Tuesday, March 31, 2009

Cross-posting ain't all bad, right?

What you see above (the 'way' above) is a 1982 Davco Publishers Bob Feller card. It is one of the many oddball Tribe items I own. The card is printed on what feels like baseball card stock, though not thick. It's one of my favorite oddballs because I haven't seen many like it. And, of course because it features the great "Rapid" Bob Feller!

You can actually find complete sets online, if you're looking. I recently opted to buy the full set in order to get the other Indians out of it and to have some neat 'giveaway' leftovers to boot - kills two birds with one stone!

So, what gives with the title of the post? Well, I decided to post this over on "Things Done To Cards" (with some additional info) as a crossover post - hey, if TV shows can do it, why not TribeCards?

Sunday, March 29, 2009

One strange little wagon

While sitting at my computer this afternoon, comparing stacks of cards against my database, my daughter came in to see what I was doing. I happened to have a few web sites open in order to pin down a couple cards that were not showing up in my database. I explained that sometimes I had to search online or in my "big books" (the card almanacs) to see just what kind of card certain cards are.

I then switched back over to the database and started adding cards I had already posted about but had not actually put into the database (the cards from Duane, for example). As I did this, my daughter asked what I was doing now. I explained that some cards were already marked as "Want" in the database (and showed her), and that when I entered the cards, I put a "1" in the 'owned' section.

"Well, how does the computer know what you need?" she asked.

"Because I went through ALL my cards and told the computer which ones I already have," I answered, making a grand circling hand gesture in the general direction of my 3-ring binders.

"Ohhhh..." she said, adding this as she patted me on the back: "You are one strange little wagon."

And then she walked off...

Saturday, March 28, 2009

2008 eTopps Cliff Lee

I love eTopps. I admit it. I didn't want to love them. In fact, I spent the first year of their existence avoiding them. Of course, that's because I didn't understand the concept more than anything. I had recently purchased a discounted box of "CyberAction Virtual Baseball cards" about the time eTopps came into being. So in my mind, I saw eTopps as some kind of virtual trading card. Why would I spend $4.99+ on a virtual card!? I was wrong. eTopps just handles everything virtually, but you can always request delivery of your cards anytime you want them in your hands. Which, of course, I do.

Meet the only member of the Indians to make it onto an eTopps card in 2008 - Mr. Cliff Lee. I think he's a little, well, little on this card, but the Wahoo in the back and the shiny silver card make it a beauty to behold. eTopps come in a protective slab when you request delivery. I won't stand for that, so Lee has been set free - well, until he's put in a 9-pocket page anyway.

The backs are clean, discussing what happened in 2007 and what the prospectus was for 2008. Let's sum it up - He was the first Indians pitcher to win 20 games in 34 years. 'nuff said.

As a side note, I am one of the rare people who liked the eTopps 'discs' that used to be stuck to the front of the cards. It gave the cards character and a bit of '3d' appeal. Nowadays, the eTopps logo is simply a graphic added to the card. I'm sure cost had something to do with it, but eTopps is very member-centric, allowing members to select card designs, offer direct feedback, etc. It's very possible that enough eToppers hated the 3d logo and got etopps to drop it. That's speculation.

As a Tribe fan, of course, my big complaint is that eTopps is way too short on the players it produces for its set. Not just the lack of Indians, but the lack of a league-wide representation in general. Maybe they'll improve that this year. I wouldn't count on it.

PS - I'll do a "Things Done to Cards" entry later about CyberAction cards unless someone else beats me to it.

AdamE, Time Traveler

I received a package from Thoughts and Sox the other day. I had no idea that inside was the key to time travel.

Adam started me off in present day baseball with a fantastic shot of Grady Sizemore doing what Grady does - chase down fly balls. I suppose you could say it's "Grady being Grady!" In his case, that is a positive thing! This is his 2009 Topps card:

And then, as I slid Grady's card onto the table, I suddenly found myself transported back in time (which happens to be one of my all-time favorite Huey songs!)* Adam sent me nine 1960 Topps cards that were on my 'wanted' list! And it gets even better:

Ernie Johnson was signed and released by Cleveland in 1960. Better known for his pitching with the Milwaukee Braves and Baltimore Orioles, Johnson never saw action in a Tribe uniform (so far as I could find). On the other end of the spectrum, we have newcomer Don Dillard. Dillard was featured on two Topps "Rookie Star" cards - the '60 you see here and the '59. How does one get to be a 'rookie star' in two seasons? I dunno. Well, in 1959, he batted in 10 games and earned a .400 average. I guess that might help. In 1960, he netted a .143 average in 7 games. Ouch. The Indians kept him until 1962, when they traded him and two others for Joe Adcock and Jack Curtis.

Next up, we have Jack Harshman and Bob Hale ("Oh, Hale" as my Dad would say, though his was actually "Oh, hail!!" - as in balls of ice falling on our heads. He was a comedian in his own mind and we loved him dearly for it - even if we did spend most of our time shaking our heads... I digress, again.)

