Thursday, January 3, 2013

A Hand-Written Friendship Bracelet

When I was in 2nd grade, if you were buddies with someone you would give them a friendship bracelet. You'd get a couple of pieces of colored-string, braid them together, and BOOM -- instant friendship.  It was a personal gift that took some time and care, which is part of what made it mean something.

Now in the internet age, much is made of the "lost art of the hand-written letter."  With all the IMing, emailing, facebooking, and twittering, actually sitting down with a pen and paper and sending someone a personalized note counts as the height of graceful manners.

Relating this to the blogosphere...I'll admit that I am guilty of sending "impersonal" trade packages.  Maybe I'll just drop a team-bag into a bubble mailer and send it off.  If I'm lucky, I might offer a perfunctory "Thanks for trading!" on a slip of paper that I toss into the envelope.

So.....if the quality scale goes from short boilerplate email (bad) to hand-written letter plus friendship bracelet (very good), how can I possibly place a ranking on THIS?

Gene Mauch

This is by far one of the coolest things I have received from the card-blog world.  It's from TTG @ Friars on Cardboard.  It is a hand-collated pack of manager cards, wrapped in white paper, and then decorated with the cover art seen above.  If a hand-written item is notable...what can I say about a hand-drawn pack?  AWESOME is what I can say.  Keep in mind that this whole thing is the size of a regular baseball card and done in ink.  And this was a "Just Because" trade was involved.

And with that preview...I was hoping the pack would contain that top card.  IT DID.

1987 Topps Gene Mauch
There were several other manager cards from TTG (many of them grumpy, per my preferences), but this was my favorite.  It's a double-dose of grumpitude.

Buck Showalter and Jim Fregosi
Although I didn't know it, not only do I collect grumpy manager cards, apparently I also collect grumpy manager STICKERS. 

2012 Triple Play Sticker - Screaming Manager - #8
Another package from TTG had several Royals I needed, including Jeff Conine jumping rope with the old crossover technique.  Thanks to 4th grade P.E. class, I can do that same trick.  Maybe I should send that teacher a hand-written note of thanks?

Speaking of elementary school, Sherman Corbett and I had the same glasses, apparently.
1989 Topps Sherman Corbett, 1990 Topps Mike Scott
This exceeded anything I could have hoped for, TTG.  Thank you so much.  Know that I appreciate it a ton -- This hand-written friendship bracelet of a pack.  :-)

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