Friday, October 20, 2017

Pack Skirmish: Elvis vs. Rap in an epic battle

It's time for another Pack Skirmish. This time it's Elvis Presley pitted against rap stars of the late 80s/early 90s.

The impetus for this is I need an Elvis card (any Elvis card) for a dumb collecting project I've been toying with starting up. And since it's a music-themed month here at Baseball Card Breakdown, I thought it'd be a good post to do now. (And who wants to talk about baseball right now with all the heartbreaking evil afoot in the postseason?)

The Elvis pack was thrown in with a trade package from SCC last year, while the Yo! MTV Raps pack arrived in similar fashion from the Junior Junkie. Now let's pit them head-to-head!

Stop: Hammertime! Elvis can't hold a candle (or a cup, in this case) to M.C. Hammer's sparkly jacket.
Elvis - 0
Rap - 1

I opened a couple packs or so of these Yo! MTV Raps cards back in the day, and I know I had that LL Cool J card. I remember even doing a sketch of it in my middle school binder. Keep on walking, Elvis.

Elvis - 0
Rap - 2

Oh man, there's no love lost in this matchup, as Public Enemy dissed Elvis in their song "Fight the Power". I like a few PE songs, but I think I gotta go with Jumpsuit Elvis here.
Elvis - 1
Rap - 2

Young MC's Stone Cold Rhymin' was one of the first cassette tapes I ever bought. That album was pretty huge thanks to the hits "Bust a Move" and "Principal's Office" though I pretty much dug it from start to finish. Easy win for rap here.
Elvis - 1
Rap - 3

Oh man, this might be the toughest round of the skirmish! Vanilla Ice rookie card! That's another card I owned back in the day, and also remember sketching this picture somewhere too. But Elvis on the drum kit?! That's like pulling a card of a pitcher wearing catchers' gear! Point: Elvis.
Elvis - 2
Rap - 3

Shirtless Elvis in an awkward moment with his mom? No thanks! The point goes to Heavy D and the Boyz. I always liked the In Living Color theme song from them. It's never too late and it's never too soon. Rap scores an insurance run.
Elvis - 2
Rap - 4

That's a nice portrait of Elvis. Terminator X? Wasn't he part of Public Enemy's crew? Not sure how he ended up with his own card. That'd be like pulling a card of the Marlins' pitching coach.

Elvis - 3
Rap - 4

Jeez, this is a tough matchup. I'm down with KRS-One, but young Elvis on a hog is pretty badass. We've got a tied game!
Elvis - 4
Rap - 4

More motorcycle goodness, but Elvis is MIA. Gotta go with slick Fab Five Freddy here.
Elvis - 4
Rap - 5

Hmm.. I sure do like that "Pop Goes The Weasel" song 3rd Bass had, but that's all I know from them. Elvis looks pretty cool here with a dangling acoustic guitar. Viva Las Vegas.
Elvis - 5
Rap - 5

Here's the grand finale. A couple "offers" but no more rap cards. Elvis lands a pair of unanswered blows.

Presley pulls off an exciting come from behind win!

Thanks for reading and have a great weekend.

Thursday, October 19, 2017

Dragging out a couple nice Adrian Beltre additions

I kicked up my Adrian Beltre collection recently by scoring a couple autographed cards.

I dressed this one up with a custom overlay from that crazy moment this past season when the ump told Adrian he needed to be on the on-deck circle, so he picked up the circle and dragged it over to where he had been standing. That was pretty great, but the ump wasn't amused and quickly tossed him from the game. Apparently it was too naughty to get a Topps Now card, but the quirkiness was right in my wheelhouse, and so I whipped up a custom overlay spicing up an otherwise boring auto card.

Here's what the original card looks like naked. It's actually kinda cool because it has a metal nameplate embedded in it. Low-numbered, too. The whitewashed uniform is a drag, though.

And the other pickup...

This one needs no custom overlay, as it's a very nice looking card as-is. It's a special Topps Now card commemorating Adrian's 3000th hit, an incredible milestone he reached at the end of July. I'm not sure how much Topps was originally selling these for, but I think I got a good deal on this from a secondary-market eBay auction, perhaps in part thanks to a slightly dinged lower left corner from when someone must have been dragging it around.

Stop Draggin' My Card Around

Shiny back. This is like my 3rd or 4th Topps Now card of 2017, but my first ever "hit" Now card. A couple things I'd like to see added next year are shiny fronts and serial-numbering (on the regular cards, not just hits). But I'm not holding my breath.

So there are a pair of nice additions to boost my Beltre PC. It's been one of my favorite player collections to build over this past year or so, and it's nice to bring in a couple cool hits like these to be focal points.

Tuesday, October 17, 2017

It's Raining Refractors

Ok, I dragged it out long enough, so let's finish documenting my haul from the October card show. You might want to put on your sunglasses for this one.. it's nothing but a big stack of shiny refractors.

