Monday, December 24, 2018

2018 Card-vent Calendar: December 24

December 24, 2018:
1980 Topps The Empire Strikes Back #207 Gruesome Fate!

This will probably be me taking a break for the next few days. Tomorrow I will pop in to wish everyone a Merry Christmas, and once New Year's hits it'll be time to reveal my top pulls of the year. Until then, cross your fingers for no hibernation sickness.

Merry Christmas, and tomorrow... a savior.

Sunday, December 23, 2018

Trade Me Anything XII #8

It's never too late to send me your Trade Me Anything package. TMA has gone well into the next year, so this one from Tim is no big deal.

#DB-21 Don't Blink Bradley Zimmer

#IA-34 An International Affair Francisco Lindor

#S-47 Topps Salutes Francisco Lindor

A bunch of Brewers. Here are my three favorites.
2012 Topps Stickers #229 John Axford
Back during our 2011 playoff run, Axford was our lights-out closer. Now we have 15 lights-out closers. Next season we should just let each guy pitch one inning each game. Milwaukee Brewers 2019 World Series champs, making it very unclear as to who the pitcher of record is.

2018 Topps Big League #146 Corey Knebel
What would have happened in the playoffs if Knebel got all of the innings Jeffress pitched? If only.

2016 Topps #613 Milwaukee Brewers Team Card
Braun binder?
Braun binder.

Some 1988 Topps
Inching closer toward completion. Only have four to go to finish the set. And I think it's very possible I have never owned that Canseco card before now. Weird, right?

Lifesavers Holiday Candies
My children thank you.

A Non-Secular Christmas Card

Some Random Cards
I will need some of these, and some are from sets I've already finished. It will give me something to do.

Tim, you sent some great stuff. Enjoy your cards of the Professional Baseball Team from Cleveland.

2018 Card-vent Calendar: December 23

December 23, 2018:
1992 Bowman #130 Domingo Jean

It's a good thing Jean was a pitcher. I'm guessing his pitches were usually... high and tight.
You see what I did there.

Only two days until Christmas, kids. Be good. Domingo Jean is watching.

Trade Me Anything XII #7

Being on Christmas vacation is great. I can actually get something meaningful before 10 a.m. This trade comes from Jonathan.

1983 Anniversary #83-27 Ichiro Blue Border Parallel

Topps Salutes #S-10 Ichiro

1983 Anniversary Refractor #149 Nick Kingham

It was another case of receiving too much in one package to photograph or scan properly, so I recorded a video of the spread.

Thanks for all the crazy stuff, Jonathan, and enjoy the cards!

Saturday, December 22, 2018

2018 Card-vent Calendar: December 22

December 22, 2018:
2012 Panini Triple Play #3 Baseball Head Sticker

This sticker is brought to you by the good people at... cocaine.
Cocaine... keeping America moving, since 1979.
If you've got something to do, and there's a certain tolerance for mistakes... cocaine.
Stay tuned for a special message from Vida Blue and Pirate Parrot.

Friday, December 21, 2018

2018 Card-vent Calendar: December 21

December 21, 2018:
1993 Dark Dominion #120 Hootch


Never before has alcoholism been portrayed in such detail on cardboard. And never before has it looked so effortless. Hootch is toasting anyone who happens to be walking by in the peep show district. He does it without fear of repercussion. He's going to finish the bottle, duck into an Al Goldstein picture for a few minutes, finish, walk back out into the bright sunshine, then begin the process all over again.

As for us, we have this card. And it is glorious.

Thursday, December 20, 2018

2018 Card-vent Calendar: December 20

December 20, 2018:
2003 Upper Deck #335 Todd Walker

Walker's face suggests that he just received more than he could handle.

The caption writers for some of the old Topps non-sports sets should be brought back and given the chance to title some of the modern cards.


