Wednesday, December 18, 2013

Puts a smile on my face every time....

EDIT: well, the fun police ended that almost as it began. Not sure why.... I've seen commercials on tv worse than that...

A special thank you to Third String Goalie for really brightening up my day.

Let's see Panini make a "Net Cam" out of that!

Alright... so we'll go the GIF route. Not quite as good, but you'll get the drift....

She's a keeper!

Getty Images

Saturday, December 14, 2013

Play at the Plate gets Ripped...

My good friend who runs the blog Play at the Plate sent me some cards the other day. I believe this was in response to me sending him some before that.
We kinda "trade" cards, but really, at least for me, it's just sending cards whenever I get a small stack ready to go.
He also has the advantage of being the only Rangers fan I've ever heard of, let alone know.
Onto the cards!
My boy J Hey from this year's Ginter. The back, of course, has been violated. but I don't care. It actually is still attached, and he looks good in my binder.

There was also a small stack of super shiny Chippers from the late '90's.... They all look a lot better in person, but I scanned a couple of my favourites anyway.

 This Chipper is made out of really thin steel. And is sharp as hell. I can't imagine kids opening packs of these without losing some digits.

A see through Chipper! Only you can't tell in the scan.... ah well, believe me, it's cool.

And no package between us is complete without at least one McCann. I'm going to miss this guy. Although I won't recognize him either. Never seen him without facial hair.
Thanks bud. But one last question, with the ridiculousness of the latest idiot offerings from MLB, does Play at the Plate now have to change it's name???

Wednesday, November 27, 2013

1956 a year with many meanings.

say the year 1956 to me and a lot of images go flowing through my head. It was a very influential year on my life. No, I'm not that old, I wouldn't make an appearance for almost another two decades. But 1956 still influenced who I am.
Mainly because of this.  LINK <--- clicky--="" clicky="">
I lost a lot of family in those two weeks. A lot of branches cut permanently off of the family tree.
One of my passions is cars. Yeah, I'm a car guy. Or rather more accurately a former car guy. Not much money left in the budget right now, or even the space to do it either. But it's still there, lurking under the surface.
And what car guy doesn't think of this when hearing 1956?
(I realize some of our female readers may be more inclined to remember the T-Bird or Baby Birds, and that's cool too.)
That's such a cool pic... if I ever need another hobby, it would be vintage card advertising. There's some really great stuff out there.
But for most of you reading here today, 1956 simply means this.....

some really great baseball cards. No fancy cars, no massacre or politics, just the unpretentiousness of beautiful cardboard.
I picked up these two at that card show I was rambling about in my last post.... the seller had a very big pile of these on his table. Including all of the Braves except for Aaron and Spahn.
For all of the Braves there were four marked at $30 or more... the rest he said were $10 each.
Now that's a bit steep. These can be had for under $5 most places.... but here in Calgary, the opportunity to shuffle through a stack of these, choose a couple, and purchase them, here, in person, was too much. So I bought two.
You've already seen Ernie there above. Ernie is a must have for any Braves fan. What a great man.
The second card was a bit tougher choice for me... so many to choose from, none of them wrong. But I finally went with Andy. Andy is smiling at me. And maybe the play at the plate in honour of my North Texas friend came in subconsciously too.

Other than being off center, the Pafko is amazing. Sharp corners, great colour, gloss intact. Amazing.

Both are dark backs if you're into that type of thing...

So while I always think of other things when talking about 1956, for today, it was just about baseball cards. And my two new friends. Who after 57 years have finally found their permanent home. Their journey is over.

Sunday, November 24, 2013

let's Play Ball

not sure if you heard all of the cool kids talking about it or not, but there was a card show here in Calgary this weekend. A big one. Well.... a big one for Calgary. It was quite small actually, but we take what we can get here.
There was one seller, whom I'm pretty sure we will never see again here, had some vintage baseball.
I know!
So I bought three cards. I'll show the first off here. It's a little bit older than what I normally feature on here, but just to keep the kids interested, I'll tell you it's a ROOKIE CARD!!!!! MOJO SICKZ!!!
Here is my very first Play Ball card. It's from the 1940 set. Meet Johnny Cooney.
 Johnny was what we'll call a defensive specialist. In a 20+ year career, he hit over .300 six times, finishing with a career average of .286. And a whopping 2 home runs.
In 20 years.
He actually held (maybe still does) a record of most games played before hitting his first home run. His rookie year was in 1921 and a mere 18 years later*, in 1939 he hit his first home run.

