Only two weeks until winter break.
Those are the words I've been repeating over and over again in my mind lately.
Although many of my fellow bloggers have a few years on me, I'm sure most of you remember how that one goes from your school days.
Still, I can't help but feel a bit sad that one of my classes is coming to a close.
Almost by accident, I found myself taking a "Literature and Film" course this semester. It's been fun to see the ways that novels and cinema can come together.
Over the past few months, the class has quickly become one of those precious few "eye-openers" we've all experienced as students.
As a result, I'm using this post as my own personal "final exam" of sorts. A way to have cinema express my thoughts on cardboard. (Warning: A couple of these clips contain swearing.)
And show a few of my favorite movie scenes, of course.
It just so happens that I have a shiny new pile of cards sitting in front of me, courtesy of Greg, author of the legendary blog "Night Owl Cards".
We've sent cards back and forth a few times now. Greg as always managed to send nice groupings of set needs, fun shots, and other miscellaneous cards my way.
This time was no exception.
As you see above, one of the cards he included made for a unique piece to my Hall of Fame collection, picturing "The Babe" himself during one of his barnstorming trips to Japan.
In his time, Ruth was a larger-than-life character here in the States. I can only imagine how "huge" he must've been in a place like Japan.
One of the more underrated baseball movies in existence makes for an easy selection here.
Even though they don't scan all that well, I've always loved 3-D cardboard.
This one is a "triple-threat", featuring the likes of Gil Hodges, Mickey Vernon, and Ted Kluszewski all on one card.
I wouldn't stare at it too long, though. You might start to get queasy.
Especially if you're chewing tobacco.
There's nothing like a good "play at the plate".
Ones featuring pitchers covering home are even more rare, as we have here with this John Thomson specimen.
Films can try all they want, but nothing can successfully duplicate the action and excitement that goes into a true "play at the plate".
It might possibly be the most gripping play in sports.
Of all the movies I've seen, I think this one does the finest job.
I guess that's why it's one of the best baseball films ever made.
As if cards featuring "The Babe in Japan", three-dimensional technology, and a "play at the plate" weren't enough, Greg also included a new "hitting pitcher" card for my collection as well.
It almost looks like Mr. Smoltz is polishing up his golf swing here. It makes sense, given his modest success on the greens.
The first three film clips I've showcased in this post are fairly obvious choices. They're all baseball movies, after all.
Yet, every time I look at Smoltz's face on this card, I can't help but think of the advice he might have given to his teammates in Atlanta.
I'm not quite sure why my mind immediately jumped to this, but it just seems fitting.
As I've found in our trades over the last few months, Greg is spot-on in picking out simple, fun cards for my collection.
Still, not every card he sent me this time around was totally "random".
He also included a few of my recent set needs as well, including this Update insert of none other than the "phenom" himself, Bryce Harper.
This card alone is a great example of the difference between trading forums and the blogosphere. I'd probably have to beg someone to send this one my way, as people seem to hoard stuff of the "hot prospects" over there.
Even then, I'd have to trade at "book value" for it. I'm not sure what the "value" is on this one, but it's probably a lot more than I'd be willing to "pay".
In the blogosphere, people slip them into trade packages without a second thought.
I couldn't be happier.
What really boggles my mind about Harper is the fact that he's nearly ten months younger than I am. And he's already the proud owner of a Rookie of the Year trophy. Not to mention an All-Star Game appearance, to boot.
Even more amazing is the fact that he still needs one of these to get into a bar.
The other "hits" that Greg sent my way knocked out a good chunk of my remaining A&G needs.
With all the wacky food and flower-themed inserts, I get the feeling that the "Highlight Sketches" series gets overlooked in the annals of A&G's history.
If this Fisk is any indication, it's like owning a little "masterpiece" every time a new one arrives on my doorstep.
A while ago, I was talking about the White Sox with someone who I felt was fairly well-versed in baseball history. Because of that, I decided to bring up the name "Carlton Fisk".
Almost immediately, the question came back.
I couldn't help but roll my eyes a bit.
Once I saw that A&G inserts were going to be a prominent feature of this trade package, I found myself hoping for one specific card.
The "What's In A Name?" Minnie Minoso insert.
Until yesterday, it was my most pressing need of 2012.
You almost never see anything of his pop up in today's hobby. Plus, he perfectly exemplifies the entire premise of this particular insert series. Before I received this card, I had no clue what Minoso's full name was.
Yet, before I knew it, there it was. Out fell the newest addition to my Minnie Minoso collection!
My prayers had been answered.
It's a good thing I wasn't driving when I opened this legendary trade package.
Otherwise, something like this might've happened.