Tuesday, April 29, 2008

Americana: "Is that the Six Million Dollar Man's boss? Why do you have that?"

No, it's his pajamas. And for the life of me I can't explain why I have that.

We have the technology...
We have the capability...
To add the element of sleepwear to a trading card.

2007 Donruss Americana #CS-21 Lee Majors Cinema Stars Movie-Worn Pajamas (107/500)

The variety of swatches available in this set is simply amazing. According to the back of this card, these PJ's were worn as a costume in the film The Brothers Solomon. Yeah, it's an SNL Alum film, so that'll make it pretty hit-or-miss. It will be pretty cool to keep an eye out for these jammers whenever I decide to actually see the film (on rental most likely).

Enough about the swatch, let's get to a more pressing issue here: Is or is not Majors' BEARD-SCARF-COLLAR combination just about the dandiest thing ever seen on cardboard?

I hope this makes up for a few days' absence. The Americana is building yet again to a legendary apex. As an aside, I've got all of my 2008 Heritage want and have lists completely updated, if you feel like trading. All of my readers have been awesome traders.

Oh...and Chris Harris, your hockey cards will be in the mail tomorrow. It pays to drop knowledge at Thorzul Will Rule.

Friday, April 25, 2008

Anybody Want These?

These two hockey cards came in the mail yesterday along with a vastly superior card. Their sole purpose was to eliminate the jostling that could have occurred within the protective sleeve holding the much thicker card.

I have no interest in hockey cards, but perhaps there's someone who does. All my city has is the minor league Milwaukee Admirals. I go to a game maybe once every three years. These cards are #54 and #81 in the set. If you want them, you're going to have to work for them and answer a trivia question. First one to correctly answer gets the cards free of charge.

What was the home arena of the Milwaukee Admirals directly prior to the Bradley Center (their current home)?

Good luck!

Thursday, April 24, 2008

Dr. Steve's Doctored Cards #8

Back during the Card-vent Calendar, you got a little taste of the coolest babysitter of all time, Chad Mack, who had given me my first card from 1980 or earlier. It's now time to add more to the legend.

The year: 1987. The Brewers were in the middle of their miracle 13-game winning streak to open the season. My parents wanted to get away from their three kids. Chad Mack was summoned on the Mack-Phone.
At some point during the night, talk turned to baseball. Chad told a story that made my jaw hit the floor. He claimed that a friend of his was sitting in the center field bleachers at County Stadium. Rob Deer had just come up to bat. A frozen rope to dead center clears the fence, and Chad Mack's friend gets hit in the chest with the home run ball, only to have someone else pick it up off the beer-soaked cement.

Even at my early age, I had a pretty well-honed B.S. detector. I didn't completely swallow his story whole, but there was just enough of me that longed to believe it was true that I went along with it. What if it were true? Would Rob Deer have compensated this fan for his misfortune? Were there ushers involved? Could you see the stitch marks in the welt? More questions come to mind with this fantastic card.

1989 Topps #364 Rob Deer

There are dozens of T206 Honus Wagner cards in existence, but only one of these

To quote Jeffrey in Blue Velvet: "It's a strange world."

Monday, April 21, 2008

Americana: A Love Connection With Cards

Just throw this one on the ever-growing $.99 pile.
Shortly after receiving this card, I had a serendipitous moment involving the Game Show Network. Upon my first viewing of the channel (which lies out in the boonies of my package, far removed from 654's FSC), a show called "Lingo" was on. Chuck was the host, but he really didn't handle all of the hosting duties. There was some other hot chick sitting at a computer. She actually seemed pretty smart, inserting the wry comment here and there. Poor Chuck was just going through the motions. It was kind of like watching Jose Canseco show up on a Devil Rays card. We all know he's past his prime; we just didn't realize how far.

2007 Donruss Americana #92 Chuck Woolery Pants Relic (047/250)

Actually, my most vivid Chuck Woolery moment was not disseminated through the medium of television, but the miracle of videotape. Let me set the scene: Seventh grade. Catholic school (which I attended before public high school). My class had earned a reward party one Friday afternoon for good behavior. The deal was, we kids brought in the snacks, the teacher picked the movie.

The film she chose was called The Prize. While IMDb has no record whatsoever of this film, I was able to find a synopsis elsewhere: "A talented newcomer to the world of free- style stunt skiing, sacrifices nearly everything to win - including his own soul. It's a captivating film about winning by coming to know Christ as the prize." Does anyone out there perhaps own a copy of this film? And how does one add to the IMDb anyways?
So...yeah...you can guess how that one went over with the room full of 13-year-olds.

Great poster, huh?

My handling of this card up to this point has been very careful. I'm not sure on the exact square inch-age of the average pair of pants, but I don't really want to take a gamble on this one. Please, please don't let this fabric be from the crotchal region. The placement of the swatch star suggests otherwise.

