Wednesday, July 31, 2019

Extending my card collection into tarot cards

In a first for the blog, I'm writing while holed up at work due to a bomb threat in the building. If I get blown up, I want you all to know I really appreciate your readership over these past few years. Hit up my wife if you want to make an offer on my card collection. Don't lowball her or I'll haunt you good! (Nah, don't worry, it's just a crazy person disrupting my commute home so I'm stuck in the office for another hour or two till police get everything under control.)

But onto what I was gonna blog about... Let me first say that I'm not at all into astrology, fortunetelling, or any supernatural stuff along those lines. I think I'd fall under the umbrella of "skeptic" for all mystical hoobajoob. (--though I admit to keeping my distance from the number 13 when convenient, and I've been known to literally knock wood from time to time.)

But from a collector standpoint, I dig dusty old items associated with that kinda stuff.. exotic and weird brikabrak. Especially in regards to music, like the back cover of Jane's Addiction's Ritual de lo Habitual. And I've mentioned the band Rilo Kiley here a few times over the years and how they're a favorite of mine and how I met my wife through our mutual love of the band. Well, singer Jenny Lewis recently put out some tarot cards to help promote her new album, On The Line. (Just to prove how not into this scene I am, my wife had to correct me that the ending T in tarot is silent. It's "TA-row") 

You can get them from her website. It's like $10 (closer to $15 after shipping). Not super cheap, but I thought it was worth it to get some official Jenny Lewis cards into my collection. I know Gypsy Queen has put out some cool faux tarot inserts the past couple years, but other than that I didn't really own any of that type of stuff.

The collector in me is wary of opening up the shrinkwrap. But thanks to an online search, here's what they look like...

These are all based on Jenny Lewis songs (and one from her time in Rilo Kiley, "Silver Lining"). Pretty cool.

Some of these images may have previously surfaced on her Instagram or Spotify accounts. The decks were originally offered thru Spotify a few months ago and sold out very quickly (to my disappointment)-- but thankfully they eventually were back in stock on her website and I was able to grab one.

It's a good album. Check it out if that's your thing.

So there you have it, tarot cards added to my card collection. Howbout you? Any tarot cards or things of that nature mixed in with your trading cards?

Sunday, July 28, 2019

taking it back to 1987 with a few customs

Most of the customs I've made lately are for others, but I took some time today to make one for me I had been wanting to make for a long time.

Ha no, it wasn't Kathy Ireland, but the card I wanted to make was in the design of 1987 Donruss. Once I spent some quality time making a template, I had some fun with it.

Kathy Ireland is looking great for the Mets here in a meaningless late September game. Sadly, she would be DFA'd at the end of the season after only batting .198 in 74 at-bats.
Nah, I'm just being silly; I don't know the actual origin of the photo.

Bruce Springsteen gets a mocked-up card too. Kinda fun. Glory days, well, they'll pass you by.. am I right?

I wasn't planning on printing these above two out, but maybe someday.

Ok, here's the card I set out to create. Chris D. Jones is a guy who went to my high school and had brief stints in The Show with the Astros (1985) and Giants (1986), but unfortunately never got a real MLB card. In fact, I've only ever seen one photo of him in a major league uniform, this one that Rod shared with me. It's originally in black and white, though I've made an attempt at colorization here. Eh, good enough! I still need to make the back, but I hope to print out a few of these soon and make a TTM autograph request.

This one was a request on Twitter. Mickey Mantle taking Paul Simon deep in the video for "Me and Julio Down By The Schoolyard". Neat!

It was Hoyt Wilhelm's birthday the other day and I wanted to Tweet about it, but couldn't find this gif I made last year. (I usually search my blog to find my old gifs if I don't have them otherwise handy.) Maybe I forgot to post about it here? Well, there it is for next time!

Another one by request a few days ago. Here's a gif card of 75-year-old Luke Appling hitting a homer at an Old Timers game in '82 off Warren Spahn. Gotta love it!

That's all for today. Thanks for reading!

