Wednesday, June 3, 2020

Tim's Gauntlet: Day 3

When it comes to life, and collecting, I rarely deal in absolutes, which I consider to be a positive thing, as I've often found that it's good not to have most of one's opinions on any subject set in stone -- after all, things/times change, so why shouldn't opinions/beliefs do the same?

Now that that's been covered, I can honestly say that I don't have an absolute favorite card in my collection, heck, I don't even have a favorite from each sport/non-sport that I collect. With gun to head, I might be able to put together a top 25 from each category, but would never be able to narrow it down to just one. So in order for me to be able to participate in the next four days worth of challenges, I will be bending the rules a little bit, in that I will be featuring A favorite from each of these categories, but not THE favorite, because again, I don't have one!

Okay, so day 3: Favorite football card in your collection?

This ones actually pretty easy, as there were at least a dozen cards that came to mind when reading today's topic, one of which is a sentimental favorite, if only because it's the first vintage football card that I saw, and bought, when I came back to card collecting.

The year was 2010 (hard to believe that was only ten years ago BTW), and I had just returned to card collecting after about a ten-year hiatus. I started going to the Mall 205 shows in Portland almost immediately after coming back to "the hobby", and found that much had changed during those ten years, not only with the cards themselves, but the shows felt quite a bit different as well. When I came back, I was originally only planning on collecting vintage basketball, but after just a couple of months, that plan had been pretty much abandoned, especially once I realized that one of the biggest changes to have taken place while I was away, was that prices on most vintage cards had dropped considerably, and that it was uncommon to find really nice old things in dime and quarter boxes.

Anyways,I was at my 3rd show in as many months when I came across a dealer who had a couple of two-row shoeboxes of vintage from the three major sports, and as I started going through them, he and I got to talking. Pretty much all of the cards in these boxes were fifty cents each (with a few $1 cards in there as well), and after about thirty minutes of looking and talking, I got the hair-brained idea to ask him if a better price could be had if I were to buy all of them? Dude thought it over for a moment, looked to see what he had in there, and then proceeded to let me know that if I bought everything, he'd go down to a quarter apiece, and thus a deal was struck. He also had another one of these boxes under the table that he was willing to do the same on if I took all of them. I stupidly said that I'd take a look at them, so he pulled out the box, and I pulled out a few cards, the first one of which was the above '58 Topps Lamar McHan, a card I had never seen, but was immediately infatuated with. This card alone basically sealed the deal on that box, as I didn't even bother looking through the rest of the stack in my hand, or anything else in the box until I got home. This turned out to be one of my better card show deals, but it also sort of damned me into starting to collect way too may vintage sets, which by the time last year rolled around, had me pretty burned out on card collecting in general, thus me scrapping every single set and finally starting to have some fun collecting again.

As for the card itself, I just love everything about it, the posed jump pass, the blockers, the black border, and heck, I've never been a stadium guy, but on this card even the bits of Comiskey Park in the background appeal to me!

After being drafted by the team in '54, 1958 would be Lamar's last season in Chicago, a season that saw the Cardinals finishing with a record of 2-9-1. Lamar started six games that season, only going 1-4-1. He was traded to the Packers in '59, played okay for the first six games, got injured, and was replaced by then rookie, Bart Starr. And as for the Cardinals, after 40 years in Chicago, and after in absolutely abysmal decade, they would leave for St. Louis in 1960, leaving Chicago with only one professional football team... Da Bears! [Sorry, I couldn't help it]

Even though these posts don't seem to be going over very well (I'm setting personal modern records for lowest amounts of views and comments here), I'm having fun writing them, so you can expect to see me back here tomorrow around the same time for challenge #4.

Thanks for taking a moment to look at my page.

Tuesday, June 2, 2020

Tim's Gauntlet: Day 2

For someone like me, who doesn't collect a lot of newer cards, today's challenge of finding a card from current release year with a unique photo, should've been a difficult one, but it actually ended up being the easiest!

