Sunday, December 15, 2019

2019 Card-vent Calendar: December 15

December 15, 2019:
2002 Fleer Focus Jersey Edition #11FR Ricky Williams Freeze Frame
It's a football Sunday with a full slate of games today, the biggest of which is Packers-Bears at Lambeau.  Neither of these teams appears on this card, which actually features three of them.  The coloring indicates Ricky Williams is a member of the Dolphins, but the acetate "slide" embedded shows him carrying the ball against the 49ers while playing for the Saints.  Yet another example of a card company trying something different in an era without exclusive licensing.

I'll leave you with this.  There's a Brett Favre Freeze Frame card in this set.  FLEER FOCUS FREEZE FRAME FAVRE.  Try saying that five times fast.

Saturday, December 14, 2019

2019 Card-vent Calendar: December 14

December 14, 2019:
2003 Fleer Ultra #37WG Robin Yount When it Was a Game
Kind of a strange design on this Yount card.  Mustard-gold border, with kind of a wood panel television set motif, or maybe a cafeteria tray or cutting board thing going on, a portal to another dimension of cloud-filled grandeur.  But the star of the show here is the name, slightly off-center in the middle of the card in beautiful yellow drop shadow sitcom font.  Yes, Robin Yount would have made a good neighbor on Perfect Strangers, playing the straight man when Balki needed to pop next door to borrow some power tools.  On an endless timeline in infinite universes, this has already happened.

Friday, December 13, 2019

2019 Card-vent Calendar: December 13

December 13, 2019:
1963 Topps #373 Jim Campbell
I hereby declare today Fucked-Up Friday.  You've made it to the end of a hard week, reward yourself by getting fucked up.  Obtain the substance of your choice, find a safe place to consume it, and have at it.  At some point in the revelry, go and page through some of your cards.  If they all don't look like this one, you're doing it wrong.
And, of course, do not drive in this condition.  Listen to some music instead.

Thursday, December 12, 2019

2019 Card-vent Calendar: December 12

December 12, 2019:
2015 Rittenhouse Star Trek: The Next Generation #AC05 Comic Book Panel (59/154)
 So a Star Trek card set did a thing where they cut up comic book pages and pasted them onto cards like they were relics?  Interesting idea, and if they decided to use only one copy (or two, you know, printing on both sides) per issue, then theoretically each one of these framed panels is unique.  This one is from Vol. 2 #5.  Here's the cover. (Yes! Geordi gettin' some!  On the cover!)
I am especially pleased with this card because Commander William T. Riker is the featured subject.  Let the record state that I am a Riker Liker.  I hold the truth to self-evident that ST:TNG only got good once Jonathan Frakes grew a beard.  And, though my height makes it difficult to perform it in most situations, I am an admirer of the Riker Maneuver.  In my book, this card is... Number One.

Wednesday, December 11, 2019

2019 Card-vent Calendar: December 11

December 11, 2019:
1975 Topps #625 Boog Powell
While the short-lived Sixth Inning Sandwich Drop failed to reach the heights of the Seventh Inning Stretch in baseball lore, it had at least one ardent supporter in Baltimore's Boog Powell.  The man truly had no equal in the promotion.  Be it honey-baked ham and swiss, turkey club with extra tomato, or a Reuben taller than it is wide, nothing escaped his grasp.  Consider what became known as "The Italian Incident" in June of 1973.  Salami, pepperoni, and capicolla on fresh ciabatta gave the rest of the Orioles infield fits and starts, but not even the extra oil could discourage Mr. Powell, who easily cradled the culinary delight behind-the-back style, much to the approval of the crowd.  Due to airspace ordinances, the practice was ended just as the card you see above was hitting store shelves.  Probably a wise decision, as it was rumored that Boog was considering attempting his most difficult challenge: the Sloppy Joe.


