Friday, January 29, 2016

Where The Cards Bleed Red

I always love picking up unique cards of the players that I collect, even better when it is a Ken Griffey Jr. card like this 1990 Fleer #513. These cards are usually called “Color Wash” when certain colors bleed over the card in excess but in a case like this when it is so extreme they are called “Color Bombed” for obvious reasons.

Both the front and back were oversaturated with Magenta leaving the card overly red. The front is not as noticeable but when you look closely you see that the blues appear purple and the seats in the stands are streaky with red. The back on the other hand is quite noticeable.

There are certain sets where this was quite common, namely the 1990 Pro Set Football release. Some were so bad in that release that a few of the cards were just a complete single color wash and the image was unrecognizable.

Thursday, January 28, 2016

Upper Deck's e-Pack Is Live And Seems Pretty Cool

Today Upper Deck went the digital route, with a twist, similar to what Topps and Panini have done with their digital trader apps. The difference is that Upper Deck’s e-Pack is a combination of e-Topps and the apps. Currently e-Pack is only accessible online through Upper Deck’s e-Pack web site but it will eventually be available through Google Play as a downloadable app, no announcement if it will eventually be on Apple and Windows products.

I tried to figure the best way to describe the service but the best way I can do that is actually just posting part of Upper Deck’s announcement about e-Pack

As you may have already heard, Upper Deck made a major announcement today regarding the release of Upper Deck e-Pack, an innovative new system that allows collectors to instantly purchase and open hockey packs online at anytime, anywhere. Upper Deck has taken digital trading cards collecting to an entirely new level, with patent pending technology that gives collectors the ability to get actual physical versions of the digital cards they pulled from e-Pack mailed out to them at any time.”

Essentially you can purchase online packs using real cash, though you do get one free 3-card pack each day, and the cards can be combined to make a limited parallel or an insert and then you can request that a physical version of that card to be sent to you or to COMC. Upper Deck is rolling this out in a limited way with only 2015-16 Upper Deck Series 1 Hockey being available. In the spring Series 2 Hockey will be added and a third, unnamed, product will be released later this year.
As you can see I signed up, I figure since I will at least get a free pack a day I am game. I beta tested e-Topps and loved it and I am interested to see how Upper Deck runs with their version. I would think that if the hockey products do well that adding Marvel products would be a natural transition and then eventually their other multi-sport and entertainment licenses.

Wednesday, January 27, 2016

The Art Gallery: Frank And Son's Collectible Show Darth Maul

This month’s Art Gallery display comes from the Frank & Son Collectible Show out of City Of Industry, California and is in association with Stars Wars Day, May 4th. The artist is not listed nor is the date so at this point I am unsure and will have to do more research.

What drew my interest in is Darth Maul, I have transitioned over to the Dark Side of the Force and I am a fan of the bad guys now and Darth Maul is one of my favorites. The design of the card’s border, which is part of the sketch, is quite neat and is based on the markings of the Dathomirian species. This is easily one of my favorite Star Wars related sketch cards right now.

Tuesday, January 26, 2016

Hitting 600!

When I entered 2016 I was at 552 unique Griffey cards and I didn’t set any goals for my collection this year because I really am just trying to get back to enjoying collecting. I guess logically the next step would be getting to 630 (Griffey’s career home run total) unique Griffey cards and then after that maybe shooting for 750 by the end of the year.

This year I have started off my Griffey collection with a bang hitting up COMC, justcommons and eBay and I picked up some very cool cards but last night as I was entering my new cards in to Zistle I noticed that I hit #600 and what a card it is. This card was actually going to be my next addition on my White Whale wants list but sometimes the right card shows up for a price you are willing to pay and it all works out.

I am ecstatic to have this card in my collection, 1987 International Sportcard Bellingham Mariners Ken Griffey Jr #15. The seller included the rest of the 33-card team set too.

Monday, January 25, 2016

San Diego Goes North and Oakland Goes Way South?

In an interesting, yet strange, turn of events in the world of Los Angeles’ NFL team musical chairs according to a story by Vincent Bonsignore of the LA Daily News if the Chargers do move to Los Angeles as expected the Raiders may move to Sand Diego. WTF?

Friday, January 22, 2016

A Major League Pickup

The last couple of weeks I have been on a bit of a splurge to the detriment of my credit card, but I have not had a credit card since 1997 and after I got divorced last year I wanted to start rebuilding my credit so I got one of those cards that offers money back and anyway this is one of my pickups.

