Friday, January 31, 2014

2004 Retired needs down to just a desperate dozen!

I seem to post an update every month or so on my foolish goal of collecting all 76 certified autos in the 2004 Topps Retired Signature Edition set. I've picked up a few since the last time, so let's take a look...

Johnny Bench! Gorgeous refractor. #'d 23/25.

This Wade Boggs refractor is also a real beauty. 06/25. Got it for a decent price.. I'm glad I didn't cave and pay ~$200 for the graded copies of this card that taunted me at COMC.

Don Zimmer here is "just" a base auto, not refractor.. but still a nice addition.

Another refractor! 21/25. I already had the base auto of this card, but when the price is reasonable, I like to "upgrade" to a refractor parallel. They're just so damn pretty! Since I semi-collect Al Oliver, I might hang on to both autos, though normally I'm happy to just have a refractor and don't try for any "parallel rainbow" action. The base auto was just the second card I got from this set (behind Bill Madlock), back when I first got the brilliant idea "yeah, I'mma go after completing a high-end set of auto cards.. cause I'm an idiot and I hate having money."

Anyways, this brings me to 64 autos down, only 12 left to go.

2004 Topps Retired Signature Edition

Red = Need it
Green = Got it
Blue = Refractor acquired (/25)

Group A: Cal Ripken; Nolan Ryan; Carl Yastrzemski; Robin Yount
Group B: Hank Aaron; Ernie Banks; Stan Musial; Duke Snider
Group C: Johnny Bench; Yogi Berra; Whitey Ford; Bob Gibson; Dwight Gooden;Tony Gwynn; Don Mattingly; Brooks Robinson; Mike Schmidt; Tom Seaver; Ozzie Smith
Group D: Wade Boggs; John Candelaria; Jose Canseco; Gary Carter; Carlton Fisk; Ralph Kiner; Paul Molitor; Paul O'Neill; Frank Robinson; Ryne Sandberg; Darryl Strawberry; Don Zimmer
Group E: Buddy Bell; Rod Carew; Bucky Dent; Rob Dibble; Dennis Eckersley; Tony Fernandez; Rollie Fingers; George Foster; Ceasar Geronimo; Kirk Gibson; Goose Gossage; Orel HershiserAl Hrabosky; Greg Luzinski; Tony Oliva; Dave Parker; Jimmy Piersall; Alan Trammell;
Group F: Davey Lopes
Group G: Tony Armas; Vida Blue; Tom Brunansky; Bill Buckner; Orlando Cepeda; Darren Daulton; Darrell Evans; Bobby Grich; Ferguson Jenkins; Wally Joyner; Jimmy Key; Ron Kittle; Bill Madlock; Jack McDowell; Dale Murphy; Graig Nettles; Al Oliver; Bobby Richardson; Ron Santo; Dave Stieb; Bruce Sutter; Ron Swoboda; Luis Tiant; Earl Weaver; Maury Wills
Group H: Elroy Face

There's currently a Musial refractor on eBay, but at a stupid price ($444). Hopefully the guy decides to really sell it one of these days and reposts it with a low opening bid.

And I'm not sure if it's still there, but recently there was a Nolan Ryan refractor with a ridiculous asking price of like $599. I even ventured a stupid "best offer" that was still pretty ridiculous, and it was instantly denied. Grrrr. Would love that one to pop up with a reasonable opening bid someday.

The only cards here I've never seen on eBay (or for sale elsewhere) in the year or two I've been chasing this set are the Gwynn and Seaver. As a native San Diegan, the Gwynn in particular is a "white whale" for me. Someday!

Wednesday, January 29, 2014

Parallel Universe: Understanding 2014 Topps, an eye-opening exposé

Sorry to pick on 2014 Topps again, but it's what's buzzing at the moment. I haven't bought any yet, myself.. but Sunday, while most of America is watching the Super Bowl, I'm planning to hit Target and burn a giftcard on some cards that will surely sicken me. Or, who knows, maybe I'll like 'em! Yeah! Positivity!

