Skip to main content

Another first for newbie night owl

The other day I went to the mall to buy some new tires. Always a fun purchase. As usual, they didn't have the tires that I wanted. They were "out." But, amazingly, they had another brand of tire that was "the cheapest one we have," but still more expensive than the one I wanted.

I've been through this charade before. So, after a little haggling, I let them put some new tires on my vehicle and I hit the mall while they did the dirty deed. To ease my pain, I hit the overpriced hobby shop that is right next door.

I didn't have much money, especially after taking a hit on the tires, but I knew I wanted to grab a couple packs of Finest for one reason only. And that is: I have never bought a pack of Finest in my entire life. Never. Shocking isn't it? But I'm still keeping my card collector badge.

So I was prepared to take the plunge. The guy behind the counter was giddy when I asked for Finest. Then he reached in the box and pulled out the last pack. There was no second pack. I looked at the other 2009 options. Base Upper Deck and Topps. Stuff I can find in retail. Then I heard myself say, "I'll take a pack of SPx." I don't know why I said that. I don't like SPx. But I'm happy I did say that. And with that bit of foreshadowing, let's see what I got:

FINEST PACK (5 cards in a pack)

#149 - Jason Bourgeois, White Sox.

Never heard of this guy. He's now playing in the Brewers organization. I turned the card over to try to figure out who he was and two things caught my attention.

The first was that he had played 964 minor league games (!) in his career. Now that is a career minor leaguer. I later found out that he finally made his major league debut for the White Sox last September.

But the other thing that drew my eye was the trivia question. The question asks: "Who is the only player to hit in four triple plays in one game?" I read that and immediately knew something was screwed up. Four triple plays in one game? Any player who did that would have burnt the stadium down. I certainly would have heard of it before.

No, the question should have been, "Who is the only player to hit into four triple plays in a CAREER?" And the answer is Brooks Robinson. And I'm sure that Brooksie thought four in a career was plenty.

#7 - Jose Reyes, Mets. There sure are a lot of photos of the Mets playing on Mother's Day this year. Lots of pink wristbands. I'm not a Reyes fan. A lot of shenanigans going on with that guy.

#128 - Phil Coke, Yankees. The Ross Ohlendorf of 2009 cards.

#122 - Joe Saunders, Angels, refractor. I didn't even know it was a refractor until I typed this. I pull a stunning number of Angels cards. I have pulled three Angels jersey cards this year. I already sent one to RWH. He'll be happy to know he's getting the other two, too.

#126 - Andrew Carpenter, Phillies. Another guy I barely know.

And that completes the pack. Not a happy one. Certainly not worth the money. Time to open the SPx pack.

SPx PACK (Four cards in a pack -- but not this one)

#84 - John Smoltz, Braves. Pictured with the Braves, which is how things should be.

#571 - 20th anniversary Upper Deck retro shmetro Nolan Ryan gets last win of his career. The only thing good about this card is it was covering up this:

Winning Materials, triple swatchy relic thingy of Red Sox pitchers Curt Schilling, Josh Beckett and Daisuke Matsuzaka. Quite nice. And the card makes sense. Every player is with the same team and they're all pitchers. No pairing of Miguel Cabrera with Randy Johnson and trying to force feed it to collectors. I guess you could complain that Schilling hadn't pitched since 2007, but it's still cool.

OK, on to the business at hand. To you Red Sox fans who are drooling, here are the ground rules. Red Sox bloggers with whom I've traded get first crack at this card. That means Pursuit of 80sness, Thoughts and Sox, Cardboard Icons, and possibly someone else I'm forgetting. Andy of Traded Sets also gets a shot because I know he likes the relics. Also, if you're a reader that I've traded with before, you get first crack, too. Send me an email if you're interested. I am looking for something Dodgerish in exchange. Something on a similar scale or vintagey. If I don't hear from any of those guys, then I'll listen to anyone else.

