Easy answer. I can't.
Now I know there are numerous collector's out there, all with different tastes and collecting habits, but for me the best thing about this hobby may be the element of surprise.
This awesome card of the former Dodgers pitcher is not surprising in itself, but it would be surprising to see Topps put out a shot like this in a new product.
But I digress. Whether it's ripping open a fresh pack of cards, digging through dime boxes, or simply getting a package of cards in your mailbox, the surprise factor makes this hobby great.
Nick of the infamous Dime Boxes blog hit the latter of the two surprising features in this hobby. Not only is he a dime box extraordinaire, he is an awesome dude willing to share some of his loot with me.
In fact we just completed a trade which means I get to share that loot with you.
I'm sure your face is as lit up as Eric Davis' in this fantastic piece of cardboard Nick sent my way.
I was expecting a few cards like this from Nick, and he came through. But he also hit a ton of different collecting interests of mine.
Let's start out with some of my player collections.
Nick must know I love Matt Kemp because he sent me 4 new awesome cards for my PC. I cannot pick a favorite when it comes to Matt Kemp, but that 2012 Heritage red parallel is freaking beautiful.
However, it gets even better. Take a look at this sweet card featuring Clayton Kershaw at the plate. Well, he could be in the batter's box or something, but it doesn't really matter. I am a big fan of these UD Spectrum cards, but even more so after laying my eyes on this beauty.
Of course, Nick is a great trader and managed to hit quite a few more of my player collections.
As if new Kemp's and a new Kershaw wasn't enough, Nick went ahead and found 4 Shawn Green cards that I had yet to get my hands on.
Manny Ramirez sighting!
Nick must have got bored with sending me standard cards of my PC's, because he sent 2 awesome minis of Dodgers shortstop, Hanley Ramirez. When I first got into this hobby I despised minis. They were hard to store and even harder to keep track of. However, my opinion on them has done a 180 in the past few months. This change of heart would have been surprising to me late last year.
Hey! Here's another mini from Nick. Considering I have only seen two of these mini's from the flagship design, this was a big surprise. I guess I will have to talk about these fantastic minis from Topps in the near future. *Hint: I LOVE them.*
I could go on with the barrage of cards Nick sent me toward my PC's, but let us take a break to look at some vintage goodiness.
I'll start with the Sutton on the left. I was never able to see Sutton pitch, but from what I hear he was a fantastic pitcher. If baseball cards could speak for a players performance, Sutton is a Hall of Famer.
Of course, the same thing can be said for Ron Cey aka The Penguin. Topps delivered a beautiful set in 1980, so hopefully this is not the last Cey I grab from this set.
Moving on to one of the worst miscut cards in my possession. I guess that goes to show you that I don't have a ton of miscuts laying around. Hailing from 1966, this Tommy Davis is not only a great vintage pickup, it is a valuable addition to my Topps Team Set Project. (Scroll down a bit on that link).
Speaking of my Topps Team Set Project, here are 6 more cards that Nick sent my way.
Now these cards may have surprised me the most. Specifically the Kaz Ishii on the left. Even as a Dodger collector, I don't run across too many of his cards. So when I ripped open the bubble mailer to find this, I was more than excited. What is so special about Ishii you ask?
Well, he started the first Dodger game I ever attended (or at least remember).
My dad took me to Dodger Stadium close to ten years ago for one of many Dodger games we have attended over the years. Ishii started the game against the crosstown Angels, a game in which the Dodgers kicked some butt. Here is a recap from that game for anybody interested. I completely forgot that Beltre homered twice in that game, not to mention Bartolo Colon was pitching for the Angels. Ahhhh, nostalgia.
I guess these two cards meant a lot more to me than Nick intended them too.
So yea. I guess surprises are what make this hobby so damn fun. At least that is what I tell myself.