Sunday, February 23, 2014

Ten Best Cards From a $30 Lot: #2

We're nearing the top of the chart here, so let's see if some big guns emerge.

1961 Topps #35 Ron Santo

Well, biggish guns, it seems. Acquiring this Ron Santo RC would be a fantastic help if I ever chose to go after the complete 1961 set. Mine doesn't look like all the others currently for sale. Does your Ron Santo have a big number 4 written in pen on the front? I didn't think so, Mr. 707SportscardsLtd eBay seller, sir.

The top of this has gotten kind of eerie. Card #3, Bill Tuttle, lost a significant portion of his face due to decades of safe smokeless tobacco use. And the subject of this card, Ron Santo, lost a significant portion of his legs due to complications from diabetes. Will the top card form the $30 lot feature a player who also lost one body part or another? Only time will tell.

Thursday, February 20, 2014

Ten Best Cards From a $30 Lot: #3

At last, we get a card form a set I'm actively collecting.

1959 Topps #459 Bill Tuttle

My, those Athletics jerseys from the '50s sure are swell! Too bad Tuttle is such a frowny-face on this card.

Wednesday, February 19, 2014

Ten Best Cards From a $30 Lot: #4

1968 Topps Game #3 Carl Yastrzemski

Sure, it's a little beat-up, but isn't it better to get a card that saw a lot of mileage for its original purpose than one that sat in a box on a shelf somewhere?

Hmmm, do you think there was any good-natured ribbing in the locker room about the "single" designation on Yaz's card? "That's right, ladies, it says he's 'SINGLE.'"

Tuesday, February 18, 2014

Ten Best Cards From a $30 Lot: #5

A short detour here as we switch sports.

1986 Topps #161 Jerry Rice

A chewed-up Jerry Rice rookie card is still a Jerry Rice rookie card. This is so much cooler because this was the first set I ever had cards football cards from. I had the Bruce Smith, the Joe Thiesman, even the Joe Klecko, but no Rice. It feels good to have this card in any condition.

Monday, February 17, 2014

Ten Best Cards From a $30 Lot: #6

We're nearing the halfway point, and already we're dipping our toes into 1974 Topps again. That feeling you're feeling right now? That's called surprise.

1974 Topps #130 Reggie Jackson

Once again, the yellow. The green. That low knee. That stretched stirrup.

How many other players can say they have an anthropomorphic moon on the back of one of their cards? I'm guessing it can't be more than two.

Sunday, February 16, 2014

Ten Best Cards From a $30 Lot: #7

1974 Topps #300 Pete Rose

The Open-Mouthed-Pete-Rose-Bunting card is one of the most memorable cards from the 1970s. Although I had never owned this card until now, it is very familiar to me because of the back of the 1986 Topps Sticker Album, which featured photos of all of Rose's Topps cards and stickers up until that point. The stats on the back of this card indicate that Pete then had a career total of 2,152 hits. Amazingly, it was during his 1973 230-hit season that he finally hit the halfway point of what would eventually be his career base hit total.

Tuesday, February 11, 2014

Ten Best Cards From a $30 Lot: #8

A solitary man purchases a motley lot of paper inscribed with images of men and ancient runes. The saga continues...

1975 Topps #21 Rollie Fingers

Let's list the colors competing for preeminence on this card:

Throw all five hues into a sack and reach in a half-hour later and you'll probably find only one left alive. Repeat this little experiment a few more times, and you're not likely to see a repeat champion. Stick your thumb through this card and call it a palette. After doing this, contemplate how much a Fingers Facial Hair paintbrush would fetch on the open market, and what type of majestic works those who would dare wield it might someday produce, and after that weep for the world's injustices.

Monday, February 10, 2014

Ten Best Cards From a $30 Lot: #9

The 1972 Topps set is often recognized as one of the company's creative high points, and there are few cooler cards in the set than this one.

1972 Topps #230 Series Celebration: On TOP of the WORLD!

With several members of the '71 champs visible Manny Sanguillen is easily the star of this card. I was surprised to read how easily accessible Sanguillen is these days. Word has it that he's often sitting at the Manny's BBQ booth at PNC Park, and patrons are encouraged to come right up, say hi, and maybe snag an autograph or a photo. I'd like to get to PNC in the near future, and if I do, I'll be sure to bring this card along and get it signed.

In the 1971 Topps set, card #230 is Willie Stargell. Coincidence?

Sunday, February 9, 2014

Ten Best Cards From a $30 Lot: #10

Back a loooooong time ago, like the end of the summer, maybe, I picked up what looked like a good lot of vintage-y cards for around thirty dollars. They have been sitting on a dictionary in my bedroom since then. During this time, I had every intention of posting the best cards found in the lot, but something always came up. Not only that, but it has become apparent that I haven't needed to look up the definition of a word in quite some time. This lot is nowhere near as large or a special as the one I shared a few years ago, but there were a few gems to be found. Let's begin.

1976 Topps #345 Babe Ruth All-Time All-Stars

Over the summer I also picked up a big box of '76 Topps, the contents of which have actually made it into a binder. In the near future I should be posting a want list, even though I never really set out to finish the set. This Ruth was not one of the cards in the prior lot, so this helps me fill an empty spot in a page. There's a pretty massive crease running from top to bottom of the card, but it's a sin I can forgive. (Not wrath, though. Dear God, never wrath.) This is also a cool card because it contains Babe's all-time stats, from 1914 to 1935. Back when this card was produced, you had a lug around a massive sports almanac to have access to those statistics, but in the year of our nation's Bicentennial, you could fit the same information in your pocket. Boy, that sure would show those almanac gangs who was boss! Sadly, the iron-on T-shirt transfer craze of the 1970s never seemed to have room for a Babe-Ruth's-complete-stats decal. At least, that's what the back pages of comic books have taught me.

