Using footage from both cameras I had rolling I have made a "director's cut" of the blaster of OPC I busted live Xmas Eve on Blog TV. You know, this multiple camera thing is kinda cool, I'm gonna have to do this more often.
Here is the long and short of what the Steelers need in week 17 to get either the #5 or #6 Wild Card seeds in the AFC. Regardless, the Steelers MUST beat the Miami Dolphins or all bets are off. Sad thing is, if the Texans would have lost today and the Colts hadn't pulled all their starters against the Jets, the Steelers would be in control of their own destiny. I also enjoyed NFL.com's comment: "Defending champs not going away without a fight. Hell currently being unleashed." Heh.
Got a mailday from Marie @ A Cardboard Problem. I promise I have a package on the way to you Marie!Here's my want list for 2009 Upper Deck Goudey Baseball: 13,32,37,49,61,73,74,97,100,104,118,125,140,188,201,202, 203,205,206,207,208,210,211,214,218,219,220
For those of you who missed it, here is the blaster of Heritage High Numbers I busted live on Blog TV yesterday. The show went fairly well, I think I had 7 viewers at one point. I will be doing some more of these in the future and work out some of the kinks. Hopefully I will see more of you guys at the next one.
As you probably already knew, Heritage high number series hobby boxes are live in certain areas of the country. You can check out a break here and also the ever annoying to watch ye olde Beckett video break starring your boy Chris Olds down below. For your convenience I've posted much more informative and entertaining breaks by Tom the Ripper and Chris Harris as well. Hopefully blasters will begin popping up in the next few weeks.
So the local Wally World finally got Updates & Highlights and I grabbed three packs which you can watch here. I pulled a ridiculous hit for retail, I won't spoil it, you'll have to watch. Over the last couple days I picked up some more packs including a jumbo, all of which I'll post soon. Stay tuned...
1 retail blaster of 2009 Topps American Heritage Heroes Edition 8 packs per box, 8 cards per pack (Paid $19.99 plus tax) The Video
Base set: 46/125 (37%)
Short Prints: 2/25 (8%)
Parallels 1 Base Card Chrome (1:8 packs, 125 cards) Mother Jones (927/1776) Inserts
4 Medal of Honor Winners (1:4 packs, 50 cards) Thompson, Kelly, Madison, Day
2 Presidential Medal of Freedom Winners (1:4 packs, 25 cards) Mother Teresa, Arnie
2 Heroes of Sport (1:4 packs, 25 cards) Mathewson, Magic
2 Heroes of Spaceflight (1:6 packs, 28 cards) Liberty Bell 7, Gemini V
1 A Hero's Journey (1:8 packs, 15 cards) Rising Star Emerges in Debates Hits 1 American Heroism Relic Group B (1:140 packs) World War II Captain's Uniform The Review First off, I gotta say that I think the folks at Topps struck gold with the American Heritage concept and it seems to be the gift that keeps on giving. The only problem I can see is if Topps starts using the same designs over and over (1961) or overexposing the same subjects (Abraham Lincoln). As many have already noted, these cards are perfect for young students or anyone who is a history buff. Now for a few quibbles. The one thing I find maddening about this set, and really any Heritage product, is that sorting these cards by number is excruciatingly painful. Not just because of the different backs but because many of the backs are upside down from the card fronts. Considering this is a set-builder's product, that's a big problem. However, as set-building sets go these days, this one is nearly a dream come true. The set is small and easy to complete (a blaster yields over a third of a set!) The inserts are relevant, well done, small in number and collectible. Thankfully we get only a chrome parallel for people who are into those. The relics are actually enticing and meaningful (I was quite pleased with the WWII uniform I pulled). The only complaints I have is the over redundancy of Lincoln cards. Do we really need or want a short print subset of 25 Lincoln/Obama cards that are virtually identical? Or, for that matter, 15 Hero's Journey Lincoln insert cards that are also all extremely similar? But those are small problems in a set that otherwise is fun and easy to collect. I have to give Topps an A for this effort and I look forward to the next American Heritage issue.
