Wednesday, March 4, 2015

Old & Original... or just Old?

Oh yeah!

The year was 1991.  Terminator 2 was the movie to see.  Magic Johnson shocked the sports world with his special announcement.  Some guy on the street captured a few LAPD officers beating Rodney King on video.  Pearl Jam released its debut album.  The Cold War ends.  Debbie Trout gives birth to her son, Mike.

And Topps celebrates their 40th Anniversary by giving away a copy of every single regular issued baseball card from 1952 to 1990.  Although the higher value cards were issued as redemptions, most of the singles were randomly inserted into packs and the whole "buy back" craze began.

Back then I thought it was the coolest thing in the world to pull one of those "buy back" cards.  It didn't matter if I pulled a 1981 Mets team checklist or a 1988 Mike Aldrete.  The idea of pulling an old card out of a current pack was really cool.

But the question is...

Are you a fan of buy backs?

Obviously... the idea of pulling a 1956 Ted Williams is appealing.  I would even be excited to pull a 1985 Rollie Fingers.  But I'm starting to question whether or not I want to pull some random vintage common with a Topps Original stamp on it.

My recent flea market purchase of two 2015 Topps jumbo boxes added four vintage singles from the 70's to my collection.  At first I was pretty excited to see these sitting in the boxes.  The fact is... they're vintage cards.  But then I started thinking...

1973 Topps #457

Who the heck is John Strohmayer?  Never heard of the guy.  Well... at least he'll fit nicely into my Montreal Expos PC.

1974 Topps #437

Another Expo.  Another guy I've never heard of.

1976 Topps #77

Finally.  A name I recognize.  Unfortunately... the only reason I remember him is because he passed away a few years ago.

1977 Topps #196

Jackpot.  Winnah... winnah... chicken dinnah.  Len Randle is a baseball legend.  He's quite possibly the only guy to ever try this...

Anyways getting back to the point.  I'm sort of torn when it comes to "buy back" cards.  They're great conversation pieces and provide opportunities for bloggers suffering from writer's block.

Then again... at what point do these lose their luster?

I guess for now... I'll tip my cap to Topps.  But they might want to wait another twenty-four years before they insert "buy backs" into their products.  Otherwise they risk flooding the hobby with 1977 Topps Lenny Randles.

Happy Wednesday and sayonara!

Monday, March 2, 2015

Gotta Give Them Their Due

Do you remember DeWayne Buice?  How about Pat McInally?  Chris Martin?  If you answered "no" to any of these questions, don't feel too bad.  You won't find statues of these guys in Cooperstown or Canton.  However if there was a Sports Memorabilia Hall of Fame... these guys just might be enshrined there.

Buice won nine games and earned twenty saves during his MLB career that spanned three seasons.

1988 Upper Deck Promo #A1

However he's probably better known for being one of Upper Deck's founding partners and the guy who sued them for $17,000,000.

If you're a football fan, you might remember Pat McInally.  He had a solid ten year career with the Cincinnati Bengals in which he was a First Team All-Pro in 1981.

1997 Kenner SLU Convention Piece

But did you know that McInally was the guy behind Kenner Starting Line-ups?  He pitched the idea of athlete action figures to Kenner in 1986.  Two years later they found their way onto store shelves and took the hobby by storm.

And finally there's Chris Martin... who is a former NFL linebacker who spent twelve years in the league.   Martin started ninety games in the NFL and recorded twenty career sacks.  He also turned three fumble recoveries into touchdowns, which ranks him 10th all-time.

1996 Pro Mags Die Cuts #19

But to this collector... he'll always be remembered for Chris Martin Enterprises, which produced Pro Mags during the 90's for all four major sports.

I recently picked up this Gwynn on Listia for 499 points.  If you're a fan of oddballs and you collect athletes from the 90's, then you might want to see if they made a magnet of your guy.

Okay... it's your turn.

Are there any other athletes you can think of who had a role in shaping our hobby off of the field?

If so... list them below and let's give them their due.

Well that's it for today.  Happy Monday and sayonara!

