Wednesday, August 31, 2011

Cookin' Up Cardboard!

There's a new card blog in town: Chef's Cards.  Tim is a Cardinals fan who lives in Chicago.  Oh, and he's a Chef!  He recently received a Random Pack of Kindness with Cardinals and Royals (the teams he collects) from me and posted the first round. 

I'm not sure if he plans to bring some of his cooking skills into some of the posts or not, but I think that would be way cool!

Check out Tim's blog:

Tuesday, August 30, 2011

Cool Tribe stuff from Tim!

I am often asked (which means I have been asked more than once, but probably fewer then five times) if I collect Indians "stuff" which are *not* cards.  The answer: Heck yeah!  I'll collect just about anything Indians-related within reason.  i mean, I am not about to drop a grand on some painting or trinket, but if someone wants to send me some cool Tribe stuff, I am all for it!

Tim gets to attend Indians games on a regular basis. Well, for someone like me that can't attend any at all, it's a regular basis.  As it turned out, he was there when Thome came to Cleveland on August 13, 2011, just a few short days before Thome would come to stay in Cleveland again!  he sent a slew of photographs from the game:

(That would be Sandy Alomar wearing 15, thank you!)

(Choo getting ready to bat)

(Shin-Soo Choo, if you please!)

(Matt LaPorta in the field)

(Tim wrote, "It was great to see Jim Thome albeit in a Twins uniform." Little did we know...)

(I cropped these, but left the other 'cameraman' in this one: everyone wanted a pic of Thome)

Not only did I receive cool in-game pics, but I also received three "Batter Up!" editions: The Bob Feller Tribute, the Alomar/Blyleven HOF edition, and the Josh Tomlin feature:

But, wait! There's more!  How about a Columbus team schedule:

And, a 3rd edition Indians team schedule:

PLUS (oh yeah, he did not stop there folks!), a coupel of WAHOO bucks!  I can use these to get $5 off tickets to the Extreme Fan Zone, should I be able to make it there some day.  I wonder when these expire... Hmm...

A huge THANKS goes out to Tim for sending some very cool Indians goodies!  And, yes, I put the goodies in my collection along with my cards.  I have a "Miscellaneous" category I created in TheCardCollector for just such items!

Monday, August 29, 2011

Nightmares on Cardboard - DRAFT - Danny Graves

The next draft card for my "Nightmares on Cardboard" Indians cards goes to Danny Graves.  I decided to use a 1978-themed card for no reason whatsoever, other than I like the "Written Kind (as my brother and I used to call these)" design.

Somehow I managed to mess up the iron fence in front of him.  Actually, it's fine, I just cropped the card weird, so you don't see my handywork.  He is actually behind the fence from the photo. I love layering. :-)  I messed with muted the colors to make it appear more in line with the photography of the set.  It's not too bad, but I think it needs a little something.  In fact, looking at a page of '78 right now, I thik I need to OVERsaturate rather than mute the colors.  Will play with that some more.

He is smiling in a graveyard. I can't decide if that is way too morbid or if I should just leave it alone.  I may create cannibal teeth for him, giving him a spookier grin.

For fun, I added Cleveland Municipal as the tombstone topper on one of the graves.  I am still playing with the coloring to get it to match the stone to which it is attached.  Right now, it looks something akin to a UFO, but then didn't all the old stadiums?

Cards from the Dimwit

Samuel, over at The Daily Dimwit, sent a package of cards to me a while ago and I am just now getting to posting them! Sorry for the delay!  The Indians goodness covers several decades of players, brands, styles, and, well, Tribe-ness!

The first image below was taken from scanning the cards on on my new HP 2050.  While I think it does a better job of scanning than the Lexmark I had, the combination of a new printer/scanner and newly installed Windows 7 on my computer makes the process a tad tedious. I'm sure I'll get into the swing of it before long.  Frankly, I miss ye olde "Camera and Scanner Wizard" from Windows XP - clean, simple, to the point. I digress (often).

Below, you see players such as Whiten, Black, Thome, Alomar Jr, Vizquel, Belle, and a slew of others.  We've got Donruss, Upper Deck, Fleer Ultra, Topps all represented, too.  It is a snapshot of Indians past, present, future, and those who left and came back home again:

I decided to use a digital camera to grab the rest of the cards.  The lighting is bad, but we all know what to expect with incandecent lighting and little to no effort to correct it.  It's not the image that counts, it's what's *IN* the image.  Well, okay, maybe not always. I digress, again often.

