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Showing posts from June, 2017

A tribute to longevity

I have worked for the same company for 27 years. I have been married to the same woman for more than 26 years. I have lived in the same house for 20 years. And I have held the same job position for 19 years. I get longevity. It makes sense to me. But in the very ADD world in which we now live in, I wonder if I'm all alone in this. In times of clarity, I know I am not. Because we celebrate the elongated careers of players like Bartolo Colon and Jamie Moyer. Most of us appreciate longevity even if we can't do longevity. For me, the ultimate test of longevity is surviving as a major league manager. That is some tough sailing. Standards are much too high when it comes to managers. They really don't have that much control over anything, and they take way too much of the blame. It's not surprising that there is so much turnover in the position. Yet, there are managers like Bruce Bochy, Dusty Baker and Mike Scioscia who have found a way to survive. They are our mode

What I missed while I was "gone"

You've read me whine many times about how busy I am during the month of March. It is annually my busiest month of work. Or at least it used to be. I'm finding that June is quickly surpassing it. I won't go into details, because nobody cares, but the added responsibilities at this time of year over the last couple of years has led to many extra hours on the job. It actually begins in May and didn't end until, well, yesterday. Needless to say, I slept until 1:15 in the afternoon today, which is shocking even for this night owl. During my wildly busy time, I put on a good front on this blog, attempting to sample what was new in the card world. But I didn't focus on it at all and there is much I don't know about everything that has been released during the spring -- Bowman, Bunt, Archives, Series 2 -- I know the basic details only. Heck I just got my Dodgers want lists up for Bowman and Archives today. I can't tell you what half the cards that I need

This ticks all the boxes

When I was collecting cards as a youngster, every baseball card wrapper contained an offer on the side for something extra. "It's a whole new series of colorful team pennants with official team insignia and colors. Here's a great way to decorate your room. Pick your favorite team or yearly champions! For each pennant send 40 ¢ plus one baseball wrapper to:" Most of these, I ignored. I wasn't opening packs to read tiny print on the side. The only time I paid attention was when the offer involved something specific to cards: Collect all the team checklists. Check out the game card inside to win more cards. Those were worth a couple seconds of my time. The ubiquitous Sports Card Locker, which you see in the top image at bottom right, appeared virtually every year on wrappers in the 1970s/early '80s. I probably considering sending away for that once. The personalized trading cards? No way. Nobody needs to see me on a trading card. Even when I was 10. The

Bubbling over

Baseball and bubblegum. To me, they seem to be one and the same. They go together. That old commercial jingle got it wrong. Apple pie? Who eats apple pie at a ballpark? "Baseball, hot dogs, bubblegum and Chevrolet" is how it should read. For at least as long as Topps and Bowman have been around, there's been gum at the ballpark. Card companies that also pedaled in gum made sure it was available to players. A player blowing a bubble was considered free advertising. But try to catch a bubblegum bubble on the front of a baseball card prior to the 1970s. I'm almost certain it doesn't exist. A wad of tobacco chaw in a cheek is much easier to spot on cards between 1951-71. I know, I've looked. There are more tobacco chewers in the first 30 cards of the 1960 Topps set than there are gum chewers in the entire 572 cards that year (2-0 is that score). That is completely ridiculous. Don't we call these little pieces of cardboard "bubblegum cards?"

C.A.: 1993 Upper Deck All-Time Heroes Joe Black

(Damn, it's busy around here. I guess I spoke to soon when I said it was the start of the easy season. Maybe in another week I'll be able to roust up some solid posts here. But for now, it's Cardboard Appreciation time. This is the 258th in a series): I'm a card collector, so I like to categorize things. And if I were to categorize the 1993 Upper Deck All-Time Heroes set, I would label it as "the classiest most difficult to store retro set of all-time." How's that for a category? The '93 All-Time Heroes set is a tribute to the famed 1912 T202 Hassan Triple Folders, one of the first sets to feature multiple big leaguers on one card. The 1993 UD set is 165 cards and features many players from the past, during a time when retro was just becoming popular with major card companies. It's also one of the few sets to trumpet a cause on the front of each card, promoting the Baseball Assistance Team, formed in 1986. Each card is 5 1/4 inches long,

Where are they now? Cards from 3 months ago

I received two packs of 2017 Heritage from my daughter for Father's Day. I kind of dropped a hint that we don't need no stinkin' flagship in the house no more and she wisely selected Heritage. The packs were underwhelming. Let's face it, Heritage isn't going to be interesting again until 2020. If I was collecting the set though, they would have been pretty good packs. I pulled just four doubles. But what I noticed the most from these two packs is how many players are no longer with the teams shown. Out of the 18 cards in the two packs, eight players aren't playing for the team Heritage said they were playing for three months ago. It's a tricky situation selecting teams for players, and I get the feeling it's getting trickier all the time. Somebody needs to measure the rate of transactions over the years and see exactly how much it's increased. Here are the players out of those packs that aren't playing for the team shown: Jhonny