Sunday, May 31, 2015

Zippy Zappy Hero Pup: a Trade Post

[Randal is on the phone when a woman and little girl come to the counter]
Mom: Excuse me. But do you sell videotapes?
Randal: Yeah, what're you looking for?
Mom: "Happy Scrappy Hero Pup."
Randal: Uh, one second. I'm on the phone with the distribution house now; lemme make sure they got it.
Mom: 'Kay.
Randal: What's it called again?
Mom: "Happy Scrappy Hero Pup."
Kid: "Happy Scrappy!"
Mom: She loves it.
Randal: Obviously.

I'll stop it there for...reasons.

Some of you may remember this scene from Kevin Smith’s seminal opus Clerks, an independently-produced comedy that holds up remarkably well watch after watch. That’s a quality difficult to find among the myriad disposable comedies of the 90’s but easy to find among Zippy Zappy trade packages. You never know what the guy is going to send your way (and he sends often), and it never gets boring.

When I was in college I took great pride in my extensive Ren & Stimpy VHS collection (yeah - I was that guy). It was something I had cobbled together via garage sales, tons of eBaying, and a few years working at a video store (I remember the VERY DAY we got DVD’s for the first time). I had every single tape, including the super-rare ones and even bootlegs of some of the racier stuff. They took up a whole shelf, but as a massive John K. fanboy I felt the space was worth it.

Fast-forward just a few years and every Ren & Stimpy ever made, including the shorts, rarities, and uncensored banned episodes, were suddenly all available on DVD. I was, and still am, ambivalent about this. I was extremely happy to have the episodes in a much more user-friendly digital format and in lovely digital upscaling, but I was bitter that while I had spent years curating this amazing collection of bright orange VHS tapes, any geek off the street could now amble into a Best Buy and have the whole shebang on a whim. 

I don’t have the tapes anymore. I sold the rarer ones and donated the rest to Goodwill. But seeing these cards has brought back a lot of great memories. I think I’ll have a little season 1 marathon sometime soon. Like tonight.

I also had a pretty substantial Simpsons VHS collection until the DVDs started coming out followed most recently by the blu-rays. Now even those are going to stop being made. No more physical Simpsons media at all. That’s fine for now, but I won’t be satisfied until we get an all-Simpsons cable channel sometime in the near future. Lord knows they have the content.

Looks like ZZ even managed to fit a couple of baseball cards into the mix. It’s my favorite rookie and former ace LSU hurler Aaron Nola, now with the Phillies. Aaron is one of my most recent PC additions and I don’t have many of his cards, so anything of his anyone may come across, I am definitely interested. So far Mr. Zappy is my #1 source for Nolas.

Thanks, Z-man! We could all use a good zapping.

One more Clerks reference:

Tuesday, May 26, 2015

Bo Knows Trade Posts

I got a trade package from Bo of the unique and interesting blog Baseball Cards Come to Life. Bo is the author of one of my absolute favorite card posts ever which I highly recommend you check out here. There is also a follow-up post to be found here

Anyhoo, Bo sent me a trade package full of player collection goodness. Let's take these alphabetically:

Buhner has a ton of excellent cards out there. I chalk it up to his fun-loving attitude and ultra-photogenic bald head. A lot of clean hips in this lot, which is strange for the usually-tar-stained Jay, but check out the excitable fan in the stands of that Stadium Club card. It takes an awful lot of mugging to out-personality Buhner, and this guy almost pulls it off.

I should have scanned these the other way around. While accidentally after-before, you get the gist of what Upper Deck did here. I've always loved these.

And I've been wondering: what's the opposite of a Tatooine card? An Endor card maybe? A Naboo card? Just curious.

I'm always thrilled to get more Clarks (derp), especially when they're cameos such as that '93 Upper Deck on the right. The autograph shot on the '95 Pinnacle is a favorite, too, along with that Dream Team subset featuring a lighting-covered Wonderboy-esque bat. Oh, and that Collector's Choice job on the top-left is a Tatooine card in case you were wondering what a Tatooine card is.


1993 Upper Deck is an excellent set, and for some reason they were so enamored with this trio at San Fransisco that they saw fit to give them two seperate cards together. I'm thinking it has something to do with the fact that UD is based in Southern California, and they're a bunch of Giants fans (sort of like Topps and the Yankees). Still, the product is solid. Can't argue with that. Both these cards are fantastic.