Xfractors this year are apparently exclusive to Wal-Mart Mega Boxes. Verlander has been very impressive since the trade to Houston. Rounding out this quartet are the face of the Padres, Wil Myers, plus native San Diego boys Cole Hamels and Adam Jones.

Something's a little fishy here... a big lot of fishfractors! (That's what I call these scaly-looking things because I refuse to call them by Topps' official name of "Prism Refractors" which was obviously just to antagonize Panini who already had their own Prizm brand.) Several good names here, though Dexter Fowler caught the light best in the photo.

And a few more, horizontal this time.

Going back to 2016 for this pair of rival teams.

Now we're getting into the regular refractors. They might seem a little muted following all those fishfractors, but still very attractive cards.

Inadvertently grabbed an extra of these Beltres, so let me know if you'd like me to set one aside for you.

I think I've decided not to do a separate "trade bait" post from this show's haul, but I did score some good stuff to add to my trade box. I seemed to especially end up with interesting Giants cards at the show, such as this pair of negative refractors (also known as the "Topps Is Out Of Ideas" parallel). So any Giants collectors should hit me up for a trade sometime soon (ARPSmith, you out there?) Also some neat Brewers for next time Tony L. or Matt Prigge or whoever has some cards for me.

A couple Finest refractors.

And finally for today, a pair of blue wave refractors from 2015 Bowman. Never heard of these guys, but I won't likely pass up a wave refractor for a quarter.
Let's see..
Andre Wheeler didn't have a pretty 2017, still grinding down in the low minors.
Victor Alcantara pitched well enough to earn a September call-up with Detroit this year after coming over from the Angels for Cameron Maybin.

So there's that! A whole lotta shiny. Thanks for swinging by.

Sunday, October 15, 2017

My vinyl record collection in its entirety!

For today's Rocktober/Sentimental Sundays post, let's check out my vinyl collection.

Gotta admit I don't currently own a record player.. haven't since I moved from San Diego. And even when I did have a turntable, I only ever used it when I was capturing records to a digital format, never just to simply listen to albums. I suppose it's one of those "maybe one day when my ship comes in" situations, I might buy a nice sound system setup and become an audiophile and get into vinyl.

But as it stands, the record collection is just for collectible/sentimental value. While I'm not really looking to part with any of this stuff right now, if you see something you really like, feel free to make an offer to talk me out of it. (and hey, if you missed it, I've still got a bunch of CDs I'm looking to find homes for-- just $14 for postage will score you ~45 CDs!)

Here we go...
First off, let's enjoy the big box I keep my 12" records in. I've adorned it with a multitude of stickers over the years:

Above you'll find the only baseball-related content of today's post: a couple stickers in the lower left. My guess of the players is Kevin Gross and Pascual Perez, but feel free to correct me if I'm wrong.

I have never "berned" an American flag, I promise! God bless America.
91X was the best radio station in San Diego. Definitely shaped my musical tastes in the early 90s.
Lou's Records is the best record store in San Diego. Are they still open? I hope so. It was a solid 45 minute drive from my house in El Cajon, but my buddy Doug and I would trek out there once a month or so to pick up some new music.

More sports content: an obscured Chargers bumper sticker can be found in the middle of this mess. I'm so happy they're sucking this season in LA! Nobody wants them there anyways. I really hope the NFL forces them back to San Diego.

A lot of these are promotional stickers from indie record labels/bands. Many of them I don't know anything about, just grabbed them free in the "free mags n' shit" section by the door of record stores.

Ok, now onto the actual vinyl.

The latest addition to my record collection, an autographed Mercury Rev album. I just showed this off earlier this month along with some of my other Rev stuff.

Here are some rare Jane's Addiction promo records I got from their A&R guy Troy back around 1998.

More of my rare Jane's/related records. The Psi Com (upper left) is the most expensive record I ever bought. I think it was $150 from a mail order company back in the pre-eBay days. It's Perry's first band, pretty hard to find.. though these days you could probably find it for a third of that without much trouble. The Polar Bear (Eric Avery's band, '95-00) is a clear blue vinyl that I should have remembered to pull out for the photo (I love colored vinyl), but forgot.

I love the band Dig. I befriended their original drummer a few years back and he hooked me up with a bunch of great stuff.. uncirculated demos, live recordings, t-shirts, and these couple records. I won't tell you the name of the clear one on the right, because I like you.

OK, now we're really going back in time. This is from my mom's record collection back when I was just a wee lad. I remember it was almost like a special event when we would have a Sunday night of listening to records, and this Beatles album was always a must-play. You didn't have to tell me this was the best band ever.. just listening to these 20 songs, it was obvious.

Here's another one of my mom's old records, one of my all-time favorite albums, Abbey Road. Years ago, I transferred all my mom's records to mp3 for her as a Christmas gift or something. In return, she let me have all the records. Most of them I got rid of before I moved out of state, but I've hung onto these couple Beatles albums. There are some I kinda feel bad about parting with now (Cat Stevens, Fleetwood Mac, a Bob Marley Catch a Fire LP she bought in Jamaica [She likes to tell the story of how she vacationed in Jamaica once in the mid 70s and was so excited when she "discovered" the awesomeness of Bob Marley's music, only to return to the States and realize everybody here already knew about him. LOL], and Big Brother & the Holding Company (Janis Joplin), but oh well.

