Wednesday, December 22, 2010

What do you do with your sets? – Top Loaders, Penny Sleeves, 9-Pockets

Since I am now able to actually view my collection, I have come across the same old dilemma I have faced for years:  How do I store/display my sets?  In the past, I have always treated special or “high dollar” cards as favorites, adorning each one in a top loader and then storing them in a special place (a fire safe, old toolbox, etc.).  I do not keep them with my complete sets, thus really making the sets not complete in one location.

To combat this, if a set is in 9-pocket pages and kept in an album, I made color scanned copies of the cards and then placed the “copied” card in the album.  Silly, isn’t it?
 
I know I should keep the cards all in one album or in one box, but for the life of me I can’t seem to do it.  The reason being that 9-pocket pages tend to have that one row that doesn’t quite fit the cards (i.e., the top sticks out) or with the new Ultra pages, the cards will tend to work themselves out of the pocket.  Do you know what I mean?

So, how do you keep your sets organized?  Do you keep them all in one box or one album, or am I the only lone crazy one who keeps the “high dollar” cards separate in their own top loader in a bomb shelter?  Not that I’ll follow what anyone has to say on the issue, but I am extremely interested in how you maintain your collection. 

Perhaps I’ll learn something new and try to rearrange my sets, or perhaps I’ll keep Willie Mays and Hank Aaron stuck in top loaders.  What’s a collector to do?

Friday, December 17, 2010

Background Noise - 1988 Topps Billy Hatcher

This is the first in a new series dedicated to the everything people do not focus on when looking at a baseball card.  Therefore, this new series is aptly named Background Noise.

Well, it has been a long time since I last posted.  Many of you may have thought me a quitter, when in actuality I have been trying to not lose my job.  Government and budget woes have kept me quiet as I didn't think it prudent to blog during work hours, nor do I have the time to blog at home because I'm too busy playing husband and daddy.

Alas, I have a few spare moments and thought I would unveil a new series.  Three weeks ago I was finally able to get to my collection stashed in the closet.  My wife said goodbye to her side business/hobby of stamping and crafting, so I was able to claim the shelves and the accessible portion of our shared hobby closet.  Being able to access my collection, I have been furiously reorganizing my cards and consolidating three or four collections into one. 

During my consolidation process, I have been paying attention to the background of each card.  My first foray was working on 89 Topps.  Yeah, woo hoo.  I never realized how bad that set is until I focused on each card.  Not much background noise in there, but I will get to those later.

Today's subject is Billy Hatcher.  I knew that this one had to be my first post  in this series after reading Night Owl's Boogie Monster post.  Take a close look at the background of Hatcher's card. 


AHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHH! Three faceless Expos.  What's even more disturbing is that Topps found it necessary to blur out the leftmost Expo's hand.  The first thing that crossed my mind was of course Thing.

 
Also, EVERY Hatcher card I have from 1988 has the disembodied blur above Thing. Even all  the cards I've seen online (yes, I'm the only one searching for this card online) have this weird ghost blur.  

And why would Topps want to blur out Expos?  Plenty of players are shown in the backgrounds of other cards.  The only reason I could think of is that since this is obviously a spring training game, perhaps those were visually recognizable players that did not make the Show, or did not have a contract with Topps.  Just like Tootsie Pops, the world may never know.

So, I hope this doesn't give any particular blogger another nightmare about brain-eating Canadian zombie monsters.  At least these "Canadian" brethren are probably nicer than those Phillie-fan zombies.  Don't-cha know, eh? 

PS - Does anyone need any 88 Topps?  I may post a want list for 88 Topps (ugh, why you ask?) because apparently I only need about 50 cards to complete four more sets.

Thursday, June 24, 2010

Insanity

Thought I would stop in for a second and post on what I'm sure most of you are already watching.


I for one think there is no way this card will sell for more than $100K.  If you review the bids, you get an inkling of who is a joker.

What I did notice though was the S&H.  Of course, it is free, but who in their right mind would mail a $100K+ card in the USPS?  For that money, the seller better rent a limo and have himself and the card driven to the auction winner's front door step with a case of champagne in tow.