Tuesday, December 10, 2019

2019 Card-vent Calendar: December 10

December 10, 2019:
2017 JellyLab Despicable Me Dr. Nefario
Cards such as this one can be won playing games of skill and chance at arcade/amusement centers such as Chuck E. Cheese's and Dave & Buster's.  While this one came in the Card-vent Calendar, it should be noted that I won a shitload of these at my daughter's birthday party this past summer.  You buy these cards that have an unlimited number of plays in them over a given time, and you can get quite good at some of these games.  I absolutely OWWWWWWWNED this game, which requires the player to drop a token on a moving conveyor belt completely within a given area to win tickets or one of the cards, which can be redeemed for tickets.  If you ever find yourself in one of these places, go ahead and go with the unlimited plays option.  If you go with the alternative and you've got a three-year-old with you, you get apprehensive about wasting a token on a game, especially one of the more difficult ones.  "What do you mean you want to play the squirt-the-water-in-the-frog's-mouth game?  You have no idea what the fuck you're doing!"  With unlimited, this conversation turns into, "Knock yourself out, junior, maybe you'll get one of them Skee Balls up the ramp this time."  Seriously, it's an excess that you wouldn't have dreamed of back in the day, and it's a rush, no matter your age.

Monday, December 9, 2019

2019 Card-vent Calendar: December 9

December 9, 2019:
2014 Bowman Inception #AR-JR James Ramsey AUTO Game-Used Bat Relic
That auto inscription raises an eyebrow.  Normally, I'd be inclined to dump all over a Bible verse within someone's signature, but you know what?  Who cares!  The "stick to sports" crowd have shown their ugly faces far too often this past year.  No need to side with those idiots.

Now, let's see the message Mr. Ramsey wants to put out there.  We're going with the New American interpretation, of course.

"For I am not ashamed of the gospel. It is the power of God for the salvation of everyone who believes: for Jew first, and then Greek."

Okay, it's not one of the heaviest hitters available, but it does the job.  It's not enough to get you to the Majors, but hey.  Someone once upon a time opened a pack and looked down and saw that this was his one-per-box auto relic, and probably cursed God.  So there, it all evens out.


Sunday, December 8, 2019

2019 Card-vent Calendar: December 8

December 8, 2019:
1887 Allen & Ginter N3 Arms of All Nations Midshipman's Dirk
As any seafaring fellow could tell you, a midshipman's dirk is one of his most precious possessions.  Rule Number One: You keep your hands off a midshipman's dirk.  He usually keeps his dirk out of sight close to his person.  Some are long enough to have to be strapped to the midshipman's thigh, though the vast majority of dirks fall within the range of average length.  For maximum effectiveness, the midshipman's dirk will be oiled prior to use.  A competent midshipman will know that one only points his dirk at a target if he intends to penetrate it.  The midshipman will hold his dirk with one hand, aim, then thrust with appropriate force.  Depending on the situation, a midshipman may slide his dirk into a sheath, though this is often a matter of preference.  Beware!  Two midshipmen holding the same dirk will draw curious glances.
Finally, midshipmen, heed this advice: Shield your dirk from the elements.  Direct sunlight it not recommended for a dirk, nor is exposure to cool, wet conditions.  Before you know it, your dirk may not look as you remember it.  You have but one dirk.  Handle it with care.

Saturday, December 7, 2019

2019 Card-vent Calendar: December 7

December 7, 2019:
2019 Panini Prizm Draft #78 Bucky Badger Purple Prizm
Today's the day, folks.  Every few years or so, Wisconsin loses in the Big Ten Championship to Ohio State.  This year it's been fun to follow the team.  Jonathan Taylor went insane on the ground, but we lost to OSUcks and Illinois (????).  I actually got to a game this year, a couple of weeks ago against Purdue.  Right before getting into the stadium we stopped to slam our last walking beers and got to watch a 50-year-old guy fall and then slide down a muddy embankment on his hands and knees.  We're still not sure why he ignored the stable gravel path just two feet from his choice of shortcut, but we're sure alcohol played at least some role.  The Axe came back where it belongs, which is really all that's important about any season, barring a trip to the playoff.  Will it ever happen for the Badgers?  With only an infinitesimal chance left at making the playoff, even with a big win over the Buckeyes, it would probably be best off if Wisconsin could make a respectable showing, lose by seven, and save a BTC victory for another year when we're undefeated after the regular season.  You know, best not to squander our limited sports capital and all.

