Thursday, July 20, 2017

Another Cavalcade Of Griffey Cards VIII

Everybody loves oddball cards right? OK, well not everyone but when it comes to Griffey the odder the better to me. First up is a DDK Reprint, not sure who or what DDK is but there are plenty of their reprints around. The card is based on the 1963 Topps Rookie Stars cards. I normally don’t like floating head cards but for some reason this one got my attention.
The second card is a magazine issue from a copy of 1990 Baseball Cards Magazine. The card is based on the 1969 Topps Baseball set.

To make this a trilogy of cards the third card is from the 1993 Bleachers Mega Star release. This card came from a time where “Brighter! Shinier! Holograms or Metal!” was the mantra of card companies and with the card #/5000 it was considered a super-de-doper short print (SDDSP?) in 1993.

Wednesday, July 19, 2017

Is Winning A Genetic Gene?

I started thinking about father and sons who have played professional sports and how they compared to each other. I think that it is almost always more difficult for the son because they will be compared to their father until they over take their father, anything less and they are a failure.

There is the question of success too, is winning a team championship equal to winning individual awards and does a Hall of Fame career trump everything else? 

If you were to pick a dominant family for each sport which would you pick? Here are mine:

Ken Griffey Sr. & Ken Griffey Jr.

Jellybean Bryant & Kobe Bryant (OK, no comparison but I wanted to write jellybean)
I would actually go with the Barry family for basketball

Archie Manning & Peyton and Eli Manning (Based solely on Peyton and Eli's success)

Bobby Hull & Brett Hull

Dale Earnhardt Sr. & Dale Earnhardt Jr. but just slightly over the Lee family

Tuesday, July 18, 2017

Another Cavalcade Of Griffey Cards VII

The first company to attempt digital cards was Donruss with the 1997 VXP 1.0 release, it shouldn’t be a surprise but there was never a 2.0 release. The set was made up 50 base cards and 6 CD-ROMs and each $10 pack came with 10 base cards and a CD. The CD contains a screen saver and an interactive game and the sleeve is collectible too, it contains the player’s image on the front with the CD information on the back.
I already have Griffey’s base card from the set and I was originally considering just getting the CD but I found a person selling the CD and sleeve extremely cheap so I got the set. The CD itself is about the size of a rigid top loader with rounded corners with your standard silver underside (Pictured at top) Yes, I did try loading up the screen saver but I was denied.
I was not about to be deterred by a 20-year old CD-ROM and went to work. I extracted the video and audio files from the screen saver and loaded them up to my Youtube account. Are you ready to see some Griffey highlights from the Lou Pinnela/Kingdom era?  

The files are not the best quality but this is what you would have seen if you loaded up the disc on your Win 95 system and waited for the screen saver to kick in.

If you are interested in seeing Upper Deck's CD-ROM cards, called Power Deck, Gavin from Baseball Card Breakdown just did a post which includes 8 videos from various stars.

Monday, July 17, 2017

Monday Questino Day- Damaged Cards?

Today is question day:

At what point is a card to “damaged” for you to still consider adding it to your collection?

For me it depends on whether it is a modern card or a vintage card. For this question I consider anything from the junk wax era on as modern and 1970s and older as vintage.

For modern age cards I am ok with the card being a bit off center and I am also ok with a soft corner or two, maybe a couple of edge chips or a scratch or two but that is my extent. As odd as it is, even though I am picky about damage I totally dig printing errors, cards missing foil and miscut cards like diamond cuts, not off center.

For vintage cards, I am ok with off center as well as some soft corners and chipped edge but unlike modern cards I am ok with paper loss on the back and creases. Basically, the older the card the more I am willing to accept damage-wise. One of the biggest stopping points for me is a skinned card where the entire back is gone.

Friday, July 14, 2017

So You Don't Have To Experiment #3- Crack That Case

This month I am cracking cards out of their graded cases. I have done this before but I did not record it so I recorded it this time to share my experience right down to cutting my finger on the edge of a BGS case, don’t’ worry I don’t show it. I cracked three cards from their cases, one Beckett case and two PSA cases. I had initially planned on cracking an SGC case too but I realized as I was pulling my supplies together that I only have one SGC case and it contains an 1888 Allen & Ginter's card so I did not want to remove that card.

Not the best video, I am still trying to figure the best angle to record from as well as working on how to edit videos but I will get there eventually.

Thursday, July 13, 2017

Wow...Just Wow!

Let’s look at the Topps Now cards that Topps made to immortalize the 2017 All-Star Game:

Card #348
In the 6th inning Yadier Molina homered to tie the score 1-1 becoming the oldest catcher to ever knock a homerun in an All-Star Game. Yes, seems like a logical choice.
Card #349
In the 10th inning Robinson Cano homered to give the AL the go-ahead run which turned out to be the winning score. Also Cano won the ASG MVP Award. Yes, definitely a good choice for a Topps Now card.
Topps decided to make three cards representing the highlights of the All-Star Game so surely the third card has to be amazing. Maybe Andrew Miller closing down the game to earn the save? How about Miguel Sano’s single in the 5th inning to start the scoring? Max Scherzer striking out Aaron Judge? Maybe a card about the AL winning the last 5 ASG?


