If you're reading this blog right now, please allow me to apologize to you.
I feel like I was a bad blogger in 2018. Too often I'd let days (sometimes weeks) go by without a peep. And while my R&R time now isn't exactly copious, there were moments I could've blogged and just...didn't. Maybe it was the scanning and cropping and all the other tedious exercises a post requires. But the writing itself is still exciting, and there's no good reason I shouldn't be doing it. I get to talk about baseball cards with other people who love baseball cards -- what could be better?
So let me throw my one concrete New Year's Resolution out there: I plan to blog more in 2019.
And if you've traded with me at all this year, well then let me really apologize to you, because once again I've managed to fall way behind on my trade posts.
I'm talking about people like Adam of "Cardboard Clubhouse," who sent me one of the few trade packages I've ever received with an unopened pack of cards inside. I mentioned that I actually kinda liked this Leaf Babe Ruth set in a post a while ago and Adam returned the favor with a fresh pack of the stuff.
Rarely does trading sate my need for cards and opening wax in the same breath.
These ASA oddballs from Adam are technically cards of Yogi Berra (top) and Johnny Mize (bottom), but wow are there a lot of stellar cameos around them.
After many pack openings and numerous pleas, I finally finished my Sandlot insert set about a month ago -- Adam played a key role by sending me Betram (who got really into the '60s, and no one ever saw him again) and Benny the Jet.
I do have a card-related resolution for 2019, but it's the same resolution I try and fail to keep every year: BUY LESS RETAIL!
I love packs as much as everyone else, but you get to a certain point where 95 percent of what you pull are doubles and/or extras, and then you're left with the reality of spending $20 for the sheer thrill of opening packs. I treat myself to a healthy helping of most of my favorite sets upon their release (Stadium Club, Archives, etc.), but after that initial frenzy it's easy to see that my money is probably better spent elsewhere -- especially when you have people like Adam who just send you Clementes out of the goodness of their heart.
Of course this is what I always tell myself at the beginning of every year, but then sure enough there I am walking out of Target with $40 worth of cards within months.
I also recently completed my first trade with Chris of "The Pedestrian Collector" blog recently after he posted about a Kyle Schwarber X-fractor he had up for grabs.
I still love X-fractors in all their glory (especially the way they scan!), and Chris was nice enough to toss the standard Chrome Schwarbs in, which I also needed.
But apparently Chris couldn't help but send some other Cubs along for the ride.
A handful of insert needs that didn't survive into 2019, thanks to Chris.
And here's a whole page of '83 inserts from this year's Topps, sent to me by Matt of "Summer of '74" fame as part of a Twitter trade extravaganza.
I pounced on the lot, knowing that my want lists were still horribly inflated with these -- most indeed were needs, though the alternate-universe '83 Ryno is easily my favorite.
Next up comes a package from Robert of "$30 A Week Habit," a good dude who I've been trading with since the days I blogged two or sometimes even three times a day way back when (still have no idea how I did that).
Robert recently offered up some spare '78 Burger King oddballs for trade, which I quickly claimed -- because come on, do you really expect me to pass on something
Here's hoping I can clear out my straggling 2018 A&G base needs before the 2019 edition comes out.
I quite like these "World Talent" inserts, but it'll probably be years (if ever) before I have all the ones I need -- thankfully I have people like Robert to help me chip the list away.
And finally comes not one, not two, but a staggering FOUR Dime Box Dozen needs sent to me by P-Town Tom of "Waiting 'til Next Year."
Next to the sacred '93 Pacific Dale Murphy, I think that Bo Hart was the longest-tenured item from my DBD list -- a thrilling combination of an obscure dude I collect and a throwback uniform all in one baseball card. The Thome was one of those annoying SOBs I'd managed to accumulate a couple parallels of without ever finding the standard base version. And the Sutton and Johnstone were simply two easy base cards I somehow didn't have.
And thus the Dime Box Dozen list called for reinforcements.
Alongside the DBDs came something I never knew existed -- an Oreo-branded baseball card!
Oreos are right up there with Reese's for my favorite candy, and god knows how many packs of 'em I might've bought had I known they came with cardboard featuring dudes like Junior Griffey. But really, that's only a small taste of all the great cards and (often incoherent) thoughts I hope to share with you kind readers in 2019.
Happy New Year, all!