I won't drag this out.
Yes, I recently received another box of cardboard in the mail from a fellow blogger. It's the fifth "box o'cards" I've gotten in the last few weeks.
Given all these new pieces that have been winding up on my doorstep lately, I've lagged way behind on organizing and sorting during this past month or so.
But, hey, I'd much rather be behind in organizing and have a whole bunch of cool, new cards to file away than be caught up on organizing and not having any of these fantastic boxes rolling in.
With these boxes and all, I've probably received close to two thousand cards in the mail thus far in 2013. I've been on a mailday "hot streak", if you will.
Mr. Hoffman pretty much sums up my attitude towards all these gracious gestures from my fellow bloggers. I've been in absolute "low-end" cardboard paradise lately.
To my knowledge, this is the last "box o' cards" I'm expecting. But, as I keep saying, I wouldn't be all that surprised if a fellow blogger secretly sends a "bonus box" my way.
In the meantime, though, this latest "blogger box" comes courtesy of Bo, author of the terrific blog "Baseball Cards Come to Life!".
As you'll soon see, it's obvious that Bo definitely knows boxes.
So far, I've opened each of my "blogger box" posts with a shot of the actual card-filled box itself.
Yes, to keep with the overall theme, I did take a photo of Bo's box.
However, I've had some computer troubles lately and lost the photo I took late last week. I guess that'll teach me to back up my files next time.
So I guess you'll just have to take my word for it.
This box was absolutely brimming with cardboard goodness.
Until it arrived on my doorstep, I only knew of a single, solitary inclusion in Bo's box.
As a now-former "Dime Box Dozen" need of mine, Bo let me know that he'd be including this "sunset" card of Dave Concepcion in his batch of cardboard.
I still can't believe that I actually had to put an '88 Topps card on my "Dime Box Dozen" list.
It's not that I hate the set or anything. It's just that I have mounds and mounds of these things scattered across my room as we speak.
But, somehow, Mr. Concepcion managed to slip through the cracks.
Thanks, Bo, for taking care of that oversight on my part.
1988 Topps just isn't cut out for "most wanted" lists.
As has become the norm for these boxes, Bo managed to find a heap of new cards for my various player collections.
While I've never actually sat down and counted them, there's a good chance that both Olerud and Grace are each parts of my top five most expansive player collections.
I topped the 200-card mark with each a while ago.
Still, people seem to keep finding new ones to send my way.
And, needless to say, I'm always willing to give 'em a good home.
On top of that, Bo managed to add a few new pieces to my Hall of Fame collection as well.
At first sight, though, this pair had me completely and utterly stumped.
They're obviously from the famous 2007 UD Masterpieces release. However, each has a glossy-like finish to them, as opposed to the normal canvas-like Masterpieces feel.
From what I could find, though, these were a part of some sort of retail-exclusive "team set" promotion.
K-Mart seems to have been the main supplier of these oddballs.
Well, that explains why I'd never seen them before.
I can't remember the last time I looked for cards at a K-Mart.
Continuing the Yankee theme, Bo also included about a dozen of these oversized B.A.T. cards in the box he sent me.
Normally, I'm not an avid fan of oversized cardboard.
These are one of the few exceptions, though.
Any piece that features the likes of Gehrig, Mantle, Reggie Jackson, and Ruth all in one has to rank as one of the best "combo" cards ever produced.
Still, my favorite one of the oversized bunch wasn't even a Yankee.
Heck, it wasn't even a Hall of Famer.
It was Ron Hunt.
For a long time, Hunt held the career hit-by-pitch record, getting plunked on 243 different occasions over his 12 big-league seasons, including 50 in 1971 alone.
This particular shot seems to capture one of the more violent beanings I've ever seen on a piece of cardboard. (Still not the most violent, though.)
The whole "oddity" theme kind of leads me into the latter portion of this post.
As has become typical of the "blogger boxes" I've received, Bo managed to find a lot of simple, "fun" cards for my collection as well.
Which reminds me...
I can't tell you how lucky I feel to have found this wonderful, generous collecting community.
The fact that so many people have taken the time to find these "quirky" types of cardboard for me over the past year really means a lot.
I've had people tell me that they've thought along the lines of "Nick would enjoy that one!" or "Oooh, I bet Nick would want this one!" while going through their collections.
Seeing cards like these on my doorstep on a regular basis continue to remind me of how great a place this is.
I mean, where else would someone actually dig through their stacks of extras just to send this crazy card to a fellow collector?
Only the blogosphere.
With that in mind, let's take a look at the astounding variety of "fun" that Bo sent my way.
Here we have a trio of Mets doing their best "special teams" impersonation, with Wrigley Field providing a beautiful backdrop.
For the record, the "kicker" here is Jeff Ennis, the "holder" is John Franco, and the "rusher" is David Cone.
This card is a great reminder of the number one lesson I've learned during my time in this hobby.
Collecting is supposed to be fun.
Turk Wendell and Reggie Sanders are doing their best to continue that trend.
Someone should probably tell Alex Fernandez, though.
He's about to get himself tossed.
Now that I think of it, I'm not sure that I have any other "argument" cards in my collection. A "theme" like that is definitely one I'd consider starting one of these days.
