Well…damn…!!??!?!!?

We have a champion in the very first ever Cardboard Hogs contest…and it was a non-contested contest.  The Winner…wait for it…GAVIN!! from my current hometown of Portland, Oregon and writer/blogger of the very entertaining Baseball Card Breakdown blog.  I don’t believe i have your address, so it you wouldn’t mind passing me an email i’ll get something over to you that i hope you enjoy!  Not sure i’m going to make it to the show the weekend…

In case you were wondering, here are the results…along with some other stuff.

DOOR #1 – $20

Rypien Monk Mann

Ok, brief story on this lot.  This is the old guy, the new…old guy that had the vintage football.  Seemed nice, very chatty…but there was something odd about him.  He was a little more pushy than the other guys and was really doing a sell job on me.  Normally i don’t like that and tend to wander off when i get that kind of vibe.  I should have listened to my gut!  When i pulled this lot of cards, i handed him the stack and said my usual “what’s my damage…?”  his response was “…make me an offer!”  I offered $10 thinking that was more than enough.  $2 per card.  In fact, i thought it was a little too high…Bill probably has all of these cards in his 7 for $5 boxes.  Anyways, he LOL’d out loud and said “…the 24K gold card is $20 by itself!”.  That’s the Charles Mann card.  He could quite possibly be right, but card shows aren’t about getting top dollar for your cards. It’s about selling cards to collectors at negotiable prices that work for both parties.  I was taken back by his counter and shockingly stared at the cards for what seemed like 2 minutes before sheepishly taking out a $20 and handing it to him.  Retelling this story and reliving the moment, i’m quite upset with myself.  I tend to be a fairly generous person and don’t mind getting the lesser end of the deal if i can make someone happy…but this was just a case of me getting taken advantage of…and it pissed me off…i’m still upset that i let myself accept that offer.  I should have given him the cards back and walked off.  I will certainly skip his table next time…if he’s there again.  I can’t imagine he did much business in finding too many suckers last time.

DOOR #2 – $15

This is just some good ole’ Tom hooking me up.  His table was my third stop and more than made up for the previous door…Now, Tom has a habit of overpricing his cards and then giving you a great deal on them.  I think he does that so he an engage in conversation with the guys at the show.  When he handed me that Jamison Crowder card with a $40 sticker, i was like nah SON!  But, he smiled and said, “you know i’ll make a good deal for you.”

DOOR #3 – $25

These are a few gems from Kim.  All relics or autos, most with serial numbers…and $5 more than door #1.  This is why i enjoy hitting up Kim’s table.  He has stuff set aside for me and i get great deals on them.

DOOR #4 – $10

Reed Seastrunk Jeffcoat

So, the last door was from the military vet.  This is another guy that over prices his cards with the label, but is more than happy to negotiate a deal quickly and easily.  He’s the autograph guy that is more interested in moving things than keeping them.  I had offered him $15 for the lot and was scrambling around for a $5 to go with my $10 and he said “…$10 is fine…”  That’s how you treat a customer at a mall show i say!!

So there you have it kids.  Don’t let people take advantage of you and do not hesitate to negotiate…don’t be a sucker like me!

Today is the first day of spring and my mid year birthday…tomorrow is my son’s…kinda cool that we basically share birthdays.  So, in honor of none of that…here’s a video from a TEDx conference in Wisconsin by Michael Ford…very cool connection of Hip Hop and Architecture.  Check it out.

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.

 

Mail Day! Unexpectedly…

My wife has been working a lot lately.  Early mornings and late nights at times too…lots of time away from the family.  One of the few benefits of this is that i get some one on one time with my boy.  At times, he’s an amazing kid and at times…he’s a toddler.  I’ve been slowly showing him my card collection and McFarlane figures…or dolls as he calls them.

THEY’RE NOT DOLLS!!!  THEY ARE COLLECTIBLE ACTION FIGURES!!!

Anyways, another benefit of the spouses extra work time is that i get to drop off my kid to school in the morning.  Tuesdays and Thursdays he has a later class, it starts at 10am…which is kinda cool since i get to stroll in to work around 10:30.  I also, apparently get to be home to receive FedEx packages from Topps…which is what happened this morning.  Thankfully our overprotective dog alerted us to the scary FedEx guy or i would have completely missed out on this!

