Longtime readers know that I used to burden them with a series of epic mail day posts called "What's The Best Card In The Package" in which I went through one particular person's card-send and selected my favorite card and made it as long as possible.
I haven't written one of those posts in three years and that post came five years after the previous version. I simply don't have time -- or maybe I finally woke up to the fact that putting four hours into a post was insane -- certainly not this time of year.
So, those of you who saw the "What's the Best ..." logo here and got all giddy, I'm sorry. Don't worry. It's not like I'm quitting the blog or anything, I'm just making things a lot simpler.
Johnny's Trading Spot hit me with a fashionably late flat-rate Christmas box a week or two ago. Then, that apparently wasn't enough, and he hit me with like five PWEs a number of days later. I've assembled them together to show off the goods. And I'll save my favorite cards for the end so you can get some of that old game-show feel from the "Best Card In The Package" posts of yore.
For now, let's see a random assemblage:
Johnny is responsive to some of my collecting needs in a way that few are. He specifically looks for cards that fill spots in my A&G frankenset mini binder. These fill holes numbered 151 and 300. All that's left now are:
2, 18, 54, 135, 171, 181, 241, 245, 281 and 325.
Johnny nabs stuff that I never would think of looking for. The best I can tell you on these is that they are Panini Elite Extra cards and parallels of some sort. What kind of parallels? No idea. What year? Don't know. Who the heck is being pictured? Nope.
Shiny Bowman needs from ... two years ago now, I think? The Bowman stuff is starting to blend together, more so than usual. I'm trying, but it's a losing battle and there's going to be another freaking Bowman set again this year isn't there?
A couple of mini needs from two former Dodgers World Series guys now toiling for other teams. I get a little sad every time I see Kiké in red. I'd say the same thing for Maeda but I barely see Twins games.
There was a lot of shiny in these shipments.
A LOT of shiny.
It's going to take me a good long time to figure out where all of these cards are from and catalog them and all that, especially since a lot of it is Panini stuff. But it will also be fun, too.
Blue-bordered Bazooka. This set is more than 15 years old now. Finish it?
We're getting to the "really appreciate it" cards now. These are the first 2021 Gallery cards I've seen. I confused it momentarily with Topps Museum or something. Quite a different look. The paintings are gone, which kind of defeats the point of the set. But I admit, I like the looks of these better. And I already have a name for the set -- the safety pin set.
This is one of the rookie exclusives from the 2020 Topps boxed set, I only know that because I've opened my 2021 Topps boxed set (it wasn't a parallel set) and the rookie exclusives in that set contain the same "completed set" label on the back as this Lux card.
Dell Stamps! Woo! I should get off my butt and complete the team set. How hard can it be? (Don't answer that).
I have my share of Dodgers relics and Russell Martin relics as well. But 2008 Timeline relics will always get a pass as they remind me of that time when I loved this set and relics were an exciting pull.
Not a lot of current stars in this shipment that I didn't already own, but here's a new Mookie for me from Stadium Club's Bash and Burn.
Here are two Kershaws that I needed. These are unique Kershaws No. 897 and 898 in the collection. Getting close!
Just a couple of Bills packaged with everything else. I shall assume that's actually Will Wolford's signature and not some random 12-year-old signing the card. I'm not up on Wolford signings even though he played back when I covered the team.
Johnny and I are some of the very few Wacky Packages lovers among the card bloggers, although I don't have anything Johnny doesn't have already. I always appreciate what he sends and there were a number of good ones:
There are some classics here, stuff I remember from buying these as a kid, and I can't wait to look up which sets and file them with the rest! There will come a day when I discard everything in my collection except for stuff that came from the '70s.
Johnny distributing the knowledge here. No, I did not know about "gray-less" back variants in 2008 Upper Deck. Yes, I did have to check my other 701+ cards to see if John was putting me on ... er, I mean if I had any variants. I did not and, yes, this is a thing.
I tend to think that I am the most vigilant about completing Dodgers team sets but when it comes to the back-half of the 1990s, I lose track of everything. You expect me to keep 1995 Bowman needs (is this even 1995 Bowman?) in my head with everything else?
But I looked these up and, nope, I didn't have them, and thank goodness the '95 Bowman team set is closer to completion! (Stop hiding, Delino DeShields).
My second Jacob Amaya autographed card arrived in the package -- this guy better end up being a star -- but there was just a precursor to one of the follow-up envelopes that arrived later.