Jack Harshman had a busy 1959. He started with the Orioles, gets traded to Boston to play in 8 games and then finds himself in Cleveland. I think the guys at Topps finally caught up with him, threw on a Tribe hat and said, "Stand still so we can get a picture of you in SOMEONE'S uniform!" On the back off his card, there is a list of highlights from '59. The very first stat is not one I would think many Indians fans would want on a card of one of their players: "June 18: After losing 6 straight as an Oriole, Jack beats Cleveland." Well, I guess if you're looking for a pitcher, you sign the guy that beat you, right? He played two seasons with the Indians, netting a 3.285 ERA. Bob Hale came to the Indians by way of the Orioles, batting .300 in his first year with the Tribe. Unfortunately his average fell to .167 as he played in about 2/3rds as many games. In 1961, he was sold to the Yankees. The back of his cards says he is a "husky portside swinger... and a specialist at extra bases." Something I had no idea about: He started his baseball dreams in Pine Bluff, Arkansas. If that town sounds familiar, you may have heard of a guy named Torii Hunter from the same place.

Next up, the "Youth of America" selected Johnny Romano as the Topps All-Star Rookie Catcher. The Youth of America? How was this done? Did Topps have ballots out at the stores where they sold cards? Was this an insert ballot in packs? I am very curious about that one. In the meantime, I cannot help but wonder if Johnn and comedian Ray Romano are somehow related. I mean, dang, I could almost put Ray's face there and not tell a difference... Well, not much of one. Johnny came to the Tribe from Chicago (and after his time in Cleveland went back to Chi Town) and went on to be selected for the '61 and '62 All-Star teams, playing in both games. He averaged 378 at-bats per season in his five years with the Tribe and netted a .258 batting average. I think the 'Youth of America' knew what they were talking about.

Gary Bell spent 10 seasons with the Indians. In 419 games, he amassed a 96/92 pitching record with a 3.709 ERA. In '59 (the season before the card), he recorded a 7-hitter win against Detroit, a 4-hitter the next month against Detroit again, a 6-hitter victory in July against Washington then four days later beats Boston with a 6-hitter. Want more? Okay, in September of that same season, he pitched a 5-hit win over the Royals followed by a 3-hit win against the Nationals. He was a two-time all-star while sporting an Indians uniform.

Johnny Temple came to the Indians in 1960 from the Reds, played two seasons and then was traded off to the Orioles. Temple played second and third base for the Tribe and was selected for the 1961 all-star team. In his two years with Cleveland, he batted a .272 average. In 1961, he was walked 61 times and brought in 30 RBIs while getting 143 hits and 22 doubles. Is it really any surprise why he was selected for the all-stars? I don't think so.

Ed Fitzgerald is actually Ed Fitz Gerald. Did you know that? Probably you already did. I didn't. Ed spent his MLB career with the Pirates and the Senators. He came to the Indians, as so many do, to finish out his time in the "Bigs." By the time he came to Cleveland, he played 10 years in the MLB. He played in 49 games for the Indians, getting 129 at-bats and earning a .271 average. He served mainly as a back-up catcher throughout his career. I'd say going out with a .271 is a pretty good way to go.

The last card in the package shows the face of a man who looks like he was just shown how the whole time-travel thing works. I'm not sure what expression Herb Score was going for here, but he looks more shocked than anything to me. Perhaps the photographer called out his name and said "Look!" Herb Score was one of the all-time greatest Indians. His passing last year was a blow to Indians fans everywhere. Ironically, this 1960 card features him in a Tribe uniform though he was traded to the White Sox that year. Maybe that's the look on his face - "Hey, you just got traded to the White Sox!" He played on two all-star teams and in his first two years with the Tribe, he struck out a combined 508 batters. Yes, over 500 batters in two seasons. "Holy Crap!"

A super huge THANK YOU goes out to Thoughts and Sox for these timeless Tribers - from today and days gone by! They are welcome additions to the Tribecards family!

*I worked for several years as a radio DJ back in my younger days. "Back in Time" is a great song for radio guys. Near the end of the song, there are two sections where a whole phrase of music is played between two chorus repetitions. It is the perfect place to throw in the station's call letters, wait for the chorus, throw in the station's frequency, wait for the next chorus, then the song starts to fade and a DJ could either come on live or move on to the next song. I preferred to come on live since I had already "interrupted" the song with my break. I had one specific incident where a caller told me they had been recording the song on tape (we had things called cassettes back then) and now my voice was on their recording. I told her to save it and I would autograph the cassette if she wanted me to. Evidently, she didn't.

Pt 4 - When a fourth equals a thousand

Spring Break put me in a 'chilling out' mood, which means I did not keep up my posting during the week. But it is without further delay that I present the final installment of the 'big ol' box of cards' from none other than FlyinLoco (Andrew)! As in the previous post, I will focus on a few cards out of the big stack that made into my collection!

