My work finally decided to close to the general public this week.
I can't say I'm surprised. I love bookstores, but there's far more essential businesses right now, and I'm honestly shocked we stayed open as long as we did (we even went forward with a huge sale last weekend which is pretty much the opposite of how to approach a pandemic). I'll still be able to work a few days a work answering phones, shelving books, mailing orders, etc., but for now it looks like I'll be staying home more often than not for the near future.
You know what that means: more time with my baseball cards!
This comes in handy because I still haven't put away the cards I received from my latest COMC order a few weeks ago -- a stack of cards that included a nice boost for my new Ted Simmons collection.
I took care of most of Simba's common base cards with a large Card Barrel order, but COMC helped fill in some of the obvious gaps, as well a few more oddball items that weren't available over there. I usually only use COMC to find stuff that isn't readily spotted in the wild, but that '76 Topps at the top of the post was too gaping of a hole to leave in a collection of a classic '70s dude like Simmons.
Throw Kellogg's and a '75 mini into the mix and I think I'm on the right track -- now if I could only find a cheap copy of his '71 Topps rookie...
Obscure cards for some of my oldest player collections here.
The Ichiro is an action variation, and the Vlad's from one of those weird player-curated online sets (Tatis Jr.) that I can't decide if I like or not.
Famous dudes in not-so-famous uniforms.
What's more, this COMC order even helped pin down a few new faces for my zero-year collection -- the Astros traded to Zobrist to Tampa for half-year rental Aubrey Huff in 2006, while Tatis Jr. for James Shields could go down as one of the worst trades in White Sox history.
Ah, who am I kidding -- it's already one of the worst trades in White Sox history.
What I love about COMC orders is that they're a physical record of all the different kicks and excitements I was feeling at all the different times I logged on to the site.
Just from this scan alone, you can see the rabbit holes and randomness of so many different searches: Permagraphics, phone cards, Rocky Colavito, and yes, even the Monkees!
Someone must've been purging their '80s Star collection, because these were all obscenely cheap.
Each of these sets focus on a single player, which can be a huge hit-or-miss concept, but I really like the Stars because they tend to feature photos you rarely see in mainstream sets -- Fernando hitting! Fernando being interviewed! Fernando signing autographs!
I also binged a bit on those super shiny silver pack singles because they were so cheap -- they go nicely with the obligatory liquorfractors I seem to add with each passing COMC order.
Sports Illustrated for Kids, always a throwback to my youth.
COMC is where I go to sample most of the online-exclusive stuff I never see in-person -- the Davis is another fun one from that Tatis Jr.-designed set, and the Ryu is from the Throwback Thursday series I can't help but love (even though '72 Topps isn't exactly an oddball design).
The top two are from the membership-only Montgomery Club set -- and while I hate the idea of having to buy a membership for baseball cards, fact is those just look a helluva lot better than most of what Topps is putting in packs these days.
Thick cards, pointy cards, and other stuff that's just generally hell on binder pages (but were too cool to pass up).
Other randoms -- I've had my eye on that Wills for a long time now, and the Wally Rank has to be my first card of an auto dealer(!).
Legendary players on legendary cards -- seeing Jackie Robinson on the awesome '97 Ultra design just about made me swoon.
I've yet to find a place that can even light a candle to the sheer mass of oddballs available on COMC.
Box bottoms, regional minor league releases, Canadian exclusives -- it's all there.
Oh yeah: they've got vintage oddballs too!
The Kranepool and Hrabosky are from the more scarce '75 and '78 SSPC sets, and somehow I never knew a Burger King verison of that '78 Fidrych existed until now.
These '71 Topps suspects are easy enough to find in the wild...
...but not the OPCs!
The Tony C is a classic Short Term Stop/sunset combo, and I have no idea why an OPC Cesar Cedeno rookie was available for all of a couple quarters -- buy now, ask questions later.
There wasn't a ton of classic vintage in my order, but -- and this has become a common theme with this post -- I couldn't believe how cheap Luis Aparicio's cards were.
Finally, I decided to treat myself and shell out a whopping four bucks for this '57 Harvey Haddix, a former member of my "Keep Dreaming" list and the most expensive card of this order.
I have a special place in my heart for otherwise obscure/forgotten players who enjoyed one glorious moment in the sun (Bobby Thomson, Philip Humber, etc.) and Haddix might be the king of the hill there. Better yet, his cards go for almost nothing: with this one (the first and only card I've seen of his brief time with the Phillies) even this cheap collector now owns all of his Topps commons (1953-65) aside from his '53 rookie. It'll be a pleasure to add it to my binders, probably sooner rather than later since I'll be holed up with my baseball cards for a while.
Sometimes I look upon unsorted cards with despair, but not now -- with all the spoils of this COMC order, I'll be there right along with you, playing with my cards under the quarantine.