Friday, June 19, 2020

Retro Cup:Out Of This World

The Diamond King sent me a box loaded with 90's basketball goodness. LOADED. So I came up with an idea to do a mini series with so many great cards to show off called, Retro Cup. Along with the card showings, I will re-live a memory I had as well when it comes to coffee. So I hope you are sitting down with a cup of steaming fresh hot coffee so we can give this series a go.

*takes a sip of a new brand of coffee, daaaaannng pretty good. May be out of this world....*

Have you ever had something that tasted so good, that it gave you goosebumps or even made the hair on your arms stand up? Maybe it even gave you that tingly feeling on the inside or even made you smile on the outside? Maybe you even consider it out of this world?

I have.

Some of my grandmothers cooking always took me there and it was the oddest of things that she made that brought it home.

Let's take a look at a list of items she made that was so weird, it was good.
  • Fish Stick Gravy. I can picture your faces right now reading this. But, it was pretty darn amazing. I do not like seafood at all and can't stand fish sticks, but, somehow she turned something so disgusting into something amazing. She would fry up the fish sticks, make her homemade gravy, add them in and some special seasonings and wahbam, a masterpiece.
  • Frozen Milk With Vanilla. Yeah, it should say ice cream, but it never turned that way. She would take a bowl of milk, add some vanilla and salt, stir and stick it into the freezer. For some reason, it only froze the top layer but the flavor but it tasted so good.
  • Raisin Pie. There was no dessert I looked forward to more than her raisin pie at Thanksgiving. I am not normally one that's a fan of raisins, but that family recipe that she used to make it and how well it tasted in a pie, not to mention homemade crust, it was pretty mind blowing.
  • Bread Stuffing. This is another classic Thanksgiving favorite. I would spend the entire previous day to Thanksgiving breaking up pieces of bread, usually three loaves, and we would let it sit in a bowl overnight til it hardened. She would then cut up some onion, add some Old Bay seasoning, some hot water and bake. It for some reason or another, this was so much better than store bought stuffing.
  • Butterscotch pudding and Peanut Butter sandwiches. This was my favorite meal she made. When you are low income like she was, you sometimes create the cheapest but yet greatest meals ever.
  • Varieties of toast toppings. From favorites of peanut butter to butter, there was also cottage cheese, coffee crystals and some funky stuff she bought in a plastic jar but no matter what she added to my toast, grandma's knew best and knew it was going to taste great.
  • Beef Stew. It's simply beef stew. The question here is if the beef she used was beef or not. It came from the food shelf and was marked Beef on the outside of the can so it makes you question what was actually in there. But, it still was darn good.
  • Strawberry Pie in a Graham Cracker Crust. She simply experimented one night after we went to bingo together and took a can of strawberry filling and dumped it into a graham cracker crust. Despite the sugar overload, it was really good. 
  • Her Coffee. You know I couldn't have made this list without coffee. Hers was odd as it was boiled on a stove in a pot and then she served it that way with milk and sugar. She didn't always allow me to have coffee as she was old fashioned in that nature, but she would sometimes reward me after I had helped her with a cleaning project, etc.
This is just some of the items that come to mind first. Some of those items and remembering them just gave me goosebumps.

*takes a giant gulp of this delicious cup of coffee*

The mid to late 90's produced some of the greatest cards EVER. EEEEEEEEVVVEERRR. The base, inserts and even the rare occasional hits were well designed, creative and just plain out of this world.

Recently with the popularity of Fleer (Skybox) Metal coming back for every sport, mainly the Fleer Metal Universe sets from 1997 to 1999, I had forgotten how much I appreciated the set myself and started to dig into my collection just to see what I had. What I didn't realize is I didn't have much. Here I was thinking this whole time I was sitting on a bunch of these to look back on some day but I actually wasn't. So where did my Metal go over the years? I have no idea. Maybe I looked in the wrong spot, maybe my father sold it off. Who knows.

Either way, it was disappointing but I plan to keep looking.

Luckily, my disappointment turned to some happiness when I found some in the box I got from The Diamond King.

1997-1998 Fleer Metal Universe Kevin Garnett. What other card is etched foil textured and takes a popular basketball player under the sea? None. The only thing missing here is Spongebob.

Great background. This was from the 1998-1999 cards. At first glance you would swear it was the same photo as the previous year, but, the facial expression is different.

Tim Thomas first trip to space

After I saw these three from The Diamond King in hand, I became addicted and wanted even more so I took to Twitter to see if anyone there had any to trade. I had a lot of RT's, but only one response. That one response was from @Offbeatallstars who had a handful he was willing to trade to me.

So fortunately for me, I haven't ever traded with him before, he was as easy as it was trading and we had a deal done pretty fast. I like traders like that. He gets something he can appreciate and I do as well. In the end, we both were really happy and to me that's what really matters in collecting.

Within a few days, his mail day was in hand. Here's what he sent,

Rodney Rogers who is playing some major street, or I guess you could say interstate ball

 Brevin Knight driving away from a mysterious cloud

Tracy McGrady in our solar system

Michael Finley towering over the city

Keith Van Horn, seemed like I always pulled his cards, is jamming away from the milky way

Danny Fortson

And Tim Duncan playing out of this world.

Appreciate the trade @offbeatallstars! Hope to do it again.

*the final sips of cup one, will lead to cup two but will be done this post before that happens. I am trying to savor every moment of this first cup*

Getting these in hand, gave me that arm hair standing up, goosebump feeling and made me smile. The creativity like this is what we are missing a lot of from today's products. Too much of the same old thing or trying to repeat something that is done gets kinda boring. Sort of like today's food in comparison to my grandmothers.

Card companies, go make something yucky great again!

And yes, I am seeking more Fleer Metal Universe of any player, team and sport. I also feel a hankering for a piece of my grandmother's Raisin Pie to go with this cup of coffee. If only she was around still like Fleer Metal, as I bet she would have been more than happy to have made some and would have put this breakfast out of this world.


  1. Those Metal cards are great. Time and time again, I find myself thinking something is cool and then forgetting all about it. Then years later, that item becomes all the rage. I guess I should listen to myself more.

    1. You should blog about it and we should all follow it

  2. Love me some 90's Metal... but not quite as much as my mom's (Japanese) curry, pork chops, or turkey stuffing.

    1. Turkey stuffing sounds good. Are the pork chops topped with it? Sometimes I will make pork chops with stuffing on them and use different flavored stuffing

    2. Nope. Although I'm sure I would have eaten it up had she made it that way. She only made the stuffing once a year... at Thanksgiving. It was so delicious that two of my ex-girlfriends still talk about it. My sister and sister-in-law tried to replicate it this past Thanksgiving... but it wasn't the same.

  3. I still haven't figured out why everyone decided to go apesh*t over Metal after all of these years, I suspect that like most things it was started by some "influencer" with plenty to sell, convincing everyone that this was the new in thing, and just like always, collectors fell for it.

    1. yes for most I assume that's what happened, for me it was a forgotten thing I really enjoyed.


Cards and coffee go together like PB&J, so don't you and leaving a comment below. Take a sip and let me know your thoughts!