Sunday, November 28, 2010

Connie Mack - American Vaquero

Here's something you don't see every day.  Connie Mack without his standard hat.  Here we see him with a sombrero.

This photo came from the Jeanette (Pennsylvania) News-Dispatch (March 5, 1937).

Here's the text that went with the photo:

I saw the photo and immediately thought of Marck, the Collective Troll.  He likes cards of players in sombreros.  This card creation of Connie Mack shows Mack when he was managing, but many don't know that he also was a player.  He played 11 seasons, from 1886 to 1896. He was a player manager from 1894 to 1896 and then full time manager from 1901 to 1950.  He led the Philadelphia Athletics to nine pennants and five World Series championships. 

For the border I used an image from the From Old Books website.  A bit of black and white magic and poof, instant border.  In the note that I sent to Marck last night, I mentioned that I could have spent some more time cleaning up the image and card, but that I liked the raw-ness of it.

Earlier this year I sent Marck another custom card.  Of the White Sox from 1976.  This card was featured on Marck's site as his blog header for a while, but I don't think that I ever showed it here.

So, Marck, enjoy the Mack.

Friday, November 26, 2010

You've Waited Long Enough

Okay, you've waited long enough.  The Packs Gone Wild series of posts, brought to you by Marck, of the Collective Troll blog, has now reached the Hot Russian Space Chicks phase.

I'm not quite sure how many cards are in this set. This pack is part of Series 3.  Okay, I do know something about these cards.  And a bit more.

Nothing says Space like a Saturn V.  In flight.  On the pad.  It doesn't matter.  Admit it.  We all flipped through the Estes catalog, dreaming of a multistage liftoff, trying to figure out how to pay for handfuls of C and D engines.

I guess little Boris and Mikhail would spend their nights looking through their Esteskovich catalog, hoping to someday buy and launch an Soyuz TM 2.

David Letterman's uncle?

I know that you're waiting for the Hot Russian Space Chicks.  I'm sad to say that this pack doesn't have any. The best that I can do is this shot of Kathryn Thornton.  She's on the left, joined by Thomas Akers.  At least that's what it says on the back of the card.

This could be a new amusement park ride.  I don't know what they'd call it, though.

Does anyone else wonder what Alan Kalter was doing during the 1970s?  My wife thinks that Rusty looks like Robert Redford. 

Alan Kalter, of Late Night announcing fame

Something not too smart about bringing bees into a small, enclosed area for several weeks, without the ability to open the door and shoo them out.

"Mr. Gorbachev, tear down this wall."  Before it became popular.

So there you go.  Your Hot Russian Space Chicks edition of Packs Gone Wild.  For what it is worth, I've never pulled an auto or a relic from any pack.  I'm a loser.

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

Winnings from Play at the Plate

Brian, over at the wonderful blog, Play at the Plate, won this year's edition of Gint-A-Cuffs.  For winning, he received a hobby box of 2010 A&G, courtesy of Topps.

Being the kind soul that he is, he offered the hits from the box to the participants of GAC2.  Although I wasn't a contestant in that fiasco, I did invest myself in it as commissioner.  I grabbed the Nationals in Brian's hits giveaway.

Lady Luck was with me.  An Adam Dunn relic card was pulled.

And just today, Washington offered Dunn arbitration.  He wants a four year deal.  They don't want to give it to him.  This might be one of the last Dunn relic cards with him wearing the scripty W.

The border card is rather garish for my tastes, but it works.  There's enough plastic on this thing to cover all of my Thanksgiving leftovers, but Topps still found a way to let the wood of the bat poke through.  I like that. 

So, Brian, thank you for the card.  Let's see what Gint-A-Cuffs III holds in store.

Monday, November 22, 2010

Jon Matsumoto - fictitious card

Through the wonder that is FaceBook, I have connected with long forgotten friends, family, and classmates.

One of my classmates, Frank McKeon, was quite a sharp young man back in the 1970s.  If my memory is correct, we shared classes from the 4th grade through the 10th grade, when I moved from upstate New York to Arizona.

Frank was quite the character, respectfully pushing the limits of 'normal' social behavior.  I never knew him as a trouble maker, but he had the look of one.  He introduced me to some 'new' music.  Alice Cooper and ELO.  I liked Frank.  We weren't best buddies, but we were friends.

A few weeks ago Frank mentioned on his FaceBook status:
Congrats to Jonathon Matsumoto on your first game in the NHL. Many more to come.
I wondered where Frank knew him. I looked up Jonathan Matsumoto on wikipedia and saw that he had played for the Adirondack Phantoms. I thought that Frank had seen him play for them. So I asked. Frank said that:
Jon and Claude Giroux both played for me and trained with me. Great kids but Jon is a very Close friend as well.
So, I figured I'd make a card for Jon.

This is based on a 1990 Score card. I lifted the photo from a Yahoo! Sports page. Credit where credit is due: Photo by Mike Stobe/Getty Images.

I guess I need to make a card for Claude now.

Thursday, November 18, 2010

Jinxed - A book review

I picked this up from the county library system at the end of September. I'm just now blogging about it. I need a life.

The book looks at the superstitions or routines of about 70 mostly former baseball players. Some of them fell into the categories of "not stepping on the foul line" or "I only eat a specific food on game day". Others were a bit, well, odder. Tossing away batting gloves until the player would get a hit. Always wearing a Mr. Happy Crack T-shirt.  I guess they would be odd for me.

