Big news from Dime Boxedonia this past weekend: I bought my first car!
The car I'd been using was a hand-me-down from my mom, and while it's gotten me where I needed to go over the last few years, it was obviously coming to the end of its reliable lifetime (remember that time it died on me on the way to a card show?). So rather than wait it out and stress and spend who knows how much fixing it, I decided to take the leap and buy my first car. I'm not a gearhead in the slightest, and all I really ask out of a car is to not have to worry about it -- which is why I'm thrilled to finally have a better one now.
But still there's this part of me that's a bit bummed about leaving the old car behind -- in a couple days, I'm gonna be clearing all my stuff out of it, locking the door, and saying goodbye forever, and it makes me kinda sad to think about.
Out with the old, in with the new, as the old saying goes -- but I often worry the old goes away without being properly appreciated.
This is a problem with my baseball card collection, too. Part of me wonders if I'm spending too much time with the new cards I get -- sorting them, cataloguing them, etc. -- and not enough time appreciating the ones I already have. Sometimes I feel like there's something lost once a card gets socked away into a nine-pocket page. It seems like a silly thing to stress about, but it really does seem like I spend way too much time maintaining my card collection, and not enough time enjoying it.
But I suppose there's a reason for that -- with people like Julie of "A Cracked Bat," and her famous Pick Pockets program, I can't be faulted that much for oohing and aahing over all the new cards people are (somehow) willing to send me for free.
Luckily, cards don't have engines that sputter and need costly repairs, so there's still plenty of time to give them some love.
Everything you'll see here were all part of various Pick Pockets parades on Julie's blog over the last few months -- including these terrific Big League parallels that remind us how fun cards with borders can be.
Pick Pockets, like dime boxes, are mostly good for a random scatter of anything and everything, cards I need and cards I didn't know I needed.
Some shiny and just generally loud latest-and-greatest stuff here -- if nothing else, Topps Fire makes up for the lack of color in most modern sets.
A couple goodies for a couple of my bigger player collections, and why did we stop making those credit card/baseball card combos again?
Weirdly-shaped cards: good in hand, bad for binder pages -- that Wainwright seriously caught on every corner and jutting edge when I was trying to slip it into a page.
That Sonic-issued Reggie oddball is awesome on its own, but it earns even more points by being one of the few cards I've ever seen of him fielding.
Prizm is the poster child for cards I slide into my binders and almost never look at again -- but that's how having a player collection goes sometimes.
And if that Dick Allen doesn't look familiar to you...
...I wouldn't blame you, because it's actually a custom made by the blogosphere's own Gio, customs that were generously made available by Julie in one of her recent Pick Pockets postings.
Bill Madlock has a card in '74 Topps, but it's a "Rookie Infielders" combo he had to share with three other guys, so it's nice to see him get a solo card-that-never-was here.
Willie Randolph's in the same boat as Madlock -- his rookie card is a four-player rookie combo, and best I can tell his brief Pirates career was never documented as a standalone card by Topps (the only one I've seen hails from '76 SSPC).
And yes, Gio's customs even extended to King Hoyt as well, and a much needed substitute considering Hoyt's lone Angels card might be the worst of his long Topps run.
I actually received the spoils from Julie's latest Pick Pockets party a few days ago, and it featured a usual mashup of current stars and legends alike.
Not my favorite insert sets of the year, but a couple I'm happy to have for two of my top-tier current player collections.
Remember when a nearly 40-year-old journeyman knuckleballer won the Cy Young a few years ago? That was pretty great, right?
I feel like R.A. Dickey is starting to float into forgotten territory in the annals of baseball lore. I don't want to see that happen. His unexpected ascent is still one of the better things I've seen in my years of being a baseball fan, but I rarely hear his name anymore. Guess there's always that 100-MPH fireballing prospect waiting in the wings, ready to make someone else drift into history.
Part of collecting cards is keeping those good times alive. That's why I collect Dickey, and why I was so thrilled to pick this minor league oddball from Julie's pocket. Thankfully, cards, unlike cars, don't have an expiration date, and aren't in much danger of being whisked away for the new model. The legend of R.A. Dickey is forever alive in my collection.
In the meantime I'll be bidding adieu to my old car, clearing out all my CDs and pop caps and memories, wondering why I'm afflicted with this sickness of attaching myself to inanimate objects.