Thursday, March 31, 2011

Worth Reading

Yesterday, the A.V. Club (The Onion's non-satire entertainment companion site) published an article called "On Topps: The State of the Baseball Card in 2011." It's worth a read, even if the only thing it does is introduce you to the A.V. Club. I probably spend about a half hour each day on the site. The article's author, Noel Murray, is one of its better writers, and, as it turns out, somewhat of a lapsed collector, as many of us once were. The real meat is in the comments section, lots of stories from cardboard's past. Check it out.

Wednesday, March 30, 2011

zoolBay #2A Sold!

A quick post to announce another successful sale. This one will go out to Matt F. of Heartbreaking Cards. Just send me the fiver (PayPal or cash, your choice) and they'll be on their way to the city that made Herk Harvey famous.

Tuesday, March 29, 2011

I Sure Could Go For Some Fries...

Well, what do we have here? It looks like I'm in luck.
Thank you Milwaukee Brewers, and thank you participating McDonald's restaurants of Southeastern Wisconsin!


That'll teach me to clean my wallet out a little more often.

"A child has already solved the Jumble using crayons. The answer is 'fries.'"


April is a few days away, and I've been looking into new products for the April Group Break. I have some ideas for the star(s) of the break, and I was thinking a low-end product might be a nice change of pace to complement a pricier box. Any ideas on a product that goes in the $30-$50 range? Something with a one-per-pack parallel or something like that would be nice, maybe one or two marginal hits. I'm open to suggestions, especially from people who usually partake.

And if you say 1989 Bowman, I will bloody your lip electronically.

Sunday, March 27, 2011

zoolBay #2A

I tried selling this 2010 Chrome lot on the blog back in January, but there were no takers. While sorting some cards today, I was angered by the lack of space in my 5,000-count boxes. It's really time to get rid of some stuff, so I've sweetened the pot a little by adding in some 2008 Chrome as well. There are a bunch of X-FRACTORS and Refractors.

Better yet, I've knocked a buck off the price, so the opening bid will be $5.00 shipped. Plus, the contents are no longer secret. Here's what you can get.
2010 Topps Chrome:
XFRACTORS: 49 50 (Joe Mauer)
REFRACTORS: 34 214 220
BASE: 4 9 20 29 34 44 53 61 62 89 98 115 131 147 149 155 161 169 173 184 191 195 213 216

2008 Topps Chrome:
XFRACTORS: 105 126 154 192
REFRACTORS: 11 49 174
BASE: 12 17 57 69 73 112 137 152 156 198 208

To bid, just leave a comment. Bids may be made in 25-cent increments. This auction will be ongoing until Tuesday evening.

Saturday, March 26, 2011

I Told You So

After taking a little bit of heat for this post back in February, I feel a sense of vindication following last night's Ohio St. loss to Kentucky. The Buckeyes really did turn out to be faux good, not "faux real," as someone commented. Unworthy of the Final Four, to be sure. The exact quote was, "I'm not going to pretend to be able to predict this year's Final Four, but I will say that OSU doesn't belong." The pictures tell the story better than I can.

As it turns out, maybe I can predict the Final Four. If I did my math correctly, the result of the UK/OSU game guaranteed my success in my fantasy bracket pool. I still have UConn, North Carolina, Florida, and Kansas alive as my Final Four picks. Too bad this league's not for money, just for fun.

To top it off, don't you think it's rather dickish to include this in the header of the Columbus Dispatch sports section? I'm no Michigan fan, but that's unnecessary and contributes to bad karma.

Faux good. Mark it, dude.

Beeeeeeeeeeeeeef jelly!

Thursday, March 24, 2011

Completion: Dead White Guys Edition

Okay, you got me, they're not all dead white guys. Today I received my order from COMC, which included the last three World's Wordsmiths I needed for my set, Irving, Cervantes, and Marcus Aurelius. Yes, we do have the Shen Kuo and Confucius adding some non-white eastern flavor, but I'd argue that Topps could have made this insert set a little more diverse without ruining the perfect synchronicity between a 15-card set and a 15-slot page. And yes, I'm looking at you, John Bunyan.

If I had my way, I'd replace one of these Wordsmiths. The replacement is a no-brainer: Richard Wright. To be in this set you have to be dead. (Check, 1960.) I don't see Topps remotely leaning in the direction of adding a woman, so I'll go one step at a time. Wright's Native Son is one of the top four or five American literary works of the 20th century, and he deserves a spot here.

