Tuesday, October 17, 2017


After getting all those packs of 2017 Topps Archives for my birthday a couple of months ago, I decided to do something I had never done before... which was to enter one of those no purchase necessary contests that are always mentioned on the back of the wrappers. And as you may have inferred from the title, I actually won something!

I had forgotten I even entered this contest until just a couple of days ago, after remembering I had done so and then looking at the date, I just assumed my name hadn't been one of ones chosen -- and then just yesterday, this arrived:

It was kind of exciting to imagine what kind of treasure could possibly be contained within this package. I took a few seconds to get the picture taken, and than tore in to that sucker like a kid on Christmas morning.

And here is my major award, a peach parallel of Jose Quintana. While it's certainly no leg lamp, it's still not too bad of a card to have won.

It's a little hard to see, but it's numbered 50/199. Since I'm not actively collecting the Archives parallels, I think I might just leave this in the toploader it came in, sticker and all. If I don't, I might eventually forget where this card came from, and this is, silly as it sounds, something that I would kind of like to remember for as long as I can.

Now that I've won something from one of these contests, I'm kind of jonesing to try my luck on a few more.

Thanks for taking a moment to look at my page.

Monday, October 16, 2017

The most important meal of the day

Time for another group of cards culled from my recently cleaned up photo/scan folders. Post cards are today's theme, with four from '61, and two form '62.

If I were able to focus on just a couple of sets at a time, the offerings from Post, and Hostess, would probably be the sets that I would put the most effort in to trying to complete. Besides just being fun, they also offer collector's the ability to pick up some of the bigger names from the 60's and 70's for a lot less than their Topps counterparts, which is certainly very appealing to a set collector who doesn't have an infinite amount of money to build said sets.

Will there ever be another World Series MVP selected from the losing team? I wouldn't put money on it.

First card: Yankee. Second card : Yankee killer!

I didn't recall ever hearing of a major leaguer who had graduated from Princeton before, which mad me think Dave might have been one of a select few, turns out there have been 29 Princeton graduates that have played in the bigs. Bonus fun fact: Apparently the matchup between Princeton University and Columbia University on May 17, 1938 was the first ever televised baseball game. Princeton ended up winning 2-1.

It seems strange to see Billy Martin with the Reds.

Thanks to a broken finger that never healed properly, his slugging potential would never fully mature.

Don has a little bit of water damage on the right side, which is something I normally try to avoid, but the just over a $1 price tag was just too cheap to pass up.

Thanks for taking a moment to look at my page.

Sunday, October 15, 2017

Tales from the Thrift Store vol.1

Hey everybody, welcome to the start of yet another series! For the no one who's keeping count, this is my third new series, with one still in the works.

I usually hit a couple of thrift stores a month, so with my continued effort to produce more non-card content in mind, I figured why not make a series to cover these purchases as well.

This inaugural edition will recap my trip to a new (to me) thrift store called, Hilltoppers, in Crossville, TN.

I found out about this place a few months ago, but every time I've been close to the store, I'm always running short on time. Last week I was finally able to make it in there, and I can honestly say it was worth the wait.

This series will hopefully contain plenty of variety as thrift stores usually plenty to offer in that department, but this particular post (spoiler) is going to be another VHS fest. Mainly because that was the most impressive section of this store, as I can't remember the last time (if ever) I saw so many videos in one spot. There were two back-to-back rows of at least six book shelves on each side that were just packed full of what had to be around 1,000 videos. For me, it was basically heaven!

For once I even remembered that I should try and take some pictures while I was there, the only problem was, the guy working there was stocking stuff on one side of the videos pretty much the whole I was there. And then when I got to the other side there was woman who came over and started doing that, what I call "I have nowhere else to be, so I might as well look", kind of looking -- which is very annoying, especially when they walk over and just start half-assedly picking up videos at random, right in the middle of a row. I seem to run in to those people all the time, their always the one's that seem to be milling around looking for someone to talk to, thankfully I don't give off the "hey, let's talk" vibe, so they normally don't try with me.

