Tuesday, March 31, 2009

Simpsons + Baseball Cards = Cool

I got word recently that there's a website called Baseballboss.com that is beginning an event tomorrow in which several Simpsons-inspired online baseball cards will be produced and available for collecting. Here's part of the pitch:

"Registered Baseball Boss players can challenge a team called the “Springfield Nukes” throughout the month of April. Each time Baseball Boss players defeat the Nukes in a series, they’ll win one of the special cards from the mini-set for their own online card collections.  At the end of April, Baseball Boss players who’ve collected all 14 cards (9 professional players plus 5 cards of the game developers) will earn a free pack of 2008 Spire cards from Baseball Boss. Plus players will get to keep the spoof cards they’ve earned for their Baseball Boss card collection."

Sounds fun. I know I'm looking forward to the Ozzie Smith and Ken Griffey, Jr. cards the most. I've got my fingers crossed that the Oz card includes a camera and Einstein's theory of relativity equation. Here's a sneak peek at a couple of the first cards in the series.

Thank goodness, no "sideburns" visible on the Mattingly card.

Check it out tomorrow, looks like it'll be a hoot! Best of all, it's free!

Monday, March 30, 2009

Group Break: AL Central

We've been through all of the Senior Crrcuit teams that people wanted, so today we're moving on to the American League, starting with teams from the Rust Belt, Motor City, and the land of Vampire Separatists.

Team: Twins
Buyer: Matt F.
Card: 2006 Topps Co-Signers #16 Torii Hunter

Thoughts: This was one of the few guys I liked on the Twins, and now he's gone. It makes me even more sick of the distinct disadvantage the Brewers suffer playing them every year and getting the crap kicked out of them. Aw, heck...when you can't beat 'em, join 'em. Go Twins.
And by the way, all of the gold foil on this card is showing up as silver for some reason.

Team: Indians
Buyer: Tribe Cards
Cards: 2008 Topps Moments & Milestones #51 C.C. Sabathia 164 Strikeouts (10/25), 2005 Upper Deck Classics #109 Dennis Eckersley

Thoughts: I know, I've already shown an M&M card, but here's one of the rare(r) ones. Still a stupid idea, but I wish I could have kept this one. And that Eckersley card...man, that's beautiful. "Women wanted him...men wanted to be him."

Team: Tigers
Buyer: thesewingmachineguy
Cards: 2003 Topps Gallery #22 Ernie Harwell (Red Tie and Blue Tie Variants), 2004 Upper Deck Play Ball #94 Jeremy Bonderman

Thoughts: When picking cards to show from the Tigers, I happened to notice that the Harwells looked different from one another. Exhaustive research turned up the probability that neither one is more scarce than the other, but I could be wrong. To make up for this ineptitude, I also decided to show an actual player. These Play Ball cards were sprinkled liberally amongst most of the teams, like the raisins in an off-brand raisin bran. (I sucked the sugar off the Bonderman, though. Don't judge me for it.) I liked this card because it reminded me of the picture I once saw of a women whose facial features were so close together that her eyes, mouth, and nose could all be covered by a single teacup. For those of you who plan on trying this at home, I feel it's best not to let us all know if you indeed succeed.

Sunday, March 29, 2009

Baseball Cards Were Traded on Sesame Street

Telly collected.

Wonder if he was at "Game Six."

Check out the appearance of a famous ballplayer in this clip...

Not terribly bright, that Telly. I hope Big Bird or someone was looking out for him so he didn't get suckered into a bad trade.

Ironically, Oscar was the guy you would go to on Sesame Street if you wanted your cards graded. Go figure.

Saturday, March 28, 2009

Group Break: NL West

Up next is the NL West, which is actually the division whose most recent World Series championship is the farthest in the past (2001, Arizona). Will it be their year? Time will tell.

Only two teams were claimed this time around. Let's see some of what they got.