But whom, you ask, would I replace?
How about Milton?
Professor Dave Jennings (of Animal House fame) put it best:
"Don't write this down, but I find Milton probably as boring as you find Milton. Mrs. Milton found him boring too. He's a little bit long-winded, he doesn't translate very well into our generation, and his jokes are terrible. (...)
But that doesn't relieve you of your responsibility for this material. Now I'm waiting for reports from some of you... Listen, I'm not joking. This is my job! "

I'm open to other suggestions, but if you even think about adding Melville, you're banned for life from this blog. So who would you lose, who would you add?

Monday, March 21, 2011

March Group Break: 2005 Throwback Threads (At Last!)

I finally got a few free moments to rip, record, and post. This was a so-so box until the very last pack. The start of the video also includes the randomization of the Dawson/Raines card.

Stan Musial (Sweet!) (069/100)

David Ortiz (287/500)

Jeff Bagwell (009/250)

Killer break for Tunguska and IkesCards. Thanks to everyone who participated. I'm currently scouting some boxes for April.

Thursday, March 17, 2011

The Yountin' O' the Green


My favorite is the '07 Triple Threads (second from the top). Great design, lots of green, excellent photo. Have yourself a Shamrock Shake today.

Monday, March 14, 2011

March Group Break Bonus

A few bonus packs as a thank you to everyone participating this month.

The last box for March will be posted when this busy week lets up a little.

Saturday, March 12, 2011

Group Break: Rock, Chalk, The Hawk

Here's our first box from the March group break.

Our big hit: Andre Dawson/Tim Raines Dual AUTO #ULT-DR (03/25)
Not the greatest card, but the signatures are on-card and spectacular. Dawson's autograph is especially nice. And is that an accent mark I see? Very classy!

Our base cards were Prince Fielder, B.J. Upton, and John Smoltz, all numbered out of 350.

Now the hard part. The Hawk-Rock card can only go to one person. Tunguska had the Cubs, and Chris Mays received the Expos. This will be randomed off today between the two. All I need is a commenter to decide for us if it will go to slot 1 or slot 2 after the 3x randomization. This part sucks, since someone will be disappointed.

This weekend is also turning out to be very busy, so I may not get to the other box (and the surprise bonus) until later. I appreciate your patience.

Friday, March 11, 2011

A Few Hours Left to Cut a Deal

No, I'm not talking about the NFL labor situation. I just checked the tracking info below.

The group break boxes are scheduled to arrive today. I know that one participant, Clay, was offering the Padres in trade. You only have a little times left to take him up on the offer, or propose your own trade.

Can't wait!

Wednesday, March 9, 2011

The Idea That Will Save the Hobby

I realize that in all of the scrambling to fill the group break during the last few days I've left a big hole in the blog in terms of actual content, that which determines readability of any one blog, so today I went all out and came up for something for you to chew on.

A couple of weeks ago, I bid on and won a Robin Yount card from the latest Panini Century Collection set. It has a sweet stamp on it and a piece of gray jersey. Take a look.

The thing about this card, is that it recycles a photo used by Donruss/Panini last year featuring Robin in his high school uniform. What was once fascinating and original now feels played out and stale. It only took a year, but now I don't want to see this photo on another card.

This situation got me to thinking: The photograph was probably taken from a school yearbook. How vast could the stockpile of old (pre-rookie card) photos of guys from this era and earlier be? I'm guessing the answer is "not very." Images could possibly be culled from local newspapers and the like, but that well runs dry pretty fast. Then it hit me. Who has more pictures of a young Robin Yount than… his family?

Here's the idea that will be the hobby's next big thing. Card companies have actually gotten to a point where the uniqueness of cards, through manufactured scarcity, has become an increasingly ridiculous pursuit. With 1/1's often numbering in the hundreds, even thousands, for any given set, nothing feels unique anymore. That's a problem. Some companies/sets have taken a step in the right direction with inscription autographs, but I've got something that can top even that. I'm thinking Polaroid Cuts.

Picture this: You're opening a pack of 2013 Upper Deck Cherished Memories. After thumbing through the first few base cards, you realize you've hit… well… the hit. You slowly inch the base card covering the hit to the side. You see a blue cap. You see a "KC." It's George Brett. Your eyes reach the middle of the card, where there's an encased cutting from a Polaroid photograph. There's a picture of… a blond-haired kid blowing out the candles on his birthday cake?

