Saturday, February 6, 2016

Cross country mail trip

Technically, I have 4 recent packages I want to post in thanks for the mailing. I have three of them scanned and ready to post. The final one needs to be scanned, it being yet another bombing from Wes. Maybe not a bombing, but a decent sized hand grenading.

Just one point, Wes. Toss again.
 But when I look at the three packages that are ready to go, I realized they span the US, from coast to coast with a stop near the middle. So this post is a little more image heavy than I tend to write, but I hope you allow me to display a lot of pictures. Maybe I'll give you a bonus at the end.

We'll start in the Eastern time zone with a package from the Night Owl. Vintage is a staple in Greg's mailings. Miscut vintage is even cooler. I appreciate Greg sending over cards that fit in his collection (these being his Dodgers and his '75 mini set), but are not needed and make great additions to my miscut binder. Earl Weaver is going to kill the cameraman in his portrait on the mini.

I like goooooooooooooooooold. Two from last year's SC. Gold parallels, so into the Sox box they go.

I have no idea what vendor has such cheap vintage for Greg to purchase from, unless he is spending way too much on me. I cannot find a Pollet (or any other pre 70) White Sox card under a few bucks unless I luck out on ebay. Love the hack job on the Smith. I had to clean it up to get it into a binder page. And a Bazooka Chet Lemon comic. Yet another item I didn't know was a thing. I should have kept track of all the things I didn't know about that you readers have sent to me. Well into the hundreds I bet. Thanks for the cards. Greg.

Let's jump on the US Highway system and take parts of I-90, I-80 and others to end up in Peoria, the home of P-Town Tom of Waiting 'Til Next Year. Tom sent a couple team bags of cards which helped with some late 90's teams sets, as well as more Bazooka. Again - new to me. I really was living in a vacuum or under a rock for years.

Throwbacks and bunting. I love that set from the Topps Unique, but it must be a short printed set. I can never find any cards from it at a decent price point. I was glad to get this one. I believe that's two down from the set. That Larkin is not the original, nor the Berger's Best from this year but a Topps 60 card from 2010. Which means I need the one from this year for the bunting binder. And the original.

And more Post too. I believe Greg and Tom coordinated their packages. Well loved Post. BTW - I had Post Honey Combs cereal for breakfast this morning. Just a little peak into my life.

Tom didn't coordinate the relics with Night Owl, though. Two sweet bat relics. Rios never did fill in when Dye left. Ray was a nice solid second bagger for us who didn't get the recognition in the league I think he deserved. His bat wasn't much but he had solid leather skills. Appreciate the cards, Tom.

Continue west on I-80 for over a day and you finally arrive at the Pacific in the little town of San Jose, home of Fuji. Fuji and I pretty much just drop cards on each other from time to time. With all the teams he supports, there is always a relic or an auto I pull that will fit his collection. And in return, Fuji loads me up on Hawks and Sox, like the sweet cards of Big Hurt above. That is the first e-card of any White Sox player in my collection. I have pulled a couple from repacks, but never of my hometown boys. Man - did it scan AWESOMELY! Very 2014 Topps Finest. And while VJ Lovero photos are nice, they aren't in the same league as Walter Iooss.

Two for the Paulie binder. How many more frigging colors are in the Bowman Platinum? Years ago, I would have called the Baseball Greats set in the middle horrid, but either I am getting more mellow with age (no way) or its simplicity is really striking a chord. Either way, I was glad for the few of these Fuji added.

I would call these all busted Hawks, but I can't. Cleary left to win a couple Cups with the Dead Wings. Zhamnov came over from Phoenix when we traded Roenick and did pretty well in the Indian head sweater, even wearing the captain's C a couple years. Daze was a career cut short. He should have had many more quality years with the Hawks, but injuries shortened his time in the Madhouse on Madison. Normally, an auto or relic ends the mailing images, but there was one huge stack that Fuji sent over.

I'm guessing these came from a flea market find and Fuji dropped two unopened packs along with about 40 other sheets of these Topps rub offs. Here's the White Sox I found among the sheets - Fisk, Baines, Hoyt and Kittle. I believe I have just the Baines in my Sox box. Hoyt shocked me as an addition to the set, until I realized these are from 1984 and Hoyt nabbed the Cy Young in 1983. Fuji, thanks for the cards.

Ok - back on I-80 to Castle 2x3. And no, I'm not stopping. If you have to go you should have went before we left!

But we are picking up hitch hikers.....

Friday, February 5, 2016

Not another 2016 Topps post....

Ok, since you asked. I'm sure my local big box stores have all the 2016 I could want, as well as my LCS, but what I don't have is money. I find that no matter my ravishing looks and sparkling personality, those alone will not score me even a common of Matt Wisler.

