Friday, June 21, 2013

Summer Solstice.

       It's the longest day of the year, as good a time as any to take a break from sports cards and post some slightly more titillating fare.  An ex-girlfriend of mine once remarked about my hobby "You collect little pictures of men, how is that not gay exactly?"  A statement of deep profundity, even if it is not an original observation.  As luck would have it, not every collectible sports card has a dude on it.
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The only thing missing from that page is a gal who likes hockey, I guess Manon Rhéaume was unavailable for a shoot

Here are some non-sports gals:
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Bikinis? Roller skates?  Boy shorts? Tank tops? God Bless America!

(being an ass man myself, the backs of these cards are even better than the fronts...)

This page embraces every cliche about women you could want...
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...and there is absolutely nothing wrong with that.  If loving Marilyn Monroe is wrong, I don't want to be right.  Even dressed for winter, she is unbelievably hot.

Heck, some of these cards can get down right risqué:
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Wait, risqué nothing, most of those girls are naked, what's suggestive about that?

I will now go consider going to the beach and daydream about being 23 again. 

Thursday, June 20, 2013

Game Seven NBA Style.

       I'm not a big basketball guy.  I watch a little here and there, usually by accident or when there is nothing else on.  I grew up a huge New York Knicks fan and as a kid I was a monster college hoops junkie.  But then instead of Syracuse, I ended up going to Emerson College (not exactly a sports hotbed, to say the least) so my love of the college game kind of withered and died over time.  And since the Knicks have sucked in grand fashion for the better part of the last decade, basketball has easily become the 4th of the big four for me.  But tonight is one of those wonderful nights for any sport: Game Seven.  I covered the joy of baseball's ultimate game in this post last year for the World Series. Alas, I am not quite the historian for basketball that I am for baseball, so let's just see what I have.

I don't really keep many whole 9 player pages for basketball, they mostly are 3x3. 
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Here we see two of the three main players for the Heat, LeBron and Dwyane Wade.  I doubt I have ever owned a LeBron card of him on the Heat.  I don't think I have bought a pack of basketball cards in 5+ years.

Here we see Mr. Consistency, Tim Duncan.
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I have a good friend who looks a lot like Dirk Nowitzki, though about a foot shorter.  And the less said about Kobe, the better.  I am not sure why I even have any of his cards.  Kobe Bryant is a Grade A Asshole on and off the court. 

I do have a few whole pages of players:
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Here is one of my favorite player as a kid, Patrick Ewing.  I actually have 5 pages of his cards but I think one will make my point here.

I have Michael Jordan too:
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I have two of his pages, but once again, one will do.

I try to keep my 3x3 basketball pages somewhat themed.
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Here are the Big Three from the last Celtics' title.  I actually really enjoyed that team. 

Here you see some residue from my love of the 80's, Larry Bird...
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...and the rest of the original big three...
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With arch nemesis Magic Johnson there to boot. 

Wow. My basketball post is rambling.  I was hoping to find a page with some kind of interest...
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...instead I only found a page with silly names.  My, I so enjoy pages with silly names, don't I?  If your name was Koko Archibong, you would to.  I mean, come on, that sounds like a character in a Cheech and Chong movie. 

Aside: I mentioned before where I went to college and it reminded me of a great little anecdote.  I shared a bedroom with my brother my entire childhood and it was a small room which necessitated bunk beds.  The only time I was without a sibling roommate was when he went into the army so I saw college as my chance to, if not have a room to myself, at least have a separate single bed.  I got my room assignment for my freshman year and I was put into a triple.  I saw my chance.  I could get the single bed and all would be right with the world.  So I arrived the first day and when I got to my room, I noticed one of my roommates had gotten there first.  He wasn't there but his parents were there unpacking his things.  He also had taken the only single bed.  I decided to speak up and I firmly yet politely said "excuse me, I know you got here first, but I have slept on bunk beds my entire life and I was hoping to get the single bed.  Not to mention I am very tall and don't quite fit well on a standard bed."  I figured I put it very nicely and succinctly. The mother immediately spoke up, also very politely, and said "Well, our son is 6'10"..." and as the words of that sentence hung in the air, I simply looked at her and said "I'll take the top bunk."  Turns out my roommate Kenny was the center for the basketball team.  Aside to my aside, our other roommate was 6'5" so I was actually the shortest person in the room.  I doubt the housing office could have possibly known, so I mean, what are the odds they would put over 19 feet of human in one tiny triple? 

