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The one constant in card blogging

The card blogging scene has ebbed and flowed during the 15 years that I have been doing this. It's gone from sensation to "so-uncool" to consistently and always there. Blogging about cards isn't going away, no matter how much it gets dismissed or ignored.
Aside from writing about cards, which has always been the why, one of the very few constants in all that blogging time is giveaways.
From Tribe Cards to Johnny's Trading Spot, the generosity is off the chart for blogs. I don't care what Twitter says with its RAKs and "hobby fams" (lordy, that phrase is annoying), nothing has the history that blogs do for sending off cards just because.
Sometimes months go by without some sort of giveaway and then all of a sudden they're back, two, three, four at a time. The prize hounds know this, too. Often the only time I see a comment from certain someones is when there's something in it for them.
But I do try to win cards, too -- I just make sure that most of my comments are more of the affirmative, I-read-you kind. Sometimes I don't comment on giveaways simply because I want to have something to say besides "gimme."
I won a handful of cards from The Diamond King just for reviewing his staggering Card Collection Tool that he uses to file his collection. I have no idea how to create anything like that so I was honestly amazed. But I didn't have a lot to add, so I didn't expect any cards.
Still I received some. Just showing three here as the others are in future trade packages.

The Gonsolin and Kershaw parallels, naturally, are for the Dodgers collection. The Al Lopez from 2021 Chrome Platinum Anniversary arrived because I'm a sucker for the aqua parallels. Sure it looks plain out-of-kilter with a manager from the '50s but I love it.

The Collector shot a few cards my way for some sort of commenting I did, I'm not sure exactly what. I think it was part of his 600-post celebration, or maybe it was commenting on his All-Time Teams project, which was a fascinating undertaking. So much work there. I just had to comment.
Yeah, most of the above cards are already in my collection, although maybe I could wrangle a back variation from one of the Donruss cards if I get myself to care. (Lilly has a back variation but that ain't it).
The two that are new are the Shin-Soo Choo and the Abner Powell. Choo takes me back to my fun 2011 Lineage days. Powell is known for inventing the infield tarp, Ladies Day and rain checks. Now that's an informative card back!

Here comes three other cards new to me:

 The All-Star Game stamps just aren't anything I will ever chase as a team collector but it's nice to get one representative each year for the binder. The forgotten Rob Segedin is a likely addition.


OK, story time. Hopefully I haven't told this already and this is why I'm getting this card, and if that's the case, I apologize, I've been writing a blog for 15 years, there are no new stories.

So, anyway, Erin Hamlin is an Olympic luge athlete, known for being the first American to win an Olympic medal in the luge singles competition. She is from a small town not too far from here.

We used to run an end-of-the-season sports banquet for area high school all-star athletes in our coverage area. It was so successful that other, bigger, papers started copying it. But we haven't run one since the pandemic and given how much work it is (I went to school to be a writer and editor not to coordinate meal orders), I'm hoping it never returns.

Each banquet we got a guest speaker, usually someone notable from the area, we're a small paper in a rural area, we can't get Derek Jeter to speak. But my old boss, kind of an unrealistic maniac, liked to dream big and was always proposing some impossible speaker scenario. One year, a couple years after Hamlin's first Olympic appearance, he proposed Hamlin. I sent off the usual emails and -- surprise -- the Olympic organization said it was quite possible, I just needed for Hamlin's representative to sign off on it. The rep thought it was a go, too, just had to get back to me. Well my days wait turned to weeks, and there were 28 other banquet-related things up in the air, too, and then I finally heard from the rep -- Hamlin has to train, she can't do it. Ugh. Back-up! I need back up!!! When I informed the Olympic PR guy, I got an email back apologizing, saying "we don't do things that way."

So, she's been on my list ever since. What do I do with this card?

On to happier memories. STICKARS!!!!

Jon from A Penny Sleeve For Your Thoughts was downsizing his collection through various daily giveaways. While sorting the giveaways for mailing, he added a few other cards to the ones I claimed and specifically asked about 1982 Topps stickers -- one of the few sticker sets that matter to me.

I'm down to needing two stickers to complete the book. The Dwight Evans is one of them, it's ABOUT TO GET STUCK. The other one I need is the All-Star foil Dave Concepcion.

There were other cards that Jon added but I don't recall what those are now, just that they were part of the Pacific Legends haul.

Most of these were from the 1988 Pacific Legends I set. I'm at about halfway on this set now. Trying to add all of these wasn't even a thought until a year or two ago. I still don't have a want list up (well, I do on TCDB), and I'll keep it casual for as long as I can.

Just a few from the 1989 version, which is easy to confuse with the '88 ones until you turn over the backs and see that they're blue, not yellow.

Finally, four more from the 1990 set.

A few more retro items, including the most Swell cards of all-time.

I'm not sure why I claimed these -- I guess because I didn't want to see them go unwanted. I don't know what retro design was selected for these (they're from 2017 Archives) and I don't collect these guys, but they look nice.

Not a lot of Dodgers to claim here -- or at least not a lot that I didn't have already -- but the Park and Ethier are key (I didn't even know that Bowman Heritage had chrome parallels in 2001). The Hodges, sadly, is a dupe.

