The Harrowing Adventures of a Nerd Week Contest Winner!

A winner is me..

A winner is me..

The prize for winning The Junior Junkie’s Nerd Week Contest arrived yesterday, and I nearly paid for it with my life!  That’s an exaggeration, but the box was huge (over $18 to ship!), and I was on my way out, so I stupidly decided to carry it over to the parents’ place with me.  Conditions were also way worse than I was expecting, and my main shoes are super old generic Shape-Ups types with no traction left on them.

Basically, it was a recipe for disaster, and, long story short, disaster indeed struck.  I ended up crashing and burning pretty bad on hidden ice patch close to halfway between here and there.  I hit the back of my head on the sidewalk, but I popped back up pretty quickly without difficulty, no wooziness or anything that would indicate being concussed.  A couple of folks I had passed a short ways back quickly came to my assistance helped me get my bearings and everything I dropped.  Very grateful to them for that.

The pain was mostly gone within a couple of blocks of continuing on my way, and any lingering head pain has minimal and infrequent, though I will get checked out if the random, brief little twinges of discomfort persist.  I finally managed to make it over to the parents’ place without further incident, and after getting cleaned up, I was finally ready to cut the tape and dig into the box!

The box in question..

The box in question..

And so I dug, and dug, and dug some more!  There was a LOT more in there than the DVD.  Are you ready to be as blown away by the thought and effort and generosity that went into this amazing prize package as we (the parents were very impressed too) were?

The note..

The note..

Here’s the handwritten note TJ sent, congratulating me and running down the contents.

The original prize..

The original prize..

Of course, the DVD was in there.  Say what you will about Family Guy in general, but the Star Wars specials are always straight up inspired.  Gonna enjoy this. 🙂

Are you ready for some football?!

Are you ready for some football?!

I’m taking this back to the parents’ place next time I’m over, because it is small and plushy and can safely be thrown around over there during the rare lulls when we aren’t skewering anything and everything on TV MST3K-style or talking about generally geeky and/or nerdy things when dad, my little brother, and me are all there at the same time.

Original art by Jason Goad..

Original art by Jason Goad..

I love art.  I am an artist (allegedly), after all.  But I can’t afford much original art beyond relatively cheap sketch cards very often, so this is was a super awesome thing to find in the box!  It’s a fantastic piece and I absolutely love it! 😀

A trio of CDs..

A trio of CDs..

Styx and The Who will definitely get some airplay around here, and I’m not quite as down on Dane Cook as most, so I’ll be giving that a listen at some point as well.

Under the CDs, you can sorta see the corner of one of the pair of monstrously huge Pinnacle screwdown holders.  I swear I took a picture of them along with everything else, but I can’t find it.  Anyway, they are so ridiculously thick and heavy that they might legitimately be able to stop a bullet.

St. Joseph's Prosperity Bean..

St. Joseph’s Prosperity Bean..

I didn’t know what this was because I’m a lazy millennial, but mom seemed to recognize it and thought it was pretty cool.  I read a little bit about them when I got back to my place.  Very interesting, and I will be keeping it on me.

Mardi Gras Beads!

Mardi Gras beads!

I’ve always wanted to go to Mardi Gras (because I’m sure my antisocial arse being around hundreds of thousands of loud, crazy, drunk people for an extended period of time would go just peachy), but thanks to TJ, a little bit Mardi Gras has come to the frozen wastes of the Midwest.  He notes they’re the real deal in the above letter, so I can’t help but wonder what he had to do to acquire them…

Anyway, I’m just glad he sent beads and not the terrifying New Orleans Pelicans King Cake Baby.

The last thing you see before you die..

The last thing you see before you die..

There aren’t enough NOPE gifs in the world… My apologies for the impending nightmares, ladies and gentlemen.  We should probably just move on with a quickness.

Various Asian candies..

Various Asian candies..

There were four different things in pouches, and my trying them out went badly.  I definitely haven’t acquired these tastes yet.  The Lychee was the best in a walk, and it kinda tasted like accidentally getting fruit-scented soap in your mouth.  But the experience was still worth the while and very much-appreciated.

You know, we’ve gotten this far and haven’t even made it to the cards yet!

