Mailday from Bru

Another semi-surprise mailday, this time from Bru, an Astros fan and photographer who I’ve enjoyed discussing the photo-side of baseball cards with. I knew a mailday was in the works and have been pulling oddball Astros, or Astro-related cards from my collection to send in return. But then Hurricane Harvey dumped a shitload of rain on Houston and I was just hoping that he and Bob would pull through okay.

Anyway, as a result I was very surprised to find a bubble mailer in my mailbox this week. And it was a treat indeed to open it up.

A few fun cards from the 1980s. Krukow and Uribe in particular were—and still are—fan favorites.

And a handful of cards from the early 1990s when I was still collecting cards. I may or may not have these and will have to double check my holdings back in California. I’m reasonably sure I don’t have the Stadium Club as that stuff was spendy and I only got a couple of packs in general. And the two Bonds cards also don’t look familiar at all.

Another handful of 1990s cards which are from after I stopped collecting. Good. God. I’ve yet to run into any collectors who liked 1995 Fleer. Now I see why. This was my first in-person 1995 Fleer experience and yeah, I have no urge to acquire any more of these. I’m glad to have these as a reminder of how bad things got when I was out of the hobby though.

I’ve also handled a few 1990s Topps Finest now (there were a few in Shane Katz’s box too) and I have to admit that I don’t understand this set at all. It’s like once card companies realized that nice full-bleed photography should be the status quo they had no idea what should count as high end anymore.

And a bunch of more-recent cards. I not the biggest fan of Gipsy Queen or Allen & Ginter but it’s nice to have a sampling of them. I’m grateful that that sampling is turning out to be Giants. I also enjoy that I’ve been gradually filling up Giants from the first half of the 2010s with all these maildays since those World Series winning teams obviously hold a special place in my heart.

Matt Williams 1994 Sportflics Barry Bonds 1994 Sportflics Barry Bonds 1994 Sportflics

Now to the really fun stuff. For some reason I stopped collecting Sportflics before 1994. I really shouldn’t have. These remain fun in a wonderfully distinct way and my kids really like them even though they only have two frames of action now. Something about the tactile nature of having to interact with these in order to get them to move is much more exciting than just watching a video on the iPad. They were impressed and maybe I’ll have to get them some Sportflics or their own to rip.

I also appreciate these 1954 reprints a lot more now that I have the real 1954 cards to compare them to (the 1954 Don Liddle was not part of the mailday). It’s nice to see them in the high-gloss printing. I should look into getting more of these now—especially the gold variants with the gold signatures. The only weird thing for me is that the backs are no longer full-bleed.

Joe Strain 1980 KNBR San Francisco Police Department Joe Strain 1980 KNBR San Francisco Police Department

And the best card in the mailday is this 1980 KNBR San Francisco Police Department card which Bru reports was sitting in a bucket in a junk shop while his card was getting its post-Harvey cleaning. I’ve never seen these and have felt a bit jealous of Tony and all his Brewers Police cards. While I had Mother’s Cookies to enjoy instead there’s something about police cards and their bizarre insistence on being non-standard overlarge sizes with most of that extra card space being empty paper.

In this case I especially like the inanity of the tip on the back. I think my 8-year-old son would roll his eyes hard at this. I appreciate them trying to educate about safety tips but I can’t imagine this approach ever working. At least the card itself grew up to be supercool. I need to put a stack of Astros together to send back to Houston now.

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5 responses to “Mailday from Bru

  1. Glad you dug the cards! I walked over to that junk shop just in case, and bam! I knew I had to grab that Strain for you. As a photographer, I really didn’t like GQ at first – the over-processing was killing it for me. I’ve enjoyed the last few sets, however. Sorta the same with A&G when I first saw it – most sets underwhelm me, but there are a few I really dig – 2014 being one of them.

    • Yeah exactly. As a design/photo geek neither GQ nor A&G is meant for me. Even still, I have been finding that the more restrained A&G designs and processing are growing on me.

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