Wednesday, January 30, 2008

Mmmmmmmm...Cards #3

1992 Kellogg's Corn Flakes/Sportflics #10 Mike Schmidt

This card makes me happy and sad at the same time. Here's why.

Happy: It's awesome in a way that most cards aren't.

Sad: It makes me realize that I no longer live in a world where I can pour myself a bowl of Cornflakes and have a lenticular baseball card tumble from within the depths of the golden flakes. Of course, this probably wasn't the way it happened. Along with learning the truth about Santa Claus, the other major childhood event that shattered my world involved learning the hard way that most of the time cereal box prizes aren't actually surrounded by edible, organic cereal pieces, but are more likely to be trapped between the inside of the cold, heartless cardboard box and the non-earth-friendly, airtight cereal bag. Motherfuck.

Monday, January 28, 2008

Manny Being Manny

While cataloging my cards available for sale or trade, I ran across this gem.

1992 Topps #156

Is that not the best uniform ever?! I've got to say that it rivals my grade school softball uniform. As I may have explained before, my only foray into organized baseball was in a neighborhood/school league. I was on the White Sox. While we sucked ass for the better part of two seasons, we held the undisputed title of "Best Sponsor." While other teams had their shirts paid for by the likes of Bob's Auto Repair and Schramka Funeral Home (in return for back-of-the-shirt advertising), my team was sponsored by Pepino's Pizza.

Fuck yes!

Needless to say, we had the best end-of-year party in the league. Garlic bread and all-you-can-eat lasagna beat the holy hell out of embalming fluid and brake liners.

While my uniform was not as colorful as Manny's (it was white lettering on navy), at least it had a real team name on it. I'm not entirely familiar with the Youth Service League, but this looks to me like an all-star jersey of some sort, kind of like the directional jerseys from the LLWS (Goooooo West!)

Manny's hat, however, beats my old one hands-down. All I got was a navy hat with a while S on it. His at least attempts looking like some thought was put into the design. It makes me wonder if Manny's mom has a little curio cabinet full of his mementos, and if this hat is still in it. Part of me likes to think so.

Oh, and if anyone wants this card, it's up for trade or sale. Find something from my list or make me an offer.

Saturday, January 26, 2008

No One Wants to Sit Next to Craig Wilson

Sometimes things get triggered in the brain that somehow spark a memory or the recognition of a coincidence that science cannot explain. A few trips through my doubles, probably 6 to 9 months apart, eventually led to this pairing. Here's St.Louis Cardinals infielder Craig Wilson's 1991 Topps card, #566.

Sure, the sport has a lot of down time, but was Wilson looking to find a way out of baseball? Did his manager care that he spent all of his time juggling balls? (Not touching that one.) Would it surprise you that his manager was Joe Torre? Was there ever a reprimand involved?

I can't answer any of these questions, other than to assume that the grab-ass went unchecked, as we bear witness to a repeat performance in 1992 Topps #646:

This Wilson guy is like that kid in your class who always seemed to get others in trouble by association. He's the kid who started making fart noises during storytime, false flatulence that goes unnoticed by the teacher but gets all of the surrounding gigglers recess detention. Would you have wanted to be sitting next to Craig after a nail-biting loss, Joe Torre spitting and frothing and raving on and on about missing the cut-off man? Eff no! There's bound to be some shrapnel after the manager chews off the juggler's head.

"Yo Bernard...Bernard Gilkey...check this out!"
"Seat's taken!" #2

As a rule, I try never to post any dirty, stinking Cubs on this site. Today, seeing as it's the off-season and all, I'm making an exception.

1986 Jays Ryne Sandberg (No Number)

Technically, this guy never played against my Brewers. Actually, I'm not sure about that. He retired for good after the 1997 season, which was the first to see interleague play. This was also the last season Milwaukee played in the American League. Did the Brewers play the Cubs in '97? Who knows, but what I do know is that this man is no enemy of mine..

This card is actually one in a bunch I acquired from my cousins on my mom's side of the family. Our play area back in '86 was primarily a semi-finished basement (with sump-pump). The toys were stored in close proximity to several industrial cleansers and cans of paint, which might explain the peach-colored stain near the top of this card. I'm sure this was a regionally distributed set, as all of the cards I have are Brewers, Cubs, and White Sox. This one is beat up, mis-cut, and treasured.

If you're looking for a Sandberg of a little higher quality, check out my auction here.

Thursday, January 24, 2008

Sweet Busywork!

