Sunday, May 31, 2020

Inconsequential Question

** I swear I posted about this many years ago, but I have looked back in my old posts and can't find it.  So if this feels familiar to anyone, please forgive me!

Time to try and answer a question that doesn't really need answering.

I was reading one of grcl's posts about his collection of autos and relics from Hall of Famers.  It's a pretty impressive collection, you should take a look like I did.

Anyway, I got down to his Hank Aaron Auto and it triggered something in my head.  Here is the card in his collection:

It's a nice, on-card autograph (as all of his Autos are).  It's clean, neat and numbered. It is from 2004 topps originals.  So I took a look in my keepers box, right up front, since my keepers boxes are ordered by player, alphabetically.  And just as I remembered, I have this card:

Some coincidence, huh?  But mine isn't from 2004 topps originals.  It isn't numbered or certified.  And looking at the autograph, it doesn't quite look the same.  Of course, autographs are not all exactly the same, unless you use an autopen, but I find myself feeling skeptical that my copy is a real Aaron auto.

Not that it really matters to me all that much.  There are plenty of fake auto's out there, potentially even some of the certified ones.  A ghost signer, forgeries etc.

But I still find myself curious, and wondered if any of you loyal readers wanted to weigh in an opinion?  I went out and looked at google images for Aaron Autos and there are definitely some variations in his signatures.

So give me your opinions, but since I get enjoyment from the card either way, I guess the question doesn't really need a definitive answer.

Saturday, May 30, 2020

Diamond Nine #16

The rules:

9ish cards are up for grabs.  Free!  Just claim what you want.  If you like it, claim it and I will send it out within a few days in a PWE.  (I'm cheap, PWE's all the way!)  Or if you like, I'd be glad to hold your stack until you have a few claimed.

Leave your claim in the comments, first come, first served.  You will have to shoot me your mailing address the first time you claim something.

Recent Hall of Famers. If you ignore Canseco, but it's OK, because he's the 'Best Athlete'.

Thursday, May 28, 2020

Contest winnings!

Generosity on the blogs in seeming to be at a very high level these days.  Lots of giveaways and contests.  And I enter them whenever I can!  And sometimes, I even win!!  My most recent win was courtesy of the great blog, Cardpocalypse!  I only won one card, but Tim, the proprietor, hit my wantlists and threw in a bunch more!!

Here is the card I won.  A college game worn relic!  I love relics of retired superstars, and even though some current basketball fans don't even know Rick Barry, he was amazing.  I've even seen him at the end of those 'Top 10 greatest players in NBA history' lists sometimes.

But Tim wasn't done, not by a long shot.  Here are 2 big, thick, chunky manu-relics of Mark McGwire!!!  Needless to say, they are new to me, and quite welcome.

Diamond Kings!!  The top 3 are promotional cards, so they go right in the big binder of Diamond King oddballs.  The Thomas is right off of my wantlist and those framed parallels are always welcome.

Another card direct from my lists.  With this Sosa, I only need 6 more to complete this set.

And lastly, a bunch more Big Macs from the wantlists!  And even better, this package put me over 1000 different McGwires!!!  That calls for a contest or something, but I am going to put it off a bit until I can replenish my stock.  The actual 1000th was the Stadium Shots insert on the top row.

Thanks a ton Tim!!!!

Wednesday, May 27, 2020

Cuts & Colors

Hey guys!  I am going to show some bling!  Card bling, of course.  In this case, I am using the word bling to mean flashy, not necessarily expensive.  I'd love to see the funkiest most colorful and cut up cards out there, but they don't need to be big money items, just over the top cool.

I have a section in my personal collection that I am calling the Cuts & Colors section.  The cards in this section are cards that might not have made it into my personal collection, except that they are so colorful, or so wonky of a die-cut that I just have to keep them.  So colorful, or so die-cut, hence Cuts & Colors.

I'm going to show off a few I grabbed out, and I hope you will go get yours and share!

Show me what you got laying around!!

First up, a few Colors...

