Tuesday, September 29, 2020

The Wonderful World of Joe Shlabotnik

What a wonderful world it must be at Joe's! Shelves full of cards, boxes and binders. Oh my! One can only imagine. I don't know that anyone has ever seen Shlabby's place but I can attest to owning some outgoing contents. Discards, if you will. No. I did not dig through his trash cans. Is that really what you think of me?

Good ol' American Joe is certainly not trying to buy into the Cracked Bat Ballot Box but does have two mail-in ballots noted on my super spreader sheet. Cracked Bat favors multiple voting attempts. July brought a pwe and a fat little mailer. He picked a few cards off my want list; sent a couple I picked from his blog and tossed in some fun surprises.

From the gimmee list: 2017 Archives '59 Bazooka Harper, 2020 Heritage Bazooka Test Posey and Hostess 75 Rico and 79 Whitaker:

Beautiful wood

Gentle Giant


I love me some big sticks - cracked or not. Black and white Conlons featuring some long gone heroes are perfect for my collection. Foxx, Lou and the Babe. Sometimes I feel I was born too late. Did I ever share my affinity for lounge music? The Rat Pack, Julie London.

I sent Joe some 2020 Big League assistance. He sent back part of a box. Wants me to cut out the card myself. Joe's never seen me with a pair of scissors. I will cut you me.  One of us is obviously lazy. Responsibility, he says.

Obligatory vintage was included.  Say what????? You did not know this requirement?  You risk having your ballot rejected without it. LOL. That's laugh out-loud not  little old lady, wise guy.

Steve had a kind face
My first Permagraphics! From 1983, Larry Parrish - super star, super fun! The few cards I've seen have been scratched up. This is a clean example. Credit card style, plastic card with apparently no credit limit. The backside has a space for a signature.

Here's a card from a set I'd never heard of - 1979 Diamond Greats. Backs are blank. My first thought was TCMA but this is not the case. You can read up on these here. I love the simplicity! Team, position and career stats and a checklist 400 cards deep. Also not cheap.


Let me tell you a little about Joe. He thinks he's funny. So glad I'm nothing like that.  Joe tells me he has an old 70s Wacky sticker with my name on it.. Still waiting for him to send it. These fine Altuves came though.

You've made it this point. Almost too much excitement for one post! But let me tell yah, this next one had me swinging from the disco ball:

Stare into the eyes of the Tiger. Closer. Put your nose on the screen. You. Will. Send. Me. 1978 Fleer Glam stickers. All. Of. Them. 

Thank you, Shlabby


It's that time again! Round Five voting is here. We have another team effort this week. Candidate A  is a Topps Traded duo from years 1987 [checklist]  and 1991 [checklist.] 1987 Maddux extended rookie looks pretty sharp. Matt Williams also has an XRC in this set. 1991 is still sealed. Notable Rookies are Bagwell, Giambi, I Rodriguez and Kennie Steenstra. 


Also competing for your love and acceptance: 1986 Sportflics Rookies.  Larkin, Bonds and Bo Jackson are popular cards from this set. 


Look over the checklists. What would you prefer to add to your collection? Review the rules and make your vote count!

PS - Elliptical Man, please email me at the address in labels.  I have a PICK for you. :) 

Friday, September 18, 2020

GIO - 1970s Series 2 With a Side of Ballot Results

Three weeks ago, I showed off Gio's 70s Baseball Series One release. These are some of my favorite cards from 2020. It's been a tough year for baseball in general. Retail shelves have remained mostly empty. Hobby boxes are scooped up too, almost as quickly. But these! They may be somewhat limited but not impossible to score. And maybe this series should be called Score but for the fact Score didn't give us baseball cards in the 70s. 

Feast upon these 15 beauties and what could have been:

Gio included another 'super' star with young Bench. It's my favorite card in the pack, with Mantle and Munson vying for second place. 

As you well know by now, there is no second place in the Ballot Box contest. There is only one winner. Round four was hard on the Junk Candidates. At times, they seemed to muster some love but 1993 Donruss wasn't having any of that. Pushing Elite-ism, voters bought into its better-than-junk platform. But is it really any better?  Sixteen voters said yes while eight had pity on the Topps/Score ticket. 

Round four winner: Candidate B

If you read my first Gio 70s Series post, then you know I added a few cards to Pick Pockets. This time I'm parting with them here to my trade pals. Six cards are available -one per person. You will see seven but the Dodgers card is already set aside for Night Owl. If he declines, then it's up for grabs. Night Owl, let us know if you want to keep or pass on this card. 

Please, only choose a card if you will keep it in your collection. These little fellas belong in a caring home.  Thank you for supporting this blog! Without further delay...

Sunday, September 13, 2020

A Wise Owl Who Gives a Hoot

 I don't trade often with Strigiformes but when I do, it's Night Owl. Most owls are nocturnal raptors. Our writer/collector friend is likely not descended from a feathered family but I haven't seen him. My guess is no.  If he were, I wouldn't cast judgement.  I loved the movie "Ladyhawke" as a teen.  Mr. Owl sent a fine cardboard assortment this summer, clearing cards off my wantlist. Set help, vintage and wax cartoons; all are equally appreciated!

Chipping away at 2010 History of the World Series:

This could be blasphemy to some hardcore A&G collectors -  I am not a Ginter fan. Collective gasp. I haven't purchased more than a few blasters ever, never a hobby box and nothing in the past three years. There is however, an insert set most every year that appeals to me and I always enjoy player minis. These were all on my list: 2010 Cobb gold mini, 2017 What-a-Days and 2019 Ginter Greats.

