Thursday, May 31, 2012

Baseball....IN COLOR!

Just how beautiful is this video from the 1939 World Series between the Yankees and the Reds?

This is what makes vintage cards so much fun. Check out the stylish man on the mound about 2:30, and razor blades five for a quarter. GIMME SOME!

Tuesday, May 29, 2012

SIL (2 days late) & Trade #10

While I received the trade cards from Gary at Night Owl cards this morning, I have to admit I completely blew past my regular Sunday feature of something I have that I really enjoy. I would like to say I had a great excuse, but I really don't believe I did. Sure, there was a BBQ my wife and I hit, with killer food including this smoked pork, but I did get home with plenty of time to scan and post. And sure, I could have EASILY done it yesterday, as the whole day was a sit on my tush and do absolutely nothing day. But again - I didn't. I robbed you fine people of something wonderful. I really can only apologize and move on.

There - did I shovel it deep enough? Ok - on with the trade.

I picked off one of Night Owl's nebulous 9, and filled him with a crapton (that's an industry term) of Dodgers. Was only fair he dropped a dookieload (again...industry term - check the manual) of White Sox on me. He did in spades, with years ranging from 89 Star through 11 Lineage and a great assortment between. I won't scan them all, but here are 4 very nice cards.

I forget the half year we had Griffey, but those two Timelines are mighty sweet. And a Chrome Konerko that I find enjoyable. I won't push you to visit Night Owl, because frankly, if his blog is not on your nightly reads, you're an idiot. Sorry - sometimes you have to be honest and frank.

Ok - a quick SIL. Here's a fairly unimpressive player on a die cut card from a few years ago. Derek Plante was a Sabre, a Star, a Blackhawk and a Flyer in his 8 year career. Nothing very impressive in his stats from the years played. 450 games in which he scored 98 goals. He bounced around in the league, though his luck changed for him being a member of the Stars in 1999 when they won the Cup. Though he played not a minute in the finals, and really didn't qualify with enough game time to be assured of his name engraved on a ring, the Stars still placed Plante's name in the annuals of Stanley Cup history by adding him as a member of the team.

Yeah - so what you are probably thinking. A very average player on a die cut card. And yeah - die cuts hold a special place for me. But that's not why I like this card. I say we command the scanner to show us the other side of this card.

To the right we see Denis Savard, for some of the few games he was not a Blackhawk. Sad to see in one sense, but it is the great Savoir-faire!

Friday, May 25, 2012

Obligatory 2012 Topps Archives post

Blah blah blah Walmart. Blah blah blah 2 packs. Blah blah $3.19? Blah blah blah 4 styles.

Blah blah blah different years. Blah blah shots. Blah blah blah card stock. Blah blah....

Blah blah archive reprint. Blah blah blah 3D. Blah Lineage. Blah blah blah relic. Blah blah blah blah, blah okay. Maybe blah blah blah, blah depends blah blah money.

(I think this is my best writing EVER!)

Thursday, May 24, 2012

Side work.

At my job, we receive a lot of calls in for technical support. Some of the names are pretty hilarious. Just got off the phone with James Thome. I didn't know he retired! I have also spoken with Jimmy Hendrix, Alex Rodriguez, Cliff Lee, Adam Dunn and Josh Hamilton. Don't they pay these people enough so they don't have to take 2nd jobs?

Wednesday, May 23, 2012

Trade #9: I mean trade # yes

Nice quick trade with los Dimwit. The man needed Gypsy Queen. And who can deny such a pretty face as his of those that which he desires (waxing poetically, I am).

The better part was he had GQ he needed to part with, and I have a GQ list that is not quite green enough (the color I choose to highlight what I possess). So a couple emails and bam - we be traded. The link above will show you what I sent, and here is what I requested (and received):

Tasty. Not on that scan are the matching minis to the glove story and moonshot. Dig all them old timers. The photo filter on the old timers works better than when it's used on current or recent players, but maybe that's me. Anyway - visit the Dimwit's site. He's got quite the needs for GQ and you know you can help him out.

