Thursday, February 28, 2013

The golden age of all-star cards countdown: 10-6

This all-star card did not make the Top 20 countdown. Can you believe it? My favorite player of all-time. The man who just pulled the railing off from behind him and is now using it as a bat is not in the countdown.

The 1978 Cey all-star card did not make it either.

Who is doing this thing? And what have they done with night owl?

I knew this whole countdown wouldn't make sense. But that is no reason to waste blog material. So on we go.

With this latest grouping of all-stars, I couldn't help but notice the powers in baseball during this period. The Reds, the Yankees, the Dodgers, the A's, the Red Sox. Those were the teams in charge. And because of that, they all have their fair share of all-star cards between 1975-81.

The team tally for this period looks like this:

AL - Red Sox-12, Yankees-10, Royals-9, A's-6, Twins-6, Orioles-4, Angels-3, Rangers-3, Tigers-3, Brewers-2, Indians-1, White Sox-1

NL - Reds-21, Dodgers-18, Phillies-10, Pirates-5, Braves-2, Cardinals-2, Cubs-2, Giants-2, Padres-2, Mets-1

So, expect to see a lot of Reds in the final Top 10.

Here is 10-6:

10. Carl Yastrzemski, 1978

A pose so good that Topps used almost the exact same shot for Yaz's 1979 card. There is something very distinct and regal about this card. It helps that the badge that Topps used for All-Star players in 1978 is almost positioned where a real badge would go on someone's uniform. You can't tell me this wasn't planned.

9. George Foster, 1978

Foster was already a break-out star by the time the 1978 set came out. We all knew about his all-star card in the 1977 set. So, this was a key card to pull from packs in '78. But then Foster went wild that year, hitting 52 home runs. This was long before Cecil Fielder or the late '90s. And long after Mantle and Maris. Fifty-two home runs was CRAZY. So imagine now, pulling a card of this player with his black bat when all that was going on. This was one hot card.

8. Johnny Bench, 1975

I have repeated myself over and over with this card. So I'll just copy-and-paste what I once wrote:

When I held this card in my hands as a 9-year-old, it had me so freaked out that I thought it would vanish, either via a gust of wind or by someone stealing it, or simply through spontaneous combustion. The card was just too cool to be possessed by someone like me.
I can remember where I was when I held the card. I was on a city street, standing in front of a store that had an awning over it. The only reason I would be at that particular site is because I was on my way home from the drug store after buying a pack of cards. So I must have been opening them on the way back and I pulled this card out of a pack. But I no longer own that Bench card that I pulled when I was 9. I must have traded it away. I was probably too freaked out by it.

Now, of course, I can't explain why this card is ranked below the 1976 Johnny Bench given how important this card was to me at the time. Part of my whole difficulty of ranking these all-star cards, I guess.

7. Pete Rose, 1976 Topps

Third straight Reds card. I wouldn't like this at all back during the Big Red Machine's hey day. But I can't help that those teams added extra importance to obtaining cards like this. The close-up shot is something I've been wanting to examine in a blog post for years. It really adds to the weight of a card. I promise I will do that post some day.

6. Bobby Bonds, 1976 Topps

One of the greatest "posed in mid-swing" card photos ever. Certainly the best All-Star version of such a card. Better than the '75 Rod Carew card just because Bonds just looks so absolutely in CONTROL of his swing, while the Carew looks like the bat is going to helicopter him off the ground. I was instantly impressed by Bonds' first real appearance on a card in a Yankee uniform (not that airbrushed thing in 1975). Wow, what a card.

So, there you are. Five more down that I hope I ranked well.

That leaves five left.

See if you can guess which five they are. It shouldn't be too difficult.

Whether they deserve their lofty status, I have no idea.

Wednesday, February 27, 2013

For the sake of organization: The '75 mini page quest

I have been communicating with Ultra Pro's representative on Twitter about manufacturing a style of page that fits 1975 Topps-style minis.

No promises have been made, but Ultra Pro said that they would study the issue.

I got the impression that they weren't exactly aware that there was a need for pages this size, or that there were even cards this size.

That's not a reflection on the company, that's a reflection on how old I am. Even a card set as iconic as 1975 Topps minis is "so old" that we can apparently just ignore them because "nobody collects that stuff anymore."

But, take it from me, trying to organize my '75 minis is a real problem because I can't find the proper pages.

I recently received a whole bunch of '75 minis from Andy at High Heat Stats. I love '75 mini packages more than anything that is not alive. What a great bunch of cards. They make me giddy like nothing else. But the whole page-sorting problem puts a damper on the excitement of these cards.

