Sunday, December 29, 2019

Seeing double vision

Like a lot of folks, I got a COMC shipment this month. As per usual, my shipment was made up of cards that had been accumulating since last year, 228 cards to be exact, although now that they're not offering free shipping during the Black Friday sale, this'll be the last time that I have this many cards shipped, as I will now just do so when the count reaches 100 and get the $5 credit for shipping them.

The good news is that I actually got all of my cards this years -- the shipments from the previous two years were both missing cards, cards that I got refunded for, which is nice, but it still sucks knowing that those missing cards were one's that I will never be able to find for those prices again.

The bad news is that I have five damaged cards in the shipment -- not from shipping though, no, this was the kind of damage that can't be seen in the scans, and wasn't noted, so whoever buys them doesn't find out about it until they're in hand. From past experience, I can tell that these were damaged by their automated sorters, but they'll never admit that their machines damage cards though (just ask all of the people who have sent in undamaged cards that were rejected later, after being sorted, for being damaged). Since these five cards total about eight bucks in credit (gotten from doing the Challenges), you can bet your sweet bippy that I will be returning them. The worst part though was that one of those cards was going to be for someone else, and it's fairly rare, so it was nice that they could damage something like that without even noticing it. Oh, and I said that I got 228 cards, well, it was supposed to only be 227... they sent me an extra card! Some people might take advantage of this small oversight and keep it, but I'm not one of them, it'll be going back with the damaged cards.

It probably sounds like I'm complaining, but I'm really not, aside for the damaged cards, I still got 222 cards that I probably couldn't have gotten cheaper anywhere else -- and as mentioned, everything was paid for with credit that was earned from doing the Challenges, which I'm definitely not complaining about, because without that I wouldn't have been able to afford about half of these cards.

My accumulations in the past have usually been all over the place category wise, but this year everything pretty much falls into one of four categories: 90's inserts and parallels, player collections, non-sports, and... Billy Muffett! I'm joking, sort of. That fourth category is actually duplicates, although the more accurate description would be, "Multiple copies of cards that I really like".

I still don't know what brought on this want to own lots of copies of the same card, and honestly, after a year or so of collecting like this, I don't really care. It's fun for me, so I'm just gonna keep doing it until it no longer is.

As you might be able to tell from the first two scans, the '61 Topps Billy Muffett is one of my favorites, and is one of the few that I actually remember to look for on fairly regular basis. I haven't put them away yet, but I think that with these new additions, I've got a shade over thirty copies now.

The "golden shower" Ichiro is another one of my faves, although I'm sort of hoarding all of the cards that contain this image from that year's chrome and flagship sets.

I only vaguely remember when the Topps 75th Anniversary set came out, I saw that it was basically just made up of reprinted cards, and sort of wrote it off. Then a few years later I saw post about them from Billy, from it I learned that they had also done parallels, which made the set a little more appealing since it wasn't just straight-up reprints anymore. I had meant to look into those parallels a little sooner, but it must not of been meant to be, because I didn't actually do so until just a couple of months ago.

I ended up getting about half dozen of the foils, which are the most common parallels from the set, but the only one that I got in duplicate was this Incredible Hulk. This card was already the best image from the original set, and I gotta say, I think it looks even better with the shiny (sort of refractorish) green border.

I must've gotten these either late last year, or earlier this year, because I don't really remember buying all of these. It it is one of my favorite cards from the 2014 Prizm set though, so I'm not disputing the purchase (and I'm too lazy to go back and double check it), I'll just have to assume that there was a bunch of them for dirt cheap prices... which prompted me to buy them all.

I spent a little more time looking at the 2015 Topps Tek set this year, than I had in previous years. I like the look of the set, but there's an awful lot of players in there that are of absolutely no interest to me, so what's a boy to do? Well, buy lots of copies of the cards I do like, of course!

I haven't really looked into what the odds were with the various parallels, but I think that the purple one's might've been one of the more common, but even so, for less than a buck apiece, I considered these Barry's to be criminally undervalued.

I'm not actively looking to buy lots of copies of every card in this post, Mark Jackson here being one of those, but I do like the card, and since no one really cares about this particular MJ, his cards tend to be very cheap... too cheap for me to pass up!

