Saturday, August 5, 2017

It's So Easley

See me hit you, you fall down... ~ Guns 'n Roses It's So Easy

This is the second (or third) year in a row that my wife hasn't gotten me any cards for my birthday. I guess that's what happens when you have needs, rather than just things you want. But that's okay, because I got a 1989 Score Young Super Stars card of The Kid in the mail today, am going to my favorite restaurant tonight (Olive Garden- Tours of Italy will be destroyed, with wine to wash it down) and the NFL Class of 2017 will induct a Seahawks great (and one of my favorite players as a kid) into the Hall of Fame tonight.

Aging isn't easy. As I recently lamented, the mind isn't as sharp as it used to be, but there are certain memories that seem to be indelibly stamped into the brain. Some of the most fond memories I can recall took place in the year 1987, the year I graduated high school. It was also the end of one-hard hitting era (Kenny Easley's final season), and the beginning of another hard-hitting era (Guns n' Roses debut album released in July of that year).

A lot has happened in those last thirty years. Marriage, children, career. And while many things have changed during that time period, a couple things remain the same: my love for the Seahawks (especially heavy hitters, like Kenny!) and my love for hard rock music (and heavy hitters like GnR).

It's been a long time for Kenny Easley to wait for his induction, but it was well deserved and, hopefully, well worth the wait for him. Congratulations, Enforcer. The 12's will be watching tonight.

So damn easy.

Wednesday, August 2, 2017

Cards from the National

Ask most collectors if they would like to attend one of the Nationals (NSCC) and the overwhelming majority would probably respond, "of course." And who can blame them? When collectors claim, "if you can't find what you're looking for at the National, it probably doesn't exist", they're probably speaking more truth than hyperbole. And with most of us having wantlists with hard to find items, the prospect of finding those elusive treasures thrill us like nothing else. Plus, who doesn't enjoy fellowship with other card (or memorabilia) nerds?

I have never been to the National and, at least for the foreseeable future, don't plan on attending. My reasoning is two fold: it's impossible for me to take time away from work for any extended period during July and August, so unless the show gets moved to, say, April to mid-June, I won't be able to attend. The second reason is financially driven. Living out west means booking a flight and hotel- not to mention food and any other expenses. Plus, I couldn't justify going without taking plenty of cash for any purchases at the show itself. And, being on a limited card budget, that would mean going the other 51 weeks during the calendar year without buying any other cardboard. No thanks.

But not all is lost. We live in the age of the internet, which means we can find almost anything we want- all from the comfort of our living room, office or on our cell phone while at the stop light. Why, I was able to purchase the two 2017 NSCC Griffey cards pictured above from home. And for a heck of a lot less than any other expenses I would have had on a trip to Chicago.

One of the sellers included some extra cards with my bubble mailer. I hadn't seen any of the 2017 Diamond King set but really like the Originals- even if Boggs face looks a little off. And the really is a beautiful card in-hand, especially the back. 

So while I didn't go to the National this year, I was certainly able to bring the National home to me- through both photos on social media and with cardboard through the mail.

Now, if the NSCC would come to Seattle, Portland or Salt Lake City, well, that might be a different story.

Tuesday, August 1, 2017

Pack Wars of a Different Kind

The worst thing about getting older has been the mind isn't as sharp as it used to be (not like it was that sharp to begin with). I've recently found myself grasping for a word (oatmeal) that I just couldn't find, made a few different purchases of newer cards that I had just bought like a week earlier, and congratulated myself on today's witty title- only to then realize I had conflated two movies (Star Wars and Close Encounters of the Third Kind, for all you youngsters). At least there was a silver lining to those extra card purchases: they provided trade material for the cards featured on today's post.

Shawn, aka 'Corky', from the blog Pack War recently made contact to inform me he had the card that sat on the top of my most elusive list (although it wasn't necessarily the most wanted) and that it (along with others from the set) was available for trade. It was quite mind-tripping to know that I wasn't alone in possessing some of the 1991 Seattle Mariners Hearth Country set. Singles from oddball sets like these can be very difficult to find and I really appreciated Corky's gesture. The Bankhead card, long lost, made its way back home- reunited with all the other cards in the set. 

Scott Bankhead wasn't the only player that Corky sent to me. He also surprised me with this Topps Now card of two Hall of Famers: Griffey Jr and Tony Gwynn. I wasn't aware that this card had been created in celebration of the All-Star game returning to San Diego last year.

At the height of my collecting days (early-mid 90s), I bought a lot of packs, a lot of boxes, but very rarely took part in pack wars. This was one pack war where both contestants came out on top.

Thanks again, Shawn, for the great trade. And here's to future trades.

"Lights Out"- UFO, featuring the phenomenal Michael Schenker on guitar.