Wednesday, July 1, 2020

Wallet Card Wednesday: Our Newest Crotch Goblin Edition

I haven't done a real #walletcard post since November of 2015 (on Blogger, I mean. I've eeked out a couple on Twitter), so you know I have a good reason to spring this one on you out of the blue:


This is Archie, our latest 9lb ball of screaming meat. He eats every 60-90 minutes and is a remarkably light sleeper, all while our four-year-old (who ought to be in summer camp but is instead cooped up at home) runs around the house singing the Paw Patrol theme and licking Haribo Twin Snakes so they'll stick to the wall. So yeah, you know we are in a really good place mentally right now. Archie just made a month old, so I'm giving him a few more weeks to get his act together.


His name is actually Archer. I wanted to call him Archie, but didn't want to go the "Archibald" route because come on. His namesake is basically this guy:


Archie (the big one) comes into the office a few times a year, so I've kept his rookie card in my desk, waiting for a good time to ask him to sign the thing. He was friendly and accommodating. Afterwards I realized how much I like the name, and after a little wife-nudging and a lot of brainstorming about how to circumvent "Archibald," the boy's fate was sealed.


He shares a birthday with my Dad, so we already know he's probably going to be good with money and disappointed in my life choices. He's also the eventual owner of half of a hella-sick Griffey collection. What better head-start could a father give his son?


He's also a huge fan of metal music. Once when he wouldn't stop fussing I tried playing nice relaxing music like Beach House and Sigur Ros and he just wasn't having it. Then I put on Metallica's "Creeping Death" and the change was immediate. He was downright relaxed. Blissful, even. He also enjoys AC/DC, Lamb of God, and Trivium's "The Crusade." I'm not a huge metal guy so I have no explanation for this. Maybe it's the sound of crunchy man-amps.

I was churning out the posts with fierce regularity for a couple months there, but I think we all knew it couldn't last. You can expect a slowdown here at The Junior Junkie. I am pleased to report that I have several mostly-complete posts ready to go just waiting for me to return to my work computer (which I haven't seen in four months) to finish off. I am also wading through a ton of requests for specific set posts, so in the minutes between feedings, cleaning poop off of the infant carrier, and trying to catch a few precious moments of REM sleep, I will try my darndest to blog. No guarantees, though.

Friday, June 26, 2020

The Great Griffey Frankenset: Page 25

Welcome to Page 25 of the Great Griffey Frankenset!

If you're not familiar with the idea of a frankenset, it is a customized set of cards properly sequenced by card number that all tie into a connecting theme. Some frankenset themes include whole teams, mini-collections, and even just generally great cards or photos. This is the first frankenset I'm aware of that is made up of just one player: Ken Griffey, Jr., the man of a million cards. I took the liberty of including things like inserts, parallels, cameos, and oddballs for the sake of variety and because it's just more fun that way. Enjoy!

Here is page 25 of the Great Griffey Frankenset:


Completeness of page: 8/9

Completeness of the Frankenset so far: 96.88% (218/225)

Team distribution so far: Mariners: 156/218 (72%), Reds: 58/218 (27%), White Sox: 2/218 (1%), No team indicated: 2/218 (1%)

Page 25 Notes: A couple of off-size cards in this one, including one relatively valuable rookie you should never, ever store in a binder page. At this point we have to wonder when we will see another complete page. This one only missed it by a single card, so we were close. Sadly close don't cut it. As long as that completion percentage sits above 89%, any page missing cards - whether it's missing nine or just one - is going to cause it to drop.

Page 25:

217. ---

Hey, number 217. Yeah, you. You a odd lil' punk.


218. 1999 Upper Deck MVP #218 Checklist Silver Script

There is nothing on the front of this card to indicate it is a checklist which is kind of a best-case scenario when it comes to checklists. So many otherwise cool ones are ruined by the big, ugly "CHECKLIST" honking across the front. This one got lucky.


219. 1999 Ultra #219 Season Crowns

I never see this subset referenced, but dammit if it isn't a beautifully put-together card. I'm so used to Ultra super-imposing player images over a bunch of full-bleed nonsense that it's nice to see they do know how to integrate a background into the design. 12/10. This could be a Blu-ray cover.


