October 27, 2012

The Rookie Card Series: Andy Pafko

**In this series we do rookie cards and nothing else.**

While Andy Pafko's biggest card is his 1952 Topps card, his actual rookie cards were made three years earlier by Leaf and Bowman.  For a long time my copy of his 1949 Leaf rookie card was my favorite Pafko card that I actually had "in hand." That has since been surpassed by some of my certified autograph cards and my 1952 Topps #1.  This 1949 Bowman was sent to me in a trade by Reader Mike D. earlier in the summer and had completed my Pafko rookie collection.  If you haven't realized, the 1949 Bowman set are colorized versions of black and white photos and I really enjoy the bright red and dark blue color used on this card.  

1949 Bowman #63 Andy Pafko [Rookie Card]

October 26, 2012

Get Your S**t Together And Enter The Nightmares On Cardboard Contest

You've still got a day to enter Thorzul Will Rule's Nightmares On Cardboard V contest.   I've sent in my entry for this year's contest and I'll post my cards here after Thorzul posts in on his blog.    

Here's a card I created for Nightmares on Cardboard III which is a Gregory Stillson tribute from The Dead Zone.  It is based on Bart Giamatti's card from the 1990 Topps set.  

Vitali Klitschko For Parliament

This weekend is the Ukrainian parliamentary election and who knows what might happen.  Revolution?  Protest?  Takeover?  Anything is possible.  Unless you've been following Ukrainian politics closely you might not know that heavyweight champion Vitali Klitschko is the leader of a political party called "Udar" which appropriately means "blow" or "punch."  In some polls his party is doing very well and are estimated to finish with the second most votes which would give them a good chunk of the seats in the Ukrainian parliament called the Verkhovna Rada.  

You can find an auction for this card here.

October 24, 2012

My Packers Season Ticket Update Is Here

I might be in Ukraine but nothing gets in the way of my Green Bay Packers season ticket postcard.  This is probably my favorite regular piece of mail each year as I get to see how much closer I inched up the list to get Packers season tickets.  My new number is...65,890.

There's always a moment of silence as I have to get out my older postcards to see exactly how much I've moved up and to be reminded what Lambeau Field's capacity is again.  Here is a breakdown of the numbers:

In 2007 [when I first signed up] I started at: 69,193
In 2008 I took my single biggest one-year jump to: 68,158 [moved up 1,035 places]
2009: 67,338 [moved up 820 places]
2010: 66,898 [moved up 440 places]
2011:  Can’t find my scan of the postcard but...

Looking at the two years in 2012: 65,890 [I moved up 1,008 places over 2 years]

Since 2007 I've moved up 3,303 total places which averages out to 551 per year.  So using that as my overall average it will take a little more than 119 years to reach the top of the list.  Queue up Nelson Muntz.  The one thing on my side is that there will be about 7,000 new seats added to the 73,000 seats Lambeau already has for next season...plus reports are that there are now over 81,000 people in line for tickets so it could be worse.  

October 15, 2012

Is My 1963 Bazooka Yaz Real?

Here are a few pieces of information that you'll need to come to a conclusion:

1.  I purchased this card for $4.00 from what I would describe as a respectable card shop in Topeka.  I picked it up quickly at the $4.00 price tag thinking that it was a good deal.  A little too good maybe?  How do you get rid of a possibly fake vintage card would be to put a great price on it.  The book value for this particular card is between $30-40 and this particular copy is in great condition I would say.  

2.  There are A LOT of fake 1963 Bazooka cards out there...a fact I didn't know at the time of the purchase.  It was only when I was searching out the book value that I found message board posts like this about the problem of authenticating copies.

1963 Bazooka #16 Carl Yastrzemski
3.  I did find a scan of a '63 Bazooka graded by PSA...which although it's not a 100% certain conclusion I think it's certainly more than likely an authentic version of the card.  BUT...there are tales of graded versions of the fake card and that is actually how most of the original fake cards were put out into the world.

