Sunday, December 17, 2017

2017 Card-vent Calendar: December 17

December 17, 2017:
2016-17 Panini Absolute Basketball #141 Lucius Allen (220/999)

You know, I think we in Milwaukee are being sold a bill of goods on this Bucks team. National media outlets have been picking the Bucks to be this sleeper darling dark horse that's going to contend for the Eastern Conference championship very soon. Our record doesn't look much different than the last few years, when we hover around the final playoff spot, the holding pattern of death in today's NBA. First round playoff exit or just missing the playoffs, you get a shitty first round draft pick, and then repeat for fifteen years. We're good enough to beat anybody in the league, but on Friday we lost to a can of expired creamed corn in the Chicago Bulls.

Giannis can't do it all. Would a guard like Lucius Allen help? Probably not. NBA is rigged, you know.

Saturday, December 16, 2017

2017 Card-vent Calendar: December 16

December 16, 2017:
#220 Alan Ashby, #486 Larry Bowa, #222 Jose Cruz, #488 Bill Buckner

There's a place in the continental United States where you can lie down and simultaneously touch four baseball cards while only touching one piece of cardboard. This card deserves its own national monument and 24-hour armed guard.

This may be the worst-cut card in existence. I guess technically you could fine one containing exactly 25% of each card, but that would actually be more mathematically stable and would adhere better to the Golden Ratio. This one is even a few degrees off from vertical and horizontal orientation. I suppose it could be double printed on one side, out of register, or could have a mismatched front and back, but that would be asking too much.

I'm getting this thing graded.

2017 Card-vent Calendar: December 15

December 15, 2017:
1992-93 Upper Deck #507 Birdman Fanimation

Cybernetic Larry Bird is also the dirtiest player in the game of the future. Droids with mechanical reach are no match for his well-hidden nut shots and wild elbows. Trash talking in the 25th century has evolved, and Birdman is the master there, too.

Artwork by Jim Lee. I'd be curious to see who the other artists in this subset were.
(Quickly scampers away to do a COMC search.)
Hmmmm, interesting.
Karl Malone, Dikembe Mutombo - Marc Silvestri
Jordan, Bird - Jim Lee
Looks like it was just the two of them. And they didn't even do a full team. Still, pretty much a Who's Who of the mid-1990s comics bubble.

Thursday, December 14, 2017

2017 Card-vent Calendar: December 14

December 14, 2017:
1995 Fleer Ultra Aaahh!!! Real Monsters #77 Scent of a Monster

There's just so much about this card I find... troubling.
The pit hair.
The lower-half hair.
The hands holding eyeballs.
The neck stubble.
The way the flaws in the ceiling panels mirror the neck stubble.
The weird spat-like stirrups.
The bulbous things under the purple costume.
The general carriage of the blue-lipped monster.
The card title, combined with the bathroom setting.

I'm glad I was into other things in 1995, cards and Nickelodeon not being those things.

Excuse me while I go and get my Dumbo Blu-ray and cleanse myself.

Trade Me Anything XI: #10

My lifestyle was very different during the first iteration of Trade Me Anything back in 2007. When TMA bleeds into the Card-vent Calendar, keeping up gets a bit difficult. Mrs. Thorzul works many nights at a second job in retail, so I'm a single dad several times a week. After putting the kids to bed, I just want to sit.

That was the self-pitying way to explain to Marc from Houston why he hasn't seen his trade posted yet, even though he sent it back when Al Franken was still sitting pretty. Let's check out the exchange.

Giving: #299 Yulieski Gurriel Photo Variation (Series 1)

Nice Stack of 1980 Topps

This worked out nicely. Between this lot and the bunch traded to me earlier, there were only two doubles. I might be getting close to putting this set in pages.

1988 Donruss Chris James

This was one of the last cards I needed to finish the 1988 Donruss set. Someone sent it this summer, I believe. It's the thought that counts, though.

2016 Topps Update Series #US7 Blaine Boyer Pink Parallel (32/50)

I just read the copy on the back of this card for the first time: "Blaine spent a chunk of the 2015 offseason in Southeast Asia where, with friend Adam LaRoche, he wore a hidden camera to document and combat child exploitation. 'We were in deep, man,' he said."
It gave me pause to think of a 6'3" redhead going undercover in a Thai brothel, but then again, that might be what your average sex tourist looks like.

Some More Brewers

Those minis sure are fun.

Wednesday, December 13, 2017

2017 Card-vent Calendar: December 13

December 13: 2017:
1970 Topps #25 Cesar Tovar

The best card shoots really do end with the player ready to fight the photographer.

Tuesday, December 12, 2017

2017 Card-vent Calendar: December 12

December 12, 2017:
1991 Topps Stadium Club #308 Tony Gwynn

Healthy teeth and gums, everyone.

