Friday, January 27, 2012

Airbrushed Fridays: 2011 Topps Opening Day #59

There's only 22 days until pitchers and catchers report. 22 days! That's only three weeks until we can start talking about baseball for real instead of just checking periodically to find out if anyone is going to hand Edwin Jackson a big contract.

Russell Martin is a three-time All-Star catcher who does a little bit of everything, but doesn't seem to do anything extremely well. Having the benefit of playing in major markets his whole career seems to have helped him to the accolades he's received. He will enter his 7th major league season in 2012.

Why did Topps airbrush Russell's photo? Martin was a surprise free agent acquisition by the Yankees last offseason. He had a strong start last year and found his way to the All-Star team by virtue of being a Yankee, and not being as bad as end-of-career Jorge Posada. However, he had not appeared in a Yankees uniform at the time this set was released.

What's wrong with this picture, anyway? As far as Photoshop jobs go, this isn't bad. It's probably not too difficult to go from Dodger road grey and blue to Yankee road grey and navy blue. This is more of a case of knowing that the season hadn't even begun when this set was released.

If you are interested in obtaining a card featured here, please send me an e-mail. If you have a card you would like to nominate for Airbrushed Fridays, please get in touch as well. I will require that I am able to see the card in person, either on loan or as a donation, so that I can examine the card and experience it in all its cruddiness.

Wednesday, January 25, 2012

I'm Officially Old

Sometimes discussion of one card leads to a big box in the mail, which is exactly what happened last month when I received a huge haul of Cardinal cards from GCRL. I was trying to think of a Cardinal equivalent for the Garvey, Cey, Russell, Lopes arrangement and all I could come up with was Ozzie, McGee, Hernandez, Porter. I don't think a '70s foursome would quite work as the Cardinals by all accounts were pretty awful during that decade.

J.D. Drew is apparently retiring. That makes me feel extremely old. He's officially the first megaprospect from the days where I started to regain a little bit of interest in sports for the first time since I was in college to actually hang it up. Even though I never liked J.D. Drew, this makes me sad.

Tino Martinez is looking like a middle infielder here. Weird.

I'm not entirely sure what this set it is, but it curiously has some airbrushed logos. It was produced in 1995 and has a Coke logo and an unfamiliar Sonic logo on the back.

This is actually from the 2008 Topps Cardinals team set and stood out to me because I don't think Spiezio ever got a regular issue 2008 Topps card.

I'm actually less interested/disturbed by Looper's presence here than I am by John Patterson and this Aqua Diamondbacks look. Yikes.

This is a busy design, but it still looks nice. A lot of the current Topps cards with old timey players just look lazy.

Token Edmonds Card.

Token Ankiel As A Pitcher Card

Tino Martinez doesn't get a ton of mention here at Cards on Cards, as his role with St. Louis was effectively to bridge the gap between superstar Mark McGwire and Super Scrooge. I really like the look of this card, though.

Somewhere among the chaos of this huge box was a Bob Gibson fold-out poster from some sort of Fleer / SI set. It's a nice thing to have.

I received no less than three of the "My Name Is Not Jeff" Pendleton rookie cards in this box, but sadly I am still on the quest for the corrected "Terry" version of this card.

Always nice to get a Willie rookie card! If there's anyone I'd like to see the Cardinals break their "we don't retire numbers if they're not in the Hall" policy for, it would be Jim Edmonds. Willie would be a close second, though! I do believe that, unofficially, #51 is retired since no one seems to ever wear it. Unfortunately, there's been a fair amount of #15s since Edmonds left, including the current holder Rafael Furcal.

Man, I miss '80s Donruss artwork.

So here is the real impetus of the trade. At long last, I finally get to put a Jamie Moyer card in one of my Cardinals binders. This is a big moment for this blog, considering that it was (and continues to be) one of my collecting goals to actually get Moyer in a Cardinals uniform. I don't remember Moyer ever being a Cardinal even though his time with the team coincided with my high school years and days when I kept up with baseball cards pretty closely. I still don't actually have Moyer in a Cards uniform, but I'm close now. I didn't know this card actually existed (as far as a Cardinals team collector would care) until I read about it on GCRL's most excellent O-Pee-Chee blog. I highly recommend it.

