Saturday, December 20, 2014


Michael Kaiser of Orange and Black Wax was kind enough to drop a few cards off via the Big Brown Truck last month.  He had a few extra 2014 Allen & Ginter's to share.  They were all of the Tiger variety, of course.

What a great dent Michael made in this team set!  I was left needing only the Newhouser, which oddly enough came as  filler  in an Ebay package this week!  Filler.  So wrong.

The self-proclaimed Kaiser the Great's blog has a humorous bent.  He hasn't posted in a few weeks, since the Giants won the pennant actually.  I didn't find any humor in that, by the way.

Michael, if you're still out there - thanks again!

Sunday, December 14, 2014

The Cubs Win the Pennant!

The Cubs in 2015?  Waiting 'til Next Year's P-town Tom is wishin' and hopin'.  He's a faithful fan through n through.  With the addition of John Lester to their rotation, it appears the Cubs mean business this year.  I'll be cheering them too!

Tom and I did a little trading recently.  I'm not sure how I discovered his blog, perhaps through Matt's Bob Walk the Plank.  Ryne Sandberg is one of my players. Not coincidently, Tom collects Ryne as well.  I went through his wish list hoping I had a dupe he could use. I struck out on Ryne.  However, we have another collection in common.  We both attempted to build 2002 Topps Total.  I knew there had to be at least one other crack out there! I was a set builder then and thought this will be so much fun!  Is it any wonder I gave up collecting the same year??

                                                                      Attractive Base Card

                                                                              Ugly Insert
The base card design was simple, attractive enough at $1 a pack.  Not a product for anyone looking for nice inserts or hits.   I found a dozen or so cards for Tom. (I have about 200 more, if anyone is interested - hint hint...)   He may be a bit crazier than me!  In his gratitude for these simple cards, I received an incredible selection of cards:

1988 Topps UK Mini Trammell - awesomeness!
 Fun fact: since retiring in 2001, Rico Brogna has coached high school football and basketball.  Rico managed the Diamondbacks AA affiliate Mobile Bay Bears in 2010.  In 2011, he left baseball for good to continue as a high school football coach.

Fun fact:  Tigers re-signed Martínez to a four-year, $68 million contract on November 12, 2014.  Fun for Victor anyway. He plans to retire as a Tiger.

Fun fact: As a teen, Cabrera was a contestant in the Star Quest dance competition back in the early 90s.  He danced to Puttin' on the Ritz, winning fourth place.* 

  • 1987 Sportflics Jack Morris
  • Gibson running from the Score photographer. 
  • Super Cool Fryman! I love this shiny, black bordered card!  Must-have-a-set.  33 cards, high book $4.  Come on Santa!

BIZ BRIGHT white swatch of  Jackson, traded to the Mariners this past Summer. Good-looking card!

And now, the Sandberg Report:

WHAT A HAUL! Gorgeous cards and I had only one of these (Gypsy Queen.)  Tom was tremendously grateful for a handful of Topps Total.)  Could it get any better?  Yes?  Yes!!

From 1976 SSPC:

The Good Book offers info on this set for the price of an online subscription. Known as the 1976 Pure Card set due to the lack of borders, logos and signatures. It differs from other sets produced by TCMA in that it cannot be reprinted because of an agreement with the manufacturer.  (A summation offered to you at no charge.)  I like these cards.  Simple, clean, smooth cardboard.

Tom, thank you so very much!  I'm tempted to send you my Total starter set (400 cards or so) in return for your generosity!  I doubt I'll ever finish it anyway.  Perhaps I'll pick it over for cards you still need, so update your list! A fun trade indeed!

If anyone out there has 2002 Topps Total for trade, please check out Tom's list.  He appears to be desperate.  Hey, if the Cubs could win the pennant, then surely Tom could finish this set.
Naysayers, yes he could.

 *This is a  complete fabrication.

Saturday, December 6, 2014

Tis the Season

My shopping is complete!  The last items arrived yesterday and I personally thanked my mail carrier for the packages.  I've kept her quite busy this past month. Now it's time to tackle the Christmas cards.  I'm sending a few more this year. Chunky envelopes with gift cards carefully tucked inside.  I only need to personalize the greetings and send them merrily on their way. 

No matter if or how you choose to celebrate this holiday season, I want to wish all of you the best in Season's Greetings. If nothing else, it's a good time to reflect on this year past.  I want to thank those of you who welcomed me into your trading community.  I'm a rookie trader and there were a couple of minor mistakes while organizing trades.  I am THE Cracked Bat, for good reason.  I am human.

