Sunday, August 28, 2011

No Time for Words

Just pictures.

Okay, just a few words. 

These two 1910 Murad T51s are in such great condition, there is a small part of my brain that fears they are fakes.  But their texture and smell make me think they are just really well kept examples of a fantastic tobacco set.

Thursday, August 25, 2011

Trade Report: $30 a Week ManuStaches

I recently completed a trade with one of my favorite new bloggers, Robert of the $30 a Week Habit blog.  While he's only 35-posts deep into his blogging career, he seems to have already found his voice and his niche in the blogosphere, which is no small feat.

I shipped off as many Blue Jays and auto/relic cards as I could find in an effort to get a couple of manupatches and mustaches sent my way.  It seems to have worked because these arrived on my doorstep earlier this week.

First, a great looking Orioles team logo manupatch, as well as my first All-Star Game commemorative patch.  I doubt that I'll attempt to collect them all, but I definitely won't turn them away if they are offered to me, especially if they are as visually striking as this one is.

Robert also sent along some Royals cards, most of which will be new additions to my Royals binder, most notably the KC team card at the bottom of the scan.  These cards really drive home how much the Royal's roster has changed in the past year.

And it's always nice to be able to add some recently-printed mustaches to my collection, even if they are reprints.

Thanks for the great trade Robert.  I'm looking forward to our next one.

Monday, August 22, 2011

Talked Down from the Proverbial Ledge by Yellow Bubble Mailers

Today was my first day of school with kids and it did not go well, to say the least.  Not to bore you with the details but suffice to say that everything that probably could have gone wrong seemed to have.  I left the school tired and depressed and not looking forward to tomorrow.

My spirits were lifted greatly when I was greeted to three bubble mailers and one box of cards waiting for me in my mailbox.  I doubt I'll have time to scan the cards until later this week when I get my teaching sea legs underneath me, but I just wanted to thank Dennis of Too Many Grandersons and Robert of $30 A Week Habit for their trade packages as they are top notch.  I was even happy to see the Rich Hill auto/patch card I bought to send to Dennis for our trade.  It is a real beauty and I'm half tempted to scan it myself to show off before Dennis can, but I definitely don't have that kind of time to steal his thunder.  A pair of Murad T51 cards rounded out the packages.

It's crazy how simple pieces of cardboard and a few manufactured patches can really do wonders to improve the psyche and mental health of this teacher.  I promise not to constantly bore you with my sorrows as I reenter the teaching profession (in fact, I plan on this being the last time I mention my job on this blog) but I wanted to give credit where credit is due while I had a spare moment.

Now, I'm off to cook dinner for my gorgeous wife, which will be followed by some episodes of Dexter: Season 5, which she picked up today on her lunch break.  If fresh cardboard, a few MGDs, and exploits of a serial killer can't improve my mood, I doubt that anything will.

Sunday, August 21, 2011

Club Champion

Yesterday was the golf course's Club Championship, which I've been looking forward to for months.  Its the first one I've been able to play in for a half-dozen years for numerous reasons.  It did not disappoint.

The event is relatively laid back as the organizers allow people who are in different flights play together to ensure everyone has a cart to ride in.  I shared a cart with my Dad and here is our score card for the day.

The highlights of my round were draining a 30-foot birdie putt on hole 3 to start the day and my back-nine holes.  I ended the front side with triple bogie, bogie, double bogie, and I was not a happy golfer at that point.  Luckily I pulled my head out of my ass and threw together a two-under backside.

I also enjoyed being able to play the round with my Dad.  I usually play really well when I'm golfing with him and yesterday was no exception.  As for Dad's score, his 87 was one of his best rounds in the past couple of years.  He said he thought he posted a 105 in last year's tournament, so he improved by nearly 20 strokes. 

The fact that I played so well on the back-nine actually won me the low-gross portion of the tournament which is the title that I wanted to win.  One other player came in with a 78 and I beat him on the first hole of the score-card playoff. 

