30 Day Baseball Card Challenge

Tuesday, March 11, 2014

I've Got Wood!

Get your minds out of the gutter.  I literally have cards made out of wood.  They're just another reason I nominate the 90's as the most creative, innovative, and diverse decade in terms of sports cards.

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!

17 comments:

  1. Awesome pickups!

    I definitely love the concept, but I don't like how it was one of the 1/1 parallels in 2012 Topps (and 2013 Topps).

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I think I tried to buy the wood Kurt Suzuki... but it was way too expensive.

      Delete
  2. Panini had wood cards in Cooperstown. But your overall point I agree with. There was so much competition in the nineties, card companies were pushing the envelope of innovation, year in year out. Now that we're essentially down to one card company with a license, there's no innovation. Topps may revisit some of the concepts pioneered by Leaf and Pacific, but they've come up with nothing new. They don't have to, do they? MLB needs to give Panini (or Upper Deck or SOMEBODY) a freaking license already so the competition will naturally drive everybody to build a better card set. And it isn't just the insert technology, either. We got a much better player selection starting in '81 when the three companies were each trying to out prognosticate the others on who the breakout stars of the year would be. Sure, Harper and Puig...those are the easy calls. But who is the bench or bullpen guy who is going to come from nowhere to lead the league in some category or another? Give another company a license and let the fun begin.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Well said Stubby! Competition leads to innovation.

      Delete
    2. I totally agree. I'd love to see Upper Deck get their MLB or any of the licenses they lost back.

      Delete
  3. Keep me in mind if you ever have no use for those wood Chippers. (rim shot)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Maybe one of these days... but for now they've found a nice home in my 90's insert binder. However... they're fairly cheap on COMC.

      Delete
  4. Heck, keep me mind about any of those Braves. Nice pick ups, wish they were mine.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. See the comment I just left for The Chop Keeper ;-)

      Delete
  5. Great pick ups! I have to see if I have any Yankees in my collection.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks. My guess is they made at least a Jeter for each of these sets.

      Delete
  6. Have you ever seen the 1958 Hires root beer set.. Looks very similar to these

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Never seen these before... but I liked what I saw. Might need to add one to my vintage binder.

      Delete
  7. You got me with that post title! eheh gutter and? ;)
    Are the cards thick? Those are true cardboard! The rusty look is simply great.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Yeah... I'm all about the gimmick titles. Anything to attract a reader. As for the cards, they're no thicker than your standard memorabilia card.

      Delete
  8. I was always a fan of the Team Timber inserts. I like the design and feel. I wished Topps would dig back into these days of inserts. They are really lacking and just producing inserts with no effort. They might as well be sticking in white filler cards because that's the way I feel about their designs recently especially in their flagship brand. We truly do need another MLB manufacturer

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I completely agree. Outside of their minis, I can't say I was a fan of any of their flagship inserts in 2013.

      Delete