Tuesday, March 4, 2014

Thank You All!!

It wasn’t until the other day that I made the connection.  I was talking to the Lovely Wife about my father passing away 3 years ago.  The anniversary of his passing is in late February. He died from brain cancer. 

It was an extremely painful time for me and my family.  I won’t get into it, but I will tell you I wouldn’t wish his suffering and what cancer... that…that….”evil” is the only word I can think of…what that evil did to him and my family on my worst enemy.

Anyway, the Lovely Wife and I were talking about him and I said as an aside that I couldn’t believe it had been 3 years since he died.  I had a moment of déjà vu when I said those words, but I wasn’t sure why.  Then later in the day I was taking some pictures of cards for a blog post and realized I’d recently said something about not believing it had been 3 years since I started The Adventures of Napkin Doon early in March 2011.

It didn’t make sense to me that something as painful as my Dad’s passing and something as light and fun as starting a blog about baseball cards could have happened exactly a week apart.  I figured I had it wrong- one of the two events must have started a year earlier or a year later than the other, and they couldn’t have happened essentially at the same time because I don't remember being in any sort of mood for fun and games for several months after his passing.  For long time followers of this blog, a mistake in calculations like that would come as no surprise (for example, I said that I would wrap this up today, March 4th since it was the three year mark of when I started.  I looked the other day and saw that I actually started on March 2nd . Oops!)

But both events did happen close together.  Now I’m not going to play pop psychologist, and I hope no one else does either on this, but I have to think the timing is not a total coincidence. 

Please don’t make the mistake of concluding that perhaps I’m letting go of the blog because I’m somehow now finally able to let go of my Dad’s death.  I’ll never fully let go of that event, although I can handle it better these days, which I guess is what happens with time and life moving on.    I’m simply shutting down because it feels like the right time to do it.  Nothing more, nothing less. 

But hey, I don’t mean to take this to a dark, sad place.  This blog has been a source of great joy, and it's been a pleasure writing it!  Mostly, that joy stems from getting to know you folks and I’m so appreciative to those who have followed, read, commented, played “words with friends”, traded  and laughed with me these three years.  

It’s the end of the blog, but it's not remotely close to goodbye because I’ll still be around, hopefully chiming in on your blogs more often now and tweeting pics of cards I think people would want to see. 


“Let’s see if this thing goes anywhere.” 

That was the first sentence of my first post that I think about 4 people read.  I wrote about why I collected and showed my first real card of significance as the first picture of my first post:


Look at that.  These are fantastic things, these baseball cards.

This will also be the last picture of my last post, which somehow helps close the door for me.

Where “this thing” went was much different and much more fun than I ever could have guessed, and I one hundred times thank you readers/friends for that.  See you soon and Happy Collecting!

Monday, March 3, 2014


Remember that time the Lost Collector wrote a post about how lists were lame, and it rubbed Night Owl the wrong way?  That was funny.

I'm happy to say that for as much grief as I give AJ (The Lost Collector), I consider him a friend and one of the best people I've met as a result of this blog business.  

So before my last post tomorrow, in honor of AJ, I wanted to stroll down memory lane and list out my Top 9 favorite blog moments from the last three years.  Why 9?  Because 7 ate 9.  Wait, no that's a punch line to one of my 4 year old's jokes.  Why 9?  Because.... I couldn't come up with 10.

Here they are, sort of ranked and sort of not:

#9 : Auctions/Gifts From Cleve:

Obviously auctions at Cleve's were a major part of my blog.  My involvement with Cleve's won't end with the ending of the blog thankfully.  And I'm still stunned by some of the incredible cards that Cleve has given me over the years:

Yes that's a Triple Threads dual autograph book card of Evan Longoria and Josh Hamilton.  It is indeed.

I guess these aren't directly tied to the blog, but they are so nice and Cleve is so awesome that they need to be on the countdown.

#8 :  Dayf sends me the best card I ever received from another blogger:


As you may recall, I made a lazy, half ass attempt to get George Will, my hero, on a card in Allen & Ginter.  It went nowhere, but did result in me receiving a custom made Will A&G card, courtesy of everyone's favorite Cardboard Junkie.

#7:  AJ Gets Ranced:

Speaking of exchanging cards between bloggers, I was very proud of what I sent AJ after he made a smart ass remark about some tainted cards I had opened.  His post is perhaps my favorite post related to my blog from another blogger.

I also want to send a kudos to Cardboard Catastrophes for the best title of a post about a trade with me:  Paper Products From a Paper Product.  That was brilliant, and Jeff is a fantastic writer and generous dude.

#6:  Etopps Scandal:

This is as close to fame in the baseball card world as I ever got.  I was mentioned on eTopps message boards and it led to a mild scandal.  It's a weak 15 minutes of fame grant you, but it's mine.

