Friday, September 30, 2016

20 cards and 52 years ago...

My 1964 build hit a bit of a wall as I have not been hitting that Orland show at a monthly rate to keep snagging cheap vintage. I may find a few here and there, but for the most part, it's been a slow drag through from 50 to 75 percent completion. Granted, I still have all the big names to pick up, but no reason I shouldn't be pulling in more of the commons needed to fill the pages. I'd place blame, but it's clearly the fault of the man in the mirror.

...And doggone it - just go on COMC, already.
Fortunately, I have Chris to save me. Chris, of the painfully quiet Old Foul Cardboard, seems to have the best card shows. He gets my White Sox and Blackhawks cheap, and finds the other stuff I need as well. He sent a couple mailers in the past couple weeks. Some Bowman and 2016 Topps White Sox - no need to show you those, because the stars of the packages were the hits to the '64 build.

If you are aware, the '64 set I am building, quality is not a major concern. That being said, of the 20 cards Chris sent, these are the "worst", and they are far better then many I have in the binder. I believe Wrigley Wax was just talking about that Sterling Slaughter a week ago.

How about some bigger names too? Sievers, the 5 time All Star and ROY in 1946. Pumpsie was the first African American player for the BoSox, the last team to integrate. Joe - well, Joe is a White Sox, as well as a 2 time All Star with the Cardinals.

High numbers? Chris had those too. Love that Al Dark card. 1964 Topps high numbers are not too hard to find, but they can still have a higher price on them.

But '64s were the only things within.

Told you Chris finds me nice Blackhawks cards too. This, from last year's UD Artifacts. But as much as this is a nice hit, it was not the star of either mailer. That distinction goes to this rectangle.

I scanned it a few times, and it's not as miscut in hand as the scan would make you think. I believe this is officially my first Koafax card. I know my LCS has his '64 base card in a case, but the heck if I can afford it at this time. That is a hell of a sweet card, though.

Now, I have some '64s from the recent card show trip to sort, but thanks to Chris's work, the 1964 set build sits now at 69%.

Thursday, September 29, 2016

Throwback Thursday - 09.29.2016

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.

Orlando Merced - 1994 Topps - Pittsburgh Pirates

Tuesday, September 27, 2016

The return of PWE Wars

I am still sorting the spoils from the recent card show. And by sorting, I mean they are still sitting in the box they came home in two days ago and all I have done is moved them from near to my left elbow to farther from my left elbow. At this rate of sorting, the cards should be somewhere around Des Moines by 2037.

More exciting then when they added the 3rd color to the traffic light.
So let's knock around a couple recent PWEs by way of a little game known as PWE Wars. It's like Food Network, where every damn show on there is some stupid competition: cakes, cupcakes, meat, trucks, pumpkins, sandwiches. Even kids get in the act hating on each other. Everything is a freaking battle on that channel. And to set the mood, I'll even wear a low cut shirt.

I'll be playing the part of Kate Upton in this post.
Today's contestants come from mailers courtesy of John from Johnny's Trading Spot (who sent me a MASSIVE box I am still sorting through), and Shane from Shoebox Legends. The rules are simple: I compare the cards in each envelope and score them. Whomever has the higher score wins. This is the 3rd installment on PWE Wars. Each of the first two ended in a tie. Let's see if that will change this time out. John is on the left and Shane on the right in each image.

Oh - tough start. Like myself, Shane is building a buyback frankenset, and he sent some dupes to help me out. John, on the other hand, has been cleaning out a ton of cards he bought from a collector. I have very few of the code cards from the 2008 World's Greatest Victories set, so I jumped on what he had. Growing up, I was a nutjob about space, so I will have to give this round to John.

More A&G goodness versus a fauxback uniform the Rangers wore. It's a decent uniform, for never existing. And a few companies put it on cardboard. However, the A&G takes this round as well. Cards that show real throwbacks overtake fake throwbacks. John is up 2-0.

