Saturday, August 1, 2015

The stay at home Natonal, day 2

Before I get to my 2nd day at the National I had at 2x3 headquarters, as you heard, Billy Pierce passed away yesterday. Myself, Commishbob and a friend of his are quite saddened by this, though there is grief through a couple MLB organizations too. I'll speak more about this after this weekend - I want to finish my planned posts and put together a decent bit of writing about the man. So until then, good trails to you, Mr. Pierce.

Ok, on to the second day of the "vendors" from the SAH National (you guys) that sent me cards over the past few days. I am way behind on my trade and non-trade cards-out-of-kidness postings, but going to knock them out if I have to move the skies and the seas doing it.

Little help here?
Today at the SAH National, I only had the time to visit two vendors, but what vendors they were. First up, Greg from the always fun, and really long named Plaschke Thy Sweater is Argyle, which I have tried to come up with a short, cool name for it and just can't. Greg is the Ducks fan while I am the Hawks fun, but he's still okay in my book. I am most jealous of his cardboard scores because he works at an LCS. I'm not sure how much he sends comes from the castoffs there, but I will gladly take any White Sox not wanted in California.

Huge stack of junk wax to current filled the two team bags Greg sent. While much wasn't new, I found many pieces to fill teams sets in the Sox Box, as well as about a dozen cards into the Sox frankenset. Thornton was one of those that hit the frankenset binder, while Kittle and Flowers are new additions in the Sox box.

These two are the stars of the package. Singleton is a Domination dupe in the Sox box, but I really like the card (even if it scans like hell) and made a nice addition in the frankenset. Plus an on card auto of a Sox minor leaguer is always welcome. Zippy - wanna give me a rundown on his talents? Greg, thanks as always. I believe I have a few cards about to come back your direction.

Today's other vendor is everyone's favorite Dutch collection Jeroen from Dutch Card Guy. Besides being the biggest Glavine collector in the world (seriously dude - are there no therapists in that country?), Jeroen is very generous for a guy that has to spend serious postal cash to trade with anyone. We usually help each other out with set building as I dropped a bunch of GQ and other cards on him, plus two newbies for that Glavine monster he has. His return was quite generous.

Lots of Sox, with that gold Sale leading the way. Jeroen also included some hockey players from Goodwin and a few of the World Cup champ woman's team member, which came from Americana a couple years back. That's a section of the set I really should complete.

Either Topps Finest (of that style) should never be scanned, or my scanner is just crap (answer: B). That card is 1000 times better in person and a nice card to receive. Diamond Kings will definitely be a box purchase soon. Panini releases a lot of ugly cards without the license, but somehow DK works really well. That Alexei is actually a parallel serialed to /99. But the highlight was the stack of relics in the mailer.

Little bit of everything, with a piece from a Ben Stiller flic, a donkey bat relic and a Verlander jersey swatch. I'm sure the first two can make some sense, but the Verlander? Luckily, Jeroen added a note telling me that he hopes the Juston reminds me of Kate Upton. Since we know the uniform relics are not from a specific game, event or season, I did a little Google search....

White jersey? Yup - THAT'S A MATCH! It touched Kate! Thanks for the cards, Jeroen.

Friday, July 31, 2015

The stay at home National, part 1

I'm just 45 minutes or so south of Rosemont, but I will not be attending the National. It's not from a lack of desire, or a lack of time. Simply a lack of funds. A lot of us have that time during the year when it's hectic, and the other times when it's slowly, but work wise and finance wise. For my household, summer sucks. Has for many, many years. While in a technical sense, my wife is the bread winner of the family (I believe she made just under 2 grand more than me this past year), she earns all her pay during the school year. Since is not hired by the district, but contracted out through a firm to work in the school. In the simplest terms: if she isn't working, she isn't get paid.

No money! No money! No money!
I sort of figured the National was out all the way back in April, but I kept holding out hope. In fact, I thought there was a chance I could make it this weekend, But about 10 days ago, that last door was shut. Household bills are far more important than cardboard. I'm not looking for pity - I am completely okay with missing the Nat this year. There is always next year, and it just may be back up the road in 2 years anyway.

So, to have my own National, and to do some scan folder cleaning, let's look at the bevy of awesomeness you, the readers, have graced me with. The first "vendor I stopped by" at my SAH National in run by Brian from HSCA. Brian dropped a nice package.

I was able to add a card to my set completion of Stadium Club. Brian also dropped in the Thomas from this year's Archives, which completes the team set I believe. And a purple refractor from the 2014 Topps.

Who could love a couple nice miscuts HOFers? Great additions to the miscut binder. And just one of for the '64 set of much maligned Sox broadcaster Hawk Harrelson. I'll go on record - I like listening to him on the telecasts. Thanks for the cards, Brian.

