Wednesday, May 9, 2018

Plugging Some Holes: In Time & Space


   Matt, of the blog Diamond Jesters, surprised me with a time traveling pwe containing a few of my wants that had been listed at the TCDB. This was very cool of Matt, because I had told him that I didn't want anything in return for sending him cards for his Time Travel Trading story series. If you haven't been following Matt's Time Travel shorts, here is a list of the first ten stories and the origins post.

Three holes filled in Topps 2017 

A plugged hole from the magical year of 2016  ✨

Topps Archives are growing on me. I hAs a whole loTTa holes in the Archives Dept.

Oh Ichiro, where hast thou gone?

   Speaking of Ichiro, there was a fabulous write-up in ESPN magazine last month about this beloved player. I enjoyed reading it so much that I dived into eBay and bought a hard copy. Here's a link to the online copy- When Winter Never Ends by Wright Thompson.

    I remember putting this sticker on my want list. I had a reason for doing that, but at the moment it is eluding me.  ... Thank you Matt for the great cards! -And keep those entertaining stories coming!

Thanks for reading!

Thursday, May 3, 2018

A Cracked Bat Strikes Again

    Julie from A Cracked Bat: Baseball Cards and a Hot Dog has once again surprised me with a packet of baseball goodness! I don't know how she does it, but she always manages to send cards that I think are super cool. Super. Cool. In this post I will be sharing some of my favorites sent by Julie.

A few 2018 Gypsy Queen Cubs. I really like the 2017 Gypsy Queen and I did not expect the 2018 Gypsy Queen to live up to last years' design, but it does.  Arrieta's forearms have some anatomical weirdness going on, but I love Baez' warpaint look! Go Schwarbs! 

For my native American collection, we have my first Thorpe New York Giants cards. 
These are beautiful!  

    And there are SHINIES! These are awesome cards, and I had not known of their existance. They are vintage goodness doubled with glossy metallic plastics. Nice! Early Winn, Ozzie Smith and Fergie Jenkins from 2002 Topps Archives Reserve.  

A K-Mart Cubs card. I have the K-Mart Dream Team Cubs 4-card set from the '80s, this Sandberg card is from 1991. I dig these! When I was a kid I liked going to K-Mart. They had hoagies and popcorn, and finding the flashing blue light was somewhat of a game. Good times, good times.

You know this. 
I 💖 Ozzie! 

2017 Diamond Kings- I love what Panini has done with the Diamond Kings line. Fabulous cards! 

Julie has started me on a mini-collection, US Presidents. I have a beauty of an Obak Obama card (from a previous packet from Julie) and now she has added a Clinton to the deck. Cool. 

    This next card is from one of my two favorite Studio sets, (1993 and 1994). I was only three Cubs away from completing both years' sets, this Grace card was one of them. I'm down two cards needed now. Thanks Julie! It's heartening to have another woman out there loving the baseball cards and blogging about it to boot.

Thank you Julie! Thank you readers!

Friday, April 20, 2018

Can Baseball be Cute?

     Yes. Yes, it can. Yesterday while in Walgreens, I walked back to the toy aisle and did my customary check for baseball repacks. The last time they had them in stock must have been close to ten months ago. So, imagine my eye popping excitement at seeing one baseball repack hanging on the rack! One. The front card was a Topps Heritage of an unknown player wearing a Diamondbacks uniform. There was a sticker on the front window informing me that there was a 'Bonus Figure Included'.  A bonus figure, wow that's a first for me. I snagged the repack and looked around to see if there was anything else I needed. Nope, so I headed to the registers. Handed the cashier the repack and our Walgreens card, then watched the little keypad processing my purchase. It showed a total of $2.75. One pack, and it's half price? Cool to the tenth!

     Even though there was only one card (actually a sticker) I needed inside the repack, it was the best repack I've ever opened. For starters it was the first repack I've brought home to not have a pack of Panini Triple Play inside, and it was full of newer Topps cards. The unopened pack was 1990 Upper Deck. Inside the UD pack I found the Cubs Hologram sticker I needed to complete my 1990 Upper Deck Cubs set. Yay, for set completion!

