Wednesday, October 17, 2018

Chronicles of Fire

With a $20 Target gift card and an expiring-soon Topps "$1 off a fat pack" coupon burning a hole in my pocket, I walked over to the downtown Target yesterday during a break at work. As you can see, I settled on a fat pack of 2018 Topps Fire and a blaster of 2018 Panini Chronicles.

I'm not a big fan of Fire, though I do kinda like their shiny parallels. I lucked into a couple guys I collect here, in Yelich and Altuve. As far as the base cards, the Andujar RC was the clear highlight.

The best card of the pack was this shiny orange Canseco numbered to 299.

Not a total stinker of a pack, but even with the buck off, probably wasn't the best use of my money.

Would I have better luck with the Chronicles blaster?

Love the Trout Crusade. This was my first time ripping any of the product. Its debut last year just seemed super boring to me, but the 2018 version looked interesting from what I had seen on the blogs. It's a crazy mishmash of a bunch of product lines thrown together, many of which haven't been used for baseball before, but are familiar to basketball and/or football collectors. All the variety makes for a fun, if disjointed, rip.

These Revolutions are nice n' sparkly. I did well pulling 3 guys I collect: Mookie, Judge, and Devers.

Some rookies I've heard of. Prizm Andujar RC. Score Ohtani RC. The only reason I'm familiar with Brandon Woodruff is because he hit a big postseason home run the other day.

One thing that will surely confuse collectors in the future is that the backs of the cards don't identify themselves as 2018 Panini - Chronicles Baseball (which, by the way, is very considerate thing Panini usually does, specifying what product the card is from), but instead labels them by the subproduct.

A few less-interesting keepers. This blaster was rare in that my stack of keepers (PC guys and notable rookies) was significantly bigger than the stack of castaway/tradable cards. That pretty much never happens unless maybe I'm trying to build the set. It's likely due to this product focusing on stars and top rookies, so there aren't a lot of "nobodies" in there.

Here are the cards up for trade. Only the Farmer is numbered (#/299). Let me know if you want to trade for anything.

And I saved the best card for last...

Not exactly a "sick mojo hit" (would have been sweet if it was autographed), but I was still pretty stoked to pull this Gleyber Torres parallel RC #'d a scant 2/5. I've joked before that I had "too much pride" to ever collect cards of someone named Gleyber, and I stand by that (it's a name for a Muppet, not a man), but think I might need to hang onto this card just so I'll at least have one nice card of his in case he reaches his high ceiling and blossoms into an all-time great or something. He had an impressive rookie season and he's only 21.

So yeah, that Chronicles box was fun. I'm tempted to go back to Target and grab another one, but I probably shouldn't push my retail luck.
Thanks for stopping by.

Tuesday, October 16, 2018

5 or so Minute Post

I'm not counting time spent on images or even this introductory paragraph, but I'm going to try to bust out a 5 minute post, as is all the rage on the cardsphere lately. Daniel from It's like having my own Card Shop originated the challenge. I generally take a long time writing. It's not uncommon for me to go back and edit my posts even after I've published them. My wife gives me shit for taking several minutes to type a simple email, laboring more than I probably need to. A big reason I'm quiet in person is I need plenty of time to sort out my thoughts before I speak, and as a result, I'm not much for conversation. But anyways, let's get the stopwatch app going... starting.. NOW!

My first TCBD trade! $30 Robert threw me a bone and I had my first official trade, highlighted by a couple big names for my future 77 setbuild.

Also a pair of '76s. Thanks, Robert!


Next is a surprise PWE from mr. haverkamp...

He finished off my 1987 Fleer set!
Ellis Burks once-hot rookie.
Steve Carlton hanging on.
Big Man Cecil Fielder before he got big.
Greg Minton looks odd as a real photo.. I'm most used to his airbrushed monstrosity from '78 Topps, I think it is.

Thanks, Jim!


Only 3 minutes so far!

Signed 8x10 of Charles Durning from Padrographs Rod to make up for accidentally giving me a Durning auto a while ago. LOL. Looks good! Thanks, Rod!

Made it under 5!
Thanks for reading!

