Wednesday, December 27, 2017

Updates: Tis The Season and other stuff

Holy crap - has it been 5 weeks since I have been here?

Grab the weed whacker - where's the "G" key?
I've been busy. And when I'm not busy, I'm mentally wiped. It's been hard to come here and write when I'm either not in the chair I am currently in, or desire some mind numbing nothingness to just wind down from my work day. In the past, I was able to blog during my work hours and schedule a post, but lately, if the call hasn't been extremely taxing, it repetitive nonsense that makes you lose hope for humanity at the most, but certainly hope in management's decisions.

But while I have desire and time (it's below zero outside so the hell if I am Ubering and I'm off of work until January 2), let me get a quick post with some information and a few scans up.

First off, I am at the least 48 hours late for Tis The Season. I promise I will be doing the annual giveway of my 2017-ish dupes. It will be a one post blowout, hopefully up either Sunday or Monday. It's going to be pretty simple - more details when it comes.

Posts. Man, am I behind on posts. I have a good dozen or more mailers I need to thank people publicly for, so thanks for your generosity, but even more for your patience. It will happen.

Blogs. I have been reading and commenting here and there. You are all good writers - keep it up. Your words and scans keep me from telling my boss to cram this job. Cuz trust me - cram my job. I'm not paid enough to deal with the callers and how they hate this new process or that, not knowing who I (the company) am and what I handle, don't give a rat's ass to learn a new procedure, or someone making more money than me not passing on information that would make my (the department) day easier. Just don't stop.

Ok - how about a quick few scans. I did a couple boxes on Black Friday. I did load up my COMC cart, but the wallet said no go, so I never placed the order. However, I did get boxes of 2013 Golden Age and Firefly: The 'Verse. Only need the minis and inserts from Golden Age, and the hits from both. Prices were right, so let's see what we ended up with.

I think I ended with 5 cards for the mini and insert sets. These were my guaranteed hits. Nothing great, but well accepted into the binders.

Going to the Firefly box, you are guaranteed two autos and a manu-relic. Here's the manu-relic and one of the autos. Of the previous two boxes I bought, one of the two autographs has always been an auto from one of the artists on a matte copy of one of their cards. This artist is Kevin Sharpe, who does a lot of comic work for DC and Marvel.

But I hit it pretty well in this box with two bonus hits. Two actor autographs, and better still - two I do not have. And my 2nd sketch card from this product, this fine 1/1 of Zoe Washburn done by Matt Stewart. I didn't realize there were som many artists named "Matt Stewart". Took a while to find a link to the correct one. How sweet is that sketch, though? Love it!

Ok - for a post I was hoping to knock out in 20 minutes, it's been over an hour. Again - sorry for the lack of posts and basically, the lack of everything. 2018 - gotta be better, right? I'm jealous of my dog - lying around all day doing nothing and sleeping. I need a job like that.

Thursday, November 16, 2017

Throwback Thursday - 11.16.2017

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.

Dustin Pedroia - 2013 Topps Gypsy Queen mini - Boston Red Sox

Tuesday, November 14, 2017


In today's world of everything being instant, thanks to the web, Twitter, Facebook and a hundred other sites, the idea of a special edition of the newspaper is something my kids never experienced. Hell - I think I was far too young to even know what a special edition was. I remember the morning paper, afternoon paper and the one they would put out around the time folks left work. But the whole idea of a kid on the corner, shouting about a special print with the latest breaking reports is gone from today's fake news (or "news", as I like to call everything NOT owned by Rupert Murdoch).

Shown: standard Word template
A while back, I picked up a blaster of Diamond Kings. I find too many of Panini's baseball releases poor, and that's mostly because of the lack of license. But Diamond Kings does a nice job of improving on what would be really bad images. Some day, I might build the last few releases, but it's low on my list.

But back to the blaster. Perfect shape on the outside. but two of the packs looked liked someone used one of those metal forming machines to bend thick steel into a 90 degree angle.