Saturday, February 1, 2014

CC: The Day From Hell

The day I've had needs to end on a positive note, so I'm taking the opportunity to showcase the third and final 2013 Sabathia card I needed. Let's start with the good before I get to the bad.

2013 Panini Hometown Heroes WI State Parallel #286

Pretty nice, eh? This one just refused to pop up for sale for a couple of months, and the first time I saw it, I offered the seller a reasonable sum and he accepted it right away.

So here's today (and much of yesterday). Since about 6:00 a.m. yesterday I've been on the go. I wake up and get ready for work, then work for eight hours. I have my gym bag packed, but I get a message that I have to pick up one of my kids from their grandparents', so that plan goes out the window. On the way there, I make a Target stop, then hit the post office to mail some trades and some stuff I sold on eBay. The automated postage machine is fully operational, except for the part where my postage comes out. I stand in line with the rest of the fucks, this overweight chick fails to respect my personal bubble, and some asshole in front of me can't stop yapping about the bag of packages the next lady in line has with her. "Whatcha got in there, candy? It would be great if you did, we could all eat a piece while standing in line." Fucking old people whose only social outlet is a long public line. When I finally get that sorted out, I pick up my kid, and between there and home I have one goal. My car is driving like shit because the tire pressure is low on like three tires. I hit gas station #1. The air pump box has a handwritten sign on it that reads, "NO WORKING." Would you believe that shit? "NO WORKING?" Fuck, I can't even come up with a comment that can do that sign justice. Alrighty then, I head for gas station #2. This is a new station built within the last six months. I find the air machine, and it indicates you can pay with a card or coins, $1 cash American. I try my card, and absolutely nothing happens. Not a mouse fart. My dumb ass figures, "Maybe it starts up only when you put the pump on the tire nozzle." Fucking stupid. This triggered absolutely nothing, and probably lowered the pressure in the tires to a much more shameful level. The machine seems to be telling me that it would prefer it if I paid in cash, so I go in my car to find a dollar in change. I find three quarters. Fuck it all, I decide to head home.

The rest of the evening isn't all that bad. My wife had made plans for her and a girlfriend to go out for Mexican food, so it was daddy daycare time. The nighttime routine isn't too bad, except for my son is getting over a double ear infection and is taking an antibiotic for that as well as Benadryl as a sleep aid, which he only likes to consume in food. I get him down and start on the girl. A couple of stories, lights out, and I'm free for the evening. Until she starts yelling for me. This, of course, wakes up the boy. I get her calmed down, then attend to the screamer, who had been sleeping like a rock until then. Murphy's Law, right? By some miracle, my daughter doesn't wake up during the getting-my-son-back-to-sleep routine. He goes down, and I start cleaning up some of the house. Ten minutes before my wife gets home, he wakes up again, but I get him down again in about four minutes. I have time to play a little bit of a video game. (One of the characters in this game calls someone a "fuck face," so I was tickled by that. Not one I've heard in some time.) I'm beat, so I turn in relatively early. This is still Friday night, by the way.

'Round midnight, the puking starts.

This is a first for my daughter. Earlier in the week I audibly marveled at our good fortune that there hasn't been any real throwing up from either of the children, EVER. (Not counting baby spit-ups.) I forgot to knock on wood when proclaiming this, so yes, there's an element of truth to the superstition. The horrific cries of, "My foooooood," set off a chain of events that we will look back upon and laugh about one day, but no for some time. (The highlight of which is me standing my daughter in front of the open toilet bowl, and her sobbing, "I don't wanna go in there!" Like I said, it was her first time.) Long story short, the puking spread to my son, and then to the wife. At the time of this writing, I am the only one in the house who hasn't vomited in the last 24 hours. I attribute this to a steady enough diet of alcohol and exercise to keep everything in an tenuous harmony. This puts my wife out of commission most of the night. I'm leaping from bed every few quarter hours, bopping into and out of bedrooms across hallways like a Tom and Jerry chase scene. After several loads of laundry, we start to scrape the bottom of the barrel when it comes to bedclothes. One more bout, and my daughter would have had to sleep on a mattress covered in Ultra Pro 9-pocket pages lashed together with the stems of a wandering jew (Tradescantia pallida). We somehow made it through the night, the puking mostly abated. I got up at 7:00 with the boy and then did the majority of the child-watching as my wife recovered in bed.

Oh, and it snowed this morning. I shoveled at some point when the opportunity arose. My son puked a few more times in the morning, but he was pretty unfazed by it. My daughter napped more than usual, and hasn't thrown up since the nighttime, but her mood is particularly sour. I wanted to sneak in a quick nap before the USMNT match against South Korea, but that sort of fizzled out, too. When the match began, we were getting awesome coverage of an ACC pumkpinhoop game that had run long, so I missed the first goal. I missed the second goal, too, as I was cooking dinner. So yeah, it was a ton of fun watching the game. Everyone got to bed around 8:00, and then I decided to sit down and write this post. Oh, and somewhere in there the Wisconsin basketball team managed to find a way to blow a nice lead and lose to Ohio State at home.

Some Positives:
1. Everton came back from a 0:1 halftime deficit to beat Aston Villa, 2:1.
2. I didn't have to shovel for the neighbors across the street who are in Florida like my wife had promised I'd do, since some other kind soul on the block snowblew for them.
3. Half of a bag of Archer Farms Spicy Korean Barbecue potato chips.

Enjoy the rest of your weekend, everyone.