Tuesday, June 19, 2012
It's a good habit
Before I start, I'd like to make note of one thing.
I'm not sure if it's happening with all my readers, but the font on my blog title (as well as the individual post titles) decided to change for no apparent reason, and I can't find a way to fix it. I guess we'll have to live with the ugly italicized font, at least until Blogger fixes it.
At least I'm not the only one.
Anyways, back to the cards.
I've developed a bit of a habit as a result of the blogosphere.
Most of the trade packages I've received thus far have come with a nice note attached, something I've always appreciated. Sometimes, they can even provide a hint as to what cards are inside. (If I don't already know.)
I'm not quite sure why I've saved them. There's a big, scattered pile of index cards and post-it notes on my dresser right now.
I might not like to admit it, but perhaps it's a bit of an ego boost for me. It's great when a fellow blogger or reader says, "I love the blog!" or "Great post!". Comments like those are a great pick-me-up, and some have even been nice enough to compliment the blog in the little notes I receive with most of my trade packages.
I never thought I'd develop any kind of a following when I first started the blog.
But more than that, I save the notes because they show that they've put real thought into what cards to send me. (I've taken to writing notes with the packages I've sent to fellow bloggers as well, another way the blogosphere has changed me.)
The latest addition to my "collection of notes" comes from Robert, a fellow blogger who also has a habit, specifically a "$30 A Week Habit".
His blog was one of the first I was introduced to after I joined the blogosphere, definitely one of my favorites out there. I take the time to read every post he writes every single day.
Personally, I don't think I've spent $30 on cards in the last month or so. That'll go out the window when I hit the card show at the end of the month, though. (Although thirty bucks could net me 300 dime cards.)
It's always good to have a budget in this hobby, and judging from his posts, Robert has definitely stuck with it so far.
I'd commented on one of his posts because I needed some of the Series 2 inserts he pulled. Just like that, we agreed on a trade.
Robert was nice enough to include a couple of surprise cards in the package, one of which was the Giambi he alludes to in the note he sent me.
Although I already had it, I never fully realized how great it was until Robert reminded me.
I'm not sure how or where I acquired my copy.
I don't even collect Jason Giambi.
Nevertheless, this is a fantastic card. It makes for a nice addendum to my "throwback" post from a few weeks ago.
The A's have certainly had some neat uniforms over the years. I went with a "Swingin' A's" one for the post I did, but I completely forgot about this one.
This particular "throwback" might be even better than the gold and green uniforms from the 1970's. They go all the way back to the days of the Philadelphia Athletics and their "$100,000 Infield".
At 6'3" and 235 pounds, Giambi was a hulking figure in the modern game. Just imagine how much of a giant he would've seemed like in the days of 5'9", 175 pound Eddie Collins. (By comparison, Babe Ruth, a "hulking" figure in his time, was 6'2" and 215 pounds.)
The game has certainly changed.
On that note, how great of a matchup would this be?
"The Phenom" vs. "The Babe". In ten at-bats, I'd guess that Ruth would go about 5-for-10 with four homers.
Sorry, Mr. Strasburg. You've still got a ways to go.
These were a couple of the Series 2 inserts I originally inquired about from Robert.
I still maintain that the '87 minis are the best thing Topps has done all year. I don't seem to hate their 2012 releases as a lot of others in the blogosphere, but I'll admit that it hasn't exactly been a banner year thus far.
Off the top of my head, I can't recall a better flagship insert set better then the '87 minis since I re-entered the hobby in '05.
They're that good.
I got a bit excited when I saw this one on Robert's blog.
1) These inserts aren't too bad. Maybe they just seem better than they actually are because they're not "gold-themed", but I like the addition of the "K-Zone" on the right side of the card.
2) The most recent Niekro card I own is from 2008 UD Goudey. You'd think a 300-game winner (and a HOFer) would be better represented in this hobby, but his cards just don't pop up too often.
3) Not only is it Phil Niekro, but it's Phil Niekro as an Indian. Readers of my blog know I'm a big fan of players (especially well-known players like "Knucksie") in unfamiliar uniforms. Niekro pitched in a little over a season for the Tribe, winning 11 games at the age of forty-seven in 1986. (He'd be released by the Indians midway through the '87 season.)
So far, this is definitely one of my favorite cards of 2012.
I'd love to come across a Diamond Anniversary/Gold Sparkle-filled dime box one day.
Maybe I'll see one at the show in a couple weeks. Hey, you never know.
My only complaint with this year's Gold Sparkles are that they don't scan well at all. They look ten times better in person.
This year's Series 2 checklist contained a few new Dodgers pitchers I wanted with Chris Capuano and Aaron Harang, although I'm not quite sure why I collect either of those guys. I think my Harang collection dates back to his days as a Cincinnati Red. From what I can remember, he always used to do well against the Cubs.
Then again, that's probably true for most pitchers these days.
This was the undisputed "coup" of the package Robert sent.
It's already the second Vlad jersey card I've been able to add as a result of the blogosphere. (Here's the first.)
My guess is that Robert nabbed this one shortly after the Jays signed Vlad to a minor league deal. I was happy to hear it at the time, as I wanted to see "The Impaler" get another shot in the bigs.
Sadly, the Blue Jays released Guerrero last week. I'm hoping he can catch on somewhere else, but it's not looking good at the moment.
All I can do is look on the bright side. Had he not gotten released, I probably would've never owned this card.
Sometimes you just have to stay positive.
On that note, much thanks goes out to Robert for the awesome trade package!