Friday, May 29, 2015

Just Between Friends

Packer/procrastinator = me.  Yes, I should be packing - don't judge.  I won't have internet as of May 28th so am making good use of the time now for reading and post preparation.  Two last packages were sent to my Dallas address and I want to share these before I'm off radar for a week to ten days. 

I truly enjoy the friendships found here in this special world. It means much that you've accepted me.  Women aren't always welcome in the card hobby, so I thank you!   Another blogger reached out to me recently, knowing I can't offer anything in return for awhile.  A gentle giant of a guy.  Why he is feared so, I don't understand.  He told me he was harmless.  I choose to trust his words.  Here are the cards he sent:

Harmless little stickers. Nothing offensive in these fun little collectibles. Although using tigers to express  ones tamer nature is well, different.

2014 Topps and parallels, nothing scary here.
Mr. Tiger himself, from one of my favorite sets: 2001 UD Decade 1970s.  Once moore, nothing frightening here. Should I be looking for a hidden message within this trade package? That's silly talk.

 A touch of the 80s  here.  I especially like the 86 LEAF Parrish!  I only have 86 Donruss Tigers.  1989 Sportflics, always a cool addition! All nice cards in this scan.

Very cool 99 Ultra Platinum Medallion 33/99 Brian Hunter! He stole  74 bases with the Tigers in 1997.  Brings to mind this well-known image:

This pic was borrowed from Nick's Dimebox blog.  Thanks Nick!   Masked men do have a mysterious quality about them - think Lone Ranger, not the fellow poking a gun into your ribs while politely asking for your wallet.

A sweet lot of premium cards!  2011 Triple Thread Cabrera #/625;  2008 SPX swatch Ordonez 53/99 and a slick 2015 Museum of some nameless pitcher now with the Nationals.

I have an odd French fry craving.  Skipping breakfast isn't good for you. Something tells me I'll be making a burger run later. Sorry for the distraction, not sure where it came from.  This last round of cards honors the decade 00.   2005 Fleer Patchworks Pudge - new for the pc!  2000 Stadium Club Easley, overall nice card design but names are tough to read on the Chrome version.  Fick Finest 2000 and two XX from 2008 Upper Deck X baseball, cuz that was a great idea.

What a fun surprise from my newest friend!  I hesitate to reveal his identity lest you judge him too harshly.  He extended a hand in friendship which I gladly accepted.  This guy seems genuine to me but perhaps you should decide for yourselves.

Mystery Blogger

Oh. Now I get the fry craving.  Those piercing and hypnotic eyes are to blame.  My refrigerator is empty of all but salad fixins and milk.  Time for a fish sandwich and those golden fries. 

Thank you Wes for the polite, friendly introduction!  First impressions are usually correct! I see blue skies and smooth sailing ahead!

Tuesday, May 26, 2015

Packing It Up

The packing is growing old, and quickly.  All the books and most cards are packed.  It's the little stuff getting to me. My desire for organization will not allow for packing random items in the same box; e.g. waffle iron and used soap collection. But I must, to make best use of space in the moving truck aka U-Haul.  I need to be finished by the end of day Wednesday.  Thursday through Sunday are scheduled fun days: one last Ranger game, possibly Six Flags, a day spent at my beloved LCS - 28 miles away, one more visit to Half Price Books and meeting up with friends for a meal or two.  On Monday, the wheels roll north. 
As an excuse to put off packing a bit longer, I wanted to share some mail goodies from generous blogger pals.   Kaiser the Great from Orange and Black Wax did a bit of shopping and knocked a few items off  my want list.  It's really more of a need  list. But you understand this.

1985 Topps Father/Son subset card
1991 Topps

KTG sent a message that he had the Whitaker rc I needed to complete my 78 Topps team set.  I appreciate the time he took to choose a few cards to send along with it.  Kaiser has disappeared again.  He's been caught in an 80s time continuum but will hopefully return once the time machine spits him out.
Foul Bunt Orioles blogger William Regenthal surprised me with a nearly complete team set from 1987 Topps.  Added to the cards I already owned, I can cross this year off my needy little list.
He also tucked in four Gehrigs, all new to my collection.
                                    2010 Topps Vintage Legends             2011 Topps Lineage
                                   2010 Topps Vintage Legends                  2013 GQ
2011 Lineage was issued a couple of years before my return to collector's paradise. I looked up the set on Cardboard Connection for a little background. I will agree with the reviewer that these cards are comparable to a Topps flagship design.   Too bad Topps wasted a good idea on their only Lineage release. It's a Topps design I actually like.  Thanks William! I hope to return the kindness in the near future.
The last package I'll share tonight is from Tim, the Smelly Cardboard Guy.  Tim burst into the blogging world in December and has made friends quickly, trading like the Bull market!  He sent over a colorful lot of cards - which by the way, do not  stink. 
 My first 2015 Bowman Tigers, including a chrome Kubitza and mini- Farm's Finest Derek Hill.

