Thursday, July 31, 2008

Trade Me Your Brewers: Trade #2

Since I had stopped my mail during my vacation, I received a whole bunch of packaged trades at once. To be fair, I'm opening, posting, and scoring these in the order they were postmarked. The first one happened to come from David from Tribe Cards. Let's see how badly he wants the grand prize.

1971 Topps #433 Skip Lockwood and #456 Bob Meyer +2
This set's design to me has always looked like a sci-fi paperback book cover, the kind you find at Half-Price Books that are so old and undervalued that you end up paying 20 cents for it. Although Meyer looks like a 1990 Heads Up, lacking a neck and such.

1982 Topps K-Mart #40 Rollie Fingers +1
Think of the fun these would be today if Topps granted K-Mart a single one of its licenses. We're getting back into this on a small scale with the Target-only and Wal-Mart-only inserts from blasters, but a small, 44-card set each year would be nice.

2007 Topps Opening Day #DS8 Derrick Turnbow Diamond Stars +0
Sorry, but I collected this whole set last year to completion. That includes this subset and the puzzle, which fit so piss-poor into 9-pocket sheets I could just spit. The mascots made me do it.

1983 Topps #36 Rollie Fingers Super Veteran +0
This was posted on A Pack a Day on 1/17/08.

2008 Upper Deck Spectrum #52 Prince Fielder +1
The only Brewer I didn't pull from my blaster. Nice work!

2005 Upper Deck Fly Ball #83 Carlos Lee +1
Carlos Lee has a son named Karlos and a brother named Carlos.

2004 Upper Deck Power Up #34 Geoff Jenkins +1
This card is a mess. An awesome mess, but there's a lot going on. There's a code, some lime green ink, a logo that looks like it belongs on the side of an energy bar box, and the impossible-to-miss giant head. Oh, and there's a number 10 in the corner for no reason (not his jersey number).

2007 Goudey #109 Green and 109 Red Bill Hall +2
Click on the scans and stare intently at both images simultaneously for a View Master effect. Yeah, that probably won't work.

1980 Topps #711 Bob Galasso +1
This project is introducing me to Brewers I've never heard of before. Sure, I owned one of those Surf card books that showcased every Topps Brewers card from the team's inception until 1986, but this guy escaped my memory.

2002 Topps Post Cereal #23 Jeromy Burnitz +1
Perfect for Mmmmmm...Cards.

2007 Upper Deck First Edition #PC-PF Prince Fielder Pennant Chasers +1
Interesting insert card that shows Prince with sunglasses on. The schedule on the back is cool.

2002 Leaf Certified #138 Nick Neugebauer +1
This guy was supposed to be the future along with Sheets. Just like curly fries were supposed to completely replace regular fries.

1982 Topps #586 Rollie Fingers In Action +1
Now I've got both versions. Yes! (See yesterday's post.)

1971 Topps #415 Mike Hegan +1
I believe he had the honor of calling Juan Nieves' no-hitter on TV in 1987. Also owned an indoor batting cage entertainment complex in Milwaukee for a while.

2001 Royal Rookies #B7 Luis Martinez and #4 Jose Mieses +2
I love how a search for info on these guys pulls up really old scouting reports that feature pictures like this one of J.J. Hardy.

2001 Upper Deck Black Diamond #50 Geoff Jenkins +1
That's a lot of red on a card from a set called Black Diamond.

1978 Topps #51 Charlie Moore +1
Charlie's hat is a real rare find. Sure, you can get it here, but I'm willing to bet it just wouldn't feel like the real thing did back in the day. Oh, and I also recently got Charlie's 1982 blue variant bobblehead the other day, leaving me only two short for the whole set.

David's score adds up to 18 points. He was hurt by a few early doubles, but rebounded nicely. I will have fun picking out a nice assortment of Indians cards for him.

