Saturday, April 21, 2018

Card Show Odds 'n Sods

The odd stuff. 

The monthly card show was a week ago, but I'm finally getting the chance to sort through some of the stuff I bought. I was even in more of hurry than usual, spending the bulk of my time at just one table that had several boxes of what could be considered mostly "oddballs" for a dime a piece. I am still kicking myself for not trying to make an offer on the contents of a box from another table where everything was just two cents, but I am just not great at haggling. Plus, I think Erin would have killed me for bringing even more cards home than is absolutely necessary to keep this racket going.

Oh well, maybe next time.

I am just showing a few of the ten cent offerings, like this serial numbered Nat Borchers card from a few years ago. I rarely buy Portland Timbers stuff, but Borchers is a happy reminder of the team's MLB Cup win. Plus, the price was more than right.

One of these days, I will get my Randall Cunningham collection (aka P.C.) off to a proper start. None of my football cards are sorted in any way, as the sport continues to take a backseat... a way backseat... like those seats in an old station wagon that faced the rear of the car... to the other sports that are more interesting to me. Still, Randall is awesome, and always will be awesome -- even in other uniforms (excluding the Cowboys, of course.)

This is the ultimate oddball card. I like everything about this.

Going all the way back to the year this blog was introduced to the world, there were even a handful of 2008 Stadium Club 1st Day Issue cards in one of the boxes. These were the hobby versions, which were thicker than the normal cards and actually numbered. Topps really screwed up this set and wouldn't bring it back out of hiding for another 6 years. Still, it was nice to get another serial numbered Matt Holliday card for my collection for the price of practically nothing.

On the Brink of Elimination

What happened to the Trail Blazers? 

I don't... get it. Game 4 is in a couple of hours, which means the Blazers long offseason may begin as soon as tonight.

This card was a recent Listia win, for the real world value of just a couple of bucks. I am not sure what's going on with the jersey swatch, as I don't remember any of their Adidas jerseys looking quite like this. This set was produced relatively early in the season, so it's doubtful this cut-up is from the current year. It'll be interesting to see who is still on the team next season.

Wednesday, April 18, 2018

It's Baseball Season!

Cards from @pennysleeves to soothe those playoff blues. 

Unfortunately, things have taken a bit of a turn since my enthusiastic post over the weekend. The Trail Blazers dropped both of their first two games at home, and now face a 2-0 deficit to a New Orleans team that's being carved up by Jrue Holiday and a guy named Rondo, someone it feels like hasn't been relevant in almost a decade.

Still, there are always cards from around the country to drown my sorrows in, like this fine J.D. Drew Piece of the Game bat chunk sent over from Jon of A Penny Sleeve For Your Thoughts. This is a solid reminder that it's truly baseball season now, and... wait... did the Cards game just get cancelled again? Between an outbreak of injuries and a plague of PPD's, it's been really hard to get into the 2018 MLB season so far. Fortunately, we're just three weeks in, and I'm starting to see a lot of sunny icons in my weather app... in Portland, who doesn't have a team... yet?

Jon sent a ton of other non-baseball cards, which I'd like to show off here. Brandon Roy reminds us of that wonderful playoff 4th quarter against the Dallas Mavericks, bringing the Blazers back from the brink of elimination against the eventual champs. It would prove to be his last NBA hurrah, unfortunately.

Former Ducks star QB looks great on this mid-'90s refractor. Mid-'90s refractors don't exactly grow on trees, so this was especially cool to see.

I think this crazy laser (?) etched 1995 Stadium Club card of vintage Randall Cunningham currently holds the top spot in my theoretical list of Best Cards Received in 2018. I am actually afraid to touch this card, given how fragile the little notches in the card appear to be.

From tiny laser-etched notches to clear acetate, here's a card from Jim Jackson's brief turn in a Blazers uniform. "Trader Bob" Whitsitt caught a lot of flack for some of the players he put in Portland, but it sure made for some interesting basketball cards from the many years that I never looked at cards.

Ty Detmer may not have been the best Eagle, but he was a college star. This is an interesting photo choice, with the QB becoming the receiver, I guess.

Finally, here's an urgent Wesley Matthews, ready to bail me out of this sports funk. If only he was still in a Blazers uniform right now! I have no doubt he could pull this spiraling group together to pull of a win down in Louisiana.

Anyway, Cards/Cubs is supposedly happening tomorrow around the lunch hour. I'll be at work, listening to baseball, hopefully.

Saturday, April 14, 2018

It's (NBA) Playoff Time!

Basketball's second season commences. It must be repack time. 

By the slimmest of margins, the Portland Trail Blazers snagged the 3rd seed in the Western Conference, their highest seed in 18 years. Their won-loss record was not stellar, but they captured a division title on the regular season's final day, falling just shy of 50 wins. There are a ton of "good, but not necessarily great" teams in the league this year, especially in the West, which begins to explain how a sub-50 win Blazers team finds themselves in a favorable playoff position this year. They will face the New Orleans Pelicans, in what I feel is a favorable matchup considering that DeMarcus Cousins is injured and unavailable.

To celebrate the start of the playoffs (P.S. I have tickets to tonight's Pelicans/Blazers Game 1), I picked up a $5 repack box from our downtown Target location. These always contain 25% less cards than their baseball counterparts, which makes me question whether basketball cards in general are worth more than baseball (doesn't seem possible.) Some other factors must be at play here. However, we see this totally legitimate basketball player on the side of the Jumbo Box and know that we can only move forward. It's time to look at some basketball cards before we return to your regularly scheduled programming.

