Sons and Fathers

Being an adult is a tough thing to be at times.  It’s a never ending commitment to things you never dreamed of as a child; bills, responsibilities to loved ones as well as our contemporaries can be incredibly daunting at times.  Overwhelming even.  When you add children to the mix it becomes even more difficult.  Prior to becoming a father, i had a very specific image of what having a child would be like…and to be honest, it’s nothing like what i thought.  It is far more difficult than i could have ever imagined.  Getting things done the way i want them or even when i want them is close to impossible.  Over the past few months or so, i’ve learned to let things go.  I had to.  My expectations were not realistic or fair for an incredibly curious toddler.  His young developing mind was discovering a world he needed to experience…in his very own way.  Once i was able to grasp that seemingly simple concept, i was able to become a better father and enjoy the simple moments in life that later become memories we never forget…

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The snow we’ve had in town last night and today was one of those moments to stop and let go of being an adult…although i had to make sure my kid didn’t hurt himself :).  One of my recent posts was a reflection of a fond memory as a kid, the big San Antonio snow storm.  Keeping that in mind, my goal was to make this day off of work and “adulting” as much fun as i could.  Not to break an arm patting myself, but i thing we got it done today and made some awesome memories!

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When i started out on this post i had an idea to show a few cards from the Bowman Draft jumbo box i bought before Christmas.  The theme of the first post would be about sons of former MLB players and their fathers, but i wanted to shed a little personal experience since we had so much fun.  So, for those excited to see some cards that i pulled take a look below…and i promise the hits will be exhibited in the next post!

As i opened the packs, i continued to see names that i recalled from my younger days as a collector…first thought was HOLY CRAP! I’m getting old!!  I remember thinking, damn i’m old when a guy i remember as a rookie retired, or made the Hall of Fame…but now these guys have raised baseball players and kept the name in the family business.

I’ve always wondered what it would have been like to be the son of a professional athlete.  Most of us had idols and a child, and i would imagine most of our idols were professional athletes vs. musicians or actors…or doctors and scientists i guess.  My father had no special talents, nor did he have much of a presence in my life as a kid…which i would imagine is somewhat similar for these guys that made it to their 1st Bowman cards.  The baseball season is long and there is a significant amount of travel each season.  Being a parent is truly a 24 hour job.  Really makes me think how amazing their mothers were…not sure they were as amazing as mine was though. 🙂

I hope to have my son share in my passion for baseball one day.  Not sure if it will happen or not…it’s not something i ever want to force on him, it needs to be his decision, and i’m sure he will make the right decision…:)

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Not sure how many readers out there have kids, if you do, i hope you can understand the sentiments that i’ve shared here today.  It’s a little more personal than i normally like to get, but i felt like it was worthy…thank you for your time to read today.

Here are a few more images from our day…along with a zen like dog photo and a couple pictures of Derek Jeter standing next to a snow buried ruler.

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Have a great night and give your family a hug!  We’re gonna need each other to get through the next four years of this new Trump nation.

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and a song for the day…kinda reminded me of being a kid and going on road trips with my mom each summer…or to visit my father.

We’re all snowflakes…

I grew up in Texas and snow is not a normal thing for me.  When i was 9 we had a huge blizzard in San Antonio, 14″ to be exact.  It was absolutely nuts…as a kid though, fantastic!    It was a freakish event that i will never forget.  Rafik and I missed a couple days of school and had the greatest time ever.  We watched Chris Marrou tell us about the school closures and hoped it would never end!  Our days were filled with bags of sugar to fuel the moments in between epic snowball fights and a rudimentary snow man construction site.  It was the greatest of times for every kid in town.

When we were able (forced) to go back to school, our classrooms had so many leaks that we were huddled en masse in the schools gym.  A very large, crowded and noisy gym.  A gym on the edge of child anarchy.  It was one conch away from being a snowy version of Lord of the Flies.  The teachers were on edge trying to keep us all in line for the couple of days.  We were being taught in a prefabricated building not suited for long division or lessons on social studies.  But they did it and they were the real MVP’s that week.