So I filled out the form at Panini for replacements and it took a few months, but I just received an envelope with the significantly flatter cards. Here's a few of them

How pretty is that Kelly? See - smoke and fog can work, Topps. Just in the right context. Now, in my mailer were 8 cards. In a blaster, it's 5 cards to a pack, so I was two cards short. It's possible those will come at a later date, or maybe they won't come at all. But there were 10 total cards in the mailer. It's just that the other two cards from Panini were in top loaders.

Granted, they are neither teams nor players I collect, but still - hell of a nice gesture from Panini if these are the replacements for the two base cards they could not fill. I can find use for them.

And this songs fits perfectly with this post - trust me on this. In fact, instant contest. Identify WHY this song fits this post and you can pick which of the two bonus cards you want. I read once why it would match up, but good luck finding that answer on the web.

Sunday, November 12, 2017

Forecast: cloudy with a chance of Paulies

For some reason, I am still using Zistle. Which is dumb of me because at any moment, Beckett will just pull the plug and all my hard work will be done. But with the 5k+ cards I have entered, scanned and cataloged, it's hard to just stop. I export data to be ready, but I can't just run my collection with a spread sheet. It's so much easier to see an image of a card to know if I own it or not. And yes - there are other sites I can move to, but I need to tighten my belt and just shift all my cards there.

The process will not be simple.

Who's got a hammer handy?
But from my currently entered collection, I can see I recently broke the 400 card amount on my Paul Konerko collection. Zistle lists it at 399, but I know there are a few autos that are not in the database, and as such, not tracked. In the past couple months, the Paulies have been coming in fast and furious.

First up is this super sweet duo of autographs from Matt over at Bob Walk The Plank. A while back, I went crazy, bought a pack of Topps Museum and pulled a 1/1 laundry tag of Gerrit Cole. Over the years, Matt has sent me some really amazing cards, so I was more than happy to return the favor with that pull. Now Matt thinks he owes me. I have two Abreu autos in my collection - both sent to my by Matt - along with TONS of other hits, and some how a single 1/1 makes the guy think he is in debt to me. I question his sanity.

<photo courtesy: hacked webcam on Matt's PC>
But seriously, the generosity of so many bloggers just blows me away. Thanks a ton, Matt.

Two really cool things happen from group breaks. One, you get great cards and two, you are reminded to check the want lists of the breakers and end up pulling a stack of cards for the blogger. That is true for a recent group break run by Colby at Cardboard Collections. He ran an affordable group break on a couple older products, and being as those mid 2000s are shy in my Sox box, I jumped at my team. After the random, I ended up with the Sox and Mets. Then the boxes broke in my favor.

Recent Topps releases are way too heavy with a certain other Chicago team, so it's nice that we are better represented in the older products. This nice pull came out of a box of 2005 Fleer Showcase. I like that Konerko added his number. He really should always sign it as it will never been worn again on the south side. I did really well with the boxes.

Fleer Focus was the other box ripped. These Paulies are dupes, but the Crede was a new add, as is the DP card of Alomar. In fact, the Mets did well in the break too.

Because of the luck of the team randomizer, and the box, I ended up with both hits from the Showcase, snagging a black swatch of Piazza. When I got the Mets, I decided to keep them for the fact that I know a certain Canadian hoser I can ship the cards to. And those should go out when I ship the stack to Colby.

Which at my rate, will be after the change of a few seasons.

Thursday, November 9, 2017

Throwback Thursday - 11.09.2017

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.

Fernando Valenzuela - 1994 Score - Baltimore Orioles

Tuesday, November 7, 2017

Blog Bat Around: Mmmmmm....bacon

Let's take a small little break from the scans I am far behind on, cuz really, what's another day - am I right? I decided to have a little fun with a recently blog bat around presented from Collecting Cutch. He spent a month bringing awareness to cancer, which was the most horrible month in the history of blogroll ever.

