Wednesday, August 31, 2011

At a sticking point


Recently, I embarked on an orgy of sticker-sticking within the friendly confines of the only sticker book that matters, the 1982 Topps sticker album.

The book was provided for me by Jake Plumstead from The Pursuit of 80sness/Red Sox, and it immediately unleashed the memories of collecting stickers in '82 on the sly, because, you know, stickers were pretty much for babies.

But I've long since stopped caring about other people's perceptions in a variety of areas, so I immediately started sticking stickers with abandon, even within the sight of other people in the house.

I knew I didn't have enough stickers to fill the thing, but I didn't care. There were enough of them that I knew I'd have stickers stuck with every turn of the page. That was pretty good. It turns out I had enough stickers to fill two of the pages completely.


Three years removed from "We Are Family," every one of the '82 Pirates stickers are stuck. I apologize for the cut-off scan. My scanner is unable to contain the awesomeness of my sticker book.


All the batting leaders are stuck. The A.L. four-player home run sticker is lame, but the 1981 strike was lame, too, so I suppose that's fair.

But those are the only pages fully stuck. Most pages have a majority of stickers, but three or four empty spots. They look like this:


I don't know if that's enough incentive to order up the remaining stickers that I need. I think I require about a 100 or so additional stickers. Cards top stickers any minute of the hour for me, so I don't know if I'll ever get to this.

But I definitely will never fill the entire album if I don't take care of another problem first. The problem involves these two pages:


It's the two pages meant to feature the All-Star stickers. You more observant types will notice that there are no stickers on these pages.

The crazy thing is I have a bunch of the stickers.



There they are. Aren't they glorious? I'm missing only five of them. Schmidt, Concepcion, Carew, Singleton and Gossage.

But I just can't stick them. Part of me won't let me.

I'm stuck.

This dates back to the time when these stickers hit stores. The 1981 and 1982 Topps stickers were my introduction to gold and silver foil. As commonplace as foil is in collecting now, as many people who wish that it would go away, it was almost mind-bendingly unique in the early '80s. The first shiny!

The closest we had to anything mind-altering when it came to cards was maybe the Kellogg's 3-D cards. These foil All-Stars were something to be preserved and treasured as their own distinct entities. I did NOT stick the few foil stickers that I pulled out of those sticker packs in '81 and '82.

So this is where I'm at now. Do I sticker the All-Star stickers because stickers are meant to be stuck? Or do I keep them forever unstuck because my teenage self at the time had not yet discovered alcohol and foil stickers became his means to escape?

I need your help.

While you decide on what I should do, here are some actual cards that Jake P. sent to me:


A diamond parallel of a guy who's suddenly figured out how to hit.


Another diamond parallel that leaves me one diamond card away from finishing the Series 1 Dodger team set. Casey Blake where are you?


A Toppstown card of Cy. It took too long to land this card.


One of those polished metal cards of the Dodgers' all-time home run king.


The Real-Backed Card Your Mom Threw Out Card Of The Interleague Preview Card from last year's Topps. I think I still need the actual, non-CYMTOC of this. It's all very confusing. Because Topps insists on issuing reproductions of cards from a decade ago.


Another card that took awhile to land. Pay no attention to Ryan Braun. Here's your MVP.

OK.

Made your decision yet?

Stick or unstick?

I think I'll know what you'll say.

And I'm OK with that if that's what you think.

There's beer in the fridge.

'56 of the month: Joe Nuxhall


Just under the wire again, eh?

Anyway, the no-talent buffoon who delivers the sports scores on our local news has this "blog" on the station's website. It's the worst blog I've ever read. In fact, I wouldn't even call it a blog. I don't know what it is. Vacant, obvious observations that everyone already knew by the age of 4, I guess. That about sums it up.

But the thing that irks me the most is the way he signs of each of these blog "posts." The fact that he has to even have a "sign-off" for that piece of drivel is evidence enough that the station manager is about 20 years too late in firing his sorry ass.

But the worst part is the content of his sign-off.

Tell me if you recognize it. Here it is: "This is (stupid hack broadcaster's name), rounding third and heading for home."

Now, if you are a Reds fan, you know exactly who this idiot is plagiarizing. But, for a long time, I didn't know. I just knew he was ripping off somebody, because the guy hasn't had an original thought come out of his mouth since I've been watching him. Every catch phrase has been lifted from one announcer or another from the past 40 years.

