Wednesday 31 October 2012

How to crop a card photo

There really were some outstanding photographs for the Mets in this year's Topps base set. I've previously waxed poetic about Justin Turner's , but this one is really close to it as my favourite Mets card of the year. Angel Pagan is going around third base after hitting one of his 7 home runs in the previous season. Pretty basic, if not for the beloved Mets apple in the background. Much like the 7th inning stretch of OK Blue Jays in Toronto, it is probably really cheesy to people who aren't fans of the team, but there's charm in the cheesiness and I really couldn't imagine a baseball game in Toronto without the song, or a Mets stadium without the apple. This card perfectly showcases it in the usual Mets baseball setting.

Tuesday 30 October 2012

Cover me, Fergie Jenkins

This goes back to this past Saturday when I was sending out a package of cards as per a trade on a zistle. At the closest post office, a binder was on the desk featuring recent first day covers. I'm not much of a stamp guy, but I did pick up a few of the recent Canadian Football League issues, and have actually enjoyed using them as part of the postage when I sent packages stateside.

However, there was a non-football one in there that I just had to get. It dates back to Black History Month of 2011, and it featured the great Fergie Jenkins. Note that Canada Post has recently started issuing stamps featuring living non-monarchs. This began in 2005 to celebrate the 80th birthday of the great Oscar Peterson.

Naturally, the stamp cancellation is for Chatham, Ontario. The only complaint is that the date was tied to the specific month, and not for a month where you could have it also marked for the 31st.

For a whopping $1.59, this was an easy 'yes' on making the purchase.

Monday 29 October 2012

Sleazy pornstache of the day(1)

1990 Topps #301 - Don Aase

No jokes about how aawful or aawesome the facial hair is.

(1) Or week, or month, or whenever

I guess it is better than airbrushing

Why I commend them for not changing a Colorado Avalanche jersey into a Kings on for Rob Blake's return to Southern California, did they have to use a picture from the press conference, that, to quote the boys at MST3K, look like someone's last known picture?

Sunday 28 October 2012

If Michael Dukakis

were the type to stick a baseball card in the spokes of his bicycle (or the gears of a tank), I get the feeling that this would be the card he used.

And that's about all I'm going to say about the stateside elections.

Saturday 27 October 2012

Uniforms of the Damned

There were some really, really bad uniforms when the NHL busted out 3rd jerseys for select teams in the mid 90s. There was the 'Gentle Ben' yellow Bruins jersey. There was the LA Kings 'Burger King' jersey. But this one might have been the worst of the lot. Juvenile is the most polite term I can use to describe it.

Friday 26 October 2012

Your mission, should you choose to accept it

Is to make yourself appear as the biggest nerd on the Toronto Blue Jays. Remember, this is a team that employed Rance Mulliniks.

"Do you think that if I pulled my mesh warm-up jersey over this poncho I picked up at Bargain Harold's, [1] that it would work?"

Mission accomplished.
[1] A real, low price chain store in Ontario that closed in the mid 90s.

Thursday 25 October 2012

October 25, 1986

Firstly, I'd like to extend kudos to Sportsnet for simulcasting the MLB International feed of the World Series and not the FOX feed. Gary Thorne/Rick Sutcliffe > Joe Buck/Tim McCarver. Now, let's get on to the reminiscing.

There's a good thing about having your favourite team not being the local guys. That's finding cards like this in the cheaper binders/bins.

Three parts of probably the most famous play in Mets history. As my favourite player, I really can never, ever get enough Mookie cards in my possession.

Wednesday 24 October 2012

An almost definitive hockey card picture

If the mullet sticking out the back of the helmet happened to be just a smidgen more Jagr-esque in its brilliance, I'd remove the 'almost' from the title of this post.

This incredible card, and 14 others all for a dollar? That's why I love the randomness of the dollar store repacks. You never know what treasure might appear before your eyes.

Saturday, October 24, 1992

Just like with yesterday's Joe Carter cards, any chance to acquire cards featuring this moment is one I have to take. Bonus marks for the maple leaves in the upper right. 