As you can, hopefully, make out here, this gift from Samuel provides a great variety of Indians players throughout the years - or at least throughout the past 30 or so years.  Wow, 1980 was really 30 years ago!?  How did that happen?  It's fun to see how card designs have come and gone, changing over the timespan. Sometimes, the photography is actually better in older photos than newer ones, and sometimes, all we can do is shake our heads at just how bad some of the old photos were.  But, for me, I marvel at the names of the players I grew up with and the names of the players I still wouldn't know if it hadn't been for these little bits of cardboard.  That is one of the reasons I love to get surprise packages like this. Check out Lofton (upper right) as he flies through air about to make a grab or Thome about to barehand a ball played to him!  Now, some of you are saying, "Thome's picture must be a practice drill because he wouldn't have made that while playing first base!"  You would be partially correct.  I don't think it is a practice ball, however, Thome played Third Base at the time of the shot and he has several barehanded plays that earned him spots in ESPN's Top 10 shows.

If you've followed the blog for any amount of longevity, or you are a Tribe fan through the years, or you recognize certain players, you might readily spot Mr. Doug Jones hanging out there in the upper right.  Some players are instantly recognizable to fans of their favorite team, and Jones is one of those guys.  Same holds true for Brook Jacoby (2nd row, left) and CC Sabathia (bottom, middle).  I think for fun some time, I am going to scan in a bunch of players and hold a contest to see who can name them all by face only.  It'll be like a Triber Pokemon thing or something. Wait, did I just say "Pokemon!?" Somebody help me.

The last batch of cards in the package (which I cannot now remember if it was a bubbleope or a box.. hmm.  Why does it matter? It doesn't, I suppose, but seems like it should be something to remember. Once again, I digress) brings more Indians joy to the, er, plate! 

Jacoby, Snyder, Baerga (in one of the worst poses on a card ever. Period.) Candiotti, Hayes, and other familiar names from Indians past.  We also see Carmona, De la Cruz, and Thome as well.  Like I said, this is a great mix of Indians players Samuel put together.  And how do you not take in the greatness of the Fleer Premium Vizquel (top, centerish)?  I also love the artwork of Wells on the Upper Deck checklist card featuring Sandy Alomar Jr (bottom, centerish). 

A *HUGE* thanks goes out to The Daily Dimwit for these cool Indians cards! 

Sunday, August 28, 2011

Thome Hits 1st Triber Homer since 2002!!

The pitch comes in right where Jim Thome likes it. His swing already lining up to send the ball flying.  Sure enough, when he connected on the pitch shown above, the ball headed out for the stands!  It's so good to see Thome sporting the red, white and blue of the Indians again!  Wahoo!

Thursday, August 25, 2011

Welcome Back, Thome!

The Indians picked up Thome from the Twins for a player to be named later.  At this point, I don't care who the Indians have to give up, Thome is a VERY welcome member of the Indians lineup.  For me, it is very similar to the Lofton situation several years ago.  Bring in a leader, an all-around good guy, a future HOFer.  This is most likely Thome's last season, and he will finish where he started.  Lofton was a little different when he came back (he did not start in Cleveland, but was most prolific there) compared to what Thome is facing.

I think that Thome will become the regular DH for the rest of the season as long as he stays healthy.  And, with Thome in the clubhouse, I see the Indians' chances for post season play greatly improved.  Now, dreaming the way I like to dream: the Indians go all the way and Thome walks away from his MLB career with more than 600 homers and a World Series ring.  Hey, I can dream...

In any case, the fact that Thome is coming home brings even more spirit to Indians fans everywhere!

Wednesday, August 24, 2011

Random Packs of Kindness

The 2011 Edition of "RPOK" is underway!  I sent out the first round yesterday.  I am not telling who managed to get into the first round of this year's "Random Packs of Kindness" giveaway.  I'll be sending out more, too. Probably one round per month.

So, what is RPOK!? Basically, I take a stack of cards (about 15-20 on average) and send them out to folks.  In the past, the contents of the packs was truly random - never know what you'd get. For 2011, I am creating team-based RPOK goodness.  So, if you get one, you should find cards from your favorite team(s) inside.