Shenanigans! 

Monday, June 7, 2010

Hiatus Against My Will

After a great trip to watch the Indy 500, I returned to work to find that the Legislature has put my job on the chopping block to help balance the budget.  Bummed does not even begin to describe the emotions I am having, but I am trying to look at this as a good change.  Perhaps it will help me start a new career, or just shift my existing career to a different job.  Who knows, either way, I am understandably focusing on finding a job just in case.

With a wife already out of work for almost a year (and unable to find a job) and with two small children, cards have to go by the way side.  But for all 10 of you faithful readers,  there is a silver lining for you, as my sets and star cards are likely to go up soon on eBay.  Everything else will probably show up on this blog as a team collectors dream that will be cheap for the taking.

See you soon, hopefully.

Thursday, May 27, 2010

Tuesday, May 18, 2010

Tuesday Tournament Update

Not much time for me to blog between now and June.  Eight projects to get out the door before I head to the Indy 500 next weekend.  The Code of the Cardboard Gods contest will restart in June as well.  My sounding board on the story is taking a 9 day cruise tomorrow, I wish I was in her shoes.  Not literally, heels pinch my toes and make my calves hurt.

I bet the Dodgers wish they had made it out of the first round...

Wednesday, May 12, 2010

Contest: Code of the Cardboard Gods - Part I


Code of the Cardboard Gods 
Part I - The Starting Nine

Setting: National Baseball Hall of Fame – Cooperstown, NY
Players: Museum curator and YOU
Puzzle Difficulty: 3½ stars
Points Possible: 20

It is a brisk autumn evening at your upstate New York farmhouse.  You have just finished a long session of working on your newest cryptology book about the Mayan calendar when your phone unexpectedly rings.  You contemplate not taking the call due to the late hour, but, suspecting it may be your publisher, you decide to answer.  You pick up the receiver, expecting your old friend, but hear an unknown voice asking your name.

“Yes, that is me,” you say, and then you ask, “Who is this?”

There is a brief pause, and then the voice replies, “I am a curator at the National Baseball Hall of Fame, and I need your help.  There has been a break-in, and I found an envelope addressed with your name and phone number, along with a curious code.  It is like nothing I have ever seen before.”

You ask, “Have you called the authorities?”

“No,” the curator replies, “Nothing has been stolen, and I’d like to avoid any… unpleasantness.  I am familiar with your work and judging by this envelope, you are somehow involved or are intended to be involved with this mystery.  You must understand. I need your help solving this code.  Money is no object, and I will pay whatever fee you require.”

Feeling the tug of greed, you inquire, “Can you send me a picture of the code?”

“No, you must see this in person,” he replies.

Your curiosity is piqued.  What better opportunity to combine your lifelong work of cryptology and your favorite pastime?

You agree, “I’m only 45 minutes from Cooperstown, I’ll be there within an hour.”

After an almost breathless drive as your mind is racing, greasing the gears for the puzzle that waits, you pull into the parking lot and notice a security guard vehicle and two non-descript sedans.  You grab your satchel and head for the grand front entrance.  As you approach, you see a balding man of middle age with a clean shaven face holding the door open.

“Are you the curator?” you ask.

“Yes, yes,” he briskly replies.  “Please, come this way. Quickly.”

You enter the atrium and immediately your eyes dart around, looking for the code that requires your interpretation.  You try and calm your nerves, remembering there is an envelope that will likely provide precious information.

“On the phone you mentioned an envelope.  What does it contain?” you question.

He answers, “I do not know.  It is sealed with wax.”

You take the envelope and examine the wax seal, and see the initials “OCG” emblazoned on the red paraffin.

“OCG,” you mutter.

“What does that mean?” he asks.

You reply, “It means Order of Cardboard Gods.”

Your mind races even faster over this new development.  Could it be?  You’re actually holding a letter from the mysterious Order of Cardboard Gods?

The curator shifts nervously and asks, “Order of what?”

“Cardboard Gods,” you distantly answer.

“Who are they?” he asks.

You ignore his question; your mind is drifting.  You break the wax seal, revealing a coded letter:

Click picture to enlarge

You smile at the simplicity of the code.  To the untrained eye, it looks like gibberish, but to you, the words shine through.

