Tuesday, January 27, 2009

Another Package From Andy

While the online connection is still active, I'm going to try to get as much done as I can before I'm sucked back into the twentieth century.

Andy, now of the excellent blog 88 Score Rookie & Traded Set, sent out a second package last week. I spent the weekend mostly away from the computer. While this is almost a riotous act in my eyes, I had to spend some quality veg time with Tracey. We popped in DVDs of "The Critic", "The Simpsons", "South Park" and "Family Guy", among others. We had a good old fashioned animation celebration.

Anyway, back to the package. I received another e-mail from Andy shortly after the initial one, asking if I wanted a 1973 Carlton Fisk. In one of my shrewdest moves on eBay, I won a 1973 Topps Carlton Fisk for 6 cents, plus $1.50 shipping. But I could always use another one. Maybe two 1973 cards will be the equivalent of one 1972 Fisk, which I lack. Then again, maybe monkeys will fly out of my butt. Either way, it could be interesting.

Let's see what the white envelope contained.

1971 Topps
169 - Ed Hermann

1973 Topps
62 - HR Leaders (Dick Allen, Johnny Bench)
63 - RBI Leaders (Dick Allen, Johnny Bench)
150 - Wilbur Wood
174 - Rich Gossage
193 - Carlton Fisk
194 - Jorge Orta
238 - Tony Muser
261 - Pat Kelly
310 - Dick Allen
356 - Chuck Tanner (MGR + Coaches)
379 - Cy Acosta
439 - Eddie Fisher (2)
494 - Rich Morales
534 - Dave Lemonds
648 - Tom Egan

WOW!! Thank you! Thank you! Thank you, Andy! You are one of the most generous bloggers out there! I can't thank you enough for jump starting my 1973 Topps collection again. It was really starting to look anemic compared to the other seventies sets.

Good luck with your new blog. I know it will be a success!

Monday, January 26, 2009


Posts may be sporadic in the next few days or so. I'm in the middle of switching ISPs and I have to cancel one to secure a date for the other. So, who knows when I'll be having access. I may have to switch to dialup for some of the time.

I have a few packages to post and a few other things will be up soon. I have also teamed with another site to create a super set of virtual cards for 2009 that should encompass every player and every team. More details on that will follow.

Hang in there with me while these issues work themselves out. I'll need to play catch up with the other blogs too.

Friday, January 23, 2009

Card Spotlight: 1-23-09

1974 Topps Traded #270T - Ron Santo

I have to laugh every time I see this card. Not only is it horrendously airbrushed, but I still think that it's laughable that Ron Santo was ever on the White Sox. Santo is so ingrained into the folklore of Cubbie Nation, people tend to forget how his career ended.

In his final season, Ron hit a paltry .221 at the plate in 117 games. It was the first time that he hit single digits in home runs, since his rookie season in 1960. This was not a man in the prime of his playing days.

Santo hit career lows in home runs, batting average, runs, hits, doubles, OBP and slugging percentage. The Sox gave up a lot to get him. Steve Stone, Steve Swisher, Ken Frailing and Jim Kremmel were sent packing north to the sea of blue.

I wasn't born until 1976, so I don't understand the logic in trading all those players for a broken down player. Bill Melton wasn't going away, so Santo was used in the DH role, which he hated. The Sox tried playing him at second base, so he could play the field. That failed miserably. Maybe Santo should have okayed that trade to the Angels. By the end of 1974, diabetes wore him down and Ron retired from playing.

I look at this card and think of failed dreams and untapped potential. Still, it's a White Sox card. That's OK in my book.

Thursday, January 22, 2009

A Surprise Package From The Easy Life

Apparently, guessing the correct comic book in a photo almost 23 years old isn't enough. Stephen from The Easy Life has to send me cards too!

Not even 24 hours had passed, when I received a mystery package in the mail from Stephen. I wasn't expecting anything, but I could have easily overlooked that. I seem to have an extraordinary amount of blog mail lately, for some odd reason. I'm not complaining, but it does get more complicated sorting and remembering everything.

I opened the bubble envelope and discovered a team bag full of cards. I wasn't familiar with the design on top, but then saw that it was a team set of the South Bend White Sox A farm club from 1992.

Surely, there could be some gems in there. It depends on your definition of gems... and stop calling me Shirley. Hmmm... another joke that doesn't work well in print.

168 - Luis Andujar
169 - James Baldwin
170 - Mike Pertotti
171 - Brian Boehringer
172 - Don Culberson
173 - John Herrholz
174 - Alan Levine
175 - Jeff Pierce
176 - Hank Tagle
177 - Kevin Tolar
178 - Chris Woodfin
179 - Dean Haase
180 - Henry Manning
181 - Julio Vinas
182 - Essex Burton
183 - Glenn DiSarcina
184 - Brian Filosa
185 - Troy Fryman
186 - Dave Martorana
187 - Olmeda Saenz
188 - Corey Austin
189 - Harold Henry
190 - Rafael Ochoa
191 - Charles Poe
192 - Kerry Valrie
193 - Terry Francona
194 - Jaime Garcia
195 - Mark Haley
196 - Jim Reinebold
197 - Checklist

Right off the bat, two names stand out for me. Terry Francona and James Baldwin. Those are the two with the most amount of success. I recognize a few other names, but I don't know if it's because they settled in as a common player or they were highly regarded flops in the White Sox organization.

