Thursday, June 30, 2011

The 100 Best Finds in a 30-Dollar Lot: #51

2011 Topps Vintage Reproductions #CMGR-11 Honus Wagner 1910 Tip-Top Bread

This particular insert set from this year's Topps product are interesting because they are showcasing some of the more off-the-beaten-path vintage cards that none of us will ever own. While Wagner's T-206 has been done to death, this is one that's new to me. Here's a look at the back of an original.

While I mistakenly told my wife that neither of us would ever have to work again if this was an original (thinking it was the T-206), I was able to find an auction that took place last year where a PSA 5 example sold for $29,625. Not too shabby, but not enough to pay off my mortgage.

Wednesday, June 29, 2011

The 100 Best Finds in a 30-Dollar Lot: #50

Good God, am I only halfway through this madness? I need to show some Iron Man-like endurance to finish this thing. Soooooo...

2007 Fleer Ultra #UIM-10 Cal Ripken Ultra Iron Man

The back of this card states that when Ripken hit for the cycle in 1984, he was only the second Oriole to do so. For a team that had been around for thirty years by then, that seems unlikely.

A little more research informed me that hitting for the cycle is not as common as I would have thought. Brooks Robinson hit the first one for the O's in 1960, Ripken in '84, and the only ones for the team since then were Aubrey Huff in 2007 and Felix Pie in 2009.

There have been 291 hit in the history of MLB, and the last season without one was 1983. So far, there hasn't been one in 2011. In fact, cycles are only slightly more common than no-hitters, of which 271 have been pitched.

Oh, well... let's just hope there are 50 more great things left in the box.

Editor's Note: This post was written on 6/24/2011 and post-dated. Presumably, four players, three of them Baltimore Orioles, have hit for the cycle since I've been on vacation, thus rendering this post completely off-base. Thank you.

Tuesday, June 28, 2011

Kill Doctor Lucky

It sucks when the first time you play it, you fail to draw a murder weapon card for the entire game.

Fuck that shit-ass game.









That is all.










.

The 100 Best Finds in a 30-Dollar Lot: #49

How about another Heads Up?

2009 Goudey #274 Johan Santana Heads Up

Apparently, playing in the outfield wasn't the only difference between Johan's pro and high school career. He also used to be kind of white. And his high school had a big sign in the outfield that said "High School."

Monday, June 27, 2011

The 100 Best Finds in a 30-Dollar Lot: #48

2009 Goudey #265 Ernie Banks Heads Up

I like these. They don't work quite as well as the '07 minis, but the cartoons are still great.

Sunday, June 26, 2011

The 100 Best Finds in a 30-Dollar Lot: #47.5

1989 Upper Deck #6 Rolando Roomes and 2007 Upper Deck 1989 Rookie Reprint #89-KO Kory Casto

At first, I was excited to see a Nationals player on an '89 Upper Deck card, but then I went and got the scoop on Kory Casto. Apparently a .194 career batting average doesn't cut it in the big leagues. Hope you paid attention in school, bro.

On the other hand, Roomes is awesome because he is from Jamaica and played cricket before baseball. I bet all of his teammates fought to be Rolando's Roomes' roomie on road trips.

Saturday, June 25, 2011

The 100 Best Finds in a 30-Dollar Lot: #47

2010 Bowman Draft Picks & Prospects #BDPP43 Tyler Waldron Purple Refractor

Tyler currently plays for the Class A West Virginia Power. The Power used to be a Brewers affiliate, but they are now a farm team for the Pirates. This makes what could have been a great card just a purple pile of crap.

To cleanse that bad taste out of our mouths, let me count down the Top 5 Things That Are Purple:
5. Grape Crush - Put that shitty store-brand soda back on the shelf and grab a Crush. Nothin' beats it.
4. "Purple Haze" - I really haven't listened to a Hendrix CD in a long time, need to remedy that.
3. Mountain's Majesty - Did you have your hand over your heart when you read that? If not, you hate America.
2. Real Madrid's Third Jersey - Ummm, kind of a weak entry, but all other teams that field 11 players at a time and wear purple suck balls.
1. The Count - Wears a well-lined cape, helps children know their numbers. Excellent!

Friday, June 24, 2011

Series 2 So Far... Phillies-Jo, Bravo-Jo, and Molitor-Jo

I can't say I'm up to my neck yet, so let's call it knee-deep. Yes, I'm knee-deep in 2011 Topps Series 2. Over the past two weeks, I've picked up a few loose packs, a 4-pack blister, and something I'm going to call an Ocean Spray of Series 2. An Ocean Spray is a $9.99 pacakage that includes a cello-wrapped brick of 72 cards, including one Diamond code and a special Target-only insert called, and I'm not making this up, a Ruby Red. Thus, the grapefruit reference.
Several trends have emerged as I've been opening these packs, and that's what I'd like to share today.

