I collected baseball cards from the late '80s through 2002. Then I went to college and when I came out, I was lost. There were too many brands, sets, choices, relics, autos, parallels, variations. It was a turn off. However, I slowly made my way back.
So here is my attempt to venture back into the hobby. I'll buy a few packs of cards here and there, comment on some cards I have, send out some TTMs, and follow the progress of my Topps Yankees Project.
There has been a gaping black hole in the “blogosphere”
since Napkin Doon left it on March 4, 2014. The Adventures of Napkin Doon was
one of my favorite blogs out there. Nap is a Rangers fan, but has a love for
vintage and lesser-collected sets. He also has a kick-ass LCS named “Cleve’s”,
and I think we’ve all been jealous of it a time or two from the weekly auction
stories he used to share.
Napkin Doon also held a contest/game called “Big Fun Game.”
Creative name, eh? Actually, Nap wanted to rename the game at one point, but I
threatened his life and forced him to keep the “Big Fun Game” name. You don’t
just throw away a perfectly good name like that. For those who never had the privilege
of playing, it was essentially a Yankee Swap/White Elephant game where one
could steal another man’s prize. It was ruthless. Actually, it was quite civil. Too civil.
He hung up his blogging shoes a little while ago, so I
decided to reach out for a quick Q&A to catch up with the legend. For those
of you unfamiliar with his work, go read the archives. They are free for all to
enjoy RIGHT HERE.
The Lost Collector: What have you
been up to?
Napkin Doon: I guess I should just
be honest- I spent the last 3 months in a federal prison on a money
laundering charges. I made some decisions based on advice from the wrong
people, and I paid a hard price. It wasn't so bad. In a sense, it
was a pretty relaxing break, and the food was better than expected.
Obviously being away from the family was extremely tough on me, even with
weekly visits. Now that I'm out, I truly appreciate what it feels
like to be free. Thankfully, it was a white collar prison and the other
guys were not exactly hardened criminals, so I felt pretty safe.
Actually, I'm making all of that up. I don't really even know what money
laundering is. In real life, we just finished moving out of our old house
and are bunking in an apartment for the next 10 days while the new house
is being finished. So that's sort of like prison I guess. Add to
the stresses that come with moving and building a new house, we are 2 people
short at my office so I have been dog paddling just to stay afloat for a few
months now. I know, poor Napkin!
TLC: Any Cleve's stories lately?
ND: I hadn't been to Cleve's in
almost a month before this past weekend. I haven't done anything with
auctions to speak of lately, but on my last visit, I went in guns blazing and
bought my first ever vintage Mickey Mantle! I also picked up a 1980
Rickey Henderson and a 1961 Warren Spahn. I'm looking forward to getting
back to another auction soon though.
(TLC Note: Napkin Tweeted at me last
night that he got his ass handed to him by an old geezer at Cleve’s while
bidding on some vintage Bowman)
Napkin Doon's first Mantle!
TLC: You always appreciated unloved
sets, such as Topps HD. What are your top 5 favorite sets, and a few unloved
ones collectors might enjoy?
ND: My 5 Favorite Sets Off The Top
Of My Head:
b- 2009 Topps Sterling
c- 1999 Flair Row 1
d- 1999 EX Century
As for unloved sets, I always
thought the "All Star" Cards that came inserted 1 per Rack Pack in
the 80's were great cards. Glossy, star studded and simple designs and
they are super cheap to purchase.
TLC:How's the sampler album coming along?
ND: It's coming along great!
Maybe it's because I'm still in "moving" mode, but I've really moved
away from mass purchases and accumulation and wax busting, and am just
concentrating on a few things. The Sampler Album is basically satisfying
all of my collecting urges and has been super easy to contain and keep up with
(I have an album of 1 page for every base Topps set for those that don't know
what I'm talking about). In fact, I've been purging a lot of my bulk
cards and will probably get rid of a lot more over the next few months.
I'm starting to become a "less is more" collector. It also
makes big purchases like the above Mantle easier to handle. That said, I
only need 2 more 1951 Topps to fill the 1951 page and then the album will
be full. Then it's just a matter of changing out cards as I see
fit. The 3 cards I mentioned from Cleve's all went to the Sampler
album. I'd like to only have 1 card of any player (2 or 3 is ok if
it's a superstar like Aaron or Koufax or someone) and trying to make sure every
page has a few cards with interesting tidbits. For example, on my 1968
page I have a card of Sam McDowell, who was the inspiration for the Sam Malone
character on Cheers. On my 1965 page, along with cards of Mays, Aaron, and
Koufax, I have Masanori Murakami who was the first ever Japanese born MLB
player. I've actually toyed with the idea of reviving the blog at some
point and just dedicating it to my sampler album and writing about 1 page per
week. So that would give me 60+ weeks of blog material. But I doubt
I do it.
(TLC Note: DO IT! DO IT NOW!)
TLC:One of my most read posts ever was titled
"Napkin Doon is a Jerk". How does this make you feel? (read the post HERE)
ND: A little sorry for you, if
that's the biggest draw you could muster. You should try "Fuji is a
Mother F*cker" or "Night Owl Made a Pass At My Woman" Then
you'd get some ratings.
(TLC Note: Those are his words, not
mine. See? He is a jerk.)
TLC: You stopped blogging during
Spring Training. This season, the Rangers suck. Is there a correlation between
you not blogging and the Rangers sucking?
ND: Yes. Next question.
TLC:Are Doon Discs permanently
ND: We are dealing with some, shall
we say, unintended side effects from a few of our customers. At this
point it's a legal matter and I can't go into much more detail. But trust
me, Doon Discs are everything I ever said they were, and I am not responsible
for any misuse or unsupervised distribution to children or the elderly.