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

Monday, March 31, 2008

Thoughts on the Opening Game Broadcast.

I didn't live blog it, but I did take notes to share for posterity. It's my life, I'll waste it how I please.

George Will? Ok, we get it. It's an election year. Thanks ESPN, I never would have noticed if not for you.
National Anthem - Wow, what a voice. I wasn't expecting that.
First Pitch - They're all really saying Boooo-ush.

First inning:
First pitch - strike. First batter - strikeout. 1-2-3 for the Nats n the first.
The Braves really need to work on their fielding apparently. ugh.
The exact moment when I hit the mute button on the ESPN broadcast and turned on Pete and Chip on the radio: Bottom of the first, third batter.
Argh. Kearns with the RBI. Joe's gonna be frisky today.

Second Inning:
Jeez, it's the Austin Kearns show tonight. Nails McCann trying for the double. McCann funs about as fast as me...
1-2-3 inning for Hudson, who is back in the groove.
Oh, ESPN? I little hint for you:

Third inning:
Kearns is everywhere!
ARGH caught stealing. What was Earl Weaver saying about goddamn little fleas on the basepaths...
The exact moment when I turned off the TV completely: Top of the third, second batter.
Woot! Escobar with the 360 spin move! another 1-2-3 inning.

Fourth Inning:
Ok, non stop Bush or no, I'm turning on the TV for Chipper's at bat...
ok, tv's right back off...
Ok, why the hell is Teddy Roosevelt made to look like an ass during every president race? That franchise will never have a winning season until they start respecting the T.R. Ya hear that Nationals, I curse Thee, vile blasphemers!
Some more nice D for the bravos - Huddy's on a roll.

Fifth inning:
Ok, it looks like it's safe to watch the game on TV again since they are actually pointing the cameras at the field mostly.
Boot, Bunt, and..... nothing.
ESPN recycles their Presidential first pitch graphic again.
OK, the speedy rat commercial is strange enough, but it's REALLY strange without sound. Anyone else notice the rat humping the guy's leg?
13 straight outs for Hudson!

Sixth Inning:
Peter Gammons wants to make sweet, sweet love to Chipper by the fire.
Hey, a Willie Harris sighting!
Aaaaand Peter jinxed Chipper with his premature Hall of Fame induction ceremony. Dammit.
Sixth inning and I can already tell it's going to be one of those games... Brilliant pitching, hard-luck 1 run loss. I've seen this too many times.

Seventh inning:
Yep, everyone's forgotten how to hit - Diaz is aiming for the fences.
While the radio broadcasts "Take Me Out To The Ballgame", ESPN shows a Pharma and Jack Daniels commercial.
19 straight for Huddy - He's in the zone

Eighth inning:
Burger King!
ARGH can someone please get Tim off the hook?!?
Ohman in the game, does his LOOGY work and gets out.
Moylan looks good in set up duty.

Ninth Inning:
Ok, somone PLEASE get Tim off the hook!!!
CHIPPER TOTALLY ROBBED. Rauch didn't even see that ball coming at him.
Tex misses a homer by a foot! Double for Teixeira.
Prado runs for Tex? Who's gonna play 1st base in the bottom of the inning?
Frenchy advances the runner. Last chance people...
Big Mac does nothin'.
Moylan back in for the Braves. Prado playing first?
Moylan mows 'em down.
Milledge gets his uniform dirty.
Invader Zim...
Ends it.

At least the Aqua Teen Hunger Force Movie was on after the game.

Sunday, March 30, 2008

Something to cheer me up

The game didn't go the way I hoped, but a friend forwarded this awesome collection of Al Jaffee Fold-Ins from Mad Magazine and I was really cheered up by it. Theres a sports related section in there (including one about sports collectibles!) so I can legitimately post it here. It's from the New York Times and their registration can be flaky so use bugmenot if you have problems.

My favorites? Probably April '69 and March '90, but also take special note of October '65. Ahh, the good ol' days.


Ryan Zimmerman ruins us with a walk off after LoDookie's passed ball ties it up in the ninth. Argh.

Since I'm an angry white boy tormented by Zimmerman, Here's some Invader Zim clips set to Angry White Boy Polka by Weird Al Yankovic.

Curse you, Poop Dawg! Curse yoooooooooooou!


Wooooooooo! It's Heeeeeeeeere! The real one, not the marketing gimmick! Of course if the Braves weren't playing, Tomorrow in Cincinnatti would be the real one, but this one counts this year. Screw blogging, I'm watching the game.

(check out the snazzy alternate unis on the Bravos, awwww yeaaaah)

Stuff I Bought Chasing Around Looking for Free Trading Cards

OK, I'm still not ripping the free National Trading Card Day card packs (yet, at least) but here's some of the stuff I ended up buying looking for my 'free' baseball cards.