Thank, Stephen! These cards were a blast from the past. I love unexpected cards. Your prize will be going out next week.

Wednesday, January 21, 2009

1,000th Post

Well, here’s the 1,000th post of this blog. Have all the posts been nuggets of joy? Not really. A few have been phoned in. There are a few real gems in there too. Most of it, I would say, has been not too shabby.

I wasn't thinking of an audience when I started this blog. I was thinking that this would be a good place to keep track of my collection, while highlighting some of the cards that I came across. My how things have changed.

While this blog started in November 2007, my love affair with baseball, baseball cards and the White Sox (in that order) started many years ago. If I had to estimate when baseball came fully onto my radar, it would be around 1982. I’m sure that I saw baseball games on television before then, but my first recalled memory of watching a ballgame would be around ’82.

My on and off obsession with baseball cards started in 1983. I was hooked from that first pack. I didn't stay hooked like I should have. Other factors of growing up got in the way.

The picture is from 1986. I had just received a comic book in the mail, from a subscription that I had. Although, all you can see is the back of that comic book. I am, however, wearing one of my favorite White Sox t-shirts. I must have worn that shirt at least once a week back then. Despite the way it looks, I am wearing shorts. More than likely, some type of squiggly print that was popular at the time.

While I’m in a reflective mood, I will give away 100 random cards to the first person to correctly identify the comic book in the picture. For comic book buffs, it shouldn't be that difficult to figure out. For others, you may get lucky with a guess. Let’s try one guess per blogger. If it still isn't properly guessed in 24 hours, then everyone can wager another guess.

I would like to thank everyone for reading and commenting. It really has been a great ride so far. One that I don’t want to get off of anytime soon. Let’s see how long it takes until 2,000!

The Eighties Could Have Been Worse

So, you think that the White Sox uniforms in the eighties were the absolute worst in the decade? I've got some news that you might find disturbing. They could have been worse. Much, much worse.

What could be worse than the monstrosities of the eighties White Sox uniforms, one may ask? How about the prototypes of eighties uniforms that didn't make the final cut.

Which would Tom Seaver be more embarrassed to win his 300th game in? The uniform that was pictured in countless newspapers the next day or a aquamarine and tangerine number with a star? How about something with old timey prisoner stripes on the arms? Or something that reminds me of the Bears sweaters that Mike Ditka used to wear? It's a scary thought!

They all suck worse than the uniform that the Sox went with in 1982. No matter how bad things seem, they could almost always be worse.

I'm not sure what the Sox were going for with the aquamarine and tangerine colors. Maybe this was part of the long term plan to move to Florida? For some reason, I think that these would even fail in the sun drenched world of Florida. That many people cannot have heat stroke at the same time to render that abomination fashionable.

In a bold PR move, the White Sox became the only team to put on a fashion show featuring all of their failed designs for the upcoming year. I still can't believe that there is photographic evidence of these glorified pajamas. I just wish I could have found a color photo to fully illustrate the lameness of these choices.

The models look so happy to be promenading these mistakes. Maybe they were drugged. Either that, or they were paid a handsome sum to keep a smile on their faces.

The second uniform from the left is the closest to the final version, but this one still looks like it has a cumber bun attached to the middle. Most of these remind me of things from the bargain bin at Zayre. Get to Zayre and Get It All! Including crappy White Sox failed uniforms.

See, it could always be worse!

Package From 30-Year Old Cardboard

Yesterday, I received a package in the mail from Brian at 30-Year Old Cardboard. I knew that this was coming in the mail, yet it was still a surprise when it came. I guess that goes hand in hand with speaking with so many different bloggers and trying to get trades together with most of them.

I recently won a contest in which my prize was 20 packs of mostly vintage baseball cards from the 1980s and 1990s. Since I am not building sets at this time, I thought that these cards would be better suited in your team collection.

Yes, I agree with that assessment! This was a grand gesture that is very much appreciated. I got a few cool cards and an address to add to my collection of sending cards to... eventually.

What did Brian send over? Let's find out!

1989 Donruss
531 - Jack McDowell
573 - Bill Long

I am starting a collection of 1989 Donruss Jack McDowell cards. Feel free to send them over in trades. I won't bitch about them. I've acquired so many of them, I figured I might as well see how many I can accumulate.

1989 Topps
34 - Ken Williams
209 - Jeff Bittiger

For not collecting in 1989, I sure have a lot of 1989 Topps cards.

1989 Upper Deck
506 - Ken Williams

The exact opposite can be said for 1989 Upper Deck. While I do have the team set, a few times over, these are harder to come by.

1991 Donruss
271 - Eric King

I just completed my team set of this last year.

1991 O-Pee-Chee Premier
97 - Rock Raines
113 - Cory Snyder

I was really high on this set when it first came out. I still have a great fondness for it.

1999 Topps Stars
6 - Frank Thomas

A Frank Thomas card is like an old friend. You're glad to see them when they show up.

2003 Topps Opening Day
41 - Magglio Ordonez

I will remember Magglio fondly on the South Side. This, of course, was before he decided to grow a garden on his head.

2007 Topps
481 - Jim Thome

I missed his 500th home run by one day. A mere seventeen hours. A day early, but not a bobble head short. I was able to snag the giveaway stuff from the next day on eBay, along with a ticket stub.