Winning the Club Championship was the icing on the cake of this summer of great golf.  I have one last tournament scheduled before the year ends as I'll be hosting a Skins Game tournament at the course for my 30th birthday in September.  It should be a ton of fun, but I doubt there is any way it is as satisfying as winning yesterday's tournament was for me as a golfer. 

Now it's time to start practicing so I can defend my title in next year's event.

Tuesday, August 16, 2011

Join this Contest, It's the (Jeff) Laws

Head over to My Sports Obsession and help my friend Jeff "The Lawman" Laws celebrate his 100th post. A follow, a comment, and an advertisement of the contest on you blog each nets you one entry into his drawing. 

The prizes haven't been announced yet, but having traded with Jeff in the past, if the prizes are anything like his trade packages, you'll probably want to start a few fake blogs and profiles just to earn some extra entries.

His contest announcement was his 97th post and entries are due by his 99th post, so get moving.

Incidentally, this is my 195th post (yes, I had to go look it up) which isn't too bad for eight-month's worth of blogging.  If I didn't already have something planned for this fall, I'd probably have to have a 200th post celebration.  Guess I'll just have to party hearty with Jeff.

Denver Canisius Marquette

I am on a very successful streak of picking up well-loved Murad T51 cards lately and another lot of three rolled into the mailbox the other day.

I love the colors of the Denver University card and I believe it's the first one I've tracked down with the entire packer stamp included on the back.  The Marquette card is probably in the best shape of all my T51s and I'd never heard of Canisius College before I saw owned this card.

And, as I mentioned yesterday, were it not for the T51 cards, I wouldn't have many new purchases to blog about lately, which is probably much to my wife's chagrin.

Monday, August 15, 2011

Blue Whale

I added another on-card Hochevar card to my collection and it's one of my favorites.  I present my blue whale.

It is numbered 97/150.

The problem with reeling in a whale like this one is that I'm finding fewer and fewer of them in the sea or the bay.  Each cast of the search engine line yields fewer and fewer Hochevar whoppers.  Which is why I'm placing more and more focus on my Murad T51 set. 

Saturday, August 13, 2011

Fave Five -- 1981 Topps

I picked up a nearly complete set of 1981 Topps base cards this past week and I thought a Fave Five was in order.

FIVE -- A boxer, a basketballer, and a singer

FOUR -- Spectacles

THREE -- Coloradoans

TWO -- Royals

ONE -- Mustaches

I bought the lot of cards for a couple of reasons.  First, 1981 was a great year for mustaches, as you can see in the above scans.  I filled in a handful of gaps in my Mustache Set with some 1981 cards.  Second, I was born in 1981 and I'd really like to have the complete base set to commemorate my birth year.  I've added the missing cards to my Want List and would love to make some trades to complete the set.  Finally, I picked up the lot on the cheap, which is always a bonus.

Friday, August 12, 2011

Teaching & Cards

Last week's poll went very well.  Here are the results.
  • 18 people (64% of the 28 votes cast) classify themselves as a sports fan who also collects cards.
  • 5 people (17%) are card collectors first and sports fans second.
  • 3 people (10%) are somewhere in between.
  • 2 people (7%) are none of the above.
Because it went so well, I though I'd throw up another poll and this time it will remain on my sidebar so hopefully more people will be encouraged to vote.

This poll is very simple.


I ask this question because it seems to me that there are quite a few people in the card-blogging community who are teachers.  And one more person was recently added to the teaching ranks: me.

Today I began my second era as an elementary teacher.  It's what I went to college to be and I spent three years as a 4th grade teacher before my wife and I moved to Omaha so she could attend law school.  I decided to take a break from teaching while in Omaha and now that we are back in Colorado, I thought I'd try my hand at it again.  Last week I was offered a position as a 3rd grade teacher and I couldn't be happier.

