Monday, March 31, 2008

I'm Changing My Name to "Tony Gwynn, Jr., Jr."

If he keeps it up, I just might have to take a trip down to the courthouse and make it official.
Man, was that 10% of a great ballgame, or what! I know it's just the beginning of a long season, but it still feels great to beat Zambrano and the lowlife Cubs.

In honor of today's Opening Day victory, Thorzul Will Rule is being sponsored by this card.
2007 Topps Heritage Chrome #THC 65 (0356/1958)

I must mention that I was caught in an existential dilemma this afternoon. The Brewers/Cubs game was available on two channels. I had the choice of the home broadcast on FSN, but opted to intercept enemy signals from WGN. Why? WGN was pumping out the baseball ambrosia in beautiful HD, while my Fox Sports Northern Hemisphere Geographically West of Lake Michigan and East of the Mississippi River was only feeding me SD. Fukudome!

By the way, did anybody watching the WGN feed catch the several shots of the douchebag in the front row on the first base side? Typical Chicago jackass, trying to look like he just breezed in from work, wearing an overcoat and sweater vest while everyone around him was adorned with a stupid capital C. At least his "bad ju-ju" wiggling fingers failed to work their magic. If you caught the game, you know who I mean. Definitely not as cool as the Caveman sitting in the fifth row of the Nats/Braves game last night. That was pretty funny, made funnier still by the fact that the show isn't even on any more.

What's the over/under on Zambrano being booked for assault sometime this season? I'm not sure the betting terminology applies here, but it's fun to say.

Thursday, March 27, 2008

"I'll take LAZY WEBMASTERS for $600, Alex."

Sorry it's been so long since an update, but I guess I forgot that when you move, that's all you do for like three days straight. It's even a little more time-consuming when the move is from an apartment to a house. That's right, Thorzul is not only a master of reading decoding skills, he's also a homeowner.
OK, I guess moving wasn't the only thing I've been doing. I'm sure I got to watch a few episodes of "Jeopardy!" this week, but that's after doing some of my favorite things like picking out curtains and installing blinds. And returning blinds when they come with only one of the two necessary mounting brackets. And setting aside 6.5 hours of my day while AT&T U-Verse is installed. But yes, there's "Jeopardy!"
Speaking of which, here's a card that came in the mail recently.

2007 Topps Allen & Ginter #AGR-KJ Ken Jennings Event-Worn Shirt

This is the card I've been fiending for since this set was released. But try finding it for sale for less than $50! Actually, I did. Did I get it for $40?

Lower.

$30?

Lower.

$25?

Lower.

Try $14.99 (plus shipping). Buy It Now? You bet!
I'm still trying to put together as much of the '07 A&G relics as possible. These things go for really cheap now. While the Keith Olbermann might be out of my price range, most of the base-ball men, the guys who swing the bats and tear the rotator cuffs, are attainable. It's not the destination, it's the journey. If you want to help me out on any of these, let me know what you have to offer.

Saturday, March 22, 2008

Americana: Mogambo...it's fun to say.

#HL-8 Ava Gardner Hollywood Legends Personally-Worn Dress (142/325)

Today's Americana card doubles as a guessing game with no answer. Which man was Gardner married to or romantically involved with when she owned the dress from which this swatch was taken?
A. Mickey Rooney
B. Artie Shaw
C. Frank Sinatra
D. Howard Hughes
E. Ernest Hemingway

A big part of me wishes that Hemingway once ripped this yellow dress off her in a fit of passion. The light color is befitting on the warm climates of Hemingway's novels. The Sun Also Rises comes to mind.

Tomorrow you'll all be getting Thorzul's Easter Update. It will be a blast.

Thursday, March 20, 2008

Americana: "We argue about it still."

#CS-9 Giovanni Ribisi Cinema Stars Personally-Worn Shirt Relic (315/380)

When I pulled his base card in an earlier pack, I alluded to his mush-mouthed speech tendencies without giving too much credit to his acting skills. Since most of fast-food, Wal-Mart America probably knows Ribisi as "that guy who played Phoebe's brother who liked to melt things" on the show "Friends," I thought I'd pay a better tribute by listing my five favorite performances of his.

