Wednesday, January 4, 2017

Secret Santa Spoils

Bob Walk the Plank's Matt did an awesome Secret Santa and I was the recipient of some truly, truly, truly awesome Darryl Strawberry and John Kruk cards from Mark of The Chronicles of Fuji. I've read and admired many of the posts of Mark's blog since I got back into the baseball card hobby in 2016, but never had the pleasure of completing a trade or anything. It's truly nice to have made your acquaintance.

Mark sent me 4 Strawberry cards and 10 Kruk-y cards. All are quite awesome and very welcome additions.

First up is a look at the John Kruk cards. Baseball cards spanning twenty-five years from 1988 to 2013.

1988 Topps Wax Box, Card #G

The lone representation of Kruk in a Padres uniform. The Wax Box is a good, cool card. So young looking and clean. A case of beauty and the beast, for sure. I go back and forth between considering the exemplary card for Kruk being Padres player and being a Phillies. Which uniform to you most associate him in? He played only 3 1/5's seasons with San Diego and appeared to be more productive in his five full seasons over six years with Philadelphia.

The rest of the cards are from his playing days with the Phillies with one bonus Panini disc card which is like a throwback to 7/11 coins and Sportflics. Like they had a baby or something. In addition to the Panini, the Hostess and Sports Illustrated for Kids cards are awesome oddballs, and the Score Gold Stars was nice, too. Hell, they are all really nice.

1993 Hostess, Card #4
1993 Sports Illustrated for Kids, Card #196

1994 Donruss Diamond Kings, Card #DK-9
1994 Score Gold Stars, Card #7
1994 Stadium Club Dugout Dirt, Card #3
1994 Ultra Phillies Finest, Card #10
1994 Ultra Phillies Finest, Card #17

The Dugout Dirt card/cartoon is most unflattering. The Phillies Finest cards are part of a 24 card set featuring Kruk on 12 and catcher Darren Daulton on the other half. Will definitely be looking to secure the other 10 Kruk cards in the near future. The front of this card, too, kind of hints at the nauseating busyness that Fleer was heading towards when they did their nasty 1995 set.

1995 Stadium Club Virtual Reality, Card #171
2013 Panini Hometown Heroes Sport Discs, Card #51

"Virtual Reality"! I guess that was Topps Stadium Club's attempt to appear hip and with it on the cusp of the boom of the internet age. On the card back, Kruk is clearly airing out his armpits (or performing the Bangles' "Walk Like an Egyptian" which was the number one song 30 years ago this week in 1987; am I alone in strongly disliking "Notorius" by the otherwise awesome Duran Duran?); and his triple-head reminds me of Cerberus.

And now (now...ow...) the moment (moment...oment...) you've all (all...all...) been waiting for (for...for...)... Darryl Strawberry!  The echo thing doesn't really work, does it?

Mark went above and beyond here with the Strawberry cards that he sent to me. There were two relic cards of a bat and a jersey (which is also serial numbered). I am enamored of this kind of thing so having two new pieces of memorabilia is a wonderful thing.

2003 Fleer Fall Classics Legendary Collection Memorabilia, Card #LC/DS2 (Bat relic)
2005 Donruss Classics Stars of Summer Material, Card #BOS-5 (SN81/250, Jersey relic)
2013 Panini Hometown Heroes, Card #155
2013 Topps Manufactured Rookie Card Patch, Card #RCP-17

The Manufactured Rookie Card patch is also quite attractive. In the first place because it represents Straw's rookie base set card and second because while I'm sure it was "easy" for Topps to make these, it also seems, contradictory, a difficult thing to have done. Taking it out of the plastic enclosures, I made sure to have clean hands before touching it and holding it up to the light to see the wove fibers of the materials. It looks like of like a denim-esque weave.

Trillions of thanks to Mark for the cards and also to Matt for organizing the Secret Santa. Based on all the other Secret Santa posts I've read, it seems like all givers and recipients did very well. This baseball card trading community, which is bigger than I realize & have time for, is filled with really cool people. I'm grateful to be a part of it in my own small way.

Thanks for stopping by!


  1. I have to admit -- I'm always shocked to see Kruk in a Padres uniform. I think of him nearly exclusively as a Phillie.

    1. Me too. Much less still as a White Sox! He's a dirty Phillies through and through.

  2. Lol... I almost kept that 2003 Fall Classic Strawberry bat card for myself and picked something else up of you. But then I remembered... Christmas is the season of giving. Santa would never have forgiven me ;)

    1. Well, I do appreciate your giving into the spirit of the season and agree Santa might've given you coal next year -- And not Cole Hamels.

    2. It looks 10x better in your collection than mine :)

  3. Oof, that Dodger Straw is awesome. Even with the typical Donruss small image from this period.

    1. Yes, it really is. Still weird seeing him in a Dodgers uni -- so maybe it's a good thing it's on the smaller side. In all, though, very very very pleased.

  4. Thanks for sharing! Fuji hooked you up.

    1. Hi Matt -- he really did. An excellent selection for which I'm truly grateful. Happy Friday!

  5. Nice haul of cards!