Thursday, June 19, 2014

Throwback Thursday - 06.19.2014

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.

Gerrit Cole - 2013 Topps Update Emerald parallel - Pittsburgh Pirates

Wednesday, June 18, 2014

Getting ready to get out

Today is day the start of my vacation. Well, it was at 3:30pm when I logged out of the phone system and enabled the "out of office" message in Outlook. I won't have to log back into my work computer for 12 days. My son lives in Denver. He is purchasing my mom's car (basically, paying back his uncle for the price he paid for my mom's funeral). So to get it out there, we (my wife, daughter and myself) are driving the car from Illinois to Denver. Fourteen plus hours - we'll do it over two days. We plan to leave Friday and head for Des Moines. Hit the Bob Feller Museum, stop at some zombie burger joint, then drive to somewhere in Nebraska to crash for the night. I have heard Nebraska is a whole lot of nothing, so I plan to break that up over a couple days. Then into Denver on Saturday.

On the agenda is a Rockies game Monday night. After that, no real set plans. If anyone in the Denver area and wants to meet up, send me a DM via Twitter and we'll talk.

Well, before I leave, let's do two things: a) set up a few scheduled posts, but mostly b) clear out the scanned folder. When I come home on Saturday the 28th, I want to come home to a clean house, and a clean scan folder. So here goes.

These three came from Shane at S.Mack Talk. After we did a trade, I noticed his want list and sent a few that I had via PWE. His return were these three needs from my 2013 Update list.

I got Hoyled by Mark (again). Along with a nice '64 I forgot to scan was this bevy of ChiSox Studio cards, and the oddball Action Packed a the lower right.

Plus in there were these three cards. Two for the DP binder, but that center card was interesting. After some research, is is from a 1990 Broder set. You couldn't ask for a plainer front, or back, than this group. Thanks as always, Mark. I am putting together a bunch of BoSox for you.

Matt from Cardboard Conundrum ran a hockey box break. I was able to score my Hawks, plus had the Oilers and Sharks as my randoms. Here are the only two Hawks from the boxes, plus my Sharks hit from the In The Game Enforces set. The Kane is # 30/100 so I am pleased with that.

Three card PWE from Pat at Hot Corner Cards. One for the DP binder and these two South Siders. Castro gold and some kid named Abreu. I hope he does something for the White Sox.

"Newest oldest bunter?" was the note with this gorgeous '54 Bowman courtesy of Matt from Once A Cub. Since he asked it as a question, I will answer - yes. Thanks a million for this beautiful entry in the binder.

Ok - all empty now. Granted, I have a stack from TribeCards 2013 Pack a Day I need to showcase, but they are not scanned, so I got time.

Friday, June 13, 2014

2014 Archives...musically

So Archives has been out now about a month. Everyone has had their say about it. I don't get into Archives very much. I think the idea is lacking substance, and the cardboard quality is dreadful. However, I did want to try looking at Archives in a different fashion, just for the fun of it. So let's look at the years in the set from the musical side of the states during those years. All the songs linked (and I will be linking hard in this post) were on albums released during the particular year. Also, these are my personal choices - feel free to voice your opinion on what I picked or what I left out. But I hope you hang around, and even click on a few links, if only to get the song stuck in your head, forcing you to click on another to get that song out.

I'm cruel like that.


1973 was a rough year in music. The psychedelic years were over, disco was on the horizon, and the airwaves were...well, had a lot of junk on it. Before we could hear the good stuff on AM radio (FM didn't really get big until the late 70's), we had to deal with stuff like Tony Orlando & Dawn, Vicki Lawrence, Helen Reddy, and Maureen McGovern.

It was rough riding in the rumble seat at the back of the station wagon and hearing that crap. Luckily, there was some great music too. For real rock we had Deep Purple putting out a classic (if not totally plagiarized), Alice Cooper trying to get into government and Queen just getting on the music scene. My hometown bands Chicago keep the sound of a strong horn section alive and REO Speedwagon tried to be safe in a snow storm,. Frank Zappa was, well, Frank Zappa. And Johnny Cash was the man in black, as always. What really saved the 70's was rhythm and blues, funk and the Motown sound. Great releases from the amazing voice of Al Green and soulful groups like The O'Jays and The Spinners were on the charts. However, if I was picking a best song for 1973, it this brilliant piece from The Temptations.