1. 23 pts: Rob from Rangers Cards
2. 18 pts: David from Tribe Cards

Editor's Note:
It was pointed out to us at Thorzul Will Rule that there was a miscalculation of the score earned by yesterday's contestant, Rob. The points do indeed add up to 24, but they have been held back to 23 because a recounting of the number of cards Rob sent had us arriving at a total of 21 cards. Therefore, Rob's lowest scoring card was thrown out (one of his 1-pointers), and only 20 of his cards counted towards the overall point total. This instance has nothing to do with voting irregularities in Palm Beach County, or the math question Canadians need to answer to enter sweepstakes, nor the occurrence of the showcase bidder whose bid is closer than $100 without going over winning both showcases. Thank you for reading.

Wednesday, July 30, 2008

Trade Me Your Brewers: Trade #1

This week began with a little mini-vacation, a camping trip that graced us with three days of beautiful sunshine and one evening of light rain. Before I left, however, I received the first of my Trade Me Your Brewers trades in the mail. The first to send was Rob of Rangers Cards. He enjoys the distinct advantage of adding to my collection before anyone else does, thereby getting the first crack at giving me a new card. On the other hand, there might be others lurking out there who will base their trade on information that is not yet released. Let's see what we've got and how many points Rob can garner.

2007 Topps Red Letter Backs #458 J.J. Hardy, #128 Damian Miller +2
Rob correctly gambled that I didn't collect any of the red backs from last year's set, despite having the entire base set. Nice job. It occurred to me that in no way do I miss Damian Miller. Nor do I miss Johnny Estrada. Both of their replacements, Jason Kendall and Mike Rivera, have played up to expectations this season.

1981 Fleer #515 Paul Molitor +1
Molly, right in the prime of his career, looks good here in powder blue.

1982 O-Pee-Chee #44 Rollie Fingers in Action/Au Jeu +1
Looks like he's warming up in Oakland on this card. The what-ifs with this man make my head hurt. What if he wasn't hurt at the end of the 1982 season? I'll curl up into a ball contemplating this while you folks can read ahead.

1982 O-Pee-Chee #12 Moose Haas, #308 Charlie Moore, and #378 Mike Caldwell +3
Nice pitcher-catcher-pitcher triumverate here. Although of the two hurlers, Caldwell looks more like a lanceur than Haas. I think it's the blue glove.

1982 O-Pee-Chee #207 Jim Gantner, #150 Ted Simmons, and #132 Pete Vuckovich +3
More Canadian goodness here. I believe that at some point in the future Ted Simmons will manage the Brewers. Time will tell.

2007 Topps Moments and Milestones #58 Prince Fielder (150/150) +4
The first big score emerges with a serial-numbered card. This is the first M&M card I've ever owned. It looks nice, but I've stayed away since other bloggers have complained about the confusing and somewhat pointless nature of the set.

2005 Fleer Showcase #16 Lyle Overbay +1
With Overbay gone, the only thing I miss is the "OOOOOOOOOO" chant when he came to bat.

2005 Fleer Patchworks #39 Lyle Overbay +1
Getting limber.

1984 Topps #60 Paul Molitor +1
Anybody have any of the proof cards from this set? I have Yount's. They were made slightly larger and the corner picture is a little differently framed.

2004 Touchstone Pictures Bernie Mac Mr. 3000 +1
Great card, terrible movie.

2006 Upper Deck #683 Matt Wise, #688 Justin Lehr, and #682 Jeff Cirillo +3
Let's see...I saw Wise hit a Cincinnati guy in the face last summer at Great American Ballpark, I have no recollection of Lehr whatsoever, and it looks like the polite, handsome Jeff Cirillo is quaintly asking permission to walk with a pimp in his step.

2005 Donruss Leather & Lumber #25 Carlos Lee +1
This card makes me wonder whatever became of the stadium ring animated scoreboard thing the Brewers ad men designed shortly before Lee was traded to the Rangers. It featured a charging horse and Lee's nickname, El Caballo. I'm sure there's a laptop sitting somewhere in Miller Park with the code still just sitting there, waiting to be discovered.

2002 Upper Deck Sweet Spot #49 Ben Sheets +1
Was last night the last time the Brewers come up short in back-to-back Sabathia/Sheets starts? Let's hope so.

2005 Fleer Patchworks #62 Ben Sheets +1
This card rounds out a perfect lot in which no dupes were sent.

Let's check the final tally. Twenty cards new to me account for 20 points, with the Fielder card earning a 3-point bonus. This brings the total for this trade up to 23. Excellent work, Rob, you've set the bar high! Trading is far from finished, and if you think you can beat Rob's score, drop me an e-mail.

