Monday, July 30, 2012

Super quick, one run-on sentence question post

How many of you actively collect football, hockey, basketball, boxing, miscellaneous other sports and non-sport cards, and would be willing and able to trade them with me?

Thursday, July 19, 2012

I have the best readers in the world

...and chances are, if you write about trading cards and are reading this, so do you, because occasional griping aside, this really is a great community.

Longtime reader Ken from N.H. got in touch recently to make a trade offer, and as it turned out, I still had most of what he was looking for from my long-derelict trade list, so we agreed to a deal. The package arrived yesterday, and down toward the bottom of it, past the cards we'd agreed to, past the homebrew Pilots set he surprised me with (the second such set I've gotten from people; look for a post soon on this set and the MONSTER '70 Topps-style Pilots set that Stubby sent me), there were a few cards I had no idea he'd be sending...

Holy friggin' Islanders and Pilots autographs, Batman! Seriously, look at that half-dozen up there and just TRY to tell me it isn't awesome. Who just has this stuff laying around in their trade pile, anyway?

HUGE thanks, Ken, and now the burden's on me to see what sorta cool stuff I have layin' around to add to your package today, though I think you kinda nuked me there.

So yeah, best readers in the world, hats off to you all, but especially Ken on this day!

Wednesday, July 18, 2012

We should probably be grown-ups about this...

...but I really don't like our odds of doing so.

This one really has "photobomb" written all over it, doesn't it?

Monday, July 16, 2012

Stuff From Tim II: This.

So, if you missed it last week, my friend Tim gave me a bunch of cards ("You can go through, and take whatever you can use..."), because he's awesome. I went through 'em for him and pulled some stuff that he was gonna wanna hang onto for him, as well. ('72 Topps Clemente and Yaz were among the baseball cards.) Anyway, there were also some f00'ball cards in his box of stuff, and while going through those, I came across two of these...

Yep, that would be O.J. Simpson's rookie card. As you can see, the one pictured here has a crease  on the bottom right corner (which actually presents worse in hand than it does in this scan) and a couple of bum corners, along with a bunch of surface wear, particularly on the jersey. I made sure Tim ended up with the better of the two cards, his is a solid VG-EX, I'd say.

Now, in my research on this card after the initial "holy shit" of finding two of them in a box, I was actually pretty stunned to see what'd happened to not only its guide price but also general asking prices on them (and on '70s f00'ball in general, which really seems to be undervalued and ignored right now on the open market unless your name is Namath or Payton). Guide price on a NM O.J. rookie, despite him being one of the most infamous figures not just in football, but in 20th century popular culture, seems to have gone through the toilet (ranging from 40 low book to 80 high), and honestly, if I wanted to just get one of these on eBay in about the condition this card's in, it wouldn't have cost me more than a sawbuck, possibly less (I saw a few completeds for a couple of bucks). Still, I didn't know this prior to a few days ago, and this was given to me, so thanks again for such a cool, weird, sinister card, Tim!

More f00'ball coming as I scan it!

Sunday, July 15, 2012

Had some store credit at my local today...'s what I did with it.

First, a lone Ichiro Bowman. I think he's going to hit that baseball.

Then, a couple of Archives. Man, I gotta say, love 'em or hate 'em, it's rare that Reggie doesn't look like a superstar in every sense of the word on a bubble gum card.

1990 "throwback" cards of Shawon Dunston. Too soon?

Speaking of "too soon", looking at Bobby Knight's pose on this card ("...and then I took the little bastard by the neck..."), I can't help but wonder if Topps were also thinking of including a Joe Paterno card in this year's Ginter set with him burying his head in the sand.

I'll be slightly more diplomatic about this next card, and simply say that it's available for trade!

Hey, Meadowlark!

Great card. I'm leaning toward eventually making a proper run at a George Brett PC (though I've got all of his Topps cards already, I think). Be nice to pick up some of the fancy stuff. He was great on the Home Run Derby broadcast on Monday, too. Did he mention that he had a great meal?

Of course he did. (Video NSFAnything)

I love that they went with an older Rickey uni (and, of course, a younger Rickey) for this card.

Best card I pulled from the 3 packs of Ginter I opened. Seriously fantastic looking.

I love that Melky's become the man of the hour.

Hey, it's a relic! Of Carlos Marmol. Anyone wanna trade for it?

