Sunday, August 23, 2020

GIO Has Something Topps Doesn't....

No question about it. Just ask him. He's even put it on a bumper sticker. Ok. It wouldn't fill a spot on the bumper but would cover a door ding.

And it's possible I have something you don't... a 70s Baseball, Series One 15 card pack.  If this picture from his post is telling, there were 11 packs. Were - because I now have three. One for my GIO stash, one for a friend, and one for busting. A few of these like Mays, Yaz, Mantle and the Bird will look nice in the PCs.

The card backs have an authentic feel to them. Fronts are glossy with bright color. All are based on customs Gio has shared on his blog. I have my favorites but forced to pick one two, it's Fidrych and Yaz! 1972 has become my favorite set of the 70s.  I'd bite hard on a Nickname series based solely on the 72 design.

Gio included a fine assortment of players. Some of these photo choices truly standout, like Williams and Mantle. There's that Rickey stare in the mix and a 'super' styled Carew insert too!

I have a thing for Gio's creations. So far, I've been able to scoop up a copy of every set he's offered. Most have featured Deadball stars who are a small but sweet spot in my collection.  I don't really know how many 70s packs are available. If you are hesitant to pick up one for yourself, I invite you to sample a card - in hand. I busted a pack to sort among my PCs. That leaves six cards up for grabs. Trade pals have a chance at the end of this post to get one. But first, we have an important election opportunity!

It's time to get out the vote - or get your vote on. We have special candidates for this round. All others will be baseball/baseball related but not everyone likes our National Pastime. Offered today are two nearly complete football sets. Even if you don't collect football, it's likely many of your pals do!

A) Coming at you with super-shiny attitude is 2019 OPTIC! Not photogenic but attractive in-hand. 200 cards in the complete base set. Optic wants you to know that while it's missing 21 cards, it could still fill your binder or trade needs. Perhaps you'd like to pursue these?  You may review this candidate on TCDB.


B) The challenger comes from a humbler background. No shine here but lots of color - 2020 Panini Contenders Draft Picks! Explore this candidate's qualifications here.  A 100 card base set missing only five cards. This set would get my vote.  It's colorful with lots college flair and includes retired players like Sanders, Favre, Marino, Rice and more. Sorted by college, this set would show well in a binder.


Before voting, please review our rules:

Regarding those Gio customs, these six cards will be available to trade pals via a special edition of Pick Pockets live Sunday evening, August 30th. *** Time has changed due to unexpected travel.

Pockets will be loaded with inserts, shiny cards plus these six Gio's customs. If you and I have ever traded, you are invited to pick. Even if it's been a long while, let's get back to trading! Only one custom per picker, nine cards total for this round. The cards will be a little thicker, filling those pockets quickly.

Before signing off, there's a card I want to share - a gift from a close friend.

They are both one of one's in my book but don't make me choose between them.   🤣

Friday, August 14, 2020

Negro Leagues Legends Baseball Cards

Many of us are fans of Negro League history, filled with characters and talent, overlooked and ignored. Racism kept some of the greatest players from the game. We were fortunate to have Satchel join major league baseball near the end of his long and storied career. Aaron, Mays, Doby, Irvin, Newcombe and Robinson came to our game from the Negro Leagues. The player list is long. Can you imagine MLB history without them, without their contributions to the game?

February 13 marked the centennial of Negro League Baseball's beginnings in the Paseo YMCA, Kansas City, Missouri. For the collector, this is a baseball card opportunity! A complete 184 card set based on the work of celebrated sports artist Graig Kreindler is available for purchase through Negro Leagues History, limited to 5000 sets, numbered on the box.


I wasted zero time hitting the paypal button. Within two days, I had this complete set in my hands. Overall I'm pleased with these cards. They will present well in a binder, one card per pocket.  Some of the cards are dark, perhaps in keeping true to the original painting.

There are three women featured within the set. Each has a bobble head. I love Peanut Johnson's bobble. It's on my holiday wish-list. I do not need but WANT it, having always been drawn to the Clowns uniform. Can't imagine why...

There are many other bobbles available, as well. The Negro Leagues Museum is offering an array of items too, sweet varsity jackets and t-shirts.  But if you want baseball cards, the Negro Leagues History site has them.

If I had to choose a favorite NLBM player, it's easily Buck O'Neil. I discovered him as many did - within Ken Burns' baseball series. I read Buck's 'The Soul of Baseball' and found it hard to put down, hearing his voice all the way through to the last page. It's time to put this man in Cooperstown. His contributions to Negro League history are immeasurable with his efforts to establish the museum in Kansas City and his push to seat Negro Leaguers in the Hall.  He was overlooked for entry but remained humble. Buck's words:

   God's been good to me. They didn't think Buck was good enough to be in the Hall of Fame. 
   That's the way they thought about it and that's the way it is, so we're going to live with that. 
   Now, if I'm a Hall of Famer for you, that's all right with me. Just keep loving old Buck. 
   Don't weep for Buck. No, man, be happy, be thankful.

