The Collective Mind

Continually adding your intellectual and philosophical distinctiveness about cardboard to our own.
Designation: GCA     Coordinates: Maryland, USA

Saturday, December 10, 2016

$30 worth of help on a quest

Just got my package today from Robert at $30 A Week Habit.

He emailed me a little while ago inquiring about trading me some 2002-03 Pacific Quest for the Cup hockey cards.  I sent him some vintage baseball in return for these:

Quest for the Cup is one of five Pacific sets from that year that I'm building.  It's also one of the shiniest.  I'm also finishing Calder, Heads Up!, Vanguard, and Private Stock Reserve.  Haven't even started the flagship set yet.  I got most of them from cheap boxes I bought on Atlanta Sports Cards (site offline at time of writing) site a couple years ago.  They had most of the Pacific products from this era at very low prices.   2002-03 is my favorite hockey year for hockey cards.  

Robert started with five rookies from the end of the set.  Two of them are the gold parallels, but I crossed 'em off anyway.  Pesky rookies.   Sometimes I skip the rookies at the end of hockey sets.

Then we go on to the inserts.  Calder Contenders in gold with the inset pics of the logos and the players.  I like that they didn't use an "echo picture" in these, and didn't distort it.  That just weirds me out.

The Chasing the Cups are kinda generic, but nicely colored.  The backs are nice, with another second photo and a simple layout that you can read.

Raising the Cup cards are what I consider the marquee insert for this set.  Matching the base cards with the Stanely Cup featured as prominently as the player photo, but not overwhelming it.  These make nice use of team-color foil as an accent behind the cup and enhancing the name and title.

Hadn't had hits to any of these sets in quite a while.  Always fun to trade with blogger guys and see your stuff on their site.  Thanks again Robert - until next time!


Friday, December 02, 2016

The Dallas Standard


I hate to be "that guy" again, but it's getting ridiculous.  I don't post enough about football to show that I'm really not a total conspiracy theorist and hater.  It just comes across that way.

The last week or so, it seems like there have been a few things that make ya go "Hmm..."

Dallas played on Week 11 Sunday at 1:00 vs. the Ravens.  Washington played the Sunday night game at 8:30. 
The next week they faced off on Thanksgiving in Dallas.  Was the seven hour difference an advantage to Dallas?  Not sure.
The next game Dallas had wasn't until the next Thursday, (last night).  They had the whole seven days off.  The Vikings played the previous Sunday.  Dallas gets the extra rest again.  Advantage?  Maybe, maybe not.

I was actually surprised that there were no egregious calls during the Thanksgiving game that influenced the outcome.  Washington was competitive, and the game was played well by both teams.

Minnesota was not so lucky last night.

At around 6:45 to go in the first quarter, Zeke Elliott fumbles.  He clearly loses the ball, then falls on it and has it in his hands.  Anthony Barr of the Vikings jumps down and pulls it away.  Quite often during the average fumble, there is a pileup and the ball passes to a few different players until they get sorted out.  The last guy with the ball generally wins.  In this case, Elliott acknowledged he lost the ball and the offense started moving off the field.  But then the officials decided it needed to be reviewed.  After going under the hood, they decided that "the ball was recoverd by a Dallas player and then taken away by a Minnesota player."  Dallas ball.

Then, with ten and a half minutes left in the fourth quarter,  Dallas punts.  Adam Theilen of the Vikes catches the punt and runs a little ways to the side and is tackled.  Dallas players came off the tackle with the ball.  Dallas challenges the play.  It is determined that Theilen fumbled just before hitting the ground.  As he rolls over, the ball is loose, and then he gets it in both hands before a Dallas player pulls it away.  It is again ruled Dallas ball.  The next play is a Dez Bryant touchdown.

So in both cases, there was a legitimate fumble, recovery by the same player, and then an opposing player with "simultaneous possession" pulls the ball away.  Both times, Dallas gets the ball.  But they weren't the ball carrier to begin with in the second instance.  If the Vikings take the ball away, according to the refs, it's Dallas ball.  But if Dallas takes it away, the refs say they get to keep it.

I say they can't have it both ways.   Glaring double standard.

