Saturday, January 17, 2009

1998 Topps Finest Series 2

6 Super Premium cards. 1 dollar. I grabbed this pack out of a bin off of a floor at a card show and decided to open it up. I'd never bought a Topps Finest pack before and the protective layers on the card fronts kind of amusing to me. (What is a "No Protector" card, by the way? Does it mean that it doesn't have the protective layer coating? Is that really a fair qualifier for a parallel insert?)

263 - Travis Lee

265 - Raul Mondesi (I think I like the backs of the cards more than the fronts.)
193 - Jeff Reed

170 - John Smoltz (On my blog, I asked for people to guess who was the only active player - with a contract - that I pulled in this pack. Smoltzie the Traitor was the answer. No one guessed it.)

191 - Ray Durham (Durham might have been the answer, but he is a man without a team at the moment.)
159 - Richard Hidalgo (Hidalgo's 3D shading is very out of register on the front of the card. I would have shown a picture of it, but my camera's batteries decided to die. Whatever happened to Hidalgo, anyway? He's only 33 apparently.)


Paul Hadsall said...

Hidalgo spent some time playing independent league ball with the Long Island Ducks last year.

capewood said...

Like you thought, the no protector cards did not have the protective film. They also had the 'Finest' treatment on both sides. It never made any sense to me.

William said...

Let me expand on the "whatever happened to Hidalgo?" question. To begin, he is my all-time favorite baseball player, no lie. In 2004 he was traded from the Astros to the Mets during July (he was with the Astros organization since his 16th birthday in 1992). He tore it up, hitting over 10 home runs in his first 25 games. Then, in his typical style, he faded away. In 2005, he signed a 1-year, $5 million contract with the Rangers and had a horrible season. In 2006, he signed a minor league contract with the Orioles and was invited to spring training. He did horribly, and he left spring training to be with his wife (in his native Venezuela) who he claimed was ill. After tearing it up in the Venezuelan winter league (hitting many "jonrons," some off MLB pitchers), the Astros signed him to a minor league deal in 2007 with an invite to spring training. He did horribly. They sent him to the minors and he asked to be released, so they did. Shortly after, he signed with the Long Island Ducks but then "retired" from professional baseball before playing a game with them. In early 2008, he tried to build a so-called "field of dreams" baseball field and academy on his Florida property but it was voted down by his neighbors (at a town hall meeting he didn't even attend). Later in 2008, he again signed with the Ducks and played for about a month then mysteriously left. Now he's probably in Venezuela munching on government cheese. I hope this answers your question.