Sunday, October 14, 2018

Live and Let Die

The Guns N' Roses song next up in my "Guns N' Randoms" series of posts named after their songs is "Live and Let Die" which is of course a cover of the classic Paul McCartney & Wings song that was the theme to the 1973 James Bond flick of the same name. Sometimes I use the title as a challenge to put together some cards under a theme, and this one features spies/intelligence operatives.

H. Jon Benjamin! I was very happy to see him pop up on the 2018 Ginter auto checklist, though I had some patience and didn't grab one right away. Recently snagged this one, and ponied up a little extra to get a Ginter X auto with the silver ink, and not only that, but the Christmas Card! His distinctive voice is best known today as superspy Archer and Bob from Bob's Burgers. I love those shows, but I've been a fan since his early days on Home Movies and Dr. Katz. Just a real funny dude.

I gotta admit I've never watched even 60 seconds of 24. But I've loved Mary Lynn Rajskub (pronounced "Rice Cub") for a long time for her comedy work. Mr. Show, The Larry Sanders Show, Always Sunny, Arrested Development, and much more. She was even on an episode of Home Movies, to tie it in with the H. Jon Benjamin auto. So it was cool to sang a certified auto of hers (Her signature looks like "PG" but still cool). Again, I really like the silver ink, though putting it on a grey background probably wasn't a great design choice, but I caught it in the light ok in this photo.

And hey, since it's a James Bond themed post, howabout the man called "Jaws" himself, the late, great Richard Kiel! I've got a MST3K dvd staring him signed by Joel. But it's cool to have the big man himself in my card collection now, picking up this Topps 75th Anniversary auto a while back.

Have a great week, everybody.

Thursday, October 11, 2018

Comic Book Breakdown: Huckleberry Hound #1 (Nov 1970)

Time for another installment of Comic Book Breakdown where we take a look at some highlights from a random comic book in my little collection.

Huckleberry Hound, bitches! And it's a #1! Big money! haha Nah, in this condition, we're looking at "dollar bin" territory, but still cool. Got this and a few other comics in a trade for customs earlier this year. The cover is a little beat up, but I love it. If/when I get serious about collecting comics again, I'd probably go hard with off-condition old stuff. As opposed to baseball cards that I like to be "in mint condition" I think I prefer old comics roughed up.

It makes me sad that people get comics graded/slabbed so they can never be read again. Baseball cards, I get. Sure, you can't smell or feel a card when it's encased, but visually (what counts), you're not missing anything. I know some old-school card collectors are against graded cards, but they don't really bother me. But graded comics on the other hand.. yes, that bothers me. While the covers are often great, inside is where the heart is. Seems a shame to seal that off.

The inside cover ad is for nail care?! "Long, beautiful nails"? Wait, is this comic aimed at young ladies? I guess Huckleberry is meant to have unisex appeal, but that seems odd.

I feel like the Hanna-Barbera glory days were just a little before my time, though I recall catching some Huckleberry Hound cartoons here and there as a kid. Probably my all-time favorite Hanna-Barbera jam is the Yogi's First Christmas special (1980), which Huckleberry had a small part in. He always seemed pretty cool, with his laid back demeanor and southern drawl.

Vol. 1 No. 1 dated November 1970. Hmm.. looks like there were Huckleberry Hound comics going back into the 1950s, so I'm not sure how they got away with this being a #1. I guess it was the first one with Charlton Comics, while the older ones were from Dell. But I'm not much of a comic book historian, so take anything I say with a grain of salt.

In the last installment of Comic Book Breakdown (which was the first), Billy Kingsley schooled me: "The standard rule of thumb is dating them three months after issue, but some times and companies vary. It was determined in the early 1940s that clueless newsstand keepers would return them for a refund thinking they were old, but a date in the future would keep them on the shelves longer." Ok, so if it says November 1970, this probably hit stands around August of 1970.

The #1 song in August of 1970 was "(They Long to Be) Close to You" by The Carpenters. I've always kinda liked the song, in a guilty pleasure sort of way.

So this first story involves Huckleberry trying to find someplace without pollution to just sit back chill at for a while without litter and smog harshing his mellow. Wow, even back in 1970 people were getting concerned about the environment? If only humans would have been more like Huckleberry here and given more of a shit back then, maybe we wouldn't be so screwed today. Hell, at this point, I'm just thankful I never had kids... for their sake. It's only gonna get worse from here. That's one good thing about being old.. I'll be gone by the time the shit really hits the fan.

