Friday, August 26, 2011

Card Spotlight: 8-26-11

2010 Upper Deck #130 - Paul Konerko

Let's highlight the most consistent White Sox hitter of the 2011 season. Whether he's bashing homers or playing through pain, Konerko has brought his "A" game from day one of the season.

Recently, Paulie got his 2,000th hit, making him the latest to accomplish that feat in a White Sox uniform. If Konerko wasn't on the White Sox this season, there would be no hope, however slim it may be, of still contending. Those hopes dash away with each game given away, but they still remain, largely due to the consistency of Paul Konerko.

Tuesday, August 23, 2011

Mr. 2,000

Congratulations to Paul Konerko on his 2,000th hit!

Random Card #44

2011 Topps Opening Day #125 - Adam Dunn

Do not go gentle into that good night,
Old age should burn and rage at close of day;
Rage, rage against the dying of the light.

Though wise men at their end know dark is right,
Because their words had forked no lightning they
Do not go gentle into that good night.

Good men, the last wave by, crying how bright
Their frail deeds might have danced in a green bay,
Rage, rage against the dying of the light.

Wild men who caught and sang the sun in flight,
And learn, too late, they grieved it on its way,
Do not go gentle into that good night.

Grave men, near death, who see with blinding sight
Blind eyes could blaze like meteors and be gay,
Rage, rage against the dying of the light.

And you, my father, there on the sad height,
Curse, bless me now with your fierce tears, I pray.
Do not go gentle into that good night.
Rage, rage against the dying of the light.

Friday, August 19, 2011

Card Spotlight: 8-19-11

1980 Topps #291 - Randy Scarbery

Just a quick card to keep the Card Spotlight rolling. Enjoy!

Thursday, August 18, 2011

Just A Quick Note

The Season Pass cards will be delayed a bit, while I focus on the start of a new job. Don't worry, they'll all be there, but I have to put them on the back burner temporarily. The plan is to be all caught up with them by the middle of next week.

Monday, August 15, 2011

Congrats, Jim Thome!!!

Congratulations on your 600th career home run!!! You're a classy guy and I loved the time that you were in Chicago.

Random Card #43

1973 Topps #261 - Pat Kelly

The powder blues of the early seventies and the dominating red colors of the White Sox uniform are just the capper on this card. The awkward, but surprisingly sweet smile is the real draw here. The draw for some will be the overhang of Yankee Stadium in the background, perfectly framing the left side of the photo. There are so many little cool details, I'll leave it to you to discover them all.

Friday, August 12, 2011

Card Spotlight: 8-12-11

1994 Conlon #1003 - Sad Sam Jones

It's been a busy day and didn't have time to post earlier, so I thought I'd treat everyone to one of my favorite sets. This card came towards the end of the run, but the quality and care is still evident.

One of the great players with great nicknames, Sad Sam Jones, graces this card, as well as a few others in the set. There's one difference... this one shows Sad Sam in a White Sox uniform!

Enjoy the vintage photo on a sharp looking card and I'll get back to game, so I can post the latest WSC Season Pass card later. Sad Sam Jones. Just stare at him.

Thursday, August 11, 2011

2011 WSC Season Pass - Card #120

Why I Didn't Go To The National

Many people have wondered why I didn't go to the National this year. It's a valid question, since it was practically on my doorstep. The main reason was money. Looking for steady work, that actually is attached to a paycheck, is difficult in the current economy. I've always prided myself in being a dependable worker, who usually does more than his fair share of the work. I know my strengths and weaknesses and don't try to kid myself about them.

Even with a sterling work history, with years long stretches at jobs and overlapping time at these jobs, it's been a struggle to stay afloat financially. Many people are in the same boat I am and unless you know someone, chances are you will be overlooked on the job front. I still keep plugging away every day and I know my luck will turn around. The law of averages is with me. Until then, I am forced to be frugal. My collecting has been mostly through trades this year. It satisfies my need for a hobby and it brings people closer together.

