I live Connecticut. If you're a baseball fan, don't come here. We've got nothing for you. Heck... if you're a professional sports fan in general, don't come here. We scare away teams away like the plague.
Hartford Whalers - gone :(
Norwich Navigators (NYY AA baseball team) - left... they went to Trenton, NJ.
They spawned the Connecticut Defenders in their place (SF AA baseball club)... oh, but they're gone too flying down with the other Squirrels to Richmond, VA.
New Britain Rock Cats (MIN AA baseball club) - the Twins didn't like us. They went down to Chattanooga and became the Lookouts.
Well, the Rockies decided to move their AA affiliate up here last year with the departure of Minnesota's prospects. Perhaps they can actually stand the cold. They built a new stadium in downtown Hartford and are now going to be known as the Yard Goats. Should be interesting to see how long that lasts.
I must say... over the years, Connecticut has done a pretty decent job with their logos.
All we've got on a consistent basis is the perennial excellence of UConn basketball. Actually, now that I think about it, our college sports in general are quite excellent. Yale usually has a top tier hockey squad and they usually win the national championship in some random other sport every year. This year it just so happened to be squash. Shhhh... I'm conveniently ignoring college football. UConn did go to the Fiesta Bowl once... ewww.
All of this sporting inconsistency probably makes it hard for card shops to thrive up here. Whenever I have to go somewhere a bit out of the way, I've recently gotten in the habit of throwing the words "baseball card" into my GPS and seeing if anything pops up. We've got quite a few indoor shopping malls that usually have baseball card kiosks (or something to that effect) that charge exorbitant prices because their rent is probably through the roof, so those always show up. But I'm looking for those independent Mom and Pop shops that might have singles or the like. In all my time, I've found a few, but most of them only sell wax and then trinkets/jerseys/ect. It makes me a bit sad, but I deal.
I went to one of these stores the other day to pick up a bunch of tobacco sized toploaders. I also picked up a few dollar packs that he had out because why not. I had never seen either of these sets before. Here's what I got:
As far as the cards themselves, they are extremely thin. We're talking thinner than your typical deck of playing cards. In fact, if you hold one of these cards by their corner, the card almost doesn't have enough rigidity to hold its own weight. It's very close. Surprisingly, this didn't bother me all that much... a little, yes, but not too much.
What did bother me is the fact that these cards immediately reminded me of 2016 Topps flagship. We've got a full bleed card that tried to do funky things with the corners. Throw in the fact that the card focuses on the player and the background is completely blurred out, and we've got 2016 Topps in a nutshell!
Whatever Skybox tried to do with the corners of these cards leaves something to be desired. While it works okay on some (Nomar simply looks framed by a strange off-brown), it's completely distracting in others (scroll back up to that Tony Clark).
I did pull a pretty nice Larry whose corners aren't too distracting, so I'm happy with that.
Both packs came with two of these game inserts. I think the set is only 30 cards, so they must be everywhere if they're this common. Pretty boring.
I also got one of each of these Frequent Flyer inserts in both packs (seeded 1:4 I believe). While neither of the players featured here really strike my fancy, I do kinda like the creativity with this set design. The back of these cards (which I forgot to scan) actually look a bit like a boarding pass which is kinda cool.
These two are actually simply a part of the base set. Skybox's own take of doing rookies differently... meh.
More "base cards" simply extended into the high numbers. I doubt they were even sort printed or anything. The trivia card makes me want to vomit, but I think I'd like the 7th Inning Sketch cards if they all looked similar to this one. I really like it when card companies touch up photos to make it look like they were actually drawn (Hey... that's Allen & Ginter!).
The other dollar pack I opened was 1999 Topps Stars. The pack claimed to have 6 cards in it. I'm pretty sure I got shorted one unless the checklist counts as an actual card. Well, there's your design. Pretty unflattering.
This is a boring insert. Horray!
This is a gimmicky base card featuring TWO STARS. Woah! You can either get 0, 1, 2, 3, or 4 star cards. Don't let them fool you, they're all the same (just cropped differently).
I did somehow happen to find an Atlanta Braves hotpack which made the pack a glorious success. I don't think there's any significance to the Topps Stars insignias being different colors (bronze vs. silver), but who knows... late 90's cards are a nightmare. Let me know if you know!
Meanwhile, go enjoy Easter dinner with your family! That's what I'm about to do!