When I started reading sports card blogs, I was amazed that not only were there more people out there that actually still collected sports cards, but these people were also willing to trade and give cards away to other collectors. By the time I had found the blogs, about 15 years had passed since I had last traded cards with my childhood best friend and neighbor. I assumed that once you grew up, you could only acquire new cards by visiting a local hobby shop or perusing eBay and you could only unload cards at a yard sale (selling on eBay still seemed like a foreign and intimidating concept at that time). The blogosphere helped me to change that antiquated paradigm completely.
One of those first blogs I began reading was Wax Heaven. People were always sending Mario their nearly forgotten Jose Canseco and Andrew Miller cards, and in turn, Mario seemed to be shipping out packages by the truck load for both trades and contest giveaways. When I got into blogging myself, I continued to enter Mario’s contests religiously and even co-sponsored a contest with Mario. Just when I was starting to lose faith that I would ever win cards from Mario (I have no Andrew Miller cards and very few overproduced Cansecos of which I’m sure he already has tons), I got an email from him that simply said, “Do you want to send a bubble mailer for some football cards?”
HECK YEAH, MARIO!
I asked if he wanted a big or small bubble mailer and if I should include any supplies. He said supplies were not necessary and that any mailer I had laying around would suffice, so off I went to the printer and PayPal to purchase two mailing labels and the (empty) package went out in the following day’s mail. Occassionally I checked the tracking code to see if I should be expecting the return package soon. It seemed to take forever, but finally one day, instead of just saying that the post office had been notified to expect my package, I read that it was at the sort facility and was on the way. WOOT!
When the package arrived, I furiously ripped it open, having no clue what to expect. I figured that Mario had given away all of the good stuff from his sponsorship boxes and that this would just be a handful of commons for which he had no other use. Boy, was I wrong. I was pleasantly surprised when I pulled out these beauts:
That's a total of 4 autographs and 3 jersey patches. While I'm not a UFC guy, any autographed card is cool. And the Dan Fouts card? VERY cool. I realize that Mario doesn't know much about the NFL, but I have a feeling he would have included the autographed jersey card of a HOFer regardless. What's really cool is that this pure generousity never went mentioned on Wax Heaven. I have to wonder just how many packages Mario sent out that were completely under the radar…
In hindsight, this may have been a way for Mario to unload some cards he had laying around as he geared up to make his grand finale in the blogosphere. Hopefully Mario makes a comeback some day soon, but until he does, I know I will surely not forget this act of blogosphere kindness anytime soon.
Mario, I don’t know if you’ll ever stumble across this post, but if you do, thank you. Thank you for all of your time and effort with Wax Heaven. Thank you for giving so many collectors a voice, be it through comments to your often controversial posts or by inspiring plenty of new blogs (First and Goal included). It’s a shame all the blogosphere karma you amassed by your countless kind acts couldn’t pay dividends in your personal life, but hopefully we will see you again soon. Thank you…