Saturday, May 31, 2014

80s Adventure with 2014 Archives, Episode II

[Some 80s toys have been breaking my 2014 Topps Archives hobby box in a battle royale.] 

At the conclusion of Episode 1, the Decepticons had just taken the energy pod into deep space.

Episode 2 opens on the forest moon of Endor, where Soundwave has taken the energy pod to keep it safe while he ponders how to best harness its power for galactic domination.

Of course, if you're chillin' on Endor, you're gonna have Ewoks up in your shit before long!

An Ewok grabs an energy packet from the pod and uses it against a stunned Soundwave.

The medicine man Ewok quickly sprinkles a mystic concoction on the packet, summoning some big guns from within, lead by a Koufax All-Star.

Soundwave scrambles to grab a packet himself.

The Ewok just laughs in his annoying high-pitched way as Soundwave fumbles a weak showing behind a Graig Nettles deckle edge.

Soundwave transforms back into a walkman and plays a Smiths song to wallow in his defeated sadness.

The Ewok wiggles victoriously as he and his fellow Ewoks bring the pod to their friends back at the Ewok village as a gift of friendship.

But the feast and fireworks are interrupted by a Lego storm trooper who speeds in and lunges at a packet from the pod.

Leia and Chewbacca instantly release a packet against the Lego trooper.

A Major League insert and King Felix All-Star lead a potent charge.

A Wade Boggs SP nearly lands a direct hit but falls short, and the trooper explodes in a fiery death against a tree.

Chewy and Leia realize this pod possesses a power too great to be taken lightly, and radio Luke Skywalker for assistance.

Searching for answers, Luke takes the pod to the Dagobah system.

"How can I pull $ICK HIT$$$ from this box, Master Yoda?," asks Luke.

"The force, you must use," Yoda replies.

But what's this?!! Luke had been secretly followed by Boba Fett, who is after the bounty put on the pod by Jabba the Hutt.

Boba Fett flings a packet, unleashing a new type of power.. one not of this sport.

Luke stumbles to use the force while Yoda chokes on his snake.

While it might not be pretty, the Deion Sanders SP and his band of ragtag spitfires are just enough to blast Boba Fett into a nearby swamp where he is then eaten whole by a vicious swamp monster.

The battle was so close and intense that Yoda says goodbye and turns to dust moments later.

Luke freaks out, loads the pod into his spacecraft, and sets out to find the one man who could possibly help him.. his only hope.. Obi-Wan Kenobi.

To be continued...

I Love The 80s!: An Adventure with 2014 Archives

I recently rambled about my reasons for not hating Topps Archives. My 2014 hobby box has arrived and I'm anxious to bust 'er open. This product is all about reminiscing about yesteryear and celebrating nostalgia, with particular focus on the 80s this year. Since I grew up in the 80s, I've called upon some of my old toys to help me out with his break. (This is a blatant rip-off of loving homage to Cervin' Up Cards' clone breaks.)

Our story begins on the ice planet of Hoth where Han Solo is checking out a meteor that landed near the ski resort where he's vacationing.

But wait a minute, that's no meteor-- It's some sort of containment pod! It seems to be giving off an energy field.

Han goes in for a closer look, unlocking the chamber and removing an energy packet from within. Just then, a Wampa Ice Creature jumps out from behind the pod and attacks Han with another energy packet! Han harnesses the power of the packet he grabbed to engage the beast in a fight.

It's on!

The Wampa unleashes a bold attack punctuated by a Pedro SP!

Han deftly counters with a strong defense, the key being a Shin-Soo Choo #/199 refractor, defeating the Wampa.

Han calls up his Autobot buddy to help him transport the energy pod to a secure location.

Just then, they're attacked by a Decepticon jet who grabs an energy packet and engages in a fight.

Han and his robot ally defend themselves with a John Olerud deckle leading the charge.

The Decepticon blasts a powerful array in return.

The Pops + Big Papi combo is just too much paternal power to overcome, and the fighter jet reaps the spoils of his victory.

