Sunday, May 31, 2020

A Lot of New Faces: A Cardpocalypse Challenge, Day 7

I don't think I'm observant enough to pick up on hobby trends. I see what products are out there. I buy a few of them. I catalog, file, and trade the cards. But I usually don't make a mental note of, "Oh yeah, this is happening," until I hear about it from other bloggers. And trends that I have noticed recently, like online exclusives, pushing back release dates, and skyrocketing prices I'm not a huge fan of.

The trend of free stuff is obvious. And it's good. It was my first thought for favorite new trend. I mean, I've partaken. I have my own free stuff planned for when I get through the large boxes I purchased last week. But I sometimes feel awkward when I claim free things. I don't like to feel like a moocher. So despite all the free cards that have so generously been sent my way, I don't think that is my favorite hobby trend.

No, my favorite hobby trend is the new reading material on the blogs. Some new blogs have sprouted up. Maybe this is an effect of all the stay-at-home orders. People have more time at home, more time in front of a computer, and they start considering a blog. Whatever it is, there are a few new blogs that have made their way on to my reading list and I welcome the new perspectives. Card Hemorrhage , Hobby Love, and Wax Pack Wonders have been posting some interesting material and are well-written. I've been enjoying them. Not all of my new reading material is new, though. I discovered an older blog that was somehow not on my radar, and I've enjoyed reading it. Thank you, Diamond King. And the rebirth of Tim's blog, Cardpocalypse (formerly known as I Love the Smell of Cardboard) led to this series of posts this week.

As I said, I don't always pick up on new trends until somebody else points them out to me. So if there are any other new blogs out there, I'd love to hear about them. Let me know!

And thus concludes my Cardpocalype Challenge response. Seven posts in seven days. Thanks for the writing material, Tim! I've enjoyed posting on these and seeing what responses others have made so far.

Saturday, May 30, 2020

Three Cheers for Liberty!: A Cardpocalypse Challenge, Day 6

Challenge Report: Day 5

Each challenge has been met successfully. Each has been fun to complete. No real hiccups yet. Anticipate smooth completion of assignment.

Challenge Report: Day 6

Favorite non-sport card? Oh, crap.

I don't own any non-sport cards. I've thought about picking up some Doctor Who cards at some point. I'm quite jealous of Matt's Psych set. If it came down to it, and I really wanted a non-sport collection, I think I would buy a bunch of those Harry Potter chocolate frogs and collect the cards in there. But I had to think outside the box to complete this challenge. As it turns out, I have two cards I thought about, but both are baseball releases. Also, neither is A&G.

Option 1 is Patsy Cline. I was raised on country music. I don't know how many kids growing up in the 80s were listening to Patsy Cline on their parents' record players, but I was one of them. I'm not claiming she was my favorite, but she is legendary.

But I have to choose this card over Patsy Cline. As a history major, I'd be remiss to go any other direction with this one. The occasion is memorable enough to commemorate on cardboard that I don't even really care who the depicted signer is. Even so, I think this card would be cooler if it were of Thomas Jefferson. Or even the other Paine, Thomas. No relation to Mr. Robert Treat Paine. At least no close relation. Anyway, these represent about the only options I have for non-sport cards. I have a few more Golden Age cards and some Heritage inserts, but it's really not much to choose from.

Friday, May 29, 2020

Grappling with a Challenge: A Cardpocalypse Challenge, Day 5

My collection is divided about as follows:
  • football--55%
  • baseball--42%
  • basketball--2.5%
  • other "miscellaneous" cards--.5%
I don't have many "other" sports in my collection. But I have a couple to consider as my favorite, which is today's blogging challenge from Tim.

I'm not a huge boxing fan, but I do enjoy seeing some bouts. I'm not about to throw a big party for a pay-per-view title match (although, I think I remember my dad doing that years ago), but I know many of the big names. My wife, on the other hand, has an extreme distaste for boxing and makes that known any time it's shown on a movie or whatever. I like this card mainly because Jack Johnson is a legend and I remember him from my American history classes. Athletes are indeed impactful in a cultural history.

But my top "other sport" card is this Cael Sanderson. I realize it's technically a baseball card set, but I'm counting it. When I was a high school wrestler, the Sanderson family was legendary. And they were local, coming from a high school about 30 miles away from mine. Cael was the best of the bunch. When I was doing my high school wrestling, Cael was in the midst of his unprecedented college career. His record at Iowa State was 159-0. That's not a typo. He never lost a college match. He topped his career with a gold medal cherry at the 2004 Olympic games. I know a lot of people would have a WWE card to show as their favorite "other" sport, but I'll take the real deal wrestling and a local legend for mine

Thursday, May 28, 2020

Balling Out: A Cardpocalypse Challenge, Day 4

Today's challenge: write about your favorite basketball card in your collection. I don't actively collect basketball anymore, but I was happy to accept this challenge because it gives me a chance to show off a couple of basketball cards from my collection, which I have only ever done a couple of times since this blog was born.

As was the case with football, my mind immediately turned to BYU and the greatest player I've ever seen take the court for the Cougs. Jimmer-mania was huge ten years ago. I remember seeing "You've Been Jimmered" and "Shoot It From Here, Jimmer" t-shirts all over the state. My Jimmer collection is pretty small, however, so I don't have much to choose from. I identified this as my favorite Jimmer card, but I quickly realized this wasn't my favorite overall basketball card.

So I turned to my favorite basketball set. I own exactly one complete basketball set, and it is 1996-97 UD3. This set is awesome! I remember building it when I was 14 and it was quite an achievement for me because it felt so high-end. Everything in this set looks nice, and the rookie class is one of the best ever. We're talking Allen Iverson, Ray Allen, and, of course, Kobe Bryant. But Bryant wasn't the guy I always enjoyed watching through his career. I'm a sucker for a play-making point card, so this beautiful Steve Nash rookie card got some consideration as my favorite. But it still wasn't quite there.