Peeking isn't allowed at Christmas. But I'm not traditional, so here's an inkling as to what will be in the cards hitting the mail this week:


Friday, December 5, 2014

Post of Shame

I'm a bit or big?  behind sharing some fantastic trades.  I'm ashamed. 

Not my dog (who poops rainbows anyway)
All the Way to the Backstop's Marcus Pond sent a great package a few weeks ago.  Five or so weeks anyway.  Please do not think I am unappreciative of your generosity Marcus! 

There are two sets I dream of completing: 1972 and 1975 Topps.  Mr. Pond sent several bright 75s urging me onward. I now have about 25 of the 660 cards I need.   These 75s are sharp cards.  My favorite color combos are green/purple, purple/pink, yellow/blue and yellow/red.  Here's a colorful batch of White Sox:

Of all these players, I'm most familiar with Jerry Hairston. His father was Sam Hairston.  Jerry is the brother of Johnny and father of Jerry Jr.  The Hairston family is one of only three families to have three generations play in the Majors. The Boones and Bells being the other two.  If there are more, please educate me. I'd like to know. *  The back of Jerry's card reads:  In 1971 Jerry led Midwest League 2nd basemen with 121 games, 260 put-outs, 333 assists and 77 double plays.  

Jeter.  He was the one, the only, Yankee I've followed since beginning my collections. His debut coincided with my first player collections.  My other Yank collections include Berra, Mantle, DiMaggio, Ruth and Gehrig.  Those were some mighty cleats to fill and Jeter did.  He wore them well.  So very young on the 93 UD.  Twenty years later, the 2013 A&G.  Marcus, I was quite surprised to find this sweet, condition sensitive Upper Deck card.  Thank you!  It looks pretty darn good!

Here's a couple more great Yanks, and two favorite Tigers:

The Fond Farewells inserts are excellent!  I believe these are from 2014 Topps Update, featured above - Al Kaline.  This may be a little set I'd like to assemble.  Newhouser looks great on this 2013 A&G.   1954 #251 Mantle on The Lost Cards - 60 Years of Topps.  Super gorgeous card!  Unless someone here generously bestows the original upon me, reprints are what I'll own - and happily at that!   The Sporting News graced early collectors with Ruth in 1916 on what is commonly considered his rookie card. Appearing as a pitcher in his itchy scratchy woolen Red Sox uni. The most slender-looking Babe I can recall seeing. This is a 2011 Topps CMG Reprint.  I seriously want this insert set!

Another player fave of mine is Cal.  Featured below on 1992 Topps Gold Pre-Production Sample,

a 2012 A&G and the glorious yellow Bumble Bee 91 Fleer.  This is a fun yellow set of cards.  I am adding it to a list of cheap pick-ups.  Want want want.  Never enough.  See shame photo above.  I'm pathetic.

The newest PC addition is Jose Altuve.  I only wished could watch him play more often.  He's so much fun.  Altuve enjoys the game. One minute he's on first, smiling and talking with his opponent. In the same minute, he suddenly appears on second base still smiling and talking. The second baseman isn't quite as gullible to the friendly Altuve, 2014 AL Batting Champ.


Marcus didn't forget the Tigers, new from the Update set.  I like the All Star cards in this issue.

 A few more Tigers, for good measure.

 Marcus included an auto'd mini from 2014 A&G - Diana Nyad.  In 2013, the 64 year old gained international fame after swimming from Cuba to Key West, Florida without the aid of a shark cage.  This was her fifth attempt.  Man, that is determination! An incredible feat of athleticism. A very cool card to own.  Thank you!

 My shame is easing just a little.  Marcus is a regular blogger and great trader, and very patient!  Thanks again Mr. Pond!

My Pup, who knows NO shame

*Editor's note:     My friend The Ump has informed me of another three generation MLB family, the Pitching Colemans.  Joe Sr pitched for the As, Os, and Tigers from 1942-1955.   Joe Jr pitched for the Senators, Tigers, Cubs, As, BJays, Giants and Pirates from 1965-1979.  The youngest Coleman is Joe Jr's son, Casey. He is the first third generation pitcher in MLB history.  Drafted by the Cubs, he recently signed a minor league deal with the Royals.  Only time will tell if he too, pitches for the Tigers.


Sunday, November 30, 2014


Strangers in the night, exchanging cardboard.  I am trying so hard NOT to be a stranger around these parts.  I have trades to share but wanted to do a quick post to show you what I found in my little box of Classics!

Two mini-boxes - each with 12 eight card packs.  I found a deal steal on Ebay for a full sealed box for less than $100 shipped. I didn't ask questions, using BIN.  After the disappointing collation of Stadium Club, I was super-pleased to find ZERO duplicates in either mini-box! 

