Now and Then, Here and There

'61 Post Ron Santo..

’61 Post Ron Santo..

Time marches on

BowChro Bryant/Moran Dual-ing Die-Cuts..

BowChro Bryant/Moran Dual-ing Die-Cuts..

The days pass

1995 CARDZ WCW Main Event Booker T..

1995 CARDZ WCW Main Event Booker T..

The weeks, the months, the years…

2014 Topps WWE Chrome Adrian Neville NXT Prospects..

2014 Topps WWE Chrome Adrian Neville NXT Prospects..

As we wander through our lives

Trifecta-completing Brandon Phillips RC..

Trifecta-completing Brandon Phillips RC..

Lost spirits on this lonesome path

Alshon Jeffery Inception Purple #'ed 41/99..

Alshon Jeffery Inception Purple #’ed 41/99..

Uncertain and unwinding

D-Lee Atomic Refractor..

D-Lee Atomic Refractor..

The wrinkles on our brow get a little deeper

Big Cat RC..

Big Cat RC..

The glasses on our face get a little thicker

Rizzo Red, White, and Blue Prizm..

Rizzo Red, White, and Blue Prizm..

Seasons come and seasons go

Leaf Sports Heroes Red  auto 1/3..

Leaf Sports Heroes Dominique Moceanu Red auto 1/3..

Champions are crowned and the losers go home

The greatest RC photo of all-time, Purple Cracked Ice edition..

The greatest RC photo of all-time, Purple Cracked Ice edition..

We lose ourselves in the past

Fridge RC!

Fridge RC!

Longing for our glory days, safe and certain

'75 Bill Madlock..

’75 Bill Madlock..

Engulfed in the rose-hued haze of memorialized time

'58 Vic Power..

’58 Vic Power..

While trying to live for a future left in doubt

Billy McKinney Orange Mini Refractor #'ed 8/50..

Billy McKinney Mini Orange Refractor #’ed 8/50..

When all we have that’s a given

Finest Warriors Taijuan Walker..

Finest Warriors Taijuan Walker..

Is the right here

2014 Bowman Platinum Carlos Santana Magenta Printing Plate..

2014 Bowman Platinum Carlos Santana Magenta Printing Plate..

And the right now

Bowman Heritage Soler Road to the Show..

Bowman Heritage Soler Road to the Show..

Until our next…


Pure Card Porn

Billy Williams RC!

Billy Williams RC!

I’m miserable and cranky and pissed off about so many things I don’t even know where to begin, so I’m just going to show off a 12-pack of card porn to lighten the mood, because the mood definitely needs lightened.  So let us take refuge in the cards… These are all mine, picked up by various means over the past few months.  Yes, including that beautiful beat up Billy Williams RC at the top of the post (cost: $3 on COMC on Black Friday 2013).

Frank Thomas Jersey & Card Frame..

Frank Thomas Jersey & Card Frame..

This was also part of the trade with Shot Not Taken.  It didn’t make it into that post for the simple fact that it was still in my backpack and didn’t get scanned until around two weeks later.

Draft Picks & Prospects Neftali Feliz Purplefractor..

2009 Draft Picks & Prospects Neftali Feliz Purplefractor RC..

This came out of a random discounted fat pack I stumbled across towards the end of last year.

Roxxi Laveaux Printing Plate Autograph..

Roxxi Printing Plate Autograph..

Possibly the earliest pickup here.  Cool printing plate with a sticker auto stuck on it of perhaps the single most underutilized woman in the history of TNA’s Knockout division.  And that’s saying something, when they also severely underutilized Ayako Hamada, who might be the single most talented lady wrestler in the world, and of course my girl Sarita, who has gone onto to bigger success in both Mexico and Japan.

2013 Bowman EJ Manuel Orange parallel #'ed 54/299..

2013 Bowman EJ Manuel Orange parallel #’ed 54/299..

The back compares him to competent game manager Alex Smith.  I don’t know how to feel about that…

2008 Donruss Elite Extra Edition Cat Osterman Collegiate Patches Autograph..

2008 Donruss Elite Extra Edition Cat Osterman Collegiate Patches Autograph #’ed 160/250..

It is the realest shame Panini ran this concept into the ground so fast, because this card, much like Cat herself, is absolutely spectacular.

Bloodlines Liz Carmouche auto..

Bloodlines Liz Carmouche auto..

Here’s a fearsome and fantastic addition to my fledgling Girlrilla page, which is now up to TWO.