Thanks, Brian! These cards were a nice trip down memory lane. I appreciate the thoughtful nature in which these arrived in my mailbox.

Monday, January 19, 2009

BBA 3: An Open Letter To Card Companies

For my stab at the third blog bat around, I have chosen to write an open letter to the card companies on how they can improve their product for 2009 and beyond. I have tried to refrain from reading any of the other entries, so I could get a clear perspective on the subject without any third party influence.

These are my ideas and I'm sure many of them overlap with other bloggers ideas. These are certainly not all of the ideas out there, but ones that immediately come to my mind.

Let me state this first. Elimination is almost never a good thing. Topps and Upper Deck are both eliminating certain releases in 2009. This should make things easier to collect in 2009, but it will probably be tougher than ever.

I agree that there should be a lot of elimination between the card companies in 2009. This way, they will be better prepared for the road the lies ahead. Any company that releases product in 2009 and beyond should think about one main goal: QUALITY.

Quality over quantity will work every time. It just may take a little while to get the end result. That’s OK. Collectors have the time.

Let’s start with the flagship base sets. Each company should be allowed to do three series of their flagship brand. The first series in February, when Spring Training starts. One series around late June/early July, to catch the trading deadline fever. One series in November to update everything once again.

In these series, there should only be one insert set per series. It will be a standalone set on whatever subject the companies decide. If said set is a player worship set, the company is not allowed to revisit that player for a worship set for ten years, at minimum. The insert set should not be drawn out over several releases or several years. One insert set per release. See the Topps Mickey Mantle worship sets for everything done wrong with that.

No insert set should be a mirrored set. That’s just plain lazy. If a company is to bombard us with endless cards in an insert set, let them be all different pictures. Josh Gibson, Mickey Mantle and Joe DiMaggio have all been victims of this recently. Since they are all deceased, it is a little more excusable to use the same pictures over again. David Wright, Ryan Howard and many others have all been victims of this practice as well. There is absolutely no excuse for that.

One player, one card. I shouldn't have three cards of Jim Thome in the same series set. I should have at least one card of every person who played in a Major League game within a given year. The only exceptions to the one card rule would be if the player reached a milestone, made a play worthy of a highlight card, broke a record, or switched teams. There should be a card of each player with each team he has been on in a year’s span. If Nick Swisher played on four different teams in 2009, I would expect four different cards of him. One for each team.

The third series insert set should follow the playoffs and World Series for that year. This would be why the final series would be pushed back to November.

Limitless parallels should only exist in the premium products. They make the most sense there. Premium sets deal with game-used material and autographs mostly. It would make sense to have numbered cards and parallels in a set that would benefit from them.

Retro sets are fine, but less is more. Please don’t bombard us with designs “inspired” by vintage sets. If you are going to do that, make an entire set with that design and stop pillaging all the vintage designs every year.

If a company is going to make butt ugly cards, make those designs the low price cards. There should be no excuse for butt ugly cards, but we all know that they get released every year. Hire some out of work graphic artists to do new layouts. Even better, hold a design contest. The prize could involve personalized autographs from a contestant’s favorite team. The joy of having collectors swoon over a brand new design would be awesome. Plus, of course, the last card in the set would be a card of the set’s designer.

On that note, if the companies truly want a kids release, let the kids design it and vote on the players in it. The top 300 vote getters get in the release.

There were a lot of great ideas in 2008. They were just poorly executed. If a company comes up with an idea that is expansive and needs a lot of research, please do the research. When the research is done and verified, please do us all a favor and make each card truly unique. Use different pictures. Use a picture of a player that is mentioned in the highlight you are promoting. Know the history before making the card. Stop making careless mistakes.

These are all steps that could improve the product line for years to come, but the one last piece of advice is for all companies in the trading card business. Read the baseball card blogs. If you see a trend emerging, try to incorporate that into your product. If you see a general consensus of a product, good or bad, please listen and act on that unsolicited advice. These come from avid purchasers of your product. Wouldn't you want to please the people you are trying to court?

A Package From Andy

While Andy, from 78 Topps Cards, is packing it in, he is sending out final trades. I have no idea when the cards from 1971, 1973 and 1978 will run out, but Andy has decided that he no longer wants to collect such a broad spectrum of cards. He is currently in streamline mode and his readers are once again the beneficiaries of that decision.

On Saturday, I received a package from Andy. I saw the address and immediately knew the package was going to be good. I even commented to Tracey what the package was and who it was from. I think I even said that I love getting vintage cards in the mail to her.

I opened the bubble envelope and was not disappointed by what I saw. In there I saw a few cards from 1973, a whole stack from 1971 and a few assorted cards. There were even a few cards that I will save for Things Done To Cards, which saw its one year anniversary pass last Thursday.

Let's see what was in Andy's mailing.

1971 Topps
37 - Rich McKinney
56 - Duane Josephson
80 - Bill Melton
113 - Jerry Crider
267 - Rich Morales
292 - Jay Johnstone
311 - Lee Stange
413 - Pat Kelly
520 - Tommy John

1973 Topps
42 - Mike Andrews
105 - Carlos May
129 - Terry Forster

1974 Topps Traded
270T - Ron Santo

1981 Fleer
356 - Richard Dotson

While I had a good chunk of the 1971 Topps, I will finally get some decent replacements for a few cards. There were a couple of 1973 cards that I did not have. The Santo is a nice addition. I think that may even be in better condition than the card that I have. The 1981 Fleer card was a nice surprise too!