Tuesday 23 October 2012

Saturday, October 23, 1993

Unless I need to take a bank loan to get one, I will never turn down an opportunity to acquire cards with this moment.

Monday 22 October 2012

Trade with Cardboard Conundrum Part 3

Wrapping things up with some Senators.

I'd completely forgotten about Demitra's short run with the Sens. Coming across his cards is still kind of depressing. There's some nice cards for the ol' goalie mask binder/ The Bonk might be my favourite of the bunch, though. While his time in Ottawa really wasn't memorable, I'm a sucker for minor league uniforms on cards, especially when hunting through the dollar store repacks and dime bins.

And now, the hits. I'll point out that the only things I requested were the three relic cards, and I would have been pleased with just those.

Dareus was for my Bills love. Gonchar was for my Senators fandom. The Garcia was because I love cards of guys who have played in the CFL and gone on to a good run in the NFL. The only question for me is whether my Bills love will override that and I'll try to chase after a Cameron Wake card or two.

The autographs were bonus. The game where Valdespin hit the game winning homer against Philly aired up here. The announcer said something about Jordany having 75 errors in 140ish games. I kept waiting for a correction. It was never coming.

Then the Mets rolled into Toronto. The Jays obliterated them in the first game and he was announced as coming into the game as a defensive replacement. When some of the Jays fans asked about my reaction to that, I revealed his error prone ways. Sure enough, in that inning, a ball that he would have been an easy catch had he stretched a smidgen more went off his glove. No error on the play, but it brought laughs.

Thanks for a great trade!

Sunday 21 October 2012

Trade with Cardboard Conundrum - Part 2

And now, the Blue Jays portion of the trade:

It is always fun to start with a mini or two.

And now some regular size Blue Jays.

You definitely would not think of Alex Rios as a player you would associate with Alabama. And there were some bad photoshopped jerseys on Jays players in the 2012 releases, but that one on Bautista might the worst of the bunch.

Saturday 20 October 2012

Gauging Interest in a Topps Heritage High Number Box Break

Based on a comment over at $30 a week habit, I thought I'd float this one out there. I'd be interested in picking up the Topps Heritage High Number box for a cost of $100 and breaking the thing into teams. I made a quick trip to the post office, and learned I could send out a small envelope of cards for about 5-7 bucks each. I tested it containing one card in a hard toploader and 15 in a team bag.

I was thinking of putting the price at $20.00 for one team and the buyer getting a second team via drawing. For that, you'd get the cards, and, should you be the one with the autograph, you'd get it shipped to you with a tracking number. I'll put the card of your choice from your team in a hard toploader, with the rest being in a team bag, with everything in a bubble envelope. I've found that with basic shipping, most stuff gets to its destination stateside within a week or so.

Anything beyond the additional cost of the cards and shipping will be turned into additional cards that I'd pick up at an LCS/Walmart/whatever and include as part of the break. (Probably some sort of 2012 product, but we'll see). I want to hold off because there's a chance I could be hit with a duty on the package when it crosses the border, which is why I've tentatively got the price where it is.

I'll be looking for 14 or 15 people to grab a team. There's a small chance I'll pick up either the Jays or the Mets as my team, depending on how the checklist looks.

Leave a comment if you'd be interested in this. No need to claim a team yet.

Trade with Cardboard Conundrum Part 1

If I see someone's want list loaded with recent commons, I'll try to take the list with me when I visit flea markets/LCSs/shows. It's usually an inexpensive proposition, especially when you're dealing with US based collectors of hockey cards. The reverse is true here. Anyhow, I sent out about 140 or so cards that way. I mentioned a couple of relics for a return (those will be seen later), and I would have been elated with just those. Instead, I got a 100 count box filled with the three teams I most prominently collect - the Jays, the Mets and the Senators.

Let's start at the start. I love the cards of guys who have done the double dip of playing for both the Jays and the Mets. I got a small handful of those players on third teams.  I especially love the Orioles Alomar card, although I'm sure most Mets fans really don't want to remember his time at Shea.

