Saturday, March 31, 2018

March is dead and I'm still alive

There is a well-known line of dialogue in the old "Mad Men" TV series in which the main character, Don Draper, is berated by his latest love interest, who says that he can never commit to anything because he "only likes the beginnings of things."

Like the best of television shows, that line has stayed with me for a long time and has led to periodic self-cross-examination.

However, I have also found that often -- maybe more often -- I like the ends of things.

More importantly, I like the ends of things when I'm still around to see the end.

Yep, what I'm saying is we've reached the end of my least favorite month again, and I'm celebrating because I'm still alive.

Honestly, I don't know why we have to stuff every conceivable life activity into the third month of the year every year. The biggest sports tournament of the year. Holidays. High school sports championships of every stripe and color. Birthdays abounding. Mid-terms. Special work projects. Special school projects (when my daughter was in grade school, this is the month teachers would always assign as the due date for some monster project for the year. So the parents, in the middle of the cyclone that is March would have to drop everything so we could help make an ethnically-diverse volcano). The Flu. Random snowstorms/weekly nor'easters. Work deadlines. Financial deadlines. School deadlines. Oh, and let's turn the clocks ahead one hour this month, because you don't need to sleep. There's nothing going on March!

But, you guys, March is dead. No, I didn't kill it. It's just going to come back again next year, but I'm going to pretend it's dead and celebrate with my latest assortment of March Is Dead Let's Celebrate cards from COMC!

I do this every year. Sometimes (like this year), it's not even intentional. But apparently amid all of the stress this month can produce, I am drawn to COMC to purchase some cards to help me get through this month. I need something to look forward to so I don't wander out into the middle of the road, lie down and let something run me over.

Just as unintentionally, these cards filled a wide variety of my collecting interests.

(But of course they did, why would I be buying something that doesn't interest me?!)

Let's start with the Dodgers because that's what most of the package was.

The Cey card is from last year's Archives Snapshots series. It took me awhile to land the latest Penguin card. The photo production is not the greatest, especially for something called "Snapshots" that's supposed to be a pure card set. But that won't keep me from getting excited about a new Cey card.

I will say I'm a little disappointed by the Mondesi card. I don't go out of my way to buy Pacific cards that often, but I grabbed this one because the name background looked pink in the online image. "Pink?" I said. "That's different." Yeah, keep dreaming night owl.

The Arky Vaughan card completes the Dodgers from the 1960 Fleer set. Yay!

This is the from the late 1970s' TCMA '60s set. I came across it when looking for cheap Willie Davis cards I don't have. There aren't as many around as there should be. Some would call this a night card. I call it a "Willie Davis is trapped in a tornado on Auntie Em and Uncle Henry's farm" card.

Years from now, collectors are going to discuss how strange 2017 was. It will be called The Great Card Depression of 2017.

It has taken me nine months to finally complete the Dodgers base set from last year's Stadium Club. And I had to buy all of these at once because that's how big the want list hole was. You can't pull the cards if they're not on the shelves.

Moving on to my more quirky collections. I nabbed just one '75 buyback card. It's the 214th in my collection of 1975 buybacks. My dream is that at the next card show, I will find a bunch of these, because I can't imagine them charging the prices that I see for these things online.

A fine 1976 Hostess specimen for the red-white-and-blue patriotic set cause. I'm much too picky about these for collecting stain-prone, rip-prone Hostess cards, but it's my collection right? I like 'em spiffy.

Who in the world are these people?

All you need to know is that they complete the 2015 Panini Americana set for me. I'd show all of the cards here now, but I think everyone is plenty bored with this set. Even I am not that enthusiastic about it anymore. But it's cool that it's done!

P.S.: No idea on that Smiley guy.

"Night Owl? When did you become an MMA fan?"

I didn't.

Also, if they keep making cards that look like this ... uh, what are all these cards of baseball dudes doing in my house?

All right, time for the so-called big finish.

I bought one card each for three sets that I am collecting. Two of those sets I have no real expectation of ever completing. Because those expectations are so low, I sometimes have to force myself to purchase cards from those sets, even though I like those sets very much.

A nice, cheap, high-numbered 1956 Topps card. When you can't afford Monte Irvin or Red Schoendienst, go with card No. 309. It'll make you feel good about yourself and you get to figure out who Don Blasingame is!

This is the purchase of the lot.

I set my mind on this 1967 Mel Queen card the moment I finished the Mel Queen entry on my 1971 Topps blog. I wasn't all that up on Queen's experience as a batter and then I learned of this glorious "P-OF" card, the greatest position mention on a Topps card this side of the '75 Herb Washington "Pinch Run." card.

Just stare at the "P-OF" for a few minutes and ponder. It'll break your brain.

Speaking of staring ...

Somebody is going down.

I'm far enough into my 1973 completion quest that I need to start tackling the big cards. Fisk is one of those '73s I once owned and then I didn't. He's not very happy that I let him go the first time. But I'll make it up to him by making this card the grand finish of this post.

There was also another card I landed with this purchase -- a certain 1972 Topps Nolan Ryan for the winner of my 2 million views contest.

I've been so busy this month that it's taking me quite awhile to get it out to Jonathan. I. Keep. Trying.

But good news!

March is dead!

Hooray for the ends of things!

There's time to go to the post office again.


  1. Glad you made it through another March. :)

  2. The Newton Rings on that Cey Archives Snapshots card piss me off so much.

    P-OF sounds like a Tony LaRussa wet dream.

  3. And the start of April brings my birthday.

  4. Any time you get 1967 cards is a good day!

  5. 3rd week of March is the end of the 3rd Quarter, so that's why a lot of teachers have projects due. Well... at least at my school. Great COMC haul. Gotta find a copy of that Paige VanZant for my collection. Better yet... I wonder if they make a poster of that image.

  6. Nice to see you made it through another March. I'm with you ... March is not a fun month.

  7. With March over, you can look forward to a promotion the Dodgers running in 2018 that starts in April. Topps and 76 Gas Stations is issuing a Dodgers 60th anniversary set with the current and classic Dodgers on cards with vintage Topps designs. They're running a commercial regularly on SportsNetLA for the promotion that tease the 1975 Topps design with Rick Monday (I can't find it on youtube or the yet).

    The first two dates are probably the most interesting:
    April 10th against the Athletics - 60th Anniversary Collector's Card Set: The 50's & 60's
    April 23th against the Marlins - 60th Anniversary Collector's Card Set: The 70's

    1. I've heard about this and am already puzzling about how I'm going to get my hands on these.

    2. They're definitely making the 1970's set tough to get. Even with the promotion, a Monday night game in April against the Marlins doesn't exactly scream sellout from the Dodgers standpoint.

  8. this is why I read your blog ,big fan of baseball in the 70's and Ron Cey is cool as sh*t! This era of beards and special rules [IE posey,utley} leave me cold ,I mean what the @##$$!!!
    speed up baseball? its a PASTIME the slower the better definition

  9. My birthday is in March but the older I get the less I feel like celebrating. I just looked up Don Blasingame. Interesting career.