I loved LJ when I was a kid, but this too is another one that I'm not actively seeking, says the person who owns like half a dozen of them now.

I've said it before, but I really like the contrast that's created when a b&w image is put in front of a colored background.

One of my favorites from the 2015-16 Prizm set.

Shareef is another guy that nobody really cares about, but I collect him, so I might as well buy up all of the cheap copies of this wonderful looking card.

Some of these purchases have been inspired by Chris' matching color collection. Karl doesn't quite fit that bill, but it's close enough to still look really good in this shade of blue.

Damian Lillard is one of the few active players that I'm collecting, and of all of his cards that I've seen, this 2015-16 ruby red is by far my favorite. I've probably got close to a page of these now too.

I've probably talked about this card more on the blog here, than anyone else has ever talked about any other card from the 2015-16 set. These are the only two colors that I'm actively looking for, mostly because I still can't decide which one looks better. By the by, have you noticed anything about the last five scans? There all made up of light blue and ruby red's. A lot of the singles in my stockpile were made up of those two colors too, something that I didn't realize until I started going through them. No matter how much I apparently like cards in these two shades, with the reds being numbered to /350, and the blues to /199, there is only a finite number of each for me to get, so some of these collections of duplicates will likely be capped off at some point, whether I want them to or not.

It'll probably be a while before I finish photographing and scanning the rest of my COMC order, so don't be looking to see much more of it any time soon. Other than those made at the two or three shows I will hopefully attend, I don't anticipate purchasing a lot of cards during the upcoming year, so much like this year, my COMC hoard will probably make up the bulk of the card content that you see here on the blog in 2020.

And finally, on completely unrelated note, Andy, from Stadium Fantasium, is running his second annual Rose Bowl contest. I think that he's offering something extra for promoting it, but I'm not gonna mention that I did so, as I don't care about getting something just for spreading the word. I do however care about him having a successful contest, so get yourself entered, not only will it be fun, but you'll also have a chance to win some really great (not hyperbole) prizes this year.

Thanks for taking a moment to look at my page.

Friday, December 27, 2019

Recapping Christmas day: Goods and Woods

As is customary over the last couple of years, I thought I'd do quick recap of Christmas day. And I do mean quick, after Monday's crazy-long post, I told myself that I wouldn't do any more long one's for at least a week. Real quick though, since I brought up Monday's post, I just wanted to thank everyone for the positive feedback on that one, it's hard to tell how something like that is going to go over, so it was nice to see that it seemed to resonate with a few of you. Anyways, back to Christmas...

This Christmas was fairly standard (which is a good thing), for anyone new, my mom's birthday is on Christmas, so as per usual I try to make the day about her as much as possible. Over the last couple of years we've sort of fallen into a groove (that too is a good thing), presents in the morning, lunch, and then go for a hike in the afternoon. I've got pictures from two out of the three (I don't do food pics) to show, so I'll just go in order and start with the gifts.

This year's stocking stuffer! With as bonkers as people are over Prizm these days, especially Prizm rookies, it's hard to believe that she found a couple of discounted 2016-17 rack packs still in the wild just a couple of months ago. My mom knows a bit about Prizm's popularity, but upon me unwrapping them, it was still funny to hear her say "I wonder how much those would go for on eBay?". It did get me to thinking though, so I checked, the last couple have sold for between $25-30 apiece, that's a lot of money just for a rack pack. Since the risk to reward ratio is so small on these, and with me not being overly comfortable opening up a "$25" pack, I am seriously considering selling these, and then using the money to get her something. My mom has taken on quite a few projects in recent years, all of which usually require money, so fifty bucks could potentially go a long way towards one of those projects.

Ah, what would a Christmas be without Spawn? Sorry for the bad pic, but I was trying to hurry up. Not a bad selection though, as they were all new to me.

I mentioned that my mom has taken on a bunch of projects, but I have as well, and have quite a few other's in mind, I just don't have the right equipment/supplies to start yet. One of those things that I didn't have, but very much wanted, was a heat gun. I've obviously lamented aloud on more than one occasion about how much a decent heat gun would cost, and that I would just have to hope that I could find a used one for less money at some point, because she got me one, and not just any one, but one of the one's that I had been eyeing for quite some time.

