Thursday, March 5, 2015

Feel The Pain

It was a rough night, with one of my favorite NBA players going down with a serious injury. Let's look at cards to try and cope.

This has nothing to do with this post, really, but Wesley Matthews tore his Achilles on national TV tonight during the second half of TNT's famed doubleheader. It sucks. I just bought the guy's jersey (doubling my sports jersey collection) so I am taking full responsibility. This made it really hard to enjoy the decisive Blazers win over Dallas.

Anyway, this is neither here nor there, but I thought I'd take a look at some cards I got awhile back from RAZ. He's a participant in my free-ish Basketball Card Club (still plenty of teams left!) and also claimed a spot in last December's group break.

In addition to taking down cards from my Top 10 Most Wanted (I still see you, Bowman Jaime Moyer), RAZ also sent along a pile of Clydes for my troubles. I should probably stick to retired players when choosing jerseys to buy. Incidentally, my only other jersey is an '80s Ozzie Smith batting practice jersey.

I really love these customs. 2008 Ginter is the best Ginter.

RAZ also sent a big pile of 2010 Turkey Red inserts. At one point the Strasburg was a tough card to come by as it came during his MLB-sanctioned RC year. I'm down to needing just 4 of these inserts from the 150 card set, although I still have a ton of work to do on the 2009 set.

Speaking of that batting practice jersey...

Monday, March 2, 2015

Old School Like That

Old stuff.

I don't show off vintage cards here nearly enough, so I thought I'd focus this post on the elder statesmen of the cards that Night Owl Cards most recently sent me. I have slowly been working on my want list behind the scenes here over the past several months, and I think the vintage years are worth tackling soon as I really have no idea what I actually need. (I'm going to go with "anything expensive" as the answer to that.) Here are a few flawed beauties that I received from what is widely accepted as the best of all of the blogs out there, or at least one of the best.

Mike Shannon is still the radio voice of the Cardinals, the resident drunken uncle that tells the story of the St. Louis Nine night after night with reckless abandon. He just seems like a guy you'd want to watch a game and have a beer with. He was a hell of a ball player in his days as I've read and heard, so I'm excited about adding any Shannon card to my collection.

I never seem to remember that Roger Craig was ever a Cardinal, on the other hand. This would certainly be a prime candidate for an Airbrushed Friday, but it's too late for that now. Craig actually pitched for the 1964 championship Cardinals team but is probably best known for his time with the Giants as manager in the '80s and early '90s. Someone decided to write on this card, too, for reasons unknown.

Even more interestingly, one Bill Wetmore felt it necessary to stamp his name on the back. Either that, or someone who wasn't Bill Wetmore stamped it. I'm going to guess it was Bill. I wonder what ol' Bill is up to these days.

Friday, February 27, 2015

Airbrushed Fridays: 2008 Topps #433

Spring Training begins!

Who is he? Carlos Silva had a 9 year major league career, more than most of us, including 7 seasons as a starter. He finished with a .500 W-L record and fairly pedestrian numbers, his best season coming in 2005 with the Twins where he walked just 9 batters all season. Always susceptible to the gopher ball, he would led the league (on the wrong side) in home runs allowed the following season with 38.

How did he get here? Silva's 2007 was better, but that didn't stop the Twins from letting him walk. He signed as a free agent with the Mariners in 2008, where he would find himself with the worst ERA (6.46) of any full time starter. (His W-L record that year was 4-15 for what it's worth.)

Repeat offender? No

Other versions of this card: None

Airbrushed Score: 5

Comments: 2008 was probably the golden era of Topps Photoshop flubs, but this is nothing like the Miguel Tejada card found in Series 1 that year.

Thursday, February 26, 2015

My 2015 Topps Progress

Here's what I've accomplished so far.

I've polished off the Cardinals base team set for Series One. This is probably the earliest that I've ever managed this, but I also have the fact that there were only something like 10 Cardinals cards (including multi-player cards) in the whole series. Still, I'm not complaining.

