Sunday, September 30, 2012

Awesome night card, pt. 155


Not a lot to say about this card, other than that when I see Andre Ethier cards now, I think about how people are writing that Ethier should be platooned next year because he's hit lefties so poorly this season.

This seems odd to me given how much money and years the new Dodgers owners invested in Ethier earlier this year. And Ethier struggling against lefties is no surprise. He's had his this issue his whole career.

But if the new regime treats money the way it has so far, then maybe the Dodgers are about to feature the most expensive platoon players, pinch-hitters, loogies and concession workers in the history of the game.

Anyway, this card and these two others ...



... came from Brian, who has his own baseball card blog. It's called Cardnomics, and it's a very different approach to cards that I could never do. But it's interesting and I'm glad someone is looking at cards in this way.

Brian is also a regular user of Listia and the first blogger that I have come across on that site. I won a card that it turns out he was giving away. I have a feeling it won't be the last time that happens, as there are more than a dozen bloggers on the site now.

So, give Cardnomics a look. Give Listia a look, too (but don't bid on the cards I want!)

And give Ethier a chance.

I like pulling cards of platoon nobodies as much as anybody. But you've got to leave a few full-time star players around to keep me coming back.

-------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Night Card Binder candidate: Andre Ethier, 2012 Topps Walmart blue parallel, #383
Does it make the binder?: Not the blue parallel, but I'll throw a regular Ethier card in there.

Saturday, September 29, 2012

Skip


When I was back living at home and we had leftovers for dinner, my dad would call them "skip," as in:

"What's for dinner?"

"Skip"

I don't know the explanation for that term, other than he got it from his family when he was growing up. But I still think of it whenever leftovers are on the menu or whenever anyone talks about "hand-me-downs." In my head, they're known as "skip."

So, that is what you're going to get here -- skip. My mom used to call dinner leftovers "this and that," and that's appropriate here, too. A post of "this and that," "leftovers" and "skip."

Let's dig in:

1. TOPPS UPDATE

The checklist for the 2012 Topps Update set is on the street and I counted up 16 Dodgers cards. Here's the list:

US3 - Adam Kennedy
US4 - Matt Treanor
US38 - Elian Herrera
US52 - Clayton Kershaw
US57 - Hanley Ramirez
US102 - Brandon League
US107 - Randy Choate (EDIT: Topps has him as a Marlin)
US113 - Scott Elbert
US133 - Matt Kemp
US170 - Jerry Hairston
US191 - Bobby Abreu
US217 - Matt Guerrier
US262 - Matt Kemp
US293 - Shane Victorino
US304 - A.J. Ellis
US324 - Jamey Wright

Grouping the Update set by team is a bit of a crapshoot because the checklist doesn't mention what team each player is featured with on the card. But I think I can safely say that there is Hanley Ramirez's first Dodger card in this set and the first Shane Victorino Dodger card since 2003.

But did you notice who was missing?

I don't see Adrian Gonzalez anywhere.

I even looked through the checklist three times. Adrian Beltre. But no Adrian Gonzalez.

I think I know what this means. It probably means Topps went to press before the big blockbuster trade. There is no Josh Beckett, Carl Crawford or Nick Punto in the checklist either.

I hope that's what it is. If there's some super short-print of Gonzalez in a Dodger uniform, I won't be buying very much Update out of protest.

On the good side, though, FINALLY there is a Dodger card of A.J. Ellis to chase.

2. DISCOUNTED BLASTERS AT TARGET?????

I've mentioned periodically how frustrated I get with my Target's selling practices when it comes to cards. Unlike Walmart, where I can find discounted cards virtually every time I visit their card aisle, Target is very stingy in this area.

My Target features the $1.59 power packs and that's about it. 2011 Lineage is still there full-price, various Bowman issues from the past are still there full-price. My most irksome experience was seeing 2008 Stadium Club sitting on the shelf more than 2 years after it came out -- still FULL PRICE!

So the following just stunned me:

On Twitter, I have seen people display blasters from Heritage and Gypsy Queen from THIS YEAR marked down to $11.99. This is especially painful as I have enacted another card-spending suspension, and I can't even get to my Target to see if they changed their ways as other Targets apparently have.