Our 3rd A&G insert card from John talks of the story of a smaller man cutting down a larger giant. Shane counters with two miscuts. Two cuts are better then one. Shane trailing 2-1.

Remember Deep Blue? It played chess against Kasparov and beat him in a rematch played in regular chess time rules? Well, Deep Blue is going against a couple other colorful cards with blue, along with red, green purple and a bunch others. And that would win out, except I have both the Abreu and the Beckham. John up 3-1.

Bunt vs. buyback. Giants vs. Tigers. Pitcher faking it in the batting cage vs. pitcher faking it in the outfield. Helmet vs. sideburns. Sideburns win. Shane down one 3-2.

Shane is on top and John is on the bottom. All total, Shane sent me 5 buybacks for my frankenset. All were needed and I now have about 116 cards in the set. John sent me 3 bunting cards with the Allen and Ginter insert set. I needed the Estes in the last image, but I only needed the Orsulak here. 3 needs beats one, so the round to Shane.

And let's total up the score. Well how about that - another tie. What are the odds? Well, you know my recommendation: send more cards and we'll try and get a winner the next time. Until then, have some parting gifts....

Monday, September 26, 2016

Random thoughts and random cards

I few quick updates as I have been a busy beaver for the past week and have barely had the time to post, read posts, sort cards received or even get my desk into some semblance of order.

Try building a dam to hold back the influx of cards
First, had a great time at the Orland card show with Dimebox Nick. Lots of good cards to be found and bought. We missed meeting with Tony. He blames his short stay and limited budget on his fiance getting all up in his grill about spending money on things that are not her. At least that's what he told me, soon to be Sam Burbs. I can show you the email to pr......oops - I deleted it. You'll just have to trust me.

(Aaaaaaaaand that should put Tony on the couch for a week)

I have a contest running. I haven't even looked at the current voting scores, but I think I'll let the voting run until this weekend. If you haven't made your voice heard, go do it.

Yesterday, Nick told me that Arnie and Fernandez passed away. I saw a lot of blogs with tributes. I saw Arnie play a lot more than Jose, but I really have no deep connection to either. I know for some, their passing really hit home, and watched a few videos of people talking about each of them and their impact not just on their respective game but on the people that admired them. I also know that over the weekend a lot of other people spent their last day on Earth - people who's only difference from Arnold and Jose is the length (or existence) of a Wikipedia article, and the number of photos on Getty or Associated Press. But they left behind loved ones too, who will miss them each day. So it's sad when anyone goes, whether their fame lasted 15 minutes or 15 years or was coming up in 15 weeks.

Let's end with a couple cards.

Both for the 2005 Project. I have only ever seen one autograph of El Duque wearing a Sox uniform, and the person thought it was worth over $70 on ebay. I passed and finally settled for a Yankees card for five bucks shipped. Uribe is the same - very few White Sox autographs, and the few cards he has seem to be pricey. So getting this one for $8.50 shipped will do for the binder. Two more off the list.

Hope to talk tomorrow about my card show haul. Or a recent mailer. Maybe something interesting. Or maybe dead silence.

Wednesday, September 21, 2016

Putting you in the game!

Alright, so let's put a capper on this little contest and take a look at the entries.

First up, we have Corky from Pack War:

From Corky's post, he used the 1988 Topps football design as his basis, being this is him from a yearbook photo pulling in the grab. And Corky colorized the shot too. Not bad work, Corky. Did Greg Brady take this photo, and did it help you win the game? Cuz your feet are in bounds.

Next, Gavin took time away from his customs at Baseball Card Breakdown:

Good old '56 Topps. Gavin was right that 1956 TOpps can be a hard design to copy, and he turned in quite the cards. Dig the Tatooine shot in the background. Best part is now I can forge Gavin's signature.

Jim from GCRL FrankenDodger wherever now:

Jim emailed me two entries. The year is 1986 on a traveling team, so he used the '86 Topps All Star set, but Jim likes the '85 All Star cards better, so made one of those too. So he held the opposing team scoreless in the top of the 9th and then hits a walk off double in the bottom. And then right into the waiting arms of his gaggle of baseball girls. Ahhh....the life of an All Star.