On behalf of cheap bastards everywhere, thank you to people everywhere who buy $115 packs of cards and not only toss the base cards, but also the numbered inserts! 2 years in a row that I've gotten some Inception cards (including my man Joe Flacco) that I'd never have been able to afford otherwise. And yes, that is the already well-discussed chipping on the card edges that you see in this scan.

Reggie Bush (not the world's best hobby draw, but whatever), numbered to 75.

Awesome looking card of McFadden.

The Inception posts below that thar McFadden are all available for trade. May as well share the wealth!

Saturday, July 14, 2012

I had to.

While not as extraordinary as A.J.'s recent pickup for his Bill Murray collection, these are two tough cards to get, and I had to pounce on 'em even though I'm really strapped for cash at the moment. I think that, with this, these complete the Bill Murray-as-Trappers-owner collection. I'm up to 4 on my Bill Murray "player collection" now. Of the cards I've been able to find readily (and even they've been a stretch), I need to get this year's RiverDogs card (even if I don't get ink on it), I still need the Razor "swatch of game-worn" card (similar to my Charlie Sheen one), and then I need to decide if I'm going for the Ghostbusters II set, despite it being a pretty weak movie and having nearly zilch to do with baseball. 

Beyond those, I need to find out if he's been on any other Brockton Rox cards aside from this one, and I've yet to see any St. Paul Saints cards with Bill (and those would be awesome to have, as the usual "Director Of Fun" is actually the Saints' "Team Psychologist").
In other Bill Murray-and-Saints-related news, the team is doing something very cool next month. The Minnesota Atheists are sponsoring "A Night Of Unbelievable Fun" at the August 10th Saints game. I want one of them jerseys.

Thursday, July 12, 2012

Tim Gave Me A Bunch Of Dicks

Yes, you heard me. Tim, Mets fan, Mountain Of Judgement, Ribeye Brother, appreciator of fine music by Mudhoney and Killdozer, lonely warrior on the mean streets of Foodtown and all-around great guy gave me a bunch of Dicks!

Look at all them Dicks!

This doesn't even get into all the Johnsons, LaCocks, Woodys and such he also gave me.

In short, he gave me a lot of very cool cards, because he's a great guy. I'll be making my way through them here in the coming (heh, "coming") days.

OK, Ginter.

I got 2 racks last night. They were mostly uneventful unless you are part of mass Kate Upton hysteria (got her base card), trying to crack the code (got one of those cards too) or consider a building that isn't finished or open yet one of the world's tallest buildings (Crap, did I say that out loud?), but there were two cards I was happy to get.

First off, a Rulon Gardner mini! For those who are unfamiliar, he's an Olympic gold medal wrestler who defeated Aleksandr Karelin (who'd been undefeated in 13 years of international competition) at the 2000 Summer Olympics. He's also undefeated in his one mixed martial arts fight, and survived a plane crash and being stranded in a blizzard (which cost him a toe due to frostbite) on separate occasions. He ballooned up to 474 pounds by early 2011 during his retirement from wrestling, but competed on "The Biggest Loser", losing 173 pounds (he's currently down to the high 260s) before leaving the show for unspecified personal reasons. Rulon is working on a comeback in the sport of wrestling despite all of this, and despite being 40 now. He fell just short of his weigh-in goal for the U.S. Olympic trials, but still plans on resuming his wrestling career, and hasn't ruled out an Olympic run in 2016 when he'll be 44, 7 years older than the oldest U.S. Olympic wrestler on record. Thus far, he's also managed to be "the one that got away" for professional wrestling, so there's that. Very cool to have a card of his, and I actually wouldn't mind trying to get an auto.

I present this Justin Morneau card as a counter-argument to the "all horizontal Ginter cards are bad" argument. Really dig this one. Still pulling for Justin to regain his pre-injury form, as he was a lot of fun to watch before things went bad for him.

Monday, July 9, 2012

Because You DEMANDED IT: 1995 Fleer

I tried to avoid doing it, but you MADE ME. Here's the first of 4 separate 1995 Fleer designs. Yes, 4 base card designs (not just different border colors, unique designs) within the same set.

