Sunday 31 March 2013

Sunday Surprise Box Goodies (such as they are)

Sometimes you get binder stuff. Sometimes you get geocache swag fodder. This msot recent one, contained 2 of the former and 25+ of the latter. You can't win 'em all, but the bizarre variety of these boxes is still fun and addictive. While I've sometimes found ones where the binder rate was in the 60-70 percent range, this one wasn't close.It contained a pack of Pro Set 1991 French. An 80s pack with 3 Leafs cards (not what I wanted after last night's Sens game) and this one.

The look on his face doesn't appear to be that of a pro hockey player. It is more a mix of "What have I gotten myself into?" wonderment and complete and total fear. Yet, this one was my favourite among the box.

There were 4 hard top loaders (At least I can use those to send out some packages Tuesday when post offices reopen) and a 90s pack. While I've found plenty of junk wax in those, there were also some late 90s cards to make up for that. This one contained nothing from after 1993.

The only other contender for "best in the box"?

And that's only because it is a lot of fun to say "Jean Francois Jomphe".

Plus, you can google their names and find stuff like this:

Before 1 a.m., 39-year-old Aliso Viejo resident Jomphe and his pal of Dana Point. Costello, who is 10 years older, were riding in a cab that cut off a VW Jetta in the drive-through line. One of the young adults in the Jetta yelled out something that he punctuated with a certain finger.

That's when former center Jomphe is alleged to have done the equivalent of bouncing off the bench, jumping over the wall and starting a scrum. Laguna Beach Police say he went after the hand gesturer, smashing the Jetta's back window in the process. A shard is said to have injured a 20-year-old in the back seat.

Saturday 30 March 2013

My first Fairfield repack - Part 2

And now, the other side of the re-package.

The two visible cards. I was surprised to see anything from last season in there. That was the only 2012 card in the package.
The third card among this 50 was a variant on "players screwing around with cameras" theme. Me likey!
Isn't that sweet. Matt Mieske's first attempt at facial hair has been preserved on his first Topps card. Looking at COMC, it does seem that they just cropped his '92 Bowman card for this appearance. At least 2 of these folks actually had big league careers.
Sneaky! They make you think it a junk wax card, only for it to show up as a Donruss originals. Depending on the design and/or my memories of the set being saluted, I'm a sucker for these. Since I didn't know or care much about overproduction when these were out, this one is a keeper.
Sure, just having the first name on the card is cheesy. Still a better concept than the 1980 Topps hockey scratch-offs, though.
The oldest card in the pack.
2 rear view shots. I can't quantify why I hate the choice of picture on the Travis Buck card, and love the one the Sizemore.
A Mets card of a guy I've never heard of. The only Met I pulled, and I think this is the only card of him as a Met.
And this was the only Blue Jay I pulled. It's a dupe, so it will be sent off whenever my next package goes to Too Many Manninghams.
Two great photos right beside each other.
To wrap things up, the box promised 5 rookie cards. While there were certainly more than that, such as the aforementioned Matt Mieske card, I'm guessing that since these were grouped together, these are the ones they mentioned. 2 of the same guy, but at least he's still in the bigs. Esmil will be in Toronto this season. Bayliss spent a couple seasons in the majors, while Kulbacki never went past AA. It's an interesting mix.

Lots of fun from these 100 cards. Several more pages worth in my misc. binder have been added. Some trade bait is packaged up, and the rest might end up 5 to a sleeve in local geocaches. No complaints about this pack. I'll have to grab another one next time I swing through that Target.

Friday 29 March 2013

My first Fairfield repack - Part 1

I'd heard about the joy of these on several blogs. But they'd never appeared on this side of the border, despite my prowling through various stores in a search for any sort of repack. But, a week and a half ago, a Target opened in my area, and I swung through to check out the card aisle shortly thereafter. I picked up one of the 100 card repacks for $5.00 and enjoyed searching through the stacks. It didn't have nearly the level of junk wax area stuff that I expected. I was wagering on 3/4 of it being 87 Topps and 88 Donruss. I ended up with one of each (87 Steve Jeltz and 88 Mike Aldrete).

Two piles of 50 cards each. Let's look through one today, and one tomorrow.

These were the two visible cards on the one side. I took a quick look for anything Mets or Blue Jays related poking through the windows. Finding none, I  just pulled the first pack off the rack.
Fernando does not seem very impressed by Nate Snell's attempt at the "how much orange is too much orange?" experiment.
A nice dual card. This card and its gold parallel were Michael Case's only big league cards. Garvin did get one more a couple years later. Either way, its a binder certainty. I really should start a small binder with hockey and baseball cards of guys who only had a couple official cards during their big league careers.
I definitely didn't expect to find any parallels in the pack, let alone two side-by-side. The silliness of the Drabek makes it another keeper.

