Saturday, April 18, 2015

C.A.: 1970 Topps Jose Laboy

(Welcome to National Columnist Day. I've written a newspaper column or two, but I haven't done so in a long time. I've got a blog for spouting off now. This is Cardboard Appreciation and the 223rd in a series):

I am slowly building up inventory for my countdown of the 100 greatest cards of the 1970s. I continue to have work to do and cards to find, so I hope nobody is waiting in the theater with ticket stub in hand for the curtain to raise. It's going to be awhile.

But I made great headway with this card. This is the last of my "Goodbye to March" purchases.

The 1970 Topps set doesn't get much credit for photography, probably because of all the airbrushing. But you can't get much better than an Expo choosing his weapon out of an assortment thrown into a red shopping cart as a jacketed Montreal somebody observes in the dugout behind a chain link fence.

And, oh yes, I can't forget the monstrous rookie trophy. And the blue sky. And the fact his name is "Jose Laboy". Heck, let's go ahead and declare this card No. 1 right now.

Also, I improved upon this card by accidentally getting peanut butter on the scanner, plopping the card face-down on top of the peanut butter and then scanning. You can see the stain remnants down by the "L" in "Laboy". It's Jose "Peanut Butter" Laboy!

Actually, Laboy's nickname was "Coco", and you can find out more about him on my other blog.

It took Coco Laboy 10 long years to make the major leagues and receive his first solo card. But he made it a doozy.

That's why I'm ready to declare this card as the all-time best card in the 100 greatest cards of the 19 ...

 ... oh, right.

I landed this card, too.

I've still got a lot of work to do.

Friday, April 17, 2015

He's no Kris Bryant

I'm sorry. I have no Kris Bryant cards for you.

I know that automatically means that half of you stopped reading. Kris Bryant is the only baseball player anyone cares about today. Twitter was a giant promotion for the three-K man earlier today.

What I do have is the Kris Bryant of 2013.

Remember Yasiel Puig?

Puig is an elder statesman now. Just the other day he said he was going to cut down on his bat flips because he wants to show American fans he's not "disrespecting the game." As many have said, this makes me sad. Never did I feel that Puig showed any disrespect for the game, but obviously others did. And I hope they're happy. You've crushed joy and stomped on elation.

But now that Puig has become just another boring veteran, grooming himself for a future season of "Dancing With the Stars," I am able to acquire Puig cards much more easily.

Not long ago, I received some cards from Boobie T (that's his Twitter name, don't get mad at me), who I used to know as blogger but now know as a tweeter. He sent them from his new location, California-way.

The majority of cards were of a certain former baseball card sensation now fitting himself for golf slacks.

I especially appreciate the Toys R Us parallel as those things are so much of a bitch to find that I don't even bother.

I also received a blue slate parallel of Luis Cruz attempting touch a Marlins player who is disappearing particle by particle.

And here's a Through The Years reprints card from 2001 Topps. I just figured out what this was, even though I have several other Dodgers from this set.

Even though Puig now says he's going to try to avoid pissing off people like Brian McCann, I hope the rest of his enthusiasm remains because he's still a hell of a lot of fun to watch, and I like my baseball fun.

I also really hope there's at least a few bat flips left, because this has been the only card of Puig's bat flip I've been able to find:

Yes, I've already put it in my cart, but come on, Topps, you've got to capture this before the conformist nazis kill it for good.

As for Kris Bryant, good luck chasing that super-super-super-super-super-super-super-super-super-super-super-super-super-super-super-super-super-super-super short-print in Series 2.

Thursday, April 16, 2015

Well, hello there, Kmart

The Kmart in my area seems to be dangling by a perpetual thread. This is nothing different from most other communities' Kmarts, that is if they still have one. I've been to enough of them to know that I'm one of the fortunate ones in that my Kmart is relatively clean, well-stocked and there are no drug deals going down in the parking lot.

I had long given up on Kmart for being a source for cards. It was never very good in that area, but during the early years of this blog, I was able to find mega-discounted blasters of Upper Deck Spectrum and the like. However, during the last several years, the "card area" shrank until it was maybe a couple of racks, next to the service desk, where you had to shop for cards right next to a couple of female employees gabbing about whatever. I've never felt more like a nerd in my adult life.

My retail card choices have been Target and Walmart, and I go to them equally because the card availability is a little different at each one, but still plentiful.

