Natitude

I love the Yankees.  People give me a hard time about it and when they don’t, they are utterly confused…why in the hell would a boy raised in Texas and who has never ever been to New York City be a Yankee fan.

Seriously?

Why?

The Yankees?

The Evil Empire!

Well, I don’t have a great reason why other than when I was a very easily influenced 9 year old boy my favorite player became a Yankee.  He was an Athletic, and he became a Yankee.  Being a 9 year old confused little child I decided I would follow my player to the team.  Now, nearly 30 years later I am still a Yankee fan and love the history of the storied franchise.  I’m gonna miss the hell out of Jeet as i do Mo, Posada, Pettitte, Mattingly…etc…Over the past couple of years though, i’ve developed quite an attraction for the Washington Nationals.  Here’s my reasoning.  As you can tell, i’m a Redskins fan and i do everything I can to listen to Sports Talk radio from DC, and as one would expect they talk DC sports.  So, by default the past 6-8 years my affinity towards the Nationals has been building and building.  So much so that i am working all angles to get the kid to become a Nats fan.  They’re a lovable team, right?  Scrappy, hard working.  Dealt with tough losses in big games (looking at you Drew Storen…).  Built a strong organization from the ground up, albeit from many poor seasons and in turn drafting well with their high picks (hard to miss on Harper and Strasburg though, eh?).

I’m kinda old school in that i love it when players stay with a team their entire career.  I know this isn’t always the players fault, but i greatly appreciate it as a fan.  I also appreciate an organization that can draft, develop and lock up their talent for years to come.  You build a strong foundation with the kids in the minor leagues and infill with veteran leaders and role players as necessary.  You don’t chuck millions after millions for guys past their prime.  You take a chance on a kid that your program has developed and lock him up.  Make it so he doesn’t even want to look at another club.  Make him feel like he is a cornerstone to a strong future.  Now this is in total contradiction to what the Yankees have historically done…although, you can very easily argue that their last mini dynasty was due in part to the development and infill mentality rather than poach and overpay mindset.  So, i guess what i’m beating around the bush about here is that I will always love the Yankees, but i’m kinda diggin’ the Nats right now.  I’m sort of a baseball polygamist.

Albeit one American League Team and one National League Team.

I bought baseball cards.

Remember that part where I talked about wanting a player to stay with one team for the duration of his career?  Hanley is one of those guys that, well, he’s come full circle.  Red Sox, Marlins, Dodger, Red Sox.  Initially i was cool with the first Red Sox run because it was so insignificant in his career.  In my eyes he was a Marlin.  A Florida Marlin, not a freakin’ Miami Marlin.  He was a wonderful player on my fantasy baseball team for a couple of seasons and won me a really nice chunk of change one season.  I was cool when he became a Dodger.  I kinda like the Dodgers.  Great history.  Iconic Jerseys and who doesn’t love Vin Scully?

Seriously.

Vin Scully!

But now that he’s a Red Sock again.  I can’t do it.  I can’t collect his cards and feel good about myself, the Yankee fan inside me can’t handle it.  So, I’m only collecting him as a Marlin…Florida Marlin.

10 TT Hanley Ramirez Mini

Now to the Nats portion of the program.  Werth and Strasburg with some Game Worn Memorabilia on display below.  Other than Mariano Rivera, I don’t typically collect pitchers.  Too risky and their careers can be schizophrenic (is that not PC?).  I’ve always steered clear of them, but Stras is pretty special I guess.  So far he hasn’t lived up to the hype, but the hype was out of control that nobody ever could live up to that hype.  He’s still be very solid and hasn’t been overly fragile, maybe sensitive, but not fragile.  Now this Werth cat is something else.  His hair is amazing.  His beard is amazing, but the DUI isn’t really cool.  Maybe hit up the Uber app next time for a $900 ride home. #justsayin

24 TU Stephen Strasburg Jersey

14 TU Jayson Werth Jersey

Speaking of wonderful pitchers.  Jordan Zimmerman.  He has become the most important Zimmerman on the team the past couple of years and luckily isn’t related to the crazy Zimmerman in south Florida.  No, he’s a pitcher and a pitcher that will be an important piece to a potentially all time dominant starting rotation.  I have his autograph on a sticker on a card that has no logos.  I can imagine how annoying it would be to write Z I M M E R M A N every time you sign an autograph, but this is a little too much corner cutting for me.  Although I do appreciate the left justified approach.  Never know how long that squiggly line will need to extend at the end of Z I M M E R M A N.

13 PP Jordan Zimmerman Auto

HEY!  I snuck in a Redskin card!  But only because it reminded me of Rocket Pops.

Rocket Pops

This is a very patriotic, summer-y, popsicle-y card that I had to have.  This is one of those parallel cards that makes the rainbow collector happy…i’m assuming?

It’s Art Monk and I love Art Monk.