Team: Dodgers
Buyer: night owl
Cards: 1993 Score Select Traded #111T Cory Snyder, 2006 Sweet Spot Update #16 Greg Maddux, 2006 Topps Updates & Highlights #UH18 Mark Hendrickson

Thoughts: There was a TON of Score Select Traded in the lot, so everybody's getting some. I liked this Snyder card because of the fans in the background. My three favorites are the scared guy right next to Cory's number, the guy on the left wearing the thugged-out Looney Tunes b-ball shirt, and of course the arm attached to the guy foolish enough to think his A's hat is any match for Cory's Rawlings. The Hendrickson made me think of all of those Devil Rays cards with the Dagobah background. I wondered how Mark managed to have his picture taken in the same foggy locale until I flipped over the card and realized that he was part of that same squad. Sorry you lost Artax in the Swamps of Sadness, Mark. At least Topps did a really nice airbrush job on your uniform.

Team: Padres
Buyer: Rod
Cards: 2008 Upper Deck #369 Jake Peavy Checklist, 2005 Upper Deck Reflections #78 Mark Loretta




Oh, and I chose Loretta because he was once a Brewer.

Friday, March 27, 2009

Boyz II Men OOP DVD (BBD... The East Coast Family)

As I promised earlier in the day, I would reveal the rights and wrongs of the OOP DVD contest held earlier this week. Our winner was Matt from Yount Vs. Molitor. Apparently a custody battle broke out some time around 1996 regarding the visitation rights of one B.J. Surhoff, and it's taken this long to get the paperwork all the way to the Supreme Court. (My outlook: Expect willy-nilly David Souter to cast the deciding vote. Which way will the wind blow that day?) Seriously, though, give the blog a look. He's a new guy on the scene and he's started out with a very Brewers-centric perspective. I think you all know my dog in that fight, if youre going strictly according to title. Yount would coat his Louisville Slugger with Molly's gray matter.

Here's what Matt got correct:
Ichi the Killer
Jackie Brown
King Arthur
King Kong
(Great bit of logical reasoning to pull that one out of nowhere!)
Kung Fu Hustle
Moulin Rouge
Near Dark
Once Upon a Time in America
Once Upon a Time in Mexico
One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest
Pulp Fiction
Punch Drunk Love

That's the 13 that earned him the win. If you couldn't tell, these represented part of the "oddball cases" section of my collection. Lots of people guessed Memento and Little Shop of Horrors, the former of which I do own, and the latter of which I wouldn't be caught dead with.

Here's what everybody missed:
Slot 5: Kinsey
Slot 7: Land of the Dead (That was a tough one, impossible to see any part of the title.)
Slot 8: Lilya 4 Ever
Slot 9: Lord of War (So-so movie, but an amazing opening sequence tracing the steps of a bullet from being manufactured to actual use.)
Slot 10: Magnolia
Slot 11: Masters of Horror: Family (This one tripped a lot of people up. Check it out. George Wendt's in it!)
Slot 13: My Wife is a Gangster (Unknown Korean action/comedy. I'd be surprised if anyone ever heard of this film.)
And then after Punch Drunk Love, there's a little bit of Saw and Saw II showing, plus perhaps a micron of what turns out to be Sacrface.

So this is supposed to be a card blog, right? Okay, I relent, here's some cards for you. I got a bunch of '70s and early-'80s cards this week, and here are a few.

1971 Topps #42 Boots Day (I'm using (some would say abusing) my authority to declare it Boots Day Day. I'll keep you posted about the date.)

1980 Topps #326 Bo McLaughlin (Bo was actually the forerunner of the "Bo Knows" commercials. Filming stopped shortly after the "Bo knows perms" spot aired.)

1980 Topps #470 Bob Boone (Bob was caught rockin' not one, but two Superman S-curls. The second one removes the vulnerability of Kryptonite everywhere on Boone except the wiener.)

OOP DVD Contest Winner!

The winner of last week's contest is...


He correctly guessed 13 of the titles lurking behind my new DVD. I'll be back later today to fill everyone in on what was guessed correctly and what was left out.

