A soloist joins a band…

I’ve never been one to join a group, not really a group joiner.  Never wanted to be associated with a specific cohort or any kind of click.  I felt it was unnecessary or just really not for me…partially due to anxiety, partially due to an unwillingness to interact with people I felt might not click well with me.  I’ve always been like that, well, I’ve mostly been like that.  The past few years I’ve shifted a bit and have opened up to others.  There have been a few catalysts for this.  The bride for one, of course.  But also realizing that connecting with people that share your interests is important.  I’ve been able to make some of that happen with the card show guys I stop by each month, well…each month prior to 2020. 

Earlier last year, I was asked to attend a group meeting with other card collectors by Terry Kneis.  He’s been my go to vintage guy through the years.  Not because of his charming personality…because, that isn’t his M.O.  I like to stop by his table because he is crazy organized.  Possibly over the top organized for a card show table at times.  There is a definite sense of needing to ask permission to see his cards.  I think that tends to push people away most of the time…but for me, I love it.  I LOVE that he controls his product to a point that it doesn’t get disturbed by randos.  All of his cards are in order by year.  Every card has a price on the back.  The lesser expensive ones come in penny sleeves and the expensive ones include top loaders.  For me, it’s a time saver that I cherish…plus, he offers up a chair for you to sit and go through your items!!!  That’s right a chair at a card show!!!  I can sit down with my phone, go through my google doc spreadsheet and check off the cards I pull as I put them aside. 

HUGE TIME SAVER YA’LL!!!

When I get home, my checklist is updated and all I have to do is remove the penny sleeves and drop the cards in their respective binders.  Have I mentioned the time saver aspect? 

Back to the club part of this wandering story…Terry invited about 25 gents and ladies to his house earlier last February for the Oregon Sports Card Association meeting.  It was a quaint gathering with a wide variety of vintage card collectors.  I was definitely out of my league, as far as baseball knowledge but had a great time.  At the end of the gathering, Terry hands out a manilla envelope with a special gift for the days participants.  Me being a newcomer to the group, Terry handed me a $100 off any card that he was selling from his house that day.  The caveat was that it had to be from an assortment of cards on a special table.  Well, this was on that table and I had to grab it.  I could not pass this beautiful card up.  It was phenomenal.  Sensational even. 

1956 Jackie Robinson – #30

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I haven’t really dug into the ‘50’s sets yet, so this is about as nice of a first card as you could get…in my mind. 

One of the activities during the meeting was a trivia party where I was teamed up with an older gentlemen, Steve.  Steve has won many of these competitions and wasn’t overly thrilled to have a new jack join his team, but I think I held my own.  We didn’t come in first place, but we did finish tied for second.  Which was great if you ask me.  Having come in second place, were granted the choice of one card from a 1950’s binder with semi-stars and could pick one card under $80.  I went with this beautiful Monte Irvin card…mostly because I had just wrapped up reading Willie Mays biography and Monte was heavily involved in much of that storytelling…plus I thought it seemed appropriate to pick a Dodger and a Giant on the same day.

1954 Monte Irvin – #3

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Today also marks the birthday of Martin Luther King Jr.  I hope everyone has had a chance to listen to one of his important speeches or read an article about his life.  He was a great man that fought for change that people are still fighting for today.  Maybe one day, we’ll get a chance to see past our skin color and political viewpoints and move forward as humans.  It’s a lot to ask for, but it’s also something that is very well achievable in our lifetime.  I sure hope for my kids sake that we can get there.  So, Happy MLK day everyone. Fuji shared a couple of his favorite MLK cards over at The Chronicles of Fuji and i wanted to share the first three i could find today.

As always, thank you for reading!

-Cardboard Hogs

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Here’s a video of my favorite speech by Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.

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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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?

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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!

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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.