I have no idea how to create pages but I'll figure it out eventually godammit

Wednesday, October 31, 2007

Movies I'm watching tonight

Halloween is finally here! I've got a comfy couch, a case of Diet Dew, a bag of candy and a pile of DVD's. Here's the movie lineup for tonight:

Always start off with a classic. No, not the first one, Jaws 2. Here sharky, sharky! Eat the yummy powerline! Zzzzzzzzap!

Next up something silly. How about Arachnophobia. Any movie with John Goodman is a good movie.

Let's change the pace with a nice Bergman film. Well, crap! The DVD's scratched! Back to Netflix for you. We'll watch this instead.

Can't have all Hallow's Eve without Joel & the Bots. Here, you can watch too! Wait, this is one with Mike! NOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO

Ok, time for one of the best movies of all time. And I don't mean that overblown shite by Peter Jackson that desperately needed just one editor. The Good Version.

Ahhh, denouement. That was fun. Time to slip into something more comfortable. No, I'm not planning to watch the movie, I normally dress like this. Oh if you insist. Let's do the Time Warp again!

Braves and Free Agency notes

Braves draft pick Jason Heyward and 7 other first rounders got added to 2007 Bowman Draft Picks. Looks like I'll have to pick up a blaster or two now.

Curt Schilling lists Atlanta as one of the teams he'll consider pitching for next year. I'd much rather have him in the rotation than a certain other aged lefty.

The Dodgers are reportedly interested in Andruw Jones. I just hope someone signs him and we don't get snookered into a huge arbitration contract like the one Greg Maddux got a few years ago.

Baseball Prospectus has an amusing list of possible suitors for A-Rod and his 300 million dollar contract. I think Alex would look great in a Nippon Ham Fighters jersey.

Update: Bugger, Mike Cameron got pinched for teh eebil drugs. There goes a CF option for the Braves. Do cards, you big dummies!!!

This is the time of year when Ben Maller and MLB Trade Rumors are absolute required daily reading for at least the next 6 to 8 weeks.

Tuesday, October 30, 2007

2007 Topps Series 3: 15 pack break part 1

Series 3 is out (That's Updates and Highlights to you nitpickers) and I immediately grabbed as many packs as I could. Here's a 15 hobby pack break of this shiny new stuff.

Just as one does not simply rock into Mordor, one can't just open up 15 packs, list them out, scan them all and post everything into one massive post all at once. I'll be breaking this down into three sets of five over the next few days. I'll be updating the posts one pack at a time so you all don't have to wait three days to get the posts polished up before I post them. U&H was already delayed twice, why wait some more? Check out A Pack A Day if you just absolutely can't wait for a pack.

Pack 1:

UH112 Henry Owens
UH81 Kelly Shoppach
UH34 Paul McAnulty
UH159 Jarrod Saltalamaccia RC
UH107 Damion Easley
UH5 Steve Trachsel red
UH200 Brad Salmon RC red
GN522 Curtis Granderson Generation Now Double #3
UH162 Phil Hughes RC
UH227 David Wright NL All Star

Not a terrible first pack. The Salty card is cool and since he's in a Rangers uniform that means Teixeira is going to be in a Braves uni. AT LEAST HE BETTER BE YOU HEAR ME TOPPS. Don't make me smack you. Phil Hughes is a nice card and any David Wright is welcome even though he is one of the enemy. More stupid red parallels mean 30 cards out of these packs are more or less useless to me. Finally, the Curtis Granderson Generation Now card is ridiculous not only in that the insert set is now up to over 500 cards in size, but that Topps deems it essential to honor a double hit off Esteban Loaiza with a trading card.

Pack 2:

UH116 Jason Frasor
UH123 Jack Cust
UH104 Jorge Sosa
UH198 Mike Zagurski RC
UH45 Byung-Hyun Kim
UH173 Kevin Slowey RC red
UH59 Ryan Doumit
UH265 Jorge Posada Gold #0465/2007
UH273 John Lackey AL All-Star
UH268 Carlos Guillen AL All-Star
Checklist one of three

The Posada gold card would appear to be the best from this pack, but you'd be wrong. Mike Zagurski's rookie card takes the prize simply for the fact that he looks like a grown up Engelberg from the Bad News Bears. Walter Matthau version, of course. Nothing much else to speak of in this pack except that Jack Cust once kicked ass for me in an old Front Page Sports '98 sim league I was in a few years ago.