How do you get one? That's easy! Shoot me an email: with "Random Pack" in the subject. Be sure to include your mailing address and favorite baseball team(s).  Then, sit back and wait. At some point during the year, I'll send out your RPOK!

Yeap, it's that easy.  What's it cost? Not a thing. I suffer from CPS and this is one way I like to relieve it.  CPS?  Cardboard Philanthropy Syndrome - The strong desire to give away baseball cards.

So, be looking for yours or come join the fun!

Sunday, August 21, 2011

Nightmares on Cardboard - DRAFT - Chris Banded

This is the second card from the "Nightmares on Cardboard 2011" Tribecards set. This is also in DRAFT form, but I thought I'd go ahead and show it anyway.  This is, of course, a 1985 Chris Bando card.  Bando has been rebranded as "Chris Banded" for the set, and features a cool morph of his face from this card and a mummy's face I found poking around online.  Added to that, I found a wrapped mummy head and took out the face that was in there.  I put his hat "back on" as a finishing touch.

Future plans for this card include mummifying his arm(s) and doing some kid of wrap for his body.  I looked up various wraps and haven't quite found the one I want to use. I will probably end up with a hybrid version of my own that I can clone/duplicate then create added 'features' as I see fit.

Frankly, I think this is one scary-looking guy. I think it's because it has an actual mummy face in there. Nasty.

Sunday, August 14, 2011

...the rpoks are coming...

For collectors, this is better than Publisher's Clearinghouse... Okay, maybe not. I mean, if it *WERE* PCH, then we collectors would take our prize money and buy more wax with it to bust open.  But, this is a close second, I'm sure...

the 2011 RPOKS are coming... Stay Tuned for more info!

This year's Christmas card? I'm thinking so...

(Click on post title to see the pic taken at the Nationals/Cardinals game this summer).

When the photographer said, "Here, let me take one of you with the stadium in the background," this isn't what we were expected.  We thought you'd be able to see into the field.  Or, maybe at least something that would let a casual viewer know that this actually DID take place at Nationals Field.  Instead, I feel like I've been photoshopped into a picture any non-descript ballpark. Ah well, the memories from the game far outweigh the still shot taken before things got under way!

Saturday, August 13, 2011

Nightmares on Cardboard - DRAFT - Willie Blair

The first card in the 2011 Tribecards "Nightmares" series is 1992 Fleer Willie Blair.  As soon as I saw Willie's name in the list of all-time Tribers, I immediately came up with the idea to blend a photo of Linda Blair from "Amityville" with Willie's card.  The image above is a work-in-progress.  As you can see, I have to work out coloring for starters.  I also have to re-scan the card from my collection because my new scanner does very weird things with single cards on the scanner bed.  When I scan a full swatch of cards, I can resize each down to a nice-sized image.  Scan one card, though, and it shrinks it down to something akin to a 1975 Topps Mini. Ah well.  As you can see, I changed his position from "Pitcher" to "PEAcher."  You know, what with the whole spewing thing from the movie and all.  I may also use an image from the "morph" that is a little more Willie than Linda.  Looking at the card now, it's not as easy to see Willie in there as I had originally thought.

Future plans for this card include changing some of the naming (like the Fleer '92 will most like end up "Fear '92," or maybe change that to '79 in honor of the movie's release date).  I will also be working on a "Wahorror" logo for grins.  Well, maybe not grins... After all, this is supposed to be some scary stuff.  AAAAH HA HA HA HA HA HAAAHA!AAAAH HA HA HA HA HAHAAAHA!

*Card images may or may not be copyright of Fleer, Upper Deck, or anyone else on the planet.  If they are copyrighted, then they are copyright of the card's respective owner(s). And, no, I do not plan to put this at the end of every post. Yes, I am being more than a bit snarky. It's what I do.
**The manical laughter at the end of the post may or may not represent that of Vincent Price at the end of "Thriller."

Friday, August 12, 2011

Wanna help make a movie happen?

Have any of you seen or heard anything about the upcoming Bill "The Spaceman" Lee movie that director Brett Rapkin is looking to do? I just learned about this recently and now im trying to spread the world. In a nutshell, Rapkin's next project is to create a scripted narrative film on Lee and his Baseball life post-MLB.  I don't know much about Lee, since I never really followed the Red Sox, but the idea of the project sounded cool.  I'm always up for baseball-related movies!

