June 30, 2011

Show and Tell #103:A Trade of Trades Regarding Kings of Kings

Along with their annual Diamond King set, every few years Donruss would issue a "King of Kings" card marking a major milestone that a player had reached.  Over the years there were cards for Pete Rose, Nolan Ryan, Eddie Murray, Dave Winfield, and Cal Ripken, Jr.  Thanks to the diligent work of Reader Mike D. I'm now just down to finding the Cal Rikpen card from 1996 Donruss to complete the King of Kings set.

1995 Donruss #DK-29 Eddie Murray #7302/10,000
1993 Donruss #DK-29 Dave Winfield

Mike also included a jumbo copy of the Davie Winfield King of Kings as well as the standard size.  The jumbo was numered #9891 out of 10,000.

Thanks again Mike!

Cards From Jeff's: Series 2 Minis

**In this series I highlight the cards purchased from Jeff's Sports Cards, the best card shop in Northeastern Kansas**

Jeff's had a bunch of 2011 Topps Series 2 minis in the 5/$2 bin and so I have my first big chunk out of my mini needs list.

#KC91 Dale Murphy
#KC51 Hank Aaron
#KC66 Yogi Berra
#KC56 Steve Carlton
#KC99 Ty Cobb
#KC85 Willie McCovey

June 29, 2011

The MVP Award Needs A Redesign

This is one of those things that I'm surprised I've never seen before...but a few days ago here was the MVP award staring back at me on my Hall of Fame daily calendar...

You just don't see a lot of octagon awards and, to be clear, that has nothing to with my call for a redesign.  It is my surprise that the award honors Kenesaw Mountian Landis [and that's with only one "n" in Kenesaw...the real mountain's name is Kennesaw].

I'm not even going to get into the handling to the Black Sox scandal and the unfair banishing of Shoeless Joe Jackson...I'll leave that to Field of Dreams or Eight Men Out.  It all has to do with the fact that during his nearly 25 years as Commissioner no black person was allowed to play professional baseball. 

If there wasn't an agreement between the owners that black players were banned, black players would have been playing.  It amazes me when people dismiss the idea that owners collude against modern players, like Barry Bonds, when past owners were able to collude against an entire race of people with Landis overseeing it all.

I don't doubt that Landis was a product of his time.  He was named after a Civil War battle in which Sherman was defeated after all...I'm not sure what it was about people that were middle aged at the turn of the 20th century but they don't seem like a happy bunch.  If you search "Kenesaw Mountain Landis" you'll notice that there are few, if any, photos of him smiling.  With a cursory search this was about as close as I could find: 

They usually look like this:

There were certainly a lot of people during that period who were what I would call "casual racist."  I don't have any quotes to point out to you that demonstrate Landis' outright bigotry but it is certainly safe to say that he didn't go out of his way to integrate the league and it was only has his death that real progress was made in allowing black players in the MLB or the minors. 

Taking Landis out of the award will likely never happen though because baseball loves its history.  And if it isn't crystal clear, I love its history too...just read some of my blog.  There just are some parts of its history that we shouldn't really honor any longer and we should instead just let if fade into the ether...or was that maybe Andre Either.

June 26, 2011

Show and Tell #102: A Few Extra Cards From Thorzul

I won the bidding on Thorzul's recent zoolBay "auction" of Leaf Certified base and along with those cards he through in a couple of Upper Deck X cards that I needed.  They were three die-cuts and one Xponential insert:

2008 Upper Deck X #6 John Smoltz Die-Cut

2008 Upper Deck X #62 David Wright Die-Cut

2008 Upper Deck X #85 Aaron Rowand Die-Cut
2008 Upper Deck X #X2-MC Miguel Cabrera Xponential Insert

That leaves me with only five more die-cuts to go but a whole mess of Xponential Inserts.

June 25, 2011

Authentic Piece Of Jersey?

2006 Fleer Greats Of The Game #LAD-PR Pee Wee Reese Jersey Relic

I purchased this card sight unseen from a guy I've been buying cards online from for years...As soon as opened the package and took a look at the card something seemed weird.  Take a look at that jersey piece and doesn't it just scream that it is made of polyester?

I'm certainly not an expert of the history of baseball jerseys but that super clean white jersey just doesn't seem right.  The card itself reads "on the front of this card is an authentic piece of a jersey worn by Pee Wee Reese in an official Dodgers MLB game."  So at best it means that the jersey should be from 1958 at the latest. 

Here's another relic of a Dodger's player from the same era, The Silver Fox. 

Now that is what a jersey/pants from the 50's should look like!  Clearly it's made of wool and you can see the fabric lines on the swatch. You can also see the variations in the color of the fabric while the Reese swatch is all one color.

