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Showing posts from September, 2008

It's voting season

Don't worry, no presidential pontificating here. The heaviest I will get on this blog is when discussing the combined weight of Prince Fielder and CC Sabathia. Whoa, those are some big boys.

I'm just asking you to point your eyes to the upper right and add your vote to the poll. The question: exactly where has Topps gone wrong? We all agree they're screwing up somehow. So, go ahead and vote. It's free! And you can vote for more than one category. It's like voting for McCain AND Obama AND that guy from the communist worker party. (oops, sorry, that's a political reference).

If you think Topps is untouchable, a benevolent and omnipotent god, then there's a category for that, too. Cast away.

I promise, I will post on whatever category comes out on top. I have no idea what I'll say. But I'm sure it'll be some sort of unoriginal diatribe. Unoriginal but fascinating. Just you wait.

Beautiful blue cards

You thought I was going to post about blue refractors didn't you? Sorry, we're going in an entirely different direction.
The Dodgers clinching a postseason berth tonight got me thinking about why I like the team. And while a lot of that can be explained by card collecting and the fact that the Dodgers were one of the top teams around when I was a child, there's more to it than that.
My appreciation for the Dodgers comes down to history -- Brooklyn Dodgers history, and more specifically, the Boys of Summer. Roger Kahn's book, "The Boys of Summer," based on the 1952 Brooklyn team, stayed with me more than any other book I read during college. And I read a lot of books in college. Kahn's book was like "Ball Four" and "The Bronx Zoo," in that it finally depicted players as people and not mythic legends. And while that idea may seem to contradict the practice of collecting pictures of players on little squares of cardboard, I don't think …

Awesome night card, pt. 2

Wow. I don't have a lot of good things to say about 1992 Donruss, but that is a sweet night card. Looks like it was taken after a game. Foster, the conscientious ballplayer that he is, is fulfilling his postgame duties and signing a ball. Wish I knew what he wrote on it. Foster is surrounded in darkness except for the stadium lights in the background and for the camera light pointed at his beaming face.

Foster didn't have a very long career in the majors. He pitched 59 total games between 1991-93, finishing 3-3 with a 2.41 ERA. But he's got a spot in the night card hall of fame.

Bigbie's identity crisis

We're all familiar with Topps' methods of dealing with cards of players who were traded during the offseason. Back in the '50s, the pictures were paintings and they would simply repaint the cap on the picture. During the '60s, they would get a shot of the player without his cap and crop the photo tight so you couldn't see the player's old uniform. During the '70s, Topps constantly featured players staring up into the sky, as if they had just spotted a spaceship (is that what I think it is?), so their cap logo wouldn't show. And of course, there was airbrushing. Topps airbrushed the caps on seemingly half of the 1969 set after baseball expanded by four teams.

During the '70s and '80s, Topps attempted to draw the new team logo onto the players' caps with some spectacularly horrid results. I often wondered if Topps employees hung those card photos on their refrigerator doors at home because the logos looked like children drew them. (Check out…

Thought bubble of the week

"... Get your own @#%&!!!#$ helmet!"

Tribe fan for a night

Sorry, Cliffy. This has nothing to do with hoping the Indians delay the Red Sox's quest for a postseason berth another day. It has everything to do with what I received in the mail Monday. For what before my wondering eyes did appear but a tidy white box direct from Indians Baseball Cards. Always.

Now, I know I'm a newbie in the card blogging world and all you veterans out there already know how generous David can be with his tournaments and trivia questions. But I was dumb-founded when I opened the box. All I did was answer one little trivia question correctly, and for my "effort" I received nearly 100 Dodgers cards. Amazing.

I am here to tell you, when the next Tribe Cards Tourney starts, get your butt over to Indians Baseball Cards. Always. You will NOT regret it. And it's great fun, too!

I have to share some of what I received (I can't possibly scan all of it). Those of you who aren't Dodgers fans may get a little bored. But stick around for the las…

Shiny objects

Everyone has seen this year's Topps Chrome offering, I'm sure. But I'm a sucker for a pack-ripping, as I know a few others out there are, too. A Pack A Day is the best. Set up a ripping of 1991 Donruss and I'm there.