Leading off tonight, the Cover Story is Carlos Baerga. I should have scanned the back of the card, because it looks like a magazine article with a simulated fold down the middle. Very cool effect. That is followed by an Upper Deck SP Baerga. The Shuey is a very shiny Bowman's Best with Chief Wahoo peeking out from behind Paul. I have always been a fan of the 'credit card' style cards. Martinez looks like he is trying to sell you AMEX. Of course, this Studio card is made of card stock, whereas many of these kinds of cards were actually made of plastic with raised letters and everything. Kenny Lofton's Fleer E-XL D-Fence card is the precursor to the UD Masterpieces we see today. The card as a raised border and actually Lofton is part of that diecut border. Yes, another Baerga comes into view. Hey, when you're the featured player on the Cover Story, you've got to be in the mix, right!? Well, this next card is a Leaf Steel. And, yes, it is a metal card. It's a 1996 and there are 77 cards in the set. The Martinez card is not just a regular UD. This one is an early "Electric Diamond" version. The Checklist card features Albert Belle on a Pinnacle Aficionado. I always liked the mix of foil and card on the Aficionado cards. Charles Nagy has been wrapped up by a big ol' snake on his Metal Universe card. Seriously, what were those guys smoking? And, finally in this group, we have Kenny Lofton showing us how to bunt. "Don't worry Kenny, we'll just paste in a baseball where you should be bunting one. It won't look fake. Really."

I realize I seem to be using only certain players for these photos today, but that's just how it worked out. Martinez appears on a "Global Reach" subset of Aficionado. The Albert Belle card next to it is a Select Certified with the words "Pastime Power" running around the background image. A weird thing about this card is that you have to turn it upside down to read the back. Grady Sizemore makes his first appearance tonight as a Topps Turkey Red card. How hard is it to duplicate that look in something like Photoshop Elements? I would think not very hard. The next Sizemore card may look like an ordinary Topps 2008, but it is in fact the CLE version! And Sizemore is CLE1. Good ol' C.C. (which happens to be my Mom's dog's name with no connection to the pitcher) stands in, representing a UD Game Face. I'd say that's about right. As for Showdown, I never got into the game for whatever reason. I love the cards, but the game itself just never hit me as worth doing. Ryan Garko heads out of the dugout on a 2008 Topps Opening Day Red card. Why are some red and some white? Why don't all red ones have serial numbers? You want to know why kids don't collect as much these days? Too many weird sets and subsets to keep up with. Who has time for that when they are YouTubing, Facebooking, MySpacing, texting, and Wii-ing all over the place? Well, I had to get at least one 'flaming balls' card in here, right? Okay, so the Sizemore is a 'Hot Commodity' and the ball is headed for the outfield judging by the photo. Let's move on to Larry Doby's UD Vintage. Another question: my database says there are 'regular' versions of UD Vintage from 2003 and there are "ALL CAPS" versions. What's the difference? Is this an 'all caps' version because his name is in all caps?

As we turn the pages near the end of this chapter of trading, we find Einar Diaz doing his best for the girls at Dinged Corners. Bartolo Colon seems to be floating in his Bowman card. Joe Inglett looks a bit weird on the Topps Heritgae card. Specifically, the "Indians" seems to be floating just in front of him. Next, Thome watches a ball he just launched sail striaght up into the air. If I had to guess, I'd say this is an out. The Donruss throwbacks were a bizarre attempt at the whole retro thing. While I do See some of the appeal, I'm not a big fan of these homage cards. On the other hand, the DOnruss Elite (Burks) and Elite "Extra Edition" (Lee) are very cool card. Well, the Lee looks funny because he seems so small and thin on that card. But, the Diamond Kings (Pronk!) are great looking and have wonderful texture for those that are tactile and enjoy the experience of holding the cards in your hands. Bob Lemon seems to have two different shoes on (his right shoe appears to be white while the left one is black. Or is that just me? Well, either way, I wrap things up with a shot of Burks signing autographs. "How do you spell that??"

Once again, thank you VERY much, FlyinLoco, for the great additions to my Indians collection!!

Stay tuned for an upcoming post with cards from AdamE and eTopps.

Wednesday, March 25, 2009

Pt 3 - When a fourth equals a thousand

I decided to try this a little differently for the 3rd installment of cards sent to me by Andrew. Instead of laying out the cards that made the cut, I scanned in a representative offering. I mainly did this so I could talk about certain cards in particular. Before I get to that, though, I wanted to give you some stats. First of all, this stack of cards had 36 duplicates, many of which were cards Andrew included himself. Much like my own giveaways, there were duplicates in the cards he sent. That suits me just fine, because after my last giveaway, I could use some trade items! Yesterday, I had 8799 cards. After going through this stack, I have bumped my collection to 8907! It blows me away that I am rapidly approaching 10,000 Indians cards! That truly boggles my mind. Then again, if you happened to have been involved in PunkRockPaint's Yahoo fantasy draft, you know it doesn't take much to boggle my mind. I'll get back to the draft later.

