Sunday, July 31, 2011

The 100 Best Finds in a 30-Dollar Lot: #92

2007 Upper Deck MLB Artifacts #MLB-JC Jorge Cantu Game-Used Jersey

Boy, I'll bet Jorge wishes he were part of Trading Day Deadline Madness. Having been released by the Padres in June, Jorge has been no stranger to the fabled late-July transactions. Here they are.

2007: July 28, traded from Rays to Reds with Shaun Cumberland for Brian Shackelford and Calvin Medlock.

2010: July 29, traded from Marlins to Rangers with $600,000 for Evan Reed and Omar Poveda.

2011: July 31, traded from Al's Brake & Lube to Wal-Mart Customer Service Dept. with Season 2 DVD Box Set of The Bob Newhart Show for 1992 Geo Prizm hatchback and Brian Krakow.
Al's got a pretty good deal.

The 100 Best Finds in a 30-Dollar Lot: #91

2010 Topps Chrome #193 Lance Zawadzki AUTO

This is the last autographed card you'll see in this lot. Zawadzki is now a member of the Royals organization. Right now he's with the Omaha Storm Chasers. For a triple-A team, their roster has a ton of guys whose names I recognize: Joaquin Arias, Mike Aviles, Gregor Blanco, Lorenzo Cain (who was part of the Zack Greinke trade), Kila Ka'aihue, Jeremy Jeffress, Vin Mazzaro and Mike Moustakas. I've been hearing all year how the Royals farm system is exploding with talent, and how they're just a few years away from taking over the American League.

A few sides notes.
*The Storm Chasers are leading their division by 5.0 games at present.

*The team's logo is very creative. A tornado with a bat shoved through it to make a nose is a pretty cool idea.

*Pop idol Selena Gomez will be playing a concert at the Chasers' home field on August 12, if you're into that sort of thing. God, I hope I never need to accompany a child to that sort of thing.

This Is Not the Way to List a Relatively Valuable Card On eBay

Yesterday, a pretty great Robin Yount card arrived at my house, which I had won on eBay. It was one of those occurrences where the seller had no idea what he or she actually possessed, and thus failed to properly market the card. I photographed it, which is what you can see below.

That's an Artist's Proof card from a set I'm currently building, 2003 Topps Gallery Hall of Fame. Every card in this set has a base version, an SP version featuring a slightly different picture, and an Artist's Proof, which is a refractory version of the base card. Every card also has one more parallel, a shiny Artist's Proof version of the SP. Regular SPs come at an insertion rate of a little less than one-per-pack, while Artist's Proof SPs come only one-per-box.

The Yount base card (and regular Artist's Proof) has a guy (pretty much certainly a California Angel) standing in the dugout behind him, just to the left of Robin's powerful right thigh. On the SP version, this unnamed background figure is absent. Scroll back up and look at the picture again if you need to.

Yep, that's the SP version of the Artist's Proof. One-per-box, hard as hell to find, doubly difficult if you're looking for a specific player. There are no Younts to be found in this style anywhere, and there are very few Artist's Proof SPs listed, either. Here's a link to a Nolan Ryan example, and another one. Both of these sellers know exactly what they have, the SP version with Nolan wearing blue sleeves and using a black glove, not the common version with red sleeves and a brown glove.
Then there's this seller, who may not know what he or she has. A price of $6.99 might be a bit high for a common AP, but they have the SP one pictured. I'm a bit skeptical that they actually have three copies of this rare card. If I were a Nolan Ryan collector, I'd jump all over this card at that price, with the caveat of making sure that it's the red-sleeved version the seller is going to send you.

OK, so I have this relatively rare and valuable Robin Yount card I bought on eBay; how does the title of this post ft in? To answer that question, take a look at the screen shot I took of the auction in its final hour.


While it's possible to oversell some of your wares, it's an even bigger cardinal sin to undersell your eBay auctions. No "Gallery," no "Artsit's Proof," no "SP." This seller had no idea what they had, and even less of an idea of how to advertise their card. That lone bid stood, and they let what is roughly a $25-30 card get away for less than four dollars.

