Friday, April 29, 2016

Ode to #SuperTraders

As I was going through my scan folder, cleaning up the images, when I got to the final scan of a package from Wes over at JBF, one song jumped into my head. So I went back over the other cards I had scanned and fairly quickly was able to put a song to each scan.

It's been a while since I have done a musical PWE, so let's look at Wes' scan from a musical standpoint, shall we? Sure, it's just an excuse to post more videos, but who doesn't like music?

With your I-Poos, Twiffer and Snip Snap!!!

Going with the Vogues for the new Paulie additions, him being down with work and all. I first thought of "Baby Come Back", but with one of the best records in baseball currently, we're doing pretty well.  Both are serialed and fine additions to my Konerko binder.

For some shiny, but never scan well cards, how about Collective Soul? Though, that Wells on the right looks really good off the scanner. Buehrle on the left, not so great. Magglio in the middle? Completely impossible to see. Whomever has a scanner that does foil well, let me know. I think I need to replace this sucker anyway.

No brainer. LOVE English Beat (or The Beat as their proper name is), as well as the spinoffs from that band - General Public and Fine Young Cannibals. While Rodon and Montas are shiny, and thusly scanned like total crap, I happened to pick them for the mirror image of the cards side by side. Even the badging at the bottom gives a mirror effect. I wish the Sox would go back to the secondary logo on the road sleeves, though.

It's a diecut that looks like a CD. This was the only scan I was a struggling with, but being a card that talks of greatest hits for 1992, I hit the Billboard list of the best songs for that year. With Frank wearing the black tops and white pants, picking MJs song from that year was a no brainer. Also, 90s - amirite?

This is the song that jumped in my head when I cleaned up the image of the two fine relics Wes sent. And it's just because of the first line: "You take the good you take the bad". Because Sale - he's good. And Conseco with the White Sox - he was very bad. But I will take gifts like these two cards as they are fine additions to the binder. Most of my Sale relics are gray, so black is a nice change. Plus it's from Tribute. Those packs are out of my price range usually.

Thanks again for the cards, Wes.

One last thing: Lisa Whelchel. Am I right????

Wednesday, April 27, 2016

Bring on summer

Well, it was bound to happen - my Hawks bowing out early. I'm not taking this year as hard as others for a few reasons. Three are obvious, but one big reason is many of the Hawks players need a rest. Keith, Toews and Kane have played more hockey games in the past 8 years than other players in the league. Since 2009,  they have an 82 game regular seasons, playoffs, two Olympics. Here are the Hawks NHL stats since 2009.

2009: lost conference finals: 99 games played
2010: won Cup: 102 games played
2011: lost 1st round: 89 games played
2012: lost 1st round: 88 games played
2013: won Cup: 71 games played (strike shortened season)
2014: lost conference finals: 97 games played
2015: won Cup: 105 games played
2016: lost 1st round: 89 games played

Throw in a dozen Olympic games and that is a ton of hockey on your body over 8 years. And there is the World Cup of Hockey returning this year. I am okay with the Hawks stars getting out a month sooner for some R&R so they can come back and destroy the NHL come October. Though, there is still a parts of me that finds it hurting a bit.

Screw you, Riccchet Rabbit.
Fortunately, the White Sox are surprising the AL Central (remember - there are two teams in Chicago, and one doesn't had a century of losing). So I can move forward to that sport. Plus, there are the mailings I get stuffed with hockey from the great white north, courtesy of DJ at Sportscards From The Dollar Store. With all the repacks DJ rips, and all the recent Hawks success, I tend to receive a lot of the cardboard he rips open.

I'll start with some of the Sox that were in the set. Eight total Hometown Heroes cards were in the package. I believe it was a complete White Sox set, and I'll take that. Amazing how Panini shopped every uniform to the black/white motif, including Seaver in the 80's pajamas and Ozzie in the early 90's script - neither which had any black.

Good mix of Hawks within. A very sweaty and smurfy Chelios is besides that Full Force Toews. I hope Full Force goes cheap in the summer. It's not worth the price, but a huge price break and I would buy a box. Not sure on that picture on the Fleer Retro.