I figured out the other day that I own exactly five cards from 2019-20 sets, with four of those five being from the Prizm basketball set (courtesy of Matt), all of which are very cool, but aren't exactly what I would call "unique". Thankfully though, my only other new card, which came from one of  Rod's daily giveaways, does have a unique photo (at least in this humble blogger's opinion it does), and was the first thing that came to mind when I saw Tim's list of daily challenges...

Other than reading a few blog posts after it's yearly releases, Gypsy Queen is not a set that I've ever paid much attention to, and it's not because I have anything against it, no, in fact I could say the exact same thing about the majority of newer sets, it's very hard for me to be interested in something when I don't know, or even care, who the majority of players are -- and often can't even tell the sets apart from year to year. That being said, there are exceptions to most rules, and this 2019-20 Ruth B. of Yankees was one of them!

The reflective nature of Babe's appearance is what drew me to the card, and even after having it for several weeks now, it's appeal still hasn't worn off. Of course now that I've gone and used it for this post, I'm sure that someone out there is going to tell me that this particular image of the Babe has been used in 14 other sets over the last couple of years, and therefor isn't "unique", but I had never seen it on a card before, so it's "unique" to me.

Looks like another challenge is in the books, and the good news is, even though they're not written yet, I've at least got the cards in mind for days 3-6, but have no idea what to do for day 7 -- I guess then it's a good thing that I have a couple of days to think about it :)

Thanks for taking a moment to look at my page.

Monday, June 1, 2020

Tim's Gauntlet: Day 1

As I'm sure most of you are already know by now, Tim, from the recently renamed, Cardpocalypse, started up a challenge for the blogs a couple of weeks ago, a challenge that's proven to be rather popular, and is currently taking place across many a blog. And I suppose if you somehow weren't aware of this challenge, you are now!

I'm a little late in getting this one started, and I will have to modify a few of the topics in order to participate, but am still wanting to give it a go, so this is me going. I'm also fairly certain that I've never posted for seven days straight, so that'll probably end up being my biggest "challenge" with this challenge, seven posts across nine or ten days is more realistic for someone like me, but we'll see.

So, the topic for Day 1 is: Favorite card acquired during quarantine?

Hmm, looks like I'm only on the first question, and I've already got a modify it a little bit... not a good start!

Thinking back, I don't think I did the quarantine right, and I say did, because it's been almost a month since it was lifted here in TN. From what I've seen on the interwebz, I was supposed to spend the quarantine buying large amounts of cards, for any inflated price that I found them at, correct? And I know that the term "acquired" doesn't have to mean "bought", but in my mind it does - or at least in this instance it does - so that's what I'm going with here today.

Thinking back on it, I didn't buy a single card during the two-month quarantine, I mean I guess I picked up a couple on COMC, but those were "paid" for with credit from doing the Challenges, and that has always felt more like trading (my time for cards) than buying, so those don't count for this exercise. I did receive quite a few neat cards from fellow bloggers during the lockdown, but again, those don't really fit my criteria for "acquired", so what's a boy to do?

I did buy one card off of Sportlots before the quarantine, and two small lots from the site after, as well as a recent two-card autograph lot off of eBay, so I think I'll go with the one pre-quarantine card for this challenge, a card by the way that took two whole months, or in other words, the length of the quarantine, to be delivered.

I won this 1938 Ogden's Actors: Natural & Character Studies of the great, Boris Karloff, back in late February, from a Sportlots auction no less, which was something that I hadn't done in a long while. This is one of the few Ogden's sets that still sells really well, and that's primarily because of this card alone, one could easily refer to this as the "money-card"! Karloff is as popular as ever (it's gonna take awhile for all of us monster kids to die off), and he doesn't have a lot of tobacco cards out there, so the few that were made, are still incredibly sought after. It also doesn't hurt that this card features an excellent rendering of Boris as Ardath Bey aka Imhotep aka The Mummy.