However, have your pick of Damaso Garcia....but just one.
Oh well, as I mentioned at the start of January, I will not be building a 2016 set anyway. I am in Nacho Grande's case break, so I will secure my White Sox team set, and hopefully the few inserts of ChiSox in the set and if I feel like picking up a factory set, then I will. But seeing the cards other people have posted, I am glad I'm sitting this year out. It's not as horrible a release as 2014 was, but if I can save my pack cash for other things, I'll be far happier in the long run.

So instead of 2016, let's show off some cards I got from the other Jeff in the blogsphere, he of Wish They Still Came With Bubblegum fame. Any mailing from Jeff is sure to have a Blackhawk or two within, and Jeff had even more than two. But these two jumped at me.

Similar to the Topps Attax, or any of the other tries by Topps to make a card playing game, these come from Playoff One on One Challenge card game.  Ok, I get the idea of the game, but Playoff really doesn't know the players. Roenick was an ok defensive forward, but that wasn't his game like it is for Hossa, Getzlaf and other potential Selke award winners.

Goooooooooooooold Label. I will find a box of that one day to rip. Oh....I will. Two for the Sox box of Magglio. Middle is one from Panini's "we're going to milk baseball for whatever we can" releases, this time showing the ball players as college athletes. It's White Sox, though, so into the collection it goes.

90's....amirite? Two different year releases of Pacific's Revolution set. Kind of pre Tek when you think about it, but far......what's the word? Oh yeah - the fu**? Magglio is a little more symmetric with his design. Paulie, which is a fine addition to the Konerko collection - I have no words for what in the holy hell happened behind him. I want you people to think of this meeting in the board room:

They are designing the card. The player is cut and listed from the selected game image and placed in the template. A font is selected, and a color and the player's name and position is typed in. The logo is dragged to the upper right. The word REVOLUTION is added, then rotated 90 degrees, placed along the left edge and a couple clicks of the mouse applies some special view to the characters. The artist then selects a gold inlay and adds bars to the left side, right side and bottom, then has some fun and turns the right side bar into a oscillated wave. Complete, he prints off a sample copy and takes it into the president of Pacific for his opinion and hears:

"Could you put some fireworks and other stuff in the background? It looks a little too plain". 

Jeff, thanks again for the cards.

Thursday, February 4, 2016

Throwback Thursday - 02.04.2016

Every Thursday, I post a card showing a ballplayer wearing a throwback uniform from my collection. Hopefully, he will be wearing it well, with proper pants blousing. I'll try not to duplicate a uniform. The picture may be from the front of the card, or the back. Enjoy the uniforms from years past.

Shaun Marcum - 2009 Topps Update - Toronto Blue Jays

Wednesday, February 3, 2016

Reverse stock rotation

Growing up, like a typical teenager, I had my far share of jobs. One summer, I made pizzas. Another I was stuffing preprinted sections of the Sunday paper (sale ads, comics, other standard sections) in to "fresh of the press" sections that went out Sunday morning. I'm sure there is a term for that (Night Owl? Little help?). I've mowed lawns. I worked as a cook in a smorgasbord. I've worked retail in a mall.

One job I have never had in my life is to work at a grocery store or any other place where rotating the stock was needed. The summer I was a cook someone else had the job of keep the fridge stocked properly for us. I just had to wrap up the food from the night before. But never had to move the old stuff to the front and get the newer stuff in the back.

However, I shop in that manner. I'll look behind the stock for a gallon of milk with a few extra days of freshness in it. Or for that loaf of bread that expires at the end of next week instead of the middle. Maybe a can of pineapple that is good until 2018 because I may forget to use the one in the front that'll be all gross and rotten in Sept 2017.

But packages - those are the opposite. All the new stuff tends to be in front, and you have to dig to get to the moldy oldie, but exponentially more awesome cardboard in the back. Take these two mailing as examples that are great on each and every card, just that you have to go to the back for the old stuff.

Brian over at HSCA sent a small but packed PWE. A lot of late 90/early 00 cardboard was within, and these three plus more made it into the respective years of the Sox box. That dude in the middle? Talk about a nobody. Never heard of Caradonna. Online, he toiled in the Sox farm leagues, making it for 2 games at AAA ball before he gave up the game. Behind all his sweet junk wax was this gem.

Miscut, but beautiful as a '62 for binder boy Aparicio. It looks great with the rest of his cards I have to this point. Maybe I'll replace it, but I am in no hurry and wouldn't mind if I ever do. Thanks for the mail, Brian.

Chris from Old Foul Cardboard (you are running out of excuses not to blog, dude) sent me a few needs off my want list. Ryu leaves 2015 GW base at one card remaing, while Rosenthal chipped a bit off of the large needs for 2015 SC. With luck, the right dime dox will come along soon for Stadium Club.