For this edition of Parallel Universe, we'll be looking at some fake cards (sorry, gotta bold that so I don't inadvertently "punk" anybody)-- fake cards that help give some background to Topps' flagship set for this year.

First off, the designers originally had a more simple design without the weird tab-thing on the right, probably.

Look at that! A fine card. Three straight borders, then some waves down below. Not incredible, but a fine continuation of the proud Topps brand. (Another way I "improved" the design was by lowering the player name a little so the long names don't poke into the waves.)

But then one of the designers couldn't leave well-enough alone and got a little carried away. "Hey, fantasy stuff is big these days.. Game of Thrones, Hobbit, Twilight, etc. Let's work that angle!" And somewhere during the meeting, a Star Trek fan managed to score a prominent design idea.

Klingons? Damn it, Worf! Cut that shit out!


Yep, the Kingons won the war over baseball cards this year.

Here's the original demo card they drafted up:


And that's the story of how we ended up with this design for 2014.

Now, for a fun alternate reality, let's imagine if Panini was able to get an exclusive deal with the MLB Players Association... and Topps was then prevented from using players' likenesses and names on their products.

I think it'd look a little.. like.. this:

It's like the bizarro-Panini card! Plenty of logos and team names, but no faces or player names. How funny would that be?

Oh, for fun.

That's it for today. Join us next time.. in.. The Parallel Universe!

Monday, January 27, 2014

got my Cecil Cooper rookie card today!

Today is a great day! I've dreamed of owning this card since I was a kid. It's been a long time coming, but now it's mine!

A Cecil Cooper rookie card!

The corners aren't perfect, but not too bad. And by this card's notorious standards, the centering is actually pretty decent. At 6050 Listia credits, not a bad deal.

From the mid 70s to the mid 80s, Cooper was among the game's elite. A couple RBI crowns. A couple doubles titles. Would have won the batting title in 1980 (.352) were it not for George Brett's stupid .390 clip. He was money in the field, too, bringing home a couple Gold Gloves. He didn't stick around long enough to quite compile Hall-worthy numbers, and has sadly faded from the memory of many fans.

He obviously shares his RC with another notable ballplayer.

That's right, Mike Garman put up a very respectable 3.63 ERA over 9 big league seasons.

But back to the big draw here: Cecil! I also picked up a Cecil Cooper certified auto for a couple bucks a few weeks back.

That's a sweet card! It's a Topps Archives card from 2012, utilizing the 1981 Topps design.

I also have his real 1981 Topps card, getting it recently in that big Vintage-ish lot off Listia.

Love ya, Cecil!

Sunday, January 26, 2014

Parallel Universe: previewing 2014 Topps' lesser-known parallels

Parallel Universe is a brand new feature I just came up with. You loyal readers out there know I like to do weird and creative things to cards, such as make my own glow-in-the-dark variations. And I also like to mess with cards in Photoshop. Well, this is like a combination of those 2 things. I'll take cards and design fake parallels that I think would be cool or funny if they actually existed. Many will be bizarrely random. Who knows, maybe a card company will stumble upon my blog and use one of these ideas in a future set! (Allow me to again brag about kinda being recruited by Upper Deck a few weeks back. If only I could have done that job from home! Oh well.)

So yeah, let's enter The Parallel Universe and examine some lesser-known (fake, made-up, for-fun) parallels in this year's forthcoming Topps flagship set.

Polka-Dot Hearts parallel, /333

With this cute variation, Topps seems to be pandering to the little girl demographic, a goldmine yet untapped by sportscards. Available in special blasters only by mail-order (see ad in Tiger Beat magazine), these are serial numbered to 333. <3 <3 <3

Sandpaper parallel, /50

It doesn't get more manly than this! Available only in Home Depot retail packs, 1:280, these parallels are printed on carpenter-grade sandpaper.

Garfractor, /1

Topps teams up with Jim Davis for this mega-hit that brings everyone's favorite comicstrip cat Garfield to baseball cards for the first time. These 1/1 Garfractors are sure to command premium prices, but holding one of these shiny beauties in your hand, you'll agree they're worth all the lasagna in Italy.

