Wednesday, November 30, 2016

One Of Those "I Finally Got Around To It" Posts

This is one of those stories that just sits on the back burner indefinitely until one day you decide to cobble it together and make a post about the cards.

In the 1990s there were plenty of sports card related magazines, each with their own charm, but if you wanted pricing you had two options Beckett and Tuff Stuff. I read both but as far as pricing goes Beckett was the leader then and the only print option now, but Tuff Stuff had better stories. The two magazines battled it out for over a decade but around 2009 Tuff Stuff became an online only webzine and Beckett won out on the magazine front. For a couple more years Krause Publications kept the site active but in 2011 the project was halted and Tuff Stuff died unceremoniously.  

In 2006 Tuff Stuff worked in conjunction with Upper Deck and released a special card set with 4 cards included in each issue over the 12 months for a total of 48 cards total. There were 24 baseball players and 24 football players with a mix of rookies and stars. Some were hits and some were duds.

The checklist:

1.      Reggie Bush

2.      Matt Leinart

3.      Vince Young

4.      Jay Cutler

5.      Derek Jeter

6.      Ken Griffey Jr

7.      Albert Pujols

8.      Ichiro

9.      Pedro Martinez

10.  Derek Lee

11.  Mark Teixeira

12.  Kenji Johjima

13.  Tom Brady

14.  Ben Roethlisberger

15.  Payton Manning

16.  Brett Favre

17.  Santonio Holmes

18.  Mario Williams

19.  DeAnagelo Williams

20.  Laurence Maroney

21.  Francisco Liriano

22.  Justin Verlander

23.  Ryan Howard

24.  David Wright

25.  Jared Weaver

26.  Stephen Drew

27.  David Ortiz

28.  Chase Utley

29.  Kellen Clemens

30.  Joseph Addai

31.  Vernon Davis

32.  Chad Jackson

33.  Greg Jennings

34.  AJ Hawk

35.  Maurice Jones-Drew

36.  Devin Hester

37.  Chien-Ming Wang

38.  Jose Reyes

39.  Roger Clemens

40.  Ryan Zimmerman

41.  LaDainian Tomlinson

42.  Tony Romo

43.  Drew Brees

44.  Larry Johnson

45.  Justin Morneau (Error w/ Chein-Ming Wang back)

46.  Brandon Webb (Error w/ Jose Reyes back)

47.  Hanley Ramirez (Error w/ Roger Clemens back)

48.  Johan Santana (Error w/ Ryan Zimmerman back)

I made sure to pick up each issue so I could complete the 48-card set, that was the last time I really paid any attention to the sports card magazines because by this time online options were readily available. If I am not mistaken I only picked up one more print magazine since 2006 and that was a special edition Beckett where they covered sketch cards.

I can finally delete the folder that contains all of these cards, it has been sitting on my computer for well over a year.

Tuesday, November 29, 2016

A Step In My Griffey Collection

I have finally completed the transfer of my collection that was listed on Zistle in to an Excel file on my computer, this way I can access my card list at any time without needing to log on to a site. As long as Zistle is active I will continue to use the site but in some cases I am about redundancies and this gave me the opportunity to ensure that every card in my collection was truly accounted for in addition to multiples/variations that I did not list on Zistle. I did find that I had a number of cards in my collection that had not been entered for one reason or another.

TJ has all of his Griffey cards compiled in a list he calls "The Beast", which I believe is somewhere around 4,000-4,500 cards deep. My list contains 1,059 unique Griffey cards so in respect to the true Beast I honor it with naming mine The Beast Jr. 

As I worked through my collection I started to notice a pattern with his card’s checklist numbers. There were quite a few based on his jersey numbers so there were quite a few 3, 24 & 30 and he seemed to have quite a few a cards #1 and #100. Maybe some day I will go through and compile a list of what are his most common checklist numbers.

