My wife knows I love cards more than any other inanimate object. People fuss over their gardens, vehicles, clothing, recipes, golf games and beer. I fuss over cards.
She has bought precious few cards for me in the last 10 years. I've never discussed the why with her, but if I were to guess, the reasons are probably that she has no idea what they are and no desire to learn, and -- this is what I don't want to hear, therefore no discussion -- aren't all those cardboard pictures kind of unnecessary anyway?
It doesn't matter that she doesn't buy them because I love her, of course. But wouldn't it be nice if I could be as specific as I wanted -- "I would like to complete the 2001 Upper Deck 1970s Decade set, here are the cards that I need" -- and she would find them? But that's never going to happen and isn't she the cutest thing?
However, in the last year or so, I've noticed an effort. A couple of times this year, she has come across cards while shopping for other things, and I've found them on my desk when I come home from work or wherever. A couple of months ago I posted about how she grabbed some junk wax from the dollar store for me. It's been things like that.
This Christmas she supplied me with the above gift card to Target, knowing that I'd dedicate it toward cards. She also gifted me with a much-needed binder and a few pages. (But I notice she avoided my very detailed request for tobacco-style mini pages, with accompanying UltraPro link!).
She also took care of my card-mailing needs for a little while:
I can't complain there!
Then, on Christmas morning, she handed me a small rectangular package. I looked at it and instantly pegged it for a hanger pack of A&G or Archives. It was just that size.
I was wrong. So, so, wrong.
Now, what I am about to reveal is going to be considered not all that bad by some collectors. In fact, you're going to think it's pretty nice. Some who are of a certain team persuasion are going to like it a lot. But consider where I am coming from: a diehard Dodger fan, who has become more and more diehard as the years go on.
OK, so I unwrap the package and notice right away that it's a small stack of cards, held together with a rubber band. I take a look at the first card in the stack and it appears ... to be autographed.
This is the card:
It's Robby Thompson, with his alleged signature on a 1993 Leaf card. "Eew!" I thought immediately. "A Giant." But I shuffled past it quickly, thinking it was a random selection of cards.
As I fanned out the cards to see the next ones in the stack, this is what hit me:
Ho-leee Crap. That's a bunch of gross Giants with signatures on them. "Oh no, oh no, oh no," I felt my brain saying. "No, no, no. Not good! Not good!" I don't know what kind of a look was on my face, but I'm sure you could set your phasers to "STUNNED".
Yet, I advanced a little deeper:
Pow. More and more Giants. All Giants from the late '80s/early '90s. All with signatures. I believe that when I finally came to grips with the fact that I was being gifted entirely with Giants is when I exclaimed, "these are all Giants" in an incredulous, but not mean, way. At least I hope it didn't sound mean.
Now, I'm saving this particularly terrible part for right now, but know that these cards were mixed in with the others:
Yes. Autographed cards of Will Clark, a player I am definitely on the record on this blog as disliking.
Wait, I forgot one:
A signed and encased Will Clark card.
I took it out of the screwdown because I can't bear to have even a Will Clark card in one of those things.
OK, now let me pause in the middle of this horror to answer a few questions.
1. No, my wife does not read my blog. How could you tell?
2. Yes, she knows I am a Dodger fan.
3. Yes, she knows I don't like the Giants.
4. She has no idea how I feel about Will Clark. I'm sure I've never mentioned him to her. Why would I?
So I know you still have so many questions. I still have questions.
It seems she was at a craft show a month or two ago with one of her friends. Whenever she goes to craft shows, I don't bother even thinking that there will be cards there. I've been to a few craft shows -- a long time ago when husband and wife tagged along to everything together -- and, believe me, there was nothing there even close to a baseball card. A stuffed, sewn cow playing baseball that you hang on your wall that alarms guests? Maybe.
But, lo, she apparently found someone selling cards there. Selling signed Giants cards there. How there happens to be someone with signed Giants cards -- and only signed Giants cards -- all the way over in a small town on the east coast, I have no idea. My guess is that there is some evil force out there that wants to torment Dodger-loving night owl in the most ironic ways possible, and this certainly checks that box.
My wife was quite pleased she found these. And I think she was so pleased that it didn't even register that they were Giants cards. They were signed baseball cards! Surely I would think they were cool.
And in some way, deep, deep down, I do. I certainly think the thought was cool.
(It's slightly possible that she got the cards knowing they were cool enough to trade whether I liked them or not. I haven't had the time to strike up that kind of conversation with her, but we are in a whole other realm of the relationship if that was the case).
Here is one last card that I actually do think is cool, even given his history against the Dodgers:
Yup. Mr. Shot Heard 'Round The World. Signed.
Perhaps you're asking, "but are the autographs real?"
I am pretty sure they are all real. I did some comparing and most of them check out. The Clarks check out (although the Post card looks a bit off). The Brenly and Bass cards look identical. The Thomson card looks similar to a lot of his signed cards. The Kingery card is a provided card with religious information on the back, so I'm sure Kingery handed those out and signed them. The Mitchell and Thompson cards are sloppy but I believe they're real, too.
At some point, I stopped verifying and threw up my hands. "Damn it, they're all real. And I don't want any of them."
OK, I could keep the Thomson. He did attend a college that my newspaper covers, so that's worth keeping.
The others? Let's hope that Adam is looking for some signed Giants cards from 25 years ago. If not, I know there are about a dozen deluded Will Clark fans out there. I am ready to distribute!
After opening that package, I wanted to lean back on the couch and just absorb what had happened for at least the rest of the day. But there were more presents to open and then all of the other Christmas festivities. So I just shrugged it off and tried not to go back to it.
For awhile, I thought I'd never even write about it. It was that kind of devastating. But you know that's not me. This blog is for my card experiences, every one. And this was an experience.
You know, if I went with her to every craft show, this wouldn't have happened. Maybe she needs to go to every card show with me, too.
Big picture: My wife is trying more than she has ever tried before in terms of actually finding cards for me.
That is definitely something. She tried.
Or maybe I should tell her to stop trying and stick with buying supplies and gift cards. That way, nobody gets hurt.