This is an impressive dunk by Marcus Camby in the original style Toronto Raptors jersey. They seemed like the first team to become self-aware when it came to basketball jersey designs.

Fleer was apparently on life support when Upper Deck took over the (former) Fleer brands. They probably could have done something more exciting with this Hot Prospects set.

This Dale Davis Stadium Club card just screams "promo photo" instead of "real life action". I only scanned this because Davis looks super awkward here.

This Dwight Howard card from the current Panini Prizm set was showing on the front of the box, which helped me to decide to grab this and not some other thing. Howard's card is a silver Prizm version. He also plays for the Hornets after a stint with the Rockets.

When I was really young, I once saw Mark Eaton play in some sort of exhibition/charity game at a local community center and thought he was the largest person on the planet, like an actual medieval giant.

Old-school James Edwards doesn't look terrible impressed with the tiny human trying to guard him. I don't usually let Lakers infect this blog, but this photo was too good to pass up.

I feel like the basketball repacks are kind of a cheat, because they can tend to include some college cards, like this Duke guy here.

Here's another Duke... er, Dukes guy.

Former Stanford chump Adam Keefe looks terrified for some reason.

So does Kurt Thomas!

Just showing off the old Vancouver Grizzlies jersey here.

Hey, it's a basketball!

I really like these longer cards, but I feel like the six-pocket pages to store them in were quite a rarity back in the '90s when these sets were being cranked out.

Theo Ratliff looks extremely uncomfortable in a suit here. I looked to see if Upper Deck did this to him because he was recently traded or something, but... nope.

Here's an early, pre-Blazers J.R. Rider card. Is that Danny Ainge down there? Hi, Danny.

This was the card I was happiest to get the most out of this box, as Ridnour is someone I ostensibly collect, being an Oregon alum. This also looks like someone let a kid wear an adult sized uniform.

John Starks' star burned brightly for the Knicks, but his run there was fairly brief. He bounced around a bit after leaving New York.

NBA Legend, I guess, Tim Hardaway.

I want to remember players for what they did on the court, and Hardway certainly had his stellar moments there. It's just hard to totally forget what kind of person he was revealed to be later in life.

I sneaked in another Laker here, because I was a fan of Nick the Quick back in his college days (no idea why, it's pretty random) and this is a nice looking card. Well, aside from the squished Nick in the lower left corner.

This is just a reminder that the Topps Archives concept has been around for quite awhile. When they got an NBA license again in 1992, they put out an interesting little set of players on would-be designs from their lost years, based off the baseball sets. It's not exactly the most collectible set in terms of value, but it's fun.

Monday, April 9, 2018

Stickers, Anyone?

A couple of packs of stickers to calm the nerves.

Sports are too overwhelming right now, and I don't know what else to do, so here are some stickers. I picked up a couple of packs of 1981 Topps baseball album stickers on Listia awhile back, mostly because the wrapper looked awesome. It is awesome, in fact.

199 - Mike Schmidt - The HOF third baseman gets things off to a nice start. I always liked this version of the Phillies 'P' logo, as it coincided with the period where they were the Portland Beavers parent club.

79 - Johnny Wockenfuss - Wockenfuss didn't have a Schmidt-like career, but he does score extra points in the name department.

10 - Cecil Cooper - A lot of blue on this one.

67 - Miguel Dilone - I have no idea who this is, but the striped stirrups are a good look.

91 - Paul Molitor - Pack 2 kicks things off much the way that Pack 1 did, with a Hall of Famer.

102 - Butch Wynegar - As I've mentioned before, the Yankees were the first team I really paid attention to when I was old enough to understand such distinctions as teams and players. I remember Wynegar catching for New York, insomuch that I was aware of his existence.

179 - Bill Russell - Not the legendary basketball player, of course, but being a 3-time All-Star is nothing to sneeze at.

46 - Carlton Fisk - We end things with another world class baseball player in Fisk.

Even this creepy kid approves.

Wednesday, April 4, 2018

Affordable Pacific

'90s Group Break results. 

Long-time blog Cardboard Collections has been doing affordable group breaks for, well, a long time. Recently, this has turned into a Facebook group called, you guessed it - Affordable Breaks & Giveaways. (Okay, maybe you didn't guess it.)

The first break I signed up for since joining the new group was a low budget '90s affair: boxes of Pacific from 1993 and 1994. While Lee Smith was the only card I needed from the 1993 bunch (the box was a Series 1 box and most of my needs are in Series 2), I did manage to knock off a good grouping of cards from the 1994 set.

Jose Oquendo, the Secret Weapon. Oquendo is back coaching third base and working heavily with the infielders again after a two year DL stint. Everyone is kind of sort of hoping he's the answer to the Cardinals recent decent into baserunning blunders and defensive shenanigans.

Tom Pagnozzi, former All-Star catcher!

These early Pacific cards were really cool about showing off photos on both sides of the card. If you're not going to do the full stats thing, this is the way to go.

Bob Tewksbury was a rookie (with the Yankees) when I first started collecting cards, and I always felt he was vastly underrated. Well, it didn't feel like he was rated at all. I always dug him and his unusual last name, so it was cool when he became a Cardinal.

My second, randomized team ended up being the Red Sox. I still have Red Sox leftovers from this if anyone has any Pacific team sets to fill.