It seems that the players and coaches that Ken Leiker describes aren't that different than you or me.  We all have a favorite shirt to wear to the office.  Before a big presentation, we like to have our favorite meal.  It calms us down, sets us in a groove.  Does that make us superstitious or just creatures of habit?  I'll go with the second one.  But, I'm not getting paid millions of dollars to throw, hit or catch a baseball.  Maybe they're not crazy, just eccentric.

The book was a very easy read. Just 128 pages.  Not a whole lot of text to drag you down.  The graphics are wonderful, very whimsical and stylized.  I wouldn't go out and buy it but it is nice to pass the rainy days of autumn away.  Support your local library.

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

Keeping to my schedule

Here are some of the UT basketball schedules I picked up at the game on Saturday. Also got some variation schedules at Dick's Sporting Goods.

Can't forget the Lady Vols.

Saturday, November 13, 2010

What I did in 24 hours

Football.  Lots of football.  Well, lots of football for me.  

Kyle is a friend of Edison, my son.  Kyle attends Gibbs High School.  He plays trumpet.  Edison attends The King's Academy.  He plays football.  TKA's season has finished.  Gibbs' season has continued into the post-season.  Kyle invited Edison to see a game.  So we went.  I'm friends with Kyle's father, so it worked out rather well.  

Gibbs played Scott County.  A very exciting game.  Bottom line, Gibbs won, 48-45, in OT.  They move on in their quest for football excellence.

This is Scott Co.'s band.  Yes, the whole band.  I'm not mocking them, just showing their size.  They played the opening part of halftime with a tribute to Green Day.

Gibbs' band.  I've forgotten what their musical theme was.

It always is a good thing when the twirlers use flaming batons.  A fun way to spend a very cool Friday evening.

Edgar D. McRary, Lenoir, North Carolina
Edgar is part of Phillip and Kyle's family.  My guess is that this photo is from the mid 1930s.

Then, on Saturday, it was down to Neyland Stadium.  A friend of mine, Jay, called me on Thursday, asking if I had plans for Saturday, because he had two tickets that he couldn't use.  After checking with Angie, I quickly accepted Jay's kind offer and made plans for my father and I to attend.

And attend we did.  We parked about two miles away and took a Knox Area Transit shuttle to the campus.

Behold, the glory that is Neyland Stadium.

 Pregame with the Pride of the Southland Band.

UT is steeped in tradition.  Volunteer guy, Smokey, and Mascot Smokey, after a UT score.

Kick off.  It seemed that most of the scoring went on at the other end.  The only decent chance I had to get a photo of UT scoring, the fan in front of me stood up quickly.  I got his back and three squares of orange and white.  Sorry for the lack of clarity on some of the photos.  Blackberry camera with 3x and 5x digital zoom.

UT won their homecoming game, 52-14.

Now, a post wouldn't be complete without some cards, right?  As we were walking toward the stadium, people were giving out some cards.  Athletes In Action.  Decent looking cards.

Nick has come out to The King's Academy and shared his story at chapel.  Edison says that he's a pretty cool guy.

So, that's what I did in 24 hours.

Thursday, November 11, 2010

Thank You, Veterans

This post doesn't have anything to do with cards.  I guess it has to do with gratitude.

Thanks to all of the veterans out there.  I'm sure that there were times that it wasn't easy putting country before family.  I can't imagine the sacrifices that you've made.  But I thank you for them.

Thank you, Dad, for serving.  And Uncle Larry.  And Uncle Leonard.  And other family members and friends.  And to those that I don't know, thank you.

To bring this back around to a card thread, Slangon has written quiet and subtle post today.  It should be read.  Another blog you all should look at with reverence is Baseball in Wartime, a companion to Gary Bedingfield's Baseball in Wartime website.

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

Packs Gone Wild - Part 3

Ooh, another round of "Packs Gone Wild".

The last two baseball packs from the box.  1988 Score and 1994 Fleer.  If those don't want to make you run and hide under the covers I don't know what would.  I really don't want to know, thanks.

17 cards in the pack and a Magic Motion Trivia Card.  That's some good value.  Oh, and the cards are "Photo Quality".

I spared you seeing the fronts.  But the Brian Downing is about the best of them.  Really.  Photo quality?  It is a photo.  Note the pretty rainbow.  Modern cards don't have anything on this set.

The backs?  They're actually halfway decent.  Clear stats, a splash of color and a nice tight head shot.  All of the players in this pack were wearing hats, with the team logo that is very clear.

Well, do you?  Hint: Hank Aaron Breaks Babe's Record.  That's all I'm going to say.

I'm glad that Score tightened it up in subsequent releases.

Now, on to the Fleer.  I don't remember these.  Fleer, too, has run the spectrum of quality.

This time they don't disappoint.  Nice photos.  The cutting quality is just fine.  The cards weren't quite square on my scanner and at first I didn't take the time to either rotate them or crop them properly.  Later on I got lazy.

Eck.  No, not Ecch.  Eck.

A young Manny.
A big Kruk.  Oh, is there any other kind?  Speaking of kind, that wasn't.  Sorry, John.

The backs are nice.  Clean. It could have been busy, but it wasn't.  Glenallen Hill sounds like a very tony subdivision.

One of the insert sets.  Or chase sets.  Or parallels.  I'm not quite sure what Fleer called them in 1994.

And another subset.  I didn't even take the time to figure out what "Four In One" was.  Or is.

After typing that, I had to read the back.  He's the answer to a trivia question.  Four HRs in in a single game.  And 12 RBI, too.  Both are records.  September 7, 1993.  Look it up.

Next up, if I think of it, hot Russian Space Chicks.  Maybe.