But now…

I’m a tall adult that likes collecting things like cards and books and also likes rap music.  I also like familiarity and something i can depend on…surprises don’t work well for me.  For the last month or so, my part of Portland has had 3 different weekends of snow…g’darn freakin’ snow!!!  Now, don’t get me wrong, snow is cool when you go to it and are able to look at it and touch it.  But when it comes to you as an unwanted guest, it’s a bit of an annoyance.  We haven’t have had a ruler lengths of snow, but enough to shut the city down a couple of days and keep me from work.  It’s also made my snow driving (sliding) skills ratchet up a tick or two.

All the snow that i was surrounded by made me cave and pick up a box of cards with snow flakes on them.  Subliminal marketing.  Well done Topps, you got me.  Now, let’s see what you gave me Topps.

One of the first things i noticed about these cards is the streaking on the card fronts.  Half of the cards in the blaster box contained the streaking.  Maybe the other bloggers have already touched on this and as usual, i’m late to the party, but it seems that the quality of these cards may have been left to be what they are.  Not super upset about it, but a little disappointed with these…especially the Kershaw card.

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Another thing that was very noticeable is the large amount of white space, most notably on the landscape cards.  Guess that’s the Topps blizzard parallel…?  Seems like a little gradient or transparency could have been a savior for Nick’s card.

These cards were awesome in their original issue and Ricky Bones seems to be dressed appropriately for this card, while Mike Trout is attempting to catch a tiny little snowflake.  Is snow flake one or two words?  snowflake snow flake…

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Dickey Flakes should be a cereal, f’real.

Please let me digress a bit here.  Not sure if you have heard of Krampus, I hadn’t until about two weeks ago.  He’s an incredibly evil Germanic character created to scare the shit out of bad kids…to be honest, i saw a video of him and was a tad scared.  We used the Krampus tactic over the holidays to keep our little snowflake/snow flake in line.  For the most part it worked…but i feel guilty about it in hindsight.  I would point out the window, similar to what Carlos Correa is doing and say “I SEE KRAMPUS!!” and my child of 51 months would run off terrified, similar to what Jed Lowrie is doing.  The things parents do to get done what they want to get done the way they want it to get done.  Not my best parenting story…but sadly, it yielded the result i was looking for.

We now begin the bumpy snowflake portion of the blog post with a couple winners.  Dexter and Kris.  It’s a shame Ernie Banks didn’t get to see these guys win the title.  RIP #14.

If the card on the right was Steve rather than Nori Aoki, the hair on this pair would be most epic.  But it’s just Jacob and Nori.

My game used memorabilia card was Adam Jones which is pretty cool.  I really like Adam and often wonder what his career would have been like if the Mariners kept him..also wonder what the Mariners could have done with his dependability over the incredibly fragile and unreliable Erik Bedard…hindsight is 50/50 man..

So that’s my highlights from a Wal-Mart box of snowflake cards.  Rumor has it we may get some more snow in the next few days up here, climate change ain’t no joke…remember that we are all snowflakes/snow flakes and nobody is like us…even though those Adam Jones cards are pretty much the same thing.

The School of Rickey

So, last night was a little disappointing…Not only did the Redskins blow a golden opportunity to take hold of the #6 seed in the NFC playoffs, my #1 seed fantasy football team lost by 1 point.  As you may have guessed, my roster is filled with Redskins players…it’s my real life team and i like to make them my non real life teammates.  Coming in to the game i was in a great position to make it to back to back FF Championship, all i needed was the Redskins to not crap the bed…and they crapped the bed.  All over the freaki’ place.  Now, i know one of the most annoying things is hearing some random dude complaining or bragging about his fantasy teams…it was just tough man.  Still love my Redskins and can only regret the roster decisions that i should have made in hindsight.  But as Steve Spurrier once said…”hindsight is 50/50.”

