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I don't know what I have

Speaking of repeating myself, here is another tale of how I'm way too busy for this convoluted hobby to know what is in a set or even what I have.

Three PWE's received recently help illustrate that tale.

The first one is from P-town Tom at Waiting 'til Next Year. He sent three cards, one of which is the one you see at the top. The Fleer Sports Illustrated cover cards are probably the best card thing that ever came out in the '90s.

The second card from Tom is the pretty pointless Clayton Kershaw card from the National League all-star set, in which Topps merely reprints the same photos and plants an AL or NL logo on the front. But people like me fall for it. Fortunately, I didn't have to fall for it this time -- P-town Tom did it for me!

Here is the card that I didn't know what I had when I first saw it. But it was only for a minute -- and then I realized that Pro Debut was probably out and I was happy to have another card of the 19-year-old superstar-in-the-making.

So, now, moving on to a PWE sent by Jim at Frankendodger.

Jim's new blog is a fun follow because it's all Dodger cards. And it gives me a chance to see what cards I don't have. There is special incentive there because Jim is showing off all his dupes in the process of putting together a Frankendodger set. Perhaps he has some dupes for me!

So I've gotten in the habit of informing him when there's a card I need, and Jim has even placed my want list on his blog. Have you ever seen anything like that?

So he sent a couple of cards off that want list:

I've always wanted a card of Walter O'Malley. This one hails from the 2016 Diamond Kings set.

Now we come to the "I don't know what I have" segment of the package:

I actually do know what this is. It's a 1999 Topps Gallery card of Todd Hundley. Where the "I don't know what I have" part comes in is in that I have this card already. I commented on Frankendodger that I needed this card, and Jim faithfully sent it to me, and then I looked it up in the binder and that same card is staring me in the face.

I don't know what I have.

Jim also sent a couple night cards to help wash away the disgust of seeing a "want" transform into a "have" before my very eyes. Both of these dudes are fairly polarizing people. But the fans who dislike them most are Cubs and Yankees fans, and I don't have sympathy for either of those groups so you just may see these in the night card binder (but hopefully not the Molina).

Let's move on to the third PWE.

This one comes from Dave from Texas. He just wanted to tell me happy Father's Day and that he likes the blog. That's rather nice.

He guessed that I have the Russell already, which I do. But if I'm going to collect the '73 set someday (and I am), this comes in handy.

Here is the other card:

This is where "I don't have time for your card set shenanigans" comes into play.

I knew this card was from this year's Archives set. I also knew that Sandy Koufax is one of the SPs in the set, which are cards 301-310.

But I didn't remember exactly when the SPs began in the set, so when I turned the card over, I saw it was numbered 300 and assumed that was the SP ...





There is, of course. It's Koufax on the 1953 design. That is the short-print card.

So are you with me? This is how messed up card sets are these days. There is a 310-card set, and it contains two cards of the same player for reasons that are based on nothing except the whim of the people putting the set together. And I still haven't wrapped myself around the fact that base cards are severely short-printed.

Does Koufax know he's lending his name to this kind of lameness?

So, Gavin of Breakdown Cards had to inform me that what Dave had sent was not the SP, but a regular, ordinary Koufax. And I watched all that good feeling I felt for David trickle down the drain (just kidding, of course).

I amend what I said about this year's Archives set and how I enjoy at least the 1979 Topps tribute in the set. Forget all that. Archives is garbage and always has been garbage and it needs to die on a garbage pile of garbage.

(Yes, I'm still collecting the '79 cards, but I still don't like you, Archives).

I am a lot happier -- and I usually know what I have -- when I collect vintage.


gcrl said…
Two koufax cards in archives with one as an sp is lame but I think joe mauer has two base cards in the set which is worse
Jeremya1um said…
I have a plan to fix Archives and make it into a 'cards that never were' set. Hopefully in a few months I'll have some customs done and I'll post an idea for how Topps could make the set happen. No SPs, I promise.
I got a few packs of Archives. Haven't pulled the Koufax, but if get any more packs and pull one, it's yours.
Stubby said…
"Archives is garbage and always has been garbage and it needs to die on a garbage pile of garbage."

Hey, I don't piss all over the 1975 set or say such things about the Dodgers (with the exception of one crappy infielder). You don't like Archives, don't collect it. In fact, I don't even think you should keep any of those Archives Dodgers. Just burn them or whatever.