But getting off my soapbox, yeah, Huckleberry went so far as to travel to space, but even then he ended up getting hit in the crotch with a Mars Soda bottle.

Geez, calm your tits, Huckleberry! I thought you were supposed to be laid back? Now you're pulling a shotgun on strangers?


So in this story, Huckleberry wins a grand prize. When I first read it, looked to me like he won $500, which seems pretty good to me.. not sure why he's dying over it. But then looking closer, there's a decimal point, so just $5.00. Sure, not worth going through a lot of trouble (Huckleberry did some trash-digging to find his ticket), but still.. free money is free money!

Here's a kinda cool ad. Photos and posters of celebrities. If this offer were still valid today, I'd probably go for all the Beatles stuff (who had just broken up a few months prior to this, in April 1970), and maybe a Monkees group poster. Let me know in the comments who you'd go for.

Let It Be was the twelfth and final studio album by the English rock band the Beatles. It was released on 8 May 1970

The next story is the longest one in the comic.. several pages, taking place in medieval times. Huckleberry lucks into being knighted.

Hey now! This wouldn't fly in today's "me too movement" culture, but back then, an amorous dragon who wouldn't take no for an answer was just silly.

This ad shames dropouts to buy some books and study for their GED. If you pass, you can book a flight to wonderful Miami to throw your mortarboard in the air. Oh hey, speaking of Florida, I hope all you guys in the South are safe from Hurricane Michael.

Then there was a one-page Mr. Jinks story. And by the way, the mice on the cover, Pixie and Dixie, do not appear inside the comic. So misleading!

Then there was a weird, non-humorous swamp story. Seemed out of place in a Huckleberry Hound comic book, but I suppose a little variety is nice.

Bridge over Troubled Water was the fifth and final studio album by American folk rock duo Simon & Garfunkel, released in January 1970 on Columbia Records.

Here's me yesterday when Greg Z. told me the Christian Yelich card I bought for $3 had recently sold for $72.

Lol, no in this final story, Huckleberry buys a used car that turns out to have belonged to some thieves and had a bunch of cash hidden in it.

You gotta wonder just how many thousands of little boys bought Xray Specs like these in a vain attempt at seeing a titty.

So much gun violence for a Huckleberry Hound comic! If only Huckleberry had his shotgun with him, he could have stood his ground. #sensiblegunlawsnow

Anyways, the cops catch the bad guys and take the car (and cash) as evidence. Poor Huckleberry.

One last "crazy shit you can buy" ad. A shirt with a Playboy bunny logo would be kinda cool. Sending live chameleons through the mail seems cruel. I always wanted to get a venus flytrap. Hmm.. I've got a few fruit flies buzzing around my house. I could go for a carnivorous plant for a buck.

Thanks for joining us for this episode of Comic Book Breakdown! See you next time.

Wednesday, October 10, 2018

Christian Yelich PC

As we enter the League Championship Series portion of the 2018 MLB Postseason, I'm declaring my rooting interest lies with Milwaukee.

I like the Astros, but they just won last year, so that'd be boring if they won again. I like the Red Sox, but I've hated their manager since his playing days. I don't like the Dodgers, but I like Dodger card bloggers. (Night Owl Cards has seemed a little mopey lately, he could use a win.) But other than Ryan Braun being a douche, the Brewers are the easiest team standing for me to root for right now.

The big name out of Milwaukee this year is Christian Yelich. I started a low-key PC of him a couple years back, when he was a solid young player under the radar in Miami. Now that he's had a breakout season, I've bumped him up the priority list on my wantlist. Would love to build up my Yelich's, so I'd be down to trade for any I don't have.

This is my best Yelich card, a pre-rookie die-cut X-Fractor 2012 Bowman Draft Picks & Prospects - Bowman's Best insert.
And the best part of this Bowman?...

12/25! Snagged this on eBay for just $3.13 shipped back in early 2016 while hunting for Christmas Cards. Looks like one of the other 24 copies in existence sold recently for $99.95 Best offer accepted somewhere between $50-80, the only recent sale I can find. So yes, this pickup turned out to be a sweet deal for me!

Some other early cards. I think all of these were under-a-buck card show pickups.