While chilling with his Decepticon buddy Soundwave, enjoying some tunes, the two bad guys are jumped by an off-duty G.I. Joe attempting to put their evil in check.

A #/199 refractor of some Pirates dude and a Junior base card pack quite a punch, but a Yogi picture that's been used dozens of times by Topps in recent years sucks some power from the G.I. Joe guy's attack.

The Decepticons make quick work of things, pulling a Terry Pendleton auto.. not the most powerful possible auto from the pod, but still quite a formidable force.

The skirmish quenched, the Deceptions escape with the pod and take off to faraway lands.

To be continued...

Friday, May 30, 2014

4-sport vintage trade package from Mark Hoyle

It just doesn't feel like a Friday without a Baseball Card Dance Party, does it? And ironically, I really have something to celebrate today, as I came to an agreement to return to my temp job after my upcoming break/vacation/honeymoon. I had planned to "test the waters of free agency" but was able to "sign at the deadline" (or some other sports metaphor). I'll be getting a raise (money!) and working slightly less hours (sleeping in!).. so I'm very happy with the situation.

Anyways, here's a trade post. You'll just have to use the power of your imagination to have these cards dance for you.

Did you know that "E.T. Gavin" is an anagram for the word "vintage"? Well, Mark Hoyle had me phoning home and eating a bunch of Reese's Pieces with his latest package of cards.

How's that for an awkward intro?

Vintage football cards!

Vintage hockey cards! (Including 2 with ladies names!)

Vintage basketball cards!

Vintage baseball cards! Specifically, 1973 Topps needs.

Mark has been a champ helping me in my quest to complete 73 Topps, and I appreciate it very much. But I would sometimes feel left out when I'd read trade posts on other blogs about all the other great vintage cards Mark was spreading around. So I asked him if next time, he could dig up some available vintage cards besides 73 Topps, and as you saw, he came through (plus more 73s!). While I'm not a big collector of non-baseball cards, I do like to dabble here and there, and I really love checking out "new to me" designs from yesteryear, which is where non-baseball shines. So even though I'm not at all familiar with most of these guys (feel free to school me in the comments), these are very fun additions to my card collection. Thanks again, Mark!

He even threw in a Marquis.. it's not a 1990 Upper Deck, but I'll take it.
Have a good great weekend, everybody!

Thursday, May 29, 2014

Ripken refraction action via Zippy Zappy trade

Probably the best kind of traders to trade with are those whom it's impossible to tip the scales against. No matter what you send them, they'll find a way to trump it with what they send you. Though I've only traded with him a couple times, I'm pretty sure Zippy Zappy fits into this category. Let's take a look at some cards from this latest package he generously bestowed upon me.

Revisionist history? Hats off to Bowman for finding a way to make their universally-hated 1989 set almost seem like a cool design. Standard card dimensions, limited to beloved stars and hot rookies, good action photography, throw some crystally refraction sparkles over it, give it a cool name like "Bowman Is Back Silver Diamond Refractors", and BOOM, it works!

Here are some more cards, including #'d cards of Miggy and A-Gon. I forgot Adrian was a local San Diego area guy. He went to Eastlake H.S. in Chula Vista. I worked in a computer shop in Chula Vista for a couple months years ago.. Just a defgav fun fact.

Zippy's got Yankees to spread around. I watched Pride of the Yankees for the first time a couple weeks ago. Good flick. Thanks again, Fuji, for the recommendation.

Vintage! Always fun to get, even if these are-- forgive me for saying-- quite ugly cards.

Howbout some neat vintage cartoons?

Good stuff.

We close out this post with a few rookies and prospects of varying potential. Some (potentially) big names in that group!

Thanks again, Zippy! Always fun trading with ya.

Wednesday, May 28, 2014

2014 Archives certifiably Bips!

Happy 2014 Topps Archives Release Day! I took a look at eBay this morning to get a better feel for the set-- my pre-ordered hobby box should hopefully be on the way as I type. It all looked fine but I was a tiny bit underwhelmed.. until I saw that Bip Roberts has a Fan Favorites auto in the set. I can't overstate how happy and excited I was to see that! I've been searching in vain for a Bip certified auto for a while now.. so glad to finally break down that wall and see some on the market. Thank you, Topps!

