Saturday, December 30, 2017

The Secret Santa has landed

Thanks to some glacially slow mail delivery ('tis the season), my Secret Santa package from Nick, didn't arrive until Wednesday -- which, in the grand scheme of things, isn't a big deal at all -- at times, we should all just be grateful that are mail ever gets to and from it's intended destinations.

Last week you saw some of Nick's warm-up package (that really doesn't sound right), so since this post is being finished a day later than planned, let's not waste any more time in getting to the goods:

Even if Nick hadn't already told me that the Secret Santa cards came from COMC, I would've known anyway once I saw this Pat Jarvis buyback, as it was the last card that I was contemplating whether to buy or not during the Black Friday sale. Ultimately I passed on it, only because I figured I had already bought enough during the sale (including a number of buybacks), but it must've been meant to be, because... here he is!

It seemed like for a while there, I was finding a couple of cards from TCMA's 1982 "Baseball's Greatest" sets at just about every show that I attended, and figured it wouldn't be very long before I was able to complete them, boy was I wrong. The well seems to have ran dry, as it's been at least six or seven months since I last added a card to one of the sets.

1961 Golden Press, wasn't expecting to see one of those :)

I've said it before, and I know I'm alone when I say it, but the '73 edition of Kellogg's is my favorite year of Kellogg's cards.

I don't ever come across Kellogg's 3-D cards at shows, so these were a very welcome surprise.

You can never go wrong with Hostess! Nick is knocking off set needs left and right.

I could see Toby standing above the rest of the cards in the team bag, so while it was a surprise to get a '53 Topps, it also wasn't, if that makes any sense.

Even though he did end up playing five seasons of pro ball after the knee injury that's mentioned here on the back, it was still what ultimately led to his early retirement.

Even though it was the first thing I saw (well, other than Toby sticking up) when I opened up the team bag, this 1964 Dick Stuart coin, was by far the biggest surprise to come out of the Secret Santa loot. It has been almost a year since I was able to cross one of these off the checklist.

I always assumed that the all-star section of the set was for guys who, depending on when these were released in '64, had been all-stars either the year of, or the year before. This particular coin cleared up that misconception on my part, as I didn't think Dick had been an all-star that late, turns out I was right, Dick was a two-time all-star... but that was in 1961 (back when they had two all-star games a year). So obviously, the all-star section of the set, must have been reserved for guys who were all-stars at some point in there career.

As amazing as the Secret Santa portion of the package was, Saint Nicklaus (you see what I did there), decided to add two more full team bags of  "extras"...

Once again, Nick went above and beyond with these extra's, knocking off set needs, and providing me with cards from sets that I didn't know I needed. Because just isn't possible to show everything in one post, here is just a small sampling:

These box bottom cards are really different for me, so much so, that I didn't even realize that boxes of '86 Donruss and Topps even came with cards on their respective bottoms. Very neat!

This Donruss Classics from '03 is yet another set that I didn't even know existed. I missed out on so many of these "player's of baseball's past" sets while I was away from collecting in the early 2000's.

Oh, and Luis here, is a gold parallel to boot.

This was by far the biggest surprise of the "extras". If I were able to better focus on my baseball card collecting goals better, I would work almost exclusively towards completing the Post sets, before continuing with anything else. Thanks to my lack of focus, there's a good chance that I will never complete even one of these sets, that being said, I still get excited every time I get a new (to me) needed card from one of these sets.

I've never seen these embossed 2003 Fleer Tradition Milestones before. They look really good in person.

I almost never come across these 1992 Action Packed All-Star Gallery's.

How have I never seen this one before?

I can now say that I own the famous Lance Berkman Sumo suit card!

There were a bunch of A&G mini's in the last package, but apparently Nick had at least one more lying around.

I don't think I've mentioned it before, but I do sort of collect pre-production/sample cards, so this 1994 Sportflics 2000 sample is a nice addition to that collection.

More Kellogg's.

I certainly won't complain about getting another needed Hostess.

Some vintage set needs. Bill Stoneman has a bit of a wax stain, but that will require almost no effort to remove.

My first two cards from the 2004 Legendary Cuts set.

A variety of set needs.

A hodgepodge of fun stuff.

And finally, a few more odds and ends.

Nick, thank you, once again your generosity has been almost overwhelming, and while I do think that there are many people who are much more deserving of such thoughtfulness, I greatly appreciate it nonetheless. These last two packages have elicited many a ooh and aah while going through the cards, hopefully I will be able to repay you in kind throughout the coming year.

And a final thank you goes to Matt for organizing this whole Secret Santa thing. If there is another round next year, I feel like you should just toss my name in as a sender only, what with Nick sending me at least half a dozen years worth of Secret Santa gifts and all :)

Thanks for taking a moment to look at my page.


  1. Thanks for joining in. Nick did a fantastic job putting together a unique package.

  2. Happy to hear everything arrived safe and sound! It was a treat putting that Secret Santa gift together, and glad you could use a good amount of the extras I added. I'd never seen one of those Topps Coins in-person before I bought the Stuart on COMC -- that'd be a fun oddball set to build. Hope you and yours have/had a great holiday!

    1. Until about three or four years ago, I hadn't ever seen one in person either. I remember reading about them in collector magazines when I was young and thinking that they would be neat to try and collect someday, it ended up taking me longer than I would've thought to start, but later is certainly better than never though!

  3. So many awesome cards to comment on. I'll go with the 86T Box Bottom. Love that Reggie! One of these days, I might go back and build all of the Topps box bottoms sets from the 80's.