Saturday, September 10, 2016

An Envelope from Cards on Cards

When last we spoke, I was saying that Just Commons made a couple of mistakes in putting my most recent order from them. Well, unlike the customer service from other card operations....

...Just Commons responded the very next business day, and they made things right. They sent the two cards I was missing in a well-protected PWE nearly immediately and made sure I was okay getting the parallel version of the cards they had missorted from 2001. Kudos to Just Commons for great customer service.

As for Topps....well.....

But I beat that drum like a dead horse, so perhaps, some day, I'll stop. Or Topps will listen.

I'm thinking that I'll stop first.

At any rate, there are more important things in the world than my raging against the machine that is Topps. For instance, Kerry from Cards on Cards sent me a mailer jam packed with Brewers cards. Most of the cards in the envelope came from the 1990s:

Like this gloriously ridiculous (or, depending on your point of view, ridiculously glorious) 1994 Score Rookie & Traded card of eventual Red Sox stalwart Troy O'Leary. O'Leary played 46 games for the Brewers and didn't look bad doing it. 

For whatever blisteringly stupid reason, Sal Bando cut O'Leary outright -- waived him -- at the end of spring training in 1995. O'Leary believed it was to protect a younger player, but from the transactions report it appears that the Brewers wanted David Hulse instead. Hulse lasted a total of 200 games in Milwaukee and in the majors after the Brewers got him, hitting .243/.281/.320 (OPS+ of 53). O'Leary spent another 9 seasons in the majors. Great job, Sal! 

The Red Sox employed Dan Duquette as its GM at the time. Duquette was the Brewers' Director of Scouting when O'Leary was drafted out of high school and was instrumental in the Brewers' decision to draft O'Leary. As the Boston Baseball History website noted, it took Duquette about ten minutes to claim O'Leary and promote him to the majors.

If you ever wondered why the Brewers were so damn bad in the early 2000s, look no further than decisions like this.

Thankfully, most of the cards that Kerry sent to me were either more recent cards or were from the 1980s. Let's see the recent cards:

That Matt Garza card is the first Topps Chrome card that I've added to my collection so far. Part of me thinks that this year's Topps design was meant more for the digital apps and the Chrome design than it was for the flagship set. That's not necessarily a bad thing. 

A lot of folks get themselves in a tizzy whenever people are successful in selling digital cards for a lot of money on eBay. The complaint is, "why the hell would anyone pay money -- any money -- to buy what is nothing more than a JPEG?" There are others, of course, who egg those people on and who view collecting actual cardboard as a dying hobby.

Both of them are correct and incorrect at the same time. Collecting cards in physical form will always be around. Someone will collect them. After all, people still collect stamps, postcards, Depression glass, perfume containers, lamp -- any number of items that make no sense whatsoever to collect and are far more difficult to store, showcase, and sell than cards are. As long as people like baseball, there will be card collectors.

At the same time, people collecting digital cards is probably more of a fad that will fade off into the sunset than collecting cardboard. Digital cards are more of a fad because of their ephemeral nature. Topps could cease to exist tomorrow, or its profit-loss analysis on running the apps could change from positive to negative and the app could be shut down tomorrow. The thing is, no one will ever go into an attic 30 years from now and find a secret stash of digital cards. It's more likely to be the introductory collecting drug for kids than it is to be the final end point for the addiction.

Speaking of addiction, let's look at the cards from the 1980s:

Cards and stickers like these are the addiction. There is something inherently cool about getting miniature cards that were printed 30 years ago by a card company that no longer exists. There's also something inherently cool about 1981's Gorman Thomas sticker featuring his fat sideburns, bushy mustache, two-day stubble, and the painted-on eyeblack that doesn't contain a Bible verse, an area code, a message to mom, or an advertisement for a shoe company. And, there's something inherently cool about getting kids to eat fat-filled snack cakes by throwing baseball cards inside the package.

Kerry, many thanks for the great cards that plugged some big holes in my collection.


  1. 2 days growth? For Gorman, he probably shaved 15 minutes before that photograph was taken! People even collect washing machines! I used to collect the clippings from my toenails. But I stopped. Last week.


  2. I like Just Commons, they might not have the largest selection but they do what they can and have great customer service.