1. 23 pts: Rob from Rangers Cards

Saturday, July 26, 2008

The Brewers Have a What in Their What?!?!

Not too long ago, I was watching the post-game stuff after a Brewers victory over the Giants. CC Sabathia had just pitched another gem, and spirits were high. Listen carefully to what former Brewer-turned-Fox Sports broadcaster had to say about the team.

How, exactly, does one get a "pimp in their step?" It sounds painful to me, not to mention dangerous. Correct me if I'm wrong, but I believe that most local school boards have taken steps to outlaw that sort of thing when on school grounds.

Can anybody fill me on on what exactly this means? And was it sanctioned by the express written consent of Major League Baseball? Methinks not!

Speaking of which, check this out.

Tuesday, July 22, 2008

Trade Me Your Brewers!

Trading has been a little slow lately. Perhaps most people are on vacation or something. At this point in the summer I haven't made up my mind about whether or not I'm going to go hardcore into Allen & Ginter, but I'd like to maintain a sense of card turnover in the meantime. So here's what I am proposing.

Trade me your Brewers. You know you don't want them. They're just taking up space in your boxes. Believe me, I know what I'm talking about. I've got stacks and stacks of unloved cards myself. They're yours for the trading.

Here's how the trading will work. Get in touch with me here indicating that you want to trade. Find exactly 20 Brewers cards* you want me to have. Specify a team that you want in return. Send me your Brewers cards. When I receive them, I'll send your twenty team cards out to you.

*Not all Brewers cards are created alike. There are rules and guidelines for what you can send me. This is not only a trade, it is a contest as well.
Please send only Brewers cards made in 1984 and earlier OR Brewers cards made in 2000 and later. The 20 cards you send will be subject to a point system, one that is driven partially by luck and partially by skill. The trader that accumulates the most points from the cards sent will win a dual relic card featuring two Hall of Famers.

Scoring system:
-Any Brewer card you send me that I do not already own is worth 1 point.
-A Brewer card I already own is worth 0 points. (This is where luck comes into play. How do you know what I own and what I don't? You don't, but here's a few hints: I've already obtained massive amounts of 2007 Heritage, 2007 Topps, 2008 Heritage, 2008 Topps, 2007 Topps '52, and 2006 Fleer Tradition, so I'd stay from these. It's probably also wise to stay away from Robin Yount cards, because I most likely already have it. Unless, of course, it's from 1977 and in the shape of a circle.)
-Any serial-numbered Brewer card is worth three points on top of the 1 point for it being a card I do not already have.
-Any relic card is worth 5 extra points. Plus 1 bonus for each individual swatch/bat piece after the first one.
-Any autographed card is worth 10 extra points. Autographs must be factory-obtained to earn the points. A parking lot autograph will be treated as a regular base card.

Here I'll give you an example of how the point system will work. Let's pretend that I don't already own this card, and you send it to me as one of the twenty.
2005 Playoff Absolute Memorabilia #TT-84 Robin Yount Tools of the Trade (097/150)

+1 point for a card I didn't previously own.
+3 points for the serial number.
+5 points because it's a relic card, +1 for the second piece.

Remember, nothing between 1985 and 1999 will earn points.
I will begin posting trades once they are received.
Now start searching through those boxes and binders!

Monday, July 21, 2008

A Fistfull of Brewers

Usually I save grandiose displays of pack contents for A Pack a Day, but this pack was so good (from a home team supporter's perspective) that I had to share it here.

Say it with me:
Let's tear in.

124 Yovani Gallardo

129 Yunel Escobar
119 Jeff Francis
5 Daisuke Matsuzaka
158 Khalil Greene
BP91 Sean Danielson
BP102 Ken Holmberg

BCP Stephen Chapman

BCP70 Ronald Ramirez
BP24 John Raynor Gold Parallel

Three Brewers in a pack of ten cards in phenomenal. That's 30% for those of you who attended public schools. That's an accumulation of Brewers at an astonishing rate. It's like one of those experiments in a high school biology class where you were forced to take a Petri dish around to various places in the building to attempt to culture bacteria from locker dials, doorknobs, urinal cakes, and the like. I would love to see a collection of Brewers cards multiply at an exponential rate in a giant-size Petri dish the size of a helipad, so long as none of them were 1988 Donruss.

