Thursday, September 26, 2013

The Rainbow Connection....of Meat

Behold the mighty Meat Rainbow!

That's every King B Beef Jerky Griffey card.  They stopped including him after the '96 set, the rogues.

A reader named David noticed that I was missing a few.  A couple of e-mails and days later these arrived at my door:

Thanks a lot for the donation, David!  I asked David to tell me who he collects, but it doesn’t seem that he wants anything in return.  It's great to see selfless generosity continue to thrive in this hobby.  I’ve seen these online a few times, and most folks seem to want to overcharge for them for some reason.  I assume it's because a lot of other collectors are hard at work on their own Meat Rainbows.

Anyway, since then I’ve also been able to acquire one of these on the cheap:

A great card despite the minor headwound

These last few cards finished it for good, at least until King B Archives comes out.

Wanna see it again?

Now I know that technically a rainbow in this hobby is a bunch of multicolored parallels of the same card, but you're not here to spoil my fun, are you?  Plus you can't deny it's fun to say.  Meat Rainbow.  Ahhhh..... 

Thanks again, David!

View From the Skybox Puts Mail Into Mybox: a Trade Post

I took part in a group break of 2012 Prizm recently.  It was hosted by Chris of the great new blog View from the Skybox.  Chris, like me, is a closet Prizm fan.  He busted three boxes, and I claimed the Mariners (of course):

You can all relax - we got the Griffey.  This makes two for the collection.  I had hoped for a parallel of some kind, but knew this was highly unlikely.  I did, however, end up with a refracty rookie parallel:

That is Hisashi Iwakuma.  He has gone 22-11 in his two years with the M’s with an ERA of 2.91 and a WHIP of 1.116.  Funny how this hobby makes you pull for players you’d never heard of before pulling their cards.  I guess I’ll be keeping an eye on this kid….

Also, these:


Chris threw some lagniappe (cajun for extra) into the package as well:

A trio of Ichiros, all Seattle (the way I like my Ichiros).

Keepers, all.  I like that Royce Clayton rookie, but it still trips me out to see Glavine on the Mets.

I think Chris saw that I like cards with silly names and goofy pictures.  Look at that guy’s name!  Hee hee: “Jim Slaton.”  What were his parents thinking??  Dude looks like exactly like Charles Bronson, too.  If you aren’t familiar with Bronson, imagine Chuck Norris with seven additional testicles and you’re halfway there.

I love random cards.  I try to throw them in with trade packages as well.  I think a lot of them are like fruitcakes in that they just keep getting passed around and around but nobody wants to eat them.

That Polo Grounds card is quite an oddball - super-chromified, drastically off-center and difficult to scan, but visually appealing.  I might eat this one after all….

Thanks for all the goodies, Chris!

Wednesday, September 25, 2013

The Prowling Cat Hooks it Up Fat: a Trade Post

Have you met Zenus of The Prowling Cat?  Class act, this one.  In addition to the normal stuff we all collect he also collects pocket schedules, team business cards, and lots of other random things from various sports.  He showcases everything on his blog, so you never know what he’ll post next.  It’s neat.

A few weeks ago he posted some Dairy Queen Griffey cards which I was quick to express interest in.  He generously set them aside for me, and I forgot about them until they showed up at my door a few days ago:

I love the color.  Z also included a handful of Griffeys which are always welcome:

I know I shouldn’t, but I am mighty tempted to scratch that Triple Play Action card and see what happens.  I have enough of them now that it may be worth the fun…..

Being that he specializes in pocket schedules, I was also excited to find this mixed in with the Griffeys:

This man has inspired me to get on the pocket schedule trolley.  I’ll save those for another post.

Thank you, Zenus!

Tuesday, September 24, 2013

Faulty Plumbing: Scourge of the Card Blogger

I haven't posted in over a week.  I miss you guys....

It's not that I don't have anything to write about.  On the contrary: I have numerous trades that are not even scanned yet, stacks of untamed LCS booty, and a couple of new Design Timelines (including the first for an "oddball" set) that lay tragically unwritten.  There are also group break spoils and a few half-finished regular set posts that I haven't gotten around to polishing (one of them is huge).  The blog has very much gotten away from me.

Now I'm not one ot make excuses, but they say a picture is worth a thousand words:

Thank goodness for handy fathers and fathers-in-law.

This combined with the return of televised football, the necessity of helping family move, a visit from out-of-state friends, and the release of Grand Theft Auto V have made finding time to blog damn near impossible.  I was even going to have a couple of trade posts up tonight, but that time has been usurped by helping my wife prepare for an interview (not to go into too much detail, but it involved a lengthy, one-sided discussion about ion-exchange chromatography.  Zzzzzzzz......).

That all changes this week.  Get ready for post after post of Griffey gushing and credit-where-it's-due.

