Friday, July 6, 2018

A RAZzing for the ages

Today's thank you post is so overdue, like almost three months overdue. And this isn't because I was too busy, too lazy, or even because I forgot about it, no -- it's because I was being selfish! Confused yet? Read on, and I'll try to explain.

You see, a couple of months ago, RAZ, namesake of the The Raz Card Blog, sent me a package. He had let me know ahead of time that something was on it's way, not knowing what, I was just kind of expecting a PWE, or maybe a small bubble mailer... instead I got a chunky bubble mailer, the contents of which, were like a birthday and a Christmas all rolled into one package.

Saying that I was amazed would be an understatement, dumbfounded would probably be a more apt description. There were just so many cool cards, and the variety, I can almost guarantee that I will never again be gifted a package as diverse as this one was.

So after going through the cards a couple of times, I put the stack on the little table that I have next to my recliner, a few days went by and I thought "hmm, I should probably start getting a thank you post going", which got as far as me picking them up, going through them again, and then putting them back where they were. And so it went, for weeks I kept doing the same thing over and over, until one day I finally realized that I was dragging my feet because I knew that once I photographed/scanned everything, I would then have to put it away... and I just wasn't ready to do that yet.

But it's time to publically give RAZ his due, especially since this past weekend was a card show weekend, and some of the stuff in today's post goes in the same binders/boxes as some of the card show acquisitions, so I might as well put it all away together... if only because of the time that will be saved by doing so.

I have recently decided to start a few serial numbered frankensets of various sizes (more on that in a future post), these 2013 Archives Gold parallels will make for an awesome addition to those sets. This was the first time that I had seen these, love the holofoil backgrounds.

I've looked the name of these up twice, and have forgotten what it was almost immediately after both times doing so, so rather than look 'em up again, I'll just say their a 2018 Topps something or another. I really like the look of these in person, and of course I find their shininess to be quite appealing as well.

I really like this Diamond Kings insert set, I saw a few at this past weekend's card show, but I got distracted by something (probably a shiny object) and forgot to grab them :(

These 2016 pink refractors sure are pretty, and I actually knew who four out of the five were, sorry Stephen Vogt.
Some miscellaneous Donruss and Donruss Optic. The top two are Prizms.

I haven't figured out what I'm going to do with this pair of blue refractors yet. Both are serial numbered (Puig to /150 & Bautista to /199), so they might end up in one of those numbered frankensets, but I'm also still thinking of trying to do a Topps Chrome colored frankenset as well. Btw, the bottom of the Bautista card doesn't look like that in person, it was just the scanner being weird.

Topps High Tek is always a fun set, I've never bought any (at least not of the baseball variety), but I certainly don't mind being gifted a few. I'm sure it probably drives some people nuts, but I like all the different background designs.

The Lasorda is one of the color short prints from 2013 Cooperstown set, which only really means anything to someone who's collecting the set, but since I am, it does. The Koufax insert was the only card in this package that I already had, but it shouldn't be too hard to find someone to pass it on to.

There seems a lot of hate on the internet that's directed towards Johnny Damon, I wish somebody could tell me why, because I really don't get it.

Before I get to the rest of the cards, I thought that this might be a good time for a RAZ fun fact. As I've mentioned many times over the last couple of years, Fuji was the person who inspired me to start this humble little blog of mine, but RAZ is solely responsible for it's continued existence.

Let us travel back in time to the long forgotten that was 2015. I had started the blog in September of that year, after having been a reader of a handful of others for a little less than a year. Being the socially awkward person that I am, I wasn't able to contact any of the established bloggers and introduce myself/ask them to check out my newly created blog. And forget about me mentioning the blog in someone else's comments section, I would have been mortified by merely suggesting such a thing.

So I got the blog up and running, despite the fact that I had no idea what I was doing. A couple of weeks passed, with no comments, and views in the single digits, which wasn't terribly surprising... seeing as how nobody knew that existed. It was around the third week that I had basically decided to give it up and just delete the blog out of existence, I was just gonna see through the rest of the week, and that was going to be it.

A funny thing happened though... I got a comment, my first comment! It was from a fellow called RAZ, all of a sudden things were looking up, and shortly thereafter, things would slowly start picking up. After clicking on his name, I found out that this RAZ had a blog, a seemingly popular blog at that. While there, seeing what was what, I noticed that he had added me to his blogroll (although I didn't know what it was called at that time). Now that I knew I had at least one real reader (and commenter), I decided to give this whole blog thing a little more time. Being on RAZ's blogroll, my views started increasing, a few people were starting to leave comments, all of which has led to where the blog is at now -- don't ask me where that is exactly, all that matters is, that it is.

I still don't know how it is that RAZ even came across my blog in the first place -- and I doubt at this point that he would remember either -- but nevertheless, I'm extremely grateful for his showing up when he did, as I've met a number of really wonderful people over the last couple of years, people that I never would have encountered had it not been for him, and his timely intervention.

Okay, I'm done with the sappy stuff (at least for a moment or two). If you thought what's already been shown was impressive, check out the rest of this package:

Here's something that you don't see everyday, or ever for that matter, Duke Cigarettes Fishers and Fish. For being 130 years old (1888), the colors seem to still be very vibrant. I'm not a fisherman, but I absolutely adore these cards. A piece of advice though, don't stare into their eyes for too long (especially the gal on the left)... that is unless you're in dire need of some nightmare fuel :)

I don't why exactly, but I seem to have a strong affinity for lighthouses. I never been to one, nor have I ever seen one in person. The only thing that I can come up with to possibly explain my interest, is that it might be because I saw The Fog, read about Eilean Mor, and listened to "Three Skeleton Key", all at a fairly young age. Whatever the reason, I really dig them, and I really dig this card from the 1910 (sometimes attributed to 1911) Hassan Light House series.

