If you were blogging around 2008-09, you know about a blog called "Things Done To Cards". It's still going, although it's updated maybe a couple times a year.
It's one of those collective blogs in which several writers contribute articles. I contributed a couple a long time ago, I remember I once wrote about how in sixth grade me and and a friend would cut up the 1977 Topps four-player rookie prospect cards to create "mini cards".
That's what "Things Done To Cards" was all about -- doing things to cards, whether it's a company encasing a scrap of cloth inside a card or an amateur card artist doodling on an unsuspecting player.
Recently, a collecting reader, Joe, who has sent me all kinds of nifty stuff over the years, delivered a random assortment of cards, some that he had saved for me and others he had picked up randomly at card shows and such. A few of the cards had things done to them, although I didn't catch on right away.
Several of the cards were vintage in nature and I began to admire how slick they looked -- wow, these are in great condition, I thought.
Then it dawned on me:
The cards had been laminated!!!
Who does that???
'62 Ron Santo. Laminated!
Minnie Minosos. Laminated!
Cards Clubbers. Laminated!
I was equally horrified and fascinated.
The unnatural shine. The indestructible composition of the cards. Maybe it was just a really tight-fitting penny sleeve, I wondered, still in a state of denial.
I pulled at a card in hopes that the penny sleeve would peel away.
Nope. That's definitely a laminated card.
I shouldn't be too surprised, I guess. I've already told the story about how as a teenager I once took a bunch of duplicate 1979 and 1980 Topps cards and laminated them to a generic binder to give it the hobby-themed look. Somewhere on that long disposed binder is an Ozzie Smith rookie frozen in plastic forever.
Joe said he found the laminated cards in a card show discount box and grabbed them. I don't blame him. I can't resist a dime box Minnie Minoso, even if YOU SHOULD NEVER LAMINATE A BASEBALL CARD.
Here is a laminated 1958 Topps All-Star Luis Aparicio in which somebody apparently tried to sign for Aparicio. That is NOT Luis Aparicio's signature.
However, this is not laminated, just beat to crap, and appears to be a genuine signature of Brooks Robinson, making it the poorest-conditioned card that I have ever seen signed.
No way you can laminate that sucker. Just keep it out of the light and hope it doesn't disintegrate.
That's an example of the vintage that Joe sent that was not plastered in sticky plastic.
Here are just a few more highlights. Some are needs, some are upgrades. I really appreciate that O-Pee-Chee Sutton from 1979.
The Chicken! From 1982 Donruss! I now have all the Chicken cards from the early '80s Donruss sets.
Joe also sent some key Dodgers needs. Well, I wouldn't say a signed card of a guy who never made it past Class A is a key need, but I'm sure somebody out there was suckered into buying a box of 2015 Panini Elite Extra.
This fancy item is from 2003. It's thick, it's over the top. I like it.
Still, my favorite cards from what Joe sent me are two cards that you could put in the "Things Done To Cards" category:
It's two 1977 Hostess cards that no doubt sat under the weight of a greasy Twinkie and then were cut haphazardly by a 9-year-old goofed up on sugar. I might take out my own scissors and do something to that Disco Dan Ford card to make it look a bit more respectable.
It's interesting to me what's "cool" and "not cool" when it comes to tinkering with cards. You can cut them -- sometimes, but you can't glue them in plastic. You can write on them, but make sure the writing is legit.
Actually, you can do anything you want to cards if it's your collection, even laminate them. Glue them to the ceiling for all I care. It's your right.
Just don't try to explain it to anyone.