I've mentioned in past year's posts that my mom has a habit of going overboard with the Christmas presents, even though I always tell her multiple times during the year that it's not necessary. Well, I'm happy to report that it only took 37 years, but she finally listened to my pleas, and didn't go crazy with the gifts this year! Any one of these three things would've been enough for me, but all three together made for a pretty solid batch of presents.

I can't remember who first suggested going for a hike on Christmas, but after doing so now for four consecutive years, I think I can safely refer to it as a Christmas tradition. I know that my mom looks forward to it, and honestly, so do I.

The weather has been absolutely fantastic here this week, mid 60's, and just under 70 degrees on Christmas, so it's definitely good weather for doing things outside. I've had the whole week off, this was my third excursion into the woods so far, and I'll be going out hiking/exploring again tomorrow.

I didn't take a lot of photos this year, and the one's that I did take were mostly creek shots.

All in all, it was another really solid Christmas, got a couple of neat things, got to go for 2 1/2 hour hike, and more importantly, I got to spend the whole day with my mom! Hopefully everyone reading this had just as wonderful of a day as I did :)

Thanks for taking a moment to look at my page.

Thursday, December 26, 2019

Do you believe in Sandy Claws?

After two years worth of Secret Santa hosting now under my belt, I can tell you that there are exactly three things that I don't like about doing so: a) worrying that something is gonna go catastrophically wrong -- and then being blamed for it, b) trying to find out why someone hasn't gotten there package yet, and c) telling whoever drew my name that they have to buy me something.

That last one is more awkward than anything, but so far both people that I've had to tell this to have taken it in stride, for which I'm eternally grateful, as I don't do awkward well.

This year's uncomfortable email was sent to, Matt, from Diamond Jesters, who is someone that I hadn't had the good fortune to have had any real contact with yet, so as far as what to expect gift wise goes, I was completely clueless (this is one instance when being clueless is actually a good thing).

Christmas cards are always a good thing! Confession, I was in such a rush to send out the package to my giftee, that I forgot to include a Christmas card, sorry Jared :(

 Sandy Claws... AWESOME!

I'm pretty sure that Matt is just a baseball guy, so to get something that wasn't baseball related from him was kind of surprise, but to get something as seemingly hard to find as this 1986 McDonald's Reggie Roby from him was just like... whoa! I haven't looked into the details of this particular promotion yet, but I do know that it was a regional thing. They came in three four different colors (black, blue, gold, and green), which probably meant something, and as you can imagine, there aren't a ton of unscratched cards still around. There doesn't even seem to be a lot of cards without tabs around, so either they didn't make a lot of them (I doubt that), or just not very many people hung on to the cards after they were scratched. Coming in at roughly 3" x 4 3/4", I was a bit surprised at how big the card was, but I guess that's what happens when you've never seen one in person before, and haven't seen any measurements online either.

That card alone would've been enough for me, but there was more...

I can honestly say that unopened packs of anything are about the last thing that I would've expected to see come out of my SS package, but there they were... and they didn't stay unopened very long! Opening up new packs is not something that I get to do very often, so no matter what came out of them, it was gonna be fun either way.

These days collectors seem to be all about the "hits", so I'll start with the "hits". This card was in the pack backwards, so I was pretty sure that that meant something, but after looking at it for minute, I couldn't figure out what? The border was different from the others, and there wasn't any extra shiny bits, so I was left wondering... at least until I took to the webz! I'm sure that everyone who's looking at this can see what's so special about it, but just in case there's another me out there, his bat is a candy cane!!!!!! Apparently I haven't paid enough attention to the blog posts that I've seen with these, because I had no idea that I was suppose to be looking for things like that. I found out that this is an SP variation, and it falls at 1:7 packs.

It's hard to tell from the scan, but this one has the metallic snowflakes, which at 1:2 packs, are the most common of the parallels.

To me they're just "meh", but to a lot of other collectors these days, rookies are where it's at... so here's some rookies!

Got some guys that I'm familiar with...

... and some that I'm not!

Horizontal cards may not always look the best in pages, but they often allow for much better images. The universe must be trying to tell me that I need more Jorge Soler in my life, as I got him in both packs.

