The Wal-Mart Blacks Are Back

I haven’t seen these posted yet so I thought I’d throw them out there.  I am one of many who swore off blasters for 2010 and I have already broke my oath.  I’m still waiting on my jumbo box, it won’t be here till Monday, so to sooth the itch I broke down and grabbed a quick blaster at the Wal-Marts.  Here’s a few more scans of some of the blacks.

Here’s a little side by side action of David DeJesus.

And a little side by side by side action of the Royals.

My commemorative patch was a nice one of Tris Speaker

This is totally up for trade, preferably for a Cub’s patch.

I pulled a bunch of Yo Mamma! cards including three in one pack. 

The Cepeda is an original back, it is also cut funny.  It’s more of a parallelogram of a parallel.  I really like this little insert set.  I’m going to try and complete it, so if any one has some they don’t want I’d be more than willing to trade for some.  If they carry this set into the 2010 Chrome, it’s on like Donkey Kong!

Once again Topps has some collation issues and once again I’m the lucky one who gets to find it.

Some day I want to find a whole pack of SP’s or autographed cards.  It’s bound to happen someday.  Here’s the rest of the blacks.

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2010 Face Off or How I Pissed On Braden Looper’s Porch

My lovely wife had the pleasure of braving two separate trips to the local Wally world today.  I asked her nicely to check and see if the 2010 cards had arrived yet.  It just so happens they were being stocked at the same time she checked.  She was kind enough to pick up two packs of Topps and one pack of Upper Deck.  I have a jumbo box of Topps on the way that should get me a base set or at least close so I didn’t want to pick up too many.  I pulled a Braden Looper out of both brands so I thought I would do a side by side comparison for y’all.

The UD cards have much crisper and sharper photographs than Topps, but Topps has a better choice of shots.  UD has way too many shots of player’s backs and sides, due to their poor attempt of covering the logos that they’re not supposed to show, but did anyways.  The Topp’s design, in my opinion, is much easier on the eyes.

As you can see Topps is getting their moneys worth displaying two alternate logos on every card, way to rub their noses in it Topps!  They also come packing an alternate photo on the back rather than rehashing the same photo on both sides like UD decided to do.  You can’t see it here, but Topps included the OPS stat again this year and once again UD did not.  It’s one of my favorite stats to look at so I have to give the win to Topps.

Now on to how I was able to relieve myself on Mr. Looper’s porch.  I’m not proud of my actions, but I do brag about it to anyone who will listen.    It was during a 4th of July party that I was forced to attend.  My mom and my wife are both nurses and both had worked with a lady who invited us out to her house on a nearby lake.  With the pressure of my mom and my wife I had no chance of dodging this one.  It’s one of those communities where they have a real strict home owners associations and a bunch of real expensive real estate, but on the weekend of the fourth they have one hell of a fireworks display.  When we showed up, the living room was full of old blue hairs talking about church and knitting and stuff.  I was getting upset because the Cubs were playing the Cardinals and in battle for first place and I was missing it.  I hit the buffet table which was one of the positives of the party.  It seems old church goin’ ladies love to make good food.  I was checking my phone every few moments to get updated on the game, they were tied until the 8th when the Cubs scored two runs from a Aramis Ramirez home run.  All is well for a bit.  In comes Kerry Wood to pitch the 9th for the save.  At this point one of the old ladies tells me the guys are all in the basement watching the game.  You’d have thought someone would have mentioned this to me earlier because I was decked out in my Cubbies gear frantically checking my phone and telling my dad the play by play, but no they wait until it’s almost over.  I go to head downstairs as everyone was heading upstairs.  It seems Kerry Wood had one of his signature blown saves and I was lucky enough to miss it.  Finally the guys are upstairs and all talking about the game when the owner mentions that one of the pitchers from the Cardinals had just bought the house next door.  After a little digging, I found out it was Braden Looper.  I decided this was my one and only chance to do something to a Cardinal’s house.  I didn’t want to do any damage or anything, just something I could tell my grandkids about one day.  When the sun went down I snuck over to his front door which was pretty well covered by some bushes.  There he had one of those green welcome mats with the little white daisy, and I issed on it!  This story is only better now that he was sent to the Brewers.  In one pissing I was able to take care of both teams I hate.  All in all, it was the best party full of old church goin’ ladies I ever went to.

Back to the cards for a minute.  Here is a scan of four cards that UD decide to go ahead and use team names on.

