Saturday, June 20, 2015

I Made a Zistle Trade

A lot of bloggers love Zistle and make tons of trades through it. Me? I came across Trading Card Database first and spent a ton of time entering cards on there -- over 37,000 total cards -- before I really started blogging. And, to be fair, I really didn't get past about 1984 or 1985 in that process. Plus, there did not seem to be an active trading sector on TCDB -- at least last year. Finally, I grew a bit frustrated with TCDB because the site would hang at times when I was updating my collection.  It's gotten better now, but it still can be a bit slow.

Soon after that, I stumbled across Zistle. The interface was cleaner -- a bit easier to use -- and the website processed updates and edits to its database and searches more quickly. Zistle seems to have a much more active trading community as well. Yet, my attempts at starting trades never got anywhere last year and, despite it being an easier interface in many ways to use, I couldn't bring myself to start cataloging all over again.  So, as a result, I have two half-baked attempts at collecting cataloging on two different websites, and I have made little attempt to keep my collections on each updated.

Recently, though, Zistle user dmk250 offered me a very small trade to start in his effort to pick up a couple of 2010 Topps inserts that he needed.  What he offered in return were cards that I did not have listed on Zistle but which I had already in my collection, so I gave him the heads up that I would be open to either a large blind trade or a much larger trade. As a result, he offered a new trade with many, many more cards involved going both ways. We came to an agreement, and I had a bunch of new cards coming my way.  Here are the highlights.

1990 Topps Major League Debut
I think these cards must have hit the stores about the time I was packing to go to college. I never saw one of them until I received a John Olerud MLD card in a repack last year. Good thing for me that DMK must have had nearly the full set:

These cards prove a few things.  First, ugly over-exertion pitcher faces were around in 1990, as Jeff Peterek proves.  Second, the late-1980s Brewers did not wax nostalgic about Rollie Fingers, seeing as they gave Fingers's Number 34 for short-term middle infielder Billy Bates, whose position on Baseball Reference is "Second Baseman and Pinch Runner" and who finished his career with a lifetime OPS+ of -5.  That's what a slash line of .125/.189/.146 will do for you.  Finally, what the hell is Randy Veres looking at?

Fun with Stickers
DMK also sent me a bunch of stickers and sticker cards. I was busy sticking those things into albums as a kid, so despite having most of these stickers in the album, I need almost all of them for my collections.  

A lot of people today forget how good both Ted Simmons and Cecil Cooper were. Cooper ruined his legacy by hanging around a bit too long: going into his final season in the majors, his career slash line was .300/.338/.469. 1987 saw him struggle to a .248/.293/.372 year to finish with a career batting average of .298. Guys who hit .300 for their career just get more respect than guys who finish at .298.

Simmons's problem is similar to the one Tim Raines has -- he came along in the majors around the same time that two of the historically greatest catchers of all time also came up in Johnny Bench and Carlton Fisk.

And, Oh, My, that Ted Higuera OPC sticker card.  I just get excited when I see O-Pee-Chee on a card.

Like this:
Love it!

DMK also scratched other oddball itches that I have in my collecting. From the mini sized:

To the cut-outs -- whether from magazines, snack cakes, or wax box bottoms  (and it is a shame that this Drake's Big Hitters is in rough shape, but when you don't have a card at all, you take what you can get):

To the big card:

Finally, there was this card of my most recent player/manager collection addition, Harvey Kuenn:

I have mentioned on my player collection catalog page for Kuenn that Kuenn's cards from the 1980s remind me of my grandfather.  

Now, I'm not trying to say my grandfather meant more to me than anyone else's grandfather's meant to them. But, I will say that he and I did have a strong, special bond. You see, I've never met my biological father and, to be honest, I never have had any real desire to meet him for many reasons. Due to not having much money, my mother moved back home with her parents and my older brother (and later me) just before I was born. 

As a result, I grew up with my grandfather being the only father figure in my life. He kindled and fed my love of sports, and he encouraged and pushed me to do well academically as well. Unfortunately, around the time I graduated high school, he started suffering from dementia and, by the time I graduated college four years later, he no longer recognized me. Still, in the 1980s, he and I loved the Brewers and he liked Harvey Kuenn as the manager -- because Harvey was the local boy from a similar background who did well for himself.

My grandfather would be 106 now; he passed away in 1998. And yet, he still lives on for me.  
Happy father's day to all of you who are fathers, and thank you to DMK for the great trade --my first -- on Zistle.


  1. I haven't attempted any trades on their website- I think I've only checked it out once or twice. Great pickups- I especially like the 1991 Topps Wax bottom card of Yount. Sounds like you had a great father figure in your grandfather; it's nice that the two of you were able to form a special bond and have a shared love of baseball!

  2. A thumbs up to Zistle, once again!

    It's funny, I also found TCDB first and entered cards on there, but took to Zistle with much more gusto. The one thing about TCDB that I favor is their set checklists. Those are super helpful for the set collector side of me!