Friday, October 9, 2020

Cards From The Coach

Put me in coach. I'm ready to trade. Today.  In truth, it was mid-July. Coach Tom needed Big League help - or was it biggly help? Well he got Big League. Desperate for anything baseball, a  friend and I opened a stack of packs. I helped a couple of pals knock some cards off their wantlists and they each rewarded me generously. I shared my goods from Shlabby last week. 

P-Town's thank-you included a card from a set I'd never seen. This insert is from 2000 Pacific Invincible, Kings of the Diamond:


I won't go off on my regular rant about Juan Gon. His was one of my first player collections when I followed the Rangers in the early 90s. By 1999, I was over him and so were the Rangers. He was traded to Detroit. Baby Juan wanted the Tigers to bring in the fences so he could knock his balls out of the park. They did not and he left, taking his balls with him. This is a cool card and fits nicely into the Tiger collection.

How about this 1978 Hostess Milt May, a fix for my sweet tooth - cut out with loving care. The black still shows around three sides of the card.



Big League help was in store for me too. Orange parallel Tigs and a Tuve;


I was so disappointed the day I learned Shoop was a Shcope.  The 2020 baseball season is what it is and for him, that was 44 games. Schoop suffered a wrist injury ending his season early. What IS early in a 60 game season? I never saw the Tigers play this year. My only source for baseball is satellite tv. No cable out in these here woods. Satellite innernets allow no quality streaming options. Watching a box break can be painful.

Tom pulled a special card from his Big League and teased me with it on his blog. I assumed it was me but it could've been any Tiger fan who also enjoys catchers. Can you spot the card?


That's a fun little autograph on Jake's first Big League card! I'm sure his parents are proud.  He didn't make an appearance this MLB season but there's always next year. 

Tom, thank you for a fun swap! 


I have to be honest with you, my reader friends. This has been a tough year for me and the game. The sting of the Astros scandal hurt a lot this spring. The Tigers had little to offer, during another year of their life-long [my life] rebuild.  The season shut down before it began and then, the waiting. By the first of July, I really didn't care anymore. The ginormous salaries have disgusted me for sometime. Trout signs yet another ridiculous contract. Talent is one thing but come on - no athlete is worth these sums of money. I look at the world we are living in right now and realize none of this truly matters. 

How is my collecting and an occasional hoarding mentality making the world a better place to live? The hobby is fun and more so when shared. I find less joy collecting new players. I narrowed my focus to four players - and two of these fellows are deceased. The living are Posey and Altuve. I enjoyed a little Stadium Club this past month but new cards haven't meant much to me this year. I can tell you what has made the difference for me. You.

My fellow collectors - readers and bloggers alike - you have made my year better. Generosities have been many with freebies everywhere. I put up my Pick Pockets tab in January. It took sometime for folks to find it but you did. That made me happy. I love sharing and giving. This blog has given away over 1000 cards this year. I know because I've kept a spreadsheet - who picked and when, and how many cards. And the year isn't over. So many of you have used this opportunity to return the favors, knocking cards off my wantlists. Thank you for this. Maybe giving away a few cards is making your day a little brighter. Perhaps that matters.

So about those Pickpockets. The tab is down for a couple of days while I update the page and add new cards. You'll see it this weekend, probably Sunday afternoon/evening. I have the cards ready to scan and upload. I am still offering cards to anyone who stumbles across this blog for the first time. Cards have been designated for trade pals and regular readers. This will not change. I think it's important to reward my trade pals first. Going forward, trade partners get first picks. For the first 7-10 days, it's trade pals only. After that, I'll open the page up to regular readers too with an announcement on the page for "open-trading season".  I have 3000+ cards to choose from every time we have a new round. As long as I can afford the postage, your virtual dime box will be here - and free.

Thank you for keeping the hobby fun and for supporting this blog. And with that...


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It's Round Six! Your candidates are factory sets!  

