Sunday, November 17, 2013
As consistent as they come
It's safe to say that blogging has been a huge eye-opening experience for me.
In fact, people often ask me about that.
"Nick, what would you say has been the most surprising thing about being a blogger?"
Okay, so maybe no one actually asks me stuff like that. But I'd sure have a good answer if somebody did.
To me, the most surprising part of my blogging experience has been the sheer generosity of the other people around this wonderful community. I really can't emphasize that enough.
Very few people ever sent me a surprise package when I was on the trading forums. Now, they're a regular part of my collecting routine. And I've done my best to try and surprise my fellow bloggers with some cards from time to time as well.
The first person who opened my eyes to the unbelievable generosity of this place was William of the awesome blog "Foul Bunt". He was one of my first blogging buddies, and he'd consistently send me tons of "just because" cardboard.
Well, I'm almost two years into my blogging career now, and very little has changed with William. He still seems to drop great cards on my doorstep on a regular basis. I fear that I haven't done nearly enough in sending cardboard back his way, because he's been nothing short of unbelievable with his generosity.
In fact, he sent yet another great assortment my way a couple weeks ago.
I knew I'd be in for a treat when I saw that beautiful Jim Abbott mini staring up at me.
From what I know, William sets up at local shows around his community with some dime boxes of extras from his collection.
Every so often, he'll pluck a few out of his very own dime bins to send my way. It's a lot like a customized dime box dig, if you will.
Among the random, fun goodies this time around were these two superstar "pitchers at the plate". As I recently mentioned, the Smoltz includes a rather painful shot on the flip side.
This foil version will look terrific next to the standard base card in my Braves binder.
Much like Vladimir Guerrero was in 2004, William is an MVP at finding cards for my player collections.
Even though I own well over 600 cards of Vlad, I always seem to find a few new ones in every package I get from William.
I'd long had the chrome version of that Turkey Red issue sitting in my binder, agonizing over not having the regular base card to go along with it.
William managed to take a little OCD out of my collection with that much needed piece of cardboard.
Here's another beauty I've wanted for a while.
For whatever reason, Vlad seems to be a perfect match with the '75 mini design.
William has easily sent me more new Hoyt Wilhelms than any other blogger.
His Hoyt generosity has ranged from a terrific '60s oddball to a tough-to-find vintage Topps short-print to a few more modern issues, as you see above.
I'm ecstatic that Panini has chose to include Mr. Wilhelm in both of their Cooperstown checklists thus far. Like many other guys not named Mantle or Musial, he hasn't had a lot of cards printed in the last few years.
That instantly earns Panini about a million points in my book.
Perhaps the most interesting card William sent along, though, was this '59 Topps Sam Esposito.
In this case, it's not about the guy featured on the front. In fact, I'd never even heard of Esposito before this card came along. (In case you were wondering, he hit just .207 in ten big league seasons.)
As you can probably tell, the real intrigue of this piece comes from the scribbles of its past owner. For whatever reason, someone decided to repeatedly mark the number "6" all around Esposito's face.
I have no clue as to why. Your guess is as good as mine. Maybe the previous owner was into some kind of Satan worship or something.
What someone like that would be doing collecting baseball cards, though, isn't clear.
Either way, it's definitely an interesting piece that certainly captured my attention.
It's the very kind of intrigue that William knew I'd enjoy.
He's certainly one of the more generous collectors you'll ever find.
I can't thank him enough for that.