Thursday, February 28, 2008

"...or play Mortal Kombat with a friend in Vietnam!"

A couple of days ago on A Pack a Day I posted a pack of 1993 Donruss Triple Play. Not the greatest product, but gimmicky as all get-out, typical of mid-1990s card-dom.

Last night I had the idea to engage anyone reading this blog in a friendly game of baseball using the game card that came in this pack. This is the true nexus of web interactivity that Jim Carrey's character was so ecstatic about in The Cable Guy.
Here's how this will work. I get to be the Twins, which means that I get to go first. Here's the original, unscratched game piece.

I'll start the action. Space choices will be called by standard grid coordinates. I'm going for (2, 3) on this turn. [That's over 2, up 3, for all of the slower individuals out there.)

Heck yes, TRIPLE!
It's still my turn. I'm going for (1, 6).

Strike Out. BATCH! Guess that's one out, man on third.

Next play: (4, 8)

Single. There's some Ned Yost baseball for you...Get 'em on, get 'em over, get 'em in.
Thorzul: 1
Readers: 0

Man on first, one out.
I choose (3,7).

Triple, baby! That puts me up 2-0, with a man on third, still only one out.
Next: (2, 4)

Single. Sorry folks, just guess I'm lucky today. This is actually getting boring by myself here. The interactivity needs to start soon.
Thorzul: 3
Readers: 0

Man on first, one out.
Maybe sending Scott Leius in will help you guys get out of this inning. I'm calling (3, 3)

Fly Out. There's some relief for you. Still 3-0, runner on first, two out.
(2, 2)

Strike Out. That brings an end to a pretty wild top of the first. Three runs, four hits, one left on the end of one half inning, it's Thorzul 3, Readers coming up.

Now the fun begins. If you want to play, post your scratch-off choice in the comments. The first commenter after each new play is revealed will get to decide which square they want. A new play is open for the choosing after Thorzul posts "Batter up!" in the comments section. I will do my best to identify the responder whose play is used. After that, the game will pretty much take care of itself. There might be long stretches where nothing happens, since I will most likely be out and about tonight, but I will be checking in from time to time. Heck, this thing might not even get wrapped up until tomorrow, so let's not stress about it.

What I need to ask you now is: "Will you be the the J.F. Sebastian to my Eldon Tyrell?"

Batter up!

To start off the bottom of the first, dayf picked (4, 2)

That's a pop out, ladies and gentlemen. One out, nobody on base.
Mike S. was the first responder, choosing (1, 8).

DOUBLE! That puts a runner in scoring position with one out.
Thorzul returns from the gym and the game continues. Roof_God keeps it close to the origin, going with (1, 1).

Fly Out. You guys are so screwed. Two outs, man on second.
After Thorzul's break for "Lost" and hanging out with friends, dayf cuts in line, points to the right field bleachers and call his shot: (2, 7)

HOME RUN! Two runs score as the home team Angels work some two-out magic.
Thorzul: 3
Readers: 2

White Sox Cards comes back after an insanely long rain delay. He chooses (3, 4).

Swing and a miss, strike three! Let's take a look at the scoreboard after one complete inning.
Thorzul: 3
Readers: 2

My turn. We're sending Dan Gladden up to bat. (2, 1)

It's a sky-high pop-up, caught by the Angels catcher.
The Twins send Kirby Puckett to the mound with one out, nobody on. (4, 3)

Two pitches, two pop outs. (2, 6)

HOME RUN!!! A deep, solo blast to left give Thorzul the lead, 4-2.
By the way, that was Shane Mack, everybody. Shane Mack.
Can Chuck Knoblauch extend the inning? (1, 4)

He does, with an inside-the-park double! Wait...what?! That doesn't make sense! The mercury from the scratch-offs must have started seeping into my pores.
Man on second, two out. (3, 8)

Pedro Munoz strikes out to end the inning.
Thorzul: 4
Readers: 2

This just in! Dan Gladden not a 1992 Twin! Tigers up in arms as Gladden signs a 1-day contract with notoriously unethical owner Thorzul. Details to follow.

