Tuesday, June 11, 2013
I don't know about the rest of you, but I'm already starting to look forward to the National.
Since it's held in a convention hall that's about a fifteen-minute train ride from where I reside, I'll most certainly be in attendance. (The very same hall as the big "mega-shows" I've posted about in the past, I may add.)
I'll probably be there on the Saturday, August 3rd, which is exactly one month, three weeks, and two days away. But it's not like I'm counting or anything.
I've attended once before, and it was nothing short of sheer paradise. The dime boxes. The vintage. Everything. In fact, there's only one thing I'm not particularly looking forward to come National time.
The so-called "bros".
If you've ever attended a card show, you've probably seen these guys. I'm talking about the fairly obnoxious twenty-or-thirtysomething individuals in fancy clothes who always seem to have just pulled a "sick hit" from a recent high-dollar box.
Not to mention their big glass case of cardboard "bling" that they're trying to sell to finance that next "sick hit". And they seem to be in higher attendance at the National.
Me, I stick with the low-end vendors. Nice, courteous, polite, and always willing to knock a few bucks off the final price. And, thankfully, they always seem to be well-populated at the National as well.
Until then, though, I have the blogosphere to tide me over with plenty of terrific "dime box bling". The above Abreu for my "cards with kids" mini-collection was one of the highlights of a recent package from Jim, author of the fantastic blog "Garvey Cey Russell Lopes".
He's quickly cemented himself as a pro in finding great cardboard to send my way.
Yes, that is indeed a shiny rookie card of noted hurler A.J. Burnett. (And yes, it's his actual rookie card. I looked it up.)
But, unlike the bro-tastic universe of collectors, that's not why I love it. It's a prime "pitcher at the plate" addition, of course!
Most bros would probably scoff at selling 1991 Upper Deck base cards at their table.
"Who the heck would want those, dude?", they'd ask.
Me, bro. That's who.
I don't care if it's from 1991 UD or some Museum Collection checklist. I love me some "pitchers at the plate".
And the Melido Perez is one of the increasingly rare specimens of the American League variety.
Before Jim sent this package my way, I don't think I'd ever fully realized how awesome 1991 Upper Deck truly was.
I absolutely love this pair of great "interview" shots.
The little styrofoam cup of coffee on the Smith is a nice touch.
Yup, more from 1991 UD.
Joe Slusarski is now officially the most obscure player I've ever seen featured on a "multiple-exposure" card. He enjoyed a fairly mediocre seven-year career that ended in 2001.
Yet he'll always have 1991 Upper Deck to thank for one awesome piece of cardboard.
John Franco is steadily establishing himself as a "cardogenic" around these parks. I've received quite a few neat cards of his over the past few months. That's already the third Franco "autograph" shot in my binders, in fact.
I have a feeling it won't be the last, either.
Ah, the bros would be proud.
Here's some real "bling" on cardboard. Before Jim sent these my way, I'd never thought about starting a mini-collection around such shiny jewelry. But now I'm actually considering it.
Besides, Pascual Perez's customized "P" necklace lights up that whole shot.
As great as mini-collection adds are, however, this was easily my favorite new piece of "bling" from Jim's recent mailer.
True, most bros make their living off autographed cardboard. I can't imagine many of them go the TTM route, though.
While I've haven't yet sent out a TTM request in my collecting lifetime, I always enjoy reading about the various successes that others have with the process. It's good to know that former big-leaguers are still looking out for the fans.
Plus, collectors who send out TTMs seem to be huge fans of both the game and the hobby. Jim is most definitely one of those people.
In fact, he actually acquired a double of this awesome '73 Topps Al Downing TTM autograph, which is why he chose to pass it on to me.
Thanks, Jim, for thinking of me with this amazing piece.
It'll always have a treasured spot in my collection.
And, hey, if any of the bros want to put out a dime box at the National, I'll most certainly dig through it. Just like I always do. Of course, I seriously doubt that'll happen.
While it may be "bling" to the bros, I don't want all that high-end stuff. I don't want to gaze into some glass case with my card show time.
Much like the ones found in this and all the other terrific trade packages I've opened in the past, all I want are my little low-end cardboard gems.
To me, that's where the real "bling" lies.