Friday, January 20, 2012

Airbrushed Fridays: 1974 Topps #208

It was a big week for me, as I actually managed to successfully get three packages out the door. Little successes!

Mike Marshall was a former All-Star screwball-tossing reliever who played for an impressive 9 major league teams over the course of 14 seasons. He has previously appeared in this feature here. Also pictured is John Hiller, as this card highlight's the top firemen of the 1973 season, based on a ranking system that gives equal weight to a pitching win as it does a save. Marshall led the NL in saves, but he also had 14 wins (and 11 losses) over the course of a 179 IP season in which he started no games at all in some sort of bizarro version of pre-Tony La Russa managed baseball.

Why did Topps airbrush Mike's photo? It's rare that I can say this, but I honestly have zero idea. Marshall had spent the last 3+ seasons in an Expos uniform before an offseason trade to the Dodgers as noted in the previous Mike Marshall post. Can anyone explain this? He is actually airbrushed into his former uniform.

What's wrong with this picture, anyway? That Expos logo is awful. It's like two different people handled each side of it or something. Also, Marshall appears to be wearing a ghostly baseball equivalent of a hospital gown instead of a proper uniform. Maybe I'm just letting my imagination run wild tonight.

If you are interested in obtaining a card featured here, please send me an e-mail. If you have a card you would like to nominate for Airbrushed Fridays, please get in touch as well. I will require that I am able to see the card in person, either on loan or as a donation, so that I can examine the card and experience it in all its cruddiness.

Tuesday, January 17, 2012

JABO Break Results

If it seems like my only card purchases lately are through group breaks, well... then... you've probably noticed that it's the truth. I am certain that I'll get back in the swing of things with new 2012 stuff on the horizon, but I'm definitely in a serious collecting rut at the moment. Fortunately, there have been a few of these group break type of things to keep the embers going. JABO has had a number of such events already in its relatively short time of existence. If you get an opportunity, you should consider participating.

I got three teams in the break, plus some extras. Of course, the Cardinals were represented and included players I'd never heard of! Awesome! I think? Kenneth Peoples-Walls was apparently a 4th round pick in the most recent draft. Let's hope that I get to hear announcers say his name at some point down the road.

There were also some kids in the package. When I say "kids", I actually mean people that were born in 1995. 1995! That's crazy. People shouldn't be allowed to own these. They may as well make Little League World Series cards. (They probably do, sadly.) I am guessing that the cards for players who were not affiliated yet with a major league team ended up getting randomly distributed among the participants. I will hang on to these in hopes that they all become supermegastars someday.

White Sox! This was a team that was randomly assigned and one that I do not often find trading partners for, so of course most of the "hits" in the package were White Sox cards. This here is one of those refractor type thingies.

Dodgers! I selected this team purposefully after taking the Cardinals, because I never have a problem getting rid of Dodgers cards. In fact, I am so going to get rid of some Dodgers cards tomorrow... provided that the Postal Service still exists by then.

Friday, January 13, 2012

Airbrushed Fridays: 2008 Topps #532

Welcome to another edition of Late Night Airbrushed Fridays: Tebow Free since 2009!

Tim Lahey is a minor league pitcher who found his way onto a Topps MLB rookie card under dubious circumstances. He's never appeared in a major league game, yet has spent time on a roster. I'm not certain that he technically qualifies for a Topps card in this day and age, but he didn't come into the league with the fanfare of, say, Alex Gordon.

Why did Topps airbrush Tim's photo? Lahey was drafted by the Twins, and then made his way to the Rays via the Rule V draft. He was cut before the season started, claimed by the Cubs before ultimately landing with the Phillies - who also cut him a week into the season. He was returned to Minnesota before this set even came out. It appears that he's actually out of baseball completely at this point, with no stats available for the 2011 season.

What's wrong with this picture, anyway? The colors... the logos... they are just not right looking.

If you are interested in obtaining a card featured here, please send me an e-mail. If you have a card you would like to nominate for Airbrushed Fridays, please get in touch as well. I will require that I am able to see the card in person, either on loan or as a donation, so that I can examine the card and experience it in all its cruddiness.

