A good way to measure the path and development of this blog is by following the exclamation point.
Some bloggers often use exclamation points in their post titles. I thought I didn't do that very much, but it turns out I once did.
I did the research and here is how many times I've used in exclamation point in a post title over the life of NOC:
2008 (four months): 7
2016 (6 1/2 months): 4
What's that tell you? Well, it tells me I was a goofy goober the first three or four years of this thing, plastering exclamation points all over everything. The totals for 2011 and 2012 are a little skewed because that was during my 1975 Topps mini quest and I can't help but use exclamation points for anything related to minnnniiiiiiiiissssssssssssssssssss!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
But the last few years has shown a more subdued night owl. It's been a more accurate gauge of my personality. I am very subdued in person. I don't say a lot. I don't have a lot to say. And I'm certainly not shouting it and spitting exclamation points.
Although I'm more excited about cards than just about anything else, the lack of exclamation points reflects my experience in the hobby. I haven't seen and done it all, but I've seen plenty and it's going to have to be very different and very appealing to get a "!!!!!!!!!!" out of me.
Some might construe this as apathy, snobbishness, sulking, boring, the usual crap that the introvert crowd receives. I've heard it all in real life. But trust me, even if I don't throw exclamation points around, I'm excited about the cards I receive. A lot.
For example, the card at the top of the post.
It arrived from Twitch in exchange for that Robinson Cano Stadium Club autograph card I pulled. I forgot all about Twitch collecting Cano. I mostly remember Marie from A Cardboard Problem accumulating his cards back when he was a Yankee. But the card belongs to a proper Cano collector.
The showstopping card I received in return is a 2014 Topps Museum Collection item, a necessary pick-up because I own maybe two patch cards and I need something patchy patch to remember Matt Kemp's Dodger days. There's also a patch (perhaps part of an "A" or "N") bit for Curtis Granderson but that's not where I'm focusing.
It's interesting that even though this card is just two years old, all four players are with different teams -- Kemp with the Padres, Granderson with the Mets, Bourn with the Diamondbacks and Upton with the Padres. Upton's name is even different now!
It's crazy how fast baseball changes these days.
That card was probably almost enough to cover the Cano autograph, but Twitch clearly thought I needed more stuff.
So let's see some more stuff:
I'm excited. Can you tell I'm excited?! Exclamation points!
I might be happiest about the Kershaw Breakout Moments card, a inconsequential insert from 2014 that became so difficult to obtain for me that I put it on the Nebulous 9 list.
Amazingly, this was not the end of the cards from Twitch.
Remember these pulsar things from last year's holiday retail boxes that everyone went loopy over? I got both the Dodgers (Kendrick is a dupe so if anyone is still collecting these, let me know).
Yeah, of course I have this card. But any time I receive a 1975 Topps card in the mail, I rejoice. When it's in almost immaculate shape, I nearly fall over. Auerbach knocked me off my feet.
Um .... ?
I had to look up Peggy Tanous, whose autograph graces this card. It turns out she's a Real Housewife, which explains why I don't know her and ... well ... I didn't know we were doing milf cards. That might be worth an exclamation point, but there are a whole bunch of question marks in there, too.
The last four cards are pretty fancy. I like the Fireworks card quite a bit. That's a nice idea and something Topps should be doing as an insert, although it seems like maybe they've done it already.
Some items at the fringes of my collecting world. A Buffalo Bill, an actress who is just a little before my time (I do remember ads for Police Woman when I was a kid) and a music card. I like the music card the best, but Dickinson's history (and sweater scrap, or whatever it is) is not to be denied.
We are still not done.
Yes, I know, exclamation point.
Twitch tried to explain this one to me, I still don't think I've got it, other than it's pretty cool. It's a 1/1 sketch card of Yasiel Puig. It's from Super Box, which if I am understanding it correctly is like a repack on steroids. There are large hits to be had, but there are no guarantees, so apparently it attracts the gambling crowd -- and explains why I didn't know what it was.
These are all parallels that I need. Still completely a sucker for the colored parallels especially. It always brings out my inner exclamation point.
You '70s people might know what this is.
This is a TCMA issue, from I believe 1975. It is an All-Time Greats set that came postcard size.
See? You could send it as a postcard if you wanted.
I remember drooling over these in one of the mail-order catalogs I received when 12 or 13. I don't think I knew that they were oversized.
It does mean that I'm going to have to get serious about finding some of those four-pocket pages, because ...
... Twitch sent a whole bunch of them!!!
I may not use exclamation points in post titles that much anymore, but I still use them all the time when I'm writing about the cards.
Thanks, Twitch. That truly was exciting. I hope you can tell.