Saturday, August 30, 2008

White Sox Photoshop Cards: John Danks

Card #18 - John Danks

John has proven himself to be an outstanding addition to the White Sox starting staff. Everyone always knew that John had good stuff, but it wasn't until the 2008 season that the talent showed any type of consistency.

John joined the rotation as a question mark and was one of the best starting pitchers throughout the season. If he continues on this path, he could be flirting with greatness.

I, like some fellow bloggers, love mid-air moments. It gives a sense of urgency to photographs. It's almost as good as being there. It's interesting to see the path of a baseball when it is stopped in mid-flight. Without any reference point, besides the pitcher's hand, the ball is chaotically hanging in mid-air and could seemingly go in any direction. The possibilities seem limitless.

Besides the mid-air moment, it looks like John is trying to ride a horse in the photo. It's just a precise moment caught on film and is now there forever. The filters give this an almost Norman Rockwell quality to the photograph. I'm not sure what's going on in the faded background, but it almost looks like a tidal wave.

Friday, August 29, 2008

Random Card #32

1994 Ultra #36 - Ron Karkovice

"Thank you. Thank you. That's right, I hit .228 last year! That's one point better than my career average! Yes, we are supposed to be the best team this year. What am I doing here? Well, Carlton Fisk retired and I took over for him. Am I worried about a strike? Nope, this team is too good around me to let that happen."

But that's what did happen. The strike claimed the rest of the 1994 season, where the White Sox and Expos were favored to meet in the World Series.

Would the Expos still be in Montreal if the city experienced a World Series appearance? I think that could be possible. They might have found the revenue to keep their good players intact for a run at World Championships. In an alternate universe, I believe that is what's happening right now. The Expos would be meeting the Mariners in the World Series in another reality.

In another reality, Ron Karkovice would be an outstanding catcher, hitting .393 and throwing runners out at record pace. Unfortunately, the over hyped Officer Karkovice hovered around the Mendoza line and had a better reputation for throwing out runners than he actually had.

Still, it's easy to look at these players from a 2008 perspective. Things were radically different in 1994. You could still hit near .200, at some key positions, if you could play (or at least fake) excellent defense. These were the days where I could dream that anyone could make a Major League roster. Silly me. I now know better. It's still fun to dream though.

Card Spotlight: 8-29-08

2008 Topps Heritage #134 - Donny Lucy

Why would I choose a card of essentially a minor league player. Well, I was getting antsy and bought a pack of 2008 Topps Heritage at Target yesterday. Inside the pack, I discovered this card. I already had the card, but that was earmarked for the 2008 Topps Heritage hand collated set that I am slowly putting together. This one would go to my White Sox team set. Yeah, I know, too complicated.

I currently have, in hand, 65.14% of the 502 cards that make up the base set. Yes, I am including the two variation cards in that total. Neither of which were in the hobby box that I purchased at the beginning of the year, nor in any pack that I have bought since.

20 additional cards from the set are in transit. Those cards will bring my completion of the set to 69.12%. This is the most excited I have gotten over completing a set... ever! I had complete sets of 1990 Fleer and 1990 Score at one point, but those showed up under the tree during Christmas 1990, along with a Led Zeppelin cassette box set.

The black back variations are a different story. I have completed 49.09% of the 110 card set. That's not too bad. That equals out to 54 different cards.

I never thought I'd have so much fun collecting this set. I got the idea on a whim, when I opened up my hobby box and saw that it had no doubles. I thought that I might have a good shot at finishing this set. Getting very few White Sox cards in the box probably helped in making that decision. I don't care how it happened, but I'm truly having fun.

Plus, a big thank you to everyone who has helped in getting me closer to completion. You know who you are, so I won't rehash things in this post.

While my master set is coming together nicely, my White Sox team set is nearing completion at the speed of Bill Slowsky. That's fine by me, if it gets the regular set completed faster.

White Sox Photoshop Cards: Adam Russell

Card #17 - Adam Russell

Adam was called up in 2008 to help out the pitching staff and nestled into a nice spot. Adam can work long relief and can be used as a spot starter, if needed.

The White Sox have a knack of coming up with great pitching. Adam is no exception. Adam replaced the injured Esteban Loaiza on the roster and earned his first win, on July 1st, in relief in the tenth inning. He came in the very next day in relief and earned his second big league win.

I chose this photo of Adam because he looks like a 45 spindle adapter with his arms in those positions. It's as simple as that. It also gives off a nice balance for his 6' 8" frame.

If I have to explain what a 45 spindle adapter is, then you are too young. Although, they seem to be coming back in vogue. If you are curious and don't know what it is, study any US CD single from Pearl Jam's Vitalogy album. In case anyone is trying to figure out which songs were released as singles, only three made the cut. They are not the ones that you would expect. "Spin The Black Circle", "Not For You" and "Immortality" were the singles off Vitalogy. "Better Man" and "Corduroy" were not released as singles.

There you go, an Adam Russell card and a lesson in mid-nineties Pearl Jam singles. It's a two-fer!

Thursday, August 28, 2008

2008 Goudey

For the second year in a row, Upper Deck has come out with the Goudey line. I love the look of the retro sets. They remind me of my childhood days when I would spend hours looking at magazines and books full of pictures of vintage cards. Those were the days.

By doing this, I was familiar with older issues long before I had the money to buy them. Now, the vintage look is more affordable with these homages to classic sets. This 2008 Goudey set hawks the 1934 Goudey design. It does an admirable job in doing so.

Last year's cards were mini cards. While the mini cards are still here, they are pushed onto a mini parallel similar to Allen & Ginter, but not as wee. 2008 brings the cards to the standard size, which is fine by me. I do like the mini cards, but I prefer the minis to be a parallel or a subset. I enjoy having the main sets similar in size. Call it a quirk.

The 2007 set was hard to keep in the collection. They bounced around more often because they were smaller than the rest of the cards. They were also a little harder to fit in a nine pocket page, since they tended to slide ever so slightly. The 2008 set corrects those issues by conforming to standard size.

There are seven regular White Sox cards in the 2008 Goudey set.

39 - Luis Aparicio
40 - Mark Buehrle
41 - Orlando Cabrera
42 - Paul Konerko
43 - Jermaine Dye
44 - Jim Thome
45 - Nick Swisher

Two things save this release from being another 2008 issue with the same White Sox players. The design makes this set stand out. There is nothing like it on the market as a regular set. The second factor would be the inclusion of Luis Aparicio. That definitely makes this set worthwhile to collect.

There has been a flooding of Luis Aparicio cards in the past few years, but I enjoy him as a player, so I don't mind as much. I would hope that other White Sox greats or White Sox regional stars from eras gone by would be included in future releases. I'm not sure how the rights issues would pan out. Personally, I would love to see cards of Ted Lyons, Luke Appling, Nellie Fox, Ed Walsh, Gary Peters, rent a player Richie Zisk and many others be incorporated into retro sets.

Luis Aparicio is a great player, but I thnk it's time to give him a rest as a White Sox. He did play for other teams, like the Orioles and the Red Sox in his career.

Overall, this is a great set. I look forward to these retro releases every year. Let's hope that next year will bring more praises for the 2009 release.

So Long To An Excellent Foe

After seeing that most of the reporters at the Olympics were out of web based papers, Jay Mariotti decided to call it quits. He leaves the Chicago Sun-Times after 17 years at the paper.

I say good riddance. Don't let the door hit you where they split you.

Jay Mariotti started out as a well respected journalist. I have many of his Sun-Times articles from the early nineties in scrapbooks about the White Sox. He was opinionated in those articles, but you were interested in what his opinions were. They were interesting and made a specific point.

Increasingly since then, Jay turned into a blowhard, who's opinion became gospel to only himself. It was sad to see such a promising columnist turn to hate by using his dictionary to throw insults and pure vile at many of Chicago's sports figures. As the years went by, he had less and less nice things to say.

