Thursday, April 29, 2021

Gettin' crafty: Repurposed Classic gameboard display

Earlier in the year, I posted about a 1991 Classic baseball trivia board game I bought for the cards and mentioned I had intentions to turn the gameboard into a wall display. Well, I finally got around to that and it turned out pretty good!

Here ya go. As you can see, it's built to field a 9-card team. I've currently got the Springfield Nine out there. Matching players to positions makes the most sense with this layout, but hell, you could throw 9 random Reggie Jackson cards in there or whatever. If the baseball gods smile upon me and San Diego finally wins the World Series someday, I'd likely put the Padres' championship starting lineup in there.

Cards are held in place by magnet stickers-- cheap on eBay or Amazon-- each with one on the board and one on the toploader, making them super easy to remove and swap out cards, yet they stick well enough to where I wasn't able to just shake them off, even with a pretty good jolt. I had considered using velcro, but am happy with the sleeker, quieter choice of magnets.

Here's a look at the board sans cards before I put it up.

Drilled a hole in centerfield (welp, still the infield, but working with the space allowed) and screwed it into the wall. Thought about putting another screw at catcher, but instead just a piece of blue tape underneath was sufficient to anchor the bottom and keep it level.

Encased cards are no problem either. Just throw a magnet into the protective sleeve. I should mention that magnets can differ in strength, so if you try this at home, obviously test how strong the magnets you're using are before trying it out with good cards. Weak magnets could present a problem.

Adding a horizontal card into the mix works too, but requires a different toploader with the magnet rotated 90° so that the magnetic poles line up with the board or whatever. Score a point for velcro in this instance. Thick cards would need thick top-loaders, too. But with enough toploaders and magnets, you could have pretty much any combination of cards in your display. If you're low on supplies, you could try just jamming the magnet behind the card in the top-loader instead of sticking it to the back, but I'd be wary of damaging the card that way. Another method would be like with the above graded card and just put the toploader in a team bag with a magnet in it.

It's a nice touch to my little cardroom that I've been working on since moving into our new house a few months ago. Between shelves and stuff Tetris'd in there, this was one of the few bare spots on the walls in the room. The area doesn't get direct sunlight, so I shouldn't have to worry about cards fading, though I probably still wouldn't put out high-dollar cards for too long, same as with any display. 

You could add a 10th spot in the dugout for a DH or manager if you wanted, though I'm content with this layout for now. If I wanted this to be a team-centric display, I might stick a round '89 Upper Deck hologram sticker or maybe old Fleer sticker over the opposing league's on-deck circle-- so like if I was doing a Padres board, I'd slap a Padres sticker over the AL logo.

But yeah, it's a fun, "living" display that barely cost anything to put together since I already had the board. I'm looking forward to trying it with different combinations of cards. If it starts to feel stale, just swap in some fresh cards.

What do you think, sirs?

Sunday, April 25, 2021

Retired or Die

Welp, I should have had my big COMC shipment to enjoy this weekend, just a quick trip from Washington down to Oregon, but adding to the comedy of errors, the USPS misrouted it and it's currently bumbling around Northern California for no good reason instead of clutched in my hands. grrr. Hopefully it finds its way to me eventually, though I've got a busy couple weeks ahead of me, so now I probably won't have the time to really go through it for a while anyways. Sure would have been perfect for this slow weekend, but oh well I guess. Honestly I'll probably just toss the box directly into the trash when it arrives, possibly dousing it with gasoline and setting it aflame in an orgy of spite and fury. Ok, maybe I'm being a little over-dramatic now.

For today's post, here are a few more Topps Retired cards I picked up recently. I'm still obsessed with this line that Topps put out for 3 years, 2003-2005. Looking at my eBay purchase history, my card purchases for the past couple months feature winnings of (10) Retired listings and (5) other (non-Retired) card listings. And that's pretty much all the cards I've bought over the past two months. Haven't been on Sportlots in a while, and it'll be some time till COMC is back in my good graces. I could have gone to the card show last weekend, but anticipating lots of people and raised prices, I decided to just stay home. They probably didn't have any Retired autos I needed anyways, and I think that's basically what I'm focusing on until the hobby bubble bursts and I can start working on vintage sets again.