Three boxes of cards..

Ah, there we go..

But they were there, and they were many.  I tore off the old shipping labels on the outer boxes before I took the pictures, just to be safe.

So many cards!

So many cards!

The top box had tons of Ryne Sandbergs, Mark Graces, and a random assortment of other Cubbies.  The bottom had miscellaneous non-sport stuff and some unopened junkwax era packs, most of which I will be drawing on the backs of at later dates.  Twas also home to the blue and silver beads.

The completely full box was bananas, with large amounts of 2012 Panini Golden Age, 2011 Panini Americana, and 2012 Topps Summer Olympics, as well as some Goodwin Champions, Allen & Ginter inserts, more random non-sport and entertainment cards,  and the occasional hockey card.

The big pack sittling in the middle of everything is a pack of 1986 Donruss All-Stars, which may be posted on A Pack to be Named Later at some point, and the rest will get a post of their own here once I’ve scanned some of them.

Since around half of the set was there, I’m definitely going to chase the Summer Olympics set now.  The other big stacks didn’t have enough for me to justify it, but I’m keeping a Single Page of both Goodwin Champions and Golden Age, as well as the vintage-ish Star Wars cards, and probably a fair amount of other things.

My canvas..

My canvas..

Finally, this card not part of the prize package.  This card is for a commission.  On the back of this 1989 Topps Traded Ken Griffey Sr. card, I will be drawing Ken Griffey Jr. from his RC, the very next card in the same set.  I loved the idea and will get to work on it as soon as my body stops being so creaky and achy.

For this commission I was paid $12, and even the money was worth mentioning.  Check it out!

$2 bill!

$2 bill!

Yes, that is a two-dollar bill.  I’m pretty sure haven’t seen one of those since back in the late-1990s when I got one back as change at one of the last card shows held at the local mall.

The flipside..

The flipside..

Easily the coolest looking piece of US currency that still spends.

There you have it.  This has to be in the running for the single greatest card blog prize package ever made.  The amount of time, thought, effort, and money that must have went into this making it possible boggles the mind.  I know TJ puts a ton of effort into his collection and his posts, so maybe it comes as no surprise he’d go all-out on a prize package, but I am still beyond honored and humbled to be its recipient.

Thank you, TJ!  And thanks to everyone for stopping by!

It was worth the pain…

 

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2009 Upper Deck Spectrum Mini Blasters

They finally made to my K-Mart!  Picked up a couple, gonna pick up another next time I need to go there.  Here’s the good stuff from these two.

Uggla Jersey, Ellsbury Jersey, CC Blue, Ankiel Blue, Randy Johnson 20th Anniversary, Griffeys Sr. y Jr. 20th Anniversary..

20 cards, an insert, a parallel and a jersey per blaster.  Not bad for $5.99 apiece!  It makes pulling a lame jersey a lot easier to swallow.  Fortunately, both of these were pretty good.  All I’m keeping Griffeys Sr. y Jr., but the rest are available.  Also, isn’t someone out there collecting the 20th Anniversary Retrospectives? I have a bunch I can send them.  That’s all for now.  Thanks for stopping by!

*fades into the night…*

Flea Market Finds #11: 8th Binder Page + Basketball Grab Bag Pack

Before I begin, I’d like to mention I spent most of the day setting up new pages listing the cards that I have from my various player collections.  They aren’t even close to finished yet, but you can see what they look like so far if you’d like.  I’ve made one for baseball, basketball, and football, and may do up one for everything else later.  Also, after I eat and do up this lil post right chere, I’ll be heading over to my trade bait page to add a little more stuff to it.  This blog is finally starting to come together a little bit!  Now on with the show!

2003 topps Ken Griffey Jr., 199x topps Shawn Green RC, Kraft Juan Gonzalez, 2003 topps Chrome Adrian Gonzalez Prospect, 2007 topps Trading Places Marcus Giles, topps Josh Gibson Home Run History, 1992 Pinnacle Chad Curtis Team 2000, topps Joe DiMaggio The Streak, 2009 Upper Deck Prince Fielder

Why Purchased: Mainly for the not-even-close-to-being-a-rookie-card of Adrian Gonzalez and the Shawn Green rookie which might actually be one.  Also the Kraft Juan Gonzalez.