Ahhh, the start of the 80's. I was in high school and I think I really started to appreciate music. It helped to be in a racially and economically diverse high school. I saw all ends of the musical spectrum. That's not to say 1980 was pure joy. I couldn't turn off songs by Captain & Tennille, Air Supply, Rupert Holmes or Dolly Parton fast enough.

But man, the 1980s were great. Alternative music broke out with songs by Blondie, synth master Gary Numan, pioneers Devo, girl fav Adam & the Ants, and English import Split Enz. The kings of puck The Ramones released their 2nd album, along with hits from other rockers like Journey and The Pretenders. Pete Townshend went solo as did Peter Gabriel. Blues made a commercial splash thanks to the Blues Brothers Soundtrack, and the US got it's first taste of U2. For me, though, the band that I got turned on to in 1980, and still really enjoy, released their first album in 1980 - Oingo Boingo.


The third entry of 2014 Archives comes from 1986. I am out of high school, and I was in a few college courses in community college, but '86 was the 2nd term of The Great Communicator Ronald Reagan (insert eye roll), so I had to drop out and get a full time job. Somehow, trickle down just wasn't trickling down. The radio had garbage like Dionne Warwick, Whitney Houston, and Phil Collins. And 1986 was the year Eddie Murphy thought he was a singer (no - you weren't).

Thankfully, other stuff played on better radio stations. Women really started to show up, bolstered by MTV. You had The Bangles, Bananarama with a remake, Belinda Carlisle going solo,goofy Stacey Q, and the amazing, needs-to-be-in-the-RnR-Hall-of-Fame Pat Benatar. Women were also strong in the rap and hip hop genres with the debut of Salt N Peppa (don't forget Spinerella) and Janet Jackson growing up.  Plenty of rock offerings with anthem rockers GTR, Stevie Ray Vaughn's lil' brother in The Fabulous Thunderbirds, Van Halen getting a new lead singer, and Robert Palmer creating one of the most iconic music videos. 1986 spanned the whole scale of music, from Cameo to Crowded House to Weird Al. And while I didn't get into this band until the 90s, best song I can think from 1986 came off the debut of TMBG - They Might Be Giants.


Let's finish off Archives while we finish off the 80's in 1989. This is the year I met the woman that would become my wife (foolish girl). The following year, I would be packing up and heading down to Florida for a year while she had a job in a school district down there. But before we left, we were hitting the scan button on the radio whenever crap came on like Will To Power, lip syncing Milli Vanilli, boy band New Kids On The Block and cute, but annoying, Debbie Gibson.

Fortunately, the first year with my future spouse also had some great songs to put into our memories. College favorite Smithereens started getting the airplay they deserved, as did The Replacements. Rap and hip hop went mainstream thanks to Technotronic, Young MC telling us to move, and Tone Loc selling an aphrodisiac. Rock was well served with the Red Hot Chili Peppers putting out a great remake of a Stevie Wonder song, Eric Clapton kicking the bottle and rocking out, Faith No More being grunge before grunge, Janet Jackson getting in on the hard rock act, and Extreme (before More Than Words) just being insane with a song from Bill and Ted's Excellent Adventure (seriously - watch that video at about 4:15). Bobby Brown felt it was his prerogative to go to the B-52's love shack. However, one song that I find greatest over all is what I feel is Michael Jackson's best song. Talk about Thriller all you want - he nailed it with this tune. 


Thursday, June 12, 2014

Throwback Thursday - 06.12.2014

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.

Ray Lankford - 1999 Topps Stadium Club - St. Louis Stars

Wednesday, June 11, 2014

The game's afoot

I have made a few comments here in there in posts from this year about the appalling state of my local post office. While the counter workers are pretty darn good, it's the delivery that has really taken a hit. Up until Nov of last year, we have had four different people deliver the mail. And we have lived in this house 16 years. I refer to four because we had our two regular, and on the day they were off, the fill in would slide the mail in the box.

Well, I have no idea where our last post woman went (she was on the route for.....8 years?), but now, I have seen at least 8 people drive down the street, and back up the street when they forget a letter in someone's mailbox, then back down, and sometimes up a second time. I have had days where my mail have arrived after 5pm (it was always here before noon like clockwork). I have gotten it after 6. I have seen them drive past after 7pm. I have had days with absolutely no mail at all. Not even junk mail. I went one week where 3 of the 6 delivery days were of nothing. The same week.