While I'm on the topic of discounted blasters, have you seen what PunkRockPaint pulled out of an $11.99 Bowman Platinum blaster today? Socks, my ass.

But nicely done.

3. YES, I CARE WHAT MY CARDS LOOK LIKE ON THIS BLOG

Some folks apparently don't think like me when it comes to displaying cards on the blog. I like my scans to be relatively straight and dirt-free.

This is a product of being somewhat of a neat-freak (although if you ever saw my card desk or desk at work, you would wonder why I described myself in those terms). But it's mostly because I like to put on a good show.

I scanned this card from @SWLVguy yesterday, but refused to put it on the blog:


Yuck. I hate that I'm showing it here. Look at all those dust particles. It makes the card of Andre's little brother look like it's 45 years old. This was the result of a dirty scanner and a dirty nine-pocket page.

This is much better:


I try to run a clean establishment.

Also, I neglected to show another card @SWLVguy sent yesterday, even though I scanned it. I hate when that happens, too. So here it is:


That card of "Oisk" is from the 1990 Pacific Baseball Legends set. I think Pacific was running out of legends at this point. Tom Paciorek is also in the set. As much as I love to obtain cards of post-playing days players like Paciorek, I will never confuse him with a baseball legend.


4. LOUIE, LOUIE, LOUIE, LOU-EEEEEEEEEE

I've tallied up the votes for the "Best of the '70s" card of Luis Tiant.

It was pretty good vote, considering I couldn't put a poll up on the sidebar. I think before I have another "Best of the '70s" session, I'm going to have to figure out how to work a poll into my template without messing everything up.

So, there were 24 total votes -- less than usual, but OK -- and here are the top three:


3. 1973 Topps - 3 votes

Nothing I'd ever pick, even though it is one of those ancient cards from my childhood.


2. 1976 Topps - 7 votes

My choice. I'm glad to see others liked it so much. It really was a two-card race, between the '76 card and this card:


1. 1974 Topps - 9 votes

Terrific.

The '74 card is now listed as Tiant's best '70s card in the tabs at the top of the blog. Thanks for voting, and I'll try to get my act together for the next time.

So, there you are, a little bit of everything. New, old, left over, reheated, swiped from others, this and that.

In other words,

Skip.

Friday, September 28, 2012

Trading on Twitter


I've been on Twitter for three weeks now, and I have to say the second time around is going a little better than the first. Twitter can still be annoying as hell, but I think my approach to it is better this time. I've kept to my "rule" of only tweeting about cards -- for the most part -- and I've chosen to emphasize the usefulness of the tool, rather than the crap that's too easy to obsess over.

One thing that Twitter is useful for is trades. That's not the reason I got back on there again. I'm not searching for new trade partners by any means -- I'm perfectly happy with the many that I have now and I can barely keep up with them as it is.

But I've been involved in three or four transactions since my return to Twitter. Two of the fellow tweeters have card blogs. Two don't.

The first Twitter trade (or #TwitterTrade, as the kids are saying) involved @SWLVguy, who charmed me with his friendliness and enthusiasm for cards right away. Before I knew it, we were swapping cards.

I was shocked that he checked my want lists. (I don't know what I was thinking -- that there was this invisible line that prevented Twitter people from crossing over into the blog world, I guess). But he did and found some key Dodgers for me.

First I'll show the 2012 minis he sent:


There are others but I didn't feel like digging out the comparable regular-sized card for all of them. Juan Uribe, especially.

Still need seven more mini Dodgers (and of course all those stupid league leaders cards), but let's move onto some more fun items.


I've pulled a boatload of these WIAN inserts in all of my A&G purchasing, but the Dodgers have been as elusive as ever. Feels good to land these two. The Kemp card back even mentions Steve Kemp, who I still think about periodically when The Bison is mentioned (you had to grow up in the late '70s to remember the phenom mania that enveloped Steve Kemp).


The former "can't miss" Dodger prospect finally gave it up after toiling in independent leagues between 2009-11. I have too many cards of this guy for him to have never gotten past Double A.