Moving on.  The MLB network had a great documentary on Rickey Henderson tonight, “School of Rickey”

Needless to say, i enjoyed the hell out of the show and all of the stories from Rickey’s past…and present.  He seems like the kinda guy that is impossible to figure out in real life, not to mention if you were a pitcher attempting to hold him on base during his playing days.

If you are a Henderson fan it’s a must watch.

If you are a baseball fan it’s must watch.

So, watch it!

But first, check out this sweet ass 2016 Topps Dynasty card i recently picked up!  It’s a lovely tricolor patch on card autograph of my baseball idol, and it’s numbered 03/10.

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Fantastic piece of cardboard i say.  Some of you fellow bloggers have picked up a couple of these cards recently and noted the bumpy texture of the cards which is pretty evident in person, more so than in the photographs…but these photos were taken with an iPhone in low light, so there’s that.  Initially, i wasn’t going to go after one of these cards until the madness died down a bit but i saw a great deal on eBay and had some PayPal money from some recent sales to cover the cost and went for it!

 

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When i posted a bid on the card i made the rookie mistake of not reading the description…i should have, and you should always do the same!  Apparently, the guy selling the card was flipping the card and didn’t have it in hand.  To me, that was the beginning of a scam…so, i contacted the seller and he was really cool about it and understood where i was coming from and did an awesome job of following through on the whereabouts of the card.  Luckily for me (and probably him too?) the card came in a couple days later.  He shipped it out quickly and it was in my precious little hands last night, right before the Redskins crapped the bed.  So, i guess last night was all that bad…eh?

One of my favorite MC’s of all time, Aesop Rock is in town tonight for a show at the Wonder Ballroom…well, he’s in town most nights as he lives in Portland these days.  Normally, i would insist on going to his show and having an amazing time…if you’re in to Hip-Hop and love the indie version of that form of music, he’s one of the greats and always has high energy shows along with Rob Sonic and Homeboy Sandman.  This time though, other family / work related things came up so i couldn’t make it out.  Kinda missing out too, wishing I could have made it out…next time.  Until then, here’s a cool video from his latest album “The Impossible Kid”

Rickey goes to Powells

…but only to browse…

I like love books, especially those big books with lots of images.  The books with eye candy, great graphic layouts and really cool images.  Sometimes I even read the words that are printed in the books…but that takes more time…so it doesn’t happen as much.  One of the great things about working downtown is being close to Powells, one of the greater things about working at the office I work is having Powells right across the street…like, i can see if from my desk across the street…well, not at my new desk, but at desks that i’ve sat in before.  Powells is a great place to stroll around after lunch and see what’s out or what’s on sale for that month.  Most of my visits are just visits and not purchase visits…you know, to get inspired.  I need that as an architect, visual inspiration!

So, Rickey and I went to the art+architecture section which is in a much better spot with the revised layout.  they always had a layout table there, but the one that’s in now is much larger and better for laying out books, but this visit wasn’t about laying out books, it was about finding photo ops for wallet card Rickey!  The first stop…was…wowza…Not really sure what’s going on here, but hey, Rickey thought it was cool.

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Rickey is all about helping and lending a helping hand.  Sometimes the greatest of the greats need some inspiration, like LeCorbusier.  It’s not easy being an architectural genius and making ribbon windows and pilotis look magical all the time…but Rickey is there to lend a smile and a wave a wand of confidence!

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Rickey likes space.  I liked Interstellar.  So this was appropriate for the moment.  This book was pretty cool actually.  Lots of great images of different space suits and equipment from a fashion perspective.

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My favorite architect is Peter Zumthor.  You kids in LA are about to be blessed with his renovation and complete reworking of how LACMA is being laid out.  Before the wifey and I got married, i convinced her to visit a thermal spa in Switzerland, which really didn’t take much arm twisting.  Anyways, the Therme Vals is a spectacular place to visit if you ever find yourself near Zurich.  Rickey likes it lots.

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At this point, Rickey wanted to see photos of Rickey’s greatness.  Rickey likes him some Rickey…and Donny Baseball.

