Wednesday, September 30, 2009

My Bad...

A few days after I had the drawing for Trade and Win, I got a package in the mail that I had forgotten about. A reader named Mike had offered a single card to me so he could participate in the contest. I guess since at least two weeks had passed, I figured he had forgotten about it, so I went ahead with the contest. As it turned out, he had more than one card to offer.

1982 Topps #118 Expos Future Stars

Francona became a star manager more than twenty years later, and Smith was pretty good. Not so for Brad Mills. Sorry, Brad.

1982 Topps #683 Phil Garner

I scanned this one wide of the edges so you could see that the card was very rough and tumble, just like Scrap Iron was. I would really have this card no other way. This one makes my All-Pinch team. What does that mean, you ask? Check between the cheek and gum.

2001-02 Topps #256 Alvin Jones

I didn't think anyone would trade me any of these, and I was delighted to get one cad closer to completion. This set is actually very low on my priority list, but it is a fun challenge. As the 57th pick in the draft, it would be hard to really consider Jones a bust, washing out after one season and a 1.1 ppg average. But then consider a guy who I went to high school with, Mike Wilks, who went undrafted the same year and has managed to hang on in the NBA for years. Sure, his career stat line looks like the NBA standings from your morning newspaper, but he's still around. Not bad for a 5' 10" Milwaukee kid.

Sorry, Mike, I'll get in touch with you and send you something in return.

Tuesday, September 29, 2009

CC: Macro-Corpus, Micro-Genre

Last Friday, The Onion's A.V. Club (what has recently become my favorite internet time-waster) had its writers respond to the question, "Do you guys have any incredibly specific micro-genres that you feel you might be the only fan in the world of?" My collection appears to have gotten very, very specific in one area, though not by choice. Quite a while ago, I asked readers if they knew where all the stickers went. Today, I ask you if you know where all of the CC Sabathia-as-a-Brewer magenta printing plates went.

Answer: I've got 'em.

My latest acquisition has been isolated below.
2008 Topps Stadium Club Magenta Printing Plate #10 (1/1)

I usually scour the auctions in search of an elusive Sabathia Brewers card, and there aren't many left to be found. For some reason, every single printing plate I've found has been magenta. I didn't mean to collect this specifically and to the exclusion of all other colors, but that's what has happeed. I can't for the life of me say hello to yellow. I'm cryin' because I can't find cyan. And I haven't gone black, so I have no choice but to go back.

When handling these printing plates, am I crazy for being a bit wary of their edges? While opening canned food, I always make a note to be careful of the opened can's edges. I really don't need a trip to urgent care because I've sliced off a pinkie or taken a chunk out of the meaty part of my hand. Should I feel anxiety about this? Would printing plate cards be allowed in a prison? Could a card collecting inmate possibly file a Todd Helton or a Yadier Molina plate to a sharp point as an under-the-mattress shiv? Do prisoners get to bust wax? Will the questions ever stop?

Sunday, September 27, 2009

Blog Bat-Around: How Do You Deal With Sports Disaster?

It's time to get the Blog Bat-Around started. If you still want to get in, check out the official topic guidelines here. It's never too late to send me your article.

Here's what I've gotten back so far. Go check them out.
Baseball Cards Come to Life!: Even New York fans suffer sometimes.
Shot Not Taken: Well, all the time if you're a Mets fan.
White Sox Cards: A baseball fan's darkest day.

And, of course, Thorzul's mammoth entry. (Nothing to be proud of here, kids.)

At times, being a sports fan feels like being a member of the Royal Tenenbaums, finding yourself in the midst of "two decades of betrayal, failure, and disaster." The true measure of a man might be how he reacts to these failures, but you must also make sure to give him plenty of leeway when those failures happen so gosh-danged often. Here is as complete record of these reactions as I am able to share.

My initial brush with sporting disaster came at a very tender age. I believe I am able to pinpoint the date as February 15, 1986. My cousin Tom was in his first year at the University of Wisconsin, where he was recruited to join the men's basketball team. The entire extended family made a weekend trip centering around the game against the Illinois Fighting Illini. I remember little of the game, but I do recall shedding a tear or two following the Badgers' 82-74 loss. The scope of the game's importance became greater since I was in attendance. Dammit, we even got a hotel room, so this must be big. I probably recovered from the crushing defeat in under five minuted, but the tone had been set for decades of famdom.