"Ok Jeff - we get it. It's a broken record. Where are you going with this?"

 And hurry up, we're hungry too.

Glad you asked. For those in Club PWE, or those that I just drop cards on whenever I feel like it, most have not received anything from me since the Tis The Season mailings, if you took part in that. I haven't done a lot of PWEs because of shipping costs. Just haven't been able to get the stamps I need. Well, I am about to test something out. It is totally and completely legal - I am violating no laws what so ever. However, my mailing will probably be a bit of a pain to the postal workers. I've got 10 or so letters going out. I am certain not only will there be some posts about them, but also some comments about the mailings as well. This will be my focus.

However, if all goes as it should, Club PWE will be back in full force, which is good cuz holy crap I got a lot of cards I need to get rid of.

Alright - let's post a few cards before I sign off. I received a PWE from Jason at the all inclusive blog The Writer's Journey. Seriously - he covers a lot of stuff, and very well. He dropped a few White Sox cards on me.

Kemp look anything but a ball player. I swear that guy is a middle linebacker or something. And believe it or not, I am missing the Thiggy and Hill from my '88 team set, so these two are a very welcome sight. Thanks again, Jason.


Monday, June 9, 2014

Battle aftermath

This past Saturday was another pack wars at my LCS. But not my usual location. See, in 11 days, my wife, daughter and I will be driving to Denver to visit our son/brother. We are taking him my mom's car which he will purchase. It's in amazing shape for a 10 year old car, and he needs a trustworthy vehicle. My usual location (Plainfield) will be holding pack wars the weekend after we leave. I had a free $20 round I earned, and I didn't want it to go to waste, so I hit up the Joliet location.

I have taken my wife and daughter to pack wars before (on their request). I didn't think it odd when my daughter asked to tag along, and my wife came too. As I walked in, Jeff behind the counter goes "something was dropped off here for you".

Uh - whaaaaaaaaaaaaa?

Sure enough, he reaches down to pull out an envelope with my name on it. I am sure the puzzled look really threw everyone, but I turned it over to open it - and find a Father's Day card from my daughter. I won't share the whole letter, but she started the note "hey douchebag" - that should give an indication of our relationship.

 Her and I in our natural habit - being idiots.

Also included was $30 store credit. That would cover a $20 round and a raffle entry. What a sweet girl. In the end, though, I am saying I used the credit for something else. You'll see.

Well, I grabbed my free 20, got a 2nd 20 for my daughter, and a $50 rounder. Plus a couple raffle tickets. Raffle won me nothing. Oh well.

So in the $20 rounds, I got lucky with a pack of series 1 UD hockey and pulled the hit that comes in the box.

Nice Eddie the Eagle hit. Not with the Hawks, but I will take it. Though, can anyone that is a Leafs fan ID that swatch? Look at the size of the weave? No way that is a jersey, unless they did something weird when he played there 02-06. Either practice jersey, or some inside mesh. Still cool either way.

My daughter pulled this from her $20 round out of a pack of Topps Chrome.

Not too bad. I heard he is with the Titans now. If interested, you know where to reach me.

And that....was all the hits from the $20 round, though there is one last card that, while not a hit, works for me.

Ugly card design. But a nice pull in the long run.

Before they started the $50 round, the owner Brian was making killer deals, that night only, on anything in the store. Ask and he would offer up a price. My wife asked me what I wanted, and I went for a box of Rookie Anthology. I got it for over $15 LESS than you find online. But before I show you the hits, let jump to my only hit in the $50 round, from a pack of Bowman Jumbo.

This makes two Trinkwon autos I have pulled from Bowman. Com'on Dodger fans - trade me for these!

Ok - so Rookie Anthology. Panini is loading their last hockey releases with hits from all their products. I have bought a couple packs of this and pulled these so far.

Nice Titanium hit in Yakupov. Lessio may turn into an okay player. I got my guaranteed four hits. In fact, let's call it 4 and a half.

Huberdeau is not too bad. Lee could be a good 2nd line forward. Chaput is serialed to his draft. Wait & see on him. My two big hits in the box.

Not a huge name, and may end up a floater in the league, but a nice low number with a hell of a patch. I am thinking the R or A in RANGERS. But the hit of the night, and the reason I am calling this box my real Father's Day gift is this pull.

