Thursday, April 25, 2013

Add it up

Reminder: "Gems of Junk Wax" tournament voting for this group of matchups ends at 11:59 PM tonight.

There are still several close races, so make your voice heard!

Back to the post.

Normally, I don't like to cram too many trades into a single post.

It has always been my firm belief that each and every trade deserves its fair share of recognition here in the blogosphere, no matter how big or small it may be.

In a way, all the trade posts I've written during my time around here are individual testimonials as to just how unbelievably awesome this place really is.

The trades you're about to see were all special in their own way. There's no doubt about that.

But, with finals and all that jazz inching up on me, I'm just not sure how much time I'll have for trade posts during these next couple weeks. 

So, in an attempt to catch up on my massively backlogged trading habits, I thought I'd do my best to unite all the smaller packages I've received lately into a "quick and easy" single post.

While perhaps not the biggest packages I've ever received, these smaller, bite-sized batches of cardboard really do add up after a while. (And, yes, the title of this post is a reference to one of the greatest Violent Femmes songs ever.)

To kick things off, we have a few cards from blog reader and fellow Cubs fan Jeff from Iowa.

We Cubs fans stick together around here.

Much like the last time we traded, he was nice enough to send me a few beautiful 2013 Topps parallels for my binders.

If I had to rank this year's emerald, blue, and red parallels, it'd probably look like this...

1) Wal-Mart Blue

2) Emerald

3) Target Red

I absolutely love this year's emerald and red parallels, but the blues are simply things of beauty. They kind of make me wish I lived near a Wal-Mart.

Boy, I never thought I'd say that in my lifetime.

Incidentally, this next group of cardboard also comes from a blogosphere reader/trader who goes by the name of Jeff.

This Jeff contacted me a couple weeks ago, gladly informing me that he had the last couple "Chasing the Dream" inserts I needed from this year's Flagship release.

Every time I graciously receive a Bryce Harper card from a fellow blogosphere member, I can't help but wonder what I would've had to give up for it if I were still on the forums.

Probably an arm and a leg.

As if knocking out a few insert needs wasn't enough, Jeff also squeezed a former "Dime Box Dozen" need into this little batch of cardboard.

Now, I can proudly say that I own both of the Topps pieces that picture Mr. Murcer as a Chicago Cub.

His '78 Topps card was getting a bit lonely in my binders.

Moving on, we have a few pieces I recently received from reader Paul.

Knowing that I have readers out there who haven't (yet) started a blog is awesome. It's great to know that we might have a few future bloggers on the horizon is certainly pleasing to think about.

In a way, that's what makes these reader-centric packages so neat.

While Paul was nice enough send a couple neat adds to my Vlad and Ichiro collections my way...

...the reason he contacted me in the first place was because of Marlon Byrd here.

Honestly, I thought his career was over after his 50-game suspension last year. But, as he always has, Mr. Byrd proved me wrong by latching on with the Mets out of spring training. He already has a walk-off hit to his credit in 2013.

I consider him, Casey Kotchman, and Hoyt Wilhelm as my "Original Three" player collections. They were the ones who first got me hooked on the thrill of collecting in that fashion.

From what Paul told me, he was once a Byrd collector himself. After picking out what I needed from his list, I asked Paul what he'd want in return. The email I received back certainly was special...

"You seem to really enjoy collecting. I appreciate that so I'll just give them to you."

Awesome. Simply awesome. It's great to know that my enthusiasm for this hobby has come across in my posts thus far.

I'll certainly enjoy these two for the remainder of my collecting life.

Next up, we have a familiar face from my blogger life.

The ever-generous William, author of the terrific blog "Foul Bunt", was nice enough to send yet another surprise package my way last week.

In many ways, William was the one who first opened my eyes to the awesome trading system we have in the blogosphere. Ever since then, I've left the whole "book value" thing in the dust and haven't looked back since.

His latest package to me contained quite an eclectic mix of cardboard, one that included everything from HOFer oddballs... advertisement-tastic minor league issues... mustachioed major leaguers.

While I haven't officially declared it as one of my mini-collections yet, William sent quite a few great facial hair pieces for my "cool" pile.

In actuality, though, this Hernandez was my favorite of the bunch because of the uniform he's sporting. His one-year "sunset" tenure with the 1990 Indians isn't all that well-remembered these days.

Still, cards of him in Cleveland garb will always be highly coveted pieces for my collection.

Also riding along on the surprise package bandwagon this week was Weston, author of the great blog "Fantastic Catch".

Weston is one of the few bloggers around who is actually younger than me. I feel a little older every time I read his blog.

His latest package to me made me realize just how many middle-of-the-pack sets were released during the mid-2000s.

Sets like Artifacts and Ovation aren't all that awful. Yet, at the same time, they're fairly forgettable these days.

Sometimes, it takes random trade packages like Weston's to remind myself that these sets even existed.


A new Ichiro card for my collection of his. I'm happy.

That's really all it takes for me to get excited over a trade package.

Call me crazy, but I actually volunteered to be placed on another blogger's PWE list.

This coming from someone who was recently raided with 35 envelopes over the span of a few days.

But, when Kevin of the awesome "Diamond King" blog offered up PWEs to any interested parties, I couldn't resist. I jumped at the chance.

Lo and behold, an innocent little envelope arrived on my doorstep just a couple weeks later. I cracked it open.

Out popped a nifty Graig Nettles "Senior League" issue.

Then came a couple HOF-themed cards from '71 Topps.

While I had both of these already, the Niekro was actually a much-needed upgrade over my copy, one that had forty-year-old tape lining the top of it.

And, no matter what, I'll never pass up a chance to show the '71 Ted Williams on this blog.

Finally, out fell the greatest of them all.

A vintage piece featuring arguably the two greatest hitters the game has ever seen. My dad remembers these old-time "record holders" cards well. 

As a result, I've picked up what I could from the subset over the years.

Finally, we have a few items from one of the newer members of the blogosphere, Bryan from the great blog "Golden Rainbow Cards".

He was nice enough to knock out a few of my 2013 needs.

From Heritage... Opening Day... Opening Day inserts, he certainly put a nice dent into my remaining wants.

I'll keep my obligatory "Superstar Celebrations" praise short.

They're awesome. They might be the best inserts in the hobby right now. And few collectors seem to care.


That wasn't so bad, was it?

Obviously, a huge amount of thanks goes out to each and every one of my fellow traders here. Smaller packages like these will always have a profound impact on my collection.

Day after day.

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