Thursday, December 30, 2010


Because today is my wedding anniversary, I'm making this very short.  Thank you, Angie, for 21 wonderful years.

image lifted from this ebay auction

We're going to try to get out today for a bit of shopping, a nice dinner and get back home in time to watch the Vols play the Tar Heels in the Music City Bowl.

Yeah, that's how we celebrate.

Spanhie says, "Happy Anniversary" as well.

Monday, December 27, 2010

More Assembly Required

Here's another punchout card thingo.  It is a car for the WizKids game, Race Day.  This is the 2005 edition.

They came in packs, with a small track.  You rolled dice and raced your car against your opponent's car.  I have no clue if it was at all realistic.  I highly doubt it.

Although I purchased a pack or two many years ago, I never actually played it.  I did assemble the #20 Home Depot Tony Stewart.  It still sits on my bedroom window sill.

The game had two seasons, 2005 and 2006.  Then WizKids discontinued it.  From what I understand they have removed all references to the game from their website.  More info can be found at Board Game Geeks.

Collectible?  Sure.  Is there really a market for this stuff?  Probably not.

Sunday, December 26, 2010

Some Assembly Required

Usually one reads this phrase at 11:45pm, Christmas Eve, when you realize that you've lent all your tools to your brother-in-law on the other side of town.

2003 Fleer MLB 3-D Stars, Jason Giambi
card # 6
I've had this card for some time.  Picked it up for a dime.  I didn't know what it was.  Until today.

I've looked through my copy of the 2009 Standard Catalog of Baseball Cards and never saw this.  A final check today produced results.
Eighteen players are included in this novelty card issue from Fleer Entertainment division. Each player is printed on a 2-1/4" x 3-1/2" card that is die-cut to allow the pieces to be punched out and assembled in a varety of action poses. Each 5-5/8" x 7-3/8" blister pack contains five 3-D cards, one assembled and four unassembled.

image lifted from this ebay auction
Now I know.

Thursday, December 23, 2010

Fictitious Holiday Card - mock-up

Last year Beardy hosted a Ho Ho Holiday Custom Card contest. I submitted a creation.

Figuring that he would have another contest, I got busy a few weeks ago.  I did a quick mock-up to see if it would work.  It sort of does.  Sort of.

Omir Santos & Troy Glaus

Maybe not.

Tuesday, December 21, 2010

Revolving Door

Managers.  They come and they go.  They step onto the escalator on the lower floor of mall and ascend to the food court, never to be seen again.

In 2004 the Tennessee Smokies were managed by Mark DeJohn.  In 2005, Tony Perezchica.  2006 brought Bill Plummer.  2007?  Pat Listach.   2008 saw Buddy Bailey.   Ryne Sandberg came in 2009.   Last year Bill Dancy skippered.

And next season?  Brian Harper.  Really.  See the official press release.


A few months ago I found this card of Barry Foote, manager of the then Knoxville Blue Jays.  I think I picked it up for a dime.  Yes, the photography is horrid.  Nice shadows, photo guy.

They come and they go.  I try not to get to close, knowing that they're only here for a season or two.

Goodbye, Bill.  Hello, Brian.

Sunday, December 19, 2010

The Only Game In Town

Saturday was my birthday.  Rather quiet.  Did some shopping in the morning and took a nap with Caroline in the afternoon.  The evening held a corporate Christmas open house.  Before the family left for that event we had a bit of a present opening ceremony.  Since there was no cake and candles, no singing, basically the only thing left to do was open some gifts.

I received a nice shirt, a couple of tee shirts, a set of three Louis L'Amour movies on DVD, the first season of Modern Family on DVD, and two books.  I'll feature one here and the second one will have a post on its own.

I didn't realize that this book had been published.  It was.  Last year.  I've been (slowly) blogging about the same subject since March of 2008.  I don't hold a grudge against Mr. Garrow.  I embrace him, with arms wide open.  He's taken on quite a task, chronicling the baseball life of several communities for a span of a hundred years.  My goal was just to do the same for the nineteenth century.  I'll still keep posting to that blog, however so slowly.

I have not read this book, but only skimmed it.  Garrow uses newspapers articles to convey the facts and the humor of the games and the players.  The pages that I've read show that he does it well.  Great pictures punctuate the text that is easy to read.

Here's a link to the official book page at Bloated Toe Enterprises.  If you have interest in small town ball, this one is for you.  I'm a multifaceted winner.  I like small town ball, the subject covers the area that I was raised in, and I got it as a gift.

