Sunday, March 31, 2013

Airbrushed Awfulness: 1988 Topps Traded Tom Herr

"Are we almost finished with the Tom Herr card?"

"It's all done, boss. No one will ever know we airbrushed it!"

Friday, March 29, 2013

Cards Fom The Binder (Chapter 4)

Welcome to the latest chapter of  "Cards From The Binder". All these cards have been hand selected to appear within the hallowed pages of  "The Binder".

First up is a autographed Rick Miller card. I actually got this in person. Back in the 90's, I went to a lot of card shows. Most often they would have autograph guests. I don't see it that much anymore. I haven't been to a card show that had an autograph guest in years.

Alumni games are also a good place to get autographs. I got this Rick Smith...

...and Rick Middleton auto at a charity Bruins alumni game.

I only bought one box of Classic Hockey Draft '95 (probably because you would get an auto in the box). If the box was cheap enough during those lean college years, it didn't really matter what it was. And if there was an auto in it, even better.
So there you have it...
Cards from the binder.

Thursday, March 28, 2013

On Solid Ground

In addition to card collecting, another one of my hobbies is music. As well as having been a performing musician since the late 80's, I have a huge music collection.
I have 45's,

...and yes, even 8-tracks.
I have a working 8-track player. So whenver I'm in the mood for a legendary concert performace from Elvis, out comes the 8-track player and I party like it's 1975.
And if I really want to feel nostalgic, I'll go to my mom's and pull out the reel-to-reel and party like it's 1965.
In high school I was a metalhead. Van Halen, AC/DC, Judas Priest, Poison, Whitesnake...if it was heavy metal, I loved it. I ended up going to Berklee College of Music for a spell, and was introduced to jazz. I studied classical music at Plymouth State College in NH, and because of all that training I will analyze music as well as listen to it.
Whether I'm listening to the Allman Brothers or Slayer, music gives me tremendous enjoyment, much like my card collecting does. Whether it's Paula Abdul or Zebra, Paul Anka or ZZ Top, ABC or XYZ, it's more enjoyable when you listen to a variety of styles.
That's why I collect all types of cards; baseball, basketball, football, hockey, non-sports, even music cards.

 Variety. I've even found myself listening to country now, and in the past few years I've been listening to the blues, anything from Robert Johnson to Taj Mahal to Johnny Lang.
And thanks to all you bloggers out there, I've gotten an education in card collecting, much like I did with my music.
I would get frustrated when I would go to card shows because all I would see were rows and rows of autos and memorabilia cards which I don't really care about. I thought I was the only one who liked base cards. Because of reading about different peoples views on what they liked and reading about their own experiences, I've tried to have a better attitude when I go to card shows and actually enjoy myself. And you know's working. And for that I thank all of you.
So this afternoon while I was out with my fiancee shopping for a car, we stopped at the Five Below and I bought another baseball repack. Guess what was inside it.
Oh well, I guess it's time to party like it's 1989 again.
(I promise I'll stop saying that.)
*The reason for the title is that is what CD I'm listening to while posting this. Larry Carlton. Good stuff.

Party Like It's 1989

I've said it before on this blog and I know I'll say it many more times.


I don't really know what year signified the start of the "junk wax era", but my guess would be 1987.

Coincidentally, that was also the year I got back into baseball card collecting.

I don't remember why I stopped, but I hadn't bought any cards since 1983. I also don't remember why I started again.

What I do remember is that I would go to a flea market every Sunday, and buy at least one box of 1987 Topps, sometimes two. They would cost $15 a box.

I really enjoyed the 1987 Topps set. A lot of people don't, but I enjoy it more because of where I was in my life, not so much the design of the card.

But this post isn't about '87 Topps. It's about '89 Topps. Or maybe just baseball cards from 1989 in general. This was the first year that I really began to notice just how plentiful they had become. Before there had only been a few places where I could find cards, but in 1989 they were everywhere. Even now in 2013, baseball cards from 1989 are still everywhere.

Like right here.

I love repacks. There is a Five Below in the same plaza as my second job, and they will have repacks of football and baseball for $4.99. There is a bunch of loose cards, as well as a few packs.