So anyway, I picked up a couple of packs Sunday. Lest anyone think I wasted precious gas on cards only, let it be known that the family also purchased toothpaste, cake frosting, a CD for my daughter, spray paint and a pet bed. Now that's one fulfilling afternoon.

It's all about the Yankees tonight, so I'll try to keep it in a New York State of Mind:

Too late. First one out of the gate is a Dodger, albeit an injured one. I don't know if Brad Penny is ever going to get back to his former self, and that's too bad because he was my favorite player during that year-and-a-half with L.A. when he was just bad ass. And that was before he started dating her.

OK, the Yankee theme can start with Mr. Cocky. If this guy stays in a Red Sox uniform for …

A Yankee-hater's tribute

I'm going to refrain from posting any unpleasantness about the Yankees tonight. Even though the Yankee Stadium lovefest was a bit much to endure, I just don't have it in me to go through a litany of all I don't like about them.

So, instead, I'll talk about the fond memories I have of the Yankees. All two of them.

The first is Roy White. I always liked him. He played during an era when the Yankees weren't very good, and then when the Yankees grew into perennial champions in the late-1970s, he remained above all the petty, obnoxious garbage that went on with that team back then. He was a quiet, consistent performer, much like Bernie Williams, although Williams had more talent. Seeing the huge ovation Williams received from the fans Sunday just goes to show you -- you don't have to be a jerk to be popular in New York.

The second memory is my one-and-only trip to Yankee Stadium. It was the day before my birthday. We went down to the game on an overnight visit. It …

Flipping pages, not cards

When I was a kid, I would collect anything -- bottle caps, seashells, rocks, live frogs (don't ask). So when it came to baseball, I didn't collect just cards, but posters, ticket stubs, postcards and yearbooks.

Since I lived so far away from my favorite team and couldn't attend Dodger games in person, I would send away for the annual Dodgers yearbook through the mail. I did that every season, and I have each Dodger yearbook from 1974-85. (But my favorite is the one from 1966 -- when Koufax was king). The 1980 yearbook is my second favorite, because it blended card collecting with my favorite team. It was a neat idea, although I'm sure it wasn't original in the realm of yearbooks. The cards on the front cover are from the 1980 Topps set.

My only complaint was that the Dodgers didn't issue their own cards in the yearbook, like some other yearbooks had done.

Inside, the yearbook featured pictures of various Dodger cards from over the years. On each player's p…

Awesome night card, pt. 1

This is the first in what should be a regular series featuring cards of players photographed at night. Like I mentioned in an earlier post, I collect cards like this because they are totally awesome, or whatever the kids are saying these days (I've watched "Fast Times ..." a few times. Sue me).

Part of the trick to "night cards" is first figuring out whether they were actually photographed at night. For example, a number of photos on cards taken during games at Yankee Stadium, especially in the '70s, look like night shots, but they're not. The darkness of the stands there seems to give the illusion of a night game.

Once that's established, I like to figure out the date of the game in the photo, especially if it's a card that doesn't feature a postseason game. It's usually simple to pinpoint the date of playoff games.

This one was a little tricky, and until I stumbled upon one key fact, I was about to put out a plea to White Sox Cards to hel…

Conflicted

Should Craig Wilson be engaging in such levity while mourning his team's dear, departed owner, August Busch Jr? Or more appropriately, shame on Topps for sending such a conflicting message. Juggling while wearing a black arm band? Kids looking at this card don't know whether to be happy or sad.

Perhaps it's a commentary on the complexity of life, the ups and downs, the yin and yang, the '52 Topps and the '91 Donruss. Maybe Topps is saying, "yeah, sure, he's young now, but his career will be dead soon."

But more likely, it's just a guy bored out of his skull during spring training. Apparently, he had a habit of doing this on baseball cards.

Night critter

I probably should explain the title of this blog a little. It might seem obvious, considering the "about me" profile along the right rail. And if you've been paying attention, almost all of my posts so far have been after midnight.