220. 1989 Bowman Tiffany #220

There are several Griffey cards numbered 220. I chose this because it is the scarcest of the Tiffany rookies (Topps Traded and Fleer are the others), and because I knew it would look funny sitting in a binder page at the top of this post. Don't try that at home with your '89 Bowman Tiffanies, folks. You can do whatever you want with the reg's.


221. 2009 SP Authentic #221 Future Watch Flashbacks #/495

That is one low serial number for a base card. I don't believe I've ever seen the Kid looking more like, well, a kid than in this photo. Several guys from my high school rocked this exact same pose in their Homecoming pictures. The cool ones, anyway. I did the awkward hands-on--the-waist-of-my-date-who-is-taller-than-me thing. Also I got new shoes that same day, and when I got home from the dance I realized I had never taken the price tag off and it had been dangling off of my shoes the whole damn night. Coulda done without that flashback.


222. 2000 Fleer Tradition #222 Glossy

This is the glossy version which means nothing when you're just looking at the scan. It is noted on the back of the card which you can see on the page scan at the end of this post, but come on no one looks at that thing.


223. 1996 Panini Stickers #223

Who'd have thunk that sleepy little sticker-peddling Panini would become who they are today? Plus there's at least five logos on this thing. Don't see that anymore.


224. 1994 Upper Deck #224

How do you not pick the Superman card? Thing's a legend. I feel like the whole base design was built around this one photo.


225. 2003 Fleer Tradition #225

Another appearance from Fleer Tradition, this one on a heritage Fleer design from the '60's as opposed to a blatantly-copied Topps design. This photo is cropped so low it's like they're begging us to spy on Very Interested Blurry Kid and his dad, Gigantor McWhiteshirt.

Here is the back of Page 25:


Thanks for reading. Here's a little treat for the people who do make it all the way to the bottom:

You can't see the price tag, but it's there.

Friday, June 19, 2020

The Great Griffey Frankenset: Page 24

Welcome to Page 24 of the Great Griffey Frankenset!

If you're not familiar with the idea of a frankenset, it is a customized set of cards properly sequenced by card number that all tie into a connecting theme. Some frankenset themes include whole teams, mini-collections, and even just generally great cards or photos. This is the first frankenset I'm aware of that is made up of just one player: Ken Griffey, Jr., the man of a million cards. I took the liberty of including things like inserts, parallels, cameos, and oddballs for the sake of variety and because it's just more fun that way. Enjoy!

Here is page 24 of the Great Griffey Frankenset:


Completeness of page: 5/9

Completeness of the Frankenset so far: 97.22% (210/216)

Team distribution so far: Mariners: 149/210 (71%), Reds: 57/210 (27%), White Sox: 2/210 (1%), No team indicated: 2/210 (1%)

Page 24 Notes: Alright! 24! Griffey's Mariners uniform number! This should be a good page.... WRONG. This is the worst page ever in the history of Griffey frankensets. And worst of all, there will be worse ones. Gird your loins - this is the new normal.

Page 24:

208. ---

209. ---


210. 2003 Topps Total #210 (CIN14) Silver

Believe it or not I still don't have the regular base card of this one - just the parallel. Then again, even if I did I would still show this silver jobber instead.


211. 1995 Leaf #211

Oh, only one of my favorite cards sets of all time. Seriously - everything about '95 Leaf did it for me back in the day. Gold and holofoil on EVERY base card, serial-numbered inserts, die-cutting, textures - the works. Most of these gimmicks were still new to me when I bought my first pack at Lakeside Mall and pulled a Ripken Heading for the Hall, my first serial-numbered card ever. One of my few set builds, and a good candidate for building a master set if I ever decide to do such a thing. I should really update that blog post.


212. 2012 Topps Allen & Ginter #212

I'm not a Ginter guy, but I'll admit the cards are really freakin' nice. I get it. I'm not codebreaking or trying for find all the minis with all the different breeds of cows or marsupials or whatever; but yes, they do make great base cards.

213. ---

214. ---


215. 1999 Ultra #215G Checklist Gold Medallion

I've said it before - I want to know what is going on in this photo. He's like, "Hold up I'm not ready," but he's so ready. Look at that mug.