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But most of all, Rickey likes it when Rickey sets records.  Unbreakable records.  Rickey is also pretty fond of this jersey.

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Wallet card Rickey has a hot date tonight.

2014 Topps S1 – Packs 7 and 8

Yeah, it’s been a while.  I haven’t posted since the 10th.  I was on such a roll too!  Life.

I’m going to stick with the 2014 Topps Jumbo duo pack breakdown because I like order and crossing things of off lists.  It’s a problem, but it’s my problem.  I pray to whatever you choose to believe in that you have already seen these cards, so that none of them should be eye openers.  My hope though is that i can knock it out of the park with my witty narrative…or not.  You will be the judge of that.

I’m going to go ahead and start with the box autograph ‘hit’.  Not because i’m super excited about it, but because if you are reading this, you probably pulled this auto as well.  From what i’ve seen on the other blogs, this card is a popular pull from this years Topps.  Way to diversify your packs Mr. Topps company.  Andrew Lamb-oh everyone.

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I did get a couple of Harper’s in one pack.  My first look through the pack and i completely missed the Power Player logo on the lower right of the card.  It’s a Harper parallel and an insert.  Nice.  Here’s hoping the Bryce kid tears it up this season and avoids walls.

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Another nice little pull from these two packs was a Casey Janssen black border card.  See!  It has a black border!

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Next up is a Derek Jeter All Rookie Cup team.  It’s not the athletic supporter type of cup, which is probably best for us all considering how many gift baskets this guy has handed out.  He is stellar in his accomplishments on and off the field.  A legend.

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Maddux Mini.  Why is the border yellow?  WHY!

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A gimmicky base card from Topps that you have seen on every blog from everyone that has opened a Topps pack this year.  I can’t wait to put this one in a 9 pocket sleeve in a binder and forget all about it.  He’s catching a football.  Maybe I should get out my Nolan Ryan slinging the pigskin card out and put them side by side.

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I pulled two buy back cards and this one is a very Brave Ralph Garr, no relation to Terry Garr I imagine.  Maybe thirds cousins?

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Sean Doolittle closing it out with a very red and pubic-y beard and 90’s Oakley glasses and a t-shirt that has words on it.  Great photo selection Topps.  Great selection.

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Two more packs to go with a nice thick card that will make some of you smile, and then it’s back to some good ole vintage Redskins…or maybe a few card show pickups from a future show.

Oh hey, i’ve gotten around to posting a few very random cards on ebay.  Please take a look if you are interested in bidding on them.  The cards that don’t sell will be available for trade, or will end up back on ebay.

2014 Topps S1 – Packs 1 and 2

I’ve always been a little slow and therefore have been late to various things in my life.  So i’ve developed a mentality of sitting and waiting for other people to do something before I go.  It allows me time to think of what I want to do or can provide…since 2014 Topps has been out for a couple of weeks I’m going to show you what I got as well as give you a piece of my mind! 🙂

I know some folks don’t like the Topps flagship or are upset with their exclusive MLB license.  You won’t get any of that vibe over here though, I’m all in for the Topps flagship.  To the parallels and inserts, I say…”I don’t care” or “I choose to ignore you”.  I say that to the cards.  Take them out of the center of the packs and put them aside.  Sift through the base cards first and them make my way to the “hits” part of the program.  You should probably also know that I always eat muffins by starting from the bottom and working my way up.  I like to save the best for last.  Gives me something to look forward to.

On to the card judgement.

Topps has come back with the white border cards and personally i’d like to see a different color border, or possibly a full bleed.  I know this isn’t anything groundbreaking but a little variation would be great for the borders.  I’d like to se a card from each year and know that there was more than just a slight variation of the previous years designs…something bigger like the changes in card designs from 85 to 86 to 87.  Basically I want a fresh and new design each year.  The photos though, those are great.  Lots of action photos from what i’ve seen so far and great shots of men leaping in to walls.

