Did I just reference one of my least favorite songs of all-time in this post's title?
I guess so. Apologies to all the band's enthusiasts out there, but I've never been a fan of Bon Jovi. And that's putting it lightly.
Still, the note I received inside this latest trade package makes it more than appropriate.
Jim (or "gcrl"), author of the fantastic blog "Garvey Cey Russell Lopes", was nice enough to send a trade package my way last week.
Atop the Rex Hudler card you see above, I found a note from Jim that read...
"Praying you like these."
In digging through his past mailings to me, Jim has quickly established himself as one of the better "hitmen" when it comes to my many mini-collections. He always seems to find a good amount of quirky cardboard to send.
If the "holy" Mr. Hudler is any indication, this package continued the trend.
First, though, let's enjoy a bit of normalcy.
Player collections aren't weird at all, right?
Well, if you're like me and have about two or three hundred of 'em, then...yeah, they might be.
Either way, though, Jim managed to send along a couple new player collection needs with this pair.
My Darryl Kile collection has almost doubled as a result of the blogosphere.
In the end, "normalcy" like the Kile-Dickey combo proved to be just a small fraction of this trade package.
Most of what Jim sent could be classified under the "quirky" realm of things.
As you'll soon see, he managed to add a bunch of gems to my mini-collections. Of course, though, there are a whole lot of fun cards that don't quite fit into any of those categories.
Groundskeeper Rijo there is a good example. I don't have a "field maintenance" mini-collection (yet), but that is no doubt an awesome piece of cardboard that I'll treasure.
Since Rijo didn't pitch during the '96 season due to injury, Topps went a little outside-the-box in capturing a photo of his for their 1997 release.
I love the curious glances from his Reds teammates in the backdrop.
Cards from Upper Deck's 1997 checklist proved to be a common theme of this trade package.
I couldn't have been happier.
Recently, I ranked it as the second-best release in UD's history. It's one of the more underrated sets of all-time, regardless of the company.
It certainly features some of the most interesting photography this hobby has ever seen.
The Finley is one of the rare pitcher-themed "play at the plate" shots. Thanks to the innovative "dating" on the fronts of these cards, I know it was the result of a passed ball.
While the Morris is certainly a neat "stretching" piece, it's nothing compared to Kenny Lofton's 1997 UD card.
There's just so much to love about this set. I could never get sick of it.
Hint, hint, future trade partners.
Neither Ojeda nor Wilson are "binder guys", but both of these are still awesome adds to my miscellaneous box of cool cardboard.
I've actually been considering holding an "induction" ceremony for Dan Wilson. As a teenager, my favorite high school teacher once told me that he got into a dust-up with Wilson's brother during a high school baseball game.
Wilson's brother was catching at the time, and I guess my teacher didn't take kindly to a couple things he was saying back there.
If that's not enough to earn Dan Wilson a spot in my binders, I'm not sure what is.
I guess it's fitting that I'd receive a few "double dip" shots from the double play master himself.
If you don't already know, Jim has featured an amazing number of posts on his expansive double play collection. He's the reason I've started chasing these things in recent months.
Compared to Jim's collection, though, I haven't even hit the tip of the iceberg yet.
As most of you probably know by now, I'm a huge fan of "pitcher at the plate" shots.
In my travels over the years, though, I've found that horizontal cards of the sort are fairly hard to come by.
This terrific Belcher is one of the extreme few I've seen.
Staying on the '92 Upper Deck wagon, we have one of the better "broken bat" shots in cardboard history.
Shots like these are one of the reasons why UD was such a revolutionary brand in its day.
As good as Topps, Fleer, and Donruss were, such sheer action was never showcased until Upper Deck came along.
Bask in the glory of more 1997 Upper Deck!
Technically, I shouldn't place the Oliver into my "throwbacks" collection. Given that the Rangers franchise began in 1972, they never sported anything close to those turn-of-the-century-style jerseys.
They're "faux-throwbacks", as I like to call them. Real or not, though, it's enough to earn it a place in my collection.
Of course, the Bernard is a prime addition to my "cards with kids" collection, one of my personal favorite themes I've started over the years.
Still, it wasn't even the best one that Jim slipped into this package.
I've actually wanted this one for years.
While I'm not sure where I first learned of its existence, I've long coveted Tony Womack's 1998 Ultra issue.
Off the top of my head, I can't think of a better "cards with kids" piece in my collection at the moment.
I that Womack's daughter is giving him the bottle, rather than the other way around. It's an adorable touch of role reversal.
Plus, it's not every day that you see stuffed animals on a piece of cardboard.
As you can probably tell, this Jim's awesome batch of cardboard truly did feature a little of everything.
When all is said and done, that's all I've ever wanted out of a trade package.
Before I go, though, the music-lover in me needs to offset that Bon Jovi reference from earlier.
So, in honor of "Record Store Day" and everything, here's my favorite '80s band performing one of their best songs.