Thursday, April 30, 2015

Is That Gum in Your Pack, or Are You Just Happy to See Me?

Today, for the first time in a while, I actually had a couple of hours free on a weekday afternoon when the local hobby shop was open.  I hadn't been in at least a couple of months, so it was nice to catch up with the owner and scavenge around a bit.  As always seems to be the case, I got some really great stuff without spending much money ($20 on myself, $20 on cards I'll be sending to folks I trade with).

The owner, John, always has a really good selection of current wax in both pack and box form, but I was pleased to see this time that he had quite an array of discounted older packs available.  Let's look at a pack of 1995 Topps Bazooka that I grabbed...

Yes, the green price tag is accurate, and this post cost me a total of 25 cents to complete.  You may notice that the pack didn't scan all that well.  Well, it's a little bit bulged shall we say.  The reason?  It actually comes with bubble gum!

Nice.  Your standard 5-cent Bazooka bubble gum that I recall fondly from back in the day.  What has 20 years done to this gum, and did I try eating it?

I was considering taking one for the team and trying the gum so I could describe it for you, but when this thing came spilling out of the wrapper that plan went out the window.  I figured the gum was largely sugar and preservatives and might at least look close to its original state, but the years have not been kind.  There are shades of brown and dark purple in there that are downright scary.  I didn't even want to smell it because I felt like something would transfer into my airways through my nose.

Had I eaten this, I'm thinking overnight hospital stay at a minimum.  I have a feeling my health insurance company may refuse to cover any of the many tests I'd undoubtedly need if they discovered the root cause was a 32-year-old white male knowingly and willingly ingesting a piece of Bazooka gum that was packaged up when he was 12.

Of course the gum came with a comic, which I have to say was pretty weak.  I don't think there's any age where I would have been even mildly amused by this flimsy attempt at humor.  Also, this sat right inside the wrapper with that gum for two decades, I feel like it's contaminated.  Unlike the gum it's not in the trash yet, but I feel like it's headed there soon.

Enough about all of that, how about the actual cards?

Well, the first one I laid eyes on was Roger Clemens.  A new Red Sox card, I think this purchase was meant to be!  I would have paid $1 for the pack just for the amusement factor of the nasty gum and this Clemens alone, so for a quarter this was a definite win.  Anything else is icing on the cake at this point.

The back of the cards are a colorful disaster.  They're meant to be used in a game that you could play with a friend.  When I was a kid "Play Ball" meant taking an actual bat, ball and gloves outside and finding the biggest stretch of open space you could.  Times have changed.

Here's the little cardboard cutout you need to play, and a list of "basic rules" that seems unnecessarily long.  The "basic rules" title is a little odd, and it makes me wonder whether there's a more advanced set of rules available out there for the real nerds?  I tried reading this, but made it no further than the pink section.  It looks bad enough to many people I'm sure that I collect baseball cards as it is, if a grown adult starts playing a baseball card themed game using cheap cardboard punch-outs, at home, alone, on a Thursday night, that's just crossing a line I'm not sure I'm ready to cross.

The design of the cards is pretty basic and minimal.  There's a definite emphasis on the position, but that's because I think you're supposed to assemble a team of guys at each position for the game.

The checklist is short, looks like 132 cards.  I don't think I'll be trying to complete this set, so I'd be happy to trade away any of the cards other than Clemens in this post.  Brian, would be happy to ship this one in a PWE if you need it?

The Expos team colors are pretty much an exact match for the Bazooka gum colors.  It's really noticeable on this one since the logos are right next to each other.

Some good star power to end the pack with Mike Piazza.  I like the photograph on this one as well.

Like I said, I'd call that a definite win for a quarter.  I grabbed maybe 5 or 6 more of these to bulk up my unopened pack shelf a bit.  Not for everyone, but I think they're a fun concept.  Though it was inedible, there's something about getting gum with your baseball cards that just feels right.

Wednesday, April 29, 2015

'59 Topps Beaters

I'm slowly poking away at the '59 Topps baseball set.  I'm not pursuing it very aggressively, most of the cards I have are pretty beat up, and I have so few that I haven't even bothered putting together a want list yet.

Here are a few recent additions, starting with my favorite of the bunch, Curt Flood's second Topps card.  Some rounded corners and surface wear added up to me bringing this one home for just a quarter.