Mariotti had legendary wars of words with both Ozzie Guillen and Ken "Hawk" Harrelson. I'm sure they will both be dancing in the street of Boston tonight. Mariotti was the one who complained enough about Ozzie's mouth to get him sent to sensitivity training. Sure, Ozzie could use that, but I don't think it should have been over what it was over.

Jay had a unique background for sports reporting. He hated sports. He knew sports, but never followed any. He said that he never rooted for any team growing up and never had a favorite sport or player. This was supposed to give him some type of edge, that no other sportswriter had. Jay had no vesting interest in anything, so the theory went that he could be objective and fair.

That plan backfired. It failed with every vile induced diatribe that poured out of Jay's keyboard. It's no secret that he was not well liked. Jay was like the friend who knows everything and is never wrong. If you call him on something, he will beat you down with such anger fueled garbage, that you will agree with him just to end the conversation.

Jay Mariotti benefits no one as a sportswriter. I don't hide the fact that I strongly disliked him. Hate is a word I try to never use to describe my feelings toward someone, but Jay would come close to breaking that rule a few times.

I appreciate the fact that Jay was able to stay so long after making enemies with most of Chicago. His writing style would remind you of Dick Cheney crossed with Debbie Downer. It was intelligent, but filled with hate and downtrodden messages.

I am thankful that he is out of my daily paper. I may even renew my subscription because of this. Thanks, Jay, for brightening my day! Happy trails!

White Sox Photoshop Cards: Mark Buehrle

Card #16 - Mark Buehrle

Mark has groomed himself into an ace. He throws strikes and works quickly. The White Sox can feel confident every five days, when Mark takes the mound. Mark had built up the reputation of being the one to help everything from stopping losing streaks to flirting with perfection.

Mark likes to have fun, but he is a dedicated pitcher who will study every weakness of an opponent. He is frequently seen in the dugout, on his off days, studying books full of information on the next team he faces. This is the measure of a man who gives his all every game that he plays in.

I really like this photo of Mark. It shows the emotion that he rarely displays. The Sox long ago handcuffed him from "dangerous activities" such as sliding on the tarp during rain delays as a preventative measure. So, it's great to see Buehrle enjoy himself in the middle of a game.

Wednesday, August 27, 2008

#73 - Tony Phillips

There is only one player who has worn number 73 in a Major League game for the White Sox. That player would be Tony Phillips. On most cards, he is wearing number 8, but he did wear number 73 for at least one game.

Tony played with the White Sox in the 1996 season and the early part of 1997. While Tony did a decent job with the White Sox, his best days were behind him. He is mostly known for being on the Athletics and the Tigers. Both of those were before he landed on the White Sox.

Tony batted .277 with 161 hits for the 1996 season. But 132 strikeouts and only 63 RBI defined the season for him. He was still patient at the plate, drawing 125 walks.

1997 saw a .310 average during his time with the White Sox. Tony went back to where he was before signing with the White Sox as a free agent. The Sox traded him, along with Chad Kreuter, for Chuck McElroy and Jorge Fabregas.

This entry concludes the White Sox uniform series. Unless a September call up wears a uniform number that is not listed here, this should be it until a few revisions in 2009.

I hope that you have enjoyed this journey and have taken some knowledge and friendly debate away from these posts. If you have evidence of a number that I have missed in a Major League game for the Sox, please contact me with your evidence. Please, no Chris Getz e-mails. He wore number 76 in Spring Training, but his uniform number in any Major League game was 39. Spring Training numbers do not count in this list.

White Sox Photoshop Cards: Jim Thome

Card #15 - Jim Thome

One of the premier sluggers of the American League hit 500 home runs in 2007, and shows no signs of slowing down. Jim could still play the field, but there's no need to with Paul Konerko and Nick Swisher filling in at first base. The White Sox want him to devote his game to hitting.

Jim has rewarded the White Sox with towering home runs and magical moments as he finds new ways to beat the "Thome Shift", where infielders move dramatically towards first base. This is supposed to insure that there will be an out if Thome hits the ball towards right or center field. Thome usually gets the last laugh by hitting the ball into left field.

I've always loved Jim Thome's swing, ever since his Cleveland days. I chose this photo (which also shows up on my blog banner and my eBay store banner) because this embodies Jim Thome. I love the crowd reaction. Everyone is looking in the same direction as Thome, but they haven't jumped out of their seats yet. It is the perfect moment before the fireworks go off.

I won? Thanks dayf!

Recently, there was a contest at 88 Topps Cards that dayf won. He only wanted part of the fabulous prize package, so he left the cards. While, I was sure that I had the majority of the cards offered, I loved the challenge of fielding a team of one name.

So, I accepted the offer of the contest and searched to field my team. After a few searches that left me a few players short, I hit upon the right name for my team.


I was surprised at how many really good players I was able to find. It never even dawned on me just how many Dave's were in baseball, at different positions, on 1988 Topps cards. Had the entire 792 cards been up, I probably would have been able to field a few different teams, but the parameters of the contest limited us to work with only what had been posted.

Here is my team of Daves.

Starting pitcher = Dave Stewart
Relief pitcher = Dave Cone
Closer = Dave Smith
C = Dave Valle
1B = Dave Bergman
2B = Dave Concepcion
3B = Dave Magadan
SS = Dave Anderson
OF = Dave Henderson
OF = Dave Winfield
OF = Dave Parker

And as an uncredited bonus:
MGR = Dave Johnson

Andy puts on some of the most imaginative contests. By winning with a team of Daves, it gives me a chance to post this!


Yes, the image is mututatial from Cincy Reds Cards, but something happened nudiustertian that is a bit odd.

By entering the game played on Monday, starting at 6 PM Eastern, Ken Griffey Jr. has officially played for the Cincinnati Reds and the Chicago White Sox on April 28, 2008. This would be almost three months before Griffey was traded to the White Sox.

This smells of phenakism!

It gets better.

Lou Montanez, who knocked in the winning run, played in a MLB game that was officially three months before his MLB debut!

Horacio Ramirez, Alberto Castillo, and reliever Rocky Cherry, were all in the minor leagues when this game began. Horacio Ramirez wasn't even in the White Sox minor league organization on April 28!

All of this because someone "up there" thought pulviculture was fun!

Just because this game was geason, doesn't mean we needed this barla-fumble. Even though both teams baithed to playing in Baltimore, it just turned out badot.

I feel ziraleet that I just blew up the spell checker with this post of obsolete words. It shouldn't be too difficult to figure out, but a quick google search should help with any lingering doubts.

Tuesday, August 26, 2008

Is It Love Or Coincidence?

Is it merely a coincidence that umpire Doug Eddings has been the officiator in two different controversial plays involving A.J. Pierzynski? Perhaps it could be love?

Of course, Doug Eddings achieved fame by being the home plate umpire when A.J. ran to first, after a dropped third strike (or whatever you like to call it), in the 2005 ALCS.

This past Sunday, in the last game of a series against the Tampa Bay Rays, A.J. got caught in a rundown between second and third base. A.J. appeared to have initiated contact between himself and a Tampa Bay player who didn't have possession of the ball during contact.

No matter what you think of A.J. Pierzynski, he knows the rule book inside and out. Enough to where he can exploit it for his own benefits.

That "heads up" play by A.J., led to the White Sox win of that game. Say what you will, but A.J. has proven himself as a team player, who will do everything in his power to get his team to win by following the rules. People may not like it, but you have to have a little respect for someone who plays by the rules set forth in the rule book.

As for the 2005 ALCS play, that may very well be debated until the end of time. I've seen the video a thousand times and I still can't tell conclusively if that ball bounced in the dirt or not. A.J. knew enough to run to first, when he didn't hear a call. Now, he and Doug Eddings will forever be linked by two plays. Will the love fest continue? Only time will tell.

White Sox Photoshop Cards: Boone Logan

Card #14 - Boone Logan

Boone instantly gained credibility when he was first called up. Since then, Logan has bounced between the parent club and AAA, coming to the majors when he is needed.