That's it for today. Join us next time.. in.. The Parallel Universe!

Saturday, January 25, 2014

Christmas in January: Jingle Belle Rock

I know it's late in the day, but as I was out eating dinner with the family tonight, I got the idea that on the 25th of every month, I'll post a Christmas Card (or two) from my collection. Fun, right?!

Let's kick off with a funky pair. You know I like puns when it comes to Christmas Cards, so here's Jingle Belle Rock.

I admit it was weird to go after this Alber Belle card, seeing as he's one of the biggest assholes baseball has ever known. (I posted a short little anecdote of witnessing his assholishness in person when I was young.) But personal failings aside, he put up some awesome numbers in his day. It wasn't too much $. And it's a nice-looking card. So sure, I'll give it a loving home.

And you gotta love Rock Raines, right? If it weren't for being in Rickey's leadoff-man shadow his entire career, I'll bet he'd be in the Hall by now. Hopefully one of these years he'll get in. These Five Star Silver Signature cards are beautiful. (I've also got a similar Molitor card.)

Happy non-Holidays, everybody!

Friday, January 24, 2014

Blog Talk: blogs and the blogging bloggers who blog them

I didn't set out to be a daily blogger in 2014, but here we are on January 24th and this post'll make a whopping 21 posts for the month, a new record for me! I guess after pushing myself over deadlines in the 12 Days of Christmas Cards series last month, I've been able to relax and the posts just seem to come easier. Or maybe I'm just used to "needing to get a post out" everyday now.

I've also been drafting up a new series of posts that I think will kick off February 7th and run daily for a little while, but I should hopefully have the gist of it done by then so as not to stress too much to keep with the daily schedule. I don't want to give it away yet, but I think people are gonna like it! (Nothing to do with the Olympics, which also starts around that time. But good guess!)

Hey, Baseball Card Breakdown is just about at the 50-follower milestone! Hooray! (Hey--You there, reading and not a follower.. why not be lucky #50?! Do it!!) I gotta think that's very good for a baseball card blog that's been around for less than a year. As a relative newbie to the blogosphere, it's hard for me to get a grasp of the state of card blogging. I know there has been some dissolving off into other avenues, such as Twitter and the like.

I'm not much into Twitter. I was on there for a year or two around 2010, but gave it up and haven't really gone back since. Just took up too much of my time. When I was on there, though, I didn't do anything with cards or sports.. I mostly just followed funny comedians and some bands and online friends. As far as my tweets, it was mostly updates for my "band", but since I don't do much with music these days, there's not much for me to promote in that area. But anyways, don't expect to see BCB on Twitter anytime soon.

I do wish Blogger would do some updating with their framework, though. It needs to get brought into 2014. A main complaint: I can't get a notification when someone replies to a comment I left on their blog, so I've got to remember to check back on a post I've already read. But if I post a comment on my own blog, I get an email notifying me. I get an email telling me that I commented. What the shit is the point of that? Gee, thanks, Blogger. I didn't know that I just replied to a comment. Thanks sooo much for the heads up. It's annoying and apparently no way to turn that off in the preferences. I suppose I could set up a filter in my email to automatically delete them, but still, lame.

It'd also be nice if a "Like" mechanism could be better integrated. And I'm not necessarily talking about syncing up more with Google+. I don't have much interest in Google+ and it's not cool that Google keeps trying to strong-arm people into using it by linking it up with their other sites and services.

Another annoyance: the anti-spam captcha (or whatever it's called).. They need to improve that. I like the recent change to where it's usually random numbers. That's a bit easier to deal with. But what would be a much better measure to weed out spambots without frustrating real users would be a simple question that the blog owner could enter and edit. Like, "What year did the Mets last win the World Series?" Someone entering a comment just types in "1986" and everything's fine. If/when the bots eventually figure it out, you just edit to a different question. This has proven to work very well with keeping spambots off message boards.