Meanwhile, this grouping included some very unique cards that I had not seen before (or sure don't remember seeing). The Kenny Lofton Dugout Axcess Double Header is actually a two-dice, two-player game! You and a friend take turns rolling the dice and what you roll determines how things go for your respective teams. When I was in 5th grade, a friend of mine's father showed us a baseball dice game but he made up what happened before the game. Every game was different because the friend's father liked to spend a lot of time at the local bar before coming home to teach us about dice-based baseball. Funny how certain cards can trigger weird memories, huh?

Also included are things like Russell Branyan's UD Star Rookie foil card, an Upper Deck Retro Futurama card of Jaret Wright. I had never seen that weird thing before. In the scan above, it's the 3rd card down on the right. Roberto Alomar's Topps Finest still had the protective layer on it. Notice I said "HAD." Are you a 'peeler?' I sure am. I hate that 'protective' sheet, so I rip those off unless it's a duplicate. I figure if I am going to trade/give the card away, the recipient may not be as 'liberating' as I am.

Lots of chrome, cool inserts and parallels, and even a Sportflics "1987 Team Preview" of the Indians was in this stack! In '87, the outlook was good. Or so Sportflics thought. The card touts the talents of Joe Carter, Brett Butler, Pat Tabler, Brook Jacoby and Cory Snyder. Pitchers include the "ancient Phil Niekro." Ouch. In the end, "It's the Indians turn to win a title..." Ten years later, we came close. And we would have won it, too, if it weren't for those meddling fish!

I received a lot of Thome cards that I needed! Fantastic stuff! I love the Topps Laser cards - like mainstream oddball gimmicks! And, I had never heard of "On-Base Leaders" versions of Fleer Ultra until now. The Ovation series always appealed to me because of the feel of the stitches. I can remember the first time I took one of those to my Dad (and we were both very much adults by then) and we 'oooed' and ahhhed' over these. In fact, the very first memorabilia card I ever got, I took to him and we both reminisced about the 'old' days of card collecting. You know, the BGUE cards (Before-Game-Used-Era).

Bowman left me dazed and confused once again with the bizarre naming of the cards they have: BDP, AFL, etc. I was able to determine that the AFL cards had something to do with AFLAC, though the Standard Catalog made no mention of the set.

I received several O-Pee-Chee's including a very cool Baerga All-Star redemption card! There were a lot of different brands, years, etc just like the previous posts! The Topps D3 Albert Belle is an eye-watering marvel of technology. If you stare too long, your eyes water, like trying too hard to see one of those stereogram pictures.

I have but one lonely stack of cards left in the box that Andrew sent. We shall see what treasures are discovered tomorrow!

About the draft: I lost out on a couple of Tribers because I was not paying attention to my "Your Team" list that shows you who you've already picked. That's okay, I snagged a few non-tribers for trading or for use when the Indians aren't playing. That's actually funny, because the truth is, I usually set my team and let it ride for most of the season. This time might be different since I actually know the other folks playing. I've warned everyone that I usually fail miserably at these kinds of things. Don't believe me? Well, in my "Cards on Cards" college basketball pick'em bracket, I am currently in 7th place. Which out of 20,000 might be great. Out of 8, however, that's pretty sad.

All I can say is "LET'S GO TRIBE!" Maybe my "Trundles" can become "Trouncers!" Hmm, I'm not sure what word I thought I was using when I chose my team name, but it turns out that 'trundling' means to spin or roll be means of wheels. So, I'll either be hot-rodding or grasping for the wheelchairs by the time it's all said and one. Either way, it'll be one heck of a ride, kid!

Tuesday, March 24, 2009

Arkansas Native HOF George Kell Passes Away

Kell never played for Cleveland, and before today, I don't know that I had ever heard of him. But earlier today, he passed away at his home in Swifton, Arkansas.

Swifton is about 200 miles northeast from where I live.

Kell played for the A's, Tigers, Red Sox, White Sox, and Orioles during a 15-year career in the majors. He was chosen for 13 all-star teams. He had an overall .971 fielding percentage and a .306 batting average. Kell was elected to the Baseball Hall of Fame in 1983.

After playing, he was a broadcaster for the Tigers, Orioles, and network stations. He served on the Arkansas State Highway Commission and owned a car dealership.

He was born in Arkansas and died in his hometown. A full life come full circle.

Fantasy Uniforms from PunkRockPaint

As many of you know, I have a tendancy to leave comments on other blogs that have unforeseen consequences. To borrow another of my favorite quotes, "And even when we act for the noblest of reasons, the last link of the chain all too often drips with someone's blood." Only in this case, the last link results in the team uniforms for the "PunkRockPaint" fantasy baseball league:

You see, on PunkRockPaint's site, I left a comment saying something about how my players would have to play in their skivvies....