2015, highlighted by a fishfractor.

2016. Looking good.

2017. Some decent parallels here.

Oh, and I've got a Christian Yelich 1/1...

Yep, it's a gimmick. It's actually a gimmick² since not only is it a Topps Vault blank back, but it's the gimmicky "Holiday" (Snowflake) set. Picked this one up last year along with a few others during a recurring Topps Vault sale where they slash the prices on their unsold Buy It Now items.

So yeah, it's just a gimmick of a gimmick, but it didn't cost much and it allows me to say "I've got a Christian Yelich 1/1 in my collection" and not be a liar.

That's all I've got in the PC at the moment. I bid on a couple autos of his last year, but didn't end up winning them. Bummer. But probably someday I'll pick up one. Again, feel free to trade me any of his cards not featured here.

Thanks for reading and Go Crew!!

Tuesday, October 9, 2018

a postseason PWE

I had to revisit a pull of mine from back in May. Nothing amazing, but this Brock Holt card is looking pretty good now: a /25 rookie autograph of the only player to ever hit for the cycle in the postseason. Sweet!

And here's a quick incoming trade..

A nice 6-card PWE from GCA. There are three cards for my Flagship Binder, a couple '64s to be potential upgrades for my setbuild, and an oddball for the Tim Blackwell PC.

 Here's my revised page of '62, now with HOF/AS representation.

Thanks to the card from GCA, plus a pair from last weekend's card show (which I've now "remastered" by blow-drying off the wax stains), I'm closer to finishing my page of '63. It's my only page from the decade of the 60s left with vacancies now seeing that...

..the '68 addition from the PWE has now filled that page. Nine pockets of burlap!

I've got a big trade in the works with Bo to make strides with a couple sets, though it might pretty much deplete my tradeable vintage supply for a while, but I'm going to try hanging onto the cards in my Flagship Binder since I've been making good progress and don't want to step backwards too much just yet.

Thanks a lot, Greg! I'll try to dig up some cards to send you back soon.

Sunday, October 7, 2018

Custom TTM success!: Art LaFleur (plus more Sandlot customs)

I've already told the neat story of Art LaFleur's wife stumbling upon my blog and asking me for copies of customs I made. They were happy with the few I sent, and Art asked if he could get some more, to stock up for fan requests. Took me a month or so, but I finally got around to finishing the bulk order of custom cards. And when I sent them, I couldn't resist whipping up yet another card for him to sign for me. He graciously did, and returned it along with a check to cover the quote for my cost for the customs.

Nice!! I know I said the previous card he signed for me was my favorite, but I think I've now got a new favorite right here!

This was my first time doing a couple "advanced" TTM moves. First of all, I sent along a red fine-tip Sharpie for him to use (and keep). I had a few extras, so figured I could sacrifice one, and I always appreciate red or green autos. The other thing is I asked if he could maybe inscribe it with his memorable line from The Sandlot, which he kindly did.

Thank you again, Mr. LaFleur!

I mentioned before that I was a little bummed that Topps didn't include any of the adults in the cast with their Sandlot inserts in 2018 Archives, and that I wanted to do my part to rectify that with some customs of my own.

Here's a non-auto Babe.

I come correct with full backs.

The lovely Karen Allen. It took over a year, but I got a TTM return from her back in Feb '17. Just sent out this one the other day. Hopefully it comes back signed in a year or so!

I don't think her character has a name other than "Mom" in the film, so she's Mrs. Smalls here. Though if she took Denis Leary's characters last name when they got married, she might not technically be Mrs. Smalls anymore. But let's not overthink it.

Does Denis Leary sign TTM? If anyone has a viable address for him, please let me know! Would love to get this signed.

I know James Earl Jones is retired from signing free autographs thanks to decades of Star Wars fans hounding him, so there's no chance of getting this custom signed. Maybe I'll do a "custom overlay" like the Darth Vader one I did for the auto card of his I bought.

Did you know that in the script the Mr. Mertle role was originally not a specified race? When the producers were able to land him for the part, Jones suggested the backstory of Mr. Mertle being a retired Negro League player, which was a perfect way to go with the character, giving an extra layer of depth.

Ok, here's an idea of what a James Earl Jones Sandlot "cut auto" might look like.

Thanks for swinging by!