Wednesday, March 25, 2015

Working the arbitrary magic

We have a bright new face here in the blogosphere, and he's becoming quite the prolific trader.

A lot of you are probably already acquainted with Brian of the terrific blog "Highly Subjective and Completely Arbitrary." Between his terrific blogging content and his recent group trade event, he's one of the up-and-coming stars of the blogosphere.

I'm actually kicking myself for not getting in on his group trade. It looked like a ton of fun from what I've been reading, although I did manage to get a piece of the action. (But more on that later.)

It appears as though Brian and I have already set up a kind of back-and-forth deal where we arbitrarily send each other cards from time to time. He recently put this beautiful '54 Bowman Larry Doby on the trade block, and I can't believe nobody claimed it before I did.

I caught a break there, because losing out on a card this great would've been disheartening.

The Doby was actually the second swap between Brian and I.

Our first came a little while before that, and it didn't take me long to discover how great of a trader Brian is. This '94 Topps Doc Gooden was a Dime Box Dozen need at the time, and I think you can see why. It's a pitcher on the basepaths at Wrigley.

Right up my alley.

Our first trade actually originated with this trio.

I've said this before, but I don't often like to ask for cards from people. I don't know why. Maybe it's that introverted part of me that's afraid of disrupting things.

But, doggone it, if you're going to put up '54 Bowman Larry Dobys...

...and '78 OPCs up for trade, then you really leave me no choice.

I have to claim them. This is a reflex.

My introverted personality has no say in the matter.

Brian didn't stop there.

He was nice enough to throw in a few recent insert needs on top of Doc and the trio of OPCs.

Excuse me while I shield my eyes from those ugly All-Star uniforms.

An added bonus was an unopened pack of 1987 Topps.

I heeded the advice of Brian (and probably my dentist) by not eating the cracked pink stick of gum that came with the wax wrapper.

With the gum out of the way, I dug into the seventeen two-by-three pieces of woodgrain heaven.

And it made me wish that packs these days still came with seventeen cards.

I would never buy an unopened box of '87 Topps or anything, but busting a pack of any relatively aged product here and there is always good for a hoot. I think I like getting a glimpse of the old ads more than anything else.

See? I could've won a trip to Spring Training in 1988!

I was only twenty-eight years late.

Brian's latest envelope actually just hit my doorstep last afternoon.

This Ichiro was one of the first to fall out, and, to be honest, I'd completely forgot I'd claimed it from Brian. (Yes, another claim. I'm heartless.)

That probably has to do with the fact that Panini's Donruss revival is so very, very, very, very, very forgettable. Which is because 2015 Donruss is so very, very, very, very, very ugly. So why even claim it in the first place?

Two reasons. One, Ichiro doesn't have a contract with Topps, so it's either Panini or nothing. Two, this is Ichiro's first card with the Miami Baseball Club, otherwise known as the Marlins. So, yes, Ichiro is now in my Marlins binder. Ichiro. Marlins.

Doesn't sound right.

Once again, Brian threw in a few bonus cards to go along with the logo-less Ichiro.

I enjoyed both of these very much, although the Matthews troubled me a bit. It exposed the fact that I somehow don't own his standard '86 Topps base card.

I'll rectify that ASAP.

Brian did it again with the Dime Box Dozens.

I'm fairly certain that this card was my longest tenured DBD need before Brian came along. In an attempt to honor the famous '54 Topps card of the O'Brien twins (which I was lucky enough to pick up last year), this Heritage issue couples the Mauer brothers on one piece of cardboard.

Unlike the O'Briens, the Mauers are Twins in team only. Jake (whose real name is actually David...go figure) is five years older than Joe, but the elder Mauer never made it above Double-A in five years in the Minnesota organization.

And I think all of you know Joe by now.

Though Brian obviously has a knack for putting together spectacular batches of cards, our third trade was by far the best.

No, it wasn't because of Ryno, although holograms are always cool.

No, it wasn't because of these two Cubbies, either.

Although the shape of that Brett Jackson is tripping me out.

Just like always, Hoyt stole the show.

This was one of the cards Brian pulled as part of his group trade event. My jaw dropped. A Hoyt Wilhelm AUTOGRAPH?! This was where I began kicking myself for not getting in on the action. I missed my chance at Hoyt. I figured my jaw would have to stay dropped.

But, by sheer luck, Hoyt went unclaimed in the break. Brian actually wound up contacting me about the Wilhelm autograph, and we worked out yet another swap. I sent him a few of my Twins relic cards, which, since I've slowly been phasing out a large portion of my memorabilia collection, was fine with me.

A couple days later, and...ta-da. Hoyt was mine. It's the third autograph of his in my collection. I'm not much of an autograph seeker anymore, but I'll fully admit my love for this card. I especially enjoy the fact that it features an on-card signature, which is significant because Wilhelm passed away in 2002, the very year this Fleer Greats set hit the shelves.

Let's see. Vintage Larry Dobys, OPCs, packs of 1987 Topps, and Hoyt autographs?

I don't think I'm being subjective in saying that Brian is a new legend in Dime Boxedonia.


Kevin Papoy said...

Brian's great ! I'm having a lot of trouble trying to keep up with his trading pace, but I'm almost there...and I had no idea Ichiro didn't have a Topps contract anymore. Is it because he's a Donruss/Leaf exclusive ?

Johnnys Trading Spot said...

Very nice!

Tim B. said...

Those were some really great cards across three deals!

Tony Burbs said...

That's a fantastic trade package right there! Also, Ichiro as a Marlin? I was just starting to get used to thinking of him as a Yankee.

acrackedbat said...

54 Doby - amazing card! incredible trade!

Brian said...

By this point, people can probably tell that I am breaking up a set of the 1993 UD hologram cards, and I also got a medium sized lot of that 1954-style Topps heritage... A few folks will see some cards from that set headed their way.

It's been a blast trading with you, Nick!

Swing And A Pop-up said...

Very cool trade!