    Bonus Figure Included, actually there were two figures included.

    TeenyMates series 2, pitchers. They are crazy cute! I had never heard of these. They are from 2015, so I'm not sure if Party Animal Toys is still producing MLB figures, but I will be on the lookout for them.  These lil' dudes make me smile, and that was the best spent $2.75 I've ever had the pleasure of handing over.

Thank you for reading, and everyone have a great weekend!

Wednesday, April 18, 2018

Baseball Movies on Netflix

    This past winter I started watching the baseball offerings on Netflix. At the time of this writing, I have watched every baseball documentary and movie that Netflix offers except Air Bud: Seventh Inning Fetch. The completionist in me is very tiny, but it's there, so I'll watch the Air Bud flick. It cannot be any worse than the stinker found on the below list.

   In no particular order, this is a list of the films that are currently available on Netflix for baseball lovers:  

Air Bud: Seventh Inning Fetch 
The Phenom 
Trouble with the Curve 
Field of Dreams 
A Mile in His Shoes 
The Battered Bastards of Baseball 
No No: A Dockumentary

    The above films are all one-shots. You sit down, watch to the end and then it's over. There is a baseball series (inspirational, comedy) on Netflix as well that I have not tried. It's called, Game Winning Hit. I'll probably give it a shot.  

    Most of what is on that list is really good stuff. There is only one movie up there that I did not enjoy, and there is one movie that grabbed ahold of my heart and held it tight. It is an absolutely fabulous movie.  

    Kano is based on a true story. The film is from 2014, and it's 3 hours long. It's also sub-titled. I've been reading film for so long that I don't even realize that I'm doing it. Don't let the sub-titles scare you off from this film. Kano, is the best baseball movie I have ever seen, with no exceptions. I think I wrote this entire post just to say 'Watch KANO.'  

Thanks for reading!  (Now go watch KANO!)

Saturday, April 14, 2018

Blog Bat Around: First & Favorite

My First- 1977

    The first baseball cards that I remember buying were packs of 1977 Topps. I was living in Germany at the time, and would buy cards at the shoppette that was located at the edge of the housing area. I was 10 years old back then, and I earned spending money by cleaning the stairwell (5 floors with no elevator), and I also made a little more money if I accepted a babysitting job. I spent most of my change at Betty's (bratwurst stand) on pommes frittes and candy, but I would also walk over to the shoppette and pick up a pack of 1977 Topps cards.

    Funny thing about the 1977 Topps cards is that although I remember the fronts very well, I don't remember the green backs. I do remember the orange backs of the 1978 Topps though. I'm not sure why this is, but it is. Thinking on these cards for this write-up has prompted me to add the Chicago sets to my want list at the TCDB. I have some really crappy copies of the 1978 White Sox cards. I mean they were brutalized, or erm... well loved back in the day! Zip said a friend picked them up at a yard years ago thinking she'd want them. Anyway, it's been 40 years since I bought that first pack and I'm thinking I'd like to give these sets another go 'round.

My Favorite- 1958

        Life had already become completely complicated by the time I bought my first pack of cards. Which brings me to writing about my favorite baseball card set, the uncomplicated 1958 Topps. I love the design of '58 because it reminds of a time in my life when the world I saw was innocent and simple. A time when grand adventures flowed from imagination, and adults lived in a separate world. It was a time when going outside to play meant everything, and having to pee was an exercise in bladder strength. Holding it, meant staying outside and playing longer under the beautiful blue sky and bathing in the perfect warmth of the sunshine. Going inside always held the risk of not being allowed to go back out. I developed a bladder of steel, and I wore dirt like a second skin. Yeah, 1958 Topps can take me back there, and being of the same design, so can the 2007 Topps Heritage.

