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Showing posts from June, 2010

Mood swings and a box of A&G

BOO-YAH! Oh, hi, there. Just wanted to get your attention. I endured a very schizoid day today. Up one nano-second, down the next. Fortunately, you will see only the good parts, which include some random thoughts on my freshly opened box of 2010 Allen & Ginter. But even while opening the Ginter goodies, I found myself ooing over one card and frowning over the next. I don't know if it was the mood I was in or if that is the state of this year's A&G. I hope to buy another box to find out. But at the price of boxes these days, I'll probably wait a good long time to come up with my final answer (yes, I pulled the Regis Philbin card). This is the box that I will use for Gint-a-Cuffs II. So, I can't reveal everything here. But I'll show you just enough to reveal some of what I was thinking during the course of opening the box. I'll even post a running scale of my mood, so you can see how spastic I was during the whole thing. OK, here we go: Progress:

Happy A-G day!

The biggest day of the card-collecting season has arrived. My box of 2010 Allen & Ginter has been delivered into my greedy, giddy hands. I've decided that this day is even bigger than the day when the first cards of the 2010 season come out. A&G is much more special than your average base card set. It comes with more anticipation and the promise of something special -- even if it doesn't always deliver. But enough with the philosophy. You all know how I feel. I'm a two-time Gint-a-Cuffs participant, after all. I'm not going to begin the proceedings right now, though. In fact I haven't ripped a pack yet. But I have opened the box. Oooh, pretty blue packs. Fire that ball to first, Minty Beans. I also opened the cabinet card that came with the box. It's one of 10 cabinet box-loaders. This year's theme is engineering achievements. Of course, there are baseball players mixed in, too. So you could receive an engineering feat, or a cabinet boxloader

Card back countdown: The near-misses

Finding the 50 best card backs of all-time was more difficult than I thought it would be. For a little while, I thought I'd have to cut it down to the 27 best card backs of all-time. But with diligent persistence (is that as bad as saying "completely destroyed"?), I came up with 50 candidates, and a couple more. For those who might still be confused about what's going on here, I am doing a countdown of the 50 best card backs put out in a certain year, by a certain set-maker, during our grand baseball card history. For example, if 1988 Donruss produced one of the top 50 best card backs (and we can all agree it did not), then I would do a review of the 1988 Donruss card back during the countdown. Most of the sets in this countdown come from the last 60 years. In fact, I believe all of them do. I like early 20th century cards as much as the next person, but let's face it, a block of text or an advertisement that says "the country's best 10-cent cigar&quo

Cardboard appreciation: 1954 Topps Junior Gilliam

(My favorite month of the year is two days away. Weeeeeee! Time for Cardboard Appreciation. This is the 70th in a series): I love baseball! The Dodgers beat the Giants! Joe Torre didn't screw up the game! Interleague play is over! I love baseball! The All-Star Game is next month! I get to see a game in person next month! I'll get something baseball-y for my birthday next month! I love baseball! My box of 2010 Allen & Ginter is scheduled to arrive on Wednesday! I am scheduled to turn my Strasburg refractor winnings into vintage goodness on Wednesday! I love baseball! I have two days off! There's a full slate of games on the tube! There's beer in the fridge! And the Don himself sent me this 1954 Topps card of Junior "1953 N.L. Rookie of the Year" Gilliam! Did I mention that I love baseball? It should be like the national pastime or something.

The Lowe down

I can't talk about the current state of the Dodgers without throwing just about everyone under the bus. (Clayton, however, you're excused). So I am moving on. The Dodgers are beginning a series in San Francisco tonight. It's part of their glorious recent schedule that has included the Red Sox, the Angels, the Yankees and now the Giants. To kick off the series against the ultra-despised Giants in the house that Barry built (you must be so proud), I thought I'd show something that's near and dear to my judgemental heart. Wicked Ortega sent me another crazy package a couple of weeks ago. I'll display some of the other cards in the next post, but here is the Derek Lowe jersey card from 2008 Upper Deck that he sent me. Note that Mr. Lowe happens to be pitching in San Francisco. If you have been reading this blog at all the last couple of years, you know that I like to bring up the fact that photos of Lowe pitching in San Francisco pop up constantly. So I though

Insert awkward word play here

Perhaps because I write headlines for a living, I am sensitive to the titles that are selected for insert series in card sets. The mission for the writer of sports headlines and the thinker-upper of titles for insert series is rather similar. You're trying to come up with something that sums up an idea or theme and you're trying to make it snappy and memorable. If you can make it fun, well then, you're living right. It's not easy. Writers are constantly complaining about the headlines slapped on their stories, but headline writing is honestly one of the most difficult tasks in the journalism profession. I guess that causes me to wonder whether writing titles for insert series is one of the most difficult jobs in the card-producing profession. Because, given some of the titles that I've seen, a few folks aren't taking their job all that seriously. While leafing through my Standard Catalog of Baseball Cards, the thought came to me: "good gracious, there h