4.  I unfortunately don't have a scan of the reverse side of the card being that the card is in Wisconsin and I'm in Ukraine.  At the time I bought the card [back in June] I didn't scan it because it was just a plain brown/tan cardboard back...again, I hadn't known about the faking problem yet.   Unfortunately comparing the reverse side quality and color seems to be the best, most fool-proof way to figuring out if the card is real.

5.  The fake cards that were produced seemed to have been made of images that are photographs of the original cards.  And so the quality of the image can be closely examined to figure out if it is authentic or not.  This strategy has proved frustrating as I really need some high quality scans to get a feel for the subtle differences.  

6.  In the end, I think it is real.  What do you think?

October 13, 2012

A Rare, Kind Word From Me About The Minnesota Vikings

As we are in the middle of an NFL season in which the Vikings have a record that the Packers normally have and vice versa, you're going to find me cursing the Vikings more than anything else.  That being said, I came upon this concept drawing proposal of the new Vikings stadium that will be built on the site of the current Metrodome.  If it ends up looking like that it will be the best stadium in the NFL.  

October 12, 2012

Photobombing A 1957 Topps Team Checklist

When I was working through my Andy Pafko needs lists I completely spaced on Andy possibly being in the Cubs, Dodgers, and Braves team photo checklists.  But some of the Braves checklists are a little pricey based on a player named Hank Aaron.
1957 Topps #114 Milwaukee Braves Team
These vintage team photos are great as you get personal favorites [Andy Pafko and Lou Burdette] as well as all-time greats [Hank Aaron, Warren Spahn, and Eddie Mathews] all on one card.  The quality of the team photos are not the greatest so using the photo guide on the reverse I've marked the key players.  

Although I have looked at this card many times it was only as I was identifying the players that I finally noticed that one Braves player isn't actually looking at the camera.  It's not quite the Billy Martin "middle finger" photobomb but you've got to figure this was intentional.  

The player in question is Toby Atwell who played for the Braves for 10 games during the '56 season.  It would also be Atwell's last games in the majors.    

October 11, 2012

Hack Wilson, A Most Useful Player

When Hack Wilson had one of the best single season's in baseball history in 1930 [56 HRs, 191 RBIs, .356 BA, and an OPS of 1.177] he wasn't named National League MVP.  That wasn't a miscarriage of justice... it was just that the MVP award wasn't created until 1931.  Instead, the Baseball Writers Association named Hack the "most useful" player in the National League.

1961 Fleer #87 Hack Wilson

There just aren't too many Hack Wilson cards out there...the key card being his 1933 Goudey rookie is regularly several hundred dollars.  So the closest thing to vintage Wilson cards that are fairly easy to obtain would his cards from the 1960 and 1961 Fleer sets.  

October 8, 2012

Which Entomology Frame Would You Choose?

It's been a while since I've really really wanted an Upper Deck card.  Each year since they lost their baseball card license I've given Goodwin Champions a try and it's rarely satisfying.  But I've always admired the Entomology cards that they have produced but I've never really thought pulling one or tracking one down would be possible as examples regularly finishing above $100 on eBay.  

This weekend my wife and I were at a weekly artist market in my city of Kharkiv, Ukraine and as we came around one corner...

I came upon this...which puts those Upper Deck cards to shame.  I couldn't really get a close up photo without attracting too much attention and seeing as I speak about 20 words in Russian I'm not anxious to start haggling with the seller.  I took a moment or two to look at them and my wife asked how much the green butterfly at the top was.  The seller said it was 150 hryvnia which in U.S. dollars was about $19.  I nodded my head but kept moving down the lane...it's important to not show too much interest as I was intending to come back when we finished taking a look at everything and making an offer at a slightly lower price.  

Fate was against me that day though as the seller had packed up and left the scene when I returned.  I'll try again next week after I take a look at U.S. customs rules on bringing back dead insects into the United States.

Here's a closer look at what he had to offer [and I'm sorry about the quality as I was never able to get a close up shot].  There's not way in hell I'm ever going to be able to get a beetle or spider past my wife and so I think a butterfly is the way I'm going to go.  What would you pick?

