Tuesday, September 19, 2017

Two years of existence

I knew it was getting close, but I didn't realize until I actually looked this morning that, as of today, this humble little creation of mine, is 2 years old.

I thought for sure that I was gonna lose interest in this whole "blogging" thing within the first month or two, but I'm certainly glad I stuck around though, as I have been extremely fortunate to have had contact with some really great people over these last couple of years.

I had a few hiccups this year, and came very close to stopping altogether, but I feel like I'm back on track now. In fact, it has really only been in the last month or so that I have finally started to enjoy the actual act of blogging itself, so with this new found appreciation for the whole process, I can see myself easily sticking around for at least a few more years to come.

And finally, I know I will never be a "writer" in any traditional sense of the word, so I really want to thank everyone who has ever taken the time to stop by and read any of my disjointed, grammatically flawed, and often rambling posts.

Originally this was going to be a pictureless post, but I know some folks don't particularly care for those, so here's three random cards that have been plucked from a folder of miscellany for everyone's viewing pleasure:
Hardly the most exciting card from the '71 Topps set, I know. But this particular Larry Gura isn't just any old Topps card...
... nope, as you can see, it's a blank back! And thanks to, probably the kid who originally pulled the card, future generations won't have to speculate as to what the card number is/was.

I absolutely love the design on the 1966 Topps football set, so much so, that I will probably try to work on it someday. Well, at least if I'm ever able to finish a couple of other vintage sets first. This Cotton Davidson, who was the MVP of the first AFL all-star game, was my first card from the set, and is to date... still my only card from the set.
Even the backs are cool, especially with that ginormous space left for the cartoons.

One of my favorite sets ever were these 1998-99 Skybox Molten Metal Xplosion parallels. In my mind, they are just as unique now as they were almost twenty years ago. A 150 card set printed on metal plates, the last 50 were, if I remember right, unintentionally short-printed due to production starting too late on them. Because of that, it makes for a very difficult set to complete. It also doesn't help that most of the bigger names happen to be located in those last 50 cards of the set, which has always made me wonder if the short-printing wasn't actually unintentional after all. Oh, and I apparently forgot to take picture of the back, so if anyone cares, Sir Charles here is #113.

Thanks for taking a moment to look at my page.

Monday, September 18, 2017

Worth the risk

A few of my longtime readers might already know (or remember after I mention it again) that I have been trying to get as many cards signed from the 1989-90 Hoops set as I can, and for any newer readers, well... I'm trying to get as many cards signed from the 1989-90 Hoops set as I can :)

I have been at it for almost two years now, and am up to around fifty or so. In retrospect this probably wasn't the best project to undertake. Maybe if it had been started in the early 90's it wouldn't be so bad, but waiting until the mid-2010's made things considerably more difficult.

Even though there are still a lot of player's from the set you that can get via TTM requests, there are quite a few you can't (mostly the hall of famers), not to mention the guys that have passed away in the 25+ years since the set was released. So for the living who don't sign anymore, and the deceased, who can't sign anymore, the only real choice one has, is to try and obtain their signatures through purchase... which does come with some risk.

Obviously there are a lot of fake's out there, but despite what all the various authentication company's say, there are plenty of genuine unauthenticated signatures out there as well. I don't want to use this particular post to delve in to that any further, otherwise this is going to devolve into one long rant.

I haven't purchased too many cards yet, I think counting today's card, I have bought five so far.
Scottie Pippen doesn't sign through the mail, and even if you catch him at some sort of Bulls Alumni event, where other player's are usually happy to provide an autograph, he (according to what I've read) is really hit or miss when it comes to signing things. Knowing that, I kind of figured all along that I was gonna have to buy his card for the set.