You can't put them in the pages that traditionally fit Goudey-style cards or late '40s Bowman. Because this happens:

They don't fit width-wise or height-wise. That's a whole lot of corner-dinging danger right there.

There is always the option of putting them in a regular-size, nine-pocket page, but the minis' tendency to float around in the page ruins my binder aesthetics. (Yes, I have binder aesthetics. You don't?)

The cards fit, but they're crooked and not uniform at all. This gets me all bunched up.

Ultra Pro recommended first putting the cards in sleeves that fit the cards and then putting those sleeves in the page, but I don't think that would look any better.

It also recommended this:

I don't really know what pages those are. The only 8-pocket pages I have would not accommodate '75-style minis. They'd be floating around worse than the 9-pocket pages. So I don't think this would work.

What WOULD work, of course, are the old pages that were manufactured back in the '80s and '90s just for these kinds of cards.

Like so:

I keep trotting out the two old-style '75 mini pages that AdamE sent me just because I'm so obsessed with this topic.

But notice how great they look. All uniform. No card taller than the other. Snug in their pockets, just like a baby roo.

I realize that UltraPro deals with a lot more than baseball cards. It makes pages for collectible cards of all sorts, as well as other memorabilia. And I have a feeling that Magic cards and Yu Gi Oh and other stuff that I won't mention for fear that I'm totaling screwing up the names take up a lot of their time and make them a lot of money.

So if this isn't on the top of their priority list, I understand.

But I do have one thing going for me.

Notice how well certain modern cards fit into that same old-style '75 mini page:

Those are all mini cards manufactured by Topps in the last couple of years. 2011 Lineage, 2012 Topps minis, 2012 Topps '87-style inserts, 2013 Topps '72-style inserts. And the 2013 Heritage minis haven't even hit the market yet.

Very soon -- if not already -- there are going to be collectors clamoring for pages that fit these kinds of minis, since Topps has suddenly gone loopy over this particular size and shape. No longer will it be just some 40-year-old like me trying to relive his childhood collecting days. I will have company.

I sent the Ultra Pro Twitter guy a list of all the recent card sets that feature '75-style mini sizes and I assume they'll see what they can do (I already let him know that the old-style '75-mini page are slightly smaller both height-wise and width-wise to accommodate the smaller-sized card -- that may be sticking point, I would guess, if they're dealing with templates).

What prompted this whole discussion was a fit of disgust after I knocked over my stack of '75 minis while trying to get to a binder. I kind of called out Ultra Pro in my 140-character rant after re-assembling the cards. Fortunately, it struck up a conversation.

But I won't put my '75 minis in any page until I can find a proper fit. It's an organization thing. And I'm not handy enough to try that jury-rigged page that was recommended to me once before. There would be blood all over the pages.

So out the '75 minis sit, unprotected, cowering in fear over the thought of someone knocking them over again.

I'll keep you posted if I hear anything else from Ultra Pro.

Meanwhile, I want to feature my favorite minis that I received in the package from Andy:

One of the first cards I ever saw that was not part of my collection or my brother's collection. I traded with a friend for it. This card became an instant favorite out of the entire set.

Whenever I played baseball as a kid in the backyard in 1975, I envisioned myself as Bernie Carbo as pictured on this card.

This card was the epitome of cool in '75, and as I've mentioned before, the card always makes me think of the frogs we used to capture in the backyard as kids. I don't know what the connection is between imprisoned frogs and this Holtzman card, but it's there forever.

Finally, there is this card -- which was, by far, the worst-conditioned card in the package Andy sent.

This looks like a lot of my original '75s, although I would never treat a Cey card this poorly. Out of my four or five 1975 Cey minis, this gets the honor of the most "loved" card.

As you can see, the 1975 Topps minis hold a deeply personal connection in my collection, more so than almost any other card that I have. These cards deserve to be preserved and presented in a fashion that says "look, there are no more special cards than these ones."

All it takes is a page that can properly house a 2 1/4-by-3 1/8 card.

They existed before. With the technology -- and the new minis -- in place today, I think they can exist again.

(EDIT: Here is the latest communication with Ultra Pro, sent after this post was published:

So, if you want '75-mini style pages, let them know!)

