Thursday, November 5, 2009

Trick or Treat

I opened my mailbox this week to a surprise package from up the road in Arkansas. I could only be one thing, my Trick or Treat gift. Lets see what the master of randomness has in store.

Ty Cobb postcard thingy. Cobb looks like he is crying. Why are you crying Mr. Cobb? Is it because the Tigers choked away a pennant? What did you say? It is something else.

Oh my. Lofton is showing up everywhere.

Don Wert was the primary third baseman on a World Championship team. That makes him an ok player in my book, even though I am to young to have seen him play. No, A-Rod, I still don't like you.

Another Ty Cobb. League Leader from a long time ago. I really loved these cards when they first came out, and still like them today. I just don't think the idea of the Conlon Collection ever took hold.

Eric Munson was going to be the next great catcher of the Tigers. I don't remember what happened, but he did not do well when he made the big leagues. He did hang on for a couple of years (maybe played wiht the Astros?).

Gorkys Hernandez. Ohh, bright and shiny. Very shinny. Mesmorizing shinny.

Andrew Miller Stearling. Another shinny. I hope that Miller gets his delivery straightend out in AFL and ends up having a productive career.

Friday, October 30, 2009

I am tired of rain

I am so sick of this rain. Over 26 inches for the month of October. This is on top of over 12 inches in September. We also had a wet spring. It was fun for some trying to get to work today (I only live about 1 mile away, so I had it easy).

On a brighter note, there have been some great pitched games in the WS so far. I hope that both staffs can keep it up over the weekend.

Thursday, October 29, 2009

Lamenting my collecting habits

I am at a crossroads right now when it comes to collecting. See, I am a weird person that never really got out of the hobby. I stopped buying boxes and trying to assemble sets back in the early 90s. Instead I just would buy a Topps factory set each year and just say "forget it". That was primarilly due to budget constraints, etc. This presents a problem on my part because I don't know what to do anymore. I have been trained to think that any product above $X is to much and I will pass on it.

What has happened when I pass on buying only sets and not boxes to hand collate the set is that I can't tell you what any of the cards look like. The desings on the past 15 or so years all look the same and I can't distinguish them in my head. Now, I can tell the difference between a 90 and 91 Leaf, or a 89, 90, 91 Upper Deck because I saw a lot of them. If you put a 93, 94 and 95 Topps card in front of my I probalby could not pick out which card belongs to which year,

Why am I rambling: easy, it is the 2010 Topps set. I have seen the sell sheets and the images. I really like the way the cards look. But I don't know if I want to pay about $50 per box to buy 4 boxes and try and collect the set by hand. Going back and trying to complete 92 Ultra by hand is easy and justifiable at the prices i can find boxes for, but I don't know about Topps.

Decisions, decisions, decisions.

Tuesday, October 13, 2009

Prize Winnings

I received my prize winnings in the mail today from the Mojo Hand. I had yet to see any Goodwin cards in person, so I was curious to see what they looked like. I am impressed with how the cards looked, and the variety of current and retired players in the set. I am going to share some of the images here.

First the minis. It does not scan well, but the Upton is a foil card. The other two are black bordered and have Gypsy Queen on the back. I assume that the GQ are Short Prints, maybe.

Current stars. I like the old school logo on the McCann card. Jeter I am beginning to appreciate as I get older (he is still a Yankee).

HOFers. Can't go wrong with Knucksie and Fisk.

Misc. Cool, a card of LBJ and "Dracula". Dracula is a classic, and appropriate for the Halloween season.

Monday, October 12, 2009

Where I have been

I have been negligent in updating my blog since the end of August. No reason why, just work and life in general have been really busy. Since I last posted, the Lions finally won a game, Michigan looks like they will go to a Bowl game this year, and the Tigers gacked away a Division title (just like 2006). I would celebrate by posting images, but it takes forever for an image to post from home using dial up, so just bear with me as I ramble today.

I celebrated the Lion win by breaking down and purchasing a pack of Philadelphia. I like these cards, but probably will not try and complete the set due to SPs, and stuff. Rack packs seem to be the way to go with this set if you are trying to get the 200 card main set. The first card in my pack was Brian Westbrook with the photo showing his jockstrap getting stretched out. Not an image that I am used to seeing on football cards.

