Tuesday, December 30, 2008

The Dinged Corners Questionnaire

Questions -

1-If I didn't collect baseball cards, I'd collect MUSICAL INSTRUMENTS.

Some might say I have a pretty good collection already. I have three electric guitars, an acoustic guitar, and an electric bass. I'd like to add a Strat-type electric guitar and a fretless bass to my collection, as well as a nice bass amp and an electronic drum set.

2-My baseball heroes include one you probably wouldn't know from my blog or comments, and that person is HAROLD BAINES.

He was my kind of player. He just went to the park and hit. No nonsense.

3-Every New Years I resolve to ADD TO my collection.

Heck, I make that resolution every time I go to Walmart, and I usually keep it, too.

4-If I could spend a day with one person from baseball history, it would be PETER GAMMONS.

This guy is one of the few people who I think really know what they're talking about when it comes to baseball. If I couldn't get him, I'd settle for JOHN KRUK. I'm sure he'd talk to a fellow West Virginian.

Questions 2: Electric Boogaloo -

1-What is your favorite kind of dog? BLUE HEELER

My best friend's parents have one, and he's gotta be the coolest dog ever!

2-Who is your favorite baseball player? SADAHARU OH

He's the real home run king. Nobody's gonna beat 868.

3-What is your favorite team? PIRATES

As I've said earlier, being a Pirates fan is like rooting for the Titanic, but I don't care. Look at the two teams that were in the World Series this year. Did anyone think that the losingest team in MLB history and a team that had never had a winning season would be in it? If they can make it, I'm sure the Pirates will have another winning season. Just give it another 50 years or so.

4-What is your favorite baseball movie? I DON'T KNOW

I don't think I've ever seen a "baseball movie" all the way through. Oops.

5-What is your favorite baseball book? BALL FOUR

It paved the way for every baseball book to come. The only books that come close to this are the books by Ron Luciano.

6-What is your favorite card?

Thursday, December 25, 2008

So this is Christmas...

I know I've been gone a while. I haven't been in the mood to post anything for the past few days. (The flu and a broken heart will do that to ya.) Things are finally starting to look again, though, and just in time for Christmas!

I want to thank the fine folks at Cardboard Addiction, I Am Joe Collector, and Cardboard Junkie for the cards they've sent me lately. Add those to what I've bought lately, and I've got 5 HUGE stacks of cards to add to my database. Frankly, they're scaring the sh*t out of me. I need to get them done eventually, though.

Anyway, I wanted to wish all o' dang y'all a Merry Christmas! I hope everyone will get what they asked for.

Wednesday, December 10, 2008

Has this ever happened to you?


What a mess! I'm sure a bunch of you have cards in your collection like this. My question is:

What do you do with doubles that are too beat up to trade?

Do you hold on to them? Do you throw them away? Do you recycle them?

Saturday, November 29, 2008

box of cards from gcrl

a huge box of cards came in from gcrl today. a large chunk of them were fairly new pirates, but i also received a nice selection of vintage cards, including a card i needed for my 1970 topps seattle pilots team set. i think the biggest surprises were the 1968 and 1977 topps cards of dave duncan. i've been wanting to find a card of his ever since his son chris made it to the majors. i kinda feel bad, though, because nothing in my collection of doubles can even approach the coolness of the cards in this box. i'll try to put something good together soon, though.

Saturday, November 22, 2008

Quick note...

I finally got those packages that I meant to send out last week in the mail today, and I hope they'll get to where they're going soon.

I'll try to put up another Spotlight post sometime within the next couple days. Until then, I'll leave you with this awesome video I found of Magic Sam playing a song called "Lookin' Good" (something that, according to Connie, just happens).

Wednesday, November 19, 2008

Blog Bat Around: What kind of collector am I?

After 20 years of collecting and 30 seconds of thought, I think I've decided what kind of collector I am.