Wednesday, January 11, 2012

Let's Put A Bow On This 1993 Upper Deck Thing

Here is my one final plea to help me finally finish off my first substantial set since I've started this blog. I am down to needing just two cards from the main set along with two "SP" cards, which I honestly know nothing about, from the 1993 Upper Deck set. Here's the want list, officially:

  • 21 Melvin Nieves
  • 66 Tim Wakefield
  • SP5 G.Brett/R.Yount
  • SP6 Nolan Ryan
I know I've had a copy of the Wakefield card before, but it was in rough shape. Considering that, no matter how much I like the design and quality, this is still at its core a junk wax set, I am making sure that each card in the set is in better than acceptable shape. Can anyone help? I will just go ahead and look online for the two SP cards if I can get the Nieves and Wakefield.

I also want to show off these portfolios that Erin found for me and included with my Christmas haul. I had never seen or heard of these before. They instantly reminded me of the 1988 Topps portfolios that were gaining popularity back when I was still in middle school. The design on these particular folders contains representations of actual cards from the set, but as seen on the reverse, they are merely empty place holders for actual cards. The inner flap also gives an interesting guideline to card conditions, or "rating your cards", something you probably don't actually care about if you're about to slip something into these pockets.

Strangely, the back pocket shows off what the cards on the front would look like in reverse as if they were real cards, which they aren't.

A second portfolio that I received has a different color and shows off some of the Triple Crown inserts from this set. I wonder how many different portfolios were made. I finally found an auction that purports the existence of at least 6 different designs and 4 colors.

Any information about this stuff would be greatly appreciated. If I end up finishing up a few more sets, I may go ahead and pursue some or all of the insert sets as well. For now, I need to get the base set knocked out.

Tuesday, January 10, 2012

Contest Winners and Group Break Results

All the college football games are over for the year, which means the Bowl Pick 'Em Contest has also drawn to a conclusion. Congrats to AJ of The Lost Collector for taking top honors, while last year's champ - Stats on the Back - came up just short and took second place this time around. Third place goes to hiflew of Cards from the Quarry, while Joseph's GRAVITRON entry managed to be the least successful. Winners (and "winner"), please email me your mailing addresses so I can get your prizes out to you soon. I am aiming for getting these packaged up this weekend and dropped in the mail on Monday in order to avoid 2011-style procrastination.

Meanwhile, the cards featured in this post are from a group break hosted by My Cardboard Mistress. A bunch of random products were opened which led to me getting quite a variety of Cardinals cards, many of which I didn't own already. I kind of like this group break thing.

I completely missed out on the whole 2011 Topps sticker craze. I need some more of these in Cardinal form.

I did like the Legends of the Game inserts and wasn't so pleased with some of the other things Topps tried in 2010 and 2011. One issue was photo selection, however. It would be really great to see Topps sign up with some other third party with access to a lot of archives for some of these retired/Hall of Fame cards.

There are so many shiny and sparkly J.D. Drew cards made of all sorts of interesting materials. It's just too bad that the Cardinals go-to marketable young player at the time was J.D. Drew.

This is a great card and a great get for me. I am glad that Ozzie played in an era where there were plenty of photo ops.

Finally, here's another "manupatch" that goes straight in my collection. I wonder if Topps will still be doing this for this year's set. I can't even remember what this year's set looks like, but I'm pretty sure I was not very impressed.

Saturday, January 7, 2012


I managed to win two fantasy baseball leagues this year, which I've probably mentioned before. One of them actually ended in a tie, which I didn't think was possible, and I ended up with the prizes (at least in theory). I received a few cards in the mail from a couple of locations, and there was a common theme: Topps manupatches. This Dizzy Dean patch card from 2010 Topps Series 1 is a keeper for sure. I received it from The Daily Dimwit.

Two more patches, from 2011 Topps, came over across the pond from Martyn. I have to admit that I have no idea who Josh Bell is, but I'm sure that somebody does! I find it rather strange that they chose to use a 1997 commemorative patch for the Orioles, since that wasn't even a World Series year for them.

Here's a guy we're all probably a little more familiar with. Anyway, these patches are up for grabs to anyone who is interested, except for the Dizzy Dean. I will be looking forward to trying to duplicate my success somehow in the coming fantasy season.

