When the throw-ins are even better than the prize

It's a good thing that we're in a new golden age of giveaways and contests on the blogs, because trading through this medium has slowed to a dribble.

I totally get it. With the post office out as an option the last couple of months, I've relied on PWEs and the mailbox for any transacting. It's actually been a productive alternative, but there are limits and because of them I haven't been able to send cards to certain people.

Hopefully, life will be more receptive to trades through the mail in the coming weeks. In the meantime, we have crazy generous contest giveaways like the Cardpocalypse going on right now on the blog ... uh ... Cardpocalypse (do I have that right -- the contest and the blog names are the same?).

Tim has been running weekly contest giveaways since his return to blogging. Each giveaway launches on Sunday and is themed. Each week's winner is unable to participate in future giveaways until the Free-For-All (my phrase, not his) in Week 5.

I won the Week 2 giveaway, which was football-themed. My choice was this wonderful Jim Kelly-Thurman Thomas dual relic from 2017 Panini Certified.

I'm not a big football collector, but I do like my Bills cards and I especially like the Bills players from the Super Bowl period, which are basically the same players that I covered when I was helping work the team beat for the Niagara Gazette from 1988-90.

The back of the card interestingly describes Kelly's swatch as "player-worn" and Thomas' swatch as "game-worn". I suppose that explains the faded nature of Thomas' swatch compared with Kelly's. Kelly probably donned his jersey for one of the 4,000 commercials he's been a part of in Buffalo the last several decades. But who's kidding who? Both swatches are probably socks an employee found in a dumpster behind the building.

I will display my garbage socks relic card proudly, but I have to admit that what Tim threw in with the relic card was even more impressive.

It's obvious that he went through my want list for these not-exactly-throw-ins. And it's also obvious -- as I've long suspected of Tim anyway -- that his inventory and his access to said inventory is not anything like my inventory. How is he coming up with this stuff?

Let's begin with the four Clayton Kershaw cards he sent me because it happens to be the 12th anniversary of Kershaw's first major league appearance today.

The first card is a foil parallel. The second is that weirdly named "Collector's Card" from 2018 Heritage -- apparently Topps couldn't use "Transogram." The third is the annoying Gypsy Queen "missing team name" parallel (I am convinced that every GQ action is meant to troll me). The fourth is a 2014 Finest insert, paying tribute to one of my favorite Finest looks, 1994 Finest (that's right, haters).

That brings me to 734 unique Clayton Kershaw cards on his pitching anniversary!

But not your average stuff, right?

So, here are the other Dodgers off my want list, those other "throw-ins":

  OK, these are your average 2020 Donruss base-card needs. Nothing exciting about these except that I NEEDED THEM.

Two more foil parallels that don't even look this nice in person. I wish Topps would hurry up and start catering to those who collected between 2000-09 so we can be done with foil uselessness. At least the Wood is numbered.

I am indifferent to most Stadium Club parallels. The only SC parallel that I really, really like are those black-and-white cards with the orange foil. Those were sharp ... and a pain to find. But it looks like Topps replaced those with the sepia parallels a couple years ago, which aren't nearly as interesting.

A 1996 Finest need. That's the set with the funny letter/number card numbers that confuse the heck out of night owl.

Here we go, starting to get to my speed.

The best part of the color parallels in 2019 Topps is that the player's last name changes to whatever color the parallel is. I love that. Topps should do this every year.

Don't look at the prices of 2020 Gavin Lux cards. I said DON'T.

I really don't want to pay 4 bucks for a 2020 insert. Granted, this is a beautiful card. This year's Turkey Red did itself wonders by installing bright sky backgrounds and leaving out the darkened backdrops from earlier TR sets.

Weee! Walgreen yellows!!!!!

Did you know there were Walgreen yellows in Topps Update, too?

I didn't.

That was a punch to my want list gut.

But it's so satisfying to get these cards. My Walgreen's never, not ever carried these yellow-parallel exclusives. The best it can do is provide Fairfield repacks. If the truck drivers that supply inventory are afraid to drive the extra miles to deliver the cards that I see in stores a few hours to the south, I'll be happy to drive the rig to my destination. Non-winter months only, of course.

The most exciting cards in the entire mailing.

I saw 2019 Utz cards all over the blogs last year. And those collectors who couldn't find Utz chips with cards blamed it on not living in the Northeast. Well, I live in the Northeast, and I didn't find them either. I didn't even know what Utz was before these things came out.

Those are two of the three Dodgers with just the Kershaw to go.

So, those were some kind of throw-ins for someone who was already supplying a free relic card of two four-time Super Bowl losers.

Yup, trading might be down these days.

But everything else on the blogs is fantastic.
Source: nightowlcards

When the throw-ins are even better than the prize