I’m alive!…and a black box!

Tap…

Tap…

Tap…

Is this thing on?  Hello…earth to bloggers…oh hey!  How’s it going! 

Long time, no write. 

I know, I’ve been lazy and negligent in writing and I hate myself for it.  Well, not hate…that’s harsh.  I’m saddened and disappointed in myself that I’ve abandoned something I really enjoyed doing.  Writing about cards and the Redsk…Washington Football Team!  The first place Washington Football Team!  At least at the time I’m writing this post.

Anyways.

Blogging.

Man, I’ve been busy.  Really busy.  Busy with work.  Busy with family.  Busy with home projects.  Busy with organizing my collection and creating a bit of a “brand” for myself.  I know, kinda douchey, right?  Maybe not social media influencer douchey, but hey…it was a fun process to come up with an identity for my hobby.  Do you like the new logo?  I think it’s pretty cool and am really proud of it.  Earlier this year I did a couple of sketches and attempted to work on something in inDesign and realized I couldn’t accomplish what I wanted to see, so I reached out to a freelancer graphic designer for help and he pulled together a great image.  I’m really happy with the overall look, so happy in fact I’ve proposed it to the WFT as their new logo and name for the team.  It’s a crazy longshot, I know, but you know…

“you miss 100% of the shots you don’t take” – Michael Jordan via Wayne Gretzky via Michael Scott.

Organizing, yes.  I’ve done lots of that and am super excited to share what I’ve done with our basement…I love it deeply, my beautiful wife though…she has some different thoughts.  The common phrase is “when do you stop”, my common response is, “whatta you mean? They make new ones each day of every year, pfffffttttt.”  She’s a patient woman and I’m incredibly lucky to have her in my life, but yeah, she could do without the small rectangular photos of men everywhere. 

More on the organizing another day. Today, I’m excited to share a quick post of how I have taken photos of my cards that I’m happy with.  I’m picky.  Very picky.  Don’t like most things and tend to be reticent to try new things, I like steady and familiar but more importantly, quality.  I just wasn’t happy with the card scans I was getting each time I sat down to document my collection.  They were pixely or too dark or not shiny enough or something, it was always something.  So I did some digging around on the ‘gram and noticed a few folks had some really nice photos and well thought out layouts for their cards…which I loved.   I reached out to a couple of them to find out their secrets and they came back with the same results…a photo box!  That was it!  I needed a photo box!  I dug around amazon and on my google machine for some options to buy and then realized…I should just make it. 

It’s crazy simple. 

It’s a box…

…that you take photos in…

IT’S A PHOTO BOX!

I did some sketching as I’m tend to do, made a gotta gettit list for Blick Art Supplies and got to makin’!  Now, before I get to any process here…I want to temper expectations.  This isn’t anything glamorous or spectacular, but it works exceptionally well for me I think the photos capture what I’d hope them to.

Here we go!

The shopping list:

  • Foamcore – 1/2″ Black.  I went with black over white mostly due to my preference to lean towards darker colors over brighter ones…plus (see next item)
  • Hardboard – 12” x 16” Dark Gray.  This was the real reason I went with black foamcore.  I couldn’t find a durable white surface with this kind of rigidity and durability.
  • LED Lights – one 6’ strip of LED lights.  I wanted the brightness of the LED’s and felt like it would be a great way to pop the colors on the cards.  Also, it allowed for a greater balance of light around the box.
  • Black Tape – 1” thick black tape.  Mostly for the corners, but also for packaging and other items you’ll see in future posts.
  • Foam Core Cutter – Fancy handle shaped cutter.  This is a must if your going to cut a lot of foam cure, which I have and which you will see in future posts.  I spent many nights in architecture studio cutting foam core and not getting a nice consistent straight line…so this is a must for me.  I’d use an x-acto knife, but they blades flex a bit and it’s a challenge to get them square…I’m picky remember?
  • Straight edge – well actually it’s a big ass ruler from home depot.  Helpful in cutting large sheets of foam core, plus it has a nice weight to it.
  • Pencil – for making marks…duh.
  • iPhone – this was really just to document the process for now, I didn’t buy one just to make a box.