216. 1994 Upper Deck Fun Pack #216 What's the Call? (w/ Jay Buhner)

We all seem to say we'd like to see a set like this come back again, but do you think it would sell? Do young'uns collect cards now? The hobby is making a comeback. Maybe in five years or so. Hey, why does Buhner have the backwards cap here? Junior is all business today. #stumpytheump2020

Here's the back of Page 24:


Man that sucked. Thanks for reading!

Friday, June 12, 2020

The Great Griffey Frankenset: Page 23

Welcome to Page 23 of the Great Griffey Frankenset!

If you're not familiar with the idea of a frankenset, it is a customized set of cards properly sequenced by card number that all tie into a connecting theme. Some frankenset themes include whole teams, mini-collections, and even just generally great cards or photos. This is the first frankenset I'm aware of that is made up of just one player: Ken Griffey, Jr., the man of a million cards. I took the liberty of including things like inserts, parallels, cameos, and oddballs for the sake of variety and because it's just more fun that way. Enjoy!

Here is page 23 of the Great Griffey Frankenset:


Completeness of page: 7/9

Completeness of the Frankenset so far: 99.03% (205/207)

Team distribution so far: Mariners: 145/205 (71%), Reds: 56/205 (27%), White Sox: 2/205 (1%), No team indicated: 2/205 (1%)

Page 23 Notes: It was fun while it lasted. We have a lot to celebrate about this page, specifically we finally reached card #200, we now know exactly how high the line of Griffey card numbers goes unbroken, and finally we get to see an official autograph issue despite being so far along in the set.

All this is bittersweet, though, as we got not only our first gap in the frankenset, but TWO gaps. Sure, the first 100 were guaranteed given just the 2008 SPx American Hero insert, but we had plenty of options available to make it fun. As the numbers grew it evolved into a take-what-you-can-get situation. Now it's down to this - begging card companies to put Junior on card #202 and 207.

Oh, well. This was a long time coming, I suppose, but still. Ouch.

Page 23:


199. 1998 Stadium Club #199

This is one seriously action-packed photo. I've never been 100% sold on this particular design from Stadium Club, but you can't argue with the photography here. I sense a rounding of third is on the horizon.

Alright, here we go....!


200. 1992 Classic Best #200

YEAAAHHHHHHHH!!!!!

What a great card, too. These were always a little confusing to adolescent Junior Junkie because of the obviously pre-rookie photo under a big ol' "1992," There is an autographed version of this card, but that one is technically unnumbered - just one of those "Congratulations" backs - so it doesn't count here. Still totally happy at how we ended up here.

Back to it:


201. 2006 Ultra #201 Lucky 13

The subset is made up of successful players who were selected in the first 13 picks. I dig the subset logo, the bored kid with the Space Jam t-shirt in the background, and the ultra-young Griffey batting photo; but the theme of this one can be hard to spot (unless they printed an explanation on the packs themselves which, if that's the case, I take that back).

And that is the highest the line of unbroken Ken Griffey, Jr. card numbers go. 201. Not bad.


202. --- (1988 Donruss Griffey, Sr. #202)

This is uncharted territory, so I've got to set some precedents here. First off, there actually *is* a Griffey card #202, and you're looking at it. That's the face of a proud papa whose first-born was just drafted first overall. I'll be damned if I'm not going to include it here, but it is only in the capacity of a placeholder. While technically a Griffey card, that is just not enough. I'm including it on the completed page, but I drew a big red asterisk on it. Until a Junior card comes out at #202, this is going to have to do. (Say, what are the odds that a wheel from one of the big card houses with some sway in the card numbering reads this blog? Maybe we'll find out next year? Please...?)


203. 2002 Fleer #203

My Griffey binders tell quite a story. An alien could land on Earth and flip through those binders one time and immediately know that something happened around 2001/2002 to make everybody go into full-on patriot mode. Every brand was suddenly all about the Stars & Bars, Mom's apple pie, and just about every other #TeamUSA trope you can imagine. And God bless 'em for that. We did get some great cards out of it. This one's a little dry, sure, but it is positively dripping with freedom. Who can put a price on that?