Pack 3:

UH194 Guillermo Rodriguez RC
UH189 Lee Gronkiewicz RC
UH124 Lenny DiNardo
UH322 David Murphy RC
UH69 Claudio Vargas
UH228 Carlos Beltran NL All-Star red
UH311 Josh Phelps red
GN408 Prince Fielder Generation Now Home Run #12
UH157 Andy LaRoche RC
UH218 Derek Jeter AL All-Star

Buncha rookies in this pack. I'm somewhat dismayed to see another rookie card with that cheesy red background that ended up on a ton of Red Sox cards over the past couple of years. Even worse, it's on David Murphy's card which means the red backdrop has infected the Rangers cards as well. Someone call the CDC! Beltran and Jeter All-Star cards are nice to have. I actually like the Gen Now card in this pack. It's Prince Fielder, it's counting down homers instead of catcher's interference or sac flies or some such nonsense, and the card just looks good. The 8th one I pull with the same photo will get tedious though.

Pack 4:

UH106 Ruben Gotay
UH118 John McDonald
UH136 Ramon Vazquez
UH101 Jayson Werth
UH200 Brad Salmon RC
UH138 Sean Marshall red
UH118 John McDonald red
GN543 Curtis Granderson Generation Now Double #24
UH157 Dan Haren AL All-Star
UH218 255 Dmitri Young NL All-Star

Crapped out on this pack. Got my first double in Brad Salmon and yet another Curtis Granderson Gen Now card. So what if the other Salmon is a red parallel and the number is different on the Granderson card. The picture's the same on both and they will end up simply cluttering up my Topps box. How did Brad Salmon get the coveted #200 card anyway? If this was actually Series 3, he'd end up with #861 which seems more appropriate. He's got the stupid beige background instead of the stupid red background. Is the guy at least a decent pitcher for all the aggravation he's giving me? Hrm, average middle reliever. Ok, I'll let it slide this time, but no more annoying cards from you, young man.

Pack 5:

UH209 Troy Tulowitzki Season Highlights
UH115 Casey Janssen
UH134 Reggie Willits
UH185 Nate Schierholtz RC
UH67 Tony Graffanino
UH236 Johan Santana AL All-Star red
UH202 Danny Putnam RC red
Barry Bonds Desecration of History 756
UH286 Prince Fielder Home Run Derby
UH257 JJ Hardy NL All-Star

Lotsa Brewers in this pack. Tony Graffanino has managed to carve out a nice little career for himself. Good for him. If you're going to get a lousy red card, it may as well be of a superstar like Santana. I'll get the base card soon enough once the blasters hit. Tulowitzki's highlight was an unassisted triple play against the Braves. I was watching that game and it was an interesting feeling to be thinking "Holy shit, that was cool!" and "Aw FUCK how did that just happen?!?" simultaneously. I had just about the same reaction to Barry's 756 card. I didn't appreciate just how nice it was not to get any of these damn cards in series two packs.

Up soon... Packs 6-10.

Metapost: busier than a three peckered goat in a butt kicking contest

The last few days have been nuts. The World Series, the opening of the Basketball season and Topps Series 3 and 2008 preview are all coinciding with my Halloween posts, booksale finds, wheeling and dealing and Allen & Ginter type set. I'm going to get to all this stuff an more in the next couple of weeks, but first I want to do a little housecleaning so some of my readers don't think I forgot about them.

First of all, I asked for anyone who had their own blog to give me a shout so I could do a little promotion.

Reader Blake owns and operates TwinsCards.com, which - quite frankly - is RIDICULOUS in the sheer amount of cool stuff they have on that site. Just the pages of cards alone is enough to keep you busy for weeks. Don't believe me? Here's the page for Topps. THAT'S JUST TOPPS. There's 4 other pages full of galleries full of every kind of Twins card you could possibly imagine. Then there's photos, autos, magazines, stats, everything Twins under the sun. Now, I'm still a little sore about that thing that happened ion 1991, mind you... But I guess Morten's kick in the Metrodome probably makes us even. Plus I sure wouldn't mind if this guy took over for Andruw in center next year.

Reader Kevin informs me that he's been working on a Baltimore Orioles site that will be much like metsbythenumbers.com (no I'm not linking to such evil things) with lots of Orioles cards. I haven't got the link to the site yet, but when I do, I'll post it. In the meantime he has cracked open a box of 1995 Stadium Club Series One that he picked up online. In the next day or so (basically whenever I can find some scans to post with the break) I'll post it here and on A Pack A Day.

Basketball season tips off today and if you like basketball cards, or just autographs in general, reader Michael's blog Which Way is Springfield? is for you. There's a cool post on Bob Pettit up today. I've got that 1999 Upper Deck Century Legends Epic Signatures card and it's sweeeeeet.