One retail blaster of 2009 Topps Allen & Ginter baseball 8 packs per box, six cards per pack (Paid $19.99 plus tax)
Base set: 24/300 (8%)
Short Prints: 4/50 (8%)
Parallels 3 Base Minis (one per pack, 300 cards) T.Glaus, S.Kazmir, I.Snell 1 A&G Ad Back Base Mini (1:5 packs, 300 cards) R.Halladay 1 A&G Ad Back Short Print Mini (1:65 packs, 50 cards) C.Gomez 1 Black Bordered Base Mini (1:10 packs, 300 cards) M.Phelps Inserts 8 National Pride (one per pack, 75 cards) 1 Baseball Highlights Sketches (1:6 packs, 25 cards) M.Rivera 1 National Heroes (1:12 packs, 40 cards) W.Tell 1 World's Biggest Hoaxes, Hoodwinks & Bamboozles (1:12 packs, 20 cards) The Turk Autogamers 1 Framed Relic Group C (1:108 packs) F.Lewis Bat The Review What more can you about A&G that hasn't already been said. It's a collector's favorite and for good reasons. The cards are beautiful as usual although I wonder at what point Topps will have to drastically alter the basic design as every A&G set is starting to look the same. While we're on the subject of design, why does Topps insist on typing out everyone's stats on the back in letters? For example Batting Average Three hundred twenty-one. Does anybody read these? It just makes the backs useless. If they are not going to print stats why not just a short write up? The base set is relatively easy and inexpensive to collect. Good luck if you are going after the short prints or a master set of all the inserts, minis, variations which, to me, have been overdone.
Gotta couple maildays from Joe and Greg.Here's my want list for 1988 Fleer baseball: 7,19,54,55,57,78,130,131,145,151,169,209,216,221,254,286, 310,360,397,415,499,539,577,625,628,631,633,651,636,656 All Star Team Inserts: 1,2,3,5,12 email: firstname.lastname@example.org
So after being without internet for several weeks I'm back. There's a very good reason for my long absence which I will reveal tomorrow along with some random (and I mean random) old packs I found as well as some maildays that have been long neglected. And of course while I was away this happened. It was inevitable, especially the way Upper Deck was going the last couple years. Normally, I am in favor of more competition but I'd just as soon not have to buy any more Upper Deck cards. Atlas if only they could have been more like the company they were from '89-'93 they might still have a license. Please oh please Mr. Eisner, make a one-series, 792 card, grey cardboard, non-wrapped bubble gum, wax packed, cheaply priced, baseball card set next year?? I actually have good feelings about Topps having total control. For now. Also while I was away A&G went live like crazy and I hear blasters are already out. I may have to take a look-see...
One retail blaster of 2009 Upper Deck O-Pee-Chee baseball 15 packs per box, six cards per pack (Paid $19.97 plus tax)
Base set: 55/500 (11%)
Last 100: 15/100 (15%)
Parallels 15 Black-bordered (one per pack)
Inserts 1 2008 OPC All-Rookie Team (10 cards): M. Aviles 1 The Award Show (20 cards): A. Pujols MVP 1 Face of the Franchise (30 cards): D. Wright 1 Walk-Off Winners (10 cards): C. Ruiz 1 UD 20th Anniversary: K. Dae-jung
The Review When this product was first announced I was pretty excited because it was everything I was hoping Topps or Upper Deck would try. A real, honest to goodness, old style new set with a low price point. I like the retro design on real grey thin cardboard that is not directly ripping off any previous design (yes I know they look like '76 Topps but at least it's not an exact duplication). I also like that it is a large one series base product. Unfortunately, Upper Deck could not resist the temptation to be greedy. UD countered the low price by putting a mere six cards in a pack which means per card, these cost about the same as base Topps or UD. This is especially frustrating given that for a large retro set building product, you would be wanting more, not less, cards per pack. As a further ass-slap, UD insists on putting a multitude of large insert sets in the product that no one will have the money or patience to complete. And since this is a retro set builders product, why not waste everybody's time with one per pack black parallels!? To further put salt in the wound, those worthless 20th Anniversary inserts which are plaguing UD product this year are taking up spots in many of the packs. Thanks, Upper Deck. So let me get this straight, not only are we getting only six cards a pack for a 600 card set, but once you take out the