204. 2004 Upper Deck Diamond Prosigs Collection Autograph #204

This autograph is seriously numbered 204. What kind of set are you making where  Griffey auto is #204? I mean, in-person auto, buybacks, reprints - all that I get. But this is an anomaly. Whatever, I'll take it.


205. 1999 Upper Deck Sports Illustrated Kids #205

We could have used the regular base card here. We could also eat grits dead-ass plain every day and live to be 150, but where's the fun in that? Sports Illustrated for Kids is the salt and butter to my 1999 Upper Deck Griffey grits. And now that sentence exists.


206. 1997 Fleer #206 All-Star Tiffany

I made the original checklist four or five years ago, and at the time I put the regular base card in this spot. I honestly thought I'd never find this parallel for a reasonable price (this year's Tiffanies are hella-scarce). The four year gap in posting these things did pay off a little here and there.

207. ---

Welp, there it is. This is not the last one of these you're going to see. Not even close. No Griffey, no placeholder. Just nothing. I considered digging up a serial-numbered card for each of the empty slots (a Griffey #207/5000, for example) just to have something to put there. I also considered putting cards that are Griffey-related such as those of teammates and friends. After weighing all the options, though, I think I prefer just leaving them open and calling them "opportunities" for now. Makes it feel like this is a living, breathing project. But yeah, this hurts.

Here is the back of Page 23:


Thanks for reading!

Friday, June 5, 2020

The Great Griffey Frankenset: Page 22

Welcome to Page 22 of the Great Griffey Frankenset!

If you're not familiar with the idea of a frankenset, it is a customized set of cards properly sequenced by card number that all tie into a connecting theme. Some frankenset themes include whole teams, mini-collections, and even just generally great cards or photos. This is the first frankenset I'm aware of that is made up of just one player: Ken Griffey, Jr., the man of a million cards. I took the liberty of including things like inserts, parallels, cameos, and oddballs for the sake of variety and because it's just more fun that way. Enjoy!

Here is page 22 of the Great Griffey Frankenset:


Completeness of page: 9/9

Completeness of the Frankenset so far: 100% (198/198)

Team distribution so far: Mariners: 140/198 (71%), Reds: 54/198 (27%), White Sox: 2/198 (1%), No team indicated: 2/198 (1%)

Page 22 Notes: Back to all Mariners plus a ton of checklists which usually pop up late in the base set anyway. I tried to use parallels for the checklists as much as possible to keep things interesting, but I didn't have to do that for that last card - it's interesting enough. After this page there are only two slots left to fill to get to the 200 milestone with no holes. Am I building tension? Is it working?

Page 22:


190. 1999 Upper Deck MVP #190

Ol' #190 was an easy choice. This is in my top 10 all-time Upper Deck base photos of the Kid, and that's saying something. I feel like this shot could have graced a lot more cardboard were it not for the Cincy trade the very next year. Then again that makes this card all the more special.


191. 1998 Fleer Sports Illustrated #191 Year in Review

The second showing from this same subset in the frankenset. This one is light years better than the other, though, despite having the exact same photo on it.


192. 1989 Donruss Baseball's Best #192

Naturally I'll try to fit as many rookies into this thing as I can...


193. 1989 Classic #193

...and off-brand rookies count, too.


194. 2009 SP Authentic #194 Faces of the Game Gold #/299

A not-too-often seen late-career portrait from Junior's heritage brand. I like to think Junior would have rocked the hell out an Olerud-esque earflapless helmet.


195. 1995 Score Summit Edition #195 Checklist #2 of 7 Nth Degree

Summit had some wild parallels. We've seen Nth Degree before, and there's another even better one coming up that we haven't seen yet at all.


196. 2014 Donruss #196 Career Stat Line #/400

Does anyone have a better offensive career stat line in this set? I want to hear some candidates.


197. 1996 Pinnacle Summit #197 Checklist Above and Beyond

Nth Degree is great, but I wish every card came in Above and Beyond. It would be great camouflage if you were trying to hide inside a rainbow.