Well, the last three times I have bought the baseball repack, I have gotten one of these:

Now I'm not changing my stance, I still love junk wax. However, I really don't need any more '89 Topps. I've already completed the set, I'm sure I have enough for a second and probably are well on my way to a third.

It's amusing now to read all of the baseball card literature back then and realize how much of it was about investing in baseball cards.

Here's a few examples:

$50 Canseco, $10 Jefferies - how you can profit
How To Collect Baseball Cards For Fun & Profit (and Maybe Get very Rich!!)

Don't Wait - Take Advantage Of This Great Investment Opportunity Now!

That last one was for 1989 Upper Deck single cards. I could have "invested" $4.25 for a Gregg Jefferies card or $4.50 for a Gary Sheffield. In hindsight, I'm glad I passed.

And finally the piece de resistance:

Great Investments 1989 Topps

I am not making this up. It actually says this in an advertisment in one of my baseball card magazines (that I saved) from 1989. Great Investments 1989 Topps. It looks so bizarre now that I had to type it again.

The baseball card world was changing. It was the first year of Upper Deck (which I did not buy any of because it cost too much. I think it was 99 cents then), so now there was five sets to choose from. Each year there seemed to be a few more sets that would appear until the mid to late '90's, when it just got completely silly. I'm still finding out about sets from that time period that I didn't know existed.

So let's open this jumbo pack of 1989 Topps. But just to have some fun, instead of it being March 28, 2013, let's pretend that it's October of 1989. October 28th, 1989 to be exact. Oakland has just beaten San Francisco 9 - 6 tonight to win the World Series 4 games to 0.

I'm not going to show all of the cards, just the "hits".

First up, the glossy photo quality card depicting an outstanding American or National League Rookie.

I present to you the outstanding American League Rookie Gary Sheffield.

532 - Jerry Browne (Rangers)
659 - Al Leiter (Yankees)
650 Kirby Puckett (Twins)
404 Bob Boone AS (Angels)
142 Mike Diaz (White Sox)

500 Jose Canseco (A's) - at the time one the bigger cards in the set
731 Mike Young (Brewers)
418 Bob Dernier (Phillies)
507 Steve Farr (Royals)
769 Junior Ortiz (Pirates)
321 Boston Red Sox Team Leaders
425 Jay Howell (Dodgers)
512 Donnie Hill (White Sox)
689 Stan Jefferson (Padres)
397 Don Mattingly AS (Yankees)
319 Greg Booker (Padres)
73 Pascual Perez (Expos)
521 Mickey Tettleton (Orioles)
396 Kirk Gibson AS (Dodgers)
169 Mike Jackson (Mariners)
673 Don Baylor (A's)
193 Sparky Anderson (Tigers)
190 Mike Witt (Angels)
152 Mark Thurmond (Orioles)
399 Wade Boggs AS (Red Sox)
457 Mackey Sasser (Mets)
289 Ernie Whitt (Blue Jays)
216 Jack Howell (Angels)
416 Fred Lynn (Tigers)
273 Jose Lind (Pirates)
466 Chuck Crim (Brewers)
56 Pat Tabler (Royals)
110 Paul Molitor (Brewers)
158 Mike Aldrete (Giants)
472 Brian Harper (Twins)
785 Ellis Burks (Red Sox)
39 Mike Maddux (Phillies)
188 Dennis Lamp (Red Sox)
636 Bill Wilkinson (Mariners)
115 Jody Davis (Cubs, but "Now With Braves")*
287 Juan Nieves (Brewers)
676 Ernie Riles (Giants)
409 Ken Dayley (Cardinals)
788 Mike Morgan (Orioles)
332 Tony Armas (Angels)
625 Eddie Murray (Orioles)
488 Kevin Coffman (Braves, but "Now With Cubs")*
311 Chris Bosio (Brewers)
323 Gary Thurman (Royals)
294 Juan Berenguer (Twins)

Wow, pretending that it's 1989 doesn't help one bit. That rack pack completely sucked regardless of what year it is. Guess I didn't do too good with my "investment".