In the end, I suspect that the Reese jersey isn't really an official game used jersey and is probably something event worn or maybe some kind of old timers game.  Or maybe he threw out the first pitch of "an official Dodgers MLB game" and that's how the jersey looks so fresh and so clean.  I hope I'm wrong but in the end I'm glad the card was only $5.

June 24, 2011

Heartbreaking Damage: 1956 Topps #252 Vernon Law

**In this series we highlight the cards that may have seen better days but the rough times these cards have seen have made them infinitely more interesting.**

1956 Topps #252 Vernon Law
Vern Law's best season was in 1960 when he was 20-9 and won the Cy Young Award.  He was also selected to the All-Star team that season which was his only All-Star selection.  The question is though, Vern pitched in two All-Star games...how was that possible?

Well, in 1960 they played two All-Star games, one game on July 11th and one on July 13th.  Vern pitched in the 9th inning of the first All-Star game and was the winning pitcher for the National League in game two.

This card was 80 cents and although it's clearly damaged I love it.

June 23, 2011

Star Wars Card Of The Week: IG-88

This week's Star Wars card is of IG-88 one of the bounty hunters sent to find Han Solo and the Millennium Falcon.  Boba Fett beat him to that of course [see The Empire Strikes Back] and although you'll never figure this out if you only watch Episodes IV-VI Boba Fett eventually kills/destroys IG-88.  Well, at least the IG-88b [there are four versions of IG-88, an "a," "b," "c," and "d" version.  The "b" version was the bounty hunter and the one that was shown in Empire.]

1980 Topps Empire Strikes Back #276 IG-88

June 22, 2011

Everybody's Got A Record: John Paciorek Editon

**In this series we strive to prove the universal truth that every baseball player holds some kind of record.**

Believe it or not there are only about 20 players to have a 1.000 batting average over the course of their career.  Nearly all of those players have one at-bat and one hit [often a pinch hit opportunity]...some where lucky enough to go two for two in their brief career.  John Paciorek had five at-bats in his one game in the majors [which was the last game of the 1963 season] smacking three hits and drawing two walks.  He ended his career with a perfect 1.000 and is the only player to do that while having three hits.  

I found this card in my local LCS in Topeka for $4.00.  

2010 Tristar Obak #A74 John Paciorek Autograph #50/125

Inspired By Ken: Jackie Robinson Edition

**The card purchases inspired by watching Ken Burn's 18.5 hour Baseball documentary over the course of a week in June 2011**

I think I'm safe in saying that the overall hero of Baseball is Jackie Robinson.  Sure Babe Ruth gets a lot of screen time but he just doesn't have the moral authority (or moral anything really) that Jackie does.  I think it could also be argued that the focus is possibly on Jackie a little too much at the expense of some of the other initial black players, most notably Larry Doby, the first black player in the American League. 

Jackie's actual base cards from his playing days are far beyond my current card budget so I settled for some of the rarer and shiny new Jackie cards. 

2008 Allen and Ginter #3 Jackie Robinson National Promo Card
2010 Topps Chrome #224 Jackie Robinson
2008 Topps Stadium Club #91 Jackie Robinson
2009 Topps #PR-2 Jackie Robinson Refractor
2010 Topps #BC-5 Jackie Robinson Chrome Refractor
2007 Upper Deck #54 Jackie Robinson Windsor Green Border

June 21, 2011

Cards From The Box: "Don, Can You Put Your Chin On Your Elbow?"

**In this series we delve deep into this box of cards, purchased for $2.99**

In the box there was a whole bunch of cards from the 1991 Studio set which I love the idea of and the design but the cards are just so damned stupid sometimes.  Like this Don Mattingly which has to be his worst overall card ever...and I've done absolutely no research into that so as a baseball card blogger I am certain I'm right.

1991 Leaf Studio #97 Don Mattingly
Can't you just hear the photographer now?  

"Come on Don, you dangerous, but not too dangerous...that's it, that's it...you're the new kid in school and you've got a new leather jacket and the girls think you're mysterious...that's it, that it...now Don, can you put your chin in the crux of your elbow?  Just set it right on there...no Don, it's not a stupid idea....the kids are going to love it....now give me those eyes Don...god, it's like you are staring into my soul...that's it Don....that's it Don..."

For whatever reason the owner of the box liked it as they had five copies of it inside:

Genius Covers: Black Dynamite #1

This cover is brand new so if you've got a reputable comic book shop [or Amazon at worst] you should be able to find it.  It's a great 70's throwback and I love that the issue costs 595 cents.

This is a new story based on the Black Dynamite character from the Black Dynamite movie from 2009.  If you haven't given that one a try I just don't know what to say:

The title of the first issue of the comic is "Slave Island" and BD is back kickin' the Man's ass and lovin' the ladies.

