Friday, October 29, 2010

A Pair Of Dirks!

Having read Dirk Hayhurst's excellent book The Bullpen Gospels: Major League Dreams Of A Minor League Veteran over the summer, I've had more than a passing interest in getting a few of Dirk's cards since then. They're surprisingly few and far between, in an age where everyone who gets a tryout ends up with about 300 cards, but I did manage to pick off a few recently on eBay.

2003 Eugene Emeralds team issue: this is, by most accounts I've found, Dirk's first card. Anyone with info to the contrary, please let me know!

2007 San Antonio Missions team issue: this card's really cool to have, because...well, I can't tell you. You might not have read the book yet! If you haven't, seriously, go get it! Mao! Diddy mao!

Aside from those, I've found an autographed Fort Wayne Wizards card, Lake Elsinore have him in at least their '05 and '07 sets (they appear to be out of '06, and I haven't tracked down a set anywhere else online), and there's a few limited issues from Freedom Card Board, who had Dirk as a guest during this year's National, but I haven't picked those off yet.
To the best of my knowledge, that's about it. No sign, at least at the moment, of Dirk's cards from Mobile, and he may or may not be in the '07 or '08 Portland Beavers sets, but I found nothing from the big manufacturers, despite big league experience in '08 and '09. I don't know about you guys, but I'd think he's a prime candidate for '11 Allen & Ginter, despite being out with an arm injury this year. His card would look great next to my Oscar Wilde and Machiavelli cards!

Of course, it's highly possible that someone else reading this has been more dilligent and has a complete (or at least more complete) checklist of Dirk's cards, or that Dirk himself has an accurate accounting of which sets he's been in (I'm giving him a buzz on Twitter as soon as I'm done writing this, to ask; I could do it before, of course, but then the conversation would already be over!), so if any of you (or Dirk) have more information than I've got here, please leave it in the comments!

Wednesday, October 27, 2010

The post where I get sucked into Obak...

I was at Target this weekend, and somewhat surprisingly, they had packs of 2010 Obak cards. Being that I needed to FEED THE MONKEY, I grabbed a couple packs. Here's the highlights:

I've actually got a ton of Straw's cards (met him too, good people), so I'm not too actively grabbing his cards these days, but I do like this card, happy to have it.

OMG IT'S A MINI OF A PITCHER ON THE NATS oh wait it's Storen never mind. All kidding aside, I like Drew Storen's upside a lot, and this is a nice card. (The other mini I got was Austin Jackson, for those curious.)

I don't know nearly enough about Moe Berg. Dude was a ballplayer and a spy! Not only that, but he was also the lead singer of The Pursuit of Happiness!

(OK, not really on that last part. They do have the same name, though!)

Seriously though, folks, the baseball Moe Berg sounds awesome, from the little bit of reading I've done on him, and I definitely should look into the two books written about him, The Catcher Was a Spy: The Mysterious Life of Moe Berg and Moe Berg: Athlete, Scholar, Spy once I plow through the pile of books I'm already behind on.

I would've loved this card back when I was still a drunk. While they were a later acquisition, Miller was the company that made my beloved-but-much-derided Meister Brau, so they had a soft spot in my heart. Now Meister Brau's a rare find (my theory is that they stopped making and distributing it in the Northeast because I don't drink anymore), and Miller is merged with Coors. Yuck.

And finally, to cleanse the palate from that ugliness, a card selected for its sheer beauty...

Seriously, wouldya look at that? I don't get out much, so I'd never heard of Sibby Sisti before getting this card, but my word, that's fantastic.

Tuesday, October 26, 2010

Sets: boxes, binders or something else entirely?


(Yes, I totally ganked this box scan from Amazon. Sorry, Amazon! I didn't feel like running downstairs and scanning my own box!)

I've completed a few sets recently, and have been picking up smaller sets like this '81 Topps Traded for a while. My problem right now is that I don't know what to do with them once I complete them, in many cases. With the smaller stuff I've been completing that doesn't come "factory" (either in a sealed box, shrinkwrapped, or in some other configuration designed to keep people from looking at the cards) like the '70s Burger King team sets, it's been easy, as I just have to bust out some card pages and throw the stuff in an album. (Eventually, once these things are older, I may want to go with screwdowns for it all, but right now I'm good.) However, with bigger sets (like hand-collated '80s Topps), "Factory" stuff big and small, and older, super-cool stuff like the '76 SSPC set, I'm not sure what to do. 

There's still a part of the brainwashed kid in me who instinctively keeps things "factory", even on stuff that has little chance of appreciating substantially in value any time soon. There's also the pragmatic adult in me that realizes that the cost of supplies to put all 792 '87 Topps card in an album far outpaces its current value. Then, you have the part of me that'd really like to enjoy looking at what was a dream set for me in the SSPC set, but has a set in gorgeous shape and doesn't want to chance damaging the cards in an album. Then, you have my in-its-early-stages '72 Topps set, which, again, I don't want to damage, but I would like to look at, and I think would look gorgeous in pages once it's done (if it's ever done). I've already got some keys from that set (Clemente being the biggest) in screwdowns, though. Do I take them out and treat them like "just another card" for the sake of completism?