Thursday, March 26, 2009

Group Break: NL East

The home of the 2008 World Champions is our next stop. That's right, the NL Central, home to four MLB teams and one member trying to shrug off its AAA Junior Camper status. Let's see what turned up.

Team: Braves
Buyer: dayf
Cards: 2003 Donruss #240 Chipper Jones, 2004 Upper Deck #289 Marcus Giles

Thoughts: I've decided to forego showing any of the more valuable and/or hard-to-find cards in this lot (dayf can find those for himself) in favor of some base cards with awesome action shots. I'm sure dayf has these two already, but they are too cool to pass up. Giles is well on his way to floating to first base in order to catch his own throw and complete the world's first 6-4-4 double play.
On the Chipper card, Donruss has captured the exact split-second where Brad Ausmus realized he was going to get his Shit. Fucked. Up.

Team: Phillies
Buyer: capewood
Card: 2003 Topps Gallery #69 Jim Bunning Refractor

Thoughts: The Phillies were probably one of the top three teams to have picked from the monster lot.. Heading the list is this Jim Bunning, a man Time magazine has called one of "America's Five Worst Senators." Oh well, at least it's a cool card. These Gallery refractors are pretty tough to find, with only a handful popping up on eBay.

Team: Nationals/Expos
Buyer: Zpop
Cards: 2008 Upper Deck #326 Justin Maxwell (RC), 1993 Fleer Ultra All-Star #8 Larry Walker

Thoughts: The Walker card is my favorite throwback to the Expos in the lot. The ghosting effect kind of makes it look like the image it etched in stone, like on a caveman's wall or something. And the Maxwell card...what can you say about that? I am having a hard time figuring out just exactly where this game is being played. There's a shit ton of sand behind the plate, and there are dudes in hard hats and reflective vests standing around, a couple of whom is even snapping a picture. Then logic kicked in and I stopped thinking a game of beach baseball (a trial sport to be played in the 2016 Olympic games) was taking place and started thinking it might be some sort of ceremonial exercise happening at the new Nationals Park. Verification, anyone?

Tuesday, March 24, 2009

More Stuff For Sale!

Check out my eBay items for sale. Lots of good cards at a good price.

And make sure you take a crack at the contest I posted yesterday. Only a couple people have entered, so you still have a good shot at it.

Monday, March 23, 2009

Huck Feritage Replacement Therapy: OOP Movie

Part of the deal I made with myself was to use my otherwise unspent 2009 Topps Heritage money on something I ordinarily wouldn't buy for myself. Being that my initial earning years came at a time when I was not buying baseball cards regularly, my movie collection easily dwarfs my card stash.
Part of being a DVD collector involves going after some of the rarest films available, or, as it turns out, unavailable. Sometime you luck out and acquire a hot DVD shortly before it goes out of print, but it's more likely that you hear about it too late and need to play catch-up. I was fortunate enough to have purchased the Criterion editions of Spellbound, Rebecca, and Notorious (all Hitchcock films) long before prices skyrocketed. Others sit on my shelves that I had to find after the fact.
Over the last couple of years, one film in particular has made me salivate, yet I never pulled the trigger. Usually, if found on eBay, its Buy It Now price was too high. Then the economic crisis hit.
One was on sale for $75, but another trailed a day or two behind it. I crossed my fingers and held out for the cheaper one. Here are the results...
Last Year at Marienbad (Fox Lorber) DVD
Price: $41.00
Balance: $54.51

Haven't viewed it yet, but I'm looking forward to the confusion it has been said to produce.
And as you can see, there's a lot going on behind it. Here's what we'll do as an impromptu contest. In the comments, write the names of as many of the films sitting behind Last Year at Marienbad as you can. The person who correctly identifies the most films will win a prize that may or may not have something to do with movies and/or cards. (And no fair writing the name of every film ever made in hopes of hitting the ones pictured. There is some rhyme and reason to their arrangement, so I'm sure someone can get at least 90% of the titles.)
Good luck!

