Monday, May 30, 2016

Hidden Gems 4: Sixty Six

Just a short post, being Memorial Day. Also a short post based on the length of the song. This will probably be the shortest gem in the series. But well worth it, and fairly topical for those enjoying this holiday with BBQ and too much food. Before we get to the song, let's take a gander at one of the few decent images from 2014 Topps.

Too much crop can lose a lot of the premise of the action. What's going on? What's the context? Fortunately, for a play at the plate, you can chop out the background and we still know what's happening. A player in mid air. Concentration in the catcher's eyes. The anticipation of the pending collision. Though a bad design, perfect framing on McCann's face makes this card.

When my wife and I first started dating, we would send mix tapes back and forth while she was at school. This song appeared on one from her, and it's 66 seconds of brilliance. It's from a Cincinnati radio station album of local bands. I lost the tape. But I always remembered the song, and 25+ years of searching later, now you will remember it too.

This song appeared in the B movie Frostbiter: Wrath of the Wendigo. Pretty forgettable. I  almost had to use that video in this post, but I'll add that YouTube video to the playlist. You can download this song, and many others, from the I Heart Radio link in the paragraph above. Speaking of paragraphs, each one in this post is 66 words long. I'm so meta.

Tuesday, May 24, 2016

Show the show

The stars aligned this weekend, allowing me to drop the dog off for her grooming early in the morning, then heading out to hit the monthly show in Orland. I've been overdue hitting the show. My '64 set build has been stalled since I cannot find what I want at the price I am willing to spend. And the past couple visits to the Orland show has shown no sign of my vintage seller. Also, I have a few sets I need to complete and the right seller's dime boxes would help. If anything, I would get a few hours digging for cards, and that makes for a good day.

Arriving, I did my usual - a lap around just to see who was there. My vintage guy? Check. Cheap dime box set filler guy? Check. Both of them, however, had no room for digging, so I found a new seller with dime boxes, and I pulled a Nick on him, finding 100 from a 5k count box. Ok - maybe a 15% Nick, but still quite the stack.

Quite the assortment of cards, and thankfully the local teams were not pulled out, so I found a few Cubs cards for a couple people. Not sure what that gem background Bere Bowman card is, but I wouldn't pass it for a dime. Same with the Alvarez minor league card.

Custom binders were well represented. I also found the chrome of the Galarraga in the upper left. I almost passed on the '68 Chico, figuring I had it. But then I thought "it's only a dime, so I took a chance. I needed it. I wish I found a 2nd copy of that McGwire Homerun Heroes, and you will see in a couple seconds.

Yes - I am building the 2009 Upper Deck set, so finding a couple cards, along with a dozen from the Team USA subsets were a good dig. As were 7 Homerun Heroes insert cards from a couple years of UD. I need to organize what I have so I know what I need. That El Duque GQ card? It's a short print. And it was a dime.

Now the other GQ was part of 20 I found at the set builder's dime boxes, along with 4 cards for the Stadium Club build. I'm shocked at the lack of SC in any set building boxes. I may have to buy a lot online. Might be better off taking a chance on another box at the price I'll pay.

Complete White Sox 2016 Diamond Kings team set? Yes please. But why is Sale only a relic in the set and no base card?

Player collections from the set builder's Chicago dime box. Man Donruss is ugly. Just ugly.

YES!!! I marked off 17 cards from my vintage guys 3 for a buck bin. But before you pat me on the back, that Killebrew was not 33 cents. But I thought 2 bucks was a fair price even in its condition.

Another great part of 3 for a buck bin is finding Sox vintage team set needs. I found a total of 4 - I didn't scan the 1960 card I found, but trust me on the price. Had some paper loss on the back.

Harmon was almost the most expensive purchase, but I decided to round up my set builder's dime box purchase of 120 cards (Nick 18%) with this card for a whole 3 dollars.

Yeah, I know he is no longer a Sox, but I thought I may as well pick it up for $3. I hated the thought of making sure he had singles.

And just as I paid, my phone goes off letting me know the grooming is done. Perfect timing. Hit the road and picked up my well coifed pooch.

Thursday, May 19, 2016

Throwback Thursday - 05.19.2016

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.

Jeff Kent - 2001 Upper Deck Black Diamond - New York Giants

Monday, May 16, 2016

What month is it?

Before I get to the meat of the post, allow me a mini rant.

Ok - I'm ready.
I have been reading a bunch today about how Topps and Topps Now missed the boat on the Odor vs. Batista card. How the company is not "listening to the market" or "ignored a great opportunity". Seriously folks? Are we that clueless to think that Topps, MLB, MLBPA or any entity would think "hey, we had a brawl on the field that violated every rule on the book and made our product look like hell - let's sell an official trading card commemorating it". Sports are brands, and the last thing one does is damage your brand. The news, month after month, talks about corporations and their attempt to increase their revenue and bury disparaging facts about the very item they sell. From the false claims by food manufacturers to the white washing of facts by the tobacco, firearms and automobile industries onto the outright lies from coal and petroleum - it's all about protecting the bottom line. The evidence is clear that football players get CTE, and that is a serious condition, but Goodell won't talk about it. NBA owners aren't rich enough so they will soon have ads on their uniforms while fleecing communities to build them arenas with tax dollars that would be better spent on oh, I don't know - Food? Schools? Roads?

So when Topps releases a card of that punch, I am sure it will be some short print in next year's flagship along with the PED insert set that is on the table. Cuz that's the image baseball wants you to remember - Bonds, Sosa, Clemens, McGwire, Palmero, A-Rod and Ortiz all in a set highlighting their alleged steroid use. Gavin, if you create and sell those PED customs, I get 25% of the profits.

Off the soap box.

So a few days about Night Owl posted about Wantlist Awareness Month, created by Dennis from Too Many Verlanders. I know pull tab awareness week comes on the 7 days after Shark Week (referenced Gavin twice in one post - now I get 50% of the profits). But I had no clue Wantlist Awareness Month was April. Well shoot - I blew it.  But I have 10.5 months to gear up for it come 2017.

I received two WAM mailings from Dennis totaling about 20 cards. Not only did every card clear a number on a want list, but I was forced to completely redo my Baker's Dozen list on the side panel after the mauling Dennis did to it. Without further delay...

Three from the Baker's Dozen. The Kellogg's Lopes has been a huge pain as I could never find it at a price I liked. Doesn't help that I prefer ridiculously low prices. But still, it was always on the 'bey for $3-4 bucks. No offense to the fourth member of GCRL, but I don't think that was a fair price. Kent is of course a double play. Hudson is a great throwback from the A's, harking back to their days in Philly.

20114-15 and 2015-16 Upper Deck hockey base sets complete. I'm always upset when the final card I need is a superstar. Look - Sid the Kid has been in the league 10 years. Base cards for players after 10 years of service, even the big names, are not worth as much as people think.

Last cards needed for 2015 GQ base. Could someone teach Hunter how to properly wear his pants. You look like you have cycling pants on. The Harper at the bottom has always been a card that I feel people overprice, so I hope you got a deal on it Dennis.

Technically, there is no exact want list of Koneko's sunset card, but it is in the most wanted section. I am sort of building the rainbow of the base and chrome releases, so these three go towards that goal.

And lastly we end on a couple Golden Age inserts. I miss Golden Age. I'm sure I am in the minority, but I loved that set.

Now that ends the first mailer. But about 2 weeks later, Dennis dropped a PWE on me.

Yes, I am trying to build 2008 Upper Deck. It's been on my want list just a few months, but any help would be appreciated. The Pitcher Perfect card of Chili Davis is one of my favorite broken bat cards. Classic fun photo from the mid 90's. Dennis - thanks again.

We should all take part in Wantlist Awareness Month next year and give credit where credit is due. I'm no Edison to his Tesla, after all.

Thursday, May 12, 2016

Throwback Thursday - 05.12.2016

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.

Rey Ordonez - 2002 Fleer - New York Cubans

Tuesday, May 10, 2016

What's going on here?

Just a one card post, with a question:

What is the hell is going on in this picture? Hollins looks like he saw a ghost, looking over his right shoulder at whatever scared him, but it appears the ball is about to, or already has, hit him in the left forearm. It's a spring training game, but for the life of me I cannot figure out what is happening in this play.

I do like the old Howard Johnson billboard cameo in the background, though.

Saturday, May 7, 2016

Just when I thought I was out.

In the movies, a common trope is the idea of the character that tries to escape the inevitable, only to find him or herself right where they belong. Destiny has a plan, and nothing will stop that plan from happening. Sometimes it's a confrontation with a family member that has been put off, a rival that has always gotten the best of them, the realization of who they really are within their soul, or the final stand against an impossible foe. Fate will bring them to their ultimate destination.

With surge pricing.
When Jim shuttered GCRL 10 months ago, it was the end of an era, and the loss of a Dodgers blog. That was unfortunate, with so few Dodger blogs and fans out there. Oh - if there were only a Dodger blog to takes it place. Or two.....

Sarcasm earns you a fast ball up and in.
But seriously, Jim stepped away a while, but I was certain it wouldn't be for long, Sure enough, he is back with a blog highlighting the Dodger frankenset he built - FrankenDodger. He was quickly able to build a 726 card frankenset (while I toil putting together my Sox frankenset). Posting a page a day (currently), you can see his reappearance in the blogging world.

Jim and I still exchange envelopes (my turn to send). Here's highlight of his recent PWE.

A young (and thin) Sosa in the original throwbacks that started the craze. Milton with one of a couple new bunt cards in the envelope. The '97 UD Phillips is another great Upper Deck image. This would have been a better horizontal card, though.

A couple buyback for the very early buyback frankenset. '75 Leon and his mustache made it, but '73 clean shaven Leon did not, as I am going to stick with a 1976 Pete Mackanin in space #287.

Lastly are these two beauties. Jim finds a lot of vintage miscuts (hopefully from dime boxes), so adding Grzenda was a treat. I have one small issue with the sweet '58 team set. It's nothing against you Jim - I love the card. The issue is I already have it. "So", you ask.

Well, Jim's is a nicer quality, but every time I see this card, I am reminded of my mom. We used to have a trailer in Plymouth, IN for summer weekends. Many years ago, they had a little flea market deal going on at the ranger station and there was a guy selling baseball cards. I am sure we overpaid for this card, but my mom bought it for me as I expressed my like of it. So it's a keeper, but know that it sits in a binder behind a 2nd copy.

Thanks as always, Jim. And welcome back. Just ignore the note from Juan's mother about his tardiness.