Monday, October 15, 2018

The Rest of the Pizza

Hey, I finished a set! 

On the eve of the new NBA season, I can announce that I'm finally done with a set. Okay, sure, sure... it's a six card set. Back in May, I showed off an eBay pickup where I bought 4 of the 6 cards from the Blazers Papa Murphy's set (a single season item released in 2015-16). I had never seen the remaining two cards pop up online until the other day, when I was to pick up the missing pieces. Admittedly, I spent way too much money on cards that were given away for free with a reasonably priced take-'n-bake pizza, but I'm a big sucker for regional food issues (and the Blazers, obviously.)

I assume that Dame has watched a few more flicks since Straight Outta Compton came out. He and the team will get a crack at the Spurs in their second game of the season this Saturday. I will be there!

The elusive Lillard card made since, considering that he's one of the top players in the league (first team all-NBA in 2017-18!), but not being able to find Meyers Leonard was a little perplexing. Leonard enters his seventh season, the longest tenured Blazers -- in a tie with Damion Lillard, of course.

Is The Blacklist still on the air? I always meant to give it a shot.


Finally, in much sadder news, Trail Blazers owner Paul Allen passed away today. He also owned the Seattle Seahawks, and had a lasting legacy in the tech world, music, research and philanthropy. He had owned the Blazers for 30 years and was only the team's second owner. He may have been an eccentric billionaire, but he was our eccentric billionaire. (And, you know, Seattle's.) I was hoping to find a basketball card somewhere with the man on it, but we'll have to settle for this (unfortunately watermarked) picture of him rockin' out on guitar instead.

RIP, Mr. Allen.

Saturday, October 13, 2018

Good Luck Ducks, Week 7: Fuskies

The Game of the Year. 

For the second time this season, and maybe the third depending on how much you cared about the Cal game, it's time for Oregon to take center stage in their biggest game in years. This one is personal. I may have made light of, in this very space, the opponent and how they lost twelve straight times to Oregon. Kenny Wheaton's gonna score, etc. All of this stuff happened, and it was very glorious. Unfortunately, the Ducks have been outscored 108 to 24 in the last two meetings. One hundred and eight to twenty four. One hundred and eight to twenty four. ONE HUNDRED AND EIGHT TO TWENTY FOUR. 108-24! What. The. HELL.

Of course, an obvious thing to look at in the recent history of this series is that one team has always severely outranked the other, and up until recently that was always Oregon. The last two seasons, UW had the ranking and Oregon had no ranking and a lot of issues. Today is very different, in that both schools are in the Top 25 and both have no expectation of losing. It's going to be quite a game.

Senior QB Jake Browning matches up against Junior QB Justin Herbert, who actually made his first start against these Huskies in the dreadful first blowout of 2016. There's no doubt that Herbert wants to right the ship here, while Browning has been fairly lackluster in his fourth season. The Ducks were fortunate enough to have some time to heal with the early bye week and should come into today's meeting at nearly full strength. Tony Brooks-James, a senior who's ostensibly the starting running back, has been limited or completely held out of the running game several times this season, so it should be nice to see him back. Some alarming things happened defensively even in the comfortable win over Cal two weeks ago, so the hope is that the defense has also had ample time to recover.


  • Coach Cristobal is full-on embracing the rivalry, which is refreshing and nice to see... and not what we've come to expect from a non-alumnus. I'm good with it.
  • Oregon enters unprecedented territory with their third consecutive game as a ranked opponent facing another ranked opponent. FYI, they are 32nd all-time in weeks ranked in the AP poll.
  • Herbert Heisman Temperature Level: Mild. I mean, I guess he's on the list.
  • Know Your Opponent: Yes, everyone remembers Jake Browning taunting the Ducks two years ago at Autzen. You should be concerned about payback, you Huskies.
  • The Unis!: Although this would be a perfect time to pull out some Kenny Wheaton era throwbacks, yellow it is.
#17 Oregon hosts #7 Washington in a football game. Do you remember the time when Washington got smashed... by a lot? That also happened.

