Thursday, November 21, 2013

In the zone

I didn't know this until today, but I have won a card contest every month since August.

I don't consider myself one of those people who wins contests all the time. As I just mentioned, I even ignore contests for free cards sometimes.

So if I don't always enter contests, how do I keep winning?

Well, for five easy payments of $99.99, my proven contest-winning methods can be ... nah, not really. I have no idea how I keep winning. I'm just in some sort of contest zone. Like a hitter in a hot streak, I'm seeing the ball real big right now. It's like a beach ball up there. A giant, free-card-filled beach ball.

Let's see the rundown of contests I've won:

August: The "guess how much the cards I bought at the card show cost" contest, from gcrl
September: The "explain yourself for minis" contest, from It's Like Having My Own Card Shop
October: The "almost the easiest World Series on the Web" contest from Collector's Crack
November: The "I don't think there was a name for this contest" contest from Baseball Card Breakdown

That's quite a streak there.

It makes me think that I'm overdue for a contest of my own. ... But that'll have to come after all the holidays. ... In January maybe ... Except I'll probably be busy with Super Bowl stuff then ... and then the Winter Olympics ... before you know it's March Madness ... Ugh, stupid sports.

Anyway ...

This is a happy post! Because I now have all of my winnings here with me!

In the last few days, I received the cards from the August contest and the November contest. So let's see them now.

These are the cards from gcrl. This is one of those contests where I forgot all about winning and I could have been hoodwinked very easily. But Jim is a stand-up card guy and he delayed sending them so there was just the right amount of surprise factor, and boy was I surprised!

This is the parallel for the Al Oliver Upper Deck Heroes card. You can see the weak parallel action on the right side there. That's what passed for a parallel in the '90s. Copper foil printing. Lame.

Of course, the best part of this card is the contrasting Expo Oliver floating head with the rare Dodger-uniformed Oliver photo. A classic.

I've received this card many times. My knowledge of mid-to-late '90s cards is still hazy so I still fear that this is not a dupe but some sort of parallel unable to be detected by someone who grew up in the '70s. Or perhaps I still have this card on my want list and I'll continue to get this card until I finally realize it's on there. Duh.

At any rate, it's a Nomo rookie card and I'll take all of them that I can. If people hoarded them in '95, I can hoard them now.

These are three fringe Dodgers from the 1977 National League Championship team. Two of them aren't even wearing Dodger caps. But that Davalillo was a Phillies killer.

I sure like this one. This 1962 Ron Perranoski is in finer shape than the one I plucked out of a dollar box a couple of years ago:

It also means I have three '62 Perranoskis because on the same day I received my gcrl Perranoski, I got another one in the mail from Dave K.

That's good news for Scott Crawford because he'll be getting one. But if you want the punched-in-the-eye Perranoski, it's all yours.

Jim also sent me cards off my 1979 Topps want list:

Pretty cool. The Buckner card is almost legendary, and would be if not for that fool Cubs uniform. Jim Rice is smiling because you can say anything you want and he's still in the Hall of Fame.

With these cards and an envelope that arrived today (which means you'll see the cards in about two weeks), I think -- I THINK -- I am two cards away from finishing the 1979 Topps set.

But I'm not going to formalize that until I have time to check my binder. Only then will I make a grand announcement of what I still need. Who knows? I may even make an appearance on the One Card Challenge post.

Those were some very satisfying cards from Jim.

Now let's see the cards sent from Baseball Card Breakdown for my November win.

If you haven't read Baseball Card Breakdown, you're missing out. Gavin has one of the nicer new card blogs out there, and it's one that I try to check out every day (one of these days I'll make a list of my favorite card blogs and piss everyone off). He does some very cool gif-type stuff that I'll never be able to do, so the blog is cool for just that. But I like his topics, too.

He's holding regular contests and lucky randomizer me, I won the first one!

I got to select two key cards from the prize pool, but he also sent some excellent Dodgers. Let's see those first:

Here are your generic Dodgers on what I believe is the latest version of Prizm. My inattention has left me confused.

I know some collectors like these. The card stock is weighty and there's shine to them. But I'm not one of those collectors. Moving on ...

ARE YOU BLIND NOW???????????

THIS is shiny.

These cards almost need warnings on them. I'm sure in '95 they probably knocked people over on the street when they opened them. I can only imagine how interesting these things are while self-medicated.

The Topps Retired Signatures set is phenomenal and having another Valenzuela card is phenomenal. But it's not the most phenomenal card in this contest win.

However, this card IS foreshadowing. So take note.

Not all the cards were Dodgers. In fact, the rest are not. This is a 1982 Topps need. I will be starting on completing this set as soon as '79 is done.

OK, here we've arrived at my two hand-picked selections. I picked this card because I wasn't collecting in 1998 and I don't think I had ever heard of these Wave Of The Future cards.

They're an insert set from '98 Flair Showcase and to make it look like the player is floating around in the ocean, they put vegetable oil between clear plastic and added sparkles around the edges.

You can squeeze the card and the oil bubbles around the inside of it. Or just look here.

It doesn't actually seem like a card. It's more like if they loaded your ATM card with liquid.

But that said, it is FANTASTIC.

And I don't even remember Rich Butler.

OK, on to hand-picked card #2:

I am dying to break this out of its prison.

These are the best part of the Retired Signatures set. If I was a different kind of collector -- meaning I had money -- I would be buying these signed cards every week. I love this set -- who doesn't? -- and I love the players in the set.

Bob Grich was a favorite going back to my earliest days of following baseball. The '76 Bob Grich card should have been a poster in my room, and why it hasn't been a Cardboard Appreciation topic yet, I do not know.

So to have an autographed card of Grich is too awesome.

Thanks, Gavin.

And thanks, Jim.

I don't expect my contest streak to last for much longer. Even my night owl powers have their limits.

But it's been a good run.

Probably should have bought some lottery tickets, though.


  1. A. I couldn't stop staring at the decade old Pacific Prisms... they're absolutely mesmerizing.

    B. That Fernando card is awesome. Kudos to Topps for their photo selection.

    C. I applaud your decision to free Grich.

  2. Aw, glad you got/like the cards, Greg! And getting props on Night Owl Cards.. I feel like I've "made it" as a card blogger now! :)

  3. All those wins and not one from PATP? Unbelievable. By the way, since I won that same day, I thought I'd let you know you took the same two cards I would have chosen.

    If you ever list your favorite blogs, I predict that will be the most commented on post you ever write!

  4. You should've put a big warning at the beginning of the post about all that shiny cards. Now I can see them in everywhere I look.

  5. As soon as I saw that Wave of the Future card on his blog a few weeks ago, I immediately went to COMC and dropped a few credits on the Todd Helton. Came in yesterday. What a wild card...

    If you want another guaranteed contest "win":

    Plenty of free cards left!

  6. Ya know, had I known you wanted to break out the Grich from the case, I would have happily done it and saved myself about a buck in shipping! :)

  7. If my memory serves me correctly there are 4 versions of the Nomo card. Silver, Silver Die Cut, Gold, Gold Diecut.

  8. That wave of the future card is crazy. I need to pick one up.