What would be really great is if regular readers of a blog could be added to a pre-approved list so they could comment freely without worry about typing in some gibberish password thing. Like, you answer a security question when you first follow a blog, and after that, you're free to post comments on that blog with no more b.s. If you're a troll or a spambot who happened to get by the security question, the blog owner could remove/block you. No fuss, no muss.

Stuff like this would be easy for Blogger to put into place, and make a lot of people happy. I guess they're just lazy.

Let's talk about Labels. I notice some bloggers go nuts with a dozen labels on every post, while other bloggers use none or very little. When I first started out, I was better about trying to add team labels and specific players, but these days, not so much. I figure if some Brewers fan wants to read every old post of mine about the Brewers, he can use the search box on the sidebar. I mainly use the labels for reoccurring features, like Refraction Action and the like. But I guess I'm curious if any of you guys have thoughts on labels. As readers, do you often utilize labels for reading old posts?

Speaking of other sites to gravitate to, I did recently start up a Tumblr a few months ago. It was going to be a place for me to recycle animated gifs of baseball cards that I made for Baseball Card Breakdown. But Tumblr started giving me errors when I tried to upload large files, and I don't think I picked up any followers, so I quickly lost interest.

But blogging here is still fun. You guys are cool. I hope you keep on reading and keep on posting.

Let's see.. anything else to ramble about?

Oh, I wanted to congratulate Night Owl on again winning Blog of the Year! I know I've kissed his butt a few times in the past, but he really does run a great blog that's consistently fun and interesting. I first got into the blogosphere a couple years ago by stumbling upon the seminal 1988 Topps blog, and through that, stumbled upon Night Owl's Cards. For a while, his was basically the only blog I read, though I've since expanded my reading, pretty much keeping up with everybody in my blogroll, plus checking in with a few others here and there.

While I didn't get a chance to campaign for any votes, Baseball Card Breakdown also got nominated for blog of the year! That was a nice honor. And even better because it was Greg (Night Owl) who nominated me. Aw, that makes my heart flutter. Like Mean Joe Green throwing me a towel after I gave him a Coke. If the guy with the best blog says mine is the best blog, I think that means I automatically win. Haha.. Of course my blog didn't get many votes, but for a rookie like myself, it's still very cool to be thrown in with that list of great blogs who got nominated. Maybe if there was a "best new blog of 2013" category, I would have had a fighting chance. (In baseball terms, I couldn't compete in MVP voting, but would probably contend for ROY. Aw, thinking about it.. now I really want to be able to add a cool Rookie Trophy image to my blog. Could somebody do a poll for best new baseball card blog of 2013, and then let me know when it's live so I could campaign hard for it. Then hopefully I'll win and get a trophy pic to add to my blog. Anybody? Daniel? Come on, do it! For me!)

But enough competitiveness and horn-tooting. Thanks again to Greg and the rest of you few readers out there. While I doubt I'll be able to keep up this near-daily pace, I'll do my best to post cool stuff on the regular.

I guess that's about it for this rambling post. I should add a picture of a card. It's always sad when a card blog posts without including at least one card.

Actually, hold up.. here are a bunch of cards to look at!

Nice lot of HOFers and HOVGers. Now check out my Berra rookie card!

"Pinch hitting for Pedro Borbón... Manny Mota... Mota... Mota..." 

All these above cards were favorites from a sweet Listia lot that I scanned back in November. They were for a "Some Random Old Cards week" series of posts that I abandoned on that Wednesday. So up there you see what was in store for the rest of the week that I didn't get around to posting. I believe this here is what's known in the blogging community as a "scan dump", a phenomena wherein a blogger puts up some old card scans that have been sitting around, waiting patiently for an opportunity to be posted. Feels good!

Thanks again for reading.

Thursday, January 23, 2014

Baseball Card Mashup: Ripken Insanity. Ripkinsanity!

Baseball Card Mashup is a feature here where we take popular cards and mix them around via Photoshop in ways that may very well hurt your brain and anger your sense of reason. But maybe, just maybe, it'll make you think, and open your mind a little. Perhaps even make you a better person.