Thanks, Mom and Dad.  For this book and so much more.

UPDATE: The local paper, The Press-Republican, has an interview and story with Mr. Garrow today, December 20, 2010.

Friday, December 17, 2010


So, I've got several thoughts going on in my mind, many of them small, not even big enough to cluster together so I'll spill them here.  Some of them will blossom into an actual post of their own.
  • There's a nice little contest going on over at Drop The Gloves!.  Hockey and all that.  It only has 30 slots, so get there quick.
  • I'm sad that Bob Feller passed away.  Yes, everyone has to at some point in time.  Donald Honig has a nice bit about him in Baseball When The Grass Was Real.
  • I need to renew my SABR membership.  Time's running out.
  • I'm back in the trading game.  I'm working out the details.  I'm trading with T, but am sending the cards to J.  T and I haven't yet worked out what he's sending me.  I'm not too worried about it.  UPDATE: I sent out the cards to J.
  • I've got several piles of cards that need to go out to bloggers and their ilk.  Hoping to do that on Friday.  But I've been hoping to do that for several weeks.  UPDATE: I sent out the cards to D.
  • I've been poking around old newspapers again.  Found some fun info on the Bloomer Girls, a women's barnstorming team.
  • Another contest, celebrating the 100th post of My Cardboard Mistress.  Congrats.
  • I've been playing around with Paint dot net and have made a prototype card, hoping that Beardy will host another Ho Ho Holiday custom card contest.  We'll see.
  • I've been very impressed with the good folks over at Zistle.  They've expanded the site and given the contributors some nice options.  I'm now the Set Expert for two sets.  Whee!
  • Another player might need to be included in the "Doc" Newton vs. "Schoolboy" Tugerson debate.
  • Oh, and another contest over at Enough Already.  Giving back is good.
  • I picked up two more cheapo HOF relic cards for my collection.
  • And another contest, this one over at All About Cards. Year end, you get to vote.  Clicky, clicky.
  • And I'll leave you with a Sords Points story from the January 14, 1931 issue of The Daily Times...

1933 Sport Kings, "Ching" Johnson (card #30)
(image lifted from this ebay auction)

Thursday, December 16, 2010

Icy in KnoxVegas

There's a winter weather system that's been hanging out over the KnoxVegas area. Caroline has missed four straight days of school. Edison? Two days and a delayed opening. Wonderful for "finals week."

Here's what it looked like on my way into work today...

Which made me think of the Southern Professional Hockey League team in our town, the Knoxville Ice Bears.

I picked up a pocket schedule last week. 

Chilly the mascot?  Really?  I thought that they could have done something better. I mean, c'mon now.  Just last season they had a blowout of a fisticuffs match.

Ah, I see that this Saturday they're running a special promotion.  Guaranteed Fight Night.  Wow!  Unfortunately I have a corporate Christmas Party to attend.  That would have been too cool.  I'm not advocating violence, but they're promoting it...

I made it to work just fine. Here's a view from my office window...

And here's one of my coworkers, Steve, who brought in his uniform from his youth playing days in Puerto Rico, when he played for Sabana Seca.

Cold day. Warm flannels. Last I saw, Steve was trying to fit into them.

Tuesday, December 14, 2010

A Visit From UT Football!

If you're a parent of a child who is in kindergarten then you know the type of school papers that the teacher sends home. You've all seen them. They go up on the fridge for a few days until the next one comes home.

Despite my smarmy tone of the opening sentences, I'm very proud of the work that Caroline is doing. Last week they were working on the capital letter N. Since then she's been spelling her name CaroliNe. Kind of cool.

Also last week they had some special visitors to their class. Some of the University of Tennessee Volunteer football players. I don't know who set it up or exactly what the purpose was, but this came home in her school bag...

We have:
Corey Miller, #80 - freshman DE
Myles McKee, #18 - freshman QB
J. M. B???, ?
Chase Ketron, #8, freshman DB
Brent Slusher, #89, senior TE
Jacques Smith, #55, freshman DE

I'm stumped by the J.M.B. auto.

This will end up in Caroline's kindergarten scrapbook.

Saturday, December 11, 2010

"Doc" Newton vs. "Schoolboy" Tugerson

Greg, over at the Night Owl Cards blog shared some of the cards that he received in the mail.  One of these cards was of Eustace "Doc" Newton.

