Wednesday, June 28, 2017

But for Now

A good part of our lives is spent in anticipation. We begin setting aside funds in to a 529 college savings plan for our children's future; we start socking money away to help pay for a daughter's future wedding; we contribute money to our 401K and Roth IRA accounts from each pay period, looking forward to the day we can finally retire; even in matters of faith, we have what theologians refer to as the tension of the 'already, but not yet', which describes the benefits of redemption already experienced in this life and those benefits which await us at the consummation.

And, yes, we find this reality in card collecting. We anticipate the next product; the next hit; the next card show; the next trade. Some trade packages, though, are unexpected- such as the one that Greg from Night Owl Cards sent my way recently.

I'm getting older and the mind seems to slip a little each day, so maybe Greg sent this monster bubble mailer in return for something I had sent him. Had I known something was coming my way, I would have been looking forward to it with great anticipation. As it was, it took me by surprise.

What shouldn't be a surprise is when those prospects we hoard don't pan out. It can be maddening spending years watching a prospect tear it up in the minors, anticipating their MLB debut, only to be disappointed. Some, like Danny Hultzen (a number 2 overall pick in 2011), suffer injuries early in their careers and never make the Show. Others, such as Alex Jackson, struggle from the outset and don't live up to the draft hype.

I wasn't surprised to see a 'vintage' card or two coming from Mr. Night Owl. I use that term (vintage) loosely; being an expansion team doesn't really allow for what you'd call vintage. Unless you're listing on Craigslist. In that case, 1997 cards would qualify as being 'old'.

There was a little of this, a little of that. 

Junk stuff. Scratch that. Has anyone coined the term, "Garbage Wax"- because that's what 1990 Fleer (and 1989 Fleer) is. Garbage. I guess I'll have to take the good with the bad- or, the bad with the good, if I'm going to be a team set collector.

So many of the Score products from the mid-90s look the same. You might even classify it as garbage wax, too.

This Kyle Seager is most definitely not garbage. It's a thing of beauty.

One of the team sets I've been really looking forward to completing is 2015 Stadium Club. It's always one of my favorite releases each year and fans of the set are undoubtedly awaiting the release of the 2017 offering. Only a couple of more weeks away! For now, I'm content with this Nelson Cruz card.

I remember when my two sons were just wee ones, looking forward to the day they would play little league baseball. I was especially excited upon discovering my youngest was a lefty, and I envisioned him one day becoming a pitcher. Which, of course, meant a hot commodity. I know, pretty sad viewing my child as a commodity. But if you're a lefty and can throw a baseball, odds are that you'll get a shot.

More of this and that

With Heritage, Archives, and all the TBT cards that Topps is producing, retro cards seem to have lost a little lot of their luster. But that wasn't always the case. In fact, at one point, collectors longed for a release that captured the spirit of those sets from their childhood. One of the better sets, in my opinion, was the 2009 O-Pee-Chee cards. The only disappointing thing I found with this set was the number of photos that appear to have been shot in a studio. It's almost like they should have Olan Mills in the bottom right corner. Solid set, though.

Does it surprise you that Greg would sent some cards from 2013 Home Town Heroes? Yeah, me neither.

Like many of you, I could do without Opening Day as a stand-alone release. At the very least, I would like to see it with a design that's different from flagship. What I do await each year, however, are the interesting inserts included in O.D. This Stadium Scenes card of Safeco Field makes me long to make another trip to the ballpark. And if all goes well, I will, this September.

If I were to grade this package from Greg, it'd have to rate a Home Run.

Thanks again, Greg, for all the cards. And I look forward to- nay, anticipate, the next package.


  1. I'm pretty annoyed Stadium Club and A&G, two of my traditional favorites, are going to be released around the same time.