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Thursday, January 31, 2008

N43 vs. N43

My Allen & Ginter N43 sets are one card closer to completion as I got these doozies recently.

This one is cool:

Teixeira is the only one out of either set that could remotely be called a Brave. This one is from the 2006 set. This next one I'm somewhat embarrassed to admit I paid real money for:

Now I have plausible deniability if anyone asks me where I got the image for my title. Also three cards away from the 2007 set and two are supposedly on the way. If the hobby shop finds A-Rod, I'm golden.

I was looking at the checklists on the back and wondering which set was better of the two. The first one has the bigger names, but the second one has... a dog. And Bruce Lee, can't forget Bruce Lee... So, for absolutely no reason I'm going to compare both sets card by card to see which is better. Even though I have 100 other things to do.

Card 1: 2006 A-Rod, 2007 A-Rod
Same card. Topps sure loves their A-Rod, but to be fair four other players are repeated in both checklists.

Card 2: 2006 Barry Bonds, 2007 Ryan Howard
If Barry gets acquitted, he wins. Until then I'll take the Howard.

Card 3: 2006 Josh Gibson, 2007 David Wright
Even though I hate the Mets, I like David Wright. I think 2008 David Wright looks a lot like 1999 Chipper Jones. That being said, this isn't even a contest, I'll take Josh Gibson any day.

Card 4: 2006 Nolan Ryan, 2007 Ichiro
This one's tough. I was conditioned to have a Pavlovian response to Ryan cards in the early 90's but does anyone really care anymore? Ichiro just an outstanding player. I'm calling this one a tie.

Card 5: 2006 Ichiro, 2007 Albert Pujols
I can't pick Ichiro over Pujols though. If Ryan = Ichiro and Ichiro < Pujols, then is Ryan < Pujols? Not sure if I can make that call. By the way, using greater than and less than symbols anywhere near html code is not a good idea.

After the first third of the set, I've got it judged 2006 - 1, 2007 - 2.

Card 6: 2006 Mickey Mantle, 2007 Dice-K
It's odd that Topps' other obsession, Mantle, isn't one of the five players repeated in both sets. I'll take Mantle though. Dice-K mania got eclipsed by Joba mania before the calendar year was even up.

Card 7: 2006 Ted Williams, 2007 Vlad Guerrero
This one is a lot harder than it should be. The best pure hitter of all time vs. the best swing at everything hitter of all time. I love Vlad, but I gotta go with Ted.

Card 8: 2006 David Wright, 2007 Barry Bonds.
I'm not picking Barry right now. Maybe if someone signs him for 2008 I'll change my mind.

Card 9: 2006 Albert Pujols, 2007 Prince Fielder.
I really like Prince, but I can't pick him over Prince Albert quite yet.

Card 10: 2006 Ken Griffey Jr, 2007 Ryan Zimmerman
I don't quite understand why Zimmerman is even in this set.

2006 just kicked 2007 in the teeth, but they' haven't clinched it yet. 2006 - 6, 2007 - 2.

Card 11: 2006 Mark Teixeira, 2007 Diamond Jim
Hmm... my man-crush or a flea bitten mutt. 2007 is dooomed.

Card 12: 2006 Cap Anson, 2007 Bruce Lee
You'd think with my 19th century obsession, I'd pick Cap, but you'd be wrong. Cap Anson was a great player and a racist prick. Bruce Lee would kick his ass up and down the diamond. Topps should have done King Kelly instead.

Card 13: 2006 Mike Tyson, 2007 Mario Andretti
2007 has already lost, so I'm going with Tyson. I liked his videogame better.

Card 14: 2006 Kenji Johjima, 2007 Greg Louganis
I choose not to choose on this one. No one cares about Kenji's rookie card anymore except Mariners fans and one guy in Fukuoka, Japan with a massive player collection of him. Greg Louganis' card has nipples on it. I don't like cards with nipples on them.

Card 15: 2006 Ryan Zimmerman, 2007 Joe Frazier
How the heck did Ryan Zimmerman get in both sets? Ryan better step it up for the Nats this year. I'm picking Smokin Joe even though the Howard Cosell voice in my head started saying Ryan Zimmerman and I found it amusing. Yes, I have a Howard Cosell voice in my head that pops out every once in a while to say "Joe Frazier", doesn't everyone?

Final score: 2006 - 8, 2007 - 4.

Pretty big win by 2006 here. I wish I had collected that set now. Then again the only reason I'm collecting 2007 is that I got two thirds of the set in one shot. Hopefully there wil be some new guys in the 2008 set (if there is one). I'll bet a presidential candidate is in there though, assuming anyone has the nomination sewn up by the release date.

Wednesday, January 30, 2008

The Umpire Took my Baby Away

There was no way I could resist this one.

