I don't really enter blog contests anymore. It's not that I don't like winning things. It's just that I don't have the time.
I pride myself in trying to read as many card blogs as possible on a daily basis (I have 360 on the blog roll). But it's getting more and more difficult. And the maximum effort that I can guarantee is that I will skim your blog post. I'll get more heavily invested in certain blogs, but on average it's done, done, onto the next one.
Especially at this time of year. You should see my daily life. It's a wreck of chaos with me wandering around in a haze as the bombs go off. And you're asking me to take the time out for a contest? Sorry, I'm trying to put out this bonfire with a teaspoon of water. I'll get back to you.
So a week or so ago, I was doing my usual blog skimming, trying desperately to keep up, and I happened upon some cavalcade of contests produced by 30-Year-Old Cardboard. Brian, being the generous sort that he is, wasn't holding one contest, but like seven of them. I don't know exactly how many because life doesn't want me to know things like that.
The contests basically involved saying "gimme!" and then leaving. That's my kind of contest. So I entered a couple -- whichever ones I stumbled across in my periodic six seconds of blissful rest -- and chalked it up to another loss.
I haven't won a contest in months and months, maybe even in years.
But luck finally shined on little ol' Night Owl (because it sure as hell isn't doing it in the postseason), and my name came up on the randomizer first for one of the prizes.
Isn't that fantastic?
I had a choice of four autographed cards of Boggs, I almost chose the 1984 Topps card because it's from so early in his career. But, really, this was the only choice. The 1991 Topps Boggs is a triumph of photo genius and it looks even better with the Chicken Man's signature.
I'm not one to go after autographs of players, especially if they're not Dodgers. In fact, if it's not a Dodger, why do I care about your scrawl?
But Boggs is different. He's one of those players who started out during the height of my baseball awareness in the early '80s. I was up on EVERYTHING about baseball and Boggs was an up-and-comer for my favorite East Coast team, the Red Sox.
Ryne Sandberg? He played for the Cubs. Nobody paid attention to them where I lived. Tony Gwynn? He might as well have been playing in Japan.
But the Chicken Man? We knew all about him in the Northeast. Sure, Boggs was a bit odd. But he was unique. And could hit like hell. Until he went to the Yankees and destroyed everything that I enjoyed about him, he was a favorite.
So I'll cherish this card forever.
But Brian wasn't done.
He opened a few Topps Update blasters and promptly started giving away its contents!
I haven't opened any Topps Update at all. I haven't had time to go to a department store in two weeks. It's like this every year. It explains why I buy so little Topps Update each year (well that and all the stupid home run derby cards).
So these are the first Update cards I've seen in person:
A couple of Dodger newbies. Tattoo boy and Mr. Misty.
Brandon League's one of those modern players that I look at quizzically like a dog trying to understand what a human being is saying. If you're going to get that tatted up, then please look like you just walked out of prison. Being relentlessly groomed while featuring a bunch of tattoos makes me about as uncomfortable as sitting through an episode of Glee. Please get yourself respectable.
Ah, speaking of the Home Run Derby, here's Kemp trying valiantly to hit home runs while still recuperating from the hamstring injury that killed the Dodgers' season. Good times.
Most pleased to get my first cards of Elian Herrera, the nine-year minor league wonder. Unfortunately, Topps doesn't put all of his minor league stats on the back. Too bad.
The much-coveted A.J. Ellis card!!! A fun, but unfortunate photo for Ellis' first-ever Topps card. Does he want to admit to being put in a headlock by 145-pound Dee Gordon? (And what a fine haircut Justin Sellers is sporting).
Lots of Bobby Abreu in this package. Better get his cards while he's still a Dodger.
Finally, this terrific gold item of Matt Kemp. This is his All-Star card, even though he didn't even play in the All-Star Game.
I'm a little disturbed by the giant orange blob over his shoulder. It looks like a Halloween marshmallow ghost.
The gold parallels are exclusive to the Update set, but feature players from Series 1, 2 and Update. They're numbered to 2012. I guess that means there are 2012 gold cards of every single card in Series 1, 2 and Update. That must mean there's like a gold parallel in every pack, doesn't it?
I don't know. I have no time to calculate that.
Or enter contests.
Or read blogs.
But you probably skimmed this, too.
So we're even.
OK, back to work.
Work, work, work ...