Sunday, June 25, 2017

New Card Show Record



Yesterday was June edition the monthly hotel card show that I try not to miss. Attending the TriStar show last Saturday took a bit of the edge off. I'd wiped out my friend Darrell's cheap 1970 stash at that show so my main reason for heading across town yesterday was just to hang out and talk cards.

I got a late start because of the terrible morning weather and seriously considered not going at all. But I ended up making the 40 minute drive in the rain. I walking in with two things in mind. Getting lucky and finding some cheap 1970s (a long shot given the usual crop of part-time dealers that set up there) and finding some of the four current players cards I need for my fantasy binder.

A trip around the tables showed me that my 1970 quest would be as futile as I figured it would be. Darrell has spoiled me with his cheap but very presentable vintage. The stuff he sells me for a buck or two (and sometimes less) goes for $5 or more at these other tables.

So I went back to a table where the guy had jumbo boxes of current cards for ten cents a card. Mostly they contained those glossy chrome-ish parallels, semi-stars, anonymous Bowman rookies and Topps base set inserts from about 2012 on. I spent about three quarters of an hour shuffling through this mess and found three players I needed before my back gave out.

Now I had a decision to make. Am I going to just pull three dimes out and pay the guy thirty cents after spending most of an hour there? Or do I keep digging? Well I kind of did neither. I reached waaay back to the end of a row of baseball cards I hadn't gotten to yet and pulled out a huge handful. I went through them as fast as I could and dropped four almost random cards onto the tiny stack of the three I needed. then I did the same with his football cards. If a card made me hesitate for even a micro second I stacked it. In a minute or so I was done.

I somehow felt less guilty paying the guy for ten cards than I would have for three. Dumb, I know.

The Frank Robinson Archives card at the top is one of them. I'm sure it's a dupe but I didn't care. Anyway here are the other six:


I thought the signed Raul Allegre would bump whatever card I had of him in my football fantasy team collection. Sadly I realized tonite that I never had the guy on my team! I met Ray Childress in am elevator after his playing days. He was a lot smaller than I would have thought a defensive lineman would be. The Fernando is one of my favorite Stadium Club cards. I'll take a dime dupe of it any say.

So, to make a long story longer...I spent a whole dollar at the show. Never in my collecting life have I go to a show and only spent a dollar. Sixty mile round trip in the rain and I spent a buck. Sigh.

On the way home I realized my car phone charger had crapped out so I stopped at Target. While there I found two Matchbox Mustangs. 99 cents each. This pushes my collection to an even 10.



And when I got home I had a box waiting. It contained my displayed piece of the basketball court that the University of Houston's has removed as part of the renovation of the basketball arena (RIP Hofheinz Arena).


Back in the programs glory days when I worked there the arena had a Tartan flooring system in place. I'd love to have a piece of that but it's long gone.

All in all it was an interesting day. Hopefully by the July hotel show Darrell will have replenished his vintage stock!

Thursday, June 22, 2017

The Good Fight


I spend the last week or so in a race against a failing CPU as I scrambled to salvage everything from my desktop before it headed to the Computer Graveyard.


It was slow going and I'm lucky that I've been pretty good about backing up my stuff. There was only a couple weeks worth of scans, pictures and documents that needed to be saved. But when you have to reboot every twenty minutes it seems like a lot more than that.

Then it was a trip to Micro Center for a new machine and the real work began....getting this thing set up like I want it and wrestling my printer/scanner into submission. This will be my first post typed up on my new computer.

During the height of the shit storm that was changing machines I received a couple of packages in the mail. Both were similar in that they contained cards for my 1970 set build plus shiny Orioles. First we'll take a look at the one from Brian at Highly Subjective and Completely Arbitrary.

That 1970 Willie Stargell at the top had the (dubious) honor of being the first card scanned with my new set up. No card in history has probably endured more verbal abuse that that one. But it's a great card, right? I saw Stargell hit a simply ridiculous homer in the Astrodome in this 1972 game. It banged off the scoreboard in centerfield and sent the game into extras. The Pirates won in 17 innings.


I had a well worn Joe Morgan so this one from Brian is a welcome upgrade. I wish the 'Stros would go back to those 'shooting star' unis. They wore them as throwbacks a time or two a few seasons back. They are sharp.