TO BE ANSWERED BY YOU (4 pts)

[ANSWER: "Evil has infiltrated the order. I fear the other members of the council are dead, and I may soon be next. You must learn the code and guard it with your life. The fate of the hobby is in your hands. Trust no one. UC" - Carrie from an unknown blog]

The last line gnaws at you.

The curator peers over your shoulder and brashly asks, “What does it say?  Who are the Cardboard Gods?”

You turn your head and flatly say, “Take me to the code.  I will tell you later about The Order and this letter.”

The curator backs away, and begins to lead you down the long hallway into the Hall of Fame Plaque Gallery.

Midway down the Gallery, you see the code ahead of you, basking in bright moonlight.  The plaques of the Class of 1936 have been removed, and placed at the foot of the wall now bearing a mysterious puzzle.


You approach the coded puzzle in awe.  A puzzle you have never seen before, a new challenge for your restless mind.

A wry smile crosses your face, and you think to yourself, “Oh, this will be so much fun!”

YOU SOLVE THE PUZZLE (16 pts)

Click picture to enlarge

[ANSWER – "Dead men tell no tales" - Shahekee of Collecting the Wizard of Oz]

[Author’s Note: You must provide the correct answer and your logic to receive the points – See rules for full details.  First correct answer with logic in the comment section gets the points.]

Tuesday, May 11, 2010

Contest Rules and Prize

The name of the game is Code of the Cardboard Gods, and it is a ten part treasure hunt starring you, the reader, as the main character.  Each part will contain at least one puzzle, and the reader with the most puzzle points will win the game.

Each part will include a setting and a list of characters, or players, participating in the story with you.  Your character is a world renowned cryptologist that mysteriously becomes involved with The Order of Cardboard Gods.  To aid in solving the puzzle and to move the story along, I will provide background information and dialogue. 

All of the puzzles are baseball or baseball card related (in some form or fashion), and will be presented to you in a visual format.  Answers to the puzzles may be posted in the comment section, but be wary, make sure your answer is correct, or others may use your answer to find the correct answer.  If a puzzle goes unanswered or incorrectly answered for three days, I will edit the story to provide clues.  The first person to provide the correct answer based on the comment section time stamp will receive the stated points.

Most importantly, your answer MUST include the logic used to solve the puzzle.  In essence, just like school, you must show your work.  In the age of the internet, it is all too easy to find the right answer, so to get the points, you must prove your logic.

Finally, the overall winner will get a prize.  Every horse needs a carrot, right?

At the end of the game, the overall puzzle point leader will get a free pass through their want list.  That’s right, I’ll search your want list and mail you any and all cards I can reasonably part with to help fill your want lists.  If for some reason your want list does not jive with my collection, I will take your want list to our local big card show at the end of July and beginning of August and try to get as many cards off that list as I affordably can.

So, in recap:
•    First to correctly answer the puzzle wins the points.
•    No partial credit.
•    You MUST provide your logic behind solving the puzzle.
•    Clues will be edited into each part if no correct answer is provided after three days of posting.
•    Grand prize is me taking a walk through your want list.

Finally, I do not want anything in return for undertaking this project, however, if you really enjoy the contest, I will take donations to give to the grand prize winner.

Good luck!
Doc T

Tuesday Tournament Update

Not every team has played the required 32 games, but the Sweet 16 has been set.  The National League had a surprising amount of upsets, and I can hear the analysts now, "Look at all the parity!"  Most surprising of all was the Nationals beating the #1 LA Dodger seed.  I did not see that coming, but that proves the mantra of "pitching and defense" win games.

Other upsets were the Padres over the Marlins, Reds over the Braves and Mets over the Rockies.  The AL pretty much went to form, and the "southern bracket" has a monster foursome of Texas, Minnesota, Tampa and New York.  I think the AL representative will be coming from this bracket.

