Tuesday, December 30, 2008

Dog By Request

This is our dog, Tess. We're not exactly sure what she is, but she's huge! The vet says that she's probably a mix of Chow and some type of Terrier, possibly Airedale.

We couldn't think of a name for her, when we got her at Animal Welfare. Then a name popped into my head. Nikola Tesla, inventor of AC current, the Tesla Coil and a death ray!

The name fit because it satisfied my curiosity for interesting history and my dad worked for ComEd. My mom thought that Tesla was a weird name for a dog, so we nicknamed her Tess.

We've had Tess since 2002. She was a few years old, by best estimates. Since then, we found out she is a stalker. She will sit out in the backyard, in any kind of weather, and wait for the opportunity to chase something.

Despite her penchant for chasing things, she is intimidated by the three labs next door. If they are out, she sometimes won't go out the door unless nature calls. That's the only thing that we've found that she's a bit timid towards. She even tries to play with our cats. Not that the cats want to play with a large dog.

She hates the camera, so I'm not sure how the groomers got her to sit still for this one. I think the shot turned out beautifully. It's one of the few pictures we have of Tess, and clearly the best looking one.

So, Patricia and Lucy, that is my dog. I hope you liked her.

It Was In The Alamo... In The Basement

A short while ago, I answered a question in a contest held by A Cardboard Problem. It was about, of all things, Pee-Wee's Big Adventure. I can't even count the number of times I saw that movie when I was a kid. I've probably seen it a few dozen times as an adult.

I knew that the fortune teller told Pee-Wee that his bike was being held in the Alamo, in the basement. For that bit of knowledge, I won a hobby pack of Upper Deck Documentary. I'm always for free stuff, so I welcomed the pack with open arms.

Well, actually, I welcomed the package on Saturday. Then a miraclulous thing happened. The piles of snow all melted when the temperature escalated and rain came down. I was awoke early Sunday morning to several phone calls from my friend, whose basement had flooded. Since I am the only friend who still lives a mile away, he naturally thought of me.

The pack will naturally be posted on A Pack A Day. When that is up later today, I will post a link to the post. This way you can see if the pack sucked or if the pack rocked. I'm just hoping for some White Sox.

Along with the package, there were a few cards thrown in. Hey, what can I say? I love free cards!! All were from recent releases. Sometimes it's nice knowing someone that works at a card shop. I wish I worked at one!

2008 Topps Updates & Highlights
UH174 - D.J. Carrasco
UH227 - Carlos Quentin AS
UH324 - Ken Griffey Jr.

2008 Topps Updates & Highlights Gold Foil
UH227 - Carlos Quentin AS

2008 UD Timeline
17 - Ken Griffey Jr.

Thanks, Marie! That was a nice little treat thrown in!

I am working on a special project for A Cardboard Problem that should be done this week. This is just extra incentive to get it done right!

Look for the UD Documentary pack opening on A Pack A Day sometime this afternoon or evening.

Sunday, December 28, 2008

A Charlie Brown Christmas Tree And Other Casualties

Rare is the package that can make me jump for joy, shed tears of sadness and curse the day. This package from dayf has managed to do the impossible... all three.

Things started out wonderfully. I approached dayf's bubble mailer with a sense of wonderment and giddiness. I opened it and out popped a note.

Merry Chistmas from Card Board Junkie

Then I pulled out a beautiful Tipton card of Fred Marsh. Oh, the sights this one piece of colored cardboard must have seen over the years. I can only begin to imagine. There are thumb tack holes and the wear is at a Costas wallet Mantle level.

Joy! Joy! Joy!

Upon the card protector was a sticky note.

The cardboard version of Charlie Brown's Christmas Tree...

Indeed! This was a card that was in need of some good old fashioned Christmas time love! That is exactly what it got and will continue to receive.

Out popped two stacks of cards wrapped in team bags with wrapping paper on them. I opened them up and saw this stack of awesome cards! There were 2008 Topps Heritage and a nice assortment of White Sox cards.

Joy! Joy! Joy!

As I started through both stacks, I came to a quick realization. More and more cards were coming up dinged. They were getting worse and worse as I got further down each pile. The two worst casualties were a Billy Pierce Topps Archives Reserve ultra shiny card and a Magglio Ordonez EX.

Curse! Curse! Curse!

I quickly came to realize that the post office banged this package around so much, that they managed to damage an EX card! That is made out of hard plastic sheets! How do you damage a card like that inside a bubble envelope?

The post office showed no mercy. Even 2008 Topps Updates & Highlights cards were dinged at the top! This tells me that it wasn't normal wear and tear that comes with age. This was done during the shipping itself.

Out of 67 cards from the two sealed stacks, nine were undamaged. Do you want to know what saved these cards from a post office inflicted death? A Charlie Brown Christmas Tree. That's right. The most damaged card in the whole lot. Card number 68. Fred Marsh personally saved nine cards during his last actions of life. Fred is now resting comfortably in seclusion to live out his remaining days.

These are the nine cards that he saved.

1991 Stadium Club Charter Member
9 - Carlton Fisk

1991 Stadium Club Members Only
14 - Carlton Fisk

1991 Upper Deck
367 - Carlton Fisk
677 - Ground Breaking (Fisk, Ventura)

2008 Topps Heritage
338 - Justin Verlander

2008 Topps Heritage Black Back
42 - Jason Jennings
52 - Omar Vizquel
265 - Aaron Rowand
286 - Tony Gwynn

For the rest, they will be waiting for replacement to eventually relieve them of their duties. They will stand proud, knowing that they fought a good battle, until they will be ultimately replaced.

Thank you, dayf! This package made me realize the true meaning of Christmas by experiencing all of the holiday emotions at once. The adventure was worth it!

10 Questions From Dinged Corners

Round One

1-If I didn't collect baseball cards, I'd collect album artwork.
I always found album artwork fascinating. There are so many little things that one can do with an album cover. It is an art form that is sadly dying today.

2-My baseball heroes include one you probably wouldn't know from my blog or comments, and that person is John Paciorek.
To think what he accomplished in one day is mind boggling.

3-Every New Years I resolve to add to my collection.
Truthfully, I resolve that every single day.

4-If I could spend a day with one person from baseball history, it would be Bill Veeck.
The stories he could tell could make my head explode!

Round Two

1-What is your favorite kind of dog? Cairn Terrier
I belong to the Chicago/Suburban Cairn Terrier Club because of the elderly, disabled man I took care of for almost five years. Toto was a Cairn Terrier.

2-Who is your favorite baseball player? Harold Baines
Harold Baines squeaks out Carlton Fisk here because he was scouted by the White Sox when he was 12 years old.

3-What is your favorite team? Chicago White Sox
Hence the name of the blog, but I enjoy watching most teams.

4-What is your favorite baseball movie? Major League
The little moments are so true that it's scary... and funny!

5-What is your favorite baseball book? The Baseball Hall Of Shame
I've been reading this series of books since I was a kid. A great fountain of knowledge.

6-What is your favorite card? 1985 Topps #275 Harold Baines (FDP)
This was one of my chase cards for the 1985 season. I loved the way Topps used the old school photo of Harold.

Cards On Cards Minor League Treats

At some point in the recent past, Cards On Cards decided to streamline the collection. That sounds very familiar. I think there's been an epidemic of that going on lately.

This time the culprit was minor league cards. They were given away by team, mostly. Of course, I chimed in for the White Sox. With my request accepted, I waited for the package to arrive.

It arrived when I needed it most... while I was away from the house for an extended amount of days. There is a bonus to that though. I received no cards for Christmas this year, so I had lots to open up when I arrived home after Christmas!

That was the case with this package from Cards On Cards.

Will my wildest dreams come true? Will there be a bunch of high talent Major League players in there? The biggest cat is out of the bag with the picture of Frank, or is it? Let's see what else was in there!

1989 Star
58 - Paul Fuller (2)
60 - Ron Stephens

1990 CMC
2 - Adam Peterson
4 - Ravelo Manzanillo
11 - Steve Rosenberg (2)
20 - Todd Trafton
26 - Moe Drabowsky

1990 ProCards
1105 - Todd Hall
1106 - Roberto Hernandez
1116 - Frank Thomas
1120 - Aubrey Waggoner

1990 Star
60 - Rob Resnikoff

1991 Classic Best
114 - Kevin Tolar (2)
146 - Nilson Robledo
157 - Brandon Wilson
234 - Javier Ocasio

1991 Line Drive
54 - Mark Chasey (2)
64 - Scott Jaster
65 - Bo Kennedy
74 - Tony Franklin
75 - Coaches
639 - Jerry Kutzler

1991 Oklahoma State Collegiate Collection
4 - Robin Ventura

1991 ProCards
171 - Rich Amaral

1992 Classic Best
377 - Doug Brady

1992 ProCards
46 - Rogelio Nunez

I recognize quite a few names in there. There are a few pitchers on their way down and a few players on their way up. The Frank Thomas is a wonderful addition. I did not have that card. The coup of the package may be the Ventura card! I've never seen that one before.

Thanks, Kerry! These are very much appreciated! Minor league cards are always interesting to me. You can see players who fit into every type of category imaginable. The should have beens, the can't miss prospect, the who???!!!, the that's what happened to him, and many others. It's always nice to take a stroll down memory lane.

Saturday, December 27, 2008

A Virtual Christmas Present

One of the most unique gifts that I received came from Chuck of Chuck's Used Cards. It is a picture of a T205 Fred Olmstead.

