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Showing posts from September, 2020

The big and small of it

    It's amazing what you have time for when you have pages that fit the cards.   Although I loved the 1980 and 1981 Topps Super glossy cards dearly when I was walking or biking to the Greek deli to pick up single-card packs of the stuff back then, they slowly fell out of favor as the years went along.   My patience for collecting cards had grown thin anyway and there was no place to store giant 5-by-7 cards like these. Quite simply, my page game was weak.   So, I ended up selling them all in a garage sale. All of them. Jerry Koosman. Willie Stargell. Mike Schmidt. All gone. And I didn't care.   Move forward about 20 years and now I'm kicking myself for what I did. I could have held on to those shiny, glossy, movie-star-type cards because now I do have the pages!   Awhile ago I finally purchased some four-pocket pages and it's made me so much happier. None of those giant-sized cards are flopping about in a binder pocket or wherever. They're sitting in pages created

Clueless about blackless

I am not as obsessive about variation and error cards as some collectors, particularly when it comes to the minute "errors" that people chase with cards from the '80s. Even with some of the larger differences, I can't be bothered. It's kind of like: if it wasn't common knowledge when I was collecting then it doesn't matter. I knew about "blackless" 1982 Topps cards before I started reading card blogs, but it wasn't much earlier than that. I barely gave it a thought. In fact, to show you how much I paid attention, I thought people were referring to cards that were "backless" . OK, hold on ... There we go. But I must admit the first image is what popped into my head first. I thought "backless" because what the heck is "blackless"? That's not even a word! I don't know who first started referring to those 1982 Topps variations in that way, but the nickname stuck. And now it is common knowledge and there are a

Respect for real cardboard

If you were to send me at random a card from the '90s, or really any card from the last 30 years, there is a good chance it may not survive in my collection.   Setting aside those cards that pertain to the Dodgers or are associated with sets I'm collecting, I don't have a lot of respect for cards put out over the last 30 years. And much of it, when I think about it, comes down to the card stock.   I am still a "real cardboard" snob. Topps hasn't printed its cards on the stock it used from the early 1950s to the early 1990s for a long time. But for a lot of us, it's still what makes a baseball card. We still need that significance in our cardboard. I don't know the why and how behind the gray cardboard stock that was a staple of trading cards for 40 years -- perhaps it was an energy saving measure as so much was during my childhood -- but, dammit, it worked.   To this day, I have respect for "real cardboard" cards.   So while who knows what wo

The evolution of A&G

I've mentioned the changes in the checklist and the philosophy of Allen & Ginter a couple of times recently.   People still insist on labeling A&G as "that quirky set where you never know what you're going to get," but those people really aren't paying attention. It's still "that quirky set" but all of the "quirk" is stashed in the inserts and hits now, and that's become more and more the case over the last five years and is especially the case this year.   You had a much better chance of coming across a card of a "bridge" or a "door" in 2008 or 2010 or 2014 than you do now. And the same goes for coming across inventors or Olympic heroes or former presidents. People are still operating off that A&G stereotype, but actually today's A&G, here in 2020, has more in common with other currently released baseball sets than it ever has. It is more of a baseball set than it's ever been.   I'm sure

Staying positive

Negativity is everywhere on the internet, it's rampant. I can handle it in small doses -- I've been known to go on a rant or two -- but it's much too pervasive and has gotten particularly disturbing over the last couple of years. I made the mistake of watching "The Social Dilemma" on Netflix earlier this week and that documentary would make anyone want to delete every social media app off their phone. But whether you subscribe to the theory that social media is the cause of many of society's current ills -- depression, isolation, political polarization, incitement to violence -- or that the ills of society influence social media, there is no mistake: the internet is letting you know -- all the time -- that things are not OK. I don't need that reminder every waking hour of the day. It's not healthy. That's why having a card hobby, and living out that hobby online, is a good thing. It's a way to stay positive, and a way to connect to other posit


  When I receive a card package that contains Dodger cards from a fellow collector, there is a 95 percent chance that some of those Dodger cards will be dupes. That's just a fact of life that I made peace with a long time ago. I have more than 23,000 Dodger cards, you aren't going to get every card past me. It's just not happening. But if you are going to attempt to make sure that every last Dodger card that you send is a need, then you must do what Robert of $30 A Week Habit did when he sent an envelope to me recently. Every last Dodger card that he sent was new to my collection. How did he do that? A) He got lucky. With one of the cards anyway. The above Cody Bellinger insert from 2018 Stadium Club had eluded me. But that's what you need as a fellow trader, luck. I don't know how many of the messages I scrawl that accompany my trade packages contain the word "hope," but it's got to be most of them. But that is just one card from the envelope Robert