Eventually, I figured it out. The phrase was the original sign-off of the "Ol' Left-Hander" Joe Nuxhall. The former Reds pitcher, a broadcaster for Cincinnati for almost 40 years, was known for saying "this is the Ol' Left-Hander, rounding third and heading for home," on his broadcasts. He was beloved for it.

The bastard buffoon stole Nuxy's catch phrase!

I've always been interested in Nuxhall (not "Nuxall as the front of his 1956 Topps card reads) because, to me, he had the best career ever.

The guy was around baseball his entire life. Virtually his entire 79 years. He was most famous as a player for getting called to the major leagues as a 15-year-old, the youngest player to ever participate in a major league game. The game was June 10, 1944. The Reds were getting crushed by the Cardinals. It was the ninth inning. Nuxhall, who was signed because players were hard to find during the war, was called into the game. He faced nine batters, walked five, hit another, threw a wild pitch, allowed two hits and five runs. A 13-0 game became an 18-0 final.

Nuxhall was sent down after the game, but re-emerged with the Reds in 1952. He'd pitch in the majors until 1966. Then, as soon as he retired, he went directly to the broadcast booth and called games until 2004. Now, that is The Life. Play the game and then watch it. For 79 years. There is nothing better than that.

There are other baseball lifers, like Don Zimmer and George Kissell, who played baseball and then stayed in uniform, coaching and teaching. That's great if you like that kind of thing. But I'll never be confused for a teacher. I don't have the patience. To me, Nuxhall did the ultimate.

He played the game and then he watched it. And got paid for both.


The Ol' Left-Hander got it right. He was an original.

Unlike the local sports television hack.

Tuesday, August 30, 2011

The things we did in the '70s


Before my interest in baseball buttons disappears completely -- as most of my non-card interests eventually do -- I thought I'd dig up this beauty.

Does anyone remember these? I'm really hoping someone does because my memories of how I acquired this are almost non-existent. And there are no markings on it to help me dig up any information.

I remember these buttons featured stars of the time period -- late 1970s, I'm guessing -- because I think my brothers each had a button of player on their favorite team, too, and I think my youngest brother had a button of Eddie Murray.

I know the number on the right, the 159, is the "button number," like a card number.

I know nothing else.

What I do know is these things are huge. They're just shy of the size of a hockey puck. It seems ridiculous that anyone would wear these in public. But because I was a kid and because it was the '70s, I did wear this in public.

I was a little kid, and this was a big button, so the button took up just about the whole right quadrant of my body. I was deathly afraid of pins back then, so I'm sure I was very careful with what I did and how I moved when I was wearing it. And I'm sure I took it off as soon as I could. But I also know there's probably a picture somewhere of me wearing it. No doubt, I'm tilting to the left in the photo.

I valued that Ron Cey button so much that it's one of the few non-card pieces of memorabilia to survive from my childhood. I remember keeping it in a box, with a few other key trinkets that I can't recall.

Anyway, it's another item of The Penguin, with his grand looping signature, so that automatically makes it phenomenal. Just wish I knew more about it.

Indispensable and useless


I have been wise to the ways of the internet for a number of years now. I'll never claim I was there at the beginning. I can't laugh at techies' inside jokes over the early days as they chortle over GeoCities or whatever. Basically, I have no idea what they're saying.

But I do know enough to go online for any number of things that make life more efficient, or at least more bearable. I shop online, communicate online, learn online, you know, the usual.

That's pretty good for an old dog like me who generally stays with the same thing for decades because, duh, it still works.

I'm writing about all of this because today I believe is the last day that the Borders in my town is open. After today, no more book store for miles. If you want books, you hit the library, or go online, or buy a Kindle where the books --- ooooohh -- light up! Pretty!!!

I suppose there is a day in the future when I might buy a Kindle, but it's just as likely that I never will. I've held a book in my hands and I've held a computer/laptop/ipad in my hands, and I have to say, my hands still like the book better. My brain still considers the book the voice of authority and knowledge, even as the computer consistently demonstrates that it can do it quicker and better.

To illustrate, I'll give this one tiny example.

