Friday, May 28, 2021

A-Z PLAYER challenge

 In the spirit of Chris AKA The Collector's A-Z Music Challenge, I thought I would throw out an A-Z Favorite Baseball Player challenge!  One player per letter, from A to Z.

For anyone who does the challenge on their blog, I will keep track of everyone's picks on this page, if you comment with a link to your post.  Since I will be compiling these, I am hoping for some consistency.  For that reason, the players last name should be used to qualify for a given letter.  For example, Mookie Betts would qualify under B, not M.

Honestly, I don't expect the level of participation that the Music Challenge got.  That was just a better idea than this.  But if I get 5-6 of you that are willing to take the time for this kind of post,  I will consider it a resounding success.

My picks are heavily influenced by my youth as a baseball fan.  For that reason, you will see a lot of 70's and 80s players as well as some old timers I read about growing up.  Don't worry, there are a couple of new guys in there too!  And here we go!

AMy PickHenry Aaron
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As I have said before, Aaron is probably my favorite baseball player of all time.  So he was an easy pick to kick off the A's!
Everyone's Picks# of times picked
Henry Aaron7
Jose Altuve1
Roberto Alomar1
Aristides Aquino1
Garrett Anderson1
Jim Abbott3
Grover Cleveland Alexander1
Brady Anderson1
Jake Arrieta2
Alfredo Aceves1
Koji Akiyama1
Edgardo Alfonzo1
Kevin Appier1

BMy PickGeorge Brett
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Lots of good quality B names! Brett wins out for me in part because of his quirkiness. The Pine Tar incident, and some of his crazy youtube videos about messing his pants in  Vegas put him over the top.

Oh, and high batting averages rule!
.390 in 1980
Everyone's Picks# of times picked
George Brett3
Barry Bonds2
Ernie Banks4
Matthew Boyd1
Mookie Betts1
Don Baylor1
Trevor Bauer1
Rafael Bournigal1
Bill Buckner1
Rod Beck1
Vida Blue1
Javier Baez1
Ellis Burks1
Harold Baines1
Wladimir Balentien1
Hubie Brooks1

CMy PickRod Carew
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Probably my first favorite player. I loved his funky batting stance, and he still holds the record for most times stealing home in a season with 7.

Oh, and high batting averages rule!
.388 in 1977

Everyone's Picks# of times picked
Rod Carew2
Steve Carlton   2
Roberto Clemente6
Ty Cobb1
Ron Cey2
Sean Casey1
Roger Clemens2
Chris Coste1
Phil Clark1
Jose Cardenal1
Willson Contreras1
Bert Campaneris1
Koji Chikamoto1
Gary Carter1

DMy PickEric Davis
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Surprise pick here, at least to me. But I really enjoy the speed and power combo!  My brother and I played a weird 2 man outfield game as kids.  He was Daryl Strawberry and I was always Eric Davis!

Why didn't I pick DiMaggio?  Mainly because I don't have any of his cards in my collection, I guess.
Everyone's Picks# of times picked
Eric Davis1
Yu Darvish   2
Joe DiMaggio1
Andre Dawson6
Ed Delahanty1
Don Drysdale1
Adam Dunn1
Johnny Damon2
Dave Dravecky3
Ivan DeJesus1
Rafael Devers1
Darren Daulton1
Dizzy Dean1

EMy PickDennis Eckersley
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Another player I loved in part due to his uniqueness.  Had both a 20 win season and a 50 save season in the same career.  Crazy.
Everyone's Picks# of times picked
Dennis Eckersley6
Luke Eater1
Carl Erskine1
Andre Ethier1
Edwin Encarnacion2
Jim Edmonds2
Mike Easler1
Darin Erstad1
Scott Elarton1
Arnold Earley1
Dwight Evans2
Yutaka Enatsu1
Johnny Evers1

FMy PickGeorge Foster
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This one is all about those sideburns!  George struck me as a baaaaad man.  Always looks so intense on his cards, and he hit 52 home runs in 1977, long before the power surge of the 90's to today.  I met him in person at a spring training game though, and he was super nice to talk to.
Everyone's Picks# of times picked
George Foster2
Freddie Freeman2
Mark Fidrych4
Bill Freehan1
Carlton Fisk3
Todd Frazier1
Chuck Finley1
Terry Francona3
Julio Franco1
Cecil Fielder2
Carmen Fanzone1
Bob Feller3
Atsuya Furuta1

GMy PickLou Gehrig
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Man, the Gs are packed with star power!  Gwynn, Griffey and my man, Dwight Gooden.  Gehrig gets the nod, because I want to make sure I am not forgetting the old timers.  And he was about as good as they came.

