Thursday, March 12, 2020
The world is ending, but at least I have my cards
Okay, so the post title might be a bit extreme, but there's a hint of truth in it.
There are many reasons we collect cards: some of the obvious ones being pure fun, love of the game, etc. But I think there's another big factor here that doesn't get discussed as often. Comfort. I collect cards because they are a reliable source of joy, a backbone for it all. I've been doing this long enough that I literally can't imagine my life without my collection, and over time it's brought me so much comfort in what can often be a mad, mad, mad, mad world.
Enjoying my cards -- simply sorting them, or looking through them -- has helped pass countless bad moons, and will surely pass many more in the future.
Even better: a collection is never complete, always growing, which provides all the more opportunities for joy and comfort.
I've received a few packages from loyal readers as of late that did their fair share in bulking up my binders. One came from a reader named Arthur who reached out and said he had a bunch of stuff from my various Opening Day want lists...and boy he wasn't kidding.
He took down about 90 percent of all the inserts listed on my OD need lists from 2015-present -- including some I've long loved ("Superstar Celebrations"), some I rarely see ("Team Spirit"), and others I'd completely forgotten about ("Hit the Dirt").
That also came with a similarly decimating attack on my recent OD base want lists as well, which I was happy to see.
I still have a soft spot for Opening Day, and I'm way more excited than I probably should be about (hopefully) finding some of the 2020s on Target shelves soon.
Jeff B., a reader who's sent me cards a few times now, knocked this '79 Topps Ted Simmons off my Dime Box Dozen list recently.
I'll probably have more in this in a future post, but I righted a longtime wrong and started collecting Simmons after his election to Cooperstown. Thankfully, I was able to secure most of Simba's base cards off Card Barrel, though a few obvious ones -- like this '79 Topps -- weren't available there and thus became gaping holes in said collection.
I've noticed a kind of awkward beauty to a lot of Simmons's cards, and this one definitely has that going for it.
Jeff also sent a couple parallel mini-collection hits along for the ride -- '90s Dufex rules!
I came home one night to find an entire box of cards from longtime reader Mike W. waiting for me -- I can't help but think I'm really not worthy of this whenever a big box o' cards arrives in the mail.
And after I opened it, I soon declared myself totally unworthy of the '91 BBM Hideo Nomo(!) Mike had so graciously included.
And if I'm unworthy of that, then how can I even begin to describe how I felt when I found second(!!) and third(!!!) BBM Nomos in there?!
Though they might take a bit of a backseat to the Nomos, don't sleep on the other oddballs Mike sent me (including my first Blues Brothers card!).
The perfect collision of books and baseball cards, my two favorite hobbies.
Announcer cards! Damn Yankees cards!
Nifty player- and mini-collection hits here, although I probably still have something like 8,454 of those Olerud Topps Tek patterns to chase down.
Finally comes some cards from Wes W., a generous reader I've known long and well from the insane kinds of packages he used to drop on me -- and while Wes settled for a much more modest PWE this time around, it still packed a heckuva punch.
Leading off was this '56 Topps Jack Meyer -- no, I have no idea who Jack Meyer is, but when someone sends you a free '56 you need not ask such questions.
Most of the PWE consisted of these excellent Target Dodgers even though I'm probably about the 186th most prolific Dodger collecter in the blogosphere.
I like big, sweeping team-issued sets like this because a lot of the cards in them (including almost all of the ones Wes sent) feature guys who were much more famous playing for other teams and/or were only Dodgers for a short time.
But one Target Dodger easily stood out among them all -- and that's the immortal Hoyt, of course!
There aren't many Dodger cards of Hoyt (this is only the sixth one I own), which kinda makes sense because he was a Dodger for all of 25 games at the tail end of his Hall of Fame career. And despite my many Hoyt-collecting years, this particular one lurked in the shadows until it arrived on my doorstep, which really is a fantastic way to discover a baseball card you never knew you needed.
So, sure, if the world is ending, so be it -- with all these cards waiting be sorted and loved, I'm willing to hole myself up in my room until need be.