Saturday, July 27, 2019

worst card ever made and why

Here's a quick "participation trophy" entry for Daniel's big 10-year blogiversary contest. No one besides Dan should bother to read it. I'm just trying to stick my foot in the door for a scrap consolation prize consideration. I've got another attempt in the works (Cards of Honor), but it won't be finished in time.

One of the contest prompts was to do a post about "The worst baseball card ever made and why." Maybe this isn't the all-time worst card ever made, but it might be the worst card made of my favorite player, Tony Gwynn.

I received this as a surprise bonus card from the seller I bought the Dave Dravecky I needed to finish my 1987 Bohemian Heath Padres set. I should have just filed it away in the box with all my other Gwynns, but it sat out for a few weeks on my sorting table with its ugliness calling out to me to post about it.

In fairness, I don't really care for any "art cards" after 1956. Once color photography was made the norm with '57 Topps, painted cards became obsolete in my eyes. Dick Perez's Diamond Kings? No thanks. Early Upper Deck team checklists by V. Wells? Not so much. Topps Living Set? No way. Ok, maybe some Fleer Pro Visions cards are kinda cool. But still, but really my thing.

But back to this Gwynn.. I'm not even sure what set this is. I'd say "1991 Cardboard Dreams" but such a search has no results at TCDB or COMC. Three results on eBay, though. I don't think it looks much like Tony. My first reaction was.. ick! Speaking as someone whose done his share of low-quality sketchcards, I probably shouldn't talk when it comes to criticizing someone else's art, but hey, I never mass-produced any of my crappy drawings.
(Update: I've found it on TCDB)

The back.. ok, the back wins me over a bit. It's got a bonus drawing.. which, while still crappy, is at least fun. Big-headed Tony shooting hoops with a batting helmet and sunglasses. The copyright says printed in USA by L. Laughlin.. wait, it this from the same dude who was behind the great "Famous Feats" and World Series Highlights from the 70s and that popped up on the backs of some 80s Fleer stickers? Those are pretty cool. So I'll give respect to that, though the artwork here is definitely a step down.

While looking around for more of these cards, I found another card in the eBay completed listings worth taking a look at...

Wow, Laughlin wasn't pulling any punches. This is an incredible card commemorating Jose Canseco's brief, tabloid-tastic relationship with Madonna. I'm surprised I don't recall ever seeing it before.

So yeah, nevermind about that Tony being the worst card ever made.. this 16-card set might be on the shortlist of greatest baseball card sets ever! I should to try tracking down the rest. Cheers to you, Mr. Laughlin. I might not be a big fan of the artwork here, but it's fun to see baseball cards with some balls.

Wednesday, July 24, 2019

Can't get enough of that Duff -- Adding to the GNR collection

Busy week for me with some work training stuff going on. Not much time for my normal cardblog reading/writing. But here's a quick post.

I've mentioned here over the past couple years that Guns N' Roses is one of my all-time favorite bands.. perhaps thee top band for me at this point in time.. Some great jams, and high on the nostalgia meter for me, as Appetite For Destruction was among the first few cassettes I ever bought back in the day, and videos for the likes of "November Rain" and "You Could Be Mine" were all over MTV back when I was at my most influenceable.

Last year, I scored an Axl Rose auto in a megatrade. And now in addition to the band's lead singer, I've added the bassist, with a semi-certified auto of Duff McKagan.

This was another inclusion in my order from Newbury Comics (one of the few big remaining independent [non-Amazon] CD stores)-- in which I also got a Harry Shearer autograph.

With a dark cover, maybe a silver pen signature would have popped better, but hey, still looks good.

Along with the signed booklet came a sealed CD-- not a bad deal for about the same price I used to buy new CDs for back in the day. I've listened to the album and it's really good! You don't have to be a GNR fan to dig it. I'd say it's probably closer to 70s rock along the lines of The Band and T-Rex, perhaps even some of the mellow blusier numbers from the Rolling Stones. Thoughtful tunes from an aging rocker who's seen it all and lived to tell the tale.

This isn't my fav song on the album, but a good one that's available on YouTube, so there it is.

