With apologies to Mr. Burl Ives, a recent trade package I received got me thinking about one of my favorite childhood Christmas specials. Of course, that would be none other than whimsical Rankin/Bass production of Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer.
I'm sure you all recall Ives' "Sam the Snowman" character from the holiday special, as he narrates and sings his way through Rudolph's passion play. A pretty trippy experience to say the least. Well, one of the ol' snowman's tunes was "Silver and Gold". Not the biggest hit in the Ives repertoire, but it kinda sticks with you whether you like it or not. And worse, it tends to pop up when you're definitely not in the mood for it. For instance, when you're trying to unravel a very long and uncooperative strand of lights and your blood pressure is on the rise and beads of sweat are building on your brow... Boom! There goes Burl crooning about Silver and Gold.
Or is that just me?
Anyhow, back to the trade package. It comes from one of the best baseball card bloggers God ever graced us with, Nick from Dime Boxes.
And in this was package was, well, not exactly Silver and Gold. And no snowman with a 'stache and goatee, either. Fine by me, my blood pressure doesn't need the spike.
On the contrary, this particular trade package was pure pleasure, and it was rife with the next best thing to Silver and Gold.
Cognac and Gold.
As in 2011 Topps Update Cognac...
...and 2012 Topps Update Gold.
I may be in the minority with the Cognac cards. I've had a thing for them the moment I saw them. I'm hoarding as many of them as I can get my mitts on. This year's Gold parallels are fine, too. Especially if they happen to be Mets. Or Los Mets, in Manny Acosta's case.
But, perhaps more precious than Silver, Cognac or Gold is a short print hidden in a dime box. And, Nick did right by me in this regard, too.
A nice addition to my 2011 Topps Heritage SP collection is this Clayton Richard card. True to his blog's name, Nick informed me he plucked this from a ten-center. And now he's passed the joy onto me. Outstanding!
Some big help for my player collections came in this package, also.
Next to Keith Hernandez, John Olerud is my favorite first baseman from the annals of Mets baseball. Unfortunately he didn't stick around Queens long enough for my liking. Just three short seasons, all of which he wielded the bat and the glove like a true pro. Then it was onto Seattle and eventually the (gag) Yankees. No matter the uniform he's sporting, I love getting new cards of Johnny O.
Speaking of love...
I love Butch Huskey and Butch Huskey cards. That's pretty much all I have to say on this topic.
And, you know who else I love?
This guy. Great shot of Todd launching one during Spring Training with the Cubbies. This was most likely a 490-foot foul ball. Still an awesome shot.
Oh, back to Mets first basemen for a sec. Another guy who is certainly up there on my list is Carlos Delgado...
This is from the 2004 Donruss set, which features a pretty boring design but lots of neat photography. Like this.
And, I can never ignore a great Vladimir Guerrero card...
Nick, a fellow Vlad collector, made sure to include a host of great cards of this future HOFer.
I'm lucky to have had the opportunity to swap cards with Nick on two occasions now. And I'll definitely look forward to the next time.
Silver, Gold, Cognac or otherwise.