Tony Gwynn's secret to good brushing? Pretend you're brushing your gums, not your teeth. You'll be able to make perfect contact with the gum line.
Tony Gwynn's secret to good hitting? Pretend every pitch is a strike. You'll be able to make perfect contact with every ball.

Monday, December 11, 2017

2017 Card-vent Calendar: December 11

December 11, 2017:
1991 Topps Tiny Toon Adventures #43 The Plucky Interview

This is actually the perfect card to receive this time of year. Plucky is an absolute rage case, much the way I feel inside when, like now, there are nine school days left before Winter Break. My class couldn't give fewer fucks right now.
Looks like Plucky is all up in Hamton's ass here. Plucky was easily my favorite character on the show, and he also had the best playable character in the NES Tiny Toon game. Sure, Dizzy could spin through some objects, but that came in handy almost never. The cat, I forget its name, but it was modeled after Sylvester, it could climb up walls and stuff, but that was hardly ever useful, either. Buster could jump higher, but as the default character, you could always switch back to him. Plucky, though... man, the ability to flap your wings and glide down was the best. You could make jumps with pinpoint accuracy, not to mention change directions in flight in case an enemy popped up in the wrong place. So awesome, just wore a beater with nothing on bottom, got in everyone's face like his mentor, Daffy. A-plus.

Sunday, December 10, 2017

2017 Card-vent Calendar: December 10

December 10, 2017:
1994 Score Select #379 Denny Hocking

Let me tell you a story about coincidences.

There's a consortium of automobile dealerships located throughout the Twin Cities area. This dealership is named after its owner, naturally. The owner has one of those names that's embarrassing to think about, much less speak. If it showed up in a work of fiction, you'd shake your head at the author for trying too hard. On my frequent trips to Minnesota, this man's likeness and his business advertising were nearly inescapable. I'd see him, hear him, wash him out of my pores at night.

Well, it just so happened that in 2011 this man was found guilty in federal court of committing fraud to the tune of no less than $80 million, and he was sentenced to ten years in prison. His name recently popped up in the news after it was revealed that he was being moved from a prison in Illinois to one in Duluth, not to a halfway house as some had been speculating.

But I digress. The name of this mogul-turned-criminal: Denny Hecker.

Now, I don't know about you, but I find this to be a strange coincidence. Sure, I can buy that there are two men who have different careers that put them in the public eye, and they have first and last names that are somewhat alike. But for Denny Hocking to be drafted by and play most of a relatively long career for a team in the same city where Denny Hecker operates is simply fascinating. Hocking gets drafted by one of 29 other teams, and this connection never gets made. Very strange, indeed.

Saturday, December 9, 2017

2017 Card-vent Calendar: December 9

December 9, 2017:
1961 Topps #313 1960 World Series - The Winners Celebrate

Today, Major League Soccer will crown a champion. Winning a championship gives one license to do the sorts of things one might not usually do, like wear a ridiculous looking hat. Here's to hoping Jozy, Bradley, and the boys up in Toronto get to wear ridiculous looking hats in a few hours' time. Evil prevails too often in real life; two straight years in soccer might be too much to bear.

Friday, December 8, 2017

2017 Card-vent Calendar: December 8

December 8, 2017:
1994 Comic Images Jim Warren 2 More Beyond Bizarre #25 Earth: Love It or Leave It (Japanese)


The sci-fi aesthetic is really, really difficult to convert to a static, visual medium. Speculative fiction, outside of the hands of a minuscule amount of masters, just doesn't translate to the form. However, it should be noted that the image of the Earth blasting a forceful stream of diarrhea out the Bay of Bengal is a ham-fisted metaphor that fits well with the current state of the planet. Our children and grandchildren are the ones who are fucked. Our generation of "Smoke-Free Class of 2000," 50 Simple Things Kids Can Do to Save the Earth, D.A.R.E., and Cartoon All-Stars to the Rescue is just trying to keep our heads above water. In the process, we're stepping on the faces of millennials for purchase. Nothing matters, so let's pop that O-ring, melt Sri Lanka and Perth off the globe, and hold on for dear life. Beats what we're currently doing, right?

Thursday, December 7, 2017

Trade Me Anything XI: #9

The TMA packages are dwindling a little bit. This next one came from Jonathan, who sent a small flat rate box that rattled loudly when shook. "What's a battle?" or "What's that rattle?" Let's open it and find out which is true.

US142 Tzu-Wei Lin, US71 Junichi Tazawa Gold Parallel (0417/2017), US156 Yu Darvish Photo Variation

UNO Spin Game

Yeeeeeaaaaahhhh, this even came with the directions and everything. These little cards spilling all over the package were the source of the noise. This reminds me that last week there was a girl in my class playing with a tiny Finger Twister game during math. I threw that shit in the trash.

Well-Worn Pocket-Size Notebook

Now I have a place for all my secrets.

Big Lot of 1980 Topps

If I was Al Pacino in Scent of a Woman (I'm not.), I would give this a hearty "Hoo-hah!" Whatever, rules were made to be broken. So... Hoo-hah!

