Monday, October 31, 2022

He did the Mash...

... he did the Monster Mash!

I adored Halloween novelty songs as a kid. I had a couple of records, a couple of tapes, and whenever possible, would try to record anything I didn't have off of the radio. It was definitely a slower time. And thank god cell phone cameras didn't exist back then, otherwise there would undoubtedly be multiple surviving videos floating around out there of young me in costume, dancing to said records and cassettes.

"Growing up" did nothing to diminish my love for the genre, in fact, my appreciation for it has only continued to increase with age. They, along with old films, are my version of comfort food. I have a much larger collection of songs now, encompassing many more formats. And while I can appreciate how much easier it is to find stuff these days what with the internet and all, I do miss the days of having to wait years, and sometimes, decades, to finally hear something (I feel the same way about films); as it made it just that much better when you finally did get to hear some long sought after track. The internet has ruined anticipation. And I don't know about anyone else, but I miss anticipation.

I mention all of this because of two things: A). I'm embarrassed to admit that I didn't know of the above cards existence until just last year. I knew of the American Bandstand set, but had never taken any time to see who was all in it. And B). Once I did get a copy of the card (courtesy of COMC), inspiration was struck for a new mini-collection.

"Monster Mash" wasn't the first Halloween novelty song, far from it, but having sold over four million copies (physical copies), it's without a doubt the granddaddy of all other Halloween novelty songs. For folks of a certain age, it was often their first foray into the world of Halloween songs. And unfortunately, given it's prolific nature, it often ends up becoming a song that many people begin to hate at some point in their lives. I feel fortunate to have never reached that point, and still listen to it about a month (I don't go out of my way to here it though).

Despite having heard the song a couple of thousand times, my only real memory attached to it comes from first grade. I don't know if kids still go to school dressed up for Halloween anymore, but I can remember doing so through fourth grade. No year ever topped first grade though, if only because there was no actual schooling being done on that particular Halloween. From what I can recall, the first half of the day was spent listening to stories (of the scary variety), and the second half was spent walking around the school getting candy. There were even a couple of classrooms that had been converted into mini haunted houses/caves/rooms. All the while, Monster Mash was being played non-stop on the PA system in the halls and outside. I can't even imagine how many times I must've heard it that day, as we did spend a lot of time walking around the outside the school, and waiting in the halls for another class to finish up going through one of the decorated rooms. I can honestly say that that might've been the best day of school ever. I don't know how any others could've outdone that one.

Having created such a pop culture phenom, it seems only fitting that Bobby Pickett should be the first card in collection featuring folks who have released novelty songs for Halloween. Fortunately, or unfortunately depending how you look at it, such a collection will never number more than 20-25 cards, as the majority of the contributors to this genre have never appeared on small pieces of cardboard.

Had I thought about doing this post prior to this morning (Halloween), I could've gotten the the 4 or 5 other cards that I have so far into the post, but I didn't, so Bobby will have to do for today. I did just get the latest card for this collection a couple of weeks ago, so at least that one should be making it into an upcoming post. Much like trying to find the songs way back when, trying to find people for this collection has been a slow process. But that's okay, I don't mind slow, it gives me something to anticipate.


Sunday, October 30, 2022

And the winner is...

First off, thanks to all of the folks that entered last weekends contest. I was a bit surprised by some of the people who did enter, and by some of the ones who didn't, but I guess that's the nature of blogging in 2022; you just never know who's gonna be around at any given time. That being said, there ended up being 26 entrants, which is a few more than I expected, so that was nice.

As per usual, here's the list of entrants before being randomized:

Johnny's Trading Spot
night owl
hockey kazi
Mike Matson 
John Sharp
Jeff B - Wax Pack Wonders
Brett Alan
The Diamond King
Jeff Laws
RJ Sahl
Nick Vossbrink
The Snorting Bull

And the list of entrants after being randomized (7 times):

Congratulations to Jeff Laws! When you get a chance Jeff, please send me an email (it's in my profile if you don't have it anymore), so that we can make all of the arrangements.

Thanks to everyone else for entering. I'm hoping to do more contests throughout the coming year, and as mentioned in the previous post, will be bringing back some free stuff posts, so everybody should be getting more chances to win/claim things in the very near future.

