Monday, April 26, 2010

The Icons Have Landed

Two if by sea and all that. Break Saturday.

Tuesday, April 20, 2010

Group Break Update: Boxes are Ordered

Everyone has paid, things are good. Work is killing me. That's pretty much it.

Looking forward to busting the Icons boxes when they show up!

Sunday, April 18, 2010

The Moose is Loose: Crime Dogs from GSNHOF

From time to time the Spastik one over at GSNHOF will drop me an email about McGriffs he can send me. I usually take a week+ to respond (between work and the group break things are what they are) and say I'm STILL getting my Freds in order (going on 6 months now) and will get back to him. After a few more weeks he sends me a package anyway. Great guy, that Moose----I have at least one Fred to send his way and have my eyes out for others.

First from the last batch is this incredible CD MiLB card.
The light towers in the back are iconic and scream 1980's minor league ball. I also like how the font on the Chiefs uni mimics the Blue Jays uni from that era. Very nice touch. As a side note, when I was a kid I remember someone writing an article about "how good will Fred be?" This was the late-80s when Dwight Gooden ruled the world, and the author mentioned how, at some point when the two were towards the end of their high school careers (they both hail from Tampa), McGriff took Gooden deep to the tune of 500+ feet and actually hit a light tower well beyond the OF wall. That is to say the Crime Dog had MASSIVE power, but could also rake the best of the best. Not sure why he's so under appreciated.

More highlights:

Bottom left: Fred finding Jesus in stereo. That'll have its own post. But you see across the top three cards and the bottom left the kind of remarkable consistency Fred had to his swing. Different cards, different years, the exact same follow through. Necessary stuff for a HOFer. Bottom middle: Fred as a Ray. And bottom right, late-80s Classic. I've got a soft spot for the Classic cards even if they are from a long-deceased brand. With the '87 Bo Jackson they were all the rage for a while. 

Thanks again Moose! Have a good one everybody and goodnight Pumpsie Green, wherever you are!

Saturday, April 17, 2010

With Leather: CC Sweet Spot from SMG

First, several great teams (Angels, A's, Pirates, Diamondbacks, Reds) are still available. And if you haven't paid up, don't forget the monies!
So, Sewing Machine Guy is who bipped me with all those Goudey CCs that I customized and, er, then passed along to others. The truth is, the group break was also his idea, and as a group join it kicks ass to be doing it.

Well, apparently he went to a show and came across this:
He picked it up and we hammered out a trade for it. It's slightly dinged and I have yet to figure out how to open those new fangled Sweet Spot cases (hence the tape in the scan), but this card is awesome and I REALLY appreciate SMG picking it up and sending it my way. I'm now just a bat barrel short of a having three versions of CC Sweet Spot autos (ball, glove, bat barrel).

One things I don't get: the stadium in the card looks to be Wrigley Field at sunset. I've got nothing against Wrigley (it's amazing; thanks again Daddy D!) or sunsets (on the one hand they are overrated, on the other without the sun we'd all be dead), but CC plays in a dome. Moreover the stands are full, never happens at the Trop. AND, if that is Wrigley, it looks like the sunset is actually fallout from a nuclear winter. How else could you explain the absence of the famous rooftops behind the OF stands? Just strikes me as weird.

Have a good one everybody and good night Pumpsie Green, wherever you are!

Friday, April 16, 2010

HOF TTM: Bob Feller

Don't forget: Group Break teams still available.

I'll start by saying that I recognize Feller signs A LOT, to the extent that folks don't pay too much attention to his autos. TTM or in recent products, if one has the cash Feller autos aren't that rare.
So I decided I'd give it a go with this '51 Topps redback, ttm, for a few reasons. I know Feller signs for cash so I included $10. I'd hate to lose the card, but the risk/reward heavily favored the reward side and $10 is a decent price. What really convinced me is the number of players from the era I've done ttms from who, when asked, stated Feller was the best pitcher they ever faced (the other popular answer: Satchel Paige). With a lot of endorsements I had to give it a go. 

Given how small the '51s are I was curious to see, if/when I got the card back, how it would turn out. After a couple of weeks I gotta say I'm stoke with the result. Mr. Feller not only went ballpoint over marker, he also signed in the largest white space on the card. For a guy who signs A LOT and is a HOFer, I think it's great he took the time to have this one come out. Very fan friendly. In turn it inspired me to pick this up: 
It's a small swatch but still really cool. I knew fabrics in the '50s are a lot different from those used from the '60s till today but didn't appreciate how different until I'd seen this close up. Again, very cool. 

Thanks again Mr. Feller! Have a good one everybody and good night Pumpsie Green, wherever you are!

Once you go vintage...: Hello Marichal

First up, don;t forget to grab a team for the break if you'd still like one. Pirates, Reds, Angels (maybe), A's are still available

Seems like a lot of folks are hit by the price of wax these days, especially relative to the pulls you may/may not get. I'd love to bust, but the fact is my wax budget is limited to what I spend in JC's break and the upcoming CCC/SMG Breaks (thank you dear compa, for putting up with me on this!). Beyond that there's little room for cards, period, but I do what I can.

