Monday, November 20, 2017

Freed from the Basement!

Getting caught up with many things at the moment with many posts (trade posts esp) to come. But, to all those who played in the basement fun game, your prizes on on their way!
Here they all are before they were on their way. 

Thanks everyone for playing and you will all find a lil something extra with your claim. 

Happy Thanksgiving, errbody! 

Wednesday, November 15, 2017

1988 Little Sun Legends of the Minor Leagues - BIG Card Show Find

Last time, I showed off some of my vintage pick-ups from last weekend’s Milwaukee card show. Today, let’s look at the oddballs I found. These are some very odd balls indeed.

I love these Topps glossy cards. The all-stars, the rookies, the send-in sets. There is something reassuring about them. I got this 1986 set for a dollar. I think I might send this Boggs off to get it signed. Boggs is a very good TTM signer, charging five bucks a sig.

I also snagged this from the same seller. It was a small set, just twelve cards, from some maker I had never heard of. But for a dollar, what the hell? The set was produced by Little Sun, a company based in Monrovia, CA. According to this brief history of the company, they released a number of sets between 1988 and 1992. I didn’t think much of it when I picked up and didn’t expect much based on the weird cover card. But when I got it home and opened it up, I was quite literally stunned by what I found.

Holy shit! That is a great-looking card! Each card was illustrated by artist Michael Guccione and it very reminiscent of the iconic 1935 National Chicle football set. This is Luke Easter, who clubbed 269 homers in the minors.

Here is Frank Shellenback, who was a master of the spitball with the Hollywood Stars of the Pacific Coast League.

Jigger Statz had over 4,000 professional hits, with more 3,300 coming in the minors. Overall, he played in nearly 3,500 professional baseball games.

Meet Joe Hauser, a Milwaukee native who was the first professional hitter to ever belt more than 60 homers in multiple seasons. He topped out at 69 in 1933 for the Minneapolis Millers. He later retired to Sheboygan, Wisconsin, nearby to where I grew up.

Smead Jolley won six minor league batting titles, including marks of .397 and .404 for the San Francisco Seals.

Steve Bilko was six-foot-one and weighed as much as 265 pounds. One sportswriter said he resembled a “gigantic white eggplant.” In 1956, he smacked 55 homes and batted .360 for the PCL LA Angels.

This is instantly my favorite card of Pete Gray, who made history with the St. Louis Browns in 1945 by being the first MLB player who was missed a limb. He had limited success in the majors, but hit .380 with the Trois-Rivieres Renards of the Canadian-American League in 1942. He's shown here with the Memphis Chicks, where he batted .333 in 1944.

Lou Novikoff was a PCL MVP with Los Angeles. He saw action in a few seasons with the Cubs but loved to eat and drink and hated to meet curfew. He was a notoriously bad fielder and – per the bio on the back of the card – had a terrible fear of the ivy on the walls at Wrigley Field.

Ike Boone batted .370 during his 14-year minor league career and in 1929 hit .407 with 55 homers for Mission, His mark of 553 total bases that year set an all-time record (he played 198 games that season).

And then there’s Fidel Castro. Yes, THAT Fidel Castro. A very odd addition to the set, considering this “legend” of the minor league never played in the minor leagues, although was known as a huge fan of the game who played in his younger days. This set actually isn’t even listed in the Trading Card Database, but if it were, this would mark the only baseball card of Castro, who has appeared in a handful of non-sports sets. 

And here is an example of the set's backside, which includes a very nice biographical write-up. 

Anyway, those were my oddball adventures at the show. Next up, JUNK WAX!

Monday, November 13, 2017

Card Show Haul pt. 1: Vintage

I’ve added a lot of fun stuff to my collection lately that needs to be yapped about… primarily the results of a few nice trades and a trip to the local monthly card show. So I’ll break it into a few posts and hopefully will have some decent content to put up over the next week or so.

Let’s start with the card show! I had a pretty good haul out at Gonzaga Hall. As usual, the room was pretty full. That’s been kind of a problem for me in the past, as I am not terribly fond of crowds, and trying to nudge and dance around so many people (especially card show people, who tend to be a bit more, uh, expansive) while looking at tables and boxes is uncomfortable for me. Thankfully, however, I managed to visit the show during the auction, which sucks people to the end of the room, and during the start of the Packer game, which sucked them right out the door. So I spent a bit more time at the show than usual and got deeper into some of the more interested products.

I scored some very nice vintage stuff, both for my sets and just for fun.

Here’s a real sharp 1980 Nolan Ryan. I paid $4 for it from a half-off box. I actually picked up another one of these earlier in the show for a buck and had forgotten about it by the time I found this gem. The first one was pure filler, so it worked out.

I haven’t started on the 1977 Topps set yet. But when I do, I’ll have this great card of Lefty to start out with. Windbreaker, worn-out fence, mystery blue jeans… yeah, this card is a winner. I got it for a dollar.

REGGIE! Knocked this one off my 1980 want list. When I look at these old Topps designs, I always think of how much better they’d look if they used the team’s colors in the design. Red, orange, and sky blue for the Yankees? This was another buck card.

I added BIG ROOKIE #2 to my ’81 set. I was on the lookout for a Tim Raines as well, but came up empty. This beauty set me back all of 50 cents.

A second-year Wizard of Oz! Again, replace the green with Padre brown and how perfect would this card be? It’s still pretty damn sharp. I got it for two bones.

This Schmidt is a little beat-up, but for just three bananas, I snapped it up in a heartbeat.

When I get the money, I’m going to attack this 1972 set. It’s one of my favorite designs and has some very cool photography. Big Willie looks like he’s just about to pounce, dressed in those so-very-sharp Bucs unis. I paid three-quarters of a donut (75 cents) for it.