Milk Duds Billy Williams..

Milk Duds Billy Williams..

More Billy Williams!  This time it’s super beat up vintage food-based oddball goodness.

2003 Topps Traded Shin- Soo Choo Gold #'ed /2003..

2003 Topps Traded Shin- Soo Choo Gold #’ed /2003..

I’ve been jonesing for a new addition to my Shin-Soo Choo page for awhile now, and this is what I came away with.

BowChro Aramis RC..

BowChro Aramis RC..

The desire to break 100 cards with another player does not preclude me from getting more cards of future Hall of Famer Aramis Ramirez.  This was one of a half dozen newbies of him in my latest COMC shipment.  They may crop up here & there over time.

Heroes & Prospects Andre Dawson Jersey..

Heroes & Prospects Andre Dawson Jersey..

Whine about lack of logos all you want, you big babies.  This card just oozes class. 😉

'09 iMPACT! Booker T auto #'ed /60..

’09 iMPACT! Booker T auto #’ed /60..

Closing out this post with my favorite wrestler of all-time!  Booker T autos are extremely hard to come by cheaply (dog tag auto aside), but I managed to secure this bad mamma-jamma on COMC for $8.  It’s even an inscribed version.  Unlike every other WWE reject, Booker never won the TNA World Title, but they did create a brand new vanity belt (later renamed and became their midcard title) specifically for him.  So I guess he’s got that going for him, which is nice.

That’s all for now.  Time to go work on some half-baked novel writing or some such.  Thanks for stopping by, and we’ll be seeing y’all again real soon.

Until our next…

Collection Transactions

It occurred to me the other day my collection needs some restructuring.  My tastes have been weighted more towards non-sport/multi-sport offerings/pro wrestling offerings of late.  I’ve also come to realize a fair number of my collections are of players I don’t really care about very much.  The expectational baggage of some of those collections are wearying and only serve to keep me from things I like better.  So some full-on collections are being reduced to Single Page Sensations, and some Single Page Sensations are being dropped entirely.  There will be a small number of new things will be added to the lists, however.

So here’s how it shakes down.

• Ernie Banks, Starlin Castro, Matt Forte, Brian Urlacher, Charles Tillman, LaDainian Tomlinson, Allen Iverson, Derrick Rose, Deron Williams, and AJ Lee are now Single Page Sensations.  Whatever I decide not to keep will be available, though that’d just be base and low-level inserts in most cases.

• Banks and Castro are governed by similar rules to Rod Carew.  Banks gets a page each for vintage and modern.  Starlin gets one each for his RC/Prospect years, later inserts/parallels, and hits from any year.

• Chris Carter, Jason Heyward, Dave Winfield, Robert Griffin III, Steven Jackson, Maurice Jones-Drew, Julius Peppers, Julius Erving, Danny Granger, Scottie Pippen, Tamina Snuka, and Kaitlyn are removed from the collection.  Though a Trifecta of any of them would still be welcome, virtually all of the few cards I have of each player/wrestler are available for sale or trade.

• Greg Maddux, Marian Hossa, Dustin Byfuglienis, Mia St. John, Michelle Baena, and Gina Torres are added to Single Page Sensations.

• As for sets, 1969 Topps Deckle Edge, 2009 Topps Unique Unique Unis, and  2011 Topps Lineage ’75 Minis are removed from the collection.

• BenchWarmer Kiss Cards are added to Single Page Sensations

• The stickers and Lawler sketches from 2012 WWE Heritage, and the mini master set of 2012 Panini Prizm baseball has been added to sets, though Prizm still needs filled in.

• I also attempted to organize the pages a bit better by breaking down baseball and football into Cubs/Bears and other players, and separating BenchWarmers from non-sport.  They are kinda their own (sexy) beast.

That’ll do it for now I guess.  Hopefully ratcheting down a few collections will have the added effect of quality over quantity in the long run as well.  Only having a single page to work with, and pressure to rush into completing it in a timely manner, might push me to try for nicer cards when they cross my radar, and reignite my love for some of these guys.

Oh, here’s a card on the way out.  Eve Torres autos finally fell into my price range after she ditched the WWE.

You gotta BeliEVE!

You gotta BeliEVE!

Until our next…

The Lonestarr Personal Collection: Wrestling Hits

Well, the posts are just slowly trickling in, but trickling in they still are.  Here are a few of my favorite pro graps cards from my collection for your approval.

