Wednesday, December 25, 2013

12 Days of Christmas Cards: 12th Day (The Festive Finale, with a Peppermint Twist!)

Welcome to the 12th of 12 posts in this holiday extravaganza! I explained it in more detail in the prologue, but essentially I'm celebrating my twelve favorite Christmas Cards (cards that are serial numbered 12/25), one a day till Christmas. We've finally made it to the final day! Merry Christmas, everyone!

Ralph Kiner 2004 Topps Retired Signature Edition #'d 12/25

 Christmas Card :



 Holiday Music :
(A Christmas carol / holiday song for each card.)

"O Christmas Tree"


 Wrapping Paper :
(This is the section where I wrap up the card itself: the design, the photo, etc.)


This is a great looking refractor from my favorite high-end set, 2004 Topps Retired Signature Edition.

Not only is this an old school Hall of Famer, but what really puts this card up to the top of the Christmas Card List is it just looks Christmasy! Just check out that tree on the left.. That's not Photoshopped, it's actually there! Looks like it would make a fine Christmas tree, good enough to please the fickle Peanuts gang. Young Ralph here looks like a kid who just unwrapped a brand new bat, proudly posing with it in front of the tree while his parents snap a couple photos.

Just a beautiful card and a perfect expression of Christmas in the trading card medium.

Look at that incredible red-to-black text ratio! He sure made the most of a 10-year career.
 Naughty or Nice :
(This is the section where I check my list twice on the subject of the card.)

Ralph Kiner is pretty awesome.

The quickest MLB player to hit 100 Home Runs (376 Games) until passed by Ryan Howard (325 games). The quickest MLB player to hit 200 Home Runs (706 Games) until passed by Ryan Howard (658 games). And the quickest MLB player to hit 300 Home Runs (1,087 Games); Ryan Howard couldn't quite match that one!

Missed 3 years of his younger days serving his country in WWII, limiting his lifetime totals.

After his playing days, became a beloved broadcaster for the Mets.

 Yuletide Stat :
(Here's where I dig around for a Christmas-y stat.)

Well, he's from Santa Rita, NM. Santa Rita!

 Spreading the Christmas Spirit :
(Here's where I photoshop the card to make it even more Christmasy than it already is.)


 Singalong :
(Here's where we keep a running tab of the 12 Days of Christmas Cards so far... in song.)

On the twelfth day of Christmas, my true love gave to me:
Two thousand four Topps Retired Ralph Kiner

Two thousand nine Upper Deck Alex Karras
Two thousand four Donruss Vida Blue
Two thousand thirteen Panini Playbook Art Monk

Two thousand thirteen Spencer Scott Benchwarmer
Two thousand four Topps Retired Orlando Cepeda
Two thousand twelve thirteen Upper Deck Dominique Wilkins
Two thousand eight Topps Hanley Ramirez
Two thousand one Donruss Xavier Nady
Two thousand four Topps Retired Jim Piersall
Two thousand eleven Santonio Holmes Prime Signatures
And a Jody Gerut two thousand four Leaf

Happy Holidays, and thanks for joining us for this celebration of Christmas Cards!

 Stocking Stuffer :
(A bit of bonus content)
Thanks again for--- Oh, it's a Christmas Miracle! There's a bonus Christmas Card atop the tree!

Rickey Henderson 2013 Topps Five Star #'d 12/25

 Christmas Card :



ARE YOU KIDDIN' ME????! NICE!

 Holiday Music :
(A Christmas carol / holiday song for each card.)

"We Three Kings"


"We Three Kings" sounds like something Rickey would say about himself, referring to Rickey being the Stolen Base King, the Run King, and the Leadoff Home Run King.

This up there is easily my favorite version of the song, from the Claymation (California Raisins) Christmas Special, featuring some funky camels. Loved it as a kid in the 80s, and thankful for YouTube for reuniting us.

 Wrapping Paper :
(This is the section where I wrap up the card itself: the design, the photo, etc.)


Topps Five Star is apparently a new set, just hitting the market in time for the holidays. It actually debuted last year, but I don't recall ever hearing about it until this month when the '13 set was released. It's one of those high-end, expensive sets. A lot of great autograph and relic inserts in this set, several of which are #'d /25, meaning it's full of lovely Christmas Cards such as this "Rainbow Foil" beauty.

