Tuesday, April 4, 2017

PANINI: STICKIN' IT TO TOPPS [or The Mick Returns]

The mystery surrounding Topps' unretired #7 has been solved.  Panini just announced their agreement with the Mickey Mantle Estate to a long-term memorabilia contract.  I only wish this had happened in time for this year's recent Diamond Kings release!  The Mick will appear in up to six Panini products per year.

Panini is releasing their first Mantle Cards through their equivalent to Topps Now:  Panini Eternal. Now vs the Eternal...quite interesting. 

Check out the links above if you're ready for the new Mantles - minus the logos of course but the Pinstripes and that beautiful 7 remain!  Welcome back, Mickey!!!

from Panini Eternal

Sunday, April 2, 2017

Pennant Aggression: Let the Games Begin!

We made it!  The long winter is over!  There may be snow on the ground somewhere in this country but I refuse to see it!   Yes, the pennant chase begins today.  I long to be a faithful fan but there is a fickleness within which could have me rooting for another team.  NO, I MUST FIGHT THE URGE.

I came across these fantastic cards  a couple of weeks ago.  They've been buried in boxes, waiting rediscovery.  From 2003 Fleer Fall Classics, Pennant Aggression is  a twenty card set.  I scanned a few to share:

These cards are each serial numbered specific to a pennant winning year.  For example, Ty Cobb is numbered /1908;  Bench /1972;  Berra /1951; Munson /1976 and Foxx /1930.  I need five to complete my set.

I picked up these non-sports cards at a show a couple of years ago because they were $3 for the lot of 12 cards!  Here are six which represent their overall condition.  Easy to see why I scooped them up!

1956 Topps Davy Crockett:

A couple of nice relics from 2004 SP Legendary Cuts:

I also came across another forgotten but fun card which likely needs no intro:

I recently saw Reed on the new Cubbie blog, Zen and Now and knew it was a must have.  I found it just a few days later, buried in a box. Happy I didn't purchase a second copy!  By the way, this blog brings another female fan to our community!

It's Opening Week in Baseball!  Here's to you my fellow bloggers and readers, it's a brand new year!

photo courtesy of Powers Distributing

Wednesday, March 22, 2017

A Random Thought

My power has been up for nine days now and one of four heavy deadlines at the office [March 15] has passed.  There is now time to enjoy the blogs for a couple of weeks then April 15th steals my fun for a couple more.

In lieu of blogging this weekend, I took time to tackle another box, fishing for more discards to share. [I was tired of sitting in front of a computer screen.]

It contained a random assortment of cards packed before I moved in June 2015.   The 1000 count box is not 94 Pinnacle.  I haven't gone through it completely but largely contains refractors, numbered cards and relics I picked up for trading.  The paper bag contains sleeved singles picked up from my last card show in Dallas 2015.  I'll share some of these next time.  Hey - there's my Jack in the Box Antenna Ball! Wondered where that went...

There were two boxes of:

Seals were broken for the autos: Jose Abreu #/50 and Jorge Soler RC #/10, both tucked away in another undiscovered location.  The sets are complete.  I'm contemplating breaking one up for trades.

A box of 1993 Action Packed All Star Gallery purchased for the the HOF and retired player content :

A sealed CD which some Cubbie Fan out there might enjoy.  It contains the catchy song we heard so often during the Series - Go Cubs Go.

Also buried in this treasure box - an unopened box of 94 Fleer Extra Bases, oversized cards with a clean full bleed design.  I still like them.  Let's crack a pack:

Molitor for me and trades for you.

I'll keep the Bagwell and Nokes too. Looking forward to opening the rest next weekend.

The title of this post promised a random thought. So here it is...comments are rewarding.  Thank you for taking time to check out Cracked Bat.  All Bloggers appreciate readers!  I love giving stuff away and prefer not to ask anyone to 'pimp' the blog.  I certainly wouldn't stop you though.  ;)   In an effort to reward my regular readers, contest notices won't be placed in the post titles but within the post itself.  

I found your petitions to the Randomizer in my last post most entertaining.  It is time to award the first 400 count box of my discards.   I presented the list before the Randomizer which chose to cycle three times before spewing forth a name.  One quite new to me made the top spot...

Congrats Jason!  Email acrackedbat at gmail dot com with your mailing address.   Thanks to all who entered.  We'll do this again very soon as my discard pile is growing rapidly!  Thanks for your patience - and thanks for reading!

