Sunday, January 31, 2010

20 Years Ago

The NFC won the 1990 ProBowl. 27-21. In Hawaii.

This year it was different. AFC won. 41-34. In Miami.

To celebrate tonight's AFC victory, I'm showing some cards of the 1990 Pro Set's AFC team. Because I don't have any of the NFC team and I don't have any current cards of this year's meaningless contest winner.

Pack Break Video

This is my first attempt at a video pack break.

About two weeks ago, Greg, that Owl of the Night, posted three Albuquerque Dukes cards. Debus. Dugas. And Bustabad.

dayf commented:
I'll give the first person to post a YouTube video of them saying "Debus, Dugas and Bustabad" ten times fast while ripping a pack of 1991 Fleer a relic, auto, numbered insert and vintage card from their favorite baseball team.

I am dead serious about this.
I'm taking him up on his offer.

I don't know what the whir-whir sound is. Sorry about that. And this is a lot harder than it looks. I practiced on a pack of 1987 Topps and a pack of 1992 Upper Deck.

Note: pack break videos will not become a staple of this blog. I'm sorry that you won't be getting 2:45 minutes of your life back.

dayf, we'll talk.

Saturday, January 30, 2010

What are these Ugglas?

Okay, I'm confused. These are 2009 Topps, Dan Uggla cards. All numbered 10.

Card A

Card B

Card C

Compare and Contrast - fronts
(C, B, A)

Note the loopy Topps logo on the middle card (card B). The Black Border (card C) and the lowest card (card A) have a straight Topps logo.

Compare and Contrast - backs (A, B, C)

The backs of cards A and C are white and glossy. Card B is natural and rough.

I think that the Card C is a Wal-Mart Black Bordered parallel. So, what are they? Target / Wal-Mart parallels? Please, help me out.

Friday, January 29, 2010

Some nickel cards I like

I picked these up for a nickel a piece. I like them and I hope you do, too.

2001 Upper Deck Hall of Famers, Buck Leonard (card #21)

2001 Upper Deck Hall of Famers, Josh Gibson (card #85)

2003 Topps Retired Signature Edition, Jim Bunning (card #76)

1987 Toys "R" Us, John Kruk (card #17)

2003 Flair, Greats of the Game, Rube Waddell (card #91)

1994 Ted Williams Card Company, Rube Foster (card #105)

Wednesday, January 27, 2010

The Braves are coming to Knoxvegas

According to the Braves' MLB website, the Braves' Caravan is going to start rolling soon. And it is headed my way.

When?: Tue., Feb. 9 (1:30 p.m. - 3:00 p.m. )

Where?: Wild Wings Café
11335 Campbell Lakes Drive
Farragut, TN 37934

Who?: At this time, the Braves scheduled to appear are:
  • Mike Minor
  • Jo-Jo Reyes
  • James Parr
  • Bruce Manno
  • Dave Brundage
  • Otis Nixon
Knoxvegas is a great sports town, but a strange one. To the north is Cincy, so there are a good number of Reds fans here. To the south is Atlanta, so there are a good number of Braves fans. Each city is about four hours away, so the drive isn't horrid. For football, one might think that there would be Bengals and Falcons fans. Not so much. We've really taken to the Titans, those no good transplants from Texas. Jeff Fisher is well liked. There's also a big loyalty to the Colts, what with Peyton Manning graduating from the University of Tennessee. We had some indoor/arena football in town several years ago. Not bad for some quick action. Basketball? Two words. Pat. Summit. Okay, two more. Bruce. Pearl. Yes, some of his players had a few issues just a couple of short weeks ago, but Bruce is setting the team back on track. And we have the Smokies, AA club of the Cubs just down the road. Literally. Out of my subdivision, take a left. At the stoplight, take another left and you're there. It takes about 20 minutes. I need to go more often.

But anyway, the Braves are coming to town. The time and location couldn't be much worse for me. Middle of the workday on the far west side of town and I think that my son has a dentist appointment at 4:00 p.m. on the far south side of town.

In other news, I'm starting to do some research on the Knoxville Giants. I've got a few email feelers out there and a few phone calls were placed. A plan is in my mind to research contemporary newspapers at the local historical society.

Some of the sites I've visited are:
I put these links here both for you and for me. I'm forgetful.

My Experience

I've been waffling back and forth between and to pick up a few more cards. A few weeks ago I decided on SportLots. I had done my research and the two were very different, in ease of use, selection, pricing and shipping fees.

Being the frugal guy that I am, I went with quantity and price per card over the higher priced cards. I was able to purchase 25 cards that I wanted for a total of $8.57. It was $7.03 for the cards, $1.75 for Budget Postage/Handling. The seller gave me a 3 % discount on the cards, so that knocked off $0.21. That works out to about $0.34 per card.