C.A.: 2009 Upper Deck SPx Matt Kemp

(If you are expecting a package from me, there's been a minor delay. It's called: "I can't even afford postage right now." I expect this condition to clear up in a week or so, so don't worry. You're on my radar. But to get your mind off of no package in da mail, in the meantime, let's move on to Cardboard Appreciation. This is the 174th in a series):

For me, the worst part of a new card season is the realization that you haven't finished all your completion goals from the previous season.

This realization doesn't hit right away. At first, I am too enthralled with the newness of everything to even think about the past year. New designs and shapes and colors. Adulation and outrage and giddy sounds of glee all over the internet. It's difficult to look back. Who wants to look back with all the NEW everywhere?

But eventually, a few weeks later, I stumble across my want list and -- oh, lord -- I look at all of those 2012 wants unmet. If you're a team collector, this means a number of sets left incomplete. Set after set after set after set. The want list numbers mocking you. "You really going to move on to 2013 with the mess you left behind?"

In fits of great self-loathing, I don't even stop at the previous year. I look into my 2011 wants and 2010 wants and 2009 wants, and the failure just smacks me repeatedly in the face until I have to shake myself free and realize, "it's a journey, not a race. Stop bawling."

But the fact remains, there are still an awful lot of needs left from Dodgers sets of the last four or five years.

The above Matt Kemp card from 2009 SPx that I received in my first transaction with Martyn at 1st & Home spurred me on to do something about it.

The Kemp card had been on my want list for four years. It was the last card I needed to complete the ridiculously small Dodger group in that set. But Martyn sent the card to me completely at random. I didn't ask for it. In fact, I had totally forgotten I needed it. In fact, I had totally forgotten that '09 SPx ever existed.

It wasn't until I looked at the card and my brain notified me that "you have never seen that card before in your entire life," that '09 SPx popped back into consciousness. "Oh, yeah! That was back when Upper Deck was obsessed with Xs! Now I remember!"

From that point I looked at some other cards from recent sets that I needed. And I added some of them to the Nebulous 9 list on the sidebar. It is now top-heavy with recent card issues. But that's good. They shouldn't be too hard for people to find.

Meanwhile, here are a few more card from Martyn:

This 2005 Donruss Diamond Kings parallel features Edwin Jackson about 11 teams ago. He has the word "Cash" written on his shoulder. I'm sure that's the name of the person who drew/painted the picture of Jackson. But it seems to give Jackson extra street cred, too, like he should be part of the artwork on mid-90s rap CD.

I hate that I am continuing to show these ugly-ass Gypsy Queen cards on this blog. But until I complete the team sets, I have to keep doing it. This Reese mini was needed in that way that only team completionists who must collect everything, even sets they hate, can explain.

The most useless scan in the history of time. I can't even tell you that this card looks better in person. We all know that the late '90s Bowman International cards didn't look any different than this. Once again, I am glad I wasn't collecting in the late '90s.

I am just realizing that I am neglecting upgrading my 1980 Topps set. I accumulated the vast majority of the cards for the set in 1980, when I was 14. So I should really start staring at card corners in the fussiest way possible. I have a feeling Happy Hooton here will replace the one I have in the '80 binder right now.

Finally, a fancy Sweet Spot Classic card from the days when you were allowed to put any player you wanted on a baseball card. Upper Deck could have put Scott Ullger on a card, but it made a much better call and went with Maury Wills.

Martyn also sent me a red rose pin badge of the Blackburn Rovers football club, better known where I'm from as one of those soccer teams who sometimes plays in the Premier League. (I'm a typical Yank that doesn't follow the sport much).

The pin is pretty cool. I might where it to work someday and make the English soccer fan co-worker jealous.

Anyway, thanks for the cards -- and thanks for the Nebulous 9 shake-up.

I needed that.

Tuesday, February 26, 2013

The tortoise wins the race

I have removed the poll from the sidebar because I don't think anyone is going to catch the "sea turtle set" in the race for what we should call 2013 Topps.

When I took down the poll, "sea turtle set" had 40 votes. The "baseball diamond set" and the "spaceship set" received seven votes apiece.

The tortoise wins again.

That makes me happy. Because I like "sea turtle set" best. It's quirky. It's whimsical (just like the design, by the way). But I don't want you to have to listen to me explain why the sea turtle is such a worthy creature for such an honor. Instead I'll let Marlin Perkins explain. (You can stop paying attention at 1:27).

Well that seals it for me. Any reptile fondled by Marlin should get some sort of reward.

So it's official:

2013 Topps,

you are officially ...

The Sea Turtle Set


As for the few vocal dissenters who don't want to have anything to do with the "sea turtle set," maybe this will convince you:


OK, you can name it whatever you want.

