Wednesday, December 6, 2023

2023 Card-vent Calendar: December 5

December 5, 2023:
2022 Topps Garbage Pail Kids #23a Wild Gene
Let me qualify how awesome this card is.

First of all, Gene Wilder is in my Top 5 Actors of All Time.  It's a group with some shifting membership, but the two Genes, Wilder and Hackman, are the rock-solid stalwarts, never found to be on the outside looking in.  Depending on the mood, the other members have included Billy Bob Thornton, Bill Murray, Robert De Niro, Samuel L. Jackson, Brad Pitt, and, yes, even George Clooney.  (Clooney just has a great delivery.  I'm convinced that one could become at least a character actor by studying Clooney's cadence and speech patterns and trying to mimic them.)

Additionally, Wilder is a Milwaukee native.  He went to a high school that is just under a mile from where I live.

And let's talk about Young Frankenstein.  I'm from the era when VHS was king.  We were a cable-free home, so what I did watch was dependent on the whims of network TV and whatever videos I could get my hands on.  I grew up with a battleship of an RCA top-loading VCR, and for as long as I could remember, my dad curated a collection of movies that were either taped off TV, or got from friends who duplicated some for him.  We had the Star Wars, the Indiana Jones, the Close Encounters, but where his influence was really strong was in the comedies.  We had Caddyshack, Ghostbusters, Blazing Saddles, and of course, Young Frankenstein.  To this day, we still quote the funniest lines: "Frau Blucher."  "Walk... this way."  "Put.  The candle.  Back."  The movie made such an impression on me that when I bought my first DVD player while in college, Young Frankenstein was one of the first pair of DVDs I bought to try out on my new machine.  (The other was Austin Powers.  Couldn't live entirely in the past.)
It's been more that seven years since Gene's passing.  It's great to see him paid tribute through this medium of ink on cardboard.

Tuesday, December 5, 2023

2023 Card-vent Calendar: December 4

December 4, 2023:
1994 Upper Deck Collector's Choice #80 Royce Clayton
I love Clayton's expression and body language on this card.  It just screams, "Dafuq you just call that ball a strike for?!?!"

Clayton spent one season with my team (2003) during the period known as "The Milwaukee Brewers: The Dismal Years," but he gets a lifetime pass for getting into a 2000 shoving match with Chad Curtis after Curtis took umbrage with Royce's choice of clubhouse rap music.  If you know anything about Curtis, you know how easy it is to side with Clayton in this dust-up.
That's all I got for tonight.  If you have the opportunity, give someone the Royce Clayton staredown this week.

Monday, December 4, 2023

2023 Card-vent Calendar: December 3

December 3, 2023:
2006-07 Fleer #172 Tim Duncan
There's a song from Lil Wayne's album Tha Carter III called "Phone Home" which contains a line with a strong thematic connection to this card:

I'm rare
Like Mr. Clean with hair
That perfectly sums up the way I feel about the photograph on this card.  Now, I may not have been paying close enough attention to the NBA at this point (after all, my team was in the middle of a dismal decade-plus of mediocrity spanning the period after their 2001 run to the Eastern Conference Finals to the fabled 2013 NBA Draft), but I'm having trouble recalling the era where Tim Duncan had anything but a closely cropped haircut.  That's all on me, though, as Google searches turn up dozens of articles focusing on little more than Duncan's changing hairstyles, especially during the past four or five years.

You look away for a minute, and all of a sudden 17 years have gone by in the blink of an eye.  It's amazing what we manage to catch and how much we miss.  Mortality and the persistent march of time on a basketball card.

Sunday, December 3, 2023

2023 Card-vent Calendar: December 2

December 2, 2023:
1995 Donruss #38 Eddie Williams
There's a lot to like about this card.  While Williams was an unremarkable player who had an unremarkable career (6 different teams, 8 different uniform numbers, 2 turtle doves, and a career -1.0 WAR), there's an astonishing amount of 1990s goodness from top to borderless bottom of his 1995 Donruss card.

We've got sunglasses worn on the back of a neck attached to one of those rubbery straps.  There's an appearance by a Phoenix Suns cap at a San Diego Padres game.  And there's dads and sons hugging the rail, black Rawlings on hands, fighting the local first baseman for a pop-up.  Just glorious.
The star of the card, however, is the T-shirt worn by the young man closest to Williams.  To a person of a certain age, this shirt is easily recognizable as a genuine article Bad Boy Club garment.  Up there with Rude Dog, this was the quintessential '90s brand for folks who wanted to project to others that they had attitude, and perhaps even drank Mountain Dew with the can a few inches from their open mouth.
This particular Bad Boy Club shirt is currently for sale on eBay.  The design is not named, but the patented Bad Boy mascot is sprouting dreadlocks in what appear to be the signifying pan-African diaspora's red, yellow, and green colors, presumably attempting to cash in on the renaissance of reggae music (highlighted by Inner Circle's "Bad Boys" COPS theme song and Bob Marley's greatest hits album "Legend," which was the best selling catalogue title of the entire decade) going on at the time in this country.  Let's just agree to give this shirt the nickname,  "No Baseball, No Cry."
If you're a potential buyer, get that shirt while you still can.  Lord knows that the millions who read this blog have been tipped off and are getting their clicking fingers ready.