Keepers: Not a darn one of ’em.

Notes: Just three. 1.) I’m finding the Shawn Green picture very odd for some reason. 2.) I cannot figure out the Juan Gonzalez card. 3.) It was nice when endless single-subject sets didn’t consist entirely of Mickey Mantle.

Mind-Blowing Statistic: I have a feeling the Juan Gonzalez card might have something to offer, but I can’t make it work.  Sorry.

Now for the basketball grab bag pack thing.  25 cards for $1.  Lets see how we did!

2009-10 topps Deronfractor /500, Marbury gold /2009, UD First Edition Darnell Jackson & Jerryd Bayless RCs, 1994-95 Glenn Robinson RC(!), Press Pass Okafor, early-aughts Chrome KG, gorgeous but laughably easy-to-pull Sebastian Telfair Press Pass insert, and a Travis Outlaw rookie..

Pretty much all downhill after the first couple cards.  I’m keeping the Big Dog rookie though.  That was a cool surprise, reminded me of better days.  And if you didn’t already know, Deron is all mine as well.  Starbury is in Offy’s stack unless he doesn’t want him.  Pretty much errythang else in the entire pack is up for grabs to whoever wants it.

Another one of those pretty and shallow Press Pass inserts, Vince Carter in better times, a young Shaq, Boris Diaw rookie, Bernard Robinson, radioactively shiny Stackhouse insert, Amare with radioactive lightning in the background, and a couple more rookies..

Bernard Robinson is set aside for quite possibly the only Bobcats collector in existence, Cardboard Collections.  Sad the Brian Cook is super damaged, since I have a very minor PC (basically an offshoot of the Deron Williams collection) of Illinois alumni, because why not?  Again, stake a claim if you likey anything.

Emerald parallel of the first ever Division III player drafted in the first round, the best pure scorer since Allen Iverson, an old-timey looking card of a guy that is the king of old-timey fundamentals, the GoAT, another Celtic for Mr. Travers, more Head (heh), CJ Miles..

And we’re done here.  Guess Head stays with me too.  Not as good as the football grab back pack of course, but certainly an interesting selection of cards nonetheless.  That’s all for me tonight, gonna eat now.

All I can say about tomorrow’s post, is that will be epically odd.  Till then, you’ve been teased. 😉

.::~Outtro~::.

Flea Market Finds #8: Fifth Binder Page

Better get back to these, the next flea market might be this weekend.

2003 topps Barry Bonds, Kevin Youkilis RC, Pedro Martinez Opening Day Game Card thing, UD Victory Nomah, 2000-something topps Total Junior Griffey, 1980 topps Yaz, Future Stars (feat. Jesse Orosco, Joe Morgan, and Jim Palmer.

 Why Purchased: For the almost-vintage Hall of Famers.  I didn’t even notice the Youk rookie till I had already decided to purchase it.

Keepers: None I guess.  The Griffey doesn’t interest me very much, and the others I can probably find good homes for.  Let me know if one is to your liking, but keep in mind the 1980 cards are not in the best of shape.  I’m beginning to think that pre-1983 cards in mint condition don’t, and maybe never did, exist, because I’ve never seen one.  And the only minty fresh ’83s I’ve seen were pack pulled by me.  Oh dear, I’m ranting again aren’t I?  Terribly sorry.

Notes: I didn’t recognize Youk without the facial hair.  It’s so inherent to him that I must’ve figured he was born with it.

More cards need rounded corners.  I can’t believe we haven’t started moving in that direction already.  How much easier keeping cards in proper condition would be without having to worry about dinged corners.

Feelings mixed on Topps Total, but without any other companies producing any baseball cards of note, it would probably be good to come back during whatever the biggest lull in the card-buying year is.  I guess I’d like it personally just so there would be an easily attainable and relatively affordable rookie card on a clean (if uninspired) design of whoever is deemed the hot player of the moment.

Man, Jesse Orosco looked so young!  No wonder he went on to pitch so long, he was the inspiration for Rookie of the Year, making his debut in his very early teens.  It’s like those “when they were young” cards, except it’s actually his rookie!

