Thursday, November 29, 2007

1981 Fleer Mini-Tournament: Final

After a long hiatus brought about by the confiscation of Johnnie LeMaster's reefer, his subsequent trial, conviction, and incarceration, the 1981 Fleer Intra-pack Mini-Tournament reaches its final match today.

Here are your competitors:
#445 Al Holland

Al reached the final by narrowly defeating Terry Forster, whose consderable weight gain gave him the advantage in the early stages of competition, but failed to provide him with the endurance necessary to stave off Al "Wooly" Holland. Al celebrated the semi-final victory by popping open a bottle of champagne, which he is still wringing from his hair and sideburns at this very moment.

#66 Denny Walling

Denny has been keeping it bright since his 4-3 victory over Johnnie LeMaster, although he has gone through seven-and-a-half bottles of Cheer detergent with DuPont ColorGuard technology. Houston-area reporters claim that Walling has not removed his jersey since the November 15 semi-final except for daily washings, during which he stands next to the dryer in his basement impatiently.

Time to crown a winner. The championship trophy has already been crafted, awaiting its rightful victor.

Also, I'm getting really excited about this December's Card-vent Calendar, which debuts two days from now. Keep checking in!

Wednesday, November 28, 2007

Trade Me Anything!! Trade #6

Today's trade is a MMPOBT (Massively Multi-Player Online Baseball Trade). Mark from North Carolina initiated this blockbuster deal that ships a bunch of old Milwaukee guys back to Milwaukee in exchange for some 2007 Topps Updates and Highlights Red Backs.

Giving: #12 Marlon Anderson, 24 Brad Hennessey, 59 Ryan Doumit, 89 Doug Mirabelli, 125 Joe Kennedy, 204 Kyle Lohse, 321 Scott Linebrink

Getting: 1989 Topps Robin Yount Coin #60, 1991 Dave Parker Button (Fun Foods?), 1975 Hostess #118 Billy Champion, 1992 Leaf Studio #195 Jaime Navarro, 1973 Topps #45 Ellie Rodriguez, 1973 Topps #176 Chuck Taylor...

...and the coup de grace, a mis-wrapped pack of 1986 Topps. I wonder what would happen if I submitted this to the ridiculous institution of pack grading. This will probably be opened on A Pack A Day in the near future.

*The best part of this trade is the action shot on the Rodriguez card. Rare by 1973 standards, this card depicts an actual County Stadium game, not some spring training circle jerk. The home plate umpires still carried large shields back then and liked to ruin the shots of Topps photographers. The outfield also correctly states that "It's Miller Time." Indeed.

*Billy Champion's collared shirt underneath his jersey during warm-ups. This trend needs to return. Prince Fielder, your fashion public awaits the first move.

*Although I'm losing a Brewer in the deal, he's not really a Brewer anymore, as he was traded to the White Sox last week.

*I already have the Yount coin, but the thought is appreciated.

*The Chuck Taylor in the trade is not the guy who invented the shoes. Too bad.

I like how the recent trades have begun to haul in a little more of the "Anything" I was hoping for. I can't wait to see what else is in store.

Oh, and it's only three days before the Card-vent Calendar premieres! Stick around for more tidings of card joy!

Tuesday, November 27, 2007

Trade Me Anything!! Trade #5

Today's trade finally puts the "Anything" in Trade Me Anything. David from Georgia sent me an envelope packed with goodies, giving me a Christmas in November to tide me over until the real thing arrives. Let's check the booty.

Getting: An assortment of pirate game cards, called Pirates of the Revolution; a Burger King Packers jersey thingy; and a booster pack of Star Wars Young Jedi collectible game cards.

Giving: David was very specific about how each component of the trade was arranged. In exchange for the pirate stuff is #UH114 Pete Orr. Orr...oar...pirate ship...get it? Then there's a dirty, rotten, cheater of an ex-Cub, Sammy Sosa (UH205) traded for the hometown favorite Packers jersey. Finally, I was left to choose any card for the Star Wars pack. The nod went to #UH144 Edwin Jackson. This was my choice because it's obvious to anyone paying attention that Edwin posed for this picture on Dagobah, what with the thick fog and all. Look for his numbers to soar next season following his tutelage under Yoda.

*The Packers jersey number is that of A.J. Hawk, a solid defender.

*The variety of the items traded.

*The badass-ness of Devereaux, one of the pirates involved in the game.

*The lack of time I have to learn how to play the pirate game. It looks fun, so maybe I'll take this out during my Christmas break. Until then, my spare time will be spent playing FIFA '08 and Manhunt 2 on the Wii.