This card came up on eBay a couple of weeks ago, and after comparing it to other signed cards of his, including JSA certified copies of the same card, I felt pretty confident that it was genuine and decided to bid. Even with some other interested parties bidding, I ended up getting it for just a little over $10, which considering who it is, seemed like a pretty darn good price. I'm on the fence as to whether or not I will ever try to get it authenticated, but in the meantime, I'm convinced that it's real, and in the end that's all that really matters.

Thanks for taking a moment to look at my page.

Thursday, September 14, 2017

Look N' See what I got

A couple of weeks ago I bought a dozen or so cards from a guy on the Sports Card Forum, which were all purchased for future care packages, so I won't spoil anything by showing them here today.

After the initial deal was ironed out, Bill (he didn't want his user name put in a blog post), informed me that he also had a few vintage non-sport cards that he was looking to move as well. Most of the stuff was from sets that I'm not collecting and/or that I have no interest in ever collecting. All was not lost though, as he did have one lone 1952 Topps Look N' See listed, and that's a set that I am very interested in.
In this condition, it was virtually impossible for me to resist the $2 asking price.
The info on the back of this card is slightly misleading, in that it lead's one to believe that the "discovery" of the daguerreotype was his, and his alone. I guess there just wasn't enough room to mention that it was his partnership with Joseph Nicéphore Niépce (inventor of heliography, which produced the earliest permanent photograph from a camera), and their subsequent attempts to improve on Niépce's earlier work, that would eventually lead to his discovery of the daguerreotype.

With the addition of this card, I'm up to owning a whopping 24 cards from the set, which if my math is right... leaves only a measly 110 to go!

Thanks for taking a moment to look at my page.

Thursday, September 7, 2017

Five random autographs

I have been a little, or rather a lot, under the weather for close to a week now. And while it hasn't been the severest of maladies, I still haven't felt like pretending to be a blogger.

Some good has come from all my down time though, in that I have spent quite a bit of time going through my old photo/scan folders of mostly COMC purchases, and am happy to say that I have finally finished sorting out what will and won't be seen in future posts. I have been trying to finish doing that for months now, so it's very nice to finally be done.

With everything sorted now, I figure that if I can keep to a somewhat regular blogging schedule, I should be completely caught up with everything (which includes my recent non card acquisition's) by Christmas -- which will work out well, since that's about when my post-Black Friday COMC shipment usually arrives.

After all the sorting was completed, I found a quite a few autographs that still need to be gotten to. And although most of them were able to be grouped together (Golden Age, Heritage Real One, Star Trek, Dr. Who, and so forth), I did end up with some odds and ends, so in an effort to make things a little easier, I'm just gonna group them together as well and call it good.

2003-04 Upper Deck UD Legends Bill Walton Legendary Signatures
Had I not been away from collecting at the time, I would have made a serious attempt to collect this autograph set. Trying to do so now, would be considerably more difficult, as the passage of time has created a couple of very expensive cards -- most notably the Erving, Jordan, and Mikkan.

Even though I still need his auto from three other sets that I'm working on, at around $5, this one was just to cheap pass up.

2012-13 Panini Contenders Bobby Wanzer Historic Contenders Autographs #'d 72/99
This timing of this purchase ended up being very fortuitous, as I got it on sale (around $3) the day before he passed away last year. Bad timing on the seller's part, but it sure worked out well for me. I'm not usually big on sticker autos, but to my knowledge he didn't have any officially licensed on-card autographs, so I went with what I considered to be the most attractive of his sticker-graphs.

A member of both the basketball hall of fame and the college basketball hall of fame, Bobby played all of his eleven seasons in the NBA with the Rochester Royals. He was a key component during the team's 1950-51 championship season, which even after many a change in city and name (currently the Sacramento Kings), is still the only title in franchise history. He was five time All-Star, who also spent his last two seasons as a player-coach, before retiring and going on to coach the team full time for the next two years. In 1963 he signed on to coach at St. John Fisher College, a position he would hold for the next 24 years.

