March 31, 2015

Heartbreakingly Great Names #36: Dick Bass

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

Dick Bass played fullback for the Los Angeles Rams for nine season and made the Pro Bowl three times. He had two season rushing over 1,000 yards and after his retirement he became a Rams radio broadcaster. I can hear it now "this is Dick Bass live at Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum!"

1963 Topps #39 Dick Bass
Here's the back side of the card...I would love to find out the answer to the Dick Bass trivia question but I'm not going to Staples to get a sheet of red paper. Who has red paper laying around except elementary school teachers?

March 27, 2015

Episode #6 Of The Trading Card Preservation Society Is Here!

Episode #6 finds Dave the Cardboard Junkie and I  well rested after taking February off from podcasting. All that changes here when the dynamic duo chat about the Topps Tribute recall, a Mars Attacks Kickstarter, the passing of Leonard Nimoy, Marvel Cinematic Universe news, the new release calendar, and some listener Q and A. Colligere Omnia!

You can listen to it below, download it here, or find it in the usual places [iTunes and Stitcher].


March 26, 2015

Heartbreaking Damage: 1951 Topps #20 Dom DiMaggio

In this series we highlight the cards that have seen better days but the rough times have made them infinitely more interesting. You can find previous Heartbreaking Damage entries HERE

I pulled this severely damaged 1951 Topps Dom DiMaggio out of a 90% of book value box at a card show quite some time ago and sometimes [who knows why?] a card just goes into the scanned file and sits..and sits...and sits. But today's this card's day in the sun with all its damaged glory.

Doing a little research on DiMaggio's career I had no idea that Dom had a 34-game hitting streak during the 1949 season which ties him with Benito Santiago and George McQuinn for the 16th longest streak in baseball history.

1951 Topps #20 Dom DiMaggio

The reverse side escaped the tape damage but has a nice blue pen mark instead. 

March 23, 2015

A New Mini Episode Of The Trading Card Preservation Society Is Available!

Dave and I have recorded Episode #6 of the Trading Card Preservation Society and while it gets edited together here's a mini episode of us talking about this year's Best Picture at the Oscars, Birdman.

You can listen to it below, download it HERE, or find it in the usual places [iTunes and Stitcher].

March 21, 2015

Glen Perkins Is Back!

Glen Perkins, the Minnesota Twins' closer and proud member of my Personal Collection, has been cleared to make his first Spring Training appearance on Sunday against the Orioles. Perkins was hurt in September with an arm strain and a few weeks ago he had a strain in his side which shelved him until now. Hopefully he put his injuries behind him for 2015 and he can have another All-Star caliber season.

I collect Perkins cards as he went to school with my sister-in-law and I mean how many good Twins pitchers have we had over the past several seasons? This first card has had an interesting history as it was a very hot card when Andrew Miller was prospect worth investing a lot of money in. Miller faded and since then Perkins has developed into a two-time All-Star reliever and this card has returned into a decent pick-up. And now even Andrew Miller is back and making huge money with the Yankees as a reliever. It just goes to show that you don't always know what you've got in your prospect cards until many years later.

2007 Topps Co-Signers #MP Glen Perkins/Andrew Miller Autograph

Many of these next autos are from my LTTP [long term trading partner] Reader Mike D. and I particularly like the 2005 Topps card as it is my earliest autographed card of Glen and you can see how his signature has evolved from clear separation between "Glen" and "Perkins" and his current signature which is like a glorious mess of lines and squiggles.

The non-certified autograph at the end is also my first inscribed "15" signature as well.

2005 Topps Series 2  #TA-GP Glen Perkins Autograph

2009 Upper Deck Signature Stars #IMP-GP Glen Perkins Autograph

2009 Upper Deck Series 1 #GP Glen Perkins Autograph

2008 Upper Deck Masterpieces #SG-GP Glen Perkins Autograph

2010 Topps #626 Glen Perkins TTM Autograph

March 20, 2015

Everybody's Got A Record: Herb Adderley Edition

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

Herb Adderley has many records including probably having his name misspelled the most times by a major card company. He is one of only three players [Fuzzy Thurston and Forrest Gregg are the others] to play on six World Championship teams. His last Championship was with the Dallas Cowboys and Adderley is known to have said he is the only person with a Dallas Cowboys Super Bowl ring who doesn't wear it because of his love for the Packers.

1968 Topps #131 Herb Adderley

March 19, 2015

Everybody's Got A Record: Frank Howard Edition

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

Frank Howard was an  incredibly imposing batter standing six feet seven inches tall and he used his size to lead the American League in home runs twice and hit 382 in his career. In fact, his 48 home runs in 1969 and his 237 total home runs while playing for the Senators are the most single season and team total home runs for any variation of the Senators that have played in Washington.

2005 Upper Deck Classics League Leaders #LL-FH Frank Howard Jersey Relic

And although Frank is wearing a Senator's jersey on the front of the card,the reverse side tells me the jersey relic piece is from Howard's days with the Dodgers from 1958-1964. 