Nice on-card auto. Another very thick card. The back features 5 highlights from the player's career. I'll take it. Better than just "Congratulations!", though I still always prefer full stats on the back.


 Naughty or Nice :
(This is the section where I check my list twice on the subject of the card.)

Rickey is statistically speaking the greatest baseball player of the past 50 years (ignoring the artificially-inflated numbers of Bonds and Clemens).

I've been hankerin' for a certified Rickey auto for a while now, and the fact that I scored a Christmas Card of him is awesome. EXTRA awesome when you consider that RICKEY HENDERSON'S BIRTHDAY IS CHRISTMAS DAY!!! So not only is this a Christmas Card, but IT'S ALSO A BIRTHDAY CARD!!! [Birthday Card = any serial numbered card that is #'d the subject's MM/DD birthday]. So great. So f'ing great!

I feel like I've got some solidarity with him having a holiday birthday, as I just blew out the candles yesterday. I'm not sure how Rickey feels about sharing his big day, but personally, I've always loved having a Christmas Eve birthday. As a kid, I always was out of school for my birthday. Everybody was in a happy, festive mood. Often, extended family would be in town. Lots and lots of presents. Good times.

Rickey's also in a "top tier player collecting goal" of mine as a former Padre in the Hall of Fame. I mean, I'd like him even if he never played for San Diego, but the fact he took a couple tours as a Friar in the (exteeeeeeended) twilight of his career.. well, that's just icing on the cake.

I saw him on TV in this past season's All-Star Game celebrity softball game, and damned if he didn't still look to be in amazing shape, with that sweet, quick swing, like he hadn't missed a beat from his playing days, taking celebrities deep like it was nothing. Honestly, if some MLB club had the balls to invite him to spring training next year, even now, I'd bet you he would not only make the team but have above-league-average OBP and look good doing it. Really!

 Yuletide Stat :
(Here's where I dig around for a Christmas-y stat.)

Rickey Henderson was born on Christmas Day. You can't beat that.

 Spreading the Christmas Spirit :
(Here's where I photoshop the card to make it even more Christmasy than it already is.)


 Singalong :
(Here's where we keep a running tab of the 12 Days of Christmas Cards so far... in song.)

On the twelfth day of Christmas, my true love gave to me:
Two thousand thirteen Topps Five Star Rickey Henderson and two thousand four Topps Retired Ralph Kiner
Two thousand nine Upper Deck Alex Karras
Two thousand four Donruss Vida Blue
Two thousand thirteen Panini Playbook Art Monk

Two thousand thirteen Spencer Scott Benchwarmer
Two thousand four Topps Retired Orlando Cepeda
Two thousand twelve thirteen Upper Deck Dominique Wilkins
Two thousand eight Topps Hanley Ramirez
Two thousand one Donruss Xavier Nady
Two thousand four Topps Retired Jim Piersall
Two thousand eleven Santonio Holmes Prime Signatures
And a Jody Gerut two thousand four Leaf

Happy Holidays, and I hope you enjoyed this list of 12+ wonderful Christmas Cards!

 Stocking Stuffer :
(A bit of bonus content)

Well, that's it for the 12 Days of Christmas Cards. I feel like I should make a separate "epilogue" post, but we'll see if I get around to it. Since coming up with the list, I've added a few new additions to my Christmas Card Collection. I should probably show those off.

Thanks again for reading. Hope you enjoyed it half as much as I did. It was stressful and frustrating at times, but overall I'm proud of my work on these past 12 posts, and expect to probably win some sort of Card Blogging Award for it at some point in the near future.

Oh, contest! Contest of Christmas Present! Role call. Are you present? Just leave a comment on this post sometime today (Christmas Day 2013, whooo!). I'll randomize and a lucky winner will get some free cards.
[12/26/13 UPDATE - contest closed. Thanks, everybody! I'll post the winner in the next day or two]

3 comments:

  1. How did I miss that Ralph Kiner player for the Cubs?
    A Bonus card on Christmas! I love how you photo-shopped Rickey's so that he's "delivering" presents. Well done!
    Merry Christmas!

    ReplyDelete
  2. Rickey Henderson's birthday is my half-birthday. Today I am 36 and a half years old. (It's probably been about 30 years since anyone's cared about half-birthdays though)

    ReplyDelete