Tuesday, June 2, 2015

I hate this, thank you

Since we're "stealing" post titles now, I figured I'd steal one myself, but put a little bit of a twist on it.

I grew up in a household where "hate" was considered a terribly strong word reserved for the most evil of entities, and the word "stupid" was banned altogether.

I considered this "stupid" because the kids I knew were saying words far worse than "stupid," although I can see my mother's point all these years later. However, that hasn't stopped me.

The word "stupid" has appeared on this blog in 288 posts. The word "hate" has appeared in 775 posts. I hate like hell that I've used the word "hate" that much, but I'd like to believe that the vast majority of hate references were in regard to my opinion of cards. Not that this makes sense to my mom or anyone who considers these things merely cardboard pictures of men, but "hate" seems to do an adequate job highlighting how much passion I have for this hobby.

There are some kinds of cards where it seems that no other word -- no, mom, I'm not going to say "dislike" -- gets across how I feel about them except for "hate".

My opinions are well-documented on this blog, and I'm not afraid to express them here, which is why it's so easy for people to come across cards that I "hate." (Fortunately, I'm not shy about explaining which cards I "love," too, and people send me much more of those).

Recently, Steve of The Card Chop was fortunate enough to go to a card show. While there, he found four cards that he sent me that all have elements that I "hate," but also all belong in my collection. And for that, I say "thank you."

It's really quite a feat to dig up four different cards of sheer awfulness that still require me to keep them. This might be the card package of the year, just because of that.

The first card that I hate -- but "thank you" -- is the card at the top of the post. It's a 2015 Gypsy Queen base card of Hyun-Jin Ryu. Gypsy Queen is the ugliest licensed card product on the market today. Have I said that a few times? This year's design isn't as awful as the abomination from 2012, but I've completely ignored buying it for years now and that's the way it will stay.

Card No. 2 addresses my undying devotion to Panini.

This card is from Panini's 2014 Black Friday set, which I believe was issued on the Friday after Thanksgiving to much fanfare. I think it's a combination of several different sports, which automatically makes me not care -- besides the whole "no logos" thing.

But, of course, it's a Kershaw card -- in which he's wearing a Dickies cap and baggie jammies -- so I need this card (this is where "need" is much more useful a word than "want").

I'm just happy this card arrived after the Kershaw Turkey Red card I showed the other day. We don't need a Panini card being Kershaw card No. 400.

Card No. 3 focuses on the practice of placing two teams on the same card that nobody wants to see together.

Pairing up two teams that don't get along used to be an Upper Deck special -- god bless 'em -- so I guess Bowman is taking over the task of trolling collectors everywhere.

This card is of virtually no use to team collectors, and probably player collectors, but we grudgingly place it in our binders and boxes. Who does this interest? Collectors of "duels"?

By the way, Joc Pederson just hit his 16th home run this season and Clayton Blackburn (yes, his first name is "Clayton," the Giants just got to have everything the Dodgers have) is pumping out a plus-five ERA in Triple A.

Last card.

Steve hit the jackpot here.

This contains three annoying items all in one card. First: J.D. Drew, the least favorite player of fans of multiple major league teams. Second, ESPN, a former must-watch television station that I have now cut out of my life except for a stray baseball game maybe once every two months. Finally, Upper Deck's charming practice of featuring relic cards of a player pictured with one team but listed with another.

Even the card back proclaims "Congratulations!: You have a piece of jersey worn by J.D. Drew in an official Dodgers' Major League Baseball game ..." written over a picture of J.D. Drew wearing a Braves jersey.

However, at the same time I am standing up and applauding The Card Chop for finding such a card and joining it with the others.

Good sir, you have captured just about everything I "hate" about modern cards in one succinct card package.

And I hate you for it.

But thank you.

My mom told me to say that.


  1. Very well, I'll keep my eye out for more Dodgers & Giants/Angels/Padres/Rockies/Diamondbacks/Yankees pairings from future Bowman products and save them just for you.

  2. You are so right about that J.D. Drew card. ESPN is as unwatchable as that card is ugly...and yet, sometimes, we still have to have it in our lives because we have to see a particular game....

    Great post, N.O.

  3. Nothing but the best for the best blog in the hobby! Just as the ancients believed earth, wind, air and fire were the four essential elements of which all other things consist, so too are these for the Owl's collection.

  4. To paraphrase the late Blues shouter, Joe Turner, "Hate is too important an emotion to waste on something you don't even like."

  5. I agree, ESPN is the worst.

    Great post!

  6. ESPN is the biggest superstar marketing, large media market catering, fratboy bro highlight recycling network out there. (Though I must say the MLB and NFL networks really cater to the large market teams - maybe even more.)
    But esspin's commercials for SportsCenter are awesome. The Steph Curry, Manning brothers, NJ Devils mascot, etc. are classic.