As you can see, it is beaten up and tattered. Loved, if you will.

I've come close to owning a T-205 Olmstead, but I was beaten by a few dollars here or a few cents there, at the last moment. One day, I will be able to own a copy of this card. Not today, but someday.

This is an excellent virtual placeholder until that day arrives.

Thank you, Chuck! This is the most unique Christmas gift that I received this year!

A Gift From The Gooch

I repeat... just because you won a contest, don't feel obligated to send cards in return. That out of the way again, those are some of the sweetest cards of all.

The latest thank you package comes from Brian, but you probably recognize him from his blogger name, the Gooch.

Thanks for the Yankee cards from the contest. I hope these cards fill some holes in your collection.

Indeed they do! In fact, I think that every single card may be a needed card. Let's see what the Gooch sent over!

1992 Classic Best
259 - Glenn DiSarcina

1992 Leaf Black Gold
169 - Greg Hibbard

1992 Stadium Club Dome
72 - Ozzie Guillen

1994 Collector's Choice Silver Signature
150 - Lance Johnson

1994 Post
21 - Frank Thomas

1994 Upper Deck Minors
247 - Glenn DiSarcina

1995 Score
136 - Craig Grebeck

1996 Bowman
292 - Tom Fordham

1996 Topps
52 - Ron Karkovice

1999 Fleer Tradition Update
U10 - Jesus Pena
U26 - Kip Wells
U28 - Joe Davenport
U88 - Lui Rodriguez
U138 - Paul Konerko

2008 Topps Gold
378 - Ozzie Guillen 1355/2008

These are all great cards Gooch! Thank you! These have all found a good home.

Friday, December 26, 2008

A Christmas Gift From The Pettitte Pursuit

Eric, now of the Pettitte Pursuit, has been very, very good to me over the past year. He has been streamlining his collection down to the few things that really matter to him. I, and many others, have been reaping the benefits of this process.

Somewhere during my absence from home this week, a package from Eric arrived. Many other packages arrived too, but this was at the bottom of the pile. This tells me that it came first. So, we'll go with that.

A note was taped over the cardboard protected cards.

Thanks for everything this year. In case any of these are doubles, maybe trade them with another Chi-Sox collector for a couple Pettittes? Happy holidays man!

Sure, there were a few doubles in there, but mostly, the package consisted of cards that I actually needed. That is always a plus!

What did Eric send over? There's only one way to find out!

1993 Topps
204 - Dan Pasqua
259 - Craig Grebeck
313 - Greg Hibbard

1996 Topps
405 - Roberto Hernandez

2000 Topps
139 - Brook Fordyce

2004 Topps
644 - White Sox Team

2006 Upper Deck
117 - Roberto Hernandez

2007 Topps Opening Day
142 - Jim Thome
143 - Jose Contreras

2007 Ultra Retail
35 - Paul Konerko

2008 Baseball Heroes
43 - Jermiane Dye

2008 Stadium Club
35 - Ken Griffey Jr. (2)
65 - Nick Swisher

2008 Stadium Club First Day Issue
30 - Carlos Quentin

2008 Topps Heritage
65 - Jason Giambi
489 - Ken Griffey Jr. AS

2008 Topps Updates & Highlights
UH174 - D.J. Carrasco
UH203 - Joe Crede AS
UH227 - Carlos Quentin AS

2008 UD Timeline
124 - Nick Swisher
234 - Alexei Ramirez
357 - Alexei Ramirez

2008 UD Timeline Gold
73 - Alexei Ramirez

2008 Yankee Stadium Legacy
16, 291, 445, 519, 1196, 1321, 1763, 2218, 4028, 4498, 5129, 5592, 5687

Awesome! Simply awesome! Thank you so much, Eric! Rest assured, there will be some more Pettittes in your future for 2009!

Card Spotlight: 12-26-08

1985 White Sox Coke #72 - Carlton Fisk

What would a card spotlight feature that falls on Carlton Fisk's birthday be without a Carlton Fisk card? Pretty pathetic, that what!

I share with you the 1985 version of the White Sox Coke cards that were given away at Comiskey Park. I miss these cards. As a kid, I would pick some up almost every time I went to the park. At least it seemed that way at the time.

This design especially sticks out in my mind. I thought it was so cool that the cards included historical White Sox players. Most were paired by position, but not all. Carlton was paired with Ray Schalk, another catcher who had a huge following in Chicago.

Foreshadowing Fisk's own enshrinement in Cooperstown, he seemed to get the nodding approval of Hall of Famer Ray Schalk on this card. I would spend hours looking at these cards as a kid. I tried to find out about every player in the little circle.

Happy birthday, Carlton! As a treat to all the Fisk fans out there, they can see a card that is not widely shown.

Thursday, December 25, 2008

12 Days Of Cardmas

On the twelfth day of Cardmas, Tribe Cards gave to me...

12 of Ozzie Guillen playing

11 of Ray Durhamsmiling

10 of Wilson Alvarez pitching

9 of Harold Baines batting

8 of Scott Radinsky punking

7 of Mark Buehrle working

6 of Carlos Lee swinging

5 of J.D. 2005 World Series MVP

4 of Chris Singleton posing

3 of Steve Sax grimacing

2 Big ass Zenith cards

And a Jeff Abbott non rookie

Thanks, David and happy holidays!

Wednesday, December 24, 2008

Tuesday, December 23, 2008

Random Card #40

There are close to 200 baseball cards of Michael Jordan. Not bad for someone who never played in the Major Leagues! I only have a few. This is not one of them though.

While I am at my future in-laws' house this week, I won't have my usual access, but that's OK. Holiday time is time for families and friends. Blogging ranks in there somewhere, but it's not an absolute priority this week.

This time of year is a time for dreams. Wishes are sometimes fulfilled and when you aren't exposed in the potentially fatal mobs out shopping, it is a magical time. There's something in the air besides the -40 degree wind chill.

When I think of dreams, I think of Michael Jordan and his baseball pursuit. Michael Jordan is probably one of the most gifted athletes to ever grace the planet, even if he is a robot (as suggested by Dennis Rodman on 3rd Rock From The Sun). Yet, Michael could not dominate the world of baseball. He really wasn't even incredibly average.

This only further proved my two theories. Baseball takes more skill than it may appear and Germans love David Hasselhoff. OK, maybe that last one is Norm MacDonald's theory. The baseball one is right on the money though.

If Michael Jordan can live out his dream of playing baseball for a season (even if it was in the minors), then anyone can achieve their dreams. While we are spending time with loved ones, or putting toys together, or just eating a microwaved meal alone over the sink, remember that dreams do occasionally come true. Don't give up on them.

Saturday, December 20, 2008

MLB Network Is Live... Sort Of

Ever since the inception of the NFL Network, I've waited patiently for MLB to create a network. I've watched the NBA join in and still nothing from MLB.

The wait is over. The MLB Network is now testing feeds on various cable and satellite outlets. Here, in Chicago, I've been watching programming about the 2004 World Series on Comcast cable channel 410.

The station goes live on January 1, 2009 at 5PM central time. If your television provider will be arrying the MLB Network in 2009, chances are there's programming being tested right now.

Looks like Christmas came early, which is good. I'll be spending most of next week at my future in-laws' house. They only have basic cable, so I won't be basking in any MLB goodness to lift my winter moods caused by ice covered snow.

Friday, December 19, 2008

Card Spotlight: 12-19-08

1997 Finest #259 - Jaime Navarro

I received this card in a recent trade with Payton. It's everything a card should be. It's shiny, bright, with good stock. Only... it makes me laugh.

The card itself is a beautiful addition to my collection. There is no doubt about that. The prospect of Jaime Navarro being one of the White Sox organization's "Finest Acquisitions" makes me bust a gut!

Maybe, it's because in the three years that Navarro was on the South Side, he won no more than 9 games in a season. The least amount of games that he lost in a season with the Sox? 13.

1997: 9-14, 5.79 ERA
1998: 8-16, 6.36 ERA
1999: 8-13, 6.09 ERA

I expected great things from Jaime Navarro when he came over from the Cubs. He was outstanding with the Cubs. He plain sucked with the White Sox.

Despite this, he netted two big acquisitions that helped the White Sox take the AL Central Division in 2000, the year after he left. Cal Eldred and Jose Valentin. Still, his $20 million dollar four year contract could have been spent more wisely. At the time, he looked like he was worth it.

The First White Sox Doubles Trade

Drumroll please!

The first ever White Sox doubles trade goes to...


Who is Payton you may wonder? Payton is the son of Adam of Thoughts And Sox. While Adam collects the Red Sox, Payton collects White Sox cards.

I received a large package in the mail today. Inside, there were five small wrapped packages. While opening each package, I discovered that the wrapping paper was actually pages of ESPN magazine.

I don't subscribe because I get to catch up on all the issues that I missed when I get the oil changed in my car. So this was a nice treat.

In all, there were 112 White Sox cards. 91 of those cards, I still needed. So, Payton will be getting quite a haul in return. There was also a handwritten note, from Payton. Not only do I like the cards you sent... I love them! Almost all of the cards came from a period where I didn't collect, so it's always enjoyable seeing cards for the first time.

And yes, being around friends and family, I will have a merry Christmas. I hope you have a merry Christmas as well, Payton!

What did Payton send that I needed? Let's find out!