1999 Metal - Boyz With The Wood - Andruw Jones
This card has it all!  Flaming weirdness.  The gratuitous use of the letter Z, as if we were living in the 90's (this card definitely is!).  And if you look closely, you can see the seams where, I guess, you can unfold the card or rework it into some other shape.  I'm not exactly sure, and I don't want to try and find out.  Anyone know?  I'd love to have this whole subset, but I bet it costs too much for the Griffeys and Ripken cards of the world.

2000 Topps Chrome - Allegiance - Andruw Jones

First off, I know, that's 2 Andruw Jones cards in a row.  But that's kind of what I am talking about with my Cuts & Colors section.  I don't really collect Jones, even though he is pretty cool.  But these cards are too wonderful for me to let them go.  So they go in Cuts & Colors!

As you all know, a lot of the cards that might fit in the Colors section are hard to scan.  This one does OK, but doesn't quite capture the completeness of its greatness.  Lot's of texture to the card, which adds to its in-person look.

2000 Topps - Dreamcast - Pedro Martinez
Speaking of cards that the scanner lets down, this one is a prime example.  I tried!  Beautiful and dreamy (dreamcasty?).  Pedro is one who has a lot of great looking cards, but since he isn't as loved in the hobby, a lot of them are available for cheap.  Which is where I come in.

Speaking of Pedro's love, I kind of wonder about that.  He had a few of the best seasons any pitcher has ever had, at least in my opinion.  He was pretty amazing.  I'm glad I got to see him pitch.

1995 Donruss - Bomb Squad - Jeff Bagwell and on the back, Frank Thomas
Classic conflation!  The word Bombs for home runs and bombs dropped from the plane in the background!!  I like the attention to detail on the plane, it says National League on it.  And of course, on the back of the card where Frank Thomas lives (sorry, too lazy to scan both sides), it says American League.

The number of bomb silhouettes is correct, the dog tags add to the military theme.  Nicely designed, if really gaudy, card, Donruss!

2000 Pacific Vanguard - High Voltage - Vladimir Guerrero

Vlad is bringing the lighting on this one!    The 'Danger' sign might detract a little from the effect, but I guess they had to have some kind of subset title on the card.

1998 Skybox Thunder - Thunder Boomers - Andres Galarraga

This is the last one for the Colors section.  It almost straddles the line between Cuts and Colors because that blue section around Andres is actually cut out and filled with semi-transparent acetate.  The card feels a little hokey.  But in a good way.  I might have picked a different font and made it feel less cartoony.  Still, very cool!

And now a few Cuts.  I put a blue sheet of paper behind them in the scanner, hopefully it will let you see the die-cuts a little clearer for most of these.

1997 Ultra - Hitting Machines - Roberto Alomar

Love the gears!  The rest of the card didn't scan so well, but this section is about the Cuts, right?  The photo of Alomar fits the angle of the card just right.

1998 Pacific - In The Cage - Bernie Williams
This one in intricate.  Yes, it is easy to see the cut around the top of the netting, but harder to see is that hte netting is mostly cut out as well.  Very tiny cuts, but they are there!!  The guys running Pacific Trading Cards must have had a brother in law with a Masters Degree in die-cutting!

1998 Pacific Paramount - Fielders Choice - David Justice
Exhibit #2 in Pacific's love of die-cuts.  The glove behind the player has been done a few times, but this one stands out to me.  First, the colors and depth are better than most.  And if you look closely, the pocket of the glove has little pieces cut out.  See all those little blue string looking things?  That's the blue paper showing through where the card was cut.  Most companies would let the outside of the glove be enough, but not Pacific!

1998 Skybox Dugout Access - Gronks - Jeff Bagwell
This one isn't as intricate, but what would you expect from a set called Gronks?  You get chunky, rock like edges.  Just perfect for the theme.  They should make a football subset like this and the only player in the whole insert set would be the new Tampa Bay tight end.

1999 Skybox Molten Metal - Fusion - David Justice
Back to crazy detailed.  I'm not even sure this qualifies as die-cut.  Maybe pin-punched?  The tiny holes form a portrait of the player.  I'm definitely not enough of an artist to do something like that!  Interestingly, the portrait looks better from the back side of the card.

