Thursday, September 30, 2010

Last Blogger Standing: Teh Winnah

You're right... that was a lot of detail. And it was all true.

Take a moment to congratulate the winner of the Last Blogger Standing contest, Mariner1! He correctly guessed that the Murphy/Absent Coleman sticker was part of the lot. Twenty-six years is a lot of time to have passed, but at some point the Coleman got stuck, and the Murphy stuck true.

Mariner1, step forward and collect your prize. My email can be found at many places on this blog, as well as in my profile. Remember, in addition to the entire card lot (verrrrrrrrrry heavy on Warren Moon and Reggie White, as you will soon find out), you also get to be the subject of a world exclusive interview about your participation in this contest.

Thanks to all who participated, and good luck in future contests.

Wednesday, September 29, 2010

Last Blogger Standing: Round 4

This round was really tough. The card was just random enough to make you possibly think it might be in the lot, but alas, there was no Tim Raines in the stack. I merely went to my doubles box and pulled out a card randomly. Now we are down to three. (Surprisingly, there have been contestants eliminated for neglecting their duties in this contest. Oh well.)

Round 4 Contestants:
Play at the Plate

Is this card in the stack?
1986 Topps Stickers #145/306 - Dale Murphy/Vince Coleman with the Coleman sticker missing but the Murphy sticker still affixed

Guess by 11:59. The winner could be decided in this round.

Tuesday, September 28, 2010

Last Blogger Standing: Round 3

The only way I would own such a nasty, piece of skank card as a 1994-95 Fleer Mark West would be if I found it in a long-forgotten lot of cards in an unused dresser drawer in my parents' house. Yes, it was in the lot, and whoever wins this thing will have to put up with it.

Can I get a what-what for Old Dominion? I love cheering those guys on whenever they make their occasional NCAA basketball tournament appearance.

These contestants are still in the running for the Grand Prize:
BA Benny
Play at the Plate
I Don't Know...3rd Base

At this point in the contest, it becomes a battle of wills. Who will blink first?

Is this card in the stack?
1992 Fleer #97 Tim Raines

Guess by 11:59.

Monday, September 27, 2010

My Bad

Round 2 of Last Blogger Standing will be extended to 11:59 Monday night. Sometimes the morning creeps up on you a little too quickly, as was the case today. I didn't want to rush anyone into round 3. Hopefully, this gives a chance to some of the successful round 1 guessers who haven't given their answer yet.

Sunday, September 26, 2010

Last Blogger Standing: Round 2

Yesterday, the contest got underway when I asked you if you thought the mystery lot contained a 1989 Pro Set Warren Moon card, #149. The answer is... yes, indeed, that card is in the stack. This means that everyone who answered in the affirmative is eligible to compete in round 2.

Round 2 Competitors:
Chris Mays
Chris Harris (The odds-on favorite?)
I Don't Know...3rd Base
Mariner1 (Sweetest avatar, by the way.)
Tony Mc
Plat at the Plate
BA Benny
The Notorious B.U.D. (Have you gotten your Mattingly yet, dude?)
MDXS (An INXS tribute blog?)

From an original field of 31, you have been narrowed down to 20 participants. Not exactly half-life radioactive decay, but a separation of the wheat from the chaff, nonetheless.

And how could there not be a Warren Moon card in this lot? The man played for the Oilers, once threw for 527 yards in a game against the Chiefs, and was immortalized for all time in the pages of Sports Illustrated for Kids in a comic depicting him getting caught stealing sweatbands from a store as a troubled youth. Sweatbands, bitches.

Is this card in the stack?
1994-95 Fleer Basketball #284 Mark West

Answer yes or no to enter. You have until 11:59 tonight.

Oh, and an additional prize has been added to the hopper. The winner, in addition to the complete card lot, will also be subject to an exclusive Thorzul Will Rule interview regarding their participation in this contest. Good luck, all who are left!

Saturday, September 25, 2010

Last Collector Standing: A Thorzul Contest

It's Saturday morning, and that means it's time for a contest, one in which you can win some of my cards. I must admit, every time I see someone advertising a contest on one of their blogs, I'm a little leery. In no way am I distrustful of the character of the blogger running the contest, nor am I unsure of the up-and-up nature of said contest. It's the intricacies of each contest's rules of which I am suspicious.

Basically, the simpler the card blog contest, the better. They usually fall into one of two categories: skill or chance. The best skill contests require entrants to exhibit knowledge of a certain subject, knowledge that can be shown in a matter of seconds with a speedy reply. Chance contests, in my opinion, are even better. Think up something involving a future event, usually sports related, and level the playing field for all participants. These are fast and loose generalizations here, but I think you get the point.

