This card has been on a long journey.
By now, I'm sure most of you know that I collect shots of pitchers at the plate. It's a mini-collection I've had since I was about eight years old.
My buddy Ethan of the (hopefully temporarily) dormant blog "Playing With My Cards" sent me this Kershaw SP a while ago. Greg, who you might better know of "Night Owl Cards" fame, saw a Kershaw card he didn't have and started drooling.
While it was hard to let go, I knew this pitcher at the plate would be better in his collection. So into Greg's hands it went. That was that...or so I thought.
Someone recently sent Mr. Owl a second copy of the very same Kershaw SP, and I figured I'd inquire about it. The ever-gracious Greg agreed to toss it back my way, and, in a weird twist of fate, the very same card I'd sent him months ago was back in my collection. For good, this time.
Now that's going full circle.
Although the Kershaw was all I asked for, Greg was nice enough to load up a package with a bunch of other goodies.
Every trade I make with him kind of brings me full circle, as Greg's was the first blog I ever read and was one of the main people who inspired me to try my hand at this silly little blogging thing.
Now, I'm sure you know that Greg's collection is far more structured and centered than mine. But, even if he might not know it, he has a little bit of random in him. He constantly finds oddly great cards to send my way.
Die-cuts, fungo bats, you name it.
As I've mentioned time and time again, Roberto Clemente is my favorite player in baseball history.
Any new card of his is an absolute treat, much less an awesome oddball from the folks down at TCMA.
The Javier Valentin, on the other hand, is a terrific hit to my brand new "tip of the cap" mini-collection.
Definitely one of the more obscure players I've been able to add to that theme.
It's good to know that people pay attention to what I write.
I'm guessing Greg saw the recent slew of Babe Ruth Conlons people have been sending me lately and decided to get in on the fun. He threw quite a few into this package, but this one was easily the best of the bunch.
I feel for any poor catcher who was on the tracks when Babe was coming through.
Greg's always good for a few neat Dodgers.
With a collection like his, I can't imagine the amount of doubles he must have around the house.
It's not a Night Owl package without these.
Perhaps the most interesting development of this package was the beat-up vintage.
Imagine my surprise when a '62 Santo fell out of the stack Greg sent. His copy was written on, stamped, and generally weathered. I already had it, thanks to a card show discount bin I found right around the time I started this blog.
Granted, my creased copy on the left isn't much better. I paid Greg's generosity forward by sending the written-on Santo to my buddy Tom, who I'm hoping will give it a good home.
...that wasn't the end of the vintage extravaganza.
Unlike the Santo, this one was completely new to me. I'm sure Greg included it because of the Cubs factor, but Bob Buhl is actually in my catalog of player collections.
As you can see, some young collector tried to scratch out the "M" on Buhl's Milwaukee Braves hat here, obviously unsuccessfully. And I still can't tell if that's an "S" or a "5" next to Buhl's face.
Perhaps the better question is why anyone would want to scribble an "S" or a "5" on a baseball card in the first place. That kind of mystery is why I love these old cardboard scribbles, and I'm glad Greg thought to send something like this my way.
I'm sure the original owner of this card loved it quite a bit. Now, more than 50 years later, it's in the hands of another appreciative collector.
Like I said, full circle.