About now I'm guessing that your saying, "Well, those were probably all base cards." Nope, not all of them.

The most expensive card was the 1995 Upper Deck Electric Diamond Gold for $1.75.

1995 Upper Deck Electric Diamond Gold (card #74)

Contrast that to the 1995 Upper Deck Electric Diamond for $0.18. The difference? The color of the foil stamp on the front.

1995 Upper Deck Electric Diamond (card #74)

The next most expensive card, well, there were three that came in at $0.50 each.

1986 Drake's (card #31)

1990 Bowman Tiffany (card #84)

1988 Score Glossy (card #470)

The rest of these are the $0.18 cards.

1995 Upper Deck Trade Exchange (card #TC1)

1996 Fleer Post Season Glory (card #3)

1994 Stadium Club Golden Rainbow (card #400)

I was also able to get an Earl Wilson and two Carl Erskines. Still at $0.18 each.

1993 Upper Deck All-Time Heroes, Earl Wilson (card #127)

1993 Ted Williams, Carl Erskine (card #13)

1992 Action Packed All-Star Gallery, Carl Erskine (card #54)

I didn't show you the Topps Stickers, Fun Food Button, the Panini Sticker, the seemingly endless Fleer mini boxed set cards and a few others. Interestingly, I got this package in the mail the same day that Night Owl sent some cards. I opened his first because I didn't know what was in there. This package I knew. Several of the cards that he sent were ones that I had ordered from SL. He gets credit for giving me the cards and the ones that came from SL are now dupes.

Comparing SL to COMC for these cards, there were only two of the 25 from SL that COMC had. They were priced higher at COMC ($0.18 vs $0.25 and $0.18 vs $0.99). The shipping from COMC would be higher ($3.00 for the first card plus $0.25 for each extra card). If I purchased these cards from COMC it would have cost me $9.00 just in shipping alone.

Finding cards on COMC is much easier. Search for the player you want and add the cards to your shopping cart. COMC shows me all of the Hershiser cards that they have in stock. Each one of them is scanned, front and back, with the cards graded by (I'm assuming) the owner of the card. What is M to one might be NM to another. I'm not that picky on cards from the 1980's and 1990's. No, I don't want them creased or dinged, but if there's a speck flaw, meh.

Finding cards on SL is a different beast. Select the player, then you are taken to a checklist of years that the player had cards issued. Select up to three years and see what's available. Then they show you the the cards available. Selecting a specific card drills you down to individual cards, their condition, price and seller.

When your done adding the cards to your cart, you can search another three years. Yes, only three years at a time. Once I found a seller that seemed to have a number of cards that I wanted, I could look for any Hershiser that he had in his inventory. Each SL seller maintains their own stock. At COMC, the cards are all in one location and get shipped from one site.

The seller that I dealt with shipped my purchase very quickly. Too save money, I selected his Budget Shipping option. Each seller lists their own shipping costs, based on the number of cards and any extra services (insurance, packing materials, etc). The pin I ordered was wrapped in plastic, but the clasp was against the cards and put a dent on the front of the Trade Card. I probably should have spent that extra dollar and gotten premium shipping, but this didn't ruin it for me.

I've started a spread sheet with the cards I want, lowest price and then grouped by SL seller, with a column for COMC prices. For the cards I'm looking at, I'll probably place another order with SL and then take the plunge and place an order with COMC. But, these are cards I want, not need. I'm in no rush and perhaps new cards will show up before I place either of those orders.

Bottom line, for me it was some work to determine which cards I wanted and from which site. I'm happy that I spent some time and chose to go with I can recommend them with confidence, even though I could only search three years at a time. Spending the time researching I was able to add some cards to the Zistle database. That helps me and the collecting community. I'm happy.

Now, how to organize them? I guess that's another post.

Tuesday, January 26, 2010

New Card Creation - Damon Rutherford

The Mad Guru, when he's not tossing the SABRmetrics guys into a tizzy, still finds time to read books and host a contest. This particular contest is related to books. Well, one book. Robert Coover's The Universal Baseball Association, Inc., J. Henry Waugh, Prop. Jon has asked for card creators to design a card for one of the book's fictional characters, Damon Rutherford.

So, I thought that I'd give it a try. The card is not based on any specific set, although I was a bit inspired by the 1961 Fleer colors, which, in my mind, are red, white and blue. Yes, I know that it is a different blue, but this my card design. I thought about stacking the colors in order, which would leave white at the bottom (using 1/4" stripes). Good place for a name.

