Wednesday, May 10, 2017

Nickled and Dime Boxed - A Trade Post

To be honest, I just wanted to send some stuff to Nick, the man behind the Dime Box blog, something to show my appreciation. I've been a reader of his blog much longer than I've been a card blogger myself and I've always though that he ran one of the best around. The short-term stops, year zero, and top 100 features have all been fantastic and his love of the game and the hobby is clear in everything he does. 

As you might know, I am a freelance writer by trade. I've got a few paid blog gigs and some regular print stuff and I've even published a few books. It has always been a dream of mine to write for a living (HAHAHA I don't make nearly enough writing to live on LOLOLOL), but when you actually go through the process, it happens so slowly that you never really have that EUREKA moment where you realize that you've made it (or kind of made it, in my case). You just slog along, glad to get gigs and mostly complaining about editors and pay and word counts and how dumb facebook commenters are... meanwhile, you're getting paid and recognized for what you used to do for free and to an audience of zero. 

I sent a message once to another card blogger whose work I enjoy and he replied by saying, "Thanks! That means a lot coming from a real writer." I didn't say anything at the time, but I was kind of taken aback by the comment. A real writer writes. It's just that simple. The world is full of people who want to write but, for whatever reason, do not. Nobody with a card blog (or any blog), no matter how lousy their readership (even as bad as mine), should doubt for a second that they are a "real writer." Having written for so long without any reward other than the pure rush of DOING IT, I really appreciate the work of the card blogosphere. Doing it for work attaches a lot of baggage that - while I can't honestly complain about it, since I'm getting paid for doing what I love - makes it different. I don't just do it when I want to, now.  I do it because I have to, because I've got bills, because I pitched some dumb idea I don't really care about but I've got a deadline looming. But to write in your free moments, just to enjoy the hobby you love, I appreciate the hell out of that. And with Dime Box Nick, I wanted to send him some cards that I thought he'd like just to show that appreciation.

I hit Nick up via email to ask for his addy and let him know what was coming. He said he'd send me some stuff too and, as fate had it, I got my package first. And I can say without hesitation that Nick is as generous a trader as he talented a writer. On to the highlights of the trade!!!

I'll start off with the best. My god! An iconic rookie card of one of the greatest hitters ever and a vintage Henry Aaron... These immediately become two essential items in my collection.

Nick made note of my love for the Brewers and including some of my preferred players as well as some of my team set needs. Going clockwise, that little Cecil Cooper (I think) is a box bottom card, and I absolutely love it. I just wrote (and loved writing) a piece on Cooper's 1987 season, his last as a Brewer. This card came out that year and would have been a sad reminder of a great player at the end of his road. Nyjer Morgan might be my favorite Brewer ever. I remember being at one of the NLCS games in St. Louis back in 2011 and Cards fans booed Morgan relentlessly every time he touched the ball or game to bat. After making a nice catch in right field, Morgan back-peddled all the way back to his spot and drove everyone nuts. It was a beautiful sight. And then there's Gary Sheffield. I've written about him, too. In the process of doing so, I kind of came to appreciate him.

A couple of werido Juniors. The Wonder Bread card is wrinkled to hell, like someone put in their back pocket and sat down. And I'm not complaining. I feel that any early 90s oddball food issue isn't complete unless it's damaged. I remember that when I was a kid, the kind of soda my parents drank came with some kind of logoless card issue one summer, glued inside each case. I mutilated each and every one of those suckers pulling them out. 

There are just two of the badass Rickey Henderson cards in the bundle. On the '89 Fleer issue, Rickey's bat seems to be lost behind the 3D part of the design. On the '83 Record Breaker, he's wearing the rare batting helmet-sweat band combo. 

Bo Jackson and Kenny Lofton, two of my favorites of the 1990s. When I was 11 years old, I got a 1993 Topps factory set for Christmas and pulled a redemption card for the ENTIRE Blackgold set. At the time, it was something akin to winning the Powerball, with the set booking for over $100. You can pick it up on eBay today for about $5. 

Lastly, a healthy bunch of my set needs - Brewers team sets, 2017 Topps, 2013 Topps, 1993 Upper Deck. 

So, big thanks, as always, to Dimebox Nick. And keep up the good work, everyone. 


  1. Happy I could find a good home for those cards, especially the Gwynn rookie. I had an extra of it, and all the Gwynn collectors I'd traded with in the past already had a copy, so I was happy to see that you collected Mr. Padre when I was combing through your want lists. The cards you sent were fantastic, and I'll have a post up on those soon!

    I've written and published a handful of poems/short stories, and I can honestly say that my interest in creative writing stems from the moment I started my blog five-plus years ago. It got me into the semi-daily practice of sitting down and writing for a good half-hour/hour, a routine I've carried with me into the realm of creative writing as well.

  2. Who wouldn't love trading with Nick? He puts together a very thoughtful package. As for writing, I'm doing it right now, here in the comments. This post was very encouraging so thank you for that!

  3. "A real writer writes. It's just that simple. The world is full of people who want to write but, for whatever reason, do not. Nobody with a card blog (or any blog), no matter how lousy their readership (even as bad as mine), should doubt for a second that they are a "real writer.""

    Thank you for that inspiration. Really ... thank you. You have no idea how much that statement really motivates me.

    PS: As usual, some amazing cards from Nick.

  4. Thanks for the nice words, everyone. I'm glad my random thoughts struck a cord!