Tuesday, July 31, 2012

Gettin' on the Gint-A-Cuff Train

I received my Gint-A-Cuffs box in the mail from the kind gentlemen over at Community Gum and I couldn't resist tearing open the box topper.

I didn't get a sweet autographed N43 like this guy, but I did get a 12 point Roller Coaster card.

This is the Copenhagen, Denmark Roller Coaster.  I'm not a huge fan of these, but I'll take the points.

I'll start scanning cards from the packs this afternoon and try not to let this drag out more than a week or so.

Total thus far: 12 points
Pace: Infinity.

Give up yet?

I didn't think so.

We're in a drought

I need Fuji to come to my neighborhood and make it rain.

The latest question in the grand Fuji contest, which I'm loving by the way, is what is the most money you've spent on one single sports item?

That's a legitimate question and I spent a considerable amount of time trying to remember purchases from my collecting past.   Aside from an annual box of Allen & Ginter for Gint-A-Cuffs, I don't spend that much in a single transaction these days.  I don't think I've ever spent more than about $20 for a single card and that was a 1966 Sandy Koufax which I posted here.

When I got out of the Navy back in 1994, I had saved several thousand dollars.  I went to a bunch of ballgames at the new Ballpark in Arlington.  I also bought stuff I wouldn't normally buy.  I bought an autographed Mickey Mantle 8X10 for somewhere north of $100.  I bought a Wayne Gretzky autographed picture and plaque for almost $100.  I even bought an autographed Will Clark Big Stick bat for $125.

Two thirds of those things are gone, casualties of trying to payoff the debt I incurred during my cardboard insanity of 1998-2003.  The most expensive sports thing I ever bought came during that period of insanity.  I walked into my local card shop and they had new boxes of 1999 SP Signature Edition baseball.  It was an autograph in every pack!  I whipped out the credit card and bought two boxes.  I don't remember the total cost, but it was somewhere around $500 for two boxes.

I'll just say that I walked away from that purchase sick to my stomach.  I still have a lot of those autographed cards and I posted about them for a contest I held back in August of 2010.

I have a feeling if I tried to spend that kind of money again, my wife would be a lot less forgiving this time around.

Monday, July 30, 2012

It's here!

It's really here!! I'm excited to get my Gint-A-Cuffs going.

Thanks Community Gum!!!

Slight Change of Plans

I made a list of "pending" trades a couple of days ago and it's around 20.  I have to apologize to all of you waiting on a response from me about a card I asked about or you asked about or some other stage of a trade.  I've been "volunteered" to help my brother in law move, again, so I'm going to be slammed this week.  It's a 30 mile drive to his house and another 30 miles further to his new house.  I'll be focusing on getting trade packages finished up for you guys and gal next week.  Thanks in advance for your patience.

Ok, the change in plans is that I'm just going to show you the Bowman Platinum "value" pack I opened.  I was going to use it for my August Contest, but I'll come up with something else for that.  The "value" pack had three packs of 4 cards each and a three pack of purple parallels.  Some value.

I'll refrain from complaining about the cost per card because no one forced me to buy it.  I could have gone with a Ginter rack pack, but I'm expecting my Gint A Cuffs box any day now and I don't want to have too many dupes.

Since there were only 15 cards, I just scanned all of them.  I uploaded them in alphabetical order, so this is not the order in which they came out of the pack.  If it was, I might have thrown them out the window of the car (yes, I opened them in the parking lot) after seeing this card.

I wonder how that hand is doing.  I wouldn't wish an injury on any player...not really.

Is Carlos Gonzalez one of the most under appreciated guys in baseball?  Maybe it's because I see so few National League games, but I don't hear anything about him.

Did you see all the "Uggla" card posts inspired by Fuji and Dayf.  Ha ha, I'm here all week.  Except when I'm not.

These next two cards look like orange parallels.  The only problem with that is I don't think there are orange parallels.  Maybe they are the gold ones, but they don't look like the other gold one I pulled.

I wonder if this card is worth an emerald Leonys Martin?