*The emphasis of the Star Wars cards on the prequels. I love, love, LOVE Star Wars, but only the original trilogy does it for me.
For anyone curious, here are the cards I pulled from the Star Wars pack. I have no idea of their value, but if anyone wants any of these, you know I'm open to trades.

Monday, November 26, 2007

Trade Me Anything!! Trade #4

The gauntlet has been thrown down. Erik from New York has traded me the Holy Grail of affordable 1980s cards.

Giving: 2007 Topps UH #162 Phil Hughes (RC)
Getting: 1988 Fleer #616 Sammy Stewart

*I was not aware of this card until now. It may be the coolest card of all time. There is nothing premeditated about it. There's no Roger Clemens standing against a score board; barechestedness and shoulder pads are not involved; and this guy's teammates didn't go to work on his bat with a Sharpie.

*Sammy looks a lot like Alfred Molina here.

Strangely enough, in his big scene in Boogie Nights, he can be heard asking, "You guys wanna play baseball?" as he takes a hit off his crack pipe.

Does Sammy Stewart wanna play baseball? The answer is "Yes."

Minuses: None.

Keep the trades coming!

Sunday, November 25, 2007

Trade Me Anything!! Trade #3

"A veritable slice of Americana." These were the words of some random college guy with whom a group of people and I were watching a particularly rousing episode of Jerry Springer. The phrase also applies to the generous assortment of cards sent in this trade, which comes from Andrew in Massachusetts.

Giving: #278 Classic Combo Jorge Posada, Derek Jeter, and Alex Rodriguez; 1990 Topps #676 Randy Kutcher

Getting: 1973 Topps #272 Ed Farmer, 1974 Topps #11 Jim Bibby, 1980 Topps #222 Ron Hassey, 1986 Topps #10 Tony Gwynn, 2007 Topps Target-only Ted Williams insert #TW27, 2007 Goudey #49 Jake Peavy (Red Back), 2007 Topps Turkey Red #37 Richard Nixon, 2007 UD Masterpieces #33 Chase Utley

*Variety. Whether it's music, comic books, or candy, I get bored with the same old thing over and over, no matter how good it is. This trade kept me on my toes.

*Nostalgia. When I first "came of age" (card-specifically), I was amazed to find a shoebox full of 1973 and 1974 Topps that my mom had collected. Among these were a Winfield rookie and a Mike Schmidt second year. These cards are so chock full of great facts, such as Farmer's performance in Puerto Rican League winter ball. Could you imagine players doing that today?

*Nixon. I'm a sucker for oddball stuff, and this one is right up there with this year's crop. Have I spent more than $10 on a card containing a piece of Kerri Walsh's swimsuit? I'm not ashamed to say I have. Will I go after a Ken Jennings relic someday? Sure. Do I lust after a piece of Keith Olberman's tie? No. That's where I draw the line.

*The only thing that I can think of is that I already have the complete 1986 Topps set, so the Gwynn is a double. But since it's plain for all to see that Tony is demonstrating for LaMarr Hoyt the proper grip for a fastball, that turns the card back into a plus. Great trade! So good, in fact, that I'm throwing in an extra player to be named later from one of my Pack A Day posts, Randy Kutcher. He's not a relief pitcher, but he's got a mullet, which I like to call a "Randy." I believe this will be explained at some point in the future on this blog.

As a P.S., I have to say that I love what I'm getting so far. This experiment works strictly by the honor system, kind of like when your high school teacher let you give yourself a grade on something. So far everyone has been really honest and has given in direct proportion to what they're getting. If any new readers want in on this, directions for Trade Me Anything are here.

Tuesday, November 20, 2007

Trade Me Anything!! Trade #2

Today's trade comes in from Don in Arkansas. I have to say that by this, the second trade, Trade Me Anything has already begun to surpass expectations.

Giving: 2007 Topps Updates and Highlights Red Letter Back #141 Cameron Maybin
Getting: 1978 Hostess Oscar Gamble and 1987 Classic Update Ted Higuera

*There's nothing not to like about nearly any Oscar Gamble card. Sure, his hair is not up to his 1976 Topps Traded dimensions, but it's still great underneath the throwback Padres cap. Cereal and snack premiums are a particular favorite of mine (many of which will be featured in my upcoming December Card-vent Calendar). The Yount Hostess issues are some of the vintage stuff of his that I haven't been able to completely acquire yet, but I'm working on it.

*Ted Higuera's just-covering-the-tips-of-his-ears hair.

*The disturbing fact, learned on the back of Higuera's card, that he will turn 50 next year. That makes me feel old, and I'm not old. At least not as old that 50-year-old Mexican who can probably still get the heater up in the high-80s.