The only positive I can take out of that rack pack is I'm probably closer to finishing set number three and on my way to set number four.

This is my plea to the repack gods. You can give me all the '90 Donruss you want, all the '92 Topps you want, even all the '91 Fleer you want, but please no more '89 Topps.

Unless you can help me finish my third and fourth set.

Thanks for partying like it was 1989.

*Kevin Coffman along with Kevin Blankenship was traded for Jody Davis on Sept. 29, 1988.

Sunday, March 24, 2013

Please Explain Listia To Me

When I was a kid, I promised myself I would not be as "clueless" as my parents. I think around 1964 they said; "That's it, I'm not going any further."

And they didn't. Music, fashion, TV, movies...if it happened in popular culture after the Truman administration, they had no idea about it.

Well, I have a confession to make. I have no idea what is going on in popular culture.

This New Year's Eve I watched MTV for a bit. I knew nobody.

Then the channel was changed to NBC. I knew everybody.

25 years ago it would have been the other way around.

A few weeks ago a group of friends and I went to a popular dance club. The music was really, really loud. Now I've seen AC/DC live, and I swear this was louder than that. Anyways, I don't dance, but we all went on the dance floor to watch. After a few minutes of watching, I turned to my fiancee as said; "I feel like I'm chaperoning a high school dance."

For all of the promises I made to myself when I was younger that I would not be "clueless" like my parents, here is how it currently stands.

I do not have an iphone, ipad, ithis or ithat.

I do not Facebook.

I do not tweet.

The fact that I am blogging invoked a smattering of elation amongst my inner circle of friends.

In fact I am probably less connected to the modern world than my parents were.

I still listen to cassette tapes!

I've got "London Calling" by the Clash playing out of my double cassette player as we speak!

So please help me with Listia.

I've read on other blogs about great things like Hostess cards or some vintage, but all I ever see are stacks of '90 Fleer (which is ok, but I've already finished it), or some way overpriced (in points) oddball card. The other day I saw a lot of 9 Red Sox cards which I was immediately interested in, but upon further inspection it was only 4 different cards with the other 5 being duplicates.

So it seems like it's a lot of work to me. I like the concept, but so far the results are less than impressive.

I copied and pasted this from one of the auctions. Is this commonplace? Does anybody who does this have a problem with bidders? It sounds like this person has all sorts of problems.

***ALL LISTIA RULES APPLY*** If you are not familiar with the rules please go to this link: I AM NOT RESPONSIBLE FOR YOU NOT KNOWING LISTIA RULES!!

I am sorry this has to keep getting longer and longer but I am forced to add every single word to make sure I protect legit bidders and myself from those who "crash" auctions and then want their credits back....Please read this entirely before bidding.

PLEASE DO ALL OF YOUR RESEARCH BEFORE BIDDING....No bids will be refunded so be careful and make sure this is what you want. All of my auctions are "AS IS" unless otherwise noted. No returns unless otherwise noted.

If you have any problems please let me know and I will try to resolve the issue as soon as possible. I will do everything I can to resolve your issue before getting Listia involved in a dispute.

It sounds like it is more hassle than it is worth. So before I make a decision on whether I am going to participate in Listia or not, I would like to hear other peoples experiences. So if you are reading this and you've ever "bought" anything or "sold" anything on Listia, please comment and tell me about it.
It will be greatly appreciated.

Well, since this is a card blog, I should probably show at least a couple. I've been showing stuff from the '90s lately, so let's fire up the wayback machine and go to the 70's.

1977 Topps. The first set I ever collected. I bought this in January of this year at a card show, because I thought I needed it. I don't have a list for this set, because I used to look at these cards so much when I was a kid that I don't need one. I can just tell by the picture whether I have it or not. So I bought it because I didn't recognize the picture, brought it home and found out I already had one.

So does anybody need a '77 Topps Steve Dillard?

1979 Topps Jim Wright. Bought it at the same card show. Thought I needed it. Didn't.

So if you have a little spare time I would appreciate hearing your thoughts about Listia.

Help an old guy out.

And "London Calling" is done. Time to get another tape.