Contestants still in the running include:
Plungerhoo's Nationals
Dan the Sticker Man's Phillies
GCRL's Twins
Play at the Plate's Rangers
Troll's Rays

Contestants out are:
Night Owl's Dodgers
Canuck's Braves
WSC's White Sox

Rod of Padrograph fame has been assigned the home town favorite Padres, after a surprise package of Gwynn-awesomeness this past weekend.

Good luck to all!

Wednesday, May 5, 2010

Epic Fail

We have all witnessed a good idea, person, movie or team that was well intentioned and carefully planned, but somehow thudded to the ground like a brick of lead.  Let’s stroll through memory lane to remember a few gems from our collective past.

#10 – Buffalo Bills
Not exactly a failure, but definitely not a success.  Recipients of the 2nd place red ribbon for a record 4 straight Super Bowls (err, Big Games).  Wide right!
 
#9 – Coors Sparkling Water
Coors sold bottled water?  They should have just changed the label on their beer cans.  Like the saying goes, “What does having sex in a canoe and American Macro Brews have in common?  They’re both $#@%-ing close to water.”
 
# 8 – 2007 New York Mets
Up seven with 17 to play, and Glavine’s seven runs given up in the first of the last game sealed the Metropolitans fate.

 #7 – Windows Vista
A platform hyped to no end that has essentially turned my home computer into one very large digital photo disk.

#6 – Michael Dukakis
 
Remember this guy?  Didn’t think so.  Oh think of how the 2000 election would have been so much different if he just hadn’t sat in that damn tank.

#5 – Any movie with Eddie Murphy after Coming to America in which he physically appears
Pluto Nash, BHC3, Vampire in Brooklyn, The Nutty Professor I & II, Doctor Doolittle, I Spy, Daddy Day Care, The Haunted Mansion, Norbit, Meet Dave, Pluto Nash (I had to include that one twice).  Party All the Time, Eddie!

#4 – Chris Gaines 
Garth Brooks alter-EGO.  Stick to the twang my friend.
 
#3 – New Coke
I remember this abomination when I had my first taste as a kid at a McDonalds.  I did not like, but I liked Like!

#2 – E.T. The Video Game
A horrific mash-up of bad programming and a plot that nowhere near resembled the original movie plot.  The game essentially killed Atari, but did make for an excellent episode of Code Monkeys.  A massive inventory of unsold games was crushed and buried in an Alamogordo landfill.  At least they didn’t bury them at sea, ahem, Sy Berger!

#1 – Yesterday’s Post
The new Ishtar of the baseball card blogosphere…  Yeah, me!  I will soldier on though.

Tuesday, May 4, 2010

Code of the Cardboard Gods Trailer!!!!

Here is a little something to whet your appetite. The Code of the Cardboard Gods puzzle game is slated to begin sometime next week. Hopefully I will have a "preface" post up at the end of this week to help explain the concept, etc.

As it stands now, this will be a 10 part story with each story's puzzle leading to the next puzzle. For the inspiration of where this game is coming from, and for a little enlightenment as to what this is all about, read one of my previous posts.

Without further ado, grab your popcorn, sit back and relax!

video
Click play!

If you'd like a higher resolution version of the trailer, ple
ase send your requests to: uncle_docs_closet(at)yahoo(dot)com.

Also, please pass this along if you like the idea. I am hoping for any form of participation.

Enjoy and HAVE FUN!
Doc T

Tuesday Tournament Update

The Rays and Twins have made it official by mathematically eliminating the White Sox and Indians, respectively. Therefore, the Collective Troll and GCRL move on to the second round, and the Rays have a much too soon showdown with the dreaded Yankees. On the flip side, White Sox Cards has bowed from the tournament...


Also, expect a treat today if you're interested in solving puzzles...

Thursday, April 29, 2010

The Order of Cardboard Gods

This is mostly tongue in cheek, but it has its merits.  Plus I am using this as the platform to do some creative writing/thinking that will require your participation (yes, a prize will be awarded if you need motivation).  Kind of a choose your own adventure with puzzles that would hopefully make Dr. Robert Langdon proud.