Finally, reader Chris has three sites dedicated to Topps Heritage, Bowman Heritage and Allen & Ginter. These sites are pretty much sales sites and not blogs but they have a couple of interesting tidbits like info on the '07 Nick Swisher variation so what the hell, I'll give 'em a chance.

Anyone out there with their own blog, feel free to comment and you'll get a shout out sometime soon.

Now, what do I have planned for the next few weeks? Here's what:

  • 2007 Topps Series 3 15 pack break and review. As soon as they hit Wal-Mart, expect to see a few blasters broken as well.
  • 2008 Preview review. I love the 'circus retro' look of the design.
  • 2007-2008 Topps basketball review. Find out why I am collecting this set instead of Turkey Red this year.
  • An epic trade just completed.
  • More Skeery Monsters! Halloween's not over yet...
  • 11 cards for 11 wins - 11 of my favorite Red Sox cards to commemorate their World Series victory.
  • The Allen Ginter Project - my insane attempt to collect a 120 year old type set of flags, fish and fruits. I just got three more in the mail yesterday, so I'll be posting cards 4, 7, 3, 8, 2, 9 and 1 (which you have already seen) in that order.
  • More Allen and Ginter set reviews like my N1 Editors review. With more MSPainted Allen & Ginter Prototypes! I'm still disappointed no one commented on Bert Sugar.
  • The books I picked up from that library book sale a couple weekends ago.
  • A special magazine review.
  • And more random crap that pops into my head.

Just keep on my butt if I start to slack off again. I don't want this stuff to go the way of the All Star Card ballot.

For any of you guys still reading this boring stuff (how did this post turn into a sales pitch?) here's a special treat that apparently none of you caught the first time I posted it as an easter egg. The 2008 Allen & Ginter card of Mythbuster Kari Byron. Enjoy...

NEWS FLASH: 2008 Topps Preview

Shamelessly stolen from The Bench and Beckett Message Boards, here is a preview of the 2008 Topps design:

Long review plus tentative checklist forthcoming.

Short review: I LOVE IT

Snide comment: Topps' crack airbrushing team better get working on an Angels uni for A-Rod.



Edgar, we hardly knew ye

The Sox hadn't even had their Parade, Scott Boras hadn't even apologized for being an asshole, Joe Torre hadn't even been snapped up by a team without an idiot owner, and already Edgar was traded to the Tigers. I haven't even gotten a Renteria Goudey jersey card for my team set yet. So long Edgar, it's too bad we have a truckload of middle infielders and no starting pitching. You'll be missed.

But not that much if that Jair dude is any good. Yunel is a frickin' beast.

Monday, October 29, 2007

Hail To the Champs

The 2007 World Series Champion
Boston Red Sox

Sorry I didn't get this out sooner, but I forgot where I put the thing. In the next few weeks look for eleven cards from eleven Boston Red Sox players, one for each playoff victory. As always I take requests...

Card Of the Week 10/29

I am a set builder, but I'll be the first to admit I'm not a very good set builder. I'm great at going through each of my sets and meticulously noting which cards I need, writing my lists down on a piece of paper, losing the paper, writing it down again, not labeling the paper so I don't know which set it's for, losing the paper again, writing it down in a notebook, not updating the notebook when I get some cards I need so I have to go through the set again for a reality check, doing it all over again in a different notebook that looks better than the original notebook and then going through them just one more time to put it in a word document so I can e-mail it. I'm not that good at actually getting that last card to finish the set. I'll spend hours scrounging through a common box with a wad of checklists picking out cards I need, but when it comes down to the last few I need I usually get stuck. Part of the problem is most of the new stuff I collect has the artificial short prints meant to provide a challenge to us set builders. For me they mostly provide an excuse. The 2002 Heritage set is one of my favorites of all time, but I am a couple of dozen or so short prints away from a complete set. I have all the base cards though, so I don't feel any urgency to find those scarce cards even though I could probably find most of them right now online with one search.