#5:  Hot Dog Tournament:

I know this was a stupid bit on my part, but it was a blast.  My stomach didn't appreciate it, and I won't do it again, but it was fun to write.  It's also been fun to re-live all the matchups and the controversies that occured.  What a thrilling tournament!

#4:  The Becky Bridwell Interview:

I was pretty of proud of this one.  It's as close to journalistic "work" as my blog ever got.  Adventures of Napkin Doon is not interview-centric at all, but the interview with Oriole's prospect Parker Bridwell's mom was fun, and she was an awesome person to correspond with.

#3:  Doon Discs:

This was a totally stupid spoof of phiten discs, but it was a wonderful creative release.  I was also able to use artwork from stuff I received from AJ and Dayf to make the "discs".

#2:  My Collecting "Food" Pyramid:


Other than my first Big Fun Game, this post was one I got the best response to early in my blogging days.  I think the analogy still holds up for me as a collector.  In fact, the comparison of junk wax to candy was spot on for me personally, because I'm getting to the age where splurging on either really makes me feel like crap.  I think it was my best "contribution" to the "blogosphere."

#1:  George Will Sends Me An Autographed Card:

Sure, this is number one for purely selfish reasons.  But getting an autographed card from George Will, and having his assistant tell me he was amused with my letter still gives me chills.  Best autograph I have by far.  This alone was worth starting the blog.

I'm sure there are a few things I'm forgetting that should make this list, but for now, that's it, that's the list. 

Sunday, March 2, 2014

My Best Card That I Didn't Show Until The End

I suppose "best" is a subjective term.  Still,  I would wager that if collectors were to line up all of my cards and were asked to pick one as the centerpiece of my collection it would be this T-206 Ty Cobb:

I bought this a long time ago, in my single days, when I didn't have get to spend my discretionary income on the Lovely Wife.  I probably had no business buying this back then when my income was only modest at best, but I sure wasn't spending my money on girls, clothes to impress girls, apartment decor to impress girls, or anything that would have remotely made me more attractive to girls.  Good lord it's a miracle the Lovely Wife found something salvageable in me, because man, I was a big dork.  Not the awesome, cool cat you know now.

Now that I have this Cobb card, I'm glad I spent the money I did (for those curious, I got it for around $300+ on eBay back in the late 90's if I remember correctly).  And I'm going to say this right now- if one of you experts sees this and thinks or knows it's a fake DO NOT tell me!  I'm going to my grave believing this is real.  I am somewhat tempted to send this in for authentication and then turn around and sell it for a profit and buy a card of a person more palatable to my sensibilities, like Christy Mathewson or someone else that wasn't a bigoted murderer.

But, I acknowledge that this is the crown jewel of my collection.  I'll also re-show a card that I bought to kind of "go" with this Cobb card:


I love the story of Cobb and Lajoie battling it out for the batting title in 1910.  This link is a good recap for those interested. 

My T206 collection isn't huge, but I'm proud of it and I'm glad I was able to share some one last time!

Friday, February 28, 2014

My Loyal Assistant

I owe a great deal of thanks to a great deal of folks when it comes to this blog, but I have one partner in particular that I would be absolutely lost without:

What, you were expecting a shout out to the Lovely Wife?  What if I told you THIS was the Lovely Wife?  How jacked up would you think I was then?  Like if I was that dude in "Her" that falls in love with an operating system?  I bet there would be a whole new perspective on your old pal Napkin wouldn't there?

Rest assured, The Lovely Wife is very real, (and very hot- hubba hubba!).

And my reliance on this little jump drive is very real too.  It has all my scans, my checklist, my sampler album data and blog post ideas (don't need that anymore do I?!)

If I'm looking and can't find this little beauty I go into a full panic.  I remember one time a couldn't find it for like 3 days and I was totally discombobulated.

If I were smart I'd take a few seconds and back it up periodically, but as you know, I am a total wild man and live on the edge constantly.

Thursday, February 27, 2014

Cleve's Auction Night: The Experience In Pictures

I didn't plan on attending Cleve's auction in person this week.  There wasn't a whole lot of stuff that held my interest, and the weather was cold and the Lovely Wife had come up with wonderful new soup recipe that I was anxious to try. 

But, I had it in my mind that I needed to put up one final auction post, and needed to be there and give you a better idea of what Cleve's, and his auctions are like.  That's how much I care about you folks!

A while back, Cleve's underwent a bit of a remodeling project.  He put up all new signage, and a big notice in the front window advertising the weekly Tuesday night auction.  The signage and the store look great!

The crowd tonight was smaller than normal, but still decent, with about 20 people showing up.  There's Cleve facing us on the left. 

Basically there are a couple of areas to browse before the bidding starts- the glass cases and the "goodie" table.

Usually, this goodie table contains complete sets, misc boxes and a few non-card related items.  This week, there were about 10 different junk wax era complete sets available, some binders with misc. cards, a couple of boxes of comic books, and a box of LPs (on the far right). 

