Friday, July 28, 2017

Stay-at-home collector

This is pilgrimage weekend for baseball lovers. Not only do the Baseball Hall of Fame induction ceremonies take place this weekend, but The National Sports Collectors Convention (a.k.a. "The National"), is going on in the Chicago area.

I am much closer to Cooperstown, N.Y., than Rosemont, Ill., but I won't be showing up at either. Stuff like money and scheduling are reasons enough to stay at home, but, actually, the real reason is: I'm not much of a traveler.

I'm not a hermit or anything. Sometimes I even like to travel. But it's got to be the right time and I have to get my ... uh ... crap together in order to journey long distances. You may think the best, largest card show in the world is the reason enough to hit the road, but I dismiss the White Plains card show every time and that is far closer. I don't even bother finding shows in Buffalo, and I love and know that city.

The moment has to be right.

This moment is not right.

When will it be right?

I'm thinking next year.

Out of the select few convention locations designated by The National, Cleveland is far and away the most convenient for me. Chicago is a journey and a hassle. Atlantic City is somewhat of a journey and a hassle. Cleveland, hosting the convention in 2018, is only a smallish trek and probably not much of a hassle (judging by the one time I drove in Cleveland).

So, we'll see. Given the current state of life, in which "you must do this NOW" moments pop up almost daily, me saying I want to do something a year from now is laughable. In fact, life just laughed at me. I heard it. Very rude, life is.

Meanwhile, I am enjoying watching those who can journey to The National -- lots of pretty card pictures. But they aren't the only ones traveling while acquiring cardboard.

Angus, of Dawg Day Cards, seems to have been all over the U.S. lately, from one end to the other. And in his usual generous way, he has been acquiring cards for various people. Including me! He definitely does not mind adding miles for his cardboard.

The latest crop of Dodger goodies traveled the spectrum -- super fancy stuff and the most basic oddballs straight from my heart. Let's see what arrived in mailbox, which is always emptied promptly because I'm a stay-at-home collector!



I'm opening with the heavy hitters. The first card may be my first Chan Ho Park solo relic. I'll have to look. The Johnny Podres autograph is the first autograph I ever pulled from a retail pack. It was a 2006 Topps rack pack from a Target in Buffalo. It's always puzzled me because the card is from 2005.

The numbered Pee Wee bat relic is pure greatness out of the National Chicle set.

Moving on to more numbered items (and more Pee Wee!).

The Roy Campanella card is from one of the 9,000 inserts from 2004 Donruss Diamond Kings. This card is the more rare numbered to 250 variety (instead of 1,000). Don't ask me what the difference is besides that.

I love the seafoam green on the Pee Wee Reese card, which is a parallel from the 2005 Upper Deck Hall of Fame set. The 10/10 of Don Sutton is from 2015 Panini Cooperstown. I sure wish Panini had some color photos available to them (not to mention the whole no-logo thing).


We've reached the shiny portion of the post.

There are so many versions of Mike Piazza cards in the 1996 SPx set that I don't know what I have and what I don't. I must be getting close to having them all (except for the autographed version, of course).

And, yes, I have oriented the Bowman's Best mirror image insert card properly.

How about this beauty?

This is from 1997 and there should be a light shining behind it at all times. How can I make this happen?

This scanned like trash as late '90s cards often do. But I took a picture, too:

The shiny has been captured!

Next up two cards from a set I have never before seen:

Tell me those aren't great.

But it gets better.

These are from a 1998 Pacific Aurora insert set called Hardball Cel-Fusion.

I don't even know what that means. "Cel-Fusion," what is that? And why does the word "Cel" look like the abbreviation for the Canadian Football League?

The description of the set in the Standard Catalog of Baseball Cards explains things a bit:

"Hardball Cel-Fusion features a die-cut celluoid baseball fused to a foiled and etched card."

Fantastic. So that's how they came up with "Cel-Fusion," not that anyone collecting the cards would know that. But it all adds to the charm of these cards (which actually have a lot of red in them, but the scanner turned it brown).

Mixed with all those fancy cards were some very basic cards from my childhood:

Real greatness. Those are from 1977, 78 and 79 Hostess. The Lopes is the first Dodger Hostess card I ever saw.

I believe I own all these, but with Hostess you can always upgrade because cutting skills were atrocious in the '70s (you would never believe the lame scissors teachers gave us kids in the '70s).

Speaking of oddballs from my childhood, several days after this package from Angus arrived, another envelope appeared from him. It was a belated birthday card:

And inside fell out some 3-D cards:

I really appreciate the 1978 Cey card because after tackling the '76 Kellogg's set, I may try 1977 or 1978 next.

And, what the hell, might as well get a head start on 1980, too! Lopes, Garvey and Cey kick it off!

That was what Angus found in his travels around the western hemisphere.

He also knows that my stay-at-home theme here is a bit of a lie. I HAVE been traveling a bit to see family, which is why Angus and I haven't been able to find a time to grab a bite to eat. But that will happen, too.

Just got to find the right moment.

Because I'm always ready to talk cards.

Get ready, Cleveland.


  1. I'm hopeful everything works out so that all of us bloggers can meet up in Cleveland next year. That would be excellent!

    1. Well, if I'm going anywhere in the States, it'll be Tennessee first since I've been promising my dad I'd go visit him for a couple years now. lol But it would be nice to actually meet some of the people I interact with on here.

  2. There is a lot to be said for the creativity of the cards from the 90's thru today, but my favorite cards are the Hostess cards. Give me clean and simple.

  3. I was in the post office today mailing some cards. While on line I noticed the rack of Hallmark cards, and that one with the old man and the cupcakes was front and center.

    1. Yeah, I saw it at the post office and figured it would be a good way to ship just a couple of cards.

  4. Can't picture myself going to a NSCC unless it eventually makes its way back to the West Coast. I'm not a big fan of flying... and I'm even a lesser fan of spending my hard earned money on hotel, car rental, and other travel expenses. I calculated it either last year or the year before and it was going to cost me close to $1000. For that kind of money, I'd rather go shopping on eBay and read about all of your adventures online.

  5. I'll definitely consider going to next year's National if it doesn't conflict with other annual summer conventions that I go to. I would love to have a bunch of us meet up.

    Glad you enjoyed the cards!

  6. I quit around 1992, came back to it in 1999 (thanks to somebody buying me a box of topps xards at christmas and discovering ebay), quit again in 2008, and have come back this year...what ive done over the years is create my own set, go through all the checklists and find all players that didnt make it into the mainstream topps set