Thursday, March 11, 2010

Merlin Olsen (1940 - 2010)

Merlin Jay Olsen (14 September 1940 - 11 March 2010)

Today is a sad day for Rams fans. HOFer Merlin Olsen (Age 69) passed away due to mesothelioma, a rare form of cancer often related to exposure to asbestos. He played with the Los Angeles Rams from 1962 - 1976 he was enshrined into the National Football League's Hall of Fame in 1982.

Olsen played left tackle in the Rams' legendary front four nicknamed "The Fearsome Foursome", with David "Deacon" Jones at left end, Roosevelt "Rosey" Grier at right tackle and Lamar Lundy at right end. Jones, who lined up to Mr. Olsen's left, coined the term "sack" to describe tackling the opposing quarterback behind the line of scrimmage. Olsen is the second member of the Fearsome Foursome to pass away, Lundy passed away on February 24 2007 at the age of 71.

Merlin Olsen, Lamar Lundry, Deacon Jones, (Glenn Ressler B'more Colts), Roger Brown (Misidentified as Rosey Grier from the source I got the pic from)

Merlin was also known for his acting in television roles for "Little House on The Prairie" and "Father Murphy" . Teammate Lundy also did some acting he portrayed the boulder-hurling cyclops in the (previously) unaired pilot of Lost in Space (this pilot was later made into episode 4 of the series, entitled "There Were Giants in the Earth").

Lamar Lundy as Cyclops in "Lost in Space".

*I posted this on my regular blog Merlin Olsen (1940-2010) with different pictures.

Monday, March 8, 2010

Roman Gabriel APWire Photos

One of my all-time favorite NFL Quarterbacks is Roman Gabriel who played for the Los Angeles Rams from 1962 - 1972 he was traded to the Philadelphia Eagles in 1973 and retired as a player in 1977.

From Ebay I recently got a couple of Photos that are originally from AP (Associated Press) Wire Services for $10 (plus postage = $13 almost $14 delivered). These photos were sent by AP Wire to broadcast stations, newspapers and other news services for publication. The backs of these photos are stamped "TV MAG" I'm guessing they had been used by a magazine. Both have some editing marks for cropping the picture or making a zoomed in enlargement.

The caption on this first photo reads:
(NY22 - Dec.4) No.2 CHOICE IN FOOTBALL LEAGUE DRAFT - Quarterback Roman Gabriel of North Carolina State was the No. 2 choice in the National Football League draft in Chicago today and was chosen by Los Angeles Rams. He was N0. 1 choice in the American Football League draft last week and was chosen by Oakland. (AP Wirephoto) (see AP wire story) (pr21419fls) 1961
There is also a caption on the left side that gives some correction information for the last sentence of a news story for a soccer game between Czechoslovakia and Scotland.

The back has some copy notes on it and also two date stamps DEC 6 1961 and DEC 12 1965.

This second photo has a tear at the top where the down arrow is. It goes from the top edge of the photo to the top of Romans head, it makes it look like he has a bald spot. The vertical editing marks for cropping the photo to a head shot are slightly deeper than those in the other photo.

The caption on this second photo reads:
(NY6-May 27) GABRIEL STATES HE'S A RAM -- Quarterback Roman Gabriel states he belongs to the Los Angeles Rams of the National Football League "for many years to come," But the Oakland Raiders of the American Football League contend he belongs to them starting in 1967. (APWirephoto) (see AP sports wire story)js60600fls)66 (THIS IS A 1963 PHOTO)
The back has a date stamp of JUN 2 1966. It is interesting that there is a note on the upper left corner that reads "Rams-Colts"

The American Football League (AFL) would merge into the National Football League (NFL) in 1970. This would create the American Football Conference (AFC) and the National Football Conference (NFC).

Saturday, March 6, 2010

Letterman Why?

In my mailday for today Friday 05 March, 2010. I got the Australian Gladiators cards for my PC I mentioned in a previous post from Ebay.

Then from a trader at SCF ( I bought some cards of my fave teams he wanted to get rid of. I didn't really want most of them but I thought what the heck he wanted them gone and he was only asking $13 for 6 cards. I can think of some people who might appreciate them. He was nice and added 3 more cards.

The lot included that 2007 SP Authentic "By The Letter Rookie Signatures" Matt Chico (Nationals) "O" card. His signature is on the left side of the "O". I am still not sure why I got these I hate these letterman things and this is the first and hopefully the very last one I will ever ever get. I does look nice, but I don't like these things, and I got the dang thing on purpose. Curses.

