Sunday, August 4, 2013
Meeting the minds behind the blogs
My day at the National has come and gone.
To put it lightly, it was everything I thought it'd be. Between scanning, sorting, and other things, I don't really have a ton of time to go too deeply into it today.
Besides, you'll hear a lot more about my National experience when my series of posts on the day's festivities (hopefully) begin tomorrow evening.
There were an absolute ton of fantastic moments at yesterday's show, but perhaps the best was being able to finally meet a couple fellow bloggers in person for the first time.
Jeff, noted PWE aficionado and author of the superb blog "2 by 3 Heroes", and I made plans a few days before the National to meet up at some point in the day. We finally did so right next to the gigantic Topps booth, of all places.
After talking cardboard and gushing over the sheer awesomeness of the place, he introduced me to yet another blogger, Julie, author of the great blog "Funner Here". From what I'm told, she was/is there for all four days of the National.
As if the day couldn't have been any better, Jeff brought along a neat team bag of random cardboard for me, one that included the awesome triad of Mets you see above. I returned the favor with a few White Sox and other miscellany I'd pulled for him the night before.
It was the first in-person cardboard swap I'd made since the last of my card-collecting friends dropped the hobby in 8th grade. Until yesterday, I'd never met anyone from the forums, blogs, etc. in the flesh.
Needless to say, it ended a long overdue in-person trading drought for me.
Jeff managed to find a few cards I couldn't believe I didn't already own.
The back of the bug-eyed Williams even features a nifty "throwback" shot.
These were among the goofiest of the goofy cardboard Jeff gave to me last afternoon.
From the looks of it, Hanley Ramirez is about to shot-put a wildly oversized baseball. On top of that, the famous ball bag makes another cameo on Ben Rivera's 1994 Collector's Choice issue.
Perhaps those are a more common cardboard occurrence than I'd originally thought.
We're officially on oddball alert.
One of my goals at the National was to find a few new oddballs for my collection. Jeff certainly helped me out there with this pair of oddities.
Now, as far as what the dime box gods had in store in terms of oddballs, well...
You'll have to wait and see.
A few mini-collection needs always seem to pop up in anything Jeff finds for me.
Mr. Downs here is an increasingly rare horizontal "pitcher at the plate" specimen.
Autographs and killer shades are always welcome around here.
Whether they're featured on the fronts or backs of cardboard doesn't much matter to me.
Jeff even managed to dig up a new member for my "Award Show" club.
Former Red Sox hurler Josh Beckett is seen here hoisting an ALCS MVP trophy. Or plaque. Or whatever it is.
I didn't even know they gave out specially-made ALCS MVP awards to begin with.
To top it all off, Jeff topped off his in-person team bag with a couple new Vlads for my ever-expanding player collection of his.
In the end, though, the cards themselves were pretty much secondary to the joy of actually being able to meet a couple fellow bloggers in person for the very first time in my blogging career.
Between that and all the great cardboard I discovered, this year's National was an experience I'll never forget.