Hey kiddos! Which one doesn't belong? Not that he wasn't great in his day, Orel was needed to fill a binder spot in my 1995 SP Championship October Legends subset.  Greats has bats which sucked me right in.  The WADs checklist is broad and design uber colorful. I likes 'em!  I like vintage too - hoot doesn't?

1967, 1975 and 1956.  The team card is outstanding!! Mickey and A-Rod are clean and colorful! Purple and pink are my fave color combo from 75 Topps.

1979 Cartoons! Is it any wonder LeFlore stole 68 bases? Ron's led a difficult life. It would appear his struggles continue.  When I read the first cartoon, the horrible person in me said "the ball is dead and so is Rusty."  Rusty owned a couple of Manhattan restaurants later in life. The 73rd Street location held an annual rib-eating contest won in 1980 by this young actress.

I was a shy, naive young teen in 79. Collecting then would have soothed my troubled soul. Introverted and afraid of the world, I had no idea baseball cards existed. This may be difficult for any lifetime collector to believe. It's never too late to have fun so here I am! 

Thanks Night Owl! Oooo, you DO have feathers!



Who among you loves 80s nostalgia? Who among you ever said their favorite sets of 1989 were Topps and Score? WHO?  I'm honestly not sure where these sets land in popular majority. 

Candidate A is a shared ticket. Each suffers poor self-esteem, all these years later. Together, running mates Topps and Score hope to win your vote. They bring you warm memories of the Bash Brothers and Nolan Ryan. Topps' checklist is 792 cards long.  Score 660 cards!  Who wouldn't want to own a Nelson Santovenia rookie card?

CANDIDATE A  two boxes of wax pack glory:



Before you allow thoughts of sweet-smelling Topps gum to take over your senses and sweep you back to 1989, you may want to stop in 1993 for a look around. Donruss came to the game with white borders and sweet inserts. As years passed, base cards were buried in nickel boxes and inserts forgotten; replaced with shiny, prizm-y, refractory, fancy colored foils. Well people, 1993 is back.  If the simply designed base cards don't tickle you in the right places, maybe a  look at the inserts will. Diamond Kings, Spirit of the Game and Elites are all possibilities. 

CANDIDATE B needs no running mate.  Series One:

One tough card! I no longer own Alomar but it took a full case to pull!

Diamond Kings need no introduction:

Spirit of the Game themed front/back:

Traditional rules recap:

Review the rules, make your choice and vote!

1977 - Video Cheese

Sunday, September 6, 2020

Bo Stuffs the Ballot Box

It's hard to avoid election talk. Concerns over absentee ballots and currently slowed mail service have a lot of us voicing our opinions.  I'm here to tell you, someone is out there stuffing the ballot box. I've been the recipient of several bribe attempts recently, with three of these stuffed envelopes coming from our own Bo Rozny, Baseball Cards Come to Life!

With three elections rounds and three envelopes, Bo is leading with six votes. Voting is about to ramp up too because I have stuff to move. I don't foresee Bo missing an opportunity to cast his A or B vote!

I'm not a difficult bribe either. Card from my wantlist are like cash. Here are a few of the bills I found in these envelopes.  Set help for 2011 Lineage and 2013 Topps 72 Minis! These were listed on my Send Help tab. Bo pays attention!  In case I wasn't aware Bo was hitting up my wantlist, he included the Ripken as a big fat hint.

Three of my favorite HOFers!  While I'm not actively pursuing cards for these PCs, new additions to their collections are always welcome! 1995 Stadium Club and 1993 SP were two of my favorite rips in the 90s.  SP was one of my first set builds. I still think it's one of the more beautiful sets from that decade.

2002 Upper Deck World Series Heroes - I love the red white and blueness of the design and the generous use of foil. Backs feature a World Series game stat. Hard to beat the checklist too. With 180 cards, it would appear I have a looong way to go. These three bring my total to 27 cards.  I'm only interested in the first 90 so it's nearly 1/3 complete!

I'm also dabbling in subsets. You would think some much easier to complete than others. I've been battling to find 1991 Score Dream Team cards. Score!?!?  I still need the Alomar, card 887.  All 90s Score Dream Teams and Studio Heritage are going into a small binder together. I can't begin to guess how many of  the DTs I gave away in Salvation Army donations.

I like the overall design of 76 & 79 Topps but only want a few special cards from each year. These include The Sporting News All-Time All Stars  and All-Time Record Holders subsets. Is this too much to ask? Bo didn't think so.  As I'm writing this, Lou Brock has just passed at 81 years of age. Rest in Peace, Lou. Thank you for the memories of a wild 1968 World Series!

Cards near and dear to my heart - OKC 89ers!

A sweet vintage Blackhawk from 76-77 Topps! I like this design. The team name is bold and bright against the white background. WHITE.  Topps just can't let a good thing be.

Bo, thank you for the mail-in votes!!  It's fun adding these totals to my spreadsheet! Good luck on Election Day!

Folks, remember your name will be added to the Great Randomizer equivalent to the number of times you voted. Every vote counts.


Our most recent candidates A) 2019 Optic and B) Contenders Draft Picks were not the match I'd hoped. Shiny Optic won this round 12-6. What this means is only 18 people voted.  Hate to see folks missing opportunities but it does increase the odds that a regular reader will take home the Ballot Box!

I'm gathering new candidates for the next round. Do I hear the sound of ripping in a winner's future?