There were also three other White Sox cards that were even older included in the stack of cards. I will showcase them on the other site, as stated previously in this posting. They are definitely worthy of that site!

Thank you, Andy! I will miss your eye opening observations on each card. I really appreciate everything that you've done for this blog.

Friday, January 16, 2009

Card Spotlight: 1-16-09

1992 Donruss #457 - Ken Patterson

Sometimes all you need is the right expression on a face for a card to become a favorite. Could Donruss have picked out a more awkward picture of Ken Patterson? I'd love to see the pile of rejects from this group.

Ken does have the distinction of playing for both Chicago teams. He is one of the very few players that have been traded between both Chicago teams. Ken was basically a throw in to get George Bell over to the South Side. We all know how well that one worked out, don't we?

It almost looks like Ken was in the middle of a sneeze and his pitching arm went limp. He doesn't appear to be pitching off of a mound. More than likely, this was shot during the toss around with the outfielders. Ken isn't even in full uniform here. This must be some type of practice drill.

Still, this card is a leap in quality over the previous year's Donruss release. I would hope that the quality of the pictures would have made the journey as well. At least Donruss shows that it was trying.

Wednesday, January 14, 2009

The Ecstasy Of Gold

When some people think of “The Ecstasy Of Gold”, they think of the instantly recognizable music from “The Good, The Bad & The Ugly". Truthfully, I think of that too, but I also think of baseball card parallels. Specifically, 1992 Topps.

1992 Topps gold cards marked the first time that a whole set of parallel cards from a major company’s base set, purposely existed without another company’s involvement. Sure there were O-Pee-Chee cards every year that mimicked the Topps set. There was the 1984 Nestle set that paralleled all 792 cards. Those all involved another company in the process.

These cards created quite a stir in the teenage collecting community, which I was a part of back then. These cards came in two ways: winners and regular gold. We each tried to collect the entire set and failed miserably. We were so excited that we failed to do the math. It would take a minimum of 792 packs to complete the set. That was only if we never got a single double, which we all know is impossible.

Foil on a card was a relatively new idea in 1992. The only cards that incorporated foil on the cards were Bowman and Leaf prior to that. If I’m leaving anything out, I apologize. Before those early experiments, metallic ink was used to spruce up a card. These Topps gold cards were different.

Fortunately, I had quite a few card shops around my area back then. I was able to get my hands on a few gold cards that might not have crossed my path otherwise. There was a price to pay though. Card shops jacked up the prices on those Topps gold cards. Most had the stars for sale higher than the top price in the price guides. If there was a prime reason for the card shops dying out back then, it was greed.

Unfortunately, these two parallel sets gave birth to many others. Leaf came out with their black gold parallel later in 1992. By 1994, Stadium Club was nothing but endless parallels. Other card companies started getting in on the act and utter chaos ruled. There were rainbows of colors available for each card, it seemed. Some colors were specifically created for another pointless parallel.

If money is the root of all evil in society, then gold must be the root of all evil in the trading card industry. It does nothing but breed frustration and heartache. No longer will the fan be able to collect everything from his favorite player or team. No longer can the set collector collect the entire set. Now there are short prints, gimmicks and parallels to deal with. Not to mention numbered cards.

I’m hoping that these trends will eventually fade. I don’t mind one or two parallels, but not ten or fifteen. Even five seems like too many. There’s a saturation point where things don’t feel as special anymore. We've reached that point and went beyond. When will cards start to feel special again?

We may never get to that point again, but we can make the cards that come out special to us. We can study the cards like we did when we first started. We can find a certain quality about each card that sets it apart from the others. It’s certainly harder to do today, but it still can be done.

I don’t actively seek out parallels anymore. I don’t mind them when I get them, but I won’t be wasting time and money on them. I will acquire them by trade or by pack opening mostly. The only time that I can envision chasing a parallel card, is if it is the last card I need in a set. If I’m done with the regular sets, then I’ll worry about the parallels.

This all started in the mainstream with the 1992 Topps gold cards. With ecstasy comes madness. With madness comes foolishness. Foolishness brings a rainbow’s worth of one card. Foil begets parallels begets numbered cards begets rainbows. It all started with one set of gold.

Bartolo Colon? Really?

The fifth starter role must be a desperate one to fill for the White Sox. The White Sox have signed Bartolo Colon to a one year deal. He will be competing with Aaron Poreda, and potentially others, for that coveted fifth starter role.

Can Colon stay healthy? Can he still be effective after injuring himself batting last year? Anything is possible. If Bartolo thinks this will be another cakewalk on the South Side, he is sorely mistaken. Gandhi is not in charge anymore.

There is a Venezuelan born Tazmanian devil on the loose and in charge. He will not put up with lame excuses, but if you play the right way, he'll be your best friend. Is this the reason that Bartolo stayed away the last few seasons? He turned down the White Sox flat on more than a few occasions.

I think Bartolo is a man running out of options. He can clearly pitch, when he's healthy. Getting him to stay healthy is the real challenge. He has a history of DL trips and sub par performances. Is this an upgrade from Javier Vazquez? I say it is. Why? Because Bartolo isn't afraid to step up in a big game. Whether or not he will be healthy enough to do that remains to be seen.

