Rebuilding for the future.

I’ve been avoiding just about anything and everything Redskins on this blog since my team lost to the Giants a few weeks ago.  It was a tough loss to a division rival, a game that would have propelled the Redskins in to the 2016 playoffs.  Not to mention to a team that had a topless boating trip planned for South Beach the following day…no respect.  After seeing how some of the teams that made the playoffs and ended up losing, i can’t help but imagine what could have happened.  You know, the Washington Redskins were the last team to beat the Green Bay Packers.  It’s true!  In hindsight, that game was most likely the penultimate moment for the Redskins season as they put up 42 points on a Sunday night game.  A game under the lights which they have been miserable with the past forever seasons…Clearly, though, it was one of the lowest points for the Green Bay Packers…they were crushed by the Titans a week before…so you could go with either game i guess, but the Pack haven’t lost since and i would be quite happy for them to win two more games.

The off season for the Redskins has begun early as it does most seasons.  But instead of everyone cracking jokes about the Redskins winning the offseason, the talk is how everything is falling apart.  They lost a brilliant young mind in Sean McVay.  He was the OC for an explosive offense at times and is now the head coach for the Rams of Los Angeles…taking Joe Barry along with him to be an assistant defensive coach.  Honestly, i don’t think any Redskins fan is upset about the Barry loss…but McVay is a tough one.  Happy he was able to get a HC job, the youngest ever, but he has a huge task ahead of him. Luckily he has Bum Phillips son to help coach the defense…a defense that will see this guy next year.

The other big news for the offseason is whether or not the Redskins will/want to sign Kirk Cousins to a long term deal.  Personally, i really hope they do.  It’s been 20 years since the franchise has had a QB that has put up the numbers KC has in consecutive seasons.  Granted, he’s not perfect, but he is a top QB and i would argue a franchise QB that you build around.

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That said, if what i’m reading…and it’s all speculation at this point…but if they give him the franchise tag and attempt to trade him, they could get a really nice haul of picks in return.  Not to mention the nearly $30million of cap space they have going in to next year.  They could be well placed to rebuild quickly with young talented players.  Maybe a certain receiver could maybe get healthy and maybe make an impact in his second season…maybe.

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Really hope this kid pans out…i’m getting a ton of his cards and the price is falling on them.  That could be due to his lack of playing though.  Buy low kids!

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It would be seen as a season of rebuilding, but could possibly turn out to be the starting point of something really great.  The defense needs a significant amount of help and could use a great defensive coordinator, whomever that turns out to be…so many names, some good some bad.  Plus, if you are able to move Cousins, you would end up saving a $20+ Million investment in one player.  Who knows, maybe you already have your future QB on the roster anyways…

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This card is really beautiful in person by the way…the scan does not do it justice…but neither does that signature!

if i have to live through years of rebuilding again, i’m gonna need to get my pacemaker hooked up to a clapper…clap on.  Love El-P

A new Wallet Card

As the year comes to a grinding halt, life slows down a bit, but ironically gets busy in other areas.  Although i was off work, my schedule was quite packed each day.  Luckily, I was able to spend some ample amount of quality time with my boy.  He’s been a lot of fun this holiday although he’s incredibly exhausting at times…we’ve had some fun and were able to enjoy some more snow yesterday!  I also decided to take a break from posting the past few days so i could focus my attention of the family and just relaxing, it’s not every month you get this much time off from work without feeling guilty.  I’ve been a master of sleeping and eating too…way too much sleeping and eating…way too much…

As i logged back in to the blog a couple days ago, i thought it was time to update my banner a bit and update a couple other things with the blog…still working on it, but getting there…and to be honest, i’m in no real rush.  Although, i’d like to get my checklists posted so i have something to keep track of when i’m out at a show or some random shop.  Today, I initially had high hopes of writing all about the great holiday trip and a few cards i picked up over that time, but the Redskins loss to the stupid Giants and elimination from the playoffs all but zapped my writing energy.  So, i decided to keep it short and post the last day of Wallet Card Art Monk and introduce the new Wallet Card for 2017!

