Friday, July 28, 2017

Al, Bob, and Gus

1964 Topps is one of a couple of 60's sets that I would very much like to focus on more than I currently am. In the last year or two, when I actually remember to do so, I check eBay for starter sets/large lots. Though, as to date, I have yet to find one to my liking (price and condition being the usual issues).

While waiting for the right lot to come around, I have kept an eye out for good deals on singles, especially of star players and high numbers that wouldn't likely be found in a starter set.

Today's post will feature three of said good deals, all (re)found while recently cleaning out some folders, that for whatever reason I just hadn't got around to showing yet.

Mr. Tiger has been sitting in one of my oldest folders, I think he might have been part of last year's COMC spring sale shipment. I can't remember at this point how much this card was, but I do recall it being fairly cheap because of a faint crease under the TI, which really doesn't seem to affect the overall greatness of the card.

1964 was, in Al's own words, his most difficult season, pain wise, in trying to play through his ever increasing foot problems. Considering what he was dealing with, it's amazing to think that he still hit .293, was an all-star, and won a gold glove.

Here is the star of this post. Another COMC purchase from last year, that if I remember correctly, cost me about $10 in credit. This is a card that I had wanted for quite some time, and really couldn't have asked for one in better condition.

Going 19-12, with 245 strikeouts, and playing a large part in the Cardinals winning their first World Series in almost two decades -- I don't think it would be an understatement to say that Bob Gibson's 1964 season was a pretty good one.

Gus Bell might not seem too terribly exciting, especially following two hall of famers, but...

... he is a high number, and he only set me back 25 cents! A 15 year veteran who had a career batting average of .281, with four all-star game appearances, Gus Bell certainly was no slouch either. As an extra added bonus, this also happens to be Mr. Bell's final card, or as Nick would call it, his "sunset" card. It may seem a bit silly, but I do consider this to one of my better card show purchases this year (so far).

Thanks for taking a moment to look at my page.

Wednesday, July 26, 2017

One of the lucky "13"

I think it was about a month or so ago now, that Oscar, who can be found over at All Trade Bait, All The Time, ran his Lucky 13 contest. With the slew of games going on around the same time, I considered myself rather fortunate to have been selected by the randomizer, so that I may join the field of 13 participants.

After everything was said and done, I ended up with the unopened packs lot:

I believe everyone gets the gist of what this post is going to contain, so I don't think much buildup is necessary. Let's tear open some packs, shall we?

Going oldest to newest, we start with the 1990 Donruss:

I believe everyone is a more than familiar with this set, so I just scanned two of my favorites. Gregg Jeffries might be the reason I have never had any interest in prospecting (at least when it comes to cards). I can just vaguely remember as a wee lad, hearing older kids and guys at card shops talking about how great he was going to be. Well, we all know how that worked out, don't we? There were other names that collector's bandied about at the time, thinking they were going to get rich off, but Jeffries is always the one I remember most. Thankfully, even as a tot, I never got interested in anyone's future potential (value), and Jeffries is likely a big reason why. As far as the Ripken goes, it seems like it has been a really long time since I have seen that particular card, and I just can't get over how much he looks like Brooks Robinson in that image. I think it's mostly the pose that's creating the likeness, but either way, I find it kind of amazing.

1991 Donruss:

I didn't think I had to scan all of these packs either, so I just pulled my two favorites again. Thigpen, because we share the same birthday. And Oil Can, well... because Oil Can, that's why! Still one of the greatest nicknames ever.

2012 Panini Triple Play:

I don't think anyone needs to see these, but here's one anyway. I chose this one just because I don't think the depiction on this sticker could look any less like Clayton Kershaw if they tried. I'm not going to lie, when I saw this pack in with the bunch, I may have uttered an obscenity in conjunction with Oscar's name. Sorry about that, Oscar :)

2017 Topps jumbo pack:

Since there were quite a few cards in this pack, I only scanned about half of it. This being my first in-person experience with the 2017 series, I didn't think the design of this set is quite as bad some people have said, and there are definitely some really nice photo choices as well. The finish on these is pretty good too, although you'd never know it with these bad scans.

The horizontal portion of the pack.

And the inserts. I thought when I first saw the wood grain of McGwire, that it was going to be my first pulled buyback, but unfortunately it was just one of the Rediscover Topps inserts. My only real complaint about these fat packs would be in the placement of the cards within the packs, meaning inserts in the middle, horizontal cards grouped together, etc. It just seems like it would be a little more fun if the cards were actually mixed up a bit, that's all.

