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!

Thursday, March 26, 2015

Throwback Thursday - 03.26.2015

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.

Kyle Lohse - 2014 Topps Opening Day - Milwaukee Brewers

Wednesday, March 25, 2015

Welcome to the crazy ward

I'm maybe middle aged when it comes to the blog world. I guess I just got out of my awkward teens years, finished a couple years at community college and getting my credits transferred to a state college. There are many more out there that have been around longer then me. The blog world is great, and if you have been on the fence to start one, just do it. Do a blog for you - not for anyone else. Have it be your little world with what you want to say. In time, readers will come and they will comment.

I love hitting up the Sports Card Blogroll maintained by JBAnama. There is always good reads to find through all the sites listed. There are some old timers that are missing, and would love to see them write again. But for the ones we lose, we pick up some newbies.

I'm fearful of people who are intellectually smarter than me so I lash out to cover my insecurities. Also, I desperately seek validation from my father but his failure to be an active part of my life causes me to reach out in anger at people I find inferior to myself.
Brian from Highly Subjective and Completely Arbitrary  has jumped into the blog world with both feet. And if we can have GCRL, Brian will for know be known as HSCA in my book. Brian recently ran a lower end box break of some older products, and the by in price was perfect - cards. Pick and team and send Brian Twins and other cards from his needs list. Brain - my "payment" goes out this weekned. I want to see what my LCS has in the way of Twin hits. I did pretty well in getting a lot of cardboard where the Sox box was lacking.

Ripped was '96 Pinnacle, '99 Fleer Ultra, '02 Topps Gallery, '02 Fleer Greats and '03 Stadium Club. Here's a small smattering of the ChiSox pulled. I did quite well in the Ultra, landing the Thomas insert and a Durham gold. Nice Tatooine of Magglio.

Two of these for the Konkero binder were pulled from the break. Man, Stadium Club had the photos. I need to complete some of those older SC sets. The yellow foil Brian added into the cards he shipped. Even better cards came my way from Brian.

A gold Garland 817/999, a Lee relic 77/150 and a sweet bronze Chrome 196/599. Man, I did not expect these three, and they are most appreciated. But then Brian went and did it. Finally some one stalked me around the comments threads enough and made my dream come true.

OH YEAH!!!! Mantle rookie, baby. You all can suck it! And look at the quality of that thing. I bet I could submit this and get like a 9 out of it. I just never realized how thin the card stock is of '52 Topps. It's almost like this is a reprint put on modern paper that was prin...... oh man. This is a reprint, isn't it? Brian - thanks for the cards, but I think I'm going to go and cry for a while.

Monday, March 23, 2015

Catching up.

Been a little MIA since St Patty's Day, but I'm trying to get back on track. Been a busy 6 days or so. My wife was scheduled for an out patient surgery on Friday. It was time to change the battery on her DBS again, and instead of going a couple suburbs over, we needed to go downtown for the procedure. We are going to try a rechargeable battery so we can get about 9 years between replacements instead of 12-18 months.

Had to get things taken care of Wednesday and Thursday - clean house, clean sheets, you know the drill. Well, the washer decided to take a crap Wednesday night. So that's where everything started to go downhill. Ok - maybe downhill is a real negative statement. Let's just say that the weekend continued to be a struggle after that.

Friday came surgery day. We check in at 9:30am. They had moved up the surgery time from noon. Well, we are in pre-op about 10:30......and we wait. And wait. And wait. Finally, about 12:30, we start getting the doctors in charge coming by to say she is going in soon. The previous scheduled surgery went long. Kath gets in about 1. At about 2:30, I can go back to the post op to see her. When I walk in, the first thing she says is "I have to go back in". I figure it's the sedative talking so blow it off and just help her out as needed. Then the nurse comes in and tells me Kath is right. They were getting resistance in the current from the battery and need to open up the incision and see what's wrong. So back the the waiting room, and back into surgery. Come 3:45 or so, she is back out. Doc said they think there was some moisture on the leads causing the issue. It's resolved and the battery is functioning properly. We finally leave the hospital at 4:45 - 7+ hours for a procedure that took a little over an hour last time. And we head home in rush hour traffic.

