By Sean Ruml aka Srman77
In this day and age where we have all forms of ways to communicate with one another, it seems that we have lost the art of communication. There is no better example of this then in buying / selling, or trading sports cards. I myself admit that I’ve caught myself in doing what I have gotten irritated by others for doing. Whether it was ignoring a message, or just never getting back to someone. That being said it’s time for a change so that we don’t lose the art of communication. I see it happen quite a bit on the forum and on other sites as well. It seems every day that we are becoming more and more anti-social with one another.
Recently I was on the forum and saw a thread where another trader had cards for sale. In this traders thread it stated to either post to the thread of pm them and they would get back when they got home from work. I can understand the getting back to people after work, as I work during the week and there are times that I cannot get to the computer right away. I don’t know this trader personally, and I know that this trader is a trader with a high number of deals from seeing his number of trades, and or sales / buys made. So this person must be really good at making a deal, however a deal cannot be made when you don’t communicate back to the person that tells you they are interested and would like to know how much money you’re looking to get for an item.
I’ve heard some traders say things like “Trades are down on the site” or “Trading is slow lately”, and I can’t help but wonder sometimes if it’s not so much a matter of being slow but rather a lack of communication between traders. I mean when a trader posts a thread and says they will get back to you and they don’t, that’s a simple breakdown in communication. Or a trader sends a message to another trader and it’s never responded to, that’s another breakdown in communication. Just as an example as to what I’ve stated, within the last few months I had started dealing with another trader on procuring a couple of cards from them. We negotiated at the time what was a fair deal. The other trader was supposed to post up the deal and, I was to confirm the deal. A few days went by and I noticed that the deal had not been posted yet. So I politely sent the other trader a message just to see what was going on. The trader told me that the trade would be posted the next day.
The next day came and went and still no deal had been posted. At that point I thought “Is this trader stringing me along, do they really not want to make a deal?” So at that point I just moved on and left the deal where it was which was nowhere. It was about a week or so later the other trader finally sent me a message apologizing for completely dropping the ball on this deal and not communicating to me as to what was going on, and the trader wanted to know if I still wanted to get the deal done. At that point I had since moved on with other deals. I responded and let the trader know that I wasn’t mad, and I would still be interested in a deal but, I was now only interested in one of the items the trader had for sale and was wanting to know a price with shipping included. Nothing was ever communicated back to me other than the sound of silence.
I have no hard feelings about the deal not getting done. It was what it was. My feeling is had there been more communication going both ways, a deal would have gotten done between the two of us. The best advice I can give traders new and old is to communicate with one another. Don’t ignore each other but rather if you’re not interested then say it. It’s easier to say “I’m not interested or I’ll pass for now thanks” then to ignore the person and lose that human connection. Not to mention karma has a funny way of paying us all back. The person you ignore today may be the person who ignores you in the future.
By Richard Perkins aka papaperk
My son was four years old, my daughter was 6, when we attended our first baseball game as a dad out with his kids. Team USA was playing Canada in Louisville KY. We had a blast. Team USA won and I would like to think it was all because of our chants of “We want a pitcher, not a belly itcher”, “Hey batter, batter, batter, sswwiinngg!” and “Hey Ump, clean your glasses”!
After the game fans swarmed the wall looking for a chance to get an autograph from the next big phenom. My kids and I went down by the third base line near the backstop and we watched arm after arm, loaded with cards, balls, and sharpies begging for someone to sign something, anything! We didn’t have any item for the players to sign so we just watched the ball players making their way past the out stretched hands. I will never forget what happened next.
Charles Johnson, the catcher, came over to us and said to my son: “What’s up little dude?” He didn’t know what to say except “We won and I saw fireworks!” Charles smiled and asked if we had anything we would like for him to sign. All we had were the ticket stubs and no, we didn’t have a pen. Without batting an eye he reached over next to us and grabbed a pen from some anonymous hand and signed my son’s ticket stub and then my daughter’s. Then he handed the pen over to Craig Wilson so he could sign them also. Wilson said some kind words about how cute the kids were and he hoped we had a good time. We sure did!
The next day, I went to a local card shop and bought cards with both players in their Team USA uniforms and placed the stubs and cards in protective plastic holders. That started my collecting adventures with my son.
