I've never been to the National. And I won't be there in Chicago this week either.
Sure, I'd like to go, but with family, work and financial obligations, it hasn't been high on the priority list.
I know I'll miss the majesty of what is available at the show. Everything imaginable -- and unimaginable -- in the card world will be there. But that's why I have the internets. I've already seen some of the stuff that's available there this week. It's pretty amazing.
Still, I'm a results guy. Looking at the splendor of it all is fine, but the question is: can you afford all that? My answer is "no, I can't afford all that." I can't afford the plane flight out, or the hotel room, or eating out all those days either.
But lucky me, I don't have to afford all that.
Because The National came to me on Monday.
If I was going to go to The National, I'd shop there the way I shop at any card show. I'd look for my collecting interests -- Dodgers, 1970s sets, a few cards from the '50s, random oddballs, stuff like that. Nothing exclusive, just good old-fashioned goodies.
And that's just what David sent me.
If you're a regular reader, you know Dave's sent me a lot of great stuff. But he must've been in an especially great mood -- probably because the Pirates are doing so well -- because this was as good as it gets.
It was all contained within a big box on my porch. The postman set it down on chair I have out there. If he knew how to swing things, he could have walked off with it and had a hell of a time. Fortunately, he didn't and now I'm rolling in cardboard glory.
Let's first start with something I didn't even know I was collecting:
A whole mess of 2013 Topps Series 2.
Probably like 200-250 cards.
I suppose this means I need to go through and see how close I am to completing both Series 1 and Series 2. I know that I'm supposed to be angry at Topps and not completing any present-day sets. But if I'm pretty close I think I owe it to the Collecting Brotherhood to complete it, right?
So many Brotherhood obligations.
OK, let's move on to something I KNOW I'm collecting:
I'm sure that's not all of them.
In fact, here is another one right now:
I love me some mid-1990s Mike Piazza diecuts.
Oh, and here's another one:
You can't beat a yellow-speckled Roebuck. This is definitely something I'd grab at a card show, National or otherwise.
One more ...
Yup. I'd nab a wood-cabinet TV Hoak, too.
These are from the National League team set that Topps issued this year. I've only seen the American League one in my Target and I have no idea if I would have obtained these cards if nobody sent them. So I am so happy someone removed that from hovering over my head.
The package was filled with night cards. I can't possibly show all of them here. I don't want to anyway as a lot of them are reserved for Awesome Night Card posts.
But Dave requested a specific Night Card post and I will be glad to oblige soon. So you'll see a few more of the nighty-night cards he sent eventually.
Dave is my favorite kind of reader. An attentive one.
I've mentioned oddball cards so many times here and these sure are oddball. There were even Japanese cards in the box, as well as Hostess, Leaf, O-Pee-Chee and Panini. Weeeeeeeeee!
Another example of attention to detail.
At some point I mentioned a need to upgrade my 1980 Topps Dodgers. I don't remember specifically writing this, but it's entirely possible I did. And now I'm looking forward to upgrading whatever card caused me to write that.
I'm telling you this package is just like coming back from a card show. Lots of post-event fun!
Yup, even more attention to detail.
Way in the future, I know I am going to want to see if I can collect the 1967 Topps set. I know I've mentioned that before.
Dave isn't going to let me wait. He sent me these great cards to get me a head start.
There are some more. Not anybody I know, but I look forward to finding out.
Oops, I forgot a Dodger.
I now have to see how close I am to completing the Crane Potato Chips team set.
I have a terrible time finding '75 minis at card shows, but apparently other people don't. Here is another one for the completion quest.
Yep, I forgot another 1967. Kind of a good one, too.
Here are the 1956 cards I picked out at the show.
Oh, right, Dave picked them out for me.
Aren't they great?
Some day I'll put up a 1956 Topps want list. But first I need to actually land a big name from that set (besides a Dodger) to consider myself serious about this.
For me, the absolute best part of the package was a bunch of 1972 Topps needs. Dave said he'd be sending some my way, and boy howdy, did they arrive.
There's Tom Seaver in action. He looks like he just took a shot to the ... um ... lower regions.
This looks like a regular-old Charlie Hough rookie card, but I regret to inform you it's not.
(Like an idiot, I turned this card over and noticed that the back was lighter. I searched all over the card looking for the tiny OPC copyright when I could have simply looked for the word "lanceur." Duh.)
Back to American Topps and this is one of the last "low-number" cards I need in the '72 set. And that's because it's the great Carlton Fisk rookie card. (And let's not forget future Dodger Mike Garman and childhood favorite Cecil Cooper).
Here is a terrific in-action card of future manager Pat Corrales.
But if you know anything about the 1972 set, you know we've now entered high-number territory.
1972 high numbers are nasty. Rare. Expensive.
But Dave apparently knows how to find some because there were lots of them in the package.
Isn't that great????
Sure, some are a little miscut or have a little water damage or paper loss.
Do I care?
These are ideal and I can't wait to get them in my '72 binder. Fill up all those blank pages in the back!!!!
Look! More! One of those great Traded cards in the high-number portion of the '72.
The rookie card of the Penguin! A second one because the other one is residing in my Dodger binder! Cool!
Finally, we have three cards from the very back of the set.
Those are cards No. 762, 765 and 772 in the set. And I find that so awesome, I can barely stand it.
My "National" was pretty damn terrific this year. I mean look at all the exclamation points I used.
I got exactly what I wanted, didn't have to spend a lot of money, didn't sit next to anyone smelly on the plane or get woken up by kids running in the halls in the hotel.
But, yeah, I'm still jealous of those who are at The National.
This just takes the sting out of it.