When I first started blogging, there was only one other Dodger card blog out there. Jim, of that only other blog, was all too aware of this. I think when he discovered my blog, he did cartwheels. Finally! Another Dodger fan on which to dump his doubles ... er, I mean, with whom to trade.
And so we did. We happily sent Dodger cards to each other and knew without a doubt that the other was grateful. How can you not be happy with Dodger cards?
But after awhile, trading with the same person who likes the same team can get repetitious. I mean, I still trade with Jim and he's still a terrific trader -- one of the best. But we do have a lot of the same cards. Why not draw another Dodger fan into the mix?
It took a long time to find another Dodger fan. There's a lot of screwed up people out there, you know. People rooting for Diamondbacks and Mets and Braves. I didn't think I'd find another blogger who knew that the Dodgers are really the only team to collect.
Perhaps if I got on the trade forums and such, I'd find plenty of team trade partners. But I don't have time for that. I prefer dealing with the blogs anyway.
Fortunately, after months and months and months of waiting, the lack of Dodger trade partners has disappeared. There are now about 6 or 7 Dodger card blogs out there, and a couple of the operators are nonstop -- and I mean nonstop -- traders.
One of those relentless traders is now a blogger. Spiegel of the relatively new Nomo's Sushi Platter is a Dodger fan, an awesome trader, and lucky as hell that he lives close enough to his favorite team and can take time off in March to watch them play.
Sorry. Did that sound bitter?
Anyway, Spiegel and I have traded several times. Since we both collect Hideo Nomo, I don't suppose we'll be swapping our favorite Nomo cards. But he sure has sent me a lot of cards that I do want. Take the most recent group of cards that he sent.
I'll start with a card from last year's unlicensed Upper Deck set. The one in which Upper Deck went through great pains to hide the logos of major league teams that it did not have permission to feature. You can barely tell that the cap says "L.A." or the jersey says "Dodgers." The logos are almost invisible! Excellent job, UD. Way to avoid that lawsuit.
Fleer put out a ton of sets about seven or eight years ago. How do I know this? Because it named one of its sets "Splendid Splinters." This might be the dumbest name for a set ever. It could have come to pass only because Fleer had run out of set names. The naming folks in the conference room sat around the conference table -- which at Fleer I envision as a cardboard box -- and pondered the title of their new set. Somebody spotted a photo of Ted Williams hanging on a wall, shouted out "Splendid Splinter!" and everyone nodded their head and hit the bar.
(Apparently there were wood cards in this set, explaining the name. It's still stupid).
Guess which of these Topps Total cards I am the happiest to receive? If you said "Paul Bako," then you know me very well. I have wanted a Dodger card of the backup catcher who spent all of 13 games with L.A. for a long time. I am not being sarcastic. Life isn't all autograph cards and relics of superstars, you know. Embrace the mundane.
Feeling regal? Good. It's time for some Pacific, the most kingly set ever made. The 1996 Pacific set has avoided me for quite awhile. I wasn't made from royal stock, apparently.
Another set that's a little difficult to track down, considering it appeared smack in the middle of the biggest year of the overproduction era. But I'm only a few cards away from finishing off the 1990 Leaf Dodgers.
How about that? A guy from California sent me an O-Pee-Chee card! I'm a lot closer to Canada than he is, so I don't know why I don't have more of these.
This OPC card has the trademark "ripped from a magazine" look on the left side. As someone who never bought cards in Canada, I often wondered whether cards were purchased in large sheets instead of packs. I pictured kids bringing cards up to the register as if they were buying sheets of drywall.
Don't worry, I don't think that now.
Spiegel also sent several 1992 OPC Dodgers. But this is, by far, the best one, because you couldn't get a card that looked like this in the 1992 Topps set.
I love that a Canadian set is paying tribute to a guy born in California. Yes, I know all about the Expos years. It's just that small things like this amuse me.
And look at that back! This is a tremendous card back. Four semesters of French in college and I can maybe read 12 words there (not including the English words, smart ass).
I'm really enjoying dealing with the other Dodger bloggers. My Dodger dupes box doesn't seem like it's getting any smaller, but I suppose it is. It's great to know a bunch of folks who are all fans of my team. This is much more like it.
Meanwhile, gcrl, Spiegel, Greg Z., Are No, steelehere, dodgerbobble and MrMopar, keep the faith. The 2011 season is a week away. Forget about the fact that the Dodgers don't really have a third baseman, left fielder or a catcher. This is going to be the best season ever.