Sunday, March 22, 2009

Cheap Group Break: NL Central

Don't worry, folks, I haven't forgotten about the cheapie group break. Sorting the lot into teams took the better part of a week, but now it's done, and the team lots will start going out this week. We'll go division by division, and I'll show at least one interesting card from each team. I'll try not to duplicate any sets when showing these off. We'll start with the toughest division (at least on the basis that you have to beat five teams to win it, not the usual four, and definitely not the wimpy three in the AL West). Yes, it's the NL Central, where if you suck enough, you can finish sixth.

Team: Cardinals
Buyer: madding
Card: 2005 Leather & Lumber #145 Lou Brock

Thoughts: The Cardinals were probably one of the best teams to pick this time around. Lots of Pujols, a bunch of capital-L Legends (guys that were born at or before the turn of the century type of Legends), just an overall good mix of Cards cards. There weren't a lot of Leather & Lumber cards here, but I had to show the speedster, Brock.

Team: Pirates
Buyer: Billy Suter
Card: 2008 Topps Moments & Milestones #108 Freddy Sanchez 102 Hits (021/150)

Thoughts: A Pirates fan would be happy with this lot. There were tons of Moments & Milestones in the overall 2,000-card lot. I think just about every team got at least two or three. The concept of the set is ridiculous and something I would never pay for, but if a couple fall into your lap like this, why not?

Team: Cubs
Buyer: Greg
Card: 2003 Fleer Sammy Sosa Paper Doll (Not sure of the official name.)

Thoughts: I was very tempted to assemble this card myself, as it was the only one that popped up in the lot. I can see the tagline for it now: "Kids! Put him together, stand him up, and he can pretend not to understand English, just like the real Sammy!"

Saturday, March 21, 2009

Huck Feritage Replacement Therapy: 2005 Donruss Champions Hobby Box

Having lived in my not-so-new house for about a year now, I find myself, on occasion, receiving mail that was intended for one of several previous owners. These mailings, usually bulk and junk in nature, often have the tendency to reveal the essence of the intended recipients. One woman, for instance, is periodically having these strange catalogs that sell items like no parking signs, police tape, and traffic cones of all colors and sizes. I'm guessing she was in one type of other of law enforcement, but maybe she just had a thing for cyclone fences.

I'm telling you all of this because I think I received a box of cards that was originally intended for one of the other card bloggers out there. Let's see if you can guess who it was.

In an earlier post, Huck Feritage, I declared that I would be buying no 2009 Topps Heritage boxes or packs this year. So far, I've stuck to that promise. (I'm actually sticking to a lot of promises lately. With it being Lent now, I've given up soda, and haven't had any for nearly a month.) I figured that two hobby boxes (last years allotment) would have set me back about $160 at pre-sell prices. I wrote that I would do my best to spend that money on something that would bring me more joy than the Heritage would have, and I would document these purchases and present them to you. Here's my first purchase.

2005 Donruss Champions Hobby Box
Price: $64.49
Balance: $95.51

I selected this box for two reasons. First, eight hits per box, and a good amount of cards per each of the 24 packs. I like to spread out my hobby box opening over at least two days.
Second, I like sets with cards of retired payers. This one had them sprinkled liberally, like marshmallows in Lucky Charms.

Here's what I got.
Red Impressions Parallels (#/250): 3
Blue Impressions Parallels (#/100): 2
Gold Impressions Parallels (#/50): 1 (Mike Piazza)
Regular Impressions Parallels: 12

When I got to the jersey cards is when things started to get weird. Let's get the four out of the way that do not support my thesis that I got someone else's box.
Andres Galaraga Jersey, Magglio Ordonez Bat, Russel Branyan Jersey, Jason Varitek Bat

Those were, I believe, four out of the first five jersey cards I pulled. Then this happened, in succession.
#39 Brian Jordan Jersey

Recollection Collection Autograph of Bubba Nelson's 2003 Donruss Diamond Kings #192 (118/147)

#217 Greg Maddux Jersey (At this point, I started to say to myself, "Are you kidding me?" It was in a disbelieving way, not a bad way.)

