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100 things I learned in 2008

Happy New Year! Mr. Sandberg is dressed for the big event, even if he is a bit confused about what year it is.

I'm looking forward to 2009. But before I ring in the new, I must ring out the old. So here is a list of a 100 things I've learned in 2008, as they relate to this collecting hobby of ours. Some of these "things" are fact, some are opinions, some are just plain nonsense. And I fudged a little bit here and there to get to 100. And I'm counting backward, like Casey Kasem.

Here's what I've learned:

100. Blasters are my friend.
99. My friend keeps reminding me of how stupid I am for picking him (her?) as a friend.

98. People exist who love 1991 Fleer and 1988 Donruss. And that's helped me enjoy them, too.
97. Short-printing, and any other tactic that produces artificial scarcity, is the ruin of this hobby. If any one factor is powerful enough to destroy this hobby, this is it.
96. Giants fans make for good trading partners. Who knew?
95. Topps has ruined…

Awesome night card, pt. 15

On this last day of 2008, it's fitting that I feature someone who had one heck of a 2008. In fact when you combine on-field success with "baseball card" success is there anyone else that had a more gangbusters year than Evan Longoria?

In terms of collecting buzz and actual on-field performance, Longoria has to be at the top. You could make a case for Albert Pujols and Josh Hamilton, I guess, but neither of their teams went to the World Series.

I admit, it took me a long time to get wind of who Longoria was. I'm about as far away from a "prospector" as you can get. But I'm on board now. There really is no hype with this guy. He's a fine, fine player who should have a long, long career.

Here's to ya, Evan, for a great 2008. And anyone who calls you "Eva" in 2009 is just an idiot.

Stadium Club deja vu ... again

I read with interest Cardboard Junkie's account today of the two different Topps Stadium Club blasters that he had busted and how similar they were. That's because I bought an SC blaster yesterday, and noticed it was remarkably similar to dayf's blasters.

How similar? Well dayf listed a side-by-side, card-by-card account of each of his two blasters. I'm going to put my blaster up against those two. Dayf differentiated between his two blasters with red and green Christmas colors. I'm going to put my blaster in blue, because I always like blue lights at Christmas.

Here's the startling rundown:

1 Chase Utley
1 Chase Utley
1 Chase Utley

5 Russ Martin
5 Russ Martin
5 Russ Martin

6 Curtis Granderson 1st day
6 Curtis Granderson 1st day

9 Alfonso Soriano 1st day
9 Alfonso Soriano 1st day

13 Alex Rodriguez
13 Alex Rodriguez
13 Alex Rodriguez

14 Prince Fielder

15 Alex Gordon 1st day
15 Alex Gordon 1st day

16 Jake Peavy
16 Jake Peavy
16 Jake Peavy

23 Tom Glavine
23 Tom Glavine
23 Tom Glavi…

Goodbye 2008: the inserts

I'm not dumb enough to consider "Work Hard, Get Cards" an insert, but think about it for a minute: It's not part of the base set. It's randomly inserted in packs; you don't get one in every pack. That's the definition of an insert, right?

OK, enough foolishness. This is where I count down the inserts/subset cards I got in the various packs I purchased since November. Fourteen separate packs yielded what I'm about to show, and it's a pretty depressing lot. I like the last card, and that's about it. What follows pretty much sums up what you got in retail packs in 2008. Or at least what I got. These cards and the rest, listed along the sidebar, go to the winner of the contest. You can get the rules and enter here.

Off we go:

11. Mickey Mantle, Home Run History, No. 430, Topps Chrome. This is a waste of valuable chrome. Get these out of the chrome set.

10. Dennis Kucinich, presidential campaign subset, Topps Series I. You see correctly; I ranked Ku…

10 answers ... and some other stuff

Here is a post about various items, none of them particularly related except for the fact that they all have to do with baseball cards.

First, even though I already responded to Dinged Corners' New Year's Baseball Card Questions in the comments, I noticed that others had responded on their own blogs instead. I've enjoyed reading their responses, which are much more detailed than any comment can be. So, I figured I'd do that, too. Some of these questions I've already rambled about, so bear with me.

1. If I didn't collect baseball cards, I'd collect ---
A:
I don't even like to think about this. It's like asking me what I'd do if I was a girl. I like myself just the way I am thank you! Anyway, I suppose I'd collect baseball magazines or yearbooks or something like that. I did a little of that when I was a teenager. If there were no cards around, I'd still have to keep it baseball.

2. My baseball heroes include one that you probably wouldn't…

Goodbye 2008: the best

I think this is going to serve as my "cardboard appreciation" post of the week. "Cardboard appreciations" might be my favorite posts to write, but considering this is a list of the "best" of the packs that I bought over the last two months, it's basically several "cardboard appreciations" all rolled into one. And it cuts down on some work for me! Sweet!

Remember that I'll be giving away the cards featured here in this post and all of the ones listed along the sidebar under "Win these packs!" For the rules on how to enter, just go here, and enter your guesses. This, by the way, is just one of the card contests going on right now. "Spot the Sig," over at Phungo is still going strong. Dan from Saints of the Cheap Seats is giving away autos and relics for merely answering a trivia question. And Wax Heaven is keeping us all in suspense with an upcoming contest.

So, anyway, here is what I liked about the packs I bought for t…

Goodbye 2008: the worst

To recap, this is where I review some of the cards that I have bought over the past two months. It's kind of a retrospective of what the card companies were putting on the retail shelves in 2008. I tried to pick up a pack of as many brands as possible.

I am giving away all of the packs that I bought. What you need to do in order to win the cards is take a look at the list of cards purchased along the sidebar, under "Win These Packs!" Guess which card I pulled first from each pack, guess which pack I bought first and guess which pack I bought last, and then leave a comment with all your guesses on this post or on this post. The person who guesses the most "first cards" wins all 120 cards.

What I'd like to do now is count down what I think are the worst of what I received in these packs. Some of the comments will be common complaints expressed by collectors about 2008 cards, but most are just my pet peeves. I hope these cards don't prevent you from entering…