Sunday, January 24, 2021

No Blog? No Matter.

 I've received a few cards recently from non-blogging collectors. Alex emailed to say he had a special card for me but would say nothing more about it. I knew of him only from reading Gavin's blog:

He offered to include a Walewander mentioned in his guest post. To understand the story behind the card's inscription, check out the link above.

I wasn't turning down a Tiger auto. I offered a return trade but Alex does not have an interest in recent cards. 'Recent' is anything after the last Lance Johnson card in 2000 but mostly nothing later than 1988. He's been collecting minor league sets for 30 years. I'm sure he has some fine treasures within these sets.

The 89 Fleer Jim W auto arrived accompanied with a new Dutch for my collection! 

Wow. A Daulton from my TCDB wantlist and one I never expected to come across! Darren remains a fan favorite to this day. That he appeared in a 2002 set a few years after his retirement is no surprise. Now that he's passed, I hope he'll have another card or two in a fan-favorites type tribute. 

Thank you, Alex! What a thoughtful surprise!

While watching the World Series, I took time to go through full galleries of a few sets on TCDB: all years of Stadium Club, 1983 Fleer and 1993 Upper Deck. I built quite a wantlist this way. I have no desire to complete these sets but have been drawn to many of the Fleer and UD cards, thanks to our bloggers! Fred Pike, my pal north of the border, hooked me up with a nice batch of Upper Deck. 

Cracked and broken bats:


The next four are beauties. I love the long dugout shot behind Deer. Both men seem to be unaware of the camera, minds on the game. Gladden of course, is in a throwback uni. Both cards represent the 'reflective' part of my baseball card collection. 

Portugal with a sucker, in shades and signing a mitt - all while wearing a fantastically colorful warm-up jacket! I wouldn't have given two cents for this card in 93! I'm proud to say I've matured as a collector. Knorr of course, is adorning himself with gear in another grand dugout shot.

The next two cards are going into my 'fan shots' stack, headed for a binder spot. Crowd reactions are especially entertaining to me. Lacking the appearance of strong interference, I think perhaps the home team was batting. Any thoughts on this? It's hard to determine by the crowd's apparel, lacking in team colors. It's possible the Reds are playing the Padres as I spy a cap with 'S' and a partial 'res' on a shirt.

I'm adding my full wantlist for both UD and Fleer to my set help tab. Perhaps some of you have these laying around?? 

Thanks to both of you gentlemen! You may not blog but your presence in the blog community is noted and greatly appreciated!

I spend less on new product every year. Heritage and Stadium Club may see a few of my dollars in 2021 but discovering sets like 93 Upper Deck delight me. I'm paying attention to your posts and shares, and watching my wantlist grow. At least I have someone to blame.

The past couple of months have found me less interested in chasing new product. I don't feel like I'm in a hobby funk only that my interests are changing. I've also picked up an old friend which is taking time away from cards - my guitar.  At one time, I was a fairly decent strummer.  It's been a few years now since I played. Certainly sounds like it too. If you see a bit less of me over the next month, don't be alarmed. I'm having a six-string affair. 

Saturday, January 9, 2021

Welcome to the Bo-Show!

Not Jackson. The other Bo. The one that matters.

Most of you are aware that Bo Rozny won the Cracked Bat Ballot Box contest in November. He racked up a lot of extra votes with his mail-in bribes ballots. Who says you can't vote more than once? Not a single fraudulent mail-in ballot was received at Cracked headquarters.

October brought in the PWEs like fall puts leaves on your lawn. Every couple of days I'd find Bo's return address on my mail. There were cards featuring PC boys:

Set help for 2002 UD World Series Heroes:

I left the hobby in 2002 so missed out on these beauties. I'd like to have the first 90 cards from the set and still need 60. Hint Hint.  I love the red, white and blue design and pinstriped background.  These will look nice in my RW&B collection. Bo loves his Yankees as you may have noticed 3 of the 4 cards are Bronx Bombers. 

1999 Fleer Tradition:

There's an obvious bat-theme here. I'll be adding more cards from this set to my wantlist. Fleer made great photography choices in 98 and 99.  I'd buy a box now if 'bricking' weren't a concern. Have any of you opened product from 98 or 99 without this issue? Early to mid-90s are a no-bust for me.

Staying with the bat-theme, here's an excellent lot of 70s vintage. A couple were doctored up by a previous owner but we can overlook that. 1971 Clendenon features only one bat but catches him seemingly unaware of the camera. I like shots like this. 

A slew of Tiger vintage featuring greats like Lolich, McLain and Cash:

Bo remembered my love for 70s baseball and catchers with more 73s:

I'd love to one day complete a set from the early 70s. I love 72 and 75 the most but know they can be buggers to finish. While it holds many great cards like those shown above, the 1970 design bores me a little, and 71 is gorgeous but has those tough black borders. 1973 has a classy design with so many wonderful photo choices. I toy with the idea. Bo's already made a dent in it for me! I already own nice copies of Aaron and Clemente.  The Schmidt rookie will be the big one as well as a mint copy of card number one featuring Ruth, Aaron and Mays. How hard is a 73 build? Do tell.