I'm a team collector. I hoard Dodgers. Perhaps you've heard.

Team collecting has gotten very complicated over the years. Somewhere in the mid-1990s, card companies declared all-out war on team collectors and decided to issue multiple and distinct sets and limit each team in the set to about 8 players. So, instead of collecting the traditional number of players in a team set -- like, say, 25, you know, the number of players on a team for many years -- you collected eight, even though there is no baseball team on earth that plays with just eight players.

But card companies knew that team collectors were hopeless addicts and they'd have to complete these "team" sets anyway. Haha, you stupid, stupid, stinking team collector.

To make things more complex, there wasn't a good way to track down all the team sets that were issued. There were so many sets and no way to find them all.

That's what makes teamsets4u.com so fantastic. I remember early in my blogging days someone introducing me to teamsets4u. The site does not have every team set, but I'd say there's a good 95 percent of them there. Teamsets4u made my want list what it is today, and it continues to develop as I'm in the middle of another want list update (I've just hit the mid-1990s, which, believe me, is TORTURE).

I would never know about many, many of these sets without teamsets4u.

So, you're saying, "yeah, so how's your smelly old book going to top that, buster?"

And I say, "it's not going to top it, buster to you, too."

But I still consult my smelly old book. Constantly.

I still consult the Sport Americana Team Baseball Card Checklist, 6th edition. It was issued in 1992 and when I purchased the book and it arrived at my home, I thought I had found the greatest book the hobby has ever known.

Since that day in 1992, I have consulted this book more than any other hobby book ever. More than my monstrous Standard Catalog of Baseball Cards, more than any of the many price guides that I have owned, more than any magazine publication.

I admit, the book is limited. First, by the period it was issued. It's 19 years old. Pacific, SP, Metal, Circa, Chrome, Total, Masterpieces, none of that, had been born yet. Second, by its discriminatory nature. It recognizes only Topps, Donruss, Fleer, Upper Deck, Score, Bowman, Goudey, Play Ball, the major stuff.

But for the sets that it does include, it's tremendous. Page after page separated by team, with little check boxes next to each player.


That is glorious.

You would not believe how often I still use this thing. Even though teamsets4u is right at my fingertips and I use it constantly, I still go to the Sport Americana Team Baseball Card Checklist at least 5 or 6 times a week. For the 1975 Topps (it's far out, man) blog, it is invaluable.

I find tracking down a certain card much easier if it's categorized by team. If I can remember a certain player in a certain year, I probably know what team he was with at the time. And it's much easier finding that player by looking up the team than by trying to track down a card number and all the nonsense that goes with that.

(For years, I had owned the book and never realized that there was a "premium card sets" section in the back. It's amusing. A whole separate category for 1990 Leaf and '91 Fleer Ultra and '91 Stadium Club, as if they were too special for inclusion with the rest of the sets).

But one of the best parts of the book -- and this is something that book lovers will understand -- is the FEEL of the book. It's the perfect size for perusing. It's 6x9, with a soft cover that is flexible enough to flip through all 317 pages with ease, but tough enough to stand up to 19 years of searching.

Even after all my gushing, though, I admit, the book is essentially useless. There are probably even better ways than teamsets4u to track down players by team. There's probably a team-collector app created for the smart-phone people already and it'll take me 20 years to figure out that it exists.

I admit it. This book is just not needed.

But that doesn't mean I can't enjoy it. That doesn't mean I can't be disappointed that a bookstore is closing (even my tech-loving daughter is disappointed about that).

There are people who will never know or appreciate the feeling of walking between column after column of books, the joy of sitting on the floor with a monster tomb spread out before you, the appreciation of creating book shelves for your home, and the lasting beauty of books standing next to a fireplace.

They'll never know what it's like to grab a Sport Americana Team Baseball Card Checklist (Number 6) with one hand, flap it back and forth a few times, pull it open and say to themselves "let's see, did Charlie Moore have a card in the 1974 Topps set? Let's check the Brewers team set and find out."

Sorry you'll miss out on that.

But I won't. The Sport American Team Baseball Card Checklist is so great, that I can totally ignore the Yankees team checklist on the front.

I think I'll keep it forever.

Monday, August 29, 2011

Hit by a bombshell


I'm thinking I probably won't have much time to devote to cards today, so I should find something interesting to put on here in the event that I don't get back to the blog until the wee hours of Tuesday.

