Saturday, March 31, 2018

March is dead and I'm still alive

There is a well-known line of dialogue in the old "Mad Men" TV series in which the main character, Don Draper, is berated by his latest love interest, who says that he can never commit to anything because he "only likes the beginnings of things."

Like the best of television shows, that line has stayed with me for a long time and has led to periodic self-cross-examination.

However, I have also found that often -- maybe more often -- I like the ends of things.

More importantly, I like the ends of things when I'm still around to see the end.

Yep, what I'm saying is we've reached the end of my least favorite month again, and I'm celebrating because I'm still alive.

Honestly, I don't know why we have to stuff every conceivable life activity into the third month of the year every year. The biggest sports tournament of the year. Holidays. High school sports championships of every stripe and color. Birthdays abounding. Mid-terms. Special work projects. Special school projects (when my daughter was in grade school, this is the month teachers would always assign as the due date for some monster project for the year. So the parents, in the middle of the cyclone that is March would have to drop everything so we could help make an ethnically-diverse volcano). The Flu. Random snowstorms/weekly nor'easters. Work deadlines. Financial deadlines. School deadlines. Oh, and let's turn the clocks ahead one hour this month, because you don't need to sleep. There's nothing going on March!

But, you guys, March is dead. No, I didn't kill it. It's just going to come back again next year, but I'm going to pretend it's dead and celebrate with my latest assortment of March Is Dead Let's Celebrate cards from COMC!

I do this every year. Sometimes (like this year), it's not even intentional. But apparently amid all of the stress this month can produce, I am drawn to COMC to purchase some cards to help me get through this month. I need something to look forward to so I don't wander out into the middle of the road, lie down and let something run me over.

Just as unintentionally, these cards filled a wide variety of my collecting interests.

(But of course they did, why would I be buying something that doesn't interest me?!)

Let's start with the Dodgers because that's what most of the package was.

The Cey card is from last year's Archives Snapshots series. It took me awhile to land the latest Penguin card. The photo production is not the greatest, especially for something called "Snapshots" that's supposed to be a pure card set. But that won't keep me from getting excited about a new Cey card.

I will say I'm a little disappointed by the Mondesi card. I don't go out of my way to buy Pacific cards that often, but I grabbed this one because the name background looked pink in the online image. "Pink?" I said. "That's different." Yeah, keep dreaming night owl.

The Arky Vaughan card completes the Dodgers from the 1960 Fleer set. Yay!

This is the from the late 1970s' TCMA '60s set. I came across it when looking for cheap Willie Davis cards I don't have. There aren't as many around as there should be. Some would call this a night card. I call it a "Willie Davis is trapped in a tornado on Auntie Em and Uncle Henry's farm" card.

Years from now, collectors are going to discuss how strange 2017 was. It will be called The Great Card Depression of 2017.

It has taken me nine months to finally complete the Dodgers base set from last year's Stadium Club. And I had to buy all of these at once because that's how big the want list hole was. You can't pull the cards if they're not on the shelves.

Moving on to my more quirky collections. I nabbed just one '75 buyback card. It's the 214th in my collection of 1975 buybacks. My dream is that at the next card show, I will find a bunch of these, because I can't imagine them charging the prices that I see for these things online.

A fine 1976 Hostess specimen for the red-white-and-blue patriotic set cause. I'm much too picky about these for collecting stain-prone, rip-prone Hostess cards, but it's my collection right? I like 'em spiffy.

Who in the world are these people?

All you need to know is that they complete the 2015 Panini Americana set for me. I'd show all of the cards here now, but I think everyone is plenty bored with this set. Even I am not that enthusiastic about it anymore. But it's cool that it's done!

P.S.: No idea on that Smiley guy.

"Night Owl? When did you become an MMA fan?"

I didn't.

Also, if they keep making cards that look like this ... uh, what are all these cards of baseball dudes doing in my house?

All right, time for the so-called big finish.

I bought one card each for three sets that I am collecting. Two of those sets I have no real expectation of ever completing. Because those expectations are so low, I sometimes have to force myself to purchase cards from those sets, even though I like those sets very much.