Now, I did have to dig past these beauts to get to the old timers. I could easily stop with a Thomas Tek and a gorgeous on card of Paulie from Pristine. I can tell you there is no way that Konerko would be anywhere in my price range around here, so I hope you got a hell of a deal on it. I'm not sure the pattern behind Frank. I would call it "circles", but I am sure some corporate wienie has some complicated phrase he pegged it with, like "oscillating power" or "synergistic fortitude". It's frigging circles.

NICE! Two '63s - one of the Sox team, which I needed for the Sox binder. The Demeter is a bit confusing. I haven't started building a '63 set, and really wasn't planning on it. Chris said he mistook my '64 as '63. Well, should I decide to build the 1963, I am .00174% complete. YAY ME! But thanks for the card, Chris.

Old? Sure. But vintage still retains all it's flavor these years later, like Twinkies.

Tuesday, February 2, 2016


I've always had a problem with remembering things. Now, I'm not the kind of guy that forgets his anniversary (July 12th) or his wife's or kids birthdays (Oct 21st, Nov 4th and Aug 18th, in age order). And big events I can remember, like being in the bathroom shaving when Challenger was lost on lift off or watching a black and white TV in the kitchen when my brother told me Lennon was killed. I also call myself a fountain of useless information for some of the utterly useless bits of data I still know. I can tell you the first phone number I had as a child (389-9551). I can tell you a rat can tread water for 3 days and can fit through a hole the size of a quarter. I can also tell you that Lee Majors used to be married to Farrah Fawcett. Who needs to remember that? When will it even be handy again?

That's correct, Jeff. You have control of the board.
When I scan cards, I keep a text file so I know what images go with with sender. I also put little notes on the line to help me remember some odd or interesting information about what the person sent me. When I look at the line for Colby from Cardboard Collections, I noted in parenthesis "trade heavy in your favor". This was obviously something he wrote in the enclosed note, and I wanted to save it for this post to make some humor quip about it.

But now - I have no idea what I was going to say. For the life of me, I don't remember why I was going to bring attention to this simple phrase. And for the life of my, I cannot find his note in the box I place all the pieces of paper in that come with cards I receive (I can be a pack rat). So here's some of the greatness Colby sent, sans anything humorous spoken from me.

Really? You're gonna start being funny now?

I do recall helping Colby out with his 2015 Gypsy Queen set, dropping a bunch of set building on him. I keep finding discounted hanger boxes at Walmart, and for $5, It's worth a shot for the 3 pearl frames and a possible SP or hit. Colby sent me back a ton of set building, including a far amount of Cooperstown inserts. I moved the two years into a binder and I'm starting to enter that binder into my Zistle account, which means I am scanning a ton of cards. Love Ted holding up the green and white impact printer page.

Also got some help with my A&G and GQ needs. Currently, I am one base card away from completing the 2015 base set for GQ. If I could find a dime box, I am sure I would be done with both sets you see, but alas..... Maybe I make the Orland show in Feb. I remember going up into the Gateway Arch on a family trip back in the mid 70's. I'm going to day '75 or '77. Do you still ride in a knock off of a Gemini capsule to get to the top?

MIIIIIIIIIINNNNNNNNNNNNNNNIIIIIIIIIIIS!™ Night Owl. Lastly were these helps for some of the A&G minis I have been working on. I need to finish the kitty set, if only to finish it. Man's Best Friend was a far better set cuz dogs are better than cats. Just face facts, cat lovers.

Colby - I thank you again. At least I remembered who sent them, even if I couldn't remember much else.

Monday, February 1, 2016


I did a lot of driving this weekend. It started Friday night when my wife and I went out to dinner at a restaurant highly recommended by someone at her work. So a trek about 30 miles up NE brought us to Chama Gaucha. Thankfully we did not have a Bridesmaids experience with the place and completely enjoyed the entire meal.

The following day, we took an even longer ride (95 miles) to New Buffalo, MI for a little casino action (losers). About 10 miles outside of New Buffalo is an antique mall that we haven't visited in quite some time. We stopped there first for the joy of looking around. Plus, I hoped for some cardboard. A couple booths had some vintage, but I wasn't biting on the prices based on the quality. One booth, thought, that had something I have never seen before. The dealer had a dozen or so cards, and at the sale price of $8 per, I took a pop on one.

After a little research, this is a T218 Mecca Champion. It has a Hassan brand back. Besides a small crease in the upper right, this is a nice looking card. At $8, I may have been a couple bucks over ebay, but I am not too worried. It's a nice oddball, and a set I may have to look into building sometime in the future.