Are we going to start a debate about "what is a fumble recovery?" now, like there is for "what is a catch?"

Or is it just that Jerrah's team is on another nationally featured game, so they get all the breaks?

Like I said, I'm really trying NOT to be that guy....

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Monday, November 28, 2016

Like bad pennies...

As a set collector who sifts through stacks of common singles quite often, I've found that there are certain cards that I keep seeing.  Now, we often take note of appearances by our favorite players, or guys we collect, or superstars.  But there are also those more obscure guys that I see almost every time I find a stack of a certain set.  They keep coming back like bad pennies.

I looked up what that saying means, and it said that back in the late 1800's single cents had significant worth and were the favorite target of counterfeiters.  People would typically find fake or "bad" pennies in with their pocket change and would have to slip them by shopowners to get rid of them.  It wasn't unusual to see the same one come back to them, so the phrase became popular.

Aside from horribly damaged or designed cards, or those of players I can't stand, I've never actually seen a "bad" card.  But these are cards that somehow have much greater odds of ending up in that random mixed pile of (in this case 1970's) Topps cards.  They're always in everyone's dupes box.

I disqualified any of my numerous player collections, because I always notice those.  Also, I didn't elect those with actual cool looking cards, or most error cards that have corrected versions, because they are more sought after too.  I won't call them "bad" players, but I guess I define a "Bad Penny" card as the most common commons.

I sifted through a couple Donruss sets from the early 80's but I really didn't find any examples in those sets, probably because I bought them as whole sets when they came out, so I didn't have to look for singles.  So my candidates are from Topps sets of the 70's and early 80's.

Each collector will have his or her own examples for any given set.  Here are mine:

1980 Topps - #563 Will McEnaney

I'm not even sure how to pronounce his last name, but Will is the one card that sticks in my mind for this concept.  I've seen him everywhere.  Don't even think he has too many other cards.  Quick check of the TCDB shows that his rookie is 1975 with the Reds, continuing in '76 and '77, and he also had single Topps cards with the Expos and Cardinals, though his '77 OPC is with the Expos.
Runner-up: #385 Enos Cabell

1979 Topps #403 Tim Foli
When did the Mets wear yellow jackets?  Anyway, the bespectacled Foli rocking the 70's 'do wins out.  Almost had two Cardinals in a row with the reverse number 304 Swisher.  
Runners-Up: #21 Kevin Kobel, #304 Swisher, #438 Horace Speed

1978 Topps #520 Larry Hisle
Larry is usually so much happier in his other cards.  Check out his 1974, 1977, and 1979 Topps, he's having a much batter time there.  Like I said, not a "bad" card, just see it a lot.  Larry would otherwise be in the top 20-ish of guys with the coolest "card careers".  Someone has a series on card careers, but I can't find it right now.
Runners-Up: #151 Milt Wilcox, #178 Dave Chalk, #517 Andres Mora

1977 Topps #436 Turn Back The Clock - Bob Keegan
Any other subset like this would never make the list.  For some reason, I must end up with the dupes from everyone who hoards Turn Back the Clock cards, mostly from the late 80's.  If you ask me at any moment who Bob Keegan was, I'd have no idea.  But this card sticks in my head above the other ones I saw while paging through my set.  I might have said Minnie Minoso's Record Breaker too, but I like him too much to put him in this list.  One-(no)-hit wonder Bob comes out the winner for '77.
Runners-Up: #232 Minoso RB, #474 Rookies, #651 Von Joshua

1976 Topps #258 Nyls Nyman
This one came down to ol' NN up there and Lerrin LaGrow, who I almost collected at one point back in the day when qualifying as a player collection meant you were somewhat interesting and I had more than three of your cards.  Nyls (rhymes with gills or styles?) basically has a '75 quad-player rookie, this '76 Topps, and he made the big SSPC set.  But he makes this list.
Runners-Up: #6 Stennett RB, #138 LaGrow, #268 Del Unser, #345 Andy Messersmith

1975 Topps #575 Gene Clines
Gene looks concerned that I picked him over the other candidates, but he won by default.  I have three DeMolas in my dupes box, but that one is cool for the colors and the ads behind him.  Wanted to say Milbourne, but ya can't put up the Rookie Cup guy, especially in matching red and yellow.  And Nate Colbert is just way too happy!
Runners-Up: #391 Don DeMola, #512 Larry Milbourne, #599 Nate Colbert