Well, this post sort of went off the rails but to bring it all back around, tonight I will actually go out of my way to watch a basketball game, hopefully a very exciting basketball game since it is the ultimate basketball game: Game Seven.  I have no rooting interest but I really kind of despise LeBron James, so I will be rooting for the Spurs. I think 5 titles in 14 years makes for a nice little run. Plus, seeing a stoic, quiet team stick it to a team that is mostly bombast and braggadocio is always nice. Maybe I'll just watch the Mets lose to the Braves again.

Wednesday, June 19, 2013

Super Tuesday.

       The Mets swept a doubleheader from the Braves yesterday and the three cornerstones of the franchise all had wonderful performances and milestones:

David Wright got his 1,500th hit.
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Matt Harvey pitched 6 no-hit innings in the day game (and somehow the Human Gas Cans known as the bullpen held on to the lead to get him the win).
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Zack Wheeler's debut went well as he struck out 7 in 6 scoreless innings and got the win in the night cap.
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Now, all we need to do is find 22 more players and we might have a ball club (21 if Travis d'Arnaud ever comes off the DL and lives up to his Buster Posey-esque pedigree).

Tuesday, June 18, 2013

Debut Part Deux.

       This evening marks the second time in the last calender year that a Grade-A capital-P Pitching Prospect has been recalled by the Mets.  And whether you believe TINSTAAPP or not, it will be one of the few silver linings in this horrible sow's ear of a season (mixed metaphor alert!). Last year it was Matt Harvey, who I immediately saw as the future, and then this happened.  I stand by my unabashed love of #33 and look forward to every one of his starts; they are usually the highlight of my week - though lately the Mets can't seem to score more than one stinking run for him *sigh* (UPDATE: they actually scored more than one run this afternoon for him and the bullpen tried to give them all back *double sigh*).  Tonight during the second game of a day/night doubleheader against the hated Braves we'll see the debut of the spoils of the Carlos Beltran trade, Zack Wheeler.

I have not gone 'all in' the way I have with Matt Harvey, but I have picked up a few of his cards here and there.  You will notice that I do not even have a complete page of him (yet) but the three I have in the Mets books share a page with the overflow of Harvey's. 

The bottom three are currently in top loaders, but I will be moving them to the books.  The middle Bowman Platinum card is a refractor and it is much shinier than the scanner wants you to think.  I especially like the high leg kick follow through shown on the Bowman's Best card there.

Are Harvey and Wheeler going to be a 21st Century Seaver and Koosman or the second coming of Generation K (would that be Generation L *pinky to lip*)?  Obviously I am rooting for the former and only time will tell.  We have seen that Harvey is the goods and on a team with even competent hitting, he would have 9 or 10 wins by now (though his other numbers so far are marvelous).  I was very impressed with what I saw from Wheeler in spring training, and while his minor league stats are not overwhelming, one has to remember that he's been pitching in Las Vegas (notorious hitter's haven) and he has been frustrated by the Mets keeping him in the minors to protect his arbitration clock - he is convinced he has long been ready for the big time.  I certainly hope he can channel that bravado into some good pitching so I can have two reasons every five days to watch this awful team. 

Sunday, June 16, 2013

Father's Day.

       Father's Day is not my favorite greeting card holiday.  Last year, I was feeling sort of morose and gave the five cent version of why and then was pretty negative to the cards I featured.  Well, this year, I have decided to accentuate the positive.  It is quite an exciting time in my family because my brother and his wife are expecting their first child in about six weeks.  Not only will this be the start of the next generation, it will be the first time someone will be happily referred to as "Dad" in this family in decades.  Needless to say, I am very excited for my brother and he is, well, he is scared shitless.  In honor of his impending paternal status, I have decided to highlight my player collection of his favorite player, Keith Hernandez. 

