October 15, 2016

An Actual, Real Life Political Card

Yesterday, President Obama tweeted out some news about his Supreme Court Nominee Merrick Garland and he included a mocked up trading card to get his message across. Here's the tweet the President sent out: 

The back story here in case you forgot. After Justice Antonin Scalia died in February, President Obama nominated Merrick Garland to fill his seat but the Senate has not held hearings on the vacancy saying that it was too close to the next Presidential election to let the nominee through. It has been controversial to say the least and President Obama has been trying to pressure the Senate to do anything on the matter. 

Here's the front and back of the card which borrows heavily from the 1965 Topps set with the waving pennant in the lower left hand corner. The back is original with some of Garland's statistics on the bench from 19 years of service to his previous vote total when he was appointed to the D.C. Circuit Court. 

As a huge political card collectors, I was certainly excited to see an honest to goodness trading card used in politics. 

October 13, 2016

2016 Topps Star Wars Rogue One: Mission Briefing Cards

I was excited to find some Rogue One: Mission Briefing packs at Target and gave a pack for $1.99 a try. I knew that this was another sort of prequel set before the another Rogue One sets hits when the movie comes out this winter. The name of the set was also changed from when the set was originally announced from "Star Wars Road to Rogue One" to "Rogue One: Mission Briefing." So my expectations weren't too high in learning anything about Rogue One or its characters and figured it would be a sort of rehash of every other recent Star Wars set. And boy was I right as I didn't get anything actually related to Rogue One. 

Here are four cards in the style of famous 1983 Topps Return of the Jedi set. 

Here's what the backs look like which is more of the same looking stuff. 

My variation was a gray border card that can be pulled in every two packs. Like the dark bordered cards in the Journey to the Force Awakens set, they are great looking cards and my favorites from the set.

My insert features the Thermal Exhaust Port that was the Death Star's weak spot. I'm not sure exactly which insert set it is from but I imagine it is the insert set called "The Death Star."

In the end, I think I will hold off on more packs until the Rogue One official set hits December 16th, 2016...or I will just continue to buy more Star Wars Chrome! More on that in the next post. 

October 12, 2016

My Packer Season Ticket Update Is Here [2016 Edition]

It is time again for one of my favorite yearly blog posts as my Green Bay Packers season ticket list postcard has arrived. The Pack have really stepped up their postcard game this year, giving us color graphics for the first time and it is certainly the highest quality postcard we have ever received from the team. 

So I am now at position #58,025 on the list. I began at position #70,090, so I've moved up about 12,000 places over the course of 11 years. I jumped up 1,242 spots which is the most I've moved up in a normal year (I did move up more than 5,000 places in 2013 when the Packers opened the Lambeau Field expansion).

But based on the averages, I still have about 53 years to go until I reach the head of the line. making me an even 90 if the current rates continue. 

What would be a Packers post without at least one Packer card? So today we have an autographed Josh Bidwell card from an unlicensed Athletes In Action set. Bidwell was the Packers' punter from 1999-2003 and then had a long career with the Buccaneers after being released by Green Bay.

As best I can tell, Bidwell doesn't have a licensed trading card as a Packer (a few exist from his days with the Bucs) so when I came upon this card in the miscellaneous autograph box at Three Stars Sportscards, I snapped it up right away. The condition is a little rough but I didn't care to get a Packers card I had never seen before.

The card seems to have been issued by a Christian organization as you'll notice the "t" in "Athletes" looks like a cross.

The reverse side gives some minimal stats including Bidwell's favorite scripture verses.

Here are the Bible verses if you are curious:

Romans 10:9

If you declare with your mouth, “Jesus is Lord,” and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved.

Jeremiah 29:11

For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the Lord, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.

It also features an essay about his feelings about God and Jesus. It is certainly an oddity among my Packers card and an autograph for a player I never expected to own.

October 11, 2016

Which George Brett Cards Did I Get?