When Topps included the 5 Major League cards in the 2014 Topps Archives release I was pretty excited like many collectors but I was hoping that at least the base card versions would be reasonably priced, but I was quite wrong. Individual cards are beginning at $5 and forgot about the autographs. Additionally, the one card I wanted was the Jobu card which is only included in the 5x7 packs.

I finally came across a seller who was offering the 5x7 packs for $12.50 plus $3 shipping. I jumped on the opportunity and the pack came in today. I was torn on whether I should open the pack or not but damn it when you purchase a pack like this for a specific card you just have to open it.

The pack is wax, straight out of 1989 and the cards use the same 1989 design and cardboard that the regular sized base cards use except twice as large. The one disappointment about the cards is that they are not the best quality images, I would have thought digital stills would have been used.

Thursday, January 21, 2016

CM Punk Brings The Fight

In late 2014 CM Punk, real name Phil Brooks, had an ugly divorce with Vince McMahon and the WWE. He took the opportunity to sign with the UFC and made sure that everyone knew it. The question of when he would fight has been a mystery though with most people assuming mid-late 2015 but that time has passed and we are still left wondering though Dana White may have finally given a date when had said that CM Punk will most likely see his first UFC fight in June, which would be at UFC 199. His opponent, while not set in stone, appears to be a young fighter named Mickey Gall. Gall has only one professional fight and is set to fight next month so as long as he wins he will most likely face CM Punk.

I was never a fan of CM Punk’s but I didn’t dislike him either, I do have to say that he is a showman so he will do well in UFC as long as he wins.

Wednesday, January 20, 2016

The NFL To England? Probably Not Just Yet

For years that has been discussion of professional leagues in North America expand outside of the US and Canada. There have been attempts with the most notable being the NFL taking the World League of American Football under it’s wings as NFL Europe but that didin’t last long.

There really is no major league that has expanded outside of its country of origin with great success on a large scale. Sure the Toronto Blue Jays won two World Series but Montreal couldn’t sustain a team and they moved to Washington DC. One MLB team in Canada is not a success story. The NBA tried it in 1995 with teams in Vancouver and Toronto but Vancouver lasted 6 years before moving to Memphis. The NFL has not tried expansion outside the US but the Canadian Football League did and besides the Baltimore Stallions the rest folded and Baltimore moved to Montreal.

So forgive me when I am having a difficult time seeing the NFL putting a permeant team in London by 2022 as was reported today. I think it is a wonderful idea and I loved NFL Europe but it would be quite difficult to work a 16 game schedule fairly and with the nearest teams (East coast teams) being 5 hours away the fan base is going to have to wake up early or stay up late to see their team play in the US.

I think if the NFL wants to expand than consider North American cities. Work with the CFL and maybe bring in the 9 teams, possibly adding another team to balance the divisions. Move the Chargers down to Mexico City or up to Vancouver or Toronto but please do not strand a single team in Europe unless there is serious consideration of adding more teams there. The World League of American Football could not make it work and while the NFL is a better run league it still does not seem logically sound.

As for the question of where will this team come from? The most obvious decision would be the Jacksonville Jaguars, the team’s owner Shahid Khan also owns Fulham FC a football (soccer) team that plays in Southwest London. Family Guy has already taken care of the name with the Patriot Games episode, are you ready for the London Silly Nannies at the London Silly Nanny Stadium?


Tuesday, January 19, 2016

Vintage Card Of The Month: 1933 National Chicle Sky Birds Quentin Roosevelt

This month’s VCoM comes from the 1933 National Chicle Sky Birds (R136) release. The Sky Birds set is one of my favorite vintage sets because many of the pilots included are from WWI, one of my historical interests. Some of the pilots on the list; Manfred von Richthofen (the Red Baron), Eddie Rickenbacker (America’s first Ace), Charles Lindberg and Amelia Earhart. 

This specific card was one of my Grey Whale wants because it is Quentin Roosevelt, Teddy Roosevelt’s son. After the U.S. entered WWI in 1917 all four of Teddy Roosevelt’s sons joined the military with all four seeing combat. Quentin was a pilot in the 95th Aero Squadron and on July 14, 1918 he was shot down over German held territory.

