Friday, July 31, 2009

CC: Now It Makes More Sense

He green.

2009 Upper Deck A Piece of History Green Parallel #51 (041/150)

This little experiment is still chugging along pretty well. The end is in sight.

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 eTopps #54 (344/499)
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 Blue Parallel #54
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 Green Parallel #51 (041/150)
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)
2009 Upper Deck Goudey Mini Blue Parallel #112

Thursday, July 30, 2009

Keepin' The Brim Straight...

...featuring Edinson Volquez.

2009 Upper Deck Spectrum Blue Parallel #27

When you're comfortable wearing your clothing without any sort of "breaking in" period, this is the way you wear your cap. Should you have any questions regarding proper placement, brim angle, or elastic modulus calculations for your cap, write to:
Edinson Volquez
c/o Cincinnati Reds
Great American Ball Park
100 Main St.
Cincinnati, OH 45202-4109

Saturday, July 25, 2009

Flashback: 2001-02 Topps Basketball

Readers, every once in a while, this collector steps outside of his usual bounds and adds a new wrinkle to his pursuit of the hobby. One of the last times this happened was in the fall of 2001, while I was still in the midst of my period of indentured servitude known as "student teaching." The world was still gaga over Anne Heche marrying a man instead of a woman, but this would soon be overshadowed by both a series of events that made Mohamed Atta a household name, and Thorzul picking up several retail packs of 2001-02 Topps baskeball cards.

For the better part of a decade (well, at least on-and-off since my return to full-time collecting in 2007), I have been trying to fill in the holes in this set, which has been the most daunting set I have ever tried to complete. The majority of this difficulty comes from the nature of how this set was conceived and constructed. 2001-02 Topps Basketball is comprised of 256 base cards. The first 220 are a breeze to finish; these are your stars, league leaders, scrubs, and everything in-between. Cards numbered 221-256, however, are a different story. Each of these cards features a played selected in the 2001 NBA Draft. When opening packs, I found very few of these, so they were obviously short printed. To complicate matters even further, several of these draft choice cards were seeded in packs only as redemptions. These redemptions, as seen below, expired in August of 2002, and I never sent in the ones I pulled. I am not sure how prevalent the practice of including short-shelf-lived redemption cards in a set was in 2001, but it seems to have been curbed for the time being.

At this point in time, buying a hobby box of this product makes no sense, since most of what I need cannot be obtained any longer because of the redemption policy. I have identified the cards I still need for this set, and I recently won a nice little stack of them on eBay for a penny apiece. (Nice.) These cards I just received fall into one of two categories:

A. Players pictured in their suits and post-selection caps. The Pau Gasol rookie is an absolute steal at $0.01. It's hard to believe that there was a time when he looked more like a well-groomed Spanish pool boy than a Bosnian freedom fighter, circa 1993.

B. Players either not present or not photographed by Topps on draft day. These guys are pictured in their collegiate uniforms with any logos airbrushed out. These look pretty cool, since you don't see too many basketball cards featuring college unis.

I also grabbed this Kevin Garnett Mad Game insert from the same seller. I recall this being one of the hardest inserts to pull. I've decided to go after all four of the insert sets as well. There was also Team Topps, a rather weak offering of stars with a forgettable design, Lottery Legends, which included a set of players selected at each of the lottery picks #1 through #13 in recent years, and Lew Alcindor/Kareem Abdul-Jabbar reprints that are pretty much beyond awesome.

I realize that collecting this set is going to be difficult, but I think I am up to the task. By my best estimation, the Tony Parker card is going to be the hardest one to find. His was a redemption, and I'm guessing many people failed to redeem the card for the 30th pick in the draft. I haven't found one yet. The closest I've come is finding an unredeemed card, but that simply won't do.

I hope you've enjoyed this post on basketball cards in the middle of baseball season. Care to guess why I decided to collect some b-ball cards eight years ago?

"If there's a bright center of the basketball universe, this is the day it's farthest from."

Wednesday, July 22, 2009

CC: A Primary Color

My sister, who is also a teacher in an inner-city elementary school, told me a funny story of an event that took place last school year. One day, her husband, a fairly tall guy who is on the skinny side, had to come to her classroom at some point during the school day to bring her something. Her husband was wearing a pair of light-green corduroys with a greenish jacket. Upon seeing him, one of the students, a four-year-old kindergartner, had only this to say:

"He green."

2009 Upper Deck Spectrum Blue Parallel #54

2009 Upper Deck Goudey Mini Blue Parallel #112

So... um...

"He blue."

Tuesday, July 21, 2009

Greg Maddux: Ill-Jacked

Scene: Police Precinct #4, Inner-City, USA

I don't know how to explain it, officer. I was just... it all happened so fast. The next thing I knew it was gone.

Maybe you should just start from the beginning, Mr. Maddux. Just the facts.

