Friday, March 16, 2018

The Kindness of Strangers - Playing catchup with 7 months worth of cardboard gifts

I have to apologize to everyone you are going to see mentioned in this post. Some more than others, as I'm so far's actually embarrassing.

The Kindness of Strangers series is something I started a while back to thank and honor the people who sent me stuff just out of the kindness of their hearts- not as part of a trade or purchase. But, I soon got backlogged, then it started piling up worse and worse, and now I've got more than half a year's worth of people who need to be thanked. I'm going to try and cover everyone in here, but if I miss somebody- it's not a slight, it's me being overwhelmed and making a mistake. I am only human, unfortunately.

I'm going to try and go chronologically so the people who sent the soonest show up first in the post.

First up comes Herbinator on the Trading Card Database. He sent me 39 cards all the way back on September 2nd, which arrived just before the craziest week of my life, when I took over 4000 pictures in a 8 day span. 30 of the 39 were from the 1991-92 Skybox Canadian Mini set, which I didn't know about until I saw them on the Trading Card Database. Not having ever been to Canada, and not yet collecting the NBA in 1991-92, these had totally slipped through my attention. As I found out, they were sealed in individual bags and placed in potato chip packages. All of them that he sent me were still in the original bags, some still containing potato chip residue, but I cut them all out. Instead of trying to describe the size of them, I happened to have the full-size card of one of them out and on my table right then when they arrived so I photographed them together.

When they are referred to as Mini, it's not an exaggeration!
The remainder of the cards he sent me were from the 1988-89 Esso NHL Superstars set. These are kind of unusual in that they have adhesive backs.

Next comes C2Cigars, who isn't really a stranger any more as I actually met him at a car show, totally randomly. Let me tell you, it's kind of a weird feeling when somebody you've never met recognizes you and calls you by name, but it was cool. and I do use a photo of myself as my profile picture on the Database, so it's not like I'm hard to ID. Chuck had sent me a cool error card that actually crossed paths- he put it in the mail, then met me at the car show before it arrived!
I may not be a huge baseball guy but I do love error cards, and from 1963, this is the oldest error in my collection!

I can't remember if the next one was a gift or a trade, but Hittinaway on the Database sent me three cards which arrived on September 27th.
Here's one of them, which is kind of important to me- I am a direct descendant of King John. (Also about half of the people who caused the Magna Carta in the first place, and pictured here). At some point I'm going to do a cardboard genealogy post.
Next up was Adam of Cardboard Clubhouse, who sent me the entire Guardians of the Galaxy 2 IMAX promo set, which is an oversize 10 card set apparently given out at IMAX theatres. 9 of the 10 cards form a big poster, with the 10th being a checklist. Due to the magic of PhotoScape, I put all nine puzzle pieces together to create the poster puzzle.
I had originally created this when they arrived back on September 27th, but lost it. I had to recreate it for this post...would not have been a problem if I wasn't so much of a slacker!

Now, moving on to October, comes a package from Chris of The Collector. Chris had actually sent me two packages of cards before I sent him one, and this is the second- I think I covered the first some previous post. I can't remember. The highlight of this one, and the one that got the ball rolling this time, was another error card from a sport I don't actively collect, this time football.
The 1992-93 Ultra design is one of my all-time favorites, and as I am getting older, I'm appreciating it more and more. Luckily for me, Fleer used the same design with some minor differences in 4 different sports. This one went through the foil-stamping machine in the wrong position. Misapplied foil is the second most common error, and it's always visually stunning. Interestingly, I think this may be the first New Orleans Saints card I've ever shown on Cardboard History, and I'm writing it up the night that team owner Tom Benson passed away. That's a total coincidence, as I've been pushing this off since September.
Another highlight of Chris's package was this Wayne Gretzky card- which Chris actually apologized for! It's slightly bent...but I don't mind. I'd always rather have a damaged card than no card at all, and this one is my first Wayne Gretzky card issued while he was with the Oilers! It's not my first card of him with that team- but my first of him from when he was still with that team. I always put more "weight" on cards issued during the time they are depicting, over post-career retrospective cards.
Now, this next person...I owe a huge apology to. Joel Freedman, who I've mentioned before, is not a blogger but does read some of them sometimes. Back in October...he sent me a 21 pound box of random cards! I learned a very valuable lesson here but I still felt like a heel. I wanted to thank him and say how many new cards and people and sets he contributed to my collection...but, as I am the world's worst time estimator, it took me longer than I anticipated, and I knew I couldn't wait any longer and went to send him a thank you message...but by that point he had already sent me a message asking if it showed up. I felt like a fool. I still do. The final tally? 1248 new cards, 5th most I've ever gotten in a single day! 47 new NHL players, and 15 new sets, all of which came from my favorite era in the hobby. (They covered 1984-96)
I really, truly feel terrible that it took me so long to let him know, and I've made sure that I wouldn't do anything that way again- which is why you've already seen the two most recent large "Kindness of Strangers" mailings, from SumoMenkoMan and Jon, respectively.
I have not scanned most of what he sent me yet. A lot of it was baseball and football, which are all well-covered on the Trading Card Database, so I set them aside to scan later. That time has not gotten here yet, but I did scan a couple.
 Wouldn't it be funny if this guy's middle initial was N? Alan N. Zinter? Get it?
Love the ads on the boards, and his name being lit up on the scoreboard was cool too, so I had to scan this one pretty much first.
Here's a football card I scanned that he sent me, just because it was on top of the stack when I stacked them up. OK, the fact that it was mostly green played a little role.
It wasn't just baseball and football, though, there was NHL and NBA, and even a couple NASCAR in the mix too. Joel has been the biggest contributor to my Names Project for baseball and football, by the way. Thank you again, Joel!

