Sunday, December 27, 2015

Something Is Gonna Break.


OK I will be a bit mysterious for now. In a day or so I will bust open a box of cards I got recently. I will then post some scans of the box break; the box, a pack, a sample of a base card, some or all of the inserts and of course all the hits. I plan on doing a review of what it is and give a little backstory of how it came to be. Actually how I got my grubby little hands on it. I might just end up giving away all the cards, or at least a good portion of them.

Why the mystery? Why not? Seriously though it is mostly just to insure I get a December post or two in on this blog. Also being a bit mysterious with a planned future post tends to get more people to read a blog, or get them excited about it a little.

In the meantime here is An Alex Ovechkin card I haven't shown. I got it from a group box break. I don't recall exactly when, but I think it was one of the last hockey ones I was in earlier this year. I cut back on all the breaks I was participating in. Now-Days I am only in one Baseball break that is taking December off. I may or may not continue with that one. I like group breaks but it just gets too expensive to stay in them month after month, especially if you are in more than just one or two. Plus the groups tend to repeat some of the products they bust, or they bust stuff you really don't want, or they only bust the high end stuff and your team is rarely in the expensive 5 cards or less 1 pack boxes. I digress.

Notice this card is one of those plastic acetate "see through" cards. Well it looks like it's white but that is the background of my flatbed scanner, actually the padding on the underside of the scanner cover. I tend not to like this type of card, but this one has grown some on me. At least it isn't a die-cut one with weird angles and shapes.

 2012-13 Panini Rookie Anthology Hockey: Intensity Elite Acetate:
I-16 Alex Ovechkin Capitals #258/500
(Front and Back in front of scanner's white background)


Monday, November 30, 2015

Card of the Whenever: Merlin Olsen

1971 Topps Football Game Insert: Merlin Olsen

Sadly this sort of last minute post on the very last day of the month has become a sort of standard thing for me lately. I hate that. Anyway for lack of any other enthusiastic energy to make an entertaining post. I present one of the cards from the 1971 Topps Football Game Inserts. I'm not sure if I have all of these. I think I finally finished it up. That or I still have about 5 or 6 cards to get. It has been way too long since I've updated my Zistle. ACK!

So here is card #27 From the 1971 Topps Football Game Insert Cards Merlin Olsen Los Angeles Rams

 1971 Topps Football Game Insert 27 Merlin Olsen Rams
(Front and Back)

EDIT: ACK! I was totally wrong I need a bunch of these: 1971 Topps Football Game Insert Cards
1971 Topps Game Inserts: 5, 6, 7, 8, 10, 11, 13, 14, 15, 16, 17, 19, 20, 21, 24, 25, 31, 32, 33, 34, 36, 38, 40, 43, 44, 45, 48

Saturday, October 31, 2015

Card Of The Whenever: Deacon Jones Kellogg's Style

1970 Kellogg's Football: Deacon Jones

I love vintage and I really love the Kellogg's 3-D cards from the early 1970s. It is odd because the three-dimensional effect that these Kellogg's cards have is sort of an ancestor of today's Chrome and Refractor cards. I love the vintage 3-D cards but don't like the modern Chrome Refractors much. Weird. Speaking of weird Mr. Jones has a weird look on his face. It is probably just the camera angle on the way he is looking up.

1970 Kellogg's Football 38 Deacon Jones Rams
(Front and Back)

Wednesday, September 30, 2015

Trading Card Art Project

Remember this from 2010?
Yes in 2010 Topps had a major giveaway of cards. Collectors that were lucky enough could get some very good and very old vintage cards or they could get some sucker of a card from the Junk Years. Personally I had gotten a handful of cards (7) from that giveaway. They issued these code cards in all the packs of baseball product that year.

I still need a few of these to complete my set:
TMC: 11, 12, 13, 15, 16, 18, 19, 20

To unlock whatever card you won you had to go to Topps website enter the code on the card and find out what card you unlocked. You could trade cards with other collectors. You needed a credit card to have the cards shipped to you in the long run.

