Wednesday, April 29, 2020

A Cheap Load Of Bull

Been digging through the closets and drawers this weekend, mostly looking for the other journal book - it is still eluding me - but I found a few things that need better homes.

Picked up a few minor league items from a friend of mine several years ago.  I keep packing them away and then I have to go digging for them when I think about them later.  There are actually two copies of this particular program, with manager Bob Skinner on the cover.   Each of them has a roster sheet for that days game.

The first one is from August 15, 1992 against the Albequerque Dukes and also includes the Toros' promotional schedule for August and September.  The second is for September 1 against the Colorado Springs Sky Sox and also includes a bonus sheet - a wedding invitation for outfielder Karl "Tuffy" Rhodes that was held at the ballpark.  Both books are intact for the most part except for the untidy removal of a food coupon from one of the ad pages.

The third Toros' program is from just a couple years later, after they repeated as PCL champions.  This one was also sold at a game vs. the Sky Sox - this time somewhere between July 25 and 28, according to the roster sheet.

The scoresheet sections of all three programs are clean.

I have another program from around the same era, though this one is for a major league team.

Colorado Rockies Inaugural Spring Training program from 1993.  Includes a ticket stub for a game against the Angels on March 14.  There is an article on manager Don Baylor that almost makes me want to keep the book for my player collection, but it's a little too far outside the scope of reasonable storage and practicality.  So my discipline leads to your benefit.

The bonus with this one is a limited edition baseball from the year after.  Only 1000 of these were made for Spring Training in 1994.

And it's signed!  After some brief research,...

It turns out to be the signature of catcher and later Cleveland and Seattle manager Eric Wedge.  (Autographed card not included).  He is now managing at Wichita State University.

I will trade any or all of these for cards on my wantlist, or cash to cover postage.  I'm not in them for any significant cost, so don't hesitate to make an offer!

Monday, April 27, 2020

Collector's Log: Stardate 198211.13

It's now November 1982, and the year is starting to wind down.  And actually, so is this series, unless I can find the other journal book for 1983!

Big shop visit for this one.  I spent over $23!  (Boy, if I could get away from a decent shop for that little nowadays, they must have nothing but Bowman and hot rookies!)

It was about this many '78's, but there weren't any big stars listed.

Four Mickey Lolich cards, probably not '78 or '79, since I was working on those sets, so they're probably at least one or two of these....

Same deal with Cedeno...

This one I do know, but it could be the '70 or '71.  The difference is the color of the inside.

1981 Kellogg's is the easiest set to complete, and I bought it all at once.  I have a line on most of it if anyone needs.

Willie Randolph getting his first taste of New York in 1976....

A couple from the year before.  Billy Williams is one of the few non-player-collection guys in this purchase.

Even the World Series cards had several of my PC guys.  Palmer in '71 and Tenace, Foster, and Campaneris make apperances in '73 Topps.

All this and some stickers for $23?  Bring back the good ol' days!

I've got two more entries from the journal to go.  One about the '82 NFL strike and the resulting Redskins championship.  The last is in December where I said that I put in orders for TCMA sets, and showed off my ('82?) Traded set.  After that, I'm going to have to dig out the other book...

Sunday, April 26, 2020

More Great Moments In Packaging

Dangit!  I'm a couple posts ahead, and I forgot to put one up on Friday.  Here's your bonus weekend post...

Got a really cool box of stuff from a Trading Bases member, Roland last week.  He was making up for past trades and just helping people out.  For a moment, I thought he might have gone overboard...

Was gonna say I don't even own and iPod, but I actually have one of those really small ones that you pin to your shirt that my mother won at a company party giveaway and didn't know what to do with it.  I don't use it either.

Slide away the sleeve...  Still looks like their may be electronics in there....

A-HA!  It's actually all but three singles I need to kill the '93 GameDay set I started early this year with the purchase of a binder-full for cheap!  (For those scoring at home, 22 ESmith  81 Monk  353 Stepnoski are left)

Perfect packaging! 