Plus, both of the Brewers prospects are playing for the High-A Brevard County Manatees, the team with possibly the cutest logo in all of sports.

Awwww...doesn't it just make you want to punch an outboard motor owner in the face?

Both Holmberg and Chapman are batting in the .290's, but both are still a few years away from the bigs.

The wheels are in motion...

Friday, July 18, 2008

CC Sabathia: Hitting Machine

Why do people buy vacuum cleaners? The answer is simple. People buy vacuum cleaners so their carpet stays clean.
But what if your vacuum cleaner did your taxes? What if it walked your dog, too? What if it even had an attachment that had the ability to scale a ladder and clean out all the leaves and shit from your gutters?

Introducing Carsten Charles Sabathia, the vacuum cleaner that does your taxes.
2005 Donruss Prestige Prestigious Pros Red Parallel #PP-52 (572/700)

The Brewers got this guy for one reason: To get guys out.
The added bonus is his bat. In his eight at bats at the time of publishing, he is batting .250 (2-8), has a solo home run, and has a hit with a run scored. If he was a little more limber, Craig Counsell would have to look over his shoulder.

The card dealers in Milwaukee scoured their inventory, cracked open a few new top loaders, and jacked up the price on their Sabathia cards.
Actually, not all of them. The card pictured was something I pulled from a 25-cent box last weekend. That's really what makes card shows so much fun. The mountain of product out there is impossibly immense, and you never know what you're going to find.
Go Brewers.

Thursday, July 17, 2008

Deez Nuts II

Unfortunately, my lack of a camera right now prevents me from sharing the All-Star Silliness I promised yesterday. After the woman comes back from her country music festival (Retch!) I will able to entertain you all with something from Tuesday's game.
I do, however, have an interesting item to share. This was the champion purchase from today's grocery run. Fortunately, these were able to scan rather well.

Don't you love it the way a community can rally around a team? It's even better when the local grocers get in on the deal. Sure, this bag was probably $0.20 more per pound, and I'll be picking that skin shit out of my teeth for three days, but it's worth it for a post.

While we're at it, let's take a ride on the Wayback Machine to take a look at one of my earliest posts, one that also shoved a healthy portion of nuts in your face.

Speaking of which, this reminds me of a funny story I need to share with you. This was told to me by my best friend. A few years ago he was dating a woman from Colombia (the country in South America, not the university.) The two of them had attended a Robert Plant concert of some sort. (Jimmy Page might have been there, I'm not sure.) Anyways, during the show the girlfriend leans over to my friend and makes a remark about the tightness of Robert Plant's pants: "You can see his portion!"

Best quote ever!

Wednesday, July 16, 2008

Caption Contest Winner!

Thank you to all of the readers who submitted suggestions for the Berenstain Bears card I posted. Many of you ventured into Thorzul territory (i.e. the type of humor that makes you want to take a shower and cleanse your soul, yet at the same time is amazingly clever), while others came totally out of left field. In any case, I enjoyed reading all of them.

Now let's get down to business.
With the caption, "Damn, I hate taking a shower after Brother Bear!" the winner is...Scott!
Scott, I will be in contact with you concerning the delivery of your prize. I will also stake out a space at the children's library at my local branch to see if indeed the word "damn" has even been used in the series. Perhaps not, but No Girls Allowed seems the most promising bet. Maybe "bitches."

For the rest of you, here's the actual uncensored card.
Kevin was amazingly close to the real thing with his pancake reference.

Oh well, sometimes it just doesn't pay to be wholesome.

Tomorrow: All-Star Silliness!!!

Monday, July 14, 2008

Caption Contest: Berenstain Bears Edition

Over on A Pack a Day, I shared the pack that most of you chose. However, I was a little selective after pulling one of the greatest cards of all time. I choose not to share it with you in its entirety, but instead ask you to create your own caption. If you haven't already, read the Berenstain Bears post first, so you get the gist of what's happening in the skillfully crafted melodrama.