A player in his mid 20s according to the card back, but the facial hair makes him look like the pitching coach as opposed to a pitcher. I'm guessing he got carded approximately never.
Grouped together within 5 card of each other were three absolutely beautiful photos. The Branyan one has it looking like he's going to climb the wall and make the catch with his mouth, but my favourite is the Jason Bourgeois one. You'd flip the card over and see a lengthy list of a career minor leaguer, with only a handful of major league appearances until 2010. So, when 2011 Update rolls around, he finally gets his first Topps card in 10 years, and it is this marvelous picture. The eyes focusing in on the catch are the cherry on the sundae.
A nice casual autograph signing photo. Anybody have some CSI technology to determine if that was an Upper Deck card being handed towards him for a signature?
Did Kirby lose his jersey? That's the only excuse for why they'd release a card of a marquee player sporting what looks to be a beer league softball shirt.
And one unflattering Puckett card deserves another. You don't notice the airbrushed cap when instead it appears that he is slowly falling asleep. These two have to be the worst two cards of his career. And I got both of them!

Halfway through, and I'm happy with the randomness of it all. About 20 off the cards are off to binders. Some of the others are into trade piles. And there's still 50 more to go through. But that's for tomorrow.

Thursday 28 March 2013

I guess when you only one card to your credit

You're going to make sure you have a really unique signature on the autographed card.

I love stories like this. I'm just disappointed there doesn't seem to be a Connor Crisp one game wonder in this year's checklist.

Wednesday 27 March 2013

Trade w/ All Trade Bait

All Trade Bait, All the Time, dropped a note on my 2013 Topps inserts page about getting "The Greats" card of Sandy Koufax. I quickly packed it up, threw in some random Dodgers, and got a random array of Mets and Jays in return.

Proof I'm strange. In a package that included guy like Seaver, Alomar, and Strawberry, this card is my favourite. A nice obscurity, and combined with a rather unfortunate hand placement, and far too many stripes for a uniform make this card a keeper.

I'm surprised that I didn't have this 80s Mets Seaver card. Got it now!

And a Fresh Delgado. I keep being surprised on how much of my Delgado stuff is from his days in Toronto, in comparison to his time in Florida or New York. While there should be more cards for Toronto, it isn't even close to being proportional. A local availability thing?

And to wrap up the Mets portion of this trade - Jae Seo. Why? Why not?
I've got a lot of bilingual cards in my collection. Amazingly, I think this is the first card where the writing on the back is English and Spanish as opposed to English and French. This card looks very gaudy when scanned, but it does look tamer in the binders.
And to close things up, a quartet of Roberto Alomar cards I didn't have. I'm really surprised I didn't have that Idols one. It just seems like one I'd be all over if I found it in a dime bin.

Thanks for the goodies! Hope your envelope made a safe journey stateside.

Tuesday 26 March 2013

When in doubt, buy a repack

After all, you're in the Dollarama anyhow to pick up chocolate bars, bubble envelopes and Easter cards.

Visible cards:

2009 O-Pee-Chee Vesa Toskala #401
2005 Upper Deck Bryan Smolinski #383

Toskala's a certainty for my mask binder, and I didn't think I had a card of Smolinski in my Senators alphabetical project. Anything else is bonus.

1990 Bowman Dino Ciccarelli #69
1990 O-Pee-Chee Michel Petit #271
1991 Pro Set Ron Hextall #176

A trio of cards from sets you find a lot of in these repacks. I'm not scanning them.

1992 Ultra Russ Courtnall #91

1996 Upper Deck Daymond Langkow #340

Hey, an early card of a guy who still had cards in this past season's releases!
2002 O-Pee-Chee Ron Tugnutt #216

Another mask binder card.
1991 Pro Cards Scott Humeniuk #97
2009 ITG Heroes and Prospects Dave Labrecque #111
1993 Classic Brent Bilodeau #52
1991 7th Inning Sketch Matt Hoffman #154

Obscure cards for obscure players are always fun to find. Total # of NHL games combined with these 4 players? Exactly the same # as I've played. Brent Bilodeau has this unflattering sentence on his wikipedia entry: " He is the only first round draftee of the 1991 draft not to have played any games in the NHL". Ouch. Yet, all 4 of these guys are certainties for the random hockey binder.
1993 Score Canadian Eric Weinrich #227

That design looks awfully familiar. I guess we didn't warrant a new look north of the border.

1997 Score Rob Blake #148

But it is nice to see design recycling works both ways. Nice to get a throwback jersey though, but I wish they'd have altered the border colours to match it.
2009 Upper Deck Maxime Talbot #44

My favourite photo of the bunch. The beard seems to indicate that this celebratory photo comes from the Stanley Cup Playoffs. If it is indeed capturing the moment of victory from the Finals, then kudos for the selection.

I hope his shorts are waterproof

Since that shirt is a pisser.