You know what I am talking about.
But a recent blog post talked about linking your favorite baseball player to Kevin Bacon. I have seen a few fun ones, so I decided to have a spin at it, but in my own unique way. As we know, Bacon is 2nd to appearing in the most films ever (to Nicolas Cage), so I decided to select a player that appeared in just a single ball game. The infamous Archibald "Moonlight" Graham. Let's see if I can connect Mr. Graham to Mr. Bacon without using Field Of Dreams. I am talking the actual Moonlight Graham. Here goes:

Moonlight Graham appeared in a single game: June 29, 1905. The pitcher that day:

Christy Mathewson, who was a member of the 1916 Reds with:

Hal Chase. Hal was a player on the 1936 Cardinals with:

Frankie Frisch, who later in his career was on the 1952 Yankees with:

Billy Martin. Eight years later, Billy was on the 1960 Reds with:

Vada Pinson. Vada finished his career with the 1975 Royals, joining a rookie named:

George Brett. George also got to play with a special rookie on the 1986 Royals:

Bo knows he was a member of the 1993 Central Division Champion White Sox with:

Frank broke into acting with a small part in the 1992 film Mr. Baseball starring:

Prior to his big break in Magnum PI, Tom had a very small role in the 1996 film Midway with:

CHIPs star Erik Estrada, who have a role in the 2000 film We Married Margo with the one and only:

Eleven steps. Maybe it can be shorter, but who cares - it was fun to figure out.

Monday, November 6, 2017

What I need

We all have needs - physical, emotional, financial, spiritual (for some), vocational, and on and on. I physically need relief for some lower back pain, but fortunately my acupuncture meets that. My wife does well with my emotional needs. I have WAY too many financial needs that barely make it each week, but we survive. I could use a new job, many because the stress of it keeps feeding all the other needs on this list. But for the most part, my needs are meet.

Didn't need this to happen, though...
But mostly what I need is rest and distraction, which I am taking today by staying home, playing a bit with my cards and writing a post. I also need to give some thanks to probably the people that I most need to send a mailer back, since I am easily two behind to each of them. I need to package up what I have and need to get to the mailbox. But until then, I need to post some scans.

Doug at Sportscards From The Dollar Store sent another package a while back. For as box as my Sox box(s) is, I need these cards in one way or another. I need to buy a box of this year's GQ, but I'll take your Sox if you need to get rid of them. I need ALL your Cracker Jack cards. The originals would be awesome, but the recent set is just fine. And Eaton cards are always needed, as most of my player collections has stalled with a need of money.

I need my Hawks to play a little better, though they had a nice 2 game shutout streak going. Then technically had a third in that streak, just that they were on the zero end of it. But Doug dropped what I think is a complete team set from this year's OPC release. I usually just grab a pack or two, but dang the design is really nice. I might need to build it.

One guy I really need to send cards to is GCRL Jim at Cards As I See Them. And he made sure to remind me with the note inside stating I owe him two. Jim is good people, as you see with the nice range of ChiSox, from a green border of Robinson, and bust in Valentine and a funky chrome of old Comiskey, which was names South Side Park at the time of the photo.

Specialty binder needs? Jim covered all, with multiple bunts, double plays and throwbacks.

Player collection needs too, though technically, I have all three of these. But the Post card was an upgrabe, the Diamond King goes into the Sox Box and the Pierce is a rescue that needed a loving home.

Real quick - a previous owner of that Fox Post card had his own needs, expressed on the back of the card.

Someone needed Spring Break. And spell check.

Last were over a dozen miscuts, including these sweet, sweet cards. I find humor that even though the Hall is miscut, it's accurate. He is on Cincinnati and does have the position of pitcher. I didn't think about the 75s, but is makes obvious sense the bottom of one color would be the top of another team's card. Super vintage miscuts?? Oh, do I need those.

Well, I'll stop here. Now I need to go to YouTube and find an appropriate video for the bottom of this post. I need to think...

Thursday, November 2, 2017

Throwback Thrusday - 11.02.2017

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.

George Springer - 2014 Topps Stadium Club - Houston Astros

Thursday, October 26, 2017

Throwback Thursday - 10.26.2017

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.

Asdrubal Cabrera - 2014 Topps Gypsy Queen - Cleveland Broncos

Monday, October 23, 2017

I get cards. And sometimes I post about them!


I can't say that anything horrible has happened in the 5 weeks since I last posted. Just things here and there have gotten in the way, and by the end of the day, I am either pooped, brain dead or in need of some distraction, so my cards have gotten pushed to the side. And more like piles upon my desk. I have too much to send out, a couple boxes I need to sort and piles to organize.