This Doc Gooden looks like it's being run through the Dock Ellis filter. Also note the illegible vital statistics below Gooden's name, and the sideways, gold foil "Pitcher" in the bottom right corner. It's like Raygun magazine (one of the more groundbreaking examples of bad modern graphic design in popular culture) laid this card out. Moving on to the next design...


Things calm down a little bit on series 3, but again, the vitals are illegible, the player name is close to it because of the combo of gold foil up against full bleed picture and the overlapping, transparent Cubs logo and that transparent logo has a smaller logo in the middle of it, direct from the Department Of Redundancy Department.

And finally, from the "OH SHIT MY BRAIN JUST EXPLODED" department, a card I borrowed from the '95 Update set, but one which features the 4th design from the base set. Also, it's Hideo Nomo, who was awesome, so this card had to have been hugely popular when it came out. Player name on the card twice, barely legible in both cases. Position in a barely legible font. Tiny font for the vitals continues, only now it's in a less readable font and italic to boot! Team name: illegible. No team logo. At least 9 additional Nomos in the background. This card will make you try to eat someone's face if you look at it long enough.

I told you it was bad. The commenters on my last post agreed, and still, they wanted to see it here. So, here it is. I hope you're all proud of yourselves.

Sunday, July 8, 2012

When Graphic Design Hurts

I generally don't like to get negative on this site very often, but I've been looking at a lot of cards for the past few weeks as I've been getting things back in order, and some things have been too glaring to ignore, so here goes:

From this moment on, I will not be building any card sets that I find to be an insult to my sense of aesthetics, unless they are so awful that it's actually funny.

Now, I'm actually a pretty open-minded guy about this. I love 1991 Fleer (and '92 has grown on me), I'm building the first 3 Sportflics sets, and I think '72 and '75 Topps are classics. However, there are just some things I can't abide by.

Let's start with the biggest "warning shot" in the history of bad card design, the 1994 Score Rookie/Traded set. I'll give you a minute to sit with this cosmic accident of "hey, textures BECAUSE WE CAN", which nostalgically recalls 1990 Donruss even though that's pretty heinous too, before we move onto the big 'un.


1995 Score. Boom. There it is. Not even a huge, red, mean-looking Jose Canseco can save this card. Someone at Pinnacle Brands was on a lot of coke and discovered Quark Express around this point in time. I won't hurt you further by showing you the gold foil version of this design. The really sad thing about this is that Score Summit Edition, released the same year, is a great looking set. There was no reason for this to happen, beyond justifying the design department's pimped-out Mac that couldn't run Angry Birds nowadays.

There was a lot of awful graphic design work done around this time, don't get me wrong (you'll note that I'm not going to blow up your screens or your brains with 1995 Fleer), and plenty of it happened in cards. I don't mean to keep picking on Score, who did what I feel were 9 decent-looking base sets in baseball during their 11 year run, but well, I've been in the Score box since last night, and some of this is rough.

After '95, Score toned it down and released a set that looks like Summit Edition in '96 (decent enough), a beautiful set in '98 with a very minimalist, all white design, and then the Quark demons got them again on their last regular issue baseball set in '98...

For those of you keeping count, that's 3 different not-very-readable fonts (not counting the logo font) on the front of the card, more of that asymmetrical, blocky thing that everyone was abusing when they first got Macs, and for the 2nd time out of 3 Score designs that I've posted here, they left the player's position off of the front of the card. This may look like a minor offense in terms of bad design to you, but it's only because you saw the first 2 cards before you got here.

So, I took 2 complete sets and 1 update set off of my Want List, just by going through the Score boxes. I also passed on Topps Heritage this year because the execution of the '63 design (one of my least favorite Topps designs) was really poor (and having looked at a lot of the Upper Deck Vintage year where they did a wholesale ripoff of '63 Topps last night, it became even more glaring how bad Heritage is this year), I won't be finishing that near-complete 1998 Skybox Dugout Axcess set I assembled from a box lot a while back, and more offenders will be coming off the list (or not joining it in the first place) as I continue to sort things out over here.

What are some of your least-favorite card designs? Do you disagree with me on any of the ones I slagged here? Finally, how do you reconcile that chronic sense of completism that collectors have with forays into the "OH GOD NO IT HURTS MAKE IT STOP" school of graphic design?

Friday, July 6, 2012

A One Word Story About Four Sets

The one word?


