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Shiny shockers

As a writer of sports headlines, I am forever looking for a synonym for the word "surprise."

Sports is all about drama, and there is nothing more dramatic than a victory by a team that wasn't supposed to win. So those games are going to get the big headlines. But you can't use the word "surprise" over and over again. "Miracle Mets Surprise Orioles," "U.S. Olympic Team Surprises Russians," "Douglas Surprises Tyson." That's boring.

So, I am forever looking for synonyms. These are the words I turn to when "surprise" won't do:

bowl over

You headline writers, feel free to use some of these. Or bail me out and give me some more synonyms.

The reason I bring this up is that Joe sent me a surprise package of cards recently. Totally out of the blue. And I was trying to come up with a title for this post. The only thing I had was "I like surprises." And that's not true at all. Most of the time, I hate surprises. "Surprise! You have less in your bank account than you thought you did." "Surprise! You have to come into work on your vacation." "Surprise! Everyone in your daughter's sleep-over has come down with the flu." "Surprise! Your tire just blew out on the freeway."

So, yeah, I needed a different word.

I went with "shock," because just about all the cards Joe sent were shiny and then I get to be alliterative. And everyone likes alliteration, right? Why wouldn't we?

OK, cards. You came here for cards. Here's some shiny:

A super tiny shiny Eric Gagne from 2004 Topps Chrome. Gagne is a big guy, but you can't tell from this card.

More shiny Gagne, this from 2005 Donruss. It's some numbered parallel. I know nothing more than that. I do know that I always appreciate Gagne cards. I know he's a Mitchell Report guy and his relic card was worth negative points in the recent Gint-a-Cuffs battle. But I don't subscribe to that way of thinking. I still like Gagne. He was pleasant when I interviewed him. His family was very pleasant when I talked to them. I'm happy to have his cards.

Russell Martin copper parallel from 2008 Topps Chrome. Copper is a weird color for a card. I suppose since gold is so played out and silver and platinum aren't new anymore, Topps had to try a different metallic color. Personally, I can't wait for the magnesium parallels.

Ah, here is some gold. A numbered gold parallel of Chad Hermansen from 2003 Topps Chrome. I vaguely remember Hermansen. He came to the Dodgers in the fateful Karros-Grudzielanek for Hundley-Hermansen trade. Barely played for L.A.

Lastly, an '04 Topps Chrome of Hideo Nomo for my Nomo collection. Yippee! The back of the card says Nomo's "two keys are his diving splitter and his mental makeup." There's some alliteration for you. I don't know what it means, but doesn't it sound nice?

Thanks for the cards, Joe. They were stunning. Just stunning.


Offy said…
Donruss was big on the Stat Line thing for a while. There would be Season Stat Line parallels and Career Stat Line parallels. They would be serial numbered to some statistic for that player. #/34 HR for a season or #/212 career wins or something like that. There'd be multiple parallels for players and it got a little bit insane.

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