Spooked by the NBA referee gambling scandal, Major League Baseball asked the umpire's union if they could conduct financial background checks on the umps. The umpire's union said no. So obviously the proper response by MLB is to send out investigators to question the umpire's neighbors and ask them if the umps beat their wives, grew pot or belonged to the KKK.

I'm sorry, but I have to. I just do.

The Ramones - The KKK Umpires Took My Baby Away

The really terrible copy of this YouTube clip actually works well with the cheesy 80's video from The Ramones and is kind of endearing. The really terrible leadership in Major League Baseball is not endearing at all. Five more years, baby.

Beckett T206 page

Beckett is slooowly posting pics of that Sweet Caporal T206 find they recently graded, but the good news is they now have a single page where you can check out all the cards. Only 10 so far but let's cross our fingers and see if they'll put the other 540 up before they sell them all.

If 10 cards isn't quite enough for you, you can see a lot more at the T206 museum (although they marked up all their cards) including all the Big Kahunas.

The Allen Ginter Project : Card #25 N28 World's Champions

I'm busy as hell putting packages together, but I can't wait on this one any longer.

This is the last card I got from my davidbvintage New Year's Eve haul. It's an Allen & Ginter card. The BIG one. The one I was scared to death I'd have to drop a hundred bucks on. Behold:


Check out that motherfucking mustache!!! And the eyes! He's got crazy eyes! That man is gonna kick your ass at snooker, beat your ass with a pool cue and then tickle your girlfriends ass with that amazing mustache while you watch broken and bleeding. I'm not kidding either, poor Joe ended up in an asylum suffering from paresis. He was one of the leading billiards players of his time though and is credited with boosting the popularity of the game in America.

Man it feels good to have this card. I kept seeing some pretty hefty prices for any N28's out there since the baseball players give this set a pretty high profile. This one's in great condition too, it's clean, no problems on the front and just a couple of glue spots and paper loss on the back. I have maybe two other cards that are in this good shape. Plus I can see King Kelly's name on the back. Just having a nineteenth century card that says "Mike Kelly" on it is a thrill, even if I'll never get an original one that has it on the front. This is the set that Topps ganked the design from for their own Allen & Ginter set. Here's Brian McCann lending a hand to compare the 1888 and 2006 versions.

The old-school lithography is heads and shoulders above Topps in terms of how good the card looks, but overall they did a pretty good job copying the style. There's a much warmer feel to the older cards, the colors are definitely better. A lot of the new A&G cards make the players look a little nauseous with the greenish tint on their faces. Still a good job on the newbie cards. Here's the back:

The impressive part here is how Topps managed to copy the feel of the original backs while still making it useful to modern collectors. There's no way they could put a 300+ card checklist on the back and people want stats nowadays. Writing out the stats in words instead of numbers is kind of clunky out of context, but it mimics the back of the original really closely. The legalese at the bottom is about ten time the size of the lithographer's line on the original, but that's just how things work nowadays. All in all a great job by Topps in getting the feel of this set. Now for the bottom line. How much did this beast cost? I got it from davidbvintage for $19.38. WITHIN THE GOAL! I might just finish this sucker yet.

Tuesday, January 29, 2008

Oh Dear.

In three days, the 2008 season might get a lot more difficult.

Take 'em for everything they got Johan! Don't settle for one dollar less! You're worth every penny!

I'm feeling a little sick... I think I need to have a lie down.

2007 '52 Topps Rookie Card checklist

Four hours away from my box break contest on A Pack A Day and I can't find a checklist for 07 '52 Rookie Card anywhere. Not online at least. I worked this one out between the Topps Sell Sheet and stuff I found on eBay. It might not be 100% accurate, but it's good enough for tonight and I can fix it later. If you notice a goof, put it in the comments and I'll fix it.
Update: Well lookie here, the blaster had a checklist inside.

