Tuesday, May 31, 2011

Fave Five -- Most Wanted

Every collector has a wish list of cards they would like to someday own.  Here are my Fave Five Most Wanted cards.

Number Five:  A Roy Halladay Autographed card

When it comes to my Colorado Collection (where I get an autographed card of athletes born and/or raised in Colorado), it looks like the hardest one for me to track down will be a Roy Halladay autographed card.  He is a successful and popular pitcher and it appears that he hasn't signed a ton of cards.  Therefore, he's going to be tough for me to pick up.

Number Four :    1910 Murad Tobacco College Series, especially the golf ones.

If I ever begin to venture into tobacco cards, the 1910 Murad College Series cards are the ones I'd like to focus on first.  These cards seem to be reasonably priced, which is great for me.  I also like that they feature American colleges and multiple sports.  If I am unable to collect the entire set, I'd like to at least like to add the golf cards to my collection. 

Number Three:  2009 Topps Finest #163  Dexter Fowler Autographed Manupatch Letter E

My trek to find the elusive E is so desperate, I can't even find one listed online so that I can borrow their picture of the card for this post.  Imagine the above card as an E. 

A couple of weeks ago there were two listed on eBay, but I had to let them go once they got out of my price range. 

UPDATE:  Well lookie-here.  But a 9-day auction?  Seriously?

I'm tempted to settle for the 2009 SP Authentic Letter E, which looks similar to this one. 

But I haven't become that desperate.  Yet. 

Number Two:  2007 Bowman Chrome Prospects #BC230 Luke Hochevar Rookie Autograph

I'd eventually like to have this card in the Base, Refractor, Blue, Gold, and Orange parallels.  Those are plausible pickups.    As for the Red and Superfractor parallels, those would be icing on the cake if I was ever able to afford and/or find them. 

Surprisingly, I won an XFractor of this card (which is numbered to /250) for a mere $10 last week.

Number One:  A John Stockton Autographed card

This card is in the number one spot because John Stockton is the first player I seriously collected.  As a Hall of Famer and one of the greatest players in NBA history, these cards are quite expensive.  But, it will make owning one of his autographed cards that much sweeter once I do track one down.

Monday, May 30, 2011

This Week In Golf: 5/20 to 5/29

Since my membership at my local golf course means I can play as much golf as I want and because I have a lot of free time on my hands, I thought I'd do a post every week or so (i.e. whenever I can remember to bring home the scorecards) featuring my golf scores from the past week.

05/20/11 and 05/21/11 -- I sometimes use the same card for multiple rounds. I'd love to claim it was because I am being environmentally sensitive, but it's usually because I forget to grab a new one in the club house.

Also, I noticed that the pencil marks didn't show up very well on my scanner, so I went over the scores with a pen. 



05/28/11 and 05/29/11 (with my Dad)

I'm still chasing that ellusive 79.  I've had multiple rounds where a sub-80 score was possible, but I keep letting them slip through my fingers, including yesterday's round with my Dad where I hit a drive out-of-bounds on the back-nine.  That two-stroke penalty kept me above 80.

But the summer is young and I've been playing the best golf of my career, which is encouraging.

One of my other goals is to see how many times I can loop around the course in one day.  I think 100-holes in one day (ten times around the 9-hole course) is doable.  But I'm going to have to spend some time building up my golf-stamina if I want to make it happen.

I hope everyone has a relaxing Memorial Day.

Sunday, May 29, 2011

Big Thanks to The Sewing Machine Guy

After The Sewing Machine Guy bought a pile of "pizza boxes" full of baseball cards at a yard sale, I contacted him to see if he'd be willing to send me any early-1980s baseball cards featuring guys with mustaches for my Mustache Set.  He said he would.

Sure enough, true to his word, this weekend I got home from golfing to find a large envelope sitting in my mailbox.

I opened it up to find a huge stack of mustache cards.  Here is a very small sampling of them:

Now here is where The SMG went above and beyond the call of duty.  I was more than happy to get a great stack of 1981 and 1982 Topps Mustache cards. 

Yet, along with the 'staches was a bag with this message:

Inside the bag was two packs of cards. 

One was a pack of 2011 Gypsy Queen which yielded:

I included the checklist cards because my wife was looking it over and spotted the Crown Jewel Relic of Prince William and Princess Kate. 

As someone who got up early to watch the Royal Wedding, she was interested in getting this card.  After I showed her what they were selling for on eBay, her interest diminished.  Maybe in a couple of years, the prices will go down and I'll be able to get it for her.

The second pack was of 2011 Opening Day, which included these seven cards:

I am constantly telling my wife how great the people of the cardboard blogosphere are and The SMG proved it once again.  Thanks for the cards and the packs Larry.  I greatly appreciate it. 

