Friday, August 10, 2012
The National comes to me
According to my sources, Baltimore is 714 miles away from where I live.
I've never felt a longing to travel there until last week.
That's because the National was in town, after all.
I've already hinted at my jealousy of those who attended on this blog. My recent "National" experience was nothing short of unbelievable, and I'm already counting the days until it comes back to Chicago next year.
Until today, I thought my taste of this year's show would simply be living vicariously through other bloggers' posts, of which there have been quite a few.
Never did I think any cards from Baltimore would end up on my doorstep.
In hindsight, I should've known that the most generous blogger of them all was keeping an eye out for cards to send my way this year.
William, author of the fantastic blog "Foul Bunt", has already sent me a plethora of awesome cards over my nine-month tenure as a blogger. The last mailer he sent me literally put me at a loss for words.
He might've even topped that one with this "authentic National" package.
One of the first things that caught my eye were the couple abnormally small cards William sent. I'd never seen them before today.
Apparently, they're from the 1992 Donruss "Cracker Jack" mini series, and they are the tiniest cards in my collection, without a doubt.
This should give you a good idea of just how small these pieces of cardboard are.
I have no trouble picturing Don Sutton in an Angels uniform.
That might be a good indication of my youth.
I'm sure most baseball fans that lived during the 1970's can only see Sutton as a Los Angeles Dodger. Any other uniforms just seems out of place. (For the record, he also played for the Astros, Brewers, A's, and Angels.)
Sutton as a California Angel doesn't seem too out of place to me.
But then again, I didn't get to see him pitch.
William managed to find a couple cards of the guy who seems to hide in every dime box known to man.
I'm not sure why, but I've found more cards of Vlad than anyone else in my many dime box quests. I've probably bought a couple hundred dime cards of Guerrero in the last few years. (I bought about seventy-five of his cards from a single dime box a couple years ago.)
I'd bet that there were dozens and dozens of dime Vlad cards just sitting amongst the vast array of cardboard at the National.
I'm glad a few found their way into my home.
Wade Boggs is not a subject of any of my numerous player collections, but I think I still would've picked up that "revolutionary" card of his for a dime.
Unlike Sutton, Boggs just doesn't look right in any of the uniforms he donned in his later years. I see him as a member of the Red Sox, and nothing else. Not as a Yankee, and definitely not as a Devil Ray.
Nevertheless, that's still one neat card.
It certainly stands out in a nine-pocket page.
If this was a dime box find, it would've been one of my biggest steals of the National.
2010 Topps Chrome definitely had its issues, but I have to give Topps credit for these blue refractors.
They're awesome. I'm pretty much a sucker for anything card-related with blue on it, since it's my favorite color and all.
Plus, it works perfectly with the Ranger blue that Vlad is sporting on this issue.
The fact that it's numbered to just 199 copies makes it even better.
While the whole "serial numbering" thing has gotten out of control in recent years, it is still comforting to know that you own one of just a couple hundred copies of a particular card in the world.
Although everything I've shown up to this point has been fantastic, none of them could even come close to touching the greatness of the last card William scoped out for me at the National.
I have no idea how he found it or what he paid for it.
All I know is that it would've been one of my unquestioned "finds" of the day, even at a humungous show like the National.
I went my entire collecting career wanting a card from the 1960 Leaf set. I've gotten two of them in the last couple months, the other being a Felipe Alou from a recent card show.
But even one of the Alou brothers can't outdo this one.
Saying this card is "awesome" barely scratches the surface.
It's hard to put into words just how great this card is. Any new vintage addition to my Hoyt Wilhelm collection usually has that affect on me.
It's even harder to say just how much I appreciate William taking some time out of his day at the National, finding a few cards to send my way.
I always tell myself that I shouldn't be amazed at the generosity of the blogosphere. I always say I should be "used to it" by now.
But as much as I might think that, I doubt I'll ever believe it.
No matter how long I'll be a part of it, the blogosphere will continue to amaze me.
Thank you, William.