What's the Dilly With the Phillies?
The Phils cards came fast and furious in the early going, with a gold Shane Vic-tic-tic-toc-to-reeee-no, a Ryan Howard Lisa Frank Diamond Stars, and a Diamond Duos featuring Roy Halladay. I can't quite put my finger on it, but there's something I intensely dislike about Victorino. I'll let you know if I figure out what it is.

...And the Home... of the... Braaaaaaaaaves!
The Braves came correct in the Ocean Spray with no fewer than four inserts. That Dan Uggla is the Ruby Red, a pretty blah insert with a tart aftertaste. I also got a Murphy Gumball, a Mathews Not Exactly the Cards Your Mom Threw Out So We're Calling Them Something Else, and a Jason Heyward Lisa Frank Trapper Keeper Sticker.
Here's a card I would LOVE to see Topps make: Even though there's a one-letter difference, Heyward needs to be flown to a town called Hayward, Wisconsin. The town is home to the National Freshwater Fishing Hall of Fame, the star of which is a four-story-tall, 150-ft-long fiberglass muskie with an observation deck in the mouth. I say, get Heyward to Hayward and snap a picture of him in the mouth. Make it an insert set, "Caught in the Tourist Traps."

Oh, and I Will Never Forgive Paul Molitor
Punk-ass bitch on back-to-back intra-pack inserts wack! Yount had one thing Molitor never had: a loyal bone in his body. Considering how often Molitor was hurt, yet the Brewers still stuck by him...

The only card up for trade is Ruby Red Uggla, if you're so inclined.

Thursday, June 23, 2011

The 100 Best Finds in a 30-Dollar Lot: #46

2009 Upper Deck Goodwin Champions Minis #104 Nate McLouth and #12 Matt Cain

Mini cards such as these don't always show up in huge random lots, so I'm happy to have these. The best thing about this set was its random nature. Some of the cards, like McLouth's, have a cool team logo in the corner, whereas other do not. I'm thinking about Brian McCann and the very old-school Braves logo that appears on his card. When you logo is just a word, however, we're not missing much.

The 100 Best Finds in a 30-Dollar Lot: #45

I just realized that it's been awhile since I've shown one of the jersey cards from the lot, so here's a fun one. There's still a bunch more, too.

2005 Upper Deck All-Star Classics Midsummer Swatches #MS-ER Edgar Renteria

This looks to be one of those cards that comes in one of those Fairfield guaranteed-jersey card repacks with three or four unopened packs. Whoever pulled it first just decided to leave it in its Zip-Loc baggie and pass it on to the next guy. Since that guy is me, I'd like to take the time to point out that UD is certifying that "On the front of this card is an authentic piece of a jersey worn by Edgar Renteria in an official Cardinals® Major League Baseball® game." It's odd that they would be that specific, considering he's wearing a Red Sox jersey on the card. Not too weird, since 2004 was his final season with St. Louis, just interesting.

Thank You, Kind Sir

Whoever you were who helped me turn a worthless Houston Astros ring into a beautiful Milwaukee Brewers ring, thank you very much.

This one looks nice next to the only three other rings I have. I must say that Topps Series 2 is a lot of fun.

Wednesday, June 22, 2011

The 100 Best Finds in a 30-Dollar Lot: #44

2006 Upper Deck #316 Randy Johnson Gold Parallel (229/299)

Dumbest serial-numbered parallel of all time? You make the call.

If it's not #1, then it's pretty darn close.

"I've got it! Let's change the Upper Deck logo, team logo, and player name from silver foil to gold foil! And let's make 299 of each card."

"Should we maybe make it better, like add a colored border, something like that?"

"Absolutely not!"


From now on, these parallels are officially known as "Upper Deck Barely Gold."

Vintage 'Toons: Redux '67

I goofed with the last Redux post a few days ago. I thought I didn't get any '66s of '67s in the 100-card lot, but I actually did. I had just put them somewhere else and forgot about them. Onward and upward!

1967
# of cards: 19
Favorite Card 'Toon: #224 Walt Bond


"Walt has fathered children with no fewer than seven different mothers."

Let me apologize to Walt Bond and his family. I'm sure he was a stand-up guy, but the cartoon was too perfect to resist. Walt Bond actually died in 1967 at the age of 29. He was diagnosed with leukemia in 1963, but managed to play a few productive seasons after that. I think someone like Prince Fielder would benefit from learning his story before he gets too deep into free agency. Someone like that just needs to realize how very fortunate he is.