Here's the Hobby shop swag. They didn't have the cards, but I was going to go here anyway. The prize of the entire trip is right here:

The complete oversaturation of jersey cards in the marketplace alled me to pick up a Campy Jersey card for five bucks. Great for me, sad for the Hobby. Can you imagine what this card would go for in the late 90's?

I picked up a pack of this mess so I could get my Trading Card History card of the week. They gave me Josh Beckett, who I already had. D'oh! It wasn't a complete waste as I got maybe the last Andrew card in a Braves uni out of the otherwise awful pack. Compare it to his Topps base cards and see if you can spot the difference!

I also got a pile of cheep Braves. This is my favorite out of the bunch. I really like this '96 Bowman's Best insert set, and I didn't have the Chipper refractor. At least I don't think I do....

Other than that, just some supplies. Now off to Toys R Us.

They had the SuperStar Packs that Chris writes about, but I didn't know what was in them so I chickened out and got a couple of packs instead. The pack of Heritage only netted me a couple of base cards I needed, but the Upper Deck pack had this:

A StarQuest Ultra Rare goldish looking refractor card. Of course, it's retail Upper Deck so Ultra Rare is a misnomer, but hey, it's a nice card. There's a scratch off game on the back, but it's only for kids under 18. Unfortunately they insist in chronological age, not mental for eligability. Here's the impulse buy I talked about in my last post.

Ok, McFarlane figures are hard to scan. Trust me it looks great in person. You can see some decent pictures of it here and here to get the full effect until I get a decent camera.

I also got this scratch off thingy, which I'll probably scratch off sometime tonight. I'm wavering on not opening the packs, so you might get a post showing them off soon.

Saturday, March 29, 2008

Sticky Saturday - Aw Jeez, I Almost Forgot Edition

Sorry guys, if I hadn't gotten woken up by a call, I would have blown off the stickers today. My sleep deprivation is your gain, 'cause today (tonight) we have a nice sticker for Opening day, a Braves sticker from 1989 Fleer.

Awww yeah. Check out the bunting. Ya got bunting front and back. The team on the fronts and backs actually match too, not something you always got with Fleer stickers. The bats design make the sticker look like a major award or something. The only award the Braves deserved from 1988 was "Worst team ever that still wasn't the absolute worst team in the league that year". Seriously, the Braves went 54-106, one of the worst records of all time, and the stinkin' Orioles managed to go 54-107 just to screw us. That's just totally not fair. We coulda lost two more games if given the chance and gone 54-108. Stupid rainouts.

How about that National League Western Division label, eh? All you noobs out there who were born after Bobby Cox started his second stint as manager of the Braves are likely perplexed by this. What the heck are the Braves doing in the Western division? That's what all us old-timers wondered too... The Braves just kinda got put out there in the west, along with the Reds, while the Cubs and Cards were in the in the Eastern division. No real rhyme or reason for it either, Cincinnati and Atlanta got stuck with the West coast road trips from 1969 to 1993, and I missed out on hating the Mets for twenty years of my life. Oh sure, I enjoyed hating the Dodgers and that fat bastard Lasorda all through the '80s, but it was never the burning loathing seething Mets rage of hate that I love so much. Oh, I am so ready for opening day, can you tell?

And check out the tons and tons of factoids! Stadium capacity! First game! (we lost) Longest game! (we lost) Milwaukee never had a losing season! (rub it in, whydoncha) Atlanta's never been to a World Series! (just you wait!!!) The retired numbers threw me for a loop, I've had it etched into my brain that we have retired 5 Braves uniform numbers, and it took me a while to realize why there was only 4 listed on the card. That's 'cause Murphy was still wearing his Braves uniform! Feeling really old now...

This is a pretty dang good sticker set from an really good Fleer set. If you can't track down the many varieties of Billy Ripken's bat handle, you might want to collect this sticker set instead. It's good looking, full of interesting outdated historical tidbits and even the mini logo sticker cards finally dumped the team name stripes and gave you 4 logo stickers per card. Murph agrees that you should stick to the G-Rated Ripken and collect this wholesome sticker set instead.

Well now I kinda feel like a dick

National Trading card Day has come and gone. Joe got screwed, so did Chris. Mark got his though (epic new banner, by the way) and so did Mario. Not sure about Jason though, who is the one who reminded me about the promo in the first place.

Reasons why I feel like a tool tonight: First I didn't know until way after the fact that there was a list of participating locations, at least among hobby shops. If I had known that the only hobby store in Georgia that had the packs was Northlake Stamp and Coin, I could have gone there and skipped the two trips I made to confused hobby shops and the local Toys R Us. They weren't too coordinated either from what I hear from my fellow bloggers, Joe was 0 for 4 with Utah locations and Chris found one who didn't know about it and one who knew about it and never got their shipment. The packs were supposedly given out at games today too, I don't have any confirmation on that though. While others looked everywhere for free cards that never came, the guy who complained about how screwed up the promotion was ended up getting the jackpot.

