Sunday, July 14, 2013
The brilliant minds of the blogosphere
We certainly have some creative minds here around the blogs.
During my trading forum days, I guess I became used to the rather mundane swapping of cardboard. Every package would arrive with its obligatory "trade number whatever from so-and-so forum member", along with the previously agreed upon cards.
I'm not saying the method of trading on the forums is the wrong way. Not in the slightest. I'm just saying that the care and thought that goes into trade packages in the blogosphere is so much better.
From checklists to PWE bombs, it's certainly been a whole lot of fun. Not to mention all the great little notes I've received as well.
In fact, I recently had another beautifully-designed package wind up on my doorstep. It came courtesy of Matt, author of the terrific "Red Cardboard" blog.
Matt filled up an entire tidy little cardboard box with cards he thought I'd like. (Not surprisingly, the vast majority of them were Reds-themed issues.)
But, as if that weren't enough, he divided the box into little sections for me to browse through, separated by custom-made tabs according to my many mini-collections.
It certainly made for an awesome and exciting dig through the fantastic cards Matt excavated for me.
Under the "autograph" tab, I found what might well be my new favorite card from the theme with Mark Eichhorn's 1992 Upper Deck issue.
As you can see, the former Angels hurler is signing autographs for members of our Armed Forces. And I'd never known about it until Matt sent it my way.
It's cards like these that show just how much awesomeness I have yet to discover in this hobby.
Matt sent over a slew of new "blowing a bubble" cards for my viewing pleasure.
Until this package came along, I'd sent all the Archi Cianfroccos I had to this guy. That one, though, will be staying with me.
Oh, and if you have a better name for my "blowing a bubble" mini-collection, let me know. I'm drawing an absolute blank.
This great batch of cardboard even included a couple rare "argument" shots. After Mike Scioscia, the Valle is the second I've found from '91 Fleer.
You know a catcher means serious business when he takes his mask off to protest a call.
No matter how many I find, I will never tire of "double dip" or "play at the plate" shots.
I especially love the triple-image shot featured on the vastly underrated '92 Donruss Triple Play design.
Apart from the neat Ozzie Smith cameo, something else struck me as a bit peculiar about Mariano Duncan's 1991 Topps issue.
Both the Reds and Cardinals are sporting similarly-colored jerseys in that shot.
Good luck pulling that off in any other sport.
Cards featuring "pitchers at the plate" are always awesome.
Horizontal "pitchers at the plate", well...
They're even more awesome.
Matt even found a few new cards for some of my newer player collections as well.
Of the 70-plus Dempster cards I own, that's only my fifth one that features him as a Red.
Although all the mini-collection hits Matt sent were terrific, many of my favorite cards from the box came under the "miscellaneous" tab.
While I've tried to narrow down my collecting interests into quite a few different themes, there are still a number of great cards that don't really fall into any of those categories.
Case in point, this hilarious Jose Rijo piece. It doesn't even come close to fitting snugly into any of my mini-collections, yet it's an awesome card that I'm ecstatic to have in my possession.
Plus, that's the only stethoscope appearance I've seen in this hobby thus far.
Still, the Jose Rijo portion of the trade package wasn't done yet.
As I've said before, he looks to be a guy who genuinely enjoyed playing the game of baseball. That's definitely come across with the many goofy cards he had over the years.
I jumped the gun a bit in featuring his '92 Donruss Studio issue, as I already showed it in a past frankenset post.
Still, such a great card deserves another mention.
The miscellaneous goodies just kept on coming.
While I've never declared it as an official mini-collection quest, I've always enjoyed cards of players stretching. I'm still not quite sure why.
And, although I'd seen it a number of times prior, I somehow never managed to track down a copy of Oscar Azocar's 1991 Topps issue for myself.
Thanks, Matt, for filling such a vital gap in my collection.
Perhaps it's time to start a "goofy glasses" mini-collection.
Should such a thing ever happen, that quirky card of notorious prankster (and "Second Spitter") Roger McDowell would be inductee number one, no doubt.
Matt struck pure gold in slipping that neat Griffey into his generous gift of cardboard. I've always loved Fleer's Star Sticker sets, and I'm never one to turn down an oddball.
Had it not been for a particularly interesting card, these would've probably been my favorite pieces from the trade package.
Interesting, though, is one of just many words you could use to describe the best piece Matt sent my way.
I've been aware of this one for a few months now.
While I can't find the specific post, I first saw it on the fantastic blog "My Cardboard Mistress".
And I've desperately wanted it ever since.
Personally, I don't think the hobby has ever seen a better (or worse?) "agony of defeat" card. I'm guessing Reed is lying in a heap due to a rather violent play at the plate.
Still, the way Score used this particular shot is what makes it so fascinating. While the original photo was obviously horizontal, 1992 Score was an all-vertical set.
Not one to pass up such a great shot, though, Score used it anyways. I give them a whole lot of credit for that.
The end result is one of the most mind-blowing cards I've ever come across.
As you can probably see, the sheer assortment of cardboard Matt sent over would've been more than enough effort on his part. The separation of them into little chapters, though, was icing on the cake.
It certainly made this package an absolute blast to dig through.
It's just another example of the brilliant minds we have here in the blogosphere.