BTW - still pimping my big ask. Visit the trade bait page up top for more info.

Tuesday, May 22, 2012

Sacrifing it all...

Ok - here goes. I'll admit, up front, this is not so much a post about baseball cards. Ok - let me make it about baseball somewhat.

Type, tap, cut, paste, edit, save, upload. 

There - how ya like my custom card? First rule - save often. I had to make it twice when my graphics program locked. Anyway - where was I? Oh yeah - not so much about cards. Now, I will be talking cards. But mostly, I am going to talk about the girl on that custom card, and I will make an ask. Two asks, actually. My first is that if you started reading - read to the end, would ya? Even if you don't take part, please give it a good thought. And ask two? Well, let's get to it.

That is my daughter. I'm genetically attractive. That picture is from 2011 in Haiti of my daughter with an orphan named Rony. Ceri loves to love people. She has a heart and a passion for it. Ceri went to New Orleans in 2009 and 2010 to help rebuild, and to just be with kids and entertain them. Last year, she went to Haiti and spent a week in an orphanage. In a little over a month she is heading back to spend more time with the kids that either lost their parents in the earth quake, or were given up because the parents just couldn't make ends meet and provide. The week gives the orphans a good time with young adults. The young adults, however, end up changed more through the experiences.

So my ask? My daughter could use more donations to help her make the trip. She is constantly trying to raise funds. We have given all we can, and other donations have come in, but she's still somewhat short of her full goal. Like any parent, I would do anything and everything I can for my kids, so I am having a blow out "sale", so to speak. You all can see my trade bait page link up top. These are cards I have that I am more than willing to trade out to anyone that would enjoy them more than me. But I am going to add to that trade bait, and for the next month or so, items on the page can be traded for  donations to the Haiti trip. I have gone through everything I enjoy, and hope you might enjoy, and put just about everything in my collection up for "sale" (no Pierces - sorry). On the trade bait page is now a link to a doc that gives a quick description of the cards I have. If you want a scan of anything you see, ask. If you think of something I might have - ask. What I hope is that should you see something(s) you want, you will make a donation for my daughter's trip. Email me what you want, and you can have it. Give what you think the card is worth, but better yet - give beyond. Give sacrificially. If you think it's worth $5, I would love if you would give $10. Or more. Every penny donated is tax deductible. Email me with what card or cards you desire, and I will pack them up and get them out to you. It's that simple.

If you wish to help out, donating is quick and painless:

1) Go to The Global Orphan Project donation page.
2) Fill out your information. In the field that says "Please specify where you'd like this to be used", you need to type Cera Wilk JUNE Go Trip.
3) That's it. When you submit you will have helped make a difference in my daughter's life, and in the lives of kids in Haiti.

If you prefer to mail a check, hit me up with an email (click my profile on the right) and I'll give you further information on who to pay to and where to send it. 

Let me give you a couple more links. If you would like more information about the group that plans the trips and works with the children in Haiti, visit The Global Orphan Project. If you care to read the blog of the group my daughter is going with, you can read the StuCo Haiti team blog.

If you are reading these last sentences, thank you. Thank you for your time to read and learn just what I am trying to do. Let me know if you have any questions. If you are unable to contribute, no worries. I know my ask is huge, and many may not be in a position to give. If you can give, though, I thank you in advance. I hope this ask doesn't upset or turn anyone off from reading the future stupidity I will write here. This idea came to mind, and I had to follow through. Even if no one is able to help, I appreciate your interest in this concept.

