Monday, July 22, 2019

As Much Fun As You Can Have With '91

P-Town Tom hit me again with some hits to my (newly expanded) 1991 Topps error want list.  Some of these are kinda obscure, so I'll show you the differences - the a and b versions.

#101 Ducey - (® far away from Blue Jays).  This variation occurs several times in the set.  The "circle-R" or registration mark, is printed high and tight against the last letter in the logo, or is mid-line and a little farther away.

Here it is again with #369 Searcy - this time it's the "TM" mark.  There is no official listing for some of these, so it's hard to judge which one is A and B.

#374 Casain - (facial blemishes present & airbrushed).  Mr Casian must have been right out of school, and apparently had some complexion issues that they cleaned up for him in the first card photo.  The picture has the corrected card first.

#533 McDowell - (no period / spot after name).  Couldn't find a scan on the internet for this one, so I had to make one.  The little spot printed at the end of the name disappears in later versions.  Would hesitate to call it a "period" since it doesn't sit on the line like a printed character, and the black stripe goes right through it.  Interesting that there is what looks like a hair on the plate - a thin line through the team name and name stripe - that remains on both cards.

#573 Rich Rodriguez  blue mark on shoulder - natural/blue glove laces.  This one has a C version.  There is a small blue print mark on the first one at his shoulder above the glove.  Then the mark is gone, but the edges of the glove laces turn bright blue.  The final variation corrects both.

#555 Ward - (gap in top black border).  They've been doing this since 1973.  Pro Set was the champs, though.  Just a small gap in the very top black line right about the black splotch in the crowd. 

#610 Galarragga - (white space between glove and border).  Andres has a nice horizontal card in '91, but the overlapping photo gets a little messy until they clean it up. I added the green highlight.

#615 Blyleven - (MAJ LEA Totals fill space to border).  Courtesy Junk Wax Gems.  Most cards have the copyright line inside the border, but Bert's stats are so long, it got pushed outside. 

#695 Seitzer - (green top border).  There are a few of these in the '91 set too.  I don't know if it's a color processing problem, or just a mistake by the guy behind the Photoshop controls.  The scan makes it look dark grey, but the first one is a nice forest green on the top inside border stripe.

Thanks to Tom again, and I hear there are more coming!  That guy is one of my best trading buddies.

Wednesday, July 17, 2019

(More Than) A Few Of My Favorite Things

Editor's Note: Home internet service is still down.  I'm writing this at some friend's house while I dogsit.  I reviewed my message from Verizon and it said I was set for NEXT Tuesday.  F&*# me.

Building upon Chris' concept for his Favorite Things post, I've expanded the categories.  One of the first things I think of about the 50's is the cars.  And I've been meaning to post about my idle and buried comic collection too.  Plus, if you've got movies, you might as well add TV shows too, right?  All that, plus card sets and players by decade may make this way too long for a single post, so I may have to split it up.  A lot of this stuff spans two halves of consecutive decades, so some things may seem a bit early or late.

Cars - I love 1950's Pontiacs.  I want one.  Started out liking Cadillacs of the same era.  They just have the right look.  Then I saw the Pontiacs - Silver Streaks, Cheiftains, Super Chiefs, and Star Chiefs.  They're just the consummate Old Cars.  The size, all the chrome, and the styling...

Card Set - Gotta be 1959 Topps.  I like the '57s the more I get them, but '59 is an all time classic.

Music - Nat King Cole and Frank Sinatra.  My musical wheelhouse generally involves long hair and guitar solos, but as I've aged, I've developed an appreciation for some classics as well.  I can't say I listen to these guys with any regularity, but if I'm with an older crowd, I have no problem with hearing stuff from these two.  Timeless songs from the classiest gentlemen in history.

Baseball Players - Stan Musial and Charlie Keller.  I don't collect Musial specifically (who could?)  but he's the best player of the decade.  My connection to Keller has been mentioned a few times here.  Neat custom Musial I found on the interwebs - no artist named.

The remaining categories will expand in the later decades.  Comics and TV weren't nearly what they turned into later.