The other cards in the lot include: This Koji Uehara 2009 Topps Chrome card below (again I don't like chrome):

2009 Topps Bowman BDPP54 Tyler Townsend Orioles (base card not chrome)
2009 UD Icons 82 Nick Markakis Orioles (red retail parallel variation the seller thought it was a "red refractor")

FOOTBALL: (All Redskins - The Malcolm Kelly's were the reason I bought them in the first place. I'm not sure if they will stay PC)

2008 SP Rookie Edition 141 Malcolm Kelly
2008 SP Rookie Edition Premier Prospects 289 Malcolm Kelly
2009 Topps Platinum 22 Clinton Portis
2009 Topps Platinum 60 Santana Moss
2009 Topps Platinum 81 Chris Cooley

All these baseball and football cards are For Trade.

Friday, March 5, 2010

American Gladiators Umm Australian

From Ebay for just about $6 I got a nice little 4 card set of Promo cards for the Australian "Gladiators" TV show (Opening Credits via Youtube). They were made by an Australian company Tempo Trading Cards in 1996. It's the Australian Version of "American Gladiators" and "Gladiators UK" the TV Guide usually describes them as "Reality TV" shows but they are actually amateur sports athletic competitions. Think 1970s ABC Battle of the Network Stars or the college competition show that came before that called "Almost Anything Goes". All these shows are a mix of various athletic competitions where speed and or agility earn contestants points and at the end it is an all out obstacle course where the fastest person through wins.

I don't know how many cards are in the set, but apparently they have 4 categories of cards. Gladiators, Animation, The Games and Backgrounds. The Gladiator cards I gather are brief bio cards of the Professional "Gladiators" that stand in the way of the contestants sometimes in head-to-head competitions sometimes in contestant vs. a group of Gladiators. The Animation cards appear to be caricatures of the gladiators. The Games cards show the various events that the contestants have to go through and the Background cards give details of the Gladiators and some of the show I guess.

These cards are difficult to find outside of Australia. Especially for a nice price and not directly from an Australian dealer, international shipping and all that. Fortunately some dealers on Ebay in the US either buy stuff from overseas or they find the stuff from supply companies that have already done that. Like other late 1990s cards I'm pretty sure there are some parallel chase cards. It also appears there maybe some serial numbered auto cards and gold coloured cards and maybe a few other of the usual parallels and inserts.

During the original 1990s Run of American Gladiators Topps produced a set of cards and stickers for that. I have that entire set of cards and stickers with some dupes. Plus maybe an unopened pack or two. I even have an empty display box and maybe a full box. Back in those days Topps didn't shrink wrap the card boxes. One of these days I'll scan some of that stuff and mention it again here. I've got lots of things like that I need to do eventually.

here are the fronts of all 4 promo cards:

GP-1 Gladiator Delta
GP-2 Animation Condor
GP-3 The Games - The Wall
GP-4 Backgrounds Vulcan*
Anyway I'd like to get more of these, a complete base set. Maybe some of the autos of select gladiators after I see what they look like and get some bios, descriptions.

*Gladiator Vulcan also appeared on the UK version of Gladiators.

Thursday, March 4, 2010

Non-Sport Autos

From a fellow member on one of the card forum sites I discovered a short while ago (Card Collectors World), I bought a couple of Non-Sport Auto cards made by Inkworks. The Rolls Royce of Auto Cards. I've wanted to get some Inkworks autos for some time from various sets. They were either too darn expensive, or they were GU/Auto cards, or the signature looked awful. I finally decided to bite the bullet on a couple. Actually the prices weren't too bad, averages $10 a piece.

So here are the two beauties, with a couple of beauties on them.

Alex Borstein as Sally from the movie Catwoman Card A-2 (2004)

Mimi Rogers as Diana Fowley from X-Files (2005).

The X-Files one is an "uncirculated" card with a huge gold seal keeping the toploader sealed. Now that is fine and dandy and 10-out-of-10 for style for being super duper Mint condition, but minus several million for covering up part of the signature. Fortunately this card only the end "s" in Rogers is partly covered. I've seen other signatures where most of the signature is covered over. It also covers over most of the info on the back that describes the character or some of the actresses previous work. I may have to break the seal on it and live with an uncirculated card being tainted by having it's gold seal broken.

Wednesday, March 3, 2010

Death of a Card Website


Back a little over a year ago. I was told about a card website that sound interesting from another member on TCC ( the new site new to me anyway was "Ultimate Wax" I signed up it looks like on 10 Feb 2009. At the time I was looking for another card site to see if I could broaden my horizons and find alternative card forums to get more trading done. It doesn't hurt to belong to more than one site forum and outside of the dead Ulitmate Wax I belong to 4 I think. I had noticed many of the card bloggers I followed had several sites they frequented. I am mostly loyal to TCC but in the last year I have signed up for other sites and have a few small trades elsewhere, but TCC is my "home". Anyway with Ultimate Wax I started becoming a semi-regular, and after a few months got to 100 posts on the site.