For this hotly-anticipated second installment, we'll be having some "what if?" fun with the Ripken family.

Well well, here's an odd card.

Imagine how embarrassed Topps would be if they let this card slip by their Quality Assurance department! That'd be quite a blunder, indeed!

And how about this alternate reality..? What if that infamous '89 Fleer card wasn't Bill's, but Cal's?

I'll bet at the very least, Cal would have needed to take a game off to do some damage control, thereby never eclipsing Gehrig's record. Fans might have turned on him and he likely would have spiraled into a deep depression and been out of the game by 1990, to soon be all but forgotten, except by card collectors who remember him only as "the Fuck Face card guy."

But enough obscenity and dystopian visions, let's end on a sweet one. Here's a nice family shot for Ma Ripken.


Thanks for taking this strange trip with me. See ya next time.

Wednesday, January 22, 2014

I bought some packs in person for the first time in years

Since my Chargers didn't last too long in the postseason, my interest in football for this year fell off the table. (San Diego's lifetime drought without a major sports championship continues for yet another year.. sigh.) But that means NFL playoff days are a great time to shop. My fiancee and I are already planning to hit Target during the Super Bowl. We did that a couple years ago, too, pretty much having our run of the place. It's basically just us and some single moms and old people. Nice.

I'm not much of a shopper. Weekly grocery shopping, of course. But other than that, I buy most stuff online. I go to the mall maybe once a year. Same with Target. I've only been in a Walmart a couple times in my life.

But this past weekend, we needed new glasses, so we went to the glasses place in the mall. Adjacent to the mall is a Dollar Tree. Back when I was a bachelor down in San Diego, the 99 Cent Store was where I did probably 75% of my shopping.. food or whatever.. the one by my old place was huge and had a great selection. I don't remember ever seeing a sportscards section, but then again I wasn't an active collector at the time, so I wasn't really looking. But now when I'm at a place like that, I keep an eye out for card displays. The Dollar Tree chain up here in Portland is pretty close to the 99 Cent Store, though not quite as great.

They did have a bunch of low-end cards, though! So I bought a few packs. Four, to be exact. Let's take a look!

I went with some variety, grabbing a mixed-sport repack, NBA Hoops, Americana, and Triple Play. I've never bought any of these before.

First up, the repack.

90 Donruss.
Out of these 4, Chuck is the best. But no keepers here.

91 Score
If the Moises was in good shape, it'd probably be a keeper, but it's a bit beat up. The Vince Coleman is ok.

Some Fleer. No keepers here.

Football cards. I was excited to get the Patriots card simply because it was featured earlier that day on baseball card vandals. (Luke Wilson.. LOL, it does look like him!) I'll probably keep the shiny Chargers card, though I can't say I remember Curtis Conway. Jerry Rice (blurry down there in the lower right) is also always a keeper, even if just a LL card.

And closing out the repack, some 89 Donruss, a 93 Jimmy Key, the lone basketball card, and the card peeking through the package: Pete Rose. I think I already have that Pete. If not, it's a keeper.

Ok, howbout another pack?

Panini Americana. Rhonda Fleming (don't know her), Noah Gray-Cabey (don't know him), Linda Evans (vaguely know her), Pam Anderson (hello!), and Michael Madsen.. I just watched Kill Bill parts 1 and 2 earlier this month for the first time. Part 1 was a bit over the top, but Part 2 was pretty solid. Anyways, Michael was in that. Cool.

Basketball time. Carmelo Anthony is the only guy here I've heard of. 

And finally..

Triple Play closes out my Dollar Tree spree. Nobody here I really care about much. If I had to hang on to one of these cards, it'd be the Ichiro, I guess.

So that wraps up this uneventful purchase. Sorry guys, not all posts can blow you away with awesomeness. Don't unsubscribe, please! I've got a cool new Baseball Card Mashup post in the hole ready to post soon. It'll win you back!

