Sunday, May 31, 2009

CC: A Copy of a Copy of a Copy...

The ambivalence towards the CC continuum has become palpable, so I'll try to post as many of these that fit together thematically as possible, so as to hasten this feature's inevitable conclusion. Here.

2009 Upper Deck A Piece of History #51

2009 Upper Deck Goudey Mini Black Parallel #112 (10/21)

2008 Topps Stadium Club First Day Issue SP #10 (463/599)

2008 Upper Deck Ultimate Collection #27 (081/350)

The Piece of History is the base card, something I didn't intentionally buy, since I figure I can pick up base cards somewhere along the way. The eBay seller sent this one instead of the red parallel which I had won. He apologized for the mistake and promised to send the correct card. The mini Goudey is one of the hard-to-find short print variations. The Stadium Club is thicker than the regular cards from that set. I'm thinking there's also a non-numbered First Day Issue, but I'm not sure. And the Ultimate... well... it has no parallel, so in its own special way, it it the sore thumb that sticks out from this four-fingered Sabathia hand.

THE LIST
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 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 SPx #WM2-PS (w/Peavy, Game-Used White Jersey)
2009 Upper Deck A Piece of History #51
2009 Upper Deck A Piece of History #51 Blue Parallel (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 Goudey 4-in-1 (w/Santana, Hamels, Kazmir) Blue Frame #35-32
2009 Upper Deck Goudey Mini #112
2009 Upper Deck Goudey Mini Black Parallel #112 (10/21)

Thursday, May 28, 2009

Strokin': The Return of Greg Briley

Editor's Note: This is a reprint of an article originally published in a major metropolitan newspaper in the early 1990s.

Mmmmm... I see you're back. Perhaps you remember our last encounter. As I recall, my hands were busy. It may have been mid-December, but they were not occupied filling stockings. If memory serves me right, our chance meeting took place in a dugout just like this one. The dugout is Greg Briley's natural habitat. A vulture has its perch, and Greg Briley has his securely capped Gatorade cooler. This place is the perfect vantage point from which to scout out possible additions to the Kingdome Kuties, as I like to call them.

I look left, I look right. If it is sunny, I cup my hands around my eyes to reduce glare. I sneak in at night and order pizza to this address, just in case the delivery is made by a lovely female. Usually it is not.

Let me show you some of my maneuvers. I have one I like to call "The Unlandscaped Smaller-Than-Regulation-Diameter Golf Hole." Let me show you what it looks like.

It's also known as the "Kiwi, Kiwi, You Can't See Me." See the subtle difference Greg Briley has indicated? Now I be dangling.

For undisclosed reasons, it has also been called the "Twenty-first McNugget." I received a municipal citation for performing this one in the women's restroom of an Oakland-area Baskin-Robbins franchise. And then in the storeroom where they keep the sprinkles. And once again in the parking lot, using a discarded booster seat for leverage.

You want to know about the catcher's mitt? It is actually an integral part of the performance when wedged behind the knee of either participant.

Hold up. I think I see something I like walking over there.

Nope. It was just a cotton candy pole. I got mixed up with one of those before. Never again. I had to go to the doctor. Cotton candy was in Greg Briley's ear.

Before I go, let me tell you one more name for this particular move. Come closer. I have to whisper it into your ear. "The Polanski Fun Dip Repulsion." Do not ask me to explain that one to you. All I know is that your crouch must be low enough or there will be hemorrhaging.

Oh, and if you invert that last one, it goes by the name "Oath Spurt." I have tried that one time. My back was sore.

Editor's Note: Before this article went to print, it was sent to a number of Greg Briley's teammates and opponents. This is what they had to say.

Dave Fleming: "A tip of the hat to the guy. I was in the clubhouse late one night icing my arm, I wandered into one of his get-togethers. When I wandered out, my glaucoma had cleared up, I had a tattoo on the bottom of my foot, and the ring finger on my right hand was permanently bent towards my wrist. Nine months later, my wife bore me three sons and a daughter."

Scott Erickson: "Don't talk to me about Greg Briley. Greg Briley is the reason I'm wearing this rubber jacket. Go away."

Ken Griffey, Jr.: "He said he what?"

"He nasty."

Ricky Bones: "One day, I see heem, and he do... how you say... 'Upside-Down Pineapple Spank?' The girl... she no pretty... ees grande, muy grande. It look very hurting. But I give 'C' por caliente. Caliente Greg Briley! Caliente!"

Editor's Note: Greg Briley was offered the chance to retort, but did so in a very non-specific fashion.

What gender would you say that groundskeeper over there is? Oh, wait, that is a plastic bag.

Wait, do not leave Greg Briley alone! There is still time for the "Seven-Layer Salad Handshake."

Greg Briley did not think things through. Tonight, it gets stroked. What has just transpired maked Greg Briley wish he had three hands.


