Saturday, August 30, 2014
My blogging mantra
Sometimes, I have to take a step back and realize just how far I've come since my trading forum days.
It's become sort of a running theme during my blogging tenure. Whenever I worry about little things like readership, posting trades in a timely manner, or really anything along those lines, I repeat my blogging mantra.
At least you're not on the forums anymore. At least you're not on the forums anymore. At least you're not on the forums anymore.
Ah, that's better. Now let's take a look at a couple trades that have been sitting in my scan folder for far too long.
As I've said in the past, about 95 percent of the swaps I made on the forums were fairly clinical. You send me these, and I'll send you these. That's that. No extra help. While I suppose there's nothing inherently wrong with that type of trading, I don't think it suited me all that well.
That's why I'm so happy to be a blogger. People go the extra mile to send cards they think you'll like, and I try to do my best in return. My longtime blogging buddy Adam of the awesome blog "ARPSmith's Sportscard Obsession", did exactly that with a recent trade package.
I knew I'd be in for a treat once I saw this red Mike Leake parallel, a rare "pitcher at the plate" shot from the current Topps monopoly era.
I'm sure you'll be seeing Mr. Leake on my "Cards of the Year" list in a few months.
I'm staggered by the amount of charity I've received towards my Vlad collection.
I was nearing the 700-card mark the last time I counted, and that was a few months ago. I may have surpassed it by now.
Any Vlads people can spare are welcome, but particularly crazy cards like the one Adam sent earn an extra nod. Yes, the design does include faux-ivy covered walls. Yes, that blue part is transparent.
And, yes, this card was produced by Pacific.
Who else could pull off something like that?
Adam went the extra mile with helping my Mike Sweeney collection.
Sweeney is probably one of my second-tier player collections, just below the biggies like Vlad and Hoyt Wilhelm. One of my long-lost card collecting friends was a Sweeney fan back in 8th grade, and that's why I decided to start chasing his cardboard way back when.
Adam sent a terrific assortment here. I'm especially fond of that '97 Fleer "tatooine" issue (center-right), one that features Sweeney during his early catching days.
The card in the center is actually a glossy parallel from 2003 Fleer Tradition, numbered to just 100 copies.
The Sweeney was actually one of three Tradition glossies Adam sent.
He was fortunate enough to obtain a big lot of 2003 Fleer Tradition recently, and featured a trio of glossy parallels that had me drooling. I asked Adam if he'd mind putting them aside for me, because I've apparently gotten a little better with that sort of thing.
Yes, I admit to collecting Randall Simon as a direct result of The Sausage Incident, one of the most stupid and inadvertently hilarious controversies in baseball history. He was actually traded to the Cubs a few months after the fiasco.
Bo Hart is a legend, plain and simple. I've been a huge fan of his since his oh-so-brief stint with the Cardinals back in 2003-04. He took St. Louis by storm for a few months there, though he seemed to sadly fade away from stardom in the blink of an eye.
If I ever had the time and resources to do so, I'd put a lot of thought into becoming a Bo Hart supercollector.
From what he tells me, Adam is a fellow Rickey Henderson collector.
In fact, he was nice enough to help get my fairly new Rickey collection up on its legs by shooting a few doubles my way.
This page nearly covers Henderson's whole career.
Adam even sent this neat Topps sticker from Rickey's first stint in Oakland during the early '80s.
I love what the A's are wearing now, but I think they should revert back to these throwback duds.
Surprise packages and/or PWEs were definitely not a thing on the forums.
Since I started blogging, however, I've learned the value of both sending and receiving some cardboard surprises. I recently decided to drop a PWE on my buddy Gavin of the spectacular blog "Baseball Card Breakdown", filled with little nooks and crannies for his various collections.
Though I didn't send it with the expectation of getting anything back, Gavin was generous enough to send me a few things in return. From the looks of it, he dug through his extra 2014s in search of some of my set needs.
I'm not usually a fan of horizontal A&Gs, but, then again, it's hard to make a bad David Wright card.
Gavin also included some Gypsy Queen of both the base...
...and insert variety.
Part of me wonders if I'd like GQ a little more if all the cards had these midnight blue borders.
Want to give it a shot, Topps?
Also present were a few much-needed Archives hits from each of the quartet of designs Topps used.
The Wright is yet another beauty, and I received the Cespedes before his shocking trade to Boston. That might go down as one of his last cards as an A.
That Hunter looks eerily similar to his actual '73 Topps issue, although I don't think they're from the same photo session.
Topps also listed his first name as "Catfish" on his 2014 Archives card, something that never happened on any of Hunter's real Topps cards.
I still don't know how I feel about that.
This, however, was far and away the crown jewel of the package Gavin sent.
While I've never much dabbled in it myself, I love seeing all the customs people create. Gavin is one of the best, as you probably already know if you've ever read his blog or received a package from him. (Or both.)
I can now say I own a piece of Jim Abbott memorabilia that no one else has. Better yet, Gavin decided to sketch a shot of Abbott in a rare appearance at the plate with the Brewers.
And, if you flip it over...
...you'll find a detailed write-up about Mr. Abbott, along with his career stats.
And, yes, I can vouch for the fact that Gavin's artwork really does glow in the dark. I tried it out and everything.
I'm truly honored to own this Baseball Card Breakdown Original.
The time and effort Gavin must've spent making it for me means a lot.
It says pretty much all you need to know about the blogging community.