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Showing posts from December, 2010

Drinking a cup of kindness ...

Remember when you would get all tuxed up and paint the town pink to celebrate the new year?

Me neither. But the card seemed appropriate, if unsettling.

It's time to look back at how 2010 treated the Night Owl. You know -- Auld Lang Syne and all that romanticized hooey. Did you know that Auld Lang Syne was an old Scottish tune? I'm more Scottish than anything else, so drinking a cup of kindness (and a few other things) to days gone by is right up my kilted alley.

But I know you're all forward-thinking people. You're obsessed with how we're going to fix that Panini-thingy crisis. So, I'll try to make it quick. Here's a hurried spin through the best of NOC in 2010. I'd say it was rather eventful.

JANUARY
There I was, huddled in my winterized north country home, keeping myself warm by attempting to determine whether Topps was in on Sparky Lyle's plot to make his habit of sitting bare-assed on birthday cakes known to little kiddie collectors and discover…

The best cards of 2010

How was your 2010? Was it better than 2009? For me, it was. It wasn't the greatest year in the world, but it was a whole lot better than what I went through in '09.

As for cards, I think most of us will agree that the opposite was true. The year 2009 was a pretty good one for cards. But 2010 was mediocre.

In separating the best cards of 2010, I found a lot of mediocrity. Much of that is due to the disappearance of Upper Deck early in the year. Looking at Topps card after Topps card gets tedious. I'm sure my eyes glazed over and I missed a cool card or two.

I don't find these cards as inspiring as 2009. My favorite card of 2009, the Topps David Murphy card shown here, is tremendous. But, I'll continue with a 2010 countdown anyway. It's the end of the year and I love my end-of-the-year wrap-up shows. Let's see what I thought was the best of what I pulled/acquired in 2010.

As mentioned before, hits and parallels are eliminated from competition because they…

A half-hearted look at the worst cards of 2010

I admit that I put as much effort into finding the worst cards of 2010 as I did in creating this graphic (yes, I design sports sections for a living).

But it's not all my fault. Once Upper Deck left the arena, that left half the amount of cards that existed when I did this the previous time. It just wasn't that fun pitting Topps against itself.

Also, I cut back quite a bit on buying current cards in the past year. There were a number of sets that I just didn't bother with, beyond opening one pack. That means that the candidates for this year's award may not be a fair representation of what was out there.

If my collecting pattern continues, there won't be a "worst card of 2011" -- at least from me anyway -- because I have a feeling I won't be purchasing many 2011 cards at all in comparison to the last four or five years.

I'm such a Bob Bummer.

But before I take all the fun out of being negative, let's get another look at the candidates for thi…

Card back countdown: #19 - 1977 Topps

I don't know about you, but by the time I was 11 or 12, I thought I had everything figured out. I knew how the world operated and how I fit into it.

I knew the routine. Get up in the morning, go to school, return home, play baseball with my buds, do a little homework, goof off, and go to sleep. In between there were other constants. Frankenberry and Count Chocula. Happy Days. Kiner's Corner. They were always there.

So it was with card backs.


I knew what card backs should be. They should be horizontal. They should be green. They should have a cartoon on the left and statistics on the right.

For the longest time, this is what I thought was the ultimate template for a card back. The 1977 Topps set was the standard. Any deviation from this formula was to be treated with suspicion.

Of course, looking back at it now, the '77 card back isn't much to see. Most of the 1970s card backs were drab and dark. The '77 back is a little difficult to read. But when I think of the c…