Tuesday, December 24, 2013

The dos and don'ts of sending baseball cards at Christmas time

Merry Christmas all! Can you see me on this card? I'm standing on the red present there.

I hope everyone has a pleasant holiday, receives all the cards that they desire, and I promise not to get jealous if you do.

I thought that today on this festive occasion, I'd show some cards sent to me that either arrived today, on Christmas Eve, or that showed up with season's greetings. As usual, you people are so much more on top of things than I am. I have cards that I meant to mail a week-and-a-half ago still sitting in the same spot I placed them with the greatest of intentions.

But still, even with my pokey habits, I can provide some helpful hints about sending cards at Christmas. So let's see some of them:

1. DO: Send cards with an actual Christmas card.

That's what Duff of Bleedin' Brown and Gold did. He sent the Christmas card you see up top.

I didn't expect anything from him at all. He was planning to send some of those Surf team books to me as I requested. But when he reported that he received a dreaded body bag from the post office, with the empty, torn envelope and no books to be found, I figured "welp."

But that didn't stop Duff.

This card was taped inside the Christmas card.

If we could only have baseball cards taped inside all of our Christmas cards maybe peace on earth would one day be achieved.

2. DO: Show me how to write things in Japanese.

That's what Kenny, aka "Zippy Zappy" did.

He wrote my name in Japanese (which I thought was "happy holidays" originally -- silly me, I can't read Japanese).

I love new knowledge.

I don't know when that will come in handy. But I'm sure I will hold onto the notecard he sent for years so when the moment comes that I have to write my name in Japanese, I will be able to sit for 20 minutes thinking "now where did I put that Zippy Zappy note?," scramble to the basement and sift through boxes of papers and leftover envelopes, come up empty, scramble upstairs to sift through boxes of papers and leftover envelopes, come up empty again, give up, write my name in English with an apologetic note saying, "sorry, I can't write it in Japanese," and then find the Zippy Zappy how-to four months later when I'm going through tax forms.

Of course, ZZ's greeting came with cards. Here they are:

Lots of Chromy Ryu and shinily appropriate on the night before Christmas.

3. DON'T: Bip me with a 666 card.

I'm very concerned that Santa won't show up at my house tonight because I have 32 more cards that are numbered #666 today than I did yesterday.

This is all thanks to a package that arrived this afternoon from Stephan, who is a rampant Twins fan on Twitter.

This is what I got:

Good grief, people. Just because they made a crapton of cards in 1991 didn't mean you had to buy them all.

Fortunately, I won't report Stephan to the Elf Patrol because he redeemed himself with several other cards in the package of which this is just a sampling:

Digging all of those. Except for the "gold rush"-stamped Ted Lilly card, of course, because I didn't know such a thing existed and now wonder how many more gold-rushed stamped Dodgers there are to chase.

4. DO: Complete a set for me.

This is getting to be a Christmas tradition.

For the second straight year I completed a set at Christmas time. Last year, it was the 1984 Donruss set. This year it was 1979 Topps. And my good buddy Dave had a hand in both of those.

First, a week or so ago, Tom from The Angels In Order sent me two of the cards I needed to get me down to a single '79 card:

My years of blogging experience has informed me that you can always count on an Angels fan to find Angels cards.

And, then, today, the final card necessary for a complete 1979 set showed up:

Dave did it again. He sent a package with that final card.

And now I can do this:

1970 Topps: don't care right now
1971 Topps: COMPLETE
1972 Topps: under construction
1973 Topps: don't care right now
1974 Topps: COMPLETE
1975 Topps: COMPLETE
1976 Topps: COMPLETE
1977 Topps: COMPLETE
1978 Topps: COMPLETE
1979 Topps: COMPLETE

I love the '70s.

This means that in 2014 I will be putting up a 1982 Topps want list. And don't think I won't try for 1973 Topps someday. I see that down the line some time.

But for now, I am thrilled that I can celebrate Christmas with a completion once again. As always this is excellent insurance in the likely event I don't receive cards for Christmas (very likely this year since illness prevented all kinds of shopping this year).

Dave also sent many other cool cards, but I'll save those for another time because you are trying to convince yourself that you like egg nog right now.

So those are my tips. For next year, I guess.

Anyway, everyone, please, have a wonderful Christmas.

And, as always, a happy collecting new year.


  1. Warning, the Japanese text I wrote under Happy Holidays in actually your name in Japanese.
    What HH really looks like in Japanese is ハッピー・ホリデイズ
    Oh and Merry Christmas :).

    1. OK, so what was the thing you wrote at the bottom then? I'm so confused.

    2. I believe that was the blog (NOC) name in Japanese.

      Sorry for the mix up.

  2. awesome tips. love the christmas card idea...makes it more personal!

  3. What a beautiful card to conclude your 1979 adventures! Happy Holidays : )

  4. Worth noting - that card that completed your 1979 set is now of a Hall of Famer! For some reason that made me realize I need to update my hall of fame counts in my sets since the manager triumvirate got elected recently.

  5. I will gladly take 9 of those Hatcher cards off your hands. Consider it an early New Year's present...

  6. I have some 72's for you. Send along your address

  7. The Dodgers were given card #666 by Upper Deck in 1989, 1990, 1991, 1992, AND 1993.

    1. I'm aware. Charmingly mature behavior by the Giants fan working at Upper Deck at the time.