And fourteen fingers.

Wednesday, May 27, 2009

CC: More Spectrum Than the USRDA Suggests

My "CC as a Brewer" cards have begun to pile up. This is kind of sad, because the window will soon be closed on this practice, as some of the newer brands have completely crossed over into Yankee territory. Here are two more of a guy who played only 17 games for the Brewers.

2009 Upper Deck Spectrum Black Parallel #54 (16/50)

I'm pretty sure this card gets me close to completing the parallel rainbow. I've got the turquoise (25), black (50), green (99), and red (250) so far. Are there any more out there? I have the feeling there's a blue un-numbered one. Oddly enough, I don't have the base card yet. Anyone out there want to help the cause?

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

This one feels like one of the requisite jersey cards that would show up in a retail box, but I think it's one of the best looking of the bunch. The scan took away all of the shininess, but you can't really go wrong with blue and gold. I had originally skipped over this card, but then I noticed that CC is designated as a Brewer on the side stripe.

Monday, May 25, 2009

Corey Hart Threw This At Me

Today I was at the Brewer game, a 1-0 pitchers' duel between the Cardinals' Chris Carpenter and Milwaukee's ace, Yovani Galardo. Bill Hall's pinch-hit single in the bottom of the 10th sent the fans home happy this Memorial Day. On a more personal note, something of interest took place earlier in this game, between the fourth and fifth innings.

Before St. Louis came up to bat in the top of the fifth, the Brewers outfielders, as they usually do, were playing catch in order to stay loose. My wife and her friend had gone to purchase some baseball trinkets, and I was left alone in the seats right on the aisle. Before the public address announcer could let the crowd know that Yadier Molina was making his way to the plate, something white and round came whizzing toward my general area. The two gentlemen in front of me ducked, but my reaction was to get both hands up. I reached up above my left shoulder, towards the aisle, and was able to slow the momentum of the ball. It bounced off my fingertips and hit the concrete steps one row up from my seats. What proceeded in the next fraction of a second could only be described as a maelstrom of legs, hands, and Alan H. Selig's signature. Somehow, someway, I was able to get my fingers around a good portion of the ball. There was another force pulling the ball in the opposite vector, but my kung-fu was stronger than theirs. The ball was mine.

In the half-inning that followed, I was able to piece together what had happened. The man I had wrestled the ball away from was a large strapping fellow, much bigger than me (not hard to do), and was wearing... get this... a baseball glove! I guess you don't need one of those to get a ball.

I also gathered that it was rightfielder Corey Hart who had thrown the ball. You know how the players usually just lob the ball to a little kid hanging over the railing before an inning starts? This was not one of those times. As you can see from my ticket, I was sitting in the 22nd row. I have no idea why Hart would have thrown the ball that hard and that far. I also consider myself lucky because the seats I was in were purchased by the friend of a friend, and they were probably the closest seats I have had to the field since Miller Park was built.

It was pretty neat to get a ball with some obvious usage. It also had a black mark on the back, probably to signify that it was a ball intended not for game use, but for practice only.

Here's the culprit and the first card of his that popped up in my Big Box o' Brewers. Corey is wearing a red cap, as all the Brewers did, in recognition of Memorial Day. I would like to thank him for the part he played in getting me my first game ball... foul, home run, or otherwise... in all my years of faithful attendance.

Sunday, May 24, 2009

Up to Snuff?

Here's something not related to baseball cards that I felt compelled to share nonetheless. Let me tell you a short story about one of the third graders in my class. We'll call him "Mr. A."

To give you a little background, Mr. A. was born in Somalia in the year 2000. At some point, his family had to flee their home country, and they sought refuge in Kenya. A few years ago, the family left the Kenyan refugee camp and settled in Wisconsin. Mr. A. has only been speaking English for a few years, there is no father in the picture, the mother does not speak English, and at home there is nothing (according to the social worker that has sponsored this family) resembling any sort of even loosely structured order that would remind you or me of what a family living situation looks like. Mr. A. spends the majority of the time at home watching cartoons; yes, he is the reason I know that a show called "Ben 10" exists, as he is apt to repeat the title as a non sequitur several times throughout the day. When not in school, cartoons are his life.

The last story my class read in their basal readers was called Rocking and Rolling, a nonfiction text covering an array of geologic phenomena that occur in and under the earth's crust. Basically, volcanoes, earthquakes, tsunamis...

Each week there is the option of giving a test. I gave the test on Friday and corrected it soon thereafter. Here's Mr. A.'s answer to question 20, the last on the test.

He had me up until that last sentence. In the process of reading his answer, I was pleased to find that he even responded to both parts of the question. I was primed to give a full point to his response, but that last sentence was the proverbial other shoe dropping. Partial credit seemed to be the way to go. I'm not heartless, after all. And for anyone wondering, I used an orange marker to grade this test, not red, the color of failure.