Except that I noticed that Walmart's card choices had grown progressively smaller over the last six months and have reached the point where it's not worth going there anymore.

Meanwhile, Kmart appears to have taken over for Walmart.

When I received a rack pack of 2015 Heritage for Easter from my wife, I asked where she got it and was stunned when she said "Kmart".

She went on to say that there was a whole section of baseball cards from different years.

"Kmart?" I said.

"Yes. Kmart," she said.

This I had to see.

So, I did yesterday. She was right. At the front of the store, but quite a ways from the registers, was a wide section devoted to trading cards. There were blasters and rack packs and sticker books and even supplies.

The cards weren't from only this year, too. There were racks of 2014 and 2013 and 2012 Topps, as well as the usual discounted Upper Deck packs. And there were football and hockey cards, too.

This was more than I had ever seen at Kmart.

But I didn't have much money to spend on cards after the recent card show. I was intrigued by a 36-card rack pack of 2013 Topps that was marked down to 3 bucks, so I went with that.

Note what it says on the pack. "Includes 3 blue-bordered exclusive parallel cards!"

These are packs obviously meant for Walmart. So, that's where all of Walmart's cards went!

Either someone from Kmart went to Walmart and stole all of their cards, or Kmart is now acting as a discount outlet for Walmart.

This makes me want to look at the other packs and see if there is stuff earmarked for Target in there, too. Whatever the case -- and I know nothing about retail doings at all anymore -- it is very weird to me.

Those are the "Kmart exclusive" blue parallels that I received in the pack. (Yay, a Dodger! But I have it already).

I fully intend to revisit Kmart to get a better idea of what is going on there.

It's good to have a reason to go to Kmart again.

Meanwhile, there might be some best news of all out of this whole thing:

I may never need to go to Walmart again.

Wednesday, April 15, 2015

'A life is not important except in the impact it has on other lives'

By now, you've seen several tributes to Jackie Robinson today, whether they were strictly baseball-related or with a baseball card twist.

I have my own tribute, but, of course, I have to lead into it with a little story.

Last month, a longtime employee where I work retired. He had been there for decades and worked in the same department as me. In fact, when the job posting went up for "sports editor," we both applied. I received the job, and became my once co-worker's boss.

This person was a gruff, ornery sort, full of opinions and less and less accepting of new ideas and policies as the years passed. Some days, he barely said hello and didn't bother saying goodbye. I knew all about what he thought of this college basketball player and that NFL referee, but I could never get a good read on what he thought of me or his co-workers. You always wondered because of how hypercritical he could be and how resistant he was to orders from above.

That's mostly what I knew of him for 25 years -- bluster, bluster, bluster, pissed-off, loud, a man's man who liked the big four in sports (except replace hockey with golf) and little else.

But he could be cordial in the right setting and our working relationship was adequate enough. There was a retirement luncheon for him and everyone left feeling good.

Later that night, I checked my email. There was one final email from my now ex-employee. It was a thank you. He was thanking me for putting up with him. He said he knew he could be stubborn, but I always found a way around that and he appreciated that. He said that over the years, he learned from me how to be a better person and said that he had been trying in recent years to follow my example.

This floored me. I nearly bawled right there in my chair. Wow.

And it came to me, that quote from Jackie Robinson: "a life is not important except in the impact it has on other lives."

I think of that quote all the time. I believe everyone should think of that quote all the time. But sadly hardly anyone does. And there are lots of times that I think, "if that person only knew how many people he/she is affecting by what they are doing."

Often, I don't even think of how my actions or words are going to affect someone or the chain reaction they will create (heck, it even happens on this blog). But that chain reaction is there. It's real. Very real. And it can be massive. One decision -- no matter how insignificant it seems -- can change a direction, a relationship, a life, a community, just about anything, and on the largest scale.

"A life is not important except in the impact it has on other lives."

So how did Jackie Robinson, a black man from the south, born to a family of sharecroppers, whose career was done 10 years before I was born, affect a white, northern boy who didn't even know what baseball was by the time Robinson died.

Well, other than the obvious -- a great affection for the Dodgers and the 1950s Bums and the admiration for the concepts and struggles of Robinson and Branch Rickey and those who followed -- there is one that is more personal to my journey as a fan.

I grew up in the '70s in a lily-white small city in Upstate New York. In grade school, I knew one black kid. That was it. His name was Henry. I was in fourth grade. We played with him for a little while and then I don't know what happened. He moved or I switched schools or whatever. Henry wasn't there anymore.

