January 27, 2017

Making The Trading Card Preservation Society Podcast Great Again!

The Trading Card Preservation Society has returned! Dave and I try to make our podcast great again by talking about the crazy year 2016 was from the raise of Trump, the Falcons in the Super Bowl, and Jason Heyward and the Cubs winning the World Series. We also also talk about all the things they missed talking about in 2016 such as the 2017 Topps design, Star Wars trading cards and Rogue One, Stranger Things and Stranger Things cards, the new Radiohead album, other music we liked, video games, and, as always, the upcoming trading card release calendar. 

Colligere Omnia!

Direct download link: Episode #13

January 26, 2017

Kris Bryant's 2017 Topps #1 Card Could Have Been Better

Kris Bryant was selected as card #1 of Topp 2017 Series 1 which is available February 1st. He's a fine choice and I love the horizontal design for the premiere card of the series. But...

...in my opinion, the card could have been so much better. Just take a look at all the wasted space the damned chryon they call a design takes up. It's about 1/3 of the whole card. Wouldn't it have been great to see the whole catcher instead of just the top half of his head? Wouldn't it have been better to see nearly all of Bryant's swing? I think this set is going to be some of the most frustrating pack ripping I will experience since trying to find out if one of my cards has a "sparkle" hidden somewhere on it.  

January 15, 2017

Apparently There Is A Limit To My Packer Fandom

Whenever I am visiting home in Wisconsin, I always make a point to stop in at a Shopko to check out their section devoted to the Packers and Badgers. Each time I go the section seems to have grown and I can only imagine what it will expand to if we win the Super Bowl this year.

There was a pretty sizable clearance section which I made a beeline for. There were some older t-shirt designs and players that weren't with the Packers anymore. There was also this coat which amazingly didn't seem to be a hot seller.

It gets even better on the back as it actually has the game scores from each of the Packers' Super Bowl wins. I wondered if there was a limit to my Packer fandom and I think I have finally found it. It is the equivalent of an "ugly Christmas sweater" but the person who buys this is definitely not wearing it ironically.

January 14, 2017

Visiting Spottswood Poles Grave In Arlington National Cemetery

This past summer, my wife and I lived in Washington D.C. and during our couple of months there I spend the good part of two days walking around in the midday sun in Arlington National Cemetery. If you ever make it to the nation's capital I highly recommend it as you can easily visit the big names (JFK, RFK, William Howard Taft) or expand your visit to visit the graves of a whole host of lesser known celebrities and historical figures. 

While planning out my walking route around the cemetery, a name jumped out at me that was familiar, Spottswood Poles. A great Negro League player, he also served in World War I, making him eligible to be buried at Arlington. With a little effort (there are about 400,000 graves in the cemetery), I was able to locate his grave.

Spottswood, shortened to simply Spot, was one of the best speed demons on the bases in the early days of the Negro Leagues. He debuted with the Philadelphia Giants in 1909 (pictured below) and bounced around with several teams through 1923. He is credited with having a .400+ batting average over his career and had great success in inter-league play against white teams. 

Poles' World War I service was in the 369th Infantry Regiment which earned the nickname of the "Harlem Hellfighters" as it was based out of New York. The regiment was the first African American regiment in the Army and was active all the way through the end of World War II. 

My Green Bay Packers Wheaties Box Behind Two Inches of Plastic

 Along with my Bob Uecker baseball from yesterday's post, another highlight from my Christmas gifts this year includes a Wheaties box celebrating the Green Bay Packers victory over the New England Patriots in the Super Bowl XXXI.

You might not notice from the first photo that this particular box is sealed in a plastic box that would make Fort Knox proud. Plus, the box is in "mint" condition...meaning the cereal is still in his particular box.

I assume that someone got the bright idea to seal these up and sell them as keepsakes from the Packers first Super Bowl since 1967 because after closer examination I don't see a way to slip the box out of the plastic...not that I would ever want to. The reverse side of the box has some nice art and also an essay about their Super Bowl victory.

This isn't the first Wheaties box that sits in my office. I have had a box circa-1987 featuring the Minnesota Twins celebrating their World Series victory over the St. Louis Cardinals. My box is certainly not in mint condition and thankfully the cereal is long gone. The back of the Twins box has a similar write up along with a team photo.

January 12, 2017

**UPDATE** A Bob Uecker Mystery


I talked to my Dad about the ball further and he said he found it at a St. Vincent DePaul thrift store in Rice Lake, Wisconsin. He agrees with the idea that it could be a batting practice ball as he remembers that Uecker would often pitch batting practice for the team in the late 80's early 90's which was about the time Doug Henry was with the Brewers. Uecker would mention that he pitched practice during his radio broadcasts at the time.


One of my Christmas gifts this year was an autographed baseball by Milwaukee Brewers announcer and all around baseball legend Bob Uecker. I believe my Dad came upon it at a thrift sale and so we knew nothing of the provenance of the piece. You might also notice that the ball is very dirty and played with and so we either have a kid who brought his only ball somewhere and got the autograph or, even better, the pristine autographed ball was played with, just like in The Sandlot.

Taking a look at the signature it matches up nicely with other certified Uecker autographs and so I'm pretty certain it is genuine.

Turning the ball over you will find a second autograph and this is where the mystery begins. Although the autograph is pretty legible, I was at a loss when trying to find exactly who signed it. 

I was pretty sure it was signed "Doug King" at first. But Doug King comes back as a minor league pitcher for the Reds and it doesn't quite fit with being on the same ball as a Uecker autograph.

Although I'm originally from Wisconsin, I grew up a Minnesota Twins fan and so my knowledge of the Brewers doesn't quite reach the "encyclopedic." Over the holidays I would look at the ball now and again and one day it hit me that the "K" could really be an "H." If we change the "g" to a "y" and re-imagine the middle squiggle then we have "Henry" instead. That's where we struck gold.

Doug Henry, member of the Milwaukee Brewers from 1991-1994. He recorded an impressive 29 saves during the 1992 season and collectors can find his rookie card in just about every major 1992 release.

Mystery solved and I can again sleep at night! But as I lay there wide awake, we still need to solve the real mystery, was the ball dirty when it was signed or did someone take it off the mantelpiece and throw it around the horn?

January 2, 2017

Has There Ever Been A Card That Has Gotten It More Wrong?

Any self-respecting baseball card collector should be familiar with Gary Carter's 1975 Topps rookie card but you might not know that he also has a minor league card produced by TCMA in the 1975 International League set. Although it is black-and-white, I really like Carter's pose on his card that features him from his Expos AAA minor league days with the Memphis Blues. 

All that is well and good but things really pick up when you flip the card over. TCMA gives you a substantial write up but it seems like the write up author decided to throw in a little opinion about Carter's prospect at catcher and couldn't have possibly gotten it more wrong. It reads, "despite his defensive prowess and great hitting ability, it is unlikely Gary Carter will be the regular cater for the parent Montreal Expos, at least for a while."

In the very same year this card was issued, Carter would finish second in NL Rookie of the Year voting and he would of course become a Hall of Famer because of his play at catcher with the Expos, becoming the first Expo enshrined in Cooperstown?

Outside of a card with an error on it, has there ever been a card that has gotten it more wrong?