Saturday, December 31, 2011

Top Five Pulls of 2011: #5

2011 was a wonderful time to be alive. The year began with an impossibly epic Green Bay Packers Super Bowl run, closed with a disappointing collapse by the Brewers in the NLCS to end an otherwise brilliant season, and somewhere between those two bookends, a baby was born. I didn't bust as much wax as I usually do, but there were some nice cards pulled. I'm attributing this to my need to use discretionary card funds to subsidize unfilled group breaks. That's cool, since I ended up with some lovely cards form those, but this series of posts will tell the tale of my personal, hidden-from-view pulls of cardboard glory.

Card: 2011 Topps Lineage Autograph 2009 Topps Reprint #RA-PS Pablo Sandoval AUTO

From: Hobby Box

Why I Love This Card: Picking out the top four cards for this year's edition was simple. With the fifth, though, I struggled. I really could have stopped at four, but tradition is tradition. This card's autograph is on-card, which makes it a little more special, but apart from that, there's not much that sets it apart from other autos. Sandoval is a likable guy with a great nickname, and by starting small, I can allow the tension to mount as I reveal the top four pulls.

If you feel like playing along, you can check out how this year's pulls stack up to those form the past.

Thursday, December 29, 2011

Christmas El Cheapo Group Break: NL West

Gotta get this done, so it's one card each team, one card only.

Team: Padres
Buyer: BS
1989 Upper Deck #471 Roberto Alomar
I don't know if you caught the price sticker on it, but someone once wanted 75 cents for this card, thought better of it, and upped the price to five bucks. Not bloody likely. Aside from a Gwynn insert, not much to brag about for this team.

Team: Diamondbacks
Buyer: Thorzul
Nothing worth showing came from this lot.

Team: Dodgers
Buyer: Stealing Home
1994 Leaf Power Brokers #6 Mike Piazza
Fireworks, mullets, pie charts on the back???

Team: Rockies
Buyer: BS
2007 Topps #135 Troy Tulowitzki
I'm guessing most people already have this card, since packs of 2007 Topps came with the year 2000 census forms (WHAT???). But hey, at least it came with that fancy green penny sleeve.

Team: Giants
Buyer: BS
Okay, I'm going to break my one card rule here.
1971 Topps #19 Skip Pitlock, #108 John Cumberland, #128 Frank Johnson, and #251 Frank Reberger
These were the only '71s to come out of the lot for any NL West teams. Strictly speaking, the only other team this would put in play is the Dodgers, but there weren't any of those.

Some of these cards have been shipped, but the majority have not. I will try to get them out this week, along with those from the regular December break.

Sunday, December 25, 2011

2011 Card-vent Calendar: December 25

December 25, 2011:
2002 Fleer Platinum #32 Javy Lopez

"Guess Who I Am"
(A play in one act)

Somewhere in the American midwest, 2001
Javy Lopez: Hey guys, guess who I am.

John Smoltz: Oooh, oooh, I know, I know!

Javy Lopez: I know you know, don't ruin it, John.

John Smoltz: C'mon, lemme guess.

Javy Lopez: No, let someone else have a chance for once. You always guess these.

John Smoltz: I know, but no one else is going to get this. I know it, I knoooooooow it.

Javy Lopez: Knock it off and let someone else have a turn. Raffy? Chipper? Andruw?

John Smoltz: They don't know it. They never know it. Why bother asking them?

Javy Lopez: No guesses? How about the bullpen? Kerry Lightenberg, you look like you've got it on the tip of your tongue. And Rocker, I know what you're going to say, so don't even go there.

John Smoltz: I can't stand it. He's obviously pretending to be-

Javy Lopez: Wait! That looks like a hand in the air! You want to make a guess?

Odalis Perez opens mouth to speak, no sound comes out.

John Smoltz: Arrrgggghhh, come on, this one is sooooo easy!

Tim Spooneybarger: I know, you're-

John Smoltz: Cthulhu!

Javy Lopez: (stares in disbelief)



There, you made Tim Spooneybarger cry. Are you happy with yourself, John Andrew Smoltz? (Mumbling to self angrily under breath) Fucking resident Lovecraft enthusiast, you don't have to tell me about Lovecraft grumble grumble grumble...


Merry Christmas, everyone! You keep readin' 'em, I'll keep writin' 'em.

Saturday, December 24, 2011

2011 Card-vent Calendar: December 24

December 24, 2011:
2003 Star Wars CCG #76 Luke Skywalker

Every time the show Family Guy happens to start when I'm watching TV, I check it out for a minute or two, then turn it off. Friends of mine with good senses of humor seem to enjoy it, but I just can't get into it. There must be something I'm missing.