But I'm not here to talk about all that. I have mentioned these insert code cards in the past: Topps 2010 Million Card Giveaway Code Cards, 2010 Topps Baseball Million Card Giveaway, Million Card Giveaway Bust. The title of this post says "Art Project". Huh?

Look at a few of these cards:

Do you see it?
The Pattern?
The Design?
The card design for this first huge giveaway (via their website) Topps focuses on a single card that is part of a larger display. The first time I saw these cards I thought the concept was cool. Once I had more than just one of these cards, and I had a card that matched the border of another card the idea for this art project developed. I'm not sure how big I'm going to make the thing but I figure I need SEVERAL of each of the cards. For some of them I already have 2 or 3 extras that I can use.

The project is to make a huge collage using all these cards, following the cards that border each card. I will of course have to GASP! cut up these cards. That is why I need multiples of these. I still need a single copy of each for my PC but many of the extras will be used for this.

Once I see the full pattern with ALL the different cards I can decide on how big to make the thing. In just doing some rough matching up of some of the cards I do have they weren't exact with their design, some of the cards seem to be duplicated. That could be just an illusion since it is an "infinite" design. I'm not sure if anybody else has tried to do this with these. Maybe, maybe not. I haven't seen anything online that mentions this project or one like it.

So I still need a bunch more duplicates of these cards. Donations to the project would be appreciated. I would prefer not to have to buy all of them. I have bought a few dupes for the project but on a matter of the spirit of the hobby I don't want to HAVE to buy all the cards for this. I'm sure there are some collectors out there that have a ton of these who were planning on dumping them anyway or not sure how to get rid of all the ones they have.

I'm not sure when I would even get around to building for the project. I need the building blocks or bricks for it first.

Topps has done a few similar giveaways with similar designs, except they only show one card. I won't be doing an art project for these other sets but I do need many of the cards to complete the sets.

2011 Diamond Giveaway cards.
I need a bunch of those:
TDG 1, 2, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12, 13, 14, 16, 18, 19, 20, 21, 25, 26, 28, 29, 30

2012 Golden Giveaway Cards.
Image from Google search from Ebay Auction

I need all of these:
GGC 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12, 13, 14, 15, 16, 17, 18, 19, 20, 21, 22, 23, 24, 25, 26, 27, 28, 29, 30

Tuesday, August 11, 2015

Thoughts On Card Collecting

Where to begin. Warning this might be a long read. I got an email from an online auction site ( asking about my card collecting and if I'd like to participate in their collectors survey project. I was skeptical at first, but thought "well why not?" The company has an interest in collectors and how people find their collectibles since they have a variety of items in their collectibles section.

Note: There is also some contest on a blog about how you got started in collecting I'm not sure if these are related or not but for once I seem to be in the midst of some kind of blog trend while it is still kind of  a hot thing. Maybe both are done now, who knows?

I asked if I had to buy something, sell something, join something, download anything, test something, whatever something and the only requirement seemed to be to write about collecting in general and what it means to me. Then post it and maybe twitter tweet twit it to them. I'm not sure but it seems you don't even have to twitter it to them. At any rate, how about five and a half percent? Thank you George Carlin. It can often be difficult giving the whys and wherefores of my collecting, but I will attempt to do it here.

Lets see it all began a long time ago in a galaxy far far away... no wait... I was born a poor black child... nope...It was the best of times it was the worst of... that isn't it either. It was a dark and stormy night... Oh goodie some questions to shine some indirect light on my collection and help guide me at night, one if by land, two if by sea, three if by space, and four if by time.

How long have you been collecting for?
Pretty much my entire life, but I have taken a short hiatus or two. I have older siblings who had started collecting things including trading cards so there have always been collections of something around me. My first card collecting memories were around when most of my first memories began at about age 5 (circa 1970). One of my brothers and I had matching hard plastic trading card "lockers". One was blue the other red they were about shoebox sized with two rows or columns and adjustable shelves. They were designed to look like gym lockers. The memory I recall is a trading session that I think included a 1970 Topps Fergie Jenkins for a 1968 Topps Willie Mays, or maybe for a 1965 Topps Ernie Banks. I don't recall if it was an actual trade or one of those temporary for the day only things ("no-keepsies"). It might not have even been those cards but those are some of the cards I still have from my childhood. I seem to think of those 3 cards my brother had all of them at one time, and I think the Jenkins was duplicated at one time. I don't recall how many times we traded I just have the one vague memory that included the lockers.