Sunday, March 1, 2015

Domo Arigato: JediJeff @ 2x3 Heroes

And rounding out my three package weekend is one of Jedi Jeff's famous PWE's.  Let's kick things off with a piece of Campy cardboard:

I love Hostess cards from the 70's.  I can still remember begging my mom to buy boxes of Twinkies, so I could get the cards... and of course eat the Twinkies.

And while were on the topic of golden treats... check out this golden treat:

Last season the A's started off 8-1 in Chavez's first nine starts.  Unfortunately the long outings eventually wore him down and he was eventually sent back to the bullpen.  Hopefully he and his teammates can bounce back after last year's epic flop.  The good news is he's currently projected to be back in their starting rotation.

And rounding out the PWE are these two awesome San Jose Sharks cards.  Both pay homage to classic 90's technology.

Thanks Jeff for these very cool cards.  I just put together another package for you today.  This time I found some White Sox for your PC.  I'll try to get them in the mail this Wednesday.

Happy Sunday and sayonara!

Domo Arigato: Zippy @ Torren' Up Cards

I've been Zippy Zapped!  Again.  I'm starting to lose count... but my guess is that this is my fourth or fifth time.  And each time, he sends me a few new Sega Card-Gen's for my collection:

In addition to the cards, he took the time to translate the card backs for me:

It's nice to know that Kurt Suzuki is considered the most famous active Japanese American player in the MLB.

Zippy also added some red, white, and blue refractors to the package:

And another piece of red, white, and blue cardboard... only this one is a little less shiny:

This is an awesome addition to my Expos PC.  Can you believe that there are only five former Expos who are enshrined in Cooperstown?  Mr. Perez is one of them.

Thanks for the package Zippy!  I'll start building a new stack of A-Rods and Yankees for you.

Happy Sunday and sayonara!

Yeah... that's the ticket!

On April 3rd, 2004 the Cal State Fullerton Titans lost their third consecutive game and were in the midst of a sub mediocre season with a record of 15-16.  The team had been a huge disappointment.  They started the season being the 8th ranked team in the college baseball, but by the 5th week they were out of the Top 30 rankings.

Then it happened.  The Titans went on an epic streak and won twenty-one of their next twenty-five games, won the Big West title, and climbed their way back into the Top 30.  Most importantly they received an automatic bid to the regionals, where they won six of their seven games and earned a trip to the College World Series.

Going in as underdogs, they wrapped up their Cinderella season by beating the three highest ranked schools in the country to win their fourth National Championship.

That summer, the Oakland Athletics drafted two Titans within the first three rounds of the MLB Draft.  They drafted Jason Windsor, the College World Series Most Outstanding Player in the 3rd round.  And in the 2nd round, they drafted one of my favorite players over the past decade... Kurt Suzuki.

That season, Kurt was one of the best players in college.  He was a First Team All-American and he won both the Johnny Bench Award and the Brooks Wallace Award.

However that June he really struggled at the plate going 2 for 20.  But he was given one last opportunity to redeem himself.  With the score tied 2-2, runners on first and second, and two outs in the bottom of the seventh... Suzuki ripped a ball past the Longhorns' shortstop and drove in the winning run in his final collegiate at bat.

A few years later, he became the starting catcher of the Oakland Athletics and the focus of my Oakland Athletics PC.

Yesterday, I added two very cool items to that collection:

These two tickets were given to me by a fellow Oakland A's fan and a supporter of my blog.  He had contacted me a few weeks ago and offered to trade me his collection of SI for Kids cards:

In addition to the two ticket stubs and huge collection of SI for Kids cards, he also helped me out with my 2013 Topps Update 1971 Minis set by throwing in this Manny Machado:

There were a handful of other Oakland A's and San Diego Padres items too... including this 1966 Topps Wayne Causey:

I had never heard of Mr. Causey until yesterday.  But thanks to the internet, I discovered that he was a solid, versatile infielder, who was primarily known for his defense.   

Thank you Andy for the awesome trade.  I've hung both of your ticket stubs on my office wall where it'll be appreciated on a daily basis.  And your collection helped me fill some huge gaps within my SI for Kids binders.

On top of it all... this trade motivated me to organize my Oakland A's PC.  I spent several hours yesterday sifting and sorting through cards.  Your package has finally been built and will be shipped this Wednesday.

Thanks again for reaching out and striking up this trade.

Happy Sunday and sayonara!