Sunday, January 31, 2016

Supervintage Sundays: daydreaming about summertime

I think this post will finish off the old cards in my COMC order from last month.

1922 Wills Do You Know #9 The Blue Sky
Such a beautiful card! I could just stare at it all day, giving my mind a respite from this wet, grey winter. My wife and I recently booked our Hawaiian vacation coming up this summer, and it can't come soon enough. This card from 1922 set me back a buck.

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1910 Murad Cigarettes College Series T51 #107 Greer College
This card from 1910 is right up there for the title of oldest card in my collection along with the couple T206 cards I've got. I don't think Greer College is around anymore; it's apparently now Greer Grade School. The card is a bit beat up, but it was just 48¢. Pretty good deal for a 106 year old card, I'd say!

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1924 Cavanders The Homeland Series Hand-Coloured #43 Looking Across Ullswater
Here's another pretty one that caught my eye, similar to the first card in the post in that it depicts a serene image of water and sky. Also like the Blue Sky card, it cost me $1. Ullswater is a big lake in England. Poet William Wordsworth was inspired to write about it, and is quoted on the back.

Good stuff.
This trio makes for a nice addition to my modest little collection of pre-WWII cardboard.

Saturday, January 30, 2016

Trade roundup + a custom "giveaway" offer

Good week for cards showing up at my door, but before I get to the trade roundup, let me throw a special offer out there just for this weekend. I want to try helping Nachos Grande sell a few more teams for his imminent 2016 Topps Series 1 group break. If any of you guys were on the fence about signing up, I thought I'd try to entice you a little. Sign up (and pay) for a team between now and the end of January (so, by midnight Sunday) and I'll send you your choice of a custom card I've whipped up. It could even be one of the customs I've used for a TTM request (but you'll get an unsigned copy). The above photo shows just some of the available fake cards on the table. So if you're interested, just go sign up following the simple instructions in the post, then comment back here (and/or email me) letting me know which custom you want. Note this offer is only for customs I've already made, not requests for creating a brand new card just for you. But let's say if you sign up for 3 teams, you could probably get me to take a request for you.
Let's fill up the break!

Now onto this week's trade roundup.

Mark Hoyle sent me this package containing a team set of 1981 Coke Red Sox, plus a couple minor league Padres and a Sports Illustrated from 1978. The Red Sox set features a few guys I PC, notably Yaz, Dewy, and Tony Perez, so that was cool to get. As for the SI.. what's the deal? Well, you might remember the other week I was asking if anyone could check for the issue with Pete Rose trying on a bunch of unfamiliar caps. Mark did better than just send me a scan of it, but went ahead and gave me the issue!

Looks like I'll soon be scanning this badboy and creating a batch of Pete Rose fantasy cards, along with re-doing my Burger King variation in better quality!

Thanks, Mark! Some cards from me should be showing up early next week.

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Next, Jedi Jeff got wind that I'm half-assedly working on a frankenset of 2011 Topps parallels, and he sent me over a bunch of sparkly:

Excellent! Thanks, Jeff! I'll get a return out to you soon.

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Finally for the week, I was the loser of Julie's recent contest at A Cracked Bat. But she surprised me and the other participants be revealing after the fact that she had two of the available prizes, one for the winner and one for the loser. Whoo!

This is a sealed factory set of 1992 Classic Best Minor League cards. Funny thing about Classic Best for me is that the 1991 set is the only full-sized set I've hung onto from my original collecting days in the early 90s. The likes of 1990 Score and 1989 Topps got jettisoned, but I couldn't part with the first complete minor league set I ever had. So it's cool to now supplement it with the '92 set. I'm torn about leaving it sealed or not. Chances are I'll bust off the wrap and look through the cards one of these days. I'm sure it's like 75% dudes I've never heard of, 20% I vaguely remember, and maybe 5% that actually had decent major league careers. But it'd be fun to go through, I'm sure.

Thanks, Julie! While this wasn't exactly a trade, I plan to send a little "thank you" soon.