Friday, January 6, 2012

Airbrushed Fridays: 1972 Topps #213

THREE Rookie Stars. AH AH AH AH AH!

Billy Parker was a second baseman who logged 278 plate appearances over three seasons with the California Angels. He was taken by the Yankees in a Rule V draft where he spent three additional seasons at their AAA level before concluding his career.

Art Kusnyer was a backup catcher who played in parts of 6 MLB seasons with 3 teams, spending most of his time with the Angels. He hit just .176 in his career with an unsightly .461 OPS. He later became a coach for Tony La Russa during his time with the White Sox and A's.

Tom Silverio was an outfielder who had a few cups of coffee in three separate seasons with the Angels, logging just 32 plate appearances in 31 games. He had an 8 year minor league career that was apparently cut short by today's standards at the age of 26 and was a productive hitter throughout.

Why did Topps airbrush these photos? There's a common theme here, of course, and it's that these players probably didn't make enough appearances in the majors for Topps to get a decent photo of them in their proper team's gear. It should be noted, however, that all of these players played for the Angels at some point in the previous season (1971) so they must have come to spring training with California as well.

What's wrong with this picture, anyway? If you assume for a moment that Billy Parker's photo is the only one that isn't actually airbrushed (certainly possible), his cap provides a stark contrast to Kusnyer's and Silverio's. They glow. And the little halos look more like tiny footballs for some reason.

If you are interested in obtaining a card featured here, please send me an e-mail. If you have a card you would like to nominate for Airbrushed Fridays, please get in touch as well. I will require that I am able to see the card in person, either on loan or as a donation, so that I can examine the card and experience it in all its cruddiness.

Wednesday, January 4, 2012

Perceived Rarity Trumps Reality?

Has anyone else noticed how easy it is to pull these so-called "short print" cognac diamond parallels from the Topps Update set? How is it that I've pulled three of these in 20-something packs while I've only pulled one actual short print from a Topps set in the three years that they've been doing these retired/legend SPs? It seems like there's been no shortage of these popping up in blog posts and auction listings over the past few months. It begs the question: who decided that these were truly short prints, especially when I believe no stated odds are listed on any of the Topps packaging?

Is it any more difficult to get a Reggie Jackson vomitcard than it is, say, Coco Crisp? Just curious. I'm always fascinated by how these things come about.

Yeah, Right

I'm not doing that.

... or that, either.

I do wish I had more codes, though. I only ended up with one thing worth shipping this year.

Tuesday, January 3, 2012

Some Updates and Some Community Gum

Hey! The Ducks won the Rose Bowl! Hey! The Blazers are off to an impressive 4-1 start! Things are looking up at Cards on Cards Central, even with the fun of the Cardinals World Series run still fresh in mind.

Here's an update on the bowl pick 'em contest before I get to some cards I received from a big Community Gum group break. 'The Belk Bowl is Best' (defending champion Stats on the Back) is in the lead with just a handful of games remaining, but The Lost Collector is sitting in the best position right now with the most possible maximum points. Meanwhile, a number of people unfortunately failed to make picks for all of the games, leaving 'GRAVITRON' by Joseph as a near-lock to take worst place.

As mentioned, there are cards to be posted about, cards such as this nifty Topps Laser card featuring a smoldering Dennis Eckersley.

I still don't understand the Topps Tek concept, nor do I really want to. The cards are fun, though. I wonder how someone could think that it wasn't economically, let alone environmentally, feasible to continue to produce cards like these en masse.

It's really odd to see what's essentially a 1991 Topps common card get the refractor treatment, but that's exactly what we have here. I wish we could get a real Topps Archives or Fan Favorites set instead of what Topps is apparently planning to roll out next year as some sort of insert.

Can I just say that I'm not a fan of this Topps Gallery design? Okay. Moving along...

What's better than a bunch of Topps products saturating the market? How about a Topps product combining a bunch of their already existing products in one big confusing heap of a set!

More refractored junk wax, this time featuring The Wizard.

DramaTEK. I get it!


Red Turkey Red Cardinal cards might be the best cards in all of the land. Just sayin'.