Friday, December 28, 2012

Back to Blogging

It's almost here!
 The holidays. I personally view them (blog-wise) as a trade-off: fewer posts=bad, Christmas retail blasters=good! That's all okay though; 2013 spring training is but a few short months away, R.A. Dickey is out of the NL East (thanks, Toronto), and trade packages still abound.

Not so recently, but then, not so long ago, Jack of  Pursuit of Jacoby and Pursuit of Red Sox and Pursuit of  80's(ness) persuaded me into a team trade. These are always good, I thought, and replied that I would be interested. After receiving his cards, I amassed a package of Red Sox (his team) to send to Great Britain.
Tangent time: OK, so one of my sincerely beloved relatives, at whose house Christmas was spent, owned a Sega Genesis video game console. Got that? So, one of the games we played on it was "Road Rash" a violent-sounding game involving motorcycles racing (and sometimes shooting at) each other in races in different countries around the world. One race site of the several available was the U.K., which, as I remember, had some sort of bagpipe background music on it, and seemed to be in the Irish countryside, as there was lots of farmland and chickens in the cartoony backdrop. It was relatively fun, though, except for the part where you got knocked off your bike and had to run across the finish line.

Now, then. The cards from Jack:

Did I say cards? I meant stamps. I have a thing for stamps, and asked Jack for some UK stamps. Not only did he overlook any strangeness in said request, (this is a baseball card blog trade, after all) he fulfilled it very well with this book of stamps commemorating the Summer Olympic Games. If postage really isn't your thing though, feel free to re-read our favorite Cardboard Junkie's take on stamp collecting.
MLB Showdown cards! With which, you can totally tell that the All-Star Game has been played in Milwaukee in some year. That Marlin player looking over Andruw Jones's shoulder looks a) slightly suspect, as if he as something to hide, and b) like he isn't quite pulling off the Fu Manchu.
Black Bordered? Chipper Jones? Mm-hm. Gold bordered cards are also nice. If you receive another copy of the same serial-numbered card (e.g. two gold-borders), do you keep it?
If you haven't picked up on it yet, though, all these cards have marks through from the scan-not on-card. J. R. Graham is not much of a heralded player, I don't think. He got a weird airbrushing job to say the least.

2008 TriStar Projections Tommy Hanson. An interesting design here, but considering that there are fewer cards that are autographed than not, why have all that blank space? Comes off as a classy card though.

What company did TriStar again?
This card has another interesting design. The Braves logo is sort of floating, and Mike has been cropped at some point on all of his limbs. How does he maintain that mullet with only one gloved hand?
2003 Donruss Estrallas Gary Sheffield: They just seem like a set Pacific has already done. These cards are written up in complete Spanish, with the exception of player and team names. This set has grown on me since getting some of the cards in, yes, trade packages.

I like grouping Chipper Jones and Murph cards together. The Kaybee card was new, and kind of oddball, and the Stadium Club has a pretty sweet ballpark shot.
The Braves uniform choices have made some news in recent days for their new batting practice caps. Personally, I think the "Homer" mascot looks much more, well, offensive. Seriously, from the humongous cap bill to the turtleneck-under-uniform to the mustache...thing, he doesn't exactly make one want to have a picture taken with him. At all.

Oh, and a Heyward. Toppstown inserts strike again!
Mark two Gary Sheffield cards that impressed me from this trade package. This is a 2003 Fleer Platinum MLB Scouting Report folder deal. Numbered /400, this is #166. I like the Attributes being "Thunder," "Lightning," and "Frightening."

Thanks Jack for the trade! Sorry it took forever to get this up in a post!

Friday, December 7, 2012

Call it an Early Christmas Present

I have an inkling I'm getting into a bit of rut of using worn-out Christmas phrases for blog post titles. Ought I consider this phenomenon? Bah, Humbug! On an odd and slightly random note (random asides are always the best, amiright?), Mike Kenny of So, do you like...Stuff? is reviewing strange and little-known holiday specials. It's an exercise in hilarity. I advise you to head on over that way once you finish reading this post.

William of Foul Bunt recently mailed me a large, flat envelope. Much too big for baseball cards, say. What might be inside?



Admit it, you can't avoid staring at the '70s sideburns. Don't know about you-I think of Fillmore any time I hear "'70s."
Once opened, I pulled out this nice-sized poster of an unnamed guy (I'm assuming not a Brave player himself) with a Goody's ad for a hat, and a 1976 Braves Schedule! Cool stuff.