Oh, and as I promised in my last post, here's a card from 1997, the year chosed by the first commenter, FanOfReds.
1997 Fleer #642 Eric Davis

The amount of cards I own from 1997 could possibly be used to level a wobbly table and not much else. A lot of cards I purchased earlier this year included some 1997 Fleer, one of the most cheaply-produced sets I have ever witnessed. Honestly, it's as if John Quincy Fleer took the master copies down to Kinko's and asked them to make a hundred thousand of everything as cost effectively as possible. I have received homemade cards that have been of a better quality than this. The scan really does no justice to the lack of quality workmanship of this set. The colors are washed out, the stock is that of a dollar-store index card variety, and the cards are slightly rough to the touch. Interestingly enough, I found that Fleer produced a parallel "Tiffany" set, seeded at one in twenty packs. These Tiffany cards appear to be up to normal Fleer quality for its day and age.

Someone, Quick, Pick a Year!

The first person to read this should pick a year between 1995 and 1999. I will include a picture of a card from that year in my next post.

Friday, May 22, 2009

Am I Over a Barrel?


Let me lay this out for you. It's around to 7:00 in the morning, I'm getting ready for school, and I get a message that an eBay item I've been watching will finish up during the next few hours. I make a bid on a Robin Yount 2008 Upper Deck Masterpieces blue parallel card numbered 4/5. Here is what transpires. (I apologize in advance for any spelling mistakes or lack of punctuation, as tonight was my wife's staff booze cruise party, including all-you-can-eat tacos and all-you-can-drink margaritas. I'll try to hold it together, for the sake of clarity.)

Let me give you a timeline (All times Central):

5/20/09 10:27 PM - eBay member b***j makes a bid on the Yount card at $14.99.

5/22/09 7:04 AM - I make a bid of $32.01 on the Yount card, as I cannot make eBay bids at work. My fingers are crossed that this card does not rise to this amount.

5/22/09 11:17 AM - eBay member b***j bids $19.99 on the card.

5/22/09 11:17 AM - eBay member b***j bids $24.99 on he card.

5/22/09 11:19 AM - eBay member b***j bids $29.99 on the card.

5/22/09 11:20 AM - I receive a message from eBay that I have been outbid at a price of $33.01.

5/22/09 11:22 AM - I receive a message from eBay that the item I was bidding on has had a bid retraction, and I am now still the high bidder. The same guy who outbid me at about $16.00 gets off the hook for more than twice that amount.

5/22/09 11:50 AM - I receive a message from eBay that I am the winning bidder of the Yount card at a price of $30.99.

5/22/09 12:05 PM - I receive an invoice from seller cards4life206 in the amount of $30.99 plus shipping.

First of all, what the fuck is going on here? Am I the victim of a shill bidder? What, if any, recourse do I have here? There was obviously something going on where the seller had another account, bid on his own item until he reached a price point where someone had bid on the item, and then retracted the bid in order to extract the highest amount of profit from the sale. Granted, I put in a bid up to the amount which I was willing to pay, but I did so with the understanding that actual bidders would have to outbid me in order to secure the item, not some fake eBayer that would artificially inflate the price. What should I do about this? I have not yet paid, and would like some advice. Sure, it's only a margin of less than twenty dollars, but I feel that this is an unjust price.

Wednesday, May 20, 2009

2008 Allen & Ginter Trading Post Post

I've just gotten really, really close to finishing off the parts of the 2008 Allen & Ginter's Base-Ball set that I've decided to collect, and now I have a pretty nice stack of short prints available for trade. If anyone wants any of these and can knock out a good chunk of my Wants and Needs, let me know. Here's what's available:

300 Ryan Howard
306 Carlos Gomez
310 Michael Bourn
311 B.J. Ryan (x2)
316 Ervin Santana
319 Jason Giambi
321 Wily Mo Pena
323 James Bowie
327 A.J. Pierzynski
330 Luke Hochevar
332 Dave Roberts
334 Jo-Jo Reyes
337 Jason Schmidt
340 Carl Crawford
342 Aubrey Huff
345 Francisco Liriano

There's also a ton of base cards available, if anyone needs those. I also have an extra Greatest Victories #16 -- The Battle of Thermopylae and a Brian Bannister AUTO that I'd like to give a good home.

And by the way, thanks to the generous offers from some other bloggers, all I still need from the 50 States subset is #18 and #32. A little help...

CC: It's a Mad, Mad, Mad, Mad Card

I'm sure I've decried the artwork of 2009 Goudey before, but the CC Sabathia offering is one of the worst.
2009 Upper Deck Goudey Mini #112

CC Sabathia and Buddy Hackett -- Separated at birth? Or has CC just recently added an extra chromosome to his genetic makeup?
You be the judge.