2017 Topps Archives Jumbo pack:
I really dig this set, a lot! [spoiler alert: more 2017 Archives sometime in the near future]. Of the three designs used, the 1960 is my favorite. I think I got a pretty darn good grouping here, including the highly desirable (at least for the moment) Judge RC.

You get one of the Rookie Star inserts in every pack. I really like the Bazooka cards, from what I've seen, I think Nolan Ryan might be one of the more common ones.

I realized once I started putting this post together that I forgot to send a thank you email, which hopefully won't be held against me. So, Oscar, thank you for the cards, and for even letting me have the opportunity to be a part of your game. Since I don't open packs very often anymore, this really was a treat. I haven't been very good about sending stuff out in the last couple of months, but I will try to have something in the mail for you within the next week or two.

Thanks for taking a moment to look at my page.

Monday, July 24, 2017

A card show, my first trip to Ollie's, and a tornado warning

Looking at the date of my last published post, I see that it has been a little over seven weeks since I last posted. Once again I ended up going far longer in between posts than I had intended, in fact this particular post was actually started right after my last one, and then for a myriad of reasons... I just never bothered to finish it (or any other post for that matter).

Much has been going on, most of it being of the not so great variety. So since it's starting to feel like I'm always complaining about this or that, I'm going to do everyone a favor and not start this post off with a bunch of negativity, instead trying to focus on the positive for a change.

It feels a little weird doing a post about a day that occurred almost two months ago now (the last Saturday in May to be exact), as some of details are already becoming a bit hazy with time, but as I said above, I had already started it by adding all the pictures and I really don't want them to go to waste. So...

I found myself once again in need of card supplies right around the time I was moving, but I couldn't justify going to a show and wasting half a day or more on something so frivolous when there was still so much that needed to be done before the actual move. So that was my primary reason for attending this particular show, finding anything of interest would just be an added bonus. Not surprisingly, I ended up with a few things other than the supplies that I had went for.

I'm going switch up for once and start with my two "expensive" purchases:

The majority of my 1970-71 Topps cards are in really great shape, so this Wilt, is now by far the worst card, condition wise, in the set. But since this was the last of the somewhat pricey cards that I needed from the set, the $4 price tag was too low to pass on. I may try to upgrade it at some point, but with continuing increase of vintage basketball card prices, this one might have to do.

No matter how many times I've seen wilt's stats on the back of cards, it never ceases to amaze me to see that 1961-62 stat line.

This card isn't perfect either, but at $3, I thought it was a pretty good deal. I don't know why, but I always enjoy getting the first and last cards form a set out of the way.

Moving on to the cheaper stuff. I was fortunate enough to once again be able to take care of some more needs from a few of the "players of yore" sets that I have been building exclusively through the ten cent boxes:

I know I've mentioned it before, but I don't come across the 2002 Sweet Spot Classics very often, in decent shape that is, so it was really nice to be able to pick up the four shown above.

There is one particular seller that always seems to have a few Broder/fantasy cards sprinkled throughout his dime boxes, and judging by the last couple of shows that I have been to, I am unable to not buy them. I'm not entirely sure how much I actually like these kinds of cards, so thankfully, this time there was only one that ended up coming home with me.

In case anyone is interested, here is the back of the card:

These 2014-15 Donruss swirlorama parallels set me back a quarter a piece.

I'm always down for ten cent 90's refractors.

There was a fellow there who had a ton of 2014-15 Prizm base cards in his dime boxes, so I was able to mark a few off the checklist, most of them being rookies:

Giannis was the only non rookie base card that I got, and the Avery Bradley is a refractor Prizm.

There was a seller that I hadn't seen before, who had a small box of mostly 90's basketball inserts and parallels, and while most of the stuff was a bit overpriced, I did manage to find a couple of things that I considered to be a good deal:
The 1996-97 Topps Hobby Masters inserts are by far one of my favorites from the 90's, so for $1 each, there was no way I was leaving these beauties behind. I have been putting off making some sort of inserts checklist for the longest time, but I think that with the addition of these two, I now have about half of the 30 card set.