The White Sox have had to try several different combinations in the bullpen because of injury. Boone is usually penciled in those different lineups. He has struggled a little bit in 2008, but Boone is ready to help the team in any capacity that he is needed.

I think this is one of the best photos of Boone Logan. It shows his ridiculous beard that he grew in Spring Training. Many players in the bullpen grew crazy beards in early 2008. Boone's certainly takes the cake.

You can see the determination in Boone's eyes in this photo. I think the Photoshop filters just enhance his stare. It's hard to imagine that this beard would intimidate a batter, but who knows. Boone was pretty successful to start the season. Maybe the power was in his beard.

Monday, August 25, 2008

Waiting Is The Hardest Part

The White Sox just lost their game from April 28 today by a score of 4-3 to the Orioles. I have no problem with the score. Every team loses games. It's part of the season.

What I do have a problem with is how the events unfolded to make this unique game happen.

The original game was played in Chicago. The resumption of the game was played in Baltimore. What? Why on Earth would the end of a game started in Chicago be played in Baltimore? Well, the Orioles were not coming back for a series against the White Sox. So, instead of flying in special for the continuation of the game, they decided to play the rest in Baltimore when the White Sox came there.

OK, I can see that. But wait, there's a catch.

The Orioles were back in Chicago to play the Cubs on June 24. They were coming in from playing the Brewers in Milwaukee on June 22. That means that they had a day off on June 23.

The White Sox played the Cubs at Wrigley Field on June 22. They were scheduled to be in Los Angeles on June 24 to play the Dodgers in a night game. The White Sox had a day off on June 23.

This means that the White Sox and Orioles were both in town at the same time, with a shared day off. The game should have been scheduled to resume in the afternoon of June 23, 2008.

The clear advantage would be the home crowd and the home field. As I watched the resumed game, it was clear that an Orioles crowd was watching this White Sox "home game". Cheers of "LUUUUUKE!" permeated through the crowd meant for Luke Scott on the Orioles. It couldn't have been for Luke Appling, since he's been deceased for 17 years. I watched as bunt attempts were faltered by a Baltimore field substituting for a Chicago home field. This is a huge disadvantage to the "home team".

If this ever happens again in the schedule, to any team, I would hope that MLB would force them to suck it up and sacrifice part of each team's day off to finish their job.

I'm sure many of you are thinking that this is coming out because the White Sox lost the game. A tiny percentage is, but I would have written the same opinions about the resumption of play in Baltimore, even if they won the game.

There is something broken here and it is MLB, for allowing this particular game to be played in Baltimore.

White Sox Photoshop Cards: Ehren Wassermann

Card #13 - Ehren Wassermann

Even though, Ehren hasn't been with the team much this year, he is a tough pitcher to send down. With Ehren's funky delivery, he keeps opposing hitters off balance.

A submariner pitcher is always a good thing to have in your bullpen. It gives the hitters a multitude of different angles to run inside their heads. While they are thinking about what angle and what pitch Ehren is going to throw next, batters tend to overthink and get themselves out. Wassermann has impressed the coaching staff since day one.

I really love the long and lanky look of Ehren in this photo. It doesn't show how low Ehren can get while pitching, but it shows the extension of his pitching arm. Sometimes that's even more rattling to a batter than high heat.

I also like the fact that Ehren is so long in his delivery style that he doesn't completely fit in frame. I could have made this card in a landscape setting, instead of portrait, but I found it fascinating that Ehren looks like he's almost jumping into the photo. I can't even imagine what must be going through a hitter's mind when he sees Ehren throwing the ball in his direction.

Sunday, August 24, 2008

August 22 - 24, 2008: Rays @ White Sox

August 22 - 24, 2008 - Chicago, Illinois

August 22: Rays 9 - White Sox 4
August 23: Rays 5 - White Sox 3
August 24: Rays 5 - White Sox 6

The catcher is a flopper.

Every game in this series should have been won by the White Sox. There simply is no excuse for stranding as many runners as the Sox did throughout the series. Capitalizing on opportunities is something the Sox definitely need to work on. Forget the home run as the be all end all. It does not work for every situation. Sure, if you get a can't miss pitch, by all means, get all over it. But what the team needs more is the single or the gapper when there are men in scoring position and less than two outs.

The good:
Nick Swisher hit home runs in four straight games.

A. J. Pierzynski stole game 3 by getting an interference call in his favor.

The bad:
Javier Vazquez's perfect game turned into a perfect mess in game 2.

Matt Thornton's blown save in game 2.

The ugly:
The sheer amount of opportunities wasted in this series by the Sox.

The bad Octavio Dotel is showing up. The one that gets nobody out.

As soon as Javier Vazquez was given a no decision, he exited the dugout into the clubhouse, not to be seen again on Saturday. I don't blame him. He pitched one hell of a ballgame that day, only to watch it being erased before his very eyes.

Love or hate A.J., you have to admire someone who knows the rule book inside and out. He is truly the Forrest Gump of baseball. He keeps finding himself in impossible situations facing impossible odds and comes out smelling like a rose.

White Sox Photoshop Cards: Carlos Quentin All-Star

Card #12 - Carlos Quentin All-Star

The last thing that many could have predicted was Carlos Quentin earning his first All-Star appearance in 2008. With his breakout season in 2008, Carlos was hard to ignore.

Carlos enjoyed his first trip by participating in one of the longest All-Star games in decades. If Quentin continues on his current pace, he will be sure to enjoy more All-Star festivities in his future.

If I'm not mistaken, this photo was taken at the Home Run Derby preceding the 2008 All-Star game. Like Joe Crede's All-Star card before, Carlos was cut out from his background and placed among a gold and white color scheme. This still retains the look of a painting, thanks to various Photoshop filters.

I love the look of amazement on Carlos' face in the photo. There's not much that phases Carlos during a game, but it looks like he was in awe of some of those home run shots.

Saturday, August 23, 2008

August 18 - 20, 2008: Mariners @ White Sox

August 18 - 20, 2008 - Chicago, Illinois

August 18: Mariners 5 - White Sox 13
August 19: Mariners 0 - White Sox 5
August 20: Mariners 3 - White Sox 15

Clobberin' time!

Did you ever run into a team that was very down on their luck? The Mariners certainly qualify for that position. While they can still win, the Mariners are in a transitional phase right now. They are still dangerous as long as they continue to put Ichiro Suzuki in the lineup everyday.

Ichiro had no problem getting on base. It was the other Mariner players that seemed to have fits throughout the series. Even King Felix was no match for the mighty White Sox bats.

The good:
Over the three game series, the Sox outscored the Mariners 33-8.

Ken Griffey Jr. finally hit his first home run for the Sox in game 3.

The bad:
Mark Buehrle gave up 11 hits in game 1.

Jermaine Dye ground into two double plays in game 2.

The ugly:
Two throwing errors by Clayton Richard in game 2.

DeWayne Wise injured himself during a running catch in the outfield.

The Mariners were simply no match for the White Sox in this series. Most things seemed to go the White Sox way all series long. The only thing that really didn't was DeWayne Wise's injury. That could be devastating if it turns out to be a nagging injury.

For a star athlete, Clayton Richard really should be able to field the ball and throw to first base without throwing the ball away.

More eBay Changes

I find myself in a confused state, just like this man. I'll never really know how he got to where he's at now... twice, and I'm not really sure why I found this in my eBay inbox today.

Goodbye and Thanks from eBay Express

We're Closing Our Doors but You can Still Sell All the Same Fixed Price Inventory on

Dear fmercury39,

It's been our pleasure to work with Top eBay Express Sellers like you and we thank you for your loyalty. This message is to let you know we will be retiring eBay Express, effective September 16th.

