Sunday, December 31, 2017

Happy New Year And My Favorite Card Of 2017

 I hope everyone is having a happy and safe New Year’s Eve.

Another year has come to an end and I look back to see how things went. This year was a very tough year for my collection, my purchases were limited in comparison to previous years but that doesn’t mean that I didn’t end the year with some big pickups.

My favorite card of the year came in a trade with Matt from Bob Walk the Plank when he hooked me up with my first Edgar Martinez autograph. The 2014 Topps Five Star Silver Signature Edgar auto topped them all.

Thursday, December 28, 2017

Kato Kicking Ass

My most recent Bruce Lee addition is from a 1993 Green Hornet promotional release and shows Bruce Lee as Kato tossing a couple of throwing stars. The company NOW Entertainment called the card Hologravure Cards, a fancy name for lenticular.

The show was on before I was born but I have seen a couple of episodes and Bruce Lee’s character Kato was an all-around bad ass and that is what I love about the card. The determined look, the action shot and the throwing stars coming at you.

Tuesday, December 26, 2017

Another Cavalcade Of Griffey XIV

Finding your favorite player’s cards from foreign sets is always a treat. There have been plenty of products that have been released internationally but the cards I am talking about are the cards that are released locally in a foreign country. Topps, Upper Deck and Panini have major releases that are sold overseas exclusively, so finding your favorite player in those sets is cool but when I can find what essentially is a broder card it seems like the card is even more special.

I picked up this card from a Venezuelan dealer and it is exactly what you would expect from a small unknown card company. Horrible picture, no card number or set name and in the case of this card, a smudge on the back near the top that someone tried to wipe it off.

I wasn’t sure how to catalog it in my Excel spreadsheet, so I asked the dealer and he said all he knows is that it came out in 1999 or 2000 and that was it, so I have it listed as a 1999/00 Venezuelan unknown.

Monday, December 25, 2017

Merry Christmas

Merry Christmas! I hope everyone has had a wonderful day with your family an friends.

My final sketch card of the year.

Sunday, December 24, 2017

The The The Grinch

In the 1970s and 1980s there was nothing more exciting to a kid than hearing the CBS Special introduction music around Christmas. It meant we were about to be entertained for the next 30-60 minutes with either A Charlie Brown Christmas, a Rankin-Bass show or How The Grinch Stole Christmas. Now kids have the 25 Days of Christmas on Freeform (Formerly ABC Family) or 24 hours of A Christmas Story, but decades ago we were at the mercy of CBS and our parents. If you missed one of the specials, you were out of luck because it wasn’t going to be on again until next Christmas.

Now that I have set the preface for this post I will get to the card part.

In 2000 Ron Howard and Jim Carrey joined forces and made the Grinch live action. I was very skeptical when it came out, there was no way that a live action Grinch could capture Boris Karloff’s Grinch. I eventually came around and love the movie, one of my favorite holiday classics.
I just picked up four autographs from the set, two Christine Baranski and two Jeffrey Tambor. Tambor played Mayor Augustus Maywho and Christine Baranski played Martha May Whovier. The cards have more limited versions, these are the black ink, which are the most common. There is also blue ink and the red ink versions are the most limited. I was able to work out a deal with the seller, each card for $4 and then $4 for shipping. 
Other autographs in the set include director Ron Howard and artists who worked on the original animated special. Taylor Momsen, who played Cindy Lou Who, didn’t sign her cards but you can find her unsigned cards for a premium.  

Saturday, December 23, 2017

Another Round Of Halloween Christmas Cards

A new addition to my Nightmare Before Christmas collection, a Chris Saranndon autograph. Saranndon, or Sarandon depending on who is writing about him, was the voice of Jack Skellington so this was a big find. In another cult favorite, The Princess Bride, he played the villainous Prince Humperdinck.

The 2001 NECA The Nightmare Before Christmas release included a couple of autographs. I have the Glenn Shadix autograph card. Shadix voiced the Mayor of Halloween Town and is probably best known for playing Ortho in Beetlejuice.

I believe there are two more autographs in the set but they are Tim Burton and Danny Elfman so I have no expectations of every being able to afford either card so I am satisfied with my Nightmare collection as it is.

Friday, December 22, 2017

Make Organizing Easier

We need to get together a petition to get the sports card companies to create a uniform system to numbering and labeling the cards in a readable font. Upper Deck has something in place but the labeling is not consistent in location but at least it is a start.