A recent card package should do the trick.

A couple of weeks ago, I went to the front door and pulled four yellow envelopes that were jammed in the mailbox. It's been awhile since that many have arrived all at once, and the old thrill that I experienced when I first started trading through the blog a few years ago came back again.

I believe I have blogged about most of the packages finally, but there is one that remains, and it dwarfed all of the others in size. On the front, in BIG, black letters, the package proclaimed that it was from the Troll!!! Well, didn't that put a smile on my face. It's been awhile.

Troll reassured me that he was still collecting feverishly, but there wasn't much time to blog (fortunately, he's found some time lately). But he and the wife wanted to send along a birthday gift. Yes, my birthday was a month-and-a-half ago, but as a wise man once said, "I don't care if Santa is real or not, there are still gifts under the tree, right?"

And, wow, what a birthday gift.

Picture vintage baseball cards delivered to your door by awesome, rocking, derby girls on roller skates. Yeah, yeah, the derby girls weren't actually there, and the Troll was mostly responsible, but I'm focusing on the Bombshells. In the package, I received a bunch of programs and informational cards (someone does a great job with the designing), and this:


Buttons!!!!!!!

There's a great mix of baseball and bombshells right there. I can't wait to put the '84 baseball buttons with the others my folks got me. And I've already got plans for the non-baseball items that bloggers send me, so I can't wait to put that into action, too.

It was really a variety filled package featuring:

Stickers.


O-Pee-Chee.


And a bunch of modern offerings.

But you're here for the vintage, right?

I thought so.

Gander this:


I'll start with Walt, because it's just a tremendous spring training shot. And the back of the card reminds me that Alston was a great power hitter in his day. Just couldn't get to the majors for more than a game.


Willie! When people talk about being too young to see certain players play and wishing they could, I immediately think of the 1960s Dodgers. I am more than a little disappointed that I never got to see Koufax, Drysdale, Willie Davis, Tommy Davis and Maury Wills. Pitching and speed is what makes the bells go off for me.


Johnny! Let's count all the ways that Podres is great:

1. He won a World Series for the Dodgers as a 20-year-old
2. He's a lefty
3. He grew up only a few hours from me.
4. That World Series thing.

Wow this card is in great shape.


This one is ... um ... not. But isn't it great? Bob Darnell has so many creases in his face that he looks like he's Frankenstein or he's crying. Or he's a crying Frankenstein. Darnell pitched in just seven major league games. But he did a pretty good job of picking out which baseball card would be his lone card. You can't get much better than '55 Bowman.


Heh. This one took you by surprise, huh?

There aren't enough cards of Don Drysdale. This is his '65 card, the one that ends a five-year streak of Big Don not smiling. Look it up. No smiles from 1961-64. Drysdale decided to lighten up a little bit in '65. Because he knew what was ahead in '65.

This is my favorite card in the package. I've had my eye on a '65 Drysdale for a little while now, but I started to think it would be a long time before it was mine. The Troll does it again.

But I'm not finished. Amid all the programs and buttons and notes and cards, was a baseball card wrapper. A BIG baseball card wrapper.


Super Baseball!!!!! Way cool!!!!!

I remember these when they came out in 1984. I bought one pack. I don't remember there being three cards in a pack. All I remember is the Al Holland card I pulled and I never bought another pack.

Let's see if I have any better luck:


Weeeeeee! My first Super Baseball Dodger card! I will treasure this card more than any other when I'm 88 and can read only large print.

But what's this? Something else in the wrapper?


Fernando and two other guys from 1986 Drake's Cakes!!!

Have I mentioned how much I love food issue cards? If I ever have a temptation to chuck my whole collection and focus on just one kind of card, it will be food-issue and store-issue cards. You heard it here first. The blog idea is already in my head.

But the front of the wrapper promised three items, didn't it? Let's see what else is in that thing:



Awwwww. It's an autograph from Esther Gin-n-Juice with the whole Bombers team!! Silver marker, too. Very snazzy.

This means a lot, that the Troll and Esther G&J thought enough to personalize the package like that. A bunch of smiles came from everything that emerged out of the big, yellow envelope that day.

It seems like old times getting a package from Florida and reading regular posts from Troll at the Plate.



