Tuesday, November 18, 2014

The "What If" question is answered

Half a year ago I asked the question of What if...?   What if I took 20 sports cards and treated them like I might have when I was in elementary school for the summer?


And now I know.


I didn't do everything a school aged kid might do.  I didn't draw on them.  I didn't put them in the spokes of my bike.  But I did carry them around with me everywhere I went.  Weddings?  Check.  Funerals?  Yep.  Work.  Church.  The store.  Ball games.  Concerts.  Everywhere.

I mostly kept them in my left front pocket.  I also started to keep my keys in that same pocket.  And Brandon Belt was near the top of the stack on most days.  I didn't pull them out every day at lunch and try to memorize the stats.  I just didn't.

Bartolo Colon was at the bottom of the stack.  I went through five rubber bands during the course of the summer.  The late 1980s Topps cards seemed to get flimsier.  They stayed in the middle of the stack.  The more modern Topps cards, also near the middle of the stack, fared rather well.  Tim Federowicz's name wore right off the front of his card.  The last picture of the bunch is designed to show the side wear.

Here are some closer photos of some of the cards.










Now the researcher in me wants to try the same thing on a bunch of Good/Very Good cards from the middle of each decade.  I don't have the time nor patience to give that a go.

For now I think that I might just keep the stack in my pocket and see what happens at opening day, 2015.

Tuesday, September 16, 2014

Newsletter

The Night Owl wanted a newsletter.  Here you go.

Friday, July 25, 2014

Goodbye for now

Call this a "state of the blog" post, a "milestone" post, a "hanging my hat up for a bit" post. Call it whatever you'd like.  I just thought I'd let you know where I'm at.

Like most of you, I'm busy.  Life makes demands on our time.  Our interests wax and wane.

Enough talking in general.  I'm busy.  I'm finding that I have less time.  I'm easily distracted by small shiny objects.  To that end, I'm going to step away from this blog.  For a while.  It might be weeks, it might be months.

At the first part of the year I put forth some goals.  I'm not even going to go back and specifically recall them.  You know the type.  Post more.  Trade more.  Follow more.  Leave more comments.  Get organized.  I've done that.  Well, maybe not trade more.  Until today I was on track to probably have the second or third best year of my blogging career (if by best I mean the sheer number of posts).   But it isn't a numbers game.

Well, a bit of it is.  This is post number 1,000.  No contests.  No flashy banners.  Nothing.  Just a noting of a significant number.

"But Mark, what will you do with those minutes a day you spent posting?", you might be asking.

I'll tell you.  I'm shedding the self imposed weight of trying to keep up with the Joneses.  Of trying to be witty all the time.  I'm going to focus on some historical baseball research.  Right now I'm in the final steps of formatting the transcription of the 1945 Appy League stats to turn in to the SABR Minor League Stats committee.  I've got a keen interest in the 1920 Negro League World Series between the Chicago American Giants and the Knoxville Giants.  I'm going to read.  I'm going to spend more time with my family.

Now, please don't think that I haven't been researching or reading.  That I have been ignoring my family.  I haven't.  But my plate was full.  This is the time for me to push back from the table.

"But Mark, are you leaving for good?"

Nope.  I still have games to share, trade packages to post, Listia winnings to annoy you with.  I'm going to try to make this the best season ever of Gint-A-Cuffs.  I'll still be seeking to complete the first series of the 1971 Topps set.  I just picked up three team sets of the Tennessee Smokies.  I know you're dying to see them.  I just won't be showing them to you for a while.

Here's one thing I did want to show you.  My first 1/1 card.  And my very first real bribe for Gint-A-Cuffs.  Spankee, from My Cardboard Mistress, sent it my way.  There's an interesting story behind him obtaining it, but that is his story to tell.  Thanks, Spankee.

2009 Press Pass Fusion
Orel Hershiser (card # 4) #'d 1/1

So, as you finish reading this, don't tear your clothes and look for ashes to put on your face.  Know that I will return.  Someday.

And of course, I couldn't have blogged these last 5 and a half years without you, my readers.  I've made some good internet friendships and trading partners.  I won't name them as I'm sure to forget someone.  Thank you, one and all.