Let's start off with the nine pocket pages:
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These are the faux vintage reprint cards.  For such a popular player, it sure seems like there is not a ton of these out there like some other players of similar stature. 
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There in the middle you see some great before and after shots of Keith's mustache.  It was quite a big deal last year when he shaved it off.  In fact, his upper lip is still naked and it still looks weird.
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See what I mean about not a lot of the new stuff featuring him?  I have a rare empty spot.

Let's get to the section with his playing days.  First off, a page of him on the Indians, a stage of his career that he and all of us would like to pretend never happened. 
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The less said about him in a Cleveland uniform, the better.

Here we go, he's in the blue and orange of the boys from Flushing, much better.
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The second 1989 Topps card here is a box bottom card, which is baby blue and alas, did not scan well.  Those cards really looked sharp.

The 1959 style card on this next page is from Baseball Cards magazine.  He looks pretty panicked that they picked pink for the border, I think he has a point.  
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If it seems Keith has a lot of cards showing him fielding, you're right...and he should. He won 11 straight gold gloves and it is one of the rare cases where a player deserved every single one of them.  He was an artist at first base who practically redefined the way the position is played.
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Keith was named the first team captain of the Mets back in 1987. If you look closely, you will notice that on the 1988 Score card he has a 'C' on his jersey.  While I have seen it a few times since, I hadn't seen that in baseball before. 
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Hey look! A decent scan of a Sportflix card, you can almost see an actual picture there.
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If you check out this picture, you'll see his 1986 Topps All Star card in the background along with former Mets teammate and fellow Met broadcaster Bobby Ojeda.  I know if I had a baseball card, I would keep them around like that too.
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It kind of makes sense to have Keith Hernandez featured on Father's Day for me.  My father was a dude with a mustache who could kind of be a dick and Keith is, well...he's had his moments.  My mom liked dudes with mustaches and intimated to me when I was a kid that she also liked Keith's butt.  That would theoretically make that 1984 Topps card a favorite of hers.
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Keith was traded from the Cardinals to the Mets in 1983 for two stiffs because of his love of the nose candy.  It was one of the rare cases cocaine did something good for the Mets. 
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I have no idea where I got that 1981 OPC card, but I am glad I own it. You can see on the 1978 Topps card there that he is not 100% sold on the mustache.
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I remember buying this 1987 Star set from a kiosk in the Paramus Park mall when I was 12 years old.  Why do I remember that so vividly yet I cannot recall important events of my life?  Or even where 90% of the other cards in this collection came from...sigh. 
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So those are the pages, but since I am on a roll, let's go into the shoe boxes to see what other goodies I have.

Right off the bat, I have his rookie and the mini.  That mini is really well centered, considering I have seen that card in all sorts of alignment disarray. 
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I also have a nice big bat piece and a very handsome autograph.  Not only is it on card, but it looks splendid; you can make out every letter in his name.  That is a quality signature.

Wow, I have a lot of bat cards but no jersey cards.  I should pick one up eventually so I can fill out the quad.
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That Team Tribute card with Gary Carter and Lenny Dykstra is all sorts of shiny.  Sadly, the scan does not do it justice.  The quote they used for the Bazooka card is very amusing.  Keith is, of course, famous for his love of the night life to the point where he dated Elaine on Seinfeld.  I hope I don't have to explain that to you.  If I do, you might be reading the wrong blog.  

Some nice low numbered shiny here:
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Those Pristine cards look fantastic, too bad Topps felt the need to hide them in gigantic sealed special holders.  I usually bust those out; I have no idea why I left this in its uncirculated prison. 

A couple of inserts of him on the wrong team again:
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That is his 1983 Topps Traded card, which was featured in the pages, so I guess I have two of them.  Anyone want to trade for that one?

Finally, a few more nice inserts:
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Those Topps Super Teams refractors are pretty much the ultimate in shiny cards ever.  Damn, I adore that set.  The Dynasty Card there has Gary Carter and Dwight Gooden on the front.  I remember having endless arguments in my youth with Yankees fans over who was the better first baseman, Keith Hernandez or Don Mattingly and who would make it into the hall of fame first.  Sadly, the unfortunate answer to that particular question is: neither. 