Looking back, eBay Express helped us break new ground. Going forward, we're adding the best features to

Enhanced search and find functionality for fixed-price offerings

Higher search visibility for sellers with exemplary track records

Reduced risk for buyers to purchase thanks to automatic buyer protection for the full protection price, plus original shipping costs on any eligible purchase made with PayPal (starting this fall)
Since we've added these features to eBay, it makes sense to direct traffic and focus all marketing resources on a single destination.

As eBay Express goes away, rest assured, your inventory will display on with no interruptions. In fact, an even bigger market of qualified buyers is already searching on it now.
And you won't need to do anything differently to list your items on eBay or to fulfill your orders.

For details about continuing your business on eBay, please visit Frequently Asked Questions.

Once again, thank you for being a Top eBay Express Seller. We look forward to your continued success at

Best regards,
The Team at eBay Express

I never really understood eBay Express to begin with. I guess, I got a little business from there, according to a few invoice statements, but I never signed up for it. It was just there.

I'm sure this will alienate even more eBay sellers and customers. I could really care less. eBay has me so disillusioned right now, that I even inquired at Beckett on how to become a dealer. Let's just say the information I got was promising and devastating all at once. I doubt I will be becoming a Beckett dealer any time soon.

If eBay wants to shoot themselves in the foot, that's fine by me. I just wish that they would leave me out of it. I was perfectly happy with the way things were last year at eBay. I didn't need any changes. Why would I? Every change that eBay has made this year has effected me negatively.

Getting rid of eBay Express is probably the first change that they have done this year that won't directly impact me. Although, I'm sure that I'll be sorry that I wrote that. Knowing my luck with eBay this year, this will probably drive my monthly sales down to zero.

Will any place appear that has no listing fee and a minuscule final sales fee? Beckett does have that for dealers, but there's a catch. There is a $200 start up fee and monthly plans starting at $249.99. That would be fine, if I was trying to enhance an already existing shop, but that does not fit into my budget right now.

If anyone knows of a place where we can all sell at, where the only fees are final sales fees, I'm all ears.

White Sox Photoshop Cards: Joe Crede All-Star

Card #11 - Joe Crede All-Star

After many years of superb defensive plays and clutch hitting, Joe was rewarded with his first trip to the All-Star game in 2008. In 2007, it looked as if Crede was finished after a back injury forced him to end his season early.

Joe amazed everyone by coming back strong in 2008. Unfortunately, shortly after the All-Star game, Crede headed back to the disabled list. Hopefully, there will be many more All-Star games in Joe's future.

I decided to jazz it up for the two All-Star cards. I changed the colors to gold and white to distinguish these cards from the rest of the team.

While the Photoshop filters resulting in a painted effect remain, I decided to cut the player out from the rest of the picture and incorporate a solid background using a lighter shade of the border.

It's distinctly different from the regular cards, while holding true to the design. It also makes the player pop out a bit more. Plus, it was fun to divert away from the regular players cards, if only for two cards.

Friday, August 22, 2008

The Best Of July

The Best Of page has been updated to include July 2008. I also fixed the coding error that allowed the last few months of posts to go nowhere. Always, always, ALWAYS be closing (tags). I forget one slash mark, then copy/paste and all hell breaks loose. Rest assured, they have all been fixed.

Yes, the Carl Everett quotes made the best of July 2008. Plus, I just wanted another excuse to post this picture. At the very beginning of the post when I ad-libbed Carl Everett yelling at a dinosaur, did anyone have comedian Tracy Morgan's voice in there? I sure did after I wrote it. I kept thinking of the Brian Fellow "angry at an animal" voice.

Along with general site maintenance, I have slowly been updating the want list pages. Every time that I receive cards, I take them off the list. I am still working on the missing years.

To answer some questions that I have been getting about the White Sox Photoshop card set, there is no numbering system. I'm trying to keep a good mix of stars, rookies and common players. I'm also trying not to have a bunch of players at the same position in a row. Other than that, it's pretty random. No "hero" numbers.

Yes, the color scheme is based off of the team colors. And yes, if I am asked nicely enough, I would be willing to do card requests for your favorite player(s) or team. Keep in mind, that if a request is accepted, there will be no timetable. First come, first served and it would be done in my spare time. Hence, no timetable.

This weekend will feature the White Sox All-Star cards in the virtual set. They will look similar, yet different.

Card Spotlight: 8-22-08

1989 Fleer #503 - Fred Manrique

This card epitomizes why the White Sox were in seventh place in 1989. Seventh place! You can't even get seventh place anymore!

First you have a man who defines the word malaise. Fred reminds me of the girl on the bus, in Ferris Bueller's Day Off, who offers Principal Rooney a gummy bear. Just with a mustache.

Secondly, Fred is standing in front of a whole slew of empty seats. Granted they aren't at Comiskey Park, but the Sox weren't drawing fans anywhere in 1989.

Then, you have the glasses. Oh my, what big glasses Fred has! The better to miss the ball fielding. No wonder he was underwhelming in the field, those Coke bottle glasses burned out his retinas!

Even with all of that, Fred can have a dorky, smiley face-like smile. Why? It's because he knows that he is robbing the team of money by playing. Coincidentally, Fred is also the reason that I had delusions of playing for the White Sox. I thought that if Fred could stick there, I could be a star.

This card holds special meaning for me because this marks one of the last times that Fred would be on cardboard as a member of the White Sox. He was shipped off with Harold Baines for Scott Fletcher, Wilson Alvarez and Sammy Sosa. Well, by the end of July 1989, Fred was the Rangers' problem.

Thank heavens for small miracles. One full season of Fred away from the team and the Sox would vault from seventh place to second place. It would have been first with 94 games won, if it weren't for those pesky A's winning 103 games.

White Sox Photoshop Cards: Ozzie Guillen

Card #10 - Ozzie Guillen

Ozzie did the impossible in 2005, when he shaped a team in his own image to win the first World Championship for the White Sox in 88 years. Since then, the team has been up and down, but the Sox skipper keeps upbeat.

Ozzie tries to keep his team loose and will take any heat directed towards his players to keep the focus on winning. It doesn't always work, but it's showcasing the type of relationship Guillen has with his players.

This is a rare moment for Ozzie Guillen. I chose this photo because it looks like Ozzie is having a blast. He rarely celebrates with the team after a win, but a bottom of the ninth win is the cause for the celebration.

I think this shows that Ozzie isn't that far removed from his playing days and above everything else, he just wants to enjoy the game.

Thursday, August 21, 2008

Swisher Celebrates By Himself

Nick Swisher celebrated his 100th career home run yesterday. I never thought I'd actually see a one person in the air hip bump, but here it is. I've been looking for video of this since yesterday's game. Thanks to Palehosed and Sox Machine for the heads up.

Beckett Up, eBay Down

The new is getting better by the day. It functionality is slowly improving, but the keyword is slow. It takes me about 10 times longer to do things on the new and improved site.

I keep running into script errors and a few scattered F5 warnings. Searching within one's collection has vastly improved. The appearing/disappearing new releases, such as 2008 Allen & Ginter and 2008 Goudey have me worried.

The bells and whistles are shiny, new and good, but it's all a distraction from the problems in other areas. When the new site debuted, I likened it to the Scarecrow from the Wizard of Oz. Now, it seems more like an intelligent chimp. It's not quite what you want from a conversation point of view, but it's cute and easily frustrated. Lancelot Link: Secret Chimp, eat your heart out.

By now many of you have heard the new changes that are happening at eBay. By November, the only accepted payments will be electronic payments through eBay's site. As a buyer, I have no problem with this. I use PayPal for all of my purchases anyway. As a seller, this is just another nail in the coffin before I finally close up shop and move to another site. I don't get many Money Orders, but I do get a few. Sometimes offering the option of a Money Order has made the difference between a sale and the card sitting there for months.

Of course, my sales are already dramatically effected by February's pricing structure change. Some months I don't even make enough in sales to cover my eBay costs. How is this helping my sales? It's clearly not. I have spoken to eBay many times about this, but they are always unwilling to make an exception for trading card pricing reform.

