Saturday, July 20, 2013
Blogger boxes make a comeback
For a while, a noteworthy trend appeared out of nowhere here in the blogosphere.
Way back in January, I received what I called my first "blogger box". Such a trade package is almost exactly what it sounds like. A box, sent by a fellow blogger, that is home to stacks and stacks of random cardboard.
From there, though, they just kept on coming. In the span of about a month after that first one, about six or seven "blogger boxes" wound up on my doorstep.
Then, curiously enough, the trend simply stopped. The "blogger box" mob mentality came to a close. Of course, I loved digging through all the miscellaneous cardboard other bloggers dug up for me. But, man, did it put me behind in my sorting and organizing habits for a while.
I guess you could call the demise of the "blogger box" a bittersweet moment. Still, I'm not counting out a mysterious return just yet.
Reader Michael, who was the culprit behind one of those original "blogger boxes" (or "reader boxes, if you will), recently packaged together another generous batch of random cards for me. Like his first box o' fun, this one also proved to be a resounding success.
For being a fairly mediocre player, Oscar Azocar certainly had some kick-ass cardboard during his career. Another blogger recent sent me his '91 Topps issue, a long-awaited need of mine.
And, just a few days after that package showed up, I found that Michael had included Azocar's awesome '93 Stadium Club issue in his assortment as well.
So, which one is better? The '91 Topps or the '93 Stadium Club?
I can't decide.
I know I go on about my mini-collections quite a bit on this blog.
While they're a ton of fun, not every awesome card fits snugly into one of those many categories.
Neither of Azocar's masterpieces do. And neither do these two. I don't have a "sheepish grin" mini-collection, nor a "bucket of balls" theme. (Although the latter might not be a bad idea.)
Yet, there's no denying that both of these are awesome pieces of cardboard.
Mini-collections can only go so far.
You can't go wrong with one of these overhead shots.
Jake Peavy would probably agree.
While much of his box was comprised of seemingly random cardboard, Michael did manage to hit on a few of my player collections as well.
And, although I love a good assortment of miscellany, you know I can never turn those down.
Although he's older, Bobby Grich is the subject of one of my newer player collections. But, while younger than Mr. Grich, John Olerud is the center of one of my oldest player collections.
Did that make any sense?
Probably not. Either way, these were both new additions to a couple of my many player collections.
New and old.
Oddball alert! Oddball alert!
Before I joined the blogosphere, I wasn't too big on oddballs. Even as I started to delve into them a little more, I basically only chased ones that fit into my higher-ranking player collections.
Nowadays, though, I'll pretty much take anything oddball-related. It doesn't make much difference what kind or of what player.
While both are "binder guys", neither Doc Gooden or Eric Davis are that high up on my player-collection food chain. Still, these two awesome oddballs were amongst my favorite parts of Michael's "blogger box".
As is the power of oddballs.
On the same day that Michael's box arrived, I found a pair of PWEs sitting in my mailbox.
As I found, both of those envelopes held a copy of Dave Concepcion's 1987 Topps issue, a one-time "Dime Box Dozen" need of mine.
Oddly enough, Michael's box contained a third Concepcion. In just one day, I end up getting three different copies of a card I'd wanted for years.
What are the odds?
Once again, it's time for the mini-collection portion of this trade post.
Thankfully, Michael included an absolute slew of those as well, starting with the above "interview" shot of Mr. Kevin Brown.
One of the rules of my mini-collections is that they're open to absolutely everyone, no matter how much of a jerk that guy may have been. Which, despite his sunny disposition here, is exactly what I've heard about Brown over the years.
But, jerk or not, I have to admit that this is one cool card.
Even if it does feature Kevin Brown.
Those are some strange shades on Mr. Breazeale there. I can't help but think of that episode of Seinfeld where George buys the women's glasses.
And, while we're making pop culture references, the wand-like broken bat combined with a bespectacled Pete O'Brien gives off a Harry Potter vibe.
I can almost see O'Brien saying, "Expelliarmus!"
Here, we have some awesome additions to a couple of my favorite mini-collections.
The Hoffman is an understandably rare "reliever at the plate" card. I can probably the count the number of those I own on one hand.
In the continuing legend of 1993 Upper Deck, the Radinsky is the first "ball-on-a-string" autograph shot I've ever seen.
Not to be outdone, though...
Michael included a couple other '93 UD gems in his box.
It's hard not to like a card that features one of those old-school video cameras, as we have with the Jones. Sure, they might be outdated. But, if you ask me, they're still cool.
Longtime reliever Dennis Cook is donning a pretty mean Indians throwback in that shot.
The photo Upper Deck used for the back isn't half bad, either.
I don't think I've ever seen a bad "play at the plate" shot.
This one of longtime South Sider Ron Karkovice, though, is probably in the upper echelon as far as these go. Just another awesome card from the Collector's Choice brand.
Still, it wasn't even the best White Sox card in this trade package.
While I'd seen it on many occasions in the past, I'd never managed to track down a copy of Mike Andrews' spectacular '73 Topps card.
You'd be hard-pressed to find many better "double dip" shots in the world of cardboard. How Topps managed to snap a photo at that angle, I'll never know.
Thanks to Michael, though, I now own one of my most sought-after wants.
As any collector would tell you, it's a great feeling.
Much like the box he sent me a few months ago, Michael also included a few Pilots cards in his generous gift.
And, again like that last assortment, I think they took the cake this time around as well.
While I've always had an interest in anything Seattle Pilots-related, I've made quite a few Pilot purchases in recent months.
Now, I'm happy to say that my quest to chase down the complete 1969 and 1970 Topps team sets for the franchise is officially a "thing".
I'm going for it.
After I looked into it a bit, I found that I'm a little more than halfway through. Unfortunately, though, most of the remaining ones I need are those dreaded high numbers. (Including the uber-high numbered team card in the 1970 checklist.)
Thankfully, though, Michael hit one of my remaining needs with the Barber and a couple others.
In the world of trade packages, I don't think it gets much better than these "blogger boxes". While I'm not exactly sure what started the whole mob mentality a few months ago, I'm never one to refuse one of these things.
Just look at all the cardboard goodness they can hold.