Tuesday, June 30, 2009

Thorzul Will Rule: Official Home of the 2009 MLB All-Star Game Open Forum

I'm back from the Minnesota wilderness, and I'd like to get back into the swing of things with a very special announcement about a very special event here at Thorzul Will Rule. We are about two weeks away from the All-Star festivities in St. Louis, and I'd like to make this site the official home of the baseball card universe's open forum. I will be taking in all of the pomp and circumstance and steroid-shriveled testicles of the Monday night's Home Run Derby and then Tuesday night's main event. More details will follow, but I'd like to invite everyone to make this site their stop on All-Star week, where you'll be sure to catch all sorts of contests, camaraderie, and plain ol' talkin' 'bout baseball, cards, and the associated BS. It promises to be loads of fun, and all I need is someone to bring a bag of chips.

(P.S. I am still working on the "Spot the Brauns" packages, which I'll try to send out this week.)

Tuesday, June 23, 2009

All Your Base CC Cards Are Belong to Us

I'm really reaching what looks to be the end of the road for my CC-as-a-Brewer collection. I have purposely held off on buying any of his regular old base cards in hoped that I would somehow pick them up along the way. For some, this hasn't happened. If anyone wants to help me out, I will accept the following base cards:
2009 Upper Deck Team Checklist
2009 Goudey
2009 Spectrum
2009 Upper Deck First Edition

Help out a Brewer fan who's still stuck in Twins territory.

Monday, June 22, 2009

CC: No Stupid Subtitle Here, Thank God

Editor's Note: Thorzul is still on vacation in northern Minnesota. His specific location will remain undisclosed for security reasons, but he could quite possibly be in the vicinity of a rare geographic phenomenon. At this very moment, Thorzul might be staying at a lake that has an island in it, which has a smaller lake inside of it, the only one of its kind in the northern hemisphere. Thorzul is contemplating swimming to the center of this smaller lake, building another island out of some sort of earthen material, and then pouring yet another lake inside of his man-made island. He will then take a picture of the three lakes and the two islands, then take a picture of that picture, then take a picture of the picture of that picture. He will then build two mirrors that are parallel to each other and facing one another, hold the final picture up, and quite possible cause time to run backwards. Have a nice day.

2008 Upper Deck SP Authentic Authentic Achievements #AA-46

Yeah, yeah... another CC card where he's just barely a Brewer. This came in a lot of cards I purchased a few months ago, but didn't sort through properly. Basically, the seller claimed that he received about ten hobby boxes of baseball cards from his wife, but she didn't know he wasn't into baseball cards, just other sports. From what I could gather, he sold them to me for about ten bucks after he took out all of the jersey cards and autographs. He didn't take anything else out, leaving in all of the inserts and parallels, including some Allen & Ginter Bazooka minis and no-number minis. I have nothing else to say, so I'll transcribe the back of this card so you can marvel in his achievement as an Indian.

Coming off an American League Cy Young Award season in 2007, Sabathia, who is a new member of the Brewers, took a bit to get settled in '08, but when he did he was practically unhittable. Against the Athletics on 5/14, he made two runs stand up as he had 11 Ks in a complete-game shutout, the sixth of his career.

Saturday, June 20, 2009

CC: The Same, But Different

Editor's Note: Thorzul is on vacation in northern Minnesota. We at Thorzul Will Rule briefly considered running previously published articles, but then thought of the children.

2009 Upper Deck Spectrum Swatches #SS-CS (White Jersey) (18/99)

Very similar to this card, posted less than a month ago, but with a few slight alterations. The background color has changed from blue to turquoise and there is a serial number. I'm assuming this is a hobby versus retail situation, and shows that you have to look very carefully when on a quest such as mine. The quest does stop short, however, of Blue Snaggletooth territory. What does that mean? I an unsure, but it sounded good.

Which one look better.
That's right: Which one look better. This blog has no need for correct grammar or punctuation.

Thursday, June 18, 2009

CC: Pretty Pyewping Beautiful Patch

A lot has happened since I made my last appearance. The school year finally ended, with Tuesday being the last day with students and Wednesday being "Pack Up your Stuff Day." The Milwaukee Brewers have completed a wild sweep of the Cleveland Indians, a series that included a 14-12 game, Trevor Hoffman blowing a 4-run lead, and an 11-inning thriller. And most importantly, my wife and our two best friends steamrolled the competition in our first ever attempt at Pub Trivia, earning us a $40 gift card at Firefly, a nearby eatery and drinkery. My wife nailed the final and decisive question by correctly identifying "With a Little Help From My Friends" as the only song on Sgt. Pepper in which Ringo sang the lead vocals. I, on the other hand, am sort of embarrassed that I was the one who, through a painstaking rifling through the file cabinets of my brain, could name the monkey that Ross owned on the sitcom Friends, when some people on my team (ahem) own the entire series on DVD. Great job, Team Pyewp. (And my goodness, wasn't it fun to hear the hostess call that name several times, oblivious to its true meaning. The term is on the verge of celebrating its first birthday, so be sure to spread the pyewp in your posts this week.)

