Saturday, May 30, 2009

Mailbox Joys: Black Wakamatsu

2009 Topps Black #576 - Don Wakamatsu 50/58

I know what you're thinking. Black Wakamatsu sounds like a seventies kung-fu movie. The kind that Quentin Tarantino would claim as his bible and such. I swear that it's much cooler than that. It my first Wakamatsu card in which he is not a player.

I scoured eBay thinking that I would run into a ton of the Wal-Mart Black versions, but instead I stumbled upon a few auctions of this parallel numbered to 58. I thought that this would be much better than the Wal-Mart black. The Wal-Mart parallel cards look like that oil slick from Creepshow 2. The numbered Topps parallel almost looks like a fine granite. It's still black, but more detailed.

I think the juxtaposition of Don Wakamatsu on this card with the sun behind him against the granite black of the border looks absolutely gorgeous. I have never seen a card more deserving of this type of parallel treatment. It's as if this card was made for the black parallel.

With this card, I believe my Wakamatsu collection has doubled. Yes, for those of you who haven't attended Cyprus Creek Elementary, that makes two Wakamatsu cards. To be fair, I have others that are part of my White Sox collection. This would be my first Don Wakamatsu card that could not be part of the White Sox collection.

At this rate my Wakamatsu collection may triple over the next fiscal year. Now if you'll excuse me, I have to go to the hammock district on third and admire my new card.

Friday, May 29, 2009

My First White Sox Goudey Of 2009

I scraped up enough last week to purchase a blaster of 2009 Goudey. I was desperate to bust something and I wanted to see the Goudey set for myself.

Target didn't have any loose packs yet, but they had a few strategically hidden blasters. So I picked one up at random and headed for the checkout lanes.

I opened all eight packages and ended up with one and a half White Sox cards. One and a half? Yes. One and a half. My first White Sox card was Nick Swisher pictured in a road White Sox uniform. His index finger was pointed upward, as if to caution me.

"You may think that this is a card of me on the White Sox, but gaze skyward, buttmunch. That there says I'm a Yankee. The most storied team in baseball history".

Uh-huh. I see that. It lists you as an outfielder.

"You got that right, man. I also play first base, DH and pitch. Suck on that, bro".

That's downright mean, Swish. I enjoyed your time on the South Side. Well, except for that last part, where you pouted constantly and couldn't even keep the dugout in high spirits.

"You want me to switch fingers there, pal? You are this far away from having me boot your crappy band off of my MySpace friends".

Hey, most of those are garage demos. They just give you a feeling of what the final product will be. Wait a minute. We're getting off topic. Besides, aren't you the one who still has a picture of Kenny Williams and you, as a profile pic?

"Yeah. So what"?

So what? So let's dance!

With that Swish was distracted enough to dance off towards the Bronx. I went through the rest of the packs and found my complete White Sox card, Jermaine Dye. Sure, he wasn't as animated as Swisher, but he found a nice home with me anyway.

Card Spotlight: 5-29-09

1960 Fleer #19 - Marty Marion

I miss Fleer, don't you? It wasn't always pretty, but it was functional. It didn't hurt that it was a thorn in Topps' side for years.

Mostly, only the serious collector has heard of 1960 Fleer. Most collectors today think of Fleer as beginning in baseball in 1981. There is actually a long history of Fleer flirting with baseball.

Fleer started by signing Ted Williams to an exclusive contract and produced a Ted Williams set in 1959. Fleer couldn't produce many cards of active players, since Topps had a stranglehold on the majority of active players. Fleer produced Baseball Greats sets in 1960 and 1961, while trying to secure rights to active players.

In 1963, Fleer was able to secure a handful of active players to contracts and produced a set, which ended up not selling well. Legal battles ensued and Fleer ended up selling its remaining player contracts to Topps in 1966. This, in effect, gave Topps a monopoly on baseball cards.

During the seventies, many court battles waged on. Fleer won the right to produce cards and in 1981, introduced their first set in almost two decades. The rest is history.

There is a story behind this 1960 Fleer Marty Marion card. I bought a Luke Appling card from this set from a store in New York, which had an eBay store. The owner decided to cold call me to see if I was interested in other cards from the set. He told me that it would be cheaper for the both of us if he sold them directly to me. He was right. I didn't have to battle other people in a bidding war and he didn't have to lose money on the eBay fees.

I had researched the set and settled on which cards were of White Sox players. I presented my list to the card shop owner, over the phone. The one red flag that came up was Marty Marion. The seller was positive that the 1960 Fleer card of Marty was not a White Sox card. I told him that it was and it ended up that I researched the set more than the seller.

I told him that I was a little tight on funds, but I would send out a check when I had the spare money. He agreed and told me to send the check along with a piece of paper with the cards and my address.

Things popped up and I wasn't able to send the check off until many months later. In the end, I completed my 1960 Fleer White Sox set on a cold November afternoon, a few years ago. The one thing that I will always remember about the purchase is the Marty Marion card. It pays to do your research.

Thursday, May 28, 2009

Mailbox Joys: A Not So Complete Team Set

Today, I received the White Sox team set of 2009 Finest in the mailbox. While the sight of these cards create a certain amount of joy in me, the nitpicking part of me acknowledges that this really isn't a complete team set.

For some reason only known to Topps employees, Ken Griffey Jr. is listed as being on the White Sox but pictured in a Mariners uniform. Check this earlier post for more on that.

I got seven cards in the set, six of which should be there. There was no Griffey in this set, but there was a card of someone else who shouldn't be here. I'll list the seven cards and guess which one doesn't belong.

All seven players played on the White Sox at some point during the season in 2008. So at least Topps is in the right ballpark with this set. Which player doesn't belong?

14 - Paul Konerko
56 - Mark Buehrle
90 - Carlos Quentin
94 - Jermaine Dye
109 - Gavin Floyd
124 - Jim Thome
149 - Jason Bourgeois

For those of you who guessed Paul Konerko... self inflicted nail gun to the head.
For those of you who guessed Mark Buehrle... a slap upside the head with a giant fish.
For those of you who guessed Carlos Quentin... you must sit through Manos: The Hands Of Fate.
For those of you who guessed Jermaine Dye... I will give a paperclip, a rubber band and a chewed up pencil to McGyver and he will kill you.
For those of you who guessed Gavin Floyd... you will be running with scissors across a mine field.
For those of you who guessed Jim Thome... you will be listening to Wing Sings AC/DC.
For those of you who guessed Jason Bourgeois... laugh, Jocko, laugh! You are right!

Jason Bourgeois has been in the Milwaukee Brewers organization all year. Don't believe me? See for yourself. I can understand that Topps would want to give a card to a rookie, who only played in six games in 2008. Actually, I applaud them for that. It just doesn't make sense to me that the Griffey card can go one way and the Bourgeois card can completely ignore this year.

It may sound like I'm griping about the cards I received. Not in the least. I love the cards that I got. I wouldn't have bought them on eBay, if I hadn't wanted the cards. I'm just tired of the inconsistencies of the card companies. Can they at least try to get things right?

