Monday, August 21, 2017
The darkest of my dark periods
I kind of forgot about the eclipse today. I know that's difficult to do with it being mentioned every 20 seconds. But I was offline for the first half of the day.
While running a few errands I started noticing people randomly congregating on the street. One young woman started to put a box over her head -- "what the heck?" I thought as I drove past. And then I remembered, "oh, yeah, the eclipse! That's why I'm seeing people actually venturing outside!
Here in the Northeast it didn't get dark. I'd call it "slightly overcast." While someone I know in Idaho was throwing an eclipse party, it was just another hazy day in upstate New York.
But the occasion does give me a chance to relive that dark period in my collecting career. Those of you who have read this blog for awhile know that my collecting "dark period" ranged from 1994 to 2005. But just like the eclipse, it wasn't pitch black all those years. I collected a little in '94 and '95, a tiny amount in '97 and '98 and here and there from 2003-05.
The darkest of the darkest period was from 1999-2002. I had no idea what was going on then. Didn't know. Didn't care.
If you're comparing it to the path of the solar eclipse, 1999-2002 is riding that groove of 100 percent totality. The rest of the late '90s is in the over 90 percent path. And I'll put the mid-90s and mid-2000s in the 75 percent area.
Recently, Corey from the Tim Wallach and 1952 Topps blogs sent me some Dodger cards that came straight from that 100 percent totality period. The darkest of the dark periods.
Corey mentioned that he wasn't collecting then either and added "I have no idea what most of this is."
Oh, boy, so both of us were clueless. I knew what that meant. I was going to have to find some time to research what this was and also what I needed.
It took a hour or two but I think I've figured it out. I needed about one-third of what he sent (good news for some other Dodger collectors) and the vast majority of it is from 2000-02.
Let's find a flashlight and take a walk through the dark period, shall we?
Some Early Aughts Chrome needs. It's kind of cool to see a '57 rookie Drysdale all chromed up. Normally that weirds me out, but there's something slick about this one. It's probably Big D's grin.
A couple of needs from 2001 Topps Fusion, one of the most confusing sets ever made.
Add this to my collection of faux 1952 Jackie Robinson cards. I had to check to see if I owned this one already.
Nope! The latest '52 Jackie starts a brand new page. One of these days I'm going to get the actual version.
This was one of the few 1990s cards in the stack. But since it's from 1998 -- 90 percent totality, you know -- it fills a hole.
I would say the prize of the stack though was the selection of Topps HD. I've been back in collecting for over 10 years and I've never gotten my hands on a single 2000 Topps HD Dodger. Right here is the entire team set plus one of the platinum parallels (the Kevin Brown in the lower left). I'm pretty happy about this.
And the stack came with the lone 2001 HD card that I needed, the short-print Shawn Green.
And the 20-20 Shawn Green insert.
Finishing off one of the dark period team sets is a terrific rush. It means I never have to think about them again!
So out of the dark we go and back into the light. Corey also sent some more present-day Dodgers. I know all about these ones.
This one is pretty stupid. A stamped 2006 card. I have half a mind to throw all my buyback cards into the dupes box (except the '75s, of course). But for now I'll pretend this was a "need."
The rest were insert needs from right here in 2017. I do appreciate that Jackie Robinson steals home photo. I haven't seen that one on cards a whole lot.
And, finally, here is a card from the 1973 Fleer Baseball's Wildest Days and Plays. This commemorates the time when the Cleveland Naps committed seven errors in an inning during a game in 1905.
This was the only card in the set that wasn't a Dodger card (except for a card of the Royals' Mike Sweeney, probably mistaken for a Dodger). But I am a lot more accepting of non-Dodgers from pre-1974.
I would call that period my "first dark period," before I even knew baseball cards existed.
Then the sun rose. And it will never set. Card collecting cannot be eclipsed.