black bordered parallel, "short print" (more on that mess later), and maybe an insert, you are really only getting 3-4 base cards a pack. Great. I should finish this set no later than 2056. Then there's the whole "short print" debacle which I am from now on referring to simply as the "last 100" cards because that's all they are. They are certainly not short printed. You can tell just by looking at my blaster. I have 11% of the short set completed but already 15% of the "short prints." That's because at one "short print" per pack and only 3-4 base cards per pack, I will complete the "short prints" long before I ever track down the 500-card short set. This is what happens when you make six card packs for a 600 card set. You magnificent bastards, Upper Deck. After reading this, you probably think I hate this product but I don't. Quite the contrary, despite the ridiculous six card packs, I love almost everything else about this set, and yes, I will probably drive myself mad and broke trying to complete it. It's as close to a retro, thin grey cardboard large set with a new design and players as you will find in 2009. And that includes Heritage. In other words, 2009 OPC is as close to 1991 Topps as we are going to get, for now.
So I just got back into town after a fun weekend getaway and it's time to catch up. First off, here's a bunch of maildays I've received over the past several days from Ben @ 1988 Fleer, Ryan @ I Heart Halos, Mike @ JD's Wild Cardz and Mike in New Hampshire.
Just a quick note to mention I have four maildays piled up (from Steve, Ben, Mike and Mike) which I will have videos of when I get back into town after this weekend. Thanks to everyone who sent me cards and I hope to have a nice mail day post up by Sunday or Monday. Thanks!
Made my first trade with Greg @ Lake Effect Baseball Cards. If anyone reading this has any cards on my want list, feel free to leave a comment or email. I have a bunch of doubles and we might be able to help each other out.
So I was in Target and noticed they have Topps series 2 blasters. The code by the UPC symbol had a "10" in the middle which I think, if memory serves me correctly, means these are the regular white borders and NOT grey retro throwbacks. But not willing to risk it and also realizing that 12 cards for $1.99 is a much better deal than 81 cards for $19.99, I opted for some more loose retail packs instead. Had I known about the whole blaster variation thingy in the first place I would have gladly collected the grey throwbacks this year but since Topps didn't tell anybody until after the cat was out of the bag and didn't properly mark their blasters as such, I am forgoing the whole black-bordered/grey-throwback phenomenon and simply completing my regular old white bordered set. If they actually tell everyone what they are doing next year and mark the product accordingly, I might go for the grey-throwbacks as my Topps set next year. Also, Mario @ Wax Heaven has the scoop on Upper Deck's latest attempt to duplicate Topps' success with Heritage: O-Pee-Chee as a stand alone 500 card grey cardboard retro set with a low price point. I really like the look of these and will be on the look out. This could be the set I've been waiting for.
So I stopped in Wally World and Target looking for Topps or Upper Deck series 2. No dice. But thankfully Tar-Jay finally restocked their Goudey as there were several more blasters and a fresh retail box. Thank goodness I'll have something to keep me occupied until series 2 products finally make their way out here.
So for those of you wondering if I have fallen off the face of the earth, I haven't, just really slow around here card wise. No series 2 Topps or Upper Deck to be found anywhere around here so not much going on. That's why I was so happy to get a mailday from Chris @ Stale Gum a couple days ago. At last, something to open! Anyways I tried to do this video in true Stale Gum style as a tribute to Chris, who was nice enough to include some Heritage short prints I needed. Only 32 more to go!
So Bowman is live and Topps and Upper Deck series 2 are live in certain areas. But none of the above are to be found where I live. I'll be doing some more looking tomorrow. I'd be happy just to find some more Goudey let alone anything else. UPDATE: On Friday, nadda at Target. No Topps or Upper Deck. UPDATE: On Saturday, nothing at Target. UPDATE: On Monday, zippo at Target AND Wally World. UPDATE: On Wednesday, 0 at WalMart, Target restocked Goudey.