2006-07 Press Pass Legends Bernard King autograph
I have been slowly (very slowly!) working on this set for a couple of years now, as I'm a big fan of just the overall look of the cards. It is a set that is rife with variations (red ink, personalization, etc.), but I'm only really interested in the base autos. Other than a few hall of famers, there aren't too many big names to chase down, so I have found it to be one of the more affordable sets of on-card autographs to collect.

2005 Topps All-Time Fan Favorites Mike Norris autograph
To be completely honest, I knew almost next to nothing about Mike Norris before I saw and bought this card. I still don't know that much about him, other than he had a relatively short career, which contained a couple of very productive seasons -- 1980 being the best, when he went 22-9 with 24 complete games while posting a 2.53 ERA.

To my knowledge this Mr. Norris' only officially licensed autograph, which is part of the reason I found it so appealing, it's always fun to get signatures of players that aren't in every in single release year after year.

1997 Donruss Signature Series Mike Cameron autograph
I have been slowly working on this set as well, it's yet another one that I just really enjoy the look of. It's also another set in which most of the autographs are extremely affordable, as large portion of them can be had for $3 or less.

I was a big fan of Mike Cameron during his time with the Mariners, so I was happy to check this one off the needs list, and the under $2 price tag made it that much better.

Thanks for taking a moment to look at my page.

Friday, September 1, 2017

TTM Triumph: Ken Henderson

After having taken a six month (or more) break from sending out requests, I had started to forget how exciting it was to find one of my SASE's included with the day's mail. The first batch of letters that I sent out a couple of weeks ago are starting to yield quite a few successes, which explains why you have been seeing me do so many of theses posts lately. Today's post will feature the first baseball return from said batch of recent requests:

Playing for seven teams over his 16 year career, Ken Henderson's best season came as a member of the White Sox in 1974. That year he played in all 162 Games, had 602 At Bats, 76 Runs, 176 Hits, 35 Doubles, 5 Triples, 20 Home Runs, 95 RBI, 12 Stolen Bases, 66 Walks, .292 Batting Average, .360 On-base percentage, .467 Slugging Percentage, 281 Total Bases, 2 Sacrifice Hits, 8 Sacrifice Flies and 9 Intentional Walks. His all around solid play earned him a 19th place finish in the MVP voting, which may not seem all that special, but it ended up being the only year he would garner such consideration.

As always, I would like to send a big thank you out to Mr. Henderson for taking the time to sign my card.

Thanks for taking a moment to look at my page.

Tuesday, August 29, 2017

Estate sale finds #1

In the last couple of months, I have gone to quite a few estate/moving sales, so many in fact, that I have decided to start a new series here on the blog to cover some of the better outings.

Fairfield Glade, which is the name of this area that we temporarily moved to in May while the house is being renovated, is a hotbed for such sales, mostly due to it being populated by older residents. Where we normally live (we will be moving back in less than two months) about 45 minutes away, there are never any such sales, so this has turned out to be one of the few nice things about living here.

Until about a month ago, I had only been getting one or two things per sale, which wasn't really enough to warrant a post. The last three however, have been absolutely amazing, so why not try and make series out of them?

I'm sure a lot of the stuff that will be featured in these posts won't be of much interest to anyone else, but they will give me the occasional break from writing about cards, which is something I really need right now, so hopefully at least a few of you will find this worth viewing.

So let's get to the goods, shall we?

First up we have one of GE's earliest entries in to the burgeoning personal cassette player market, AKA  their attempt to get in on the Walkman craze.

I believe the Walkman was introduced in '79 or '80 (feel free to correct me if I'm wrong), and although I can't find a date for this particular model (#3-5430B), I'm assuming based on the sheer size of the player, combined with style, that it's got to be pre '82-83 at the latest. And speaking of size, for those that are curious (I was), this beautiful behemoth weighed in, with four AA's and a cassette, at 1.1 lbs... definitely not for the modern saggy pants wearing crowd.

