Monday, April 30, 2012

Trade #ocho: Hü Dü Photoshop?

Today we present our first repeat customer. Pretty good I made 7 successful trades before I had a someone that wanted a little more of the ol' Jedi. Yeah - that intentionally sounded wrong, but you chuckled anyway you sick sick person. Now technically, the first "trade" between Weston at Fantastic Catch and myself was one sided - I was able to fulfill a card from Night Owl's.....
Challenge! (can you just hear the echo?). Well, Weston prompted this trade, finding some wants out of my 2012s. I dug around, found some Topps and A&G of his personal collections, mailed them off. Weston did a great job with my macro "any White Sox cards are fine" (after I fixed that damn macro). There are a ton of great cards in here, but I'll just highlight a few. I can tell you they are all 2010 or 2011 Topps White Sox (with the team set - SWEET) and some UD Sox added in. While I may have a few of these cards (and by few, I am going to say 2, maybe 3), I am glad to get them all so I don't have to search boxes to get them organized. So here's what I see as the best. There's at least one in here photoshopped, maybe two - let's talk here.

Two Cell cards - HOW IN THE HELL DO I NOT HAVE ANY OF THESE YET? I'm a collecting idiot sometimes. No, that was not an opportunity for you to chime in. Be quiet and keep reading. I love me some Crede. New project going to be added for sure - Joe Crede. You can see the so-so photoshop of Dunn in the bottom row. But what I want to focus on is the Matt Thorton card center right. Just a card, right? Anyone (besides you, Law) see what I am referring to? If you gander lower left at Pauly, you may see what is missing, as well as what is there.

Ok - time is up. For starters, Matt is missing the front uni number on his uniform. If we take a look at the BHOF database (which is fairly accurate), since the Sox came up with this uniform in 1990, the numbers have always been there and still are to this day. Part two of that card - what is that #7 doing on his right sleeve? The only item ever on that sleeve was a Comiskey patch and World Series champ patch. Never, ever a number. And certainly not a number in the incorrect font (you can see the serif on the top of the 7). This is a 2010 Topps. The only other team Matt was on was the Mariners - back in 2005. So what's up with this card? I am about to lose sleep over this! I can find no minor league rehab assignments for Thornton. And the more I look at this card, is this Matt on the front? So how about a little help, folks. At least stay up the might with me - we can listen to records.

Speaking of help and records, Weston got me down to just 8 cards needed to finish 2012 Series one. Give a look on my Wants page and help me out. In the words of Master Yoda:

"Finish the set - could you be the one?"

Sunday, April 29, 2012

Sunday Feature SIL: Brought to you by....

...the letters A, S and B. "A" as in Albuterol, "S" as in Sulfate and "B" as in Biaxin. See, I have been getting my royal butt kicked for the past 5 days with either the flu or walking pneumonia. Cough that won't let me sleep. Fever. Achy joints. Bit of a stuffy head. It started with a pre-show on Tues, went full blown Wed, knocked me out of work Thurs and Fri and is still giving me a whipping as I type this. But I am hoping the drugs take affect. I thought I was doing better. We'll see in the morning. Anyway, I hope to not be so lame in my next post. Will you accept lame, but card related? Man, you are a hostile bunch....

Wednesday, April 25, 2012


So what's new? Well, if you come here enough, the colors are different. They were changed to match the new header. The old header (of a bunch of baseball cards) was a cropped image I found on the innerwebs. It served it's purpose, but I was never really happy with it. I just wanted something else.

Church, this weekend, gave me my muse. It was talking about how we handle adversity and discussed Donnie Moore and Dave Draveky. Baseball cards on the screen and all! I won't get into details, since we all should be fairly familiar with their stories, but the quick run down is this: Moore was forever haunted by a home run that stopped the Angels from making it to the World Series and many feel he committed suicide over this 25 years later in life. Dravecky was a successful pitcher until he had to have him arm amputated because of cancer. He is doing well as a motivational speaker.

All these years, we paint the Moores, the Buckners, the Merkles and others as these total screwups. These guys made it to the show!! One little mistake and they are forgotten for their achievements and forever branded a failure. That's a crime and a shame.

My blog is a little nothing in this world. But we need to remember them for what they are - great players. They never intended to make the error that has forever tarnished them. It just happened because maybe they didn't think, or maybe the other guy was just better. Now, I don't hold out hero status to McGuire, Sosa, Bonds, Clemens, Giambi and others of that ilk. They knew what they were doing. They knew they were cheating the system. There is no place of honor for them. But for the others, let's give them the respect they have earned.