The picture is actually Hugh Radcliff, a High School player at the time the photo was taken. I lifted the image from LIFE magazine's image archive hosted by Google.

Using PaintDotNet I slapped this together. I created the front at 300dpi, but ran into some letter/font issues when scaling it down to 96dpi.

I created the back at 96dpi, because that is what my blank cardboard image resolution is. Since I have no idea how Damon is described in the book I decided to make up all the info. Reading reviews of the book, I gather that Damon is supposed to meet a great calamity. For irony, I gave him the birth date of St. Patrick's Day. I figured that his father had been in World War II, did some post war time in Europe and returned in the summer of 1946 to find his bride of three years eagerly waiting for him.

I don't know where Hugh Radcliff went to High School. I made up the team, Dunkirk Rebels. I thought that Dunkirk would be located in the mid-west. A quick check showed that there are a few Dunkirks in Indiana. I selected the one in Cass county. Logansport is the county seat.

I figured that the Dunkirk Rebels were a low level farm team or some sort of semi-pro team. I then made up the stats. I didn't give too much thought if the numbers even made sense. I didn't include ERA stat because I didn't want to have to do much math. I wanted him to get better each year in his W-L record.

So, there you go. I give you my version of Damon Rutherford. Head on over to Rain of Error, find out the details of the contest and get creating.

Monday, January 25, 2010

A look back

I realized the other day that I've been blogging here for just over a year. And now I have just over 300 posts. And my statcounter says that I've had over 16,750 page loads. So, what does that mean?

It has been one quick year. Things change. Priorities, likes and dislikes, favorite blog sites, attitude. I've grown in my knowledge of baseball and baseball cards. I've read several books on the history of the game.

I've received cards and sent cards. I think I've become a better writer. I've encouraged and been encouraged. I've opened my binder and shared some of my cards. I've opened my heart and shared some of my feelings.

I've tinkered with card creation and learned some things about layers. I've been to two card shows. I've purchased a T206 and some cards from the '40's. I've gotten closer to finishing of the 1989 Topps set. I've shared my joy of collecting with my father and now he's interested in Diamondback cards.

I got an in person autograph of a Hall of Famer. I've started collecting auto and relic cards of Hall of Famers. I've held a contest and won one or two. I've given quite a bit of thought about pursuing some TTMs.

It's been a fun time and I'm going to continue it.

There. I've looked back. Now it is time for me to look ahead.


Huh? I can get a Babe Ruth / Walter Johnson Relic Jersey Patch 1/1?

Where? Oh, this auction.

How much? $27.49 and that's at 45 % off. But that $3.00 shipping is off putting.

It must be real. It is certified. And if you click on the image you can see the texture of those warm, wonderful wool uniforms.

Man, I wish that I wasn't on a strict card buying budget.

Well, at least is isn't a pair of buttonholes...

Sunday, January 24, 2010

The Breakfast of Champions

The latest of the Wheaties cereal boxes that show athletes has hit the stores. Champions that appear on the boxes are:
They've got a YouTube channel. A Facebook page. A Twitter account. And of course, the regular old website.

Our local Kroger had these on sale, two for $5. Then I come home and find that I can get a dollar off coupon. I'll print that out and take it and the receipt back for a redemption. Don't mock me. That extra dollar can take care of the postage for an upcoming Bip.

Go eat. Now. Or wait until breakfast time. Your choice.

Quiz Time Answers

Hey! You've waited long enough. Here's the answers.

Got Wood?
  • Leather & Lumber - 1997 Donruss
  • Legendary Lumberjacks - 2001 Donruss
  • Lumber Cuts - 2005 Donruss
  • Lumber Co. - 1992 Fleer
  • Split Lumber
  • Sizzling Lumber - 1997 Pacific
  • The Lumber Yard - 2001 SP
  • Crackin the Lumber - 2003 Upper Deck

Please have your ticket ready
  • Ticket to Stardom - 1997 Upper Deck
  • Round Trip Tickets - 2001 Donruss
  • Ticket Studs - 2003 Fleer
  • Ticket Punchers
  • Ticket for Four - 2004 Fleer
  • Hot Ticket - 2005 Fleer
  • Ticket Masters - 1998 Leaf

The doctor will see you now
  • Eyes of the Game - 2000 Stadium Club
  • I Only Have Eyes For You
  • Eyes of the World - 2000 Pacific

  • Captured on Film
  • Capture the Action - 2000 Stadium Club
  • Captured on Canvas - 2007 Upper Deck Masterpieces

