Wednesday, April 29, 2009

This Afternoon...

This afternoon, this guy...

...did something that hadn't been done since this guy...

...did it in 1932.

If you aren't aware what I'm talking about, today against the Pittsburgh Pirates, Yovani Gallardo shut out the Pittsburgh Pirates in a 1-0 game, AND hit a solo home run that provided the game's only run. (The purity of this feat may have been tainted slightly, as Carlos Villanueva pitched a scoreless ninth inning for the save. Splitting hairs, I know.)

Watch, someone will do it again this weekend. Isn't that the way things usually work out?

(Editor's Note: The Gallardo card is mine, 2006 Bowman #FG13 Game-Used Futures Game Jersey. The Red Ruffing card is not mine.)

Tuesday, April 28, 2009

Bob Tewksbury: Epilogue

Incidentally, last night's card featured an appearance by an earlier Bob Tewksbury card:
1990 Donruss #714

Through what can only be described as a painstaking effort, I have acquired the very card seen in the picture. Turns out, it wasn't an autograph the young lady was looking for. Here's what was found on the back...

Bob Tewksbury, as it turned out, was, and is, a stand-up guy.

Sunday, April 26, 2009

Wednesday, April 22, 2009

A Doctored Card (Not By Dr. Steve)

In one of the large lots of cards I've purchased recently, there was a pretty large stack of 1981 Fleer. I finally got around to sorting it the other day, and I ran across some aftermarket modification that had been done by a previous owner.

First of all, let's take a look at this beauty.
1981 Fleer #653 Willie Wilson: Most Hits-Most Runs

I'd be laughing, too, if I was the league leader in those two categories. I suppose it helped that Willie was such a prolific triples hitter. Man, that guy took three bases about as often as most guys took showers. When such a large percentage of your hits got you 90 feet away from home, you're going to score a lot. A card like this makes you want to turn it over and memorize the stats, the 1980 ones especially, in case you get quizzed on them later. And in doing so you get an eyeful of this...

Whimsical, yes.
At first.
For a couple of seconds.

Then panic sets in. What possessed someone to affix this stamp to the back of the card? It is some sort of sign? A threat? Or maybe some kid thought up a unique way to identify cards as his own. Is my life in danger? As far as I know, Fleer did not release a 1981 German Shepherd parallel? This is the image that keeps flashing through my head:

All I need to do is stay out of the Czech Republic and I'll be fine. And if I happen to see Takashi Miike, I'll be sure to cross the street and run in the opposite direction. Fast.

Monday, April 20, 2009

Fronts and Backs: Two Interesting Cards

Below are two cards I've acquired recently. They may look very different, but a stark similarity exists between the two of them. Let's take a closer look, shall we?

First we have what looks to be your standard 1994 Pacific Prisms Robin Yount card, numbered 1 in the insert set. I'm really happy with the way this scanned. Way to go 1994 technology!

Then there's this little beauty, my first Allen & Ginter's original card, an 1887 N3 Arms of All Nations card. The Mace might not be the most efficient of weaponry, but if you were to find yourself in close quarters combats, and your calendar says it's the Middle Ages, have at it, brother. No quicker way to close the distance between the jaw bone and the cerebral cortex for your money. Great corners on this card, just magnificent. I have 2007 Topps base cards that look more worn than this puppy. All looks to be well in both cases. Let's flip 'em.

Ooooooooh, that's not Robin Yount. It's a "Rob," juts not the Hall of Fame version. I'm not too sure how commonly these errors occurred in this Pacific set, nor how prevalent the Yount/Thompson error was. It'd be nice if this were the only copy, but I'm not too optimistic.

Yikes, a vampire got a hold of the back of this thing and left the evidence of two puncture wounds behind. Or perhaps it bore the brunt of the business end of one of the Arms listed on the back. I have a sneaking suspicion it was the Midshipmans Dirk. (If any of you ever have to type the name of that particular weapon in any literary venue, be careful. Kids might be reading.)

For good measure, here is the correct back of the Yount card. Eight cuadrangulares, bitches!

Saturday, April 18, 2009

1995 Fleer: An Androgynous Card?

What are you, 1995 Fleer, with those crazy stats and that crazy action on the front of you? Is it the front? The back?
It makes me want to break into song, David Bowie-style...

It's a god-awful small affair
To the brand that came out with Flair
But I have to say I don't know
If this product is ready to go

But the number's nowhere to be seen
And Delgado, he stands six three
And it tells me just how he threw
Everything except where he's been

But the back is a saddening bore
For he's homered ten times or more
I can't tell if he has five tools
So we all try to pin it on...

Dealers fighting at the card show
Oh man! Look at those collectors go
It's the freakiest show

Take a look at the front side
Telling you true facts
Oh man! Wonder if we'll ever know
That he's from Puerto Rico
Is there gender in cards?

