might be found among my card stacks. I've also been buying collated sets and specific singles rather than wax lately, so I haven't really been adding much to my trade bait pile. Now that all of the excuses are out of the way, I will show off a few cards.
I picked up a few more of these 2014 Stadium Club Members Only parallels over the last few months. A couple of them actually fit into my player collections. I would really like to track down a copy of R.A. Dickey's card from this set, but it has proven elusive. There are estimated to be less than 10 copies of each of the cards in this parallel set, so it could be a while before I find one.
First up is the speedy Pirates outfielder, Starling Marte. He's put up some pretty good numbers the last two seasons, and he should be on track to do more of the same this season. I don't know exactly why I like the Pirates more than some other teams, but it probably has to do with their uniform colors and these:
Those pillbox caps are cool. I must have come into contact with some earlier baseball cards during my early 90's childhood, because I remember seeing these caps on Pirates players and thinking they were so different from anything anyone else was wearing. And being different was pretty darn neat.
I grabbed this Torii Hunter card, mostly because there wasn't much bidding activity on it. The auctions for these with low starting prices have pretty well dried up and been replaced by fixed-price listings, but every once in a while one will pop up and I'll have a chance at it. I haven't been as dedicated to it as I once was, so I can think of 9 or 10 recently that I missed by $0.25 or $1.00. I try not to get too broken up about losing auctions. There are so many cards out there that I will never get all of the ones I want, so I have adopted a policy of getting what I can and letting the rest go. Sometimes it is difficult to choose what to chase and what to ignore, but I am getting there.
I am hoping that Billy Butler can get back on track this year with the A's. He had a pretty good run from 2009-2013, but his 2014 was kind of a down year. He seems like a pretty personable dude, but he's got a big contract to live up to. I was pretty happy to snag this card for my 'Country Breakfast' player collection.
Finally, I added a copy of Jose Bautista's card. 'Joey Bats' had his power bat turn on in big way for the 2010 and 2011 seasons. He's done his share of mashing since then, too, but the numbers haven't been quite as gaudy. He'll be one of the key components as the Blue Jays try to end their 21-year absence from the playoffs. I don't think bats are going to be their downfall, but their pitching doesn't look strong enough to me to be a legitimate contender.
And those are four of my most recent Members Only pickups from 2014 Topps Stadium Club.