Thursday, December 4, 2014

I've Been Promoted...I *think*

When I started blogging about 10 months ago, I never thought I would spend as much time and effort writing about cards and baseball players as I have. Of course, I really did not -- and still don't -- have much of an idea as to what I'll write on any given day about any given cards.

I did not think that, back in February, I would have sent out and received so many cards via the U.S. Mail -- especially without haggling about it first. If anyone has gone back through my old posts, I even questioned the blog-o-tariat about whether book value should or does matter when trading with people.Once I got past that particular hangup and took the position that, generally speaking, I would be happy to get rid of any cards that are not Brewers or Gary Carter or Paul Molitor, I have become a much happier collector. I only worry about whether I have sent enough cards to people that they want or need in return for the cards they have sent me.

One blogger with whom I traded very early on in her blogging days is Julie from A Cracked Bat. Since that time, Julie has been sprinkling cards throughout the blogosphere like Tinkerbell sprinkling that pixiedust that, as the Disney Wiki claims, "grants the abilities of flight."  Sounds like LSD to me, but I'm a rotten cynic who stopped believing in Santa Claus before Santa Claus stopped believing in me.

Anyway, on more than one occasion -- including with her most recent group of cards -- Julie has given me a promotion to being THE Tony.

I'll happily accept that moniker. I'm almost as happy to be THE Tony as Nori Aoki.

The colorful parallels over the past few Topps sets have proliferated like so many rabbits with a plentiful food supply. A lot of them are attractive -- I'm somewhat fond of the red borders like the Aoki -- but the green/acid rain parallels of 2013 and the Red Rain Peter Gabriel parallels of 2014 are just a bridge too far.

Stick with the basic red and you're in good shape. Wal-Mart blue isn't terrible either, even if every time I see one of those I instinctively think, "cheap! Low low prices!"

Even Carlos Gomez has a tough time making that Wal-Mart blue look okay. "Detergent, sir? That's in aisle 18."

Julie sent me the majority of a team set of Brewers as well -- from the 2012 Topps Mini set. I think Topps should consider making the Mini set a retail issue with no parallels and a lower price range. Let it replace the "Opening Day" set as the one directed toward kids and set builders. That way, kids get a complete Topps set to build at a decent price.

Those three are the PC guys that were included for me that were not horizontal (Gallardo is in that group). I really kind of like the little minis, even if they are yet another parallel.

Julie also threw in a bunch of cards from random other sets -- whether inserts or otherwise.

The Cirillo card made me a bit dizzy. Willie Randolph is trying to tell Matt Mieske that he should not pick at that chip on his bat, because Matt should know by now that cheapskate Bud Selig won't buy him a new order of bats until spring training ends.

The final group of cards came in a team bag with the following label:

These two Allen & Ginter cards are the "Code Card" parallels. I missed these cards when they were released, so I had to spend the last 15 minutes figuring that out. Now I know.

That said, I kinda like that little black flourish on the Axford card. I'm sure the corner locations and designs on certain cards had something to do with the code, but I will register my thought that the gold on Rickie Weeks's card looks weak and is made weaker by not being included on all four corners.

On the other hand, this Logan Schafer autograph is pretty strong. I think Schafer's window of opportunity to be more than a spare part in Milwaukee may have passed him by in 2013 with Khris Davis's emergence -- a fact probably cemented this past year with his .181/.278/.276 slash line in limited playing time and the acquisition (even if only for two years) of Gerardo Parra.

Finally, Julie was very concerned about my well-being when she sent this package. As she knows, life is incomplete if you don't have a Clutterbuck around. I mean, Topps's sets lately have all be Clutterbucks (or something approximately rhyming with that), so the fact that Julie wanted to be sure I have a Clutterbuck shows that she really cares.
Thanks again for all the cards, Julie -- I will be putting a package together for you soon. I feel like I say that a lot and my execution lacks, but I promise I will get to it before the end of the year.


  1. "I only worry about whether I have sent enough cards to people that they want or need in return for the cards they have sent me."

    That's my biggest concern with my hobby anymore. Life is good.

  2. Sweet cards! I recently received (another) awesome package from Julie as well.

  3. Julie he me up with a great package recently also.. Cool cards

  4. Julie has been sending wonderful cards ever since I found her blog!

  5. Julie is catching up on her good reads! Tony, you have been/are a great trading partner. Thanks for taking a chance on a newbie. I have another little stack started for ya! Clutterbuck. What a fantastic name! You expressed my thoughts so eloquently. Have a great holiday!!!