Saturday, March 23, 2013

Embracing My ADD

Last night I finally had some time to mess around with blogger and get rid of that boring setup that I had previously. Well, I didn't really get rid of it on purpose. I had wanted to see what a certain template looked like in preview mode and accidentally applied it to the blog. And I couldn't remember what I had previously, so I found a template I liked and put it up there for now.

How long I keep it depends. One of things about me is that I probably have severe ADD. No, I know I have it. Spend a day with me and I bet you would agree too. I cannot sit still and am always doing several things at once. It not that I need to do that, I have to do that.

Even when it comes to baseball cards. I have a 5000 count monster box and another 1500 count box full of cards I haven't even looked at, so I don't even know what they are. Most of it came courtesy of my future father-in-law who bought a bunch of loose cards at an auction for very cheap.

Because that wasn't enough to do, I went to my LCS and bought another 1500 count box of commons for $9.99. My card budget currently is not what it has been in recent months, so I am trying to be good, but sometimes I relapse.

A normal person probably would just focus on one box and get that sorted. Not me, I am currently going through the two 1500 count boxes at the same time. A stack from one, then a stack from the other. So what have I found so far today?

From the box I already had:

1991 Classic Eric Young. More minor league stuff from the junk wax era. Not a problem for me, though. I enjoy this stuff.

Now something from the box I just got:

1990 Upper Deck. Again, I don't mind this stuff. I have not finished this set anyways, so I'm sure some of it is needed. So far there's been about 75 cards from this set in the box.

It was labeled "Assorted Sportscards", so that means there is football, hockey and basketball in it as well. It is mostly baseball and a quick look shows that most of this box is from the early 90's, which is fine because I collected most of these sets and did not finish most of them. I've said it before on this blog, and I'll say it again.


Okay, back to the first box.

1992 Studio! I actually bought some of this on purpose. And I went back and bought some more! What can I say, I liked this set. How else would I know that Tim Naehring's favorite movie was Caddyshack. Good choice, Tim.

Back to the recently purchased box:

More great stuff from '92. (Is that the first time those words have been together in a sentence?) Delino DeShields, and if I am correct, that is also Tom Glavine and Spike Owen. 1992 Donruss is another set that I had bought a bunch of but never finished, so this is welcome in my home. There's about 85 cards here.

My ADD is working overtime today. What's in the first box?

1996 Topps, and Rick Aguilera making his only appearance as a Boston Red Sox. He was acquired for the 1995 season for Frankie Rodriguez, who at one time was supposed to be the shortstop of the future for the Red Sox (and initially was the big card in the 1991 Upper Deck Final set), and eventually made the major leagues as a pitcher.

We'll make one last trip to yesterdays acquistions:

Awesome, 1990 Donruss! (More words you've probably never seen together.) I didn't buy very much of this, so I probably need a good chunk of the hundred or so cards that are in this box.

I don't know about you, but this is fun for me. I've enjoyed baseball cards since I was eight years old. Junk wax or limited edition, it's all the same to me.

Now if you don't mind, I'm going to sign off for today because I need to do my taxes, take out the trash, make dinner, sort some more cards, finish a book I've been reading and clean out my truck.

All at the same time of course.

Friday, March 22, 2013

Donruss Want List

Here is the list of what I need for the various Donruss sets.
If you don't see something listed, I either don't have any or haven't figured out what I need yet.
This list will be updated constantly as I sort my collection. Thanks for checking!

