In fact, even though the Brewers are worse than every American League team (the closest one to them is Oakland, who are a game ahead of the Brewers at 54-71, despite having scored 11 more runs than they have allowed), they are better than four other National League teams: the Rockies (49-73), the Phillies (50-74), the Marlins (50-74) and the Reds (51-71). Just a half game better than the Brewers are the Atlanta Braves at 53-71.
It's been a depressing season in that regard. Little attention is paid to wins and losses at this point. I rarely pay that much attention to whether they win or lose. It's made collecting cards a little tough too -- with little interest in the current team, I find it difficult to get enthused about going out and buying cards of Houston Astro Carlos Gomez, or St. Louis Cardinal Jonathan Broxton, or Minnesota Twin Neal Cotts. Thankfully, that's where the Brewers being fairly ignored by Topps comes in handy.
Another unfortunate side effect for me with the Brewers being so bad is that I really haven't paid that much attention to trading. I owe cards to a number of people -- again...just like last fall. Just like last fall, I went through a period of uncertainty in June and July, as I was trying to scrounge up business half the day and trying to bill a little bit of time so that I could pay my bills. It was extremely stressful, and it taught me several lessons for whenever I might think about doing the solo practice thing again in the future.
Now, though, it's the other way in life. I'm now buried in work, I'm getting home later, and I'm much more tired than before. It's a good thing to have a steady income, and it's a good firm for me to build a future -- but man it's a lot of work.
That's a long way toward saying that I've been on a bit of a cold streak in terms of trading. I sent out a bunch of packages about 6 weeks ago, but many of those were returns. Recently, though, I stuffed an envelope full of toploaders and shipped them to Portland. Gavin was kind enough to send me a bunch of great cards back that he picked up at a card show.
Like, lots of Bowman, for example:
Thanks to the year 1999 being spent for me working and drinking rather than working and collecting, all of these were new to me. Oh, and the Kiefer? I was in college then. It was an experimental time for me.
Not that Radiohead counts as being too experimental...
Anyway, Gavin also sent me three Ryan Brauns that I needed for my player collection:
Oddly, I had the Prizm parallel but not the base Prizm card for that 2013 Braun on the Milwaukee Baseball Club and dressed in black like he listens to the Cure.
Yes, I liked Better Than Ezra. They were definitely better than that guy Ezra. Actually, I saw them play in 1996 at the 40 Watt in Athens, and they put on a fantastic show.
Sort of like how Prince Fielder always put on a big show in batting practice -- even as a kid like that one card from 2010 said:
Those Princes...there's more than two there, but that tie is what comes to mind.
I could have seen the Spin Doctors for free when I was in college, but I couldn't be bothered to walk across campus to see them. Then, the next summer, that "Two Princes" song got huge. Oops.
Gavin found a two relics and an autograph that I needed in my collection as well. One is a Sheets, and the other two are guys who never made it...
In Ball Four, Jim Bouton referred to guys getting sent down to the minors as guys "dying." Well, this one's for Chad Green and Jeff Deardorff then.
Saving the best for last, Gavin sent me three Milwaukee Braves cards!
The great thing about that Mound Magicians card is that it goes into my Burdette collection. Now, I only need one more for my Braves team collection.
The Chairman of the Board said he did it his way. But, I can't close it out there. Gavin didn't send a note with these cards, but he e-mailed me to say what he would have said in the note. His P.S. is especially poignant. "P.S. The Clash Rules!"
Yes. Yes they do.
Gavin, many thanks for the great cards! I still owe you some Reggies....