I just picked up my first two packs of cards in three months. I thought I needed a little pick me up, so I treated myself to a rack pack of Allen & Ginter and a rack pack of Topps Lineage. There was really nothing too special in either, but I did manage to find an Alexei Ramirez A&G card, so I'm happy. There's nothing like opening a pack of cards. Even though it was a couple of pretty dull packs, it felt magical opening them after such a long absence.

The overall reason was financial, but that's never stopped me from finding a way. The other reason I did not attend was medical. Somehow, I developed a nasty ear infection that knocked me off my feet for a few weeks. There was a reason for less posts during the last few weeks and that was it.

The ear infection has cleared up and things are starting to return to some normalcy, medically speaking. I expect the financial situation to improve sooner rather than later. Things (with the exception of one very recent private matter that some of you know about) have been looking up and I see no reason why that trend shouldn't continue.

The short answer is that I didn't have the spare cash and I was sick. The longer answer is a little more complicated, but it all boils down to essentially the same aspects. The fact of the matter is that I have been to card shows but I have never been to the National. I intend that to change soon. If not next year, shortly thereafter. And maybe I'll have some cool freebies to give out when that happens. Only time will tell.

2011 WSC Season Pass - Card #119

Wednesday, August 10, 2011

WSC Birth Years: Jason Frasor

Card #99 - Jason Frasor

Born: August 9, 1977

Jason was drafted into the Tigers organization in the thirty-third of the 1999 draft. After being traded to the Dodgers in 2002, he was converted from a starter into a reliever. He was then traded to the Toronto Blue Jays in 2004 for Jayson Werth.

It was with the Blue Jays where he finally made it to the majors. Eventually, in 2011, he surpassed Duane Ward in number of appearances for Toronto. A week and a half later, Jay was traded to the White Sox, along with Zach Stewart, for Edwin Jackson and Mark Teahen, in what became a salary dump for Chicago.

In Frasor, the Sox got a tough competitor, who will battle the hitters with every pitch. Ozzie Guillen used to hate for his team to face Jay because he gave the Sox hitters fits. Now, he's giving the Pale Hose opponents fits.

Jason is a south side native, who grew up rooting for the Cubs. He shed those allegiances and has given his all for the South Side. Frasor gives the Sox another option besides Jesse Crain in the late innings and has worked out better than expected since coming over.

2011 WSC Season Pass - Card #118

Sunday, August 7, 2011

2011 WSC Season Pass - Card #116

WSC Vintage: Walt Kuhn

Card #41 - Walt Kuhn

Walt signed with the White Sox in February 1912. He would play parts of three seasons with the Pale Hose, ending in 1914. Kuhn made his MLB debut on April 18, 1912 in a game against the St. Louis Browns. Regular catcher Billy Sullivan had great faith in Walt's abilities and supported him in his rookie campaign.

By 1913, Kuhn was given the starting catcher position, showing great promise, but by August, he had lost the starting job to future Hall of Fame catcher, Ray Schalk. After that, a series of injuries limited Walt's playing time. His MLB career caught stealing percentage is 45.54% and compares with Ivan Rodriguez.

In 1915, he was sold to the minor league Oakland Oaks and resumed his minor league career. While, finding some success in the minors, Kuhn was drafted into the army in 1918. While Sgt. Kuhn was in combat training in San Antonio, Texas, his roommate snapped him with a towel, as a joke, causing a permanent blindness in his right eye. Walt was honorably discharged after the incident.

After his MLB career was over, Kuhn joined the Dallas Police Department and took over as player/manager of the Modesto Reds. Walt died in 1935, from a self-inflicted gunshot wound, presumably brought on by his failing health.

2011 WSC Season Pass - Card #115

Friday, August 5, 2011

Card Sotlight: 8-5-11

1991 Topps Box Bottoms #F - Carlton Fisk

When I discovered that there were baseball cards on the bottom of the boxes in the grocery store, I quickly made friends with any and all employees. I asked if I could take the display box home. Most were fine with it, as long as the box was empty. Sometimes they put the caveat of purchasing a pack of cards with my free empty boxes, which was completely fine.