I just love the ‘movement’ in this photo. Brooksie twisted up after (I would guess) fouling one off. The tug of his jersey. The restless crowd behind him (dig the paper hat on the vendor). It’s a gorgeous card, no matter how worn it is. It was mine for two beans.

I’m torn on this card. It should be so much cooler. But 1969 was a dead period for Topps photos, with Marvin Miller having convinced many players to resist Topps photographers in order to secure a better licensing deal. This is actually the same exact photo that appeared on Morgan’s 1968 card. Topps was also, for some reason, still unable to use to logos or even the NAME of the Houston Astros. So, the result is this terribly dull card of an incredibly exciting player. It hardly even looks like a baseball card. Anyway, it’s got a big crease in it, and set me back all of one clam.

Now THIS is a ball card. From the same 1969 set, we’ve got a third year Tom Terrific. It’s a little gamey, with some paper loss on the corner, but set me back just five … dollars. It was the most expensive pick-up of the show.

Next up, I’ll share some of the ODDBALLS I found at the show.

Thursday, November 9, 2017

Hitting it Big in a Fairfield Repack

Now that I’ve got the BASEMENT FUN GAME out of the way, I can get back to posting! And I do have some stuff to share. I made a trip to Target a couple of weeks ago and picked up a couple of Update hangers. I’ll share those in a day or two, but first I wanted to share some of the other stuff I found.

Let’s start off with this repack. I have never opened one of these before and always assumed they were filled with nothing but trash. This one was $5. The CVS Pharmacy a few blocks from my apartment also sells these, but they charge $8. $8 is outrageous and $5 even seems to be a bit much, but I was in a busting mood.

It turned out to be a pretty good time to be in that mood.

I grabbed the one that had a nice-looking Ichiro on top, something called a “Factory Set Limited Edition.” I have no idea that that means.

The bulk of the thing was junk-era wax. Which is awesome. Sadly, it was mostly Topps cards that I already had. I did get this gem from the first TSC set. A HOFer in a throw-back cap earns this one a place in my Frankenset.

A couple of purple-bordered cards of guys who gotten PED suspensions. I really like the look of 2013 set and these colored borders really pop.

Now here is some real junk! Say what you will for the overproduction years of the 80s and early 90s, at least you can keep track of stuff. In the late 1990s, it seemed like every card maker was releasing about 50 sets a year, most of them totally unnecessary. This is from Skybox Thunder. Which was way better than Skybox Sleet, but not as cool as Skybox Humidity.

At least the Thunder set didn’t have an uncorrected error on every card in the set. The same cannot be said for the Star Cal Ripken set from (I think) 1996. Meant as a tribute after he broke the consecutive games streak, it turned into a laughingstock when they INEXPLICABLY referred to him as “Cal, Ripken,Jr.” on EVERY CARD IN THE SET. This has got to be among the worst card sets ever produced.

Oh! And I got a “hit” in this package…

Yes! Former White Sox top-ish prospect Joe Borchard. Neat. I’ve already mailed it off to Nick V., who collects Stanford guys.

Oh, and last but not least, I found this one among the junk…

Now we’re talking! That is the rare(ish) Harper 661 rookie/non-rookie that was put into factory sets. Baseballcardpedia considers it to be his true RC, while collectors at large (based on eBay prices) seem to prefer his 2012 Update rookie debut card. Ironically, this was originally considered to be a less-expensive alternative to the 661, but now sells for 2-3 times as much. So, this is, however you label it, a titanic pull from a Fairfield pack. HOWEVER, over the summer, I went out and bought one of these for my 2012 set. So it was, at the moment, quite useless to me. Thanks to twitter, I found a trade partner who was interested in it and we hashed out a deal that sent a lot of Topps base needs my way.

Wednesday, November 8, 2017

Wrapping up the BASEMENT FUN GAME

So, the BASEMENT FUN GAME hit a bit of a snag in that one of our players seems to have vanished. I considered a few of your suggestions to keep things rolling, but in fairness to everyone who might get a prize swiped, I've decided to end things as they stand. 


Anyone would like to swap out their prize for number 9... which was not claimed during the BFG.

Number 9 is...

Nothing mind-blowing, but a decent Junior card plaque. The first to comment can swap their prize for this... or if no one claims it, I'll offer it to our mystery player, should he reemerge from the weeds.

Here is the (for now) final list of winners:

Brad B - 8x10s, posters
Lost Collector - Junior and Montana Sports Shots 
Angels in Order - Ripken items
Nick- Namath and 61 baseball books
Bo - Oversized lot
Gavin - President's Reserve promo kit 
Stealing Home - SportsCard Mags 
Matt K - James Lofton Photo 
Dayf - Topps Mag Premiums 
John Sharp - Action Flats  
Sports Card Collector - Little football hats  
Adam - Classic 1995 NFL Draft Cards

I'll send out an email soon to get your address and, sometime with the next week or two, I'll spend an evening packaging all this stuff up and getting it into the mail. I'll include a few bonus cards with your winnings as well. Thanks for playing!

Tuesday, November 7, 2017

Adam picks number six...

Via email, Adam Sanders picks lucky #6...

A big ass stack of 1995 Classic NFL draft cards. I opened a TON of this stuff back in the day. You get some sold rookies, including Curtis Martin and Terrell Davis. These were kept in pages (they still smell like them), so they are a bit warped. Character, I call it.

Which brings us to Mark K, who actually was up for this round but timed out. I haven't been able to get ahold of him via email. Any suggestions on how to end this thing? There is one prize remaining.