I had collected baseball cards in the late 60s and early 70s when I was a kid but at that time, I was really only interested in the gum and how many cards I could clothes pin to my bike frame so that the cards would make a cool noise as I rode around the neighborhood. Yes, players like Joe Morgan and Tom Seaver had a short life expectancy when it was time to ride like the wind.
Collecting with my son was different. I knew that one day any cards we collected would be his along with the memories that came with them. His first big “special” card was a Michael Jordan insert from ’91 Upper Deck baseball (still have the complete set and card). It was nice to spend time with him busting packs, arranging sets and just getting excited about getting any cool rookie card. Plus as a father I learned that it helped him learn his numbers. Doesn’t hurt to have a hobby that can be, if only a little, educational.
Years would pass and our collection grew, stashed away in his closet, on the floor, in the bathroom, under his dresser. We had fun. After he discovered girls our collecting slowed but we still managed to find some time for it. A pack here and there. Still getting excited at pulling that special rookie we needed or common card to finish off a set.
This past Christmas I gave away almost every sports card, autographed baseball, Pokemon card, except for a few, to great nephews and kids of friends and co-workers. Still have the ticket stub autos, Michael Jordan insert, and a couple of sets we put together. Wanted to give the rest a new purpose and a new home.
My son’s obituary hangs just above the computer so that every time I turn it on and log in it helps me to keep my perspective. He was killed by a drunk driver on the night of his 17th birthday. I quit collecting because it just wasn’t important to me and I didn’t have my “collecting buddy” to enjoy it with. Hopefully his cards will bring a smile to someone who would look at them, read them, trade them, have fun with them.
“Perspective” was a word I saw in one of the first posts I read after joining SCF. Hit me like a ton of bricks. Changed my perspective. Got bitten by the collecting bug again a couple of months back but decided to just do it for fun.
Maybe one day my daughter will bless us with a grandchild and I can give them the new cards I have. Until then I am going to continue to give cards to kids, be it for good grades or just a smile. Perspective! I still get excited about pulling a simple old fashioned rookie card. Not every pack is going to have a gold dusted, diamond filled autograph numbered 1 of 1 and it won’t be delivered on a satin pillow resting on the butt of a unicorn. We are going to get a lot of “useless” cards but, give a kid a useless card and that card finds a new purpose.
My sons death taught me to enjoy the simple things in life. I miss the day when we would sit in the family room, cards all over the floor, furniture, the dog. But if I can still get a little rush out of finding a good card then it takes me back and makes me remember my son, Aaron, our first baseball game, our first special card, his excitement and laugh. That’s why I collect now. To remember and to keep my perspective.
Thank you for allowing me to write about my hobby, and most importantly my son. I think he’s proud of his old man and the cards “we” now have. I’ve had interactions with some very nice people here on the forum. Each trade and post lets me have him back if only for a while and for that I thank you!
The last words I said to my son were “Never get too big to hug your old man. I love you”. I encourage all of you to hug those important to you, tell them you love them, and keep perspective in mind. One day our collections might be gone but the memories we make with others are much more valuable….priceless.
Chajones (SCF member) thank you for putting the word “perspective” in your sig. Charles Johnson and Craig Wilson thank you for being so nice to my kids and giving me a memory I will take to my grave.
And to Aaron, “Miss you big guy! I love you!”
Just doing this for fun! Perspective!
In memory of my son (my collecting buddy), Aaron
By Ryan Kalmoe aka SWOWannabe
I still remember sitting on my hideous fake brown leather couch watching Game 6 of the 1991 World Series between the Minnesota Twins and the Atlanta Braves. With the game tied and going into extra innings and the Twins’ championship hopes on the line, my father was more than willing to let a much younger me stay up well past my bed time to watch the end of the game. I was 6 at the time, and starting to doze off…but I managed to wake up for the bottom of the 11th inning. With a 2-1 count, Charlie Leibrant delivery was promptly rerouted by Kirby Puckett into the seats in left field. I was ecstatic, bewildered, and tired, all at once. Jack Buck promptly called the game with his now-famous line, “And we’ll see you tomorrow night!” The image of Kirby rounding second base with his fist pumped in the air is one I default to whenever I think of baseball. The Twins went on to win the Series in game 7. Puckett’s performance that year was nothing short of brilliant. 1991 was the first year I can remember my father bringing home baseball cards after work, along with a Twins binder and we’d go through the cellophane-wrapped cards looking for Twins players, and especially Kirby Puckett.
