Friday, January 25, 2019

In and out of my collecting comfort zone

As I continue to assess what I really enjoy collecting, I find myself in a sort of collecting limbo.

I'll go back to my traditional collecting desires, my many Dodgers cards and Dodgers binders, and that feels quite comfortable to me still. And then I'll dive into some of my more recent interests -- the '70s NFL cards and the Sabres cards and the music cards -- and those seem wonderful in a much more unfamiliar but exciting way.

I'm a little out of my comfort zone when it's not all baseball, all-Dodger baseball all the time. I'm not nearly the expert that I am in the baseball arena.

But that's OK. The hobby is anything I want it to be. I can test the limits of my comfort if I want. And that's exactly what I did recently, although it wasn't my choice at the beginning.

But first, let's see some cards that I am completely comfortable with because I have been collecting them for the life of this blog and earlier:

These, and the Broxton gold parallel at the top of the post, are cards I hand-selected from Nachos Grande's series of trade bait posts.

Each card feels like home. The Broxton reminds me of how gold parallels should look -- with BORDERS. The Bellinger and Kershaw are wild-and-crazy Panini cards that appeal to me because the craziness distracts from the no-logo thing. The Alex Verdugo autograph is my first Verdugo autograph (if you can call that squiggle an autograph). And the Puig relic is my first one of him and my way of saying goodbye to the Wild Horse.

Those are all cards that I would have collected 10 years ago.

This card, however, is not something I would have collected 10 years ago.

It's also something I requested from Nachos Grande and it is just a little bit out of my comfort zone.

It's not a Dodger card. It's not part of a 660-card set. It's an insert. And a diecut one at that.

However, it may be one of the greatest diecut insert series of all-time. And that is why I'm venturing out of my comfort zone and attempting to complete the full 3,000 Club Fleer insert set even though there's not a single Dodger in the group.

This makes two of the 3,000 Clubs that I own. I'll get to a want list someday.

All right, now we're venturing a little farther out of the zone.

Many folks know that Wes of Area 40 put on a big bash giveaway to mark his departure from the hobby. Many, many boxes of many, many different cards were opened and much of the contents were distributed to clamoring collectors just desperate for a few scraps from Wes' card bounty.

My objective in getting in on this generous giveaway was maybe to find some Dodgers that I needed. The stuff Wes opens is so fancy, so you never know what I could land. I waited until the designated time for when you could claim teams.

Well, Wes posted his "claim your team" post at 7 p.m. on a certain day in November.

At 7 p.m. exactly, the first team was claimed: none other than the Dodgers. Not by me.

OK, then. Time to regroup. What other teams do I like?

I like the Sabres. I'll pick the Sa ...

7:10 p.m.: the Sabres are claimed. Not by me.

Geez. OK. What else is there?

I guess I could claim the Bills. They're my third choice but I'll ...

7:17 p.m.: the Bills are claimed. Not by me.

By the time I got to Wes' post, it was 8 p.m. Sorry, I have a job and a family and I don't set alarms for blog posts, but all of my teams had been scooped up in a matter of 17 minutes.

Time to venture out of my comfort zone ...

I thought a nonsport slot would be fun. I have a growing attachment to music cards, and maybe there would be some cards of a TV show I liked (although they NEVER make cards of TV shows I like anymore). But it made me a bit uncomfortable because there are lots of nonsports cards I. Don't. Like. At. All.

Just to be safe, I also asked for any Detroit Red Wings items. My objective was maybe to land a Jimmy Howard card -- he's from where I live, although I've never talked to him. I didn't get a Howard card. Instead I landed an autograph of 17-year NHL player Mike Sillinger, who played for about 145 NHL teams in his career. But the card I received is actually from his first year in the NHL, so that's kind of cool.

I don't know what "Super Break Certified" means (did Wes put that on there?). But I'm kind of afraid to break it out of the seal.

This was a perk of the nonsport slot. It slipped my mind that Benchwarmer cards would be involved in the nonsports category. They're always very nice to look at. Autographs seem a bit unnecessary since I don't know who these wonderful-looking gals are, but I enjoy the effort here.

OK, this is where it gets uncomfortable. I've never watched an episode of The Sopranos in my life. Me and gangster movies/shows do not get along. I don't understand the appeal of that lifestyle or why a thousand movies have been made about it. So, no, I don't know who Joe Gannascoli is. But that's what happens out of your comfort zone. Win some, lose some.