Over the past week my third grade students have been studying the topic of data collection and representation (i.e. graphing). When I passed out their homework sheets, I was amazed to find the following pictograph used as the basis for a group of questions:

The day got a whole lot brighter then. First of all, this graph uses my real first name. Yeah, I know it might surprise some that my parents didn't really name me Thorzul. Second, this graph is so far from representing my own collection that it's downright laughable.

Hockey? I don't think I own a single card. A few basketball cards made their way into my collection back in 2001 when the Bucks went to the East finals, but aside form some 1987 Fleer, that's about it. (God, to think that I had the opportunity to buy tons of packs of those back in the day...!) I've also successfully weaned myself off football cards after being big into them in the '90s. From here on out it's 99% baseball. To me, it's the purest form of the hobby.

Tuesday, January 22, 2008

Baseball's Current Ugliest Man?

My most recent pack on A Pack A Day got me wondering...
Is this baseball's current ugliest man? (I don't think I'll offend too many people with this one. Rockie fans probably want little to do with the guy anymore, and Tribe fans don't know what they're unleashing on their fair city yet.)

I'd love to hear counter-suggestions complete with links to card scans.

Monday, January 21, 2008


For all of you who were waiting with baited breath....

I'v finally got all of my 1990 Donruss duplicates posted. I know, I know, these are really difficult to come by, and I'm out of my mind for offering them up for a dime apiece, but take a look anyway. But be quick, these things are harder to keep in stock than Wiis.

What better to do on a cold winter day than get a good old trade going. Or purchase those last few cards for a set.

I've also been updating my wants and needs, so let's help each other out.

Thursday, January 17, 2008 #1

There's not much i love more about this hobby than oddball stuff. My unending Robin Yount completist quest has introduced me to a bunch of stuff you just don't see anymore: candy dispensers, marbles, two-pocket portfolios...the list goes on and on. Concurrently, some of the cards in one of my shoeboxes (yes, shoeboxes, for these cards show signs of wear and love) that I hold most dear are ones I got as some sort of food product promotion. While this practice has never really stopped completely, it's become increasingly rare to find any premium giveaways anymore.

Until it gets boring, I'll be posting a new food premium every now and then. There are a couple rules as to what I'll be posting. First of all, it has to be a product that came with some sort of retail food purchase. Second, it had to have been a vintage purchase. I will be making no new acquisitions just to pad the blog. Everything you see will be something I (or someone in my family) purchased, ingested the edible contents, and then saved for years. This rules out some of the Yount Hostess cards from the '70s from being a part of this, since I bought them recently. This doesn't mean, however, that I don't want you to send me any old premiums you have lying around that you don't want anymore. I might even be open to trades, just check the sidebar.

Let's kick this mother off!

1987 Ralston Purina #2 Steve Garvey

This cards bears all the hallmarks of the great premium: cataclysmic airbrushing, suer close-up shot, piss-poor card stock. Seriously, this thing feels like the inside of a box of Cookie Crisp. A little research found that this company has basically switched over completely to pet food and sold its cereal brands over to General Mills. In any case, this happy card will be the first of many. Hunker down, grab a bowl of Rice Chex, and reminisce with me.

Tuesday, January 15, 2008

This Just In...!

Breaking News from Duryea, PA...
It's not often I scoop other blogs on stuff like this, but in an apparent effort to go green, Topps has switched from manufacturing stacks of these.... stacks of these:

Michael Eisner, CEO of Disney and de facto Lord of Topps cited paper-saving concerns among the reasons for the switch to forzen meat products. The new branding, which will be known as ToppsAgra, will roll out a whole new line of collectable, edible items. Included in the '08 debut line will be special parallels (Gold Spoiled, Rancid, and E. coli (sequentially numbered to 50)), rare inserts (Sirloin Select, From T-Ball to T-Bone, and game-used pork), and 1/1 butcher paper cut sigs.

Stay tuned for more details on this shocking switch.

Sunday, January 13, 2008

Let's All Go to the Card Show!

I wasn't sure I wanted to get out to any card shows before the 2008 products hit shelves, but I decided to go with the intent of limiting myself to no more than $20 of purchasing power.

Let me preface the account of this show by stating that it's the scummier of the two ongoing shows in the Milwaukee area. Recognize, however, that this is not necessarily a bad thing, as no admission was charged. The event was held at Serb Hall, which, two nights previous, held its weekly fish fry (which might actually be billed as something like "The Biggest Fish Fry in the Midwest." I may be wrong.)