*The disturbingly easy Classic trivia question on the back.

Join the fun, and Trade Me Anything!

More posts will follow after the Thanksgiving holiday. Don't pig out too much on Thursday. As an alternative, eat a small amount more on a regular basis. No stomachaches that way!

Sunday, November 18, 2007

Trade Me Anything!! Trade #1

As some of the first offerings for Trade Me Anything have begun to pour in, it's time to show off the loot.

This first trade come from Kevin in Maryland.

Giving: UH 306 Paul Bako, UH 330 Brian Burres
Getting: 1993 Upper Deck #769 Dickie Thon, #782 Joe Kmak

*Bright blue jerseys. If you wear one of these to a game, you instantly boost your fan cred, but you look like a dork. Any 22-year-old can plunk down a couple of U.S. Grants for a new Mitchell and Ness throwback powder blue shirt (with a 4 or 19 on the back at that), but you have to have been around during the leanest of years to own one of these babies.

*Super action on the Kmak. I've noticed how in the mid-1990s, Manwaring managed to get some of the best action shots out there, whether on his card or someone else's.

*A man named Kirt. I don't know what to say about that, other than it looks like his parents wanted a Kristin so very badly, and when they got a look at the bodily appendage that definitely wasn't an umbilical cord, they co-opted enough of the female name to make all of the pink sleepers and jammies (same thing?) worth the money they had already spent. That is a long sentence with many ideas, especially for a Sunday night. I need to pace myself.

*It was the first time wither of these Brewer cards was put into a top-loader. It just hadn't occurred to anyone yet.

*Dickie Thon

*Having to give up one of the Brewer brotherhood. Bako spent 2002 in Milwaukee, after stints in Detroit, Houston, Florida, and Atlanta, and before Chicago (NL), Los Angeles (NL), Kansas City, and now Baltimore. This trade couldn't be more appropriate, however. If I had said, "I'll give you Bako, but all I'm taking for him is a guy just like Paul, another catcher who once played in Milwaukee, has four letters in his last name, and has the letter "K" used in a phonetically interesting manner," I don't think anyone could have stood up to the challenge.

This is turning out to be a lot of fun. If you want in on the trading, search the blog a few posts below this one for instructions. There's a lot of great 2007 Topps Updates and Highlights red letter backs left to choose from.

Friday, November 16, 2007

1981 Fleer Mini-Tournament: Semifinal #2

Wow, the response to the first round of this tournament has been great! Let's keep it up!

Coincidentally, two Giants made it into this tournament, so I split them up in the same way that UEFA divides clubs from the same country in its Champions League tournament (OK, I'm a soccer fan, please don't hold it against me. I do own a Mia Hamm RC, if that helps change you opinion.)

As a Claymanimated Mills Lane said so many times in the late 1990s, "Let's get it on!"

#119 Terry Forster

The pose says it all. Terry reminds me of a southern good ol' boy, and to a greater extent, that blind DJ guy from Oh Brother, Where Art Thou? who made George Clooney sing into a can. I can't determine whether Forster's smarmy expression and pencil chew makes me think he uttered of the following phrases:
"That's some mighty fine a 'pickin' and a' singin'."
"Woo-wee, baby, why don't you bring your durlin' little self over here."

Clearly, Terry's posture indicates that he's hitting on a high school-aged female wearing a shirt with a pattern resembling that of a tablecloth. Or Steven Root.

#445 Al Holland

I hereby coin the phrase "magnetic hair." Without even the tiniest shred of doubt, Holland modeled his hairstyle after Wooly Willy, the novelty toy character whose hair consisted of iron filings and could be manipulated with a magnetic wand. It must have been confusing for his teammates, what with the way his appearance changed on a daily basis according to the whims of a seven-year-old who was just well-behaved enough to earn a dollar store toy after a visit to the dentist. I'm dying to style this man's hair. Someone with more know-how than me needs to manufacture this product.!

Thursday, November 15, 2007

1981 Fleer Mini-Tournament: Semifinal #1

Not too long ago, I opened a pack of 1981 Fleer baseball cards on the other blog to which I'm a regular contributor, A Pack A Day. While busting this pack, it became apparent to me that another card tournament, albeit a shorter one, was in order. While my '81 Topps Tournament drew from the entire set (which I just completed after receiving the last card I needed this week), several special cards were pulled out from the 15 or so in the pack. By special, I'm talking about cards that capture the essence of the year 1981 so well that they deserve to be enlarged an hung on the walls of the Metropolitan Museum of Art, or slabbed in lucite and housed in the permanent collection at the Smithsonian.

