I can't say enough about the PWE.
The number of envelopes I've sent out and received during my years of trading online is staggering. I don't have an exact number, but it has to be about a few hundred. At least.
Getting a huge bulky package in the mail is always exciting, but there's something comforting about a nice little PWE.
Of course, envelopes are cheaper to mail than packages. A lot cheaper. Most packages I send cost right around three bucks a pop. Slap a single 49-cent stamp on a PWE and you're good to go.
On top of that, the recent advent of cutting up nine-pocket pages into three slots has revolutionized the life of the PWE. I can now fit about four times the amount of cards in an envelope than I ever could before. And still for that same 49-cent stamp.
I'm sensing a change in my online trading career. I'll do my best to send out packages as often as I can, but it makes more monetary sense to simply drop a few PWEs on people.
Apparently, I'm not the only one. Quite a few envelopes have hit my doorstep lately. The first came courtesy of my second trade with Kenny, author of the fantastic blog "Cervin' Up Cards".
Mike Olt may be hitting under .150, but I'm still doing my best to hoard his cardboard.
Kenny also threw in some great hits for a couple of my newer player collections.
I can't believe I'm saying this, but the design of this year's Bowman is starting to grow on me a bit.
It's not stellar by any means, but it's enough to get me to pay attention.
The crown jewels of this PWE came in the form of these Sega Card-Gen oddballs.
Kenny has become famous for featuring these beauties on his blog, and he's been nice enough to send a few my way in the first couple trades we've made.
I personally never knew Card-Gen branched out into the World Baseball Classic.
Before this PWE, these were the only types of Card-Gens I'd seen.
These have the honor of being my first two mini-collection hits from a foreign land. Both are outstanding throwback shots, while the Descalso has some bonus "double dip" action as well.
It doesn't get much better than that.
Kenny was gracious enough to take the time to translate the backs of the Card-Gens he sent.
Like 99 percent of Americans, I can't read a word of Japanese. That's why it was so awesome of Kenny to include this little note.
A perfect end to a perfect PWE.
A few days ago, I received a surprise batch of cards from my longtime buddy William of the terrific blog "Foul Bunt".
William is constantly looking out for needs of mine and has sent me more PWEs and/or packages than perhaps anyone else in the blogosphere.
His latest assortment included a card of Randy Johnson as a Giant that I didn't already have.
"The Big Unit" in San Francisco will never look right to me.
At this point, the last Hoyt Wilhelm I need to complete my "Topps set" is his elusive and pricey '52 Topps rookie.
Still, that doesn't mean I won't turn down upgrades for ones already in my collection. William sent a nicely-conditioned '67 Topps Hoyt, which you can see on the right here. It's a nice addition over the creased one that had previously been in my binders, as seen on the left.
I don't actively seek out upgrades, but it's nice when they happen.
Another surprise PWE recently hit my doorstep, courtesy of Pat from the great blog "Hot Corner Cards".
Among the goodies in this envelope were the neat sidewinding Terry Leach and the very outdoorsy Jay Buhner.
That has to be the only time a chainsaw has been featured on a baseball card.
I claimed this one from my buddy John over at the awesome blog "Johnny's Trading Spot" a little while ago.
Yes, this card is numbered to just 82 copies. Yes, I collect Hall of Famers. And, yes, I am a big Don Sutton fan.
The real reason I felt the need to claim it, however, is because there aren't nearly enough cards of Sutton as an Astro out there. This is just the fifth one in my collection, and the first not released during his playing career.
Sutton will forever be a Dodger to pretty much every baseball fan, but there's something cool about the sight of him in those Technicolor Astros jerseys.
Finally, this card arrived via PWE from Adam of the wonderful blog "Thoughts and Sox".
Adam hasn't blogged as much lately, but it's good to know that he's still keeping an eye out for others. He hit the jackpot by sending this mangled piece of cardboard gold my way.
Yes, that is a pinky-sized hole in the corner of this '59 Topps Ernie Banks you see there. I can't come up with a good explanation as to why someone would do that to "Mr. Cub".
Still, that mystery draws me to cards like these all the more. I've been thinking of writing a few other stories similar to the "Diary of a Baseball Card" piece I featured earlier in the week.
This one would be a prime candidate, no doubt.
The PWE is on the rise, my friends. The post office can keep jacking up their prices at will, but envelopes will always survive.
After all, you can't beat a good PWE.