Wednesday, June 21, 2017

Back in the Saddle Again

Hola Amigos. I know it's a been a long time since I rapped at ya, but your old buddy Matt's been a busy fellow lately. My wife and I just returned from New York. We went out to see her old hometown of Hampton Bays (among the lesser Hamptons of Long Island, she tells me) and visit her sister. Just before leaving, I got a few nice trade packages in the mail and had a few more waiting for me when I got home. Unfortunately, and because I am stupid, I deleted all the pics of my trade goodies just before before I left without first uploading them to dropbox. Yikes. I get a bit frazzled traveling, I guess. 

So, I'm going to try to cobble together all the trades into one post, and share a bit about my trip in the process. I just hope I can recall who sent me what. 

The first leg of of the trip was without incident. We flew into Philadelphia and had a two-hour layover before the flight to MacArthur Airport in Islip, LI. The Phillies were also in town that night, currently one of the worst teams in baseball. And hey, back in 2003, the Brewers were one of the worst teams in baseball. And Mark Smith was briefly a member of that team.

I had been missing him from my all-time Brewers collection. Bo, himself a resident of Long Island who blogs at Baseball Cards Come to Life, hooked me up with a '95 Donruss Rated Rookie card of Smith. He appeared in 33 games for the '03 Brewers, batting .238 and a .275 OBP. He never appeared in the bigs again. 

But all was not Sunny in Philadelphia that afternoon. Our plane was broken and the flight was canceled. With the only other way into NY going through Laguardia (which is about four days travel from Hampton Bays in bad traffic), we were stuck in Philly for the night. 

I wasn't really mad, shit happens. And it gave us a chance to see Philly... except it didn't. They stuck us at a weird hotel in some little suburb. It was nice enough, and we got real drunk at the bar and watched SVU all night long. But we didn't buy our tickets to see some Philly-area hotel. Just like someone who bought Brewers tickets this year to see Ryan Braun. He's on the DL right now, just as our plane was. And also, the "Asian-inspired cuisine" the hotel restaurant promised was a bit of an over-sell (it was your basic low-end takeout stuff). Just like calling Braun a "Five Tool" player. Anyway, this is a pretty cool looking card, from AJ at The Lost Collector.

The next morning, I woke to a text from American Airlines saying our re-booked Islip flight was ONCE AGAIN canceled and we were ONCE AGAIN put on a flight into Laguardia. Fuck that shit. We got on a train. 

So-long Philly
If nothing else went awry, we'd be at our destination in three hours. However, this trip involved the Long Island Railroad which (I'm sure Bo can back me up here) is what the locals call a "shit show." Out connecting train broke down and we were stuck in some damn place called Babylon. 

BROKEN! Like Bo Jackson breaking his bat on this mega-cool 1991 Score BO BREAKER card. This beauty arrived in a very nice package from Tom at Angles in Order. It was a follow-up to the wildly popular 1990 Score shoulder pads card, which I actually wrote an entire post about for the SABR card blog. It didn't have quite the same effect as the original, but is still a very boss card in my eyes and I'm glad to add it to my Bo collection.

We arrived a day late, but had a great time none the less. We saw the Icelandic band Sigur Ros at Forest Hills Stadium, which ended up being the place where Richie Tennebaum melted down in The Royal Tennenbaums. 

I got to see the ocean for the very first time.

And we had a great time going through old photos. Childhood photos of the wife! Not unlike this bad-ass 1972 childhood photo card of Willie Stargell that came in an eclectic package of stuff from Adam Sanders at The Cardboard Clubhouse

And, for what it's worth, this also happened to be among my sister-in-law's photos... 

Yeah, that's a young Stephen Tyler of Aerosmith with his grandmother. Hence the title of this post. 

Parting is such sweet sorrow, but we had to do it anyway. Thank heck our trip back was much less adventurous than the trip out. I also had to part with a pretty awesome part of my collection last week, when I mailed out that Highland Mint Brooks Robinson that I won in Johnny's Big Fun game to Trevor P at Bump and Run. But just as our troubles were well worth it in the end, the return on that trade was terrific. 

Here she is...  the bronze 1975 Rockin' Robin Yount. Just like the Brooksie, it's heavy and shiny and beautiful. 

So, that's been the last week or so of my life. I'll have plenty more in days to come. I've got a couple of rando Target breaks to yak about and a big lot of 2017 series 2 Topps Jumbos that should arrive today. I am also thinking of doing some kind of contest... maybe involving baseball books.

Anyway, I'll do a mini-mini contest right now. First one to leave a comment that correctly identifies what the first two sentences of this post refer to will get a fun little package in the mail.  



  1. Sorry to hear of your vacation troubles. Sadly, with my job at O'Hare airport, I'm privy to quite a few of those kinds of travel horror stories. Glad you see you and your wife made the best of it, though, and looks like you ended up having a fun time! The "Bo Breaker" has long been one of my favorites.

    (And I'm thinking the reference in the opening sentences is to Jim Anchower and The Onion.)

    1. Won't be anything too earth-shattering, since I just mailed you a bundle not too long ago, but I found some wantlist stuff for you. Should arrive soon via PWE.

  2. LIRR is not too bad. But it sure is annoying when the PM rush is stuffed with loud, obnoxious Manhattan millennials taking the train to Forest Hills to see a show.

    1. which I am sure doesn't describe you!

    2. Ha! Not really. I love trains, so I enjoyed it all. But my brother in law, who has a two plus hour daily commute both ways, is less than enamored.