Monday, January 24, 2011

News I can use

I have beefed up the "Nightly Reading" section of the sidebar with a few more blogs that have been started over the past few weeks and months. I probably still need to add some more. I've been slacking off in that area a little.

The best thing about having so many card blogs to read (the blogroll is now at a record number, and I can't even fit all the blogs I want to squeeze in on my dashboard) is the wide variety of interests, perspectives and styles. Card blogs may be the best evidence that everyone is different, and damn, isn't it wonderful?

I try to read as much as I can, but I admit, I don't have the time and some just aren't in my field of interest. Railing at Topps Sterling for what may or may not be a sloppy mistake in a $250 box? I just don't care. I'm still trying to wrap my head around spending $250 on a modern piece of crap. Once I get past that, then I can address the other stuff. But I don't think I ever will.

I guess I'm not terribly progressive. Even with all the blogs and other online information, I still get a lot of my news from newspapers. I still trust that source of information more than any other, probably because I've worked around newspaper people all my life and know the lengths they go to in constructing a reliable, unbiased story.

I still get a thrill out of seeing newspapers from around the country. Whenever folks on the sports staff travel, they know to bring back newspapers from their travels. I did the same when I traveled. That way I can review and "borrow" ideas.

A couple of bloggers have included newspaper pages with their card packages. Not many. I know Thorzul has a couple of times. It's always appreciated. I encourage more to do the same.

For the first time, I received an entire newspaper with my cards. It came from Smed's Cards. Part of the front section is at the top of the blog. It looks to be a community paper from Eden Prairie, Minn., which is outside of Minneapolis.

Two things of note with this paper:

1. It's a tabloid, which is near-and-dear to me, as I delivered a tabloid-style paper when I was a newspaper carrier. "Tabloid" is now associated with trash journalism, but there have always been respectable papers that use a tabloid format.

2. The 24-page tabloid costs 75 cents. My paper costs 75 cents. It is a 34-40 page broadsheet. I don't want to hear a single person in my city bitch about the cost of a newspaper again. In fact I'll carry this paper around with me and use it as a visual, smack-you-upside-the-head rebuttal.

The best part of this paper is it is a year-in-review edition. Now I can catch up on all the goings-on in 2010 in the southwestern 'burbs of Minneapolis!

OK, I know you're here for cards. I just get carried away when I see newspapers.

Here are some excellent cards from Smed's Baseball Card blog. We have now exchanged cards so frequently that I have no idea where I am in the sending-receiving stage. Hopefully, we can muddle things up even more.

Almost exactly a year ago, Jerry Reuss commented on my blog. It remains the most visited post on the blog in the last year. It makes every Reuss card I receive extra fantastic.

Every time I receive a Ted Williams Company card, I am impressed with how well they were made. Front and back.

Two pitchers from Bowman Draft that could be key components for the Dodgers in 2011, or disastrous disappointments. Am I overstating that?

A pair of prospects. The top card is my first Zach Lee card, he of the first draft selection for the Dodgers in 2010. Interestingly -- but not ironically -- Lee gave up a shot to quarterback for LSU to sign with the Dodgers, while Leon Landry actually did play for LSU.

When Upper Deck decided to make an old-school OPC set in 2009, it went all-out, right down to the majorly off-center borders. But this is another black-border Dodger off the list.

It wouldn't be a Smed package without some night cards. I will show just this one because of the intensity of the play at first base. The Orioles must be trying to double-up someone. Look at Hughes' face and the woman his right shoulder. Meanwhile, the two people in dark glasses are mildly unsettling. Are they celebrities? Secret-service people?

*Sigh* I miss Vero Beach. I was never there, but I miss it anyway.

Anytime I receive a Dodger card from between 1985-90 that I do not already have, it is the highlight of the entire day.

But this card will give Steady Eddie a challenge. I believe I am very close to finishing off the most obtainable Dodger hits from 2010 A&G. I assume there is something out there that you can only get if you saw off your right arm.

Those are most of the great cards from Smed's Baseball Cards, where you not only get cards, but you also receive a dollar-off coupon on any hamburger at Lions Tap on Flying Cloud Drive in Eden Prairie!!!

Newspapers still rule.


  1. Knowing the stadium pretty well, and the local "celebrities" to a lesser extent, I don't think the sunglasses at night pair is anyone famous, although when Michael Phelps comes to games he sits in that vicinity but closer the O's dugout. That corner is a great place to get autographs before the game though!