That's my Keith Hernandez player collection. There are some cards I'd like to add to it, but I think it is pretty comprehensive.  I now leave you with the immortal words of Ralph Kiner - "It's Father's Day today at Shea, so to all you fathers out there, Happy Birthday."

Thursday, June 13, 2013

Favorites: 2011 Topps American Pie #141 MTV Means Music All Day.

Thank god this card exists:

This card has everything you want in a modern non-sport card:

Coked up Nina Blackwood. Check.

Sardonic Frank Zappa in what looks to be a toga or perhaps a thawb. Check.

Nostalgic write up of how MTV used to be. check.

Complete disconnect between photo and write up. Check.

Cool 80's graphics. Check.

It's a pity MTV came around about 10-12 years too late. By 1981, Frank Zappa was an angry bitter man, jaded by the music business and the tastes of the American people.  If MTV were around in 1968, Frank Zappa could have taken over the world one weird song and video at a time.  I think the look on his face proves he knew this to be true.

Early Zappa:

Very early Zappa:

Frank Zappa died young and Rod Stewart is still alive?  There is no cosmic justice.

Wednesday, June 12, 2013

Mail Call: Instant Gratification.

       When I was a kid, somewhere I heard the old adage that you never know until you ask and picked up the old positive affirmation that if you ask, all someone can say is 'no'.  This makes me one of the most annoying kinds of human beings: the kind that asks a lot of questions.  I think my point got lost in all that, I guess what I am saying is, I am not shy about asking for things, not that I am an insistent pest.  Sorry, my intros are rusty.  

I got a package in the mail from Night Owl HQ yesterday.  Because we are constantly shuffling things back and forth, I have no idea if this is in response to stuff I sent or if I now owe him stuff.  Either way, I have a pile for him.  This particular package was full of wonderful things:
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You can't really see it in the scan, but trust me, the Harvey and Dickey cards are quite shiny.  The Wright card is a manu-patch card, but this one works nicely, good colors, very fancy intricate patch.  I used to hate these cards, but I have grown to not only accept them but enjoy the ones that look very good.  I still think they are confusing and ruin the value of actual game-used pieces, but I guess we have also learned those "actual game-used" pieces aren't worth the paper their disclaimers are printed on.  The bottom three cards are the ones I was sort of addressing my awful opening paragraph.  Night Owl recently posted about the new Topps Archives packs he picked up.  I requested he set those cards aside for me and we could work out compensation.  He told me that not only did he have a package ready to go out to me, he would put these inside.  The package got here in two days; in the world of blog transactions, that is the very definition of instant gratification.

In my last post, I snarkily addressed Topps' photo choices on vintage/retro cards.  The cards on this scan perfectly illustrate my point.  On the Gypsy Queen Gooden, that is a picture I am certain I have seen before but it is now in painting form, so I suppose that makes it better (as long as they don't use the same picture next year).  The Archives Gooden is not only a photo I have never seen before, it is a damn nice one - full of nuance and intensity (please do this more, Topps).  Conversely, the Seaver is a photo that has been used so many times, I could probably make an entire page of cards using it. The Ted Williams photo has also been used ad nauseum, but it is so iconic, you can almost forgive it here.  Almost.  Also, I can give the Williams card a slight pass because there are no doubt far fewer images of him in the Topps vault than of Seaver.  Plus, since he is dead, I am sure they have to okay the use of his pictures through his licensing company, which I am certain adds a layer of annoyance.  *steps down off his soapbox*

Night Owl not only sent that pile of Mets goodness, he has been perusing my want list:
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Those 2010 Upper Deck now complete my page of these cards.  I hope I never have to mention this set again.  The next row has not one but two Rookie All-Stars I can scratch off the list, a pair of parallels at that.  The Opening Day Tavaras card has been especially elusive for me for such a recent card.  I wanted that one greatly because his Topps base card omitted the trophy, and that little cup is the whole point of the collection.  Night Owl's love of 1975 minis is well documented, so for him to give up a couple is surprising.  I have this vision of him in my head hoarding them by the thousands in a bunker under his house.  The Nomo will go on my 1997 Upper Deck page, one that has also been difficult to fill (odd, too, that N.O. would give up a Nomo card).  I never bought any of that set and for some reason I also never see them around.  Four down, five to go. 