Tuesday, April 24, 2012

From the dollar menu

Along with Sox, Blackhawks, Billy Pierce and other items on my wants list, I am working towards all 20 autographs from the 1980 Lake Placid Olympics USA hockey team. If I can somehow find a Herb Brooks for less than an arm and leg, then call it 21. Here is #3 - Mark Johnson. Now, while I would like to get 100% authentic, who can really trust COA for starters. Second, I don't want 8x10s of anything like that - I am shooting for card sized or maybe just larger. And cost is a main factor. This Mark Johnson (which, if you compare on eBay, sure looks pretty real) set me back 99 cents with shipping. Now, either someone has no clue how to scam or this is really what it is and no one else wanted to take a chance. For the price of a slider, with change, I get what I feel is real without the trip to the bathroom (sorry about that mental image folks). This brings me to three Olympians - Mark Johnson, Mike Eruzione and Jack O'Callahan. I have leads on a couple more which I am going to shoot for via TTM.

Bonus? Pocket schedule. I loves me a pocket schedule.

Sunday, April 22, 2012

Sunday feature SIL: So long Mr Spaulding

Weekly feature time. Delving back into my cards (or shall we use the term "personal collection"), we come to a card that I found pretty unique when I pulled it. I wished the subject matter of this card was different, but begger's can't be choosers. Still...wish the subject was different. While this card is stamped 2005 all over it, I am positive I pulled it in 2006, mainly because I don't remember buying a single pack of 2005 Topps Updates & Highlights, not to mention a few dozen, which I would have done considering the amount of relic cards I have with All Star materials on them.

A Cubs card in my PC - it's one of the signs of the Apocalypse.

That's a piece of one of the bases used during the 2005 All Star game. Numbered 856/1000 (I wonder if that is per base or the total base cards), I find it one of the more unique relics pieces I own. Instead of a piece of uni from a single player, I have a piece of history that was touched by many players. A look at the rosters from the 2005 mid summer classic is a listing of a good dozen future HOF members.

So yeah - I have a Cubs card I like. But it's really not a Cubs card.

Goats - bigger dicks than swans.

Thursday, April 19, 2012

'12 Gypsy Queen SPs

All the latest buzz in on Topps 2012 Gypsy Queen offering. I have said a few times I am quite unhappy with myself for the lack of 2011 GQ I bought (or didn't buy when you really get down to brass tacks). I'm not going to say I have, or will, gone nuts on the 2012 version. I have picked up a few blaster boxes and a couple rack packs. Nothing great to shout about when I opened pack. However, as I was going through the checklist online concerning short prints, I found something.... interesting.

Here, according to all the checklists I have seen, is the short print version for Mr. Strasburg. 

His regular GQ card has him in home whites with a side shot of him early in his pitching motion. A few of the short prints in GQ are subtle cropping of the images, but the Strasburg, like most, is an easily identifiable image change versus the card from the base set. But look at that card. Look close. See if you can see what I see....

I don't watch the show - what's with the pineapple?

I lied - there isn't anything to really notice about that short print, except when you see this:

c-c-c-c-combo breaker!

I have zero base cards of Stephen and 3 SPs! Either someone is REALLY wrong about which is the shortie, the seeding of cards really sucks at my Walmart, or I am re-donk-u-lously lucky in pulling his SP. Which is it?

Tuesday, April 17, 2012

Trade #SnowWhite: whistle while you blog

Lucky #7 in trades has come. Robert at Lifetime Topps has quite the idea for collecting: get the base set for each Topps set created during his lifetime. That is NOT a project I intend to make happen. But browsing his needs lists, I found a few cards for some older sets he needed. You get the drill - email, reply, exchange of information, postal packages and BAM, we have a completed trade. Robert gave a quick look over my needs list and knocked out some of my 2012 Topps cards. I need 10 cards to complete series one. I know you want to help me, so what are you waiting for? Either click on the "Wants" link at the top of this page, or click on all these pretty words to be taken to the page. Then figure out what you are willing to part with, email me and we'll make it happen.

You also want to make me a peanut butter and jelly sandwich.

Check out what Robert sent in return:

I'm amassing quite a Sale collection without even trying. That is a statement and not a complaint. And I still kick myself for not buying a lot of those 2011 GQ cards. 

Love the Lineage refractor, and doesn't that thing just scan like a bad@ss mofo?! I am trying to forget the Manny debacle, but Topps pulls me back in! Love the Iguchi card at the bottom. 

