First I'm going to show you the very cool PWE sent to me by Floridian Tigers/Rays fan Jeremy of Topps Cards That Never Were:
Ooooh, more Larkins, I'm already hooked. And I couldn't help but laugh out loud at the parenthetical about the "usual Verlander parallel". More on that in a minute. Here's a look at what was inside:
I guess I'm living in a parallel universe since all three of these are alternative versions of base cards! Card #1 is a Sepia parallel of Barry Larkin's 2020 Stadium Club base. That's a product you could endlessly parallel and I'd be into it because the photo/design combo is Topps at its best (and I just don't understand why they can't bring the same success to flagship). The basic 2020 design, while being very textbook Stadium Club, differentiates itself nicely, and Sepia gives it a classy look for sure. Great start!
I think I may have to hand the first place trophy to card #2, though, a 2021 Donruss Holo Orange insert. The shiny orange border looks really nice on Barry's card, part of the "Retro '87" subset as it reuses that year's design. Makes sense since Larkin's Donruss RC can be found in that very set. Believe me that the scan doesn't do this one justice, especially because it leaves out the "holo" part. Just an excellent looking Barry, and now I want to track down one in red!
Finally, we have what's become an unintentional tradition in Jeremy's envelopes to me. This is the fifth time he's sent me some cards, and the last three in a row have all included at least one JV parallel. You can somewhat tell from the scan that this here is one of Justin's four appearances in 2020 Topps Update's Gold Foil set. His other three are league leader cards while this one highlights his 2019 All-Star Game selection. You'd be forgiven for thinking it's a Rainbow Foil card--I sure did--but the tell is the gold area on the left side of the card. Why have both Gold and Gold Foil parallels? Only Topps knows!
Jeremy, thanks for the fun surprise PWE! I really liked all three cards, all of which I needed, and which are more than easy on the eyes. I should be hitting up at least one show, if not two, in the next few weeks, and I'll make sure to keep an eye out for a few things I think you'll enjoy. And maybe I'll figure out a "usual" type to send your way too!