Thursday, August 6, 2015

I get older, the collection gets better

There is a quote from the movie "Dazed and Confused," in which 20-something loser Dave Wooderson utters what is now a T-shirt/meme/excuse to eyeball 16-year-olds: "I get older, they stay the same age."

This is meant as a distasteful, lecherous statement, but as you get even older than 20-something, it transforms into a lament. Yes, I'm getting older, but dammit, there are always all these young people, all the same age, looking the way I used to and enjoying the things I used to, and it's a little difficult sometimes reconciling that.

It's apparent every time I look in the mirror. Less hair, more lines. The body doesn't do what I ask it to do often enough or well enough. And then there's my view on things. I try not to sound old, but it's a fact, the music, the styles, the clothing, the hair, the card stock, it all used to be better. It's obvious, I get older and nothing is getting better. At least from my perspective.

But there is one thing that gets better. My collection.

The older I get, the better it gets. My collection is the fountain of youth. It's pretty much the only thing I own that improves as it gets older.

This was demonstrated as I celebrated another birthday last month. As usual, I get some cash for my birthday, which I often use to build my collection. I usually have to wait a few weeks for the birthday cards to arrive, which is what I was doing while everyone was at The National -- will those cards get here already?

 Today, they finally showed up. So let's see what I got. It's pretty much all over the board -- although you'll notice everything is near and dear to night owl's heart.

I acquired two Yasiel Puig cards, the A&G card at the top of the post and this one, which is from Panini's Black Friday promotional set from last year.

This is the only card that I have been able to find that recognizes Puig's bat flip on cardboard. I wanted to make sure I got this card before people conspire to remove his bat flip forever. Here is living proof that Puig made a joyful flip unto the game.

You ever have those moments of sheer panic when you realize that a card that you thought you had owned for 33 years you don't own at all? This 1982 Topps Fernando all-star card set-off such a moment. It happened when I was compiling the Dodgers all-time All-Star team post. I used the O-Pee-Chee version of this card, when I realized THERE WAS NO TOPPS VERSION IN MY DODGER BINDER.

Sure, I could have moved the one from my complete 1982 Topps set to the Dodger binder, but then there would be a hole THERE. I was freaking out, I tell you. FREAKING OUT.

Everything is OK now.

I picked up just one 1972 Topps high number with this package. For whatever reason, they weren't first-most in my brain. This one cost way less than it should have, so it escaped the Great '72 Drought.

I have decided to collect one card each of every '70s show or movie that had a card set. Just one card of the Incredible Hulk, one card of Close Encounters of the Third Kind, one sticker of Three's Company. And then I will display them in some sort of tribute.

I'm starting with Charlie's Angels, because, come on, it's Jill! She's nabbing a crook! With that hair.

Hey, kids, I've finally completed the 2013 Allen and Ginter set!

These six cards wrapped it up for me. This is the longest that I've ever taken to complete an A&G set (although technically it's been even longer for the 2006 and 2007 sets since I haven't even bothered to think about them).

With 2013, I have finished off A&G sets 2008-13. It's possible the streak ends there. But I'll keep plugging.

You ever spot a card that doesn't look right and you must have it? Here is that card. Everyone who knows the 1977 Topps set knows that Steve Garvey should have a blue All-Star bar at the bottom of the photo. But it's not here because this is an O-Pee-Chee Garvey.

Thanks to O-Pee-Chee, we get to see even more artificial turf. Weee.

Garvey also kicks off the Hostess portion of this post/package. This is from the final '70s Hostess set, in 1979. Everyone looks very relaxed on this card. You can tell it's spring training. Even the metal folding chairs look relaxed.

Here is Rick Monday, from the first Hostess set I ever saw, in 1977. Monday is featuring an airbrushed cap because he escaped the Cubs so he could play for a World Series winning team.

On to the first Hostess set and 1975 Don Sutton, except I think this photo of Sutton is from earlier than 1975. It's probably around 1972, or so. Those racing stripes on his jersey tell all.

Here is a full Hostess panel from the '79 set. I really only wanted the Burt Hooton, but it was such a good deal I didn't mind getting Valentine and Forsch, too. Plus, I won't argue that Valentine and Forsch are the better parts of this panel deal anyway.

Now we've moved on to my favorite minor league issue of all-time. The 1980 Albuquerque Dukes set. I used to look longingly at this set staring at me from the Larry Fritsch catalog or whatever hobby periodical was around then. It's taken decades for me to do something about it, but I'm starting with this absolutely fantastic night card of Dodgers prospect Gary Weiss. There is a lit bulb for every time my heart goes pitter pat when I look at this card.

OK, I didn't buy this card with birthday cash. I have it already, a few duplicates, in fact. But I'm showing this because what do you think most people would say if they were asked what the greatest Dave Stewart card was?

Most would probably offer the party line, the 1982 Topps Dave Stewart rookie that you see here, right?

Those who wanted to be different would probably cite that Pinnacle card where he's wearing a cowboy hat, or the Stadium Club card of him in a tuxedo, or one of the many cards of Stewart as an Oakland A, looking his menacing best as he delivers a pitch.

I think I have one that tops all those:

I feel really sorry for whoever it was in the top deck that pissed off Stewart that much.

What a glorious card.

There are several other cards in the package that I won't show here now. Some are for the greatest cards of the '70s countdown, a couple are for other posts, and there are some other things that I'm not at liberty to discuss.

But I will show just one more card.

It's in keeping with what this collecting year is supposed to be all about for me.

It's 1959 Topps Sandy Koufax!

That just leaves 1957 and 1958 Koufax to complete the Topps flagship run.

Yup, my collection just keeps getting better.

Makes me want to go down to the local high school and make some kids jealous.


  1. Congrats on the Koufax acquisition.

  2. Wow, that Stewart card is great.

  3. Stewart looks like the d'Evil himself!

  4. That card proves that Dave Stewart was scary in the minors as well.

  5. Great post. I hadn't thought about it, but the collection is just about the only thing that I have that is improving with age.

  6. I've never seen that '80 Dukes set. It looks great. If it's expensive I'm going to be a little bit annoyed with you for bringing it to my attention.

  7. The Koufax is a beauty, as are the two Giants cards. I like when you have to post Giants cards.

  8. I knew there was a reason I've slowly fallen more and more in love with vintage OPC. That 77 Garvey is awesome... and I know I'm going to receive flak over this comment... but I actually prefer it without the all-star bar at the bottom.

  9. Within the past year I got the idea of starting a "type collection" of 1950's - 1970's football, basketball and hockey... but a type collection of 1970's non-sports? I never thought of that. My hand is raised, I'm just trying to decide whether to high-five you or slap you upside the head for giving me my 74th different way of collecting (and 74 is not hyperbole, I started a list).