Sunday, February 19, 2017

Humm Baby

The great thing about subscribing to sports card blogs is you get an opportunity to see what people collect and why they collect.  Over the years, I've mentioned numerous times that collecting cards and memorabilia caters to my OCD issues and keeps me in touch with my childhood.  When I was a kid, I attended a lot of Oakland A's games at the Coliseum... which explains why I'm such a huge Athletics fan.

However... I might have left out the part about my trips to Candlestick Park to see the San Francisco Giants.  There's no doubt that I attended way more A's games as a kid, but I went to at least a handful of Giants games every season.

Some of the most memorable years took place from the mid 80's into the early 90's during the "Humm Baby" era under the guidance of manager Roger Craig.  At the time, nothing would give me more pleasure than to watch the Giants lose.  I'd go to the games and always cheer for the visiting teams (yup... even the Dodgers).

In hindsight...  I looked back at some of those great teams and realized that even though I wasn't a fan of them... I really did enjoy watching them.  I still attend at least one or two games at AT&T each season... but no longer actively root against them (unless they're facing the Padres or Athletics).   I just sit back, enjoy tasty, overpriced food, and watch some entertaining baseball.

In terms of sports cards, every now and then I'll actually target a Giant from my childhood and add him to the collection.  Last January, I stumbled across this 1963 Fleer Roger Craig autograph on eBay and grabbed it for $6.25 (+ $1.34 shipping):

1963 Fleer #43

I realize it doesn't feature Craig in his San Francisco Giants uniform, but whenever I look at it... it still takes me right back to my childhood days at Candlestick Park during the Humm Baby era watching Craig and his merry band of Giants.

And while we're talking about my childhood, I figured I'd dedicate this post to George "The Animal" Steele who passed away on Thursday.  I read about his passing over on Corky's blog, which immediately took me on a stroll down memory lane.

Steiner Authenticated Signed Photo

I grew up watching a lot of WWF wrestling during the mid 80's and I've reached that age where a lot of the guys I enjoyed cheering for are starting to pass away.  In the past few years alone, wrestling fans have lost WWF Legends Jimmy "Superfly" Snuka, The Ultimate Warrior, Rowdy Roddy Piper, Mr. Fuji... and now George "The Animal" Steele.  On one hand it's kind of sad... but on the other hand, it's a reminder that we should appreciate those while they're still alive and kicking.  Rest in peace, Mr. Steele!

Happy Sunday and sayonara!

Saturday, February 18, 2017

Like Stealing Candy From A Baby

Wait.  Should people even give candy to babies?  I'm not a father, but I know I never gave my nieces and nephews candy when they were babies.  Anyways... whether or not you give your baby candy or not... stealing it back from them isn't very nice.

But you wanna know what is nice?  It's pretty nice when you find out that you just won the door prize to the 7th Annual Almost the Easiest Super Bowl Contest on the Web over at Cynical Buddha's blog: Collector's Crack.

The big ticket prize was this 1991 UD Domino's Pizza Quarterback Challenge set:

If you're a fan of football and food issue oddball sets, then this set is for you.  There's everyone from John Elway to Dan Marino.  It's a shame that Upper Deck didn't have the foresight to include a Brett Favre rookie, but that's okay.  They made up for it by adding Bart Starr.

In addition the set, there were a bunch of Seattle Seahawks bonus cards included too:

I was really excited to see a memorabilia card of the Hawk's all-time leading rusher...

2002 Pacific Game Worn Jerseys #43

a super shiny, refractory kind of card of the highest rated quarterback in franchise history...

2016 Donruss Optic #89

and a promo card of the Hawk who has the 8th most receptions in team history:

2003 UD Promos #131

Thank you Cynical Buddha for holding this super easy Super Bowl contest again... and for all of these nice additions to my Seattle Seahawks PC.

Happy Saturday and sayonara!

Wednesday, February 15, 2017

Badass and Beautiful

If this post is published on time, then it's after 3 pm on Wednesday afternoon which means I officially have two work days left until my winter break.  What does that mean?  It means that in less than 48 hours... I can sit down, relax, and start binge watching some of TV shows like Star Wars Rebels, Timeless, Arrow, The Blacklist, The Walking Dead, and if I have enough time... one of my all-time favorite shows... Game of Thrones.

Unfortunately... there's one show I recently decided to shelve.  Anyone a fan of Marvel's Agents of SHIELD?

It's like Panini Hometown Heroes.  I like it.  But there are just too many other things I'd rather collect... or in this case... watch.

However, if I had to choose my favorite thing about the show... it'd be Agent Melinda May:

2015 Rittenhouse Agents of Shield Season 2 Costumes #CC3

She's badass and beautiful.

That's an excellent one-two punch.