I discovered this in 1990. Ever since that point, I've made it a point to look at the bottoms of my boxes of cards. You don't see much of that today. I guess it has something to do with the demands of collectors that their cards be in pristine condition and pre-cut. You know, silly things like that. Don't get me wrong, these things are important, but I think collectors today get too caught up in condition for a card that is printed enough times to be a cheaper alternative to kitty litter.

I understand the need for it. I can get persnickety on condition and have rejected cards for the collection because I thought they were too poor of condition for my lofty standards. I get it. I really do. I fall into the same trap as everybody else. When I need a reality kick, I just dig out the cards that I cut out and collected as a kid.

This 1991 Topps card of Carlton Fisk is one of those cards. I thought I did such a careful job cutting out each card. I know I took special care in cutting out a Fisk card. I can see jagged edges everywhere on the card. In fact, I think I still own the pair of scissors that I cut the card out with, even though it was twenty years ago. I can take a look at those uneven edges and instantly be brought back to the stalking the aisles of local grocery and drug stores, making my rounds to see what boxes were empty and were ready for me to be picked up.

Occasionally, I was usurped by another enterprising collector, who beat me to the punch and snagged the box before I rode my bike to that particular store. I get the same feeling when I get sniped at the last second on eBay. It's annoying, but not the end of the world. There will always be another cards on the horizon. Another card to chase down. A never ending cycle, if you will.

People can get consumed by the sheer immenseness of the hobby. When it gets too complicated, the fun vanishes and one starts to wonder why they got into collecting in the first place. If the answer is money, you will be facing bitter disappointment. If everyone made money off their cards, then the card shop wouldn't be dying a slow death. I think back to all the card shops that were within biking distance of me twenty years ago. There must have been over a dozen. Now, there's only one.

A lot has changed in twenty years. I try to hold on to the same ideals that I did back then. I think I do pretty well with that. When it comes to collecting, I try to keep it fun. People lose that more often than you think. Bring it back to the basics that hooked you in the first place. From there, it's a lot of joy.

2011 WSC Season Pass - Card #113

Tuesday, August 2, 2011

My White Sox Obsession

A short while ago, I contacted Jeff from My Sports Obsession about a possible trade. We both collect White Sox cards and I had a bunch that were not on his list. If only he could hit a few cards off of my list, things would be great.

I have an abundant amount of White Sox cards, so I don't expect a lot of hits off of my list. It is pretty extensive, but save for a few pesky commons here and there, a good chunk of the list is unlikely to be in the average collection. I've been finding that logic to be faulty lately, as more traders have come up with stuff that blows my mind. I really couldn't ask for a better community to be a part of. People always tend to amaze me, in a good way.

My encounter with Jeff's list prompted me to finally join Zistle. I'm slowly putting my collection on there. It's not perfect, but it will do to help me get a more accurate assessment of my collection.

But enough about the wonders of Zistle, on to the wonders of the cards Jeff sent over.

1975 Topps
422 - Brian Downing
624 - Jim Otten (Rookie Pitchers)

2004 Studio
52 - Frank Thomas

2006 Topps Opening Day
90 - Mark Buehrle

2008 UD Documentary
1868 (June 13th)
3290 (August 3rd)
3291 (August 5th)

2009 UD Icons
16 - Carlos Quentin

2010 Bowman Draft
BDPP21 - Rangel Ravelo

2010 Bowman Platinum
81 - Gordon Beckham

2010 Topps 206
37 - Gordon Beckham
214 - John Danks

2010 Topps 206 Mini Polar Bear
217 - Alex Rios

2011 Bowman
196 - Brent Morel
211 - Gregory Infante

2011 Bowman Chrome Prospects
BCP74 - Jim Gallagher

2011 Bowman Prospects
BP74 - Jim Gallagher
BP95 - Addison Reed

2011 Gypsy Queen
116 - Jake Peavy

2011 Topps Heritage
214 - Chris Sale

Thanks, Jeff! I'm now closer than ever to completing the 1975 Topps set and you managed to finish off a few pesky sets for me. I'll be mailing your package off tomorrow. I hope you enjoy your cards as much as I've enjoyed the ones that you sent over.

2011 WSC Season Pass - Card #110

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