I have no excuse for not completing the base brand sets I collect. For me that primarily means Topps, but there are a few others I try to complete. My sets from the 80's and early '90s are particularly disgraceful as there is absolutely no reason why I can't finish them when complete sets are selling for ten bucks or less. Case in point: 1990 Upper Deck. I need a Mark McGwire, Nolan Ryan special card and Chris Sabo for that set. I have known that I need those cards for at least a decade, but I can't be arsed to go find them. With all the commons I have floating around I'll bet they are all somewhere in my house right now. Recent Topps sets are another pain for me. I have a lot of them completed but still more that aren't. For last years set I'm only missing a league leader card in Series One and I have all of Series Two. But for some reason I got bored with the Updates and Highlights set and still I'm missing a bunch from that set. I probably got distracted by Bowman Heritage on that one to be honest. My attention span isn't that grea- hey look, shiny thing! Part of the problem is I only have three real suppliers for commons: one who is only open near me once or twice a month, one who doesn't have a good selection of common cards and packs. Buying commons online is a pain in the ass and the other dealers around here like to charge a buck each for commons. Hey, if you need it, it's worth the price right? Meh.

I've got lots of excuses, but I think part of it comes down to a mental block I have on finishing sets. I love opening packs as you can tell my my prolific posting* on A Pack A Day. As long as I still need a card from a set, well I can still open packs from that set! What is the point in opening a pack of '87 Topps when I have two sets already, or an '88 or '89 Fleer pack when I already have the factory sets. Opening a pack of 1990 Upper deck is A-OK though. Gotta find that Chris Sabo! That's got to be why I'm not finishing that '06 Update set, I can still find packs everywhere. There has to be some deep-seated neurosis there where I'm terrified of the finality of completion or some such nonsense. In the past couple of years though, my attitude has been slowly changing. Might be because I'm growing up, might be because I'm sick of all the unfinished sets surrounding me, might be because between the license bloodbath and my disaffection with Upper Deck, there's less for me to try to collect and I no longer try to collect everything. Could be that the sheer thrill of finally finishing that sonuvabitch is finally overriding my laziness. One of my collecting goals this year was to complete each series of Topps before the next one came out. that didn't happen with Series One for a myriad of reasons (more excuses!) including the Jeter freakout, a general lack of commons out there and shifting focus to Topps Heritage. However, I've made my goal for Series Three (Updates and Highlights shall now be referred to as Series Three forevermore - pass it on) and finished up both Series One and Two with this week's Card of The Week:

Yep, #60 John Smoltz was the absolute last card I needed for my Topps set. Somehow despite knowing I needed Smoltzie for months and actively looking for him, I still couldn't find his card in Atlanta. Braves boxes, nope. Common boxes, hell nope. Piles of all John Smoltz cards, not there. Bricks with Braves cards on the front and back, nada. Dozens of packs, uh uh. Looking through Rack packs and those goofy packs with 21 cards and a stick of gum for one showing on the front or back, still no luck. I had even downloaded the Smoltz Topps card wallpaper from the web site of that game card that was in every other pack and I still didn't have the actual card. I had checked all the other ones off my list, but still couldn't find a Smoltz card IN ATLANTA. Finally I had my favorite dealer look through the stuff at his house and got this little beauty for free, no less. Hey, it never hurts to ask. In the spirit of full disclosure, I must admit that after doing a reality check, I found that my set was missing #93 Mike Napoli (really irksome since I had his stupid Generation Now inserts) and #436 Ricky Nolasco so they are technically the last cards I needed for the set. I'm not counting those however because I remember buying them out of a common box and they went sideways somewhere in between the shop and my set. They are likely hiding in a pile of doubles thinking they are being sneaky. I simply got two more from the same place I picked them up in the first place as they had several of each. The Smoltz was the one I really had to dig for, so he gets to be the one to finish it off. Bring on Series Three, I'm ready for you now!

*I originally typed posing instead of posting in this sentence before I went through one last proofread. My Freudian slip is showing.

Hum Ho

Man it's sure been a while since Scott Boras has acted like a total dick hasn't it? Wait, what? Boooooooooring.

The Allen Ginter Project: Card #5 - N19 Pirates of the Spanish Main

Arrrrrrrrrrrrr!!! This here be the fifth card I plundered for me Allen & Ginter Type set. I rescued this fine Buccaneer away from eBay seller slackjob, who had waylaid several bretheren of the coast and was holding them for ransom. I promised 9 doubloons to the bilge-sucking jailsman for the release of this old salt. But I waylayed the lubber, keelhauled 'im and sent 'im down to Davy Jones' Locker. Aye, this pirate's rating is perfect, for Dead Men Leave No Feedback. Arrrrr!