The Andy LaRoche cards continue to trickle in -- someday I'll have them all as that guy in Nebraska still listening to the White Stripes will finally realize that all of LaRoche's card mojo disappeared a long time ago.


I stand by my theory that cards from 1990 Leaf are the most difficult to find out of any set during the overproduction era.


But I have no explanation as to why I still needed this card.


Opening Day, back when they used to commemorate the first day of the baseball season by decorating the stadium walls with silver bunting. Wait .... they didn't do that? I thought everything in the late 1990s was silver.


Easily the best card in the whole package (SWLVguy also uses blue tape, by the way). A 1963 Topps Dodger card will keep me on Twitter for a long time.

Perhaps the best part of this trade is that I am able to resurrect my trade map.


Remember the trade map?

It kept track of all my trades by state. All of the states shaded in blue are ones that include a resident with whom I've successfully transacted.

But I haven't shown the trade map since December 2010, nearly two full years ago. Because I couldn't add any new states to the list.

Eventually, I forgot about the map. I even made a trade with someone from Delaware recently and didn't notify anyone about it, even though it was the first time I had ever traded with someone from Delaware.

SWLVguy isn't from Delaware. But he IS from Nevada, and good gosh, it's great to cross that great big state off the list.

So here's the new map, with Delaware and Nevada added.


Forty states down. Only 10 to go.

Anybody from Wyoming want to follow me @nightowlcards?

1975 redux


There goes Night Owl, trotting out the big words again.

I have a fascination with words that I don't know. "Redux" is a key one for me. I first read the word in the chapter title of a Roger Angell article when I was a teenager, and the word bounced around in my head for years. "RE-ducks. RE-ducks." I didn't even know if I was pronouncing it right. (turns out I was).

Anyway, the word means "restored." It's a great word for this blog, and my other ones, because I do a lot of "restoring," otherwise known as "waxing nostalgic."

My favorite thing to "redux," if I can use it as a verb, is the 1975 Topps set. As you know, I think it's the greatest thing ever. In fact, one year go yesterday, I posted the last card on the 1975 Topps blog that I created. A complete set blog from beginning to end, which hasn't been done very often.

Even though I've moved on to the 1971 and 1985 Topps sets in blog-form, I still miss posting on the 1975 Topps (it's far out, man) blog. That blog was a favorite because it wasn't just my favorite set. It was the first set I ever collected. It has more memories in it for me than possibly every other set combined.

In honor of the '75 blog anniversary, I was trying to think of something about the 1975 set that I haven't covered here on this blog, and I couldn't come up with anything. I really think I've run out of ideas.

So I decided to do something simple. I decided to post all of the cards that I still have from the first three packs of cards I ever bought in April of 1975. I saved a lot of the cards that I bought in 1975 and some of them I remember pulling out of those first three packs.

I don't have all of the cards that I pulled out of those packs -- at least not those versions of the cards -- and I can't remember all of the cards that came out of the packs. So why not include the ones I do remember on one post, so when I lose even more of my memory, I can always go to this post and know exactly which cards came out of those packs I bought as a 9-year-old?

There were 10 cards in a pack in 1975. And I was able to determine nine of the 30 cards that I pulled that day.

What I believe was the first card I ever pulled -- the Darold Knowles airbrushed card -- is at the top of the post. (I've gone back and forth between the Knowles card and the Hal McRae card as the first I ever pulled, but I'm now pretty sure it's Knowles. I can even remember where I was standing in my bedroom when I saw it for the first time).

Here are the others, in all of their pulverized glory:


What I thought about Foli's card when I was 9, according to the '75 Topps blog:

"I thought it was a cool shot of Foli, looking very suave -- despite the glasses -- after a casual swing of the bat."


What I thought about Murray's card then:

"This is one of the cards that I pulled out of the first three packs of baseball cards I ever bought, back in 1975. Everything about the card is ingrained in my brain. When I see it, I'm immediately transported to my bedroom on 6 Chadwick Road."


