Cabin fever cards

About a month ago, my family took a weekend trip to Mt. Hood, with me, i went too.  We’re lucky enough to have good friends that own a small cabin in the woods and are more than happy and willing to share the tiny abode from time to time.  It’s near Rhododendron, which is close to Zig Zag, which is close to Welches, which is close to Government Camp, which is close to Mt. Hood…it’s on Mt. Hood actually.  The cabin is a small, one bed timber framed cabin with a kitchenette, it’s…umm… cozy…(read small)…but it is nicely nestled in the forest off a small unpaved road.  Normally the roads are covered in snow, but we were able to visit just after a heavy rain storm that washed away most of the snow, leaving some ice.

cabin road

I believe these cabins were once used to house park rangers that would work during the year.  It allowed them to retreat to a nice home after a long day at work rather than travel to and from their own homes each day.  For one person, these cabins are crazy comfortable, for two people, it’s perfect…for two people and a toddler…you need more space.  A LOT MORE SPACE!  But, hey it’s free…and i got some cards to open while i was there too!

That blurry flash is my child doing his best to run around in a small building while my wife makes snacks and i build a manly fire.  So, cards.

One of my goals with the renewed interest in blogging was to open packs or do something card oriented each time i travel.  We were kind of in that weird time of year where the 2016s didn’t interest me anymore and the new 2017’s weren’t out yet…other than the flagship Topps…which i already had a box of.  So i picked up one of those dreaded repack jobs that deliver very little in return.  Spoiler alert, my low expectations were met with a couple of mild surprises.  Let’s take a look.

As the box mentioned, 4 packs and a total of 50 cards and a BONUS!  Before we open everything, let’s do a little inventory.  The 4 packs were of 2015 Topps (2), 2016 Leaf Babe Ruth Collection (1), and 2016 Gypsy Queen (1).  The white box of surprises had a little mini Twins baseball guy which was quickly jacked by the toddler.  There were 53 cards in the white box, so i’m already ahead no matter what happens.  Here are some Topps highlights.

Justin Upton and Clayton Kershaw were the only names of significant note for me.  Hey, notice the vintage table pattern, apparently the table has been in the same location for over 50 years…i imagine it’s been moved a time or two to sweep though.

A couple insert cards.  High leg kicking Carlton and top 40 Free Agent Robbie Cano.  One of these guys is going in to my collection and the other one is going in to the Phillies box i got in my basement.  Let’s take a look at the Gypsy Queen cards!

A couple of real DBacks.

BB GQ McCovey

A power alley McCovey.

BB GQ mini Drury

And a mini Brandon Drury…a Diamondbacks hot pack i guess.  Now lets take a look at the Ruth cards.

Two odd photos of Babe Ruth, kids and bats.

Two odd photos of Babe Ruth swinging things that aren’t baseball bats.

BB LR Ruth 1

One photo of Babe Ruth doing baseball warm ups, his Career Achievements card…but what about that white box?  Mostly junk wax stuff, but kind of fun to look through.  There were three cards of note that made me want to take a photograph of them, and here they are…in order of how much i like them, from least to most.

BB box Jackson Winfield

Some Yankee stuff

BB box Posey

A Posey Bowman.

BB box Jeter

A Jeter Diamond King!  Yay!  This was by far the best card in the bunch, pretty nice card.  I think i may have a copy or two of this one, but it’s still a nice little piece to pull in a cabin in the woods.

the end…

Something that’s hopefully appropriate for this post…family member, Paul Riddle on the drum kit here.

 

Faces in new places

Change is inevitable, it happens.  People move, make new friends, change jobs, etc.  It’s a big part of life and in my opinion, it’s a great part of life.  I love to experience new things.  Try new restaurants and take a trip to a place i know nothing about…or simply listen to new music.  I live new.  New is good to me, it excites me and awakens me.  The flip side to that is i tend to jump in head first for the new thing and get caught up in the moment.  I’m a bit impulsive at times and this can be a bad combination…compulsivity and attraction to the novel.  That said, if i really am honest with myself and look back on what i’ve gone through, i can’t say that i have any regrets (or at least very few…) for things that i’ve done.  It’s always the things i didn’t do that get me…which i think most people go through in their life.  The fear of taking a risk and just going for it cripples most of us.  I know it’s paralyzed me in the past…completely shut me down at times.  I’m a totally afraid of fear.  Last year though, i started to take a different approach and go head first in to new things…now, these were safe gambles.  I wasn’t jumping out of planes or wrestling tigers (GO CLEMSON!!  YAY!), i was leaving something that was know for something that was unknown and striking up a conversation with people i wouldn’t normally talk to.  Attempting to become fearless.  Well, my levels of fear are creeping back up.  Self doubt is creeping back in to my mind and slowing me down once again.  It’s been tough adjusting to the new…but i think it’s worth it and i could really use a little bit of a reboot and a chance to challenge  myself again.