Flash forward to September 28th, 1995. A wild pitch by Dennis Martinez struck Kirby in the jaw and broke it. Despite having an impressive display during spring break, the Twins’ beloved outfielder woke up on March 28th. diagnosed with glaucoma, Puckett was placed on the disabled list for the first time in his career. Twins Territory collectively held its breath for an excruciating three and a half months until finally, on July 12th, 1996, Kirby Puckett announced his retirement at the age of 36. I remember going over to my grandmother’s that day. My dear old grandmother, still more enamored with Kirby than any other person to this day, and I talked about the unfortunate turn of events, what this meant for our Twins. Several tears were shed by all, even my aunt and cousin, both whom had the “hots” for Chuck Knoblauch but still loved Kirby.
Like all good things, Puckett’s career had come to an end. While I may be biased, his baseball prowess was unmatched by any other player in his time. He needed only twelve short seasons to become the Twin’s all-time leader in career hits, runs, doubles, and total bases. Kirby boasts 10 All-Star game appearances, 6 Gold Gloves and Silver Sluggers, an AL batting title, an AL season RBI leader, a Branch Rickey Award and Roberto Clemente Award. His success on the field, as indicated by the latter two awards, did not prevent him from giving back to the community so generously with his time and finances. He had a niceness about him that can only be described as the famed “Minnesota Nice.” In short, there simply aren’t many players who were as talented at baseball and all-around nice guys as Kirby was.
While I’ve grown to admire other ball players since my childhood, I suspect there will never be one that will surpass Kirby as my all time favorite. Between having watched the magical 1991 World Series, witnessed Kirby play in person at the Metrodome before his retirement, and his presence in my childhood collection of Twins baseball cards, there is simply too much nostalgia to replace any possible hype that a player could generate. With the recent passing of my father, I’ve spent a lot of time reminiscing on my childhood. That magical night and seeing Kirby pump his fist in the air gives me chills to this very day. One of the highlights of going to the beautiful Target Field to watch my beloved Twins play is passing by Gate 34 and seeing Kirby immortalized in a statue. I can’t wait to take my children to Target Field some day. We’ll go past Kirby and I’ll point and say, “That’s Kirby Puckett, one of the greatest baseball players to play the game. When I was your age I got to see him play.” I want to tell them the stories of what made Kirby so great, how he worked hard both on and off the field.
Yes, all ball players must retire at some point. For most, it may be an agonizing decision to hold that press conference at the beginning of the year. I wish Kirby had been given that opportunity. He was not the first, and nor will he be the last who’s career met an untimely end. His name and story reminds us of other greats such as Lou Gehrig and Roberto Clemente. It is right to honor those players whom are able to select when they retire from baseball, but we can’t ever forget the ones who’s careers and lives were cut short.
By Guy Mitchell aka sweetg1
As we embark upon the new season, I’d like to share what the 2012 season meant to me and my son.
On June 24, 1976, my dad changed my life when he took me to my very first baseball game. I remember the event well. We were in Houston on vacation and we went to the Astrodome to see the Houston Astros play the Los Angeles Dodgers. But it was not only the game that I enjoyed, but the entire experience. I remember staying at a hotel close to the Astrodome and thinking that the Dodgers were staying there before the game. Imagine a nine year old kid, thinking about seeing guys like Steve Garvey, Dusty Baker, and Ron Cey and asking for their autograph wearing a Houston Astros hat. I recall thinking that if I ever saw a player, then I’d quickly remove my hat before asking them to sign. Unfortunately, having run around the entire hotel, I didn’t see one Dodger. I’d convinced myself at the time that some of the Dodgers might have seen me wearing the Astros hat, and hid from me.
I remember the game fairly well. When we attended, it happened to be Cesar Cedeno night. They gave away a Cedeno picture and some really cool things that, unfortunately, I no longer have, as they were lost when we moved. We had great seats along the first baseline (for only $3.50 per ticket!). The Dodgers ended up winning the game 5-1. I thought I remembered Dusty Baker hitting a HR that game, but all of the sources that I’ve found show that he was 1-4 with a couple of long outs. I think I saw how far he hit the ball and couldn’t believe how far the ball went. Some aspects of the game were fuzzy, but you always remember the hot dog that you ate and how good it made you feel.