2019 Card-vent Calendar: December 6

December 6, 2019:
1997-98 Fleer Ultra #14HT Tim Thomas Heir to the Throne
It was bound to happen eventually.  Every December something comes up and I miss a Card-vent deadline.  Things were a little busy last night, as Mrs. Thorzul was trying to solve some car issues, and I was stuck watching some of the neighbor kids after school and then making dinner.  Once the takeout fish fry got home, it was time to watch the first half of Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone with the kids (I finished reading the first book aloud to them a few weeks ago), and after that came Bucks and bedtime.  I was required, of course, to watch the entirety of the absolute dismantling of the presumed NBA Championship favorite L.A. Clippers at the hands of Giannis and Co.  After that, I had a little catching up to do on the WWE Network, finishing up the excellent Broken Skull Sessions Stone Cold/Undertaker interview.  So yeah, I didn't have time to post between all that stuff.

When my neighbor picked his kids up, we actually talked cards for a few minutes.  He brought up that he had gone to his parents' house and pulled out his stash of junkwax era cards.  He showed me a few pictures he took of some 1986-1990 Brewers cards, and then we speculated about the Bucks/Clippers game for a bit.  Somehow Ray Allen's name came up.  Bringing this post full circle, Allen, who played with Tim Thomas in Milwaukee for a few seasons, was once quoted as saying, "If he wanted to, Tim Thomas could be the best player in the league."  Apparently Tim didn't want to.

Have a great Saturday, everyone.  I'll try to sneak in another post today somewhere between my daughter's first basketball game and whatever else the day may hold. 

Thursday, December 5, 2019

2019 Card-vent Calendar: December 5

December 5, 2019:
1960 Fleer #56 Gene Cockrell
Not fair.  Going around, knocking guys down with a big-ass marshmallow.

Defensive lineman gets leveled by Cockrell, loses consciousness for a few seconds.  Trainer comes out with the smelling salts, he comes to.
Coach: "Williams!  What day is it today?"
Williams: "Marshmallow.  Got hit by a big-ass marshmallow."

And thus, the league took another baby step forward in the interest of player safety.  Studies linking the Big-Ass Marshmallow Era with Alzheimer's, pre-geriatric incontinence, fits of the vapors, and early death were never totally conclusive, relying more on correlation than causation.  Still, MABAM (Mothers Against Big-Ass Marshmallows), and other organizations like it, got their way.  The NFL came for the intra-end zone goal posts, but not before outlawing big-ass marshmallows.  Some of us are old enough to remember big-ass marshmallows kicking around the semi-pro circuit well into the late 1970s, but the once-familiar sounds of "POOF" emanating from the gridiron are now but a distant memory.  And the startup Dubuque Graham Crackers?  Well, let's just say the franchise never stood a chance.

Next Week - Third Base Moats: The Failed Experiment

Wednesday, December 4, 2019

2019 Card-vent Calendar: December 4

December 4, 2019:
1961 Topps #4 Lenny Green
That awkward moment, when you realize there are still 12 days of school left before Christmas Break, and you've just come back from Thanksgiving weekend and you've only been "teaching" for three days and it feels like 3,000 days and everything sucks.  Honestly, putting the Card-vent Calendar together is my daily highlight.  Thanks for reading, thanks for commenting, I'm trying to avoid having Lenny's "Say What???" face be my constant expression, but it's hard to avoid now.

The back of this card says that Lenny hit .318 in the "Sally League" in 1956.  That made me larf.

Oh, and The Mandalorian and Baby Yoda are my everything right now.  That and Card-vent.  I do it because I love it.

Tuesday, December 3, 2019

2019 Card-vent Calendar: December 3

December 3, 2019:
2017 Topps WWE Women's Division #WWE-21 La Luchadora

If there was anyone who absolutely OWNED 2019 who is not named Megan Rapinoe, it would be Becky Lynch.  Let's run down the list.

  • First women's match to headline WrestleMania
  • Victorious in said match
  • "Becky Two Belts"
  • THE MAN T-shirt
  • The new inspired-by-The Bride ring gear
  • Broke everyone's heart by getting engaged
  • Discovered new ice cream flavor
  • Top 5 Formula One points finish
  • Entered Lhasa Apso in Westminster Kennel Club Dog Show, earned Best in Show
  • Ran undetected Social Security scam, netting a cool $2.5K
  • Guided party of billionaires down the Zambezi River, returning each one alive
  • Made a really cool Etch-a-Sketch drawing of the Cure's Robert Smith
Yes' it's been a hell of a year.  Kind of makes you forget we're headed for only the third anniversary (12/20/2016) of this absolute trash pile of a gimmick.  Godspeed to you in 2020, Ms. Becky!

