I love surprise packages. Nothing brightens my day quite like an unexpected manila envelope in the mailbox. It’s even better when said envelope is packed with really awesome cards! I didn’t know a whole lot about Heartbreaking Cards of Staggering Genius. It is an amazingly cool looking blog and I read it on the occasions that he posts, but he has been on a hiatus since I began blogging and we had never had the occasion to trade or communicate. Several months ago I had posted the lot of cards that I had accumulated of Presidents, Generals, Congressmen and Senators. I collect baseball cards; political cards-not so much. I posted them all in hopes of trading, but no one bit. Adam from Thoughts and Sox emailed me and suggested that I contact HCoSG and I did. He said he would give them a good home and sent along his address. By this time I had misplaced the cards and had kind of forgotten about the whole deal. Then it happened again, I ripped a half-off blaster of 2008 Topps and found more political cards. I dug through the collection and found everything; stuffed them into an envelope and (about 2 weeks later) shipped them off to Kansas. I had completely forgotten about those cards-they were intended as a gift, I had wanted to trade them, but when I realized their “white elephant” status, I was just pleased to find someone willing to take them. What Mathew sent me in return was (and I know this sounds cliché) was STAGGERING! There were 4 team set bags full and one stray card floating around the envelope (secured in a top loader of course!). When I say that the package was staggering, it isn’t an exaggeration. This stranger, this blogger whom I have never traded with in the past seemed to know me and know my collecting tastes. He included the standard array of Rays cards, including this horizontal Rocco card, but got far beyond that. One of the Devil Rays cards he had included got me one step closer to my team set goals, if you think that you can help, please check out my want list here.
I will save the most staggering card for last, but I will jump right into to the neatest thing included. Not too many people read this post from my first month of blogging (May 2009)-I actually think that Captain Canuck was the only one and he was also the blogger friend to revive the long forgotten collection. I am speaking of my childhood obsession with Danny Tartabull. When I started collecting as a kid I got into set building first, but soon discovered the joys of player collecting. You can see a shot of the old binder in this old post, there weren’t a lot of different issues in the mid-80’s, so I just collected as many cards as I could, regardless of whether they were duplicates. I had page after page filled with Tartabull’s 1987 Topps card. Anyway, the Captain still feeds my Tartabull collection, as does Wicked Ortega and a few others. I stopped collecting him when he signed on with the Yankees-that was the last straw. Anyway, I thought I had every card covered from his days with the Royals, but Staggering Matt proved me wrong, but helped out with nearly a dozen new (to me) cards for the binder. He is a Kansas City Royals player collector, aside from being a political card collector, and he actually had Tartabull dupes of the odd ball variety and they weren’t just cards of him on the Royals. He chipped in some Bull rookies, so newer cards of him on the dreaded Yankees, but the coolest ones are the oddball Royals cards. The Ames All Stars (produced by Topps) may be the coolest, but the stickers are pretty awesome, too, and so is the RevCo card (I didn’t realize the Revolting Cocks made cards…). Either way, these Tartabull’s were an awesome and unexpected surprise, thanks Matt!!! The 1990 Upper Deck isn’t brand new, but the cocky pose and the silly diamond number 4 around his neck deserved a scan! Of course Matt didn’t stop with all of the amazing Tartabull cards either. The last card, the one floating around in a top loader in the package, with a sticker on it that read “thanks for the trade troll” was this card from the 2006 Upper Deck set. It is an Auto-Facts Signatures insert, a subset that I had never even seen before. The card is serial numbered 212/700 and bears the autograph of my favorite ex-Ray, Jonny Gomes. The back of the card Auto-Facts moment is July 30, 2005 when Jonny Gomes hit 3 home runs against the Royals (sorry Matt!) to become the first Rays player to accomplish that show of power. Since then Evan Longoria has had a 3-homer game, but this past season Gomes did it a second time, this time in a Reds uniform. I love getting cards of my favorite players regardless, but I love any card that focuses on one moment in time, one specific day in a player’s career. Thanks so much for the awesome cards Matt! The rumor is that your hiatus is set to conclude this month; I can’t wait to read your blog on a regular basis! If you have any spare Royals cards or cards featuring politicians, or just want to read a really funny blog, check out Heartbreaking Cards of Staggering Genius immediately! Switching gears completely and onto the blogger awards… Thanks Night Owl for sharing the names of some rookie bloggers that is going to be a really tough vote. Some other categories that need nominations (of the non blogger category) include the sports moment of the year, the athlete and coach of the year, the card company of the year, sets and inserts of the year. Get thinking blog-o-sphere and for more on the voting, check out Drew’s Cards.
Oh, and don’t forget to enter my contest! Oh, another blog that is issuing awards is Stale Gum. He is taking nominations for the Gummie Awards of the best and worst cards this year and this decade, so check that out, too. Thanks again for the awesome cards Matt! Go Rays! Troll out.