Today I attended a training seminar by the Flippen Group about how to transform our school district's atmosphere and culture into one that empowers students to become high performers.  This particular training session was aimed at the district's sports coaches, but I was invited to attend so that I could become familiar with the Flippen Group's terminology and techniques.  Much of what they spoke about will easily translate into the classroom, so I came away very motivated and informed.

The reason I bring it up here is because one of the co-presenters was NFLer Colt McCoy's father Brad McCoy and he was a very talented speaker.  He was full of wisdom and insight about how to be a successful coach and teacher.

He has also recently published a book that I'll probably track down in the near future.

If you ever have the opportunity to attend a Brad McCoy speech, I highly recommend you do so as you'll come away inspired and motivated whether or not you are a teacher.

Anyway, feel free to take the above poll and if you are in fact a teacher, let me know what grade/subject you teach and how long you've been in the proverbial trenches in the comment section.  I'd also love to know if and how you integrate your hobby into your classroom as I'd eventually like to do so in mine.

Wednesday, August 10, 2011

Cheap Card Collecting Contest

Cheap Card Collecting is holding his first contest and it looks like there will be some great prizes available.  He's going to be randomizing numerous cards throughout the week.  The first prize to be raffled off is a choice of one of the A&G relic cards pictured below.  (And, technically, there is also a RedSawk and Yank card available, but I'm told that no one in their right mind would choose one of them.)

He will also be randomizing a grand prize package of "a bundle of Jerseys and Autos, with one Jersey and Auto added for each new follower gained."  He started with 40 followers, so lets spread the word and get him get up to the 100 follower mark.

Tuesday, August 9, 2011

Trade Report: Flip this Manupatch w/ Rhubarb_Runner

After I realized that I had two Minnesota Twins team logo manupatches, I felt confident that I would be able to flip one of them for a different team manupatch.  And I was right.

Rhubarb_Runner of the multi-volume dissertation of nothing blog "e rayhahn, rayhahn" was the first to propose a trading of manupatches.  I sent him a Mauer patch and some 2010 Topps T206 cards that he needed and shipped to me a Pirates patch and some high-numbered mustaches.

This is as good a time as any to remind everyone that I'm still collecting mustache cards for my Mustache Set, but I would ask that you be on the lookout for mustache cards of the high-numbered variety (400s-800s).  I'm still collecting all mustache cards, but I really need more of the higher-numbered cards for my set.

 Another great manupatch (as well as some fantastic staches) has made its way into my collection thanks to another great trader in the blogosphere.  I love this hobby!

Monday, August 8, 2011

A Trio of T51s

Last week I picked up three more T51 Murad College Series cards on the Bay.  These three are very well loved with rounded corners, trimmed edges, bends and creases, and that old cardboardy smell, which is exactly how I like them.  Also, it doesn't hurt that each of their auctions ended at the two-quarter mark (w/ combined shipping).

The Alfred University card is the most loved of the group and is the first T51 card I've picked up that has the white boarders trimmed off the card.  I also love the ornate decorations that frame the portrait of the university graduate.

This Central University of Kentucky card's red printing is still fairly vibrant considering it was printed one hundred years ago.

The artwork on this Berea College card is my wife's favorite of the five tobacco cards I've tracked down thus far. 

I'm very glad that I've decided to venture into collecting tobacco cards and I'm very glad that the ones I've grown fond of have been so reasonably priced.

Saturday, August 6, 2011

Big Stix

A long time ago I bought this 2008 Topps Big Stix Luke Hochevar "card" but I continued to forget to scan it because it lives in the front of my Royals binder which is fairly outta sight/outta mind.

The Royals logo, the baseball, and Luke are all stickers that can be removed and stuck to different objects. 

The card could be considered a mini-Fat Head, as it is much larger than a standard trading card, as seen below.

These cards must not have been very popular, because this is the only Hochevar version that I've ever encountered.

Friday, August 5, 2011

Winnings from Fuji's Summer Contest

Early this summer, San Jose Fuji of the Chronicles of Fuji blog asked a simple question,  Who Wants Some Cards? and proceeded to hold one of the most interesting contests I've ever entered. 

