Pack War Trade

At the end of 2014 I sent out close to 1.5 lbs of cards to Pack War.  I’d been desperate to move some of that stuff for ages, and fortunately it seemed to have found its mark quite well.  So now, I present the return.

Valor & Triple Threads..

Valor & Triple Threads..

Valor looks great.  I dunno about Marshall & courage going together, but that parallel is #’ed /399.  I like the way the Triple Threads kind of pop out of an actual background.

Chrome RCs, crazy shiny TD, '98 StarQuest..

Chrome RCs, crazy shiny TD, ’98 StarQuest..

For real though, even with the protector, you can see your own reflection in the silver parts of that wonderful Terrell Davis insert.  Unless you’re a vampire, in which case… *runs away*

...

*cautiously returns* Is… Is the vampire dude gone?  Okay… *deep breath*  Where was I?  Oh yeah.

I’m happy to have some of the year’s best rookies in Watkins, Bortles, & Beckham Jr.  I don’t chase RCs from any other sport near as hard as baseball, but I do like getting them when I can. 😉

Then we have these StarQuest.  But they are no ordinary StarQuest, oh no!  For when you flip them over, you reveal…

Tadaaaaahhhh!

Tadaaaaahhhh!

…They are also RookQuest!  Two of the finest to ever lace ’em up at that.  Such connections they have.  Can you imagine if they had put Ryan Leaf and Yatil Green on the back of Elway & Rice?  That would’ve been embarrassing.  And now Peyton and his giant forehead of doom is playing for ol’ horseface.  Even better.  I’m not high I swear.  MOVING ON.

'Nique Jamfest Artist Proof..

‘Nique Jamfest Artist Proof..

Here’s the lone basketball card in the package, and the obligatory “doesn’t scan well/looks way better in person” card, a Pinnacle Jamfest Artist Proof of Dominique Wilkins.

Baseball Rookies!

Baseball Rookies!

Like I said, I’m always down for RCs of baseball stars, even when I have more than one, ala Mr. Posey here.  I have three of him now: Flagship Topps, Bowman Platinum, and this here A&G.  Or, and speaking of being high, in Ricky Williams’ case, baseball RCs of football stars.  Alleged egotistical weirdo Alex Rodriguez and 2005 World Series MVP Jermaine Dye round out the rookie card scan.

Ichiros, Big Hurts, & Rynos (oh my)..

Ichiros, Big Hurts, & Rynos (oh my)..

Coming down the home stretch, starting with a pair of low numbered (but not really) black parallels of Ichiro Suzuki from the infamous disaster that was Topps Moments & Milestones.  I like to think of it as the Showgirls of card sets, because I imagine its existence had to have ruined a few careers.  Next up a pair each of north and south side’s most recently retired Hall of Famers, including a nifty Jiffy Pop disk that’s just sliiiightly too big for its own good.

You'd think his lack of depth perception would cause problems playing baseball, and you'd be right!

You’d think his lack of depth perception would cause problems playing baseball, and you’d be right!

And that’s all for this trade.  Thanks, Shawn!  Hope we can do it again sometime.  And *points at screen and winks cheekily* thank YOU for stopping by.

It was fun.  Oh my…

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Autographs

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…

Million Card Giveaway Haul

Forgot about this until I saw them amongst some undownloaded scannage still sitting in my inbox.  Here’s what I ended up with:

1983 Cubs Team Leaders Leon Durham/Fergie Jenkins, 1984 Ge(J)orge Bell, 1985 Ryne Sandberg, 1972 Roger Freed, 1960 Al Schroll, 1976 Davy Lopes

Pretty nice haul considering how little I had to work with.  No complaints about condition either.  Only the ’60 and ’72 had any damage, but except for a certain 1965 card from a recent-ish trade and some pack fresh ’83s, I don’t know that I’ve ever even seen anything from before the junk wax era that was minty fresh.  Hell, a lot of current cards don’t even seem to come out of the pack minty fresh.  So yeah, these are fine, even centered nicely.  Davy Lopes is only has the slightest corner ding, otherwise he’s in perfect condition.

I didn’t have much luck with the MCG, either pulling them from packs, or turning them into vintage once on the site.  In fact, I’ve already pulled more Diamond Giveaway chances than I pulled MCGs all of last year, and with better vintage success (close to 50%).  Freed and Schroll were the only two pre-1975 cards from the MCG I scored myself without have to trade for.  Schroll was was great to get myself as a Cubs fan, but he was the only pre-1970 card I hit at all.  I’ve already somewhat duplicated the vintage Cubs feat this year, hitting a 1970 Don Young, that I will most likely be keeping, and hit have hit two pre-1970 cards (both ’69s, one I traded for a ’67) so far.

I really enjoy the idea of these “giveaways”.  They definitely haven’t perfected it, but it’s a fun way to score some random vintage cards (and other goodies), and really, who can argue with random vintage (and other goodies)?

The backs..

Freed and Lopes are available for trade.  Seeya.

Vintagevintagevintagevintage, its… VINTAGE.

Flea Market Finds #9: Sixth Binder Page

Back with another binder page ready to go!

1980 topps Dwight Evans, Dale Murphy, Mets team card, Andre Dawson, Dave Kingman/Gorman Thomas '79 HR Leaders, Dave Steib RC(!), Carlton Fisk, Yaz/Lou Brock '79 Highlights (3000 Hits), 1979 topps Mark Fidrych

Why Purchased: An entire page of almost vintage stars of the day and Hall of Famers, duh.

Keepers: Definitely Andre Dawson and maybe Kingman/Gorman Thomas (though I will part with it for the right offer).

