Tuesday, February 28, 2017

Will "Rojo" Johnson Ferrell

Will Ferrell is one of the great comedians who has changed with the times and has remained relevant because of it. Because he has made so many hilarious movies, not to mention one of the best animated shows with The Oblongs, I can excuse Bewitched and Stranger Than Fiction.

In 2015 during Spring Training in Arizona he played every position on the field for 10 different teams all in one day while working with the MLB to support fighting cancer, which raised over $1 million for Stand Up To Cancer and Cancer For College. He went 0-2 at bat and threw one pitch, retiring from the game with a 0.00 ERA. The experience was documented and later shown on HBO, he was one busy dude that day.
Topps went on to include a Will Ferrell insert in the 2015 Topps Archives release and the 2015 Topps Dynasty release. As expected the variations and autographs from the Archives set and Dynasty sets are selling for big bucks.

I did pick up the 2015 Archives Mariners card but while searching about I came across a couple of other Ferrell cards that I didn’t know about. In 2015 the unlicensed company Hits Memorabilia produced a couple of Ferrell cards and while I was questionable I did some investigation and I felt comfortable with Hits Memorabilia because their website seems very transparent and documents where each uniform relic comes from and the MLB COA sticker associated with it.

While researching I found out that the uniform used for their Ferrell cards came from his game with the Mariners I knew I had to chase down whatever I could and I picked up these three cards. There is one card that includes the Mariners logo but that was well out of my budget even when I was buying cards. I do find it funny that instead of just Photoshopping the image they used to remove the Mariners logo from his hat they just whited over the whole front panel, a literal whitewashing.

Of course while searching I found out that he had more baseball cards than I had original thought. He has a couple of cards from 2010 when he made an appearance for the Round Rock Express in disguise as Venezuelan pitcher Rojo Johnson. Like the 2015 Spring Training appearance this was also to raise awareness for cancer. Not only did he appear in a Round Rock Express team set but he also appears on a card in the 2010 PCL Top Prospects release so I had picked up both of those sets at the time too.

There are a ton of custom and art cards that people made, especially after the Cubs won the World Series, but the two Round Rock cards are official Minor League cards from Round Rock Express and the Pacific Coast League.

Monday, February 27, 2017

Stop The Insertsanity.

I came across an insert that interested me for my Griffey collection but once I started to get in to the information of the insert I decided to just walk away. The set? The 2004 Leaf Exhibits insert set.

The set is based on the cards that the Exhibit Supply Company produced between 1921 through 1980. They produced a set nearly every year, or multi-year sets, until 1966 and then one set in 1977 and a final set in 1980. The Exhibits insert is based on the cards between 1921 and 1966.

The checklist contains 50 players and is made up of current (for 2004) and retired players but the kicker is that each player has at least 45 variations with AL players having a 46th variation. To add to the difficulty is the cards are limited to the year the original cards were released meaning that the cards based on the 1921 release are #/21 through the cards based on the 1966 release, which are #/66. If that was not difficult enough there are variations of the variations, I know… we are getting in to Panini realm now. For example, there are cards based on the 1963 set (so they are #/63) but then there is a card with no name on the left, one with no name on the right, one with the name in black on the left, one with the name in black on the right, one with the name in red on the left and one with the name in red on the right. Uggg, now you know why I gave up before I even started.

The three images that I have included are just an example of how close the cards appear. From left to right they are 1947-66 w/ black name, 1939-46 w/right Yours Truly and 1939-46 w/left Yours Truly.

Friday, February 24, 2017

A Trade Package From Twitch Part 2 of 2

I decided to split this trade package post up in to two different posts to keep it from becoming a “TL;DR” type post. Today is the Mariners included in the package.

1987 Donruss MVP Alan Davis and 1990 Donruss Harold Davis. Both had a stable career in Seattle but nothing to write home about.

Who doesn't like shiny cards? A 2002 Topps Chrome Mike Cameron Refractor and 2015 Prizm Randy Johnson. Mike Cameron spent three seasons in Seattle but he never flourished and is probably best known for knocking 4 homers in a game in 2002. The Big Unit does not require any commentary, his HoF career speaks for itself.

Nothing special with Endy Chavez and Michael Saunders but these are some Griffey-esque type catches.

2015 Panini Prizm Purple Prizm #63/99. Seager has become a solid piece of the Mariners youth movement.

There were a number of Robinson Cano cards but I kept the scans to these four cards because they are my favorites; 2014 Panini Donruss DK and 2016 Panini Donruss

2014 Topps Finest Refractor #134/199 and 2014 Topps Triple Threads Amber parallel #100/125

There were also a number of Felix Hernandez so I selected just five of them to highlight today. 2012 Bowman Platinum Green parallel, 2013 Topps Archives, 2014 Panini Donruss Dominators #240/999 and 2015 Panini Prizm Red, White and Blue Prizm.