I can be patient.. but this card will be mine one day. I don't even mind the 1990 design. That was the first year I collected, so it's a sentimental favorite for me. It's like this Bip auto was specifically created just to overwhelm me with nostalgia and remembrances of my youth.

Ron Gant, another favorite from my younger days, is also well-represented, with at least 3 different cards.

Aside from any big money HIT$, these are the 2 guys I'll be crossing my fingers to pull for my 2 autos guaranteed in the box.

UPDATE: The eBay seller with the Bip lowered his Buy It Now asking price a couple bucks since I started writing this post, so I went ahead and bought it. I probably could've saved a couple bucks had I been patient and waited for the set's initial hype to die down (and yes, there's a chance I'll pull it from my hobby box), but hey, getting the very first copy of a card to pop up on eBay is kinda cool, I suppose. An eBay 1/1, so to speak! :P

That's all the Archives talk here for now, but stay tuned for the adventure of breaking the box, hopefully this weekend. I'm planning to have some fun with it, in full "I Love The 80s" style. It'll be radical!

Hey, here's a fun question to bat around:

Who is a neglected favorite player of yours from the past that you would most like to see included in a current set? We're talking fan favorites who've been retired for at least a few years, who have very few-- if any-- certified autos out there.

Tuesday, May 27, 2014

Dick Williams PC, Collecting come full circle

Here's a Topps Archives card I pulled from a pack in the early 90s. I only bought a pack or two of this 1953 Topps reprint set, but for some reason I kept these few cards around over the years, even through the purge that proceeded moving out-of-state years later.

A couple years ago when I got back into card collecting after a long hiatus, at first I was a bit rudderless with what/whom I should focus on. I wanted to set some basic parameters for my 2.0 collecting habits. I had an epiphany one night lying in bed that I would collect Padres in the Hall of Fame.. not just San Diego legends, but any player in the Hall who ever suited up for the Friars. Counting Jerry Coleman (not technically enshrined, but a Ford Frick Award recipient, essentially Cooperstown's nod to legendary broadcasters.. a grey area which is close enough for me in this instance), there are 12 such men, with Mike Piazza and Trevor Hoffman likely to bump the number up to 14 within the next few years (and in a just world, Garvey and McGriff will eventually make their way in, too). Since the franchise came about in 1969, that limits vintage cards that fit into this niche. The 60s/70s have McCovey and Gaylord, but prior to that, you've just got aforementioned Coleman, and Dick Williams.. both of whom never played for the Padres, but technically speaking did suit up for the team, as manager. Good enough for me! (If you really want to split hairs, Ted Williams played for the San Diego Padres in the 30s when they were a minor league team. I'd whole-heartedly collect him too were it not for budgetary restrictions.)

Yesterday I showcased my Jerry Coleman cards, and now here are my Dick Williams cards.

Here's a 1960 card from his playing days. He had a respectable career as an outfielder, also playing a fair amount at the corners.

Here are some various cards I've got from his prolific managerial days:

Dick made a name for himself (and earned his eventual HOF induction) by leading a 4 teams to the pennant. He was Yaz's skipper during his triple crown season of 1967. He guided Reggie to Oakland's first couple Championships (72 and 73). And-- securing a place in my heart-- he was pulling the strings for the only World Series game the Padres have ever won (Game 2, 1984).

This autographed card is the centerpiece of my DW PC. He passed away in 2011 and doesn't have many certified auto issues out there.

But this is actually a "trade post" masquerading as a "PC post". See, Wes at Jaybarkerfan's Junk recently posted an "easy trade" bait with this Didi Gregorius auto:

I went ahead and jumped on it. I'm by no means a huge Didi fan nor D-backs collector, but #1, it's a nice looking card, and #2 I'm always reading blog posts about how awesome JBF is to trade with, yet have never been lucky enough to trade with him myself, so figured I'd try to get my foot in the door.

