This forever stamp of former civil rights activist and literary champion Anne Spencer graced a PWE that I received last week from Nick of Dime Boxes.
The average number of cards that fall out of a PWE at my place is nine. Sometimes it's 7 or 8, sometimes it's 10 or 12.
The cards that came out of this envelope totaled 22.
Yup, 22 cards, halfway across the country, for the price of a 55-cent stamp.
I know you don't believe me, and there's nothing I can say or show here that will convince the strongest of doubters. All I can do is provide the cards that came out of the envelope here and let them do the talking:
Card 1: A 1975 Hostess of mid-1970s Royals hero Steve Busby. I jumped on this card in one of Nick's Friday giveaways. I am so glad so many collectors are not interested in '70s Hostess cards. Because I can't think of anything much better.
Card 2: A 1970 O-Pee-Chee Art Shamsky. I jumped on this, too. I don't think I knew it was OPC at the time, thinking merely that I might need it for my 1970 Topps set. Sometimes I don't read before I make a free card bid. It's the only way you can beat out the prize hounds sometimes.
Card 3: A 1980 Kellogg's Ross Grimsley. I own this card already. But it's a nice reminder of the last year that I scooped Kellogg's cards out of cereal boxes. I may be collecting Kellogg's cards through 1983, but really 1980 is the end of an era.
Card 4: A 2011 Allen & Ginter mini of baseball media legend Peter Gammons. I have this card, too, and he doesn't make my frankenset. However, I reserve a place of honor for certain select non-frankenset A&G minis and Gammons is one. Younger people know Gammons as some sort of old-man blitherer on Twitter. I know him as a wonderful writer of Sports Illustrated World Series articles back in the day.
Card 5: A 2016 A&G mini of Paulie. Nope, no way he's making the frankenset. (A Phillies Bryce Harper is blocking his path anyway). It won't find a place of honor in the back of the binder either.
Card 6: A 1976 Hostess Jim Sundberg. Woooo! A need for my '76 Hostess completion quest! I remember Sundberg as a late 1970s All-Star for the Rangers. I always thought he'd become a manager or GM after his career was over. He didn't, although he did work in the front office.
Card 7: 1976 Hostess Roger Metzger. Nick threw in one to go with Sundberg. I have this card already. But with Hostess, you're always looking for upgrades so I'll be doing some contrastin' and comparin' later.
Card 8: A 2017 Bowman Chrome Dustin May. A card I own, but if May does well in the next two years, I will want more than one of this card.
Card 9: 2020 Opening Day Dustin May. This is May after his makeover. I have this card, too, but rookie mojo knows no rationality. When I was collecting in the '70s, we wanted to get rid of our dupes as often as we could. Now people hoard them.
Card 10: 2020 Opening Day Gavin Lux. Yup, keeping as many of these that come to me as well.
Card 11: 1990 Target Hugh Casey. All right, by now you're figuring out how Nick slipped all these cards past the postman. The Target cards are notoriously light and flimsy. You could say the same for Hostess and '80 Kellogg's, too. But I am still impressed. Way impressed. With Nick, with the postal worker, with the post office in general.
Card 12: 1990 Target Randy Jackson. Both of these Target cards I needed, by the way. That's no easy feat with the amount I've accumulated thus far.
Card 13: 1989 Pro Cards Triple A All-Star Game Ramon Martinez. The many minor league cards of Ramon Martinez blend together but I think I own this already.
Card 14: 1990 Pacific Senior League Baseball Cecil Cooper: Out of all of the Senior League designs from this period, this is my least favorite. But I am a slave to cards of players from my childhood, and this is that.
Card 15: 2010 Topps Chrome X-Fractor Matt Kemp. Remember X-Fractors? Why were they called that? There aren't little X designs on the card. It's a bunch of squares and boxes. Anyway, I love this card and I neeeeded it.
Card 16: 1975 Topps buyback George Mitterwald. Mitty is in the buyback binder already. I don't really try to upgrade buybacks (since the stamp ruined the card anyway), but I may take a looksee here.
Card 17: 1994 Fleer Atlantic Mike Piazza. I think Fleer should have gone with this photo for Piazza's card in the main set.
Card 18: 2013 Topps Target red parallel Kenley Jansen. Out of all the red-blue retail parallels from this time, the 2013 reds were my favorite. They match nicely with the Dodgers, too.
Card 19: 2020 Bowman Tony Gonsolin. Hey! It's my first 2020 Bowman card! I don't know how Nick beat back the Bowman hoarders for this thing, but I appreciated it. ... I don't know what's going on with that logo sandwich thing in the corner. It seems almost as pointless as those 1996 Topps squished heads.
Card 20: 2020 Opening Day Gavin Lux, Spring Has Sprung insert. A much-appreciated card. This is an excellent insert set, probably the best of the year thus far. Topps tries to ruin it by squeezing random rookies into it. But I enjoy the look too much to complain too loudly.
Card 21: 1967 Topps Jimmie Hall. Mercy. This card has climbed to the top as the most immaculately clean '67 card that I own. If the edges on the back weren't slightly faded, I'd think Nick just pulled it out of a pack. This card was on my want list, too.
Card 22: 1991 Topps Archives Frank Smith: Oh if every card blogger paid attention to what I write like Nick! They would know that Frank Smith is one of my favorite players from the '50s, someone who grew up in my area and someone I've interviewed and done stories on both while he was alive and since he's passed.
This is my latest addition to my card room. It's a shadow box featuring the autographed cards I have of Frank Smith. All of them were given to me by Smith's dear friend, Norm, after Smith passed away.
I have most of Smith's playing days cards, although I should recheck and see what I'm missing. Smith isn't someone that would pop up in retro sets so getting that '91 Archives card is a pleasant surprise. It will go nicely with my 1953 Topps Smith.
So, whether you believe me or not, those were the 22 cards that came out of that single, plain, white envelope. And if you're calculating, that is 2.5 cents per card to send across five states.
Tell that to the next person who complains about the price of a stamp.