I fully realize that worrying about these things is both First World and neurotic, and I know that there's no "right" way to collect anything, but as I'm shaping my huge mass of baseball cards into a collection with focus, I'd love to know how the other folks in the card collecting community deal with storage and display of their sets. Let me know what works best for you in the comments!

Sunday, October 24, 2010

One of the more random things I've ever picked up...

This '55 Topps Bill Daddio All-American card was in a box of cards I got a while back, otherwise entirely '80s-'90s stuff, all baseball. Cool card, but such a weird find. It is available for trade. As you can see in the scan, the corners aren't exactly sexy, but it's 55 years old and I'll let it go for something fun-but-not-expensive from my want list.

Saturday, October 23, 2010

Things Found By Reading Other Peoples' Sites, Part I: '99 Topps Chrome Hunterburgularfractor!

Who knew that a '99 Topps Brian Hunter card could ever be this much fun? Thanks to this post on Heartbreaking Cards Of Staggering Genius, I do.

After reading the post about Hunterburgular, I high-tailed it to teh eBays, and found not just the base card, but the Topps Chrome refractor! Shiny, shiny Hamburgular card. Mmmm.

Friday, October 22, 2010

Damn you, Topps!

I've been working on 2010 Heritage all season long, and then you go and pull this on me at 

Stephen Strasburg, #422/999 if you're nasty.

Yep, it was a giveaway, limited to 999 cards, only available at the convention if you were on line early in the day and bought 10 packs of Topps cards (not Opening Day or Attax) at their booth. So, of course, it's going for fairly stupid money on eBay. However, given that I've put so much effort into this set, even without going nuts on high numbers (yet), and given that my set would forever feel incomplete if I didn't have this card in it, even if Strasburg never pitches another game in the bigs, I had to be an idjit and go for the first reasonably-priced (relatively speaking) one that came up.

So, while I beat them this time and have my Topps Heritage card of Doc Andrews' favorite new patient, I'll say it again:


Thursday, October 7, 2010

Great Pulls In Scott Crawford History, Volume II: Hockey Night!

As hockey season starts tonight (God help us), I figured I'd jumpstart this new series by also showing you a card I got in my first pack of hockey cards.

 Not too bad, eh? Yes, of course I scratched off the puck to see his name! 
Interestingly, I only opened a few packs of hockey cards as a kid and only finally accepted the sport's love into my heart last season (Go Isles!), but I did open some '81-'82 Topps Hockey too, and, well...

I'm of the mind that hockey may be the only sport where the cards are actually even cooler than the sport. I got into hockey in large part because the cards were too cool not to get. The fact that being a part of hockey fandom is kind of like being in a secret society, like the Masons or something, helps as well, but really, hockey cards both old and new are awesome. Eventually, I'll post some more and show you what I'm talking about, but for today, enjoy The Great One.

Great Pulls In Scott Crawford History, Volume I: The One That Started It All

This beautiful, well-loved 1980 Topps Rickey Henderson card was most likely pulled from the first pack of cards I ever opened in '80, as detailed in my first post. What was the first really good card you pulled from a pack?

My Roy Halladay collection is actually pretty sad...

Unfortunately, I really don't have that much of Doc's stuff. It's not for lack of interest, as I love the guy, but the opportunities just haven't arisen when I've had cash to burn. No rookie cards, no autos, no relics (I gave the one I had to a much bigger Doc fan than myself a few years ago) and I can't even remember if any of the 2010 cards I have of his have him on the Phillies. Whew, he did have the uniform on (virtually, anyway) in the 2010 Topps Heritage set, so I've got one:

(Apologies to This Looks Shopped for totally ganking their scan to save myself a trip downstairs.)

Anyway, congrats to Doc for what he did yesterday, and thanks to him, too, as he threw the first no-hitter I've ever gotten to watch live in its entirety. I've seen others after the fact (Gooden and the 8 innings of Larsen that we have, and I've got a backlog of others to watch), and I heard part of Wells' perfecto live on the radio (I knew he was going all the way very early in the game, but circumstances didn't allow me to hear it all). If you didn't see the game yesterday and you have an opportunity to, either via rebroadcast, DVD or some other illicit means, I highly recommend it, just so you can get a look at how helpless the Reds were against him, and so you can yell at Jerry Crawford (no relation) for Jay Bruce's walk.

