Saturday, December 23, 2017

A Secret Santa Aperitif

About two weeks ago I got an email from Nick, of Dime Boxes fame, letting me know that something was on it's way, given the time of year, I figured this might have something to do with Matt's Secret Santa exchange.

After seeing (and feeling the heft) the bubble mailer that arrived a few days later, my suspicions were all but confirmed... sort of.

When I opened up the package I was greeted by six or seven team bags that were stuffed to the gills, one of which had a note in it. In the note, Nick let me know that he was the unfortunate soul (I added the "unfortunate soul" part) who had drawn my name for this year's Secret Santa, but there was a catch -- which was that the stuff he had bought online might not be here in time -- so being the generous fellow that he is, Nick sent a warm-up package just in case the other stuff did end up being late.

This is what Nick refers to as a "warm-up".

This is what everything looked like after a preliminary sorting. On the rare occasion when somebody sends me something, I always show everything off here on the blog... but with at least 150 cards in this package, I just don't think it would be feasible to do so on this particular occasion (at least not in one post.

So in an attempt to keep this post at a reasonable length (it's still pretty long though), I will just be showing some of the highlights, which wasn't as easy as it sounds, given the tremendous amount of terrific items that were within this bubble mailer.

I don't know if I would say these are favorites from the package or not, as the vintage stuff you'll be seeing in a second is really great, but these are pretty high up there. This is the first time that I've seen any cards from the 1988 Conlon Baseball Immortals series 5 set in person. And it's certainly not everyday that you see/get cards featuring the likes of Johnny Tobin, Hub Pruett, Stuffy McGinnis, and Howard Ehmke.

Notice any similarities?

This is a really solid trio of 71's, and like the Kretlow and Roberts above, all were set needs.

A pair of Sawx, but these aren't just any ordinary Sawx...

... no, these are une magnifique paire de OPC Rouge Sawx!
I have been thinking about starting a collection of former Portland Beavers players, but I don't really know yet if I should. It would be such a different style of collecting for me, it's almost like I don't know even know how to start such an endeavor. If I ever do, this Vicente Romo would be a nice addition.

The want list continues to dwindle with this pair of buybacks. I think the Herbert is only my second or third 1960 buyback now. And you can't go wrong by adding Lee May to the mix either.

I believe I've only ever mentioned it an email to Nick, which was easily over a year ago, that I sort of quietly collect A&G (mostly just the minis and inserts), and I say sort of, only because I don't seem to come across them very often. Judging by how much A&G was included, I'm assuming that Nick remembered me telling him that, which is pretty amazing, considering how long ago that was.

A few more A&G minis, with a 2014 Golden Age Hindu Red Gary Carter thrown in for good measure (which is certainly appreciated as well).

There were a lot of A&G inserts in here, all of which were new to me. I wonder if Nick included an Oregon related card on purpose, or if it was just a coincidence?

It seems kind of amazing that Topps didn't get around to doing a World's Fair set until 2017.

This might be my favorite of the all the A&G insert sets.

As I said, Nick sent a lot of inserts, including a few near complete sets. Some time in the next month or two, I think I'm gonna have to finally start making a checklist.

Inserts and Minis weren't the only A&G related items, there was also this really neat 2013 Julia Mancuso framed mini-relic. Even though you can't really tell from the picture, I believe this is a piece of thick sweatshirt or something similar, as it's kind of poofy and really soft.

Since I'm not really an Olympics follower, I had no idea who Julia Mancuso is/was. Turns out she's got an Olympic gold medal to her name, as well as two silver's and a bronze. I may of not known who she is, but this is still a really neat card to receive, plus it's now the furriest relic that I own.

My first Topps Fire card. I'm still undecided as to whether I like this set or not.

And my first 2017 Diamond Kings. Now this is a set that I really like, especially after seeing the cards in person, as they look much better than the photos that I had seen online. I might have to try and get a box of these at some point.

There were at least a dozen 2005 SP Cuts in the package, so I just picked a few to show.

I only had two cards from the 2007 SP Cuts, so with these, Nick has doubled my haves. Hopefully I will be able to start having some better luck with finding these in dime boxes.

All set needs.

More set needs.

Even more set needs.

These '91 Swell are pretty swell (sorry)! And they were all needed as well.

These guys are pretty sw nifty too. I haven't seen that photo of Tris before.

This was the first time that I had heard of these contests, it would be kind of interesting to know if anyone actually won anything good.

The last three sets of pictures here are just a sampling of everything else that isn't being shown:

Nick, thank you again, this was a very generous package, which could've easily been the official Secret Santa gift. I'm fairly confident in saying that if there is a another round of the Secret Santa exchange next year, everyone will be hoping that you draw their name.

Thanks for taking a moment to look at my page.


  1. Nice cards! Let me know if you get serious about A&G inserts. I could make a huge dent in them.

    1. I certainly will, and thank you for the offer to help!

  2. My pleasure! It was a lot of fun putting that package together, and the Secret Santa stuff (w/some other goodies) should be there any day now (and sorry again I couldn't get it to you by Christmas). The Oregon card was indeed a Coincidence coincidence.

    I didn't participate in Topps's Diamond Giveaway, but I did dabble in the Million Card Giveaway. I don't remember actually redeeming anything I wanted, but one of the cool things about it was that you could trade with other people on the Topps site. One of my codes was for a semi-high number from '53 Topps (I forget who) and I managed to swap it for a '65 Robin Roberts. I wish Topps would bring something like that back again instead of all these virtual fantasy games that are far too complicated to follow and don't much involve actual cards at all.

    1. It sure has been fun to go through as well. And I'm still not even done with all the reading and sorting. Were all that the mercy of the seasonally induced slow-down when it comes to delivery times, so don't worry about the delay.

      That giveaway does sound interesting, and I really like the idea of trading with other people on the site. Having not participated in either contest, I sure wish they would do something like that again as it sounds like it would've been pretty fun.

  3. A great time of year on the sports card blogs. I love reading what everyone gets!!

  4. Wowza. That's quite the warmup gift. Great stuff.