You guys all rock.

Oh, and you, too, Troll. All the fire-breathing and everything.

Sunday, August 28, 2011

Awesome night card, pt. 120


It's crushing when the world you've set up for yourself comes crashing down around you.

For years, I have led myself to believe that the 1989 Topps John Tudor card is the only night card in that set. To me, a night card connoisseur, this made the item special. Topps went out of its way to find a card of Tudor, acquired in a late-season trade in 1988, and the effort paid off because not only would the Dodgers go on to win the World Series that year, but it was the only night card in the set.

Then I read this post.

(*sound of large, heavy objects falling, glass breaking, and tree limbs flying everywhere in the night owl nest*)

Another 1989 Topps night card????????

Now, I wasn't totally convinced when I read the post and looked at the scan. Scans can be deceptive. So, I had to dig out my '89 Topps binder with the cards that I have seen 8 trillion times before and track down the Scott Medvin card to see with my own giant owl eyes.

After staring at it for a long time and studying old pictures of Three Rivers Stadium online, I have determined that, yes, there are at least two night cards in the 1989 Topps set. It's kind of difficult to see the press box area and stands lit up -- what with that packed upper deck there -- but you can't miss the unending darkness at the top of the photo.

The background to Medvin's season fits with the night card scenario, too. Medvin didn't switch teams late in the season like Tudor, but he did move from the Astros to the Pirates in April, after Topps would have taken most of the photos for the 1989 set. He then pitched for Triple A Buffalo for most of 1988, and I'm sure I saw him in a few games there since I was living in Buffalo at the time.

Medvin then was called up to the Pirates late in the '88 season and appeared in 17 games for Pittsburgh. Therefore, Topps would have had to scramble to find a photo of Medvin in a Pirates uniform and had limited -- mostly night -- games to take a picture.

So there you are: another night card! I guess it's not all that crushing.

Of course, I'm the only one who cares about that. All you uniform junkies have been starting at the "C" on Medvin's right sleeve since the beginning of this post and haven't heard a word I've said.

Well, I was a little curious about the "C," too. After all, Medvin couldn't have been a captain of the Pirates. So, I looked at some more 1989 cards.


Bobby Bo figured it out for me, along with Dressed to the Nines.

The Pirates wore the initials "RSC" on their sleeves during the 1988 season in remembrance of Pittsburgh mayor Richard S. Caliguiri, who died in 1988 while still in office.

So now you know.

And now there are two night cards in the 1989 Topps set.

Until someone finds another one.

----------------------------------------------------

Night Card Binder candidate: Scott Medvin, 1989 Topps, Card #756
Does it make the binder?: Yes. It's a coveted above-700 numbered card.


Saturday, August 27, 2011

I got zip


The city is tearing up my street in an upgrade mission that will result in certain segments of the population driving 80 from stop sign to stop sign instead of 50, or the more reasonable 25.

I had intended to ship out a bunch of card packages yesterday, but traveling was next to impossible from my location, so I had to postpone it until Monday, which has its own set of issues.

But if all goes right, I will be sending packages to destinations in the following zip codes:

33065
75201
90230
46750
08551
97202

And one to the following postcode:

CT8 8BH

Just so nobody feels left out, after I ship out those packages, I plan to work on packages for people in the following zip codes:

10028
46561
06489
21788
37865
63301
34270

(Plus, Greg L., I need your new address!)

And after that, I've got plans for packages en route to these destinations:

40475
55129
91381
33411
47408
94010

And there are the remaining contest consolation cards headed for:

08863
71753
11229
23223

(Also, Ryan G., Morgan, and John Bateman are eligible for contest consolation cards, but I have not received emails from you, so if you guys want cards I need addresses).

And, of course, there are always those trades that I'll get to "sometime" from these zips:

07747
60018
16933

While I'm at it, I still need to blog about cards I received from the following zip codes/postcodes:

CT8 8BH
34270
37865
73026
33411
40475

Bloggers from these zip codes root for the wrong baseball team:

92688
08054
85937
11563
10989
10028
12585
08215
86402
08515

The blogger residing in this zip code is lazy and fresh out of cash/ideas this afternoon:

13601

Finally, you might wonder what this has to do with the diamondy Sandy Koufax card at the top of the post. The answer is: nothing. I just I like it. It came from zip code 73026. I will show other cards from the package in a less cryptic fashion later at my leisure.