Okay. I had just left my girlfriend's apartment.

I see.

It was a nice night out, and I decided to walk home instead of catching the train.

You picked the wrong neighborhood for that.

Yeah, now I know that. But I was just too happy to cram myself into that depressing subway car.

Go on.

The amulet was right around my neck. I remember that for certain since I gave it a tug for good luck just after kissing her goodnight.

A kiss, you say?

Yes... but-

Long, short, peck on the cheek?



I don't see how that's imp-

Never mind. Continue your story.

Well, the next thing I knew, I was on the ground, and all that was left was a... a... (Sobbing)

Take your time, Mr. Maddux. Here's a box of facial tissue.

Thanks. (Blows nose) Like I was saying, all that was left was an empty chain. It was gone.

Can you remember anything about your surroundings at the time of the incident? Perhaps a shadowy figure lurking above you?

No, I don't think the assailant was above me. In fact, I'm sure it was a-

Did he have a gun... two, perhaps?

No, I didn't see any gun. It had to have been a-

A dark man in a trenchcoat, creeping out from behind a pile of urban decay, lying in wait to ambush you and rob you of your possessions?

No, I keep trying to tell you, I think it was a woman, because I caught a whiff of perfume, or possibly hair styling product.

Jilted ex-lover?

No, not at all. In fact, I think there were a whole bunch of them. And then there's this... I was able to rip a piece of fabric from her clothing. See, it's purple. And I think I heard one of them say something about Mordor.

Murder, you say? This goes a lot deeper than a simple mugging. Wait while I go get the chief.

Not "murder!" "Mordor!!" Come on, detective, put the clues together: Purple shirt, older woman, hairspray, thug posse, Tolkien...

Might you have seen the hair color of the mugger?

Um... blond. That's it! Blond hair! And really tight pants!

Let me go get the mugshot book, I'll have you take a look.

Was this the woman that stole your amulet?


36-48 Hours Later...

Whew! Never again... never again.

Moral of the Story: Never bring your grievances to the American League President. Take it straight to the top.


Tuesday, July 14, 2009

2009 All Star Meh

Yesterday kind of burned me out when it comes to live blogging a sports event. Post any insightful or humorous comments you may have in the comments. You can also make a pick for the MVP of tonight's game. Each player can only be chosen once. The winner will get something. How's that?
(Preface your comment with "MVP" so I know for sure that's who you're voting for.)

I'll keep the voting open through the fourth inning.

1. How 'bout that -- Barack Obama talks better baseball that Tim McCarver.

Home Run Derby Contest Winner

Caught up in the fervor of local man Prince Fielder winning last night's Home Run Derby, I forgot to close out the contest I had in conjunction with the event. With a guess of 28 homers for Prince, the winner was dkwilson. Congratulations! I now need dkwilson to contact me so they can claim their prize.

Monday, July 13, 2009

2009 Home Run Derby Open Forum

I've opened up the forum, which I'll be updating throughout the contest. I promise to speak the truth. The first truth to tell is that David Cook officially sucks balls.

2. Wow, that "Call Your Shot" contestant has some white legs.

3. Ozzie Smith is officially awesome.

4. Erin Andrews' chin looks like it's healed nicely.

5. Nelson Cruz to the field: "Game on."

6. So I take it that when Albert Pujols is up to bat, Prince Fielder will do some nonstop talking?

7. That Mohawk kid in the outfield is the first to every ball.

8. Prince Fielder politely requests that his 497-foot home run be left embedded in the concrete where it landed.

9. Tough luck, Inge. I highly doubt his shit is usually that weak. Better luck next time.

10. Josh Hamilton just shared Jesus Christ with me.

11. The yellow/green colored ball tracker needs to go. Puck Track, anyone?

12. Joe Mauer must have hit that last one through a rift in the space/time continuum.

13. Three-man bat-off.

14. I love how after Pena finished, Joe Morgan finally realized that it was five swings, not five outs.

15. Round 2: Cruz, Prince, Howard, Pujols.

16. Where can I get a Spink jersey?

17. Finals: Fielder v. Cruz. This is going to be fun.

18. I want to grow plants in Maui as a volunteer with Curtis Granderson.

19. 2009 Home Run Derby Champion: Prince Fielder of the Milwaukee Brewers!

Nelson Cruz
Round 1: 11
Round 2: 5
Final: 5

Prince Fielder
Round 1: 11
Round 2: 6
Final: 6

Brandon Inge
Round 1: 0

Adrian Gonzalez
Round 1: 2

Carlos Pena
Round 1: 5 (1 in bat-off)

Ryan Howard
Round 1: 7
Round 2: 8

Joe Mauer
Round 1: 5 (0 in bat-off)

Albert Pujols
Round 1: 5 (2 in bat-off)
Round 2: 6