1 Akinori Iwamura
2 Angel Sanchez
3 Luis Hernandez
4 Joaquin Arias
5 Troy Tulowitzki
5a Troy Tulowitzki SP
6 Jesus Flores
7 Mickey Mantle SP
8 Kory Casto
9 Tony Abreu
10 Kevin Kouzmanoff
11 Travis Buck
12 Kurt Suzuki
13 Matt DeSalvo
14 Jerry Owens
15 Alex Gordon
16 Jeff Baker
17 Ben Francisco
18 Nate Schierholtz
19 Nathan Haynes
20 Ryan J. Braun
20a Ryan J. Braun SP
21 Brian Barden
22 Sean Barker
23 Alejandro De Aza
24 Jamie Burke
25 Michael Bourn
26 Jeff Salazar
27 Chase Headley
28 Chris Basak
29 Mike Fontenot
30 Hunter Pence
30a Hunter Pence SP
31 Masumi Kuwata
32 Ryan Rowland-Smith
33 Tyler Clippard
34 Matt Lindstrom
35 Fred Lewis
36 Brett Carroll
37 Alexi Casilla
38 Nick Gorneault
39 Dennis Sarfate
40 Felix Pie
41 Miguel Montero
42 Danny Putnam
43 Shane Youman
44 Andy LaRoche
45 Jarrod Saltalamacchia
46 Kei Igawa
47 Don Kelly
48 Fernando Cortez
49 Travis Metcalf
50 Daisuke Matsuzaka
50a Daisuke Matsuzaka SP
51 Edwar Ramirez
52 Ryan Sweeney
53 Shawn Riggans
54 Billy Sadler
55 Billy Butler
56 Andy Cavazos
57 Sean Henn
58 Brian Esposito
59 Brandon Morrow
60 Adam Lind
61 Joe Smith
62 Chris Stewart
63 Eulogio De La Cruz
64 Sean Gallagher
65 Carlos Gomez
66 Jailen Peguero
67 Juan Perez
68 Levale Speigner
69 Jamie Vermilyea
70 Delmon Young
70a Delmon Young SP
71 Jo-Jo Reyes
72 Zack Segovia
73 Andy Sonnanstine
74 Chase Wright
75 Josh Fields
76 Jon Knott
77 Guillermo Rodriguez
78 Jon Coutlangus
79 Kevin Cameron
80 Mark Reynolds
81 Brian Stokes
82 Alberto Arias
83 Yoel Hernandez
84 David Murphy
85 Josh Hamilton
86 Justin Hampson
87 Doug Slaten
88 Joseph Bisenius
89 Troy Cate
90 Homer Bailey
91 Jacoby Ellsbury
92 Devern Hansack
93 Zach McClellan
94 Vinny Rottino
95 Elijah Dukes
96 Ryan Z. Braun
97 Lee Gardner
98 Joakim Soria
99 Jason Miller
100 Hideki Okajima
100a Hideki Okajima SP
101 John Danks
102 Garrett Jones
103 Jensen Lewis
104 Clay Rapada
105 Kyle Kendrick
106 Eric Stults
107 Jared Burton
108 Julio DePaula
109 Jesse Litsch
110 Micah Owings
111 Cory Doyne
112 Jay Marshall
113 Mike Schultz
114 Juan Salas
115 Matt Chico
116 Brad Salmon
117 Jeff Bailey
118 Gustavo Molina
119 Brian Burres
120 Yovani Gallardo
121 Hector Gimenez
122 Kelvin Jimenez
123 Rick Vanden Hurk
124 Billy Petrick
125 Andrew Miller
126 Rocky Cherry
127 Jordan De Jong
128 Eric Hull
129 Kevin Mahar
130 Tim Lincecum
130a Tim Lincecum SP
131 Garrett Olson
132 Neal Musser
133 Mike Rabelo
134 Dennis Dove
135 J.D. Durbin
136 Jose Garcia
137 Marcus McBeth
138 Curtis Thigpen
139 Mike Zagurski
140 Kevin Slowey
141 Dewon Day
142 Glen Perkins
143 Brian Wolfe
144 Dallas Braden
145 J.A. Happ
146 Lee Gronkiewicz
147 Cesar Jimenez
148 Mark McLemore
149 Connor Robertson
150 Phil Hughes
150a Phil Hughes RC
151 Matthew Brown
152 Ryan Feierabend
153 Brendan Ryan
154 Terry Evans
156 Eric Patterson
157 Darren Clarke
158 Kevin Melillo
159 Edwin Bellorin
160 Ubaldo Jimenez
161 Ryan Budde
162 Brian Buscher
163 Juan Guttierez
164 Franklin Morales
165 Carmen Pignatiello
166 Jair Jurrjens
167 Manny Acosta
168 Ian Stewart
169 Daniel Barone
170 Justin Upton
170a Justin Upton SP
171 Tommy Watkins
172 Ross Wolf
173 Jack Cassell
174 Asdrubal Cabrera
175 Mauro Zarate
176 Aaron Laffey
177 Marcus Gwyn
178 Danny Richar
179 Joel Hanrahan
180 Cameron Maybin
181 John Lannan
182 Shelly Duncan
183 Brandon Wood
184 Delwyn Young
185 Manny Parra
186 Ehren Wasserman
187 Jose A. Reyes
188 Jose Ascanio
189 Not on checklist
190 Alvin Colina
190a Joba Chamberlain SP
191 Yunel Escobar
192 Carlos Maldonado
193 Dan Myer
194 Scott Moore
195 Romulo Sanchez
196 Tom Shearn
197 Craig Stansberry
198 Not on checklist
199 Not on checklist
200 Not on checklist
201 Joba Chamberlain
202 John Nelson
203 Phil Dumatrait
204 Brandon Moss
205 Beltran Perez
206 Brew Anderson
207 Brett Campbell
208 Andy Cannizaro
209 Travis Chick
210 Francisco Cuerta
211 Jose Diaz
212 Jeff Fiorentino
213 Timothy Gradoville
214 Kevin Hooper
215 Philip Humber
216 Juan Lara
217 Mitch Maier
218 Juan Morillo
219 AJ Murray
220 Chris Narveson
221 Oswaldo Navarro