Yep, thanks to Bill at Monmouth Stamp & Coin digging through their inventory, I'm done with 1975 Topps, 1978 Topps, 1993 Topps and 2011 Topps Update. Monmouth Stamp's actually a great place to get set fills like that, where you're missing between 1-5 cards from a particular set. '75's the oldest Topps set I've finished so far, and I've now got a run of '78-'93 Topps base sets completed, too. Next stops: the '70s and the strike years! Who wants to bet that I'll finish the '70s sets sooner than the strike years?

Thursday, July 5, 2012

The Round-Up For 07/05/12: Hey, It's A Correct Answer To An Addition Problem!

First things first today: by some cosmic accident, despite not opening a single pack of either of these products, I ended up with doubles of each of these cards. Anyone wanna trade for 'em?

Speaking of trades, It's almost time for me to start catching up on them. I've got talks in the works with a bunch of you (Stubby, Chuck, Angels In Order Tom, Night Owl, Mark Z and about 47 million others), but I've lost track in recent months of what's supposed to go where and what I'd be getting for it. I'm making HUGE progress on sorting out my cards right now, and I've also got Gmail records of a bunch of different trade talks that I'll be plowing through after my doubles get a little less unwieldy. Just to keep you all in the loop here, there's a plan in place and it's actually happening on or close to schedule. If I didn't respond to your initial trade offer email, don't think I hate you or that I'm a big meanie (well, I am, but...). Things have just been insane over the past, well, year, but even more so since February-ish, and I'm just starting to make sense of it all now. Your patience will be rewarded.

Moving on to another possibly-related subject, I have some round table questions for y'all: 

Do you have any system in place for deciding when it's time to give up on a set (base, insert, parallel, whatever) that you're probably not going to finish?

When do you cut bait on all the cards except the ones of the players you like and throw the rest in the ever-expanding trade box?

Do you ever bail early on a set, end up with a bunch of cards from it somehow anyway, and think "ahhhh, the hell with it, lemme finish it"?

In those situations, do you ever get mad at yourself when you realize you unloaded some cards that you  suddenly now "need" because you decided to build the damn thing?

These are all things I've been thinking about as I've been plowing through box after box after box of this stuff over the past few weeks. I know someone (I'm senile, I forget who, and I feel bad about it because I got a lot of 2001 Rays from them out of this deal last year) has an "unload all commons after 10 years" policy in place, but in my case, especially with some of the bulk deals I happen upon, 10 years is a very long time.

I guess it, as always, comes down to "keep what you're having fun with, and don't take it too seriously", but I'm definitely interested to hear about some of the ways y'all have been dealing with your collections slowly, steadily, even sneakily creeping out of your control. Hit me with your thoughts on this!

Just a reminder: my Mariano Rivera autograph contest is still an ongoing thing! If you've got a kid who loves Mo, seriously, get them in on this. Details at the link.

Finally today, one more quick plug, for Sooz's solo album, er, Cards By Sooz! Yep, Susan Lulgjuraj has a new site, and it's been pretty strong out of the gate! In addition to her musings on all kinds of card stuff (she got me off my ass to look for phenom du jour Billy Hamilton's cards today, for instance), her pal Dan's been making some solid guest posts as well including this pretty moving post about Bobby Shantz. Definitely worth checking out and keeping an eye on, and best of luck to both you and Dan with the site, Susan!

Monday, July 2, 2012

For Trade: '75 Mini RBI Leaders

See this card?

(Note that I left the image at medium, rather than makin' it all huge.)

It's a '75 Topps Mini RBI leaders card. Hey, look, it's Jeff Burroughs' first appearance on this site, I think! I got it by accident when I was in a frenzy to complete my '75 set (which has since been completed), so aflame with completion lust that I lost my ability to comprehend the written word on eBay. Yeah, it happens to all of us once in a while.

Anyway, since there's no way in HELL that I'm ever completing or even attempting to complete '75 Mini (Heck, '75 was a cosmic accident where 3/4 of the set landed in my lap for a song), I figured I'd offer this up for trade. Wouldn't take a ton to liberate it from my trade box. If anyone's interested, gimme a yell.

And seriously, if you ever hear me talking about working on a '75 Mini set? Just shoot me. I have to draw the line somewhere.

That's A Nice Card!

...and SCREW YOU if you don't like it!