By the way, I opened another box of this a few weeks ago, and I pretty much killed it again. It will most certainly appear on my year-end best pulls list.

Saturday, July 30, 2011

The 100 Best Finds in a 30-Dollar Lot: #90

2010 Topps Allen & Ginter #AGR-CL Carlos Lee Framed Bat Relic

A very appropriate card for today, as the Brewers are in the middle of a series against the Houston Astros. I already have this card, but I'll let it go for $2.00 shipped. First to comment that they want it gets it.

The 100 Best Finds in a 30-Dollar Lot: #89

2010 Bowman Platinum #PP26 Jose Iglesias Green Refractor (397/499)

According to Wikipedia: "Iglesias signed a $8.2 million contract with the Boston Red Sox for four seasons, including a $6 million signing bonus." He is 0 for 4 this year in six games. Must be nice to have money like that to throw at rookies. In contrast, Milwaukee's Jonathan Lucroy is batting .278 this season while making $424,000.

The 100 Best Finds in a 30-Dollar Lot: #88

1960 Topps #394 Norm Larker

Two Dodgers in a row... why not?

For a 1960 card, this is in very, very nice condition. The corners are only slightly fuzzy, and there are no creases of any kind. Clean back, clean front, and acceptable centering.

Friday, July 29, 2011

The 100 Best Finds in a 30-Dollar Lot: #87

2010 Topps History of the World Series #HWS11 Johnny Podres

I am completely unqualified to write anything about this card, so I'll just direct you to a video of Podres and his teammates reminiscing about some post-World Series tail they chased back in 1955.

The 100 Best Finds in a 30-Dollar Lot: #86

2009 Upper Deck 20th Anniversary #1113 Nomar Garciaparra

Yeah, I already posted some of these earlier in this foray, so this one shouldn't really count as a new entry. On the other hand, I was in a rush to prepare some posts that would publish while I was on vacation, so there are two of both #53 and #54, so I'll end up with more than 100 posts. There's also a #47 and a #47.5. Sometimes, something as easy as counting can be mystifyingly difficult.

As for Nomar, there was a small part of me earlier this month that half-expected to see him pop up on a Women's World Cup broadcast. There's the Mia Hamm connection there, so it's not entirely outside of the the realm of possibility. Plus, I had gotten a larger-than-USDA-recommended portion of Nomar when I was paying attention to the All-Star Game festivities.

There's that segment on PTI where the guy with the greasy mullet asks the other two angry guys to give the probability of a sports-related phenomenon occurring, and they respond with a numerical percentage, and I thought that would be appropriate here. So, what's the probability that Nomar ever provides either play-by-play or does color commentary for a women's soccer game, or hosts a show called Women's Soccer Tonight?

Topps Diamond Die-Cut Request

Since I last wrote on the topic, I was able to turn my Topps Diamond Die-Cut Clayton Kershaw into Tommy Hanson, which in turn got turned into a Yovani Gallardo Die-Cut.
Later, I bought a few more packs at Target and with a code card I redeemed a Clay Buchholz Die-Cut.
My ultimate goal is to turn this into a Ryan Braun or Prince Fielder Die-Cut. A few days have gone by since I began my trade requests, and so far no one has bit.

I have, however, received a bunch of trade requests for the Buchholz. I was figuring, if you have either the Fielder or the Braun in your account but you don't want the Buchholz, maybe you like one of the guys I'm being offered. If you can guarantee me you have Braun or Fielder, and you want any of the following players, let me know. I'll trade for that guy you want, and then you can trade me the Brewer.

Here are the cards currently being offered to me.
Josh Johnson - Marlins
Ricky Romero - Blue Jays
Neftali Feliz - Rangers
Alex Rios - White Sox
Probably a shot in the dark, but you never know.

Thursday, July 28, 2011

The 100 Best Finds in a 30-Dollar Lot: #85

2009 Upper Deck X #UDXJ-JU Justin Upton (Game-Used Jersey)

Upper Deck X, believe it or not, has shown up on this journey a few times, and I've stood behind the product just about every time. It got me to thinking: "Maybe it's the letter X people don't like." Well, it's time to put a stop to that.