That thought also reminds me of how I would "identify" my cards from the cards my brother had that were the same or similar. I would use a red ball point pen, or a black magic marker (like a sharpie or its late 60s early 70s equivalent) and make a big "K" for "Kirk" on the front (red ink) or back (black magic marker). Other cards I would color in the cap or the cap logo front or back. The 1970 Topps Manager's cards were prime targets for that on the back, also the 1971 Topps back portraits got many a coloring of red. Some how Willie and Ernie escaped the marking, but poor Fergie got the big red K. I still have some of those cards I had marked, but the majority I had tossed away in a collection purge in the mid 70s I think. (see this post)

What do you look for in collectibles?
First the subject matter has to be something I'm interested in. For sports cards it is the sport and the team usually my Homie Washington/Baltimore Teams or a player I like. For non-sports it maybe a TV show or movie, actor or genre (like sci-fi or weird parody), or beautiful woman. Obviously I try to get the best condition I can afford or find, and overall quality as well. I will occasionally get some poor old cards that others ignore due to them being in such a poor condition. I am also a bit of a set collector so if a set design attracts my eye I want to go for the entire set. I have a ton of sets to build and complete. Getting a full set is more attainable for non-sport sets than sports sets. Unfortunately the card makers now-days make set collecting more a thing of the past. It seems to be player oriented now since it seems that each player has a thousand cards come out each year.

Where do you find most of your items?
Lately online usually for as cheap as I can get either through Ebay, or Sportlots. Sometimes trading or buying through the card forums or from other bloggers. When I was a kid you could find trading cards in grocery stores, convenience stores, pharmacies (aka: Drug Stores), news stands and toy stores. I am fortunate that there is also a local card shop near me (House of Cards) that I go to occasionally. I discovered it in the late 70s from a school chum of mine who took me there shortly after it had first opened in the back of a used book shop. It quickly became my homie card shop. Over the years they had expanded their space and moved a few times. For a while in the late 90s I thought they had closed for good but they had only moved across town. A few months back they moved and are now closer to me than they were from about 10 miles away to just about 4 but not as close as when I first discovered them about a mile and a half from home.

What is the centerpiece of your collection?
This is a difficult question for me to answer. I have so many cards, and memorabilia pieces I like for many reasons and many I have had for as long as I can remember. If pressured I'd probably have to go with either something Frank Howard, Sonny Jurgensen, Roman Gabriel, John Riggins, or most likely my 1965 Topps Baseball Ernie Banks card.

The 1965 Topps Baseball is a set I am desperately trying to complete. I wanted to have it done this past April since it is the 50th Anniversary of it, but I am only 1/3 of the way complete.

There is also my circa 1969/70 Frank Howard Team Issued portrait photo.

I know it isn't a "card" but it is part of my Washington Senators baseball/sports memorabilia collection. I'm looking for an upgrade to go with this sentimental favorite. Would also love to find the full team.

Saturday, July 4, 2015

Blog Bat-Around: The Cards I Used To Own

 Blog Bat Around image comes from Night Owl Cards

This post is in response to the Blog Bat-Around question that was posed over at The Garvey Cey Russell Lopes Blog better known as GCRL some weeks ago. Regular readers of This Blog will know I tend to NOT follow the blogging trends and tend to ignore or avoid them. As a result my blog is not on the top lists of must reads and not even on some collectors RADAR. However, every once in a while a trend comes along that I can't resist.

The Question in Question:
What cards have you owned that you regret are no longer in your collection?

First some generalities: Over the years there have been many cards I've gotten rid of through trading, selling or in my childhood just plain getting rid of or having the dreaded "Cards My Mom Threw Out" happen. That happened to my oldest brother. For me many cards fell into the void that was our messy/hoard-like laundry/utility/storage room in the basement of the house I grew up in. Some of those I recovered over the years, others were probably lost in floods caused by backed up clothes washer, stolen by inter dimensional space aliens to fuel their time machines or left in the bottom of a box that got filled up with giveaway/donation stuff.

