Monday, April 30, 2018

Chantilly Loot Part 4: Vintage Rules

Wrapping up the Chantilly haul with the good stuff.

I've been targeting 1970 and 1972 Topps for completion for about a year.  The first dealer I went to on the 7th of April had what was basically a whole set of '72 in a binder.  I picked out all but three cards from my lists between that guy and Uncle Dick.  I've since gone through my binder and found a couple gremlins, and picked up one more, so I'm at four plus a variation and an upgrade.
 216 Niekro (without the line by his height numbers),
268 A's rookies (just too off center even for my mediocre set),
634 Woodson & 637 Gomez (the gremlins),
Carew 695,
and Mazeroski 760.  
Picked up Pat Corrales at the Greencastle show on the 15th.  Not sure if I'll post about that one or not.

Also knocked '70 down to what ended up being two cards.  Mike Epstein (#235) - not sure what happened there, and, rather appropriately, Oscar Gamble's rookie trio with Boots Day and Angel Mangual (#642).  Could have paid $10 for one, but again, my set isn't that nice to justify it.

Moving on, I also knocked off some from the new '68 set build.  Couldn't wait to get started on them even though I professed to wait until I had completed one of the other sets I was close on.

Started to go through the binder of these with the first guy too, but decided to wait and just pick up a few stars and checklists, including a variation pair.  Cherry picked some of the others that were nicely centered.  Tiant and Fregosi may swap with my player collection specimens.

Found some nice '63 Fleers to add to my set as well.

Got them all from a different vendor than the rest, but still somehow managed to get two Aspromontes.  Guess it's just a requirement that I buy dupes at this point.  If you need one let me know.

Another cache of '64 Topps.  These were only 50¢ apiece I think.  Haddix is happy to be coming with me....

Some really great '50 Bowmans for even less than I've been finding them for.  Uncle Dick had the ones with the color prices in the discount boxes.  I feel like I've bought so many of these, but I'm still not even close to closing out the set, or even just the common guys.

My 1960 set was down to four, and they are some big guns.

Now I'm down to three.

And the usual suspect for the last one is off the list.

One of his better cards.  And only a little discoloration in the red background....

Friday, April 27, 2018

Card Room Renovations Part 2: Upgrades

Once I got the desk cleared out and moved the cabinet over, it was time for the new additions.

Somehow I managed to push these two bookcases up a flight of stairs by myself.  I definitely recommend getting help for things like that because I've spent three days out of work with back problems and the associated complications of the medicines they gave me.  It took two weeks for the effects to show up (and I think I aggravated it with some minor yard work).

But anyway, at the time, I got 'em in there.

I could then fill the cabinets back up with binders and box stock.  And like I said at the end of the last post, I put the baseball stuff on top of the baseball cabinet, and the football and hockey stuff on the football and hockey cabinet.

Then came the desk.  The one I had in there originally would be too wide to allow access to the cabinet on the right and the shelf on the left.  So I measured another desk I had sitting disassembled elsewhere, and it was a foot shorter.  Tough to lose the sorting space, but had to make the sacrifice to fit it in the room.

I guess it will serve as motivation to keep the desk relatively clear and put stuff away quickly.  I keep an old towel on the desk to make it easier to pick up piles and individual cards.

Here are the bookcases completely assembled and somewhat loaded.  I put the sets back in order, but the other stuff may evolve as I add to it.  The oddball stuff on top is just parked there for the moment.  The cabinet stuff is pretty much like it was, but the other stuff will be arranged more carefully later.

Finally, I was able to put the original bookcase in the other room.  It will house mainly books and supplies and a few odd sets that I don't have to handle much.

Those boxes up top are all my empties.  And now I have a spot for large boxes of extra cards by the desk where I can easily pull them and pack them to ship out.

Next time - a quick wrap up with a look at the new arrangement in full operation!

