I did a quick count and it would appear that this is my eighth different Putz RC, which is pretty cool. It's also my 14th card out of his 23 issues from 2002, so that's progress. I actually don't really remember much about Reserve; I realize it came out 11 years ago, but still, I tend to remember sets I dabbled in, and I really doubt I ended up purchasing any. It's got a reasonable design, just nothing terribly special, and I hope it wasn't one of those mid-to-upper-end products with cards that didn't justify the price.
Now '05 Team Heroes I DO vaguely remember, although I don't think I really bought into that set at all either. Oddly enough, with all the other 2005 Panini sets in which J.J. appears, he doesn't actually have an auto in this set, just five different color parallels (Blue, Bronze, Gold, Silver, Red), numbered to varying degrees. I do like the design a bit, but the white space takes up too much real estate for this to be a winner for me. Also, I sure hope this shot comes from an exhibition game, because I don't think I recall even Tiger Stadium being that empty during our dark years in the 90s/00s.
Ahhh, here we are with a design I like very much indeed. Studio did some fun things with motifs and I think generally changed things up enough from year-to-year to keep things interesting. The 2005 set features excellent portrait photography coupled with beautiful backgrounds. I was actually already in possession of Putz's Gold Proof and auto from the set, so I was well aware of how much I appreciated this product before even receiving this base card.
I briefly discussed the existence of these Predictor cards back in March when I picked up Purple versions of Putz and Rich Hill. The set was a bit gimmicky for me, especially with three different versions, and I've never enjoyed '07 UD as much as other years due to the fact that they used borders that year, but at least the photography is as nice as usual. Now if I could just track down that Blue version....
Ah yes, First Edition, the Bowman Gold of base sets. I guess I just don't understand the need for an entire reprint of a base set that doesn't add anything, making it the opposite of a Chrome set, basically. As in '09 UD flagship, J.J. was featured on two cards--this one, plus one reflecting his trade to the Mets, which I did pick up previously. Speaking of that trade, I think I have a total of four Putz Mets cards, and I'll have to take a look to see how many of those in his PC actually exist, because I don't think there are very many since he quickly joined the White Sox afterwards.
While this isn't my favorite Heritage design in recent memory, the set still ended up looking great this year. I also like the looks of the backs for whatever reason. Speaking of those, I'll eventually pick up the Venezuelan Black Back version whenever I find one cheap enough.
Topps, just when I thought you couldn't possibly be any dumber, you go and do something like this...and totally redeem yourself! The Opening Day Blue parallel looks amazing as it uses a beautiful shade of blue with a very cool pattern as well. I'd still like to see the Opening Day set axed (see my complaint about UD First Edition above) but would love for this parallel to carry on in flagship. And would you PLEASE go back to real serial numbering on the backs of ALL of your parallels, Topps?
Finally, I snagged a copy of J.J.'s issue from 2013 Topps' sticker set. These are ostensibly geared towards kids (they still collect, right?) so I think they did well to pick a fun photo here. While my brother and I were big into completing the yearly Panini sticker books of yore, I haven't felt the same urge to chase Topps', but it's cool to have a couple of them to go after of my PC guys.
So today's eight new cards bring me to another fun, if small, PC milestone, as I've crossed the 150-card mark for Putz--more specifically, 153 of his 307 cards, plus three more 1/1s. Just one more will officially put me over 50%, unless Putz gets included in a product I don't know about. For now, hooray 150!
Stay tuned for a couple more SportLots posts, an eBay mailday, and something I haven't had to show off in a bit: a trade!