30 Day Baseball Card Challenge

Thursday, February 18, 2016

Eye of the Beholder

"Beauty" is definitely in the eye of the beholder.  What one person finds gorgeous... another might consider plain.  My colleagues and I recently debated whether or not Rachael Ray was attractive.  It was split pretty much down the middle with me leaning on the "cute" side.

Obviously this also applies to our hobby as well.  Some collectors love sports cards that are "simple" and "plain", while others prefer "shiny" and "extravagant".  I myself am attracted to both... it just depends on the individual set design and the particular mood I'm in.

This morning it was drizzling here in the Bay Area, but a few hours ago the sun finally broke through and its light flooded my townhouse.  It was the perfect setting for me to take out my most recent set purchases:  2000 Topps Gallery "Gallery of Heroes".

Topps produced this line of inserts for their Topps Gallery products from 1997 to 2000 and the first time I laid eyes on them, I fell in love.

They're obviously meant to resemble stained glass windows... which back in the 70's... I remember seeing hanging in peoples' houses.  Some would have it mounted on walls, while others would use them for lamp shades.  My brother actually made a bunch of stained glass decorations for friends and family members back in the day.

Then overnight they seemed to disappear.  The only time I'd see them was when I attended a church service or when I went to this little strip mall bar in my neighborhood that used them as dividers between booths.  

It's actually a shame, because I really enjoy the look of stained glass windows, which explains why I'm so attracted to these brightly colored, die-cut pieces of acetate

Now I understand that these aren't for everyone.  They're not old and made out of cardboard, so fans of vintage might not appreciate these.  They are also missing that classic bubblegum scent which many of us remember from our childhood.  And since they don't contain swatches of their jersey or signatures of the athletes, there will be some collectors who don't consider these "hits".

But from my point of view, cards don't have to be vintage, autographed, or contain a piece of memorabilia to be appreciated.  Sometimes all I'm looking for... is a little "eye candy" and that's exactly what these inserts are to me.

So what do you think?

Are these cards "hot"... or "not"?

Happy Thursday and sayonara!


  1. I think they are gorgeous cards. There I said it. And I think Rachael Ray is VERY cute.

  2. I was looking at some stained glass-style cards just the other day. I like them.

  3. They're very nice looking cards. I've always liked them because they remind me of the beautiful stained glass window my dad made for the bathroom in the house I grew up in. He also did a really nice sand - blasted window for one of the doors in my bedroom.

  4. I definitely like those cards, and Rachael Ray definitely has something going for her. She'd be a keeper too, besides can you imagine what it would be like to come home to something she cooked up!

  5. I love these cards. They reintroduced this insert set in 2013 Topps Archives. There is an autograph set that resembles these cards in 2008 Stadium Club. They are beam team autographs.

  6. Rachel Ray is cute but holy hell is she hippy. If you like them with hour glass figures, Rachel has about 120 minutes worth. Plus, my wife is a speech path and we talk about how her throat must look like with all the nodules she must have on her vocal folds considering her rasping voice.

    Oh - and those cards are really sweet. Much prettier than Rachel. But why no White Sox love in the set? From a quick ebay search looks like a Thomas in the '98 release.

  7. Fan freaking beautiful! Love them, and Rachel Ray? Being Sicilian a plus but I too am middle of the road on her

  8. If you know a fellow collector who's getting married, giving them cards like these with a stained glass window design is the way to go.

  9. Simply gorgeous. Both the cards and Rachel Ray.

  10. I love the Gallery of Heroes stained glass cards I have three of the four Griffey versions (missing the 1998 card). I think Rachel Ray is a total hottie.

  11. Love the stained glass cards in all of their incarnations, and I totally remember the '70s stained glass fad. In fact, my parents still own a hanging lamp with stained glass. Always loved that thing and still do.

    I'm going to be that guy and say whatever cuteness Rachael Ray once possessed was beaten out of her by her annoying personality and even worse morning television show.

  12. I can't handle Rachel Ray's nails on the chalkboard voice.

    The stained glass cards are awesome.

  13. Those Gallery cards are great. Anything that is an original departure from the normal drab card or overfoiled eye-burner is a welcome sight.

    Rachel is adorable. And my dog likes her grain-free product...

  14. I like the cards and Rachel Ray may be a little cute but I find her way annoying. She doesn't let her guests talk and I once saw her totally freak out when a guy put some pretzels in with some brownie mix. She yelled out, "SHUT THE DOOR! SHUT THE DOOR!". Give me a break.

  15. The results of the Rachael Ray survey are in...

    very cute = 1
    has something going for her = 1
    cute but holy hell is she hippy = 1
    middle of the road = 1
    simply gorgeous = 1
    total hottie =1
    annoying personality = 1
    nails on the chalkboard voice = 1
    adorable = 1
    a little cute, but way annoying = 1

    Overall... more positive than negative. However... it's unanimous. Collectors appreciate the Gallery of Greats inserts.