June 20, 2011

The Joy Of The Completed Insert Set: 2011 Topps Series 1 Kimball Minis

I tracked down the last two Kimball minis I needed to complete the Series I minis...they were Micky and Aroldis both oddly staring somewhere behind me and to my left...

And so I'm basking in the glow of another completed insert set...here are all 1-50 cards from Series 1:

But of course my set is only half over as there's another 50 minis in Series 2 to search for...here's the only one I've pulled so far:

2011 Topps #KC90 Hank Greenberg Mini

Everybody's Got A Record: Bob Boyd Edition

**In this series we strive to prove the universal truth that every baseball player holds some kind of record.**

You might not be too familiar with Bob Boyd but he has some interesting records. He was the player that integrated the Chicago White Sox in 1951. He was also the first baseball player ever to complete a triple play on opening day. He did it against the Washington Senators during the 1959 Opening Day.

1961 Topps #199 Bob Boyd

June 19, 2011

Heartbreakingly Great Names #30: Woody Held

**This series highlights those few lucky [and unlucky] athletes that have names that make you stop and do a double take.**

Sometimes it was "Woody", sometimes it was "Woodie." Either way it was a Heartbreakingly Great Name. Woody also had the honor of being traded from to the Indians from the Kansas City A's for Roger Maris.  He also held the Indians record for most career home runs by a short stop until 2009.  

1964 Topps #105 Woody Held

June 18, 2011

Anyone Interested In My Magnetic Cases?

UPDATE:  Thanks to everyone that expressed interest.  I've sent e-mails out to those that replied.  I'll do another post if I can't find a good home for them.

I was cleaning out some stuff today and wondered if anyone would be interested in my magnetic card holders for jersey cards of various sizes.  I have a ton of them, along with many screw down cases, and I don't use them anymore to store my cards.

If interested just shoot me an e-mail.  I would just get one of the USPS flat rate boxes and you could just send me a payment for the shipping through Paypal.

Show and Tell #101: BuckeyeState Best

Here are a few of the cards BuckeyeState and I recently traded...he sent me two Brewers relics and card from my Distinguished Service Needs List.

I searched to see if Ben had announced his retirement after getting injured last season while pitching for Oakland but I can't find an official announcement.

2009 Upper Deck Goudey #GM-BS Ben Sheets Jersey Relic

I love bat cards for pitchers and so I of course really like this one.  Yovani is 8-3 so far this year and with Zack Greinke's 6-2 record they are quite the 1-2 punch for the Brewers right now.

2010 Topps #PPR-YG Yovani Gallardo Bat Relic
It's important to remember that Ted not only lost years of his career for service in World War II he also served in the Korean War as well losing parts of two seasons.

2007 Topps #DS25 Ted Williams Distinguished Service

Show and Tell #100: Political Card From The Diamond King

Kevin from The Diamond King blog sent along a whole bunch of political cards out of the clear blue sky.  They are much appreciated!  Here are a few of the highlights:

Getting sent these super shiny Topps Tribute Rivalries cards.? Awesome.

Actually buying a box of Topps Tribute and pulling these as part of the pack?  Tragic.

2010 Topps Tribute #GR-93 Moby Dick vs. Captain Ahab
Some new documents written by Abraham Lincoln were recently found by an intern working at a museum in Illinois.  In all the articles I've read about this they always make such a big deal that it was an intern that discovered the documents as if it was a bird that really liked old manuscripts.

2009 Upper Deck Goodwin Champions #16 Abraham Lincoln

Earlier this week the power went on my block for a few hours.  My wife is out of town this week and it was in the evening when this happened so there was no light at all.  I hadn't been without power in probably a few years believe it or not and it hit me, what am I going to do with myself until it comes back on.  And what did people do before electricity and non-stop entertainment?  Actually talk to each other?  What a nightmare that must have been!  Thankfully, Target still had power so I went and bought a couple of packs of cards.  Now that is how you weather a black out!

2004 Topps #PP8 Martin Van Buren Presidential Pastimes

2004 Topps #PP7 Andrew Jackson Presidential Pastimes

The 2009 Goodwin Champions "Citizens Of The Century" and "Citizens of The Day" are two insert sets that I think I will eventually work on collecting in full.  It just seems that Upper Deck was smoking crack when they figured out who would be in which set.  We've got Tony Blair and Bill Clinton lumped in with Churchill and Pope John Paul II as Citizen of The Century.  And then you've got Rasputin in with FDR in the "Citizens of the Day" set.  It just doesn't seem to make sense.
2009 Upper Deck Goodwin Champions #CC-10 Winston Churchill Citizens of the Century