1992 Stadium Club Barry Larkin and Jack Clark

A couple steps closer to finishing series 1.

1992 Stadium Club Series 2 Pack

Okay, I haven't finished series 2 or 3 yet, either. This helps.

Brewers and Random '90s Basketball Cards

Casual Charles. Not too shabby.

Thanks, Jonathan! I will have fun losing the UNO cards, but I'll make up for it by placing the notebook under a stranger's windshield wiper. That I can promise.

2017 Card-vent Calendar: December 7

December 7, 2017:
1988 Donruss #70 Scott Bankhead

I wonder who was in charge of getting on the blower and telling the boys in logos and emblems that there was no practical need for any additional graphic embellishment for card #70 Bankhead Comma Scott. It was somebody's job, and all I know is that guy got canned and was subsequently hired by Fleer. And that's One to Grow On.

Wednesday, December 6, 2017

2017 Card-vent Calendar: December 6

December 6, 2017:
1979-80 Topps #120 Rick Barry

You know it's a cool card when it depicts the subject doing what he or she is best known for.

From what I've heard, a card showing him being a jagoff would have also worked.

Tuesday, December 5, 2017

2017 Card-vent Calendar: December 5

December 5, 2017:
1980 TCMA 1957 Milwaukee Braves #14 Nippy Jones

Want to talk about nippy? Last night it was 60°F when I went to bed. Then the winds came, and the windows, they did rattle. And right now it is 27°F. More like it.

"(Sigh)... there is a nip in the air, though."

Monday, December 4, 2017

2017 Card-vent Calendar: December 4

December 4, 2017:
1974-75 Topps #106 Steve Durbano


When you have hair three-point lighting was birthed to illuminate, these are the results. Nothing short of glorious.

Ready the smelling salts for the key grip.
Check that the best boy's contact information is up to date.

Prepare the C-stands. No gels. No filters.

Durbano is on set. Get ready for your camera to melt.

Sunday, December 3, 2017

Trade Me Anything XI: #8

Today we're going to check out the trade from Kerry.

Rediscover Topps 2014 Topps #109 David Freese

Uncut Sheet of 10 1984 Topps Stickers

2016 Topps Chrome Perspectives #PC-15 Ryan Braun

Pretty cool looking card, if you ask me. One of these years I'm going to start buying Chrome again. In the meantime, I'll tide myself over with this treasure trove of episodes of Perspectives, which runs at 4:43 in the AM.

2005 Topps Bazooka Tattoo

2010 Topps History of the Game #HOTG24 Interleague Play Introduced

1995 The National Pastime #62 Teddy Roosevelt Cartoon

Looks like T.R. is carrying a big stick.

Lot of 1990 Score Football Cards

Very nice to make some progress on this set. The Warren Moon Hot Gun is easily my favorite card in the set. Thanks, Kerry! Lots of good stuff here.

2017 Card-vent Calendar: December 3

December 3, 2017:
1978 Topps #137 Chuck Muncie

This is a look that the current generation of football players needs to bring back. Looking studious as all fuck, Muncie reportedly pored over ancient texts during timeouts in order to make progress on his upcoming treatise reconciling the Orphic myth with the then-current NFL overtime rules.

And if you believe that, here are five more unsubstantiated rumors regarding NFL running backs:
1. Barry Sanders played his entire career barefoot; a elaborate paint job created the illusion of shoes.
2. Kevin Mack is the heir to the Skol vodka fortune.
3. Merril Hoge inked a three-issue arc of volume 2 of The New Teen Titans.
4. Dorsey Levens baked loaves of cinnamon swirl bread for his offensive linemen prior to all Packer home games.
5. Edgerrin James did uncredited rewrites for the 2015 film Jem and the Holograms.

Saturday, December 2, 2017

2017 Card-vent Calendar: December 2

December 2, 2017:
1968 Topps #261 Dave Duncan

Christmas Eve 1967
Joe: Hey Sam?

Sam: Ayuh?

Joe: Sam, you order that new shipment of green ink like I asked you?

Sam: Oh, Joe, I, uh, I kinda-

Joe: Sam...

(Ten seconds of silence.)

Joe: I've just about put this set to bed, and this Duncan here is my last one.

Sam: Well, maybe you-

Joe: Betty and I are leaving tonight for a week in the Poconos, you know this, and I wanted the retouches on next year's set done before we left. I even get to miss dinner at her mother's house tomorrow night.

Sam: I might have a little blue ink left. That and a bit of yellow.

Joe: A bit of yellow? Take the time to mix that up so I can get to the airport in time to see flight 918 take off without Betty and me? Oh ho ho, that's rich. That's rich. And maybe if I'm lucky I'll make it to dessert before I'm accused of being a Communist.

Sam: Gee, Joe, I don't think it's going to come to that.

Joe: You're darn right it's not! Hand me that black felt pen, will you?