Gwynn, Griffey
Everyone's Picks# of times picked
Lou Gehrig1
Tony Gwynn2
Tom Glavine1
Charlie Gehringer1
Pedro Guerrero1
Steve Garvey1
Ken Griffey Jr4
Dwight Gooden2
Mark Grace3
Todd Greene1
Vladimir Guerrero2
Bobby Grich1
Mike Greenwell1
Sosuke Genda1

HMy PickRickey Henderson
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Speed, power and attitude.  The definitive combination of all three, along with being the best leadoff man ever.  We won't see another Rickey, that's for sure!
Everyone's Picks# of times picked
Rickey Henderson5
Roy Halladay1
Trevor Hoffman1
Harry Heilmann1
Orel Hershiser3
Aaron Harang1
Torii Hunter1
Ryan Howard1
Rick Helling1
Randy Hundley1
Kyle Hendricks1
Brock Holt1
Livan Hernandez1
Isao Harimoto1
J.J. Hardy1
Eric Hosmer1

IMy PickMonte Irvin
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Not a lot of I names, but that doesn't mean that Irvin isn't as quality of a pick as some of the others on this list.  He doesn't have the high profile of many Hall of Famers, but he is in the Hall.  I remember learning about him in a Willie Mays biography I read as a kid.
Everyone's Picks# of times picked
Monte Irvin6
Travis Ishikawa1
Kaz Ishii1
Cesar Izturis3
Jason Isringhausen2
Pete Incaviglia1
Brandon Inge2
Jose Iglesias1
Atsunori Inaba1
Raul Ibanez1

JMy PickRandy Johnson
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You may have noticed that I favor the unique in my list.  And Randy was unique.  The height and sheer intimidation he brought was really fun to watch.  Interesting dude off the field too.
Everyone's Picks# of times picked
Randy Johnson3
Derek Jeter5
Chipper Jones1
Joe Jackson1
Reggie Jackson2
Danny Jackson1
Wally Joyner1
Bo Jackson2
Jason Johnson1
Fergie Jenkins2
Adam Jones1
Kenji Johjima1
Howard Johnson1

KMy PickSandy Koufax
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Hard not to like Koufax!  He was so incredible in his short career that it's hard to imagine.  I really wish I had been around to see him in person.
Everyone's Picks# of times picked
Sandy Koufax4
Clayton Kershaw2
Craig Kimbrel2
Al Kaline2
Ted Kluszewski1
Howie Kendrick1
John Kruk2
Brody Koerner1
Don Kessinger1
Brooks Kieschnick1
Jason Kendall1
Charley Keller1
Hiromitsu Kadota1
Ralph Kiner1
Ian Kinsler1

LMy PickKenny Lofton
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Lofton has always been one of those guys that I thought was underrated.  One that should have gotten more credit for his game.  So I was pretty happy when he came out on top for me in the L's!
Everyone's Picks# of times picked
Kenny Lofton5
Ramon Laureano1
Tim Lincecum2
Rick Leach1
Davey Lopes2
Barry Larkin3
Nap Lajoie1
Terry Leach1
Derrek Lee2
Sparky Lyly1
Mike Lowell1
Lee Dae-Ho1
Francisco Lindor1

MMy PickWillie Mays
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The M's have the most star power of any letter in the alphabet.  Mantle, Musial, McCovey, Maddux and my guys McGwire, Pedro Martinez  and Eddie Murray! Probably forgot someone...

