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 perfect...so 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.

April 23, 2015


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April 22, 2015

Taking A Closer Look At The 2015 Green Bay Packers Schedule

NFL Schedule Day is always one of my favorite days as it is sort of the unofficial beginning of the upcoming season. There was a little drama with key games being leaked before the schedule was officially released including details that the Packers would be playing the Bears on Thanksgiving.

The Packers get to play the NFC West and AFC West this year so it might be a great schedule if the 49ers and Cardinals fall from "elite team" status back to mediocrity. Let's take a closer look at the season split into four quarters. Overall, we have one Monday night game [Week #3], two Sunday night games, and two Thursday games, including that Thanksgiving game against the Bears.

1956 Topps #43 Gary Knafelc
Last season we opened the season at the Seahawks and this season we get the Seahawks at home during Week #2. If we can get passed the Seahawks it's possible we could start the season 4-0 but I'm imagining a 3-1 start is a pretty safe bet.

Week 1 - Sunday, 9/13 At Chicago Bears

Week 2 - Sunday Night, 9/20 Home Seattle Seahawks

Week 3 - Monday Night, 9/28 Home Kansas City Chiefs

Week 4 - Sunday, 10/4 At San Francisco 49ers

1955 Bowman #57 Howard Ferguson
In the second quarter we have our bye in Week #7 which is a pretty good placement. At worst I see a 2-2 split over these four games and if the Broncos continue to decline we could be 3-1. I think we will be 6-2 at the end of Week #9.

Week 5 - Sunday, 10/11 Home St. Louis Rams

Week 6 - Sunday, 10/18 Home San Diego Chargers

Week 7 - BYE

Week 8 - Sunday Night, 11/1 At Denver Broncos

Week 9 - Sunday, 11/8 At Carolina Panthers

1993 Stadium Club #247 Reggie White
Now here comes the tough NFC North streak. I really can't see the Lions being any better than last season and the Vikings and Bears may actually be worse than last year. I'm being bold and saying we go 4-0 here including a huge victory on Thanksgiving making us 10-2 overall. The rumor is also that Brett Favre's jersey will be retired during the Thanksgiving game.

Week 10 - Sunday, 11/15 Home Detroit Lions

Week 11 - Sunday, 11/22 At Minnesota Vikings

Week 12 - Thanksgiving, 11/26 Home Chicago Bears

Week 13 - Thursday Night, 12/3 At Detroit Lions

1998 Ultra Reggie White Commemorative Card #R1
The last quarter of the schedule could be especially great for the Packers if the Cowboys and Cardinals slip back into mediocrity. We finish the season at home against the Vikings who probably won't have Adrian Peterson and I'm hoping for a nice New Year's snowstorm. I'm saying we go 3-1 giving us 13-3 record with a good chance of being the #1 seed. Of course this can all go to shit with one bad tackle on Aaron Rodgers...or an Olivia Munn breakup.

Week 14 - Sunday, 12/13 Home Dallas Cowboys

Week 15 - Sunday, 12/20 At Oakland Raiders

Week 16 - Sunday, 12/27 At Arizona Cardinals

Week 17 - Sunday, 1/3 Home Minnesota Vikings

April 21, 2015

My Kwik Trip 3-D Green Bay Packers Cups

During the 2014 NFL season the gas station chain Kwik Trip offered a series of Green Bay Packers cups featuring the star Packers players. The cups were 3-D like the old Sportsflics card series and as you rotated the cup the images of the players moved. A new cup would be available each week over the course of seven weeks. I jokingly told my Dad that he should get me a set and wouldn't you know it a set was waiting for me in a box this Christmas. I made a little video of the cups and how they seem to move when you rotate them. Only 135 days until the NFL season begins!

April 20, 2015

Pitchers At The Bat

This short-printed Bartolo Colon card from 2015 Topps Gypsy Queen showing him in all his rotund glory swinging at what I assume is a fastball down the middle. Depending on how good a season CC Sabathia has he and Colon will probably go back and forth in being the active pitcher with the second most wins behind Tim Hudson.

I love cards featuring pitcher batting and especially bat relics for pitchers. The Colon card also reminded me that I've got some more Spring Training photos to share, specifically of a pitcher batting. If you remember I attended a Cardinals/Mets game with John Lackey pitching for the Cardinals.

Lackey is a 13-year veteran of the Angels and Red Sox and won World Series with both teams before being traded to the Cardinals in 2014.

When Lackey came to bat the couple times he did before being pulled he, shall we say, put in about as much effort as you think a 36-year old pitcher would make in the Florida sun during Spring Training.

This photo does seem to prove that Lackey did get his bat off his shoulder but I would have testified in court that it didn't happen during the game.

Sometimes you've got to adjust things to be ready to watch a pitch fly by.

But at the last moment Lackey hacked at a pitch and fouled a ball off into the stands. The Cardinals fans erupted and cheered for him and I think Lackey got a kick out of it.