WSC Birth Years: John Danks

Card #9 - John Danks

Born: April 15, 1985

The potential has been there from the beginning for John Danks. It was only in 2008, where John showed the consistency it takes to stick in the rotation. He regularly flirts with no-hitters past the fifth inning, but his greatest contribution came in preserving a 1-0 lead in the tiebreaker game of 2008, pitching eight innings of two-hit ball and launching the White Sox into the postseason.

John's brother, Jordan, is an outfielder in the White Sox farm system, who is rapidly moving up the ranks. Someday soon, Sox fans may see a lineup with a Danks on the mound and a Danks in the outfield.

If John keeps pitching the way he has been lately, Sox fans can expect Danks to be a key component to the rotation for many years. John should see many years of success on the South Side.

WSC Vintage: Ed McFarland

Card #2 - Ed McFarland

This shot from 1907, shows Ed in his last year as a White Sox. He played on the White Sox from 1902 until 1907 as mostly a catcher.

Ed started off his career in 1893, with the Cleveland Spiders. It's a little hazy after that, but apparently he was the property of the Cincinnati Reds, but never made the big league club. Ed was traded to the St. Louis Browns in late 1895.

Ed played for the Browns until he was traded to the Philadelphia Phillies in June 1897. He remained there until before the 1902 season, when he was acquired by the Chicago White Sox. Ed finished his MLB career in 1908, with the Boston Red Sox.

After a poor offensive start to Ed's White Sox career, he started posting some decent numbers. The exception would be 1906, where he only managed to play in 12 games. Even though 1906 brought a career low in games played, Ed managed to pinch hit for Nick Altrock in Game 4 of the 1906 World Series against the Cubs. Ed managed to ground out to third in his only postseason appearance.

Wednesday, May 27, 2009

Goose Joak Originals: Alexei Ramirez

Check out the full AL/NL Central set here.

Monday, May 25, 2009

WSC Vintage: Joe Jackson

Card #1 - Joe Jackson

The picture on this digital card was taken sometime shortly after the 1917 World Series. The trophies have nothing to do with the World Series though. The larger trophy was won in Boston for throwing a baseball 396 feet, 8 inches, in competition against the best long-distance throwers of the American and National Leagues. Joe broke all existing records for throwing a ball the farthest.

The second, smaller cup was given to Joe for out-batting Ty Cobb in a critical series, which has not been identified. He stopped long enough between trains to pose for this picture, while on his way home.

Since there are few decent releases featuring older players, I have decided to locate the best photos of White Sox players and feature them in a virtual card set. My goal is to avoid using widely seen images and focus on the rare treats that were snapped during a player's time with the White Sox. While most pictures will feature the player in a White Sox uniform, a select few, like this card of Joe Jackson, will be pictured in street clothes with a baseball related item, taken during his tenure with the team.

Hopefully this project will get readers closer to the history of the game and help us preserve the legacy of players, before time washes them completely away. While Joe Jackson doesn't need any help in that department, other players certainly do. Periods of war brought many shortages to the early twentieth century. Many items deemed unnecessary were given a hiatus during this time. No hobby suffered as much as baseball card collecting did during this time. This is why card sets are scarce around this period.

I expect this project to be strung out over several years. If I can produce a card of every White Sox player before 1950, I will be a very happy White Sox fan! If you can help with any images, contact me through e-mail.

Lazy, Forgetful Or Devious?

2009 Finest #17 - Ken Griffey Jr.

On February 18, 2009, Ken Griffey became a Mariner again. His career came full circle and everyone seems happy about that. A handful of 2009 cards depict Griffey in a White Sox uniform. Early ones show him in the Sox uniform and list him as being on the White Sox.

Since Griffey didn't sign with anyone officially until February 18th, the card companies had no choice than to let their early product reflect the last team he played for. This is fine in my book. This is why there are releases throughout the year. Players of a Hall of Fame caliber tend to make it into almost every release. It's the natural order of things. Very few people want to collect a set with nothing but mop up guys from the middle relief.

It's the star power that drives most releases. Trying to keep the card releases as current as possible, many card companies slap on a semi recent picture and list the player as being on their current team. Some go a step further and airbrush the player into their new uniform. There are numerous examples of this in most of the flagship releases.

Until I ran across this 2009 card of Ken Griffey Jr., I thought I had seen every possible combination of transition card. Yes, this was a later release. It was current enough to either get a picture of Griffey in his new uniform or airbrush it on. Logic tells me that this would be the hardest option for a first half product. This is why we see so many players in their previous uniform. So, if Griffey is in his new uniform, why is he listed as being on his previous team?

I could tell that Topps was planning a vanity number for Griffey. The card number is 17, which was his number on the White Sox. This was the only time that he wore the uniform number 17 in his Major League career. I can see that Topps was planning on making him part of the White Sox team set, until Griffey inked a deal with his original club.

Was Topps too lazy to do the simplest change of the team name? Did Topps just forget to change the team name? Or did Topps want to create an intentional error, which they are famous for lately? We may never know the reasoning behind the White Sox name and the Mariner uniform, but it does reek of suspicion. Everything about this card seems backwards. Maybe that's the way Topps planned it.

Sunday, May 24, 2009

Goose Joak Originals: Bartolo Colon

See the full set here.

Friday, May 22, 2009

Card Spotlight: 5-22-09

1972 Topps #618 - Rich Robertson

This card should not exist. Plain and simple. Rich Robertson never played a regular season game with the White Sox. Not one!

The picture is clearly airbrushed to incorporate the 1972 uniform and hat of the Chicago White Sox. Rich Robertson spent his entire career with the San Francisco Giants. He was drafted by them in 1965 and played with the big league club from 1966 until 1971.

In 1972, something odd happened. On February 7, 1972, Rich was purchased by the Chicago White Sox. OK, so we found out why he is airbrushed into a White Sox uniform. But then, the White Sox gave him back to the Giants on March 19, 1972.

Could this be a case of buyer beware? Possibly. The Giants didn't appear to eager to have him back in the fold. He was released on March 27, 1972. Rich never played in another MLB game.

Someone at Topps must have thought that they were getting a smart scoop on the new season. The Sox bought this guy from the Giants, so they must want him bad enough. He'll be on the team this year. Nobody buys a player from another team to have him sit on the shelf.

In thinking that way, Topps was right. This is why Rich was shipped back to the Giants. The White Sox didn't want a player that they bought collecting dust in the minor leagues. Looking at statistics from 1970, it's a wonder that any team would want Rich on their team.

Rich led the National League in wild pitches with 18! He only appeared in 41 games and started 26 that year. He was ninth in the NL with 96 walks. In 1971, he was used sparingly and mostly in relief. This leads me to believe that either he was injured or he just lost his stuff and was sent down to the minors. His last game with the Giants was on July 20, 1971, so it's interesting that the Sox would purchase him the following February.