Next the crafting:

  • My ultimate goal was to make the box large enough so I could capture one card or ten, or maybe a poster or maybe something else that’s oddly sized…I don’t know…I’m attempting to plan for the future.  How does one plan for the unknown!?
  • Here are the sizes and quantities:
    • 2 – 8”x16” for the long sides
    • 2 – 8”x13” for the short sides
    • 1 – 13”x17” for the top
    • 5 – 8”x10” shims (this was a minor change that I do not regret)
  • Now that the pieces are all cut, time to put this bad boy together.  The hardboard size was the driving factor for the shape, as that needed to fit snug with the inside of the box…not too snug so it’s a struggle to move in and out as wanted…but you know, snug.
  • I was going to tape the sides and leave it, but felt that I should tape and glue them to help keep it in tact a little better, so the four corners are glued and the tape is pressed pretty tightly to the edges and corners.
  • Next, the lights.  This was a little trickier than I thought…I wanted a 90degree corner for the lights, but they apparently don’t bend that way.  I ended up with a 2” or so radius which I’m happy with.  The LED lights had tape on the back, so just peel and apply.
  • Now the peep hole.  Gotta have a peep hole!  This could have been planned a little better as well, but it works.  It really depends on your phone camera.  I have an iPhone and wanted the items to be centered as much as possible in the hardboard.  I mad the cuts prior to really figuring out where the lenses were on the phone…so the hole is larger than I had hoped.  There is some light leak, but nothing significant.  I guess I can address this in the near future.
  • Lastly, put it all together and drop a card in.  I have a few older/used mag holders that I use a dummy holders for the cards.  They tend to get a little scratched over time so those get changed when needed.  I’ve made a couple tick marks with that fancy little pencil of mine so I can quickly swap cards in and out for photographing.

So yeah, that’s it!

I’ve got a great system set up and have been taking tons of photos over the past few months.  In my opinion, this process is faster (for me, at least) than scanning.  There is some time management with uploading the files and getting them where I want them, but I know a card is (mostly) square when I’ve taken a photo and I can see the output immediately.  I like it and it works well for me. 

I’m certain I will still use my scanner for some things and I’ve definitely taken and used photos without the box that I’m really happy with as well, but for the most part, this will be my path to documenting my cards.

Let me know what you think and what you do to document your cards?  I’m always super excited to hear how people maintain their collections.  Love to hear what is important to other hobbyists and collectors.

Thanks for reading, hope you enjoyed it!

-Cardboard Hogs

A new Wallet Card

As the year comes to a grinding halt, life slows down a bit, but ironically gets busy in other areas.  Although i was off work, my schedule was quite packed each day.  Luckily, I was able to spend some ample amount of quality time with my boy.  He’s been a lot of fun this holiday although he’s incredibly exhausting at times…we’ve had some fun and were able to enjoy some more snow yesterday!  I also decided to take a break from posting the past few days so i could focus my attention of the family and just relaxing, it’s not every month you get this much time off from work without feeling guilty.  I’ve been a master of sleeping and eating too…way too much sleeping and eating…way too much…

As i logged back in to the blog a couple days ago, i thought it was time to update my banner a bit and update a couple other things with the blog…still working on it, but getting there…and to be honest, i’m in no real rush.  Although, i’d like to get my checklists posted so i have something to keep track of when i’m out at a show or some random shop.  Today, I initially had high hopes of writing all about the great holiday trip and a few cards i picked up over that time, but the Redskins loss to the stupid Giants and elimination from the playoffs all but zapped my writing energy.  So, i decided to keep it short and post the last day of Wallet Card Art Monk and introduce the new Wallet Card for 2017!

2017-art-monk-wc-f

As you can see, Wallet Card Monk took a beating all year.  Although he didn’t get out as much as Wallet Card Henderson, he did manage to get out more than the previous versions of wallet cards.  If memory serves me correct, this is my 7th year of toting a wallet card around.  One thing i like to do with the wallet card is rotate the card every month or so in order to keep the edge damage somewhat consistent…gives it that nice aged treatment and something that i’ve earned through my years of diligent wallet card-ing.  I also do what i can to keep the card dry.  WC Monk ended up in my back pack during some wet bike rides to work a few days earlier last year, but held up pretty well i’d say.  I love the layering of card damage that occurs with each year, you can see it at the bottom of the card image below.