1974 Topps #577 Mike Sadek
As I go back further, it gets harder to find obvious candidates for this list.  I considered Earl Williams of the Orioles, but I would see more of the Orioles than any other team around here in that era, so he gets a pass.  I also thought about Tom Murphy from the Traded set, but that was straying too far.  Bill Melton's glaring red helmet was probably just burned into my head from seeing it once.
Sadek wins for his genericness.  He has minimal cardage, consisting of regular Topps cards until 1981, plus a Donruss in that year.  He ended up coaching for SF and got a Mother Cookies coach group card.
Runners-Up: #170 Melton, #375 Williams, #496T Tom Murphy Traded

1973 Topps #364 Rick Wise
Pretty much a clone of the Sadek card, though Wise had a much longer career as both player and coach.  His cards go from a 1964 dual rookie, through 1982, and then from 1985 to 2009 coaching in the minors.  Good player, just cheesy common card.  And like Sadek, he beat Roric Harrison (again with the Orioles), Lee May (Astros), and happy George Hendrick.  Before this year, I would have said Roy White hands down, but I got his auto this past National.  He's kinda the same deal as Wise - decent player with a card that doesn't go away.

I figure I'll stop here.  Not just because it's 1 AM, but from 1971 and '72, the cheese factor diminishes greatly since those sets are so cool to start with.  And I'm not finished 1970 (or '72), so I can't say I've done all the sifting for those yet.

Maybe I'll make this a series and do the 80's next....  Let me know what your nominees are.

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Tuesday, November 15, 2016

No Waiting for this trade!

Thanks to P-Town Tom of (the soon to be renamed?) Waiting Til Next Year for what started as a simple swap for some of my Conlon dupes.  He ended up covering the whole range of my baseball wants in return!

You can tell when someone examines your lists closely when they come up with parallels and oddballs like this.  My Vintage player list is several screens long.  Here's what he found:

Actually got the Showalter/Fregosi twice.  Maybe he thought it was Piniella.  No matter.  I had to double check the Evans to see if I had the Winner or the regular gold, since I just had "Gold" on my list.  Luckily, I didn't have either one.  Really glad to get the Obak Grich too.  I've come across those a couple times, but it's not something that dealers will bring to shows very often.

Next up, he hit my 2012 "Coopy" list.  Always awesome to get these.  Those HOF Classes Teams (the woody ones) are especially elusive.

Then he hit one off the Priority page, and one of those '93 Iooss inserts, plus some REALLY nice higher number '72s.

Just need Ellsbury's buddy Beckett to kill those pesky ToppsTown.  The '72s will be somewhat slumming in my set.  The bulk of it are mid-grade, but as I find the high numbers, they are tending to be nicer than the rest, so I may end up bulk trading to upgrade the front 3/4 of the set.

And for the finale, check out these 1960 Topps!  Tom wasn't sure he was sending enough!  Wow!

The Groat is kinda creased, but on the back, so it won't show in the binder page.  The Spahny group one is too, but looks fine at first glance.  The bottom two are o/c a bit for my usual taste, but they're high numbers, so I'm not complaining at all!

Can't over-say how much I appreciate the trade.  Even the packaging.  He used good ol' masking tape too, and didn't forget the pull tabs!  Looking forward to the next round, Tom!

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Friday, November 11, 2016

Topps Mystery Subsets

For the last several years, Topps' flagship set has featured Highlights, team cards, All-Star game cards, and checklists.  Trouble is, all of them use regular action photos just like the base cards, without any conspicuous markings otherwise.  You have to squint and read the fine print to know what you are actually holding.

So if you didn't know already, which of the following cards is Ichiro's base card and which is the highlight?  I've blacked out the line underneath that gives it away.  But you see it's only a tiny area on the card that makes the difference.

Either one could be the base card, or the highlight of his 4257th professional hit.  You really can't tell.

Now if they put something on the front to distinguish the highlight card, it would be much easier:

Much better....and I can see it without squinting!

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