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Showing posts from September, 2017

The wrapper was the best part

I did indeed get my butt back to the card aisle. I went out this afternoon for the sole purpose of buying a few current cards for the first time in weeks.

Target was my choice, and honestly, the selection hasn't improved much since I was there last. Outside of the 2017 flagship, which will be there at this time next year (witness: 2016 flagship still rotting on the shelves), my 2017 baseball choices were: Bunt, Allen & Ginter, Stadium Club and Heritage High Numbers.

Hardly enthused by any of them, and distracted by the people in line next to the card aisle -- I hate it when they open the register next to the card aisle -- my hands instinctively grabbed the newest item and the most attractive one to my eyes: the Heritage High Numbers rack pack.

I have purchased cards based on what was listed on the wrapper countless times. I've purchased cards based on who appeared on the wrapper at least a few times. But I think this was the first time that I have bought cards based on wh…

I need to get my butt back to a card aisle

This week I've been the poor sap filling in for someone on vacation.

You never hear about the poor sap. You always hear about the people on vacation.

"I'm on vacation!" they scream on the social media forum of their choice. And everyone responds with a like or a heart or a hashtag and they all feel good that someone out there has beaten this oppressive system that we've constructed for ourselves if only for a brief period of time.

Except for the poor sap. There are no likes or hashtags from them. He or she simply plods forward, in real life, bearing more of the burden than normal, if only for a brief period of time.

Fortunately, the vacationer returns today and things can revert back to normal (until I go on vacation). It's just in time, too, because yesterday I was so drained that I actually thought "I really need to get my butt back to a card aisle."

It's been awhile.

Under normal circumstances this year, I wouldn't consider heading to th…

G.O.A.T., the '70s, 90-81

Let's face it: the people who remember the 1970s exactly as they were are getting up there in age.

For people like me, someone who was a kid during the '70s, the decade can do no wrong. Ten years of scouting for candy, building forts and playing ball in the backyard? Give me one good reason why the decade sucked. And you're going to have try harder than Anne Murray's "You Needed Me".

But for those who were very adult in the '70s, I have a feeling they associate the decade with more ... uh ... adult things. Jobs and news and gas lines and Nixon. It probably wasn't a party raising a kid among all that brown and olive green.

My folks would likely never understand an ode to the '70s, just as I couldn't relate to a tribute to the '00s.

So I realize this countdown is somewhat of a niche exercise. It isn't necessarily for those who were in their 30s during the 1970s. It's not for people who were born in 1990 either. It's for people w…

Before the strike there was the trade

I came upon a realization, which may have been long overdue, when I viewed this Ron Cey portion of a 1983 Topps Foldout sent to me by Mark Hoyle:

Perhaps my gradual separation from the hobby during the mid-1980s didn't have to do with starting college and moving away. Perhaps it was a subconscious response to the Dodgers trading Ron Cey to the Cubs after the 1982 season.

Although I put my best face on it -- Greg Brock and Mike Marshall are going to be stars! -- the loss of my all-time favorite player caused a great deal of pain. Cey, who had created long-awaited stability at the Dodgers' third base position, had been L.A.'s third baseman and No. 3-through-5 in the order for as long as I had been a baseball fan. I thought his contributions and playing a key part in the Dodgers' World Series title in 1981 would have kept him with the team forever.

Trading him away made me angry. Trading him for two players I had never heard of -- Vance Lovelace and Dan Cataline, who wou…

What are we going to do without Bob Lemke?

Every so often -- more often than my card-collecting ego would like -- I receive some cards in the mail from a fellow blogger and out spills a card that baffles me.

It's usually a card from the 1990s. Because I still don't have a grasp on that decade.

But I have an answer for my confusion. I haul out the 2009 Standard Catalog of Baseball Cards (or sometimes pop in the CD, but I admit I remain attached to actual books) and find my answer 99 times out of a 100.

Thank goodness the late, great Bob Lemke helped create this invaluable research publication beginning in 1988 (and my late, great mother-in-law purchased the 18th edition for me back in 2010). I would be much less knowledgeable about cards if I didn't own this publication.

I'm sure the series will continue without Lemke -- he had stepped down as editor after 2006 anyway -- but you know how things get when the passion behind a project disappears. You wonder how long that enthusiasm will continue with others in cha…