Sunday, January 30, 2011

Money from Mr. November

I went to my local card shop yesterday to continue on my quest to finish the 1978 Topps set. I had a fairly good day, picking up around 35 cards, to get me up to 720 out of 726 for the set. The shop had at least 3 of the other 6, but I am down to the money cards, like the Nolan Ryan and the Eddie Murray rookie card. Since my rule is that my purchases are cash only (no plastic) and no more than $100 a month*, I decided to defer going after those other cards until later. As I was checking out, I noticed a 2010 Topps Heritage box that promised that some packs contained relic cards or autographs. So, I took a chance with $3.99 (plus tax) and picked one up.

Here is what I got:

A Derek Jeter Chrome (1861 of 1961). I signed up for Beckett, but they apparently don't want my money, since trying to sign up for their online price guide gets me 404ed. Best I can guess from various other sources, it books at around $12. So, it went from pack to scanner to toploader. And tonight onto EBay. At the very least, I have probably paid for the pack I bought. Hopefully, I'll clear enough to go and buy a few more.

* I have a few non-card related items up on Ebay. Anything I clear from them will go to COMC to add to my Paul Blair collection.

Thursday, January 27, 2011

Home Boy

1989 Fleer - Jim Traber

There isn't much unique about this card. For that matter, this is shaping up to be a pretty darn boring post. But, hang in there. There will be something amusing at the end. Further, Jim Traber didn't have much of a major league career. He does co-host a sports radio show here in Oklahoma City. Mind you, I don't listen to sports radio, so that isn't my reason for posting this.

One of my conceits with baseball players to see if they have any connection to the four different places I've lived. By that measure, Jim is batting .750. As mentioned above, he lives and hosts a radio show in Oklahoma City, of which my home (Norman) is adjacent to. Also, he was born in Columbus, Ohio, a city I lived in from 1989 to 1996. Lastly, he played for the Rochester Red Wings from 1985 to 1988. I was born and raised in Rochester and attended RIT from 1984 through 1988. The one geographic connection we didn't make is Reading, Pennsylvania, home of Philadelphia's AA affiliate and my home for 6 months at the end of 1988 and early in 1989.

Now, if you haven't fallen asleep, or clicked away, Jim Traber (or more specifically, Cardboard Jim Traber) is a running joke at a local commentary/humor website known as The Lost Ogle. The schtick is that the bloggers there have a large cardboard Jim Traber advertising cutout that they take around to various Oklahoma City Events. So, if you have some time to kill, wander over and follow The Travels of Cardboard Jim Traber. You can see Cardboard Jim playing the guitar, or dressing up as a vampire and hanging out with Frankenberry.

Wednesday, January 26, 2011

That's real news. That's not like that politics slop.

This isn't going to turn into a political manifesto, but I do feel some obligation to preface this post with some statement of my political leanings. I am the classic centrist who finds himself without a home among the several American political parties. I generally feel the government should stay out of our lives as much as possible, although I do believe that it does play some useful functions in our civil life. I subscribe to classic Keynesian economics and an expansive view of civil liberties. I believe in the Constitution, not the competing caricatures of it offered up by the two major political parties (I am one of a vanishingly small group of people who have actually read The Federalist.) I suppose it might be said that I am a Rockefeller Republican or a Blue Dog Democrat, if those labels had any meaning or any place in the modern political landscape.

So, with that said, I present two of what I am led to understand are known as really bad pulls:

Topps Campaign 2008 - Dennis Kucinich

2009 Upper Deck - George W. Bush

Monday, January 24, 2011

Bad Hair Day

2008 Topps Opening Day #146 - Fausto Carmona

What is there to say here? Carmona went 19-8 the previous season and finished fourth in the balloting for the AL Cy Young (well behind teammate CC Sabathia) and this is the best picture they can come up with? And, no, I am not going to make a Buckwheat joke, otay?

Fun Fact: I have only ever been to one major league baseball game. It was a Cleveland Indians home game in late 1991. I wasn't really following baseball then, so I don't remember much about it, except that it was near the end of the season, it was a day game, and it was cold. I think it was during a home stand against Milwaukee between October 1 and 3.

Sunday, January 23, 2011

Surf's Up

I got this in an pack of 2009 Goodwin Champions by Upper Deck.

Laird Hamilton, professional surfer.

Okay, I get throwing a football or basketball card in to generate a little cross-over interest. But, a surfer? Seriously?

Hello, World

I am not really sure what I want to accomplish here, other than to amuse myself some. I have recently gotten back into collecting baseball cards and thought I would try my hand at setting up a blog. A few housekeeping details:
  1. How did I get here? Well, for reasons I cannot recall, I started reading baseball card blogs and it reawakened my interest in collecting. The two blogs that started me down this path were 83F Project and The Greatest 21 Days.
  2. Collecting History? I don't recall how I got started, but I collected sports cards during the mid to late 1970s. Mainly baseball, but also football. I also collected, for a while, hockey stickers that were distributed by the Loblaw's grocery chain. I stopped collecting when I hit high school and took on the teenage angst pose. I ended up selling my cards off to help me buy a better bike when I joined the bicycle racing team during my freshman year in college.
  3. What am I collecting? Back as youth, my first baseball glove was a Wilson Paul Blair model. So, I decided to start off collecting his baseball cards. I figured that there would be about 17 cards, one for each year in his career. Having gotten out of the hobby before the proliferation of manufacturers, I had no idea that there would be reissues and various "legends of the game" series. At this time, I have identified 54 70 total Paul Blair cards, of which I have 24. I am also collecting 1974 and 1978 Topps baseball sets. At this point, I have 691 out of 726 from the 1978 series and 125 out of 660 from the 1974 series.
  4. Team Interests? I grew up in Rochester, New York as a Yankees fan during the glory days of the late 1970s. I can remember sneaking a transistor radio into bed so I could surreptitiously listen to late games from the West Coast. I can also vaguely remember listening to Ron Guidry's 18 strikeout performance on June 17, 1978. I stopped following baseball in college during the mid-1980s and only started following it again recently. Still a Yankees fan. I also follow the local minor league team, the AAA Oklahoma Redhawks.
  5. What am I going to do? Over the last month, I have occasionally, on a lark, picked up one of the those cheap repackages of cards at our local Target. I have found all manner of odd cards mixed in. Some are amusing. Some are just confusing. So, I thought I'd blog about those cards that catch my attention for all the wrong reasons. I also engage in a little amateur photography, so I may post about cards that interest me from that perspective.
  6. What is that picture in the header? It was taken at the September 4, 2010 game between the Oklahoma Redhawks and Omaha Royals. That is Omaha second baseman Marc Maddox batting against the Redhawks Zachary Phillips. The crows is pretty sparse since the game started at about 11:00 AM on a Saturday. It isn't usually SRO, but normally there are larger crowds.The original is actually a fairly good shot. Taken at 1/2000 of a second, F/3.5, ISO200, Focal length of 18mm. Unfortunately, the original image is almost 3000 pixels wide and a lot of resolution is lost scrunching it down to fit the banner.
So, there it is. We'll see where this takes me.