I can remember the day that I realized I was getting old. It was when Scooby Doo became fodder for hipsters and gamers who were fully 15 years younger than me. Nothing made this clearer than when Warner Brothers Interactive released a video game in 2005 called "Scooby Doo! Unmasked".
I grew up watching Scooby Doo as an after-school cartoon pretty much as soon as I started going to school for a full day (for the record, that was first grade in 1978). As the name of the video game implies, the highlight of every episode was when the gang took off the mask of the bad guy so then the bad guy could say, "And I would have gotten away with it too, if it weren't for you meddling kids!"
That was always a highlight.
These days, the highlights related to masks for me relate to a couple of things. First, who doesn't like hot girls in masks at Halloween?
Yes, that is click bait. 100%.
The other highlight for me is to read new posts at Sportscard Mask-a-Rade. Despite being a St. Louis Cardinals fan, Roger seems to be a really good person. I chalk that up to the humility he has had to learn in being a St. Louis Blues fan.
Earlier this week, a package showed up from O'Fallon addressed to me, and it contained some great additions of more recent cards to my collection.
Honestly, I'm always very excited when someone sends me a Robin Yount card that I do not have. When I started this blog, that happened frequently because I needed a LOT of Younts. Now that I'm standing at 628 Robin Yount items, though, those days have become less frequent.
But Rog broke through and pushed that number upward:
I only needed one of the Younts for my player collection that Rog sent, but was it a beautiful red parallel from the 2012 Panini Prizm set.
On the other hand, even though nearly every recent package I have received lately has included at least a few Ryan Brauns, apparently everyone is unloading them on me. I am NOT complaining though. To the contrary, I thank you for each one of them. That generosity has pushed my Braun collection to 217 cards as of 11/19.
So go ahead -- send all of them to me. I don't mind. In fact, I encourage it.
I think this one is a short print based on the yellow background of Braun hitting. Topps's screwing around with stuff like that, though, has continued to befuddle me to this day.
Throw in an "Upper Deck X-Ponential" Insert, a Bowman Platinum Green/Emerald Parallel, and a clear Pinnacle "Pinnacle of Success" insert, and I'm a happy man.
Big Prince is another guy whom the blogosphere seems quite happy to push on to my plate. "Tony'll take it -- he takes anything Brewers." That kind of attitude, again, is encouraged -- and Rog sent me a couple of great Prince cards to raise my total number of Fielders up to 133:
So, that's a mini Goodwin Champion from 2009, a Bowman Chrome from 2011, and an Opening Day Insert from 2012. That's a great haul.
On the other hand, despite open pleading in this space for more Jonathan Lucroy cards to be sent my way, I have not added all that many Lucs to my collection. I only have 28 so far. I blame the fact that Topps and Panini are too busy this year making 148 different cards of Brian McCann's backup. To compare, Lucroy -- who finished fourth in the NL MVP race this year, was an all-star, and hit 18 HR while slashing .280/.340/.455 LAST YEAR and 13 HR and 53 doubles while slashing .201/.373/.465 this year -- has 100.
To use another hot girl photo:
But, to get back to the cards Rog sent, he did send me this lovely orange Chrome refractor from this year.
In contrast, I have collected 67 Jean Segura cards. #67 was the shiny 2014 Panini Prizm, which sounds like it should be a car imported from Indonesia rather than a baseball card:
This time, Corey Hart is not a die-cut "X". He's just a Base Card "X". And Base Card "X" is #55 in my Corey Hart collection.
Mini Corey Hart is #56.
A golden Ultra Sheets pushes my Sheets collection up to 71 cards.
Parallels like this are aggravating, though. This photo looks like an action shot, but it's just as likely that it was taken in front of a green screen somewhere in Hollywood or Bristol or some place less interesting than Bristol. But hey, "chase gold everybody!"
Rog sent some other cards my way as well. The most interesting of the cards to me was also one of my least favorite players every: Gary Sheffield:
As baseball card companies have struggled to incorporate an online presence into their cards, they turned to these "scratch-off" games, to "power players," to "eTopps", to "million card giveaways," to "online exclusives," and, finally, to virtual cards through things like Topps Bunt.
I have a response to all that:
Or, as John Lackey put it:
Rog, thank you very much for the cards -- they are much appreciated, and I will be putting together a package for you shortly!
Y'all have a great weekend.