So much '93 Upper Deck in this trade package! That's not a complaint - just an observation. I think Bo broke up a set or possibly busted a box recently. Who doesn't love that guitar shot?

Right before his successful stretch with the Braves.

You can take a Javy rookie card and hold it up next to a Javy sunset card, and he looks the exact same. The man doesn't age. Yeah, he probably has significantly bigger biceps on the sunset card (ahem), but from the neck up he's still the kid on that '93 Donruss card.

There were lots of PC needs in this bunch, Bo. Thank you for saving them for me. I look forward to more trades in the future as well as more Wade Boggs Wallet Card posts!

And if you haven't checked out those posts I linked to in the beginning, go now.

Monday, May 25, 2015

The Newness

It’s rare that I start new collections. I don’t want to complicate my sorting/storing of cards any further, nor do I want to compromise my identity as a Griffey collector. However, there are some cards I find myself setting aside without an official designation as a collection, so it’s high time I made a few of these official.

First up, I am excited to introduce four new additions to my set-building efforts, a huge addition for me. Most of you know I’m not an avid set-builder, but as it gets harder and harder to add new Griffeys I find myself more and more drawn to it as a collecting outlet. Here they are:

1981 Donruss – This year’s Panini set has an insert that reminded me how much I like the ‘81 design. Then I came across a bunch of originals while team sorting and they just charmed the ever-living daylights out of me (whatever that means). So yeah. I’m on board.

1982 Donruss – Same reason as above, really. I just find it really charming and fun.

2007 & 2008 UD Masterpiece – I love these cards, and the tiny 90-card checklists should make this build less strenuous than, say, the behemoth that 1992 Donruss has been. I’m starting with whatever I have laying around - a true ground-up set build - and I will be building using only luck and love – no money. Luck meaning I happen across cards in LCS mystery boxes or repack cubes, love meaning packages and PWE’s from other bloggers and traders. That’s it. I will not be shelling out any cash on COMC or the ‘bay. Where’s the fun in that?

My want lists for these sets can be found here.

That’s it for new set builds, but there are a few more I’m on the fence about. These are ’83 & ’84 Donruss and ’81 Fleer. Seeing a pattern? I’ve been loving on those early-80’s sets pretty hard lately. This is not an official announcement for these other sets, but if I happen across a bunch of commons for cheap at a card show or find a trove in an LCS mystery longbox, I may have to pull the trigger.

Or maybe I should quit before I start trying to build every set.

In addition to these new set builds, I’m also adding a couple of PC’s to the mix:

The Nolas – Austin and his younger brother Aaron were stars at LSU and not just for their providential surname. These guys are good, Austin from the plate and Aaron from the mound. I’m excited to see what they do in the Majors.

Dock Ellis – Yeah, he’s that guy who did the thing. On the stuff. You know.

Felix Hernandez (hits only) – Might as well make it official. For some time now I’ve been building a collection of King Felix hits, picking them off one-by-one via COMC and eBay plus a lot of help from my fellow bloggers. He seems perpetually undervalued to me. I’m not collecting base cards for Felix at this time, but I will make an exception for his rookies which I’ve been unable to land thus far.

Sherard Clinkscales – MS Word hates this guy’s name, but I’m kind of obsessed with it. I've built quite the collection of his cards, too. I’m…compelled.

Have lists for my new PC's are forthcoming and will be posted here when ready.

Thanks for reading.

Friday, May 22, 2015

Bring Me the Severed Head of Harold Reynolds: A P-Town Trade Post

I got a big ol' package from P-Town Tom, Cubs fan and proprietor of the popular card blog Waiting 'Til Next Year, possibly the most perfect name for a Cubs blog ever conceived. You might think a Cubs fan would also pull for the Mariners being that they are in a similarly unsuccessful baseball boat; but Tom saw fit to send me a slew of M's, and among them were a few real gems.

The first was this lovely severed head of Harold Reynolds who, if you drink a couple fingers of scotch and squint, is indistinguishable from the Kid (it's the mustache). I happen to know that Junior has one of these heads available, and he is most definitely not smiling on it. I'm putting this on my Griffey cabinet anyway.

I did, indeed, find something, and I'm saving the big surprise for last.