Thursday, April 26, 2018

Gearing Up For NHL Playoffs Round 2: From The Source

Another playoff matchup of bitter rivals Washington Capitals and Pittsburgh Penguins starts tonight.

I've ranted and railed against the Pittsburgh bias that I see from the league and the media a few times.  But that's not what this post is about.

The debate about which guy is the best player in the league between Sidney Crosby (that's the only time that I'll type that correctly) and Alex Ovechkin rages on year after year.  But now it's over.  And Crosby settled it for all of us.

In this interview by Kevin Weekes for a tribute show on Ovechkin's 600th goal, he quotes Crosby at about the 6:50 mark....

... and confirms what I think exactly.  There you have it, from the source.

Wednesday, April 25, 2018

Blog Bat Around: The All Autograph Team (Personalized Edition)

Welcome to my second edition of the Zippy Zappy inspired All Autograph Team.  This time, I'll try to put up a full lineup with only autographs that are personalized to me.  Only cheated on two of them.  These are (almost) all signings I got in person (a couple by proxy) and have my name on them.

Starting Right Handed Pitcher:  Luis Tiant

My favorite player collection guy, though not my favorite interaction.  I think he was just having an off day.  Card came out nice though.

Starting Left Handed Pitcher: Claude Osteen

Really nice man.  He looked very frail when he signed for me at Chantilly.  Looked it up just now and from what I can tell, he's still around.  He could still sign just fine, though.  Kept the ticket too.

Catcher: Manny Sanguillen

There is almost no cooler dude than Manny among retired fan favorite players.  And he might be the only one I've ever taken a photo with.  Someone behind me in line took my phone and snapped our picture.  I won't show it because the lighting makes me look like a ghost.  Had to buy a 2nd '69 Manny onsite if I remember.

First Baseman: Stan Musial 

These next two aren't actually personalized.  But I figured an auto that I pulled from a pack myself was the next best thing.  Stan "the Man" left his family pounds of sticker autos, and a lot of them showed up on this Leaf product from 2015.  Still not a bad thing to have an auto of such a legend.

Second Baseman: Bill Mazeroski

Again, pulled by me, but not addressed to me.  This is one of the best autograph pulls I've ever had.  The red ink edition from 2008 Heritage.  Only the last few out of the 59 were red ink.

Shortstop: Don Kessinger

Borrowed my buddy Stuart's '67 Kessinger to get signed at the National in Chicago and later sent him my copy from home.  Kessinger was really friendly and personable.

Third Baseman: Brooks Robinson

These are the oldest autographs I have.  Got them at a Crown gas station in downtown Frederick, where I lived, in the early 80's.  Brooks signs everything, so I don't know that his auto is real valuable, but you can't discount the HOF status of his playing abilities.  A true legend in the Maryland area.  The big one is an 8 x 10.

Outfielder: Ron LeFlore

A fellow collector from SCF took my '79 card to his signing on the last day of the National a year or two ago.  Was there for the first few days, but we had to leave before LeFlore signed on Sunday.  Came out really nice.

These other two guys aren't player collections of mine, but were VIP signers - which means free - so I went for it.

Outfielder: Art Shamsky

Must confess, I didn't really know of Art Shamsky before he showed up at the convention, but he was cool.

Outfielder: Roy White

White was also signing at the same National, so I pulled both cards from my '70 set.  He hadn't changed that much over the years.  Unfortunate that the card says Yanks.

Monday, April 23, 2018

Blog Bat Around: The All Autograph Team (Orioles Edition)

Zippy Zappy, of Torren' Up Cards came up with this BBA topic and I've enjoyed the first few contributions.   I will have a couple editions of my All Autograph Team.  I actually don't consider my autograph collection to be very big.  It's mostly my player collection guys that actually have autographs, a few others that I got in person at the big shows, and some cheap IP's that I picked up for some reason or another.  It's not a major part of my collection, but I suppose since my collection is so big, even a small portion is a relatively tall stack of cards.

Of course, you know what we have to do next - The All-Jersey swatch team, then the All ManuRelic Team, and the All-Oddball Team.