Then the very next afternoon he hit his 2nd (and last) home run. Talk about a streak hitter.

Johnny was on a table of one of those sellers that puts high sticker prices on and then puts up a sign exclaiming 50% OFF!!!!!!

Whatever. For $5 he came home with me. A lot like a girl I knew in college. *BOOM*

Johnny Cooney < --------------------- LINK

Born March 18, 1901, Died July 8, 1986. Interred Manasota Memorial Park, Bradenton Florida.
Section 12, Row D, West wing south side, grave 2

*Johnny didn't play between 1931 and 1934.

Tuesday, November 19, 2013

Why in the hell didn't anyone tell me??? My new player collection begins...

The new 2013 Bowman Chrome Draft Picks, Prospects, Rookies, and Unknown Teenagers Wearing Baseball Uniforms came out last Wednesday.
Not including parallels or low numbered inserts, the Braves have 16 cards to chase. Seems doable.
While perusing said checklist, my eyes keyed in on one particular Bravos prospect. An 18 year old right handed pitcher drafted in the 7th round out of Somerset, Pennsylvania.
Meet Ian Stiffler.
Yes. Stiffler.

I can't make this stuff up. How effing sweet is that?

So I will be all in on this prospect... How can I not be? Stiffler? Are you kidding me?

So let's check in on his card checklist as I know it*.
*(that means it's far from comprehensive, if anyone can add to it or correct it, please do)

2013 Bowman Draft Picks and Prospects

BDDP65 Ian Stiffler (base)   (Got it!)
  • Blue Parallel #/500
  • Orange Parallel #/250
  • Red Parallel #/5
  • Black Parallel #/1
  • Printing Plates #/1 - 4 Versions

  • BDDP65 Ian Stiffler (Chrome)
  • Refractor
  • Blue Refractor #/99
  • Green Refractor #/75
  • Black Refractor #/35
  • Orange Refractor #/25
  • Red Refractor #/5
  • Superfractor #/1
  • Printing Plates #/1 - 4 Versions
  • Silver Ice Parallel
  • Red Ice Parallel #/25
  • Black Ice Parallel #/1

  • That's 13 cards not numbered /1. Add another 11 1/1's. I'm not kidding myself about those... I'll focus on the first 13.

    By the way... what's that say aboput the direction of our hobby when some kid has 24 cards out there for fans and family to chase, and 11 of them are 1/1? Another two are /5!
    Sad really....

    Oh, and you know there will be an auto request in the mail for an auto from his Mom....

    We'll see how that goes....

    Saturday, November 16, 2013

    Will someone, anyone, please explain the MVP voting?

    So by now all of you have heard that the awards for baseball have been handed out. All pretty much explanatory save for one huge surprise.
    N.L. MVP

    Somehow, someway, Paul Goldschmidt got robbed.

    Before the voting was announced, all of the pundits, ESPN, FOX, TSN, etc all predicted Goldschmidt in a runaway. No one was close.

    And then voters voted. Perhaps these are the same people doing the HOF voting? Maybe they were busy buying porkbellies and didn't watch any actual baseball this year?
    Did Selig open the MVP voting up to the fans like the *snicker* All Star game?

    Maybe everyone was wrong.... maybe everyone was mistaken and the select dozen people knew something we didn't.... so let's delve into the stats and see.... I don't pretend to know much, so let's list off some FACTS.

    Paul Goldschmidt led the National League in Home Runs(36), RBI's(125), extra base hits(75), total bases(332), Slugging % (.551), OPS (.952), Intentional walks (19), and then again in some catagories that all of you Bill James types worship.... stuff like RE24, WPA, WPA/LI, REW... all of those.

    I'm not even going to begin to try and figure out what they are, but the next time Brad Pitt and I have a pop together, we'll get into it, I promise you.

    How about the glove? Is Goldschmidt that bad with the leather? No. He led the National league in put outs at his position and was second in fielding percentage. (Second by .001%. That's pretty close if you ask me)

    Hmmm... well how about when was he productive? When the game was on the line? Or not?