Top 10 Uses of the Letter X
10. XX Chromosome - The mnemonic device I use to remember which pair designates male and which is female is as follows: The XX stands for two boobs, so female. And for the XY male, the bottom stroke of the Y is like a wiener hanging down. I am 32 years old.
9. Hillbilly Moonshine - Unlabeled earthenware jugs lead to first cousin marriages.
8. Professor X - The rare genius in the genre that uses his intellect for good. I wish he were a DC character.
7. Columbus Xoggz - Weirdest name for any soccer team (former second division USISL) anywhere. And this includes Finland's FC Honka.
6. Deer X-ing Next 15 Miles - Just a curveball with this one to make sure you're paying attention.
5. Tomax and Xamot - Twin brothers hired by evil Cobra. One gets hit, the other feels the pain. Sounds like a great Halloween costume in the making. Finishing each other's sentences without using the word "broseph."
4. Xander Berkeley - Veteran character actor who excels at playing good guys whom you just can't quite trust.
3. X-Play - I'm nowhere near a raging gamer, but I can tell you one thing: Morgan Webb getting that stupid haircut with the bangs is like shitting all over a birthday cake. In what universe is that considered attractive?
2. X-Files - "Fools... put my styles in the X-Files, next to the the erlenmeyer flask with the implant vials." You've know you've really made it as a TV series when you get mentioned in a Dr. Octagon rap.
1. X Minus One - Dramatized sci-fi radio program from the '50s. And all y'all thought porno would head the list!

The 100 Best Finds in a 30-Dollar Lot: #84

2009 Obak Mini NNO Ten Million

Ten Million was a real dude. I'll let you read about him here.

I'll add his card into the lot I'm selling on zoolBay if it inspires someone to bid.

The 100 Best Finds in a 30-Dollar Lot: #83

2009 Topps Ticket To Stardom Ticket To Stardom #TTS-12 Joey Votto

Sooooo... the name of the set and the name of the insert within that set are both Ticket To Stardom? That's just lazy and stupid. No wonder I bought one pack of that stuff and regretted it instantly. This reminds me of a guy who I went to high school with whose family tradition was to give the first-born son the family surname as his first name as well as his last name. Suffice it to say, it wasn't a normal last name, either.

I raise a glass to you, Votto Votto!

August Group Break is Open!

It's not August yet, but I want to get things started early because the further we get into the month, the closer it gets to the start of the school year, a stretch of time notoriously un-free. The August break will also be a cheapo break.

Here's the deal. The seller from whom I bought the famous 30-dollar lot has more card lots for sale. These have a substantially higher price, but my thinking is, the quality could rise as well. For $10, you may claim your team in this break. I'm guessing not all teams will be claimed, so I'm offering a second option. For $15 you can claim one team and have one leftover team randomly assigned to you. Let me know your preference in the comments if you're going for the +1 option.
Payment can be sent to:
(And, like, pay as soon as you can after you sign up.)
As always, screen name, team, address...

1. Angels -
2. Athletics -
3. Rangers -
4. Mariners -
5. White Sox - indianaland potch (paid +1)
6. Indians - Jason (paid +1)
7. Royals - Tim (paid +1)
8. Twins -
9. Tigers - Grand Cards (paid)
10. Red Sox - shoeboxlegends (paid)
11. Yankees - BS (paid +1)
12. Blue Jays - Retrofan (paid)
13. Orioles - Kevin (paid)
14. Rays -
15. Cubs - Tom (paid)
16. Cardinals - The Diamond King (paid +1)
17. Brewers - Thorzul +1
18. Pirates -
19. Astros -
20. Reds - Alex (paid +1)
21. Padres - Rod (Padrographs) (paid)
22. Diamondbacks -
23. Dodgers -
24. Giants - Cheap Card Collecting (paid)
25. Rockies - hiflew (paid)
26. Braves - Chris Mays (paid +1)
27. Nationals/Expos - Zpop (paid +1)
28. Mets - (...Joe) (paid +1)
29. Phillies - BS (paid +1)
30. Marlins -