These are all autographs that are new to my collection. Consider them Dodger signatures number 203, 204, 205 and 206. Perhaps Johnny was shooting for No. 200. Too late! We're shooting for 300 now! Stay with me in 2032 when I reach that number!
Johnny also sent some more great old periodicals from the late 1970s/early 1980s, my favorite period for stuff like this. I can't wait to match up the Dodgers NLCS publication with the Phillies NLCS publication that he sent me earlier. And it's fascinating to me that the Ron Cey 1976 scorebook looks the same as the '76 Dodgers yearbook.
OK now time to pinpoint my favorite cards from the package. Just give me a minute ... to get into my game show host voice.
HELLO, HELLO, I HAVE RETURNED!!!!!! YOU THOUGHT YOU COULD KEEP ME TIED UP IN THE BASEMENT FOREVER! JIM, YOUR HOODLUMS COULD NOT FINISH THE JOB!
SO NOW THAT I HAVE WRESTLED THE MICROPHONE BACK, LET'S FIND OUT WHAT THE BEST CARD IN THE PACKAGE IS!!!!!! Ha, Ha!
LET'S START WITH A MAN NAMED CARL!!! OH, THAT NAME REMINDS ME OF A SWORN ENEMY BACK IN THE DAY. CARL AND I WERE FIGHTING OVER THE SAME GIRL. SHE CLAIMED I DRANK TO MUCH AND DITCHED ME FOR CARL! OH HOW I RUED THE DAY!! I SWORE I WOULD GET BACK AT CARL! THAT SNIVELING, CONNIVING CARL! I WILL GET YOU CARL, IF IT'S THE LAST THING I EVER ...
Oh, right, sorry Jim I need to get back on with the show. Ha! Ha.
WHAT'S THIS???? ANOTHER MAN NAMED CARL????? JIM, IS THIS YOUR IDEA OF A JOKE???? YOU KNOW I HAVE ISSUES WITH PEOPLE NAMED CARL!!!!! THIS IS VERY CRUEL! I DON'T CARE IF IT'S A RETIRED SIGNATURES CARD AND THAT THESE ARE A BIT OF A PAIN TO GET, EVEN THE BASE CARDS! GET ME AWAY FROM CARL!!!!
OH DEAR, THIS JUST REMINDS ME OF THE WINNER FROM THE LAST 'WHAT'S THE BEST CARD IN THE PACKAGE'! WHAT A HORRIFYING CARD THAT WAS!!!! HAUNTING!!!!!
NO, NO! DON'T SHOW IT TO ME, JIM!!! WHY WOULD YOU DO THAT????? TAKE IT AWAY, PLEASE!!!!!
OH,THAT'S MUCH BETTER, JIM. LOOK AT HOW IMPRESSIVE THAT IS. THIS IS HOW TO MAKE A RELIC CARD!!!! I HAVE NO IDEA WHY THE RELIC IS BLACK!!!! WHY IS IT BLACK! THE DODGERS NEVER WORE THOSE SILLY BLACK SOFTBALL TOPS!!! IS IT A WARM-UP SHIRT? A SOCK? WILL SOMEBODY AT TOPPS PLEASE BE SPECIFIC ON ONE OF THESE THINGS OR ELSE I'M GOING TO THINK IT IS A BIT OF MOUSE PAD FROM SOME EMPLOYEE'S DESK!!!!!
OW!! JIM, DID YOU JUST HIT ME WITH A SNOWBALL????? WHY WOULD YOU DO THAT TO YOUR EMPLOYER? YOU JUST GO OVER THERE IN THE CORNER AND THINK WHAT YOU'VE DONE, I'LL TAKE IT FROM HERE.
THE BEST CARD IS THIS WEIRD, WONDERFUL THING FROM 2016 ALLEN & GINTER. IT'S THE NO-NUMBER SSP WITH THE A&G SCRIPT BARELY VISIBLE. I NEVER THOUGHT I WOULD EVER GET MY HANDS ON THIS!!!!!!
OK, I THINK THAT POST WAS LONG ENOUGH EVEN WITHOUT DOING THE FULL 'WHAT'S THE BEST CARD IN THE PACKAGE RUNDOWN!!!
I GUESS I'M STILL A BIT AS INSANE AS I WAS EIGHT YEARS AGO!!!! Ha, Ha!
THANK YOU AND GOOD NIGHT!!