    Well, Goldschmidt led ALL of baseball in go-ahead home runs(20), go-ahead RBI's(37), walk-off home runs (3), game-winning RBI's (19) and RBI's with runners in scoring position (84).

    After the 7th inning, Paul Goldschmidt led the National League in home runs(13), RBI's(41) and hits (60).


    Andrew McCutchen? The "winner"? He hit .317 with 21 Home runs, 84 RBI's, and 97 runs scored.

    Paul Goldschmidt did that after the 7th inning. Imagine if we counted the first 6 innings? Wait. Shouldn't we?

    And Pittsburgh being a playoff team has NOTHING to do with this. If anything, it favours Goldschmidt. Imagine what he could've done on a better team?

    Paul Goldschmidt got robbed. This wasn't even a close contest.

    Friday, November 15, 2013

    Desperate times...

    with Braves ownership cutting corners and getting cheaper by the day, the best reliever in baseball contemplates adding a second job.

    Tuesday, October 29, 2013

    Wanted: A good home for Sammy Sosa.

    one of the local card shops has giveaways at their version of trade night. It could be anything from boxes or packs of cards to autographed baseballs to licenced merchandise.
    I've won a few of those prizes.... it's always nice to get free stuff. On one of those nights, I was handed a package and told, "Take this home.".
    Upon opening it I found a McFarlane version of the one, the only, Chippah!
    Very cool. I didn't have it already, so it now sits on my desk, proudly hitting a home run to beat the Mets in Shea every time I look at it.

    The only problem, and it isn't really a problem at all, is that Chip came with a buddy.

    Sammy Sosa.

    Who knew at the time that the reason he was always hopping around was that he was hopped up on 'roids.
    I always thought it was because of the cork. But whatever....

    Long story short.... Sammy needs a good home. Is there any Sammy and/or Cubs fans out there who would like Sammy for their desk?

    All it will cost you is at least one card off of my wantlist. That's it. AND... if you really want it, but can't find a card, I'll send Sammy your way for futures.

    So speak up Sammy fans.... first come, first served.

    Wednesday, October 23, 2013

    Thanks for coming out! Here's a prize...

     the past couple of trade nights at one of the local shops have brought more than just trades or disappointing box busts... they've brought freebies!

    now you know how much I like free. If it's free, it's me.

    The shop keep likes to hide little gems under the desk for his patrons, and I was the lucky recipient of a goodie each of the last two trade nights.

    In September, I got this....
     inside of it, this was hiding...
     BMac! And a sad Dee Gordon sad that he hasn`t lived up to the hype that Topps put on him.

    Here`s the back for posterity. Weird that we`ve got the back of Justin Verlander`s card instead of John Jaso.... but Jaso never rang Kate Upton`s bell, so there`s that.

    This past week brought another treasure. A Jason Heyward Studio card form some sort of Panini pack giveaway that I knew nothing about. This doesn`t surprise me as I tend to not notice things like this.

    and why on Earth would they reproduce this Studio set??? One of the worst sets of all time! Leave it to Panini I guess.

    Oh, and there was also this parallel of the Jason Heyward card.

    Great googly moogly. What is that?

    I have no idea.... but in the Heyward binder it goes.

    Thanks Darren!

    Monday, October 21, 2013

    Well that didn't take long.....