Duff is best known as GNR's bassist, and he took a turn at lead vocals on a few songs such as "So Fine" (Use Your Illusion) and "Attitude" (The Spaghetti Incident). He's also put in time with supergroup Velvet Revolver and had short-term stops with alt rock legends Alice In Chains and Jane's Addiction.

He's from Seattle and is a big Mariners fan.

So yeah, my Guns auto collection has doubled to two. Still a few left to round out the band, with the biggest name to add being Slash-- and while you might assume his trademark top hat would have popped up in the likes of Ginter, Goodwin, or Pop Century over the years-- no, he doesn't seem to have any cards out there as of right now. Oh well, I'll keep looking to add to my GNR collection. Maybe I'll complete a starting lineup of signatures for the band by the time I'm knockin' on heaven's door.

Sunday, July 21, 2019

Ginter? I hardly know 'er!

I was gonna try to hold off buying any 2019 product until Archives, but caved and picked up a blaster of 2019 Alan & Gyntur (sic) at the grocery store while shopping yesterday.

Side note, I've noticed they've started including "anti-theft" tags like these on some of the card boxes on the shelf. That's cool, I guess, but..
- This doesn't help prevent pack-searching (or the rising phenomenon where an asshole buys a box of cards, takes it home, replaces the contents with junkwax cards, then returns the box to the store for a refund).
- In a busy store, they usually don't even bother stopping people when the alarm sounds at the exit.
- There are usually these sticker chip things inside the box anyways.

So it's kind of pointless, but whatever.

Onto the cards!

A few inserts of guys I collect.

Some active dudes I collect.

Retired greats.

The minis treated me well, with this trio of guys I collect highlighted by Mr. Trout.

And my other minis. The monkey infant is pretty cute. These are available for trade. The bottom pair are A&G backs.

Some non baseball. The shuttle card is pretty neat, though seems a little out of place. Post Malone gets my vote for worst card of the pack. I try to keep an open mind on music, but... yuck. And for the Fallon guy, turns out he's from the band The Gaslight Anthem, whom I think are ok, though I often confuse them with a band I like better called Streetlight Manifesto. I guess it's the "something-light" in the name that throws me.

A few more inserts. Also up for trade.

And arguably saving the best for last, I pulled a hit!...

And it's a guy I collect: Didi Gregorius.. Sweet! Though it's a boring plain grey swatch, the card design presents it in an interesting way.. like an eclipse. And hey, I pulled it on the 50th anniversary of the moon landing. How poetic!

So that was actually a pretty solid blaster for me! Pulled a hit of a guy I collect, and a bunch more cards for my collection, not to mention some fresh trade bait. Can't complain about that!
Thanks for reading.

Saturday, July 20, 2019

Dutch takes my magic number down to 14

My lofty goal of completing 2004 Topps Retired refractor autos took another step closer thanks to recently scoring Darren Daulton here. I've considered this my #1 collecting goal for the past several years. Just 14 left to go.

Daulton was a fan favorite behind the plate, and sadly passed away from cancer in 2017.

Dutch went out on top as a player, batting .389 in the 1997 World Series, and announcing his retirement shortly after his Marlins beat the Indians in 7 games. By then, he wasn't catching anymore, instead playing 1st or right field. The catcher for that '97 Florida squad was Charles Johnson, and hey, I just made a custom for him (as part of Johnny's custom commissions), so I'll add it as a little bonus to this post.
Johnson was picked as catcher for the Topps All-Star Rookie team after the 1995 season, but didn't get a Topps card the next year. Here's a 1996 Topps "card that should have been". It's my first attempt at a 1996 Topps custom and I half-assed some aspects, but hey, close enough.
And it's his birthday today. Happy Birthday, CJ!

Friday, July 19, 2019

Scenes from P-town

Plenty of solid dudes on the ol' cardsphere, but none more solid than P-town Tom. He's the type of guy where if he found a 1/1 card in a dimebox, he'd bring it to the dealer's attention. Me? Ain't gonna lie, I'd swiftly and without fanfare add it to my stack.