Goodnight, and may all your ion-exchanges be sufficiently chromatographed.

Monday, September 16, 2013

September Card Show Booty: Griffey Guy and Me

I got a Griffey guy!  Of course, he probably calls me that, too.  He's an older gentleman, soft spoken and still embarrassed to say "I love you" to his wife on the phone in front of the other dealers.  He also insists Dr. Beckett has been discounting Junior’s cards so much because he knows Junior will be in the Hall of Fame, and he wants to snap up all the Griffeys for himself.  This guy is just the right mix of henpecked suburban dad and crackpot old coot to be endearing.

There's quite a spread on his tables, too - patches, relics, and autos abound.  Not much vintage, but I'm not looking for vintage.  I've picked up a few random Junior relics from him at past shows and at vast discounts, but at the July show he had brought a box of Griffeys that got my heart racing.  He told me to pick out the ones I liked and he would make a good deal. 

I defiantly built a mighty fantasy stack of inserts and serial numbered gems that I already knew I couldn't afford.  He took some time going through them (the hi Beckett values were on stickers on the backs), mumbling softly as he added in his head.  I was completely prepared for him to look up and say "How does $200 sound?" to which I would reply "Let me put a few back."  But he didn't.  He said "I can do $45."  I nearly did a jig.

I told him I'd be back next month, but I wasn't.  I felt bad.  Luckily everything worked out so I could go to this month's show.  The guy remembered me and was glad to see me.  I apologized about missing the last show, and he said don't worry about it.  He even let me come behind his tables and go to town on his card boxes.  

Before I knew it he had sold me the rarest Griffey card I’ve ever owned, but I saved that for the end.  Here's what I pulled:

Unexpected start, I know, but look at those eyes.  We all as card collectors know that Cal has some pretty eyes.  Have you ever looked at them?  It's like the first time I heard the Beatles (movie reference!).  But here he looks like robot Robin Williams in Bicentennial Man.  I am afraid of this card, but I am equally ashamed that I've seen Bicentennial Man.

These will eventually spell “Junior.”  I already had the O and the R, but I figured an extra R may help if I meet another collector who needs it.  I am currently sitting on I-O-R-R.

He had a binder loaded with 90’s stars.  I found where the Griffeys began and ended (about a dozen double-filled pages), held them in my hands like a giant sandwich and said, “How much for this?”  He replied, “Are you serious?” and I said “Yes.”  He looked a little troubled, so I told him not to worry about it - I’ll just go through them and pick out the ones I need.  This is always a task as I invariably go home with cards I didn’t realize I already had.  For example when I got home and started filling the binders I found that I already had four of these.  It didn’t matter much though as he ended up throwing the binder cards in for free.

The Gold Medallion Ultra cards of that year have a gold foil stamp on the back that let you know you got a parallel.  I’ve never seen that, nor did I know it was a thing for that set.  Those two gold holofoil cards appear to be oddballs with illegible brand information on the back.  There’s also a fancy die-cut Pacific insert (you know how wacky those can be) and an intricately-foiled crown card.  

The three 2013 Pinnacle cards I got from another dealer who had busted a box.  I sifted through his pulls, set aside all the Griffeys, and snapped them up on my way out for a pittance.  I already have them, but again, trade fodder.

I talk about trading with other Griffey collectors, but I have yet to actually do it.  There's a part of my brain that insists that there's some guy who lives just around the block from me with another Griffey collection; and we'll meet one day and talk baseball, then get to Griffey, then cards, and before I know it he's at my house and we're just throwing new Juniors at each other and giggling.  Soon we'll be riding bikes together and staying up "real late" talking about girls.  I'm starting to realize that this guy does not exist - it’s just a subconscious excuse to hoard (and be 12 again).

The Panini Diamond Kings is from the National - one of the vendors had a huge stack of them.  The Playoff Portrait is heavily textured like a painting and the Leaf Total Bases insert is textured like a base.  Serial numbers are everywhere at this point, but the Topps Gold Label with Hammerin’ Hank is still my favorite in this group.

The cards are really starting to get cool now..... The SPx bronze card was a big find for me as I already have it in several colors.  I’m pretty sure I can make what you would call a rainbow at this point.  I already own multiples of that Pinnacle .300 series subset card, but this one is shiny foil.  What is that?  It’s not the Starburst parallel…. Anyone?

And sorry, Nick, but that's one autograph signing card you're not getting until I get a duplicate....

That Topps Finest Milestones card is heavily holofoiled on the front and back.  Every square inch looks like an iPhone 5 screen through polarized lenses (try it - sending a text is like soaring through a rainbow unicorn wonderland).  That Stadium Club 3x3 has some of the thinnest cuts I’ve ever seen, the Pinnacle Certified has a really cool spiral effect in the foil, and the Dress for Success insert from Leaf has a layer of cloth with raised lettering.  Also that Score has to be one of the most exuberantly different parallels I’ve ever come across.

