Friday, September 22, 2023

Mina Smith Visits Section 36!

Section 36 had another visitor! 
Mina Smith is passionate about Loving Your Neighbor, a talented dancer, and the current Miss Northern Vermont's Teen. I was so thrilled that she was willing to visit with us to discuss those topics, and a few more.
So, let's see what happens when Mina Smith visits Section 36!

What made you decide to compete for the Miss Vermont’s Teen crown as Miss Northern Vermont’s Teen?

I hoped to learn about the sisterhood, gain confidence, try something new, and make an impact on people in my state and my area by showing ways to Love Your Neighbor. I live in the northern area of Vermont near Lake Champlain and Burlington, my stepdad is from a small town called Cambridge bordering Stowe also in northern Vermont, and I love the beautiful mountains, waterfalls, and rivers in the north and all of Vermont!  

What is something that Ginger Ragaishis is doing as Miss Vermont’s Teen that you would like to emulate?

I have a slight learning disability, really really appreciate my IEP teachers, and love that Ginger has made me and others feel more comfortable talking about our learning disabilities. 

As a talented dancer, what do you enjoy about performing on stage?

I love to show my emotions through dance, because I am somewhat shy, and it helps my confidence a lot. I don’t feel as anxious or stressed from anything I might be going through when I’m dancing. I think it’s a great art for healing, and happiness! I started as a ballet dancer, took 3 years of figure skating, and started lyrical dancing when I was living in Hawaii. I’m an advocate for Dance Hope Cure now too which combines dance with childhood cancer awareness!

How did you select your CSI, “Love Your Neighbor”?

I am a Christian, wanted to show others not to judge, that I love everyone, and that we can make a change by really Loving Our Neighbors from all walks of life, regardless of beliefs, background, social status, or pronouns used. I feel God meets everyone where they are at, and that everyone deserves love and support! 

If you could be a Disney character for a week, who would you choose? Why?

I would love to be Cruella de Vil from the movie Cruella, because she had an amazing fashion sense, was daring, courageous, fun, and really loved the woman who cared for her even though it turned out to not be her real mom. She fought for her mother figure! 

Is there a feature or activity at a baseball game that you would especially like to experience?

I would really like to throw the first pitch, because I’ve been told I can throw well, I think it would be so much fun, and I could show everyone that a girl who doesn’t play softball can get out there and throw a ball. I love when the players hit a home run, and when the mascot dances and gets everyone cheering! 


A first pitch would definitely be a fun experience.

As always, I want to thank Mina for visiting with us, and for sending along the pictures to go with the interview.

I'm sure you'd like to follow along with Mina during her time as Miss Northern Vermont's Teen. You should be sure to check out her title's Instagram account. 
It's a great way to keep track of everything she has going on, and you'll be sure not to miss anything. 

You should also check out a couple of Mina's partnerships through her non-profit Love Your Neighbor VT. This first is with Fogbuster Coffee where proceeds from special LYN blends will go to her non-profit. The other is with her Dance Hope Cure Campaign partnering with Arms Wide Open Childhood Cancer Foundation. You'll absolutely want to check those out, and support them if you can.

Thanks again Mina, and good luck in the future!

Tuesday, September 19, 2023

Check Out My GOATS!

I mentioned last time, that my most recent COMC shipment had cards that hit a few of my different collection areas. This is another one that really came about almost entirely because of COMC and the ease in picking up odd singles from across sports.

You may remember not long ago I picked up a Serena Williams card. It had occurred to me that stars in some other sports can be had fairly cheaply. I already had the cheapest Tom Brady RC...the Football GOAT. I have a Bill Belichick the football coaching GOAT. I had a Tiger Woods rookie...the men's golf GOAT. Then the Serena...the women's tennis GOAT? Could I put together a GOAT rookie card collection? It started to sound like fun. So I started to see who else I could add relatively cheaply. Honestly, the tricky part with some of these was deciding on what sort of card was their "rookie", especially since I want to avoid the SI for Kids cards if possible. Sometimes I had to decide on my GOAT based on which cards were actually available. In the end, I came up with these... 

Do you agree with my choices? Let's have a look, shall we?

Annika Sorenstam. The women's golf GOAT. In general, I used other sources to try and determine GOAT status. Many sites listed her. Would you agree?

It didn't take much research to decide Simone Biles is the women's gymnastics GOAT. The only trouble was deciding what her rookie card was.

Yup. The rookie card of David Bryant. The lawn bowling GOAT. I told you there would be some variety in this collection.

Roger Federer. The not exactly undisputed men's tennis GOAT. 

Marta, on the other hand, seems like a pretty unanimous decision as the women's soccer GOAT. 

Another choice that's not so clear, but Diana Taurasi got my nod as the women's basketball GOAT.

For basketball...I had some trouble. I'm obviously not going to be able to afford a Michael Jordan rookie. But...maybe his "baseball rookie"? Maybe a baseball rookie where's he's pictured taking a basketball shot? I think that may be just the ticket.

As an alternative, I also grabbed this one, even though it would be tough to even call this a "baseball rookie". It's a much better card, though.

And, just in case none of those qualify, I did grab this back-up GOAT card of LeBron. If nothing else, it has the Carmelo RC as well, so would likely fit in the Hall of Fame RC collection at some point if nothing else. 

And, if you're going to have a GOAT really should have an actual goat. Right? Sure, I could have gone with a recent Allen and Ginter one. But, this Disney card from the 30s was just too perfect to pass up.

And, there they are. The newest GOATs. Would you have selected different players for each slot? 

