September 10, 2017

Show and Tell #133: Bean's Ballcard Blog Booty

Back in the spring, kin from Bean's Ballcard Blog asked for my address to send me some cards from my need list. At the time I was in the process into moving into a new house and I gave him our address with an "East" when it should have been a "West." This started a chain reaction of card being sent to me that would eventually get returned to Kin. It went out again to me and I think floated around my local post office undelivered until someone finally thought try "west" instead of "east." That note was written on the package when it found its way into my mailbox at the start of August. 

Inside was a great collection of cards featuring many of my favorite players. The overall highlight was this Bill Madlock jersey relic card from 2002 Upper Deck Sweet Spot Classic. Madlock is the favorite son of my current home of Decatur, Illinois and over the course of his career he won four National League batting titles.


He also included another Madlock card I was looking for on my needs list, his appearance in 1981 Topps. The reverse of his card highlights Madlock's role in the Pirates 1979 World Series championship where he had a four-hit performance in Game 5. 


Next up is a collection of cards featuring another fan favorite originally from Central Illinois. Jim Thome hails from Bartonville, Illinois which is just outside of Peoria and about an hour and a half from in Decatur.


Thome spent about two seasons with the Twins and his card from that era are my favorite Thome cards overall.. 


Also included were several Thomes that I didn't have yet, including this Home Run Heroes insert from 2011 Toppys Gypsy Queen and the ultra shiny Blue Sapphire insert from 2013 Bowman which features a reprint of Thome's Bowman rookie card from 1991. I also particularly like the die-cut Gold Medallion card from 2000 Fleer Ultra. 




One player in the PC that I really need to get a checklist together for is Jordan Zimmermann. Kin included a couple Zimmermanns (you always have to remember that second "n" in his last name) in the trade package and after leading the league in wins in 2013, Zimmermann has had a couple rough seasons with the Detroit Tigers. My collection of Zimmermann cards as a Tiger is almost nonexistent and I should really jump on that while they are still easy to find. 


Thanks again for the trade Kin!

September 7, 2017

Numerous New Niekros

My Dad has taken up as a hobby to take a look at my needs list and go eBay hunting for deals. A man has to fill his free time somehow now that he is retired! So when my parents take the trip down to Central Illinois for a visit he will bring a stack of cards along with him and the most recent group included numerous new Niekros for me to enjoy.

Without a doubt the highlight is personalized autograph of Joe Niekro. Some jabroni named Matt had it personally signed by Niekro and then sold it on eBay. There loss is my gain and it has taken its place as one of my favorite autographs. Now I just need to find an Andy Pafko autograph inscribed "To Matt" as well. 


"Okay Mr. Niekro, we're ready for your Topps baseball card photo. Please come over and stand directly into the sun Mr. Niekro. Okay, go ahead and squint those eyes. The more squinty the better as far as we're concerned! A little more please, I can still see one pupil. Okay great, say cheese!"



Phil Niekro pitched for the Braves from 1964 to 1983 and here is his 1976 Topps card. His home is listed as Decatur, Georgia on the back of card which is a sort of "brother city" to my home here in Decatur, Illinois as both cities were named after War of 1812 hero Stephen Decatur.


Recently, the King of the Baseball Card Blogs, Night Owl, tweeted on the supremacy of red-bordered team cards. I think that extents to all cards, including one of my favorites from the 1988 Topps set which features Phil and Joe winning their combined 530th game which broke Gaylord and Jim Perry's brotherly record.


Now this is a heavy metal card, literally. The No-Hitter Pin cards from 2016 Topps Series One are some of the heaviest cards ever made as that is big and made of metal. Phil's card honors his no-hitter from 1973 against the San Diego Padres and he threw nothing but knuckleballs from the 7th inning on.  


September 2, 2017

Becoming The Collector

For my birthday a few months ago my friend Scott gave me this amazing Lego mini figures case that holds 16 figures. He must have noticed me enviously looking at his during a visit to his house and I finally dug out my mini figures to fill it up this week. I went with eight Simpsons and eight Doctor Who mini figures with five doctors and some villains. 


I think it looks great but I will admit that I felt a little bit like The Collector when I placed the case on my shelf.