2008 TNA iMPACT! Booker T Yellow Printing Plate..

2008 TNA iMPACT! Booker T Yellow Printing Plate..

Booker is my favorite wrestler of all-time, and this is my best card of him.  Despite having a lot of autographs (as wrestlers go anyway) out there, I’ve yet to come across one within my price range.  The 6 (should be more like 10-12) time World Champion and one of the single most decorated champions overall in the history of professional wrestling blew my mind as a kid with his heavy, but not really martial arts, kick-based offense that’s never really been duplicated, and agility.  He could fly a little too, with the Harlem/Houston Hangover, which is one of the coolest moves ever invented.  He’s also being inducted into the WWE Hall of Fame, which is pretty cool too.

2012 Topps WWE Eve Torres WrestleMania XXVIII Mat Relic

2012 Topps WWE Eve Torres WrestleMania XXVIII Mat Relic

It’s sad Eve left right when she turned in an absolutely amazing heel run (oddly similar in to the Batista’s run, in every aspect).  I was down with Eve from her first televised match, which I just happened to catch even though I almost never get around to watching Smackdown!  I want to say she was teaming with Maria or someone like her that had been there for quite awhile yet never really even became competent in the ring.  Anyway, it was pretty amazing, because Eve was already immediately better than Maria or whoever it was that had been there so long from match one.  So, aside from her stunning beauty, which according to my #WrestlingBros homey Alex* is even more disarming in person, I was pretty enamored that she immediately had more skills than the average WWE eye candy from the start.  Her autographs are far, faaaaar more expensive than Booker’s, and the only one even close enough for me extend for got nabbed on COMC before I my money into paypal.

As a pretty nifty aside, Eve retweeted the tweet when I tweeted this card to the above mentioned ALo and it’s currently sitting at 17 total retweets and 19 favorites, which is, whoa…

Tara/Victoria WWE Heritage Chrome Autograph.

Tara/Victoria WWE Heritage Chrome Autograph.

This was my very first autograph of my favorite Diva of the legendary Victoria/Trish Stratus/Molly Holly/Lita/Gail Kim era legit awesome wrestling.  Good times.  Her autos used to be a lot harder to come by before she made the jump to TNA and became Tara, and picked up several more in the $3-8 range in recent months, even a couple more WWE offerings.  That said, when I got this way back when I felt super lucky to pick it up for a hair under $15 (not counting shipping, which I’m guessing was about normal).  So why was she my favorite then and still remains high enough on the list to dedicate a binder page entirely comprised of hits to her?  She was easily the toughest and most underrated of the bunch (only two title reigns over like seven or eight years, if I recall correctly), and the second best wrestler after Molly (at the time; Gail didn’t really get many chances to shine until the Knockouts division started up in TNA).  I’m also way envious of my Chicago homies, because I want to go to her new restaurant!

I guess that’ll about do it for now.  Thanks for stopping by! 🙂

Until our next…

COMC Keepers: Basketball y Football

Hi!   Wow, we’re gonna be posting two days in a row!  If I may be so bold as to promote an internet buddy of mine’s podcast for my nerdier readers out there before we get to it, I’m listening to the latest Nerd Nation Podcast (with guest Savage Hawkman’s Mark Poulton) as I type this.  Lots of technical difficulties this week, but the interview is aces.  Check the archives too, they tend to get some pretty outstanding guests.

With the unsolicited promotion out of the way, let’s get right into this here recent COMC order then.  We’ll start with the basketball & football keepers I guess, since that’s what I typed in the title section.

First up, new Steven Jackson!

Early 2000s Upper Deck multisport Moss/KG and an LT /799..

Shakespearean Actor Eddie George!

It’s true.  He’s Julius Caesar!  I can’t find the review, but he’s apparently pretty good.

Sweet Spot Warrick Dunn, Prestige & BowSter Jamaal Charles..

Upper Deck & Philadelphia Marques Colston jerseys..

Flashback Fabrics and Blue Inception /209 MJDs. Two of the swankier cards in the whole lot. Good stuff..

Kareem Sticker, embossified AI, Jersey AI, LeClair, Granger, Love, and Pierce..

I guess LeClair isn’t strictly a keeper, but I’d need a Byfuglien or Marian Hossa relic for it, so the window is pretty narrow.  That’s also my first hockey swatch card.  My only other Hockey hits are Doug Gilmour and (I think) Tim Taylor autos.  I guess Kareem and Kevin Love could be had too, if you have something similar of someone I might like more.