Sunday, October 23, 2022

Belated anniversary contest

As promised last month, it's time for this blog's belated seventh anniversary contest.

Some (or none) may recall that the reason for the delay in running this was because the winner was going to get X amount of dollars to use on COMC during their sitewide Black Friday sales, which, in the last few years have started in early November (I don't know when they start this year though), so I didn't want the winner to have to wait for over a month to start shopping; like they would've had I run it back during the middle of September when the actual anniversary took place.

Did you notice there how I said "the winner was going to get", well, things have changed a bit, and for the better I believe. 

So, what's the winner gonna get?: The original prize was going to be a $25 spending spree on COMC during the fast approaching Black Friday sales, which is still an option, but if the winner doesn't want that, they'll now have a few other options in the form of $25 spending spree on either the Baseball Card StoreeBay, or Sportlots. And what's more, you'll be able to mix and match if you want. So, in theory, it would be possible to get things from all four sites, juts as long as the total doesn't exceed $25 (it's okay if you go a tad over though, $25.09 won't break me).

A few things to consider: 

1. Anything chosen from COMC must be done by Monday Nov. 31st 30th, because that's when I'll be requesting my shipment, which is what your item(s) to need to be in. Also, remember too that a lot of other people will be requesting shipments when I do, so it'll probably take a few weeks for my package to get here, and then at least another week before I can get your items to you. And even though there will be plenty of deals to be had during the month, they'll still be plenty of bad ones too. I can appreciate it if someone still needs a 1988 Topps Mike Greenwell to complete their set, but I'd prefer not to buy the $5 copy that's probably on the site as I type. I'd also prefer it if no one would choose anything from sellers gregmo32 or spinberry (I think that's their names), as they're two of the more egregious flippers on the site, and I don't like rewarding bad behavior.

2. If an eBay item is wanted (it doesn't have to be card related), the shipping price will count as part of the $25. And the only seller I'd prefer not to buy from on there is Burbank Sportscards; I don't like the way they conduct business. I suppose too if someone wanted the whole $25 from eBay, I'd probably get a gift card and either send the card itself, or just the code (winner can decide), that way whoever could just use it whenever they wanted.

3. If items from the Baseball Card Store are chosen, the shipping price will count as part of the $25. The good news is though that I can probably ask the folks that run the site to ship any cards directly to the winner.

4. If items from Sportlots are wanted, the shipping price will count as part of the $25. I'm currently sending most of my purchases to a box there, and will probably continue to do so through November, so if you were to find a seller who offers a big discount (possibly even free) to ship to the box, obviously that would leave you with more money to spend.

Who's eligible to enter?: People who are following at least one of my three blogs, or who have commented on at least one of the three blogs in the last 60 days are all eligible to enter. I mentioned a couple of months ago, but those will be the requirements to participate in any of my contests or free stuff posts going forward. And the Free Stuff Friday's will be retuning next year (on a different day and under a different name), so it might be worth keeping these in mind when that comes back around.

[additional note: I might wave the requirements for certain long-time blog supporters who I still speak with occasionally via email or Twitter DM's who no longer have an account with Blogger/Google]

[additional note #2: This isn't a U.S. only contest, so everyone can participate, no matter where you live]

The rest... I think I've covered just about everything. I'll leave this open until next Sunday, so I guess I'll just say that you need to be entered by 10am (CST) next Sunday to be eligible. I'll randomize the names seven times shortly after the contest closes and then get a quick post up announcing the winner. With the blogs being a bit down again, and me not promoting this post on Twitter (or anywhere else), I'm not expecting a lot of entrants, so anyone who does get in probably has a fairly decent chance of winning.

I guess that's it. Hopefully all of that made some sense.

Friday, October 21, 2022

I know that name from somewhere

I've made a few purchases this month. Actually, scratch that, I've made more than a few purchases this month. Probably more than I should have. 

I don't keep track of such things, but I've probably acquired more cards this past month than the previous two years combined. Sportlots adding their new non-sport category to the site has been like siren song to me, I just can't seem to resist checking out all of the new stuff that keeps getting added every day. And the cheap prices haven't been helping either. I've been knocking off wants left and right, many of which had been highly sought after (by me) for years now. 