I'm not sure what this card is.  It's Javier Baez, but it's got a textured looking background.

I think this is the gold parallel.   It looks gold anyway.  Or sort of like baby vomit.  

This is after the baby vomit has been cleaned up.

I didn't get any of that scanner cleaning advice until after I scanned these cards.  That's why this purple Joe Panik looks so dirty.

The second Ranger I pulled out of 15 cards.  Not too shabby.

Purple Shelby Miller.

Crooked Tommy Hanson.  Well, he's not crooked...

I pulled one of the Top Prospect inserts.  I guess, if they say he's a Top Prospect, who am I to argue.

The first card out of the first pack was Mr. Yu Darvish.  Not a bad way to start and totally opposite of the ARod at the top.

I already showed this purple Matt Harvey.  I hope his second start goes as well as his first one did.

Most of these cards are already destined for trade packages mentioned in the first paragraph of this highly informative, extremely entertaining post.  If you don't think this post was exciting, just wait.  The August contest is only two days away.

You want ugly? I can give you ugly.

The blogosphere Puppetmaster, aka Fuji, has struck again.  This time his question comes courtesy of Dayf.

"What's the ugliest card set you've ever seen?"

It's a great question, but it has unleashed a torrent of ugly cards on these here internets.  I'm going to try not to use the same cards everyone else has and like Fuji said, this just my opinion, so don't get offended.  If you think something else is uglier, you're probably right.  Being a team collector doesn't afford me the luxury to skip over ugly cards.  I still have to have the Rangers, ugly or not.  You know, the cards, not the players.

It's not a language issue, but I've always thought the 2003 Donruss Estrellas were hideous.  You can't even see it here because they don't scan worth a darn.

1990 Classic?  Yea, classic in name only.  These things are ugly.  I think the designers got inspiration from some of the 1980's Hair Bands.


See, told ya.  This is Stryper and I think they received a consulting fee from Classic.

No wise cracks about Will Clark please, but 1991 Bowman is like an unattractive girl with no makeup.

Night Owl can confirm this for me, but I thought a paper put out an "Extra Edition" when earth shattering news happened.  2008 Extra Edition is anything but earth shattering.

Those other cards are all contenders, but this one takes the cake.  I haven't seen the whole set, but I can't imagine there are any good looking cards in 2011 Playoff Contenders Season Ticket.  It's almost as if it's "The Longest Yard" of baseball sets.

I could have picked any number of cards from the junk wax era, but I'm getting nostalgic in my old(er) age and I didn't want to jump on the pile.  There's enough ugliness going around already.

Sunday, July 29, 2012

I can only have one???

I don't collect Hockey, Football or Basketball cards.  As a matter of fact, I don't care much for them so I don't know why I would capitalize them.  I do have a smattering of Stars, Cowboys and Mavericks, but I don't actively chase them so I couldn't begin to tell you a favorite set from each of those sports.

I do collect a Baseball card or two.  My choice for a favorite set changes from time to time, but thanks to the  Million Card Giveaway from Topps back in 2010, I became aware of some amazing play at the plate cards in the 1956 Topps set.

I won't show them all here because I've got something in mind for them in a future post, but I absolutely love the 1956 Topps set.  It's not even just about the patp cards anymore.  When I grow up and get rich (I'm only 41), I'm going to put together the whole set.  For now, I'm happy with the few cards I have and I wouldn't give them up for anything.  

Guess who got cards for his anniversary present?

That's right, it was me.

Now guess who bought them for me.

Right again, it was me!  Yay me.  I always know what I like.

I got one of those new fangled Bowman Platinum Rack Packs and a couple of packs of that Ginter stuff.  You know the ones.  You might ask yourself why I would buy the BP since it only has 15 cards per rack pack and it also has the same initials as a certain company that's not well-liked down here in Texas.  Well, if you asked, I'd say, why not?  I won't buy anymore, not at that price per card, but I always give every new product a try.  You know, except Panini products.