For nearly the next fifteen years, I remained the calm observer of ineptitude. My teams were never really any good, and no importance could be attached to any single game. Absorbing defeat after defeat for my Brewers, Packers, Bucks, Badgers, and Warriors did little to change my steely exterior; all of the damage, however, was being done on the inside.

There were a few instances where the pot threatened to boil over, though it never came to this. My 1997 Packers' Super Bowl victory softened the blow for their 1998 defeat at the hands of John Elway's Denver Broncos. On that January evening I just walked back to my dorm room, sullen. I should have known what was to come, seeing as my roommate was actually vomiting during Super Bowl XXXII because of nerves.

Up until that point, the most crushing defeat didn't even involve my team. I was saddened at the Packers' failure to make the 1989 playoffs because of the outcome of the final Monday Night Football game, but heck, I was just happy to be allowed to stay up for the end of the game.

Let's get into the real tales of despair. I'll provide dates whenever possible.

Date: May 25, 2000
Situation: The Wisconsin Badgers WIN their game against the Purdue Boilermakers in the Elite Eight round of the NCAA Men's Basketball Tournament, 64-60.
Reaction: When it looked like the Badgers might cough up this game late, thereby botching their one chance to make it to the Final Four, especially against an in-conference rival, the pressure got to me. During a particularly awful series of possessions, I kicked a hole in the wall of my off-campus Madison apartment. Cooler heads prevailed as the Badgers eventually won.
Fallout: The hole soon got patched with tape, glue and, yes, white card stock. The damaged section blended in well enough with the rest of the apartment's condition that it apparently went unnoticed by the property managers. My roommate and I received our security deposit in full.

Date: January 20, 2002
Situation: My Green Bay Packers get absolutely annihilated by the St. Louis Rams in an NFC divisional playoff game, 45-17.
Reaction: Once it became clear that the point of no return had been reached, a Doc Marten's shoe got tossed into the wall above the couch. A sizable hole was created.
Fallout: My roommate and I failed to receive our entire security deposit, but only because (as indicated by the landlord) the oven was not cleaned before leaving the premises. No mention of the poorly patched drywall. Buying a patching kit paid off in this instance.

Date: Some Fall Sunday, Somewhere Between 2002 and 2005
Situation: The Packers look awful in a regular season loss to the hated Vikings.
Reaction: The red Wisconsin Badgers baseball cap I wore almost constantly during those years gets tossed against a section of wall above a between-rooms doorway. This leaves a reddish streak on the white wall.
Fallout: Visitors to my apartment often inquired about the strange red marks above the door, too high to be blood, much too high to be red crayon. I had no idea a hat could leave a stain like that. Some mini-blinds also got damaged. Some clear Scotch tape remedied that.

Date: January 11, 2004
Situation: 4th and 26
Reaction: The kitchen could have been mistaken for an outsider art exhibit on broken glass bottles.
Fallout: None. That game was incredibly nerve-wracking up until the fateful play that I didn't even have any energy left to yell when Mitchell caught the ball, or even later when Favre threw the interception in OT. I was already numb, waiting for the eventual defeat to come.

Date: October 7, 2007
Situation: The Packers lose a MNF game to the Chicago Bears, 27-20.
Reaction: At the conclusion of this five-turnover night, an oscillating fan gets kicked. The cage covering the blades gets separated, dented.
Fallout: The fan is still in operation, but when turned on, the start-up revolutions cause the fan blades to make contact with the cage until the motor gets up to speed. Otherwise fully operational.

Date: January 20, 2008
Situation: The Packers lose the NFC Championship Game to the New York Giants in overtime, 23-20.
Reaction: At the game's conclusion, one empty beer bottle sitting on the coffee table gets hit with another empty beer bottle, sending a shower of glass in the general direction of the 60-inch television.
Fallout: The TV emerges unscathed. Glass is found three months later when we move out of the last apartment and into our first house. Brett Favre never plays another game for the Packers. I feel partially responsible for his departure.

Since that loss at Lambeau field, I have exercised greater restraint when dealing with sports failure. Ironically, the better my team is, the more severely I deal with defeat. During last year's playoff run by the Brewers, curses were yelled, but nothing was destroyed. As the ship started to sink against the Phillies, I took a short walk outside, then returned to cheer on my team, choosing to focus on the positives of the season. Perhaps change is in the air.