He was so highly regarded by the Germans that he was buried with full military honors. Following WWII when the Normandy American Cemetery was established in France Quentin’s remains were moved to the cemetery and reinterred next to his brother Teddy Roosevelt III, who died in France in 1944.

The card is in nice condition, besides the rounded corners with some paper separation it is a nice specimen. For some reason the illustrator shows Quentin as a gunner but he was in fact a pilot.

Monday, January 18, 2016

Sketch Cards That Are Just Simple Sketches

Pop Mhan is a very talented artist who has worked for the top companies in the graphic novel world. Dark Horse Comics, Marvel and DC and his work is among the best that I have seen so when I came across his sketch cards form the 2004 Topps Star Wars Clone Wars release I was utterly surprised at the rudimentary sketches he did for the set.

He has two subjects that he did sketches of for the release, Yoda and the Emperor. I found a number of auctions for his Yoda cards and you can see how simple these cards are and the limited changes. I would be bummed pulling one of these cards. His Emperor cards are similar with just basic line changes from card to card.

Now compare that work with a Wolverine sketch card he did for the 2007 Upper Deck Marvel Masterpieces release. You have to wonder if he was limited on a time constraint or something else that would have him doing very basic cards for one set when he obviously has an amazing talent.

Friday, January 15, 2016

First Card Of The Year

I know it comes as no surprise but my first card purchase of the year is a Griffey card that I picked up on January 2nd. The card is a 1992 Stadium Club Ken Griffey Jr. #603 Member’s Choice parallel from the East Coast National.

I am a sucker for cards that are special editions or from a specific event, toss in that it is from one of my favorite brands (Stadium Club) and my favorite player and this was a complete win for me. This card is from the 1992 National Sports Collectors Convention that was held in Atlanta and contains a gold foil seal stating that. There is text above the National logo that I was unable to read but eventually figured out that it states “A Gloria Rothstein Show”

The cards were in 5-card packs that were wrapped in plastic wrap so they were not even really sealed. The card I picked up was not in a pack but I pulled up this image so you can see how they were handed out.

Thursday, January 14, 2016

R.I.P. Alan Rickman

In one week we have now lost 3 major personalities with today’s passing of actor Alan Rickman, who was battling cancer, at the age of 69 years old.

Rickman was the ultimate villain having played Hans Gruber in Die Hard, the Sheriff of Nottingham in Prince of Thieves and Judge Turpin in Sweeny Todd but most people will probably recognize him as Professor Snape of the Harry Potter series.

Like David Bowie, Alan Rickman has been a part of my life growing up. I was 16 when I first saw Die Hard and when you consider how often he showed up in television and movies he just seemed to always be there. Playing fun parts like Metatron in Dogma, Dane in Galaxy Quest and lending his voice to some of my favorites like King of the Hill (King Phillip) and The Hitchhiker’s Guide To The Galaxy (Marvin).

He truly was a versatile actor and he will be missed.

Wednesday, January 13, 2016

California Here Come The Rams

It is official, the NFL is back in Los Angeles after a 21 year absences. The Rams will be playing in LA in 2016, most likely in the LA Coliseum until their Inglewood stadium is completed around 2019.

There were originally two plans offered up to the NFL owners yesterday; one was a joint stadium for the Chargers and Raiders to be located in Carson or a stadium for the Rams in Inglewood. It appeared that the Chargers and the Raiders had the inside track in the decision all the way up to yesterday when the owners could not come to a complete agreement so they turned to an alternative plan suggested by Cowboys owner Jerry Jones where a joint stadium for the Rams and Chargers in Inglewood. Surprisingly this was the option that the owners agreed upon.

The Rams have decided to move immediately but the Chargers have one year to make their decision, if the Chargers decide not to move to LA in to the stadium with the Rams than the Raiders will have the option to move in with the Rams. Both the Chargers and the Raiders are being offered $100 million by the NFL in hopes of getting new stadiums built in their current locations.

The Rams have now moved 3 times, originally the Cleveland Rams moved to LA in 1945 and then to St Louis in 1994 and back to LA this year. Now that the Rams are back in California it makes more sense with them in the NFC West.

