I think I've reached a point where I think of myself more as a reader who occasionally blogs, and less as a blogger who reads other blogs.
There's no doubt that I still love blogging, but over time, writing has become something I enjoy in sips rather than gulps. I look back at the early years of this blog and wonder how I was able to post once, twice, sometimes even three times(!) a day. That just isn't feasible for me anymore - if I blog once a week these days it's a success.
I certainly don't mind being more of a reader than a blogger - I've said many times that I respect the heck out that community of loyal readers who take the time to scroll through our stuff while fending off the urge to start a blog of their own. I think some fellow bloggers would also agree that readers also have the tendency to be the most generous people around - willing to send us stellar cards as thanks for whatever half-baked thoughts we might post.
One such reader is a collector named Dave S. who's been sending me heaps of cards like clockwork - the cards in this post span stuff I got from him a few months ago, up to a box I found on my doorstep just last night, in fact.
Dave's boxes are great, in that some of the stuff closely aligns with my specific collections/want lists, and a lot of it is just a mash of whatever he has lying around - that kind of mix is always a blast to sift through.
Case in point: these odd reprints, which look to have been knocked off in someone's basement - there's no copyright info or anything else on the back that suggest they're licensed copies. They're the kind of things I could see a less-experienced collector bringing into a pawn shop and being completely unprepared for the bad news.
The Frank Robinson is even more curious, given that it's a "Card That Never Was" as opposed to a straight reprint, and thus even cooler.
Here's a few more conventional items from Dave - cards from the last few years are especially appreciated since I've bought next to no retail lately.
Sending inserts of big names like Aaron and Yaz are surefire hits for me, but I get just as excited over odd stuff like that Kids' Club Quentin because that's probably not a card you'll ever see again.
Shooter + Mother's Cookies = a gosh-darn fantastic baseball card.
Another box saw Dave scatter a few new needs across my bigger player collections - Mo earns additional points for the bonus broken bat!
Aside from my usual Series 1 purchases, I think the only retail I've bought so far this year was a lone blaster of 2022 Gypsy Queen.
And judging from what I've read, I think I'm the only one who kinda sorta likes GQ this year - it's a whole lot more distinctive than a lot of the other designs they've thrown at us the last ten years.
These are the kinds of scans I love to show on this blog - steel cards, Rod Becks, a neat Johnny Bench, and a Babe Ruth oddball I know nothing about.
Dave must've come into an Albert Belle collection or something, because one of the boxes he sent contained a small treasure of don't-call-me Joeys.
While Belle is in my binders, he's not someone whose cards I actively pursue - but shiny stuff of anyone is always welcome around here!
Oddball madness, including a minor league mascot card that kinda creeps me out for a reason I can't quite put my finger on.
My eyes lit up when I saw a couple West Coast stadium giveaway sets in this particular box - these things are like Bigfoot here in the Midwest, and of course that makes them all the more desirable to me because the toddler in me always wants what I can't have.
Regional sets like this Keebler Giants one are often great for off-kilter stuff like managers (Felipe Alou!) and obscure middle-relievers I'm weirdly endeared to (Scott Eyre!).
Somehow, this oddball set from Dave might be even better since it's from the heart of the Moneyball A's days - including short-term-stop Johnny Damon and perennial Dime Box favorite Chad Bradford.
Dave also knocked out a Dime Box Dozen need with this '85 Donruss Mattingly - a card I still love despite the fact that it looks like Donnie Baseball got out of bed two seconds ago.
In a of great timing, Dave's latest box showed up just last night, and thus allowed me to squeeze another round of cardboard greats into this post.
I don't think I've ever bought a pack of Topps Gallery - and now that I think of it, I'm not sure I've ever seen one - but the cards aren't half bad.
Random fun from the '90s to now - Topps doesn't need more brands, but I wouldn't mind them seeing them bring back Cracker Jack.
I'm by no means a Yankees fan, but they've obviously had a lot of greats over the years, which might explain why I'm on the verge of giving them a sixth binder in my collection - no other team has more than five.
The Jeter & Mattingly are a couple more of those mysterious reprints I mentioned earlier...
...and since we started with a Mantle reprint, we might as well end with one.
Blogging has its rewards - both in the creative fulfillment it provides, and the selfish enjoyment of people sending me cards - but readers like Dave occupy their own special place in the blogosphere, one that has no doubt kept this blog running for as long as it has.