Next is Jeremy from Topps Cards that Never Were:

Forgive the tiny view - Jeremy said he only had access to a small version of the card. But since his blog is Cards that Never Were, I am calling these cards from the never produced 1994 Topps mini set! Jeremy was the only player that submitted a card back. Because of the size, let me help you out:

"On December 8, 1993, Jeremy lined a soft grounder down the Third-Base line and beat the throw to First to collect his first Little-League Hit. On January 9, 1994, he logged a Walk, and later came Home to score his first Run of the season. His 2nd Run of the season came on Jaunary 17 against Jim Lee Paint Company in 7-4 Tony's Pictures win. He also threw out a baserunner at 2nd from Rightfield, but the umpire blew the call."

Now THAT is a bio! If you look at the front of the card, you can see the ball just above the head of the left fielder. That's primo action capture.

AJ is up next from The Lost Collector:

Good old junk wax. 1988 Score is the star here, but only for the moment until you realize Lil' AJ is having an issue with even little-er AJ. And AJ is rocking for Chuck's. Or are they PF Flyers?

Last, but by no means least, Tony from Wrigley Roster Jenga:

Our other non-baseball edition, the one thing I can say right off the bat is I know this school and have driven by it a few times. But a fine job taking the 1960 Topps baseball design and flipping it to a card for a member of the cross country team. With the right photos, that design works in a lot of places.

Let's take a quick look at the winner's haul, though I think I will have to send a little something to everyone cuz of their fine work.

Vote early, but with the right setting you cannot vote often. At least I hope I ticked the right box.

Pick the best custom

Lost Collector
Tony Burbs
Survey Maker

The names are in the order if the images above to help you out. I think I'll leave it open a week or so. Have at it!

Monday, September 19, 2016

Crossing off numbers (and a contest update)

A couple quick comments on my "put yourself on a card" contest. I am looking to close this up and get the post up this Wednesday. That being said, if you still want in, and need more than 48 hours, please leave me a comment here or on the contest post and I'll give you what you need. I'm flexible.

There was that one summer at gymnastics camp....
Also, a shout out to Jeremya1um. Shoot me an email. I'm hoping you have larger copies of your cards. When I try to snag them off your post, they're pretty small and will get all pixel-y on me when I post them.

Now, I am a numbers guy. Not like a certain P-town Tom is a numbers guy. He's like crazy numbers. Being a math teacher will do that to a man's brain. But I try to build my want lists with numbers. For some people, that's not the best. Number and name they like. And I got no problem with making your list that thorough and specific. I not that kind of guy. Cards have numbers. I write numbers. I check off numbers. Easy peasy.

You called?
Adam over at Addiction is Therapy loves to read my numbers and help me cross them off.

Two high numbers for GQ. And yes, I am still working on last year's Allen and Ginter......

......while working on this year's. Fortunately, Adam ripped a few boxes, so he was sitting on a large chunk of duplicates. Eaton was my favorite player in this year's Gint-A-Cuffs and I pulled no cards with his face.

Minis and Ginter are always a ton of work. I could spend a year's worth of card money and still not finish the mini sets on my want lists. Adam came through big. How big? Four of the minis sent were the exclusive binder minis. Remember in 2014 when Topps put out an Allen and Ginter binder and there were exclusive mini cards with the binder (the jerks)? Adam dropped 4 of those babies on me. That Ned Kelly is one of them. I forgot to scan the other three (like a dope). Thanks Adam.

Thursday, September 15, 2016

Throwback Thursday - 09.15.2016

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.

Orlando Hernandez - 2007 Topps Opening Day - New York Mets

Monday, September 12, 2016

His whole career in front of him

A quick single card post. For two quarters I scored this '94 Stadium Club of Sox star Paul Konekro.