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As you can see, Wallet Card Monk took a beating all year.  Although he didn’t get out as much as Wallet Card Henderson, he did manage to get out more than the previous versions of wallet cards.  If memory serves me correct, this is my 7th year of toting a wallet card around.  One thing i like to do with the wallet card is rotate the card every month or so in order to keep the edge damage somewhat consistent…gives it that nice aged treatment and something that i’ve earned through my years of diligent wallet card-ing.  I also do what i can to keep the card dry.  WC Monk ended up in my back pack during some wet bike rides to work a few days earlier last year, but held up pretty well i’d say.  I love the layering of card damage that occurs with each year, you can see it at the bottom of the card image below.

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As per annual retirement of the card, WC Monk will be loaded in to a penny sleeve and top loader for the safest of keeping for years to come.  The irony of beating a card to pieces for a year and then treating it like it’s the most valuable card in my possession is always enjoyable…it’s kinda cool to see the liberally used cards treated delicately at the end of their lives.  One day, I should post the previous versions side by side just for the fun of it.  I should dig those guys up…!!??!?!?

Trying to decide what card to go with this year was much tougher than normal.  I was thinking of something outside the box and going with a player that isn’t quite in my personal collection list, like Troy Tulowitzki or Trea Turner.  Maybe going with Tim Raines in hopes of him finally getting elected to the HOF or carry Tim Duncan around for a year.  I’ve never had a basketball card for a wallet card…I also thought i should go with my favorite card of 2016, the Willie Mays Stadium Club card.  If i had a double of that card, i may have run with it, but it was just too nice and thick and shiny to cary in my money clip.  Not to mention, i’m kinda limited to what i can pack in that clip before it gets overloaded…i have so much money, you know!  I wasn’t really feeling any of those ideas.  On a random trip to the card shop on Saturday I stumbled across this guy for a buck.

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Pretty, pretty, pretty…Nice little insert for my toting around this year eh?  Beautiful shot of Jeet with all the accoutrements that a modern baseball player needs when he’s at the plate.  That smile.  The pinstripes. The black and white image.  Done deal!  Here’s Jeters’ backside for those in to that sort of thing.  I agree that this is definitely a trading card of quality.  Top notch!  Can’t wait to beat the crap out of it this year.

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Here’s an image of Jeter and Monk side by side.  Old and haggard vs. Fresh and New.  Give it 12 months and the roles will be shifted a bit.

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Jeters’ face represents how i feel about the Yankees coming in to the 2017 season and Monks’ face is a direct representation of how i feel after every Redskins season…for the past 20+ years.  Frustration and disdain for another disappointing season…football man, football.

So, now that the decision has been made, Mr. Derek Jeter finds his way in to his new home.  Now, with a money clip i tend to keep the card in my front right pocket…so, if you plan to pickpocket me there’s your bit of a head start.  This also does a little bit to keep the card straight through the year rather than shaping to the curvature of my bum.

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I hope you all had a great holiday, Christmas and New Years, and that your favorite teams win all their games and that the Clemson Tigers finally gets a National Championship after 36 years of waiting.

Fresh of the family visit, i wanted to share a video of the group Winchester Rebels that my brother in law, Barry, was/is in.  (He’s the drummer).  Whether or not this music is your cup ‘o tea, please give it a listen.  It’s a pretty rockin’ tune.

 

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”

Rookie gambles

“…the kids better buy my rookie card now

cause after this year the price ain’t going down!”

These words were uttered by the lyrically inclined, Mos Def…or Yasin Bey.

The value of rookie cards have been a part of non-card collectors for many years and often referenced in pop culture.  Maybe not necessarily the value of a card, but the understanding that rookie cards generally carry a significantly greater value or general demand over non rookie cards.

I’ve never been a gambler, nor have i been a prospector.  I’m a collector, a team collector.  A team collector of an NFL franchise that has not been great for a few years and are faced with a high draft pick each year in the Spring NFL draft.  Typically a high NFL draft, assuming an offensive player or skilled defensive player will have valuable rookie cards.  When they are drafted by the Redskins, i have a collectors obligation to pick them up.  Typically, the sooner the better for me.  Problem is though, you never know how a guy is going to pan out in his athletic career.  Case in point, this guy.