Reflections football was one of my faves from the past decade, so being able to get the jersey third of my impending Paul Pierce trifecta from the basketball version was nice.

Studio Deron Williams powder blues & a Luther Head auto that's all kinds of classy. The ink is even silver. Freakin' sweet..

Finally, Luol Deng Bowman sticker auto, Trilo3y jersey, & Sterling jerseyfractor /199..

And that’s all for this one.  Baseball keepers are on deck (also Bears, I’m not going back and adding more to this post), random keepers in the hole.  All I need to do is hunt up my Deng & Head rookies or upgrade to cooler ones (all I have of either is plane ol’ Topps I think), and kapow, Trifecta complete!  Thanks for reading, folks. 🙂

Until our next…


Haven’t been paying much attention to the blogs lately.  Been busy failing badly at NaNoWriMo again this year.  After literally years of trying to figure out how to start the dang thing, Somewhere Out There IS finally started and has an actual direction at least.  I’m 10000+ words in and know where the story is headed, so I guess I’ve got that going for me, which is nice.

That’s not why I’m here though.  I’m here to talk about autographs.  Just stumbled upon a post over at Nachos Grande, and even though I’m way behind, I thought I’d belatedly answer his questionnaire.  This is timely too.  I just pulled a sweet Brandon Phillips (on-card) autograph from a pack of 2009 UD Goudey from Target’s $1.59 bin on Sunday (it’s ridiculous how many nice pulls I’ve had from various $1.59 bins over the years).  It serves as an excellent tie-in to the lost art of the veteran player autograph VOTC was recently bemoaning as well.  Anyway, survey says!

1.) What is the best autograph you own?

I’ll assume this means favorite, and that’s an easy one.  2005 Upper Deck Hall of Fame Seasons Billy Williams Auto/Bat #’ed 9/15.  Perhaps the single most beautiful sticker auto set ever released.  It just oozes class.

2.) What is the best autograph you’ve ever pulled from a pack of cards.

There is no doubt I have to go with my 2008-09 Fleer Derrick Rose Signature Approval Autograph from a 60%-off clearanced blaster from K-Mart.  There is no question anymore, it’s easily my greatest retail pull ever, and part of my first ever definitely completed trifecta.  Second would have to be my 2005 Upper Deck Legends Tony Dorsett SP auto, from a wonderfully disorganized little comic & card shop in the Quad Cities.  I pulled it awhile before my blogging days and I didn’t find any posts about.  So maybe I should look into posting about it one of these days.

3.) What’s the worst autograph you’ve ever pulled from a pack of cards?

I don’t even remember the guy’s name.  Nachos Grande might actually have it though.  I know it was a Red.  I recall the other four guys in the pack all being pretty good, if not superstars, and then this schlub that barely cracked the lineup was the big hit.  I was just happy to at least get something though.  It was the last pack in a pretty terrible 15 pack for $9.99 cube at Target.  A quick search of COMC tells me it was from a pack of 2005 Donruss Team Heroes and that Jacob Cruz may have been the guy I pulled.

4.) Do you try to get autographs through the mail?  If so, what sort of success (or failure) stories do have?

I’ve been wanting to try this but have never gotten around to it.  So I guess the failure story would be my own laziness and/or shyness.

5.) Who was the subject of your first ever autograph?

I don’t remember which one came first for sure, and I don’t have or know whatever became of two of them, but there are three I remember from my youth.  Bozo the Clown appeared at the local mall for an autograph signing, I got an autograph from an area TV news guy (I want to say this was a school field trip, but I dunno for sure), and my dad took me to see the King and His Court own a team of local radio and newspaper guys & gals in softball and we got a hat signed by the whole team (this is the one that’s still around, because it isn’t mine and pops can actually keep track of things reasonably well).  The news guy was a mildly interesting case.  He had us sign our autographs for him too, lol.

6.) Do you actively collect any autographs (certain players, teams, brands, etc)?

I try to get my players of course.  And I have some random Cubbies from back when I was able to be freer with my money.  Brand doesn’t really matter too much.  As long as it’s visually appealing, I’ll happily take it.

7.) Which is better: Autographs or Relics?