Come Sunday, I was going to visit a card show that I have never heard of before. Instead of my normal Orland show, I drove south 40 miles to Coal City High School. Turns out, it's a once a year show that coincides with a dodge ball tournament. Small show with maybe 10 dealers. And of the 10, just 4 had cards, The rest were comics or autographed photos. But I lucked out at a couple of the tables.

The Pirri auto goes into the "players who have worn Hawks sweaters" collection, which really doesn't exist, but for $2, I couldn't pass. All the rest were either 50 cents or a buck each. Savy and Goulet know how to rock the mustache. Plus I needed that Baun YG.

From the same dealer were the top two cards from the Upper Deck "The Cup" release. I'll take two base cards for $6 that come from a $430 for 5 cards box. And yes, that is Tony O's older brother Phil as a Hawk before he was traded to Boston for Whitey Stapleton and a couple other players. The Crede relic at the bottom came from a dealer that had 7 for a $5 box, plus relics for $5. Technically, I picked out $15 worth of cards, but he gave them all to me for $10. So a Crede relic #/25 for 75 cents? Deal.

Here's some more that ran me 75 cents per. All hit the throwback binder.

And some more at 75 cents that made it into the bunting binder, including two of Plaschke fav Kemp.

So while I did okay, I was disappointed of the low number of sellers. Luckily, I knew there was another show yesterday up in Buffalo Grove that went until 3pm. It was over an hour drive from where I was, but I was going for it. So 75 miles and a couple tolls later, I arrived at the 2nd card show of the day. And I really wished I hadn't driven to it. It was tabbed at 20 tables, but it was held in a card shop. There was maybe 4 guys there with anything out I could dig through. It does appear to be the home base of a killer dime box seller Nick and I have hit before, but none of his boxes were to be seen. I really wanted to dig through some dime boxes.

Well, I did find some boxes to dig through, and spent about 50 cents per card when all was said and done.

I really want to complete this GQ insert set. Unfortunately I picked up a 5th (run down), so if you are looking for that mini, let me know.

Four new for the Konerko binder. I was doubting my addition of the Topps Finest to my stack, but it turns out I didn't have it, so glad I took the chance. I have never see that UD Superstars at the lower right. The back is interesting with the Chicago sports timeline at the bottom.

Two shinys for the Iguchi binder with a gold and a Bowman refractor. And while they don't fit, I'll pick up oddballs for my vintage player collections because why not and two quarters each.

Last were three buckbacks for the frankenset. The Herbert kicks a '77 Metzger from the set. I think I made a wise choice.

So all total, over 420 miles of driving and here's what I have to show for it (mostly). Thank goodness I drive a hybrid.

Thursday, January 28, 2016

You know, but you don't know

Being around this group of weirdos and nut cases (all y'all), you quickly learn not just what someone collects, but their tendencies. So when that person mails you something, you have a pretty good idea what's going to be inside after the 4th or 5th time their address is in the upper left corner. It could be a boat load of commons, junk wax, set filler or odd balls, but that never takes away from the fact that the person thought enough to gift you with cardboard.

You really like me.
So when I received a manila mailer with the familiar location of Matt from Bob Walk The Plank, I was fairly certain there would be a hit or two within the envelope. Matt is a gracious duplicate of JBF Wes and always seems to find relics or autographs to send to Casa 2x3. How was I to know the mailing was nothing BUT relics and autographs.

It's sad that Alexei will not be in the six hole come 2016. In fact, there is no interleague game between the Padres and Sox, so the only place to catch him in Chicago will be Wrigley (pass). Reed is doing well out is Arizona, but I have pity on him considering the..... things....the D-Backs will sport this coming season. Lastly is a relic from Kenny's half season stop on the south side. I'm doubting that particular bat was held while wearing black.

You can see both the Garcia cards list him as a Philly, but you and I, and Matt, know those are White Sox swatches, and I will gladly put them in my collection. Freddy was solid during the 2005 and 2006 seasons for the Pale Hose. Jenks straight up scared the hell out of batters during 2005.

These two oddballs are just that - odd. As nice and low numbered as the Buehrle is, the swatch is blue and you can see the material. My guess is this is from a warm up top, but the Sox never wore blue warm ups during Mark's time. Luckily, the back tells us this is from an All Star event, so that would make this a piece of this uniform top. The Ordonez? From a contest I never knew about - Big League Challenge. Basically, the Home Run Derby. But you see the uniforms had the player's name on the front. 90's - amirite?

What? It was from 2001-2003? Ok.

Fine - I just become a Sale collector. :) Actually, no I won't, but I do like getting cards of Chris, and I really like the autos. Santos never panned out in the Cell. He's currently in the Bronx. Davidson - we'll see where he ends up with the signing of Lawrie and Frazier.

So I thought 1 or 2, I got 11. Totally not what I expected. Thanks Matt.