This could be the ultimate in connecting to one of your sports heroes. A product where the chase card is a cut family photo, supplied and verified by the player's family… wow. Each one of these would be one-of-a-kind, available nowhere else. Family photos are heirlooms, and they tell more about a player than a signature trimmed from a personal check ever could. If a company would get behind this idea, in combination with a classy enough set and design, it could create the biggest splash the hobby has known since the advent of game-used jersey and bat cards.

One obvious caveat to this idea would be the reluctance of the family to part with a treasured photo. Athletes' playing days, however, have spanned several types of technology. With a player who grew up in the 1980s or early 1990s, free double prints at Walgreen's could mean a greater amount of available images than, say, someone from an earlier era. The players who were young in the '70s would be the most desirable. I mean, how cool would it be to get a card featuring Mark McGwire's birthday party from 1974, or Ken Griffey, Jr. dressed up for his part in the school play?

Weird wrapping paper, flowing hair on everyone, unexplainable choices in pants, wood paneling on everything, horrible furniture, crazy nautical shit on the walls…
Imagine the scene above, only with Joe Carter, Rafael Palmeiro, Roger Clemens, and Frank Thomas sitting around opening presents.

And one really awful lamp.

(Oh, and if this post finds its way to any card company representatives, now is the time to hire me.)

Tuesday, March 8, 2011

You Guys Are Awesome!

I want to thank everyone who stepped in and claimed a team in the March group break, especially those who did so in the last couple of days. The boxes have been ordered, and now it's time for the second team randomization. (By the way, I'm still waiting for payment from a few participants. As of right now, hiflew is going to pay on Friday, Play at the Plate is sending his soon, and I haven't heard anything from Tunguska. I had some cash in my PayPal account to cover the boxes, but let's get that in soon, yes?)

The Ramdomization:

The Teams:
1. Angels - Michael A.
2. Athletics - the sewingmachineguy (Traded to hiflew)
3. Rangers - Play at the Plate
4. Mariners - The Notorious B.U.D.
5. White Sox - Thorzul
6. Indians - Phungo/deal
7. Royals - Play at the Plate
8. Twins - Alex
9. Tigers - the sewingmachineguy
10. Red Sox - The Notorious B.U.D.
11. Yankees - BS
12. Blue Jays - BS
13. Orioles - beardy
14. Rays - Ikescards
15. Cubs - Tunguska
16. Cardinals - IkesCards
17. Brewers - Thorzul
18. Pirates - Pop Startled
19. Astros - Tunguska
20. Reds - Alex
21. Padres - Clay
22. Diamondbacks - Michael A.
23. Dodgers - beardy
24. Giants - Pop Startled
25. Rockies - hiflew
26. Braves - Chris Mays
27. Nationals/Expos - Chris Mays
28. Mets - Clay
29. Phillies - Phungo/deal
30. Marlins - hiflew (Traded to the sewingmachineguy)

Trading is now open. (I might be up for trading the White Sox to someone. Make me an offer.) Have fun with this one. And honestly, I really am happy I was able to fill this break. So glad, in fact, that I'm thinking of throwing in something extra once the boxes arrive. Stay tuned.

Almost There

We're three participants away from filling the March group break. In order to fill it up, I'm offering a discount on one of the last three slots. If you want to join, the price will be only $20, and if you've already picked up a team, your second one will only be $19.
Here's what's left.
White Sox
Blue Jays

Please join, so we can get the boxes ordered.

Saturday, March 5, 2011

No, Seriously, I Need Six More Group Break Participants

I went out on a limb and became the first card blog to reference Breaker Morant, and all I got was this lousy T-shirt.

Any and all help would be appreciated to fill the March break. I really can't pick up six slots this time, and I know there are collectors out there who are fans of the unclaimed teams. So, if you can join in on this one, or if you can contact a fellow collector or put the word out on your blog, I'd appreciate it.

Otherwise, I'll just have to give everyone else a refund and cancel it for this month. Let's hope it doesn't come to that.

Friday, March 4, 2011

Looking For Six More Group Breakers

Of the following teams, I need six more to be claimed before I can order the boxes for the March group break.