The next "vendor" was DJ at Sportscards from the Dollar Store. DJ sent a bunch of cards for the GQ set building as well as a few towards series 2 of Upper Deck. Hoping to get the UD set done before the Hawks home opener. Thanks a bunch, DJ.

The last "vendor" I stopped by today was Tony from Wrigley Roster Jenga. He recently picked up a cheap box of commons from an LCS in this area I have yet to visit. I commented on the awesome throwbacks within, and Tony was more than happy to send them over. The Arismendy is wearing a Cubs throwback from last year's Wrigley celebration, that harkens back to the uniform Mr. Cub wore. If the Cubs were smart, then would dump the current sleeve logo and go with the one you see. These couple were bonuses, as they were not featured on his blog post.

Here are the stars. Man, those old Philadephia A's throwbacks are missed. Some of the finest out there, though Mr. Long on the left should be wearing black spikes. And you can never go wrong with Negro League throwbacks. MLB should really spend a weekend each year celebrating the black pioneers that were refused to play in the bigs. I'm sure a couple days of major leaguers wearing the Negro League uniforms would be a nice vision to see. Thanks for the great binder additions, Tony.

Ok - so that was day 1 at the SAH National. Come back tomorrow to see my haul from day 2.

Thursday, July 30, 2015

Throwback Thursday - 07.30.2015

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.

Pedro Alvarez - 2014 Topps Finest - Pittsburgh Pirates

Saturday, July 25, 2015

Checking the lists

Any idea what happens in 152 days? You can guess if you want. How about I phrase it a little easier: what happens in 5 months? You can calculate that on one hand. We are five months out from Christmas. With the way the weather has been, I am expecting 75 and partly sunny, considering we have had only three 90+ degree days so far in 2015. But I have to think of Christmas, cuz while it's only 85 out, you factor in the humidity and we are almost topping 100.

Luckily, a few readers out there have looked at my want lists as I have knocked a few sets off the page in the last couple weeks.

I left a comment on Adam's blog Addiction as Therapy helping with some needs. Adam dropped a bomb of a package on me. These 3 2007 Masterpieces were part of a stack that wiped out my entire needs. So the '07 and '08 Masterpieces sets are in the binder. I love those sets.

Have a while to go with this year's GQ, but Adam included a few, with 4 of them being SPs.

Also completed is the series 2 First Pitch. Melissa needs to be in a Sox uniform as she grew up here in my hometown. The donkey is one of two 2013 Heritage short prints. And Matt is one of the few 2015 flagship Adam dropped as well. Holliday went to the throwback binder. Appreciate the cardboard, Adam.

Jusdon over at the fun My Cardboard Habit got in on the set completing. He sent over the same cards Adam did for the First Pitch. However, Mr. Hart is in a throwback, so all were not for naught. The best part was the group of series 2 cards that did complete that set. Off the page it went! Judson did not stop there.

I was not feeling blue after seeing these two beauties (yeah - I had to go there, sorry). I have the 2013 Heritage blue of Sale, but not the 2014. I almost want to complete the rainbow of the '13 AJ. At least I am another card closer if I go that route.

But this dozen started the trade. OH BABY!!!! Harder and harder to find recent cards that are miscut, but 2015 seems to be a big year. Of the cards in the binder over the past 10 years, 2015 blows away the previous 9 years combined. All 12 cards are horizontal.

Judson could have stopped there, but he had to go one step beyond.

That would be the image variation from Paulie's card this year. And I received the Future Star Abreu manu-relic in a case break over at Nacho Grande. Now I have the hitman logo pin. If I can get the First Home Run medallion, I have them all. Appreciate all the extras, JM.

Friday, July 24, 2015

#WalletCard travels

Since Gavin's game of WalletCard swept the blogsphere, I can think of a couple guys that give fairly regular updates on where their card shows up - Bo's card of Donny Baseball makes appearances all over the city of New York, while the Junior Junkie's Upper Deck card #1 of the Kid hits parades, restaurants, farms and other locales.

For me, WalletCard Robin mostly makes appearances on my Twitter page. In fact, except one posting, I believe, I have never shown many shots of my card out and about. Well, I just got back from a visit to my daughter in the Upper Peninsula and a shot a few pictures with Robin, so I thought I would got back in my camera and pull out some images over the past few months. It's not that I don't have cards to share, but I am worn out from the 7 hour drive to think straight.

If you are coming in for the National, and can handle a drive about an hour south of the convention, I highly recommend a Rainbow Cone at the Original Rainbow Cone. Anyone from the south side knows it, and has been there. I'm holding it at a bit of a bad angle - you can't see the bottom flavor. A Rainbow Cone starts with chocolate, then you get strawberry, Palmer House (vanilla with walnuts and cherries), pistachio and finally orange sherbet. It's the best ice cream cone in the world, and everyone should have one in their lifetime. This was Robin's first. He's hooked.