During the last couple days I have received two awesome card packages. The first is from Ryan @ I Heart Halos and it's the best Heritage mail day I've received this year and that's saying something as I've gotten some good ones. Ryan sent me the elusive #82 Scott Baker which completes my short set and he also sent six inserts and TWELVE short prints I needed. Ryan, I promise I will hook you up with an awesome Angels package. The second bubble mailer was from Dave @ Cardboard Junkie. It included the '87 Donruss rack pack I won in his random drawing of bloggers that helped complete his '87 D-Russ set and he also threw in some kick ass Pirates cards. Thanks Dave, I owe you an awesome package as well, I promise I'll come up with something.Here's my want list for 2008 Topps Baseball Updates and Highlights: 57 email: email@example.com
One card. One lousy card left to complete my 2009 Topps Heritage Baseball short set. And it's Scott "bleeping" Baker.
Can you believe it? The strangest cards end up being the last ones needed to put a bow on a set. Not A-Roid, not Pujols, not Pedroia. Baker.
I don't know where Baker is hiding, but I do know this: not one retail pack, not one blaster has gone unturned at my local Target, nor has any blogger I know not already been pestered to death for card #82 by yours truly. I also know this: Someone, out there, somewhere, is protecting old Baker because they simply just can't let go of this card. Well, let me tell ya something, Twins card fanatic. Or closet Scott Baker super collector. Really? Seriously? Are you this close to completing this year's 425-card Heritage short set? No. Of course you're not. Or perhaps you already have a couple Bakers, secretly, yes, in which case (in full Keith Olbermann voice) you, dear sir or madam are just plain C-R-U-E-L!
So, now that that is out of the way, I'm asking ... no, I'm begging: please, PLEASE trade me this card, won't you? Each time I burrow through my box with puppy dog eyes, whimpering, hoping beyond hope that perhaps #82 is stuck to another card, mixed in with the doubles, in there SOMEWHERE, I am painfully reminded of reality, the reality that, it is in fact, NOT there. And I slam the box down. A solitary reminder. Sadder than "Brian's Song." Sadder than watching Hulk Hogan sadly and slowly become a parody of himself. Sadly and slowly. Sadder than watching someone buy this. I mean really, this is sad. You don't want me to CRY every time I look at my Heritage cards, DO you??
Please help. Please help me track down this lone, standoffish, doesn't-like-to-play-with-others card. (feeling guilty, Baker? Good!)
Listen and listen well, I have my eye on you #82. You can't hide forever. Mark my words. Justice shall be served!
Today was a historic day in the history of Card Junkie. Not since I got my first mailday from Chris @ Stale Gum have I had a bubble mailer of this import. This envelope chock full of Heritage I needed is from Tom of Tom the Ripper YouTube fame, creator in my humble opinion of the most creative card videos on the net. Along with Chris, Tom is probably my biggest inspiration and the style of my videos owes a great debt to his work. He probably is the most influencial YouTuber in the hobby and I am honored to have completed a trade with him. Anyway, to those of you unfamilar with his videos you may want to watch this one to get an idea where I got my inspiration for this tribute otherwise you may not understand my video at all. But I will also say this, it might be more fun just to watch mine without any warning because it's pretty wacky. Either way, have fun...
I'm still catching up on some maildays. Here's a couple I got last week from Mike in New Hampshire and Chris @ Nachos Grande. Thanks guys for helping me with my Heritage set. If anyone else out there wants to make a trade my want list is below.
Okay so I've haven't posted in a while. It was a crazy blue/white weekend up here in State College. To sum it up: long hours @ work, lots of bar hopping and partying w/friends, lots of golf, no sleep, and while all this was happening the Pens advanced to the second round of the playoffs, the Bucs are first in the NL wild card standings(!!?) and I watched most of the NFL draft. Anyway I fell behind on some maildays so I apologize. But here you go, here's a couple bubble mailers I got earlier in the week and did a quick video but just now had the time to edit and upload it so enjoy. They are from Jason @ Bozeman Breaker and Ed @ Roll Out the Barrel. Sorry it took me so long to get this vid up guys but thanks for the trades they were great! I also have another mailday vid coming shortly. And if anyone else wants to make a Heritage trade let me know. My want list is below.
