Monday, March 25, 2013

Hey, neighbor

One of the best ways to endear yourself to an Upstate New Yorker like me is upon hearing that I am from New York say things like:

"How can you stand the traffic?"

Yeah, that's the best. Or ask me if I've watched any Broadway shows, or how much Yankees/Mets tickets go for, or if you can still visit the Statue of Liberty.

The fact is I live in a place where traffic is almost never an issue (except for exceptionally slow drivers), and where I have as much access to the Yankees or the Statue of Liberty as someone who lives in Virginia.

Upstate New York is very different from the perception. It covers a large area. It has some cities, but there are places I can go to in Upstate NY that look very much like you're in the middle of Wyoming. In fact, there is a county in the state named "Wyoming."

Still the vast majority of out-of-state people hear "New York City" when I say that I live in New York.

So one might assume then that all of us Upstate New York bloggers live right next door and swap cards as we dodge taxicabs and bike messengers while running back and forth between our outrageously expensive apartments. But that's not the case. I have never met a blogger in person, including any that live in Upstate N.Y.

Many of the Upstate bloggers are no longer blogging. I can think of four off the top of my head. But the two who live closest to me are plugging away, thankfully. In fact, both of them sent me cards recently. As you can imagine, they didn't take long to get here.

Roy-Z of Plain Gray Swatch shipped me a couple of Nebulous 9 needs as part of our continuing trading of packages up and down Route 81. In fact, I've got a package ready to head down the highway tomorrow.

Here is the last Dodger I needed to complete the 2006 A&G team set. Raffy is giving me a knowing look that seems to say, "You Dodgers are cursed to have injured shortstops for the rest of time."

And here is the last Dodger I needed to complete the 1994 Score team set. That appears to be Derek Bell ducking wisely.

You will be seeing this card again before this post is out.

But first let's see some cards sent to me by Michael from The Card Raven. While Roy-Z of Plain Gray Swatch lives to the south of me, Michael lives to the north. He lives pretty close to where I once lived. I know his area well. I even know the nickname of a high school team around there. They're called the Flyers. Except for the hockey team, which is called the Icemen for reasons I don't understand. I mean there IS a hockey team called the Flyers. (There is another school there whose nickname is the "Larries." I don't get that one either).

But that was another tangent.


The Card Raven seems to have scouted out quite a few of these gold parallel insert items. They're not terribly difficult to find, but I've only stumbled upon a few.

I'm showing this card only because of how disturbed I am by seeing Eric Karros with a goatee. I was also noticing the other day in my travels that just about every man within a 50-mile radius of me has a goatee. I don't have an issue with goatees at all, it's just that on that particular day, it started to seem like a cult.

This is the most flat chrome card I have ever experienced. There is nothing more glorious than a chrome card in which one edge is exactly parallel to the opposite edge. It's beau-tee-full.

Todd Hollandsworth ...

... with no major league experience.

When were collecting as kids in the '70s and '80s, we would have laughed in the face of this card and then ripped it up in tiny pieces and used it as bedding for the hamster.

Pre-rooooooooooookies and their no major league experience. Pssssh.

With the ready availability of retail parallels in 2013 Topps, I've already forgotten how slightly more difficult it was to pull them last year. I needed every last one of these.

And there's the Score Sharperson card again in Gold Rush form.

How about that? I received the same card from the two bloggers who reside closest to me. One from the north and one from the south.

They must have arranged this ahead of time. Apparently they got together after getting back from the Mets game. I wonder what the traffic was like?


  1. You don't have an accent. You do live in New York, don't you.

    signed "A former North Countryman"

  2. Most people are surprised that as big and urban as NYC is, in just a matter of minutes you can be up through Westchester County and then on into some of the prettiest country anywhere. I, for one, love New York State.
    I'm trying to talk my wife into retiring there.

  3. Once, cira 2001, I introduced myself as from NY.

    The girl I was talking to asked me if I saw the smoke from the Twin Towers.

    I work in the agriculture industry in New York. That's right. We have cows. And goats. And lots and lots of corn and soy. In New Yawk!

  4. I have been to upstate New York twice in my life (work conference in Saratoga Springs and a trip to Cooperstown) and never to NYC so your description is all I know of the fine state of New York.

  5. Oh yeah? Well, I get "Fargo" all the time when I say I'm from Minnesota, so THERE!

  6. LOL! Very awesome post, I must say.

    Those Flyers were actually my school's mascot as I lived on the outskirts of Potsdam and went to Norwood-Norfolk Central School because of some weird zoning/district laws.

    Small Upstate NY!

    Glad you enjoyed the cards! : )

  7. If it makes you feel any better, I’m originally from Long Island and I used to get a lot of the same stuff. “Long Island” is just a 5 minute subway ride from any conceivable point in Manhattan, right? I’d have to explain that I lived 45 miles away from Manhattan and the least inconvenient way of getting there was a 90-minute train ride… and that just got you into Penn Station, chances are you’d still have to take the subway to wherever you were looking to go.

  8. I get the same thing down here when I tell folks I am from NY. I have to tell people the drive from Oklahoma City to Austin is approximately the same distance as my hometown is from NYC. Only then does it really sink in.

  9. soooooo.... does this mean you CAN'T get me Letterman tickets??

  10. I'm from a town in Ohio called Wyoming. It's a suburb and probably nothing like Wyoming the state. Our mascot is the Cowboys though, like the college.

    I've never seen that Fleer set before. It looks kind of how I think Fleer should look, except for the goatee, before they started getting real crazy around 1995.

  11. I know how you feel. I'm from Texas and I've never ridden a horse, I don't own a cowboy hat or boots and my family DOES NOT have an oil well.

  12. As someone who has lived upstate and in NYC, amen.

  13. The New Orleans/Louisiana disparity is very important, too. The N.O. metropolitan area is vastly different in just about every way from the rest of the state, including "big" cities like Baton Rouge and Lafayette. There is some cultural crossover, but you'll find Louisianians who live miles away from the urban center still claim N.O. as home.

  14. I live in Southern Illinois and I have never even wanted to lay a hand on a gun to kill a deer. It's funny because a neighboring school to our county gets off for the first day of hunting season. It's called deer day.