July 22, 2017

Genius Covers : My Amazing Copy of Fantastic Four Annual #1

You can find other entries in the Genius Covers series HERE

While I have a pretty formidable comic collection (purely in terms of number of comics), I don't really have a lot of key early issues from the 1960's and 70's. I do have a couple early issues of Daredevil but they are in pretty rough condition but as a kid collector I was more interested in the current issues than older ones and I didn't really care about owning the important issues when I could read reprints or graphic novels with those issues included.

All this recently changed when I received a great looking copy of Fantastic Four Annual #1 from 1963 for my birthday this year from my sister. I was flabbergasted as she included it at the bottom of a stack of inexpensive G.I. Joe comics from the 1980's and then BAM! a Jack Kirby cover smacks me across the face!

Here's the cover with colors just as vibrant as the day they were printed.



The issue story line finds the Fantastic Four running into trouble from the Sub-Mariner, prince of Atlantis. Written by Stan Lee and drawn by Jack Kirby, I believe this is my early 60's Kirby. Jeez, thanks Avril!



The issue also features the Thing battling a hammer head shark!



The Marvel annual issues were always filled to the brim with just about double the size of a normal issue and Fantastic Four Annual #1 filled its pages with full page art featuring the teams key villains from their first year in comics. First we have The Mole Man the first villain the team ever faced in issue #1.



Although Alicia Masters, the Puppet Master's step-daughter, dated the Thing for many years in the comics, he would become the father-in-law to the Human Torch when Alicia married Johnny Storm in Fantastic Four issue #300.



There was also an incredibly detailed map of the team's headquarters in the Baxter Building. Before the days of comic information being easily accessible it was these type of drawings that provided the amount of detail super fans needed to know every possible thing about the Fantastic Four.



Thanks again Avril for the totally unexpected surprise!

July 10, 2017

Possibly The Most Disturbing Chicago Cubs Cash-In Yet

Living in Illinois as I do, I'm sometimes surprised to be reminded that another baseball team also plays in Chicago other than the Cubs. It's a Cubs world here and we all just live in it and the White Sox are nowhere to be found.

The other day I was flipping through the newspaper coupon book/penny saver thing that comes once a week and a small postcard fell out into my lap. I recoiled in horror and I was face to face with the deep dark blue eyes of Kyle, the Littlest Cubs Fan. This officially licensed monstrosity product (thanks a lot MLB!) is a vinyl doll (and not a toy by the way, it is a collectible! as the fine print reads under his left elbow) dressed in a Cubs jersey that can be yours for only $159.99!

I pick up a lot of Chicago Cubs cards and oddballs for my L.T.T.P.R.M.D. (Long Time Trading Partner Reader Mike D.) and this would work out sooooo well for our next trade!

Me: "Oh, thanks Mike for finding an original 1954 Spic and Span Andy Pafko for me! That must have taken some time to track down."

Mike: "It was wasn't too hard, I found a good deal from a seller after about eight hours of searching." 

Me: "Thanks again. Here's your part of the trade. It is Kyle, the Littlest Cubs Fan."

Mike: "Delete my contact information."



At least you now know how you can push the eject button on any friendship you have with a Cubs fan. Plus, that $159.99 isn't so bad as you can spread it out over six payments of $26.67! 

July 9, 2017

Jesse Orosco Rookie Card and Autograph

One of my favorite type of players to collect are pitchers that have a career where they pitch forever. Some of my all-time favorites include Hoyt Wilhelm, Gaylord Perry, the Niekro brothers, and Kent Tekulve. 

The all-time king of "pitching forever" is Jesse Orosco who pitched from 1979 to 2003 and holds the record for pitching in 1,252 games. Although he is famous for winning World Series titles with the New York Mets (1986) and Dodgers (1988), Orosco began his career as a Minnesota Twin. He was then traded to the Mets as a part of the trade that brought Jerry Koosman to Minnesota. Orosco would also end his career pitching for the Twins in 2003 for eight games.

It doesn't appear that Orosco has any cards as a Twin from either of his stints with the team ( Add that to the "cards that should have been" list) and you can find his rookie card in 1980 Topps. He shares it with the 1986 Cy Young winner Mike Scott, making it a very respectable 80's multi-player rookie. 


Orosco only has a handful of certified autographs, including 2005 Topps Pristine Legends and 2013 Topps Archives, so I added an  TTM/in-person autograph of Orosco's 1983 Fleer card. I received this one from Reader Mike D. in a trade a while ago and I like how Jesse signed the card without signing over his portrait.