Friday, September 25, 2009

Blog Bat-Around Reminder

Just reminding everybody that the Blog Bat-Around will get started up on Saturday, so get me your articles. If you haven't read the topic for this installation, click here. I've gotten a few sent to me already, and they have been a lot of fun to read.

Also, yesterday I sent out the Group Break cards, so you should be expecting them soon. I am still working on getting the prizes together for Trade and Win, so please be patient.

Sunday, September 20, 2009

2006 Fleer Greats of the Game Group Break

On Friday afternoon the boxes arrived, but a busy weekend prevented me from opening them until this morning. The videos are up, and I would urge you to watch them all the way through. I wanted to sneak in a few cheesy surprises on this, my first time using iMovie.
And if you notice anything on my fingers during the videos, rest assured, my hands were clean. Prior to one I had been doing some house painting, and some would not come off right away. In the other, I noticed some black junk on my fingers. Apparently the tripod I was using has begun to decay on the molecular level, and touching it leaves specks of black shit on your hands. Not shit shit, mind you, just some sort of... material. No cards were harmed.
Also note that the first video is of much higher quality than the second. The first is uncompressed, but after it took like three hours to upload to YouTube, I decided to find a quicker way for the second one.

Let's tear in.

Looks like the smart choice on these two boxes was Every Other Team. Sorry to those who had the Cardinals, Red Sox, and to a lesser extent, the Dodgers, who missed out on any significant pulls. Next time, right?
One note on the condition of the cards. The Sutter auto in particular came out with some fuzzy corners, and the Powell is in slightly better shape, but not perfect. Everything else emerged in beautiful shape.



The Boog is the one I covet the most for my collection. I hope David enjoys it.

Copper Parallel Semi-Hits:

Pretty nice boxes, all in all. A fun product with a few unexpected personalities that don't pop up in a lot of products.

Saturday, September 19, 2009

Great Onion Article

The Onion consistently churns out sports stories that are spot-on in their timeliness and underhanded veracity. Here is one of their latest offerings.

Whether you're a Yankee hater or a Yankee sycophant, you can't argue with facts. Perhaps this will provide the boost necessary to catapult Harold to the Hall?

Wednesday, September 16, 2009

Trade and Win Update: Winner Announcement!

Check the video...

The little guy, thesewingmachineguy, overcame some pretty intimidating odds to win the Yount card. Congratulations! Not a bad trade for the guy.

Here are the screen caps of the entire third ramdomization, if you care about that sort of thing.

The second prize ended up going to It's Just Old Cardboard...

...and the biggest dog in the fight, Wrigley Wax, ended up coming in third.

I'll find a nice Cubs card of some sort as his consolation. I also need It's Just Old Cardboard to send me a team preference so I can find something for his prize.

Thanks for all of the participants. It hurts to let such a nice card go, but I appreciate the help in knocking out some of my set needs.

Now get cracking on those Blog Bat-Around articles, people!

Pick a Number

I need someone to pick a number between 1 and 50 and post it in the comments section. I'm going to record the Trade and Win randomization video tonight, and I need someone to pick the slot that will end up getting the Yount card.

Since enough cards were "traded" to me, there will also be second and third prizes. Whoever gets the first prize will have all of his entries removed before the second and third place drawings, of course. For these two drawings, I'm going to use slots two and three, respectively, as the winning slots. Each of the drawings will happen in this fashion: I will hit the randomize button once, followed by the "Again" button twice. This third randomized list will be counted as official.

The final standings:
8 points -- Nathaniel Edwards
8 points -- madding
135 points -- Wrigley Wax
85 points -- It's Just Old Cardboard
20 points -- thesewingmachineguy

If anyone takes issue with the number of points (slots) they were given, you have a couple of hours to let me know.
(Note: The first two contestants had their points adjusted from 7 to 8 because I had erroneously awarded them one bonus point instead of two for blog linkage.)

Sooooooo... someone pick a number!

Tuesday, September 15, 2009

The Wheels Are in Motion

I received the last of the payments for the 2006 Fleer Greats Group Break and ordered the boxes today. I'll let you know when they arrive.

Monday, September 14, 2009

Card Show Report: Steal of a Lifetime?

As a baseball card blog writer, I feel it's my responsibility to inform my readers about current gatherings of fellow collectors. This past Sunday, I was able to attend my preferred card show of the two regularly operating in the Milwaukee area, the Gonzaga Hall Show.

