Friday, December 25, 2015


Thanks to all of you who take time to read or comment - and to all of my trading friends! 
Have a beautiful, peaceful Holiday.

Sunday, December 6, 2015

Contest Results Reveal a Lack of Love for Mark McGwire

or perhaps no interest in ornaments?  I enjoy giving away a bit of everything, baseball related that is.  There will be more ornaments, various MLB related souvenirs, programs, magazines, books and cards.  Cards are probably the most popular items as that is the focus for most of us as collectors.   I originally planned to give this ornament to the Randomized winner who placed fifth on the list.  There were only four real entries relating to ornament ownership.  I randomized these names five times and the ornament will go to the  blogger who placed first on this list instead. 
A couple of the entrants offered unique ways to display the Hall Mark.  Jeff Jones said to sign him up just for the shin guard.  He may or may not shoot Mark off the fence with his Red Ryder come Christmas.  Jared Willden offered Mark refugee status with a long wait outside until he was properly vetted.  Our winner Adam, will hang this on the tree alongside a Nashville Predators ornament.


There was one late entry this afternoon, from Justin's World. I hope to see them again around the blogs but the contest was closed at that point.
Over the past week, I dropped 15 packages in the mail.  It felt so good to be sharing cards again.  Since moving in June, I've been recreating life in Michigan.  While this move has had its challenges, I'm happier than I ever thought possible.  The open space and fresh air has done wonders for my mind and spirit.  I've wanted to share a few pictures of my new world.

My road:


I'm an animal lover and have been surprised by the wildlife here. Woodchucks, skunks, opossum, chipmunks and squirrels.  Bats and owls. The deer are precious to me.  They came daily to graze and enjoy apples from the trees.  Life is good and I am blessed.  Thanks for allowing me to share a part of my world with you.

Monday, November 30, 2015

Into the Hall - Mark?

Mark McGwire: his likely destiny - to roam empty halls with Pete Rose.  Perhaps you could offer him refuge on your Christmas Tree or on some other worthy display?  Tis the season of giving!  Please, take it off my hands. Why make me beg? 

Interested in owning this charming new-in-the-box ornament from 2000 Hallmark Keepsakes?  If you have a US mailing address, comment to share where you'll proudly display Mark this holiday season.  Randomization will take place sometime next Saturday with lucky number five taking home the prize.

Saturday, November 28, 2015

Infield Fly with a side of Fuji - and the Holiday Claw

It feels so good to be catching up on life!  Even with a week off, I still managed to neglect the blog.  Although I was  tending to several blog-related activities...  I packaged and mailed card stacks to twelve bloggers, with three more going out next week. 

I hope you each had a special Thanksgiving Day, spent with friends and/or family - or maybe just a peaceful day at home...or work. Well the possibilities are numerous.  Perhaps I should just share two recent trade packages and pay a visit to the Holiday Claw!

Infield Fly Rule's Adam K. sent a fun package filled with a hundred or so cards, taking care of player collections and those Tiger boys. 

Eleven Tiger 2014 Topps Minis were included.  I love the size of these cards!  They simply feel good to hold, touch, caress...

                 Here are four alongside a full-size 1996 Collector's Choice.

I look at these 1992 Donruss cards scanned against a soft blue background and find myself liking them.  As soon as I turn one over, I realize how lucky I was to begin collecting in 1993!  TMI.

Piazza, Puckett and Ripken.  Kirby, I miss you.

How much money did Triple Play save using a cartoonist?  Thankful though I am to have these cards. I do prefer that others spend their hard earned money on them, even if it's a dime at a time.

Well Brad.  It's safe to say you got off to a rocky start as manager.  Maybe next year, eh?

Two great plays from Stadium Club.  Hand on hip, glove on knee, foot flat on bag.  I think you're out son.  Fryman on the fly, another out.

Adam has a knack for seeing more on a card than many of us do.  Me especially. My eyesight isn't the best anyway but I've always been keen on details, or so I thought.  He sees Tigers in places I never thought to check. Safe to say there are no plans in my future for a safari.

