Wednesday, September 7, 2016

First Hallmark, Now Topps

Sometime in the spring of 2004 I took a little bit of time out of my Saturday morning to drive to 1,000,000 Baseball Cards in the western part of St. Louis County.  It's been one of the more successful sports cards shops around that city, many other stores have been shuttered over the last twenty years.  On this particular Saturday I was going to check in on the dime and quarter boxes of Cardinals cards, along with any new wax that might catch my eye.

Surprisingly upon walking into the store I was handed a stack of cards and told it was National Trading Card Day.  There were an assortment of football, basketball, and baseball cards in the stack with cards from all the major brands of the day.  I'm not going to say that I was jumping up and down over the free cards, but free cards are free cards.

My favorite card out of the bunch has to be the Donruss Albert Pujols.

I never added National Trading Card Day to my calendar and I have not celebrated it since the day I was told about more than a decade ago.  I have run across the group of cards celebrating the "holiday" a few times over the years, but I don't give them much thought.  

Until this year earlier this summer.  

A few weeks back I was hanging out doing the things I do in a day: Working, driving to work, probably doing something around my house, and hanging out with my wife and kids.  It might have actually been kid when this took place.  Out of the blue, half of the card collectors on my Twitter feed, like literally half of my Twitter feed, and every Facebook card group I belong to started stammering about National Baseball Card Day. 

Naturally, I had to dig out the boxes with my set from 2004 thinking that National Trading Card Day and National Baseball Card Day were the same thing.  They were not.  National Trading Card Day has apparently disappeared, but never fear Topps invented National Baseball Card Day.   

Just like we can count on Hallmark to give us National Secretary's Day and National Office Assistant Day and Office Staff Appreciation Week, we now have card companies making up holidays.  Personally, I am hoping that National Baseball Card Day goes the way of National Trading Card Day and quickly disappears.  

However, it appears that Topps did give out cards or packs of cards.  I am not sure.  I personally received absolutely nothing from them.  I blame the airbrushing article, or maybe I was just not aware of how to receive the cards or packs this year.  

Anyhow, I ended up with a National Baseball Card Day Baseball Card.  They appear to be nicer than the cards that were given away for National Trading Card Day.  

Albert Pujols cards are nice, but Stephen Piscotty autographs are better.  As much as I like the idea of having Stephen Piscotty cards, especially the autographed variety showing up in my mailbox, I am still not thrilled with the idea of having a holiday for baseball cards that Topps somehow invented to promote snazzy and shiny cards.  

I actually made a post on National Baseball Card Day before I knew that shiny cards were being showered on collectors and that said "holiday" was created by a large company who happens to be in the business of baseball cards.  Initially I thought that it would be more of a holiday (no quotes-real celebration) that celebrated cards in general.  Collectors could share out cool stories about cool cards in their collections, non-collectors can tell you stories about how they used to collect, and others can just look at you crooked because you're thirty something and still collect baseball cards.

Just me?  

I am happy to have a nice Stephen Piscotty card, but he has had nice cards in almost every Topps set this year.   Just my opinion, but if we are going to have a card company created holiday, perhaps Topps should shower some kids with cards and not adults who turn around and sell and trade the cards to other adults.  After all, if they truly want the "holiday" to stick around and combine it with free stuff, perhaps there would be no better place to start than sparking a kids interest by giving them something cool that can be a good moment to share during a future National Baseball Card Day.  

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