I'm expecting some jerseys, some autos, lots of inserts, and maybe some crap as well. Oh, and if there's a big non-baseball hit (like the blind bowler Ginter card form the other lot), it will be randomed off amongst all participating teams. Good luck!

zoolBay #8 - Random Lot

The next zoolBay item up for bid is a fairly random lot of cards that I pulled from the $30 lot that, for one reason or another, aren't quite going to make the Top 100 countdown. These are cards that I either already have or that don't fit into my collection. Let's check out what the winning bidder will be getting.
-2009 Panini Playoff Prestige Prestigious Picks Kenny Britt (229/500)
-2007 Topps '52 Rookies Dynamic Duo Tim Lincecum/Nate Schierholtz
-2009 Obak Minis Virne Beatrice "Jackie" Mitchell and Phil Rizzuto
-2009 Topps Uinique Mat Latos Red Parallel (0191/1199)

2008 UD Yankee Stadium Legacy #4103 Chris Chambliss and #4800 Don Mattingly

The starting bid for these cards is $3.00 (including shipping), and bids may rise in increments of $0.25. This auction will end at 11:59 Central time tonight. Happy bidding!

Wednesday, July 27, 2011

The 100 Best Finds in a 30-Dollar Lot: #82

2011 Topps 60 #T60-5 Lou Gehrig

Just about any Lou Gehrig card in existence would make this list, so I don't feel bad about including this measly little insert. Actually, it's a card that recently qualified as "a card I need." See, I just put up a list of wants for everything I'm collecting in the 2011 Topps Series 1 set. There's still a bunch of base cards and a whole lotta inserts I am chasing. I guess I took a shine to the whole Topps Diamond codes thing, and that got me started down the road of building a Topps flagship set during the actual time that the product is on shelves for the first time since 2007 Series 1. Let's review how I have acquired those sets since then.

2007: Collected Series 1 via retail packs, bought whole Series 2 set at a card show.
2008: Waited until 2010 and bought Jumbo boxes for $25, pulling one hell of an Obama card in the process.
2009: Series 1, don't really remember how I collected it, Series 2 Jumbo box.
2010: Built entirely from donations.

So, here are my 2011 Series 1 needs. Trading has been picking up lately, so that's good. I believe a hobby box of Series 2 is in my future.

The 100 Best Finds in a 30-Dollar Lot: #81

2010 Bowman Platinum #33 Prince Fielder and #7 Ryan Braun

I've said it before, and I'll say it again: No matter what the set, a Prince Fielder or Ryan Braun card I don't have is automatically a good card.

The backs of these cards are very different from what might be expected. There are stat lines given for 2009 and the player's career, plus there's a career best stat line. Very interesting concept. The blurb on the back then tells the story of the player's MLB debut, then goes on to give information about another baseball moment that took place on the same date in another year. Again, intriguing. Perhaps I need to take another look at this set.

The 100 Best Finds in a 30-Dollar Lot: #80

2009 Upper Deck Goodwin Champions #36 Lyndon Johnson

This isn't just an ordinary base card. This is an image of your 36th President of the United States, as well as your gateway to one of the funniest videos of all time. Someone unearthed a recording of LBJ making a phone call to Haggar Clothing with the purpose of ordering some new pants. This call was made from the White House, and it's the only instance I know of where a U.S. President uses the words "nuts" and "bunghole."

The 100 Best Finds in a 30-Dollar Lot: #79

2006 Upper Deck Ovation Apparel #OA-CS Chris Shelton (Game-Used Jersey)

Who is this guy?

Why does he deserve a jersey card?

Where is everybody?

Where did everybody go?

Abry's. Roast beef sale.

Man, I couldn't find that commercial, so you're getting a different one. And, yes, my family did have those Pac-Man glasses.

Tuesday, July 26, 2011

2011 Topps Heritage UPC Myth Debunked

Do those special UPC number packs at Target really hold more treasures than the rest? Let's see.