They’re hard to read but if you click on the image you can read them a bit better.  Now why would UD not print the team names on most cards and decide to use them on others?  Why would they not use them for the stat lines or the front of the cards, but bury them in some minor factoids?  I don’t get it.  I just don’t see how they think they were going to get away with this.  And even if they do, what will stop Topps from producing Hockey sets now?  It has to be a two way street if they get away with it.  Either way, they’re screwing themselves.  All I know is it’s going to be one hell of a soap opera.

Speaking of soap stars, out of three packs, I managed to pull these.

Three insert Arods?  FFFFFFFFUUUUUUUUUUUUUU!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

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I Declare Shenanigans…..

Here’s a link to an interesting little news story about baseball cards.

STORY

VIDEO

If your too lazy to follow the link I don’t blame you.  Basically two guys walk into a card shop.  One buys a box of Topps Tribute and pulls a 1 of 1 cut sig of Jackie Robinson.  He tells a friend about it and then he decides to buy a box too.  Guess what?  He pulls a 1 of 1 cut sig of Babe Ruth.  Now, this isn’t your local musty smelling dimly lit card shop that some of us are used to.  These cards were pulled at Nick’s Sportscards in North Dallas.  I actually recognized the shop from a few different stories about their shop.  They seem like they do business the right way and for the right reasons, but I declare shenanigans.

Here are the reasons.  For starters, Tribute only has 16 total cut signatures in the product.  For two of them to come from the same shop within hours is almost too good to be true.  They even state in the video these odds are next to impossible.  We all know, or at least suspect that Beckett has received loaded boxes in the past.  Could it be the case that certain shops are chosen for these “special cases” to be sold at.  I’m not trying to make a Beckett conspiracy out of this, although it is funny that some of them shop there.  What I’m trying to figure out is just how are these sets collated and distributed.  Does Topps know where they send certain cards to.  Could they be doing favors to certain shops while dumping everything else to others?  Does anybody know the answers?

I got a good laugh from Chris Olds’ quote, “”The appeal of these cards is that the card companies have authenticated the signature as legit.”   I’m still trying to figure out what company he’s buying his cards from.

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So Long And Thanks For The Cards……

Does anyone really think these guys will be around by the end of the year?  I have to give Beckett it’s due on actually reporting some hobby news for once.  Well done Mr. Olds.

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A Couple Of Rare And Well Traveled Cards

One of my long-term collecting goals is to have at least one example from as many different sets I can find.  Last year I was able to get a 1955 Topps Double Header, a 100-year-old T206, and a couple of nice 1938 Churchman’s Boxing cards.   Already this year I’ve been able to add another T206 and a couple of rare well-traveled cards.

First I’ll show off the T206.

It’s a Orval Overall 1909-11 T206 Sweet Caporal back.  It’s a little beat up and has some paper loss, but it’s 100 years old and it didn’t even cost me $10.  I now have a Piedmont and Sweet Caporal backs, I’d like to get at least one of the different backs in the series.  Orval was an instrumental player for the Cub’s in their last two World Series victories.  He went 3-1 in series competition and led the league in strikeouts in 1909.  That really puts this 100 years of losing into perspective when this guy was one of the last Cubs to win the series.  They really need to do something about that.  I also have a note to any would be parents with the last name Overall.  Do your damn kid a favor and don’t name him Orval.

The next card looks like your ordinary run of the mill 1964 Topps card.

OK, really it looks like a beat to hell ordinary run of the mill 1964 Topps card.  When you flip the card over is when you realize this card traveled a long way to get to Northern Illinois.

This is a 1964 Andre Rodgers Venezuelan Topps card.  These were sold across South America due to the popularity of the winter and rookie leagues in the ’60s.  These are next to impossible to find in mint condition.  I thought the kids in the states really did a job on their cards in the ’60s but the South American kids must have just put them through hell.

The next bunch of cards are not that old and I really don’t know just how rare they are, but I’ve only seen pictures of them in books and the interwebs.

These are examples of the 1991 Topps Desert Shield set.  These were distibuted in Saudi Arabia during Operation Desert Shield.  I would like to eventually get the Cub’s team set and maybe some day grab the Larry Wayne Jones RC.  I wonder if there was a soldier who had the slightest inkling to trade everything he had for every Chippah he could find.  Currently the cheapest Chipper RC  BIN price on eBay is a BGS 8 going for a cool $379.  What a difference a little gold foil stamp makes.

So there you have it, a card that traveled a couple of thousand miles north, some cards that may have come back in a soldier’s nap sack, and one thats made it through 100 years of history.  Not bad for under $20.

