Friday, April 28, 2017

NHL Playoffs: Round 2 - Here We Go Again

My apologies for the "ghost post" yesterday.  I hit the Publish button instead of the Save.  The Michigan finale will be the next post (probably tomorrow).

After the first round of the playoffs, the regional sports networks no longer carry the games.  National coverage takes over and is led by NBC and it's affiliates.

The Nobody But Crosby flagship station...

 The Nothing Besmirches Crosby's Sublime Nobility network....

And the Capitals Never Beat Crosby network...

Doc Emerick and the boys are great announcers, but let's be real.  We know who they like.  Whether it's their own preference, or coaching by the NHL...

I had written another rant condemning them to one-sided coverage of the series.  I must admit, it wasn't nearly as badly biased as I expected, at least, during the game.  Well, until Squidney scored twice.  Then the "unbelievables" and "amazings" started flying around.  I didn't watch the analysts between periods.  I'm guessing they couldn't stop gushing about 87's godlike abilities.

The Caps are not only fighting the players on the other side, they must combat the fact that the Pens are the most promoted team in the league over all others, and that usually, Pitt gets all the bounces, deflections, bad penalties, and dumb luck in their favor.

That pretty much continued....

Both teams played very well.  The Pens got some (or all, as usual) lucky breaks early in the second.  The Caps caught up by the third period.  Then a breakaway gave Pitt the lead again.  At this point, the refs stripes turned yellow and they called a slashing penalty on what is generally considered fishing for a rebound.  The Caps allowed only two shots on the kill, but then only had a couple minutes to try for the tie.  Even a seven car pileup in front of the net couldn't provide an opportunity for a score.

Hopefully, the Caps will be able to keep up the pressure for the rest of the series.  It seemed like a much more even matchup this time.

Which means Caps don't have much of a chance.....

Wednesday, April 26, 2017

The 30 Day Challenge In Five Posts Or Less - Part III

These are the most interesting challenge topics, I think.  16 thru 23 cover a diverse mixture of players, card types, eras, and personal favorites. 

16. A card of a player whom you appreciate (respect as a player) but don't like.

I bet a lot of people will put Barry Bonds here.  My impression of Rocket is about the same.  Great player who apparently used artificial means to keep playing etc.  Not so bad for some guys, but ol' Roger continued to be a jerk about it afterwards.

Honorable Mentions (most of which I'm not big on as players either) - Dustin Pedroia, Ryan Braun, A-Rod (just weird), Mark Teixeira, AJ Pierzinski.

17. A card from the first set you put together by hand.

This is really the same as the #3 challenge, as I've never actually tried to complete a set and FAILED.  Some of them just stay on your want lists longer than others.
A more interesting twist on this one would be to show which card was the last one you needed to finish the set (see my #22 below).  A lot of people would be posting big stars or high numbers for most vintage sets, but it would be cool to see that elusive Micah Bowie or Jack Billingham that someone had to chase.  I've already posted my last card to complete the 1979 Football set, and I can't really remember which 1980 baseball was the last one (I know it wasn't Rickey), so here is just another typical 1980 Topps card. 

18. A card of a player who became manager of your favorite team.

Frank Robinson is one of the rare HOF Superstar players of whom from time to time I consider starting a player collection.  The redundant copies of his vintage cards are the main reason why I dont' do it, but I could just do his post-career and oddball stuff.  I have a few manu-patches and things like that already.  This SP variation has a neat action shot complete with Sal Bando cameo in the Oakland trademark yellow jammies.
Frank became the first manager the Nationals ever had.  He also led the Orioles for a few years in the early 90's.  So he covers both my local teams.

Honorable Mentions - Dusty Baker (a PC of mine already),

19. A favorite card from a country other than the United States.

Livan Hernandez XRC from the 1994 Cuban set.  Figured it was printed in Cuba too.  Nope!  Back says "Printed In Canada".  I was really trying to avoid the default O-Pee-Chee answer!
If I could have used a hockey card, it would have been a Sergei Fedorov from Russia.

20. Your favorite parallel card based on the parallel, not the player.

When I think of parallels, anything made of acetate (Topps Clear), Blue Chrome, or anything by Pacific in the 90's would make my short list.  But I ultimately had to pick these framed blue parallels from 2012 Gypsy Queen.  They're just so retro-elegant, and the frames give them depth that makes even the most cliche picture into a modest work of art.  The GQ logo is a bit in your face, but overall these are my winner.