Anyways, if you saw anything you need above, it's pretty much all available for trades, so just let me know. Probably wasn't worth my $4, but oh well, it's always fun ripping packs of cards, so no regrets. And while it sounds weird to need to "replenish my junk wax supply", I actually have been getting low lately. A lot of these cards will likely become fodder for Glowing Altered Variation cards.. squeezing some coolness out of them by making them glow in the dark.

Tuesday, January 21, 2014

Need More Cardboard traded with me! Check it out

I haven't done many online card trades yet, but everytime I do, seems like I get the better side of the deal. I guess that means you guys are very generous. --or, yeah, maybe I need to step up my trade game. Andrew of Need More Cardboard is the latest to be added to my mental "I owe ya next trade" list.

Here are some awesome cards he sent me recently.

The card that got our deal happenin'.. a shiny, serial numbered (17/50) addition to my Greatest Gavins collection. And that Bagwell is, believe it or not, the first "official" glow-in-the-dark card I've added to my glow-in-the-dark card collection since I posted my glow-in-the-dark card collection months ago. (Of course, I've made several Glowing Altered Variation [GAV] cards myself since then-- and if you trade with me or win one of my contests, be warned that you will most likely get one or two of them thrown in whether you want it or not!)

Puig! I haven't bought any "Update" packs of any variety, and as such I have not yet become totally immune to being stoked on receiving a Puig card. This marks my 3rd Puig card, which might be the lowest total for anyone who considers themselves an active baseball card collector. I'm stoked! He'll probably win MVP next year. --and every year after that for the next decade or two. Mark my words!

Gotta love Stargell. Gotta love Clemente. Delgado and Vlad?.. well, they're a couple big boppers from the steroid era who I happen to like and semi-collect. The Delgado is #'d 2278/2667, while Vlad is a "card your mom threw out".. Hey Topps, don't be talkin' 'bout my mom, buster!

Pads (and former Pads) on Parade! That crystally Adrian might make a reappearance on my blog in a future Refraction Action post.

Teddy Ballgame? The Splendid Splinter? Sweet cards! Andrew suggested the hologram card might make a good subject for a glow-in-the-dark alteration. But man, I've wanted that card since the early 90s.. I don't think I could deface it! Plus I don't know if it would do much glowing (typically, bright cards work best.. and hologram cards are usually pretty dark). Maybe I'll try doing a Refraction Action with it though (my previous attempt at "capturing" a hologram card left a lot of room for improvement.)

My Frank Thomas collection is looking pretty decent these days, after picking up a sweet inscribed auto that arrived the very day he got the call to the hall. And these 3 additions from Andrew complement it nicely. The die-cut in the middle is #'d 198/299, while the Donruss Round Trippers on the right is #'d 2488/5000.

Lastly, some Reggies. Now, Andrew didn't send me that vintage in the middle.. I just coincidentally picked it up for a couple bucks a few days before his package arrived. And obviously that fake "1961 Topps" card on the left seemed familiar when it arrived. Topps does weird things sometimes with their faux-vintage/reprint cards. But hey, I'll take it. The "new" version shows us a bit more of the photo, including more of Reggie's right hand and more of his.. um, midsection.

So there you have it. Thanks a ton, Andrew! I appreciate your awesomeness when it comes to sending cool baseball cards to people. Everybody, do yourself a favor and check out his blog and hit him up for a trade.

Monday, January 20, 2014

Scribble Showcase: my best hockey card

This post wraps up a trilogy of sweet-ass autos I've added to my collection recently. As I mentioned a few days ago, I wanted to diversify my card collection a bit into basketball and hockey. With gift money from the holidays burning a hole in my bank account, I went on a shopping spree that, among other things, netted me a gem to shine brightly atop my tiny hockey collection:

I may have never actually watched an entire hockey game in my life, but I know of Brett Hull and his awesomeness. If Wayne Gretzky is "The Great One", Brett Hull must be the "Also Very Good One". This card hits a few marks for me: nice looking card, "Christmas Card" serial number, legendary player. And now I've got his autograph!

It's not a sticker nor on-card auto, but a signed piece of game-used hockey stick. That's pretty cool.

Did I mention this card is thick? And it came in a super thick case, too. So this thing is nearly as thick as my wallet!