The "Hall" designation is somewhat of a misnomer. The show is actually held on the grounds of a Catholic church, St. Aloysius. Since it takes place during a stretch of time spanning Sunday morning and afternoon, the parking lot is usually crammed full of cars. Picture it, churchgoers and collectors jockeying for position. To avoid the gridlock, I always park on the street about a block away from the church property. The guy you see in the green shirt and baseball cap had the same idea. I'm guessing he was going to the show, not Mass. In search of Padres, not padres, I guess. (Yeah, it took me about two seconds to think of that one.)

Once inside, you pay your dollar and then head for what could only be a Catholic grade school cafeteria. An auction is taking place from the word "go," and it's kind of overwhelming once you get in the door. The choicest tables, the first ones you pass on either side, sell Brewers memorabilia and vintage set fillers, respectively. The vintage table is way too vintage for me, so I press on.

I scanned the tables, and, knowing I had very little money to spend, I found a couple of 3,000-count dime boxes. With my spot staked out and want list in hand, I hunkered down, determined to go through at least half of the available cards. There was one stretch of maybe a thousand early-'80s Topps football cards, but I had to stick to the plan. At this table, I paid fifty cents for one 1982 Topps card I needed, some nice Cecil Cooper cards I didn't have, and maybe something else to fill out my four-bits worth. Here's the '82:
1982 Topps #162 '81 Home Run Leaders

The back of this card is staggering. Not only were the four guys with the small picture the co-AL leaders (with 22 apiece), but if you played in the NL, 13 home runs was enough to get you in a tie for tenth place (Ron Cey, Jose Cruz, and Dale Murphy shared the distinction). Strike be danmed, those are low totals, making Schmidt's 31 all the more impressive.

Here are the Coopers:
1981 Donruss #83, 2003 Topps All Time Fan Favorites #103

The vintage powder blue is beautiful on the Donruss card, and the Fan Favorites card displays a depth of Brewer blue that didn't quite shine through on the initial 1980 Topps offering. On a related note, Cooper just lost sole possession of the Brewers single-season RBI title, as Prince tied his 1983 mark on Sunday.

As I got deeper into the show, I discovered several dealers trying to get rid of late-'70s/early-'80s commons for dirt cheap. I left the show needing only three cards to complete my set. I can taste it, and it is sweet. It smells a little musty, though.

Yes, that is pen on the Dick Drago. Sometimes you just need to test the ink in your pen before using it and the envelope from a water bill is not immediately on hand. Most of our second choices for this task are Dick Drago cards.

The only true star card I came in needing was the George Brett. A kindly dealer helped locate one for me. Here he is in his chaw-ful immortality.

Having knocked a nice chunk of older stuff off my list, I decided to snap a quick photo. As you can see, the clientele is exceedingly white, overwhelmingly male, and undeniably awkward. If memory serves me right, those unattended cases in the foreground were full of racing cards. Not popular in this part of the country, especially not on the first Packer Sunday. Attendance was good, though I shudder to think of the barren wasteland that would exist had the Pack not played the night game.

My total purchases added up to only five bucks so far, so I decided to circle the show, wondering what I should spend the big money (a paltry thirty-dollar limit) on. I passed the tables of '70s Commons Guy, Hobby Box Credit Card Guy, Overpriced Wax Guy ($5 for a pack of 2009 Goudey?), Bobbleheads and Nothing Else Guy, Screw-Down Holders Guy, I Let My Kids Man the Table Guy, and Signed Hollywood D-Lister Eight-By-Tens Guy. None of them had what I needed. Then, divine intervention...

Earlier in the show I took a good look at the offerings of I Busted Ten Cases of Donruss Americana Guy. If you read my blog regularly, you might remember the Americana binge I went on over a year ago. As it happened, I got the itch again. I was ready to buy some wax just for the thrill of opening it, but I came back to the Americana tables. This guy had a TON of stuff, most of it junk or something I already had. I had almost talked myself into a Montgomery Clift relic, when out of the corner of my eye, I saw it...

2007 Donruss Americana #HL-37 Jimmy Stewart Hollywood Legends Super Stars JUMBO Coat Swatch (15/25)

Yes, now it is mine. Jefferson Smith! George Bailey! The guy from Rope!

I left the show right after that, content to avoid pressing my luck. When I got home, I investigated the suspicion that there was a different version of this card with a smaller relic piece. There is, and there are a bunch of them on eBay, numbered to 325.