I'm seen some folks dismiss the holiday sets for being too "gimmicky", but they don't bother me in the least, as really anything other than a base card could be considered too "gimmicky", and there aren't too many people who only collect base cards anymore, so their complaints tend to sound like someone who's complaining just for complaining sake. I like the holly border on these BTW, I would've preferred it to be a full border, but they still look good as is.

Thanks for the fun Secret Santa package, Matt! I got to add an elusive card to the Reggie Roby collection, and I got the opportunity to open up some Christmas themed packs, seemed like a win-win in my book :)

Oh, and one final thing. Even though is post was about Matt's gift, I just wanted to publicly acknowledge the cards that I've received this month from Billy (Cardboard History), Chris (The Collector), Greg (The Collective Mind), Josh (Royals and Randoms), and Matt (Sport Card Collectors). This month got away from me, but I fully intend to post about each and every one of these packages in January, so until then, thanks again for all of the generous things that were sent my way.

Thanks for taking a moment to look at my page.

Wednesday, December 25, 2019

Merry Christmas!

I was going through some of my old (and I do mean old) sketch books earlier this year, and this loose bit of notebook paper fell out. I don't remember ever doing this one, but I'm thinking that it's a good 25+ years old. Since it seemed like it would be appropriate for a Christmas post, I went ahead and scanned it at the time, stuck the image in a folder, and now I'm showing it!

Whether celebrating Christmas, Hanukkah, or even those of you who are just the "happy holidays" sort, I hope each and every one of you have an awesome day today!

Thanks for taking a moment to look at my page.

Monday, December 23, 2019

Christmas morning: 1990 edition

I hate to have to start off today's post on a negative note, but if I want to properly set the scene, and I do, it'll be necessary to bring up some unpleasantness, so please bear with me for a couple of paragraphs, and then we'll get to the fun stuff.

I thought it had been longer ago, but apparently it was just back in September that I talked a little bit about my grandma, and her quick passing from leukemia. I won't rehash what's already been said, but one thing that I didn't mention in that previous piece, is that she lived with my mom and I during the last couple of months of her life.

You see, her and my grandpa lived in an old house that didn't have a bathroom on the main floor, and once she started the chemo, she didn't have enough energy to go to the one upstairs, and if she had went to the one in the basement, she probably wouldn't have had enough energy to get back up those stairs. My grandpa was still working at the time, and so were my mom and all of her siblings, so nobody could stay there and help her all day -- and even if they could've, she wouldn't have allowed it, as she wasn't going to allow anyone to be put out by her, or her illness.

Something did have to be done though, so since my mom and I were the only one's who lived in an apartment, which obviously had a bathroom on the main floor, so she came to live with us. Other than everyone knowing that the chemo wasn't going to do anything for her (leukemia was a death sentence back in '88), the first two or three months weren't too bad, she could stay by herself during the day, although that rarely happened, as family members seemed to always be there, whether it was during their respective lunch breaks, after work, or weekends, our little apartment became quite the hub of activity.

From what I remember, the last two months were pretty bad though, as she was pretty much confined to one of those hospital style beds that was set up in our living room, and she was only there because that was where our only television was. I only vaguely remember her last night, there was some sort of problem, an ambulance was called, and then within just a couple of hours she was gone.

This was in March of '89, and even though everyone knew that it was coming, the family was still absolutely devastated, she was the glue, and with her passing, things were never the same. As you can probably imagine, our little apartment didn't feel the same after she died, it seemed to have acquired a depressing air, and my mom started looking for a new place almost immediately -- which she would find later that year in the form of a somewhat rundown two-story house (with a basement and detached garage) that was located in SE Portland (OR).

We moved in to said house in either January or February of 1990, I don't remember exactly when, but I do know that I had to switch schools during second grade. The house itself was pretty unremarkable at the time, they were all over Portland (at the time), it was the sort that could be had for around $25,000, the sort that now couldn't be had for anything less than half a million (californication is very much alive and well). The house had it's pluses, and it's minuses. On the plus side, I would find a new best friend who lived just four houses down. The grade school was only two blocks away, so it was easy enough to walk to and from school, it was also nice to have a playground so close. We also had a fairly decent sized backyard that came with somewhat of an already established garden, which was great for bunnies, which we had... sort of! It was actually the people that lived behind us that had rabbits, rabbits that just so happened to dig (chew) through the bottom of their hutch, and dig a hole under the fence. They would always come over, or rather under, and just hang out, then go home when they felt like it. Both my mom and myself really liked this unexpected perk, our cats didn't seem to mind either, as they never chased, or tried to kill, the rabbits.