Since all the eBay payments will now go through electronically, it goes through mostly PayPal, which is an eBay company. PayPal takes its share and so does eBay for each transaction. Does that sound like a Scrooge McDuck move to you?

The Massive Box Part Four: The Final Chapter

We have reached the last decade in the box, the current one. The parameters are simple, this section includes cards between 2000 and 2008. I wish they contained cards from 2009 and beyond, but I don't have a time machine.

This is the decade that begins my third and probably final wave into baseball card collecting. It started in 2004. I began picking up White Sox team sets on eBay. I wasn't exactly sure what some of these sets were, but I recognized a few names and couldn't find others that I was familiar with. I had no clue about short print cards, so I'm still discovering that a few of my team sets are not as complete as I thought they were.

In 2007, I picked up my first pack in over a decade. It was Topps Series 1. It was a name that was instantly recognizable. I had great memories of Topps as a kid. My first impressions of the 2007 set? I thought it looked a lot like the 1971 set, which wasn't bad at all. But I'm getting off track. Let's go card by card of what I needed from this decade.

2004 Ultra #22 - Roberto Alomar

I believe this is only my second White Sox 2004 Ultra card. It has a nice set design, but it reminds me of almost every other Ultra release since the late nineties. I can't go wrong with a card of Roberto Alomar that I don't have.

2005 Fleer Classic Clippings #67 - Scott Podsednik

An early Pods White Sox card that I didn't have. In fact, it's so early, that Podsednik is still pictured in a Milwaukee Brewers uniform. At least he is listed as being on the Sox, which is fine by my criteria. At first glance, I thought he was in a Sox uniform. Under closer inspection, it's hard not to notice the giant M on his helmet.

2008 Allen & Ginter #136 - Javier Vazquez

Sniff, sniff. Smell that? It's a fresh card! This was just released a few weeks ago and it's in this massive box of cards! I get a little closer to 2008 Allen & Ginter White Sox completion.

2008 Upper Deck #462 - Carlos Quentin

On the other hand, this card does complete my 2008 Upper Deck White Sox team set! Ah, the smell of victory! Another completed White Sox team set. Is there a better feeling? I don't think so.

That is the rest of the box featuring the cards that I needed. Pretty impressive, huh? I suppose I could have tacked this on to the nineties post, but that was a bit to large to tack these on. They would get lost in the sea of nineties cardboard vastness. This way, these cards still get their due.

Mind you, there were plenty of other cards in the box from this decade. I just had the rest. I wrote at the beginning of this quest that I would highlight only the cards that I needed. I'm not about to injure my wrist by listing all 750 cards. That would be insane!

And yes, I have updated my want list with the cards I received in this box. I'm still working on the years that aren't listed. It doesn't mean that I have everything, it just means that I haven't gotten to that year yet.

Yankee Stadium Legacy Problem

This really has nothing to do with the White Sox, but it's been on my mind while pursuing all of the Yankee Stadium Legacy cards against the White Sox.

Why are most of the Senators cards labeled Nationals?

I realize that one Senators team became the Twins and another became the Rangers, but why evoke the name of the relocated Expos? I wouldn't think that just using the name Senators would be in any violation of owners rights.

I had only seen the Nationals cards until I went looking for images to use for this post. Then I saw a card against the Senators. I was convinced that it was a rights issue, but now this makes absolutely no sense. The only thing I can think of is that the older Washington team could not be called the Senators legally. For what reason, I'm not sure.

Are people stupid enough to try to change the past by pretending it didn't exist? I seem to recall another group of individuals that tried to shape the past with their own views. They were very active when the original Senators played. They were from Germany and had a painter as a leader.

I'm not saying that the rights holder of the Senators name is as bad as the National Socialist German Workers' Party, but what exactly could be the reason for the Nationals name appearing on cards of games from the 1950s and earlier?

Maybe I'm making too much of this. It just seems odd that a massive set dedicated to the history of the game could fail so miserably with something as simple as a team name. Then again, I could be watching too much of Hogan's Heroes on Me-TV and TV Land.

I was just informed by dayf that the actual name of the first Senators team was actually the Nationals. The Senators name was more popular, so it eventually stuck. That little tidbit of information had completely slipped my mind. That piece of info must have been shoved out with something I learned last year.
No sue-happy rights owners, no Nazi plots... just history.

White Sox Photoshop Cards: Matt Thornton

Card #9 - Matt Thornton

Matt is one of those players that makes your bullpen outstanding. He's not flashy, but he has nasty stuff when he's "on". The Sox have seen flashes of brilliance from Thornton is his stay with the team. Each year those flashes remain for a longer period of time.

Matt was coveted by GM Kenny Williams for his flashes of brilliance. Since being with the Sox, Matt has been able to hone that talent into something special.

I really wanted to stay away from another pitcher pitching, so I chose this photo of Matt getting a high five from A.J. Pierzynski. I cropped A.J. out of the picture to put the focus squarely on Matt.

Thornton doesn't have any particularly distinguishing features, so I made sure that his uniform number was very visible. I did that to make sure that this card wasn't just some anonymous reliever.

Wednesday, August 20, 2008

Things I Never Knew About 1991 Donruss

You would think that being smack dab in the middle of my second wave of collecting in 1991, I would have instantly knew that this variation existed. Alas, this series color variation has escaped my watchful eye until last week. Sure, it's seventeen years too late, but at least I caught it.

If there needs to be any further proof that cards were waaaaaay overproduced in the early nineties, then this has to be it. With this color scheme, I think the blue has more pop, but green is my favorite color. If Donruss would have put just a little more effort in the second series variation, we could have seen a green border with a blue background.

Those days are long gone and can't be changed. It's fun to look back though and wonder what might have been.

I think that the blue background works well against the green border, but apparently Donruss didn't think so. Oh well, at least I can create computer simulated cards of the way cards could have been.

The Massive Box Part Three: The Search For Sox

Part three of this gigantic haul of White Sox cards will focus on the nineties. This has the potential to be the biggest cache of Sox cards in the entire box. I bought my last pack of cards of the nineties in 1994 and never looked back until 2007. With the oversaturation of the nineties releases and parallels, collecting cards between 1994 and 1999 has become next to impossible.

The nineties are full of releases that I am still discovering. Parallels that I never knew existed. Rookie prospects that somehow escaped my radar. It's a world of baseball that was right under my nose and I never paid much attention to it. Let's call it post-strike blues.

The box started off with a slew of cards from 1990. All of which I had. I have almost every major card set White Sox card from 1990, so it doesn't surprise me that there are none here. Leaf and Sportflics are the only main releases that I really need from 1990. The rest are a bunch of regional, oddball or insert cards.

1991 is a bit different. I have the majority of the White Sox cards from the major set releases, but there are a few pesky holes that have eluded me. There were more sets released in 1991, so I got slightly behind as my resources were spreading thinner.

1991 Bowman #355 - Charlie Hough
1991 Bowman #364 - Wayne Edwards
1991 Classic Four Sport #71 - Scott Ruffcorn
1991 Donruss Grand Slammer (blue and green cards) #12 - Ron Karkovice
1991 Score #66 - Wayne Edwards
1991 Score #254 - Ivan Calderon
1991 Ultra #86 - Robin Ventura

1992 saw more cards releases and parallels in the hobby. My buck is not going as far by this point. I am missing out on a lot of cards because of the increased size of sets and releases. I am still under the delusion that I can collect every card, regardless of team or player. See, my every card of the White Sox goal doesn't seem so lofty, when you realize my original collecting goal.