The Tigers exceeded my expectations this year, but the way they ended the season was disappointing. They should have been a third place team, but made it to a playoff game. Next year should see a regression to the mean (third place) as Jackson and Porcello will probably not repeat the numbers from this year.

Card collecting has also been put on hold as I get ready for the holidays. I have stayed away from card shows and purchases (shows are not hard to stay away from as there are not many around here). My next purchase will be the 09 Topps factory set. I am also waiting on cards in the mail from the Mojo Hand after winning a contest over there, and Dave's Trick or Treat. Last year he sent some Lions and Bears to go along with Tigers. What will this year hold? Don't know but can't wait to find out.

Friday, August 21, 2009

I am late to the game

It looks like I am the last person to weigh in on Topps' exclusive license. Do I think it is good or bad? Well, it depends.

Not a strong stand is it. Let me explain. We don't know what Topps has in store for collectors next year, and with them being the only game in town most collectors feel that quality will go down. Next year should be ok as most of the product calender has probably been set for the year, designs approved, and plans finalized. I would expect 2010 to be more of the same as this year, maybe without the gimmicks (don't hold your breath). What will happen in 2011? don't know, but I hope that Topps listens to what collectors are saying when they open their products.

Do I think there are to many sets out there now? Yes, but I also thought that back in the late 80s. If you take the time and look at the number of sets available in 1989 you would be probably be amazed. Let's see: Base sets for Donruss, Fleer, Score, Topps, Upper Deck, and the ressurection of Bowman (6 sets). Add Topps Tiffany, Fleer Glossy (I don't know if Score did one) for 2 more. Donruss issued an All Star set (available in packs) and a "Baseball's Best" set available as a factory set for 2 more. Score put out Scoremasters later that year, bringing our total to 11 off of the top of my head. Now add in the stuff like Toys R Us, Kay Bee, Woolworths, etc. and you get a bunch more "smaller" sets. I did not add Scores 100 hottest stars/rising stars sets as I don't remember if they were issued in 89. Oh, I aslo jsut remembered box bottom cards, rack pack inserts, wax inserts (Donruss All Stars/Grand Slammers Fleer's All Stars) and the number of sets is increasing. Try and collect all of those back from that time period and you are looking at a lot of time and effort. Some of these you would just stumble on to at card shops and card shows. You might also throw in Starting Lineup, if you consider that a set.

See, the problem with the nubmer of sets is not new. People complained back then that you could not collect everything. So what can we do about it? Not much, other than hope that the companies read our blogs and value the customer's opinion.

I also understand why there are so many sets. It is because there are different types of collectors. We collect what we like. Some only collect the base sets, or retro sets, or high end sets. Nothing wrong with that. Your collection should be a reflection of what you like and of you. I am what they call a set collector, but I only like the base cards. I don't like getting inserts/SPs in my packs (unless it is something cool, then I will keep it for my personal collection).

What would I do if I ran Topps? I would only tweek things up a little. I would advertise up front that the base set would consist of 3 series, realesed in Feb, May and Sep. Why do this? So we know what to expect. We would expect the first series to cotain a few stars and rookies that were called up late in the prior year, the second series to contain rookies who made the team out of spring training along with players that changed teams during the winter (that means if the palyer was a free agent who had not signed by the press run deadline they should not be in the first series). Don't give me 2 Sheffields! The third series will round out the set, and you could get the early season call ups. As far as inserts go, make the team checklists insert cards, along with separate All Rookie and All Star player cards. Try and make this at an entry level price point.

Next you would still produce the retro sets (Heritage and A & G) and release them as normal. Put SPs and relic/autograph cards in these sets. This will allow for a more challenging set build.

Also have a couple of "high end" products for those collectors who like those types of products. The market is there, and it is probably signifiacant enough to warrant the issuing of these sets.

I don't want to address the Bowman line as I have not followed that set since 91.

What should Upper Deck do? Maybe enter into an agreement with soem food products and put cards packaged with food (thing Tombstone Pizza or Kraft Cheese). Yes, cards inserted in those products might help increase sales. When I was a kid I would beg mom to buy stuff at the grocery store if they had cards in them. I at a bunch of Ho Ho's, Twinkies, Frosted Flakes, Chewey Granola bars, Nestle Candy bars, etc. back in the day. Wish I still had my Hostess cards. I think they got thrown away when I was a teenager. Would kids want Cheerios if they had cards in them? I don't know, but I would.