1991 Studio
33 – Scott Fletcher

1992 Ultra
39 – Ron Karkovice
41 – Donn Pall

1994 Bowman
651 – Joe Hall

1994 Ultra
32 – Joey Cora
336 – Craig Grebeck

1994 Upper Deck
468 – Roberto Hernandez

1995 SP Championship Series Die Cut
141 – Alex Fernandez

1996 Leaf Preferred
141 – Chris Snopek

1996 Stadium Club
7 – Ray Durham
54 – Lyle Mouton

1997 Finest
259 – Jaime Navarro

1998 Bowman
147 – Jeff Abbott

1998 Donruss
287 – Greg Norton
319 – Jeff Abbott

1998 Finest
31 – Mike Cameron
191 – Ray Durham

1998 Leaf Rookies & Stars
114 – Mike Cameron
235 – Mario Valdez
244 – Mike Caruso
264 – Jeff Abbott

1998 Pacific
58 – Matt Karchner
60 – Dave Martinez

1998 Pacific Online
159 – Jeff Abbott
164 – Mike Caruso
165 – Carlos Castillo
168 – Scott Eyre

1998 Pinnacle Performers
96 – Jeff Abbott

1998 Stadium Club
11 – Mike Cameron
167 – James Baldwin
197 – Jaime Navarro
339 – Ray Durham
346 – Mike Caruso

1998 Topps Gallery
37 – Ray Durham
110 – Mike Cameron

1999 Bowman
128 – Jeff Liefer

1999 Topps
364 – Bobby Howry
413 – Jim Parque

1999 Ultra
106 – Ray Durham

1999 UD Choice
71 – Mike Caruso

1999 UD Ultimate Victory
28 – Ray Durham

2000 Fleer Gamers
7 – Chris Singleton
80 – Ray Durham

2000 Fleer Tradition
161 – Mike Sirotka

2000 Skybox
43 – Ray Durham
57 – Bobby Howry
97 – Chris Singleton

2000 Stadium Club
9 – Mike Caruso

2000 Ultra
46 – Ray Durham
213 – Mike Caruso

2000 Upper Deck
79 – Bobby Howry
277 – Aaron Myette
352 – Brook Fordyce
355 – Greg Norton

2001 Absolute Memorabilia
148 – David Wells

2001 Donruss Classics
93 – Carlos Lee

2001 Pacific
92 – Ray Durham

2001 SP Authentic
33 – Magglio Ordonez

2001 SP Legendary Cuts
75 – Minnie Minoso

2001 Stadium Club
9 – Chris Singleton
47 – Ray Durham
107 – Jose Valentin
129 – Mark Johnson

2001 UD Victory
219 – Jose Valentin

2002 Absolute Memorabilia
34 – Keith Foulke

2002 Bowman
437 – Dan Wright

2002 Bowman Gold
437 – Dan Wright

2002 Donruss Elite
81 – Ray Durham

2002 Leaf
107 – Ray Durham

2002 SP Authentic
37 – Kenny Lofton

2002 Topps Traded
T43 – Ryan Kohlmeier
T60 – Todd Ritchie

2002 Ultra
160 – Chris Singleton

2002 Upper Deck
622 – Todd Ritchie
623 – Jon Rauch

2002 UD 40 Man
1087 – Kenny Lofton

2002 UD Chasing History
CH15 – Kenny Lofton

2002 UD Vintage
112 – Jon Garland

2003 Donruss Champions
292 – Josh Stewart

2003 Fleer Showcase
10 – Bartolo Colon

2003 Topps
246 – Jose Valentin
267 – Jerry Manuel

2003 Upper Deck
122 – Jose Valentin
125 – Jon Garland

2004 Bowman Draft
BDP127 – Arnie Munoz

2004 Studio
53 – Joe Borchard

2004 Upper Deck
121 – Billy Koch

91 cards! That is impressive! It would have been more, but I have received a couple of the cards in the last week or so.

So, let's see. That's 91 cards that I didn't have. I'll double that number. 21 cards that I did have. I'll match that number. So, Payton will be getting 203 different White Sox cards!

Thank you, Payton (and Adam) for your generosity! All of these cards will have a wonderful new home. I hope that you like the cards I am sending in return. I picked them out special. I will get them in the mail after Christmas. This way, you'll get one last Christmas present to open.

Thursday, December 18, 2008

Shoeless Joe Pulled, Consumers Weep

First, read this. Up to speed? Good.

Why do manufacturers seed the product given to Beckett? Is it for a cheap thrill? Is it to showcase their product?

They tell us that the boxes sent are random. They tell us that these pulls are representative of their product. They say that you too could have a chance at pulling these cards, if you only buy the product.

Do we really need another scandal involving Joe Jackson? This time I know that he's innocent! Unless a 57 year old corpse can "fix" a box of baseball cards, I doubt he had any wrongdoing in this one.

This isn't the first "pull of a lifetime" that Beckett has pulled. This is not luck anymore, it's fraud. The companies that are sending this seeded product over to Beckett to be opened on camera should be ashamed of themselves.

Does this make me want to run out and buy their product with my limited funds? NO! This makes me want to stay far away from every box that I see Beckett open. If Beckett is pulling these amazing cards, what could there possibly be left for me? Not a whole lot.

My "pull of a lifetime" came a short while ago. The problem? I wasn't the one that got to open it. Still, I got the Willie Mays material card numbered to ten. That's the important thing. That card will probably be the best thing I will ever pull in my lifetime. And it was all pure luck.

I'm a White Sox collector. When I see a card that I would love to pull being "found" in a pack, two weeks before the product shelves, by a company that was given the box for publicity purposes, I'm going to be more than a little mad about it. I'm going to be furious!

A Shoeless Joe Jackson dual bat relic numbered to 25 is not representative of the product. These cards need to be in the hands of people that plunked down hard earned money to buy a pack or a box or even a case, in some instances. If the companies want the product to be seen, they should provide scans of every card they produce.

The odds of me ever pulling one of those cards out of the product just plummeted downward astronomically. If I pull this card from my one spot in one box of this product, I will probably have to be rushed to the hospital. My chest will start to hurt and Satan will be wearing ice skates on my front lawn.

Mailbox Joys: A Second 1954 Bowman

1954 Bowman #86 - Harry Dorish

These vintage cards must come all at once. Maybe I'm getting such good deals right now because there are too many cards on eBay. Really, who wins a 1954 Bowman baseball card in excellent or better condition for $1.99? That's insane!

That's what happened. I got a better deal than the Nellie Fox '54 Bowman that I picked up a few months ago. Although, if you want to go book value, the better overall deal was on the Fox.

Sure, Dorish was a relief pitcher, with a 10-6 record, in 1953. It's a 1954 Bowman. I'm positive that my vintage streak will end soon. That's OK though. Each vintage card that I track down gets me closer to my ultimate goal of every White Sox card. It will never happen with the way cards are made today, but I'd like to get as close as possible.

Wednesday, December 17, 2008

A Random Thank You

Another thank you gift has rolled in. These kind gestures are all very sweet and I appreciate them. Please don't feel the need to send cards back, if you win a contest. Who am I to stop you though?

The latest envelope came from Paul of Paul's Random Stuff. If you haven't checked it out, you really should. There's a lot of cool stuff on there!

There were two awesome cards in the envelope!

1968 Topps #259 - Ken Boyer

This is the only sixties set that I have completed, but the gesture is greatly appreciated. I love vintage cards and this set will always hold a special place in my heart. It was the first set from the sixties that I completed by hand. It is also the year that my parents got married.

2006 Bazooka Rewind Bat Relic #BR-ARO - Aaron Rowand

Ahhh, the Legend himself! The relic is not from any specific event, game or season, but it commemorates October 26, 2005. That was the day that the White Sox won the 2005 World Series. I will never forget that night. I will always cherish this card.

Thank you, Paul! These cards were very thoughtful and very appreciated.

What Does A 1968 Topps White Sox Master Set Look Like?

I hear the whispers.

"He talks the talk, but can he offer the goods?"

"What's with this one card at a time crap?"

"He's completed nothing vintage!"

"Where's the proof that he's completed a vintage set?"

"I wonder what Alfred Molina is thinking about right now."

OK, I have no idea what Alfred Molina is thinking. But I can provide scans of the completed 1968 Topps White Sox master set, for all you naysayers. Well, I've never actually heard these things. But hey, it provides a nice opening for this.


Bask in the glow of the couch cushion pattern! See the same photo of Sandy Alomar pop up in the 1969 Topps set! Stare in amazement of a man named Priddy! See the posed pitching of Wilbur Wood! Wow yourself with the sleeve number of Hoyt Wilhelm! Witness Tommy John being Tommy John! Soak in the Spring Training background of Bob Locker! Gaze upon Don McMahon as he tries out for the Commissioner of Beer commercials! Wonder why Luis Aparicio looks pained!

These are the joys of completing a vintage team set! I suggest you complete yours today!

Something To Chase For 2009

I hope that this card isn't a "preview" card. One where the images are likely to change before the actual product is released. I like the card and I hope to obtain it in 2009.

Thanks to Wax Heaven for the image. Like Mario, I am not wowed by the design for the 2009 SPx. This card did stand out. Maybe it wouldn't if there wasn't a player in a White Sox uniform. Maybe it would.

The colors almost seem complimentary to each other. The swatches of material seem to balance each other. This may mark the first time that Griffey will have a White Sox relic. I'm a bit surprised that there would be one, but I am grateful for the opportunity.