I mentioned that it had some minuses as well, looking back they weren't too bad though, it was mostly just that the house needed some work, although the detached garage was pretty bad though, it was basically unusable at that point. The basement was pretty big, but it was awfully dark down there, and I did not like going down there by myself. Speaking of scary things, I wasn't overly fond of the upstairs either, although I think the staircase to go upstairs was what bothered me the most. The staircase was located right inside the front door, it was the first thing that you saw, as the stairs led up right in front of you. Going left or right from the land was an option too, left would lead you down a couple of steps to what became my pseudo playroom, which also led to the kitchen. And going right would take you down into the living room. But boy was that staircase bothersome for me! It was closed in by what I'm pretty sure were load bearing walls, and I had a real problem with not being able to see who, or what, was up there, until reaching the last store -- I always thought someone, or something, was going to jump out at me. Being a kid with an over-productive imagination, it also didn't help that with it being an old house, that the steps were very creaky, and would often do so even when no one was going up or down them. For such an old house, those stairs seemed to still be settling a lot.

That backstory ended up being a little longer than I thought it would be, but I think it sets the who, what, and when, up pretty good -- at least as far as Christmas morning of 1990 is concerned.

I don't actually have any memories from this particular Christmas, but I remember the stuff, so that's what I'll be focusing on here today. I know I certainly don't remember opening up presents in my underwear, but I guess I've got the pictures to prove that I did indeed spend at least one Christmas morning opening up presents in my underwear, obviously eight-year old me didn't have any concept of modesty yet. Later that day we would've gone to my grandpa's house for the family Christmas, so my freedom from pants that morning would've been short lived.

So first up was a LEGO set. LEGO's were never really my thing, but I still got some from time to time, my brother (he lived with his dad, which is a story for another time) really liked them though, he had an insane amount of them when we were young. It's kind of hard to tell what particular set I'm holding, but thankfully my mom kept, and still has, my LEGO's, so a couple of months ago I got into them and found this:

After doing a brief search of ye olde interwebz, I found out that this model was called the BLACKTRON Alienator, which apparently was released in 1988. Of all of the LEGO sets, this black & yellow space series is the one that I remember the most. I didn't look through all of my old LEGO's, but I'm pretty sure that I had/have a few sets from this series.

While going through the "LEGO tote", I did pull out one other thing too

I said that LEGO's weren't really my jam, and that's true, but damn did I love these little motorcyclists! I'm not even going to attempt to guess how many hours of my life that I spent playing with just these guys on the coffee table, but trust me when I say that it was a lot.

Ooh, look how excited I am to be receiving sweats for Christmas! I can't get over how young I look in these pictures, this one in particular, I mean I still do look young for my age, or at least that's the impression that I get every time I have to show my ID somewhere, but still...

It's funny too, I didn't like sweats when I was young, but now they're like my favorite thing ever, although I still can't bring myself to wear them out in public.

Ah, a 45, now we're talking! Music was very big in our house at this time, and from what I can remember, it always had been. My dad was a musician (not professionally), and my mom was good friends with a guy who owned a record store, so "new" records were always being brought home. I didn't have a lot of my own, but I did have some 45's, so it's not terribly surprising to see me getting one for Christmas.

Thankfully I haven't gotten rid of much non-sports card stuff over the years, meaning that I still have my 45's, which made identifying the album in the picture much easier. Any guesses?

I'm willing to bet that no one guessed correctly on this one! The information is lost to time, but it would've been interesting to know if I asked for this one specifically, or if my mom just thought that I would like it? I guess it doesn't really matter either way, because I did, and still do like "Wild Thing". And I don't know if anyone cares or not, but "Love is All Around" is on b-side, which obviously isn't as well known, and isn't a song that anyone would ever refer to as a "sleeper".

Since I'm talking about owning 45's as a kid, how about a quick side trip to take a look at a few more of my earliest records?