    I actually have a 1958 Topps card, the Cubs team card. My copy is not as crisp as the one in this image, but it's in good condition and I love it. See Ernie?!

     And I have 2 of the 2007 Topps Heritage cards in my collection.

       So there you have it, my first baseball card purchase, and my favorite baseball card set. What are your first and favorite cards?

Thanks for reading!

Tuesday, April 10, 2018

Moody Blues Frankenset: Card #7

    I love it when I find just the right card for this Frankenset. I was looking through my trade stock of Twins cards at the Trading Card Database in search of a clincher for our next song. I have one Twins card from 1981, the year this song was released, but other that it being a 1981 Twins card, it had nothing going for it. When I progressed down to the 1986 Topps cards, I almost skipped past them because the black and red banner across the top of the cards was an absolute no-go for this song. In the midst of the red and black nightmare that is the 1986 Topps Minnesota Twins cards was a Team Leaders card that evoked a 'TESLA!' from this author's oral factory.

    I mean look at this card. It is a perfect representation of a 'Gemini Dream'. What I like about this card is... everything. It works!


That is the 1986 Topps Baseball, Team Leaders card for the Minnesota Twins (Gemini); Mickey Hatcher, #786. 'Gemini Dream' is from the Moody Blues 1981 album Long Distance Voyager, and it was written by Justin Hayward and John Lodge.   

Thanks for reading!

The Moody Blues Frankenset Checklist

Saturday, April 7, 2018

Moody Blues Frankenset: Cards #3-6

    Let me say, I was hesitant about using cards already in one of my other collections, in this case my Cubs collection, especially when I do not have duplicates. I also suspected there would be instances where I may want to use more than one card for a single representation, but I did not expect to get there so soon. When that knowing light shines, or in this case, that flashing blue light, one must shout 'Tesla!' and go for it!

     The Moody Blues library of works have more than a few references to dreams, and I was actually looking for cards for a different dream song, but these four cards are a perfect fit for 'The Dream'. The four of them form the complete Northsiders Dream Team set, so they all deserve a share of this slot in the Frankenset.

     The cards are from the 1989 Topps K-Mart Dream Team set, they are #1, #8, #24 and #26; shown below, in order. What I like about these cards is that the hot pink ribbons are a match with the pink 'Dodgers' on card number one of this Frankenset. (They will be on the same album page.) I also like that the yellow font for the 'Dream Team' at the top of each card is actually fluffy and on a blue background. -I assure you that fluffy, cloud-like letters are no easy thing to find on a baseball card! But what really cinched these cards for representing 'The Dream' is the first line of the lyrics.-
'When the white eagle of the North is flying overhead' 

    'The Dream' is from the 1969 'On the Threshold of a Dream' album, and it was written by Graeme Edge. 

The Northsiders


A special Thank You to Julie of A Cracked Bat: Baseball Cards and a Hot Dog for gifting me with two of these Dream Team cards!

The Moody Blues Frankenset Checklist

Thursday, April 5, 2018

Moody Blues Frankenset: Card #2

    I wanted to spread these posts out a bit more, but the excitement of this project is getting the better of me. There are only a few cards in my possession that I am positive about adding to this set. So eventually there will be time gaps between posting new additions. Cards #2 and #3 are both positive choices, but today we will look at only our number 2 card.

    It's Trevor Story, from the Topps 2018 Opening Day set; Colorado Rockies, card #45. The 2018 Topps design blends well with the Moody Blues vibe. The graphics reveal a fluid passage of time with the past collapsing into nothingness. Yeah, I like this design. The photo also contains some relevant qualities for our purposes. All photos are snapshots of a single moment, and in this instance we get a clear look into Story's eyes. I'm sure Story is not looking at the camera off field, but it certainly looks like he is focused on the photographer. We also get a baseball frozen in time. That makes this card the perfect representation of 'The Story In Your Eyes'. The song is from the 1971 Every Good Boy Deserves Favour album, and it was written by Justin Hayward.


 Moody Blues Frankenset Checklist