5. Saving Private Ryan: His death scene was the hardest-hitting of the film.
4. SubUrbia: I saw this a long time ago. From what I remember he played some sort of disillusioned youth. We unnecessarily get an eyeful of his schlong.
3. The Gift: Emotionally damaged.
2. "The Wonder Years": One of Kevin Arnold's friends. Not the twitchy guy.
1. The Virgin Suicides: His role as the narrator provided the understated sincerity the story deserved without choking you with sentimentality.

He owned a green T-shirt at some point in time, of which I now own a star-shaped swatch. Cool.

Wednesday, March 19, 2008

Americana: "...and you, sir, are no Aragorn."

#46 Aidan Quinn Pants Swatch Proof (055/100)

Despite an unsuccessful audition for the part of the 2007-08 Notre Dame basketball leprechaun, Donruss decided to obtain a piece of movie-used pants from Aidan Quinn. The material on this card was worn in the film A Private Matter. Yeah, never heard of it either.

Basically, this guy had all of his roles given to Viggo Mortensen since starring in Legends of the Fall in 1994. Seriously, had Viggo not come along, Quinn just might have been cast in The Lord of the Rings trilogy. I'm making all of this up, of course, but is sounds like it's true.

Yes, I might be $2.00 poorer because of this purchase, but my only regret is that the swatch isn't from his suit in the picture.

More Americana to come...

Tuesday, March 18, 2008

Old School Meets New School: Brewers Edition

After a few weeks of moribundity, the trading on this blog has started to come back to life. I've just completed a trade with reader Shane. Actually it was a purchase (to quote Randy Moss, "Straight cash, homey") with a few extra cards thrown in.

The terms of the deal:
Sending: A bunch of 2007 Upper Deck Masterpieces and 2007 Goudey
Receiving: A cash settlement and the two cards below:

Wow, that's a game-used Ben Sheets 2007 Goudey card (#15 to be exact) and a 2005 Robin Yount Upper Deck All-Star Classics Legendary All-Stars #96!
The Yount had already been a part of my collection, but that's OK. If it's not really weird, game-used, or signed, chances are I've got it. The Sheets, however, is just...wow. The intensity he brings to this card is really striking. The area around the G is a little bent up, and part of the die-cut border is flaking, but I ain't complaining. This is a really nice card, and somehow I feel I deserve it after pulling absolutely zero Brewers from a Goudey blaster last year.

If you want to trade with me, I'm always opened. If you just want to send me stuff for free, I'm open to that as well. Just let me know before sending anything my way, as I'll be changing addresses over the course of next week. That's right, I'm a homeowner. Now all I need to do is sit on the floor of my new house and eat Taco Bell like Michael Scott.

Saturday, March 15, 2008

Mmmmmmmm...Cards #5

1984 Nestle #20 John Denny

What if Mike Krukow, Mike Boddicker, or Bill Wegman had enjoyed an unbelievable streak of luck, pitched only on days when they had their best stuff, and put together a 19-6 season? The answer is that they would have joined John Denny as "The Forgotten Cy Young Award Winners."
I'm really glad I decided to seek out more information on this guy in order to pay him the respect he's due. I've got a couple more of these Nestle cards that I'll eventually get to, and this one jumped out right away as not really belonging in the set. Everyone else I've got is a first-ballot Hall of Famer. This card was actually part of the first collection that was passed down to me by my parents, an odd assortment of 1980 through about 1984 cards. I'm always astonished that somehow, somewhere in all of those trips to the store that my mom thought to pick up a pack or two of 1981 Donruss. Must've been that slick marketing campaign.