But even though I didn't see any black people in real life, I did see them on my baseball cards.

And, you know what? I thought they were the coolest players of all.

I can't tell you where this came from -- I had no concept of "cool" when I was 10 years old, other than whatever cereal my mother brought home. And it wasn't like "Good Times" was on the TV or the family was heading out to watch "Superfly". Perhaps something clicked during an episode of "The Electric Company," but I'm telling you, my favorite players from the time I pulled the first cards out of a pack in 1975, were black.

For every Ron Cey or Frank Tanana, there was Ellis Valentine, Lenny Randle and Bobby Tolan. Willie Wilson, Jim Bibby and Hal McRae, Gene Richards, Grant Jackson and Al Oliver.

You know those cards that you liked as a kid and you can't pinpoint anything on the card that would make it anything special? The thread running through quite a few of those cards for me is that the player pictured on the card is black.

In fact, I can create an entire team of my favorite African-American baseball players from the '70s.

Here it is:

First base: George Scott. The man who taught me the meaning of the home run.

Second base: Dave Cash. A cardboard favorite from the first time I saw it in my friend's collection on the school playground and I had to trade for it.

Shortstop: Garry Templeton. There were very few starting African-American shortstops when I was following baseball in the '70s. I can come up with Templeton and Ozzie Smith and that's it.

Third base: Bill Madlock. He had to shed his Cubness and Giantness first, but as a member of the Pirates, I liked him a lot.

Outfield: Ralph Garr, Garry Maddox, Reggie Smith

Fantastic cards. The outfields in the '70s were packed with black heroes. Aside from those just featured, how about Dave Parker, Bake McBride, George Foster, Ken Griffey, Dusty Baker, Omar Moreno, Lou Brock, Gary Matthews, Jim Wynn, Roy White, Oscar Gamble, Jim Rice, Al Cowens, George Hendrick, Ron LeFlore, Larry Hisle, Bill North and Chet Lemon?

Catcher: Manny Sanguillen. I don't know if his cards do his personality justice, but I still love all of them.

Pitcher: Vida Blue. Blue had back-to-back cards (1975 and 1976) that I absolutely neeeeeeded. Whoever first opened a '76 Vida Blue card around me certainly could see the drool on my face.

There are so many '70s favorites that are missing from this team: Dock Ellis, Cecil Cooper, Eddie Murray, Willie Crawford, Bump Wills, John Mayberry, Willie Horton, Don Baylor, Claudell Washington, Frank White. Heck, I even thought Willie Randolph was OK, and on a good day you could get me to say the same thing about Reggie Jackson.

These were my allegiances during the '70s -- outside of the Dodgers, of course. And that is what helped shape my ideas today, as I read about those players and their backgrounds, and as I grew older and grasped more mature concepts. If Jackie Robinson never broke baseball's color barrier, maybe none of those players emerge when I'm growing up. Maybe another player breaks the color barrier many years later, but it's too late for me because I was a teenager and too old to collect cardboard.

"A life is not important except in the impact it has on other lives."

About a year-and-a-half ago, I wrote a story about one of the first black students to play competitive collegiate hockey. It was a long story with a lot of research. I thought of Jackie Robinson when I wrote it and even referenced him in the story. I put my all into that story and I know I wouldn't have if I wasn't raised on baseball the way I was in the '70s.

That story won first prize in a state contest. I have a standing invitation from the story subject to come over for dinner. The owner of the paper said he still gets comments from people about that story almost two years later.

When you think about it, I pretty much owe it to Jackie Robinson.

That was his impact. He changed things infinitely -- on the large scale you always hear about and on much smaller ones like my examples.

"A life is not important except in the impact it has on other lives."

You never know who you're going to affect.

Tuesday, April 14, 2015

Look! I'm in the club

A few posts ago, I wrote about how I was a "cardboard tweener," someone who was raised on baseball cards between the arrival of the two great breakthrough players in cardboard history -- Mickey Mantle and Ken Griffey Jr.

I said I don't have much interest in acquiring cards of either player, despite the fact that cards of those two are pursued by vast quantities of collectors. Griffey cards are coveted by bloggers, in particular, probably because most folks chasing Mantle cards are still trying to figure out email.

I've always felt like an outsider because I don't care about owning the famed '89 Upper Deck Griffey or any rookie Griffey.