Anyways, it had been a year or so since we last swapped cards, but we recently made up for that and struck a big trade.

Love this custom Tom whipped up on the Rookies App.

Great to see the Vogelmoster having a breakout season.

To drive the point home that it's been a long time since I traded with Tom, he had a bunch of '90 UD Marquis Grissoms set aside for me... and he apologized for being a bit late, as I announced the conclusion of this project back in January. Oh well, I can probably squeeze in a couple more pages to the binder!

A few needs from my '88 Fleer wantlist, plus a nice little lot of '87 Fleer, which I haven't made a wantlist for yet-- still rounding up whatever I can, but I almost have enough now to sort out what I've got and put up a list. If anyone has any surplus '87 Fleer to dump, maybe we can swing a trade.

And a big lot of 50 Ron Gant cards! Looks like Tom had a PC of him going but decided to cut bait. I'll happily take them. I'm likely past the magic 100-card milestone for my Gant PC now thanks to this lot.

But the bulk of Tom's big box was FIVE complete (or near-complete) sets from the overproduction era that I had been wanting to add to my collection. I'm thinking I'll do a post on each of these to give them proper love-- highlighting favorite cards and whatnot. So look for those in the not too distant future.

Great stuff, Tom!! I'll get cracking on your return very soon.

Thanks for reading and have a great weekend, everybody!

Tuesday, July 16, 2019

these cards that have shown up

Last week my mailbox smiled upon me with a package from John Miller and a PWE from Sport Card Collectors at Parts Of My Past. Oh, and a late addition from Matt at Diamond Jesters will get shown off in this post, too.

When I saw SCC received this Rickey oddball in a big lot of various cards from somebody, I figured it probably wasn't a long-term fit in his collection, so I let him know I'd be interested in it.. and lucky me, here it is! It's from 1990 Topps Top Active Career Batting Leaders. These are unicorns in that they're overproduction era cards that are actually tough to find and worth a few bucks each. I don't know much about this set or how it was distributed, but I can tell you there are 22 cards in the set, and if you go trying to track them down, it'll quickly become clear just how tricky they are to dig up. This batting cage shot of Rickey looks awesome, with a green border really helping A's cards pop. And howbout that fat cup trophy logo? Love it! The edges might be a little rough, but I'm thrilled to add this to the Rickey PC.

Pretty simple back, but cool enough.

UPDATE: Thanks to Rod tipping me off that these came in special Kmart rack packs, similar to below...


SCC has been responsible for building up my Tim Duncan PC a lot in the past year or two, and here are 4 more.

Plus a shiny Tony Parker to round out the surprise envelope.

Thanks, SCC! Very cool. I've already shot a return your way.

-    -  - ---o

So, the other week I had a little baseball card breakdown of my own trying to deal with the big list of requested customs John Miller hit me with a while back. You know I love hooking my trader buddies up with customs, but this list was starting to feel overwhelming. I've been working on it for months and am only about halfway through. It's so daunting that I simply haven't been making many customs lately. And other buddies have customs they've asked me to make, but they are buried in the queue. So anyways, I drunkenly bitched about this to John and he told me to take my time and kindly offered to send over some more cardboard motivation.

Sorry for the blurry photo, but this is a great lot of 1972 Topps. A bunch of needs and upgrades for me here... including my first 2 high numbers from the nasty 6th Series! This lot blasts me past the midway point, all the way up to 53.33% complete.

Big thanks, John! Sorry for freaking out on you like that. I'll keep at it and hope to finish your list in a few more months.

[UPDATE: I forgot to mention that the package arrived with a USPS sticker saying it arrived unsealed. Hopefully there weren't more cards in there originally that didn't show up. There were 2 team bags, with cards in order, but starting at #127, which seems suspicious that there wouldn't be more low numbers. So perhaps there was another team bag with the cards under #127 that got lost? That'd be a bummer!]

