People who merely watch baseball -- let's call them "no-frills baseball fans" -- theorize that the 2018 baseball season ended on Oct. 28th, the last day of the World Series.
But those of us who watch baseball and collect baseball trading cards know better.
The end of a given season isn't when the games end. It's when your collection for the year is finished.
These days, this could mean that the season will never end, considering how many sets there are and then all that extra stuff, like inserts and parallels and variations and online cards and blah, blah, blah.
But if you put a limit on it -- say, determine that the season ends when you've collected all of your team's flagship and update base cards -- then you can have your own season-ender date, which likely will give you a few more weeks of baseball season as I'm still working on the Update Dodgers.
This is a much more satisfying finish to a season than what the games offer you. Unless you're a Red Sox fan, your season ended with disappointment. But when you collect cards of your favorite team, your season ends with triumph every time! The last card! I'm done! Let's celebrate! The season is OVER!
I prefer looking it that way (my team losing consecutive World Series might have something to do with that).
There are other 2018 team set completions though that signal the season is coming to a close. For example, I recently finished off the Dodgers' team-issued 60th anniversary set. And by that I mean Andy of Stadium Fantasium sent me the last two stadium giveaway cards, the Dodger cards from the 2000s and the 2010s.
Let's have a look at those.
Here are the six guys that appeared in the '60s, '70s, '80s and '90s sets, this time on the 2001 Topps design.
You can see that there is no foil on these cards, even though 2001 foiled up the names for its set.
Clayton Kershaw is the "decade representative" and the seventh card in the set. This is the card that caused confusion when the set was first being released because if the same 6 current ballplayers are being featured for each set, why is Kershaw's card being shown? Turns out it's because he was the 2000's version of the Sandy Koufax card in the '60s, the Don Sutton card in the '70s, etc.
His placement in the 2000s makes him seem a little older than he is. Kershaw actually made an appearance for the Dodgers during the tail-end of the decade. Someone like Shawn Green or Adrian Beltre would be more appropriate, I think.
Here are the 2010s cards, using a design we all know from 2018 -- it's Topps' 2018 flagship design.
All of these are different images than what's on the respective players' flagship cards, which is cool and much appreciated.
Yasiel Puig is the 2010 decade representative. No real argument with that. I like all the Brewers references in the background. Kinda appropriate. Mash those Sudsies, Yasiel!
Puig is the last card in the set. The set is numbered throughout (also very cool) and there are 42 cards total. It is a very well-done set, especially for a stadium giveaway.
Since my set is complete, I thought I'd compare each of the six players' cards.
Cody Bellinger is first up.
His best card is the 1985 Topps one, although I think the image used for the 1994 card is very 1994.
The 1977 Kenley is interesting because it's an earlier photo of him, without the scraggly hair and beard. My favorite card might be the '94 just because it features his all-important leg kick.
I like the '65 Corey Seager card best. The action shots on 1985 and 2018 are neat, too. The 1977 photo doesn't look right. That was even old-school in 1977, unless you were sitting on a 4-player prospects card.
I think Chris Taylor got the best cards in this set. Love the 1985 card, and the 1994 and 2018 cards. Those could be the three best out of the whole set.
Again, the photo on the 1985 Topps card is perfect for that set. The '94 photo is sweet and the 2018 one is flat out weird. And I dare you to hold up the '65 card next to a picture of Gritty and tell me who is who. Turner has apparently shaved his beard, but I don't believe it's gone for good.
The newly retired Chase Utley is up next. Any of these cards work for me. I kinda like the 2001.
Finally each of the decade representatives.
Koufax and Piazza were no-brainer picks for the respective '60s and '90s. I know licensing probably came into play, but I would have gone with Valenzuela or Hershiser over Lasorda for the '80s. I'm sure Don Sutton doesn't like hearing this, but Steve Garvey would've worked better for the '70s. At least give Sutton the perm he was wearing in '77.
Andy didn't stop with those 60th anniversary cards though.
He also picked up three packs of another Dodger Stadium card giveaway for National Trading Card Day.
Andy said these cards weren't part of the National Trading Card Day set that was available at card shops on Aug. 11. Instead it's a 10-card team set (there were similar NTCD team-specific giveaways at other MLB stadiums, too).
After opening up the packs, it looks like I have all 10 cards!
There's an extra Bellinger and Kershaw.
I am always envious of anyone who gets to visit Dodger Stadium regularly. Especially if there are things like cards floating around the stadium.
Andy also sent two of the monthly scorebooks from this year. I'm always a sucker for periodicals.
So as you can see, the Dodger 2018 season is still going strong and it hasn't ended yet.
I'll let you know when it does end. Because it means I'll have completed the 2018 Topps flagship and update Dodgers set (never mind those extras)!
Another season ending with a celebration instead of disappointment.