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In 2012, i bought way too many boxes of football cars in hopes of pulling ONE…just ONE autographed RGIII card.  Never.  Not once did i have my wish granted…ironically though, i did manage to pull two Kirk Cousins cards that year.  At the time, i was slightly disappointed…that’s what it came to, i was disappointed to have a back up guy, not the main guys autograph, i mean c’mon man RGIII was the future!  As you may be able to tell from the card above, he is a distant memory for all Redskins fans now and something the Cleveland Browns are forced to deal with.  Now, don’t get me wrong i have some great memories, some not so great ones too, but the drama with this guy…not to mention the fragility with which he played.  Point is, you have to be patient and know when to strike on these young guys.  I think i’ve learned my lesson a bit and have managed to make a few good pick ups from the past couple of card shows with Kim.  Here are the few top Redskins rookies and cards with autographs.

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I’ve written about this guy a lot.  The main reason is that i’m feeling like he may be another Malcolm Kelly or Devin Thomas or Michael Westbrook or Rod Gardner or…you get the idea.  A highly touted rookie WR that isn’t able to meet the expectations.

Doctson has missed most of the season and who knows what the future will bring.  With the lull in his playing this year though, it’s time to swoop in and pick up some autos.

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I’ve been able to pick up a few for less than $5 each.  Not bad for a first round draft pick, skilled position player autograph and or jersey.

Another guy that i’ve been putting together a nice collection of is Nate Sudfeld.  A back up QB…worked well last time, why not try again!  I don’t believe Nate has suited up for any regular season games this season, which is great because that means Cousins has played great and has been healthy.  Now, don’t get me wrong, I love Kirk Cousins and hope the Redskins can sign him to a long term contract and hope that he is the long term answer.  But you need a backup and a good backup at that.  Worst case, he gets traded and stars somewhere else and i’m able to flip these guys for more Redskins.

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The digital camoflauge is always something cool to see on a card.  The autograph of Nate though…it needs some work.  I think these kids are asked to initial the stickers, not autograph them…oy!

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Next rookie that i haven’t really started my pursuit of but need to step it up a bit is Su’A Cravens.  He was a huge fan of Sean Taylor as a young’n and his play in some respects reflects the same intensity that Sean had.  Su’A is an intense young man that hits hard and plays with enough intensity to become playmaker in the future, so now is the time to strike if you ask me!

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Last kid for the night is Keith Marshall.  A rookie running back from the University of UGA…or Georgia.  Don’t know much about this kid since he was injured in the preseason and has been on IR all season…you can never have enough RB’s, especially the fast ones which i believe he is.

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I’m thinking of posting some Bowman cards i’ve picked up recently after i do some research on the nicer cards i pulled.

Hope you enjoyed the cards today.

Here for your viewing pleasure…Pharoahe Monche, Mos Def and Nate Dogg…OH NO!!

Idols…Philly to ’68

Sunday night was an incredible night for me.  A night that took me back a long time…a really really long time…about 30 years ago long time but I’ll get to that in a bit.

This post isn’t just about incredible events, but incredible pick ups of a Redskin great that I wrote about a few days ago.  Charley Taylor.  I’ve been looking for a fairly nice condition 1965 Philadelphia rookie card for a few months and couldn’t find one in the condition that i was cool with or a price that i was cool with…until a few weeks ago when i stumbled across this guy which i picked up from COMC for around $15.

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It’s a little off center and there are some subtle smudges on the surface, but for under $20 i will be quiet and happy about the purchase and addition to my Redskins team collection.

Since Taylor came in to the league as mostly a running back…or halfback in olden time terms…the stats do not reflect his stellar rookie campaign in which he caught an additional 53 passes for 814 yards and 5 touchdowns.  The back of these Philadelphia cards leaves a lot to be desired…and apparently, so do my scanning abilities.  I think this might have been done late at night when i was getting a little lazy and over tired…please forgive me.

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The other cool artifact that i picked up from COMC was the Topps Pin Up Mini Poster.  This newspaper print posters actual size is 5″x7″ and has been folded with the utmost care through the years.  The image seems to have yellowed/faded a bit and feels incredibly fragile, but that could just be me being overly cautious about the print…now i need to find some of those fancy 5″x7″ pages to hold this guy or a nice sturdy top loader and a cool place to store it.

