Wednesday, November 16, 2011

Questionnaire from Nachos Grande: Autographs

Stumbled upon a questionnaire about autograph cards while browsing a blog linked from another regularly read blog.  Figured I'd post it here so maybe my traffic might increase...

Autograph Questionnaire:

1.  What is the best autograph you own?  2008 Topps Heritage Bill Mazeroski red ink
2.  What is the best autograph that you've ever pulled from a pack of cards?  See #1
3.  What is the worst autograph you've ever pulled from a pack of cards?  Any one of a few early 90's rookie scrubs from a value blaster.  I'll never get rid of them.
4.  Do you try to get autographs through the mail?  If so, what sort of success (or failure) stories do you have?  Nope, never really tried.
5.  Who was the subject of your first ever autograph?  Rocky Colavito (as KC coach) on the back of an Orioles program at a game circa 1982-3.
6.  Do you actively collect any autographs (certain players, teams, brands, etc)?  Priest Holmes (all) and the occasional Redskin or baseball player collection guy that I don't already have.
7.  Which is better:  Autographs or Relics?  Autos are better, but I'd take a multi-color swatch/patch (easiest to find in hockey) over a two-letter scribble signature.
8.  What do you think of cut autos?  Deceased players are fine, otherwise cheesy, especially when they cut up an autographed card and put a piece of it in another card.
9.  What is your favorite autograph design (say in the last 5 years)?  2005 SP Chirography
10.  If you could get the autograph of any five people (dead or alive) who would you want a signature from (and why)?
Harry Truman (favorite president)
Christy Mathewson, Rube Marquard, or John McGraw (for my 1909 NY Giants collection)
Gene Kranz (Apollo Flight Director - always awed by that whole program)
Leonard Nimoy or William Shatner (see posts below)

Sunday, October 30, 2011

Star Trek - The Retro Football Card Set - card #5

1955 Topps All-American Mr. Sulu.  Building all the letters took the longest.  Out of the eight or so images that I captured, nobody had a K in their name.  And then there is no common football position with a V, G, or O in it either.  The All Federation text came out the best.  My art program doesn't have a function to make a picture grainy, so the background looks more like video than the newspaper photo pictures in the originals.  Was hoping to get back to these sooner than a month and a half, but since PRP went silent for a while, I don't feel so bad :).   Was Sulu's official title Helmsman or Navigator?  I should know....

Sunday, September 11, 2011

Star Trek - The Retro Football Card Set - card #4

1894 Mayo Cut Plug (N302) Mr. Spock.  Tough to match tbe sepia toning.  And all the original subjects are from Harvard, Princeton or Yale.  Had to fudge some letters that weren't available.  Hopefully, you'll find it fascinating.

Wednesday, September 07, 2011

Star Trek - The Retro Football Card Set - card #3

 1952 Bowman Mr. Scott, engineer of the original USS Enterprise.  Shown here with his second love, Scotch whiskey.  Scotty always had the ability, and the courage (sometimes from the bottle), but he didn't always have the power !

Saturday, September 03, 2011

Star Trek - The Retro Football Card Set

The premiere releases from my tribute to PunkRockPaint's Star Wars... The Retro Baseball card set.  I commented that I was inspired to do a Trek football set but didn't want to copy his idea.  The response was that it wouldn't be copying, it would be an homage, so here we go...

The first ever football set design (1935 National Chicle) for the most important characters - the captains.

As soon as I saw Rockne's head, I knew which character would go there...

Friday, May 20, 2011

The Newest Thing In Jersey Cards - Joisey Cards!

The New Jersey lifestyle invades the card hobby!

Now I'm not saying I think that these Yankee guys are really douchebags (OK maybe A-Rod) even though I'm an Orioles fan and have many reasons to hate on them.  This is more a What If? or alternate reality concept.   Collectors are always looking out for new innovations.  And the New Jersey phenomenon has become rampant (if not popular) in the media.  So I figured why not make the connection between super quad jersey mojo and Jerzguid Bros?

