The trade package I received from Shane at Shoebox Legends was great not just because it included a bunch of interesting cards I didn’t have, but also that it contained a bunch of types of cards I’d never had. The Jose Cruz die-cut at left is one of these. While die-cuts aren’t that much of a surprise to anyone whose been that busy in the newer products over the past 15 years, for whatever reason I’ve never managed to acquire one.
Jose Cruz, Jr. was a player the Jays got with great fanfare from Seattle in 1997. He was then in the midst of a very good rookie season in which he’d hit 26 home runs, and we all thought the sky would be the limit for him. It didn’t quite work out that way, but he remained a solid outfielder with some power who’d say with the team through 2002.
In ’97 or ’98, my brother and I were at a game at the ‘Dome when the PA announcer absolutely butchered the name of one of the opposition batters. After all these years, I can’t remember whose name it was, but it was just a hideous anglicization of something that should have been readily-pronounceable – particularly for someone that reads names for a living. Our response was to spend the rest of the day butchering the names of everyone else who came to bat that day. To this day, I can’t see a picture of Jose Cruz without mentally referring to him as “Joes Cruzz.”
The next card up is something I’ve seen around but never had – the signed letter patch. I’ve never gone after these because I never really saw the point of the manufactured patch, but once I actually held one in hand, it’s nifty and now I get it. I like Snider a lot, too, though I have no idea where he’s going to play given the current state of the Jays’ outfield. He’s got an interesting signature. It’s not all that legible, but it has some artistic flair to it.
This card finished the first block of cards in the package, and it went four-for-four in terms of things I’d never had in the collection before. This is the first canvassy-type card I’ve had and it got me immediately poking about on eBay to see just what other ones were out there. I’d heard of this set, at least. I knew it was popular, too, and now I know why. This is a great card (and I’m thankful that they captured a moment other than Wayne whacking Gilmour under the chin with his stick).
Four great cards (including my shiny one posted earlier), and that was just the first of four big bundles in the trade package. Very nice, indeed. Thanks again!