Thursday, March 22, 2018

BBA: what I do when I play with my cards

So how about I jump in on the latest Blog Bat Around, since I snagged the graphic

Night Owl posted about the projects he is working on, and then someone followed suit and now it's a bat around. Since I really have nothing to post (except for a dozen or so packages to scan/sort/write about), let's make it a little easier and write off the top of my head and talk about what goes on around here.

project zero: downloading images of Kate Upton
Project 1: White Sox

Mini, full, oversized, foil, refractor - don't matter. If it's a White Sox card, I want it. I should really keep track of the number of unique cards I have in the Sox box and other binders. One day when I have all the time in the world, I'll work on building a database of the cards. I am jealous of those of you that know the exact number of cards you have for your team collections.

Project 2: Blackhawks

Ditto as with the White Sox. Granted, this is currently small and barely filling a two row shoebox. In time....

Project 3: Player Collections

You can see the older players I collect on the Player Project link above. Along with Luis and Sherm here, my other current old timer projects include Nellie Fox and Bob Keegan (who is not on that list). I pick up other cheap vintage of players that were Sox as well, like Wilbur Wood, Dick Donovan, Turk Lown, Gary Peters, etc. Those may morph into other projects in the future. For current players, I mention them on my Want list: Paul Konerko, Aaron Rowand, Joe Crede, Adam Eaton, Ben Petrick and Tadahito Iguchi.

Project 3: Custom collections

I have a few unique collections: cards showing players in either a throwback uniform, making the turn at second of a double play, or in the act of bunting (in game or posed). I don't know if I ever explained why the three specialized collections, so...

Throwbacks - I have always been a fan of classic uniforms. Some are far better than others, but when a team visits an earlier look for them, it's a treat for the eyes. I like the White Sox are considered the team that brought the idea of a throwback uniform.

Double Play - When I started playing baseball, I played 3rd and pitched as a 9 and 10 year old. When I moved up, I was moved to center because the coach felt I had the most speed and range of anyone on the team. I spent the two seasons at that level in center, until the final game of my 2nd year. That game, the coach decided to have some fun with us and put players in positions they never played. I can remember the first inning of that game. If ESPN existed back then, all three outs of that first inning would have been on Top 10. First one was a quickly dropping pop up that the kid in left, who never played that position until that day, made a nice diving catch to snag. Next batter ripped a hot grounded down the 3rd base line. Another first time player at the position falls to snap up the rocket and throw the runner out at first. Final out of the inning, the batter shoots one just out of reach of the pitcher, heading up the middle. Me, first game ever at 2nd, ranges right, deftly backhands the big hop, put on my brakes and turn to throw out the runner. As we return to the dugout, the coach wonders why he never played us in those positions during the season. Drafted up to the next league, the coach who selected me stated I would be moving from center to 2nd. I asked if it was because of that play the previous year. "No", he replied. "You have no arm and it's the shortest throw in the game". Needless to say, for those 2 years, I sort of revolutionized the position in the league. Things I did on the field started to reflect in other teams at the position, and I was the starting second base all star both seasons I played. I think 2nd was the position I should have played my whole life. So anytime I see the turn at two, I always think of my "career" as a ball player.

Bunting - I like small ball. Sure, home runs are nice, but manufacturing runs is the way the game is to be played. I always took pride in my ability to lay down a good bunt, with the right speed and placement to get the job done, whether advancing a runner or catching the other team off guard to steal an infield hit. But the real joy of bunting goes back to that final game of the season I mentioned above. In one inning of that game, since we are all goofing off, we had some fun. Coach had the first guy bunt, since they were playing off the grass at third. Since the 3rd baseman didn't get the hit, the next guy also got the bunt sign and both runners beat out any throw. I was up third. No signal from the coach's box, but danged if the guy on the hot corner was still way too far back, so I laid one down and the bags were loaded. And the batter behind me - sure, why not. He also bunted. Run scored - bases still loaded. I am fairly certain batter #5 swung away, but four players bunting in a row, only two that actually received a bunt sign - that sticks with you.