I was going to do individual cards of some of the more notable (douchiest) players, but the foundation of this card is a picture of the fellas from Jersey Shore, which worked well with the four players.  A-Rod looks the best as Pauly D, and the others came out pretty decent too.  Nick Swisher is more a whole body pasted over the original, while the others are mostly just heads.  The lighting is the toughest part is matching the lighting between the different picture elements.  Nick is as close as my old version of Paint Shop could get him.  Jeter's head could use a little more tweaking to match the body of The Situation better.

The custom logo was a bit of work to manufacture the "O".  And I'm not sure about the bling team logo.  It's kinda just stuck out there.  The Ed Hardy background ties it all together, especially Nick's custom shirt.  Had to make him more Officially Mockable.

I'm not sure that this card is actually proportional to 2½ by 3½, but I'm going with it.  We'll say it's a jumbo box topper.

Sunday, April 17, 2011

2008 Absolute Idiot Plaxico Burress

Commemorating the well-publicized gaffe of New York Giants receiver Plaxico Burress.  As you'll recall, in November of 2008, Plax got busted on a firearms charge after shooting himself in the leg in a New York City nightclub.  He was released from the Giants in April of 2009.  Vowing to return to the NFL, he is scheduled for release on June 6, 2011.  (Update: he's out!)
The name and position are a little generic, but I think the rest works pretty well.  Note the bullet icon after the name.  This is the first of several potential cards from this product line - (Panini/Playoff) Absolute Idiot.  (April 2011)

Tuesday, April 12, 2011

Millions cards have arrived!

Package showed up last week.  They came USPS, naturally, since I ordered them via UPS, which was cheaper. Priority Mail shipping was just under $5.  My cost was $16.  Guess that paid for the new top loaders and sleeves.  I don't have much of a beef with that.
And I'm surprisingly pleased with what I got.  The vast majority of the older cards are in a lot better shape than I had expected.  My '55 Pascual RC is pretty sharp:

It's off-center a good deal, but that's the total of the defects, really.  The tape at the right side is just what's keeping it in the standard size toploader.
I also got a couple of '57s that I had a lot of offers on.
One is great and the other is probably the worst shape card in the bunch.  Could have entertained an offer for that one, especially since I saw it at a show for about $3.
The next one is another Senator card, this time from 1960...

He's a bit rough on the edges, and has a crease across the SK, but otherwise nice to look at.  The more I see '60's in person, the more I like the set.  I just don't enjoy the prospect of collecting the set in 8 pocket sheets where they tend to slide out.  That will be a while down the road, though, since I just started the 1959 set before it...
Next up is a card that I couldn't manage to trade, so I had it shipped since it was an older one.

Ol' Jimmy boy has an ancient piece of that tape with the threads in it from the front, over the top to the back.  Otherwise, this would be a pretty nice specimen too.  I managed to peel and scrape the tape off for the most part, but he's wounded for life.  Anyone starting a beater set of '61s?
This next one is a cool looking card,
Tiger Bill has mostly beat up corners, but I like the photo and design.  Plus I know some people up in Tiger country that could move this one pretty easy if I decide to.
This next one was the most anticipated card in my batch.  It fills a hole in my player collection...

This is not a cropped scan however.  The back is centered properly, but the front is way low.  You can see the bottom bit of the circle on the card above at the top.  Oh well, for a high number, it was worth it.
The rest of these were targeted to backfill my sets after I had originally pulled my player collections out of them, so they are all second copies.

Everybody here is a player collection replacement, except Earl.  When I got him, I figured he was just a bonus, but it turns out he was an upgrade of my set copy too.  With the exception of Patek, these are all basically pristine.
Bonus Earl was a good thing, considering this next bunch:

These are all condition replacements (and a few player 2nds) for my '79 set.  These were the bulk of my Millions trading successes.  And they really were upgrades, being mint across the board (except again for Patek).  Unfortunately, when I went to put 'em away, I discovered that I had already replaced about nine of them.  I'm normally really good at keeping lists updated, but dropped the ball on my upgrades this time.  Not a big deal, I didn't have many good '79s to trade.  Kinda sucks paying for shipping of dupes though.  But all was not lost, the team cards I got to upgrade marked checklists showed up like this:

All nice and clean, sharp and unmarked!

Kudos to Topps for a successful program.  I think the Diamond site is a downgrade as far as performance, as well as look & feel.  I liked the Millions site better because you can see more than a couple of your collection items on a screen.  But that's for another post.