I have to hand it to PRP - there is talent in that very twisted mind! :-)

Monday, March 23, 2009

Pt 2 - When a fourth equals a thousand

This post continues the eagle eye view of the cards sent to me by Andrew. The photo above isn't even all of the cards that made the cut in this go-round! You will see some of the others later in the post. But, I can tell you that today's winners (and by 'winners,' I mean those that were added to my collection) amounted to nearly the same size stack as yesterday's! And, only thirteen (13) cards were already in my Indians binders this time! That is absolutely amazing to me.

I think what surprises me the most is just how many cards I actually *do* need for my collection. I mean, look, if I had to guess, I'd say there are what - 150,000 or more unique Indians cards that have been made, right? So, my overall collection at this point might represent less than 1/10th of what's ever been produced. But, having someone send me this many cards that I *need* for my collection leaves me kinda dumbstruck.

Like the previous post on these cards, this group includes a rather eclectic look at brands, types, and styles of baseball cards. And it's all made the better because they are Indians cards, of course! There are O-Pee-Chee stickers, Bowman, Bowman Chrome, Bowman Draft Picks, Bowman Chrome Draft Picks, Bowman Future Gamers (and their Chrome counterparts), Topps, Topps Finest, Stadium Club, Fleer Tradition, and on and on and on!

As a side note here, do you remember the crazy trend where the manufacturers were making all these "post-2000" cards *BEFORE* the year 2000? In this case, I came across what I thought were Fleer E-X 2001. Why? Well, stamped on the front, they said it. On the back, however, the date is actually 1998! Leaf did it in like 1993 or something when they came out with their Team2000 series. Frankly, I always hated that trend. Of course, Donruss had disappeared and re-emerged, so they pulled a 180 on the whole thing. They made cards that were "retro" to fill in the gaps. Remember things like the Donruss 1999 which were actually made in 2001 or some crazy thing? (Yes, my dating of these sets may be a bit off. I'm not writing an expose' here. Well, yeah, sorta, but no. Just stick with me, okay?)

I have to say all these future sets, past sets, inserts, chases, etc, could make a collector go berserk and toss his collection into the ring of fire (Johnny Cash's, not that horrid thing Adam did on Idol last week!! Though, his could be tossed in the fire, too.)... Take for example those Black Diamond cards. They *look* like regular Black Diamonds, but in reality, they are the 'special rookie' insert set. Of course, having the Standard Catalog of Baseball Cards close at hand helps tremendously...

Had I known before I started writing that I needed just one more card to make this post have a nice round number for the total cards in my collection, I would have pulled out the next card I needed and entered it. As it is, however, my collection currently stands at 8,799 individual, non-duplicated Indians cards. I need to look back and see how many I had when I first started this blog. I'm sure I wrote it somewhere...

Again, thank you so much to Andrew for this box of cards, and a bigger thank you to EVERYONE that has helped me take my little Indians baseball card collection to places I only dreamed it would ever go!

Crazy 'want' time: While entering cards, I came across a card that I would dearly love to add to my collection (See below). If you know someone that has it, drop me a line and I will gladly find something to trade for it! There were 10,000 produced, but I don't know how many have survived:

That is a 1997 Upper Deck Sister Assumpta Trivia card. I didn't even know these existed until the past few days. If you don't know, Sister Assumpta is a HUGE Indians fan. She began baking cookies for the team in 1986 as a 'thank you' and she has been associated with Indians baseball ever since. There is a very nice write-up (though a bit dated nowadays) about her here.

I'd love to add one of these to my Tribe cards collection.

Sunday, March 22, 2009

When one-fourth equals a thousand

The old adage goes something like "a picture is worth a thousand words." Here's my question: What if that picture represents about one-fourth of a total?

That is what I faced today when I sat down to finally get Andrew's "big ol' box" cards entered into my database. What you see above is about one fourth of the cards he sent me. Why only one fourth? Because that is where I had to stop and take a break! I still have three times that many cards to check against my collection, and based on what you see there, most of the cards left to do will find a happy home in my collection.

See, the stack of cards I went through this afternoon only had NINETEEN (yes, 19) that Andrew had sent that could NOT be added to my collection! To me, that is unbelievable. (The duplicates are not shown in the images here. Every image on this post is of cards from this one massive "added to the collection" stack!)

This first group of cards include Fleer Glossy, Ultras, Sportflics, Topps Stars, Upper Deck, O-Pee-Chee stickers, Panini stickers, and so much more. "And that was only one quarter power," (he) said in a tone of awed confidentiality - to quote one of my favorite stories. Know it? Be the first to answer with the author and title and you win something! All I can promise is that it will be game-used.

I have never received such a large box of cards in which the majority appear to be finding their way into my collection! I cant tell you how much I appreciate the time and effort that went into finding these! Thank you so much, Andrew!

And keep reading - there are four more posts to come about the goodies I uncover/discover in this box!

Friday, March 20, 2009

Cleveland Indians - 1916, BP (Before Photoshop)

You may need to click on the picture above to get a feel for what I am about to say. Then again, if you stick with the post long enough, I'll post a closeup for your amusement.