Ever hear of Kickstarter?  I have been checking it out lately based on a couple of projects recommended/discussed in some of my social networking circles.  In any case, the site lets you contribute to various arts-related projects like this movie.  If you're interested in seeing this movie come to life and want to contribute to it, check out the film's KickStarter link below. There is no minimum or maximum that you can donate and you get cool Bill Lee-related prizes for donating. If you are short on cash (which many of us are in this day and age), you can contribute to the project by posting links and write ups on your respective blogs just to get the word out. As of right now there are 12 days left in the campaign and just over $28,000 of a $37,000 goal has been met.

I am not connected to the film.  I just think it would be cool to see it happen.  It is baseball, after all!

Thome, Twins and Tribe

 I know many, many Indians fans might disagree with me, but I hope Thome reaches his 600 home run mark while playing in Cleveland!  So far, it's not looking good.  He had 1 base-on-balls and 1 strikeout.  There is nothing that would be cooler in this particular situation than to have one of the Tribe's former finest belt his way into the record books while at The Jake! (Yes, I still call it the Jake. Always will.)

Wednesday, August 10, 2011

Makeover time and gearing up for Nightmares on Cardboard

I have been staring at this same layout, banner, and "Clubhouse" for far too long now.  Over the next few days (weeks, months, something), I am going to be playing with new layout ideas and cleaning up the "Clubhouse" area.  Though I read many of the blogs in the clubhouse (and many more not yet added) through Google Reader, I realize that some of MY readers use the clubhouse to check out other card blogs.  It's time to either put it to rest or clean it up. I'm choosing the latter.

On another note, I have started working on cards for "Nightmares on Cardboard" for Thorzul's annual contest (assuming, of course, he hosts it again this year).  I don't stand a chance of winning as the competition has REALLY stepped up over the past three years, but that won't stop me from creating the ultimate "Horrific Tribers" set.  Over the next few months, I hope to kick out at least one custom card a week and showcase it here.  I have no idea what the theme for the contest will be this year, and I am likely not going to even match the theme, but I've decided to put my design efforts in a set of cards that will feature players whose names just BEG to be made into horror-related cardboard!  First up will be a Willie Blair "PEA-CHER" card, featuring a blended morph of Willie and Linda Blair.  Other players to be featured: John and Hank BUTCHER, Dennis COOK, Travis FRY-MAN, Danny GRAVES, Les NUN-A-MAKER, and many more!  Look for memorabilia cards, autographs, and other special inserts, too! 

Tuesday, August 9, 2011

Bipped, Topps Trading Card History Style

Yesterday, I opened a pack of cards from a Hobby box of 2008 Topps TCH.  The box says "5-card Starter Packs."  What it DOESN'T say is that EVERY pack is the #26-#30 cards.  Yes, that's right, boys and girls, this is a box of 36 packs of the exact same pack.  I can only assume that Topps released this to hobby stores in advance of the upcoming TCH offering as way to entice collectors to buy into the program.

Well, I'll happily send a pack to anyone for the asking. Just email me your mailing address. 

I'll be sending unclaimed packs out as part of the cards4kids project (sending cards to local children's hospital).

Monday, August 8, 2011

2008 Topps Trading Card History Hobby Starter Set

I picked up a box of 2008 Topps Trading Card History cards the other day. Nope, didn't go to Nationals in Chicago, I just grabbed a deal online.  Er, maybe.  As it turns out, this is a Hobby box containing "Starter Set" cards.  Each pack has 5 cards and there are 36 packs in the box.

Above, you see me holding one pack. You also see my daughter throwing the peace sign. Note that the pack itself is labeled "Cards 26-30." Sigh. So, each pack is labeled as to what's inside it!? Well, where is the fun in that??  Heck, I might as well be checking UPC codes to see if the packs hold some special insert or... er, uh, never mind.  Welp, in case you're interested:

TCH26 - 1982 Topps Ryan Howard
TCH27 - 1909 T204 David Wright
TCH28 - 1959 Topps Chin-Lung Hu
TCH29 - T205 Jimmy Rollins
TCH30 - 1966 Topps Ken Griffey, Jr

Well, I suppose all that's left to do is go through my checklist to see which Indians are in the set, then just open those packs. This is like the worst kind of pack-searching ever. I should feel ashamed.  I don't. But, I should. Just sayin.

Saturday, August 6, 2011

It's a contest, Dimwit!