I checked if there were any more of the jumbo swatch versions for sale. All I was able to find was this one for $249.95, and this one for $329.95. Overpriced, perhaps, but the only ones available, and one seller is hoarding them all.

Oh... I guess I'm leaving something out of this tale. I'll let the picture tell the story.

I ended up giving him $20 for it.


Halloween Die-O-Rama 2009

My entry for the 2009 Halloween Die-O-Rama Contest

Sunday, September 13, 2009

Group Break -- 2006 Fleer Greats of the Game

It's time for another box break, folks. I've kind of soured on the el-cheapo breaks I've been holding over the past year or so, but don't worry, they will be back. I've been trying to find a unique product to open up, and I think I've found it.

Part of the problem with group breaks has to do with the crap teams that are left over after everyone makes their picks. The organization of one of these comes complete with several pitfalls, not the least of which has to do with fairness. I like to give collectors their choice, and once all of the desirable teams are taken, you usually have junk like the Diamondbacks and Nationals left over. On the other hand, if you randomize the draw, a Yankees or Dodgers fan might end up paying good money for a piddly pile of Padres or Pirates. No offense to those teams and their fans, but it's not fun to be stuck with them if they're not high on your list.

For the above reasons, I'm proposing a unique group break. The product I've chosen is 2006 Fleer Greats of the Game. (TWO BOXES) It's your typical fun legends set, with 15x5 packs and four hits per box. In addition to the regular game-used cards and autographs, the set bears down hard on the classic teams of the past, with a few subsets limited to seven teams. I'm not sure how I'm explaining this, but 2006 Fleer Greats includes special categories of autographs and memorabilia cards for the following teams: Yankees, Cubs, Dodgers, Red Sox, Cardinals, Tigers, and Reds. Each of these seven teams will be offered as a separate slot. All the rest of the teams, excluding the Brewers, will be offered as a single slot.

This means that there are only nine slots (eight, actually, as I'm taking the Brewers and any Milwaukee Braves) available in this break. Each team/slot will cost you $16.00, except for the "Everybody Else" slot, which will cost $32.00. If you'd like to get in on this, hurry and leave a comment and then send the correct amount to my PayPal account:

Once you have expressed a team preference, you only have 24 hours to pay. After that time, if payment is not made, I'm opening up the team to be taken by someone else. I'd like to try to have this filled within the next couple of days (like, by Wednesday) so I can order the boxes and hopefully open them (on video, of course) by early next week.

Teams ($16 each)
Yankees -- I Am Joe Collector (paid)
Cubs -- arfmax (paid)
Dodgers -- nightowl (paid)
Red Sox -- Brian (paid)
Cardinals -- madding (paid)
Tigers -- Grand Cards (paid)
Reds -- Alex (paid)
Brewers and Milwaukee Braves -- Thorzul (paid)
Every Other Team ($32) -- David (paid)

Let's do this, people. This is going to be a lot of fun!

Trade and Win Update #5

If you want to get in on the Trade and Win contest, today is the final day to make it known to me. I'd like to hold the drawing by the end of the week, so if you've got something that's heading my way, let me know.

This entry is from thesewingmachineguy, a faithful Thorzul Will Rule reader and a friendly Tigers fan. He sent in a stack of 2007 Topps '52 Rookies Chrome cards. Let's check 'em out.

TCRC29 Chase Headley (1157/1952) Starting left-fielder for the San Diego Padres

TCRC32 Felix Pie (0169/1952) Now a Baltimore Oriole.

TCRC64 Sean Henn (0622/1952) After debuting with the Yankees, Sean has been on the rosters of the San Diego Padres and the Minnesota Twins. He has also been a Baltimore Oriole for approximately five days.

TCRC71 Sean Galagher (0144/1952) Sean was traded to the A's n 2008, and was then the PTBNL picked up by the San Diego Padres.

TCRC85 Kevin Cameron (1156/1952) Joined the Oakland Athletics as a free agent after the 2008 season and has played in a handful of games this year.

There you have it. Two Padres, two Cubs, and a Yankee have turned into... well... two Padres, two Orioles, and an Athletic. All of us small-market teams are just spinning our wheels, aren't we?