Look at that yute! If this is a photo from 1994, and no reason it's not, he is an 18 year old fresh face in the Dodger organization. I think that is a blank jersey - I would think we should see a slight speck of the red numerals, though they may sit a little lower than I think. But I bring your attention to the back of the card.

We all can laugh at the bad draft picks our favorite clubs had in the 90's. In 1994, the White Sox picked Mark Johnson as the 26th pick of round 1. Exactly - who? Konerko was taken at lucky number 13 for the Dodgers in 1994. How would you Dodgers fans have have felt if your club had the guy picked #12 by the BoSox?

Sunday, September 11, 2016

Hidden Gems 8: Going down

Baseball is filled with exciting plays. Sure, sometimes it's just the pitcher and the catcher tossing the ball back and forth, but when that ball goes into play, anything can happen. A diving stop from an infielder followed with a throw from the knees. A rip down the line and into the corner, the runner stretching a double into a triple. Reaching into the stands to snag a foul or take away a home run. The runner barreling down the line on a short fly to the outfield. The excitement is there each and every pitch, like a huge boulder at the top of the hill just waiting to get pushed forward a foot.

For cardboard, to get a diving catch, you will need to go horizontal, and even them it seems part of the players body falls prey to the crop gods. Brett Gardner, though, is nice and compact. Eyes on the ball, which pops out on the green wall. An exciting play, captured perfectly. 2010 Topps was not a great look, but they started doing a better job with the photography, with less posed and more action. Even this bad card design can't ruin a gorgeous image like this.

Bob Mould is a musical genius. Whether with Hüsker Dü, Sugar or on his own, there had better be a call soon for him from Cleveland. There is so much out there you may not know was Bob Mould. Like this. I know you have heard of this. "Needle Hits E" is the lead song of the last Sugar album Besides, a play on words as the album is made up of B-sides to single releases. "Needle Hits E" was the B side of the song "Helpless" from their first studio album. And it straight jams.

And there is still time to get your custom in. If you need time, let me know in the comments.

Friday, September 9, 2016

What is wrong with me?

First off - shut up, alright. It's a blog title. Only I get to answer it.

Awww, I had a great comeback too.
If you saw the post that showed off my card room, you may remember this image:

There is a little bit of junk in the front, but that is the spare bookshelf in me room. It has anout 20 binders on it, most are 3" rings and only 2 binders have anything in them. One has 88-89 & 89-90 Topps hockey sets. The other is a small 1" binder holding my White Sox minis. All the rest are empty. I have space for tons of card, if I had the 9 pocket pages and got around to organizing sets into the binders.

With that being said, why in the world do I keep going out looking for more 99 cent binders at the Goodwill? Sure, some people will call collecting a sickness. But when I have soooo much space available, why would I be looking to bring in MORE space to go unused? First fill up what you have, and then get more.

Fortunately Jim from FrankenDodger (GCRL is dead to me! As is FrankenDodger technically, but I am getting off track) sent me over his latest trade package, that I need to get on my horse and return favor for. I can count on Jim for binder fillers.

Lots of bunts, and so many of them new. The OPC Kirby is in my ebay watchlist, and soon to be removed when I make my bi monthly track to update the list. The Bernard at the bottom looks like he is just about to make contact. And if so, there is NO WAY that thing is going to lay down as a drag bunt. Not unless the bat barrel dropped a good 18 inches within a half second of that picture.

Plenty of other binders saw page files as well. I'm sure I need a lot of 2014 binder cards because that is an ugly set. Not sure if I would rank it above or below 2016 though. One of the Alou family caught on a mini miscut. JT in sweet throwbacks. I'm not sure who is behind Snow, but shame on the pajama pants. Minnie was a need for the 1960 set. Lastly, I am slowly building the Golden Age mini sets. Just a frankenset of the backs. I have only a want list for 2013, mainly because of the amount of minis from that year's Golden Age, but I'd take any 2012 or 2014 minis if you need to rid them from your house.

I can get a binder from the store to put them in.