Debut Flashbacks
DF1 Vladimir Guerrero
DF2 Ken Griffey Jr.
DF3 Pedro Martinez
DF4 Carlos Delgado
DF5 Gary Sheffield
DF6 Curt Schilling
DF7 Jorge Posada
DF8 Miguel Tejada
DF9 Trevor Hoffman
DF10 Francisco Cordero
DF11 Travis Hafner
DF12 Paul LoDuca
DF13 Jimmy Rollins
DF14 Magglio Ordonez
DF15 Jim Edmonds

Dynamic Duos
DD1 Tim Lincecum/Nate Schierholtz
DD2 Joba Chamberlain/Phil Hughes
DD3 Ryan Braun/Yovani Gallardo
DD4 Kyle Kendrick/Michael Bourn
DD5 Delmon Young/Elijah Dukes
DD6 Hideki Okajima/Daisuke Matsuzaka
DD7 Justin Upton/Mark Reynolds
DD8 Eric Patterson/Felix Pie
DD9 Josh Hamilton/Homer Bailey
DD10 Ubaldo Jimenez/Troy Tulowitzki
DD11 Alex Gordon/Billy Butler
DD12 Delwyn Young/Andy LaRoche
DD13 Andrew Miller/Cameron Maybin
DD14 Joe Smith/Carlos Gomez
DD15 David Murphy/Jarrod Saltalamacchia

Trading Mania - Cincinnati Reds Cards

A while back I got an e-mail from Joe at Cincinnati Reds Cards. I helped him out with a couple of questions when he was starting off his blog and he wanted to send me these cards in appreciation:

2005 Studio Proof Tim Hudson Serial numbered 08/25

2004 Bazooka Adventure relic serial numbered 8/25

And an Autograph card of Ryan Klesko that can be found here.

Now those are some pretty damn nice gifts! I sent him this in appreciation:

Two Adam Dunn jersey cards from 2005 Upper Deck. I got both of these out of the same box oddly enough, and one of them is a gold version numbered to 100. The cards commemorate a game where Adam Dunn hit a grand slam in the 11th inning to lead the Reds to Victory. Against the Braves. *sob* I remember that game too, there was much throwing of objects and filthy language directed towards Roberto Hernandez's mother. Joe will appreciate these more than I and I couldn't bear to split up the pair.

Joe is a big fan of Austin Kearns so I also picked out this 2004 Leaf Jersey. I like how the stripe goes right through the O in OF.

Also included was this Aaron Boone autograph, and a few random reds hards I had lying around. You'll have to check Joe's site to see those.

One other thing Joe sent was an old ticket stub from a Braves vs. Mets game from April 27th, 1988. Let's pull up the box score and see who won...

Aaaarrrggghhh!!! Five runs in the ninth! Lousy stupid Mets. Still, what did I expect from a team that went 54-106. Hall of Famer Bruce Sutter got the hold in that game too, before Assenmacher ("The maker of asses" in German) got bombed by Keith Hernandez in the 9th. Still pretty cool, thanks Joe!

The 792: Gallery 325-342

A little later than I wanted, but here's the next edition of Ben Henry's The 792. Some nice stuff in here, and there will be more coming soon!

*** Thanks to reader Greg for providing a bunch of scans on this page! (this was a bad group for me)

325. Von Hayes, 1983
326. Mark Gubicza, 1987
327. Mark Lemke, 1989 (RC)
328. Twins Team, 1980
329. Kirby Puckett, 1986
330. Eric Davis, 1989
331. Alan Ashby, 1986
332. Lee Lacy, 1981
333. Willie Hernandez, 1985
334. Dave LaPoint, 1988
335. Willie McCovey, 1980 *
336. Mariners Leaders, 1984
337. Pete Rose NL AS, 1982 *
338. Bob Owchinko, 1983
339. Mike Schmidt NL AS, 1982 *
340. Cal Ripken, Jr, 1986
341. Dwayne Murphy, 1981 *
342A.+B. George Foster NL AS, 1982 *

I just noticed that Mark Lemke was a 27th round draft pick , was signed on June 27th and his rookie card is number 327.

