Monday, February 27, 2017

11 days

It's been 11 days since I last spoke here. I need to do better, not just with posting but with mailing. I still have ALL the Tis The Season mailers to get out. This is the latest I have ever shipped, and at least by now I usually have some of them out. Maybe this weekend, but if I were you , don't hold your breath. When your household finances drop almost 50%, drastic actions are made.

But enough whining. That's not what you come here for. You came for cards, card talk and humor.

Well....two out of three.
 I recently got zapped by the one, the only, Zippy from Torren Up Cards. His random drops are always a lot of fun, and you can expect a couple surprises. And there were surprises, for sure.

Binder cards started it out. A few DP and bunting cards were found. Is it me, or does Barberie look like he's wearing a snap back or some kind of adjustable cap. It's that black mark to the right of his head that's weird. I guess it's the strap holding his shades, but looks odd for sure. And when I think "Philadelphia", my first thought it of a vest design with a spoon piping on the front. (eye roll)

A few Sox minor leaguers appeared. Let's look at where each is:

Trey, who happens to have a birthday today, played for the Sox AA team in Birmingham in 2016. Decent numbers, but needs to strike out less then every 5th time at the plate. BTW, he would have the 2nd longest name to reach the majors if ever promoted, just behind 14 character Jarrod Saltalamacchia.

Nick bounced between Winston-Salem and Birmingham last season. Pretty average numbers. And for the record, he is a field player. That image looks like he is on the mound.

Scott got 7 outs of coffee with the Sox in 2014. After that, he signed as a free agent with the Padres and to my knowledge, left the game after being released before the 2016 season.

Some current Sox too. Buehrle gets his number retired on June 24th. I wouldn't mind going to that game. Zippy included both the base and refractor of Rodon. Depending on what happens to Quintana, he may be the player we build the rotation around. The Thomas was the last Sox card I needed for the Bunt team set. When that design looks a thousand times better than the following year's flagship release....

And we have reached the surprised portion of the mailing. I intentionally scanned in the penny sleeves just cuz I LOVE seeing foreign currency designations. We think nothing of the dollar ($) signed because it's common place. But the yen? Anyhow, the Fullmer makes the 3rd ChiSox Zippy has sent from the Asian Bowman release. Trust me that Nakahigashi is bunting in the top card, even if the tag is right over his bat. You could tell, though. And lastly - dig those Iguchis for my PC. Zippy graced me with a Calbee a year or so ago, so he's now tripled the number of non US cards of Tadahito. The back of the 25th anniversary shows Iguchi's rookie card.

It looks soooooooo 1997. Zippy, thanks as always. I promise I'll be getting out some kind of return package. Hopefully before all the glaciers melt and we are stranded on islands.

Thursday, February 16, 2017

Throwback Thursday - 02.16.2017

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.

Livan Hernandez - 2011 Topps - Washington Senators

Wednesday, February 15, 2017

Love knows no date

Yes, this is a day late for Valentine's Day, but when you receive a mailing such as this one, you cannot help but be so head over heels about the cards that time has no meaning. You swoon over the sharp corners, the gloss, the colors and designs. So much to take in that it overwhelms the soul.

Enough...they're cards, bro.
And when they come from a blogger that we all thought fell off the face or the Earth for a while, but they have returned to the club, it's even better. Oh Julie, from A Cracked Bat. How long we have missed your wit, prose and vibrant personality. How do I love thee, Julie....

You must love me, my sweet Julie, when I look upon that you have gifted me.

High end cards and high numbered cards. Is that an indication of the soaring your heart has for me?

Shiny and colorful cards. Do you secretly wish I would gift upon you shiny and colorful gifts of my love and devotion?

A complete team set of 2015 White Sox minis. My goodness, my maiden, how is it I was so blessed to have someone as wonderful as you in my life? After all these impassioned gifts, is it possible you have more to impart on me? Have you not given me all.....

What? A Bob Wilson autograph? I see it now. "Bob Wilson", an in such a generic name that our love with be anything but. A catcher, because you have caught my heart and I have caught yours. And lastly, the red background, such as my heart burns for you with a passion that cannot be controlled. I am a rocket into the sky with passionate longing to be with you for time eternal.

Then again, I could be reading this all wrong. Maybe I just like the cards.

Monday, February 13, 2017

Brought to you by the letter "A"

No, not THAT letter "A".

A is for Anthrax

I mean the letter A in regard to the mailers I will be showcasing today. One from Adam over at Infield Fly Rule and the other from AJ from The Lost Collector. Adam up first.