Well, the non-special UPC pack had a short print, and from the two special UPC packs I got one short print and one insert card. The sample size is small, but I do believe that Jaime Hyneman would call this one BUSTED (even though we didn't use a high-speed camera and an unsafe amount of TNT).

And, ummmmm, Johannes Kepler and shit.

Why Does Usain Bolt NOT Have a Topps Allen & Ginter Card Yet?

Just throwing it out there.

The only reason I can think of is that Topps has figured he hasn't reached his full potential yet. When he puts the 100m world record out of reach for the next 50 years or so, then maybe they'll give him one?


The 100 Best Finds in a 30-Dollar Lot: #78

2011 Topps Diamond Duos #DD-JJ Reggie Jackson and Adam Jones

Now THIS is an insert card done right! Instead of rehashing classic cards of the past to the point of cliché, Topps gave us collectors something we have been clamoring for for years, and have only received as a nugget here and there. The world was denied a true 1977 Topps card featuring Reggie Jackson in an Orioles uniform. This card doesn't quite make up for it, but it is an olive branch I will accept. Baseball card producers will never stop hastening players into their Yankee uniforms (see CC Sabathia, c. 2009), and Jackson was the most egregious case. I believe the only other Reggie-in-Baltimore card I own is his 1988 Score retrospective subset card. It's been a long time coming.

The 100 Best Finds in a 30-Dollar Lot: #77

1959 Topps #302 Don Mossi

How would you like to wake up to THAT on a Tuesday morning?

I've featured this card before, so one of them will probably end up in a zoolBay auction pretty soon. This time, I've taken the opportunity to read the back of this card, which is really interesting. It reads: "It would be hard to figure out how many games have been saved by Don Mossi. One of the most active hurlers in baseball, he's a late-inning specialist who makes the opposition behave."

Aside from the somewhat saucy language, I believe this card is hinting at the need for a stat that reflect how often a pitcher comes in to save a game. I wonder what they ever called that statistic?

Monday, July 25, 2011

The 100 Best Finds in a 30-Dollar Lot: #76

2007 Fleer Ultra Feel the Game #FG-GS Grady Sizemore

With no Brewers on tonight, I flipped on ESPN and was surprised to see the Indians playing. That was weird. I was supposed to get the Pirates and the Braves, but they were in a rain delay. Different teams on the tube plus cards that look like 1987 Fleer makes me happy.

Wait, Pirates, Braves, Indians, Angels...?

I guess the Yankees weren't playing the Red Sox for the 114th time this year.


Before I get too far into the details behind CARDTEMBER, I must give credit where it's due. In addition to baseball cards, I also love watching (and collecting) movies. Horror is one of my favorite genres, and at some point last year, I stumbled upon the blog Final Girl. Like the baseball card blogging community, there is a plethora of horror blogs out there. Many of them are good, about as many are junk, and a select few are the cream of the crop. Final Girl is my very favorite of these blogs, thanks in no small part to her amazing SHOCKtober event last fall. Stacie, the brains behind Final Girl, asked her readers to send her a list of their 20 favorite horror movies. The goal: To determine once and for all what the best horror film is.

Sounds simple enough. Compile a list from the few responses that came in, then write about the top choices during the October lead-up to Halloween. After all, she reasoned (in tongue-in-cheek fashion), "There are only, like, 62 horror movies altogether so no sweat."

As it turned out, the response was overwhelming and fantastically diverse. The short list of 62 ballooned to a master list of 732 movies. That left little time for in-depth analysis, but in the wake of this monster, a massive communal font of horror goodness was created.

So that's the background, now let me describe the MMOBPE (Massively Multiplayer Online Blog Post Event) that from now until the end of time shall be known as...
The premise is really simple, actually. All I need you to do is email me a list of your 20 favorite baseball cards of all-time. When you do this, be as specific as you can get, because if there's a card that cannot be identified, I'm just going to throw out that choice. For example, "1982 Ripken" will probably not be counted, whereas "1982 Fleer #176 Cal Ripken" would be accepted. Those card numbers are important, folks. Basically, that's all you have to do.