Friday, March 10, 2017

Power To The People

Yes, that's the cry in my neighborhood!   I have been without power since Wednesday night.  A neighbor hooked up a generator for me Thursday night to run the refrigerator, a lamp, coffee pot and two space heaters.  I have no internet.  The weather is taking another turn towards winter with temps dipping near 10 degrees in my area for a couple of nights. 

I am one of the nearly one million victims of the largest power outage ever in Michigan. At one point over 850,00 were without and as of Friday afternoon the number is still over half a million.   The energy company hopes to have power restored by end of day Sunday.

I'm taking a moment from work to let you know the results of our little contest will be delayed.  The contest still ends Saturday evening. I do have trouble accessing the blog from my phone but will attempt to comment on the post to announce the contest deadline.

I haven't disappeared and will follow up as soon as the Randomizer is running on full power!

1911  Detroit Tigers play in the snow

Sunday, March 5, 2017

It's Been Too Long

Too long since I had a good nap for starters.  I can barely keep my eyes open as I sit here putting this little post together.  It's too late in the day for a nap.  If I stop now for a quick wink,  I'm a goner for the night.

Too much time has passed without sharing some great trade packages.  That's what's about to happen right here, right now.

Eamus Catuli!  Tom Olson once waiting another year, has since celebrated his Cubs World Series win.  This occurred well after after sending two different packages.  One contained 60 or so cards, the other was a box of 200 more delightful paper collectibles.  

The first featured two 90 Score Sandbergs - one is an error.  Gracie 94 UD ED and 95 Leaf Ltd Bat Patrol make an entrance into my collection.  SWELL Baseball Greats, 2013 Opening Day Stars, a dosing of Presidents and Cardtoons rounded out the first package.

Six weeks or so later, this surprise hit my mailbox:

Contents included a good helping of Sandberg and Grace, 93 Flair Tigers and the original framed cards of 96 Emotion EXL.

Holy Moly Tom Olson!  You rained some serious cardboard on me!  I am truly appreciative of your time and thoughtfulness!  You are my Sandberg and Grace connection.  I looked forward to more trade opportunities!

It's been too long - one year ago in fact - since there was a giveaway on this blog!  I am currently working to sort out my collection.  I shared a picture of my sorting process which includes a discard pile.  Adam Sanders of Cardboard Clubhouse commented on the post to suggest a contest for a box full of stuff from the pile.  I have to agree!   

So here's the first box - labeled 400 count!  Consider this a $40 dime box. There are lots from 2014 Panini Classic, 2014 Golden Age with minis,  2016 Diamond Kings,  2015 and 2016 Topps Archives and a handful of 2015 GQ minis. It also contains dupes from my collection, players I no longer collect, set dupes, commons etc.   My outcasts might be junk to one collector but another may find gold.  Here's a sneak peek:

If you want a chance at the box you must live in the United States and have a street address for UPS Ground Shipping.  You are required to comment to tell me why you are most deserving above all other readers.  I shall present your cases before the Great Randomizer.  She alone will determine your worthiness. The Randomizer will cycle three times before her decision is final.  Your opportunity to participate ends Saturday March 11 at 8.00pm EST.  [Any cycle jokes are cause for immediate execution disqualification as the Randomizer is subject to mood swings.]   

Thanks for reading and good luck!

Friday, February 24, 2017

Indian Head Nickels

During The Great Reorganization, I decided to thin down my player collections.   As my overall collection grows, I don’t have the space to keep all my current players.   As they get the boot, these newly homeless guys will be offered here for trade.  I’m still sorting the boys out so it will probably be this summer before the posting begins.

So why???  Why in the midst of down-sizing, do I find yet another mini-collection suddenly so desirable?  It’s not even baseball!  I do blame my smartphone which would likely blame the Google browser.  It was an ad for hockey.  HOCKEY!  I do not watch hockey and couldn’t name a current star player, even if it would save my life.  More specifically, it was a particular team – the Chicago Blackhawks.  To be exact – it isn’t the team but their JERSEYS featuring a colorful Indian logo.

1937-1955  Logo
I don’t intend to follow this team any more than I do the Redwings or Stars.   I will own some clothing before long however!  So perhaps that is a type of support for the Hawks.    I’ve already done more research on the Hawks than any team outside of baseball.  Crap, more support. 

While going through boxes at a local card show this weekend, I stumbled upon hockey cards.  Of course, what did I find??  These gorgeous shots of my new favorite Indian:

Six cards total at a nickel each and I am now a collector of the Chicago Blackhawks – nice jersey shots only.  Player does not matter.  