You see, while trolling the Internet one day, Kevin M (as opposed to Kevin B or Kevin Z or Bobby M for that matter) came across a couple of cool Indians-related pictures. What you see above is one of them. It is a 1916 photo of the Cleveland Indians.

What strikes me as interesting is the fact that the photography company (Heiser Co.) put the names below each of the players! If you notice, there is a dog in the middle of the picture. That would be Larry, the team's 'unofficial' mascot during the time. Larry was Jack Graney's dog. Also pictured is Ray Chapman. If you don't know, he is the only ball player to be killed during a game. And, of course, Tris Speaker! I read that Tris Speaker and Jack Graney got into a fight over Chapman's burial plans (as Catholic or Protestant) and that the fight may have been the reason they could not attend Chapman's funeral.*

Now, this post is not about the people (or the animal) per se, but rather what's going on over on the left side of the photo. Since it is very hard to see in the picture above, I zoomed in a bit for your perusal:

Do you notice the second guy there, Tuck Turner? Take a good look at him. See it yet? Take a look at the bottom half. See it yet? He appears to have been 'pasted' in there. Before there was Photoshop, there were scissors and glue. I don't know if he wasn't there that day, so they took another photo and put it there or if he moved during the taking of the panoramic shot and they 'fixed' it, or if they had made a cut-out of the guy and had someone standing behind it for the photo.

Look closely near his head. It almost looks like someone is standing behind the ball player. Well, it does to me anyway.

Did you know that Terry "Tuck" Turner pioneered the head-first slide? Apparently, sliding the 'safe' way hurt his ankles too much! But, his Indians greatness does not stop there. You see, he is credited with playing in the most games in a career with Cleveland - 1,619. Which, if you pull those numbers apart and rearrange them, gives you 1916 - the year of the photo. That part doesn't mean anything in relation to this post really, just throwing it out there. Feel free to discuss among yourselves.

Thursday, March 19, 2009

Updated Want/Owned Lists

I finally had time today to update my 'want/owned' lists. In an effort to make things a little more manageable, I broke the Owned list into several lists. I have discovered that a lot of traders prefer to look over the 'owned' items to see what I'm missing as opposed to seeing what I've been able to mark in my database as 'want' cards.

Truth be told, that is probably the best way to go with me. Mainly because the way TheCardCollector works. I don't always know just what cards I actually "need" unless I happen to mark them as "want" cards.

The main problem with not updating more often is that when I generate my lists, I forget which layout, etc I select. Yeah, I could create a custom report and save it, but that would make way too much sense!

Another problem with not updating is that great traders get "burned" in a way. How? well, if you send me a bunch of cards based on my lists and my lists are outdated, there is a chance that I have received the card(s) in between updates. I just hope folks don't quit sending cards!

You don't have to have been reading along for long to know that I love getting Indians cards, whether I've already got them or not! And, I truly appreciate the hard work I know some of you put into searching my lists for cards I want or don't own. It is not easy to do, and I thank you for going through all that for me.

Even though I have updated the lists today, I have a couple small boxes to go through, and thanks to Andrew, I have one BIG box to go through! His note reads, "I went by your 'have' list and none of these were on it.... Hopefully you can add most of these to your collection!" Judging by the sheer number of cards you sent, I would say the odds are in your favor!! Thank you! I will be posting pictures soon!

And, I will try to keep my lists updated more frequently!

Bob Lacey? Really? 1981 Topps Complete?

I realize that when one's team-specific collection is nearing the 10,000 card mark, that some cards may slip through the cracks. But, whoever sent me this 1981 Bob Lacey (sorry, I have no idea just now), THANK YOU. Thank you for paying more attention to my haves/wants list that I did. Thank you for sending me the 1981 Topps Bob Lacey. Thanks for not commenting something along the lines of, "Dude, really? You're missing Bob Lacey from your 1981 Indians team set? Seriously?"

I thought I had completed my 1981 Indians many, many moons ago. Not until today (while dealing with Centurytel DSL) as I was entering cards into my database did I discover that I still needed this card. It threw me for such a loop, I had to write about it. I come across cards that you folks have sent me that I thought I had in my collection, but ended up needing, but this one is from 'The Hat Kind' series, for crying out loud. I finished this set (or so I thought) before I graduated High School.

The most valuable lessons learned here are these: First, blogging about cards leads to trading cards leads to getting cards you need that you didn't know you needed. Second, never, never take for granted that you have a certain card or that you have completed a certain set. And it is for the second reason that I always check every single card I receive against my CardCollector database. You just never know....

Wednesday, March 18, 2009

Yukon Cornelius pays a visit by way of Ohio

I love opening our rural route mailbox to find a padded envelope inside! The one I found most recently came from Duane in Howard, Ohio.

As I looked through the cards, a song from long ago and far away began to fill my internal music box.... "Silver and gold... Silver and gold..." It was Yukon Cornelius, who had finally struck it rich in the form of shiny baseball cards!