Sunday, May 20, 2012

Sunday SIL: revealing a dark secret

Before I start, I was hoping to get more on my little tease from a couple days ago. Nothing yet, but I am working at it and should talk more about my ideas and plan later in this week. All dependent on one person - I hope they don't screw it up! :)

So instead, let's talk about our past. We are who we are based on what we have experienced, what we have done (or failed to do) and how we have interacted with people, and the planet for that matter, along the way. We have the ones we love, that know all about us - the ups and downs, the bright and the dark. We have our friends, who know much, but may not know the whole story, if they even knew the tale. And we all have that hidden secret. For it to be revealed could be the end of us.

In that same token, the dark secret could be a "really, you hyped this post up for a paragraph and that is your big frigging secret? What site's next on the blog roll?" confession. And I guess, that's actually what this is. I can play it all I want, it's really just a great, proud part of my life that looked really awesome on my resùme for a few years.

That little piece of laminated paper is about the exact size of a baseball card. It is just what it reads - it's an official's pass into the old Chicago Stadium.  The date is accurate; it is 27 years old. And no, they did not misspell my name. See, for 7 1/2 years, I was a mascot for a professional sports team. I was Stanley Sting.

Stanley was a 6' 6" tall bumble bee that supported the 1981 and 1984 Soccer Bowl champion Chicago Sting. I was paid $35 bucks for a game or a public appearance. When I think about it, though, I was paid to act like an idiot. It was the greatest 7.5 years of my LIFE! The professional players I met and hung with. The celebrities that I had my picture with. The autographs I signed. Interviews in paper and magazine. Love from fans old and young. Season tickets, as well as comp tickets if I wanted a couple. It was the life of Riley. BTW - that isn't me in the suit above. No, this is 16 year old me with the suit (hey - that hairstyle was in.....shut up!!!)

Hey baby....let's pollinate!

There you have it - my big secret. What's yours?

Friday, May 18, 2012

Big promo coming

Hope this is a tease enough to get you to come back and see what in the world I am talking about. Besides coming back because of my incredible blog writing skills, of course! I have an idea of something I want to try. When I announce it, I hope you will read about it and then decide if you want to take part.

Great and wonderful? Heck, I don't know. Just trying to change the world. More information coming, hopefully this weekend. Until then....

Thursday, May 17, 2012

This would make for a great collection!

Would that not be the SWEETEST card in a binder? Few more "vintage" photoshops can be seen here. Pay close attention to the Joey Ramone and the Patti Smith.

Monday, May 14, 2012

Royalty - Queens and Princes

Had to go to the store. Had to swing through the card aisle. Had to buy a rack pack of GQ. Had to get a nice pull.

While the scan kind of "beiges" out the swatch, I can tell you it is not very white. That is a piece of a uniform that the clubhouse boss needed to add a little Kaboom to get out the dirt stains. Shows Fielder as a Brewer, but let's honor him with a song released a month after the Tigger's last WS win (1984).

Sunday, May 13, 2012

Sunday SIL: hit the ice

Today's SIL leaves the diamond and heads onto the frozen pond. Now, I am a Blackhawks fan, but can appreciate most of hockey (except Tim Thomas, most of the Canucks and the entire history of the Dead Wings minus Howe and Yzerman). Hockey cards are difficult to come by as really only Upper Deck is still in the hockey business, and that's probably just cuz of Topps exclusive baseball contract.

This Brian Gionta jersey card came from a blaster of Artifacts last year. Gotta give props to the Montreal franchise. All the championships - none of the jerkness of the Yankees (for the most part). If you look at the card, you can see le Canadians 100th anniversary patch on Gionta's right shoulder. Montreal wore 5 different throwbacks during the 2008-09 and 09-10 season, along with their standard sweater depicted on the card photo. But if you look close, that swatch is not from the standard jersey. Nowhere on their regular uni does blue and red touch. So this is a swatch from one of the throwbacks. And this is not a "no specific event" swatch but game used. A quick look at the link, and a little comparison, we come to the conclusion that this is a piece of the barber pole unis worn just three times. However, Gionta was a Devil at the end of the 2008-09 season, so the only game of the three when he was a Hab when this jersey was on the ice was Oct 31st, 2009. And look - here is a picture of Brian in the uniform pre cut up (I'd post that here, but I don't need Getty getting all upset, so I'll link). Somewhere, on his body, is this particular area of material.