I love you, Buck.

Sunday, August 9, 2020

Prize Winning Envelopes!

I love sending PWEs to my blog pals as my PP page will confirm.  It's equally fine to be on the receiving end of these little paper wonders, packed with precious cardboard cargo!

Elliptical Man has been finding his way around the blogs; armed with witty commentary. On TCDB, he is Uncorrected Error. He's dropped a couple of PWEs in the mail featuring floating bats and dugout shots.

Have to say I like the Vlad. I had this card but gave it away not long ago. This copy stays with my collection. It may be one of my least favorite designs but the photo is a keeper. Bats seemingly have a life of their own - Raul taking one to the side of the head!  Wonder how he's holding up in the pen?

Another welcome ACB reader is Giant's fan, Fred Pike. He sends an envelope every couple of weeks, it seems. I have the Conlon B&W set but needed these Cobbs for the PC. Like a good dentist,  Fred's been filling the cavities in my collection. I have a few specific  Fleer stickers on my wantlists, Decade Greats too.

Diamond Jesters blogger Matt, sent these needed Altuves. Jester Jose won't be as much fun to watch this year. Baseball in general - for me - hasn't been fun. I'm of the opinion a 60 game season is a joke.  It's the grind of the full season I find exciting; overcoming injuries, bad pitching, poor management and still making a run for the pennant. If we do have a 'world series' in 2020, I hope a team like the Marlins pulls off the win. Even a Tiger World Series title would not be great cause for celebration. Although it would likely be the only WS they'd win in my lifetime!

Padrographs' Rod sent 71s from my wantlist and a nifty decal featuring his logo. Cleans 71s are tough. These are nice copies, upgrades for the Tiger pc.  I appreciate Rod reaching out for our first trade! He picked my pockets awhile back.

There's one from the bloody blogspot, Card Hemorrhage. Jay reached out for a first trade, blind but fun! New Heritage and old Archives, and an excellent Ripken from a set I'd never heard of. Cal is from 1992 American Sports #/1600. The blue foil borders look nice in hand.

Nick sent a couple of envelopes. One featured some freebie Astros in their domed glory. He also sent a Fydrich I didn't own, Hostess and vintage. The 73 is a beauty. I want this set. I want a lot of things but take time to appreciate what I have. The second pwe landed in my mailbox July 5th, making it an official mail-in ballot! Dimebox voting!

There are more pwes but only so much space within one post to share. I'll save these for another round. I share these PWEs not only to thank the gentlemen senders but to remind YOU - all PWEs and mailers could net you a mail-in vote in the Cracked Bat Ballot Box contest. Every one received in my mailbox containing an eligible trade between July 5th and Election Day counts as an additional vote.

Easy to see how a pwe can become a Prize Winning Envelope! Every time I go for the mail, gotta hold myself down! Queue Katrina.

Our second round of balloting wrapped up on Wednesday morning. I apologize for taking so long to post the results. Oh the busy-ness of life, keeping me from the fun of hobby-life! Another round of voting surprises!  Participation was down this time. Perhaps due to the balloting found within the post and not announced in the title. [Readers should be rewarded with a voting opportunity.]  Last time we had 34 votes. Only 23 peeps took time to choose between 80 cards in 1988 Score Young Superstars 1 & 2 with 12 votes, and 3 years of Topps Mini Leaders at 11 votes.  I thought the minis would take it!  Once again we had one vote for each from our foreign operators.  Your glossy winners will be added to the Ballot Box!

The next round will be up shortly, a battle between 2020 football sets. We should have something new in the Ballot Box. Remember, even if you don't care for the candidates, your vote matters. The more often you vote, the more times your name will be added to the Great Randomizer in November!

I wrapped another round of Pickpockets this week too. Not sure where all my pickers went this time but cards will be in the mail soon. I'm waiting for another order of stamps whose delivery has been delayed yet again. The next PP edition will be for trade pals only. Lots of shine to be found so watch for those to appear the weekend of Aug 22. 

Summer is fading which always makes me a little sad. I love fall and have learned to tolerate winter but these warm days make me feel so much younger.  I've spent more time outside which has pulled me away from the blogs. You can't be rid of me so easily. No long absence in the foreseeable future planned but for now, the sunshine beckons...