In the annals of Western Civilization, society has been host to many secret organizations.  Some are conjecture, such as The Illuminati, and some are confirmed like The Freemasons and Yale’s Skull and Bones, but each has one common thread, a secret.  In nearly all Societies, the secret is carefully guarded, rarely spoken, and if written, it is coded and hidden behind a labyrinth of puzzles and metaphors.  Sometimes the secret is revealed to all the society’s members, and other times it is kept from members until they have reached the highest echelon of their Order.

Surely you are confused, and are questioning how is this relevant to 2½ by 3½ inch cardboard?  Until yesterday, I was confused as well, my friend, but the truth has been revealed.  Unbeknownst to us all, if you are reading this post, or have read any writings of the fine sampling of collectors listed to the right, you are a member of a Secret Order, an Order that worships the Cardboard Gods.

Bear with me now.  I understand the wave of emotion overcoming you at this moment.  You question, when did I become a member?  What is the secret?  Who are my fellow brothers and sisters?  Patience my friend, all will be revealed in due time.

Looking back through my collecting years, I have noticed a pattern.  One does not idly find a fellow collector.  No, they are usually ferreted out in a carefully choreographed dance.  In most circles, it is decidedly un-cool to be a 25 to 75 year old person that, in essence, spends exorbitant amounts of money for an essentially worthless piece of cardstock.  As a result, very few people outside of my wife, parents and siblings know I collect cards.

Card collectors are unlike any other adult “order” that willingly participates in a child’s hobby.  Other “orders” wear their society like a badge.  For instance, Star Wars fans are so brazen as to create costumes of their favorite characters to wear in public, and Trekkies have their own language, for Klingon’s sake.  To date, I have yet seen a card collector parading down the street covered in a suit of penny sleeves containing their Cardboard Gods; and our language only consists of unintelligible acronyms like UER, RC, DK, RR, etc.

Thusly, card collectors are typically isolated souls that surreptitiously congregate at bi-monthly/quarterly shows, or find safe haven on the internet.  Undoubtedly, when a non-collector finds out you are a collector, they only ask the questions we dread, “How much is a 1989 Upper Deck Ken Griffey worth?  How much is the 1987 Topps set?  What’s your most expensive card?”  To all of those questions, I philosophically reply “REDACTED.”  This response never goes over well.

Still not convinced, are you?  Well, here is more proof of my encounters with The Order. 

After purchasing a 600 card starter set of 1974 Topps, the seller wanted to meet me at a nearby gas station.  He saw me pull up, and we both quickly exited our vehicles and met at his truck’s tailgate.  I opened the box, saw that roughly 600 cards were present and I handed over my cash.  We just began to talk cards, when a police officer fueling his cruiser walked over and interrupted our discussion on mid-70s Topps.  To the officer, it appeared we had just made a drug deal.  He made me open the box, and I showed him the cards.  His response was more or less that cards are for kids, etc.  You know what I’m saying.  It was a decidedly un-cool moment. 

A second encounter that alerted me to The Order was when I sold my old car last month.  The dealer appraising my car saw a package of vintage cards I had received in trade.  He turned to me and said “Do you collect?”  I cautiously answered “Yes.”  Next he pulled out a piece of paper, wrote down his name and email, and told me that he was into vintage cards and we should trade.  Just then his boss showed up, and the conversation quickly steered away from cards.  We never spoke of it again that day, but we have been working out a trade online.

The final encounter, which happened yesterday, was when I was walking back to my office from the post office.  On the way back, I passed my local brick and mortar, which is usually a ghost town.  However, yesterday, a dapperly dressed man exited carrying a small 50 count case and some 9 pocket sleeves.  I asked him if he got some good ones, and he stopped.  I’m sure he was sizing me up, wondering if I was going to ridicule or if I was truly a collector.  He cautiously said “Yes, got some 1965 Topps for my set.  I’m 90% done.”  I looked them over with him and congratulated him on his findings.  I told him about the card blogosphere and he was dumbfounded.  He was amazed there are “others” and that we are organized.  That is when I finally realized The Order exists.

You still doubt The Order’s existence, don’t you?  Does the blogosphere not convince you?  A loosely organized legion of devoted collectors spread across the entire globe that are all literally linked to one another through varying degrees of separation? 