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…speaking of 1968…

It was also the year that Big Daddy Kane was born…although he wasn’t born as Big Daddy Kane, he was Antonio Hardy.

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As a white kid growing up in the suburbs of San Antonio, i fell in love with Hip-Hop via my childhood best friend, Rafik.  Rafik and I came from single working mother homes and spent day and night hanging out doing dumb stuff and listening to music…and breakdancing…yes, i fancied myself a b-boy at one point in my life.  He would visit his father in Philadelphia each Summer and Christmas and come back with some amazing new music and records.  Not the latest Ozzy or Judas Priest, we’re talking…Kurtis Blow, Whodini, Fat Boys, Run DMC…etc.  This music was new to me and was the coolest thing i’ve ever heard.  Now, i love almost all types of music (sans Reggae and some Country…’cept Dierks).  When it came to this rap thing though, I was hooked.  As i got older, i got more and more in to the music and rappers, or emcees, or MC’s.  The one though that caught my attention was Big Daddy Kane in 1987.

I was 11 going on 12 and Kane was the king of hip-hop in my mind.  Luckily for me he went on a nationwide tour, and for some reason swung through San Antonio.  No hip hop shows came through San Antonio back then, but not only Kane…he came along with other top acts at that time; Stetsasonic, Sir-Mix-A-Lot and some guy named MC Hammer…I was 12 and it was the winter of 1988.  That was my first hip hop show and something that i have never forgotten.

Moving through the years, i’ve always listened to his music and hoped that i would get a chance to see him live again.  Being on the west coast, a lot of older rappers don’t make it out this way…it’s a big trip for the east coast guys and i can’t imagine the draw is too enticing for them.  But Sunday night Big Daddy Kane was in Portland, Oregon…and there was absolutely no way i was going to miss the show.

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As per usual, i went by myself…because that’s what i do…go to things by myself.  The show was absolutely amazing…a bit short for his stage performance, around 45 minutes or so…but for me, it was unforgettable.  He even jumped in to the crowd for Ain’t no Half Steppin’ and got some way too far gone dude to help with the lyrics.  Here’s an image of that portion of the program.

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One helluva night and a night that took me back to my pre-teen years.  Unlike those 30 year old memories, i was able to record some of the show…i’ve gotten into a bad habit of photographing/recording too much of the show rather than just live in the moment…but if i manage it right…i get the memories in my mind and some digital ones as well.  Here are a couple of videos i took from that night.

You may or may note be able to hear me shouting the words in the back ground.

So, to tie this up into a nice bow…

…Big Daddy Kane born in 1968…

…1968 Mini Poster of Charley Taylor …

…Charley Taylor Philadelphia rookie card…

…Philadelphia hip hop records from Rafik…

…hip hop to Big Daddy Kane…

…Cycle of life continues…

 

Bourbon on ice / Roads on ice

After the winter blast from yesterday, we were hit with some nice after shocks of freezing rain and slow melting snow.  Back in the days, these days would have been cherished moments of leisure and movie watching…but today was about ice sledding with my boy and daring him to do crazy things.  He’s a risk taker and i’m a risk pusher, not the best way to be when you’re a dad…but it makes a good balance that keeps us on our toes.

One of the joys of these last 30+ hours of snow and ice is that i’ve been able to engage in some late afternoon adult beverage drinking.  Now, i do like beer and we have a ton of options here in Portland, but i’m more of a whiskey or bourbon kinda guy.  Beer makes me feel fat and tired, while whiskey makes me feel happy and full of life!  I have a couple of brands that i really like to drink regularly…Four Roses Small Batch and Bulleit Rye to name a couple.  My favorite though is Elmer T. Lee.  A few months ago my beautiful wife was persistent enough to track down a bottle which i’ve slowly sipped on…until today!  Apparently, it’s a difficult find and people like to hoard their cases or bottles…kinda like what some card collectors do i guess?  It helps keep the interest up and at time drive the price up…boys like to collect and save things.  Elmer T. Lee was a Master Distiller and is well known to most bourbon aficionados, i’m no aficionado at anything but i do know what i like, and i like me some Elmer T. Lee!  Now, i just need to track down another bottle.

