Monday, May 11, 2015

First impressions

I've been in the card blogging game now for quite awhile. I've passed the one-year, three-year and five-year thresholds that seem to weed out the, well, fill in the blank ______________ (less dedicated, less foolhardy).

I've traded through the mail with literally hundreds of people and received all kinds of packages, from single cards to surprisingly large boxes that cost $20 to send. I've appreciated every last one and every last card.

Still, even after seven years, there are new people with cards who pop up all the time. For instance, there is Brian from Highly Subjective and Completely Arbitrary. Quite a few of you have traded with him already, multiple times in fact. But I travel at a much slower pace and it's taken me all this while to arrange a deal.

You might think that since I've transacted with so many different people that everyone tends to blend in and I can't distinguish one package from the next.


Each one has their own identity and Brian makes a great first impression.

For example, take the above card. It's a Bowman Chrome version of 1995 Bowman's Hideo Nomo rookie card. It's new to me, and, I have no idea what set it's from. It's a reprint card, and I'm guessing it comes from the same set as the '92 Bowman Mike Piazza Chrome reprint that I have, but never mind that. I'm impressed that a first-time trader stumped me with a card out of the box.

Now, lookee here. This card would have stumped me, too, if not for my handy Standard Catalog of Baseball Cards DVD.

This is a 1961 Golden Press card. The cards came in a perforated sheet in books. Most of the cards are very inexpensive, too, which surprises me, because the cards are from '61 and they look pretty cool. Or at least this one does.

Brian's still got my attention. This is already one of my most favorite shiny cards. Not only does it look glorious and colorful in person, but it actually cooperated with the scanner so that the card properly conveys how awesome it really is.

You can tell that Brian resides in that wonderful area in Minnesota that is filled with card shows and card shops. I've seen a couple of these Rally Caps cards, but had no idea there was a Dodger involved. If I did, I would have gone through months of stomach aches before I landed this card.

Yes, Shawn Green, these cards are Gems.

These three cards are what kicked off the deal. Brian emptied a box of 2013 Hometown Heroes and I pounced on these Dodg ... er, Los Angeles-related cards.

I'm still not happy that Hometown Heroes was a one-off arrangement, and just to express my displeasure with that again, let's turn over a couple of the cards:

I understand that nobody reads the backs of cards anymore, but you might as well make them blank if you're going to make them this unreadable. Why does Panini have such an issue with card backs? I would have had to hold those cards two inches away from my face when I was 12 to read them. I'm never complaining about the 1976 Topps card backs again.

Back to happy. Or, cardboard happy anyway. Ryu's absence from the Dodgers' starting rotation this season has made me sad about what starting pitching has become for a team with such a pitching rich tradition.

At least the Dodgers can hit.

They don't even miss this guy.

And the bullpen makes up for the starting rotation issues. Yimi and Joc are my favorite part of the Dodgers this year.

Brian made sure to note this is the gold parallel version of this card, which is very wise, because things like this have been thrown into the dupes box before.

That was quite a selection for a first-time trade, and means I'll pencil in more trades with Brian in the future.

I know he's on a trip as I write this, so I'll just say, happy trails, Brian. Hell of a first impression.


  1. I think you're the first blogger to post a trade with Brian that didn't have the words Arbitrary or Subjective in the title. I suppose that is how one manages to win the best blogger award for several consecutive years.

    On a sidenote I'm glad you like Yimi because I just sent you a sort of special Yimi card the other day.

  2. Brian hooked you up with some great cards. He is a great guy to trade with

  3. Brian is the only person that has reached out to make a trade with me. Knowing I'm a Mets fan, he sent me a great assortment of Mets, most of which I had never seen before.

  4. Did you ever try reading the backs of Topps Tek cards ? It's absolutely (literally) impossible

  5. Ryu's 2014 Heritage card cracks me up every time. If you took a picture of me when I was in Little League... chances are I'd have a similar expression on my face. Just a kid happy to be playing the game I love.