If you've been reading this blog for more than a year or so, you know that there is no busier time of year for me than March.
This is not a month for taking a trip down south, touring spring training sites, or participating in 27 different NCAA basketball pools. "March Madness" is the most appropriate title for the third month of the year and college basketball is only a tiny part of the story.
But two-thirds of the way through the month I start to see some relief. There's still much to do, and high school sports is more relentless and endless than ever (thanks a lot, moms and dads), but when the first day of spring arrives, I know that things will get easier.
Today is the first day of spring. I feel like celebrating.
It's time to slam everybody with a massive spring cleaning trade dump!
Come on! It'll be fun!
You should see the card desk. The "in" and "out" boxes are a disaster. I can barely keep them separated. And my constant desire to have original content on this blog, not just a series of trade posts, is not helping matters.
This is a necessity. You don't want me sending you the wrong cards.
First up, a bunch of football cards. Yeah, I know football isn't a spring sport -- although the NFL tries very hard to stay in your face 12 months of the year. But these were a gift from Daniel from It's Like Having My Own Card Shop for participating in his contest.
I admit don't know what to do with all the Bills cards I'm getting. The vintage Bills have a binder, and so do the Bills from the late '80s/early '90s. Everything else is in a jumbled mess down in the basement. I'm going to need to be reincarnated to have time to sort it out.
A couple Bills cards that deserve their own scans:
As a vintage guy, I have a pet peeve about retro sets like this. This design was specifically made so it would seem retro or vintage. I have no problem with the design. I love it, in fact. My issue is that this is what all card sets should look like. I would buy soooo many cards if sets looked like this. Get that glossy, shiny, colorless crap out of my face. I WANT THIS. ALL THE TIIIIIIIIME!
This is one of the few Doug Flutie Bills cards that I own. I hesitate to say this because it will make me an instant pariah, but I am not part of the Flutie cult. I think he is given too much credit by fans, particularly Bills fans. But before I go off on a rant that no one will understand, I must say that I dig clear cards. Mostly because I can turn them into my own parallels.
Just in time for spring! It's spring Flutie parallels at a Dancing With the Stars studio near you!
Now we're talking. Bruce Smith is more of my kind of player. And Pro Set more of my kind of football set.
Thanks, Daniel. Time to clear off another set of cards.
Dave, who has sent me dozens of packages, supplied another one recently. He was the first to send me a bunch of Dodgers 2016 Heritage.
He said he bought six packs of Heritage looking for Pirates and ended up with seven Dodgers. In other words, he hit the lottery, but for some reason is complaining about it.
That's some of what he pulled (I didn't know a Then & Now card was capable of showing someone besides Sandy Koufax).
He also sent me two Yasiel Puig Heritage cards:
The second one is the action variation that's in Heritage. You may recognize it from another Topps set.
Please hire a photographer, Topps.
Speaking of 2016 flagship, Dave also sent a bunch of Dodgers from the set (and one musician). I need just two base set Dodgers for Series 1 to get this thing out of my sight until Series 2 arrives.
This, I think, is a retail-only insert set. It's a good topic -- greatest streaks -- and looks pretty nice, too. It's the best Greinke will ever look, and, hopefully, play.
Dave sent me a few assorted night cards, including one super great night card that I'm saving for the next night card post. Please make sure you read that one, you'll see something likely you've never seen before.
Thanks again, Dave. You always turn up something that fits perfectly in the collection.
Another great trader -- in fact, a supertrader -- Mark Hoyle, also sent me some Heritage Dodgers, some of the same ones in fact.
But let's see a few new ones:
Here is the team card. I recognize every Dodger in this photo accept the guy in the middle. Probably somebody obvious who I'd recognize during another month when my brain is less filled with crap.
Also, the Seager Heritage short-print is going for like $40. I can wait that one out for years.
