Sunday, August 16, 2020

The Case of the Mysterious Mailday

Yesterday (Saturday) morning, I put a few outgoing envelopes in my mailbox for the mail carrier to pick up during the day's delivery.  It so happened that I had not collected Friday afternoon's mail yet.  It was a small amount, just one piece of junk mail and a plain white envelope addressed to me.

I was expecting a card that I had recently bought.  (Allow for a little diversion here.  I am normally the farthest thing from a prospector, but I have recently started stockpiling Dare Ogunbowale cards.  This former Badger had a hard time breaking onto a gameday roster, but last year actually got a bunch of receptions and carries and scored two touchdowns in short yardage situations for the Buccaneers.  On the off chance that Dare gets targeted by Tom Brady, his cards should quickly go up in value.)  The card I was expecting was not what had arrived, though.

Upon opening the PWE, I found this.
A 1984 Fleer Enos Cabell #79, signed in blue Sharpie.

Now, I have received unsolicited cards plenty of times, but this was something different.  It's a cool card, especially from a guy who, according to one source, is a pretty tough get.  (A TTM success rate of 33%.)  However, it's not something I really collect.

Time to go full fuckin' Fenton (Hardy) here and investigate.  I put a call out on Twitter for the anonymous benefactor to step forward, but none did.  See, the one clue available to me was a return address on the envelope with a Rochester, NY, location.

What could have happened, boxcar children?  I have a few theories:
1. The Kind-Hearted Gentleman
Someone I've traded with in the past just want to pay forward some favor.  Nice.  I like that.
2. The Accidental Switcheroo
I found it odd that the address on the envelope sent to me is an exact, though handwritten, match for the return address stamp I use when sending cards out.  It's possible that someone had this card intended for a Detroit Tigers fan, and they were working from some old packaging to find the address, and mine got mixed up with another.  It happens.
3. The Drawing of the Four
The only other thing I can think of is that this is a veiled invitation to a proto-Satanic gathering involving bloodletting, human sacrifice, and discussion of how Pacific Trading Cards forever changed the norms and expectations of intra-box card collation.  There's a small blue dot on the toploader holding this card.  Is it some sort of additional clue?  Am I to gather with a group of other recipients and assemble by colored dot?  "I am lower-right light blue, looking for top-left light blue to begin the mission."  I await further instructions.
Whatever the case, if you sent this card, purposely or in error, please get in touch.  I can forward the card to the proper owner if need be.

Wednesday, August 12, 2020

CC: Barely Perceptibly Different

2008 Topps Stadium Club #10 Proof
Okay, so I came across a copy of this card for sale, and although it looked pretty familiar, the price was low, so I went for it.  The thing is, I already had a 2008 TSC proof card.
In any case, let's examine what we have here.
First of all, let's compare this new card to the standard base issue.
 As you can see above, the proof card (left) is noticeably larger than the regular base card.  Other than that there's no difference.
Let's do another comparison, this time with a different proof card I purchased around the time Stadium Club was released (my God, twelve years ago, we're all going to die soon).
From left to right, my new proof card, the old proof card, and the regular base card.
The old proof stands out from the lack of foil printing, very normal for scavenged proof cards such as these.  It also stands a little bit taller than the newly acquired proof.  So what's going on here?  If we assume we're dealing with a genuine sample (and not someone engaging in what would be a money-losing effort to painstakingly fake these cards), then it stands to reason that proof cards can vary in size and degrees of completion, just like we see here.  Maybe the text-less card is an example from earlier in the process than the one with the foil.  In any case, it's a welcome addition to the collection.

Friday, June 19, 2020

A White Whale Harpooned

A few weeks ago on Twitter I posted that I had acquired a card for my collection that I had been seeking for a very long time.  It the time since then, it did arrive safely.

I started collecting Robin Yount cards in 2007, shortly after finding out that eBay and card grading had made cards I found far too expensive as a child much more attainable.  I got a Yount rookie for somewhere around $20.  Sure, it had a soft corner and the centering was not great, but it was the real deal, something I had only glimpsed in magazines and screw-down holders at shows.

After that, I started buying large lots of Yount cards, many of them oddball stuff from the '80s and '90s as well as base cards of his from sets produced after his retirement.  The ones that really caught my eye were from the 2005 Upper Deck Heroes set.  These were a throwback to the Heroes inserts that began appearing in 1990 with Reggie Jackson and Nolan Ryan.  It was fun to find out that there were indeed five Yount Heroes cards in the 2005 set, and that they came in a rainbow of colors.  On my old blog I shared a partial completion of that set, finishing off the red, green, bronze, and blue parallels, complete with autos and jerseys (with the blue unsigned parallels being particularly tough, numbered to 10).

One of the incomplete subsets of this pursuit was the auto/jersey gold.  Until now.

2005 Upper Deck Baseball Heroes #63 Gold AUTO/Jersey (03/15)

It's a beauty, isn't it?  And it's even better when displayed with his four brethren.
Over the years, I've been able to get my hands on some of the 1/1's in this set, which come in standard form and with a jersey relic (no autos available).
My Yount collecting has tailed off in recent years for a number of reasons.  For starters, the logo-free Panini cards usually look like garbage, and Topps has had trouble coming up with many new photos for Yount cards.  However, I'll still be on the lookout for new additions to this set.