Next. I'll look at some of the Mets that came. There were loads of them, and darn it, I love sketch/drawing cards. Whether they are Diamond Kings or Gallery or Masterpieces. However, that Tim Howard one is hilarious. There's nothing on the back to indicate it is a drawing, or the name or the artist. It's the Alan Smithee of baseball cards! Another

And wrapping up the Mets with some random ones. The Strawberry and Carter ones were especially interesting.
More goodies to come as I work my way through the Senators, the Jays and hits.

Friday 19 October 2012

Box Break Goodies

Nothing beats getting a package full of cards from a box break. O No Another Orioles Blog hosted it, and I picked my beloved Mets and Jays. I got randomed the Athletics and Cardinals as well. Strangely, in terms of 'hits', my randomed teams came up better, earning me an Eckersley refractor and a 1996 Zenith Mozaics of the Cardinals.

Even with those out of the equation, I still scored some nice cards.

A couple nice Delgados in there, and I really like cards of him where he still is listed as a catcher. You can't hate an Ozzie Smith card of any type. I love the photo on the Grieve one. As expected, the SI cards should and did have some meorable photos. Anthony Young, due to his unfortunate losing streak, is a guilty pleasure player of mine. And others, apparently, since he re-surfaced as a 2005 All-Time Fan Favorite in the Topps set of the same name. The McGwire card captures a memorable moment, and the Stottlemyre one an interesting moment - the time he batted 8th in the line-up instead of the traditional pitcher's slot of 9th. For those that are curious it was Plácido Polanco that got pushed to 9.

Cool stuff, and there's more still to come from 3 other breaks I've been a part of recently. 

Thursday 18 October 2012

Things go better indoors

I'm in the midst of a massive card cleanup. But that doesn't mean I don't have time to look through the sets briefly as I work my way through the search and labeling of  boxes. This card practically jumped out at me through its awesomeness.

Everything combines on this card to make Aguilera look like the scariest pitcher in the world to face. The lighting and the Metrodome roof just enhance it, combining with the angle to make an incredible posed photo. If this shot were outdoors, he'd just look like every other pitcher who has had a spring training photo taken off him.

Wednesday 17 October 2012

A single moment, preserved on cardboard

In this case, the exact moment where Fred Taylor wonders what was really in that drink he ordered the previous evening.

Tuesday 16 October 2012

The Interloper

I have one of my binders devoted exclusively to hockey goaltenders and their masks. The only rules for entry are that the front of the card includes a good picture of the mask, and that there be some sort of design on it, beyond that of just a logo. So, this picture violates the latter provision, and more importantly, it is of a baseball player. But he's still in the first sheet in the binder, alongside some of my favourite masks like Antero Niittymaki, Patrick Lalime and Mike Smith.,

But it does commemorate the attempt to change the catcher's mask, and hopefully over time it will result in players getting more creative with their masks. The John Buck card I posted yesterday, which featured a rather nasty looking bird ready to attack, hints at it.

Maybe of they become more used, and more elaborate, we can look forward to a baseball set similar to Between the Pipes.

Monday 15 October 2012

Trade with Justin @ The Hopeful Chase

When I send people commons to help complete their sets, I usually just ask for random Blue Jays or Mets in return (or, if it is hockey intensive, Senators). I sent off a pile of early 90s Topps and a handful of 2011 Score hockey. Let's look at what comes back in return.

We've got some 1977 Blue jays cards, complete with airbrushed logos. And 3 players on my unofficial want lists for various reasons. The first Canadian to play for the Jays, an early belter for the Jays, and an always welcome baseball cap covering an afro. There's also an instance where for probablythe only time in history, a poem was written about Kevin Witt. We've got a sweet, shiny, John Buck card with the bonus of it not being one of the chopped/brushed ones from later in the year where his great Jays helmet is changed from a design worthy of an NHL mask to a generic Marlins one. Wrapping it up, there's also a nice Morrow mini.

Now for the Mets portion of the trade.

Firstly, the Blue Jays influence crosses over here with the checklist card. The artist? Vernon Wells Jr. Father of former Jays star and leaden contract holder, Vernon Wells III. The Koosman card is really nice, especially because the Mets set from that year didn't have a lot of action shots. Plus, how can one go wrong with a team photo checklist.