Notes: The negativity and/or wangst of Mets twitterers make it seem like they haven’t won a game at all this year, but… well, okay they are tied for the second worst record in the NL (at 12-18), but that’s only 6 games under .500 right now.  To read twitter makes it sound like they’ve already been mathematically eliminated from pennant contention though.  That’s Cubbie territory, dammit!  Quit stealing our gimmick!

Wait, no.  Actually, y’all can have it.  I refuse to be a negative bum, wallowing in mediocrity and negativity.  I want a f***ing winner, dammit! (Gee, I sure do rant a lot these days…)

Not a whole lot of star power on that Home Run Leaders card huh?  At least not these days.  They are both kinda forgotten.

Also, I keep having to remind myself that the Brewers used to be in the American League.

Another rookie of a non-Hall of Famer that was a star of his day.

The Lou Brock reminds me that cards of him in a Cubs uniform just upset me…

Mind-Blowing Statistics: Nothing much coming to mind, so we’ll go with Lou & Yaz both getting their 3000th hit in 1979 I guess.

Thanks for reading!

Dale Murphy should probably be a Hall of Famer…

Trading Day Pt. 2: The Search for Curly’s Gold

Here is the other package I received (last) Monday.  These are from Too Many Grandersons hisself.  Behold!

Suh-weet Walter Payton reprints, Gold Hester, base blue Manning parallel /500, Urlacher (foil and thus poorly scanned) insert from rookie year, and more Urlachers (have at that code)! How much better does that blue parallel look than the boring black borders that they've trotted out most of the last 10 or so years?? A set that looks that good I might actually consider collecting, as I once did the the '02 Gridiron Kings (even picked up about half the Legend SPs in a lot once upon a midnight's dreary).

More Bears! Greg Olsen, Bernard Barrien black parallel from one of the single greatest set designs in the history of cards, Cutler, some rookies, and my personal favorite, my first and Julius Peppers as a Bear.

Last of the Bears... The more I think about, the more I think Rex' dad was right about the Bears mismanagement of QBs, especially in the Super Bowl. Fortunately, in getting Martz, they seemed to have wised up to some degree. Not sure I like the total abandonment of the running game though. Somehow Bronko was the only card I already had amongst the Bears.

Moving on to baseball now…

Vladdy! I may have the Own the Game & one of ToppsTownies, but the rest are new to me, three I've never even seen before. The Diamond King is the gold parallel version #'ed to /2500.

Ichiro! Don't get a lot of him in trades. The '04 Own the Game in the middle just insane. And a rookie of the BEST catcher in baseball. Well, he's in that elite group with Mauer, McCann, and Victor Martinez (and maybe Posey in a year or two) at the very top anyway.

And a few of my favorite Cubs to finish it off. I really hope Big Z sticks around if it's between keeping him or Dempster. In fact, I think I'd just rather Dempster leave regardless. Something bothers me about him.

Thanks for the great cards!  I’ll get together something worthwhile to send in return… eventually. *sigh*

.::~Outtro~::.

O Happy Day!

Something I’ve been waiting for for so long has finally happened… I got Bipped!  And what a Bip it was.  This was no ordinary Bip, my friend.  Somehow the surprise even managed to usurp the awesomeness of trading for the sweeeeeeeeeet Frank Robinson relic in the package, if only for a minute (it’s still makin’ me grin though).  Scans to come when I’m not half asleep and can be arsed. 🙂

If giving double-meaning to Bipping as a right of passage akin to losing virginity is wrong, then I don’t want to be right.  Haha, yeah...

Small Trade Blowout Extravaganza

Since I’m still working on scans from my Secret Santa gift and the 45+ Warren Moons (amongst other things) from The Great Sports Name Hall of Fame and the cards from Marie and some random hits and you get the idea, and my A Piece of History box isn’t due till Monday, I don’t have much to post about at the moment.  Thank goodness for belated trade posts though.  Here are the cool cards I got in the various clunker-type trades I cashed in on awhile back, as well as a small trade with Baseball Dad.

First up, some cards from Roll Out the Barrel.

The four 2008 Sports Royalty cards were what this one was about.  For some reason I decided I wanted to collect all the non-baseball players in the set.  I’m not even sure how many there are, but I want ’em.  I need to update my wantlist to note that I have these three someday.  May as well list the mini too, since I listed the WBC refractors I have over there.  What were we talking about?

Oh yeah, he sent some Cubbies along for the ride too.  That was nice.  I need ROtB’s address to send him some stuff in return though (bubble mailer’s long gone).

Here are the main cards from Baseball Dad.

Sent a LaPorta jersey and a Crowe auto and a couple other random cards for these and a couple others.  The D-Lee refractor was a nice surprise, especially after the 2009 he had and the realization that I have so many cards of him that I decided I should just make him his own separate player collection.  It’ll be official once I have some room in the big binder or get a new one that I can put his cards in.

These are from Stats on the Back and Nachos Grande.

Sorry about the awkwardness of this pic.  I don’t know what the heck I was doing here.  Gilgamesh and Ichiro (and a not pictured for some reason Chrome Trading Card History of Alfonso Soriano) came from Nachos, and the rest came from Stats.  Well, except for the Red Moore.  I pulled him myself.

I really like the Hit Parade of Champions and am trying to collect that set as well if anybody has any to trade.  All I have are the Kobe above and LeBron.

Lots of nice cards, and even though the whole Clunker thing isn’t relevant anymore, the idea is excellent.  I may try to do this with some of my excess minor inserts and such someday.  Anyone got a catchy new topical name for it?

Finally, I leave you with this.

Flairamis!

Somewhere along the way, I think Aramis Ramirez became my favorite Cub.  I think this card also came from Roll Out the Barrel, but I’m not 100% sure.

Make like a pig and FLY!