Saturday, February 18, 2023

Better late than never

Is there a record, amongst bloggers who actively exchange cards with other bloggers, of who's gone the longest before trading with the Night Owl? If there is, I think I now own it.

I started this blog almost 7 1/2 years ago, and have been fortunate enough to receive, and send out cards to quite a few different bloggers, and blog readers, during that time. However, it wasn't until just this past December that I partook in my first bit of extra-curricular activity with the ever popular winged wordsmith behind Night Owl Cards (and now 1993 UPPER DECK as well).

Some of you might be wondering what took so long, and honestly, I don't really know. I don't think that there's any reason why, it just, for whatever reason, took us a while to swap some cards. For blog purposes, it would've probably been more exciting if their was some great backstory involving murder and betrayal, but there isn't, sorry. 
I think I could count on half a hand that number of times that 1987 Topps has appeared on this blog. At this point in time, most collectors seem to either really love the set, or really hate it. Haven't you heard, it's 2023, the internet demands that you pick a side! Me though, well, I guess you could say that I'm indifferent to it. Thanks to my brain slowly turning to mush, I can't say for certain anymore, but it's possible that the very first pack of cards I ever got were 1987 Topps, and if it wasn't the first, it was certainly one of the earlier sets that I collected. With that in mind, there should be at least some nostalgia attached to the set for me, but it's hard to be nostalgic for something that's never gone away -- and from what I've been able to gather, is never gonna go away. I may be neutral on the set, but after all of the blog posts that I've seen in recent years, I'm very glad that I'm not collecting anything current, because I'd probably have a very different take on it, what with it's design constantly being rehashed and all.

These two cards stem back to last year when, much to Mr. Owl's chagrin, he was "gifted" a vending box of 1987 Topps from somebody at work. The resulting blog post was equal parts "Look what someone had the gall to give me!" and "Please take these off of my hands!!!". I knew that I couldn't help him move very many, but I did rattle off a couple of names of guys that I seem to be in need of, and Jamie and Joe were the two that he was able to take care of (please don't ask who the other names were, because I cannot remember anymore). I have a blank backed copy of Jamie's rookie, but somehow did not already have a regular one. And Joe is one of a handful guys that I'm trying not to collect, but still am sort of anyway.

As nice as it was to get them, I'm not sure that these two would've been enough to justify the cost of a stamp. However, they had company...

I suspect that this, and the next card, are copies that have both been upgraded, thus rendering their slightly off-condition counterparts expendable. I too will undoubtedly upgrade this one at some point, but for now, it's just fine for my set. And given current prices, it'll probably continue to be fine for at least the next couple of years.

If the Post was unexpected, which it was, I don't know how to describe this one. I mean, it's not everyday that someone sends me a playing days Erskine. Sure, there's a vertical crease going down the middle, but it doesn't detract from the overall image very much. I've come to realize that if I want to pursue this set in any sort of serious fashion, I will have to be more tolerant towards acquiring cards that are in a similar state. If not, I'll have to be content to sit on the sidelines until the moneyed crowd moves on to something else.

Many thanks to our resident avian author for the envelope, hopefully it won't be another 7+ years before we can do this again.

On an unrelated note, I noticed yet another new blog on the block, and as usual, thought it was worth mentioning. So, if you have a few spare minutes, and are inclined to want to do something nice for someone else, go show Dillard's Dugout some love. One of the best ways to prevent a new blogger from getting discouraged is to let them know that they aren't typing into a void.

Sunday, February 5, 2023

These two were not created equal

I think it was last year, or was it the year before, I don't know, I can't remember and I don't want to go look it up -- but at some point in the last two years, there was about a month-long stretch where this Topps Chrome set was all the rage on the blogs. Being a modern set, and a shiny one at that, I tried to follow along with everyone's excitement, but after a couple of posts, I kind of had my fill of it. Before checking out completely, I did however see somewhere along the way that Gene Tenace had an autograph in it. And even though I wasn't too sure how I felt about the looks of it, I figured I'd try to get one if I could, i.e. only if one showed up for dirt cheap would I buy it. Well, maybe six months or so ago, one did, so I did!