The 100 Best Finds in a 30-Dollar Lot: #43

2010 Topps Blue Back Mini #1 Babe Ruth

I'm holding on to any of the red back versions (from Target) that I come across, but this blue Wal-Mart one is currently up for bid. I undercut the other two sellers who both wanted about $7.00 for this card. You can have it for five.

zoolBay #5 - 2010 Allen & Ginter

One of the things that came out of the $30 Box of Wonder was a nice sized lot of 2010 Allen & Ginter cards. Seeing as I have already completed this set, I've decided to put them up for auction. Take a look.

This lot includes the following:
*124 base cards
*24 This Day in History cards
*12 Short Prints (310 313 321 324 328 329 330 332 336 338 343 348)
*4 Baseball Sketches (3 4 8 11)

There are no duplicates to be found here. If your are curious about a specific card, just ask.
This bidding for this lot will begin at $12.00 (including shipping). That's just over the price of a blaster. Bidding will rise in 25-cent increments.

Bonus! If bidding reaches $15.00, I will throw in a few minis. Bidding ends on Thursday at 5:00 PM Central time.
Happy bidding!

Tuesday, June 21, 2011

The 100 Best Finds in a 30-Dollar Lot: #42

194 O-Pee-Chee #276 Frank Tanana

What is it for you that makes everything better? The people over at Kraft would have you believe it's Miracle Whip, but it ain't. For this man, you put cheese on just about anything, you've automatically made it better.

1984 Topps? Nice set, but a Topps Tanana just goes into the '84 row of my box.
An '84 OPC? Now you're talking! That card goes from the anonymous stacks to being the frontrunner for my 2011 Christmas card photo. The feathered wings poking out from under the hat are just icing on the cake.

The 100 Best Finds in a 30-Dollar Lot: #41

Every so often I run across one of those cards that requires you to actually look at it to determine its true nature. This is one of those cards. The other day I was filing away some of the base 2009 O-Pee-Chee cards when I came across something I didn't expect. Here it is.

2009 Upper Deck O-Pee-Chee Preview #OPC-6 Dustin Pedroia

It was the back of the card that tipped me off. Specifically, the different colored back and the large stamp that said "PREVIEW" across the stats. A smart one, I am.

These were inserted in packs of 2009 Upper Deck Series 2. This one appears to have held its value pretty well, with the only one being offered on eBay going for $2.40 plus $0.79 shipping, and none available on COMC. The value of this fabled lot continues to grow and grow.

Topps Took My Idea!

Today I got my first look at the 2011 Allen & Ginter sell sheet. One of the insert cards pictured took me by surprise.

Last spring I made a list of ten possible subjects Topps should feature in an upcoming Allen & Ginter set. Russian mystic and advisor appeared on this list. This year he will appear in the mini insert set "The World's Most Mysterious Figures."

Offer me a job, Topps, and then you won't have to steal my ideas.

Monday, June 20, 2011

Ummmm... Accept?

I have only two cards in my Diamond Giveaway account, one of which is a 1994 Walt Weiss. Is there any reason for me not to accept the trade pictured below?

Maybe I'm missing something here. Some sort of weekly contest involving multiple-player cards or something like that?

Oh, and when you search for "topps" on Google, the first thing that comes up in the predictive search is "topps diamond giveaway." Might that get more hits in a given day than the central Topps website? Considering how indispensable Topps' website is, what with... oh, never mind. They've updated their website recently.

zoolBay #4 - Leaf Certified

It's been a while since I've done one of these, but since I've started running out of room in one of my 5,000-count boxes, I've decided it was time to clean house a little.

Up for bid is a lot of 102 2004 Leaf Certified Materials base cards.

This is a 200-card base set, so you're getting just over half of it. These cards are very shiny, not black as they appear in the photo.
If you're interested in this lot and you'd like to know if a certain player, card, or team can be found in it, just let me know.

Bidding will begin at $6.50 (including shipping) and rise in 25-cent increments after that. Bidding will end at 5:00 PM Milwaukee time tomorrow.

The 100 Best Finds in a 30-Dollar Lot: #40

2008 Topps Chrome Refractor #97 Troy Tulowitzki

Great card, but it has no place in my collection. I just checked and I need the Tulo X-fractor from 2008 Chrome. Anyone wanna trade?

Sunday, June 19, 2011

Vintage 'Toons: Redux '64

With no '67, '66, or '65 cards in the lot I purchased, we're going all the way back to 1964.