What I thought about the 1958 MVPs card then:

"This is one of the cards that I pulled very early in my first year of collecting. Again, I couldn't tell you whether it was one of the cards in the first three packs that I ever bought. It could have been." 

(In a rare moment of clarity, I've come to realize that this actually was one of those first cards).


What I thought about the 1960 MVPs card then:

"Now, I KNOW this was one of the first cards that I ever pulled from a pack that I had purchased. ... No real thoughts back then other than Maris' crew-cut seemed rather different to me. He looked like a tough guy."


What I thought about the 1971 MVPs card then:

"Both card pictures left an immediate impression and stayed with me until this day. Obtaining either of these cards, for me, is akin to hanging one of the most famous paintings in the world in my living room. When I gained the Joe Torre card, I couldn't believe it was actually in my collection. I felt like I was practically stealing it when I made the trade for the card. I held it in such esteem."


What I thought about Koosman's card then:

My "Plan B" team has been the Phillies for a long time. But before that, it was the Mets. I changed my favorite team to the Mets for one day after receiving a glove for my birthday that was signed by Tom Seaver. Jerry Koosman was another favorite.


What I thought about D'Acquisto's card then:

"It's got a special place in my collecting heart. Even if it is a Giant."


What I thought about LeFlore's card then:

 "It helped me become a Tigers fan at an early age, since I also pulled the Mickey Stanley and John Hiller cards out of those first packs, too."

I wish I still had the Mickey Stanley and John Hiller cards that I pulled out of those packs. And the Hal McRae card. And the others that I can't remember gazing at that spring day 37 years ago.

But I've come to realize I'm fortunate.

I used to think that a lot of collectors kept the first cards they ever bought. That these cards weren't that big of a deal. They had meaning to me, but nothing beyond that. But then I realized that not everybody does this. And that owning the very first cards you bought, when you were a little boy, is something very special.

In fact, if there is ever a Night Owl museum, these cards will be in a display of their own, probably on the second floor, in a place of honor.

(Wow, first Night Owl is using words like "redux" and now he's building museums to himself. Who does he think he is?)

This will probably do it for posts on 1975 Topps for awhile -- except for exclamations when I land more minis from the '75 set.

Unless you have your own ideas about the set. I'm always willing to listen ... and write about the '75 set.

Thursday, September 27, 2012

Blogging ain't easy

I'm going to try something here and it's probably the first and last time that I am going to do it.

I am going to write a post without any accompanying photos.

Don't groan. You'll all live. I'll try to make it interesting even without the pretty pictures.

So ...

There are a lot of people out there who read blogs and don't have a blog of their own. Some of them probably think that blogging isn't that tough. What's the big deal, right? You just click on the computer, open up a page, and write. Anybody can do it, stupid.

Well, yeah, Stupid is here, admitting that anybody can do it. And just about anybody has. But not just anybody can stick with it. There are endless examples of bloggers, or wanna-be-bloggers, quitting after 2 years, 1 year, 6 months, 3 months, one month, even one week. Blogging, more than anything, takes dedication. If you're not dedicated, if it's a problem for you, you're not going to be a successful blogger.

Take the last post that I did, about the A&G mini pages.

Some may think that was a throwaway post. It was essentially a trade post. A fairly brief trade post. Hell, even I thought, "I should be doing something more interesting than this." But I stayed with what you saw because that's all I had time to do. Wednesday was tremendously busy.

But even that post took a lot of effort.

First I had to decide the nature of the post. What angle was I going to take and what cards would I feature? Would there be a theme or would I just randomly show off cards?

This is a daily question. On busy days like these, I don't have time to search through all my cards to do an epic post about the evolution of baseball caps or whatever I think is going to get some reader to gobble up my garbage. I have to hope the cards sitting on my desk or in my draft folder form some sort of an idea to get me through the day.

On days when I have a little more time, I dig through my binders to find the right cards. This takes a lot of time. I stack my binders flat, because I was told that this is a better way to store them. And also because they take up less room that way. But it's a real pain in the bum rush to dig out cards. I can't tell you how many times I've realized that I had to scan a 1984 Topps card and thought, "UGH! That binder is at the bottom. Do I really need that card?"