1987 Sportflics offers a complete 200 card base set with an additional 136 Team Logo Trivia Cards, more aptly named 'trivial' cards. Many of these little buggers find their way to file 13. Trivialities aside, this set is full of star cards. I believe this set is also known for the first use of a color player photo on the card back. Feel free to correct me on this...and risk having your ballot voided. LOL.

CANDIDATE A:





Not a fan of the 'flics? Well Candidate B is vying for your vote! In fact, it's been pining for acceptance since 1989.  Bowman is back! With it's annoying, slightly oversized design, 89 Bowman has been filling dime boxes since 19...89.  [?]  But - and there always is one - what about that Griffey Jr rookie card?  This factory box is still sealed. Junior is likely as minty fresh today as he was upon insertion. One thing this box offers you - storage for the 484 card set.


CANDIDATE B:






Are you whining? This is a serious election. Faced with candidates that may not appeal to you, will you vote anyway?  Every vote counts at the end of this election. Consider these cards trade fodder or add them to your collection. Per usual, a rule recap is in order:



This prize package is growing. Mail in votes count too. Cards from Tom and Shlabby netted them each a vote. Any cards received on or before November 3rd  count.  November 4th = too late.

Now get to votin'!  Please?


50 comments:

  1. Hmm, I'm troubled. Two unappealing candidates, what to do??? Just kidding, I'd gladly accept either into my collection. But I will vote for B. Oh, and I got a PWE from you today!! It was awesome, made my day! Thanks a bunch!

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    1. Hey wonderful! Glad you liked the cards! B - we'll see.

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  2. I will vote for B. I also agree with your comment "I look at the world we are living in right now and realize none of this truly matters." I have yet to watch a baseball game this year. Depending on who is in the WS I may watch. Great post by the way. Thanks.

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    1. 3 b's. This year has been challenging for many. Loss of lives and jobs. Ugly politics. Not sure why it's so hard for us to be kind to one another. Baseball just hasn't been as important to me.

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  3. Sportflix for the win!!! So A!
    And am I a trade pal...

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    1. I commented with this acct but this is sport card Collectors lol

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    2. No worries -I know ;) and please, send me an email: acrackedbat at gmail - I do have your address.

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  4. The 1989 Bowman is a nice set, I've been going through a box of that for bonus packs in my group breaks and I have to say, the set has definitely grown on me (despite the stupid size of each base card).

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  5. Love you Julie but fwiw, an athlete, just like a prized card, is worth whatever someone will pay (T206 Wagner anyone?). Athletes are not just paid for their talents. They are actually paid for their drawing power and marketability. They draw people to the stadiums/arenas, they get people to watch them on TV and also get a lot of merchandise sold. They bring in MUCH MORE revenue to their employer than they get paid. Still, it probably doesn't matter much compared to everything else that's going on in the world.

    As far as the vote, I'm voting for candidate A--gotta appreciate the attempt at innovation and distinctiveness.

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    1. I appreciate hearing your thoughts. Perhaps I think of the fellows who still needed an off-season job. I find myself more and more drawn to pre-70s baseball. Rules are changing with some specifically to protect the owner's precious investments. The average fan is being priced out of the game. I'm for the pitcher's batting. Not a fan of putting a runner on 2nd base to speed up the game. It's probably my age somewhat. I don't feel the need to be constantly entertained. The bigger part of my lacking interest this year is related to watching our world in crisis, and in particular, our country. Thank you for the discussion! Your vote is noted.:)

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  6. A for me - Sportflics as always. You've certainly sent some fun and joy my way - thank you! Hopefully the present situation doesn't sour you on baseball too much. As for me, we could be in the middle of a zombie apocalypse and I'd still be trying to find out the Yankee score.

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    1. I am enjoying the playoffs but the season itself though, has been a joke. It will be a bit difficult for me to take the WS winner seriously. Thanks for making my little contest so much fun!