14 PP Art Monk Rainbow

Skins from Kim

… careful…

Now that football season is finally over, we can all start to focus on the upcoming baseball season.  Spring is my favorite season and we are getting a small taste of some phenomenal weather up here in the great northwest.  That light jacket and slight drizzle in the morning kinda weather that makes me happy that i live here and not some place that is buried in snow or is simply 80degrees year round.  There is something to be said about seasons and the changing of the weather and surrounding foliage (what other blogger uses foliage in a post?)  I love it all to pieces.  It’s wonderful.  You know what else is wonderful, football cards…i know, i know…i was leading you down the path to baseball cards and then dropped a steel hammer and made a lane change.  I LOVE baseball cards, i really do and i LOVE baseball, i really do, but my love for the Redskins far exceeds any sport…so please bear with me and another post football post.  Baseball will be on its way soon enough.

Kim’s table.  He’s my favorite dealer at the Portland shows.  Great guy with tons of great pieces of cardboard like this lovely Orakpo auto card.  ‘Rak has been a bit of a disappointment to most Redskin fans…but I still love him, as long as he’s wearing the Burgundy and Gold of course.  I don’t think he will be on the team next year, but i’ve enjoyed watching him play and i’ve been a fan of his autograph.  It’s super simple but with a nice variation of pen strokes that are appealing to the eye.

13 TM Brian Orakpo Auto

His pending replacement at LB is this kid, who as luck would have it is also a Longhorn.  Keenan Robinson.  This auto is what mine would look like if i was signing cards that you wanted to purchase.  3 Letters.  Boom.  Robinson is a minimalist.  De Stijl.  What’s up with the fleur-de-lis anyways?  Is Leaf a French Canadian company?  Do non French, French people like the fleur-de-lis?

12 LV Keenan Robinson Auto

Hey, does your football franchise need a solid QB?  The Redskins have a couple.  Cousins and RGIII will be duking it out next preseason, well, i assume they will.  The loser may end up finding a new franchise to sling it for on Sundays.  My bet is that Cousins makes his way to Cleveland or Buffalo next season…no reason other than pure guessing.

14 PP Kirk Cousins Signatures Auto 117:199

Refractor, shiny Prizm, wavy Griffin!  If this card were issued in 2012 it would have it’s own blog post but life comes at you fast when your knees explode.  I still believe in RGIII but am losing faith…i gotta have faith!

14 PP Robert Griffin III Refractor 99:99

This card is sexy.  Plus it’s a little intense.  Why is the ‘L’ so skinny?  That’s a mighty big gap between the ‘F’ and the ‘L’.

13 AM Jordan Reed Auto Jersey 88:299

Do you like Pizza?  Do you live in the DMV?  Well then, lemme tell you about Spinfire…actually I can’t really do that since i don’t live in the DMV.  I do love me some pizza though.  My wife has taken it upon herself to master the art of the homemade pizza from our oven and is killing it!  Seriously, there isn’t another pizza in town i would want over the ones the wifey makes for us.  I gotta give Topps some credit on this card.  The on-sticker auto is placed so precisely and over the integrated box in the card design that makes the sticker nearly disappear.  WOW!

14 TV Pierre Garcon Auto 12:50

This is the part of the blog where most bloggers post their biggest, baddest cards.  Me?  I’m going with some run of the mill running backs.  Jawan (not Japan, Jawan autocorrect!) Jamison and Silas Redd Jr.  Now, I had high hopes for JJ and thought he would have a nice impact on the team once he was healthy, but that day did not come for him and he’s seem to have bounced around the league a bit and i think he was on the Steelers practice squad at the end of the year, but could be wrong.

13 NT Jawan Jamison Auto 14:99

Silas Redd can be a nice little free agent find for next season.  Maybe even replacing Roy Helu as the 3rd down guy or someone that can be blended in with Morris on Sundays.

14 BC Silas Redd Auto

Rickey goes to a card show!

It’s been a very long week over here.  I’ve been fighting this sinus infection and dealing with all the fun things that come with that…lots of drugs and kleenex.  Lots of coughing and sneezing.  Lots of uncomfortable days and bad nights of sleep…but i had something to look forward to this week.  A card show, not just any card show, but the first one of the year!  We are quite lucky here in Portland to have a show or two each month, but it’s become more and more difficult to make each one with family responsibilities calling.  We almost had a scheduling conflict that would have made it impossible for me to attend the show but nana stepped up and took care of the kid for a couple of hours.  Good on you Nana!

When i got to the show, i had a plan to take a wallet card photo at each table i visited but then chickened out…or maybe got distracted once i got there.  I did manage to get one photo taken while at Tom’s table and pulling a bunch of 2014 Redskin cards.

86 T WC 01:31 card show

his was a pretty good show.  My favorites were there, Kim and Tom.  Both had some great items pulled aside for me…as well as another dealer that always pulls items aside for me although his name escapes me now.  He’s become my go to guy for knocking out a ton of my common Redskins especially the years during my non collecting time between the mid 90’s to the early 2000’s.  Lots of commons but great checklist items.  I will be posting them later this week…hopefully.