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As time has allowed, the scanning has progressed on a couple more cards in between sled runs and naps at our house.  The first card up for your visual pleasure is the 1957 Topps dual pick of Leo Elter.

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I don’t imagine Mr. Elter is much of a leaper, but he sure looks like he’s ready to put you in a special car today…what i gotta do to get you’s and your family in this Lincoln Town Ka!  I don’t know if that’s he really talks, but he looks like a tough dude from Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania and is #11 of eleven children.  He also played with a broken hand during the season, although the cartoon shows a guy in a full arm cast…i don’t know, maybe that’s how they did it back then?

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Next up is a pennant card from the 1959 Topps set.

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The Super Bowl has been around for what seems like forever that i often forget that there were championships prior to the big game…nice to see the Redskins World Champs notes for 1937 and 1942 to go along with the Super Bowl victories in 1982, 1987 and 1991…we can forget about the L’s they took in those championship/super bowls.

I’ve got a few items i need to catch up with as far as scanning goes, but i’m hoping to post something soon.  Got a nice weekend planned and hope to have some fun tales to share after Sunday night.  Thank you for reading and hope you have enjoyed the posts!

So, thinking of and drinking of whiskey…here’s some great music to go along with a neat glass of Elmer T. Lee.

 

 

Side jobs and snow days

Today was a snow day, well a partial snow day.  I braved the overnight warnings and headed in to work this morning thinking i could work a few hours before heading back home…i have a looming deadline and was anxious about getting some stuff done.  I’m glad i went in today…about half the office was there, but i was the only one from my project team that made it in…kudos to me!  I tend to be a little stubborn and as my wife was texting me to hurry up and come home before the snow storm actually hit…but i decided to hang out.  Easily distracted and self assured, i ended up waiting until it was quite blustery and everything was becoming white washed for a few moments.  Our ould ’97 Ford Explorer has seen better days and isn’t too fond of climbing hills with snow and some hints of ice on the road.  Needless to say the commute home was a little more treacherous than i like…but i made it home safe and was able to have a few hours with the wife and kid.  We live on a pretty steep drive so sleds are fun this time of year, assuming of course there aren’t any cars coming around the corner!  My son had a blast going down the street a few times and plowed through a couple of trees and once off the edge of a 2′ wall.  I know, i know…i’m a terrible parent, but hey…he had a blast and in his usual voice and candor shouted “I WANNA DO DAT ALL DA TIME DADDY!!!”  How can you resist that?

Not sure what tomorrow holds for weather, but i took advantage of the extra time at home to scan some more cards.  Here are a couple of note.

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The first card is Laurie Niemi from the 1952 Bowman set…the large version.  The ’52 cards are some of my favorite football cards of all time.  The full color art work is fantastic and the emotionally intense facial reactions are priceless.  In doing some research over at PSA Cards these were issued as a test run of cards at the same time the “small” version was issued.  Same photos, same backs…just different sizes.  These were more popular and i can see why.  Holding them you can see the great level of art that these cards posses.  I’m a little partial to the small version of these cards…but i’m not gonna be picky here…plus i need these two handsome fellas to complete a set, you know how it goes.

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The large cards were printed in a shorter run than the small version and thusly have been difficult for me to find in decent condition.  Still need a few cards to complete the large set…believe i’m done with the small set though.

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Bowman produced some great product early on with both baseball and football cards.  I would love to see them do a modern set that reflects the history of this beautiful era of cardboard.

One of the things i love about these cards is the write up on the back.  When athletes today are not working, they are selling something or hopefully doing something positive with their free time.  These older guys though, they sold things and worked in offices.

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Mr Badaczewski sold cars in the offseason and taught geography and history.  My high school history teacher was the basketball coach…if he played for the Redskins i may have gotten better grades!  The other thing that is really noticeable is the military service that professional athletes did during this era, in a time when the military is a polarizing subject, i have to admit that it’s quite interesting to see these guys take a break in their careers to provide a service for our country.