1992 Baseball Card Price Guide Monthly #5 - Frank Thomas
1992 Fleer #76 - Joey Cora
1992 Fleer #77 - Brian Drahman
1992 Fleer #81 - Craig Grebeck
1992 Fleer #82 - Ozzie Guillen
1992 Fleer #83 - Greg Hibbard
1992 Fleer #87 - Lance Johnson
1992 Fleer #88 - Ron Karkovice
1992 Fleer #91 - Warren Newson
1992 Fleer #92 - Donn Pall
1992 Fleer #93 - Dan Pasqua
1992 Fleer #95 - Melido Perez
1992 Fleer #97 - Tim Raines
1992 Fleer #701 - Tiger Tandems (Bo Jackson, Frank Thomas)
1992 Fleer #712 - Frank Thomas PV
1992 Leaf #349 - Frank Thomas
1992 Leaf #422 - Jack McDowell
1992 Score #146 - Lance Johnson
1992 Score #237 - Dan Pasqua
1992 Score #302 - Charlie Hough
1992 Score #367 - Matt Merullo
1992 Score #484 - Donn Pall
1992 Score #766 - Esteban Beltre
1992 Stadium Club #116 - Scott Fletcher
1992 Stadium Club #289 - Ken Patterson
1992 Stadium Club #329 - Mike Huff
1992 Stadium Club #404 - Matt Merullo
1992 Stadium Club #444 - Lance Johnson
1992 Stadium Club #467 - Alex Fernandez
1992 Stadium Club #635 - Steve Sax
1992 Stadium Club #674 - Wayne Edwards
1992 Stadium Club #688 - Kirk McCaskill
1992 Stadium Club #778 - Terry Leach
1992 Stadium Club #794 - Dan Pasqua
1992 Stadium Club #840 - George Bell
1992 Stadium Club #894 - Charlie Hough
1992 Studio #152 - Alex Fernandez
1992 Triple Play #107 - Tim Raines
1992 Triple Play #121 - Awesome Action! (Matt Merullo)
1992 Triple Play #206 - Frank Thomas
1992 Triple Play #261 - Greg Hibbard
1992 Ultra #338 - Kirk McCaskill
1992 Ultra #342 - Bobby Thigpen

In 1993, my collecting started to wane slightly. I was starting my slow progression towards team collecting, but I still wanted cards of every player. Prices were going up on packs and there were new choices popping up that I had no clue about.

1993 Fleer #716 - Hot Corner Hammers (Robin Ventura)
1993 Fun Pack #27 - Frank Thomas - Kid Stars
1993 Fun Pack #201 - Tim Raines
1993 Fun Pack #225 - Frank Thomas CL
1993 Leaf #373 - Lance Johnson
1993 Leaf #439 - Robin Ventura
1993 Post #14 - Frank Thomas
1993 Score #41 - Robin Ventura
1993 Score #126 - Craig Grebeck
1993 Score #152 - Ron Karkovice
1993 Score #182 - Scott Radinsky
1993 Score #210 - Dan Pasqua
1993 Score #387 - George Bell
1993 Score #437 - Shawn Abner
1993 Score #479 - Terry Leach
1993 Score #541 - Frank Thomas DT
1993 Score #622 - Greg Hibbard
1993 Select #128 - Ozzie Guillen
1993 Select #216 - Greg Hibbard
1993 Select #236 - Tim Raines
1993 Select Stat Leaders #3 - Frank Thomas
1993 Select Stat Leaders #33 - Frank Thomas
1993 Stadium Club #43 - Tim Raines
1993 Stadium Club #136 - Craig Grebeck
1993 Stadium Club #387 - Robin Ventura
1993 Topps #675 - Tim Raines
1993 Triple Play #158 - Jack McDowell
1993 U.S. Playing Cards #8D - Frank Thomas
1993 Upper Deck #597 - Tim Raines
1993 Upper Deck #838 - Robin Ventura CL
1993 Upper Deck Reggie Jackson Clutch Performers #R20 - Frank Thomas
1993 Upper Deck Teammates #51 - Robin Ventura, Frank Thomas

I can clearly remember the three things that led to not purchasing any more pack in 1994. The first thing was that my local drug store put all the packs of cards behind glass. I had a certain feeling when I picked up the right pack. I couldn't pick and study my pack and getting the employees to open the glass case for baseball cards was a pain.

Secondly, I bought Collector's Choice thinking that it was Upper Deck. When I found out that I had purchased the wrong cards, I was pissed and felt betrayed by Upper Deck. They had slowly been integrating that catchphrase into their product, so I thought the name was just more prominent. I was wrong.

The last straw was the strike. I have a feeling I would have gone back to cards by the end of the 1994 season if it wasn't for that. I'm still shocked when I see cards from 1994 in my collection that I didn't obtain in the past few years. I didn't remember that I bought a pack of that. I must have been picking up a stray pack here and there for longer than I recall.

1994 Collector's Choice #50 - Jason Bere
1994 Collector's Choice #134 - Roberto Hernandez
1994 Collector's Choice #235 - Scott Radinsky
1994 Collector's Choice #247 - Scott Ruffcorn
1994 Collector's Choice #354 - Frank Thomas CL
1994 Collector's Choice #385 - Tim Raines
1994 Collector's Choice #415 - Julio Franco
1994 Collector's Choice #445 - Jack McDowell
1994 Collector's Choice #500 - Frank Thomas
1994 Collector's Choicce #640 - Frank Thomas - Up Close
1994 Collector's Choice #652 - James Baldwin
1994 Collector's Choice Crash The Deck - Roberto Alomar vs. Frank Thomas
1994 Donruss #220 - Tim Raines CL
1994 Donruss #258 - Tim Raines
1994 Fleer #86 - Ron Karkovice
1994 Leaf #116 - Tim Raines
1994 Pinnacle #57 - Jack McDowell
1994 Pinnacle #86 - Lance Johnson
1994 Pinnacle #164 - Roberto Hernandez
1994 Pinnacle #255 - Scott Ruffcorn
1994 Pinnacle #462 - Tim Raines
1994 Score #153 - Alex Fernandez
1994 Score #181 - Mike LaValliere
1994 Score #611 - Scott Ruffcorn
1994 Stadium Club #255 - Tim Belcher
1994 Topps #5 - Ozzie Guillen
1994 Topps #62 - Tim Belcher
1994 Topps #90 - Robin Ventura
1994 Topps #176 - Craig Grebeck
1994 Topps #452 - Lance Johnson
1994 Topps #515 - Jack McDowell
1994 Topps #527 - Norberto Martin (Prospects)
1994 Topps #572 - Roberto Hernandez
1994 Topps #599 - Alex Fernandez
1994 Topps #662 - Steve Sax
1994 Topps #684 - Ron Karkovice
1994 Topps #724 - Kirk McCaskill
1994 Topps #758 - Greg Norton
1994 Topps Gold #478 - Joey Cora
1994 Triple Play #268 - Tim Raines
1994 Ultra #35 - Lance Johnson
1994 Ultra #36 - Ron Karkovice
1994 Ultra #37 - Kirk McCaskill
1994 Ultra Award Winners #4 - Robin Ventura
1994 Upper Deck Minors #146 - James Baldwin

I am still discovering the wonders of 1995, post strike baseball cards. There's even a card set that projects what the players would have ended up with had a full season been played. That would have made me super mega pissed in 1995. It's like rubbing salt in a wound, then chopping it off.

1995 Score #168 - Mike LaValliere
1995 Score #481 - Ron Karkovice
1995 Topps #77 - Tim Raines
1995 Topps #135 - Julio Franco
1995 Topps #384 - AS First Basemen - Frank Thomas, Jeff Bagwell
1995 Topps Cyberstats #83 - Julio Franco

That ends the nineties. Tomorrow will be cards from the current decade. What treats will be in store for my collection? You'll just have to stay tuned tomorrow. Same Sox time. Same Sox channel.

White Sox Photoshop Cards: Carlos Quentin

Card #8 - Carlos Quentin

Don't count Carlos out of anything. He was traded to the White Sox for a Class A player and almost didn't make the team out of Spring Training. A key injury to Jerry Owens and a little luck provided a path to a breakout season for Carlos Quentin.

With his rash of injuries behind him, Carlos has led the American League in home runs for most of the year. With Carlos' revitalized career, he surely is enjoying taking a bite out of the competition.

