Tuesday, June 28, 2016

List it out

First day back to work after 10 days off. I start at 7am.

By 8:12am I realized why I take vacation days and why I don't have enough.

Fortunately, cards make me feel better.

Robert at $30 A Week Habit sent a small PWE over with help for my 2016 GQ set build. The two old timers are short prints and very much appreciated.

Also appreciated are Glove Stories insert needs. And then Robert seals the deal with a on card out of Phil Housley. I forget he finished his career in Chicago. I don't think anyone counts those 4 games for the Leafs. Did they even make a card of him as a Leaf? We traded him to Toronto for 2 draft picks that turned into complete nobodies. But I love an auto of the 2nd all time games played by an American and HOFer. Thanks again, Robert.

Making lists is a good thing.

Sunday, June 26, 2016

LAWIG: recent pickups

It's a little late, and I wanted to get up some kind of post today, so let's have a look at what I got and highlight some recent pickups from ebay and the flea market. I haven't been on Listia for a while because there are just no deals over there anymore.

A couple three times a year, my wife and I will hit the Kane County Flea Market. First weekend of each month, so our first visit was a couple weeks back. In the past, there has just been a single guy in one of the buildings ("swine" I think) with cards. And his prices are a joke - straight Beckett on everything. Did find someone else one visit, but haven't seen him since. Well, this visit I found 4 more guys with cards. Nothing great, but I did pick up the entire series 4 of the Renata Galsasso set released in 1981. Set me back two bucks. But a great set to find, and now I have to work on the other series.

This is no ordinary 2014 Golden Age but a SP. Two things about the short prints in Golden Age. First, they are all have "SP" in their numbers . Topps, feel free to steal that idea. Second, they tend to be ridiculously expensive. Check COMC or Sportlots and look at the prices. I have never pulled a short print, so Spectacular Bid is my first of any year. And while the shipping was high at $3, winning the card for two quarters lessened the blow.

It's not the rookie card, but getting a 2nd year of Nellie Fox for under $13 shipped, in this condition, is worth it. Off center, and it's discolored, but otherwise the condition is amazing. All the '52s I followed would quickly get too far out of the range I was looking at. This one came in at 50% of my high end, so I couldn't be happier. I am also just short of the 75% goal of the Fox Project, so I'm happy about that as well.

All purchases = happy.

Saturday, June 25, 2016

Gone west

So that was a nice trip to see our son in Denver. It's the second time we have driven there. First time we were taking him a car, so we flew back. This time we left on Sunday and did an all day drive back on Thursday. Just three days with him, but it's our 3rd visit to Denver, and there really isn't much we haven't seen so far.

And while the mileage is good, I would not recommend a Prius for mountain climbing. There isn't a lot of power in the engine, and I was really straining heading up to Nederland and Estes Park. Did take a small tour of The Stanley, where "The Shining" was filmed. No card shopping on this trip, though. No time or money to visit Bill's Sports Cards.

Red Bum-mer.
Fortunately, people that live out west send cards. My bi-monthly mailing from Kerry over at Cards on Cards arrived a couple weeks back. It's good to have a regular Cardinals trade partner as I seem to pull St. Louis hits left and right. I'm not sure if Kerry pulls what he sends or just finds them at killer prices. I am just glad he does get his hands on great cardboard.

Fleer made minis? What sorcery is this? It shows how out of the loop I was with card collecting in the early 80's that I have never known about these minis (compared in size to a recent Topps insert). Kerry sent 5 of these bad boys over. Not sure if that is the whole Sox set, but I know I now have more research to do.

I'm still working on all the Chicago White Sox mascot Southpaw cards that Topps has put in Opening day. I think I have the 2012 in some box, but this 2013 was needed to join the 2014. If anyone is sitting on any of the Southpaw cards, send them my way. The Frazier Spring Fever is a nive card to receive as I opened zero of those packs this year. Somehow, Todd is the only White Sox in the set this year. No Sale. No Abreu. Ok - set complete.