But Mays is my favorite, and it's not hard to see why.  Just a classic.
Everyone's Picks# of times picked
Willie Mays2
Greg Maddux5
Tug McGraw1
Dale Murphy1
Bake McBride1
Joe Mauer1
Joe Morgan1
Pedro Martinez3
Andrew McCutchen1
Roger Maris1
Quinton McCracken1
Brian Batusz1
Fred McGriff1
Masato Morishita1
Felix Millan1

NMy PickPhil Niekro
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Knuckleballers rock!  And Phil is the definitive knuckleballer of my lifetime.
Everyone's Picks# of times picked
Phil Niekro5
Hideo Nomo4
Jim Northrup1
Joe Nuxhall1
Pat Neshek1
Trot Nixon1
Pat Neshek1
Rich Nye1
James Norwood1
Otis Nixon1
Daniel Nave1
Don Newcomb1
Takeya Nakamura1
Aaron Nola1
Jon Nunnally1

OMy PickShohei Ohtani
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This pick surprises me.  I like Ohtani, and he's having a great run right now, but my favorite O of all time?  Shocker!  Others I considered were Mel Ott (forgotten??), John Olerud and David Ortiz, who I assume will get the most votes in this letter!
Everyone's Picks# of times picked
Shohei Ohtani4
David Ortiz3
Amos Otis1
Tony Oliva1
Al Oliver2
Paul O'Neill1
Pete O'Brien1
Buck O'Neil1
Augie Ojeda1
Gregg Olson1
John Olerud2
Claud Osteen1
Hiromitsu Ochiai1
Jesse Orosco1
Jose Offerman1

PMy PickAlbert Pujols
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Pujols is in my all timers.  I hate that his later career couldn't come closer to his Cardinals times, but that doesn't make me like him any less.  I even have been enjoying watching him as a Dodger!

Along with Barry Bonds and Mike Trout, the best middle of the order hitter of my lifetime.
Everyone's Picks# of times picked
Albert Pujols4
Kirby Puckett2
Mike Piazza3
Chris Pritchett1
Wes Parker1
Brandon Phillips1
Tony Pena1
Deacon Phillippe1
Steve Pearce1
Paul Popovich1
Satchel Paige2
Jim Palmer1
Dustin Pedroia1
Hunter Pence1
Roberto Petagine1
Fritz Peterson1

QMy PickDan Quisenberry
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I imagine the Quiz will be a popular pick here.  How many Q's are there anyway??  But regardless, he was always a favorite of mine.  Funky delivery, looks like a math teacher and wrote a book of poetry?  Yup!!
Everyone's Picks# of times picked
Dan Quisenberry10
Frank Quilici1
Jamie Quirk3
Luis Quinones1
Robb Quinlan1
Jim Qualls1
Jose Quintana1
Carlos Quintana1
Roman Quinn1

RMy PickJackie Robinson
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Another super strong letter!!  I ended up going with Jackie, but this one could have gone a lot of other ways.  I know, the card I randomly picked isn't a card, but it is treasured in my collection anyway.
Everyone's Picks# of times picked
Jackie Robinson6
Pee Wee Reese1
Pete Rose1
Jose Rijo1
Cal Ripken Jr4
Nolan Ryan2
Old Hoss Radbourn1
Wade Rowdon1
Anthony Rizzo1
David Ross1
Brooks Robinson1
Manny Ramirez1
Tuffy Rhodes1
Alex Rodriguez1

SMy PickIchiro Suzuki
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Loved Ichiro!!  Again, a fairly unique player.  Loved the cannon in right field along with the bat work.  

Oh, and high batting averages rule!
.372 in 2004
Everyone's Picks# of times picked
Ichiro Suzuki3
John Smoltz1
Mike Schmidt1
Turkey Stearnes1
Frank Smith1
Ryne Sandberg5
Chris Sabo1
Tim Salmon1
Darryl Strawberry1
Mike Simms1
Max Scherzer1
Chris Sale1
Manny Sanguillen1
Hayato Sakamoto1
Tom Seaver1
Ozzie Smith1

TMy PickMike Trout
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This guy is a good player.
Everyone's Picks# of times picked
Mike Trout3
Fernando Tatis Jr2
Frank Thomas1
Jim Thorpe2
Alan Trammell2
Jim Thome3
Eddie Taubensee1
Trea Turner1
Bubba Trammell1
Andre Thornton1
Luis Tiant3
Motonobu Tanishige1
Bill Tuttle1

UMy PickChase Utley
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I always appreciated Utley.  Just a good all around player.  One thing I appreciate that many don't is efficient base running.  In fact, Bill James felt like Utley was the best baserunner in the game at one point.
Everyone's Picks# of times picked
Chase Utley5
Bob Uecker8
Justin Upton1
Bob Unglaub1
John Upham1
Koji Uehara2
Seiichi Uchikawa1
Jose Uribe1

