Monday, December 17, 2012

An impulse buy: The trilogy

I have a few different "modes" of blogging.

When I feel an urge to write during the afternoon, I find myself in "theme post" mode. My binders are constantly being flipped through in search of a new "Dime Box Hero" or "Gem of Junk Wax" in preparation for those types of write-ups.

If I'm basking in the glory of a tremendous trade package or generosity from a fellow blogger, "trade post" mode takes over. I've been in this "mode" for a couple days now, but haven't had the time to compile a proper trade post yet.

Expect one within the next few days.

Often times, I can't help but be in "deep analysis" mode. It's the basis for my longer, more thought-out posts on this blog.

I've developed a tremendous love for writing during the time I've been a blogger. Because of that, "deep analysis" mode might be my favorite one of all.

Right now, however, I find myself in the fourth and likely least common "mode" of blogging.

Show-off mode.

I'm usually like this in the days following a card show.

Sometimes, I simply like to showcase a few recent additions to my collection. No matter how I might try to shape it, my writing basically takes on a "look what have!" identity.

For better or worse, that's pretty much what tonight's effort is going to look like.

The basis?

A five-card purchase I made off of Sportlots last week.

I fell victim to yet another "impulse buy".

Although I like to think I have a decent amount of control over my spending urges, I do often see cards that I absolutely must have.

As a result, this "impulse buy" business has become a bit of an informal theme on this blog. I've already written two other posts on the subject. (Located here and here.)

The inspiration for my latest "impulse buy" came in the comments of one of my recent "Top 100" posts.

After I'd hinted at another "position player on the mound" card later in my countdown, reader and fellow blogger Dan took a guess and said that the other example on my list was Jose Canseco's 1994 Score issue.

It wasn't.

I'd never even known about this card before he mentioned it.

That's what sent me to Sportlots in the first place. Even if it was a card of one of my least favorite players in the history of baseball, I had to have it.

I'm an absolute sucker for anything "out of the ordinary" on cardboard.

Luckily, I found one for about 18 cents, plus shipping.

As I went to finalize my order...

...I found that Sportlots was no longer taking Paypal for any orders less than $2.50.

I had to beef up my order a bit.

At that moment, my mind clicked.

Like almost every other household in the nation, I keep my loose change in a little jar in my room.

It's a bit of a new thing for me, but I've found that a few cents here and there really does add up over time.

After I saw that recent change in Sportlots' policy, I went and combed through my handy change jar. And, wouldn't you know it, I had almost exactly $2.50 in there.

So I used it as an excuse to buy a few more cards in order to get me to that plateau.

Of my five-card purchase, four came from the same seller. Needless to say, that saved me a heck of a lot on shipping.

Plus, each of the five cards I bought were just 18 cents a piece, a purchase that included this awesome card of "The Wizard" himself.

Incidentally, that very same "Top 100" post that inspired this purchase got me thinking. Since the card in the #69 slot of my countdown featured a shot of Smith in frontflip "mode", I wondered...

"There has to be another card like that one out there."

It didn't take long to find out that my suspicions were correct.

His 1995 Pinnacle card features a similar awe-inspiring shot, lending more credence to my claim that Pinnacle is the most underrated brand in the history of cardboard.

Believe me, I could go on and on about this one.

I love the frontflip. Even more so considering he was 41 years old in '95.

I love that his hat is captured in mid-air.

I love that the fans in the background are going wild for his famous stunt.

There are few things all collectors can agree on in this hobby.

Perhaps I'm wrong, but I'd say that this card has to be one of them.

I honestly can't see how anyone could not like this particular masterpiece.

But that's just me.

My purchase enabled me to knock out a few "Dime Box Dozen" needs as well.

This is a card I've wanted for a long, long, long time. It warranted a mention in one of the fun-tastic Hall of Shame books I used to read over and over again as a young baseball fan.

I collect Jay Johnstone, I love adding new pieces to my Cubs binder, and I adore goofy shots.

This card "checks out" on all three of those counts.

I held off on ordering it online because I always thought it'd turn up in a dime box one day, at a time where I'd least expect it.

Up until now, though, I'd had absolutely no luck on that front. In the end, I decided enough was enough.

I finally broke down and bought it online.

Although it's not the most exciting way to do things, I am absolutely ecstatic that this card is now a part of my collection.

It was long overdue.

And while we're on the topic of goofy shots...

This one has been a "Dime Box Dozen" suspect since the early stages of this blog.

It's also a card I never would've known about had it not been for the blogosphere.

Although I've seen it on a few different blogs, I think my initial introduction to this gem came through Mr. Night Owl's writings, although I can't seem to locate the specific post.

Before that, I'd never heard a peep about the greatest card in Fleer's 1982 offering. (In my opinion, anyways.)

Like the Johnstone, I was hoping to find this one in a dime box one day.

But my searches had come up empty.

I decided that I didn't want to wait any longer. So I scrounged up the 18 cents and finally bought it.

Unfortunately, there just aren't a whole lot of examples of guys in their pre-game stretching "mode" in this hobby. And the few others I own don't even compare to this Quisenberry.

Limbs and jerseys are jutting out from every conceivable edge of it.

It's just such an odd and quirky shot, one that absolutely needed to be a part of my collection.

Each of the first four cards I've featured in this post came from the same seller.

However, I think the last of the five was my favorite of them all, the one that came from a different source than the others.

It's a piece that has been on my "Dime Box Dozen" list since day one.

On the surface, nothing really stands out here.

It doesn't feature an outfielder on the mound. There are no frontflips to be found. No Budwiser umbrella hats or ballplayers stretching, either.

I own dozens of Phil Niekro cards. He's a prime subject of my Hall of Fame collection. Yet I'd been salivating over this one for as long as I can remember.


Take a look at that uniform.

I'd bet that very few baseball fans even remember Niekro's tenure with the Blue Jays.

Given that it lasted all of three games, it doesn't surprise me. I only learned of his time north of the border about a year ago.

Sandwiched between a 22-game stint in Cleveland and a one-game "farewell" with Atlanta, Niekro posted an 0-2 record and an 8.25 ERA during those three starts in Toronto in 1987.

He was a Blue Jay for all of 22 days that year.

That instantly places it near the top of my favorite "unfamiliar uniform" cards.

It doesn't get much more unfamiliar than that.

And, to my knowledge, this is the only card of Niekro as a Blue Jay in existence.

A true "one-card wonder".

Not bad for a little loose change.

On that note, I'm off to search the sofa cushions.


buckstorecards said...

I knew he was a Blue Jay for a bit (his name always comes up as the most difficult one to name when you try to list former Blue Jays in the HOF) but didn't know there were any cards at all of him in a Jays uni.

Sounds like another one for the ol' wantlist.

AdamE said...

You think that Ozzie is a masterpiece you should check out the Masterpiece version.

Pinnacle want just the most underrated card company ever, it was the best one ever.

night owl said...

Here you go:

Fuji said...

wth? Niekro played for Toronto? Great post.

Crackin Wax said...

I saw an elderly gentleman pitching on a baseball card and I knew it had to be Niekro. lol