Wednesday, December 13, 2017

Designs Across the Lines

Back in the mid 1990's, many of the card companies would use the same basic design formats for their main sets of the major sports.  This was, of course, back when several companies were producing cards for each of the four major sports.  (The "good times").

For example, in 1995, Topps did this:


Baseball, Football, and Basketball were all the white frame, gold foil script names and smaller all-caps positions and team names highlighted by team color jagged stripes across the bottom and up one side.  I thought it clever to use Deion for both sports he played, especially since the colors match.

Fleer Ultra did all four sports....


And so did Upper Deck.  Their design in a bit minimalist in that it's really only the name arc'ed across a full bleed picture.

Now, I'm more of the opinion that original designs for the four sports are better than the same one.  Usually because there are design elements specifice to the particular sport.  Gloves and bats in baseball, gridiron lines and helmets in football, etc.  But these designs don't use any of that and therefore can support all four sports well.

So can any modern designs carry over into other sports?  in a (more) perfect card world, any of the present companies could produce cards for other sports besides those that they have exclusive contracts for.  What would their products look like?

Let's get out the old Paint Shop program and find out, shall we?

2017 Topps (P)unt football:

2015 GQ football:


2014 A&G Hockey:

More to come...?

Monday, December 11, 2017

Baker's Dozen From Dime Box Nick

Tomorrow I go back to work, so it's chill time for the dog.  I hope.

Today I got a package from Nick with return fire from our recent trade.

A couple post-career Palmers...

The SP is oriented "correctly", but the back is upside down.

A few more player collection hits...

Fleer box set Fisk, nice SI Sparky, and a Toys'R'Us Mussina.

Also got some 2017 inserts etc.

Short-print Jackie, Untouch Able Rocket, and Carlton All timer.

A pair of Series 2 '87s...And a pair of Update ones....

But the star of the show....

Oh, Heidi....

Thursday, December 07, 2017

New Addition To The Collective

My new roommate moved in Wednesday.  The fuzzy variety.

Her name (for now) is Mimi.  She's a pit mix from AAHA Rescue near Reisterstown or Baltimore.  I'm guessing her age to be about three-ish.  She's very sweet, but is skiddish about people that come by until they give her a cookie.  Then she's fine.

The trainer from the shelter called her Diva dog, and it's certainly true, but she's different than my last one in that she's not big on fluffy blankets.  Well, unless their up on the couch.

i took off the rest of the week to get her settled in and into somewhat of a routine.  Play time will probably cut into my trading and blogging at least for a little while, until I get the hang of turning this

...into this.

I mean, how do you resist this face?

Tuesday, December 05, 2017

Teammates Across The Century

Here's one from the Oracle of Baseball that connects the manager of my oldest team collection (T205) to one of my most recent player collections.  

John McGraw played with Roger Bresnahan for the 1901 Baltimore Orioles.  (There isn't a card of Bresnahan with Baltimore, but there is this one of them both that came later.)

Roger Bresnahan played with Bob O'Farrell for the 1915 Chicago Cubs


Bob O'Farrell played with Phil Cavarretta for the 1934 Chicago Cubs

Phil Cavarretta played with Minnie Minoso for the 1954 Chicago White Sox

Minnie Minoso played with Harold Baines for the 1980 Chicago White Sox

Harold Baines played with Jim Thome for the 1999 Cleveland Indians

Jim Thome played with Brian Matusz for the 2012 Baltimore Orioles

Friday, December 01, 2017

Who Needs Binders?

One nice perk of my cushy gubment job is that occasionally I catch them purging paperwork in favor of electronic records, and they just chuck all the binders - including some nice D-rings.

I took advantage again this week with five boxes of them.  These are nice heavy duty Avery binders for the most part. I really don't have the storage space for these, nor do I have shelves to put them on if I filled them.

So my glut is your gain.

Since I basically got 'em for free, all I need in return is a few cards or a few bucks for shipping.  I'll have to see if I can get more than one in a flat rate box or something to save on postage.  These would be 10 to 15 bucks apiece, even on Amazon. 

There are 18 of these white Avery One Touch binders with the 3" rings.  Four of the 4" D ring model, and 8 blue 3"ers.  I think I might keep the green ones, so there are three or four black ones left over.

Here's a better perspective on the sizes.

Card is next to the four incher, the rest are threes.

Three inch One Touch whites

Thursday, November 30, 2017

Big G @ BCB Is Good 2 Me

Got a trade package yesterday from Gavin at Baseball Card Breakdown in response to a couple small shipments I made earlier.

Started with a couple Retired Sig player collection guys.  Always cool to get a Tiant I don't have.

Then he hit me with quality over quantity.

A purple Prizm Jordan Reed....

And two gamers from back in 2008 when we had high hopes (and low results).  Plus an encased Laverneus Coles Pristine.

He wrote the note on the back of this 1/1 Draft sample 1964 custom...thingy.

Thanks Gavin!

Monday, November 27, 2017

Teammates With Kevin Bacon

Yet another Blog Bataround, but with some teammate references instead of movies.  I used the Oracle of Baseball page on to connect the players, until I got to one that was on the Oracle of Kevin Bacon page. 