But in a nutshell - family is healthy, nothing major gone wrong and surviving the best I can.

However, I got scans that need deleting. And to delete, I need to post. To post, I need to type, and to type.....well, I'm doing that right now ain't I? I ask you to forgive a bit of a image dump from a few kind readers/mailers. Good? Alright, here goes....

A PWE was received from Daniel at It's Like Having My Own Card Shop. Four simple cards, but 4 nice additions to the Sox box, including a rare ChiSox Junior. Without looking it up, can you identify the number he wore during his 41 game stint at Comiskey? Thanks Daniel.

Chris at Nacho Grande had a few cards he put up on ebay. No way I was going to pass on a pink Paulie, and the two A&G minis are needed for earlier year insert sets I still need to complete.

Fortunately, Reds fans seem to pull pink White Sox cards from Archives, as Chris included a few extras in the mailer.

 Appreciate the bonus cards, Chris.

John, owner of Johnny's Trading Spot deemed it Christmas in July. Yes, I am THAT far behind on scans/posts and was not intending to post at Christmas time. Tons and tons of bunting cards for the binder. Collector's Choice seems to be a gold mine for binder cards. Maybe I'll run a report before Beckett shuts down Zistle. Though - who the hell knows what Beckett's plans are.

And oh baby - dig those O-Pee-Chee!!!! It's the older OPC that you can really tell a difference from their Topps counterparts. French just improves the hockey stick "In Action" cards by a factor of dix.

Last from John is a nice black foil Fulmer from this year's SC. That goes to the throwback binder. A new Iguchi for the player collection. Zippy told me that Iguchi retired and the Sox threw a little shindig for him back in Sept. I wanted to attend, but see paragraph #2. And how about a mini Sox pennant? Right now it is set underneath my left side monitor. When do pitchers and catchers report in 2018? Thank you for the Christmas gift, John.

Last up is a purchase too good for words. Tom over at Angels in Order had a blowout on autographs. For a buck each, I couldn't pass up adding some Sox autographs to my binders. The Hernandez could be a dupe, if Roberto ever returns my TTM request from 2 years ago. The only Danks auto I currently have is just his scribble on a card without any picture. Alvarez was in the pipeline to mail out, but no longer needed.

3x5s are welcome at 2x3. Especially when you have players that a TTM request is just not possible. Hermann spent 8 years on the south side, becoming an all star in his final year with the Sox in 1974. He then bounced around the league for 4 more years, retiring in 1978. Ed passed away in 2013.

Harshman started as a first baseman with the NY Giants, but turned into a decent pitcher that the Sox picked up in 1950. Jack spent 4 years in Comiskey, then went to the O's in 1958. In 1959, he went from the Orioles to the BoSox to the Indians - all before the end of the '59 season, and finished his career the next year with the tribe. Jack also passed away in 2013.

McCraw played with the White Sox from 1963-1970. Tom made the last offensive out in the Senators history, getting caught stealing against the Yankees in 1971. Tom is living in Florida and has a great TTM return rate if anyone wants to mail him. Great doing business with you, Tom.

Ok - so that catches me up a bit. With luck, things will calm down and I can get back to my card posting roots.

Friday, September 15, 2017

Hidden Gems: Back it up

Sometimes, a hidden gem is obvious to me. One glance and it's earned a spot in the binder. Others become gems because of a change of circumstance, while a 3rd just grow on you. All gems, though, have that chance to solidify their gem status the more you look at them. And you find a new reason what makes a gem so wonderful. This installment of Hidden Gems started with the first, and found new status because of something other than the main subject.

What more can I really say about this? The white of Lilly's uniform just pops on this card and becomes the focus. But then the whole card forms this amazing view with the coordinated colors of the design, the well blended green of the grass and bushes, the two patches of dirt and the soft blue fence with contrasting blue ad of Merrill Lynch. And while the perfect framing of Ted Lilly makes it an immediate gem, it's the background of the card that really gives it a brighter shine.