Late 90's and early 00's cards are welcome here. As I have mentioned in the past, in the Sox box, the years from 1998-2005 are surprisingly light considering the number of sets released in that time frame. And I'm just going to say it: I think Fleer Tradition did a better job with the '56 set than 2005 Heritage.

Shiny! Tatis is a purple parallel from this year's Bowman numbered to 250. The Shark is an Opening Day parallel. And while Eaton looks normal on the front, the back is a Sabermetrics variation. A fine addition to the Eaton collection.

So I didn't find anything out west. But the cards from the west found me.

Tuesday, June 21, 2016

Spring Cleaning 4 - Jenga Zapping

I believe we are at the halfway point of the scan folder cleanup. Which is good, mainly because this post titles are LAME! There are just numbered posts. I'm becoming so unimaginative I may as well start a Tumbler and just put up pictures of my cat with yarn on his head.

Oh you wait to see what I leave in your shoe later, buddy.
If I recall, Tony over at Wrigley Roster Jenga is a cat owner. Maybe I should look to see if he has a Tumbler of cats. Or maybe his fiance does. And considering the mailer he sent me, I would subscribe to that Tumbler. Or is it follow? I don't know - I'm not hip with you young kids.

I am hp to cards of the Big Hurt I don't have. Especially those crazy mid and late 90's stuff that went out. A message to Stadium Club: Don't try to be a hip, trendy card ever again. BTW - that is a Berger's Best in the middle. That insert set confuses me.

Now the Walk Off Winners set - that is cool. One of the few good things about the 2016 release. That Denny's Grand Slam card scanned really nice! Why can't all the foilish cards scan so well?

The highlight from Tony was this mini relic from this year's GQ of Frankie Montas. A plain ol' gray swatch, but a nice gift none the less. Tony, I am working on a return package. Either you or P-town Tom should like a different team. It would make my life easier.

I also got Zippy Zapped recently from Zippy over at Torren Up Cards. Zippy threw a note in there apologizing there was nothing big within. Hey buddy - let me be the judge of that.

Prospects are always a big deal, as I rarely buy any packs that contain cards like this. I just don't hunt for the next big thing, so I love people that supply me with these needs.

Asian Bowmans are definitely a big thing. How in the world will I get any if it wasn't for you? Plus a gold Bowman of a player I collect. I call that big.

Bowman Flashbacks are always a big deal because it would cost me a couple bucks to pick this up at my LCS or a card show. Ditto when it comes to a Kellogg's card of a HOFer.  Saving me money = big.

How in the hell is a dozen miscuts not big? Geez - just look at the Charlie Fox! That is glorious. Joey Amalfitano didn't seem to need the last letter of his name, and John McNamara didn't need the left side of his face. The miscuts are also big because I an blowing out the binder and really need to move it to something larger.

Thanks a bunch, Zippy. What you think is nothing big is subjective to the receiver.

Sunday, June 19, 2016

Spring Cleaning #3

Back to the scan folder for some more cleaning. And since at the point this posts I'll be somewhere in Iowa or (dread) Nebraska, the rest of the posts this week are all scheduled.

This is the 2nd oldest item in the scan folder. The oldest is a monster box I am STILL sorting through. I'm almost done with that, so John - I haven't forgotten your generosity. It's just that your generosity was huge.

Are we still doing phrasing?
Zach from Underdog Card Collector dropped a #Supertrader envelope on me that was wonderfully hockey heavy. Not all of it was hockey, but most was, as you will see in a moment.

While I have all the base sets of Cooperstown done, I still need a few singles for the Sox box. As well as the base cards for this year's Heritage (I think I have the set now, but I have to double check with the list). This year's flagship colored parallels....I'm not sure how I feel about them. Yeah, it does make use of the wasted smoke space, but they are still kind of weird.

But like I said, it was hockey heavy. Starting with the entire Blackhawks series 2 Young Guns representative. Of the 3, I think Hinostroza is the best talent, though the other two are nothing to shake a stick at. With the unfortunate departing of Teuvo, Kero or Hinstroza have a fighting chance to make the club next season.