Monday, November 28, 2016

The Wildcat's Football Season Comes To A Close

Being a University of Arizona football fan has its ups and downs. Usually there are 2-3 good seasons each decade but the rest of the time they are mediocre at best. The team has topped 10 wins only three times with their best season being 1998 when they went 12-1, beat Nebraska in the Holiday Bowl and ended up ranked #4 nationally. The last couple of years under Rich Rodriguez seemed to reverse the trend and they have gone to four straight bowl games, winning 3 of them. Not many Wildcats go on to have successful NFL careers with Tedy Bruschi, Chris Singleton, Rob Gronkowski and Nick Foles being the cream of the crop… Do the Patriots know when to grab a Wildcat or what?
This year has been one of those down years with the Wildcats going 3-9 but ended on a positive note closing out the season the other day with a huge 56-35 win over ASU in the Territorial Cup game, which goes back to 1899. Arizona rushed for an unheard of 551 yards and 8 touchdowns in that game. There is a familiar name from the graduating class that has me wondering if he will actually get a shot with an NFL team, Trey Griffey. I don't expect he will move on to a professional football career but I wouldn't be surprised if he gave baseball a shot.
In June’s MLB Draft Trey was drafted by the Mariners in the 24th Round as a nod to his father even though he hasn’t played baseball since high school, but really baseball runs deep in the Griffey family. Sure his uncle Craig didn’t pan out but when your grandfather is a two-time World Series champion and your father is a Hall of Famer the chances of having baseball skills is pretty much genetic at this point.
I bet you didn’t think I could get Ken Griffey Jr in to a college football post.

Friday, November 25, 2016

Time For Another Move

Sadly, life does not always flow in the direction we wish it would and the only thing to do is to allow the current take you where you need to be. With that I have moved back to Arizona, a very quick and unexpected move which has left me emotional drained. So if/when any future trades come up I will need to pass along my new address.

Thursday, November 24, 2016

Happy Thanksgiving

Happy Thanksgiving!
I hope you all have a wonderful day with family and friends.

Wednesday, November 23, 2016

Vintage Card Of The Month: 1955 Topps All-American Jim Thrope

This VCoM comes from one of the most popular football sets to ever be released, the 1955 Topps All American set. The set is based on college teams during a time when the NFL was not as big as it is today and college players were more popular and deserving of their own set. The 100-card set was released in three types of packs; 1 card packs for a penny, 9 cards for a nickel and 22 card packs (I am not able to find prices for these packs).

This card is straight off of my Top 6 White Whale want list, so I will happily change it to be my Top 5 White Whale list now.

Jim Thorpe was an all-around athlete playing professional football and baseball, semi-pro basketball as well as being an Olympian who won Gold medals in both the Pentathlon and Decathlon in the 1912 Olympics.

During his professional career he played in the MLB from 1913 through 1919 mostly with the New York Giants but he also spent a season with the Cincinnati Reds and a season with the Boston Braves. His NFL career was quite a bit longer running from 1915 through 1928 playing mostly for the Canton Bulldogs (an early NFL team from 1904 to 1926) but he spent a season with the New York Giants (NFL) and the Chicago Cardinals (Now Arizona Cardinals). He was inducted in to the NFL Hall of Fame in 1963.

What most people never knew is that in the mid-1920s Thorpe played semi-pro basketball with a barnstorming team called the World Famous Indians and from my understanding this is the one of the very few pictures of him in a basketball uniform.
The 1955 Topps All-American cards college based with players from the first half of the Century who were selected as All Americas. Thorpe attended Carlisle Industrial School where he played for the legendary Pop Warner and led the team to an NCAA Championship in 1912 with an 11-1 record, he also played baseball, track and field and lacrosse at Carlisle and to show his diversity he also won the 1912 Intercollegiate Ballroom Dancing Championship.

The card is in bad condition, maybe Poor to Fair at best, and is heavily creased at the top and cut well off center. The colors are still nice and the back looks good for the condition of the card but when top graded versions can sell for hundreds and I am just happy to have one of these cards in my collection.

Tuesday, November 22, 2016

The Art Gallery: 2012 Meatgrinder Studios "68 Zombie

This month’s Art Gallery display comes from the comic book artist Jay Fotos who began in the industry as a colorist for Todd McFarlane on the Spawn graphic novels. He wears many hats and has worked on various comic books, animation, video games and even toys. He was also a graphic artist with Image Comics on the graphic novel ’68 a series covering the Vietnam war with a mixture of zombies.
This sketch card comes from the Meatgrinder Studios in connection to the ’68 comic books so Jay Fotos has done all of the cards that I have seen. The card itself has a paper feel to it so that it feels old, the sketch is pencil and ink. I have been going through a zombie phase and I have been watching sketch cards form the ’68 set and I finally gave in and picked on up. The sketch cards can be difficult to find but prices are still rather inexpensive.

