So, I did some Black Friday shopping in my pajamas like a good American.
No, I wasn’t at Wal-Mart at 3am busting down the storefront and trampling mustached women in rascals. Even better, I did it online over at the Check Out My Cards wonderful website. I had been building up my cart for some time, nearly 6 months, and decided I needed to work on completing some sets. Most of what I picked up was 2010 Heritage base cards, but I also picked up some New Age Performers from this past years set along with a couple Then and Now cards.
And here they are!
Miguel Cabrera involved in a deeply personal thought about SABRmetrics
Yoenis Cespedes. It took me about 5 tries to find this card, because apparently Yoenis is nearly impossible for me to spell. Yoenis.
Billy Butler is both excited and nervous about the pitch he just hit…one can only wonder…
Check out the baby faced Aparicio and the babier face of Michael Nelson Trout. I believe the Mathews/Dunn card would have been perfect if we could have gotten some chest hair on the Dunn photo…Taco meat for everyone!
Time permitting, i’d love to scan some of my other pick ups from COMC…but i’m not sure time will permit in the next few holiday days. One cool thing of note is that I have Boxing Day off. This is the second year we’ve had this holiday since we were taken over in a not so hostile manner by a Canadian company. I’ve heard positive things and negative things about the holiday, so i’m not sure if I should let my white guilt reign over me or if I should just buy some more baseball cards. Any thoughts out there from our friendly neighbors to the north?
Not bad considering I started around Christmas of last year and do most of my posts after the fam goes to bed at night. I was looking back at the earlier posts and was quite amazed at how many little adjustments that have occurred in the past 8 months to get the blog where it is today. I’ve also noticed that i’ve been lacking in my Top #12 Redskins as well as updating my checklists. Makes it kind of hard to trade with folks when they have no idea what you’re looking for. Just like life, everything is a work in progress…including my attempts at getting organized. Now I have a couple of cards I wanted to share and a couple of fun stories…and great memories.
Like most kids growing up, summer was the best time of the year. You were out of school, your parents were at work and you could sleep in all day long and be unproductive without being judged…you were just being a kid…and i loved it. I also loved playing baseball, and this was when i got to play the most baseball. I had a great group of friends that would get together on a daily basis and ride our bikes to a local park and play some type of made up game that would allow 5 or 6 kids to play a modified version of baseball. One of the most fun games we played though was home run derby on a tennis court/basketball court just down the street from our homes. The set up was perfect, a big square roughly 80′ at each side and a 10′ tall fence. We would always start our mornings out with a few rounds of home run derby and make our way back to the house to cool off with a swim at someone’s pool…it was south Texas…hot and humid as hell! Swimming was a must. The games were picked up later in the afternoon…you know…the hottest part of the day. I didn’t say we were smart. At some point we realized that playing for bragging rights just wasn’t enough. We needed to play for something bigger. Playing for cokes and bags of chips wasn’t going to cut it anymore, we needed a bigger fix. Being the card collectors we were, we thought it would be great to ante up some of our most prized cards. The cautious kids we were, we started small. 1987 Mike Greenwells, 1986 Don Mattinglys, 1986 Dwight Goodens. It was fun and no one really went overboard…until a new group of kids joined the neighborhood.
The Moore brothers.
The Moore brothers were about 2 years apart in age, but acted like twins. Their father sold gum to the local Stop’n Go’s and 7-11’s, but for some reason these brothers has the most amazing card collection. I couldn’t for the life of me figure out why my mom, who worked for the United States Air Force couldn’t buy me a box of 1986 Donruss, but these kids has 5 Darryl Strawberry rookies and Don Mattingly rookies with a father that sold gum! What the HELL! Gum costs 25 cents a pack? What could the profit margin be on a pack of Wrigleys Wintermint? Bubblelicious? At some point I just gave it up as i always had some big league chew in my back pocket, you know i had that watermelon flavor all the time! The Moore’s lined my pockets with some sweet gum packs, i was hooked! Anyways, back to the story. The Moore’s were super competitive and wanted to bring some big dogs to the homerun derby. And they brought the big dogs alright. Like a Dan Marino Rookie, some Walter Payton cards from the 70’s, that’s right, the 70’s! Cards that were almost 10 years old people! They also had this guy, a 1984 John Elway rookie.