Not only did Wes blindly send me the Didi auto, but he must've scanned my wantlist and seen ol' Dick Williams on there.

Surprise vintage Dick!

But the real knock-out was this guy:

Yep, a real copy of that familiar Archives reprint I've had since before I knew who Dick Williams was. Now it's easily my oldest Dick Williams card, not to mention the oldest card I've ever received in a trade. Love it! Big thanks again, Wes!

So there's my Dick Williams collection as it stands today. Let me know if you got any of his cards that aren't pictured here available to trade, and thanks for reading.

Monday, May 26, 2014

Jerry Coleman PC: The Man, The Cards, The Colonel.

You guys lucky enough to spend time in San Diego and listen to the late, great Jerry Coleman call Padre games know he was the bee's knees. A genuine, good guy, fun to listen to, even when he occasionally got confused. Sort of an "honorary grandpa" to every Padres fan.

I've beefed up my Jerry Coleman collection over the past few months. In a drunk post a couple weeks ago I said Dick Williams was the only Padre HOFer represented in 1952 Topps. Well, I clearly forgot about Ford C. Frick Award winner Jerry Coleman! I righted this wrong and picked up a copy of the card last week. I even made sure to get a PSA graded one, since this set has been reprinted/counterfeited numerous times and I wanted to be somewhat confident that I had a legitimate card from 1952.

When the card arrived, it had obviously come under fire en route, with signs of gunfire (or more realistically, a pointy object) puncturing the package! But Jerry Coleman, the only active ballplayer to see combat in two wars, kept his cool and escaped by the skin of his teeth.

The good news is I'm not really a big "graded cards" guy, and I was able to get the seller to refund me a few bucks to compensate for the case (I don't think it was his fault [he even "double bagged it" with 2 bubble mailers], but the burden of USPS mistreatment falls to the eBay seller), so it all worked out and I freed Jerry from his slab. Again, I just wanted to feel reassured it was legit, so now I'm fine with it being loose.

Apart from being off-center, the card is in incredible shape!

This is my first '52 Topps card. I think with this, and a recent '53 Topps addition from JBF which I'll showcase very soon, I may have just achieved a collecting goal of mine to own at least one card from every Topps flagship set 1952 to current. I'll need to actually sit down and figure it out (I might still be missing a year or two from the 50s or the mid 90s-00s).

But back to Jerry Coleman, he packed a lot into his major league career of 9 years, being a 4-time World Champion. And lest you think he was only a lucky sap along for the ride with the powerhouse Yankees of the time, he was World Series MVP in 1950, not to mention the Associated Press' rookie of the year in 1949, plus an All-Star once.

As I alluded to earlier, serving as a Marine Corps pilot in WWII and the Korean War, Jerry Coleman was a war hero, to boot, so it's fitting I'm posting this on Memorial Day. Great to take a moment to appreciate those brave men and women who risk (and sometime lose) their lives for our freedom.

For more on Jerry Coleman, here are links to his b-r page and wikipedia entry. He's got an autobiography out called An American Journey: My Life On the Field, In the Air, and On the Air.. I don't suppose anybody has this they'd be willing to pass off? I'd like to give that a read sometime.

Back to cards.. I was able to acquire this beautiful autographed card recently.

Love this card! Not a bad deal, either. I've got a similar Steve Sax auto from this set, seen back during the Simpsons Fortnight.

Here are a few other Jerry Coleman cards I have.

1954 Bowman. Rough shape. Kinda creepy picture.

1955 Bowman. Color TV! Nice.

1957 Topps. Probably my favorite Jerry card.

1980 Topps. From his one-and-done managing stint. Elephants!

Being a Padres fan, I don't have many excuses to go after vintage "commons" that fit in my collection, but luckily Jerry Colman and Dick Williams have Padre ties that give me a reason to go after cards from classic sets from the 50s.

If you've got any Jerry Coleman cards not shown here that are available for trade, please let me know!

Thanks for stopping by. Hope everybody has a great Memorial Day.