Mailbox Joys: Six '66s And A '72

I've found myself in a very enviable position lately. I have a little bit extra in the PayPal account and I've found some nice deals on older cards.

Tuesday, I received a package of seven cards from a dealer on eBay. Six cards from 1966 and one card from 1972. Until I did a recent survey of sixties cards, I thought I had more from 1966. As it turned out, I only had two. I kept getting the same White Sox rookies card and the ChiSox Clubbers card.

I had no actual card of just one player. Both were multiple player cards. While nice, they didn't offer the full experience of the 1966 set. Now I can jump start some life into the 1966 set with some nice players that are commons.

1966 Topps
8 - Floyd Robinson
47 - J.C. Martin
66 - Al Weis
141 - Tom McCraw
245 - John Buzhardt
281 - Bruce Howard

I looked through the seller's other cards and he had one that caught my eye at the right price.

1972 Topps
381 - White Sox Team

1972 Topps cards seem to be a hard pickup for me. I do have more than I thought I had, but I always seem to get screwed out of 1972 White Sox cards. I really have no answer as to why. So, when I saw this card for slightly over a dollar, I jumped on it!

I'll never own Al Weis' 1963 Topps rookie card, so other cards of him are always welcome. Still, I keep a spot open for that 1963 card... just in case.

Tuesday, December 16, 2008

Trading With Olagato House

The next package that came yesterday was from Nicole, of Olagato House. We've been working on a trade since around March. December is the month to tie up loose ends, so this one is all sewn up!

I'm glad that the trade took so long. If not, half of these goodies wouldn't have been in there! OK, to be honest with you, most of them wouldn't be in there, since most are 2008 releases. Patience is a virtue and with that comes great reward. I feel like that applies here.

Along with the cards was a personalized note dated December 10, 2008. Nicole must have gotten an A in penmanship because her handwriting is exquisite. She gave me free reign to mock the lavender painters tape, but I won't. Purple is my second favorite colorful color and lavender is my favorite shade. So, bonus points for that!

In the closing of the note, she expressed sympathies for the loss of my cat. That means a lot. Thank you for that.

Let's see what was in the long awaited package.

1992 Upper Deck Minors
208 – Steve Olson

1993 Stadium Club
181 – Wilson Alvarez

1994 Donruss
201 – Mike LaValliere
220 – Tim Raines CL

2006 Topps SI For Kids
17 – Tadahito Iguchi

2006 Topps Opening Day
134 – Jermaine Dye

2007 Bowman Heritage Pieces Of Greatness
PG-PK – Paul Konerko

2007 Turkey Red
13 – Play At The Plate (Joe Crede)

2007 Upper Deck Triple Play Performers
TP-JT – Jim Thome

2008 Allen & Ginter Mini
41 – Paul Konerko

2008 Allen & Ginter Mini Black
76 – Jim Thome

2008 Baseball Heroes
187 – Carlton Fisk (Carl Yastrzemski, Wade Boggs)

2008 Topps Heritage
494 – Magglio Ordonez

2008 Topps Heritage High Numbers
505, 520, 525, 541, 556, 629, 653, 670, 674, 678, 680, 688, 720

2008 Topps Heritage High Numbers Rookie Performers
RP5 – Kosuke Fukudome

2008 Upper Deck Diamond Collection
DC-15 – Nick Swisher

2008 Upper Deck Star Quest
SQ-26 – Jim Thome (Common)
SQ-54 – Paul Konerko (Common)
SQ-54 – Paul Konerko (Un-Common)

Upper Deck Timeline
17 – Ken Griffey Jr.
36 – Jim Thome
73 – Alexei Ramirez
235 – Ken Griffey Jr.

2008 Yankee Stadium Legacy
214, 1194, 3961

Thank you, Nicole! That was a great package. It was definitely worth the wait.

Something seemed odd about the back of the Ken Griffey Timeline card. I couldn't quite put my finger on it, but something was out of place. Then it hit me. That wasn't Griffey on the scoreboard. The picture looked a little like Konerko, if I squinted just right. But it wasn't him.

Then, I looked to the left and saw Tony Graffanino's name as being currently at-bat.

OK, this seemed odd indeed! Graffanino hasn't been on the White Sox in quite some time. I put the two images together for comparison.

Then, I noticed the White Sox pitcher's name. Colon. That narrows it down to 2003. I did some sluething after that! The only game in which Bartolo Colon pitched, Tony Graffanino batted eighth, at Comiskey Park, where the score was a 3-0 White Sox lead after an inning and a half was... July 22, 2003 against the Indians!

What a July 22, 2003 picture of Comiskey Park is doing on a 2008 card of Ken Griffey Jr., I'll never know. Thanks for the mystery and thanks for the cards!

Two Favorites: One Lost, One Found

I will showcase two different cards on this post. One was the pride of the collection of my youth, which is now lost, hopefully still somewhere in the house. The other is currently the oldest card in my collection.

Let’s focus our attention on the card of yesterday. My missing card. My holy grail, if you will. If I ever find the card in question (not just one similar), it will be a strong connection to my childhood. A part of my beginnings as a card collector.

The card in question is a 1983 Topps card of Alfredo Griffin. It is just a common card. There are thousands upon thousands just like it in the world. Two things make this card unique to me. They are principles that have guided me through not only my collecting, but through life itself.

The first unique aspect has many different facets. This card came from the first pack I had ever opened. It could have been any pack from 1983, but it was this pack. The Topps pack also was a gift from my dad.

He had gone to the local drug store to pick up a gallon of milk and a carton of Chesterfield Kings unfiltered. There were probably one or two more items, but those were the two main items that he picked up from that store. Somewhere along the way, he picked up that first pack for me.

Until then, I had no idea that baseball cards even existed. The pack was average. I had heard of some players. Others I hadn’t. About two thirds into the pack, something made my eyes light up instantly! It was the Alfredo Griffin card! There was something about that photo that made me want to keep buying packs.

I knew that the Alfredo Griffin card was the one that started it all. I had priced each card on the back with black crayon. Alfredo’s card ranked the highest, with $1.00. I also had the habit of going to White Sox games in the eighties and nineties just to see Alfredo Griffin play on the opposite team. Yet, I have no interest in collecting Griffin, except for that 1983 card.

This was the second aspect of that card. It was the card that started a rabid love of all things cardboard and baseball related. It didn’t matter what it was. If it incorporated baseball and cardboard, I had to have it!

That kind of devotion to everything can lead to burnout. That is one thing that kept happening to me. Like a bad habit that you can’t kick, I kept coming back. I would stop and start. I thought I had it finally licked, until I picked up a pack in 2007. I couldn’t stop. I wanted to see everything that I had missed.

It was a successful disaster waiting to happen. After a few hobby boxes, I had to slow down and take a good, hard look at what I was doing. What was I collecting? I didn’t want five copies of a Manny Acta 2007 Topps card. What was I doing? This is not what I wanted to collect.

Then it struck me. I should focus on what I actually like. What will I look at years from now. It won’t be the Manny Acta card. It would be cards of my favorite team and a few of my favorite players. So, that’s what I ultimately decided to do.

Once those parameters were in place, my collecting has been laser focused, as one blogger put it. Since streamlining my collecting habits, I have been able to acquire cards that I never thought were possible.

There are many highlights, but one card that I am proudest of would be a 1933 World Wide Gum card of Ralph Kress. The card is in great condition. I found it on eBay for around $10. I’m not sure if it was slightly under or slightly over, so we’ll just leave it at around $10.

I was surprised to purchase a card older than my parents for around $10. Especially one of my favorite team, in that type of condition.

I like to show off that card when people are interested in looking at my collection. It is a design that most people are familiar with, thanks to the Babe Ruth card. The fact that it comes from the Canadian version of Goudey makes it special, in my book.

I think of all the history and all the places that card traveled through to get to me, in the United States. I’ll never know any of it. I can dream though. That’s what collecting should be all about. Opening your imagination to see all possibilities. Well that and pictures of ballplayers on cardboard.

A Texas Sized Surprise From A Phillies Fan

On Monday, I received two packages. One, I will get to later today. This one, well... it's time.

The mail came late on Monday. I was hoping that it would save me from a boring afternoon with no internet access. Instead, the mail arrived around 7PM. On a normal day, it ranges between 11AM and 1PM.

This was a package that came out of the blue from Cliff at Capewood's Collections. Was this a holiday present? Was this in response the the cards I sent out spontaneously after his beloved Phillies won the 2008 World Series? I'm not too sure. I love cards in the mail and this cheered me right up.