To start the bottom of the second, dayf takes advantage of a lapse in concentration on the part of one of his teammates, thereby earning himself his third at bat in the first two innings. He boldly goes with (3, 5)

Bunt Single! Will this trickery never cease? Runner on first, no outs.
Mike S. sends Hubie Brooks up to bat, aiming for (4, 4).

A fly out keeps the runner at first with one away.
Play resumes today with White Sox Cards choosing (3, 1).

Tough luck, readers, ground out. Two outs with a runner on first.
The next batter is Russ, who selects (1, 5).

Russ blasts a triple, allowing dayf to score. This cuts Thorzul's lead to one with two away in the bottom of the second.
Mike S. inserts Luis Polonia into the lineup, hoping for a little pop out of his bat. (4, 1)

It's a little corrosive and hard to make out, but it looks like a ground out. End of inning.
Thorzul: 4
Readers: 3

Third inning coming up.

Let's kick off the top of the third with something good. I call (3, 2).

Rats! Pop out. Let's tray again at (1, 2).

Single. Excellent! I've got a man on first with one out. Judging from how many spaces are left, this thing might get out of the readers' reach in a hurry. Let's put some more men on at (1, 7).

Fly Out. This puts up my possible last batter with two outs, one on. I call (4, 5).

Walk! The Angels pitcher can't handle the pressure ladies and gentlemen! Runners at first and second with two down. Maybe we have a big stick coming up. (4, 7)

Strike out! Big Whiffah! That strands two in the top of the third. The readers get their last ups starting right now!
Thorzul: 4
Readers: 3

Leading off the bottom of the third, White Sox Cards decides to try to scrape a few runs together, beginning with (3, 6).

Strike Out! One away, nobody on base.
Shanediaz82, a newcomer to this game, steps into the batter's box. A couple of taps with the bat to his cleats and he calls space (2, 8).

Strike Out! The crowd instinctively rises to their feet in anticipation of the final out. Are there any late-game heroics in store?
Reader David adheres to the proper batting order procedures and chooses (4, 6).

A walk postpones the inevitable. One on, two out. A triple or better is needed to tie the game.
White Sox Cards chooses (2, 5).

Thorzul: 4
Readers: 5

Thanks for playing everyone! I vow never to do this exact thing again.

Monday, February 25, 2008

Sticker Collecting: The Measure of a Man

In case anyone was wondering where the stickers went... them all.

Disaster was averted a couple of weekends ago as some basement flooding failed to claim a large box of collectable stickers as a victim.

On A Pack a Day, dayf's recent post made me make sure to go check these were okay. From now on they will live on the kitchen table.

How, you ask, does one reach the summit of Sticker Mountain? Well, you have two choices, really. You can take the southerly Schmidt's Pass (which is actually a mint condition completed 1987 Topps sticker album next to my original album, whose cover is now long gone). The bravest among us, however, might opt to use the westerly route, beginning by scaling Pete's Peak (half a box of 1986 Topps stickers, plus the completed album).

Geologically speaking, Sticker Mountain is constructed out of 11 full and cello-wrapped boxes of 1987 Topps sticker packs (100 ct. each), plus another half-opened box, a fully-opened box of test-issue hardbacks, as well as an unseen half-opened box of 1989 Panini Football stiickers.

Thursday, February 21, 2008

Hidden Treasures: The Box Break Report

The term "box break" is thrown around a lot on these card blogs, so I thought I'd get literal for a moment.

This weekend's purchase is now completely ripped open, and so much hope has fizzled into nothingness. Still, I'd like to share the contents as a warning to others.

You'll know it is time to turn the page when you hear the chimes ring, like this. (Brrrrrrinnnnnnng...)
Let's begin now.

I pulled Steve Carlton's 1984 Topps card SIX TIMES. Opening this box was a little like starring in a Michel Gondry video for the Chemical Brothers. Fans out there will know which one I mean.