2010 TriStar OBAK, Newton (card #38) 

Greg said,
This isn't a Dodger. It's the all-time minor league, single-season wins leader. He pitched with Los Angeles of the Pacific Coast League. I don't think he wore a derby during his games. But he WAS a dentist at one time.
Which made me wonder, who was this man?  And how many games did he win?  A bit of poking around led me to find that he was Eustace Jame Newton, also known as "Doc".

In 1904, playing for the Los Angeles Angels, he won 39 games.  Since 1900, the most wins in the Major Leagues was 35, by Joe McGinnity in 1904.  Sure, Old Hoss Radbourn won 59 in 1884 for the Providence Grays, but steroids weren't in vogue, yet.

Newton did it in the minor leagues.  The 1904 Los Angeles Angels won 119 games that season.  And lost 97 (216 total games).  So "Doc" Newton won 18.05% of the Angels' total games or 32.77% of all their wins.

Newton's W-L record was 39-17 (.696) and he batted .194 in 175 at bats.

James Clarence Tugerson only won 29 games in 1953 for the Knoxville Smokies of the Class D Mountain States League.  The Smokies won 70 games and lost 55 (122 games total).

So "Schoolboy" Tugerson won 23.77% of the Smokies' regular season games or 41.42% of all their regular season wins.  He also won 4 games in the playoffs, including the championship game.

Tugerson's W-L record was 29-11 (.725) and he batted .308 in 182 at bats with 5 HR.

So, let's do some prorating.  What if the 1904 Los Angeles Angels only had 122 games to play that season?  How would "Doc" Newton have done?  Simple math says that if he kept the same win percentage (18.05%), he'd only have won 22 games (22 / 122 = 18.03%).

And let's take it the other way.  What if the 1953 Knoxville Smokies had a 216 game season?  How would "Schoolboy" Tugerson done?  Simple math says that if he kept the same win percentage (23.77%), he'd have won 51 games (51 / 216 = 23.61%).

And, if you factor in the issues that Jim Tugerson was having in 1953, it is very amazing that he did as well as he did.

In 1904 the Angels lost their league championship.  The 1953 Smokies won their league championship.

Yes, I understand you can't do a specific comparison between the two, but this was mostly an exercise in "what if".

Greg says that Eustace Newton was a dentist.  The nickname makes sense.  Jim Tugerson was a police officer.  I'd trust a police officer more than I would a dentist.  Have you seen The Little Shop of Horrors?

So, technically, Greg is correct.  But I like Jim Tugerson more.

For further information on Jim Tugerson, take a look at R. S. Allen's book, Schoolboy.

Tugerson photo credit: Knoxville News Sentinel

Thursday, December 9, 2010 Auction Catalog - December, 2010

I received this catalog in the mail last Thursday.  The day that the auction was to end.  Not a whole lot of time to promote it.  Then I got an email saying that due to printing and shipping issues, the auction closing would be delayed for for a week.  So, head on over to and bid, bid, bid.

If you are into signed items, then this is the auction for you.  License plates, balls, cards.  You name it, they're offering it up.

Normally I would pick a theme or items that I'd like to have in my collection.  Not this time.  There are many nice cards and objects in the catalog but nothing really struck me.  So, let's have some fun and see what is available.

Title: 1987 Fleer Baseball Signed Complete Set with Update, including all multi-player cards
Lot #: 486
Description: This complete autographed 1987 Fleer set was obtained mostly in person by a former employee of Major League Baseball Productions, which produced This Week in Baseball. An ambitious project to tackle, 23 years in the making, autographed sets like this do not come along very often. Complete signed sets are almost never seen and are noteworthy for their difficulty in putting together. To attempt to put this set together today would require a significant investment which would be many times the opening bid. All cards have been front-signed in ink by their subjects, with scripting on each card projecting "7-10" quality (averaging "8-9"). The cards themselves are NM-Mint. This lot is loaded with Hall of Famer signatures, star players and difficult to obtain signatures due to a player's reluctance to sign, the player having moved away to a foreign country or the player having passed away since 1987. All cards are signed include completed multiplayer cards.
Opening Price: $900
Current Price: $4,500
My Thoughts: That's a lot of money for a modern set, even if they are all signed.  My guess is that it would now be close to impossible to complete this feat.  I like it, but don't know how I'd display it.  Maybe I'd donate it to the local curiosity museum.

