Tuesday, April 3, 2012
Dr. Vealtone and His Well-Earned Cards
I've been absent for a long while, far too long, when I should have been exploring the wonders of cardboard. I have a ton of trades to catch up on, card shows to recap, eBay wins, and etc. I've been itching to blog, but life has gotten in the way.
As some of you know, I've been studying for my qualifying exams for my PhD in literature. These tests consist of three four-hour written essay tests, proctored by faculty, no notes. Each test covers a literary period, and each test requires the knowledge of about 50 texts each, plus criticism. These tests are the reason why people choose not to do PhDs. To quote one of my brilliant colleagues, they instill "pants-pissing" terror.
Preparing for these ate up an entire semester, and the last few weeks I've stopped doing everything but studying. Well, I passed those mothers, and passed my oral examination yesterday, which means I'm an official doctoral candidate. Almost Dr. Vealtone, after the dissertation is in, and that's the fun part.
So, sorry to go on about these. For those of you out there considering PhDs, I empathize if you have to go through this academic hazing. And thanks to a few other bloggers who've already gone through these tests and who offered support. That means you, Dr. Carl Crawford Cards.
By the third day of exams, I was running on fumes, had no motivation to do the last exam, but that's when my amazing little sister came through. You may remember her for her awesome cardboard presents of Christmases past, including this one:
And this one:
So, my little sister sent me a big old flat rate box that said: DO NOT OPEN UNTIL AFTER YOU TAKE YOUR EXAMS. And that thing saved me. When I ran out of intellectual stamina, all that carried me through was that box waiting for me at home. Immediately after I finished my last test, I rushed home and tore that thing open. Inside was a 600-count box of Tigers cards.
Inside were a bunch of Sweet Lous,
And where would Lou be without his buddy Trammell.
Of course, there had to be some Gibsons. And then plenty of other random Tigers. That 1991 Fryman was the prize of my collection back when I was 10, and now I have a pair.
Some of Prince's gigantic pappa.
Moving backwards from the glory of the '90s Tigers, Sis' package had some great vintage. I love the 1972 Freehan, and that's my first card of my least favorite coach, Gene Lamont.
A few numbered cards in the box, including a sweet early Inge card and a Donnie Kelly rookie. This Kaline was one of my favorites in the box. Awesome card.
A few more Verlanders for the player collection.
Gotta love those Cabby cards, a few filling important gaps in the player collection.
I loved the Pudges. Lots of Pudge wearing my two favorite things: catcher's gear and a Tigers' uniform.
And, finally, to show how ultimately awesome my little sister is, she actually went and read my want lists and found this Mantle I was missing from my 2007 Bowman Heritage set. I almost forgot; the top card of the post shows one of the most ridiculous cards I've ever seen: Brian Hunter looking like Hamburgler. That's a perfect example of how much fun this box was to go through.
So, how cool is my little sister? Sometimes it's hard for us to explain how much cardboard means to our loved ones. That's why we have these blogs, so someone in our lives doesn't think we're completely crazy for finding such joy in cardboard. But Holly gets it. And she gets what these tests mean. She's already a doctor, and this Vealtone is a year away from joining her.
Thanks, Holly. I couldn't ask for a better sister.