Next up comes Shane from Shoebox Legends. Shane actually sent me a big package, but I only opened one of the team bags, saving the rest for my 2018 Card of the Day project- and I have not even touched them yet! (I may have set aside too many cards for that, but I'd rather have that problem then not enough). In that one team bag, Shane sent along 49 new NHL cards for my collection. Here's just a couple that I scanned.

Most of the cards, already done on the Database, got set aside to scan later, which again, has not happened yet.

Next came a 4-card mailing from Doe MG of Now and Zen and the Trading Card Database. She has been a little quiet lately, hope everything is OK. Unfortunately, I can't show any scans because I have not scanned the cards yet- they were all done on the Database and I filed them away for future scanning, not remembering that I needed them for a post. Big DUH on my part! I've been doing a lot of stuff with 900 count boxes and they (and one of the other cards below) got mixed in accidentally...there are about a dozen full 900 counters they could be in. Eek. I know that I could start looking for them, but I don't want to push this post back any longer. I'll find some way to work them in when I get them out again.

On the same day I got a box from Ranford Fan on the Trading Card Database. The self-described "Crazy Canadian" is a regular on the forum there and it's actually because of him that I got into the NHL. He started a thread about the Golden Knights' logo, and I wanted to see it so I put on NHL Network and got hooked, The rest as they say is history! Well, he sent me some hockey cards and some other cards I wasn't expecting, like some Superman cards and some NHRA cards...

But most of what he sent me was NHL, of course, and all of it was promos- mostly from the National Hockey Card Day's Canadian exclusives, which being in the USA I don't have access to, but also an even rarer promo-

These Heritage Classic cards were only available at the outdoor game held just weeks before I became a fan of the sport. They came in clear cellophane, which I of course opened to get at the cards, but there is a rare Jesse Puljujarvi that neither of us have that you had to do something at the game to get...but we don't know what. There's pretty much zero chance I would have ever even known they existed if he didn't send them to me, so I think they are my favorites from that mailing.

Next comes a single card mailing from jmiller4 on the Trading Card Database. He pulled an error card from the 2017 Topps baseball set, and was going to toss it but I claimed it. I forgot to scan it so no scan either, it's somewhere in one of my "To be scanned" boxes, so when I do, it will appear in a future Error Gallery post.

Now in December, I got a Christmas Card from Angus of Dawg Day Cards. Inside was my first card from 1972-73 O-Pee-Chee, and two from 1935's Player's Sea Fishes!

Cool stuff, I love the tobacco era cards as is well documented! And my new-found fondness for the NHL has taken up about half my posts since the start of 2017, if not moreso.

There were a couple I didn't cover because the sender has asked to remain nameless, but it's somebody from the Database.

That concludes 2017....and overall, that's 1448 new cards added to my collection between September and December 2017...just as gifts from fellow collectors!

The new year, and the current year, have also seen cards rolling in to me. Before the first week of the year, the same anonymous Database member had sent me 7 cards...C2Cigars and Switzr1 on the Database both sent me cards for my 2018 Card of the Day Project, both of which I have not finished going through yet.
CrazieJoe, SumoMenkoMan, Scribbled Ink, Celticwolfco, Jason German, Jon from A Penny Sleeve For your Thoughts, all have sent me cards just because they are good people, but I've shown them all already. (Well, not ALL all, but each mailing has been covered, either in specific posts or in my Card of the Day monthly recaps)

The one from this year I didn't cover yet is rmpaq on the Trading Card Database. He sent me a PWE that had some 1981-82 O-Pee-Chee hockey, and my first issues of the 2008-09 Toys R Us Power Players adhesives.
I had no idea they existed, but I am happy to have them, and one of them was even my first card of the guy. Eric Perrin. (On that note- I'm really sad that TRU is closing. More on that in a future post)

Already in 2018 I've added 120 new cards to my collection that came as gifts from fellow collectors, and the number is going to skyrocket as I still have most of the boxes that Ryan/SumoMenkoMan sent me ahead of cards from Angus, Shoebox Legends, CrazieJoe and more, all stashed away to make sure my project of getting at least one new card every day of the year this year is a success. Some of the cards I've got stashed away have been in my possession since 2015, and I'm sure I've forgotten who sent them all to me, actually!

I really do thank everyone who has sent me stuff, from one card PWEs all the way up to 10 hobby box mailings, both of which have happened to me in the past 7 months. This hobby is filled with some really great people, and I'm not sure what I've done to be on the receiving end of such kindness, but I am eternally grateful! I always say, if more people were like card people, the world would be a better place.


  1. Utterly amazing. Card people are the best.

  2. The group of people in this hobby, especially in the blogging world, are very generous and always looking out for one another

    1. Yes indeed! Say you collect something and it usually shows up in the mail.

  3. You are right...the whole world needs to be more like your friends on here; what a great world it would be!

    I am looking forward to the genealogy card blog.

    1. I'm still a long way away from that one, I don't have all the cards required yet.

  4. I remember those mini Skybox basketball cards, they're pretty cool, I miss when potato chips had prizes inside. There are 2 sets of mini hockey cards that were inserted into bags of potato chips during the same time as well.

    Man, those Esso cards - they're adhesive on the back because you could pick up a book at the Esso gas station and fill the designated spots with the stickers.

    1. I have a couple of the NHL examples but they just arrived in trade, I have not gotten a chance to scan them yet. The ones I have are unique designs, not shrunken copies of standard cards...I plan to post one in my next trade recap.

      Even if I was collecting the sport back then I don't think I would have done that!

  5. I love the fish cards! German and UK inserts were pretty wide ranging. Thanks for sharing and long-live card collectors.

    1. I don't have much of the German ones yet...they seem much harder to find