Over the course of June and July, Fuji asked for opinions, stories, predictions, and comments.  With a combination of persistence and grit, I amassed enough points to earn one of the many great prizes.  I decided to choose the base set of 2010 Panini Threads Football cards since Play at the Plate grabbed up my first choice of 1990s football parallels/inserts (I thought there might be some decent mustaches in that collection).

I received my prize package in the mail today and I was very pleased with my choice.  These are some really nice looking cards and I picked out some of my favorites to show off.

The Broncos were represented in the set with four cards.  I was kinda bummed that there wasn't at least one defensive Bronco in the set.  No love for Elvis Dumervil or Champ Bailey or Brian Dawkins?  Bummer for me.

I do like the uniformly horizontal layout of the set.  It is a nice change of pace from the traditional vertical set-up and is way better than the annoying mixture of vertical and horizontal cards.  And I'm always a fan of full-bleed photography.

Thanks a bunch to Fuji for the great contest and the great prize!  I'm looking forward to next year's summer event.

I Can't Stop Watching this Commercial

(h/t Seth Meyers' twitter feed)

Thursday, August 4, 2011

I am a Jaybarkerfan's Draft Party Fan

Jaybarkerfan over at the Jaybarkerfan's Junk blog is inviting people to his 100th Post Draft Party, where ten lucky participants will be selected to participate in a ten-round party.

The rounds include:

I don't know about you, but I'm RSVPing "yes" to this party.

(And here's hoping I don't end up wearing a lampshade on my head and singing Lady Gaga songs on the karaoke-machine at the end of the night like I did at Napkin Doon's latest shin-dig.  Very embarrassing.)

A Package of Sweet Beginning

I was able to take out a huge chunk of my MLB Team Logo Manupatch set when I won this lot of nine 2003 Sweet Spot Sweet Beginnings rookie patches for a really nice price.

The Blue Jays, Mets, Dodgers, White Sox, Cubs, and A's cards are all going straight to the collection.  The extra Cubs card and the Rockies and DBacks cards are doubles and are available for trade.

Also, please note, I'm not married to any of these cards so if you see one you want and you have a manupatch that I need, I'll gladly swap.

Wednesday, August 3, 2011

Where Does Your "Fandom" Lie?

EDITOR'S NOTE:  My wife is out of town for the rest of the week training for her new job and I've run out of interesting things to watch on Netflix, so I'm going to riff on a thought that crossed my mind just now.  You have been warned.

Initially, the title of this post was "Baseball Fan or Baseball Card Fan?" but it wasn't hooky enough.  Then I thought I could expound on the topic and go with "Are you a Baseball Fan who collects cards or a Baseball Card Collector?" but that title was too long.  So I went with a general question to trick you into clicking over to my blog from your blogroll.

Which brings me to the main point of this post.  Which of these sentences best describes you?

    Because I am a "baseball card collector first and a baseball fan second" kind of guy.  And I'm pretty sure I'm in the minority in this regard within the sports card collecting blogosphere.

    In all honesty, I'd consider myself a sports spectator/observer/enjoyer but would never use the f-word as an adjective to describe me.  No, not that f-word!!!??!??!!  This f-word: fan.

    Don't get me wrong, I love me some sports.  I've spent my entire life playing sports.  Basketball, baseball, football, golf, skiing, hiking, biking, hunting, rollerblading, etc., etc., etc.  I've done it all.  I'm just not a die-hard fan* of any of them.

    *Although I'm a die-hard golfer, I'm not even close to a fan of professional golf.  I have no idea who the current #1 ranked golfer is.  I don't remember who won any of the majors this year.  I'm not sure if this is a Ryder Cup year or not.  Weird, huh?

    I watch many of the major sporting events -- NFL playoffs and SuperBowl, World Series, March Madness, College Bowl Games, the Olympics, PGA Majors -- when I can, but the SuperBowl is probably the only one that I consider "must-see TV".  Its just not one of my priorities.