What I'm trying to get at is how I can't stand contests which require too much thought and effort to be put into them. You want me to guess how many players of a certain team are in the pack you're about to open? Great, I'm there, I can dedicate those seven seconds to a response. This time you want me to construct a six-paragraph essay with shifting variables which will require me to consult seventeen different web sources to even stand a chance of winning? Yah, see you later pal.
(Oh, and any contest that asks me to "follow" your blog...? Shit in one hand and ask for followers in the other, see which fills up faster. Not that there's anything wrong with requesting this, but it's not my style.)

All of these points have led me to the creation of what I believe is a contest unique in its structure and simplicity. All anyone wanting to play has to do is respond with a simple "yes" or "no" in the comments during each round. Sound easy? Of course it does. Even the most mouth-breathy-est of you can manage this.

Here's the deal. I've recently discovered a 100-card plastic case with a bunch of random and not-so-random cards in it. Take a look.

While it's only half-full, there's enough ammo in there for a fairly lengthy contest, should the need arise. Here's how play will proceed. Each day (until the conclusion of the contest), I will be naming a specific card. All you're doing is guessing if that card is part of the stack in the case. That means all you need to is write yes or no in the comments. Guesses can be made until 11:59 PM the day of the contest. Everyone who correctly guesses is eligible to participate in the next day's round. This will continue until there is only one person left. That person will win all of the cards in the case.

Some additional notes:
1. Don't fuck with me. Anyone typing in something like "yo" or "nes" will automatically be eliminated. Anyone doing this will also be considered a salisbury steak motherfucker, the ilk of which would have likely made one of those "T" and "F" hybrids on a true/false test in middle school. I don't play that shit.

2. When we get down to the last two contestants, the final round has to have a winner. This is not Isner v. Mahut, and I will not stand for two horses asses posting the same response fifteen times in a row. When (and if) we get down to the final two, the first responder will make his or her selection, and the other has to respond with the opposite. The second responder also must respond. This may sound like the arcane rules surrounding proper gain and loss of the WWF Intercontinental Title, but it's really several times simpler.

3. The structure of this contest could be compared to a dichotomous key. You can thank me in advance for not making you identify each card's particular phylum.

Alright, enough grab-ass, let's get on with it.

Is this card in the stack?
1989 Pro Set #149 Warren Moon

Answer yes or no to enter. You have until 11:59 tonight. Good luck.

Wednesday, September 22, 2010

Thanks For the Smokes I Bummed Off Ya

OK, they weren't smokes, really. Facsimile cigarette cards is more like it. I sent out a plea for help with the 2010 Allen & Ginter set a couple of weeks ago, and several dudes came up big. I would like to take the time to thank night owl, Nachos Grande, and BS for almost getting me all the way up to the top of the mountain. Some of the deliveries even overlapped, and now I have doubles of some of the cards I previously needed.

All I'm left needing are cards 314 (Ivan Rodriguez) and 326 (Aaron Rowand). If anyone has either of these to trade, let me know. If you are still building this set, too, I've got my cards available for trade listed in the 2010 section of the sidebar.

(Speaking of which, where is my blog's sidebar showing up in your browser? When I checked the site at work on a PC, everything was shifted down to the bottom instead of on the right-hand side. On my home Mac, however, it's still where it should be. I'd appreciate the data and would like to know what's up.)

Tuesday, September 21, 2010

Did You Ever See That One Episode of "The Mantle Show"...

...where the Mick really wanted that designer Gordon Gartrell shirt? Turns out he couldn't afford it, being a high school student and all. Remember, he asked his parents to buy it for him because he has a hot date coming up, but they refuse (probably to teach him a lesson about the value of a dollar). However, his helpful sister stepped in and volunteered to make one for him. The thing about it, though, was that Denise (the sister) had little actual experience making clothes, and the shirt turned out all wrong. Boy, was Mickey mad when he tried it on!

Well, it looks like they made a card out of it this year. Topps, right?

(The actual item above sold for $73.55 last week.)

That was Mickey Mantle, right?

Or am I thinking about somebody else?

Or maybe the relic came from a Cross-Colors jacket? Ya think?

Monday, September 20, 2010

2005 Leaf Limited Group Break (Two Outta Three Ain't Bad!)

The group break boxes arrived faster than anticipated this Saturday. I was out of town from Saturday until Sunday morning (Medieval Times in Schaumburg, Illinois, I shit you not!) so I busted these last night and now they're ready for your viewing pleasure. Two really good boxes, one crap box.