A lot of the things I've been getting have been available on COMC, unfortunately they're often being sold by people who think that just because they have the only one on the site, that any interested parties will be willing to pay 20-30 times more just because it's the only one available. I'm not that kind o buyer. I can easily pass up fifty-cent cards with $20 price tags on COMC, but apparently have no willpower when it comes to those same cards when they have a twenty-cent price tag on Sportlots. So, the bad news is that I've been spending more money than usual this month, but the good news is that I won't have too many more modern (post 1980) non-sport wants after everything that's been bought shows up. I'll probably be able to get back to my normal routine of one or two purchases a month come November.

Given that I've probably already bought over a hundred cards so far this month, I highly doubt that I'll ever get around to discussing the majority of those on here, but I did want to cover at least one small order, if only because I was so pleased with the cards themselves, the way in which they were packed, and the quickness in which they were received. The seller who managed to complete this trifecta is called Triplutz, although the outside of the envelope said WaxPackHero, which is a name that sounds terribly familiar, but I can't seem to place where I've seen/heard it before. For the time being, I'll just assume that it's one that I've seen on the TCDB; I don't have enough time to be racking my poor overtaxed brain over such things.

Despite my going on about non-sport cards for the last ten minutes, astute observers may have noticed a very non non-sport card leading off the post. Well, yeah, there are some sports cards being added to these orders too, plus blog psychology dictates that a post whose first image is baseball related will generate more clicks than one that starts with a non-sport card. Think I'm lying? Go through this post and tell me which card would've garnered more mainstream attention than that nifty Classic Bo (and other guys). 

I haven't seen any on the blogs, so I'm not sure if either card company still does it, but I really miss card backs that compared the stats of certain players like this. Is it just me, or do we never hear about Ruben Sierra anymore? That was quite a season he had back in '89. He led the A.L. in RBIs, slugging %, total bases, and led the majors in triples. He finished second to Robin Yount in the MVP voting that year too. And looking at the numbers, one could make the case that he should've won it. He put up very similar numbers two years later, finishing 8th in the MVP voting. Though, Ripken was the clear winner that year, and it doesn't even look like there was a close second. 

This is just a neat card all the way around.

With Topps getting the NBA license back, I can't help but wonder if they'll do another Archives set for basketball again. I suppose they could an NFL version now, too. Sounds like it's tailor-made for more cards featuring the '87 baseball design. Because that's what everyone is clamoring for, right? Right?

I probably had multiple copies of both versions of this card way back when, but those are long gone. At least I now have the gold one again.

Hey, it's my first ever Wacky Packages of any kind! And hey...

... here's my second! I've been trying to get some of the monster themed cards from the various WP sets for what seems like years now, and have had zero luck in doing so; until now. Granted, these are only from the 1991 set, but still, I finally got two off of my list. I like how "Vlad Bags" rolls off the tongue, but since my world still revolves around videos, blank tapes included, I think I appreciate the effort that went into designing "Mummorex" just a little bit more.

It's a bit hard to tell, but these are both 5-Stripers. The Wild Card Stripes are the devil of any collection that features a player from the early 90's. These may be the lowest on the stripe totem pole, but even so, I'm very glad to have them out of the way.

Some "influencer" out there must've done a thing about 80's title cards, because they sure have jumped in price over the last few years. Enough so that it couldn't have happened on it's own. It would've been nice to know that it was coming so I could've tried to finish my collection before the influenced were told to buy en masse. I still need about a dozen from the 70's through the 90's, this having been one of them. Thankfully, this guy had it listed for a pre-boom price.

I know that there are other people out there who collect every single player that I do. I'm not foolish enough think that any of them are that obscure. But, I do wonder sometimes if there's a collector out there for each and every celebrity and/or comic character that I collect. Sentinels are a perfect example of this question, I mean I'm sure plenty of people have Sentinels cards sitting in sets, but does anyone else have just a Sentinels collection? I do, though it is only a couple of pages worth of cards. This one was an upgrade for me. My old copy didn't fare so well in the box that it had been sitting in during my ten-plus year hiatus from collecting. A couple of moves probably didn't do it any favors either.

