Friday, March 31, 2017

#TheHobby is not always just about cards...

Over the years, friends and family have gifted me things that are related to my cardboard habit, but which are not actual bits of cardboard. I keep these in my overall collection and, yes, they are listed in my database of Indians "cards." Obviously, the ability to add such things to one's electronic record keeping system is crucial... Well, it is for me, anyway.

First up, we have two unopened packages of stickers. On the left, these 3d stickers show off two jerseys, some headgear, Chief Wahoo, bats, balls, and if you look closely: two admission tickets. On the right, we have Puffy Stickers!

If memory serves, those stickers above were either Christmas or birthday gifts from my wife. Not in the same year, mind you. My wife does a great job of finding cool things to add to my Indians collection.

Below, we have more stickers... And a set of keys. The jersey at the top is a felt cutout that I believe came in a pack of cards or a cereal box or something. The two pennants are stickers and they are fantastic. I wish I had more of them just so I could stick those babies up in my office somewhere. And, finally, a pair of uncut keys.

So, as you have surmised from this and previous posts (you know, like the one that showed off my Indians bobbleheads), you can see that I collect MAINLY Indians baseball cards. But, sometimes, I add things to the collection which aren't cards, but (I think) are still pretty cool.

Tuesday, March 28, 2017

Tribe or No Tribe #10ish (Topps Opening Day 2017)

It has been a LONG time since I've posted a TonT pack break, so I thought it would be fun to do! This is roughly the tenth edition of the game I've played. I am also starting a new ranking system to see which TonT's netted the best (er, and worst) results. More on that at the end of the post.

It's been a while, so here are my rules:

+0.5 points for each card in the pack not falling into the following:
+2.0 points for relic, auto, serial (only +1.0 if card is a trap)
+1.0 point for any Thome card in non-Tribe uni
+2.0 points for any Triber card (pictured in Tribe uni, otherwise normal scoring)
-1.0 point for each trap (Braves or Reds are traps for my game)
-0.5 points if card features more than one team or no team at all

This is a Fat Pack of cards, so there are 24 cards with 3 inserts. Let's get crackin!

+0.5 - Adrian Beltre - Rangers
+0.5 - Seung-Hwan Oh - Cardinals
+0.5 - Kendrys Morales - Blue Jays
+0.5 - George Springer - Astros
+0.5 - Trevor Story - Rockies
+2.0 - Jason Kipnis - Indians (Wahoo!!)
+2.0 - Danny Salazar - Indians (Wahoo!!)
-1.0 - Brandon Phillips - Reds
+0.5 - Craig Kimbrel - Red Sox
+0.5 - Jake Arrieta - Cubs
+0.5 - Kendrys Morales Foil OD (4/3/17) - Blue Jays
+0.5 - Anthony Rizzo Superstar Celebrations - Cubs
-0.5 - Fresh Popcorn Incredible Eats - Suntrust Park*
+1.0 - Progressive Field Opening Day Ballpark - Indians (Wahoo!!)
+0.5 - Ryan Schimpf - Padres
+0.5 - Drew Smyly - Mariners
+0.5 - Matt Carpenter - Cardinals
+0.5 - Troy Tulowitzki - Blue Jays
+0.5 - Aaron Sanchez - Blue Jays
+0.5 - Miguel Cabrera - Tigers
+0.5 - Ian Kinsler - Tigers
-1.0 - Joey Votto - Reds
-1.0 - Billy Hamilton - Reds
-1.0 - Freddie Freeman - Braves
TOTAL: +8.5 Raw Score (0.354 Calculated Scored = Raw Score/#of cards)

OUCH! Man, I got the smackdown put on me there at the end! What is up with all the freaking Blue Jays in this pack!? Wow...

*I find it very interesting that the Braves logo is NOT on the front of the Fresh Popcorn card, but does appear on the back. I only deducted the 1/2 point for "no team." My rules, man....

My new ranking system for TonT goes like this: I take the raw score and divide it by the number of cards used to get the raw score. That will give me the Calculated Score. I will use that score to rank packs from first to worst (the higher the score, the better). The ranking system appears (or will appear if you are reading this before I get done with it) as a tab at the top of the site.