I'm a packrat. I'll collect anything. I can buy Tristar boxes and be happy with what I got.

my collection

Here's my main collection. There's almost 28,000 cards here. Box #9 (bottom left) isn't full yet, but it'll be pretty close once I put these with the rest of my collection:

unboxed cards

Over the years, I've accumulated a BUNCH of doubles. Here they are:


I also collect weird subsets of players, which I've posted about here. My biggest card-collecting accomplishment was when I finally finished my "one card for every year Topps made cards" set. The last card I needed was a 1954, and I finally got one (Vern Law) this past August. I also finished four sets this year, which brings my total of completed sets to... four. :-P

The biggest hurdle I face as a small-town card collector is that there aren't any baseball card shops around here. There used to be one in town, but they closed up years ago. I have to go to Walmart to get new cards. All I have to say is thank God for eBay and people that like to trade cards!

Saturday, November 15, 2008

The best laid plans...

Due to the downturn in the economy, the post office in my town was forced to cut its hours. When I got up this morning, though, I wasn't worried about any of that. All I wanted to do was to lay in bed, go to the bank and post office, and get stuff ready for my date tonight. Imagine my surprise when I see this at the post office:

I said a couple words I probably shouldn't have said, then as I bent over to pick up my umbrella (it's raining here), I dropped my cellphone and said a few more of those words.

I've got a day off Friday, so I should (finally) be able to get stuff mailed out to Thorzul, Steve, and Joe then.

Friday, November 14, 2008

WV Spotlight: Bill Mazeroski

For years, I thought Bill Mazeroski was born in Ohio. I remember going to the Rogers flea market and seeing a sign along the left-hand side of Ohio Route 7 (I'm guessing around Rush Run) that said "Home of Bill Mazeroski" in big letters. Imagine how surprised I was earlier this year when I found out he was born in Wheeling!

Maz was one of the best second basemen of all time, but he originally came up as a shortstop. Pirates president Branch Rickey moved him to second, and a star was born. He was involved in two of the last three Pirates World Series championships. He's best remembered for hitting a walk-off home run in Game 7 of the 1960 World Series to beat the New York Yankees (boo hiss). He retired after the 1972 season, and was inducted into the Baseball Hall of Fame in 2001.

Wednesday, November 5, 2008

An election-related card story...

As many of you know, Topps and Upper Deck have released cards of the different presidential candidates. I went after the 2008 Topps Series 1 set really hard, and I got a bunch of doubles, including two McCains. I went after the '08 Upper Deck Series One as well, although not as much as I did with the Topps. I got two of the McCain cards with him drawn like Ted Williams. It wasn't until recently that I got my first card of the man who would later become President...


I guess some things are worth the wait. Congratulations, Mr. Obama.

Friday, October 31, 2008

More quick hits!

Happy Halloween, everyone!

* Mark from Stats on the Back sent me a nice stack of players that became managers. My favorites are this 1971 Topps card of Marcel Lachemann (which goes with the 1966 Topps card of his brother Rene that I got a few months ago), and this 1977 Topps card of Joe Torre. Thanks, Mark!

* As you know, the World Series is over, and the Phillies are world champions. Unfortunately, this means no baseball for 5 months, but as I've said before, we still have baseball cards.

* If you like playing flash games, check this one out. It's called Zombie Baseball, and it fits the Halloween season. It's a little gruesome for kids, though.

Wednesday, October 29, 2008

WV Spotlight: John Kruk

This guy's gotta be one of my all-time favorite baseball players. He was born in Handley, but he was raised in Keyser.

He started his career with the Padres, but went to the Phillies with Randy Ready in a lopsided trade for Chris James. (Any trade for Chris James can be considered lopsided, no matter who's in it.) He was an all-star in 1991, 1992, and 1993, but health problems and weight issues slowed him down over the years, and he retired in 1995 after playing 45 games for the White Sox.

Since his retirement, he's done commentary for Baseball Tonight, written a couple books, and even guested on an episode of Aqua Teen Hunger Force.

I was gonna post a video of his ATHF appearance or him almost getting his head taken off by Randy Johnson in the '93 All-Star Game, but I can't find any. If any of you can find a link for one of these videos, post a link to it in the comments.

Tuesday, October 28, 2008

Quick hits!

