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Showing posts from January, 2017

I can barely focus

You guys, I've spent a good portion of today watching people open 2017 Topps. I expect that tomorrow the entire day will be covered in people opening 2017 Topps. Today's experience was kind of exciting and kind of disappointing (this year's design looks even more underwhelming now that cards are coming out of packs). But it will be enough to get me to check out Walmart in the wee hours of the morning after work to see if any 2017 has arrived here. I fully expect that some 2017 Topps will show up on the blogs before this night is over as well, all contributing to the general buzz that I'm feeling right now. And it's not going to go away until I can get a few packs of current product in my hands. This could go on for days. Multiple trips to big box stores. Clipped conversations about topics that suddenly mean nothing to me. Shirking of responsibilities and daydreaming at the office. My focus isn't all that great on this blog either, but I'm getting it

Fernando the foodie

Way back in 1981, when a portly unknown from Mexico was winning game after game for the Dodgers, everyone was trying to learn what they could about this Fernando Valenzuela. It wasn't easy back then. There was the language barrier, of course. And all we had were newspapers, some magazines and a couple of national TV games a week. It's a wonder "Fernandomania" got started in the first place. One thing I gathered from those early reports was that Valenzuela liked to eat. Here are some samplings: From Sports Illustrated, March 1981: "Language has not been an impediment to Valenzuela's appetite. 'I go to a restaurant and point at what I want on the menu,' he says. 'I have been surprised, but never disappointed.'" From People, May 1981: "Fernando is capable of looking out for himself. 'Steaks, salads, avocados, Mexican food, carne asada, beans, rice -- I do like to eat,' he declares." From the Washington Post,

C.A.: the review 4 (semifinal 2)

Yesterday after work, while strolling through youtube, I came across the first "This Week In Baseball" episode ever aired. As a diehard TWIB fan in the late 1970s, I watched the episode fully enthralled. The first episode, from May 31, 1977, stuck entirely with highlights and Mel Allen's narration. There were no odes to baseball's funny side, which would later be a hallmark of TWIB. There also were no interviews. The familiar part of that first TWIB that remained, aside from Allen's voice of course, was a recap of the past week's games, focusing on the most notable teams and events. This initial episode focused on the Dodgers and Reds, the Cubs, the Orioles, and the Red Sox and Yankees, who were a big deal when they faced each other even way back in the '70s. Allen mentioned that every time the Red Sox and Yankees faced off it was an event, and it had been that way for a long time, ever since he could remember. (I started wondering when exactly did t

Back home

I have periodically wondered what would happen if I took a long break from this blog. But I have wondered more often why I don't take a long break from this blog. My longest break from Night Owl Cards has been a week. Some consider that remarkable consistency. I consider it more a mix of good fortune, my current period in life, and above all, an incredible drive to write. This is the only outlet that allows me to write on a daily basis, with a modest audience as a bonus. And as I've established many times before, I must write. So, what would cause me to take a large break of say nine months like Julie of A Cracked Bat did recently? I can think of two things: tremendous upheaval in my life or that I received a huge paying job to write somewhere else. Other than that, you're probably stuck with me and this blog for awhile. Sure, incredible boredom could take hold and shut the blog down, but that's not even a remote possibility right now. That's why I am al

I'm probably too old for this

The release date for 2017 Topps flagship is less than a week away. I happen to have that day off and will probably be driving myself crazy that day trying to find it in local stores, which is usually an impossible task. I'm happy that I'm still excited after all of these years -- even though I don't intend to collect the set, even though I already see things I don't like about it, even though I fully plan to mention those things on this blog -- but I wonder if the whole modern card collecting thing has passed me by. For instance, Topps released the checklist for Series 1 today, complete with announcing that Kris Bryant is card #1 in the set, which means almost nothing to me. What does still mean something to me is how later cards in the set are oriented. Once upon a time, card No. 100 in the set meant something. Hank Aaron, Willie Stargell, Mike Schmidt, Mike Piazza, those were the players who received card No. 100 -- for decades. I had to look up who Nat