Besides two other snap boxes of basically the rest of my '92 Pro Set football needs (yes, you read that right - 1992 Pro Set.  I like that stuff just as much as 2020 Heritage or 1959 Topps.  OK, maybe not quite that much, but still....) was this Conlon Colorized Bob Feller.  #23 in the series, it was a bonus that came with the SCD Price Guide.  Now all I need are the ones numbered in the 30's.

Wednesday, April 22, 2020

BBA: My Other Collections - Part 1

Bo started this topic, and Trevor promoted it to a full Bat Around.  They both showed their Collections of Other Things.

As a few of you might guess, I've got a couple different entries for this idea.  I'll start with the minor ones first.  Bo showed his fledgling accumulation of vintage brand name items and some political buttons.  Kinda like this:

I see a lot of older presidential buttons like this in the flea markets and antique malls.  If I didn't collect cards, I might be inclined to gather these.  I like the historical value, but I'd probably end up collecting space program patches instead.

I do have one significant sports button - this Redskins Super Bowl matchup against Elway and the Broncos.  Of course, the 'Skins came out on top.  Oh, to see those glory days again soon....

But the main thrust of this little collection is rock bands.  Mostly metal, as are my tastes, even today.  There are a few mellower artists in the mix as well.  Check the links for some of their good tunes.  Warning - lots of cheesy 80's music videos.

These buttons were sold at the mall stores that carried t-shirts and posters of the current pop culture - in this case, the mid- to late 1980's.  It was a cheap way to represent who you like to listen to.  I did NOT, however, own a stereotypical jean jacket to put these on.  I keep them in a tin can on a bookshelf.

The Super Bowl button makes a convenient lid.

While not an exhaustive catalog of all my favorite bands, the basics are covered well.  Dokken was my first favorite hard rock act.  And Judas Priest was not far behind.  Their album art is the best for graphic representation (as you saw in the video in this post).  I like Ozzy a lot, though I have never seen him live.  Deep Purple was in the middle somewhere, though Perfect Strangers is a great album.  You may not know Vandenberg, they were more of a fringe band.  Their lead guiarist and namesake went on to join David Coverdale and Whitesnake for most of the Tawny Kitaen period at least.

I found a LOT of Ratt buttons.  Think I might have the whole lineup individually, and then twice as many group shots.  I got the t-shirts back in the day for the middle one in the middle row (plus the poster that I had hanging in my college dorm), and another shirt that had the "robot rat" on the back.  Everyone knows them for their videos with Milton Berle (and a younger Tawny).  Here's one that's just pure performance. 

Too bad it ended badly for the original lineup.  The drummer got mad and made his own version of the band (that failed), and the blonde guitarist died.

Next up, the band that originally turned me on to guitar solos and long-haired musicians in general - KISS.  But it wasn't back in the early days with the makeup and live albums, it was their first album with NO makeup.
Also shown here - Mötley Crüe and Krokus (crank these up)
There's no video for this song, but here's the album track:

Next up, Twisted Sister and Bon Jovi.  TS wasn't the most polished band, but they were good honest rock and roll.  Plus, Dee Snider's testimony at the PMRC hearings was epic.

I liked Bon Jovi's first few albums, but always thought their songwriting was chock full of clichés. Later on, they got way more popular, but my fandom kinda waned.

A couple oddballs here.  Loudness was a totally Japanese metal band with a phenomenal guitarist.  Guiffria was another more obscure one that I liked.  Just happened to find buttons of theirs.

And rounding out the mix, a few of the mellower bands that I liked before I discovered metal.  Huey Lewis & the News were one of only two bands that I saw live more than once.  I think they played for a long time after the 80's but I didn't keep up.  Survivor had a great sound way beyond "Eye Of The Tiger", but changed singers a few times.  Night Ranger was popular later during the metal period, and was played along with that type of music, eventually contributing members to a few other harder acts.