Monday, March 27, 2017

2000 Upper Deck PowerDeck Manny Ramirez

I received this little jewel as part of package I got from PunkRockPaint many, many moons ago. The "card" is actually a CD-ROM with various features on it.

The other day, I fired up my computer screen recorder and captured my computer playing through the program. I stepped through each feature, so feel free to pause in order to read on-screen text as needed.

I have always been fascinated by electronic/digital versions of trading cards, and even had the VERY good fortune to talk with one of the folks behind the Digibles Digital Trading Cards (CyberAction) company back in 2010:

Sunday, March 26, 2017

1993 Sporting News Conlon Bob Feller Exclusive

Like many of the cards in my collection, I have things that I own and do not recall how I came to possess. This cool piece from the 1993 Sporting News Conlon Collection is one of my favorite Bob Feller cards ever. I think it's because it is perfectly in tact and includes the the promo paper with it.

The first thing that folks may notice is that it is a Conlon card, but the border is blue! I don't recall seeing other Conlon Collection cards having a color photo and blue border (regular issue were black border with black-and-white photos). This version of the card was only available through the purchase of the Sports Collector's Digest Price Guide of 1993.

The back matches the standard Conlon Collection card, except the border is blue and the "tab" is not actually a perforation...

I tried to determine the print run on these, but I couldn't come up with anything. Apparently, there are 48 total "color" variations of Conlon cards, but the Feller is the only one available exclusively through the purchase of the price guide.

Saturday, March 25, 2017

1993 Diamond Marks Bookmarks by Barry Colla and Terry Smith

The title of the post is slightly misleading, but I didn't know of another way to say it appropriately. You see, these 1993 bookmarks were made by Diamond Marks and feature photos from the Barry Colla Production company and the design is by Terry Smith Creations. So, basically, it took a team to put these things together!

The cards are 2.5" wide by 5" long. The photography is great, especially for 1993. The fronts feature the player name in all-caps white lettering, the DM logo, a HUGE picture of the featured player, the team logo and colored stripes, then the team name (again in all-caps) at the bottom. The bookmarks feature a black border which helps make the color elements really pop.

The backs feature a cool "open book" design with a different photo on the left plus a fun tam logo-based bookmark. The right side features a cropped version of the front image plus the player's name and position. There's a "fun fact" about the featured player as well as logos, copyrights, etc.

A little research finds that there were 120 bookmarks in the set and they were sold in packs of 10. There was also a test set of 10 cards available.

These are definitely some of the coolest oddball items I have that aren't food-related.

Monday, March 20, 2017

Spring Break Pack Bust: 2016 Stadium Club

Well, since our quest to find a card shop in Hot Springs went belly-up, I ran into the Walmart here and snagged a pack of 2016 Stadium Club. I believe this is the first time I've even see these. They are certainly a throwback to the glory days of Stadium Club, and in this case, that's not a bad thing.

I love the full-card images and the photography on the cards. The subject matter is a matter of debate, for sure, but I guess so long as it is baseball, we're okay, right?

I didn't pull any current Indians players, but I did pull former Tribers and some stars/HOFers from days gone by. Excuse the image quality as I am posting these while sitting at the table in the "resort" room where my family is staying during our Spring Break.

*Note: The place we are staying deems itself a "resort," though I would argue it is a hotel that happens to be lakeside... Maybe that qualifies it as a resort... Story for another day.

Feeling like Yukon Cornelius... NOTHIN...

Welp, we headed out today and too a 2-mile hike through some trails at Lake Catherine, near Hot Springs, AR. Had a good time, and we older folks are feeling it for sure. Haha! After that, we headed out in search of the card shops...

Alas, "Legends and Heroes" is now ... er, defunct:

The only card shop that came up in searches was "Alternate Worlds Cards and Comics. It was in a strip mall at one point, but now none of the stores there are anything remotely close to a card shop.

And, so, it seems I will be buying cardboard from Walmart when we head out for snacks and sundries later. I was really hoping to have scored at least something from a LCS. It was not to be.

Spring Break for Tribecards!

One of the biggest advantages of being in education: Spring Break. My family and I are enjoying a few days together in Hot Springs, Arkansas during our Spring Break. Of course, I will be on the hunt for some cardboard goodness to bust open and share with you on here.