I suppose that if I'm to find the next CC 1/1 card, I have to look under a "big dubba-yoo." Wish me luck.

THE LIST
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 #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 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)
2009 Upper Deck SPx #WM2-PS (w/Peavy, Game-Used White Jersey)
2009 Upper Deck A Piece of History #51 Blue Parallel (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 Goudey 4-in-1 (w/Santana, Hamels, Kazmir) Blue Frame #35-32
2009 Upper Deck Goudey Mini #112

Tuesday, May 19, 2009

Paying It Forward in the Blogofuckingsphere

Just a few days after I send out some gift packages, I happen to receive one from a fellow blogger, David from Tribe Cards. Here's what was enveloped.

My Top 5:
5. 2001 Topps Gallery #69 Geoff Jenkins -- A Warrior Readies Himself

4. 2000 Upper Deck HoloGrFX #17 Jeromy Burnitz -- Who knew streaking was allowed on a baseball card? This brand was obviously named by some sort of Grrrrrl.

3. 2007 Fleer Ultra Luck 13 #245 Ryan Braun -- Ryan Braun cards I don't yet have go straight into a binder. This is one of them.

2. 1992 Donruss Triple Play #122 Greg Vaughn -- Vaughn obviously took offense to the kid fan's Oakland Athletics pennant and matching Zubaz, so he robbed the poor son of a bitch of a home run ball. They didn't call left field Vaughn's Valley for nothing.

1. 1988 Starting Lineup Talking Baseball #26 Robin Yount -- I have seen this several times on eBay without pulling the trigger. Now it is mine. Big thanks go out to Tribe Cards!

Monday, May 18, 2009

Boiled Down to Its Essence: 1993 Upper Deck

At first glance, 1993 Upper Deck looks like it's all about teal uniforms with an unsafe amount of candle power...

...when in reality, if you flip to the back, it's about much more. 1993 Upper Deck is really all about figuring out those new-fangled ball-point pens...

...growing a unibrow that elects its own congressman...

...dreaming the dream of a softball player while living the dream of a baseball player...

...gettin' all coy on us after spotting that hot blonde in the third row...


...but most of all, 1993 Upper Deck is about sporting a moustache that's used as a template by the U.S. Department of Weights and Measures.

Sunday, May 17, 2009

Allen & Ginter 50 States Project

With the release of the '09 set about a month and a half away, it's time to try to knock out these last five cards. Hopefully this will go a little better than Sufjan Stevens' "50 States Project," which has been stalled since his 2005 offering Illinois (or alternatively, "Come on Feel the Illinoise." Sufjan Stevens is great. You can be too, if you send me some of these cards.

What I Need:
15 18 19 32 35

2009 Goudey Blaster

We'll keep this straightforward after my last nightmare of a post. I got this blaster of 2009 Goudey a couple of weekends ago, and now I'm ready to share.

Box: $19.99. I'm tilting it to show you the Clifton Earl Heathcote buyback card advertised on the side. The other panel has a Larry Bird Sports Royalty card.

Wrapper: Green. I like it.

Base Cards: 54. Here are my five favorites, based mostly on visual depiction.

105 Alcides Escobar - Only Brewer base card in the box.

139 Jason Giambi - Cop 'stache!

53 Johnny Cueto - Happy, but needs to take lessons from teammate Edinson Volquez about proper cap placement. Soon to graduate from his apprenticeship.

90 Mark Teixeira - Pushing the limits of acceptable MLB attire. Late, late, for a very important date, trying to save time by not showering.

102 Brad Penny - Blind, but not vain enough to shield his unfocused eyes with sunglasses while on the mound. Slated to step in as next governor of New York should another sex scandal take place.

Minis: 19 Jed Lowrie,115 Denard Span

UD 20th Anniversary: 802 Jacksonville Jaguars Hire Tom Coughlin. High point in the franchise's history?

4-in-1s: Three red ones, this one here showing that Trevor Hoffman's got a little bit of what Jon Gruden's got, and that Mariano Rivera has no spaces between his teeth at all. Would someone, somewhere explain the numbering system these use. I have heard cries for help on other blogs, but I haven't looked hard enough to find a straight answer.

I also got a blue one, which I presume is harder to get.
CC ALERT!!!!!
Sabathia looks like he just got found by someone wearing a red vest in K-Mart and is very scared and just wants to be reunited with his mommy.

Heads Up: 272 Jose Reyes, 298 Carlos Zambrano

And the ultimate short print in the box...#243 Tiger Woods. When I first pulled this, it was going for around $20 on eBay, but has since pulled back to about half of that. I'm keeping mine, I think, unless someone made me an offer I couldn't refuse.

One last footnote: The backs of the Sports Royalty cards command you, in CAPS LOCK, to "START YOUR COLLECTION NOW." Follow.