Monday, February 11, 2013
Kemp vs. Kershaw
Even with all of the acquisitions that the Dodgers have made in the last six months, everyone knows -- or should know -- that the core of the team is Kemp and Kershaw. The last two years have established that the Dodgers don't do a damn thing if those two don't do a damn thing.
This is the main reason that I collect cards of both players. The other reason is I think they're decent folks.
I don't take player collecting as seriously as I do set collecting or team collecting. But I do pay attention to how many cards I have of both of these players. In particular, I am interested in the Kershaw total. It is my goal to have more Kershaw cards than I have cards for any other player.
I'm well on my way to doing that. Just last week I passed 250 unique Kershaw cards, which I think is pretty good for a guy who lists "player collecting" as priority three. Kershaw has appeared regularly on cards only since 2008.
Outside of Hideo Nomo, Orel Hershiser, Mike Piazza, Eric Karros, and a few other guys who played in the '90s when there were a bazillion cards of each player, Kershaw is right up there.
And I've actually spent some time periodically seeking out Kershaw cards for purchase -- which is something I NEVER do for any single player.
But even with all that, I still have more Matt Kemp cards than Kershaw cards.
This really isn't an issue. I like Kemp a lot. I seek out his cards. I want all of his cards.
But there's this part of me that says, "Yes, but, I'm really TRYING to have more Kershaw cards than anyone else and I can't even get more than a fellow current player?"
See what I do to myself?
But thanks to a some recent acquisitions, my brain will move onto obsessing over the newest non-issue very soon, because Kershaw is closing the gap on Kemp fast. It's down to just the one card after the following items appeared at my house:
AdamE from Thoughts and Sox sent two fantastic diecut items from last year's Finest and Bowman Chrome. Both of these are cards I would have had to purchase online somewhere because there's no way I'm pulling either.
I missed out on the initial diecut madness of the 1990s. I fully appreciate what they are all about now -- weird as some of them can be.
This arrived from Napkin Doon -- my first transaction with N.D. Why did it take so long? Well, I was waiting for the blue parallels to look this fantastic. I must have this card. And I has.
And here's the red version from Brian at 30-Year-Old Cardboard. These Target red parallels this year remind me of something from my childhood. I don't know what it is -- a long-forgotten restaurant's dining room decor or some discarded toy in the basement -- but I'll figure it out. All I know right now is I love these things more than any other red parallel from previous sets.
Brian also sent the '72 mini Kershaw my way. These minis are very unnecessary but terribly nice-looking. I think if the Dodgers had one of the cool '72 colors, like the Pirates, Cardinals, O's and Astros did, I'd like them even better.
I think this mini Kershaw might be coming my way again ... and again. I've been on a mission lately to acquire as many 2013 Dodger parallels and inserts as I can in trades, and I've totally forgotten what I'm getting from whom. It's madness I tell you. But well worth it.
So after this initial burst (more to come -- I know a couple more are on the way), Kershaw is one card away from Kemp.
But that doesn't mean I don't want your Kemps!
Let me stress:
I WANT YOUR MATT KEMP CARDS!!!!!!!
What are you holding onto those things for anyway? You don't like the Dodgers.
(Fortunately, I have a few 2013 Kemps on the way, too. Yup, it's been madness).
Of course, I didn't just receive Kershaw cards in the three above deals. There were lots of other nifty items that deserve displaying.
30-Year-Old Cardboard lucked into a few more parallels. Here is one of the rare LOOGY to make a Topps base set, and a guy who may or may not be in the starting rotation this year. Competition is fierce. Just the way I like it.
Adam went way back to last year's Bowman for his parallel. Who knows what Dee Gordon is going to do this year? I say make him the next Herb Washington. That's right. An exclusive pinch-runner. The Dodgers can afford to do that.
What's this? A common variety 1994 Topps Pedro Martinez?
Before that thought could come to my head, I saw the note written on the penny sleeve -- "turn me over."
Somewhat disturbed, I did what I was told.
It's Pedro En Espanol!!!!
I was sort of aware that Topps put out a Spanish language version of its '94 set. I probably forced myself to forget about it because I find 1990s-style parallels the most pointless of all parallels, for the most part. And I didn't need to do this to myself (every time I look at those Florida Marlins-stamped Dodgers team set from 1993 I wonder why the hell I have it).
So there's very little chance I will try to complete this particular parallel. But if you're gonna have just one Dodger card in the Spanish set, Pedro is a pretty awesome one to have.
Napkin sent three more blue parallels.
For the record, I am not considering A.J. Ellis' card a Kershaw card. That would be a cheap way to inflate my total of Kershaw cards. And I'm not cheap. ... well, not about this anyway.
And before you figure out why I AM cheap, let me show you one more card:
That's pretty cool.
This is a graded card of the man who struck out 15 in his first major league game.
Normally, graded cards and I don't get along. I have none because any that cross my path are immediately let free -- usually in the most violent way possible.
But there's no chance of it happening with this card. That's because I have this card already. So why not have one that is already free and one that's caged? If someone tries to tell me I'm not card collector because I don't have a graded card in my collection, I'll produce Mr. Spooner here.
I get to keep my card collector badge!
One less pointless thing for you to concern yourself about, brain.