Well, I do like relics a lot more than your average collector.  A good patch/prime swatch is always welcome, and I dig the odd swatches.  I recently added a race-used tire and a Stadium Seat in my not-terribly-serious-but-still-kinda-there quest to land every type of relic card possible.  I also have shoe, football helmet, laundry tag, face mask, hat, base, baseball, bikini and lingerie (what?) amongst my lesser-seen relic collection.  But autographs, you can’t beat autographs.  They have a certain level of intimacy about them… Just something about writing one’s name I’d guess, even in sticker form.  Seeing Shawon Dunston Jr.’s twitpics from signing that ridiculous amount of stickers… hey, the guys might not touch the card itself, but those dumb things still gotta be signed.

8.) What do you think of cut autos?

Love the idea.  Don’t always care for the execution.  Checks are awesome, index cards are awesome.  Things that aren’t a part of something bigger make for a great cut auto.  But don’t cut up letters or documents or signed photos to make a cut auto.  I’m don’t get as upset as many people do over younger people having cut autos.  Life is unpredictable, and unfortunately bad things happen sometimes.  Still though, you might ease up a bit though, eh companies?  Cutting up an autograph card you yourself made just last year to make a cut auto… Really, topps?  That’s pretty pathetic.  Like I said though, when they manage to get them right, cut autos are one of the absolute best pieces of memorabilia you could ever hope to own.

9.) What is your favorite autograph design (say in the last 5 years)?

It’s a little past 5 years old now, but see question 1.  That is a hard design to beat.  I also love me some Sweet Spot/Shot.  The autos on embedded ball/puck/mini helmet are gorgeous, even though certain years have been known to fade.  UD Black has some amazing autos too.  I’m partial to the Lustrous and Game Day Lineup autos myself.

10.) If you could get the autograph of any five people (dead or alive), who would you want a signature from (and why)?

Walter Payton- The greatest running back of all-time played for my team and finished his career just before I was old enough to really start getting into sports, and he died way too young.

John Lennon- One of the most legendary musicians ever.  Helped influence and define a generation.  Seemed like a pretty cool dude too.  Also died way too young.

Any influential comic book creators from the medium’s earlier days- Jack Kirby, Bill Finger, Stan Lee, Will Eisner, Jerry Siegel, Joe Shuster, Gardner Fox, etc.  Any of those guys.  I’m a huge geek, and comics are a big part of that.  They set my imagination afire, and I would love to have an autograph of any of the influential people that built comic books into such an amazing medium.

Frank Frazetta- One of the greatest artist ever, period.  I could never hope to have even a fraction of his talent, but great art still inspires me to maximize whatever skill I do have.

Roberto Clemente-  Sensing a theme amongst many of my choices?  Also died way too young.  He was something I dream of being.  He made good, and turned around and used his fame to make the world a better place, and did it in such a way as to look effortless.  That is so amazingly cool.  If I should ever be able to make good myself, I want to do that.  I want to be smart and cool and use my good fortune to bestow good fortune on others.

There you go.  That’s my autograph answers.  I really had to some legitimate thought into it, but I think it was worthwhile.  We laughed, we cried, we shared some great memories, and we learned a little something about ourselves in the process.  It was fun, oh my.

I dunno when I’ll be back, but don’t consider this a goodbye…

Countdown to Return

No ETA, but I’ll be back soon.  Until then, enjoy this ridonkulous serendipitous blaster pull and the jibba-jabba after:

The reason I find it serendipitous is because I bought the blaster I pulled this from at K-Mart (came out of the very last pack, no less), and while I was there I also found (and bought) a Derrick Rose jersey in the right size on the clearance rack for 1/2-price.  Maybe it was meant to be.

It is a sticker auto if you can’t tell, which some may find disappointing, especially considering the card isn’t glossy, but it’s chicken scratch from one of the best young stars in the NBA, so I don’t mind.  After finding a checklist, it looks like there were only a handful of better possible pulls from this 60-card set (LeBron, Kobe, MJ, and the like), but he’s definitely in that top-tier of 10 or 12 you’d be absolutely thrilled to beat the odds and score.  This card slides in very near, and depending on if Gordon Beckham gets around to playing like he’s capable, maybe at the top of my all-time best retail pull list.

I didn’t even know there were autographs in that year’s Fleer.  There wasn’t even a mention of them on the blaster anywhere, only jersey cards.  From what I can tell, the autos aren’t an every hobby box occurrence either, so the retail odds are probably pretty crazy.  It’s nice to know that nice hits do exist in retail though, and it’s even nicer to pull one every now and again.

And for the record, shouting “MOJO!!” never crossed my mind.  I was too busy nearly hyperventilating for that nonsense. 😛

Won’t be long now…