Today features just one player because I landed so many new cards of him, so it made sense to give him his own post. That player is former Chicago White Sox prospect Brian Simmons, to whom you were introduced in this post when I finally realized he used to play for the Wolverines!
I had only started with four cards, so it's not a huge surprise that I had lots of luck finding many I needed, especially since he was a common player during a time when there was simply an explosion of sets. Without further ado, here's a bunch of new cards of a B. Simmons that actually has something to do with sports instead of talking about crappy TV and his goofy family and friends:
Brian Simmons 1999 Bowman
Brian Simmons 1999 Bowman Chrome
Brian Simmons 1999 Bowman Chrome International
Brian Simmons 1999 Bowman Chrome Refractor
Brian Simmons 1999 Bowman International
Time to start a new rainbow! Simmons has nine cards between Bowman/Chrome for 1999, so I'm already more than halfway done with this one. Of the four remaining, three are serial-numbered, but I don't think it'll be horrible tracking them down.
1999 Bowman is a solid set with a pretty good design whose biggest flaw is the huge borders and other elements that detract from the amount of space the photo gets. Other than that, the chrome-ified version looks great as usual, and the Refractor is easily the best of the group. The International parallel is pretty good as well, with (hard-to-scan) backgrounds that highlight the player's home state, in this case Pennsylvania since it's nearly impossible to see.
Two of the remainders I have to track down are Refractors, so I look forward to showing those off when I get them!
Brian Simmons 1999 Fleer Brilliants
Keeping the hard-to-scan ball rolling is this somewhat forgettable Fleer release from 1999. Playing off the set's name, it's very reflective, which means the scanner makes it look extremely dark. There are three parallels to chase: Blue, Gold (#d /99) and 24-Karat Gold (/24). It may be tricky tracking down the latter, but I don't expect too much trouble.
Brian Simmons 1999 Fleer Tradition
To paraphrase Abe Simpson, "Now THERE's a product you could set your watch to." As I've mentioned, this isn't my all-time favorite Fleer set (still 1997, if you're wondering), but I enjoy how it's sort of a budget set while not really feeling low-end. The photography and design are great, and I love the stamps that commemorate significant events (such as an MLB debut) without needing an extra subset.
By the way, this set has three parallels of its own: Warning Track, Millennium (#d /5000), and the ultra-rare Starting Nine, for which just nine copies exist. Yikes!
Brian Simmons 1999 SkyBox Thunder Rant
I'm still on record that I don't care for this ugly-ass set (I own the base card), and the parallels don't make it look any better, including this un-numbered version with its disgusting purple foil. Rave (#d /150) and Super Rave 25 wait in the wings to further turn my stomach.
Brian Simmons 1999 Sports Illustrated (with Johnson and Wilson)
One of Fleer's better entries in the late 90s, Sports Illustrated featured some great photography (no surprise) on a thick glossy design. And just like some of my favorite older Topps cards, it includes multi-player prospect cards! Joining Simmons here are catcher Mark Johnson and his fantastic goatee, and SS Craig Wilson.
The Sox took Johnson 26th overall in 1994 (ahead of Jay Payton, Troy Glaus, and others), and he managed to play in parts of eight seasons, which isn't bad. Meanwhile, THIS Craig Wilson is not to be confused with the guy that played for the Pirates in the 2000s, and was a 1992 13th-rounder that made his debut in 1998, causing Fleer to throw him on this card for some reason.
Brian Simmons 1999 Upper Deck Victory
At times I lump sets like Victory, Collector's Choice/UD Choice, and MVP all together because they all kind of went for that lower-end, kid-friendly feel. Still, I'd consider Victory a bit of a step up from those design-wise. Also, it's decently large at 470 cards.
Simmons didn't make the cut for the Ultimate Victory checklist, which was sort of the Chrome version for Upper Deck, but that makes sense since this isn't even a RC. Really, I'm just happy with how this one turned out--a very nice swinging shot on a simple design.
Brian Simmons 2000 Fleer Impact
This set is about as forgettable as '99 Fleer Brilliants, but doesn't even have the courtesy to look nice. The photography is fine, but man is that an ugly design overlaid on it. Like the Victory card above, this one fortunately doesn't have a parallel for me to chase, and it's one of just three cards on which Simmons was included in 2000. That number includes this 2000 UD base card and its Exclusives Silver parallel (#d to 100).
Doing the math (which I can manage without a 911 call!), today's 11, along with my original four, give me a new Simmons PC total of 15. He's got a run of 35 cards from his playing days, so I'm almost halfway there, which isn't bad considering I recently started collecting him.
Stay tuned for a couple more Sportlots pickup posts shortly!