The reason I bring this up when receiving a Star Wars card in the Card-vent Calendar is that I've seen some of the different Family Guy Star Wars parodies for sale in stores. I've watched a couple of clips of these online, and they seem much funnier than the normal episodes. Is this something a non-fan of the show might enjoy? It's not that I hate the show, it's just a little too hit-or-miss for me. I understand why certain jokes are meant to be funny, but it seems more like the kind of comedy meant for stupid people who needs the jokes force-fed to them. What do you think?

"Great, kid, don't get cocky."

"Great, kid, don't get penisy."

Friday, December 23, 2011

2011 Card-vent Calendar: December 23

December 23, 2011:
1984 Milwaukee Public Museum #8 The Last of the Dinosaurs

The card above depicts the centerpiece of the MPM's prehistoric collection called "The Third Planet." The image used for this card is actually a pretty poor representation of the diorama. The real thing is much more gruesome, with the Triceratops' guts on display for all to see.

My trivia question for you is this: What is the best vantage point from which to view this exhibit? Get this right, and you can call yourself a true Milwaukeean.

Thursday, December 22, 2011

2011 Card-vent Calendar: December 22

December 22, 2011:
1959 Topps #254 Zeke Bella

Mi chiamo Zeke. Come ti chiamo?

Il mio cognome è Bella.
La mia carta non è bella.

Mi scusate.

(Two semesters of college Italian, baby!)

Christmas El Cheapo Group Break: NL Central

I don't think I've done a post with this many pictures in a while. The NL Central had some good cards emerge, some teams did better than others, and as always, there were a few surprises.

Team: Cubs
Buyer: Tom
Traded Bippings are rare, and here we witness one in the wild.
1990 Topps Traded #126T Hector Villanueva
Accumulating a ton of Hector's rookie cards might have seemed like a good idea at the beginning of his career. Now, not so much, but you can pretend the cards make a puzzle and fit together at the corners.

1971 Topps #203 Larry Gura

Team: Cardinals
Buyer: IkesCards
2001 Topps Gold #417 Alan Benes (1847/2001)

Not much else intriguing here, but there were some nice Ozzie Smith cards.
1986 Fleer #46 Ozzie Smith

1991 Fleer Ultra #296 Ozzie Smith

Team: Pirates
Buyer: Thorzul
Arrrrgh, I was just giving dayf a hard time. Both the Pirates and Rays had nice lots, but I think the Bucs had it a little better.
2003 Upper Deck SP Legendary Cuts Etched in Time #ET-RC Roberto Clemente (147/400)
It wasn't until I looked through the team piles for cards to showcase that I noticed that the little game fact thing at the bottom was actually made of wood. "It's like a ski lodge in here."

2010 Topps National Chicle #321 Neil Walker
This one didn't look anything like the other Chicle that was being shown on blogs last year. I checked it out and, yup, sure enough, it's a short print. Pretty nice sketched picture, kind of like the kind that, well, dayf has been known to draw.

1971 Topps #143 Steve Blass
I wonder if this guy ever wanted to be called "Classy Stevie Blassie." PLEASE LEAVE A COMMENT STATING WHY I WOULD THINK THIS. IF YOU GET IT RIGHT, THE PRIZE IS MY RESPECT.

Team: Astros
Buyer: Thorzul
1971 Topps #148 John Mayberry, #102 Pirates Rookie Stars Ken Forsch/Larry Howard

1984 Topps #66 Astros Leaders Jose Cruz/Nolan Ryan

Team: Reds
Buyer: FanOfReds
Only one Barry Larkin found in the lot, a base card not worth showing, but there were plenty more Reds to be found. I'm thinking a previous owner of the lot was a Reds fan.
1991 Reds Pepsi Lot
Not sure how many cards are in this set, but I found these and some doubles. The Choice of a New Generation.

Something a little older... 1970 Topps #380 Tony Perez
This card is messed up. Maybe some of that Diet Pepsi got on it.

1971 Topps #164 Reds Rookie Stars Frank Duffy/Milt Wilcox
Milt rocked the high hat his entire career, apparently.

2001 Upper Deck #67 Steve Kelly AUTO
That's a nice little pull, something different for the kiddos.

1985 Fleer #538 Tom Hume
There's a big part of me that loves the shit out of this set. The gray border with the team color border within it, plus the grainy B&W photo on the back... classic!

Team: Brewers
Buyer: Thorzul (Duh!)
For once, a team name/location change goes in my favor. After watching great Milwaukee Braves cards (and pennants) go to the Atlanta braves slot in several past breaks, I finally get some love.
1969 Seattle Pilots Lot
I'm guessing not quite a team set, but there are plenty of doubles that I'll sell off soon. I think we saw only one other 1969 Topps card. These were in a team bag all together. I love this seller!

Renata Galasso Seattle Pilots Lot
I'm happy to have these, but I'm also wondering who was begging for these cards to be made.

1971 Topps #236 Bob Humphreys

Lot of 31 1988 Fleer Update #U-39 Jeff Leonard
Words escape me...


