Friday, August 24, 2018


The lyrics for the Beatles classic, "She's Leaving Home" were drawn from a newspaper article about a 17-year-old girl, Melanie Coe, who seemingly received everything from her family but ran away from home.

Although the song is about a teenage runaway amid the '60s counterculture, it has since become an anthem for parents whose daughters leave home for college.

Guess what I just finished doing for the first time?

Saying goodbye to your barely-adult daughter amid the whirlwind of moving her into a new place (amid many other adults doing the same thing) and then taking off for the four-hour trek back home may not be as gut-wrenching as wondering where your runaway child is, but it was a strange mix of proud moment and heartbreaker that no one can know until they experience it for themselves.

I'm doing OK (my wife on the other hand ...). But I've found myself reflecting plenty over the last week or two. And it's taken a weird form when it comes to my hobby. As I've come closer and closer to realizing that I will miss my daughter for the rest of my life, in that perpetual state of "missing," I've been seeking out missing cards in my collection.

Before we dropped her off at college, I instinctively filled up my online cart with Dodgers inserts from the previous five years. These are those annoying little "extra" cards that I forget about and that progress deeper and deeper into the recesses of my brain until I barely miss them anymore. But, dammit, no card is going to go neglected if I need it. Now that they're in my cart I don't "miss" them anymore. I may not have them, but at least I know where they are, in my online cart, dammit. Kinda like my daughter. She's not here, but I know generally where she is.

Then, I decided I would try to track more notable missing cards in my collection. These are cards from sets that I have made my focus, but for whatever reason haven't followed through in completing. Here is an example of some of them:

1960 Topps, Duke Snider and Tommy Davis

Yes, I have the Sandy Koufax card from this set, but not these other two guys. Davis' card is his rookie card and a high number, but it can be found relatively cheaply. Same with Snider. It's time to round these guys up.

Ten 1992 Bowman Dodgers

This has been gnawing at me since probably before my daughter picked a college. The '92 Bowman cards are not exactly rare but are notable for being one of the few sets from '92 that is coveted. So, while I have Piazza's rookie card and the Pedro Martinez card from this set, I'm still missing stalwarts like Greg Hansell and Jamie McAndrew. Time to round them up.

1995 Fleer Ultra, Mike Piazza and Tim Wallach

Can you believe I own the Mike Piazza All-Star insert from '95 Ultra -- the Mike Piazza gold medallion (silver medallion?) insert from '95 Ultra -- but not the regular old base card! Throw it in the cart! This one goes out to my daughter!

Five Dodgers from 2004 Upper Deck Timeless Teams

The Timeless Teams set, while attractive and fun for retro collectors, is typical Upper Deck bloat. There's no real need for multiple cards of various players in the set. Two Burt Hooton cards? Why? Maybe so I can own one of them and still need the other? Let's end that nonsense!

Eleven cards from 2008 Topps Heritage

This nastiness has gone on too long. Thanks to Heritage's short-printing ways, I've been sitting on an almost-complete 2008 Heritage set for a decade. The references in this set are so old that they now approach bizarre. Dodgers manager Dave Roberts as a Giant? Whaaa? I am missing 11 cards of this weirdness to finish it. Short-prints or no, I'm throwing them in the cart.

There are plenty of other sets in which just a few cards are missing:

-- The Sandy Koufax card from 1957 Topps Dodgers team set
-- A lone Chan Ho Park card to finish the Dodgers in 1998 Opening Day
-- Four cards to complete the 2001 Upper Deck Decade '70s set
-- Just 27 cards to put to bed the Dodgers team set to infernal 2008 Documentary
-- Two Dodgers to be done with the 1961 Topps team set
-- Now just 79 cards to complete the 1973 Topps set
-- Seven more cards to finish 1981 Fleer
-- Six to be done with 1993 Ted Williams and eight to finish 1994 Ted Williams
-- A lousy Gary Sheffield card away from completing the 2002 Total Dodgers team set

And on and on and on ...

Perhaps by the end of my daughter's college career I'll have gathered up all those missing cards.

It's been a tough few days saying goodbye to someone who has meant so much to me that I've even incorporated her, a non-card collector, into a blog post or two. There probably won't be much of that anymore now that she's so far away doing her own thing.

I'll just immerse myself in my hobby to take my mind off of it.

Now, about those four 1994 Topps gold Dodgers that I need ...


  1. I’m pretty sure I have the Total Sheffield. I will take a good look at your want lists on my next off day and try to help you finish some sets off.

  2. Good luck to your daughter, Papa Owl! I also do find it weird when I have the insert card of a set but not the base card.

  3. I took my son to college in the fall of 2007. I made it out of the parking lot and about half a block, then cried for the next 20 miles. When I dropped off my daughter 5 years later I managed about 5 miles before I broke down sobbing. Good luck. You miss them, but having an empty nest is nice also.
    Enjoy your new cards.

  4. Good luck to you and your daughter. I’ve had to do this with three daughters. The last was the hardest

  5. Congrats to all of you. A big step indeed. I took my oldest to college in New York and my flight back detoured around Katrina. Memorable weekend indeed.

  6. Hope your daughter has fun this year... and I hope you're able to eventually acquire some of these cards on your list. I'll check my stash of Timeless Teams to see if I can contribute.

  7. Good luck to the both of you! Im typing this while my 15-month old daughter is laying on my chest, so I can’t even imagine the feeling.

    And wow, you’re only 27 cards short on the Dodgers from 08 Documentary? I’m guessing that doesn’t include the gold parallels.