As you can imagine, living in my remote location it takes awhile for anything to reach us.
This is both good and bad. The newest movies and restaurants arrive much later or not at all. Card product -- when it could be found on shelves -- nearly always arrived a week or two later than many other places. And, of course, summer always oversleeps up here.
Then there is the "good." Fads almost always take awhile to show up in these parts.
I've been watching the online reports of lines snaking from the card aisle through maternity wear. I've seen the fools rush the doors of Targets in a bid to be the first to claim card product that I wouldn't take if it was presented to me in person for free. I've observed fights -- actual fights -- in the aisles. All of this has been on video, of course, because that nonsense hadn't made its way up here all these months. Not even those signs that everyone reports seeing hanging from the card shelves -- purchase cards at the service desk, limit three per person -- have appeared at my Target or Walmart.
Until now. That's what I've been told anyway. The disease is here.
Over the weekend, I was talking to the "other guy" at my workplace who collects cards. He said that you can buy cards only at the service desk now at Target. And there are lines. One guy he knows arrived at Target at 6 a.m. He was the seventh person in line.
He says that he knows this other guy who goes around to all the Targets and Walmarts within a 150-mile area and picks off whatever current product he can find.
Well, that'll do it for me and looking for cards at Target. It was nice while it lasted. For the past year, most days all I'd find were empty shelves. But sometimes I'd get lucky. And there were definitely no lines or signs.
There's no point in going now. I'm definitely not standing in any line for 2021 cards. Those people may want cards but I have nothing else in common with them. They're not in the hobby for the right reasons and no amount of built-in excuses will justify it.
So, that seals it. Who knows when you'll see me in a Target in search of cards again? Doesn't seem like it will be in the near future.
Fortunately, I have a built-in weapon against so-called card investors and hoarders. Armed with 40-plus years of collecting experience, I own a long list of card collecting interests that will never show up on the sneakerdoofs' radar. I'm pretty sure if I stood in one of those new-product lines and held out a crookedly cut '70s Hostess card, they'd cower like vampires.
My collecting interests are all over the place, helping me roam free undetected.
One of those latest interests is 2005 Topps. Who cares about that set? You can buy the whole thing online for 40 bucks, Verlander rookie and all.
I don't have the Verlander rookie yet. But I have accumulated a good portion of the set in short fashion, thanks to some of my collecting friends. No, I didn't meet them in line.
Most recently, former blogger and current tweeter, Shane, reached out to me with a stack of 2005 Topps to help fill my collection. A stack of 88 cards from the set arrived at my door. I now need less than 150 cards to finish off the set, which is pretty darn good considering it's 700-plus cards and I just started the quest barely a year ago.
I enjoy the '05 set for a few reasons, but it is now in the sweet spot where I'm starting to get nostalgic for things from that time. You know, music groups like the Killers, the Hives and Angels and Airwaves. Weird, I know.
Remember when these guys were kind of a big deal? On the postseason stage, and all that? (Well, maybe not Radke).
Players like this were part of the every day baseball scene but now nobody mentions them, some don't even remember them.
Here are a few stars though. They all seem ageless and they'll probably never leave the conversation.
A few more.
Shane also graciously threw in some needed Dodgers:
The Heritage Chrome Seager is very nice and I still love those 2019 Greatest insert cards.
Shane offering up some cards from my want list just because he knows I need them, out of his own free will, is what collecting is all about. That's being a collector to me.
Lining up at 5 in the morning for card product that you're trying to flip, maybe keep a couple cards for your "PC," is not really collecting to me. It's not my definition anyway.
I'll wait out the lines and the signs. And I'll be there on the other side. Will they?