2017-art-monk-b

As per annual retirement of the card, WC Monk will be loaded in to a penny sleeve and top loader for the safest of keeping for years to come.  The irony of beating a card to pieces for a year and then treating it like it’s the most valuable card in my possession is always enjoyable…it’s kinda cool to see the liberally used cards treated delicately at the end of their lives.  One day, I should post the previous versions side by side just for the fun of it.  I should dig those guys up…!!??!?!?

Trying to decide what card to go with this year was much tougher than normal.  I was thinking of something outside the box and going with a player that isn’t quite in my personal collection list, like Troy Tulowitzki or Trea Turner.  Maybe going with Tim Raines in hopes of him finally getting elected to the HOF or carry Tim Duncan around for a year.  I’ve never had a basketball card for a wallet card…I also thought i should go with my favorite card of 2016, the Willie Mays Stadium Club card.  If i had a double of that card, i may have run with it, but it was just too nice and thick and shiny to cary in my money clip.  Not to mention, i’m kinda limited to what i can pack in that clip before it gets overloaded…i have so much money, you know!  I wasn’t really feeling any of those ideas.  On a random trip to the card shop on Saturday I stumbled across this guy for a buck.

2017-derek-jeter-wc-f

Pretty, pretty, pretty…Nice little insert for my toting around this year eh?  Beautiful shot of Jeet with all the accoutrements that a modern baseball player needs when he’s at the plate.  That smile.  The pinstripes. The black and white image.  Done deal!  Here’s Jeters’ backside for those in to that sort of thing.  I agree that this is definitely a trading card of quality.  Top notch!  Can’t wait to beat the crap out of it this year.

2017-derek-jeter-wc-b

Here’s an image of Jeter and Monk side by side.  Old and haggard vs. Fresh and New.  Give it 12 months and the roles will be shifted a bit.

2017-art-monk-jeter-ff

Jeters’ face represents how i feel about the Yankees coming in to the 2017 season and Monks’ face is a direct representation of how i feel after every Redskins season…for the past 20+ years.  Frustration and disdain for another disappointing season…football man, football.

So, now that the decision has been made, Mr. Derek Jeter finds his way in to his new home.  Now, with a money clip i tend to keep the card in my front right pocket…so, if you plan to pickpocket me there’s your bit of a head start.  This also does a little bit to keep the card straight through the year rather than shaping to the curvature of my bum.

2017-derek-jeter-wc-f-clip

I hope you all had a great holiday, Christmas and New Years, and that your favorite teams win all their games and that the Clemson Tigers finally gets a National Championship after 36 years of waiting.

Fresh of the family visit, i wanted to share a video of the group Winchester Rebels that my brother in law, Barry, was/is in.  (He’s the drummer).  Whether or not this music is your cup ‘o tea, please give it a listen.  It’s a pretty rockin’ tune.

 

Next level favorites and more autographs

I didn’t receive a Topps Now Christmas card today…and honestly i’m not too upset although i kinda feel a little left out.  So to make up for my collecting insecurities i stopped by the LCS to see Brian today.  There was a show on the other side of town, but i was with my offspring all morning and afternoon.  I thought making an attempt at hitting up the show would be a major failure due in part to the snow, but also to a rambunctious young boy.  I decided the baby step with a card shop visit would be a more appropriate first step…i mean, you don’t learn how to ski going down a black diamond run on your first visit to the mountain right?  The boy did great and i was able to pick up a couple new Redskins that i will get posted here soon as well as a box of the heavily discussed Bowman Draft cards.  I’ve been on a bit of a run this year with Bowman cards since they offer a huge array of prospects and on card autos for everyone…plus the chrome versions (as with all Topps chrome cards) have an odd but appealing scent to them.  I’ll try to get to those later in the week once i have a chance to open a box and go through them.

All of that stuff from the first paragraph has nothing to do with the cards i’m about to show right now.  This past September, i was between jobs and didn’t buy too many cards during that month but did pick up a couple of retail packs and a Stadium Club box from the card shop.  As you may have seen from an earlier post this week, i noted that the Willie Mays card was my favorite of the year.  Honestly, that set had numerous images that could have been labeled “Best of 2016…”.  So here are a couple other images i thought were worthy of noting.