Topps Mail day

A nice little package from Topps…but what the hell is it?  I’ve been a little negligent in tracking my outstanding redmemptions…so which one is it?  Oh yeah!

17 TO Andy Pettite auto jersey

17 TO Andy Pettite auto jersey back

It’s Andy Pettitte!  From my box of 2017 Topps Series 1.  That was crazy fast…especially considering i’ve got other cards that have been out for over a year.  This one took just over 2 months.

As Topps has been doing with some of their redemptions, i also received another card from the fine folks at Topps.

16 TM Josh Donalsdson

16 TM Josh Donaldson back

My favorite part of this card is that it’s a Meaningful Material Prime Relic Card…very meaningful i would imagine, maybe a Sunday game?  Not complaining, just thought it was kind of funny.

I also received this thoughtful thank you card from Topps…that everyone else has received…not i’m part of the gang guys!

Topps thank you

My patronage will definitely continue.

Now, here’s some music that you may or may not like…you should all love Brother Ali though…

Let’s Make a Deal! or not?

When i was in elementary school, my grandma would pick me up after class.  Sometimes we’d head straight to the house and other times we would make a pit stop for a snack or late lunch.  Her favorite spot was the Sonic in Schertz.  It was one of those older drive ins, and like they still do today, they would bring the food out to your car…sometimes in roller skates!  These were great times, simpler times…easier times.

My grandma was a TV freak and had to watch all of her shows.  This was before she had a VCR, so we’d have to get through those burgers, fries and shakes quickly so we could get home to watch Monty Hall and Let’s make a Deal on the tele.  Grandma was from England. I loved the show, not so much because of the premise of choosing some random “prize” behind doors 1, 2 or 3, but because of the wacky ass outfits the people wore.  Granny enjoyed the show because she liked to go on ‘winning streaks’ of picking the right door…again, simpler times back then.  If you are unaware of the show, you should definitely check it out.  It’s like a three card molly scam where nobody really walks away a winner…why are they dressed like that!

So, that brings me to some cards…the last show i went to, unplanned, i stopped by a new guys table and chatted him up a bit.  He seemed like a nice older guy and kinda reminded me of my grandpops.  Had a similar look from what i could cobble together from my cloudy memory…it’s been 25 years since he passed.  There was something about the guy that made me want to hang out.  I began to sift through his cards and was pleased to see that he had some odd ball cards and a ton of vintage football stuff…mostly 49ers though.  Since most of his collection was 49ers, i didn’t get too many cards but was able to pick out a few i needed for my master collection.

DOOR #1

Rypien Monk Mann

Next stop was Tom’s table.  Tom was my original go-to guy at the show…it’s been close to 8 years since i first met him.  He works at Check out my Cards during the week and does the shows on the weekends.  He’s really helped me through the years with filling out some Heritage set needs, plus he’s a great guy to talk to.  Here’s what i picked up from his table at the last show.

DOOR #2

Next table for some Redskins cards.  My new go-to guy, Kim.  Kim is great.  He’s always incredibly nice and friendly as well.  Plus he always has way too many cards for me to sort through with incredible deals.  He tends to deal more with the big hits and pricier cards but always comes through with a great deal.  Here’s what i got from Kim.

DOOR #3

Last stop.  Last door.  The veteran Marine autograph guy.  Not too sure about this dude.  Seems friendly…maybe not.  Has a ton of autographs from people of all walks of life.  Chasing famous people for autographs isn’t really my thing, but it’s always cool to see what he has.  Sometimes he has a nice new lot of cards that i can sort through…most of the time i end up passing his table without picking anything up, but today i got a few autograph cards.  (i know, i know…it’s supposed to be three doors, but just roll with me on this.)

DOOR #4

Reed Seastrunk Jeffcoat

Okay kids.  It’s time to play LET’S MAKE A DEAL!!!

Here’s the deal, i’m going to do a bit of a game…or a contest as the kids say.  The first person to correctly guess the cost of each lot will win a nice little gift pack of their favorite team from my collection.  Closest to the correct answers win, along with some kind of tie breaker i guess.