I've done some preliminary searches and have come up with two possible local card shops. The problem is that neither one appears to be currently interested in baseball cards according to online reviews and what little info I can find about them.

But, we shall see!

First up is Legends and Heroes Sports Cards, which seems to be renamed to CosmoToys. According to Google Maps, it seems to be located either in or near the "Central Station" marketplace building, which is basically an indoor flea market if memory serves.

The next possibility is a place called "Alternate Worlds Card and Comics." This is (or was) located in a shopping plaza with several stores arranged in something of a "U" shape. We used to call them "strip malls" when I was a kid growing up in Pittsburgh. Not sure what people call them these days - hahaha!

I will keep you posted and most likely end up with at least one pack/box from the local big box retailers they have in the area.

I am hoping to discover something off the beaten path. Wish me luck!

Monday, March 13, 2017

2008 UD Premier Stitches: Pronk and V-Mart In Stitches

For some reason I have yet to dare examine, I stopped putting my cards into binders in 2008. I have no logical explanation that comes to mind. I just quit putting cards I received into their corresponding binders that year. Instead, I now have boxes labeled with things like "TBF" or "TBC" on them.

TBF means they have been entered into my database and are ready to be filed. Yes, that's right. I could simply move those cards from their boxes into the binders to which they belong. Alas, I have not done so. the other cards, "TBC," mean they are To Be Checked. That lets me know that I have not yet looked to see if those are doubles or not. I have TONS of those.

I digress... Often...

Today, we're looking at a pair of cards that actually DID make it into the 2008 binder. They are a couple of 2008 Upper Deck Premier Stitches:

The Pronk is pretty cool because it is a representation of the guy featured on the card. The Victor Martinez is cool, but, I mean, it's a Chief Wahoo logo. Upper Deck could commission someone to make a V-Mart on there? I dunno, maybe there is a version somewhere with his likeness.

In any case, I am generally not a fan of the manufactured patches. I like game-used. I don't know why it should matter. I mean, who thought of cutting up a jersey the dude wore in a game and stick into cards? I dunno, but really, that was a stroke of marketing genius...

I digress... Often..

Thursday, March 9, 2017

1960 Nu-Card Baseball Hi-Lites (Revisited)

I have four 1960 Nu-Card Baseball Hi-Lites cards in my collection. They are about the size of postcards and a decent card stock. I actually did a post about these back in 2009 (link at bottom of this post) which was then cross-posted to "Things Done With Cards."

So, if I already talked about these back in 2009, why bring them back out?  Well, in this post, I wanted to show all the cards I have in this set. In the other posts, I just showed off one or two.

As you can see, I have "Indians Take Bums," "Bob Feller Hurls 3rd No-Hitter of Career," "Colavito Hits Four Homers in One Game," and "Early Wynn Victory Crushes Yanks."

Here we have another example of non-Indians cards in my collection. The Early Wynn actually comes from his days with the Sox. So, why is it in my collection? To the best of my recollection, I bought the cards off eBay as a set and I believe they were sold as an Indians set. Honestly, until I scanned them in here for this post, I didn't even realize that Wynn wasn't in a Tribe uniform! Shows how observant I am, eh.

I did not show the backs of the cards in the other post. The backs feature a trivia question witht he answer printed upside down.

There were 72 cards in the whole set, and the checklist for them can be found here:

(The other post I did about these is here:

Tuesday, March 7, 2017

Accidental Bobble Head Collection

It happens to each of us at one point or another in our collecting: someone sends you something that is related to the team/player you collect but isn't a card. I have lots of things that are Indians related yet have nothing to do with my Tribecards collection. I considered fighting it at first, but then realized that was just a waste of time and generally led to inadvertently hurting someone's feelings. So, I have a slew of non-card Indians items. Bobble heads are such things.

I don't really remember how I came about my first Indians bobbler. I can only assume it was sent to me by one of my friends, most likely in the hobby world. I know that Jack (Baseball Dad) has managed to wrangle at least a couple of these from giveaways at Tribe games. 