Often my card room is scattered with opened binders, balanced carefully on the desk or on a chair on on a book shelf, because I took a card from a page and it's waiting for me to return it like I found it.

And then there are the cards in boxes. I can't tell you how many times I've dropped a box and cards have spilled everywhere because I was in a rush to get to some cards. A couple of times, I've just left the cards scattered right there, like a 9-year-old kid, closed the door and hoped no one went in there until I had time to clean it up.

Once I've settled on the subject and the cards, I go about scanning the cards. For the last post, I wanted to show the cards inside the mini pages, because the point of the post was I was more happy to see the mini pages than the actual cards.

So I started to scan the mini pages, but I realized something.

Mini pages show -- and they show it extremely well -- all the crap that you have on your scanner. The dust, the dirt, the food bits, the blotch of ink that I can't get off the scanner because my daughter placed a piece of paper with an ink blot on it about a month ago.

So I had to break out the glass cleaner and give the scanner bed a few good swipes.

Then I cropped the scans down just to make sure you couldn't see any remaining dirt.

Of course, every time I scan cards, I have to repeat the scanning process for at least a quarter of the cards because the damn scans don't come out straight. This is frustrating on a daily basis. But I'm resigned to it, because I don't want to keep buying scanners, because I am aware that every single scanner has a flaw. So I  just scan the card and hope it ends up straight, and if it doesn't, I let out a sigh that everyone ignores, and I scan the card again.

Then, after cropping the cards, there is uploading the cards. I don't have a lot of the problems that other people have with uploading cards. My cards always come in the way I want them. They're not sideways or appear in the wrong place or anything. So this is relatively easy. Unless Blogger is being uncooperative, and then it's the most excruciating exercise after, I don't know, say, removing a rusty nail from your foot.

While I'm uploading card images, I am also writing. Writing comes very easy for me. I'm lucky that way. So this is not the difficult part of blogging for me. But I do admit to struggling with writer's block periodically. I'll stare at the screen and before I know it, it's like 4:38 in the morning and I just give up. And you wake up in the morning and wonder why there's no special morning post from night owl just for you.

Sorry, I needed my sleep. Nothing was coming to me. Go to work and come back later when I'm rested.

Of course, there is the whole "finding time to blog" thing, too. This doesn't have to do solely with my job or other time-sucking adult responsibilities. It also has to do with computer availability.

I don't have a laptop. Neither does anyone else in the family (although that's going to change in a few months -- ssssssssssshhhhhhhhhh!!!!!!!!!!!!). So that means there is a daily battle for computer time. Almost every day, when I pick my daughter up for school, the following conversation occurs ...

Her: I've got so much homework to do. I've got math and science and speech and English and French ...

Me: Wow, you'll be ...

Her:   AND I HAVE TO USE THE COMPUTER!!!

And you wonder why there might be a typo in my post? It's because I'm trying to pound it out during the second half of my dinner break from work.

I'm pretty much a stickler for how my posts appear on the blog. It's a product of my profession. I'm just used to looking for mistakes and expecting writing to be A Certain Way.

After I write a post, I go through it again in draft form. Then I click "preview" and read through it again. If I have time, I'll read it one more time. And, of course, there are always corrections and updates to make.

Sometimes, I'll update something after the post has already published. Often times that's at work. In the middle of whatever newspaper thing I'm doing, I'll click over to my blog, hit "edit," and change a sentence around. (Don't tell anybody).

And then there's all the other blog stuff: the updating of the items on the sidebar. The Nebulous 9, the regular features, the Dodger Player of the Day. And there's updating the tabs. The want lists and the Awesome Night Card, etc. Those get neglected a lot.

Oh, and there are two other blogs of mine that require not as much care, but a lot of the same care (plus, the 1975 Topps blog, that I still maintain periodically).

And, if you're a card blogger, it doesn't end with your blog. There are the trades. The packaging and searching and sorting and mailing and purchasing and stacking and organizing and listing. But that's another story.

No, blogging ain't easy.

And that's why every card blogger has my sincere appreciation. I know what you go through because I do it myself. And the longer someone does it, the more respect I have for them.