And thanks to you all for stopping by!

Thursday, January 28, 2016

Fat Stacks from Marcus' Mystery Mailing

As I teased in last week's trade roundup, Marcus from all the way to the backstop recently sent a stuffed medium flat-rate Priority Mail box to me. He's been downsizing his collection, and offered up stuff to me and the other Padres fans of the cardsphere. He's in the middle of moving now, so I'm sure that's further motivation to slim down the card collection.

And that was in the same week that I met up with Rod from Padrographs to get handed down some other great Padres stuff. It's definitely bittersweet when Padre bloggers downsize and post less frequently, since it's great when we have a strong subcommunity supporting our lovable, hapless Friars. But on the other hand, getting free stuff is cool.

I generally don't like splitting mailings across multiple posts, but the immensity of the box was too daunting to try to cover in a single post. I'm going to start out by knocking out a bunch of cards via stacks.

My Fred McGriff collection was teetering on the brink of 100 cards, and this stack of pure Crime Dog definitely blasts me past that magic number and then some. Funny to see his position listed as "infielder" since he never played anywhere other than 1B (or DH).

This stack here probably doubled my Khalil Greene PC. Highlights include a certified auto, a jersey relic, and a serial numbered card.

Steve Finley is a guy I liked during his late 90s heyday in San Diego, but for whatever reason, I just never really collected his cards since returning to the hobby. This mega stack from Marcus might convince me to officially start a PC for the guy. Between these and what I can scrounge from elsewhere in my collection, I could probably welcome him into the Hundred Card Club instantly. Highlights here are the Collector's Choice signature parallels, plus several numbered Topps Stars cards.

Here was a bit of a wildcard addition to the box. This tower of cards is nothing but Darin Erstad. It's a sweet bunch of around 150 cards, including that #'d Chrome gold refractor on top. But I never really felt one way or another about Erstad, so these will likely make their way to an Angels fan at some point. If anybody's interested in getting this instant Erstad PC passed along to them, let me know.

Back to the Padre-centric cards, here are stacks of Jake Peavy and Kevin Kouzmanoff, probably about 20 cards deep each, including a few numbered parallels.

A couple big names here. That pile of Garveys is nothing but Padres cards.. Pretty rare to get a Garvey lot without some Dodger blue slipping in. Lots of oddbally stuff like OPC, Fleer minis, and some food issues.

I'm sure Marcus is hanging onto his impressive Tony Gwynn PC, but looks like he had several dupes to share.

Let's wrap up this post with Rickey and Cammy. Rickey Henderson is a fun guy to collect, with his long, incredible career. This stack includes many of my favorite type of Rickey cards to get: Padres cards! And I'm glad I decided to collect Ken Caminiti a while back, because that opens up a place for a lot of crazy 90s inserts in my collection.

So that's going to close out Part 1 of the box. Just scratching the surface, and of course I could show all the cards rather than in stack form, but man, that'd take a long time!

More to come soon.

Big thanks again to Marcus! The instinct is to send a bunch of cards back in return, but that'd be counter-productive to his downsizing. But yeah, man, I owe you big time. If I ever post any trade bait that catches your eye, or any customs you'd like copies of or whatever, just say the word!

Wednesday, January 27, 2016

Custom TTM success: Carrie Fisher!

I'm a big Star Wars dork, so with my recent revved up activity doing TTM requests, one person I had to go after was Carrie Fisher. Unlike most of the notable Star Wars folks, she's known for being good about signing**. Like with my previous success (Alan Young), this request was actually inspired by a post at It's Like Having My Own Card Shop. I read about Daniel's success, and immediately jumped on photoshop to whip up a custom to mail out later that day. It arrived back successfully in less than 2 weeks and I'm thrilled about it!

Once again, I turned to the tried-and-true 1996 Leaf Signature Series design for my custom autograph cards, as they're simple to make and look great, with plenty of room for the autograph. And once again like with my Neshek return, there was some minor smudging/running, mostly at the top.. not sure if it's my ink or paper, but I blame the damp Oregon winter weather, even though I drop them directly inside the post office. A little moisture is getting in there somehow. Maybe I'll try some of these again in the summertime when it's dry and hope that cuts down on this issue.

