Tuesday, August 28, 2012

Been meaning to ask for a while...

Am I the only one on Earth who calls this guy...


Sunday, August 26, 2012


New feature on the site, replacing the old "Pending Trades" section I used to have on my want list. INCOMING! is where you can check what's probably on its way in, to make sure y'all aren't sending me doubles. Since I've got a bunch of trades running concurrently, this is pretty handy, not just for you but also for me. If you'd like to be further anonymized (right now, I've got first names, first name last initial if there are two of the same name or 'net handles listed), let me know.

Saturday, August 25, 2012

Seattle Pilots (the Good, the Bad and the Ugly) by Stubbly Bubbly Custom Trading Cards!

So, in one of my last deals with Stubby, along with all the usual awesome he sent me, he completely blew my mind by sending me this huge, handmade, hand-designed Seattle Pilots set, done in a style that's reverential toward the '70 Topps set, front and back. It's taken me FOREVER to get around to scanning any of them (sorry 'bout that, Stub), but that day has finally come. Before we go any further and actually let you all see some cards, I turn the floor over to the man, the myth, the legend, Stubby.

"Welcome to my side project…the Seattle Pilots (the Good, the Bad and the Ugly).

After I looked a little more closely at that custom Pilots set online (in the style of
Topps 69), I couldn’t help but feel I could do better. Half those pictures were just
scans of the Renata Galaso set, the Photoshopping wasn’t very good, and there
wasn’t even a Gus Gil card.

So here’s my attempt. I still had to scan a handful of cards (Timberlake, Fuentes,
Goossen, Kubiak, Hershberger).

I don’t have Photoshop, actually, or any kind of lasso or clone program. I can only
grab squares of a photo and try to blend them in. Putting an “S” on a hat is easy, but
the Pilots hats were more coolly distinct than that. Sometimes it works (I’m pretty
proud of my George Brunet), sometimes it really doesn’t (Lauzerique anyone?).
Sometimes, you get a bit of a halo around the head.

Anyway, without naming names, there are about 20 colorized cards in the set, 8
to 10 “stubbyshopped” and 4 or 5 “frankensteins” (where multiple pieces were
combined and colorized). Some better than others, clearly.

I tried, as much as possible, to not use the photos everyone else uses in custom
Pilots sets (so if I do ever print off the 69 set, they won’t all be the same shots).

Source material is:

1) Team issued 5x7s (black and white from press packages). There are more
of these out there that haven’t surfaced, but that’s the source for most of the

2) Topps Vault pictures. The best, when you can find them without the watermarks.

3) Autographed or non-signed 8x10s

4) Sports Illustrated pictures

5) Scanned cards. At the end of the day, I still ended up using scans of some Galaso
and some Topps cards. In a few cases, I had other choices available but not better
ones. Still, I had fewer card scans in a larger set than the 69 set online.

6) Pilots yearbook pictures. I bought a reprint, hoping it would be more helpful in
this regard. It really wasn’t, but it did give me a better Jose Vidal than I could find
anywhere else and I also used the Joe Schultz. Also the Bob Lemon was a tiny tiny
shot in the YB. Usually, you need bigger source material, but the Lemon is passable.
(tried it with an equally small Dickie Bates and Larry Haney, but to no avail.)

Card backs. It’s been 100 years since I read Ball Four (OK, 40). At the beginning, I
was pretty much making up shit on the fly. I didn’t realize Jim O’Toole was actually
on the 40 man, for example, and Bill Henry’s # was actually 51. Consider these
uncorrected errors. I later came across a full numerical listing of Pilots. Which
brings us to our next point. This is not a “complete” set. Missing players fall into
two categories. There are three or four Pilots from the 40 man rosters of 69 or 70
missing. I could find no pictures of Nelson Gibson or Ron Kotick and was too tired of
stubbyshopping to attempt Don Bryant or Frank Coggins (maybe later). The other
group is of players who didn’t appear on the 40 man, but were affiliated with the
Pilots—usually the minors—at the time (draft picks and such who later made the
Brewers). That would include players like Ken Sanders, Jim Coburn, Dave Lindsey,
Bob Coluccio, Gorman Thomas, etc. Again, maybe later, but I’m not sure they ever
wore a real Pilots uni. If they did, those pictures haven’t surfaced yet."