#JD-72 - Joe DiMaggio Career Highlight series. Joe D. hits for the cycle for the second time in his career. This is numbered 268/425. Why they have a series like this numbered is beyond my comprehension.

#19 - Adam Dunn, Diamondbacks (now with the Nationals). Meh.

Well, I never thought I'd say this, but the SPx pack just obliterated the Finest pack. Shows you what the newbie knows.


  1. That Red Sox triple swatch card belongs to me.


  2. That is why I decided to pick up the White Sox Finest team set on the cheap on eBay this year. I cost less than a pack of Finest.

    Nice pull in the SPx!

  3. Very nice pull. You know, though, the only reason I read to the end of your blog entries is to glance over at Alyssa Milano. Thanks.

  4. Sweeeet. Keep pulling those Halos, I can always make room for them. haha

  5. Thanks for the shot, but A) I have nothing to trade since I sent all my good stuff to gcrl in return for nothing and B) I hate the Red Sox and Schilling in particular.
    Nice pull, though!

  6. OK, It's a done deal. The Red Sox triple relic will be headed to Newspaperman.

    Thanks for playing!

  7. Great relic pull. And you got a Phillie in your Finest pack. I haven't even seen this product in my area.

  8. love b. robinson! I can't believe he hit four triple amazing! I heard he is playing in the sports challenge soon...sounds cool. I love the cards!

  9. Awesome pull man! I got a hit out of my one and only spx pack. it was a Mariano rivera/paplebon dual!


Post a Comment

Popular posts from this blog

Addressing the elephant in the room

A few people have noticed: I changed the way the blog looked with zero fanfare earlier this week.

I've changed my blog appearance, I think, six times now, although one was just a header swap. Just about all of those came with a bit of a warning or explanation.

I didn't think that was necessary this time, mostly because I've been doing this for over a decade, am pretty established, and don't think I need to justify my decisions here.

But also I thought that people were familiar with the general changes in web sites over the last two, three, four years and wouldn't be that affected by it. For the most part that seems to be true -- or, no one cares and they're all looking at pretty instagram pictures.

I've received a couple of questions though and just because I hate the feeling that some readers are lost, I'll explain what I can.

The changes, like many web site changes, are related to mobile phone use.

I've been irked by the way my blog looks on my p…

Mind explosion: a different way to sort

This may have been one of the most tedious blog posts to put together in the history of this blog, but I think it's for a good cause.

The reason I'm not entirely sure is because I didn't have time to carry it out for a few more attempts, got to shovel that 7 inches of heavy wet snow plopped on my estate on Nov. 12th.

Anyway, a couple of days ago, Colbey from Cardboard Collections was sorting his Topps Holiday set by card number and asked a very common question that I've seen come up many times during my blogging career:

 This is always a satisfying question because this is how I organize my sets when I'm organizing by card number. At the top of the post I showed cards from the 2019 Topps flagship set being sorted in that manner -- stacks separated by hundreds first, then you create separate stacks by 10s within each hundreds stack, then finally order each of the 10s by card number.

I've done this since I was a kid and first knew the card numbers on the back me…

Looking at cards with Johnny B.

Over the weekend, I got a chance to express my inner Mike Oz and share some baseball cards with a former major league player.

I'm working on a story for my paper that involves ex-player Johnny Wockenfuss, who is almost a cult figure with fans of a certain age (I am one) and especially fans of the Detroit Tigers during the '70s and '80s.

I won't go into much detail -- at least not now -- because I'm still in the middle of working on it, have more gathering to go, and I get very protective of my stories while I'm in the middle of the process. Got to retain that exclusive, you know.

But I will say that I was able to sit in the home of Wockenfuss, give him the cards that I have of him in my collection, and ask his opinion on them.

Yeah, cool. Way cool.

I have 17 cards of Wockenfuss ("you have a lot of them," my wife said, and I thought "if that's a lot, what is my Hideo Nomo collection?"). Wockenfuss remembered the cards -- "every bit …