Great stuff!

Sunday 14 October 2012

More 1988 Topps creepiness

I could probably fill up a month with just posting cards from 1988 Topps where the subject looks like an unsub on Criminal Minds. Today, Ross Jones brings you the look of someone who knows more than just one really good place to bury a body.


On the plus side, there do appear to be a good number of Craig Wolanin cards out there over his career, so the odds of some young waif sticking this card in his face and asking for an autograph are not good.

Saturday 13 October 2012

Ebay score

Sure, there were other things in the pack to justify the shipping, but this was the highlight. This is something that no Mets fan could resist.

The removal of a 50 year monkey off the back of the team.

Friday 12 October 2012

Trade with Home of the Toddfather Part 3

Wrapping up this three part trade.

I always say with trades. Send me Blue Jays. Send me Mets. That failing, Canadians in the big leagues will also make me happy. That failing, Vlad Guerrero, since he was the last great player to wear an Expos uniform. Here's a sampling of the specific cards that hit the final 3 categories. I really love the Delgado/Wright combo card.

Thanks a bunch for the goodies!

Celebrate good times! C'mon!

No commentary needed as to why this card is awesome.

Thursday 11 October 2012

More Horizontal Perfection

Topps could have used a normal vertical shot for this Steve Avery card. If the shot originated from any other stadium I would agree. The motion of Steve would be better suited for a generic card. However, add the ivy of Wrigley Field, and you have another perfect horizontal piece of cardboard.

Wednesday 10 October 2012

If I was designing my own cards

And I was 13 years old back in 1998, I could totally see myself coming up with like this:

Ryno, in a retro uniform, running away from a rhino. Yes.

I've been coming across more cards from this set in the packs lately, and I'm kinda torn on them. Some of them are really nice - reminding me of 1993 Leaf backs. Some are rather inventive, some are just generic, some are rather out there. I doubt this is the first time a 1998 Metal card will appear here.

Tuesday 9 October 2012

Sometimes, you just need a great picture

Like Braydon Coburn rocking Jeff Skinner's world:

Now can we get some hockey going? Or at least convince Bettman to cosplay Rip Van Winkle?

Sunday 7 October 2012

Just what I always wanted

A Tim Hunter Pez dispenser!

I will hug it and love it and name it George.

Nothing says 1988 Topps Baseball

Like the fact that if is a posed photograph, there's about even odds that the guy on the card is going to look really creepy. For evidence, please look under Pena, Alejandro.

After going through a pile of 1988 Topps on Friday, I've realized I could probably post a month of cards of just 1988 Topps cards where normal looking people look something you'd expect to see on the post office wall.

Saturday 6 October 2012

Every dollar store repack...

Of hockey cards that I have ever bought includes at least 1 1990-91 Bowman card. And every single card is as exciting as this one:

Can't you feel the action and intensity of the NHL? Hockey card or someone's last known photo? You decide.

Thursday 4 October 2012

Worst. Remake. Ever.

Chris Gwynn. You are no Rosey Grier. And neither one of those guys behind you will ever be confused for Ray Milland.

Trade with Home of the Toddfather Part 2

Continuing to go through the goodies.

There's a lot to like among the 2006 Opening Day cards. Lots of Blue Jays and Mets in the group, including Shawn Green, one of a handful of players to have time in both uniforms. You can't go wrong with any cards that have cartoons on the back of them, although I cringe at the stereotypes on the Baldelli card, and the sketchy grammar on the Carmona card. That could definitely use either a rewording, or a strategically placed comma, or both.

I'm amused by how they handle the cartoon for a player without a lot of major league experience or hype. Simply put random baseball trivia on the card. Paul McAnulty didn't warrant a cartoon, so instead, he gets a reference to Cal Ripken Jr.'s streak on the back of his. Although the similarly unspectacular Russ Adams did earn a reference to his minor league awards.

The cards that came out with the most frequency in the trade were Upper Decks from 2009. There were a few cards of guys playing for teams that you generally don't associate them with (Wood, Floyd, Hoffman). I really Matt Stairs, especially since he is only one of a handful of Canadians to suit up for both the Expos and the Blue Jays. (Off the top of my head, I can only think of Rob Ducey and Denis Boucher as others. Plus, I really like the horizontal shot on the Clete Thomas card.