Since I accidentally deleted the vid of me opening the six packs of '90 Topps I got off eBay last week, here are the quick highlights in case someone out there was curious (all one of you.) Let's see, there was a Vizquel rookie, a second year Smoltz and nice veteran cards of Yount, Nuschler, Murray, Rice, Gwynn and Winfield. So there you go. I'll have the '93 Leaf recap vid up soon.
Got a couple maildays from Mike in New Hampshire and Ben @ Cardboard Icons.
Okay so I got some good news and some bad news. The bad news is I accidentally deleted the footage of me opening the '90 Topps and the '93 Leaf. The good news is I'm gonna do a recap video of the '93 Leaf box because I love that set so much and I want to talk about it. Also, it's probably better to watch a 5 minute recap video than two hours of me opening 36 packs of mostly duplicates. It got pretty boring and I can't imagine you guys watching a dozen ten minute videos of me opening packs of duplicates. So maybe it's for the best. =) Anyway I'll work on posting it sometime tomorrow.
And as you can see I have quite a few cards piled up. A few maildays, six packs of '90 Topps and a box of '93 Leaf. I also stopped at the Comic Swap in State College to grab a few more monster storage boxes which I desperately needed. Hopefully I'll have some vids up for you guys later on tonight. I hope everyone had a great holiday weekend and enjoyed watching the Masters. I know I sure did.
Just wanted to let you guys know I'm getting ready for a big Easter weekend road trip starting tomorrow afternoon right after work. Going home to visit friends and family, do the holiday thing then hang out with some of my old college buddies. There's a very good chance I may stop at a card shop or two along the way so I will have plenty to talk about when I get back late Monday. I can also tell you I will have at least one mailday (probably many more) and the six packs of '90 Topps I got on eBay have already arrived and I bet I will have the '93 Leaf box by the time I get back as well. Anyways, just wanted to let you guys know I haven't fallen off the edge of the earth and to check back at Card Junkie by Tuesday for lots of fun. Until then I hope everyone has a great weekend.
I was doing some spring cleaning and came across a shoebox filled with old photos. Some of them included pics I took when PNC Park first opened back in 2001. I thought you guys might enjoy these so here you go...
Here's the park from across the river. As I recall, the first game was an exhibition game with the Mets, I want to say late March. And it was like winter outside. Cold, windy, overcast and even some flurries. Heck they even had the lights on for a 1 o'clock game! We were worried they wouldn't play and I have a feeling that if it wasn't the first game at a new ballpark they wouldn't have. These were our seats and you can get a good look at the skyline. I remember Mike Piazza hit the first home run and the Pirates lost.
We went back the next week for Opening Day and you can already tell the weather was much better. Outside the ballpark. The Willie Stargell statue, which tragically was unveiled just days after his passing. You can't tell in this pic but lots of people left flowers and wreaths underneath. What you first see when you come out of the concourse. It was breathtaking after years at Three Rivers where all you saw was bright green astroturf and lots of concrete. Here you see green grass and the beautiful Pittsburgh skyline and bridges. The scoreboard. Taking our seats. Opening day festivities included paratroopers.
The Pirates officially take the field at PNC Park for the first time.