The remarkable thing about all this trading - 7 down and I have yet to receive a duplicate of something I already own. It's like there is a camera in my house and you all can see what I have.

I see Tommy and Sally and Becky. I see Susan and really shouldn't be touching that, Jeffrey.

Thanks again, Robert. Everyone with a decent stash of older Topps needs to give Robert's blog a look-see and help him achieve his goal.

Monday, April 16, 2012

Trade #BradyBunch: Keep on trading all through the night

I had received these cards a good week plus ago from Julie at Things Are Funnier Here, but hadn't posted about them because while Juls was all over the delivery, I had to wait for some funds in my account to get my envelope out to here. I just wanted to wait to get my mail heading to her before I posted what she had sent.

The thing about this trade - it came about more from my blog reading and stored knowledge then over a want list, so to speak. If you remember back to a post days ago, I got a Halladay relic from a rack pack and within seconds, remembered Julie's blog. A couple of emails later and a trade was created to satisfy her desire for all things Halladay.

I'm just guessing Jullie is a blond here.
My return cards should be in her hands soon, so lets enjoy her interpretation of "any White Sox are fine":

Nice selection of cards that once again, I have none of. The great part of this group - I don't remember a couple of the players being on the Sox. Old age or laziness - not sure. I remember Brian Anderson, though. Groan..... Loving the Sale refractor. I'm thinking if I start a collection of a current ball player, it's going to be Chris Sale. We lost, but he looked pretty good yesterday against the Tiggers.

Another Sale (love), a couple serialed cards. Yes, that one on the right in a Rockie. I am thinking Julie went the serial route in adding it, or Troll passed her a nip of his flask and she didn't notice it was a Rockie. I love it just the same. And that auto card is a sweet clear mylar card, so I couldn't use a black background when scanning. I'm beginning to like auto cards more than relic cards.

Thanks again Julie for the trade. Her blog is a great read, so if you haven't visited, you are missing out on the musing of a Phillies fan.

Thursday, April 12, 2012

The good ol' hockey game

And now it begins. 82 games and the quest for the Cup starts.

That ticket? 1989 playoffs against the Dead Wings. I was able to walk up and get one ticket day of the game that had me behind a net about 7 rows back. Hawks destroyed the Wings 7-1 and moved into the 2nd round. And yeah - $25. That same ticket today? Multiply by 10.

So root on your favorite team. You know they have a uniform history that looks like this, right?


Wednesday, April 11, 2012

Trade #hand: the quest for Lord Stanley

Today starts the glorious post season of the NHL. First team to 16 wins gets the raise the holy hockey chalise. I feel if the man (whomever) is between the pipes for my Blackhawks can get hot, we'll go far. In fact, that is pretty much the main need of any team in playing from here on out - a goaltender that can stop anything and dang near everything that comes near his blue paint. Weak goals are a death knell (looking at you Luongo). For a quick blast of my playoff predictions, I have the Hawks and the Rangers in the finals, with, no shock, my guys taking it in 7. Now, should my beloved Hawks fail to make it to the finals, look at Nashville to get in. Tough grinding team in Tennessee.

All that being said, let's have a gander at the package I received from Robert at $30 a week habit. The best part, I find, at getting my collecting habit focused and organized is the ability to hit a lot of wants/needs lists and make a significant dent. It was a pleasure getting Robert a lot of older cards for an older set, and he returned in kind with a great envelope that warmed my hockey heart.

Love the sparkle, though I find those boys seem to scan......what's the word? Crappy. But I do love looking at the glitter-ness of them. As in past trades, you see 6 cards that I currently own zero. Well, owned zero BEFORE the trade. Now I have all 6 of them.

Oh yeah - BLACKHAWKS!!! Say what you want: the red sweater is the greatest uniform in sports, bar none. Stick it Yankees, BoSox, Lakers, Colts, etc.... Indian head sweater FTW. That OPC logo card is the bomb! Now, while I said above that if the Hawks don't make it, the Preds would, I still wouldn't mind the Dead Wings knocking them off, just for the great joy of the Hawks/Wings in the post season. Pure hated....

And we end with the joy of joys from Robert's envelope...

Danks relic (NICE!), Jackson refrector #22/562 (NIIIIIIIICE - lowest number I ever owned!), Quentin #49/99 (NICE!), and a Thomas Sweet Spot #528/599 (NICE!)

Thanks again Robert! Great guy - check out his blog linked above and help him out if you can. At least give his writing a read; I think you will like it.