 I added a red box to the photo to highlight (locate) what you can't city/state.  It's printed in white. To see it with the unclothed eye takes some doing.  This is one of my only two complaints regarding the card design.


Ok, already! Inserts, hits. Yeah I know what you want to see.  There are four basic inserts for this set, which came six each to the box.  Again - no dupes!  24 different cards! These are October Heroes, Homerun Heroes, Legendary Lumberjacks and Stars of Summer.
What I found most interesting was the logo design on Homerun Heroes.  Sure looks a bit like a certain soft drink company's trademark.  Surely Panini knows what they're doing.  I can't imagine anyone in their offices slapping foreheads with a what were we thinking when the process server knocks on the door.   
Parallels. The scan doesn't reveal how  attractive these cards are.  The refractive foil lettering and numbering shows well on the cardboard.
There are autographs of course.  This is my second complaint - stickers.  Sticker autos should be banned, outlawed, run out of town...etc.
I don't know much about this young man, but will hang on to this card for a while.  He must be a promising rookie. Insignificant Signatures...wonder why this idea hasn't taken hold?
This scan doesn't highlight the foil lettering but it's a good-looking card and the only one up for grabs!  Numbered 18/99
This card is one terrific pull!  Hank Greenberg is one of my faves and I'm also fond of Kiner:
It's a keeper, numbered 8/25.  Again the foil didn't scan well.  Truly gorgeous card! If that wasn't enough to make me do a little dance, this next card had me wa-hooing:
Legendary indeed! One of my earliest player collections, Frank Thomas.  While I don't keep all of his cards, I'm hanging on to this Sweet Hurt for now!
This was a fun box to rip. I picked up a singles lot on Ebay cheap, which finished out the set.  I'll be sharing my extras in upcoming mail outs. 
I hope everyone stateside had a good holiday.  I'm thankful for you my new friends,  all over this big blue marble.

Tuesday, November 18, 2014

That 70's Hoyle

Mark Hoyle is a good friend to many card collecting bloggers.  He contributes through commentary and trades but is not yet, and may never be, a blogger.  Blogging takes time, and who ever has enough?  Even now, I'm three posts behind sharing all the superb cards recently received.  (I'm posting in order though, and you're next.)  
Mark sent nothing but Tigers!  How could he have known? There are no clues anywhere, on any of my posts or pages.
                                                             1974 Topps                              1973 Topps
       Mike Heath on a lemon-flavored 1990 Classic       Nokes 88 Fleer
                                                      93 Triple Play Tettleton             Hernandez, 89 (yawn) Fleer

I've been stuck in the 70s for a while now. I live in some weird time continuum, leaving the decade just long enough to work.  I can't wait to rush home through my beaded entryway and turn on the Bee Gees. Thank God for ME TV!  The Bionic Man, Emergency, Charlie's Angels.  There's always a good VHS movie at hand too!  Couldn't tell you how many times I've watched Jaws and Grease! The 70s were like any other decade with its own troubles - Vietnam, Watergate and ended as the Iranian Hostage Crisis began.  There were good times too! PONG video game thrilled us for hours on end. The first Star Trek Convention was held in NYC. The cost of a first-class stamp was 8 cents!

                                                           GLORIOUS!                 1972 TOPPS

In 1972, we lost Jackie Robinson and Roberto Clemente. Among the HOF inductees were Yogi Berra, Early Wynn, Sandy Koufax, Josh Gibson and Buck Leonard.  Hank Aaron became the first baseball player to sign for $200,000 a year.  Tigers shortstop Ed Brinkman played an errorless streak of 72 games with 331 total chances.  The Oakland As won the championship.

In 1972, I was an innocent 8 year old discovering music.  As I recall, my favorite song that year was Brand New Key by Melanie.  (I was eight!)  What I knew about baseball were the Reds and Pete Rose.  For some reason known only to God, I had a crush on Pete.  This was a good year in my young life.

                                                                    Billy, don't be a hero

Mark, thank you for the mini-trip.  I so appreciate these cards and love adding them to my collection!

Thursday, November 13, 2014

Just in the Nick of Dime

A patient young man named Nick Dimeboxes sent a fun batch of cards to me, oh say 3-4 weeks ago.  Yep, I'm that far behind posting all the fantastic cards I've received from my new friends.  By the time I finish writing this cracked edition, these cards may well be vintage.  I'm already vintage, so for that matter I may well be dead.

Speaking of dead...