Sellout crowd for the first pitch. For the record they lost to the Reds, and future Pirate Sean Casey hit the first official home run. Here was the first night game we went to a few weeks later. Added Bonus: Here's a random old pic of a Penguin game I went to back in the late 90's. Me and my roommate went on one of those $20 campus bus trip deals and were in the nose bleed seats for a Pens/Panthers tilt. Memorable moments: Lemieux and Jagr both scored goals, Lemieux's tally moved him up on the all time list and he got a two minute standing ovation, the Pens won, there were more fights than usual (yes!) including this one, and me and my buddy successfully snuck cans of beer in our winter coats. What can I say we were stupid college kids. I can tell you that #31 is Pens goalie Ken Wregget at the bottom. I have no idea who else is in the picture, they look like ants. We were so far away we could literally touch the roof of the Mellon Arena. =)
So tonight has been great. The Pens made the playoffs. I won a free rack pack of '87 Donruss out of the blue from Dayf the original Cardboard Junkie. I guess when you help people complete their sets good things happen. I managed to nab a blaster of Heritage on eBay for $18.48 delivered. I was totally shocked because all the Heritage blasters I've been seeing on the bay have been going for well over twenty bucks so I guess I just got lucky. Hopefully I will have it in hand by next week. Oh and the Pirates totally stunk up Busch Stadium tonight as Ian Snell got shelled and our new "third baseman" Andy LaRoche completely dropped a easy pop up that nearly was called an infield fly, which opened up the flood gates. Oh well, 3 out of 4 ain't bad.
Today was a sad day for card collecting in State College. I stopped by Target after work and the faithful Heritage retail box which I have enjoyed buying packs from was gone. Knowing that the Walmart nearby has already been sold out for several weeks, I ventured the whole way across town to the "other" Wally World, the nice, new one actually, (the one I live by is a dumpy old one) to get my Heritage fix. Nadda. Realizing the regularity my local big boxes restock their cards (i.e. never) it could be a long, LONG time till I see any Heritage again. Here's hoping Dan @ Saints of the Cheap Seats pulls off a Heritage group break cause I will be there front and center although so far the takers look slim. C'mon folks, you know you want to! Facing this grim reality, I still have reason for optimism. First off, I bought another jumbo pack of Upper Deck while at the nice, new Walmart, which you will find a vid of here shortly. I have a couple of real nice goodies coming in the mail from eBay. Six packs of '90 Topps I got for 59 cents a pack delivered and the piece de l'resistance: a box of '93 Leaf (my favorite product EVAR) that I got for $11.24 delivered! I can't tell you how much I'm looking forward to busting that beauty. And to top it off the Pens (who were in 10th place as late as a month ago) are about to clinch a playoff spot tonight and the forever bumbling Pirates look to remain undefeated on the season against the Red Birds. So maybe I can live without Heritage. For a little while. =)
The Pirates haven't had a winning season since I was 16. They haven't been in a pennant race since '97. As a cynical Succos fan I'm not holding my breath but I will say they have a good young team and might hover close to 80 wins. But I say that every spring. I'll be watching the Bucs/Cards game and chatting live in the comments if anyone wants to join me...
So my local Wally World finally has Heritage blasters and I grabbed one. I'm really glad I recorded this on video because you probably wouldn't believe what I pulled out of ONE blaster if I didn't record it. But seeing is believing.
Well it's looks like all my whining and complaining paid off. A wonderful Card Junkie reader that felt sorry for me offered to send me #42 Jeff Francoeur and when it arrives my 2009 Topps series 1 will be complete. Everyone can now rest easy. Or at least I can. But seriously, thanks to everyone who helped: Marie, Ben, Matt, Howard, Mike, Chris, Bryan, Steve and Steve. I couldn't have done it without you.
One card. One lousy card left to complete my 2009 Topps series 1. And it's Jeff "bleeping" Francoeur.
Can you believe it? The strangest cards end up being the last ones needed to put a bow on a set. Not A-Roid, not Pujols, not Pedroia. Francoeur.
I don't know where Francoeur is hiding, but I do know this: not one retail pack, not one jumbo, not one cereal box has gone unturned at my local big box outlets, nor has any blogger I know not already been pestered to death for card #42 by yours truly. I also know this: Someone, out there, somewhere, is protecting old Franky because they can't let go of a card that has that beautiful Atlanta "A" next to his name. Well, let me tell ya something, Braves card fanatic. Or secret Jeff Francoeur super collector. Are you this close to completing Topps series 1? No. Or perhaps you already have a couple Francoeurs, secretly, yes, in which case (in Keith Olbermann voice) you, dear sir or madam are just plain C-R-U-E-L!