All those Encyclopedia Brown books I read as a kid paid off on that bit of sleuthing.

Saturday, May 12, 2012

FINALLY! I return....

I have only been trying to get back to a card show for the last 3 months. One thing after another would get in my way, from real life to illness to a host of other crap. But today, I would not be deterred, even if I had to detour because of a 5k run going on. Pulled in, dropped my admission and scanned the tables. The last real show I attended was during the Clinton administration. Yes - that long ago. It was fun to be back, gazing at the tables and finding what I have been jonezing for since I got back to blogging - dime boxes. Well, no dime boxes to be found, but there were quarter boxes and vintage 3 for a buck. Let's see what was to be found from my searches....

That Nomo was a thought for a certain midnight bird, but I see it on his "has" list, so I'm keeping it. Nice early Konerko card. The Petricks are a side collection. I'll talk more later about that. Thome rookie (well, Fleer Ultra rookie). The Chicago Greats of Wally Moses is a local set from 1976. Twenty cents - couldn't pass it up. And that Mathews is an 86 Big League Chew. While the image is all washed out, you get a great look at the killer sleeve patches from the Braves of Milwaukee. Total cost on screen: $1.80

More quarter box (5 for a buck) pulls. I like me the old timers. These are just cards that I saw and wanted - no real reason for them, except the Pafko. That was a thought for a certain Pat Benatar-ish collector, but I see it on his "has" list as well. Mine! I have another 9 of the lower right All-Time Classics; I won't scan them all. Total cost on screen (plus the extra 9): $3.20

Top left and bottom row were also two dimes each. That top left is a 53 Bowman Fred Hutchinson. Problem? It's cut. There should be a white edge around it. But for twenty cents? Why not! Weird to see, lower right, Jackie referred to as "Jack Roosevelt Robinson". The rest on this scan were 33 cents each, except the Pierce. Whammy Douglas. Tell me you would pass on a card with the name Whammy Douglas when it's just 33 pennies??? I have no idea who he even is. Here - let's check out Wikipedia. How about that? Never pitched for the Reds and believed to be blind in one eye. Thirty three cents for the win! A 64 Pierce for my project. Been seeing these for $2 on ebay. This one isn't perfect with a couple dings, but technically I got it for $0 (had $6.50 worth to buy from the seller - he said we'll call it $6). It was priced two quarters and I got it for free. Two team cards in the middle - 60 Braves checklist (with a bonus "M" written in crayon on the face) and a 64 K.C. A's. I'm a fan of teams that no longer exist. Total cost on screen: $1.60

Last of the 33 cent vintage. I picked up a lot of White Sox (there are 4 more cards I did not scan). Managers row in the middle. Again - you are looking at a Schoendienst, a Martin and a Hodges that cost a total of $1. Score! Total cost on screen (with the 4 not scanned): $4.

I also knocked 5 cards off my 2001 Upper Deck HOF set. Before leaving, I picked up some GQ and Lineage to open - nothing good. Guess they can't all be hits.

Friday, May 11, 2012

NOT Trade #1: coding and trading

Always nice to get a padded envelope in the mail. The really cool thing about this one is how the trade went down. See, I was at TC's website and was able to score a lot of really cool cards, vintage to newer. Then, all I had to do was pay for the shipping, and bam - cards in hand. Just that easy.

And by "that easy", I mean it cost me more than shipping. Cuz TC is Topps, and the website was the Diamond Giveway. All those packs yielded all the codes that I redeemed. A couple weeks back, I finally gave up on trades, and since there was only a month left to have your cards sent, now was a good time as any to bring them home. All total, I received 13 cards. Technically, there is one I could care less about (86 Orel Herchiser), but I am pretty pleased with my trading. In fact, only the Orel and a 73 Jorge Orta were cards I unlocked. The other 11 came through via trades. I won't post them all right now, but let's look at a few, shall we?