In addition, allow me to present more proof in the form of aliases.  Night Owl, Collective Troll, Captain Canuck, The Wicked O’, GCRL, Doc T, etc.  Not until one is firmly entrenched in The Order does the facade of such name trickery fall aside, such as when a trade is completed.  At that moment, you have been entrusted with the true identity of a fellow collector, and in some cases given their home address, but one must pay a price.  You must share your name and address. 

Finally, you ask, what is the secret? 

Well, in the words of Joshua, “Shall we play a game?


You didn’t think I would just type the secret, did you?  Remember, it is coded and hidden behind a labyrinth of puzzles and metaphors.

(I’m dry running this adventure through a friend of mine for fine-tuning purposes and to ensure it is not impossible to solve, so Part One of The Code of the Cardboard Gods will begin soon…)

Wednesday, April 28, 2010

Double Header

After what seemed like a long drought of no baseball, I was lucky enough to go to two games within the span of 5 days.  The first game was the home opener of the Durham Bulls against the Norfolk Tide on April 15th.  The second game was a Monday night game between the Carolina Mudcats and the Tennessee Smokies on April 19th.  Both games were losses, but fun was had by all.  Here are some pictures of the games...

Game 1 - Norfolk Tide at Durham Bulls
 We ditched our right field bleacher seats to sit atop the first come first serve Blue Monster in left field.  Got to enjoy a few beers 30 feet above the left fielder.  Awesome.
 
 The mascot, Wool E. Bull, landed on the field in a helicopter to bring the AAA Trophy to home plate.

The famous smoking bull was right above our heads.  The eyes gleam red and the nose blows smoke during a Bulls HR.

Game 2 - Tennesee Smokies at Carolina Mudcats

My son enjoying his favorite sport, BAAAAAAASE-BALL!!

 A check-swing strike!

My daughter disagreeing with the 1st Base Ump on the check-swing strike.

I can't wait to get back out to the ballpark, especially now that my son knows Take Me Out to the Ballgame.

Tuesday, April 27, 2010

Tuesday Tournament Update

Here is the weekly tournament update.  Teams with the best record after 32 games move on to the second round.

The Mets, Padres and Nationals are putting a real scare into some higher seeded teams.  I know Night Owl despises tournaments (or so I think), but I bet he is praying for his Bums to not be the first #1 seed team in history to fall to a #16.

If you want to get in on the action, drop me a line about a trade in the comment box or give me the link to your want lists!

Teams taken: Dodgers, Nationals, Phillies, Twins, Rangers, White Sox and Rays
Teams pending: Braves and Marlins

Doc T

Monday, April 26, 2010

Welcome Home!

It is my pleasure to announce that my Brother-In-Law has safely returned from Afghanistan.  This was his third tour of duty with his previous two being in Iraq.  The 15th Engineer Company was gone for 362 days, and EVERY single one of the soldiers that left last April returned safe and sound this past Saturday.  Thank you God.

I am extremely proud of my BIL, and very thankful for the work that he and his Company did over there.  He worked on the construction of FOB Wolverine and FOB Delaram.  I saw him while he was on leave in December, and he was doing great. 

Last April, just prior to his deployment, he and I drove from Fort Knox to Dayton, Ohio to watch his cousin pitch opening day for the Dayton Dragons, the Single A Affiliate of the Cincinnati Reds.  His cousin is now the staff ace of the High A Lynchburg Hillcats.  

Now that my BIL is back, I can start publicly keeping an eye on his cousin via this blog.  Wade Boggs had fried chicken, Turk Wendell brushed his teeth between innings, and I never spoke of my BIL's cousin in the minor leagues.  Just didn't want to jinx anything.

I'll start up soon on the followings of Matt Fairel.  Does anyone know if he has a card?

Here are a few pictures of his tour and his home coming!



Welcome home Rob!!!!!

Thursday, April 22, 2010

Wanted!

I created this sometime back for PunkRockPaint when he was putting a call out for Wanted Posters.  I sent it to him, and nothing ever materialized (Just like the Old Planter advertisement I did for Thorzul).  Oh well, so I'll post the wanted poster here.

Any guesses as to who this bandit really is?