We start off with Score Gold Rush cards! The Treadway with Yount is especially cool. I have no idea why a card photographer would choose Espinoza's pose to begin with, let alone adorn said pose in gold, but there it is. There is also a Topps Gold Mike Aldrete in there too! Then on the 'silver' (as in Chrome) side, we have a selection of Topps Chrome Tribers! I am a huge fan of Topps Chrome. And to top it off, we've got Nagy, Franco, McDowell, and Mesa! Not a bad combo in silver. And if THAT weren't enough, Duane sent cards with silver AND gold on them! They are Bowman's Best Wright, Bell, and Fryman!

But that's not all, boys and girls! How about Sportflics, stickers and a 1992 Donruss MVP Alomar Jr!!

There's also a king-sized Farrell and another Topps sticker, too:

And last, but no where near least is an actual PANEL from Kraft Cheese and Macaroni from the days when it was Kraft Macaroni and Cheese! This one not only features the great Joe Carter, but right next to him is Pete Rose! And the panel itself is in tact, which is ultra-cool! You'll notice that even the glue strip that held the box together is there - no trimming that down, folks!

Man, I have to give a BIG "Thank You" to Duane for some kickin' Indians cards! Oh, and for giving me a song that is playing over and over in my head because I can't get it out now.... It's worth it.

Cleaning up Clubhouses

Quick note: For whatever reason, my blogroll seems to have had issues with some of the feeds I was, er, feeding it. So, I've gone to an 'old-skool' static list, sorted alphabetically. If you find your site is no longer listed (or you would like yours listed), drop me a line and I'll check it out.

For the record, I do visit every site in my list - that's why I made the list in the first place. I know some haven't updated in awhile, but I keep hoping. :-) And in the case of a few, nostalgia keeps me from removing them at all.

If you are looking for a comprehensive list of card-related blogs, you have GOT to check out James Anama's Sports CardBlogroll! His list has become the 'unofficially official' (or is it 'officially unofficial'?) master list of all things card bloggy!

Tuesday, March 17, 2009

Round, Round, Bat Around, I Bat Around, yeah

My favorite memory of acquiring cards happens to come from my childhood days. When I saw the topic for the 5th Blog Bat Around, I knew what I wanted to say, but I couldn't remember exactly where I was going - literally. Follow along, and you'll soon understand.

When I was a child, my grandparents lived in Cleveland. More specifically, they lived in Lakewood. It is from them that I got my love for the Indians. It is strange to say that, since so far as I know neither of my grandparents (these are my Dad's parents) gave a rip about the Indians. But, I adored my grandfather and because he LIVED in Cleveland, well, that was good enough enough for me.

My earliest memories take me back to a time when I was probably 11 or 12, as far as card collecting goes anyway. As I reflected back on my youth, I could picture the road my brother and I would take to get to the hobby shop. We would leave my grandparents' house, take a left and walk down to where the road curved. That curve came to a "T" and we would take a right and head for "the big road." We would carefully cross "the big road," and enter a world of trains, model cars, dollhouses, and baseball cards. I pictured it perfectly in my mind.

I can see this so vividly in my mind that it was the only thing I had to go on when looking for its location on Google. I could not remember my grandparents' address, or even the street they lived on. I called my mother, and all she could remember was that they lived "off Detroit Avenue." Close enough. I began my search. I zoomed in and out, moving the map anywhere, everywhere, looking for my grandparents' house.

Eventually, I gave up. I decided instead to look for hobby shops in Cleveland. Several popped up and TWO in Lakewood! But, they were on/near Detroit Ave, and I was convinced that my grandparents lived NORTH of that road. As I zoomed out, though, I saw it! The curve in the road! And suddenly, when I saw the name of the nearby road to the SOUTH(Winton), I remembered that was the name of the street where they lived!

Sitting, just as I had remembered, was the little dot signifying "Wings Hobby Shop."

I can still see it the way it was back then (I have no idea if it is still laid out this way or not): Walk in the front door and the baseball card display was on the left. On the right, shelves of models and books. Against the far wall on the right (again, as you entered) were glass cases full of model train cars, and behind them were shelves of pieces and parts for trains. I also remember racetracks, model cars, remote control cars, you name it.

But of course, I was there for the baseball cards.

I looked in the glass case, pouring over the cards sitting before me. I wish I could say I saw Mantle and Gehrig or even Pinson and Feller. But my clouded memory blurs all the cards in the case except for two:

The first is the very first baseball card I ever spent money on: 1951 Bowman Dale Mitchell. It cost me 25 cents. It did not have the crease in it. I did that years later myself. I remember asking the guy at the counter how old the card was, and when he told me, I was amazed that cards could be "that old!" Hard to believe that I bought the card in the late 70's/early 80's (making it already 30 years old) and when the card was MADE, cards had already been around for more than 50 years. I was one clueless kid.