Also from the want list:
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Three Mets of varying importance, from nothing to everything.  I am praying that a stint in the minors will do Ike some good, considering I could hit .165 in the majors.  The 1964 design this year on the Heritage seems to really do the modern player justice.  They just look good to me, better than the last few years, at least.  And I do so prefer the old school trophy on these cards. 

Final batch from Night Owl:
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The top three cards finish my Mets Topps set from 2013 Series 1.  I am slightly disappointed the Opening Day set has white borders, I was so hoping they would give it a green border to differentiate it from the flagship set.  I think the abstract ball field design cries out for green - and not the crazy shiny Emerald pattern they used as a parallel, but a nice muted kelly green.  As always, Night Owl wisely includes a little note in his package.  Each and every one of these cards is of use to me, in case you were wondering.  Thanks Greg!

Also in the mail was an odd thing for me, Yankees cards:
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I realized I did not own a single Robinson Cano card and I have a feeling he is not going to be on the Yankees next year, so I won't have to automatically hate him, so when I saw a very cheap lot of 11 cards, I snagged it on eBay. That is a rare sight indeed, a current Yankee with his own 9-pocket page.

I was on a roll and scanned all the cards I got in the mail Tuesday, so here are the rest:
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Those top three cards are a lot from Listia I picked up literally for nothing.  I got it just for the Reggie Bush, the other two will end up in a box to be forgotten.  I am slowly but surely becoming a user of that site.  The bottom two are the other 2 Cano cards, which I might actually list on Listia since I have no need for them (unless someone wants them).  The last card there in the middle is a mini refractor of Zack Wheeler.  The Mets have threatened to actually let him pitch in the majors next week, I'll believe it when I see it.  But I figure I should grab his cards now while I can.  I am not sure what the purpose of making that card mini is, though, but I do like the shiny.  Shiny > mini.

Ask and ye shall receive! I think that is what I was going for with the opening.  Sheesh, my brain is so sluggish and tired lately.

Monday, June 10, 2013

Dear Topps,

       I am a big fan of retro vintage reprints in all shapes and forms.  Be they retro reprints or vintage players on modern cards or what have you, these cards have added tremendously to my collection and to the collectability of cards.   My real issue I am trying to address in this letter is the consistency of these cards, specifically the photos.  I am, as most collectors are, aware that you have a vast archive of photos.  Why then do I see you use the same photos over and over again?  Is this purposeful laziness or organizational sloth?  The cards that have me particularly worried it might be both are the following:
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The sixth card here is the 2012 Gypsy Queen Gary Carter.  Great photo.  And whatever computer program you use to make it look all painting-y is wonderful.  These cards are not my favorite because of the kooky borders, but the pictures involved look great. 

Now let's look at these:
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Particularly the 5th and 6th card on this page.  The photo on the Blockbusters insert from 2012 Update looks very familiar, doesn't it?  And then the final straw came when I saw the 2013 Gypsy Queen card.  It's the same exact picture!  Sloth? Laziness? The left hand not knowing what the right hand is doing?  It looks bad.  It's bad company policy.  Even if it is a great picture, you have a bunch of them, right?  How much time and/or effort could possibly take to check on these things? 

I am going to leave you with one more example:
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See a pattern?  Donruss used the same picture over and over (Upper Deck liked it too) and you know what happened to them. Is that what you you want to be bought out by an Italian sticker company? Those who do not know history are doomed to repeat it.  So please, make yourselves a database of what pictures you use when and where so you can give us better product.  Of all the things that you need to do to improve your production, this is one of the easiest. 

Thank you for your time.



Max Meyer

aka jacobmrley

Sunday, June 9, 2013

Complete Set Sunday: 1990 Starline - Long John Silver's.