A couple more '70s from Brian:


Bernie Allen and Cookie Rojas. Rojas' card isn't miscut like my scan makes it appear.



Rick Reichardt is #720 in the set, the end of the checklist. I only wish it was the end of my needs list! The smaller, cramped font Topps used for his position makes this card look odd.


Cisco Carlos always reminds me of my Strat-O-Matic playing days. He pitched for the White Sox and Senators which were always in my 6 team solo leagues.

Shiny Birds! Cal and Manny whose card is retina scorching for sure.


I wonder how many Bowman cards Topps produces every year. I have received a ton of these and no two are of the same player. The Donruss Cal Jr throws back to his rookie card design.


Thanks so much Brian!

The second package came from Fuji who is a fellow teacher and like me is enjoying a bit of a break from the grind.

Fuji's cards dovetail quite nicely with Brian's....70s Topps and some recent Birds. First up is a nice high number Jim Lonborg.


I had to look twice at the front of Lonborg's uniform shirt. I had forgotten about the red trimmed lettering the Bosox wore back then. Dressed To The Nines tells us that they wore these roadies from 1969 until 1972. 1973 marked the beginning of the doubleknit era and a new look for the Sox' jerseys.

Another 1970 is Padres manager Preston Gomez. He is most remembered for twice sending up a pinch hitter for pitchers who were hurling no-hitters. I hadn't remembered his partial season as Cubs manager in 1980.


The more I see of Dylan Bundy the more I think he looks like a young Tony Dow.


'Chromafied' Hyun-Soo Kim grabs a slot in the fantasy baseball binder.


Man this Adam Jones card is ..... bright! And that's clearly Camden Yards reflected on his batting helmet. You think Topps could call 'exclusive' on showing stadiums, too? I mean if you have to Photoshop out a team's colors is showing their stadium crossing the legal line as well?


Here's a Fleer Mickey Tettleton from 1990. That was about the last year I collected cards until a few years ago. It wasn't too long after this card was issued that baseball and I agreed to a trial separation.


I looked Tettleton up on Baseball Reference. I was shocked to find he was only an Oriole for three seasons. I'd have sworn it was double that.

Thanks so much Fuji. You and Brian are both among the truly good guys in this hobby. I appreciate your taking the time to send these my way and especially for chipping away at my 1970 set needs.

Final disclaimer: In the mess of the last week it's entirely possible that some of these cards got 'crossways' and I am crediting Brian for a card Fuji sent or vice versa. My usually foolproof system was pushed to the limit and beyond.

Sunday, June 18, 2017

The Shabotnik Retort

The Shlabotnik Retort...get it? Clever, yes? I sent Joe Shlabotnik something, he sends something back..a retort. I've been wanting to use that title! Woohoo.  OK, so much for that, let's look at what Joe sent me. 



Yes, that's the 1970 Carl Yastrzemski. This is one of a couple of needs Joe filled from this set build. It's moving along nicely. And one less star is on my needs list thanks to Joe!


This LBJ card comes from a 1976 Rainbo Bread set that was new to me. Doing a bit of checking sent me down a rabbit hole in which I discovered that Rainbo sponsored two separate but similar sets. One was this Presidential set and the other honored 'great' Americans. I now own the later but the Presidential set will have to wait for some free time.


5 Tool cards...the Topps subset. A natural for me. I don't have a checklist for them (though it would be simple to find it) but I do put them in my 'keepers' box when I get them.



Joe knows Score and sent me this Cal Jr. Was he ever this young? It's a great photo.


Modern cards of Orioles past and present, mostly Brooks!



The Heritage card (lower left of the four) uses the photo which was used on Brooks' 1957 rookie card. A question arose not long ago (in a comment on my blog I think) concerning the orange-ish background of that card. Did Topps pose Brooks in front of an orange backdrop? Did they re-color the sky for some reason? Looks like now we know.

Next come three UH athletes. I haven't added to my Cougar binder in awhile. Maybe this will motivate me.



You never see 'Clyde The Glide' in Cougar gear on a card so this is pretty cool.


And now for something totally unexpected. A Strat-O-Matic game Billy Pierce! I played Strat for decades and still have boxes of player cards from the 60s thru the mid 80s. Every once in awhile I'll pull out the game and give it a whirl. I'm not sure why it never occurred to me to add a Strat card to my Pierce collection. 