I scanned these two for one reason - how crappy they would look. The 90's never though about scanners or cameras. Both are nice new additions to my collection.

MINIS! Alexei hit the throwback binder. And I did not have the full sized Eaton for the player collection.

Not sure where Adam has such a large stash of 90's junk wax, but I benefited from his generosity. Lots and lots of team set holes were filled. Couple flame outs in in the Fernandez and Alvarez., both with arm issues. Alvarez did toss a no-no in 1991, and was part of the famous White Flag Trade in 1992.

Continuing the junk wax dump were loads of bunting cards. I lost track at how many made it into the binder, but here is a sampling. Favorite of the bunch? Uribe at the lower right. Coiled up, just waiting for the ball. Appreciate the mailing, Adam.

2016 Topps from AJ? Who cares? Me, that's who, because I am still short the Update cards from the team set. These 5 leave me 4 or 5 short of closing the tab on the want list for 2016. How many Grammy winner cards are in any Topps baseball set? I am sure there are a few more in the First Pitch group (Eddie Vedder comes to mind).

More glorious junk wax. Someone forgot to focus on the Baldwin. Maybe that was a left over photo from 1981 Fleer. I like how Radinsky and Newson are channeling their inner Griffey, Jr.

Notice Beckham's sleeve. The standard for the White Sox over the past few years is a black diamond with either the player's number, or initials/nick name of the deceased. Even a former owner got just a black diamond, albeit with a gray border. Nellie Fox passed back in 1975. When he was inducted into the HOF in 1997, the Sox wore the special patch you see on Cameron's sleeve. Interesting, as Frank Thomas never got a special honor in 2014.

Speaking of Beckham, this is my first bat relic of the former second baseman. Though, he is listed as a "star shortstop" on the back, a position he played a grand total of 0 times prior to this card, and only 24 times since this card came out. A rare, rare mistake by Topps. (snark) Thank you so much for all the cards, AJ.

Sunday, February 12, 2017

Good things in small packages

I stand 6 foot 2 inches tall.

We can stack it higher if you like.
I only say that to bring up that my wife is barely 5 feet tall. Now, we don't look necessarily like Shaq and Simone Biles when we are side by side, but I can easily rest my chin on the top of her head. That being said, she is still the one in the relationship with a Master's (to my few hours short of an Associate's), always made more money per year than me and is just an all around better person.

While I have some large mailing to dig and sort through, here's a couple quick shots from a couple bloggers. First we have Shane over at Shoebox Legends that dropped a PWE on me.

One of the couple miscuts he sent. Don't over see a miscut checklist, but they should be out there like any other. Shane's throwback frankenset if much farther than mine, for the fact that I am not doing a great job acquiring any. Two of his dupes will fit well into open numbers on the checklist.

Rodon should remain with the south siders next year. Then again, who knows. Cracked ice refractors goes right over to the Paulie binder.

And last is a couple Museum Collection Dufex from Pinnacle. They always look better in hand. Thanks, Shane!

Next is a small mailer from Dime Box Nick? I am sure the postage was more expensive then the contents, and that is fine with me.

Queue up the Pocahontas song. I swear that Johnson is a Walmart blue and not some odd teal color.

UD made a baseball Artifacts? The things mailings will teach you. I also didn't know Abbot had one of the Studio credit Those things have me confused. While I like the idea, I always hated the execution. Then again, is there any way to make the whole credit card design work?

Lastly, just the card in the middle is the actual thing. Outside are both reprints. Goose is one of the Berger's Best, which stinks cuz the real thing is the last card I need for the Sox team set that year. I really need to just buy the thing from Sportlots. Thanks Nick!

Don't look cross at something because of it's size. It may not be what you expect, but it's still good.

Thursday, February 9, 2017

Throwback Thursday - 02.09.2017

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.

Jose Rijo - 1994 Topps - Cincinnati Reds

Tuesday, February 7, 2017

Like Tesla, Marconi and Da Vinci

I had a chance this weekend to reconnect with some of my old Star Wars/501st/Chicago Force friends that I have not seen or spoken to in a very long time. And by "long time", I mean over a decade. Life got in the way for me, and I just dropped out of contact. And that is odd, as one lives just 15 minutes away from me. Fortunately, my cell number is the same and he was able to invite me to a party.

It was a bit of a surprise for all involved when I popped in.