Anyways, while I might not have many hockey cards, this glorious specimen instantly gives some credibility to that small wing of my collection and makes me feel like a well-rounded Sportscard Collecting Enthusiast.

Sunday, January 19, 2014

A timeless Ken Griffey, Jr piece of art

Here's a joint Scribble Showcase/Refraction Action post honoring this lovable new addition to my collection. While nowhere near Junior Junkie levels, I've always been a big Griffey fan. Very happy to pick up this relatively inexpensive (<$44) certified auto as the crown jewel of my modest Junior PC.

It's a gorgeous card, though my "multiple exposure" scan up there might not quite do it justice. Per usual, the foil doesn't scan very well, but at least you can see it dancing around a bit. Almost looks like the gears and springs are actually turning. No Photoshop trickery here, just different scans mixed together.

Here's a regular photo..

While I'm a fan of puns, generally speaking, I usually hate when auto cards have some cheesy insert name/gimmick like "Sign of the Times" or "Inkredible" or really anything with "ink" in it. But this "Etched in Time" motif with inner-workings of a timepiece is actually pretty cool. I've always thought old pocketwatches and shit like that was real neat. (I've got a busted old pocketwatch of my great grampa's that I'd love to get working again someday.)

I don't think this would technically count as an on-card autograph, but it doesn't really seem like a sticker either. Honestly, I'm not sure how this 2004 card was put together. But whatever. I love it. Junior does an awesome job of filling the available space without going outside the signature area. Perfect! Nice work, Kid!

The back kinda sucks, though. "Congrats! This auto is legit. Here's that same front pic again." But it's fine.

If you're a regular reader of this blog, you know I'm quirky about serial numbers (exhibit A, exhibit B). On the surface, 1095/1625 doesn't seem like it has any significance, does it?

Well, sir. Let me ask you this: What is Ken Griffey, Jr's career-high slugging percentage?

Give up? His baseball-reference page tells us it's a terrific .674 in 1994.

Now do the math on 1095/1625.

Pencils down. Did you get it? 1095 divided by 1625 is a long decimal number that rounds to-- you guessed it-- .674! Griffey's best slugging season!

So there's your stretch for significance for this serial number. I think it's a pretty cool little easter egg on an already cool-as-hell card.

Anyways. Ken Griffey, Jr. is a timeless talent.. one of the game's best; a sure bet for the Hall. And now I've got his autograph!

Saturday, January 18, 2014

Scribble Showcase: my best basketball card

I wanted to diversify my collection by-- pardon the terminology-- "scoring a sick hit" of the neglected 2 of the Big 4 team sports that us Americans/Canadians care about. I've got lots of nice baseball cards, and a handful of sweet football cards, but not much from basketball or hockey.

But now I can check off basketball thanks to this card:

Love it. Obviously, my disturbing attraction to "Christmas Cards" was a motivating factor in picking up this particular card. I think it helps round out my collection in general very nicely. It wasn't cheap, but I justify the expenditure as part of my late December/early January "Christmas/Birthday gift money" extended shopping spree.

The tight headshot caused me to assume this card was unlicensed at first. But nope! Flip it over and there's some trademarked Los Angeles Lakers intellectual property on full display.

Kareem Abdul Jabbar is in the Hall, where he belongs. He's definitely on the shortlist of greatest ever, right there with Jordan and the gang. While I never really followed basketball too closely, especially as a kid, I always knew and liked Kareem Abdul Jabbar. Heck, he was awesome in Airplane! And now I've got his autograph!

I also picked up an equivalent sick (again, sorry) hockey card, which I'll be showing off soon.

Thursday, January 16, 2014

Baseball Card Theatre: Carlton Fisk Tries To Remember Where He Parked

Hello and welcome to today's performance of Baseball Card Theatre. Today, the great Carlton Fisk will be performing a neverending one-act play entitled "Carlton Fisk Tries To Remember Where He Parked". Let's watch.

Thank you for joining us for Baseball Card Theatre. We'll see you next time.