Project 4: sets

The sets I build depends on how much I like the look of the cards. I know people bemoan Gypsy Queen, but I like it year and year. Especially 2015 GQ. Yes , I love 2015 Gypsy Queen. And I love Allen and Ginter, too. Other sets all depend how I feel about them. Maybe the full set. Maybe an insert set only. But I like to buy the cards to have them in my hand before I decide if I will construct the entire thing.

Project 5: Vintage set - 1964

I am still trying to complete the 2013 Heritage (damn inserts and SPs), but decided to take a crack at my first vintage build with the original 1964. I was having a good go, but then ran into a snag - financially and figuratively. Condition doesn't matter to me, but the seller I was snagging decent cards at a great price dried up, so now I am still trying to build on the cheap, but it's a grind. My plan for 2018 is to get focused back on the build and hope to be past the 85% mark. We shall see.

Project 6: Frankensets

I have two frankenset builds in progress: buyback and White Sox. I am much farther on the White Sox build, but it's getting tough finding cards for the missing holes. I am about 100 cards or so away from a run thru card 700. I have cards here and there above it, so maybe I run it higher? Maybe I should cut it off lower? The buyback set - slow go. Same finances issue as the '64 build. I am at 140 cards or so. It's not even in a binder it's such a pathetic looking build. Maybe when I crack 250 I'll start filling pages.

Project 7: 2005 Project

This is fairly simple to explain. It is just collecting the autograph of every player and coach from the Sox 2005 World Series team. I need to get some TTMs out for a few of the players that I know where they are and hopefully they will return. My big need is Man Soo Lee. He was the bull pen catcher for the team. Digging around, the last article I remember supposedly stated Mr Lee was an executive with the KBO. I just searched now and I see he carried the torch for the past Olympics. Otherwise, I a stumped trying to get a cards signed by him. If anyone has an inside track of his autograph on a 2.5x3.5 piece of cardboard, let's talk.

Project 8: secret

Yup - I am intentionally teasing something. It's not really awesome, but nothing I want to reveal right now.

And I think that's really about all. Anything else I collect really just falls into my lap, like autographs and relics.

Aren't you glad you read to the very end? Was it worth it?

How about now?


  1. I'm with you on the 2015 GQ cards, such a nice looking set.

  2. Is it bad that I recognized the Billy Joel video instantly?

  3. "Project 8" sounds like a sci-fi action thriller....starring Kate Upton ;)

    That lighthouse card is very cool. I didn't know it existed and now I must have one. I like the Larmer as well.

  4. Good stuff. Shoot me an email if you have your number needs for the White Sox frankenset. I am constantly perusing sets for Ivy cards and can keep an eye out.

  5. I love secrets and Kate Upton.

  6. Can't wait to the secret reveal!

  7. Are you going to start collecting Bob Walk cards?

    1. Yeah - just what I want to get is a box loaded with junk wax Walk cards all in their own top loaders.

  8. Love those Little League stories. I probably played 2nd base more than any other position during my "career" -- even turned an unassisted triple play once. I don't think I've ever explained why I collect any of my mini-collections, I might have to devote a post on the blog for that one day...

    1. With Nick on this one... little league stories are the best. You have some great memories. The four bunts in a row story is truly fantastic.

  9. I'm with you on being jealous of those who have their cards listed. I've been working on getting my cards cataloged (with pictures), I've been working on that for a few years now and I'm not even halfway, not because of the amount of cards but because of it just takes forever.

    Do you have my current address (Christine dr)? I don't remember if you've sent cards here before or if you sent them to the apartment

  10. n00b question probably but what’s a frankenset?

    1. It's a set pieced together using cards from multiple sets, ala Frankenstein's Monster being made up of bits & pieces from different people.