Wednesday, December 19, 2018

2018 Card-vent Calendar: December 19

December 19, 2018:
2004 Donruss Studio #HH-10 Heroes of the Hall Die-Cut (133/300)

Man, these non-Topps sets from the early 2000s look great with those MLB logos everywhere. These are the types of cards I wish I could buy today. Imagine a cool set focusing on retired players. The cards have logos. I would buy this. Topps would start making more similarly-themed sets. I would buy those, too. But as it stands, I buy nothing Panini makes, I can't buy Upper Deck baseball cards, and I buy very little Topps product. What is it that a rising tide does again?

Tuesday, December 18, 2018

2018 Card-vent Calendar: December 18

December 18, 2018:
2018 Honey Maid Grahams Justice League #08 Captain Cold

Thank Joel Schumacher, I guess. Despite predating Mr. Freeze (1959) by about two years, Captain Cold (1957) is probably the lesser-known "low-temperature" villain in the DC pantheon. By virtue of being a Batman nemesis and appearing in 1997's Batman & Robin, Freeze has been more of a household name than his Flash foiling counterpart. It's not my intent to debate the place of the Rogues in comics lore, but it should be said that Cold is a fairly underrated DC character. He has the new wave glasses, sweet parka, and his cold guns are pretty useful. Plus, he always looks like he's cold. Yes, he uses his powers to make others cold, but he himself looks miserably chilly all the time. Constant runny nose, tons of spent hand warmers, and toes that never fully thaw. These are the spoils of Captain Cold's chronic misery. Get the man some Thera Flu and run him a hot bath. Supervillains have feelings, too.

Monday, December 17, 2018

2018 Card-vent Calendar: December 17

December 17, 2018:
1996 Merlin F.A. Premier League #S21 Eric Cantona Stand-Up

"When the seagulls (big sip of water) follow the trawler, it is because they think that sardines will be thrown into the sea."

These were the words of the immortal Eric Cantona. If you don't understand their significance, just stop reading now.
Today it looks like Manchester United drew PSG for their Round of 16 Champions League match. Kind of not looking good for them. (Not that I care. #COYB)

Cantona actually had another amazing quote that I wish were as well known as the trawler speech:
"Because arguing with racist people is like playing chess with a pigeon: It doesn't matter how good you are! The pigeon is going to knock all the pieces down and shit on the board and parade around like he's won."

Yeah, he's the man.

Sunday, December 16, 2018

2018 Card-vent Calendar: December 16

December 16, 2018:
1995 Pinnacle #57 Ryan Thompson Artist's Proof Parallel

While I'll probably never be on a real baseball card, I can say with certainty that, should the improbable happen, I'd like to be depicted in a manner similar to Mr. Thompson here: Writhing around in pain after taking a heater to the ribs. This card is an encapsulation of life. "Life is suffering," indeed, but rarely do we get a free trip to first base.

Saturday, December 15, 2018

2018 Card-vent Calendar: December 15

December 15, 2018:
2014 Topps MLS Chrome #15 Diego Valeri Xfractor

It was another fun season for the Portland Timbers. Following a slow start under first-year coach Giovanni Savarese, the Timbers were flying high through most of the summer, enjoying a 15-game unbeaten streak. The team was well on the path to a playoff berth, but earned a somewhat disappointing 5 seed after limping through the last couple months of the season. The knockout game in Frisco against the Burn FC Dallas went Portland's way, and that set the stage for the two-legged series against hated rivals Seattle. The Timbers kept their cool at CenturyLink Field and emerged victorious from extra time and a shootout. Next up was Sporting Kansas City, where a second-leg golazo from Sebastian Blanco was merely the appetizer that kicked off a memorable second half that resulted in a 3-2 Timbers triumph. Off to MLS Cup it was, where our fortunes finally ran out against an absolute buzz saw of the team, Atlanta United.

The question that has to be asked during this short off season: Can the Timbers duplicate this success in 2019?

In my opinion, two moves have to be made.

1. The team needs a back-to-the-goal target striker. Fanendo Adi's tenure ended rather oddly, but that's the exact type of player that's missing up top. Valeri and Blanco are the creators. Jeremy Ebobisse just isn't ready to produce on a consistent basis, and he's just not strong enough to hold up defenders in the target man role. Armenteros looked to be that guy, but then he got benched throughout the playoffs. If this hole can be filled, the offense will be fine.

