Throughout the years of being a card collector, I've learned about the natural enemies of baseball cards.
Heat and moisture were the two biggies. As I read about collecting as a youngster, those wiser than me would warn about storing collections in attics or basements. And it didn't take much research to know what water could do. One drop into a puddle or a tour through a washing machine and I had my sad answer.
Legend said that mothers were a natural enemy of baseball cards. But although my mom didn't understand baseball in the least, she never threatened to do away with my cards.
During the early years of this blog I documented the conflict between dogs and baseball cards. My dog has chewed up cards in my collection a time or two. But he's older now and his willingness to chomp on everything he sees is diminished.
That's good, because my cards are dealing with another natural enemy right now: hardwood floors.
More than a year ago, we had all the carpeting taken out of our house (and by "we," I mean "she") to show off our "beautiful" (that's what all of my wife's female friends tell me anyway) hardwood floors. There is now rock, solid floors with no coverings in the living room, dining room, upstairs, downstairs. There is literally no place for a baseball card to hide.
It took me awhile to get used to the lack of carpeting, although it's no big deal now, except, of course, when I drop baseball cards.
This just happened to me today.
I was preparing to blog about a stack of cards sent to me by Julie from A Cracked Bat. I brought the cards downstairs and plopped them onto the computer desk on top of a padded envelope. As I was getting some stuff together to head out the door, the top part of the pile slid off the stack -- because everything has to be so damn shiny and slick -- and fell -- WHAP! -- onto the wooden floor.
"Oh no! Oh no! DINGS!" I said to myself.
There were five or six cards on the floor. I picked them up and sure enough, one had a brand new ding in the bottom right corner.
Chrome Kershaw. Come on, man, Kershaw?? Really, floor?
The scanner doesn't show it off well, but believe me, it's there.
I'll get over it, but I sure don't like carrying my cards around with the feeling that the floor is booby-trapped.
Let's take a look at some other cards from Julie to get my mind off of it.
Here -- here is another Kershaw card with all four corners safely sharp. This makes me feel better.
More shiny cards that made it past my hardwood floors unscathed and into my collection (although there's still the matter of carrying these cards on a trip back upstairs, where they could potentially squirt out of hands and fall to their sharp-corner death).
These mid-90's Score Summit parallels are as glittery and sparkly as the 2015 Topps Bolsinger bath beads parallel above (sorry, I forgot what they're actually called). They were 20 years before their time (or
Speaking of natural enemies, Topps Triple Threads cards are the natural enemy of binder pages.
More shiny. Here is my first look at the revitalized Gold Label brand. I'm not anyone who longs for the days of Topps Gold Label, but I can see why collectors from that time are disappointed in these. The card stock is much thinner than original Gold Label. No self-respecting late '90s Gold Label card would curl.
Julie really loaded up on the shiny cards, no wonder things were slipping and sliding! Here are two cards of the always talked-about Yasiel Puig. As usual, we had to be dragged into a tired conversation about bat flips this postseason. At least Puig was able to smooth it over with his charm.
The '90s are all about filling holes in my collection I don't even know I have until I look up the cards. Here are two previously unknown needs from 1998 SP Authentic.
Some parallels that found a place in my collection. The less said about these the better.
Finally, another parallel of the guy who has turned the Dodgers' bullpen from semi-suspect to well worth the praise.
At the start of the postseason, when the national broadcasters talked about the Dodgers' excellent bullpen, I was confused. Despite being one of the better bullpens during the season, they still had issues, mainly they couldn't find a set-up guy.
But with Kenta Maeda's arrival in the bullpen and Brandon Morrow climbing to another level, the Dodgers are now 2-0 in the NLCS! The announcers do know what they're talking about!
However, I'm quite relieved I get a break from watching stress-filled games today. I'm now off to root for the Astros. There will be much less stress tonight.
Wish me luck as I transport these cards to their proper home.