Saturday, December 31, 2011

Should auld acquaintance be forgot ...

Sheesh. It's these guys again. Haven't they learned from last year? You don't go around bashing heads with baseball bats on New Year's Eve. It's just uncool.

But before you have to return your tux, I thought I'd regale you with a tale of the past year, Night Owl style. I don't know if it was as interesting as 2010, but it sure had its moments. Fortunately, it had its share of baseball cards, too. Which is the reason we're all doing what we're doing.

So, pour your favorite beverage, grab yourself some disgusting food (pickled herring? Really?), and let me bore you with some ancient news from a whole year ago.

Hey, it could be worse. I could be predicting what will happen in 2012.


While berating myself on the way back to the car after purchasing Bowman Platinum at Wal-Mart at 2 in the morning, the spectre of the most horrifying-looking ballplayer in the major leagues appeared from behind a row of shopping carts. I immediately passed out in the parking lot. When I awoke, a team of legless ballplayers appeared and I passed out again. The only thing that could keep me from reliving those terrible images was counting up my trifectas, dividing Stadium Club photographs into thirds and determining which Dodgers had been perfect 10s. But not, too perfect. That's reserved for Bo. ...  Derek, I mean.


Something about the Duke's passing causes me to get all melancholy on the reading audience. I wonder why things have to change so quickly. I wonder why nobody can be satisfied with anything. I wonder what happened to simpler times. To top it off, I refuse to try to complete 2011 Topps. But then someone has to go and spoil all the misery and send me one incredible card package. With -- get this -- uncut sheets!


I learn that Topps has been reading my diary when I crack a pack of Opening Day and a glow-in-the-dark night card falls out. I repay Topps by finally agreeing to collect 2011 A&G, a decision I'm almost regretting to this day. I run through a list of old-time ballplayers that I never want to see in modern sets again, and Topps responds by fighting dirty and burying me in new cards of Sandy Koufax. And, just because I have nothing to do in March, I decide to figure out how many Dodgers cards I have. In summation: it's a lot. And I have no life.


Diamond Diecut Fever hits the blog and I land a Babe-o-licious item almost immediately. Babe turns into a much preferable Jackie, which I store in my super-secret, sorry-if-my-cards-offend-you, rolltop desk. Freshly organized, I am free to wonder whether I should boot Alyssa from my blog, why Topps caved to Tim Raines' demand to call him "Rock," and what makes those Sonics that I never see so gosh darn thirst-quenching?


Diecut Fever is still raging as I manage to land a bunch of Brooklyn Bums from the '50s for a snazzy diecut. Then at the end of the month, someone sends me a Jackie card with what may or may not be Robinson's never-disclosed wooden leg (those write-ups on the back are so vague). As if that wasn't enough, a new disease called Bryce Harper Spazz-mania envelopes everyone. Well, everyone except cranky-pusses like me. But the best news of the month is I figure out that my Harmon Killebrew autograph is real. Thanks, Killer!


Good gosh, what a cranky month. My excuse was I found out the file cabinet was sold. I don't know what was up everyone else's butt. Could've been the joke trades on the diamond giveaway site. Could've been the infiltrators on your baseball cards. Or maybe it was the football card found in a pack of baseball cards. Makes me grrrrrrr just thinking about it.


Ooooooooooooooooohhh!!!!! I pull my wife's most favorite card ever. A dealer ignores me and I blow the cash meant for him at Target. My parents give me a gift of buttons and I'm happy about it. And I quit Twitter because people are really nasty in 140 characters or less.


I am introduced to the 2011 set I come closest to falling in love with -- unfortunately it is an insert set contained in the middle of a set that "has a great personality." The disappointment deepens when I find out my favorite player was a (*gag* *wretch**weeeeeze**hurl*) Will Clark fan. Then I determine that Topps included two cards of Jason Hammel in its base set and absolutely nothing in my world makes sense anymore.


I don't know what it is about September that always makes me post pictures of buxom babes, but I'm blaming the Chrome. Mmmmmmm, sweet, sweet, soft, supple, chrooooommme. ... But enough of that. There was serious journalism this month, like, um, well, for instance ... is this the worst Sandy Koufax card ever? Are blasters for suckers? Why are diamond giveaway traders so stupid/mean? But mostly, is this the best damn pack opening of all-time? The answer to the last question is, "of course. Don't be an idiot."


Somone sends me the above card. Do I even need to go on? OK, I will. I set a personal record for shortest time spent at a card show. For my reward I get dragged through a girlie store. I finish up one blog and spend my new-found freedom by finding shockingly similar photos of the same players in back-to-back sets (I'm such a nerd). Oh, and I change my blog header. Perhaps you heard. It was in all the papers.

Lastly: it's Topps, Bowman, Fleer, Donruss, Score, Upper Deck, Pacific, Pinnacle ... in THAT ORDER.


The Astros, an American League team? Someone find Selig a rest home. I can't do it myself. I'm too busy compiling the all-fish team, determining the Allen & Ginter Babe of the Year, and trying to figure out why Topps painted a "B" on the cap of Sandy Koufax, even though his uniform says "Los Angeles." By the way, where's my Pulitzer Prize?


Some helpful tips: It's worth landing a mini card of the real MVP only if you know the back way through Wal-Mart. Never store wrapped baseball cards under a Christmas tree with a known four-legged enemy of cardboard in the house. Never look at 1989 Bowman cards on a Monday morning. And finally, if you think you're pretty good at card blogging, here's a reality check.

Well, I guess that was an active enough year. Considering everything else that was going on in my life of chaos.

I hope your 2011 had at least as much cheer as all that other stuff. It's all in how you look at it I guess.

 I'll be looking at it through the beverage of my choice tonight. Hope you are, too.

Thanks for reading in the last year. Thanks for reading in the next.

Happy New Year.


  1. Great post and re-cap! Hopefully things will go better in some respects and even BETTER in others! Here's to another pack-filled year ahead! Happy New Year!

  2. Great recap NO! Have a happy, healthy 2012!