Yes, I'm a night owl. I have been since I was a teenager. I work a job that requires me to toil at night, and I find that it suits me. I am most unpleasant in the morning (the few mornings that I see), but when 9 p.m. hits, the switch is on. Let's go, let's party.

Now add the fact that I am an East Coast guy who is a fan of a West Coast team. After years of living through, "San Francisco at Los Angeles (n.)" in the newspaper, I fully appreciate being able to find the score of the Dodger game with a few simple key strokes. Waiting until 2 a.m. is no price to pay at all. Hell, I'm up already anyway.

But that's only half of it. The other half is I've always enjoyed the night time more than the day. I love it when…

Fame game

This card always puzzled me. I don't know if my depth perception is off or if it's the way the card's cropped, but it looks like they cut around Santo's likeness and then pasted him in the forefront of a Cubs spring training scene. I realize this photo was likely taken in 1973 and photoshop wasn't around, but the photo just looks weird.

But that's not the reason why this card is here. It's here because the Hall of Fame Veterans Comittee on Tuesday announced their list of 10 candidates for the Hall from major leaguers whose careers began in 1943 or later. Santo's on that list. So is Gil Hodges, Joe Torre, Luis Tiant, Maury Wills, Tony Oliva, Jim Kaat, Dick Allen, Al Oliver and Vada Pinson. On December 8th, the committee will announce whether they've selected anyone from this list, or from the previous list of players whose careers started before 1943, for the Hall of Fame.

And that got me thinking: why go through all the hand-wringing? This debate ne…

Back story

I am a child of the 1970s. As a kid, I dined on space food sticks, collected Wacky Packages, played Rock 'Em Sock 'Em Robots, and sang along to The Electric Company.

My love for baseball and baseball cards also began in the '70s. The first cards I ever saw were from the 1974 Topps set. My mother bought them for me and my brother while on a trip to the store. We enjoyed the cards, but when the summer ended, we thought the cards ended, too, and we THREW THEM AWAY. Fortunately, we weren't such dumb asses the following year. We collected the cards from the 1975 Topps set and held on to them (I have those frayed, scuffed and creased pieces of cardboard to this day). Like all collectors, I have great affection for the set that started it all, and as an added bonus, the 1975 set is considered classic by many (some still don't like it).

My favorite team was the Dodgers from the beginning, and I'm still a faithful Dodger fan. My favorite player as a kid was "The Pe…

Knowing when to stop

This is not the first blog to call card collecting an addiction. That it is. That. It. Is.

But sometimes you have to be slapped in the face with a few dud packs, as I was tonight upon ripping into my third Allen and Ginter blaster box in three days. Call it a box-a-day habit. One purchased Wednesday, one Thursday and one Friday.

I bought the last one despite already blowing my weekly allowance -- the cash left over after feeding the Suburban Monster (bills, groceries, gas, dog). But I needed to get one of the last two boxes at Target, because the closest Wal-Mart to my home --apparently operating under the assumption that only kids buy cards -- removed the card display to put up back-to-school stock (enough frivolity, kids! How can you have any pudding if you don't eat your meat?)

The Wedneday and Thursday boxes were semi-productive, fueling my habit. The third box tonight was deflating. With eight ripped packs still on the floor, this is my booty, (excluding the mass quantities o…

Opening night

Welcome! This is the first official post of the newest baseball card blog in our vast and beautiful blogosphere. Nonstop talk about baseball cards. What a great country!

Mr. Verlander and I are very excited.

I am not your typical baseball card blogger. I'm a little older than most and have very little computer expertise. The only way I was able to muster enough confidence to start this blog is through the inspiration I received from reading other card bloggers. I am blown away by your knowledge and the tremendous enthusiasm for the card collecting hobby. All of you have been a great help already, as you can see by the blog roll posted down the right-hand column (I'll be happy to add more to the list, just drop me an email or leave a comment).

I hope to offer my own little spin on the world of collecting. I welcome your input, advice and ideas. I welcome your trade offers. I'll write more about myself in the next couple of posts, but right now I hear a blaster box of Allen and…