Tuesday, July 20, 2010

Birthday loot, part 2

I'm not much for surprises. I think we can all agree that the bad kind of surprises aren't good for anyone. But I'm not a fan of the good kind either -- parties, roller coasters, winning free fries in the McDonald's Monopoly game, whatever.

I like routine. I like sameness. I like boring.

At least that's what I let others believe. And then they're all stunned when I squeal like a dog toy because the mailbox is stuffed full of golden, rectangular envelopes.

On the very day of my birthday, there were three such envelopes in the mailbox. I promptly dubbed them birthday gifts. I don't care if none of the senders could have known it was my birthday or that the packages would arrive on my birthday. I sung "happy birthday to me" as I opened them and soon everyone was annoyed except for me. Which is how most birthdays around here end.

So, shall we see what Joe L., Johngy and dayf got for my birthday?

Yes we shall.

Joe L. found something very appropriate for my tastes, something I put out on my wish list/blog a couple weeks ago.

It is the best National Animals card in all of Allen & Ginterville. Look at owlie boring a hole through your soul. Comforting isn't it? I've never been to the Dominican Republic, but the ashy-faced owl will be taking up residence on my sidebar when I can get to it. It was actually Joe L.'s suggestion, and it is a fine one -- one that I am smacking myself for because I should have thought of it first.

Joe also sent this card:

It's The Hammer! He's taken a slight beating here, and for a second I thought Joe found the card that I pulled from a pack that I had shoplifted from a drug store and then traded for the Ron Cey card. But knowing the person that I traded it to, it couldn't possibly be in this good of shape. He was a slob.

By the way, this is a dupe. Just throwing it out there. But I certainly don't mind having a dupe of a '75 Aaron.

OK, as for Johngy, who somehow finds the time to send out cards when he's not hitting ballparks and the celebrity circuit, he took a different tactic. For my birthday present, he decided to see how many Dodgers team sets he could finish off for me.

Let's count along:

1. 1994 Stadium Club. The last card I needed was both a source of frustration while I collected the set and while he was playing for the Dodgers. Now, both chapters are closed.

2. 1991 Stadium Club. A former Nebulous 9 need now completes the Dodgers team set for me. I can see Ojeda any time I want on the Mets' pregame and postgame shows. But he sits with that host guy who irks me -- I can't recall his name. So I don't watch it.

3. 1993 Stadium Club. ALL of the remaining Dodgers that I needed. Finally! This set haunted me in my sleep. John, you are my hero! He also threw in a Marlin and a Brewer because http://www.teamsets4u.com/ thought Ramon Martinez the hitter was Ramon Martinez the pitcher and thought Franklin Stubbs was still a Dodger. That site can get funny like that. But 95 percent of the time it's fantastic.

4. 1977 Topps. I have needed to upgrade the team set for this year for decades. You could see my greasy 11-year-old fingerprints all over the Dodgers that I had. While those cards are good for memories, I like to pretty up my cards a little. There's nothing like seeing a card from my childhood in pristine shape -- it reminds me of when I took the card out of the pack for the first time.

John came close to finishing off the '88 Traded set for me, too. Just down to Nebulous 9 Jesse Orosco now.

Finally, he added some Topps MLB Debut cards. I think almost 20 years went by before I knew these sets existed. In fact, it took me forever to add them to my want list. But John found them.

The want list is good reading. You should try it someday.

All right, dayf, meanwhile, tried yet another tactic, which is a path I often travel: just throw a bunch of random stuff in there -- with an overall team theme, of course -- and hope he can use a couple of the cards (hint, dayf: guess what's coming your way).

Fortunately, I love random. So, I guess that means I really do like surprises.

I can't figure myself out.

Anyway ...

I'll start with a literal Piece of History -- the New York Times, from 2009 Piece of History.

Dayf guessed I had received eight of this card already. Nope, this is my first one. I've received other POH cards tailored to my interests, but no one ever thought to send me a newspaper card. I picked up a Times last week while on vacation. Lots of stories about The Boss. Good and bad memories, unlike the white-washed "wonderful man" stuff you saw on TV. But YES is too busy churning out propaganda to figure out why getting both sides is a good idea.

This card is why when you're sending cards to someone and you think "naw, he/she's got to have this card already" you PUT IT IN THE ENVELOPE ANYWAY. How many times have I said I had the entire 2010 Heritage Dodgers set already? Twenty? Didn't have this card.

Seriously, you folks have to to stop paying attention to me.

Russell is shiny and refractory and all kinds of things that still can't help me from thinking about how his stats seem to indicate that he's on the downside of his career and HE'S ONLY 27!

I believe I might've mentioned that I wanted these cards on the Cardboard Junkie blog. I threw in a bunch of "Gimmes" because I was feeling particularly greedy. It worked. Beautifully. Gordon Gekko would be proud.

Once we had this guy -- no not Duke Snider, another guy -- come to our work place to teach us something -- new computers or remaking our newspaper or something. He was there for about a month. The phrase he kept using was "now, we're cooking with gas" to indicate when he was satisfied or interested in something. No, I had never heard that phrase before. Yes, we wanted to punch him. But the phrase has stuck in my head for about 10 years now, and when I saw these two Snider cards, that's what I thought.

I'm sorry for putting that phrase in your head.

Anyway, the Snider on the left is from the retired players portion of 2010 Chicle and it is one of my favorite cards in the set. The card on the right is one of the SPs, I believe, and it's a Bazooka back for you psychos collecting the card backs of this set.

And I really love this card. It is one of the short-prints and Robinson is supposed to be in an L.A. Dodger uniform, but you can't really tell, which I like very much. It's a Chicle back, too. I don't know why I keep mentioning that.

The short-prints of the mid-1990s -- silver signature parallels. What kind of fools were we?

Chad is still trying to figure out what kind of pitcher he is. I'm not quite as hard on him as other fans are, but I would like some more consistency.

Mostly, what I think of when I see this card is "why orange?" Such a random color for Bowman. Are there old-time Buccaneers fans at Bowman? (the old Bucs uniforms RULE, by the way).

Let's see if I can sum up this card:

Shawn Green's head has been trapped in a baseball hurtling backward out of the stadium. A foul ball perhaps? Green doesn't appear terribly concerned by this, but instead is staring at something -- maybe a bird or a UFO. Meanwhile, just in case you didn't know, Green wears 15!!!!! Do you hear me???? 15!!!!!

Also, this might be the thickest card I currently own. I will have to measure.

Dayf sent many other a fine card, but we're now four days past my birthday and I feel stupid extending it any longer.

Thanks for adding to the birthday fun you card-collecting people.


  1. I knew there was a reason that I procrastinated over a month before sending you stuff. Happy late birthday!

    Just so you truly appreciate just how random that package was, I divided a stack of Dodgers in half and flipped a coin to determine which stack went to you and which one went to gcrl.

  2. So...is that Green card a "game used face" card or jersey card. Weird.

  3. The 15 is a jersey swatch, Green's face is printed on some fake baseball leather. Game face has a bunch of insert cards with the fake leatherface things embedded in them.

  4. Glad to help. It's fun for me hunting them down.