White Sox
Blue Jays

Yeah, six breakers might be tough to come by. Some of the usual suspects are noticeably absent. To wit:
Breaker Morant: Passed away in 1902.
Breaker-Breaker-One-Niner: Turns out CB is a fringe dinosaur of communication technology.
Breaking the Waves: Not participating, since my breaks don't strictly adhere to Dogme '95.
Breaker (G.I. Joe): Lame-ass Joes without a gimmick usually fizzle out.
Breakdancer: Lost his cardboard.
Breaking Away: The Cutters, despite their awesomeness, cannot always be counted on.

In short, here's the break: One hobby box of 2005 Throwback Threads, one hobby box of 2008 Upper Deck Ultimate Collection, $21 for a two-team slot, one of your choice, one randomly assigned once we reach 15, ahem, breakers.

Wednesday, March 2, 2011

March Group Break Is Open!

Our ability to organize may get taken away as we speak, but those bastards cannot strip us of our rights to collectively break! That's right, the March group break is on-ski, to the highest degree, to the T-O-P, yo it's all about MONEY!

Here's what we'll be opening:
One hobby box of 2005 Donruss Throwback Threads
One hobby box of 2008 Upper Deck Utlimate Collection

That Ultimate is more like a hobby pack, but a good hit should be gained from it. This break will set you back $21.00 for a two-team slot. State your preference of the first team in the comments if you want in, and your second team will randomly be assigned.

As always, include your screen name, address, and team of your choice as a note with the PayPal payment. Payment can be sent to:

No Famous Fabrics this month, just wanted to cut down on costs a little for you guys. Also, I really, really want this break to fill up this month. Let no team go unclaimed. Good luck on this one!

1. Angels -
2. Athletics -
3. Rangers - Play at the Plate
4. Mariners -
5. White Sox -
6. Indians -
7. Royals -
8. Twins -
9. Tigers - the sewingmachineguy (paid)
10. Red Sox - The Notorious B.U.D. (paid)
11. Yankees - BS (paid)
12. Blue Jays -
13. Orioles - beardy (paid)
14. Rays -
15. Cubs - Tunguska
16. Cardinals - IkesCards (paid)
17. Brewers - Thorzul
18. Pirates -
19. Astros -
20. Reds - Alex (paid)
21. Padres -
22. Diamondbacks - Michael A. (paid)
23. Dodgers -
24. Giants - Pop Startled (paid)
25. Rockies - hiflew (paid)
26. Braves - Chris Mays (paid)
27. Nationals/Expos -
28. Mets - Clay (paid)
29. Phillies - Phungo/deal (paid)
30. Marlins -

Tuesday, March 1, 2011

Six Shirts That Achieved World Peace

While looking for Robin Yount merchandise the other day, I happened upon the T-shirt that might one day cure childhood leukemia. Gentlemen... BEHOLD!!!

Good... GOD, that is an awesome shirt! If it could achieve the right amount of sentience, that T-shirt would indubitably create a more elegant, more succinct solution to Fermat's Last Theorem. After that, it would get a job at your place of employment, get all of its work done faster than you, then race home to have its way with your wife. Finally, it would talk circles around a preppy, ponytailed Harvard student, ask the pretty dark-haired English girl to a date at the novelty store for a handful of caramels, then break her heart by telling her he doesn't love her. No ambiguous ending this time, though: That drive off into the sunset will soon make a right turn for a quick trip to the batting cages. This shirt owns you. How 'bout them apples?

I could torture you by keeping the proprietor selling this shirt a secret, but that goes against all that I stand for. You can find it at Foot Locker. And fear not: If Rockin' Robin isn't your cup of tea, you have five other legends to choose from. Let's take a look at the smorgasbord, shall we?

The Hawk.
Just look at that caterpillar between the mouth and nose! Eugene Levy called, he wants his eyebrows back.

The Wizard of Oz.
I prefer my Ozzie Smith with more closely cropped hair, but the early-model edition is nice as well.

Michael Jack Schmidt.
Check the flowage of that moustache. Artist and display stores would fork over good money for such bountiful bristliness. Those hairs can cause a tickly feeling between a woman's legs from a distance up to and including six meters.

At first glance, my brain told me this was Johan Santana. Stupid brain. Great shirt, but just don't agree to get into the restroom of a Minneapolis-area steakhouse chain with it. You'll regret that.

Mr. October.
The glasses are kind of cheating for this hair-and-cap silhouette concept, but I'll let it slide. Until I hit three home runs in a World Series game, I'm keeping my big mouth shut.

Nike needs a few more of these. Off the top of my head:
Al Hrabosky
Bruce Sutter
Rollie, of course
Oscar Gamble
And what the heck... Eck!