Apparently, the White Sox made the correct move. The Sox finished second in the AL West, five and a half games behind the Oakland Athletics, who won the World Series that year.

It still amazes me what can be uncovered by studying a baseball card. Mysteries get solved and new mysteries pop up to replace them. There's still plenty to learn from vintage cards.

Thursday, May 21, 2009

Deader Than Dead

"San Diego is the place for us," Peavy said of him and his family. "We've made that decision for the time being."

Like dayf pointed out, at least White Sox fans weren't strung along.

Dog Day Evening

Emmy and Bruce Faber, along with their dog Pogo, watched the White Sox win against the Twins. Did the presence of canines help the Sox? It certainly couldn't hurt.

The dogs and their owners were treated to a pre-game parade around the field. Dog Days are one of the most popular promotions at U.S. Cellular Field.

For more photos of the dogs, check this out.

Despite what many are led to believe, a day out at the Cell can be a great experience.

Photo: (Tom Cruze/Sun-Times)

Waiting On Peavy

Maybe I was doing some super secret scouting for the White Sox when I entered Wrigley Field earlier this month. OK, maybe not. One can fantasize, can't they?

There appears to be a deal in place that would send Jake Peavy to the White Sox in exchange for four pitchers. The only pitchers confirmed are 2007 number one draft pick, Aaron Peroda and Clayton Richard. The other two have not been revealed yet, although I've been assured that Gordon Beckham is not in the deal. That's a dealbreaker.

Peavy would be a fine addition to the rotation. He's been struggling this year, as the numbers would tell you, but his poor record is more the fault of a lousy offense and a poor bullpen.

If Aaron Poreda is included, he must not be mastering the additional pitch that the Sox had him working on this year. Poreda is a tough one to lose, but on the upside, he hasn't proven anything yet. Clayton Richard is less of a loss, but tough nonetheless. Clayton is a versatile pitcher who can move between the rotation and the bullpen. That's becoming more and more difficult to find.

This may prove to be nothing more than hype, since the entire deal hinges on Peavy's approval. Peavy just happens to have a full no trade clause in his contract. Peavy's current deal is through 2012 with a club option for 2013.

The White Sox and Padres are on board. It's your move, Peavy.


Deader than disco. Peavy vetoed the deal because the White Sox would not guarantee 2013 for $22 million. I can understand both sides on this one.

Full Moon

A hot July evening in Detroit set the scene. 81 degrees at game time. 14,770 fans in attendance witnessed a back and forth game between two starting pitchers, who had their good stuff that night.

Ace in the making, Jack McDowell was on the mound for the White Sox. Veteran Dan Petry took the ball for the Tigers.

No matter what you hear, there were less than 15,000 people in Tiger Stadium that night. Almost 100,000 people claim to have been inside the stadium for this particular game.

The White Sox were surging in the AL West. The Tigers were slowly sinking in the AL East, playing just good enough to keep near .500. The Tigers would eventually win this game, in the bottom of the ninth, 5 to 4. A Tigers victory wasn't what was mentioned at the office the next day or on Johnny Carson or David Letterman the next night.

The moment in question did not effect the outcome of the game. It didn't even lead to scoring. This particular event caused the Tiger fans to applaud a White Sox batter to be called safe. It was indeed a strange night in Detroit.

The Tigers were ahead 4 to 1, when the top of the fifth inning started. The first batter up for the White Sox was Steve Lyons. He dragged a bunt to the first base side of the infield, then he ran like hell to first base. First baseman Cecil Fielder charged for the ball and pitcher Dan Petry had to cover first. It looked like Lyons had a shot at being safe, so he slid headfirst into first base. First base umpire, Jim Evans, called Lyons safe.

Dan Petry immediately had a beef with the call. While Petry and Evans were debating the call, Steve noticed some pebbles and dirt had gotten into his pants. Without much thought of where he was, he unbuckled his belt and proceeded to shake the dirt loose, like many players do. The only problem was that in shaking the dirt out, Steve had automatically lowered his pants to the knees.

The second that Steve heard the crowd react, he pulled up his pants, but the damage had been done. He turned around to see the same crowd which he just mooned. His face turned beet red and he had a chuckle. What else could he do in that situation? Cecil Fielder let out a hearty laugh. Petry and Evans stopped their discussion. All eyes were on Steve Lyons.

When the crowd finally died down, the game resumed. The situation was one man on first base and no one out. Scott Fletcher grounded out to the shortstop, who forced out Lyons at second. As Lyons returned to the dugout, he saw ladies waving dollar bills at him and yelling things like, "Take it off!"

Sammy Sosa then proceeded to ground out to the shortstop who forced Scott Fletcher at second. Ozzie Guillen decided to mix things up by grounding out to the second baseman and recording the third out at first base.

It just goes to show that the White Sox could kill an inning in any decade. This is not a new thing. Despite not having a thing to do with the outcome of the game, Steve Lyons was the talk of the town. He did countless interviews and to this day is still asked to repeat the story.

What would this story be without a picture? For the first time on any White Sox site, here is a grainy black and white picture of the incident. Somewhere, in my archives of videotape, I have this game recorded. If I ever run across it, I should be able to get a better picture and possibly get the act on YouTube.

Would this be the Detroit version of Moons Over My Hammy?

Wednesday, May 20, 2009

Thoughts On Jimmy Gobble

Is this another Kansas City castoff? Why can I find no pictures of him with a White Sox uniform on, but I can find one of him in a Rangers uniform?

He started out pretty rough in his first outing, but his second outing was pretty solid.

Why do I think of this when I hear his name?

1:07 into the video, btw.

Do I think that it should be played every time he enters a game? YES!!!

Tuesday, May 19, 2009

Buehrle And Lifebuoy

It had to end sometime. Losing streaks don't last forever, but they sure seem like they do. Mark Buehrle was the human equivalent of Lifebuoy. It didn't really taste good, but it got the job done.

The offense lit up and the pitchers overcame some suspect fielding. It was a time of celebration for all on the South Side. There was no joy in Crede as he struck out once for the Twins. His mighty back beginning the season long straddling of the disabled list.

Fireworks were to be enjoyed by all. This was a sight rarely seen this month. Sox players have learned to live in the moment because the moment may not last forever.

There is joy in seeing Podsednik steal a base. Those pains in the oppositions' sides have been too far and few since his departure. Speed on and Paulie equals perfection.

The only lingering question would be if this can last. Maybe, maybe not. It sure will be a good ride. Maybe the opposing team will go blind from SOAP poisoning. That means that the speed will have to continue to get on for Paulie. Maybe that's asking too much.

Monday, May 18, 2009

Goose Joak Originals: Josh Fields

See the full set here.

Sunday, May 17, 2009

The Gift Of Shame

I love unexpected packages! They seem to be packed with the most amount of joy because the package comes out of nowhere. It usually means that someone thought of me enough to take the time to scour their cards and hand pick some gems just for me. Then they had to dig out my address, copy it on an envelope and make a special trip to the post office. That's some real thoughtful stuff there. Some days I don't want to venture out to the post office, so I have respect for those who do.