It took me a good 45 minutes to look through all the videos, which unfortunately was about all the time I had that day, so I can't really comment on any of the other offerings as I didn't end up looking at anything else.

So as I said, I expect future posts in this series to contain a great of variety, but this first one is nothing but glorious VHS:

Most of the time when I get a bunch of videos (or DVD's) from somewhere, there are always a couple that get watched within the first few days of bringing them home, and the rest usually get put with the rest of the "to watch" stuff. Well, this was the one that got watched the very first night. This was something I have been wanting to see for quite some time, and it didn't disappoint. I don't suspect that too many people reading this ever saw the television series Cannon, even if you haven't though, you still might enjoy this TV movie that was made four years after the series ended. Although my opinion may be slightly biased as I am a huge William Conrad fan so...

I had never seen this sequel to Romancing the Stone before, and after watching it, it's not hard to figure out why. This film seems to be made up of about 50-60% actual movie, and 40-50% filler. Overall I didn't particularly care for this one, but I did find some joy in Avner Eisenberg's character.

I remember watching an episode of Nature a couple of years ago that was all about crows, but I'm pretty sure this isn't going to be the same one, as I don't remember Patricia Clarkson being the narrator of the one I watched.

For the life of me I cannot remember if I ever saw this or not.

A straight-to-video release, with a terribly un-original plot, that also happens to star Robocop... how can you go wrong?

Like a lot of people, I was really in to dinosaurs as a kid. Even though I was starting to grow out of my dino-phase when Jurassic Park came out in 1994, I still saw it four times in the theatre, and had I been able to find anyone else to go with (anyone I hadn't already gone with that is) -- I probably would have seen it a few more times on the big screen.

Even though a lot more discoveries have been made since this episode of Nova aired in 1994, it was still packed with a lot of relevant information, and was still quite enjoyable.

Here's one I hadn't even heard of before, but I have yet to see a William Powell picture that I didn't enjoy, so I'm assuming this will be good as well.

You know those random memories, the kind that seemed to be lost to time and will seemingly  resurface out of nowhere, which can either be triggered by something similar to the memory -- but also can be triggered by something that has absolutely nothing to with what ever that past event was? Well, a couple of weeks ago while doing something probably very mundane (showering, teeth brushing, etc.), I had just such a memory come back to me.

I was around 8 or 9 years old and we were getting ready to move from Portland to Beaverton, OR (about 20 miles away at the time). My best friend at the time was named Larry, and he lived just a couple of houses away. For whatever reason, we decided to borrow a couple of things from each other literally right before I moved. From him I borrowed WWF Summerslam '92 (VHS), and the game Renegade (NES). And from me he got, Wayne's World (VHS), and the game MLB Baseball (NES). Well, we ended up only seeing each other one more time after I moved (20 miles when you're that age, might as well be 2000 miles), and I guess in our minds it was still too soon to give back the items we had exchanged.

Now that this memory has come back to me, I am resolved (don't ask me why) to try and find replacements for my never gotten back items. So even though I have it on DVD, when I came across this copy of Wayne's World on VHS, I had to buy it.

The good news is that both of my items that Larry borrowed can now be had for next to nothing, so with Wayne's World taken care of, all that's left is that NES copy of MLB Baseball...

Thanks for taking a moment to look at my page.

Saturday, October 14, 2017

Fun(ko) with Dracula

This going to be a really quick one today, featuring another recently gotten figure from the Funko ReAction Universal Monsters series.

The figure was listed as having the bubble re-glued to the card, that wasn't much of a concern though, as it was being bought to open no matter what condition the package was in. Heck, for $5.49, I would have bought it loose!

This is now my fifth figure from the series, meaning I only need three more to complete the set.


Thanks for taking a moment to look at my page.

Thursday, October 12, 2017

Bing, Frank, and Kiki

After going through all of my old photo/scan folders last month, I ended up finding quite a few things that I had forgotten about, including today's triple shot of 1960 Fleer.