That ends today's portion of random thoughts. I am going out to the local Red/White scrimmage soon.

Today is contest day

Card Cache is also sponsoring a huge A & G contest where one of the prizes is a complete 2009 base set. For free. Wow.

New Contest

The collective Troll is holding a contest for a bunch of stuff here. All you have to do is be a follower of his blog and post a comment. Oh, and also vote for the Hall of Fame (I know of one player I am voting for).

Go ahead, visit and vote.

Monday, August 17, 2009

Welcome Aubrey Huff


Today the Tigers got Aubrey Huff from the Orioles for a low level pitching prospect. This move was probably necessary for a multiple of reasons, most of which they have a need for a backup third baseman that will allow Inge to rest. Huff is also a decent hitter, who seems to pick it up in the second half. I hope this move works out well for the Tigers. Heck, I just hope it works out better than another former Oriole who the Tigers got in August back 21 years ago by the name of Fred Lynn.

Friday, August 14, 2009

Football Time

The football season is almost ready to kick off. The Lions first pre-season game is tomorrow, and there seems to be some optimism in the air for the first time in ages. Changes were finally made to a team that somehow managed to go 0-16 last year, heck they also went 4-0 during the pre-season. Management seems to finally have some sense of direction, after many years. I mean, this is the franchise that drafted Andre Ware to run the Run and Shoot offense (when they had Barry Sanders already).

This card just screams "Epic Fail"!

My high school alma mater in Michigan begins play next Friday. They have traditionally stunk. In 2005 they made the High School Playoffs for the first time EVER. This is not a new school either as I was a member of the 100th graduation class over 20 years ago.

Our local college begins their season on 8/29 agianst DII power North Alabama. SAU has a new coach, so this is going to be a long season as the offense transitions from the flexbone offense to a variant of the spread. Oh, and the defense doesn't have many returnees either.

Michigan is next to start. I would like to just forget last year. First losing season in my lifetime.

I am also thinking about starting to get back into collecting Football cards again. I did when I was a kid and ended up giving them all to a friend as I just wanted to concentrate on Baseball. Do I regret it, not now. If I still had them back in the early 90s I would have just traded or sold all of the ones that I could have gotten good money for. I think that I am just going to concentrate on finding some Pro Set Football as I really liked the cards (I am a sucker for full bleed photos). Maybe I will hand collect another set (Philadelphia is tempting), if I can pull the trigger on a box (rack packs of 20 are 4.97 at Wal Mart, which makes them better values than a blaster).

Thursday, August 13, 2009

Group Break

Project 62 is trying to organize a group box break of a large number of wax boxes. He is only asking for $20.00 per team, which is only the cost of one blaser of A & G.

IMO, that is not a bad deal, especailly when one of the boxes is an 81 Fleer Vending (probalby won't have any of the error cards, but the set is over 20 years old).

Go here to sign up.

Wednesday, August 12, 2009

Random Cards

Recently I signed up for some random cards from Dave at Tribe Cards. I asked for random, and random is what I got. Here is a good sample of the bounty that I received.

Jim Turner. Super Bowl XII is the first one that I remember watching as a kid. It was also the first one to be held at night.

89 Score Biggio. Kid had a bright career at catcher, but the Astros moved him to 2nd base to save his knees and extend his career.

Tino rated rookie. Generally Donruss did a good job of selecting their Rated Rookies for the sets.
Kind of reminds me of the old time Broncos logo.

My very first UD X card. I don't like these cards either.


V-Mart jersey card. Saw the orange and thought it was from the game at Detroit. Oh well.
Magneto. I loved the x-men as a kid.
Hambone card. I like this card, but I think I will give it to our assistant pastor as he is a big Rangers (and Hamilton) fan.
Checklists. You can't tell what cards in a set that you need without a checklist.

Again, thanks for the cards Dave, they were great.

Tuesday, July 28, 2009


You have got to love the weather around here. Earlier this year I was complianing because we have had to much rain. I could not mow my yard because part of it was under water. Then it got hot, real hot. Like multiple 100 degree days hot. Now it is raining again, and will rain all week. I have a beautiful view of main street from my office and I can hardly see anything because it is so dark outside (the office lights are reflecting off of the window).

Also, a memo to Dave Dombrowski. Please get another starting pitcher and a good bat for the lineup. I don't expect to win this year but it will help for next year.