* These scans provided by Greg
1-18 19-36 37-54 55-72 73-90 91-108 109-126 127-144 145-162
163-180 181-198 199-216 217-234 235-252 253-270 271-288 289-306
307-324 325-342 343-360 361-378 379-396 397-414 415-432 433-450
451-468 469-486 487-504 505-522 523-540 541-558 559-576 577-594
595-612 613-630 631-648 649-666 667-684 685-702 703-720 721-738
739-756 757-774 775-792

Monday, January 28, 2008

Card Of the Week 1/28/08

Last week's Card of the Week was a horrible New York Giants card, this week's is an awful New England Patriots card. Like the Tarkenton, it's from an oddball set. Like Fran himself, this quarterback went to multiple Super Bowls for a team other than the one on his card. And just like that beat up Topps Game card, this 1974 Wonder Bread Jim Plunkett card looks like absolute hell.

Plunkett's one of those great underrated quarterbacks everybody forgets about. Other QB's who led their teams to two or more Superbowl wins are venerated as Gods, but Plunkett is often an afterthought. Tom Brady has every paparazzi in the Western Hemisphere up his butt this week but Jim probably wouldn't get a second look from TMZ if he made love to Gisele Bündchen right on top of Bush's podium during the State of the Union address. I don't really understand it either, check out his stats and compare them to Hall of Fame über-Legend Joe Namath's and they compare very favorably. He's got one more ring than Joe too! Maybe he needs to hit on Suzy Kolber if he wants to get any love from the Hall of Fame voting committee. He'd probably have a better shot with Suzy than the voters but then again, Suzy looks like a much better kisser than Peter King or Len Pasquarelli. Dude's got a Heisman too, and he actually did something with it unlike many of this fellow winners.

Even if no one else reveres him, he was one of the first players I associated with "Super Bowl Winning Quarterback" so I've always been in awe of him even if his coaches weren't. How many times did this guy get benched anyway? Jim is a Patriot on this card as he was taken by them number one overall in 1971. He won the Rookie of the Year award that year but got killed by the Pats' terrible line and eventually lost his job to Steve Grogan. After a couple of lackluster seasons with the 49ers, he was cut and caught on with the Raiders as a backup. He didn't start until Raiders QB Dan Pastorini broke his leg in 1980. Jim took over the team, led Oakland to a Super Bowl championship, got benched for Marc Wilson, regained the job due to injury and led them to a Super Bowl win again. He's got more comebacks than Elvis. What's a guy gotta do to keep a starting job?

This Wonder Bread card is just beat to hell, but I love it. This is a great looking set with the bright border, bold team name and awesome photo of Jim looking bored and contemplating plunking the photographer with the ball if this photo shoot goes on any longer. The backs are cool too, with a large black & white photo of Jim showing how to throw the running pass. This card was pretty well loved (or hated as the case may be). It's slightly warped, there are creases all over the place and best of all, glue residue on the back. I don't often see cards with glue damage from the 70's. I could get a nice pristine copy of this card, but why? This one here has seen as much action as Jim.

Fastest Box Break Ever - Part 2 '52 Rookies

A couple of months ago I did a live box break on A Pack A Day, it's time for another one. Behold - the object of my ripping:

Once again there will be a contest. Check out A Pack A Day for full details.

Some good Hockey cards - '74-75 Topps Team Leaders

Since yesterday's post was needlessly depressing, here are a few old-school hockey cards that should brighten up your day.

These cards are from the 1974-1975 Topps set and are all Team Leader cards. The thing about Hockey leaders is that there are sow few quantifiable stats, that a lot of times the same guys lead in everything. As you can see here with the California Golden Seals card:

Goals leader, Joey Johnston. Assists leader, Joey Johnston. Points leader (points = goals + assists, so guess what), Joey Johnston. Scoring Percent leader, Walt McKechnie who I would bet money is actually Joey Johnston with a nose job.I don't quite understand why Topps chose those categories. Goals and assists, sure. Those are pretty much the only stats any casual fan knows about and even the assists one is somewhat obscure got people not familiar with hockey. Points and scoring % is kind of dumb though. They're likely to be the same people as the scoring and assists leaders. A better choice would have been penalty minutes and save percentage so you could at least get a picture of the goalie and a goon on the card. The layout person discovered this pretty quickly as you can see above and below.

Once again, we have one guy leading three of the categories while the fourth is led by a doppelganger. Punch Rene Robert in the face a couple of times and he's the spitting image of Richard Martin. You will notice that the harried soul in the art department didn't just cop out and use the same mugshot on all the photos though. Oh no, that would be lazy and unprofessional. It looks like they got the guy in a three for a quarter photo booth on both cards. Johnston seems a bit bewildered by it all while Martin has a little fun with it. Pretty much all the leaders cards are like this and to their credit they seem to have gotten different photos on all the ones I've seen. The leaders cards do capture the spirit of the franchise in many cases.