Film-wise, 1937 and '38 were not amongst Boris' most active, as he would appear in just four films during those two years (none of his best work BTW). But things picked back up in '39, with six films being made, and eight in 1940, before the war would show up and slow things back down for a few more years.

I won this card sometime during the middle of February, after two weeks passed and I still didn't have the card, or any word as to if it had even shipped yet, I sent the seller a message to see what's what. They replied that yes, it had shipped, but I did know that they were in Canada, right? And of course I didn't know this, because a) Sportlots doesn't tell you where the seller is located, and b) The seller didn't tell me either, otherwise I wouldn't have sent a message so soon. Anyways, since I had heard that mail coming across the border was slowing down, so I waited six more weeks, and still nothing! So I sent another message only to find out that it had come back to them as a wrong address at some point, and apparently the seller was too busy to let me know. I've yet to not get any of my expected mail in the 5+ years that I've lived here, so I suspect that this might have been a seller error, but either way, and to their credit, they did resend the card without asking for more shipping, and five short days later and over two months after the initial purchase, I finally had the card in hand... Huzzah!

Alright then, I guess day 1 is in the books, day 2 should be nice, as I actually have a new card with a unique photo, meaning that I won't have to be stretching the rules any, so until then...

Thanks for taking a moment to look at my page.

Friday, May 29, 2020

Free Stuff Friday

Like last Friday, I'd like to start off this post, which I know will have plenty of eyes on it, by trying to increase the traffic to two other blogs, one of which is new-ish, while the other is just new to me. First up, Jeff S, of the relatively new blog, Collecting Cards (Again), probably wouldn't mind if you took a moment to give him a follow, and maybe popped in and left a comment from time to time (who amongst us wouldn't appreciate either of these two things?). And then there's, Elliptical Man, who's blog, The View from the Third Floor, has been around for awhile, but is new to me, and since he's been kind enough to leave comments on some of my posts as of late (as well as many of yours), I figured the least I can do is to try and send people his way to hopefully do the same.

Okay, now obviously you're here for the free stuff, so let me get the usual fine print out of the way real quick, which is simply that I'm not looking for anything in return, I'll I ask is that the cards you claim be for your collection, and not your trade box.

And the other "rule" that I just added last week is that if you haven't commented on a non-FSF post in the last year or so, you will be limited to five claims per FSF post. As others have pointed out, it's not unreasonable to want, or to ask, some of the folks who are getting free cards to show up occasionally and support the blog, especially when there's not something to be gained by doing so.

Oh, and lastly, I always forget to mention this, but if I've never sent you anything before, please be sure to send me an email (jtef82 at with your address. And I'm still waiting on addresses from blog reader bruce, and Spyda-Man.

And now... the free stuff...

I got these strip card reprints in a lot some time ago, and know nothing of their origins, other then that they have "Reprint" printed on the backs. Casey tried to get away, but I got the last laugh by not going back and redoing the scan.

 2001 Fleer Greats.

 More 2001 Greats.

 Leaf Steel's, with intact peels.

 90's baseball. The top two inserts each have the faintest of wear on one corner.

This relic is supposed to be in a frame, which I didn't know when I picked it up (explains the cheap price though). The swatch has some tobacco spit, or possibly some sort of other bodily fluid on it... so that could be fun if you're into that sort of thing?

2014 Panini Black Friday. The Stroman is numbered to /499. BTW, the teams represented here are the Blue Jays, White Sox, and Yankees (just in case you couldn't tell).

 More 2014 Panini Black Friday, this time of the football variety.

Misc. football. Keyshawn is numbered to some crazy high number, and the kid to his right is numbered to /100.

A quartet of vintage football. The Kunz has a crease, and Stenerud has a wrinkle.

 2014 Panini Player of the Day.

2014 Panini Player of the Day Rookies.

 Pro Set Santa's.

'03-04 Roundball inserts.

 Some misc. basketball, the Elliott is numbered to /499.