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One of the things that Topps has done with their photos is select the image that makes you stop…and look…and think…why this photo?  The Crisp card has appeared all over the blogosphere and it now appears here.  That afro is straight up Oaktown.  If rappers had baseball cards, this would be the exact same image that Boots Riley from The Coupe would have.  Big Ass Afro and a clean pair of mutten chops piercing out of each cheek, shoulders back doing the Bernie lean.

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Besides the cool images, you get the obligatory post game celebration photo.  The gatorade bath.  Now, this would make a much better football card.  In fact, I think Topps should have one football head coach card next year and it should be Pete Carroll getting an orange bath after the Super Bowl and it should be card number 48.  That’s a free one for you Topps people, run with it.  This Dozier card though…it reeks of gimmick that folks complain about.  Dozier…remind me of the Souls of Mischief lyric…’Maintain composure, hit dosia, pick a booga, don’t be shook up, i got the hook up.’

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TWO OAKLAND RAP REFERENCES in one blog post!

This kid.  Love this kid.

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One last base card before i show a couple of the ‘Hits’.  The Kendrys Morales card.  This card should never have been made unless it was a Mariners team card.  In this modern world of high price cameras and digital media at every turn, how can you have a card of a player that only shows his back.  AND THE BACK IS OUT OF FOCUS!!!  Seriously??!!??!  The only guy that’s really in focus is Felix Hernandez.  Not Morales!  The moral of this card is that team celebrations are good and should only be shared as a team card.  Really bad decision on this one.

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Mini’s.  Die Cuts.  I love both and that’s what you get this year!  Some 1989 design mini with various border colors that are die cut!  Yes please!  Sign me up for that.  AND I get a Lou Gehrig.  Such a lucky boy I am.

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This next pair of cards came in my first two packs and I started to think I had a Segura Hot Box.  Guess you will have to wait and see…I’m not trying to tease you, I have no idea either as i’ve only opened two packs.

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Be on the lookout for the following 8 packs America.  I can only hope that I get more blurry cards of guys backs.

Happy Birthday Rickey and Merry Christmas

Today is the 55th birthday of my childhood idol.  Rickey Nelson Henley Henderson.

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The Man of Steal.  He was the all time stolen base leader and the greatest leadoff hitter of all time.  I can’t think of any position or spot in a lineup where you can say that about a baseball player and not get twenty other names from twenty other people.  Maybe it’s a bold statement, but I don’t think there really is an argument for his greatness at the leadoff position.  Fielding…eh…not the greatest.

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He was the reason I became a Yankee fan (but still secretly love the A’s) and the reason why I wear #24 any chance I get.  Whenever people asked me in a confused manner, “Why are you a Yankees fan?”  They are only more confused after I tell them because of Rickey Henderson…I’m a very loyal fan and hitched my wagon to the Yanks in 1985.  I was 9 and there was no going back as far as I was concerned.

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He was also the reason I fell in love with baseball and insisted on stealing as many bases as i could in little league.  I also stole them by sliding head first.  The coaches never liked it, but the one time I went in feet first I rolled my ankle and got a nasty strawberry…never jammed my wrist sliding head first thank you very much!

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He may not have been the greatest teammate of all time and maybe he was a little self absorbed…or aloof 🙂 But he is a Hall of Famer and remains my all time favorite athlete.

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This will always be my favorite card.  I purchased this with $12 of my allowance money from the West Avenue Card Shop in San Antonio, Texas over the summer of 1986.  Funny story about the West Ave. Card Shop…a few years after I purchased this card along with many others through the years, they were busted for buying and selling large amounts of cocaine.  I guess they were using the card shop as a way to launder their drug money…and here I just thought they had bad allergies with all the sniffing and wiping of their noses.  They were just coke-heads.

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Happy Birthday Rickey Henderson as I’m sure you are reading this wonderful post about you on your day of birth that you share with baby Jesus.  I hope everyone out there has a wonderful Christmas!  Stay safe and keep collecting!

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