Ok - get home, drop off the prescriptions and Kath hits the sack. I crash pretty early too. Got a big day tomorrow. Since payday isn't for another week, and I spent a lot of the last paycheck on bills and other issues, there is little money for a washer. When my mom passed, we left the washer and dryer in her house. I figured I would go back and grab it (yes - it would be breaking and entering, but tough crap). So Saturday, we head for my mom's house. As we walked to the back, I looked in a window and noticed it was very clean. Like super duper clean. Sure enough, they had cleaned the place about a month prior, according to a sheet I could read on the kitchen counter through a window. The appliances were still there, but they are more than likely inventoried. No way I am going to take them, even if they should be mine. I was still able to sneak in the house once more and took a look around. It was nice to see it as it was when my mom and I moved in there in Dec of '88 (I think). With the struggles she was having emotionally, the house was borderline hoarder, so it looked nice all empty. I'm sure she was pissed, though.

So heading back to hit the laundromat. We stop to visit my wife's mom, and she kindly offers to buy a washer. Pay her back next week. Well, that will help. Go back home, but it's late and we didn't make it in time for the pharmacy.

Up Sunday morning. Kath is having some issues with her DBS. She has it cranked to the top limit they set, and she needs to take extra meds to control the tremors. Something just isn't right. She's listless, groggy and says she doesn't feel right. We leave a message for the doc, but it's Sunday. Kath relaxes for the day. I am researching washers and decide on a couple at the outlet store nearby. Look doesn't matter. We head over and find the one we like. Here's the good part of the weekend - it was mispriced, but the manager honored the price that was on it. Got it home, got it installed and it works.

This morning, Mother Nature is a dick and drops 3 inches of snow. Kath also has a nasty cough and still feels kinda blah, so she stayed home from work. The assistant calls us and we talk. She brings up that she was put under twice and the extra amount of anesthesia used is probably still in her system. Plus, they just reset the DBS device back to how it was prior to the replacement, so we may need to get the settings tweaked. Kath is starting to feel better later in the day. Plus, she is getting off the pain meds, which could be attributing to the general blahness.

That about wraps it up. I was running around left and right. My wife was cut open twice and generally feels like crap. The washer broke, but the new one seems to be working well. Let's just end this with a couple scans of cards.

As opposed to how flagship looked in hand, I am SO not completing the Heritage set this year. Oh, they did a decent job. I just don't like it. I was in the case break from Chris over at Nacho Grande. I had Sox, Indians and Phillies. If anyone wants a Indians or Phils team set, let me know. You can have them. Above are two of the White Sox SPs in the set.

Here is the other, and a nice action variation of Sale. Came out of the last box, thank goodness, as I wasn't getting hit love in the case. Then Chris opened a box of 2004 Topps Clubhouse Collection and the gods shined on me.

Great addition to the Konerko binder with a relic bat numbered to 50. Thanks for the break, Chris. Here's to a normal week.

Tuesday, March 17, 2015

It's the only part I care about

I'm a Wilk. There - now those who don't know my last name now know what it is. Wilk is Polish. It's direct translation is "wolf". I like to believe I am a little more refined than the wolf from the Tex Avery cartoon. For those unaware, the celebration for Polish is Thursday - St. Joseph's Day. Little fun personal fact: my childen have only had doctor's with the last name of Wilk. So they have spent their entire lives giving the name of their doctor, and then answering the inevitable followup question with "no, we are not related".

But there is more than enough of me that is Irish. My grandmother from my mom's side was born here, but her mother came over from Ireland in the 1880's as a small child. My wife is half Irish and half Scottish. For all my life growing up, we paid more attention to the ancestry that came from the emerald isle. Divorce will do that, I guess.

It's funny, though. There is a whole month devoted to Black History. There's Ramadan for Muslims, Hanukkah for Jewish folks and Cinco de Mayo for Mexicans. You have Russian's May Day, Canada Day...I could go on. Each nationality or religion has their own special day. But come March 17th, every SOB wants to be Irish. Cad é an ifreann?!

Well, celebrate it anyway.

Whether you're an O'Dell or an O'Neill...

a Keegan or a Kealey...

a McMahon or a McNertney...

or a Hogan or Dunn. By the way, when my grandma and aunt (well, great aunt) did a trip to Ireland to trace our family line, I come from the house of Hogan. So Ben and I are related somewhere back in time.

Be safe and have fun. But if you're not Irish, get your own damn holiday!

Thursday, March 12, 2015

Throwback Thursday - 03.12.2015

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.

