Tuesday, May 27, 2014

What I get for not paying attention

Without having the numbers in front of me, I know for a fact that I have less time for you than I did when I first started this blog.

Back then there were -- I don't know -- maybe 150-200 sportscard blogs and I gave each one my undivided attention. I read all the stories, I played all the games, I entered all the contests, I even agonized when I couldn't participate in someone's group break.

Today, there are a good deal number more blogs --- again, I don't have time to give you an exact number -- but that isn't even the reason why I don't pay attention to you as much as I once did.

It's the vast conspiracy of life that's done it. I'm more occupied both in the job and at home. But even if I take everything at individual face value -- blog, job, home, family, other activities -- none of them seem as obviously more demanding of my time than they did more than five years ago.

That's why it's a conspiracy. I don't know what's going on or why I have less time. I just know that I have fewer minutes to figure it out.

That brings me to the yearlong giveaway put on by Tribe Cards last season. Because Dave was so generous, it took him a long time to send the cards out to everyone. And, if I may be so bold as to state the underlying reason for that, I would say that Dave, like me, is dealing with the conspiracy of life, too.

The conspiracy was so large back at the beginning stages of Tribe Cards From Outer Space that I didn't even have time to select correctly when the game was starting. I was supposed to pick the players whose cards would go automatically to me. In my case, that would be Dodgers.

But somehow, I missed the window for picking my players. Or I misread the directions. Whatever. Life saw to it that I'd be behind the entire bleeping contest that lasted the entire bleeping season.

When I realized my lapse, I scrambled to recover and choose whatever Dodgers were left.

Which is why I ended up with this ...

... and this ...

... and this ...

Gagne, Brock and Honeycutt all played for the Dodgers. Each of them are featured on cards wearing Dodger uniforms. I know. I have many of them.

But because I wasn't paying attention, I grasped for players who spent a lot of time on other teams, too.

All of this means that I didn't end up with a single Dodger card from this contest that I didn't have already. Not one.

I am a failure at free.


But since it was a free contest, I could focus on more pleasant things, like non-Dodger cards that I've never seen before that are now mine.

Let's try to put lipstick on this skunk:

Fernando Valenzuela was one of the few Dodgers that I managed to claim before anyone else did. No, I didn't get a Dodger Valenzuela that I needed. But I did get this fine '95 Fleer card of Phillie Valenzuela. I suffer from an unnatural attraction to Phillies card in which green is a dominant design color (think 1988 Topps). Therefore, I think this card is estupendo.

As the quest for a complete 1982 Topps set inches to the finish line and so does my attempt to complete all the Topps sets from my childhood collecting years, cards from early Donruss and Fleer issues hold greater importance. Both of these are needs. Time will tell whether either of them eventually fills a slot in a binder.

The oldest card I landed in the Outer Space giveaway. Yeah, I have it already, but I'll be checking for upgrades. I'd also like to say that packs of 1979 Topps were the only cards I ever pulled out of an Easter basket.

Staying in the same general era for one more card. I never saw the 1981 Topps scratch-off set in my neighborhood. I don't mourn that fact, but I do mourn this ...

I would have jumped all over the chance to get my very own ball-strike indicator. I'd be bellowing strike calls at people driving past, the mailman, squirrels in the yard. I demand restitution for childhood memories lost!

Probably the "rarest" card I ended up with in this giveaway. Of course, it's a Twin so no one cares. I'm also not sure why I ended up with so many Twins. I don't remember selecting a "second team." But since I wasn't paying attention maybe Dave just assigned them to me. I'm doing an awful lot of shoulder shrugging in this post.

I never thought of Donruss Opening Day as being an update set to the main Donruss set, only because I didn't know Donruss Opening Day existed until I operated a blog. They're kind of nifty.

The beauty of never planning to complete the 1987 Topps set is discovering there are people named Cliff Speck and T.R. Bryden who played baseball. I plan to find out who they are ... when I have time.

I sort of remember making an effort to claim this card. I didn't have any Drew Henson cards. I feel it's my duty to obtain cards of failed Yankees.

Again. I'm the envy of Twins fans. None of whom are reading this blog. Or if they are, they do it very quietly.

In a lot of ways, the Tribe Cards From Outer Space contest was a lot like going on a 24-hour drunken spree and waking up next to god knows what the next morning.

BRADY ANDERSON CARDS???? Damn, what was I on last night?

Here are two more. Rey Ordonez and Don Slaught. Apparently I requested ALL OF THE ORDONEZ AND SLAUGHT CARDS GOSH I LOVE THESE GUYS, MAAAAAN!!!!!!!!!!!! right after another swig of Absolut.

I'm sure somebody could make a case that Lance Dickson and John Dopson are the same person.

I will use as evidence the fact that I now appear to have all of the Lance Dickson and John Dopson cards that appeared in the Tribe Cards contest. And it can't be possible that I requested both Lance Dickson and John Dopson. Can it?

But as I look over some of the other players that consistently pop up in the stack I see such long-forgotten names like John Orton, Darren Holmes, Barry Lyons, Lee Guetterman and Charles Hudson. It really appears like I was knocking back a few when I made these picks.

Without further disparaging the good name of Brady Anderson, wasn't there anyone notable that I selected for myself?

OK, there were a few cards of "Nails". I can appreciate that. Jail sentence and all.

And, of course, Fernando Valenzuela.

As an Oriole.

But I need to steer this back to the fact that this was a marvelous undertaking full of free cards concocted by Tribe Cards. I did also manage to snag the 2012 Card of the Year in the festivities.

And there is another giveaway going on this season, too.

This year, I prepared for it. When the word went out to select your players, I made sure I was on time and selected some good ones.

But, so far, I'm not doing too well. And the contest is attached to a fantasy baseball program this year. Surprise, surprise, I don't have any time to follow that.

This probably means that next year at this time I'll be wondering why I have cards of Wally Ritchie and exactly what was I ingesting when I was reading the Tribe Cards blog?

But that's OK.

You can't beat free cards.

Especially when you're not paying attention.


  1. If it's of any merit... I just spent twenty bucks on a 1964 Topps Stand Up of Dick Stuart. Hes in a vest so I assumed hes a Pirate, right? Then I noticed the words "Boston Red Sox" an hour later. Bloody air brushing...

  2. Those orange Donruss cards are from a set called "Baseball's Best." Donruss' "Opening Day" was only made in 1987. "Baseball's Best" was 1988-1989, which an "AL Best" and "NL Best" made in 1990 if I recall correctly.

    JT, The Writer's Journey

  3. So you were the one who got Rey Ordonez (and both cards feature him batting, something he was completely inept at doing.)

    Btw, thank you for the WalMart All-Star cards - I got them yesterday. I will be sending you some Dodgers this week, and if you ever get to the point where you are actively collecting the 1982 Fleer set, let me know - I have plenty of doubles that you are welcome to,

  4. I paid attention last year and scooped up Duke and Sandy. They arrived last week. How many more Snider puzzle pieces do you need?

    I didn't pay attention this year and missed out on the Circus.

  5. Welcome, from the land of Conspiracy of Life. That Fleer Fernando is really sweet, all the more for being a good-looking card in a set that's 98% vertigo inducing.

  6. I know how you feel. I try my best to balance the number of minutes I spend reading blog posts each day... with the amount of time I spend writing my own blog posts. Mix in a personal life and work and there just aren't enough hours in the day.

  7. Now I know where those Yankees came from, have to go thank Dave.