    so on Tuesday, October 8th, I posted about busting a box of the new shiny Topps Chrome baseball. Of course, it was missing one of the promised autos.
    On Wednesday the 9th, I emailed Topps customer service with all of the requested information and attached scans of the upc symbol etc.. as instructed to do by Topps' fantastic website.
    Later that day I received an email that they couldn't open the attachments. Apparently .png files are too modern for their software. So I switched to .jpg and re-sent.
    The next day I received an email saying the attachments were too large. Apparently 2MB scans will overwhelm their servers.
    So I reduced the resolution and re-sent.
    I then received an email the next day (the 11th) asking me to send my letter and scans to a different email address within Topps.
    Apparently Topps' software does not have a "forward" button. Or a "copy, paste" button either. They must be using Macs or some such useless crap.
    So I did my own copy and pasting. And re-sent (for the fourth time) my request to Topps.
    Now in my letter, I mentioned that I was a Braves fan and if they possibly had one of those, I'd be really grateful.
    I, and a lot of other people have dealt with Upper Deck and they always ask your collecting interests to best match up a replacement whenever possible.
    This isn't Upper Deck.
    On Wednesday the 18th, FedEx showed up at my door at 2 pm.
    I wasn't home. however they left a nice note saying they would try again and 2 pm the next day.
    I wasn't home again. Who delivers residential in the afternoon when a signature is required?????
    This time they left a not so nice note saying my package would be held at a really inconvenient location nowhere near my home or work until Saturday, where it would then be returned if I hadn't picked it up.
    Great. One day to get it or else.
    Oh, and pick up times at this remote hell hole are between 1:00 and 4:00 pm.
    Apparently FedEx has a sense of humour.
    Skipping to the chase, Topps immediately replaced my missing auto. Kudos to them for doing so in a timely fashion.


    These babies can be had for $1.50 on Check Out My Cards. Why? Because the Mariners don't have fans or people who collect them. That's why.


    I can't complain really. Other than the inconvenient way of shipping, the time off of work to get the damn package, and the fight with Topps' customer care department, everything else went smooth.

    Now I just have to locate Brandon Maurer's grandma and trade her this card.

    Tuesday, October 8, 2013

    Topps owes me.... I hope.

    So at the last trade night I caved into peer pressure. My drug of choice? Shiny 2013 Topps Chrome.
    It was either that or Shiny 2013 Bowman Chrome. Why did Topps put out two nearly identical products in the same week??? Who knows? They have a monopoly, so they can do whatever they want.
    A couple of friends of mine spent about 10 minutes talking me into busting this box... I think it was because they wanted to see one but didn't want to splurge themselves........... Hmmm.......
    Anyways, you all know about The Shiny. 24 packs, 4 cards per pack, and TWO autos GUARANTEED per box. (that's called foreshadowing kids)
    I only managed to pull three Braves in the box, so you're going to get to see them all.
    This is the first card of El Oso Blanco that I've pulled from a pack myself.
     Evan became the first player to win back to back Rookie of the Month since Jason Heyward in 2010.
    It'll be a tight race between Evan and Jedd Gyorko for rookie of the Year. I think Gyorko will win it though.... too bad, evan had a helluva year. The most RBI's by a rookie, second by two in homers to Gyorko.

    BMac! Maybe the last card of Brian in a Bravos uni....

     Of course, what are shiny cards without even shinier cards? Refractors everywhere...

    And of course, Xfractors.... that black line is not visible on the card itself, but every Xfractor I pulled scans this way. It looks like a fault in the cards... there's a line on the card that looks like it's missing the Xfractor dust.

    There are coloured parallels as well.... purple, red, orange, black, gold, and blue. Maybe more, I dunno. I got one gold, and one blue in my box.

    The blue I pulled was Jon Lester. Jon thinks like my cat.... if I can't see you, you can't see me....

    The scan of my gold parallel seems to have disappeared into the depths of the world. Sorry, my bad.

    As for inserts, we get more of the 1972 reprints. I got two in the box, Pujols and Jason Heyward.

    Topps also made a couple of odd die-cut insert sets. I pulled three of these monsters... Ortiz, Lincecum, and Gonzalez. Very colourful.... it's like the 90's again.

    And then this thing.... the only one in the box. Evan Longoria.

    Now we get to the autos. Or should I say, auto. Yeah. In big block red letters it's printed on the box THREE times, TWO autographs per box.

    I got one.


    But, at least I got the probable rookie of the year, the previously mentioned Jedd Gyorko, on a  black bordered card #/100
    nice looking card.

    Now to email Topps about my missing auto.
    Anyone out there have experience dealing with Topps??? Sound off in the comments if you have any tips.

    Sunday, September 29, 2013

    a few friendly freebies.

    I've been the recipient of a few gifts recently. Time to start showing off some of them.

    Fellow blogger bamlinden recently opened up a box of 2013 Panini Cooperstown while at trade night at one of the local shops.
    He pulled some sweet cards, and saved the box topper for last. Peeling back the silver foil revealed...

    a Warren Spahn HOF pennant. It's about 3 1/2" x 5" made from blue felt. It's now mine. Thanks Brett!
    Although I have no idea how to store it, or display it.