1988 Topps UK
1 – Harold Baines

1993 Pinnacle
488 – Harold Baines HH

2000 Fleer Focus
70 – Ray Durham
71 – Mike Sirotka
98 – Carlos Lee
119 – Paul Konerko
120 – Chris Singleton
127 – Magglio Ordonez

2000 Fleer Tradition
143 – Paul Konerko

2000 Fleer Tradition Update
U17- Mark Buehrle
U131 – Kevin Beirne, Jon Garland
U138 – Rocky Biddle
U148 – Lorenzo Barcelo, Joe Crede

2000 Impact
42 – Kip Wells
48 – Magglio Ordonez
53 – Brian Simmons
95 – Paul Konerko

2000 Metal
11 – Chris Singleton
20 – Carlos Lee
64 – Magglio Ordonez
132 – Mike Sirotka
213 – Kip Wells

2000 Metal Green
132 – Mike Sirotka

2000 Skybox Dominion
199 – Magglio Ordonez
258 – Kip Wells

2000 SP Authentic
35 – Paul Konerko

2000 Stadium Club Chrome
116 – Ray Durham
143 – Chris Singleton
237 – Jason Stumm

2000 Topps
13 – Magglio Ordonez
119 – Greg Norton
139 – Brook Fordyce
154 – John Snyder
214 – Rob Purvis, Jason Stumm
286 – Paul Konerko
329 – Ray Durham
369 – Bill Simas
421 – Bobby Howry

2000 Topps Chrome
214 – Rob Purvis, Jason Stumm

2000 Topps Opening Day
8 – Magglio Ordonez
71 – John Snyder
131 – Ray Durham
158 – Paul Konerko

2000 Topps Traded
T8 – Rob Purvis
T23 – Jason Stumm
T61 – Aaron Rowand
T66 – Gary Majewski
T122 – Jose Valentin
T128 – Charles Johnson

2000 Upper Deck
7 – Kip Wells

2000 Upper Deck Legends
85 – Magglio Ordonez

2000 UD Ultimate Victory
36 – Paul Konerko

2000 UD Victory
312 – Magglio Ordonez

2008 SP Authentic
73 – Jim Thome

2008 Upper Deck Timeline
124 – Nick Swisher

Thank you, Cliff! This takes a big chunk out of my 2000 want list and nibbles in a few other areas. This is a nice selection! I am impressed with all the 2000 cards. It was smack dab in the middle of my not collecting, so I'm usually amazed when I get cards from that era.

Network Failure Frustration Blues

I just got back online shortly after 11 AM central time today. For the past 40-odd hours, there has been a network failure involving my ISP provider, Covad. The problem wasn't on my end. The problem wasn't at the technical suppoter's end. It was somewhere in the middle.

Something at the main hub was out of whack. For 24 hours, I kept hearing that the problem would be fixed in three to four hours. Then, by some miracle, last night I heard a recording saying my area would be fixed in an hour.

Joy of joys! It didn't turn out to be true of course, which just added to my frustration.

This morning, I listened to the message. It no longer said that Chicago, New York City and the Pennsylvania region were problem areas. It now spouted out new names, like Maryland and Washington DC.

You would think that I could get my card sorting done. Think again. All of my master lists were online. DOH! I couldn't update the want list and I couldn't see what card went where, because of non-sequential numbers. I was able to put Fleer cards away though. Thanks for being sequentially numbered, Fleer!

Everything should be back to normal soon on the blogs. It happens, but it doesn't make it any less frustrating. Especially when you realize that you are powerless to speed things along.

Saturday, December 13, 2008

A Thank You Gift From Thorzul

Like I've said before, don't feel obligated to send a thank you gift. Your happiness is enough for me. I'd be a fool to resist, if you insist though.

This is why Thorzul really does rule. He didn't have to go want list hunting, but he did and I'm thankful for that.

You didn't have to Fleer me like you did
But you did, but you did
And I thank you

You didn't have to Topps me like you did
But you did, but you did
And I thank you

Hmmm. Now I can't get ZZ Top out of my head. Thanks, Thorzul! On with the contents!

1992 Fleer
78 - Alex Fernandez
80 - Scott Fletcher
96 - Scott Radinsky
98 - Sammy Sosa
99 - Bobby Thigpen

1994 Fleer
92 - Scott Radinsky

1994 Score Gold Rush
320 - White Sox Checklist

1994 Stadium Club
718 - Frank Thomas

2000 Metal
20 - Carlos Lee

2006 Fleer Blue Chip Prospects
BC-18 - Brian Anderson

2007 Topps Chrome
205 - Jim Thome

2008 Topps Heritage
177 - Robinson Tejeda
186 - Rickie Weeks
285 - Chad Billingsley
338 - Justin Verlander

With this one package, I can close the door on the 1992 Fleer base set. My team set is complete. I am four cards closer to regular set completion in 2008 Topps Heritage. I'm down to 60+ cards!

Thank you, Thorzul, for your thank you. That seems a bit redundant, but it still applies. Maybe two thank yous make a you're welcome?

A Thank You Gift From Bobble Mike

I can see why Jeff from Joe Collector didn't put on return address labels. When you send out free stuff, people feel compelled to send stuff in return. It's just human nature. Yeah, I just got that Michael Jackson song stuck in my head now too.

I don't mind thank you gifts. If someone ever wants to send me cards, who am I to tell them not to? I have absolutely no problem with that.

Mike, from Baseball Card Back, e-mailed me a few days ago to thank me for the extras that I threw in for the contest that he won. Mike told me to be on the lookout for a package.

I told him that it wasn't necessary, but if he felt like doing so, go for it.

The package came yesterday, but I didn't get to it until today. It looks like someone has been searching through my want list and was looking at my collecting list!

Let's find out what we have in here.

1981 O-Pee-Chee
138 – Rich Dotson

1984 O-Pee-Chee
97 – LaMarr Hoyt

1984 Topps
1983 Victory Leaders (LaMarr Hoyt)

1985 Leaf
3 – Richard Dotson DK

1985 White Sox Coke
17 – Jerry Hairston (Smoky Burgess)
20 – Joe DeSa (Carlos May)
30 – Gene Nelson (Early Wynn)

1986 O-Pee-Chee
65 – Harold Baines
233 – Richard Dotson
284 – Bob James

1986 White Sox Coke
44 – John Cangelosi

1987 Leaf
251 – John Cangelosi

1987 O-Pee-Chee
113 – Neil Allen
164 – Carlton Fisk
201 – John Cangelosi
211 – Richard Dotson
286 – Tim Hulett
299 – Jerry Hairston
309 – Harold Baines
342 – Bob James
356 – Floyd Bannister

1988 Leaf
157 – Harold Baines
175 – Ivan Calderon

1988 Toys R Us Rookies
16 – Fred Manrique
32 – Bobby Thigpen

1989 O-Pee-Chee
46 – Carlton Fisk
152 – Harold Baines

1991 Line Drive
629 – John Cangelosi

1992 Baseball Enqiurer
7 – Jack McDowell
35 – Jack Clark

1992 Classic I
T5 – Wilson Alvarez

1992 Fleer
706 – Ozzie Guillen/Ramon Martinez

1992 O-Pee-Chee
210 – Ozzie Guillen

1993 Toys R Us
88 – Roberto Hernandez

1994 Studio
206 – Ozzie Guillen

1994 Ted Williams
152 – Pat Seerey

1996 Finest Sterling
280 – Robin Ventura (S47)

1998 E-X2001
66 – Robin Ventura

1999 Finest
64 – Ray Durham

1999 Upper Deck Retro
20 – Ray Durham

2006 SP Authentic
20 – Jose Contreras

Wow! Or should I say, "Oh, Canada!" That is a lot of Canadian cardboard coming from the Hoosier state! Thanks, Mike! I'm floored by your generosity. This starts the weekend out right. I've been looking for that Cangelosi Minor League card for awhile. This was a great early Christmas present.

Check out Mike's blog, Baseball Card Back. He's another White Sox fan and is open to trading. The blog is in its beginnings, but it has awesome potential. I like what I see so far!

Friday, December 12, 2008

Trading With Stampman12345

Going through stacks of cards by one team is quite an experience. Especially when the cards cover several years. Lots of memories came up with this batch of cards from Bill, who is better known as Stampman12345.

The cards ranged from 1987 to 2008, with a heavy focus on the late eighties and early nineties. Sorting these cards was an adventure. You may see a stack of over produced cards. I see unleashed moments that I will forever cherish.

One thing was evident. I could see the team relate to a Phoenix. In 1987, the White Sox were still riding the last good vibes of the amazing 1983 team. By 1987, one year blunder GM Hawk Harrelson managed to sell off the team for aging veterans and unproven rookies. Not every move was a bad one, but it is generally regarded as the worst year of general managing of the eighties.

Many of the moves made sense. A few paid off. The team would get worse before it would get better. Trading John Cangelosi for Jim Winn was a bad move to start off the 1987 season. This only compounded previous blunders by Harrelson. He traded away Bobby Bonilla. He traded off Tom Seaver, but that turned out to be advantageous to everyone involved.

The Sox would sink into the depths of the American League West by the end of the decade. In 1989, I can remember spending more time tracking down the Drumstick ice cream vendor than paying attention to the game. This was right after the Sox traded away Harold Baines. Then something magical happened. Everything started to click. The Sox turned everything around.

After some ups and downs, the Sox finally made it to the World Series and won. The team is at a crossroads entering the 2009 season. It takes baseball cards to map out the course of the past two decades of White Sox baseball.

Let's see what sparked the memories. See if you can pick out the moves that made this team rise from the ashes.