And this is where I ended up. I can't choose between these two. Back in 7th and 8th grade, Grant Hill was my world. Both of these cards have nostalgic value for me. I remember going to a Jazz game when I was 12 and buying a pack of Upper Deck from the team store. Surrounded by my friends, I pulled the hottest rookie at the time, and a guy who was quickly becoming my favorite player. I was stoked. It's a really good-looking card, too. The next year, I pulled this Reign Men insert from Stadium Club. It seems like I remember the odds on this set being kind of steep, so when I pulled my idol for myself, it was huge. Plus, this card booked for something like $25 back then and it was the most expensive card in my collection. I couldn't choose between the two, so you get to see both as my favorite basketball card.

Wednesday, May 27, 2020

One-of-a-Kind: A Cardpocalypse Challenge, Day 3

Today's challenge was difficult for me. Many bloggers are baseball collectors with a little side collection of football. My main collection is football. So when I am asked to choose my favorite football card in my collection, I'm stumped. I had to think hard about this one. And I'm still not sure I got it right.

My first thought was, it has to have something to do with BYU. My BYU fandom is the deepest running one that I have and I have a ton of great memories. So I considered this card, which appears to depict one of the clearest, most enjoyable sports memories I have. I remember watching this game in my sister's living room with my brother-in-law. We were both on the edge of our seats when the Cougars had one play in the game. It was either score or drop the game to arch-rival Utah. John Beck came up with this gem of a play.

I think this is the play on the card. We both went nuts, by the way, while our wives looked at us warily.

Then my thoughts turned to the Packers. I know have some really cool Packers cards. I flipped open my binder and when my eye rested on this, I knew it had to be considered. This was from one of the last packs I bought before my hiatus. Truth be told, I don't think I had bought anything at all the year prior. But just for fun, I picked up a Fleer Tradition pack and this came out. It's acetate, and 3/4 of the circle in the middle is transparent. I loved it then, and I still think it's awesome.

That got my mind going on other great cards I acquired during my youth. It reminded me that I had a Barry Sanders card that had been my favorite at one point. This was an expensive card at one point, one that I would have never considered buying as a single. Fortunately for this Barry Sanders fan, I had a trading buddy who was an Emmitt Smith fan. When he pulled this insert, I had a Stadium Club Emmitt insert to swap him for it. I don't remember the details, but it seems like both inserts fell about one per box. We both walked away happy and this has been on my shortlist of favorites ever since.

None of those would be considered my favorite (I don't think). I kept asking myself, "If I could only keep one card, which one would it be?" What I settled on was this 2013 Panini Black Printing Plate. I came to this decision because Brad Sorensen is my favorite player to collect and I pride myself in thinking that I have the largest Sorensen collection anywhere. And if I'm proud of my unique Sorensen collection, then a truly unique, no-one-else-has-this card would be a crowning jewel. So, if I could keep only one card, I would choose to hold on to one that is a true one-of-a-kind of my one-of-a-kind collection.

Tuesday, May 26, 2020

Now That's Interesting: A Cardpocalypse Challenge, Day 2

The second challenge in Tim's blogging gauntlet was to post a card from the current release year with a unique photo. I thought of a few candidates.

Here is a 2020 Opening Day card. Honestly, I don't know what is happening in this picture. It looks like Anderson has thrown his bat, not dropped it after a swing. But I can't read the expression on his face. Is this a look of disgust after a called strike three? Or is it excitement when he takes ball four after working a good at-bat? Maybe he just walked in a run? Or got beaned? I guess it could be a bat flip of a sort. I can't tell, but I can't say I've too many "throwing a bat" cards.

For football, I'm using 2019 as the current release year. This candidate shows Alejandro Villanueva catching a pass. It was probably a short-yardage touchdown. So why is this unique? Well, how many cards feature photos of an offensive lineman catching a pass? How many of those are in a set called "All-Hands Team?" This is one unique card.

But my winner is the card that I immediately thought of when I read the challenge. From 2019 Donruss, here is the T.J. Watt photo variation. He is caught mid-sack celebration, folded in half at the waist with his arms completely extended. When I first pulled this card, I couldn't tell what orientation it was. Is his head tilted back and eyes up, or is running while bent at the waist? It wasn't until I focused on the background that I could tell how Watt was standing. One of the best photos of the year, I think.

Monday, May 25, 2020

Banking on a Good Card: A Cardpocalypse Challenge, Day 1

Over on the newly revived blog Cardpocalypse, Tim recently laid down the gauntlet for a blogging challenge. I looked over the topics he suggested and thought,

Who doesn't love Barney Stinson?
Day 1 was an easy challenge and it gave me the chance to post about a card that has been in my queue of posts for a while anyway. About two months ago, Tom of The Angels, in Order held a contest to celebrate his 10th anniversary of blogging. I won, and Tom sent me hands down my favorite card of this quarantine. One of my favorites ever, in fact.

A 1956 Ernie Banks. Let's just go over what this card has going for it.
  • It becomes the oldest card in my collection, by two years. It's the first card I own that is older than both of my parents.
  • Ernie Banks is an absolute baseball legend. 
  • I just happen to be a Cubs fan, so there is probably no more desirable name for me to add a vintage card to my collection.
  • Let's just mention how great the inset picture is, too, of Banks being congratulated as he crosses the plate.
I don't think I can possibly thank Tom enough for putting this card into my hands. It's my favorite new acquisition of this quarantine, without a doubt.