       In my last post, I went on and on about my birthday presents to myself, one of them being a repack.  In that rather disappointing pile of cards was four cards that immediately sparked my memory and yet, at the same time, made me say "hey, I don't remember these at all."  The cards belonged to the 1990 Starline set.  Now, I remember these posters being everywhere when I was a kid.  It was a very clean design and if you went to toy stores or shoe stores or sporting goods stores, they were everywhere.  I cannot, though, for the life of me, recall them releasing a card set of them.  On one hand, this makes perfect sense - I have never eaten at a Long John Silver's joint ever.  I don't even know if they have them in Jersey, to be honest.  On the other hand, I pride myself in owning oddball food issues, so I am truly surprised this set got by me.  I went to ebay and picked up the set of 40 cards for $3- shipped.  Plus it was sent from a town in New Jersey, so I got it the next day; practically instant gratification. 

The set came still sealed in the original packs that came from the restaurant.  I assume you got one with each purchase, meaning you'd have to choke down 8 different meals of fried mystery fish to finish this set.  Yuck. 

I was kind of torn how to handle this set.  As you may well know from reading this blog, I am kind of obsessed with having everything neatly fitting in to 9-pages (thus the name).  If fact, I have covered this particular predilection before.  A 40-card set does not fit neatly.  Even with the 8(!) header cards, this would be 48 cards, also not neatly divisible by nine (checks 3rd grade math flash cards, hey! I'm right).  So I looked at the way the cards were packaged and realized that these are eight pretty big stars.  Plus I had the leftover cards from the repacks to fill in the one blank, so voila:
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They all work very well aesthetically and the loose Chris Sabo breaks up the color scheme.  I love it when a plan comes together.  

Let's look at the back:
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Wow. That is pretty ugly.  You do get to see one card back, and it is not Chris Sabo but Glenn Davis (I like to keep people guessing).  I checked my set books before I decided to keep them wrapped to see if there was a set with a 4 or 3 card gap and there was not, so for now, I am satisfied to keep the set this way.  Maybe one day in the future I will get the urge to spring them from their decades-long plastic cocoons.

      Click here to see the checklist, if only for posterity and understanding.  And if you would like to actually see all the cards in the set, check out this post from Fuji, who covered them better than I ever could.  For now, this thick awkward page will sit in my set binders as a monument to the fact that as a teenager, I liked to get fat on burgers and doughnuts and not fried fish.

Saturday, June 8, 2013

I Continue To Treat My Birthday Like I Am 8 Years Old.

       My birthday was Memorial Day.  Please, please, no need to regale me with good wishes (though I will always accept cake). This year I didn't do much of anything on my birthday as most people were having barbecues and such in reverence for war dead and I just felt like sitting around drinking and eating baked goods. So that I did.  I also watched my Mets beat the Yankees; it was a good day. 

So a few days later, I found myself in Target looking for some new shorts because it is suddenly July hot.  As I was walking towards the men's department, I saw the little card nook.  I thought to myself "hey, it was just my birthday, I deserve a little treat," so treat myself I did.  I saw rack packs of Triple Play, and I liked those a lot last year, so I grabbed one of those.  I also saw some of the new shiny Panini Prizm, so I procured some of that as well.  And while I was standing there, my 8-year old impulses kicked in.  I saw a box of discounted non-sports cards for .99 cents a pop and I went a little hog wild.  I also snagged a couple packs of Topps Opening Day and a repack, because, hey, birthday!

There is the little pile I gathered on that Wednesday and I got home a tore them open and ate my lunch and had a ball.  Let's take a look at what I got:
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The caricatures were cool last year and they look even better this year.  I also like the clean design to allow the art to pop.   As a way to get around not having an official license, this is by far my favorite.   I don't even mind that Matt Harvey looks like the kid from Napoleon Dynamite.

Here are some more of them, along with the nick-knacks:
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I got both the card and the sticker of Starlin Castro, pity I am not a Cubs fan.  I also got some Derek Jeter stickers.  Meh.  Those all-star cards, though, are wonderful, I may have to make a second page of this stuff just to highlight those.  Those Dodgers on the bottom have a destination, but if there is anything you really really have to have, drop me a line and I am sure we can trade - and that goes for any of the stuff we will look at here...