So I hit the hobby shop and they know nothing about it. No biggie, I got some cool stuff I'll show off tomorrow after I get some sleep. Afterwards I headed over to the Toys R Us to see if they had the packs. I get there and there's a big Opening Day display up front with baseball equipment, various baseball related paraphernalia (did you know they still sold the mini helmet standings board?) and yes, trading cards. I found the Superstar pack from Upper Deck that was listed in that ad I showed you yesterday and it was basically a little box with 75 cards in it and a three card star pack. There was no mention of inserts so I assume it's just base cards. Even with a Teixeira possible in the star pack I passed. There were a few blasters there but I opted for a pack of UD and Heritage instead. An employee told me about the free trading card day, so this store was prepared at least. On the way out of the store something cool caught my eye, so Toys R Us and McFarlane toys were able to get a 10 dollar impulse buy out of me thanks to Trading card day.

So here's the part where I really feel like a dick. I get up to the register and when I'm checking out, the cashier goes back to customer service and gets me not one, but three packs of the free cards. That's right, three. One of each rookie too, so I got a complete set out of the deal. Shaweet. Then I get home and see that my fellow card-addicted brethren ended up driving all over town for no cards. Even more dickishly of me is that I'm not going to open the packs to show them off. I've saved unopened promotional sets since the Wrapper Redemption sets from the mid nineties so these are staying unopened too. Sorry. I registered for a free pack online, so if one arrives rest assured it will be ripped and shared on this blog. That was my National Trading card day, I got a complete set, some cool stuff that I'll show off once I feel like scanning it tomorrow and I got to watch a couple of games to boot. Anyone else out there get (or not get) your free cards?

Friday, March 28, 2008

National Baseball Card Day Thingy

I almost forgot about this... Tomorrow is National Baseball Card Day. Basically if you go to a hobby shop tomorrow you get a free pack of cards. Each pack will have 5 Topps cards, 5 Upper Deck cards and 2 out of 6 rookies, so you can't get a complete set. It's National Baseball Card Day instead of National Trading Card Day most likely to squeeze Donruss, Press Pass and the rest out of the promotion.

If you can call it a promotion, I haven't seen much publicized about it before this week. Noting at the cards shops, not much online. The official link on The Brill Report didn't even work 'till yesterday. Good promotion, guys. The packs will also be given out at Ballparks for Opening Day (good) and at Toys R Us (huh?). Considering these promo packs were originally meant to bring traffic to hobby stores (and were a rip off of the wildly successful Free Comic Book Day), That's a surprising move. Of course with the crappy sets they've been marketing to kids lately, maybe the hobby needs all the promotion it can get. Toys R Us is doing their part at least, this ad came in the mail yesterday:

Woo hoo! Super Star Packs. Whatever those are. Topps couldn't even be arsed to put together their own pack though. No mention of the free cards though. Did they come up with this thing at the last minute or something? I really shouldn't complain about free cards, but anyone who remembers the hobby store events and monster packs of swag that was given away a few years ago would be disappointed in this stealth holiday. It just seems that the manufacturers this year are putting about 10% effort into everything. Really, it's not that hard to put together a decent promotion and actually promote the thing. They did it just a couple of years ago. Here's the checklist for those who need more prompting to go pick a pack up after my glowing review.

Ryan Howard
David Wright
David Ortiz
Alex Rodriguez
Vladimir Guerrero
Joey Votto (1:3)
Clay Buchholz (1:3)
Daric Barton (1:3)

Upper Deck:
Prince Fielder
Albert Pujols
Derek Jeter
Ken Griffey Jr
Ian Kennedy (1:3)
Luke Hochevar (1:3)
Chin Lung Hu (1:3)

I don't remember where I read it, but I saw somewhere that the promotion was discontinued a couple of years ago due to dealers putting the packs up on eBay. Heh.

Baseball Card Tournament: Second Round - West Regional

First round's over, time for these cards to prove they belong in the Sweet Sixteen. Make sure you vote for the best cards, you will decide which ones make it to the Finals.

Note - I'm too wiped out to finish the post but I'm going to post it anyway so people can vote. I don't want this tourney lasting till May. Updates are in italics.

West Region

#1 1955 Harry Agganis
This is one of the first vintage cards in my collection. It's also one of the most egregiously abused.
I got this card when I was about 8 or 9. My mom used to go to an antiques place off I-85 in Norcross looking for furniture and she's bring me along sometimes. There were a couple of dealers there who sold cards and I'd get a couple when we went. One guy was selling this card and boy, did he sell it. I got the full life story of the great Harry Agganis, how he was a college marvel at Boston University, he signed to play baseball with his hometown team and was tragically taken in the prime of life... Long story short he sold me this beat to hell card for probably 3 times what it was worth in the condition it was in. I don't think I minded though because it was an old card with an amazing story and it was a rookie card, back when that was an exotic term. Not only is this a rookie card it's an only card, as Harry fell ill in the middle of his second season with the Sox and died of a pulmonary embolism. Thousands of Bostonians attended the Golden Greek's wake and Boston University's arena is named in his honor.
#8 1988 Score Reggie Jackson Tribute
Reggie in an Orioles uniform? Can you imagine the conversations with Weaver?