Thursday, April 16, 2009

CC: Electron Microscopy Edition

These two may actually be some of the first cards depicting CC as a Brewer, but they eluded my grasp for so long because of a lack of scrutiny on my part. Flipping through these cards quickly would not afford one the time necessary to determine their Milwaukee origins without the aid of a magnifying glass. Or perhaps a pince-nez.

2008 Upper Deck SP Authentic #44, 2008 Upper Deck SP Authentic Marquee Matchups (w/Ordonez) #MM-31

Turning these cards over to their backsides more firmly solidifies the gelatin in which each card is suspended. A Brewers insignia makes these a worthy part of my collection.

Looks like CC's throwing the first official pitch at the Yankees' new stadium tonight. I, for one, wish him the best.

Tuesday, April 14, 2009

No, I Will NOT Sign Your Card!

2009 Upper Deck #229 Michael Cuddyer

"Sorry, kid, but there's no way in hell I'm signing that card. Take a closer look there, buddy. What you have there is a gen-yoo-wine 2004 card featuring yours truly which just so happens to be of the Topps variety. That guy standin' o'er there, the one holding the camera see, is a photographer for the Upper Deck company, a competing baseball card entity. Now if I was to go ahead and affix my John Hancock to that there two-and-one-half by three-and-one-half rectangle of ink and cardboard, why, I just might get that Upper Deck contract yanked out from under me. And you and all of your little friends don't want that to happen, do you? Of course you don't, friend. So I'm going to have to hand it back over to you, sans signature, as the French would say, and you are going to run along back to your seat. Sorry, pal, but you're welcome to come on back with a card in your hand that has one of them shiny little hollygrams on the back."


Inset Evidence

Evidence Enlarged and In Sepia (For No Apparent Reason)

Saturday, April 11, 2009

Let's Trade Some 2009 Topps

I hadn't planned on collecting the Topps flagship set this year, but by picking up a large portion of it within one of the monster lots I've bought, I've found it too hard to resist. Let me know if you want to trade, or you just feel like helping me out. I'm done with giving Topps any more of my money for this fine, yet poorly collated product.

NOTHING! All cards have been offered. Thank You!

2 6 10 10 11 14 15 16 16 18 20 21 29 31 33 39 40 45 45 52 52 55 55 59 67 68 69 70 72 76 79 79 83 86 93 95 106 106 111 114 114 116 118 124 124 126 126 135 139 142 142 146 151 151 155 156 156 158 161 162 162 163 167 171 178 178 179 180 183 186 187 187 187 188 189 189 192 194 194 194 197 197 197 198 198 198 207 207 209 209 213 216 218 222 223 225 228 229 229 231 235 236 236 237 238 238 238 239 242 243 244 245 247 249 249 255 261 263 264 264 271 273 273 275 277 277 283 283 285 292 293 293 294 294 294 294 295 295 297 299 303 303 304 306 306 306 309 311 312 312 313 314 315 316 316 317 319 319 319 319 320 320 320 321 321 322 322 325 325 327 328 329 329
1 (A-Rod) 7 (Han-Ram) 8 (Al-Gor) 9 (Ry-Howa) 10 (Ja-Pe) 10 (Ja-Pe) 11 (Nicholas William Markakis) 12 (Ju-Mo) 13 (Al-Puj) 13 (Al-Puj) 14 (C-Sab) 15 (Alf-So) 18 (Migu-Cab)
Toppstown Gold:
17 Francisco Rodriguez

Preference will go to the person who can help me out with the biggest chunk of my want list.

Friday, April 10, 2009

They're Even Jerkoffs In Comics...

If everything is going according to plan, right now I am sitting in the north parking lot outside of Miller Park, celebrating the home opener of the Milwaukee Brewers. Hopefully I've lost count of fermented beverages consumed by this point, and I'm going out of my way to explain to complete strangers why the Justice League is better than the X-Men. Actually, I am pretty sure comic books will not enter into today's conversation, so I'll take this opportunity to weave a tapestry connecting comics, baseball, and today's opening day game.

One of my favorite establishments to visit is a place called Half Price Books. It's used bookstore chain, which I believe had its start in Texas, but now has several locations in a handful of possibly-non-contiguous states. If there's not one in your neck of the woods, your life is slightly more meaningless.

The last time I made a visit to HPB, I picked up this comic.
Daredevil #252, March, 1988

Normally, I'm a DC guy, but Daredevil is one of the few Marvel titles I pick up now and then, back issues mostly. Let me explain what's going on in this one. Basically, New York (the Hell's Kitchen neighborhood, in particular) has been experiencing a blackout. Gangs of punks have started to attempt to take advantage of the situation, going so far as to occupy a military surplus store and terrorize area residents. Let's pick up the action a few pages from the issue's conclusion.

