Friday, December 19, 2014

My Mattingly Collection - 2001 Topps Archives Reserve, Bat Relic

Not that anybody was really worried or about the lack of posts over here at Ryan's Pitch...but just in case.

The Fall really overwhelmed me with family and work and school I had so much that I wanted to share with you guys in October as an epic baseball season was coming to an end. A season with so many emotional connections to the Ryan's Pitch Collection - but I had to place the blog on the back burner to make sure I could take care of business.

October became Halloween and then Thanksgiving was looming large and then December hit with a fury. But now - now that finals are done and the office has not a creature stirring - now for a few days...I'm all out of business!

I've missed you guys!

(group hug)

And I've missed my hobby time. I have a year left in my MBA program so 2015 may prove to be just as challenging, but as you all know, I am an eternal optimist - so here's hoping! Until then, I'd like to end 2014 on a positive note with a few posts. I'd love to provide one of those "STATE OF THE COLLECTION" posts. My collecting approach has truly evolved over the past year (or so) and I am very excited about tackling some much needed house cleaning in parallel with a renewed vigor for laser-guided collecting focus. And just who wouldn't want to hear about all of THAT?

For now, though, let's check out a slick Mattingly card I recently picked up! I found this bad boy for the price of two modern packs. It wasn't in a shop or at a show (what are those?) and in this case, I didn't even have a picture. This 2001 Topps Archives Reserve fell in my Hobby Ice Age, so I didn't have a clue as to what it might resemble. I am familiar with the Archives series, but what did the "reserve" label indicate?

At $5 though, it was a Mattingly card that I DIDN'T have and a bat card at that, so I scooped it up. And I am sure glad that I did:

I know, I know - another damn version of the Hit Man's '84 Topps rookie card. Isn't it sweet!? It's shiny and refractor-y in all the right, biased ways for me. This one was in great shape, too - for which I am always thankful. The corners are sharp and the surface is pretty clean. The Archives logo is slightly annoying in the top right, but I'm over it. The circular bat relic is kind of a cool contrast with the otherwise well squared-away card.

To the back: 

Pretty much the standard with the exception of the fine-print line at the bottom and the...wait, what's that? A certification hologram?


Houston, that's a serial number! Woo-hoo! God bless these cards from the Hobby Ice Age. I am supposing this an early example of serialization that was utilized as the hobby was figuring out just how they were going to handle this attribute. It's kind of a neat variant, even if it covers up some statistics. Good thing I can easily check the other 30 versions of this card.

Returning some focus to my Mattingly collection is one component of my 2014 Collecting Evolution story-line. It was very easy to dial-in on my modern day PC's:

Craig Kimbrel
Freddie Freeman
Anthony Rizzo
Dellin Betances
David Robertson
Eric Jagielo

Unfortunately, these quests often left Donnie in the dust despite his status as my favorite all-time player. Not to mention, there are SO many cards during the aforementioned Ice Age that I haven't even begun to discover or enjoy and are probably quite affordable.

Hopefully this card is another great step in the right direction for 2015. I say "another" because I was able to scoop up a "Player Lot" of Mattingly cards over the past couple of months that has been a joy to flip through during free moments here and there. Some good, old-fashioned player collecting.

Anyways, it feels great to be back and I hope this doesn't turn out to be a one-hit wonder. I hope you all had a great 2014, find much peace with you and yours for the holidays, and hit the base path in 2015 with tremendous gusto!

Thanks for reading!