April 29, 2015

Love and Mercy, The New Brian Wilson Biopic

Somehow the 2013 Panini Beach Boys set slipped my attention and so I've only recently discovered the glory of B.B.W. relics...of course I mean Bearded Brian Wilson relics. According to the back of the card this relic comes from a Beach Boys reunion concert from the 80's.

2013 Panini Beach Boys Concert Gear #11 Brian Wilson Relic
My favorite 60's group rotates around between The Kinks, The Zombies, and The Beach Boys. While each group has their share of hits, it is their non-single tracks and concept albums that make them my personal favorites. My love for the Beach Boys really begins when Brian Wilson ditched the do-wop surfer songs for weird orchestral work in the late 60's. His music production slowed as he battled depression for many years. Wilson was eventually diagnosed with having schizophrenia and was placed under nearly 24-hour care by Dr. Eugene Landy who would later be accused of fraud and had to give up his psychologist license in California. This later part of Wilson's career is the subject of a new movie called Love and Mercy with John Cusak playing a middle-aged Wilson and Paul Dano playing a younger Wilson.

Here's the trailer for the movie which is releasing June 5th.

The title "Love and Mercy" comes from the first single of Wilson's comeback solo album of the same name. You'll notice on the "Love and Mercy" single that Dr. Eugene Landy is credited as co-writing and producing the song. These disputed credits may be why the Love and Mercy album was out of print for many years and will be finally re-released for the movie's release.

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.

April 19, 2015

Cards From Space

Along with my Exhibit movie star salutation cards I also found four cards also put out by Exhibit that honored astronauts and the spacecraft that were a part of the Mercury Seven program. My favorite
card features Alan Shepard preparing for one of his flights. Shepard became the second person in space and first American in 1961 and he also became the only Mercury Seven astronaut to also make it to the moon when he led the Apollo 14 mission.

The other three cards feature rockets and spacecrafts from the early days of  NASA or the National Aeronautics and Space Administration as it says on the bottom of the card. The first card features the Liberty Bell 7 which was used by Gus Grissom on the second manned mission. The second card is of Freedom 7 which Shepard used to return to Earth after his mission. The third card shows Aurora 7's liftoff which took M. Scott Carpenter around the Earth in an orbit making him the second American to do so after John Glenn.

It's these sort of finds that keep me excited about collecting cards. Finding cards that you never knew existed that fall right in your area of interest at a great price [I picked up these for $1.50 each] make it difficult for me to skip going to our local card shows around Atlanta. 

April 18, 2015

The Magnificent Episode #7 Of The Trading Card Preservation Society Is Here

In the magnificent seventh episode of the Trading Card Preservation Society, Dave the Cardboard Junkie and Matt F. from heartbreakingcards.com revisit the first ever topic discussed on the podcast, Kris Bryant cards, the Mars Attacks Kickstarter, Topps Bunt, a review of 2015 Donruss Baseball, the return of X-Files and Mad Max, a brand new feature “Music To Sort Cards By”, and as always, Quick Hits, the New Release Calendar, and listener Q&A.

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

April 16, 2015

Joseph Cotten and Mario Lanza Salutation Cards

I've been a fan of Salutation cards since I tracked down the variations of Andy Pafko salutation cards made somewhere between the 40's and the mid-60's. These cards were typically in arcade vending machine that would give you a card for a nickel or dime. At one of my regular Atlanta-area shows a dealer had a little stack of salutation cards for Hollywood stars. I think it had been pretty well picked through but I was surprised to find two cards of stars that are important to me.

First we have Joseph Cotten offering us "sincere good wishes." Cotten's first feature film was Citizen Kane...it's doesn't get better than that.

My favorite film with Cotten in a starring role is The Third Man, another Orson Welles classic. Turner Classic Movies made a trailer for the film for one of their airings of the movie and it gives away a lot but it is excellent.

Mario Lanza sang some of my favorite versions of Christmas classics and it's so unfortunate that he died of a pulmonary embolism at only 38 in 1959.

