A few weeks ago I had a very nice experience at one of my local card shops. It was a Saturday afternoon. I walked in to Sports Treasures with Caroline. The owner, Eddie, had a customer that he was dealing with. Caroline became very interested in the Vols' collectibles. Santa on an orange fire truck. Santa on an orange VW Bug. I'm trying to keep her from knocking down some signed footballs and basketballs. I'm successful. Then I hear from across the store, "Hey, Mark." I look up and say, "Hey, Eddie."
It makes one feel good when the store owner calls you by name.
Eddie is the good kind of local card shop owner. I don't frequent his shop often because it is on the other end of town. I'm rarely in that neighborhood. But he'll always take the time to talk with me, answering any questions that he can. He sends out about 4 or 5 emails a week to his customers. Standard stuff really, what's coming up in releases, what new jerseys or memorabilia he's been able to procure.
So, I asked him some questions about the Topps Series 2, specifically the one card per week that Topps is giving away through the local card shops with a purchase of new Topps product. The week that I stopped in it was the Evan Longoria card, HTA-22 of 50. Yeah, Topps is stretching this promotion out for a whole year. Cardboard Connections posted the whole checklist back in February.
So, what does the HTA stand for?
Home Team Advantage. Brick and mortar stores. Just like Eddie's. From what I understand, they get some special cards and deals that the internet stores don't get. It makes sense. Topps is supporting them. And I got a card.
I'm a fan of Dan Uggla, mostly because he used to play for the Smokies. I saw him a few times. I'd like to say that I saw some talent in him way back when, but mostly I saw a solid player with a funky name. I do like how the back of the card photo could almost be the other side of the front of the card photo.
Legendary Lineage? And just how do they make that leap? Well, they're both first basemen. They're both six feet tall and they both were, at one time, the youngest player to hit 50 home runs in a season. It is a stretch, but I guess it will do. Jimmie swung the bat a whole lot differently than Prince does. But watching old film of Joe Dimaggio and Ted Williams, maybe all the old players did that. I think I'd rather have Jimmie, Joe or Ted on my fantasy team over Prince.
History of the World Series cards. Bob Gibson. Wow. I didn't know that he started 9 World Series games. And went the distance in 8 of them. His total WS record is 7-2. Wow. With a 1.89 ERA. 92 strike outs over 81.0 innings. Wow. Darn right he won the Cy Young Award and the MVP in 1968. Now, to be fair, Detroit's Mickey Lolich went 3-0 in the 1968 series, with a 1.67 ERA. He completed all 3 of his games. A tip of the hat to Mickey.
I didn't try to straighten up these images from my scanning. I'm not really sold on the base card design and I'm not going to try to complete any of this set. I just wanted the HTA card. And that was so I could blog about it.