A King Felix relic card, this is form the 2009 SP Legendary Cuts release.
As always, I end with Ken Griffey Jr:

2012 Prizm and 2015 Donruss All-Time DK

Thursday, February 23, 2017

A Trade Package From Twitch Part 1 of 2

In a time when my spending is completely halted as far as cardboard is concerned trade packages have become a welcome distraction of sorts. I still have the fun of ripping a package open, flip through cards and organize them. My most recent package has come from Twitch, AKA Lonestarr.

It was an amazing package that includes Mariners, Seahawks, Sonics and comic cards. All my favorite things. There were well over 100 cards so I cannot cover them all but here are some of my favorites beginning with the comic cards.

There were quite a few Marvel cards with my favorite Marvel movie being well represented; Guardians of the Galaxy. Rocket Raccoon is my favorite Marvel character and is one of my secret PCs.

When I got back in to collecting in the early 1990s I only collected sports cards but I was talked in to checking out comic cards by my best friend and he introduced me to the early Impel sets, this 2015 Fleer Retro took me back.

Next up is the DC Universe with some 1995 Skybox DC Legends and 1996 Skybox Firepower Outburst. The 1995 DC Legends is a chrome set, here are Count Viper and The Baron and the 1996 Skybox Firepower Outburst is embossed.

There were not many basketball cards but the ones that are included are perfect for my collection. The first one is a 1994-95 Flair Steve Kerr, who is one of my secondary PCs.

One of the best Sonics ever, Gary Payton, and one that would have been one of the best if the team wasn’t stolen, Kevin Durant.

Since the card had a printing error, it appears that someone accidently put the team name and logo of a fictional team on the card, I fixed it.

A pair of Seahawks QBs rocking the Elite design; 2007 Donruss Elite Hasselback and 2015 Panini Elite Russell Wilson.

Shaun Alexander has been my non-QB favorite player for the Seahawks and Paul Richardson has potential but has taken off yet as a receiver but I do dig the 2014 Topps Fire designs.

I close with a 1938 Churchman’s Boxing, these cards are from England and I have a partial collection but I did not have this Harry Mizler so this was a great vintage addition.

Wednesday, February 22, 2017

Things That Make Me Sad

In 2012 and 2013 Topps create special sets that were sold as pack/boxes in conjunction with the UFC’s Las Vegas Expo which were called “Independence Edition”. The sets used a release from the previous year but included a special foil stamp listing it as the Independence Edition. The 2012 set was limited to 250 packs, which means there are less than 50 of each base card even though the cards are unnumbered. I am not certain of the 2013 set but I am willing to bet they too were limited to 250 packs.

I have the 2011 Moment of Truth Bader card that I picked up years ago, but I do not have the 2012 Bloodlines Bader but it is on my want list so when one shows up I know about it and one showed up late last year and it has been sitting in my Watch List since.

The problem is that the idiot selling the card had Bader sign the card and is charging $35 for it. First, never get a limited-edition card signed. Second, don’t get a card with a silver background signed with silver ink. Third the card, without the autograph, is worth about $10-15 in Mint condition and fourth, NEVER GET A LIMITED-EDITION CARD SIGNED!

In my eyes, the card is damaged with the autograph (in addition to all of the back damage and corner and edge chipping). I have plenty of Ryan Bader’s autographs, including the fighting gloves that my son had Ryan Bader sign for me while my son was training at Bader’s Power MMA Gym in Gilbert, and because Ryan Bader is always happy to sign for fans I don’t need to add an IP autograph to my collection that someone else had signed.

If I were able to purchase this card I would not consider paying anything more than $10 and if possible I would look for a safe way to remove the autograph. I really am bummed about this, the guy has 30+ Bader IP autographs and 3 official autographs (which are seriously overpriced) and this card would have been better unsigned. Considering that the card has been available since October it seems pretty obvious other Bader collectors feel the same way.

Tuesday, February 21, 2017

Why We Love Topps Vault

I have the Topps Vault store saved as a favorite seller so their new items show up in my feed. This Rod Thorn color negative from 1970 when he was with the Sonics showed up last night and I am willing to bet that Mr. Thorn would have preferred that this image never got out to the public. The smile, the reversed jersey that Topps preferred and the shorts tied above his belly button are all bad individually but when mixed in on one image it is a recipe for a humorous disaster.

Monday, February 20, 2017

Some Simpsons Art

Even though there are not many official Simpsons sets, about 6 official sets (Topps, Skybox and Inkworks) and maybe another 20 or so international, stickers, oddballs and TCG cards, there are some very cool promos, subsets and inserts.