More Beatles!

Here's the back. And peep that small print...

Yes, this is a German pressing! I got this from my buddy Doug, who got it from his mom, who is from Germany originally (his dad was in the US Army over there when they met). I doubt this is really worth much, since I'm sure there were a ton of these made in the height of Beatlemania, but I love it and it adds some variety to my collection to have a German Beatles record.

Angst was a folk/punk band in the mid 80s. I befriended one of the co-frontmen a few years back, and he hooked me up with a few albums. I think he autographed them on the back, but I forgot to check while I had them out for photos.

Here's my favorite song from those guys, though they've got several good ones.

Neutral Milk Hotel might be my favorite band, at least they were in my lonely, distraught 20s.

One more Beatles album. I believe this is a 4 LP compilation. This is probably the most perplexing item in my music collection. It's another of my mom's records, but I haven't been able to find any info on it anywhere. Here's the back...

©1972 TV Products, Cleveland, OH?! Doesn't sound like a real Beatles label to me. Also, note how there are solo McCartney songs ("Maybe I'm Amazed", "Uncle Albert") and Lennon songs ("Imagine") among the Beatles songs. I asked my mom about this album a while back and she was under the impression it was a legit release, though I'm pretty confident this is actually a bootleg. Again, if anyone can shine some light on this record, let me know. I wonder if it's worth anything? Even if it was, the duct tape keeping it together would probably torpedo the value. But yeah, still a neat item.

Now it's time for my 7" vinyl. Here's the box that houses them all.. pretty colorful.

This Rilo Kiley single was a pretty hot item at one point.

Here's a Red Hot Chili Peppers bootleg with a couple studio outtakes. Man, I love colored vinyl, such as this clear blue number. If I ever dove into collecting vinyl, I would probably focus on colored vinyl. To put it into cardboard terms, colored vinyl is like a refractor.. just adds a much more visually-appealing aspect to it.

Cool cover art on this Rocket From The Crypt single.

This John Frusciante Estrus 7" is probably my most valuable record. Apparently there were only about 500 made of this single from the former RHCP guitarist. One recently sold on eBay for "$325.00 Best offer accepted." I got mine at Off The Record in the College Area of San Diego back when it came out circa 1997. I had 2 of them (Doug traded me his copy) and I think I sold the other one for like $200 a decade ago.

A couple Black Heart Procession 45s, including the only "picture disc" I currently own.

Three Mile Pilot is one of my favorite local San Diego bands, probably second only to Rocket From The Crypt. I've got a nice selection of singles here, even a dupe I ended up with somehow.

I love the band Paw and I love colored vinyl! These are early recordings from before they signed their big record deal in the wake of Nirvana's success making grunge a hot commodity. They're from Kansas, so they've got some Southern tinge to them, with quality "storytelling" lyrics.. really underrated band from the 90s.

More colored vinyl! I love these like I love low-numbered colored Bowman parallels! The top one is Hum "Stars" and the bottom is another Rocket From The Crypt 45.

Here's some more rare Jane's Addiction related stuff. There are 2 of the same P4P bootleg 45, but if you'll notice, they're both hand-numbered out of /1000. Yes, even back then I was a sucker for serial numbering! LOL. I think I actually even owned a couple more from that same pressing, but I sold the other two, just keeping #44 and #21 for their low numbers.

Pixies ("Debaser"), Sinister City (I'm not sure what this is.. got it for a buck from some online sale a few years back), and a Jenny Lewis / Whistpertown 2000 split single.

It wouldn't be a true Sentimental Sundays post without something of mine from my childhood, and here's a Muppets 7" I had since kindergarten or so. I probably should have taken the plastic wrap off for the picture, but oh well.

And childhood Star Wars items, too! Empire includes the record, pictured. Jedi originally came with a cassette instead, and that's long since gone (think I might have taped over it during my teenage years).

I remember I also had a few more of these "storybook + 45" items as a kid, but must have parted with the less-cool ones over the years.

And we end the post with the true beginnings of my music collection. I think a friend of my mom's gave me this Rolling Stones 45 when I was a little kid and it was the first adult/real music I ever owned. And man, I LOVED IT! Of course, when Mick Jagger sang "Let's spend the night together" I thought he was talking about having a slumber party. But man, I would excitedly dance around my room to that shit!

While a bit more subdued, I loved the b-side, too, "Ruby Tuesday". Judging by the scribble on the label, it was originally owned by somebody named Alice Hagan Carelle who lived in La Jolla, CA. Never heard of her, but if she wants this record back, these 30-something years later, she can get in touch. The middle metal 45 extender-thing must have belonged to my mom as a kid growing up in Chicago, as it's branded Webster-Chicago Corporation. So yeah, this is a very sentimental item for me.

And there you have it: my record collection. Thanks for checking it out! Have a great week, guys.