I don't have an issue with the "baseball diamond set" or the "spaceship set." If someone can match the design to a specific spaceship, go at it, man.

But me and my sea turtle are going to swim happily together, content with the name we've come up with 2013 Topps.

It works for me.

And look how happy he is.

(Thanks for the cards, Mark!)

The dreaded ebay 1/1

One of the more amusing ebay slams is the frequently derided "ebay 1/1." This never gets old for me, probably because I have a natural aversion to marketing/advertising and am always on the lookout for the insincere (sorry, it's the journalist in me).

The various dances that ebay sellers go through to promote whatever they are selling is alternately annoying and entertaining. And the fact that some have succeeded in getting collectors to buy the old "1/1" line is really, frankly, horrifying. But I still laugh at it because it's so ridiculous.

For those who don't know, an "ebay 1/1" is when someone claims a serial-numbered card is a "1/1" even though it is not marked/stamped as "1/1" by the manufacturer. They claim that it is a "1/1" because the card is  the only one of its kind -- serial numbered 1 out of 100 or some other "desirable" number, a player's uniform number or some other nonsense.

I don't condone this selling behavior, but I have to admit I have actually been jealous of collectors who have been able to land serial-numbered cards that were stamped as No. 1 out of however many versions of the card there is.

In all my born days, I have been able to pull just one card that is stamped as the first version of the card.

It happened in the summer of 2008, not long before I started this blog. I was in a card shop in Buffalo and grabbed some packs of Allen & Ginter. Not long after, I pulled the above silk card of Jermaine Dye, numbered 1/10.

I noticed the first number right away. I don't know if I knew what an ebay 1/1 was at the time. And I confess that I thought it was pretty cool.

That fact -- and the fact that it is the only time I have ever pulled a silk card (stop looking at me with pity, you people with card shops on every corner) -- are the only reasons that I have held onto this card.

Almost five years have gone by and I have never pulled another serial-numbered card in which the first number was "1."

Then this past weekend happened.

I received several packages.

One was a single card from Twitter trader @wrdart.

When I made the trade, I had no idea what the serial number was on the card. I didn't even look. But when it came out of the envelope, the number jumped out at me.


Then, when I thought I had that out of my system, I turned to a package sent to me from David of Tribe Cards. It was his loot from his 182 Days of Packs ripfest.

You'll see most of the cards from that package some other time, but I needed to show this card first:

I don't know if you can see it, but right on the second "d" in Dodgers on Matt Kemp's jersey is a shiny, gold-stamped "1" next to the slashy thing and a "99."


So, how about that?

After almost 5 years of not coming across another card serial-numbered as No. 1, I pull out two on the same day.

I guess I can try to trade that Jermaine Dye silk card now.

Or even better, throw it on ebay as a 1/1.

Nah, I wouldn't do that.

But it'll always be No. 1 with me.

Monday, February 25, 2013

I'll take you there

I know a place

Ain't nobody cryin'

Ain't nobody worried

Ain't no smiling faces ...

... lyin' to the races

Help me
Come on, come on
Help me now


Help me
Help me


Help me now




Oh! Oh! Mercy!


Oh, let me take you there


O-oh! Let me take you there!


Cleotha Staples, the oldest sibling in the rhythym-and-blues/gospel group The Staples Singers, died Thursday at the age of 78. Their song "I'll Take You There," was No. 1 in June, 1972. (Mavis Staples was the lead singer on that song).

These Topps '72 cards are the last of the fantastic package I received from David. The vast majority of them are high-number needs, and they undoubtedly "take me there," back to those first days of noticing baseball cards as a kid. They also "take me there," in terms of  baseball and spring training and warm weather.

As for the Mays card?

It's the only non-high number pictured here. In the last week-plus, I have traded away two Willie Mays cards that have been in my collection for 30 years.

I guess it's card karma that a Mays should come back to me.

2012 isn't done trying to kill me

I was quite pleased when we all turned the calendar over from 2012 to 2013. As I've mentioned a few times, 2012 was rather difficult for me. Yes, I'm grateful for the lessons learned during that year, but I don't think I want to go through anything like that again. It nearly killed me.

So I deserve everything I get for returning to that year.

But I had a good excuse. I wanted to finally update my Dodger team set needs for 2012. As often happens, I get a little bored during the second half of the card season -- especially if I don't like the designs -- and I fail to add the new sets onto my want list.