Ted Williams Biography (Not Serial Numbered)

Ryne Sandberg Lumberjacks (21/50)

Roger Clemens Gold Spotlight (24/25) (Looks much better in person.)

Don Mattingly Lumberjacks (02/10)

Kirby Puckett Lumberjacks (09/25)

The Mattingly may have the most stuff on it and is numbered lower, but I feel that the Puckett is the card of the break. He had less than a year left after this release, and there's a finite number of autographs out there. I'm guessing the Kirby might sell for $100, perhaps a little more. Not a bad return on investment for Chris Mays.

For next month's break, I'm contemplating a solution to the Unloved Teams Syndrome. There might just have to be a Ball O' Skank that one person could pick up, with the cost being distributed among the better teams. Or perhaps I might lower the cost of the Diamondbacks et al. to an "unrefusable" amount. We'll see.

Sunday, September 19, 2010

Football: Off to a Great Start

I have to say that I'm absolutely loving the beginning of the NCAA and NFL football seasons. For two consecutive weeks, we have witnessed two Badger victories and two Packer victories. During the same span of time, the University of Minnesota has lost both of its football games, as have the Minnesota Vikings.

Needless to say, things are going well for football fans in Wisconsin. I'm choosing to savor it now, as next week brings the Pack into Bear Country, and the Vikings play the Lions. Different outcomes may emerge seven days from now, but for the time being, I have a huge smile on my face.

I'm so happy, in fact, that I'm going to share a non-Packers, football-related clip that I found this weekend. Very NSFW language, but very funny.

I suppose that's one way to motivate your players.

Oh, by the way...
4th and goal from the 1? At home? "This is not Detroit, man, this is the Super Bowl!!!"

Saturday, September 18, 2010

Brew Cards From the GZA

A couple weeks ago (yeah, I'm behind a little) a package from Lawrence, Kansas arrived at the Thorzul homestead. Yes, that can mean only one thing: It was from the GZA, the Genius.
Within were a bunch of Brewers cards, heavy on the good stuff and light on the junk. I wish all Brewers care packages could look like this one. Let's check out some of the favs.

2008 Upper Deck X Prince Fielder Xponential X3 #X3-PF
Back in '08 X3 actually meant something. In '09 everything got watered down when the exponents were increased to X6. (By the way, can Blogger type in superscript or subscript? My gut says no. Prince's gut says hungry.)

2008 Goudey Prince Fielder SP #267
I had actually just first acquired this card a few days prior in a trade, so now there's two. Perhaps someone needs this short print for their Goudey set and wants to trade?

2006 Topps Moments & Milestones Prince Fielder 62 RBI #59 (061/150)
Had Jefferson Burdick been alive to catalogue this set, he would have had a conniption and died at a much earlier age. Still, it's a Prince I didn't have, so I like it.

2009 Upper Deck Generation Now Ryan Braun #GN45
How did Upper Deck get away with using "Generation Now" as an insert title? Topps used the same name for their 2007 products as a mirror rookie insert set. Does anyone know if "Generation Now" actually predates the '07 set? If Topps the actual culprit here, stealing from an obscure UD release? Makes you wonder.

2008 Upper Deck Documentary Ryan Braun #2860, 2551
Failure set that could actually work in the future in a way that embraces collectors and fans. I will share more of my ideas on this in the future.

2009 Topps Sterling Ryan Braun #69 (151/250)
Wow, a really great looking card. If Topps really wanted to, they could turn Sterling into a much more affordable product worth collecting. If they put the design team that worked on these Sterling base cards on a mid-level-price project, it could be a beautiful set. As it stands, Sterling base get overlooked and tossed aside by "whales" opening cases of the stuff.

Thanks again to Heartbreaking Cards.
And speaking of the Genius, check out this clip from Jim Jarmusch's Coffee and Cigarettes. This is by far the best vignette in the film. Enjoy!

Wednesday, September 15, 2010

Last Call For the September Group Break

Fully realizing that the combination of teams remaining is going to be a hard sell as a duo, I've decided to offer the last few slots up individually. Here are the last few teams available, along with their price.

Marlins - $7

Mets - $11

Twins - $11 (TAKEN!)

Indians - $11

Diamondbacks - $7

I hope this interests a few more people to participate, now that you can choose freely from these, a la carte.
Indicate your team(s) preference on this page, and payment can be sent to:

Tuesday, September 14, 2010

Group Break Sign Up Reminder

This is for all the ham-and-eggers who only read the card blogs in the morning. There's a new group break that you can get in on, open now. Plenty of good teams left. Just scroll down to the next post for information.