Today’s post though, is about Kim’s table.  Kim has tons of great relic, auto and serial numbered cards for every sports team in every sport.  He also has great prices for the cardboard.  The kind of deals you really can’t get anywhere else.  He’s often thrown in items at the end of our deals…you know…just to keep me coming back.  Since i picked up quite a few items at his table i wanted to focus on the landscape collection.  These are the landscape cards from Kim!

This card was essentially a toss in as it’s neither a relic nor an auto…but it is numbered to 99.

12 PC Niles Paul 5:99

Next up is the Roy Helu Jr. card which Kim was extremely excited to show me and REALY  wanted me to take it home with me.  So I did…i was a little worried that i already have this one but after double checking when i got home i was happy to see that i had not picked this one up yet.

12 PC Roy Helu Auto

Malcolm Kelly.  A very sad bust.  Actually probably someone that should not have been drafted as high as he was by the Redskins…but those days are gone and there is no sense in looking at the past.  One of the difficult things about obtaining EVERY SINGLE Redskin card made is that you have to make these kinds of pickups.  A pretty short print autograph (albeit a sticker) with a game worn jersey that books much more than it should.  This is a card show though and the book doesn’t work here…or if it does, you probably won’t have much business at your table.  Honestly can’t remember what this one cost but the sticker had it at $18 which i’m certain is not what it cost when the deal was done…maybe $5?

09 TT Malcolm Kelly Auto 5:10

Next in line is this really lovely London Fletcher game worn jersey card from last years Spectra set.  I love the burgundy jersey swatch here with a slightly unbound thread coming out of the card…not sure how visible it is, but it’s a nice touch to the card.  The shiny blue (purple?) card is pretty sweet too.

13 PS London Fletcher GW 90:99

Last one and the card that was one of my favorites from Kim is the Jordan Reed Bowman Sterling player worn refractor jersey card.  It’s always nice to get a card that has a portion of the number or nameplate in the swatch portion of the cardboard.  This one was number 41 of 75.

13 BS Jordan Reed Relic Jersey 41:75

Retail regrets

I made a quick trip in to our local Fred Meyers on Sunday to pick up a couple of things, donuts, chocolate, soda, candy…the diet of a grown ass child.  To make things even more child like i decided to swing by the card section and did my best to avoid the retail fix.  You know that feeling kids, you don’t want to fall down the pit of retail despair, but you can’t help it.  It’s an addiction and I fell off the wagon.  I was doing great too.  Going to all my retail anonymous meetings.  Following the 12 steps to perfection.

It’s time to start over.

I bought two packs and i feel dirty.

Not back street alley dirty or even midnight NYC subway dirty

But just kinda full of regret and out $9.98 that could have gone to a couple of beers at a show.

Here’s what i ended up with, be sure you are still seated.

The first pack was a jumbo pack of Absolute Football from this past season.  Something fun here that i was completely unaware was happening this season was the full pack of die cuts.  All the jigs and jags were really cool but made it a lil difficult to sift through the packs quickly, but i guess that’s just a collector problem issue.  I also thought it was fantastic to pull these two guys back to back.  Almost like panini was trolling the Rams.

14 AM Austin Davis Sam Bradford

I did pull a Redskin, one Redskin and probably the best offensive player from the 2014 season.  DJax!  Jackson loves Instagram, he’s a huge gram poster and he loves emoticon…or emoji’s?  Not really sure.  One of his favorites is the 100 one, as in, he’s always keeping One Hunid.  That’s cool.  The kids say that a lot, sounds fun.  I’ma keep it One Hunid for the remainder of this post.  One last note, DJax doesn’t ever use a ‘CK’ back to back (bacc to bacc if you are DJax)  mostly because gang members think this means ‘Crip Killer’ and i guess he’s a crip.  I find this amusing because his last name is JaCKson.  Word!

14 AM DeSean Jackson

Next pack.  Panini Contenders.  I’ve always loved this set and have bought boxes in the past but since i’m on a box break…break, i haven’t done that.  The best little nuggets i got in this pack was this kid.

14 PC Russell Wilson

Russell Wilson.  He’s a pretty fantastic young QB and only getting better.  I had my doubts that he was legit until the comeback vs. Green Bay.  Thought he was a decent QB on a great team with a great defense.  Both seem to be true…

Last card.  Brady and Amendola.  Touchdown Tandem.  I think i would have paired Brady with the Gronk on this one…but i don’t make cards.

14 PC Tom Brady Danny Amendola

I’m going to have to pull for the Patriots on Sunday even though i’ve never cheered for a Boston team in my life…just don’t really want to see the 12th man tell me how amazing their team is…even though they are pretty amazing and I don’t think the Seahawks will lose.  Just can’t cheer for them is all.