Sunday, August 18, 2019


I started writing a statistical analysis post about a flagship franchise's lack of all-time greats, but I scrapped it because a) this post could lead to a series of similar posts and I'm not sure I would have the time to complete such a project, and b) I can't focus on it because I'm too frustrated to write something that would only interest two or three people. (Not that this post would generate more interest than a series on all-time teams but at least it would be a lot less work?)

Before I make a list of minor annoyances I should note that they are all completely insignificant compared to the state of the world (I spent hours yesterday reading updates about a city I've never been to just to make sure nothing terrible happened) or a serious illness (click on the custom card for updates on Taryn's fight to save second base) They're just little things that have been piling up lately and I thought it would be cathartic to address them here.

Work life is shifting in a way that I'm not really ready to handle. One of our two receptionist ladies quit. She was the one who contacted me to interview for this job and she has a 12-year old autistic son who has been in the office and is very difficult to handle. I guess I like her more than most people in the office, everyone seemed to have issues with her both before and after she left.

I don't know if she had to quit or if she'd just had enough of the place and the people, but my manager hasn't been able to find anyone outside the company to replace her - so the girl in my department has to stay up front indefinitely. No one is happy about this, least of all M. It's a lot quieter in our office now, and I have to deal with the nasty customers that M would have handled. I'm starting to dread going to work, like I did at the law firm.

My house is a complete disaster because we live in a tiny Cape Cod and we're converting my bedroom into a bedroom for both my daughters. That means all of our stuff is spread out into all the other rooms while we paint and clean the bedroom. This has to be done by Aug. 30 because we're going to visit my brother-in-law in DC the weekend before school starts. I'm secretly hoping it won't be done in time, so I can stay home and finish the fucker myself. 

One bit of potentially good news: the in-laws just got back from San Diego where they attended a Padres game - even though they don't like baseball. So there's no excuse for them to not go to a Nationals game while I'm in DC, right? Assuming the Nats are home that weekend. 

Oh, they're home that weekend.

Ugh, should I even bother?

Most of my TCDB trades are complete, but I'm still waiting for the last two packages. One of them is slowing down a potential trade with Bo, because I might be sending some vintage his way. There's another pending deal that's annoyed me. I didn't expect all 70 transactions to go smoothly, of course. One guy sent me the wrong Brett Favre card and it had a dinged corner to boot, but I let it go because it wasn't worth the trouble.

I made some offers a couple days before closing trades. Some replied right away, others said they wouldn't be able to get back to me in time. One guy told me to wait, so I did. I told him if he's going to counter to please let me know before I turn off offers. He didn't.

Then he said he couldn't find the one card I really wanted, and doesn't know why his counter offer is stuck. I told him to scrap the trade completely. Yes, that might make me sound like a jerk but I seriously doubt my wife is going to have any time to go to the post office this week considering the state of our house. 

All of these are temporary inconveniences, and they will pass. There's one sports-card related worry that could linger indefinitely, and it's starting to freak me out.


4 Sharp Corners has had a "customer appreciation sale" for the past few weeks, and I picked up a few slabbed singles for various set builds. I had all but written them off because the selection dried up. There aren't many affordable 1956 Topps singles left, but I found this Eddie Miksis for $16.79 and that's a decent deal for an NM 7 common.

This Miksis brings me to a not-insignificant milestone in my set build:

I should feel good about this, but I don't. I can't. This set is either going to be the crown jewel of my collection or an investment in my daughter's future. And all 154 cards are graded.

That used to mean something. After all of these card-trimming scandals that have cast doubt on the authenticity of hundreds of graded cards...who knows? 

Of course I'm the sucker with hundreds of graded cards in my collection. 

I'm not worried about these two being trimmed. Even if they weren't clearly perforated I only spent $7.99 on Mathewson and $6.39 on Vance. That said, I probably could have purchased an intact album of these cards for the amount of money I've paid for my ten graded singles.

And then there's this friggin' set. I once bought a complete set of 1984-85 O-Pee-Chee, ungraded, for under $150. I spent more than $150 on a PSA 9 example of the Steve Yzerman RC alone. Why? Because ten years ago I spent over $160 on a starter set of PSA-graded singles and I just kept chipping away at the set, for some reason.

These two cards would cost about a buck ungraded. Total. I won't tell you exactly what I paid for my high-grade examples but they were more than a blaster. Each.

I'm now 71 singles shy of the set. If money were no object (and with this set I've got to wonder) I could acquire 15-20 of them right now. Roughly 50 of the cards in the set never even surface in PSA 9 or 10. All this time and money spent on a set I'll probably never finish. Aaugh! indeed.

Which brings me to my final complaint for the day...

2019-20 Upper Deck MVP is
now in stores. I haven't bought this stuff in a very long time, and I'm not going to buy any of this year's. But this release annoys me because I still haven't found a card from last year's set. The '18-19 edition had 20th Anniversary parallels and stamped buybacks, which were #d/20. I've been trying to track down a Peter Worrell buyback for a whole year. Can't find one anywhere. 

I've seen pretty much every other Panthers player in the set. Mark Parrish, Jaroslav Spacek, Pavel Bure. Rob Niedermayer. No Worrell. I was certain that one of the 20 copies would have surfaced by the end of 2018, and I would have gladly paid at least $10 for one - even though I have several unstamped originals. Where the hell are they hiding?

This hobby can be frustrating sometimes. It can also be a source of generosity and joy

Perhaps I should tackle that All-Time Team project after all. Perhaps it will breathe some new life into this stagnating blog and help me enjoy the hobby again :-)

Thanks for reading. Hope you're having a great weekend!



  1. Gotta be honest with you...the grading never meant anything, except to the grading companies which are charging lots of money for putting a card in a fancy toploader.

  2. Sorry to hear about the work frustrations. That can really put a damper on everything else... hang in there. Hopefully they'll find someone new to take the open position.
    Grading... I don't even know what to think about grading anymore.

  3. Sorry to hear about the work troubles. Hopefully it'll get resolved soon.

    Not a fan of graded stuff. I have exactly one graded card in my collection and someday I'm going extricate it from its plastic slab of a prison.

  4. Sometimes it is very therapeutic to vent. The work situation sounds terrible. Hopefully it can get better sooner than later.

    I'm not a huge fan of graded cards mainly because I just player/team collect. A 7.5 Clemente vs a 4 Clemente is just as good for me.

  5. Sorry things have been so frustrating lately. My wife and I are in the slow agonizing process of converting a spare room into an extra bedroom so each daughter can have their own. It's definitely not as simple as moving things around!

  6. Hey, if it helps any, I am not in any rush at all for our trade. It's taking me a long time to go through these hockey boxes so I wouldn't be getting anything out to you very soon, and even when I do get it out, I don't mind waiting for your return package.

  7. Hope work and home stuff get resolved sooner than later... and that you eventually track down that Worrell buyback at some point.

  8. That work situation sounds pretty sucky, especially since you just got out of a bad environment, if things keep getting worse, it might not be a bad idea to start looking around to see if anything else is available.

    And stop worrying about that city... it's a lost cause!

    Bedroom painting, ugh! I started painting my bedroom, got the bulk of it done, and decided that I'd take a break and come back and do the detailed work later (as well as paint the ceiling) -- that was over two years ago and I still haven't come back to finish it :)

    I've thought about you, and your collection, on more than one occasion as of late. It seems like there is some new scandal with the grading companies almost every single day. It's a tough situation, because on the one hand I don't really care about grading, but on the other I don't want folks to be losing a s*** ton of money because their collections have been rendered obsolete by shady dealings. It's probably going to end up being one of those "only time will tell" sort of things.