Friday, October 30, 2009

American Classics - Halloween cards

So, while watching Gaslight on TV tonight with my wife, I grabbed the laptop and tapped into my creative side. I didn't find the vein. Since the card companies have decided to commemorate events and individuals in baseball card sets (as well as designing complete sets around them), I thought I'd take a stab.

The cards relate to Halloween. Houdini died on Halloween in 1926. Poe's stories are read by tens of thousands of high schoolers at this time of year.

I snagged the images from the Library of Congress, and used Paint dot Net and Google's Picasa to manipulate the images. I chose the name of "American Classics" because it could cover many different topics. But the banner looks like the backside of the French flag. And yes, Houdini was born Hungarian. But he did quite a bit of showmanship in the US. I'm claiming him.

Just something fun while waiting for Game 3 of the World Series.

Tuesday, October 27, 2009

Fourth Place

I entered Thorzul's Halloween Card Contest, Nightmares on Cardboard II. I've seen some of the other entries and I knew that I didn't stand a chance in heck of winning. But I came in fourth place. Despite my comment on his site, I really am pleased to do that well. I've never really been good when it comes to image manipulation.

Thorzul gave some hints to a film that if referenced, would give extra points. I chose the Texas Chainsaw Massacre. It wasn't the film. I think I caught some extra points because of the David Cronenberg film references, though.

I used Paint dot NET as my program of choice. This time out I learned about rotating layers. That's how I got the chainsaw to tilt. And I got more comfortable with text boxes. I guess I spent about an hour with this creation.

Am I pleased with my results? Yes. Will I ever master card creation/manipulation? No, but I'm having some fun with it.

I just did some research on Jeff Reed. He's recently agreed to return to the Elizabethton Twins next year as their hitting and third base coach. The Elizabethton Twins are the Rookie Affiliate of the Minnesota Twins. Elizabethton is about a two hour drive. I should print the card out and send him a copy to keep and and ask him to sign one.


Seymour comes to Seymour

One day last week I got a package in the mail. It was from Adam of Thoughts and Sox. He was the most recent caretaker of the T206 Cy Seymour that has been floating around the blogosphere. (See Carl Crawford Cards' post that set this in motion.)

He also included a T206 of Red Ames (hands at chest pose). Adam is claiming that this is a fake and sent it along for comparison. I agree with him, but I'm trying to put together a post as to why I think it is a forgery. That includes better scans, and a bit of research, then actually putting it down on the blog. Seeing my track record for blogging this month, don't look for it tonight.

Adam also included a 1960 Earl Wilson Rookie Card. I've got this one already, but it is slabbed in a bit of graded plastic. No, the plastic isn't graded, the card is. Now I've got one to put in the binder. Yippee!

And, since no one saw their way fit to send me any of the graft or bribes I was asking for during the Gint-A-Cuffs fiasco, Adam shared with me a coupon for "any breakfast sandwich" from McDonalds. Finally I can eat.

Thank you, Adam. His in-laws live not too far from me, so we might have a blogger meet and greet next month.

The title of the post? I actually live in a town called Seymour, even though I tell people that I live in Knoxvegas. I sound cooler that way. Now I am cooler since I have Cy to keep me company.

Monday, October 19, 2009

Card Show stuff

I went to the card show on Saturday morning. I had my loupe, my lists, cash and a mission. The mission was to leave the show at 10:45am. Wedding in the early afternoon. My wife was the piano player and my son was a groomsman.

Same venue as the show in March. I took a quick survey and ignored the toy and game vendors. The sports card guys (and gals) were friendly, but since I got there right as it opened, I beat some of the vendors to their tables. One of the last vendors I went to was Uncle Dick. I picked up my two remaining Earl Wilson regular issue cards. I count regular issue as cards made while the player is actually playing (or managing as the case may be).

1964 Topps, Earl Wilson (card # 503)

1966 Topps, Earl Wilson (card # 575)

The 1964 was $1.50. The 1966 was $2.50. Well, it was $3.50, but I asked Uncle Dick if he'd take $4 for the pair. He said yes.

The next three came from a dime box collection. I pulled 30 cards from there to sweeten up some trade deals and to expand my dad's Randy Johnson collection. I'm not quite sure if he's only collecting Randy Johnson during the Arizona years or not. That's what I pulled, though.