VMy PickFernando Valenzuela
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I thought this would end up being Justin Verlander, but in the end, I had to go with Fernando.  Loved his whole schtick.  the awesome windup and plumbers body.  He was a lot of fun.
Everyone's Picks# of times picked
Fernando Valenzuela6
Justin Verlander5
Joey Votto4
Omar Vizquel1
Pat Venditte1
Hippo Vaughn1
Dan Vogelbach1
Mo Vaughn1
Dayan Viciedo1
Bill Virdon1

WMy PickTed Williams
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Teddy Ballgame wins this round, as Elliptical Man often says.  Not because of the random card I picked, it's only so-so, but for the W's, he's my pick.  Just too iconic to go another direction.
Everyone's Picks# of times picked
Ted Williams5
Devon White1
Lou Whitaker1
Dave Winfield1
Jesse Winker1
Tim Wallach1
Kerry Wood2
Bob Wolcott1
Billy Williams1
Matt Weiters1
Turk Wendell1
David Wright1
Tim Wakefield1
Tsutomu Wakamatsu1
Jim Wynn1
Hoyt Wilhelm1
Frank White1

XMy PickJoe Xavier
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No card!!!  The closest baseball has ever come to having a Major Leaguer with an X at the start of their last name came in the late 1980s and the 1990 season, when Joe Xavier reached AAA.
Everyone's Picks# of times picked
Joe Xavier2
*Joe Jackson - creative pick by EM!1
*Xavier Paul1
*Nellie Fox (backwards)1
*Xavier Nady1
*Jimmie Foxx1
*Xander Boagerts1
*Xavier Hernandez1

YMy PickCarl Yastrzemski
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The Yaz man!  Took over for Ted Williams, no pressure there.  Between the two of them, Boston got close to 40 Hall of Fame years in left field.
Everyone's Picks# of times picked
Carl Yastrzemski7
Robin Yount5
Steve Yeager1
Dmitri Young1
Michael Young2
Ryan Yarbrough1
Don Young1
Eric Young1
Christian Yelich1
Yuki Yanagita1
Eddie Yost1

ZMy PickGus Zernial
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OK, I don't actually have the card on the right, I don't have any Zernial cards!  But I want it, so if you have one, send it to me.

Zernial was an aggressive player and a power hitter.  I remember being introduced to him in a Mickey Mantle biography when I was a kid.
Everyone's Picks# of times picked
Gus Zernial2
Barry Zito2
Don Zimmer2
Richie Zisk2
Ryan Zimmerman4
Ben Zobrist6
Bob Zupcic1
Julio Zuleta1
Carlos Zambrano1
Todd Zeile1

Tuesday, May 25, 2021

Gotta do a post

I've not been posting as often lately, so I figured I'd do a quick, one card post.  So I went and grabbed all of my Will Clark cards and chose my favorite!

I could have chosen a RC or a jersey card, but what I ended up choosing was this 2001 Pacific Private Stock - Silver Portraits

It's incongruous to me to have my favorite 'Will The Thrill' be of him on the Cardinals.  Not that I dislike the Cardinals, they may be my favorite MLB team.  But Will is supposed to be a Giant, plain and simple!

The dark gray borders and foil lettering on this card are actually a light and shiny silver in real life.  Bad scanner.  I have always liked art-like cards, and the canvas look to this one grabs my eye.  I wasn't collecting when these came out, but I imagine they weren't cheap for back in the day.

Thanks for reading, I have a little more substantial post coming up soon!

Friday, May 21, 2021

A-Z Music Challenge

 Well aren't I late to the party????  I was buried at work while all the A-Z Music Challenge posts were going on, but as I have caught up on my backlog of blog reading, I caught quite a few of them.  Loads of fun!  I had my memory jogged about artists I hadn't listened to in a long time, and found a few new ones to try out.

I compiled the picks from the posts of other bloggers that I read, and will include them after each of my picks for reference.  Also, I think it will be fun to see all these picks in the same place.  Sorry for any bloggers I missed (I am sure there are a few).  Those included are:

The Collector, Night Owl, Mint Condition, Card Buzz, My Sports Obsession, The Collective Mind, Diamond Jesters, Condition Sensitive

OK, about my selections.  I seem to have gone pretty mainstream, very few nobodies on my list.  Sorry about that.  I am also kind of old, so you will see a late 80s, early 90s heavy list. 

