Friday, September 22, 2023

In praise of the mail

I get worried that people my age are missing out on the joys of mail.

I've loved getting mail for as long as I can remember - I wanted to be a mailman for a long time as a kid. There's something about that day-in, day-out routine of opening the mailbox, wondering if something, anything, is waiting for me in there (even third-class junk mail addressed to me is, in an odd way, a minor thrill).

Between my forum days and my time here on the blogs, I've been sending cards through the mail for almost 20 years now, and I can't even begin to imagine how different my collection would look if the mail didn't exist. It still boggles my mind that you can jettison a nice chunk of baseball cards to someone across the country of for the cost of a single stamp (or a few bucks for a healthy-sized package).

Though I'm not sending/receiving cards nearly as often as I used to these days, there have still been a few glorious surprises waiting for me in the mail lately, starting with this epic Babe Ruth SP I graciously received upon request from Kevin of "The Diamond King."

Kevin was nice enough to host a little giveaway on his blog recently, one that saw me claim this slaughtered Enos Slaughter that, at the very least, serves as a nice placeholder if/when I decide to splurge on a more intact copy.

Either way, it's hard to beat a free '53!

Also grabbed these two from Kevin's giveaway - I had no idea there were "Topps Gold" parallels in Archives a couple years ago, and from the looks of it, they're kinda tough.

That Rizzo is officially known as an "Aqua RayWave Refractor" from a superfluous set called Topps Chrome Sonic - and of course I had to have it, because that's how I react to shiny things.

Some of these smaller PWEs/packages have been sitting in my trade folder for a good long while now, and for that I apologize to the people who've sent them to me.

Laurens of "Card Buzz" surprised me with a couple tough numbered rookies for my collection of the late Ryan Freel - they're even treasured Short Term Stops to boot, as Freel played all of nine games with the Blue Jays.

A reader named Michael W. has been periodically sending me cards for a while now, and he outdid himself by sending me a few entire unopened oddball sets this time around.

I, like many others (I hope), can't resist a mediocre Tombstone Pizza from time to time - but I mostly associate them with the oddball set they produced in '94 that seems to show up in every single dime box I dig through. (Seems like lots of card collectors were consuming frozen pizzas that year.)

Unbeknownst to me, however, there was also a 1995 Tombstone set that I'd never seen before, and thanks to Michael, I had the whole thing in one fell swoop.

Michael also set a complete run of the aforementioned '94 Tombstones - I was surprised to find that I actually still needed a couple of those.

Couple that with a sealed '93 Post oddball set, and you have one fun trip through an early '90s grocery aisle!

Gregory of "Nine Pockets" is one of the better custom enthusiasts the blogosphere has to offer, and he was nice enough to send me a copy of this up-and-coming trio whose Stonehenge was in danger of being crushed by a dwarf.

I must've begrudgingly mentioned that I still collect of noted failed Cubs prospect Brett Jackson on the blog at some point, because these showed up in the mail from Jeremy of "Topps Cards That Never Were" shortly after.

It's true: send me ALL your Brett Jackson cards (he said, wincing at the pain of the Cubs farm system circa-2010).

I selfishly took advantage of another "Free Stuff" blog giveaway hosted by longtime friend-of-the-blog Jon of "A Penny Sleeve for Your Thoughts" (one of my favorite blog names ever!).

I have no logical connection to throw between these two cards except for the fact that I needed both of them, which I suppose is the case for most scans on this blog (guess I'm trying to keep the memory of Carl Crawford's dubious Red Sox career alive).

I don't know that I'd call myself a baseball card "expert," but I like to think I have a good understanding of the intricacies of the hobby.

I say that while also admitting that I know almost nothing about these odd strip cards that were issued in the 1920s. I do have a few real ones in my collection, and I have a good amount of reprints thanks to these fun surprises from Jon.

But ask me for specific info on what I have and I'm just gonna give you a blank stare.

Might as well close up shop for the day with a last hurrah from Jon, and the kind of card that's always a banner event here at Dime Box HQ - a new Ichiro!

Just take a look at the cards in this post - or any of the stacks and stacks cards I've received over the years - and answer me this: how could I NOT be romantic about the mail?


Elliptical Man said...

Ichiro wins it.

Mike said...

I love mail,too! And digging those strip card reprints!

Johnnys Trading Spot said...

MAIL IS AWESOME! Looks like you had quite a bit recently too.

Dennis said...

Nice mail day from some cool people! And please tell me the Spinal Tap card is #11!

Zippy Zappy said...

Hopefully the little something I sent your way arrives soon too.

Mark Zentkovich said...


Jon said...

I remember reading something somewhere in the last few years about the misadventures of someone that had just sent out their first piece of mail/envelope... and they were in their late 20's at the time. I realize that pretty much everything is digital these days, but even so I have a hard time fathoming a world where someone could go that long without sending a piece of mail of any kind.

Anonymous said...

The Spinal Tap card is great, but the postions need some help. For Nigel and David, the position needs to be Lead Guitar-Vocals.

GCA said...

I took a hiatus from trading on TCDB after attending the National. I can't wait to turn trades back on and get the regular flow of PWE's coming back to my mailbox. I feel like I'm supporting our local post office in a major way.

Fuji said...

My buddy just started working as a mailman and he seems to love it. It's a second career... and he's getting around 15k steps a day. Kudos to him and all of the other postal workers who help ship and deliver our care packages.

P.S. Some awesome cards. My favorite would be the slaughtered Slaughter.