* Patricia and Lucy from Dinged Corners sent me a few more cards, which I received yesterday. The highlight of the stack was this 1969 Topps Rookie Stars card of Richie Hebner and Al Oliver. I absolutely love old cards like this, and getting one sent to you just because you like the team on the card is sweet. I think I'm gonna have to dig through my doubles again to see if I have any more cards to send over there.

* I ordered a copy of the 2009 Sports Collectors Digest price guide from Amazon, and it came in today. I haven't looked it at much, but I can tell you that it's HUUUUUUUGE. I don't really care how much my cards or worth, but I bought it anyway so I can use it as a checklist and to get help with sorting out all those parallel and insert sets that have popped up over the past few years. The neat thing about it is that they threw in a digital version of the price guide on a DVD. if you want to order your own copy, go here.

* I just found out that Billy Martin was fired as Yankees manager in 1979 because he PUNCHED A MARSHMALLOW SALESMAN. No wonder the Stay-Puft Marshmallow Man was so angry.

Oh, yeah. I almost forgot.


Did you get yours?

Saturday, October 25, 2008

On Sportscasters

There's a lot of hate going around regarding certain baseball sportscasters, and I don't get it. I love them all. You heard right. I love Tim McCarver, Ken Harrelson, and all the rest. I even love Joe Morgan! Sure, they ramble a lot, but every once in a while they say something I didn't know or pay attention to before.

In a way, I feel sorry for them. They've played baseball all their life. They don't know anything else. If a player can't play any more, yet still wants to stay in the game somehow, there are two options open to them: coaching or sportscasting. If their body can't handle coaching (as I imagine McCarver's can't, after 21 years of catching in the majors), then they don't have any other choice.

I don't think coaches or managers would be very good sportscasters, because they're not used to dealing with regular people. All of their discussions would be so specialized that the only people that would fully get what they were saying would be other baseball players.

Of course, you can get into sportscasting via studying the game, as people like Tim Kurkjian and Peter Gammons have done. While I think these guys are great, I'd rather listen to people like Harold Reynolds or John Kruk (more on him next week). Knowledge of stats and history doesn't compare to actually playing the game and being part of history.

What the...?

Behold! A card that defies space, time, and logic:


Does anyone have any theories as to how this happened?

(Oh, and if you're waiting to see the cards I got from David, I've got a day off tomorrow, so I'll work on scanning them in.)

Friday, October 24, 2008

Trick or treat, yo!


David over at Indians Cards has been sending out Trick or Treat packages for those of us that can't come and knock on his door. My box came in the mail today, and it was full of Piratey goodness. I had never seen some of the things he sent before, and there were some cards that I hadn't seen since I started collecting. I got all the big names (Honus, Maz, Pops, Clemente, Bonds), and quite a few Jason Kendall rookie cards (including an unbelievably awesome diecut card). My favorites were the vintage cards, especially this old piece of scrap iron. I have to say that this box of cards was right up my alley. Even Tim Wakefield would say that this turned out to be a fun pack of cards.

Sunday, October 19, 2008


The fine folks at Dinged Corners sent me a bunch of cards, which I received in the mail yesterday. Most of them were Pirates, but there were also some minor league cards, as well as some oddballs. Here are my top 5 favorite cards I received:

5.) 2005 Fleer #51 Jack Wilson


Give him a conductor's hat instead of the toboggan he has on, and he'd look like Stanley Spadowski.

4.) 2008 Upper Deck Baseball Heroes #199 Ken Griffey Jr./Roberto Clemente/Vlad Guerrero/ Joe DiMaggio


The scan looks like crap, but it's actually a pretty nice card. Cards of Clemente always make me wonder how good the Dodgers would've been if they hadn't given him up in the Rule V Draft.

3.) 2007 Upper Deck Masterpieces #61 Jason Bay


These cards are beautiful. If I ever see packs of these for sale, I might get one.

2.) 1989 Star #25 Lonnie Maclin


This dude has some mad hops, doesn't he? The only thing that would make this card better is if it was of Lonnie Mack.

