Saturday, March 2, 2019

Top 5 Cards; Lou Brock

I firmly believe that as long as I am collecting Baseball cards, the player collections will serve as my primary focus. Other sets or pieces of interest may come and go, but through it all, I simply can't envision myself not putting emphasis on the 200+ players that I collect.

I began my journey towards becoming an avid player collector by starting out with around 4 players total. Ivan Rodriguez, Catfish Hunter, Harmon Killebrew, and Duke Snider are the first guys I remember creating PCs for as soon as I started collecting cards. 

For one reason or another, I simply seemed to have a ton of cards featuring those 4 legends in my collection, so I began creating player collections off of that. 

Today, that number has reached 250 players on the dot, and there are still many players that I've thoroughly considered adding to that list. Both past stars (Sandy Koufax) and present phenoms (Francisco Lindor) are notable candidates. 

Plus who can argue with paying only a dime per card in order to add to one's player collections? Personally, I find dime bins one of the biggest blessings for almost any collector, but especially player collectors who have such a wide range of different players to focus on.

I'm not going to get into the specifics of player collection totals or any of that, but it's simply a fact that some PCs are able to grow faster than others due to card availability and a little bit of luck.

Out of my 250 player collections, Hall of Famer Lou Brock ranks at #84 with 63 cards. Through my system, Brock is a "silver tier" player collection, meaning I have 50 or more cards of him. 

He's also tied with Cubs first basemen Derrek Lee for that spot, further proving what I mentioned earlier about card availability being a major factor in player collections.

Sometimes, it's quality over quantity, however, as you'll see with some of the top 5 cards of Lou Brock.

#5 1968 Topps All-Star
As fantastic of a job as Topps does with the Sporting News All-Star cards, year after year, in Topps Heritage, it's fairly evident that nothing will ever compare to the originals. Regardless of how you feel about the burlap design, the All-Star cards were a massive success in 1968 Topps due to an excellent balance between the photograph and the rest of the card's design.

I could've chosen the 1969 All-Star card for this list instead, but the uniqueness of the '68 set gives this card more of a special feeling than the All-Star card from the following year.

#4 2001 Upper Deck Decade 1970s Disco Dandies
I can't fathom that I own a more colorful card in my entire collection than this Lou Brock Disco Dandies insert, yet the unconventional and retro style is exactly what I love about this insert set from 2001 Upper Deck Decade 1970s.

I'm fairly certain that Lou Brock is my sole Disco Dandies insert but seeing this card makes me want to purchase the entire insert set on COMC. Not only is the background absolutely insane and over the top, but I'll also give Upper Deck props for choosing an "in action" image for this card as well.

#3 1966 Topps
Other than cards from the Topps Flagship sets that I'm building, I believe this is my only base card showing the 6-time All-Star as a member of the St. Louis Cardinals. Even with the centering and creases taken into account, I truly can't help but love this classic-looking card.

Lou Brock's 1966 Topps card is a prime example of why simple cards are totally okay and can even be transformed into standout cards if done correctly. Both the '66 set and the photo of Brock are rather plain on their own, but when they're combined together, the result is an incredibly memorable card.

#2 1964 Topps
I mentioned that the '66 Topps card was my only base card of Brock on the Cardinals. Similarly, his 1964 Topps card is my sole original card showing the 2-time Gold Glove award winner as a Chicago Cub. 

From the patch on his sleeve to the jersey number written in the middle of the "C" on his helmet, this card serves as a painful reminder to Cubs fans of what could have been. Because, in that same year, Brock was traded to the Cardinals for Ernie Broglio, among other players.

If Brock hadn't been dealt in one of the most lopsided trades in MLB history, there's a reasonable chance that Brock, along with other future Hall of Famers, could've led the Cubs to a World Series victory.

#1 1969 Topps World Series Game #4
Even though the 2017 World Series featured neither the Red Sox nor the Cubs, my 2 favorite teams, I instantly raced to complete the mini subset as soon as I got my hands on 2018 Topps Heritage. That is an accurate representation of how fantastic these World Series highlights cards are and why this card earned the #1 spot.

Formatted just like a newspaper cover page, this Sporting News subset uses black and white photos to its fullest potential. Commemorating the Cardinals' Game 4 blowout of the Tigers, the Cardinals' win is perfectly encapsulated by showcasing Brock's home run off Denny McLain.

I'll admit, it can be confusing and even slightly frustrating to focus primarily on player collections, especially when you have 250 of them. However, having cards like the 5 I just showed make the entire process incredibly rewarding and enjoyable.

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