His voice was so strong it added something unique that I've never heard in similar performance of holiday classics. Here is Lanza singing "We Three Kings" and I will always remember the first time I heard the voice over says "and Gaspar spoke"...

Both of these cards were $1.00 but they weren't my best find from the card show. I also found some similar-in-style space/Mercury program era NASA cards from the 60's that I'll post about soon. 

April 14, 2015

A Pack To Be Named Later Has A 2015 Topps Gypsy Queen Pack Review Up Already

I thought I would share that A Pack To Be Named Later writer JediJeff has a 2015 Topps Gypsy Queen pack review up before the product is officially released. Check it out to see some scans of the new cards you can't find anywhere else.

April 13, 2015

Heartbreaking Damage: Two Tortured Tall Boys

 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.

 Today on the  Heartbreaking Damage front we have our first ever basketball cards to be featured. And oh what basketball cards they are! We have two tall boys from 1970-71 Topps, the first featuring Lakers legend Elgin Baylor. Baylor retired after the 1971 season and eventually became the long term General Manager of the Los Angeles Clippers. Someone took his retirement not too well as they took blue ball point pen to card to be reminded that Elgin "Don't play no more."
1970-71 Topps #65 Elgin Baylor

I like the orange backs of the this set and it's pretty unbelievable that Elgin averaged about 38 points per game during his 48 games in the 1961-62 season.

I always admire the collectors that felt the need to update their cards when players retired or were traded to another team. Here we have a collector updating his Jerry Lucas card with a black magic marker letting us know he was traded to the Knicks in 1971. He also changed his number from 16 to 32 with the Knicks which the fan updated as well!

1970-71 Topps #46 Jerry Lucas

April 12, 2015

The Trading Card Preservation Society Presents Dave's Decades: The State Of Trading Cards In 1955

This is the first part of a mini-series from The Trading Card Preservation Society called Dave's Decades. Dave the Cardboard Junkie examines the state of trading cards every ten years starting in 1955. We will then cover 1965, 1975, 1985, 1995, 2005, and finally 2015. And if it goes well I guess we should probably do an episode from the future covering 2025. Colligere Omnia!

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

April 11, 2015

Sy Berger On Cardboard

I was out of the baseball card collecting game in 2004 and so I missed out the Topps All-Time Fan Favorites set the first time around. It has become one of my favorites as I've picked up tons of singles through the years but it wasn't until Topps Vice-President Sy Berger passed away late in 2014 that I became aware this wonderful card existed. My podcasting partner Dave the Cardboard Junkie had an extra copy or two laying around his collection. and so I have one in mine now.

2004 Topps Fan Favorites #137 Sy Berger

The larger standard size card that Berger used in 1952 allowed for more extensive and comprehensive statistics than had ever been used before.

Digging around I was reminded that Topps put out another Sy Berger card this year, this time in the form of an over-sized 1951 Topps card. This card was a part of a set of 5x7 cards featuring modern players in the 1951 design. These were limited to /99 sets and I picked up #92 of those 99 copies.

April 9, 2015

Topps Bunt Rage

I guess "rage" isn't exactly the most accurate term. More like "fuming." I've been making fun of Topps Bunt for a while so it's hard to go Al Pacino on it now.

I think I'm a little more even-tempered as I'm just documenting my experience so that you might take it into consideration if you are thinking about using Topps Bunt or purchasing packs.

I tried...I mean I really tried to give Topps Bunt another shot to review it for The Trading Card Preservation Society but it is just not worth it for a "free to play" app that really isn't. 

April 7, 2015

Heartbreaking Covers: A Few Mighty Thor Annuals

I was recently in the market for a Mighty Thor Annual #11 from 1983 as it has the origin of Thor's hammer, Mjölnir. Luckily I found a nice auction that had a collection of five Thor annuals for a little more than the price I would probably pay for a single copy of #11. Annual #5 from 1976 has a great cover featuring Thor battling Hercules with Odin and Zeus watching on. 

Annual #9 has Thor battling a main foe of Dr. Strange, Dormammu. He is the ruler of the dark realm and, who knows, might end up being the antagonist of the upcoming Dr. Strange movie in 2016.