Wednesday, April 15, 2015

Topps and 42

If all the media, the uniforms and all the blogs weren't the clue, today is Jackie Robinson Day. I'm not sure if someone (NightOwl?) has ever done this before, but I thought about Topps and card #7 for the Mick. It was not three for a while, then it was with Mick being card 7 every year, then when Topps lost the rights to Mantle, they retired the card number and haven't used it. Yes - annoying if you are building a set. Topps love of Mantle is less for his baseball skills, I think, then his power in the trading card industry. Don't get me wrong - the guy played ok on the field. But I think Topps shows Mantle such honor because of his position with cardboard.

But Mantle's uniform number is not retired throughout baseball. Jackie's is. So I thought about taking a look at the players that have been given that hallowed card number in Topps sets since the year his number was pulled from the shelf - 1997. And it's an interesting bit of data for sure. I have listed the players name, his skin tone or nationality and team name. When needed, I grabbed an image of the card from COMC.

The year his number was retired through the major leagues, Topps put Jackie himself on card #42. The style of the card was very different than the rest of the base set that year.

1998 - F.P. Santangelo - white - Montreal Expos
1999 - Chris Stynes - white - Cincinnati Reds

2000 saw our first black player, Jamaican too, get #42 with Chili Davis. Great broken bat card, btw. Need this!

2001 was another great #42 for my binders, and I have this one of Dominican Republic player Luis Polonia.

2003 - Danny Bautista - Dominican Republic - Colorado Rockies

Josh Phelps took the 2004 honors. At least he is listed as a first baseman on the back, Jackie's later position.

2005 - Carl Crawford - African American - Tampa Bay Rays
2006 - Reed Johnson - white - Toronto Blue Jays

Another Latin player from Cuba gets the #42 treatment in 2007 - Livan Hernandez.

2008 - Corey Hart - white - Milwaukee Brewers
2009 - Jeff Francouer - white - Atlanta Braves

In 2010, Topps made card #42 a league leaders card, putting two African Americans (Fielder & Howard) on the card with Pujols from the Dominican Republic.

The last person to wear 42 on the field finally shows up on card #42 with Panamanian Mariano Rivera.

2012 - Drew Pomeranz - white - Colorado Rockies

Remember 2013? That was the year Topps had some fun and many of the cards below 100 were given to players whose uniform number matched the card. Did they put Rivera on this year? Nope. Did they even put the Dodgers on this card? Nope.

Rivera gets his sunset card on #42 for the 2014 release. And who is carrying the torch this year?

White guy Todd Frazier.

To break it down more, since 1997, there have been 7 players from Latin American countries, 8 white guys (all Americans) and just 4 players that are black. And team breakdown looks like this:

Yankees 4
Rockies 2
Reds 2
Expos 1
Cubs 1
Blue Jays 1
Rays 1
Diamondbacks 1
Brewers 1
Phillies 1
Cardinals 1
Tigers 1

Not a Dodger too be found.

Sunday, April 12, 2015

Binder filler

From where I sit, as I type this, I have a bookshelf behind me which is where I keep the cards that make it to a binder. Only 2 dozen of the books, and only half have rings larger than 2 inches. In them I keep my double play cards, bunting, throwbacks and miscuts. Player collections of Iguchi, Rowand and Crede in one, Fox, Apraricio and Lollar in a second, Petrick in a third and Konkerko by himself in a fourth. There are a few sets in binders too.

My binders are a mish-mosh of styles and colors. Whatever I can find at the Goodwill for a buck, and whatever my wife can score for the stuff they want to toss at work. All it takes is a label, or a card, to ID the binder and store what you want.

A lot of the cards within those binders comes from a good friend Jim over at GCRL. It was his double play binder idea that I borrowed (stole) to start my first custom collection. That binder, which you can see in the middle of the bottom row, is now over 850 cards strong, and about to branch out into a 2nd book. Jim recently sent a package with a note saying "too many cards for a PWE war", and he added a lot to the binders you see.

There were plenty that never made it into a binder, but filled holes in the Sox box. Neither Singleton, nor Liefer panned out much as White Sox. I think the inability to work a door knob should have been an indicator in that.

Lots of nice bunting cards from the '95 set. Always good to see the Topps rookie cup logo, even if 1995 would be the last year that Patterson played in the bigs.

Couple for the double play binder. I believe that is a Matt Williams cameo on the Valentin card.

And a few for the throwback binder. That Cruz was a saved search in ebay but never made it to the most wanted baker's dozen. Beautiful blousing on the pants by Jose. That's the look of a ball player.

Jim added a couple vintage miscuts. Three names I have never, ever heard of, though I think that 2nd baseman was a player on What's Happening.

Lastly, Jim sent in a couple for the player collections. While the Aparicio is officially a "cards released during their playing days", I always accept any card with the player pictured. The Konerko Classic clippings helped me break the 300 count mark for Paulie. Thanks for suspending the PWE war, Jim.