This 2005 Retired Lou Brock refractor auto was a terrific win for me, as I had actually bought one of these a few months earlier, but the seller flaked and never sent it or responded to my inquiries (which was weird because it was an eBay user I've dealt with a few times in the past, scoring a few Retired cards from him and even selling some to him years back). I got a refund from eBay and eventually this other one popped up and I ended up winning it for a few bucks cheaper, so I suppose it all worked out in the end.

Brock is more associated with the Cardinals, but I think it's refreshing to see him from his early days in Chicago. The speedy HOFer sadly left us last September.

Here's a former teammate of Lou's in St. Louis. Tim McCarver and Joe Buck teamed up for probably my least favorite baseball broadcasting team ever, forced upon us by Fox every postseason for several years. But now that McCarver's been retired from the booth for awhile... time heals all wounds and whatever, he's fine. I don't see this 2003 Retired card for sale very often, so I went after it when it popped up at a solid price. It's just a base auto, but I'd love to upgrade to the refractor parallel someday. That big blue sky would look great with some rainbow shine on it, I'm sure.

Funny to see a catcher leading the majors in triples with 13 in 1966. (Brock was just behind him with 12.)

Wrapping up the post is a trio of John Candelaria cards from '05. I typically don't go to hard after non-auto Retired parallels, but I like Candy Man and this lot was a decent price, so I took a run at it. It's my 2nd Retired printing plate, following a 2005 Tippy Martinez plate auto. (Base cards and autos had separate plates inserted. Auto plates have stickergraphs on them, not signed on-plate. I wouldn't be opposed to try getting this base plate signed IP/TTM someday.)

Golds are /500 and the black is /54. Good colors for a Pirate. The only other parallel in '05 Retired is the rainbow foilboard 1/1. I've got the Kaat of those. Maybe someday I'll score the Candelaria and complete the rainbow, but won't hold my breath.

Thanks for swinging by.

Wednesday, April 21, 2021

Pair of PWEs and COMC consternation

I hammered out a quick PWE swap with Bo for a couple cards from my sidebar wantlist. Hank Aaron bookends the 1975 Topps set and this #660. Still need the #1 highlight card among the 95 cards left on my '75 Topps wantlist. I'm closer to the finish line with '74 Topps-- more on that in a minute. Great leg kick photo on the Juan Marichal.

And a few nice bonus cards of PC guys along for the ride. Love the O-Pee-Chees (O-Pee-Cheese?).

Thanks, Bo! Always a pleasure.

 -  -  -  ---o

Chris The Collector recently celebrated a blogging milestone and sent out cards to some lucky readers to say thanks for reading and commenting. Great to score more cards of instant Padres legend Joe Musgrove, my first additions since his no-no. He's joined here by fellow Padre Eric Hosmer and fellow San Diegan Stephen Strasburg.

A couple Xanders, a Doolittle, and the star of the envelope Jim Palmer. I'm now down to just 27 cards left on my '74 Topps wantlist, with about half of those being variations that I ultimately might not worry about when it comes right down to it.

1974 Topps needs (not counting Washington "Nat'l Lea." variations)
7 Jim Hunter
20 Nolan Ryan
85 Joe Morgan
160 Brooks Robinson
201 Batting Leaders Carew/Pete Rose
202 HR Leaders Jackson/Stargell
207 Strikeout Leaders Ryan/Seaver
212 Rollie Fingers
273 Checklist 265-396
300 Pete Rose
338 Jackson/Billy Williams AS
414 Checklist 397-528
598 Rookie Outfielders (Ken Griffey)
599A Rookie Pitchers (Padres reg font)
599B Rookie Pitchers (Padres big font)
608A Rookie Pitchers ERR (Apodaco)
654B Jesus Alou COR (outfield)

I should really hit this hard and close the book on '74 one of these days (..seems like I've been saying this for a couple years now, lol). Please let me know if you've got any of these available for trade and I'll try to find you something nice in return.

Great stuff, Chris-- thanks! Congrats on 500 posts and here's to many more!

-    -   - ----o

And one purchase to squeeze into this post.

I've got a ton of Wil Myers cards and don't really need any more, but in a moment of weakness last week I pulled the trigger on this Christmas Card for a decent price.