Saturday, April 19, 2008

Dr. Steve's Doctored Cards #7

The treasure trove given to me by Dr. Steve really begins to hit its stride, artistically speaking, with today's card.

1991 Fleer #556 Storm Davis

While the National Weather Service may take issue with the anthropomorphicization of a thunderhead, the work done to this card remains brilliant. Here we encounter the first instance of the use of color in these masterpieces. (Lightning, we learn, is yellow, contrary to what our eyes tell us.) The symbolism in this piece is particularly striking. Whereas Davis went 19-7 during the previous season, his last with the Oakland A's, his 1990 stats failed to meet even the .500 breaking point. "What was it," we are asked by these confident ball-point pen strokes," that accounted for so much rain on Storm Davis' parade?

Magnanimous indeed.

Thursday, April 17, 2008

Americana: A Notorious Card

Since last night's festivities began with shots of tequila and ended with a raucous viewing of the latest DVR'd episode of The Office, I'll just let you bask in the glory of this card. I don't think I can make an addition to my collection of this set that will rival this one without taking out a loan.

I love the scene in School of Rock where Jack Black explains to the kids what a hangover is. ("No, it means I was drunk yesterday.") Let's hope it doesn't come to this today.

Next Americana post: Legend or cheeseball? You decide. Choose your own adventure.

Monday, April 14, 2008

Dr. Steve's Doctored Cards #6

Thus 1991 Fleer ushered in the dawn of a new era...
Dr. Steve's artistic endeavors turn a turn for the...well...the...I guess...punny at some point during the 1991 card collecting season. Now, this is by no means on the level of Ralph Wiggum's "It says 'Let's Bee Friends' and it has a picture of a bee on it," but it's not bad.

1991 Fleer #392 Pat Combs

A closer look reveals crude eraser work and some difficulty maintaining fluid lines. No real attempt is made to work the visual pun into the physical structure of the photograph, yet it works all the same. Pat Combs is transformed into a human comb. The image evokes George Bernard Shaw's Man and Superman, yet makes one stop and ponder the existential crisis one would suffer when one is both starting pitcher and hair care device at once. Pat Combs embodies Nietzche's √úbermensch, albeit with a lifetime 4.22 ERA.

God is dead.

Pat Combs is a comb.

Sunday, April 13, 2008

2008 Topps Heritage Trading Central

This weekend I finally got the time to sort out my 2008 Topps Heritage doubles, and I'm welcoming any and all set builders to join me on a summer-long journey tracking down those last few cards to complete the set. So far, trading has been great on this site, and I urge all readers to check my lists. Everything is organized according to year for your convenience.

If you desire to trade 2008 Topps Heritage with me, I'd prefer that we conduct like-for-like trades. In other words, it's base-for-base, SP-for-SP, insert-for-insert, and black-for-black. Of course, if you want to be generous, I'll look the other way.

You can find what I have available under the 2008 heading on the sidebar, and you can find what I am looking for at the Wants and Needs link in the same place. Let's do some trading! I can be contacted at bill13boehm@yahoo.com

Saturday, April 12, 2008

Captain Nemo is My Agent

As a teacher, one of the fringe benefits of the job is the free swag you get from various educational enterprises. While this in no way compares to something like, say, luxury box seats that are common to certain private corporations, it's a nice bonus that helps stock your classroom with decent stuff. The most recent of these perks came from Scholastic Book Club. If you went to school any time past 1980, you probaby remember the 4-page newsprint sheet that your teacher passed out on a regular basis.. You may not know, however, that for every penny your mom spent on Nate the Great or Nancy Drew, your teacher was awarded special bonus points that can be used to purchase additional materials from their catalog. Last month I was eligible to snag $10 worth of free shtuff. While completing the order, though, I realized I had thrown away the flier, so I made some blind choices based on title alone. Here is one of the pleasant surprises.

Pretty good book, nice photos inside, and written for my students' reading level. Not a bad free little item, if I may say so myself.

That was my assessment.
Until I saw this...

Yes, yes, a millions times yes. I have an excuse to post this on the blog.
If you're wondering who bagged that puppy, and who hauled it onto the field to prove his skill as a hunter, the correct answer is Ben Sheets. (He has a little spare time after outdueling Johann Santana this afternoon. Muscleman Gabe Kapler helped drag the squid in, correctly deducing that going through the bullpen would be the route with the fewest obstacles.)

Oh, and here's my favorite part of the painting.

Looks like the capitalists over at MLB wasted no time in cashing in on the presence of a cephalopod on the diamond. The fan in the stands has clearly chosen sides in the impending bloodbath between man and fish, hoping that his gesture will endear himself to our eventual backbone-less captors.