The funny thing about collecting is that once you start down a path, whether you meant to or not, it's often hard to quit. You see, this small collection of Indians bobble heads (is it one word or two? I never know) has led to a MUCH larger collection of bobbles in general. I will show those off at some point, but today I am focusing on just the Indians:

From left to right:

Gaylord Perry in celebration of Progressive's 75th year.
Grady Sizemore gold glove
Asdrubal Cabrera
C.C. Sabathia celebrating Cy Young Award
Asdrubal Cabrera celebrating his amazing sidearm sweep (I added the card for effect - haha!)
Retro Baseball Kid Bobble - bought when the family saw the Indians in Cleveland
Bob Feller commemorative statue - Okay, not really a bobble, but belongs here anyway.

These little guys watch over me from the top shelf above my computer desk where I do most of my blogging, gaming, writing, editing, collecting... You get the idea.

I've never had a desire to complete the set of Indians bobble heads, though I suppose that little itch (you know, the one that makes you buy packs to feed your addiction) will come to me one day. And in those moments, I will tear out to sites like eBay in search of nodding little fellas waiting to join their friends here.

Sunday, March 5, 2017

1976: Bad Year To Be A Brohamer Card

In 1976, I was 7 years old and deep in the throws of my formative collecting years. I've told stories here before about collecting cards and the awful things my friends and I would do to cards in those days. Now, before you start to think back TOO far, we were beyond the days of using cards in our bike spokes. In fact, I'm not sure any of my friends did that - that was before our time.

What we did, however, is probably considered much worse, much nastier. Much. Nastier. You see, in 1976, we wanted to be sure that our collections would be preserved for all time. And so, we enshrined our cards not in mere pocket pages (which I suppose were available, but we knew nothing of them) nor in shoe boxes nor any other kind of protective storage. Rather, we chose to glue our cards into spiral notebooks.

Yeah, read that again. We glued our cards into spiral notebooks. The Jack Brohamer I have in my personal collection is one of the few bits of evidence and artifact of those days long gone by. I could have easily replaced this card with a specimen in much better condition. In fact, I probably have other '76 Brohamers in my duplicates boxes. But, that isn't the point.

The point is, in my head anyway, to have this keepsake to reflect on those youthful days before we knew what "collecting" was really about. In the photos below, you can see (especially the card back) the remnants of my brutality. I mean, sure, it was bad enough we glued them in, but, we didn't stop there. When we were ready to trade or flip our cards, we simply peeled them off the lined pages to which they had been so meticulously glued. This made for rendering most of the cards completely useless. In fact, most of the cards would simply separate the fronts from the backs. As you see, that's mostly what happened to poor Brohamer here.

Though I cannot say I am proud of the way we treated our bits of cardboard heroes, I can also say that I do not regret such actions. For you see, we were kids. We weren't caught up in book value and future collectibility studies. No, we were wanted to have our keepsakes mounted in the most permanent thing we had at the time. Those really were simpler days. Not saying they were better, just simpler.


Saturday, March 4, 2017

1974 Capital Publishing

I've tried to rack my brain and remember just how I managed to acquire these two cards from the 1974 Capital Publishing collection. Try as I might, I just can't recall. Generally, that means one of two things: 1) I bought them on eBay (probably as part of a bigger Indians card lot) or 2) They were sent to me by one of my awesome cardboard habit enablers (that would be one of you).

Either way, these are cool "cards." I say that in quotes because these are about 4.5" x 5.5" and feel like postcards. On the left, we have Ray Chapman and the right is Al Orth (Phillies).

The photos are black and white, as you can see, and are evidently taken from VERY old photos that are probably in the public domain (or were at the time these were made).

The backs feature biographical info and stats from the years they played ball. Note: The backs are just the fronts flipped, so they don't match the pictures above.

Apparently, Capital Publishing released several "versions" of these (some folks refer to later versions as reprints, though that could be debatable). One way to know these are the '74 variety (at least in my research) is the numbering at the bottom. Later versions do not include the card numbers. There are 110 cards in the set.

I have no idea why I have the Phillies player in there. Haha! If you are interested, the list of Cleveland players in the set are listed below and there is a link to the full set below that.

10 Russ Christopher
 11 Snuffy Stirnweiss
 18 Sam Zoldak
 24 Don Black
 32 Cy Young
 39 Tris Speaker
 43 Nap Lajoie
 49 Walt Judnich
 66 Ray Chapman
 72 Elmer Flick
 77 Bill Bradley
 96 Jim Bagby Sr.