21. A card of a rookie you thought you were "investing" in.

I am so NOT into rookie prospecting, so here's a bit of a twist on this theme.
I once found a shop while traveling and they didn't have a whole lot, but there was one box of really nice vintage from 1962, '63, and '64 for 25¢ each.  I picked out a big stack of singles (which became my starter lots for those sets - '64 is now officially active) and brought them to the counter.  The kid at the register looked at my pile and said "That looks to be about 100 cards." and rang me up.  I paid and left and almost sprinted down the street because I had actually pulled about 330 singles.  When I saw these two in the piles, I thought I had struck gold at an even higher level!  But alas, these are not actually the rookie cards of Gaylord Perry and Tony Oliva.  Oh well, still a bargain!

22. A card of a common player that always seemed to elude you.

 I do remember this one being the set killer for 1974.  Wasn't the Washington Nat'l League variations, or the no-position Alou, or Winfield, Griffey, or Madlock rookies, it was this dude.
There are more elusive cards for me in other sports.  Still looking for one single 2008-09 OPC hockey single to finish both series and all the inserts, and a couple quarterback rookie cards to kill football sets.

The next section will deal with oddball cards from all the decades.

Monday, April 24, 2017

Star Trek - The Retro Football Card Set - card #7

Now, a new addition to the set.  At some point, I'll have to rig up a checklist card.

Card #7 is Communication officer Lt. Uhura, played by Nichelle Nichols.  She was, of course, the better half of the "first interracial kiss" on TV, and an inspiration to women and minorities everywhere for being in such an important position on the Enterprise crew.

1957 Topps Lieutenant Uhura.

Had to rework the lettering a lot to get it right.  And I hadn't noticed how spartan this design really is.  It's basically two photos with single color backgrounds with the letter bars over them.  So simplistic yet effective.

The purple color isn't actually authentic, but it's what was behind the original portrait photo, so I didn't mess with it.

As usual, let me know what you think.  Hailing frequencies are open!

Saturday, April 22, 2017

Michigan Shop & Show Tour - Part 3

One of the must-see venues of my visits to Michigan has become Collectibles Unlimited in Clio.  They're right along the main street in town (126 W. Vienna Street).  Here is a shot of the storefront from a few years ago.

It looks modest on the outside, but when you go in, there's an impressive selection of cards (and actually comics, action figures, gaming cards, etc.)  They've cleaned up and organized a great deal since our first visit.  So now the front room has showcases and neat displays of various items.  The far wall is stacked solid with card boxes that are clearly labeled.  That would be an impressive selection on its own, but a little farther back in the shop is a hallway and a whole other room that is nothing but stacks and shelves of card boxes.  Again, most of these are labeled as to their contents, whether it be by set or by sport (in the case of boxes containing just certain stars).

It took us two days to go through it all (again).  Their stock turns over regularly since they're always out buying collections.  There is actually another part of the building where they bring new stock in for processing.  But you'll have plenty to look through just in the shop alone.

Our haul for the two days doesn't look like a lot, but my lists took a beating for sure.

Believe it or not, there are singles from all four sports, some starter sets, and oddball items all here.  And at a great price.

Here is most of my haul spread out where you can see the diversity.  Highlights include some oversize player collection items, and GameDay/Power Play inserts, Redskins and Capitals singles, baseball and football set singles, and inserts, killers for 2003 Topps baseball, almost all my 2001-02 Topps Archives hockey, and more....

The elusive 1987 Hygrade Mantle "bat low" pose....

Several error cards from 1989 Fleer and 1988 Topps...

There are several whole boxes of 2001 Topps regular and Traded, from which I built almost an entire Traded set....

And we added on a 2006 Fleer football set with a generous amount of the rookies too!

So if you're ever in the Clio area and have some time for digging, stop by and see Matt and Chris and tell him that guy from Maryland sent you.

Friday, April 21, 2017

Star Trek: The Retro Football Card Set - Card #6

This is the last of my 2011 creations of ST:TOS characters in old football designs.  Changed it up a bit with the choice of a matchbook cover instead of a card.

The next ST:TRFCS post will be a 2017 creation!.

1934 Diamond Matchcover Dr. Leonard McCoy.  Fonts match better to the green example of these covers.  The name over the football came in a couple different fonts.  I didn't have anything to match the one in the tan original.  Also had a hard time figuring out what to substitute for the football.  Not many sketches of the original NCC-1701 starship out there.  Nice oddball item instead of the same old Topps or Philadelphia designs.  I'm running out of cool designs to use.  There aren't as many nice ones for football as there are for baseball.