1997 Fleer - Bleacher Blasters - Matt Williams
This one is interesting.  Another goofy font (am I suddenly a font snob?).  The blast behind Williams not only has holes in it, but the strange black hoop behind everything keeps the card from falling apart.  Or something like that.

And a bonus basketball card, because it is the funkiest die cut I have:

1997-98 Stadium Club - Triumvirate - Tim Hardaway.
Check out that die-cut lightning!!  Very detailed.  This card is so cut up, that it is difficult to put into a penny sleeve.  The edges around the lightning want to catch the sleeve as it slides up the card.

Anyone who is familiar with the Triumvirate set knows that there are 3 cards with the same number that are meant to hook together along the edge.  On this card, #9A, the right edge is meant to hook into card #9b, which hooks into #9c.  I loved this card enough that I decided to see if I could track down 9b and 9c.  9c turned out to be Penny Hardaway, and that seems possible, if I can just find a copy.  BUT.  #9b is none other than Michael Jordan!!  Yeah, I don't think I will be completing this Triumvirate any time soon!!

Thanks for looking!!  Pull out your Cuts and Colors and show them to me!!!

Tuesday, May 26, 2020

Diamond Nine #15

The rules:

9ish cards are up for grabs.  Free!  Just claim what you want.  If you like it, claim it and I will send it out within a few days in a PWE.  (I'm cheap, PWE's all the way!)  Or if you like, I'd be glad to hold your stack until you have a few claimed.

Leave your claim in the comments, first come, first served.  You will have to shoot me your mailing address the first time you claim something.

X-Fractor day...

Monday, May 25, 2020

More mail!

Happy Memorial Day!  I hope you are having a good one.  I have read several interesting and nice Memorial Day's posts.

I really need to catch up on incoming mail.  What is here is only part of what has come in recently, but I will get to the rest soon!

First up, Brian from Highly Subjective and Completely Arbitrary recently let me claim some stuff from his Free Stuff Friday.  I got 70-80 Topps stars! Right in my wheelhouse.

Next up, Gavin from Baseball Card Breakdown finished off a set for me!  Very thoughtful, he noticed this card hanging on my wantlists and took action!  1982 K-Mart set, complete!!  For back in the day, this set was pretty well done for being a retail spin off.

Several of you have shared the packages that Spiegel has been throwing out lately.  Well I got one too!!  I got 2 varieties of the Masterpieces Reggie below.  You can see the difference, the one on the right is glossy, not textured like regular Masterpieces cards.  I did a little research, and it looks like these came in some special promotional packs like this:

Strange, but here are the Reggies.

Also in the package from Spiegel were...

Vintage pitchers!!  Awesome!

A selection of Yaz.

More Reggies.  LOVE the sticker!


And last but not least, Murrays, a Munson and a Thanksgiving Diamond King that I had never seen before.  Right into the cool Diamond Kings box!!

Thanks to Brian, Gavin and Spiegel!!!!

Saturday, May 23, 2020

Cardpocalypse #4 - Favorite Basketball Card

Day 3 of the Cardpocalypse challenge!  Today's topic is:

Favorite basketball card in your collection

OK, this was a little harder than yesterday's Football Card post. So many cool basketball cards!! So I will be showing a few cards on the way to my favorite.  

No Michael or Kobe in this post. They have some great cards, but I likes what I likes. And the cards I will show are not all big dollar cards.  But since when does a card have to have a big 'book value' to be anyone's favorite???

Runner up:  Shawn Kemp cards!!

I really loved Kemp for the first few years of his career.  SO raw and powerful!!  I still keep an old video clip of him dunking over Alton Lister and doing his crouch and point thing after.  I giggle every time. If you weren't around for that or don't remember, go take a watch.  The dunk is at about 15 seconds in. 

Couldn't pick a single Kemp card that speaks to me, so I grabbed the 2 early cards of him that give me the most nostalgic feels and 2 extremely cool looking inserts.

Next runner up:  Spud Webb RC!

This card needs an upgrade, but even when I get the upgrade, I will keep them both.  And if I got another, I'd keep it too.  Because I love this card!!

