Skip to main content


All right, it's pretty obvious that while I'm dedicating myself to this blog, you're all goofing off -- buying presents, making travel plans, arranging for company, purchasing groceries, going caroling, giving out turkeys, working at soup kitchens.

Not many people have time to read this thing at this time of year, but I know that you're all thinking about me. While I type away in a dark corner of my basement, I continue to receive Christmas greetings from you very busy, efficient people.

Let's see what Santa has brought to the Night Owl nest, eh?

"Merry Christmas and all that Jazz," says jacobmrley from Starting Nine. This is an excellent holiday sign-off. There isn't enough jazz during Christmas. Every year, it's Burl Ives, Bobby Helms and horrible, horrible things sung by Celine Dion, but where are the Christmas jazz specials? I need some quartets and quintets with my winter lager.

The jazzy wishes came with some jazzy cards, like these from one of my favorite sets from 2014.

Finest may have come out a couple of months ago, but already two of the players featured here compete for other teams. Who can keep up?

I also received this postcard-sized item, which pays tribute to a lithograph depicting a 1945 Brooklyn Dodgers uniform. You uniform junkies will know that this is the last year that "Brooklyn" was shown on the front of the Dodgers' road uniforms.

I only know it because I read the back of the card.

Another round of holiday wishes arrived from The Lost Collector. I know he's being run ragged by tiny people these days so I don't know how he has time to send a Christmas gift. I'm impressed and grateful.

Here it is:

Numbered to 35, I'm assuming these Studio Portraits from Donruss were pretty difficult pulls about 10 years ago. But in keeping with Donruss' rather odd view of what looks good (only Panini surpasses it in that weirdness factor), it chose to make the borders on these exclusive cards lavender.

That's right, lavender. The color of flowers and 98 percent of everything in Bath & Body Works. Lavender is a color for girls who think purple hair is a good idea, not baseball.

But, hell, put Gibby on a card and make it 4/35 and I will hug it all day. Smells like cardboard though, not flowers.

More Christmas greetings???

Yes, siree, this one came with a Christmas card from A Cracked Bat.

I'm proud to say that I was the first blogger to make a trade with ACB's blog writer, Julie. That's notable because my ability to trade has been severely hampered just about all year. Will things improve in 2015? I doubt it. I'm shooting for 2016.

Anyway, Julie's card contained a single baseball card, but, boy, howdy, make room for that card:

I recently bumped up the size of my blog as it seems to be the way of the internet to treat every viewer as they're 80 years old and large-print the heck out of everything. But it came in pretty handy just now.

What a great card. It's black-bordered, it's chromed-up, it has a ridiculously forced name like "Chrome-town," and it's Hideo Nomo. We love Nomo here in the most platonic way possible.

Also, I think there's a Fred McGriff sighting in the background.

Oh, yeah, it's a relic, too.

I love Christmas surprises.

Here's another surprise. It just arrived today. Talk about efficient. It's Christmas Eve Eve!

What I have here is a half-card from Gavin at A Baseball Card Breakdown. There was once another half to this card. This is an excellent use of past Christmas cards. You people think of everything. I'm going to start doing this.

And here's the best part of the package:

I don't have to do any shopping!


So let's see what was inside the card:

It's a foily Archives Snider, numbered to /99.

It's a key insert need from the 2001 Upper Deck '70s set.

And this fantastic item.

This is the transformation of a rather pointless signed index card into a keepsake.

For someone like me, who doesn't get "an autograph for an autograph's sake" this is a treat. If you haven't read his post, what Gavin did was acquire some index-card signatures of famous athletes, and then draw on them, artify them (new word alert), and make them glow in the dark.

As you can see, it's a one-of-a-kind item. And although Gavin adds a qualifier that the autograph may or may not be authentic, I know it is because Mr. Erskine has signed for me before, and they match up.

Now, aren't those wonderful, thoughtful card bloggers?

I am staring at the unsent cards on my desk racked with guilt.

I won't get any cards out by Christmas and probably not even New Year's.

But some of you should have some cards by the time people celebrate Greek Orthodox Christmas.



BobWalkthePlank said…
I just posted about a Jay Bell custom Gavin sent my way. Cool stuff!
defgav said…
glad you like! :)
Fuji said…
You must have been on everyone's "nice" list... because these cards are awesome.
Whaaaa? That Erskine is multiple levels of great.

Merry Christmas, Greg!

Popular posts from this blog

A friend indeed

This week has been the kind of week that only late January could produce.

Nothing particularly wrong or terrible happened. Mostly what I felt this week was a sense of spinning my wheels, of working hard without result (or with other people screwing it up), of trying to get things accomplished (while battling a sinus infection) only to have a car noise or a phone call knock me back to square one.

That feeling transferred over to the blog where I probably spent too much time uploading too many photos and conducting too much research and expecting too much in return.

But all of this is a phase. It's the January malaise. I'll snap out of it. It could be worse. I could be dealing with three feet of snow right now instead of the melting three inches that is out there.

And I could be struggling through this week without an envelope in the mail from "A Friend".

That's right, "A Friend".

That's how the return address appeared on the envelope. Just above th…

Degrees of doneness

I just wrapped up my first notable card purchase of 2020.

It was an online order -- from three of every collector's favorite card-buying sites -- and with the exception of three inserts from 2019 and a stray card from 1989, every single card I ordered was made prior to 1980.

That feels good. That feels tremendously good.

I'm starting off 2020 in the right frame of mind.

It's also a good way to put a cork in the 2019 collecting season. There are various ways you can say you're done with the cards from the previous year, call it degrees of doneness, if you will (I order steaks "medium" or "medium well," I don't need anything crawling off my plate).

1. You can be done with collecting sets from 2019. I'm certainly done with that. I didn't try to collect many sets from that year anyway. The 2019 Topps Holiday set and a third of the 2019 Topps Archives set are finished and that's everything I plan to do.

2. You can be done with buying pac…

The lone Ranger

Who is Nick Solak?

Glad you asked.

And thanks to cynicalbuddha for scanning his card into Trading Card Database.

Nick Solak is a former Yankees, former Rays prospect who appeared in 33 games for the Texas Rangers last year.

That, apparently, qualifies him for being the only Texas Ranger to appear in the 350-card base set for 2020 Topps Series 1, a checklist of which was released this morning.

That's right, the ONLY Texas Ranger.

I did the count and the Rangers, with Solak shouldering the entire load, come up a distant 30th behind the 29th-place Orioles, who have a more typical seven cards.

Here is the breakdown by team that I compiled earlier:

Dodgers - 17
Astros - 17
Nationals - 16
Cubs - 15
Athletics - 14
Brewers - 14
Indians - 14
White Sox - 14
Phillies - 13
Angels - 12
Blue Jays - 12
Braves - 12
Padres - 12
Red Sox - 12
Reds - 12
Twins - 12
Yankees - 12
Cardinals - 11
Giants - 11
Marlins - 11
Mets - 11
Diamondbacks - 10
Mariners - 10
Rays - 10
Tigers - 10
Royals - 9
Pirates -…