A - Alice in Chains  Grungy harmonies!  For me, even though there is a lot of appreciation for them out there, these guys are still underrated for me.

Selections from other bloggers: All Time Low, Alan Parsons Project, Arcade Fire, AC/DC 2,  Aerosmith , Avenged Sevenfold, Alterbridge, Audioslave

B - Barenaked Ladies  Hmm, interesting pick.  But I stand by it!

Others I like that weren't mentioned by other bloggers: Blues Traveler, The Beatles

Selections from other bloggers: Bush, Blondie, Blur, Bon Jovi,  Beastie Boys, Blake Shelton, Bonham, Barenaked Ladies, B.T.O - What, no bloggers like Beyonce???

C - Counting Crows   Yeah, I might be losing readers already!!  But I really love the Crows, even if their frontman looks like a weenie.

Others I like that weren't mentioned by other bloggers: The Cranberries, Creedence Clearwater Revival, Candlebox, Collective Soul

Selections from other bloggers: The Cure, The Cars, Coldplay 2, Chris Stapleton, The Cult, Jonathan Coulton, Corrupted 

D - Def Leppard  Straight 80s rock.  Just brings the old days right back.

Selections from other bloggers: Depeche Mode, Dire Straits, The Divine Comedy, Daft Punk,  Darude, DC Talk, Dokken, Deep Purple, Danzig 

E - The Eagles  OK, these guys were really before my time.  But as I hope these picks bear out, I am a fan of harmonization, and there are a ton of classic tracks in their catalog.

Selections from other bloggers: Electric Light Orchestra 4, Eminem , Eagles, Evanescence, Electric Wizard

F - Foo Fighters  For my money, they are not amazing, but consistently solid.  Like a .290 hitter with 30 homers, year in and year out.

Others I like that weren't mentioned by other bloggers: Five for Fighting

Selections from other bloggers: Fall Out Boy, Fleetwood Mac 2, Foo Fighters 4,  Fun, Fastway, Forteresse 

G - Guns N' Roses  One of my top five, dang it.  I feel funny saying that, but the first few albums hit on all cylinders.  Maybe a comparison could be Albert Pujols.  Sizzling first 10 years, followed by the second half of his career where he wasn't quite the same player.  Unlike the lead singers of most of the bands in my list, I would have no interest in hanging with Axl Rose.

Selections from other bloggers: Green Day 2, Garbage, Goo Goo Dolls 2, Guns N'Roses,  Genesis 3, Godsmack, Godspeed You Black Emperor!

H - Hootie and the Blowfish  These guys are too closely tied to some of the best times in my life.  Every time I hear them, I feel good.

Selections from other bloggers: Jimi Hendrix, Heart 2, George Harrison, Hall & Oates, Halestorm, Harvey Danger, Hate Forest

I - INXS  Not a lot of options for me at this letter, but INXS was decent, right?

Selections from other bloggers: I Don't Know How But They Found Me 2, INXS, Ice Cube, Ingrid Michaelson, Iron Maiden, Incubus, Iron & Wine

J - Michael Jackson  Just a legend.  Not really near the top of my list to just sit and listen to, but still good.  Since I have never really been a Red Sox fan, maybe this could be David Ortiz.  Not my favorite, but there was no denying his specialness, especially to Boston fans.

Others I like that weren't mentioned by other bloggers: Elton John, Journey

Selections from other bloggers: Joy Division, Jefferson Starship, Jamiroquai, John Mayer, Journey, Judas Priest 2, Jet

K - Kiss   Eh, whatever.  It's a pick that starts with a K.

Selections from other bloggers: Kent, The Killers 2, Killswitch Engage, Keith Urban, Kiss, B.B. King, Khanate 

L - Led Zepplin  Rock royalty, with an amazingly deep catalog.  Great musical talent, gifted even.  Maybe a Ted Williams comparison here?

Others I like that weren't mentioned by other bloggers: Linkin Park

Selections from other bloggers: Linkin Park 3, Little River Band, Lee Brice, Led Zeppelin 2, Looking Glass

M - Metallica  Like a lot of folks, I didn't get into Metallica until the Black album.  But after that, I was able to appreciate the rest of what they do.  Crazy guys.  So fast and powerful.  This comparison doesn't seem really right, but with that speed/power combo, I was thinking Rickey Henderson.  Though Jose Canseco might be more appropriate, especially with Jose's hair in the early days!