Game time is 12:30 PM PDT on ABC/ESPN2 (mostly just in SEC territory.) Sean McDonough, Todd Blackledge and Holly Rowe will be on the call.

Monday, October 8, 2018

Goodwill Find: Football Inserts and Oddballs

I don't collect this stuff, so (nearly) everything must go!

About a month back, I teased on Twitter that I had picked up some football cards at Goodwill for just the cost of a regular binder. I don't really collect NFL cards, so the majority of this stuff I hope to put in other people's hands. There was a whole binder full of inserts, oddballs and parallels from around 1990-95, most of which I hadn't seen before.

I'll likely be hanging on to the Eagles stuff, and Oregon players (Chris Miller, basically), but everything else is up for grabs. I took a ton of (sideways, sorry!) photos with my phone of the album if you want to dig deeper.

Let me know if you're interested or have any questions. Tell me about your favorite teams, sets and/or players!

Sunday, October 7, 2018

Want Lists, Attacked

Dennis from Too Many Verlanders/Manninghams sends over some Top 10 needs. 

I have a "10 Most Wanted" list on the blog that I don't give nearly enough attention. It tends to sit over at the blog sidebar, hoping someone (not on a mobile device) will notice. Here's what it looks like currently for those on mobile devices:

1. Matt Carpenter - 2014 Topps All-Star Access #ASA-MCR
2. Ozzie Smith - 2016 Topps Berger's Best #BB2-1980
3. Art Howe - 1984 Fleer Update #U-54
4. Adam Wainwright - 2014 Topps Allen & Ginter #324
5. Lonnie Smith - 1982 Topps Traded #108T
6. Yadier Molina - 2013 Bowman Platinum #14
7. Michael Wacha - 2018 Topps #51
8. Jack Flaherty - 2018 Topps Gypsy Queen #36
9. Ray Lankford - 1991 Classic Game #83
10. Pedro Guerrero - 1991 Topps Cracker Jack I #8

Dennis from Too Many Verlanders / Manninghams took down several of these needs a few months back, only to find that more needs have popped up to replace them. It's funny how that works! Here are a few of those cards, plus some more fun stuff that wasn't on the list but was definitely on my massive unending want list.

Joaquin "Walking Underwear" Andujar may "now (be) with (the) A's", but I still needed the card because of the uniform he's in.

Back in the early '00's, Fleer (and other associated brands) used to short print all of their rookie and prospect cards, which must have been super annoying. I missed those years.

This guy was such a dominant player when I was in my teens, but it's really rough to listen to him on the air, calling games in the playoffs. Maybe he works as a regional color guy, but I couldn't stop making fun of him during the Astros game yesterday.

Another serial numbered Fleer rookie. Mystique cards are pretty slick looking, though.

It would probably be tough to surf in full catcher's gear.

It's always great to take down an '80s need. I've been working on my '80s list... really, all of my lists lately, to be honest... but I know there are still plenty of holes.

Back to the present with a 2018 gold Waino parallel. These aren't as gold as they used to be.

Dennis is also a big college football guy (Michigan, if you've got anything to help him out) and always sends along a treasure trove of Ducks cards. I save a lot of them for Saturdays in the fall, but here's a glimpse at a former D-line star.

Wednesday, October 3, 2018

Doing This (High) Heritage Thing Again

Bring on the end of season sets with my first 2018 Heritage High Number blaster. 

I haven't been able to find any of this stuff in stores, so I finally took to Amazon to get my first look at the extension of the 2018 Topps Heritage set. I always appreciate more Heritage cards to collect, in theory, but it was a bit of a relief when this product was shelved for a few years. After a few years in a boxed set format, the packs returned in full force back in 2015 and haven't relented since.

Here's my standard disclaimer that often gets ignored. This is the only card you'll see in this post that is actually available for trade. Should I start throwing a fancy little sticker on the "for trade" card photos in my posts? I wish I had Photoshop skills, because that kind of sounds like a cool idea. This is one of those Chrome Refractor parallels that have no business appearing in a set like this, but are cool enough for player and team collectors at least.

I think the insert sets are the same as the past few years, which means Topps flips "Then & Now" to become "Now & Then" and only features a single, current player.

