Thursday, July 21, 2016

New experiences

Just because I'm old doesn't mean I don't enjoy new experiences with cards. I dabble in them all the time; I still like sampling and trying out things. How do you explain that pack of Bowman I bought last week? (Oh, didn't I tell you about that? That's an indication of how impressed I was).

No, if I was truly finished with new experiences, you'd see nothing but pre-1980 cards here and a complete unwillingness to understand modern cards and card strategies, rather than the semi-unwillingness to understand modern cards and card strategies that you already see.

Why just in the last few days I've experienced a couple of "new-to-me" moments.

The first has to do with the card you see up top. It is a 2007 Fleer Ultra gold parallel (not to be confused with "gold medallion") of Nomar Garciaparra.

It's even numbered to /999 in that dot-matrix way that Ultra serial-numbered things.

But the "new" part is that I received it from Nachos Grande in one of those Trade Stack transactions.

There are a whole bunch of collectors who have taken advantage of the NG Trade Stack over the years. Chris is up to 74 different stacks now. But it took me 72 stacks before I bit on my first one. What can I say? I'm picky.

I grabbed the stack after only one card was up -- because I know what I like when I see it -- and, strangely, after I had just written a post that said I don't bother chasing minor parallels, such as gold-foil ones. The Nomar Ultra card is a gold-foil parallel. I am an enigma.

So that was the first new experience. I'm happy to say I've already mailed off my cards to Nachos Grande and I'm quite happy to recommend the Trade Stack to others, all 3 of you who haven't taken part yet.

On to new experience No. 2:

This card is from Matt and Bob Walk the Plank. Matt always has such fancy cards, and this is one I've seen plenty of times but never in my hand.

It is a framed parallel from this year's flagship. As you can see, Topps made 16 versions of this particular Andre Ethier framed card (I don't know if that means 16 silver framed cards only or just 16 framed Ethiers altogether. Knowing Topps, it's the first one).

The card is as thick as your average drink coaster, and after receiving it, that's what it reminds me of, something on which I might rest a cool beverage.

Don't panic, I'm not going to do that. I admit the card is pretty cool and well worth handling a few times to admire its weight and super smooth edges. But after doing that, my first thought is, "OK, I'm done with that now."

Unlike a regular card, it does not make me want to collect more of the same. I have one framed card, and that's all I need. Why would I want another one? I suppose I could set little book stands all over the house and rest a framed card in each one, but somebody I know would shoot that down right away. And if I'm not going to display them, then I don't think I need more than one.

It's cool for what it is and now I'm done.

But that's what new experiences are all about. You try them, you test them out, and then you decide whether you want to do it again or move on your merry way.

I think it's the preferable way of approaching new things, even at my advanced age.

It's a whole lot better than what my brother, who was a picky eater as a youngster, used to say at the dinner table:

"I don't like it. What is it?"


  1. Use it as a drink coaster!!!! How about making it a wallet card?

  2. I definitely don't remember Garciaparra hitting .303 with 20 HRs for the Dodgers.

  3. Glad I found something for you to bite on a Trade Stack! Actually, I only discovered that parallel by accident as I was sorting some of my cards - it's an easy one to miss!

  4. Wow... time sure flies. There have already been over 70 stacks? I've seen a few cards I've wanted, but I never actually pull the trigger. Might need to finally join the Nachos Grande Trade Stack Club.