I like to think Joe Morgan is saying something all haughtily & getting basic information wrong in the interview taking place on his card.

All I can think of for Jim Palmer is “The hair, man. The hair…”

Mind-Blowing Statistics: In his very first year of professional baseball, Kevin Youkilis had a .504 OBP (in 276 plate appearances), walking 73 times to only 31 strikeouts!

A Trade Post You Say?

Yep, and I think I’ve about got a return package ready for this one finally.  It comes to me from Baseball Card Stuff, and it is awesome as can be, so let’s get right into it and check out the majority of what was sent!

That 20-10 topps card isn't part of the trade, for some reason I combined them with scans of this trade (twice as you will see). Poor planning on my part.

Why does Opening Day get so much crap for being the same as the base set when almost every year, the little tweaks actually make it BETTER looking than the original??  The blue foil is better (or at least more interesting) than the regular silver on the ’06s, and the white border completely and utterly destroys the black-bordered design of the ’07 set.  I’m not normally all about the white borders (if you’re going plain white borders, just make it full-bleed, cuz that’s much less boring), but it actually makes the ’07 design look nice.

Also, Derrick May!  And a nice Upper Deck design, which brings me to my next rant.  To the people that dislike Upper Deck’s general lack of base set design, I strongly disagree with you (and they change it up enough to tell the difference from year-to-year, so come off that BS).  An analogy: I watch my wrestling for THE WRESTLING, not the silly skits & promos and crap.  The extracurricular crap only works to raise the interest in a match when it’s good, and quite frankly, it usually isn’t.  This is the same reason I generally prefer Upper Deck’s flagship base sets over topps’, they tend to be free of the frequently not very good design clutter of topps and let the great photography do the talking.

To each their own I guess, and it’s not like I’m a set collector anyway, but topps, ehh… I can take ’em or leave ’em.  They may have the history, the tradition, but I think tradition is overrated, especially when it comes to baseball.  I may catch heat for that, but I’m not saying it all willy-nilly.  There are reasons for it.

Rant mode off.

For now.

Maybe.

No rants here, just some good ol' quality Mark Grace action. This is the other one I foolishly combined with 20-10 topps scans that I'll probably never use, though I managed to put a keeper up in the same row as the trade cards this time.

I guess the lack of mid-’90s baseball card collecting (I was all about the basketball back then when I was first starting out) is why I have so few Mark Grace cards in my collection, so these are all greatly appreciated.  The ghostly Graceface on the Pinnacle card is foilboard I think.  Now if you’ll excuse me, I have sudden urge to go grab a bottle of RC.  Dunno why… 😛

Now we're gettin' to the nitty gritty. Griffey, Dawson, Bell, that Fukudome I have about a half dozen of now...

Yeah, I have a lot of that UDX Fukudome.  If anyone has a spare Heritage or Goudey Kosuke Rookie, I’d gladly send a UDX (or two!) for it.

I’m planning to pare down my Griffey collection, but the Profiles and Record Breakers will be staying.

I think I might have to make a player collection for George Bell, since I’ve been keeping the few pre and post-Cubbies I have of him too.  He’s just cool.

Speaking of cool, Andre Dawson, ladies & gentlemen.  I think that Hawk is my first very first Leaf card of that year.  I don’t even recognize the design, though I’m sure I’ve seen it before.

And wow, I never realized this, but ’84 topps is like the unholy offspring of ’83 and ’86 topps, lol.

This scan is so full of win!

A Kosuke parallel #ed /99 flanked by two different ’83 Fergie Jenkins’!! ~ Win x3

My first ever ’80s Sportflics! ~ Win

The total mindblowage that is Eck & Lee Smith being on the same team at the same time combined with the fact that I’m pretty sure I’ve never even seen an ’85 Donruss card before! ~ Win x2

And as my dad noted when he saw the card, not only the is mustache above Buckner’s lip impressive, but the mustaches above his eyes are pretty amazing too! ~ Win for my dad’s sense of humor.

And that’s not even getting to the fact that I need both the Hawk & the Ryno. ~ Yet more win.

