Tuesday, March 8, 2016

Quality Cardboard

Enthusiasm.  Motivation.  Passion.

These are three qualities that a collector must posses in order to keep up with the hobby.  After all, I'd like to think most of us sports card bloggers/readers aren't doing in this just to flip mega-mojo hit cards for some big-time profit.  I know I truly enjoy being a part of this community and I am strongly motivated to stay involved with it, as well.

Another member of the community who I have no doubt has these qualities is a relative newcomer by the name of Andy Stetson.  Mr. Stetson contacted me on Twitter just a couple short weeks ago about a proposed swap (his first through the internet) and now I am already typing up a post about the second package I've received from him, a surprise one at that.  Additionally, since our initial conversation, I've seen his name pop up on blogs and Twitter feeds all over the internet - from the Lost Collector, to the Night Owl, Baseball Card Breakdown, etc. etc.

Enthusiasm - check.  

As was evident in our initial swap, Andy definitely does his research.  For instance, this shiny, gaudy, so-very-90's Pacific Omega single of short-term Blackhawk Christian Laflamme was a need of mine for my Blackhawks All-Time Roster Collection.

Like I said, Andy definitely does his research - he was obviously checking across all of my want-lists across several sports.  "Moose" was a Superbowl Bear with the 2006 squad and thus I will always be partial to his cards.  Yet, I still did not have any cards of him as a Bear for my collection - plenty of Panthers, but not Bears.  I have no idea how that happened, but it doesn't matter anymore thanks to Andy!

Motivation - check.

Before we move on, one thing about the back of this Score single:

See anything funky on the back?

Let's zoom in:

Hmmmm, I would think that Moose's 100-yd games came elsewhere.  After all, the Bears haven't called Wrigley Field home since 1970 and I'm pretty sure that nickname didn't transfer over to Soldier Field.

Go home Score, you're drunk.

But anyway, back to Andy's generous trade package:

Yes, Andy is truly paying attention.  Clearly he has picked up on the fact that Mark Grace is my favorite Cubs player of all-time and is an unofficial PC of mine.  Any new cards of Gracie I can hoard are always a good inclusion.

Here we're looking at opposite ends of his career spectrum.  On the left, we have a junkwax-era rookie of the man they called "Amazing Grace" ( I can't believe I didn't have that yet!).  On the right, we have a much flashier, in your face-type card from Playoff Absolute Memorabilia as his long career was winding down in Arizona.

It's been 16 years since the Cubs let him walk and 14 years since he retired; but, seeing Grace in purple and teal still looks bizarre to me.

Capping off the surprise package were these multi-player cards.  New Chelios and Woolford cards are always welcome in my house, especially when they're as shiny as that Bowman's Finest!

With that, we've covered everything that Andy sent in this particular envelope.  Now, like I mentioned, this was a total surprise that I had no idea was coming my way.  This guy has been continuously setting cards aside for me since our first encounter and I can't begin to express how much I appreciate that.

Now, it's time for me to start building a return drop; thankfully, Andy has built up an online want/need list with Wordpress, which will make my task much easier.  I mean, with as many needed cards he's sent my way in our short time of knowing each other, I'd really like to return the favor!

Looking over his extensive list and seeing his collecting goals, one fact is quite evident:

Passion - check.

Thanks again, Andy!  I'll make sure to get a return out your way shortly.  In the meantime, I know you've mentioned it in passing, but I hope to see a blog of your own one of these days.  As we've seen, you definitely have the proper qualifications!


  1. I've got passion 98% of the time. Enthusiasm 96%. But my motivation is teetering in the 70 to 75% range.

  2. Thanks for the shoutouts man! And I'm glad you caught that "friendly confines" note. The orange Grace I found in a singles box in NYC, was glad it was new to you even with it being junk wax era. Figured since it was kind of an oddball that there was a chance.

    For the Hawks cards, those were more finds from the thrift store. They had a full box of packs, all opened. I'm guessing the original owner was looking for hits or a certain team, and I didn't find the Hawks cards until I got down to the last few packs.

    Bears were in a binder full of baseball/football/basketball cards from the same thrift store (and I mean FULL, 3" binder, $12... had plenty of Cubs which you got some of the first round). I've completely cleaned them out, unless they can find that box of football cards they can't remember if they sold or not.

  3. I agree with that initial statement. Passion, enthusiasm, and motivation are the key things to having fun in this hobby. Speaking of the mega breakers, no offense to them but those are the people who annoy me the most as they constantly talk about and show off their mega hits they get that most people won't even be able to afford. I for one do not collect to flip and sell for profit. By doing that, I turn it into work and therefore it sucks all the enjoyment out of everything.

    Anyway, looks like Andy sent you a nice haul there. I always forgot that Grace played for Arizona in the twilight of his career. These cards that you showed here just goes to prove that you don't need to pull a super hit to get enjoyment out of cards.

    1. As I've constantly been hearing from guys in the trading circles, and as I'm learning the ropes, monetary value has no play here, it's all in perceived value, and I have zero issue with that. An auto of a guy I've never heard of belongs in the hands of someone who either A) collects that team, or 2) collects that player, since it would otherwise hang out in limbo.