I'm not going to show you all the BP cards I pulled because I'll be using those as part of the August contest, but I thought you'd like to see one of them at least.  I would not have known who this kid was before Thursday night's game.  ESPN Radio basically annointed this kid as the next great thing after he struck out 11 in 5 1/3 Thursday night.  Oh yea, he had 2 hits too.  Sorry Mets fans, this card is already designated for assignment.

Mini?  Check.  President?  Check.  Historical figure?  Check.  Hottie?  Ummmm....

Oh, sorry, here's the hottie.  I'm not saying anything else.  I want to stay out of trouble.

How about a nice no number mini?  It's an A&G back one too.  I may have to switch over and become a Nationals collector.

Happy Anniversay again to my wife.  Yesterday.

Saturday, July 28, 2012

In the beginning...

My collecting days started in the Spring of Summer of 1981.  My friend, who's father owned a small convenience store, told us about something the store had just received.  Baseball cards.

I raced the two blocks to the store.  There it was, a whole box of 1981 Fleer baseball cards.  The price was 32 cents per pack, including tax.  I bought three packs that trip.

I remember scrounging at home in the couch, under my bed and anywhere else I could think of to find a few cents.  Every time I got 32 cents together, I'd go get another pack.  Until they ran out.

Later we were able to find 1981 Donruss and Topps, but it was Fleer that first grabbed my attention.

I've taken breaks from collecting over the years, but I always come back for more.

Cleaning Tips...You got 'em, I need 'em.

I've tried everything to clean my scanner.  Lint free cloth, cloth diapers, pointy sticks. You name it, I've tried it.

I'm even thinking of grinding this 1996 Leaf Steel Will Clark into steel wool next.  Look at him, he looks like he's playing in a dust or snow storm.  

What do you guys use to clean your scanners?  

Friday, July 27, 2012

I can beat that streak

In 1996, Topps celebrated Cal Ripken tying the amazing streak of consecutive games played by Lou Gehrig.

On July 27, 1996, I started a streak of my own.  I've been married 5,845 straight days, counting today. That's a pretty good streak in this day and age.

Happy 16th Anniversary to my beautiful, patient wife.  Thanks for putting up with me all these years!

Bring on the World!!

The opening ceremonies for the 2012 Olympic Games should be going right now.  Of course, we American rebels must wait until prime time to watch the tape delayed version (do they even use tape anymore?).

I'm excited the Olympics are finally here because it's another opportunity for the USA to anger the rest of the world with our obnoxiousness.  Well, it happens, but that's not why I'm glad the Olympics are back.  It's just because I love to watch the events.

I was glad to hear that Mariel Zagunis was given the honor of carrying in the flag for Team USA.

She was one of my first TTM successes back not long after I got back into the hobby.

I know what I'll be watching over the weekend...how about you?  


A lot of Fishy Generosity

If you've been around the blogosphere long, you've probably been on the receiving end of someone else's generosity.  In my opinion, the generosity that abounds in these parts is one of the top two reasons I love being part of this community.  I experienced an overwhelming act of cardboard generosity this week from a reader.  You may see him commenting on blogs with the user name Fishlegboots.  I now know him as Adam and his package blew me away.  The thing is, he doesn't really want anything in return, but I've just got to send him something for stuff he sent me.

It all started with a group break held by Cardboard Conundrum.  I didn't get in the break and Adam picked up the Rangers. Go figure, a great Rangers card popped up and I commented about it on the box break post.   It wasn't long after that comment that Adam contacted me and said he'd be happy to send that card plus some others off to the home of a Rangers fan.  Needless to say, I was happy to provide that home.

As a matter of fact, I sort of felt like Neftali Feliz and Mike Napoli when I opened this package.

I've never even seen a pack of Panini's 2011 Playoff Contenders Season Ticket cards, so it's nice to get the Rangers without having to bust any myself.  This is the base Josh Hamilton.

I couldn't find too much about the parallels, but this is some sort of Neftali Feliz parallel #148/299.  It didn't scan too well, but some sort of reflective background if you tilt it a bit.