Sherri Martel... prrrrrrrr. I know I'm not alone when I say this, but Sherri Martel was one of my earliest crushes. I loved everything about her as a kid, or at least what little I knew about her way back when. It probably didn't hurt too that she was one of those rare women that just kept getting better looking with age. I also appreciated then, and even more so now, that she was always willing to mix it up with the guys. Looking back, she took some crazy bumps (and what other woman was jumping off the top of cages at that time!), unfortunately some of those crazy bumps are probably what led her to become addicted to pain pills and alcohol, which undoubtedly contributed to her untimely death. She doesn't have nearly as many cards out there as she should (a lot of them are modern parallels), but even so, it's always nice to be able to add a new one to my modest collection of hers.

Triplutz is one of those sellers that offers free shipping to a Sportlots box, which I will probably be taking advantage of in the very near future. The only reason I didn't do so this time was because not all Sportlots sellers are created equal, and I wanted to know how accurate this fellow is with his descriptions before placing a larger order with him (which is my standard operating procedure for that site). This guy obviously knows his stuff, so if you're ever inclined, you might want to take a look through his offerings. You won't be disappointed.

Saturday, October 15, 2022

A final F U from Panini

I bought this Carl Eller Golden Age auto from COMC back in early 2017. I believe that I had already decided to collect all three Golden Age autograph sets by then (an idea I've since abandoned), and for 7 or 8 bucks this seemed like a pretty good deal at the time.

Fast forward to Black Friday of that same year, and I bought a couple of $25 Golden Age boxes from Steel City Collectibles (feels like a lifetime ago), the 2013 box of which yielded a redemption for the very same Carl Eller autograph:

Folks who just started collecting in the last few years are probably having heart palpitations right about now, but there's no need for that, you see, Panini was still honoring expired redemptions back in 2017. I know that it may sound crazy, but it's absolutely true. In fact, they had already honored three of my expired Golden Age redemptions throughout the year prior to this one. Because of that, and because I knew that Carl had already signed the cards (if he hadn't, I wouldn't have been able to buy one), I figured that, at best, I'd have to wait a month or two for my second Carl Eller autograph. I couldn't have been more wrong.

I heard nothing for months, then those months turned into years. Then the Rona showed up and everything went to shit. Panini, like pretty much every other company, was having problems galore around this time, and even though I had realized by that point that I was not going to be getting my Carl Eller, I didn't want to be just another asshole that was tearing them a new one on social media for not responding to emails and phone calls; there were enough of those already.

I can't remember when it was exactly, but in late 2020 or early 2021, Panini put out a thing that said they were now fulfilling old redemptions again. Even so, I still knew that I wouldn't ever be seeing Carl. I was still hoping to get something for him though, so I decided to send an email to the person who was in charge of swapping out redemptions for cards of (alleged) equal value. Not surprisingly, I didn't get a response. I then sent a second email, still no response. A third email yielded bupkus as well. 

Not too long after my third email, all of the news started coming out that Panini had lost there licenses for just about everything. I figured then that I'd never be getting anything for Carl, and that probably a lot of other people were gonna end getting screwed out of their old redemptions as well. Or were they?

Panini started sending out emails last month about replacing old redemptions. To me, those emails felt like one of those times where someone's using a lot of words, but wasn't actually saying anything. Since the ones I got didn't mention contacting anyone in particular to switch out your redemption, I kind of thought that they were just gonna send a random thing of their choosing and call it good. That wouldn't have been good, but any something would've been better than nothing, or so I thought. 

I received this email two days ago. Definitely not what I was expecting. Is 150 points a lot? I don't know, it didn't sound like a lot.

Having never had any Panini Rewards Points before, I've never had reason to visit their Rewards site, and therefor had no idea what to expect. After having now done so, I'm glad I didn't go in with any sort of expectations.

Right away I was met with things over 150 points, and kind of crappy looking things if I'm being honest. If that stuff cost that much, what kind of dregs was I gonna find in the sub-150 point category? After setting the points filter to 150 or less, I soon found out. 