So, now that that is out of the way, I'm asking ... no, I'm begging: please, PLEASE trade me this card, won't you? Each time I burrow through my box with puppy dog eyes, whimpering, hoping beyond hope that perhaps #42 is stuck to another card, mixed in with the doubles, in there SOMEWHERE, I am painfully reminded of reality, the reality that, it is in fact, NOT there. And I slam the box down. A solitary reminder. Sadder than "Marley and Me" (and you thought that was a happy movie). Sadder than watching Evander Holyfield get back in the ring again. Sadder than watching someone buy a five-dollar repack box. You don't want me to CRY every time I look at my Topps cards, DO you??
Please help. Like these generous souls and countless others that already have. Generous souls? Nay, downright heroes they are, true American heroes! They sent me all of the cards that I needed to get me down to this lone, standoffish, doesn't-like-to-play-with-others card. (feeling guilty, Francoeur? Good!)
Listen and listen well, I have my eye on you #42. You can't hide forever. Justice shall be served!
What is the best experience you have had acquiring cards or memorabilia?
This is a bit of a bittersweet question for me and I considered not doing a post because, as some of you know, about eight years ago, I "lost" my entire massive childhood collection of ten of thousands of cards I had been collecting from 1986-1996 including not only cards from those years but hundreds of vintage cards from the 60's, 70's and 80's that I acquired as well. But that is a story for another post, one that some hardcore Card Junkie fans know I have subtly eluded to a few times but a story I may never have the will to write fully. For those that don't know, I only recently started collecting again, last year in fact, after a 12-year cold-turkey hiatus.
But this is supposed to be a happy story so enough of all that! Now I have had several wonderful experiences acquiring cards as a kid. Card shows, card shops (they had those back then!), grocery stores, yard sales, etc. But I always found the most fascinating experiences were when you discovered cards completely by accident, sometimes simply being given them. For free. That takes me to what I think is my best ever baseball card experience.
Let's go back to 1990, when I was a young teenager, right smack dab in the middle of the height of my card collection. Now my mother, like everyone else's, abhorred my collection. I think she told me to stop after my second pack. I don't think any of my other relatives collected baseball cards except my one cousin, Chris. His mother, my aunt Joyce, attempted several times to trash his collection too. He was several years older than I was and I assumed his collection was long since lost. Then, one day, completely out of the blue, my aunt showed up with several boxes and bags of hand-me-down clothes like she always did after each spring cleaning it seemed. I always rolled my eyes because it was always crappy, out of style stuff no self-respecting teen would ever wear to school. But this time she also had a large box. By large I mean the kind of large box you might get from a grocery store if they were nice enough to give you free boxes to move with. She set it on the table with a thud.
It was his collection. Or what was left of it.
There to my utter amazement were literally handfuls upon handfuls of '79,'80,'81 and '83 Topps. I dropped everything and sat at the dining room table transfixed for literally hours poring over the cards. It was like I had ripped boxes of the stuff. After quick inspection it appeared there were maybe a few packs worth of '79's. There were also several hundred '81's and nearly complete sets of '80 and '83. Wow. I sat there and poured over each card, reading all the backs like it was some sort of ancient artifact. They were all nearly mint too, it was like going back in time. I could tell Chris was no novice as nearly all of the star cards and rookies were missing except a Frank Viola '83 rookie that slipped under the radar. BUT, nearly all the 1980 Topps stars and rookies were still there, except the Henderson, which, I already had, but that's a whole other story. Hey, I'm getting some great future post ideas here! I can't possibly describe how exciting it was to shuffle through mint Ozzie Smiths, Nolan Ryans, George Bretts and Pete Roses. What I wouldn't give to have all those cards back and use the wonders of the blogosphere to finish off those sets. Not to mention the Bay to sell off the doubles for extra card money.
*Sigh* Well, maybe someday, when I win the lottery, I can go back and finish what I started...