But the biggest Griffey card collector that I know was not going to stand for that.

I knew it was coming and here it is. I'm the proud owner of a Ken Griffey Jr. rookie card.

It's not the Upper Deck rookie, but that doesn't matter to me -- didn't you just read what I said? -- I prefer the Donruss Griffey anyway, as someone who is a closet collector of '89 Donruss (shut up, no, I don't want your '89 Donruss).

So, now, I'm in the club. So what do we all do in this club? Tell stories about the first time we saw Ken Griffey Jr? Roast mini marshmallows shaped like Griffey's head? Tell me! I'm one of you now.

Of course, as an enthusiastic player-collector, the Junior Junkie knows that Hideo Nomo cards are more of my thing, and he sent a whole bunch of them.

He even sent cards of Nomo on other teams:

I don't really collect those ones, but they're nice to get.

As for the Dodgers, I can't believe I'm saying this, given how many Nomo cards there are, but it's getting slightly tricky to find a Dodger Nomo card that is new to me.

These ones were:

The Diamond Duos card is particularly snazzy, although it pulls that late '90s trick by featuring Mike Piazza on the back, so now I need a second card. I hate that trick.

The Junkie also filled some other 1990s (and 2000s) holes in my Dodger collection.

I love that Frank Howard card.

I have this card already, but it was scanned by the old scanner, which didn't know how to treat refractors. My recent scanner -- despite all of its faults -- knows refractors. See it shine.

Here is what is known as "patch overload". This card is very thick -- so it can accommodate all of the patchiness. The photo of Reese is recessed and so tiny that it's like looking at his photo in a microscope. However, form a row of these cards and you could roll around in patchy glory for days.

As usual, the Junkie's card package also arrived with beads.

It's too bad I didn't post these cards when they showed up a week or two or go because I could have shown funky a picture of Mardi Gras beads in the snow.

I have now assembled enough beads that I'm tempted to throw them out the upstairs window and see what happens.

But I guess I'll have to wait until Mardi Gras 2016 for that. Girls get ready ...

... because I'm in the club.

Monday, April 13, 2015

Maybe we all belong in a nursing home

I opened the back door into the kitchen where my wife was peering into the food pantry. She looked at me, confused, and said: "What?"

"Forgot my money," I said and hurried upstairs.

That was clue No. 1. And I hadn't even started on my journey.

From there, the signs of advancing age and senility were all over Sunday's card show adventure. Looking back on it now, I know that this hobby of ours is not a young man's pursuit. Sure, there were kids at the card show. There always are. But, what I heard, over and over on Sunday, was the sound of cranky old men.

It began with this cranky, old man setting out, filling up his gas tank and then realizing in mid-pump that he left his cash back home.

But I drove an hour without any further absentmindedness and made it to the show. The Syracuse card show takes place at the state fairgrounds and there are always other activities going on as I make my way to the building that houses the show. This time, I had to weave my way around people leading young cows to wherever people lead young cows. I parked in my usual area, way in the back, and gathered up my list, my "dollar-off" flyer and my entry fee cash. As I walked to the show building, the loud speakers at the fairgrounds were blaring "Lady" by the Little River Band.

"Lady" is an awful song, even I realize that as someone who was a fan of LRB when I was young (the first record album I ever bought was "First Under the Wire"). I was shocked to hear it, and my first thought was, "That song is so old!"

Clue No. 2.

After paying my fee, I looked at the familiar set-up and did what I usually do -- tour the entire hall to see who and what is available. People always ask me how many dealer tables there were and I always forget to count, but I'd say there were 55-60. That's maybe five or 10 tables less than what I remember as peak capacity (I've been to these shows for the last seven or eight years).

As I began my tour, a sign on one table caught my eye. "Every card 10¢". A dime box! This is the first one I had ever seen, and I definitely wanted to check it out, given all the good things I've heard about them. But there was some teenager dominating some football cards right in front of the sign, so I moved on.

As I tour, I'm looking for familiar tables, even if I don't plan to visit them. I saw one right away -- he's the guy who sold me a lot of my 1975 Topps when I was first trying to complete it 10 years ago. I spotted another familiar dealer who I always visit for modern base needs. Finally, I spotted the one vintage guy who gets two-thirds of my business. He doesn't have everything I want, but he always has something I want.