-   -  - --o

Next are some cards from Matt K.'s "Time Travel Trading" project. It's a cool idea, though looks like he's been seeing dwindling interest in it. I checked the available cards against my vintage wantlists and found several I needed, then narrowed them down to a PWE's worth.

Did I say '72 Topps was 53.33% complete? Make that 53.46% now! lol
Plus 3 needs for my 1970 setbuild, which is tiptoeing along, still less than 10% finished.

And more needs from the super 70s, as well. Nice selection of names here.

Thanks for the trade, Matt! I need to round up some correspondingly-older cards for these, and hope to put them in the mail very soon.

Oh, and I just got a huge box of cards from P-town Tom, but that'll have to wait for another post. The list of people I owe cards to is now up to a baker's dozen (including the winners of my latest contest that was a month ago), and I don't feel good about that. I really gotta get off my ass and send out some return cards soon. Sorry, guys.

Thanks for stopping by.

Saturday, July 13, 2019

card show carnage

Kind of a rough card show for me today. I left my house around 9:30 and was home about 11.. which might be my briefest card show experience to date.

I shouldn't complain too much, since I picked up a few decent cards, plus I know not everybody has easy access to a monthly card show, but I left feeling unsatisfied. A big part of it was there were so many people flocked around the good dealers that it was hard to check out all the bins I wanted to. But the most painful part was I had my eye on a couple boxes of off-condition vintage that a dealer was getting rid of really cheap. Without laboring over the story too much, the boxes got swiped out from under me due to a moment's hesitation. It was pretty crushing, but I guess that's how card shows go sometimes.

But let's put on a positive face and check out some of the cards I brought home. This post will be bookended by a couple cards that ran me $20 for the pair, and then everything in the middle was 50¢ each.

Gotta love a vintage Hank Aaron. Wasn't a steal or anything, but a solid pickup.

Hard to pass up any cheap pre-war vintage. Took a flyer on this old-looking bird card. Looking it up, seems it's 1933 Dwight's Soda Useful Birds of America Sixth Series #14 Rose-Breasted Grosbeak. Not in perfect condition, though the junk in its beak is supposed to be there... must've been on its way to build a nest. (UPDATE: I've have been corrected! It's more likely a potato bug in its mouth about to be chomped down. Oh, the carnage!)

Looks like it's worth a few bucks, so it was a good buy for 50¢.

Some of today's big names.

A pair of numbered Heritage parallels from last year.

Bartolo /100, Ortiz /149, and Gavin Cecchini /499.

Some shiny young dudes.

record scratch---oh wow, looks like my find of the day is that Carter Kieboom mega box mojo refractor. Turns out it's the "white jersey" photo variation SP (as opposed to the base version featuring a red jersey) and goes for around $20 according to COMC. Nice! Got lucky there. Perhaps I should start feeling better about how I made out today.

Also, COMC is telling me that Yordan Alvarez is a $10 card. Now I regret leaving the other 2 copies I came across near it. Hmm.. is it too late for me to go back to the show? LOL. They might still be there as I type.

COMC also has the Vladimir Guerrero Jr. listed at $16. Yeah, looks like these 3 were my shrewdest purchases of the day.

Then I bumped into Padrographs Rod and he had a couple things for me...

Sweet!.. I was looking for this 2019 AAF card to effectively wrap up my Gavin Escobar PC.

Honestly, '88 Topps might be my least favorite set ever-- way overproduced... drab, dark backs-- but I have a long-term goal to get all the main sets from that era, so it's nice to check this one off. Rod wound up with a 1988 factory set he didn't need, and was kind enough to pass it off to me. Thanks, Rod! I appreciate it.

And my last pickup to feature from today...

I had been wanting Stan Musial's "Topps Rookie" for a while, so I was happy to score this one. Musial wasn't under contract with Topps for most of his career until finally showing up in 1958 with this All-Star card.

So there are the highlights (also grabbed a few more cards that either weren't interesting enough to show or are already set aside for trader buddies). While it was a somewhat frustrating experience in the moment, I feel ok about my haul now. And I only spent $30, which is on the low end for my card show expenditures, so it's all good.