Others I like that weren't mentioned by other bloggers: Matchbox 20

Selections from other bloggers: Muse 2, Maria McKee, Michael Jackson 2, Metallica 2, Megiddo 

N - Nirvana  Legacy here.  Short and sweet career, but the impact and influence was real.  I don't like them as much as at least three or four 'grunge' bands on this list, but for the letter N, they'll do.

Selections from other bloggers: New Order 2, Nine Inch Nails,  Nirvana 2, Neil Diamond, Night Ranger, No Doubt, Nick Drake

O - The Offspring  These guys are just different from anyone else.  And I like it!  My current comparison is Randy Johnson.

Selections from other bloggers: Oasis 3, OMD, The Offspring 3, OneRepublic, Ozzy Osbourne, Om 

P - Pearl Jam  My all time favorite band.  I loved the early rockin, and love the later stuff when they slowed down a little.

Others I like that weren't mentioned by other bloggers: Presidents of the United States of America

Selections from other bloggers: Pvris, Pretenders, Pearl Jam 2, Prince, Pink Floyd 2, Tom Petty

Q - Queen  Another heavyweight, what's there to say?

Selections from other bloggers: Queen 4, Queens of the Stone Age, Queensryche 2, Quest for Fire

R - REM  Totally different and distinctive sound.  I'd like to compare them to a Brave, since they are Georgia guys, but the actual best comparison for me is going to be Rod Carew.  Just a little different, funky batting stance. But effective and fun to watch.

Others I like that weren't mentioned by other bloggers: Red Hot Chili Peppers, Rush

Selections from other bloggers: Radiohead 2, REM 2, Russ Taff, Rage Against the Machine, Rusted Root, Ramones 

S - Stone Temple Pilots  Totally underrated.  Phenomenal musical ability.  Not necessarily their technical abilities, but the ability to put everything together and make something greater than any of them.  Maybe not the best comparison, but kind of like one of those recent Royals or Giants teams that won the World Series by just being a great team together.

Others I like that weren't mentioned by other bloggers: Sister Hazel, Smashing Pumpkins, Soundgarden, Soul Asylum

Selections from other bloggers: Smashing Pumpkins 2, Simple Minds, Staind,  Sylvester,  Social Distortion,  Stone Temple Pilots 2, Skillet, Skid Row, Summoning 

T - Temple of the Dog  Surprise entry here, but maybe not a huge one, considering the amount of grunge on this list.  This was a grouping of Soundgarden and Mother Love Bone (Pearl Jam's predecessor).  A tribute to Mother Love Bone's lead singer Andrew Wood who died of an overdose.  One album only.  I really like it.

Others I like that weren't mentioned by other bloggers: Tesla

Selections from other bloggers: Thirty Seconds To Mars, Talking Heads 2, Third Eye Blind,  Tears for Fears,  Toad the Wet Sprocket, Taylor Swift, Twisted Sister, They Might be Giants 2, Thorns 

U - U2  Heavy hitter again!  What more is there to say.

Selections from other bloggers: U2 5, Unleash the Archers, Ugly Kid Joe, Ulver 

V - Van Halen  My first 'favorite song' ever was Jump by these guys.  I think I was 9 or 10.  Still love it, and there was a lot more to come after that.  Several other bloggers mentioned liking them more with Sammy Hagar, and I can't disagree.  But those early days are what first come to mind when I think of Van Halen.

Selections from other bloggers: Van Halen 4, Vampire Weekend, The Verve, Veruca Salt, Velvet Cacoon

W - Weezer  A strange group, but right up my alley.  

Others I like that weren't mentioned by other bloggers: The Wallflowers, Whitney Houston

Selections from other bloggers: The White Stripes, Weezer 2, Stevie Wonder, Steven Wilson, Whiteheart, Whitesnake, Weezer, Colter Wall

X - XTC  the only group starting with X that I could find that I knew a song by.

Selections from other bloggers: X, X Ambassadors, King's X, XTC 2 

Y - Weird Al Yankovic  Kooky, harmless and entertaining.  I'm making the comparison to Max Patkin, the Clown Prince of Baseball!

Selections from other bloggers: Yeah Yeah Yeahs, Yes 2, Young the Giant 2, You + Me, Weird Al Yankovic, Neil Young

Z - ZZ Top  The default pick?  Yeah, but they still had me interested when I was a kid.  With all the beards in baseball now, There's gotta be a good comparison.  How about Justin Turner?