In 1994 I picked up a box of 1994 Skybox The Simpsons Series II and I was fortunate enough to pull one of the extremely difficult Arty Art cards which were seeded 1:180 packs with each card having a different style of art set inside a black frame. The card I pulled was #A1 from Mary Fleener of Marge and Homer in a Cubism style.

I finally decided to put an end to the hunt and last summer I figured to just find the cards at a reasonable price. I found one dealer that worked out a deal for me for cards #A3 (Gary Painter) Bart on a Skateboard and card #A4 (Jim Valentino) Shadowbart and Homer Hawk. He had actually just sold the other card that I needed a day or two before I contacted him so I ended up going elsewhere for card #A2 (Sam Keith) Evil Bart.

The cards were rare for the time, two per case, but I cannot find any specific numbers. It is safe to assume that there were thousands of cases so I am willing to bet there are at least 1,000 of each card floating around in collector’s collections but you would be surprised to see that these cards still sell easily for $40-50 each.

Friday, February 17, 2017

R.I.P. George "The Animal' Steele

It was reported that George “The Animal” Steele passed away this morning, he was 79 years old. No cause of death has been announced.

As a kid, I remember sitting on Sunday mornings watching WWE and The Animal was one of my favorites, along with the Junk Yard Dog. His persona in the ring was odd because like his nickname suggests, he acted like an uncontrollable animal, tearing apart ring buckles but always stopping to fawn over Miss Elizabeth which would always give Mach Man the time to attack. But the man behind The Animal was someone different. George Steele, real name Jim Myers, was a highly intelligent man, which you probably would not ever figure if you saw his wrestling persona. He had a Master’s Degree in Science from Michigan State University, he was a high school teacher and he coached both football and wrestling while he was a teacher and even in to his 70s he was a motivational speaker.

When I picked up this autograph in 2014 I had decided that I wanted to eventually pick up one of his Leaf Originals autographs, which I have not done, because the image Leaf used on this card is not the best. It is pixelated and the design is just funky, but I am happy to have an Animal autograph in my wrestling collection.

Thursday, February 16, 2017

I Am Seeing Double Three Times

I have been in a purchasing freeze since December and besides the blaster boxes for my Sports Card Super Bowl prediction I have not spent a penny on cardboard. I will admit it has been difficult at times because I have seen some very cool cards come and go but I keep reminding myself that the cards will show up again when I am not under a mountain of medical bills so they will have to wait.

Now this doesn’t mean I don’t look. To kind of help with my urges I will scan through eBay and COMC adding cards to my want list for the future and it kind of has been freeing because when I look I know I am not buying so I am not keeping a price point in mind and I have been checking out cards that normally would be outside my price range.

When it comes to my MMA collection there are some fighters who I know I will never be able to afford their autographs but I have been looking at Royce Gracie, GSP and Jon Jones autographs to see what is out there and while searching COMC for Gracie’s cards I noticed that Topps sticks with one picture through multiple releases over a number of years. I am not sure why they are doing this because there are thousands of images of him inside and out of the ring and this just seems lazy and not something the first UFC Champion deserves.

Some of the cards are just parallels or variations of another card but there are enough unique cards where they used one of three images to use as pretty good examples.

2010 Topps UFC Main Event #1
2010 Topps UFC Main Event Autograph #1
2010 Topps UFC Main Event Autograph-Relic #1

2010 Topps UFC Series 4 Fighter Gear Relics #FR-RG
2010 Topps UFC Series 4 Propaganda Card
2011 Topps UFC Title Shot #1
2012 Topps UFC Bloodlines Fighting Forefathers #RG
2015 Topps UFC Chronicles #4
2015 Topps UFC Chronicles Victorious Debut #VD-8
A little Photoshop and voila… nope not the same image because it doesn’t have the ATAMA company logo, see completely different.

2015 Topps UFC Chronicles Victorious Debut Medallions #MED-4

So here are 10 examples over a five year period (actually just three years) where Topps used the same exact image on each card. To show this isn't just a coincidence, here are a couple more where the photo was taken on the exact same day just from a different view.

2009 Topps UFC Round 1 Ultimate Gear #UG-RG
2010 Topps UFC Knockout Autograph Fighter Gear Relic #AFG-RB
How about a couple "If we flip the image they won't know" cards
2014 Topps UFC Bloodlines Historic Battles #HB-1
2014 Topps UFC Bloodlines Relics (Both regular and jumbo versions)
2014 Topps UFC Champions Octagon Greats #OGRG
2015 Topps UFC Champions Fighter Autographs #FA-RG
2015 Topps UFC Chronicles Octagon of Honor #HONOR-2
2015 Topps UFC Knockout Dynamic Duels #DDR-GS