Here’s a list of possible prices for each lot: $5  |  $10  |  $15  |  $20  |  $25  |  $30  |  $35

I’ll post the winner next Monday, March 20th…the first day of Spring…and my mid year birthday!!

 

A buncha PC randos…

I’m a bit of a scatter brain at times.

I love things.  I hate dislike things.

I Get excited.  I Get intimidated.

I’m motivated.  I’m uninspired.

I’m focused.  I’m distracted.

Lots of pendulum swings with my moods.  In fact…just the time it took me to write the words above, i got up to mute the TV, select a song on my iTunes…didn’t see anything i wanted to listen to so i downloaded the new free copy of the OC album.  Poured some water, sat down, got up to pour some whiskey, got some coke to add to the whiskey…and now i’m back ready to write something about my collecting hauls.  The baseball and basketball PC that guys i collect…or do I…?

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I’ve been a Bryce Harper collector for a while.  He’s a fantastic player, intense and quite emotional.  He also has some great hair, see!  Theres something perversely magical about the combination of everything on this card.  The wavy brushed back hair, close cropped beard, unbuttoned shirt, open mouthed gaze to right field…and the animal print border.  This card has it all for the creepy collector…so i picked it up.  Plus it’s numbered to 199, not 200.

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Harper is a good player for me to collect, why you ask?  Well, he’s a National at the moment and will be for another year at least.  He heads in to arbitration after next season and has been fixated on a GIGANTIC contract…a YUUUGE ONE!  Not too many teams can front the cash for a player like Harper, except maybe his favorite team as a child…the Yankees.

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This would be awesome for me.  Many times a player i like moves on to a team i can’t really get down with collecting…i’m looking at you Hanley Ramirez and Carl Crawford.  So, it’s a win win.  Assuming everything goes according to plan…which rarely happens if ever these days.  So, keeping things in the proper perspective, i can see collecting this guy for a long time, no matter if he plays in DC or NYC.

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Just hope if he ends up in the pinstripes, he can take the ups and downs of playing on a tremendously large stage…it can roughen the edges of the smoothest player.

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Normally i love it when a guy stays on the same team his entire career, like Jeter and Ripken to name a few.  One guy that i could see staying with his team for the duration of his career is this kid, Trea Turner.  He’s a future superstar…with a ton of potential.  I can’t help but thing of Jeter when i see him, slightly different type of player but I think he has that magical ability to be where the play is and can bring a ton of victories the next few years.  I’m slowly working on his collection and this Gold Label is a nice base card pick up from the show.

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Ok, enough about the Nats and baseball.  How about some basketball…and a couple Spurs i picked up.  I’m a streaky Spurs collector.  I’ll go months between a Spurs purchase and then pick up a few cards to add to the collection.  At the moment though, they are just dropped in a box marked “Spurs to be organized”.  The odds are not favorable that that box gets organized in the current year, but at least they are together.  Go Spurs Go!

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The obvious guy for me to collect at the moment is Kawhi.  If this guy wasn’t born to be a Spur, i don’t know what a Spur is.  Tough, physical, durable, smart and doesn’t need to let you know everything about his personal life…i like that.  The quiet modesty vs. the humble brag.

12-13-pm-kawhai-leonard-cut

The problem with me and Spurs cards is that i tend to skip the basketball tables at the show…just walk right past those dudes.  One of the guys works for COMC and is super cool, but his table is filled with basketball cards…and i don’t have that kind of time to sift through a ton of basketball cards.  Not to mention i don’t know most of the guys.  If they don’t play on the Blazer or Spurs…i don’t know them.  Apparently Vince Carter is still dunking over dudes…who knew!

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Every time i get one of these Red White Blue Prizm cards, i’m just gonna go ahead and post this image as well…because…well…it’s the exact same thing.

Rocket Pops

 

I couldn’t get some Leonard cards and not get one of this guys.  The Saint, Timmy Duncan!

13-14-pss-tim-duncan-2399

This card in person is crazy sparkly.  It’s like a flat disco ball.  It shimmers quite a bit.  Plus you can really see the gray beard of a man young Duncan became.  He does have skills.

I also picked up this card on a whim…was about to start buying up a bunch of Clemson Tigers at the show and slammed on the brakes, but not before i slipped this Hopkins card on my stack.