You can't see it from the scan, but the text sandwiched between the "June" and "September" calendars on the right side lists promotional dates for the Braves' home games in '76. These include "Old Tyme Cap Day," and "Don Davidson Night" (the Braves traveling secretary) along with the more dubious-sounding "Halters for Ladies." Um. Don't forget about "Belt Night," "Farmers Night" (Anyone wearing overalls gets $1 off admission), and the always-exciting "Equipment Bag Night." Amusing...

Apparently this isn't the only Goody's Braves schedule from the mid-to-late '70s, either. An eBay auction for this one from 1977 has a BIN of $40. Pic of said poster:

Stolen Borrowed images rule the day.

William attached a note: "James, I promised this to you a while back, but here is the 1977 Braves schedule I found. It's a bit rough, but I hope you still like it." Classy. Background: Several months ago William sent me an e-mail about the poster saying he found it and would be interested in sending it my way. No objections from me. The Goody's poster actually goes great with another piece of Braves memorabilia I acquired some time ago. I'll save it for a future post.

Thanks to William, and adios to all of you!

Tuesday, December 4, 2012

Getting Into the Spirit of the Season!

I mean, of course, the wantlist making. When it comes to 2012 Topps base Braves, I haven't been shy about accepting cards. I have (variations excluded) a complete team set of Topps S1 for 2012. I will be putting up an S2 wantlist soon, but here is my Update wantlist for Braves right now:

US2 Kris Medlen
US41 Juan Francisco
US56 Matt Diaz
US103 Jack Wilson
US153 Paul Maholm, got it
US159 Ben Sheets
US166 Chipper Jones All-Star
US232 Andrelton Simmons RC
US250   Cristhian Martinez
US268 Craig Kimbrel All-Star
US311 Dan Uggla All-Star
US314 Eric O'Flaherty

Let me know if you can help me out, and vice versa!

Wednesday, November 21, 2012

Contest Winnings from the Common (Card) Man!

The Common (Card) Man is a blog run and maintained by Tony, aka Milwaukee Southpaw, who at the beginning of the season started a year-long contest. It involved predicting things, much like an 8-ball predicts the future. In short, my 8-ball won out, and I received some Braves goodies! The sweet Kelly Johnson Auto above is from 2007 Upper Deck S2.
I have a theory, which is that cards with such intriguing, new things as manu-leather-nameplates take about a year to find their way out of retail and hobby boxes into various trade and contest winnings packages. The card above is from 2011 Topps S2.
There was a nice assortment of late 90s-early 2000s Chippers too. The Finest Gamers (upper right) does a nice job of summarizing: "Chipper inspires his teammates with a 'go-get-'em' attitude." 'Nuff said.

1999 Topps Stadium Club and 1999 Pacific Prism...
And a 2008 Upper Deck Masterpieces Black Border!
Finally, rounding it out were two massive Dale Murphy cards from 1983 Donruss and 1984 Donruss. Cool stuff-I especially appreciated the equally oversized toploader! Thanks so much, Tony!!!
Not to squeeze another unrelated card into this post, but I want to show off a nice refractor from Topher, over at blog Crackin' Wax! Topher's been a great guy in the blogging community with his "Take My Cards" program, so magna laus to him for that. (That's great praise for the non-Latinists :-) Thanks Topher!

Chunter, out!

Monday, November 19, 2012

Quite Possibly the Weirdest Post About Packing Materials Ever Written.

(As of the writing of this post, the blog has about 4498 views. Something tells me a contest is in order for the big 5-0-0-0. What do you think?)

"So Close" to 5000 views!
I know that baseball card bloggers (all rise!) are amazing packagers. I've seen baseball card packages that seriously belonged in an art museum as defying space, reason, and time. As for me, I don't claim to do anything but get the job done. I know some of you are like that too. I've seen bubble mailers filled with the traditional toploaders, painter's tape, and mini boxes, and some with baseball card packs for packaging, Scotch tape, and perhaps a stray hair. That's all cool-in no way do I want to call anyone out or criticize. In fact, I sort of appreciate the funky packages more because of their added "character." That said, I wanted to give a little disclaimer, in case any questions are raised about my future bubble mailers to be mailed.