There were several other bands that were favorites of mine, I just never found buttons of theirs.  Queensrÿche, Iron Maiden, Def Leppard, Cinderella, among others.

Thank you! -- Good night!

Monday, April 20, 2020

Reflected Rays

Recently traded with Jeremy at Heartbreaking Cards....  Knocked out a bunch of his Tampa Bay Rays wants instead.  Here's what I got for this's a very eclectic mix of set hits.

Nice batch of 2002 Topps Traded.  Most of these guys had decent careers.  Not sure if Mario is Edwin's brother or not.

Another Traded set, this time from the next year.  I always associate this set with speckles from bricking since I bought a whole box that was like that.  Even the replacement box wasn't a whole lot better.  One day I'll find or trade for a nice series 1 set.

Scott Rolen insert from 2003 Topps.  Trouble with these is, some players are duplicated between the red and blue backs.

Some nice names from the most recent set build I've started - 2004 Topps All Time Fan Favorites including the late Al Kaline.  Excuse my old eyesight missing the cropping on these scans.

One, two and twenty four from the 2004 Topps insert series.  I never had to memorize the order of the Presidents in school, did you?

Retro-hat version of Torii Hunter's 2005 Heritage.  He's always so happy on his cards.

Cantu from the first A&G set and Jeremy's beloved Rays.

Here's one from the 2006 Topps 1952 rookies set.  Two of the most overemphasized things in the hobby.  The '52 design and rookies.  Guess I just collect this set because I could with the starter batch I got.

Another Topps rookies from 2007.  Great photo concept, just not the best execution.

And finally, two from 2007 Heritage.  Still need the other A Sanchez.

Thanks a lot Jeremy! 

Friday, April 17, 2020

Epic Ebay Package - And Nice Contents Too

As a lot of us are doing these days, I spent some free time last week perusing eBay for oddball card items and bargains.  I stumbled across a seller called wipeoutslider who had the last two 1981 Topps Scratch-Offs I needed and several other player collection items.  I actually started looking at his stuff after finding a nice lot of 2001 Bowman's Best higher numbers which would knock off a bunch from the list I had just made.

The order arrived in an extra large plastic bubble mailer.  There were three sub-packages inside.  All of the packaging and tape was marked with eBay insignias.  This was the most epic packaging job of all time!

The simplest sub-package was the bundle of regular sized cards.  It was in its own smaller bubble envelope and sandwiched between top loaders.  Textbook deluxe packaging.

Inside was the aforementioned Bowman's Best lot.  Some of these are available for trade.  I just didn't separate the needs from the extras when I scanned it all.

Also in the bundle was a 2002 Chrome gold refractor of Dusty Baker.  Hard to tell it's the gold one until you put it up against the regular color card.

Next up, a double layered cardboard sandwich around the two '81 Scratch-Offs and a postcard inside a semi-rigid plastic sleeve.  You could run over these with a truck.

Turns out I got another Griffey this past summer, but it'll just add to the pile of about twenty full panels of these I have left over from a big batch that a dealer in Ephrata sold me real cheap.  Have to go back through my set and make sure I've got at least one of each card and all my player guys.  I'm pretty sure I have more than enough.

Behind those was this nifty "Plastichrome" post card of late Dodger great Ron Fairly.  (Night Owl might be jealous).

Here's a quick view of the back.  Feels just a bit heavier than a regular post card, but not so rigid as to contain too much "plastic".

And finally, another double-layer sandwich of a bagged and top-loadered pair of 8x10 images of a couple of my other player guys.  They would have survived a sunken ship, I think.

Sparky Lyle is drawn/painted very nicely on this Atlantic Richfield (now ARCO) Photo Card.  It's definitely from 1969, as Lyle wasn't on the Sox that long.  Great artist rendering.