Bear in mind, I pull Orioles, Twins, Reds, and Cubs like crazy in my breaks. Coincidentally, these teams are all still available. Join the fun!

Sunday, September 12, 2010

September Group Break is Live and Limited!

It may be a little later in the month than we're used to, but the September group break is here. I've been batting around a few ideas about boxes, but while searching the retail sites today, I came across an interesting product that should be a quick, fun break with a huge potential payoff for a few people. This month it will be three hobby boxes of 2005 Leaf Limited. It's only a 4-card-per-box product, but there's a nice mix of modern and classic players on the checklist. You can find the box details here and stuff selling on eBay right now here.

This break will run in a pick-two format. The 30 MLB teams have been divided into A and B groups. If you want to take part, you must pick one A team and one B team. The cost for each tandem will run you $18 for this break, immediate payment required. As always, the break will take place on video. I'm taking the Brewers in addition to any Milwaukee Braves. This should leave one A team remaining after the rest have been chosen, so I'll end up with that one as well. I'd like to get the boxes ordered by Thursday so they can ship out before next weekend.

Keep in mind, some of the usually skankier teams (the Rockies, for example) might end up being good for someone because of the presence of a rookie like Ubaldo Jimenez. Just a thought.

The $18 dollar payment can be sent to:
As always, please include your mailing address, real name, screen name, and teams chosen in the message section of your payment.
Also, make sure you make your choice known in the comments. Sometimes people step on each others' toes when someone tries to sneak a stealth payment in. Let's avoid that.

Yankees: The Notorious B.U.D. (paid)
Red Sox: Cardsplitter (paid)
Orioles: beardy (paid)
Tigers: Colin (paid)
White Sox: Joe from the South Side (paid)
Twins: Chris Mays (paid)
Phillies: arfmax (paid)
Braves (Atlanta only): Chris Mays (paid)
Cubs: Joe from the South Side (paid)
Cardinals: Jim Harcar (paid)
Reds: natscards (paid)
Dodgers: gcrl (paid)
Giants: BS (paid)

Rays: Chris Mays (paid)
Blue Jays: Joe from the South Side (paid)
Royals: Joe from the South Side (paid)
Angels: Cardsplitter (paid)
Rangers: The Notorious B.U.D. (paid)
Mariners: arfmax (paid)
A's: beardy (paid)
Nationals/Expos: natscards (paid)
Astros: Jim Harcar (paid)
Brewers/Milwaukee Braves: Thorzul
Pirates: BS (paid)
Rockies: Colin (paid)
Padres: gcrl (paid)

Good luck!

Saturday, September 11, 2010

Never Mind, At Least About the Murphy

Alright, disregard a small fraction of my last post. A surprise package hit my mailbox yesterday, and it contained one of the 2010 Allen & Ginter cards I indicated I needed in my last post.
I have high regard for people who read my want lists, and even higher regard for people who send me something from them. This means I have very high regard for Ryan from "O" No!!! Another Orioles Blog. He sent me the final Baseball Sketches card I needed, Daniel Murphy.

So, if you were thinking of sending that one my way, keep it.
Now that I have the card, I finally know what Murphy did to deserve the honor, a behind-the-back flip to get a runner out.
If this is the case, I can't wait for the multitude of Mark Buehrle cards in 2011 products commemorating his amazing Opening Day put-out.

The package also included some 2009 Upper Deck X die cuts I need...

...and some base cards from the same set.

Thanks "O" No!!!, I'll hit you back soon.

Thursday, September 9, 2010

This Set is Plaid, With a Butterfly Collar

I have only myself to blame.

Looking to complete my 2010 Allen & Ginter set feels very out-of-style at this time. Due to an unfortunate set of circumstances, the cards I was expecting to receive have proved elusive. Is anyone still collecting this stuff? Whatever.

Alright, I need a small handful of cards to fill the empty slots in my binder. They aren't even all short prints, either. I mean, I'm looking for fucking BASE CARDS here. It feels pretty low, to be honest with you.

My Needs: (Offers received in BOLD.)
175 183 188 262 292 314 318 320 323 326 327 335 341 342
This Day In History 15

If you've got any of those lying around, I can totally make it worth your while. I've got all these doubles organized by year in the sidebar, in case you're interested, or I can just pull a bunch of cards from a favorite team of yours. Trouble is, I have hardly any 2010 Allen & Ginter to trade you, since I sold off all of my SPs and base cards by the pound back in July. Blerg.