I had another image of Carlos all set up, until a candid moment was caught on film from the August 18th game against Seattle. After a strike, Carlos took his bat to his mouth and appeared to attempt a bite.

Since this is the exact thing that I miss from being on cards, this image was immediately put through the Photoshop filters and immortalized on digital cardboard. I had a rare image of Carlos smiling, but this certainly beats that.

Tuesday, August 19, 2008

The Massive Box Part Two: Electric Boogaloo

I have whittled down 1972 through 1989, to what I actually needed. The results were a bit surprising on my part. There were cards that I could have sworn that I had, but after double checking, it turns out that I was mistaken. Then, of course, there were cards that I got excited about, only to find that they were already in my collection. Weird.

Two cards from the seventies popped out at me. I knew I didn't have either of them.

1972 Topps #240 - Rich Allen
1975 Topps #400 - Dick Allen

Two Dick Allen cards are always welcome! Especially ones that I don't have. The rest of the small bunch from the seventies, I already had, but that's not too surprising. I have the regular issue Topps team sets from 1977, 1978 and 1979. I am only lacking one or two multi-team rookie cards from those years. That was what the other seventies cards were in the box. If the cards were from 1976 Topps or earlier (with the exception of 1974), there's a good chance that I wouldn't have it. Still, I am grateful for any White Sox cards that are almost as old as I am, or older if they are before 1976.

Next came a bounty of eighties cards. While, I had a good chunk of them, I was a bit surprised at how much I didn't have. Like I've mentioned before, there are certain holes in my collection that may seem absolutely ridiculous, but I never found those cards in packs or through trading or whatever.

1981 Topps #522 - Mike Colbern
1982 Topps #521 - Billy Almon
1983 Topps #260 - Steve Kemp
1984 Fleer #60 - Jerry Hairston
1984 Fleer #67 - Rudy Law
1984 Topps #125 - Britt Burns
1984 Topps #153 - Dick Tidrow
1986 Topps #227 - Al Jones
1986 Topps #364 - Reid Nichols
1986 Topps #423 - Dan Spillner
1986 Topps #612 - Richard Dotson
1988 Score #307 - Bobby Thigpen
1988 Score #582 - Daryl Boston
1988 Topps #158 - Tim Hulett
1988 Topps #334 - Dave LaPoint
1988 Topps #634 - Jose DeLeon
1988 Topps Traded #124T - Robin Ventura
1989 Bowman #61 - Jack McDowell
1989 Donruss #219 - Steve Rosenberg
1989 Donruss #371 - Ivan Calderon
1989 Donruss #619 - Adam Peterson
1989 Fleer #492 - Daryl Boston
1989 Fleer #493 - Ivan Calderon
1989 Fleer #494 - Mike Diaz
1989 Fleer #496 - Dave Gallagher
1989 Fleer #499 - Lance Johnson
1989 Fleer #500 - Barry Jones
1989 Fleer #503 - Fred Manrique
1989 Fleer #505 - Donn Pall
1989 Fleer #506 - Kelly Paris
1989 Fleer #597 - Dan Pasqua
1989 Fleer #510 - Jerry Reuss
1989 Fleer #511 - Mark Salas
1989 Fleer #512 - Bobby Thigpen
1989 Score #37 - Greg Walker
1989 Score #67 - Ken Williams
1989 Score #177 - Gary Redus
1989 Score #289 - Jack McDowell
1989 Score #331 - Ivan Calderon
1989 Score #386 - Melido Perez
1989 Score #455 - Dave Gallagher
1989 Score #457 - Fred Manrique
1989 Star #61 - Scott Tedder

I know what you're thinking. What's with all those 1989 cards? Well, I had stopped collecting at that point. I didn't pick up a pack in 1988 or 1989. Plus, most cards before that I collected before 1990, would have to be thrown out. Only because I was a kid who loved his cards and looked through them everyday.

Thankfully, this completes my 1989 Fleer White Sox team set!

I only discovered pages and top loaders in my second wave of collecting, between 1990 and 1994. Any cards that were collected before 1990 might have been subject to rubber banding or shoebox storage. That's just the way most of us did that before hobby shops were in the picture.

One thing that I find hilarious is the 1989 Score Gary Redus card. It shows him in a White Sox uniform and lists him as being on the White Sox, but they acknowledge that he was traded to the Pirates last August in the text on the back. The card even had a Pirates tag in Beckett's online catalogue.

There were some nice second year Thigpen's that I didn't realize were lacking from my collection. Plus, many cards of the malaise that is Fred Manrique. Up tomorrow, part three, which focuses on the nineties.

White Sox Photoshop Cards: Toby Hall

Card #7 - Toby Hall

Toby Hall could have been a star in the Tampa Bay organization, but he's with the White Sox instead as a backup catcher. Toby and A.J. Pierzynski make a top notch catching tandem.

Toby was injured most of 2007, so he didn't contribute nearly as much as he would have liked. 2008 has been a different beast. He is enjoying a nice average for playing roughly once a week.

I picked this photo of Toby Hall because you actually see his face, while in catching gear. Toby doesn't play that often, so there aren't as many pictures to choose from. The reflective shades give the Photoshop enhanced photo a unique look.

Monday, August 18, 2008

August 15 - 17, 2008: White Sox @ Athletics

August 15 - 17, 2008 - Oakland, California

August 15: White Sox 4 - Athletics 6
August 16: White Sox 2 - White Sox 1
August 17: White Sox 13 - Athletics 1

Road trip!

The schedule has been odd this year. For example, this three day road trip to the west coast. Why would anybody in their right mind schedule this? Oh that's right, it was done on a computer. That explains it.

The Sox have traditionally done very poorly on the west coast. Thankfully, the Athletics are an "up and coming" team. This usually would give the Sox fits, but the majority of Athletics players have been in the White Sox system at one point. This ensures that the Sox should have some idea on how to approach these guys.

The good:
Toby Hall was swinging a hot bat in game 2.

The Sox piled on the runs in game 3.

The bad:
John Danks got into some really bad jams in game 2, but managed to get out of them.

Swisher had a fielding error in game 2.

The ugly:
Octavio Dotel blew a save opportunity in game 1.

Alexei Ramirez was picked off first base in game 1.

It was a refreshing change coming leaving the west coast with a winning road trip. Let's hope this is contagious. With the Twins hot on the heels of the Sox, no lead is safe.

The Massive Box Part One

On Friday, I received on long, heavy package in the mail. I was a little perplexed as to what the package might contain, until I saw the return address. It was from Eric! I was thinking that the package contained some White Sox bulky novelty items. When I opened the box, this is what I saw...
A 900 count box, mostly filled with cards. Eddie Vedder's painting certainly looks like it approves. Maybe Eddie, a Cubs fan, wouldn't be so quick to approve of the contents of this box, if he knew that it contained White Sox cards.
750 White Sox cards to be exact! While I sort out what I need from here, I will post the highlights in part two.

The one thing that I have learned from this is that the 1991 Donruss Grand Slammers card of Ron Karkovice came in both blue and green borders. Who knew? I sure didn't. That's my new fact for the day. It pushes out the name of the girl I had a crush on in preschool. Oh, well. It's not like I've seen her in over 25 years. No big loss there.

White Sox Photoshop Cards: Scott Linebrink

Card #6 - Scott Linebrink

Scott joined the White Sox to help bolster a bullpen that was considered the best in baseball, until it blew up in 2007.

Scott is a huge upgrade from 2007, when injuries took a toll on the bullpen. Every man has their specific role in the bullpen. A former closer, Scott helps nail down the late innings to get to Bobby Jenks.

I find it interesting when pitchers actually look to see where their pitches end up, after they are hit. It's hard to tell if this was a pop up or a fly ball. It's a toss up.

I think with the Photoshop filters, Scott looks a little like a Dozer from Fraggle Rock. Work, work, work.