Cars - Pontiac GTO, Jaguar XKE.  Don't have a deep connection to either one, (never owned or driven either), but they look cool.  GTO is the king of American muscle cars, and the Jag reminds me of one of my favorite 70's cars - just a lot more exotic and luxurious.  Stay Tuned.

Card Set - This one's kind of a tough call.  The 1960 set is nice (and I'm done with it), but the '64 set is growing on me more and more.  It's a bit simpler, but I think that's why I like it.

Comics - Gold Key Disney and Sad Sack.  I only own one comic that's older than the 60's, so this category starts here.  Even with these titles, I'm not sure if I was reading original books, or reprints.  Not that it mattered to me at the time.  I didn't actually read anything until the early 70's anyway.  I remember Archie comics at the same time, and I had a few, but wasn't into them as much.  Lord knows I didn't relate to the dating and socializing in those stories.

Baseball Players - Willie Mays, Bob Gibson, Tom Cheney.  I've got a lot of PCs that start in the 60's.  But if you ask me who the best slugger/fielder and pitcher are for the 60's, it's gotta be Mays & Gibby.  (I'm waffling between listing my favorites and who I think is the BEST player.)  Cheney is one of those Joe Shlabotnik players that did something amazing and wasn't heard from much after that.  He is a PC, and a relatively small one.


Movies - James Bond films with Sean Connery, Manchurian Candidate.  Any of the Connery Bond films are classics.  He's a man's man.  And the original Manchurian Candidate stars Frank Sinatra in a really intense story.

Music - Motown.  I'm sure there's some early rock that happens in the 60's, but Motown was the best of the decade to me.  Again, it took me a few decades to develop an appreciation, and it's all secondary to hard rock overall, but I like a lot of the songs from these artists.

TV shows - Batman, Star Trek.  Weekdays after school, there were a lot of animated shows, but one standout was the live action Adam West Batman show.  I was the Caped Crusader for at least one Halloween back then.  And of course, Star Trek (The Original Series) started in the late 60's as well.

Honorable mention to "The Tholian Web", one of the best episodes.  And yes, I became a Trekker later in life.  (Kinda obvious with the theme of this blog.)  I've still got a couple uniforms hanging in my closet.  TNG red shirt and Captain's tunic & jacket from season 5.  And no, they don't fit any more.

Yep, looks like this will be at least a three-parter.  The 70's and 80's are next.

Tuesday, July 16, 2019

Lines Are Down

My land line (yeah, I know - I'm old school) has been down since Sunday, and hence my internet connection is out too.  I hate even attempting to edit things on my cell phone, so transmissions from the Hive Mind aren't coming through.

Verizon will allegedly arrive between 8AM (at best 9:30 at this point) and 9 PM.  Thanks for being specific.  Hopefully they actually call me first.

I've got show loot, two unopened boxes of Stadium Club, mailday from P-Town Tom, and the rest of my "Favorite Things" posts in the works.  So I hope it's a quick fix.

Stay Tuned!

Friday, July 12, 2019

Duplicates Are A Trader's Best Friend

Tiffany's, (Gary) Carter, Black Sox, Ross Grimsley, ...

Maybe I'm misquoting the song.  But as I was pulling all those '84, '89 and '90 Topps Tiffanys out of the binders at the shop last week, I know I said a couple times, "I hope I don't already have all these."

Well, it wasn't so bad.  But I did have some of them.  So they are available for trade.

Only a few dupes from the 1984's.  One all time stat leader...

The '89s fared the worst.  I must have found a stash of these in some dealer's box at some point.  Tiffany's weren't something I catalogued in my want lists since I didn't think I'd find them in any great quantity anywhere.  Guess I'll have to squint through the lists of all the Tiffany sets and put down the ones I'm still missing, at least from these three years.

Was surprised that I even had the Jefferson "pink triangle" B variation in glossy form already too.  He's not part of my player collections, but all the others are.

Here are some bonus offerings from a few years ago.  1987 is another year I've managed to knock off most of the shiny Topps cards.  These were bought (again) after the first batch.