This is of course, a shot from the 86 dunk contest, which Spud won over another favorite of mine, Dominique Wilkins.  Spud is exactly my height.  So I figured that I should be able to dunk.  Makes perfect sense.  Except, for some reason, it never happened, but not for lack of trying.  I guess I will have to live vicariously through this card!!

Next runner up - Two very different Scottie Pippens!

The first Pippen is a favorite because of the straight up Metal coolness of it.  I loved this card long before the love of Fleer Metal cards that is going on in the hobby right now.  I like the layout of the card with the metal border and rivets.  It;s enough to showcase the middle of the card, but still leaves enough real estate for the action.  And the color and pop of the card in person is wonderful.  The scanner didn't do that bad of a job on this one either, unlike some Metal cards.

The next Scottie is from the era of Junk wax.  But it was a pretty tough pull nonetheless! Wild Card!!

The 1000 stripe was the highest value produced.  Nobody knows how many, but not many came in packs.  If I remember right, you could get a number of a card, say 10, and send them in to Wild Card in exchange for a copy of that card with a 10 stripe.  Or if you had 100, you could send them in for a 100 stripe.  And so on.  So there were 2 ways to get this 1000 stripe Pippen.  One is to pull it from a pack, which from what I read, was next to impossible.  Or buy enough Wild Card packs to accumulate 1000 Scottie Pippens and send them in for one of these:

Super cool in my book, even if it wouldn't probably sell for a ton.

OK!  You made it through my ramblings!  Ready for the favorite basketball card in my collection???

So I have always had a thing for Hakeem Olajuwon.  I think he is massively underrated.  I think he should be in every conversation about the best big men ever.  And he entertained me!  So many jukes and jives!!

Anyway, a number of years ago, I was looking at Olajuwons on the Bay, and the Big Men On Court insert popped up.  I didn't collect in the later 90's, so it was new to me.  Now I have never really been one to plop down real money on cards, so the $10 price tag was a deterrent.  But once I realized that this card could not be had any cheaper, I decided to pull the trigger.  And I am so happy that I did!!  So, my favorite basketball card in my collection:

I know this is probably a futile request, but if anyone out there has any cards from this Big Man On Court set and is willing to trade, I would be interested.  They have gone up in price a lot, so I don't know if I have the cards necessary to trade for them, but I would love the opportunity!

Friday, May 22, 2020

Cardpocalypse 3 plus Diamond 9 #14

Day 3 of the Cardpocalypse challenge!  Today's topic is:

Favorite football card in your collection

****If you are looking for the Diamond Nine, it's at the bottom of the post...****

Football cards are sort of a secondary collection for me.  Not that I dislike them, but when there are dime boxes of baseball and football, the baseball are the ones that get hit first and hardest.  But I do have a decent number of football cards, and it was super fun that this challenge prompted me to go look through them again!

Yesterday, I shared a bunch of different cards, but today it will only be one!  The card is my favorite football card for several reasons:

1. It's of one of the All Time Greats
2. It's one of my oldest football cards
3. How I got it.  My favorite dealer at the local show waited until I was about to leave the show a few years ago, and pulled me aside.  I still don't know what possessed him to do this, but he offered me a football card that I had expressed no interest in for a whopping $5.  And I couldn't pass it up!  

Here is my favorite football card in my collection:

Could anyone pass that up for $5??  I know it's beat up, but I felt pretty good that day.

Now, the Diamond Nine!

The rules:

9ish cards are up for grabs.  Free!  Just claim what you want.  If you like it, claim it and I will send it out within a few days in a PWE.  (I'm cheap, PWE's all the way!)  Or if you like, I'd be glad to hold your stack until you have a few claimed.

Leave your claim in the comments, first come, first served.  You will have to shoot me your mailing address the first time you claim something.  And the Jim Brown is NOT part of the Diamond Nine, LOL!!!

Been looking through the old rookie box.  Here is some of what I found for you.

Thursday, May 21, 2020

Cardpocalypse challenge - Day 2

Day 2 of the Cardpocalypse challenge!  Today's topic is:

A card from a current release with a unique photo

Hmm, I don't have any cards from a current release.  What to do about that...