Updated 07/25/22

1985 Donruss

660 - 654, 652 - 649, 647 - 636, 634, 632 - 629, 627, 626, 624, 621, 614, 611, 609, 606 - 596, 594 - 588, 586, 583 - 565, 563, 560 - 554, 552, 550 - 548, 546 - 517, 515 - 509, 505, 504, 502, 500 - 497, 495, 494, 492 - 474, 471 - 466, 464 - 456, 454, 453, 448 - 421, 419 - 415, 413 - 399, 397, 396, 392, 390 - 386, 383, 382, 380 - 374, 372, 368, 367, 365 - 359, 357 - 354, 351, 350, 348 - 344, 342, 341, 336 - 330, 328 - 324, 322 - 310, 306 - 303, 301, 300, 298 - 292, 290 - 288, 286 - 283, 280 - 272, 270 - 254, 252 - 246, 244, 242 - 239, 237, 234, 232 - 230, 228, 227, 224 - 218, 216 - 212, 210 - 202, 200, 199, 197 - 193, 191, 189, 188, 186 - 183, 181, 179, 176 - 169, 167, 165 - 163, 161 - 158, 154, 153, 148, 145 - 142, 140 - 137, 135 - 133, 131 - 123, 119 - 113, 110, 109, 107 - 102, 100 - 88, 85, 84, 82 - 71, 69 - 67, 65, 63 - 55, 54 - 47, 45 - 1

1986 Donruss

660 - 653, 651 - 647, 645 - 643, 641 - 636, 634 - 632, 630 - 620, 617, 616, 610, 608, 607, 605 - 603, 600 - 596, 594, 592 - 588, 265, 263 - 255, 253 - 248, 246, 244 - 239, 237 - 229, 226 - 218, 216 - 214, 212 - 206, 204 - 196, 191, 190, 186 - 184, 182 - 171, 169, 168, 164, 162 - 157, 155, 154, 152, 149, 147, 146, 144, 143, 141 - 136, 134 - 132, 130 - 128, 126 - 124, 120, 119, 117 - 110, 107 - 97, 94 - 89, 87, 86, 84 - 81, 79, 78, 76 - 74, 72 - 67, 65 - 53, 51 - 27, 25 - 22, 20 - 14, 12 - 10, 8, 7, 5, 3, 2, 1

1987 Donruss

659, 656, 651, 649 - 645, 643, 639, 636, 635, 632, 627, 624 - 621, 619 - 617, 614, 611, 609, 606 - 602, 600, 599, 597, 596, 587, 585, 584, 579, 578, 575, 573, 569, 567, 565, 563 - 561, 558, 557, 554 - 552, 549 - 547, 544, 543, 540, 536, 535, 533, 532, 529, 527, 525 - 523, 516 - 514, 512, 511, 509, 506, 504, 501, 500, 494, 492, 490, 489, 487 - 485, 480, 479, 475, 470, 465, 459, 452, 450, 445, 443 - 439, 435, 433, 432, 425 - 423, 421, 420, 418, 412, 407, 401, 398 - 396, 394 - 390, 386 - 384, 382, 380, 377, 375 - 373, 370, 369, 365, 363, 355, 352, 350, 347 - 345, 341, 338, 337, 334, 332, 109, 105, 102, 99, 97, 96, 94 - 92, 88 - 85, 81, 79, 77, 71, 69, 67, 66, 56, 54 - 52, 50, 47 - 45, 42, 41, 37 - 35, 33, 31, 30, 28, 24, 22, 20 - 18, 12 - 10, 7 - 5, 3, 1

1989 Donruss

42, 33

1990 Donruss


1992 Donruss

750, 740, 629, 623, 559, 429

1993 Donruss

737, 696, 651, 650, 621, 620, 619, 559, 554, 553, 548, 540, 537, 531 - 529, 516, 499, 492, 479, 427, 396, 393, 388, 376, 353, 351 - 349, 346, 343, 340 - 337, 332, 322, 321, 319, 317, 314, 300, 299, 297 - 293, 291 - 289, 287 - 284, 276, 273, 272, 270, 264, 263, 261 - 259, 245 - 243, 233, 231 - 229, 224, 218, 214, 212, 208, 206, 205, 195, 194, 190, 188, 185, 175, 174, 169, 168, 166, 164 - 162, 153, 147 - 145, 139, 138, 134, 133, 125 - 122, 113, 109, 108, 106, 100, 98 - 96, 94, 87, 86, 84, 80, 74, 72 - 69, 66, 65, 62, 59, 57 - 55, 52 - 50, 47 - 42, 34 - 32, 27, 22 - 20, 18, 16, 15, 13, 9, 8, 6, 5, 3