Looking through hockey cards was eye-opening from a collector’s perspective.  Being a strong fan of baseball’s Catcher position, I was naturally drawn to the Goalie cards.  But more than this, the colorful team uniforms stand out boldly against the white ice.   I did see a lot of cool logos like the Senators for example, but I stand firm in my decision to collect ONLY Blackhawk cards featuring the Indian. That’s all!  No other teams, no other sports.   Surely it isn’t cheating to look at a hockey jersey.  After all, baseball is the sport love of my life! 

Did Bobby score [before, during or after the game?]  Did the family get their puppy? 
Does anybody really know what time it is?
I don’t collect the Senators.  I don’t. 

Sunday, February 19, 2017

Thomas Jefferson Would Be Proud

On Saturday, I made it to my first card show of the year.   Only an hour away from me, the Gibraltar Trade Center has a 40 table show every month. I've been once in the nearly two years I've lived here.  Public market or indoor flea market [aren't these the same?] this place attracts all types of people, not unlike Walmart.  It's a trip made with a friend as I'd never go alone. The unusually warm weather brought folks out of their homes and into the show meaning less cards for me - oh - and my friend.  I certainly don't want to appear selfish. 

I took $60 and left my debit and credit cards at home.  We arrived around 11am, missing the first hour.  The first half of the day yielded very little of the very few 2017 Topps on my list.  Looking over the tables, nothing really caught my eye.  I picked up several one dollar cards. Sample:

Set build: 1970 Kellogg's 
Set build: 1961 Golden Press

Because it was there: 1962 Post

I picked out twelve 3 for $1 cards.  Here are six:

PCs: 2014 Posey, 1995 Donruss, 1996 SPX

                                                                                     Set build:  1972 Topps
It's a dream set to be sure, adding random cards here and there.  These are gorgeous in color and condition! My disco boy Astros and Cleo showing off his now retro Cubbie patch.

I found a table with miscellaneous packs of old junk at three for $1.  I bought all ten packs of 1994 Stadium Club Series Two.  These yielded a First Day Issue Tiger, Scott Livingstone and player collection boys:
Gracie is a parallel
From the same 10 packs, I pulled four of these:
A floating bat and a funky cold Mussina:

It was 3pm as we made our way to the back of the floor, to the last row of tables when we spotted this:

You read the sign correctly.  Thousands upon thousands of cards for a NICKEL!!!!!!!   The dealer's sign was a bit of joke.  He mentioned some people got upset that kids had a better deal...people who obviously didn't read the whole sign - 20/$1 !!    

Several folks were seated on the aisle side of the tables by the time we'd found them.  So we took our spot on what would be the seller's side.  Working as a team pulling cards for each other, we managed to go through most of the boxes on our side before the show ended at 6pm.    

During our search, an older woman [70ish or more] came barreling around the corner seeking information on a card she'd purchased over twenty years ago.  She first approached the group searching the boxes on her side then she saw me seated behind the table.  'Oh I can ask YOU this question.'   Why me?? I thought.   'What was that card they made 500 of twenty years ago'   I had no idea.  She then narrowed it down saying 'you know, he was married to that famous actress'.  OH!  'Joe DiMaggio'.   I tried to explain cards are now numbered to 25 or even less.  If she could tell me the year or brand, I might be able to help her.    I was trying hard to be polite but she reeked of cigarettes and cheap perfume, right out of an old Bogart movie.  Of all the shows she had to wander into...  I hadn't yet noticed my friend had scooted down the row a bit. So much for the team effort. She was pulling cards while I heard all about the dame's kids: one a college graduate,  the other still flipping pizzas after 18 years.  After ten minutes or more of listening, she says 'I don't even know where the card is.  If I can find it, I'll bring it next time.'   Next time???  Oh goodie.

Just what can a nickel get you these days???  Twelve cards added to my 2016 Stadium Club set, cards for mini-set binders and player collections.  Cards, cards, cards! 

Set builds: 94 Pinnacle Museum, 1990 Swell   70s binder: 2013 Golden Age Playing Card
Just Because: 2013 Cooperstown Lumberjacks

       2004 Donruss Elite Passing the Torch

I managed to stay away from any large impulse purchases, sticking mainly to set builds and players. I left the show with $15 in my pocket and at least 500 cards for five cents each.  Surely our Founding Father and third President would be pleased to know how far a nickel goes these days.