Mark apparently got the new-card fever with the arrival of 2016 Heritage, as it mimics the 1967 design that we both love. But I guess that fever traveled into other new card territory, because these two items fell out:
Mark! Stay in vintage! It's not worth it!
But thanks for being the supertrader you are.
I'm still not done with the Heritage. I received a few more from Andy of Ain't Nobody Got Time For Cardboard! This is my first deal with Andy, and I'd better get some cards out to him because he's a Cubs fan, and I am very nearly all out of Cubs. (Psssst, a tip if you want to trade with me: go with the Marlins. You won't be sorry).
Starting to lose track of who sent what Heritage, but I believe these three came from Andy. At this rate, I will complete the Dodgers Heritage team set much earlier than the last couple of years. It does help that there aren't 66 Dodger SPs in Heritage this year.
I thought we'd never get to a mini card.
I am the biggest sucker for border color parallels that exists. Not a bright move for Topps to go without borders in its flagship set. Even with that lousy design, I would still be collecting that set if there were colored border parallels as in other years.
See? It even makes the annual Gypsy Queen design disaster livable with a different border.
Andy wisely gave me a list of cards he was going to send me before he shipped them. I was going to pass on the Joel Guzman relic, just because I no longer grab relics indiscriminately. Then I saw the image and I said "gimme!"
Joel Guzman, of course, never became a future star. He played just 24 major league games. But when he was traded to Tampa Bay for Julio Lugo in 2006, there were the usual OH, MY GOD WHAT ARE THEY DOING! cries of disgust from that group of fans who play general manager fantasy dress-up and broadcast it to everyone instead of keeping it in their bedroom.
Thanks, Andy. I'm scraping up some Cubs soon after writing this.
Finally, we come to Jeff of Wish They Still Came With Bubblegum. Jeff is collecting the 2016 flagship set. But he's working at such a feverish pace that I'll never be able to get rid of my meager amount by the time he completes it.
And still he has a moment to ship out cardboard that I need. No Heritage this time, but other good stuff.
Two needs from two 2015 sets I'm still trying to complete. You will see 2015 cards on this blog until I complete them, too, so better get those cards to me.
Another Walker Buehler sighting! He's got to become a star now! I'm too invested! I've got six cards of him!
Taylor Ward, meanwhile, is a Los Angeles Angel. I don't collect Los Angeles Angels. They're stinky. This is why the Angels need to change themselves back to Anaheim and why another card company needs an MLB license.
Oh, thank goodness, another mini. I need that after that bit of Angel awfulness. Hyun-Jin Ryu is trying very hard to follow the Chad Billingsley pattern of decline and demise.
Oh, wait, I'm not done.
Apparently Kevin Brown's jet emptied its cargo of Kevin Brown cards in Jeff's backyard.
The question whenever I am bestowed with a mess of cards of one player from the turn of the century -- guys like Green and Karros and Beltre -- is which of these do I need?
I did my homework and I came up with five.
Kind of similar pictures there, but it really wasn't about the pictures at the turn of the century.
Welcome to the collection, guys. I guess.
Joc is a more pleasant Dodger topic.
These are from last year's Panini Diamond King set. And, yes, they each have the same card number, which means -- Yay! -- one of them is a variation!
Damned if I know. It's Panini, I barely know what Topps is doing.
Good stuff though.
Final card of the whole post (You made it!)
This is from the Score Proctor & Gamble Rookies set from 1993. I've never seen this card before. I could tell it was a rather beat-up card, but I had no idea how much.
I assumed the set featured cards with rounded borders. Nope. The corners are actually supposed to be sharp. But whoever owned this used it to buff the car. Rounded corners it is!
The whole thing is great, because it's Pedro.
And that's just a little of what has been sitting waiting for me this March.
There are still more cards waiting. If I haven't gotten to the package you sent, it either means I have some other post in mind for yours, or I haven't even gotten to open it yet.
Happy spring everyone!
Looking forward to breathing again.