Thursday, February 20, 2014

There's a first time for everything

I'm a bit obsessed with firsts in the world of baseball.

The first player to hit a home run in the National League was Ross Barnes. The first pitcher to throw a perfect game was J. Lee Richmond. The first player to hit a home run in a World Series game was Jimmy Sebring.

I don't know exactly what it is, but I find something innately special about firsts. Sometimes, though, firsts can come way too late.

By now, most of you probably know about Mark (perhaps better known as Mr. Fuji) from the spectacular blog "The Chronicles of Fuji". His blog has around way longer than mine or most of the other ones in the blogosphere.

Even so, I'd never put together a trade package for Mr. Fuji in all that time. After over two years in the blogosphere, I needed to change that. So, right around Christmas, I sent my very first batch of long overdue cardboard to Fujiland.

A short while later, I received a much appreciated return package from Mr. Fuji, complete with a slew of goodies. Perhaps what grabbed my attention most, however, was his little "business card" he threw into the stack.

If I had the necessary time and resources, creating one of these little customs would be something I'd love to do one day.

It's obvious that Mr. Fuji took a look at my set needs page while putting this package together.

Thanks to his efforts, I was able to cross these two terrific GQ South Siders off my lists.

As time rolls on, I'm sure Philip Humber will go down in history as one of the most obscure pitchers to twirl a perfect game.

I had player collections before I became a blogger.

Trouble is, I'd stuck with the same handful of guys for as long as I could remember. While I cherish some of my oldest player collections, I'm the type of guy who likes to change things up every once in a while.

As of late, I've been inducting new players into my binder in waves. It's the first time I've started collecting so many guys in so little time. (They're all conveniently located under my "Guys I Collect" page.)

I have no excuse as to why I didn't induct Carlos Gonzalez into my binders earlier. He's easily one of the better players in the game right now.

The red borders on this one really make it pop.

Like "Car-Go", I have no idea what took me so long to start collecting Anthony Rizzo.

He's a future foundation of my beloved Cubbies, for one thing. He's also a fellow paisan, as evidenced by his suiting up for Team Italy in last year's World Baseball Classic.

Matt Kemp is a little different, in that I've had him in my binders for years. Only recently did I decide to collect him with any sort of vigor, however.

If that "Topps 2020" insert is any indication, Mr. Kemp sure has some great cards floating around out there.

Mr. Fuji included a couple rather fancy cards of a couple new Cards player collections.

The Cardinals have absolutely dominated baseball during the past few years. Both Adam Wainwright and Allen Craig have been huge factors in that.

I'm proud to now have both in my binders.

New player collections are great, but my real devotions lie with the oldies.

I couldn't tell you how or when I started collecting Vladimir Guerrero. I certainly couldn't tell you what my first card of his was.

However, I can tell you that I recently eclipsed the 700-card mark with Mr. Vlad.

This headache-inducing insert was one of the many that helped get me over the hump.

Mr. Fuji managed to find a couple new Mark Graces for my binders.

I recently crossed the 300-card barrier with my Grace collection.

That's more than any other player not named Vladimir Guerrero...

...or Ichiro Suzuki.

I'm at just under 500 Ichiros right now.

And, yes, I do have a copy of his actual 2001 Topps rookie, although the original back "Cards Your Mom Threw Out" reprint Mr. Fuji sent along is a treasured new addition. (It's also one of the few cards that lists Ichiro's entire name.)

John Olerud is just behind Mr. Grace for fourth on my player collection list.

I doubt you'll find many trippier cards than that one.

Mr. Fuji was also nice enough to throw this Olerud jersey card into the mix.

As you probably know, I'm not a big jersey fan anymore. Mr. Olerud is one of the few guys who can elicit any sort of giddiness over one of these things nowadays.

I'm proud to have this jersey card in my collection.

This is a blogging first for me.

Considering this blog is called "Dime Boxes", you can probably assume that I'm not a big fan of graded cards, either. And you'd be right.

I have never voluntarily welcomed a graded card into my world of low-end cardboard.

Until now, that is.

Thanks to Mr. Fuji, this is both the first graded card in my collection and the first I've shown on this blog. And it's a GEM MINT TEN, BRO!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

What we have here is a neat minor league autograph of another of my longtime player collection focuses, Aubrey Huff. According to the back, this card was limited to just 200 copies.

I also get a huge kick out of the "Sign Here" designation just below Huff's autograph. I guess the people at Just thought some guys would be dumb enough to not sign in the big, empty space.

Although maybe I'm overestimating the intelligence of some ballplayers.

A graded card on this little blog.

I never thought I'd see the day.

I guess there really is a first time for everything.


petethan said...

Graded cards? You're not gonna turn all snobby on us, now, are you?

Fuji said...

Thanks for the trade! I knew you weren't a big jersey/autograph collector, but I figured worse case scenario you would pass it on to another Olerud or Huff fan.