Topps decides to create a card from the least baseball related thing to happen during the game, a fucking hair flip. Yes, they decided to go the shampoo commercial route and highlight Bryce Harper and his “EPIC” (their word, not mine) hair flip. That the word "Epic Hair Flip" is on a card is ludicrous let alone using a picture of Harper flipping his hair like he is stepping out from beneath a cascading waterfall. 
Yes I realize the card will sell, quite well I am assuming, and will probably sell higher on the secondary market than the other two cards.

Wednesday, July 12, 2017

An Appreciated Gift

I was quite surprised when I checked my mail and saw I had received a padded mailer from the lady who sold me the 1993 College Baseball Classic Griffey that got damaged in the mail. She hunted down another copy for me and sent it to me along with a couple of other Griffey oddball cards. When I sent her a message thanking her she said she felt bad that I wouldn’t accept a refund that she was able to find a copy that was available and she picked it up for me.

Tuesday, July 11, 2017

Contest Winnings From Gavin's BFG

I joined in on two Big Fun Game recently with Gavin’s being last month. I just got the cards and he included some additional cards in to the package. The big hit was the 2005 Topps Retired JR Richards autograph, Topps did such an amazing job with these Retired Autograph sets. The selection also included two of Gavin’s customs; a Day/Boggs card from Always Sunny In Philadelphia and the second is the Giancarlo Stanton box bottom cut card.

Like Wes, Gavin is a generous person and his customs are just the bomb. In addition to a couple of Mariners cards for my collection he included four custom cards that are very welcome. The first is AJ Lee, and even though she is retired she is still one of the most popular wrestlers with collectors. Her autograph is one of my gray whales but they are still demanding a premium because they are still pretty rare when you compare them to some of the autographs from current popular female wrestlers like Bayley and Sasha Banks.
I was torn which custom to show next but I decided to go with the Simpsons tobacco cards next. The cards are tobacco era sized but the Montgomery Burns card has been aged nicely and has a very original feel to it, I love it. Last year Gavin did a collection of Homer at the Bat cards that I just loved, he actually sent me a glow in the dark Griffey magnet card, which is on display with my Griffey cards, so these two a wonderful addition. If you haven’t been able to tell I enjoy the Simpsons and the Homer at the Bat episode is one of my all-time favorite.

The final custom is this Ken Griffey Jr piece of art, really the best way to describe it. The card is set up like a picture or painting and when you flip it over it looks like the back of a picture frame. It is the details like this that makes a cool custom become a freaking awesome custom.

Thank you, Gavin, I had fun with the game and you really produce some magnificent cards.

Monday, July 10, 2017

Monday Question Day- Catastrophic Events?

Today is question day:

Have you ever experienced a catastrophic event collecting-wise? Did you reconsider collecting?

I was quite lucky that the Goodwin fire, which is now 96% contained after burning 28,516 acres, never got close enough to cause an evacuation to my area but I did pull parts of my collection and had them ready to go if we were given the word. 

I have only had one event that wavered my will to collect. In 1997 my marriage was not doing well (this was my first wife) and my wife decided she wanted to do the most damage possible. I call it "The Purge", while I was at work one day she took as much of my collection as she could and threw it away. In all it was about 75% of my collection (about 90% of my Griffey PC) that went in to the trash that day and I didn't stop collecting but I was definitely ready to give in and call it quits. I don't think I bought even a pack until 1999 and I really ignored my Griffey collection until January 2014 when I refocused on it. 

Friday, July 7, 2017

Wes' World Cup Of Trading

I took part in three blogger contests recently with Wes’ World Cup of Trading being one of them. He contacted me in May asking if I could do two sketches for him and when I sent them he let me know I can select some of the cards he had up for trade.

The three cards I selected were
2013 Leaf Metal Draft Tyrann Mathieu
A Mathieu autograph has been one of my gray whales for a while so I was very happy to see this available.
2013 Topps Pro Debut Louie the Lumberking
Louie here is the mascot of the Mariners’ Class A team Clinton LumberKings
2013-14 In The Game Mike Bossy relic
I was born on Long Island and as a kid I remember going to Islander games with my dad and brothers at Nassau Coliseum and Mike Bossy was the man. While this was up for trade on Wes’s blog I didn’t even notice that this is a Vault #1/1. These cards are similar to Topps’ Vault cards, they were kept in storage and re-released in products later. I have some SportKings Vault cards but this is my first Vault #1/1.
Being the generous man that he is, Wes allowed people to pick additional cards when the contest was ending. I asked for the Adam Jones 1st homerun medallion. Over the years it has hurt seeing the Mariners trade off some young players who ended up being successful elsewhere but Jones is probably one of the more painful recent loses. 

I also asked about the Topps Strata Clear Cut autographs, which Wes included them all. I am considering using these as donor cards in one of my “So you don’t have to” segments.

Knowing I am a Griffey collector he included a nice stack of The Kid. There were 20 Griffey cards that I needed for my collection and that was greatly appreciated.