1994 Ted Williams Locklear Collection, Josh Gibson (card # LC14)

It is Josh Gibson. What more is there to say?

2003 Playoff Portraits, Curt Schilling (card #7)

The surface of the Schilling is raised, like an oil painting. It doesn't translate at all in the scan, but it is rather nice.

1992 Rembrandt Ultra-Pro Promo, Jose Canseco (card # P19)

No, I'm not a big fan of Jose, but you can't really go wrong with this one. Look at the hair. He'd be a good gubernatorial candidate in Illinois. And it is like I got 10 cards for the price of one.

I completed my mission. Out the door at 10:45am. The wedding was nice, thanks for asking.

Oh, I purchased some more cards, but the pillow is now calling for my head. Perhaps I'll show some later tonight.

Tuesday, October 13, 2009


So, I'm getting ready for the semiannual card show here in Knoxvegas. I've contacted two of the sellers I met in March, but haven't heard back from them.

To prepare, I'm trying to get organized. That means dusting off my jeweler's loupe, printing out my want lists and thinking of exactly what I want to buy.

To do that, I need to find my jeweler's loupe (found it), update my want lists and then get creative.

There are only a few items that I think I can get at this show. It is rather small and I'm not going to have a lot of time. My wife's cousin is getting married right after lunch and my son is an usher. So, I have to be there when the doors open at 9am and leave no later than 11am. Two hours for a small show? Yes. But I have a tendency to spend way too much time talking to dealers or looking through boxes of cheap stuff.

I'm going to focus on finishing off my Earl Wilson Topps regular issue set. I'm missing 1964 and 1966. I don't think that I'll find any of the Venezuelan issues there. I'll also look for some Hall of Fame relic or auto cards. Cheap ones. And some Carl Erskine cards.

I was having an email conversation with another blogger and he suggested that I have a Top Ten list of Target Cards. "It's kind of like letting people know you're looking for a job; friends seem extra-ready to keep an eye out for you."

My Target Cards:
  • 2009 Topps Allen & Ginter, Millito Navarro (#112) base
  • any Willie Stargell Relic or Auto card (bat preferred)
  • 2005 Playoff Absolute Memorabilia Tools of the Trade Blue
  • 2005 Playoff Absolute Memorabilia Tools of the Trade Black
  • 2005 Playoff Absolute Memorabilia Tools of the Trade Red
  • 1964 Topps Earl Wilson (#503)
  • 1966 Topps Earl Wilson (#575)
  • 2004 Donruss Elite Extra, Draft Class, Don Mattingly, Orel Hershiser (#DC-10)
I started to think about what I wanted. Sure, I'd like lots of old stuff, but I'm trying to be reasonable and focused. I'm still adding my Hershiser cards to Zistle, but I'm not going to finish that up by Saturday.

As I go through and organize what I have, I realize that I need to get some toploaders and some screwdowns cases. I'm good on penny sleeves. I also realize that I need to get organized. I'm getting better, but I have a ways to go.

Then, I need to spend some time with what I'm collecting. If I don't look through the binder, through the toploaders and screwdowns, why am I collecting? I need to enjoy what I have, not always looking for a way to get more.

Monday, October 12, 2009

New Custom Cards

No, not from me. The Denver Post created a series of cards (front and back) for the Rockies.

They can be found here. They did it with Flash or Shockwave or something. After you select one, you can "flip" it over to see the back or just wait a bit and the images will change.

Simple design and a nice tribute to their team. Who happened to fall to the Phillies this evening.

Saturday, October 10, 2009

Three fun cards

Found these in a box of cards. They just looked fun.

1995 Donruss, Alvara Espinoza (card # 303)

1991 Score Dream Team, Doug Jones (card # 884)

1992 Score, Jeff Reed (card # 311)

Or maybe it should be displayed this way...

Thursday, October 8, 2009

Cheers and Jeers

I think that TV Guide has a section called "Cheers and Jeers." They spotlight both the good and the bad in the industry that they cover.

I thought that I'd take a moment and do that for some of the blogs that I read.

Grand Cards had a very nice post on Tuesday about the Metrodome. I'll quote my favorite portion of it.
... the Metrodome claimed another victim tonight, in what was perhaps its shining moment. The secret is that the building's steel was forged by Lucifer himself and the dome is inflated by the last breaths of dying puppies and kittens. So, yes. The Metrodome wins again, and the Twins live to play another day.