That's a lot of good stuff added to my collection and not for a single penny. I'm appreciative of everyone who gives away cards on the blogs and all the way back to the beginning, too.

I run giveaways when I can -- in fact I was doing one at this time last year -- but I can handle it just about once a year, it's a lot to send out all that stuff, both in time and postage.

Blogging is still awesome. And card giveaways are still part of that.


A new post is up on the 1993 Upper Deck blog! (Thanks to those of you who have already noticed).


Nick said…
Every time I see people on Twitter lose their minds over a "RAK" or some kind of good-natured giveaway, I always think - "This has been going on with blogs for years, where have you been??" This (and many other reasons) are why the blogs remain the best card space on the internet.

Always enjoy seeing those Pacific Legends cards pop up. They don't get enough love.
The blogging community are a bunch of givers. I too hope to do another giveaway sometime this year. I must be coming up on some kind of milestone!
It really is pretty great how many giveaways there still are out there. It's not the main point of blogging, but definitely a perk.
John Sharp said…
Hey, I see a Bill Freehan card!

God Job! 👍
Matt said…
If I had more funds, I would do more giveaways because just like everyone else I have plenty to get rid of haha. But time is another factor in both blogging, trading and giveaways. I just don’t have as much and the time I do I don’t want to use it for packing cards up since it’s a process. Guess you can call it hobby laziness now.

I don’t enter or see a lot of the blogger giveaways anymore. Some
I do but don’t enter because I either don’t need the prize or I don’t want to be a prize hound. I have given and gotten an equal amount both on here and on twitter.
Old Cards said…
Ha! "Prize hounds". Love it! I have noticed them on your blog. It wasn't my place to point it out, but now that you mentioned it, I have to comment on it. Like those Pacific Legend cards. Lot of guys pictured that I seriously followed as a kid. Most interesting to me is to see Jim Bunning in a Pirates uniform since I don't remember Topps showing him in one, at least during his active career.
Bo said…
The nature of my collection (basically, everything) means I can always use something from giveaways, so I always enter them if it's a blog I read/comment on.

For the same reason, I have less of interest to give away than others. It amazes me how many bloggers have nicer cards to give away than I do to trade.

I did get a nice free box from a blogger yesterday, and I'm going to offer some of it up for free on my blog. Nothing special, but at least it's a little bit.
Grant said…
I really like those old Pacific Greats. I don't know why I don't know why I haven't completed them yet. The backs are very informative!
kcjays said…
I seldom participate in the giveaways, because I seldom leave comments.
I do enjoy reading the blogs, and have 3 or 4 that I try and login to regularly. Probably another 7-8 that are hit and miss.
I always liked Bill Freehan.
1969, when I was 8, was the first year I remember getting packs of baseball cards. I distinctly remember getting a 1969 Bill Freehan. Pretty sure I wrote my name on the back so my younger brother wouldn’t claim it was his.
I still have a ‘69 Mickey Mantle like that.
Vrooomed said…
I read several, but don't comment because I rarely have anything noteworthy to add. Reading your blog today made me go find my 1980s Topps Foil stickers (as I had them in cool business card "binders") to see if i could help with the Concepcion. I had 2 of them. I say "had" because I "had" about 150 or so of these stickers that I probably no longer have. The fronts stuck to the plastic and are most likely ruined. (We had bought a sportflics set off ebay that had the same thing happen in the pages, got a full refund, so it all worked out.) So upset. I tried so hard as a kid to protect these, and wound up ruining them instead. Grrrrr. That story made commenting worthwhile. If I mangae to ungoop a Concepcion, it's yours.
night owl said…
Thanks Vroomed! That sucks but it's a great comment.
Mike Matson said…
I have a boatload of those Pacific Legends from 88 and 89.. If you have them on TCDB, I may be able to offload some of them onto you..

I rarely comment much anymore because I never know what to say. I also hate commenting on giveaway posts or contest posts because I don't want to come across as a "Prize Hound" lol I just worry too much for my own good
Benjamin said…
"My old boss, kind of an unrealistic maniac..."

One guess to whom you are referring here ;-) But he hired me too, at one point in time.
night owl said…
@Mike ~

My Pacific wants are on TCDB.

@Benjamin ~

Close, but not who I was referring to.
Fuji said…
The generosity among card bloggers is truly something I wish non-collectors could see. I hope it's the same way for other collectors... like toy, stamp, comics, and coins.

As for the giveaways... I usually only participate if I really, really see a card I want... and even then I'm usually too late to the party. But I will still comment to support the blog.

Bummer about the Hamlin thing. Looks like 2018 was her last Olympics. Maybe she isn't training anymore and will now be available to do your banquet.
Jon said…
Amazing acts of generosity are one of the first things that I noticed when I started reading the blogs. You don't see quite as much anymore, but of course there's less people around, and everything is a lot more expensive, but you still see just as much as any of the social media sites. Though, bloggers don't seem to care about getting recognition for their generosity nearly as much as people on the social media sites do.
Jafronius said…
Excellent stuff you got there. You beat me to the Bryant insert! The generosity of bloggers are the best