Some day I will start a Hawks collection of autographs from players with their name on the Cup. Every so often I search ebay for players and pick up cheap ones here and there. The sweater doesn't matter - just the ink. I think I have maybe 10 right now. I should get moving on it. So Bolland is a nice card to receive. Baun was an undrafted pickup by the Hawks. Quiet past season in Rockford, so we'll see if he can crack the roster come October.

I knew of one card from this mailing. DJ gave me a warning before shipping, and I was pretty excited to receive it.

A) Champs - greatest set ever
B) Blackhawks - greatest team ever
C) Kane - first American to win the Art Ross

This ranks up there as one of the best cards I have received. I am so thankful for all the Mets hits I pull and send to DJ, because I feel like all of them have lowered me to only "owing" 99% for this card, instead of full 100%. Now I only need a few thousand more Met and Ottawa hits to make up for this. And I can put my goal on a Toews auto. Thanks for the mailing DJ.

I'm off to St. Louis and fix the angle on the inside of the posts.

Tuesday, April 26, 2016

A W-Hoyle lot of Waitin'

Yeah, I went the route of a horribly bad pun for the post title. I was really unsure what to do with the cards in my scan folder, and for some reason a form of what eventually graces the top of the post in bold font is what came to mind. I'm not really proud of it. Given the chance, I would stop typing and go back to try again. But I have put this many words into the keyboard so no reason to stop now.

Reason #774: You think it's funny Jeff, but it never is.
Anyway, let me bop a few images from the scan folder from recent mailing here at the home office. I've been slow for the past few weeks and it's all catching up on me. Unless you have been under a rock, simple deduction states that this post is a combination of mailings from Mark Hoyle and P-Town Tom.

Mark dropped a small mailer on me, but loaded with goodness. Buehrle throwbacks are always appreciated. Folks love the 80's pajamas we wear on Sundays, but I much prefer this Sunday look from the mid 00's of the Sox 1917 World Series uniforms. Mark also included most of this year's ChiSox team set from Heritage, and that sweet Konerko playing card. Many have posted about getting playing cards from Mark, so he must have found a great deal on a few decks. Thanks pal!

If there is something you can count on from Tom at Waiting itil Next Year, it's his disappointment when the Cubs blow it again like they have for the past 108 years. Every team has a bad century, right? Seriously, the thing you can count on with Tom is quality. All his mailings knock of space after space on my binder pages. New miscuts. New bunting cards. And that Flashback card from last year's Opening Day, an insert set I am still trying to complete.

How's about some shiny White Sox. That Fisk comes from the Panini 75th HOF Anniversary set that was WAY TOO EXPENSIVE, though a pretty sweet hit release. So I'll take any of the throw in cards from that box. And I think Tom ripped a couple boxes of the Stars and Stripes, considering the Bippin' I got from Rodon and other Sox players in the set.

Oddballs made there way. And just what in the hell is that Thomas card? That is one seriously messed up oddball. But with a name on the card like Frankenthomas, I will have to replace whatever card is in the White Sox frankenset binder with that card. Just a given.

Nice TTM (or maybe IP) autos of Black Jack and Infante. Infante never panned out on the South Side. He is currently in AAA ball within the Phillies organization. On that scratch off, Luis is wearing a blue hat from the couple year uniform the Sox did in the late 60's. That would make for a great one off game wear. Especially on the road with the blue sanitaries and the white stirrups.

I saved this Seaver Topps 3D card for last, as there is a story to it. A few years ago, in one of the first trades I made with Night Owl, Greg sent a copy of this card to me. I emailed NO and mentioned I would forward it on to another collector, as while it is a White Sox, I think the Seaver-ness of it made it fit better in another person's collection (Jeff at My Sports Obsession). Fast forward to about 2 months ago, when I finally shipped the 3D Seaver to Jeff, only to have a replacement show back in office about 3 weeks later.

Thanks though, Tom. But don't do that again, It's like that damn cat from Zoom.