I'm not entirely sure when I got these, but I am certain that they represent the last three that I have gotten, because I don't recall cracking open the 1960 Fleer binder any time recently.

Was a member of two Philadelphia Athletics world series winning teams, in 1929 and 1930. He, and the team, ended up missing out on a third consecutive championship in 1931, by one game.

I don't know if it's been mentioned before or not, but I just noticed that the stats on the back of the card, don't match up with those on Baseball Reference. They have him listed with 1820 games played, 1934 hits, .311 lifetime average, 993 RBI', 96 triple's, and 116 home runs. All the World Series stat match-up though, so it leaves one to wonder, which source to go when looking for his correct statistics?

A prolific home run hitter in his time, he also won a couple of championships with Philadelphia ('10, '11, and '13).
Once again, Fleer, and Baseball Reference, seem to differ slightly when it comes to the numbers. On the site it says that he had 5984 at bats, 991 RBI's, 315 doubles, 103 triples, and 96 home runs. But once again, even with some of those glaring differences, the World Series totals match-up.

An outstanding hitter, he also led the NL in stolen bases four times. Won a championship with Pittsburgh in 1925, and was robbed of the opportunity to potentially win another in 1927, thanks to a dispute with Pirates manager Donie Bush.

Since I've already done so with the previous two, let's take a look at the stats. This time Baseball Reference only differs on two of the major league totals with 157 triples and 128 home runs. And for Kiki, there is finally an alternate number on one of the World Series stats, as they have him listed as having 12 RBI's.

Again, I don't know if anyone has brought light to those statistical difference before, but I find kind of interesting and am certainly keen on finding out more about it.

Thanks for taking a moment to look at my page

Wednesday, October 11, 2017

Sounds of the season

This time of year can be both good and bad when it comes to Halloween-esque items on eBay. The good news is that there tends to be a lot more items being listed. The bad news is that not only are you competing with the people (like myself) who seek out these kind of items year round, but you're also competing with the people who only tend to look for these items during the Halloween season.

Even though it's hard to get any really great deals in October, I still keep a lookout for anything that I deem interesting. I have picked up a few really great things this year (some of those items are still to come), most of it being earlier in the year, but I did recently get two albums that I wanted to share with everyone.

First up is this 1973 Troll Records release, Great Ghost Stories. Before I go any further, I have got point how fantastic that cover is. Seriously, is that not one of the greatest album covers ever?

One of the main outlets for Troll Records was through Scholastic, so obviously their releases were marketed towards kids, but even as an adult (ugh!) I find these to be very enjoyable stories.
Just a few more of their offerings.

And the second album I picked up, from 1962, it's Scary Tales... featuring the Cool Ghoul himself, Zacherley. This is actually a fairly rare LP, my copy wasn't too terribly expensive though, thanks to the somewhat off condition. The food stains are an especially nice touch.

This album really could've been called something like "Ditties by Zach", as the tracks aren't tales per se, more like silly songs for kids (not that I didn't already know that, mind you).

I hope everyone is able to read that.

I think I may have overpaid for both of these, but this is one of those times that it doesn't really bother me to have done so, as I'm just really glad to have been able to add them to my collection

Thanks for taking a moment to look at my page.

Tuesday, October 10, 2017

I am now on the Twitter!

I don't if anyone will care or not, but as you may have guessed by the title, I have decided to give Twitter a chance. It's probably going to take me a few days (or weeks) to figure out what's what, so I'm not going to be tweeting up a storm anytime soon, but for those interested, I can be found here @pennysleeves.

Thanks for taking a moment to look at my page.

TTM Triumph: Lenny Wilkens

Even though Lenny Wilkens is considered to be an almost guaranteed success when sending him a TTM request, I was still pretty excited to get this one back.