  Luis Tiant played with Carl Yastrzemski for the 1976 Boston Red Sox

Carl Yastrzemski played with Wade Boggs for the 1983 Boston Red Sox

Wade Boggs played with Derek Jeter for the 1996 New York Yankees

Derek Jeter was in
Anger Management (2003)

with Jack Nicholson

who was in A Few Good Men (1992)

with Kevin Bacon

Saturday, November 25, 2017

Cardboard OCD Chapter 3: Sorting sets

The biggest volume of my collection is complete sets, or those I'm striving to complete.  The typical pattern is to get a starter lot of some size, then add singles via retail or trade, and then buy or trade for the last few.  If the initial chunk is retail packs or hobby boxes, there's some significant sorting involved.

After you bust all the packs, or remove the mail packaging from your starter lot box, you then have to decide how you're going to sort the set, by teams, number, or another order.  And you have to pick whether it will go in a binder and sheets or in a white box.

For the first several sets I built, I would generally sort them into teams.  I liked the continuity of the team colors (when the designs differentiated the teams) and liked to see all the players together.  As time goes on, I find I'm more inclined to put sets in numerical order since it's easier to track what I'm missing.  Otherwise, you have to do some very disciplined documentation on paper to keep from forgetting that cup-of-coffee guy from the Padres, or the special combo card.  The sets of the 70's had team checklist cards that made team sorting easier and trackable, but then you had to figure out the extra stuff on your own, by either reproducing the numeric checklist cards, or (Heaven forbid!) actually marking them off.

One company made it easier to incorporate both methods - Fleer.  They produced their sets already in order by team.  All of the cards for one team were consecutively numbered.  I still refer to this as "Fleer numbering".

To begin, you have to have a sorting area.  Whether it be a desk, bed, or open space on the floor.  I am lucky enough to have a full size desk designated for sorting and putting away cards.  I keep an old towel on the surface of the desk.  This is not primarily to protect the surface, but to make it easier to pick up cards from the otherwise slick wood finish.  You don't want to put nicks or scratches in cards by clawing them off the table by their edges or scuff the faces by sliding them off the edge all the time.

So where do you start?  You've opened the packs or the starter box, and have a big stack of mixed up cards.  What's your favorite method for getting them into order?

I've seen other collectors sift through and pull out each card in order, one by one.  I prefer a more layered method.

I took some pictures while I was sorting my 2017 Topps Update boxes.  There are only 300 cards in the base set, so this is a good choice to break down the techniques with.

I open all the packs and separate the base cards from the inserts and other stuff.  Then set the inserts etc. aside.

So I will start by sorting them into piles of "100's".  1 through 99 (the "tens"), then the 100's, and 200's.  It takes some decent table space to sift out more than three large piles if you've got a bigger set to do.  Sometimes I will recognize runs of duplicates as I open packs.  I find it's less of a pain to just throw 'em all in together and sort out the dupes then go by intuition and leave out the ones I think I've seen already.  Inevitably, there are one or two singles that get swept in with a run like that and end up on the want list until you sort back through the dupes pile.

Here's a brief video of me at this stage with 2017-18 OPC hockey.  Was just trying to see if I could get a good rhythm going and sort really fast.  Never quite get it cranked up in this one though.  Are you slower or faster than this?

So after all the "100's" piles are done, set them aside and then start on the next level.  Take the 1-99 pile and sort into single digits, 10s, 20s, 30s, etc.  I lay them out as one row at the edge of the desk.

Constructive OCD Tip - I put the "50's" pile a little higher than the rest of the row in order to break it up and give me a visual marker.

This way, I can locate half the stacks merely by their location relative to the whole row.  Of course, the "1's" stack is the first one, the "50's" stack is raised in the middle, and the "90's" stack is the last one.  But further than that, the "40's" is the last one before the raised stack, and the "60's" is the one right after.  It takes a lot more to explain it than to use it while you're sorting.  Instead of counting out "Ones, tens, twenties, thirties, forties,..." for a card numbering x4x, you just think, "one before the raised stack." and plop it down.  The gist of it is that you're never thinking about more than a couple stacks at a time when determining where a given card goes.  It's all about efficiency and speed.  I actually like sorting.  It's fun.  But some people don't enjoy it like that, so the quicker they can get through it, the quicker they can enjoy the other facets of the hobby.  Like hunting for more!

Further, I find the rest of the stacks by thinking of where they are as well.  "20's" are in the middle of the "1's" thru "40's" run, "70's" are the second past the raised "50's" and so forth. 

So I go through and sort out the whole big stack that I made before.

Next, pick up each stack and put them in order.  If you can't hold them all at once, then move the piles aside (stacking them on each other at 90° rotations), and then you can lay them out like you did with the last step.

I put 'em all in order, even the dupes.

Then, when you run into dupes, if you have an older set, you may have to choose which one is cut better, or came out undinged, etc.

Write down the ones that are missing and then start your set pile in one spot and your dupes in another.  Be careful not to cross the stacks and put a clump of dupes in the middle of your set.

You can either start at card #1 and work down or start at the end and work backwards.  The difference is whether the set pile is face down or face up. 

Dupes and set pile (from OPC hockey)

Keep going for each 100's pile until you've gone all the way through.  Then you can post your want list and put the cards in whatever storage medium you select.  Those stages are for the next OCD posts....Happy sorting!