I have a link on the sidebar for blogs I like to read. This last week I've removed three of them. The writers of those blogs used the word retard or retarded in a mocking way. They are very talented and generous people. But I don't like to or want to read their posts right now.

If you have read my blog for a while you know that my daughter, Caroline, has Down syndrome.
Down syndrome occurs when an individual has three, rather than two, copies of the 21st chromosome. This additional genetic material alters the course of development and causes the characteristics associated with Down syndrome. All people with Down syndrome experience cognitive delays, but the effect is usually mild to moderate and is not indicative of the many strengths and talents that each individual possesses. Caroline started kindergarten a few months ago. She is learning sight words, attempts to write her first name, speaks in complex sentences and is rather independent.

I think that the recent use of the r-word was used to denote a look or behavior that is clumsy, hapless and perhaps even hopeless. The word, used intentionally or not, conjures up a painful stereotype of people with intellectual disabilities. As Caroline's advocate, it hurts. In the past I have stepped up on a Soapbox, emailed people privately, commented publicly on comments, ignored it. Today I'm blogging about it again.

I respect the right for others to use whatever language they want. I have a right not to promote them. At this time I'm exercising that right. There are many good things happening now. I choose to focus on them.

Some resources about Ds and those with special needs can be found here:
* National Down Syndrome Society
* Special Olympics

At the All-Star game, Major League Baseball teamed up with People magazine and showcased a number of individuals (All-Stars) that were making a difference in their communities. One of them was Brad Hennefer. Brad has Ds and his accomplishments at the game of golf inspired the Brad Hennefer Golf for Life Foundation, which provides golf opportunities for individuals with Ds. More info on Brad and the other All-Stars can be found at

Wednesday, October 7, 2009

Ryne Sandberg Oddball

Sometime back I stopped at the Antique Mall in south Knoxvegas. Most of the stuff that they have there is not antique. But booth 67 has some nice cards, baseball, football, basketball and racing. Most of them are inexpensively priced. That is my kind of booth.

I found this oddball Ryne Sandberg. It is a 1992 American Sports Monthly issue. I'm assuming that this was a magazine.

1992 American Sports Monthly, Ryne Sandberg, no number
(card numbered 3,514 of 16,000)

Note the low print run. I'm lucky to have picked it up for a dime.

I also purchased some Mets, Dodgers, Diamondbacks, Orioles and a bit of shiny. These will be making their way to new homes.

Thursday, October 1, 2009

It should stay in the family

In looking through the Huggins & Scott auction catalog last evening, I found an item that has regional historical significance. It is the George Levene 1908 Silver Trophy Cup.

Regional significance? Yes, I live just outside of Knoxvegas, TN. It is a great sports town. The Tennessee Smokies (AA minor league team for the Cubs), Knoxville Ice Bears (2008-2009 Southern Professional Hockey League Champions), tons of High School sports and of course, the University of Tennessee athletic programs, most notably the Lady Vols basketball team and the Volunteers football team.

The UT football program has had many different head coaches. Several stand out including Robert Neyland, Johnny Majors, Phillip Fulmer and now Lane Kiffin.

George Levene was the head coach from 1907-1909. This trophy was presented to him by the citizens of Knoxville in 1908. That year he coached the team to a 7-2-0 record. In 1907 it was 7-2-1. His final year in Knoxville dropped to a sorry 1-6-2 record. His nickname Izzy came from his given name, Israel.

The price of this trophy started out at $250 and is currently sitting at $350. Given the weight of the trophy and the current price of silver, it is about a break even investment for the raw metal (not counting the Buyer's Premium). Now, I'm not suggesting that the new owner melt this down or sell it for scrap.

I wish that I had known about this item before last night. My fault for not reading the catalog sooner. I think that an effort could have been made through one of the various sports talk shows to raise money to purchase the trophy and donate it to the UT Athletic Department. Or to the East Tennessee Historical Society.

I'm guessing that the current bidders are Vols fans who think that it would be nice in their own Man Cave or perhaps on their desk at their business. I do not begrudge them for wanting to own it. I just think that it should stay in the family.