I kind of disappeared there for a few days. I flew home from Ohio late last week, and at some point my wife informed me that the air conditioning in the house had gone out. Our neighbor knew a guy, and the guy came and looked at it, and he said something along the lines of, "Well, you're $%*^ed!" The good news is that it's under warranty. The bad news is that the replacement parts are taking their time to get here, so the house is hot. Luckily we had a camping trip scheduled for the weekend, so we were up in the mountains with some relatively nice weather for a couple of days. But we eventually had to come home, and it's pretty warm here. The heat makes it difficult to want to do much, so I haven't done much scanning or post-writing. It's getting close to end-of-year where I work, too, and I am expecting to be at work just about every day between now and the end of September. So posts are probably going to be intermittent for the next few weeks.
I had pretty much put the 2014 Topps High Tek Jon Singleton rainbow to bed last December when I acquired the last non-1/1 card I needed, and I didn't really expect to find the various 1/1 variations this long after the product's release. Well, one of the 1/1 cards popped up on eBay and I hit the Buy It Now about as fast as I could once I spotted it. But that's not even the coolest part of this story. I'll get to the cool part later. First, the card I purchased.
This is the Black Printing Proof, which is one of the four Printing Plate equivalents in the set. There is also a Charcoal Diffractor 1/1 parallel out there somewhere. I think I remember seeing it on eBay at some point and missing out on it, though. Anyway, I was pretty happy to finally land a 1/1 for this particular rainbow. Getting the black plate/proof is usually pretty good, as it tends to have the clearest picture on it.
A little after I made my payment I got an eBay message from the seller. He asked me if I was the writer of The Raz Card Blog, as he recognized my name and location from reading some blog posts of mine about a player collection we have in common. He mentioned that if he had guessed correctly, he had some cards of that player he'd like to pass along. After a couple of messages back and forth he mentioned that he's also added a couple of Astros to the package. Unfortunately he doesn't have a blog that I can direct you to, but he said he has traded with a few bloggers who have me in their blogrolls. I'll revisit the cards he sent for our player collection in common later, but here are the Astros he added to the package. Remember, the only card I actually bought was the one at the top of the post. The rest of this stuff is pure generosity.
First up is this Clouds Diffractor parallel of Singleton's 2014 Topps High Tek card. This is a card I already had a copy of, but how can you dislike a shiny rare acetate baseball card of a player you collect? This one is numbered # 14 / 25.
This is a Black Mini parallel of Jason Castro, who is still on the team. I keep thinking that he is going to be replaced someday, but the other people Houston brings in as competition for the spot always seem to be even worse. He does enough with his defense to make up for some pretty streaky offense. This card is numbered # 170 / 199.
This is a Camo parallel of Chris Carter from 2013 Topps Series 2. These are pretty cool, although the camo colors clash horribly with the rest of the card. Carter has a lot of power in his bat, but he also has a lot of whiff in it. He is currently leading the NL in strikeouts while in a tie for 3rd in home runs for his new team, the Milwaukee Brewers. This parallel is numbered # 10 / 99.
This card of Lucas Harrell shares the same design as the Chris Carter, but it's a little smaller in size, being a Gold parallel from the 2014 Topps Mini release. It's numbered # 27 / 62. He's been bouncing around a bit over the last couple of years, spending time in the minors and majors with Arizona, Detroit, Atlanta, and Texas, where he is currently playing on the big league roster.
Coming back to 2014 Topps High Tek, here is the base version of George Springer's card. Springer is one of the Astros' young stars, putting up decent numbers over the last couple of years. The team as a whole has been struggling lately. A couple of weeks ago they were right in the thick of the Wild Card race and had a higher Postseason Probability than even the Division-leading Rangers. Now they have fallen behind the Mariners and have a Postseason Probability of 14%. There is still a fair amount of season left, but they need to be winning more games.
Last up for this portion of the package is this 2014 Bowman Chrome Green Refractor, also featuring George Springer. This one is numbered # 64 / 75 and features a nice shiny border.
That was a lot of cool cardboard (and acetate), but that's not even close to half of it. There is still the matter of the player collection cards for the as-yet-unrevealed athlete. This part of the package was pretty darn exciting, but that part of the package absolutely blew me away. I wasn't sure what to expect when the seller mentioned that he wanted to send me some PC cards, but I simply wasn't prepared for the card bomb he dropped on me. It may be a few days and a few posts before I get to Part 2 of this post, but I'll get to it. I still have a lot of research to do, as many of the cards he sent are from a time when I was out of collecting and/or still really focused on basketball cardboard. I am super-grateful for all of thise cards, though. That eBay seller really knocked me down with his kindness and generosity, just because he recognized my name and location from my Blogger profile.