To this day, I honestly cannot remember the story as to how i won the John Elway rookie card but it is definitely one of my prized collections. Had I not been such a die hard Redskin fan at the time, my team today would probably have been the Broncos…mostly because of winning this card and mostly because John Elway was a total badass quarterback.
So, the next card is my second favorite card (Rickey Henderson RC is #1!) in my collection. A 1963 Hank Aaron card in pretty nice condition. Getting this card in my collection was filled with some major controversy. Although it started in the hands of the Moore brothers, it was eventually lost to my arch nemesis, Alex. Alex was a big mouth who could unfortunately for me, back up most of his junk talk. We had the most epic homerun derbies. If we ever kept records, he would have crushed me…but i managed to get a few big wins off of him. This was without a doubt my biggest win. If i remember correctly, i won on an extremely controversial foul ball call that resulted in his final out…bringing Hamerin’ Hank to my collection where it has been ever since. There were rematch requests and threats of physical violence that never came about. There was no way in hell that I was putting this card up against anything ever!
I had a vintage Hank Aaron card that I would never be able to afford…ever!
Those summer days were the best. I learned how to gamble, pitch a guy high and tight or just drill him in the back for talking too much shit. I drank way too much soda, chewed too much gum and ate way too many cool ranch doritos. I won two great iconic cards and destroyed my elbow for the rest of my life. But it was worth it. I beat Alex.
Colbey – the A&G cards are in the mail monday morning. Enjoy!
Sam – send me your address and the Texans cards are yours.
Each year when Gypsy Queen comes out, I get a little excited about the cards…but it’s always tempered. I think the cards look great and the photography is really nice, but i don’t love them. Don’t hate them either. Kind of indifferent I guess. My annual buy in is maybe a few hobby and retail packs, possibly a blaster or two from target, but that’s about it. I think my aversion to the cards is the lack of statistical information on the back…or it could be the overly ornate border? As an architect, i’ve been trained to have a dislike for ornament and decoration so i guess that has carried in to my hobbies as well. The celtic-like border is nice, just not my cup of tea.
One thing that i really do like about GQ is the inclusion of age old veterans in the base set. Topps does a nice job with these and making them blend in nicely with the other modern players. Rarely do the players appear dated and they are never irrelevant to current collectors. PLUS, i always think it’s great to include HOF’ers and past great players so the young kids can learn a little history about the game and have a card from someone their parents or grandparents enjoyed watching play.
I also do enjoy the inserts that GQ comes up with. The two cards below are a great example of this. It’s nice to have the a highlight reel play represented on a card. We all remember the Trout catch last season as it was shown incessantly on the MLB network as well as the mothership.
Mini’s. Can’t go wrong with minis and you can’t go wrong with these two guys. One thing i enjoy about the mini cards is that i can put them at my desk at the office for a little while to enjoy the new pieces of cardboard. How great was Eddie Mathews? When people talk about the all time greats, i feel like he is always forgotten. Imagine if he played in New York how much more popular he would be? And just look at Lou Brock…chillin…total GQ pose…the other one.
Not overly excited about these inserts, but both pitchers are/were pretty great and the photos capture their intensity well.
Here is a ‘hit’ from the rack pack i bought. It’s Jacoby Ellsbury. He’s pretty big here in Portland since he played at Oregon State and from Madras…but he’s a Red Sock, so i’m not too excited about him…he is pretty great though. Love that they mention how great a player he is when he’s healthy.
And the best has been saved for the very last. Mr. Cano donchaknow. Pretty cool to get the base and a retail white border card in the same rack pack of a player you collect. Wonder why Topps removed teh vertical portion of the elegant border on the left and right sides as well as the name panel on the bottom?