The package that came out of left field arrived on Friday. I had just spent an entire day out in the rain, dropping my dog at the groomers. The shop that we use, The Barker Shop, is located about a half hour away. If Tess is just in there for a basic grooming, it doesn't make sense to drive all the way back home just to turn back around again.

I killed time window shopping at Target, Half Price Books, Best Buy and Dollar Tree. It was a steady rain that poured down the entire time I was waiting for the call to pick Tess up. I stopped by McDonald's to be a dollar menuaire, or whatever they're calling it now, only to be told that the double cheeseburgers are no longer being offered for a dollar. Instead, I am told to order a McDouble. I inquired as to what the heck the difference was. I was informed that the McDouble only had one slice of cheese instead of two. Big deal. Gimme the dollar sandwich. Weirdly, it just didn't taste the same. Maybe it was the power of suggestion.

I gassed up at BP and got the call to pick up Tess. I brought her home and miraculously the clouds parted and the sky cleared. Good grief! Now it looks nice, just like when I left.

I browsed my mail. All three items of mail were totally unexpected. One was a booklet on Rock N' Roll Hall of Fame vacations, which turned out to be very informative and very cool looking. I've always wanted to go, but I never signed up for anything. Weird. The second was a package from Pearl Jam. I let my membership lapse sometime last year, so I wasn't expecting the newsletter. Not only did I get the newsletter, but I received the vinyl 45 Christmas single from 2008. Better late than never.

The last piece of mail was a package from Thorzul. I wasn't expecting anything, but there was something wrapped in a Target circular. Hmmm... they have the same crap on sale up in Milwaukee too. I thought it was strange for Thorzul to send a Target sale paper until I looked inside. There was a small plastic case and a yellow Post-it note with writing on it.


I scoured your want lists and found some stuff for you. Keep up the good work!

- Thorzul

There was also some mention of the Sox/Brewers series this year. It seems Thorzul will be going in June and welcomes civilized Chicago fans in town. I hope one of those games will be in throwback uniforms. I loved the old Brewers uniforms.

I looked at the case and was greeted by a Frank Thomas Post trading card. The case was overstuffed with cards and I was joyful. Let's see what Thorzul sent over.

1991 Cracker Jack
Frank Thomas (sealed)

1991 Studio
32 - Carlton Fisk

1992 Post
24 - Frank Thomas

1993 Flair
185 - Roberto Hernandez

1993 Select Traded
43T - Rodney Bolton
81T - Jason Bere
118T - Ivan Calderon

1994 Topps Gold
601 - Frank Thomas

1996 Stadium Club
321 - Robin Ventura
398 - Dave Martinez

1996 Stadium Club Extreme Players Bronze
285 - Frank Thomas

1997 Collector's Choice All-Star Connection
10 - Frank Thomas

1997 Pinnacle
102 - Frank Thomas

1998 Topps Opening Day
158 - Albert Belle

1998 Upper Deck
60 - Albert Belle

1999 Topps Opening Day
52 - Albert Belle

2007 Topps First Edition
173 - Rob Mackowiak

Thanks, Thorzul! That was an absolute delight to open up! I think I'm going to leave the Frank Thomas in the Cracker Jack wrapper. It seems better that way. I like the 1993 Select Traded much better than the regular Select that year. The black goes well with that style. The regular green... not so much.

Since you were so generous with unexpected delights, I'm going to share something with you.


I asked Tracey which page in my sticker book looked the most shameful. She picked out the back page. There was something not quite right about animated ice cream cones with a come hither look, all lined up in a row.
You see, you're not the only one with sticker shame in your past. There's something ultimately disturbing about a chocolate ice cream cone fluffing its own ice cream head. The same goes for a strawberry cone holding one hand out with its tongue sticking out. Or even a sundae cone winking at me with a cherry on top.

The other three non ice cream cone stickers feature a baseball inside a glove with the saying, "You're a Hit!" on it. I thought a hit involved the baseball staying out of the glove. Anything goes in the world of stickers I guess. The one that's semi-unreadable reads, "Official BLIPS Sticker - Accept No Substitute". It had something to do with Atari 2600 games and the popularity of arcades. The final one is Heathcliff trying to catch a fish in an old timey fishbowl.

The sticker book has seen better days. I only found it a few weeks ago, while cleaning out a closet. So there you have it. Free gifts, rain and a shameful past. See what Thorzul has wrought?

Saturday, May 16, 2009

Cards That Never Were #6

1986 Topps Traded - George Foster

Many of you have been waiting for this day to come. I read it in the comments section. I read it in my e-mails. Wait no longer! I have found a picture of George Foster from one of the fifteen games that he appeared in for the White Sox in 1986.

This picture could very well be from one of the eleven hits he pounded out for his last team, before he was released. It might even be from his lone home run on the Sox. Chances are equally great that it came from a swinging strike, a line out, or a fly out. I'm optimistic though.

So, for your enjoyment, the nonexistent 1986 Topps Traded card of George Foster. This was the only picture I could find and it was a smaller resolution than I like working with for these projects. If any of the card companies bothered to produce a George Foster White Sox card in the first place, I wouldn't be stuck with this low resolution card. Thems the breaks! At least it now exists and that's better than the alternative.

The teams he appeared against at Comiskey Park were the Brewers, the Rangers, the Royals and the Blue Jays. Can you figure out the catcher in the photo?

Friday, May 15, 2009

Free Gift From Ohio

Every once in awhile, free gifts from fellow bloggers pop up in my mailbox. I've been enjoying a free compact disc full of baseball related songs during the past week. The generous blogger who has provided me all of this enjoyment is none other than Baseball Dad over at All Tribe Baseball.

The CD is full of classics like "Take Me Out To The Ball Game", "Who's On First?" and "Casey At The Bat". Some of these songs, I hadn't heard since I was a kid. A free spelling lesson from Danny Kaye and funky tributes to Hank Aaron and baseball cards are priceless.

Along with the music and sound clips came a few White Sox cards and a scratch off baseball game featuring a White Sox logo on the back. Pretty neat!

1992 O-Pee-Chee
648 - Scott Fletcher

2003 Donruss Super Estrellas
20 - Magglio Ordonez
21 - Carlos Lee

2004 Ultra Gold Medallion
285 - Paul Konerko

2006 Fleer Tradition
188 - Paul Konerko

2006 Topps Chrome X-Fractor
5 - Tadahito Iguchi

2009 Upper Deck
77 - Alexei Ramirez
87 - Mark Buehrle
463 - Jim Thome

Thanks, Jack! This was a great surprise! I thought I was spoiled with the Crankshaft comics. This certainly takes the cake. I know I'll be listening to that CD for years to come!

Card Spotlight: 5-15-09

1991 Topps Desert Shield #166 - Harold Baines

Yes, this is another Harold Baines card. But this is no ordinary Harold Baines card. This parallel of the 1991 Topps set was produced specifically for overseas troops. The actual number of cards produced by Topps is unknown, but it is a generally accepted fact that Topps made enough cards to produce 6,800 complete sets.