I thought this was a pretty badass picture of her circa A New Hope to use. I was tempted to use a sexy gold bikini "Slave Leia" picture, but ultimately decided to keep it classy and respectful (though Ms. Fisher has repeatedly said she has no problem with the outfit). I like to think of myself as an enlightened type of guy who doesn't treat women like objects. In spite of the "girlie cards" I feature on my blog from time to time, I think one could even say I have feminist leanings.

Now for the back of the card:

Ha, ok, I tried, but I'm still just a man who's a fool for a pretty lady, and had to sneak a sexy bikini picture onto the back. I think this was during a Rolling Stone photo shoot at the beach around the time of Jedi. Gorgeous!

But to regain my composure here.. what a woman Carrie Fisher was and still is. Loved to see her in the latest Star Wars movie. She still rocks, pushing 60.

**Ok, now for the caveat on the signature. Yeah, Carrie Fisher is good about signing TTM autograph requests.. perhaps a bit too good. I poked around a little and found most autograph-hounds will be quick to tell you that the vast majority of Carrie Fisher autographs are "sec" signatures, lingo I recently learned. It's short for secretary, and is a term for when a celebrity has an assistant forge signatures. So unless you witnessed the signing yourself, be wary of its authenticity.

Do I think this is a sec? Yeah, probably. But who knows.. I'd like to naively hang onto a shred of hope that maybe she really signed it. It looks good to my untrained eye. But I'm sure she gets a ton of fan mail, especially these past few months with the Star Wars hype kicked into overdrive due to The Force Awakens. It'd be hard to believe she keeps her signing/returning game that tight under the circumstances, and for no fee.

Some say her mother (Debbie Reynolds) handles all Carrie's fan mail. And getting Carrie Fisher's autograph forged by Debbie Reynolds is kinda cool in its own right.

But whatever! I got an autograph from Carrie Fisher™ and I'll take it!

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While I've got you here with a Star Wars themed post, I figured I'd show off a couple SW items I got from my step-dad last month for Xmas/my birthday.

Star Wars PEZ collector's set! LOL. These are kinda cool. I don't really collect Pez dispensers, though I probably have 3 or 4 hanging around from over the years that I've never thrown away, making me a de facto collector, I guess. I do like Pez candy, though, so I've got the dilemma of whether to open this and eat the candy, or leave it sealed for whatever "collector value" it may one day have.

Look! Limited edition! haha. What do you think? Eat? Keep? Sell?

The other SW item I got is this Trivial Pursuit game. It looks pretty cool and was a thoughtful gift idea. However, none of my family or local friends are anywhere near as into Star Wars as I am, so I'm not sure how much use I'll actually get out of this. We broke it out briefly at Christmas, and even I was struggling to bat .500 with the questions. The rest of my family was lucky to get an occasional "gimmie" or throw up a hail mary. So yeah, family game night will likely stick to the classics like Scattegories and Monopoly. (Star Wars Monopoly would probably have been a better gift idea because I assume you don't really need to know a lot about SW to play it.) Honestly, I'd be interested in moving this Trivial Pursuit game, but the big heavy tin makes me scared of the shipping cost. Perhaps I'll try Craigslist. The tin is dented on one corner, and as I said, I've already opened it up and played with it for a few minutes, so it's not really in "collectable" condition any longer. If any of you guys want it, I could let it go for $25 shipped in the US. (I feel like a jerk talking like this about a gift, but the reality is I won't get much use out of it and it just adds to my "stuff".)

The coolest part of the game is probably the little gamepieces. Ha, looks like they're holding bats.

My step-dad is a good guy, and it's always fun getting Star Wars related gifts, even if they might miss the mark slightly.

Ok, that's it. May the Force be with you!