The page starts off with ol' Hornhead beating the piss out of the gang's leader. An angry mob behind him roars its approval.

Daredevil chastises their overzealousness, and then his Spidey Sense (sorry to cross-contaminate fictional abilities here) kicks in, and it's tipping him off to trouble.

It looks like the angry mob has found a surviving member of the gang. DD steps in, but rape, torture, or worse look imminent.

And wouldn't you know it, look who the leader of this lynch mob is...a lowlife CUBS FAN! I can't make this stuff up! (Backing him appears to be Tiny Lister from the Friday films, and perhaps that boy from the movie Big, not the one who turned into Tom Hanks, but the kid who played his friend.) But seriously, a Cubs fan?!?! Was the writer of this comic totally right on or what? They're as big of D-bags in halftone as they are in person! Only the Comics Code Authority saved that poor girl from some wicked Wicker Park-style cornholing.

In the last panel, Daredevil puts the Kerry Wood apologist in his place, telling him to "shut up" and then daring him to make any sort of threatening move with his piece.

Am I being too hard on the Cubs and their fans? Perhaps, but it's only because they're such perfect targets. Any comment directed towards a Cubs fans is taken sooooo seriously. It's just baseball, guys. I'm just a guy rooting for a team that has a $79,857,502 payroll in 2009, not a $135,050,000 payroll (third highest in all of baseball). I take great care not to respond to any negative comments made on this site against the Brewers or any other team by Cubs fans because I don't take it that seriously. I've got my fucking sticker book up here, for crying out loud. Watch baseball and have fun doing it in 2009, folks!

(Oh, and all of you Cubs fans can have at it in the comments. Just keep the numbers 1 and 0 in mind.)

Tuesday, April 7, 2009

Matt Holliday: Diggin'

Last night I was so starved for baseball that I turned on the A's/Angels game. Little did I know that I had to brace myself for some pretty great blog material. Check out Matt Holliday, one of the newest members of the Oakland Athletics.

Man, he was really in there.

Turns out it wasn't the only embarrassing act committed last night by a new A's player. Here's the rest of the list. Unfortunately, I was not able to record these for posterity:
Orlando Cabrera: Tweezing eyebrows between 3rd and 4th innings.
Jason Giambi: This Oakland prodigal son popped a zit in the on-deck circle.
Nomar Garciaparra: Buttpicking

All kidding aside, I wish the small-market A's well.

Monday, April 6, 2009

Well Done, Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel!

The Sunday morning tradition of reading the paper brought forth a pleasant surprise yesterday, when I found this among the ads.

One thing the dead tree paper can do that online editions cannot is give their readers freebies like this lovely schedule. When you open it up on the first fold, all you get is a list of the all-fan giveaways and other special promotions. When extended to its full quad-fold glory, however, you get this...

Sweet. If I am thinking correctly, this year's Ryan Braun bobblehead (to be given away at a game I already have tickets for) will be striking that exact pose. I haven't yet decided where this useful and informative schedule will be placed, but I'm sure that no amount of lobbying will get it in the bedroom.

With tomorrow's Brewers (road) opener approaching, I'm excited. I'll let you know when excitement gives way to giddiness. All I know is that an after-school meeting that was supposed to be held last Tuesday was rescheduled for tomorrow. This scheduling conflict will cause me to miss the first pitch. And what was the reason for the rescheduling? Turns out you can't make a staff attend more than two meetings in a given month, and last Tuesday was March 31. Mark it on the scoreboard:

Rules-Are-Rules Crowd: 1
Common Sense: 0

I'm not going to make any predictions as many others have done. All I'm going to say is that with the pressure off my team this year, I'm predicting that baseball will be much more fun. (And I want Sports Illustrated to promise to print another "It's Gonna Happen" cover sometime late this summer. That would help me sleep better at night.)

Sunday, April 5, 2009

Group Break: AL West

At long last, we've reached the AL West, the smallest division in baseball, one that could conceivably have all of its teams visit the playoffs within a two-year span. Fat chance of that happening, but a man can dream, can't he?

Team: A's
Buyer: Jacob
Cards: 2002 Donruss #103 Miguel Tejada, 2003 Donruss #171 Miguel Tejada, and 2005 Topps Rookie Cup #17 Rick Monday

Thoughts: When selecting the cards to display, I thought how nice the 2002 Donruss design was. Then they followed it up with another good one. Maybe it's just the A's uniforms that look so nice on them. And then you get to see a Kansas City Athletic, one Rick Monday, he of flag-saving fame. A less-than-exhaustive search has turned up that there's probably never been a card released to specifically honor his patriotic act. Allen & Ginter, I'm looking in your direction...