A few weeks ago when I was visiting family in Minnesota for the Minnesota State Fair, I stopped by my favorite card shop, Three Star Sportscards, which is located in the Twin Cities suburb of Roseville. They always have some unique items from the junk wax era and I picked up this $1.00 product which guarantees 12 George Brett cards from different years and cards from major manufacturers. Funny thing is, I would be more excited if they were minor manufacturers!

They also give us the opportunity to get a free copy of Baseball Card News which has long ago bit the dust.

So here are my 12 Brett cards. It is probably exactly what you would expect as mixture of junk wax era cards from mainly Topps, plus some Donruss and Upper Deck. Certainly the slight oddball here is the Boardwalk and Baseball card on the left in the middle row. 

You may have seen those cards floating around before and you might not have known what their story was. Back in the late 1980's there was a theme park in Orlando called Boardwalk and Baseball and in 1987 Topps issued a 33-card set that featured all batters on the checklist. The set was to be given out/sold at the park but collectors weren't exactly clamoring for a pink bordered card set and it sort of fizzled out and became a part of trading card history. 

But if you do have some of these in your 5,000 card boxes, take a second look at them. Some of the Boardwalk and Baseball sets were printed without the line separating the two "B"s on the front. That error/variation is pretty rare and ups the value significantly.

What I was hoping for was something like this, Brett's "Big League Brothers" card from the 1977 Topps set. George's older brother Ken pitched for 14 seasons in the majors and was an All-Star in 1974. They were teammates on the Royals for part of the 1980 and 1981 season.  

October 10, 2016

The Baseball Record That Will Never Be Broken

One of my best finds from a card show his year was this 1947 Bond Bread Johnny Vander Meer that I found at the Atlanta card show earlier in the year. It's an extremely rare card that I picked up for about $3.00, if I remember correctly and I'm pretty sure the seller really didn't realize that the Bond Bread set is so hard to find. Only one copy has been sold on eBay recently (back in September for $22.50) and that copy had trimmed corners so if I ever actually sold a card I could probably get close to 10x my return. 

Vander Meer of course threw back-to-back no-hitters in 1938, a feat which could only really be matched and never surpassed. Three no-hit games in a row would be such an impossibility that Vander Meer will also be the record holder in this category. Interestingly, Vander Meer's second no-hitter was thrown against the Brooklyn Dodgers on the night of the first ever night game at Ebbets Field. 

My only other Vander Meer card in my collection is this Obak mini from the 2009 set. Vander Meer pitched for the Durham Bulls in the minor leagues as they were a part of the Cincinnati Reds organization at the time. The team today has been a part of the Tampa Bay Rays organization since 1998. 

October 9, 2016

This Week In Political Cards: Some Presidential Debate Cards

Tonight is the second Presidential Debate between Donald Trump and Hillary Clinton and given this week's news about Trumps leaked comments and Clinton's leaked speeches this has the set up for the most watched debate in American history. I took a look through my political cards and dug out some that were appropriate for tonight's event. 

In 2009, Topps issued two cards in honor of the first televised debate between John Kennedy and Richard Nixon in 1960. The card on the left is from the 2009 Topps Heritage New Flashback insert and the card on the right is from 2009 Topps American Heritage base card done in the style of 1961 Topps. 

My first Hillary Clinton card comes from the Upper Deck 20th Anniversary Retrospective set that that was included in just about every 2009 Upper Deck set. We get Hillary standing next to Bill Clinton as he takes the oath of office from Chief Justice William Rehnquist.

Hillary fought John McCain twice in the Presidential Predictors inserts from Upper Deck in 2008. I only had two versions of these cards on hand but there are four other variations including one with McCain as an umpire and Hillary kicking dirt on him. 

In the Topps Obama Inauguration set from 2009, Hillary is featured on a card when Hillary endorsed Obama  in June following what we thought then was a long primary season.

I don't have a Donald Trump card but I did find a great substitute again from the Upper Deck Retrospective superset. 

Topps has also issued some great Garbage Pail Kids this election cycle but some of my favorite ones came in their original few series. Both Abraham Wrinklin' and George Washingdone comes from the Series 6 of the 1986 set. Going after two of the most beloved Presidents in American history, it's no wonder why my parents wouldn't let me collect Garbage Pail Kids when I was young.

