Let me start at the beginning. Since last I've blogged, I've finished a couple vintage sets (1956 Topps and 1961 Fleer Baseball Greats), I joined a trader group, I've been helping out at my local sports card shop by organizing their commons from the 1970s, and I've started a couple of Tumblr blogs (Old Basketball Cards is the relevant one here). I've also started collecting the 1965 and 1971 Topps baseball sets.
But my real new bright idea – and not entirely sure if "bright" is the correct word here – is to create a Toppslopedia: a comprehensive collection containing one card of each player ever featured on their own Topps card. When I started a few days ago, I thought it would be relatively easy. Ten hours of copying over checklists into Excel and two migraines later, I realize it's an insane, Ahab-esque undertaking, one that could completely consume the rest of my collecting days. I'm trying to convince myself that it's more akin to a traditional type collection and less like tracking down everyone in the phone book and taking their photo and getting their autograph.
Okay, the population for an undertaking like this would not be as big as the phone book; probably about 5,000 cards, maybe a little more. If there's interest out there, I'll post my checklist as a Google spreadsheet. So far I've only consolidated 1970 and 1971 Topps. I realize that I should have started with the 1951 sets, but well, here we are.
And now for the Fantastic Card of the Day...
1981 Donruss Sammy Stewart or An Open Letter to Nicolas Cage
I've been watching a lot of your movies lately. More than I care to admit. There was Bangkok Dangerous, Peggy Sue Got Married, The Sorcerer's Apprentice, Next, Ghost Rider, Straight to Video. I'm not even sure I made any of those titles up. Honestly, they all started to run together. That's not to say they weren't entertaining — uh, I mean, I'm talking about Nic Cage here, right? I'm pretty sure you could change your last name to "Entertaining" and everyone would still know who you are.
Maybe it's the cocksure-ed-ness. Maybe it's the hair and mustache. I don't know. But I wouldn't be surprised in the least if Sammy had decided long ago to change his last name from Cage to make his reputation on his own. In fact, if you're looking for your next starring role, baseball movies are big now. Here it is: Nic Entertaining—see what I did there?—stars as strikeout dynamo Sammy Stewart in Mediocreball. It will be just like Moneyball, only about the Baltimore Orioles' slide into a mediocrity they have yet to emerge from, nearly 30 years later, not about some scrappy team that makes the playoffs because of the derring-do of statistical eggheads.
We can embellish Stewart's role on the championship team from 1983, and I bet we could get Will Patton to play Rich Dauer. Maybe we could make you two roommates? For the film, but yeah, I'm sure you could do it in real life too if you need a place to stay. Holy crap, I just thought of something. What if you and Patton and the real Stewart and Dauer move into a place together? That's some Charlie Kaufman territory right there. And you've got experience in that department, so it would probably be totally easy for you. If you're not cool with that, that's okay. But as long as we get a big name for the Rich Dauer role, someone you are comfortable with ... it can even be Eva Mendes if you want. I mean, those were obviously the two most important players on the team and we'll need big names.
For the rest of the team I'm thinking Jack Black for Rick Dempsey, Cuba Gooding for Ken Singleton, Ryan Gosling as Cal Ripken, LeVar Burton as Al Bumbry, Billy Dee Williams as Eddie Murray, and Jamie Foxx as Dan Ford. Oh, and Jim Palmer as wait for it — Jim Palmer. I mean, have you seen that guy act?