Sunday, April 8, 2012

Sunday SIL: H-B-K! H-B-K!

One of the coolest parts of Allen and Ginter in the influx of non-baseball cards. From the alternate sports (skiing, skateboarding and soccer), to great minds of the world, historical figures and the like, A&G gives you a nice range of interesting cards you normally wouldn't find.

I really like this Shawn (Hickenbottom) Michaels card for a ton of reasons. I like wrestling. There....I said it. I know it's just entertainment and there is no intention to injury (though injuries are a common occurrence in the sport). I enjoy the story lines. I like the larger than life figures. I like the skills on the microphone ripping the future opponent with well crafted jabs.

I always loved the Heart Break Kid. High flying, super styling and cocky, HBK always gave you back your price of admission. To me, the GREATEST story line in wrestling was Degeneration X. Michaels and HHH started years of fantastic story lines and brilliant works. Now granted, the height of DX occurred when Shawn was laid up with a serious injury. But there is still nothing better than watching HHH and Billy Gunn "invade" WCW events and use their incredible mic skills and quick wits to create some classic moments. And then when Shawn returned, the recent year's DX bits were a Vince McMahon HHH and a Shane McMahon Michaels. Just.....just watch this and laugh

This is a card of a guy I like, equal to a White Sox or a Blackhawks card, in my book. And he is also a guy not afraid to be real and say it like it is. He lived a pretty crazy life, but then got focused and got saved. It was no mystery in the wrestling word that Shawn was a Christ follower. I found it quite courageous that he professed it clearly when he retired from the ring.

Christ is risen. Happy Easter. 

Saturday, April 7, 2012

Organzied, with issues & a mystery

Well, I think I pretty much have everything sorted out. All the important sets are in order (for the most part) and all the other cards are in boxes. I think I will sort those out by team for ease of searching. Maybe....I don't know. But I have a dilemma. With all the blogs I now read, I see posts about amazing pulls, great trades and show finds. Virtual high five from me for sure. It's been making me think of the best pull I ever had. I usually pack myself to death, so without getting a full box, you are usually crap shooting to get a decent card. That being said, it took a while and I finally remembered the best card I pulled - 2009 Allen and Ginter mini with a Bazooka back numbered to 25. When I first pulled it, I was shocked that it was hand written on the back. It took a while to sink in how special this card was. And right now, I am unfortunately using the term "was", cuz the hell if I can find the card. Can't even remember who was on the face. But I know I had it in my hand and it wasn't some dream. I have spent the last week searching high and low. I find packs here and there about the house (bad organizing, remember), but this card is eluding me.

My son (now 19) was into cards for a while, so just on a whim, I hit the shoebox (literally) of the cards he has....just maybe. Found a ton of great cards I had all but forgotten about, as well as these relics/auto in his box. Not too shabby a group of cards to be hidden in a shoebox in the basement. That hockey auto stays, but I'll consider any offers to the other cards. That holds true on my trade bait page. If you see anything you want on there, email me. You would be pretty darn surprised how easy going I am in regard to trades. I would rather the cards be loved by someone instead of me just leafing past them to the stuff I truly enjoy.

I found a couple other quite "interesting" cards in the shoebox. Anyone remember these from the 05 Bowman Heritage set?

Don't make fun of my uniform.

Some Google searches claim returning one of these would get you a Mantle reprint. The back reads that you need to mail in the card before the date on the reverse side. Well folks, you are looking at the reverse side. No date. So....when do these expire? And DO they ever expire? 45 cent stamp, right? Well, let's roll the dice and see if a) the PO box is still valid and b) if they honor the redemption as, technically, the card never expired. I'll keep you posted.

If any of you have an idea where that Bazooka back is, could you let me know.

South side vs. North side

That's the truth, too. No decent pizza north of the Eisenhower.

Thursday, April 5, 2012

Trade #FabFour: Here Comes the Sharp

Did a little trade with Matt over at Cardboard Conundrum. Matt, sorry it took me so long to get those cards out to you, but hopefully, they are in your hands right now. Life - yuck. Matt's a hockey collector, so +10 manna in my book right there. Researching his needs, I found a TON of cards he needed. I think it ended up being close to 100. I just recall it was two 55 count plastic cases I sent out. There was one thing on his trade bait that caught my eye - would a crapton of commons be a fair trade for a Blackhawks relic card? To my enjoyment, Matt had no problems accepting the offer, and even asked if there was anything else that caught my eye. The usual "if you have anything White Sox, I'm game" came off my fingers. Matt came through with flying colors if you asked me - a relic and an autograph for all those set completion cards. Matt - you rule!