Friday, May 27, 2011

Fave Five

I'm going to do everything I can to make the most of this "Summer of Very Few New Cardboard Purchases".

One way I'm going to do this is by focusing more on what cards I already have rather than my usual stewing about what cards I still need.

"And how will this affect the blog?" you most certainly are asking yourself.  Well, I"m glad you asked.

The main way is a new feature where I look through my collection and find my "Fave Five" cards of a certain topic, such as my Fave Five Hochevar cards or my Fave Five Autographed cards or my Fave Five Manupatch cards or my Fave Five Cards of Guys Born in 1981.  You get the idea.

I've already come up with a couple dozen topics for my Fave Five posts, but I'd really enjoy taking requests.  I started a page dedicated to my Fave Five at the top of my blog where I will list/link to these posts. 

I don't have the largest collection in the world, but I think it will be very good for me to spend time sorting and appreciating the cards I already have in my collection.  And it will help keep my blog alive during this lull in purchasing.

A Moving Discovery (Part IV) -- USA Basketball

The third and final mini-set that I found in my card album is definitely my favorite of the three.  Large flag background, shiny gold lettering, and horizontal card design, what's not to like about this 1993-94 Fleer Ultra USA Basketball team collection? 

These players came together to become the US National team that would bring home gold at the 1994 FIBA World Championship. 

The Shaq card is the oddball of the set.  It is numbered M2 while the rest of the card are numbered 361-372.  It also appears that there was a team card available, which I may need to track down eventually to round out the set.

All in all, it was great to stumble into this card album and these great cards from my youth.

Thursday, May 26, 2011

A Moving Discovery (Part III) -- Team Logos

Mini-set number two that was found in my card album is of NBA team logos from 1995 Skybox (I think).  I've previously professed my love for 1990s NBA team logo cards and this set is definitely a good one.

With great art, cool logos, and vibrant colors, what's not to love about these cards?

(And don't worry, I now realize that the Washington Bullets would come after the Vancouver Grizzlies in alphabetical order.)

The backs of the cards also contain some NBA trivia, as seen here.

If I ever decide to do a give-away on my blog, maybe I'll use these questions.  But that would mean I'd have to track down the answers, which I know would never happen.

Anyway, I'm glad to have another NBA team logo set in my collection, especially since my younger, more energetic self went through the trouble of tracking them down for me.

Wednesday, May 25, 2011

A Moving Discovery (Part II) -- "Top This" Draft Picks

The first set of cards that I encountered when I opened up the card album that my wife found while we were moving is from the 1994 NBA Hoops release, which was during the prime of my basketball collecting era.  These cards are from the base set (numbered 421-430), but I am certain that I never attempted to collect the entire set, just mini-sets like this one.

I liked these cards because the fronts featured the top 10 picks from the 1994 NBA draft and the 1993 draft picks were on the back.  To me, these cards were perfect for storing in the pages of an album.

1994 picks 1-4:   The Big Dog, J. Kidd, Grant Hill, and Donyell Marshall

1993 picks 1-4: C Webb, Shawn Bradley, Penny, and Jamal Mashburn

1994 5-8:  Juwan Howard, Sharone Wright, Lamond Murray, and Brian Grant

1993 5-8:  Isaiah Rider, Calbert Cheaney, Bobby Hurley, Vin Baker

Rounding out the 1994 top ten: Eric Montross and Eddie Jones

And 1993:  Rodney Rogers and Lindsey Hunter

I like when the base sets include cards like this, if for no other reason than to help me remember some of these players whose only noteworthy achievement is being one of the top ten players taken in the draft.

Tuesday, May 24, 2011

A Moving Discovery

This summer will by my 7th wedding anniversary.  I never really noticed how long that really is until we were moving this past month.  It seems to me that the length of a marriage can be measured similarly to how people determine the age of a tree.  But in our case, rather than looking at the tree rings, we can look at the tonnage of stuff we've accumulated.

In the past seven years, my wife and I have moved an astounding (to me) five times.  It's astounding to me because I lived in the same house for my entire life until I moved to college.  After two years at junior college, I moved back home until I got married.

After getting married, my wife and I first moved from our one-bedroom apartment into our first house.  Living in such a small apartment meant that we didn't have much stuff to haul across town to our new house.  We lived in that house for three years before packing up and heading to Omaha.  During that three year span we accumulated quite a bit more things, so we used the biggest truck that we could rent from UHaul.

In hindsight, we would have been wise to pare down our belongings before we left for Omaha.  But, the wife and I are not very good at getting rid of items we haven't used for a while because, who knows, someday we may need that deli-meat slicer we've never, ever used.  Yet we hauled that deli-slicer and countless other items 600-miles where they sat in storage for three more years.