In the pursuit of these cards, one can find many fakes, especially of star players or key rookies. I've heard many ways to spot a true card, but the most common used method is to check out the bottom of the shield logo. If it appears to have a rounded or almost flat bottom, the card should be authentic. The fakes usually have a pointed bottom.

What makes this card rarer than the estimated print run is the fact that these cards were given out only to soldiers overseas. Many of the cards were destroyed from the elements, the lack of care by soldiers who were not baseball card fans, and other assorted maladies. The reality of it all is that baseball cards were not the number one priority of a soldier during these operations. Baseball cards were probably not even the 3,428th priority.

The Baines card is especially sharp with this foil printed parallel. The palm tree goes well with the greens and yellows of the card. It almost feels like it should be a Spring Training card. I won this card in an auction last week for 99 cents plus shipping. Not a bad price for a piece of Topps history.

Many of the cards from this set can be had for a dollar or two. Beware going for the higher stars though. There are many unscrupulous sellers out there. A little knowledge can be the difference between a happy purchase and the bitterness of defeat.

Thursday, May 14, 2009

Cards From Cards On Cards

I sent off a package to Kerry of Cards On Cards a little while ago. I think it started out as a thank you package or something. I forget the exact details of it all. Anyway, I received a package in the mail from Kerry sometime over last weekend.

Before this post gets delayed any further, I figured I'd blog about it now. The past two weeks seemed to bring nothing but delays. I'm slowly tying up loose ends and everything should be back to normal by the weekend. This time for sure!

As I opened the package, I couldn't imagine what cards would await me. I was pleasantly surprised by some. Really surprised by a few. And I wore a smile throughout the entire contents of the package.

Without any further ado, here's the cards!

1987 Leaf
25 - Greg Walker DK
117 - Ozzie Guillen

1988 Fleer Sluggers Vs. Pitchers
24 - Dave LaPoint

1988 Leaf
25 - Ivan Calderon
59 - Ozzie Guillen
86 - Greg Walker

1988 O-Pee-Chee
35 - Harold Baines

1988 Topps Mini Leaders
7 - Ivan Calderon

1989 Bazooka Shining Star
8 - Dave Gallagher

1989 Donruss Baseball's Best
235 - Eric King

1989 Fleer
White Sox sticker

1989 Topps Stickers
299 - Carlton Fisk

1989 Topps UK
35 - Ozzie Guillen

1990 Fleer
White Sox sticker

1990 Score 100 Superstars
56 - Dave Gallagher
70 - Carlton Fisk

1990 Score Young Superstars II
8 - Robin Ventura
38 - Lance Johnson

1990 Toys R Us
28 - Robin Ventura

1991 Baseball Card Magazine
53 - Carlton Fisk

1991 Cracker Jack
32 - Bobby Thigpen

1991 Cracker Jack Series 2
36 - Alex Fernandez

1991 O-Pee-Chee
461 - Robin Ventura
559 - Adam Peterson

1991 Stadium Club
274 - Robin Ventura

1992 Leaf
67 - Frank Thomas CL

1992 Pinnacle
369 - Sammy Sosa
389 - Scott Radinsky

1992 Pinnacle Team 2000
46 - Scott Radinsky

1992 Score
29 - Melido Perez

1992 Topps Gold
57 - Donn Pall

1992 Ultra
332 - George Bell
335 - Alex Fernandez

1993 Pacific Spanish
74 - Scott Radinsky

1993 Sawdust Sports Syndicate Promo
27 - Cap Anson (0614/1000)

1993 Spectrum Promo
Cliff Floyd

1993 Topps Gold
230 - Carlton Fisk
474 - Ozzie Guillen

1994 Fleer Sunoco
23 - Frank Thomas

1996 Collector's Choice
510 - Harold Baines

2008 Topps Heritage

2008 Topps Heritage Black Back

2008 Topps Heritage High Numbers
535, 536, 546, 613, 638, 666

2008 Topps Heritage High Numbers Black Back

2008 Topps Heritage Rookie Performers

2008 Topps Heritage Then & Now

2008 Upper Deck First Edition
333 - A.J. Pierzynski

2008 Upper Deck Timeline
233 - Jim Thome

2009 Upper Deck
87 - Mark Buehrle

Thanks, Kerry! That was an awesome display of cards. I think I might be able to cross those pesky Canadian cards off my list soon. I've been receiving a lot of O-Pee-Chee cards lately.

The things that seemed odd to me, now seem the coolest. The Cliff Floyd promo had me puzzled, until I read the back. I knew he grew up in Chicago, but I had no idea that he modeled his playing style after Harold Baines. That's really cool! The Cap Anson card threw me, since he was on the White Stockings team that eventually morphed into the modern day Cubs. The more I pondered on it, the more it seemed really cool to have a numbered promo card of a Hall of Fame player.

The little touches were wonderful. This package was just full of little surprises. The littlest cards were the two Cracker Jack cards. They are about as big as my thumb, but they are oh so cute. Any time that I can get a little closer to completing my 2008 Topps Heritage is a good time.

Wednesday, May 13, 2009

Another Thigpen "Broder"

I mentioned on Wax Heaven that I would post the Thigpen card when it arrived, and here it is. Like Mario, I'm a bit perplexed about the origins of this card. All the card tells me is that the picture was taken between 1987 and 1990 and the back says 1987 Rookies.

There is a nice generic cartoon on the back. The player who is tagging the runner out looks to be on the Phillies. That's a bit ironic, since Bobby would play for the Phillies later in his career.

It seems to me that all mystery cards are now called "Broder" cards, even if they have nothing to do with the elusive Rob Broder. Does anyone out there have a real origin story for these cards? If so, I'd love to see it in the comments.

A Trip To Wrigley

Free tickets to a Cubs game? I'm in! I love everything baseball, so I can venture up to Wrigley Field to catch the Cubs and the Padres.

My friend Steve and I head out about 2 PM, in his car. We head over to Cicero & Archer to visit a currency exchange. He needs to get some checks cashed and I need a CTA day pass. He works for CTA, so he gets to ride for free.

We hopped on the Archer bus to Pulaski. We took the Orange Line to State/Lake. We walk over to the Red Line and get off at Addison. There it is... Wrigley Field. I haven't been inside since 1998.

It's about 4 PM. It's too late to grab a bite, like we planned, and too early for the gates to open. So we stand at the left side of Gate F, right next to the tiny Gate G entrance. It's a good thing that we did because the line behind us, when the gate opened, was huge.

The gate finally did open at 5 pm. We shuffled in and grabbed our Ernie Banks bobbleheads. Steve and I made a beeline to the men's room. It's actually nice to see the troughs in the men's room. They remind me of old Comiskey Park. Although those were old, rusted and painted. These were stainless steel.