There are many times, when I'm in the middle of scanning a card -- bending over to reach the scanner below me, trying to straighten it ever just so and closing the lid, hoping it doesn't mess up the card, and then doing the same thing over and over and over again -- that I think, "damn, this blogging thing is a lot of work."

Even with the shortcuts -- trying to scan nine cards at once, and trying to post in advance, and trying to combine trade posts -- it's still a lot of work.

And nobody gets paid for any of it.

That's OK.

Because I love to write. And I love cards.

And it's great to have someone out there that feels the same way.

Sorry that there are no cards with this. I just wanted to go behind the scenes a little. For those who don't know what it's like.

It's not the most difficult thing in the world, no.

But try doing it for a couple of years.

You'll think the way I do.

Blogging ain't easy, yo.

Wednesday, September 26, 2012

Mmmmmmmmmminniii ... pages!!!!

Now don't get excited. If I found pages to fit my 1975 minis, the whole post would be in capital letters.

No, all I've got for you are mini pages that fit Allen & Ginter minis, sent to me by Ryan at O No!!! Another Orioles Blog.

Believe me, that's exciting enough for me. In fact, when Ryan announced that he had a bunch of A&G minis from the last few years of Allen & Ginter, the most thrilling part of his announcement was that he would send mini pages along with the cards.

I am forever running out of mini pages, and too cheap to search them out on my own. So I signed up quickly.

I am so grateful for the pages that I am featuring the cards I received inside the pages, just how Ryan sent them to me.


A couple of '07 minis of two guys that caused Dodger fans more frustration than anything else. We fans are never satisfied.


A surprise Dee Gordon Gypsy Queen black Dee Gordon mini joins two former Dodger favorites from '07. Martin's hitting in a pinball stadium right now, and Penny is playing for that other team I can't stand. It's going to be another year of living in fear of a Yankees-Giants World Series. Get the puke bowl ready.


I really like the '06 minis a lot. I have so few of them. And an early Andre Ethier mini is terrific.

You might be wondering about the Jamie Fisher mini. I am, too. It turns out to be my fault. I listed #174 on my want list instead of #173, which is the Andy LaRoche card. So I ended up with Lumberjack Jamie instead.

Oh well, at least it fills a spot in my frankenset binder.

Speaking of which, I also requested this card:


It's a terrific card to have in mini form.

I looked forward to putting it in my frankenset binder. Then I noticed that there was already a card in the #183 spot.


Harriet Tubman. A&G back.

Oof.

I then promptly removed the Tubman card and put furry piggy in her place.

That's right. I chose a rodent over an American icon.

The good thing about this binder is I don't have to explain it to anyone but me.

... and then there was 100

I have finally whittled down my list of cards for "The Best Dodger Card Ever Made" Countdown to an even 100 cards.

That means I can begin the countdown.

But not now. I'm sleepy and cranky. And before I get dopey, I need my rest.

So I'll just show you the final three cards to miss the cut. And you can leave your outraged comments about how you can't BELIEVE that card won't be in the top 100 and how you're never reading this blog again!!!

But I won't care as I'll be in a peaceful dream haze.

So, quickly, because I feel myself nodding off, here are the cards that got the final boot:


2006 Upper Deck Greg Maddux

Back when Maddux joined the Dodgers -- the first time -- I couldn't wait to get a card of him in a Dodger uniform. But Topps kept foiling me by producing cards of Maddux photoshopped into a Dodger uniform. And photoshopped poorly, I might add. I don't consider that a true Maddux Dodger card.

Upper Deck featured the first true "Greg Maddux As Dodger" card in '06, and it's been special to me ever since.

But taking the entire countdown into consideration, the Dodgers have had plenty of star players on their team who are known more for playing for others. Maddux is just one of those guys like Jim Thome and Ken Boyer. And that's not good enough to make the final 100.


1994 Stadium Club Chan Ho Park

Yeah, it's a great card. Yeah, it's Chan Ho's rookie card.

But think about the career Park had. Decent, but more frustrating than anything else. Especially if you're a Rangers fan.

I did keep a Chan Ho Park card on the countdown. But this ain't it.


