Wednesday, July 17, 2013
Despite the fact that I spent nearly five years of my life perusing them, my trading forum career is all but over.
As I've said time and time again, the blogosphere is one hundred percent responsible for that. The days I've spent around here has certainly opened my eyes to how much time I was wasting on the forums.
More specifically, trading around here is way better. The informal "I send you some stuff, you send me some stuff" methods most bloggers use is awesome.
It's quicker, it's easier, and, most of all, it's a lot more fun. Going through reams and reams of trade and want lists each day, as I did on the forums, can get a bit tedious.
Still, while I love getting packages of nothing but random cardboard, I always appreciate it when someone pecks away at my set needs and finds a few things of interest from my trade lists here in the blogosphere.
It doesn't happen often, but it's a treat when someone can hit a few of my long-lost set wants. (Which are actually just player needs in disguise.)
I made one such swap with Paul, author of the great blog "The Baseball Card Snob". From the looks of it, Paul hasn't been blogging much lately, but it's good to see that he's still active in the trading community.
Once I saw this gold sparkle of Mr. Kotchman on his trade list, I knew I had to have it for my longtime player collection of his.
On top of that, Paul hit a few needs of mine that were starting to collect a bit of dust.
These Flagship inserts, which both hail from 2009, seemed like a lost cause. Still sitting on my want list after four full years, I figured no one would ever come up with either of them.
Luckily, Paul came to the rescue.
Never count out a long-lost set need, my friends.
Paul even managed to knock out a few of my recent mini needs with this pair.
Being the mini lover I am, I was ecstatic. Say what you want about Topps, but they've knocked it out of the park with these bite-sized inserts over the last couple sets.
Especially with this year's '72 minis.
Another interesting trade proposal recently came my way via email.
Reader Corey (who I don't believe has a blog...yet) contacted me saying he liked a few things from my trade list. In the very same email, he included quite an extensive assortment of his own tradeables.
So, again, although I always love when a random package of cardboard arrives on my doorstep, picking and choosing cards from a fellow collector's trade lists has its perks as well.
And, in going through Corey's cards, I found quite a bit I wanted.
I can never pass up one of these "Superstar Celebrations" inserts. When I saw the Heyward on Corey's trade list, I jumped at the chance to acquire it.
A great addition to my Braves binder, no doubt.
These two oddballs were amongst my favorite cards from Corey.
Coming from the 1988 Fleer Star Stickers checklist, these are spectacular finds for a couple new player collections of mine with Kruk and Schmidt.
I'm simply oddball-crazed right now.
There's no sense in denying it.
Almost every single day, I find myself wishing for Topps to bring back the Fan Favorites brand.
While the Archives SPs are nice, I don't necessarily count them as "authentic" Fan Favorites material.
So, since a true revival will most likely never happen, I'll have to bask in the glories of its heyday from the mid-2000s. That's why I find myself picking up as many Fan Favorites issues as I can nowadays, as you can see with the Smith.
And, hey, how often do you see cards that feature shoes draped over a guy's shoulder?
Not a common sight, I'd guess.
"The Big Unit" has had a lot of cool cardboard over the years, but that one has to rank right near to the top.
These were a couple of surprise gifts on Corey's part.
At first, I couldn't figure out why he included that Forsch card. But, thanks to the note included in the package, Corey alerted me to the sticker above Forsch's shoulder, one that features a guitar.
Given my passion for music, it was certainly a welcome add to my collection. I doubt I would've ever caught that little gem.
Part of me wonders how I'd never before managed to track that Gonzalez down. Topps certainly made a major screw-up by placing a Brewers logo smack dab in the middle of an Adrian Gonzalez insert.
Of course, "A-Gon" never played for Milwaukee. He was the star first baseman for the Padres at the time. And you know what that means!
A treasured add for the error collection, of course!
Both of these guys ended up playing parts of the 2001 seasons with these respective franchises.
Tucker spent the second half of '01 in Chicago, as he was dealt to the Cubs from the Reds in July of that year. Galarraga signed as a free agent with the Rangers before the 2001 season, but was dealt to San Francisco before its end.
Such brief tenures make both of these prime nominees for future "Short Term Stops" posts.
Given this week's All-Star festivities, I thought this would be a good way to close out today's post.
As the first serial-numbered card I've added to my new Matt Kemp collection, it was certainly a nice find from Corey's trade list.
It's a shame "The Bison" didn't get to play in the All-Star contest this year.
Still, I'd bank on him making a grand return to the Midsummer Classic in 2014.
Although random assortments of cardboard still reign supreme, digging through want and trade lists can still be fun as well. It's always nice to make a few swaps like these every now and then.
In many ways, it's like customizing your very own trade package.