Saturday, September 14, 2013

White light, white heat

I've said it before, and I'll say it again.

This hobby is a labor of love. One that includes a slight hint of addiction.

Deep down, there's a part of me that flat out needs to collect. I love getting new cards. I love sorting them. I love organizing them. Without those seemingly mundane collecting tasks, though, I'd probably go crazy.

For the last twelve years, this hobby is pretty much all I've known. It's an ingrained part of who I am now. Yes, you could call it an addiction. But it's an addiction I'm proud to have.

T.J., another fellow addict, recently sent me some cards. You might know him better as the mind behind the awesome blog "The Junior Junkie", a name which illustrates my point behind the whole addiction thing.

His obsession largely lies with cards of, you guessed it, Ken Griffey Jr. If you read his blog at all, you probably already know what an amazing "Junior" collection he has. In fact, it's probably the most impressive player collection I've ever seen.

I guess it made sense, then, that T.J. recently sent me this '89 Donruss Griffey rookie as part of my winnings for a contest on his blog. (Along with a bonus copy of one of my favorite Hoyt cards.)

Still, in my continuing saga of being behind with trade posts, I haven't even shown the contents of a great trade package the "junkie" sent over a month ago.

Here's a great "autograph" shot of Mr. Lee Smith, shown here during his later (and largely forgotten) Angels days.

I still think this guy should be in the Hall of Fame.

Another superb "autograph" photo, this time courtesy of Upper Deck.

This shot just about has it all. I spot hats, visors, pens, baseballs, and more baseballs being thrust towards Freeman here.

The best part?

Most of the hopeful autograph seekers are kids.

That's something I'd like to see a bit more of nowadays.

Brian Giles looks to be a dead duck in this "play at the plate" piece.

Personally, I've always considered 2006 to be one of Upper Deck's best efforts. As far as photography goes, it had just about everything imaginable.

Then again, I guess that's to be expected from a 1,200-card checklist.

As you might guess, T.J. is yet another All-Star at finding hits to my mini-collections.

New interviews and bat barrels certainly weren't strangers to this trade package.

Yet, as much as I love my mini-collections, it's always refreshing to get cards of guys I collect.

Matt Cain is a relatively new addition to my roster of player collections. Despite that, I've already topped the 80-card mark with him.

Ted Lyons, on the other hand, is under the umbrella of my HOF collection, a chase which traces back to my earliest days in this hobby.

Lyons wouldn't be the only Hall of Famer in this batch, though.

In my history, I've always chased the older Cooperstown guys with more vigor.

I'd still look for cards of '80s guys like Wade Boggs and George Brett, but not as much as other, more old-school Cooperstown members. While that's still true, I have been pursuing some of the newer HOFers more aggressively lately.

Surprisingly, Rickey Henderson pops up in dime boxes quite often. And I've already had a few fellow bloggers send me their spare cards of "Rickey", including these two from the "Junior Junkie" himself.

I still miss Collector's Choice.

But, as I said, the older guys are still more important to me.

You can find cards of guys like Henderson and Brett fairly easily these days. Issues of "Wahoo" Sam Crawford and Edd Roush...not so much.

That's why I'm such a fan of Panini's Golden Age brand. Its inaugural release was one of the better surprises from 2012. And, while I've acquired a bunch more since I originally received this trade package, the Roush was the first I'd seen from the 2013 edition.

It's close, but I think I like this year's Golden Age a tad better.

Now, if only Panini could use logos...

This, though, was easily the best card T.J. sent over.

I've seen this card time and time again around the blogosphere. And I've been supremely jealous on each and every occasion.

Coming from 2009 Topps Update, this is a rookie card of fellow February 19th "birthday boy" Josh Reddick, one that captures his fairly brief (and beardless) stint in Boston.

Not only that, but Topps also managed to feature one of my coveted "bat barrel" shots on this staggeringly nice piece of cardboard.

I haven't yet managed to track down the base version of Mr. Reddick just yet. But I'm ecstatic to have the gold parallel in my collection, even if it might cause some of that OCD to pop up again.

Yes, non-collectors, some of us card enthusiasts have cases of "cardboard OCD". It's real. And, for better or worse, I'm one of the afflicted.

It's just part of my addiction to this hobby, I guess.

I don't see it going away anytime soon.


petethan said...

That Lee Smith is kinda epic, but you can say that about many of his cards. He just fills the frame without trying. Gotta love the subliminal cigarette add, too.

Swing And A Pop-up said...

I have never seen that Reddick before. That is one cool card.