As ashamed as I might be to admit it, I always enjoy seeing a guy tossed from a ballgame.
I'm still not quite sure why, though.
Well, the blogosphere has certainly come through with my Collector's Choice plea.
After lamenting about my inability to find any at local shows, I've had a few bloggers send me fairly large samples of the set over the past couple weeks.
Happily, Bo added a nice stack of them to the box he sent over.
So, just why do I enjoy the Collector's Choice brand so much?
Well, let's put it this way.
They managed to turn cards of "also-rans" like Rick Krivda and Jason Thompson into surefire masterpieces for my collection.
A shot of a guy chomping down on a baseball bat is strange enough. The fact that Krivda was a pitcher just adds to its mysteriousness.
And, despite that Jason Thompson's major league career spanned a total of just 13 games in '96, he is only the third member of my extremely limited "Surfin' U.S.A." collection, joining the likes of Flannery and Klesko.
Not buying the Collector's Choice brand yet?
Try these on for size, then.
If Harper and Durham can't scare you into liking Collector's Choice, I'm not sure what will.
Still not convinced?
If you're still not on board with Collector's Choice by now, then I don't know what to tell you.
It's not for everyone, I guess.
But please feel free to send any of your extras my way.
And, yes, it was just a coincidence that I happened to post that eerily creepy Chuck Carr card on Valentine's Day.
You have to believe me.
Now, on a completely different note, I was happy to see that Bo managed to find a new "behind the camera" issue for my ever-expanding "mini-collection" of those.
And while we're on the topic of "mini-collections"...
...Bo managed to find a whole bunch of new "hits" to those for me.
As far as that aspect of my collection goes, "sunsets" and "short term stops" are a couple of my oldest enjoyments.
Thanks to Bo, I can now say that I have a true "sunset" card of Dave Stewart in my binders. That '96 Collector's Choice issue contains his complete career stats on the back, a quality which is always a plus when it comes to final tributes.
I still can't get used to seeing him in a #35 jersey, though.
Happily, I can now say that I own at least one card of Kevin Mitchell in each of the eight jerseys he wore during his career.
Although his 20-game stint with the Indians in '97 was nothing to write home about, it did manage to finish off my "team collection" of Mr. Mitchell.
With easily equates to a happy day for this low-end collector.
Here's a pair of "role reversal" cards, as I like to call them.
A pitcher at the plate, and a position player on the mound. Neither looks all that equipped for their "reversed" tasks, frankly.
I had a fellow blogger tell me about that very same Randy Johnson card in the comments of a recent post, saying that he was "sure someone would send it" my way one of these days.
I sure didn't have to wait long on that one, did I?
This is my Collector's Choice pose.
I just love the set that much.
Still, Bo managed to find a lot of other neat non-Collector's Choice cards for my collection as well.
I've long had a fascination with "multiple photo" shots and "cards with kids". Both of these are treasured new additions to my binders.
And, yes, I'm still working on finding better titles for those two mini-collections of mine.
One does not simply argue against Stadium Club's epicness.
It can't be done.
Isn't that right, Mr. Listach?
For me, the hobby holds few universal truths.
However, I think I've stumbled across a rare nugget of truth with this seemingly innocent Mike Perez card.
Even with all the strange cardboard I've seen, I can definitively say that this is the single most mind-blowing card in the history of this hobby.
Okay, it's Mike Perez signing an autograph. Definitely cool, but not that crazy.
Or is it?
Look at what he's signing.
A baseball card. That makes it a baseball card within a baseball card.
But that's not even the half of it.
Take a closer glance at the specific card he's holding.
Unless my eyes deceive me, that's a copy of Perez's very same 1993 Upper Deck card.
But...how...is that even possible?
How could UD have gotten a shot of him signing a baseball card that wasn't even released at the time?
And how could a photo taken at that very moment already be featured on a card?
I don't know about you, but my brain hurts.
In terms of my absolute favorite card out of the box, I have to declare a two-way tie.
After seeing it on a couple different blogs recently, I'd been meaning to add this one to my "Dime Box Dozen" list for a while.
In the end, though, Bo beat me to the punch.
Some brands may have simply cropped out the other three Indian hurlers for this Denny Martinez card.
But not Collector's Choice.
Nope, we as collectors instead got a star-studded masterpiece. One that not only features "El Presidente" himself, but also Charles Nagy, "Black Jack" McDowell, and Orel Hershiser.
See, this is what I mean.
Whether you like it or not, Collector's Choice definitely kept the hobby fun for everyone.
Here, we have the other half of the two-way tie.
Much like the Martinez, this had been a "Dime Box Dozen" need in the making for a while.
This shot is a lot more than just "strange".
It's flat-out crazy.
For one thing, I'm not even sure how Andruw Jones scaled that high up the Turner Field wall in the first place.
Never mind the fact that a keen-eyed photographer managed to get a shot at the very pinnacle of his "wall climb".
Now, for the real question.
Did he make the catch?
I'm not sure.
However, I am sure of the fact that what Bo sent was yet another awesome example of the "blogger boxes" that have been coming my way over the past month.
Like I said, I'm in cardboard paradise right now.