2004 Donruss Team Heroes

465 - 433, 431 - 429, 426, 425, 423 - 412, 409, 407 - 399, 396, 394, 393, 390 - 384, 382 - 377, 375 - 368, 366, 364 - 359, 357 - 355, 353 - 348, 345 - 342, 340, 337 - 334, 332 - 319, 317 - 309, 307 - 303, 301, 299, 298, 296 - 293, 291 - 288, 286  - 281, 279, 275 - 271, 267 - 262, 259 - 247, 244 - 240, 238 - 234, 229 - 201, 198, 196 - 193, 191 - 189, 187 - 181, 175 - 168, 166, 163, 162, 160 - 152, 149 - 143, 141 - 138, 135 - 133, 131 - 123, 121 - 110, 108 - 101, 97, 96, 94 - 90, 

Thursday, March 21, 2013

Cards From The Binder (Chapter 3)

Unlike most bloggers it seems, I don't keep my collection in binders. However, I do have a couple of binders full of cards that don't seem to fit anywhere and that I keep on a shelf in my closet, away from the rest of my collection. So here is another post full of misfits.

First up is a 1995 Signature Rookies Darrel Deak. Numbered 27 out of 5,750, mind you. The back of his card says he should be a major leaguer by the end of '95. Well, he was drafted in 1991 by the St. Louis Cardinals, but sadly never made it past Triple-A.

1994 Signature Rookies Lloyd Hill. Another "Top Prospect" that didn't quite pan out. He was cut by the Chicago Bears and ended up playing in the Arena League. He may not have made the NFL, but his brother, Roy Williams, did.

Eddie Goines, however, did make the NFL as a wide receiver but never made a catch. Knee injuries prevented him from playing more than two years with the Seattle Seahawks in the mid to late 90's. He reinvented himself as an actor and has appeared in "24", "Monk", and "My Name Is Earl" among others.

Only two left in this installment. Hang in there.

This is a 95-96 Signature Rookies card of Donny Marshall, who spent 5 seasons in the NBA with the Cleveland Cavaliers and the New Jersey Nets. He played in 119 games and scored 293 points.

Nowadays, you can find him serving up commentary for the Boston Celtics on Comcast Sports Network right here in New England.

We'll end tonight's post with some hockey. As you can it is numbered 5,845 out of 7,750. OUT OF 7,750!! They really made these kids work back then.

Daniel Tjarnquist (by the way, I may not be the best looking guy or the smartest guy, but dammit, I can pronounce hockey names!!) was drafted in the 4th round (88th overall) by the Florida Panthers in the 1995 NHL Entry Draft. However, he never played a game for them. He did play for the Atlanta Thrashers, Minnesota Wild, Edmonton Oilers and the Colorado Avalanche. Currently he plays in Germany.

So there you have it...another action-packed edition of "Cards From The Binder".

I got all of these from repacks essentially when I was in college. There weren't any cards shops in the area, so I would buy cards through mail order companies. I want to say it was "Mail Order Concepts", but I could be wrong. I don't remember how much it would cost, but I would get sets, uncut sheets, autographed cards and other commons. I also don't remember how much it would cost each time, but it couldn't have been much. I was living off of Ramen Noodles and Natural Light at the time, so I didn't have much of a card budget.

Thanks for reading and enjoy your day (or evening).

Tuesday, March 19, 2013

Why Isn't Spring Training In New England?

Oh yeah, the snow. I've lived in New England pretty much my entire life. I was not born here, but my parents moved here a couple of weeks after I was born. So snow is a fact of life, it happens every year. It also snows in March a lot, sometimes even in April. I remember riding my BMX bike into snowbanks April vacation one year.

That's the view I have right now while I'm typing this post. It's still snowing, and it's a wet, heavy snow, so the roads are slippery. But what people say about New England is that if you don't like the weather, wait ten minutes. It can change that quickly.

Fortunately, sometimes that translates into my hometown team as well.

The 2012 season was brutal. Much more so than the Butch Hobson years of the early 90's. Being a lifelong Red Sox fan, I was used to always losing. At that point the last World Series win was 1918, the last Bruins Stanley Cup win was 1972 (when I was 3), and the Patriots had never won a Super Bowl. The only saving grace was that the Celtics won a few NBA championships. It's certainly not like today.

