Monday, September 15, 2014

RIP Richard Kiel


The world lost the perfect villain with the passing of Richard Kiel on September 10th, currently listed as unknown causes but assumed to be connected to his recent broken leg, at the age of 74 years old.
 
Kiel is most likely remembered by many for his towering height (7’2) and two specific roles, as Jaws in two James Bond movies and Mr. Larson in Happy Gilmore (nail in the head), though he was so much more. As an actor he has been working since the early 1960s including some very memorable roles in Twilight Zone, Gilligan’s Island, The Wild West, The Longest Yard, Silver Streak (His first metal mouth villain role), Force 10 From Navarone and Cannonball Run II.
 
Growing up I don’t know how many times I watched him as Kanamit in the Twilight Zone episode “To Serve Man”, an episode later spoofed by The Simpsons Treehouse of Horror, or saying probably his most famous line “I think I broke his fuckin neck” in The Longest Yard.
 
Richard Kiel has appeared in quite a few sets over the years including Donruss, Rittenhouse, Razor/Leaf releases and most recently the 2013 Topps 75th Anniversary release. Prior to his passing his Topps 75th Anniversary autograph topped out around $8-10 while the other autographs ran in the $25-50 range. Sadly the toads have shown up and his Topps cards have tripled in price (@$25-30) and the others doubling ($50 and up).
 
For the past year I have been tracking a number of his autographs in hopes of finding one at a reasonable price. Specifically his Twilight Zone and James Bond cards but I would have been satisfied with the ugly Topps 75th but I felt that the price was too high for the ugly scribble signature he used (obviously he was disconnected when signing the stickers for Topps).
Eventually the prices will drop again, similar to when Russell Johnson passed away in January, so I will just wait until then before picking up his cards.

Friday, September 12, 2014

Congratulations Phoenix Mercury On Another WNBA Championship


 
Tonight, probably off of most people’s radar, was Game 3 of the 2014 WNBA Finals between the Phoenix Mercury and Chicago Sky.
 
Games 1 & 2 in Phoenix were Mercury blowouts winning 83-62 and 97-68 (respectively). Both games were completely under control by Phoenix from the opening seconds with the team hitting 58% in Game 1 and 56% in Game 2 not to mention that between both games Chicago led for a total of 18 seconds.  Unfortunately Mercury center Brittney Griner was beaten up in a very physical Game 2 taking a shot to the eye that required surgery and a broken tooth which left her sitting on the bench for Game 3 in Chicago.
 
Tonight’s game was much closer with the teams going back and forth through the entire game. With 30 seconds left in the game the score was tied at 82-82 so it literally went down to the buzzer to determine the winner. In the end it came down to Diana Tuarasi who nailed a jumper (and follow up free throw) with 14 seconds and grabbed the rebound with 9 seconds left. The game closed out with the final score of 87-82 and Phoenix winning the series 3-0 games. Tuarasi won the WNBA Finals MVP trophy to go with the Championship Trophy.
 
This is Phoenix’s third title in 7 years, the other two in 2007 and 2009. Considering that Phoenix went a record setting 29-5 this season and is made up of a solid core of seasoned players (Taurasi and Dupree) and young players (Griner and Bonner) it is quite possible that they may add a couple more trophies to their case over the next 6-8 years.

It is nice to see that a Phoenix basketball team can shut down a Chicago basketball team (sly dig on the 1992-93 Phoenix Suns).

Wednesday, September 10, 2014

Good Guy Bengals


Today’s post is in regards to a positive decision by the Cincinnati Bengals in regards to their player Devon Still.

Still was a 2012 second round pick by the Bengals. He has played 18 games for the team and has 7 tackles, 14 assisted tackles and ½ a sack. But during the 2014 preseason it appeared as if Still had lost his drive and the DT was cut in the final round before the season started. It was later that the team found out that Still’s 4-year old daughter Leah is battling cancer, obviously his concern for his daughter’s health was the reason for his lack of focus during practice.
 
Instead of washing their hands to the whole situation and moving on the Cincinnati Bengals signed Devon Still to their practice squad so he would continue to receive a pay check and be covered by the league’s health care system. Additionally they decided to sell Still’s jersey through their website with 100% of the proceeds from the sale of his jerseys going to the Cincinnati Children’s Hospital.
 
In a world where most owners/team management are worried about making money while mitigating losses the Cincinnati Bengals went above and beyond for one of their own and put a player’s needs and concerns above the all mighty dollar.
 
According to his agent, and confirmed by the Bengals this morning, Still is being signed to the Bengal’s active roster and will make his first appearance of the season on Sunday against the Atlanta Falcons.

Tuesday, September 9, 2014

A Bear Down Addition


 
Upper Deck has an ongoing College Manufactured Patch cards series. The last two years they included school mascots and this year the patches represent school tributes. I picked up the University of Arizona’s “Bear Down” tribute patch last week. I had been watching the prices of the card since the 2014 Upper Deck Football release and fortunately the prices have been dropping but seemed to hit a plateau around $5 and I almost bought one but decided to wait instead. I am glad I waited, this card cost me $2.99 shipped so I got a nice deal on a great addition to my University of Arizona collection.
 