I recall a really stupid time in my childhood in the early 1970s when I did a huge purge of my collection that involved a large trash bag. I had gotten rid of many terribly hand-cut Hostess cards and similar type cards you had to cut from boxes and a bunch of dupes or cards from teams I hated at the time. I just tossed them out with many 1970 and maybe '71 Topps Baseball in the mix. This was years before recycling hit my area or neighborhood. I don't think there would have been anything really valuable. I have a vivid image memory of that dark green or maybe even black plastic trash bag and a bunch of poor 1970 baseball cards, maybe even some football mixed in. It is like seeing one of those gut wrenching pictures from The Holocaust of a huge pile of naked corpses. Needless to say I haven't done any other huge purges like that since. I didn't keep inventory totals back then so the exact total will forever be unknown. I just know it couldn't have been a huge number as I didn't have all that many cards back then to begin with. During this purge time I think I had gotten rid of many of my cards I had initialed with either red ball point pen or black magic marker with my initial "K" very large usually on the back sometimes on the front. I need to pull out some of the survivors and scan them and post about them sometime. I have been meaning to do a post like that for sometime.  I also recall a much earlier and equally stupid time of cutting up cards for team logos and helmets or caps to put into scrapbooks. Yeah those scrapbooks have been long gone.

There were a few times in the later 1970s (circa 1977/8) when I played a "flipping" game with a friend of mine (who introduced me to what would become my LCS shortly after it opened). He was much better at the game. I suspect that he sometimes cheated and I wasn't catching him (or too shy to call him out on it, the few times I tried arguing about a score or flip of his I lost). I recall many 1975 Baseball cards exiting my collection that way along with 1970s-72s and a checklist or two, even some non-sport when the baseball and football ran out.

Then when I was discovering the world of online trading in 2007 and got involved in some of those team trading groups, where you send a batch of a specific team to that team's collector and they send you your team (many bloggers trade this way). Those groups are fun but I did trade away some cards from a few sets I am now trying to complete. I used to just put cards into those packages willy nilly. I recall a lot of 1981-83 Donruss, Topps and Fleer going into those packages. I might have unintentionally sent some valuable early to pre junk years Rookies then.

I was also going to tell of a card that at one time answered this question, but over the years I have since replaced the original copy of the card. Since it doesn't really qualify as a card I used to own, it will appear in a later post sometime soon and will reference this post. The card returned and the regret is gone.

Now onto the cards that really answer the question:

Shortly after discovering COMC (Check Out My Cards now Check Out My Cards, Comics & Collectibles) in early 2009 I sent 215 cards to them to sell. I've only sold 40some there. Yeah most of them are THAT common. This one was my second card that sold there and at $8 is tied for being the highest priced card I've sold there. I had gotten it from a group box break. It wasn't my first GU card (that was a football GU of a whozit Ram) but maybe one of my first multicolored GUs. It is a very beautiful card.

2007 Upper Deck SPx Baseball Winning Materials Limited Silver Patches
WM-RZ Ryan Zimmerman Nationals #58/99
(front and back images from my sales archives)

Yes it is a 4 FOUR COLOR swatch card. The piece is an excellent high quality swatch from the jersey trim or maybe the pants side stripe trim. It is game used, a concept I am very against and try to avoid. Admittedly I have other jersey and relic cards I am currently keeping that are just as nice looking or better looking that I have no plans on selling or getting rid of anytime soon.

Thanks to Joe at The Shlabotnik Report with his Wacky Packages Blog Bat-Around post I was reminded of one of my first trading card regrets that I haven't recovered from. It was an original 1970s Wacky Packages Series 5 set (circa 1974). I left a semi-brief comment about this on Joe's blog, but I will expand upon it here. As did Joe and many other kids at the time I affixed a lot of Wacky Packages to my loose leaf school binders and spiral notebooks and even the paper bag book covers, clipboards, whatever else I thought of. I regret each and every one of those, even though it started with just duplicates. I have some non-sport binders that were regular photo albums I have taped duplicate non-sport cards and stuck stickers to for holding some of my collection of non-sport stuff. Hmm that might be another post sometime if I think about it.