See?  Full of win.  Thank you very much, Jake.  Awesome cards.  I will get stuff sent as soon as I can.

Oh, I almost forgot.  Jake also sent this lil guy along:

Andre Dawson Coin! I was pretty geeked up to find this in the package. 🙂

Now then, though the interest has been better than I was really expecting, we’ve still got 9 or so more spots still to fill to make the Opening Day Group Break happen.  It will be a max of $25 for two random teams and the boxes busted will most likely look pretty similar to the rough draft from a couple posts ago.

Next time, Gadget…

Better Late than Never: Random Packs of Kindness!

Went back to about 150 posts to see if I posted these yet, and it looks like no, which is just sad.  There were some cool cards in my 8 packs from David, who is currently in India* meditating and doing yoga to help realign his blogging focus back to Indians baseball cards (though I hope there will be occasional updates on his writing adventures) and preparing for the big return.  Here be a (very) small sampling that you may ‘ooh’ and ‘ahh’ at so I don’t have to say much.  Consider it a warmup for March 1st and refresher on his coolness.

*He’s probably not in India.  Not sure about the meditating or yoga either…

Kool Moe Dee!

Heathcliff is a keeper!

'83 topps! The most perfectly designed set ever! Oh yeah, I said it.

The best stuff (that I remembered to bring with me to scan those many moons ago).

Frank, Willie, Griffey & the Phillies dude, and Bell are keepers.

Backe is numbered /100.

And I forgot to scan the presumably TTM or IP auto of I think it was Pat Mahomes and a gold version of Griffey & Dykstra.

I still have almost all of these (the Marlins are with Wicked I think, but otherwise yeah, they’re probably around here somewheres), including the hits, and everything but the keepers can be had if anyone wants them.  Click on my blogger profile link on the sidebar and shoot me an email.

David and Jay Leno both redebut on March 1st.  What are the odds David’s first post gets more hits than Leno’s first show back in his old timeslot? 😛

A Late Trade and a Call for Assistance

Hey everyone, I finally got a halfway decent night of sleep, so I’m feeling fairly sane & coherent at the moment.  Also my Fantastic Four Archives box arrived, though I won’t be letting myself open it before Sunday night, as my reward for the cleaning I have to do.  Right now I have yet another overdue trade to post, this one coming from Ryan’s Memorabilia Blog.  Here’s what I got:

WBC cards! I'm one of the proud few who actively collects them, so you're looking to get rid of yours, look no further.

That is the back of the Masterpieces framed parallel I received that was numbered.  Now let’s see the front!

Glorious Masterpieces Framed Parallels!

Three Griffeys!  I can do without many parallels, because often they don’t add anything worthwhile, or waste everyone’s time.  But these parallels… these parallels I lurrrrrrrrve.  I’ve said before that the slightly raised frames are the closest parallel that artsy/retro-type sets have to the refractor (of which that Yadier Molina is).  And they come in as just as many colors!

But seriously, while the base cards themselves look very nice, they aren’t that exciting.  Throw a variously pretentiously named colored border on there, and bam!… Whole ‘nother level.  Bruce Sutter deserves a frame.  And I didn’t even get to the Vlad Guerrero jersey, my first Masterpieces hit.  They are as nice as advertised, if anyone hasn’t gotten one yet.  Is there actually anyone that hasn’t gotten one yet?  If not, I highly recommend.

Now then, I have a request.  I’m beginning work on a post, a guide of sorts, to help beginner collectors.  It’s a sort of complicated hobby, and we can all use a little help sometimes.  And there doesn’t seem to be a lot of help coming from official channels.  I can say what I have to say, but I’d also like to get the opinions of other card bloggers, as well as any other collectors, people who do or have worked at the card companies if possible, anyone who might be able to give some perspective on the Hobby to as it is today.

I will use as much as I can that’s applicable.  Your experiences, collecting mindset, how you got into it, what you like, what you think of the current state of things, and your advice to new and/or long-absent collectors.  And hopefully I can make sense of everything and turn it into something useful to new collectors.

So spread the news please, because I want as much feedback from as many different perspectives as possible.  You can leave your thoughts in the comments, email me, or respond via twitter, whatever works for you.  Thanks.

Over and out!