Saturday, December 2, 2023

2023 Card-vent Calendar: December 1

Sorry for the delayed start for this annual rite.  My wife and I celebrated our 15th wedding anniversary this past week, so we treated ourselves to an expensive dinner on Friday night.  I enjoyed a delicious lobster mac and cheese, followed by an amazing filet mignon.  It was a great meal, just a great fuckin' meal.  As a bonus, I didn't even have to tie my coat around my waist as we were leaving.
So, we're getting the start of Card-vent on December 2 this year.  Stuff happens.  It's a really nice calendar this year, and I'm hoping for a bunch of great cards behind these doors.  Let's pop open the first one.

2022 Topps MLS #R-SB Sebastian Blanco Jersey Relic (709/850)

This is a bittersweet card.  Blanco has been a top two favorite Timber of mine (along with Diego Chara) since he arrived after Portland's only MLS Cup of 2015.  He's never been quite the same since an injury a few seasons ago, but was still a formidable scoring threat.  This past week the Timbers released their 2024 team roster, of which Blanco was not a part.  I hope he's able to find success elsewhere at this point in his career.


Sunday, November 12, 2023

Trade Me Anything XVII: #4

So this next trade comes from a newcomer.  Apparently Daniel heard about this promotion through another hobby outlet and wanted to join in.  He sent a very nice note with his trade, one that ended with the sentiment, "Thanks for keeping cards fun!"  Dude, that's all I aim to do.  Back in the Thorzul Will Rule days, I have to admit that this blog was a lot more fun.  Buying packs of cards from Target is fun.  Ripping boxes is fun.  $5 group breaks were fun.  But I don't really do any of those things anymore.  Times have changed.  Five bucks wouldn't even begin to cover the shipping costs these days.  At least we still have this.  I'm trying.
#88US-46 Vladimir Guerrero Jr. 1988 Topps 35th Anniversary, #US208 Ji-Man Choi, #US326 Dustin May

1997 Collector's Edge #126 Desmond Howard
The amount of joy this man brought me by doing one thing for 12 seconds on a cold January night in 1997 cannot be overstated.

1980 Topps #330 Al Cowens
Slowly but surely making progress on this set.

1985 Donruss #7 Don Mattingly DK
Just a great set design here that I probably didn't knowingly witness in person until I was in my 20s.  1985D is a black expanse of nothingness interrupted only by a synth score of increasingly thick red lines.  If cards made a sound, these would drone.
1991 Fleer Ultra #180 Gary Sheffield
He once committed the crime of hating Milwaukee, and for that, he can never be forgiven.

Thanks for the help in building some sets, Daniel.  Please come back next year!

Saturday, November 11, 2023

Want Some Aces?

Last night Mrs. Thorzul did her usual Friday night thing, which is get together with other women, exercise, then drink wine and eat sushi immediately thereafter.  I was home with the kids, so it was pizza night.  The pizza place wasn't far from a thrift store, so I ordered, killed the wait time by shopping, then picked up my carryout order.  (Side note: Gosh, isn't it nice when your children get old enough that you can leave them home for a few hours and not have to worry?  I think we're officially out of the suck.)
At the thrift store, I picked up a few nice items to resell, including a Coleman Lil' Oscar cooler for $2.99.  It's identical to the one I acquired in a similar fashion several years ago and have used countless times.  Just a dependable, quality item for keeping booze cold when you're on the go.
There was one item I picked up just before leaving that was a nice find: A set of 1994 Major League Baseball Aces Playing Cards.  The box was sort of beat up, and I had trouble getting the packaging tape that was wrapped around it off, but everything inside is in immaculate condition.
The makers of this set ("Those SOB's down at Bicycle," as some would say) were kind enough to include a checklist card of sorts, letting buyers know who is included in the set.  A quick scan lets us know that there are no Milwaukee Brewers to be found here.  Makes sense.  Yount retired at the end of the 1993 season, and Molitor left for Toronto before that.  From that strike year until about 2007 the Brewers franchise was completely irrelevant to baseball.

Since there are no Brewers, what I'd like to do is offer you a chance at picking up one or more of these cards for your collection at a price that beats the current market rate.  For $1.00 each, you may select any card(s) of your choice, first come, first served, by leaving a comment as to the player(s) you want.  After making the claim, please sent $1.00 for each card to the following PayPal address (Friends and Family, please): bill13boehm at yahooDOTcom 

The payment includes the cost of shipping.  Please include a note with your mailing address on it, as well as a reminder of who you picked.  Screen names and real names often don't match up so well, and I'd rather not have to do any detective work to get cards to the right buyer.

I'll be adding to the list below of already claimed players once payments start being made.  I'm also hanging on to one card for myself.  Happy collecting, folks!

Ken Griffey, Jr.