Elementary school back in the 1970s during I think 3rd grade a school friend/chum of mine circa spring 1974 had bought a full box of Wacky Packages Series 5 from a local News Stand general store. All my school "chums" back then were "friends" even if they were just acquaintances. He had a duplicate set for sale. Back then a box of those things cranked out 2 or 3 full sets. NO inserts or dang parallels to worry about. I think my friend got the box for only about $20 but kids rarely bought cards or stickers by the box, this was the first time I heard of doing that I never thought the stores sold them by the box. This was a few years before I would discover a brand new LCS (that is another story). I forget how much he had sold the set to me $5 or $10 maybe? Well the rest of the class, especially the boys soon found out I had all these Wacky Packages and I was persuaded to sell some of them to the others for like a quarter or two. I really didn't want to sell them, but I caved in and did. I may have even sold some of the puzzle piece checklists as well, but that is beside the point. I think I managed to bring home maybe 5 of the remaining stickers of the 32 sticker set. I'm fairly certain it was Series 5 (or maybe 7) as I recognize that I had all or most of that set (those sets) and the puzzle. I have got to complete all the Original Wacky Packages Sets w/ their checklist puzzles. I have a couple complete puzzles but I don't think any full sets right now.

Wacky Packages Images from great reference site:

Next a semi-regret I am kind of mixed on. It was around 2008/9 I sold an unopened box of 1991 Upper Deck Comic Ball 2 Baseball (36 packs/ 12 cards per pack) on Ebay for $20. I think it was for $20 it might have been for as low as $10. That was all I had from that particular series.This series had Nolan Ryan and Reggie Jackson with the Looney Tunes Characters I didn't think it looked as good as the Series one which had just the Cartoon Characters. Still I might try getting just the base set sometime.

I have a lot of Series 1 of Comic Ball dupes from 1990 as I super actively tried to complete that set. I got pretty far but there were some cards the eluded me for sometime. Then I found the album sets (3 albums with the full set of series 1 cards) for pretty cheap and got those. I also have the hologram cards chase set of 9 cards I forget if I built that or bought it as a set. I think the latter. A few times I had thought about selling the albums and the hologram set as a full set but haven't. Sort of glad I'm holding on to those. The dupes I need to eventually get rid of.

More recently another sort of semi-regret. It was a relic card I'm not too keen on relic cards but this one was one of those bizarre rare ones plus it was of an Expos player. I just gave it yes gave it to another blogger who is a super collector of the player.

2001 Topps Stadium Club Baseball: Play At The Plate PP3 Vladimir Guerrero Expos GU Batter's Box Dirt
(Front and Back)

Yep game used BATTER'S BOX DIRT. Um OK I guess but which stadium? The back of the card doesn't even mention that the card is a special relic card so no knowing which stadium it came from unless you do a soil analysis of the dirt inside. My semi regret is that I am more of an Expos collector now than I was when I gave the card away. It was around the time I got rid of this card that I decided to continue to collect Expos cards since they are the Washington Nationals Franchise History. Before then I was internal debating on whether to consider Expos cards part of my PC collecting and not just part of my base set collecting.

To have fun with a Tom Lehrer Song: These are the only ones of which the regrets have got me bothered, And there may be many others but they have been uncovered.

A small listing of Blog Bat-Around The Cards I Used To Own Posts from around the Blogiverse: You can find these in the comment section of the original GCRL post plus some comment stories and newer postings that appear there after I have published this post.

GCRL Original
Night Owl Cards
The Shlabotnik Report
Cardboard History
This Card Is Cool
Trader Crack's
Jayson's Custom Trading Cards
The Chronicles of Fuji

Wednesday, June 24, 2015

Major Blog Acheivement

Well sometime a day or two ago something happened to this blog that I hadn't expected but was pretty excited about A few months ago I wouldn't have even thought it was possible... a week or two ago it started to become apparent that this would happen sometime soon.