Wednesday, September 7, 2016

LAWIG: just one card

Quick update on the contest: Looks like two entries so far, and interest from a couple others. Com'on guys (and girls) - have some fun!!!! I may have made the rules a little strict, so let me loosen then a bit. Maybe I was the only one of this ragtag group of dorks that played a lot of baseball as a kid. And I mean a LOT. I played the hell out of the sport from age 6 until my final year or organized ball at 15. That was the first year I rode the bench for most of the season (age, I guess). And the game looked boring while soccer looked exciting.

Pictured: Exciting
So there are plenty of pictures with me in uniform. Maybe I am just lucky. Maybe you all played as much but don't have access to images. So here's an idea: how about a baseball card baby announcement of yourself like Sooz and Dan did? Try and use a design that's the year from your birth. Commishbob, I know that would probably be a T206, but go with it. If you are interested in taking part, leave a comment on that post and I'll wait until you post your design.

Ok - how about a single card?

Topps did an online exclusive all blue sapphire Chrome set. The full series 1 and 2 sets. That's how I have a Chrome Eaton from 2016, as he & most of the Sox got kicked from the hobby/retail Chrome set. For $5.75 total with shipping, I could have bought a pack of Chrome and not pulled ANY Eaton cards, so this is a win in my book. And the scan does these cards zero justice. These are gorgeous in hand. 


Monday, September 5, 2016

A contest, if you dare!

Last week, my company moved offices. And with that move, I lost my cubicle. If I ever have to go into the offices, I'll have some temp desk to work at. With the change, my work PC is now my home machine. I no longer remote into my machine at my desk. With the change, though, I've had to get this work machine setup with enough items so it can function as a personal machine as well. Which means I had to dig around and find the disk for my graphics program. Yes, it's old, but I tried GIMP, and it's too robust for me. And I'm not dropping cash on Photoshop. Fortunately, the disk was still in decent shape to install.

I can just ignore all those files, right?
I don't do a lot with my graphics program. Minor changes, resizing - nothing great. I've dabbled with customs, but dabble at best. Nothing along the lines of the work by Gavin, Matt or Jordan. In fact, you don't need graphic skills, you can go through Topps and get customs made, just like how Sooz and Dan announced their newborn.

It was a little of the first and some of the 2nd that made me decide on a little contest. Because if custom Topps were around when my kids were born, I would have been buying them. And if Topps customs were around when I was a kid, I would have made my own baseball card. So it's time to correct that, as embarrassing and pathetic at it might be.

Back in the 70's, MLB didn't license out their logos to Little League baseball, so technically, I was on the "Cards". Close enough, though. Dig that real wooden bat, too. Screw the ping!  So that is my first official custom. They only get better from this point, right?

So the contest? I challenge you to make your own custom. Replicate a Topps design like I did, or use COMC like Jordan does and do a little shopping to put yourself in the card. But it has to be you. But not current you. I'm going to make the age break at 16. You may only use an image of yourself below the age of 16. Com'on - if we collect cards, we had to play the sport at least one season, right. Or you have a photo of yourself is a ball cap, football uniform, basketball uniform, etc.... Dig enough and you have a photo of younger you that would work on a trading card. I'm 13 here.

Get to shopping yourself into a Topps design and show it off to the rest of us. You can either post it to your blog, or upload it to an online image storage/file storage. Just post a link in the comments. I'll let the masses decide the winner from a poll.

And yes, there is a prize for first place.

Six prizes to be exact. The Johnson is # to 50 and Springer is the camo variation. Let's have some fun. show off our computer skills and have a good laugh at our awkward younger selves. You have a week to submit your entry.

Sunday, September 4, 2016

Hidden Gems 7: Everybody starts somewhere

"A journey of a thousand miles begins with a single step."

This is a famous quote from the Tao Te Ching, text for the philisophical and religious concepts of Taoism. The literal translation is "A journey of a thousand miles starts beneath one's feet" - 千里之行,始於足下 (I grabbed that Chinese text from Wikipedia, Zippy, so if it's wrong, yell at them). I don't remember the first time I heard it - it might have been from the book "The Tao of Pooh". Yet, the statement is so accurate in it's simplicity. You can break down any activity, no matter the size, to it's smallest component.