October 8, 2016

Those Are Some Nice Looking Twins

Here is a collection of Minnesota Twins cards I've had in my post draft folders for much too long. They are all set free tonight. 

The 2013 Panini Hometown Heroes stamping is a little weird here as Panini is probably using "hometown hero" as a synonym for "fan favorite" because Dan Gladden was really a "hometown hero" for another team entirely. Gladden, whose hometown is San Jose, CA, debuted with the San Francisco Giants in 1983. He finished fourth in Rookie of the Year voting the following year and so he was certainly a "hometown hero" while with the Giants. 

2013 Panini Hometown Heroes
#51 Dan Gladden
2013 Panini Hometown Heroes
#51 Dan Gladden MN Stamp

There was talk at the beginning of the season that Santana might try to make a comeback during the second part of the 2016 season but that never became a reality. He last pitched in the majors for the Mets back in 2012.

2006 Topps Allen and Ginter #AGR-JS Johan Santana Jersey Relic
Nate Roberts was once a hot prospect for the Twins back in 2012 but had two catastrophic knee surgeries that threw a wrench in his career. The Twins ended up releasing him in 2014 and so this card has a little bit of the "what could have been" vibe to it.

2013 Bowman Platinum #BPAP-NR Nate Roberts Autograph
One of my favorite Topps rookie cards ever. I case you were curious, Lenny Faedo played for the Twins for parts off five seasons from 1980-1984 and as his rookie card says, he played shortstop. Faedo was released as the Twins shortstop prospect Greg Gagne took over the position full time in the 1985 season.

1982 Topps #766 Minnesota Twins Future Stars Lenny Faedo/Kent Hrbek/Tin Laudner
Here are three numbered Joe Mauer inserts including an eBay 1/1 from 2007 Upper Deck Spectrum! Mauer will continue to get paid $23 million dollars a year for the next two seasons and I'm afraid sooner or later the Twins are going to give him the Justin Morneau treatment and unload him in a trade.
2008 Upper Deck A Piece of History #CSC-MM Victor Martinez/Joe Mauer #313/799
2007 UD Spectrum #SR-JM Joe Mauer #99/99
2009 Upper Deck Icons #FF-JM
Joe Mauer #068/999

And here are two Mauer relics, including one of those manufactured patch card from 2013 Topps that features Mauer's 2002 Topps rookie card.

2013 Topps #MCP-21 Joe Mauer Patch
2013 Topps Allen and Ginter #AGFR-JMA
Joe Mauer Jersey Relic

Here were a couple of Kirby's I hadn't added to my Puckett PC yet. I enjoy the 1987 Classics card as it features Kirby in the best Twins uniforms ever, which they wore on the road from 1973-1986. 

1992 American Sports Monthly
Kirby Puckett
1987 Classics #55 Kirby Puckett

Here's the reverse of the American Sports Monthly card which claims is limited to 16,000 copies with mine being copy #5916.

This photograph was taken on North 7th Street in Minneapolis and I've driven past here many times. Being able to say that you've been to a place on a trading card is always something I enjoy. 

2010 Upper Deck #557 Target Field
During all talk of how horrible the Twins were this season, there was an interesting statistic floating around about one of my favorite Twins pitchers, Brad Radke. It turns out Radke was the last Twins-drafted prospect to make an All-Star team. Sure there have been other Twins All-Star pitchers but they all began as draft picks on other teams. What a sad state of affairs for the Twins.

1998 Upper Deck Collector's Choice
 #157 Brad Radke
1998 Upper Deck Collector's Choice
 Starquest #SQ31 Brad Radke

October 7, 2016

Let's Celebrate World Smile Day!

Today is World Smile Day 2016 and although it sounds like another silly holiday, it has an interesting origin as it was the idea of the creator of the famous yellow smiley face, Harvey Ball. The goal is to "improve the world, one smile at a time" and I'll do my part by collecting some trading cards featuring some of the biggest smiles you'll see all day. Hopefully the posts brings a smile to your face as well! Enjoy!