#5 2007 Bowman Chrome Draft Yunel Escobar Refractor
Watching Yunel in Spring Training is giving me Rafael Furcal flashbacks. Oh yes, this is a good thing. A very, very good thing.

#4 1995 Score Don Mattingly Platinum Team Set
This is my second-favorite Score set and it kills me that it's totally ignored. I got this redemption-only parallel card out of a dollar grab bag. No respect. No respect at all.
I really like the '95 Score set although it's not very well regarded nowadays. I think it's the most attractive design of all the Score sets, the beige and green just work for me. The set had a foil parallel that was typical of the time, but Score threw in a twist. the also inserted a coupon that would allow a collector to trade in a set of the foil cards for this Platinum team set. Now you could only redeem the set if you had the coupon and a complete team set. so who knows how many of these actually hit the streets. I've only actually seen a couple of these card and never a set, so I was really surprised to find this as a throw in to a grab bag. It's a star too, not some scrub. Ok, so it's kind of obnoxious looking. It's an obnoxiously rare Mattingly card, that's worth more than a throw in, right?

#11 2006 Upper Deck All Time Legends Jimmie Foxx
X is the first
Of two x's in Foxx
Who was right behind Ruth
With his powerful soxx.Ogden Nash
#14 1980-1981 Topps Rudy Tomjonovich, Eddie Johnson and Doug Collins
The other half of the triple card bracket features Eddie Johnson in a coach sandwich. I bought a vendor's box of this stuff for 7 bucks back in the 80's. I got a complete set out of it, too bad it's a separated complete set.

#10 1993 Upper Deck Robin Yount Glow Stars
What a beautiful, beautiful mess this card is. Back when companies actually put some effort into the cards they marketed towards kids.
#2 2002 Fleer Greats of the Game Tony Oliva Autograph
Tony was one of the absolute best hitters of his time, but since he hasn't made the Hall yet no one knows who he is anymore. Thank goodness for ignorant collectors chasing rookie 'graphs looking for the 'next big thing' that allow me to pick up an auto like this for 5 bucks.

Baseball Card Tournament: Second Round - Midwest Regional

First round's over, time for these cards to prove they belong in the Sweet Sixteen. Make sure you vote for the best cards, you will decide which ones make it to the Finals.

Note - I'm too wiped to finish the post but I'm going to post it anyway so people can vote. I don't want this tourney lasting till May. Updates are in italics.

Midwest Region

#1 2006 Bowman Chrome Cory Rasmus Auto Refractor
This is one of the cards that I got in that big trade with Chris Harris that I haven't gotten around to writing about yet. Cory missed last year with shoulder problems, but he should be back this year and it's a freaking refractor auto. Even if he bombs it shore is purdy.

#8 2007 Turkey Red Jimmy Rollins
A great looking painting, an amazing action scene, an all around wonderful card, and all I can see is the Turkey Hill ad on the wall. What, no love for Wawa?

#5 2003 Topps Fan Favorites Monte Irvin No Sig Variation
Monte Irvin is one of my favorites and this not-scarce variation card eluded me for years. (Thanks, Andy)
#12 2006 Grandstand Southern League Joey Votto
Another neat card from a reader in Alabama. The set this came in is freakin' loaded, I chose Votto for the cool Chattanooga Lookouts logo.

#11 1961 Topps Danny Kravitz
Venkman: Nimble little minx, isn't she?
Spengler: We're gonna go full stream.
Stantz: Aim for the flattop!

#3 1981 Donruss Yogi Berra
Yogi! Everybody loves Yogi. Plus this card has a special seecrit power.....

#7 1995 Gil Elvgren Prototype Fire Bell
I really really like this card, can ya tell? Anyone know where I can find a set of this stuff?
#2 2008 Topps Heritage Eddie Mathews Relic
I didn't even know Eddie was in the set, let alone had a relic card. The fact that Don Newcombe gets a mention is an even more pleasant surprise.


I'm sick as a dog folks but I'm here blogging away anyway! I do it out of the dedication to my readers and since I woke up and can't get back to sleep anyway and there's nothin' on TV but Oprah and my crippling internet addiction doesn't hurt either.

The second round of the Tourney is going to continue although I may need to half-ass the other two brackets to get them up tonight. Go vote for the ones that are up in the meantime.