October 6, 2012

There Is No Escape From Yankee Nation

I've highlighted several examples on my travel blog of graffiti that I've found walking around my new home city of Kharkiv, Ukraine.  I may be more than 5,000 miles from America but there seems to be no escape from Yankees Nation.  

October 5, 2012

The State Of My 1971 Topps Collection

Pretty much since the start of my blog I've been working on completing a 1971 Topps set.  While I currently don't really have access to my card collection, I do have quite a bit of free time and so I thought I would take a closer look at exactly how close I was to completing the set.

Here's what I'm missing with book value and CheckOutMyCards pricing as of last week.

Needed Card Player BV COMC Price
400 Hank Aaron $60.00 $10.98
513 Nolan Ryan $150.00 $15.00
524 Mickey Stanley $6.00 $4.95
525 Ernie Banks $50.00 $9.00
544 Vida Blue $6.00 $5.95
570 Jim Palmer $30.00 $3.75
576 Cubs Rookie Stars $4.00 $2.70
595 Davey Johnson $6.00 $2.39
599 Norm Cash $6.00 $1.95
600 Willie Mays $100.00 $27.99
618 Tug McGraw $6.00 $2.95
625 Lou Brock $30.00 $3.99
630 Roberto Clemente $150.00 $69.97
634 Phil Regan $4.00 $2.00
635 Bobby Murcer $6.00 $1.39
651 Jerry Robertson $12.00 $8.00
652 Atlanta Braves Team $12.00 $1.75
653 Russ Snyder $12.00 $5.00
654 Don Shaw $12.00 $1.95
655 Mike Epstein $12.00 $1.75
656 Gerry Nyman $12.00 $3.95
658 Paul Lindblad $12.00 $3.95
659 Byron Browne $12.00 $2.50
664 Pitching Rookie Stars $12.00 $3.75
665 Ron Swoboda $15.00 $2.95
666 Gene Brabender $12.00 $2.95
669 Ike Brown $12.00 $5.00
673 Gerry Janeski $12.00 $1.00
675 Dave Boswell $8.00 $2.50
677 Jack DiLaura $12.00 $1.99
680 Don Mincher $12.00 $6.00
683 Bill Burbach $12.00 $2.75
686 Chico Ruiz $12.00 $2.95
687 Ron Taylor $12.00 $2.50
692 A.L. Pitchers Rookie Stars $12.00 $3.00
693 Jose Pena $12.00 $2.50
694 Rick Renick $12.00 $1.95
695 Joe Niekro $12.00 $1.99
697 Rickey Clark $12.00 $1.95
698 Brewers Team $20.00 $5.95
700 Boog Powell $25.00 $7.75
704 J.C. Martin $12.00 $2.99
705 Dick Selma $12.00 $2.95
709 Dusty Baker/Don Bayolor Rookie $80.00 $19.99
713 Mike Marshall $15.00 $1.95
715 Horace Clarke $15.00 $2.15
717 Tommie Aaron $12.00 $2.95
722 Astros Team $20.00 $10.00
723 Vicente Romo $12.00 $1.50
724 Tom Tischinski $12.00 $2.95
725 Gary Gentry $12.00 $6.50
727 Ray Lamb $12.00 $1.85
733 Lee Maye $12.00 $2.50
734 Rob Gardner $12.00 $1.70
735 Mike Shannon $15.00 $5.95
737 Preston Gomez $12.00 $4.59
739 Barry Lersch $12.00 $1.79
740 Luis Aparicio $30.00 $7.99
743 John O'Donoghue $12.00 $1.75
744 Chuck Manuel $12.00 $12.00
745 Sandy Alomar $12.00 $2.95
750 Denny McLain $25.00 $9.99
751 Al Weis $15.00 $30.00
$1,329.00 $390.23

So I'm down to eight cards that have a book value of over $30.00.  My biggest hurtle seems to be finding a reasonably priced Roberto Clemente.

And again we see the incredible difference between "book value" and what you can actually find the cards for.  Granted some of these lower cost prices are for cards in rough shape but a thousand dollar difference is pretty amazing on just 70 cards.