My final card left me in a state of disbelief. #167 Kenny Lofton Bat

To top it all off, two of the regular Impressions cards were Braves: Andres Galaraga and Anthony Lerew (of whom I have no recollection).

Overall, it was a pretty fun box to open. The set includes multiple cards of some players, often depicting the same player for different teams. At times is becomes ridiculous, though. While I can stomach two different Brooks Robinson cards in slightly different poses and identical card backs (except for the numbers, 93-94)...

...I have difficulty stomaching the same from Orlando Hudson. His are actually three in a row, of which I have #74 and #76.

And was the public really clamoring for five different Roger Cedeno cards? Here are four out of the five, #413, 414, 415, and 417. Looks like I'm only missing the Astros one.

Let me close by apologizing to the blogger whose box I errantly received. Never before have I seen such a team-loaded box as this one. Has this ever happened to anybody else?

Thursday, March 19, 2009

What Is This?

I took this away from a kid today.

In my estimation, it's pretty much the worst toy on earth.
Anybody have any idea what it is?

Wednesday, March 18, 2009

Bret Saberhagen Foretold the Future...

...about the Kansas City Royals sucking.

I like the Royals, I really do. I even spent a sizable part of the early 1990s under a Royals cap (mesh-backed, of course). They remind me of all of the years of futility of my Milwaukee Brewers, and I hope they can find a way to break that streak of missing the playoffs.

Thorzul's calling it: The Royals will have a winning record in 2009. The AL Central is a very tight division, and a few injuries to any of the favorites could lead to a surprise winner. This will probably not be KC, but they will show improvement. You heard it here first.

Monday, March 16, 2009

CC: All the Colors of the Bow

A couple of new CC Sabathia cards came my way last week. They look very Indian-y, but the Brewers insignia on the front puts them in my collection.

2009 Upper Deck Spectrum Blue Parallel #54 (10/25)

2009 Upper Deck Spectrum Jersey #54 (36/99)

The swatch is dark blue, so it could be from a Brewers jersey, but my gut tells me that's Tribe blue.
Oddly enough, I do not have the Spectrum base card yet.

Oh, and there's also a CC patch card floating around out there, but there's nothing Brewers on it to speak of.
So I guess it's a case of, "I would prefer not to."

(Name that quote!)

2008 Topps Updates & Highlights #UH300
2008 Topps Updates & Highlights #UH300 Gold Foil
2008 Topps Updates & Highlights #UH300 Gold (0313/2008)
2008 Topps Updates & Highlights #UH300 Black (56/57)
2008 Upper Deck Timeline #39
2008 Upper Deck Timeline #39 Gold
2008 Upper Deck Timeline #162
2008 Upper Deck Timeline #162 Gold Stamp
2008 Upper Deck Timeline #242
2008 UD Documentary #3048 MIL103
2008 UD Documentary #3138 MIL106
2008 UD Documentary #3228 MIL109
2008 UD Documentary #3318 MIL112
2008 UD Documentary #3948 MIL133
2008 UD Documentary #4038 MIL136
2008 UD Documentary #4128 MIL139
2008 UD Documentary #4218 MIL142
2008 UD Documentary #4308 MIL145
2008 UD Documentary #4398 MIL148
2008 UD Documentary #4488 MIL151
2008 UD Documentary #4578 MIL154
2008 UD Documentary #4668 MIL157
2008 UD Documentary #4758 MIL160
2008 UD Documentary #4848
2008 UD Documentary #4398 MIL148 Gold
2008 Topps Stadium Club #10
2008 Upper Deck Sweet Spot #18
2009 Topps #170
2009 Topps #170 Gold Parallel (0949/2009)
2009 Topps #170 Black Parallel (28/58)
2009 Topps #170 Target Black
2009 Topps Silk Collection (35/50)
2009 Toppstown #TTT14
2009 Toppstown #TTT14 Gold Parallel
2009 Topps Vault First Edition Blank Back (1/1)
2009 Upper Deck #212
2009 Upper Deck #GJ-CS Game Jersey Triple Swatch MIL (45/99)
2009 Upper Deck O-Pee-Chee #OPC-6
2009 Upper Deck #GJ-CS UD Game Jersey Dual Swatch "52" (136/149)
2009 Upper Deck #R6 Rivals (w/some guy on some other team)
2009 Upper Deck #GJ-CS UD Game Jersey Gray Swatch "J"
2009 Upper Deck #GG-CS Stars of the Game
2009 Upper Deck Documentary #4903 MIL-NLDS2
2009 Upper Deck Spectrum Blue Parallel #54 (10/25)
2009 Upper Deck Spectrum Jersey #54 (36/99)