Happy.....Birthday.....Mister President.....
We are all a little older, but still as stupid as we have always been. It was nice to be missed, as that seemed to be the most common thing I heard from my friends as we spoke. Plus, reminiscing about the old times was good laughs. And it was from these stories that I learned I can now be placed into the annals of the great inventors of the world. But not that Edison guy. He didn't invent crap, stealing the work of others and trying to ruin the true great minds in the world. Here's the story:

So back in 2001, I took a trip down with my new friend to a little thing called Dragon Con, the 2nd largest con in the US, but WAY more fun (I hear) than the San Diego Comic Con. This was my first real con experience, and experience it was. Wow - nerds are f*cking crazy. If you have never been to a con, think the National, with people wearing the most incredible custom cards you have ever seen. But I am digressing from the story.

I think it was the Saturday night at DC. A large group of us (25 or so) were walking around, mostly sober, and found one of the rooms they hold the panels within. It was unlocked, and better yet, the mics were hot. Someone forgot to turn them off. Well, about 8 of us hit the dais while the rest sat in the seats and asked the stupidest, silliest questions of us at the mics. We answered with heavy snark and large amount of humor. The mics were pretty loud, and more and more people started filing in, taking seats and taking part in this mock panel by throwing us more questions. In no time, we had the room full, and even if this happened yesterday, I could not tell you a single thing we talked about. It was nerdy for sure, but nothing of any substance or retained knowledge. This went on for a couple hours until we finally just called an end to the panel and went to bed.

Back to the present day. When I brought up this memory to Josh, he replies "Oh, that still goes on at every Dragon Con." I guess a couple of the original guys that walked in on our mock panel continue it to this very day, having a midnight panel that is random and just dumb. And that is the joy of it. I was surprised our spontaneous act to just make ourselves happy has grown to this recurring event with no purpose at all but fun. I should have applied for a patent. Oh well. Since we are talking nerd, here's the obligatory one card image.

I bought a box of Star Wars Topps Tek last year, and I did it again this year. It's nice the autographs are on card. Not a big pull in any way, but Mike Edmonds has carved out a long career in the entertainment industry. Far more movies and TV shows then I have appeared in.

So honor me for inventing some good in this world. Maybe, in the future, there will be a 5th Ninja Turtle with my name.

Friday, February 3, 2017

Two packs of crap

Being the good collector, I picked up a couple packs of the 2017 Topps flagship from my local Walmart. A couple years back I commented that the 2015 design was horrible, but once I had the cards in hand, my opinion completely changed. The same couldn't be said for 2016, as they sucked both as a pre release image, and when I held one in my hand.

But that's still batting .500, Topps. I thought 2017 looked like hell when you teased the shot, and even though I said I would buy none, I'll be a good little customer and get a couple packs, so I can give and accurate and thorough review of them in the physical form.

Let me hear your cardboard talk.
I think the post subject says it all. These just suck soooooooooo much. I can only give one positive statement about them: less foil. It's sad when lack of foil is the only good thing. That should be down the list of the changes in the hobby. This change though, with the digital world driving the retail/hobby world, is something I hope is very short lived. Let's just show some images.

My first card is a Yankee. So underwhelming. Maybe it's the sheer amount of gray on the card that makes me hate it so much. Or maybe the design is crap. How about a little of both?

Usually, with bad card styles, a horizontal card can be the saving grace. NOPE! More on this later.

Inserts. Just like Stadium Club borrowed from Fleer, it appear the 5 Tool also pays homage to another Fleer set. Anyone else see 1995 Fleer? Less neon, but more "holy crap". And the Awards subset? Looks like just one tool on that - the Photoshop line drawing tool.

It's an ad. Telling me to buy more Topps. Not this year's design, guys....

Look at Gattis' number, and then take off a character. That is the total number of cards out of two packs I added to my collection. Just this single double play card. I know of another card that shows a player in a throwback uniform. My hope is the number of collection cards in the set is minimal. The less I remember these, the better.

Ok - a few things on the checklist cards. First, enough with the nickname cards, Topps. They are just not funny. Also, you had a MAJOR opportunity here, if you were going to be cute, to be cuter. It's not the Big Apple's Super Heroes, it the Metropolitan's Super Heroes. You get the whole Marvel play on Metropolis, along with a tie into the team depicted on the card.

Second is the amount of space lost to the badging. For a full bleed design, you lose a lot. How much?

Yeah - I took scissors to the card. I own it. I can do when I want. But take a good look at the space designated to the badging. To me, everything under is not part of the card. It's all faded and messed up, like the 2016 fog. So it is design, not image.

So there's my blast on 2017. Night Owl names each year; I hope he allows me an early entry:

The Original Topps Annual Leans So Highly on Internet Trends.

I think the acronym speaks for itself.