Love the blood clot uniform on LaRoche, so I couldn't pass it up when someone made me an offer. The 70s were a messed up time uniform-wise. The Bobby Winkles manager card is great not just cuz of a name like Winkles, but you also have a coach names Salty Parker. Just don't nickname them like that anymore. I had a CRAPLOAD of offers for the Mike Andrews. Only a rookie Mantle would have pried that away. 73 Topps had some amazing pictures.

Love the McNertney for it being a Pilots card. How great is that helmet on his head? Their caps rank up there as one of the more unique in the history of the game. The 63 Cunningham had an interesting path to my hands. The very first code I entered when the site went live unlocked an Ian Desmond diamond die cut. I must have rejected a dozen trade offers daily for that. Nothing was decent or made me sit up and take notice. A few White Sox cards were offered, but they were always late 70's or newer - pass. One day, I got a trade offer of a 63 Tommie Aaron for my Desmond. I sat on it a few days and finally decided I would more enjoy that then the Desmond, so I pulled the trigger. Be shocked all you want - if it was worth more it didn't matter. I liked the 63 better. Well, offers came in for the Aaron, but more crap until that Joe Cunningham was offered straight up. A 63 White Sox?? No brainer! It may be a bit off center but this baby is crisp. Just a little wear on the bottom and a barely noticeable ding in the top left. So it became an Ian Desmond for a Joe Cunningham. I am very happy for that trade.

I got 11 cards delivered with the 2010 Million Card giveaway, and so far I have two cards in the 2012. I unlocked a Steve Carlton, which I traded for a Duke Snider. I also unlocked a Robin Yount I traded for a Carlton Fisk (as a ChiSox). I have stopped buying series one Topps as I only need 7 to complete the set (please help me out), so no more codes until series two drops.

Wednesday, May 9, 2012

It's like stamp collecting, only different

Had to swing my Target for my wife, and of course, I am magnetically drawn to the cards. I see that the new Bowman are out - what the heck. Couple packs, right? I didn't get any big hits, but I did pull the die cut card you see to the right. What - you didn't know Bowman had rare, non-numbered die cut cards inserted in packs this year?

Yeah, cuz they don't. If you take a close look at the bottom of the John Axford there, you can see the cuts as well as the impressions in the card. Does the pattern look familiar?

It's from sealing the pack. The card appears to have slipped a bit and was sitting too close to the edge of the pack as the end was heat sealed and stamp cut. And now, I have a 1/1 die cut 2012 Bowman. BOOM!!!!

Monday, May 7, 2012

Double trouble

About a month back, I talked about a heck of a great few days for me purchase wise. From relics to autographs, short prints and other great pulls, I had a some great luck card purchase wise. Looking back on that post, I forgot one card I pulled out of a 2012 Topps rack pack.

Why bring it up now? Well, I sort of bought a 2012 Topps rack pack yesterday, and danged if I didn't pull a 2nd of the same freaking card. Anybody want a couple Latos jersey cards? You'd be surprised what I would trade these for.

Sunday, May 6, 2012

Sunday SIL: Hanging on the wall

Welcome to another Sunday edition of Stuff I Like, a little browse through the items I have that I find interesting, so into my collection they go. While I have a TON of cards that I enjoy, today, we will pull something off the wall of my computer room to showcase.

I like quirky. I like unique and different. And I like eBay (at times). Every so often a nice collection of vintage AP (that's Associated Press) images will hit the auction site. And these are not reprints. These are the actual photos that were taken and offered over the wire for newspapers to print in whatever edition was on the presses. Some can go for a high amount, but you can find deals if you look around enough. A couple years back, a large collection hit and I picked out a few to bid on. Most went well out of my range, but one stayed pretty cheap. A few pictures, however, had zero bids. Since you get a nice bundled shipping price, I bid on another photo and snagged it. I pulled two AP wire photos for under $10 with shipping. Maybe a lot to some people, but pretty cool if you ask me. It's later when this revelation came to me: I have three B&W AP wire photo baseball pictures on my wall, and two of them are pictures of players being injured. What's that mean about me?