Monday, November 21, 2016

Happy Birthday Griffey!

Today is Ken Griffey Jr.'s 47th Birthday. I will celebrate it by sharing one of my recent4 Griffey pick ups, a shiny metal card. It is a 1996 Metallic Impressions card and it is standard size and it is made of metal with rolled edges on the back.

Friday, November 18, 2016

Will It Be Tebow Time With The Mets Next Season?

The 2016 Arizona Fall League ended yesterday and in a league of six teams and just over 200 potential future MLB players it seems like the only name that shows up is Tim Tebow.
He had a tough time playing for the Scottsdale Scorpions and because he remained with ESPN as a college analyst he missed out on a number of weekend games which hurt his potential. In all he had 71 plate appearances going .194 with 2 RBIs and 20 strikeouts. The positive is that he did get better over the weeks but the question is whether this was a one and done thing for the Mets?
In case you are wondering how he compared to another out-of-their-element guy who also played for the Scottsdale Scorpions a little over 20 years ago, His Airness. Michael Jordan had 153 plate appearances and hit .253 with 8 RBIs and 34 strikeouts. Look how young Nomar Garciaparra looks in 1994 when he was with Scottsdale. I wish he could have won a World Series, he is just the kind of guy you have to root for no matter which team he was with.

Back to Tim Tebow, his #15 Mets jersey was one of the top sellers this year and Mets GM Sandy Alderson said the goal is for Tebow to come back for Spring Training and compete for a spot on their Single-A roster so maybe the Mets do intent to actual continue forward with this experiment.  

Baseball collectors will have to wait for his first official baseball card.

Thursday, November 17, 2016

A Complete Set Of Mariners 2016 Topps Now Cards

Now that I have received the final card that I needed yesterday my 2016 Topps Now baseball team collection is complete with all 16 Mariners, including both of Griffey’s cards, plus I have two Ichiro cards. I finally gave in and purchased the Chris Iannetta #67 but the rest of the cards I either paid the $9.99 Topps price or less when I go the eBay route when you pre-purchase them usually they sell at $6 or $7 dollars before the release numbers are announced. My collection includes the error card #474 which was supposed to be Alex Rodriguez and Carlos Correa but instead includes Nomar Garciaparra and Mookie Betts on the front but the correct back so I am including it as a Mariner card.
Next year I don't think I will chase all of the Mariners card, instead sticking to just specific events and maybe a team card if there is one.

The 2016 Mariners checklist:

#16 Dae-Ho Lee

#25 Hirashi Iwakuma

#63 Felix Hernandez

#67 Chris Iannetta

#97 Leonys Martin

#111 MLB Honors American Troops (The middle panel is of the Mariners bench)
#120 Seattle Mariners

#178 Adam Lind

#263 Adam Lind

#268 Leonys Martin

#281 Ken Griffey Jr HOF

#408 Pat Venditte

#453 Taijuan Walker

#474 Alex Rodriguez/Carlos Correa

#487 Robinson Cano

#AS-1 Ken Griffey Jr. All Star Game

Wednesday, November 16, 2016

Holiday Fun From Topps

When I worked as a retail manager I really was not a fan of Christmas, not a miser but definitely a Debbie Downer because I worked up to 90 hours a week, usually spent a number of years running overnight crews and I dearly missed my family. There were a couple of years where my kids were taken to see Santa by my parents because I was either sleeping or working but now those days are long behind me and I love Christmas again, really the whole season beginning in October.
When I found out that Topps was releasing a Walmart exclusive holiday set I was excited. I know that there isn’t a whole lot of difference between this set and the base set but it has freaking snowflakes so they are automatically better which means of course I have to pick up the Mariners cards.
The blasters were supposed to be released today and I may be hitting my local story tomorrow so I will check to see if they have any available. The addition of Griffey would have been nice but I will make due.