Don't worry Braves fans, our bench woes are over! We just picked up Ruben Gotay off waivers from teh evil Mets! Take that Mets! We wrested your unneeded castoff away from you and .. actually took you off the hook for most of his salary if I'm not mistaken.... um. Dammit Frank!

UPDATE: Scott Thorman cleared waivers and will be playing in Richmond this year where he belongs. I have no idea who is backing up Tex now.

On a happy Jolly WHEEE! note, (whoa, the medication must be kicking in) Blue Heaven has some totally cool oddball pinup cards posted on the blog. Check out SuperMaury and don't forget to gawk at the rest of the set. Johnny Roseboro's my favorite, while Patricia and Lucy would be fond of either Davis.

My medication is either supposed to wipe me out or get me wired so this may be the last post or maybe the first of about 20 posts tonight. If I do zonk out on ya, kill some time until I return by playing some Curling. Did you know they used bombs in Curling? I wonder why that strategy was never used in the Olympic matches I watched a couple years ago.

Thursday, March 27, 2008

Baseball Card Tournament: Second Round -East Regional

First round's over, time for these cards to prove they belong in the Sweet Sixteen. Make sure you vote for the best cards, you will decide which ones make it to the Finals.

East Regional


#16 1972 Topps Checklist
Whoever filled out this checklist was very similar to myself - meticulously filling in the squares completely, messing up on a couple and putting a little scribble next to the name to note the goof and having mostly lousy cards. The guy even had the Chris Chambliss rookie card.
Seriously guys, you're killing me. The reason this was a #16 seed was that I had nothing to say about it and I thought it would get beat by the Jeter card. Of course I'm the one who went on a rant condemning Moments and Milestones, so I guess I made this bed. I do know one thing from looking at this checklist, if you ever get a chance to open a 1972 Topps second series pack, don't bother. There's nothin' good on this checklist. Orlando Cepeda is the big star in the series, the rookies include Charlie Hough, Darrell Porter, Dave Kingman and the aforementioned Chambliss and the best card by far is a World Series subset card with Clemente. Trust me, I know we all love to rip wax, but stay away from '72 second series.
#8 2002 Topps American Pie Statue of Liberty
This is one of the nicer non-sports cards in the now utterly forgotten American Pie sets.
I bought a bunch of American Pie when it came out and I really wish I could go back and trade every five packs I bought for one pack of Heritage. It's a nice set, good player selection, some interesting non-sports items and an odd but appealing design, but it doesn't do much for me today. I pulled one of the JFK Berlin Wall cards and the wall dust has now worked its way in between the two halves of the card and can't be seen. The whole thing is kind of a Baby Boomer love fest, I wonder in 10 years if us GenXers will get our own 80's themed retro/entertainment card set. Full of New Kids on the Block and Gordon Gecko and Ollie North... Oh my God, that sounds horrible. Forget I said anything.


#5 2007-2008 Topps Chrome Larry Bird
Larry Bird absolutely ruined my Hawks on many occasions, but for some reason the thing I most associate with him is an episode of Night Court where Judge Stone heaves a basketball at the end of the show and says "Thank God for Larry Bird!"
For some reason I fell in love with the 2007-2008 Topps Basketball set and got pretty close to a complete set. Unfortunately, Basketball cards are dead this year and no one seems to have commons. Blasters are 25% off at Target though, thankfully I haven't been tempted by them yet. As much as I love the main set, I completely ignored the Chrome. It doesn't look nearly as good to me as they used silver borders instead of black. I found this card in a dollar grab bag though and decided it was worth it. Larry Legend on a chrome '58 design (that wasn't in the base set) was too good to pass up. There was a Bob Cousy base card on the other side of the pack too which really sealed the deal. Gotta have my retro.
#4 1978 Topps Carl Yastrzemski
Yaz? Yaz. Yaz?? Yaz... Yaz!
Battle for Boston right here... Who wins, Bird or Yaz? Bird has the rings, but baseball seems to be king around these parts. I really like the '78 set for a lot of reasons. The simple design, the game on the back, a pretty good player selection, it's a pretty kick-ass set. This card here was traded for a spare Bob Horner rookie card back when Bob was still slugging homers in Fulton County. Considering I can get Horner rookies for a song nowadays, I think I did pretty well.