Now, I'm going to break rules a bit here. The idea of Hidden Gems is to showcase those cards that look great, as well as amazing music you may have missed. This week's video, though, is by no means a lesser known song. For the artist, it would be his signature song. It spent weeks at the top of charts around the world. It won Grammys and MTV awards. And you know you want to hit "play" below.

So, Jeff - how is this a Hidden Gem? You must admit this is an infectious song, which samples one of the greatest bass lines ever. The reason I have tied this song with the above card is the background. Specifically, if you play the video starting at 3:26 . I love those background dancing fly girls. But the two on the left - they are the best. It's obvious this section of the video focuses on Stanley Burrell, but the beat of the song doesn't let their feet remain still, and they each bust out a few moves while Hammer is hurting us. I wonder how many takes were rejected and they just got tired and cut this one into the song.

Also, if you are the girl on the far right reading this, call me.

Tuesday, September 12, 2017

Fat pack wars

At Walmart the other day, and they had restocked their clearance cards. Lots of blasters of 2016 Topps (ick), Score football (yuck), hanger boxes of 2016 Topps (see: ick) and other none interesting discounted items. There was a fat pack of 2016 Allen and Ginter, and since they also refilled the current product, I picked up a pack of the 2017 offering.

So let's pit them head to head and see who wins the battle. Each pack comes with 14 cards, so we can have a pretty even fight. The scoring will just be subjective to my whim on each head to head match up.

Right out of the pack we have the late Jose Fernandez up against Joey Bats. When you put the sets side by side, I am reminded that 2016 looks better. 2017 isn't horrible, but a step down from last year. And man, that Fernandez is riding high. Is that......

YES!!!!! Just like the Gravitational Waves card, Jose is miscut!!!! Holy moley what a nice start. Jose was going to get the win anyway, but sealed it being miscut. Ditto with science over Andrew Miller. So current score is '16 with two and '17 with zero.

Hmmm. Tough one here. Papelbon is also miscut, but gotta love the specs on Urias. Ok, the Dodger puts 2017 on the board.

Side note: here is the backs of those three cards. Only I can be this excited over crappy cards.

In a battle of who has a better left side of the face, I think I'll give the nod to Healy. The seriousness of his expression beats out Steinberg. Plus, I never liked that goofy logo Topps put on the non-baseball players in 2016. Had potential, but never really worked. All tied up 2-2.

Rookie card of former White Sox Frankie Montas against Jonathan Villar. Both players are Dominican, by the way. I think Villar's not looking at the camera is a bit unsettling, so 2016 goes back into the lead.

Adam Jones against a fence loaded with locks. Jones was a lock for a while as an All Star, but has had a couple bad years. The locks take it, tying the score back at 3.

First inserts have Josh Donaldson against Anthony Rizzo. Still hate the Cubs. 2016 back in the lead.

The other inserts put parrots against fish. The Mascots insert is fun, but the fish cards scream Allen and Ginter. Hard to bypass those, so we are tied yet again.

All the minis go into battle at the same time to get an odd number so we will have a winner in this war. I needed the mayor and the Molitor. 2017's are meh. 2016 noses back in front.

Franenset or not, buybacks that are NOT A&G do not belong in A&G!!!! Also, that Trea Turner was one of three cards I need to finish 2016. Down to two cards needed, which is also the same size as the lead 2016 has in this war.

Easiest battle:a mustache that grand trumps all. 7-4 is the lead now. By math, this war is finished, but let's play it out.

Ex White Sox Marcus Semien against Maikel Franco. Now unlike the Villar card, Franco looking away is far less creepy, plus I needed the Franco for the set build. 7-5.

Final cards pit Chris Archer against Brooke Hogan. Now, I can't stand the Hogans. Sure, Hulk was the man at one time, but I use that is the VERY past tense. He was a jerk worker in wrestling and a bigger jerk away from it. And I have to admit, the feud Archer has with the Astros Orbit is brilliantly funny. But I am going to give the nod to Hogan for two reasons. First, I needed the card and second - #feminism.

And there you have i......wait, what?

2017 BONUS CARD!!!! Yup, I think the buyback landed me a 15th card in the 2017 pack. And it's a White Sox. So that brings the final score to 7-7 and DAMMIT!!!!

(goes to Walmart for 2 more packs)