If you didn't see your zip code here, we have either just completed a trade, we have a general "it's cool" understanding of card exchanges in the future, your favorite sport team doesn't make me gag, your collecting habits kind of intimidate me, or maybe you need to blog more.

But don't hit me up for a trade right now. I'm a little busy. And the street's a mess.

Friday, August 26, 2011

Sales pitch

Hello, Night Owl here.

How many times have you gone to your local collectibles shop and watched the owner chat up the cute, teenage, mall walkers while you stood there, money in your hand, unattended?

Plenty, right? Put on a belly shirt and some lip gloss and maybe you'll get some action, but until then, you're just a loser with cash.

Or how about this? You're at one of those anonymous big box stores. If you can find the cards at all, they're in a jumbled mess, mixed with pictures of fire-breathing dragons and stickers of New York City! What are those all about? They never have what you're looking for! Who wants 2010 Topps Series 2?

Or this? You're cruising your favorite online card store. They have loads of great product. Inventory through the roof. But it's so mundane and disconnected! You get the cards safe and sound, but who is shipping them to you? A guy in China trying to rob you of your identity? Ha, ha! Kidding! But the internet is so cold.

What can you do?

Well, have I got a solution for you.

Community Gum, Inc.. -- the card blog you know and love -- is now selling cards, which you also know and love!

They're just getting off the ground, but the results so far are awesome.

Look! It's so easy, even I can do it!


I ordered a 2011 Bowman Platinum Dee Gordon card from Jon and Andy on Sunday and received it on Wednesday!

Now that's fast, efficient service!

But, wait! There's more!


I also received this xrefractor of Dee Gordon, too!

That's two, TWO shiny versions of the Dodgers' shortstop of the future in one, direct-to-my-abode package!

Amazing!

Now I know what you're saying: "Ho, ho! How much did these cost you, big-spending Night Owl? I'm not made out of benjamins, you know!"

Fair question. You have mouths to feed. But they really weren't that much money at all. In fact, all I paid was:

$2.50 shipped!!!!

That's right, $2.50. That's VALUE!

Now, tell me how much did you pay for that Bowman Platinum rack pack full of Mariners, Angels and unknowns at the big box store?

Feeling a little gloomy now, son, aren't you?

But Community Gum, Inc., can brighten your mood! With cards!

It's fast! It's fun! It's friendly!

All right, I know what you're saying again:

"Sure, Night Owl, it's easy for you. You're a blogger. You know these guys. You have the inside scoop. You've got the password. I'm just a single slob in my parents' basement."

And that's where you're wrong! They'll take a single slob's money just as quickly as they will for any highly paid blogger! You don't even have to wear a belly shirt and lip gloss!

So why don't you give Community Gum, Inc. a try?! Do it today!

Tell them, Night Owl sent you.

And, no, there's nothing in it for me.

Any views or opinions presented in this post are solely those of the author and do not represent those of the Night Owl Cards Co. or its associates. Any rebroadcast, retransmission or account of this post without the express written consent of Night Owl Cards is prohibited except when a fake disclaimer like this appears at the bottom of the post. Also, I really have no idea how many cards Community Gum has in stock, but I do know that they have 2011 Allen & Ginter boxes for purchase. In closing, thanks to Community Gum for the easy post on yet another busy day. Happy collecting!

Cardboard appreciation, the review 2 (part 8)


The two-sport star is supreme on Cardboard Appreciation the Review 2. We do love our super-heroes, and you can't get much closer to a superhero here in reality than someone who can play at the highest level in the two most popular sports in the U.S.

So, Bo Jackson follows Deion Sanders as two most recent winners in the first round of CATR2. Jackson edged a player with another popular feature, a nickname. Tim "Rock" Raines fell just two votes short.

Here are the results:

1. 1989 Bowman Bo Jackson: 15 votes
2. 1989 Topps Rock Raines: 13 votes
3. 1984 Donruss Rudy Law: 5 votes
4. 2005 UD Pastime & Pennants Tommy John: 5 votes
5. 2011 Topps Heritage News Flashbacks Dodger Stadium: 4 votes
6. 1995 Fleer Update Carlos Perez: 3 votes
7. 2010 Upper Deck Josh Fields: 3 votes
8. 2010 Upper Deck Eric Stults: 0 votes

Jackson is the seventh card to advance to the semifinals. Yup, I've decided the second round will be the semifinals. No screwing around this time. We're going to find a winner but quick.