I am going through my package from COMC and I am organizing the Buhner cards and three-quarters of the cards the year isn’t even legible. Some text is too small, and some is black font on a dark background and even magnifying it still is not readable.

I say this jokingly but there is some seriousness to it too.

Thursday, December 21, 2017

One Big Blogging Family

The blogsphere is a tight knit group and it is funny when you see a specific card and you think of a specific collector. When I see Tony Gwynn I think of Fuji and Defgav, Jose Canseco I think of Mouschi and certain sketch cards it is Raz. I will admit, it has swayed the way I bid on occasion, especially in cases of a more rare card because I don’t want to add competition. The newest name to my list is P-Town Tom and Dan Vogelbach.

Vogelbach is a young player in the Mariners organization who has a huge upside and finished this past season in Seattle and will most likely earn a position in the big league with the Mariners next season, so he is the perfect player to jump in on collecting. The problem is that I only know about Vogelbach from reading P-Town Tom’s blog “Waiting ‘til Next Year” when Vogelbach was in the Cubs organization and even though he is now with the Mariners Tom still PCs him.

Wednesday, December 20, 2017

Vintage Card Of The Month: 1955-56 Parkhurst The Great Togo

This month’s VCoM is The Great Togo from the 1955-56 Parkhurst Wrestling release, a 121-card checklist wrestling set that covered the big named wrestles of the time.

The Great Togo, also know Toshiyuki Sakata or Harold Sakata, may be better known to some as Oddjob in the James Bond film Goldfinger but he was a very accomplished weight lifter and wrestler before he became an actor. Following his time in the US Army during WWII he began lifting weights and went to the 1948 London Olympics where he won a Silver medal in the Light-Heavyweight weightlifting category.

In the early 1950s he began his wrestling career, at times teaming up with Masutatsu Oyama and Kokichi Endo as the Togo Brothers/Family winning 12 championships as an individual and tag-team.

This 1955-56 Parkie is his second-year card with his 1954-55 Parkhurst card being his official rookie card. The odd thing is, I guess a cost cutting choice, but the 54-55 card uses the same exact image but is a plain white background.

This card is in horrible shape and I want to eventually replace it, but it has great colors and you gotta love the look on Sakata’s face. I don’t think I have ever seen a wrestler smiling so big on a card before.

Tuesday, December 19, 2017

Another Cavalcade Of Griffey XIII

One of my favorite companies over the years has been Pacific. Their early baseball products are rather plain and in the 90s they only had MLB’s Spanish license, so all of their baseball cards were bilingual, something they did carry over in to the early 2000s even after getting a full MLB license.

It was about 1998 when they started to play with die-cuts and other oddities for their sets and this is where this card comes in to the picture. One of the cool inserts in the various sets were the Net Fusions die-cuts, cards cut in to a shape based on the insert name and strings added to give it a net like look. This is the In The Cage insert from the 2000 Pacific Crown Collection but some of the other Net Fusions are Dugout View and Foul Pole.

Monday, December 18, 2017

Monday Question Day- Handling Cards?

Today is question day:

How do you handle your cards?

This one may be odd but I saw this question show up on a forum once and it got me thinking that some people may handle their cards differently than others. Part of my OCD is washing my hands so I always wash my hands and dry them before touching a card and then I wash my hands when I am done. Most of my collection is in penny sleeves so touching the card wont damage it.

Saturday, December 16, 2017

Return Of Xtreme Football?

The latest news from Vince McMahon is not wrestling related but appears to be a revival of the XFL.

A Deadspin reporter had contacted the WWE regarding rumors of the league and a WWE spokesman responded with “Vince McMahon has established and is personally funding a separate entity from WWE, Alpha Entertainment, to explore investment opportunities across the sports and entertainment landscape, including professional football. Mr. McMahon has nothing further to announce at this time.”

To add to the support of the rumor is the fact that WWE filed for two different XFL trademarks this year, well after the ESPN 30 for 30 XFL documentary in February, as well as trademarking “He Hate Me”.

How do you feel about an XFL reboot?

Friday, December 15, 2017

Another Cavalcade Of Griffey XII

Acetate cards are the greatest, I don’t even have a special reason, I just really like them so when I come across the chance to pick up a new Griffey acetate card I jump on it.