This is why people hate the Rangers. The rest of the set is mullettactic and these goobers have perfect hair. Plus Brad Park is apparently making bedroom eyes at the photographer's assistant. This card is creeping me out, lets get to the polar opposite of this card.

Oh dear God. No perfect hair here. At least Dave Schultz doesn't look anything like Bobby Clarke. Then again, I don't think anyone quite looks like Bobby Clarke. Clarke takes a photo on his good side, then tries one from the front which was a big mistake, and then goes back to his good side and leans over a bit for variety. Dave Schultz is wondering how the hell Brad Park made it worth that hot assistant.

These leader cards is one of the reasons why the '74-'75 set is one of my all time favorites. It's goofy, it's kinda cheap looking, but it's interesting. A hell of a lot more interesting than 762 cards that all look alike.

Sunday, January 27, 2008

Not Going

I thought about it a long time, but I'm skipping the NHL Fan Fest Card Show today. I just don't have the interest in the new cards. I used to really love hockey, but the lockout really turned me off on the sport. After following the Thrashers build a team over 5 years, I got to watch the 6th year where they were supposed to contend get wasted for nothing. My favorite player is now with another team. A sport I used to watch at least twice a week is now impossible to find on television. If this show was here a couple of years ago when it was originally supposed to happen, I would have been there without hesitation. I just can't get motivated to go to this thing now.

Other than some ads on 790 the Zone, there's been no promotion for it at all. This is the only site I can find with any information on the show, and it doesn't even have ticket prices. Even if it's free (which I doubt because why wouldn't it be advertised as such) gas and parking to go downtown to see it will be at least 15 bucks. Then to get any promo cards I'll have to drop another 30 on packs I don't really want. What's the point? They'll be on eBay in the next week anyway. It's sad because this is pretty much the end of my hockey collecting. New stuff at least, I'll never be able to resist old Topps and O-Pee-Chee cards before they went from cardboard to whatever it is they print them on nowadays and got cluttered up with foil and crap. Upper Deck's the only player in the market now anyway. If I had unlimited money and unlimited time, I'd be there. I don't. Nobody has. And quite frankly, the NHL has done nothing over the past five years to deserve my money and time.

That doesn't mean I won't look at other people's cards though, and in last night's Hockey Love post, I didn't realize new A Pack A Dayer Chuck had his own blog. The Ball and Puck Club features articles on Baseball and Hockey cards and Chuck also cracked open a box of Updates & Highlights today on A Pack A Day. Check it out and look for it over on the sidebar.

Hockey Love

The pager's blowing up and it's looking like it will be a long night.

If there are any other insomniacs out there, Here's a cool Hockey card site I found recently. Puck Junk is a cool mix of new, old and somewhere in between Hockey cards. While I cringe at some of the early nineties crap (Why aren't my Lindros Rookies worth hundreds, dammit?!) gems like this Bobby Orr card are freakin' sweet. I'm impressed by anyone who completes a vintage set like that especially when they don't mind a dinged corner or two. Plus they have their own Card of the Week in a convenient clickable thumbnail format that I may have to appropriate.

Also on a hockey note, there's a new contributor over at A Pack A Day (who I've already hazed, hi Chuck!) and he's taking votes for what pack he will open first on the site. My choice is obviously for the old-school O-Pee-Chee since that's what hockey cards are all about. However, another reader wants to have him open a 2000 Upper Deck Gold Reserve pack. What the - Gold Reserve? Come on now... You don't want to see Gold Reserve opened do you? Go and vote!

Saturday, January 26, 2008

Sticky Saturday

A package came in the mail today from Fleerfan, the proprietor (appropriately enough) of The Fleer Sticker Project. His blog is absolutely fantastic for anyone who loves Fleer stickers, logos in general or just plain oddball weirdness. Click on that link. Do it now. Now I say! I will guarantee that if you go there you will see something you have never ever seen before. Like this. Or this. Or even this. If you've seen those before, then you're a better collector than I.

Fleerfan is apparently a fan of this blog as well, and offered to send me some Braves logo stickers. I didn't have any stickers he needed in return, but from now on if Fleerfan needs anything - move a couch, hide a body, a pack of Fleer - he knows where to come. The package came today and its... it's beautiful. I'm a bit of a logo freak and seeing all these cool old fleer stickers just made my day. Instead of blogging one huge dial-up killing post on these stickers I'm going to spread them out so they can be savored. Saturdays from now on will be Sticky Saturdays and will feature one sticker from Fleerfan's stash. There's enough in there to last until the All Star Game at least! Here's the first one:

I've never had one of these stickers before and I have no idea what year it's from but it kicks ass. It's a cloth sticker that feels kind of like the 1977 Topps sticker cards. The two-tone Braves logo screams '70s and this is bringing back good childhood memories even though I never had one of these as a child. This sticker is in Fleerfan's blog title image, so I'm sure he will illuminate us on exactly what this thing is soon. Thanks again for the stickers!