Stratheads will note that this card and the others Joe included (most of the '62 Giants team set) are from the basic version that doesn't include the advance version on the reverse. Leads me to believe that these are original cards and not from a reprint set. I only played the basic game, btw. 


I put the Giants (except for Billy Pierce of course) in my free agent Strat box. I use them when playing for fun. I just dig in and build teams from whatever comes out in my hand.

The rest of Joe's envelope was stuffed with Orioles, shiny and new and otherwise. 



Never knew that Bowman produced two-sided cards. Here's one. The back side is above. Hunter Harvey graces the front.




2017 Bunt. Heaven's light shines on Zach. Hurry back!


One of the great names in the game, Storm Davis. And one of my favorite 80s sets. Cards like this make me nostalgic for Memorial Stadium.


Foursome of Bowmans including an Adam Jones.


A Chrome Jones.

Next card is from when Machado was just a gleam in Orioles' fans eyes.



I don't know much about Jake Lemoine but his card is bright enough to light up a small city. Scan doesn't do it justice.

I think that wraps it up. A great group of cards from a great blogger! Thanks again, Joe!!

Saturday, June 17, 2017

Card Show Highlights

I can't remember the last time I visited a major card show on a Friday. But summer break opens up opportunities and I'm glad I chose to go to the Houston TriStar summer show yesterday. In a mild surprise nearly all the dealers were set up and ready to go when the doors opened at 3, or at least soon thereafter. One real benefit is that there were no autograph guests scheduled when I was there so the place had the quiet, laid back feel of a hotel show. No blaring announcements of the next signature guests and no lines of guys holding boxed footballs and framed jerseys snaking through the aisles. 

I found some things I was looking for but the best part by far was coming across a table manned by two Negro League veterans. Dennis 'Bose' Biddle has written a book and does much traveling on behalf of the effort to preserve Negro League Baseball history. He, like my daughter is doing now, had a career as a social worker. Interesting guy who says he is the youngest living veteran of the Negro Leagues. That's a claim that is not without a bit of controversy.  



Ray Knox was a soft-spoken gentleman who spent several years in the NAL. He's from Evanston, Illinois and played for the Chicago American Giants and New Orleans Eagles. 

It was fun talking to them. They were not selling items but wore exchanging them for donations to Mr. Biddle's organization. I came away with the cards and this signed baseball. 


We took a couple of pictures but they didn't come out well and some had another collector bent over the table in the foreground. But here's one.


The rest of the three hours I was there was devoted to two goals....finding some trade package items and finding inexpensive 1970 cards for my set build. Mission accomplished in both areas. Ironically I got the 1970 cards from my dealer friend Darrell who sold me the starter lot in the first place. I could have waited until his hotel show next Saturday and saved myself the parking and admission fees at TriStar but I'd have missed out on meeting Bose Biddle and Ray Knox.

I also raided Darrell's cheap non-sports box and came up with some neat stuff. I have a nice little collection of baseball Exhibit cards. I remember getting some from vending machines on the Coney Island boardwalk when I was a kid.

But the following items were new to me. They are Fortune Telling Exhibit cards from 1935. The idea was simple. Put in a coin and the Exhibit Supply Company laid your whole life out on a postcard sized piece of cardboard.



 Weird, right? But interesting enough to spend fifty cents on. here is the ext from both as it is hard to read otherwise.





I'd never seen these Kelloggs' Presidents 'stickers' from 1980. I snatched up the three Darrell had. Not much info out there on these.




They are pretty small (see below) so I blew up the reverse of one. Hell I could barely read the thing in hand so this helps me as well. LOL


Here is the U.S. Grant next to the Topps Grover Cleveland I bought (it's a dupe I find).



I grabbed a stary shiny Batman card for my Batman binder. I have no idea what it is other than it comes from some DC sponsored set but hey, it's Batman!


I also found a few 1960 Leaf cards. I may try to finish this set off one day. It's not real popular and the cards can be found pretty cheaply. It holds a certain charm for me though. I remember having some of these back when they were new but I don;t recall how I ended up with them. I suspect my folks just grabbed 'baseball cards' at Korvette's to go in Easter baskets or as stocking stuffers.



So the show was worth the trip. I seriously doubt I'll go back tomorrow even with my Father's Day 'kitchen pass'. I'll save my leftover cash for the hotel show next Saturday.