Tuesday, November 15, 2016

Vader's Heartbreaking Announcement

Last night the 61-year old Leon White, also known in the wrestling world as Vader announced that he has serious heart problems and has been told he doesn’t have much longer to live (he says two years or less).  He has not said there is one specific reason but two different doctors have said that his lengthy athletic career may be a contributing factor.
He got his start playing football and was a two-time All-American during his time at the University of Colorado and was drafted by the LA Rams, where he played in the 1979 Super Bowl. After damaging his knee he turned to wrestling, which would seem like a worse option for someone with knee problems, but he won titles in various wrestling outfits spending most of his time in WCA and WWF/E with his final time in the ring in 2015 in the TNA.
I got back in to watching wrestling in the mid-90s until about 5 years ago and Vader was always fun to watch but really he was more entertaining than wrestler due to his size.
Even though he spent two years in the NFL and made it to the Super Bowl he still didn’t have any football cards, which isn’t odd considering he played Center. He does have plenty of wrestling cards with his only official autographs through Leaf’s Original Wrestling sets.

Monday, November 14, 2016

A Bad Day For One Collector

Last week Seattle Seahawks defensive end Cassius Marsh lost something that most collectors can relate too, either through having a similar situation or knowing someone that has gone through it.
Marsh’s girlfriend used his SUV to go out with friends to a nightclub in Seattle and someone broke in to the car and stole two backpacks he had in the back seat. One backpack contained his team issued iPad and the other contained a number of his Magic: The Gathering collection. You wouldn’t think that a pro football player would be such a serious collector and gamer but he estimated that the cards stolen are valued around $20,000-25,000. I know nothing about MTG but he must have some seriously rare cards in his collection.
He has made a number of tweets asking for help, he even offered that if the person who stole the cards would return them he would give them tickets to a home game, no questions asked.
I have never had cards stolen but I did have a large portion of my collection tossed in the trash by a vindictive ex, I call this loss “The purge”. It broke my heart and I lost about 75% of my collection but in comparison to what Marsh lost, mine was minimal in value.

Friday, November 11, 2016

Thank You Veterans

Today is Veterans Day, a day where we celebrate all U.S. military veterans. This day originally began as Armistice Day when President Wilson proclaimed that November 11, 1919 would be a holiday to honor those who served with pride and to remember those who died in service of our country during World War I. The date coincides with the day that the Germans signed the armistice, November 11, 1918 (11/11/18 at 11 am), to end all hostilities between the Allies and Germany. The day was observed as a day of remembrance but it was not until 1938 when the date was designated as a legal holiday. Following WWII and Korea it was decided to re-name it as Veterans Day to honor all American veterans who have served our country in the military.

I rarely talk about my personal life outside of sports but I am extremely proud of my family and friend’s military vets so today’s post is dedicated to my father (USMC), my oldest brother (US Army) and my middle brother (US Navy). Today is a very important day and it gives everyone a chance to thank all those who have served our nation proudly.

Wednesday, November 9, 2016

The Sketch Cards Are A Go

Everyone that has responded to my winner post or my email has selected their sketch card and they will be mailed,  I did try to include additional cards when possible. I am unable to contact #7 Shane Kroeker, if anyone happens to know him or how to contract him I would greatly appreciate it.
Here are the cards that are shipping out today:
Lost Collector- Freddy Krueger

CaptKirk42- The Invisible Man

Defgav- Jason Voorhees

ARPSmith- Jack Torrance

Sports Card Collectors- Leatherface

Jon- Pale Man

Tuesday, November 8, 2016

It Is Official, Zistle Is Now Part Of Beckett

Beckett has made their announcement regarding their takeover of Zistle. I received this message in email but they posted a similar message to the Zistle Facebook page. The future of Zistle as we know it has not been addressed, Beckett is asking for input only. It seems like all that have responded so far are pointing out the ease of Zistle’s format so hopefully Beckett will keep things that work and build on those that do not work.

Monday, November 7, 2016

Sketch Cards Winners- Contact Me

I will admit that I am a little disappointed with the limited response to this contest but I go with what I have so since we have 7 entries and I have 8 cards everyone is a winner. Since everyone gets a card I randomized the list 7 times for the final order.
The draft order is:
  1. 1. The Lost Collector
  2. CaptKirk42
  3. Defgav
  4. ARPSmith
  5. Sports Card Colletors
  6. Jon
  7. Shane Kroeker
I do have a couple of addresses but I am not certain if they are current so if each person can email me with their information and address and a list of the order of cards from your favorite (#1) to least favorite (#8). I will ship the cards based on order and selection and if you include a favorite team or player in your email I will try to include some other cards to your envelope.

The cards available
Freddy Krueger


Damien Thron

Jason Voorhees

Jack Torrence

Norman Bates

Pale Man

The Invisible Man