Friday, July 28, 2017

Computer Bummer...

While clearing out some derelict files on my computer two weeks ago I accidently removed some files connected to Win 10 which led to some functions and apps not performing properly. When I realized the culprit, I loaded up a restore point from the beginning of July and everything seemed to be going according to plan when I got a dreaded Stop Code. The stop codes are not terminal like the blue screen of death but because I was in the middle of a restore I was out of options.

In the end, I had to reset my system to factory settings. I have an external hard drive where I keep important files but the last time I loaded up my files was February so I lost several recent projects. Ugh…

My Griffey Beast Jr. excel spreadsheet was one of the victims, my Griffey Wants List too. I do have old files from both so I am not starting from scratch but both are now 5 months old and need be updated. I also lost some custom cards, including the finalized  images of the Simpsons set. I do have the .psd files of the Simpsons cards except for Homer and Mr. Burns so it wasn't a complete loss in that case. 

I don’t know how many times over the last decade I lost files when I had a hard drive crash or catastrophic event and that was the reason I got the external hard drive but I need to update those files more than every 6 months.

Thursday, July 27, 2017

The Art Gallery: 2008 Topps Star Wars Clone Wars Emperor

This month’s Art Gallery display comes from artist Robert Teranishi who has worked for Image, Dark Horse and WildStorm Comics as well as Marvel and DC. In the card world he has worked almost exclusively with Topps in their Star Wars and Mars Attacks releases. He is best known for his pencil and ink drawings working mainly in black with the occasional red. This specific card is from the 2008 Topps Star Wars Clone Wars release.

I am a huge fan of using negative space and shadows to create a design, it forces the brain to work differently to create the complete image in your mind. The subject of this card is Sheev Palpatine who eventually becomes Emperor Palpatine and ultimately Darth Sidious, the Sith Master to the Sith Apprentice Anakin Skywalker/Darth Vader.

I am not a big fan of the Emperor but when there is a relatively cheap Star Wars sketch card I can not pass it up. I got this card in 2015 so I was fine with picking it up, but now I probably would not purchase it, even if I was buying cards.

Wednesday, July 26, 2017

Trade Completed III

A number of weeks ago Bo from Baseball Cards Come To Life came across a large collection of baseball cards so he offered up a blind trade to his readers. I requested Griffey and Buhner, which he let me know there were not many, so I asked for any Mariners cards. In all he sent 50 Mariners cards plus a sealed 1991 Front Row set, which will remain sealed.

What is cool is that out of the 50 cards that he sent, 49 cards fit right in to a PC or mini PC. A large portion of the cards were my main (can I call a mini-PC main?) mini-PC Edgar Martinez, who will hopefully eventually have his plaque in the Hall of Fame right next to Griffey’s plaque.
My Ichiro and Mike Zunino mini-PCs have some new additions.
There were seven Jay Buhner cards and I was very happy to see three ghost cards reappear, these three cards were trashed in “The Purge” by my ex-wife in 1997 and I am happy to have them back in my collection.
There were three Griffey cards and here are two of the cards right from my dated Griffey Want List.
Thank you so much Bo, I really appreciate the trade and all the time you put in to pulling aside the cards for me. Last trade we made I ended up forgetting to send a return package, I totally screwed up, until a year later so this time I made sure to ship his cards as soon as I got the package ready.

I keep telling myself that I need to work on more trades, this is only my third trade this year. I just worked out another trade yesterday so that puts me at four trades, not a very good average of one every two months. 

Tuesday, July 25, 2017

Cards With Bonus Packing Materials

Yesterday I received two cards that I had purchased on eBay from two different sellers. One was a Mick Foley card and the other was a Griffey card and it is just interesting how people package items. They both came in packaged securely but the Foley card was in a well-used padded mailer, inside the card was in a card saver with cardboard wrapped around it. The Griffey card came in a large padded envelope folded over for additional safety, inside there was a small padded mailer that was folded down. The card was inside a rigid top loader inside a small team bag. There were two more rigid top loaders around that team bag and this was all inside a larger team bag.

I paid $3 shipping on the Foley card and $2.50 for the Griffey card but the guy who sent me the Griffey card also gave me a size 0 padded mailer, three rigid top loaders and two different size team bags. The guy basically sent me additional brand new packing materials in addition to the card.

Monday, July 24, 2017

Monday Question Day- Hobbies?

Today is question day:

Do you have any other hobbies?

Besides drawing I enjoy playing video games. Now that I think about it, I am just 8-year old me but in an adult body. At the time, I liked drawing Star Wars characters, playing with my Atari 2600 and collecting baseball cards. The only thing that has changed is that my art skills are more developed, I play video games with much better graphics and the cards I collect don’t get thrown against walls or stuck in bike spokes.

Friday, July 21, 2017

Vintage Card Of The Month: 1889 Kinney Brother's Leader George Washington

Last month I posted a beautiful 1889 N222 Kinney Brothers Martha Washington card but I topped it with this month’s VCoM, Martha’s companion George Washington. This 1889 Kinney Brothers George Washington has even better coloring and I prefer the image of Washington crossing the Delaware River compared to Martha’s eagle bearing a flag across a sunrise (or set).

There is staining along the both side edges and the bottom, the corners are rounded and the card is not as solid as Martha’s card. The stains along the edges carried over on to the back but the checklist is in better shape than the other card.

I don’t want to start going down the conspiracy road but I just noticed that the “A” in Leaders at the top of the back looks an awful lot like the Freemason’s symbol.

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.