That memory stuck with me a long time. The players were so close you could almost touch them. Baseball became more important to me after that game. Looking at the back of baseball cards became important to me. How they determined ERAs and Batting Averages became important to me. These events became so important in my life that I ended up studying Mathematics and Statistics in college because I liked determining how numbers worked with one another. It became my way of life and a big part of my career.
Last year, my six year old son asked me if I could take him to a Colorado Rockies game. Naturally, the excitement of taking my son to his first game brought me back to my dad taking me to my first game and I wanted to leap through the roof that he asked ME to go (as opposed to me dragging him when he was 2 months old and claiming it was his first game – which of course, for all of you that do that, my apologies, as no offense is meant). I just always envisioned that my son would remember his first game like I remembered mine and that his first memory of the game wasn’t his 19th ball game.
I was fortunate enough to have a neighbor who has season tickets and told me that any game I wanted to see, just ask him. His seats were also along the first baseline (like my first game) and they were 4 rows up from the field. What great seats, I thought! How do you explain to someone who is 6 years old that these aren’t your every day seats and how most guys spend their life up in the rafter?? It was beyond his comprehension.
- He probably won’t remember that Pittsburgh won 6-2 (he remembers that the Rockies lost).
- He probably won’t remember that Andrew McCutchen hit his 73rd career HR in what could have been his MVP season (he didn’t get the MVP, but he was voted Most Outsanding Player in 2012).
- He won’t remember the joy on his dad’s face when I asked if he was tired in the 5th inning and if he was ready to go home. He wanted to stay for the entire game!
What he may remember:
- The “First Game” button that the usher gave to him and how nice everyone was.
- That the stadium staff would not put him on the Jumbotron when he was dancing between innings – everyone around us was rooting for him to get on – he danced his heart off!
- Taking his Rockies foam finger and his baseball mitt to the game.
- High-fiving Dinger, the mascot as he walked by.
- Watching ourselves on TV after the game – we actually saw ourselves!
- Getting an actual game ball – the usher told us to go down to row 1 when the couple left after the 6th inning – he liked being in row 1. I remember running around Mile High Stadium for years trying to get an actual game ball during the minor league days of the Denver Bears in the 70s, only to come up empty every single time. I have to admit that I was both pleased for my son and jealous at the same time!
- The cotton candy, the lemonade slushy, and of course….THE HOT DOG!
It was a good day! My only thought is if it could ever impact his life like my first game impacted my life.
Let the 2013 games begin!
By Drew Pelto aka *censored*
Twenty years ago, my view of baseball– and life as a whole– changed forever.
On the morning of March 23, 1993, I woke up, had an Eggo waffle with cinnamon and sugar sprinkled on it, and prepared to enter another day of the hell known as third grade. Sitting on the couch in my living room in the far-east Cleveland suburb of Painesville, Dan Patrick delivered the morning’s sports news. Baseball season was only a few weeks away as I started my first Little League practices. My Cleveland Indians were still in the middle of a lengthy rebuild. But on this day, they were the lead story.
As Steve Olin’s photo popped up on the screen, I was mystified. One of my favorite players was the lead story? Wow, awesome! And then the words came:
“Three members of the Cleveland Indians were involved in a one-boat accident at 7:30 last night.”
And then it became obvious: Olin was one of the three. I only recall a few words here and there after that. Olin was killed instantly. Free agent signing Tim Crews died hours later from injuries sustained in the crash. Bob Ojeda was in critical condition from head injuries.
At eight years old, I hadn’t experienced much death– only my 88-year old grandfather, an aunt who had cancer, and another aunt who was killed in a car/train accident (self inflicted, though I was too young to know it at the time). Death was something that only happened to the aged, the sick, the frail. It wasn’t supposed to happen to athletes in the middle of their careers.
And yet, here it was right in front of me as this fan favorite, a submarine-tossing closer and a big piece of the future for the Tribe, was gone in an instant. The team was shocked. Major League Baseball held a moment of silence at every ballpark. It was the first death of a player during a season since the 1979 plane crash that took the life of Thurman Munson in Northeast Ohio. The Indians wore a commemorative patch on their jerseys recognizing Olin and Crews. The Dodgers, Crews’ previous team, also honored him with a sleeve emblem.