Thursday, April 21, 2016

Throwback Thursday - 04.21.2016

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. The picture may be from the front of the card, or the back. Enjoy the uniforms from years past.

Felix Hernandez - 2013 Topps Gypsy Queen mini - Seattle Rainiers

Wednesday, April 20, 2016

Hidden Gems 3: Quentin in the rain

As I go through this binder and series, one thing will be apparent - bodies. In recent years, Topps has been zooming in on images they use to create the cards. I think I understand why - the focus is the player. While there are less portraits than have been on vintage cards, this return is not beneficial or positive, in my book. Action cards are where it's at.

Prime example is player hated by all Dodger fans Carlos Quentin. Sure, Topps could have zoomed in more, but someone was wise enough to realize you can get everything you need by showing everything there is. Full body crashing into the wall, the hint of white from the pocket of the beige glove, the fencing, the top of the wall - all of it together makes the entire image. We know who the player is - it's right there on the front in foil we can't read. We don't need to see his face because there are enough identifying information to know this is Carlos Quentin. Bonus points for not messing with the contrast. The latest deal with Topps running images through a filter to to bring out each fold of a uniform is overused. The stark white of the top of his pants work well with the shadowed torso and lower legs.

Electric Light Orchestra is one of my favorite bands. From Eldorado to New World Record to Discovery, I've owned a bunch of their albums. And say what you want about Xanadu, it's still a guilty pleasure. In 1977, they release the double album Out Of The Blue. Filled with hits like Turn To Stone, It's Over, Sweet Talking Woman, it was their best selling album. Side 3 (side A of album 2) is a 4 part piece called Concerto For A Rainy Day. Most famous song from that side, used in dozens of movies, is the last song - Mr. Blue Sky. But the best song, in my opinion, is the first song from the piece, Standing In The Rain.

It's a well written piece that hits you hard with a bevy of instruments and melodies, and its' staccato rhythm mimics that of a thunderstorm, which is pretty much it's intention. It's ebbs through it's 4 minutes and flows into the next track, Big Wheels. If you haven't heard the entire piece, give it a listen here.

Wednesday, April 13, 2016

Dr Babydaddy or: How I Learned To Stop Sleeping And Love Changing Diapers

So Junior Junkie is a new daddy. That certainly is not news I am breaking as he and his better half welcomed their first child a couple weeks back. I remember that time some 23+ years ago when my son was born. And again 20+ years for the birth of my daughter.

Plenty of us are parents, and we all have experienced the highs and low, ups and downs of being a parent. So Junkie, when you read this at 4am (and you will), allow me to pass on some advice for what to expect now that you are a daddy.

1) Forget sleep. Just forget it. At least for 12 years. From not sleeping through the night to illness, Get sleep when you can. Be ready to get less sleep that your wife, because unless you are breast feeding, you get less sleep. I once went a 9 days on 8 hours of sleep. On day nine when my son woke me up, I almost puked on him, which would have been fair if you think about it. But find the time to sleep when you can. Learn your child's nap cycles and use them to your advantage.

2) Forget privacy. Remember how you could go into the bathroom and your wife would never bother you unless it was an emergency? Yeah - that doesn't happen with kids. Lock the door or they will just walk right in. Learn to parent while you are sitting on the throne, because you will need to handle your first job while you are doing job #2.

3) Your wife is the most beautiful woman in the world. Keep that thought in your mind - trust me on this one.

4) Kids are expensive. Like SERIOUSLY expensive. Diapers. Wipes. Food. Clothes. Accessories. If you are offered hand me downs, take them. Save everything you can if you want baby #2. All their stuff is expensive the same reason bikinis are expensive: for no frigging reason! Everything they use will either get thrown out or useless quickly because they have out grown it.

5) How do you feel about bodily fluids? Well, get over that because you will get every single fluid that can come out of a body on you, and some that you never thought existed. It's inevitable. Just know it will happen - that is the only preparation you can make for it.