So send me trade offers, and I'll respond after my eyes clear up after once again listing out all my player guys from several different Topps sets in the big book.

Sunday, July 07, 2019

Shine On You Crazy (Baseball) Diamond (Stars)

Spent the four day weekend with my best trading buddy Stuart and his girlfriend Marion.  She had the time off for once, so they drove from Michigan and we toured the local area antique and book shops for four days.  And of course, hit the card booths.  The biggest was at Rocky Ridge Collectibles just below the MD line on Route 11.

Most of what I got was for other trades, or second copies of '77 and '79 Topps baseball singles of my player guys that I still hadn't replaced in my sets.  Grich here is a typical example...

Tilted toward the light, normal vintage has somewhat of a texture, but doesn't reflect much.  Good for checking flaws.

Why am I testing the reflectivity?  Just to provide a reference.

I also found several binders with 1984, 1989, 1990, and 1991 that had a distinct difference.  I pulled my player guys from all of them.  Prices ranges from a quarter to 75¢ each.  Dewey Evans and a couple others were a dollar.  But the HOF'ers were not necessarily the highest marked.  Not sure why, but it's not relevant.

Fair selection of '84s....

But tilt 'em toward the light, and voilà!  Topps Tiffany!

Innocent looking '89s...
Shine bright!

Julio Franco was just happy to be an All-Star in 1990...

But all his friends are aglow as well!

'91s you know...

All aglow!

Also picked up some other PCs in this years Stadium Club.  They're silver foil, but shine goldish under my incandescent bulb in the computer room.  Was surprised to see Charlie Keller in the latest Diamond Kings.  I want all parallels of this one as well!  And started another oddball Cal set.  I already have the plain version.  You can't tell in the above photo, but...

Shiny gold version!  Still looking for two to finish it out.

Thanks to my friends for a great four day weekend.  Back to the (ten-hour a day) grind tomorrow.

Can't go out without the song in the title...

Wednesday, July 03, 2019

Of Heroes And Patriotism

Was lucky enough to be on the receiving end of one of the packages that Greg the Night Owl sent out recently.  Some of the contents were very timely, arriving just before Independence Day.

This is one of two 2001 Topps United We Stand inserts that were issued after the events of 9/11 (2001).  The flag flying over the damaged Pentagon wall honoring those who perished in the attack on Washington, D.C. that day.

Here's a wider view of that spot just after the tragedy.

The other UWS card is a shot of Ground Zero at the World Trade Center in New York.

Just last weekend, I visited the site of the result of the third attack that day, the Flight 93 memorial in Shanksville, PA.

A wide view of the grounds, with the wall to the right, the point of impact marked by the boulder in the middle, and the walkway that borders the sacred ground of the crash site.
This is the overlook platform just beyond the Visitor Center at the top of the hill.

The wall with the names of the 33 passengers and aircraft crew.

And a shot of one of the displays inside the Visitor Center.

I'll do a more complete post about that in the near future.

And just so this doesn't become more about 9/11 than the 7/4, here's another card from N.O. with a little more triumphant spirit to it.

Neil Armstrong setting off to unite the world as they watched him set foot on somewhere other than Earth.  An amazing accomplishment that still blows my mind when you think of the level of technology present in 1969 when they pulled it off.

I don't consider myself a really spiritual person, but my sense of patriotism is very strong.  It's almost the strongest emotional force that I can be motivated by of anything I can think of.  There are a lot things about this country that are annoying and cause a lot of conflict between people.  But I wouldn't want to live anywhere else.  I'm not a very competitive person, nor am I overly motivated to be that "type A" go-getter who spends a lot of time gnashing their teeth to achieve as much as possible all the time.  But I could see myself becoming highly energized to combat an attack on our freedoms in this country.  I actually tried to become a soldier once, but a severe case of pneumonia at the wrong time messed that up.  At the time I discovered my path was elsewhere, but I still have an appreciation for the fighting spirit in defense of the flag.

Enjoy your celebrations with family and friends on the Fourth.  And be safe with the pyrotechnics, please.