16-sc-alex-gordon

First up is the Alex Gordon rainy day photo from the post season of 2015.  This may not be the greatest photographic image, in fact, i believe it could have helped a bit with a little more separation and cropping to show his feet and home plates…this may have allowed a little more blue at the top of the photo.  Also thing this in a landscape with some “rule of 1/3rds” going on could have made this an epic card.  That’s all nit picking…it’s a great card and a great moment captured by a talented photographer just before the pitch.

16-sc-lou-brock

Every time i see or think of Lou Brock, I can’t help but think of the Q-Tip lyric “…got the scrawny legs, but i move just like Lou Brock with speed, I’m agile plus i’m versatile…”  You get the idea.  Being a big Rickey Henderson fan, i’m also a fan of Lou Brock.  Their careers became so intertwined as Rickey entered the league breaking all of Lous’ records along with some of Maury Wills records.

16-sc-monte-irvin

The other image is of Monte Irvin and his total control of 5 bats.  Mr. Irvin passed away at the start of the year at the age of 96.  Irvin was one of those players whose professional career overlapped America’s involvement in WWII as he was part of the 1313th Battalion in Europe…but it was also during the Negro League days where he was one of the many stellar players that would eventually be part of the breaking of the color barrier.  Reading the stories of the players during this part of our countries terrible history is quite sad.  Makes you wonder what kind of numbers some of these incredibly talented players could have put up during their younger or peak years.  This is just a beautiful card.

16-sc-matt-wisler-auto

Last image is of one of the three autos i received in the box.  It’s of Matt Wisler.  The young pitcher for the Atlanta Braves who was involved in the Padres deal for Craig Kimbrel and Melvin (BJ) Upton Jr.  While he was in the Padres organization he pitched for the San Antonio Missions!  I spent many a night as a child watching the San Antonio Dodgers on the south side of San Antonio.  They later became the Missions as the relationship with the Los Angeles Dodgers was ending.  Since San Antonio is home to many wonderful historic missions, the name made sense.  Besides, everyone remembers the Alamo, right?  Speaking of San Antonio, my alma mater played in their first bowl game today but lost to New Mexico.  Tough break for the young program.  Baby steps.

As i mentioned, i received 3 autographs but two of them were redemptions which i have yet to receive.  I’m hoping to get them in the next month or so…no idea when really, but both of the names are great and i’m not too interested in asking for a replacement…so now i wait…

The next two cards were from a jumbo box of Topps Series 2.  One is a great prospect and the other is a guy form the Reds organization that may or may not pan out…who knows?  Sticker autos are always a little disappointing.  There’s just something about the card being in the signers hand rather than a sheet of Apex sticker sheets…or whatever is used.  Anybody know?

16-tsr-kyle-waldrop-auto

Kind of proud of the Raul Mondesi card.  Ties in nicely with the Alex Gordon from above i guess.  Raul is only 21 and is already a World Series champion with a very bright future…lets see what happens in 2017!

16-tsr-raul-mondesi-auto

As i mentioned, i wasn’t able to make the card show today which isn’t too unusual since i tend to hit them up every other month and i was there in November.  Still enjoy going to the shows and talking to my favorite dealers and collecting with the old guys there.  The vintage dudes seem to love telling stories of cards they had and have lost through the years…love it!  Great time…wish i could have a drink with most of those guys though.

Vintage ‘skins

hey, you got any vintage Redskins cards from the 1950’s you lookin’ to unload?  i need some help!

1950’s Washington Redskins checklist

where in the hell have i been?  doing this and that, getting organized…that’s where. seriously though, let me know if you have any buried treasures with redskins logos on them…help a brother out.

Gettin’ it together

Alright kids, i’m getting my ducks in a row.  I’ve managed to get the Redskins Topps team sets in order for the 1970’s and 1980’s but still missing quite a few cards.  If you think you can help me out and cross off some of the names on the list I will be eternally thankful and more than happy to send a care package your way.

To see the lists, click the team sets drop down above, or click below!

1970’s

1980’s

I am hoping to get the 90’s done in the next week or two, but that is going to take an act from god if you believe in those sorts of things.  This is where the lack of organization and chaotic storing procedures are going to stifle me.

Thanks in advance for any help you can provide!

the PDX Fantasy Draft

Hey kids, big draft tonight in the PDX Fantasy League.  Wish me luck.  The wife wants me to go RG3 for the 6th pick.  Not sure i have it in me to do that…but we will see…:)

-HTTR

1st pick (6) – LeSean McCoy RB…I love this pick, this is the guy I wanted but wasn’t sure he would make it to pick 6.