WipeoutSlider has tons of these kind of team issued photos and postcards.  I could have gone nuts with all my player guys.  But at $5-8 a shot, and since they're such an large size, I decided to keep it to only a few.  I've got enough stuff from most of these guys that I can let that kind of thing go.
I like this photo of Manny.  He looks so intimidating, even though he's the nicest guy in person.  You may recall this shot showing up in my badass players post a couple years ago.

Believe it or not, I only paid a total of a blaster and a half for all this stuff.

I think I got a bargain on the shipping charges alone, since the items were packaged so well.  This is the gold standard on how to pack and ship items from online outlets.  Sellers take heed!

Wednesday, April 15, 2020

When The Night (Owl Cards) Come Down

Got those 2020 Heritage inserts that Greg mentioned a few posts back.  The black borders just inspire a theme, and with them coming from a "creature of the night", it all fits together.  Especially these days, when there's not much to do or anywhere to go.

This is one of my favorite tracks from Judas Priest.  The video features the covers of their complete discography.  They ran out of song before they ran out of covers.

You can kinda twist the lyrics to apply to the world situation today...

In the last rays of the setting sun
And the past days, that's where our memories run

Harkening back to the 20 seasons of Willie Mays.  And remembering when we could still go to a ballgame.

And all of those times
Still race through my mind

Winners past and present, though JV doesn't have the postseason luck - I'm sure it bothers him to some degree.

Call me and I'll wait till the summer
You never understood
That I'll wait forever

We'll just have to wait for whatever's left of the season this year.  I'm sure these guys are itching to play as much as we're itching to watch them.

When the night comes down
And I'm here all alone
When the night comes down
And there's no place to go

At least we can still go to the mailbox.  In the meantime, stay home, stay well, keep reading, trading, sorting, and collecting.  This too, shall pass.

Thanks again to Night Owl!  I gave him a big push to replace the "nudge" toward his Heritage base set 

Tuesday, April 14, 2020

Frustrated...For 21 Reasons

A hobby shouldn't make you mad.

It should be what you enjoy.  What calms you after a tough day.  How you pass the time when you can't go anywhere, or don't want to.  It should mellow you out, let you relax.

Not last week.

I got a big order from SportLots.  Knocking off tons of pesky singles and inserts from my want lists.  Most of them were from the football page, with a few hockey and some baseball player collection ones too.  This should be a joyous occasion, right?

And then I had found a whole bunch of Priest Holmes cards that were still on my lists too.  Fifty-one of them.  Forty-nine and two jersey cards.  I've been at it for a while, so there's probably a couple in there that I already have.  Hopefully, not too many.  After all, I've started my list from scratch like twice.  It should be resonably accurate, right?

Apparently not.

I sorted them by year.  Then I checked them off my site.  So that part is done.  I checked off all the other set hits too.  Everything is ready to go to the room next door.  I get them over there and start putting them in my binder.  The first couple years only have a few cards, and so they fit in nicely.  Have to move a few things around to put them in order, no problem.  Oops, already have one in 2000.  Well, OK, two.  Not a big deal.

Midway through, I'm getting a few more every time.  It's getting annoying. I can see how this is going to go.

But as I go along, and the new arrivals for each year increase, there are more of the same cards already there.  A couple more the next year.  Only a few are new in the last sections.  By the time I get through, I've got twenty-one duplicates.


Out of fifty-one!

That's over 40%!

I'm never one to want to destroy cards.  Even stuff like 1990 Donruss doesn't deserve to be thrown in a fire.  But I was close.  I slapped the pile down on the desk in the computer room.  At this point, I'm spouting a profanity-laced declaration of my frustration - edited here:
Why in the %&$Ω¿ is it so *$#ΣΦ difficult to manage a ^#ß collection of one Γ@~α! guy??
Set building is easy.  Same cards, different numbers.  Player collections - not so much.  Each card is different.  And even among the same product, the parallels can be confusing.  Is this one the base card and the blue and green ones are the parallels?  Or is the red one the base and the silver one a parallel?  Did I not know and just left them both on the list?