Speaking of Hinostroza, I became a super collector of him with one envelope. I had no clue he had so much cardboard out there already. I really need to step up my hockey card purchases. Svedberg did a decent job on the back line, but at times he seemed out of his element this past season. Hopefully that was just a learning curve and his sophomore year will be better.

Series 2 canvas. I hope COMC has the crazy prices they had on series 1 canvas so I can build the entire set. I also hope if UD decides to do Masterpieces again they remember the greatness that is UD Canvas before they work on the design.

Your future Hart trophy winner. He deserves it - all you Penguins fans know that to be true.

And your future Calder trophy winner. I know the argument - he played in the KHL and has too much big league experience and should be excluded from the race. Here's the deal - he started in the KHL at 17. Seventeen. Yes, he is 24 years old, but you only need to be under 26 for the award. And while McDavid played well, he was injured. This is not an award to who is projected to be the biggest star. If so. a certain Eric Lindros would have his name on it. The Bread Man earned it.

Thanks for the mailer, Zach.

Thursday, June 16, 2016

And we're back.

Sorry about that, folks. This post was meant to be published on Monday, but I had to get around to writing it first. It's been a trying week up until now. Currently my fridge is halfway in out in the kitchen because the condenser fan decided to seize up. Everything was getting melty in the freezer section and the compressor and coils were boiling hot. But it wasted either of those, not the start relay. It was just so hot from the lack of air flow it shot down. I have the fan on order, so right now a box fan is keeping everything running.

My daughter and her man came into town for a wedding on Saturday. They were busy, but we got to see them Monday and Tuesday. I forget what we did Monday night. I just know I was nowhere near the computer. I think we went up the road to the brother in laws.

Tuesday was dinner with the daughter, boyfriend and then another friend of hers. Then back to the in laws so she could see her cousins. Tuesday was exhausting as I didn't get to bed until 1:30am. Which was not good because...

I was up at 4:45 to head into the office on Wednesday. First time in almost a year. My wife was having some of her teacher friends over, and there was no way in hell I was going to be in the house with a bunch of cackling women. Her friends are nice and all, but would any of you want to be stuck in a house all day with 7 or 8 women?

<sob> Was wasn't I invited?
So I bolted to the office. First time in a year I was there. But besides avoiding the comments from the ladies, I had a stack of old binders waiting for me. All I need is some shelf space and I can get more sets out of boxes and into pages. Plus, on the way home was a Meijer that I haven't been to in a while. Might there be a discounted blaster of Golden Age on the shelf?

Youuuuuuuuuu betcha!
Plus a blaster of Stadium Club. No auto in that box, unfortunately, but I can tell you that the Golden Age blaster added 16 cards to the other pile in the giveaway. In fact, the 2nd place person will be just 23 cards short of the base set. However, the more important matter is did I pull a relic I needed. The set is just 8 cards and I have 4 of them - 50/50 chance.

OH YEAH! Boring swatch for sure, but it is Liberace. No shock that it's white, I guess. It should have some sequins on it. All his cards on ebay have the same plain white swatch. That's ok, cuz it puts me only 3 cards short of the set - a 2nd Liberace, a 2nd Hank Williams and a 3rd Willie. Speaking of Willie, let's giveaway some cards.

So 24 people entered. Plugged all the names, as shown with your commenting user name, into Random in the order of the comment. There are 3 Kate images (wait for it), so I clicked the button three times. Remember, here at 2x3 headquarters, person at the top is the big winner, and the person at the bottom is runner up. Last may not be first, but here, it's 2nd). And the results:

Go figure - two Dodger fans win. Greg (of Plaschke) and gcrl (of the active FrankenDodger) come out on top, so to speak. So full set to Greg and 85% complete set to Jim. Plus, I have about 50 dupes, so we'll give a consolation mailing (no relic) to P-Town Tom. Mainly cuz I have no other idea what to to with them.

I get tired of stuffing items in odd places.
Guys, I should mail over the weekend before we make the run to Denver. And congrats to you all.