To head any questions off at the pass, I've decided to make this assignment as ambiguous as possible. Your 20 favorite cards could mean just the ones in your collection, the cards you wish you could own, the 20 favorite from your hometown team, the 20 silliest cards, your 20 most valuable cards, whatever you want it to mean.

A few pointers:
* When in doubt, include a scan. If you have a favorite card on your list numbered to 10, I'm probably not going to be able to find an image on the web, so send one along with your list. I won't be including an image for every card, but having a stockpile would be nice.
* Take your time. This list will be in digital print forever, so don't be too hasty. If you realize that you forgot to put 1975 Topps George Brett on your list after you've sent it to me, too bad.
* Dig deep. Don't be afraid to stray off the beaten path a little. If you used to like a card, but now you're sick of it because you've seen it reprinted in a Topps set for five consecutive years, maybe think twice about including that one.
* Respect history. This piece of advice is directly contradictory to the point above, but heed both. Some cards are so good that you can't get tired of them. If you want to include a 1952 Topps Mickey Mantle, don't let me talk you out of it.
* Adhere to deadlines. You have exactly five weeks to get your list to me. That means I need them by the end of the day on Monday, August 29th.
* Don't be a jackass. A list of 20 Garbage Pail Kids, as cool as they were, will not crack the master list. And don't send a list with more than 20 cards. Make the tough decision so you can avoid sending me a list with #20a and #20b. I will just be taking the first 20 cards from any list submitted, so don't bother.

And there you have it, the guidelines for CARDTEMBER (always to be written in CAPS). I look forward to your submissions, and I can't wait until its September commencement. I would appreciate it if you would publicize this event on your blog (if you have one). Really, a link once in a while between now and the deadline would be nice.
Here is the email address to send your lists to:
Oh, and when you email me your list, include screen name information and blog links so I can credit you if necessary. And title your email "CARDTEMBER."

Also, devote some time to Stacie Ponder's SHOCKtober 2010. Beware, it's many, many posts deep, but well worth exploring. I guarantee you will discover something new if you're a horror fan. Mine was Night of the Creeps, which I had somehow missed seeing until last year.

The 100 Best Finds in a 30-Dollar Lot: #75

Whew, with this post I've made it three quarters through the 100 best finds. I thought I'd give up around 12 or so, but here I am, still going strong. Making it to 75 calls for showing off one of the best cards in the bunch, a card that gets close to paying for the entire deal.

2010 Topps Allen & Ginter #AGR-DD Dale Davis Framed Bowling Shirt Relic

Come on, who leaves a card like this in a cheap, random lot? Maybe the seller just took one look at Davis and was like, "Aw, hell, this guy's gonna die. Throw it in the box."

I figured this guy was some sort of world class champion bowler, but he's not. He's actually legally blind (with a small amount of vision in his periphery), and he bowled a 300 game back in 2008. His story is actually pretty amazing, so I don't want to poke to much fun. But I'll still continue to give him a Hans Moleman voice and say, "Please, just one more frame before I die."

Sunday, July 24, 2011

The 100 Best Finds in a 30-Dollar Lot: #74

2010 Bowman Platinum #80 Dan Haren Refractor (487/999) and #43 Manny Ramirez Refractor (447/999)

Dan Haren cards seek me out, instead of the other way around. Every collector has a guy or two like this, and Haren is one of mine. I'm wondering if I could even give this away. I would, but I don't even want to pay to send it to somebody. If you shoot me a letter with a SASE inside of it, it's yours. My other player magnet is Eric Chavez. I would pull his cards almost exclusively in 2007 through 2009.

As for Manny, an image of him in a White Sox jersey will never not look weird. I also find it interesting how differently these scanned, as they are both normal refractors. Those photons have minds of their own, you know.

The 100 Best Finds in a 30-Dollar Lot: #73

1984 Donruss #68 Darryl Strawberry

This might be one of my favorite cards to come out of this lot. I don't have very much '84 Donruss to speak of, and I sure didn't have this Strawberry rookie. For a base card from the 1980s, this baby has held its value fairly well in recent years. While I'm sure the going price is nowhere near where it was at the time of release, recently completed auctions for this card in an ungraded state have averaged around $4.00. Not too shabby. This one is off-center about 65/35, but I still like it.