6) Measure the length of your child's arms, then place all the items that are fragile and important 3 times that distance away from them. Unknown to most people, babies have a power to attract items with a form of telekinesis and metal telepathy. They will grow out of it about 6-8 years old, but get that stuff at least 6 feet away. Because of their small size, their powers are pretty weak at that distance.

I'll stop there. If I think of more I'll do a part two. But let me thank TJ for cards he sent before the birth of his child. If you remember a week or so ago, I had a post "Here, There and Everywhere Part 1". Well, I remember that this is the other stack I referenced in that post. What I don't remember is why I decided the two stacks were related. I guess that's #7 for you, Junkie. Your memory fades and it will all be replaced with Disney movies and crappy children's songs from crappy cartoons. Anyhow...

SOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOX! Junkie's mailing had a nice amount of new Sox cards for me. The Pinnacle in the middle is acetate, so that is a black sheet of paper behind it. Remember Colon as a White Sox? Yeah - we're trying to forget those years too.

Very parallel-y. Doyle was a 37th round draft pick who has bounced between the Twins, Japan and Mexico. Currently, he is in the Baltimore system. Adams, who happens to turn 20 today, is in A ball with the Sox. Belle, well - you all know Albert Belle. The card scanned like crap which is a shame cuz it looks nice in person.

Crown Royal. I think Junior got his hands on a stack of these as I see a lot went out with other packages. I was happy to get the White Sox group of them. So gaudy and so beautiful.

The mass of the cards from TJ were bunting. 52 total cards in the package, with almost half (25) as new binder additions. I almost bought that Alomar about a year back at my LCS, but it was a buck and I passed. Glad I did.

Yet another Butler bunting card. All the card companies liked showing him bunting. The Febles and Milledge are both cards in the on deck circle for the baker's dozen needed cards, but I can cross them off the list. The Febles scanned really nice and looks just as good in hand.

Old, new and what in the hell is that last one? Holy moley! Did someone at Fleer just get a new clip art program the week before designing those cards? There is a little bit of everything on it. I have no idea what the ultimate goal was, but "splendid" was not the first word that popped in my head when I saw that.

Lastly a couple autographs to finish the envelope. I don't have either, so the early Paulie, still as a catching prospect is pretty sweet. Johnson is on the Sox 40 man roster and currently in Triple A Charlotte. He's been up a few times and has a 7-4 career in the bigs. No idea if he will ever crack a permanent stay on the south side though.

Thanks again TJ. Now go change that diaper - I can smell that bomb from here. BTW - I really wanted to post this video (NSFW - language), but none of the copies would allow embedding, so you get Bruno Mars.

Sunday, April 10, 2016

No, I won't

I am sure we have all experienced this - get some cards in the mail from a generous giver and when you look them over, there is a theme beyond the intended theme. In packages I received, there can be a theme of double play cards or bunting cards. But not too often, I'll get a group of cards that fit into a player collection I have. But that is usually rare.

However, it's very common that a mailing will have a bunch of cards from one player in them, almost prompting me to start a binder for that player. I have my running joke about my not going to start anytime soon Sale collection (nope, not starting one, but send them all), as well as cards for other players with far shorter careers.

The king of short careers.
Brian from Play At The Plate sent over a #SuperTraders mailing a week ago. Among all the cards inside, I noticed these three.

As much as I like AJ, I don't see me starting a player collection of the man, though I do need an autograph of him for my 2005 Project. But Sox was not the only team Brian sent over.

The Stanley Cup playoffs start ....well......soon. The NHL hasn't released the game times yet. But we get to beat up the Blues again this year, and that is always fun. Some older Hawks int he package with former forward Zkamnov on a Gold Reserve UD card. Alexei came over when we sent Roenick to Phoenix. Still a dark day here. Nice shot of the old Stadium behind Jim Belushi and a really great image of Bobby Smith leaping over Belfour as he makes the save.

Plain and gray, but super sweet this low numbered (#/50) swatch of Thome. And for the record, that is a throwback Jim is sporting, so into the throwback binder is goes. Thanks a bunch for the cards, Brian.

So no - just cuz you send me stuff doesn't mean you can decide what I collect.

Tuesday, April 5, 2016