#6 2005 Upper Deck Origins Travis Hafner Old Judge
It amazes me how Pronk always manages to look Pronky on his cards. One of these days I am going to find a cheap set of UD Origins on eBay, pull out a sharp pair of scissors, and cut off all those ugly green borders so the set can be enjoyed the way it was supposed to be.
This set was the catalyst for my anti-Upper Deck feelings a couple of years ago. I've never been a huge fan of the company, the cards were too expensive and we now know in retrospect horribly overproduced. I still collected 'em though but in the mid-nineties, my card buying habits had to change. There were more and more super premium products out (more products period, actually) and it was getting harder and harder to keep up with it all. I started focusing in the stuff I really liked, which was mostly base brands and retro crap. I went nuts over the first Play Ball set, even though it was a bit pricey. The art cards looked great, the mini reprints were cool and I liked the DiMaggio and Williams hero worship cards. The next years set was a nightmare and the less said about it the better. I heard about Origins in 2005 and really looked forward to it. Playball (actual Play Ball, not that psychedelic junk from 2004) and Old Judge designs in the same set? Sign me up! Then the tins came out. $90 a pop. Yeah, I was a little pissed about that.
#14 2001 Upper Deck Rafael Soriano
I found this card out of nowhere looking for Steve's St. Patty's day contest prize. I still can't believe we got him for Horacio Ramirez.
It's funny, I bought Topps Traded and Bowman packs like they were going out of style in 2001 and the dang Pujols card still eluded me. I couldn't pull that sucker at all. The Upper Deck packs I ripped out of habit? Bang - got both of them almost immediately. I even pulled a second Ichiro out of a pack in the bargain bin from Target a few years back. Can you imagine 2001 Series Two Upper Deck in the dollar bin nowadays? Rafael's Star Rookie card was mixed in among the two heavyweights in that series two set. I'm hoping he has a good enough year to maybe make it into Beckett by this time next year. Assuming that this is his actual rookie of course...

#7 1976 Topps Marvel Howard The Duck sticker
Ok, ok. HEAR ME OUT. I know what you're thinking, but Howard the Duck is GOOD. No, seriously. It's that idiot Lucas who screwed him up so badly. The moron should have stuck to Star Wars. The actual comic from the 70's is pure genius. Here's a cool interview from his creator, Steve Gerber, who recently passed away. Somebody please back me up on this... Thorzul? Anyone?
I'm so glad Howard made it. I picked up this card at the Braves Fan Fest this winter. There was a couple rows of memorabilia dealers there including this one guy who specialized in non-sports cards. I'm not sure how much he sold during the fan fest, he didn't seem to thrilled when I talked to him though. He had a bunch of neat old stuff from the 30's to the 80's including a bunch of Beatles and Elvis cards. I looked through his binders hoping for a stray Allen and Ginter card, but no luck. There was a card from the 30's that swiped the A&G Quadruped art (Peccary too, the one I was looking for) but I ended up passing on it. There were a few cards that sorely tempted me, but I didn't want to drop all my cash of oddball non-sports stuff and I only bought this one card. I saw Howard in the middle of a page full of second-tier Marvel superheroes and rescued him from the page of comic mediocrity. He has a good home now among my handful of original issues and my Essential reprint paperback now. I do wish now that I had bought the 1972 Topps Presidential Candidate Shirley Chisholm card now though.
#2 2005 Donruss Studio Portraits Mark Teixeira #22/30
I love love love these old retro inserts from Donruss, even though the byzantine serial numbering system that depends on the border color, color or sepia photo, ad back, phase of the moon and player's I Ching reading make the Moments and Milestones checklist look positively obvious. The design is ripped off from the Honest Cabinet series from Duke cigarettes, ACC designation N142. I probably shouldn't have told you that since you guys are killing my Nineteenth century cards.
These oddball serial numbered cards Donruss thieved from old obscure card designs are the one thing I really, really miss about Donruss. The whole serial numbering thing is a hokey gimmick, I know, but the designs themselves that they chose are fantastic. The cheesy 70's Sportscaster cards were a brilliant idea for a set. The 1914 Polo Grounds game design is another insanely obscure set to base a short numbered insert set on. A set of Exhibit style insert cards using every single oddball variety save the four-in-one design was just inspired. Donruss also ganked the T205 Ramly set for a Diamond Kings insert and the 1895 Mayo Cut Plug design for a football set. I don't even care that all these cards were weirdly serial numbered, I just love the designs. I do wish that these Duke Cabinet cards would have been made in cabinet size as well though, they are the best looking of them all and would look fantastic in the original 6" by 9" size.

Final Scores:

Checklist 5, Statue Of Liberty 0
Larry Bird 2, Carl Yastrzemski 3
Pronk 4, BMF 1
Howard the Duck 3, Mark Teixiera 2

Baseball Card Tournament: Second Round -South Regional

First round's over, time for these cards to prove they belong in the Sweet Sixteen. Make sure you vote for the best cards, you will decide which cards make it to the Finals.