  2. Amen Brother,
    There ain't nothing like sitting out on your porch or in an easy chair or couch, with a fresh brewed cup of coffee with dare I say a little social luricant added to it maybe, and opening a fresh paper. Reading the front page, delving inside to see what's there, reading the comics for a chuckle, scanning the op-ed page for stuff to rant about later, and pulling out your favorite pencil, or pen if you're brave, and working on the daily crossword puzzle. No sir, I'll miss the days I can't do that anymore.

  3. The big media dogs here in MN are the Star-Tribune and the Pioneer Press. I only get the Star-Tribune because the Pioneer Press doesn't do home delivery out in the SW metro. There are several suburban papers, like the one you have, and it's competitor the Eden Prairie News. Both are delivered to me, free, because I asked for them.

    I love two-newspaper towns because of the different coverage of similar events. But, there can be overkill. My home county, 28,000, in Indiana now has two papers to cover its three high schools, the drainage board, and how much money the county council isn't going to spend on projects they didn't want to do anyway.

  4. No disrespect N.O , but Im an alternative media guy myself. In my opinion The major corporations own all the major media outlets, and that includes the newspapers as well. Im not saying that's the case with your specific publication, because Im not familiar with it, but If Its anything like the N.Y Times,or the Post then most likely Its controlled by some entity with a hidden agenda.

    I know Im a nut, but what do you expect from an adult that still collects baseball cards. ( Just Joking)

    I dont trust anything the media says anymore. I do my own private research on the web, and then draw my own conclusions. I find this way to be the most honest source to get both sides of the story.

    I don't believe in the left right paradigm either. I think we would be better off with a one party system It would make watching the news, or reading the paper a little less annoying, and much more trustworthy.

    Thanks Man.


  5. You are addressing a completely different aspect of newspapers than what I wrote about. I don't even want to go down that road.

    Glad you like the look of the blog.

  6. I was referring to this ..

    "I guess I'm not terribly progressive. Even with all the blogs and other online information, I still get a lot of my news from newspapers. I still trust that source of information more than any other, probably because I've worked around newspaper people all my life and know the lengths they go to in constructing a reliable, unbiased story."

    Wow. I have been reading your blog for years, and have been outright kind to you, and thats the reply I get...

    A simple explanation would have worked fine.

  7. Yes everyone is different, and Isn't it wonderful..

  8. Jay,

    I didn't want to get into this because it isn't possible to provide a "simple explanation." Plus, I was working at the time.

    My post was intended to praise the variety of blog/online information while illustrating how I still cling to newspapers -- for better or for worse. It was an explanation or, if you wish, an indictment, of how I gather news.

    It certainly isn't an attempt to rip alternative media. I think I mentioned how much I like it in the beginning. I wouldn't be blogging if I hated it. I wouldn't be on twitter if I hated it. Do I enjoy all aspects of alternative media? No. But generally, I think it's very cool and about time.

    As someone who writes for and respects newspapers, I often feel under attack from certain online folks who seem to be vigilantly anti-newspaper or anti-sportswriter. I am neither, obviously, but I do not like feeling like I have to explain myself for enjoying newspapers or sportswriting every time I write about them.

    I agree that some newspapers have "agendas." I don't work for the New York Times, but it isn't the first time I've heard that about them. We are a much smaller paper. Some would accuse us of having agendas (although the accusers have agendas themselves). But I can't compare us to the NYT. Also, I work in sports -- there isn't a lot of political left/right in that area, or relatively so, anyway.

    I like newspapers, that's all I was trying to say. I'm hoping they can remain, perhaps evolve some, and peaceably co-exist with alternative forms of media. I'm also hoping that I can write about newspapers on this blog without feeling like I have to duck afterward.

    I just know what I like. That's all. That's all that was intended. That's all I ever want to express on this blog. It's not meant to be a political mouthpiece.

    I guess that's my simple explanation. I tried to make it shorter before, but I guess that didn't work :)

  9. We only have one paper here in Baltimore, and I enjoy the online version while sipping my morning brew. I think the social media/technology aspect of information is a bit of a generational thing. I don't mean to stereotype anyone by saying that either. I personally fall somewhere in the middle, and definitely have somewhat of a presence online, HOWEVER, I also believe that there is just too damn much information out there about people and things that I just don't care to know. There has to be a line drawn in the sand somewhere, where you acknowledge that enough is enough.

    I am also of the belief that ALL media is biased. It's impossible not to be. Everyone has an opinion, it's human nature. That opinion will always find a way to eek into a story, no matter how subtly.