Sunday, March 15, 2009

The Cheap Group Break Registration is Now Closed

No further slots will be awarded.
You are now free to go about your lives.

Cheap Group Break: The End is Nigh!

So, I've cracked open the box.

Like the Leg Lamp, "It's..indescribably beautiful!"

Perhaps that's taking it a step too far, but so far I've unearthed less than a quarter of its contents, and this box is very 2000s-centric. I saw a couple of 1992 Topps cards, but nothing yet before that. There have been a few individually numbered cards, some cool inserts, and some brands from the posh neighborhoods of the card universe. Leather & Lumber, Fleer Authentic, Patchworks, Heritage, and some Donruss Elite, for starters. These cards are "educated, from good stock," none of that trash from the wrong side of the tracks like 1989 Topps or 1991 Donruss.

Because of basic human greed (I want to keep many of these cards that haven't been claimed yet) and the desire to reward anyone who read the blog this weekend and responded, I'm going to cut off all registration at 9:00 Central time. Registration may be reopened at a later time, but at a higher price.

I can't wait to get to the rest of this box and pass out all of the goodies!

Blacker Than Midnight on a Moonless Night...

Last week, Matt from Heartbreaking Cards asked if I wanted a bunch of Target-only black Topps Brewers cards. I wholeheartedly welcomed this trade. Among the loot:
#170 CC Sabathia (This one gets me a step closer to full CC-as-a-Brewer completion. Nice.)

#240 Ryan Braun (Next year, do not take Braun's picture right after he rolled out of bed.)

#71 Mat Gamel RC (Part of the bright future of the Brewers' infield.)

Personally, I like what the black brings to the overall design of these cards. A hint of the background has been maintained, enabling Topps to avoid the goofy background-less nature of a product like, say, 1991 Fleer Football.

I'd imagine that this looks better on the cards of some teams than others, which made me think of a Brewers uniform possibility. I think it would be cool if the team adopted yet another alternate jersey, a black one that kept a hint of the blue and gold color scheme. The hats would look awesome, though I'm not so sure about the jerseys and pants. I suppose that's something for Attanasio and the boys to decide.

By the way, if you're on the fence about it, hurry up and claim a spot in my next el cheapo group break. Thirteen pounds of cards (approximately 2,000) are in need of a good home. I think I'll call an end to registration late tonight. Lots of good teams are still unclaimed!

