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The 1975 Topps countdown, worst to best (No. 160-141)

  I like the way that the 1975 Topps countdown is coinciding with 2024 Heritage's representation of the 1975 set (notice I didn't say "tribute," it ain't a tribute anymore). It could be the last great '75 Topps moment of my lifetime. Sure, there are still '75 buybacks to chase and maybe I'll come up with another '75 Topps-centric series of blog posts, but this right here is probably the final big bonanza. Aren't you lucky you're here for it? While I continue to count down, I'm gathering 2024 Heritage cards with that familiar wild design. I landed a biggie a week or so ago.   This is one of the ONE HUNDRED short-prints in the set. As soon as I saw Mike Trout was involved with the SPs, I knew I'd have to get it early so it wouldn't be hanging over me like pricey cards like to do. It wasn't that pricey at all, but I'm glad it's out of the way.   I recently received a nice selection of 2024 Heritage needs from Johnny'
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You're not clicking for this

  This past weekend wasn't as restful as I expected it to be. First, work followed me into the weekend, which is always a delight. When you're younger this doesn't bother you as much, but when you're older, it makes you need to take a nap. Then there were weekend responsibilities that sometimes can be fun, but these weren't. They involved getting up early.  Even the baseball-viewing part took more investment than usual. MLB had to throw the Dodgers and the Yankees against each other and TV had to freak out about it -- hey did you know the Yankees had someone named Babe Ruth play for them? Did you know the Dodgers had someone named Jackie Robinson play for them? And also I had to view my team playing in Yankee Stadium, which is so annoying. Let's boo Shohei Ohtani every time he bats for no reason at all. At least Saturday was the highlight of my baseball season.   I ended up sleeping 10 hours last night to recuperate from the weekend. And in the process of sleepi

C.A.: 1991 Studio Mookie Wilson

 (Today begins the first day of "easy season" in my job. "Easy season" isn't as "easy" as it once was, but I need to focus on the fact that I won't be typing in 48 school-game roundups per day for the next three months. Let's get to Cardboard Appreciation. This is the 340th in a series):   One of the things I miss the most about trading cards from the 1950s through the 1990s is the personality of the players coming off of the cards.   Card backs were for finding out who was behind that face on the front. In the early going, from the 1950s through the 1970s, you could get some inside information about the player from a cartoon or a short write-up. The cartoons from specific sets like 1956, 1970, 1973 and 1974 Topps baseball and great oddball sets like Kellogg's, which dared to ask what players' hobbies were, made ball players human, guys you could relate to -- they were just like you in a lot of ways. They liked to draw, they liked to wa

Quieting the little voices in my head

  I don't know about you but among the many voices in my head are the ones that say "have you finished this set yet?" "Don't forget to complete that team set!" "Wow, it's a long time since you did anything with that set!" So many voices and out-and-out badgering about card tasks. So the first Sportlots order of the year was about quieting a bunch of those voices -- or at least cutting down on the volume -- by completing as many sets as I could as cheaply as I could. You already read about me finishing the 1986 Traded set . I posted that back on May 27, and there's still one card straggler from that Sportlots order that hasn't arrived. It's always interesting how some cards show up within days and others seem to have a long conversation with themselves over whether they really want to live in my house. When that card arrives, it will complete a team set, too. But let's see the stuff that's actually here. Look it, you guys, 19

Always there

  It's getting more and more difficult to fill the newshole -- industry term -- in a newspaper sports section these days. I won't get too much into the reasons why because: 1) it's still my job; 2) the rant will amount to the longest post ever; 3) you don't care, just look how many people have newspaper subscriptions. But just to transition to the cards more easily, I will say that NFL copy is always there for me. I've written about his before. The NFL never stops. There's no offseason anymore. It's June -- where once football would go silent for like four months until late July camps, now I can depend on a roundup of NFL news every single day. Granted, a lot of it is the stupid he said-he said, he said-she said, she said-she said stories that now pass for "news" in sports journalism (the latest example: the Caitlin Clark foul heard round the world). But empty space doesn't sell, so NFL it is!   The NFL is filling space on this blog today, too.

What my old math teacher said

  When I was a high school senior, I took like three math classes. I don't know why, I must have been deranged. The same teacher taught all three classes. He was your typical early '80s high school math teacher. With dark hair and a mustache, he kind of looked like Burt Reynolds, if Reynolds was not quite as dashing, dressed in a way that attracted chalk and mumbled odd sayings that seemed to amuse only himself. The classes were tough, we all thought they were and, as teenagers do, we made fun of him outside of class. It wasn't a class you could act up in -- he had a bit of a temper -- so we grumbled about our teacher at lunch or in the hallways.   I can still see him turning from the chalkboard to face the class, hands outstretched with chalk in one hand and eraser in the other and saying something that summed up what he had just written that we couldn't decipher and then he'd blink several times. One of his many sayings, really the only I can remember was "qu