Seriously, I suggest that you grab a pair of sunglasses before you scroll down... for your own protection!
Refractors -a whole bunch of refractors! This decidedly low-budget collector has so very few of these fanciful beauties, owing to their premium pricing on the secondhand market; thus, trades are pretty much the only way that they sneak into my collection. Scott, Robin (fun fact - first MLB player born in Singapore, and Lance will all be kicking their previous base representations in my Cubs All-Time Roster Collection to the curb - no contest.
Of course, Jon didn't stop at just adding rainbow flair to my Cubs binder though:
MOAR REFRACTORZ!!!!! This time, of the gridiron variety. Legitimately, I think that this pair of polished pasteboards are my very first refractors from any sport outside of America's pastime. Again, both Erik and Raymont easily unseat their previous placeholders in my Bears All Time Roster Collection.
This is where the refracting madness came to an end; that said, I would recommend that you leave your stunner shades on your face, as the shine has not worn off of this package yet:
For instance, this early ancestor of the "cracked ice" parallel was nestled alongside it's refracting brethren. Technically, I suppose that this 1996 UD You Crash the Game insert was a contest card; if the player depicted on the front were to hit a homer in the series printed in foil on the front (July 4-7), you could mail "Slammin' Sammy" here in exchange for "a Super Premium You Crash the Game card of your Crash player."
In case you were curious, the Cubbies were at home against the Reds for that three-game tilt in '96. For his part, "Slammy" went yard once, in the middle game, as part of a 6-2 victory. Clearly, some kid 22 years ago dropped the ball here.
Anyone know what those "Super Premiums" looked like? This orange redemption is pretty tough to beat in it's own right.
In the words of Coldplay, here's where Jon's trade package went "all yellow."
"Oh Henry" Rodriguez on a yellow, triple diamond parallel from 1999 UD Black Diamond... that's a confusing sentence. No matter, this canary-colored card is another fine addition to the CATRC. Same goes for the scrappy Rey Sanchez, shown here on a 1996 Score Gold Rush parallel. I wish that these flaxen-tinted foil-boards photographed half as well as they look in hand.
Maybe I should track down a second copy...
Okay, I think we've finally dug to the bottom of this mine full of shiny objects; so, you now have my permission to remove your protective eye-wear. However, there are still some matte gems left to be showcased, so don't go anywhere.
For instance, here's a pair of horizontal heroes that immediately grab one's attention. On the top is Kerry Wood's famed 20K game, by way of a 1996 Stadium Club Video Replay insert - what a rip-off of Sportsflics, right? Again, this was another toughie to capture in photograph, but it sure is fun to play with! Along with Woodie, on the opposite end of the spectrum, we have some authentic, no-thrills vintage in a Cubs team card from 1967 Topps. It's a little worse for wear - there's some heavy creasing visible on the front and the back has definitely seen better days:
Either someone was testing to see if their blue pen was out of ink, creating a piece of modern art, or just didn't really care for the 1966 Chicago Cubs. Nevertheless, I'm happy to rescue this previously abused piece of cardboard and house it in my collection.
Here's another slice of landscape fun with my first ever single from 2001 Pacific Prism Atomic... again, the drug-fueled minds at Pacific are sorely missed in today's monopolized hobby. Any set that makes such heavy use of team logos and colors is bound to be a Wrigley Roster Jenga favorite.
To wrap things up, Jon also gifted me with a lovely, numbered Gale Sayers Football Heroes parallel the first new steer to be added to my Bulls All-Time Roster Collection in several months. To be honest, of all the major sports, basketball is the one that holds the smallest slice of my heart. That's okay though because I still enjoy slotting new names into that binder, including Kornel David here.
Bunches of refractors and shiny parallels, vintage goodies, magic motion oddballs, and even a Christmas ornament for heck's sake... as you plainly can see, Jon dropped a dizzying array of phenomenal cardboard into my mailbox and I couldn't possibly be more grateful for his generosity. Thank you, Jon - I'll be sure to properly return the favor as soon as I possibly can.
By the way, does anyone else's retinas burn a little bit? Maybe I need some stronger sunglasses!