Coach Wilkens' list of accomplishments is longer than my arm, so in an attempt to keep this short, here are just a few: He was a nine-time all-star during his sixteen-year playing career, he coached the Sonics to their only championship in franchise history (1979), coached Team USA to gold at the 1996 Summer Olympics in Atlanta, and is second all-time in coaching wins. And if that isn't enough, he has been elected to the basketball hall of fame three times, as a player, a coach, and as a member of the 1992 Dream Team (assistant coach). Oh, and he's also a member of the college basketball hall of fame as well.

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

Thanks for taking a moment to look at my page.

Monday, October 9, 2017

A mask tells us more than a face

Having been interested in all things Halloween for just about as long as I can remember, and being a near lifelong collector of all things, it's kind of a given that I would have accumulated quite a bit of Halloween/horror related items throughout the years.

The one item that I have tried to avoid though is masks, and not because I don't like them, because I do, it's just that they tend to take up a lot of space, while also being somewhat difficult to display. Coming in to this year, I had only ever bought three, and those three were just too good of deals to pass up.

This year has been a bit of a different story though, as my resolve has weakened, causing me to purchase five masks this year alone. All five being once again, deals that I thought were just too good to pass up.

Earlier this year while perusing a seller's "other items" on eBay, I saw this Collegeville ghost mask, and fell in love with it instantly. I have seen a lot of Collegeville masks over the years, but I had never seen this one, which to me, looks like a more sinister version of Casper. Thankfully no one else seemed to be interested in it, so I ended up getting it for around $7 or $8.
From the 1950's through the 1980's, Collegeville was one of two companies (Ben Cooper being the other) that were synonymous with Halloween costumes. Thanks to the low price point, variety, and availability, I can't imagine someone who was a kid during that era, who didn't have at least one of these company's offerings as a youth.

My evil Casper came with the box, but didn't have the vinyl smock (costume), which is fine since I didn't really care about that. Some may consider childish, but the phrasing used on the lower portion of this box, is something that I find quite amusing.

The mask is stamped 1984, so that should give a rough idea as to when this price tag was from.
A couple of months after the first mask was gotten, I was once again going through a seller's "other items", and came across two more masks that I thought I couldn't live without. Both of which were once again from the 80's, but this time, made by Ben cooper. This skeleton makes me think of El Dia de los Muertos, or even Mardi Gras, more so than Halloween... but it's still pretty neat.

I find this vampire, in a way I can't really put in to words, extremely charming. Once shipping was added to the mix, both of these were around $5 each.

Fast forwarding to a couple of weeks ago, I was at Food City doing some grocery shopping, when I noticed that they had finally decided to devote a small section of an aisle to an assortment of Halloween goods. Most of the stuff was what you would normally expect to see in a grocery store, but two things did, at least in my opinion, stand out from the rest of the items... and go figure, they were masks.

This first one made me think of Masters of the Universe, with such an instant association to something I loved as a kid (and now), I had to have it. Being made of rubber, it's a little harder to take a picture of them while laying flat, which is unfortunate, because you don't get the full effect of the raised bumps running down the center of the forehead.

This one has Clown (from Spawn) meets Slipknot, all over it. I really dig this mask, and thankfully I was at the store when I was, as this was the last one they had. These two masks are made out of high quality rubber (the clown being the better made of the two), which would usually be reflected in the price, but to my surprise (and delight)... both of these were only $1.49 each! I ask you, how was I supposed to walk away from that price?

Oh, and one final thing. Just so no one ever tries to accuse me of plagiarism, the title of this post comes from a quote by the great, Oscar Wilde. When struggling, and failing mightily, to come up with a catchy title, sometimes one has to look for help from someone who possesses -- or in this case, possessed -- an infinitely superior writing ability.

Thanks for taking a moment to look at my page.

Sunday, October 8, 2017

Rubies are red...

As far as basketball parallels go, you'd be hard pressed to come up with a more popular set than the 1997-98 and 1998-99 Skybox Premium Star Rubies.

Premiering in the '96-97 edition of Skybox Premium, they started off as a non-serial numbered parallel, that if memory serves, averaged out at to one per box. The only thing that distinguished these original Star Rubies from the base cards was that the player's name and the Premium logo are in red instead of gold. A far cry from what they would later become. While still collectible, these don't seem to be overly desired at this point in time.