Just enjoy that card for a while. I certainly am. A nice card with a piece of his stick. I couldn't be happier with this Father's Day. Well, we could be playing the Rangers tonight, but that's ok.

Saturday, June 7, 2014

When's a PWE not a PWE?

When it's ajar.

Yeah this comedy club sucks. Waiter - check please!

Actually, a PWE is not a PWE when the quantity would be perfect for a PWE, but it's shipped in something that is very not much PWE-ish. Follow? Now, there are very good reasons why a padded mailer is better for a few cards, and the reasons will be obvious. I simply am pointing this out cuz it makes for a nice blog title. 

 I can't brain.

First up is Keith from The Home Run Apple. Keith and I are starting to build a constant string of mailing back and forth, as I need a Mets collector and so far, Keith is the man. Keith was kind enough to kill 4 of the 5 inserts I need for 2013 GQ.

I had just placed 3 of this in my shopping cart on Sportlots. That cart just sits for a month or so before I pull the trigger, so I never placed the order. They have been removed. I will have to hunt down a dupe of the Verlander for the throwback binder. Thanks for the cards, Keith!

Jim over at GCRL is one I have the current delivery stream with. When you have nice unique collections, it's easy to help out. And fun. So looking for DP cards, memorial patch cards and Dodger background cards can be difficult, but fun. Plus, you can always drop a Dodger on him and he is a happy man. Now Jim's mailer was the most full of all, but a quantity that would fit in a ePWE (extended PWE). And the gems within?

I got 4 new additions for the bunting binder. That Gwynn is gold. Absolute gold. What an amazing picture. Also included...

Two nice throwbacks. I needed the Lowry as I just have the one with the Bowman set, so into the throwback binder it goes. There were some more White Sox besides just the Hermanson. And I was about to ignore the Chipz you see (it's Alexi Ramirez btw under the sticker), until I realized it is the magnetic version. I have the base Chipz of Alexi, so it's nice to get a variation. Appreciate the mailing, Jim.

Next cards came from Kyle up in the Great White North. I think this is the third time we have exchanged some cards. Kyle asked about some UD Young Guns cards and send me a couple cards. One went into the DP binder, and then there were these...

Yes - one is not a card. The Sale is a beautiful green bordered Bowman that went right with all the other throwback cards. The pocket schedule is autographed by Josh Ho-Sang. The name did ring a bell a bit, but Kyle let me know that he is a top talent in the OHL that should draft very high (first rounder for sure) in this year's NHL draft. I don't prospect hunt with baseball, but I do like me some potential early star cards for hockey players, so this is a very welcome addition for the autos/relics binder. Thanks as always, Kyle.

Lastly are two cards. These are courtesy of Dave from the always fun read Wax Stain Rookie (who's simplistic header image pisses me off in its brilliance). And these two were totally out of the blue. Dave emailed me and asked for my address as he threw out the envelope from the TTS card dump he took part in. I emailed him back cuz I always like free cards. But these aren't just "free cards".

That is plain gorgeous. The more I see the imitation canvas cards in sets, the more I like. To the point I am going to start on the UD Canvas cards from the past couple years. 

But there was one more card Dave sent. Let's step back a second, though. Kyle above had made mention in his email that he was including an autograph that I would really like. So when I opened this package, being that it came from Canada,  I first thought it was from Kyle, and yes, the auto was sweet. Then I realized the return address, and knew this wasn't the cards Kyle was talking about. Luckily, my hoarding of mailing addresses allowed me to place the card with Dave, and it's then I realized his statements of I got something for you off you want list and I just hope you enjoy the card are the understatements of the year (to this point).

"Just hope you enjoy the card"????? SERIOUSLY DAVE? You drop a most wanted auto of my fav Blackhawk, and you "just hope I enjoy the card"? I was at a loss for words when I opened the envelope. A classic Hossa auto (man, that is a unique signature) is now added to my collection. Dave - thanks is never going to be a strong enough word to express my gratitude for this. But I got your mailing address and I know what you collect, so I will always be on the lookout to hopefully put you at a loss for words.

Thursday, June 5, 2014

Throwback Thursday - 06.05.2014

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.

Steve Cooke - 1994 UD Collectors Choice - Pittsburgh Pirates