Sunday, August 17, 2008

White Sox Photoshop Cards: Bobby Jenks

Card #5 - Bobby Jenks

After being a World Series hero in his rookie season, Bobby has settled into a demanding closer role with ease. In 2008, Jenks has continued his dominance of the American League.

While Jenks save total is down this year, it hasn't been because he is losing his touch. The White Sox have led the majors in home runs for much of the year, so Bobby hasn't had as many opportunities to save a game.

I chose this photo of Bobby celebrating because it shows the raw emotion that he carries after each save. It's not showing the other team up. It's subtle enough not to catch the ire of the opposition. You can tell that it's hard for Bobby to contain his enthusiasm after a job well done.

Saturday, August 16, 2008

#72 - Carlton Fisk

There has only been one player in the entire history of the White Sox who has worn number 72. Hall of Fame catcher, Carlton Fisk. There will never be another player that will wear this number, because it is retired.

Regardless of automatic inclusion, from the retired number, or the sheer fact that he is the lone player at 72, Fisk would have made it. Carlton brought a certain level of competition to the playing field everyday.

The signing of Fisk, in 1981, was a coup and a huge risk. It was a statement to the baseball world that the new White Sox owners meant business. There would be no more sideshow attractions. Things would get serious.

By the mid-eighties, it looked like signing Carlton would be one of those passing things. A signing that few people would remember. A team that a great player once finished out his career with in his final few seasons. Fisk was injured a great deal at this time. Then, the right workout regimen appeared. Carlton was revitalized and enjoyed a wonderful career until 1993.

He passed Johnny Bench for most home runs by at catcher, at that point, and passed the mark for all-time Major League games caught. He still holds the record for most innings caught in a single game at 25 innings.

Fisk is the rare athlete that is beloved in two different cities. Even though he spent more time with the White Sox and broke more records with the White Sox, Fisk will always be remembered for his only trip to the World Series. The image most people associate with Carlton is his Game 6 1975 World Series home run that he waved fair.

Carlton Fisk's image in Chicago was of a blue collar worker, who was the first to arrive and the last to leave on a workday. It fit perfectly with the vibe of Chicago. He was a proponent of playing the game "right". Carlton has gotten into shouting matches, during games, if he caught a player dogging it on the field.

Carlton was immortalized with a statue in U.S. Cellular Field. After initial bad feelings between Fisk and the White Sox, over his 1993 release, Carlton is back in the White Sox fold as an ambassador.

White Sox Photoshop Cards: Nick Swisher

Card #4 - Nick Swisher

Nick has brought his unique, contagious energy to the White Sox clubhouse. It has paid off with a resurgence of the team in 2008.

Swisher was brought in to fill holes in the outfield and fill in at first base. The unconventional move has paid off. Nick has excelled in his defense in both the outfield and at first base.

While his average is down in 2008, Nick has a knack for hitting at the right time. He injects his fun attitude to everything he does on and off the field.

I chose this photo of Nick to demonstrate his willingness to do anything to fire his team up or support a worthy cause. He was getting his facial hair dyed pink for breast cancer awareness. Candid moments like this are very hard to find on cardboard lately.

Friday, August 15, 2008

Mailbox Joys: My First 1954 Bowman

1954 Bowman #6 - Nellie Fox

This is my first vintage Bowman card. It arrived in today's mail, in a nondescript bubble envelope. But there it was... my first vintage Bowman card!

I absolutely love the colors on this card! They are bright and they really pop without being obnoxious. I also got quite a bargain on it. With shipping, I paid somewhere in the neighborhood of $11. According to most price guides, this card is worth around $80. I'd say that it was a bargain, but I'm not really in the practice of judging my collection by monetary value.

My collection means more to me than what it's worth. The only time I consult those pricing guides is when I purchase. Largely, so I don't end up paying a super high cost for a card that is available everywhere. Everything is in the eye of the beholder, so value is what you make it.

I suppose that value is good, if I ever get a large enough vintage collection to require insuring it. That wouldn't be for the monetary value. I would definitely want to replace my collection, if something were ever to happen to it. I won't think those dreadful thoughts right now.

I will just bask in the glow of my new vintage Nellie Fox card. It's one thing to have a reprint of a vintage card. It's quite another to actually have a vintage card. It feels different than a reprint. It looks different than a reprint.

I've always wanted a Nellie Fox card from earlier in his career. Now I have one. This is just another small step in my lofty goal to own every White Sox card. I still know that will never happen, with all the 1/1 cards out there. I just want to get as close to that goal as possible.

August 12 - 14, 2008: Royals @ White Sox

August 12 - 14, 2008 - Chicago, Illinois

August 12: Royals 0 - White Sox 9
August 13: Royals 0 - White Sox 4
August 14: Royals 2 - White Sox 9

Back to back to back to back jacks!

Nothing says revenge more than the series sweep. That is, unless you mix in the great pitching with great hitting and throw in a few records to boot. One record tied a Major League record and made a club record. That was the four straight home runs. The other set a Major League record. That was Carlos Quentin getting hit in six straight games. That's gotta hurt!

The good:
Thome, Konerko, Ramirez and Uribe hit four straight home runs in game 3.

Javier Vazquez went 8 strong innings in game 1.

The bad:
Lance Broadway gave up the only two runs of the series in game 3.

Swisher and Thome each went 0 for 3 in game 2.

The ugly:
Carlos Quentin was hit in his sixth straight game in game 3.

The Sox committed two errors in game 3.

The Sox offense just exploded during this series. The nice thing is that the pitching was phenomenal as well. There really weren't many things going on with this series that I would categorize as bad. I think the Sox are relying way too much on the home run and that will bite them in the behind, if they keep waiting for the homer.

Card Spotlight: 8-15-08

1970 Topps Super #3 - Luis Aparicio

This is one of the highlights of a package from Mark at Stats On The Back. A beat up, "loved" garage sale find. I love the powder blue uniforms that the Sox sported back then. Well... there not my absolute favorite, but they rank up there in the oddities of White Sox uniform history. The collared uniforms with shorts will always be the oddest.

This card is huge! I can see why it was put through the wringer. It's thick, too! I stacked up four regular issue 2008 cards against this bad boy. It took four to just about equal the thickness of a Topps Super card.

The card has weird rounded edges. It almost reminds me of am oddly shaped drink coaster. To top it off, the card is slightly miscut. This is an amazing example of an awesome, loved card.

Thanks, Mark! You've saved this week's Card Spotlight from being boring!

White Sox Photoshop Cards: Alexei Ramirez

Card #3 - Alexei Ramirez

"The Cuban Missile" has been an eye-opener for White Sox fans. After initially struggling at the plate, Alexei has adjusted quickly to the majors.

Alexei not only brings his bat, but brings his glove too. Providing stellar defense at second base, shortstop and center field are just a few of the many tools that Ramirez brings to the park. He comes ready to play and ready to tackle any challenge.

I thought this photo was an interesting perspective. It shows Alexei in mid-flight, making a play. It takes on a whole different dimension and feel as a "painting". You don't get to see these kind of plays on a card too often anymore.

Thursday, August 14, 2008

A Couple Of Records

The White Sox may finally be reaching their potential. Today, they achieved a club record and a Major League record.

The Club Record:

to back...
to back...
to back home runs...
by Jim Thome, Paul Konerko, Alexei Ramirez and Juan Uribe!

This would be the first time in White Sox history that the Sox have homered with four straight batters. Toby Hall prevented it from being five in a row by striking out, in case you were wondering.

This is only the sixth time in Major League history that this feat has occurred, but it is the very first time that it has happened with the 5, 6, 7 & 8 hitters.

And now for something completely different...

The Major League Record:

Carlos Quentin has been hit by a pitch in six straight games!

Ouch! No wonder he had two days off before this record breaking game. Plus, Quentin is only one bases loaded hit by pitch from setting that record too. I guess this record shows that Quentin is not intimidated by inside pitches. I can't really think of a more painful record than this. Can you?

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