Hello blogosphere. It's been a bit, and it might be a bit more before I really start getting back in the swing of things here, but I knew I had to get this post and another Secret Santa post up before Christams.
This particular deal actually started years ago, back when I was first introduced to Gavin of Baseball Card Breakdown. One of the first posts I ever read of his was this one featuring his awesome 'pretty girls' customs. I eventually acquired a set of these for myself, but during that discussion I mentioned an idea I'd had for awhile that related to my Allen & Ginter collection.
Almost two years later and the trade has gone through, complete with tons of add-ons.
Here's what initially sparked the trade; a complete custom set of Allen & Ginter set 'cover cards'. If you've read any of this blog at all, you'll know that at least 75% of my collection is focused around Allen & Ginter set builds. I've got a binder (or binders) for every year of Allen & Ginter since its inception. I figure that if I'm that committed to collecting this set, I might as well get a bit fancy with it. I requested Gavin utilize his creative skills to print customs for me that announce the set build. Here's what he came up with!
As you can see, he went with a different approach for each of these cover cards. Some, like the above 2011 design utilized the art from the pack. Others utilized the existing card design and/or border.
He also found some general logos for some (I believe this 2014 one features art from a Topps exclusive binder).
I promise any centering issues you see are no fault of Gavin's... these cards are simply a little difficult to scan/crop properly. They all came out magnificent!
This back of all these cards are all the same and highlights the fake aging/staining process he uses. I think its pretty nifty!
Gavin kindly provided two of each of these customs as my plan is to use these both on the outside spine of the binder and also on the very first page of the set. Since Allen & Ginter is a 350 card set, it nicely fits into 39 nine pocket pages (Ginter is a bit too fat to double bag) with one extra spot. These cover cards will now occupy that extra spot. I like it. The sets feel complete to me now.
We didn't stop the fun there. First we had to have some set building help featuring MINIS! YAY! Gavin has expressed his desire to complete this constellations set for awhile now, so I'm sure this is probably one of his dupes. I also received a single need from 2016 Ginter X along with a custom card (number 46 in the set in my book), the ONE TRUE DUDE.
I also obtained some fun PC cards of various natures through this trade including an older Mike Minor auto and a really fun manufactured patch of the Braves big lefty from Topps Pro Debut (at least that's my guess).
This was a pretty sweet card. I had one of those Topps seals of authenticity on it so I left it there for now. It's one of those 1/1 blank back issues that Topps has recently become fond of. I kinda hate the idea... cause ultimately, its just another money grab. I would never consider these as 'part of the rainbow' of a set if I ever tried to complete one. Even still, I very happy to be the owner of this card!
I told Gavin it was my first Topps Fire card I've seen in hand, but I realized I lied to him, because I realized I received three such Fire cards in a recent-ish package from Julie that I haven't posted about yet. So, this is my fourth I guess. Still awesome.
Finally, the kingpin of our deal. Well, at least it became the kingpin after much negotiation. Gavin was able to procure this fine specimen for me from 1998 Donruss Signature Series. This is my very first Maddux auto (for good reason too... they're all super pricey) and I'm ecstatic that its licensed and on-card. I now have an auto for all of the big three Braves HoF pitchers from the 90's (Maddux, Glavine, Smoltz). Maybe I'll start working on trying to add some of the more notable non-HoF guys now (Avery, Millwood, Neagle, Wohlers, Rocker). I bet a couple of them have Archives autos out there.
In any case, this card is serially numbered on the back. I was immediately curious when I initially saw it and had to investigate. Apparently there are actually two versions of this card; a 'century marks' with 100 copies and this one 'millennium marks' which typically have 1000 copies. Numbers 1-100 were reserved for the first set while 101-1100 were for the second. It was also stated that Maddux only signed 400 of his Millennium Marks cards which means that this card is basically 482/500 in modern terms. I thought that was pretty neat.
Gavin, you the man! Thanks for the great trade! If there's any chance you haven't discovered his wonderful blog yet, go check it out. He's in the middle of a run counting down the Twelve Days of Beermas. YUM!