Here is the first of my All-Autograph Teams.  It's the Orioles Edition.  I tried to fill out each position with an Orioles player's auto.  I had to cheat a couple places, but I think I did pretty well.

Starting Pitcher: Jim Palmer

Continuing the Nabisco appearances in this BBA, Palmer is the easiest choice for this team.  He's one of my largest player collections and one of the few HOF'ers.  I got him to sign the Sportscaster card at one of his National Convention appearances.  He found it interesting that I brought such an oddball item and he recognized what it was.  I commented to him that when he and Don Sutton combined to call the Orioles/Nationals matchups in '06 or so, the stories they had between them were on another level.  Two HOF pitchers discussing the art and the game was riveting.  I also have Palmer's auto on a ball.  One of only two in my collection.

Other Starting Pitchers:  Mike Mussina, Mike Torrez, Grant Jackson, and Brian Matusz

The rest of the rotation is all from my player collections too.

This SP Chirography is one of the nicest (sub? Insert?) sets like, ever.

Just picked this GJax up from eBay for around $3.  And no, I don't have one of his 1966 massively overinflated rookie cards.  Someday I'll find a couple for less than $100.  Yeah, I'm gonna need two.

Very clean looking SSPC Torrez.  Bought it with the IP auto already there.

I'm trying to be a Brian Matusz supercollector.  He really crashed and burned at the end of his Orioles career (and maybe his MLB career as well?).  Got shelled with the Cubs and was let go by the Braves, so I suspect he might be done, but who knows?

Honorable Mention: Pete Richert.   Unless he was ever a reliever, then I merely left him off.

Catcher: Matt Wieters

This is the type of card Wieters had before he finally appeared for Topps in 2016.  The Orioles are on like their third guy since Matt moved to the other Beltway city and joined the Nationals.

Third Baseman: Doug DeCinces

Gonna work around the field from left to right to deemphasize the ones I had to cheat for.  DeCinces is really my second best choice here, but the first one ended up in my All Personalized Edition, so stay tuned for that.

Shortstop: Bob Bailor

Bailor is much more famous for being the first player selected by the expansion Toronto Blue Jays.  He played a total of five games with the big leaguers according to the back of the card, but it says shortstop.

Second Baseman: Bobby Grich 

This is a custom card that I got from someone I don't recall at the National Convention where Grich was signing as a VIP.  I had picked out the perfect card from my collection of his and had it all set to go.  And left the dang thing home.  I was scrambling on the first night of the Nat and my friend Stuart came up with this card for me.  Nice unique piece.

First Baseman: Mike Hargrove (sort of)

Hargrove was actually only a manager for the O's from 2000 to 2003.  But in his playing career, he was a first baseman.  So I cheated.  I don't have Chris Davis or Eddie Murray, so this is as close as I get.  I got the auto myself at another National VIP signing.  Don't think I have anybody else that managed for Baltimore....

Outfielder: Nick Markakis

Ol' Nick performed admirably for us while he was here.  He's one of the few guys I've seen become a favorite and then leave to join another team.  He's toiled away in Atlanta for several years now, but it's still is a little strange to see him in another uniform.

Outfielder: Paul Blair

Blair qualifies for both this O's Edition and the Personalized Edition, but since outfielders are probably the easiest position to populate (if you're pulling from any team), I went with him here.  He was really cool when I met him at a show in Chantilly.  He signed and appeared a lot.  Unfortunately he passed the day after Christmas 2013.

Outfielder: Dwight Evans

I know I said that outfielders were easy to find, but not from just one team in my limited collection.  So I had to go with Dewey, who was an Oriole for a significant time, and was an outfielder.  I just don't have an auto of him not on the Red Sox.  Works out OK though, because I did have plenty of star caliber outfielders otherwise for the other editions.

Would have had to cheat for DH with Don Baylor in a similar fashion, but apparently his IP autos are suspect, so I'll leave that one out.