    Speaking of the local shops, I went around to them earlier in the year looking for Panini's 2013 Golden Age baseball release.
    None of them had brought any in.
    I guess I'm not surprised.... Panini anything doesn't really sell well around here.
    Fast forward to the recently, and Fuji held a contest on his blog. Somehow I ended up being one of the winners and received these six cards as my prize.

    Really, those are pretty much the only cards I wanted from Golden Age, so everything worked out in the end. Thanks Fuji.

    I also just received a small box from gcrl. The box was small, but it weighed about 15 pounds. In it was stacks of junk era hockey cards that I've just started sorting through... and a few Braves just because.
    Among the outnumbered baseball cards was a smiling Dale Murphy insert. Dale is reacting to someone telling him that idiot voters will keep a two time MVP out of the Hall of Fame.

    There was some new modern shiny!

    Here`s the dude responsible for Brian McCann wearing Yankee pinstripes next year. Apparently he`s the number one catching prospect in baseball.

    And you can`t just have shiny without balancing it with vintage.

    First a sweet `59 Frank Torre. I already have one in my team set, but this one will replace it. This card is sharp! Amazing condition. If I were a lesser collector, this one would go to grading.
    And another awesome vintage card, from the 1974 Topps set. Hank Aaron is on cards #1-6.
    This is card #2. And it is NOT sharp. But it is fantastic. AND I needed it for my team set. Always feels good to slide a card into an empty spot in the page. I now have #'s 1 and 2... still need 3,4,5,6.

    One day.

    Thanks Jim!

    Wednesday, September 25, 2013

    Mike Joy - 2013 Allen&Ginter Wanted Here...

    So for those of you that know me well, you know I rarely pay attention. It's not that I don't care, it's, well, that I don't care.
    Products are coming out at a feverish pace, and I can't keep up.
    I guess it doesn't matter too much being a set collector. I'll get there when I get there. But for the player collectors out there.... you guys are insane. Scouring the interwebs for checklists months before the product hits the street, knowing that you have to find 17 cards of your player before the product is 24 hours old because another product with 13 cards of your guy hits the day after tomorrow and all of the boards will have forgotten about today's product by then...
    No wonder you guys look stressed at trade nights.
    Me? I couldn't tell you who's in what. And I'm happy being like that. The hours are good and there's no heavy lifting.
    Except once in awhile, I miss out on a card that I want, because I had no idea it existed. And then I find out it exists, and the scramble is on.... case in point. This year's A&G. I've avoided it. It's almost twice as expensive here as you can get it online... and there are other things I've been chasing, so I just ignored it.
    And now this.
     and this.... (images ganked off of the www)
    and apparently there are mini's and base cards as well. Red ink autos too.

    Well I want them. If you have any of these base, mini's, relics or autos, I want them. Hit me up via email or in the comments.
    And if you know of anyone who has these, send me that info too.... or let them know I'm looking.

    Meanwhile I have to go scour the world wide web for some checklists of products that are coming out soon.....

    Monday, September 16, 2013

    Something old, something new....

    I haven't picked up a lot of new baseball other than trying to desperately complete my Braves team sets from throughout the years. You'd think a lot of these 'common junk wax' cards would be plentiful to find, but no. Not so.
    If you have Braves cards from the '90s or '00s, let me know.
    But I've still managed to acquire a couple of new to me autos... they must really be valuable as they both came factory sealed in plastic prisons.
    Tommy Holmes.

    Tommy played almost his entire career for the Boston Braves. (1942-1952) He finished runner up for MVP in 1945. His career batting average was .302. And he his ratio of 28 home runs for every strike out is one of baseball's all time best.
    Tommy passed away in 2008 at the age of 91.

     If you like a little more modern feel to your cards....

    Julio Teheran

    Julio is one of the top young arms in baseball... Baseball America's #1 RHP prospect.
    For whatever that's worth.
    But he's got a great sig.

    Hope you like 'em... I do. And now they're mine.

    Wednesday, September 4, 2013

    The all knowing sure fire bet your house 2013 NFL season predictions.



    If you've missed the previous exploits of Canuck and Jaime, feel free to click HERE and HERE.