The Opening Day...
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...was exactly what I anticipated it would be.  Getting both a Bryce Harper and Steven Strasburg makes me wish these packs had gone to a Nats fan, but oh well.  The picture on the Miguel Cabrera is magnificent.  And as much as I would like to keep that Manny Machado card, I know someone else who wants it more.

Now for some heartbreak...
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I had such high hopes for Panini Prizm, but man, do these work better in theory than in practice.  I know Panini is trying to make the best of not having a MLB license. I mean, look, the players association logo is right on the front, so they are kinda official, right? (I have never seen that before) It just seems that the airbrushing and logo obscuring poses just don't work on a chrome-like set.  No matter how nice they try to make these look, they still look cheap.  And it's a shame, because it's not a terrible design and lord knows I love me some shiny.

I bought 4 packs of this stuff and it just doesn't work and didn't grow on me and now looking at it a week later, I really feel the weight of that disappointment.
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They have old time players involved in here too, and they have the airbrush/obscuring thing going on as well.  That is fine for 1989 Cap'n Crunch cards but not for modern $3 a pack cards.  I see Panini is putting Extra Edition cards in here too.  Does that mean they won't do a separate set of these like they have in the past?  So many questions. This set is a noble effort but a tremendous failure.  I don't think I will even make a page of these.

Let's cleans the palette by taking a look at some highlights of the repack:
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There was the usual odd mix of cards, some new stuff, a chunk of 80's junk, some 90's junk, and some real surprises.  I had forgotten all about the 1990 Starline set.  I remember the posters were quite popular in the late 80's, but I never saw they did a card set until well after the fact and I don't own any of them.  I got 4 cards from the 40 card set in here, including a Met, Frank Viola.  Overall, though, this repack seemed like a real dud until I got to the second to last card, that's where I found that Frank Thomas Supermarket Rookies card.  Thomas is one of the players who shares my birthday; I also did not own this card.  Sounds like fate to me.

I decided also upon a couple packs of last year's Star Wars Galactic Files set:
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This was described on it as "the definitive set" full of the original trilogy, the prequels and some canon stuff.  I got a real interesting mix of all three.
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There were a couple names I didn't recognize, so I googled them, this may have been an error in judgment when it comes to one of them...all I can say is the internet has far too much time on it's hands when it comes to female characters in sci-fi. SMH.  Anyway, the center card is a Memorable Quotes insert with the best two words in all of the Star Wars universe.  This is the page I made out of these cards. 

And then there were the .99 packs.  First off are some Mario Cart cards.  I had no idea such a thing existed.  So much of my time in the last 20 years had been elegantly wasted playing Mario Cart. Now I have some in card form:
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I bought two packs so I would have 10 cards to make a page from. 

These are some leftovers...I have no idea why I stuck them here.  Moving on.
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Next to the Mario Cart packs were Super Mario Wii packs.  I bought my brother that game for Christmas a couple years ago and we spent a good amount of time playing it proving that we do not work well together.  We also had a ball...
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...once again...
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I bought two packs so I would be sure to be able to make a whole page out of them.

A few years ago, a Super Bowl commercial introduced me to the most overplayed song of the decade and Yo Gabba Gabba. Not having any children, I was unaware at the time I was being introduced to Yo Gabba Gabba, I just thought the toys in the ad were the work of some trippy marketeer.  I was wrong. 
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I actually kind of enjoy the completely drugged out nature of this show.  I will never have kids, but if I did, I would totally let them watch this.  I felt I should own a page worth of their cards.  Plus, there were 10 in a pack, so I only had to buy one. This made my inner 8-year old very happy.  I even continued the childish non-sports bonanza buy picking up a pack of Bill Nye the Science Guy cards on Listia.  You can see how that turned out here.

The other highlight of the afternoon...

White Castle! I rarely make it down far enough on Route 17 to indulge in these treasures.  But on this day, since I had designated it Birthday present time, I decided to go hog wild.  Luckily, the shorts I bought at Target have an elastic waist band.