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2010 Topps National Chicle And Why I Might Like It

I’ll start with good.  These cards look amazing.  I don’t care if Ichiro is in a throwback Brewers uniform, they got the city right and I like it.  If the bulk of the set looks as good as the Robinson card, we may have a product of the year contender.

Now with the not so good.

At first glance I thought these cards were flat out flugly.  The more I see of them the more I’m starting to understand their place in the set.  First and for most it’s an art set based on a retro theme.  I like that idea better than just mailing in another retro themed set, see T206 if you want to know what I mean.  I hated the Ruth card at first but it got me thinking, what would players from the golden age of baseball look like with modern jerseys and equipment.  The ideas floating in my head look cool and I hope the artists pull through and do a better job than the Ruth card.  I think the mistake here was making Ruth look so much like Chippah.  Maybe that was the idea, but the idea did not transfer so well.  It’s still better than say, a Honus Wagner donning the 1970’s Pirates get-up.

The Thomas card, or Beckham card which ever it is, is kind of cool.  I really hope it’s Beckham, because if it’s not, the artist needs to go back to the supply store and buy some new colors for skin tone.  The concept behind this could be a cool one too.  Take today’s rookies and stars and place them in older iconic cards.  How about a Mauer in place of Puckett on a ’85 Topps design or David Wright on Strawberry’s rookie card.  I like the idea and concept behind these cards.  If it’s not the idea, then yes, it is a horrible painting of Frank Thomas.

I’m going to wait until I see more images from the set before I make my final verdict.  For now I’m excited to see 100% of the autos will be on card.  That is a definite step in the right direction.  I’m also glad to see a few new concepts included into a set.  We as collectors can’t complain about the same boring rehashes of retro sets and at the same time slam Topps for trying something new.  I guess at the end of the day I’d rather see the Babe in a Brave’s jersey with eye black and batting gloves than see the same tired image of him in the same old boring pin stripes.  Maybe this set should have been called “Unique” and not “National Chicle”.

By the way, I completely stole these images from Beckett.  Thanks Beckett!

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King Of Kong

I got off early tonight due to lack of work.  I spent my evening watching “Wild Hearts Can’t Be Broken” with the kids.  After I put them to bed I browsed the Netflix menu on the 360 and decided to watch “King of Kong, A Fistful Of Quarters“.  It’s the story of Steve Wiebe and his dream of being the best at something and his struggle to succeed.  Seriously, he has missed many accomplishments by just a little bit.  He decided to take on Billy Mitchell’s record on Donkey Kong.  If you don’t know what Donkey Kong is, I can only assume you’re Amish or live in Wisconsin.  He goes through hell to take down Billy Mitchell and after he does, his streak of bad luck continues.  I won’t get into it too deep but in the end he succeeds.  If you haven’t seen the movie I suggest you do.  If you have seen the movie, then you could probably agree that Billy Mitchell was the kid in your neighborhood who took the ball home after you started beating him.  He is truly a whiney pompous bitch of a man.  The only people more despicable than he is, is his little minions he has following and working for him.  Sorry Billy, but the film did you no favors.  As far as Steve goes, he is about the most stand up dude there is and deserves the honor of being the best in the world.

In the middle of the movie I remembered I received a package from Beardy in the mail that I had yet to open.  Sorry Thorzul, this is a kind of trade post with a story.  The top card of the first pile I pulled out was this.

What kind of crazy ass coincidence is that?  Beardy was also nice enough to practically knock out all of my needs for the Ginter set.  He sent along a Carlos Marmol jersey card from the set.  I would have included a scan but I’m following dayf’s footsteps and only posting 1 card per trade post.   I haven’t placed them in the binder yet but I have to be close if not done with the set.

Somebody needs to make a card set of some of these record holders.  There are some real characters in the bunch and their achievements are nothing short of amazing.  This includes the 80 something year old Doris Self.  Who is the 3rd place holder for Q*Bert.  She has since past on and is playing Q*Bert in heaven no doubt.  Then there is this guy.  He is Roy Shildt, AKA Mr. Awsome, the record holder for Missile Command  Click the link, you won’t be sorry.


If you want to check out where you match up against the greats you can go to Twin Galaxies and check out thousands of verified high scores.  If you want to see where you match up against me, you can find me on the the 360 with the gamer tag of gritz76 and on the PS3 as gritz-76-.  Send me a friend invite and I’m sure I’ll accept.  Now I got to go chumpatize some 12 year olds on Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 2.

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