For whatever reason, trading has slowed down a bit lately.
I hadn't made a trade in over two weeks before yesterday.
That made it all the more satisfying to see a familiar sight poking out of the mailbox last afternoon. A bubble mailer from a fellow blogger!
I'd almost forgotten what it felt like.
This particular package comes from Adam (a.k.a. "Spankee"), author of "My Cardboard Mistress". His blog probably has the best header of any out there, if I do say so myself. (When is a picture of Jefferson Burdick ever not awesome?)
Anyways, I had contacted him about a couple cards from some Gypsy Queen packs he'd opened recently, and we worked out a quick and informal trade.
"I'll send you some stuff I think you'll like, and he'll send me some stuff he thinks I'll like."
It's the best kind of trade to make, as I've found.
Adam's package had a little of everything. Some recent needs, some older "set needs", some player needs, everything.
I was glad to find that he'd included a few Gypsy Queen insert needs in the package, as I still need a bunch.
The "Glove Stories" Willie Mays at the top of the post gives Mr. Gamble a run for his money as the "Best Card of 2012" so far.
I have a few other cards that feature "The Catch", but none manage to cast it in as great a view as this year's Gypsy Queen.
The Clemente (a short-print, by the way) was what started the trade talks.
I contacted Adam after I saw that one because, well...it's a Roberto Clemente card I didn't have. While I'm not actively going after the annoying SP photo variations of guys I collect from GQ, I'm glad I was at least able to obtain the Clemente.
The "Hallmark Heroes" Gibson was another one of my GQ insert needs.
When it comes to baseball cards, I have a bit of a photographic memory, or at least I like to think I do. I knew I'd seen that photograph before.
Topps used the exact same shot for one of Gibson's inserts from this year's Archives.
Laziness on Topps' part is probably the worst thing to come out of their stranglehold on the industry.
Adam dug deep into my set needs for this trade, hitting some that I had even forgotten about.
These cards come from the "World's Greatest Victories" insert set from 2008 A&G, among the best "filler" cards ever made.
Somewhere on these cards is a clue to the solution of the almighty "Allen and Ginter code" from that year.
While that particular Mazeroski photo is arguably the most overused one in cardboard history, it still works well with the card's design. Plus, the insert set contributes some great pieces to growing my non-sports collection, as shown by the American Revolution card. (Am I the only collector in the blogosphere that actually has a non-sports collection?)
To me, these are just awesome cards.
I could care less about the code.
This is probably the only time anyone will put cards of Ichiro and Norris Hopper next to each other, so enjoy it while you can.
Adam sent me some new additions to a few of my main player collections, including a couple great Ichiro cards.
Drawings on cardboard are perhaps the most "hit-or-miss" concept in the hobby. Some turn out absolutely beautiful, while some end up looking like something out of a bad horror movie.
The above Chrome Ichiro insert is definitely a "hit".
Norris Hopper is one of those obscure guys I always talk about. The above '07 Heritage SP brings my collection of his to an even ten cards.
Plus, it's not everyday that someone finds a Heritage short-print for you.
Those things are impossible to find.
This was the biggest surprise of the package.
Adam sent me this fantastic new piece for my Casey Kotchman collection. (As you might be able to tell from the scan, this particular jersey card is awfully thick.)
While I don't actively seek out jersey or memorabilia cards anymore, any new ones fellow traders send me are always welcome. While card companies have done their best to water down the significance of them, there is still something special about a jersey that was actually worn in a big-league game.
Kotchman was an "obscure" player for a while there. Not anymore, though.
He's emerged as one of the "cinderella" stories of not only my collection, but baseball as a whole. It's one of the many reasons I'm proud to be a collector.
Trade packages that contain the likes of Roberto Clemente, Casey Kotchman, and Norris Hopper are few and far between. But that's what made this trade so great.