Monday 25 March 2013

Masked Mondays - Week #11

This could also refer to the Shoebox Legends trade from last week, as there were a quartet of mask cards that were also part of the package. Might as well hold off and get to them now rather than have to raid the binder this morning and decide what gets posted.

Let's open with a Hall of Famer. Grant wore the full mask for most of his career, so this one certainly traces to early in his run with the Oilers. The reverse of the card refers his debut in 1981, so that's probably when it is from. COMC doesn't nail it down. Google images? 1981 it is. This look is more intimidating than much
At least this one is a little easier to date. It's from the 1992 Pinnacle set.
A nice shiny parallel of another Stanley Cup winner.
Finally, the hit of the goalie mask collection. A /99 card of Marty Turco. This is the second one of these from the UD Retrospectives that will go on the hit portion of the mask binder. The only question is do I put this one in the binder, or put it in my next care package to Too Many Mannighams. I guess my success at hunting down UM alumni at the Expo will determine that. It is in limbo for now, but will eventually find a home in someone's collection.

Sunday 24 March 2013

Trade with Cards on Cards - The Baseball Goodies

I highlighted some of the basketball yesterday. Now, on to the baseball, with some of the Jays and Mets that headed my way.
I'm not sure if this card was or wasn't on my Top 10 wantlist when the package was mailed, but regardless, one of the cards dropped off the list with the arrival of the package. While I already had a Josh Towers card for my alphabetical Jays project, after seeing this picture, I wanted this one for the binder instead. An American League pitcher taking a lead off what appeared to be the third-base bag? Sounds interesting!

Plus, you can play card detective with it, and see where the photo was snapped. Josh appeared in two interleague games in National League parks, pitching in Colorado and Atlanta. He went 0-3 in the latter, but singled, and worked his way around the bases in Colorado on May 19, 2006, scoring off a sac. fly by Vernon Wells. So, this photo was snapped in the 5th inning of that game. I love you,!

Another card that will surely be replacing another in the binder is this one of Carlos Garcia.  You'd think someone who'd come to Toronto from Pittsburgh would be used to colder temperatures each spring in northern climates. The Jays did make some early season trips into Chicago and Milwaukee in 1997, and I had guessed the photo was taken in the former. Temperature was in the 30s for those days, so I can see why someone might cover up a bit on the field.
I wanted a Delgado card that saluted his 4 home run game in 2003. I finally got one of those, with the Jays portion of the box score from that game appearing on the reverse of this card.
There were some Mets in this package as well. Most interesting to me was this Venezuelan David Wright card. I could even kinda sorta read some of the Spanish on the back.
A pair of Tom Seaver cards are always welcome in my Mets binder.
And to wrap it up, a nice early card for JP Arencibia.

Saturday 23 March 2013

Guilt-free Basketball Goodies

A care package arrived from the Guilt Free Basketball Card Club this week, filled with a nice selection of Raptors, Mets and Blue Jays. Today, I'll focus on the first part of the equation.

Even with a team less than an hour's drive away, finding basketball cards in the area is a challenge. Occasionally, you can see singles at the LCS, but that's about it. Nothing at the local show, and not even that much at the Expo this past November. If I recalled correctly (always iffy with me), that's even with Jonas Valanciunas signing autographs at the show on one of the days.

I follow two teams. The Celtics, since I was a Bruins fan before the Senators came around, and figured "Hey. They play in the same city, why not cheer for them?". This was as the team imploded in the early/mid 90s. And, since they're the local guys, I also root on the Raptors. And my two team hockey/hoops loyalty has stayed with me to date. So, I elected for the local guys in this, since I knew there wouldn't be too much demand for them. I shipped some Cardinals (with an emphasis on the O-Pee-Chee versions) and some Blazers west, and the cards arrived this past week.

On the whole, it was kinda depressing though to look through the cards and realize that only a small number of guys are still on the Raptors organization. But, basketball cards tend to have great action photos on them, so even former Raptors will be binder contenders.

I'll lead off with one of my favourite former Raptors.. How can you not love anybody for whom their journey to the NBA included a stint with the Harlem Globetrotters?
I'll never get why the boo-birds come out for Bosh when he returns here. He left the team to win a championship. After all that time on some dreadful teams, who can blame him. He didn't leave like Vince Carter did, with whining to management about everything. Sure, boo him as an opposition, but as a player? I don't get it. How can anybody hate a player who did this?
 As for the card, there were about a half dozen Bosh cards in the pack, but the one I scanned for posting was my favourite due to the look on Chris' face.

Now, let's look at the current guys. Of the roster now, DeMar DeRozan is by far my favourite player.
It's the back story that makes me love him. Coming out of college early for the money is nothing new, but to do it so he can help his mother dealing with lupus is just an amazing story.
Although he can't make the bow-tie work (and really, not too many people can) it's nice to wrap it up with a guy on the team, and the reigning Dunk champion.

Thanks for the Raptors memories, both good and not-so-good. I'll go the baseball stuff tomorrow.