Ready for some cards now? Here we go! My commentary through this series will be there, but minimal.

At card #3, we have our first variant, the Tommy Davis auto variant! Card backs are the same, though.

First "Turn Back The Clock" Pilot! While us Ichiro collectors are waiting for cards of him in a Yankee uniform (hey, I don't love it either, but it's a different uniform), here he is in another different uni.

What's cool about this particular shot is that, having just visited the neighborhood Sick's Stadium was in back in May, I look at this card and it gives me a vague sense of perspective as to how the ballpark fit in the neighborhood, where the Lowe's Hardware is now. (It had to have been a TINY ballpark.)

Cool night shot! I wonder if it's a legit night shot or just a work of photo editing magic.

Before I saw this card, I had no idea that Tom Kelly was drafted by the Pilots. Most folks interested in this stuff know about Gorman Thomas, but I didn't know about Tom.

And, finishing up our first post, here's the card back for the team card (the front is at the top of this piece, of course)...

So, folks, what do you think so far? I think the card backs are extraordinary, just a ton of quality effort put in by the Stubmeister. Facts (with historical context), stats, cartoons (!) and a dry sense of humor. The fronts ain't no slouch, neither, don't get me wrong (tons of pictures coming up that I'd never seen prior to getting this set in the mail, but I haven't been at this Pilots thing hardcore as long as some of you have), so your mileage may vary, but the card backs are really somethin' else.

Part II coming soon! I'll be plodding my way through the whole set, 8 cards (plus variants) at a time! Stay tuned, and please, let me (and especially Stubby) know what you think in the comments. Feel free to ask questions, and we'll eventually figure out why he's been having trouble commenting and get you some answers!


Part II is here!

Friday, August 24, 2012

Some Custom Pilots, To Get You Going...

I'm reasonably sure I mentioned that, when I did the trade with Ken from N.H. a while back, he printed out a set of custom, single-sided Pilots cards that he found on the Baseball Fever site and sent 'em to me. Here, as just a taste of what's to come this weekend, are a few of 'em.

From left to right: the Pilots' only first round draft pick, Gorman Thomas (in a Photoshopped uniform because he never made the big club); coach Sibby Sisti, who you may remember as the 2010 Card Of The Year from that year's Obak set; Dr. Mike Marshall (never featured in a proper Pilots uni on a Topps card) and manager Joe Schultz, looking on wistfully as people pound the ol' Budweiser at Sick's.

Now, later tonight or tomorrow (depending on how much energy I have to cut and paste; the first installment's scanned already), I'll start posting the 2012 Stubbly Bubbly Seattle Pilots set, along with notes from the author, longtime reader and trader Stubby. We'll be making our way through, 8 cards at a time (there are at least 126 cards, plus variants). Hopefully, we'll actually figure out why Stubby's been having trouble commenting during this process so he can answer your questions in real time!

Stay tuned, Pilots fans!

Trade With The Diamond King

The Diamond King contacted me a while back about trading me some f00'ball and basketball stuff, and despite some downtime, he got a pretty awesome package out to me, and busted out that "don't worry about my want list, if you enjoy the stuff, that's enough" bit (though we had a few things on the table before he said this, and damn it, he's getting 'em!). Here's some of what he hooked me up with...

A friggin' Matt Snell rookie! Now, of the guys from the '68 team, I have a few Maynards, an Emerson Boozer or two, even have a '72 Namath, but I didn't have any Matt Snells. NICE one to start with, eh?

Yao Ming jersey card! Fabric looks and feels like it's from the stripes rather than the body of the jersey! This wasn't even in our earlier trade discussions, so it was a nice surprise!

(They look so tiny compared to the individual cards.)

A mess of '70s Steelers! Thanks, Mean Joe!

Kareems! First '79-'80 Topps I have, I think. Definitely the first Star basketball I've got (it's rough, but those ain't easy to come by). Been jonesing the '86 Fleer as part of my setbuilding process. And the UD Retro one just looks suave.


At 78/132 on the set now!

A whole buncha basketball fellers I collect! The Stilt! Griffin! Spud Webb! Jordan in his baseball uniform! And some fella named Johnny Kilroy!