2008 Topps Updates & Highlights #UH300
2008 Topps Updates & Highlights #UH300 Gold Foil
2008 Topps Updates & Highlights #UH300 Gold (0313/2008)
2008 Topps Updates & Highlights #UH300 Black (56/57)
2008 Upper Deck Timeline #39
2008 Upper Deck Timeline #39 Gold
2008 Upper Deck Timeline #162
2008 Upper Deck Timeline #162 Gold Stamp
2008 Upper Deck Timeline #242
2008 UD Documentary #3048 MIL103
2008 UD Documentary #3138 MIL106
2008 UD Documentary #3228 MIL109
2008 UD Documentary #3318 MIL112
2008 UD Documentary #3948 MIL133
2008 UD Documentary #4038 MIL136
2008 UD Documentary #4128 MIL139
2008 UD Documentary #4218 MIL142
2008 UD Documentary #4308 MIL145
2008 UD Documentary #4398 MIL148
2008 UD Documentary #4488 MIL151
2008 UD Documentary #4578 MIL154
2008 UD Documentary #4668 MIL157
2008 UD Documentary #4758 MIL160
2008 UD Documentary #4848
2008 UD Documentary #4398 MIL148 Gold
2008 Topps Stadium Club #10
2008 Upper Deck Sweet Spot #18
2009 Topps #170
2009 Topps #170 Gold Parallel (0949/2009)
2009 Topps #170 Black Parallel (28/58)
2009 Topps #170 Target Black
2009 Topps Silk Collection (35/50)
2009 Toppstown #TTT14
2009 Toppstown #TTT14 Gold Parallel
2009 Topps Vault First Edition Blank Back (1/1)
2009 Upper Deck #212
2009 Upper Deck #GJ-CS Game Jersey Triple Swatch MIL (45/99)
2009 Upper Deck O-Pee-Chee #OPC-6
2009 Upper Deck #GJ-CS UD Game Jersey Dual Swatch "52" (136/149)
2009 Upper Deck #R6 Rivals (w/some guy on some other team)
2009 Upper Deck #GJ-CS UD Game Jersey Gray Swatch "J"
2009 Upper Deck #GG-CS Stars of the Game
2009 Upper Deck Documentary #4903 MIL-NLDS2

Saturday, March 14, 2009

Cheap Group Break: The Return

The first one was such a success that I've decided to host another cheapie group break. Very recently I acquired a lot of cards that could only be sold by the pound. I honestly have no idea what might be inside, since all I was told was that they were from the years 2009 and earlier. That encompasses the entirety of the baseball card timeline, so it could be anything.

In today's challenging economic times, I'm thrilled that so many collectors are willing to participate in something like this. As long as you keep reading and taking part, I'm happy to host. Let's crack open this 13-pound monster, shall we?

If you want in on the group break, post your preferred team in the comments, and then send $5.25 through PayPal to bill13boehm@yahoo.com

Why $5.25? Well, last time I forgot about the taste that PayPal likes to take. All I'm trying to recoup is the shipping costs and the cost of the lot. Sorry to jack it up this time, but it's a case of "Gubmint sure do take a bite, don't she?" (That one's for motherscratcher.)

I'll update the slots as soon as payments are made. Hopefully we can find someone for all 30 teams. Multi-team cards will be dealt with the the same upper-left fashion as last time.

NL Central
Brewers: Thorzul
Cardinals: madding (paid)
Pirates: Billy Suter (paid)
Cubs: Greg (paid)

NL East
Braves: dayf (paid)
Phillies: capewood (paid)
Nationals/Expos: Zpop (paid)

NL West:
Dodgers: night owl (paid)
Padres: Rod (paid)

AL Cental
Twins: Matt F. (paid)
Indians: Tribe Cards (paid)
White Sox:
Tigers: thesewingmachineguy (paid)

AL East
Red Sox: AdamE (paid)
Orioles: Kevin (paid)
Blue Jays:

AL West
A's: Jacob (paid)
Angels: RWH (paid)

The Curse of Colonel Sanders is Over

I'd like to share a bit of news with you that you may not have heard. It has nothing to do with exclusivity licenses or unannounced parallels. Rather, the story has more to do with stick-to-your-ribs flavor than on-sticker autographs.

Transport yourself back to 1985, Osaka, Japan. The Hanshin Tigers have just won the Japan Series for the first and only time in the team's history. In an act of mass exuberation, fans of the Tigers lined the local Dotonbori canal and called out the name of each player on the team. With each new name, one fan who bore some resemblance to the player would jump into the river. When the name of the team hero, Randy Bass, American, and winner of the first of his two consecutive triple crown titles, was called, no one celebrating looked very much like him. In the fans' haste, a Colonel Sanders statue that sat outside a nearby Kentucky Fried Chicken restaurant was appropriated, carried back to the canal, and tossed in with a tremendous splash.