All I have to say is that this throws a monkeywrench into defensive positioning when the batter is trying to bunt the man over to second.

Before you know it, game-used suction cup swatches will work their way into packs of Topps Finest. When this happens, dayf really ain't buying a box.

Friday, April 11, 2008

Dr. Steve's Doctored Cards #5

This next installment will most likely be the end of speech bubbles on these doctored cards. Dr. Steve was putting the finishing touches on his "textual period," which relied on verbal skewers run through deserving targets. Let's check in on this era's sunset.

1991 Fleer #454 Mike Jackson

Ahhh, what passes for humor in the middle school mind. I recall a forensics tournament, probably in 1991 or 1992, where my group produced a "Weekend Update" rip-off news satire segment. One of our "stories" chronicled Michael Jackson gradual transformation from man to not-quite-man to darn-near-woman. Visual aids told our story, complete with ever-increasing year placards. Our starting point was 1982 and Thriller. Joey "Cuff" Czebotar brought in a family member's record album. There were a few years in between with accompanying photos. We made our big finish with the current year and a picture of a woman ripped out of a magazine. I'm glad to see that, although I did not know Dr. Steve at this time, we shared some of the same still-developing wit.

Some might call this card Dangerous. As a preventative measure against any other horrible puns, I make full disclosure that the Mike Jackson who pitched for the Mariners, Phillies, Giants, Reds, Indians, Astros, Twins, and White Sox did at no time during the production and distribution of this card smash the windows of a car parked in a generic "threatening inner-city alley" with a crowbar, mount the roof of the car, and grab his crotch repeatedly.

Now that I think about it, the video morphing technology that Michael Jackson's "Black or White" video pioneered would perfectly suit the journeyman status of middle relievers like Mike Jackson and his contemporaries. How about a video that uses the morph editing tool, depicting Jackson's career that bounced him between both leagues, but set to David Bowie's "Changes." Is there anybody out there who can do that? Meh, probably a waste of time.

Last add: After posting this, I went back and actually watched the Michael Jackson video. George Wendt, Macaulay Culkin, a row of bobbleheads...?!? Holy shiz, there was a lot more going on in that video than I remembered!

Thursday, April 10, 2008

Americana: Antonio Banderas' Mother-in-Law

I've been delving deeper into the 2007 Donruss Americana checklist in recent weeks, and now it's time to share some of my victories.

2007 Donruss Americana #28 Tippi Hedren Personally-Worn Dress (137/250)

Was there ever a collective name given to to the women who starred in Hitchcock films, something akin to "Bond Girl?" Well, that's what this "Hitch Girl" was best known for, her role in The Birds. Receiving this card makes me want to pull the DVD off my shelf and re-watch it. That won't happen, since "The Office" makes its return tonight. She also starred in Marnie, one of the American Hitchcock films that I have yet to see. Gotta get on that.

One might wonder why Hedren isn't exactly a household name today. Her daughter, Melanie Griffith, certainly is, though she possesses barely a quarter of her mother's talent. I guess you have to look at Tippi's contemporaries, blond hottie after blonde hottie who all fought for the same handful of Hollywood roles. But don't be too disappointed, folks, since this card is just a warmup to genuine Hollywood royalty that will be displayed on this blog.

Monday, April 7, 2008

Dr. Steve's Doctored Cards #4

In today's installment, Dr. Steve continues the trend of mockery at the plate.

1991 Topps #63 Milt Thompson

That's right, Milt Thompson, you are being penalized twice for crowding the plate. First off all, you took a knee as a brushback zipped past your ear. In case you didn't get the message, the inside of that plate belongs to the middle reliever. In addition, a child claims your bat might as well be a limbo stick. Maybe you could have successfully passed under more than 21.8% of those back in 1990, seeing as you set the bar so high...er...low...or whatever with an identical batting average that same year. Awww, I shouldn't make fun. You were actually hitting for good average in your three previous full seasons. There were plenty more out there worse than you. Milt Thompson, we miss thee.

As an aside, I'm wondering as to the existence of a hypothetical insert set. Now, I missed the majority of the collecting universe from about 1995 to 2007. Was there ever a highly collectable insert set called "Beaned!" consisting of guys who just got hit by a pitch, or got caught in a grimace mid-beaning? I'm looking in Fleer's direction on this one, perhaps lots of blue foil. If not, there should have been, right there in the wheelhouse of mid-1990s gaudiness.

Sunday, April 6, 2008

The Other Jose Canseco Book

Last year I wrote about a great treasure that was just going to be thrown away from my school's library. Roberto Clemente was not the only one rescued, but for some reason I've never shared any more of this haul. Recent events have inspired me to correct this oversight. I humbly present...

One event in my card collecting life I distinctly remember was going to my local card shop and purchasing this 1989 Fleer card. This thing was so special that it was in the display case, alongside the likes of a Rickey Henderson rookie card and a few oversized basketball cards that absolutely blew my mind.