1987 Topps
54 – Bill Dawley
89 – Ozzie Guillen
113 – Neil Allen
149 – Ray Searage
201 – John Cangelosi
233 – Russ Morman
273 – Gene Nelson
299 – Joel Davis (2)
342 – Bob James
356 – White Sox Leaders
421 – Jose DeLeon
482 – Daryl Boston
511 – Steve Lyons
539 – Reid Nichols
685 – Jerry Hairston
703 – Dave Schmidt
720 – Richard Dotson
737 – Floyd Bannister (2)
772 – Harold Baines

1988 Donruss
47 – Jack McDowell
87 – Donnie Hill
211 – Harold Baines
247 – Bobby Thigpen
306 – Bill Long
334 – Kenny Williams
370 – Gary Redus
383 – Floyd Bannister
429 – Ray Searage
457 – John Pawlowski
493 – Fred Manrique
507 – Bob James
532 – Steve Lyons

1988 Score
582 – Daryl Boston
590 – Harold Baines

1988 Topps
108 – Steve Lyons
132 – Donnie Hill
184 – Ivan Calderon
281 – Jerry Hairston
309 – Bill Long (2)
321 – White Sox Leaders
334 – Dave LaPoint (2)
357 – Floyd Bannister
409 – Joel McKeon (2)
437 – Fred Manrique (2)
486 – Pat Keedy
511 – Joel Davis (2)
559 – Ken Williams
657 – Gary Redus (2)
688 – Jim Winn
714 – Jim Fregosi
739 – Daryl Boston
764 – Greg Walker
788 – Ray Searage (2)

1989 Fleer
501 – Bill Long
508 – Ken Patterson

1989 Topps
34 – Ken Williams
108 – Fred Manrique (2)
122 – Lance Johnson (2)
142 – Mike Diaz
133 – Bill Long
162 – John Davis
195 – Ozzie Guillen
209 – Jeff Bittiger
247 – Shawn Hillegas
308 – Ron Karkovice
334 – Steve Lyons
357 – Jerry Reuss
384 – Mark Salas (2)
408 – Greg Walker
434 – Ken Patterson
458 – Donn Pall
486 – Jack McDowell (2)
512 – Donnie Hill
585 – Harold Baines
616 – Steve Rosenberg
633 – Daryl Boston
656 – Ivan Calderon
786 – Melido Perez

1989 Upper Deck
548 – John Davis

1990 Score
329 – Shawn Hillegas

1990 Topps
21 – Jeff Torborg
93 – Shawn Hillegas
169 – Richard Dotson
193 – Andy Benes
219 – Donn Pall
243 – Barry Jones
255 – Bobby Thigpen
299 – Adam Peterson
326 – Tom McCarthy
365 – Ozzie Guillen
420 – Carlton Fisk
446 – Dan Pasqua
499 – Bill Long
524 – Daryl Boston
565 – Scott Fletcher
587 – Lance Johnson
612 – Dave Gallagher
621 – Melido Perez
692 – Sammy Sosa
751 – Steve Lyons
769 – Greg Hibbard

1991 Donruss
57 – Jack McDowell
220 – Ron Karkovice
276 – Scott Fletcher
327 – Wayne Edwards
378 – Craig Grebeck

1991 Fleer
114 – Phil Bradley

1991 Score
36 – Scott Fletcher
132 – Donn Pall

1991 Topps
93 – Ivan Calderon
156 – Carlos Martinez
243 – Lance Johnson
559 – Adam Peterson
768 – Donn Pall
785 – Scott Fletcher

1991 Upper Deck
75 – Len Brutcher

1992 Donruss
299 - Scott Radinsky
352 – Jack McDowell

1992 Topps
736 – Lance Johnson (2)

1992 Upper Deck
186 – Scott Fletcher

1994 Topps
421 – Scott Radinsky
724 – Kirk McCaskill

1996 Score
37 – Ray Durham

2000 UD Victory
317 – Brook Fordyce

2008 Topps
378 – Ozzie Guillen
384 – Carlos Quentin
420 – Nick Swisher
457 – Josh Fields
486 – Javier Vazquez
508 – John Danks
565 – A.J. Pierzynski
639 – Juan Uribe
649 – Joe Crede

2008 Topps Chrome
14 – Orlando Cabrera
76 – Jermaine Dye
109 – Nick Swisher

Thanks, Bill! The cards made me live some wonderful memories of the old park and the past teams. You can see the good moves and the bad moves in there. Hindsight is 20/20 though. Anything that pops up memories of the old park is great!

Card Spotlight: 12-12-08

1955 Topps #104 - Jack Harshman

Straight from the back of the card.

Jack believes, "If at First You Don't Succeed... Try Pitching." And he did just that by swapping his 1st Baseman's mitt for the mound in '52, to become one of the top Sox hurlers! Jack was a powerhouse at bat in the Minors, twice winning his League's Homer title, before turning to pitching. In '53 he won 23 games for Nashville after having 3 short trials with the New York Giants.

I love these vintage cards! There's nothing quite like learning history through the rose-tinted glasses of Topps writers. The "powerhouse" first baseman hit .250 for the Giants in 1948. That was the high water mark for his career. In 1958, while playing for the Orioles, he even played in center field for one game.

To put it in modern terms, with have a reverse Rick Ankiel going on here. Jack's best records were with the White Sox. After the Sox, he bounced around the league until landing on three different teams in 1959.

This card hits smack dab in the middle of his best years. I'm grateful that I was able to find a 1955 card in wonderful condition. I'm fortunate that it is a White Sox player and that it was under $5. Sometimes it's a blessing that the Sox teams were "almost there" for all those years.

Sox Agree To Terms With Three

I just got this bit of info in my mailbox from the White Sox wire.

The Chicago White Sox have agreed to terms on a four-year, $10-million contract with free agent third baseman Dayan Viciedo (DYE-on VEE-see-ay-doh) and also have agreed to one-year deals with infielder Wilson Betemit ($1.3 million) and outfielder DeWayne Wise ($550,000), avoiding arbitration with both players.

Under terms of his deal, Viciedo will receive a $4 million signing bonus and be paid $1 million in 2009, $1.25 million in 2010-11 and $2.5 million in 2012.

Viciedo, 19, played three seasons with Villa Clara in the Cuban League, batting .296 (237-801) with 32 home runs and 123 RBI in 233 games. The 6-foot-1, 230-pounder compiled a .500-plus slugging percentage in two of his three seasons playing in Serie Nacional, Cuba’s top-level league.

Betemit, 27, played in 87 games with the Yankees in 2008, hitting .265 (50-189) with six home runs and 25 RBI. The 6-foot-3, 230-pound switch-hitter batted .274 (40-146) with four homers and 21 RBI from the left side of the plate. He was acquired from the Yankees on November 13 as part of a five-player deal.

Wise, 30, batted .248 (32-129) with six home runs and 18 RBI in 57 games last season, his first with the White Sox after signing as a minor-league free agent on March 5. He also hit .319 (61-191) with nine homers and 23 RBI in 55 games at Class AAA Charlotte.

I expected something with their new Cuban third base hopeful, Viciedo, and new acquisition Betemit. I am happy about the Sox agreeing to terms with DeWayne Wise. He did great as a fourth outfielder last year.

A Quick Trade Of Want Lists

There's a certain satisfaction when you can make a quick, small trade based on just want lists. That's exactly what Dan, of Saints of the Cheap Seats, and I did.

I knocked off a few from his want list and he sent over a few from mine. I'm pretty sure that our packages crossed in the mail. If Dan hasn't gotten his package yet, he should be getting it very shortly.

I am happy to report that I got a few more spots filled in my 2008 Topps Heritage quest. Plus, a Topps Updates & Highlights White Sox card has found a new home in my collection.

Enough build up. Let's see what six gems Dan sent over.

2008 Topps Heritage
18 - Dontrelle Willis
151 - Sammy Sosa

2008 Topps Heritage Black Backs
67 - Rich Hill
224 - David Wright

2008 Topps Heritage Flashbacks
BF3 - Ernie Banks

2008 Topps Updates & Highlights
UH203 - Joe Crede AS

Thank you, Danny! Those were great cards. They get me that much closer to my goal! I love these types of trades! Quick and powerful!

A Gift Box From Joe Collector

After receiving two packages in Thursday's mail that I had to hunt down information for, it's gratifying to figure out both packages. I must admit that my head was spinning when I opened the packages.

There have been so many packages from different people coming in and so many packages to different people going out, that it's hard to figure out who is who when there's a first time address or a missing return address.

This package is a giveaway box from Jeff, better known as Joe Collector. I know that Jeff left off the return address so no one would feel obligated to send something back. He must read all of our blogs. That's the way most of us operate. It may not come right away, but it usually comes. Of course, you know that this will just make some bloggers try harder to send Jeff stuff. I will abide by Jeff's wishes, unless he tells me otherwise.

So, what exactly is in this bad boy? Sure, there's a bunch of White Sox cards. But there were also a bunch of other baseball cards. That's what threw me off when I was trying to solve the mystery of the unidentified seller. I finally noticed a tiny zip code out of the many numbers on the package, none of which are trackable by the way. I saw the zip code was from Salem, Oregon. I put two and two together and came up with five. Meaning that I was almost certain, but there was a lingering doubt. With Jeff's identity a mystery no longer, let's find out something about this package.

To list every card would be an exercise in futility. So, I will instead list the year, brand and a few random names.