Purple-licious Topps with purple foil Avila - Toys R Us perhaps? Victor appears courtesy 2015 Donruss.

2003 Bowman Chrome refractor Pena;  2011 Bowman's Best design Cabrera and a 2010 exfractoring Ordonez.  That one scanned pretty well!

1995 Bowman's Best Fryman w/guest Expo Michael Barrett.  2014 Topps Cabrera, hot-looking foil! 
 2011 Topps Blue Parallel Martinez;  2008 SP Authentic Matt Joyce; 1997 Score Sierra Private Stock parallel; 1994 O-Pee-Chee Fryman; 2001 Fleer Platinum Cruz 007/201.   Tim's doing a great job so far.  What's left?
 A 1983 Yankee yearbook TCMA insert, neatly separated from his paged companions!

 1968 Topps baseball game Al Kaline!  What a gem! A very cool surprise!
2012 and 2015 GQ framed Ripkens
One more card from Tim to share with you - 2003 Topps Bazooka Joe in his Tiger duds:

I got a kick out of this card because of a recent purchase made on a trip to OKC.  My Sis and I stopped into a vintage antique shop.  I caught this little guy smiling at me from across the room.  The price was right at only five dollars.  Joe was clean and in excellent shape.  

So far the neighbors aren't gossiping about my new and much younger roommate.  I'll say this, Joe is pretty worthless when it comes to helping me pack. When I begin to complain, he smiles that little smile - at least he did til I shoved him in a plastic bag and packed him up with the waffle iron and soap!
Tim, thanks much!  I'll work on a Yankee gathering for you soon!

Thursday, May 21, 2015

My Last Blast in OKC - or how I was Jinxed

The past two weeks have been a blur.  I've been packing, while accumulating more items cards to pack.  Somewhere along the way I have to stop shopping...right?  My last day at the office was Friday, May 15th.  I headed right to OKC to spend a few days with my Sis and some good friends before my move to the Big Mitten.  Sis and I caught an OKC Dodgers/Iowa Cubs game on Saturday. OKC won 1-0 in the 9th.   The Dodger affiliation is new this year. I don't care for the team name though.  Aren't minor league teams supposed to have fun names? Redhawks??  89ers?   The park now known as Chickasaw  Bricktown Ballpark, is still beautiful.  Ads covering the upper decks force fans to pay for the higher priced seats around the field.  Crowds fill the little park in Bricktown anyway. 

The Commerce Comet

Little General

Approaching storms kept attendance light that night

Ballpark necessities: kids meal bucket, THE helmet and adult beverage

On Monday, I spent several hours in The Old Ballpark, the LCS in South OKC.  Dime boxes galore!  From 11-5, I went through 4000 count boxes - box after box, fourteen in all! 

Baseball - orange tagged

I pulled 1500 cards we couldn't live without.  We  being me and you!  I won't say what the total cost was because the owner gave me an incredible discount.  Let's just say if you were to guess a nickel per card, you'd be on the high side. I found short prints, inserts, a few good rookies and Fergie Jenkins.

While texting my friend The Ump, with pictures of the many stacks of old timers, I messaged that Fergie Jenkins was in here. She replied to go ahead and get him too, get them all.   No - HE  is in HERE !   NO WAY she text back.  There I was surrounded by thousands of cards and not a single one Jenkins. No unsigned baseballs for sale, nothing.  I had nothing for him to sign. How could this be????  And why did this man wander into a card shop in South OKC?   My super-spy listening skills revealed to me he knew one of the customers also in the shop at the time.  This big time Cubbie fan just named his newborn Jenkins.  Fergie came out to meet his namesake on the way to the airport, headed for home in Arizona.

I worked up enough courage to approach the Hall of Famer for a short conversation and picture.  Not the best photo but an excellent reminder of my good fortune.  I've had an incredible run of the stuff lately!

Jenks - HOF 1991
 Fergie looked great, not any bit of 72. He chatted with the owner a bit about Ernie Banks and NL rules for pitchers batting.  He's all for it, of course.  It was a memorable afternoon for me.  I'm rarely in the right place at the right time. 

All this Cubbie talk brings the opportunity to share a recent trade package from P-Town Tom, our friend at Waiting til Next Year.  He sent over a stack of 2013 Hometown Heroes.

2002 Topps Total

2001 Topps

2014 Panini Classics

2015 Donruss  Altuve 81 - larger than life
Tom, thanks for completing my set!  I do love my Tigers but Altuve is right up there with them!  He is my favorite, current playing non-Tiger!

As I mentioned, Friday was my last day in the Dallas office.  I've made a lot of friends and worked with - and for - so many good people. Leaving them has not been an easy decision. The office threw me a surprise farewell party on Wednesday.  Josiah, World's Greatest Office Assistant is also a talented pencil artist.  He spent 30 hours on a drawing specifically for me which he and many of my co-workers signed.  