After some stalking, I was able to land these to anchor my Marichal collection.
The 1961 RC. A great card in any condition, and I was more than happy to score this one for $6. The cost of a few packs at Target from which I'm guaranteed not to pull any CCs or hits.

Next up:
I gotta check out how much boxes of this stuff run and see if folks want to rip a few for the next break. The swatches are huge and in general the cards look great! Got this one for about $4, almost what I paid for the '61 RC. Crazy.

I think groups breaks are the way to go for wax, but is anyone else going more and more vintage?

Have a good one everybody and good night Pumpsie Green, wherever you are!

Thursday, April 15, 2010

Heroes nobody knows: Cecil Travis

One of the best recurring stories in baseball concerns the ballplayers who took a break from their careers to fight in WWII, men like two of this site's favorites, Virgil Trucks and Lou Brissie. These men deserve all the praise that goes their way, but until I read Brissie's book I had never thought about the players who fought but DIDN'T resume their careers, men like Cecil Travis.
I know, "Who is Cecil Travis?" According to one blog he might be the best player never to receive a single vote for the HOF. Is that hyperbolic? Maybe, but a lot of his contemporaries thought he was a HOFer. Check his stats from '34-'41. His last year before the war, at age 27, Travis posted a monster 150 OPS+ as a shortstop. Bill James projects Travis to have been a HOFer if not for the war, and from age 22-27 Travis's most similar batters are all HOFers.

Post-WWII, however, Travis was never the same. He played only 3 years after returning, retiring in '47.

I wonder what it says about us as a society that we continually celebrate the greats who left and returned without missing a beat and yet seldom acknowledge the sacrifices of those who also served, also sacrificed, and yet because of their demons and/or injuries were never able to achieve in the ways they had before. I mean, in all the much-deserved adulation of Ted Williams and others of that era, I don't recall ever hearing about Travis or many others mentioned in Brissie's book. I have some conflicting thoughts and would love to hear anyone's comments.

At any rate, a book about his life recently came out and I hope to grab a copy soon. After a few months of ebay hunting I finally grabbed the above card (which is great for lots of reasons) for $7.50 with shipping. Like any collector I dig my cards, but this is one I'm really proud to have in my collection as corn ball as that may sound.

Have a good one everybody and good night Pumspie Green, wherever you are!

Pitchers Finding Jesus: Manny Sarmiento

First, don't forget the group break. Teams still available!

Manny Sarmiento following through on a pitch only to see Jesus and a choir of angels hovering above the batter. With an ERA+ of 82 in '78 I image Sarmiento saw Jesus-aided batters hitting softballs off him pretty frequently. Take a look at the awkward stance, the mouth agape, the eyes looking toward the sky. Dude's definitely experiencing something frighteningly supernatural out there on the mound.

Have a good one everybody and good night Pumpsie Green, wherever you are.

Wednesday, April 14, 2010

Sometimes You Eat the Bear: Rays from Joe

First, don't forget the group break! Still a few teams left (Angels, A's, Pirates, Reds).
Joe over at Cobb and Hallady responded to my last trade post about some cards. In exchange he was offering a large stack (400+) of Rays. Since what I collect is pretty eclectic I was hesitant at first. What if I cut the cards loose and didn't get a single CC I needed in return? Moreover, what if I didn't get ANY cards I needed of ANY dudes I collected?
Well, since the trade with Ike's Cards had gone so well I though, "Why not?" and accepted the trade. Again, given how nutty things can be in the face-to-face world, the blogosphere does not fail to surprise with coolness. 
First up:
Surprise CC relic that wasn't mentioned in the original trade talk. The best thing about this is that, technically, I already had it. I got a copy through ebay (cheap!) but the card showed up in a pwe looking like it had been used as a prop in the latest production of Stomp. So I was pretty bummed. Getting this card as a "CC to be named later" in a trade like this more than makes up for some anonymous seller's douchebaggy shenanigans. 

But, of course, there was a TON more. 
And these are just a few of the literally 400+ awesome Rays I received. From the top left: my first cards of Wade Davis and Jacob Mcgee. Definitely cards I've been after. Another CC Heritage I needed. A Price I needed. Two awesome neo-vintage Delmons. (Did you see that non-highlight almost catch the other day for him at Target Field? Shake that off Delmon. When you get used to the new digs you'll be fine) Then we've got a Heritage Gomes, Chrome Delmon and Chrome Gomes. And that's nine out of a ton. Thanks for the awesome trade Joe!

Have a good one everybody and goodnight Pumpsie Green, wherever you are!

Tuesday, April 13, 2010

Gettin' the Group Break Going

Work took me to Mexico City for a while but I'm back now and ready to kick things off! Emails to breakers and people who posted have been sent out, so check your inbox if you signed up.

There will be breaking, there will be blogging. Things are (finally) calming back down.

First up, here's an AMAZING card from the Moos, Crime Dog and Friend. It's the minors, it's the 80s, it's AWESOME! More from that package and others to come soon.

Have a good one everybody and good night Pumpsie Green, wherever you are!