I used to love this song so damn much! I would sit by the turntable and just keep replaying it over and over and... well, you get the point. I don't know how my mom was able to put up with that, it must be one of those things that you need to be a parent to understand. Not one of my favorites now though, but it's still nice to have for sentimental purposes.

I go back and forth on it, but this might be my first album as well. It's kind of hard to remember such things after 30+ years. If it wasn't my first, then it had to be the second, as there's only one other album that I could've had longer...

I'm pretty sure that I've already covered my love for this song in the past, but given the time period, it should come as no surprise that it all started with The California Raisins. The b-side features "You", which is really terrific song as well, even if it didn't get a whole lot of attention at the time of it's release.

I've never been a big Stevie Wonder fan, but I really liked this song as a kid, and this point, it's probably the only Stevie Wonder song that I like.

Remember how I said that my mom had a friend who had a record store, well, Yesterday Records was Bob's store. I don't have very many memories of him, other than that he was very nice, and very passionate about music. He also had a vast knowledge of the history of music in Portland, which is something that I really wish that could've appreciated more at the time. I have no idea whatever became of him, but hopefully he's still alive and doing well.

Alright, let's get back to the Christmas morning, especially seeing as how there's only one item left, aka the big ticket item!

The lower half of one of our cats, Bogart, can be seen in the upper right :)
As you might be able to tell, this was a much desired item by me. Today's kids probably couldn't comprehend why anyone would be excited to get a boombox, but at one time they were a pretty big deal.

We had a really nice Marantz 4-piece stereo system (with gignormous speakers) at this time, I believe my mom had bought it from Smith's (that's a name that should be familiar to most longtime Portland residents) right around the time that we moved into the house, and we used it a lot, but I was also starting to acquire a lot of cassettes around this time, and probably wanted something of my own to listen to them on, I don't recall ever asking for this though.

Thanks to the magic of the internet, I was able to pilfer this image from an eBay listing, since it's a little difficult to tell what it looked like just from the box.

This boombox was one of my prized possessions for a number of years. My most specific memory involving it comes from about '92, when I got a really cheap microphone, and some friends and I started making fake news broadcasts. For ten-year olds, we got kind of serious about this, what with the doling out of assignments, and writing scripts and all, it was pretty involved. Sadly those recordings weren't long for this world though, as the tapes would later be used to record songs from the radio, which were then eventually tossed out.

I think I had this radio until about '96 or '97, being replaced to make room for my first boombox with a CD player in it. I'd absolutely love to get another one of these, but $40 plus another $35 for shipping is a bit cost prohibitive right now, maybe someday though.

*************************** Bonus Content *****************************

I mentioned being able to see part of Bogart in that boombox photo, so I figured why not grab another photo from the same pack to show all of him, and my beloved Kitten.

We got Bogart (on the left) right after we moved into the house, he came from one of my mom's co-workers who had to find a new home for him because her neighbors didn't like cats, and had poisoned (and killed) her two other cats, so she asked my mom if we would take him, obviously we did. He was already a couple of years old, and lived until he was 15 or 16, which was pretty good for a guy as big as he was (over 20 pounds, but not fat)

Kitten - which incidentally wasn't his original name, it just stuck - was found as a starving kitten on our street just a month or two after we moved in. I'm guessing that this photo probably dates to around January of '91, because he's not quite full grown yet. He ended up being more of my cat, although he would become rather independent, only coming in to eat for much of his short life (he was hit by a car six or seven years later).

I don't remember the exact details, and I don't like having to ask my mom about unpleasant memories, but I'm pretty sure that thanks to some bad financial advice from my grandpa, the house had to be sold, and we ended up moving to Beaverton in the summer of '91. So we were only in this house for about a year and a half, but it sure feels like it was a lot longer. We moved around a lot when I was a kid, and I always hated it, but this particular move wouldn't be so bad, as the two years that we would spend in Beaverton would be the two happiest years of my childhood -- that'll probably be the subject of another post as well :)

Thanks for taking a moment few minutes to look at my page.

Saturday, December 14, 2019

Pack Sampling: 1995 Pinnacle Zenith Series 2

It's funny how quickly things go by when you're not paying attention to them. I've heard through the grapevine (Twitter) that the NFL regular season is almost over, how did this happen? Didn't it just start-up a couple of weeks ago? If not, it sure feels like it did. I wonder if it's gone that fast for the folks who do actually care about the current happenings as well? So many questions, none of which need answering!