The biggest problem from the beginning was the lack of presence from the owners/operators. They would pop in every now and then but not very frequently. Some of the members there were honestly pretty obnoxious and one or two were crude.

There was a brief moderator sighting around mid December I think it was. Then as I said the regulars didn't post as often. I still went there every day looking for updates and would try to get some of the threads rolling again, but hardly anyone would come. I cut down on my visiting to about once a week, and often there were still little or no updates. I would even mention in my posts there that the place looked kind of dead and there were no updates to any threads for a week. Lets see the last time I attempted to post there was on 24 Dec 2009, so correction the moderator sighting was probably in November. Well in January I still would visit about once a week, sometimes I visit once a day just to see if there are any updates.

So my last update on 24 Dec 2009 was THE LAST Update by anyone. So the site is basically dead, but not officially. I think the guy marked as being the last new member signed up around 15-20 Dec 2009.

One of the things that cracks me up about the site is the note that tells you when you were last active reads "Last active: 12-31-1969 at 07:00 PM". Hmmm 1969 really? When I was like 4 about 20some years before the internet would be mainstream for the average Joe.

Oh well. It was a fun little site for a while. Not great, but I did manage to make one or two trades there and maybe bought something from someone there. The moderators didn't respond very well to any attempts people made to contact them. Either they grew tired of the site, or they moved on to some other site to work on.

If the site ever gets anymore updates or shows signs of activity I guess I'll have to revisit and mention it again here.

2010 Topps Baseball Million Card Giveaway


As part of the promo for the 2010 Baseball cards Topps is giving away One Million Vintage to last year cards. As they say "The cards your mom threw out". Topps randomly inserted some "Million Card Giveaway Code Cards" into packs. There are ten different styles of these they are numbered TMC 1 - 10. Each front shows a highly sought after vintage card or a Hall of Fame player card and on the back they have a code.

Back of Giveaway Code Card
(Code rubbed out in scan on purpose. Code redeemed)

These codes are used on Topps website After you register you type in the code from your giveaway card to "unlock" a random card you have won. The codes are good from now (they started on Feb 15th? I think) until 1 Feb, 2011. Once unlocked you can "flip" the card by virtually turning it in and pulling another card, you can trade the card with another member, or you can redeem the card and have it sent to you. I think eventually all the cards will be redeemed (Starting March 15 I think).

For my first box breaking session I had bought a blaster and 3 Jumbo Rack Packs. I pulled 4 of the Million Card Giveaway cards (TMC 6, 7, 8, & 9 - I plan on getting the others and keep the 10 as a subset used codes or not). So for my first 4 cards, hopefully of many more to come, I pulled two cards from 1975 and two cards from 1973.

These are the cards I unlocked/pulled in this order (I entered my codes in ascending order 9 - 6)

1975 Jon Matlack - Mets #290

1975 Burt Hooton - Cubs #176
1973 Reggie Smith - Red Sox #40
1973 Stan Bahnsen - White Sox #20
I was pleased as I like the earlier 1970s cards and I am currently building the 1970 - 1976 sets. I am mostly concentrating on 74 and 72 with 73 and 75 close behind. I have a long way to go in all of them, even though I used to have many of the 74 and 75s back in the day. Most of my original 75s were foolishly traded away in a card flipping/tossing game with a friend who was a shark at the particular style we played.

My second foray into entering some Million Card Giveaway codes, I hung back a day or two and watched the averages of what were pulled. I looked and saw lots of 1978s and 79s the later 70s are my least favorites of that decade. Then later in the night I saw some earlier 70s and some 60s. So then I went for it. With My TMC cards 7, 8 & 10 yes now I have number 10 so I have the last 5 cards, I need to get TMC 1 - 5 now for the subset. I unlocked some 1960s cards.

1962 Chris Cannizzaro - Mets #26

1967 Ron Swoboda - Mets #264*

1968 George Brunet - Angels #347

* While editing some of my scanned images of cards acquired in the last say 6 months or so; I noticed I had a 1968 card of Ron Swoboda. I had gotten it from a auction of some 60s cards (or maybe a Mets lot). It is off-centered running down to the bottom, his name is partially cut off at the bottom. Other than that it is a a pretty good conditioned card.

1968 Topps Ron Swoboda Mets #114