What the hell am I doing wrong?  Is my process flawed?
  • I get cards in.
  • I check them off in one room.  
  • I physically transport them to the other room (only when I know they're checked off ~ allegedly).
  • and I put them away. 
How could I have failed so miserably?  How does this happen?

I can understand two or three already being there, especially if they're fancy parallels or obsure refractor versions that aren't labeled.  But how do so many plain base cards or inserts get missed like that?

Does my list site revert to an earlier version behind the scenes?

Do I just check off the set hits and carry everything over?

Did I mistakenly go back to the spreadsheet I started from and forget to check the website?

Am I losing my freaking mind?

I don't have any answers.  I've been collecting for about 23 years.  You'd think I'd have it down by now.  As organized and meticulous as I am about everything else in my collection, how can I keep messing this up?

I am open to suggestion...

Oh and I've got a (much) big(ger) box of Priest Holmes dupes to trade.

Friday, April 10, 2020

Things (Most Collectors) Like That I Don't

Nick from Dime Boxes started what is evolving into a Bat Around about your top ten things about the hobby or the game of baseball that most people like, but you don't.

This was interesting in that it is definitely easy to confuse it with things I hate that everyone else complains about too, or things I like that no one bothers with (though it wasn't as easy to come up with as much on that list as originally theorized).   And I'll expand the concept slightly into "things that collectors that believe the hype like" vs. some of us old-school bloggers who don't necessarily follow the trends.  I also tacked on a couple things about the game in real life when I ran out of card concepts toward the end.

#1 - Rookies

Yes, I call myself the "Anti-Collector" sometimes because the hobby is driven by the latest "Hot Rookie", and I could care less.  Star rookies are generally the last few base cards I need to complete a current set, and when (not if) I don't pull them, I count on generous traders to send them to me so I don't have to pay $3 each otherwise.  When I sorted my sets in the 80's, the rookie cards went in the back of each team.  Makes no sense to me that a base card of some young dude with potential can be valued at ten times that of an accomplished veteran player who has broken records or been on multiple All-Star teams.

This also strikes down the appeal of several other things:
  • most high end product (rookie saturated hits)
  • short prints at the end of sets (rookies you'll almost never find cheap)
  • many insert sets
  • Buying things from dealers at shows who cater to the masses

#2 - Bowman

You could say this was #1a, since they go hand in hand.  But Bowman cards aren't just players I've never heard of, they're also a confusing mixture of what should be different products.  There are veteran cards, and then there are "1st Bowman cards", which would be OK, but then there are also Prospects, and (or?) Draft Prospects.  And then, mixed among all that is Chrome Prospects, which are not inserts in the Chrome set, but in the regular set!  And there is a separate Draft product, which also has Chrome inserts, but they're all autographs. And the Chrome set has Elite inserts, and ... Oh I give up.

#3 - Shiny

It would probably help if Chrome wasn't so dang expensive.  Some designs lend themselves to shiny, but not all of them.  But you can probably find them that way somewhere.  Shiny is just not that much of a selling point to me.  And retro shiny is just the dumbest thing ever.  It's such a contradiction ~ let's take an old school design and apply a new-fangled technology on it as part of a tribute set.  Uh....Why?

This also kinda ties into glossy parallels, especially those in football sets like Score or Donruss Classics.  They're just one more card you have to hunt for while at the same time finding some ambitious collector who wants the glossy versions.  No thanks.  Instant trade bait.

#4 - Online Exclusives

Most of the lists that I've seen so far on this Bat Around agree that online exclusive cards have no appeal, but someone keeps buying enough of them to sell out immediately all the time.  Shops and dealers are falling by the wayside, and meanwhile, you companies keep pushing stuff that has to be bought direct.  Most of it is the same Hype Machine players in recycled designs, or oversize copies of other stuff for way too much money.  I'm just glad my player collections don't show up too often.  Not that I check much anyway.