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  7. Oh, dear, yes, this is indeed a choice between two less-than-desirables.

    But vote I must: I'll take (*holds nose*) B.

    I am such a hopeless baseball fan that there is very little that Real Life can do to keep me from watching the sport. I thought for sure that I would not watch much of this game with the gimmicky rules and cardboard fans, but I found myself getting more and more involved. And now with my Dodgers one series away from the World Series and playing so marvelously, well, it's like any other year: I've just GOT to watch!

    P.S.: I love '70s Hostess cards.

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    1. I think if any team deserves to win, it's your Dodgers. I love old baseball more with every passing season. I've wondered what folks have paid for their cardboard fat heads. More genius marketing. MLB will no longer need live live fans and yet tickets prices will continue to rise. ...and since when did you become a fan of Hostess cards? lol.

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  8. Voting for B.

    Wrap it up and put a Bowman on it.

    Rosin up your Bowman and let's play some fiddle.

    On weekends, I used to go hunting with a Bowman and arrow but the neighbors complained.

    Bo knows Bowman.

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    1. what a run of one-liners! I'm voting for the fiddle although appreciate what Bo knows!

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  9. Like yourself, I've become a little disenchanted with some of things that once drew my attention so easily. Quick card exchanges with friends is not one of them. As always, it's a pleasure to swap cards with you. Thanks again for the set help. :)
    I have to vote A and it's not even close. Sportflic is my jam and 12 year old me was intrigued by the uniqueness of Bowman at the time and the history behind the product, but not the size. So difficult to store!

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    1. lots of swaps in the future! thanks for the empathy! we all need a bit of that in our lives!

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  10. Gotta go with A. Sportflics are still a pretty neat idea. And I have a good chunk of those Bowmans, although I suppose having the full set would alleviate having to store them with "normal" size cards.

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    1. I'd vote for A but... Hey! I could technically vote. Candidates are allowed to vote for themselves.

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  11. I've slowed down on nabbing Altuve since the "banging"... but if the price is right... I'll still pick up singles. I also like Posey. He's the only current SF Giant that I have in my stars binder.

    Tough choice this time around. Both candidates are strong. I'm one of those guys who actually loves the 1989 Bowman set and have no issues with them not being standard size. But I'm gonna go with the 1987 Sportflics. You just don't see them floating around blogs nearly as much as those beautiful Bowmans.

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    1. Altuve's always been a hitter. I've read and heard comments by a few on the team that Altuve did not use the can, and was unhappy with the use of it. Did he speak out? How complicit he was we'll likely never know.

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  12. Going with A. Mostly because I can't stand 89 Bowman. Oversized, but only slightly, is strike one. No team name on the front, strike two. No PLAYER name on the front (only the signature), strike three!

    We should trade sometime.

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    1. Bowman is out! Come over to the Pick Pocket tab. It will be up this evening (Sunday.) Perhaps you'll find a few cards to initiate our first trade. :)

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  13. I can relate to your feelings here, on a lot of subjects. My lifelong love of baseball broke again in 2020, for the first time since about 2000. The salaries are very high, yes. But what concerns me is that they're not in line with revenues or reality. Baseball isn't as popular as it once was and all of these ridiculous rule changes will (or have) alienated a lot more loyal fans than they will generate new ones. Empty parks don't help, but I watched the NHL and NBA playoffs and the lack of fans didn't bother me. Because the game itself didn't change.

    Big League or "bigly" made me chuckle because for 3+ years I could swear that the current occupant said "bigly" but one day, out of nowhere, I saw a clip on Colbert or something and suddenly it was clear to me that he said "Big League". It was like an awakening!

    As for the candidates in this particular election.. I'm going with B. The '89 Bowman set has some nice childhood memories including when my nine year old self pulled a card that forced me to come to terms with the passage of time: "This guy was born in the seventies?!?" Also my main issue with the set is the size and inability to store the cards.. which is not an issue when it's in the factory set box. :)

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    1. Thanks for your comment! Revenues, reality and rule changes. Spot on for me. I think it saddens me too, because I'm not into basketball or football. Hockey is sometimes tempting but I'm not sure if I could keep up with the game. As for "B" - the box does make a difference - and that Griffey!