Today I have a CC Sabathia patch card to show you. It is nice.

2009 Upper Deck Spectrum Swatches #SS-CS (Red, Blue, White, Silver Patch) (24/25)

Leaving for Minnesota tomorrow, but I'll try to post-date some posts so I don't leave anyone hanging in the coming week. Spread the pyewp.

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 Topps Updates & Highlights #UH300 Magenta Printing Plate (1/1)
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 Topps Stadium Club First Day Issue SP #10 (463/599)
2008 Upper Deck Sweet Spot #18
2008 Upper Deck Ultimate Collection #27 (081/350)
2009 Topps #170
2009 Topps #170 Gold Parallel (0949/2009)
2009 Topps #170 Black Parallel (28/58)
2009 Topps #170 Target Black
2009 Topps #170 Target Old School
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 Turquoise Parallel #54 (10/25)
2009 Upper Deck Spectrum Black Parallel #54 (16/50)
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)
2009 Upper Deck Spectrum Swatches #SS-CS (White Jersey)
2009 Upper Deck Spectrum #54 Magenta Printing Plate (1/1)
2009 Upper Deck Spectrum Swatches #SS-CS (Red, Blue, White, Silver Patch) (24/25)
2009 Upper Deck SPx #WM2-PS (w/Peavy, Game-Used White Jersey)
2009 Upper Deck A Piece of History #51
2009 Upper Deck A Piece of History Red Parallel #51
2009 Upper Deck A Piece of History Blue Parallel #51 (161/299)
2009 Upper Deck A Piece of History Cut From the Same Cloth (w/Zambrano) #CSC-ZS Gold (47/75)
2009 Upper Deck A Piece of History Cut From the Same Cloth (w/Zambrano) #CSC-ZS Red (49/99)
2009 Upper Deck A Piece of History Cut From the Same Cloth (w/Zambrano) #CSC-ZS Blue (923/999)
2009 Upper Deck A Piece of History Cut From the Same Cloth (w/Zambrano) #CSC-ZS Green (064/149)
2009 Upper Deck Goudey 4-in-1 (w/Santana, Hamels, Kazmir) Blue Frame #35-32
2009 Upper Deck Goudey 4-in-1 (w/Santana, Hamels, Kazmir) Red Frame #35-32
2009 Upper Deck Goudey 4-in-1 (w/Santana, Hamels, Kazmir) Green Frame #35-32
2009 Upper Deck Goudey Mini #112
2009 Upper Deck Goudey Mini Black Parallel #112 (10/21)

Sunday, June 14, 2009

Spot the Brauns -- Winners Revealed

Thanks for the patience, everyone. At last I have found the time to reveal the results of the "Spot the Brauns" contest I announced on Friday. I was overwhelmed by the number of responses and I was pleased by the variety of guesses for the side contest.

Here's the official photo:

The picture was taken at some point during the third inning. I wasn't sure what would have been the best time to snap the photo, because I was trying to find the time when the seats would be filled to maximum capacity. That turned out to be quite the tightrope act, as I had to balance the late arrivals with what turned out to be a sudden change in the weather. For some odd reason, the Brewers decided to keep the roof open as the temperatures started to fall rapidly. Smart fans were quick to bundle up, and I think a lot of jerseys were lost due to this occurrence.

By my count, the correct guess was nine Ryan Braun jerseys. Here they are.
1. '80s Throwback

2. Girls' Night Out to Talk Loudly

3. Blondie

4. Food Smuggler

5. and 6. Date Night

7. Uncomfortable, Lost in Thought

8. Mom's First Game

9. There For the Licorice Rope

Congratulations Motherscratcher and Fuji! Looking back, I guess I never stipulated that people couldn't make the same guess. You will both receive something related to this game. (And Fuji, you need to contact me with a mailing address. Motherscratcher, I've got yours already.)

Regrettably, none of the great guesses for the side contest made an appearance. Someone guessed Ben Sheets, even though I had made it clear that this was too easy and therefore out of bounds. I believe there was a Swisher for the first inning or two, but a jacket was thrown over it before I could capture the digital evidence. And my God, why... why didn't anyone guess Dad? Don't you all remember Jedidiah Dad, the Dominican phenom that threw fastballs in the 106-108 range but then lost his right foot in a freakish hunting accident (bear trap) and returned to his native land never to be heard from again? That 1998 season was one to remember, if only for a few short months. The guy in the Dad jersey is the closest we came to PunkRockPaint's shaved back guess. Next time.