Having lived in Seattle when the Sonics were stolen I know the pain of losing a team but when you consider the way that the Rams left LA they basically were stolen when Georgia Frontiere moved them to St. Louis, this is them returning to LA. If the Sonics moved back to Seattle I would not feel bad for OKC fans.
I do not own any of the cards but the Everett RC

Tuesday, January 12, 2016

R.I.P. Monte Irvin

Last night we lost another icon with the passing of MLB Hall of Famer Monte Irvin. No cause of death has been announced, he was 96 years old but I am not aware of any health issues.

Irvin was considered one of the best all-around players in the Negro League before following moving to Major League Baseball. He played 7 seasons playing for the Newark Eagles of the Negro Leagues and another 8 seasons with the New York Giants and Chicago Cubs. During his professional career he won a World Series Championship in each league (1946 Newark Eagles and 1954 NY Giants) and was selected for the Hall of Fame in 1973.

I picked up this Monte Irvin autograph in late 2014 and posted about it a month later.

Monday, January 11, 2016

R.I.P. David Bowie

I was very saddened this morning to find out that David Bowie passed away after battling cancer for 18 months. Because he was secretly battling cancer it is assumed that it is either lung cancer or lung cancer metastasized in to his liver. Being a child of the 70s and 80s I grew up listening to David Bowie, his music just always seemed to be there even releasing an unexpected album three days ago on his 69th birthday.

The world lost a very talented man yesterday. The above gif is an illustration by English artist Helen Green that she made last year for David Bowie's 68th birthday.


Friday, January 8, 2016

Lets Get Some Playoffs Going

This coming weekend is the Wildcard weekend with the Chiefs-Texans and Steelers-Bengals playing on Saturday and Seahawks-Vikings and Packers-Redskins on Sunday. Currently the odds are against the home teams in all four games.

The game that interests me is my Seahawks visiting the Vikings at TCF Bank Stadium in Minneapolis. Currently the weather forecast is 0 degrees at kickoff with a projected wind-chill factor of -15 degrees making it one of the Top 10 coldest games.

Seattle is a cold weather location but not a frigid weather location like Minneapolis. I spent half my life in Seattle and only saw single digit temps a handful of times during snow and ice storms so unless Pete Carrol has the team practicing in a meat locker this looks to be an advantage for the Vikings.

Like every season I am very superstitious so I will not be saying anything about the Seahawks until the end of the season outside of my Sports Cards Super Bowl prediction if they make it that far.

Thursday, January 7, 2016

Ending With A Fighting Chance

During COMC’s Black Friday promotion, which included free shipping and scratch cards, I picked up a nice collection of cards for my Ryan Bader collection. These are Grey Whales that I just never purchased but finally gave in and added them. This was my last "big" purchase of 2015 not counting a couple of individual cards I picked up in December

Currently I am at 37 individual Ryan Bader cards, not a super collector by any means but Beckett only lists 288 total cards for Bader, with many of them being parallels, so I am sitting at 12.8% and climbing.

Bader is scheduled to fight Anthony Johnson at UFC on Fox 18 at the end of this month.

This group includes cards from 2010 through 2014


Wednesday, January 6, 2016

Griffey Is In The Hall

As expected Ken Griffey Jr. was elected to the baseball Hall of Fame with the highest voting percentage ever today with 437 out of 440 votes (99.3%). He topped the previous high Tom Sever with 98.84% in 1992. The Hall of Fame class of 2016 will also include Mike Piazza (selected on his 4th attempt).

Jeff Bagwell, Time Raines and Trevor Hoffman came close, missing by 15 votes, 23 votes and 34 votes respectively. Roger Clemens and Barry Bonds increased their percentage slightly but still fell way short of the 75% requirement. Curt Schilling, Edgar Martinez and Mike Mussina also increased their percentages and Mark McGwire will now be removed from the ballot after appearing 10 times. The percentage increases are mostly due to the HoF voting change which dropped over 100 voting writers who are no longer active.

Tuesday, January 5, 2016

Quarterback Roulette Time

Where do these failed quarterbacks end up? Who has a job next season and who is sitting at home watching the game?

Sam Bradford

Robert Griffin III

Colin Kaepernick

Johnny Manziel

Geno Smith
Tim Tebow

There are rumors that the Cowboys are interested in RG3 and Billy Johnny Manziel, what could ever go wrong there? Will Colin K get a third chance under his third coach in three seasons? Will Bradford go somewhere where he isn't expected to win (Looking at you Cleveland)? Will Geno Smith be out of the NFL while Tim Tebow makes a triumphant return?