Sunday, June 12, 2016

2016 Archives...musically

It's back. Time for the third annual look at Topps Archives from the music of the era. You can view the 2014 and 2015 posts, and we'll take a look at the 2016 release. Like last year, 2016 Archives is just three years - 1953, 1979 and 1991. Like past years, I am going to ignore the insert sets (1969 Topps Super and 1985 Father-Son) and only focus on the three main sets being honored.


When you listened to the radio in 1953, there was no rock 'n roll. While the musical genre was just starting out, the airwaves were still filled with the likes of Patti Page puppy shopping, June Valli getting stood up at the alter, Eddie Fisher telling his lover how a body part will do so much for her, and Julius LaRosa (who just passed away a month ago) trying to launch a jam session.

You could find some nice music, though, over the air and on vinyl. Eartha Kitt purred in French, Tony Bennett got himself out of the gutter, and Nat King Cole wanted us to daydream. While Dean Martin sang about love, Hank Williams sang about the painful side of love. Les Paul and Mary Ford wished you goodbye, and The Four Lads gave everyone a geography lesson. Lastly, Ray Charles told people to dance with his first big hit. Best hit from the year, though, goes to a song covered by many people, but few match the power of the original by Big Momma Thornton.


1979 was a transitional year in music. Disco was extremely popular, and rock was recovering from the psychedelic phase that transitioned into soft rock. So AM radio played Anne Murray and Barbara Streisand. Kenny Rogers sung about a wimp and Dolly ruined a Beatles classic. Rupert Holmes wanted to Escape, maybe with the help of The Village People's Navy. A couple of right wing a-holes also could be heard on the radio. And being this is my blog, I'm listing these in the bad music section: Ted Nugent and Charlie Daniels.

Thankfully, there was some really good music in '79. Record debuts came out from The Knack, Joe Jackson, The B-52's, Pat Benatar and U2. The first rap song hit the airwaves in 1979 from Sugarhill Gang. New Wave showed up from The Boomtown Rats, The Cars and Gary Numan. Hard rock was alive and well thanks to Cheap Trick, Bad Company, and Led Zeppelin. Elvis Costello sung about mistakes, Supertramp sung about Mr. Spock and Styx song about the clock. M and Donna Summer kept folks dancing, and Prince, Van Halen and Frank Zappa were all on varying places along that dancing spectrum. Davie Bowie and Foreigner had different takes on boys. Madness felt a single step was plenty, but Michael Jackson wanted us to keep on going until you got enough. The album of 1979, though, is a no brainer. One of the three albums I would take to a desert island (along with The Joshua Tree and Syncronicity) was released right at the end of 1979 - The Clash's London Calling. Great from start to finish, it would be hard to pick just one song, but track 9 has always been a personal favorite.


1991. 25 years ago. The set released the year I got married. FOr the start of the year, my future wife and I were living in Fort Myers, FL. Then came back home in August. Rock music changed in 1991, as you will see. But plenty of junk was still out there. Roxette wanted to take you for a ride (no thanks). Paula Abdul wanted us to dance (no thanks). Michael Bolton loved women (no thanks). The Spin Doctors got WAY overplayed. And while I do have some respect for what she did, Natalie Cole still wrecked a great song dueting with her daddy.

As I mentioned, music changes in 1991. Grunge came into fashion, so Smashinig Pumpkins, Blur, Pearl Jam, and Nirvana ruled the airwaves. NWA were the first hard core rap group to score a number 1 album. 2Pac debuted, Hammer was 2Legit, and Heavy D was 2confused about sex. A few future actors released songs in 1991, including The Fresh Prince, Ice Cube and Mark "Marky Mark" Walberg. Both Van Halen and Crowded House were baking. R.E.M. went meta, Tom Petty went to flight school and The Smithereens went to the top. The Chili Peppers wanted us to give it away, but not sexually. Prince and The Divinyls, though, were very obvious in what they meant. Michael Jackson had a color problem, U2 had a bug problem, Guns N' Roses had a weather problem and The Godfathers had a problem with the whole planet. If there was one big issue with the rise of grunge was other great music was forgotten. Material Issue released their debut International Pop Overthrow and were set to hit it big. But their style didn't fit the growing sound on the radio and they never received the recognition they deserved.