I actually know a guy who had an unused spare ticket for the game yesterday. *sob*

Tuesday, October 5, 2010

1978 Topps: We Will Stone Cold Beat You!

Call me crazy here, but I tend to think of this card as the single-most badass baseball card ever printed. It might not be the greatest card overall. It may not be the best card of its era. It might not even be Munson's best card (a lot of people argue for '71 there and I don't hate 'em for it; '75 Topps is pretty good as well...). However, in terms of a baseball card being purely badass, this is as good as it gets. This 1978 Topps Thurman Munson card will cut you, man. It will stone cold beat you if you even think about giving it a problem, and maybe even if you don't. It will laugh at your pain while it listens to "Sabbath Bloody Sabbath" and puts cigarettes out on your arms. You do not mess with the '78 Topps Thurman Munson card.

Amazingly, while I wouldn't call it an equal, there is another card in '78 that is at least in the same weight class as the Munson, and would probably go a few rounds with it before the TKO:

You knew that was coming, didn't you?

In this card, Eddie Murray manages to epitomize an era (this may well be the best card of the '70s) and look almost as badass as Munson does, all while wearing a helmet that has a cartoon bird on it. This card is the equivalent of a Rick James album cover in baseball card form.


Tell me you can't see Eddie Murray rocking this outfit. You can't. You just can't.

Monday, October 4, 2010

Some Fun From The Weekend

First up is the gem of my trade with Thorzul...

I think it was a little past Josh's time collecting cards, but this 1981 Topps Gorman Thomas card looks tailor-made for Cardboard Gods. Gorman looks hot, thirsty and miserable in that spring training dugout, his fingers in a brace on his left hand. He was still listed as "Outfield" on the card, so maybe he's thinking about how it might be time to start being a full-time DH. Either that, or he's thinking about how he can get the beer guy in the stands to slip a frosty one in his water bottle. I'm no Josh, and you should all be reading his site as well as being proud owners of his book, but this card reminded me of his stuff, in addition to being an awesome Gorman Thomas card. Thanks, Thorzul!

 I also, after a few missed connections with a friend, picked up a 1981 Kellogg's 3-D baseball set in great shape. (Thanks, Lisa!)


This, at least to my knowledge, was the only Kellogg's set that was issued in standard card size, and despite the yellow borders which some people may get 1991 Fleer-related hives from (Don't hate on '91 Fleer! I actually love that set...), it's a pretty awesome 66 card set with a ton of '80s Hall Of Famers, a second year Rickey Henderson card, a Pete Rose card and it's a nice time capsule of the '80 season to boot. Obviously, Super Joe is represented, as are guys like Cy Young winner Steve Stone in his one great year, Rick Langford, J.R. Richard is in there, that kinda thing. I would've loved to see my man Mike Norris represented, but we can't have everything, I guess. I've read that Kellogg's overproduced the set, which was a mailaway rather than an in-the-cereal one and dumped a bunch on the early hobby market, but I can't recall ever seeing '81 Kellogg's in person before I got this set, so it may have been a regional deal.

I'm not gonna bomb you guys out with the whole set, but I'll show you a couple more of my favorites.

This Phil Garner beauty is the one Baseball Almanac decided to lead with on their '81 page, too, but it's too good to chance people not seeing it. Garner's got the mother of all porn 'staches, he's wearing a great version of the Pirates uniform, and he looks like he's thinking "Come on, just take the picture or throw the ball or do something! The other kids are making fun of me!"

I'm gonna let this one speak for itself.

Note the huge facsimile signatures on both the Yaz and the Super Joe cards. Whenever possible, the graphic designers who worked on this set went for it with the sigs. On Garner, with the black uni and not a lot of whitespace, it's tiny, but a lot of these sigs are monsters, and some of the tiny ones are pretty awesome, too.

Again, very cool set, and it looks great in a binder.

I had one more cool thing happen this weekend, not exactly related to trading cards per se, but given the amount of auto-related stuff I've posted thus far, I figure it may be of interest to some of you, and from a personal standpoint, I'm just too happy about it not to share it.

Mick Foley and I at Toms River Public Library, 10/03/10

Mick was in town doing a reading/signing for his new book, Countdown To Lockdown: A Hardcore Journal, and I heard about the signing by chance very shortly before it happened. Great guy, a pro wrestling legend in every sense of the word, and a heck of an author, too! Thanks for coming by, Mick!

Saturday, October 2, 2010

Some $5 autos I've picked up over the years...

In lieu of writing something a bit more lengthy about a particular subject, I'll go through a mixed bag of $5 autos I've gotten at my local.

I actually bought this Nick Adenhart '08 Stadium Club auto the week before he passed away. Kinda spooky, but a cool thing to have, I think. I think the kid would've been something else.

This Dock Ellis auto, I was very happy to see when it showed up. Dock was a badass in every sense of the word. Would've loved to have gotten to meet him, but hey, life.

Hey, the "Moneyball" guy! Jeremy Brown is another infamous guy, though I think he would've been solid had he made it to the show and stuck somewhere. He is the owner of a career .300 batting average in the majors, though!

I have no idea what Corey Feldman's career batting average is.

To wrap things up today, I bring you the power of BASTARDO! Guy has one of the best names EVER.