And finally, a pair of non-sport cards. The Prometheus on the left is an embossed insert from the 90's Hercules set, and has a little bit of edge wear. The other one is a promo from just a couple of years ago.

Feel free to start claiming. And in case it's important to anyone, I will start packaging up everyone's claims from these last two Friday's sometime next week, but I might end up getting delayed a bit, because I will be starting up the 7-day challenge that Tim got rolling last week, and have no idea how time consuming that may or may not end up being.

Thanks for taking a moment to look at my page.

Sunday, May 24, 2020

Looking back through Rose(Bowl)-colored glasses

If one were to ask me how I feel about the month of January, I'd probably be a little leery over answering such a seemingly inane question, but after I got past my initial suspicions, I'd let whoever it is know that in general, I'm not big fan of it!

January means colder weather, much less sunlight, longer nights, and all of the good tidings and cheer that come from the Christmas season are abandoned, and everyone goes back to being their normal butth*le selves. Oh, and did I mention the cold, yeah, I really dislike being cold.

All of that being said, the last two January's have brought one thing that I do like (a lot!), and dare I say, look forward to, this being Andy's (Stadium Fantasium) annual Rose Bowl contest -- aka, my favorite blog contest.

Between being tiered, so that someone can win upwards of three different times/prizes, to the large list of prizes that the winners get to choose from, and to the fact that there can be multiple winners, there's really nothing that a body can't not like about this contest.

Being so fond of it, you've probably guessed by now that I entered again this year, and since I'm here talking about it, you've also probably guessed that I won something. If you did guess and/or assume both of those things, good for you, you're gonna go far with that gift of yours. Anyway, yes I did enter, and yes I did win something, in fact I won two somethings!

It's been a few months now, so the details have gotten a little fuzzy, but I do know that I came in second place for the second year in a row, falling once again to my "arch-nemesis", Fuji, who's taken home the gold for the last two years.

As per usual, there was a great list of prizes to choose from, but there was one in particular that I had been eyeing since this year's contest was announced, that being...

... the lot that contained this fantastic 1960 Topps Cleveland Browns team card! There are more than a few recognizable names in here, but the two that standout the most are those of Jim Brown and Bobby Mitchell. It's not everyday that I get to add a new Jim Brown card (and I do consider this to be a Jim Brown card) to the collection, so no complaints from me.

Included with the Jim Brown, was a 1993 Score Quarterback Club pack (on the left), which contained the following:

Not a bad group, eh? Don't ask me what was going on with Jim Harbaugh though, looks like he was trying to get away from the scan.

The second prize that I selected was also a lot (most of the prizes are), that had the second pack that you saw above in it, which was some sort of sampler pack(?):

There were three different sets represented in the pack, all of which were new to me. Three of these have a mirrored finish, which means that they weren't going to scan good, no matter what I did! I was only familiar with one of these guys, but it's always fun to be able to open up a pack of something.

As fun as opening pack is, the real reason that I chose this prize was because of it's lot mate...

Does anything scream late 80's/early 90's card collecting more than mini-boxed sets (that's mini-boxes BTW, not mini-cards, although those certainly were indicative of the era as well)? I knew of at least two cards in here that I really wanted, and had never owned before, so it was kind of an easy pick.

Here are just a few of the highlights. Had I known that Steve Young was in here too, I would've said that there were three cards that I really wanted, but as such, the two that I referred to, were the Sanders and Atwater rookies. It's really neat to own this Barry Sanders after all of these years, it's one of those cards that I wanted as a kid, but seems to have been much more expensive back then.

As much as I love this contest, I do have one complaint, and that's in regards to the low turnout that occurred the last two years. I get that it's a football contest, and most of the blog-o-sphere is the "baseball or bust" or sort, but most of the prizes are baseball related, so it shouldn't be that hard to rattle off three guesses and hope for the best, especially too since by doing so, you're also supporting an endeavor of one of your own. Heck, even someone like me, who hasn't watched a current sporting event in almost five years (I do read recaps and occasionally watch highlights though), is able to show up and pull a couple of guesses out of my backside... it's not that hard!