I've stated many times that I don't really follow sports anymore, the only games I watch are old one's, which reminds me, was I the last one to find out that there's a couple of channels on YouTube that have a sh*t ton of older NFL games to watch? I'm guessing that's a yes. Oh well though, at least I found them. Some pretty solid stuff on those channels as well, it's mostly mid-70's through the early 80's, which is great because they're all new to me, and their complete broadcasts (minus the commercials) which is even better. I don't generally like watching things via YouTube, but this has been one instance where an exception was an order, as I've watched quite a few games since finding them, and there's still a whole bunch more that are waiting for me.

Anyways, I may not be all that interested in what's happening now, but I was back in 1995, the only problem is that I wasn't collecting football cards at the time -- which means that I missed out on a whole mess of great products, including Pinnacle Zenith. Zenith is a brand that I almost never see singles from, and packs or boxes are basically non-existent in the wild, so when I came across this pack at September's show, I knew that I had to try and get it. Thankfully it was only $1, so it didn't require much thought as to whether it was worth it or not... because it was indeed worth it!

I don't know this to be true or not, but I'm assuming that all of the rookies were in series 2, in which case, series 1 probably would've been more desirable for me, but beggars can't be choosers, so I wasn't about to turn down the pack just because it might have rookies in it.

Oh, and as a quick aside, I tried to scan, and photograph, the pack odds, but I just couldn't get a decent image of the back, so hopefully no one had their hearts set on seeing those.

Brent Jones may not be a household name, but he spent almost a decade as the starting TE for some really good 49ers teams, which included three Super Bowl appearances, and... three rings! Given his numbers, and his importance to the team, we might even see his name in the HOF at some point.

The cards in this set are absolutely gorgeous, none more so than the rookies. The gold/yellow background really pops on these, it's just too bad that the scanner can't pick that up. As for Ryan Yarborough, I don't remember him at all! A quick search tells me that he had a very successful career at the University of Wyoming, apparently Ryan was considered to be one of the most prolific receivers in the history of college football, unfortunately for him, that success never carried over to the NFL. He spent a couple of seasons with a couple of different teams, and that was about the extent of his professional career.

If it weren't for one poorly chosen comment, Ricky probably would've been elected to the HOF many years ago, as such, he's still waiting, and I suspect that the powers that be are gonna make him wait for awhile. His numbers are certainly hall worthy, but you know what they, perception is 9/10 of the law.

Does anyone else have black hole teams? You know, the teams that you just don't seem to know very much about, and couldn't name a handful of current or former players to save your life -- I do, and the Jets are one of them! You could put a gun to my head, and I'd still only be able to name three players: Joe Namath, Curtis Martin, and Wayne Chrebet... that's it! Looks like he didn't do anything overly special during his nine seasons, I do see that he was a Mountaineer though, so I'll have to see if either Kin or Matt wants this card.

Speaking of HOFer's who had wait a lot longer than they should've to be enshrined! It's embarrassing to think how long it took the voter's to let him in. When I was a kid, Andre Reed was a big name, and if you got one of his cards in a pack, you treated it like it was something special... because it was!

Stan Humphries is a name that you never hear mentioned anymore, at least not on the pro level. He's another guy who was kind of big deal when I was a kid, as he turned a garbage Chargers squad into a playoff team, and then two years later led the team to it's first, and still only, Super Bowl appearance. Even though he hasn't really accomplished much, people still go gaga over Philip Rivers, but if I had my choice of Chargers quarterbacks in their prime, I'd give the ball to Stan, well, unless Dan Fouts was available, then I'd go with Dan :)

I think that this was a pretty solid pack overall, no "sick hitz", but plenty of decent names. No regrets on the $1 price tag either, which is good, because a couple of the other packs that I got that day have been absolute duds. Normally I'd be offering up most of the pack to whoever wants it, but I don't know quite yet who the keepers will be, although I do know that I don't need Murrell, so I guess he's available, but as mentioned, I will be checking on that one with the two WVU collectors first.

Thanks for taking a moment to look at my page.