2001 Stadium Club Adrian Beltre

Wow, what do I have against Stadium Club?

Nothing really. And I like this card a lot. But I'm pretty convinced, judging by the reaction of the fans in the stands, that Beltre isn't anywhere near the ball. All that effort for nothing.

Plus, I can't see the player's face, which is a pet peeve of mine in photos, especially on cards.

So those are the last three cards that will be forced to sit on the outside, forever watching as the countdown party goes on inside without them.

(Gee, that's happy isn't it?)

On to the countdown!!!!!

Well, after I get the top 100 in the proper order, of course.

Yes, the waiting continues.

Tuesday, September 25, 2012

Discards


I go for a walk about five times a week. It's a requirement if I'm going to take ownership of my health again.

I used to think a walk was the dullest human activity that was ever devised. But I've come around on that, and do enjoy a semi-strenuous amble, provided that I'm not walking during peak outdoor times (i.e: when everyone within a 3-mile radius walks their dog).

My regular route takes me behind the local high school. As with any high school, because teenagers are the messiest people alive, you can expect to see your share of discarded items on the side of the road. Half-eat bags of Cheetos, dented energy drink cans, McDonald's wrappers. The usual.

But because it's a high school, the litter can be a lot more exotic than junk food remnants. I've seen parts of bicycles, clothing, lipstick containers, you name it. Today, I saw a giant, furry hood to a winter coat, and it's not even winter yet.

I look forward to seeing what I'll come across next, because there is always a part of me that hopes to find a discarded baseball card on the side of the road. It doesn't even have to be anything I need, it could be any old 1989 Topps Todd Benzinger card, and I'd feel triumphant. I'd then relive the other few times in my life when I have found a card on the street during one of my travels.

Card discards -- or just plain "discards" -- are a regular diet for us collectors. Every trade we make, every purchase on ebay, we are, in a sense, picking up somebody's discards. Our mailbox is the side of the road. Sure, people may be discarding the item in exchange for money or cards they like better, but boiled down to its basic essential, the item is a discard -- something the previous owner didn't care enough about to keep themselves.

With that, I present you with some "discards" from Nick at Dime Boxes.

It's hard to think of cards that Nick sent as "discards," just because he has such a random collection and seems to treasure each card, no matter how mundane it may seem to certain collectors. And looking at the cards he sent me, I'm surprised he "discarded" these. But I'm glad he did.


Another card of the Duke, this one a mid-1980s oddball, at the height of The Glossy Craze.


A shiny mid-90s Chan Ho, at the height of The Metallic Era.


An early '90s Pedro with a generic cap. Very cool.


Of course, I am assuming that Nick obtained most of these cards from dime boxes, which is really a euphemism for "discard bin." But you can always find cool inserts/parallels like these in the discard bin.


Numbered items. You can find numbered cards from a decade ago discarded in hopes someone will think they are valuable still.


Oddballs!!! Too many collectors consider oddballs as likely discard candidates. But I don't. I covet them.


Would I know that this was the glossy parallel if Nick hadn't written this on the penny sleeve?


No.


Goodness. More Dee Gordon parallels. I'm happy with these, but I'm only pursuing one Dee Gordon parallel set.


The chances of ever landing this non-Dodger Dodger card would have been non-existent if Nick hadn't sent it to me.


Somebody's been look at the want list!


This  is quite possibly the most impressive "discard" in the package. I love these Select Certified items.


If only this card looked like this without tilting it. I'm begging someone to make a set that looks like 1972 Topps. I promise you I will buy it and lavish praises on your product right here on this blog.


It took me a long time to go through these cards from Nick, mostly because a lot of them were from the 1990s, which gave birth to a quagmire of sets. It takes me forever to figure out what I have and what I don't from that decade.

But I'm proud to say that all of these cards that I featured are new to me. Therefore, they aren't discards anymore. They are "kept" cards. Secure in my collection for as long as I like.

You will never see these items on the side of the road as you're walking, or running, or biking, or just out hoodlumming.

Now, a Giants card?

You might want to check the recyclables when they go out to the curb on Friday.