1964
# of cards: 2
Favorite Card 'Toon: *


I'm giving this one an asterisk because the toons on the backs of these cards are quite different from the others we've seen so far. The cards I got were #494 Al Jackson and #82 Jim Davenport.

Friendly enough looking fellas, but it's the backs of these cards we want to get a glimpse of.
As you can see below, 1964 Topps cards had a not-quite-sctratch-off box at the bottom of the card backs. If you scratched the box with a dime or nickel, it would reveal a cartoon answer to the card's trivia question. Now, I'm not even going to pretend I'm old enough to remember this, but I'm guessing I would not have been able to resist rubbing each and every one of my 1964's with a coin. Evidently, the original owner of the Jackson card had a lot more self-restraint than the owner of the Davenport.

This begs the question that's been bugging me since I got these two: For collectors of 1964 cards, is there a premium placed on unscratched cards versus ones that have been rubbed? Does this cause a huge price discrepancy, especially among the major stars' cards? I'm just curious about this and would like to know if anyone with more experience with this set has an answer.

The 100 Best Finds in a 30-Dollar Lot: #39

2008 Topps Chrome #106 Rickie Weeks Xfractor

Rickie got things started last night by hitting a leadoff home run over the Green Monster against the Boston Red Sox. When doing so, he almost looked as sparkly as this card.

Today's televised sporting events are going to cause a dilemma: Do I watch the third and final game of the Brewers/Sox series, or do I turn on FSC to catch the USA/Jamaica Gold Cup game? I think I'm going to go with soccer, while intermittently checking the baseball score.

Saturday, June 18, 2011

The 100 Best Finds in a 30-Dollar Lot: #38

2009 Topps Chrome #193 Ricky Romero Blue Refractor (167/199)

A blue refractor is the ideal color when it comes to the Toronto Blue Jays. Therefore, it stands to reason that the Cincinnati Reds and Boston Red Sox look the best in red refractors. I generally stay away from football cards, but would it not make sense that the Cleveland Browns would look great as a brown refractor? Not copper, not bronze, but straight-up brown. Unfortunately, I don't think such a thing exists.

Another thought: Could puce refractors be on the horizon? Dumber things have happened.

Group Break: 2005 UD Reflections

Wow, waaaaaay better box than the one before it. We even got an extra hit. Enjoy the video.

THE HITS
Hideo Nomo Super Swatch (11/25)
This is the second month in a row with a big Nomo hit. Nomo-Jo!

Ben Sheets/Jose Capellan Dual Signature (23/99)
First Brewers hit in a loooooong time in these breaks. A bad hit if you're buying a box of this for yourself, but a good hit for a Brewers fan.

Mark Teixeira/Miguel Cabrera Cut From the Same Cloth Dual Jersey (160/225)
Decent card, but had to be randomed off between Alex and DaVe. The video at the bottom will tell you who got it.

Legendary Reflections Harmon Killebrew Aqua (34/50)
Boy, did I do well to pick the Twins. Interesting parallel color, but it still looks great.

Legendary Reflections Bob Lemon Red (12/99)
A more appropriate color, this is also a nice card.

Wade Boggs Fabric Reflections
Got into a fight with Barney on The Simpsons over who was the best British Prime Minister.

And here's the randomization video for Teixeira and Cabrera (also the title of a new buddy cop show coming to ABC this fall).

So the card will go to Alex. Better luck next time, DaVe.

So, should be do another box of Reflections in the future? Thanks for participating, everyone. I'll be back in a couple of weeks with the July break.

Friday, June 17, 2011

The 100 Best Finds in a 30-Dollar Lot: #37

2007 TriStar Pro Debut #11 Jason Heyward

Word on the street is that Topps Pro Debut came out? I guess? I don't know. This is a product I would never intentionally buy. Opening pack after pack where I don't know who any of the players are just has no appeal to me. Bowman products are about the earliest in a player's career I'd like to venture, which makes sense because veterans and actual MLB-experienced rookies are featured. That being said, this is a pretty nice card. There was a small stack of these, maybe two or three packs' worth, in the 30-dollar lot. One actual fun aspect of having a few minor league cards is getting to see a creative logos used by some of the affiliates. Too bad the Gulf Coast Braves aren't something like the Gulf Coast Greater Galagos. That's a T-shirt I'd buy in a heartbeat.

Group Break: 2005 UD Past Time Pennants

I'm now officially on summer vacation, and I'm also over the bad case of "The Grumpies" that I had Tuesday night. However, as you can probably tell form the video, I was still in a pretty bad mood at the time opened these. It takes a special type of rage to turn a box break into a downer. Enjoy!