I didn't realize it until just now scanning through my blog's archives, but this is the 4th 12/25 "Silver Signatures" card from 2013 Topps Five Star in my collection!

Neat. Cornering the market on these things. haha

Anyways. So I got a "Shipment Update: Shipped" email from COMC the other day and I got really excited that my order from last November was finally on the way. But then I was crushed when the just above Wil Myers card arrived in a lonely, small bubble mailer. Turns out I didn't even look at the seller when I bought it, but it was through COMC's ebay consignment account.

So that was a bummer. BUT then yesterday I got another "Shipment Update: Shipped" email from COMC, and this time it really is my big order from last November. So I've got that to look forward to soon. I barely remember what-all is even in there at this point, but I'm sure there's a bunch of fun stuff that I'll show off on the blog in the near future.

Saturday, April 10, 2021

Good times for this Padre fan (trades n' stuff)

Big night for my Padres the other night! I would have been ecstatic if San Diego got a no-hitter from some random call-up I never heard of, but what makes it even sweeter is that Joe Musgrove is from my hometown and I've been collecting the guy's cards for a few years already. Congrats, Joe! Making El Cajon proud.

Such a great story of a local kid rising who grew up rooting for them to achieve that elusive Padres no-hitter. Seems like a real good dude, too. Gotta bump him up into the "high priority" tier of my player wantlist.

Now to catch up on some good stuff that's come my way from trader buds over the past couple weeks.

Friend of the blog Alex T. has been incredibly generous with hooking me up with cool oddities for my collection for a few years now. I'm falling behind because I also got a great Dick Allen set from him not long ago I haven't posted about yet, but more recently was this Rod Beck postcard and a pack/set of Michael Bolton softball cards.

"The Trucker" comes from a series of Marvelous Moustaches postcards by Left Field Cards, created by French-born artist Amelie Mancini. I remember checking these out a couple years ago after hearing about them somewhere on the cardsphere. I debated purchasing a set, but ultimately didn't pull the trigger and I think they sold out shortly thereafter. So it was an awesome surprise to pull Rod Beck out of the package.

Alex reached out to Amélie about availability for an order, was able to snag this one for my Shooter PC, and he even thought to ask if Amélie would be so kind as to sign them, which she graciously did down on the back.

I had to frame it up, at least for a while, and currently have it hanging in the living room. My wife says to her it's a picture of Kenny Powers, and she's not far off.

Here are what the softball cards look like. We got to talking about these cards after Michael Bolton was featured on my 1991 MusiCards blog, and Alex happened to have an extra of this set to spare. Especially love the Yount.

Big thanks, Alex! Great stuff.

- - ---o

I did a quick PWE swap with Robert at $30 a week habit. My 2011 Topps parallel frankenset has really slowed down in recent years, but I haven't nixed the project yet. I'm nearing 700 different cards for it, but still just a little over halfway done. So yeah, these Jays needs from Robert are appreciated.

- - ---o

Night Owl struck with an expertly curated package of cards. I collect more Dodgers than I should, being a Padres fan, but yep, I'm very happy to receive Greg's dupes of Walker Buehler or Gavin Lux.

Also a pair of blue Fire Matt Chapman cards and some set needs.

And some vintage set needs! Love to see it!! Feels like this part of my collection is kinda paused waiting for the current sportscard bubble to pop and get those prices back down a notch or two.

But the real star was this well-loved 1957 Elston Howard. Solid name to check off my long-running '57 Topps setbuild. Nice!

Thanks a lot, Greg! Much appreciated! I'll return the favor pretty soon.

Thanks for reading. Go get that cardboard! :)

Sunday, April 4, 2021

I got my own card!

Indie card publisher RRParks put out 3 series of Mystery Science Theater 3000 card sets via Kickstarter in recent years, then a "Series Four" earlier this year. The window for his licensing agreement had expired by that point, so the last series isn't technically a MST3K release, though it focuses on the old short films riffed on the show-- typically cheesy semi-educational shorts that are in the public domain so you don't have to worry about licensing.

The real allure of the 4th series for me was the special Fan Subset, where all us collectors of MST cards could get their own card created and included in the set by emailing in a picture and some text for the back. So that pushed me over the top to back the Kickstarter, and then what made it really cool is an "autograph exchange" was organized.. which I'll get to in a second.