March 18, 2015

Trading Cards From The Ocmulgee National Monument

Just outside Macon, GA you can find an interesting artifact of Native American culture called the Ocmulgee National Monument. Be sure to bring your NPS Passport!

The monument is not a single structure but a collection of mounds built by the South mound built by the South Appalachian Mississippian people about 1,000 years ago. 

This particular mound is the Great Temple Mound and you are able to climb to the top. 

It is a sacred site and there are a lot of things you can't do on the grounds including flying kites. 

The view from the top show the floodplains of the Ocmulgee River and on the opposite side you get a great view of the Macon skyline. 

I'm always a sucker for a gift shop and National Parks have some of the best gift shops anywhere. Ocmulgee's gift shop didn't disappoint as they had complimentary packs of of trading cards featuring historical figures and events related to the park. Here are some scans of the front and back of each card in the set with my favorite being of General Sherman.

March 16, 2015

Book Review: Handy Andy: The Andy Pafko Story by Joe Niese

I first heard of the project that would become Handy Andy back in 2013 when Joe Niese, the author of the book, found my baseball card blog while doing research and asked if I wanted to add my thoughts on being an Andy Pafko memorabilia and card collector. At the time I was living in Ukraine with my wife and I had nearly completely stopped updating Heartbreaking Cards as I was away from my card collection. I wrote back saying I would write something up when we were back home and I'm not sure exactly what happened next as I must have archived the message because I completely spaced through responding. Joe wrote me again shortly before Handy Andy's successful Kickstarter campaign and I was very excited to see the finished product.  and I was eager to learn a lot more about my favorite baseball player.

I'm a huge Andy Pafko baseball card collector and it was great learning more about his life before and after his major league career. All told Andy had an amazing baseball career as he was directly involved in some of baseball's most important moments. He was there for the Curse of the Billy Goat, he watched Bobby Thomson's Shot Heard Round The World fly over his head, and he batted in "The Greatest Game Ever Pitched" when Harvey Haddix pitched 12 perfect innings against Pafko's Braves. Through Niese's research I was also happy to discover that Pafko has a claim to the record for the furthest hit home run when one of this dingers actually landed on a passing train and came to rest several hundred miles later! Handy Andy is for any fan of baseball biographies!

As a person who regularly writes about baseball, I know it can be difficult to avoid the same old trap in describing action on the field with the same terms again and again. Niese does an excellent job at keeping the game play interesting and not redundant. I'm personally interested more at Pafko's time with the Milwaukee Braves but Niese was able to keep my interest during the chapters chronically his minor league seasons and Chicago Cubs tenure.

I consider myself a Pafko expert when it comes to his appearances on baseball cards but there was a lot I did not know about his playing days. My interest in Pafko's career stems from his growing up a small distance from my hometown so it was interesting to find another connection now that I'm living down in Georgia. During Pafko's minor league career his first team located outside of Wisconsin was from Macon, Georgia and called The Peaches. They were a part of the South Atlantic League and it seemed that Andy didn't enjoy his time in Georgia too much as he was home sick.  

One of the great parts of being a Pafko collector and reading Handy Andy is that I would read a particular anecdote and take a look in my collection for that piece mentioned. For example, the book briefly mentions that Pafko was a spokesman for Chesterfield Cigarettes and I had just recently picked up an old issue The Sporting News with Andy featured on a full paged add for Chesterfields. It is funny to think with Pafko's mild mannered reputation that he was a spokesman for cigarettes. My how our perceptions have changed on that product.

Another example comes in the chapter chronically Andy's post-retirement career as it mentions that he threw out the first pitch at Wrigley Field on August 25, 2004. This provided me with an answer to the origin of this great 8x10 photo I picked up of Pafko with aviator shades and a ball in his hand.

As I hope you can tell I highly recommend this book not only because it's about my favorite baseball player but because it is an interesting well-written baseball biography. In the near future I'm going to continue to promote Handy Andy through a series of posts highlighting baseball cards of some Pafko's teammates mentioned throughout the book. Until then please consider picking up a copy of Handy Andy through the author's web page or through Amazon.

March 14, 2015

Genius Covers: Resurrection Man #8

DC Comics has tried twice to get Resurrection Man to be one of their leading series. The first time around was its initial run in 1997-1999 and again when DC rebooted their universe with the New 52. The second time around Resurrection Man only lasted 13 issues and who knows if he'll get a third go around. 

The Resurrection Man is Mitchell Shelley and as his nickname indicates he cannot be killed permanently and each time he is resurrected he obtains a different power related to the way he died. I collected quite a few of the initial run and issue #8 has one of my all-time favorite covers.

Resurrection Man #8 December 1997

March 12, 2015

Examining Marvel's Power Grid From 1993 Skybox Marvel Universe Packs

I think it is fair to say that at the point Skybox issued this Marvel Universe set in 1993 it was the most important card set of my young life. Way more important than any football or baseball set. It's probably the only set as a kid I was able to complete from buying wax packs and I was always on the hunt for the rarer insert cards. I recently found a whole bunch of random packs at a card show for 25¢ each. 

