Today is my birthday.
I love my birthday. I will never be one of those people who ignores my birthday or shrugs it off. I don't know about you, but having people fawn all over you and give you cake and presents makes me pretty happy.
I enjoy the day so much that it bothers me when I see others not enjoying July 16 as they should. Through no fault of their own, they're experiencing everyday problems on my birthday. This is not cool. This is my birthday. It should be a holiday for everyone. In fact, if you're working today or doing everyday chores, I give you permission to take the day off. Go ahead, tell them it's night owl's birthday. They'll understand.
But yes, I realize life goes on. For example, a good friend of mine on the internets, someone who has had a baseball card blog or two in the past, is supposed to be undergoing surgery today. On my birthday. That's almost as bad as the fact that people will be watching the ESPY's on my birthday. I can't even begin to comprehend such misfortune on this day.
So this post is for @grogg, as he goes by on Twitter. I'm thinking of him and I hope everything turns out well. And it's not just because he sent me some terrific cards recently.
Want to see them? They are very cool. I wouldn't just show any cards on my birthday.
Here, I'll give you an example:
That's my first autographed card of Dusty Baker. And proof that Baker remembers his Dodgers days (I've had my doubts over the years). Isn't that tremendous?
I didn't even get close to grabbing the autographed Davey Lopes card from Archives last year (but I'll get it some day). But here is Baker here ...
... and here is his former teammate Bill Russell. Both Dodgers' Archives autographs! Awesome.
This makes me want to get autographed cards of all of the main figures in the Dodgers' World Series teams of 1977-78. I don't know how possible that is, and I'm sure I'll forget about doing it soon. But I know I'd have to find a signed card of Rick Monday and Reggie Smith, as well as that Lopes card. Then I'd have to track down Tommy John on the golf course and get his -- like I said, probably not gonna happen.
More Archives greatness. The crossing over of hockey/basketball/football designs into retro baseball products meets my approval. Yasiel Puig's performance in the All-Star Game did not. He looked young and nervous.
Still on Archives. This is shiny. Almost foily. I'm not sure why Topps made these. But they're numbered and, yes, I'm a sucker for serial-numbered stuff so I can wave it in the invisible collector's face who will never be in my home viewing my collection.
This is from last year's Archives. One of those retro Bazooka minis. I promise I will not go on a crusade to find pages to fit these minis.
Now, here are minis that I collect. Three great ones, too. I'm willing to bet each will show up in my mini frankenset binder, but I haven't had time to check. It's my birthday!
OK, this thing. I've got to write something about this. I assumed when these came out that they were actual stamps in a frame. But now that I have the card in hand, it doesn't seem like that's the case at all. Either it's just a picture of stamps made to look like they're in a frame, or it's the thinnest, smoothest frame in the history of creation.
That's disappointing. (Even more disappointing if I had bought a box of Heritage that year). But it IS serial numbered. Wow, that invisible collector who visits my house is going to be so jealous.
I know grogg has a thing for silk cards, particularly the 2008 Topps silks. He's trying to get the whole set. I don't know if he's finished it off, but I know he's very close.
OK, get ready for some Piazzas:
I am coming to terms with the fact that I will always have more Mike Piazza cards than anyone else's cards. That's OK, of course. I like Mike Piazza. It's just that I like other players more.
Like him. I think one day I'll have more Kershaw cards than Piazza cards. I'll just have to continue to convince others that his greatness belongs with me.
Another guy I collect. This is a Donruss Statline card. Numbered right on the front because that's how they did it back in 2002.
Welcome to the second patch card in my collection. Yup, I have just two. I like them. But I can't for the life of me figure out why some people lose it over these cards. I'm convinced that if patch cards didn't exist, a whole segment of collectors would simply disappear from the hobby. That's how devoted they seem to be.
I love how these scan. Ghosty.
Ooh, it's another Pratt Maynard autograph. Each time I land one of these I have to see what he's doing in the minors.
I'll be right back ...
Batting .234 in high A ball in his fourth season. OK, well, I'll hold onto this just in case.
Final card. And it's fantastically awful.
I approve of this card in every way possible because it's my favorite player. Any autographed card of The Penguin is automatically one of the best ever.
But it amuses me into stitches because it's no better than collecting autographed napkins. No, scratch that, it's no better than collecting napkins with a sticker of an autograph placed on them.
I'd like to think that Ron Cey cringed when he found out his signature was going on a card that looked like this.
But I will place this with all my other signed Cey cards in a place of honor. We like The Penguin in our house.
Again, thanks for the cards and best of luck, Greg, at the hospital. Hope you recover soon so you can enjoy your summer.
Also, I hope everyone enjoys their day whether it's their birthday or not.
I know I'll be enjoying it.
Oh, and don't watch the ESPY's today.
That will just make me sad.
(P.S.: My buddy Greg made it through surgery well and I just heard that he will be allowed to go home this afternoon, July 17).