This book's author is one Nathan Aaseng. Written for a fifth grade reading level, this book is surprisingly hard-hitting. Let's check out Chapter 1: "Too Good to Believe?"

It absolutely amazes me that the word "steroids" appears on the very first page. Books like these are usually hero-worship puff pieces, but Canseco's reputation is brought into question barely 100 words into the text. I can't believe that a 2007 children's book on, say, Tom Brady, would bring up the abandonment of his pregnant girlfriend, yet Canseco is slammed time and time again here.

Here's some more on the second full page.

Wait, did that say what I thought it said? Let's take a closer look.

Yeah, I guess it did. Makes me wonder if this book would have been banned in the school library of my youth.

Some random card info gets inserted periodically in this book. The 1989 Topps card seen here is now practically worthless.

The famous Rated Rookie card from '86 hasn't suffered quite the same fate, but if you have a spare Abe Lincoln in your pocket, it could probably be yours, and you'd even have enough left over for something from Taco Bell's .79, .89, .99, Aye-aye-aye menu.

The rest of the book chronicles Jose's rise to fame, all the way up to Oakland's 1989 World Series victory. Not a bad read. I'm glad I rescued it from the incinerator. Now I'm off to see my Brewers try to sweep the Giants, my first game of the season. Excellent.

Saturday, April 5, 2008

Dr. Steve's Doctored Cards #3

At the dawn of the next century, sports historians will look back to our era and ask themselves, "When began the trend that required an athlete not only to defeat his opponent, but humiliate him as well?" Perhaps around the year, say, 2060, the NBA will begin awarding taunting points following particularly spectacular dunks and "in-your-face" blocked shots. While I have no interest in such idiotic lack of gamesmanship, I believe I can answer the question of these yet-to-be-born sports philosophers. One of the first printed instances of athletic degradation came in 1991 from the pen of Dr. Steve.

1991 Fleer #565 Bill Pecota

That's right, Blll Pecota, you've been immortalized forever on a slab of cardboard, and you foul it up by taking a big swing and a miss. Big Whiffa! Dr. Steve may have been 12-years-old, but he gave you no quarter on shaming you. The "Strike" speech bubble is completely unnecessary, but hauntingly poignant. First of all, you're at home. Did a glint of light from the fountain hit your eyes? Second, you're playing the Twins, who were currently in the "Worst" phase of their memorable "From Worst to First" championship run. Tom Kelly is looking on from the dugout, glad you're not a part of his squad. (Although, that might be Kent Hrbek, judging from the shoulder girth and forward slumpage.)

Bill Pecota, you will be remembered for eternity for swinging at a pitch out of the strike zone (inside, from the looks of things) and failing miserably to make contact. And we shall rub it in...yes...we shall rub it in.

Thursday, April 3, 2008

Dr. Steve's Doctored Cards #2

Was he related to Pete Rose? When I was 11 and I got his Fleer rookie card, I thought he was, but that doesn't necessarily make it so, now does it? Lucky for us, he gets to be the next installment of Dr. Steve's Doctored Cards.

1990 Upper Deck #77 Bobby Rose

Let's take a look at the fine brush strokes on this piece of art.
First of all, the eye is made to wonder if Rose is primed to find the gap in right-center, or if a quick tango is in his future. Are those petals, or did Rose go through the trouble of painting part of a lobster claw green? Aghhh, I've got nothin' today.

Actually, I'm glad I decided I learned to learn more about the man Bobby Rose. It sounds as if he was a veritable god in Japan. Hey how 'bout that.

Wednesday, April 2, 2008

Dr. Steve's Doctored Cards #1

During last Sunday's Easter festivities, I got to see my good friend Steve and his family. In a pleasant surprise, Steve came to brunch armed with a Zip-Loc baggie filled with a stack of cards from the early 1990s.

What's so great about that, you ask?
Well, all of the cards were altered with a 12-year-old-or-so Steve's artistic flourishes and quick wit. Inspired by "Sports Illustrated for Kids," these cards are flat-out awesome. Buzz Beamer would have been proud.
While I can't claim any of the artistic credit for these cards, I can verify that these are all vintage. None of these cards have been doctored very long since their shelf date. I'll start out slow, saving some of the best for last. Believe me, these will build to an ear-shattering crescendo. Without further ado...

1991 Fleer #113 Kevin Romine

This card represents some of the first few credits in Dr. Steve's PhD. matriculation. An art gum eraser and some Bic medium points comprised his lab materials.
"What the heck is in there," Kevin Romine? Probably the first few inches of your hairline, from the looks of it.
All I know is that the efforts from my youth cannot hold a candle to what will be coming up on future posts. Keep yourself posted.