Many thanks once again to Andy, not only for the contest itself, but also for all of the generous prizes that are offered up. Things are still sort of sketchy right now, so who knows if there'll even be a Rose Bowl next year, but knowing what comes with Rose Bowl season, I'm certainly hoping that one will be held.

Thanks for taking a moment to look at my page.

Friday, May 22, 2020

Free Stuff Friday

[Editor's note: I just wanted to give a quick head's up to everyone about a new blog on the block called, The Hobby Love, and was hoping that maybe when you got done with your claims (if you're making any), you'd consider popping over and showing Jeremy some "hobby love" by giving his blog a follow.]

Alright, the PSA's been covered, so let's get to this week's free stuff... but first... a couple of quick reminders:

If you didn't see Wednesday's post (and looking at the numbers, I can see that you didn't), I thought I'd mention again that since I didn't do a FSF last month (the end of the month came and went before I even realized it), I'm making it up by doing two this month, today, and next Friday.

And as per usual, I'm not expecting anything in return for whatever you claim, all I ask is that your claims be on cards for your collection, and not your trade box.

Also, after some of the critiques that have arisen in recent months, I'm making one small change to the way I do things, this being that people who haven't commented on any non free stuff posts in say the last year or so, will now be limited to five cards per FSF post. As others have pointed out, it's not unreasonable to want, or to ask, some of the folks who are getting free cards to show up occasionally and support the blog, especially when there's not something to be gained by doing so.

Oh, and lastly, I always forget to mention this, but if I've never sent you anything before, please be sure to send me an email (jtef82 at with your address.

First up is group of 1987 Hygrade All-Time Greats. Please note that a few of these have a tiny bit of edge wear. Update: Dickey, Kiner, and both Jackie's have been claimed.

Next up is a selection of 1978 TCMA The 1960's. Since there are no names on the front, starting from the top and going left to right, we've got: Dick Stigman, Ed Roebuck, Mike White, Bill Spanswick, Dave Stenhouse, Jim Davenport, Chuck Hinton, Ron Kline, and Harry Craft. Update: Spanswick and Mike White has been claimed.

Another batch from the same set, this time featuring: Dick Farrell, Jim King, Joel Gibson, Arnold Earley, Ron Hunt, Harry Bright, Howie Koplitz, Earl Francis, and Dick Howser. Update: Earley, Gibson, Hunt, Bright, and Koplitz have been claimed.

Normally I'd have more vintage to choose from, but this terribly cut 1963 Jello is the only one I've got up this week. Update: Leon's been claimed.

Tribute sets are always fun, yes? Update: Foxx, Evans, Rice, Hubbs, Seaver, and Williams have been claimed.

This scan of 2016 Diamond King inserts came out terribly, and I don't know if you can read the names or not, so from left to right there's: Frankie Frisch, Bill Dickey, Tony Lazzeri, and Rogers Hornsby. Update: These four have been claimed.

Another set that didn't want to scan well are the Golden Idol parallels from 1994-95 Topps, but trust me when I say that they look great in person. Update: All of these have been claimed.

More poorly scanned Golden Idols. The unreadable names in here are: Terry Dehere, Todd Day, and Chris Morris. And these too are in fine condition, despite what you're seeing here. Update: All of these have been claimed.

And finally, a mish-mash of greats! Update: Chesbro, Leonard, Rose, Ford, Munson, and Rizzuto have been claimed.

That'll do it for this week, feel free to start claiming whatever tickles your respective fancies.

Thanks for taking a moment to look at my page.

Wednesday, May 20, 2020

Free Stuff leads to free stuff

When I started doing the Free Stuff Friday posts earlier this year, I did so with two objectives in mind, those being to get rid of some unwanted cards, and to hopefully connect with some more people.