So yeah take a look at this:

take a closer look:

Yep it says 100 Followers Officially: In reality now I have probably about 10 people who read this regularly I think it is really only about 3 or 4. Then about 20 who read this blog once or twice a month maybe, and about 60-65 who read the blog once signed on as a follower (probably just to join in on a contest and they probably won since only 2 or 3 people entered), and the other 5-10 who followed years ago and have since disappeared either by death or some other reason they no longer come around.

OH OK I'll show a card maybe.... let me look in the old PC that has been scanned...

 1961 Fleer Baseball Greats 68 Mel Ott NY Giants
(Front and Back)

1961 Fleer Baseball Greats a nice vintage set of pre-war guys some of whom had never been on cards before (and never again maybe) This is one of those vintage sets I really need to get off my butt on and try to complete it. I only have 3 out of the 154 of the set.

 2007 Topps Allen & Ginter's 72 Bruce Lee Martial Arts Master
(Front and Back)

*sigh* Allen and Ginter's A&G or just plain Allen & Ginter I have to get a handle on what I have from this and many other years of this wonderful cardboard product. I know the last 2 or 3 years I haven't gotten any A&G. I want to at least get the full base sets of the regular sized cards. At one time I also wanted to get the mini base set as well but that is too ambitious a goal so for the minis I will have to settle for probably just my homie teams, the non-sport/non-baseball folks and some of my "binder" guys (usually HOFers and guys who played 1960s-70s)

Monday, June 15, 2015

Mascot Monday: Cubby T. Bear

Cubby T. Bear 
Daytona Cubs 1993-2014
This installment of Mascot Monday is one of the many cards I have yet to feature that are on the MM Logo. I have a feeling that the next zillion episodes will be these cards and everyone will get bored and tired of them. *Heavy Sigh!*

Last year (2014) when the Chicago Cubs announced they were getting a mascot (Clark) for the first time in over 100 years. I couldn't help but think of this card that I have had for a few years.

2008 Choice Sports Cards NNO Cubby T. Bear Mascot - Team Checklist
(Front and Back)

As of the 2015 Season the Daytona Cubs changed their MLB affiliation to the Reds and were renamed the Daytona Tartugas (Turtles/Tortoises). In October of last year Cubby was physically auctioned off. Bidding started at $200 and the final bid was $2,105.

To see previous Mascot Monday posts click here.

Friday, June 5, 2015

Weird Packaging: But Still Pretty Safe

On Thursday 26 March 2015 I had a three package mailday. Someday I might blog about the other two packages especially the second one that was a lot of 15 hand-cut mid 1970s Hostess cards many of them poorly cut from their product boxes. This post is not about them but about the third package which was very strangely packaged for what it actually contained. This is the story of this overpacked package:

This last package was a work of art. Very strange packaging. Without giving away what the item was yet I will mention I purchased it from Ebay an auction with the winning bid of $4.99 + $2.32 shipping. OK nothing out of the ordinary here. Reasonable final price for the item and shipping costs also reasonable.

Now the odd thing the packaging job: (Image blurred on purpose)
The envelope was 9" x 12" yellow clasp envelope. Super taped with clear shipping tape that I had to cut an opening at the top to get it open.
Inside that a piece of cardboard (white sort of odd triangular piece not sure what it originally boxed).
Next to that, I forget if it was taped or not, a clear ziplock plastic bag 6" x 11" has red lettering printed on it "AdoptaPlatoon" strange.
Stranger still in the clear plastic bag a paper bag that was folded and taped some. The paper bag from Burger King "Bags of Flavor"

with hand scribbled "yogi berra" barely legible. OK the cat is almost out of the bag.
Inside that a small plain white PWE (4x6) with one fold and surprisingly not sealed or taped. Then the card safe in a toploader with penny sleeve.

Yogi peaks his head out over the edge of the envelope to see if it is safe to come out.
Yes it is a 1961 Topps Baseball: 472 Yogi Berra Yankees MVP Card.

I left positive feedback because other than the strange overly excessive packaging it was a smooth transaction with safely delivered card. My feedback reads "Good Service. Strange packaging for one card but everything is good"