Skip to main content

One of work's perks returns

I am on vacation this week. The older I get, the better vacation gets. And the older I get, the more I think that those people who wouldn't know what to do with themselves in retirement and just love to work, work, work, tra, la, are seriously, seriously disturbed individuals.

The job, frankly, has gotten worse over the years. And when I ask others in completely different lines of work about their jobs, they say the same thing. More demands. More hours. Less pay. Fewer perks.

Did I say perks? Yes, perks.

There used to be perks at my job. They would come in the form of free stuff sent by various PR firms in hopes that you would review the items and give them some publicity. The entertainment section of the newspaper would get this stuff all the time. Movie promotions. Tickets. New food products. CDs. The sports section didn't get nearly as much, but every once in awhile, a sports book would arrive in the mail. Back in the late '90s, baseball card samples regularly appeared.

But it's been a long time since I've seen free baseball cards at work.

Periodically, a book will show up still. It's usually something I don't care about -- Syracuse University sports, hunting & fishing, golf, auto racing. We're a small paper, so we don't have the resources to do a regular book review. Plus the arrival of free stuff comes with the implication that we're being bribed for a good review, which always raises journalists' ire. Usually, whatever the item, it goes to someone in the office who is most interested in it.

On Friday, the last day before my vacation, a book package arrived and I wondered who would be getting this book.

Then I pulled this out of the package:



A book about baseball cards?????!!!!!!!!!

Come to papa.

Yeah, yeah, it's all about the Yankees. That's a definite drawback. But not shocking living where I live. So many lost people here.

The book is an ode to the Yankees and Topps baseball cards of Yankees. It's no surprise that the book was put out by Topps. Aside from the YES network, I think Topps is the biggest Yankee propagandist in the world.

The text in the book is written by Bob Woods, a lifelong Yankee fan and the creator of Topps Magazine, which had a four-year run in the early 1990s.

Outside of my own anti-Yankee bias -- I am incredulous that anyone could write about the Yankees so lovingly when I find it rather obvious that George Steinbrenner squeezed the last remaining bit of love out of the team long ago -- I consider it a nice picture book.

That's basically what it is, pictures of 100 Yankees cards, separated by decades. You get a full-color picture of a certain Yankees card on the right side of the page, and then a smaller image of the card back on the left side of the page, with a brief blurb about the player, written by Woods.

It's not deep writing, and you won't find much you didn't already know, but the pictures are fun to view. Looking at the back of the often seen 1952 Mickey Mantle is a kick. Viewing some of the very few Yankees cards from the '70s that I've never seen before is also interesting.

I'd show some of the pages here, but my scanner goes ballistic if I scan anything thicker than a piece of paper.

Fortunately, there was something in the book that was as thin as a piece of paper.


Yup, it came with free cards. Just like I'm sure many of you noticed when you saw the book cover.

These are four cards made exclusively as promotional material for the book. This is mentioned on the back of the cards -- which look just like 2012 Topps card backs, with each players' full stats and an "NYY1," "NYY2," etc. for the card number.

Really, these cards are the biggest kick for me. The pictures are fun to view in the book, and I love books about baseball cards, but cards are where it is AT.

Unfortunately, the cards are about the Yankees, and really I don't need these in my house.

So I am willing to trade the cards. I'd think about trading the book, too, but there is packaging involved, and the book is actually quite heavy for its size, so I may just hang on to the book.

But if you want the cards -- make me an offer (email only, please). You know what I like. Best offer gets the cards.

I have to make the most of this. It could be another 15 years before a perk like this arrives at my job again.

And who knows how much my job will have regressed by then.

Comments

TheHitKing said…
I think all Mantle cards made today are crazy, they never look like the him? whats the deal
Heart Break Kid said…
would love the Mick card homie
You know this is in my wheelhouse. I'll shoot you an email if the cards other than the Mick are still available.
Dhoff said…
Mantle, Yogi, Reggie, and...Paul O'Neil?
I'm glad I don't have access to the YES network. I'd hate to accidentally have the tv stop on that station.

Free books are cool though, especially since I know a lot of the cards in there aren't from the ERA in which I came to dislike the Yankees so much.
flywheels said…
I run a big self storage facility in Charlotte and the only perks my job offers is crap left behind in some of the units. The only time I've found cards was a big shoe box full of early 90's NBA Hoops and Skybox cards. Boring. I believe the same unit had a binder full of 1987 Topps baseball as well. Meh. Best thing I've found that pops into the old noggin' was a loose Game Boy Advance game of Zelda...

Your perks are better than mine hands down.
Need to get that O'Neill, might have to buy the book.
Two Packs A Day said…
you yanks fans can O over that book all you want, I"ll just keep enjoying my big coffeetable book of Topps (base) cards 1951-1986.
(all teams included. ;)

Popular posts from this blog

This guy was everywhere

It's interesting how athletes from the past are remembered and whether they remain in the public conscious or not.

Hall of Fame players usually survive in baseball conversations long after they've played because they've been immortalized in Cooperstown. Then there are players who didn't reach the Hall but were still very good and somehow, some way, are still remembered.

Players like Dick Allen, Rusty Staub, Vida Blue and Mickey Rivers live on decades later as younger generations pick up on their legacies. Then there are all-stars like Bert Campaneris, who almost never get discussed anymore.

There is just one memory of Campaneris that younger fans most assuredly know. I don't even need to mention it. You know what's coming, even if Lerrin LaGrow didn't.

But there was much more to Campaneris than one momentary loss of reason.

A couple of months ago, when watching old baseball games on youtube hadn't gotten old yet, I was watching a World Series game from…

Some of you have wandered into a giveaway

Thanks to all who voted in the comments for their favorite 1970s Topps card of Bert Campaneris.

I didn't know how this little project would go, since I wasn't installing a poll and, let's face it, the whole theme of the post is how Campaneris these days doesn't get the respect he once did. (Also, I was stunned by the amount of folks who never heard about the bat-throwing moment. Where am I hanging out that I see that mentioned at least every other month?)

A surprising 31 people voted for their favorite Campy and the one with the most votes was the one I saw first, the '75 Topps Campy card above.

The voting totals:

'75 Campy - 11 votes
'70 Campy - 4
'72 Campy - 4
'73 Campy - 4
'76 Campy - 4
'74 Campy - 3
'78 Campy - 1

My thanks to the readers who indulged me with their votes, or even if they didn't vote, their comments on that post. To show my appreciation -- for reading, for commenting, for joining in my card talk even if it might …

Selfless card acts

The trouble with the world, if I may be so bold to weigh in (it's not like anyone else is holding back), is that not enough people think outward.

Take a look at just about every world problem that there is, and within each of those individual maelstroms, is somebody, usually a lot of folks, thinking only of themselves.

Looking out for No. 1 is a big, big problem on this earth. One of the biggest. And it's not getting better. I see it coming from all directions and all sides. No one is innocent. Everyone is guilty. Selfishness is the crime.

Our hobby is not immune. That's what makes the baseball card blog community so great, because it's a daily example of what can be achieved when you think of others first, before yourself.

Selflessness is such a staple of card blogs that some collectors have become immune to its charms. "Oh boy, here's another post about what somebody got thanks to the goodness of someone's heart. I don't need to read THAT." I a…