The finding of new homes for some of my unwanted cards has gone well, most people do like free things after all, but even so, I was admittedly surprised by the overall response to this idea.

Me wanting to connect with some more blog people (readers and writers) has worked out fairly well too. I haven't kept track of how many "new" people I've had contact with since starting the posts, but it has been more than a few, and for that I couldn't be more grateful. I really like our "little" blog community, and am always thrilled when I get the opportunity to chat with anyone in it, new or old.

There is one thing though about starting up those posts that I hadn't counted on, and that's that other bloggers would end up being interested in doing them as well, who woulda thunk? I know that there's been a little backlash over all of the free stuff posts, but I don't see it, and think that's been really great to see, especially in recent months when other than buying things at inflated prices online, most folks haven't been able to add a lot of new cards to their collections.

As I said, a number of bloggers have jumped on board the Free Stuff train (there's always room for more BTW, I can climb out onto the roof if need be), but the first to do so was, Brian, he of the uber-intelligent sounding blog, Highly Subjective and Completely Arbitrary. I think everyone is aware by now of just how a good of a job Brian has done with the weekly giveaways, so good in fact, that I'd argue that the Free Stuff Friday's are now his more the then anyone else's. And if somehow you weren't aware of what he's been doing, I'd highly recommend that you don't waste any time becoming aware!

Anyways, Brian was also one of the first people to claim some cards from my inaugural Free Stuff post back in... whenever it was? I don't recall what he claimed but whatever it was, it wasn't anything that spectacular (otherwise I wouldn't have been getting rid of it), so I most certainly wasn't expecting anything in return, but sure enough, a week or so later and there was a PWE from Brian sitting in my mailbox.

I hadn't been fortunate enough to exchange cards with Brian before this particular, well, exchange, and we had only had minimal contact during the previous year's Secret Santa, so had I no idea what to expect from him, and even if I had, this PWE still would've earned it's audible Wow!

The first card for my, at the time, newly started Babe Parilli collection -- well, it's the second, but the first one was gotten years ago, and that one ended up getting scribbled on. It doesn't get a lot of love, but I'm a big fan of the '59 Topps set, and was collecting it at one time, but like every other set I was working on, it's been scrapped for player collections, and the leavings are waiting to be sold at some point.

Sam was the key component in Tom Landry's newly created 4-3 defense for the Giants during the 50's, was responsible for the Redskins rise from mediocrity in the 60's, is in the pro football HOF, as well as the college football HOF, and yet you almost never hear his name mentioned these days?

Considering that the NFL is only as big as it is because of gambling, it seemed rather hypocritical of them to have kept Alex Karras out of the HOF for so long just because he bet on some games (not his BTW) during his playing days. And although it is great that they finally rectified their wrong, it would've meant more had they done so before his passing.

As you can see, this PWE really packed a punch, or in Fred's case... a kick!

It's taken me awhile to get to them, but many thanks again to Brian for the great (and they truly were great) group of cards, I would've never thought that this envelope would be that loaded!

********************* Bonus Brian related content **************************

As mentioned, Brian's been killing it with his weekly giveaways, and like many other people, I've put in a few claims, the first batch of which arrived just a couple of weeks ago:

We've got a modern base card, a vintage base card, an insert of a fan-favorite, and an insert of an all-time great; all of which fit right into new(ish) player collections. Full disclosure though, I already had a copy of Lou's 1970 Topps, but saw this one being offered, and decided that I wanted another one.

Thanks to Brian for this batch too!

And finally, on a semi-related note, I kind of F'd up last month with the Free Stuff Friday. The plan has been to do them on the last Friday of the month, but the last day of April fell on Thursday, and I didn't realize it until the week of, so no FSF was held last month. But to make up for it, I'm going to be doing one this Friday, and next Friday, and will be combining the claims. And just so no one has to check a dozen times throughout the day, these will be going live somewhere between 5-5:30pm CST, and will hopefully contain lots of fun stuff for everyone.

Thanks for taking a moment to look at my page.