Aug 8, 2011

These Were the Breaks of Winter: Community Gum and Fleer

There are only two truisms that are relevant for all walks of life:

1. Don't walk in the same rhythm as the music you're listening to.
2. A scanner and a blogger have an estranged, conflicted relationship.

Everything else is just details.

This was a group break from long ago from the gentleman at Community Gum when they decided to venture into what many collectors have dubbed "The Dead Zone".  For many, this was the period after high school, before nostalgia, and after too much money being spent on late night billiards and road trips through unexplored towns.  My "Dead Zone" was intermittent from 1999-2007 with some much needed breaths in 2001.  Luckily, one of the sets I had pursued was in the group break, 2001 Fleer Platinum RC.   So I joined the plunge into the foray of Fleer and feasted upon the decidedly unformidably filling filet of Phillies (the Phillies were a bad team then; the most exciting player was Bobby Abreu for awhile. What does that say?  He never ever smiled.)

And here he is, the most exciting player until Jim Thome came along.  These guys definitely disagree about the Thome thing.  This Abreu card was from a set named after Ted Williams's nickname.
This is an interesting card. It's a photocopy of the boxscore from Mike Schmidt's first game in 1972.  Some surprising names from this "classic clipping"
Unfortunately, Eric Junge's ticket was not "Authentix" enough and expired by 2003.  He was a part of the very unfruitful Curt Schilling tree of trades, coming over to the organization for Omar Daal in 2001.
Jim Thome led the league in home runs in 2003.  I'm not sure why the card had a price of 50 cents.  A clipping of recent vintage, it is.
Kevin Millwood was the embodiment of the hopes for the 2003 team to break out of the shackles of the Vet.  Instead, he was a decent pitcher with an ace's expectations.  His release from the majors happened on August 6, 2011.  Every Avant base card had a "congratulations" message on the back like all the relic cards.
Pat Burrell was the most enigmatic of those early 2000s Phillies, great one year (2002), awful the next (2003).  He bent over more inside pitches over the plate that I can remember, but he was always ready to hit a home run off Armando Benitez.  This was the base card of Classic Clippings.
Jimmy Rollins at this time was a young speedster who struck out a lot.  I remember he trained with Tony Gwynn in a couple offseasons and cut his strikeouts to a more acceptable level.    here;s the Fleer Platinum RC.  Remind you of anything?  Heritage...Fleer-style.
Here's a Fleer Mystique card of Scott Rolen.    Cards with coverings on them confused me for a long time.  My first exposure to that was 1996 Topps Mystery Finest insert.  I just thought it was a blank front card for years.
This is Chase Utley in a very nice 2003 Showcase card.  The mark of the Flair/Showcase line was always the dual image front.

It was a fun group break to watch the contents be revealed.  Until next time, having different playlists for walking and running around is my advice.

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