A huge mess of awesome Rodman cards!

Back to HUGE size for this awesome, awesome Dr. J.

Does Joe Montana ever get off the damn phone? Seriously, how many cards are there of Joe on the phone?

And last but not least, Walter Payton rushing for 275 yards! Nice early card of his, I think it's my earliest so far.

There were a bunch of other cards in the package, tons of '90s-present inserty-oddball-shiny kinda stuff (I didn't get to any of the Jerry Rice stuff, the Barry Sanders stuff, some Jordans, a whole whack o' Mings), but I figured I'd give you a quick rundown rather than blind you with all the shiny.

HUGE thanks to The Diamond King for these cards!

Wednesday, August 22, 2012

Not A Trade Post

Paid a couple bucks for this at my local today. Garvey relic!

Another trade: dayf Box 1 of frig knows how many...

So I sent dayf some cards, including a bunch of '72 high numbers from The Tim Collection, and he apparently plans on inundating me with cards for the next 500 years or so. The first box he sent me was pretty damn good, so I hope the next however many end up being really crappy stuff like '93 Leaf. I fully expect another Bipping in this. Anyway, let's begin...

These cards are AWESOME.


A '56 Topps I needed, and an early Oriole! Plus, you just can't argue with a ballplayer named Gus.

Hey, a '61 I needed, too! Here's some factoids about Mr. Bruce. Learn something new every day!

What a great Felipe Alou card! He was young, had his whole life ahead of him, and he got the airbrush guy to take the day off!

Starting to get a bunch of good ol' Blue Moon's cards, as I build the sets that he was in.

Among the many "dust kicked up during a play at the plate" action cards of the '70s, this one may be the saddest. Gerry Moses has this look on his face as if he's about to say "Well, the friggin' guy scored already. Are you planning on throwing the ball to me sometime this year?" If any of you folks who are good at figuring out what plays happened in these cards can figure this one out (or already have), let me know!

Awww, Bobby V, right before it all went to hell on 'em. That happens to this guy a lot, doesn't it?

25 years later, an awesome, awesome card of Barry Larkin. It took me a long time to warm up to the guy and really get what was so great about him. "He's always hurt!", I'd naively say. One day, it clicked while looking at his career numbers. "He did *this* while he was hurt constantly?" I think I've gone into that spiel here before, but it's worth mentioning again, especially with him getting into the Hall not too long ago. Also, look at this picture. Guy looks like Baryshnikov on a ballfield.

"Haha, you bet your ass I had the Hendricks brothers call Beane today!"

Had this in Chrome, but not in base! Can you believe that? One of the best cards of all time.

Hey, remember Kirk Saarloos? Nah, me neither. I keed, I keed! Guy got me some wins in fantasy ball somewhere along the line. I'd forgotten about him until I came across this in the dayfstuffs, but mostly because he doesn't come up in conversation too often.

This card is BEGGING for a "Caption This Card!" contest. Don't start posting possible captions in the comments yet, but save 'em up. I will be doing something soon!

"Yeah, cool, I'd be up for a Melky relic!"
-me, about a week before he got busted

Actually, I'm still cool with it, as he's one of the last Yankees I have fond memories of, and because his "I got busted" story is going to be one we'll be talking about decades from now. Royals fans, rejoice! You'll be able to get this guy back next season for a song!

Hey, look! Cards from another sport! I don't think I've ever posted any figure skating cards here, and it's definitely not my sport, but this is a really awesome looking card. Great picture, and this was from those long-gone days of 2009, when Goodwins wuz Goodwins.

'86 Fleers! dayf sent me 20, mostly commons, but that brings me well past the halfway mark on the set. Check out Maurice Cheeks makin' some Lakers look like damn fools.

These Spurs uniforms may be the worst pro sports uniforms I've ever seen in my life.

Whoooooo's a little slugger? I'm building '85 Topps f00'ball too, and dayf sent me a metric ton of 'em.

It JUST occurred to me that Mark Gastineau looks like William Murderface from Dethklok.

And, to finish off today, Mike Singletary. By Sears Portrait Studio. (I'm going to beat that ol' gag into the ground.)

Thanks, dayf!