Ahem. Sorry about that, I went all Piratey there again. What I meant to say is that I purchased this card for 9 dollars. There was no keelhauling, murdering or pillaging of any kind. It's easy to get carried away with this set, the fronts have a portrait of a murderous pirate with an appropriate scene of buccaneerish activity going on in the background, while on the reverse there's a short story of the pirate's adventures, often wonderfully bloody and horrific. The one I snagged is of Alexander Bras-de-fer, who is pretty tough to find information about online other than in a couple of old books scanned by Google. Ol' Iron Arms was also in a 1949 Topps X-ray set (card 165), so he couldn't be that obscure. I get a kick out of having my site pop up whenever I do a Google search so I'm going to add to Alexander's online lore by copying out the text on the back of his card for those of you not inclined to squint at the scan.
About the time that Lolonois, in command of a powerful fleet, was engaged in his fiendish exploits, there was a singular adventurer at Tortuga by the name of Alexandre Bras-de-Fer, who, in his small way, was engaged in making history with as earnest a purpose as his illustrious contemporary. This brave and prudent sea-robber never joined in large expeditions, preferring to sally forth in his swift cruiser, with no one to share or subtract from his gains. On one occasion when Alexandre was bound upon an expedition of great consequence, he was overtaken by a scorching tropical calm, which was followed some days later by a furious tornado. The pirate crew were suddenly stranded upon a lonely isle. Not many days after, a large ship approached, attracted by the pure water which the island afforded. Presently a boat was lowered, and a well armed party of Spaniards cautiously landed. Bras-de-Fer laid a careful ambush; and at a given signal, the buccaneers rushed fiercely upon the Spaniards and slew them to a man. Then they donned the dress of their victims; and thus disguised, pulled out to the ship. Not until they had clambered up the sides were they recognized. The surprise was sudden and complete. In a few minutes the rich ship was a prize to the buccaneers, and Alexadre triumphantly sailed away to seek other adventures.
How's that for kicking ass and taking names? Iron Alex carries his ill-gotten booty in a BMF wallet. This is card #27 of the set. I almost bought a card of Charles Vane that was closing the same day as this card, but I held off because the back was damaged and you couldn't read the cool story. I kind of wish I had gotten it now though, this is a killer set. These suckers can get expensive too, stupid Johnny Depp and his movies had to make pirates all popular again.

Ho Hum

Is the World Series over yet? What, it is? Booooooooooring.

Sunday, October 28, 2007

Old Football Brick

Every day a new disaster happens to my favorite team at Flowery Branch and it's gotten so bad it's turned me off this year's new shiny football cards. Thank goodness for old crappy football cards! While I couldn't care less about the '07 Bowman that just hit the shelves, I'm loving the old Topps packs I'm opening every Sunday over at A Pack A Day. I just snagged a few '88 Topps Cello packs, yahoo!

While the new cards remind me only of pain and idiot coaches and pit bulls and imploding franchises, old football cards are soothing reminders of better days. Geez, you know your team is in horrible trouble when you think wistfully about the Falcons teams of the 1980's. I still wish David Archer would just suit up already. He's probably too smart for that though, he's been watching that offensive line every week doing analysis on the radio broadcast.

I went to the local fleamarket recently and checked out the shop run by the old guy who sells baseball cards and porn. This is one of the old school collectors, he bought every pack he could find in the 50's and then started buying collections off old grannys. When you hear stories about people whose mom threw out their cards, she probably actually sold them to this guy and didn't want to share the profits. He's got an insane collection of vintage stuff in the shop rivaled only by his stash of old Playboys and other assorted smut. Thanks to the internet I can focus on buying his cards. One thing I got while I was there was this brick of 50 football cards for a buck. He had a box full of these things and another one with baseball bricks. I couldn't resist this pack with the beat up 1978 Art Shell on the front. Here's what I got for a buck:

1978 Topps Art Shell #460
1985 Topps Larry Moriarty #252
1985 Topps Rick Karlis #244
1988 Topps Tommy Kramer #148
1986 Topps Philadelphia Eagles #268
1972 Topps Bo Scott Pro Action #123

There was unfortunately only 6 vintage Topps cards in the brick , but the ones I got were worth it. The Shell card is a thing of beauty. That is what a football card should look like. The '85 Topps football design is really underrated. The black borders, the bold name, even the understated TOPPS logo in the top corner. It's a nice looking set as far as I'm concerned. My aunt is from Minnesota and I can't see a card of Kramer without hearing her say, "Tommy Kramer, that DRUNK?" Ron Jaworski surveys the scene on the Eagles' team card from 1986. Ron is picking apart my Falcons presumably in their week ten overtime win against them. I need to reevaluate my previously positive view of Jaws now, especially after he threw Alge Cumpler under the bus in the Monday Night broadcast. Dammit, this pack was supposed to help me forget! The card is priced at 50 cents so that's half the pack right there. The last Topps card is absolutely wonderful. A dirty Filthy Bo Scott breaking a tackle from a dirty filthy Baltimore Colt on a beat up, dog eared crinkled up old card that may very well have been in Bo's pocket during this play, time-space paradox be damned. There's even a Test Your Football IQ quiz on the back. May an ineligible receiver go downfield? (answer at bottom)