Fast forward twenty four years. The Hanshin Tigers have not won the Japan Series since 1985. "The Curse of Colonel Sanders" has been blamed for more than two decades of failure. Construction has begun on a walkway along the Dotonbori canal, and a worker has found something unusual. This past Tuesday, a statue of Colonel Sanders, minus his lower half, hands, and glasss, was discovered.

Not long after the original find, the Colonel's legs and right hand were also found. Many fans are taking this as an omen foretelling a memorable season for the Tigers.

Let us celebrate Randy Bass.
1982 Topps #307 Randy Bass

You can read the official report of this amazing story here.
And you can check out some more stuff I have for sale here.

Thanks to Lindsay for bringing this story to my attention.

Friday, March 13, 2009

It's Miller Time!

Just when you thought that you'd never see a baseball card become available as a food or beverage premium again, a very good company in a very good city goes out and proves you wrong. The other night I was getting the recycling ready to go outside and I happened to see something that caught my eye on an empty 12-can pack of Miller High Life. It's not the most sophisticated beer, I know, but when you want to drink on a budget, it's unbeatable. I'd go so far as to say that it's my domestic low-cost beer of choice.

The eye-catching part, spotted amongst other cardboard nightmares like boxes Old El Paso taco shells and Little Debbie Peanut Butter Crunch bars, was the promotional graphics on the back of the case. For quite some time, Miller High Life has been including a promotional code on the inside of its packaging that can be used to earn points to buy Miller stuff, kind of like Kool-Aid points, only more inebriated. This promotion must not have been going as well as expected, because the graphics department has certainly beefed up their presence on this latest round of packaging. To make a long story short, a baseball theme has been created, and mock-ups of baseball cards are being used to announce it to the world.

Upon taking a closer look at these cards, I noticed some striking similarities to actual baseball cards from the past. They are not exact copies, but several of the designs evoke memories of some popular brands. Here are all the ones I cut from the boxes.

The most obvious is "Bullpen Cooler." This was lifted straight from 1960 Topps, a brand that is now reaching a much larger audience (albeit minus one) because of this season's Heritage release. Great lengths were gone to in order to ensure that "on-the-job" drinking was not in any way endorsed by Miller Brewing when it comes to big-league idols. The player on the right is holding a tall cold one, but it's not as cold as the ice pack currently bringing the swelling in his shoulder down. The DL looks imminent for this guy, or perhaps he just pitched eight strong and wants to enjoy his closer shutting down the order in the ninth. Guy on the left is dirty, and was probably yanked for a pinch runner.

Here's a 1960 Topps card for comparison. Stu Miller, naturally.

The "Life on the Board Tee" has a very generic design that mostly made me think of 1985 Fleer. The text has been flipped from top to bottom for this one, but the similarities are there.

This is a great looking set, easily my favorite of Fleer's offerings from the 1980s.

The "Anti-Skybox Poncho" looks ridiculous. There are elements from 1960 Topps as well, with the alternate letter coloring, and perhaps some 1983 Topps imagery as well. I can't quite put my finger on this one.

This next card is a special one, a 12-bottle pack exclusive. (Yes, that means I bought another 12-pack. Journalistic integrity knows no limits.) The "Common Sense Lineup Jersey" immediately made me think of 1959 Topps, although I wasn't ready to completely commit to that judgment.

Then it hit me. This card was completely reminiscent of last year's Heritage Clubhouse Collection relics design. Here's Miguel Cabrera for comparative purposes.

The last two cards I could find were far too bland (or perhaps my knowledge base was far too small) for me to make any solid comparisons. The "Throw it Back Tee" and "Dugout Bar Stool" were on top of one another, so I had to cut some corners, literally. If anyone can think of a brand paralleling these two, let me know. I must say I like the stars on the lower border of the stool. Stars usually add a lot to any card design.

If you thought we were done here, that's where you would be wrong. You would also be incorrect to assume that this was Miller High Life's first foray into the card business. Let us close with a real 1991 Miller High Life card of none other than Robin Yount.