Our fourth move came when we left our first dwelling in Omaha, one half of a duplex in downtown Omaha, for the safety of a house in Omaha 'burbs.  We once again rented a large UHaul truck and, with the help of my brother-in-law, dragged three-bedrooms worth of stuff across town.  Again, it would have been wise to get rid of our excess belongings, but we skipped this step that most sane people would have completed.

For our latest move, the wife and I decided to donate many of our useless-to-us items to our local Goodwill store, yet we still managed to fill 65+ plastic bins with our stuff (most of which are stacked in our current garage awaiting our probable next move later this summer).

All of this useless back story (kudos to anyone crazy enough to have read this far) is meant to set the stage for my "moving discovery".

Had, at any time during the past five moves, my wife and I discarded some of our "useless" items in our house before a move, the below item would have probably been one of the first to go.  Somewhere, packed away all these years, my wife stumbled upon this album which she thankfully set aside for me to glance through.

What a great relic from my card-collecting youth.  The funny thing is, this album was a hand-me-down from one of my lifelong friends, who dabbled in card-collecting with me when we were in junior high school.  He was a great collecting friend because he was also interested in basketball cards, especially Shawn Kemp.

I know that this wasn't my album because on the inside cover, along with some nifty stickers, is his name and address (which I decided to block out, even though neither he nor his family live at that house any more).

Incidentally, Wade has gone on to become one of the three professional athletes with which I went to high school (along with the Hochevar siblings, Luke and Brittany.  Readers of this blog know that Luke is a pitcher for the KC Royals and his older sister Brittany is a beach volleyball player, who has partnered with the likes of Logan Tom, Holly McPeak, and, most recently, Kerri Walsh).

Wade has had a successful career as a professional steer wrestler, including winning the $100,000 prize at the 2008 Calgary Stampede, but has had a couple of season ending injuries keep him from NFR success.

Back to the album, the back cover also features some more baseball stickers (all of which were on the album before Wade gave it to me.)

Since I don't have much blog-worthy material these days, I'm going to spend the rest of the week featuring the three different card collections that I decided to store in this album all those years ago.  But, fear not, there is nothing in this album that I'll be using to fund my early retirement.  Just a bunch of cards that I'm glad did not become "cards my mom/wife threw out".

Monday, May 23, 2011

My Other Cardboard Collection: Fowler, CO

Well, we put together our house this past week.  Still no new cards added to my collection as money is REALLY tight right now.  Also, we now live about 40 minutes from the nearest Walmart or Target, so I haven't even been able to snag a pack or two while we shop.

However, my wife did surprise me by scrapping together enough cash to buy me a membership to our local golf course, which happens to be the course where I learned to golf.  The main perk of this membership is that I can play as much golf as I want, whenever I want.  My dad also has his personal golf cart at the course, so I don't even have to spend money to ride.

I present Cottonwood Links Golf Course.

Cottonwood Links is a 9-hole course, so I'll usually zip around the course a few times before I'm tired.  In fact, I played 27-holes last week in under 3-hours.  Good luck doing that in the big city.

The course is typical of courses found along the Arkansas River in southeastern Colorado: prairie golf at its finest.  The fairways are hard and fast, so 300-yard drives are not uncommon.  The greens are small and unforgiving, which places a premium on accuracy.

Unlike Omaha golf courses, the hot and dry climate means that the golf courses must water the course to keep it alive.  Since water is the life-blood of the farming community surrounding the course, tee-boxes and greens get first dibs on water and fairways are sprinkled enough to keep them a light green.  Trees are few and far between and, as you can see from the picture of the golf course above, many fairways run parallel to each other, so errant shots are not as penalizing as they are on courses found on the Golf Digest Top 100 Course list.  In between the fairways are areas of prairie grass, so at least if you miss a fairway, you aren't always greeted with a clean lie.

Some golf purists might turn their nose to Cottonwood Links if they saw it while they were driving down Colorado Highway-50, but I love it.

I love seeing groups of old-timers and local farmers rambling around the course during the week, playing for a nickle a hole after their morning chores have been done.  I love that tee-times are unnecessary.  I love heading out on Tuesday nights for Men's League where, for $2, anyone can show up for 9-holes of blind-draw scramble golf.  I love that on weekdays, no one minds a group of five or six players chasing around a little white ball.  I love that the driving range is only 150-yards deep, so no long-irons, woods, or drivers are swung until the first tee, and the range balls are a rag-tag group of reclaimed golf balls once lost on the course.  I love that most people know the combination of everyone else's cart shed in case a cart breaks down mid-round or an extra cart is need for a spur of the moment round with a large group.

In short, I'm glad to get back to my golf roots this summer.  I hope to get out there at least once a day this summer while my wife studies for her bar exam.  I also hope to be able to get a round or two in at some of the other southeastern Colorado courses, which I'll be sure to show off on this here blog.