Tip of the Cap
Josiah's work is so good it doesn't appear authentic!  (He's shown me a few of his sports drawings in various stages of completion, some taking 200 hours or more!)  Ian Kinsler is in fine detail, stadium lights reflected in his helmet. A true labor of friendship. 

Within the next two weeks, I'll be moving into my new home.  I'll comment and post when I can but will be without internet beginning May 28 through at least June 4th.  Thanks for sticking with me through this transition.  I truly appreciate you, my blogger friends!

Have a great Memorial Day Weekend!

Sunday, May 3, 2015

Saturday Night Fever - 2015 Diamond Kings

I've wanted to bust a box for weeks!  Twelve 8-card packs lookin' for a good time!  Who am I to deny them?  Two autos or memorabilia cards; 2 framed parallels with 96 total cards - variation rookie cards possible too - 200 card set.

Shout out to The Card Papoy
Put on your best white suit and crank up the Bee Gees - we're looking inside a box of the brand new 2015 Diamond Kings! 


Gorgeous cards!!  Nice mix of veterans and newbies.  The framed Chapman is an unnumbered version.  I wanted a nice Matt Szczur RC.  At 25, this is his time to break out.  Matt made an impression on me when I learned he'd given a life-saving bone marrow donation to a patient on another continent. 


Two insert series here: DK Originals - a design I personally don't care for.  This Abreu is a parallel version  numbered 22/25 and  HOF Sluggers - da Babe!  Nice design and a keeper!


Another HOF Slugger!  Such a colorful lot, printed on canvas-feel cardboard. I'm still likin' 'em!


DK Originals McCutchen and one of them fancy cards - I haven't picked up a Texas accent but it does show itself at times when writing - a framed Adrian Gonzalez dual patch auto numbered 42/49.   This is a great pack of cards!  Ripken, Feller, Appling and the young Bogaerts.


What have we here?  A traitorous Max $cherzer, at home with the politician$ of Washington. A new insert series Aficianado - Gerald Dempsey Posey.  Buster  it is!  I recently began adding his cards to my collection.  Our first little card, a MINI Mauer!  I'm not sure of the print run except to say minis are definitely not one per pack!


Ok - WOW!  My Giants' trade pals are going to want this one, no doubt!  Madison Bumgarner, super thick Studio Portraits holofoil.  This gem is numbered 01/10!  Super nice card!  I'm holding on to it for now but at some point it may be used to fund a nice Tiger exchange. 

We are halfway through our my box and we've pulled the hits.  What could be left but inserts and base cards?  I'd be happy with these of course.  Need to take a potty break?  Shall we continue?


I've said more times than not - I'm a sucker for the old guys.  This pack has some familiar faces: Lajoie, O'Doul and Gehrig - and dupes from pack five.   I can live with a handful of doubles but 96 cards per box should be 96 different  paper heroes at this price level.  My LCS - $70 cash price.


Well, I'm not sure what to think - except YESSS!  Another  nice dual patch auto relic!  Deven Marrero is paper framed and numbered 16/49.  Let's not overlook the new insert: Also Known As. This AKA is the Revered Rivera.  Mariano was an amazing closer!  What opponent looked forward to facing the Sandman?  Kevin Millar?  No, not even him.


Joe Jackson, you are forgiven and beloved.  A simple pack splashed with color!


A mini sighting!  Eric Hosmer.  Bryce Harper - how did I not own a rookie card?  Picked one up this weekend, a nice Chrome.  Nothing fancy but it is MINTy!  One more HOF Slugger Frank Thomas, and an AKA Lou Gehrig!  I've already decided to complete both of these insert sets.

We're down to the last two packs...


 Our second framed parallel, an unnumbered Corcino.   Inserts: HOF Slugger Mel Ott and Aficianado Mike Trout. Maris and Crawford are welcome pack mates. Nice cards.

I have to congratulate Panini for an elegant and affordable product. At an average of $6 per pack with boxes selling in a $70 price range,  I'm comfortable with the cards pulled so far.  An extra relic card helped of course.  Let's finish this thang!


BUTTER MY FREAKIN' BISCUITS!!!  I think we have a hot box!  or a fluke.  I'll take either any day.  Kelly, Goldschmidt and Freeman were a nice finish but who is the attractively framed mini????  Super thick, acrylic backed Robert Refsnyder and patch.  This card is numbered almost as low as they come... 4/5! 

Nachos Grande Chris chose a DK box as part of his five box break coming later this week.  I can't wait to see what he hits!  The box we just opened had some sweet pulls.  None are for trade just yet while I investigate the product a bit more, and then decide what to part with.  Thanks for joining me in the anatomy of 2015 Diamond Kings!

How was your Saturday Night?