Wednesday, December 18, 2019

Christmas Cards (and not, I don't mean 2019 Topps Holiday)

Maybe a week ago I was tagged in a Tweet by @forgotaboutblay that some Christmas cards were on their way. A few days later a little bubble mailer showed up and inside was a thick brick of cards consisting of my 3 teams - Braves, Panthers & Hornets.

When the stack includes Chipper Jones cards you know you're in for a treat. I think I have this 1994 Bowman's Best, but it's such a great card I don't mind having a duplicate. I don't believe I've seen these 2005 Leaf Gamers cards before. It's printed in reflective silver foil and looks much better in hand. The same cam be said about the 1999 Fleer Ultra Diamond Mine. It's a very shiny card and from an insert set I'm not that familiar with.

Let's not forget about this 1997 Donruss Silver Press Proof parallel of former Braves slugger Ryan Klesko! Probably one of the more bittersweet cards in the stack was this 2011 Topps Chrome Refractor of Brian McCann. He announced his retirement this season after the Braves were eliminated in the NLCS by the Cardinals. This is a great photo of Brian and the Chrome Refractors are just so beautiful.

These two 2012 Panini Prime Signatures cards are think. The design is very minimal, but it works. Both are serially numbered with Jon Beason being 135/499 and Steve Smith being 120/499.

Another thick card in the stack was this 2014 Score Kelvin Benjamin Team Helmets. The helmet is made of rubber (?) and it's also a RC. Kelvin started off his career in Carolina pretty hot, but soon injuries started to plague his on the field performance. There were also issues with his attitude and diet and it wasn't long before Benjamin was on his way out the door to Buffalo and all of the Charlotte media was mocking him for his lack of a diet. It was actually entertaining radio at the time.

I haven't bought any of Panini's Unparalleled product before, but I do like this Perfect Pairs insert from the 2017 set. It shines great in hand and features two of the best defensive players ever to suit up for Carolina - Thomas Davis and Luke Kuechly.

I grew up watching many Hornets games in person at the old Charlotte Coliseum back in the day. I don't have a lot of Hornets cards from the mid to late 90's so these cards from 96-97 Fleer Ultra are great. I especially love the Anthony Mason card. He was so much fun to watch bang around in the paint. Vlade Divac came over from the Lakers in the now infamous Kobe Bryant draft/trade. Kobe was never going to play for Charlotte so I hate it when that topic comes up whether in the national or local media. The Tony Delk card is from an insert set called Rookie Encore. I remember him being an instant fit for the team and helped provide more scoring fairly quickly.

There were also a few 99-00 Fleer Ultra cards as well. Here we have Ricky Davis, Eddie Jones and Elden Campbell. I honestly don't remember much about Ricky or Elden, but Eddie was the one of the few star players the Hornets seemed to have during this period...well maybe outside of Baron Davis.

There were also many other cards in the brick that Dennis sent that I didn't share. I really appreciate being thought of and I appreciate the cards as well. All of them will find a nice home in my various collections. Thanks again Dennis, Merry Christmas!

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