Two packages arrived in my mailbox on Christmas Eve. Amid the advertisements and bills and general unpleasantness, were two of the best gifts I could have gotten at that particular moment.
After racing out to perform a last-minute shopping task, I opened both packages when I returned. There was one card that came out of each package.
Here they are side-by-side:
Heh. Guess I didn't need to enter that cheapo chrome group break, did I?
Oh, well. Even though the Robinson refractor was the reason I entered dayf's break and even though no other Dodgers emerged from it, I still forked over the 6 bucks (package shipped today). That's because dayf took pity on my pathetic card existence and added a few other Dodgers.
You're gonna see them, as well as the cards that the other Robinson sender, Joe M., sent to me. Because they are super nifty, and the word "nifty" doesn't get used nearly enough anymore.
Presenting the niftiness:
More refractor fun. Good to see everyone else is having no trouble pulling Dodger variations in chrome this year. Go ahead, Topps. Have fun at the Dodger fan's expense.
Three reminders of how often the modern ballplayer disappoints. Some of it is our fault, some of it is theirs.
Hondo! Dayf saved me the relatively few Dodgers that you can find in Obak. In three seasons in the minors, Frank Howard hit .341 with an OPS of 1.012. Nifty!
Former Dodgers owner Charles Ebbets, who oversaw some pretty terrible teams between 1902-25. There were a couple of nifty ones, too. Ebbets allegedly started the idea of drafting players based on a team's position in the standings.
I have no idea why dayf had an autographed Bowman card of Justin Orenduff. But thanks to his generosity, I now have an autographed card of the now retired Orenduff. Although he had a fair amount of promise, he never made the majors. It looks like he took out all his frustration on his last name.
Now that is worth the six bucks.
The other package, from Joe M., featured his usual assortment of cool items. He sent eight separate team bags, each containing 7 or 8 cards. I'm going to show one key card from each bag:
Bag 1: The last 2009 Sweet Spot Dodger that I needed for the team set.
Bag 2: A Topps '52 item of Matthew Kemp, with what appears to be a cola advertisement in the distance.
Bag 3: A Turkey Red James Loney "rookie" card. Loney is still with the Dodgers, by the way.
Bag 4: A Bowman Chrome refractor of the current, um, White Sox pitcher? Let's see if Jackson can stay in Chicago for more than a year.
Bag 5: Just a few days ago I had discovered to my horror that I did not have all of the '08 Chrome Dodgers. And the missing Dodger was fat bastard Jones. I think I rolled on the floor and groaned for three hours. But in an incredible turn of fate, the card is now mine.
Bag 6: A Heritage insert of Snider from a period when I was not collecting Heritage or any current cards at all. I must be missing a zillion inserts from this time.
Bag 7: This insert set grew on me a little bit. I can't explain why.
Bag 8: I cheated on this one and showed three because it was filled with cool refractors of old-timey Dodgers. I'm such a pathetic sucker for stuff like that.
Speaking of which, Joe also sent this:
It's an uncut sheet from a TCMA set from the early '80s. I'm torn about what to do with this. I'd like to keep the sheet as is, but I know there are a couple of Dodgers that I need in, you know, actual card form. What to do, what to do?
Joe also sent four Million Card Giveaway codes that I actually redeemed around midnight Christmas morning. The first three codes produced complete crap. To my horror, I redeemed that 2001 Ivan Rodriguez card that every person who ever got on the site seems to have. It is like the Bip Roberts of the Million Card Giveaway.
Fortunately, I packaged that card with some others to get a card I needed for the '82 set.
The final card produced something a little more in my arena:
It's a 1972 card that I don't have yet.
I've had pretty good success with whittling down my portfolio to only cards that I need and want. It's a nice manageable size, too, so that when I order them next month, I won't be horrified by the shipping cost. I am surprised by how many traders on the site will take a lot for a little -- meaning favoring quantity over quality. But I'm glad they do.
That'll do it for the Christmas loot.
Although there is one other thing that I don't know if I want to show or not ...
I'll think about it.
Trying to decide whether it is nifty.