Tuesday, January 26, 2016

more new/old customs

I'm still sorting through the big box Marcus sent me last week, and I didn't want to do back-to-back TTM posts (though I just got another good one!) so here's a pinch-hitter of a post... Some more customs I've made recently that I artificially aged to make look like vintage cards.

Whipped this up today when I learned Abe Vigoda passed away. I loved the guy. This picture of him in a Yankees uniform comes from a Conan skit. Too bad I didn't think of this sooner, as it would have made for a cool TTM request. Rest in Peace, Abe.

Vin Scully can always use more cards. Here's a mini.

Tony L. retweeted this b&w Ted Williams photo to me this morning challenging me to make it into a custom and/or colorize it. Boom. Done.

Fun stuff! Thanks for stopping by, you guys.

Monday, January 25, 2016

Custom TTM Success: Alan Young (Scrooge McDuck)!

Did you know that the voice of Scrooge McDuck was also the human from the old TV show Mr. Ed? Neither did I until a couple weeks ago when Daniel Wilson posted a TTM success he got from Alan Young. I was so impressed that I immediately whipped up a custom to send to Mr. Young. 1983 Topps is my go-to design when I want to use 2 different pictures, and I think this one turned out wonderfully. Just a week or so later, the return showed up inked and I was a happy boy!

DuckTales played a big part of my childhood in the late 80s. In between my obsession with G.I. Joe (mid 80s) and baseball cards (1990-1993), DuckTales might have been the #1 thing I was into. I spent a lot of time back then watching the cartoon and playing the Nintendo game. And Mickey's Christmas Carol might be my all-time favorite Christmas special (or at least neck-and-neck with A Charlie Brown Christmas). So you can see how getting the autograph of the main voice behind these projects would be a big deal for me.

Alan Young is 96 years old, so between him and Bobby Doerr, my previous TTM success, I've definitely been hitting some top near-centenarian celebrities known for being gracious about signing. I can't stress enough how happy I am with the return and how appreciative I am that Mr. Young took a moment out of his day to sign for me. He also kindly signed a couple other cards personalized to me and my wife, who also loves him.

Thank you so much, Mr. Young!

Sunday, January 24, 2016

Breaking All The Rules (card show recap!)

I brought home a mammoth haul from the card show yesterday, though I spent comfortably under $20. Much of that was thanks to being gifted with a box of stuff from a fellow blogger who happens to also be a Padres fan living in Portland.

I passed on last month's Christmastime card show, so it felt like an extra long time since I've thumbed through stacks of cardboard strange. No card I bought was over 50¢. I thought long and hard about picking up a blaster or hobby box of something to rip, but ultimately was strong enough to resist the urge. I don't know if I'm just at a good place with my collection at the moment, or if the pickin's were slim, but there just wasn't a lot I came across that I was feeling compelled to spend money on.

Back to the blogger box, Rod from Padrographs emailed me before the show saying he was downsizing his collection a bit and had some stuff to unload on me. Sweet!

Every new year I joke that my only collecting goal for the year is to not add any bobbleheads to my collection, keeping my total at zero. But I can't resist free shit, so here we are! While I very much appreciate the gift, I would be interested in moving these to better homes, so consider these all up for trade by motivated owner. Want one? Let me know!

This glass-framed Steve Garvey display is probably the jewel of the box Rod gave me. Looks great with a signed photo and an assortment of cards from Garv's days in San Diego.

No, thank you! Already got this badboy up on my wall.

These commemorative Gwynn things will likely end up there soon as well.

The only cards in Rod's box were these rare 1988 Topps Keith Comstock variations. One is an error with white letters in the team name, while the other is a cloth test pressing...

.. It's blank on the back. Kinda cool.. I had never heard of this. Per Baseballcardpedia, "1988 Topps Cloth is a 121-card, skip-numbered, set that partially-parallels the regular 1988 Topps issue. The set was a test issue that was never intended for release; however, was backdoored into The Hobby. Each card was printed on a very thin gauze-like material that retains water like a sponge."

Thanks for the stuff, Rod! As always, just let me know if I can ever return the favor with anything.