But first, we need to add an eighth and final entrant to the semifinals. Here is the assortment up for your vote. It may be the weakest group yet:


1. 1987 Topps Astros Leaders: I chose this card out of a Cardboard Appreciation post that actually featured an assortment of cards. This one stuck out because Yogi in an Astros uniform sticks out.


2. 2009 Topps Gerald Laird: The SECOND 2009 Topps Gerald Laird. Topps featured two Lairds in its base set that year. No, one of them didn't have a rookie cup or was a highlight card, or featured a checklist on the back. There was just two Gerald Lairds. Just because. I have a fixation with this, as I just wrote about the strangest, most recent example.


3. 1979 Topps Dennis Leonard: Now that I look closely, Leonard looks like my seventh grade science teacher. The obnoxious kids in the class tried to make him cry. And now I think I've tarnished the memory of the first pitcher I ever saw win a game in person.


4. 1970 Topps Harmon Killebrew: OK, maybe the group isn't so weak. It took Killebrew's death for me to be convinced that this autograph actually is legitimate.


5. 1977 Topps Johnny Grubb: Pulling '70s cards out of repack rack packs is fun. That's all I was trying to say with this card.


6. 1993 Stadium Club David Nied insert: You've got to love the '90s. Expansion drafts. Stadium Club. Inserts. Number 1 picks that went nowhere.


7. 2009 O-Pee-Chee B.J. Upton: When I wrote this post, I was three cards away from completing the '09 OPC set. Now I am four cards away. You'd have to be a set collector to understand.


8. 1985 Topps Dan Quisenberry: Quisenberry had a really good year in '85. But that's not what I remember first when I think of 1985. Instead, I think of a chick in elf boots.

These are the final new cards that you'll be selecting on CATR2. After this, it's all repeats. Well ... actually, this whole thing is all repeats. It's the summer season after all.

In a few weeks the new shows will be out, and brand new Cardboard Appreciations, too.

Just like I planned it.

Poll is on the sidebar.

Thursday, August 25, 2011

Time marches on


As much as I'd like to stand here and expound on the hotness of Hope Solo, I don't have the time today.

Instead, I'm going to show a couple of Allen & Ginter-heavy card packages sent to me by Spiegel and Spankee, the most messed-up law firm ever created.

Kidding. Spiegel is Spiegel. And Spankee is Spankee.

For the record, Spankee sent me the Hope card. Spiegel sent me the Johnny Mac card.


But I thought I'd stick with the ballplayers, and show you how much things change in a short period of time in baseball. Out of the cards that I received from both Spiegel and Spankee, here are the ones who are no longer with the teams portrayed on their A&G cards.

I even spruced up the cards, early 1970s style (except I didn't change the logos -- no time, remember?)

First Spiegel:


And now Spankee ...


I guess that's what happens when you release a set close to the trade deadline.

Of course, those aren't the only cards I received. Both sent a nice collection of Dodgers and a few other requests. My top five from each:

First Spiegel:


Kellogg's cards from the '70s are always appreciated and terrific fun. I have few Dodgers from the super patriotic Spirit of '76 Kellogg's set (actually there's only 2 in the set).

The Konerko card is my 61st Dodger Konerko card. Sixty-one cards for a guy who played 55 games for the Dodgers.

Now Spankee:


The Orioles Upper Deck card may have surprised you. I wanted it because that's the view that you get as you travel the walkway from the warehouse to the stadium. Since I've done that walk, I need it validated in card form. So I can wave it around in front of people.

Spankee also helped me with my mission to improve my pursuit of Dodger A&G minis over last year. Last year was pathetic (but improving). This year is much better, although I don't know how many card sets John Lindsey will grace in the future.


Also, I need one more card of Cy. This is for the A&G set. Need one for my team set, since the box I purchased was Dodger deficient.

All right, I'm done. And very busy. Go find your own Hope Solo photos.

...

...

OK, fine ...


Now, I'm done.