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Showing posts from October, 2017

Spooky cards

Baseball cards aren't spooky, particularly now that Colby Rasmus isn't in the league. But I am the night owl and I feel an obligation on this holiday. To find something with a Halloween theme in my collection, I went straight to Allen and Ginter to see if I could unearth something scary. Boo: Skulls! Bony hands! (This is a jewel of my frankenset mini binder). Edgar Allan Poe! And The Poe Toaster! Spooky! Wooooooo! Haunted graveyards! Mummies! Nine-headed serpents that can kill you with their bad breath! What's a 16-year-old cheerleader doing here? When the 2012 Allen and Ginter code was cracked, she was revealed to be the killer! However, on this day, for this particular fan, there is no card item that is more spooky, more dastardly, more haunting than a card like this: Just remember, if you root for the Astros tonight, you are rooting for the end of baseball for a long, long, long time. And that really is

What just happened?

When I was in college, the Astros played the Mets in one of the most memorable games in postseason history to that point, an epic 7-6 Mets victory in 16 innings at the Astrodome, which clinched the series for New York. I worked in the college's cafeteria that evening. A portable radio that stood on a shelf behind the salad bar counter aired the game. And the workers among us who were fans, mostly college kids but also some full-time "grown-ups," would regularly make trips to the radio to catch up on an increasingly wild game. They would then come back to their stations and gleefully report the news: the Mets just scored three runs in the ninth and they're going to extra innings! ... Backman singled in the 14th, the Mets lead! ... Bass hit a home run off Orosco, it's tied again! ... It's the 16th inning! ... Lopez threw a wild pitch! Mets lead by three! ... No, Hatcher just singled, Astros down two! Davis just singled, Astros down one ! ... Orosco struck

In a World Serious frame of mind

We officially have ourselves a World Series. I was happy the Dodgers won last night for obvious reasons. But I was also happy because five-game World Series make me sad. With the exception of the 1988 Series -- again for obvious reasons -- five-game Series just don't represent the competitive spirit we like to see from baseball's finale. Six- and seven-game Series are usually more memorable. And at least with a four-game sweep, you know that one team really, really cares. I will be a wreck for the rest of the Series, in a continual state of suspense and agony. It will be Serious business. However, one thing will sustain me, other than the thought of a Dodger championship, and that is the thought of the Dodgers appearing in 2018 Heritage's World Series subset. I mentioned a few posts ago that the 1969 Topps World Series subset is my favorite WS subset of all-time, by far. And since Heritage next year will pay homage to the '69 set, we'll see the Dodgers and A

Sample example

I've mentioned a time or two that back when we received free samples in the mail at the newspaper, I would periodically land a card or two from baseball or football sets. This was the late 1990s, and the cards were always Pacific or Pinnacle (brands I knew nothing about, by the way). So the designs were wild and strange to me. And, weirdly, most of the cards featured the word SAMPLE in giant letters traveling across the card. I was familiar with sample cards and knew they could be "exclusive," but thought it bizarre that they would effectively ruin the picture by stamping SAMPLE across it. Whatever, it was the '90s, I'm not going to pretend I understand much about cards then. I was just reminded of this by yet another mailing from Stephan of Vintage Twins . In the envelope contained a sealed pack of 1995 Pinnacle Zenith sample cards. There they are, eight players all trying to do their work with giant letters floating in front of them. This set of

Call it what it is

Back in 1998, Leaf released a set called "Rookies & Stars". I wasn't collecting then, but when I found out about the set years later, the title annoyed me. "Rookies and Stars"? That's rather elitist. The No. 3 starter, the fourth outfielder, the set-up reliever isn't good enough for you? As a set collector, there is nothing more distressing to me than a set that ignores the "common" players that are the foundation of baseball. "Rookies and stars" may put fans in the seats, but they're not what makes the game go 'round. If you don't have nine players on a diamond, 24 dudes on the bench, you're not going to win squat, no matter how many "ooohs" and "aaahs" you get from someone jacking a home run 500 feet that accounts for exactly one run, same as an RBI ground out. However, it's fairly obvious that many people don't think the way I do or even collect the way I do. Because if there