Tuesday, November 15, 2011

Mystical cardboard

When I was a kid, walking home from school, my overactive imagination would get so bored with the endless journey (it was probably no more than 8 minutes long), that I would devise mind games to prevent me from falling asleep right there on the neighbor's sidewalk.

I'm sure you're familiar with them: "If I beat this car to the corner, mom will have baked cookies when I get home!" "If that woman doesn't close the door before I pass her house, I'll get to play baseball at my friend's house!" "If I don't make it to the neighbor's driveway by the time I count to a hundred, that barking dog will tear my face off!"

Ah, good times.

These mind games would continue periodically as I grew older, eventually evolving (or devolving) into pathetic bar room pep-talks: "if this girl makes eye-contact, that means she wants me."

As I became an adult, those type of mind games disappeared. I became more wise to reality and how the world works. I realized I didn't have that kind of mystical control over the world. Hell, I can't even get the people in the sports department to abbreviate words correctly, even if I've told them 100 times.

But there is one place where the mind games continue to operate -- it is in that moment when I'm pulling cards out of newly purchased packs. I'm not even aware that I'm doing it. But I was so elated to pull the above Matt Kemp stand-up card out of a blaster of Lineage last week that I instinctively thought, "something good's going to happen for the Bison now."

That "something good" was the news yesterday that Kemp is all but a physical away from an 8-year, $160-million contract with the Dodgers. Better news there couldn't be. My sports nightmare scenario is seeing Kemp or Kershaw playing in a different uniform and pretending to be happy doing it.

I was so happy that my Kemp pull generated an eight-year deal for next week's N.L. MVP, that I went back to the blaster of Lineage to see what mystical good luck I worked on other players.

I kept it to inserts and parallels only. We all know base cards don't have that kind of power.

I'd say I did pretty good by Jeremy Hellickson, too. He only ended up winning the American League Rookie of the Year award yesterday.

This could be a good omen for Albert Pujols. Perhaps he could work this Venezuelan-backed parallel into the biggest contract in the history of the world.

OK, this is where the blaster's mysteries are yet to be revealed. Heyward had a pretty junky season last year. Perhaps a Comeback Player of the Year Award is on the horizon?

The blaster is a little late with Blyleven. He was inducted into the Hall of Fame last year. And I couldn't tell you what kind of good fortune Seaver could come across. Don't even know what he's doing these days. I know he's into wine. Maybe this means a good grape crop?

These two cards were certainly good news for me. Both were '75 minis that I didn't have and they put my collection of these cards above 60 total (I have more now, but the blog is about 2 weeks behind my transactions).

A cloth card of Cal Ripken Jr. I don't know if Ripken could use any more good fortune. The guy seems like a bazillionaire. Maybe this card means the Orioles will actually be competitive this coming season. That's a happy thought.

A mini-jolt of Jason Bay. He's due for a comeback season. Perhaps this card ensures that he'll actually be able to stay on the field for 140 games or so.

Ugh. Let's hope this doesn't mean Morgan finds his way back onto ESPN.

This was my first blaster of Lineage. It was only my third or fourth full-priced blaster of any kind since January. But I've always wanted to try a blaster of Lineage, just couldn't find the cash to dole out when they were on the shelves.

This box happened to be tucked away behind the Chrome and Bowmanesque blasters. I'm very happy I bought it. It was fun. It gave me a lot of stuff that I needed, and snagged some extra bucks for Kemp, too.

As for the other cards I showed, the Heyward and Morgan are already in stacks headed for other destinations. The minis are off-limits. The rest are available.

Just respect their mystical powers.


  1. Yipes! Not sure what I have to offer in return for the cloth Cal, but I'm willing to ask.

  2. You can give me Hell....ickson. And I have some minis for you. I gotta send you a list sometime.