16-pdp-deandre-hopkins

So, as i’ve been typing, i’ve been listening to the new OC album.  I believe it came out today, maybe yesterday…doesn’t really matter.  It’s a free download and it sounds pretty nice.  I’ve been a fan of OC since i first heard Times Up!  A great moment of lyrical supremacy and a very cool sample from Les DeMerle’s Jazz version of A Day in the Life which has been sampled many times in hiphop, but for my money, Times Up is the best use of the first portion of the cover…If you like the OC video below, maybe give the free download a chance…it’s not bad…and it’s free!!!  Or listen to the Beatles A Day in the Life…it’s pretty fantastic as well.

 

 

Clemson Tigers!

I was born in South Carolina.  Conway Country, South Carolina, Myrtle Beach…Myrtle Beach Air Force Base to be exact.  My parents were both in the Air Force when i was born and they were born in South Carolina as well.  Both of my parents were born in South Carolina.  My mom was born in Charleston and My dad’s family was from Spartanburg, SC.  He was the son of a cotton factory worker that loved football, Clemson football.  Football is huge in Texas and really all throughout the south.  Every summer we would visit the Palmetto state, and when we went to Spartanburg we would go to the Beacon drive in.  It’s a bit of a divey drive in greasy spoon kinda place, but damn that food is good!  And the walls were always covered in Clemson newspaper clippings, Frank Howard and Danny Ford photos along Tiger memorabilia everywhere…not so much with the other school in the state, the Cocks, just mostly Clemson Tigers.  So, as a young’n my college football team was chosen.  The Clemson Tigers.  A Tigers fan in the state of Texas, where i could have chosen the Longhorns or Aggies or Red Raiders or whatever…I stuck with my family on this one.  Football hasn’t been too nice to me over the past few years.  The ebbs and flow of a football season are quite emotional, far more than baseball, which i think is why i’m more drawn to the diamond than the gridiron.  But tonight, my team won and it feels great!…and yes, i did order some Panini Clemson Tigers cards tonight.

Now to some baseball cards.

Wrapping up my box of Topps update with the hits.  Like i said, nothing too major, but some cool decent stuff from the jumbo box.

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Christian Vazquez – Boston Red Sox Scouting Report Certified Autograph

16-tu-asg-stephen-strasburg

Stephen Strasburg – Washington Nationals All Star Game 2016 Event Worn Workout Jersey

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Willie McCovey – San Francisco Giants 500 Home Run Club Capt. James Cook Stamp

My mind is a little distracted right now and i’m having a little difficulty writing and listening to ESPN, so i’m just going to let the images be.  That Captain James Cook stamp got me doing some serious research though on global sailing, exploration and cartography.  Maybe i can save some of my research for another (re)post.

Hope you guys have a great night!  Here’s a cool song my wife introduced me to a couple of days ago…probably late on these guys, but love the song!  Enjoy.

One more Chance!

I have a stack of cards in front of me that have a story that needs to be unearthed, something that can connect the pieces of card stock together in a nice little cycle of like kinda way.  I just don’t know what that story is yet.  I got foil cards. I got celebrity cards, I got guys with turkey necks and a guy that took a barbecue sauce bath, and some cards that are called Fire but look like Chihuly glass…guess it was fired glass…semantics i guess.  Let’s start with the celebrity stock of First Pitches.

Two rappers, one is The Rapper…Chance that is.  The other is Warren G.  If you have been reading my words the past few years, you are fully aware of my affinity towards the rap music and culture.  I’m pretty critical with my rap music though, almost a snob…yes, you should call it a snobbish attitude.  I love lyrics and great storytelling.  Guys…and Gals…that can paint a picture with their words in a seemingly quick or witty manner.  The two guys above do that, although in all honesty, i can’t say i’m a fan of either.  The reason for me?  Their voice.  Guru from Gangstarr had a song “Mostly the Voice” that clearly explained that its mostly the voice that we love or hate about a rapper.  Now, he did go on to explain that the lyrics are critical as well, but in his opinion…it’s mostly the voice, and i agree with these two guys.  Both Chance and Warren G have very distinctive sounds to them and are incredible story tellers.  One of Warren G’s biggest hits was a terrific narrative of the wild life of an inner city Regulators, but the voice though…couldn’t handle it, plus it was the kind of laid back west coast music i wasn’t really in to back then.  Now, Chance is one of those new rappers and i’m an old guy, so part of my distaste for his sound is that i’m not sure i truly get his metaphors.  Seems like a great kid, positive kid trying to do some great things and share his stories…just not something i’m really in to yet.  Possibly haven’t given it a good enough listen, I just struggle with him.  Plus he’s in Kit Kat commercials and gettin’ down with so many different stars on my television set and internet machines.  Seems like a lot of success came quick for him, too quick.  I’m sure he’s been grinding at his craft for a while…but too much too soon for me to be a believer.

