I hope everyone had a great 12/25 and surrounding days. I had a very nice holiday.. good times.
Of course, the excitement here at the Breakdown was with the triumphant conclusion of our 12 Days of Christmas Cards extravaganza. In case you missed it, here's the final list:
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
If you didn't read it, you should at least give a quick scroll through.. there's some neat photography and amusing photoshop jobs in there.
I've already bitched about how it wasn't my best idea to undertake this pre-Christmas event. Between being very busy at work, preparing to DJ my fiancée's brother's wedding (12/21), and just normal holiday stuff.. I was stressed to the max and very tight on time. But I'm proud I was able to get every post finished and up in time. And yeah, turns out holiday blog readership typically takes a dip, something I wasn't aware of as a rookie blogger. So all my hard work didn't generate the amount of views I was hoping for. I know I should stop caring about web traffic, but man, when you spend a couple hours on a post, and then only 3 or 4 people read it, it can't help but sting a bit.
Anyways, I'm still excited about my budding Christmas Card Collection. But I need to cool down because I've been spending too much money on cards lately (my eBay moratorium that was supposed to last through the end of the year really ended up breaking down after just a month). I should try to limit Christmas Card buying to the month of December, with occasional exceptions.. for example, I really want a Tim Raines 12/25 card ("Jingle Bell Rock", get it? Sorry, I love puns). And I'll be on the lookout for Christmas Cards of "top-tier guys I collect".. especially if I don't have any certified autos from them already.. might as well hold out till I find a nice card #'d 12/25. So expect an occasional post on the subject, even if it doesn't fit the time of year to be talking about Christmas. In a perfect world, I'll get a reputation around the blogosphere as "The Christmas Card guy," and anytime somebody pulls a card #'d 12/25, they'll immediately think of me and contact me about a trade.. or hell, if we're just daydreaming here-- they'll send me the card for free. Ah, the ultimate dream of a card blogger: receiving cards in the mail just because people like your blog. ...Someday!
And speaking of receiving free cards, let's announce the contest winners. Since I got so very few comments on this series of posts, I'm just going to go ahead and send cards to everyone who commented during the 12 Days.
Here are the festive 7:
Ethan and Greg: well, I think the cards I send you two should count as trade packages, not contest winnings, since I've had some small Dodger stacks going for each of you based on past discussions. Plus Greg just won a contest of mine a month or two ago.
As far as Dan, Bo, Adam, Tom, and Nick.. I guess pick 1 card you want from the prize pool (first come first served), and I'll send ya a PWE with it plus a few cards from your favorite team. So, comment below and/or email me by the end of this weekend.
Oh, and here are the Christmas Cards I've picked up recently:
LaMarr Hoyt. This is my first "cut autograph" card. Cards like this are usually pretty boring and legitimately suspect to me, but it was cheep: $1 plus postage, so grabbed inexpensive autos of Reggie Sanders and Cecil Cooper from the same seller to combine shipping.
Hoyt won the AL Cy in 1983 with the White Sox, but soon sputtered out then finished his career with a couple years in San Diego. Had he made the 12 Days countdown, I probably would have made a "Ho-Ho-Hoyt" joke.
Jim Palmer. Another 2013 Topps Five Star card. Happy to add an auto from this well-known HOFer to my collection-- a Christmas Card, no less. Not quite as exciting as the Rickey I picked up from this same set (see Day 12), but still very nice.
Bert Blyleven. Another kid in the Hall I like. Collecting Christmas Cards is a good excuse for me to get around to picking up "hits" of guys I semi-collect. You'll have to take my word for it since the serial number is on the back, but this is indeed a Christmas Card. Ugly card, but I'll take it.
Now these remaining few I'm going to show aren't "in hand" quite yet, just recently purchasing them in some "Christmas gift to myself" instances.
Spencer Scott! (Sorry for the poorly cropped scan; working with what eBay gives me.) If you were among the lucky few reading the 12 Days of Christmas Cards posts, you'll recognize the lovely Ms. Scott here from the 8th day. She seems to have enchanted me with her beauty to compel me to collect Christmas Cards of her. And the fact that this Christmas Card is ACTUALLY a Christmas Card ("Happy Holidays", at least), well, I had no choice but place a competitive bid. With two 12/25 cards of her, I feel like I'm a Spencer Scott supercollector now, at least when it comes to Christmas Cards.
Everett Williams. My 2nd Padres Christmas Card (after Day 4's X. Nady). A 2nd round pick in 2009, Everett is a weak-hitting outfield prospect. I kinda doubt he'll ever make the bigs, but I'll be pulling for him now.
Damn it!! Don't let me become a Benchwarmer collector! Don't let me do it. Pretty girls are fun to look at (unlimited pretty girl pictures on the internet for free!!!), but there's no need to pay money to own their autograph on a piece of cardboard. No No No! That said, I was thinking with another part of my body again, and placed a bid on another girlie card auto. This one was cheap, BUT STILL.
Oh well, here's some attractive lady named Billie Jo. As another Christmas Card Christmas Card, it was hard to resist. I actually bid on a few more similar cards of other females, but was mercifully outbid on them.
Finally, here we have the great ignitor Paul Molitor. This is another '13 Topps Five Star, but from the cool "Silver Signatures" inserts. These are nice looking cards. You gotta love Molitor. This is my 2nd certified auto of him, after scoring his 2004 Topps Retired card a couple months ago.
So yeah, that's all in my Christmas Card Collection at the moment. I've got a couple sniping bids pending, but after that I'll try to cool out on this mini-collection for a while and focus on some other collecting goals heading into the new year. Among the goals in my sights for 2014 are making serious ground on 1973 Topps and entering "supercolletor" territory for Nate Colbert, as well as continuing building my Greatest Gavins and finishing my 2004 Topps Retired auto set. I'll also work on some player collections, such as Gaylord Perry and Dick Allen. And every year, I like to pick up a poor condition Topps base Mickey Mantle or two. Maybe by the time I die I'll have all 18 (1952-1969). Thanks for reading and Happy New Year.