Leaving and arriving are antonyms, but really you can’t have one without the other.  If you are leaving a place, then you must be arriving to another place.  Whether the circumstances were of your own volition or through the making of someone else, it’s a chance to start fresh and push yourself to do things you maybe haven’t had to do in a while.

16-dap-josh-norman

Less than a year ago, the Carolina Panthers offered the Franchise tag to arguably the best cornerback in the NFL, Josh Norman.  There was quite a bit of back and forth with him and the Panthers and to be honest, i wasn’t paying attention…didn’t need to.  He played for a team that i appreciate, but don’t think too much about, he wasn’t a Redskin.  Well, time went on and the contract wasn’t signed for whatever reasons.  Just before it needed to be signed, the Panthers pulled the offer and Norman became a free agent.  Less than a week after, he was a Redskin.

16-depp-josh-norman-54100

This was quite a coup for my team.  They needed major secondary help…MAJOR secondary help (and still do), he wasn’t going to be the savior but he was a night and day improvement over what the Redskins had last season.  Being the shutdown corner that he is labeled, he doesn’t get too many passes thrown his way.  A little ironic that the best player on your defense rarely sees the ball or gets close to the ball…seems counterintuitive doesn’t it?  He’s basically a little leaguer in right field…put him where he won’t see any action!!!

16-pp-josh-norman-3550-wave

Norman had a good season.  Not an epic season, but nice.  Held some of the best receivers in the NFL to their worst games of the year.  His battle with Odell Beckham Jr. earlier this year led to OBJr. getting sacked by a kicking net on the Giants sidelines.  Classic material if you ask me.  Josh Norman is one of those guys that you love if he’s on your team and hate if he isn’t and i’m cool with that.  He seems like a cool guy, energetic and knowledgable about the NFL game.  I guess he’s a great example of making the best of a new situation.  A situation he didn’t have total control over, but it worked out…kinda helped he got crazy paid though.

Being a rookie has to be tough on the college kids.  Incredible levels of competition and a whole new routine and way of life.  There is always someone nipping at your heels pushing you to be better and reach higher levels of excellence.  Some succeed and some crumble.  This guy, Matt Jones did neither last year.  He was somewhere in between and ended up losing his job due to costly fumbles…but hey, competition, right!  That hair in the photo is pretty epic.

16-imm-matt-jones-auto-23288

Another difficult part of being a rookie is injuries…damn injuries.  This kid, Keith Marshall was hit with some elbow issues in preseason and ended up on the IR for the year.  Not a great start for a guy at a deep position.

16-afri-keith-marshall-auto

He showed some signs of potential in the few touches he had in preseason, so it made sense for the Redskins to IR him in hopes of keeping him on the roster and not cutting him.

16-lc-keith-marshall-gold-168225

Not sure what next year will bring for him, i hope he gets healthy, gets reps and has a chance to make the team next year.  Georgia has had some pretty fantastic running backs in the past, and maybe he can be a hidden gem?

So yeah, i picked up a couple autographs of him over the weekend.  They are cheap and colorful with wicked wands of hair…can’t go wrong really.  One of the cards i picked up though really caught my eye.  It was a personalized card, and a card that Kim had set aside for me.  My first personalized authentic card ever.  But it was cool and timely for me.  Take a look.

16-lt-keith-marshall-auto

I already miss Athens, GA.

Now, this could simply be rhetoric and i’m making it in to something deeper, but my point is that we should always feel great about moving forward and challenging ourselves with new experiences and be allowed to miss the people/places/things we’ve left behind.

I’ve always thought i was someone that never wanted to look back, only move forward…KIM (keep it movin’).  But, i’m understanding the importance of being able to look back happily and remember the experiences, good and bad that i went through…and more importantly the people that helped get me where i am today.  Thank you for reading tonight.

The song for the night is fitting for the post i believe…

 

A Legends Auto

I’ve been a Redskins fan my entire life…well…almost, since i was 6 years old.  Through the years, i’ve done my very best to learn about the history of the team and the some of the greatest athletes to wear the burgundy and gold.  One of the guys that was ahead of my time as a fan, but someone that i have a ton of respect for and wish i could have watched play is Hall of Famer Charley Taylor.

One of the greatest receivers of all time and a fellow Texan!

13 LS Charley Taylor Sports Heroes Auto 24:25

Charley retired from the NFL in 1978 as the all time leader in receptions with 649 catches, 9,110 yards (1,488 rushing) and 79 receiving touchdowns (11 rushing).  The first couple years of his career, he was sort of a dual threat as a receiver and running back.  He was rookie of the year in 1964 after posting over 1,560 yards rushing and receiving…pretty impressive!S

Seeing theses numbers over a 13 year career really reflects how the game has changed through the years.  With top receivers picking up 90+ catches a year and over 1,000 yards each season you tend to forget about some of these all time greats of the game that helped define what we now watch on sundays…some rule changes and cultural shifts have helped as well.