1.) 2004 Topps Garbage Pail Kids #23b Explosive Xavier


All RIGHT!!! These things are great. I'm glad Topps is still making them, even in this age of political correctness we're in. I'm gonna look for an unopened box of these online. That would be a hell of a video for A Pack A Day, right?

As great as those cards are, it wasn't the best thing Patricia and Lucy sent me. This is. When Lucy becomes a famous artist, it's gonna be worth a crapload of money.

Monday, October 13, 2008

Send me some cards!

One of the cool things about having a baseball card blog is that people will actually trade cards with you. I've traded with Kevin, dayf, David from Indians Cards, and Ben Henry, and I even sent a big ol' box of cards over to Dinged Corners. Thanks to these guys, I completed two sets ('87 and '89 Topps) that I've been working on since I started collecting.

I've got way too many doubles over here collecting dust, and I want to send them somewhere they'd be appreciated, and (if I'm lucky) get some cards back in return. I don't know how to upload my list of doubles to here, but I'll send it and my address to anyone that's interested in trading.

Here are some of the cards I'd like to get:

1970 Topps: 111 224 323 359 393 473 514 533 556 574 596 652 667 688 713
2008 Topps Series 1: 5 154 191 266
2008 Topps Allen & Ginter USA: US48
2008 Topps Allen & Ginter World Leaders: WL12
people that played in Japan
people that later became managers, coaches, or broadcasters
people who had family members that became baseball players
people I've never heard of
frequent fliers (people that have been traded a lot)

I highly doubt I'll get any vintage cards, but a guy can dream, can't he?

Saturday, October 4, 2008

Once a band geek, always a band geek...


As I mentioned in another post, one of my favorite things to do is play guitar. It wasn't the first instrument I learned how to play, though. I started playing drums in the 5th grade. When I got to the 8th grade, I joined the high school marching band. (My high school started having 7th grade through 12th grade the year I went to 7th grade.) I couldn't march because of my bad ankles, so I played the auxiliary percussion (a.k.a the pit). Basically, the people in the pit play all the stuff that's too small to march, and there's a lot of instrument switching involved.

We had a really small band when I was in school (something like 50 people), but we did really well at all the competitions we went to. We went to a competition my senior year which had 28 bands from all over Pennsylvania, West Virginia, and Ohio. Some bands came in all the way from Michigan and New York. We were the smallest band there (I think), and we made it to the finals, where we finished 10th. (Here are the scores from the competition.) The picture of me at the beginning of this post is from that competition. It's also proof that I stick my tongue out when I'm concentrating, something I don't realize I'm doing at the time.

Even though I mainly play guitar, I still consider myself a drummer. Whenever my high school has Homecoming week, a bunch of alumni get together and play with the regular band during the football game. I always enjoy myself, even though I can usually barely walk afterwards. The unfortunate thing is that this might be the last year the alumni band will get together because very few alumni have been showing up the past few years. Even though we lost the football game, I still had a lot of fun. I got to see a bunch of people I haven't seen since I graduated.

What does this have to do with baseball cards? Nothing. I just had a lot of fun today and felt like writing about it. I just hope I can walk OK in the morning...

Tuesday, September 30, 2008

Has anyone seen one of these before?


I found this puppy at Walmart today. This is the first thing I've bought that has a guaranteed game-used card in it. [EDIT: It's actually the second thing. I forgot Topps started putting GU cards in boxes of '08 Series 2.] I know most of them aren't worth much and you don't know if the person on the card actually wore/used what's embedded in the card, but I still think they're cool. I don't have too many. Let's see what's inside, shall we?


The package advertised 3 packs of cards, but there were 4 in the pack. Nice! It's the typical assortment of new junk wax you'll find in any of the Legends repacks. Here's what I got:

2007 Topps Opening Day
Brad Penny
Delmon Young
Scott Kazimir
Ryan Howard
Marcus Giles

2007 Upper Deck Series 1
Casey Blake
Kenny Lofton
Ryan Dempster
Khalil Greene
David Ross
Akinori Otsuka
Kenny Rogers
Huston Street

2006 Fleer Ultra
Angel Berroa
Ryan Zimmerman
Yadier Molina
Mark Prior Strikeout Kings
Michael Young Gold Medallion

2006 Upper Deck Series 2
Khalil Greene checklist
Antonio Alfonseca
Yusmeiro Petit
Aaron Rakers
Wade Miller
Rick White
Derek Jeter Play Ball!
Paul Bako

And now, the moment you've all been waiting for, the GAME-USED CARD!