Yeah, 2010 Ginter... it's like wearing a pager at this point. Or discussing with your coworkers what might be down the hatch in LOST. Help me escape this time rut and make the leap into autumn.

Monday, September 6, 2010

Summer Baseball Travels (Part 3 of 3: Ichirrific!)

Wow, has it really been a week? Sorry I haven't produced anything for you to read recently, but with the start of the school year comes an onslaught of stress like you wouldn't believe. It's basically the time of year where I'm at my worst, no fun to be around, and generally hating life. That usually goes away in a week or so, and everything becomes rosy again. To make up for the prolonged absence, you readers are getting an honest-to-goodness article today. Yes, it's time to read about the longest baseball pilgrimage of the summer, a trip to Seattle.

While the entire trip in mid-June wasn't totally related to baseball, the interleague game against the Cincinnati Reds was one of the scheduled stops. My wife's and my best friends moved to Seattle from Milwaukee last summer, and it was our first chance to see their new daughter. This is only important in relation to baseball in light of the fact that, when dropping off their baby at the sitter for the evening, the father let his infant daughter know, in no uncertain terms, "Mommy and Daddy are going to get crazy tonight." Indeed.

The preparations began early in the afternoon with a trip to a local discounter to pick up some Mariners gear. I selected this old-school M's shirt. It's one of those amazingly soft T-shirts that all clothing should feel like. I have to say I was impressed with the amount of retro Mariners gear I saw people wearing around ballpark. The current Mariners uniforms are a teal hole of unequivocal suck, and you can spot the smarter fans by which era they choose to sport. Most of the old-school stuff is from the trident period, but every once in a while I saw a dude with a big yellow S on his blue cap. I don't know about you, but I always associate the trident M with Gorman Thomas.

The plan that evening was to get dinner, then hit Safeco Field in time to get our free Griffey/Ichiro dual bobbleheads. From the picture below, though, you can see that even three hours before gametime was cutting it too close, as a line was already forming around the block. With a limit of 20,000 (I believe) giveaways, we stood no chance of getting both dinner and free swag. We chose dinner. The bobblehead will be available in perpetuity, thanks to the miracle of the Interwebs.

After a delicious dinner consisting only of appetizers, we hoofed it back to the stadium and hit the closest biergarten. Pyramid Breweries operates a brew pub across the street from Safeco (which also sits next to Qwest Field, home of the Sounders and Seahawks) with a parking-lot-based community gathering space. The lines for cold brew were long, so the men were assigned to beer duty. Luckily, our wives were able to make friends with a guy who had a hook-up that resulted in round after round of dollar beers. Yes, it pays off to have hot wives. Several Curveballs later, we were good and drunk and ready to cause trouble.

Oh, say hello to Juan, the amigo that hooked us up, Milwaukee-style. Trust me, he looks more like a dirty old man than he actually was. Nice guy who knew how to party.

We got into Safeco Field only fashionably late. I believe this sign stands in left field, with this being the vantage point from our right field seats.

There you go, it certainly is in left field. The Mariners work hard to create a family-friendly atmosphere. All are welcome, from kids with hand-crafted signs to stocky bald guys who wear sunglasses atop their heads.

One thing that became apparent was the difference in a dollar's buying power when comparing Milwaukee to Seattle. This is what about a $40 ticket gets you in Seattle.

And here is what $40 gets you in Milwaukee. Quite a contrast.

Sitting in deep right field has its perks, though. With a so-so zoom lens, you can get a pretty good look at one of the best players in the game.

The game itself was a snooze-fest, a 1-0 Mariners victory. We were left wanting more, and what we wanted more of was alcohol, so we stumbled around and ducked into the first place that looked even remotely hospitable. Thankfully, it turned out to be a well-stocked tavern, and by well-stocked, I'm talking a shitload of beers on tap.

Perhaps my plan was to start at one end of the tappers and work my way down for the evening, which is why I got a delicious...

Guinness! I have no idea what this place was called (perhaps a Seattle-based reader can clue us in?), but I think I came out ahead for the the night merely by not losing anything of value in the bar. I can't wait to come back sometime and sample more of what Seattle has to offer. The Mariners and the city endeared themselves to me in such a way that the Mariners are now my de facto rooting interest in the AL West.

Hopefully, next summer I can showcase a few new stadiums. I'm only up to five*, but there's no hurry.

*1. Miller Park - Brewers
2. Target Field - Twins
3. The Great American Ballpark - Reds
4. Safeco Field - Mariners
5. Chase Field - Diamondbacks