A nice, cheap, high-numbered 1956 Topps card. When you can't afford Monte Irvin or Red Schoendienst, go with card No. 309. It'll make you feel good about yourself and you get to figure out who Don Blasingame is!

This is the purchase of the lot.

I set my mind on this 1967 Mel Queen card the moment I finished the Mel Queen entry on my 1971 Topps blog. I wasn't all that up on Queen's experience as a batter and then I learned of this glorious "P-OF" card, the greatest position mention on a Topps card this side of the '75 Herb Washington "Pinch Run." card.

Just stare at the "P-OF" for a few minutes and ponder. It'll break your brain.

Speaking of staring ...

Somebody is going down.

I'm far enough into my 1973 completion quest that I need to start tackling the big cards. Fisk is one of those '73s I once owned and then I didn't. He's not very happy that I let him go the first time. But I'll make it up to him by making this card the grand finish of this post.

There was also another card I landed with this purchase -- a certain 1972 Topps Nolan Ryan for the winner of my 2 million views contest.

I've been so busy this month that it's taking me quite awhile to get it out to Jonathan. I. Keep. Trying.

But good news!

March is dead!

Hooray for the ends of things!

There's time to go to the post office again.

Friday, March 30, 2018

Blog bat-around epilogue

Here is a card that arrived just yesterday.

It's part of my recently started mission to get a better representation of my love for music in my card collection. I figured the MusiCards set from the early '90s is the best place to start since they're so available.

Why Kylie Minogue, you ask? A better question is why not Kylie? Why hasn't Kylie Minogue been the three-decade cutey-patootie sweetheart in America that she's been in all of Europe and Australia? Why, huh? WHY?

But anyway, this satisfies both my music cards collection and my girlie cards collection. And I've been doing a fine job lately of meeting several of my collection interests, as you'll see in a post this weekend.

But this post is less about my collecting interests than your collecting interests.

A couple of weeks ago I kicked off a Blog Bat-Around by asking you what your collections looked like. Some of you beat me to the punch and listed what you collected before I even started the blog bat-around. But even after it became official, there was a great response.

I had never thought of it this way, but this Blog Bat-Around was actually a great way to advertise what you collect for future trades. And now this post will be a great one-stop spot for seeking out particular bloggers' wants.

Here now are all 44 (or thereabouts) of the "What I Collect" blog bat-arounds:

The Shlabotnik Report

The Collective Mind

Cardboard History


The Five Tool Collector

This Card Is Cool

Cardboard Greats

All Trade Bait, All The Time

Not Another Baseball Card Blog

Topps Cards That Never Were

Old Red Sox Cards

Card Buzz

From a 1980s Baseball Card Collector

The Angels, In Order 

Condition Sensitive

Bump and Run Football Card Blog

1967 Topps Baseball

The Fleer Sticker Project

Cardboard Catastrophes

Cardboard Clubhouse

Red Cardboard

Baseball Card Breakdown

Section 36

The Chronicles of Fuji

Nachos Grande

Wrigley Wax

Stadium Fantasium

Bob Walk the Plank

Cardboard Collections

Mark's Ephemera

Sport Card Collectors

2 x 3 Heroes

Base Card Hero

Waiting 'Til Next Year

Twitch Collects Cards

Once a Cub

$30 A Week Habit

CrazieJoe's Card Corner

Infield Fly Rule

The Raz Card Blog

Japanese Baseball Cards

Scribbled Ink

The Writer's Journey

ARPSmith's Sportscard Obsession

Torren' Up Cards

And if you forgot:

Night Owl Cards

I hope I didn't forget anyone. I also hope no one is disappointed I merely linked. I started writing brief blurbs on what each person collected and quit that after three blogs when I realized I'd be typing until 5 in the morning.

If you had planned to write a Blog Bat-Around and haven't gotten to it yet, I will add your post to this list when it shows up.

It's funny, there was a blog several years ago that listed everyone's collecting preference, so I don't know why this clicked with everyone all over again (plus, most blogs feature a "what I collect" link somewhere on the blog).

But I know several bloggers participated in their first blog bat-around with this one, so that's great!

It's also great that people are so enthusiastic about collecting that they have a dozen or more pursuits. The more obscure the better!

Even if it's collecting cards of that Locomotion chick.