Bonus Questions (Baseball Players Featured on Saturday Night Live)
  • Chico Escuela ("Beisbol been bery, bery good to me!")
  • Bob Uecker - 1984 host
  • Billy Martin - 1986 co-host
  • Derek Jeter - 2001 host
  • Deion Sanders - 1995 host
  • Michael Jordan (minor leaguer) - 1991 host
  • Todd Hunley - 1997 cameo in Baseball Dreams skit
  • Scott Rolen - 1997 cameo in Baseball Dreams skit
  • Mark Wohlers - 1997 cameo in Baseball Dreams skit
  • Marty Cordova - 1997 cameo in Baseball Dreams skit
  • Jeff Fassero - 1997 cameo in Baseball Dreams skit
  • Greg Jeffries - 1997 cameo in Baseball Dreams skit
  • Todd Zeile - 1997 cameo in Baseball Dreams skit
  • David Howard - 1997 cameo in Baseball Dreams skit
  • Ted Brogan - 1997 cameo in Baseball Dreams skit
  • Mark Grudzielanek - 1997 cameo in Baseball Dreams skit
  • Rondell White - 1997 cameo in Baseball Dreams skit
  • David Howard - 1997 cameo in Baseball Dreams skit
  • Russ Davis - 1997 cameo in Baseball Dreams skit
  • Cliff Floyd - 1997 cameo in Baseball Dreams skit
  • Mike Sweeney - 1997 cameo in Baseball Dreams skit
  • David Cone - 2001 speaking part (as Skank #1) in Baseball Wives skit
  • David Wells - 2001 speaking part (as Skank #2) in Baseball Wives skit
  • Bill Murray (minor league team owner) - cast member, 1981 host (and four other times)
Okay, they're up for debate, as to whether some of them were baseball players. Or actors. I might have missed a few.

Information gathered from the 2009 Standard Catalog of Baseball Cards and the Information Superhighway.

Saturday, January 23, 2010

Quiz Time

Wake up. Quiz time. The subject is Set Names. Which of each group is not an actual baseball card set (or subset) name? There is no prize, just the satisfaction that you killed a few minutes here.

Got Wood?
  • Leather and Lumber
  • Legendary Lumberjacks
  • Lumber Cuts
  • Lumber Company
  • Split Lumber
  • Sizzling Lumber
  • The Lumber Yard
  • Crackin the Lumber

Please have your ticket ready.
  • Ticket to Stardom
  • Round Trip Tickets
  • Ticket Studs
  • Ticket Punchers
  • Ticket for Four
  • Hot Ticket
  • Ticket Masters

The doctor will see you now.
  • Eyes of the Game
  • I Only Have Eyes For You
  • Eyes of the World

  • Captured on Film
  • Capture the Action
  • Captured on Canvas

The answers will be posted around midnight (during Saturday Night Live).

Bonus Questions
  • How many different baseball players were featured on Saturday Night Live?
  • Can you name them?

Friday, January 22, 2010

The Baseball Uncyclopedia

The Baseball Uncyclopedia is the most disgusting, hateful, and bitter piece of writing since Ball Four. Its authors, Michael Kun and Howard Bloom, are not merely social lepers. No, they are also emotional lepers, political lepers, mechanical lepers, agricultural lepers, romantic lepers, fashion lepers, musical lepers, technical lepers, recreational lepers, and circus lepers. It doesn't stop with lepers. These guys are pariahs of the worst kind. I'll just let your imagination run wild there.*

A few weeks ago I mentioned that I received several books for my birthday. I finished up one of them and thought that I should review it here.

I have recently read Robert Carroll's Baseball Between the Lies. The Baseball Uncyclopedia goes way beyond that. Funny and snarky. The authors have a thing for tweaking Barry Bonds. And throwing sacred cows on the grill.

Entries include:
  • Bases, Number of: You Should Not Try to Learn About Baseball by Watching a Television Sitcom
  • Etiquette, Baseball: You Do Not Embarrass Another Baseball Fan in Front of His Date
  • Fish, Raw: Sushi Does Not Belong at a Ballpark
  • Jackson, Shoeless Joe: Joe Jackson is Not in the Hall of Fame Because Kevin Costner Made The Postman
The authors each write their own entries, but sometimes they create entries just as a rebuttal to a topic. See "Ryan, Nolan: Nolan Ryan Was Not a Great Pitcher" and the entries that follow. For a while, I would play a game with myself: Who Wrote This Entry? Sometimes I'd win, sometimes I'd lose. For a while I found that I really enjoyed one of them, for their style and insight, but a few pages later I'd go all fickle and change my allegiance to the other one.