198. 1998 Pinnacle #198 Checklist

Pinnacle started the whole lots-of-stars-lumped-together-on-a-checklist thing back in 1996 Pinnacle and Select. This one, however, is a REAL PHOTO and extremely tough to beat. Count the Hall of Famers!

Here is the back of Page 22:


Thanks for reading, and look out for Page 23 to see if we can take this thing all the way to 200!

Tuesday, June 2, 2020

2007 Turkey Red: Old For the Sake of Old


I've already made my feelings known about this brand in a previous post, 2005 Topps Turkey Red: Your Great-Great Grandfather Would Frickin Love These. Long story short, they're the kind of callback only someone who can appreciate a good Warren Harding joke can relate to. That said the '07 set is one of the better ones in the timeline.

2007 Turkey Red #150

That stately old ballpark in the background is the Palace of the Fans where Cincy's team played from 1902-1911. In the foreground is Griffey slamming a line drive up the middle from...ten yards past first base? I think they just really wanted the money shot of the ballpark in there, but this batting shot was probably the most awkward possible way of accomplishing that. Maybe show him taking cuts like he's on deck? Or even just standing there? Weird stuff, guys. Great painting though.

The design remained unchanged in the '05 and '06 sets, but in '07 they added some texture and filigree to the border that frankly helps out the cards a lot. Additional border changes would come to pass in the following year across multiple sports. Nobody complained, not even the 120 year olds.


The back stays as true to the original cards as they ever did. I mean, I guess? I don't have a bunch of original Turkey Red cards laying around to check. It looks old though. Close enough. It's a decent enough blurb, but I will never get used to seeing a space between "base" and "ball," even for the kitsch value.

2007 Turkey Red #150 Chrome #/1999

I am always quick to mention when a scan doesn't so a card justice, but believe it or not that is not the case here. This is what the card looks like even in person. Scanners turn a lot of surfaces (especially chrome ones) dark and mute all the joy out of the colors. This Turkey Red chrome does all that even with nothing between it and your eyeballs except air. On a positive note it brings out the filigree and wood grain in the border, but that's it for positive notes here.


I do so love that old, thick Topps serial numbering, though. Okay, two positive notes.

2007 Turkey Red #150 Chrome Refractor #/999

Everything the regular chrome version ruins, the refractor fixes in fine style. These really do look incredible, be it in a scan or in person. Everything pops here. It's hardly vintage, though. Your great-grandfather's father would probably hate this parallel.


A surprisingly large print run, though. And they made the refractor indicators fit the design. Nice card.


These Ad-back parallels were short prints seeded at 1:4. Glad I don't have to cut that humongous lawn.


Unfortunately every ad I've ever seen from these SP's is for Turkey Red Baseball Cards and nothing else. I'd have loved to see some wacky vintage ad material here. Soft drinks with cocaine in them, over-the-counter "elixirs" with cocaine and heroine in them, or just straight-up amphetamines. Your Great-Grandfather's father knows what I'm talking about.


There is only one parallel I am missing from 2007 Turkey Red:

2007 Turkey Red #150 Black Chrome Refractor #/99

99 is a pretty big print run for the scarcest parallel in the lot, but I'm hardly passionate about this set. Maybe someday.

Hey, check this thing out:

2007 Turkey Red Checklist #16

Honest to goodness - this is one of the most beautiful checklist cards I have ever laid eyes on. I want the original painting hanging in my house. Well freakin' done. It'll run you 84 measly cents on COMC right now. Go buy one.

They also made a Silk Collection insert:


The thing is identical to the 2006 Allen & Ginter card, but I do like that early rookie signature in Cincy red. Border could use...I don't know. Anything.

There were also "cabinet" cards that were included one-per-box as toppers. They're not rare, but I've never seen one and have little interest in trying. I'm just not crazy about unspectacular off-size cards and even more not crazy about having to store them.

Griffeys I need from 2007 Turkey Red:

#150 Chrome Black Refractor #/99
Silk Collection #KG #/99
Cabinets #KG

I've never been big on Turkey Red. They keep bringing it back in one form or another, but I usually ignore it. It's current format is as a one-per-pack insert in flagship. The cards are nice enough I guess, but I will probably always feel like they were made for people who died in the '60's.


I have no idea.