Monday, July 06, 2020

Does Heritage Stay True? (1959 vs. 2008 edition) Chapter 2

Last time, I got through cards 1-50 comparing 1959 Topps and 2008 Heritage.  Rest assured the pairings will not be this dense throughout the entirety of the sets.  And again, my criteria for approval is pretty lax.  They just have to have something in common, like the same position, accomplishment, stat leadership, or even something about their name.  The only semi-strict requirement is that they be on the same team.

Let's get rolling again...

#55 - Red Sox Aces from the previous year.  Spot on!

The equivalent duo from the Yankees at #60.

So you got Mantle and A-Rod right, but couldn't find another superstar on the '59 Yankees to match up with Jeter at #68?  To quote an ESPN NFL show from several years ago "Come on, man!"

The regular Yankees shortstop was down at #505.  I thought Topps was in New York.  Are they Mets fans?

Back on track at #70 with these Tiger clutch hitters.

#74's Washington combos have one major flaw, the 2008 exclusion of managers in any form.  (And the font thing.)

You would expect Minoso to be aligned with someone like Paul Konerko, but since he's on the Indians in this case, #80 is good to go.

Anderson had a better previous year than Werth, to lead the Phillies at the plate.  Nice black scheme reproduced here at #85.

Another proper set of Yankees hitters showing up at #90.  Still can't understand why Jeter was left out.

Braves pitchers with successful first years and pink color schemes at #95.  Both faded into the crowd otherwise.

#99 is déjà vu all over again!  Mariano paired with another Pennsylvania infielder (who incidentally sounds a lot like a serial killer).  I'm just at a loss. 

And ya got Don Larsen languishing at #205 matched up with Milton Bradley.  Oy.

And rounding out to one hundred, a couple A's hitters.  Sort of anti-climactic, but valid.

Family ties bond the two #102's.  This pair is Alou-icious!

A couple tolerable matchups at #105 and #114.  Same team performers, although in different aspects of the game.  I marked the good pairs in green and the bad ones in red on my spreadsheet.  These were in yellow, but I'll give it to them.

#115 will end this chapter with two Indians First Basemen.  One a veteran of twenty years in the majors, and the other a rookie who contributed well in his first full season.

Next time: the Rookies!  (or not.)

Friday, July 03, 2020

"Redskins" - Not Offensive - They Asked

Here we go again the the DC Metro area - another wave of controversy about the nickname of the football team.  This time, it's not the Native Americans protesting (because it never is), it's the multimillion dollar sponsors trying to score points on their PR by jumping on the media bandwagon generated by the anti-racism protests.

In 2014, former Redskins players wanted to know what Native Americans thought of the name "Redskins".  So they did the responsible thing.  THEY ASKED THEM.  And what they found was that the word was created by the Native Americans themselves.  And isn't a slur at all.

The Redskins logo was designed by a tribal chief from Montana in the early 1970s.

"He helped create that logo that we all love, and that is one example of just the facts and the truth and the things that a lot of people ignore," said team owner Dan Snyder. "And I think it's time that people look at the truth and the history and real meanings and look at us for what we are. We are a historical football team that is very proud and that has a great legacy and honors and respects people."

“What the Redskins name means now is awareness for the plight some Native Americans are going through,” former WR Gary Clark said. “All the people saying the name is racist, I see them doing nothing to support the Native Americans whatsoever.”

“Once you come to one reservation, you realize that none of this is about the name”

Some critics of the name, Moseley said, “don’t know what they’re talking about. They’ve done no research. They’ve never talked to an Indian. They have no knowledge of what Redskins really stands for. They just heard someone say this is like the N-word, and all of a sudden people jumped on the bandwagon and said it’s racist, and that’s ridiculous.

“We know it’s not a racist word,” Moseley said. “It’s not something they’re ashamed of. And at the same time, while doing this we found this need which is out there that we can help with, and so that’s what we’re doing.”

Cleveland's Chief Wahoo was a caricature of a Native American.  No Native Americans have ever said that they look like or aspire to look like that.  So they got rid of it.

