Wednesday, January 7, 2015

The readers

The majority of my trades through the mail are conducted with fellow bloggers. We are a community and there is an understanding among people who both blog and collect. We try to treat each other right, not because the other person has a blog and we're afraid of them publicly calling us out, but because we know that anyone who enjoys collecting so much that they want to write about it on an almost daily basis is someone who deserves cards. Lots and lots of cards.

When people without blogs first started contacting me about trades, I didn't know how to react. I admit I was a little suspicious, and I've mentioned that in posts of the past.

But since I've been blogging for over six years now I've come across lots of readers who collect but don't blog and, let me tell you, many send the most terrific cards you've ever seen.

Dave, mr haverkamp, Steve E and several others have provided some of the best and most interesting cards in my collection. And none of them, to my knowledge, run a card blog.

Well, now I'm going to add Alan to that list.

Alan doesn't live all that far from me and his love for cards is obvious. Like me, he doesn't have anyone around him to talk about cards, so he'll send an email from time to time and we talk cards a bit (I have this nasty habit of not having enough time to check my email every day so sometimes I'm a little slow).

He sent some great cards a couple of months ago, most of which were oddballs and obscurities that I was viewing for the first time.

So the other day he sent me an email saying he had a belated Christmas package for me that featured an "O-Pee-Chee feel".

O-Pee-Chee? I love O-Pee-Chee! Bring it on!

So I opened the package today and, sure enough, there were some O-Pee-Chee goodies:

I'll start with a non-Dodger first. When I saw this card, I thought it was an OPC photo variation because -- and hold onto your hats here -- I have never seen a 1987 Topps Kirk Gibson card.

OK, for those of you still left reading this, it turns out that's the same photo that's in the '87 Topps set. I'm such a newbie.

Some O-Pee-Chee cards give no indication that they are O-Pee-Chee cards, other than the lovable rough borders, until you turn the card over to the back.

I prefer that there is an OPC logo of some sort on the front, like this:

It's funny how a simple logo change can make you feel tingly all over.

So, yeah, Alan was right. The package did indeed have a definite O-Pee-Chee feel to it.

But I discovered that he also was leaving some crucial facts out of his email.

Let's see those crucial facts:

A 1960 Topps rookie card of Frank "Hondo" Howard.

A 1940 Play Ball card of Hall of Famer Waite Hoyt, who is known for starring for the Yankees during their Murderer's Row run in the 1920s. Yet, this card shows him with the Brooklyn Dodgers. Hoyt played but six games for the Dodgers during the very end of his career.

Isn't that card the coolest? I mean just for the stirrups alone.

However, this card wasn't the coolest one in the package.

Presenting ...

A 1953 Campy????????

Yup. That's one of those right there. And it's in as fine of shape as I could ever have dreamed.

When it slipped out of the stack of cards in the envelope, it caused me to smile immediately and I thought, as I always do when a card like this shows up unannounced, "you've got to be kidding me here."

But I have received so many of these cards over the years, from readers without a blog, that I can't say I'm surprised anymore.

Instead I am trying to figure out how it is that these collectors without blogs can send cards like this.

And then it occurred to me:

They can get cards like this because they don't blog!

We're too busy blogging to find these cards! Every day I think, "Well do I shop for cards or do I blog? Do I compile trade packages or do I blog?" You know what wins 90 percent of the time?" Blogging! I guess I find it comforting or something.

I'm kind of kidding here, but there must be something to it. I do wonder how much more time I could devote to the collection if I didn't blog. If I was "just" a reader. Just imagine all that extra time to search for cards.

However, that's not going to happen. At least not anytime soon.

But if someone without a blog sends me a 1952 Jackie Robinson, that's it. I quit.


  1. I hear ya on the blogging. Nobody realizes how long it takes to upload pics, put together a readable post and get it published daily unless you do blog. It takes away a lot of free time in sorting and looking for new treasures. But, it's fun and not something I plan on retiring from anytime soon.

  2. Love the Campy and the Play Ball card is just as cool!

  3. I totally agree on the blogging. It takes a lot of time and effort, and as I have less free time than I did 3 or 4 years ago - I end up trading a little less. But still blogging a comparable amount.

    In some ways this can be a good thing. I think blogging makes you slow down a little bit and I don't spend quite as much on cards. And pay more attention to them.

  4. I've already been totally impressed your ability to consistently find the time to dedicate to your blog. I tried for a few years but then I because a daddy for the first time and my time to collect (and blog) has been put on hold.

  5. That's why I don't post as much now...not lack of interest, but I wasn't doing anything with my cards other than write about them. I'm still trying to find the perfect balance.

  6. As a non blogger I appreciate the work and dedication all you bloggers invest to share your experiences and card joys. I have a lot of interest in card collecting but because of the lack of time and finances my "hobby" lives vicariously through you bloggers - so thank you very much for sharing your interest, experiences and observations. I especially enjoy it when you share your childhood experiences collecting those cool cards from the 1970's, like I did, and I don't have someone who I can talk to locally about cards. Thanks to all.

  7. I, too, like my O-Pee-Chee's with front logos. If they don't have one I put a mini-post-it note to that effect right on the binder page for accounting purposes.

    "Schoolboy" is fantastic!

  8. Yeah, too much blogging sometimes, not enough sorting the piles of baseball cards sometimes.

    I've never seen an '87 Gibson either, and I would actually have pulled that one aside from the 500 or so 87s that live in a shoe-box I own. Those dang things keep coming out of the woodwork in desirable slices and I hate the woodwork.