As for Manny Acosta, why shouldn't I post the card of the guy who'd come in to pitch when the Mets were getting shelled this year? Which means I saw way too much of Manny Acosta in the second half of the season.

Wednesday 3 October 2012

You can have your Chipper Jones goodbyes

I'd much rather say my goodbyes towards someone who's more of a dollar store repack kinda guy - Omar Vizquel.

And the fact there isn't an update card of him in Blue Jays togs is blasphemy.

Sorry for the cheap picture, but I really wasn't in the mood to fire up the scanner tonight. Nice that he went out with a base hit in his final at bat. And that he was taken out with 2 down in the top of the 9th, so he could have a proper goodbye with the Skydome faithful.

Excuse me, kind sir!

 Could you kindly point me in the direction of Ye Olde Renaissance Faire? Thank you very much! And 'Huzzah' to you, too!

Tuesday 2 October 2012

Trade with Home of the Toddfather

It just so happened that the checking out of someone's wantlist coincided perfectly with my moving of approx. 5 huge boxes of cards from Point A to Point B. I figured, let's take a short time out from the chaos to see what I can come up with. I ended up with about 150 that I ended up sending stateside. In return, I named some of my favourite players (guys from the Mets, Jays, their alumni, Canadians in MLB, and a couple that fit into none of the above categories, Vlad Guerrero and David Price), and then simply said - since I'm sending commons, feel free to return the same.

The goodie bag arrived today, with a nice mix of cards from 2007-2009, and some David Wrights, Morneaus, and Vlad cards.

Lots of really fun stuff in among the commons, which I'll get to first, and over the next few days.

A lot to like among these Fleers. I'd completely forgotten that Kenny Lofton had a short stint with the Rangers. And the Gustavo Chacin one immediately reminded me of one of the more intriguing promotions ever at Skydome.

At a game, the first 10,000 fans were given a sample of Gustavo Chacin cologne. I swear I am not making that up. When I was leaving the dome earlier this year after taking in the Mets/Jays series, there were generic blonde model types handing out samples of Axe bodyspray. To very little success, as most of the samples seemed to end up in the shopping cart of a nearby wino. I'd rather have Gustavo's cologne myself.

A nice action shot on the Boone card as well, and I'm a sucker for Livan Hernandez and his rubber arm.

There were also some '07 Topps Opening Days.

I love mascot cards. Then again, I'm also a person who owns a stuffed Youppi!, that I got at Stade Olympique back in '04.

I like the card of that Ryan Braun more than cards of the other one for a simple reason. He gives me a baseball card rarity - seeing my hometown on the back of the card as his birthplace. It's a frequent guest on hockey cards, not so much for baseball. There's a great shot on the Garrett Anderson,and you have to love a pitcher named Chuck.

Although Troy Glaus got a bit of heat in Toronto for perceived lack of hustle, I do like him for one thing. They had a really neat animation for him during the lineups. They show him reaching out of the Skydome, and breaking off part off the top of the CN Tower to use as his bat. Again, not making that up.

There's going to be loads more as I continue to go through the goody (team) bags. Thanks for all the fun, Toddfather!

Sometimes, they get it right

I'm always intrigued when I come across a prospects card, and it is of somebody who never really developed into anything but a bench warmer type. I don't know if the Captain Tomorrow subset was designed as a prediction of who might be donning the 'C' for their teams, or just as a different name to label potential future stars with, but this one was actually spot on.

If/when the 12-13 season gets started, Daniel will be sporting the Captain's 'C', as he had since 1999-2000. It's always a pick-me-up to come across a card like this in a repack, especially as a Sens fan. 

Monday 1 October 2012

So much to love about this card

While most people would naturally focus on the bright yellow Padres attire, I'm more fascinated by the fact that in the smaller picture of Juan, whatever is to the right of the photographer is obviously far more fascinating than the photographer. Bonus points for being an O-Pee-Chee card with French on the front of the card as well as the back.