The reader who leaves the best caption will receive a wonderful prize. Entries must be in by 11:59 PM Central Time on Tuesday, July 15, 2008.

Have fun!

Sunday, July 13, 2008

Choose Your Own Pack Adventure

One of the great things about going to a card show is stumbling upon the craziest, zaniest shit imaginable. At this particular long-running show in Milwaukee I like to attend, you've got your seasoned dealers who occupy the same space month after month. You check their Yount card boxes and you notice that the same overpriced stuff from two years ago still hasn't managed to sell. You've also got the sellers with binders full of carefully organized cards from the 1950s and '60s for hardcore set builders. You've got the guy who sells nothing but racing stuff. You've got the guy who sells hobby boxes for twice what they would go for on eBay. Usual suspects.

But then there are those tables furthest from the entrance. Many months they remain empty, but sometimes someone musters up the gumption to attempt to recoup the table cost with a wide variety of mismatch stuff. Which is how I ran across this:

At this point, you the readers have a decision to make. Tonight on A Pack a Day I will be posting one of these two packs. Will it be the Berenstain Bears?

...a pack of 2008 Topps Co-Signers?

Both options have their obvious upsides. One the one hand you get a chance to see what mischief Brother has gotten into this time. Will it be an addiction to collecting dinosaurs? Or will he pull Sister's hair?
Or, if you're really lucky, might it be a reprinting of The Berenstain Bears and Too Much Pressure (albeit in card form), the one where Mother suffers a nervous breakdown because of the family's overpacked activity schedule?

Man, wouldn't that be great!
On the other hand, there could be a jersey or autograph of some sort.
It's out of my hands right now. I'll leave the ballots open for readers to voice their opinion on what pack should be opened tonight. You have until 9:00 Central to let your voice be heard. Pre-Decision '08: Berenstain Bears or Co-Signers?

Friday, July 11, 2008

Yount Card of the Day #8

Yesterday's guest post reminded me that I've been ignoring one of the general purposes of this site for some time: Raise worldwide Robin Yount awareness. In some form or fashion, I have succeeded. My fiancee no longer pronounces his name in a way that would make it rhyme with "font." (I haven't been able to break my dad from saying "Kirby Plunkett," however. Some battles are just unwinnable.)

While adding some new cards to my Yount binders, I cam across one that I must have never taken a very close look at. Here it is in all its glory.

2004 Topps Bazooka One-Liners (Game-Used Bat) #BOL-RY

It's the quote on the front that really got my undies in a bind over this card. I'm very confused by it. Was Robin cast as an extra in Point Break without me knowing about it? As a known motorcyclist, did he join the circus and do one of those high wire acts just to get that extra adrenaline rush? I guess I just don't see baseball as a "living on the edge" sport. What other sport takes 17 breaks during a game? What other sport involves as much sitting down? Granted, I love the game, but I don't see the high degree of risk involved.

What was Robin talking about when he said "whatever"? Brushing your teeth? Spot welding? Fertilizing your lawn? Hauling a box of winter sweaters to the attic?
Hell, I believe the guy, I'm just not sure I understand him. For the rest of the day I will try to live on the edge. This doesn't mean, of course, that I'll be running onto the field during tonight's Brewers/Reds game. I guess I'll have to live on the edge during a round of parking lot bean-bag toss.

Thursday, July 10, 2008

Guest Writer: Five (or Six) Beautiful Brewers

Today's post comes to you from Kevin, Orioles fan from Maryland. At the end of June we made a friendly wager as his beloved O's were making a rare appearance in Milwaukee. While I was on vacation, I didn't even get to see an inning of the series. Somehow, without my presence, the Brewers won. Below are the spoils of victory.

Hey there, Thorzulites. Last month, in a rare moment of hubris (or maybe a not-so-rare moment of boredom), I contacted the proprietor of this here blog with a friendly wager. As my Orioles were preparing to visit Thorzul's Brewers for a three-game weekend series, I proposed that the man whose team lost the series would have to write a guest post for the winner's blog. If the O's had taken just one more game, Thorzul would have been typing up a treatise on five of his favorite Orioles cards. However, Prince, the Hebrew Hammer, and the rest of the gang took two out of three, so here I am. Without further a-Brew (see what I did there?), here are five of my favorite Milwaukee-centric baseball cards, straight from my own collection.

