This is the time of the year that folks trot out their year-end reviews and top-10 lists. It's been going on for ages and I've always looked forward to the retrospectives. As a youngster, I couldn't wait to see Sports Illustrated or Time magazine as they reviewed the year that was. And on the radio, Casey Kasem or some other knock-off radio show would count down the top songs of the year. The top 30 or 40 list would balloon to a top 100 list and it was glorious. If you got lucky, it would be the end of the decade and not only would they count down the top songs of the year but the top songs of the decade.
During the early '80s, lists became a huge fad and books of lists suddenly appeared on bookstore shelves (you remember bookstores, right?). I received a couple of those books and ate them up. Then Late Night With David Letterman started his nightly Top 10 Lists and sports programs like CNN Sports Tonight and ESPN started regularly issuing lists and countdowns and, well, lists are here to stay.
I disagree with the masses on a lot of things, but the public's ravenous appetite for lists and year-end wrap-ups is not one of them. You've seen my blog. I love my lists and many of those posts receive a lot of comments. That's because everyone loves lists. Right?
Well, it turns out not everyone.
Apparently lists are for older people who are lazy. I could be interpreting that wrong, but I'm -- gasp! -- in my late 40s and I don't comprehend too well anymore.
Perhaps this is a generational thing or maybe just a personal preference. But I'd like to think that lists are still universally loved, because -- ack! --what am I going to do for blog material if I can't count stuff down?
As for the lazy part. Well, yeah, I've been known to be lazy. But putting a list together actually involves work. If you want your list to have thought, that is.
In the past, I would compile lists of the best cards of the year. I don't do that anymore because I am not as much of a fan of current cards and I don't feel qualified to put together a list of 2013 cards when I've ignored half the cards.
But what I can do is create a list of the top 10 cards I have obtained in the last year. And, let me tell you, that involved work. I've thankfully received a ton of great cards in the last year and finding them and whittling them down is a half-day project.
So, without further babbling, here is a lazily put together list by an old man.
Try to enjoy:
10. Omar Vizquel, 1997 Collector's Choice: The greatest night card I received all year -- and I received some very nice ones. This is one of the most '90s cards that was ever made. I wonder if Omar still has that car?
9. Vin Scully, 2013 Panini Cooperstown, green parallel: I have a card of Vin Scully! Do you know how long I've waited for a card of Vin Scully? I've wanted a card of Vin Scully before anyone even knew you could make cards of announcers.
8. Anna Kournikova, Net Pro Does The Year Really Matter?: Among the best Listia finds in my relatively brief time on Listia. Have I mentioned this card was free? I have.
7. Nolan Ryan, 1975 Topps mini: The regular-size Ryan has been in my possession for decades. But the mini was obtained at a card show after I caught it out of the corner of my eye. Best "corner-of-my-eye" purchase ever.
6. Steve Garvey-Ron Cey, 204 Donruss Elite, dual autograph: This card might be No. 1 if Donruss put the Penguin on the front of the card, as is proper.
5. Sandy Koufax, 1956 Topps: Didn't have a clue this card was arriving in the mail. There is no better surprise than that.
4. Duke Snider, 1958 and 1959 Topps: These were part of the most epic trade of 2013 in which Willie Mays was exchanged for Duke Snider and Don Newcombe. General managers wish they could do trades like that. But they can't. Because they think they're big shots who have no time for cards. But who's laughing now?
3. Andy Pafko, 1952 Topps: The alleged most ill-treated card in the history of time managed to find its way in my collection where not a single hair on its head will be harmed.
2. Yasiel Puig, 2013 Bowman Chrome mini: The generous collecting gestures in 2013 are something that I will remember as long as I am collecting. This was the best one as a Puig card found its way to me in the midst of "Puig Is Going To Make Me RICH" mania.
1. Pee Wee Reese, 1953 Bowman Color: As a Dodger fan, there are a lot of cards I have resigned myself to never obtaining. This card was one of them and over the years I have had well-intentioned, knowledgeable collectors tell me pleasantly that I can probably forget about owning this card unless I had a ton of cash. Well, I still don't have a ton of cash. But I have this card.
That's the kind of year it's been -- pretty great when I look back on it. And I have some great fellow collecting friends.
They are so great that the following cards that I also received in the last 12 months didn't make this top 10 list:
While looking through the past year, there were lots more great cards that I could have included here. And I probably could have done a giant top 100 countdown like the ones from American Top 40 that I used to soak up back in the day.
I could have. But I didn't.
Because I'm lazy.
Brace for another year-end thing tomorrow you young, hard-working people.