2007 UD Sweet Spot Classic #CM-KH Kent Hrbek

Hrbie! All right! Gotta love that powder blue.

Personally, I'd probably buy another one of these, but I wouldn't make it a habit. That's what A&G is for.

Friday, September 5, 2008

Dinged Corners

This isn't about the awesome blog, although it is inspired by them. (If you've never been there, check them out.) I was trying to find cards to send to them yesterday, and I found what may be the card in my collection (doubles, actually) that's in the worst condition. Ladies and gentlemen, I present to you...


1989 Topps #152 Mark Thurmond. I'm guessing this is one of the cards that I had when I started collecting back in '89. It's been through hell, as you can see.

Do any of you guys have cards in worse condition than this? I'd like to see 'em. If you've got a blog, do a post about it. If you don't, upload a pic of your card and put the link in the comments for this post.

Wednesday, August 20, 2008

Non-sports goodness!

I went through a phase where I collected pretty much every kind of card. Comic book cards, musician cards, football, basketball, you name it. I cut down to just baseball in the mid '90s, but I still have some of my old cards. The weird thing is that I got some of my coolest non-sports cards within the past year.

The card on the left is the newest addition to my collection, as well as my oldest card of any type. It's an 1886 Allen & Ginter "Flags of the Nations" (N9) card of Bolivia. I got it from dayf for winning a contest he held over at A Pack A Day. These cards were released in boxes of cigarettes.The card on the right is a standard-size card of Bigfoot, one of the coolest cards in 2008 A&G.

My best friend Josh gave me these two cards, which came from his grandmother. They're from the Indian Gum (R73) set released by the Goudey company sometime between 1933 and 1940. It's hard to believe that the gum used to be why kids would buy the cards. (Josh's mom said that she bought a pack of baseball cards for the gum, and she got a Mickey Mantle card. She doesn't know what she did with it.)

Lastly, we have another card Josh gave me. This one was cut form the back of a box of Little Debbie snack cakes. I've been on a huge They Might Be Giants kick lately, so I had to laugh when I found this. I totally forgot I had it, but I found it when I was looking for those Indian cards. Rather than ramble on about good Mr. Polk, I think I'll let the twin quasars of rock talk about him.

Tuesday, August 19, 2008

Take a card, leave a card!

Everyone knows that getting free cards is great, so I propose an experiment. This is probably the best idea I've come up with in a while. Here's how it'll work:

I'm gonna gather up a pile of random doubles and send them to someone I normally trade with (probably dayf). He'll take the cards he needs, add some to the pile, and send them to someone he normally trades with. They'll take what they need, add some more, and the cycle starts again.

To make this fair, I've come up with a few rules:

1.) You can't just take cards. You can take some and add some to the pile, or you can just add some if you're feeling generous.

2.) For every card you take, you have to put another card in the pile. Again, if you feel like adding cards without taking any, that's fine too.

3.) The cards can go to people who have received them before, but they can't send them to the person they sent them to the last time. For example, if I've sent cards to dayf once already, I can't send them to him again. Someone else can, though.

4.) Try not to add a lot of "junk wax" to the pile. Chris Harris probably wouldn't enjoy getting a huge stack of '88 Donruss. (I wouldn't mind, though. :-P) It would be nice to keep a good assortment of different years/products/teams in the pile.

5.) Try to keep the "tiptons" to a minimum, and only for vintage cards. Nobody wants any '91 Donruss with bad creases and badly rounded corners (which sucks, because I have quite a few of them).

How does this sound? Leave me a comment if you can think of any tweaks I need to add, or if you want in.