OK, Bartolo. Let's see what you've got left. If you put on a pitching school this season, you can write your ticket anywhere in 2010.

Tuesday, January 13, 2009

Hard To Say Goodbye

I'm not going anywhere, but another fellow blogger is. Andy of the fantastic blogs 88 Topps Cards and 78 Topps Cards is calling it quits.

It happens to all of us eventually. Real life intrudes and takes priority. Andy will still be making contributions to the Baseball Reference Stat Of The Day site.

I, for one, will miss starting off the morning with one of Andy's blogs. Andy has been a big supporter of this site and has been very generous with card contributions and his time. I have to take this opportunity to thank him properly for all the time and effort that he put into his blogs.

Some of the most challenging contests in the blogging community were put together by Andy. I believe I even won one of them. His sites featured the most comprehensive studies of the 1988 and the 1978 Topps card sets. I can't imagine how any further information can be squeezed out of each set.

Hopefully, Andy will come back periodically (when some time frees up) and finish off the 1978 Topps Cards blog. It's off to a wonderful start. I will keep it in the blog roll and hopefully it will one day be bumped up to the top again.

I would also like to thank Andy for his contributions to Things Done To Cards. If you ever feel the muse strike you, please feel free to make a post. Thanks for all the wonderful memories.

Monday, January 12, 2009

Getting Closer Every Year

While Rickey Henderson and Jim Rice got voted in, Harold Baines garnered a small victory today. Four more votes. His percentage went from 5.2 to 5.9.

It may not sound like much, but that's huge for Harold. Can next year bring 35 or 40 votes? Possibly. I know it's probably stretching the imagination to the limit, but it is still in the realm of possibility that Harold could get over 40 votes in 2010.

Stranger things have happened. Jim Rice magically found the missing votes to catapult him into the Hall in his last year. Could the same fate be on the cusp for Harold, if he keeps gaining. Probably not, but still, anything is possible.

It's the small victories that keep the spirit going. Harold in the Hall will not happen overnight. Hopefully, it will happen. If it does, I'd love to be in Cooperstown for the event.

Let's round up some more votes for Harold Baines in 2010!

Five Dollar Group Break

Now that you have the jingle in your head, let's make it worse.


Five dollar.

Five dollar group break.

From Thorzul.

There's not much more to say than that. Five dollars got your team choice, in most cases. Every card that was pulled from that team in an assortment of repackaged wax was yours for the taking. It didn't matter what the card was.

Were most of them crap? Yeah, but that's kind of the point. I did receive a few cards that I needed, which is always a plus. I'm not entirely sure how some of these cards got in my allotment, but I'm happy that they are there. I'm guessing that there were repackaged repack wax in there. How else could you explain the 1988 Fleer Update card?

Let's trudge through the White Sox repack cards.

1988 Fleer
392 - Floyd Bannister
394 - Ivan Calderon

1988 Fleer Update
U-15 - John Davis

1989 Fleer
503 - Fred Manrique

1989 Topps
656 - Ivan Calderon

1989 Upper Deck
183 - Ron Karkovice
548 - John Davis
628 - Fred Manrique

1990 Donruss
371 - Ken Patterson
384 - Greg Hibbard
660 - Harold Baines AS

1990 Score
94 - Ivan Calderon

1991 Donruss
57 - Jack McDowell

1991 Upper Deck
White Sox Hologram Sticker

1992 Donruss
457 - Ken Patterson
495 - Wilson Alvarez HL
592 - Frank Thomas

1992 Topps Gold Winners
36 - Scott Ruffcorn
630 - Carlton Fisk

1994 Stadium Club
182 - Roberto Hernandez

2005 Upper Deck
326 - Frank Thomas

2006 Topps Heritage
63 - Mark Buehrle

2006 Turkey Red
391 - Jermaine Dye

2006 Ultra
172 - Mark Buehrle (2)

2006 Upper Deck
116 - Mark Buehrle

2006 Wal-Mart
WM54 - Paul Konerko

2007 Fleer
376 - Jermaine Dye

2007 Topps
34 - Paul Konerko
224 - Matt Thornton
292 - Josh Fields

2007 Topps Opening Day
12 - Paul Konerko
107 - Jon Garland (2)

2007 Upper Deck
11 - Ryan Sweeney
92 - Javier Vazquez

2007 Upper Deck First Edition
9 - Chris Stewart
68 - Jim Thome (2)
74 - Bobby Jenks
75 - Mike MacDougal

Not bad for five bucks! I can think of worse ways to spend that money and I wouldn't nearly be as happy as I am right now. Maybe I'll get into another one of these things down the road. That was kind of fun!

Saturday, January 10, 2009

Documentary Cards From Sooz

Sooz, from A Cardboard Problem, sent out some unwanted Documentary cards. I was the lucky recipient of cards featuring the White Sox. Although there were only four cards in total, they brought back some warm, fuzzy memories because all of the cards featured White Sox wins!

But those warm, fuzzy memories turned just plain fuzzy when I tried to figure out the pictures attached to the game memory.

Enjoy the White Sox cards. I bet they are going to like being with you more than me.

Indeed they will. All cards are welcome over here, but especially White Sox cards!

Let's see what games were sent over.

Game 60: June 5, 2008, White Sox 6 - Royals 2
Veteran captures fourth straight decision for Chicago.

Pictured: Bobby Jenks.

