I've been typecast.
My card collection "success" is a reflection of how people see me as a collector.
I'm known as "the guy who collects Dodger cards". I'm known as "the vintage guy," and "the set collector guy" and "the oddball guy." "He likes night cards" and "He likes Allen & Ginter," etc.
It's true, I like all that stuff. And there are certain cards I collect more enthusiastically and fanatically than others only because I know I will like everything -- every last card of that type.
But I can find beauty in any kind of card.
Doesn't have to be vintage. Doesn't have to be a Dodger. Doesn't have to be part of set.
Oh, it helps. But I can find a card from a junk wax set I wouldn't even dream of attempting to complete that I like. I can find a card released so deep in the 1990s that it would take me a good two weeks to determine the set that it's from ... and like it immediately. I can enjoy a hockey card and not even know the name of the set or the year it was released.
I like lots of cards. And the only criteria, really, for what I welcome into my collection is this:
I like it.
I enjoy variety and it's apparent in many areas in my life, not just in what sits in my card collection.
Sometimes people are equipped enough to reflect my appreciation for variety and shower me cards of all kinds. Dave is one of those people and he's been making my collection more varied, shipment by shipment.
You saw yesterday the night cards that he sent me. That was just one segment of what he sent me, one segment of what I collect. As Dave wrote on the box he shipped, "a little bit of everything in this one ..."
So what's that involve?
How about this?
This is a 1975 menko card of the world famous Sadaharu Oh. As you know, I appreciate any card issued in 1975, but who else would think to send me a card like this?
Yet it follows my criteria: it's a beautiful card that I like. It just happens to be vintage as well.
Oh, and it happens to feature a robot owl on the back. Maybe that's why Dave sent me the card!
(This card was featured earlier this year on the Getting Back Into Baseball Cards ... In Japan blog. The 8-card set, Sean says, is nicknamed "Rocket Robots" and even though it's nothing that I knew anything about before this year, sure, I'll take any of the cards from this set. I like cards!)
And now for something completely different.™
Dave sent me all of the 2020 Topps Series 2 Dodgers so now I don't have to bother revisiting the poor, pathetic, forlorn card aisle in search of them. The Target parking lot was packed with back-to-school shoppers this afternoon anyway. Yuuuck.
A few more, just to be safe, and, yes, I did need four Mookie Betts cards. I could use even more. It's a great card. I like cards.
We are going everywhere, you guys. A little bit of everything, remember?
These are 1974-75 O-Pee-Chee Sabres. The Craig Ramsay card is interesting because not only is it misspelled "Graig" like he's Graig Nettles, but I don't believe Ramsay is in the 1974-75 Topps set.
I'm trying to make your head spin here. Am I doing it?
Dave also sent a stack of 56 needs from this year's Heritage set. Before the pandemic cleared out card aisles, I had acquired a fair amount of Heritage. Funny, I never pulled the Alvarez-Aquino card or the Bichette card. Isn't that funny, Topps? Not short-printed or anything, winky, winky.
So with that assortment of 2020 Heritage out of the way, I'm down to needing 23 cards to complete the base set.
The short-print portion? That's a rehashed rant I've gone through before and nothing displeases me more than how Topps has ruined Heritage with 100 SHORT-PRINTS A YEAR, but Dave threw in two so I can say I'm down to needing -- let's see here -- 93 more short-prints!!!!! Keep this up, Topps and I'm not going to bother collecting 2024 Heritage.
Dave always recognizes my vintage interest and there was one 1967 Topps need in the box. But he also will send random vintage cards from sets I'm not even collecting, because vintage is always great no matter what and I LIKE CARDS.
Nothing impresses me quite like a 55-year-old unchecked checklist.
Lots of Dodgers inserts in the box, and a parallel, too. Those Heritage Bazooka test cards are a bit pricey online so I'm very happy to have the Bellinger.
I often call non-bloggers who send me cards "readers". I'm assuming they're reading anyway. I know that Dave is reading because somewhere a couple of times I've professed my down-low appreciation of 1989 Donruss. He's not paying attention perfect attention though because I'm sure every time I mention '89 Donruss I say, DON'T SEND ME ANY. Still, these are very nice, just-out-of-the-pack specimens of only the best.
Yes, there was Griffey and a Sheffield and a Randy Johnson and a Smoltz.
1989 Donruss has still got it. Don't send me any.
Let's get into the purpose of the entire box if I'm being honest.
The primary major set that I'm collecting (along with a bunch of '80s Fleer that I can't get myself to be serious about) is 1970 Topps. Dave had just a few sitting around.
Some high-numbers in there in Lolich and Billingham.
They just keep re-running that Zoilo Versalles photo.
I'm going to break out a few '70s by themselves just because I'm so impressed.
I figured this would be among the final 50 that I needed. This card made the Greatest 100 Cards of the '70s Countdown and I think I ranked it a little too low.
Oscar Gamble's rookie card doesn't look like Oscar Gamble.
Boog and Johnny! And 1970 Topps foreshadowing the San Jose Sharks' forfeit playoff victory in 2025.
This guy was managing in the '40s.
World Series hero. Even says so on the back.
I've been seeing this card on blogs since before I started writing this blog. It's about time it's mine.
Just a couple more cards here and then the roller coaster will reach its destination.
This short-printed Walker Buehler card means I'm just an A.J. Pollock SP card away from finishing the 2020 Heritage Dodgers set. It's only a day away from September, guys, I swear these Heritage team set completions are getting more and more difficult. So happy to see this card.
I kind of forgot to show this card. It's the real thing, not a "Topps Icon/CardYourMomThrewOut/AnotherAnniversaryExcuseForUsToReprintCards" card. Very nice.
But this is nicer.
There are some cards that draw baseball fans, no matter your background, no matter when you grew up. I can go my entire collecting career without owning a 1989 Upper Deck Griffey Jr. or a Luis Robert rookie or whatever. But I would be just a tiny bit incomplete if I didn't own a '65 Casey Stengel.
Tell them how it is, Casey.
How can you not like that card?