I completed my sixth trade with Spiegel of Nomo's Sushi Platter. You can check out the first here, the second here, the third here, the fourth here, and the fifth here. This is the first trade I've completed in-person, as Mike and I met up at his LCS, Valley Sports Cards, to swap cards and exchange witty banter. It also allowed me to give Mike his Card Draft spoils. As the title alludes to, Spiegel formerly collected Braun, but ended that collection with Braun's positive test. With this generation's Hebrew Hammer not facing a suspension, but questions still surrounding the situation, Spiegel's suspicions of Braun's PED use remain.
That being said, I don't care one way or the other. It would be great if Braun were clean and nobody cheated, but guys have cheated since the dawn of time. Gaylord Perry threw a spitball and Mike Schmidt used greenies and, while admitting to doing so, claimed just about everyone else in his era did as well (a link worth checking out, and that's considering a terrible writer and all-around fool in Murray Chass wrote the article). That doesn't make it right or behavior to copy, but I don't mind continuing a collection, even amidst questions and doubts.
I don't buy that PEDs improve your performance, just that they help you heal from injury, from what I've heard and read. Its a non-issue for me, because Braun's a great player period. Not the MVP mind you, regardless of testing positive or not, but a great player. So I was more than happy to take some new Brauns off of Mike's hands and give him cards that fit better into his collection and don't make him sick to his stomach.
A great overview of the entire Braun situation, with a particular emphasis on the aftermath of the arbitrator's decision, can be found over at ChadMoriyama.com, the blog that houses the majority of my analytical work (when I pen analytical work) and the wonderful writing of my boss, Chad Moriyama.
These were the four major gets for me, and it all centered around the 2005 Topps Update Gold RC, #'d 1958/2005, above. I had no idea Mike had the Diamond Die-Cut, so that pleasant surprise put a smile on my face, as Topps really hit it out of the park with those. It's my second from that sweet set, as I picked up the Kershaw DDC a while back.
Spiegel handed over much, much more than the above four, including some PC items pictured above. A new Kershaw (in sticker form), a sweet Fleer Cole Hamels RC, and a Danny Espinosa Chrome RC, which completes a Trifecta for the former Long Beach State Dirtbag. The entire Espinosa Trifecta is below.
In terms of Brauns, there were base cards, inserts, parallels, rookies, serial-numbered cards, die-cuts, and even a couple of minis, most of which can be seen below.
Thanks for another fantastic trade Spiegel! Oh, and number 150 is in the books! Damn, that's a boatload of deals.