Sunday, January 15, 2017

2016 COMC purchases: Tony-one Gwynns

Continuing on with COMC pickups, I had the most success scoring cards of one of my favorite PC guys:  Tony Gwynn.  Over the last few months of 2016 I managed to nab 20 new Gwynns from my favorite card-procurement option, and that put me past the 250-card mark to 254, a nice little mini-milestone on this fine Sunday.  To make my punny title work I'm actually showing off 21 cards, including one you've already seen, as I completed a small set, which I'll get to in a minute.  So I hope you enjoy looking through these as I group them into fun categories FOR THE GWYNN!

2015 Donruss Tony Gwynn Tribute:
This is the complete set I just mentioned.  I had grabbed card #4 at a show back in July and easily found the other four on the cheap around Black Friday.  As you'll see this set didn't get too creative with the foily fronts as much of the design is the same on each card.  However, the smaller color photos are pretty cool, the backs are solidly done, and I like the career highlights Panini chose.  What do you think?:

Gwynn Topps didn't suck:
I still owe y'all a post on how my relationship with Topps has changed throughout my collecting, but for now I'll just say that these two cards were made when my opinion of their cards couldn't be more positive.
On the left is a semi-transparent insert from 2000 Stadium Club Chrome (a product that should have lasted much longer!) called Eyes of the Game.  These looked fantastic, and better yet, they did come in Refractor form as well.  Just a fun, well executed insert.

Speaking of Refractor-like cards, I nabbed Tony's card from 2002 Archives Reserve, another Topps product that was unfortunately short-lived.  This is a Chromed-out Refractor reprint of Gwynn's base card from '97 Topps, yet another of my favorite sets from that manufacturer.  It's a classic photo of the master in action, and I've always liked how the bat supersedes the border and keeps on going.

90s Gwynn-serts rule!:
Like many of you who grew up collecting in that decade, I absolutely love collecting inserts from the 90s, and when I add new ones I always make sure to celebrate by deploying my favorite tag, "90s inserts rule".
First up is a '95 Donruss Dominators card featuring a tough-looking Gwynn, normal-looking Kirby Puckett, and Paul O'Neill with his trademark Resting Bitch Face.  These shiny multiplayer cards are very cool and I'm happy to add them to my PCs whenever I can.

Going back a year to 1994 we stick with Donruss and the first of three Diamond Kings cards today.  Dick Perez's baseball art looks great as usual.

I scored a pair of inserts from one of my all-time favorite products, '95 Pinnacle.  The first is one of Tony's Museum Collection parallels in the set, and I love this Dufex version of the multi-exposure photo.  The other is another of those inserts I wouldn't have dreamed of pulling back in '95:  Red Hot.  The flame motif is very cool and I love the shot of Tony in his follow-through.

Representing 1996, one of two cards was a Dugout Collection parallel, one of two Gwynn cards in that set.  As I mentioned yesterday when discussing a card of Jim Abbott from the same set, I think this was a pretty good parallel of an already solid base set.  Joining that is a flashier insert from '96 Sporflix (another favorite!) that I never could have pulled when it came out:  ProMotion.  This fun insert took an already well-done hologram concept and made it even cooler.

Finally, I treated myself to one of my most-wanted inserts that I waited this long to get because...reasons.  1998 Pinnacle Inside included a fantastic die-cut insert called Behind the Numbers (though I think Pinnacle missed out by not going with Inside the Numbers...) that was a relatively tough pull because not many folks likely bought lots of those cans at once.  Fortunately I didn't have to pay very much for this amazing card cut in the shape of Gwynn's #19.

By the way, you'll see a few of these inserts again in an upcoming post or two!

Serial-numbered Gwynn-sanity:
Hey, you got inserts in my serial-numbers!  No, you got serial-numbers in my inserts!  Here's my Gwynn version of one of my favorite card types in an obvious homage to Robert's coolest project.
In this case we start with 1997 and another one of my favorite products and inserts (seeing a theme here?).  I really enjoyed collecting '97 Donruss, its update set, and the inserts found in both, including the two-player Franchise Features cards.  These were done up in a marquee-style motif with a current star--"Now Playing"--and prospect--"Coming Attractions"--and simply looked great.  Abreu didn't exactly live up to this pairing but went on to post an almost 60 bWAR over a nice career.

A pair of '98 Donruss/Leaf products is next.  First is the outstanding version of the Diamond Kings insert produced that year, one of my favorites of the run.  I also own Barry Larkin's and Ken Griffey Jr.'s versions from that set.  This one is numbered 08241/10000.  That's joined by Leaf's excellent Heading For the Hall (#0632/3500) insert.  Something tells me Donruss didn't have to go out on much of a limb to include Gwynn in this classy looking chase card.

Sticking with the same year I turned up a pair of numbered Leaf Rookies and Stars inserts from that product's maiden voyage.  Come to think of it, most if not all of the inserts may have been numbered in the set that was popular for a while thanks to a high-end RC of former Big Thing J.D. Drew.  On the left is an insert called MVPs (#3225/5000), a set where Leaf picked their top league players at each position (Barry Bonds and Andruw Jones were the LF and CF in this case).  Meanwhile, the Standing Ovations card (#2944/5000) highlights a big achievement, and in this case it was Tony matching hitting legend Honus Wagner by winning his eighth NL batting crown.  I'll stand and clap for that!

Finally I have a pair of post-millennium pickups.  From yet another favorite product, 2001 Donruss, comes a Diamond Kings reprint (#0212/1985) of his Diamond Kings card found in 1985 Donruss, as the numbering suggests.  I completed the Rookie Reprints available in this product and may decide to chase these as well in the future.  Oddly enough, I don't actually have the original version of this card yet!  Sticking with Donruss brands, our last card is from an insert called Hitters Inc. (#1718/2000) out of 2005 Leather and Lumber.  This is another one of those reflective, foiled-up cards that's unfortunately difficult to scan, but it looks fantastic, and if anybody belongs in a set with that name it's Mr. Padre.

I hope you had as much fun looking at these as I did picking them up for my collection, especially the nostalgia-inducing 90s stuff.  What did you love/hate out of these?

I'll close with the song that inspired today's punny title, one of those Green Day songs that doesn't actually sound exactly like the rest of Green Day's songs:

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