1987 Topps - 1 card
Richard Dotson

1988 Eight Men Out - 10 cards
Michael Rooker as Chick Gandil, The Gamblers Burns and Maharg, Nemo Leibold Outfielder

1990 Fleer - 1 card
Carlos Martinez

1991 Score - 2 cards
Scott Fletcher, Carlton Fisk

1991 Ultra - 14 cards
Carlton Fisk, Bobby Thigpen, Robin Ventura

1993 Topps - 88 cards
Roberto Hernandez, John Smoltz, Gary Carter, Matt Williams

1993 Topps Gold - 6 cards
Lance Johnson, Kirk McCaskill, Greg Hibbard

1996 Bowman's Best - 1 card
Frank Thomas

1996 Topps - 18 cards
Ron Karkovice, Ozzie Guillen, Tim Raines

1999 Topps - 4 cards
Bill Simas, Bobby Howry, Jim Parque

1999 Ultra - 7 cards
Robin Ventura, Albert Belle, Magglio Ordonez

2000 Bowman - 1 card
Jason Stumm

2000 Topps - 50 cards
Greg Norton, Cal Ripken, Wade Boggs, Juan Gonzalez

2003 Fleer Tradition - 7 cards
Tony Graffanino, Keith Foulke, Miguel Olivo

2003 Topps Opening Day - 6 cards
Carlos Lee, Paul Konerko, Frank Thomas

2003 Topps Opening Day Mini - 4 cards
Mark Buehrle, Phil Nevin, Magglio Ordonez

2004 Topps - 29 cards
Joe Crede, Billy Koch, Flash Gordon

2005 Topps Updates & Highlights - 27 cards
Pierzynski Safe After Strike Three, Sean Tracey, It's A South Side Series

2006 Topps - 4 cards
Juan Uribe, Tadahito Iguchi, Jon Garland

2006 Topps Updates & Highlights - 14 cards
Sandy Alomar, Mike MacDougal, Alex Cintron

2008 Baseball Heroes - 40 cards
Barry Zito, Frank Thomas, Chad Billingsley

2008 Bowman - 4 cards
Javier Vazquez, Nick Swisher, Lance Broadway

2008 Donruss Threads - 2 cards
Joe Jackson, Luis Aparicio

2008 Finest - 4 cards
Jim Thome, Mark Buehrle No-hitter, Donny Lucy

2008 Topps - 10 cards
Jose Contreras, Scott Podsednik, Gavin Floyd

2008 Yankee Stadium Legacy - 1 card

Tommy Henrich (1829)

Thank you, Jeff!! That is certainly a boatload of cards! I can definitely use a lot of the cards in there. I want to thank you for your generosity in sending those out. I sent out 16 packages this week and I'm exhausted from it all. None of them came close to matching the amount of cards in this box. I salute you for pulling this off at one time.

Thursday, December 11, 2008

Did This Package Come From Joe Collector?

I have two mystery boxes that I got in the mail today. One, I have identified. One I have not.

Let's focus our attention on the package that I haven't fully identified yet.

It came with no return address. It came with no note. It came with no identifying marks whatsoever. Not even an ink stamp cancelling the postage. Nothing.

The box contains many White Sox cards and many more non-White Sox cards. There is a whole pile of pristine looking 1993 Topps cards and a bunch of 2000 Topps. Seemingly random cards, or are they? I don't know.

The date of sale for the postage was December 4, 2008. I have my guesses, since the zip code is from Salem, Oregon, but I need confirmation. So, Jeff, are you responsible for this big box at my door? If so, thank you!

More to come as details pour in.

Wednesday, December 10, 2008

Mailbox Joys: Fifties Pitchers

Last weekend, I saw a seller on eBay that I haven't seen in awhile. He had a smattering of vintage cards up for auction. There were a few White Sox cards up for auction. I snapped into action and got two of them.

Then serendipity struck me. Why don't I try to pick up a few vintage cards that no one bothered to bid on? That sounds like a novel idea to me. I eventually picked up two other cards of the non-White Sox variety.

One card is from 1955. The other three are from 1956. Hey, how can I resist cards that were made twenty or more years before I was born. Cards that knew a world before the Beatles. Cards that were made when the highest office Richard Nixon held was vice president.

The White Sox cards that I picked up.

1955 Topps
104 - Jack Harshman

1956 Topps
262 - Howie Pollet

The other two cards were also pitchers from the 1956 Topps series. I'll keep the identity of those cards a secret. I might slip them into a trade, unexpectedly, down the road. On the other hand, I may keep them. Vintage cards make me feel happy.

Best of all, not including cheaply obtained mid fifties cards, was the shipping price. $1.50 for as many cards as I could win. So, the four cards only cost $1.50 to ship. Sure, the 1955 White Sox card cost $4.01, but the three 1956 cards cost me between 99 cents and $2.00 each. It makes me wish that I had won more on Saturday.

I Love It When A Play Comes Together On Cards

This is a single play on two cards. The 2000 Ultra card has Chris Singleton grabbing the ball, while hurtling towards the outfield wall. It looks like it might pop out if Chris hits the wall hard enough.

Never fear though. As the 2000 Upper Deck card confirms just under a second later, Chris has a firm grip on the ball. He will smack into the wall just a half second after the Upper Deck card. Will a card pop up with Chris hitting the wall after this play?

I can't recall one, but that doesn't mean that one isn't out there.

I always find it interesting when different angles or shots of the same play are found on cards. I probably wouldn't have noticed this, but both cards came in a recent trade. When organizing the cards, these two were back to back. That really makes a difference.

A Trade With Some English On It

The instantly familiar UK blogging friend, John of The Pursuit Of 80's(ness), seems to be everywhere lately. I see packages popping up everywhere!

One of those packages just happened to land in my mailbox recently. I always get a big kick out of John's packages. I find some of the best cards in mailings from him. This bubble mailer is no exception.

I love the personal note that John usually (I think always) includes along with the bevy of cards. It usually includes a sheepish line saying that he hopes there is something in there that I need. No need to worry, John. There always is!

Let's dig into this fat team bag from the UK!

1983 O-Pee-Chee
92 - Sparky Lyle - Super Vet
393 - Carlton Fisk AS

1985 Fleer
513 - Carlton Fisk

1987 Donruss
25 - Greg Walker

1988 Topps Big
63 - Ivan Calderon

1990 Bowman
304 - Eric King
317 - Daryl Boston

1991 Topps
8 - Bobby Thigpen RB
461 - Robin Ventura

1992 Bowman
585 - Carlton Fisk

1992 O-Pee-Chee Premier
45 - Carlton Fisk

1992 Stadium Club
70 - Robin Ventura

1993 Bowman
315 - Mike Robertson

1993 Donruss
271 - Greg Hibbard

1993 Fleer
200 - George Bell

1993 Pinnacle
53 - Tim Raines
108 - Frank Thomas

1993 Stadium Club
275 - Scott Radinsky
607 - Ellis Burks

1999 Upper Deck
64 - Mike Cameron

2000 Fleer Tradition
129 - Frank Thomas
143 - Paul Konerko
173 - Bobby Howry
185 - Jim Parque
194 - Ray Durham
199 - White Sox Team
217 - Carlos Lee

2000 Topps
442 - Jason Dellaero (Rafael Furcal, Travis Dawkins)

2000 UD Pros & Prospects
38 - Frank Thomas

2000 UD Ultimate Victory
37 - Magglio Ordonez

2001 SPx Prospect Jersey
132 - Josh Fogg

2002 Fleer Tradition Update
U318 - Mark Buehrle AS

2003 Bowman
277 - Arnie Munoz

2007 Allen & Ginter Sketch Cards
6 - Jermaine Dye

2008 Upper Deck
281 - Mark Buehrle
455 - A.J. Pierzynski
462 - Carlos Quentin

2008 Upper Deck X
26 - Carlos Quentin

Where do I start with this trade? I believe that these are my first 1983 O-Pee-Chee cards. With one of them being Carlton Fisk makes it even more of a thrill! Fast forwarding to 1992 Bowman. That has to be the oldest picture of Fisk I have ever seen on cardboard, during his playing days! I know he was no spring chicken by 1992, but he was still over a year from being forced out. The picture on the back of the card looks young and youthful by comparison.

I love the 1999 Upper Deck card where Mike Cameron is on a gigantic cell phone in the dugout. Who could he possibly be talking to? The 2000 Fleer Tradition cards always look cool!

The Josh Fogg jersey card looks awesome! I love the picture on the front and the black jersey swatch come from my favorite current jersey top. A couple of Carlos Quentin cards are the perfect ending to this package.

Thanks, John! You hit quite a few cards that I needed. You always manage to hit something fantastic that I need. You have a package currently in transit.

Tuesday, December 9, 2008

Trade With GCRL

Over the past few weeks, I've had a lot of trade requests. This is one trade where I was expecting a few things and found so much more!

This trade comes from Garvey Cey Russell Lopes, or GCRL for short. I was expecting a handful of 2008 Topps Heritage High Numbers cards and an Upper Deck Timeline card of Jim Thome. What I got was above and beyond!

This gigantic envelope arrived and my eyes literally bugged out. I couldn't imagine what could possibly be in the package. Then I saw the return address. GCRL! It must be baseball related in some way. Then I opened it.

Large sheets of cardboard were taped together. Inside, were five team bags full of cards taped to one of the cardboard sheets. Plus, there was a paper CD holder with a picture of a player wearing the mid seventies red and blue.

Very interesting! Let's see what I knew was coming along.

2008 Topps Heritage High Numbers
521, 534, 539, 554, 568, 581, 584, 586, 601, 612, 614, 644, 657, 665, 679, 684

2008 Topps Heritage New Age Performers

2008 Upper Deck Timeline
36 – Jim Thome

That's what I thought was coming. But GCRL wasn't done yet! There was even more. So much more, that I haven't even begun to sort everything. To get the full impact, let's go through everything.