16-tufp-aubrey-plaza

Speaking of quick success, Aubrey Plaza.  Came on the scene out of nowhere with her popular character in the comedy series Park and Recreation (April Ludgate) who might have been the quintessential apathetic employee…that’s what the backside of this card said about her.  Think that’s pretty appropriate.  I had never heard of her until the Parks and Rec show that i watched for Nick Offermans’ character, Ron Swanson and the lovable Amy Poehler.  I feel like Aubrey is one of those actors/actresses that doesn’t really ACT! but rather ends up playing the same person in each role that is really her in real life like Vince Vaughn or Michael Cera.  She’s cute, awkwardly funny and somewhat edgy i guess.  I must admit that her glove seems excessively large for her scale of human being.  A smaller glove may have been in order for her big first pitch opportunity.  Wonder if she could borrow another one?

Here are those Fire cards i was talking about earlier, not really sure how i feel about these inserts.  Maybe if the card stock was thicker and possibly shinier, shiny is good sometimes, then i might be all in.  I’m definitely all in for Griffey and McCutchen.

Griffey and Cutch appear to be in a flaming cauldron and trying to swing their way out to a burning hell.  The Cutch card should be a Steelers card.  Meanwhile the two Dodgers i pulled are emerging straight out of a pit of propane and butane, or more poeticly, emerging from the latest experimental Chihuly sculpture.  Either way Maeda is feeling the effects of those flames coming in as hot as blue blazes!!! (my grandma would have been so proud of me for getting that one in, miss you Winn!)

We’re about to go from fire to foil, just like a night over the grill.  (Really wished i pulled a Jason Grilli foil card, would have made that transition solid gold).  I will settle for this quote though from the back of Pat Deans’ card “the cunning southpaw soaked up a barbecue sauce shower after beating Felix Hernandez for his first win”.  So foil, grilling, BBQ sauce, Pat Dean:

16-tu-pat-dean

You readers at home are just going to have to trust me in regards to the foil on these guys.  It’s there, you can’t see, but trust me, it’s there.

16-tu-kyle-schwarber16-tu-kelvin-herrera16-tu-bartolo-colon-hr

The next card was a pretty cool pull, a Cubs team card black and white reverse negative SP card…wait, It’s a Jake Arrieta card…wait, it’s a Jake Arrieta no-hitter card…wait, it’s a damn checklist.  Damn!!!  It’s also a very demonic appearing David Ross.

16-tu-jake-arrieta-neg

Moving on to the next group of cards.  Serial numbered foil cards with perforated screen print and a running 2016 Topps banner…these cards have it all…everything on one card.  If it had a snowflake/snow flake (forgot to look that up today…) it would have been over the top though.  The thing that struck me about this trifecta of National League East pitchers was their turkey neck poses.  I wonder how many players get excited to see their cards in a pack and pull…

THIS!

16-tu-max-scherzer

OR THIS!

16-tu-addison-reed

OR THIS…!!!

16-tu-bartolo-colon

Actually, i can’t really see Bartolo Colon ever caring about his image on a card, seems too carefree for such frivolities.  That glove…he should let Aubrey Plaza use that if she ever tosses out the first pitch for the Metropolitans.

I have a few more cards to post, the hits you know.  Gotta wait for those tomorrow though.  Kinda happy with the little success i had with those three cards…not a bad bunch.  Nothing ground breaking, but nice no less.

Hope you guys have a great evening.

Here’s a video from one of the greatest storytellers in rap and a no doubt classic.  From 1988!!!

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.

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.

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!

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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.

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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…