One of my complaints about the current state of the hobby is that there's simply not enough weird in it.
A lot of what card companies churn out these days seem to generally be the same things regurgitated over and over again. While the '90s were far from an idyllic time for baseball cards, I often miss those years because cards weren't afraid to be weird. Which is good for a collector like myself who embraces the weird in my own collection - I mean, could you see anyone putting out an ornament-shaped card these days? I can't, and I was lucky enough to receive this long sought-after card in a recent PWE from Jeff B. of the "Wax Pack Wonders" blog.
There are lots of ways to say "weird" in the English language - and it's uncanny how aptly a lot of those words seem to fit the cards I've been receiving lately, as well as the collection I've spent my life building.
I never thought player collecting was peculiar - but then again, I recently acquired my 1,000th different Ichiro, and is there any sanity in having that many cards of a single guy?
My lifelong Cubs fandom has meant I've formed attachments to some of the team's bigger names (Javier Baez!) along with more curious dalliances with the obscure (Junior Lake?) over the years.
I never thought of myself as a Junior Lake supercollector, but that snow camo parallel from Jeff has me thinking I've crossed that line.
Perhaps erratic is a better way to describe my collection - it sounds more proper than weird.
I have no way of tying these four cards from Jeff together - including that Dale Berra double dip I couldn't believe I didn't have, and a Vlad numbered to just 31 copies! - but what is this blog if not erratic?
There's really no rhyme or reason to the cards that appear on my Dime Box Dozen list - it's just a quirky mashup of any card I happen to remember I need.
Here, you have a mix of sunset cards (Eck), cards I owned a parallel of without the base card (Wood), pitchers hitting (Glavine), and cards I thought I had that fell to the gremlins (Murray) - all Dime Box Dozen needs no longer thanks to Jeff.
And here's a fifth Dime Box Dozen suspect from Jeff - a needed card of Jim Abbott's brief White Sox tenure on one of those mid '90s Flair designs that always struck me as wacky.
I've been trading with Bo of the "Baseball Cards Come to Life!" blog for a long time now, and he always seems to understand how much my collection teeters on the absurd.
These wild '70s Laughlin cards can be tough finds, so I'm always appreciative of any new ones that fall into my lap.
I've long been a fan of these funny Smokey Bear oddballs, but until Bo sent this batch over I had no idea they extended into the minor league ranks as well.
A couple more Dime Box Dozen needs, including a perilously common '07 Topps Jim Thome (that design still hasn't grown on me) and a Fleer Sticker of new collection favorite Ted Simmons whose cards always seem gloriously funky to me.
Given that I grew up watching baseball in the late '90s, it's remarkable how much I basically ignored cards of many of the stars from that era.
I'm doing my best to correct that now - in large part thanks to people like Bo - but I shudder at the thought of all the Randy Johnsons and Griffey Jrs. I still need.
Few people I've traded with have sent more quality oddballs my way than Bob of "The Best Bubble" blog.
Bob stumped me with that Ryno oddball - seems to be one of those Broder oddities from the late '80s - and you know I'm here for all the minor league double dips.
Kruks and Stadium Club base I need are cool, but the real star of this scan is obviously that bizarre autograph of equally-bizarre Dime Boxedonia favorite Jim Walewander!
Let's make this as clear as possible: I want all Japanese cards.
There's something far-out in knowing I have cards documenting the game as it's played an ocean over, and it's no accident that I've spent a good deal of time and money collecting cards of some of Japan's finest MLB imports (with Hideo Nomo being near the top of that list).
Bob finished things off by sending what appears to be a real, actual Burleigh Grimes autograph(!) housed inside some kind of custom art project.
I have no idea what exactly I'm holding here, but if you'd have told me I'd one day own an autograph of a Ruthian-era baseball star and HOFer, well...I would've said you're crazy.
But that's my collection for you: crazy, wild, wacky, all of the above - just generally, and proudly, weird.