I would complain about how bad players are, but then I remember that they are better than me and I would not be able to get a hit against high school pitching, let along major league pitching.

Sunday, July 26, 2009

Card Show Time

Yesterday I went to a card show at a nearby convention center. I did not know there was a show there until Friday, but being a good boy I found time in my schedule to go on Saturday and try and help some people get rid of their cards. And I was happy that I did as there were bargains to be had.

First up are two cards that I needed to complete sets that I broke up years ago.

Back in 1990 when I was a poor newly married man I decided that it was a good idea to break up a couple of sets and sell the "high dollar" cards and get more cards, and gas, and go out with the wife to dinner. These sets are now complete, and at a fraction of what I originally sold them for.

Next, I got some commons that helped me work on older Tiger sets, and some of my early 80s Fleer and Donruss.

I could not resist taking Rocky home. He might hurt me if I don't treat him nice.

Last, there were a couple of guys there that were selling junk wax and junk sets. They were selling them cheap. I was able to pick up some 93 Stadium Club, 92 Ultra, and 93 Ultra for a really good price. I am going to have fun opening those packs, and will have some doubles to trade off when I get everything organized (probably sometime in September at the rate I am going).

Thursday, July 23, 2009

I am a Procrastinator

Well, I finally finished taking down my wall paper boarder (it only took 4 days) and painted the room on Friday. In the meantime I kinda forgot about this blog. Let's see what I missed after the All-Star game: Tigers offense still stinks (kinda like the Lions). Went to a minor league game in which the home team only scored 1 run for both games, which does not bode well for future Angel players.

Also, congrats on the perfect game Mr. Buhrle.

Monday, July 13, 2009

All Star Game

I am taking a break from tearing off wallpaper. Guys, if you ever do this make sure you have plenty of patience. It is a very time consuming job.

The first ASG that I remember was 1977 and I was mad that the only Tiger to make it was Jason Thompson. I thought the Tigers were the best team in baseball (I was 7) and that they had gotten the shaft by only having one player selected. As I grew older and more cynicle I realized that the game was a popularity contest and that sometimes players would have to prove themselves over the course of a career to make the team, or be a hot rookie. I hope that I get to settle down and watch some of the game tomorrow night, but I don't know if I can handle the fox broadcast. I am still mad a two years ago when the game did not start til almost 8:00. Oh well, I guess that I am just a bitter old man.

Back to tearing down wallpaper.

Friday, July 10, 2009


I am a little late, but congrats to Brandon Inge on being named to the All-Star team. I will admit that he was not my favorite Tiger when he first came up (because he could not hit his weight). Funny how a move from catcher to third base can change things. He is a much better third basemen than he is catcher, and somehow he seems to hit better when he is not behind the plate.

Captured Fail

One of the things that I like about the early 90s “premium” brands is that each brand tried to be able to stand out. It seemed that each of the companies focused on a “look” for each of their sets, and they would feature good photos that usually would go well with the card front. Stadium Club was a brand that focused on its Kodak photography, Leaf was a brand that had a distinctive silver boarder on it’s cards that gave it a great look. In their second year Leaf stepped up the use of good photos on their cards.

Look at this photo and how it stands out. Look at the ivy covered walls, the sun playing havoc with the fielder’s eyes. See the ball that has already bounced off of the wall because Martinez lost it in the sun. Somehow I don’t think that Martinez would be happy to sign this card if someone sent it to him in the mail.

Friday, April 17, 2009

The Beginning

For my first post I batted around many ideas. Do i talk about why I am doing this? Introduce myself? or something else? I plan to treat this blog as therapy for unwinding after a long day. Card collecting has been a hobby since I was 7, which seems like a long time ago. I spent many a summer in Michigan going to the local Ben Franklin, IGA, or Moore's store and pick up packs of cards when we went to town. That is how I got most of my cards. As I got older I discovered flea markets. Then when I got married I stopped, except for a Topps set. But on a whim in 2002 I stopped in a small card shop and bought 2 packs of Upper Deck Vintage (because they were cheap) and pulled this card in the second pack.

Needless to say I was hooked again. I decided to spring for a box and try and complete the set, which was something I had not done since 1991. I also started to look for card shows and find cards to complete those sets that I had been hauling around from house to house for all these many years.