Monday, May 8, 2023

I do not regret the decisions I have made

I wish I could sit here and tell you there's a specific story behind the 824 different things I collect, but that'd just be a lie.

As time passes, the reasons for hoarding some of the stuff I chase become fuzzy, and sometimes dissolve all together. Yet the desire to collect them remains, as does the excitement. But once in a while I'll be flipping through a binder and ask myself why DO I collect him?, not having much of an answer. This doesn't make me regret any of the collecting decisions I've made over the years, but it does make me wish I could time travel back to the exact moment I decided that player or theme or whatever was going to join the ranks of my collection.

Because for every Ichiro and Mark Fidrych - guys who have left a substantial footprint on my life - there's a Sonny Gray.

While Gray has enjoyed a bit of a resurgence here in 2023 - he's currently leading the league in ERA - his good-but-never-spectacular career is like dozens of other solid pitchers I don't collect. 

So, then, why Sonny Gray? I...can't tell you, exactly. I remember liking something about his very 19th-century-sounding name when he first came up as a rookie, but that doesn't explain why I still chase his cards almost a full decade later. He's also not the kind of guy who gets major airtime on this blog - I offhandedly mentioned collecting him in a recent post (probably for the first time in "Dime Boxes" history) and, bless his hart, Jim (aka gcrl) of "cards as i see them" fame was paying attention, because a smattering of Sonny Gray cards showed up in my mailbox shortly after.

I love when fellow bloggers note even my most dashed-off sentences, and safe to say my life with 2023 Topps has been off to a very Sonny start (oof, sorry). 

Jim also threw in a few friends for the ride, including a couple Shiny White Sox and more 2023 Topps fun.

Given the state of prospecting these days, I don't expect to ever have a huge Wander Franco collection, but I sure was glad to add that double dip to my binders.

These go along nicely with an earlier PWE I received from Jim that I'm long overdue in showing.

I've only recently learned that "color matching" is a term people use for parallels in card speak these days, and between the red border and the red jersey, I think that Dickey is a color match...yes? Am I using that right, kids?

A few other randoms from Jim - Reggie Jackson oddballs always rule, but man was there any product he didn't appear on in the early '90s?

Unlike the Sonny Grays of the world, I can tell you why I collect both Jody Davis and Dave Winfield.

Given the local connection, I collect almost everyone who made any kind of impact with the Cubs, and Davis was a fan favorite here in the '80s. As far as Dave Winfield goes...are there really people out there who don't want his cards? (If there are, I'll gladly take any cast-offs.)

But even collecting guys doesn't exclude from me from needing incredibly obvious cards of said players - which is why I was overjoyed and relieved to see these two former Dime Box Dozen suspects fall out of a recent PWE from Mr. Shlabotnik of "The Shlabotnik Report."

With the Dime Box Dozen dudes came a few recent inserts from Shlabotnik HQ to cross off the want lists - I still can't quite get used to seeing Juan Soto on the Padres, which, of course, makes me want his Padres cards even more.

I'm so behind in posting that I often have a backlog of multiple mailings from the same people sitting in my trade folder, as is the case here.

I've slowly been draining Mr. Shlabotnik of spare 2005 singles since that year marked a rare hiatus from my baseball card life, and a few more showed up in this PWE - including a rare and much-needed Devil Rays Hideo Nomo sighting!

Between generosity and discount boxes, I've crossed out a huge number of 2023 Topps insert needs at this point, way more than I have for past Flagship releases (thanks, overproduction!).

Surprise Mike Trout cards always do my heart good.

Despite the incessant hype, I just couldn't resist collecting Julio Rodriguez - he's a major part of baseball right now, and the best way I can attempt to explain my binders is that they try to document where the game has been, and is going.

One thing I've always loved about the blogs is that we don't really care about names or value around here - people on Twitter have heart attacks over anything Julio-related, but Mr. Shlabotnik saw this card on my want list and sent it to me, just like that. As is the beauty of the level-headed blogosphere.

So yes, send me your Sonny Gray cards, send me your Jon Garlands, send me those obscure under-the-radar dudes a few of us remember - they'll have a good home here, even if I won't be able to tell you exactly why.


Shlabotnik Report said...

[gets out note paper] "Nick collects Sonny Gray and Jon Garland..." :-D

You are very welcome! Happy to find a home for these inserts I accumulate from ripping packs.

What's that Keith Hernandez? It looks very similar to a glossy paper Gary Carter offer that came with... Score? Maybe? At some point in the 1990s?

Mike said...

Yes, Reggie was on every kind of card! (for all the Seinfeld fans out there) "Clark bar" "KEEP going!"

Nick Vossbrink said...

Had not heard of the Clark Bar set May have to keep an eye out. A shame it's only Reggie…

Also. Had not heard the "colormatch" thing before either but I have commented before that I only really like parallels which end up being team colors.

Johnnys Trading Spot said...

"THINNING" THOUGH. oops caps on. If I remember correctly, some of your mini collections coincide with mine. You'll know when I've thinned a few.

Mark Zentkovich said...


GCA said...

I've got a few PCs that I started just because I had a few extra of one guy or another out of the dupes left over from set building. Couldn't tell you why I collect them now, except that they're on my list. Sort of a circular argument.

What the heck is that Keith Hernandez thing?

Fuji said...

Years ago... when Gray was stating to shine on the A's... I made the decision to collect him too. But after he was traded to the Yankees that came to a crashing halt. I'd still add his A's cards if the price was right, but no longer actively chase his cards.

gcrl said...

glad you liked the cards! i have another stack ready to go with a couple more sonnys - his cards seem to be easier to find locally given that he is pitching well for the hometown twinkies.

and the keith hernandez "card" that i sent is from 1987 sportflics. the back has a mail in offer form for "exclusive" "superstar player discs" and "cooperstown cards". you could choose from hernandez, rickey henderson, tim raines, or bo jackson.

Xavier Higgins said...

"I'm not getting a Penthouse Forum!"

Jafronius said...

I know this is going to sound like a crazy fantasy, but every word of this story is true...

Jafronius said...

Could be a new segment on the blog...Guys I Collect But Don't Know Why