Thursday, April 9, 2015

Measure twice; cut once

I've done my fair share of home projects. The first I can recall doing was when I was about 10 or 11 years old. My grandfather came over to our house to help remodel the basement. We added a wall and framed/insulated the outside walls to make the basement more usable. A rec room, though with 3 sloppy kids, it probably should have been spelled "wreck".

Damn near killed 'em.

I've done more work since them - bathrooms, kitchen cabinets, carpeting, tile, laminate flooring, sheds, decks, patios - too much to go through. The key in everything is to get it right the first time. I have had my share of being too much in a hurry and screwing up my numbers. It's fine when you cut it too long. But you know you can't put back on what you take off. You have to get a new board, or tile, or whatever, and start new.

Tony from Off Hiatus Baseball shot me a message via Twitter asking about some miscuts he had. Offered them up for my collection. Always a no brainer when offered collection cards. Tony sent a total of 43 cards that were miscuts, in varying levels of badness (or greatness, depending how you feel).

First, you have your subtle miscut. It's a bit too close to the edge, like Figueroa. Or too close to the top like Hanna. Maybe you still have a bit off the edge showing, but you can see the cut lines on the other side of the card, like Hernandez.

Now we move up to more noticeable problems. You start seeing parts of the card that shares the sheet with the current card. You still have a far amount to view, but someone on the line didn't spend enough time getting them lined up properly in the cutter.

Last, you have the horrible/fantastically off cut cards. Tons of bleed from the adjoining card. You are losing whole sections of the name, image or design, and with luck you can identify who was on the sheet of cards next to the player. I love that Roberts plays for the Oyals, and Maddox is a member of the Milwaukee Rangers. Here is the best two from the stack.

The '62 Groat is the 2nd oldest miscut in the binder, joining two other '62s, and the three being overshadowed by a sweet '52 Hank Edwards. The Berenyi is the pinnacle of a miscut - loss of image, bleed from the card next to it, and misshaped.

There was one final card that Tony sent.

Perfectly centered. That creepy thing would probably grade a 10. Thanks for the miscuts, and the nightmare fuel, Tony.

Tuesday, April 7, 2015

It's not found in a dresser

I'm funny.

Here we going with this again.
I'm always cracking a joke, whether speaking, or at work, blogging, emailing, on the phone. You name the place, I'm not taking it too seriously. When I write, I take time to craft my words. First is clarity. It has to make sense. Second is smoothness. It's important that what I say reads well, and doesn't beat the same words to death. Lastly, it's for humor. Whether a comical phrase, alternating alliteration along the avenue, breaking out lame puns or clich├ęs, or rhymes, I try to make what I type fun to read. Hence, what I call the Sox box.

As you may know, the Sox box, which is fun to say, is a 5000 count box that contains one of each White Sox card released from 1980 forward. Now, relics and autograph cards are not found in the Sox box. These are only base and inserts, sorted by set. It's a work in progress, because we all know the crapton of cards in the 35 years since 1980. I don't like stuffing it full, so I have moved 2011 and newer to a smaller box - mini Sox box.

We can do this all night, Jeff.
This was a recent move thanks to a couple large mailings filled with cards I was sorely lacking. First up is Fuji from Chronicles of Fuji, he of the flea market finds. Like most of the other envelopes, it's less of a trade and more of a "here - take this". Ok.

So much glorious 90's goodness. With each passing year, I these more and more. Not sure how they will look in the 2030s when Archives gets in that part of town, but right now, they are so the world of slouch socks and Nagels. Oh wait - those are from the 80's.

You are making my neck hurt.

Best part of the Sox box is when you have the card in another location, you still need a copy. All ChiSox I receive that has a player in a throwback is first destined for the binder. Then future rectangles go into the Sox box (or mini, as these three ended up).

Ok - not all I got from Fuji hit the Sox box. Player collections also get first feeds, so here are three additions to two binders. Can I just say that Topps Gold Label rules? Each time I see a card from that set I love the release.

Lastly was this serialed card from UD Retro. Not sure on the design, but 90's cards, amiright? Thanks for the package, Fuji.

The other sender that beat up the Sox box was Drew from Drew's Cards. Drew put up teams piles. Make a claim and he sent you the cards. Heck yeah I'm in on that. For a card dump, it was a hell of a card dump.

This did not make it to the Sox box. I think I like these so much because they are such a sharp contrast to the flagship release of the same year. Then again, that is a great photo.

Oh, "just recent releases" you say. Well, every card you see (and a few more not scanned) are new. As much as my early 90's cards are low, the mid 00's are severely lacking in White Sox cards. Ya know, I might have a want list available for some Sox teams sets. I'm guessing somewhere near the top of this page (hint, hint).

sooooooooooooo subtle.....

More of that sweet mid 00's goodness, with a Jeets cameo to boot. Lastly was this card.