The haul:
Two Robin Yount oddball cards. The Mr. Turkey I've seen before, but eBay prices for it are way out of line. I must also admit that I've never seen the All Star Game Yount before. Apparently it was given away at the Fan Fest at Miller Park in 2002. It's got a clear photo and great pose that I've never seen on a Yount card before.

1983 Topps Rack Pack. Needless to say this will make an appearance on A Pack A Day. There were a couple others to choose from that had more impressive stars on top (especially considering I already have multiple copies of the Yount), but I took his appearance on the top as a good omen. Plus, I've always wanted the famous Rod Carew-wearing-a-sweet-headband card without ever pulling the trigger.

Well, I came in under twenty bucks, got to listen to the Colts & Bolts on the radio, and got to witness a guy in a Barry Sanders jersey get talked down on the selling price of some cards by a shrewd dealer. Too bad I forgot the camera so you all could see how depressing of a show this was, what with the several empty tables down the middle aisle, but perhaps that'll be saved for another time.

I've got lots of new stuff available for sale or trade on the sidebar, with updates coming daily. Get in on the fun!

Thursday, January 10, 2008

Top 5 Pulls of 2007 #1

Enough with the distraction of what the dad from A Christmas Story would call "politics slop," it's time for some real card stuff. I realize that it's the tenth day of 2008, so I can't hold back my top pull of 2007 any longer.

Card: 2007 Topps Allen & Ginter #RC47 Prince Fielder Rip Card (16/99)
From: Hobby Box

Self-restraint. This is the personality characteristic I needed to practice after pulling this card. As my fiancee points out on a weekly basis, I have something in my head that, come mealtime, tells me to stop eating before I become painfully full. This allows me to maintain about the same weight I was at when I was 18. Luckily, the same servo kicked in when it came to Prince here. On another blog (mine was just in its infancy at the time), I announced that I had gotten this card, and then asked whether or not to rip it. The response was overwhelmingly in favor or tearing this mother open to see what's inside. It was a tough couple of nights, but maybe it was a box of 1990 Donruss that got me through the shakes, the dry heaves, and, worst of all, the sweats.

Lesson learned, kids: When you're ripping, stay away from the hard stuff, or you won't respect yourself in the morning.

In any case, the card still stands as it was packaged, unripped. It may stay that way for decades. During that time, I encourage all of the other 98 holders of this card to tear it wide, wider than the cavernous depths at the junction of a porn star's thighs.

As newer readers might not know, this blog originates out of Milwaukee. With Topps' stated odds of 1:12 boxes containing any rip card whatsoever, I consider myself extremely lucky to pull the emerging star from my home team. I only hope that 2008 will contain a few pulls to rival this one.

Wednesday, January 9, 2008

Barely Stifiling My Gag Reflex

According to the AP accounts of yesterday's New Hampshire primary, Hillary Clinton endeared herself to the voters:

'She showed a soft and self-deprecating side known only to friends when asked what she could say to voters who don't find her likable enough. "Well, that hurts my feelings," she said with a flirty smile, "but I'll try to go on." '

"..flirty smile"?! Blecccch. I think I just threw up in my mouth a little bit. And swallowed some.

At least Topps is getting it right.

Personally, I think my vote's going to the Irish guy.

Monday, January 7, 2008

"I'm seeing double...four Krustys!"

Did anyone else notice this shit?

Topps has started taking its stupid-ass parallel bullshit to the next muthafuckin' level and shit. I guess this is what happens when you let Philip Glass act as fuckin' project coordinator of MLB All-Star Game photography. These cards are numbered 238, 241, 243, 244, 245, and 246.

Fuck me.

Eadweard Muybridge and shit.

Hell, at least this lack of originality allows me to use the term "zoopraxiscope," which it looks like this run of cards is designed for. Back in the early 1900s you could pay a nickel to peep through a hole to witness proof that all four legs of a horse are airborne during a point of its running stride. Now you can do the same with National League righties.

Saturday, January 5, 2008

Top 5 Pulls of 2007 #2

Today's pull is a special card, the first autograph I pulled after re-entering the hobby earlier in the year.

Card: 2007 Topps Heritage #ROA-JL Joe Lonnett
From: Target Blaster Box

After opening the pack this card was in, I remember being so surprised I nearly dropped it. I had never heard of Joe Lonnett, and after looking him up, I still had no idea what business he had being on any 2007 baseball card, much less with his signature on it. A little research showed that Topps was doing a small run of signature cards of guys whose last card was came in 1958.