Sunday, August 10, 2008

Set of the Year: 2008 Topps Allen & Ginter

God, I love this set. I mean, what other set has cards of Manny Ramirez, Friedrich Nietzche, Pluto (the planet), and a card with a piece of a meteorite or a wooly mammoth? I've been buying all I can find at the Walmart near here. Rather than bore you with a blaster break (which I actually have typed up), I'm gonna think outside the box (pun intended) and tell you what would be my dream pack. These are all cards in the set. Here goes:

Base Set:
250 Ichiro

Sure, people in Seattle don't like him any more, but I still do.

173 Rick Ankiel

A great story, which would've been better if he hadn't bought HGH back in '04.

197 Bigfoot

I almost picked Albert Einstein, but c'mon! It's BIGFOOT!

US48 Seth McClung United States of America (West Virginia)

A guy I never heard of from a state I know well.

WL12 Tarja Halonen World Leaders (Finland)

Why her? Here's why:

CS14 Edgar Rice Burroughs cut signature

If you like science fiction, I highly suggest you check out his Barsoom series of books. I can't WAIT until the "John Carter of Mars" movie Pixar's working on comes out in 2012.

Saturday, July 19, 2008


A while ago, I was looking on eBay for cards to complete my goal of getting one card for every year that Topps made cards. I didn't find any of people I wanted which were in my price range, but I did find this lot of 1969 Topps cards that I couldn't pass up.

The key card in this lot was Bobby Cox. I had been wanting that card ever since the first time I saw it. I find it kinda ironic that he used to play for the Yankees. If it was just that card and 5 Joe Nobodys, I still would've bought the lot, but the other cards are pretty cool, too.

The next day, I get a package addressed to me from a guy named David Campbell. (This one? No, this one.) Dayf and I had been trying to work out a trade for a while, but he hadn't had time to look through the list of doubles I sent him (which I'll eventually post on here). He went ahead and sent me most of the cards I needed to finish my 2008 Topps series 1 set (I'm still 4 short), but I wasn't expecting him to send me these as well.

The one on the left is a 1955 Topps card of Forrest "Spook" Jacobs. He only played for 3 years, but his awesome nickname makes up for that. The other card is a 1962 card of George Altman. He was a pretty big star for the Cubs back in the day, and he also played in Japan for a while. The best thing about these is that now I only need three more years to finish the collection I was talking about (1952, 1954, & 1961).

Monday, June 30, 2008

Card of the Week (and a couple days)

I'm back again, with another cool card in my collection. This little gem is the oldest card I have.

It's a 1951 Topps Red Back card of Dave "Gus" Bell. I bought it on eBay for $8.50. I've been trying to find one card from every year that Topps made cards, and this is where it all started. It's a really dinky card, which makes the transition to the jumbo '52s seem really weird.

The Bell family is famous for having 3 generations of major league players (Gus, Buddy, and David & Mike). The Boones (Ray, Bob, and Aaron and Bret) and the Hairstons (Sam, Johnny & Jerry, and Jerry Jr. & Scott) are the only other families that can say this.

Sunday, June 22, 2008

Pack Break: 2008 Topps Heritage

I've been meaning to do a pack break on here for a while, but I always sorted my cards out before I could write down what I got. Well, I've got a pack of '08 Heritage (my favorite set of the year) that I surprisingly haven't opened yet. Let's see what we got.

100 Jack Cust
272 Aaron Harang
111 Reds team card
138 Steve Pearce Rookie Stars
piece of (surprisingly good) gum
358 Hideki Okajima
265 Aaron Rowand
C75 Billy Butler rainbow refractor #309/599
C55 Hanley Ramirez rainbow refractor #520/599
196 Jose Valverde black back

Whoa! I managed to get 9 cards in a nominally 8 card pack, and two of them were back-to-back rainbow refractors! I've only pulled one in all of the other packs I've opened put together, and to get two of them back-to-back is amazing. It makes up for the '08 Topps fat pack I got earlier today that only had one insert (a crappy Mantle history card) in it.