The card is referring to Jose Contreras. I did a recap of most games in 2008. Let's see this game. No mention of Bobby Jenks. A quick look at the box score shows that Bobby was never in the game.

Game 71: June 17th, 2008, White Sox 16 - Pirates 5

Pictured: Paul Konerko

Orlando Cabrera, Jim Thome, Jermaine Dye and Joe Crede were mentioned on the back. Let's see this game. No mention of Konerko in the recap. A quick look at the box score shows that despite all the offense from the White Sox, Paul Konerko didn't even play in the game!!

Game 94: July 12, 2008, White Sox 9 - Rangers 7

Pictured: Mark Buehrle

The card is referring to John Danks. A quick look at the box score reveals that Mark Buehrle did not enter the game.

Game 120: August 13, 2008, White Sox 4 - Royals 0

Pictured: Jim Thome

The back mentions Ken Griffey Jr. A quick study of the box score shows that Jim Thome went 0 for 3 with a walk. At least he was in the game!!

This is my big problem with Upper Deck Documentary. It's not really a complete document of anything. The hard work on the back is negated by the false picture on the front. These are good cards which will have a nice place in my collection, but these could have been so much more.

Thanks, Sooz! Despite the way it sounds, I really do like the cards.

Friday, January 9, 2009

Card Spotlight 1-9-09

1987 Sportflics #200 - Steve Carlton

These cards were awesome, when I was a kid. They have lost their wow factor over the years, but I still have a special place in my heart for these cards.

This particular card has eluded me for 22 years. No longer shall I search bargain bins for this card. It is finally home. This captures a rare occurrence. Steve Carlton in a White Sox uniform. Furthermore, it is the only card that features three separate shots of his pitching motion in a White Sox uniform. Good stuff!

History will show that Steve recorded his 4,000th strikeout with the Giants. Cards will tell you differently though. All of the cards that I can think of, show Steve in a White Sox uniform while commemorating this spectacular event.

I never really understood that. There was a ton of press when Steve Carlton signed with the Giants and a ton of press when he struck out Eric Davis for his 4,000th strikeout. Maybe the card companies thought the public would be confused by Steve in a Giants uniform on a 1987 card. Who knows. That just meant more White Sox cards for me to collect.

Thursday, January 8, 2009

My Very Own White Sox Card

Courtesy of Travis from Punk Rock Paint.

I think it looks pretty awesome!

Thanks, Travis!

My Own Horrorfest

I need to recharge my batteries after the long holiday. I've been thinking and thinking on how to do that. Then inspiration hit from an unexpected source. MLB Collector is in the middle of a Horrorfest, so I've decided to borrow the idea and throw one of my own.

Out of my 1,000+ DVDs, I selected fifteen titles that run the gamut of horror. I've left out a lot of familiar titles that I've seen countless times. I decided it would be fun to focus on movies that I like (in some cases love), but don't immediately think of popping in.

Over the next two weeks, I will be popping in these movies at random and rekindling my love affair with horror. I'm hoping that this will psyche me up enough to find out where the 3-D remake of My Bloody Valentine will be playing near Chicago. I've only seen one semi-3-D movie and it's on this list.

In alphabetical order, here are the movies I chose to watch.

Army Of Darkness
Bruce Campbell is awesome. There's no way around that. This was supposed to go right into a fourth movie, but that never happened. I will be watching the director's cut with the original apocalyptic ending. What can be better than fighting off an army of the dead in medieval times with comedy thrown in. I must remember my boomstick!

The Birds
Classic Hitchcock! After working for a bird breeder and watching this movie, I'll never look at lovebirds the same way. In a sacrilegious move, they made a sequel to this movie. Is there anything creepier than tiptoeing through a flock of murderous birds?

Bloodsucking Freaks
This is a Troma release. Horror fans should know what to expect from Troma. A theatre of the macabre, where the macabre is real. Evil little people, a sadistic slave owner, human dartboards and a scene with a straw that you can't unwatch.

A movie with stories from a comic book. This fascinated me as a kid. Stephen King utters the most most quotable phrase he will ever say when liquid goo from a meteor gets all over him. Leslie Nielson can hold his breath for a real long time.

The Crow
The death of the star of this film marred the movie. Or did the death of Brandon Lee help it? Either way, this is an example of a "comic book" movie done right. The only bad thing is that this movie spawned a thousand Halloween costumes in my town that year. It can't rain all the time.

Dawn Of The Dead (original)
Consumerism disguised as zombies. A great movie in the "Living Dead" series. The remake was OK, but this is the original. I have three different versions of the movie. What a tough decision to make when the time comes.

The Devil's Rejects
This movie seems more polished than it's predecessor, even though this is technically a sequel. You begin to see the cast of Rob Zombie regulars in here, but it's pretty good stuff. I don't want to live inside Rob Zombie's head. It's full of terrifying things and seventies music.

In heaven, everything is fine. This movie will either bore you to tears or creep you out enough to want to make sense of it. Is this David Lynch's fear of parenthood playing out in this remastered print? Maybe, maybe not. I still want to know how he made the baby.

From Dusk Till Dawn
Did Cheech Marin get three paychecks for his time in this movie? He plays three different roles. This starts out as a crime thriller, then morphs into a kick ass horror movie about halfway through. Never saw it coming. Ever wonder what Quentin Tarantino would look like as a vampire? Here's your opportunity. The only thing I don't buy is that George Clooney is his brother.