Then there's this one:

I looked and looked and decided Adam was sending subliminal messages.  I checked the front one last time.  There it was. 

Yep, my thumb was on it the whole time.  Seems The Parrett had a good laugh at my expense. The Chicken points in my direction while he shares the joke with Fielder.   Hey Cecil - that chair's gonna give out on ya.  Yeah, I'll get the last laugh.

1993 Topps Jayhawk Owens.    J Owens - that is a very cool card indeed.  Bearing no resemblance whatsoever to me, but a keeper!!!

Adam, thank you!  I had fun with these and know we'll do it again!


The Chronicles of Fuji sent four top-loaded cards of Victor Martinez in his Indian head-dressing. While I enjoy Vic as a Tiger, cards from his Cleveland days are my favorites.  I missed his playing years there completely as they began at the time I stopped collecting.

2008 A Piece of History

2007 Elements

2005 Studio Diamond Cuts   87/300 - note the patched tribute to Larry Doby on his jersey

2005 Skybox Autographics - SWEET

Mark Fujimoto

Such a fun first trade!  I sent one card, pulled from a Panini box.  Mark sent a great thank you!
Bloggers like Adam and Mark keep it fun!  I've received much joy trading with so many of you.  To say thank you, I've begun having giveaways fairly regularly.  It's time for some Holiday fun.  To the Claw we go.....
The prize has been chosen!
Image borrowed from the invisible world of the internet, with no one to credit.  Thanks to you out there as I'm too lazy to do the photo shoot myself.  This is a NIB 2000 Hallmark Keepsake of Mark McGwire.  I have a soft spot for this guy but not his ornament  or  cardboard.  Comment and share what you will to do with or to this ornament. You will be included in the Randomizer.  Here's the fine print: you must live in the United States.  HOLY COW is that simple?!?!
Sometime next Saturday, the Randomizer will choose the new owner.  If you are lucky number five on the list, it's yours! 

Until then, have a great week - and thanks for stopping by!

Monday, November 9, 2015

Double Vision

A couple of weeks ago, I shared my thoughts regarding 2015 Topps Update, with its ridiculously large base set and barf back selections.   I should've waited to purchase any of this product.  Waited until Update WITH Chrome was on the shelves. Known for my patience, I rushed over to Target swerving only once to miss a pedestrian.  In the throes of excitement, I still remembered to yield at the crosswalk.  There were FOUR boxes on the shelf, so I purchased them all saving another collector the trouble of waiting in a long check-out line.

Four boxes should yield a few nice Chrome beauties, right?  Eight Chrome cards per box times four boxes = 32 pieces of fancy cardboard.  The subliminal messages were all over the first box.

The first box held nothing extraordinary. Update base left me with a yawn, but oh those Chromium boys were looking handsome in their sparkly coating.  Second box. Hey didn't I just open this box? As the ripping continued, my disappointment grew.  I realize the Chrome set is small but four boxes should yield a little variety. Behold the dupes...

Pederson and Buxton are nice cards, all four have homes.


The loners:

Rookie Sensations look great in Chrome:

Of these four, Jose Fernandez is available for trade.

Russell/250 goes to my growing Cubbie Rookie collection .  Noah/99 is moving on to COMC.  He lost my respect throwing at Escobar's head in the World Series.  There is no excuse for throwing at someone's head E-V-E-R!
I feel like a sucker right now.  I gave Update a second chance, hoping to become more than just acquaintances. Chrome scammed me, the Pick-Pocket.  No more box purchases til 2016.  Done for now, thanks to you Topps.  I vow now: I will not purchase another box of Update again, no matter the year. Never. 
Football season is coming...then perhaps I'll get a laugh in.  No logos, no team names.  See how you like it Big Boy.  I'll be cuddled up on the sofa, holding Panini's hand in mine, looking forward to our bright future together. 