The writers reference common and uncommon parts of culture. Taking a look back through the book I find that they mention Life cereal, the boardgame Clue, airport security, Slip 'N Slide, Bea Arthur, The Partridge Family's Greatest Hits, pajamas, The Love Boat, and Middlemarch. Yes, they are all relevant.

The Baseball Unencyclopedia is a book that can be read in short breaks or at one sitting. I'd suggest the short breaks. If you choose to read it, enjoy and savor it. Don't rush it and try not to jump ahead. And do read the appendices. You'll probably learn something.

* on page 108 the authors encouraged this start for a review:
Since calling writers "social lepers" apparently leads to hundreds of thousands of books sold, we would like to assist anyone who might review this book by suggesting that they begin the review with the following language: "The Baseball Uncyclopedia is the most disgusting, hateful... agricultural lepers, etc., etc., etc. Knock yourself out."
So I indulged them. What can it hurt? My review is probably their biggest thrill all week.

Wednesday, January 20, 2010

Admire, don't acquire

Although I like cards of certain players, I know that I'm never going to be able to own them. So, while preaching a message on finances this last Sunday, our preacher used the term, "Admire, don't acquire". It struck me as pertinent to card collecting. Personally I can't see spending big bucks on a single piece of cardboard. I understand the desirability of cards, the historical significance of them and I'll continue to collect meaningful (to me) low priced cards.

While glancing around ebay, I found this very nice 1968 Bazooka Earl Wilson.

The seller is asking $250 for this. Would it fit in with my small collection of Earl Wilson cards? Yes. Am I willing to spend that much on a single card? No.

So, I'll admire it for now, realizing that it is a fine specimen of a fine card of a fine player.

Save the Date - March 6, 2010

For more info, visit UD's News and Events page for National Packtime.

Tuesday, January 19, 2010

Clean Sweep Auctions - January, 2010

The catalog arrived in my mailbox a few weeks ago. I was determined to peruse and showcase it here before the auction actually started. I'm in luck. It doesn't start until Wednesday, January 27.

Since this is Clean Sweep Auctions' Celebration of Yankee History, I'll focus on just the Yankee items. This is a bit difficult for me, for the Yankee's don't hold a warm place in my heart. But, I do admire them for their winning ways and storied history, so I'm willing to let it slide for the sake of this post.

The catalog is 83 pages of auction items and about 30 pages of items for sale. By the cover, one would think that each and every lot would be related to the Yankees. Nope. Actually, the offerings include Antiquarian Books, Presidential & Historical Autographs, Entertainment & Related Autographs, Non-Sport Cards & Related lots. Other sports include Basketball, Boxing, Football, Golf, Hockey, and Tennis.

I'll select a few items that I wouldn't mind having in my collection. My rules for this catalog review is that the lot must be somehow Yankees related and there is no limit for money. Let's get started.

Lot #17, 1933 Yankees Team Ball Cond: 9

Starting Bid: $1,500
Current Bid: $3,600
Ruth, Gehrig and 21 others signed this ball. Who wouldn't want that?

Lot #682 1930 Original Yankee Stadium Seat Cond: Ex

Starting Bid: $700
Current Bid: $847
How many hind-ends has this thing seen? And if it could talk...

Lot #616 Letter Fletcher, Art (lot of 10 letters) Cond: 9.5

Starting Bid: $200
Current Bid: no bids, yet
Art Fletcher was a coach with the Yankees from 1927 to 1945. There's something about correspondence that I enjoy.

Lot #711 1987 Mickey Mantle Scripts from His Personal Collection w/LOAs (2) Cond: NM

Starting Bid: $600
Current Bid: no bids, yet
Scripts for a movie and a TV show. Who would play Mickey in the 1990's? And I really can't see Mickey on a weekly sitcom. Yes, I don't think that the TV script was for a sitcom.

"Okay, Mick, can I call you Mick? Mr. Mantle, sure. Now, Mr. Mantle, this is the basic story. You'll be a sportswriter. And you'll get a butler from, I don't know, England. It'll be fun. Each show can close with the butler writing in his diary. No, journal. Yes, I know, Mr. Mantle. Diaries are for girls. What's that? Yes, you'll be married. Well, the writers already have that arranged. Can your character go out at night? What? Carousing? I guess we could write a dream-sequence episode. A typical episode? Hmm. Well, you could go down to the television studio, your wife would be attending law school and then some crisis would arise with the kids and the butler would save the day. What's that? You'd save the day. Sure. No, I guess we don't really need the butler. Guest stars? Who would you have in mind? McGwire? You want to kick his what? Sosa too? No, people wouldn't really like that. Roger? Yes, Roger would like that. Well, you think about it. I'll have my people call your people."

Bids current as of 9:00pm, Eastern Time