Monday, February 28, 2011

Houston, We Have Vintage!

Redeemed my first 20 codes for the new giveaway tonight.  There actually is vintage!  Got a '59 on my second code.  Still got some 2007, 2001, a couple late 90's, but most are just like the first go-round ~ late 70's commons. 
The Diamond Dig is up and running.  Got a ring on every spot.  I figure that's the way it was designed.  Got my bonus code (Pujols - '79 Luis) and a skin-it that I'll never use.  I love how the scale goes from 15 to 45 in the middle.  The idea is to collect 60 unique rings and trade your dupes.  Not sure if there are different prizes for groups of each kind of ring - current teams, legacy teams, and vintage players.  Guess we'll find out soon as some case breaker can trade for enough.
Can't wait for the trading to start.  I think I might try for more '59s, but I'll probably have to drain several cards at a time to do it.
Kudos for Topps for an original innovation on the giveaways....

Comments on Topps giveaway(s)

The Topps Million Card Giveaway is almost over [Edit: tomorrow].  It is, of course, transitioning to the Diamond Giveaway after the first of March.  As the new chapter unfolds, there are a few things I've observed or adopted as policy while trading on the site.
  • Any card offered for one of mine must be same year or older.  There must be a lot of young people out there who think that 200x semistars are worth vintage cards from the 60's just because they've heard of the newer guy and not the old one.  I won't be accepting your 2002 Todd Worrell for a 1963 Senator.  Call me the grumpy old man....
  • If you offer the same thing twice, you are automatically refused.  Pay attention to the offers you make.  Making them more than once does not equate to shouting louder than everybody else.  You're just being obnoxious.  Stop it.
  • You will be refused repeatedly if you offer each individual card you have for any of mine without at least trying to group them together to make it somewhat equal.  One 1985 common will never win even a newer star card, but if you put three together, you might just spark my interest.
  • Some people are clever enough to lead a combination offer with a nice vintage card, but they usually round 'em out with 90's or 2K stuff.  Nice try.  You must be in sales.
  • You will also be banned for life for ever making a successful trade with me if you offer each and every card you come across for some of mine and then offer me the same ones I have for others.  And do it twice or more.  I'm talking to you, mark882 et al.
  • I will accept no trades for a 2001 Pudge Rodriguez.  I drew one myself and traded it away.  I don't want any more of them.  Blame Topps for putting a billion of them in the system.
  • I strive to make every trade offer I create to be in your favor.  Almost all of my pending offers say "Offered card(s) are higher in value".  Take advantage.
  • There's no reason to try to compete for any of the contests as long as there are case breakers out there.  No regular middle-wage Joes are ever going to match the numbers of these guys with the occasional handful of packs from Wal-Mart.  I use the Giveaway to fill in holes and upgrade my vintage player and set collections.  Besides, half the contests are biased toward the big market teams.  Feh.
  • Topps, you need to hire more people to code your pages.  The arrows at the bottom of each page of the collection lists don't work when you try to make an offer and select one of your own cards.  It's a pain to have to scroll up and down all the time.  Also, half the names that "autocomplete" in the search form have two entries - one with two spaces between the names.  That one yields no results.  Not sure if the webmasters plugged in all the names, or they're just what people have entered into the form.
  • Sunday evening I finally requested delivery of the cards I wanted to keep.  None of my last batch of trade proposals had any bites.  So I ended up with 44 cards out of 61 for delivery.  Came to $16 and change via UPS.  I must say they could have made the explanations of the shipping options a little more consistent.  For the post office, there was an initial charge for "the first card" and addtional cost for "each addtional card".  That makes sense.  For UPS, it said the first rate was for the "first Card Shipment" and then the other rate for "each additonal shipment."  That makes it sound like you could ask for your first "shipment" of 44 cards for the initial rate, and then, later on, get more cards delivered for the smaller charge.  Just word them the same, willya Topps?  Anyway, I hope all mine are in good shape.  Most of them are upgrades for 70's cards I already have.
I saw where one popular blogger had redeemed their new Diamond codes and hadn't pulled anything earlier than 2007.  It was only five or six codes, but it's not a good sign for the second phase if that proves to be the common result.  Hopefully, that was just a fluke.