Title: Brooks Robinson Bronzed Trophy Decanter Given to Him by FP Winner Ltd.
Lot #: 557
Description: Nicknamed the "Human Vacuum Cleaner" because of his amazing ability to gobble up everything at the hot corner, Brooks Robinson collected 16 Gold Gloves in his 23 years of MLB service. While his defense was superb, he was also a more than capable player at the plate where he collected 2,800 hits and 268 home runs on his way to Cooperstown. This unique vintage lot features a bronzed trophy decanter presented to him by F.P. Winner Ltd. The trophy sits atop a 7x7 inch base and measures 16 inches tall and includes a nameplate that reads:"Brooks Robinson Born May 18, 1937 Career 1955 to 1977 Hall of Fame August 1983"
Opening Price: $200
Current Price: $250
My Thoughts: I'd have to be a serious Brooks Robinson or Orioles collector to really want this.  But wouldn't it be fun to lean over to your buddy and say, "Want some scotch?" and then rip the head off of old Brooks and pour a tumbler?  I think it would.

Title: Michael Jackson Signed Black Fedora Hat (JSA Full Letter)
Lot #: 816
Description: Widely considered the greatest performer ever, the late, great Michael Jackson is featured in this auction in what will sure to be a must-have item for any fan of the "King of Pop." Jackson (1958-2009) entertained millions from his time as a member of the Jackson 5 through his solo career that included some top-selling albums as "Thriller", "Dangerous" and "Bad". The lot features a version of Jackson's famous black Fedora hat that is signed by the artist along with the inscription "Love" in White Paint Pen. The medium sized unmarked black Fedora is signed under the brim in bold white pen and the autograph comes with a Full LOA from JSA. The inside band of the fedora is also embroidered "MICHAEL JACKSON" in gold. Another version of this fedora, also signed, sold for $50,000 with Julien's Auctions earlier this year. This is the real deal and not one of the many forgeries that can be found on the market.
Opening Price: $6,000
Current Price: $0
My Thoughts: I only added this one in for --David, over at TribeCards.  He's the biggest Michael Jackson fan that I know.  Almost bordering on the creepily excessive.  Almost.  I like some of Michael Jackson's music and I met Michael Boddicker at a NAMM show in LA in the early 1980s.  Michael Boddicker was a keyboardist for Michael Jackson.  My brush with musical greatness.  Bottom line, I wouldn't want the hat.  A bit too creepy for me, but --David might.

Images and descriptions from  Used without permission.
Prices current as of December 9, 2010.

Tuesday, December 7, 2010

Negro League Player Signed Ball

Back in July, I attended the Jerry Malloy Negro League Conference in Birmingham, Alabama.  I blogged about it previously.

After the player panel and before we headed out to Rickwood Field, there was a short time to get some of the players' autographs.  I didn't plan ahead.  I had nothing for them to sign.  Well, maybe my program book. The lines started and I was lost.  Then, a fellow SABR-ite pulled out a small bag of fresh baseballs.  I asked if I could buy one from him.  He politely sneered, handed me one and refused any form of payment.

I took the above photo with the 'smart scene' option on my camera.  The picture is accurate.  The ball is very white.  The rest of the photos I took with the "Flower" option.  I don't know what that means, but I guess it was for close-ups. I'm not pleased with the creaminess color of the ball, but I was having trouble with the auto focus on the 'smart scene' setting.  I'll try to get better photos later.  I just wanted to share what I had now.

Joseph Marbury
I met Joseph "Bull" Marbury at Rickwood Field.  He was kind enough to spend some time as we walked into the Rickwood.  I asked him about the travels, the food.  I also sat with him at the Baron's game and we talked of baseball today versus when he played, what teams he followed and which players he liked.  Braves and Chipper Jones are the answers to the last two.

Sam Allen
Sam Allen was also very giving with his time.  I took a few photos of Sam and talked with him about his charity work.  He goes to the Dakotas and helps with putting together buildings for various Indian tribes.

Tony Lloyd
I didn't spend any time with Tony Lloyd aside from the pleasantries of him signing the ball.

Billy "Ray" Haggins
I met Billy "Ray" Haggins at the Meet and Greet on the opening night of the conference.  He told me about his equipment and playing High School ball, then on to the company teams and then on to the Negro Leagues.  A true gentleman and a pure delight to listen to.

Will Lee
Like Tony, I didn't spend any quality time with Will Lee.