This is me winning. It's a relic of famed actor and dancer Ginger Rogers. It is my mission to have a card of every notable July 16er that has a card. She's one of the more famous people born on my birthday. I think by birthday rites, I should own a "celebrity-worn" piece of material of hers.

Of course, the No. 1 objective in this area would be to own a card of fellow July 16er Phoebe Cates containing a swatch of the bathing suit she wore in Fast Times at Ridgemont High. If I somehow land this, I will show it on the final day of this blog.

Lastly, the best of the cards Wes sent my way. It's a relic card of Kiss singer Paul Stanley. I know for a fact that memorabilia of musicians go for insane prices, much more insane than baseball players. So this is a card I will treasure. Kiss was a weird, wonderful part of my childhood and I can't wait to display it.

And that's what venturing out of your comfort zone will do.

I could stick to collecting Dodgers and baseball and nothing else. But I wouldn't have a card that features a segment of Paul Stanley's vest either.

Even in a hobby, you've got to take chances.


  1. Super Break is a repack company- only instead of single cards or packs, they repack entire boxes of cards, and include some hits in it as well.

    I'll set aside a Jimmy Howard card to send you, although I don't have your address. I'm sure I've got a spare in my dupes box.

  2. Met Joe Gannascoli once while at dinner before an Islanders game, nice guy. Was super cool to my much-bigger-Sopranos-fan friend. I said hi and kept working on my chicken parm (which, being the Carle Place Vincent's Clam Bar, was GREAT chicken parm).

  3. Lena Yada I actually know of...she was a WWE wrestler and announcer for a time. Apparently she's also been a professional surfer as well, so arguably not a non-sport auto!

    The Ginger a Rogers is pretty awesome. As they say, she did everything Fred Astaire did, but backwards and in high heels!

    1. Apparently, if Wikipedia is to be believed, she was a TANDEM surfer. WTH is a tandem surfer? Back to Wiki to find out.

  4. Sorry for swiping the Sabres from you - It didn't yield much. That Ginger Rodgers is a beautiful card!

  5. Glad you liked the cards. That Fleer 3000 set is glorious, I agree. I'm also working on it - so if you somehow end up with duplicates of any of the following, let me know!
    BG Bob Gibson
    CR Cal Ripken, Jr.
    DW Dave Winfield
    LB Lou Brock
    NR Nolan Ryan

    I'll have to look to see if I have any other extra Club 3000 cards myself for you.

  6. Non-sports cards are always dicey IMO, but you got some nice ones. Now I definitely want to know where the Super Break Certified autos came from. Billy's comment was helpful, but I still have questions.

    I share your frustration of having all your teams picked long before you joined the break. Hopefully you didn't miss out on much, as Matt said (checking Wes's blog now to see who got the Dodgers. Also, most of the big hits were Yankees cards because 30% of all baseball products have to be Yanks. It's like a law or something.

    1. I am guessing that you saw that I was the one that claimed the Dodgers. I haven't received my cards from Wes yet, but I know there was one "big" hit - a Jackie Robinson bat card.

  7. Now I'm going to have to look up the Press Pass set that has metal relics....

  8. You've never seen The Sopranos? Wait, that's not right. YOU'VE NEVER SEEN THE SOPRANOS!!! It isn't just a gangster show. It is about family, friends, good vs evil and trying to walk the line between them all. Greatest show ever!!

    1. Your already venturing outside your cardboard comfort zone; maybe it's time to expand those other comfort zones too.

    2. Thanks for your unsolicited advice. Since you won't let it go: If I'm going to go out of my comfort zone, I will do it any number of ways that doesn't involve staring at a TV screen. But if I was going to choose the TV programming route, I'd pick any show that does not involve showing the killing of human beings. I have a philosophical issue with shows like this.

  9. Damn. Having all of your teams already claimed was kind of a blessing. These non-sports cards are awesome! Yada is hot. I'm pretty sure I have an autograph of hers in my Japanese PC. Anyways... nice choice with that Fleer 3000 set. I built this set myself back in 2011. I was able to pick up a bunch of singles cheap on COMC.

  10. Ginger and Paul aside, these cards are largely why I avoid non-sports. Not my idea of the Easter Bunny.