My first Cardinal card of the box was of a player who had a truly dreadful debut in the Birds on the Bat. Holland was signed out of desperation (really, on both sides) as St. Louis had some beat up players in the bullpen in spring and Holland didn't have a job, despite leading the league in saves the previous year. He essentially skipped out on spring training altogether and was a disaster on the mound. He would up in Washington before the season was out during the Cardinals July Purge.

Corey Kluber is not doing a lot to disprove that he's a robot here.

Rookie Performers are among the most popular inserts in this set year after year (just look at the prices for those Kershaw cards from 2008!) This gets an appropriately cheesy late '60s design.

I got Ohtani's card out of the way right off the bat, which is good. These cards are cheap right now, but this could've easily turned into one of those things that no one wants to trade me down the road.

Here's a former Cardinal who became a prominent reliever for the Rockies. He was on the mound for their Wild Card win last night (gave up a run, but kept them in the game?)

Deckle Edge inserts continue in the High Number series. I was a bit surprised at getting Marte here, as he's neither a traded player nor a rookie.

As with the other Cardinals I pulled, this goes into my team collection, meaning I'll need a second copy.

Tyson Ross's second stint with the Padres was abbreviated. He ended up as a long man in the Cardinals bullpen by season's end.

Yairo (pronounced like how awful people mispronounce gyros) was one of the big surprises of the Stephen Piscotty offseason trade, as he had a fine season plugging in holes in the Cardinals lineup while others were injured. I'm not sure he belongs in the infield, though. The other surprise of that trade has to be Nick Martini, Oakland's lead-off hitter in tonight's AL Wild Card game. (Sorry, A's.)

We finish off the Heritage Year much like the way we started it, with a Randal Grichuk card.

Saturday, September 29, 2018

Good Luck Ducks, Week 5: California Crud

The Ducks try to regroup after the worst loss that anyone can ever remember. 

I don't like sports anymore. This is probably a temporary thing, but when things beyond your control suck the fun out of the things that are, well, never in your control, it's always tempting to just walk away. Even a week later, I don't remember a worse Ducks football loss, let alone something that was so gut wrenching in any other sport that I follow. After a particularly rough game, I am usually good if you give me a few minutes or few hours to reflect and calm down.

I wasn't good on Sunday. I wasn't good on Monday. In fact, I decided not to go on a full Ducks media blackout all week. I don't really know what the point of that was, but I can tell you that it made me ill-prepared to blog about anything today.

The Ducks somehow moved up one slot in the rankings after last week's debacle (okay...?) to #19 and face #24 California tonight in their first road test. From what little I've heard, it sounds like the Ducks are nursing some injuries (Tony Brooks-James, Austin Faoliu...), so this could be a bigger test than expected. The team will get an opportunity to show that the Stanford game was an extreme aberration. Let's hope they do that and get back on track.

Abbreviated links:

#19 (really?) vs. #24. #Pac12AfterDark - will anyone be watching?

Game time is 7:30 PM PDT on FS1. Justin Kutcher, DeMarco Murray (wasn't it only yesterday that he was playing for the Eagles?!) and Petros Papadakis will be on the call. Keep the mute button handy.

Wednesday, September 26, 2018

Fantasy Hoops is Back

Cards on Cards Fantasy Basketball 2018-19! 

[UPDATE: We have one open slot if anyone is interested.]

I renewed the fantasy basketball league the other day in anticipation of the NBA season beginning soon. Renewing the league means that everyone from the previous season is automatically added back. If you were part of this last season and do not wish to participate, please let me know soon.

I will be giving out a prize once again to the winner. (I completely spaced on it last season, so Brandon has a prize blaster coming to him soon.)

I am planning on setting the draft for the evening of Sunday 10/14, likely early-ish west coast time so that east coast folks aren't up too late. Of course, you don't have to be present to draft.

Changes? Should we make some? A couple of items discussed via email and the league message board include adding 2 more teams, and making it a keeper league. If you have any thoughts, feel free to comment here, email me and/or join the discussion over on the league message board. I plan on finalizing all of the rules for the league in the next week or so.