Cleve usually starts the auction off with the goodie boxes, and then moves to the single cards.  In between, he holds a weekly drawing for a $25 credit.  It's just for the people that show up in person for the auction, which I why I've never won it.  I usually just submit write in bids since my work schedule and family duties prohibit me from attending much.

I have never once seen that dude behind the counter smile, and I've only heard him speak a couple of times. 

Typically, there are about 250 auction items a week.  This week was bigger than normal at around 350.  But again, not much of it did I want.

I managed to pick up a few things though:

I'll list the items along with my grades:

1989 Bowman Factory Set $2  A:  I know 89 Bowman isn't popular, but I kind of like it, and it's a complete set.  For $2?  Come on!

1983 Topps Wade Boggs  $4  A:  This strengthens my 1983 Sampler Album Page tremendously.  I just need the Sandberg and I'll have all of the key 1983 rookie cards.

1967 Al Kaline  $4  D:  I'm giving myself a D not because it's a bad card, but because I already have it!  It's up for trade if anyone is interested, or I may put it up on Listia.

I hope everyone has enjoyed my frequent Cleve auction posts.  I'd say these auction were good for about 20% of my blog subject matter. I'll probably still show some cards on twitter from time to time.

Wednesday, February 26, 2014

52 (Bowman) Pickups: A Last Few To Show

Obviously, I won't nearly be close to finishing my 1952 Bowman set when I turn out the lights on the blog next week.  So I will take this last opportunity to show a few more of these magnificent cards:

I picked this up for a few bucks at Cleve's, and it's the epitome of what I like about the Bowman set.  It was affordable, the picture is beautiful, and the card is unobstructed by anything other than a player signature.  Wonderful, wonderful card.

I also have a few stars to show too:

 I don't remember how much I paid for this Joe Adcock, but it's a striking card as well.

Last but not least is this Early Winn.   Not only does he have a great name, but he's a Hall of Famer with 300 wins, and his cards are still pretty affordable.

Tuesday, February 25, 2014

One Last Etopps Delivery

I've been meaning to take one last delivery of eTopps cards from my portfolio- at least some select cards- before I'm done here.  Delivery is damn expensive ($12 first card, $1.75 each additional), but I'm getting worried that soon Topps is just going to pull the plug on the site (they stopped making new cards back in 2011, and recently took down the message boards) and my cards will be lost forever.  So I figured I'd bite the bullet and get the cards I really wanted and hope for the best on the rest.  I have a couple of complete sets that would be painful to ship, but I'm hopeful that someday there will be a special offer to clear out one's portfolio.

Anyway, my cards arrived the other day:

Four bubble wrapped blocks of shiny eTopps cards.  Aren't you excited to see them all?

Here they are out of the bubble wrap:

Sorry, I know that's a strange angle.  All the cards come in their own little zip-loc baggie.  So we'll take the next step and look at them all lined up out of the wrap and out of the baggies:
These are the T-206 cards.  They are every bit as beautiful as you think they are.  I still need about 8 cards to finish the set, but they are getting really hard to trade for on the site.

I didn't take an individual shot of the Matt Weiters card in the bottom left of the photo above.  But I managed to trade for one and took it in hand.  Why?  It's Weiter's only Topps card.  I learned that from a comment by a guy named Stubby on a previous eTopps post I wrote.  Thanks for the tip Stubby!

So the challenge of taking pictures of eTopps cards is that not only are they in hard plastic cases, the cards are shiny too.  So my picture styles aren't consistent.  Because I just kept snapping away until I got images that didn't have ridiculous glare.

As much as it ticked me off to pay that much for shipping, I absolutely love these cards.  Especially the T206s.  Here are a few up close for ye:

At some point, I plan to have this Willie Keeler card in it's original T206 form too.  For now, this will work.

I took a bunch of standard eTopps cards too:

 It's neat to have a couple of cards of Christian Colon, who has been mentioned on my blog many times before.

 I got this Mauer just because I thought it would be a nice looking card in hand.  I was right!

 See what I mean by shiny?  Isn't that Maddux gorgeous? 

I took all my Derek Jeters for delivery.  No way I'm leaving those at risk with the website.

These two are from the 2004 set.  As far as eTopps sets go, 2004 is considered one of weaker offerings, and the cards are very cheap to obtain up front before delivery.  But I have to say they are very striking in hand, and a great value in comparison to the other sets.  If I decide to take more cards in the future, I'm loading up on stars from the 2004 set.

I could probably get 2 or 3 more posts out of this haul, but you get the idea.  I will say that I'm not especially interested in trading these just because I wouldn't know what would be fair for them.  On the one hand, the degree of difficulty getting these in a portfolio, coupled with expense of shipping means I'd want something good for them, but on the other hand the initial "cost" per card doesn't warrant getting something good for them.  Mostly, I don't want to go to the effort to replace anything I trade out.