Alright - home stretch....

Just a cool die-cut/foil job.  This card must have booked for a fortune back in the day.

The blue is numbered out of 100, and apparently there is a green version I need to find.  Nothing like an insert with multiple parallels of increasing rarity to make you feel like you are powerless against your goal.  Still, these are really nice.

With that, here's the best-for-last for this month and my newest cardboard pride and joy:

My first patch card!  Not my first Griffey patch card - I've never had a patch of anybody ever.  What a start.  There were only 11 of these made, so it’s also the most exclusive non-hand-made Griffey I’ve ever owned.   

I must say that to call this item a card is a blatant misnomer - it has the heft and dimensions of a small box.  Griffey Guy had put it in a monstrous case that effectively doubles the card's thickness.  He also put a little sticker on the case that says “only 11 made” which I will never, ever remove.

That's it for this month.  I usually pick up a few ’75 minis for Night Owl, but the guy I buy them from was on vacation.  For the first time I came home with zero vintage….

Until next month I'm putting away twenty bucks a week just for Griffey Guy.  I should really get his name....

Saturday, September 14, 2013

Swing and a Pop Up Mails Mariners: a Trade Post

I am writing this on my laptop from a smoky bar full of screaming college football fans.  I knew that the game we are watching (LSU vs. Kent State) would be a boring one, so I decided to be that guy, the one that actually uses the free wi-fi the bar provides.  Bear with me as I attempt to avoid typos and not spill any beer or fried frog leg crumbs on the keyboard.

Anyway, Bert from Swing and a Pop Up is the man.  Have you met this dude?  He does these Trading Thursdays thingies where he offers up a bunch of cards from a single team, and you claim them in exchange for cards from his want list.  I ended up finding a lot of stuff he needed, and it's a good thing too because he sent quality.

Here is just some of what he sent me:

Nobody's perfect, guys.  I for one appreciate that the 'Rod was willing to put his health and reputation on the line just to entertain me with more home runs.  God bless him.

Sarcasm doesn't come across in the written word, but I do really love this card.

We can all agree on this guy, right?  He's got a lot of great cards, too, and that one-word-name thing gives him an air of legend.

Jamie "Methusela" Moyer, Dan "Underrated" Wilson, Ruben "He Was a Mariner??" Sierra, Jay "Griffey's Friend" Buhner, and a Kazuhiro "I'm Not Familiar Enough With Him to Come Up With a Cute Nickname" Sasaki relic card.

To someone who started collecting in 1994, this is vintage.  I love that old M's logo.

Now to the Griffeys:

Wow - brand new and sealed!  The "card" is upside-down on the little holder, so I can't tell if Griffey is the player on the CD-ROM inside or if it is a random player like a pack.  Does anyone know?  I wonder if this is still useable online or if it requires an AOL account or something.  The Internet was a much different place 13 years ago.

They should do this again but with flash drives.  They could be shaped like bats or baseballs or even little cards.  I would buy that.

Just a nice card.  Plus it has more gloss than a.....gloss factory?  Yeah, that's the ticket.

Lenticulicious and adorable, in that order.

Thanks a ton, Bert!  Bert is working on a lot of sets, so go help him out.

Every time LSU scores a touchdown, we do a Jaeger bomb.  They are currently winning 31-10,  I'm not trying to condone binge drinking, I just want you to know how hard it was to assemble this post.

The Lost Collector Sends Steel and My First Griffey 1/1

AJ aka The Lost Collector sent me a bunch of unique Griffey fodder this past week.  Wanna see?

This is a tin that holds a small handful of cards and a damn cool way of packaging them.  It's a good thing too as the cards from this set are especially sensitive to damage. I remember when these came out, but I think they were always out of my price range. 

Inside this were - you guessed it - Griffeys!

I love that Hitters Inc subset from Score.  It's a bright spot in an otherwise ho-hum set.

Poor AJ also had to find a way to package this:

Again, I remember when these came out.  I had one, but Lord knows what happened to it.  This one's going on the shelf.

My favorite item AJ a hand-made, one-of-a-kind work of art:

Dick Perez, eat your heart out.  AJ created this for my Ultimate Griffey Card Giveaway a few weeks ago, and the detail is amazing.  See the little old-school Mariners tridents in the corners?  Check out the shading and the back of his uniform.  This level of detail is tough to accomplish on that bumpy surface, but it turned out fantastic.

I've never even approached this level of skill.  If I ever tried to draw Junior, it would probably turn out like this:

And nobody wants that.

Thanks a lot, AJ!  This is my very first true 1/1, and as an avid art collector I appreciate great illustration.  It will get a place of honor in my Box of Griffeys That Are Too Good to Go in the Binders, which needs a new name.