1991 UpperDeck Mark Carrier #434
1992 UpperDeck Pierce Holt #250
1991 UpperDeck Dan Saleaumua #196
1991 UpperDeck Ferrell Edmunds #291
1991 UpperDeck Reggie Roby #272
1991 UpperDeck Christian Okoye #176
1991 UpperDeck Rod Bernstine #118
1991 UpperDeck Lee Williams #341
1991 UpperDeck Joe Kelly #509

Next up in the pack is a handful of Upper Deck cards. The Pierce Holt card has some crusty disgusting junk on it and went straight into the trash. Considering that dude's other inventory I'm not taking any chances. The rest of the Upper Deck cards are ok. The '91 set is actually a pretty good set, although it's worth bupkis. The design is attractive and colorful, the photos are terrific and it's got a really good checklist. Too bad it was printed more than the Bible. The Christian Okoye card is pretty remarkable but it's nothing compared to the Bernstine. Rod is doing somersaults on the front and back of that one. It's no Bo Scott, but a pretty damn worthy football card nonetheless.

1994 Pinnacle Carlton Bailey Trophy Collection #39.

An oddball insert got thrown into this pack, a Trophy Collection dufex parallel of Carlton Bailey. These dufex cards are pretty and shiny and incredibly fragile, but this one seems to be not that badly beaten up. Pretty nice looking and a neat Extreeeeeeeeeme Close-Up shot.

1996 Finest Gus Frerotte Playmakers #192 P87
1996 Finest Marvcus Patton Destroyers #337 D72
1996 Finest Rocket Ismail Playmakers #322 P111
1996 Finest Aeneas Williams Destroyers #317 D75
1996 Finest Carlton Gray Destroyers #333 D87
1996 Finest Lawrence Phillips Freshman #314 FM14
1996 Finest Adrian Murrell Playmakers #342 P109
1996 Finest Greg Hill Playmakers #297 P114
1996 Finest Alonzo Spellman Destroyers #279 D103
1996 Finest Brian Dawkins Freshman #344 FM26
1996 Finest Curtis Conway Playmakers #233 P77
1996 Finest Ray Mickens Freshman #330 FM31

Next up is a bunch of 1996 Finest. This set is a good summation of a lot of bad things that were going on in the mid-90's. First, you'll notice that the borders are all bronze. This is because there was a rash of Bronze-Silver-Gold themes in cards sets at this time, presumably to honor (cash in) on the Atlanta Olympics. Unfortunately the silver and gold cards were almost universally short printed, so now it looks like there were just a bunch of sets with bronze borders. The set is divided up into subsets: Playmakers for offensive players, Destroyers for the defense and Freshman for rookies. There might be more subsets but I'm too lazy to look it up right now. This hits both the "lets break the big set into little sets to collect" and the "hey, inserts are popular - lets make the whole set look like inserts!" trends that spread like a fungus through sets of the 90's. It wouldn't be so bad if chase card didn't become a euphemism for gaudy crap somewhere along the line. The Finest Protector things that no one knows whether they should peel them off or not are also pretty annoying.

I had to look up his stats on CBS Sportsline before I would believe that Gus Frerotte is still playing. Then again Vinnie is still around too, so why not. Not much here, a lot of decent players but nothing special. Rocket Ismail was an ok receiver that didn't live up to the hype. The Carlton Gray card is inadvertently humorous. "surprise, buttsecks!" Curtis Conway was a nice wide receiver pickup on my fantasy team one year. The Brian Dawkins rookie card is probably the best out of the bunch.

1980 Fleer Baltimore Colts #4
1980 Fleer Baltimore Colts #3
1980 Fleer Atlanta Falcons #2
1979 Fleer Cleveland Browns #11
1979 Fleer New Orleans Saints #34
1979 Fleer Baltimore Colts #3
1980 Fleer San Diego Chargers #47
1980 Fleer Green Bay Packers #20
1980 Fleer Houston Oilers #22
1980 Fleer Cleveland Browns #11
1980 Fleer Miami Dolphins #27
1982 Fleer Oakland Raiders #40
1979 Fleer Green Bay Packers #19
1979 Fleer Baltimore Colts #4
1981 Fleer Flat Out #78
1981 Fleer Green Bay Packers #20
1981 Fleer New York Giants #35
1979 Fleer Super Bowl VII #63
1979 Fleer Houston Oilers #21
1979 Fleer Pittsburgh Steelers #43
1979 Fleer Super Bowl IX #65
1980 Fleer San Diego Chargers #47
1981 Fleer Miami Dolphins #28
1979 Fleer Super Bowl XI #67
1979 Fleer Super Bowl III #59