My solution was to go out and look at pictures of the 2020 Topps flagship set.  Many of you are probably very familiar with this set, but I wasn't. My biggest impression of this set was that it was made up of a lot of photography that wasn't quite up to the standards being used in the Stadium Club product.  Good photos, but most of them are kind of run of the mill.  However, that didn't stop me from finding some really fun stuff to look at!

Here are a few cards that didn't quite make it to my favorite.  Get to the end of the post for my Cardpocalypse Card of the Day!

I really like this card.  Good to see those catchers run!!  Now he's probably running a baserunner back to third, but I like to think that he got Chuck Knoblauch disease and is just having a hard time throwing accurately.  So he's running the ball back to the pitcher!!  At least he's hustling.  I approve.

Now this one seems more like a Stadium Club photo.  An unusual angle and great color.  It just keeps my eye drawn in.  Even though it is really simple, I really like it.

How many rain cards do you see?  Unique?  Check.  But it's not the most unique card I found.

OK, there are a TON of variation cards in this set.  Kind of annoys me, especially for a Flagship release.  One of the most common variations is the Legends Variation.  Basically, these variations share a number with a regular base card, but the variation features a legend from the same team as the base card.  For example, the Stan Musial below shares a card number with the Miles Mikolas card (a pitcher for the Cardinals).  They are all SP's or SSP's.

But the Musial SP features a picture that leaves me cold.  I guess he must be pretty young, but he seems almost frail.  Skinny.  To me, Musial was never a muscular player, but looked more like this:

The difference made me think of this Captain America before and after shot...

Back to Baseball cards!!  Here is the one Legends Variation that I think I need to get a copy of.  The Ryan Express on the basepaths!!  If you have a copy, let's strike up a trade!!

And finally, the card that this whole post was leading up to.  I hope you all haven't seen it too much already, but here:

Now that's unique!!  A card that could not have been made in the 70's, and well framed to boot.  It showcases technology and to me is great photography as well.  This is my Cardpocalypse card of the day!!

Wednesday, May 20, 2020

Cardpocalypse challenge - Day 1

So it seems to me that the last week or so has been a little slower on the blog-o-verse in terms of total posts.  So just in time, here comes a weeklong posting challenge courtesy of Tim at Cardpocalypse!  Basically, the idea is that you can post along with him, day by day on a simple theme.  Tim isn't looking to enforce when or how we post these things, but I am going to try to follow his basic suggestion of one post a day (image stolen blatantly from Cardpocalypse):

Some of these might be a little hard for me, but I'll do my best.

Day one is 'Favorite card acquired during quarantine'.

So I have already posted all of the cards that I have received during the quarantine, except a couple that just came in the mail.  And I don't want to do a rehash of something I already posted.  But there is one card that I received that I have not posted because I don't know who it is from.

I got a PWE about 2 weeks ago with no return address and no note.  Inside was one card, and it was pretty cool:

Now I am not the biggest fan of randomly throwing together 2 players on a card for achievements that are not even related.  But hey, Ripken and Gwynn!!  And a pretty well put together look too.

So in the time since I received the card, I tried to find the appropriate place in my collection for this.  Is it a Gwynn card?  Is it a Ripken card?  Well, I have just the place for these things.  I have a section for multi-player cards, and to be honest, I have some pretty cool looking cards in there.  So I headed there only to find that I already have this card!!  Dupe!

So I guess I could put one copy with the Ripkens and another with the Gwynns.  But I don't think I will.  The card fits best in the multi-player area.

Now the only mystery is, who sent me this card?????  If you are out there and reading, let me know!  And thanks!

Tuesday, May 19, 2020

Diamond Nine #13

The rules:

9ish cards are up for grabs.  Free!  Just claim what you want.  If you like it, claim it and I will send it out within a few days in a PWE.  (I'm cheap, PWE's all the way!)  Or if you like, I'd be glad to hold your stack until you have a few claimed.

Leave your claim in the comments, first come, first served.  You will have to shoot me your mailing address the first time you claim something.

Scanner cut stuff off, sorry.  Nothing serial #d today, but some fun stuff.  As I look at it, there is a distinct east coast feel here.  I wonder if I will be shipping back east???