Wednesday, April 21, 2010

Kicking the Buckett

For Christmas in 1987, my mother got me a subscription to Beckett Magazine.  I was more than thrilled.  I imagine this came about because I had nearly destroyed a Beckett Baseball Card Price Guide I had bought one summer visit with my Grandma in 1987.  Having found the book at a local book shop in a small Indiana town, I felt I now possessed the Holy Grail.

No longer were my cards pictures and stats of my baseball heroes, they were now priced.  They had “value.”  To an 11 year old, whose allowance was raiding the change from my Dad's key bowl, finding out some cards were worth over a dollar, and at worst were worth 5 cents, was like stumbling upon an open armored car.  In essence, the money was mine for the taking.

Trading among friends lost the notion of obtaining your favorite players or teams, it now became the stock market.  I vividly remember us pulling out our price guides to make sure no one was pulling a fast one.  I even remember a kid standing at the only exit to our school, holding up a 100 card stack of 86 Topps.  He’d bark “$2 for 100 cards!,” and inevitably, every day some younger kid would buy them.  That kid must have made a killing, selling 500 cards a week for $10.  I later found out the 100 cards were starless, and that he kept the good ones, sold the “bad” ones and used the money to buy more cards.  Ingenious, if not deceitful, yet truly sad in retrospect.

The innocence of collecting cards was gone.  No one saw Jose’s smirking mug, they saw a big fat $ sign.

I could rail on again about my disdain for what Beckett and Mr. Mint did to the hobby, but I’ve done it before, even if in a hack literary effort.  No, this time, I’m going spelling-Nazi.

Leafing through my last Price Guide from 2002 (which was the only price guide I had since my 1987 version – and the monthly subscription ran out back in 1993), I noticed several annoying UERs, to use their lingo.

Exhibit 1:

Not one, but two within a mere inch of each other.

Exhibit 2:

Japenese – UER.  Way to denigrate an entire nation.

Judging by the number of people who are acknowledged for working on this guide, one would think that spelling would be easy to notice.  It goes to show that if attention to these details can’t be followed, then I’d think the “prices” are wrong, too.

Yeah, I know I'm being picky.

Doc T

Tuesday, April 20, 2010

Cards on Cards - 1992 Upper Deck Tony Gwynn

Time to unveil a new and probably short lived serial.  It's time for Cards on Cards.  No, not that Cards on Cards...

Every blue moon, we spy a baseball card that has a baseball card on it.  In my experience, it has always been some type of photo trickery of a player holding a card of themselves that is the actual card and going on for infinity.  It's kind of a mind bender, but trickery none the less.

Dan from "The Other World" sent me a stack of Tony Gwynn's completing our Phillies and Stickers trade.  This was an amazing package.  When I opened it and saw the 50 count case, I said to myself that it couldn't all contain Tony Gwynns.  I was wrong.  Besides a few Topps dupes, it was mostly gold that I had never seen before.  I guess it does pay to not collect anything but Topps and then start seeing all that Fleer, Donruss, Leaf and UD had to offer.  

Speaking of Upper Deck, I noticed something rather peculiar on the 1992 UD Gwynn card.  Let's dole this out bit by bit.

First, is the 1991 UD Gwynn All Star Game Card. 


It's a rather bland card of Gwynn signing autos at the Toronto All Star Game.  He looks less than thrilled.  I wonder why?

Now lets move on to the card at hand.


Nothing special here, but let's look at the obverse.


Gwynn is still signing autos, but wait!  He's still unenthusiastic, and if you look at the programs he's signing, they are from the 1991 Toronto All Star Game.  So, same photo shoot as the 1991 UD AS Game card, but from a different angle.

And here is where it get's interesting.  Let's zoom in on the lower left hand corner.


Why, that's a baseball card!  Coming from San Diego, I know that baseball card like the back of my hand.

Time to flip and zoom a little more.

Hmmm.  Blue checkerboard borders.  Red name box.  Blank stare from a should of been first time HOFer.


Why, that's Roberto Alomar! No wonder TG was not so thrilled having to sign an Alomar card!