Friday, January 25, 2008

Pure Genius

I hate the Mets, but I love this video.

The 1986 World Series Game 6 recreated on Nintendo R.B.I. Baseball.

Enjoy, unless you are a Red Sox fan.

The Allen Ginter Project : Card #26 N18 Parasol Drill

I just got this one in the mail today, so I'm posting it now before it ends up being put off forever like the rest of my Allen & Ginters. Unfortunately my really cool pickup from DavidBVintage gets pushed back, but I'll save it for Monday when people are actually reading. This card is by far the weirdest concept out of all the Allen & Ginter sets, and I'm including "World's Dudes" in this. See for yourself.

Ok, this looks like a perfectly normal 19th century card of a pretty girl. Flowery hat, brightly colored dress, up to her elbows in gloves, whale bones squashing her innards to make her look slim and cause her bust to poke out, we can't actually see it but I'm sure she has one of those old timey butt buttresses with the big bow on it to make her ass look like it's the size of a Buick as was the fashion at the time, and she's carrying a parasol. Nothing abnormal about that. She looks like she belongs in the chalk-drawing scene from Mary Poppins.

It's embarrassing to admit it, but I watched the hell out of that movie when I was a kid. One time I even balked at going to little league practice because it was on tv. That's probably why I'm writing about old cards now instead of playing third base in the majors. I just like musicals I guess, I remember one time I sat down and watched My Fair Lady with my wife like I used to do with my mom when I was little. Eliza Doolittle, Professor Henry Higgins, Julie Andrews singing "The Raayyian in Spaiiaean stooays Maiiaanly on tha Plaiyians" and young and beautiful Audrey Hepburn ending up with old and crusty Rex Harrison at the end. My wife looked at me afterwards and said those three little words... "Are you gay?!?" Hey, I was raised by a single mother, these things happen. I ended up watching a lot of Murphy Brown and Designing Women as well. Now I have firmly established that I am weird, but I haven't shown why this card set is weird. Here, check out the back and take a look at the checklist.

The name of this card is "Eyes Right". That's not so strange, she's looking to her right. But what about the rest of the cards? "Attention", "Right Shoulder Arms", "Forward March", "Halt" "Ready", "Aim", "Fire"? What the heck? Cards of pretty girls all with names of various military parade terms? That's pretty funny. The concept works well too, check out the complete set here courtesy of Dan C. of the Vintage Non-Sports Chat board. The look on the face of the girl on the "Direct Fire" card is pretty amusing. She's apparently getting the wolf whistle from some dirty old men. As I've said many times the Allen & Ginter fonts fascinate me and the combination of the flowery pretty girls and the bold no nonsense all-caps font for the title really stands out to me. It adds a macho edge to a frilly flowery girly set. That way Victorian manly men who collected this set for the pretty dresses could play it off like they were interested in the military stuff instead. Just like I can play off my love of musicals my pointing out that there are manly musicals too.

I got this one from eBayer geminibazaar who is another seller claiming that it is from a set owned by their grandfather. I don't buy a lot of these stories about grandfathers and old trunks in the attic, but the seller had speedy, well packaged shipping so who cares. A word of warning to anyone thinking about getting their own A&G card from them, they are Paypal only. I didn't realize that when I bid and I hate, hate, HATE Paypal. It worked out in the end but I still feel dirty for using Paypal. Did I mention I hate Paypal? I like the card and the seller though. I'm in the home stretch now, only 8 cards to go for the set. Of course I've got ten more write ups to do on the cards I already have. Which will I finish first? The set or the write ups? Stay tuned and find out! In the meantime here's a manly man musical about baseball for ya to watch. I know you like baseball....

Ruminations on Rookie cards - part 1

This post from Awesomely Bad Wax Packs got me thinking about the rookie card craziness that is one of the foundations of the hobby. I've been collecting long enough that I lived through the whole rookie card boom that has in some ways greatly helped the hobby and in others has sort of derailed it. I never threw anything away that had anything to do with cards when I was a kid, so I still have a copy of this old Baseball Cards magazine.

Rookie card mania!