2nd pick (23) – Robert Griffin III QB…ok, this is really the guy i wanted but couldn’t justify taking him in the first round, kind of wished i had waited until the 3rd, but i wasn’t sure he would make it that far.  Might have been a reach in this league at 23.

3rd pick (34) – Jimmy Graham TE…got a top ranked TE and i love the guy.  plus he doesn’t seem like the murdering type.

4th pick (51) – Montee Ball RB…this is a gamble, i don’t know much about the kid and i know the Broncos have a litany of running backs, plus Peyton likes to throw TD’s, not hand them off.

5th pick (62) – Pierre Garcon WR…love getting Garcon in the 5th.  Hope he can stay healthy and have another great year.

6th pick (79) – Anquan Boldin WR…i was thinking with all of the injuries, i couldn’t go wrong with Boldin, not to mention he is a great receiver of balls to the hands.

7th pick (90) – Seahawks DEF/ST…ok, this was a huge reach.  i’ve never taken a defense this high before.  the only reason i went for it was because of the junk that was still out there…that i didn’t want to mess with.  so i decided i would go for the #1 defense and see what happens.

8th pick (107) – Alshon Jeffery WR…lots of upside here, hope it pans out.

9th pick (118) – Kendall Wright WR…lots of upside here, hope it pans out…and that Locker can get him the ball.

10th pick (135) – Roy Helu RB…I’ve loved Helu since his rookie year, hope he can bounce back from the achilles last year.  he’s looked great so far, the only problem is how many touches will he get?

11th pick (146) – Mohamed Sanu WR…ever since he threw a bomb of a touchdown against my Redskins, i’ve kind of been following this kid.

12th pick (163) – Josh Brown K…i always wait until the very end to pick up a kicker and drop them as soon as they have a bye week.  kickers get no love from me.

All in all, i am really happy with my draft and feel pretty confident.  I’m a little thin at RB which i am every season…so we will see!

2013 Topps S2 – Packs 5 and 6

The last couple of posts have been about celebrations.  This post is going to be about great plays and faces…as in the faces of men celebrating something or working very hard at doing something.

The first pair of cards feature a very smooth and shaded Jackie Bradley Jr. gliding in to make a very nonchalant catch.  Jackie has a great name and also had a wonderful spring training rendering him the next superstar phenom…unfortunately, spring ended and so did his hot run.  He’s a great young player and is in that always awkward transition of being a major leaguer and a AAA player…he’s too young to say he’s a AAAA guy, plus I think he has a ton of talent.  One thing I can’t seem to understand is that the Red Sox always seem to have a great farm system and the Yankees continue to ignore theirs…or at least the Yanks don’t seem to be able to develop enough major league talent.  The other card is of Andy Dirks and he appears to have made the catch, good for him and better for the photographer for making this photograph.  This is one of the things I love about sports cards.  They can capture a singular moment in time and become eternal images on cardboard (card stock) forever.

13 T Jackie Bradley Jr Andy Dirks

The intensity of these next two faces is both fascinating and extremely disturbing.  Not sure what the expression being exhibited by Adam Dunn is about, but if I had a daughter I would keep her away from him…based on this one photo of him.  I know it’s judgmental, but sometimes you just have to go with your gut.  James Loney.  This is the face I make when i’ve become irregular and having a tough time with my situation.  Both intense faces, both disturbing faces.

13 T Adam Dunn James Loney

These next two cards are the epitome and possibly a little over the top of facial enthusiasm.  The Papelbon card is out of control, but so is Papelbon…this was probably a 38 pitch save in May, and this is how he’s reacting.  So Intense!  The Trouty card is kind of cool.  You have to love this kid.  He doesn’t get the fanfare that Bryce Harper does, for some odd reason?  Both are equally talented and are going to be a whole lotta fun to watch the next 12-15 years.  Wonder if Trout was in DC and Harper was in LA if Trout would get more love?  Harper would get attention regardless due to polarizing personality…just wondering.

13 T Jonathan Broxton Mike Trout

I’m not a Giants fan, I don’t hate them or even dislike them, I just don’t like them like them.  You know what I mean?  They are a solid team and should be successful for a very long time, or at least as long as this kid is healthy.  I have a feeling that this kid’s baby face isn’t going to age much, so I guess that would make him the Dick Clarke of baseball…no?