Brandon Crawford - 2013 Sega Card-Gen - New York Giants

Monday, March 9, 2015

Frozen in time

When you get down to it, sports cards are really just photographs. Whether printed on chipboard, white stock, acetate, name it. It's really a record of the person at the moment of the shutter flash. Barring an accident, the only way to wipe the record is to destroy the image before it's saved anywhere. However, the moment it's printed on cardboard, it a part of history for perpetuity. And just like the time you brought that girl (or boy) home and mom pulled out the photo album to show a shot of you nude on a beat skin rug, it's a record of how you looked then, compared to the you that exists now.

Home of the Whopper, indeed.
Since I constantly mess with my cards, I started to notice how players have changed over the year. Take Wilbur Wood.

Second year Wilbur in the Red Sox organization, sporting his 22 year old face in the 1964 set.

Move forward 14 years and Wood has a few more lines on his face. He put on some weight, too, but he's looking thin in the image. How about recently retired Paul Konerko?

A planned future catcher for the organization, we all know he was sent to the Red, then ended up here in Chicago finishing his career last September.

More miles on the body and a World Series championship in the pocket, Paul said goodbye to the fans.

25 year old Jim Thome relaxing on the dugout steps. I know I have his '92 rookie around somewhere, but damned if I can find it.

Trips to the Phillies, White Sox, Blue Jays, Dodgers, Twins and Orioles got Jim in a lot of uniforms, and put a lot of age on his face.

Holy crap. Every time I see this card I think it must be someone else. No way Junior was ever junior. That's a kid getting in trouble in the lunch room and being sent to the dean's office.

Many sore backs and home runs later, Griff was ready to call it a career and wait for Cooperstown to announce his name.

It's not just baseball. See, when you look at thi..... hold up. Wait. That's the wrong side of the card. My fault. I meant to post the back of the card. Let me get this back on the scanner.

That's what I meant to show. Look at the proud dad and his beaming, pudgy little girl. Having a problem placing her? Maybe this will help.

Yup. That would be Instagram darling Paulina Gretzky. She definitely changed in the past 20 years.

Sunday, March 8, 2015

Let me sum up.

For those that hung thru the many posts that showcased the generosity of so many bloggers and readers, I thank you . I really needed to get all those handled because I had fallen quite a bit behind, and felt guilty each day I didn't post anything that wasn't a thank you to someone. Now that I am done with that, I can move forward into doing other things. But what?

Maybe I can find my father's killer.
Since I have had so many additions to so many binders, I thought we'd take a quick look at how all my collections are shaping up.

My Konerko binder is filling up quickly. I currently sit at 248 unique cards, and five cards towards the 2015 rainbow, picking up this purple a couple weeks back. I missed out on a snow camo and kick myself each day. However, with that many Paulie cards I'll have to move it to a larger ring binder soon. My other player collections are increasing nicely. Crede, Iguchi, Petrick and Rowand are slowly adding cards. Fox has stalled, mainly because of prices. Wilks hasn't started for the same reason. I have plans to really hit Fox, Wilks, Lollar and Aparicio at the National in July/August.

The current totals of unique cardboard for my three main binders are as follows:

Double Plays - 842
Throwbacks - 633
Bunting - 780

The DP binder is figuratively bursting. I have the pages double filled, and there is maybe 5 or 6 more to fill. I'm picking up a new binder this weekend to move some pages. Each time I look at the numbers, I am surprised at the number of cards I have of each group. I never would have guessed the quantity I have (and have yet to acquire), but if pressed, I would have under shot the total.

TTMs have all but stopped. Then again, I haven't mailed anything for a couple months. Little disappointed on some I have out that have not returned. I'm trying to decide if I want to get a load ready for spring training this week. I think it would be a waste, but the way things have gone, why not. The Takatsu above is the latest addition to the 2005 Project. I have been watching a lot, but the only ones that would sell low were autos that Shingo signed quickly. His signature looks like garbage compared to this one. I picked this up with a buy it now on Ebay - much nicer, and it's on card.

So there we have it. All good stuff.

Saturday, March 7, 2015

Theme week ends at the card show

We have hit the last of the scans, and all these cards came from Nick over and Dime Boxes. When Nick and I met up for some box digging at the Orland show, my partner in dime and nickel box crime exchanged boxes of cards. Nick really built up a stack, handing me a box at least twice the size of what I gave to him. Then, he weighed himself back down with his purchases.