For anyone who's interested, yes, the card did come in the ROOKIE CARD top loader, and yes, I am keeping it in there.

Saturday, July 23, 2011

1971-72 Topps Basketball Design Contest Winner

The deliberation process took place as follows: Once all of the entries were submitted, I opened all of the images from the folder in which they were housed, and I looked over them carefully. After that, I went with my gut feeling regarding which of them would best represent the set I was trying to present. And then finally, I showed all of the images to my wife. Without any input from me, it turned out we independently agreed on the winner.

Grand Prize
Spankee @ My Cardboard Mistress

Spankee's entry had pretty much everything I was looking for. The title of the set was prominent, the design was simple and oh-so-clean, and the font was spectacular. There were slight differences between the font I originally presented and the one he ended up using, but I actually like it better. It's more legible without losing the '70s vibe. Spankee also employed a tactic that Devan later used, the original player name font, including the first letter of each word (or name) in red. The drop shadow on "Topps Basketball" is also a nice touch.
The pink square is reminiscent of the cards as well. On the originals, the photo backgrounds are all painted out and replaced with a single-color square. Pink was not uncommon for the 1971-72 set.

In retrospect, I'm really glad that Spankee won. I don't know what took me so long, but I finally got around to adding his blog to the top tier of my blog links. Judging from the comments he leaves and the posts he produces, he seems like the kind of guy that would be fun to hang out with. I mean, he opened his box of Allen & Ginter on video while drinking Kraken rum and Coke. What's not to like? (By the way, that's pretty much the only mixed drink I'll touch. My rum of choice is usually Sailor Jerry, but I'm curious to tackle the Kraken one of these days. Feed me any other cocktail, and I have the tendency to get stoopid.) Come to think of it, Spankee seems like a solid replacement for Motherscratcher. Remember that guy? I used to love the Achiever Card Blog, but there hasn't been a new post since October.

All in all, I'd say this was a successful little contest. The cover image looks great in the binder, and now I just need to get serious about building the set. Spankee, congratulations, I will be in touch with you regarding your prize.

Patch Nasty!

Too bad I didn't have an extra $145.39, this could have been mine.

It's too bad that the proliferation of fakery prevents me from even thinking about bidding on something like that. It's probably real, but it's a chance I can't take. Nastiest patch I've ever seen.

1971-72 Topps Basketball Design Contest: The Runners-Up

First of all, let me give a big thank you to all of the people who participated in this contest. Each of the submissions, honestly, could have been used as the cover to my binder. The competition was stiff, however, and only one of you can walk away a winner. In no particular order, I present... the runners-up.

This one was the first entry I received, and probably the most high concept of the bunch. The image manipulation is very clever, but I think this was a little too dark to use as the cover. The idea of the title flowing endlessly through the lava lamp is intriguing, though. Great work!

Dang, I wish I could choose two! This one would look great on the binder. I always use plain white binders, and I think this hippie protestor and his flower power would look awesome. I've done a lot of protesting and sign holding since February, so I can really identify with this little guy.

The Diamond King
I like where this one's head's at. However, I wouldn't want to make my name the central focus of the image. I like the purple and the inclusion of the NBA logo. Not a bad attempt.

Here's another great attempt. When I originally conceived this idea, my brain was stuck on tie-dye. My idea just had the original black letters swapped out for tie-dye ones. This goes a step further and incorporates some of the Topps design elements. Excellent!

In a perfect world, all four of these are winners, but there can be only one. I'll be back later today to show off the grand prize entry. I just have to print it off and slip it in a binder cover first.

Friday, July 22, 2011

The 100 Best Finds in a 30-Dollar Lot: #72

This might not be all of them, but the 30-dollar lot of goodness was lightly sprinkled with 2010 Allen & Ginter mini cards.