In four seasons Joe's cumulative batting average was a smoking .166. To put it in perspective, that was well behind the career mark of the much-maligned Bob Uecker (.200). Still, I'm sure there were a ton of young guys back in the '50s (as I'm sure there are now, too) who scramble and claw and try to make their way into the big leagues, but never make it. That's part of what makes this card so great, and why it was my second-best pull of 2007.

Thursday, January 3, 2008

Top 5 Pulls of 2007 #3

Here was my third-best pull of 2007.

Card: 2007 Topps Updates and Highlights All-Star Game Stitches #AS-IS Ichiro
From: Hobby Box

Minimum guaranteed pulls don't always work out the way you want them to. Looking back, I could have pulled a Carlos Lee, or worse.

Instead, I got the guy who was the freaking MVP of the game. First inside-the-park home run in All-Star Game history and all that.


Wednesday, January 2, 2008

Trade Me Anything!! Trade #10

Today's trade comes from Robert in Florida. It's been a long time since any Trade Me Anything trades have come in, but while the Card-vent Calendar was in full force, this came in my mail.

Giving: 2007 U&H #33 Hong-Chih Kuo
Getting: 2007 UD Future Stars #54 Rickie Weeks, 1987 Topps Rick Mahler, 1992 Topps Gold #790 Joe Carter, 1988 Donruss Diamond Kings #24 Bob Welch, 2007 Topps U&H #238 Francisco Cordero

*A strong sense of variety.

*Rickie Weeks is the star of this lot, at least to me. I wonder if Rickie will drop the last syllable of his first name, opting for a more mature nomenclature, just like child star Ricky Schroder did. Heck, his dad on the TV show even called him "The Ricker." From now on, Rickie Weeks, you are "Ricker." Say it a few more times. Rick. Rick. Rick rick rick. Now all meaning is lost.

*Having to look pretty hard for the nature pic backgrounds.

*Rick Mahler. I probably have five copies of this card already. Pretty awesome stats on the back though, despite leading the league in runs, earned runs, and losses, the Braves still gave him the start a league-tying 39 times. He and his wife are also the parents of two sons. Riveting.

*Robert did not send a self-addressed stamped envelope, he sent a self-addressed envelope. Crap! He's still getting his card of Hong Kong Phooey, though, because I'm a nice guy.

Keep checking the updated cards for sale or trade. It's a difficult task, but I'll sowly work my way through it.


Alright, my brief fling with using Google Docs is over. Now everyone should be able to view my stuff for sale and trade.

Tuesday, January 1, 2008

Top 5 Pulls of 2007 #4

Here was my fourth-best pull of 2007.

Card: 2007 Topps Updates & Highlights All-Star Game Stitches #AS-IR Ivan Rodriguez
From: Blaster Box

Usually, all you end up pulling from a blaster is a deep paper cut, right? A couple of weeks ago I managed to beat the system to pull a sweet jersey card of a sure-thing first-ballot Hall of Famer. What makes this particular group of memorabilia cards so cool is the limited nature of the jersey material. Any set can produce a Rodriguez card with a white or gray swatch of shirt, but the All-Star orange is a once-in-a-career thing.

Things start heating up with the next post, so keep coming back!

Check out my updated lists of trade/sell material, too! Pick out something you like and help me pay for a wedding!

New Year's Additions

One of the new things I'm adding to my blog to start 2008 is a trading/selling forum. Because I'm getting married later this year, spare cash is now going for things like cake, DJs, and couples' retreats, not cards. Actually, I'm planning on approaching my 2008 baseball card collecting with a game plan; namely, foregoing the purchase of packs of 2008 Topps in favor of a factory set late in the year when they start throwing in all kinds of cool stuff.

Over the course of the next few days, weeks, months...I'll be posting material on the sidebar underneath "Trade Stuff" with organized lists of cards I'm looking to trade or sell. And I don't mean sell the way Beckett's website means sell, with outrageous shipping prices that seem to go up with every card you add to your basket. Most cards will go for 10 cents with a reasonable cost to cover shipping. Trades will also be accepted, and my want lists will be posted in this section as well.

As more stuff gets posted, I'll get around to creating a few official buying/trading guidelines, but don't let that stop you from looking. If you see anything you want, send me a message before someone else snaps it up. I mean, c'mon, you want cards to finish your set, I need to make sure there's enough beer for more than 200 people. It's a win/win situation!