I went back and added Bowman Chrome and Panini Cooperstown and was pleased that it was so brief. I figured, "what the hell, I'll add some of the many parallels from 2012 Topps to the want list, too."

Big mistake N.O., big mistake.

Totally oblivious to the horror before me, I dutifully went through the Walmart blues, Target reds and Toys R Us purpleseses and added a whole mess of numbers to the list.

Then I did the same for the numbered gold parallels before turning my attention to the gold sparkly parallels.

While reviewing and recording, reviewing and recording, I noted that I had the Mark Ellis gold sparkly card.

That really says "Mark Ellis" on the bottom of the card -- I know you can't see it (and I like the rain forest parallels in this year's set so much better).

I went to move on to the next name when something went off in my brain.

It was my tiny little card alarm.

It rings when something is not right.

I hate that ring.

Then my alarm spoke.

I really hate it when it speaks.

It said: "Go back and look at your base set Dodgers."

Oh, god. This was going to be bad.

I turned back the pages to the base cards (this is the card world in which we live, that it took me three page turns to get back to the base cards even though I was still in the 2012 Topps Dodgers portion of the binder). There I was struck deaf and dumb by what I saw.

NO MARK ELLIS BASE CARD??????????????????????????



*Momentary loss of consciousness*


"I hope it was a dream. I hope it was a dream."

*View binder again and see nobody between Chris Capuano and Nathan Eovaldi.*


I scrambled upstairs and looked through all of the Dodger dupes accumulated over the last year. No Ellis card. I looked in my uncompleted 2012 Topps set, where I keep some spare Dodger dupes. No Ellis card. I went downstairs where I keep my very recent set dupes. No Ellis card.

Dammit to hell!

This hasn't happened to me for a long time.

Needless to say, the 2012 Topps Mark Ellis card, #588, has been added to the Nebulous 9 list.

I KNEW I shouldn't have gone back in time.

Nostalgia only works if it can't hurt you.

Sunday, February 24, 2013

Awesome night card, pt. 170

This is the only time that I have felt sorry for the San Diego Padres.

Matt Holliday's consensus failure to touch home plate in the one-game playoff between the Rockies and Padres helped propel the Rockies all the way to the World Series in 2007. Normally, I laugh when misfortune befalls the Padres (and I laugh a lot). But there was no justice in this particular play. And I like seeing justice done. I also like seeing the Rockies lose. So my sympathies, San Diego.

But it didn't occur to me until I received this night card that every team -- not just my beloved Dodgers -- has experienced injustice on the baseball field. For the Padres, it's Holliday not touching home plate. For the Braves, it's Kent Hrbek's wrestling move on Ron Gant in the '91 World Series. For the Cardinals, it's Don Denkinger. For the Orioles, it's Jeffrey Maier. For another team, it's ... umm .. well, I'm sure it's something. I'm just too immersed in the injustices done to the Dodgers to really pay attention.

The Dodgers' worst injustices are easy:

1. Steve Garvey getting called out at home plate by umpire Nestor Chylak in the 6th inning of Game 1 of the World Series in 1977. We all know he was safe.

2. Reggie Jackson sticking out his hip in the baseline, redirecting Bill Russell's throw into foul territory and scoring a run for the Yankees in Game 4 of the 1978 World Series. We all know it was interference.

(Both of these plays featured Thurman Munson, by the way, which is another reason why he'll never get off the shit list).

But because I'm so invested in the Dodgers, what I thought would be interesting is to ask everyone what they think is the greatest injustice done to their team. What was the most offensive way your team was robbed? (And I'm referring specifically to particular plays, so although I feel Marlins' fans pain if they say "Jeffrey Loria," that's not what I'm looking for).

Feel free to leave your comments on this post.

I fully realize there is often an "other side" to these plays -- if the Padres, for example, hadn't collapsed at the end of the 2007 season, Holliday wouldn't have been an issue -- but diehard fans don't see it that way. It's been 35 years since 1978 and I'll still call Jackson a cheater, no matter how poorly the Dodgers managed that particular play.

That's the fun of being a fan.

Or the agony.

It gets all mixed up sometimes.


Awesome night card: Matt Holliday, Season Highlights, 2008 Upper Deck, #396
Does it make the binder?: It's home free.

Saturday, February 23, 2013


I absolutely love my card desk. I've loved it from the moment it arrived. It's useful, it's functional and it keeps the peace.

It never lets me down and is always faithful.