Monday, December 2, 2019

2019 Card-vent Calendar: December 2

December 2, 2019:
1975-76 Topps #240 Tony Esposito

Although the NHL's helmet rule would not take effect until the 1979-80 season, Tony was ahead of the curve.  In fact, the helmet he is pictured wearing here contained more padding than the letter of the law required, and came complete with a chinstrap.

Because advanced data from Esposito's era is not readily available, the best statisticians can do is estimate that Tony's helmet saved him from seven concussions and three dented skulls during the '74-75 season that saw Tony in action 71 times.


Sunday, December 1, 2019

2019 Card-vent Calendar: December 1

Well, this year's Card-vent Calendar is a beaut, and it arrived just in time, too.  Post-Thanksgiving mail can be a little hit-or-miss, but this precious parcel showed up on my doorstep just in time.  A real classy one this year, the type of Christmas scene most of us can only dream of.  But since Card-vent is the time for sharing, let's kick off the First Annual Death Stare Cards Card-vent Calendar (and thirteenth overall).

December 1, 2019:
1993 Fleer Ultra #285 Kenny Rogers

Once Halloween passes, the days start flying past you, much like a Kenny Rogers fastball.  In the interest of enjoying the holiday season, however, Death Stare Cards suggests that you hit the throttle, take a few miles off your heater, and stop every so often to notice the good things in life.  If you bear down too much, try to force it, you'll end up blowing out your O-ring like Mr. Rogers here.

Saturday, November 30, 2019

$10 Scumbucket Grab Bag 4.10

1993 Topps Chipper Jones Top Prospects

I noticed I had a little pile of cards just sitting on a shelf, and I soon realized it was the Scumbucket pile.  It had gone dormant back in June, but I'd still like someone to give them a good home for $10.

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)

Friday, November 22, 2019

Trade Me Anything XIII: #3

Long-time TMA traders have dominated the early proceedings this year, and the third installment is no different.  Let's give a hearty welcome to gcrl.

Opening Day #67 Max Muncy Blue Foil
Opening Day #5 Corey Seager Red Foil
#150-11 Cody Bellinger Greatest Players
Opening Day #95 Javier Baez Blue Foil

Lot of 3 2001 Upper Deck Decade 1970s 
Got all the inserts, but still looking for a few more base cards from this set.  There always seem to be a few lurking in dime boxes at shows, but just never the ones I need.  Great set with an awfully clunky name.

Lot of 3 2019 Topps Opening Day Opening Day Inserts
Fields.  Flags.  Fountains.  Good enough.

2009 Upper Deck O-Pee-Chee #AW13 Dustin Pedroia The Award Show
Looooooove this set, still coming up short on the base set and need many of the inserts.  I kind of wish they had made the inserts a little more common, but the chase is still fun a decade later.

2019 Topps Opening Day #M-7 Mariner Moose
For the kids...

Jim also sent a nice stack of Brewers, which are always appreciated because I find myself buying fewer and fewer new cards each year.  Here are my five favorites.
2018 Topps Gallery #5 Christian Yelich
There's so much wrong about this card, and that makes it great.  It's a weird mix of Lon Chaney, Norman Rockwell, and one of those grotesque faces from Soundgarden's "Black Hole Sun" video.  

2019 Topps Chrome #29 Lorenzo Cain Pink Refractor 
Lo Cain finally got his Gold Glove this year.  Well deserved.

2015 Gypsy Queen #58 Yovani Gallardo White Frame Parallel 
GQ being one of those sets that uses some kind of photo art filter, it would have been nice if they didn't make Yovani look like a burn victim.  That side of his face, yeesh!

2011 Topps Lineage #133 Zack Greinke Diamond Anniversary Parallel
I'm collecting a bunch of the inserts and parallels from this set, knowing full well those '75 minis are going to kill me.  I'm not collecting the Diamond ones, but I'm not NOT collecting them, either.  I actually picked up a few at a card show a couple of weeks ago.

2002 Topps American Pie #AS-CC Cecil Cooper American Sluggers Gold
Just a cool customer on this card.  Cecil Cooper is a good guess if you're ever caught up in a Brewers trivia contest.  You have roughly a 50/50 shot at getting it right.  It's either that or Danny Darwin.  Maybe Randy Ready.

Great stuff, Mr. gcrl! Enjoy your Dodgers and that one weird Cub.