Here's some more 1984 Topps nonsense. We've got the oh-so-dreamy eyes of Pete O'Brien alongside the certifiable N.L. player of the '80s, Mike Schmidt. Suffice it to say, all of these dupes are for trade or sale.

This 1978 Topps card of Bruce Kison was the oldest in the box. Those Pirates were pretty smart back then. The decision to switch to a uniform that doubled as pajamas must have allowed the club to sneak hours and hours of extra BP in throughout the course of a season.

This is an Upper Deck minor league card of Billy Wagner. This is posted for no apparent reason.

The 1984 Topps awesomeness continues with Rollie Fingers leading a trio of spectacular relievers. Now two of these men are in the Hall of Fame. Will there ever be room for the third?

Speaking of Brewers, here are a couple I had to post. The uniforms are oh-so-blue. I must point out that Bill Wegman is the only guy I have ever gotten a personally signed autograph from. I was never the type to hassle these guys to sign, and now, more than half of the players are well younger than me, which would make it kind of weird.

This is the best action sot of the pack. Harold Reynolds looks like he's been caught in a dark alley by mugger Carlos Baerga. Someone needs to photoshop this 1991 Topps Stadium Club gem to show Carlos wielding the proper implement. Harold, you are about to get your shit rocked.

Canon EOS Rebel camera: $500
Vinyl carrying case: $75
Pro Canon 120mm 15x AF Macro CL 8-120mm Zoom Lens: $350
Getting close enough to Jose Canseco on a day he's wearing a "Leave Me Alone" T-shirt: Balls the size of New Hampshire

1992 MJB Holographics. This is probably the most oddball of the lot. Pretty clever for an unlicensed card company to print in holograph, making the lack of a proper logo less noticeable.

Up next is a couple of Calgary Cannons and their freshly washed uniforms. Think about how many boardroom meetings must have been held before settling on primary colors.

You all know I love Kevin Bass and his indomitable moustache. When he shaved that thing in like 1992, I'm sure hit batting average went down quite a bit. That's a growth patch the likes of which only Robert Forster can compete.

Rounding out the box is the one guaranteed auto.

I got Chad Ogea.

"I got a rock."

Let's take a long hard look.
Number one, he wasn't even given a proper uniform. There was a pair of shorts left over from the Cleveland Muni League "Lady Indians."
Number two, he was given the job of "seed boy."

Number three, don't ever buy a box of this stuff. Like "Seed Boy" Chad Ogea, you will be made Albert "Joey" Belle's bitch.

Tuesday, February 19, 2008

A Gift From Across the Pond

I feel a little bit like a spice trader just returned from the Orient.

Well...maybe not quite.
Today an excellent package arrived in my mailbox, bountiful with cards from the UK.
John, a dedicated blog reader and possibly the nicest person in all of Britain, wrote me not too long ago, stating that he had some of the cards I needed but had no need for anything in trade. In America we call this a "gift." But...Boxing Day was over a month ago.
Anyways, here's the haul.

Let's go into greater detail on this stuff.
First of all, here's the postmark. It looks like this cost John nearly 4 bucks (according to our weak pounds-to-dollars exchange rate) just to send this. John needs to take a bow.

Here's the first card need I had: 2007 Topps Distinguished Service Douglas MacArthur. I'm so close to finishing this set I can almost taste it. That will pretty much close the door on my 2007 Topps needs. All in good time.

A couple of 1993 Donruss cards. Again, I am so very, very close to closing the book on this one.

As a surprise, John threw in a bunch of 1990s Pro Set Football cards (that's "soccer" to the rest of you). This bunch are exclusively Everton (my favorite club, which resides in Liverpool) and Liverpool, their sworn enemy. Awesome.

To top it all off, here's a couple of packs that will surely make their way to A Pack a Day. I look forward to several majestic pulls.

By the way, keep trading with me. Much of the last few days has been spent updating my trade lists. Help a brother out!