Thursday, July 6, 2017

Two More Additions To The Panini Autopen Scandal

Time to add a couple more autopen autographs to Panini’s list.

After the announcement that Dak Prescott used an autopen on stickers that Panini used for his redemptions from the 2016 Panini Prizm release some people have begun checking on other Panini sets to see if this is not a one-time occurrence and a person on the Blowout forum found that Brian Kelly, from Florida Georgia Line, used an autopen on the stickers that Panini used for the 2014 Panini Country release. Another person found that Kelly’s bandmate Tyler Hubbard also used an autopen for the stickers that were used in the same release.

The use of an autopen is not Panini’s fault, that is on the athlete/personality that are signing the cards and stickers, but what is on Panini is that on more than one occasion these autographs have passed through people’s hands and nobody did anything about it. One or two autopen autographs can understandable slip through without being noticed but in the case of Kelly and Hubbard we are talking sheets of perfectly signed autographs that are on the same location of every sticker and signed with the same pressure, same start and stop location, same little swoop and loops and same angle every time. This is a situation of seeing and not caring, a QA issue.

At this point collectors are just looking for any autograph sequence that may look similar as a way to nail Panini, though this isn’t only a Panini problem, this a Panini only problem right now.

Wednesday, July 5, 2017

Why Must You Hurt Him Like This?

While I hit 1,300 unique Griffey cards a card that came in just prior is one that I am focusing on today. The card, #1,298 in the collection, came from a seller in the Seattle area in less than stellar condition. The card came in badly damaged, which was not the seller’s fault but from the post office. When I received the mailer it had a large oily circle that was roughly the size of a soda can smashed on to the middle of the padded mailer. I am guessing it was caused by some sort of machinery and even though the card was secured inside a rigid top loader it took some nasty damage to the top loader, penny sleeve and card.

The card has a circle stamped in to it that runs from Griffey’s waist and down his right leg and to add insult the card is creased above the circular mark. Ouch ouch ouch.  I contacted the seller to let her know how I received that card and I told her it was obviously damage by the post office and not her and that I was going to leave positive feedback, she immediately offered a refund and told me to keep the card. She even told me to look through her auctions and choose any card in the same value range and she would send that to me which I politely refused because I felt bad that not only was she out the Griffey card but the money too and I didn't feel right taking another card from her.

But while we were going back and forth I told her I used to live in the area and it turns out her and her husband used to run a card shop that I frequented in my town. It was totally random and had the card not been damaged I wouldn’t have contacted her and reconnected with an old dealer. Sadly, she closed the shop a year after I moved because her husband passed away but she is still selling cards through eBay.

Tuesday, July 4, 2017

Have A Wonderful Independance Day

Happy 4th Of July

I hope everyone is having a wonderful, and safe, holiday

A Little Scandal For Panini

Another scandal within the hobby, this time coming from 2016 Panini Prizm and the accusation that Dak Prescott has been using an auto-pen to sign his signature for redemptions from the set.

When I first saw this story appear on Twitter yesterday some people were saying that it was Beckett/BGS who notified Panini and wouldn’t grade the autograph on the card(s) submitted. I have not found any additional information regarding BGS being the first to find the issue but there is no question that Dak did not sign at least some of his cards.

EDIT 7/5- It was verified by Ryan Cracknell this morning (7/5) that it was BGS that did notice the issue and it was Beckett Authentication's Steve Grad who notified Panini. 

These are $350+ cards of one of the hottest rookies of 2016, Panini really mishandled this one. The back only says that they guarantee the autograph but in this case they cannot even do that. This isn’t an isolated incident of questioning an autographs authenticity and this isn’t a Panini only problem either. The only way to really counter things like this is to have a company rep witness the individual signing but that isn’t going to happen.

Monday, July 3, 2017

Monday Question Day- Storage? Plus A Fire Update

 Today is question day:

How do you store your cards?

I store most of my cards in four 5,000-ct boxes with a baseball box, football box, “other” box and Griffey box. I have my other PCs (Jay Buhner, Steve Largent and Ryan Bader) in a 3,000-ct box along with some other special cards. I have 3 binders that hold special cards or cards with some value with a baseball/basketball binder, football/other sports binder and non-sports binder. I have about 50 cards on display and my supplies are in a small dresser drawer next to my computer.


As of 11:00 am this morning the Goodwin Fire is 27,541 acres burned but is now 75% contained and the Forestry Service is estimating full containment by July 13th. About half of the evacuated towns have been allowed to return and there has been some disruption of power to those towns but the power company is working to get those sections back up and running. Miraculously there has been no loss of life.

I have been through natural disasters before but this one caused me major anxiety. I am glad that I prepared for an evacuation and not need those supplies than not prepare and need the supplies. I have put away all those things because we are no longer in the path of the fire and I was finally able to sleep the last two nights. Smoke is still around and in the morning the smell of burning wood is pretty heavy but it isn't as bad as it was and last night when the moon was rising it looked red through the smoke, kind of neat.

I want to thank everyone for their words of support.

Here are some photos from a state wide news website (AZ Central), I did not take any of these, of the Goodwin fire.