A year later, Topps introduced the "refractor" to collectors, which is a parallel that essentially refracts light and produces a "rainbow" like reflection when you look at them at the right angle.
Twenty-four years later, the refractor's popularity is still going strong and is now used to produced a variety of colored parallels in most Topps products. Personally, I wish they'd take it down a notch, reduce the number of refractor variations, and make them a little tougher to pull... like in the 90's.
Back then... if you pulled a refractor from a pack, it felt like a "hit".
For example... check out this Nolan Ryan I stumbled across last week while digging through my insert box:
1999 Topps Chrome Refractor #34
This card is seriously amazing and I was truly blown away by its beauty. The simple card design focuses the attention of the collector on the "shine". Obviously the scan doesn't do the refraction of light justice, but even without it you can still see the perfectly cropped picture of Ryan's high kick windup.
The card back contains his entire MLB statistics, along with photos of him from his days with the New York Mets, California Angels, and Houston Astros. If you look at the card number in the upper left corner, you'll also see that it states that this is the refractor parallel.
Although I appreciate "greatness", I've never thought about starting a Nolan Ryan collection. In fact, growing up I was much more into Steve Carlton. That's why I felt that this card was the perfect card for the 20th Challenge in Tony's 30 Day Baseball Card Challenge, which is to show off your favorite parallel card based on the parallel, not the player.
What about you...
What are some of your favorite parallels?
Since the beginning of this challenge, I had intended to use one of the UD Masterpieces or Gypsy Queen framed parallels for this post. They're the only parallels out there (in my humble opinion) that give refractors a run for their money. But I didn't even bother digging through my framed parallels after seeing this Ryan. It would have been a waste of time... and free time remaining during my summer break is just too valuable.
Happy Sunday and sayonara!