South Regional

Little Rock

#1 1959 Topps Hank Aaron
David from Indians Baseball Cards. Always. found this for me, and I'm still a little weirded out that I actually have it. I could actually complete the team set now if it weren't for those dang high series cards.
The 1959 high series cards aren't the toughest ones to find, the 1963 high series is tougher, the 1961 high numbers are nasty and the '52s are impossible. They are unique in that they can be distinguished the easiest by the now familiar black ink on the back. The Braves for some reason don't have a single base card in that high series. However, there are no less than five Braves in the high series All-Star Subset, making the team set a real pain to collect. There's Manager Fred Haney, pitcher Warren Spahn, catcher Del Crandall, outfielder Wes Covington and of course, Hank Aaron.
#9 1993 Ted Williams Gene Benson
In 1945 Gene hit .370 and was Jackie Robinson's teammate on a touring team, but he just missed being able to play in the Major Leagues. Info is scarce on Gene, but there's a good bio here.
1993 Ted Williams is one of those sets I never quite got around to collecting for some reason. The packs were outrageously priced when they first hit the shelves at my local shops, then dropped off the face of the earth shortly after. You'd think I would have picked up a box once it had hit the bargain shelf at K-Mart, but there was just too much other stuff out at the time and I never did. I regret it now, for some reason I see 1994 Ted Williams packs all over the place, but no 1993. Maybe a run on POGs caused the boxes to dry up.


#12 1974 Topps Rich Hand
This card reminds me of the Bugs Bunny cartoons where Bugs runs completely off the film and you see the sprocket holes on the side of the screen.
Since Fast Times at Ridgemont High got this card to the second round, I guess I better give the people what they want.

#13 1977-1978 Topps Dan Bouchard
Dan was my absolute favorite player on the Flames when I was a kid. I think it was because the goalies looked so cool with the big-ass stick, huge pads and Jason masks. To this day though, I don't know how to pronounce his name. BOW-chard? Booo-SHARRd? No clue.
I went to a bunch of Flames games as a kid and they were a blast. It was interesting to see a bunch of southerners going nuts at a hockey game. I remember some fool waving a giant Confederate flag at the games in the middle of a bunch of New York transplants there to see the Rangers play. The games sold out, the team had a few nice players, they went to the playoffs every year, then...... Gone. Sold by a short sighted owner off to Calgary.


#11 1973 Topps Jim Breazeale

What inhuman monster told poor Jim that those glasses looked good???
This was one of the first older Braves cards I owned and a big reason why to this day I don't like plastic frames on glasses. I really hope he lost a bet or it was some rookie hazing or something and he didn't actually wear those things in public. They don't fit right either, notice the lopsided nostrils from where they squash his nose. Other than the companion O-Pee-Chee card and 3 minor league issues, this is Jim's only major issue trading card. I kind of want to track down one of those minor league cards just to see what he looks like without those specs.
#3 1968 Topps Roberto Clemente All Star
That's Roberto, not Bob. This would be a #1 seed if it's weren't a subset card, but then again I probably wouldn't have it at all if it weren't a subset card.
You gotta love vintage All-Star and highlight and league leader cards just for the ability to get legends that would normally be out your price range cheap. The only vintage Mantle card I've managed to scrape up is one of the checklist cards with Mick's disembodied head floating up in the corner. I got Bob's card for only a couple of bucks, and the '68 set has a pretty nice looking horizontal All-Star design. The back isn't that great though as it is the bottom left corner of a puzzle, and just shows someone's hand. Orlando Cepeda or Pete Rose, I think.

Little Rock

#7 1981 Topps Rickey Henderson
If you were Rickey, you'd talk about Rickey in the third person too.
Man, oh man I wish the Braves had taken a flyer on Rickey Henderson a few years ago when he was bouncing around the league to prolong his career. Just one game and I could have claimed him as a Brave forever. Hell, they picked up Julio Franco out of nowhere and we could have used an outfielder who could lead off at the time but it just wasn't meant to be. Someone like Rickey Henderson is like kryptonite to the Jon Schuerholz/Bobby Cox system. Bobby doesn't like to steal and Schuerholz hates players who make waves. That match probably would have been a disaster, although to this day I still believe Rickey would have helped the team.
#15 1985 Topps Boardwalk Baseball Owen Wilson
No, not that Owen Wilson, I'm talking 'bout Chief. You know, the guy who is the all time single season leader in triples.
Forget about Brady Anderson hitting 50 home runs, how the heck did a tall, lumbering Texan triple the number of triples he hit in 1912 to set a record that may be as hard to beat as Cy Young's 511 wins? Granted, it was the Dead Ball era and triples were more common, but no one has even come close. Curtis Granderson had the most ridiculous triple hitting season in 80 years or so last season, and he still came up thirteen triples short of tying the Chief. So how did he do it? Two words: Forbes Field. Four hundred and sixty two feet to center field. A cavernous ballbark and a little luck goes a long way when creating untouchable records.

Final Scores:

Hank Aaron 7, Gene Benson 0
Rich Hand 4, Dan Bouchard 3
Jim Breazeale 3, Bob Clemente 4 (ot)
Rickey Henderson 4, Chief Wilson 2

Wednesday, March 26, 2008

Last chance to vote in the tournament

The first round is almost over.