Just... why?

Wednesday, December 21, 2011

2011 Card-vent Calendar: December 21

December 21, 2011:
2006 Fleer #78 J.J. Hardy

Getting a common card such as this one can be a special treat, if you know where to look. The trained eye can ascertain that this photograph was taken on the Brewers' yearly road trip to Minnesota. If you look even closer, you can see that an outfield videoboard is displaying an advertisement for Cub Foods, a regional grocery chain. We used to have a bunch of Cubs in the Milwaukee area, but now the closest one to be found is on the west side of Madison. The wife actually used to work at Cub when she was in high school. She took a lot of grief from the dudes who worked the night stocking shift with her, but she got the last laugh, lasting longer than any of them would have predicted. She used her small, womanly hands to her advantage by being able to deftly stock boxes of Jell-O without making a mess of things, as her mouth-breather co-workers were known to do.

I also had an older cousin who worked at a Cub. I thought it was so cool when I saw that his employee name tag identified him as "JAMES BOND."

Trade My Anything V #16

You thought that since it's almost Christmas, Trade Me Anything was over, didn't you?

Well, I did, too. I was surprised the other day to get a package full of stuff from Justin's World. Fortunately, I still had the stack of cards I had offered up sitting on an end table upstairs. Speaking of which, there are still a couple of you out there who offered to trade me anything, and I confirmed your reservation, but nothing was ever sent. I think someone claimed some Rockies, and very early on, someone claimed some Braves. These will become available again if I don't receive a trade package for them by the end of the year.

Moving on, here are the details of the trade from Justin.
2011 Topps Gold #US173 Charlie Furbush (0836/2011), #US131 Jeff Keppinger (0055/2011), and Cognac #US292 Mike Adams

A bunch of 2011 Topps insert cards. There were some Topps 60 and Topps Town cards I don't have time to scan right now (or just forgot to), as well as these.
Diamond Duos #DD-15 Joe DiMaggio/Derek Jeter
This is #DD-15 from the Update Series, not the #DD-15 from Series 2. I hope someone got fired for that mistake.

History of Topps #HOT-9 Eisner & Co. buy in to Topps
One away from finishing this insert set now.

Here's a base card, the only one from several sent that I still needed.
#US233 John McDonald

2010 Brewers Guest Information Guide

Mickey Mantle: His Final Inning
Some sort of Christian leaflet. So the American Tract Society can use logos, but Upper Deck can't?

A bunch of baseball schedules

An issue of South Coast Golf Guide
Judging from the maps I glanced at inside, this guide covers golfing destinations in the Florida panhandle, that tract of land whose official slogan is, "Technically, not Alabama."

The back cover of the magazine has an advertisement for some sort of avian establishment to visit after golfing. It's "Your Official 19th Hole!" From the looks of things, she's also the 20th... HI-YOOOOOOO!
Actually, I couldn't decide which tag to use for her: "Freaky White Girls" or "Asian Girls," so to be safe I went with both.

Thanks for the trade, Justine, I hope you enjoy the trio of cards.

Tuesday, December 20, 2011

2011 Card-vent Calendar: December 20

December 20, 2011:
1995 Graffiti Goldeneye 007 #Q5 Gadgets of Q Insert

Hmmm, they don't come much more oddball than this, do they? An insert card from a movie trading card set. Let's flip this over, see what the gadget is.

A Piton Gun, sweet! That damn dam scene in Goldeneye still holds up damn well today. I really need to check that one out again, and I think it's in my first Bond box set.

Speaking of Bond, this reminds me of my honeymoon. Each night, we took part in a progressive trivia game. Our team (we paired up with a retired couple, so our knowledge base was well spread out) nabbed maximum points when we had to list as many actors to play Bond as possible.

Although he wasn't officially counted, one man's name came up. Which begs the question: Do you count Peter Sellers or not?

By the way, our team came in second in a very close finish. One of the players on the winning team had previously been on Jeopardy!, so no shame in that.

2011 Card-vent Calendar: December 19

I forgot to open one of these yesterday, so you should get two today.

December 19, 2011:
1996 Pinnacle Denny's Grand Slam #8 Albert Belle

During a 1996 Trip to a Cleveland-area Denny's establishment, Albert Belle was accused of the following:
*Punching a hole in the glass enclosure of the lobby crane vending machine.
*Responding to the hostess's inquiry of "Smoking or non?" with a forearm shiver.
*Leaving a $1.12 tip on a $43.98 check.
*Picking the mushrooms off of his Mushroom Swiss Chopped Steak platter and depositing them in the toothpick dispenser.
*Loudly boasting he would quote "Fuck that bitch up," after his waitress brought him white toast instead of wheat.
*Applying for a line cook position under the assumed name "Jacques Strapp."
*And finally, pulling down his pants and underpants and defecating on a fellow patron's Moons Over My Hammy breakfast meal.