This is one of the oldest card magazines I have, but the couple I have that are older don't talk about rookie cards all that much. They were much more focused on stars, new sets and obscure oddball sets and variations. In 1986 though, when this magazine came out, It started to be nothing but rookies, rookies rookies for a while. You can see some of the cards that really jump started the whole rookie card obsession on the cover. The '69 Reggie was one of the first cards I can remember people going berzerk over. In that old price guide from 1982 I posted about a while back, the price of a Reggie Jackson rookie card was eleven dollars, which was one of the highest prices for a card in the set (Willie Mays was only six dollars) but still in line for a superstar like Reggie. The price of his second year card was three dollars, so a rookie card premium wasn't unknown back in '82. However, if you look at the price guide in this magazine you'll see that Reggie's card jumped to 64 dollars. So almost a 600 percent increase in 4 years. How'd this happen?

The magazine has a great article by Bob Lemke that takes a close look at the rookie card craze as it was happening. It's a neat look at the hobby as it existed at the time, with a focus on investors, brands, even regional issues that are all but forgotten today. He sums up the craze quite succinctly in the first few paragraphs though:

... the term "rookie card" was virtually unheard of in the hobby before 1982. Essentially, the entire rookie card phenomenon began as nothing more than dealer hype - a way to sell more new baseball cards than ever before at unprecedented prices.

Can't argue with that. That's kind of the business model of card manufacturers today. Topps, Upper Deck, Donruss and all the rest are constantly searching for ways to add perceived "value" to their cards to move more product and justify charging hundreds of dollars for a small metal tin filled with a tiny amount of cardboard.

Up next in part two, the economics behind the rookie card craze.

Willy Wonka's Gonna Sue

Via Dave and Adam's blog, Upper Deck is inserting "Golden Tickets" into upcoming basketball products that will allow the bearer to tour the chocolate factory view the pack out of the 2007-2008 Exquisite product. Charlie Bucket ain't going to this one though because the tickets will be inserted into high-dollar stuff like Upper Deck Premier and UD Black. Charlie can't buy one of them with that ten dollar bill he found in the snow. (he might be able to pick up the "big hit" from one of those packs off of eBay with it though) If you win, you get to see how Upper Deck put the packs together and you'll have five minutes to create your very own pack of Exquisite. I'm guessing the triple autograph 1/1 LeBron James, Michael Jordan and Jesus of Nazareth will be well hidden. It's just as well I would never have a shot at pulling one of these tickets, I'd go all Augustus Gloop and dive into the big pile of relics and start swimming around.

Willy Wonka sez:

"Quit stealing my schtick you bastards! Trading cards are supposed to be for kids anyway! If I charged 300 bucks for a lousy chocolate bar my company wouldn't last very long would it? YOU BIG DUMMIES!"

Another contest

Andy runs a regular giveaway on his 88 Topps Blog, this week he's got something extra cool. He's giving away an entire set of 1988 Topps Gallery of Champions metal cards. Now that is not something you see everyday. To enter the contest go here and follow the instructions. You'll need to answer 5 questions about his advertisers (sneaky Andy!) and guess a random number from Steve Bedrosian's baseball-reference page. I've already entered, so go enter yourself into the drawing and screw up my odds of winning. Oh wait... maybe I didn't think this thing through as much as I should. Ahh, go ahead. There are no Braves in that set anyway. Check out the site while you're there, it's nifty seeing the '88 set broken down card by card.

Update: There's a certain question that asks for the name of a website on a Google ad. Unfortunately Google ads are painfully random and don't seem to want to come up all the time. I'm going to me nice and let you in on the answer... it can be found here. However, by clicking on that link you have to promise that you'll click on three other ads on Andy's site. Okay? Good luck to everyone, even though I've already guessed the correct number!

Thursday, January 24, 2008

Wax Heaven O Face

Mario at Wax Heaven has a contest going asking people to send in a scan of their card with the best "O" face. Mario has MaggliO and Steve from White Sox Cards has his Own submission with Boone LOgan. The entries are piling up, so I figured I had to make a game plan if I wanted to win. I first decided to suck up to the judge by finding some CansecO cards. Here's the three stages of CansecO's O face.

Stage 1: "O"akland A's, Two at the same time



Stage Two: Texas Rangers, All dressed up and no place to g"O"


Stage Three: Chicago White Sox, Clinging on by his fingernails with ED and n"O" Viagra

O nO

Then I thought why try to sway the judge when I can try to sway his wife. Here's a Jeter "O" for the Infamous Tatiana:

"O" baby...

That all got screwed up though when I found this jewel while looking for more Cansecos to bribe Mario with:

Michael J "O" rdan

"O" my l"O"rd, I'm g"O"ing to be sick
Even the back has an "O" face, two actually.

Now that's a lotta Os. Kevin would be proud of all the Os. I don't even know if basketball cards count, but that's the nastiest, ugliest O face card I've ever seen. Go ahead and submit one better if you dare, but I doubt anyone can beat His Airness.