Again, I am asking for your help on this. Just as with my previous contest, I would like to get all of your input on the superior card. Leave your vote in the comments section within a few days of the beginning of the battle.

Let the cartoons...begin.

#66 Denny Walling

The fabled rainbow Astros uniforms are the main culprit here. While some of the 'stros could make them look good (Kevin Bass...I'm looking in your direction), Denny looks like he was just at a Sugar Land Sears location and picked up a pair of boys' Astros pajamas.

#450 Johnnie LeMaster

At the time this picture was taken, Johnnie was 27 different types of high. His moustache was clearly not grown as a conscious decision, but rather as a by-product of several days of forgetfulness. Go ahead...shine a pen light in his eyes. I dare ya.

Saturday, November 10, 2007

Trade Me Anything! 2007 Topps U&H Red Letter Edition

This weekend I busted a Hobby Box of 2007 Topps Updates and Highlights. It was a really fun experience, but I was left short of a full set. And not to copy Ben Henry, I'm starting a project called Trade Me Anything!

Here's how it will work: I'm offering up for trade a large list of red letter back parallels, and in return for the card of your choice, you can send me anything. Anything. Cards would be great, but I'm not limiting the trades just to that. I'd especially appreciate any of the cards I neet to finish the base set, but don't feel compelled to. (Perhaps this idea came to me after watching the Wonder Years "McCovey is off the table" episode. I just didn't want to be such a Paul Pfeiffer on this one.) I'm also offering for trade some of the Generation Now cards, but the only catch is that if you want one of these, you have to send me a Prince Fielder Generation Now in return.

Here's the process:
1. Check out the list of available cards below. Select one you want.
2. Send me an email with your choice of card at
3. I will reply to you as to the card's availability. First come, first serve. I will include my mailing address.
4. When I confirm the card of your choice, pick out one of your own cards or anything else you want to send me. A few guidelines about what you can't send: Nothing that should really be in the garbage, nothing perishable, and nothing illegal. (Notice I didn't say nothing immoral.)
5. Send me whatever is was you picked out. Don't tell me what it is before you send it, I'd like to have it be a surprise! Include a SASE or you won't be getting your card.
6. When I receive your item, I will take a picture of the trade materials and post the happy couple on my blog, and then I will send you the card.

Alright, here's what you have to choose from:
Topps Red Backs
6 J.D. Drew
12 Marlon Anderson
18 Adam Jones
24 Brad Hennessey
27 Yusmeiro Petit
32 Russ Ortiz
33 Hong-Chih Kuo
36 Justin Germano
38 Jose Cruz
41 Ryan Langerhans
42 Chris Snelling
44 Scott Spiezio
51 Zack Greinke
53 Randy Messenger
59 Ryan Doumit
68 Kevin "The Toxic Avenger" Mench
80 Reggie Sanders
89 Doug Mirabelli
95 Dmitri Young
98 Greg Dobbs
99 Carlos Ruiz
100 Abraham Nunez
105 Ramon Castro
110 Reggie Abercrombie
111 Kevin Gregg
114 Pete Orr
117 Jeremy Accardo
121 Justin Duchscherer
122 Rich Harden
125 Joe Kennedy
131 Marlon Byrd
137 Erick Aybar
141 Cameron Maybin RC
144 Edwin Jackson
147 Eric Patterson RC
162 Phil Hughes RC
163 Rocky Cherry RC
175 Masumi Kuwata RC
178 Matt Lindstrom RC
188 Ryan Rowland-Smith RC
192 Terry Evans RC
193 Chase Headley RC
204 Kyle Lohse
205 Sosa Highlights
208 Buehrle Highlights
211 R. Johnson Highlights
213 Hoffman Highlights
214 A-Rod Highlights
270 Beckett AS
271 Haren AS
272 Jenks AS
275 Combo Fontenot/Greene
276 Combo A-Rod/Martin
277 Combo Tulowitzki/Reyes
278 Combo Posada/Jeter/A-Rod
280 Combo Crawford/Guillen
282 Combo Papelbon/Posada
288 HR Derby Vlad
305 Orlando Palmeiro
306 Paul Bako
308 Gabe Gross
314 Craig Monroe
320 Troy Percival
321 Scott Linebrink
330 Brian Burres

Generation Now (Remember, these are only available for trade if you have a Prince Fielder Generation Now to offer.)



