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Showing posts from May, 2017

Just the fax

The facsimile signature -- the replicated autograph of a major league player on a baseball card -- was a fact of life for me as a young collector. Facsimile autographs appeared on just about every card in the first set I ever collected, 1975 Topps. I didn't give it much thought. But I think somewhere in my collecting subconscious I liked them, because those signings -- even if they weren't real signings -- seemed to symbolize the stamp of approval from the player pictured. "Yeah, this is me. I'm signing off on it." Those facsimile signings didn't appear on every Topps set I collected as a kid, but they appeared on them often enough that it was a constant in collecting for someone my age, just like vibrant designs and cartoons on the back. They were an ever present aspect of card collecting. Those facsimile days are gone. Looong gone. They were so long ago that I never hear the term "facsimile signature" used by anyone but me. For a long time

Ranking 1973ness

Mention "1973" to someone who lived through it and a number images may come to mind: Watergate, gas lines, the Night the Lights Went Out in Georgia. I was a kid in '73, as blissfully unaware as I could be, watching cartoons and Sesame Street and eating Spaghetti-O's. I missed out on the '73 "angst," and instead remember it as that time immediately before I became aware that the wonderful game of baseball was also played by men on television and you could collect picture cards of them. I am now aware of just about everything '70s when it comes to cards. And the 1973 Topps set is a special look into the decade that is as unvarnished as anything issued back then. There is no wild design to divert from the photo. We get a front-row seat into exactly what was going on in baseball that year. And every element is delightfully obvious. I recently received a handful of '73 cards for my set from Mark, who is on Twitter. They arrived in exchange for a


I just looked quickly through my few 2017 Topps flagship cards to see if I could find photos of two players on the same team that are similar. This is the best that I could come up with: I have nothing support the upcoming statement because I have no time to research it, but I would guess that there aren't as many instances of players from the same team appearing in similar poses as there once was. I know they do happen still. With the recent (and apparently now-dispensed) emphasis on zooming in on players' faces there must be several instances of two pitchers from the same team grimacing similarly. But with the focus on action and the modern camera capabilities, there is much more room for a variety of images and my shuffle through a 100 or so 2017 Topps cards confirmed that. Catching players in similar poses was much more common when I was collecting cards as a kid. And even through the 1980s, when action photos took over, you could find teammates in similar shots.

What is going on with base rookie cards?

Clayton Kershaw didn't have a great outing against the Cubs today. He didn't have much command, he gave up three home runs, and you could tell that the Cubs were bent on making him work. Fortunately, the Dodgers' offense showed up big time. But whether Kershaw won or lost this game wasn't going to affect the price of my $80 rookie card of him. That's right, I said "$80 rookie card." I seem to be the only person who hasn't come to terms with this already (or the only one who cares), but I remain stunned by the prices of certain base rookie cards of star players. I've mentioned it already with 2011 Update's Mike Trout and 2015 flagship's Kris Bryant. These are very attainable cards going for crazy prices. Now it's happening with Kershaw. Maybe it's the recent statement by Buster Olney that Kershaw could never throw another pitch again and make the Hall of Fame, but I am suddenly aware of how much his rookie card is sellin

Living in the present

All of your favorite self-help sources say it's best to live in the present. Living in the past is not recommended. They say it stunts your growth. It skews your view on what's going on around you. It's unproductive. Living in the future is also frowned upon. They say you're wishing your life away. But, frankly, when it comes to cards, living in the present is pretty damn boring. At least it is for me. Your mileage may vary. I would much rather live in the past when it comes to cards. I like the old cards better, I have more connection to them. Cards from the past make a whole lot more sense to me than cards from the present. So, I'm stunting my growth? So what? Everyone knows we're not going to live forever, right? Might as well enjoy what you like. (I'm talking strictly cards here, those of you looking at me for permission to break your diet). But for just this one post, I'm living in the present. I promise not to nod off if you promise no