May 10, 2015

Salacious R. Crumb

I meant to post this on May the 4th a.k.a. Star Wars Day but life got in the way as it often does. I've been enjoying the Topps Star Wars Card Trader app a lot more than I did Topps Bunt and I'm looking forward to seeing Episode 7 packs as the release date gets closer.

I've been pulling quite a few Salacious B. Crumb cards and with a name like that you can't help but make a connection to world famous illustrator R. Crumb. He's best known for illustrating underground comics for decades including many of the legendary American Splendor series. Crumb is also famously the creator of the cover for the Big Brother and the Holding Company album Cheap Thrills. In the documentary Crumb he says he was paid nearly nothing for the famous cover.

Here's the original card:

May 9, 2015

Combining Two Things I Love: Fleer Stickers + Andy Pafko Autographs

I'm not sure why I didn't think of the genius of combining two of my favorite collecting things before: Fleer stickers and Andy Pafko autographs. I found this beauty on eBay of an Andy Pafko TTM autograph on a 1983 Fleer sticker which got me thinking about a blog that had slipped off my radar, The Fleer Sticker Project. Much like former card blogging greats Dinged Corners and Treasure Never Buried, the number of posts have dwindled to just a handful a year but I challenge you to find a better on all things Fleer stickers.

May 2, 2015

David Wright Spring Training Photos + A Heartbreaking Original

I recently received a bunch of 1972 minis from Tony of Off Hiatus Baseball Cards and one of them was this David Wright card with his tongue out which reminded me I've got some David Wright Spring Training photos I could share.

Surely one of these would made a better photo than the one selected by Topps? Well, maybe not this one in which David Wright's tongue is out again.

These photos were taken at a Cardinals/Mets game back in March when I was down in Jupiter, Florida.

Maybe if the 1972 design was a little different I would pick a non-traditional photo like Wright taking off his brace but the design really calls for a close up photo.

More David.

Even more David.

Even more David Part 2.

And here's another one with Wright swinging with the tongue out.

Here's a nice one of Wright ready for the pitch with a smile on his face. So let's try using the 72 design with this photo. 

With a little cropping we get this.

Not too bad I think. My seats were up the first base line so I had to zoom in to get photos at the plate so the image quality is not quite perfect but I do like it better than the tongue photo.

April 29, 2015

Love and Mercy, The New Brian Wilson Biopic

Somehow the 2013 Panini Beach Boys set slipped my attention and so I've only recently discovered the glory of B.B.W. relics...of course I mean Bearded Brian Wilson relics. According to the back of the card this relic comes from a Beach Boys reunion concert from the 80's.

2013 Panini Beach Boys Concert Gear #11 Brian Wilson Relic
My favorite 60's group rotates around between The Kinks, The Zombies, and The Beach Boys. While each group has their share of hits, it is their non-single tracks and concept albums that make them my personal favorites. My love for the Beach Boys really begins when Brian Wilson ditched the do-wop surfer songs for weird orchestral work in the late 60's. His music production slowed as he battled depression for many years. Wilson was eventually diagnosed with having schizophrenia and was placed under nearly 24-hour care by Dr. Eugene Landy who would later be accused of fraud and had to give up his psychologist license in California. This later part of Wilson's career is the subject of a new movie called Love and Mercy with John Cusak playing a middle-aged Wilson and Paul Dano playing a younger Wilson.

Here's the trailer for the movie which is releasing June 5th.

The title "Love and Mercy" comes from the first single of Wilson's comeback solo album of the same name. You'll notice on the "Love and Mercy" single that Dr. Eugene Landy is credited as co-writing and producing the song. These disputed credits may be why the Love and Mercy album was out of print for many years and will be finally re-released for the movie's release.

April 27, 2015

Heartbreaking Originals: Gumby, Middle Linebacker For The Packers

I was sorting through my Green Bay Packers team sets and around the mid-point of the 1981 Topps set I was hit with inspiration after being reminded of George Cumby's career with the Packers.

1981 Topps #228 George Cumby
And so here is Gumby, middle linebacker for the Packers during the 80's.

April 25, 2015

The Perfect Day And The Perfect Pack

Long before Miss Congeniality reminded the world that April 25th is the "perfect day"  I knew the day was special seeing as it is my birthday.

A birthday means guilt free card purchases so I picked up a couple of 2015 Topps WWE packs. The cardboard gods must have been shining down on me today because I received just about the perfect pack.

First up as base cards go we've got the upcoming WWE Championship match at the Extreme Rules Pay-per-View. Orton won't be able to use the RKO move and Rollins won't be able to get any help from The Authority as it will be a steel cage match. It should be an intriguing 20 minutes.

#70 Seth Rollins
#59 Randy Orton

Then the pack gave me possibly the most interesting female wrestler the WWE has had in quite a while..especially since A.J. Lee has retired.

#56 Paige

I also pulled a couple of Ric Flair inserts and a Santino Marella base card...nice but not exactly what the heck was I talking about with this "perfect" stuff?

 #68 Santino Marella
Crowd Chants "Woooooo" #8

Crowd Chants "Woooooo" #4

But now let's get to what really made this pack amazing. A 1:187 packs pull of a George "The Animal" Steele autograph! I've been looking for an Animal autograph for a long time as he was one of my favorite wrestlers as a kid but he was also a part of one of my favorite movies Ed Wood.

George played B-movie star Tor Johnson who was a leading actor in Ed Wood's Plan 9 From Outer Space. Tor, like George, was a professional wrestler before taking his turn in such classics as Bride of the Monster, The Unearthly, and The Beast of Yucca Flats.

April 24, 2015

New Topps Prints Offer Sy Berger Cut Autographs

A couple of weeks ago I wrote about the two Sy Berger cards I own and how it seems interesting that the father of modern trading cards hasn't appeared on too many at all. Topps seems to be making an effort to change that with a new run of 10x14 inch prints of Sy in the 1951 Topps design. The very cool thing about these new prints is that they include a Berger cut autograph and they will be hand numbered to $25. Topps is asking for $49.99 per print which is a pretty good deal considering his autographs can frequently be found for over $100.

Keith Olbermann On Steve Dalkowski

If you were paying attention on April 1st you probably saw that it was the 30th anniversary of the Sidd Finch story in Sports Illustrated. A real life version of that fictitious story is the story of the career of Baltimore Orioles prospect Steve Dalkowski. He was possibly the hardest throwing pitcher in baseball history and scouts put him well beyond Aroldis Chapman territory. Dalkowski's problem was accuracy and he was the inspiration for Tim Robbins' wild throwing character in Bull Durham.

1963 Topps #496 Rookie Stars
Dalkowski has one Topps card from 1963 which he shares with Fred Newman, Carl Bouddin, and Jack Smith. Recently Keith Olbermann talked about that famous card [which Olbermann looks to have had three out of the four pitchers sign] and Dalkowski in a segment from his show on ESPN2.