We head on over to one of the food stands. Steve wants a brat with sauerkraut, but is unwilling to pay $6.75 for one. We walk around trying to find a cheaper brat. He settles for two plain brats and a souvenir cup Diet Pepsi. I go for two jumbo hot dogs and a souvenir cup Pepsi. We smother all of our food with mustard and head off to find our seats.

We find our seats without a problem. Aisle 224, row 12, seats 111 and 112. There's a post blocking part of our view of right field, but it's ok. Steve goes back down for another Pepsi and two hot dogs. I stay and watch the Padres take batting practice. Every time that I spot Kevin Kouzmanoff, I think of Sooz.

We flag down a cotton candy vendor. I crack wise about eating attic insulation. The game starts. The Cubs run out to "The Boys Are Back In Town" by Thin Lizzy. Not bad. I like "Thunderstruck" by AC/DC much better as an opening song.

The Padres take the early lead, then it's all Cubs. A surprising home run by board game aficionado, Milton Bradley gets the crowd going. Later in the game, Bobby Scales pinch hits. Steve leans over to me and mentions what a great time this would be for his first home run. Not five seconds later, that's what happened. He must be channeling Steve Stone.

The entire game, we were trying to find a Pepsi vendor for Steve. He's a big guy and it's not easy for him to go through the rows to get down where the stands are, when it's a full house in our section. We saw one Pepsi vendor go by, but he never came anywhere near us. We were yelling, screaming and waving, but to no avail. There were, however, no less than four beer vendors in our section at any given time. At $6.50 a beer... thanks, but no thanks. I hate beer and Steve wanted a soda, so that wasn't going to cut it.

I'm amazed at how moody the crowd was. Derrek Lee was actually booed at the plate. The Wrigley crowd can turn on you as quickly as the wind can change speeds. I've never seen anything like that at U.S. Cellular. The thing is, the crowd wasn't into most of the game. They were in it when the home runs were hit and for the final out. That's about it. Of course, everyone was vocal during the "Go, Cubs, Go" song. Ugh.

The people around us were friendly enough. The lady behind us had a nice long conversation about the cat picture that she spied on Steve's cell phone. One of the guys in front of us fist bumped everyone as he made his way down the row towards the aisle.

We went to customer relations to complain about the Pepsi vendors. We were given a form to fill out and mail in. Basically, I felt like she was giving Steve the brush off. We headed over to Starbucks so Steve could use the bathroom. Then we headed to the Red Line.

Way too crowded! We started walking down Clark to scope out something to munch on. While passing one of the bars with open windows, someone tapped me on the shoulder. If I wasn't following Steve, I would have turned around and looked. If it was someone I knew, or a reader, I'm sorry. If it was a stranger, what are you doing reaching out windows at strangers?

We settled on Ian's Pizza By The Slice. Great pizza! I had a slice of Chicago Hot Dog Pizza and a slice of Lasagna Marinara. They were so good! We hopped on a Clark Street bus and headed to Clark/Lake. We walked over to the State/Clark station and got on the Orange Line towards Midway. We got off at Pulaski and took the Archer bus back to Cicero. We walked over to Steve's car and before I knew it, I was getting dropped off in my driveway.

Did I have fun? Yeah! Would I go to another Cubs game? Sure, if the tickets were free again. Despite the travel and the adventures on public transportation, it was a fun day. Would I rather have been at U.S. Cellular Field? Not that night. The White Sox were in Cleveland. And sorry, Sooz, Kouzmanoff went 0 for 4. It was a bad night to be a Padre.

Monday, May 11, 2009

The Upcoming Week

This week, there will be some slowed down activity. Today, I helped someone move into my friend's house. Didn't have time for blogging. Tomorrow, I'll be off to a baseball game. Won't have much time for blogging.

There are a few trades that are up in the air. I will e-mail my findings to those expecting a response on Wednesday or Thursday. Don't worry, I did not forget about any of you.

I'll be off to the Cubs game on Tuesday night. Like any trip to the North Side, it has to be an all day affair. There is no parking, except for shady individuals charging $20 or more, so my Cubs fan friend, also named Steve, and I will be riding the CTA northward. He works for CTA, so he'll ride for free. At least the tickets were free. All I have to do is pay for a day pass to ride the buses and the L. My guess is some combination of the orange line and the red line will be the way. I am going with the CTA route master, so I'm sure we'll get there.

We'll make a day of it. We'll ride up in the afternoon and grab a bite to eat somewhere in Wrigleyville or near it. We'll get to the park early to get our limited edition Ernie Banks bobblehead. Look for mine on eBay soon. I'd keep it or give it away to one of the many Cubs fan blogging friends out there, but I have bills to pay. I hope they understand.

I don't mind if the Cubs win. I'm not that kind of White Sox fan. I'll be rooting against them for one reason. I don't want to hear that stupid "Go, Cubs, Go" song. It was everywhere I turned the last few years. It was on every street corner and in every sporting place. If I hear that song, I will strongly consider running from Wrigley screaming. Other than that, I'm just there to watch a baseball game with no vested interest.

I've never seen the Padres play, in person, so I will now be able to say that I have. The last time I was at Wrigley was in 1998. The Rockies clobbered the Cubs, but Sosa hit a home run in a particular inning and I won Dunkin' Donuts coffee.

I received a couple of packages in the last few days. I'll be posting the contents of those later in the week. Things should return to normal by Wednesday.

Sunday, May 10, 2009

1906 Fan Craze

How important is this "card" release? Pretty darn important! This is one of the few card releases around the dawn of the twentieth century. This was produced between 1904 and 1906. Although most indications point to early 1906. This release, which was part of a game, is one of the few between the late nineteenth century tobacco cards and the ever popular T206 tobacco set.

It features players from the beginning of the American League that either wouldn't be around for the T206 cards or would be on different clubs by then. This is a cornerstone set from a time that rarely produces cards or even images of some players.

Since this is such an important card set, I will present images of each White Sox card produced. There were five cards of the White Sox, but technically six cards featured White Sox players. Confused? Let's dive in!

1 - Nick Altrock
1903-1909 White Sox - Pitcher

24 - Ducky Holmes
1903-1905 White Sox - Outfielder

26 - Frank Isbell
1901-1909 White Sox - Infield/Outfield/Catcher/Pitcher

29 - Fielder Jones
1901-1908 White Sox - Outfield

49 - Doc White
1903-1913 White Sox - Pitcher

This set is riddled with errors, mostly of the spelling variety. One error has been a mystery for over one hundred years. That is the mystery of Billy Owen of Boston. There was no Billy Owen playing in the early twentieth century. The closest that organized baseball has ever produced was Billy Owens. The only problem with that is he played from 1992-1998 and never made it past AAA. That would be almost a century too late and he too was never affiliated with any Boston organization.

So who is Billy Owen? That's a great question! One that has been eating away at collectors for awhile. In fact, the website Baseball Games took over a year to research the mystery and has come up with a definitive answer.

38 - Billy Owen
(Frank Owen) 1903-1909 White Sox - Pitcher

Billy Owen is none other than Frank Owen of the Chicago White Sox! It is theorized that the original notes were partially destroyed, so that when the cards were printed, the printers had to fill in some of the first names.