Skybox upped the ante with the '97-98 release by serial numbering them to /50, while also adding some short printed copies numbered to /25. If that wasn't enough, the surface of the card also now had a shimmery, almost refractoresque quality to it. Being numbered to /50 doesn't seem like a big deal today, but back then that was basically the modern equivalent of a 1/1. With no stated odds, most people seem to believe that they were seeded at around 1:1000-1500 packs. The odds could have even been more, but even by those estimates, they were a tough pull.

For the '98-99 edition, Skybox must have realized that they had a good thing going, as they didn't try to change things up to much. Besides a different base design, which was of course to be expected, the only real change, came in the different light-bending effects used for the Rubies. Still incredibly difficult to pull, this particular year of Rubies seems to be the most popular edition with collector's today.

Far less attractive than the previous two years, Skybox really dribbled the ball off their foot with the '99-00 release. The base card design was much less interesting, and the refractor-like quality that had made the set so popular, was now toned down considerably. And I guess in an attempt to up the collectability, the number was reduced to /45, which I don't believe ended up creating the desired effect. There is still a market for these, but most of them will go for far less than the two previous sets.

For all intensive purposes, Star Rubies as everyone knew them, ended after the '99-00 release. Trying to capitalize on past popularity, Fleer (owner of Skybox international) would later bring back the Star Rubies two more times, the first being for their 2001-02 Freer Premium set, these were Rubies in name only as seemingly they have nothing in common with the original run (plus their ugly as sin!). The second, and hopefully, final attempt by Fleer to cash in on the past came with the release of 2013-14 Fleer Retro. In this set they used Rubies as parallels to the '96-97, '97-98, and '98-99 Skybox Premium portions of the set. Fleer didn't (and still doesn't) have a licensing deal with the NBA, so while Rubies actually sort of look like they did, having the players pictured in their college uniforms really takes away from the overall aesthetic (at least in this humble blogger's opinion).

[Many thanks to Billy for pointing out that Fleer continued it's attempt to run the once beloved Star Rubies name in to the ground by creating an even more generic/uninteresting design for their 2002-03 Fleer Premium set. These failed to come up in any of my searches, after now seeing them, it's not difficult to understand why] 

Believe it or not, that long intro/half-assed history lesson, was my way of setting up this 1998-99 Cherokee Parks Star Rubies that I got from a fellow off of the Sports card forum a couple of weeks ago.

Even though they are very sought after, there are still a few names that can be gotten relatively cheap, Cherokee Parks being one of them. I ended up paying $15 for this one, which I considered to be a heck of a deal.

One does have to be wary of all the Taiwanese fakes that have flooded the market (eBay), I won't go in to how to spot the counterfeits here, as you can easily find that info via a google search, but I will say that they are pretty easy to spot (especially in person) once you know what to look for.

The 1998-99 edition of Skybox Premium was the last set I was working on before getting out of the card collecting game for next 10+ years. In late 1998 into early 1999, I was very enamored with the set, which led me to buy probably the equivalent of three boxes worth of packs. I pulled a lot of great stuff out of those packs, including a Ron Mercer Rubies, which I regrettably sold in the mid-2000's. The money from the sale was very helpful at the time, and I really didn't think I would ever be returning to card collecting, so I figured why not get what I could for it. Since returning to the hobby, that is one of the cards I really wish I still had, but maybe someday I will find another one at a price that works for me.

I hadn't planned on ever showing it here, but since I'm talking about Rubies, I might as well add this 1998-99 Chris Whitney Rubies that I got on COMC last year.

Another name from the set that isn't a hot commodity, this one set me back somewhere around $18 in earned credit. I never bother looking for Rubies on eBay, primarily because of all the competition, but I certainly don't mind picking up a few of the less desirable players on the cheap here and there.

Thanks for taking a moment to look at my page.