Skip to main content

Nothing better

I just got back into town after several days away.

Usually, the day I get back into town from vacation is the day before I have to go back to work. I don't know why I arrange it that way. I guess I want to squeeze the maximum amount of enjoyment out of my vacation, down to the very final hours, before I return to that familiar drudgery.

But this time I'm back with several more days of vacation remaining. I've got to be honest, there is nothing better than that.

Just sitting around and savoring that feeling caused me to think of a few "nothing better than" hobby-related activities. I selected just 10, but I'm sure you can find many others.

Here they are:

1. There is nothing better than pulling cards out of that first pack of the season. There is a reason why people make a big deal when the release date for Topps flagship comes around. There is a reason why you sometimes see news of the first cards' arrival in mainstream media. No matter how much Topps fiddles with the way cards are released, made, presented, etc., there is nothing that means more, that connects so many collectors to when they were kids, than opening their first packs of cards of the year.

P.S.: Joey Gallo didn't show up in my first pack in 2017, but his was one of the cards I pulled on that first day. I'm not busting cases here, so that qualifies.

2. There is nothing better than finding a discounted Allen & Ginter blaster. It's become a tradition around these parts to stumble across a discounted Allen & Ginter blaster. I've done so the last two years. A&G may not be your bag, so you can fill in whatever set you prefer. But A&G is one of the rarer kinds of discounted items in the retail aisles, and therefore gains you special, undetectable bonus points.

3. There is nothing better than paging a set. I can't think of many activities more satisfying than paging a set for the first time. This is often the reward at the end of the sorting process -- actually seeing the physical results of your organizational frenzy. I honestly don't know what people did before binders.

4. There is nothing better than sorting cards. "Paging cards" is a sub-category of sorting cards. "Sorting cards" is the overall process. I admit, it can get monotonous, but if you focus on the end result -- and if you watch a ballgame and enjoy your favorite beverage while doing it -- then, yes, there is nothing better.

5. There is nothing better than discovering a card that you found in the discount box at a card show and falling instantly in love with it. Such was the case a little more than a week ago when this 2010 National Chicle card of Carlton Fisk's famed home run appeared during one of my digs. I enjoyed National Chicle, which was wildly erratic but produced some great cards. Somehow I never saw this one at the time.

6. There is nothing better than sending a card that completes a set for another collector. I actually live for this when I'm searching for cards for people. It doesn't happen that often. But when it does, I want to tell the postal employee to get in his/her vehicle this instant and drive that piece of mail to its destination NOW.

7. There is nothing better than discovering a player you have never heard of from a time period when you supposedly knew every player by heart. It's funny that when I pull a card of a player I've never heard of in a current set, I either shrug it off or get annoyed. There are so many players that appear on cardboard these days who I don't know. Too many teams, too much of a tendency by Topps to get every rookie into a card set. But when I pulled this card of Keith Creel from 1984 Fleer out of a package last week, I let out a delighted WHO????? This was marvelous. Time to figure out what Keith Creel did as a ballplayer! (It turns out Creel has just two cards in major sets -- 1983 Donruss is the other. He's not quite a one-card wonder, but pretty close).

8. There is nothing better than mini versions of cards. I know many collectors get annoyed by minis, but I can't possibly. I've appreciated mini-sized items since I was a child chugging Matchbox cars around the shag carpeted dining room. Then to solidify my appreciation, mini-parallels showed up in the first baseball card set I ever collected ('75 Topps). The minis above I also obtained at last week's card show for super cheap.

9. There is nothing better than getting an unexpected bonus in a pack. Not many people caught onto this when I first showed it -- only one person mentioned it in the comments -- but when I revealed my retail-exclusive three green parallels out of my rack pack of 2017 Gypsy Queen last week, I didn't show three cards, but five.

How is that possible when the packs say this?:

filched image, I threw away my wrapper already

It's an unexpected bonus, that's how!

I've received unannounced autographs and relics in packs. I've received extra minis, an inordinate amount of short-prints, purple parallels in every pack. But this is the first time I randomly received five parallels in a pack when the wrapper said three.