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  14. 1989 Bowman is an underrated set that people poo-poo because it's not standard sized. *I* think it's a far better set than 1989 Topps, a statement sure to bring out the pitchforks and torches. I vote "B".

    Jonathan Schoop has an older brother named Sharlon... I've seen him play in the minors a few times. Just thought you'd want to know there's a Sharlon Schoop out there in the baseball world.

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    1. most choices are better than 89 Topps, the most over-produced ever. I'm not a fast runner so just stay ahead of me. I'll protect you from the forks n torches! Sharlon Schoop - another wasted opportunity for SHOOP!

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  15. "A" because it can fit in normal pages.

    It's been a rough year for all of us, but this community (and writing) has kept me going too. Glad you're still part of it.

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  16. I have a couple of those "playing cards" that you led off the post with, even one of the very subtle parallels that you can only tell is a parallel because it's serial numbered on the front.

    I have a lot of problems with modern sports, and their players, which is probably why I haven't watched a new game of any kind in like five years. But I'm okay with it, I still enjoy watching and listening to "old" games, and for the most part, still enjoy collecting "old" players.

    The Pick Pockets is great, but not nearly as great as your presence on the blogs, you being around is one of the things that keeps me around (save for the occasional hiccup).

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    1. Aw shucks. You gotta stick around! Have you seen the cost of pennysleeves lately? You are priceless!! I'm beginning to relate to your thoughts on modern sports. I fear the day may come that 'new' baseball no longer matters. The game is changing. I can't imagine not being involved in the hobby. I have a lot of pre-1993 holes to fill within my collection.

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  17. A, A, A...a million times A! Sportflics is nice, but '89 Bowman is my least favorite set ever, so it's an easy pick here.

    I admit I've been more into this strange baseball season than I thought I'd be. Sounds cliché, but the game has been a fine distraction with the rest of the world being on fire (both literally and figuratively). However I do fear that baseball, like the cards that go with it, is heading towards a bubble that has to pop sometime. I'm very interested to see what happens to baseball in 2021 and beyond.

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    1. Yes to the bubble. Change is coming. The hobby has been a fine distraction for me. As for many others, the time off work was perfect for organizing my collection. That I don't collect new players or prospects, the hyped pricing for new product has had little effect on me.

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  18. Wow I was all for the Flics but the chance at the near-minty fresh Griffey makes me go B.

    New Pick Pocket rules is just the motivation to get off my rear end and see if I have something on your want list. I couldn't be a taker forever, right? Maybe the Astros can redeem themselves in your eyes this year!

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    1. I felt JR would be tempting to many. You can still pick of course, but I have to give my trade pals first dibs. They've been generous in returning the favor. Readers deserve pickin's too. I will never exclude my regulars.

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  19. A and Sportflix without even having to think! Also total agreement about what's been good this year. Trading/blogging/talking cards has been fantastic and a way have feeling the community for these months when we really need it. I need to put a package of customs together for you.

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    1. I'd love a few of your customs! This community is awesome in its diversity! My appreciation for it has grown immensely this year. I appreciate your support, Nick. I don't recall you picking. Please feel to do so.

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  20. Phew. I thought I may have missed the voting window. I've got to go with Candidate B. That 1989 Bowman set was a big deal for me back then -- even with the nuisance of having to buy those special 8-pocket pages. As soon as I see those cards now, it brings back lots of fun memories. And as you alluded to, fun and joy is an important part of this hobby.

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    1. Great choice! 1989 Bowman certainly thought It was a big deal and would readily agree with your opinion.

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  21. ROUND SIX VOTING IS CLOSED. THANKS FOR PARTICIPATING!

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