2011 Allen & Ginter minis sent a tingle down my spine. The Borden story is a familiar one. Bachelor's Grove Cemetery had me searching the net. Grove is an abandoned cemetery in Chicago's southwest suburbs. Burials date back to the 1840s, possibly earlier.  Chicago's organized crime families may have dumped victims there back in the 20s and 30s but this is unproven. Orbs, electronic voices, angels, monks and ghostly figures carrying infants during a full moon as well as a two-headed ghost have been seen. 

The Villisca Axe Murders remained unsolved. In June of 1912, six members of the affluent Moore family and two house guests were gruesomely murdered in Villisca, Iowa.  Six of the deceased were children.  Definitely uninviting...but you're welcome to spend the night (?)
                                                              2014 Panini Golden Age
While we're on the topic of death and angels...Farrah Fawcett, icon of the 70s.   The 1970s are my decade.   I was quite saddened when she passed.  Her death was somewhat overshadowed by Michael Jackson's departure on the same day.  But on to happier things....
Happier?  We - lost - the - playoffs!  2012 Archives for Victor here. While I love having Archived cards, these are too difficult to identify by year without looking at the backs.  2012 Heritage (1963 Topps) is a good-looking card set.
 I like the 2010 T206 design. Good cardstock and nice finish on the card. Mr. Porcello is all sparkly and throwing hard for Topps 2011 Diamond Anniversary.  Ricky, what about us?   Eric Munson  2001 Pacific, the Tigers number one pick in the June 1999 draft.  Oopsie.
                                                                          2013 Gypsies
                                                     2014                                              2012
Of the three, I prefer the 2014 design.  Alex Avila is becoming one of my fave catchers too. I like the guy, couldn't tell you why just yet. 

                                                                             1973 TOPPS
                                     1997 FLEER contest entry                1979 TOPPS

Two 1973 Topps found an accepting home. These cards are only a few years younger than me.  They've kept their figure trim and complexion bright. A little wear around the edges with a couple of wrinkles, I can relate.   Parrish is looking a bit better, standing a little taller and sharp all around.  A few years does make a difference!  The Fleer was a multi-sport issue, 50 cards - one per pack. Cards 46-50 were extremely short-printed.  The first 45 cards in the set could be mailed in along with one of the sp cards to win a shopping spree from $100 - $1000 in their LCS.  The collector who found and redeemed all 50 cards would win a million in cash, payable over twenty years. Any winners out there?

 1972 Topps, a very favorite design year!  I hope I live long enough to see this issued in Heritage!  Miggy finds himself on a 2013 Archives edition.  Norm has a LOT of tar on that bat!  Did George see this card?
National Baseball Hall of Fame

                                                              2013 PANINI COOPERSTOWN

Slap an old-timer on cardboard and a few of us are sure to buy it!  If the cards look nice,  we may even attempt a set assembly.  I'm putting the 2012 Cooperstown set together now.  I like the looks of it a bit better than 2013 but still eat these up!  I love the name framed with the Hall entry date.

2012 Panini Cooperstown
                                                 2013 PANINI HOMETOWN HEROES
 Many of us have shared our Panini opinions - missing logos etc.  This is a good example of a winning design!  I LOVE THESE!  The backs could use a little work but forgiveness comes easily with the bright yellow fronts, pennants, current and retired player selection.
Turn me over, please

2006 SP Legendary Cuts Greenberg.  This set rocks!  I've been picking up singles at my not-so-local CS. A great design showing off  Legendary Players from days of yore!   1987 Topps Tiny Trammell.   Avila stickin' it to ya on a 2012 Topps sticker, of course.  2013 Golden Age Bill Freehan.  This is the only Freehan card I've seen that gives me jeebies. He appears so deformed.  No neck, long jawed, with an unusually large arm and makeup.  Ty Cobb appearing on 2011 Topps Kimball Champions.  I haven't seen many of these cards or I'd have been scooping them up, keeping them all for myself.  Classy design!
I've enjoyed all of these cards!  An incredibly diverse selection, Nick has a knack for touching on all my interests.  My collector's craving these days is heavy on Ty Cobb.  This grouping will hold me over for a little while:
                                                                TYRUS RAYMOND COBB
                                       2013 Allen & Ginter                     2014 Panini Golden Age
                                               2013 Turkey Red                   2003 Flair Greats
I stopped collecting just in time to miss out on  Flair Greats.  Another trip back in time is required.  Super nice card design! 
Nick, thank you again for such a fun package, and being patient for the time it took to get these shared.  I do enjoying showing off the cards I receive from my trading buddies!
I may be absent for a week at a time so please, don't write me off!  I'm not dead...yet.
                                                     BACHELOR'S GROVE CEMETERY