Take the Greatest American Hero and throw him in a house with an extremely pissed off Bull from Night Court as a Vietnam vet zombie and you'll see how cool this movie actually is. Throw in White Sox fan George Wendt as a nosy neighbor and you've got a great movie where a child is kidnapped by the house he lives in.

It's Alive
The first movie in this trilogy(!), is a cult classic. How does pollution effect an unborn fetus? It turns the kid into a monster that tries to kill everything in sight. It's slightly dated, but it still produces some chills.

Nightmare On Elm Street Part 6: Freddy's Dead
Of course Freddy is dead. That's how he invades your dreams, silly! This is one of the worst Elm Street movies ever made. It does have some redeeming qualities that saves it from rock bottom. 3-D effects in the last ten minutes of the film. Alice Cooper plays Freddy's abusive dad. That's almost derailed by the appearance of Roseanne and Tom Arnold. Still, the DVD comes with the glasses!

The killer flying sphere. The Tall Man. Just what is happening at the mortuary? An undertaker with superhuman strength takes bodies out of the grave. Cloaked jawa looking creatures that are possibly from another dimension. The Tall Man can kick the ghostly preacher from Poltergeist 2's butt!

Return Of The Living Dead Part 2
This is the silliest of the Return series. It's also one of my most endearing memories of the late eighties. The cut off hand running around is a classic. The nod and winks to the original "Living Dead" series and the previous Return film are great bonuses.

The Shining
I don't care if Stephen King thinks this version is compete trash. Jack Nicholson and Stanley Kubrick made a masterpiece. The miniseries was good too, but this was better. All work and no play makes Jack a dull boy.

OK, enough with the non baseball and non White Sox stuff. We now return you to your White Sox baseball card blog.

Wednesday, January 7, 2009

More Brian Roberts Rumors

Let's get this rumor squashed. Brian Roberts is not going to be on the White Sox by Opening Day. If by some alignment of the fates, he is on the team, it will not be for Gavin Floyd, as some reports would have you believe.

Giving up a young pitcher, with a few years left on his contract and has had great recent success, for a player who will be a free agent in less than a year is not something that the White Sox do very often. In fact, in this scenario, it makes no sense.

I can see Orlando Cabrera playing second base for the White Sox this April before Brian Roberts would. In fact, I can see Albert Belle playing second base for the White Sox in April before Brian Roberts would.

These rumors have gone on for two years and Brian has gone nowhere. The Orioles started this latest round of rumors by discussing Gavin Floyd and at least one other player for Roberts, among themselves. Not with the White Sox. They just discussed the possibility of the trade among Orioles personnel.

I don't see Kenny Williams giving up a whole lot for Roberts right now. If the White Sox are in the middle of a playoff run in late July, and have a deficiency at second, then I could see a trade involving Brian Roberts to the South Side. Until that scenario unfolds, it's not likely to happen.

Although, when Kenny Williams is involved, I never rule anything out. My gut tells me no on this one.

Tuesday, January 6, 2009

1988 Donruss

I'm sure that in late 1987, Donruss executives looked at this design and gave it the thumbs up for the following year because it looked futuristic and radical. Let's face it, the mid to late eighties were all about lines and gradients. It looks dated now, but this was somewhat hip back in 1988.

Of the four major sets that year, this design has probably held up second or third best. This would start the decline in Donruss set designs over the next few years. It certainly isn't the best, but there wasn't too much competition either.

In this set, the White Sox have 24 cards. There are some future White Sox employees in the set. Ken Williams. Ozzie Guillen. Harold Baines. Greg Walker. I wonder how many more will be employed by the White Sox in the next twenty years.

5 - Ivan Calderon DK
47 - Jack McDowell
59 - Jose DeLeon
87 - Donnie Hill
124 - Richard Dotson
137 - Ozzie Guillen
162 - Greg Walker
182 - Ivan Calderon
211 - Harold Baines
247 - Bobby Thigpen
260 - Carlton Fisk
285 - Jerry Hairston
306 - Bill Long
334 - Ken Williams
370 - Gary Redus
383 - Floyd Bannister
409 - Jim Winn
429 - Ray Searage
457 - John Pawlowski
493 - Fred Manrique
507 - Bob James
532 - Steve Lyons
552 - Dave LaPoint
580 - Ron Hassey

There are some nice photos in this set. It's too bad the quality is sometimes subpar. You can really tell that the team is in a downward spiral from the player selection. There are some very good players, a few great players and a lot of filler.

Early cards of Jack McDowell and Bobby Thigpen stand out. A pre-HOF card of Fisk. The malaise of Fred Manrique. A pre-moon shot Steve Lyons. The set isn't bad. It gives a nice cross section of what the Sox were in late 1987/early 1988. With a team that bad in the standings, you couldn't ask for a better representation.

There is a good mix of rookies, veterans and commons. That's all you can expect from this set. The centerpiece would be the Ivan Calderon Diamond King. Without that card, the set is pretty bland. Not horrible, just bland. That's good enough for 1988 Donruss.

Monday, January 5, 2009

Are You The Beer Baron?

OK, I know that was rather obscure. When I thought of a banner, I thought of Rex Banner. I've been watching seasons of the Simpsons on DVD with the commentary on. Yes, I may need help.