And here's a list of the cards I still need for this set:
5 Steve Trachsel
19 Russel Branyan
35 Hiram Bocachica
40 Chris Denorfia
43 Ubaldo Jimenez
45 Byung-Hyun Kim
46 Brandon Lyon
48 Chad Durbin
57 Carlos Marmol
72 Darin Erstad
74 Luis Castillo
83 Tom Mastny
86 Kevin Thompson
90 Julian Tavarez
96 Jason Bergmann
102 Adam Eaton
103 Antonio Alfonseca
104 Jorge Sosa
109 Jason Wood
123 Jack Cust
129 Dustin Moseley
135 Jose Molina
138 Sean Marshall
148 Dustin McGowan
152 Tyler Clippard
156 Matt DeSalvo
164 Chase Wright
176 Kurt Suzuki
177 Travis Buck
182 Matthew Brown
198 Mike Zagurski
203 Jamie Vermilyea
206 Glavine Highlights
219 A-Rod AS
220 Vlad AS
222 Ichiro AS
224 Prince AS
225 Chase Utley AS
233 Putz AS
234 Francisco Rodriguez AS
237 Verlander AS
240 Hamels AS
242 Manny AS
247 Okajima AS
248 Oswalt AS
249 Wagner AS
250 Crawford AS
251 Chris Young AS
253 Derek Lee AS
258 Cabrera AS
260 Holliday AS
262 Rowand AS
263 Soriano AS
266 Morneau AS
268 Guillen AS
279 Combos Utley/Ichiro
281 Combos Hamels/Martin
283 Combos Crawford/Martinez
285 HR Morneau
286 HR Prince
290 HR Howard
292 HR Holliday
298 Shaun Marcum
301 Bob Howry
302 J.A. Happ
303 D-Angelo Jimenez
307 Kyle Davies
309 John Wasdin
315 Edward Mujica
318 Scott Proctor
329 Roger Clemens

I hope we can have a lot of fun with this. Reader participation is great, especially if it helps the collectors like us get what we want without forking too much cash over to the big card companies.

Wednesday, November 7, 2007

Look What Came in the Mail Today! #1

In my undertaking of the impossible quest as a Robin Yount completist, I always have my eyes open on eBay for cards I don't yet have. I recently found Yount's 1986-issued Jay's Potato Chips circular card. I knew it must have existed, because I have a small collection of Brewers, Cubs (blech), and White Sox from this regionally-distributed product. The only caveat was that the Yount I needed was part of an oddball lot. To a collector, this turns out to be a sweet deal, a chance to grab something new and unusual. Here's what arrived in my mailbox for $0.99 plus shipping:

The Yount. Great shape. I had the tendency to use cards like these as separators in 800-count boxes and more bending than a Chinese acrobat would take place.

1986 Jay's Tom Seaver. Someone mistook this for a chip and bit it. Still, I'll take it, as Seaver wasn't part of my original collection.

1986 Slurpee Triple Stars Mattingly/Ripken/K. Hernandez. The scan isn't that great, but you do get the impression of what Donnie Baseball and Cal would look like if they shared the same face and were able to look in opposite directions. Slurpee was once where collecting began and ended. I'd love to see a return of this.

My last treasue came in this penny sleeve. It's been a while since I've seen one this filthy. Several types of bacteria, mold, and/or fungus line both the inner and outer surfaces of this card protection device. Unfortunately, my haz-mat suit was out to the cleaners, so I had to forge ahead undaunted.

Inside is a 1979 Kellogg's 3-D Superstars card of Mario Guerrero. I have to admit, I've never heard of the guy until now, but who could turn down that Harry Reems mustache and the shocking yellow jersey? I love it!

I'm also a big fan of the back of this card. Not only do you get a graphic of an old-style Tony the Tiger, but the disease-ridden detritus from the sleeve seems to have attached itself to the card. There are probably T-206 Honus Wagner cards in better shape than this, but it will not stop me from displaying it proudly.

Do I want the whole set? No, because that would ruin the charm, the same way a magazine bought off the store shelf is so much better than one that comes to your home in a subsciption. Why? Frivolity.

Last add: Guerrero lists one if his hobbies as music. That's so incredibly vague, and I'll bet that if you asked him what kind of music he listened to, he'd say "All kinds." And he'd mean it.

Monday, November 5, 2007

Leopard Feces

This post is lacking any and all visual data because my home computer (a MacBook Pro) took a gigantic shit this weekend. A trip to the Mac store is scheduled for this evening. This occurred after installing the new Leopard operating system on it. All files I couldn't possibly bear to lose have been backed up on an external hard drive, so this may just turn out to be a minor inconvenience.

Let's turn this into a positive: People, back up all necessary data. Go do it now, or sometime very soon. Can't we all just get along?

New posts about 3 1/2" x 2 1/2" pieces of cardstock following soon?