1975 SSPC Puzzle Back
8 – Bucky Dent
13 – Jim Kaat

1983 Topps
514 – Rudy Law
591 – Team Leaders (2)
618 – LaMarr Hoyt

1986 Topps
364 – Reid Nichols
531 – Tony LaRussa

1989 Donruss
337 – Kenny Williams

1989 Upper Deck
192 – Kelly Paris
231 – Greg Walker
457 – Barry Jones
478 – Shawn Hillegas
527 – Donnie Hill
530 – Jack McDowell (7)
548 – John Davis (2)
650 – Ivan Calderon

1990 Bowman
304 – Eric King
311 – Robin Ventura

1990 Topps
499 – Bill Long
692 – Sammy Sosa (2)

1990 Upper Deck
651 – Eric King

1991 Donruss
BC-20 – Bobby Thigpen

1991 Topps
420 – Bobby Thigpen

1992 Stadium Club
52 - Jack McDowell

1993 Topps
70 – Roberto Hernandez

1994 Collector’s Choice
327 – Frank Thomas CL

1995 Score
90 – Wilson Alvarez

1996 Upper Deck
42 – Alex Fernandez

1997 Collector’s Choice
295 – Ray Durham

1997 Upper Deck
39 – James Baldwin

1998 Collector’s Choice
114 – Tom Fordham

1998 Score
62 – Ozzie Guillen
189 – Chris Snopek

1999 Fleer Tradition Update
U-75 – Aaron Myette
U-80 – Pat Daneker

1999 Skybox Premium
165 – Ray Durham
227 - David Lundquist
239 – Chris Singleton

1999 UD MVP
50 – Jim Parque

2000 Topps Gallery
69 – Ray Durham

2000 Topps Traded
T128 – Charles Johnson

2000 Ultra
62 – Chris Singleton

2000 Upper Deck
83 – Chris Singleton

2000 UD Generation Y2K
92 – Kip Wells

2000 Upper Deck MVP
206 – Kip Wells

2000 Upper Deck Victory
317 – Brook Fordyce

2001 Bowman’s Best
108 – Miguel Olivo

2001 Donruss
87 – Ray Durham

2001 Fleer Authority
92 – David Wells

2001 Fleer Triple Crown
241 – Jose Valentin

2001 Leaf Certified Materials
101 – Ray Durham (2)

2001 Leaf Rookies & Stars
36 – Mark Buehrle

2001 MLB Showdown
109 – Kelly Wunsch

2001 SPx
36 – David Wells

2001 Topps
143 – Charles Johnson
527 – David Wells

2001 Topps Chrome
341 – Ray Durham

2001 Topps Gallery
58 – Ray Durham

2001 Topps Gold Label Class 1
81 – Paul Konerko

2001 Ultra
23 – Charles Johnson
246 – Mark Buehrle/Lorenzo Barcelo

2001 Upper Deck
19 – Mark Buehrle
134 – Mike Sirotka
137 – Charles Johnson
357 – Sandy Alomar Jr.
358 – David Wells

2001 UD MVP
135 – Jim Parque

2001 UD Reserve
77 – Sandy Alomar Jr.

2001 UD Voctory
227 – Chris Singleton

2001 UD Vintage
139 – Charles Johnson
140 – James Baldwin
145 – Keith Foulke

2002 Donruss Class Of 2001
45 – Mark Buehrle

2002 Donruss Originals
62 – Mark Buehrle
107 – Paul Konerko
150 – Mark Buehrle
305 – Mark Buehrle

2002 Fleer Platinum
6 – Carlos Lee

2002 Leaf Certified
43 – Carlos Lee
57 – Ray Durham
60 – Mark Buehrle

2002 Stadium Club
33 – David Wells

2002 Topps
205 – David Wells (2)
264 – Paul Konerko

2002 Topps Archives
173 – Billy Pierce

2002 Topps Heritage
189 – Boomer Wells

2002 Ultra
100 – David Wells

2003 Sweet Spot
31 – Paul Konerko

2003 Upper Deck
121 – Todd Ritchie

2004 Cracker Jack
169 – Esteban Loaiza

2004 Playoff Honors
53 – Joe Borchard

2004 Topps
85 – Jon Garland
108 – Esteban Loaiza
127 – Mark Buehrle
166 – Tony Graffanino

2005 Fleer Classic Clippings
34 – Paul Konerko

2005 Studio
74 – Pedro Lopez

2005 Topps
174 – Paul Konerko
356 – Paul Konerko AS

2005 Topps Updates & Highlights
UH116, UH121, UH134 – Playoff cards
UH251 – Pedro Lopez
UH261 – Sean Tracey
UH264 – Brandon McCarthy

2006 Topps Heritage
82 – Chris Young

2006 Topps SI For Kids
17 – Tadahito Iguchi

2006 Ultra Home Run Kings
HRK10 – Paul Konerko

2006 Ultra Star
US-31 – Paul Konerko

2006 Upper Deck
1044 – Sean Tracey

2007 Ultra Retail
36 – Bobby Jenks

2008 Topps
86 – Scott Podsednik (2)
144 – Jerry Owens
215 – Bobby Jenks
296 – Paul Konerko
420 – Nick Swisher

2008 Upper Deck
451 – Gavin Floyd

2008 Upper Deck First Edition Update
331 – Bobby Jenks
334 – Orlando Cabrera
240 – Jerry Owens
258 – Lance Broadway (2)

Now you can see why I haven't sorted it yet. This is a massive amount of cards! Some I have, some I don't. I am dancing on the ceiling because I have my first SSPC cards! I've always wanted them, but never found a decent opportunity to obtain them.

Thank you, GCRL! There is a small, meager package on the way to you. I tried to hit some things from your want list. I threw in some random Dodgers to fill out the space. There will be more packages sent your way down the road.

Cincy Rises Again: A Trade Of Ten Cards

Talk about a blast from the past! I just received a package from Joe of Cincy Reds Cards. Fire, 16 hour school days, and weekend truck driving can't keep a good blogger down!

It's great to see some activity from Joe. He has the first blog that I encountered about the Cincinnati Reds. Lots of pictures. Lots of information. Lots of Reds love.

I had been hinted that a package was heading my way. That was awhile ago. I can certainly appreciate a busy schedule. I was sporadic in my posts, when I had that warehouse job from May to July. I was gone nearly 16 hours at a stretch and living at two houses.

I can't even begin to imagine the schedule that Joe keeps!

Anyway, Joe found a little spare time recently. Instead of taking a well deserved rest, he chose to mail me a package. While I think that you should rest every opportunity that you get with that schedule, I certainly am not complaining about this package.

Let's see what treasures were unearthed by Joe.

1986 Fleer
White Sox Pennant and Circle Logo Sticker

2001 Topps Golden Anniversary
GA-47 - Frank Thomas

2004 Bazooka
39 - Juan Uribe
229 - Mark Buehrle

2004 Bazooka Comics
BC12 - Esteban Loaiza

2004 Bazooka Minis
36 - Esteban Loaiza
229 - Mark Buehrle

2004 Bazooka 4 on 1 Stickers
17 - Javier Vazquez/Esteban Loaiza/Orlando Cabrera/Roberto Alomar
20 - Magglio Ordonez/Corey Patterson/Aaron Boone/Jeff Bagwell

2008 Topps Chrome Red Refractors
79 - Paul Konerko 03/25

Wow! That tiny package packs quite a punch!

You may be wondering why I chose the Bazooka 4 on 1 sticker for the image, instead of the Konerko refractor or the Thomas golden anniversary or even Juan Uribe. I find this card fascinating. It features four players that would wear a White Sox uniform after this card was produced. Even though the card is only four years old, all four players are no longer with the White Sox.

Javier Vazquez just left recently to go to the Braves. Esteban Loaiza was back on the Sox briefly in 2008. Orlando Cabrera just turned down arbitration and is a free agent that is not coming back to the South Side. Roberto Alomar was caught in between stints with the White Sox.

Thanks, Joe! I will return the favor shortly. I need to build up my Reds collection again. Something will be on its way to you in the new year.

Cards That Never Were #4

Ricky was the first pick for the White Sox in the 1979 draft. He was up in the majors on July 5, 1980, where he came in the game in the late innings as a defensive replacement, when catcher Bruce Kimm was pinch hit for by Bob Molinaro.

He was in 21 games for the Sox and went down to the minors for more seasoning after the August 8th game in 1980. He stuck around the White Sox organization until 1986, but he never again came up to the majors.

With 21 games played, one of the three card companies should have given him a card in 1981. Alas, no one thought enough of him to include him in a release. Even the Topps Traded set for 1981 did not include Ricky Seilheimer.

He did make a decent argument for card love. His only home run in the majors was off Hall of Fame pitcher Fergie Jenkins.

This card has been the hardest to create. I had to take a picture of Ricky from a card on the Bisons, which were a minor league affiliate of the Sox in the mid eighties. I took that photo and used it as the base photo.

The problem with using that photo was obvious. The colors and design of the Bisons uniform mimic the design of the mid eighties White Sox uniforms. After pouring through cards from 1980 and 1981, I found one match for the pose. Claudell Washington's 1980 Topps card.

So, Ricky is "borrowing" Claudell's jacket and helmet. A few tweaks in Photoshop and there is a presentable image of Ricky Seilheimer on a 1981 Topps card. This also mimics the heavily airbrushed look of the 1981 Topps set. So, this card should fit right in.

Johngy, this is the best I can come up with unless I get an actual image of Ricky from his stint with the White Sox.
Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...