Randomly, this is the second time I've seen the word foolhardy used in just the last couple of hours.  Even the write-ups were so much better on '50s cards.

I can't say I'm familiar with all of these guys, given that the set came out more than 20 years before I was born, but for some reason I'm drawn to the cards nonetheless.

The thing that matters most to me when searching out cards for this particular set is centering.

I'll even put up with some paper loss.  Doesn't bother me to have a copy that some kid glued into an album 50+ years ago, in fact there's something kind of cool about that.

Nice frames!

Who knows if I'll ever seriously pursue this one.  I've got way too may hobby-related projects as it is.

In the meantime I'm over 40 cards and counting with this lot in hand, and everything in this post set me back less than $2 combined.  Not too shabby...

Tuesday, April 28, 2015

Cards from My Dad - Ed Johnston Tallboy

Over the past couple of years my Dad has been really generous in passing down to me the majority of the cards he had picked up over the years when my brothers and I were kids.  I have not done a very good job of posting them and saying thanks, so I plan to start doing that over the next few months.

Today I've got one of my favorites out of everything that's been handed down to me, a beautiful 1964-65 Topps Ed Johnston:

I was inspired to post this one due to a few cards from this set that my buddy Dave H over at Wax Stain Rookie has posted recently.  I absolutely love these extra large "tall boy" cards, in fact if I was going to chase one '60s hockey set I think this would be the one.  As it stands right now Ed here is just my 9th one, and with 110 cards on the checklist I'm quite a ways away from making significant progress.  I may decide to go for it if I ever get through with my '70s Topps hockey run first.

This one is particularly cool, as there's just something about vintage goalie cards that I seem to love.  I think maybe it's just amazing to me how much the equipment has evolved over the years.  Can you imagine a goaltender dressed like this taking a slapshot from one of today's snipers?  Ouch!  This card is in great shape too, nicer than some of my others from the set.

I really like the back of the card as well, which references Ed playing in all 70 games during the '63-64 season.  An awesome cartoon also!

I'll be posting some more great cards from my Dad in the coming months.  Dad, if you read this, thanks!!!

Sunday, April 26, 2015

Signature Sundays - Al Arbour

Today I've got an autograph from 2006-07 Parkhurst that showcases the greatest trophy in all of sports:

I've been after a copy of this Al Arbour autograph for quite a while now, and recently one fell into my hands at the right price.  I think this photo does as good a job as any I've seen of conveying the feeling of excitement that comes from winning the Stanley Cup.  Al looks like a 6-year-old that just found the toy firetruck he'd been hoping for all year under the Christmas tree. 

I'm guessing this photo was maybe somewhere in the middle of the Islanders' back-to-back-to-back-to-back championships in the early '80s, and that maybe those rings on Al's finger are from previous Cup wins?  Either way, what a great shot that makes for a really unique on-card autograph of one of the most successful coaches in hockey history.

This card has me thinking that maybe I need to dedicate a binder to hockey cards that depict the actual Stanley Cup in the photograph.  Might be a fun project, think I may give it a shot...

Saturday, April 25, 2015

Saturday Night Scan Folder Backlog

Just got back from a few days in Vermont and I don't have any more scheduled posts left to go. If I haven't gotten back to you this week I hope to catch up on everything tomorrow. In the meantime, here are some cards that have been scanned in and waiting to be posted for quite some time now...

In my last COMC order that I had shipped a couple of months back I picked up this Claude Giroux rookie from 2008-09 O-Pee-Chee.  Giroux is one of my favorite current players, and if the Flyers can build the right supporting cast around him I'd love to see him hoist the Cup one day.

The real reason I was after this short-printed rookie card though was that it was the final card I needed to complete the '08-09 OPC set.  What a bear that one was to tackle, only took me six years plus!  I'll do up a proper "completed set" post when time allows.

The Legends variations that Topps used in its flagship set for a few years there are quickly becoming some of my favorite modern cards.  There's something about seeing the players of yesteryear on modern designs that I like for some inexplicable reason.

A nice card of the Red Sox before they were the Red Sox...

Here's another one courtesy of COMC.  For something like forty cents I was happy to add another Canseco to my collection from his time in Boston.  This card really could have been cool had the 'N' been die-cut.  It sort of is, as it's slightly raised, however there is cardboard all the way around in the standard shape.  Oh well.

