I know that everyone has their own personal preferences when it comes to choosing cards and sets to collect. But regardless of what people collect, I have to give credit to companies like Leaf and Topps for thinking outside of the box when they decided to use simulated wood grain material, instead of standard cardboard with these inserts.
In my end of the month Check Out My Cards spending spree, I was able to add six of them to my collection:
1996 Leaf Limited "Lumberjacks" #7
Leaf started producing the Lumberjacks insert line in 1995 and followed it up in 1996, but abandoned it after two years. Both insert sets include some of the best hitters in the game and are serial numbered to 5000.
1996 Leaf Limited "Lumberjacks" Sample #7
In 1996, Leaf sent out sample cards out to dealers. From what I gathered, there appears to be a "sample" version for all ten cards in the set. In addition to those, Leaf also produced a "black" parallel that was numbered to only 500.
Leaf didn't just use the simulated wood grain in their high end products, they used it in their base product too.
1996 Leaf "Picture Perfect" #6
While "Lumberjacks" focused only on hitters, they actually included a pitcher in their "Picture Perfect" set. Unfortunately, there wasn't a reasonably priced Greg Maddux listed on COMC, so I settled for the discounted Tony Gwynn. Like their "Lumberjacks" counterparts, they too are serial numbered to 5000.
1997 Leaf Knot-Hole Gang
The following year, Leaf created a new insert set using the same technology. This time instead of printing the player's photo on the "wood", they used a color photo as the centerpiece and matted it with the "wood". They also used a die-cut top edge to make it look like a fence. If you're looking for a great looking, affordable set to build... I definitely recommend this one.
1997 Topps "Team Timber" #TT5
The final "wood" card I purchased was this Topps insert. Unlike Leaf, Topps decided to put a special coating on the front, so you can't actually touch the "wood" on one side. However they made up for it by adding more statistical data on their card backs compared to the Leaf inserts.
When the shopping spree was over, I ended up dropping $11.52 on these six cards. The cheapest card was the Frank Thomas, which I snagged for $1.15... while the most expensive was the Chipper Jones "Lumberjacks" insert. I dropped $2.95 for that card, but felt I had to have that card since I was buying the "sample" parallel too.
So what do you think of these? Is it your cup of tea?
Happy Tuesday and sayonara!