Please keep on blogging about cards and the hobby.  I'll need to read something.

Thursday, July 24, 2014

Reds vs. Cubs - July 10, 2014

Since the Indians game got out late and the traffic out of Cleveland was horrid, we didn't pull in to our hotel in Mansfield until about 1:45am. Short night when we wanted to be on the road by 8am.   But we did just fine in getting to Cincinnati in time for the game.

Click on the panoramic photo below.  A rather impressive view.


Again, can't tell when the games will be played without a pocket schedule.

We had good seats, but darn, that sun was hot.


The highlight of the game?  Ducking out during the 5th and 6th innings to go catch up with neighbors I hadn't seen in about 30 years.

Linda and Dale and grandkids
Later in the game we moved over to the third base side where we found shade.


A pretty tile mosaic of the first professional team.



A nice touch, by their Fan Assistance group.  This was my first time to the Great American Ball Park.  So they printed a certificate for me.
Now, the Reds' Fan Assistance group did not exchange e-tickets for a real ticket.  Fail.  So I made my own.  Now I just need to print them and give them to the guys.



The Cubs won in extra innings, 6-4.  Here's the box score.  Free baseball two days in a row.  Can't beat that.

Wednesday, July 23, 2014

Indians vs. Yankees - July 9, 2014

A few weeks ago I took a trip north to Ohio to catch two MLB games. The first stop was in Cleveland. We arrived with a few hours to spare and since some of the guys had never been to Cleveland we walked towards the lake and found ourselves at the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame.

Mark, John, Cliff, and Tom
After a quick tour of their gift shop we headed back to Progressive Field where we were met by an imposing Bob Feller.


I was told by Jack to visit Heritage Park.


It is inside the park just past the outfield.  Some nice monuments and plaques of former players.


Several important players have a tile on a wall.  Guys like Orel Hershiser who helped the Indians get to the World Series in 1995 and 1997.


Others have a plaque.


We purchased e-tickets.  Which is convenient and a lousy keepsake.  Their Fan Assistance people were great and gave us real tickets (although not our seats) so we could toss them in a drawer later.


Can't tell the players without a program.


Can't tell when the games will be played without a pocket schedule.  Well, sure you can, but these are nice.


Can't tell when the games are for the Indians' Class A affiliate without a pocket schedule.

Magnets.  I like magnets.  They were selling these at kiosks around the concourse.  A couple of bucks.  I don't know.  I found this one on the ground.


Alyssa Boggs sang the National Anthem and did a very nice job with it.  She was in the concourse signing her baseball card.


Yes, I asked for the selfie opportunity.


One of the things that I like about ballparks is their uniqueness.  I like to look at architecture, both large and small.  The design of this seat side caught my eye.

C is for Caroline
The game went 14 innings.


When a game goes 14 innings one starts figuring out what all those other options on one's phone camera can do.


The Yankees finally won in the 14th, 5-4.  Here's the boxscore.  Jeter got a couple of hits.  Ichiro struck out three times.  Teixeira hit two home runs.  It was good baseball.

Hopefully tomorrow I'll recap the second game of the trip.

Tuesday, July 15, 2014

All Star

1989 Topps
Orel Hershiser (card # 394)

Friday, July 11, 2014

My apologies to Jake and Elwood

Last night I returned from my baseball road trip. Over a thousand miles, four guys, two extra inning games in less than 41 hours.


We headed north to Cleveland and saw Texiera knock out two HRs to beat the Indians.  This is the view from our seats.


Since this is technically still a sports card blog I probably should show something that one can collect, besides memories.

Cards and more cards.  And tee shirts.  And bobble heads.


The Alumni Players Association was having a silent auction.  I didn't bid, but if I had money to blow I would have bid on these next two items.


But I would have made them correct the spelling of his name on the bid form.


The next day we sauntered on down to Cincinnati to see the Cubs beat the Reds in extra innings.


And nothing says being at a ball park than oversized fiberglass restaurant mascots.


I've got many more photos and much more to show and talk about.  That will come later.