Team: Angels
Buyer: RWH
Cards: 2009 Upper Deck O-Pee-Chee #OPC-39 Mark Teixeira, 2001 Upper Deck Reserve #5 Glenallen Hill, 1991 Fleer Ultra Wally Joyner

Thoughts: When I came across the Hill card, I was struck by the "Reserve" label they had given it. What, is this like a fine malt scotch? Do you take this card out only when guests are over? Does it get placed on a high shelf behind your bar? At least the Wally Joyner card gets the bad taste out of my mouth. How much you wanna bet he applied a tag to Pete Incaviglia after making the catch of his pop-up, "just to make sure"? This card is a treatise on variances in body types among Major League Baseball players, to be sure.

Saturday, April 4, 2009

CC: Siiiim-ply Haaaa-ving...

Go up to your attic or down to your basement and grab that rapidly disintegrating cardboard box that smells vaguely of pine. Separate that rusty gaggle of hooks, oil up the screws in your tree stand, and sprinkle some cinnamon on your eggnog, 'cause it's Christmas! Why? Because CC made it so!

2009 Upper Deck Spectrum Red Parallel #54 (016/250), 2009 Upper Deck Spectrum Green Parallel #54 (82/99)

The big lefty is holding the reins to a sleigh full of fastballs, but he doesn't come in through the chimney like most commercialized gift-giving strangers. No, he launches a 98-mph heater through your frosted window pane, knocking over whatever carols mights be at your spinnet. If you've been good, you get one or more of his Spectrum parallel cards, but if you're on the naughty list, expect a little chin music.

Don't think that this Christmas-in-April event has put CC behind schedule for the real 2009 Christmas season. No sir, Sabathia made a point to hit the stores on December 26, and now he has a whole closet full of half-price wrapping paper, not to mention enough "To: / From:" tags to last him well through 2016. And those Hallmark Keepsake ornaments? Let's just say that if you're after that rare 1983 Frosty Friends to complete your collection, you know who to call.

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 Red Parallel #54 (016/250)
2009 Upper Deck Spectrum Green Parallel #54 (82/99)
2009 Upper Deck Spectrum Jersey #54 (36/99)

Friday, April 3, 2009

There Are Cards All Around Us...You Just Need to Know Where to Look

Last Friday night, my wife and I, Catholics both, sought out a fish fry. We remembered a good one from the time when we were first getting to know each other. Little did we know that meatless Fridays did not necessarily mean card-less Fridays.

With no parking lot to speak of, I found a spot for the car just up the block from this establishment. The weather was nicer than usual, so we didn't mind the short trek. Not too far from the rear of the restaurant, something caught my eye. I broke stride, bent down, and picked up this...

1995-96 Fleer Ultra Extra #204 Ted Donato

With the backside of this hockey card facing up, it would have been easy for the lay person to miss. Days, months, years of exposure had dulled the once-glossy UV-coated surface, providing camouflage for this tortured cardboard. But I was no ordinary schmoe.

Flipping the card over, I started to recognize the name from the countless hours I used to play NHL '96 on Sega Genesis. Ted Donato was an ever-present member of the Boston Bruins team that for some reason I used for full season mode at least three times. Donato, Ray Bourque, John Gruden, Don Sweeney, Adam Oates, and occasionally Joe Juneau (who would enter the game whenever Oates would get big penalty minutes for fighting) were my dream team, points leaders for every position and winners of all major individual trophies. At last, as a non-hockey collector, I have a face to put with one of those names, dirt-streaked and all.

Next time you're on a walk, keep your head down and your eyes open. You never know what you'll find.


Wednesday, April 1, 2009

Group Break: AL East

We move on to the AL East, where, surprisingly, the Yankees were not picked. Let's see who got what.

Team: Red Sox
Buyer: AdamE
Cards: 2008 Donruss Playoff Rookie Ticket #43 Stolmy Pimentel, 2005 ESPN #MC-5 Manny Ramirez Magazine Cover

Thoughts: If that kid makes it to the majors, he simply must be granted some sort of exemption allowing him to put his first and last name on the back of his jersey. I'm also showing some forward thinking by copyrighting the phrase now, before The Man gets ahold of it: "Hey, you stole my pimentel!"©
There were tons of those rookie cards in the big lot, probably the whole set. Now they have been scattered about, as in the parable of the sower.

Team: Orioles
Buyer: Kevin
Cards: 2007 Upper Deck First Edition #52 Brandon Fahey, 1996 Upper Deck Jumbo #280 Cal Ripken, Jr., 2003 Upper Deck Game Face #16 Rodrigo Lopez

Thoughts: First of all, the Fahey card cracks me up. If you're an outfielder and you're pointing, there's no way on heaven and earth you're making the catch. You might as well be calling out, "Don't got it! Not mine!"
And my goodness, isn't that Ripken Jumbo beautiful? I had to put a regular card next to it for purposes of scale. Too bad the corners came dinged a little bit.

Last thought: Since it's an Oriole making a game face, would that make it his "O Face?"