Round of thirty-two will be up tomorrow (I hope) and I'm going to try to get to the Sweet Sixteen this weekend. You guys apparently hate my nineteenth century cards, 'cause they got hammered.

Out of Options, Gotta Move 'Em

Tyler Yates joins LaRoche in Pittsburgh as he ends up the odd man out in the game of bullpen out of options musical chairs. We get the Pirates' 27th ranked prospect in return which is better than nothing I suppose. The Pirates cut Byung-Hyun Kim to make room for Tyler so he's out there for anyone really really desperate for a submariner. Expect Scott Thorman or Brayan Pena (sob) or both to go insimilar moves soon.

I'd normally post a card of the departed Tyler in tribute, but does anyone really care? I know I have his card somewhere because I keep doing double takes wondering why I see a Mets rookie pitcher mixed in with my Braves cards, but I'm not sure it's worth the effort. If there's an outcry demanding a Yates card I'll do it, but not right now.

I'm not gonna leave you with nothing though, here's a 2003 Topps Chrome black refractor not-rookie card of Adam LaRoche numbered 85/199 for fans of Rochie and the 'Burgh.

Big Huge Links Post

I woke up feeling like hell. Either I have the beginnings of a nasty cold or the annual Pollen Attack is starting up in the ATL. I might take today off, so here's a bunch of links to get you through the day.

Boing Boing picked up on the Heroes of Negro League Baseball book I blogged about last Christmas. They've also got a link to an interview with the artist, Mark Chiarello, and a gallery of some of the paintings.

TwinsCards.com has the hardest contest ever.

Mike S. has started a new trading blog.

The Good Phight Phillies blog has matched up each NL team with a band. The Braves are... Garth Brooks?!? Lousy Philly fans.

GO METS DIE BRAVES is instantly one of my favorite blogs things evar. It's freaking hilarious and it will get funnier and funnier as the Mets slooooowly sink into the depths of the NL East this year. Plus they also hate Paul LoDookie, so we're like kindred spirits or something.

JoeSportsFan.com has a worthless card collection just like us!

This week's Brill Report is full of wonderful stuff, and I'm not even counting the girls. I've got two posts coming from just this one link so check it out for a preview.

Game 2 of the Tokyo series is on and I don't care. I'm taking a nap.

Tuesday, March 25, 2008

Baseball Card Tournament: First Round - Denver

It's tourney time, so let's have a tournament. Here are 64 random cards from my archive of scans. I will seed them and match them up into brackets. Each card that advances to the next round gets more written about it. If you want to know more about a card, vote for it - your votes determine the winner. Feel free to vote for the other first round matchups as well. Voting is open until Wednesday or so so we can start the second round on Thursday. This is the last bracket so get in your votes!

First Round - Denver

East Region

#5 2007-2008 Topps Chrome Larry Bird

Larry Bird absolutely ruined my Hawks on many occasions, but for some reason the thing I most associate with him is an episode of Night Court where Judge Stone heaves a basketball at the end of the show and says "Thank God for Larry Bird!"
#12 2004 Fleer Ultra Scott Rolen
You could put together a nice little collection with all the cards with Aardman's Chevron Cars ad from the left field wall of Pac Bell in the background.

#4 1978 Topps Carl Yastrzemski
Yaz? Yaz. Yaz?? Yaz... Yaz!
#13 2000 Pacific Private Stock Richie Sexson PS-2000
Mini cards are great, but why did Richie have to go and mini his stats too? Of course now he'll go out and hit 50 dingers this year just to show up all the geniuses who passed on him in their fantasy draft.

South Region

#5 2001 Bowman Jose Reyes

I ripped about 18 thousand packs of 2001 Bowman and didn't pull one stinking Pujols. I got a few of Jose's rookie though.
#12 1974 Topps Rich Hand
This card reminds me of the Bugs Bunny cartoons where Bugs runs completly off the film and you see the sprocket holes on the side of the screen.

#4 2002 Playoff Absolute Memorabilia Terrence Long
I pulled this card when I lost my mind and bought one of those "Fat Pack + a Memorabilia card" things from Target. I not only beat the odds and pulled an autograph, but it's an amazing looking one at that. I never knew Terrence signed in Elvish.
#13 1977-1978 Topps Dan Bouchard
Dan was my absolute favorite player on the Flames when I was a kid. I think it was because the goalies looked so cool with the big-ass stick, huge pads and Jason masks. To this day though, I don't know how to pronounce his name. BOW-chard? Booo-SHARRd? No clue.

Don't forget to vote for the other ones too!

Final Scores:

Larry Bird 5, Scott Rolen 1
Carl Yastrzemski 6, Richie Sexson 0
Jose Reyes 0, "Mr." Hand 6
Terrence Long 1, Dan Boo-sharrd 6