The cards themselves look absolutely gorgeous. There are great details in the photographs. If there weren't so many little errors in the set, this would be one of the premier releases of the early twentieth century.

There is a great reprint set that beautifully reproduces the backing color and the details portraits that make this such a wonderful set to look at. Will the card companies be pillaging this design for their ill gotten gains? Probably. That's fine by me, if they put the work into the details of the photos and the design. They can skip the errors.

Saturday, May 9, 2009

WSC Birth Years: Ozzie Guillen

Card #8 - Ozzie Guillen

Born: January 20, 1964

Ozzie is the perfect fit for the White Sox. After years of complacency, Ozzie came in, shook things up and won a World Series within his first two seasons as a manager. Not too bad of a resume. Returning to the playoffs in 2008, Guillen has solidified his job in Chicago.

Despite the lightning rod of opinions about Ozzie, he does everything in his power to protect his players. He will take the heat off of players and put it on himself, if it will help the ball club. Ozzie will reward the players who show the effort on the field and the respect of the game. If player is not able to give their all during the game, they will shape up or ship out.

Ozzie may have mellowed a bit since he first started to manage, but the same fire is still there. The same desire to win is on display with every game. The real Ozzie is a wise cracking, fun loving guy, who keeps his players loose. Stronger still is the desire to see his players succeed.

Friday, May 8, 2009

Card Spotlight: 5-8-09

1941 Goudey #10 - Taft Wright

Most of the talk lately has been about the ugliness of the 2009 Goudey cards. Those cards aren't ugly, per say, they are just faithful to the originals. There is absolutely nothing wrong with that. If the cards weren't faithful to the originals, the community would be complaining about that too.

It's about to get uglier. Case in point, 1941 Goudey. These are some of the ugliest cards ever produced. Yet, they are beautiful in their own way. The puke green color actually makes the card stand out. The black and white photo is more pleasing than the cartoonish players of the predecessors. It is clearly a superior card, which gets no credit because of its eye-gouging color scheme.

Call me crazy, but the orientation of the layout reminds me of the Red Man cards that would come out a decade later. Could 1941 Goudey be the inspiration for those gorgeous cards? The separation of the player name, team and position reminds me of that later set. Even the font looks suspiciously similar.

Taffy would interupt his baseball career shortly after this card was issued with a three year stint in the Air Force. He was regarded as being not much of an asset because he was saving himself for his return to the big leagues. He kept in baseball form by playing on the Army Air Force baseball team during some of his military service.

Despite the looks of these Goudey cards, I would be honored to have them in my collection.

Thursday, May 7, 2009

In A World Full Of Cheaters

In a world of alcohol, cocaine,

performance enhancing drugs,

and steroids,


There is one man who never used PEDs.

Never succumbed to alcohol or cocaine when it was fashionable.

Never took steroids when they were all the rage.

There is one man who dared to do amazing accomplishments in silly uniforms.

That man is Harold Baines.

Elect a squeaky clean player to the Hall of Fame.

Vote Harold.

This message brought to you by the committee to elect Harold Baines to the baseball Hall of Fame.

Why I Blog

Is it so I can catch glimpses of Texas women trying out for the role of Bride of Frankenstein? No. That's just a side benefit.

The real reason is not too complicated, but it is a bit involved. I was reading my brand spanking new Entertainment Weekly, back in 2006. I ran across a little blurb about The Baseball Card Blog.

I thought to myself that the premise sounded like a cool idea. Like many cool ideas that I think of when I'm not by the computer, it fell by the wayside. I kept that issue around for awhile because of that little blurb. Sometime in early 2007, I ran across the blurb again, in the same magazine. Yes, I sometimes keep magazines around to re-read later.

This time, I wasn't far from the computer. I decided to check it out and spent a few hours looking at the previous posts. I'm not sure if it was the late hour or the absurdity of the humor, but I found myself laughing at almost every post that showed a hilariously unintentional card. Ben Henry's comments on each card were priceless. I went through each post in the archive craving more.

I started to remember things that I liked about collecting. I had been picking up cheap White Sox team sets on eBay. I was getting these team sets without really having a clue what short print cards were or if I was really getting a complete set. Still, I was happy getting new White Sox cards.

I started to wonder if anyone else had these blogs. I ran across the excellent Cardboard Junkie and the fantastic Stale Gum. I had found a kindred spirit in dayf, a team collector who shared the same type of twisted humor and pop culture appreciation. I marveled at the longevity of Chris' blog and the writing on it.

By October 2007, I had found a new site called Canseco Completist. It was a site dedicated to one specific thing, Jose Canseco and the quest to complete the Canseco card collection. Then, as if a light bulb turned on above my head, something clicked. I thought if there could be a site like this, then I could make one about my quest for White Sox cards.

I figured that I could scan in my cards one by one and, if nothing else, could provide a good online reference for my collection. I didn't expect anyone to read this thing and I was fine with that. This was for me.

I quickly became friends with Mario and I watched his site grow. In the beginning, we would use each other as a soundboard and a fact checker. Then, as our respective site grew, we each became confident enough to branch out on our own. Mario's site evolved into Wax Heaven and mine evolved into the blog you see now.

Along the journey, I've tried things that haven't worked out and I've tried things that have become staples of the blog. I've made many friends that I never would have known any other way. Every person that is in the blogroll or the links has helped shape this blog into what it is today. There are lessons learned and friendships forged through the experience of blogging and baseball cards.

Blogging is addictive. I never thought I'd have much to write about, but I have found something to write about nearly every day. Some of the regular features help shape that output. When I was cut off from the community for three weeks, while switching over ISPs, I was a complete basketcase. I couldn't catch up on what Patricia and Lucy were doing, how Jason's novel was going, what celebrity Johngy had encountered or what new interest Connor had developed.

I was missing Cliff's bonzai, Mike's awesomely bad wax, Greg's night cards, David's uniform quest, Kevin's Orioles cards, Gellman's astute rants, Travis' creations and the rest of the dozens of blogs that I haven't hinted at. I know there are still a few mailings from that period that I still have on the back burner. One involves a 1968 Topps card.

There are many reasons why I blog. One is the community aspect. I enjoy conversing with fellow bloggers and readers. I have been doing this long enough to be considered a mentor by some. I think that's awesome, by the way. Another reason would be to jog my memory. I have remembered so much information about the White Sox of my youth, that I have been overwhelmed occasionally.

The biggest reason, I think, is because I enjoy it. I truly enjoy blogging about my favorite team. I enjoy discovering cards that I had no clue about. I even enjoy the rare piece of hate mail. Everybody is entitled to their opinions and I welcome the different viewpoints. Sure, the readers of this blog tend to shape the way it goes, but ultimately, it's me.

I find myself branching out about pop culture and creating custom cards. These are things that I could not envision myself doing at the start of this blog. Through all the hard work that I put into this blog, I have enjoyed all of it. That's why I blog.

