Tuesday, March 10, 2009

March Card Show Report: Part III

At long last, I'm home.
It's parent/teacher conference night at many of the Milwaukee Public Schools. These nights suck because as soon as you get home, it's just about time to wake up and go right back where you were seemingly twelve minutes ago.

Saw Watchmen last night. In a word, awesome.

I'm tired as heck because it was an 8:15 screening, meaning I got home around 11:30. But since I don't want to disappoint any loyal readers, I'm going to let fly with the third installment in the March Card Show Trilogy (with Special Edition coming to DVD and Blu-ray in late 2009, with exclusive Peter Jackson interview footage). Have you got your dollar for admission?

If so, let's go!

I spent three dollars at another dealer's table, picking up three 1978 Topps cards I need for my set. Completion is so close I can taste it.

From the same guy I got this 1987 Nestle Eddie Mathews card. I had not been aware of this blue-bordered set until now, but I like it. Eddie was obviously caught by surprise on a rare day when he didn't get on base. Cheer up, kid, you'll win the 1957 World Series soon enough.

And here's the greatest collection of cards available at the entire show. Hang your head in shame for not having the gumption to buy a plane ticket to Milwaukee for the sole purpose of attending this show. Right now I'm making the "shame-shame" motion with one index finger rubbing the other, and it's directed at all 5,999,999,999 other inhabitants of the earth who cannot claim these cards as their own. Sucks you be all of you.

Let's take a close look at each, shall we?

Remember the dealer I got the 1960 Spahn from, and the '59 Mathews? Remember? This guy sold me these cards, all part of the same $12 lot.
First is a 1961 Topps #328 Jim O'Toole.

On a card of any other team, this is just a mess. A huge splotch of unidentified red substance on a Cincinnati Red, is art. The red could have come from a variety of sources. Perhaps it was a glass of red Kool-Aid that got tipped over during an over-exuberant early-1960s trading session. Maybe this card was in a red two-pocket folder that got wet and stained poor Mr. O'Toole. These sound plausible, but a huge part of me is hoping that this card is coated with the blood of an innocent collector, one who was knifed repeatedly, clutching not to dear life, but the shoebox full of of perfect 1952 Mantles. As well as it may be just to steal a loaf of bread for your dying family. might it also be alright to kill for such a prize? Chew on that, readers.

Can a card have a rash?

Another Cincinnati Red gets abused, this time it's 1963 Topps #265 Vada Pinson.

Someone sure hated the Reds a few decades ago, Vada in particular. The defacing is clever, but ill-executed. Pinson's evil type of mustache looks alright, but whatever was scrawled on the teeth and the rest of the mouth is just a mess. This kid clearly wanted to let it be known that the Reds "suck," but failed miserably. By woefully underutilizing the capital "C," all he does is identify himself as someone in need of a spelling tutor. My hunch says said tutor will look a lot more like Chris Farley than Veronica Vaughn. Teh suk.

1958 Topps #66 Lee Walls

The owner of this card was damn happy when Walls was traded from the Cubs to the Reds in December of 1959. In his haste, the owner quickly scribbled out the logo on Lee's cap and replaced the Cubs C with...er...another C. "Come on guys," he told his chums, "it's a slightly different rendition of the capital letter C." The guys weren't buying it, and somehow they convinced the chump that Walls was a first baseman, even though he played only two of his 50 total games as a Redleg at first base.

Walls is double awesome because of his nickname, "Captain Midnight."
#12.95/MONTH ?
(My goodness, the obscure reference are flying fast and furious tonight! If you understood that without Googling the phrase, give yourself a pat on the back in the comments.)

Last, we have the zaniest bit of mangling in the bunch, 1961 Topps #157 Cal McLish.

Umpteen million things make this card crazy good.
1. Without the doctoring, this card succeeds where others fail. First, Cal McLish's complete name is, truthfully, Calvin Coolidge Julius Ceasar Tuskahoma McLish. Motherfuck, everyone else's name is officially lame. Cal, you win. I approach thee on bended knee.

2. Few photographers have the balls to take pictures of guys when they're sleeping, and fewer still have the gonadal fortitude to do it while the sleeping player is also standing. Bravo, Topps. Cards like this make people want to buy more cards. Cards with a one-letter spelling variation do not.

3. At some point in this card's 48 years of virgin-birthed life, someone, somewhere, wanted very badly for this to be a card not of Cal McLish, but of Wally Wolf, supposedly of the Houston Colt .45s. Let me give you a little background on Mr. Wolf. He pitched in a grand total of six games for the California Angels in 1969 and 1970. That's all you need to know. Let me now reframe my concern with some factual statements. Someone who once owned this card defaced it in such a fashion that it purported to be a card of a player who would not make his major league debut for eight years for a team that was not yet in existence that the player never even played for.

I need to be held, gently.

4. I'm not sure if the scan will show this, but someone (previous owner) affixed two pieces of tape to the front of this card, indicating what appears to be an attempt to pass off this Cal McLish card as that of some other player, complete with a fraudulent photo of that other player. Since Wally Wolf only has...wait a second...I think I'm getting a clearer picture here. Hold the phones! Wally Wolf is pictured on a 1963 Topps Rookie Stars card with Ron Herbel, John Miller, and Ron Taylor. Wally Wolf of the...Houston Colt .45s! It's all starting to make sense now. Rock Ridge, Rock Ridge, splendid, splendid!

So there's some basis for the doctoring, but still a weird set of choices


Kevin said...

Every time I watch Billy Madison, and they get to the Spanish Armada, I start shouting, "1588!" in vague hope that Adam Sandler and/or Bridgette Wilson will hear me and good things will happen. Sigh.

steve said...

Did you know you attended high school with a relative of Vada Pinson?