The Helios and Sir Francis Drake are soon going to be sent out into the wild, but the rest of these I'm planning on hanging on to. The black-bordered minis from last year look great; this year, not so much.

If you need the Lord of Olympus or the Sailor of the Seven Seas, make me an offer. I'm still looking for some of the National Animals, and I'd love to do a two-for-two trade.

Update: The Luke Hochevar is also available, and it is an A&G back.

The 100 Best Finds in a 30-Dollar Lot: #71

2005 Upper Deck All-Star Classics Midsummer Swatches #MS-MP Mike Piazza x2

Back when I started collecting comics in the late 1990s, Superman was very hard to recognize. In some storyline or another, he was changed into pure electricity or energy or something, and had actually split into two different versions of himself, Superman Red and Superman Blue. You can read the details of it here if you'd like.

In any case, that's the first thing I thought of when I found these two Piazza cards in the lot. I've opened a few packs of All-Star Classics, but I've never pulled a jersey card. Now I've probably got the Piazza rainbow without even trying.

Piazza White/Piazza Black. One man. Two identities. Three lovers.

Contest Extension

I sort of forgot that I had asked for readers to take part in a contest last week. If you missed it, I put out a request for you to design the cover for the binder for my as-yet-incomplete 1971-72 Topps Basketball set. Detailed directions can be found here. You have until the end of the day today to send me your entry. I have received a couple, but wouldn't mind a few more to choose from. Get crackin'.

Thursday, July 21, 2011

The 100 Best Finds in a 30-Dollar Lot: #70

1972 Topps #62 Angel Mangual

Whaddya say, Topps? Howzabout bringin' back da uhriginal Topps All-Star Rookie trophy? Dontcha think daddid be a good ideer?

A Stupid Short-Term Collecting Goal

Odd are, if you're reading this, you've experienced the heat wave that's been working its way across America this past week. I'm not going to bore you with temperatures, but I would like you to know that I've been feeling like a prisoner in my own house lately. While living in a nearly-100-year-old house has its charms, the one thing it does lack is the general duct work that most newer homes have, making central air conditioning a difficult prospect (not impossible, mind you, but difficult and pricey). My wife and I have mostly sequestered ourselves in the bedroom, which is kept cool by a small window unit. Venturing outside of this room requires planning, tact, and a steel will.

To help pass the time, I've caught myself up on some long-delayed card organizing. One of the things I've gotten into (and to which this blog post's title refers) is a fairly large lot of... 1989 Bowman.
This half-sorted box was part of the amazing $40 card lot from 2010. Yeah, that was from last April, and it's been sitting untouched since then. Well, I sorted it, took out the doubles, and made a want list. That's right, I'm looking to cards to complete a 1989 Bowman set. Stupid, right?

Okay, so there are a few reasons why this isn't such a bad idea. Let's see if I can get up to three of these.
1. Reminds me of childhood. When the Sav-a-Lot near my friend's house started carrying these, we warily bought a few packs. I mostly stuck to Topps and Donruss, though, that year, and never collected too many Bowman. The bottom line: I think we had trouble storing them, which gets us to number two...
2. I have the perfect box for them.

Look at that beauty, would ya! This is the box they came in, and this is the box in which they shall stay. The custom IDENT-A-PRO label system makes this box about as official as they come. The complete set checkbox has remained unmarked these past 22 years, and it's time to put a stop to that. The box has the right amount of girth to store the cards with ease. Just wondering out loud here, but do they still make boxes like these? I'd suppose collectors would want similar ones for early Topps sets with larger dimensions than the modern card, so someone must still make them, right?
3. Why not? My '89 set building has gone well, with both the aforementioned Topps and Donruss complete. Perhaps this can help me build momentum towards an Upper Deck run someday? Meh, probably not.

If you'd like to help out on this stupid, stupid project, check out my want lists, I've got everything I need in reverse chronological order for easy searching. And while you're at it, maybe you can help me with some other stuff. I need a few Allen & Ginter Animals from last year, some '09 Piece of History base cards, '09 Upper Deck X Die-Cuts, and a few other things. Let's trade!