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Now onto the official card show haul...

Once again my weakness for thick cases pulls me toward certain cards. That woody Caminiti is pretty cool, with the translucent center. We'll be seeing more from Cammy before this post is over. The Mark Buehrle is #'d 75/149.

Some vintage, including the sole setbuild pickup from the show. I'm just 10 cards away from halfway-complete with 1965 Topps now.

I love "water cards" and so that Konerko was an easy choice. The Maddux I was hopeful was a glowing parallel, but alas, it's not one of the glowing ones. That's Jackie Bradley, Jr with the patriotic parallel. That sealed box of 1992 playing cards was just a quarter, as were most of these cards pictured so far. I'll likely open it up and distribute the cards into various PCs, particularly tempted by the Julio Franco pictured. It's weird spending money on A-Rod cards, but these "CD" diecut inserts are cool. I'm not familiar with the song "40/40 Vision". Let's see if YouTube can help me out. [...] Nope. Let's try to think up more appropriate songs for his theoretical album.
"Stuck in the Middle With You"
"Your Cheating Heart"
"Hello" by Adele

Vintage trade bait! Let me know if you're interested in any of these.

Modern trade bait! Want any of these? The Kerry Wood cards were picked up with P-town Tom in mind, but turns out he already has them, so now another Cubs fan has a shot.

Here are my pricey buys of the day, at 50¢ each for these 4 cards. I'm just a sucker for a beautiful shiny card! Mookie Betts xprismfractor or whatever. The Monte Harrison is #'d 79/250 and may end up with Tony L. at some point. Jon Gray is #'d 29/150. The Robert Stephenson orange wave is unnumbered, but might be my best buy of the day. I think he's the Reds' top prospect at the moment.

Now we're into dimebox territory. I believe these were 15 for $1. I don't really collect Tanaka, but a thick Museum Collection card for that price is hard to pass up. I think that Puig is the first I'm seeing of 2015 Prizm. Not a bad design, but I'm so burnt out on the brand and it's insistence with hitting you over the head with metallic silver.

Some Bowman cards, including a Gavin Cecchini PC need and a few other solid prospects. Again, these were sub-dime.

More cards. Love seeing Crime Dog as a Padre. Weird seeing Goose as an A. The Pete Rose card makes me laugh because of the time or two it was featured on Baseball Card Vandals.

I had been looking out for a Klesko Leaf RC, so I was happy to find it in the dimebox. Also another Caminiti sighting. Ernie Banks mini. Finest from Marquis Grissom and Reggie Sanders.

There were a pack or two worth of Cooperstown cards in the dimebox. I pulled out these 3 guys including Vin Scully, a man who definitely needs more cardboard representation out there, a cause I've taken up by making customs.

A couple each of Vlad and Miggy.

Last thing.
I really try to keep my collection limited to cards only, mainly for space/storage reasons, but confronted with free bobbleheads and cheap signed baseballs, I'll sometimes break the rules.

I said 50¢ was the most I spent on any card, but my splurge of the day was $5 for this autographed Ken Caminiti ball/card/display piece. It was priced at $10 and I debated it for a long time, walking by and talking myself into and out of it, and ultimately it was my final purchase of the day as I was on my way out, asking the guy if he'd take $5 for it. He said yes without hesitation, so everybody left happy. There's little doubt this is an authentic signed ball, because if someone were to bother forging it, they would certainly have done a better job, such as signing on the sweet spot. It's not the most impressive looking display stand, but for $5 I'm loving it. I'll likely swap out the card for one with him on the Padres, but that signed 1992 Leaf card is pretty cool, too.

The late, great Caminiti is a deep link for me to the Padres teams of the late 90s. I wasn't collecting cards at the time, but I watched nearly every game on TV and loved those teams, especially the '96 and '98 squads when they got into the playoffs. It's really just been in the past year or two that I've posthumously forgiven him for the PED shit and embraced collecting his cards, and this is a nice cornerstone of the Caminiti PC now.

So that wraps up another card show haul. Thanks for reading!