Tuesday, May 17, 2011

Back Online

After a handful of days without the internets. 

The wife and I got all of our belongings packed up and hauled out to Colorado with the help of our families.  We will be staying in the house that my grandma lived in before she passed away last summer.  My parents and aunt and uncle own the house and have graciously allowed us to stay here while the wife studies for the Colorado Bar Exam.  She doesn't have a job yet, but we're hopeful that one will come along shortly.

We got a majority of our stuff out of boxes today, but the office is not yet put together.  Once it is, I hope to be able to put together a post or two a week this summer, but, as you can imagine, money will be very tight so I don't know how many new items I'll be posting about as I probably won't be buying many new cards this summer (including the two Hochevar printing plates that I had to let get away when the auctions got out of my price range, which was disheartening, to say the least).

I'm glad to be back online and living vicariously through the many friends I've made in the card-blogosphere. 

And, let me point out that I'll never be too proud to accept handouts of any dupes you may have of guys I collect.  Think of the great publicity you'll get when I write up a post praising you for your generosity during my card-collecting drought. 

Friday, May 13, 2011

I'm Now Married to an Esquire

Today, my wife will receive her Juris Doctorate degree.  I am so very proud of how hard she has worked toward this goal over the past three years.

Congrats Pal!

Tuesday, May 10, 2011

Trade Report: Group Break & Trade w/ BA Benny

When BA Benny is involved, cardboard does indeed rock. 

After his Group Break we worked out a bit of a trade, so I received a vast quantity of cards in the mail last week.

I got a jersey/auto, a manupatch, and a jersey swatch.

I got some Hochevars and Greinkes.

I got some Gordons.

And a smattering of various other Royals.

I also received some Denver Broncos cards out of the group break.

And, BA Benny was very generous and included a hefty pile of Mustache cards for my set.  The Mustache Set is really taking shape.  Thanks to BA Benny for hosting a great group break and for doing some trading with me.

Saturday, May 7, 2011

Colorado Collection: Jeremy Bloom

The latest autograph card I've added to my Colorado Collection is of Jeremy Bloom. 

Jeremy was born and raised in Loveland, Colorado.  While attending Loveland High School, Jeremy helped lead both his football and track teams to state championship titles.  He then went on to become an All-American football player at the University of Colorado.

Jeremy's college football career was cut short when the NCAA declared him permanently ineligible due to his off the field skiing career, where he won 11 Gold Medals during his four years of competing on the World Cup Tour.

During the 2006 NFL Draft, Jeremy was selected in the fifth round by the Philadelphia Eagles, but his NFL career was short lived due to injuries.

Wednesday, May 4, 2011

Trade Report: A Team for Team Swap w/ Jeff

A couple of weeks ago I stumbled upon a new blog, My Sports and Sports Cards, being run by Jeff. 

Initially, Jeff was trying to put together something that I'd often thought about doing -- having people sign up for a team and whenever he had enough commons for that team, he'd send them to you if you agreed to pay the shipping costs.  Theoretically, it's a pretty good idea, but after talking with him for a while, Jeff decided that he'd like to try trading away the cards for White Sox cards.

And did he ever deliver.  Jeff added a new Kauffman Stadium to my Royals binder.

Although, I can't for the life of me, figure out where this statue is located.  It must be at a different entrance than the one I usually use.

Along with the stadium card was close to fifty more KC Royals cards.  This page of cards is just a small sampling of what I received from Jeff.  And as you can see, the guy has great taste in cards.

Jeff's blog is in its infancy, so be sure contact him and claim your team.  He has great cards and could use some help restarting his White Sox collection.  I'm sure you'll be as happy with the results as I was.

Monday, May 2, 2011

Summer Vacation

April ended with my playing 90 holes of golf over the course of five days.  Not a bad way to kick start my summer vacation of I do say so myself.  Well, this summer won't really be a vacation, but looking ahead, I'm sure it will seem like one from time to time.

This month my wife will be graduating from law school and we will be moving back to Colorado.  The next couple of weeks will be spent packing boxes and celebrating my wife's successful completion of law school.  After we get back to Colorado we will be spending time with family and friends, attending my sister's wedding, going camping with my family, studying for the bar exam, looking for jobs, and countless other activities.

My plan is to spend the next couple of months resting and relaxing.  The last few weeks of blog posts have felt forced and uninspired, so I think a little time away from the blog will do me some good. 

I have a few loose ends that I'll attempt to tie up over the next few weeks (trades, group breaks, purchases, etc.) and then I'll probably be away from the blog for a while.  I'll probably be lurking in the shadows, trolling all the amazing blogs that I've grown to know and love over the past year.  Eventually, I"ll resurface refreshed and inspired.