Wednesday, March 6, 2013


So as I type on Heritage Eve, I figured it would be a good night to explain what I collect. It has to be part of every blog, pretty much, ¿Si?

'cept of course, lots of people have their brand new shiny Heritage tonight, since last night I wrote this up and discovered the Internet was a no-go in the hotel I landed in. I had such a great lead too: Twas the night before Heritage, when all through the web / the bloggers were all silent, not reaching for their mouse....

I even tried to pick up some Heritage tonight. There will be a few cards I want, so of course I will need some to trade, ¿right? And my insidious Topps Master put coupons in this blaster box I bought, and I was in a town large enough to have a Target to use the coupons at (a rare occasion for me). How could I let Baseball card coupons go to waste? When is double coupon day anyway? But it was not to be. I'll have to wait for the non-Hobby street date like (almost) everyone else. Tomorrow is another night. A favorite saying of mine from a Niagra painting. She is soooo coool. But has absolutely nothing to do with baseball or baseball cards.

But before I wandered into Target, I got very sidetracked by the appearance of a Toys R® Us - an even more rare occasion for me. And baseball cards were on sale! 20% off, how cool is that? Actually, not that cool at the giraffe store. That just makes them cost almost the same as everywhere else. I scored a 2012 Series One set of 3 purples. But it was only a leader card, a playoff celebration card (Boring!) and a Steve Delabar RC - nice tealXpurple card! Classy. Sorry, too tired to shoot photos and sync em to the laptop, etc. You know the drill - a future blog post. Now back to last night's ramblings.....

I like action shots. When I was a rookie card collector in 1975, these were just plain rare. So they have always been my favorite type of baseball card. Now they are almost, almost all this way, at least in The Topps Set.

And I like that. In 2011, I bought my usual pack in the spring at some point. Probably just before Opening Day. I didn't video-tape the rip, nor record the first card or have any memory of it at all. But I liked the cards. So a week or two later I bought another pack. Then a couple days later I bought another pack. Obviously, you can see where this is heading. I am collecting baseball cards again.

Then I hit this card. Time to illustrate a zzzzzz blog post with a badass baseball card:

Hook, fastball, and sinker Topps. I am yours again.

This card is just plain Evil. In a great way. This is a card that should not even be put on a computer screen. It should be enjoyed the way baseball cards should be enjoyed - by holding it in your hand. Not even in a binder page. When you have it in your hand, you shiver. You start to wonder if you smell smoke in the air. You get just a hint of what it must be like to be in the on-deck circle, on the visiting team side along the first base line, in the late afternoon, in the top of the ninth. You wish your team had the lead. But you know the truth. Your time has come.

Yes, I have since learned it is a photoshop effort. Big deal. I don't care. When kids in Ohio got their mom to buy them a pack of baseball cards at Meijer's (why no special parallel color for us bumpkins in the Midwest? Get on the stick here Fred!), they got to see their ridiculously powerful new prospect the way he looks on the mound at Riverfront Stadium. And that is good.

That background though.....who is watching this game? The Walking Dead? Or is it The Waking Dead? I see Topps has a set of dog-tags for them now. Yes, dog-tags. By Topps. I don't know the deal on those, or that show. I don't watch TV. I watch baseball cards. And in 2011, my newly re-discovered baseball cards told me the Reds had one hell-of-uhh scary pitcher to watch out for. I don't watch Baseball Tonight every night. I listen to my team on the radio. And unless they play the Reds, I rarely got to hear much about what might be happening in their bullpen, though that is changing. (Yep, more blog action to come). I did really like it when the Tigers demolished Chapman in the early summer of 2012 of course.

I love this card so much, I'll put it up as the header picture of yes, a future blog post, some other night, just to ramble on about it some more.

The 2011 set reminded me of a Topps product line that almost got me back into collecting in the card wasteland of the 1990s - Stadium Club. I still miss the esoteric stats on those things. There was some year around Y2K or so that I kinda-sorta went for a set of them. Thanks to this great blog community I have discovered, I see that I stand a good chance of completing that one at least. A nice project I am anticipating for this summer.

I also now suspect that the 2011 set wasn't the first flagship/base to feature such a super-high % of action shots. Flag-base? there are no ships in baseball silly! Flags though, yes. But baseball can be a game of numbers, and I love the idea of re-starting my collection with the number 1. 2011.
And I can't start a collection on the number 0 anyway. There are no baseball cards with a number zero, are there? There probably are. If there are, I'm sure it happened in the 90s, the decade of gimmicks.

Plus, 2010 had some odd, color-on-a-single-edge design that was all wavy and queasy. Only knuckle-balls should be wavy, not baseball cards. Overall though, I'm not that deep into design quibbles. I like the white border cards. I like colorful cards with color edges. I really like the 1974 Topps Football cards with the goal posts. Sometimes the baseball cards have elements like that, like the 2013 sea turtles. Huh? C'mon, you've heard the news.

Anyhow, The Topps Set is baseball. I'm not here to just stroke Topps. They do things I like, and things I don't like. I'll tell you the story of 2012 soon. I have to quit typing for tonight. Good night.

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