Last week I wrote about my purchase of a 1/1 2014 Topps High Tek Black Press Proof from an eBay seller, who then contacted me and asked if I was the writer of The Raz Card Blog, because he had some PC cards to send me. In that post I showed off a few awesome Astros cards he included in the package, but that wasn't the crazy part of the package. In his message he said that he recognized me as a fellow Shannon Sharpe collector, and that he had a few rare Sharpe cards that he's like to pass along. Well, he definitely delivered some rare Sharpe cards. My football collection is pretty neglected, so this package made my Sharpe player collection about 3000x cooler than it was before. I still haven't researched all of these cards, so I don't know all of the set names and what to call the parallels, so this will mostly be a pictures post. But pictures are really what we're here to look at anyway. Just look at these crazy cards! It's going to take me a while to research all of them, but I wanted to get this post out there and thank the seller for a crazy bunch of cards. They make my day every time I look at them.
I may wind up researching all of these tonight anyway. I believe this is a 1998 Playoff Prestige Hobby Gold parallel, serially-numbered # 5 / 25. I can't even imagine pulling a # / 25 card from a product in 1998. This one card alone is probably worth as much as (or more than) the one card I actually bought from this seller. I like the #84 emblem that Sharpe is wearing around his neck on the back of this one.
This is a 1999 Collector's Edge Advantage Gold Ingot parallel. In 1999 I was still pretty into basketball card collecting, but I was on the eve of my long hiatus from the hobby, so this is a set that I don't remember from that time. The Collector's Edge brand name seems familiar to me, though.
This is another Gold Ingot parallel, this time from 1999 Collector's Edge Fury. Again, I am not very familiar with this set.
Next up are 6 different Topps Stadium Club Members Only parallels. They come from the 1993-1995 sets. I am not sure exactly how these were distributed, but it looks like they might have been factory sets that could be purchased by people who joined Topps' Members Only club. I could be wrong on that, though. Those high-end shenanigans were well out of my middle- and high-school purchasing ability.
It's kind of fun to see the brightly-colored Xtreme design on the back of this card. I think Fleer probably stole some of those fonts and colors for their 1995 releases.
I love those orange jerseys and that old-school helmet logo. I guess the Broncos can't use that helmet/logo for any throwback uniforms because of a rule that requires teams to use the same base color on their helmets for every game. If that's true, it's a dumb rule. I love those colors and that logo.
This jersey with the NFL 75 patch is one of the Sharpe replicas I own, although after thinking on it for a couple of years I am pretty convinced that I wound up with a bootleg Mitchell & Ness jersey. Every so often I look it up online and go back and forth as to whether mine is authentic or not. I still like it, though, and I almost always get compliments any time I am out and about in one of my Sharpe jerseys. He's apparently got a lot of fans in Boise and the surrounding area.
I'm not sure on the story behind this card. It looks like maybe Topps commissioned an artist to put their own spin on the photo. I just went and looked at the Barry Sanders Chalk Talk card, and the illustration on the back doesn't match the photo, so I guess it's just happenstance that these two are so close.
This card rightly recognizes Sharpe's talent as a receiving Tight End. I didn't realize that there are only 8 Tight Ends in the NFL Hall of Fame. That's a pretty exclusive list, although I would imagine there are a few more on their way there pretty soon, like Tony Gonzalez, Antonio Gates, and maybe Jason Witten. People talk about Rob Gronkowski like he might get there some day, too, but he is injury-prone and probably needs to put together a pretty long career before that talk gets really serious.
Getting back to rare numbered cards, here is a 2004 Score Scorecard parallel. This one is numbered # 390 / 625. This is also a sunset card, mentioning his retirement and featuring his full career stats on the back. I was completely out of card collecting at this point in time, so this is probably the first time I've seen a card from this product.
This crazy die-cut card is a 1999 Playoff Absolute SSD Absolute Honors Gold insert. Wow! It's numbered # 06 / 25, and it's just a really cool-looking card. Again, this batch of cards just blows me away every time I look at them.
Although I don't like the Baltimore Ravens at all, I am glad that Sharpe's time there helped him win another Super Bowl ring and solidify his resume for the Hall of Fame. This is a 2001 Pacific Prism Atomic Red parallel, numbered # 067 / 310.
Pacific was a company well-known for crazy die-cut cards, and even this die-cut design is a little understated compared to some of their other products. This is another parallel from the 2001 Pacific Prism Atomic set, the Premiere Date parallel, numbered on the front # 69 / 86.
This is a card I am having some trouble identifying. I have it narrowed down to 1994 Playoff Contenders football, but it is a blank-back and doesn't show up in the couple of sites I've checked so far. I found pictures of similar cards for Jerome Bettis and Barry Sanders, but they didn't have images of the card backs.
This card mentions Sharpe's return to the Broncos, but shows him in his Baltimore uniform. This is a 2002 Upper Deck MVP Silver parallel, numbered # 089 / 100. That's a pretty busy card design, but I kind of like it.
The rare parallels from 15-25 years ago just keep coming in this package. This is a Star Ruby parallel from 2001 Fleer Premium. It is numbered # 124 / 125. It also features Sharpe in his Ravens uniform.
This is a 1995 Pro Line Printers Proof Silver parallel. This was pretty early in the days of numbered print runs, when cards didn't usually get individual serial numbers. They just got a stamp indicating that they were 1 of ### cards. Actually, back then it seemed like most things were 1 of ##,### cards, so I think a print run of only 175 was pretty special at the time. Nowadays it seems like we turn our noses up at anything with a print run over 50. It's nice to see that classic Broncos helmet pop back up here.
This shiny card is a 1999 Collector's Edge Masters HoloSilver parallel, numbered # 2713 / 3500. There was also a HoloGold parallel in this product with a miniscule print run of only 25. I can't even imagine the pack odds on one of those.
Apparently 1999 was the year of Holofoil, as this 1999 Pacific Paramount card is a Holo-Silver parallel, which I guess is distinguished from the Collector's Edge version by that hyphen. These ones are not quite as shiny as the Collector's Edge cards, but they are much more rare, with this being copy # 92 / 99.
And that does it for this package, but what a package it was! I had no idea what to expect when the seller said he would be including a few Shannon Sharpe and Astros cards in with the Jon Singleton card I bought, and I certainly didn't expect that he would pump up my Shannon Sharpe collection by this much! I am extremely grateful for these awesome additions to my collection.