Just what is that Leaf logo covering up, Wilson?

A very nice 96 Leaf Wilson Alvarez auto was Matt's choice to include with the 11 SPX dual Patrick Sharp jersey relic. Fantastic additions to my cards. Matt still has quite the needs list, so give his blog a look-see and help him out. 

What have I learned in 4 trades? Saying "Any White Sox will make me happy" and not being specific seems to get a great response from people. They may think it's nothing much, but to me, I am super joyous. So much so, I have finally created a macro that will save me the time of typing it in my emails.  I have preset my computer that when I type in the following command, it will randomize a series of phrases parroting the "any White Sox is fine with me" theme. Here....check it out - it's cool.

format c:

A screen capture AFTER a disk failure. The internet is amazing!

(oh crap.....)

Tuesday, April 3, 2012

96 amazing hours

I am not sure if you would call it a buying binge, but since Thursday, I have bought some packs, couple rack packs and a couple blasters. And oh, the treasures inside. Let's start with last Thursday. I have had a $10 gift card to Target burning in my wallet. Time to break it out. So I hit the bullseye, grabbed a rack pack of Heritage (yeah, I know I said I am not liking them, but there are a few inserts I like), and I also picked up some Opening Day. Rack pack pull? Well take a look:

Oh hai

Knew immediately what to do with it. SOMEBODY needs to give me their mailing address (hint hint). But let's continue. Friday I had the day off. Needed some supplies (got my 15 up pages before I knocked over my stack of minis from my desk. Jeff 1 - Disaster 0).

Dropped off a couple cards for a signing event at my local card store and grabbed some packs of Goodwin Champs. And this pretty baby comes out. It's a black bordered mini of the great Robert Johnson. This is awesome to me for who Robert Johnson is. For those unaware, you will first send me all your 52 Topps graded 9 or higher as punishment for me typing the next sentences. Johnson is one of the greatest blues musicians of all time. He is the basis of the character that pals with Everett, Pete and Delmar in "O Brother". The story is that Johnson met with the devil at a crossroads and sold his soul for his musical talents. And what musical talents he got in return. Just pause in your reading, click on either this link or try this on and listen to the great Robert Johnson. And btw - that is just one man on one guitar.

Moving on. Had to run back to Target again (other stuff needed) and somehow I got pulled to the card section. Had my eyes on that newer "blaster" box that has 5 2012 Topps packs, 2 hobby Heritage and a refractor card. So grabbed one, along with a couple packs of Lineage. The Lineage packs contained a Halladay diamond sparkle card (hmmmm.....I wonder where THAT is going) and a Kaline cloth sticker. The 5 packs yielded this nice pull:

How you like my Conrad Pooh impersonation?

Not bad for a blaster box. Yeah, it's a Cub - I won't comment on that. Oh, and the Heritage packs gave me Pedroia refractor #1327/1963. Saturday was a 11 Topps blaster box series 2 on clearance at Wally World. Two diamond codes (they are still redeemable) and a Latos Padres throwback patch. Sorry, I stole this scan from eBay. I got lazy:

You still stole my heart, Jeff

And we come to Sunday, where I was able to get this card for $11 with shipping off eBay:

He stole this image too. POLICE!

Maybe some would say I overpaid. I'm not sure, but $11 for a certified signature of a White Sox great? I'd pay that anyday. So a good 4 days for sure.

Sunday, April 1, 2012

Sunday feature: Stuff I like #2

For this day's SIL, we are going back almost 14 years, stepping out of the card realm while staying in sports. Behold, the wondrous joy of the ticket stub:

Oh $15 sports ticket, how we miss thee

 I am sure many of you reader (again, no typo) will recognize the category of the item, and have a few dozen yourselves as souvenirs. But this one is special. It is the one and only time I was in person when I team I liked won a championship and got to hold a trophy aloft. If you have ventured through my profile to my older blog (I need to get back to that puppy), you will find a post that details my history of unfortunate circumstances that screwed up the full enjoyment of the championships I could have experienced real time, but because of the fickle finger of fate,  I would be elsewhere. This game was in person and I got to share the joy with 18k+ fans.

I love ticket stubs. Just now, going through them to find this one stub brought back some great sports memories. I am missing a good half of them as I never remembered to save them well (by tossing them in a top drawer), so a good lot of the game memories rely on my synapses. This one I saved. And then the Wolves go a sign a minor league deal with the Canucks. Nitwits....