Thursday, May 14, 2020

CC: Three Outta Four Ain't Bad

An awesome card arrived the other day.
2009 Upper Deck Spectrum #54 Cyan Printing Plate (1/1)

These days, with few-to-no new actual sporting events worth talking about, there are a lot of pieces being written about sports from the past.  One of them I caught recently was about the 2008 mid-season trade the Brewers made for Sabathia.  In my lifetime, he was the best pitcher the Brewers have ever had.  Prior to Sabathia, the candidates were Teddy Higuera, who flamed out after a few years that hinted at possible brilliance, and Ben Sheets, who was a solid #1 guy for many years, but came nowhere close to a Kershaw or a Verlander.

Going into a game and being reasonably confident that our guy was going to shut the other team's offense down was something I had never experienced as a fan.  For a team trying to make the playoffs for the first time in 26 years, feeling that every five days you were guaranteed to get a win was just huge.  He was part of my sport fan timeline for just a few months, and his final appearance was one we'd like to forget, but the joy he brought is why I continue to hunt these cards down.

This is the third Spectrum plate I've been able to acquire.  It's unthinkable, I know, but there's always a glimmer of hope that the black printing plate of this card shows up.  When it does, I'll be there for it.


Friday, May 8, 2020

Death Stare Workout Mix #1

So I did one of these back in the Thorzul Will Rule days.  Basically I strap on my iPod Nano, set it to shuffle, and see what comes out during my run through the neighborhood.  Usually it's an eclectic mix of enjoyable sounds.

Link to YouTube playlist.

Commentary
1. “Moon River” - Vince Guaraldi Trio
Not the best song to get you going, but I had to adhere to my “no skips” rule to maintain the integrity of this mix.

2. “Tear You Apart” - She Wants Revenge
Very aggressive song about an unhealthy relationship. This song has apparently gotten a lot of play on various shows/movies.

3. “The Rat” - The Walkmen
Good song for running, and kind of the perfect song to follow “Tear You Apart,” since it’s the quintessential breakup song. There’s an amazing line at the bridge that’s very appropriate for living through a global pandemic: “When I used to go out I'd know everyone I saw Now I go out alone if I go out at all.”

4. “Circle of Friends” - Better Than Ezra
Direct from the Empire Records soundtrack, pure ‘90s goodness.

 5. “Luno” - Bloc Party
Good uptempo song.

 6. “Handsworth Riot” - Pato Banton
Amazing song about riots in Birmingham in the 1980s. Easily the best song on this mix. I look forward to playing this at a backyard barbecue when those things can happen again.

7. “All the Champs That Ever Lived” by The Octopus Project
Drum and bass. Decent enough.

8. “Segue 1” - Failure
Unremarkabe instrumental cut.

 9. “Say Hello” - Deep Dish Excellent song for the home stretch. Got back home and sat on my porch to listen to the last thirty seconds.

Hope you like it!

Friday, March 20, 2020

$10 Scumbucket Grab Bag 4.17

Lot of Two 2013 Topps 75th Anniversary Minis

Yipes, Moving Tanks and Tons of Death.  Let's hope these are two things we won't be seeing over the next few months.  There were only 8 minis in this set, so you'd be a quarter of the way there.
Take a big drink from the scumbucket for just ten dollars, and you get everything below.


THE PILE
2005 Prime Patches Jason Jennings Jersey/Glove/Shoe Relic (149/150)

2014 Topps Craig Kimbrel Orange Parallel (186/199)

2014 Topps Trevor Plouffe Pink Parallel (11/50) 
 

1997 Donruss Chipper Jones Rocket Launchers (0330/5000)

2001 Pacific Peter Warrick Impact Zone 
 

2015 Topps Update Series Brett Gardner Sabermetric Stats Variation

2002 Fleer Tradition Plays of the Week Magglio Ordonez

1976 Topps Kurt Bevacqua Bubble Gum Blowing Champ
  

2002 Fleer Tradition Jose Vidro Glossy Parallel (067/200)
   
1993 Topps Chipper Jones Top Prospects
 
1988 Topps Tom Glavine
1988 Topps 1987 All-Star #2 Don Mattingly and #20 Gary Carter
1954 Topps #83 Joe Collins
1976 Topps Willie Randolph et al.
2014-15 Panini Prizm #163 Julius Erving Prizm Parallel
1959 Topps #246 J.W. Porter

Sunday, February 9, 2020

$10 Scumbucket Grab Bag 4.16

1959 Topps #246 J.W. Porter
J.W. Porter sounds like a men's clothing store that had been a constant presence in your city before finally going belly up circa 1983.  They still have hand-painted signs on a couple of older brick buildings in the downtown area that no one has thought to paint over in the years since.  Your dad got all of his pants there.

If you want this link to the past, get ten dollars ready.  I wrote a 59 in the corner so you wouldn't forget what year this card is from.


  THE PILE
2005 Prime Patches Jason Jennings Jersey/Glove/Shoe Relic (149/150)

2014 Topps Craig Kimbrel Orange Parallel (186/199)

2014 Topps Trevor Plouffe Pink Parallel (11/50) 
 

1997 Donruss Chipper Jones Rocket Launchers (0330/5000)

2001 Pacific Peter Warrick Impact Zone 
 

2015 Topps Update Series Brett Gardner Sabermetric Stats Variation

2002 Fleer Tradition Plays of the Week Magglio Ordonez

1976 Topps Kurt Bevacqua Bubble Gum Blowing Champ
  

2002 Fleer Tradition Jose Vidro Glossy Parallel (067/200)
   
1993 Topps Chipper Jones Top Prospects
 
1988 Topps Tom Glavine
1988 Topps 1987 All-Star #2 Don Mattingly and #20 Gary Carter
1954 Topps #83 Joe Collins
1976 Topps Willie Randolph et al.
2014-15 Panini Prizm #163 Julius Erving Prizm Parallel