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Showing posts from September, 2013

Back in the blog good ol' days

First, because people might have missed it because I haven't been in the habit of posting on this blog overnight lately, I am hoarding Steve Garvey cards. I apparently have a thing about fallen heroes.

I look at my first year of blogging with the same nostalgic haze usually reserved for bad '70s music and '80s neon. It was a fascinating time full of new cards, new collecting partners and newly discovered blogs. Not only was I finding already established blogs, but new ones seemed to appear every week.

The blogging giddiness has disappeared over the years for me and, it appears, for others. Lots of blogs established during 2008 and 2009 aren't around anymore, or are stuck on some distant date in the past, frozen in time.

Every once in awhile, though, a blog reappears and I love it when that happens.

A few weeks ago, I received an email from someone who was blogging during that first year I was, who had returned to blogging. The blog -- Project Phillies -- hadn't be…

Welcome, Popeye

I was never the biggest Steve Garvey fan.

Even during his highest moments with the Dodgers, the great postseasons, the fantastic All-Star Games, the relentless ripping of certain teams (he seemed to slaughter the Padres), I was looking elsewhere.

Ron Cey, of course, was my favorite player on the team at that time. After The Penguin, I rooted for Reggie Smith, Dusty Baker, Davey Lopes, Pedro Guerrero and pitchers like Don Sutton and Doug Rau.

This isn't to say I disliked Garvey. I was proud of his accomplishments and any time he would excel in the game on a national stage so everyone could see it, I glowed. "That's the best player on MY TEAM," I said to myself.

I was very upset when Garvey was called out incorrectly at home plate during the 1977 World Series against the Yankees. I was embarrassed for him during that brawl with Sutton in '78. And I would recite for anyone who would ask (not enough people did) what his consecutive games played streak was and how fa…

'56 of the month: Brooks Lawrence

During the last '56 Of The Month post, I unveiled what I said was the worst-conditioned card in my 1956 Topps collection.

Hmmmmmmm ....

I kind of forgot about this one.

I don't really consider it as beat up as the David Pope card, but just for posterity's sake, let's look at all the things that are "wrong" with this card:



I love the M's.

This is another one of those cards that I received from that grocery bag when I was a teenager. That bag is really the main reason I'm pursuing this set. I'd never have the guts to do so otherwise.

But there are still major obstacles ahead. Lawrence represents another chore besides the very obvious one of picking up a Clemente/Aaron/Williams/Mays/Mantle/Berra/Robinson from this set.

You see, Lawrence is card No. 305 in the '56 set.

Out of all of the cards I obtained from that grocery bag -- and I accumulated a good one-fourth of the cards from the '56 set out of there -- only two cards were from the last …

Goodbye A-Rod, hello cards I want

It's not often that I receive an offer that I can't refuse. Sure, there are plenty of "do this or else ..." moments in my life. But I'm talking about something in which both ends of the equation are "oh, boy, where do I sign up?!"

A couple of weeks ago, Kenny "Zippy Zappy" contacted me about another deal. He said he had a handful of cards for me and all he wanted in exchange were some cards of Alex Rodriguez.

I stared at the email blankly.

"Hmmmm, that's strange," I thought. "I know Kenny. I've traded with him before. I've seen him trade with others. But goodness this sounds like spam."

A-Rod cards. He wants A-Rod cards?

I read the email again.

"I'd love to trade for any A-Rods (I know this will shock you but Alex Rodriguez is one of my favorite players)."

Yeah, that's got to be spam.

But just because I'm a nice guy, I sent a reply to Kenny -- if that is his real name -- and braced myself …

Minis come to their rightful owner

As you know, there are quite a few Dodger collectors on the blogs (when I started there were two). They show all their Dodger card acquisitions, and I'm fine with that, except for the part of me that cries in the night, "those should be MIIIIIINNNNNE!"

Also from time to time, I see someone boasting about something that they acquired that is right smack in the middle of my collecting interests. A Kellogg's 3-D card, or a '75 mini, or a shiny Kershaw insert.

Those collectors have the right to those cards. But we all know where they really belong.

Unfortunately, this is life and things never work out as they should. Not even in card collecting. There is no world peace. Coffee smells great and tastes like tires. Pee Wee's Playhouse hasn't been on my TV for years.

But every once in awhile, the stars align, people of all races and creeds put aside their petty differences, and cards that have night owl written all over them do meet their destiny.

Such a moment …

Streamlining

A couple of weeks ago, during my anniversary post, I mentioned that I'd like to make some small changes on the blog and in my online approach to the hobby.

Although these are such minor changes that I don't expect anyone to notice, I'm doing them for a reason. As much as I'd like this blog/collecting thing to be my job, it's not my job. I need to streamline, as they say in the auto industry.

The easiest way to streamline is to scrap activities that I never have time to do.

I operate three blogs and I'm on Twitter. That's plenty and there shouldn't be any more projects unless it involves cashing a paycheck.

So, you probably didn't even notice, but the link to my tumblr page has disappeared. The page is still there, but I haven't done anything with it since January. I never have time to put anything on there, and tumblr is really an image-driven medium. I'm not a photographer or graphic artist and I feel uncomfortable posting images that othe…

The birthday that almost wasn't

More than two months ago I "celebrated" a birthday. "Celebrated" is in quotes because you don't really celebrate birthdays at my age. You mark them grudgingly and take solace that it should be a 24-hour time block free of irritation.

But beyond that, I wasn't in the mood for celebrating because I knew by that time that the cash I usually receive for my birthday, that I would normally spend on cards, would have to be saved for the possibility that it would be spent on bills.

Oh, that's ugly.

So, yes, there was cake and ice cream and people and presents and a night out and songs and all that. But what's a birthday without being able to buy cards? That's not really a birthday to me.

If I was younger I would've thrown a tantrum and shut myself in my room the whole day. But those days are long gone and I grimly accepted my fate. I held on to that birthday money for two months. Some days I was just a pen stroke or keyboard stroke away from blowin…