I've been hearing rumblings around the card world that shows are starting to reopen in certain places.
I was worried this would happen, and I think it's incredibly dumb. I haven't checked if any shows in my area are running again, but even if they were, I wouldn't dream of going. It's been uneasy enough being at work in a fairly well-spaced out store with (most) people properly wearing masks -- could you imagine being in a cramped hotel banquet room with almost no masks in sight? (Let's not even discuss the fact that, at least from personal experience, a fair amount of people who attend card shows...well, let's just say they're not the most hygienic people in the world.)
Even in the best-case scenario of the pandemic fizzling out quicker than expected (which in my heart of hearts I don't see happening) I highly doubt I'll attend another show this year. I've said many times that I do indeed miss card shows -- but if I have to choose between a card show and my health, I'll take my health. It feels like the great divide between people's obliviousness between want and need has really been highlighted lately. There's a huge, huge distinction between the two.
Sure, I want to go to a show, but as much as I miss the memories of those fond card show afternoons, it's not a biological need or anything.
Plus, it's not like I'm in a card desert or anything -- if anything the number of packages I've received in the mail has increased over the past few months.
One particularly fun assortment of cardboard came from Shoebox Shane, a longtime trade partner and friend of the blog. I've swapped cards with Shane enough times to know that a package from him is like a card show hammered down and shoved into a single yellow mailer.
This time around, he started off my sending me a bunch of these 2013 Target Red parallels -- and when I say a bunch of them...
...I mean a BUNCH of them.
I loved these at the time, and I still love 'em now -- seeing them all in one place like this really makes me miss those (seemingly) long-gone years when Topps cards had borders.
Shane has said that he never quite knows what to send me, and just picks out any random items he thinks I might find interesting.
He's shown to have a great eye for that -- and from the looks of it, the overarching theme of the lot this time around was spectacularly colorful parallels.
Shane nearly batted 1.000 with his selections -- including a new Bo Jackson that I didn't notice doubled as a hit for my "interview" mini-collection until the third or fourth viewing.
Apropos of nothing: Eck!
These sucked me right back into my adolescent card-collecting years -- I opened many packs of all these semi-forgotten years and brands, and I often wonder if I'm the only person who's nostalgic for a set like 2006 Fleer Tradition.
I think I actually tried to build this Inaugural Nationals insert set in 2005 -- I was too young to remember the Diamondbacks/Devil Rays expansion in '98 so the Nats were (and still are) the closest thing I'd experienced to a "new" baseball team.
I guess I must've given up that project at some point, because I didn't have this Cristian Guzman (don't look too closely at that photo, or he'll start to stare into your soul). And so as you've probably seen, everything Shane sent here had the appropriate amount of fun and randomness I'd expect to find at a show, and I barely had to leave my room -- or the seat of my pants -- for the experience.
Card shows rule, but they're not necessities -- hopefully it won't be too long before the rest of the collecting world realizes that.