10. There is nothing better than completing a set. This almost goes without saying. And if it everything goes right, I should be ending my vacation by completing the 1972 Topps set, which if I may say is quite an accomplishment.

So, those are just 10 and I can think of 4 or 5 things that I've left off the list already. I probably could come up with 100 with just a few more moments of thinking.

But I have cards to sort and page and send to people. Got to get to it. Because there's nothing better.


Completing a set is definitely #1 for me. I agree it wouldn't take much time to run out a list of 100.
Commishbob said…
There's nothing better than a blog post that has you nodding your head in agreement every ten seconds. This is one of those.
Adam said…
I'm pretty sure this is a perfect list but you forgot one thing ...

#11 There's nothing better than reading a Night Owl blog post!
Congratulations on completing the 1972 Topps set. That truly is a big accomplishment, and tough to do. I'd say even tougher than the 1969-1971 sets, and if it weren't for Nolan Ryan, I might even say the 1968 set too.
Fuji said…
Totally agree. There's nothing better than coming back from a vacation and still having a few days off. I just got back from Arizona two hours ago... and I have four days left of my Spring Break.
GCA said…
Yep, I just took a week off, then came back for three days and had a five day weekend for our school system's spring break.

Blog Bat Around? Nothing better than...?

...getting that one card you've been chasing in a trade from an unexpected source.

...finding that rare short print variation in a dime box.

...having a dealer quote you a price way lower than you were thinking.

Definitely a good topic for everyone to chime in on....

Popular posts from this blog

This guy was everywhere

It's interesting how athletes from the past are remembered and whether they remain in the public conscious or not.

Hall of Fame players usually survive in baseball conversations long after they've played because they've been immortalized in Cooperstown. Then there are players who didn't reach the Hall but were still very good and somehow, some way, are still remembered.

Players like Dick Allen, Rusty Staub, Vida Blue and Mickey Rivers live on decades later as younger generations pick up on their legacies. Then there are all-stars like Bert Campaneris, who almost never get discussed anymore.

There is just one memory of Campaneris that younger fans most assuredly know. I don't even need to mention it. You know what's coming, even if Lerrin LaGrow didn't.

But there was much more to Campaneris than one momentary loss of reason.

A couple of months ago, when watching old baseball games on youtube hadn't gotten old yet, I was watching a World Series game from…

Some of you have wandered into a giveaway

Thanks to all who voted in the comments for their favorite 1970s Topps card of Bert Campaneris.

I didn't know how this little project would go, since I wasn't installing a poll and, let's face it, the whole theme of the post is how Campaneris these days doesn't get the respect he once did. (Also, I was stunned by the amount of folks who never heard about the bat-throwing moment. Where am I hanging out that I see that mentioned at least every other month?)

A surprising 31 people voted for their favorite Campy and the one with the most votes was the one I saw first, the '75 Topps Campy card above.

The voting totals:

'75 Campy - 11 votes
'70 Campy - 4
'72 Campy - 4
'73 Campy - 4
'76 Campy - 4
'74 Campy - 3
'78 Campy - 1

My thanks to the readers who indulged me with their votes, or even if they didn't vote, their comments on that post. To show my appreciation -- for reading, for commenting, for joining in my card talk even if it might …

Return of the king

(If you haven't voted for your favorite Bert Campaneris '70s card in the last post, I invite you to do so).

So you've been away for a few years and want everyone to know that you're back.

How do you do that?

Do what The Diamond King did when he returned to card blogging last month: Bombard readers with contests and giveaways! Well, you've certainly gotten MY attention, sir!

I'll start with the giveaways first. Since he returned, the Diamond King has issued multiple "Diamond King 9" giveaways, straight out of the chute and rapid fire in the last month-plus. As I've said before, I am very slow to get to these "first come, first serve" giveaways. I used to think "I spend too much time on the computer" and now I realize "I don't spend enough time on the computer at all!"

But I was able to nab two cards out of the many giveaways.

I won this key 1981 Fleer Star Sticker of The Hawk. I have since acquired several more &#…