It's true about collecting. No matter the number of cards we have in numerous binders and numerous boxes in numerous rooms, it all started with that very first card that sparked our passion to collect. And like any journey that make last a thousand miles, how we look at the start can be different than how we are at any later point of the trip.

This Clayton Richard is the start of many cards in the Hidden Gem binder of similar images - the pitcher in release of the ball, the focus on the hurler while the rest of the photo has appropriate blurred views of the rest of the participants. There's probably one or two cards with this style released each year, I bet, and I think there is only one I ever came across that didn't make the cut for a slot. Your eyes are drawn to the player in focus immediately, but almost as fast, you begin to scan the rest of the card, finding first the ball, then the batter and the catcher. Next the second base umpire, and finally, the player in center. Your brain is able to take those out of focus elements and put them back into some bit of focus. You can almost make out the catcher's nameplate, the home plate umpire's number, the ad on the left field wall. But not completely. And you come back to the player in focus.

Before running on treadmills, building complex Rube Goldberg machines, riding single wheeled vehicles in sync or flying on the Vomit Comet, OK GO was just a Chicago band making music and releasing "normal" videos. No huge gimmicks in this video. Simple music with a couple goofy. subtle jokes sprinkled here and there. Released a full 4 years before they made exercise equipment cool, if you look hard enough, you can see their potential to grow video into a fun form of art.

Friday, September 2, 2016

Of Hoyles and Hawks

After I published yesterday, I realized it had been a week since my last post. I won't bore you with details, but I will reiterate that I suck and I'm sorry. If you care to read this drivel, that is. If not, then I suck and I am sorry for showing up in your reading lists two days in a row.

In related news, the sky is blue and water is wet. Film at 11.
A quick one highlighting two mailings. I think my recent Hoyle-ing from Mark Hoyle would have been a PWE if not'll see.

Two for the White Sox Archives team set. The Eaton would have gone to the Eaton PC, but I already snagged a card for there. And a BIG Topps Big of mid 80's closer extraordinaire Thigpen highlight a small stack of cards for other years in the Sox box.

I have received a couple of these Sox playing cards, and Mark set most of a complete deck. Now I will have to buy the whole deck myself, which means I can break up what I received for current and future player collections. Here's the best, in my opinion, from each suit that was in what I received. Crede and Lollar went to their respective binders, and Appling is a soon to be binder starter. I love the fraction of bat you see on the Kittle card. Thanks for the mailing, Mark.

DJ, in the frozen tundra of the Great White North (well, what's left of frozen from climate change) and of Sportscards From The Dollar Store, finally gave the go ahead for mailings. Canada Post showed it can be just as dysfunctional a government entity as it's southern neighbors. He sent out a mailer to me with a ton of Hawks cards. New Champs? Yes please. Love the relic of Calder winner Panarin. Shame to see Shawzer go. He's going to get lost and forgotten in Carolina, just as Saad is forgotten in Toronto. So forgotten, in fact, that he is actually forgotten as a Blue Jacket, but you didn't even notice I named the wrong team.

I do love my Canadian trade partners, and those close to the border, cuz down here, there is not a lot of O-Pee-Chee to be found. Not vintage, at least. Sutter is one of the 4 brothers of the 6 Sutter NHL'ers  to wear the Indian head. He put in 6 years as a player and 3 as the head coach, finally getting his name on the Cup twice as the current coach of the Kings. Keith Brown (or "back up Brown" as some fans call him) played 14 years with the Hawks. He would have been a Bruin if the Hawks didn't draft Brown one pick before Boston. Beantown had to settle for Ray Bourque. A decent d-man, he got the sarcastic moniker of back-up Brown because he gave attacking forwards too much room as they crossed the blue line, instead of meeting them as they entered the zone. DJ - thanks as always.

Will I post tomorrow? I have some plans for a possible contest, so you may want to come back if I do.