P-Town Tom over at the Waiting 'til Next Year blog has been cleaning house recently when it comes to his non-Cubs cards. One of his posts detailed how hard it has been to find a taker for his Florida/Miami Marlins extras. I am not a closet Marlins fan or anything, but there are plenty of players I follow who have passed through the team's roster at one point or another. I gave it a couple of days to give a real Marlins fan a chance to step up and claim the cards; then I posted a comment offering to take them off his hands. A little while later, a few hundred Marlins cards showed up in my mailbox. I didn't scan all of them, but I pulled a couple dozen to show here.
In my younger years I was almost exclusively a basketball and non-sports collector, with the occasional foray into football or baseball. I dropped out of card collecting almost entirely around 2000. Over the next decade or so, I picked up cards from trading card games like Magic, World of Warcraft, and WWE Raw Deal, but no sports cards. In 2008 I picked up most of a baseball set because my wife and I were having our first kid and I wanted to collect a full set of baseball cards from his birth year. My dog knocked the box containing Series 1 out of the box and peed on the pile of cards, so I've only got 2008 Topps Series 2 now. In 2013 I picked up card collecting again, this time going all-in on baseball and non-sports cards. I don't know exactly why I switched over from basketball to baseball, but that's how it worked out. I still gather cards for a couple of player collections in basketball and football, but those sports are pretty far down the list in comparison with baseball, Star Wars, comics, NASCAR, wrestling, and UFC.
The main point of all that text is to say that I missed out on nearly a decade worth of card sets and designs, and the 2000's were full of card sets. This lot was a great chance to look at many of the sets I missed out on over those years. That first scan really contains some cool stuff, like Upper Deck Ionix, Topps Stars, and Fleer Metal Universe. I remember the basketball versions of some of these sets, but a lot of them were new to me. Even though I was out of collecting for many years, I still played fantasy sports pretty heavily. Many of the guys in this lot spent time on my fantasy rosters, like Josh Beckett, Juan Pierre, and Hanley Ramirez.
P-Town Tom would probably like to see his Cubs re-enacting the scene pictured on the first card in this scan, as the Marlins celebrate a victory over the Indians in the World Series. The Cubs have an uphill battle, though, as they dropped Game 3 and fell behind 2-1.
A.J. Burnett found his way onto quite a few of my fantasy rosters, as he usually piled up a decent number of innings and strikeouts. There is plenty of awesome shiny foil in this group, and a cool farewell-type card for Andre Dawson, whose time in Miami wasn't exactly the highlight of his Hall of Fame career. He also missed the Marlins' 1997 World Series run by one year.
Future Yankee Miguel Cabrera has piled up so many stats with the Tigers that I sometimes forget he was a Marlin. He even won a championship in Florida. Mike/Giancarlo Stanton is the current face of the franchise, and he's got the contract to match his status. Jake Marisnick is currently a defensive specialist for my Houston Astros, but his bat hasn't kept up and I don't think he's the answer as a full-time guy. We'll never see the full extent of Jose Fernandez' talents, as he died in a boating accident last month.
The box of Marlins also included this nice Hanley Ramirez Clubhouse Collection relic card from 2009 Topps Heritage. It's got a pinstripe and unlike most relic cards of today, it even has some text and a cartoon on the back.
In addition to the Marlins cards, P-Town Tom included some PC cards of famous Mariners. I don't add to these player collections very frequently on my own, so it is always pleasant to have them show up in a package.
I think that bubble gum card in the center is one of the more famous baseball card photos out there, and I am glad to finally have a copy of it. There is plenty of other cool stuff here, too, including a couple of father/son cards and a representative from the ever-cool Collector's Choice brand.
Even though the Marlins are not at the top of my favorite teams list, there was plenty of stuff in this package to entertain me. There were a lot of familiar names for me to reminisce on, and a lot of unfamiliar card designs for me to discover. The only part that I dread is the sorting, as I've found in my big sorting project that big player or team lots are time-consuming to process just because you're jumping around from year to year and brand to brand instead of just collating a big block of cards from the same set.
Thanks for all the fish, P-Town Tom! I know this was a no-obligations offer, but I will try to gather a few cards to send back in your direction.