The Indians had an off day on March 22. Tim Crews lived near the team’s Spring Training facility in Winter Haven and invited the players, coaches, and staff over. Many had already made plans with family, but three members– Olin, Bobby Ojeda, and strength coach Fernando Montes– went out. As they got ready to go out and hit the lake for some fishing, the group realized they left a few items back up at the house. Montes lost the game of rock-paper-scissors, and off he went back to the house while the three pitchers launched the boat to take a couple laps around the lake. Minutes later, Montes was with Tim’s friend Perry Brigmond, pulling three severely injured bodies from Little Lake Nellie.
Olin had always told his wife Patti that he wanted the Garth Brooks song “The Dance” played at his funeral. It was his favorite song, and the video for it showed people who died following their dreams. The deaths of Olin and Crews didn’t just affect their families. It also derailed another young career and life, and heavily weighed on Ojeda, the lone survivor of the crash.
Bobby was the lucky one, as odd as it sounds. Slouched just slightly in his seat on Crews’ boat, the lower distance was just enough to keep him from joining the fates of his teammates, only shaving off the top of his head instead of taking a direct blow to the entire thing. Ojeda had a long bout with the “Why Me?” that survivors often feel following a tragedy taking place around them. He spent time in Sweden to get away. He no longer called himself a ballplayer when asked, just a former ballplayer. He wanted nothing to do with rehab, physical fitness, or even holding a baseball. It took months before he was even willing to throw a ball with his physical therapist– which also took him weeks to decide to visit.
And how many near-misses could a man have? Ojeda had already survived driving off a bridge on a mountain bike as a kid. He and his dad barely avoided shots from some crazy guy who just decided to fire off fifteen rounds at them in California– while they were on a boat, no less. And there was the time as a teenager that he tried to light a charcoal grill with gasoline and the can went up in flames in his hand. Or the time he was riding in a Corvette that managed to end up wrapped around a telephone pole. Or when an ambulance plowed through the trunk and into the back seat of another car he was riding in. Or when he sliced his finger off with hedge trimmers as a Mets pitcher. Or all the times he drove around his neighborhood on his Harley, still dressed in the suit he wore out from the ballpark. Eventually, he decided he was going to try to make his way back to baseball. The fates hadn’t gotten him yet, and he wasn’t going to just roll over and let them end his career. Not unless it was on his terms.
Kevin Wickander wasn’t even at the party that day. He wanted to go, but had already told his wife and kids he would take them to Disney World. But Olin was his best friend through their years in the minors, the best man at his wedding, his chief competitor in the annual bullpen gum chewing contest: he was completely distraught by Olin’s death. The two had always been there for each other. But this was a time where Wick couldn’t be there for his friend. Wickander made sure the team kept Olin’s locker the exact way it had been before his death, almost obsessively so. A month into the season, the loss of his best friend still heavy in his mind, the Indians sent Wickander to the Cincinnati Reds to give him a new start. The big lefty never regained his form. After a couple of brief stints in Detroit and Milwaukee, including a 1995 season that turned a few heads for a while, he was out of baseball. Having had drug and alcohol problems early in his career, and now dealing with the end of a baseball career and the loss of Olin, Wick ended up back on drugs, developing a severe meth addiction. Turning to crime to make the money required to feed his addiction, he was eventually arrested and imprisoned for theft. Released in 2006, he has been clean ever since and is living in Phoenix. He says his most prized possessions are his college baseball championship ring, his wedding ring, and a watch of Steve’s that his widow Patti gave to him at the funeral. Even after all the post-career problems, he still says that March 22, 1993 was the worst day of his life.
On August 7, a young pitcher named Julian Tavarez made his major league debut. After allowing five runs in three innings, manager Mike Hargrove went to the bullpen for a lefty. Bobby Ojeda made his return to the mound. He would only pitch in nine games that season, then in two with the 1994 Yankees. But the most important thing was that he was back.
For the next seven years, the Indians never had a day off during Spring Training, just to keep something like this from happening again. The team continued on. Two weeks later, the Yankees crushed them 9-1 on Opening Day. They finished sixth of the seven AL East teams, going 76-86. Eric Plunk, Jeremy Hernandez, Derek Lilliquist, and Jerry DiPoto stepped into the roles vacated in the bullpen, but the Tribe still had the fourth worst ERA in the American League. The team played their last game at Cleveland Municipal Stadium and prepared for a move to the new downtown ballpark in the Gateway neighborhood. A month after the conclusion of the 1993 season, one final tragedy: another young pitcher, Cliff Young, was killed in a car accident in his home state of Texas.