Tuesday, November 3, 2015

Heritage 51 Collection and...contest results

I was rather puny over the weekend which kept me from announcing the winner of the highly desirable Mark Teixeira bobble-head dolly. After taking time to randomize, there was no energy to write up a post.  There were four entries, randomized four times. Xavier Higgins is the new owner!

Congrats to you! Send your mailing address to: acrackedbat at gmail dotcom. Once I have your address, Mark will be dropped headfirst into the first outgoing mail receptacle I can find.  Of course, he will be properly packaged.  I'm just happy to see him moving out! 

Feeling better yesterday, I opened one of the two Heritage 51 boxes/sets which my best friend, Rural Postal Delivery Person, crammed into my roadside mail depository.  The rather small but attractively designed box contained a complete set of  104 base cards, 21 minis and one autographed card. 
 Basic cards have blue or red backs:

Minis per box come ten red, five blue, three green, two black and one gold:

Minis with regular base Norris
These minis are expected to find new homes; already nestled into their little team stacks.  I'm on the fence with this design.  The cardstock is Heritage quality.  I would've preferred rounded corners as on the original 51 red and blue back designs.

Before the auto is revealed, let me just say - no.  I hate to disappoint any of my friends with the news but this card isn't for trade.  Will I keep it?  Doubtful.  I rarely sell autos but this one will probably be headed to COMC.  It's nice to pull a card which will fund a few purchases.  As far as the second box is concerned, well...I'm holding off on breaking the seal.  Topps advertised these cards as a limited production.  Topps throws this word around quite loosely so who really knows how many sets were produced.  If I put it away, out-of-sight then I'll likely forget about it.

This rather attractive auto is on-card and a blue-back, numbered out of  25:

That's a pretty nice card!  Correa, Bryant, Trout or Posey and it would've been a keeper! 

Thanks for stopping by!  New giveaway coming soon.  Drop by to see what the Claw chooses... next time!

Wednesday, October 28, 2015

Yogi Come Home

There is little I miss in Texas.  The local hobby dealers and monthly card shows would be exceptions - those and good Tex Mex, oh and possibly winter...   A regular stop was a monthly visit to a seller I'll call Robert.  We became friends.  He is old enough to be my father, and I guess in a sense, he was a bit of a parent figure to me.  I haven't had a relationship with my dad for the better part of my life.  

Robert was a great resource for older cards - true vintage. He hooked me up with a lot of mint Kelloggs too.  Oddballs for the Oddball, he would say. He rarely asked low book, and most often  much less.

These are just a few pieces of cardboard history I've picked up from him:

1941 Play Ball Soupy Campbell

1948 Swell

1967 Dexter Press
I paid less than $20 for all these beauties.

In the glass case was a card  I ogled on every visit.  I'd look it over and hand it back.  It wasn't in my budget at $125.   Robert offered a layaway plan to his best customers.  One day I bit and asked if he'd work with me on this particular card, just a couple of payments, that someday this card would be mine.   He pulled this sweet cardboard out, put it in my hand and asked if I'd give him $40 for it.  I said  $40.00???  Are you kidding me?  He said $40.  Don't go tellin' people I sell cards this cheap or I'll be out of business.

1951 Bowman
That's the day Yogi Berra came home with me.   Condition considered, true book value means little to me.  It wouldn't grade high.  No creasing, great color.  Yogi is  my favorite Yankee.  But more than this, I'll always remember Robert each time I enjoy this card.  I'll remember his crazy stories from youth.  Robert is a family man who never had any children.  He adores his wife, a woman who puts up with his immense love for baseball cards - and sometimes works shows with him.  I've spoken with Robert since moving to Michigan, and hope one day to drop in on him.  I miss Robert but Yogi reminds me often - it's not too far; it just seems like it is.

I've wanted to share this card on the blog for sometime.  Thank you to Tony, Off Hiatus for the opportunity.  He's having a little contest for  $10 shopping spree on the winner's behalf.  Enter to win by sharing your favorite card show find.  If it's a cheesy bobblehead you're looking for, you can enter to win that here.