One thing I appreciated now is that on the inside of the wrappers Skybox and Marvel give us a handy guide to understanding the powers score that each hero or villain receives on the back of each card. You've got categories like agility, durability, energy projection, mental powers, and speed each broken down score by score in their 1-7 scoring system.

You don't get all the information on one pack and it's pretty hard to make out some of the scores so I've gone through all my wrappers and made a chart of each power and super hero or two that have the maximum level at that ability.

3-Athlete [above average]
4-Peak Human
5-Enhanced Human [beyond the natural limits of the human body]
6-Superhuman [significantly beyond the natural limits of the human body]
7-Metahuman [extraordinary beyond the natural limits of the human body]

Through all my packs I didn't pull a hero or villain with a 7 in agility but your friendly neighborhood Spider-Man scored a 6 which seems appropriate based on the scoring system.

#59 Spider-Man

1-Easily Injured
3-Above Average
4-Enhanced Human
5-Bulletproof [stronger, harder body than a human's]
6-Superhuman [can withstand most poisons, concussions, temperature extremes]
7-Indestructible [almost impossible to injure]

Klaw is one of my favorite Fantastic Four villains and has a body that is pure sound. He doesn't not eat or sleep and his body is impervious to pain or attack. I also enjoy the idea of using unbelievably loud sound as a weapon.

#81 Klaw
#94 Thunderstrike

Energy Projection
1-No energy projection abilities
2-Ability to give off energy upon contact with another surface, rangeless
3-Ability to give off low levels of energy for a short period of time
4-Ability to give off low levels of energy for a long period of time
5-Ability to give off high levels of energy for a short period of time
6-Ability to give off high levels of energy for a long period of time
7-Nearly infinite energy projection, immeasurable

For those keeping score at home Morg became Galactus' herald after Nova was dismissed.

#17 Morg

Fighting Ability
1-Little to no fighting ability, sick, weakly
2-Normal human with no combat training
3-Normal human with some combat training
4-Normal human with extensive combat training
5-Master of one form of combat, martial artist
6-Master of several forms of combat
7-Master of all forms of combat

Most of the fan favorite characters have 7 in fighting ability including Captain America, Sabretooth, and Cable.

#95 Captain America
#31 Sabretooth
#35 Cable

1-Below Normal
3-Above Average

The Goddess is the the good side of Adam Warlock's soul and it will be interesting to see how the upcoming Infinity War movies will address Adam Warlock/The Goddess/The Magus. I suspect it will just be a sort of Thanos vs. Adam Warlock storyline that will keep it sort of simple.

#15 Goddess
Mental Powers
1-No Mental Powers
2-Possessing a reactive or defensive mental ability; sixth sense
3-Possessing a single, weak mental ability
4-Possessing a single, strong mental ability
5-Possessing a single, high developed mental talent or several weak mental abilities
6-Possessing multiple developed mental powers, master psionic
7-Nearly infinite mental powers

I didn't end up pulling a Professor X but I'm assuming he receives a 6 score on the Mental Powers scale. Phoenix being one of the most powerful figures in the Marvel Universe has nearly all 7s and how needs strength skills when you can blow up someone's mind in a millisecond.

#41 Phoenix
1-Slow [cannot attain 15 miles per hour]
2-Normal [peak between 15-29 miles per hour]
3-Superhuman [peak range between 111-115 hour]
4-Subsonic [peak range between 250-500 miles per hour]
5-Speed of Sound [able to reach Mach 1 or 700 miles per hour]
6-Supersonic [Peak range: Mach 2 to Mach 4.6 or 0.22-1 miles per second
7-Light Speed [186,000+ miles per second]

It seems all the heralds of Galactus have the ability to reach light speed.

#11 Silver Surfer
1-Unable to sustain for 1 minute
2-Able to sustain for 1 minute
3-Able to sustain for up to an hour
4-Able to sustain for several hours
5-Able to sustain for a day
6-Able to sustain for many days
7-Never tires due to self-generating energy

Starhawk you may notice was a member of the Guardians of the Galaxy in 1993 but I can't imagine ever seeing her in Guardians Part 2 coming May 2017.

#13 Starhawk

Sersi, a part-time Avenger, is an Eternal which in Marvel-verse were some of the early inhabitants of Earth created by the Celestials

#93 Sersi

1-Below Normal
3-Lift Up To 2 Tons
4-Lift 2-10 Tons
5-Lift 10-50 Tons
6-Lift 50-100 Tons
7-Lift Over 100 Tons

Hulk of course gets a 7 in the strength category and his Avengers counterpart Iron Man gets a 6. That one point difference might not seem like a lot but it's a difference that requires Tony Stark to build a specific Iron Man suit to "bust Hulks." 

#1 Hulk
#67 Iron Man

And we have one last card that should have a category of its own titled "Ridiculous Costume" and Invisible Woman would certainly get a "7." She must be cold 24-7.

#74 Invisible Woman