Twenty years later, Ojeda refuses to talk about the accident.
Twenty years later, Montes refuses to play rock-paper-scissors.
Twenty years later, Patti Olin refuses to visit Little Lake Nellie.
Aside from Dave Winfield wearing it 1995, no Indian wore Olin’s 31 until 2000. Two and a half years after Olin and Crews’ deaths, on September 8, 1995, the Cleveland Indians raised the Central Division banner as they clinched their first playoff berth since 1954.
“The Dance” played over the Jacobs Field speakers.
“Our lives are better left to chance,
I could have missed the pain,
But I’d have had to miss the dance.”
By Barry Hren aka Wolf1bh
Each year, the trading card world foists upon us the latest and greatest innovations to the hobby. What started out as a few short printed cards, then serial numbered and autographed inserts, has morphed into articles of clothing, pieces of equipment, and even human hair and fossilized bones. The latest hot new things include shadowbox cards, 14k gold plated ones and even mini videos. While I am sure we will all be surprised by what comes next, here are a few ideas of what we probably WON’T be seeing anytime soon in the hockey card industry.
1. Stanley Cup Ice Cards- While it would be cool to ship an actual piece of ice to the consumer (I think the recent traveling “Titanic” exhibit had some sort of way to keep ice frozen on a wall), it more likely would come in the form of a tiny vial of water. Take it out of the card, sprinkle it on your home pond, and voila’, you can skate the same ice as the legends.
2. Playoff Beard Clippings- Allen & Ginter made a splash by putting in strands of hair from both John F. Kennedy and a Woolly Mammoth, so why not beards? Imagine the thrill of opening a pack to find some pieces of Lanny McDonald’s red walrus whiskers, Scott Hartnell’s bushy caveman beard, or a few strands of Sid the Kid’s porn mustache?
3. Authentic Mouth Guard Cards- By now, almost all of us collectors have a piece of jersey, stick or even skate on a card, but what a thrill to have the first pieces of authentic player mouth guard! Complete with authentic DNA from players like Patrick Kane who spend more time chewing it then actually, you know, protecting their teeth.
4. Authentic Shoulder/Knee/Elbow Pad- Goalie pad cards have been around for years, but how bout a piece of sweaty pad? Complete with that “hockey cologne” smell of dried funk that never seems to leave your gear now matter how hard you try.
5. Authentic Playoff Popcorn- Remember a few years back when someone put an official Seattle Seahawks NFC Championship hot dog on eBay? It garnered over 300 thousand views, and GoldenPalace.com bought it for $1800.00! While bits of slowly rotting meat might not be the best thing to have in your card boxes, how bout a few kernels of popcorn from Madison Square Garden or Joe Louis Arena come playoff time? Keep ‘em, trade ‘em, dare your friends to eat ‘em!
6. Legends of the Lockout Cards- The cards that no one wants. The possibilities include dual autos of the great commissioner Gary Bettman and player representative Donald Fehr. Would be a redemption, probably with a 4-5 month wait. “We’ll work on getting it done sooner”.
8. Punch Redemptions- These “Black and Blue Tickets” could be redeemed at the National Convention, where 6 lucky winners will have the opportunity to take (or give to their unsuspecting buddy) a shot right in the kisser from enforcing legends past and present, including Terry O’ Reilly, Stu Grimson, Tie Domi, and Tiger Williams. Imagine the pride and envy of your pals, walking around town with an autographed black eye from Dan Carcillo!
9. True Mystery Autographs- While players of the past like Jean Beliveau, Gordie Howe, and Bobby Hull are known for taking their time writing a full, legible signature, many of today’s young millionaires can’t seem to bother with more than 3 seconds per illegible scrawl. Players like Marian Hossa, Alex Ovechkin, and Jonathan Cheechoo have the kind of scribble that make you turn it 3 different ways to see if you are reading it right. These redemptions of the up and coming hot, young, bad signers will be on white cardstock, with no pictures or names, making it virtually worthless and a “true mystery” of who your player might be!
So there you have it, some “not so great” ideas for the future, though I must say, wouldn’t surprise me if any of them came to fruition. If anyone from Upper Deck, Topps, or Panini is reading this and is looking for a new marketing guru, drop me a line, plenty more bad ideas where these came from!