I picked up this Carl Soderberg Prizm rookie towards the beginning of the NHL season, back when I thought he'd have a really solid year and lead the Bruins deep into the playoffs.  As it stands now it looks like he's likely played his final game in a Bruins sweater.  Moving on...

One more to close out the night here, another beauty from a recent lot of '57 Topps I picked up at a great price.  A little off-center for sure, but what an amazing card of the former Dodgers great.

Back tomorrow with Signature Sundays.  Thanks for stopping by as always...

Friday, April 24, 2015

One Card Post - What the Hell is a Bubble Refractor?

What:  2014 Bowman Chrome Bubbles Refractor #130 - Jon Lester (#'d /99)
Where:  COMC
How Much?:  $1.75

:  I've never heard of Bubbles Refractors before, but all I know is that is one beautiful card.  Scans even better than it looks in person.  With just 99 copies floating around out there I was more than happy to fork over a buck seventy five for this one.  I'll be on the lookout for more of these for sure...

Thursday, April 23, 2015

Collection Cornerstones - Another Cracker Jack!

I've decided that, for as long as I can hold out with my car loan paid off, I'm going to save 2/3 of the money I was using for this monthly towards my next car. The other 1/3 will hopefully be used to add a significant new card to my collection.  Things started off well with a 1964 Topps Hank Aaron in my first month, but I got so busy in March that I never posted my pick-up last month.  Here it is, a few weeks delayed...

I've talked a few times before about my love for the 1914/1915 Cracker Jack sets.  These might be my favorite design out of all the pre-war baseball sets that exist out there.  Al Demaree here is the fourth authentic Cracker Jack card I've picked up so far.  Despite being the first non-Red Sox card in that small group, it might actually be my favorite of the bunch.  I really like that this one uses a horizontal layout, unlike the majority of the set.  Despite its worn corners and creases, the 100-year-old image of Al following through on his pitch still looks great.

Al actually became a successful sports cartoonist after his baseball days were done.  I wonder what he'd think of this work himself?

Here's the back, upside down as many of these are.  What a fantastic piece of cardboard.  There's something about acquiring a card this old that gives me a feeling of satisfaction that nothing from the 21st century seems to be able to replicate.  Here's hoping my car holds out at least a few more months!

Wednesday, April 22, 2015

8-Spot from Mark Kaz!

Mark Kaz has to be one of the quickest mailers in the hobby.  Every time I send him a PWE and get comfortable thinking I temporarily have a leg up in our back and forth mailings, he fires right back!

At least this time I'm getting around to posting the cards a little quicker, as this latest PWE arrived in my mailbox late last week.  As usual, there were a wide variety of Red Sox to be found, including this 1983 Fleer Mike Torrez.  '83 Fleer is a set I've never really had many cards from for whatever reason.

Another new Koji card, this is the first one I've seen that uses this bizarre pointing image.

What a great Carlton Fisk from the 2003 Fleer Fall Classic set.  This will complement the Yaz he sent me from this set a month or so ago.

Here's a really slick card, from 2003 Fleer Avant.  This one's so thick that Mark could only fit 8 cards in the PWE as a result!  It's tough to tell from the scan, but the border is like a raised frame around the inset image.  Really has a high end feel to it, especially for 2003.

Mark knows I'm a huge fan of parallels, and the early Topps Gold cards are what started it all for me.  An awesome Ellis Burks, I think I'm going to have to get my want lists organized for those first few years of Topps Gold.

A couple of more modern parallels were in the envelope as well.  I will never get tired of accumulating these, in any color or style.

The Red Hot Foil parallels from 2014 are some of the nicest out there for a Red Sox collector like myself.  While Jackie Bradley Jr. has yet to appear with the big league club so far in 2015, I'm happy to have this Future Stars card.  Bradley's an amazing defensive player, but really struggled at the plate last year.

Finally, a brand new insert of the guy who's primarily responsible for displacing Bradley in the Red Sox outfield, everyone's favorite young player Mookie Betts.  Mookie has really shined in a couple of games this season, but when you look at his offensive numbers he's struggling overall.  As of this morning he's batting an even .200.  The season is young, so we'll see what happens.

Mark, thanks as always for the cards!  This package puts me on the cusp (about 50 cards away now) of 4,000 unique Boston Red Sox cards in my collection.  Not too bad given that I only crossed the 3,000 threshold late last year.
Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...