Starting first with baseball...

This was just a sample of what could be found for 150 points, but. these. are. awful. I didn't recognize a single name in the baseball category. I thought maybe I'd have better luck with the football...

Nope! There was a lot more to choose from in the football, but I still didn't recognize any of the names. I'm glad to know that I could trade my Carl Eller for a 50-point Aaron Lynch (who?) though. And why are all of these cards so damn ugly? No wonder Panini lost their licenses. I wouldn't even take these cards if someone walked up and handed them to me for free. What would I do with them?

There was nothing in the entertainment category, so my last hope was with basketball.

Hey, Mehmt Okur, I remember him! Looks like I could replace my Carl Eller with a child's relic (bib?) too, I must be a fool not to jump on that deal. 

There was a LOT of basketball cards that could be had for 150 points, and even some names that I recognized, but nothing I'd want, that is until this came up

I thought, "Wow, that's actually kind of a neat card!". A beloved former Blazer, and someone I actually actively collect, what were the odds. I finished going through the offerings, and found a total of 4 different Brian Grant autographs, two as a Laker (boo!), and two as a Heat. It was kind of weird to see him, who had a very respectable NBA career, mixed in with a bunch of nobodies. Whatever, I found this nifty card, even though it still wouldn't be a fair swap for the Carl Eller, but I wanted it nonetheless. The next step was to put it in the cart, then add some other info, before finally getting to the checkout.

Woot? I've got to pay shipping to use my redemption points? Shitty as that is, I now very much wanted this Brian Grant, so I was gonna go through with it, though I didn't need this expensive shipping option, regular old First Class would do just fine. All I had to do is switch the shipping option...

Again... Woot? And here I had thought that they had automatically selected the most expensive shipping option. Nope, that was the cheapest. So, let me get this straight, I'm trading my Carl Eller and $13.52 for this Brian Grant auto? As much as I love Rasta Monsta, this ain't gonna be happening. Obviously if things were on the up and up, Panini would send this to me for free, but clearly they're not. 

After seeing this, I can only imagine how many redemptions are gonna be left on the table. Legally, I don't know how this isn't considered to be fraud, but I'm no lawyerologist, so I'll have to leave that for someone else to decide. In the meantime, this sucks, I got my heart all set on getting this Brain Grant, only for Panini to shit all over it. 

I hate to say it, Panini, because I really liked your Golden Age sets (and I suspect that you'll be bringing them back now that you can't do anything else), but... fuck you, too! You could've gone out with some class, and dignity, but instead you chose to go out like an asshole and screw everyone over. 

P.S. An an extra rub to all of this, I looked around for the Brian Grant, hoping that I could pick it up for cheaper than $13.52 somewhere, but nope, it's not currently for sale anywhere :(

Thursday, October 13, 2022

Honesty is always the best policy

Kudos to SP Authentic for being, well, authentic when it came to describing these designs.

And for the record, I agree; these were mediocre at best.

Monday, October 10, 2022

The Wonders of Time Travel

Why is it that I can remember the lyrics to a 30 year-old song that I rarely ever listen to, but can't remember what I sent to a fellow blogger a little over a month ago? 

Just within the last few weeks I listened to "Rico Suave" all the way through for the first time in a couple of years, and was a tad surprised to find that I still knew every single lyric to it, including the Spanish bits, which is interesting since I don't speak a lick of Spanish. And yet, I sent, Jeff, author and blogger extraordinaire, from Wax Pack Wonders, a card sometime in the last 4-6 weeks, and for the life of me, cannot remember what it was. It makes no sense!

I still have Jeff's thank you note around here somewhere, so I could probably go find that and be reminded of which card was sent, but I shouldn't have to, it wasn't that long ago, I should be able to remember it. I'm hoping it'll come to me while I'm typing, and then I can just circle back and add an update; but until then...

My one card sent yielded around 20-something in return (most of which were scanned). A bit much, but the thought behind them is appreciated. One doesn't expect to get basketball cards from Jeff, and yet that's what most of them were. About half the cards were former Blazers, which is never a bad thing.

