After falling victim to my cardboard impulses again and again and again and again, I thought I'd finally gotten things under control.
This past week, though, I relapsed. And I blame the blogosphere.
It all started innocently enough. After seeing it for the first time in one of Jeff's "Throwback Thursdays" posts a few months ago, I'd added Kevin Brown's amazing 1994 Topps issue to my "Dime Box Dozen" list.
Between the Warren Spahn-like windup, faux-throwback Ranger jerseys, and the nice backwards-cap touch, it was a card I absolutely needed to have.
Days, weeks, months went by without a hope of acquiring it. One day, I decided that I couldn't wait any longer. I went onto Sportlots and added it to my cart. Then, noticing a five-dollar bill in my wallet, I decided to play a little game.
"Let's see just how much good stuff I can get for that five bucks," I thought.
Therein lies the funny thing about impulses.
You always seem to end up in a state of rationalization.
With the five-dollar ceiling intact, I decided to pick up a few other juicy cards I'd seen on other people's blogs.
Both the celebratory "Doc" Gooden...
...and the stone-faced Brent Mayne had previously been discussed in Night Owl's "Awesome Night Card" series.
I say "discussed" because, according to the night card master, Mr. Mayne here isn't an official "awesome night card".
The rationale behind it seems simple. No lights, no night card. I can agree with that.
Either way, though, it's a beautiful card, and one I've had my eye on for a long time.
Just another testament to Stadium Club's superb work in the early '90s.
Another blogosphere-inspired pickup came in the form of Tim Salmon.
I'd seen this one on a couple other blogs before I broke down and bought a copy. As the only card I've seen that features an actual fish, it was one I needed to have for my binders. (Even if I absolutely despise seafood.)
Obviously, Score played on Salmon's last name by featuring him with, you guessed it, a salmon.
I sure hope he never used that glove again.
Although the blogosphere may have been the inspiration for this latest impulse buy, I couldn't help but add a few "me" cards to the lot.
Last month, I was gearing up to do a J.R. Richard "sunset" post, a recap of a career that ended far too early. After doing a little research, though, take a wild guess at what I found out.
I didn't even have all his "sunset" cards.
Somehow, the existence of Richard's 1982 Fleer issue had evaded me for all these years. It's a rare example of a "sunset" that came out two years after the player's final game, as the flamethrower's last contest came in 1980.
Now, I can definitively say that I own the entire J.R. Richard "sunset" collection.
On top of that, I managed to complete my Jay Johnstone "Topps set" with this impulse buy. Thanks to the addition of Johnstone's '84 issue, I know have every Flagship card of the "Moon Man" from his 1967 rookie to his '86 finale.
It's one of the bigger "Topps sets" I've ever finished.
These didn't complete my Oscar Gamble "Topps set", but they brought me a couple steps closer.
Although Gamble's '80s 'fro was only a shadow of what it once was, the man still knew how to light up a baseball card. Collecting him is an honor and a privilege.
It's darn near impossible to not like an Oscar Gamble card.
While they might seem completely random, most of my impulse buys have at least one common thread.
I always seem to pick up a few new hits to my "Short Term Stops" collection.
In case you're new to this blog, unfamiliar uniforms are kind of my thing. I've had a special interest in them for as long as I've collected.
Even all these years later, though, I still find myself missing a few key pieces.
For example, up until last week, I didn't own a card of Dennis Martinez in Braves gear. "El Presidente" pitched 53 games in Atlanta during his final season in '98.
And, as far as I know, Jim Abbott's 1999 Fleer Tradition issue is the only one that features his second, less-publicized stint with the White Sox. In 1998, he went 5-0 in five starts with the South Siders as a September call-up.
But I didn't stop there.
The "Short Term Stops" impulses were raging in full force.
These are my first cards of both Williams and Zeile in their respective jerseys as well.
The man they called "Wild Thing" played in 20 games for the '95 Angels. I'd long known about that tenure, but I didn't think there were any cards of him with the franchise.
As I found, there were actually a handful produced in 1995. I settled on just his '95 Fleer Update issue for now (yay, 1995 Fleer!), but I may well succumb to the others in a future impulse buy.
Todd Zeile was a Marlin for half of the 1998 season, having been traded there from the Dodgers in July of that year. The other guy involved in that particular swap was Mike Piazza, who was famously later dealt from the Marlins to the Mets after just five games in Florida.
Plus, I now own at least one card of Zeile with every team he played for during his career.
My biggest coup from this latest impulse buy was the very card you see above.
I nabbed every other card in this post for the Sportlots minimum price, 18 cents. I shelled out a whole 38 cents for Mr. Molitor here, though. Breaking the bank, I know.
I've been in love with Studio's "Heritage Series" issues ever since I found the Colt .45-themed Jeff Bagwell at a show last year. As I found, every single card features an awesome throwback.
Still, I'd never known about this Molitor until I was doing a little Internet scavenge a few weeks ago.
As you can see, former Brewer is sporting a jaw-dropping 1969 Seattle Pilots jersey in this shot.
My love for anything and everything Pilot-related has been well-documented on this blog in the past. The franchise famously moved to Milwaukee and became the Brewers after their lone year of existence in '69.
So, then, you can certainly understand my excitement over this staggering piece.
It's right up there amongst the greatest "throwback" cards I own.
And, in case you're wondering, everything in this post did indeed come under the five-dollar mark. Shipping costs (from two different sellers) included.
I guess there's no fighting it now. Impulse buys have been a part of my cardboard life for years in the past. And they'll continue to be for the foreseeable future.
You know what? I'm perfectly okay with that.
After all, there's no shame in falling victim to your impulses every now and then.