Selections from other bloggers: ZZ Top 3, Zombie Nation, Zac Brown Band, Frank Zappa, Zpoan Vtenz

Thanks for reading!!

Thursday, May 13, 2021

A card show????

Well, I got to a card show finally!!  First, my observations.  

I got there very early (2 hours before the show was scheduled to start).  Since it was at a mall, I was able to walk right in.  When I got there, only one guy was set up, so that's where I started. There were three other customers there ahead of me.  This guy is one I have always frequented.  He had some dime boxes and 50 cent boxes in addition to the big money cards that I usually ignore.  I have always bought a lot from him, but this time, it seemed that the boom in hobby prices had really affected his inventory.  Not the amount of stuff, he had a lot, but the quality for the price.  The dime box stuff was pretty bland.  I only found a few cards there.  And the 50 cent box stuff seemed like it would have been in dime boxes pre-pandemic.  I didn't find a lot there either.

Soon more dealers started showing up though, so I moved on to Bill, my old standby for cheap stuff.  I had a lot more luck there.  Bill has a similar inventory to the first guy, dime and 20 cent boxes, dollar boxes and then the money cards.  I grabbed about 100 cards from the dime and 20 cent boxes, and a few from the dollar boxes.

Then I wandered the show looking to see how things had changed.  And the biggest changes I saw were:

1. Way more tables than before.  I would say almost double the total number of dealers as was usual for this show.

2. A corresponding increase in the number of customers.  I guess this seems kind of obvious, but it was crowded.

3. The money that was being thrown around.  The heavy majority of the dealers and customers were focused on expensive, graded cards.  Dealers without them were not receiving the amount of attention that the graded card dealers were.  And I saw quite a few $1000+ purchases.  Shocking to my tiny little dime box brain!

Anyway, that's what I saw, now for what I grabbed!

Topps variations.  I found these in the 20 cent boxes, labeled as variations.  I am not familiar enough to have known they are variations if they had not been labeled, but I scooped them all up.  Not big dollar cards, but hopefully someone will want them in trades.  The only one I am keeping is the Molina, I like me some Molina.

I am not a big hockey guy, but this Mike Modano RC in a dime box caught my eye.  Now I have 5 hockey cards.  This Modano, a 2nd year Gretzky, 2 more Gretzkys and a Jaromir Jagr RC.

Dime box time!!  Bills dime boxes are very eclectic.  Sometimes I will look through most of a box without finding anything, other times its gold.  This time was in the middle, but I did find a lot of hot-ish young prospects that I couldn't pass up for dimes.  Some of these could end up being decent cards someday!

I think most of the cards in this scan were dime box, but some may have been 20 centers.  I know the KeBryan Hayes Bo Chrome and Chrome Jack Flaherty RC were dimes. 

The cards in this next scan were from all over the show, quite the hodgepodge.
The 63 Topps leaders cards were part of a trade I made for a basketball RC I lucked into.  The AWESOME Max Patkin was a dime.  I think I paid $3 for the Rose and $1 for the Canseco O-Pee-Chee.  I grabbed the Boggs because I didn't remember seeing it before, which is super strange for a 1988 card.  The top row is a lot of fun, but I don't remember what I paid.

Some more...
Mauer refractors will always have a place with me.  The Ohtani and Bellinger were part of the trade I mentioned earlier.  My first copy of those Unleashed inserts!  Not one of my favorite players, but I definitely like the card.  And that Jeter was one of my finds in the dollar box.  I think it was a good deal.

Next up:
Yeah, yeah.  2 Shawn Kemp RCs.  Yawn.  But these 2 are not separated. Uncut sheet, kind of!  The dealer I got this from had quite a few 8 card uncut sheets from 90 Hoops.  Pippen, Gary Payton, some Blazers team sets.  Strange.  But since I collect all Kemp RCs, I grabbed this to add to the collection.  Paid more than I should have, but I don't really see uncut Kemp RCs around.

Last but not least, I grabbed this Bill Bruton.  I was introduced to Bruton reading The last hero: a life of Henry Aaron by Howard Bryant.  It was a good read, and part of it really delved into Henry's struggles with race.  Early in his career, Bruton was a big part of helping Henry get through the changes and challenges that were part of that.  He was just a journeyman player, but I think when I see his cards, I will be picking them up.

