Tuesday, February 17, 2015

Walk (the Plank)

Last week, I received an unexpected package in the mail from Morgantown, West Virginia. Not being sure what I would be getting, I was kind of hoping for a t-shirt:

West Virginia University is known throughout the land for being the only Big-12 program (in a conference of 10 schools, mind you...) in the Eastern Time Zone.  It is also known for its rather incendiary sports celebrations. In particular, a big sports win inevitably means couches are burned.

For instance, back in the Big East, WVU won the championship in 2010.  Result?

Then, in 2012, WVU's first major Big 12 win came against the University of Texas Longhorns.  Result?

You get the picture.  

I feel for Matt at Bob Walk the Plank. He is an intelligent, anti-couch-burning sort who loves his university but hates the rioting that seems to follow every major WVU victory.  Not to mention the fact that it must be hard to collect paper items in a town where a burning couch could be around the next corner.

Perhaps that concern is the reason that Matt is so prolific in sending out top-quality cards to bloggers and other collectors alike.

I received three fantastic cards from him last week:

First off, there is a fancy 2014 Topps Chrome autograph from Jimmy Nelson, the man who is seen as ready to replace Yovani Gallardo in the rotation. This card is serial numbered 34 of 199 on the back.

Next, it's my first autograph -- certified or otherwise -- from Carlos Gomez. It's a Panini gray swatch and Yankee-esque uniform look serial numbered to 199.  Carlos apparently couldn't be bothered to write much more than two squiggles on his Panini sticker that generously might be identified as a C and a G.  But, from all impressions, that's his normal autograph.

Then, finally, there was a 2014 Stadium Club Jean Segura, serial numbered 5 of 50. The cool thing about this autograph -- in addition to it being on the card and not on a sticker and, also, in addition to it being one that Matt told me he pulled himself from a pack -- is the fact that you can actually see and feel the slight indentation of Segura's signature on the card. It's a little thing, but it certainly feels a bit closer to being "real" to me.  

I've mentioned somewhere along the line that I tend to find these pack-inserted autographs a bit cold at times because I didn't do anything to get them but buy the right pack -- or, here, know the generous Bob Walk the Plank proprietor.  That's just me, I think, but I enjoyed chasing autographs in person and without paying for them. 

Matt, thank you very much for the cards. And here's a little friendly advice:

Buy one of these.


  1. Hahahaha. I think the days of the massive fires are over. The last big win got a lot of students thrown out of school because about 9000 videos were on social media. Didn't take long for the worst offenders to get caught.

    Glad you liked the cards. I thought that Segura was a nice card. Hope he balances back. Just a bad year on and off the field.