Sunday, July 12, 2015

All-Star Week: circumventing the border

Welcome to All-Star Week. This is one of my favorite times of year.

Even though baseball has tried to ruin this week by injecting celebrities, causes and bounce houses into the All-Star Game experience and also water it down with hashtags, limited innings and tying it to the World Series, I refuse to let cynicism wreck my overall enjoyment of this time.

I have loved the All-Star Game since I was a boy. It is not only a game, set aside to showcase the top players from that year and basically glorify baseball for one night, but it symbolizes all that I love about summer. Spectacular weather, spectacular food and that carefree feeling that you can do exactly what you want and what you want is to watch a baseball game full of players that you know.

No matter what baseball tries to do, that template has remained the same since I was 10 years old and watching my first All-Star Game from Veterans Stadium in 1976.

I need to celebrate this week so that when I'm enduring more miserable periods of the year -- September, January, March, in particular -- I can return to this week and know it's all going to be all right once more.

So, for this week I am dedicating every post to the All-Star Game. Some of these posts may be only vaguely connected to the All-Star Game, because there is no way I'm going to make myself work that hard on All-Star Week, but I will make sure I touch upon it every day.

For this post, I am focusing on some cards sent to me by Angus. He lives in Canada, and not far from me either. In fact, to send me these cards, he just traveled over the border to Ogdensburg, which is about an hour from me, and mailed out the package.

I don't know how much postage is for Canadians mailing to the states, but I know it's nuts for mailing from the states to The GWN, which made me wonder why I don't just pop over to Gananoque to mail cards to Canadian friends.

And then I thought, as close as Gananoque is, it's still three hours out of the day. Plus, there's the whole border crossing thing. Seven bucks to send cards doesn't sound so bad now.

Anyway -- cards!

Angus sent me a couple of All-Star cards of the bestest player ever, Ron Cey.

Here is the other one:

And if you haven't been tipped off yet by the ragged borders, then this will clue you in for sure:

They are O-Pee-Chee All-Star Ceys!

The '75 Cey is my second version of that card, so if I'm ever deranged enough to try for the '75 OPC set, Cey is all set. The '76 OPC Cey is my first and I can't tell you how wonderful a day it is when I can add a vintage Cey card to my collection.

Angus, being from Canada and all, added a few more OPC cards to the package:

1979 OPC All-Star Steve Garvey and his Fiche Comme Frappeur Dans Les Majeures.

1982 OPC Steve Garvey. He was an All-Star this year, too, but '82 Topps went with the extra All-Star card this year.

And here is what I believe is my first OPC team card checklist. I'm a little disappointed that the position listings aren't all in French, but at least the directions for getting all 24 team checklists are in French. ECRIVEZ LISIBLEMENT.

That does it for OPC and the All-Star cards, but Angus added a few more notables:

Here is a card from the 1992 Donruss-McDonald's set. I have this card, but it took this mailing for me to notice the back (and the back of  the regular '92 Donruss Strawberry):

Great look, Darryl.

Next up are a couple of numbered cards. This one is from 2003 Donruss Timeless Treasures. I believe the stats on the back feature the player's final season. It's the only explanation I can find for why anyone would want to expose Snider's .210 season for the -- ick -- Giants.

This card I had already placed in the dupes stack until I happened to glance at the back and see the serial number. I'm guessing this is the glossy parallel.

Lastly, an autographed card from Vlad Guerrero's older brother. This is my first Wilton Guerrero autograph.

Many thanks, Angus, for these cards, and for circumventing the border to get them to me.


  1. I have to admit over the last 20 years or so I don't pay attention to the game anymore. When I was younger I never missed an inning. It's just not the same anymore

  2. Making the game count is a joke. Just look at how many pitchers will be unavailable because they pitched Sunday. With that being said I still like to watch it and look forward to seeing the Pirate first timers.

  3. It's fun to watch. I was very fortunate last year to attend the Futures Game (didn't have the $$ for the main event) at Target Field - the atmosphere during the whole All-Star week is tough to match.
    I agree that it is silly to make the game "count" - I don't think that's why people watch the All-Star Game. I don't think they've ever do it, but I wish they would add some other skills competitions to the event - maybe something around base stealing or pinpoint control pitching.

  4. As a kid... I absolutely loved the all-star game. I'll still watch it if I'm home and it's on. But outside of last year, I can't remember the last time I made plans to watch the game.

    P.S. Love the vintage O-Pee-Chee cards.

  5. I also enjoyed the game as a child. However, I feel that interleague play has somewhat diminished it's luster. Part of the game's allure to me was to watch NL guys like Steve Carlton face the AL's Reggie Jackson or Jim Palmer face Pete Rose. Nowadays, with interleague play, I don't anticipate matchups as I did then.