Even though I'm a big fan of this set, and have been meaning to try and start collecting it for years, this is still my first card from it. For anyone who may be interested, you can read a little bit more about this particular lighthouse here.

About five or six years ago, I found one card from the 1939 Bathing Belles set at the card show back home in Portland. I was so enamored by that one card, that I decided to start working on the set, that plan didn't work out se well, as in all those years since... I have managed to acquire exactly zero more. Cue the superhero music, because RAZ has come to my rescue (too dramatic?), and provided me with not one, but two more (see below) from this set! And they were graded to boot! Blanca Vischer was a Guatemalan born actress, who was often cast in Spanish language versions of American films. She also had quite a few uncredited roles in B pictures.

Maxine Reiner was an actress and a model. She's probably best known for her roles in Wanderer of the Wasteland and Charlie Chan at the Circus, some may scoff at the latter, but that's a solid entry in the Chan series. Full disclosure though, my opinion might be a bit biased as I'm huge fan of Warner Oland, and his portrayal of Charlie Chan.

Even though I don't normally go for graded cards, I plan to keep both of these encased, for some reason I just kind of like how these particular cards look in there.

Of all the different things that RAZ has featured on his blog during the time that I've been reading it, the BBM True Heart autographs have been my absolute favorite. I have longed for one of these auto's, I didn't really care who, as I wouldn't know who any of them are anyway (haven't followed professional wrestling in a long time), I'm just really drawn to all the super elaborate signatures. Thanks to the note that was included in the package, I know that is Mochi Miyagi, and thankfully a few of her matches have been uploaded to YouTube, all of which I have now watched.

If being able to finally getting my hands on one card from this set was cool, then getting two was, well... I don't know, but whatever it is, it was most appreciated. Both of these cards are from the 2018 edition, and both are numbered to /89. Mari Sakamoto is the subject of this very aesthetically pleasing card. I couldn't find out too much about her other than wrestling is only a part-time gig, the rest of her time is spent performing action/ninja sequences in theatre shows.

RAZ, thank you again for the cards (and the nice note), from a mental standpoint, these couldn't have arrived at a better time. You told me once that you don't send stuff out very often, which may or may not be true, but you sure outdid yourself with this package. It may take me awhile, and it'll probably come in the form of a bunch of smaller mailings, but I will try my best to repay this act of kindness.

Thanks for taking a moment to look at my page.


  1. Don't get me wrong, Cards that 130 years are awesome and all, but those fisher-women are very creepy. Nightmare fuel is right!

    Mari Sakamoto looks pretty bad-a$$. Love me some ninjas!

    Oh, and I enjoyed the sappy part. RAZ is a good dude for sure. Thanks for sharing a little of your blog's back story.

    1. RAZ thought that they were creepy too.

      I love ninja's as well, especially of the female variety!

      Glad to hear it, some folks don't like that kind of stuff. And for the record, that was pretty much all of the blog's back story.

  2. To go fishing in the 1880s, you just HAD to wear a corset. Not to wear one would just be unthinkable. It's as essential as a rod or a tackle box.

  3. What a bunch of great cards. I have one card from the lighthouse set. I should get some more. I’ve always liked lighthouses and living in New England I get a chance to see many,

    1. Living in New England, I would imagine that you get to see a lot of neat stuff, especially of the historical variety.

  4. I'm glad you liked the package, and especially glad that I unintentionally played a role in keeping your blog going. Thanks for the kind write-up!

    1. Hopefully I was able to appropriately convey just how much I did like it. By the by, they'll be a PWE headed your way sometime in the next week or two.

  5. Raz to the rescue! Thanks for sharing that story about your blog. I'm thrilled that he gave you enough incentive to continue. So many great cards here, the 19th century stuff blows my mind. And I'm a lighthouse fan myself; the unfinished story I wrote before my kids were born was based (somewhat) around a lighthouse.

    I was a huge Johnny Damon fan when he played for the Sox - but once he went to the Yankees he was dead to me. I doubt that's the reason people dislike him though. My guess is its because he's a Trump supporter, but I don't follow athletes on social media so I could be wrong.

    1. "RAZ to the rescue" would have made a great title for this post! I'd really like to hear more about that story sometime :)

      Thank you for answering that question for me, because I seriously could not figure out what the deal was. I guess it doesn't surprise me that all the hate is over something so trivial too, I sure am glad that I'm able to look past such things, otherwise I'd hate everyone who ever voted for any politician.

  6. Love those pink colored parallels in Topps, not usually a person who chases those sorts of cards, but I have picked up a few former Bulls and a Cardinals player or two also. Those cigarette are interesting to say the least. When I saw the picture at the top of the post, I actually had to scroll down the page to figure out what they were before I read the top part about the baseball cards. Interesting cards, I am not I have seen those before.

    1. Like most colors, pink does look good when it's on a refractor. Thanks for going back up and reading the rest after the initial scroll down.

  7. Great package and Raz is one of the best!

  8. That's an All-Star package right there. Pink refractors rule!

    1. I think "HOF package" would be a more fitting way to describe it.

  9. Raz's packages are extremely generous... and his blog (along with yours) is a required read.

    P.S. Stephen Vogt was a fan favorite during his tenure in Oakland. If you have a few seconds...

    1. Agreed, his blog is a required read.

      Those folks sure liked them some Stephen Vogt, didn't they?

    2. That section is really fun to watch. They've done some cool stuff for different players over the years.