I didn't bring a lot of money for the show -- less than usual -- which is dangerous given my collecting interests. And, most dangerous of all, a binder of 1972 Topps was just about the first thing I saw on the vintage guy's table -- a binder of the second half of the '72 Topps set, a.k.a. "high numbers," a.k.a. "cards that I need that are not cheap."

But '72 Topps wants was the first thing I wrote on my want list the night before, so I succumbed to fate and started pulling '72 Topps highs.

"The Major" was the first card I pulled. He's card #533. Not too pricey, and I felt pretty good about it.

Next up was Ron Santo "In Action". Topps wants you to think this is a home run, but I'm thinking a foul ball that a fan dropped and everyone pointed and laughed. Santo is #556.

More "In Action" with wife-swapper Fritz Peterson. He's #574.

At this point I noticed two things. One, the dealers behind the tables were talking about hamburgers. One dealer asked the other dealer what he had. "A cheeseburger," he said. The other dealer said, "that sounds pretty good. I'm hungry. I think I'll get one in a little bit."

This always baffles me. Yes, I know they're dealers and they handle cards all the time. Crazy rare old ones and all of that, but for the love of god, you're surrounded by cards and you're talking about hamburgers???? Do you know how long I've waited to get here????

I think I was getting cranky because of the second thing: there was heat from a vent above blasting down on me. I could feel it right on the back of my neck, like the sun on the beach in early August. It was annoying. I wanted to mention how annoying it was, but I figured the dealer knew about it already since he had been standing there all day, so I suffered in silence.

But good gosh, it was so hot. Why do they have the blasted heat on here? Maybe I should see if someone can turn it down. This is really uncomfortable ...

Clue No. 3.

Next card is #579, Doyle Alexander. Alexander pitched for the Dodgers in 1971 but never appeared in a Dodger uniform on a Topps card. I'm wondering if he's wearing one right now though (with the brim painted Orioles orange).

Since I'm pretty far along in my collecting of the '72 set, whenever I'm looking through '72s, I start feeling guilty about not going to the very high numbers. I know I've got to shell out cash for those some day, and I don't want to do it all at once.

So I went straight to the back of the book.

#690 - Willie Montanez

#726 - Dick Selma

#738 - Jim Merritt

#743 - Cesar Gutierrez

#746 - The myth, the man, the legend, Lowell Palmer

#770 - Jim Wynn. Wanted this card for a long time.

#784 - Ken Aspromonte. Whoever owns the house in the background is extremely lucky to have their second-story window captured for all of time on a baseball card.

I knew this was eating away at my cash, so I cut myself off to find something else. I spotted a binder of Kellogg's cards, but most of the ones I wanted (mid-1970s) were very picked over. I thought I might look for some '70s Hostess cards, but didn't see a binder.

I asked the dealer if he had any, and given his reaction, I'm quite sure I was the first person to ever ask this guy -- who has old cards from every year, every brand and every sport, by the way -- if he had Hostess cards.

He told me if they were anywhere, they'd be in a binder of miscellaneous goodies -- there was everything in there, Play Ball cards, '60s Bazooka, etc. I spotted two Hostess cards. One was Pete Rose, but it was too pricey for me. I grabbed the other one:

Yeah, I can see myself trying to complete the '76 Hostess set.

At this point, a man plopped down next to me. I didn't see him right away, but I knew from the conversation between the two that he was a regular customer. When he sat in the chair, he kind of groaned and said to the dealer "it's hell to get old". Then he started talking about how it's difficult to find cards these days, how there are no stores you can just walk to anymore.

I turned to look toward him because surely he had heard of the internet. What I saw was myself in about 25 years. He was a man in his '70s, short, thin, soft-spoken and in love with baseball cards. "My god, that's me," I thought.

Clue No. 4.

A man behind me asked if the dealer had any old Frank Gifford cards and I thought "Frank Gifford? Who collects Frank Gifford? He's so old!"

Clue No. 5.

I had spotted a binder of Post cards and considering I just wrote about Post cards on my blog, that seemed to be fate as well. I hadn't bothered to write out a list of Post needs, but how hard could spotting Post cards that I needed be? I didn't even bother looking up my wants on my phone, I was so confident.

Which is why I ended up with this:



OK, I needed this one, but, idiot, don't you know your memory isn't full-proof anymore? Check the lists!!!

Clue No. 6.

From there, I paid what I owed and was on my way. But I planned to return there if I still had some cash.