Finally, the last half of the brick is cards from Fleer's Action Football sets. Fleer apparently had an NFL license, but not a player's association license so they put out football cards from 1976-1988 featuring action shots from NFL teams. Along with the cards you got logo stickers and actual gum in the packs. The monopoly Topps had on gum didn't carry over to bootleg football packs. Probably 99.99999% of all humans on earth don't care a whit about these cards. I can't find them in a price guide to save my life. I love the hell out of them though. These goofy things were the very first football cards I ever got (1981 packs from the corner Majik Market) and I'll take more of 'em anytime.

I mostly got cards from 79 and 80, but there's a handful from 81 and 82. The cards changed a lot from 1980 to 1981. The older cards are on gray cardboard stock and only have a brief write up on the back. '81 and later cards are on white stock and feature team stats. Each team got two cards, one for offense and one for defense. Fleer padded out the sets with Super Bowl Cards and quiz cards. One of these days I'm going to go nuts and complete my collection of all these oddball Fleer sets, but it hasn't happened quite yet.

I didn't get any logo stickers which kind of sucks, but the cards are still cool. I got one of the Falcons defense where the Grits Blitz is beating up on some hapless Redskin. The '82 Raiders card looks like the game is being played at a high school stadium. Eagle eyed collectors can find star players on these cards as long as they know everyone's jersey number. The Super Bowl IX card features Terry Bradshaw and Franco Harris prominently. Brian Sipe and Joe Washington can be found on the Browns and Colts cards. The gem of the pack is the '79 Oilers card that has #34 Earl Campbell about to bust through a hole. Not bad for a buck!

Here's the answer to the quiz from that Bo Scott card:

Saturday, October 27, 2007




Knowshon for Heisman!

Everbody done gone crazy!

I knew I should have had by Bulldogs cards scanned and ready... dangit

Watch this in the meantime:

Friday, October 26, 2007

More Skeery Monsters

Here's some more monsters for you to celebrate Halloween. These monsters come from my collection of old Garbage Pail Kids stickers.

Duncan here is one of the first emos, carving himself so he can feel. He needs a lot of work on his goth look though.

RAWR! Frankenstein squish cat! Ingenious placing of the neck bolts since none of these kids have any necks.

Real werewolves don't wear diapers. They let their wolfy nethers flap in the breeze while ravaging the populace. The bat flying in front of the moon is the closest thing I have to a vampire card. There has to be one of these things named BELLE LUGOSI out there somewhere.

This homage to the Mars Attacks! set is one of my absolute favorite trading cards ever. It's a shame Tim Burton screwed up the movie so badly.

Where'd you get your information from, huh? You think that you can front when revelation comes? I'm pretty sure this dude's in Revelations somewhere.

Everyone flipped out over the Sopranos ending and Topps had it nailed way back in the 80's. Tony's dead baby, but don't stop believin... In the movie he comes back as a ZOMBIE!

Thursday, October 25, 2007

Hail to the Champ

Thorzul's 1981 Topps Tournament has crowned a winner! Who is it? Click and go see!

Meanwhile U L Washington and his toothpick wants a recount... I think you better give it to him.

Wednesday, October 24, 2007

Skeery Monsters!

I can't blame all my recent inactivity to work and family and all that other real life stuff that keeps me from messing with my baseball cards. I've been distracted by the thing that makes October great. No, not this crap, my team is long gone and I wanted to see the Indians and Phillies so we could find out once and for all which city's Voodoo losing curse is stronger. (turns out both are pretty darn strong) No, it's Halloween season! There are bad horror movies to watch! Goofy Pop Culture references to catch! And Candy! Lots and lots of candy. I'm munching on some mallowcreme pumpkins as I type this.

There's not a lot of overlaps between horror movies and baseball cards except for maybe the Sandy Koufax card from Needful Things. There are tons of non sport stuff out there that feature monsters and such. I-Mockery, the folks who reviewed the candy in the link above, show off one of these old monster sets with their Topps Monster Initial Sticker Name Generator. It's a nice review of a rare old non-sports set, plus you can make your name out of monster stickers without tracking down the cards! Check it out!