This is a 2000 Pacific Crown Royale proof, there are two different proofs with one being #/50, but this is the base proof. The cards are acetate versions of the base card, which is not acetate, and usually can be picked up for under $5 shipped. I just looked and there is an un-numbered (base) proof on COMC for $53 ouch…

Thursday, December 14, 2017

The Art Gallery- 2017 Island Dreams Jazz Musicians

This month’s Art Gallery Display comes from an artist that you all know, me. The set is 2017 Island Dreams Mardi Gras.

This is my first official release and I was excited and did a variety of subjects based on NOLA and Mardi Gras culture; gators, crawfish, zombies, voodoo dolls and some witch doctors but my favorite are a trio of jazz musicians. The musicians aren't puzzle sketch cards, because of the placement of each musicians the backgrounds line up differently but I used the same colors for a nice visual appeal.

I was kind of stressed doing the set, we were given 20 blank sketch cards with a couple of rules. Now normally I am confident drawing sketch cards, if I screw up I just throw away the card and grab another blank to start over. This was totally different because if I made a mistake I couldn’t just toss a card away but I look forward to the next opportunity.

Wednesday, December 13, 2017

More Ball Bags

In a quick update on yesterday’s story about LiAngelo and LaMelo Ball, they did sign with a team in Lithuania yesterday afternoon so their “professional” career is beginning but there is a bit of a caveat to the contract they signed and their expectations.

They signed with Prienu Vytautus, also known as BC Prienai, a low-level club in Prienai, Lithuania. The team plays in a 1,700 seat areana, where 500 of the seats are reserved for friends and family of the club. The GM and the coach are the same guy, Virginijus Seskus, and the team’s best player is the coach’s son. The team doesn’t practice regularly because they cannot afford the fees for the practice court and they carpool to games on game day so they don’t have to pay for a hotel.

Putting them in this environment can not be good for their development. Several American players who played in Europe have said that there is a difference between NBA play and professional European basketball, so I would imagine that at the age of these kids who are still developing physically and mentally it cannot be ideal for their basketball skills. This just seems like another situation where LaVar is trying to prove that he knows best and is willing to affect his kid’s future to make a point.

A little side humor. LaVar was brought in to the Lakers office a couple of weeks back by President of Basketball Operations Magic Johnson and GM Rob Pelinka and asked to basically shut his mouth about his criticism of coach Luke Walton. Ball’s response to reporters “But I am going to say, to plant a seed, 'Let's look for this now.' They may not want to hear that, but it's going to be successful if you listen to what I'm saying on that fact, that I know what it takes for my son to run like this.”

Translation: I know how to be a better coach, GM and President of Basketball Operations than any of you so when I talk you do what I say and Lonzo is the greatest player ever.

I promise, no more stories involving the Ball family for the rest of the year.

Tuesday, December 12, 2017

The Balls Being Balls

The Ball family is always good for a few laughs, and I am sure frustration among some basketball fans.

Earlier this year father of the year candidate LaVar Ball took his youngest son, and human catapult, LaMelo out of high school to home school him. Basically, read this as he took his son out of school so he could play basketball all day while someone else does the kid’s homework. Now following middle son LiAngelo’s arrest in China for shoplifting and indefinite suspension by UCLA LaVar has pulled LiAngelo out of college.

Now stick with me here, LaVar has a plan. He has signed an agent for his two sons and has announced that he intends for the boys to play internationally. OK, now you can go for the facepalm.

Not only is he confident that LiAngelo, age 19, and LeMelo, age 16, are ready to play professionally but he also has suggested that teams in Europe want to sign both of his kids to the same team.

Spanish club MoraBanc Andorra GM Francesc Solana said that LaVar approached him last week and offered the team the opportunity to sign both of his sons, which Solana made it clear that his answer was a clear and definite “No”. During an interview with Bleacher Report Solana said it isn’t the money, though there is a process that can add up in cost, but that neither kid has experience, they aren’t being seriously taken as NBA projects and the team does not want to deal with LaVar. 

Italian club Scandone Avellino GM Nicola Alberani basically said the same thing, adding that as far as he knows no European coaches, GMs or even NBA scouts that he has worked with has even seen LiAngelo or LaMelo play live and that if any team does sign them it will be a lower tier team and only as a PR stunt.

As an NBA fan I don’t think these kids are being directed properly for their own future, but just being used as advertisement by the LaVar, who is more interested in pimping his brand over his kid’s best interest.