Topps Museum Collection is another product I've never opened.  Unlike Panini, I like these and I wish all cards were printed on that card stock.  That is some serious stuff. This is the Neftali Feliz #105/299.

Please, please Mr. Deckle Edge Mike Napoli, come out of your season long slump!! The Rangers need you back to last year's form!  Why am I shouting!!??

We're not even to the reason Adam sent the package, but the hits are here.  We have a 2012 Archives Nelson Cruz jersey.  It sort of looks like Nelson is trying out for a role as a Walker on The Walking Dead.  Not the best picture.

Here we have traitor ex-Ranger C.J. Wilson, ala his 2012 Heritage Clubhouse Collection card.  I don't really think Wilson is a traitor, but I do think he's a flake.  He wanted to play at home and took big $$ to do it.  Can't really blame him for that.  

Welcome to the Adrian Beltre portion of the package.  First up is a 2011 A&G black bordered mini.  I'm digging this card, but it's not as nice as the next one.

That is some crazy angle the photographer got on this play.  This is a 2012 Topps 1987 mini and it looks like the pic was taken from the plate.  The ball is just above his cap and the intensity on his face is great.

Here is the card that Cardboard Conundrum pulled.  That, my friends, is a 2012 Gypsy Queen Black Framed Paper parallel, #1/1!  I was shocked when it came out of the break.  I was even more shocked when Adam contacted me about sending it my way. That is the definition of generosity.

I couldn't help but scan the back to show the 1/1 mark.  

Adam, thanks so much for the great cards, especially that last one.  I won't forget it and I hope you'll let me pay you back after your move.

As a side note, be generous if you can.  Not just with cards or collectors, but with people in your family, your neighborhood, your town.  It seems that generosity given is more often than not, paid back in a bigger and better way than you can imagine.  I try to be generous here on the blog and I've been paid back many times over.  Have a great weekend my friends.

Wednesday, July 25, 2012


I'm not talking about Joe Nathan, although I'm happy about tonight's game

I'm talking about my A/C which is back on tonight. The temp got up to 88 in the house today. It was brutal. I took tonight off work since I didn't get any sleep today.

I'm wondering how the Miami taxpayers are feeling about that new stadium now that the team is being dismantled.


Mixing things up

I'm hoping the A/C issue I mentioned earlier today is taken care of by the time you're reading this because if it's not, I'll be a melted mess.  I'm also hoping it doesn't cost me a small fortune because, one, I don't have a small fortune, and two, that'll mean no more box breaks for me for a while.

I recently received my haul from box breaks held by Colbey at Cardboard Collections and Kyle over at Just a Bit Outside.  Colbey busted boxes of 1998 Upper Deck Retro and 2001 Fleer Futures.  Kyle had 2003 Upper Deck Prospects Premiere, 2006 UD Artifacts, 2009 Topps Unique and 2012 Opening Day.

First up is the break from Colbey.  How about Nolan Ryan throwing a little "Retro" at you?

I wonder if the kid in this picture ever saw this card.

Pudge showing off the gun.

My random team in Colbey's break was the Astros.  Look how young Craig Biggio looks back in 1998.  Is he a first ballot Hall of Famer?

Now let's move on to Kyle's break.  

The Cubbies were my random team in this break.  Remember when the hype machine was all about Mark Prior?  I do and I hope the same fate doesn't await young Strasburg or Harper.

I did pretty good in the Unique portion of the break.

I got two red parallels numbered to 1199.

Yea, this is the other one.

I also scored a nice gold Michael Young #24/99.  Not a great photo, but that's Topps for you.  It looks like these guys are all stepping through a door from another dimension.

Kyle included a couple of nice extras.  Eric Hurley pitched in 5 game for the Rangers in 2008.

Derek Holland, Gold Rush style.  I thought Derek would be back to form after having a month off, but he's looked pretty rusty so far.

I love joining box breaks and look forward to more of them in future guys.  Thanks for some nice Rangers.