Who else should I chase?

Friday, September 15, 2023

Mia Daley Visits Section 36!

Photo: David Gagnon
Section 36 had another visitor! 
Mia Daley is passionate about social emotional learning, and the current Miss Rhode Island's Teen. I was so thrilled she wanted to visit with us to discuss those topics, and a few more.

So, let's see what happens when Mia Daley visits Section 36!

How did you celebrate winning the Miss Rhode Island’s Teen crown?

When I first heard my name called as Miss Rhode Island’s Teen, at first I thought wait is this real life? As the crown and sash was put on my head the first thing I did was point to my family and friends. I was crying thinking oh my goodness I did it, it was my third year competing and to know that I actually did it. I went home put my phone down and celebrated with my friends and family taking the time to thank them for everything that they have done for me for the past years 

How did you select your community service initiative: The Anxiety Antidote?

My community service initiative, the anxiety antidote the power of social emotional learning is very near and dear to my heart. As someone who has had their own struggle with anxiety I wanted others to understand they are not alone with their own personal struggles. The power of social-emotional learning is something very near and dear to me as I am a firm believer in the practice of Social and emotional learning. In the past years I have been honored to have raised close to 7,000 for SEL, and hope to raise more to benefit more organizations involving SEL.

Is there a specific goal you’d like to accomplish during your time as Miss Rhode Island’s Teen?

As Miss Rhode Island’s Teen I hope to accomplish the goal of having this job the best of my ability. I hope to further my social impact initiative, further this organization and get more young teens involved in this organization. My life changed overnight by having  this job and I want another girl to have the same opportunity. My goal is to have over 20 girls compete in this organization in 2024. 

As a talented singer, what do you enjoy most about performing on stage?

I have been performing since age 6, Theater has always been my home. In my past years of performing I have performed in over 65 productions and counting! When I hit the stage, I truly feel at home and hope to become a professional performer, someday working in New York City. Thanks to the Miss America opportunity, they have given me the chance to perform on a national stage! 

If you could be a Disney character for a week, who would you choose? Why?

I would love to be Ariel for a week! As Miss Rhode Island’s Teen, I am from the ocean State, and that has a very near and dear placed my heart. I have always loved the ocean ever since I was little. The beach truly has a special place in my heart. 

If you had an extra ticket to see the Red Sox play at Fenway, who would you take with you? Why?

If I had an extra ticket to a baseball game I would take my wonderful Miss Rhode Island Caroline! Caroline is such an amazing role model, and I’m so blessed to have her as my big sister for the year! Already in my month of service I have such had such a wonderful time spending it with her.

Is there a feature or activity at a baseball game that you’d especially like to experience?

I would love to have the opportunity to sing at a Red Sox game, it has always and will forever be a dream of mine to have that opportunity!


I hope she gets that chance!

As always, I want to thank Mia for visiting with us, and for sending along the pictures to go with the interview.

I also want to wish her luck when she competes for Miss America's Teen! It would be fantastic to have the first Section 36 Forever wear that crown.

I'm sure you'd like to follow along with Mia during her journey. You should definitely check out her title's Instagram account as well its website. They're great ways to keep track of everything she has going on, and you'll be sure not to miss anything.

Thanks again Mia, and good luck!  

Thursday, September 14, 2023

2022 Topps Chrome Platinum Blaster!

Here's more of something new. I mentioned last time that I don't even know what these are. And, I'm not sure it's any more clear this time. All I'm sure of is that Topps calls them 2022 cards, for some reason thinks 2022 is the platinum anniversary of 1953, and they're shiny cards. Beyond that it's just fun to open packs. Right? 

Let's see how it went!

Here's the box again. Doesn't make things any clearer.

And all the packs.

Here's a shiny Jackie Bradley Jr. Nice card. And, I think this is apparently a 2022 card set...this might count as him being an active Red Sox card.

As opposed to Rick Ferrell who is most definitely a former Red Sox. And not one that shows up in many modern far as I can remember.

As opposed to Pedro, who shows up quite a bit as a former player. But, that's OK by me. I's Pedro. Even if I don't chase them as part of the PC...I'll never turn down a Pedro.

And there you have it. Three Red Sox cards, 2 +/- of them former players. But, still a lot of fun to open.

How did your box go?

Tuesday, September 12, 2023

Check Out My Pedros!

I mentioned last time, that my most recent COMC shipment had cards that hit a few of my different collection areas. Whenever I get a shipment from COMC, I like to try and add some Pedros to the collection. In this case, I found three that I was pretty sure I didn't already have.

This gaudy Topps 205 card here is quite a sight. Not sure the design goal here. Let's take a tiny Pedro. jersey, and surround it with such a hideous yellow border nobody will even notice. Doesn't scream "great plan" to me. Of course, I also voluntarily acquired it. 

This one I like MUCH better. Sure, the jersey peice is still tiny. Maybe even smaller than the other one. But, it's fit into the design a thousand times better. Almost like a gallery. 

Now, this might be the coolest card I've seen in a while. The picture makes it look like it's die cut, but it's not. There's a triangle on the bottom that's hard to see. No matter, though. It doesn't detract from a card combining Pedro and Tom Brady! The card name "Keys to the City" certainly applies. I also love that this card came out in 2002-3. Pedro was, of course, well on his way to legend status. But he had not won his championship yet. Brady, on the other had, had just won the first of his seven super bowls. He could have ended up being anything. Who could have guessed they'd both be some of the greatest players ever in their sport?

And, there they are. Three more Pedros to add to the collection. 

Do you have a favorite?

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