Monday, December 11, 2017

Monday Question Day- Commons Finds?

Today is question day:

What has been your best commons box find?

I don’t hit a LCS enough to search commons boxes but over the years in my common’s boxes I have found a 1997 Fleer David Arias (Ortiz) RC, a 2010 Topps Chrome Mike (Giancarlo) Stanton Refractor RC and a 2011 Gypsy Queen Ty Cobb Sepia Mini. I sold the Stanton and Ortiz rookies in late 2015/early 2016 and sadly the Stanton card got lost in the mail.

Friday, December 8, 2017

Comebacks Just Don't Work

Rafael Palmeiro announced he wants to make a comeback in the MLB, he is 53 years-old and last played in 2005. He said he has something to prove and that is driving him. I guess the drive comes from making an ass of himself in front of Congress and national television when he adamantly stated that he had never used steroids but a couple of months later got busted for using steroids, was suspended for 10 games and retired in disgrace.

If he wasn’t tainted by the steroids he would be in the Hall of Fame no question but by trying to make a comeback, 12 years later, it ends up looking like a sad real-life Mr. 3000, minus the attempt at making 3,000 hits.

Time to stock up on his 1987 Topps rookie cards, maybe not

Thursday, December 7, 2017

A Big Find For My Machete Collection

I enjoy Danny Trejo’s work and Machete and Machete Kills are two of my top films. My collection includes the 2013 Chop Shop Machete set and some of the promo cards, a Machete film poster, a mini autographed Machete Kills film poster and I have an 8x10 autograph of Cheech Marin and an 8x10 autograph of the Avellan twins. I felt that all that I am missing from the movies are a Michelle Rodriguez autograph (I am waiting to find an 8x10 where she signs with “Shé”) and Lindsay Lohan’s Geekroom autograph card.

I have finally picked up the Lindsay Lohan autograph. The Lohan autograph cards were issued encased by Beckett and you will usually find them posted in the $100-200 range, though they normally sit at that price before eventually selling in the $70-90 range. I was fortunate enough to find one of the Sister Booth cards that someone broke out of the Beckett case and the seller had it up for $29.99/OBO, I offered $25 and it was accepted plus free shipping.

Wednesday, December 6, 2017


I don’t have many autographs in my Buhner collection, that really aren’t many to choose from because his career ended before autographs became common on checklists, so when I pick one up it is pretty big for me. The only card I purchased through eBay during the Black Friday weekend was a 2013 Panini Hometown Heroes autograph. This is only my second Buhner autograph so I am excited and it is on-card too.

Monday, December 4, 2017

Monday Question Day- Shhhh?

Today is question day:

Do you have a secret PC collection?

I will get the ball rolling with admitting that I have a couple of quiet PCs that have only showed up a couple of times in my blog. The Mariners Moose was one and I finally posted about that this past March and Rocket Raccoon is one and I have only talked about it twice going back to 2015. I had begun working on a PC for Marvel’s Ant-Man and the Simpsons Radioactive Man but I pick up those cards only when there is a great deal..

Friday, December 1, 2017

Some Shadow Boxing

After yesterday’s curt editorial I want to go light today.

There are some oddities in the 2011 SportsKings Ringside Round 2 boxing release that had me confused about some decisions about specific cards and their inclusion in the set.
When I saw a couple Arturo Gatti memorabilia cards with an image of a shadow boxer I was initially confused. Was it just a bad design choice by SpoortKings/ITG, was there a mistake or was this done with intent? I looked to see if all of the memorabilia cards on this specific insert were all with shadow boxers, but it was just the Gatti so it wasn’t a bad design choice. I looked in to other cards in the set and found a couple more cards with shadow boxers instead of the fighter’s image, including Julio Cesar Chavez, which led me to believe this was done with intent.
I tried to find any information about why some cards had fighter images and some were shadow boxers and I came up with the theory that Dr. Price was not able to work out a deal with the fighters, or in the case of Gatti, his family, to include their likeness on the cards but the set was probably already in production, so he had to make a last-minute decision to just go with a shadow boxer on the relic cards and I am willing to bet they were also in the base set but removed off of the checklist.

I am sure this wasn’t how the process was begun, contracts probably weren’t completed, and the set was put in motion. Not ideal, but I would be satisfied with one of these cards if I collected the boxer.