Just before the Election, I received in the mail a package of a few bumper stickers. Cool, thought I, seeing as I collect the things from campaigners of all stripes, colours, and temperaments. The next day, I received oh, about 50 more.

You read that right. Oh, and about 75 pamphlets.

What to do, I thought, beginning to sweat. Surely I'm not expected to distribute these, say, on street corners?!

Yeeah, no.
  Yeah, no. So, being the practical gent I am, I thought: "Well, they'd make a good tape substitute." This was not so much my ingenuity as my noticing that the sticker-mailer had done the same thing on the mail package to me.

All this to say, for those of you who receive a Rocky Anderson 2012 bumper sticker used as tape in a trade package, neither dismay nor rejoice. Head-scratching, however, is totally allowed. Not out of support, or lack thereof, necessarily, (no politics darn it!) but out of sheer pragmaticism do I utilize these stickers. In my humble opinion, they actually do look pretty sharp.

Overall this has been a rather odd campaign cycle. Humorous, though! You know somewhere, Vermin Supreme is smiling.

Friday, November 9, 2012

Having some fun, Lewis Carroll-style!

The time has come, good Chipper said,
To talk of many things:

Of farewell tours, and hunting-trips;
Of futures of the teams;

And why this background's maelstrom-like,

And whether Klesko [ate] too many wings.

"But wait a bit!!!" Bo Jackson cried,
"Before we have our chat;

For some of us are out of breath,
And all of us are fat!"

"No hurry!" said then Larry Wayne.
They thanked him much for that.

"A loaf of bread," Dale Murphy said,
"Is what we chiefly need:

Though it's no better than a Diamond
Skills entry card, indeed--

Now if you're ready, Chili dear,
We can begin to feed."

Hey, you didn't really expect anything to do with Carroll to make any sense, did you? Oh well. I had fun with it regardless.

These cards were from reader Scott in a recent trade. Scott doesn't have a blog, but is a Marlins fan, and so finding some cards to send his way was not *too* difficult. Thanks a million Scott!

Monday, November 5, 2012

Google Question

For those of you with Gmail, have you noticed that the sign-in favicon is a little Fox News copycat logo? Nobody said election season was going to be this weird!*

*Okay, somebody probably did say that.

Thursday, November 1, 2012

A Box of Chocolates from William

As a native of the same state as the fictional Forrest Gump, I have heard my share of lines, references, et ceterae from the movie. Not having seen it, however, I was a little wary of posting about it (albeit indirectly). But pragmaticism prevailed, as I couldn't think of another good title.

William of Foul Bunt, has a good rep for sending generous card packages. There's often a good mixture of stuff, but it's unpredictable (in a good way) as to what's inside the package:
For example, it could be a pile of 87 Topps (Hey, I could put several Braves team sets together out of these!)
Or some 81 Donruss...
Or 2012 Bowman Platinum! You get the idea. Regarding BP, my favorite part of these cards is that they scan cool-ly. Just looking at the card, the background is dark blue-ish or black. That's neat, anyway.
Chrome rounds it out. Some Chrome cards pop a little better than others, and these do so. Hoping Uggla and B-Mac can pick it up next year...
(I'm pretty sure this is the clearest scan I've ever made.)

Sum Kimbrel! The chrome's the actual card that launched a blog post title. The back of said card states that Craig watches Forrest Gump "at least twice a month." As a fellow Alabamian, and Braves fan, I don't think I can not like the guy.
These Team Pinnacle cards have no "card back", at least not in theory. I say Greg Maddux gets precedence over Jack McDowell, though, don't you?
A Schafer RC! I believe I received this several weeks ago. Today I got a TTM auto back from
Jordan and it is also posted alongside the other card photo. Speaking of being in the right place at the right time....
 A ginormous Chipper...

 A classy Hudson...
And a dual Chipper/Francouer card. Um, anyone care to explain the origin of this set? Maybe I'm just not used to seeing Chipper get the "Larry Wayne" treatment.
 A glossy, reprinted, card-your-mother-threw-out non-Rookie card of Chipper Jones. *Breath*

 Randy Johnson in the mix! What, you say he's a pitcher? You must be thinking of somebody else.

The square area of these two Bowman Heritage cards is roughly equivalent to seven cards of regular thickness. Being Rookie cards, one of whom is of an underrated star, this is perfectly okay.

Thanks to William for the package!

Gotta run!