Thursday, June 19, 2008

Card of the Week

Holy crap! I was doing pretty good there, posting every couple days, then life just jumped on me. You all probably think that getting a new post out of me is like pulling teeth, which is one of the reasons I haven't posted in the first place. Everything is healing nicely (to quote Frank Zappa), so I thought I'd celebrate my "glorious" return to blogging by posting one of the coolest cards I've pulled in a long time.

This Chipper Jones card came out of a pack of 2003 Fleer Focus Jersey Edition.The subset it's in is called Materialistic. The picture is actually printed on a huge piece of jersey-style fabric. It's apparently printed on something like what they used on their away jerseys, which makes me wonder if there's a home jersey version. To answer your question, no, dayf, it's not for sale or trade. :-P

Thursday, May 29, 2008

WV Spotlight: Charlie Manuel

I'm not too familiar with any part of WV farther south than Summersville, so I had no idea where Northfork was before I looked it up. It was consolidated with the town of Clark in 1948, so that should tell you how old Charlie Manuel really is.

I like Charlie because he was a player that later became a manager, and he also played in Japan, where he earned the nickname Aka Oni (Red Devil). When he played in Japan, he and a couple of his teammates got into a fight with the East German hockey team. (As you can imagine, he didn't fare too well.)

He didn't get too much playing time in the Majors (384 at-bats in 242 games over 6 years), but he's made up for it with his success as a coach and manager. The worst any of his clubs have finished in their division is 3rd (2002 Indians).

Sunday, May 25, 2008

Shut Up 'n Play Yer Guitar

I've been playing guitar for 12 years, and even though I don't play as much as I should, it's still one of my favorite things to do. (Here's a pic of my guitar collection.) Surprisingly, quite a few baseball players also play guitar. The only card-related evidence I've seen of this is the 1991 Stadium Club card of Eric Show (photo courtesy of The Baseball Card Blog).

(Guitar geek note: I'm 99% sure that's a Gibson ES-175. It's a beautiful thing, isn't it?)

Other players that are known for playing guitar are Barry Zito, Bronson Arroyo, Ben Broussard, and Bernie Williams. (If I'm forgetting anyone, let me know.)

Thursday, May 22, 2008

Is this legal?

I've been a fan of baseball for a while now, and I thought I'd seen every kind of pitch there was. I've seen curveballs so good that they make my knees buckle, even while I'm sitting down. I've seen knuckleballs that float like butterflies and (sometimes) get stung like bees. I've seen people just lob a ball to the plate, something I thought would be the pitcher's biggest folly. I've even seen exploding fastballs. I've never seen anything like this, though.

Tuesday, May 20, 2008

Top 10 Favorite Cards (#6-10)

I wasn't sure how much text I could cram into a post, so here's the last half of my list.

6.) 1980 Topps #479 Expos team checklist

The Expos had a pretty good year in 1979. They finished second in the NL East to the Pittsburgh Pirates, who ended up winning the World Series. (I consider myself a Pirates fan, which has lately been like saying you're a fan of the Titanic.) I like to think of this as the real rookie card of Tim Raines (#32). He was only used in baserunning situations in 1979, and wouldn't get his actual first card until 1981 Topps Traded.

7.) 1990 Donruss MVP #BC12 John Smoltz (both versions)

1990 Donruss is known for some pretty weird errors (like the Juan Gonzalez Rated Rookie reverse negative and 3 different versions of the Nolan Ryan King of Kings card), but I think this one takes the cake. You don't have to be a rocket scientist to know that John Smoltz and Tom Glavine don't look anything alike, but someone still got them screwed up. I think my favorite thing about this pair of cards is that they're both still pitching in Atlanta. (Smoltz has been there since 1988, while Glavine is back after a few years elsewhere.)

8.) 1999 UD Choice Mini Bobble Heads #3 Chipper Jones

More Braves! (This should make dayf happy. :-P ) I actually forgot I had this card until last night, when I was looking for cards to write about. If you fold it up right, you can make a little bobblehead out of it. I think it's a pretty neat idea for cards, but it also makes me wonder how many people actually folded them up as opposed to keeping them in one piece (like mine).