Since winning World Series in 2004 and 2007, going to a Red Sox has been more like an event then an actual game. When I went to games in the 90's, it seemed like everybody was there to watch the game. Nowadays, it seems like most people are there to be part of the "scene". It is very expensive to go to a Red Sox game, so I haven't been to Fenway Park in a while. The last game I went to was in June of 2007 against the San Fransisco Giants, because I wanted to see Barry Bonds play.

This is a picture I took that night from where I was sitting. Even if you are not a Red Sox fan, you have to admit that this looks absolutely beautiful. Believe me when I say this, that Fenway Park is a gorgeous stadium and if you ever have the chance to see a game there, take advantage of it.

Just bring a lot of money.

The Red Sox are anything but a small market team, so a lot of times they overpay to sign players. Count me as one of the people who were excited about the signings of Adrian Gonzalez and Carl Crawford, but it just didn't pan out. It is tough to play in Boston because us fans are very demanding and can be extremely critical if you do not live up to your contract. In Boston, you are not a player, you are a contract.

I liked both players, but Crawford could never get on the field and Gonzalez rubbed a lot of people the wrong way with his "It's God's will." comment as to why the Red Sox collapsed in 2011. And from what I understand Crawford still can't get on the field and Gonzalez is still complaining about his time in Boston.

So you can understand I was very surprised with the "Punto trade" of last year. I could not believe that the Dodgers were willing to take on that much salary. Josh Beckett, as dominant a pitcher is he was (and maybe still is) had worn out his welcome here, so he was part of the trade as well.

I can probably speak for "Red Sox Nation" and say that we did not like Bobby Valentine. However, if you think that he was the only problem last year, you would be mistaken. For the past few years, injuries have been ridiculous. The Red Sox consistently have one of the highest payrolls in baseball, yet for the past few years it seems like we're constantly fielding a Triple-A team becasue of all of the players on the DL. Who knows when David Ortiz will be ready, and pitchers Craig Breslow and Franklin Morales are supposed to begin the season on the DL, as well as outfielder Ryan Kalish.

Not to mention Jacoby Ellsbury is in the last year of his contract. Was his 30 - 30 season of 2011 a fluke? Does Jackie Bradley Jr. become the center fielder next year? Most think that this is Ellsbury's last year here.

Ellis Burks. He has nothing to do with this post, but he is one of my favorite players of all time. Plus this is a baseball card blog, and I haven't shown any baseball cards yet.

So since I started this post, the power has flickered probably half a dozen times.

It is still snowing.

My fiancee just took our dog out so she could play in the snow. (The dog, not her.)

I've got a beer and the Bruins game on TV.

I'm going to read my favorite card blogs later on tonight (as long as we still have power).

Life is good.

And if at some point it isn't....

I'll just wait ten minutes.

Sunday, March 17, 2013

The Pursuit of Organization

The monthly card show was today, but I was not able to attend it. The budget did not allow it, so I spent the weekend watching spring training games on TV (as well as the Bruins and Celtics) and organizing.

Not just cards, mind you. For years I have had a storage space, and just like everyone else, money has become tighter and tighter. I work two jobs (sometimes both the same day), and since one of them is a retail job, the hours and how many hours I get per week will vary. Some weeks I've had sixty hours between the two jobs. Some weeks I barely make forty.  My day job is full time, so I do have health insurance. But each year it costs more and more for less and less.

It was not a heated space, so everything was in plastic bins which I stacked as high as they would go. Well, about a year ago I decided that I was tired of paying the $90 a month for the space so I began paring it down to a more manageable level. What I quickly realized is that I apparently had not thrown away anything since 1987.

I kept books I would never read again, papers I would never need again....and the magazines! Billboard, Hit Parader, Playstation, Rolling Stone, Sports Illustrated...bins and bins of them! And baseball card magazines! Yes, bins of those too!


If you published a magazine about baseball cards, I bought it...and saved it.

However, I have since thrown out the majority of them. I kept a few of the older ones for sentimental reasons, and how else could I be reminded that I could have bought 100 Gregg Jefferies 1988 Donruss cards for $250?