The “Bear Down” tradition comes from the death of a University of Arizona student-athlete, John Byrd Salmon. Salmon was the student body President and a multi-sport athlete as the football team’s QB and the baseball team’s catcher. Following the opening game of the 1926 football season Salmon and two other students headed to Phoenix for a visit, on the way back during the evening of October 3, 1926 Salmon crashed and rolled the car. The other two passengers survived with minor injuries while Salmon severed his spine and died two weeks later. During Salmon’s time in the hospital Arizona’s football coach Pop McKale visited him daily and on the morning Salmon died on October 18th he told coach McKale “Tell them…tell the team to bear down”.
 
The term became the team’s rallying cry during the season and was adopted as the school’s slogan in 1927. In 1939 the Arizona State legislature issued a decree that “Bear Down” was the exclusive property of the University of Arizona and in 1986 the school commissioned a statue of John Salmon. Here is an image of the real statue, which does not actually contain a plaque as shown on the patch.
In 2001 the state erected a monument near the site of Salmon’s crash outside of Florence, which does contain a plaque (though in the shape of Arizona). So I am wondering if Upper Deck decided to join the two to create a unique design.



Monday, September 8, 2014

Which Route Do You Take?


Does the buyer take on a certain "caveat" when they purchase a card and the seller offers free shipping using a PWE?

The reason I am asking is because I won an auction for a 2013 Topps Chrome Nick Franklin rookie card. It was only .79 cents and I figured it would be a nice addition to my Seattle Mariners collection. I knew the card was being shipped using just a plain white envelope but the auction showed the card in a rigid top loader so I figured it would be safe in transit.

I received the card today and instead of a rigid top loader that the card was pictured with in the auction the card was shipped using a flimsy UltraPro top loader and the card was damaged with a nice crease running about 1/3 of the way across the back. I never use these flimsy top loaders because they are to weak to use in shipping, to large to fit properly in a binder or box and they are notorious for pinching the cards. He didn't even use a penny sleeve, which is also visible in the auction photo.

Do I ding the seller for shipping the card in the UltraPro top loader, thus allowing the card to get damaged in transit, or do I let it go because I took a chance knowing that it was being shipped in an envelope (though I thought it was coming in a rigid top loader) and it was under a buck and an easy card to replace?

Posted with rigid top loader

Received with a flimsy top loader

Damaged section

Saturday, September 6, 2014

Some Steve Largent For The Weekend

It is late so I decided to just post some Steve Largent cards.

Here are some recent pickups. I picked up a small collection of 1980s Topps Steve Largent cards (1981, 83, 84, 86 & 87) the other day. These are all "Ghost" cards that were once in my collection but disappeared. The 1984 Topps is one of my favorite football designs of the decade. Additionally I picked up a pair of 2013 Topps Gridiron Legends (Largent and Moon).



I also grabbed a couple of scanned images that have been sitting in my Scan folder for awhile. The 1999 Sports Illustrated Autograph and 1999 Upper Deck Retro Inkredible have been in my collection for about 10 years I just never got around to posting them before.

Thursday, September 4, 2014

Football And A Topps Vault Card


Seattle begins the defense of their championship tonight in the opening game of the 2014 NFL season when they take on Green Bay in Seattle tonight. So lets get the season started off right with a Seahawks card.
 
Topps has a revolving collection of cards through their Topps Vault eBay store and I came across this cool 2014 Inception Percy Harvin. I really like the Inception releases and I was happy to add a unique Seahawk card to my collection. The card is blank back with a 1/1 hologram sticker that includes a serial number that corresponds to a Topps COA certificate that comes with the card. There is also a stamp on the card indicating it is from the Topps Vault.

Wednesday, September 3, 2014

Its Wrastlin Time


When Leaf released Originals Wrestling in 2012 I was not a big fan, I didn’t like the artistic interpretation that was used with a number of the wrestlers. The Hulkster looked more like the Hipster and Kevin Nash looks like he spent more time at the hair salon than in the ring.
 
That does not mean that I dislike the entire release, there are actually a couple of wrestlers I am looking to add to my collection and I got the first one in to my hands. This Hillbilly Jim cost me a song and a dance. OK, maybe I tossed in 99 cents plus $2.32 for shipping, but when you consider what kind of song and dance you are going to get for $3.31 shipped to your door I think I definitely made out better.
 
Hillbilly Jim was one of my favorites during the 1980s, he stood out because of his size alone. This was at a time when most wrestlers were around 6’ (or less) so the 6’7” Hillbilly Jim wrestled a small collection of large wrestlers like Big John Studd, Andre the Giant and King Kong Bundy. These were the guys who would step over the ropes and as a kid that was just an amazing act to watch.

Tuesday, September 2, 2014

Lets Talk Baseball!!!


Baseball playoffs, Mariners and cards…

 So what better way to show my team support (only 1 1/2 out of the second Wild Card spot) than picking up some cards of the team's young prospect? Along with the Walker orange mini I got in a trade I have added a couple of Mike Zunino’s rookie cards: a 2013 Topps Chrome Purple refractor and a 2013 Topps Update.
 
 
And just for fun I picked up this 2014 Topps Charlie Brown All-Star card. The back bio paints a pretty grim tale about Chuck’s career. Did you know he has never struck anyone out even though he has been playing baseball for 53 years?