This box sucked. I had forgotten how uninspired the base card design was, and the hits were just atrocious. The only saving grade this box held was the BEE-YOO-TEE-FUL Milwaukee Braves pennant that Chris Mayes snagged.

The Holtzman auto has a sort of bronze-ish foil on it. This card would have looked better if he had been in an A's uniform.

Lenny's card has the silver foil on it. I have no idea which color is harder to get.

UD Reflections box coming up later, saving the best for last.

Thursday, June 16, 2011

The 100 Best Finds in a 30-Dollar Lot: #36

2001 Topps Before There Was Topps #BT5 Ty Cobb

I have owned a few of these inserts over the years, the first of which I acquired from the little card jag I went on in 2001 that quickly went dormant for the next six years. I think I have traded some of these to Chris Harris, and from the looks of his 2001 want list, this is the last card he needs to finish that particular insert set. I'll set it aside for him for the next time I send a package his way.

Wednesday, June 15, 2011

Thorzul on ESPN.com

Okay, for the record that's three transgressive posts in a row. Sorry about that. I was having a bad evening, but things are all better now. I still stand behind my opinions, though. And I never really expect anyone to care what I think. If you're looking for thoughtful commentary, this is the last outpost. I mean, come on, I have a post featuring baseball cards talking to each other in broken French. Lighten up.

On the happier side of things, I have some exciting news to share. Yours truly, Thorzul, was quoted in an article today on ESPN.com. Go check it out. And scroll down past the Dykstra article until you see a baseball card.

Last week I got an email from a Senior Writer at ESPN, Jim Caple. He told me he was putting together a piece about the cartoons on the backs of vintage Topps cards, and he was looking for a few of my thoughts. My work week was pretty hectic, so I was only able to get back to him this past weekend. It turned out that he loved some of the stuff I had written, and he would do a follow-up in his column this week. I had certainly picked the right time to be in the middle of a series of posts on card-toons, huh?

I think it was the kid reporter following the band Stillwater around in the movie Almost Famous who promised he would quote them "warmly and accurately." I feel these words (along with "generously") perfectly describe the job done by Mr. Caple?

More of this in the future? Time will tell.

So It Took Me Until the Last Day to Show This...

The picture below is one I took a few months ago when I had to stay late for parent-teacher conferences. It was taken by a shitty cell phone camera while sitting at my desk. I did a post about two years ago that showed the view of the roof of Miller Park when I took my class to the library. I moved classrooms at the start of this year, and I can literally (and I use that word correctly) see Miller Park while I'm sitting at my desk.

The glow you see is from the lights. For some reason, the lights were on that evening.

Sadly, today is my last day of school at this location. I still have a job, but I am being what is called "excessed." My school lost an important class size-reduction grant and no longer has the money to pay for me and about ten other teachers. I will end up at some other school next year, probably bumping somebody with less seniority than me.

In summation, FUCK REPUBLICANS.

FUCK REPUBLICANS
FUCK REPUBLICANS
FUCK REPUBLICANS
FUCK REPUBLICANS
FUCK REPUBLICANS
FUCK REPUBLICANS
FUCK REPUBLICANS
FUCK REPUBLICANS
FUCK REPUBLICANS
FUCK REPUBLICANS
FUCK REPUBLICANS
FUCK REPUBLICANS
FUCK REPUBLICANS
FUCK REPUBLICANS
FUCK REPUBLICANS
FUCK REPUBLICANS
FUCK REPUBLICANS
FUCK REPUBLICANS

Republicans in the state of Wisconsin are responsible for what will be a monumental collapse of public education as we know it. The city of Milwaukee will be hit hardest of all as classroom sizes race towards 40 or even 50 students.

If you are a Republican voter, fuck you, I don't want you reading this blog. On second thought, read for a few more seconds. If you are a Republican and you make less than $10 million a year, other Republicans are coming after you. If you are gay, a woman, a non-Protestant, a child, a black person, a brown person, a non-English speaker, an illegal alien, a legal alien, you will not have a place in Republican America. It's not too late. Use your vote to select a candidate from any party more open to the innate differences between human beings than the one consolidating power in states all across this country.

Or, just ignore this and keep helping the rich get richer... at your expense.

June Group "Who the Fuck Cares" Break: Box Something

Just watch the fucking video, moron.

In too horrible a mood to apply even an infinitesimal amount of effort to this post, so prop yourselves up on your knuckles for a few seconds and look at the images on the picture -box.

Autoglerf

Jerfzhay #1

Adunna Jorvsee

Reflonkterzi

Eks-Blacktion

If you're reading this, and not in the break, you're an asshole.