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Showing posts from July, 2014

Down the rabbit hole

I received a ponderous number of Dodger cards from the late '90s/early '00s from Play at the Plate a couple of weeks ago.

I don't have much more to say about cards from this era than I already have. They are indeed welcome, but because they come from a time when I didn't collect and really paid little attention to baseball, most of the pleasure I get from them is checking them off the list.

My want lists from this time period are vast and pretty much immortal. I can't possibly hope to kill off all of them in my lifetime. And as evidence, Brian sent me around 60 cards directly off those want lists from the late '90s/early '00s and barely made a dent.

In fact, let's head down the rabbit hole and see exactly how much damage he did from sets of that insane, spastic era. Let's hope I can get back out the other side.


TOPPS


1999 Stadium Club

Cards acquired: two
Cards left on the want list: three
Thought I'm left with here: The play doesn't appear to be…

The end of cool

My guess is that everyone who came of age near the end of a decade has experienced this. But this is my story, and it revolves around Frank Tanana.

As a child of 10, 11, 12, I thought many of my cards were cool. Those cards featured players in action. Ralph Garr in 1975, Mike Schmidt in 1976, Bob Tolan in 1977. They also featured players with mustaches. Ron Cey in '75, Bob Grich in '76, Al Oliver in '78.

I would sit in my bedroom, or in the back patio, or on my friend's porch and shuffle, stack and stare at the cards from the mid-to-late '70s. My greatest concern, other than schoolwork, the jerky neighbor kid, or making too much noise in the house, was where I could find my next pack.

With nothing to clog my brain, I could evaluate which cards were the height of cool. And this 1977 Topps Frank Tanana card was the pinnacle.

This blog is not complete without a detailed dissection of everything that is great about this card.

First, let's consider Tanana himself. …

Fans do the strangest things

I hate to be the one to break it to you, but wearing the same shirt five days in a row just because your favorite team won the first time you wore it, isn't going to cause the team to keep winning.

Neither is turning the TV off when your team isn't doing well and then turning it on again hoping that their fortunes have magically changed.

You can sit in the same place in the living room to watch the game for 14 straight days and it's still not going to yield 14 straight victories for your team.

No matter what you do, no matter how much you believe it, no matter how often it appears to work, there is one thing for certain:

You have no effect on your favorite sports team.

I know, because I've done most of the above and several other tactics, including drinking "magical" potions and watching the game upside down (I've probably done both at the same time). And it doesn't work. Your favorite team is going to screw up ... eventually.

Yet, we persist.

Not to…

Still some life left in this little card show

I'm not sure how much longer the card show that I went to on Saturday is going to last.

It's not even really a card show, it's actually a collectibles show that caters to the old money vacationing river people that arrive here every summer. It's mostly lots of elderly people trading coins and combing for postcards.

A year ago, the show was cut from the traditional two days to one day. I missed that show because I didn't know the change was made. This year, I was wise to them and headed up bright and early on a Saturday.

When I walked in, the table where I usually paid my three bucks was empty. In place of people taking money was a donation jar to raise funds for foreign exchange students at the local high school. "That's odd," I thought.

When I turned the corner into the hall, I saw more indifference. There were far fewer people looking over wares than I had seen in past shows. And most noticeably, an entire one-fourth of the hall that once featured …