Friday, October 4, 2013

Set completion distraction

Yesterday's Dodgers game went pretty well. Even in a 6-1 win, there were some disconcerting moments, but that's just the way it is in the postseason for me.

How today's Game 2 is going I have no idea at this writing. I will be working during game time and that will cut down somewhat on the angst. Ignorance is a blissful fan. I'll just have to let Zack Greinke go out and do his thing without any help from me. How he'll survive, I don't know.

If I wasn't working, I'd probably be doing something comforting to distract me from the game. My main source used to be eating. Food is a wonderful sedative during playoff time. But I don't do that anymore. Instead, I sort my baseball cards.

This takes many forms during a game. Opening up a binder filled with Dodgers and painstakingly shifting cards over one pocket at a time and adding new ones in the proper spots. Or I could grab a set binder and just slip the needed card into the waiting empty pocket. Sometimes I'll even grab a box of cards and go through and resort them (why I have any incomplete set that is not from 2013 sorted by number, I'll never know).

This definitely takes the edge off of watching a playoff game. Not only does it get me away from the commercial stupidity, but during a particular annoying moment -- I'm already staring daggers into the fans standing every time someone gets on first base -- I turn my complete attention to the cards. Before I know it I can enjoy the game again.

I received some set-building cards recently from Bert at Swing And A Pop-Up. I expect them to be useful in my card-sorting distraction exercise during Game 3 of the NLDS on Sunday. He sent quite a few cards that were focused on some key sets, so let's see what binders I'll be digging out on Sunday.

1972 Topps set binder: You'd think I'd have a Duke Sims card already, and I do. It's the second 1972 Topps Dodger card I ever acquired, way back about 30 years ago or so. But that's the joy of trying to complete a team set and a yearly set at the same time. You don't know what you have. And I didn't have a second Duke Sims. Now I do. Adding this card to the '72 binder will be so satisfying when Mattingly decides that Juan Uribe is going to bunt again.

1977 Topps set binder: This card is merely an upgrade. I'll probably grab this binder early in the game when I'm relatively calm. I'll pop in the card, chuckle about the Giants missing the postseason, and refile the binder.

1979 Topps set binder: More Giants? Accepted willingly? Set collecting madness! I actually didn't need the Minton card. I typed in the wrong number on my want list. But Charlie Williams whittles my '79 completion quest down to under 20 cards! I'll add Mr. Williams maybe when MLB breaks out the Cialis commercial for the third time.

Dodger binder, 1991-93: Ah, geez. Somewhere on some online want list, this was listed as a Dodger card, and I panicked and thought my '91 Bowman team set wasn't complete. I don't know if I consider this a Dodger card -- Dodger fans, what say you? At any rate, this card will be too depressing to file during a playoff game. I'll save it for a quiet moment when I don't want to throw things.

Dodger binder, 1996-97: The 1996 Bowman Dodgers team set is complete! (Except for those foil things). Adding these cards will take a lot of time since I'd have go through the entire card-shifting process beginning at the early '50s. So I probably won't dig out this binder during the game. However, if there are a million pitching changes in the 7th inning, I just might start a major binder sorting project right there and then.


Stand and recite the pledge:

OK, back to beer and card sorting.

Dodger binder 2012-13: Normally, I refrain from sorting cards of current Dodgers during high-stress moments involving my team. Too much temptation to fold the card into a paper airplane, pretend the plane crashes in a fiery blaze, light the card-plane on fire and throw it in the fireplace to watch it burn to crisp.

But Kemp isn't playing in the postseason and you can't convince me that he's really playing for the Dodgers in this card anyway, so I'll update this binder with no fear of card homicide.

Dodger binder 2002-03: I'd love to add this card to a binder during a particularly epic moment of Dodgers playoff greatness -- perhaps Yasiel Puig hitting a grand slam straight into the mouth of a booing Braves fan -- let's hope it happens.

By the way, the 25th anniversary of Gibson's biggest home run ever is just 11 days away.

Dodger binder: 2005: Wow, this is a super shiny numbered to 1,500 card. I like to drink in the shiny during sad moments of a game. If there's a game in which the Dodgers are getting blown out, you can bet I'm dragging out my shiny cards.

No binder: Sadly, I've banished minor league cards for Dodger prospects who never played big-league games for the Dodgers to a box. I'm not sure what would possess me to go through a box of major leaguers-who-never-were during a Dodger game. I'd have to be pretty bored. A Fox pregame show seems about right.

1975 Topps mini stack: Weeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeee!!!!!!! 1975 Topps minis!! Yaaaaaaaaaaayyyyy!!!!!!!!!!!!!

As you know, there's no binder for these yet because there are NO PAGES FOR THESE YET (UltraPro, where are you???). So I update the 1975 Topps mini stack instead of a binder.

1975 Topps minis can be used for any occasion. Celebrate a happy Dodger game moment with '75 minis!!! Drown your sorrow in a bonehead Don Mattingly decision with some joyous '75 minis!!!

So there you go.

Now you know what I'll be doing while watching Sunday's Dodgers-Braves game and you may even know what cards I'm sorting depending on what's happening in the game.

Or I could be throwing the TV out a second story window.

I hear that's therapeutic, too.

1 comment:

  1. Was watching a movie recently and saw Ralph Branca making a cameo. I think the movie was Parenthood or something like that with Billy Crystal.