Atlanta thought better of the "screaming Indian" logo and retired it in 1989.  (But almost brought it back in 2013).  It was a stereotypical image of an Indian, and did not portray Native Americans as they actually are.

Washington Bullets changed to the Wizards in the late 90's.  There is only one meaning to the word bullet.  It's the projectile fired from a gun.  There was a lot of gun violence and people dying in DC, so they got rid of it.

George Preston Marshall was the last team owner to integrate his team with African Americans.  He fought against the idea.  So they took his statue down.  OK fine.  But the original team that became the Redskins was coached by a Native American, and had six players of indian descent on the roster.  Marshall's prejudice didn't include Native Americans.

Redskins is the term that a lot of Native Americans use to describe Native Americans as a whole.  Otherwise, they describe themselves by the particular tribes they come from.  The only people who think it's 100% offensive are not Native Americans.  Another race has raised a fuss (justifiably so), so now these sponsor companies think that Native Americans have the exact same problems, so let's change NFL marketing.  What will this do to help Native Americans?  Nothing.

But money rules everything, so I guess we'll have to get used to the Washington football team being called the Capitalists.  Because that's all that seems to matter.  Native American issues will go unresolved and now be ignored even more.  But the corporations will be able to sleep at night, even though they're taking away an avenue to improve the lives of the people they think are being affected by the name.

Wednesday, July 01, 2020

Cardboard OCD Chapter 8: The Opening Sequence

When you open a new box of cards in packs, do you have a system?  Is there a certain sequence you pull the packs out in to assure quality pulls?  There are several possible patterns depending on the configuration of the box.

I got two retail boxes of the latest release from Topps - 2020 Series 2. 
They are 2 stack boxes.

Two flat stacks of packs.  A left side and a right side stack.

I always prefer to open my boxes "evenly" - that is, one pack from each stack.  In this case, one from the left and then one from the right, and repeat as you go down.

The first alternative is to open one stack in its entirety and then the other.  (The "Whole Stack" method.)

So halfway through would look like the above photo.

The third pattern is the "Dump and Mix" technique, which would be to remove all the packs in the box and dump them on a table or floor and randomly open packs.  This usually involves the contents of all boxes at once.  (Too much randomness for my tastes to be honest).

Same basic choices for a 3 stack box like Allen & Ginter.  I would open one pack from each stack - left, center, and right in succession and repeat until finished.

Same holds true for the common hobby box - the 4 stack box.  My sequence would be top left, top right, bottom left, bottom right, etc.  You could switch it up and do the left stacks first and then the right side ones.

And again, the other options are to pull each stack as a whole, or the dump & mix method.

Of course, in reality, none of this has any bearing on the amount of luck you'll have with what you receive.  But it's kinda fun to think about. 

I didn't really pull much of anything earth-shattering from my first 2020 S2 retail box, so I may not bother to post about it.  The only insert that I could not pull was the 2030.  I got lots of Turkey Reds, some '85s, Decade Greats, one Significant Stat, a couple Home Run Challenge cards, one Topps Now! review, two of the ugly WARriors, and the usual parallels.

How do you open your boxes?

Saturday, June 27, 2020

Does Heritage Stay True? (1959 vs. 2008 edition) Chapter 1

Several bloggers have put out short posts on the parallels between Topps Heritage and the original sets the product is based on.  (Or "is a tribute to" as Topps has said).  Bo at Baseball Cards Come To Life put up a decent batch of 1960/2009 pairings just recently.  Since I have both sets complete, I chose the 1959/2008 set comparison.  Having the cards hasn't really been that helpful though, I largely relied on the database listings and a spreadsheet where I laid out both sets side by side.

As I went through the lists, I noted the matching pairs, and also the significant stars or cards that were paired in mediocre combinations, or worse - not at all.  Since the sets are so large, I will break this up into multiple posts. 

I posted previously that Heritage started off with Vlad Guerrero instead of matching the Commissioner's card from 1959.  No offense to Vladdy, but that was a big gaffe right off the bat.