Birmingham Sam Brison
"Birmingham" Sam Brison was a trip.  I asked for his autograph and he asked me for five dollars.  I wasn't keen on paying money.  He showed me his portfolio of photos, cards, and mementos.  Sam played for the Indianapolis Clowns and was in the movie "The Bingo Long Traveling All-Stars & Motor Kings."  He was quite proud of both of those accomplishments.  He finally signed the ball, then held it and asked me for the money.  It was my feeling that he was a bit down on his luck.  I reached into my pocket and pulled out a five. He was more than friendly after that.  He talked about the tricks and stunts the Clowns would perform, how part of his shtick was to take an infield ball and wait until the last possible moment and throw the runner out.

The time I spent with these gentlemen are very special to me.  When I spoke with them, I tried not to go into "interview" mode.  I wanted to talk with them, not grill them.  I hadn't (and still haven't) honed my questioning skills.  I have the conversations in my memories and they can't really be transcribed.  I don't know that I'll try to do that.  I might just be a bit selfish and keep them to myself.

If you have a chance to spend any time with former Negro League players, do take advantage of it.  You'll be glad you did.

Saturday, December 4, 2010

Huggins & Scott December Auction Catalog

So, time for another catalog post. I'm sorry to say that this post is coming just after the Huggins & Scott December auction closed.  This week I've had some trouble with our internet service provider (translation: no connectivity for several days at home).

For this catalog I'll select three items that, if I had more funds in my budget, I'd enjoy having in my collection.

Title: 1934-1936 National Chicle Diamond Stars Complete Set of (108) Cards with (10) Graded
Lot #:202
Description: Featured is a seldom-offered 1934-1936 National Chicle Diamond Stars complete set of (108) cards. Headlined by ten professionally graded cards, the vivid “art deco” renderings capture the essence of depression-era baseball.
Opening Price: $900
Ending Price: $2,200
My Thoughts: You can't go wrong with these.  A complete set.  And they're not all graded.  I understand the importance of grading, especially for some older cards.  I think that it is important.  But I'm so glad that there are 98 cards in this lot are not yet imprisoned in plastic. Look at the colors.  Look at the detail in the background.  I just like them.

Title: 1912 L1 Leathers Walter Johnson
Lot #: 225
Description: One of the more unusual ACC designations is found with the 1912 L1 Leather premiums. This seldom-encountered series was originally available as a promotional prize through the Helmar “Turkish Trophies” cigarette brand. The offered 1912 L1 Leather #135 Walter Johnson is essential for the Type collector. Measuring 10x12, the Hall of Fame fireballer (artwork borrowed from the 1911 T3 Turkey Red Cabinets series) is precisely captured on this well-preserved cowhide. Despite horizontal folding and leather stretching, the surface is otherwise detracted only by minor leather abrasions and light soiling. Additionally, the perimeter is mildly affected by wrinkling, while the upper two flaps have been removed. The stamped image is bold, while the blank reverse is unaffected by any significant flaws. An impressive proposition for the tobacco-era enthusiast.
Opening Price: $1,000
Ending Price: $2,000
My Thoughts: Walter Johnson?  Another one you can't go wrong with.  Big enough to appreciate, but not so big that you could use it as a lap blanket.  I'd like to be in the meeting that the marketing guy came up with this.  "Gents, I've got an idea.  Cows are stacking up in Kansas City and Chicago.  We can get a great deal on their hides.  Let's ditch those little bits of cardboard and go with leather.  Who doesn't like leather?"

Title: 1981 Special Olympics/Superman II Program Signed by (14) with Pele & Reeves
Lot #: 877
Description:The offered twenty-eight page program from the 1981 Special Olympics Salute to Superman II features fourteen autographs in blue marker that range from (“8-9”). Highlights include President George Bush, Sr. (“8”), Pele (“8-9”) and Christopher Reeve (d.2004 “8-9”).  Comes with a full photo LOA from JSA.
Opening Price: $200
Ending Price: $300
My Thoughts: I never gave Special Olympics much thought until a few years ago.  In just a few years my daughter Caroline will be eligible to participate in the Special Olympics.  I'm looking forward to it.  I don't remember the specifics of the Superman II movie and I'm not quite sure what the relationship was between the movie and Special Olympics.  I guess everyone needs a hero.  There are some nice autos here, from the worlds of sports, entertainment, and politics.

So, there you go.  Three items from an auction that has already ended.

Image and description credit: Huggins & Scott.  Used with permission.