For around five bucks shipped I got myself this shiny auto, and I have to admit, I didn't hate it as much as I thought I would, at least not initially. Fast forward six months, and now I kind of hate it. I'll keep it, but I don't like it. I was never all that keen on chromed cards, and these days, I really dislike them. Aside from a few sets, shiny cards have completely fallen out of favor with me. And I don't know why, they just have. Not surprisingly, there's like 47 parallels of this card, none of which I will be chasing... though... if I ever come across any for just a couple of bucks or less, I'll probably get them... begrudgingly! Gene has become one of my favorite people to collect, so even if I don't like them, it would be pretty hard to pass up a cheap autograph of his; even if it is ugly.

About a month after the Gene's arrival, I won another autograph for around the same price...

Now that's a much better looking card. Up until about a month ago, I only had maybe 4-5 cards of Joe Rudi, half of which were autographs, but thanks to a few recent small purchases on the Sportlots, I'm probably up to around 10 or so. Some of my guys have jumped in price, again, just since the New Year started (why?), which kind of sucks, but it just gives me an excuse to shift over to the likes of Gene and Joe, who's prices I don't see ever escalating all that much know; no matter how Boomy the Boom crowd gets.

In unrelated "news", I had an unexpected, and rather pricey (at least for someone of my means) household expense pop up a couple of weeks ago. As a result, I had to scramble to get some things sold in order to cover said hefty bill. I was able to do so, but only after many days of using all of my free time to scan/photograph, edit scans/photographs, and list items on eBay. It is nice to have that option to fall back on, but geez is it a lot of work. And so much computering!!! I was having to spend so much time doing all of that, that by the time I was done each day, I just couldn't do anymore things on the computer; which isn't the end of the world for me, but I did get terribly behind with the blogs. It was only about two weeks, so I don't imagine that anyone would've noticed my sporadic appearances, but in case you did, now you know why. I've been trying to go back and comment where I can, but it sure isn't easy trying to catch-up on two weeks worth of posts (everyone seems to have chosen those two weeks to go on a posting spree). 

In slightly cheerier news, I got myself a Level 4 clearance on the TCDB, and have been using to add some links to cards that previously had none. I've also created a few new pages for actors and actresses that hadn't been previously recognized by the site. As I recently told Dennis (who unintentionally inspired me to do these things), I'm sure that no one using the site will even care about these additions, but I had fun doing it nonetheless.

Also, I closed my Twitter account a few weeks ago. And no, it's not because of who now owns the site, or any other social/political reasons, there just isn't any reason for me to have an account anymore. I only opened the account originally to try and help my blog (now blogs), and I think it did initially, but in recent years people stopped clicking on the links, and so I stopped promoting posts. For about the last year all I've been using the site for is the DM feature, but all of those people have my email address, so there's really no need for me to stay on there just for that. Plus too, I had thought that joining the site would be a good way to keep up with all of the former bloggers that moved over to there, but it's really hurting my soul to see how uninteresting so many of them have become since scuttling their blogs. It's like I said in a comment to someone recently on here, Twitter seems to be the place where old bloggers go to die. I don't know what it is, but folks sure change, a lot (and not for the better), once they start spending all of their time on that site. It's quite sad to see, and I'd just prefer not to see it anymore.

As a possible alternative, I finally joined the Net54 site, but have yet to do anything there. And looking at some of the open discussions currently going, I'm not sure that I'll ever be able to add too much to the site. A lot of those folks seem to be more moneyed collectors, and so far I'm finding it a little difficult to relate to their sort. But, we'll see. Right now, I'd just like to get a few posts done (for all three blogs), and try to keep catching up on all of the posts that I've been missing.