How long have you hated your mother?

As baseball pics go, I think this is awesome. And with the recent passing of Moose Skowron, now's a good time as any to enjoy a photo 56 years old of the man in action - so to speak.

Click on the image to get the full effect - I left the scan quality high. You have Moose on the lower right, attended to by the Yankee trainer while Cleveland first baseman Vic Wertz is checked out by their respective trainer following a collision at first base. You can read more about this collision from this Google archive of the Florida Sunday News Journal. The great part about this photo is the attached write up in on the back. You can view it here, and underneath the write up you can view the Associated Press's copyright information here. Moose, being Moose, knocked Wertz out of the game. Look close and to the right of the catcher (#18 - Hal Naragon) you see future HOF Bob Lemon. And to the far right, seeing how Moose is holding up, is HOF catcher/manager Bill Dickey. And if the name Vic Wertz sort of rings a bell, he was the man that hit the ball you see in this famous play.

And they are all on my wall.

Friday, May 4, 2012

Star Wars day!

May the 4th be with you, always. Another year, another Star Wars day - a great day for a major geek like me. Thinking back as a child, while I did do some baseball cards, my real entry into trading cards were the Topps blue bordered SW cards. And I still have them. As well as the red border, yellow border and green border. though I think the red is really the only one I may have completed. I bought some of the newer offerings over the years, Widevision, Galaxies and the like. I have a two row box STUFFED with cards on the floor behind me as I type. I usually give these cards to my wife for her to give to the kids at school (after I pull what I like first, of course). She says she is overloaded at school at this point. Maybe I am keeping all these cards after all!

Well, here's a few rare cards from my collection that are Star Wars related (along with TK .05 here).

The two outside cards are 501st issued. Unless you went to a convention the 501st were at, you no get these. Unless you happen to have an in with the Midwest Garrison, as I have. And they are autographed on card too. Suck on that, Topps!!!! The middle card is the only 1/1 sketch card I have ever pulled. Pretty sweet. For a while, I thought this card got sent with my wife for the kids. That was not a fun 2 weeks. :)

Ok - go have a big glass of blue milk and fly casual!

Thursday, May 3, 2012

Recent openings = eye candy

Got a small package from eBay today, as well as picked up some rack packs, blasters, and my first 2 packs of hobby Gypsy Queen. Yeah - most of the GQ up to this point has been retail packs, rack packs or blaster boxes. But I needed a storage box, so I hit my LCS and well, you are pretty much forced to purchase a pack (or more) before you can leave, right? I mean - it helps out the US economy. Last few packs I got at my LCS were nothing great to open. Not horrible, but the hits were pretty.....average. Let's see how we did with these packs, as well as other recent opening.

Starting with eBay, I picked up this card for a nickel. Maybe I overpaid? I did have to pay $1.95 to ship it, so all total - $2. But I like it, so the money is okay with me.

I am a sucker for a great throw back uniform. And this baby is die cut as well. One nickel. I'll take it. Next are a couple pulls from the last two blasters of GQ I got from Walmart. I think I have bought 4, and the first two were....unimpressive. Luckily, things are improving.

A McCann mini relic (trade bait alert!) and a blue bordered Kid frame, #239/599. I was wondering when I would see one of the blue borders. Now I have, so time to look for something else. How about an autograph?

BAM!!!! From the two hobby packs, I pulled this baby. About. Frigging. Time. Pedroia really spent the time to put a nice, clean sig on that card. Ok - so he scribbled. But it is on card and not a sticker. I likey. So all in all, 4 decent cards over the past couple weeks. Good eye candy and eye openers.