Skip to main content


Showing posts from August, 2023

Filling in the gaps

  As one of many collectors who "took a break," I've been making up for lost time a lot ever since I returned to the hobby and especially since I started a blog. My "official" break was from 1994-2004, but there were minor purchases here and there during that time. Also, I've broke from the hobby during other times, too, particularly when I left home for college. I can probably break my breaks (heh) into three categories. And here they are in reverse order of how much I regret not collecting during that time: 3. 1994-2000 Sure, some of the flashy inserts would be fun, but as someone who has accumulated a lot of Dodgers from that time now, there are so many sets that don't appeal to me at all. Collecting changed in a massive way during this time -- in a way that the hobby still feels today -- and the kind of collecting that ruled at that time doesn't appeal to me. If I collected then, I don't know if current collecting me would like what I had bec

I'll go over the moon only once

  A year ago, Topps released, seemingly out of the blue, a product called "2021 Topps Chrome Platinum Anniversary". That's right, it was 2022 and it was dated 2021.  I was prepared to ignore/spit on this product for obvious reasons -- the 1952 Topps design again , there's no saving Topps, is there? -- but, strangely, I found the cards pretty damn cool.   Now, me going "over the moon" for a current product is relative. I don't sink my teeth into a new set fully unless I really, really like it, and that happens very seldom. I am not buying box after box after box, which is what you'd think was a collector going "over the moon." But I did gush over these cards on the blog and I did buy one of those mega boxes of the product (albeit a gift card purchase) and I do welcome any cards from the set people want to throw at me. So that's "over the moon" for me.   A year later I have maybe 70 cards from this set (out of 700). No real less

That's a lot of letters

  Last month when the Reds called up Christian Encarnacion-Strand, he broke a record the minute he stepped onto the field. Encarnacion-Strand became the major league player with the longest full name in history, 27 characters. Encarnacion-Strand doesn't have many cards yet, it's mostly all Bowman, Panini Elite Extra and Pro Debut. But they've already got his name down in terms of squeezing it onto a card. This one, I can kind of hear the panic in the graphic artist's voice -- it barely makes it into the name slot. It's pushing the Mighty Mussel guy a little more into the border than on other cards in the set. But with graphic design programs, I'm sure fitting a name into a space is a lot easier than it once was, even with the longer and longer names -- as far as baseball is concerned anyway. Encarnacion-Strand (whose uniform just reads "Encarnacion") broke a record that hadn't lasted very long, only a year. The previous record-holder was Simeon Woo


  As a known enthusiast for the 1970s, I've got the history of the decade down pretty well. I didn't follow the news much during that decade -- I was just a kid -- but a lot of what happened was around me, on the TV here and there, the gas lines and the peace talks and the disco scene. I was aware of what went on in the back half of the decade more than the front half.   The first part, I don't know a lot, just what the history chroniclers tell me. The year 1971, in particular, is the most mysterious to me.   I recall listening on the radio to a decade wrap-up music show that was popular around the close of 1979/early 1980. Mixed in with the music from each year was a news highlight from that year. I can't recall each one, except for 1971, which recounted the tale of "D.B. Cooper" and the hijacking of a Boeing 727, Northwest Orient Flight 305, out of Portland, Oregon in November of that year.  It remains the most mysterious hijacking in U.S. history. Cooper --


  I've been writing this blog for a decade-and-a-half (another anniversary coming up soon), and I have received my share of RAKs and plain monster boxes that blow RAKs out of the stratosphere. It's the nature of the generosity of the blogs over the years (sorry, former Twitter, you can't compete with what came before you) and, in general, the generosity of collectors.   But I admit I've been treated extra-special. I'm probably spoiled. When I'm looking for cards, people reach out. Recently it's been 2023 Heritage and several have responded. I've been corresponding with one Heritage trader online and I told him I'd have to wait a couple days and sort out what people are offering and he made a comment about how "Everybody loves (night owl)". Well, not everybody , but I do have connections after all this time.   I won't apologize for it. I'm not writing to get cards, but if people want to send me cards for writing words, hell, I will t

C.A.: 1951 Bowman Charlie Dressen

 (I often wish I could write two posts a day again. It's not that I think I was efficient throwing out multiple posts for already-busy people to read, but I just like the idea of having the time to do it. Apparently I used to. Time for a quick post, which means Cardboard Appreciation. This is the 323rd in a series): This card has popped up a couple of times lately on that social media site that has progressively grown ickier. It's a known favorite and a favorite of mine, one of the best manager cards in my collection, probably in the top five with the 1965 Topps Casey Stengel and the 1988 Topps Tom Lasorda and a couple of others. I like 1951 Bowman, probably even a little more than the '52 Bowmans. The two sets look alike except that the '51s have a name identifier, which I appreciate. I've gotten used to cards with zero words on the front -- stuff like '53 Bowman and '76 SSPC -- but I had a bias against wordless cards quite awhile ago and I don't think