With all the rain we were getting here in the Chicago area, the championship rally for the Hawks 2015 Cup win was moved from Grant Park, where an estimated 2 million showed up in 2013, to Soldier Field. A limited amount of free tickets (65k) were available and I lucked out. Somewhere in the background of that image is the Holy Grail.

They don't build them like they used to. In Downers Grove, about 40 min from my house, is a gorgeous 2nd run theater - the Tivoli. It happens to be the 2nd theater in America built expressly for talkies. It was renovated years ago, and it's straight up gorgeous inside. On Friday and Saturday nights, they play live organ music before the show. Here's a look at the facade in the daylight.

That is Lake Superior, and a small island just off the cost. I want to say it's Peacock Island, but I don't think that is accurate. When the lake freezes over in winter, you can walk over. Which my daughter tells me the deer do, and get stuck when it thaws. You can also walk a sand bar to the island. I was in no mood to get wet, so Robin and I stayed on the beach.

Ishpeming, MI is considered the birthplace of skiing in the US, so it should be expected to be the home of the US Ski and Snowboard Hall of Fame. I didn't have time to go in, though admission is free. I will have to check it out, cuz if I love anything, "free" in the title makes me love it even more.

That's the sign out front, but the sunlight makes it hard to read.

Last image from the trip was Robin hanging out at a monument for the 45th Parallel north. The marker signifies the center line between the north pole and the equator. We were on Route 41, about 105 miles east of one of the four 45x90 points on the globe. Still, I like this. Anytime I drive, if I see a sign that reads historical marker or geographic marker, I'm pulling over. Call me Clark Griswald.

Ok - so that's the recent travels of WalletCard Robin. I leave you with one final image. I couldn't get Robin in on the shot, as we were traveling 70+ MPH on the expressway in Indiana about 3 weeks ago. But when you see something like this, you take out your phone and you snap a picture.


It's a banana car.

Thursday, July 23, 2015

Throwback Thursday - 07.23.2015

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.

Arismendy Alcantara - 2015 Topps Opening Day - Chicago Cubs

Tuesday, July 21, 2015

Trading away a decent hit

When the 2015 flagship design was released, I was not all on board. Just didn't like the images. Of course, my tune changed when I held the card in my hand. I never tried hard to complete 2014, but I was going to complete the '15 release.

I built series one from packs, jumbos, card shows and trades. Series two, though, I jumped in with a jumbo box, though the collation was lacking. But I almost have it finished thanks to the kindness of you folks. You get three hits in a jumbo, and mine for the most part were boring: an autograph of Buck Farmer that went to Pat at Hot Corners. A Rangers relic of Josh Hamilton, which would have been a hell of a great pull 6 years ago, but now..... If anyone is interested in it, let me know. I also pulled a silver framed Sabathia card that I sent to Jereon at The Dutch Card Guy. Good pulls for other people, but nothing that really jumps out and grabs you.

Hands above the waist, buddy.
Well, that is not entirely true. I would say I really hit the jackpot on one of the cards I pulled. When I got to the really thick card - the one that tends to be a manu-relic - it was, but not is the sense you think. Here's what I nailed

I had to steal that image from ebay - I forgot to scan mine. So I did pretty well. Always wanted to pull a coin card. Of course, I wanted it to be a team I collect, but one of the two hottest rookies in the NL this year is not chump change (see what I did there). But what to do with it?

I thought about selling, but I figured it should stay in our group. But there are soooooooooo few Dodger collectors out there - how would I ever find one???? For the record, you Dodger collectors, I try and spread out the hits I get that show LA players. So I shot an email to Jim over at GCRL to see if he was interested. No brainer. Here's his return package.

YUP! Packs of junk wax White Sox! Just kidding. Two packs of these started it off. I knew these existed, but never seen a pack, so it was nice to get two. 20 card team set, with 10 cards per pack. Theoretically, you can build a set with two packs, but I came up two cards short. Luckily, I had one of the two cards, so I am missing #11 - Dave Martinez. And a pack of these were ripped at the Pack A Day Circus, but Martinez is already claimed. Oh well.

For those unfamiliar with the team sets, they are an exact copy of the regular set, with a glossy card (left) instead of the matte finish (right). I still REALLY love the matte finish cards. One day....

Lots of other random ChiSox in the package. I'm hungry right now, so a granola bar sounds pretty good. The Janeski is a stamp, I believe, white Jerry dressed up in the blue home unis with the scroll Sox logo they wore in '69 and '70.

Bunting, throwback and miscuts were also in the package. So much to love in the Boudreau image.

Highlight, though, is this sweet condition '50 Bowman of Bill Salkeld. I chopped the top off a bit in the scan. Only my 2nd '50 Bowman, as my first is in the Sox sampler binder, so it's nice to mark one off the team checklist.

Thanks Jim. Enjoy that Pederson, Don't spend the money all in one spot!