At $5, I'm sure I overpaid for this one. But what can I say, other then it was love at first sight, so in all likelihood, I probably would have paid twice as much to ensure that it was going to be leaving with me.

Next up, we have not one...

... but two Southwestern Bell Freedom Phone's. Well, technically speaking, the flesh toned one is an AT&T phone, but it's the same style -- and that's all that really matters to me.

I have had a minor obsession with these phones since around 1991 or so, when a young me bought one at a garage sale for a quarter. Now keep in mind, that at the time, I was under the impression that all one had to do to get their phone line/number, was to merely purchase a telephone and plug it in. So the moment I saw this particular phone at the very affordable price of just 25 cents, I immediately envisioned being the envy of all my friends, and more importantly... being an objet de désir to all the girls, as I would be the only boy with his own phone.

Obviously, I ended up learning that you need more than just a telephone in order to get your own telephone number. Not surprisingly, my mom was to keen on paying for me to have my own line, so things didn't end up working out quite like I had imagined, but at least I was still the only kid around to have a phone in their room.

Because of the memories associated with that first one, I have bought more than a few of these over the years, which basically means, if I come across one that's cheap, I buy it!

With their potential for containing early photos of notable people before they were famous, old yearbook's are always fun. This 1951 version of The Fultonian made it's way to Tennessee from Fulton, NY.

Generally I prefer older yearbooks, but this one was intriguing because most of these student photo pages are signed by the respective students, so if there is anyone of note in here, there might potentially be an early signature of theirs as well.

It will probably be a few months before I start going it, but if I find anyone interesting, I will certainly mention it in a future post.

Old tools are not something I had ever planned on collecting, at some point I just started picking up a few here and there, and now I have a small collection. Often, I find myself drawn towards obsolete items, or like this hatchet, items that I find aesthetically pleasing. The initials of A.O. carved near the only add to the overall charm. Now, if I could just come up with a way to display this unintentional collection!

Saving the best for last, I finally got me a stereoscope, which is something I have wanted for quite some time now. For those unfamiliar, these were the precursor to the View-Master.

I have come across these a few times over the years, but there usually missing the view slide (the bit on the left), so to find one complete and at a very reasonable price, was kind of exciting.

You can't see it, but the underside contains the makers mark, which is the very well known American Stereoscopic Co. out of New York.

Hey look! My left hand is making it's first blog appearance.

It does have a bit of wear, but at well over 100 years old, that shouldn't come as too much of a surprise.

Also included, was this tray of around 30 stereoviews. Try as I might, I wasn't able to get the views in action through the viewer, so I have included a few (minus the 3D effect) to give you an idea as to what was in the lot.

About half the views come from this series of shots from the Savoy region, for those interested in history, I would recommend reading up on the history of Savoy. This particular image is of Interlaken in Bern, below the Jungfrau summit.

And the back.

Here's a neat one of the Giessbach Falls.

There are a few from this series as well. It's much easier for me to use my various foreign language books to translate things, versus using the computer, but since all my books are currently packed up, this one will have to wait to be translated.

I got a whole bunch of stuff at another sale last week that I still need to take pictures of, so for anyone that enjoyed this post, you can expect another one within in the next week or so.

Thanks for taking a moment to look at my page.

Sunday, August 27, 2017

TTM Triumph: Nick Libett

I wanted to take a break today from all the recent basketball successes, and instead, show off a nice hockey return:

A twelve year veteran in the NHL, Mr. Libett is considered by most, to be one of best two way left wingers in Red Wings' history. Always a durable player, he led the league in games played four times. The former Detroit captain was also revered for his toughness, always being ready to throw down when necessary. An All-Star in 1977, he would play ten years in Detroit and two more with Pittsburgh before retiring in 1981. Nick finished is playing days with 237 goals and 268 assists, scoring 505 total points.

As always, I would like to send a big thank you out to Mr. Libett for taking the time to sign my card.

Thanks for taking a moment to look at my page.