Since I started blogging in August of 2017, I haven't taken a break longer than 2 days from posting. For whatever reason, I've always felt the need to post as often as possible, usually resulting in 24 or 25 posts each and every month.
Now, for the first time, I'll be taking more of an extended break from the blog. Not because I've run out of ideas or desperately need a break from posting almost daily, but because I'm going on vacation for the next 13 days.
I haven't been on a vacation since my trip to The National last year, and I still managed to post during some of my days in Cleveland. However, throughout my time in Washington DC and North Carolina, I'm going to be too busy to write high-quality posts.
I value quality over quantity, and I feel like there have been some instances on the blog in which that notion hasn't held true. Thus, I have no problem taking this break from blogging, though I foresee myself returning to my normal posting schedule on July 19th or 20th.
As a result, this will be my final post for the next 2 weeks or so, and it's a quick recap of a trip that I took to my LCS earlier in the week. It's become a regular occurrence for me to, in addition to necessary supplies, pick up some dime and 50 cent cards while browsing through the card shop.
While I'm away, Panini Donruss Optic and, more notably, Topps Allen & Ginter are going to be released. While I've never opened a pack of Optic in my life, A&G is an essential release for me, year in and year out.
However, this shouldn't be too much of a concern, for I can pick up what I want from both of these sets when I arrive in Chicago for The National at the end of this month.
Since my Dad and I visited the dime boxes at our LCS a couple weeks beforehand, the selection of available cards didn't change all that drastically. However, we still found a reasonable number of cards; some were for our player collections while others were not.
Take the 4 cards above, for example. Only 1 of them (the Jimmy Dean George Brett) will immediately be going to a player collection. Truth be told, I really should start collecting Francisco Lindor along with many other players.
I should remind myself to add some new PCs to my collection when I return home. Guys like Lindor, Freddie Freeman, Ronald Acuna Jr, and Gleyber Torres should be added to my list of 250 PCs.
Following Ichiro's retirement after the 2-game series between the Mariners and Athletics in Japan, the 45-year old retired. This made Albert Pujols the largest of my active player collections at 161 total cards, a number that'll be boosted thanks to these 2 Stadium Club base cards from 2015 and 2016 respectively.
I've ranted about Stadium Club quite a bit in the last week, but I just love the wide range of various cards throughout the set and even across each release. Although these 2 cards are from the same product and are just 1 year apart, they're incredibly different. That's not something that you can find in every Baseball card set.
Speaking of Topps Stadium Club, I picked up a couple of cards from the 2017 set that, come to think of it, I might already have in the Rod Carew and Paul Goldschmidt PCs.
However, I wasn't as certain when shuffling through the dime bins, and if there's any set that I'll accept doubles from more than others, it's Stadium Club.
I'm not sure who brought that painting of Paul Goldschmidt to the Arizona Diamondbacks game, but I truly hope that he signed it. That would be a one of a kind collectible. As for Rod Carew's card, he's also signing autographs for fans before the game, a similarity between the 2 cards that I didn't notice beforehand.
The tragic death of Los Angeles Angels pitcher Tyler Skaggs earlier in the week brought back painful memories of the Baseball players that we've lost over the last few years. Jose Fernandez, Yordano Ventura, Jose Castillo, Luis Valbuena, and Roy Halladay have all passed away since September of 2016.
I remember hearing the news of all of these player's devastating deaths, and it's incredibly unfortunate that history has repeated itself numerous times over the last few years. I picked up this Halladay card the day after Skaggs' passing, and it brought all of those memories back.
RIP Tyler Skaggs.
I don't want to end this post on a depressing note, but I felt compelled to address what happened earlier this week. Moving on, we have a couple of Bowman's Best cards for 2 of the brightest stars in the National League.
The card of Dodgers shortstop Corey Seager, who I wrote a top 5 cards post for on Thursday, is an insert from the 2016 Bowman's Best set, making it a card from the rookie season of the 25-year old.
Although it's challenging to tell, the Paul Goldschmidt card is a refractor from the 2018 Bowman's Best set, back when he was still with the Arizona Diamondbacks. More so than most of the extensions signed over the offseason, Goldschmidt's surprised me, for he had never played a game for St. Louis at the time of the contract.
With that being said, he's been one of the most consistent players in Baseball over the last 5 years, so I have reason to suspect that the signing will work out for both sides.
Finally, we have a "felt" (I don't know what they're really called) card of J.D. Martinez from 2019 Topps Heritage, another player who I have no excuse not to collect cards of.
Seriously, he was one of the best players on the World Champion Boston Red Sox team, and he's been an All-Star each of his first 2 seasons in Boston.
On that note, I have a few final things to do before I leave for DC tomorrow morning and take my first ever extended break from the blog.
I hope you all have a great 2 weeks, and I look forward to getting back into the swing of things later this month.