I have quite a few foil parallels to get my hands on, however. And there's always those pesky serial-numbered cards. Hot Corner Cards was kind enough to send me this Lance Lynn foil parallel via PWE, which means I just need the following foils:

  • 11, 60, 61, 80, 85, 220, 286, 311, 336
I'm not doing so hot with the inserts, however. I still need all three versions of the two First Home Run cards I care about (#9 and #16) plus several other inserts. Go here to see the complete list. If you're working on 2015 Topps Series One, I have plenty of extras, so just let me know what you need!


Some Blazers, a Wizard and a Duck walk into a blog...

At some point this week the power went out in my place and I have been too busy to figure out why my scanner and PC were no longer on speaking terms. A few cables were unplugged and then replugged and here we are with some more cards on the blog, this time thanks to Sportscards From The Dollar Store. Buckstorecards is one of the few blogs that I follow that truly goes for all four major North American sports which makes for an interesting read. It's not quite baseball season yet, though it's really close, so I feel comfortable if my usual baseball-to-non-baseball ratio is a bit off right now.

LaMarcus is truly Our Hero. This is a surprisingly nice looking serial numbered (to 299) card.

Say what you will about Panini, but they do make a nice Prizm card when they have their licenses all in order. I've been hearing chatter about fake patches and other unseemly things in their products lately, however. That's not cool.

It's former Duck Dion Jordan! This is one of those Panini cards that you can download an app for and view some additional content in lieu of printed stats on the back or something.

Finally, buckstorecards took me up to 555 Ozzies, thanks to a couple of 1983 O-Pee-Chee album stickers that I needed. They look just like the Topps stickers of the same year, but have different printing on the back to indicate their Canadian-ness. Of course, all of these stickers were actually printed in Italy by our good friends Panini. Viva Italia!

Wednesday, February 18, 2015

Mercy Mercy

R.I.P. Jerome Kersey.

I was stunned to learn of the sudden passing of Jerome Kersey, leaving us with just three of the Bill Schonely-proclaimed "Best Starting Five in the NBA". Kersey was more likely to get a floorburn than knock down a clutch jumper, but he parlayed his draft selection out of a small college in Farmville, Virginia into a long and successful NBA career. He had been very active with the Blazers in recent days, both a consistent presence at their games and in TV work with the local cable network that covers the team.

Kersey was the starting small forward for the Blazers in the peak of their late '80s-to-early '90s run where they made two NBA Finals appearances, coming up just short against both the Bad Boys of Detroit and peak Michael Jordan in separate years. He was all hustle and tenacity on the floor. He competed in multiple slam dunk contests (runner-up to Jordan at one point) and took home an elusive championship ring as a member of the Spurs in 1999.

As the Schonz would say, Mercy Mercy, Jerome Kersey!

Tuesday, February 17, 2015

Someone Put Music in My Sportsball Cards

Collectibles are not always the baseball kind.

Jack White's insert card in the 2015 Topps set sparkled a fair amount of pop culture interest. Though it wasn't quite the mopey freeze frame of his visit to Wrigley Field that sparked a million memes, it did become an interesting conversation piece as the new Topps Series One was rolled out. It's funny how the mainstream media gets ahold of (or is fed) a story like this at the beginning of every season. No one is talking baseball cards on cable television by the time Series Two rolls around, or even by the time something like Bowman first hits the shelves.

If it was ten years ago, I might have really enjoyed this card. I liked The Big Lebowski well enough that I might have gotten a kick out of the Jeff Bridges card as well. This stuff just seems unnecessary to me now, but I'm not sure why. I own all of the White Stripes records, but I can't say I'm a big fan of Jack White the person in the screechy celebrity era. The story of his tour rider was amusing enough for a few minutes, but now that there's been multiple responses penned in return, I'm really tired of it already. The next time you see this guy on the screen, are you going to talk about his music, his baseball card or his touring crew's very specific guacamole recipe?

It's a cute idea, Topps, but I could have used another Adam Wainwright card instead. This one is up for grabs.