Here is a set I've been chasing for some time, the 1994 Dairy Queen gold parallel set. These cards are a tough get and tend to go for a few bucks each. Tom sent me the whole set. I was giddy already.

Arguably the most famous card from this set is the "Spiderman catch" which just hurts to look at. It also reminds Griffey fans of the tragedy that would come from one of these catches just a few seasons later.

Promo cards from what may be my favorite year of SPx. Beautiful.

A sweet branded oddball from Kraft. This is one I hardly ever see let alone in trade packages. Solid airbrushing here.

While I don't consider myself a Mariners collector, there were some great cards in this package. I love cards of Ken Phelps, and this one from Fleer is the perfect example of why. He looks like a cool uncle who would let you take sips of his beer so long as you "don't tell your mother." To this day I want to go to a barbecue at Uncle Ken's house. Great ear flap, too. Certainly the second-best southpaw named Ken the Mariners ever had.

Nice try, Swell. And man, does Leon love his chewing gum or what?

I want all the '89 Donruss. All of it. Storage space be damned. These three were nice and crisp, too.

Youngest to 2000 K's is what I've been hearing, and that Goudey makes him look really young. Go get 'em, King.

Speaking of the King, the Mariners roster looks pretty strong thanks in part to Felix and these two guys. The Cubs have a lot to be excited about, too, despite being in a strong division. And the Astros are one of the top teams in baseball right now (though they'll likely blow it in the last few weeks of the season because they're the Astros). Still, the future looks promising for a few perennial also-ran teams. I can't even imagine what the playoffs will look like in three or four seasons. As an underdog fan, I'm hoping for fireworks.

Speaking of fireworks:

This thing is stunning and in what I would consider mint condition. I didn't even feel right opening it up to read.


I normally flatten things like this out on the scanner, but I had no intention of damaging the perfectly intact spine. Here are a few iPhone pics of the cards inside.

Looking a little out of place there, Lindros.

The back is this really beautiful sketch of the Kid with just a tinge of color.

One of my favorite things in this package was this ad for Upper Deck's new "Collector's Choice" brand which sounds like a real winner if you ask me. I wonder what lucky little kid will win the contest for a spot on a real Griffey card! Oh, it's...Gam Gam.

Congratulations, Gam Gam. I guess.

I suppose you really wanted that.

To be on a baseball card.

With Ken Griffey, Jr.


You really blew me away with this trade package, Tom. From the DQ golds to the Cartwright's magazine, I am in your debt. Really - Thanks a ton. I feel like I won a contest.

And to all those to whom I still owe trade posts, keep your eyes peeled! I'll be firing a few of these off this week...

Thursday, May 21, 2015

Bill Murray on Baseball Cards Part 3

Part 1 of this series can be found here. Part Deux can be found here.

I'm not really sure how many of these there are in the world, but I just keep coming across new ones. Here are a few more cards from my Bill Murray collection:

1996 Best Butte Copper Kings Team Set #2

Here's Bill showing is all what black socks with shorts is all about. Like a baller. The card itself lists more films and teams owned than any other Murray card I've come across.

The obligatory mascot card. This one has a great name. I wonder if there is a windmill near the ballpark...

Here's the team logo and a kindly-looking Dennis Rasmussen (who makes a cameo in a whopping two Bill Murray-owned team sets).

1997 Grandstand Charleston RiverDogs Team Set

And here's Bill probably throwing his arm out at the mound. Looks like Grandstand took a cue on verbiage from Best. Lucky for the fans in Charleston, Bill has continued to make appearances there even into 2015 (as you will see).

Yeah, I love showing mascot cards. Don't act surprised - you knew what this was...

A T.J. card! And Dennis Rasmussen again! Lots of hidden gems in minor league team sets.

2010 Razor Celebrity Swatch #SW-9

Okay, not a baseball card, but it's Bill Murray cardboard. That's good enough for me. This looks like pants or sport coat, and it is by far the thickest of my Bill Murray cards. It was also the cheapest if you can believe that...

2015 Charleston RiverDogs Schedule

Somebody alert The Prowling Cat! Bill Murray is on a pocket schedule. Again, not a baseball card, but it certainly has a place in the collection. Check out the back:

Larry Doby Jersey Day?? Somebody please go snag me one of those!!!

That's everything...for now. Who knows how many more are out there? Really, that's not rhetorical - I'm asking. How many more are there? Somebody tell me!!