Shifting gears a little bit, but staying with Redskins having the sir name of Taylor…i missed posting something on Sean Taylor during the 9 year anniversary of his untimely passing.  I have one un-posted card in the queue…and here it is.  He would have continued to be an amazing player…very sad for all of us Redskins fans and a player that will always be loved.

05 TF Sean Taylor Green Refractor 178:199

Just found a fantastic new hip hop documentary on netflix last night and it kept me up all night, “Hip-Hop Evolution”…i thought it was done incredibly well with tons of great back stories and interviews.  This is what i was hoping The Get Down would be…glad the story was told one way or another.  Check it out if you are interested in this sort of thing…

Skins from Kim

… careful…

Now that football season is finally over, we can all start to focus on the upcoming baseball season.  Spring is my favorite season and we are getting a small taste of some phenomenal weather up here in the great northwest.  That light jacket and slight drizzle in the morning kinda weather that makes me happy that i live here and not some place that is buried in snow or is simply 80degrees year round.  There is something to be said about seasons and the changing of the weather and surrounding foliage (what other blogger uses foliage in a post?)  I love it all to pieces.  It’s wonderful.  You know what else is wonderful, football cards…i know, i know…i was leading you down the path to baseball cards and then dropped a steel hammer and made a lane change.  I LOVE baseball cards, i really do and i LOVE baseball, i really do, but my love for the Redskins far exceeds any sport…so please bear with me and another post football post.  Baseball will be on its way soon enough.

Kim’s table.  He’s my favorite dealer at the Portland shows.  Great guy with tons of great pieces of cardboard like this lovely Orakpo auto card.  ‘Rak has been a bit of a disappointment to most Redskin fans…but I still love him, as long as he’s wearing the Burgundy and Gold of course.  I don’t think he will be on the team next year, but i’ve enjoyed watching him play and i’ve been a fan of his autograph.  It’s super simple but with a nice variation of pen strokes that are appealing to the eye.

13 TM Brian Orakpo Auto

His pending replacement at LB is this kid, who as luck would have it is also a Longhorn.  Keenan Robinson.  This auto is what mine would look like if i was signing cards that you wanted to purchase.  3 Letters.  Boom.  Robinson is a minimalist.  De Stijl.  What’s up with the fleur-de-lis anyways?  Is Leaf a French Canadian company?  Do non French, French people like the fleur-de-lis?

12 LV Keenan Robinson Auto

Hey, does your football franchise need a solid QB?  The Redskins have a couple.  Cousins and RGIII will be duking it out next preseason, well, i assume they will.  The loser may end up finding a new franchise to sling it for on Sundays.  My bet is that Cousins makes his way to Cleveland or Buffalo next season…no reason other than pure guessing.

14 PP Kirk Cousins Signatures Auto 117:199

Refractor, shiny Prizm, wavy Griffin!  If this card were issued in 2012 it would have it’s own blog post but life comes at you fast when your knees explode.  I still believe in RGIII but am losing faith…i gotta have faith!

14 PP Robert Griffin III Refractor 99:99

This card is sexy.  Plus it’s a little intense.  Why is the ‘L’ so skinny?  That’s a mighty big gap between the ‘F’ and the ‘L’.

13 AM Jordan Reed Auto Jersey 88:299

Do you like Pizza?  Do you live in the DMV?  Well then, lemme tell you about Spinfire…actually I can’t really do that since i don’t live in the DMV.  I do love me some pizza though.  My wife has taken it upon herself to master the art of the homemade pizza from our oven and is killing it!  Seriously, there isn’t another pizza in town i would want over the ones the wifey makes for us.  I gotta give Topps some credit on this card.  The on-sticker auto is placed so precisely and over the integrated box in the card design that makes the sticker nearly disappear.  WOW!

14 TV Pierre Garcon Auto 12:50

This is the part of the blog where most bloggers post their biggest, baddest cards.  Me?  I’m going with some run of the mill running backs.  Jawan (not Japan, Jawan autocorrect!) Jamison and Silas Redd Jr.  Now, I had high hopes for JJ and thought he would have a nice impact on the team once he was healthy, but that day did not come for him and he’s seem to have bounced around the league a bit and i think he was on the Steelers practice squad at the end of the year, but could be wrong.

13 NT Jawan Jamison Auto 14:99

Silas Redd can be a nice little free agent find for next season.  Maybe even replacing Roy Helu as the 3rd down guy or someone that can be blended in with Morris on Sundays.

14 BC Silas Redd Auto