I happen to like Archives. Its just a fact that any old Topps design is better than any new Topps design. Now, last year, what they did with the SPs was borderline criminal and I joined the boycott. But, by reducing the number of SPs to just 10, keeping most of the stars in the 300 base cards, and having some SPs be as superfluous as a second Koufax, they've made it so the people who care about the 310 card set can care about the 310 card set and the rest of us can be happy with a 300 card set. Plus I think this year's Archives are as close to their original counterparts as Topps has come with the product in years.

The hobby is what it is today, whether that's for the good or the bad. I don't envy Topps for having to balance all the different kinds of collectors, investors, speculators, case breakers, flippers, builders of rainbows and other hobbyists to arrive at some formula that allows them to keep torches and pitchforks at bay from one segment or another while still turning a profit from an ever shrinking market.

And, no offense, Jeremy, but there's probably no idea that hasn't been bandied about the Topps boardroom before. You know who proposed an Archives set of "cards that never were"? You know who argued that they should at least include SOME "cards that never were"? Keith Olbermann. If they didn't do it for him (cause they love that guy), they aren't going to do it for you. Not to mention a contract that prohibits Topps from doing a set--any set--that does not include current players. I give them kudos for green-lighting "virtual" cards. I don't get it, I don't want it, I'd have laughed the suggestion out of my office. But they've got an audience for them and they're making some money off of them. That right there tells me they have a better feel for their market than I do.
night owl said…
Wait -- I have a card blog and I'm not allowed to discuss what I like and don't like? I'll write about whatever the hell I want. That's what blogging is. You don't like it, don't read it.

I don't understand what the difference between SPing the hell out of 30 cards and 10 cards is. It's still a pain in the ass to try to find the 10 cards. And if I'm collecting the set, it doesn't make me feel any better that I'm "only" missing 10 instead of 30.

Archives did replicate the old sets better this year than it has in the past. I've written about that, too. That's what I do, point out what I think is the good and the bad. Archives has a long way to go to become what it should be. Collect whatever you want, but don't tell me what I should write about it.
Jeremya1um said…
You are right about this years set looking close to the original counterparts. The 1991 cards are spot-on with the logos.

Topps could put in current players in an Archives 'cards that never were' set making draft pick cards, top prospect cards, or by issuing cards of players in sets the year before they debuted. With the way MLB changed the card rules in 2006, most current players don't have a draft pick card unless they were drafted in 2004 or earlier, and 2005 was the year that prospect cards went bye-bye because of the MLB rules as well.

I'm sure Topps probably wouldn't listen to me, but if the right people stumble upon it and the idea is tweaked the right way, anything is possible.
Stubby said…
NO, you have every right to say you don't like Archives and give the reasons why. That's not what you did. You made a definitive statement that "Archives is garbage and always has been garbage and it needs to die on a garbage pile of garbage" as though your opinion is fact, attempting to invalidate any other opinion. And there's a huge difference between SPing the hell out of 30 cards and 10 cards. Huge. If the 10 cards are essential to you feeling you have an entire set, its feasible to get them without taking out a second mortgage. That is not the case with 30 SPs distributed 1 per 3 boxes, especially when those 30 cards contain some of the most desirable players in the set. It also means that, even if the frequency is the same, the population is higher this year (because there are only ten in the rotation, instead of 30). So, last year, Kris Bryant was an SP. That's (conservatively) two to three hundred dollars right off the top...for one SP of 30. Not the least bit reasonable. This year, Maeda is probably the top SP and you can get it for $15, if you want it. Less if you hunt a little bit. Koufax ten bucks or less. Everyone else $2 tops. Completely doable. Total cost for this years SPs (while the market is at its highest) is less than 20% of what one SP would have cost you last year. Huge difference.
night owl said…
It may be a huge difference to you, but it's not to me. And I'm not getting into why because you obviously don't agree (huge surprise).

And don't tell me what I did. No matter what I wrote, it's still just opinion. I was speaking for me and me alone and I was aware that was what I was doing when I wrote it, because I WROTE IT.

defgav said…
The SPs are definitely less scarce this year, for what it's worth. Last year I bought 2 hobby boxes and got zero SPs. This year I again bought 2, and got an SP in each.
Fuji said…
I love me some Topps Archives, but the inclusion of two Koufax's and no Gwynn is cardfoolery.

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