I wasn’t planning on posting today. My brain is still unbelievably fried from writing essays about poems about plums. It was brutal. I literally spent 14 hours in front of the computer trying to finish them. I did and I am all caught up. I really didn’t want to, I wanted to quit, but yesterday I got a letter from my school stating I had made the Dean’s List last semester. I want to get one of those letters again, so I did it and I am done. My phone still doesn’t work; the AC is sort of working. I did get some coffee this morning and I am still broke. I did check the post office box today and that is why I am writing. I got quite a few packages and did open all of them. One of them came from the legendary blogger known as the Night Owl. He included a note as he generally does and after two clichés he ended it with the words “keep writing”. I think he was referring to blogging and not writing about plums, so here we go. I struck out the last time I sent him stuff, I sent him around 50 pounds of Dodgers cards and they were almost all doubles, but for some reason he is still trading with me. The first two cards out of the package will speak for themselves. They are die-cut, loud, gaudy and amazing. First one is the legendary Fred McGriff from one of my old favorite sets, the Pacific Crown, this one being from 1999. The second is of Carl Crawford, cut out in the shape of an X. Last week I had posted the Rays minis that I was so lucky to receive in the mail. I am speaking of 2009 Allen and Ginter minis. I had mentioned that will all of those cards I needed only Aki, Kaz, Upton and Pena to have everyone. Now, thanks to Greg, I need only Kazmir and Pena. Oh, somehow I had forgotten about Pat Burrell. I guess I need him, too. Greg also upgraded my regular back cards of Longoria and Garza to Ginter backs. I will probably eventually try and chase regular backs, Ginter backs and then Bazooka backs (I don't have any of these) of all of the Rays... I am so glad I finished this set, but it was really a lot of fun, the retail killed me though. I am trying to get in a better financial position and that is hard to do when your buying 4 blasters a week, but I am officially done buying them. I have plenty to trade, but will wax-free for a while now...That said, I am seriously considering chasing the Creatures, Hoaxes and Inventions of the Future. Am I crazy or do I just not want to say goodbye to Allen and Ginter?
One set that I would like to say goodbye to is Topps Heritage. I am done ripping it, I am somewhat sick of it and I really wanna finish the damn set! Night Owl feels my pain and sent this card of Ryan Howard #300. I am down to needing 45 cards to finish this bad boy. He also sent some Chrome, Bowman and other random things and I think all of them were new to me, but I don’t have a ton of time right now, so I am going to skip around a bit and get to this O Pee Chee black bordered Moments card of Evan Longoria. This is the second time that the Night Owl has sent me some OPC and this is another one off of my team set list. I am getting close… This next card surprised me. It surprised me that the Night Owl would give it up. It is a 2005 Throwback Threads, card #109 of one of his favorite Dodgers All-Time, Mr. Hideo Nomo. Some don’t realize this, but Nomo spent part of a season in Tampa Bay with the Rays. It was in 2005 and I wasn’t following baseball too close that year, I was busy falling in love and jumping out of airplanes with my lovely bride (to be in 2005), so I missed Nomo on the Rays. Looking back at his stats, I didn’t miss much. Nomo was 5-8 with a 7.24 ERA in 2005 for TB. He was released but not before he recorded his 200th career win (US+Japan). Over his career in the States, Nomo was 123-109 with his best years coming as a Dodger. He topped 200ks 4 times and pitched two no-hitters, one in each league. He showed some fire and potential with the Red Sox in 2001 and then returned to LA for two more solid years. He was the Rookie of the Year in 1995, the same year that he started the All Star game and shut down the AL for two innings, but what surprised me was that was his only All Star appearance. Huh. I do need to get ready for work, so I should start tying this thing together. I will post one last card from this package and yes, I did save the best for last. When the Night Owl stumbled across this card, I begged him for it. He told me what he wanted in return and I began the Man (card) Hunt. It took me two weeks, but I finally found a Kershaw auto that I could send him in return. By that time, NO had already consented to trade the card to another blogger, I was a little disappointed, but I understood. I told the Owl not to worry about it and I would send him the Kershaw card anyway (I still need to get that in the mail, sorry!), but then… I got that fateful e-mail. His trader backed out so I could have the card! Whoever that mystery trader was, I owe them thanks. Anyway, here is the card in all of its Pristine Glory. Night Owl had said that it was thick, but this card is seriously 3/16 of an inch thick! I never have seen a card this thick! It instantly becomes the cornerstone of my collection and my favorite card. I am working on creating a page for my Carl Crawford collection, complete with list and all and I am so glad to add this to it. I just hope I can find a case that will hold it. It goes beyond 120PT stock. Here it is, the pinnacle of my collection, the coolest card in the world, from the 2007 Upper Deck Exquisite Rookie Signatures Baseball, card number GDD-CC of Carl Crawford! The card is serial numbered 07/20 and celebrates Craw’s major league debut on July 20, 2002. This card rocks! I have got so many awesome trades lately, I really didn’t need anything to get me excited about collecting again, but this card has me smiling big. I have nearly forgotten about my stupid phone, this hot house, my empty wallet and poems about plums. THANKS NIGHT OWL!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! I show pics of my Dog, Emma on this blog so often, I thought I would end today's post with a picture of my kitty cat. Her name is Sally and she has been my loyal companion for over 15 years now. She is a Rays fan, too, but refuses to wear the Rays helmet with ear holes that I got for her. Go Rays! troll out.