Yeap, the Daily Dimwit is holding a contest - a giveaway, really:

Just go there, reply, spread the word and you can have a chance to score a cool card!

Friday, August 5, 2011

Searching UPC codes

We happened to be in Target tonight, so I walked over to the 2011 Heritage and checked the codes. Sure enough, there were a slew of "1849's" and a handful of "1922's." I picked an 1842 and my son said, "You better grab a 1922, too. Just to see. It might have the 'hit' in it."  I'm game, why not.  I also grabbed a pack of Panini Michael Jackson cards.  I know, it's a sickness, really.

The 1849 yielded NOTHING in the way of short-prints, inserts, or anything else beyond standard-issue cards.  Ah well, since Chris (at Stale Gum) had already busted the myth and found "dead packs," I wasn't holding out much hope anyway.  The "1922" pack gave me a "New-Age Performers" A-Rod. I guess that's a "hit."

The cards will be put into the "RPOK" box for later giveaways. (RPOK = Random Packs of Kindness, in case you're new to these parts)

As for the Michael Jackson cards, I pulled a pack that had a thicker feel than the others. I should have known better. The thick cards was a blank filler. So much for my pack searching ways.

The MiJac cards are actually pretty nice.  The "King of Pop" and "MJ" logo are in red foil.  The photos are shots provided by Bravado Media/Merchandising and Triumph International (the studio formerly known as MJJ Productions before his passing).

While in the hotel where we are staying, I saw some Arkansas Travelers schedules. I snagged a couple.  If you collect minor league schedules, let me know and I'll ship one to ya, free for the asking.

And then there were two... Thome hits HR 598!

Photo: AP/C. Carlson 

Earlier tonight, er last night, Jim Thome hit HR 598, bringing him just 2 knocks away from joining the 600 Club.  Of course, most people don't know this.  In fact, many folks, even baseball fans, have no idea.  Why not?  Because Thome is a nice guy who doesn't do drugs.  He was even voted Sports Illustrated "Nicest guy in baseball."  CONGRATS, Mr. Thome!  I can't wait to see the next two!

Thursday, August 4, 2011

Night Owl strikes again!

When I got from work the other day, I found a bubbleope on the island in the kitchen.  Inside were cool cards from Night Owl himself!

First up, we have 2011 Topps Opening Day Carlos Santana.  I love the vibrant green against the dirt here. Photography classes will tell you to "never" take a picture such that the image is divided in half (vertically or horizontally).  Of course, one can really say "never" - especially when one wants the effect intentionally:

He also included a couple Sizemore cards: a 2011 Opening Day and a 2011 Bowman.  Each card features one of his characteristics - hitting and fielding, respectively - that is, when he isn't sidelined by injury:

Next up a 2011 Topps Heritage "Rookie Parade" featuring two tribers: Josh Tomlin and Jeanmar Gomez.  He also sent a 2011 Allen and Ginter Shin-Soo Choo!  I actually like these A&G's a lot this year.  i like the team logo in the lower corner. Nice effect:

Lou Mason comes to us on another 2011 Topps Heritage, plus we have a 1983 Fleer "Big Chiefs" card with Toby Harrah and Andre Thornon! I loved these 'inserts' as a kid. Well, I suppose by '83, I was a bit bigger than a kid.  The next card is a 1990 Topps Traded Carlos Baerga:

The Indians card fun doesn't stop there, either!  How about a 2009 UD O-Pee-Chee Scott Lewis, a 1989 Classic Greg Swindell, and a 2008 Topps Heritage Kelly Shoppach.  The Shoppach card is the same I used a couple years ago for a "custom" version I made (see below):

And now, for the team-collector's conundrum. Do you, as a team collector, add cards to your collection where the player is in a team uni but listed with another team (or in which the player is in another uni but listed with the team you collect)?  I am adding this to my collection if I don't already have it: 2009 UD Spectrum CC Sabathia.  Night owl threw in a "Sarge" Connally from the Conlon Collection, too:

The last two cards feature a 1994 Fleer Charles Nagy and a 2009 Topps Historical Commemorative Patch card of Duke Snider with the 1954 All-Star game patch:

A **HUGE** thank you goes out to Night Owl for these cool cards, and a trip down custom card memory lane to boot!  That is a bonus in my book. Thanks again!

*The custom Shoppach card was posted in 2009: