Thursday, August 25, 2016

Throwback Thursday - 08.25.2016

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.

Tom Morello - 2015 Topps Series 1 - Chicago Cubs

Tuesday, August 23, 2016

Where the magic happens

I'm not sure how I missed this, besides the fact that the past week of my life has been total sh*t crazy, but thankfully a post by P-Town Tom alerted me to a post from Judson over at My Cardboard Habit wanting to see the man caves/rooms/holes in the wall we get to ply out hobby within. And while I have a whole frigging basement that I could have as a man cave, soon my daughter and her man will be returning from school in Michigan, so we are going to turn the basement into a living area for them. Which means remodeling and getting a bathroom down there, cuz what I have is nothing but time and a WIDE OPEN to do list.

If I can eliminate a bathroom break, I should be able to...
So it appears my hobby will remain up in the smallest bedroom that is also my office, I guess. Since I work from home and all. And it's a mess (as everyone's is) and still a work in progress, as I have too many bare spots on the wall, but if you wonder why I am the way I am, maybe this will give you some insight.

As I said, it's a small room. I believe it's 10x12 or 10x13 - something of that range. When you first walk into the door, this is the view across the room. That's my desk chair on the left and the window where I can see when the mail gets delivered. It is nice to have a window right next to your desk when working. I have a few things on the wall here as you can see. I framed a few relic cards, like Cal Jr jersey, other White Sox bats and jerseys. There is a Gretzky relic up there too. Also an ad from Wilson with Nellie and Aparicio talking about how they love their gloves when turning too. That black and white is a wire photo I got from ebay a couple years back. Nellie Fox was shaken up in a play at 2nd. Hey - it was like 5 bucks and the original wire photo, with the stamp and information on the back, so I had to snag it.

That chest of drawers is a work in progress. RIght now it's just junk storage. You can see a nice framed Patrick Kane autographed 8x10 I won at mt LCS at one pack war night. Love that thing. We'll get to the bookshelf and the closet in a little bit. Not the awesome sticker/photo collection on the side of the bookcase.

I said the walls are somewhat bare, with too much empty space. But I do have some autographs around. Top to bottom we have a 5x7 of Mike Eruzione, Murray Bannerman, Daniel Webb, Ron Kittle, Al Weiss, Scott Crawford and Wilbur Wood.

Right now we are facing the door - it's just to the right of these four photos. Sorry for the crappy quality. The autos are Brett Morel ($2 at the White Sox garage sale this past year) and Tommy John. The other photos are the last game at the Chicago Stadium and another wire photo I scored for less than that Fox pic. I think that is Tommy Agee hustling to first. Let me look.....

Correction - it's Indians vs Yankees from 7/24/54. Al Smith out at first from a grounder Rizzuto to Moose Skowran in the 4th, according to the stamp on the back.

Moving on....

Just inside the door we have this bookshelf I just brought up from the basement for more binder storage. Above you see a shelf with autographs Star Wars figures, a brick from old Comiskey, autographs pucks of Jimmy Hayes and Colin Fraser, 3 autographed balls (Harold Baines, Billy Pierce, Jim Bunning) and a game used ball. Hidden behind that is a small hockey stick with autos of Chris Chelios and someone else - I can't remember nor make it out. My last wire photo his here, and it's another collision. No - I don't seek out the painful pictures. Just the cheap ones.

Another one of Moose. Anyway - you can see the stacks of cards on the top of the shelf. Those need to be sorted into the correct trade/Sox box/Blackhawks box. Too much too be done. And no - don't ask about the lave lamp. How the hell to you dispose of one of them?

Better look at the shelf. Just one binder has anything in it. I'm just starting to organize. There's the Upper Deck stool I won from a giveaway last year. People do actually win things! The Star Wars backpack was my daughter's Fathers Day gift to me. I need to get to a card show and break that mutha in. Lastly - that yellow mailer? Yeah - Canada. Get your heads out your hind ends so I can mail it! Yes - my router in on my desk. Yes, I need to mount it on a wall or ceiling.

The rest of that wall and my desk. I have three monitors. I do not game. And some days I wish I had 4. There's my scanner and you can see a few stacks of cards underneath the monitor shelf. If you do not have your monitors on a shelf, you are fools. Soooooooo much more space for more clutter. Trust me on this. The White Sox logo banner was a few bucks at a store closing in the mall, so a no brainer purchase and fits perfectly between the two shelves. That 2nd one is McFarlane figures of Ichiro, Podsednik and Granderson, with some of the White Sox statue giveaways (Konerko, Pierce and Minoso). Also an auto mini helmet of Alexei Ramirez and a dvd with Stan Mikita's signature. The green thing is a seat back from Comiskey. On the wall is an autograph of Brook Robinson and some cheap dollar store fake painting of the Iron Horse. Billy Pierce autographed card on the monitor shelf along with a buck of Lego minifigs and other silly, dust collecting items.

Here's a better look at the first bookcase. The plastic containers are, from left to right, packs for APTBNL (and yes, it is FULL), #Supertraders and blog traders. When I find a card I think would be good to send someone, into one of the two containers it goes, behind a labeled index card. When possible, I like using cards to label my binders, cuz I'm a dork and hey - why not. Who likes to read except weirdos!!! Couple notable binders: the gray/brown on shelf two is my auto and relic cards. The green right next to it is my '64 build. Just above the containers, on the far left is my Sox sampler and 2005 Project. The two bright blue side by side are Hidden Gems and Sox team sets 1950-1979. Supplies are at the top left. And bonus points if you can find the Arc of the Covenant.

Two last pictures. Here is the storage closet. Large shoe boxes and 5k count boxes. I really like the 3 slot shoe boxes. Not sure why. But I label the sets in each box, so you can see the cross outs on a few when they moved to binders or another box. This is a 4 shelf blare wire unit I got on clearance at Menards. Love the thing. The oddball box on the shoe boxes is the current year trade box. I use that for this year's releases to help fill want lists. It's the box that gets emptied during Tis The Season. Shelf three (from the bottom) is supplies and stuff to sort. That USPS box? Nothing but frigging top loaders, mostly from a JBF bombing. Top shelf is empty boxes behind the Star Wars calendar. The right are small sets or other cards. Stuff I really should get rid of. The middle, yellowish box is White Sox and Blackhawks dupes.

Other side of the closet. Because of that brace for the top shelf, I only can have a 3 shelf unit here. The bottom are the Sox boxes, though the large shoe box is about to be replaced with another 5k monster. Just above that are the trade boxes, sorted by team. Few other small boxes on the side. For those that get a mailer and realize it looks used, you can see why. I recycle all I can cuz a 50 cent mailer is 5 less cards you can pull from a dime box. Nick knows what I mean.

Ok - that's the tour. I should do a 360 interactive stitching on all the pictures. Maybe Google Maps can drive through my house.

Monday, August 15, 2016

Hidden Gems 6: Can't really say why

The best part about my Hidden Gems binder is I can put in any card I want. It's subjective only to me, so when all is said and done, I really don't have to explain myself in great details why a particular card got a slot in a binder page.

1989 Score. Who really knows the production run of the set, but we can easily assume it was huge. Van Snider got a total of 19 games in the big leagues over two years with the Reds. He has 35 at bat with 7 hits and one home run. Stuck out more then half the times at the plate (18 times). Then he was sent to the Yankees and never saw the bigs again. But look at this card. Every bit of Van is on the card, from the tops of his toes to the end of the bat. The badging fits perfectly in the space between his legs as he swings. The kick up of dust from what I thought was his front foot, but after further look, I think he beat the ball into the ground on his swing. Otherwise, he is WAY in front of the pitch. Gorgeous perfection in the time of junk wax.

A total nobody in the history of baseball, appearing in my collection on an ugly, overproduced set. Why? I don't know. Just because.

The Replacements put out straight garage rock for years, and Pleased To Meet Me is one of their top albums. From the start with I.O.U into Alex Chilton through to the end with Skyway and Can't Hardly Wait, it's a disc to play straight through every time. I aways contend some of rocks best songs are place at #3 on a disc, and I Don't Know is no exception. Right after the semi-poppy Alex Chilton came this song that spoke a bit of the band leaving it's punk rock roots and going more mainstream. After Alex Chilton, I think it's the best song on the album.

BTW - If you want an amazing version of Can't Hardly Wait, listen to this demo version from the album Tim.

Saturday, August 13, 2016

Mystery mailing

I'm a lot of things (many of those things words I really shouldn't use), but disorganized is near the top of that list. If you look at my card collection, you would think that is not true. I do a pretty good job keeping all my cards together. Dupes are organized by team, unless the set is from the current or past year. Those I keep in a box to easy find for people's want lists. I have index cards with blog names on them so I can sort cards I will send to people into a tidy bin. I have too many binders to count, more than half empty in preparation for some set or custom collection to fill them up. I have spreadsheets to keep track of team sets, card sets, bloggers addresses. It's all looks perfect.

Hit "K" in one folder and all my pictures appear together.
However, this is pretty far from the truth. I have lists to keep track of what needs to be done, but it I don't look at the list, I forget. I'll leave the house for a specific item and come home with many things EXCEPT that specific item. I forget names all the time. I forget events coming up. I forget what my wife asked me to do 5 minutes ago. My mind is extremely unorganized, and if you looked at my desk or some of the drawers behind me, you will see that it true.

Which makes this post today troubling, as I have no idea who sent it. It's not that I misplaced a note within, or the address. From the moment I opened it, I was lost. Who sent this? I love dropping envelopes on people out of the blue and receiving the same. But I feel like I forgot to track and address and cannot give proper thanks to this user. So if you sent a plastic case of about 30 cards a couple weeks back, speak up.

It was filled with lots of wonder 90's cardboard. I love it because even without sorting the card, I can tell some that are missing from the Sox box - these three for starters. With the right knowledge by the voters, this will be an image of three HOF members next year.

See all this cool cardboard? No idea who it came from. Not sure how Topps thinks Juan Pierre and Luis Aparicio are similar players. What do I know, right? Cuz I certainly don't know who sent me all these cards, but thank you just the same.

Don't forget to add you name next time you want to send me cards from out of nowhere.

Thursday, August 11, 2016

Gint-A-Cuff 8: packs 21-24: It's over!

Here come my final 4 packs from the box. But before I start - I made a stupid mistake. At the end of the 3rd post, my box score was sitting at 62.8. Then, when I started the 4th post, I gave myself the starting point of 58.8. I as looking at the wrong paragraph of the post. So my current box score is 4 points higher than where I ended last post - 95.8. Next year, I will have Tom do my math.

Yeah - the rip card was the highlight hit of the box. Nothing against Cord McCoy. I do like me some non baseball relics. The cowboy was the only scoring card in the pack too.

pack total = 5
running total = 100.8

More Yankees. For a crappy team this year, they sure have a ton of cards in the set! Severino loses me a point. I get two from Ryno, so the pack scores me a single digit.

pack total = 1
running total = 101.8

Shocked that no one picked Moose or Bryant as their favorite players. We need some Royals fans to play in 2017. Franco is a favorite player, and add his two points to the two I get from the Natural Wonders and we get 3 points total.

pack total =4
running total = 105.8

We end with a whimper. How is the hell that Marlins super fan got a card is beyond me. Then again, last year has those unfunny losers from Impractical Jokers, along with some douche bag bloggers, so.... Two points from Seager and 2 from the Subway & Streetcars mini. BTW - that is the Red Line from Chicago. You can take it to both Wrigley and Comiskey.

pack total = 4
final total = 109.8

Grand total of 109.8. I'm certain that will leave me at best middle of the GAC group. As long as I had fun, right?

Wednesday, August 10, 2016

Gint-A-Cuffs 8: packs 17-20 - racing towards the end.

As Phil Georgeff used to say as the end of a horse race was approaching "here they come, spinning out of the turn", we are coming into the final stretch of my GAC box. We start on the right side of the box with 4 of the last 8 packs. How much will I add to my 75.8 current score?

We start off with not a Yankee to be found. Good start for the top of the row. Not a lot of scoring though. Only the bottom of the scan earns me points - 2 from the Say Hey Kid and another 2 from the mayor of Houston.

pack total = 4
running total = 79.8

Pack 18 outdoes the previous pack. Nice to see Carter in the set. Not nice that it's the exact same image used when he appeared in the 2013 release. Have him show up as an Expo, would ya Topps? Anyway - Rodon scores me a favorite team point. Cedpedes scores me 2 Numbers Game points and the black bordered mini of political analyst Rick Klein gives me 3 points.

pack total = 6
running total = 85.8

Thee packs without a Yankee. Which is nice, except everything you see is worth nothing. Non scoring pack. That's the 5th one.

pack total = 0
running total = 85.8

Spoke too soon about the Yankees as I got them back to back in this pack. Lot of scoring cards here, though. Kershaw is a favorite player and a Numbers Game. A&G backed mini. Natural Wonders insert. Add and subtract and we get a total of 6 points.

pack total = 6
running total = 91.8

Respectable total. Will the last 4 packs give it a big bump? I still have one hit left to pull. I'll be fighting to the last card.

Tuesday, August 9, 2016

Gint-A-Cuffs 8: packs 13-16 - Bird watching

To catch you up, as well as myself, cuz I forgot my running total, I sit at 58.8 points at the halfway point of my box. We have reach the peak and it's all downhill from here. I am still two hits shy, so maybe one of them shows up in the post?

We are finishing the last 4 packs from the center row of the box, and sure enough, there is a relic. Jason Werth. Give me a few minutes while I go outside and dance around with pure joy and excitement. I believe this is the 2nd Werth relic I have pulled in my collecting life. At least he's worth 5 points. And the mini of De Blasio scores me 2 points. Lucky 7 total.

pack total = 7
running total = 65.8

Two packs in a row - no Yankees! Good scoring cards in this pack with the Maeda both a favorite player and a Numbers Game and the black bordered mini. Two points for each scoring chance for a total of 6. Side note - the vertical minis look really nice this year. Big Papi got a nice mini sunset card in A&G.

pack total = 6
running total = 71.8

Had to go and open my mouth about the Yankees. I'm giving the bird to Bird for taking away one of the two points I got from the Natural Wonders card. Look close on that card and you can almost see the Olympics. And the poo filled water.

pack total = 1
running total = 72.8

Bottom pack from the center of the box and we get Bird again. BOOM - the double deuce! Fortunately, Kluber is a favorite player, and Morgan is Numbers Game. Positive 3 points from the pack. Laureates is almost a rehash of the Peacemakers mini set from 2013.

pack total = 3
running total = 75.8

We are 2/3 through the box and sitting at a decent 75.8. Averaging about 4.7 points a pack up to this point. We'll see if this rate holds up when we move to the right side of the box tomorrow.

Monday, August 8, 2016

Gint-A-Cuffs 8: packs 9-12 - meh.

Ok - we are moving to the center of the box. But before I do, a scoring update. The Commissioner made a slight change to a couple rules. My box topper is considered a hit for favorite player, so I get a multiplier on it, raising the points on the topper from 4 to 6.8. Also, the commish stated that the Numbers Game insert set should score 2 points per appearance. I had 4 of them in the first 8 packs, and that give me 8 more points. So we do a little math and me new running total is 50.8. We cool? Let's go.

As I stated, we have moved to the middle row of the box, and the top pack adds points to the total. The Votto is another GAC player's And the Baseball Legends of Duke scores as well. Two points for each, adding 4 to the total.

pack total = 4
running total = 54.8

We are getting a similar score with this pack. Numers Game of a very serious Glavine nets two points, as does the Natural Wonder of the Marble Caves. Four total points this pack as well as last pack.

pack total = 4
running total = 58.8

The phrase you never want to hear in Gint-A-Cuffs is "Yankee hot pack". I pulled three in this pack. The only saving grace is that Pettitte is a short printed mini and offsets the loss. Three for the mini minus 3 for the Yankees equals zero. Yup. 4th non scoring pack of the box.

pack total = 0
running total = 58.8

Two more Yankees? Why not! Grrrrr..... Well, let's look at the positives (literally). Rice Numbers Game is 2 points. Baseball Legends is 2 points. A&G backed mini is 2 points. So the net addition is 4 points.

pack total = 4
running total = 62.8

Set building packs - all 4 of them. If you are going to put all 350 in a binder, I will need them. So while I didn't get any more of the promised box hits, I ultimately pulled cards I needed. I'm think looking at it a different way makes the cards appear awesome.

Sunday, August 7, 2016

Gint-A-Cuffs 8: packs 5-8: There's a first time for everything.

Been running around all day and never got to writing up my 2nd GAC post, so let me whip it up fast.

Well, well, well. I have been building all the A&G sets, but have only been buying full hobby boxes for the past 3 years. But even from blasters, this make the first rip card I have ever pulled. About frigging time! So A-Rod is being forcibly retired, from how I see it. No big buh-bye ceremony like Jeets got. For my life, though, A-Rod knocks me down a point. The rip card is worth 10 points, and you are guaranteed 10 points for what's inside. We'll get to that at the end. Best scoring pack of the box so far.

pack total = 19
running total = 30

Pack 6 was set filler. Fortunately, it did help me score some points, from Rizzo and Freeman. Both are favorite players of GAC participants, so I get 2 points for each.

pack total = 4
running total = 34

Double Yankees!!! Castro and Beltran take away the two points the sweet Palmer Baseball Legends gained me. So a non scoring pack. That makes 3 zero packs out of 7.

pack total = 0
running total = 34

And we end the left side of the box with a nice Abreu that scores me a point. And the Jon Gray A&G is no normal A&G back but a no number A&G back. That'll score a fiver for a pack total of 6.

pack total = 6
running total = 40

Well, a third of the way through and I am averaging 5 points a pack. Keep that pace up and I will fall just short of 100 for the box.

Oh yeah - the rip card. As I stated, all cards pulled from a rip card are worth 10 points. You can score more based on the card since you can get mini autos, 1/1s and others. You know I'm ripping this thing:


I guess if I don't pull a auto or 1/1, I don't think there is any worse "base" mini you can get from a rip card. This card has been blowing up on ebay and I'm going to sell it. Though, I am in talks with a certain someone about it. I would sell this to pick up some of the pricier 64s I need, like the Mantle, Rose, Mays, Clemente, etc... For my first rip card, I'm pretty happy.

Saturday, August 6, 2016

Gint-A-Cuffs 8: The beginning

No use tap dance around this - let's dive right in the box with the box loader and the first 4 packs.

We all have to start somewhere, and I started with a box loader of David Wright. That's 4 points right there. And we are waiting on a ruling if you get 2 bonus points for Mr. Wright being the favorite player of another participant. So right now, I'm just calling it 4 points.

pack total = 4
running total = 4

Our first pack from the box (left side if you care) is a decent start. White Sox are my favorite team, so I gain a point for Robertson. And the gold-ish National Wonders earns me two more points.

pack total = 3
running total = 7

I'm working down the stack, not across the box, so we are still on the left side. And well - this pack sucked. For a set building pack, it's good. But a whole lot of nothing scoring wise.

pack total = 0
running total = 7

I like seeing Fisk as a White Sox in any set, cuz that means I will collect the card. I like it more here as I get another bonus point for my favorite team. However, the GAC commissioner hates Steve Spurrier (can you blame the commish). So Mr. Spurrier docs me a point. Which means two zero score packs in a row.

pack total = 0
running total = 7

Three out of the first four packs had White Sox cards. I am not complaining. The sweet Feller, which is a nice design but an overused image, gains me two points. I get two more points for the Ferocious Feline mini of the ocelot. However, that damn rookie card of Refsnyder loses me a point because of the mark of the Yankees on his uniform. So instead of 5, I only add 4 points to the total.

pack total = 4
running total = 11

Alright. My start is 11.  With 17% of the box done, at this rate I am scoring a pathetic 66 unless something changes.

Friday, August 5, 2016

It's coming...

This year's Allen and Ginter came out a couple weeks back. And if you've been around the blogsphere the past 8 years, then you know Gint-A-Cuffs has returned again. This will be my third year participating. I'm due for a big score with the past two years near the bottom. But this is a warning that if you put your ear to the ground, you will hear the Ginter train a-coming...

Sounds like another losing box for you, daddy.
So before I start the GACVIII posts, let me clear out the last few scans I have from recent mailings. I still have a few mailing left to scan, but at least the folder will be empty for the time being.

Yup. These are from last year. I'm still working on the base and some inserts. Chris at Nacho Grande gave me some help on the inserts with a dozen or so cards. Not much left to go, and I have a line on finding all the cards at my LCS. Chris (at my LCS) told me he has a stack of 2015 A&G he almost knocks over on a daily basis. So if you have needs, email me a list and I'll try to help you.

Tom over at Waiting 'til Next Year, a blog that won't be changing names any time soon, dropped a nice stuffed mailer on me. And after that comment, it will probably be the last. So let's enjoy the goodies, like a stack of bunting and throwbacks. I had no idea Scooter had a bunting card in this year's Archives.

Player collections? Tom hit those too. That year of Black Diamond is so ugly that is comes around the other end of the ugliness line to be beautiful. And then ugly again. It's a big loop.

I found one of these Fleer Emotion cards in a dime box a couple years back. I thought it was some special framed cards like Gypsy Queen puts out, but it turns out this is a whole set? Man - how did I miss these? The emotion, though? Zest? Hurling? Suspense? I can see why this set never caught on.

Another Archives, this time a blue border of the Big Hurt. And look - back in the day when Topps actually knew, or gave a flying crap, about Southpaw's name. As opposed to his current reference as "White Sox mascot". Com'on Sooz!!!!! I'm counting on you for 2017.

We finish with a couple relics. Josh was one of the many failures in the Sox farm system. Drafted in the 1st round in 2004, he was far too streaky and got sent to KC. After a whopping 13 games, he went to the Pirates but never saw the show. Then to the Rockies, and again stuck in the minors. Then to Japan for the final 40 games of his career in any big league. He finished with the Dodgers farm system in 2012. The other is of Podzilla, most loved in Chicago for this one hit.

Thanks for the cards, guys. And now get out the way - the train in pulling into the station.