Thanks for reading!!

Friday, May 7, 2021

More catch up from April

More catch up from my brutal month of April...

Julie of A Cracked Bat sent me some really cool stuff from her pick pockets page.  Always awesome and always appreciated Julie!

1. An 'Unleashed' rip off of a Wheaties box!!  I love it!
2. Who doesn't love Taco Tuesdays???
3. *Nice, partially transparent card of a great guy.
4. My first card of last falls breakout star!
5. *The 'Can' himself, when combined with Expos red, white and blue, makes for pure awesome.
6. *A shiny 2008 Joseph P. Mauer.

Those with *'s are guys that I have contemplated making more of a focus in my collection over the years.  Never quite pulled the trigger, because I am not really interested in every single base card and boring insert of them.  But I do enjoy the odd cool looking card of each of them when the opportunity presents itself!

And then I received two different contest winnings packages from none other than Kerry of Cards on Cards!!  This first scan is part of a package he sent to 'complete' my earlier winnings from the Super Bowl contest he held:

Lots of shiny, and lots of young studs!!  And somewhat out of place with all these young guys, a McGwire I needed!!

That Luis Robert card is kind of cool.  Super thick, and the circular area is set in dep in the card under some acetate material.  Nice!  Too bad he's injured...

On to the next contest winnings package from Kerry!  This one was for winning his NCAA tournament  challenge!  I have no idea how I won either of them, but I was thrilled!

First up, Kerry knows I am the Diamond King, and the package was loaded with new DKs of today's studs:

And then, Kerry definitely hit a spot on my wantlists that has been getting less attention lately, my 'every Shawn Kemp RC' section!
Woohoo!!  I am now up to 45 Upper Deck, 93 Hoops and 28 Fleer.  Keep em coming!

And, of course, since Kerry is a Cardinals guy, he had some more McGwire's laying around for me!!

Well, those three scans were actually the throw ins from Kerry, the main prize was a blaster of 2021 Heritage!!

I pulled 3 high number SP's, a couple of inserts and actual rookie cards, which I usually have to pick up in cheapie boxes because I don't buy wax. And just a lot of very cool cards.  Here are a few of my favorites.

Ironically, a few of these Heritage cards are headed back to Kerry as part of the package I am sending him soon.  Thanks a ton Kerry and Julie!!

Saturday, May 1, 2021

One long month

Well, its been a while!  Between extremely heavy work (14 hour days for the last 2 1/2 weeks!) and a much needed fishing vacation with my youngest son, I have not had much time for the blog yet again.  Have not posted since April 1st!!

Luckily, in the days since that post, I have received quite a few cards to talk about.  I have received... 

-A free stuff giveaway
-2! RAK packages
-2! Contest winnings
-And a few cards from my brother (which will all make it into a free stuff post someday soon)

Today, you get to see the RAK packages!  They are both from guys named Jeff, how's that for a theme?  And speaking of themes, both packages kind of had one!

First up, Jeff from Wax Pack Wonders threw me some great stuff from out of the blue!

Starting off, I got a super early Francisco Lindor and my third copy of the 1980 Topps Frank White!!  If you don't know, I will take all the copies of the White I can get, it has some sentimental value to me as it was the first card I remember trading for.

And here is the theme part of the package...
Juan Gone's!!!  Some beauties here!

And more Juan Gone's!!!
I am strongly considering going all in on Juan cards, and these are definitely a start in that direction.  Thanks Jeff!!!!

And not to be outdone, another completely different Jeff, this time from My Sports Obsession sent me this awesome stuff!  Jeff took his inspiration from my recent-ish posts about players I only have on card of in my keeper collection.  Jeff set out to remedy that situation.  All of these players showed up in those posts, but no longer!

I didn't even know what these first 5 cards were, but it turns out they are stickers!  Love em!

Oooh, vintagey stuff.  Can't ever argue with that!  And I think I specifically called out  that 76 JR Richard as one I was interested in.
And we finish up with a bevy of latin shortstops!!  All are amazing, but to get a 1960 Topps card of a HOFer?  For free!!  Thanks a ton for the entire package Jeff, and I am impressed by your attention to detail.

This has me wondering if all the Jeff's got together and took pity on the poor Diamond King.  If so, I appreciate it!