The second card is a 1970 Topps Alvin Dark. I bought it on a subsequent trip to the hobby shop. In my memory, it was at least a year later. In reality, it was probably later that same day. It was the first 1970 Topps I remember ever seeing. I think, though again my clouded memory may be playing tricks on me, I bought several packs of cards that day along with the Dark card.

Over the next several years of trips we made to my grandparents' house, my brother and I would always take money to the hobby shop. I think I was more interested in going than my brother ever was. At the time, I thought the trek to the store was at least a good couple of miles. After doing a "directions to here," however, it was a mere half-mile walk.

I remember flipping cards with friends many years later. I remember hauling my card collection to the various houses and dorms I lived in throughout my collegiate career. I remember "rediscovering" the cards that had been packed away after I got married.

But the most vivid and sentimental memories I have of acquiring cards are those walks with my younger brother down a suburban street to the hobby shop on the other side of "the big road," Detroit Avenue in Lakewood, Ohio.

sidenote: I always thought Dark looked like one of the kids in that "Been Farming Long?" poster from several years ago.

Monday, March 16, 2009

Vintage Indians from the Bluegrass State!

Not too long ago, I received a rather nice email. In it, the author said he enjoyed reading my blog and that he had decided he was no longer collecting anything before 1956. He also asked if I would like some of his 1956 Tribers that were still on my 'want' list. I was ecstatic! Well, the joy I felt then doesn't even touch the excitement I felt when I opened up today's mail and found these great Indians inside!

The cards the Bluegrass Tribe sent to me are from the Topps '56 series. The first group includes Mike Garcia, a 3x all-star and pitcher during the '48 series win. Garcia was also one of the "Big Four" in Cleveland at the time. "Chico" Carrasquel. Carrasquel was the first latino to be selected for the AL all-star team ever. He added 3 more all-star appearances during his career. Jose Santiago had a 27 game career in the big leagues. Maybe the nickname 'pantalones' had something to do with that. And the fourth guy in this group is Dale Mitchell. Mitchell made two all-star appearances and three world series appearances in his career.

Hal Naragon leads off this next foursome. He caught in the 1954 world series for the Tribe. He is followed by Ray Narleski. Narleski probably could have found stardom for his pitching, but he was the fifth wheel in the Tribe's "Big Four" (Feller, Lemon, Wynn, and Garcia). Don Mossi appeared in the 1954 world series and one all-star game. And the final fellow in this foursome is Jim Hegan. Hegan was selected to five all-star teams and played in two world series.

The final card in the envelope is Gene Woodling. Woodling played for several teams, racking up one all-star showing and FIVE world series championships. Had he played to the Tribe in 1948, he would have had half a dozen.

One of the things I noticed while flipping the cards over in my hands was that some of the backs were nearly white, while others were more 'old cardboard' colored. I've seen more current Tiffany cards with duller backs!

I love these vintage Indians cards and the fact that I was able to add every one of them to my collection thanks to the generosity of a reader in bluegrass country! Thank you so much, Harold!!

Saturday, March 14, 2009

Tribe or No Tribe in pictures

Since my original post for TonT disappeared into the ether of a hard drive gone bad, I decided to pull the scans out of the backup file and post them here in no particular order. Of course, I couldn't post them without SOME comment, so enjoy the show:

In each cereal box of Topps, there's a 'bonus' pack of one chrome legends card. The scan does not come anywhere close to giving this card justice. In my case, I found Ted Williams:

Here a 3-on-card featuring Cliff Lee!

I also received a "Legends of the Game" Mickey Mantle in a very badly colorized photo. He looks like he is about to pull something out of his back pocket but needed to give his biddy a little 'hey there' wave:

The ToppsTown card in the box was Longoria. I haven't entered the code yet, but I'm sure it will unlock some super-secret-special-stuff:

another Lee card in the pack. It would figure that the one time I decide to bust out the Tribe-or-no-Tribe game I get several Tribers in the pack:

I'm curious: Is being named "Jones" a prerequisite for playing on the Braves? Well, either way, I had several TRAP cards in the cereal box:

Here is another Indians player from the box! Awesome:

I thought this was a great photo! I love pictures taken just before the bat and ball meet each other:

Here is the Anderson 'don't call it a Topps Turkey Red' card:

Torre is sporting shades and Dodger blue as he heads to the mound:

How could I not include a guy fully decked out in catcher's gear? Thiss one's for the girls at Dinged Corners:

And, here is another catcher for the girls!

Ah, here's a trap card from Atlanta that is not a Jones, though Johnson is close...

I thought the juxtaposition of the pitcher and the yellow home run pole was very cool. I'm sure the photographer pumped his fist after this shot:

Conor is catching himself some Topps!

Hairston brings in another trap card - Cincy cards are traps in TonT, remember?

This is one of my favorite 2009 photos I've seen. The greens all work together with a great action shot to make one gorgeous ball card:

If memory serves, the overall score for the 55-card box was 21 points. Not too shabby, and a lot of fun!