Random Collecting & Phillies Tidbits

Featured Cards: 2012 Topps Retired Rings #RR-MS, Mike Schmidt; 2011 Topps Gypsy Queen Autographs #GQA-SV, Shane Victorino; 1993 Topps Finest #49, Mitch Williams

Earlier today, I received in the mail a 2012 Topps Retired Rings Mike Schmidt card which I recently won on eBay. While I don’t typically crack open graded slabs, I am horribly tempted to do so for this one. Although I had seen scans of Retired Rings cards before, I didn’t realize that the card is designed to look as if a piece of a ring is actually embedded in it — I actually want to reach down and properly sense what the “ring” feels like. I highly doubt I will actually do so, but I have never before been this tempted to do so…

I also received in the mail a 2012 Topps Museum Primary Pieces Ryan Howard card bearing micro surface crease and a slightly dinged corner. No, I didn’t purchase it off of eBay in this condition. It was beat up because the seller didn’t bother to place the card in any sort of protective packaging. Yes, you read that correctly — the card was literally just placed in a folded piece of paper and then mailed off in a plain, white business envelope. I have already heard back from the seller, who will honor my request for a refund. He insists that he had no idea that such a card could get damaged so easily.

Yeah, someone clearly has potential as a candidate for the Darwin Awards…

As I posted a few of the checklists today, I was reminded of a key reason why I started compiling my own checklists: the rather inexact manner in which Beckett displays card numbers. In particular, the way they chop off some of the numbering on insert cards. For example, take a look at the back of the Shane Victorino 2011 Topps Gypsy Queen Autograph card — Beckett shows the card number in their online guide as just “SV.” Now, back when paper catalogs the size of the New York City White Pages were king, this was somewhat understandable. However, in the Internet Age, there is no excuse for this behavior, since size and space restrictions are far less severe. Moreover, in sets such as Triple Threads, Museum and Tribute, where most collectors aren’t going to see most of the inserts unless they spend more time looking at card on eBay than they should, displaying the full numbering sequence might actually better assist the collector in discerning which card he is actually holding. The fact Beckett clearly can’t be bothered was a major reason why I started posting my checklists in the hopes they might help other Phillies collectors…

I’m just going to say two things about last night’s game against the Braves. One, I really hate being reminded of Game Four of the 1993 World Series. Yes, everyone talks about Game Six from that year, but it was Game Four that left a permanent, ragged scar in my psyche — and last night’s game was far too unpleasant a reminder of what happened 19 years ago. Two, thank goodness Joe Blanton pitched the complete-game gem he did this afternoon and quickly put that ugly monstrosity behind the team. It was almost as beautiful as the gem Curt Schilling unleashed in Game Five. Hopefully, Blanton’s effort today is a better harbinger for the remainder of this season than was Schilling’s effort…

Finally, tomorrow marks the 1st anniversary of my starting this blog. I plan to have a special post commemorating the event tomorrow or Saturday. As a bit of a teaser, I’d like to point out where the current collection count stands.

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