Yummy yummy vintage. But Drew only sent one of those. The card on the left came from Drew. On the right was the current card in the early team set binder. Take a guess what binder that card was moved to..... Give yourself +10 if you said "miscuts". Give yourself a kick in the pants if you said "Jeff, I have no clue why I even read this crap you type". Thanks for the cards, Drew.

Ya know - this post didn't have a lot a humor in it. Maybe I should rethink who I am.

Monday, April 6, 2015

161 left

So almost all the teams have one game under their belts. Just a couple more games left. Sox didn't start so good, but that's why the season is 162 games. 50 you will win and 50 you will lose. What you do with the other 62 defines your season.

Couple images to share based on a trade and a PWE. But both were set needs, and very welcome mailings at the 2x3 domicile.

A bunch of Series 1 cards from Pat at Hot Corner Cards. I won't share them all since we all know the design. For my ranting recently about Topps fear (or hatred) of feet, that Taylor is a card that actually would have been nicer just a little closer. How sweet would that have looked with the red warning track framing the bottom and that red top of the wall framing the top. Then again, all the red at the bottom would have been brutal on the eyes.

Here's some from my first Zistle trade. It only was a Zistle trade because I couldn't find an email address, and Wilson wasn't responding to a couple comments I left at Tenets Of Wilson  Luckily, we are contacts on Zistle, so a proposed trade on the site turned into a swap of needs for both of our 2010 Turkey Red sets.

I still have needs for both Turkey Red and Series 1. Maybe you have some cards on my Wants page?

Thanks to both of you. Here's to baseball on the south side come October.

Monday, March 30, 2015

I thought I knew you

A few months back, I remember finding a pack of Confex Baseball Enquirer at a dollar store. I was all excited because I figured it would be a pack missing from APTBNL. Well, as you see from the link, a pack was posted over 3 years ago. But the pack wasn't a total loss - I was able to add a new card to the broken bats binder.

When I went to my Zistle account to add the card, it was missing from the database. No biggie. Now, as you can tell from the front, the cards have no identifying player information anywhere on them. If you take a look at the pack at APTBNL, you see the reverse is simply a fake interview with the player. This is all you have to go by to ID whom the person is on the front. This card is a no brainer - Randy Johnson, right?  "K" on the cap, broken bat, mustache and shaggy hair. Even a few checklists online list this card as Randy Johnson. He even has a broken bat card from 1993 SC.

But something bugged me. Read the back.

To me, those questions are asked to someone that strikes out at the plate, not a pitcher that strikes out batters. Johnson was with the Mariners in 1991 - DH prevented him from having any plate appearances in that year. In fact, he had only 18 at bats before 1991, while with the Expos. Nine total strike outs.

So why were so many checklists saying this was Randy Johnson? It clearly wasn't, in my opinion. Luckily, one site came through with a better answer - TeamSets4U. If you have never been there, it is a great site for finding team checklists for a TON of releases. TeamSets4U came through and ID'd the player as Rob Deer with the Tigers. And that made sense. Deer lead the league, or was at the top of the league, in whiffing through his 11 seasons, leading the AL 4 times. When he retired, he had the worst (or best, however you look at it) strike out ratios in the history of MLB, going down on strikes every 2.75 at bats.

Maybe they went a little generous with the hair, but I think the Enquirer card is Deer and not Johnson.

It's also interesting that the same year of that Enquirer broken bat card, Leaf released a card of Deer with the same shattered stick.

Friday, March 27, 2015

A Junkie I am not.

I you read Junior Junkie's blog (and you damn well should - the past couple years I have voted it the best one out there [yes Night Owl - suck it]), you would have seen he just made an epic mail day at the post office to the tune of $180 bucks.

Cuz it wasn't a fish.
Well, I did my best to duplicate the man, but only got 13 items to my postman ringing up under $35 bucks. However, if you live in any of these zip codes, you should be getting a manila visitor next week.

35750 (so nice to type THAT one!)

Those packages are some trade returns and the last of the Tis the Season dupe dump. I still have some packages for next week that will finish Tis the Season with the folks that selected a hit, and some other pre raffle want list pulls. I just meed to pad out the envelopes and get the going.

Now, in no means am I done with shipping. I can think of a couple people I owe cards, plus a couple I need to drop cards on. This is just a mess. Maybe I'll give up the whole card collecting thing and collect something easier, like dryer lint.

Anyway - one scan from a PWE I received from P-town Tom at Waitin' Til Next Year

Old, old and old. I really wanted to like Classics, but it's a brutal set without the logos. Brutal had to be the keyword for those awesome Milwaukee Bears throwbacks. I am sure the originals where a hundred times hotter in their wool-ness. Lastly is a "miscut" Sievers. I am going to need some pages to work on the Post cards. There is something simple and sweet about them, no matter who had the scissors. Thanks Tom!