I admit it. The holidays threw me off a bit. This package from A Cardboard Problem came on Saturday. But with this post, I am now caught up with all mail that I have received. Yay!

This package must have traveled in a time machine to get to me. No sooner did I finish the banner for Marie and Sooz, did I receive a package mere hours later. Was this the work of magic? Well, the package contained shiny cards and cards with moving images… so maybe?

Thanks so much for working on the banner for our blog. Hope you can use some of these cards.

I can always use more cards. In the sense that it was meant, I was able to claim a good number of them.

Let’s see what Marie and Sooz sent over!

1987 Sportflics
200 – Steve Carlton

1987 Topps
703 – Dave Schmidt

1988 Donruss
25 – Ivan Calderon DK
59 – Jose DeLeon
124 – Richard Dotson
137 – Ozzie Guillen
162 – Greg Walker
182 – Ivan Calderon
211 – Harold Baines
247 – Bobby Thigpen
285 – Jerry Hairston
306 – Bill Long
334 – Ken Williams
383 – Floyd Bannister
409 – Jim Winn
493 – Fred Manrique
552 – Dave LaPoint
580 – Ron Hassey (2)

1988 Donruss All-Stars
12 – Harold Baines

1988 Donruss MVP
BC-5 – Ivan Calderon

1988 Sportflics
103 – Greg Walker

1989 Topps
616 – Steve Rosenberg
786 – Melido Perez

1990 Fleer
541 – Tom McCarthy

1993 Topps
150 – Frank Thomas

2008 Bowman Draft Picks & Prospects
BDP43 – Clayton Richard
BDPP102 – Clayton Richard

2008 Bowman Chrome Draft Picks Refractors
BDPP102 – Clayton Richard

2008 Sweet Spot
53 – Jim Thome

Thank you, Marie & Sooz! These cards are awesome! When I find enough cards worthy enough to send over, I will mail out a package.

And sorry about starting the post off about a Simpsons episode. It just popped in my head.

Sunday, January 4, 2009

A Package From Boxbusters

Last month, out of the blue, I received a new e-mail in my inbox from W. Ross of Boxbusters.net. In the e-mail, there was a request for my address, so some cards could be sent over.

If people want to send me cards, I have absolutely no problem with that. I love the subtle nuances of cards, even if I have them. Seeing another card of something I already have gives me a chance to look at that card with fresh eyes. I usually find one or two small details that I may have missed at first glance.

For example, the 1991 Eric King card. On another glance, I can see that the shot was taken at home, not Spring Training. I can see the yellow railings of original Comiskey park and a retired number on the outfield wall. Albeit blurry, I can make these little details out.

I know that the retired number isn't Nellie Fox. The name is too slightly too long. Without the number showing a little more clearly, it's hard to tell who the retired number belongs to. This is just one of the many memories that these cards sparked. Let's see what was sent over!

1991 Topps
121 - Eric King
393 - Carlton Fisk AS
499 - Melido Perez
609 - Jeff Torborg
768 - Donn Pall

1992 Pinnacle
107 - Jack McDowell
178 - Tom Raines
334 - Craig Grebeck
364 - Greg Hibbard (2)
373 - Lance Johnson
389 - Scott Radinsky
391 - Kirk McCaskill
413 - Ron Karkovice

1993 Topps
400 - Bo Jackson

2007 SP Authentic - Authentic Speed
AS-45 - Scott Podsednik
AS-47 - Tadahito Iguchi

2008 Topps Chrome
64 - Mark Buehrle

2008 Topps Chrome Copper Refractor
79 - Paul Konerko 458/599

2008 Topps Heritage Chrome
C106 - Paul Konerko 0202/1959

2008 Upper Deck X
24 - Paul Konerko

2008 Yankee Stadium Legacy
2935 - Moose Skowron (06/06/1960)

Thanks! These brought back a lot of memories. I was considering "A Fistful Of Konerko" for a title, but the memories that the majority of the cards brought back overpowered the stash of Konerko.

Don't be surprised if you receive something in the mail down the road.

Friday, January 2, 2009

Card Spotlight: 1-2-09

1991 Oklahoma State Collegiate Collection #4 - Robin Ventura

Golden Spikes Award 1988. Member of United States gold medal winning baseball team at 1988 Olympic Games. "Player of the Decade" by Baseball America. First round draft choice of the Chicago White Sox and the 10th player selected in the 1988 Major League Baseball amateur draft. Starting third baseman for White Sox in 1990 and 1991.

For three years as a Cowboy, Robin Ventura averaged .428 as a hitter. I know that it's college, but that's still pretty impressive. What the back of the card didn't tell you was that Robin Ventura went on to have a long successful career with the White Sox and with other teams. But that doesn't surprise me for two reasons. This card was made in 1991 and cards can't talk. If they talk to you, I wonder about what you've been smoking out back.

I received this card as a gift last year. Yes, all of two weeks ago, but technically last year. That's the last "last year" joke you'll get out of me until next year.

I don't follow college baseball at all. It's interesting to see Major League players on cards as college players. Then again, I'm fascinated by many things that would seem mundane to another. Birds singing, dew glistening on a newly formed leaf, stoplights. Yes, the list goes on and on.

This is yet another card that I never really knew existed until it fell into my lap. Thankfully, there are small holiday miracles and something to start the new year out on the right note.
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