Or that 100 Mark Grace cards would have set you back $200?

I never understood that. There is way too much risk involved for me. The only time I bought a significant amount of one card (it was nowhere near 100 cards though) was the '91 - '92 Upper Deck Hockey Gilbert Dionne.

Who is Gilbert Dionne you may ask?

Exactly. That's why I don't do that sort of thing.

I also had a lot of these:

I had a lot of football, basketball, baseball and a couple of hockey ones. These were big in the late 80's - early 90's, but there is very little interest in them now. I sold most of them at a yard sale for $1 a piece.

So for the past year or so it has looked like we were just moving in. Bins and bins everywhere. Believe it or not, this January I was able to stop paying for the storage space and move just about everything into the spare bedroom. It's a little cramped due a few bins still being in the kitchen and living room, but at least now I"m not spending money for storage or for gas to get down there.

I did sort some cards during the Red Sox spring training victory today against the Rays. The Red Sox pitchers actually had a perfect game for 8 1/3 innings, although I don't think a lot of people realized it. I didn't until it was mentioned in the ninth inning.

Everything I sorted was from the "junk wax" era. No hits here.

Some examples:

1992 Fleer Ultra. I really like this set, however I like the 1993 set better.

1992 Pinnacle. Another "worthless" set I enjoy.

I have no idea how I got this or even if I have any more. It goes with the Panini '92 Baseball album which I do not have...yet.

Finally something I didn't buy very much of, 1992 Triple Play. It wasn't because I didn't like the set, it just ended up that way. I would buy another box if it was cheap enough.

I tell you when I'm finished with all of this there is going one hell of a party. Cheap beer and 1990 Topps for everyone!

So here's to life, liberty and the pursuit of organization.

Thursday, March 14, 2013

Junk Wax Joy

Well, other than the rack pack of Heritage I bought last week, I haven't gotten anything new lately. The budget has not allowed much for cards lately because my birthday was at the end of February.

Remember when birthdays were fun? Now it's just another year closer to Medicare, registering your vehicle and praying it passes inspection. Well, it didn't the first time. The second time it did. $375 later. Although it's not an awful lot, it's going to prevent me from buying a lot of new stuff right now. Plus my truck is in a higher weight class than a car, so registration is more expensive as well. So February is not my favorite month anymore, even with Spring Training.

So here's what I've been doing in the meantime:

1994 Stadium Club. I bought a box of Series 1 and Series 2 for $5 a piece. An ugly set, but one I had started back in the day and am now a lot closer to finishing.

1991 Topps. Even though this is one of the few sets that I have actually completed (and I even did it in 1991!), because of repacks and buying boxes of commons, I seem to always have stacks of it lying around. I probably could put together 2 or 3 more sets and still have a lot left over. I actually like this set a lot and this card is one of the reasons why.

Aren't you glad this doesn't happen anymore?

Did anybody else get this magazine? If you didn't, then you missed out on the prediction that Greg Jefferies could be the next Gary Sheffield.

And no, I didn't WIN! WIN!! WIN!!! Dave's autograph.

Although I am a fan of 1988 Score, sometimes the cropping job leaves a bit to be desired.

Apparently showing the entire bat was very important to the folks over at Score.

The late 80's sets I enjoy very much. Even though they were vastly overproduced, it was a time when I had gotten back into card collecting. After a few years break I started going to a weekly flea market in 1987, where I would buy boxes of '87 Topps for $15 a box. Most of those late '80's sets I did finish. My problem is that I never seem to collect a year or a set when there is a big rookie.

For example, I have so many cards from 1989, I could build a house of cards the size of the Sears Tower. But do I have the UD Griffey rookie? Of course not. Why? Didn't collect Upper Deck in 1989.

Do I have a Mattingly rookie? No. Why? Didn't collect in '84.

I have plenty of '90 and '91 Bowman. Do I have the '92 Rivera Rookie? No. Why? Didn't collect Bowman in '92.

However I do, have the '89 Topps Greg Jefferies rookie. I have several actually.

But it's not the same.  Even if he didn't become the next Gary Sheffield.