The stats on the back really show nothing special until his magical season of 1983. A little more digging further solidified the idea of "no-name" Cy Youngs. Check out this list of men whom time will most likely forget (outside of their geographical region, of course):
1967 Jim Lonborg (AL)
1970 Jim Perry (AL)
1976 Randy Jones (NL)
1980 Steve Stone (AL)
1983 LaMarr Hoyt (AL)
1989 Mark Davis (NL)
1996 Pat Hentgen (AL)

And who makes your list of "Most Likely to be Forgotten" since 2000? Chris Carpenter might be the John Denny of tomorrow. I'd be interested to hear what other think about this. Which Cy Young winners will stand the test of time, and which will be remembered only as well as Mike Cuellar (1969)?

Wednesday, March 12, 2008

A Veritable Slice of Americana

In hindsight, buying a hobby box of Donruss Americana was a mistake. Sure, it satisfied my urge to rip some pretty offbeat packs, but I've figured out that for this product, the secondary market is really the way to go. While it's not a set-builder's set, completing the 100-card base set is an attainable goal. I've found it a lot of fun in the past couple of weeks (while waiting for my Heritage boxes to arrive, STILL) to see what I can get for cheap from this set. Here is my first purchase:

That guy is Michael Berryman, the actor probably best known for his role in The Hills Have Eyes (the original, not the re-make). My favorite part of this card is that the seller placed it in what has become the so-completely-gauche "Rookie Card" top loader. I think I still might have a Pat Listach card in one of those, though I hope the latest Brewer ROY turns out to have a better career than him. I suppose it is Berryman's rookie card of sorts, but it still cracked me up.

If you want to see an interesting horror flick, check it out. While I can't profess to be a Berryman expert by any means, I must say that his role in The Devils Rejects (the sequel to House of 1,000 Corpses) was disappointing and demeaning. He is far more talented than resorting to playing a moronic, perverted, backwoods hick.
By the way, the AUTO is numbered to 314. Kind of an odd number, though familiar to me. 314 was the official number of the documents used as hall passes in high school. From cannibal savages to public education, you never know what you'll read on this here card blog.

Sunday, March 9, 2008

My Rosebushes

It's been what feels like ages since I've posted here. That scratch-off game really took a lot out of me, apparently, but now my elbow has been iced down properly and I'm ready to go.

Baseball season is really bearing down upon us, so I thought I'd haul out one of the nicer little items I got during the 2007 season.

That, ladies and gentlemen, is a Prince Fielder throwback pin, a Miller Park "tradeaway" available to only the shrewdest of fans. During select home dates last season a promotion was put on where some charitable group collected school supplies in return for a player pin. Not too bad of a deal, if you ask me. A box of Crayolas and a bottle of Elmer's for a rare Prince item? Sign me up! Actually, I've never even seen any of these up on eBay whenever I've checked. I've also got a Suppan and a Rickie Weeks, but this is the crown jewel for my lapel.

Since me blogging break, 2008 Heritage has also been released. This was really the set that got me back into collecting last year, and I've decided to focus almost solely upon this set for 2008. I've already decided to hold out until November or December to get the Topps factory set. After all, if last year they included game-used Mantle stuff, who knows what will be accompanying the base set this year.
The problem is this: In early February I bought and paid for a couple of boxes from a very reputable eBay seller. As of this posting, I'm still waiting for them to arrive. Three email inquiries have gone unanswered. I've even gotten in touch with other customers who have bought and received the same item, and they love this guy's service. This has been stressing me out for the last week or so, as I haven't been able to get my hands on the cards I most desire.

Flash forward to yesterday. I took a trip to Target, holding out little hope that I'd be able to find some '08 Heritage. The usual card area was a bust, so I decided to take a stroll around the store.
And then, there it was. Sitting amid the Yu-Gi-Oh! packs and 9-pocket sleeves at the end of the toy section(!) were three retail boxes of Heritage, the only sport cards in the entire area. My theory is that an employee was hiding these for a friend, just in case they sold out quickly.
Nuts to you, bitch!

Anyways, here's the only 2008 Heritage card I'll be posting, a sweet Prince Baseball Thrills highlight card. Awesome.

Why is this the only Heritage I'm posting? Perhaps Tom Hanks can explain it better than I can.
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