7 points -- Nathaniel Edwards
7 points -- madding
135 points -- Wrigley Wax
85 points -- It's Just Old Cardboard
20 points -- thesewingmachineguy

(Total number of cards traded: 80)

BOLD = Received
Italics = Offered
1992 Upper Deck Baseball (One Point Each)
33 51 61 62 73 74 75 77
195 197
204 213
304 315 343 383 384 386 387 388 391
422 424 447 449 459
602 628 687 688

2008 Upper Deck Masterpieces (Five Points Each)
93 102 107 120

2008 Topps Chrome
Base (Two Points Each; #224, 227 Ten Points Each)
24 30 124 209 211 224 227
X-Fractor Parallel (Five Points Each)
1 3 5 6 7 8 10 11 17 18 19 20 23 24 25 27 29 30 32 34 36 38 40 41 42 43 44 46 47 48 52 53 54 57 58 60 66 68 70 72 73 74 80 81 83 85 86 90 94 97 101 106 107 109 110 111 112 116 120 121 122 124 127 129 130 131 133 135 137 138 139 141 144 145 147 148 149 150 151 152 153 155 156 157 159 161 162 164 165 167 168 170 172 175 176 181 182 184 186 191 192 193 195 196 198 199 200 201 202 203 204 205 206 207 208 209 210 211 213 214 215 216 217 218 219

2008 Upper Deck Baseball Heroes
Base (One Point)
Charcoal Parallel (Three Points Each)
5 25 26 35 39 69 91 102 105 112 121 123 127 131 133 168 172 177 180 198 200

2008 Topps Heritage Need List
Short Prints: (Seven Points Each)
430 436 437 444 445 446 448 453 489 492

2007 Topps '52 Rookies
Chrome /1952 (Four Points Each)
2 3 8 11 13 14 18 19 20 23 25 26 27 28 29 31 32 33 34 37 38 39 43 45 46 47 48 50 52 53 54 55 56 57 60 61 63 64 66 67 68 69 70 71 72 73 74 75 76 77 79 80 81 82 83 84 85 86 90 92 93 94 95
Debut Flashbacks Chrome

2007 Topps Mickey Mantle Story (Three Points Each)
38 45

2007 Allen & Ginter (Five Points Each)
Relic Cards: Robinson Cano
National Pride Cabinet Cards
1 Japan
2 Japan
3 Venezuela
4 South Korea
5 Canada
6 Dominican Republic
8 Puerto Rico
10 USA

1994 Fleer Football (Three Points Each)
All-Pro: 1 24
NFL Prospects: 18
Living Legends: 4
Scoring Machine: 1 3 5 6 7 8 9 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18 19 20

2001-02 Topps Basketball (Five Points Each, Twenty Points For Tony Parker)
235 (Steven Hunter) 237 (Michael Bradley) 239 (Zach Randolph) 241 Joseph Forte) 242 (Jeryl Sasser) 243 (Brandon Armstrong) 244 (Gerlad Wallace) 247 (Tony Parker) 248 (Trenton Hassell) 253 (Ousmans Cisse) 255 (Kenny Satterfield) 256 (Alvin Jones)
Kareem/Alcindor Reprints (Six Points Each)
1 2 3 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13
Team Topps (Four Points Each)
2 Duncan
3 Jamison
4 Terry
5 Davis
7 Stojakovic
9 Marion
Mad Game (Five Points Each)
1 Iverson
2 O'Neal
3 Duncan
4 Carter
6 Bryant
7 McGrady
8 Francis
Lottery Legends (Four Points Each)
2 Francis
3 Miles
4 Marbury
6 Walker
7 Williams
11 Houston
12 Croshere

1982 Topps Baseball (Three Points Each)
1 5 10 17 22 23 31 34 38 43 46 52 53 55 56 60 66 72 75 76 81 83 84 85 89 90 96 105 110 111 118 119 126 127 129 138 140 141 147 148 164 166 171 173 179 180 185 199 200 201 202 203 205 210 212 222 226 240 247 248 250 251 252 255 276 284 291 295 297 300 301 304 306 310 312 316 320 335 336 360 367 372 375 382 390 391 393 394 396 400 415 422 423 426 431 434 438 440 454 455 466 471 475 477 486 501 503 507 511 523 525 528 532 542 572 576 579 580 582 595 600 609 615 618 620 621 623 626 632 634 636 639 645 646 651 654 660 666 674 680 681 683 685 699 709 715 730 744 748 754 759 760 761 779 780

1978 Topps Baseball (Five Points Each)
205 618 704

Saturday, September 12, 2009

Blog Bat Around Topic Revealed

Those brats last night were so good that they took me off to slumberland. Here's the Blog Bat Around update.