    I don't watch SportsCenter (mainly because we haven't had cable for over three years).  I rarely listen to sports radio.  GolfDigest is the only sports magazine to which I subscribe (and I'm pretty sure that subscription has recently lapsed).  Even the Royals blogs on my sidebar only get the occasional glance.  Deadspin is the only sports-blog that I have in my bookmarks and I usually only go there for the Drew Magary articles, because they are funny.

    I don't understand Sabermetrics.  I don't play fantasy football or baseball.  I don't know which teams are currently playoff contenders and which are the cellar-dwellers.  I have no idea who was signed or traded now that the NFL lockout is over.  And, worst of all, I have no real motivation or intention to search out that information.

    I don't go to many professional sporting events because they are usually too far away and/or too expensive.  When I do go to professional events, I always have a great time, but I've never had one of those moments that creates a life-long fan.  Maybe I never will.    

    Truth be told, if Luke Hochevar was a quarterback I'd be collecting football cards.  Or if he was an NBA point guard, this would be a basketball blog.  I got back into cards because of him.  And, just like my John Stockton collection a decade ago, when Hochevar cards are no longer being produced and/or I've tracked down all of his cards that I can afford, I'll probably stop collecting baseball cards (at least until his younger brother makes it to the bigs).

    I collect cards for the sake of collecting.  I love the hunt of finding a card I don't have.  I love working out a trade with a fellow collector.  I love the thrill of opening a bubble mailer or a fresh pack of cards.  I enjoy the collecting of cards more than I enjoy the cards themselves (which is probably why I rarely read the backs of the cards with any vigor or enthusiasm).

    I'm not sure if it was nature or nurture or a combination of both that has made me this way, but, in the words of Popeye, "I am what I am and that's all that I am."

    So, what about you?  Feel free to vote in the above poll and I'd really love for comments explaining your position in the comments section.

    A Downsizing of the Crinkly Wrappers Collection

    helps strengthen my collection.

    I decided to claim the early-1990s Upper Deck lot that Crinkly Wrappers founder moremonkeys138 was giving away in an attempt to downsize his collection.  For the low price of shipping/handling costs, I received a huge pile of cards.

    My main goal with this lot was to fill in some gaps in my Mustache Set, and it did that in spades.  I filled in a dozen or two holes in my pages, which makes me very happy.

    I also found some great cards of some of my favorite players from my youth.

    I also enjoy the artwork that Upper Deck used back in the day.

    I've worked with Crinkly Wrappers before, and, once again, he threw in a bonus with the package, and he really out did himself this time.

    I'm a huge fan of cards, gambling, and poker, and I even watch poker when it's on television.  (Insert drying-paint joke here).  So I am very happy to add a Poker Brat manupatch to my collection.  It'll be a great addition to my Alphabet Manupatch Set. 

    Thanks for the cards moremonkeys138!  

    Tuesday, August 2, 2011

    Trade/Contest Report: Big Fun Game Manupatches

    Last week I was one of the lucky fellas to get a spot in the world renown Napkin Doon Big Fun Game.  I had pick number 7 which allowed me to see quite a few of the doors that had been opened, and when I spotted this Joe Mauer Target Field inaugural season commemorative manupatch, I knew it had to be mine.

    It's my second Minnesota Twins team logo card, so if there are any Twins fans that want to swap manupatches, shoot me an email.

    After the Big Fun Game had ended, Napkin revealed the unopened prizes, one of which was a Red Sox team logo manupatch.  I offered up a gorgeous Michael Young jersey card that had been sitting in my trade bait pile for far too long in exchange and Napkin threw the card in with my Big Fun Game prize package.

    The card is stunning in person.  Its one of the best looking team logo cards I have in my ever growing collection.

    Thanks again to Napkin Doon for putting together a contest that more than lived up to its name.  I'm already praying to the card gods that I might be included in the next game.