So that's it for my Orioles All Autograph Team.  Stay tuned for my All Personalized Auto Team and then my regular team with some high star content.  Can't wait to do the relic team too! 😁

Saturday, April 21, 2018

Card Room Renovations Part 1: Deconstruction

(This all happened starting about three weeks ago.  So it's a "retro" look at my renovation project.  I've pretty much got both rooms back together, and just need to clean up some odds and ends.  This is also my 300th total post.)

For a little while now, I've been "at capacity" in the card room.  I've accumulated so many sets, extra singles, Redskins cards, player collection singles, and other stuff that I was running out of storage space.  I was out of box AND binder space, so there were binders with no homes and sets that were languishing in boxes inside full cabinets, with still more on the desk waiting to be packaged.

It's not like I'm going to stop building more sets..or team or player collections...

So the time had come to expand.  I don't really have another room to move to, though I have some of my extras in the adjacent computer room.  So it had to be an increase in the storage limit where they are.

I found a local office furniture store that had a big group of bookshelves at a reasonable price.  I went over on an off day and picked out a couple.  (And told the sales guy I might be back for more).  Managed to get them home and in the house.  And then the real work began.

In the original configuration, my twin china cabinets sat side by side, the one tall bookshelf on the opposite wall, with the sorting desk in between.  Then in the far corner is the metal rack and the half shelf.  Those weren't going anywhere.  But the new shelves weren't going to fit as the room was.

The plan was to move one china cabinet to the other side, and then put the shelves flanking the one that remained.  It was tight, but it was going to work.  Diagrams are not to scale.  (But the crowded effect is realistic.)

First thing I had to do was move the desk out in order to make a path for the  china cabinet to the opposite wall. 

Of course, that involved emptying the contents into the other room.  Not only a drawer full of books and a pile of binders, but the stacks and stacks on top of the desk as well.

Needless to say, normal trading operations ceased for a little while.  (But not the acquisitions!).

So the desk was cleared and removed.

Then the shelf was next to go.  That all got piled on the couch...

...Along with the contents of the football / hockey cabinet, which was then moved to the other wall.

Since I cleared the top of the cabinet to move it, I had the opportunity to fix something that was a little off in the room.  I had my Priest Holmes figures and bobbleheads on top of the baseball cabinet, and my baseball player collection bobbles, oddballs and figures on top of the football/hockey cabinet.  Now they were going to switch to the proper locations.  I would also have to try to move the Priest stuff on the wall behind to the new location as well.  Which means the Redskins stuff would have to come down.  It could actually rotate closer to the wire rack where the cards are, but there isn't as much wall space.  This was an unanticipated aspect of the change.

Next time....Houston we have bookcases!

Friday, April 20, 2018

Attack Of The Clones in Boston

I've only been casually watching baseball so far this season.  It usually takes until the hockey playoffs are over to get me in the groove for watching games every evening.  But I did manage to catch the Orioles game on Jackie Robinson day, April 15th.

The start of the season has been a cold (and wet or frosty) one so far.  Lots of games getting postponed and ruining the extra days off planned later in the year.  They were OK to play Sunday, but it was quite cold.  Some of the Orioles players bundled up while they were on the field.  I took some quick shots with my phone off the television.

Here's Manny Machado batting in full gear.  Wonder if they'll start selling balaclavas on the MLB store now?

At least we think it's Manny....

Craig Gentry was on first at the time.

Machado (?) grounds out and Danny Valencia comes up.  At least according to the tv crew.

You had to keep track carefully....

Later on in the game, a ball was hit to left field and chased by Trey Mancini.

Or at least we think it was him.

You see, on Jackie Robinson day, everyone wears #42 and nobody has their name on the back of their jerseys.

So there's not a lot to go by to tell them apart.  I found this amusing, as did Gary Thorne and Jim Palmer calling the game...

The Baltimore Ninjas lost that game and then disappeared out of town. Very quietly.