9.) 2006 Bowman Chrome Refractor #205 Matt Capps #1/150

Ooooh. Shiny rainbow cards. (The scan really doesn't do it justice.) This is the first refractor I ever pulled. I got it out of a 3 card pack of Bowman Chrome that I got in a $10 Walmart repack box (more on those later). I think it's neat that you can still pull cards serial numbered #1 out of whatever, two years after the product was released. This was the rarest card in my collection until I got...

10.) 2006 Topps Heritage Real Ones Autographs Red Ink #ROA-FR Frank Robinson #17/57

This is why I love those repack boxes. If I'm not mistaken, the box this was in sat on the shelves for months before I decided to get it. As soon as I saw this card, I knew it was special. I mean, Frank Robinson was one of the greatest players ever, AND he was the first black manager! I don't really pay attention to how much my cards are worth, but for some reason, I decided to look this one up.

It's worth 150 dollars.

When I saw that, I was shocked. Stunned. I still can't believe a card like that got thrown in a repack box, but I'm glad it did.

Top 10 Favorite Cards (#1-5)

Here are some of the coolest cards in my collection. I had intended on listing my top 10 favorite base cards and top 10 insert cards, but I couldn't think of any more cards in my collection that popped out like the ones I'm gonna talk about did. I'm gonna list them in chronological order.

1.) 1956 Topps #99 Don Zimmer

If you had told me when I started collecting that a guy that looks like this had played baseball before, I would've said you were crazy. Imagine my surprise when I found out that not only did he play baseball, but he was a middle infielder! I guess looks can be deceiving after all.

2.) 1959 Topps #338 George Anderson

I paid more for this card than any other in my collection. (I think I paid around $12 for it.) Those of you that don't really know baseball might wonder why I spent so much money on a card of a guy that only played one year in the majors. Here's why. I still think I got a good deal on it.

3.) 1966 Topps #74 Don Mossi

Oh, man. I knew this guy was ugly (some people have described him as looking like a cab driving down the street with its doors open). I've seen pictures of him online, particularly of this card. It wasn't until I actually held this card in my hands that I realized that the people that said those things weren't kidding. He was actually a pretty good pitcher back in the day. Sadly, this was his last card.

4.) 1968 Topps #562 Jim Bouton

Most people know this guy from writing "Ball Four" (an excellent read), but before he started throwing the knuckleball and writing books, he used to throw so hard that his hat would fall off. This is another "last card", which is weird because he went on to play a couple more years in the majors. I would've loved to see him on a 1979 Topps card in a Braves uniform.

5.) 1972 Topps #19 Billy Cowan

I don't know too much about this guy. From the looks of his stats, I don't think he got too much playing time. The picture on this card, however, is amazing! The guy that thought of taking it should've gotten a raise.

Monday, May 19, 2008

Not another baseball card blog!

Yep, another one. I've seen a bunch of good ones lately, and I thought I'd give it a shot. Before I tell you about some of the cool pieces of cardboard I have (almost 26,000 at last count), I should probably tell you a bit about myself.

My name's Billy, I'm 27, and I live in West Virginia (which you probably figured out already). I've been collecting cards since around 1989, although I clearly remember unsuccessfully begging my mom to buy me packs of 1988 Donruss before I actually bought my first pack of cards (it might've been 1989 Topps, but I can't remember). Both of those sets are among my sentimental favorites, and I FINALLY completed my '89 Topps set this year!

Lately, I've been collecting cards of players that later became managers, as well as trying to get one card from every year Topps made cards. (I'm only 7 years short.) Other sets I'm working on are 2008 Topps and 2008 Topps Heritage.

I'm gonna mainly talk about normal baseball card blog stuff on here, but I'll also talk about players that were born in West Virginia. There are some really good players on that list, as well as some that may surprise you.

I've gotta thank a few people before I forget. First, I've gotta thank my best friend Josh for doing such a good job on the logo. I've also gotta thank Ben Henry, dayf, and Kevin Brotzman for inspiring this whole thing. Keep up the good work, guys.

Anyways, enough about me. Let's talk about cards!