Let's face it: Unless you follow a sports team from one of the three or four highest-populated markets in the country, being a sports fan is largely an exercise in humility, disappointment, and disgust. If you're a Lakers fan, you have no idea what I'm talking about, but if you're from the Cleveland area, you're probably experiencing some mid-grade stomach pains right now, punctuated by a dry heave here and there. This newest incarnation of the Blog Bat Around deals with your experiences with this phenomenon.

The question I'm putting to you is this: How have you reacted to one or more specific soul-crushing sports losses?

Brick through the window? Let us know.
Dog kicked into an above-the-waist section of a china hutch? Post it, you won't be judged.
Spasms of rage causing bodily injury to yourself? Share, friend, you are among an understanding brother- and sisterhood.

Go back as far into sports history as you would like, so long as you were a living and conscious observer. The collective fandom is filled with wide rights, phantom third strikes, and obvious fouls that have gone uncalled. Share one or more of these experiences with a sympathetic community. If possible, get as specific as possible with the dates. (I'm thinking of the old Superfans SNL skit where Farley, Wendt, et al were swapping stories of injuries suffered cheering on Da Bears, like "Scalded by the cheese of a flaming hot nacho.") I'd also love to see accompanying card images for any of the key participants in these debacles.

I'm setting the deadline of September 26 to get these to me. Email me the link and I'll assemble the entire post with all the links I get two Saturdays from now. Share this post with your fellow bloggers; I'd like this to be the biggest BBA yet. Have fun, I'm looking forward to commiseration.

Friday, September 11, 2009

The Next Blog Bat Around to be Hosted Here

I've got an idea, and I'll share it later, since I'm grilling some brats right now on a fine September evening.

I hope I'm not stepping on anybody's toes with this, but it's been a while since the Bat Around has been held. Raise your objections is you wish. Otherwise, this will be the home of the next edition.

Monday, September 7, 2009

6 in 30 That Make Me Happy

I had to go to my mishmash binder for this particular task. There aren't any Brewers in it, so you are all spared from that spectacle. This binder provides affordable housing for single-parent cards, returning G.I.s, random game-used jerseys, and a motley assortment of oddball wackjobs. I may have gone over the allotted half-minute by a few seconds or so, but these are my six that make me happy. My tenement house of cards...

2001 Topps American Pie #51 Keith Hernandez
My complete American Pie set pays rent in this binder, and if they get their security deposit back, Keith isn't getting any of it. It's a great card of a player on a team he is not best known for, and his hair is Breck-tastic and alluring. The way Keith figures it, he's already been to first base and he plans on rounding second tonight at around eleven o'clock.

1985 Topps #536 Kirby Puckett
This card makes me happy because my dad got it for me for Christmas. I may never own his 1984 Fleer Update rookie, so this is probably the earliest Kirby I will ever possess. I have another one that sits in my finished 1985 set, but this one is the one the other cards go to if a three-hole needs to be patched or if there's cover warpage. He's the super of the binder.

2001 Topps Archives #543 Kent Tekulve
Yes, I harbor an unhealthy man-crush towards Kent, a guy who looks so out of place on a big league field that he has no real counterpart in all of contemporary baseball. Big ups to Topps for giving unheralded players like Tekulve their due in the form of a post-retirement card. Kent is the guy whose binder slot smells an awful lot like potatoes.

1988 Fleer #616 Sammy Stewart
This card makes me happy because it's one of the best cards of all-time. Sammy bears a striking resemblance to the character Rahad Jackson in Boogie Nights (played by Alfred Molina). Sammy convinces other cards in the binder to light firecrackers for no apparent reason, getting the cops called on the place. Come on, you puppies!

2005 Topps Retired Signature Gold Parallel #35 Mark Fidrych (328/500)
I never gave the guy his proper respect after passing away this spring. Coming across this card makes me wish there were more like him. Mark yells all night, keeping the other cards awake at times.

2004 Upper Deck Vintage Stellar Star Men #SSM-23 Alex Rodriguez Game-Used Jersey
This card is the poison pill that makes tricks me into thinking retail pulls like this can happen more than once. This is why I veer off towards the end of any Target trip. I have recently begun to show greater self-control when it comes to retail. Corner penthouse resident.

Great idea, Dinged Corners!