Well that's it for today.  I'm not sure how much longer this show is going to be on the air... so I wanted to show it off before it gets cancelled.

I hope all of you are having a great week.  Happy Hump Day!  And sayonara!

Monday, February 13, 2017

Beer, Sports Cards & Controversy

I never acquired the taste for beer, but I'm 100% in support of sports cards promoting a brewing company.

A few years ago, while scouring the internet for trading cards of Japanese Hall of Famer, Sadayoshi Fujimoto, I discovered this 2005 Helmar card:

Up to that point, I had never even heard of the Helmar Brewing Company and even now... I still don't know much about the company.  I'm not even 100% sure they still sell beer.  Their website seems to promote their original hand-made art cards that they sell on eBay rather than beer.

What I do know is that in 2005, Helmar released three card packs which I'm guessing were distributed to customers who bought their beer.  These cards seem to combine the popular T206 card design with the T205 gold borders, but are actually slightly larger (1 5/8" x 2 3/4"than the original tobacco cards.

It took longer than expected, but I was finally able to add the above Fujimoto to my collection for 49¢ (+ 99¢ shipping) back in August.  Fast forward to Friday, February 3rd.  That's when I opened up Julie's care package, pulled out a Jiro Noguchi from the same set, and decided I needed to track down more of these cards.

My search led me to purchasing these four unopened packs on eBay:

The vendor accepted my best offer of $4.50 (+ $3.50 shipping) for the lot, which essentially means I paid $2 per pack and 67¢ per card.  Here's what I pulled:

Pack #1

Oh man... right out of the pack these cards are thick and gorgeous.  The colorful sky on this card blows away the plain dark gray background on my Sadayoshi Fujimoto.  And the player isn't too shabby either.  Mordecai Brown was a hall of fame pitcher whose 2.06 career ERA is the lowest in MLB history among all pitchers who won 200 or more games.

Next up is Dave Malarcher who was a Negro League player who spent the bulk of his career with the Chicago American Giants.  Later in life he ran a real estate company and was also a accomplished poet.

And rounding out the first pack is Jack Johnson who was the first African-American world heavyweight boxing champion and one of the greatest heavyweight boxers of all-time.

Pack #2

Frank "Home Run" Baker is considered one of the greatest power hitters of the Dead-ball Era.  He led the American League in home runs four consecutive years from 1911 to 1914 and was inducted into Cooperstown in 1955.

Who the heck is Elmer Flick?  Well he must have been one helluva ball player, because he was unanimously elected into the Baseball Hall of Fame by the Veterans Committee in 1963.  At the time he was the oldest living inductee in Baseball Hall of Fame history.  Maybe he still is.

This card is proof that it's okay to judge a book by its cover.  I have no idea who Jesse Lee Tally is, but this card is beautiful.  It took a few clicks on the internet, but I discovered that Tally played on a barnstorming team from 1915 to 1933 in Benton Harbor, Michigan and was known as The Bearded Babe Ruth.

Pack #3

In terms of star power, this pack was the worst out of the lot.

Jimmy Adamick was a heavyweight boxer from the 1930's who won 50 fights over a 5 year period and only lost three times.  That a pretty impressive feat.  So I gotta ask.  Why doesn't this guy have a Wikipedia page?

Another great looking card of a former heavyweight boxing champion.  Unfortunately... I had never heard of the guy before this post.  Hey boxing fans, do you remember Primo Carnera?

Rounding out this pack is another guy I've never heard of.  His 266 wins were good enough to get him elected into the Baseball Hall of Fame by the Veteran's Committee in 1963.  However his claim to fame is he has the most losses by a left-handed pitcher in MLB history.

Pack #4

Okay... like Biggie says, "here comes the drama"...

Dennis Biddle is supposedly the youngest person to ever play in a Negro League game.  However according to this article, the Chicago American Giants went out of business in 1952, the year before Biddle claims he played.

You gotta love some baseball controversy.

On March 30th, 2002... Demetrius Jenkins won the WBO Light Heavyweight title and was on top of the world.  In fact, there's a good chance this card depicts him posing right after that fight.  This card just oozes confidence.

He'd enter the ring eleven more times in his career.  Wanna guess how many times he won?  Trust me, it's not pretty.

The final card out of the final pack is of Japanese Hall of Fame pitcher, Jiro Noguchi.  Does this card look familiar?  It should.  It happens to be the same card that Julie sent me last week, but that's okay.  I'll keep the card she sent me in my NPB binder and I'll pass this card along to another Japanese baseball card collector who can use it.

Well that's it for today.  Time for me to go home, pop open a bottle of root beer, and finish up my A Pack To Be Named Later post which will hopefully be up in the next hour or so.

Happy Monday and sayonara!