2. We are also lacking a bad-ass sweeper. The Timbers let in a ton of shitty goals. Most of these could be prevented by a guy who can mop up in the box and outmuscle opponents on 50/50 balls. The template for this player is Nat Borchers. Since his retirement, the defense has been a patchwork of carpet samples and Shoe Goo. Liam Ridgewell can be brilliant at times, but he has far too many out-of-sync games. Your last man should be a Defender from Hell type that opposing strikers fear. A guy like this in front of Attinella would put everyone else at ease, as well as free up Diego Chara to get forward a little more often. Back in my youth, I played striker for school and defender for club. I still remember one game where I had a number of huge clearances. After one of them, my goalie came over and said, "Thank you for taking away the people that scare me." We need someone who will take away the people that scare our keeper (and everyone else, for that matter).

Are these two players out there? We'll see what happens.

Trade Me Anything XII #6

I'm always very happy to trade with gcrl, the friendly Dodgers fan stuck way up in Hamm's/Hormel territory. Let's crack open a Surly Furious and check out this trade.

#SE-3 Storybook Endings Sandy Koufax

#SE-5 Storybook Endings Jackie Robinson

#S-3 Topps Salutes Jackie Robinson

#US173 Tyler Wade Gold Parallel (1625/2018)

#83-41 1983 Anniversary Hyun-Jin Ryu

There was a nice little stack of Brewers cards in this trade package. Below are some of my favorites.
2018 Topps Archives #86 Christian Yelich
I've never bought this product, but I'll gladly accept the Brewers from it.

1979 Topps #95 Robin Yount
Already have this one, of course, so this one will go in the set pile.

2016 Topps Stadium Club #227 Robin Yount
Here's one I didn't already have! I don't think we've seen Yount on his dirt bike since that one Pinnacle card.

2015 Opening Day Franchise Flashback #FF-02 Ryan Braun
This is a pretty neat insert I missed seeing a few years ago. The style reminds me of those Perma Graphics credit cards, but all of their yearly designs rolled into one.

2017 Topps Fire #176 Ryan Braun
Huh? Topps Fire was a standalone set? Released only at Target? That one completely passed me by.

2018 Topps Five Star #FSA-TS Travis Shaw AUTO
I can see this as being nearly everyone's huge letdown hit out of a product like this, but I like it.

1992 Topps Stadium Club #174 Mark Grace
Thanks for checking the want list!

April 1963 Playboy Magazine (No Cover)
So gcrl decided to play along with my trading instructions and send something "immoral." It's amazing how demure this magazine seems today. The pictorials (what there were of them) left almost everything to the imagination, and the amount of articles was impressive by today's standards. Even Ian Fleming wrote a piece for this issue.

The highlight of the issue was a photo essay on the New York Playboy Club. I got a real kick out of seeing Shel Silverstein getting cozy with some broad. What I was salivating over, though, were those table candle holders. At first I thought they were some special sort of drinkware, but then realized there was usually just one at each table pictured.

Here's another one at the table of a couple of random customers. Dat tableside telephone service, tho!

The biggest shock of the issue was the overall tone of the cartoons. There's actually very little of the playful commentary on sexual politics and cultural trends that you might see in today's publications. These were almost uniformly dark and misogynistic. The one I'm sharing below is probably the worst of the issue.

Ha ha! Get it? She can't come to the phone because her husband just murdered her in the bathtub. Funny, see?
There were others that were just as bad, but more graphic. One had a swimming girl being raped by a lifeguard, while another depicted a male doctor just ogling his nude female patient without any additional context. I suppose the humor of this magazine was a work in progress.

Anyways, it was a great trade from gcrl. I will thoroughly enjoy all of the goodies you sent, even if the Playboy eventually makes its way to a hidden spot under a secret tree for others to discover.

Friday, December 14, 2018

2018 Card-vent Calendar: December 14

December 14, 2018:
1966 Topps #177 Hector Lopez

I'm at the point where on Friday evenings I feel like this guy looks.
The vitreous humor of my eyes has turned blue.

On a positive note, I only have four work days remaining in 2018. I still might not make it.