Well, that and to show off the unexpected finds. Here's another look at the Texas lady. What exactly happened in her life to make he look like that? It must be ultra traumatic. What other reason could there be. If you want to amuse yourself, me and others, leave a guess in the comments.

Goose Joak Originals: Carlos Quentin

See the entire in progress set here.

Wednesday, May 6, 2009

I'll Be Away From My Desk

On Thursday afternoon, I'll be off to Tracey's until Sunday afternoon. Her niece will be making her first communion on Saturday. This will be a long weekend away from my house, where most of my stuff is located.

Do you think this site will go dark? No! I have some posts planned that should satisfy readers of this blog for awhile. Included in those posts will be a Mother's Day mystery 100 years in the making. Unlike those mysteries on E!, this one will finally be solved!

I do have a favor/task to ask you loyal readers. If anyone has a decent color picture of Bobby Thigpen from 1986, when he was wearing the fan contest hat, I would love a scan. The only early career pictures of Thiggy that I can find has him wearing the cursive "C" hat. I'm looking for a photo that wasn't used on one of his 1987 cards.

I'm also looking for a decent color photo of Doug Rader, the third base coach from 1986, in the mid eighties fan contest uniform. If anyone can help me out, I would greatly appreciate it. I haven't been able to find either picture in my internet scrounging.

I won't be as readily available this weekend, but I will be checking e-mail periodically. I'll be checking out the other blogs too, when I have the time.

WSC Birth Years: Jim Thome

Card #7 - Jim Thome

Born: August 27, 1970

Jim's career is winding down, but he isn't going to walk away quietly. Although he is the oldest member of the White Sox 25 man roster currently, Thome remains one of the most dangerous. His knowledge and experience make him the perfect candidate to have at the plate in a key situation.

Even when the opposing team applies the "Shift", Thome can find a way to overcome that obstacle. When Jim is healthy, he is the deadliest weapon the White Sox have at the plate. According to Thome, he still has a few good productive years left in him. That should be enough to put the fright into some opposing pitchers and to take a shot at the 600 home run club. As of this writing, he is only 55 home runs away from that exclusive mark.


With the White Sox losing a heartbreaking extra inning affair, I feel like a distraction. Let's go to the movies!

Anyone who knows me well enough, knows that I am a huge movie buff. I have a custom shelf in my living room that takes up almost the entire wall. It is filled with movies. I like all genres. I will watch anything twice.

I have a confession to make. I have absolutely zero interest in seeing the Wolverine movie. None whatsoever. I like Hugh Jackman. I think he makes a wonderful Wolverine. I like Wolverine. I have ever since I was a kid.

Truthfully, I like the idea of X-Men better than the reality of X-Men. I always thought that they were the coolest looking mutants, but I could never get hooked into the stories for whatever reason. That didn't stop me from collecting the comics as a kid.

Wolverine was my favorite X-Men. Still is, as a matter of fact. I just don't read, watch or collect him. I have my memories from my youth. That's enough to satisfy me. The only comic that I enjoyed was the one-off comic of Wolverine Vs. Spider-Man. It was enough to keep my faith in the coolness of the Wolverine character, but not enough to make me return down that path.

I may watch this movie when it hits cable, but I have no intention in paying extra money to see the movie. I loathe movies that have style, but no substance. This seems to be one of those movies. I'm not alone in thinking that. Famed film critic Roger Ebert is not a huge fan of the movie either. It mostly has to do with the historical inaccuracies. That would drive me batty too.

Some of my favorite excerpts from Ebert's review.

He is about 175 years old, he apparently stopped changing when he reached Hugh Jackman's age, and neither he, nor we, find out how he developed such an interesting mutation.

Wouldn't that be the whole point of an origin movie?

Their story starts in "1840 -- the Northwest Territories of Canada," a neat trick, since Canada was formed in 1867, and its Northwest Territories in 1870. But you didn't come here for a history lesson. Or maybe you did, if you need to know that Logan and Victor became Americans (still before they could be Canadians) and fought side by side in the Civil War, World War I, World War II and Vietnam. Why they did this, I have no idea. Maybe they just enjoyed themselves.

A blatant historical inaccuracy, like the Northwest Territories in Canada in 1840 snafu would ruin everything that came after it for me. I have Canadian relatives. I don't like them being dissed like that.

At least, you hope, he has an interesting vulnerability? I'm sure X-Men scholars can tell you what it is, although since he has the gift of instant healing, it's hard to pinpoint. When a man can leap from an exploding truck, cling to an attacking helicopter, slice the rotor blades, ride it to the ground, leap free and walk away (in that ancient cliche where there's a fiery explosion behind him but he doesn't seem to notice it), here's what I think: Why should I care about this guy? He feels no pain and nothing can kill him, so therefore he's essentially a story device for action sequences.

This is the problem I have with most "action" movies. The script starts with amazing action scenes and the dialogue is written specifically to get to the next action sequence. I have nothing against action sequences or popcorn movies, but this movie appears to try to please everyone, while pleasing almost no one.

But wait! -- you say. Doesn't "X-Men Origins" at least provide a learning experience for Logan about the origins of Wolverine? Hollow laugh. Because we know that the modern Wolverine has a form of amnesia, it cannot be a spoiler for me to reveal that at the end of "X-Men Origins: Wolverine," he forgets everything that has happened in the film.

So... essentially what Ebert is telling me here is that there is absolutely no reason for this film to exist. A gigantic middle finger has been lifted high and proud to the audience. The next Wolverine movie will not need any connection to this one because the main character doesn't need to know anything that happened in this movie. In the immortal words of the Church Lady, "How convenient".

Instead of wasting my time and money at this movie, I will pop in the cult eighties classic, Red Dawn, and watch some Wolverines that can provide a little depth and emotional attachment, no matter how Brat Packy it gets.

Tuesday, May 5, 2009

Mailbox Joys: Soxes Draped In Red

There are deals on eBay, if you are willing to do some research. I was looking for some cheap parallels to 2008 Baseball Heroes. Specifically, I was looking for a good deal on anything Fisk or anything White Sox.

Since I only picked up Baseball Heroes in retail stores, I missed out on some hobby parallel exclusives, from what I understand. In reality, I've pretty much have only seen the base set and the charcoal parallel in the packs that I've run across.

I'm very careful with my limited funds these days, but I needed a pick me up, so I scoured eBay for recession relief. I was able to find a 5 card lot of red parallels for 99 cents. Nobody else bid on it, so I was lucky. The cards arrived yesterday and I couldn't be happier with my purchase.

Not only did the lot come with a Carlton Fisk, but it also came with a Jermaine Dye and three other cards that will eventually go to unsuspecting blogging friends. You see the other reason that I was happy to pick these up was for the cards that I didn't collect. Two of the other three cards are earmarked for certain blogging friends. One day, these cards will just show up on their doorsteps.

In one fell swoop, I was able to pick myself up and possibly brighten the day of a friend or two down the line. That, my friends, is eBay buying at its best!
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