Gorman Thomas, 1976 Topps #139/George Scott, 1976 Topps #15

It's sad but true...right off the bat, I had two cards from the same set that I just couldn't choose between. If you've ever read my Orioles card blog, you'll know that I'm a great appreciator of classic facial hair. The Brewers of the late '70s and early '80s were famed for their hirsute superiority. Gorman Thomas is usually the first name that comes up when people talk about the shit-kickingness of those teams, and for good reason. The fullness of his muttonchops and fu manchu seem to say that professional baseball is a privilege, not a right. Brother has paid his dues, and will protect his status with Sweet Lu. Yes, he named his bat. Wanna fight about it?

As for George Scott, he knows that he's a marked man. Others are jealous of his precisely trimmed, razor-sharp sideburns and horseshoe 'stache. He'll be ready for them when they come...and Gorman's got his back. What's not to like about George? After all, he starred in such fine films as Dr. Strangelove: Or How I Learned to Stop Worrying and Love the Bomb and The Exorcist III. Of course, I might be thinking about another George Scott.

Robin Yount, 1979 Topps #95

For all of my love of mustaches, beards, flowing locks, and sideburns, there's a special, jarring charm to cards featuring fresh-faced photos of players usually identified by their facial hair. I'm proud of cards in my collection featuring a 'stacheless Thurman Munson and Keith Hernandez. Similarly, I cherish this card and its depiction of a young, rosy-cheeked Robin Yount. His grin is disarming, almost maniacal. You can't hate Robin Yount (although you can be a little bitter about his cruel destruction of Baltimore's playoff hopes in 1982), but you'd have to agree that he had a good reason for growing his trademark mustache.

Dan Plesac, 1992 Topps Stadium Club #532

What's a journeyman lefty specialist reliever doing here? Well, this was the first ever Stadium Club card in my collection, probably procured from a grab bag or some such. It's just a simple, purty-lookin' card. Dan's a pleasant enough looking guy, and his blue Brewers warmup jacket is mighty sweet. Dan hung around until he was 41, logging eighteen seasons in six different bullpens. He was a three-time All-Star from 1987-1989, back in the days when he was closing games for Milwaukee. He is currently sixth in major league history in games pitched with 1064. That's 1064 more than you or I have under our belts.

Paul Molitor, 1993 Upper Deck Iooss Collection #WI 6

This is one of the first inserts I pulled from a pack of cards, and again it's a beauty. This was part of a 27-card insert set featuring the work of famed Sports Illustrated photographer Walter Iooss, Jr. Though "Molly" was a member of the detestable Toronto Blue Jays by the time I became a baseball fan, I always kind of liked him. He just seemed like a nice guy, kind of down-to-earth. But don't take my word from it. Here's a quote from Iooss himself, taken from the card back:

"I showed Paul some photos I had taken, and he commented that they were very good. Most athletes never give you any feedback. Paul was a gentleman and waited until I was finished before bolting for the clubhouse."

I told you so! Besides, Paul overcame a lot of adversity to build a Hall of Fame legacy. He lost chunks of several seasons early in his career to injury and drug addiction, and bounced back to be a healthy and reliable hitter into his early forties. He finished with 3,319 total hits, ninth in baseball history. Pretty remarkable.

Steve Sparks, 1997 Upper Deck Collector's Choice #371

C'mon, is any explanation necessary? Even if you never heard of Steve Sparks, you probably wouldn't be surprised to learn that he was a knuckleballer. Steve's ignominious place in baseball lore was earned through a self-inflicted injury in Spring Training in 1994. After seeing a motivational speaker tear a phone book in half, the pitcher tried to replicate the stunt for his teammates' benefit. Instead, he suffered a separated shoulder and missed his chance to make the big league club.

Well, that seems as good a place to stop as any. Go Brewers! (And go O's!)

Great post, Kevin. Awesome Brewers stuff, and written like a true Milwaukeean. And to top it all off, I didn't have to do shit. Tomorrow, I promise, will feature more Yount-y goodness.