I wanted to fill up on some current needs, so I headed straight to the dealer with the current cards, found a couple Heritage inserts from last year, and then spotted the 2015 Heritage binder.

That takes care of the majority of the Dodgers Heritage needs. Still a couple SPs and a couple base cards to go, but it's very nice to load up on team set needs when I'm not collecting the set.

As I was pulling cards, a collector starting asking the dealer basic questions about the state of collecting (whenever someone does this, I look to see if the collector is carrying a recorder because these are questions a reporter would ask). The dealer informed him that Topps held an MLB license and was the only game in town with respect to baseball and that Donruss and Fleer disappeared awhile ago.

The collector asked him whether he liked that or not, and this is what the dealer said:

"No I don't like it. They (Topps) have no competition, so they have no incentive, so they keep putting out crap."

I stood there nodding my head, which was ...
Clue No. 7.

Although I'm not as vociferous in stating this argument as some collectors, I do agree with the sentiment. I was dying to ask him which sets he thought were crap, and dammit, I really should have, but I didn't feel that great at the moment. I think it was the heat.

I paid up and then started to re-tour the tables to make sure I didn't miss anything. I arrived back to where I saw the dime box and there was nobody there. I peered into the box and pulled out a stack of cards. It was all 2010 Topps. Every single one. I looked through some more. More 2010 Topps.

"Yup," I said to myself.

I don't think I'll ever find a real dime box around here.

By then, I had a headache and the crowd noise was starting to bother me. I stopped at the table where they sell UltraPro pages (yes, I checked for some UltraPro mini-card pages, but I didn't see any). I bought a few eight-pocket pages for mid-50s cards and I thought I how pleasant it seemed at the table: no crowds, no people shouting about "authentication" -- heard that a few times -- just two older looking people enjoying their coffee.

Clue No. 8.

But I decided I owed it to myself to return to the vintage dealer's table and see if I could snag just a few more cards. As I ventured to his table, I heard a couple of people saying, "You want 'low calorie'. Don't get the 'light'. 'Light means 'light-tasting.'"

I ventured a few more tables and there was an elderly female collector (I saw a handful of female collectors) discussing Moose Skowron cards with a dealer ("Moose Skowron? He's so old.")

It struck me how these were the conversations of people of advanced age.

I got back to the vintage dealer's table and asked for the 1956 Topps binder. I had just a few dollars left, and I started staring at a Ted Kluszewski card. I stared at it for what seemed like a long time. The dealer gave up on me and told the helper guy he was with he was going to get a hamburger, and I kept staring.

The heat was blowing on my neck again, and my head was pounding, and -- this was very weird -- I just didn't want that Kluszewski card. All I wanted was the heat to stop, and ow, my head, and can they turn that blasted heat off????

I closed the binder and I walked away.

I still had 20 dollars in my pocket. That never happens.

I lingered at the table that features flyers of upcoming shows. I pocketed a flyer for the next show, lingered a little longer because I felt I should be at the show for longer than the time it took me to drive there.

And then I left, to get out in the fresh air.

Clue No. 9.

As I was walking back to my car, four guys ahead of me had just left the show. The one guy was talking about how one time he ate a whole bunch of popcorn and then he went home and ate even more popcorn and he ended up in the hospital that night. The doctor told him he had an abnormal blockage.

It was then that I realized:

This is what it's going to be like in the nursing home.

People are going to talk about the foods they eat and whether they're good for them or not. They're going to talk about the old days and how you can't do what you used to or how everything has disappeared and it's not like it once was, they're going to be forgetful and cranky.

My god, we're old and I was just basically buying cards in a nursing home.

All the clues added up.

OK, sure, there were a number of young people there. Kids scurrying everywhere and those guys with the forearm tattoos. But this is old night owl here and I don't usually hang out at the tables with the young collectors.

As I got closer to the car, I heard the music from the loudspeakers again. It was "Tell Me Something Good," by Rufus and Chaka Khan, another old song, but a great one.

I was feeling like I didn't do so well at the show, but that song was my cue to reassess and come up with "something good."

So, here's something:

That's my '72 Topps want list that I wrote out on Saturday. The crossed out numbers are the ones I knocked off yesterday. I'm pretty proud of that.

Yes, that is a very old-school way of keeping a list.

But what can I say?

I like vintage. I watch what I eat. I decry the state of baseball cards today.

I am what I am.

I collect baseball cards. I'm old.