And Chris Harris, have ye no faith?

Friday, June 12, 2009

Contest! (A Veritable Slice of Where's Waldo)

Tonight I will be attending the Brewers/White Sox game at Miller Park, and since I haven’t run a contest in quite a while, it’s time to roll one out once again.
Here’s the deal: My ticket package seats are in the first row of the upper deck down the first base line. At some point during the game, I will take a picture of the section immediately below mine. The object of this contest will be to correctly predict how many Ryan Braun jerseys will be visible in this photograph. The visual evidence needs to be indisputable. The name “BRAUN” and/or the number “8” must be conclusively visible to the naked eye. The person with the guess closest to the actual total will win some cards that are in some way related to the game.

As a side contest, each reader will have a chance to make a guess as to any other Brewers or White Sox jerseys being visible in the same photo. The catch: You cannot guess any members of each team’s current squad. (Molitor, Yount, and Sheets are out of bounds as well, as each of these has a high probability of appearing.) This contest will be judged independently of the Braun contest, and any winners will receive some sort of oddball item. Good luck!

Wednesday, June 10, 2009

CC: It Certainly Is Easy Being Green

These cards are green. There are four days of school left.
2009 Upper Deck A Piece of History Cut From the Same Cloth (w/Zambrano) #CSC-ZS Green (064/149)

2009 Upper Deck Goudey 4-in-1 (w/Santana, Hamels, Kazmir) Green Frame #35-32

Tuesday, June 9, 2009

Antonioni, Baseball, Blow-Up, and Perspective

Michaelangelo's Antonioni's 1966 film Blow-Up uses photography as a metaphor for truth and knowledge. The central thesis of the picture asserts that the price paid for closer proximity to truth is actually a blurring of one's perspective. Today, I will take a reverse look at this idea, where a hard truth will be revealed through a distancing from the subject.

Where am I? What am I looking at? What behemoth rises above the treetops, hulking, proud, central to summer life in the Cream City? This is Miller Park, the prime urban destination in my bustling metropolis.

Pulling back, more is revealed. Chief among these, the decision not to construct a baseball cathedral in a downtown area, choking, strangled among the skyscrapers, dwarfed by 18 of the 20 tallest buildings in America. No, put that thing in my neighborhood, in my backyard, let the steel mingle with the soil and allow the people to come, to park, to grill.

Another step back shows a window, a length of rope, the pain that I am on this side of the pane and not mixed in with the frolic of the bleacher seats. Why must life be so cruel, so cold?

Books. Books are sitting there. Books, not media guides, score cards, All-Star ballots, or Gameday programs. What of learning has to do with baseball? What of sacrifice flies has to do with cause/effect relationships? Main ideas and details have bear no witness to double switches.

The private prison is revealed, the public underworld situated tantalizingly close to heaven. Why must you scowl at me, building? Why are you out there while I am in here? Hide yourself, and pretend we shall. Each other's existence we will both eschew, fooling ourselves that we will reunite with no delay. "Out, out, brief scoreboard!"

If you couldn't tell what was going on here, I'll have you know that all of these pictures were taken in the school where I work. The vantage point is not from my classroom, but from the school library, where I take my reading group each morning. And each morning that stadium stares me in the face, mocking me with its presence, so close, but at the same time so far away. Now I only have to wait three more days until I can attend my next Brewer game(s), Friday and Saturday in interleague fashion against the White Sox. Fun will be had.

Oh, and one of my students wore this shirt to school today. I've surmised that it's supposed to show the form baseball will take once the fictional apocalyptic events in Cormac McCarthy's The Road come to pass. Kinda looks like Pol Pot's regime will get a second chance, as the skulls of the assfucked will get stacked in the chain-link fences surrounding America's deathball parks.

I'm guessing bludgeoning will have worked itself into the official rule book by then, and the punishment for genocide will average out to a five-game suspension. See you there!

Sunday, June 7, 2009

Saturday, June 6, 2009

Pack Picked! (No Pickled Peppers, However)

So, should we open a shrunken pack?

Regular size?

How about JUMBO? Yeah, I thought so.

Alright, as promised, I let YOU pick the pack that would be opened in its entirety yesterday. I intended to post the spillage last night, but sometimes Friday night turns into FUH-RIIIIII-DAAAAAY NIIIIII-YAHT. Actually, it wasn't one of those nights, I just didn't feel like scanning anything. Here what came out of the Jackie Robinson envelope, the readers' choice in a runaway. I'll show you some of the inserts and a few of the more interesting cards.