I think I've mentioned it before, but if I haven't, I absolutely love me some 1997-98 Bowman's Best Atomic Refractors. I am of the opinion that this particular set was the peak of refractor technology, not that it went downhill after this, but it never got any better either. The above four cards were also a $1 each, which is a price that I definitely can't complain about. I have 24 of these now, and while I'm under no illusions as to ever being able to complete this set, it's still fun trying to acquire as many as I can.

After the card show (and lunch), I finally made it to Ollie's, which is somewhere I have been wanting to go for a long time now. I first heard about Ollie's a number of years ago, but since they don't go any further west than Indiana (I believe), and me living in either Oregon or Washington for my whole life, meant that it would have been a bit of a drive to get to one. But now being in Tennessee, and them just opening a store in Nashville sometime in the last couple of years, means that I finally had a chance to see what all the hype is about. And had I known that the new store was only a couple of miles from the card show, I would have been there much sooner.

For those that aren't familiar with Ollie's, it's basically store full of stuff acquired via closeouts and liquidations. There are items in just about every category that you can think of there. I was trying to think of a way to describe the appearance of the inside of the store, and the only thing that comes to mind would be if you were to cross Big Lots with Costco. I know that description probably only applies to folks on the west coast, but I've never been to anywhere in the Midwest so other than usual suspects (i.e. Target, Walmart, etc.), I have no idea what other kind of stores are there.

Anyway, I really enjoyed the store, and bought quite a few things, but since I don't think anyone cares about seeing crossword books, pva glue, and miscellaneous items, I will stick to the one item that seems blog worthy:

Funko's ReAction toy line seems to be one that people either love or hate, I tend to fall into the love camp. I enjoy the look of most of the figures that I have seen, although the late 70's/early 80's style of the figures doesn't always work, the Buffy and Firefly lines being two that immediately come to mind. The Universal Monsters line is easily my favorite of all that have been made so far, so I was very happy to find this Frankenstein, especially since I didn't already have it. They had about a dozen of this figure only, which is fine, one new one is better than none. You might notice that there are staples holding the bubble to the card, with the ReAction figures being well known for the weak glue used to package them, this isn't all that surprising to see -- but since I'm a package opener, it didn't really matter:

Here he is freed from his plastic prison! Overall I was very pleased with my first trip to Ollie's. For anyone in the South, or on the East Coast that hasn't been before, I would definitely recommend checking it out.

And finally, for what was probably the most interesting thing to happen that day -- that being the tornado watch warning (watch warning, as I've come to learn, means an imminent possibility -- A big thanks to Adam for the correction.)

So we've had some very volatile weather here so far this year, which has made for a lot of thunderstorms. Earlier in the year, there was pretty big threat of tornado's in the Nashville area, with I believe even a small one touching down briefly. Other than a boatload of rain causing minor flooding and some strong winds, I really wasn't effected by that particular threat.

Fast forwarding to the Saturday that has been the focus of this post. The day started off really warm which is usual for this time of year, I think by the time I was heading home around say 1pm or so, it was around 90 degrees with the humidity around 80-90%. The day started off with nary a cloud in the sky, but about halfway home, some really menacing looking clouds started forming, which usually means we were going to be in for a heck of a show (if you enjoy thunderstorms that is).

If I remember right, it started about 6pm with some really impressive dry lightning (meaning thunder and lightning with no rain), and continued to escalate in intensity. Around 8:30, the cell phones in
the household started blaring a shrill alarm (similar to the amber alert noise), which turned out to be a tornado alert which was advising everyone in our immediate area to seek shelter.

Now one of the few good things about this rental house that we are currently living in, is the second floor screened in porch, so not being the sort to take advice from a phone, that was where I headed with video recorder (cell phone) in tow.

After a couple of minutes of recording, the tornado sirens started going off, which was certainly interesting if not noisy. The sirens ended up going for about five or six minutes, and although the thunderstorms continued for a couple of hours with lots ground shaking thunder and lightning, high winds, and lots of rain -- no tornado's ever formed.

I'm sure for the folks that live in tornado country, none of this terribly exciting, but since this was my first time hearing the sirens and all, I thought it was kind of neat. I even spliced together a couple of videos and put it on YouTube, which you can see below. My cell phone doesn't record well in the dark, so the picture isn't great, however I think the sounds of the sirens, rain, and some of the thunder came out really well. Oh, and if you do give it a watch, the sirens start around the 2:30 mark.

Thanks for taking a moment (or two) to look at my page.