Of the 84 cards Jason sent me, I needed 63, an astonishing ratio. Many are cards which aren't so special (except to me) but many are quite nice. I hope he enjoyed the Orioles I sent him as much as I liked the Phillies and Astros he sent me. Most of the cards he sent are 1990s vintage. By my count there were roughly 20,000 different Phillies and Astros cards issued between 1990 and 1999. I own about 4500 of them. So perhaps it's not so surprising he was able to come up with so many 1990s cards I didn't have. Here are the highlights of my trade with Jason.
1995 Stadium Club Ring Leaders#1 Jeff BagwellOne of the most extravagant insert cards of the mid-1990s. Multiple colored foil, a screaming eagle, flying rings and a baseball player struggling to be seen. There are 40 cards in this set and now I have two of them.
1996 Pinnacle Starburst #159 Jeff BagwellPinnacle Starburst was a parallel set to the regular issue Pinnacle set but with fewer cards. In other years, Pinnacle called this effect "Artist's Proof". I always like these cards and this is a particularly fine example.
1997 Pinnacle Inside #124 Derek BellIn 1997, Pinnacle was desperate. Was there any gimmick they wouldn't try to sell more baseball cards? This set was packaged inside steel cans. The cans were about the size of a soda can and you had to use a can opener to get in. I bought about a dozen of these and the closest I got to an Astros card was a can featuring Bagwell on the outside. Jason sent me the Craig Biggio as well.
1997 Stadium Club #337 Luis GonzalezNothing better than watching a guy enjoying himself in his work.
1997 Upper Deck #367 Craig BiggioIn 1996, the Phillies hosted the All-Star Game for the first time since 1976. This was the year after I moved away from Philadelphia. The 1997 Upper Deck set featured the 1996 All-Star Game Liberty Bell logo on cards of players who were elected to the team. I love the logo and these cards. 1997 is one of my favorite Upper Deck designs.
1998 Flair Showcase Row 2 #86 Craig BiggioI mentioned in an earlier post that the Fleer designers seemed to have gone crazy in the mid to late 1990s. This set is another indication but not due to design. I actually think this card is quite attractive. In 1998, Flair Showcase Row 3 was the base set. There there were Row 2, 1, and 0 insert sets. They weren't really parallels because each 'row' had a different design. The lower the row number, the more scarce the card. It was very confusing.
1998 Topps Chrome #25 Scott RolenI only have a handful of these early Topps Chrome cards. Topps was still perfecting the Chrome technology and these early cards aren't holding up well. The finish has become a bit tacky on the ones I have.
1998 Topps Gallery #135 Topps GalleryI didn't have any cards from this set and Jason sent me 5! This set had 5 different card styles. Among the cards Jason set, 3 styles were included. You can see these three cards, front and back, at this entry I made at Baseballcardpedia.com.
1999 Topps Flashback #7 Kenny LoftonThe reverse of this card shows Lofton in a Braves uniform. Lofton played 2,103 games in the major leagues, all but 20 of them for somebody other than the Astros.
1999 Ultra Gold Medallion #145 Craig BiggioI love this card. Look at the expression on Biggio's face. He looks like he's ready to tackle a wild animal loosed in the infield.
2002 Topps Heritage Chrome #12 Jimmy RollinsI only had a handful of 2002 Topps Heritage, and none of the chrome cards. Early Jimmy Rollins cards are always welcome.