Let's tear in.

Top to Bottom:
445 Joe Nathan
507 Melky Cabrera
546 Matt Cain
337 Bobby Jenks
453 Javier Valentin
520 Adrian Gonzalez
563 Francisco Cordero
607 Jarrod Washburn
410 Lou Pinella
517 Kevin Frandsen
464 Bobby Crosby
426 Pablo Sandoval
386 Jonathan Papelbon
340 Joe Mauer
354 Mike Aviles
405 Todd Helton
343 Ian Snell
380 Aramis Ramirez
428 Jamie Moyer
547 Jack Cust
602 Carlos Gomez
620 Ryan Zimmerman
BCS11 Adrian Gonzalez WBC

426 Pablo Sandoval Gold (1413/2009)
RH63 Miguel Cabrera Ring of Honor
LG-AP Albert Pujols Legends of the Game

TR78 Matt Cain Turkey Red

TTT26 Joe Mauer Toppstown Gold
365 Mark Buehrle
356 Ervin Santana
382 Wily Mo Pena
424 Jorge Campillo
498 Kyle Davies
556 Brendan Ryan
657 Aaron Heilman
414 Cha Seung Baek (Pretty cool shot. Kinda looks like The Shadow. "Who knows... what evil... LURKS... in the hearts of hitters?")

466 Wilson Betemit (Nice play at second during a spring game against the Dodgers. A batting helmet thrust into the air from atop a cap is always a good thing.)

434 Detroit Power Authority
576 Don Wakamatsu (Probably my favorite card of 2009 so far. He hadn't even managed his first game, the sun's going down, and Don's calling for the righty. Poetic. If this doesn't show up somewhere on the Gummies nomination list at the end of the year, perhaps for best single base card of 2009, then this is a world that knows no justice.)

548 John Danks
545 Matt Garza
601 Broad Street Bombers
632 Brett Myers
650 Cole Hamels
377 Trevor Crowe
452 Orlando Cabrera
451 Ryan Perry
653 Nick Evans
333 Chief Lefties
396 Alex Cora

I liked the Classic Combos I got in this pack. There's another one I got in a previous pack that is so bad it deserves its own post (which will be coming soon).

Not a bad pack, but not great either. Later that night I decided to rip another pack, the one with Ryan Howard on the front. I'll dispense with the soup and salad that are the base cards and get right down to the meat that sits fresh in the middle of each pack.

Red Hot Rookie Redemption #9

Jason Bartlett Gold

Ian Kinsler Toppstown

Legends of the Game Greg Maddux in a Flat-Out Awesome Uniform

Ryan Braun Turkey Red

Oh, and then there's this, the only card I was really really hoping to get, the alternate SP version of card #595, Robin Yount. YES! I saw this in the opening days of this product when it was hot and heavy on eBay for the going rate of twenty bucks. It has since pulled back to go for $12-15 on average. Now I don't have to fork over this cash. This makes me happy.

I still have three jumbo packs left, two of which should contain hits. Will you have to wait until next January's Top Pulls of 2009 to find out what they are? Time will tell.

Friday, June 5, 2009

Pick Your Pack

Yesterday I got a Topps Series 2 HTA box in the mail (part of the reason for no post yesterday), and I opened exactly half of the 50-card packs. I'm looking to see which pack you would like to see opened here. You can choose from what's left.

There are, in no particular order, the following coverboys...
Ryan Howard
David Wright
Mickey Mantle
Jackie Robinson
And another Mickey Mantle

Vote for the pack you want me to share tonight. So far I've only puled a Rafael Furcal bat relic, so there's still an auto and a relic left in this box. Basically, we've got a 40% chance of a hit.

I promise that, in a break from form, the next post will be in color. Full color. (Sorry, no HBO yet.)

Go vote in the sidebar.

Tuesday, June 2, 2009

CC: Getting Serious About the Color Red

The majority of the remaining Sabathia cards I've stockpiled have been red in hue. Odd. This collection has also been taken to another level with actual 1 of 1 cards. I'd imagine most collectors would consider their task complete without these because of scarcity. I like to consider them little bonuses to the collection.
2009 Upper Deck Goudey 4-in-1 (w/Santana, Hamels, Kazmir) Red Frame #35-32

2009 Upper Deck A Piece of History Red Parallel #51

2009 Upper Deck Spectrum #54 Magenta Printing Plate (1/1)

2008 Topps Updates & Highlights #UH300 Magenta Printing Plate (1/1)