Wednesday, 17 August 2016

Call from a local card store

I was sitting at work yesterday when the phone rang and it was a local card store calling. They had some Browns cards put aside for me if I wanted them. Needless to say I stopped there on the way home.

While waiting for service and flipping through cards, I saw one Browns card put aside that was pretty cool. I'm not all for manufactured relics, but this card was one that I didn't have.

2011 Topps - End Zone Icons #EZI-16

I like the photo, and the manufactured patch but the back is pretty boring.

At least it gives the standard height, weight, college and draft info. Other people might not appreciate it but I like it to compare player sizes at their positions, and in comparison with players at those positions decades ago. It is a small piece on info but better than having nothing.

This card wasn't why they called me though. They had opened up a couple of boxes of this year's football and had pulled the Browns for me.

I hadn't opened any Panini Classics yet this year, and I really like the cards. They have an old-time feel and look to them, but of course have all the parallel tricks that you expect to see in sets these days.

We'll start with a couple of rookies.
L: 2016 Panini Classics #288; R: 2016 Panini Classics - Red Backs #210

I like formatting of the backs. Although this set came out after the draft, it was no doubt finalized before the draft and doesn't mention anything about who drafted the player.

If you saw any preseason week one highlights, you probably saw Cody Kessler. With his first pass he threw a touchdown, but then he followed it up by running out the back of the end-zone for a safety. There were double lines on the field for preseason where it would be filled in during the regular season, but it wasn't a good mistake. He said that he realizes he needs to be a bit more aware of his surroundings in the future. Hopefully after a long career he will be able to look back on that play and laugh.

There are a lot of expectations for first-round pick Corey Coleman. I was pretty happy to get the red back parallel among these cards.

I have mentioned before that I like having past players included in modern sets. That allows me to show two number 82s!

L: 2016 Panini Classics #42; R: 2016 Panini Classics #121
Gary Barnidge had a great year last year for the Browns. He tied Ozzie Newsome's team season record for TD catches by at Tight End with 9.

I like the black and white effect on the Newsome card. It somewhat hides the white highlight that outlines the player on his own card. It is interesting that the orange on the Newsome card is somewhat muted compared to the orange on the current players' cards.

It always happens, but here is another Browns card of a player that signed elsewhere as a free agent during the off-season.

2016 Panini Classics #52
Best wishes to Travis Benjamin in San Diego. Thanks for the exciting plays that you provided us fans with over the years you played in Cleveland.

In finishing with the Panini Classics cards that I bought, there were also a couple of numbered parallels.

2016 Panini Classics- Timeless Tributes Bronze #42 and #32 (#/99)
The Timeless Tributes cards come numbered in Bronze (out of 99), Silver (out of 25), Gold (out of 10), and Platinum (out of 1).

The other set that the local store opened was the recently released 2016 Donruss football. This gave me my first RGIII card in a Browns uniform. Let's see those cards.

2016 Donruss #67, 68, 69
I like these cards, reminding me of the 1990 Donruss baseball set. I like the brown and orange on the side border of the cards, and although the large border means the photos are smaller, I like how they are pulled back and framed so that you can see some of the background.
2016 Donruss #70, 71, 72
I like seeing Joe Thomas included in the set. He is a future Hall of Famer and as far as I am concerned should be among the Browns in every base set.
2016 Donruss #73, 74, 75
Once again, you can see the color of the retired Ozzie Newsome is a lighter shade of orange than the rest of the Browns in the set. Thinking about it, when the Browns changed their uniforms before last season they did modify the color orange in the helmets. I would guess that the cards are reflecting the color change.

Speaking of the uniform changes, these cards show five of the nine different Browns uniform combinations. And you know what? Even with all three different jerseys showing up in these cards I still prefer the classic one worn by Newsome.

Brian Hartline was released by the Browns just before training camp started, but Panini can't be faulted for including the veteran wide receiver.

As you can see with these base cards, the store didn't have any of the rookies from this set so I still have to work on getting those.

Here are a few of the Donruss card backs.
Again, the color difference is seen on the Newsome back.

I like the simplicity of the backs, but wish that instead of the big graphic handwritten name there would be career statistics shown. And showing the one season, and career stats, I wish that they actually showed the number of games played. Haden's stats look very weak for last year despite the write-up until you realize that he was hurt most of the year.

I like how they listed the accomplishments on Joe Thomas' card. You really don't have the same stats for a tackle that you do for other players. I do wish that they had mentioned that he has not missed a snap in his career. As a veteran on a team that has had some lousy seasons, it takes dedication to play every snap of every game.

There were also two inserts put aside for me from the Donruss set, both numbered out of 999.

L: 2016 Donruss - Dominator #27; R: 2016 Donruss - The Rookies #19
Both of the cards are somewhat shiny, but looking at them flat on the flashy background isn't as noticeable as it is in the scans.

Here are their backs.

Good write-ups, and the side coloring matches the front of the card, but they aren't very flashy. I guess they saved that for the front of the cards.

All in all I am very happy with both sets and can't wait to hunt down missing Browns from the two sets.


  1. Nice cards, I might have to track down some Bengals from these Panini Classics set. Not really digging the Donruss design though. I've seen too much of 1990 Donruss Baseball to not really want to see the design replicated unfortunately.

  2. Love the retro theme on the Donruss cards. I like how they did the colors period correct as well. Far too often when sets include retired players they put the current logo and colors on the cards.

  3. Love, love, LOVE the Donruss cards for this year. Tipping the cap to the '90 baseball set is too wonderful for words!