Woooo! Scary monsters! If you scroll down to the end of the monster generating link, you get even more trading cards. The world is totally ready for a Herschell Gordon Lewis card. This is actually I-Mockery's second set of Scary-Ass trading cards, they put out a set of 13 last year. WARNING - the last card on that page is one of the most horrific monsters known to mankind... Click with Caution!!! You can't get series two in factory set form though, oh no... You have to collect them. Simply search through the site and find each of the cards, then e-mail the URLs listed to the webmaster to get your special bonus card (plus a chance to win a Halloween prize pack). There are twenty cards in this year's set and they are just as good as last year. I've found 15 so far, the latest is of one of my favorite actors:

Peter Lorre! Forget Casablanca and The Maltese Falcon and all the other great movies he did, he was the inspiration for the voice of Ren from Ren & Stimpy. This is a really nifty set for all the monster movie lovers out there. Go get 'em all, if you need some hints check the comments for some spoilers and then leave your own tips for finding cards.

Tuesday, October 23, 2007

Fat Managers

John Rolfe of Sports Illustrated has a fun article up on major league managers. His thesis is basically Old School Managers are a) fat or b) crazy or c) both. It's well worth reading it just to see Eric Wedge's sour puss. That picture is probably what he looks like right now after that terrible ALCS.

I like fat, crazy managers who keep baseball interesting. Sadly you also have to have actually played professional baseball to make it as a manager today, otherwise George Steinbrenner would already be interviewing me. There aren't quite as many real lunatics managing today as there used to be, but baseball is much better off than the other sports. NFL coaches are so shackled by corporate policy, they need a permission slip from their mothers just to wear a suit on the sideline instead of this year's official team sweatshirt available at NFL.com. NHL coaches exist solely to be fired during a losing streak to scare the players into winning a game. Basketball at least has its share of screwballs, from Zen Master Phil to Chair Throwing Bobby. Basketball coaches can dress how they want to, Reggie Theus can look slick in his tailored suits and Rick Majerus can wear his huge sweaters. (speaking of coaches, I stumbled upon this while googling for Majerus and it's genius.) Baseball managers and coaches have to wear a uniform which is one reason why fat managers are awesome. It's great seeing some guy fat as me leading a ballclub or coaching third wearing the same uniform as the players on the field. It's not the jersey, big guys wear throwback jerseys all the time without looking too bad, it's the pants. Fatsos can't get away with wearing those tight knit pants without looking like Carl from Aqua Team Hunger Force.

Many people see them as fillers, but I like manager cards. I collect Braves team sets, and the manager card ties a set together whether it's Bobby Cox or Bobby Wine. It's also fun to see old players you once watched pop up in a new set when they get hired by a team to manage. Everyone who collected in the 80's has a bunch of Don Mattingly cards, now there's a chance you might get a new one in 2008 Topps. There are plenty of great manager cards in vintage sets too. Original Ted Williams cards are expensive as hell, but they are practically giving away his Washington Senator manager cards . There is a pretty steady stream of Frank Robinson cards going back from the 50's to the present day due to his regular managing gigs. Not just hall of famers either, there are plenty of minor stars and fringe players who can be found as managers in old cards. That Del Crandall manager card I pulled in 1984 and didn't pay much attention to became a little more interesting once I started collecting Braves cards from the 50's. One day Ozzie Guillen is starring for the Sox, the next he's managing them to a title and more importantly blowing up in the media about once a week.

It works the other way as well, old cards relegated to the common bin get new life if their subject goes on to become a decent manager. The rookie card of a relief pitcher with a lifetime 0-4 record and a 6.48 ERA should be a dead common, but when it's Tommy Lasorda's rookie, it sells for a hundred bucks. Sure, he was an all-star, but would Billy Martin cards be so sought after had he not gone 5 rounds with Steinbrenner? This year's World Series features a couple of managers who are well represented in sets from the 80's.

One thing I wish would make a comeback are coaching cards. There are tons of great players on coaching staffs all around the majors that would make for great cards. I'd love to pull a Glenn Hubbard or Rusty Kuntz from a new pack. I know it's not feasible to add another 3-4 cards per team to sets already squeezed for space, so just put them on a multi-player card with floating heads or squished like ants and tacked onto the manager card. Another 30 cards added to the Topps set would put them that much closer to getting back to a 792 card set which is how it should be anyway. Without coach cards, we would never have had this work of beauty:

Bob Gibson in a Braves uni. Awwww man that looks good. Put him on the '69 staff and no one would be talking about any stupid Miracle Mets now would they.