But, I regret to inform you that outside forces are bringing it down. It's not performing its duties as well as it once did. I'm starting to lose things and I get this feeling that certain people are looking at it in that "will you please pull the roll-top thingy DOWN so we don't have to see all that clutter?"

The problem is that the roll-top thingy won't come down because of all the clutter.

Now there are a few suspects to blame for my desk's sudden inefficiency, but the real source of this problem is basically a good thing: baseball is back.

The return of baseball means a lot of things: going to games, watching games on TV, following your favorite players, snagging autographs, great weather, great food, all that stuff. But it also can mean stupid stuff like this "Face of Major League Baseball" nonsense. You talk about clutter, take a look at my Twitter timeline. It's as vacant as that gal in the back of math class with the ... um ... nice smile.

It also means useless promotions like this Million Dollar Chase time-waster from Topps. I've only been made aware that people are actually participating in this recently. That means someone probably wants these clutter-inducing cards. I have seven of them. Come and get them.

My desk thanks you profusely.

If you want to participate in a worthwhile online card activity where you have a very real shot at winning cards, go to Crackin' Wax and participate in his 2013 Heritage BoBuBingo game. I've played it and it's a good time. And it won't make you a slave to Topps' website.

Of course, the return of baseball means new baseball cards. This gets people all excited about collecting again, excited about trading and excited about actually doing things with cards. I'm excited about this stuff all the time, but some people need the "new" to stay excited.

My desk is fully aware of this phenomenon because I have been trying for two months to catch up with trades. I'm now about 2-3 weeks behind and trying very hard to not slip even further behind, which is very difficult because I feel like the subject of one of those old cartoons where the "Inbox" is always stacked higher than the "Outbox."

Therefore, I have no choice to feature a bunch of random transactions here on this post -- for my desk's sanity. Think of the poor guy. He works so hard.

First, I will finish off the cards that John of Johngy's Beat sent me. Along with the 1992 Dodger gold cards, he added a stack of 1977 Topps needs.

This package appeared right after another group of '77s arrived in my mailbox, and only a couple of cards emerged as wants after the dust settled. The Leading Firemen card was one of them.

"Scoop" was the other. I count about 25 bats in this photo. And at least five folding chairs. What a fun card.

The rest of the '77s will come in very handy. They are already packed and waiting at the station for a new destination.

This rain-forest parallel arrived from 30-Year-Old Cardboard. Brian's gift of Brandon League makes me wonder if I can get all of the Series 1 Dodger emerald parallels by St. Patrick's Day, and then show them all off on March 17th.

Probably not. But it would be a goal if I had any cash at this time.

The acquisition of 2013 inserts and parallels is still great fun. I like doing this through trades rather than just buying them all at once. I received this '72 mini of Gonzalez (WAIT! Is that sparkle shortprint!!! *gasp, wheeeeez*) from ARPSmith's Sports Obsession in that same package that include all that late '50s Dodger goodness. This card just got a little overshadowed.

He also sent this panoramic parallel of Ted Lilly, which someone so accurately on the MLB Network the other day said still "looks like he's 12."

THIS Ted Lilly parallel came from Fantastic Catch. The card was a total surprise and it's also my first gold parallel Dodger from this year's set. Not as fun as the red, blue and green, but we must accumulate.

Weston also sent this gold parallel of Chad Billingsley from his "official" rookie card. It's another year of hoping Billingsley can achieve great things for an entire year. We know how that goes.

More parallel, this time from @jmkoenig. Yup, another Twitter trade. I managed this before all the "Face of MLB" nonsense -- you know, back when people could get things done on there.

I also received what I guess you would call the "base" Koufax Chasing History insert? Oh, this is an ugly, ugly path you're taking, Topps.

Here is shiny Clayton from the Topps Archives set from last year. Bout time it's mine.

And to finish things off in style, I present a 1957 Topps card of The Barber, Sal Maglie.

Yes, Maglie was also a Dodger, Giant fans.

Maglie is a key figure in the town where I had my first newspaper gig, Niagara Falls. I covered a minor league baseball team in the stadium named after him. Maglie was very ill at the time and didn't make public appearances (he would die a couple years later). But everyone talked about him.

It's great to have a Dodger card of his.

I'd like to say that it's great to finally have a somewhat cleared-off desk, but I'm not even close.

I count 10 trade packages to go. And 15-20 packages to send. And cards to file and cards to add to binders and lists everywhere and paper -- what's with all the paper? And why do I still have this mini-basketball on my desk? I have no room for this thing.

Baseball's back.

Go Dodgers.