Way to go Upper Deck.  You successfully incorporated a 1988 Donruss card into your 1992 set.  Now that is some awesome QA/QC.

Doc T

Monday, April 19, 2010

Tournament Update

I am so far following through on my promise to update the tournament on a weekly basis.  It appears that there are some interesting match ups forming, and it is always exciting to see the Pads and Rays (my Padrays) doing decent, if not awesome.


Dan the Sticker Man has entered the fray with his completion of an awesome trade with me.  I will post something in the near future about one of the 49 (good golly) Gwynn's he sent my way.  Looks like I'm going to have to go digging for more Phillies and stickers! 


Contestants:

Nationals (Plunger-hoo) tied with Night Owl (Dodgers) at 6 games a piece.
Cpt. Canucks Braves are holding a 2.5 game lead over the Reds.
Dan's Phillies are up one game on the surprising Pirates.
GCRL's Twins (sorry had to give you to the Twinkies) are up 2.5 over the Indians.
Play at the Plate's Rangers are in a dead heat with the Royals.  Ouch.
Troll's Ray have a 5.5 game lead over WSC's White Sox.

If you want in, post a comment about a trade and what you're looking for, and I'll dig through the boxes some.  Once the trade is complete, you're in the running.

Still waiting on cards from Wicked Ortega, and I Cpt. Canuck, but I'm sure his are lost in customs somewhere.

Need addresses from Fan of Reds sometime, too.

Doc T!

Thursday, April 15, 2010

Opening Day - Minor League Style

After going through a drought in 2009, where I had neither the time nor money to attend a baseball game (save for a UVA @ UNC game my bud Plungerhoo took me to), I am heading to the ballpark tonight.

While in Florida back in March, I was fortunate enough to go to the Baltimore Orioles facility in Sarasota, and watch them play a spring training night game against the Pittsburgh Pirates.  The weather was nasty cold and the game was not like the 1971 World Series.  I could tell then and there the O's were bad.  So bad, the Pirates looked good.  The only Oriole bright spot is Adam Jones.  That kid is awesome, and I hope Wieters blossoms into an awesome C.

Anyways, the game was ho-hum, but my son had a great time!  Just look at that smile.  He cheered for every pitch, for every batter and every run scored.  Jersey colors meant nothing to him.  It was about BASE-BALL, as he says it.


As an aside, while I was less than 10 miles from the scene of The Collective Troll's horrible break-in incident, and I have the ticket stub to prove I was at the ballgame, not stealing 1950s Bowmans!

So tonight is opening night for the Durham Bulls.  I haven't been to a Bulls game since August of 2008, so I'm excited to see the new left field construction.  Having lived in Durham for several years, I ended up becoming a fan of the Rays since 2001.  It was awesome to see all the talent they have now come through Durham.

Now I live out towards the Carolina Mudcats, who are the AA affiliate of the Reds, yet I just can't bring myself to be a fan of another NL team.  Padres forever, and occasionally Pad-Rays.

The Reds situation may change, as my brother-in-law's cousin pitches in the Reds organization for the AA Lynchburg Hillcats.  I'll post more on that later, as I'm waiting for my BIL to return from Afghanistan later this month.  Even non-baseball players have jinxes to worry about.

Eventually, I will also be treated by the Plungerhoo to a minor league game of my choice, since I "trounced" him in a one-on-one NCAA tournament challenge, where the winner got to pick the game and the loser buys.  I picked an Albuquerque Isotopes game, but then I found out travel wasn't included, nor was a week long stay in Chaco Canyon.

I guess I'll have to settle for a Kinston Indians, or enjoy a Coastal Plain League Wilson Tobs or Outerbanks Daredevils game.

Baseball is everywhere if you just take the time to look.  Play ball!

Tuesday, April 13, 2010

Winner, Winner, Chicken Dinner


All of those crosswords and literature books finally paid off for me.  Not too shabby for an engineer who specializes in math.

It's idiomatic, my dear Watson! (with a sprinkle of The Bard).

Rejoice in my winnings...


I will let the one and only PunkRockPaint do the honors of revealing the solution.  An awesome contest worthy of wasting an hour at work.
 
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