#5 - Social Media Trading

OK, maybe Blogger is considered social media?  So I'm not trying to be hypocritical by disparaging social media on a form of social media.  But since I'm not on any other form of it (except Instagram, but not for cards), I can claim no participation otherwise.  I've asked many time before whether I'm missing out of great trading and exchange of information abuot the hobby from Facebook, Twitter, and the like, but I've never had a satisfactory answer that would lead me to want to join any of them.

#6 - Book Value

I still deal with the occasional trader or dealer that continue to validate "book value".  I understand if you want to make a trade more or less equal, so you use the book as a far-reaching reference for everything.  But there are also still dealers who consult Beckett to set pricing at their show tables.  Now if they look up a price and then quote me 60% off or more, than I'm OK with it.  When I'm quoting current cash value, however, I prefer to see what COMC and SportLots or eBay have to say.  A collector friend still subscribes (mostly to keep his consecutive streak going, even though he's lost a few to natural disaster) and likes to read the high values of stuff we've pulled from the latest packs.  I always tell him to check the low column and take a discount from there, because that's about what I can probably find it for.

#7 - Grading

"Mojo".  That's what I say to myself when I walk by a table full of graded card slabs with the usual young dudes wheeling and dealing the current Hype Machine fodder to willing buyers.  I've said it many times.
A Gem mint 10 Graded card should not be worth any more than High raw value.  (Though see #6 above.)
Grading is a mechanism where buyers can get an idea about the condition of a card that they can't hold in their hands.  They are allegedly measured against universal standards and rated according to objective interpretation of those standards.   Now whether that happens in real life without influence from how much volume an individual submits etc. is another debate.

Also, it is completely irrelevant to me how many people have arbitrarily decided to send in the same card for grading.  Therefore "low population" should have no bearing on value either.

#8 - Basketball

Hoops is low on this list.  I don't hate it.  I just don't follow it.  I recognize most of the names that are mentioned on the ESPN shows (while I'm waiting for them to talk about football).  But basketball is the one sport that I don't even completely understand.  Still can't get my head around what a "foul to give" is, or what the "possession arrow" means.  Nor do I know what the different positions are, or who plays what, except maybe Center.  Can't even tell you many of the teams that the stars play for.  You know, LeBron, Curry, and Jordan were easy, but these other guys, I got nothing.  It's just not my thing.

#9 - The Strikeout K

This one's from a bit deeper.  But my conviction is strong.  When scoring a baseball game.  The symbol for a strikeout is a letter "K".  But there are two possibilities - a batter can swing and miss - moving the bat in an arc through the strike zone.  That symbol is a regular letter K.  When the batter does nothing - does not move at all - the symbol is the backwards K.

This is totally contradictory to logic.

When there is movement - the symbol is normal (doesn't change).  When there is not movement, the symbol changes to backward.  Now do you see?

I say a swinging strike should be signified by a swinging K.  And a batter caught looking - still standing there normally, should be recorded by a normal K.  Therefore the "swinging K" is for a "swinging strike".  The K is like a gate, and swings around the vertical post when the bat does.  Seems perfectly logical to me.  Don't know how they've gone so long with it wrong.

#10 - Pitcher's Intimidating(?) Mannerisms

Scraping the bottom with this one.  There aren't many guys that do this, but these two are famous for it.  Jonathan "Pucker Boy" Papelbon always looked in for the signs with his face clenched in what I can only describe as an expression like he was going to spit out an egg at any moment.  Craig Kimbrel poses in this "flapping vulture" configuration to get his instructions.  I guess they think they're intimidating batters or something with their intensity, but to me it's just ego-driven theatrics.  And they look stupid.  Kids, don't try this at home.

To each his own.  The views and opinions expressed herein are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the official policy or position of anyone else in authority in this hobby or any sport in general.  My apologies to Jay Bell and basketball fans everywhere.