The trouble with the world, if I may be so bold to weigh in (it's not like anyone else is holding back), is that not enough people think outward.
Take a look at just about every world problem that there is, and within each of those individual maelstroms, is somebody, usually a lot of folks, thinking only of themselves.
Looking out for No. 1 is a big, big problem on this earth. One of the biggest. And it's not getting better. I see it coming from all directions and all sides. No one is innocent. Everyone is guilty. Selfishness is the crime.
Our hobby is not immune. That's what makes the baseball card blog community so great, because it's a daily example of what can be achieved when you think of others first, before yourself.
Selflessness is such a staple of card blogs that some collectors have become immune to its charms. "Oh boy, here's another post about what somebody got thanks to the goodness of someone's heart. I don't need to read THAT." I admit I also get a little jaded about the perpetual generosity spinning through the blogs. I'm not nearly as astonished and bubbly as I was when I started out 11-plus years ago.
However, that doesn't mean I can no longer recognize selfless card acts when I see them. I do appreciate them. And they do touch my heart.
And, I think, now more than ever, I should be broadcasting those card acts on this blog.
So, a few days ago, Zippy Zappy showed off some of the 2020 Topps Utz cards he's managed to find in his neighborhood. These are popular cards because bloggers love their food-issue cards and also because Utz potato chips are regional and a lot of collectors can't find them.
ZZ managed to pull a couple of duplicates for his Utz collection. One of them was the Dodgers' Dustin May, one of the so-called "hot rookies" in 2020 sets. I don't care about "hot rookies," but as a team collector, I know every time there's a "hot rookie" from my team, it will automatically make that card tougher for me to acquire.
So, I saw that second Dustin May card on his blog and I pined. I also left some moaning comment about how I can't find no stinkin' Utz. And that's how I left things. I figured Zippy Zappy would get his extra card signed as he likes to do.
Little did I know that he had already sealed up that extra Utz May in an envelope with my address even before I left the comment.
That's the Utzy back.
OK, that's merely selfless card act 1.
Here's No. 2:
Today, not even a couple hours ago from when I'm writing this, reader Mike alerted me in an email to an available card on ebay.
Now, this is pretty common, at least in my experience. It's always appreciated, although most of the time I pass.
This time I couldn't. Mike said there was a Ron Cey card available and that card was a '77 Topps Venezuelan. What's more, I could get it for 10 bucks total, including shipping.
I'm happy to say the card is on its way to me. A rarity, as I don't see many new-to-me Ceys these days.
That's quite selfless of Mike to take the time to alert me to the card. Another example of thinking outward.
All right, that's selfless card act 2.
The third one involves Julie of A Cracked Bat and her pick-pocket program.
I've been slow on the uptake with her giveaway. She actually had to email me specially out of the kindness of her heart to let me know what was going on.
Thanks to her, I was able to enter the frenzy and scarf up some very generous cards she was offering up just as a thank you!
My favorite was the 1975 Hostess Don Gullett card. I grab those on instinct.
More oddballs. I'm starting to make a dent with the Swell cards as Swell makes a dent in my heart. But my favorite is that Coca-Cola Trammell.
I kind of lost myself with this card. I'm not a fan of the Syracuse Orange or the New York Giants. But my paper does cover the Orange and I must've figured somewhere along the line I've interviewed Nassib.
I haven't. But somebody I know has. Does that count?
Aside from the Hostess card, this is the one from Julie that probably means the most to my collection. It's taken years of blogging to retrieve the Dodgers from 1993 Finest, even just the plain, old non-refractor ones. Karros gets me down to three cards needed (of course, Piazza will be the last one). And it feels good.
And that's selfless card act 3.
I realize that none of this is new in the card blog world. Our tiny corner runs on selfless generosity. I can cite dozens upon dozens of examples in the archives of my own blog.
But it's notable in a world that doesn't know what it means to think about others before thinking of themselves.
And then there are those who might stumble across this and think: So, what? You're talking about a few pieces of cardboard with pictures on them. Aren't you patting yourself on the back for throwing a few cards around? What's the big deal?
This is the big deal:
The world needs every example of selflessness it can get before it disappears from our society forever.
If we can be that example -- even with something as small as cards -- maybe it will make someone out there think.
We do far too much in this life without thinking.