I'm gonna miss election season. We may have to do this again in four years' time! 

Thursday, December 31, 2020

Mystery Man Strikes Again

I've written about this fellow, sometimes known as Quinn or Xavier, or whatever name he uses in the return address. I know nothing about him. I've tried emailing to thank him, ask questions, even once threatening to return his package unopened. Yeah, that didn't happen. I did let one sit for two months before I caved. His return address is somewhat illegible and likely intentionally so. If I had returned it, well...the post office would've opened and kept the contents for themselves. I could not allow this to happen.

He is a crazy, generous fellow living perhaps, somewhere in Pennsylvania. I tried deciphering his address to send him a few cards but he's only received an envelope from me once that I know of. I did get a thank you from him one time. If he received another from me, he's never said. I can assure him it was sent and never returned to me.

So what does a package from him look like?? Assembly is most fascinating. This package was in a colorful padded mailer. The Glam Stickers from my wantlist are plastered all over it, along with a micro J Owens peeping out of its own little window: 

There are layers within which require deconstruction. Beneath the main wrapper is a boxloader:

Beneath this, an oversized card from Topps Vault:

And beneath this? Not hockey!

The little Phillies Mascot has become a favorite toy for my kitty. She bats it around and throws it in the air. Jingles loves her baseball! And so do I:

2007 TR Boxloader

It's not an exaggeration to say there were a couple hundred cards in the box!

Are you with me so far?

Who does this? Twice per year? It's taken me some time to share these. I didn't open and scan the package until October. Mind blown by the contents, I can tell you that!

Mr. Man also include some vintage charm:

I can't compete with these packages. Sometimes you just have to be humble and say thank you. He should know I recognize his generosity and creativity. In the year of 2020, most of us needed a little pick me up. This package was certainly that. So Rocky, Quinn, Xavier etc - please know I loved the package. Happy New Year, wherever you are!

On the Eve of 2021

Hail to thee, 2020. We've heard you loud and clear. I'm kicking your nefarious butt to the curb before this night is through. 

This year has left me relatively unscathed but I know this isn't true for everyone. I have good friends who've lost family members, and I lost an elderly friend myself three days before Christmas - all to covid.  Although I was laid off in April and May, my employer survived the auto shutdown and finished the year strong. My job is secure. I've certainly missed hanging with friends, especially over the holidays but do OK with 'me' time. Being alone is fairly easy for me though I couldn't do it long term. [I'm a hugger - people and  trees.] 

Even with the additional 'free time', I haven't added more posts here. No surprise as it's taken six years to hit #199 with this one. In all fairness to myself, I did manage 44 posts this year.  I also gave more of my hobby time to Pick Pockets. When I began the PP page more than a year ago, the intent was to spread a little hobby joy and perhaps spark a few trades. Who knew 2020 would be the sheet show it's been?  I've kept up with the page, hoping to make a difference in a few lives. In a year with no retail, perhaps pick pockets has allowed a few of you to build your own packs. 

        2020 gems courtesy of Doug, Buckstore Cards:

Your response to picking has been returned with kindness, with many sending cards from my three want-list tabs and mini-collections. The cards seen throughout this post are all from blogger pals, successfully adding to the joy in my own life. Thank you for this!

        From Chris the Collector - OPC and Sunoco Dutch with a fun Klesko:

I don't expect retail to come roaring back to our shelves anytime soon, if ever. Flippers found they could make some quick and easy money on our little blasters and hanger packs. The only Topps Chrome I ever pick up is through retail so I appreciate the Tigers from Doug, shown above. My collecting has moved towards my bat-themed mini-collections: floaters, racks and multiple bats. I'm also pursuing my own Stadium Club collection filled with favorites from 1991 through today. Cards I'm seeking can be found on my TCDB want list - link found at the top of this page right here.

        A cup of black coffee from Matt:

I've never listed goals here, hobby or otherwise. Goals cause me to look back over the full year and beat myself up for not accomplishing them. I prefer to note my achievements as the year moves along saying to myself "hey there, look what you did!"  

I do have an idea for the blog however, and would love some feedback from you. I'm an avid reader, mostly non-fiction: baseball, history and personal growth.  All are in excellent condition from a non-smoking home. With no room to keep all my beloved books, I've considered adding a book tab.  Books would be available to trade for x-# of cards on my wantlist. As a rule, I don't have the latest hot cards and players so perhaps a book would be considered in lieu of cards. Please share your thoughts in a comment.

        From Kerry Cards on Cards - 2020 Stadium Cub set help, Kaline SP and Pink Velocity Posey:

As for 2021, it deserves a chance. I tend to have an optimistic view of life but keep reality in my back pocket. I'm grounded. My hope for each of you is a year of kindness. Be kind to yourselves. Love yourselves. You are good people. If I didn't think so, we wouldn't be connected. May you and yours be healthy and blessed.  

Thank you for supporting this little blog!