I don't go out of my way to seek out Clifford Robinson rookies, but still have more copies of these Fleer and Hoops cards than any sane person should have. I have a few copies of the Hardwood Leaders as well, but since it's one of my favorite insert sets of all-time, I won't ever turn down more, especially those of guys that I collect.

When I came back to card collecting I wasn't that interested in the stuff that I had collected the first time around, paying more attention to vintage, and the many things that had come out while I was away. Now that a dozen or so years have passed since my return, I find myself more interested in cards from my childhood/teens than anything else. I suppose it's normal for one to be drawn towards people/players that you can relate to. It may be a base card from a set that not too many people care about anymore, but the '95-96 Hoops card here is a perfect example of why I continue to find myself drawn to this era more and more. I like everything about it, the design, the photo, David's shoes, and most importantly, I can look at it and instantly identify everyone on the card; and still remember how they played. It's great card for cameo collectors, as you've got your choice of Dennis Rodman, Clyde Drexler, Kenny Smith, and Avery Johnson. Good stuff all around!

I've made the mistake of trying to read through a few basketball threads on Twitter over the last few years, and am constantly amazed at how dumb the NBA's modern fan base is. I don't understand how fans of a sport can know so little of it's history, and what's more, feel absolutely no embarrassment over their ignorance. John Stockton is often a target of these idiots. Sad as that is, it does bring me great joy to know that it'll be a very long time (if it ever even happens) before someone breaks his all-time record for assists or steals. That seems to bother those dummies quite a bit too, which makes me even happier. 

The card on the left was actually kind of rare back when it was new, but is now relegated to the dime boxes. Still a neat card though, one which features a young Gary Payton as well.

Being from Portland, being a good guy, and having had a solid career, I should collect A.C. Green, but I don't; he just doesn't move the needle for me. I thought it was kind of interesting to see him on both of these cards though.

All-Star inserts were hit-or-miss over the years. These weren't one of my favorites design-wise, but as mostly a player collector these days, I do appreciate these for being dual-sided with one guy from the East team on the front, and one guy from the West team on the back. It gives you options, as is the case with the Joe Dumars here, I don't collect him, but if you flip the card over... 

... you get John Stockton, who I do collect! I'm pretty sure that I already have one of the Pippen/Kemp cards, but can't remember who's binder it's in. Once I figure it out though, this one will go in whatever collection that it's not already in.

I got one baseball card too. It looks familiar, but I don't think that I have it. That guy in the background is kind of creepy. I'm not sure if he's supposed to be a ghost or what, but either way, he's appropriate for the season.

Thanks again, Jeff! 


In other news, I was able to get in on one of the now famous monthly Time Traveling trades from, Matt, over at Diamond Jesters

I think that this was only the second or third time that I've participated on one of these, if only because there usually isn't much for me, and even when there is, it's often the sort of stuff that I know someone else will want more, so I just leave it for them to claim. This past month though, I had to get two. The Cliff Branch was a just because card, I like it, and wanted it, so here it is! I don't have a list for my Alzado's yet, but I do know what I don't have by sight, and this was one that I didn't have. Unfortunately for me, I didn't look at it close enough, and missed the slit under his armpit. I just saw the nice corners, and made my claim.

Fingers! You can see the gash much better here. That's the sort of thing that'll bug the shit out of me, so he's gonna need replacing. I wonder if this one would be good enough for Fuji's damaged card collection?

Thanks for doing what you do, Matt! You seem to be making a lot of people happy with this series of yours.


Well, I've made to the end, and still can't remember what I sent to Jeff. I guess it'll just have to remain a mystery.

Oh, and "Rico Suave", yeah that hasn't aged very well. It's hard to believe that I could've liked that back when it was new.

Tuesday, October 4, 2022

News you can use

Just a head's up for those that might be interested, there's now a non-sport category over on Sportlots

This has been a few years in the making, so it's kind of exciting to see it finally being implemented. I was pleasantly surprised by how many cards have already been listed, especially since today is it's launch day. I've already done two small orders, and was able to pick up some of my more wanted cheap cards. I suspect that these were just the first two of what will be many future all non-sport orders made by me on there.

That's all I've got for today. I'll try to get a real post up sometime soon.