Saturday, February 11, 2017

Way Better Than A Blaster

2016 BBM Dancing Heroine #71 Asuka Ueda

If the San Francisco Giants had cheerleaders that looked like Asuka... I still would be a San Diego Padres fan.  However... I'd probably attend more games at AT&T.

Okay... now that I've used Ms. Ueda to get your attention... let's check out a package recently sent to me by Kenny over at Torren' Up Cards that included 12 repacks and a custom topper.

The past few weeks, I've been reading everyone's 2017 Topps reviews and I was just about to cave in and buy myself a blaster.  But thanks to Kenny... I got my weekend cardboard fix and then some.  Let's start off with his custom card topper:

I've built a small collection of custom cards from fellow bloggers and this card is a very welcomed addition.

Next up... the packs or should I say "repacks":

Pack #1

Kenny kicked things off with a nice selection of Gosuke Katoh that included some very shiny refractors.  However... the hit of the pack was this dugout card of Kana Momonogi:

I have no idea who she is... but she wears very nice shoes.

Pack #2

Okay... I'm starting to see a pattern here.  At this rate, I'm never going to highlight baseball cards, unless I specifically go out of my way to target some.

2014 Bowman DPP Asia Exclusive #78

Franklin Barreto is the Oakland A's top prospect and it's possible he'll be called up sometime this season.  A's fans like myself don't have a lot to cheer for, but I'm looking forward to seeing this guy play.

Pack #3

I'm a sucker for mascot cards, so picking the top card from this pack wasn't very hard.

2012 Topps Opening Day Mascots #M24

Stomper has been around for around two decades and does a great job of getting the 10,000 fans in attendance excited for our beloved Athletics.

Pack #4

It was tough to pick the top hit from this pack.  There are a few nice prospect cards and a pair of 2008 Topps cards (one of my favorite designs in recent years).  But ultimately, I went with...

1992 Topps #285

By now you probably realize that I'm a big advocate for trading cards featuring great action shots without arms, legs, and heads cropped off.  This meets the requirements.  Plus it's Welch.  The 1990 AL Cy Young Award winner who is the only pitcher in the last 40 years to win 27 games in a season.

Pack #5

It's not often a Tony Gwynn Diamond Kings card isn't considered the hit of the pack.  But that's what happens when there's a Calbee card of Munenori Kawasaki in the same pack:

2005 Calbee Title Holder #T10

It's hard to tell... but this card has a nice sparkly effect to it.  But the key reason I chose this card over Gwynn is that it's only my 4th Japanese card of Mr. Kawasaki... whereas I probably have fourteen of those 1989 Donruss DK Gwynns.

Pack #6

Kenny switched things up with this pack and added two additional ladies, while reducing the total number of baseball cards to only three.  That's okay.  I stuck to my guns... and picked this card:

2009 Topps 206 Bronze #52

Back on September 2nd, 2006... Kouzmanoff became the first player to ever hit a grand slam on the first pitch of his first MLB at bat.  Plus he's one of a handful of guys who have hit 15+ home runs in a season for both of my favorite teams.  The other guys?  Ramon Hernandez, Mark Kotsay, and Gene Tenace.

Pack #7

Another appearance by "pink shoes".  This time a more laid back pose.  It definitely trumps the poorly cropped Catfish... but not this amazing Reddick:

2016 Topps #472

Topps loves capturing Reddick doing what he does best.

Pack #8

Another Katoh hot pack!  But I couldn't pass up a chance to feature this silver foil facsimile signature card of Misaki Tamori:

No idea who she is... but she's cute and has a little pig on her sleeve.

Pack #9

There were a few sweet action shots in this pack, but I decided to go with Kouzmanoff again:

2010 Topps #544

Kudos to Topps for combining the great action shot with a write-up that states Kevin's "hands produced an NL record-setting .990 FLD% at 3B in 2009".  I guess he's all over the record books.

Pack #10

Another outstanding Reddick card:

2013 Topps Opening Day #124

I know there are a lot of A's fans out there who are going to miss seeing Josh Reddick out in right field on Opening Day at the Coliseum.

Pack #11

Another Barreto.  I was very tempted to pick this card again... but ultimately I decided to go with another rookie card:

2011 Topps #461

Also known as the Four Eyed Fielder, Sogard and his Nerd Power charm will be missed by many in Oakland.

Pack #12

The final pack only had four cards... but all four could be considered "hits".

I decided to pick Asuka as my favorite card in the pack.  In fact, it might just be my favorite card in the entire care package.  I sure hope BBM produces more cards of her in the future.

Thank you Kenny for this awesome care package!  I loved the variety and especially enjoyed the eye candy.

As soon as I have a reasonable amount of Torrens and Chunichi Dragons to send... I'll return the favor.

Until then...

Happy Saturday and sayonara!