Friday, April 26, 2019

Mood lifters

Every self-help outlet churns out the same list of mood lifters to their perpetually down-in-the-dumps readers.

It often goes something like this:

Get outdoors, particularly in the sun
Talk to a friend
Eat healthy foods

There is a whole sub-category of mood lifters such as music, movies, pets, shopping and travel, too.

But not once do I see anything in any self-help list that mentions baseball cards.

Baseball cards have boosted my mood more times than I can count. I'm currently in need of a mood-boost given my family situation and work situation (co-worker is on vacation, meaning I'm working six straight days). I've tried posting every single day this week in hopes of writing myself out of my mood. It hasn't quite worked, so I thought I'd go for the big guns: a selection of cards sent by Nick of Dime Boxes.

Anyone with that many flea markets and card shows at his disposal should do a fine job of lifting a fellow card-collector's mood. Take the Reggie Jackson storybook item for example. How can you stay gloomy staring at that? 1970 Topps won't allow it. Reggie Jackson won't allow it.

Nope, there are certain cards that are perfect mood lifters. Next to those pictures of grilled salmon and women performing yoga there should be photos of Kellogg's 3-D cards like this one.

I was just admiring the '75 Kellogg's McBride posted on Cardboard Junkie a week or two ago and -- bam -- a cracked up, full-baked McBride landed in my lap. As you know, I prefer my Kellogg's 3-D's a little tidier, but there's plenty of time for that. This one takes the edge off for now.

Same with this. The '78 Kellogg's set lands firmly in my oddball sweet spot. Want to know when I first fully appreciated the beauty of baseball cards in my cereal box, when I grasped the privilege of yanking a card from a box full of flakes? This is the set. This is the time.

If I'm going to complete the 1976 Hostess set as I fully intend to do, I will need to deal with the fact that Steve Garvey cards aren't easy to find in pristine shape. This looks quite a bit better than the other version of this card I own. And that lifts my mood.

Not every card is a mood-lifter, however, not even the ones that fill gaps in the collection as all three of these do. The top card is an ugly binder page ruiner, the middle card is a pointless foil parallel of a player most Dodger fans dislike, and the bottom pair is actually the same card, with Robinson on the front and Kershaw on the back. Ugh. At least they're both from the same team, unlike those '90s mood-ruiners.

Back to mood lifters. Four of the five 1970 OPC Dodgers that Nick sent filled holes and for a whole lot less cash than blowing 9 bucks on The Avengers tonight (I think that's what movies cost, I don't go to many).

Here's Reggie again, performing his mood-lifting act on a 1970 Topps All-Star card. It's positively smile-inducing.

Staying with 1970 but back to the oddballs, featuring an oddball team! Yay!

Sometimes my mood can be lifted when I can build an image pyramid with modern-card needs.

Or I'll get a special thrill out of noticing for the first time -- on this very often-used Jackie Robinson photo -- that there is no logo on his hat (which appears to be colorized here).

Minor league cards of Ramon Martinez make me happy. He has many from around 1989. This is one I didn't have already.

Or how about this 1961 card of Don Newcombe in such perfect shape. Why could that be?

Ah, I see. It's Gary Bunger's card. I've come across this several times with 1960s cards. Did every collector have his own stamp pad in the '60s? And did they believe that stamping their name on it would prevent people from taking it?

This glossy '89 Fleer card doesn't quite perk me up, just because I'll never be done with the junk wax Dodgers with stuff like this popping up.

And shiny? Well, yeah, sometimes shiny can pull me out of the dumps. But it has to be the right kind of shiny. This isn't quite it (excited to have a needed Shawn Green insert tho).

Let's try some over-the-top stuff, maybe that will work, huh?

How about a "triple-swatch" card of Rafael Nadal, featuring relics from three of the four majors? That is impressive.

This super-size card from 1997 Upper Deck is brand-new to me, too. My goodness. Storage question marks are hovering over my head.

As you can see baseball cards can lift your mood to various levels. Some work better than others depending on your collecting interests.

And if you search, you'll probably find one that lifts your mood better than all the others.

Here's that one for me:

That's a 1960 Bazooka card of Wally Moon.

I've never owned one of those cards, let alone one of Wally. I feel suitably boosted.

I won't say I'm back to being my usually perky night owl, but this helped a lot more than most of the things on those self-help lists.

Get baseball cards on that list, self-helpers. They DO work.


  1. Whoa that Bazooka is sweet as hell.

  2. Something doesn't quite look right with the white jersey on the Jackie card too.

  3. Self-help books are irrelevant for many reasons, perhaps most importantly because they all fail to mention baseball cards, of course! I have yet to find a better pick-me-up than good ol' cardboard. Glad I could provide a few mood lifters for you.

    That Wally Moon had your name all over it when I unearthed it from a discount vintage box at a show last month. And I too own quite a few vintage cards with names stamped on the front and/or back -- all I can think of is how the heck did these people all seem to get their own personalized name stamps? I've never even once had the thought of needing one for myself.

    1. I had one of those adjustable text stamps when I was a kid. A bunch of rubber letters you could arrange to spell whatever would fit in the space available in the little stamp.. with your name being the obvious go-to. That was one style, at least, but there were no doubt mail-in offers where you could buy a stamp with your name and/or address.

  4. Not sure why, but this is so true. Finding that card you need or just simply want can give you that good feeling. Have several Wally Moon's in my collection, but not that neat looking Bazooka.

  5. I've never seen cards from the 1960 Bazooka set before. That Wally Moon card is awesome.

  6. Damn... that's one heck of a "pick me up" package! That Nadal relic card is insane! I don't even follow tennis and I want one. And both of those Reggies are awesome. But my favorite card is definitely the Newcombe. I almost purchased a card today that was just gorgeous on the front... but had a collector's name stamped on the back.

  7. whoa, Nick! I don;t c=recall seeing any 60 Bazookas! That is one heavenly oddball!

    1. well, thank you kitty cat...walking across the keyboard.