Remember when you would get all tuxed up and paint the town pink to celebrate the new year?
Me neither. But the card seemed appropriate, if unsettling.
It's time to look back at how 2010 treated the Night Owl. You know -- Auld Lang Syne and all that romanticized hooey. Did you know that Auld Lang Syne was an old Scottish tune? I'm more Scottish than anything else, so drinking a cup of kindness (and a few other things) to days gone by is right up my kilted alley.
But I know you're all forward-thinking people. You're obsessed with how we're going to fix that Panini-thingy crisis. So, I'll try to make it quick. Here's a hurried spin through the best of NOC in 2010. I'd say it was rather eventful.
There I was, huddled in my winterized north country home, keeping myself warm by attempting to determine whether Topps was in on Sparky Lyle's plot to make his habit of sitting bare-assed on birthday cakes known to little kiddie collectors and discovering something wonderful called Check Out My F@&%ing Fabulous Cards (OK, it's not really called that), when a former major league baseball pitcher named Jerry Reuss commented on my blog, and suddenly nothing else mattered. I'm really a pathetic, starry-eyed 12-year-old at heart.
Topps unveils something called the Million Card Giveaway and everyone -- and by everyone, I mean all living beings and a few freshwater fish -- freaked the freak out (yes, Victoria Justice, there is a pre-adolescent in the house). It takes three hours to redeem a single 1987 Topps card and when it's finally redeemed, people literally parade through the streets. There are fireworks and wind instruments and free monkeys for everyone. I can just see us 40 years from now, croaking in that familiar old-man stereotype, "In my day, it took five hours to redeem one Kevin Bass card and WE LIKED IT."
While attempting to recover from a 64-card bipping of '90 Donruss Bryn Smith cards, Topps has me back hanging over the bedpan in no time by issuing an achingly boring Heritage set made even more gruesome by endless capless ballplayers killing my will to collect.
The month begins with hope and enthusiasm as I look forward to the start of a new season and a new World Series champion -- heh, I was so stupid back then -- and continues with easily my favorite card show of the year, once they were able to calm me down after I learned my favorite dealer was missing (I still don't know where he is).
National Chicle puts out what turns out to be my favorite set of the year (kind of tells you how the year was for cards), a brilliant card creator sends me the best custom-made card I've ever seen, and I begin a trade map to celebrate the glorious cards I've received from generous collectors in many states. But my mother-in-law tops them all by giving me this book out of the blue. She has no idea.
Did you know the month of June is now called "Strasburg"? In the month formerly known as June, collectors totally lost their minds -- I mean you could actually see brains deposited on the floor of the card aisle -- over a young man named Stephen Strasburg. I contributed to the hype by pulling a purple refractor of Strasburg, high-fiving several Wal-Mart employees, insulting a few customers who weren't man/woman enough to pull the same card, and performing a semi-offensive dance in the parking lot. OK, I did none of that. I just hyperventilated on the blog and eventually sold the card for just south of 100 bucks.
Meanwhile, I opened a box of A&G and discovered that Topps used many of the photos that we've seen before. Apparently, someone in the office took recycling too literally. Just couldn't stop at rinsing out the soup cans.
In the midst of another Gint-a-cuffs, in which I temporarily consider committing Ginter-cide, I have a "eureka" moment as I discover why going to my LCS makes me feel SOL every single time. Meanwhile, my daughter opens a pack of A&G and loses a little respect for daddy when he nearly drives of the road when she pulls a revolving door card.
I complete a set that is older than every single person that I just saw walking in the mall today with this Ferguson Jenkins card and a league leader card. In the best card-acquisition month of the year, finishing off the '76 set is trumped by gaining a 1955 Topps Jackie Robinson card. That Jackie. He always had to be the center of attention.
Blogger's unveiling of a new blog stats feature prompts me to publish cards of scantily clad swimsuit models, not that I need an excuse to do that. I also grab an A&G blaster that is virtually all short-prints and thank Topps for the screw-up. But the biggest mistake of the month is someone puts me on a card.
I take out a hit on the Giants but the gunman turns out to be from San Francisco. I try to drown my sorrows in a card show, but the show decides to take place in the middle of an auto race. Fortunately, my brother-in-law comes through by fleecing some teenager of about 6,000 cards for five bucks and giving them all to me.
Winning the oldest card in my collection helps soften the edges on an ornery month that included Topps setting me off on the top 60 cards of all-time, and Beckett's Chris Olds firing me up by saying 1991 was a worse junk wax year than 1990. Both Topps and Olds are wrong, but never mind that. Let's all look at the 1933 Goudey. Ahhhhhhhhhh. Sweeeeet viiiiinntaaagggeee.
Some idiot decides to become a Jon Link completist. Topps tries to give me a card it already sent me. And I finally get caught up on trade posts after two years of trying. Of course, I'm back to being behind again.
Heh. So much for drinking a cup of kindness.
But really, it's been a swell 12 months. Thanks for reading. Thanks for blogging. May there be much of both in 2011.
And have a Happy New Year and a drink on me. Hope the bartender will take cards as payment.