There's Hostess cards 3 for a buck over here.
The box Nick gave me had about 700 or so cards within. I sorted them down to four groups: Throwbacks, bunting, double plays and White Sox. So as not to kill you with hundreds of scans, we'll highlight each group.

Over a hundred cards of players in throwbacks start of the showcase. Just 25 were new, and you see a few of those new binder additions here. I forgot about the Senators throwbacks from a couple years ago. Absolutely love the Studio Heritage Series that features Molitor in the upper right. I'm working on getting all of those inserts from the three years they had them. Some of the throwbacks that didn't make the cut made it into the Sox box, so there was plenty of use for the dupes.

Over 60 cards of players trying to bunt their way onto base, or setup a run. About half (30) were brand new to the binder. That Marlon Byrd is really nice in person. It's almost gaudy, but compared to the '95 Fleer beside it..... Three pitchers at the plate, so I know those are dupes to Nick.

For the turn at second, Nick had about 120 SP cards in the box, of which 47 were brand new and a dozen went either into the Sox box, or towards junk wax era UD sets. Cabrera in the middle is trying out for a revival of West Side Story. Hubie has a rare pitcher in a warm up jacket cameo. It's hard to find a bad Stadium Club card, as the Pena image attests.

Lastly, just short of 300 straight up White Sox cards that fit into none of the previous categories. I must get that Rowand TTM'd. 2015 Topps can learn a lot from 2004 Topps. The Team Heroes in the upper left is just begging to be a diecut.

Nick, as always, thanks for the cards. I can look at my collection and know some came from your digging, one dime at a time or less.

Friday, March 6, 2015

Spring cleaning theme: ZAPPAGE!

It just happened to fall that the last three packages I am showing off are from 3 of the most generous bloggers out there. You have Matt - you have Wes. Well, Zippy Zappy is doing his best to weasel in and let folks know that he's willing to drop some amazing cardboard at your house, just cuz. You hopefully visit Zippy on a daily basis over at Torren' Up Cards. Unfortunately, the namesake player for the blog is going to miss the 2015 season, so who knows if there will be a name change. I think he should hold a contest.

Kardashian' Up Cards has a nice ring to it.
I posted a little about Zippy's package a week ago, but mentioned then I would get more into it because....well, let's let the cards speak for the greatness of this mailing.

Let's start with Asian Bowman. The black borders says these are pulled from packs of Bowman Prospects that came from the Asian market. Man - looks so good with the black uni tops.

Vintage. I'm not going to work on the Heritage set this year. I think Topps should really look at the images from the old sets and do their best to recreate them. Get some stadiums in the background. Cut down on the sharpness of the images. My two cents. I forgot how much vintage was dropped on me, but it cleared some fields on my needs list. Nice mop top Steve, btw.

Yes - this is a Sterling auto of Courtney Hawkins. And yes, there are more cards to show from the package. So you can imagine when I felt to place this BELOW the level of the rest of the cardboard how generous Zippy was.

YES!! YES!! YES!! Zippy commented how he went back to his homeland and picked up a bunch of Sega CardGen. I was so hoping I would get one. I did much better than one. These two are amazing additions to the throwback binder. I moved some cards so these are in the first 9 pocket page when I open it up.

Ditto on moving a card for this. A Japanese Kellogg's card for the bunting binder. Why can't we get anything this nice? This was actually still in the cello wrapper, but not any more.


This is a 2010 Calibee of player collection member Tadahito Iguchi. It's definitely a grea addition to that binder. I know I blow the picture up, but one thing that is interesting is the size of Calibee cards. They are thinner than cards printer here. While we are 2 and a half by 3 and a half, this Calibee is 2 and a quarter by 3 and three eighths. It just feels odd, like how large the mid 50's Topps are.

My third CardGen, and this is a rare foil for the Paulie binder. Game wise, the foils give extra stats to the player. Collection wise - this is plain awesome. Take a guess what page in the Konerko binder this card now resides.

I could stop there. This is already a package I can never hope to repay, nor come close in expressing my gratitude. In fact, had this last card not literally fallen out, I could have missed it.

He's got a hole in his chin, but that takes nothing away from this beaut. I had a pseudo, mental goal of adding a real T206 into my collection. Someone read my mind. I am utterly amazed at the kindness of the people out there. You are all straight up crazy. In a good way. Zippy - thank again. I will forever owe you. Next time you cross the ocean, can I please just give you money?