For the most part, all the team cards match up.  Of course, Heritage has a lot of teams that didn't exist in 1959, and those are loaded at the end of the set, which exceeds the original by 148 cards.  So in order, the Phillies, Orioles, Giants (just in time to be SF), White Sox, Reds, A's (KC vs. Oakland), Cardinals, Red Sox, Cubs, Tigers, Senators/Nationals, Braves, Dodgers, and Indians all appear at the same number.  But for some reason, there was no Pirates or Yankees team cards in Heritage.  Anybody know why that is?

Back to the regular players, the first nice matchup is arguably the most desirable card in the '59 set.

Yankees' biggest slugger on both sides of #10.  Yep, that's how ya do it.  Now, A-Rod is no idol like Mantle was, but no one will ever match up that completely.   The criteria for a good match is simple - players share some characteristic: slugger, ace pitcher, or at least the same position, and for the same team.  There's a chance there may be something different, like a common nickname or something, but it doesn't happen often.

And right in line, the first multiplayer card at #17.  These generally line up too.  The '59 teams may not match the star power of the '08 teams or vice versa, but for the most part, Topps made it work.  There are a couple new combos for teams exclusive to '08, and that's fine.   There's only like one that doesn't match very late in the set.

At #20, Snider and Kent, Dodger stars.  Again, almost none of the 2008 guys are legends like the '59ers, even by 2020, but a Dodger star is a Dodger star.  This one is good.

I had this one as an "in between" in that the #23's are both Yankees, but I changed it.  This is the first miss with a regular player matchup.  At least it's obvious to me.  Cano should have been matched with...

Bobby Richardson was paired with Carlos Delgado of the Mets at #76.  Really?

The twin 27's are gonna look a bit weird at first, but you'll get where I'm coming from.  Pafko and Maddux match up because they both started with the Cubs and were stars on the Braves.  Spahn gets paired with a 2008 Brave just down the line, so it all works out.

White Sox fan favorite star infielders at #30.  Check!

#34 - Tigers hitters.  Yup.  But what's up with the super compressed monochrome fonts, Heritage?

And then back to back at #35 Bucco First Basemen - Check.  Even the same uniforms with the vests.  Nice.

Again, Legend vs. star pitcher for same team at #40.  Good enough.   Especially since Maddux was gone and Smoltz was paired elsewhere.

These two #47's are close as far as the picture goes, but it could have been closer. 

Bill Henry is #46, and he had also just come to the Cubs the previous year after being somewhere else for a few years.

Now #49 is fantastic.  Not much in common as players, but the same exact name?  Awesome.

Not the same team, but how can you disagree with this duo?  #50 is a good place to pause until next time...

Wednesday, June 24, 2020

The Perfect Product

There's a lot of hype in advertising.  There's a lot of hype in the marketing of sports cards.  But if you step back and think about it, cards live up to a lot of the hype.  They're practically the perfect product.  If there weren't all those league and player association logos on the back, and all that fine print, they might have room for stuff that means a lot to other products.  Look at all these features!

Even the Kellogg's cards - which came inside cereal made from wheat and other grains - have never contained a smidgen of gluten.  There's no gluten in trees or plastic.

Well, maybe the card that was packed up against the stick of gum might technically have some residue, but it wasn't an ingredient of the cardboard, right?

From the beginning, it's been all about plant products.  Tobacco leaves and wood pulp for card board.  What could be more natural?  Ok, maybe the occasional acetate card is an exception...

As Nick of Dime Boxes... fame found out first hand, cards may be tasty to the dog, but probably hold no nutritional value at all.  Maybe there's a little fiber in older cards...?

Some of the players depicted have been under suspicion of modifying their chemical constitutions, enhancing their hormone and endurance levels, but even they haven't genetically modified themselves.  Some custom cards are modifications of real ones, but that doesn't count either...

Not only are cards dolphin safe, but there are actually cards of Dolphins!

Dozens of designer colors!

Thin & Compact for easy storage!

Reminds me of an old George Carlin bit:

Get some now! Everybody has one! They're almost gone! They're portable, lightweight, easy to use, collapsible, convenient and guaranteed! Get some now! The new Super Jumbo Deluxe! Handy, pre-wrapped, designer colors and available in all sizes! Get some now! They won't rust, tarnish, blister, crack or peel....