13 T Buster Posey Chasing History

I’m gonna end it with some mini action.  The Kid and a guy named BJ.  Why a guy would want to go by BJ is beyond me…but maybe that’s just my issue or maybe it’s because his name is Melvin Emanuel.  (ps. yes that is a hair…from my head linking the Kid and Melvin…i’m receding)

13 T Ken Griffey Jr BJ Upton Minis

getcha heritage!

This is a marketing and promotion post.

I have a ton of duplicate Topps Heritage cards from 2011, 2012 and 2013 that need to find a home in YOUR HOME.  Most of what i have left are from the base set, but it’s a lot of em!  I do have some short prints, chromes of various colors (limited though) and other items of a similar variety for trade.  If you have any interest in them, send me your checklist and an email to cardboardhogs@gmail.com, and hopefully i can help you complete your player, team or base sets.

thanks!

Why do you blog?

We had an extremely interesting presenter come to our office on Tuesday afternoon to discuss social media and the impacts it has on our culture and what the future can bring.  More specifically, or at least what I took from the discussion, was in regards to how corporations (or businesses of all sizes) can use modern forms of communication to spread news and information about their work.

My work is architecture and we design schools that (hopefully) will have a positive impact on the community and foster eduction through learning and teaching.  We have struggled for years to truly grasp the appropriate way to get our message out through social medai to those that do not know our work.  Inevitably, little gets done if anything.  This happens for various reasons of course.  Sometimes it’s due to someone failing to step up and take the lead or, of course a fully booked calendar.  Unrelated to my office, but general speaking, there is a hesitation or possibly reluctance to ‘put yourself out there’ and bare all for the world to see.  It’s scary, but it offers you a voice to be honest and get your thoughts out there.  The great thing about social media is that everyone has a voice and can get involved in anything that interests them.  We all have a voice that can reach a greater number of people than ever before.  Our voices can be insightful and have the ability to stimulate conversation and connect through a common interest.  This is why i am proud to be a part of the sports card blogging community, albeit, a newer member.

I started this blog just 6 months ago and have connected with some great people online that share a similar interest as me.  As a matter of fact, I have connected with a wide variety of people that I would never have had the ability to connect with were it not for this blog or commenting on other blogs.  Our community is extensive and great.  We are diverse and offer a wide variety of perspectives to collecting from all ages, sports and eras of cardboard.

So how does any of this pertain to what we write about, and what can we do to make our hobby better?

I think we can do more to lift up the collecting community as a whole.  As we all know the hobby has nearly neglected the young collector by pricing them out of the same hobby we started as kids.  There is also the dilemma of all the short prints in flagship sets and of course the dreaded redemption card.  We also have the elephant in the room (sorry for the crappy cliche), how does Topps owning the MLB license for the next forever affect the baseball card industry?

I am obviously not bringing up anything ground breaking or new here, but I was hoping to start some dialogue or have a couple of comments from other bloggers out there to get their openings on the these items and anything else that may be bothering them with the hobby and blogging.

Hope everyone had a great 4th of July and enjoyed their long weekend.

Road Trip Packs I

Since I was going to be on a road trip from 4 days, I thought it would be cool to pick up a couple of packs along the way from a local Target or Wal Mart.  Living in Portland, we don’t have too many local Wal Marts and Target is my only real retail option, which isn’t bad at all…I’m just saying.

Our first stop along the way was in Amarillo, Texas.  Yes, I know.  EPIC by all possible definitions.  I picked up a couple retail packs of the Football version of Topps Archives.  I already had a couple of Hobby pack versions and was curious what would come out of a Wal Mart.

And here we go!

Love the Wilson Card, great action photo and love the look in his eyes.  Wilson should be one of the next great QB’s in the league for the next few years…just hope his team stops knocking mine out of the playoffs.

13 TA Russell Wilson

Next up was a mini Calvin Johnson Jr. card with some sweet color gradation from top to bottom.

13 TA Calvin Johnson Jr. Mini

and finally, the last card i’d like to present from a retail wal mart pack is a Darrelle Revis gold parallel from the New York Jets  Tampa Bay Buccaneers!

13 TA Darrelle Revis Gold Parallel