Here's my card. You might've gotten a sneak peek on Fuji's non-comeback post. I was originally leaning towards using the photo of me and Annie at the Goonies house sign, but feared the Goonies logo could make for a legal sticking point, as we were advised to steer clear of copyrighted crap.. but I probably could have gotten away with it. Oh well. I overthunk which photo to choose for a few days, and ultimately ended up with this selfie from a Portland Pickles game a few years back. Just a generic pic of me where I don't look too ugly, if maybe a little smug. I'm wearing a shirt with the old-school Topps logo, but you only see a bit of it. (My first "Topps card"?? lol)

I'm card #37 in the set. The moon background makes it kinda tricky to read the text, but overall the backs are solid. Included with everything was a "glossy back / matte front" error card where the back text is easier to read. Funny how that works. I suppose being glossy keeps it sharp, whereas a matte finish might blur slightly.

See, here's the glossy back on the left plus a couple other printing errors Richard was cool enough to throw in.

The fan subset contains 115 cards. Of those, 85 signed up to do the autograph exchange, including myself. So that means I had to sign 85 of my own cards like a bigshot. lol.

It took me about 2 weeks to sign them all, but that's because I doodled on each one, and occasionally made little alterations to mix things up. Some have rounded corners. Some have a red ink auto, some black. The sketch is MST3K's Tom Servo, and I tried to come up with something different for him to be saying on each card. This was back in February when I was "going through some shit" and this process of writing on the cards was sort of therapeutic. I tried to keep it light, though there may be some dark ones like Servo saying rude things to me, lol. Oh, and one card I'm "in drag", adding makeup to my photo... and one card I've been beat up, adding bloody scratches and a black eye. But other than those two, I don't think I messed with the photo much. But as I went along, I started incorporating the white parts from the Topps logo in my shirt to become part of the sketch (turning the white parts into Servo's shoulders). It kinda worked sometimes. And on some cards I noted the preferred pronunciation of my last name. Sometimes I traced my name because it made it look kinda cool. Stuff like that. I kept the stack of cards by my work(from home)station, and when I needed a break / procrastination activity, I'd write on a card or two.

After I signed and doodled on all 85 fronts, I turned the stack over and then tackled the backs, doing a quick sketch of Crow in the available space. Yeah, it was a time-consuming choice, but it was fun and I bet a couple of the recipients probably got a kick out of the extra effort. Sometimes Crow is making a MST reference, or just a random quip that popped to mind. I also shared a link to my main hub because it's quicker to write than "" but the blog is linked on there, so who knows, maybe I'll pick up a new reader or two. Hey, IT COULD HAPPEN! :P

I believe all 115 fan subset subjects received something like 125 copies of their own card (in addition to the full 115-card fan subset). So after the 85 for the autograph exchange, I've got about 30 cards of mine left. So if you're one of my usual trade partners, don't be surprised to maybe find one thrown in among a future package of cards from me. If you actively want one-- like you've got a "blogger cards" minicollection or you're just a huge Baseball Card Breakdown fanboy-- feel free to let me know and I'll set one aside for you.

So anyways, yeah, very cool to have a real card of myself out there! I've made myself a custom or two over the years, but nothing as legit as this.

I should show off some of the other fan cards while I'm at it.

I wasn't the only one who did a little extra when signing the cards. Neat! The metallic ink looks good. I don't currently have any of those pens or I would have used one probably.

Several of the cards have multiple autographs.. love it! I had a couple dual autos in my collection before this.. but a 4x signed card is new for me!

Some cute pets made it into the set.

Some got artistic with their pictures.

A lot of MST3K-themed photos, no surprise.

So that should give you a good overview of this fun Fan Subset. Got back one of my own from the autograph exchange. Rock on, indeed.

There's 72 signed fan cards here, with the remainder apparently being the non-US fans who are having their cards dealt with separately due to the slowness of international mail. Hopefully everything goes according to plan there and the import autographs are soon added to the gang here.

I still need to post about all the other MST cards I've gotten in the past several months-- the rest of Series Four's highlights, plus a very large amount of Series Three from early last year, and the MST-adjacent set for Manos: The Hands of Fate. Lots of great sketchcards and autographs among the cards there I need to get around to posting about one day.

Thanks for reading!