Friday, July 31, 2020

A Second Helping of Pancakes

Just when I thought I was full I was offered another stack of pancakes. Here's a link to my first helping.
This time around it's the shiny green donut parallel of Anthony Rizzo's 2019 Panini Prizm card. 
If you had your choice, would you rather have a donut (or two) for breakfast or pancakes? I'm a pancake guy all the way. No question about it. 
Green donut parallels apparently are serial numbered to 199 and this also happens to be card number 199 in the set. Funny coincident and nothing more. 

Thanks for the card, Wes (aka The Pancake King)!

Thursday, July 30, 2020

Folder of Fun: Page 27

The Folder of Fun, as I like to call it, has been in the works for about three years. That's about the time I stopped buying retail and hobby packs and began tracking down cards which fit a certain general description: FUN.  Here's a link to the first post in this series if you'd like to go back and catch up. 

Page 27 is our penultimate page (hat tip to Nachos Grande for teaching me the word) of the Folder of Fun. The last two pages focus on cards which I am simply attracted to for one reason or another. For the most part these pages feature iconic players or in some cases they are iconic pieces of cardboard in our hobby. 

2005 Topps Pristine, #128 - Buck O'Neil
The contributions Buck O'Neil made to the game of baseball cannot be quantified. I definitely needed to find a card of his to add to this folder.

2007 Upper Deck Masterpieces, #8 - Lou Gehrig
Lou Gehrig on the day he retired from baseball. What a sad moment.

1991 Upper Deck, #SP1 - Michael Jordan
This is arguably Jordan's most coveted baseball card.

2010 Topps National Chicle, #240 - Cy Young
Cy Young has an award named for him, which in itself is enough to qualify for inclusion into the Folder of Fun. Bonus points for the spider!  If the Cleveland Indians ever go through a re-branding I hope Cleveland Spiders is taken under consideration. 

2001 Topps "What Could Have Been" Insert, #WCB1 - Josh Gibson
Josh Gibson is my second favorite Negro League Player. You'll see my #1 at the end of this post.

Business Card for Sports Card Heaven
This is actually the backside of a business card for a sports card shop in Ft. Lauderdale, which shows the stars of Baseball's Sad Lexicon.

1998 Topps, #21 - Roberto Clemente
Clemente was such an amazing player and from everything I've read he was an even better human being. I love the flag of Puerto Rico in the background.

1990 Upper Deck "Baseball Heroes" Insert, #18 of 18 - Nolan Ryan
Seven no-hitters and 5,714 strikeouts over 27 seasons. Yep, Nolan Ryan was something else.

2016 Topps Gypsy Queen, #324 - Satchel Paige
Satchel Paige was such a character: Super talented, a total showman and he had plenty of moxie to spare.

Which card is your favorite from Page 27? If I had to choose one it probably be the Lou Gehrig card from Upper Deck's Masterpieces set. It's beautifully executed and documents such an important moment in baseball history.

Stay tuned for the last page of the ever growing Folder of Fun.

Tuesday, July 28, 2020

Making Sawdust - Bird Houses

This post has been sitting in the queue for about seven weeks now. I made one of these wren houses for my sister's birthday and I didn't want to give away the surprise. Happy Birthday, Jane!
I figured it would go well in the ornamental pear tree I helped her plant in her yard.
My mom found directions for two different types of bird houses when she and my dad were cleaning the basement. My mom's handwriting is in red and it looks like a short of list of who to build houses for: one for her parents and one for her mother-in-law.

The directions are from The Backyard Builder's Book of Outdoor Building Projects, which was originally published in 1987.
 I decided to give it a go and I made three of these wren houses. I installed the first one in May in our backyard Maple tree and a wren had claimed it within a week. Pretty cool.
 In early June, on a rainy day, I made a couple more wren houses, but I added a personal touch to them both. I cut a Cubs sticker to fit the back wall. I have plenty of these stickers from the junk wax era. I figure this will keep the cardinals out. LOL
 One of the two from the second build found its way into our front yard crab apple tree.

The second house is for bluebirds.
This design was much simpler and the project went very quick. I was even able to find a dowel rod to stick in the front for a perch.
All the bird houses are crafted from cedar so they should stand up to the elements fairly well. I also made the bottoms of each removable for end of the year cleaning purposes.

Four bird houses from 33 year old plans and all it cost me was a twelve dollar cedar board. All of the other materials including the finishing nails, dowel rod, eye hooks and wire could be found in our workroom. That's a pretty good deal if you ask me!

Thanks for stopping by!

Monday, July 27, 2020

Folder of Fun: Page 26

The Folder of Fun, as I like to call it, has been in the works for about three years. That's about the time I stopped buying retail and hobby packs and began tracking down cards which fit a certain general description: FUN.  Here's a link to the first post in this series if you'd like to go back and catch up. 

Page 26 shows off nine more cards today from the "Tells a Story" section from the Folder of Fun 

1991 Studio, #260 - Bud Black and Steve Decker
As a kid I found this card interesting because I believe we had a Black and Decker coffee pot or something in our kitchen. It's not as novel to me now, but it still makes the cut.

1991 Score, #841 - The Griffeys
Baseball at its best: a father-son duo playing on the same team. Does it get any better than that?

2009 Tri-Star Obak, #28 - Pat Venditte
I read an article about Pat Venditte, the switch pitcher, when he was in college at Creighton. I've always thought having him in the bullpen would be like rostering an extra player, one who could be both a lefty and righty specialist. Unfortunately, he was buried in the Yankees' system for far too long, because he didn't throw very hard, but he did put up good numbers in the minors. He made his MLB debut with Oakland at the age of 30 in 2015.
He's pitched a total of 68 innings in MLB, with his best run coming with the Dodgers in 2018.
Venditte was a volunteer at a couple of local winter camps hosted by Ben Zobrist. He can still be seen working out in P-town at a local indoor baseball facility from time-to-time.

1984 Fleer, #638 - The Pine Tar Incident with George Brett and Gaylord Perry
This card helps remind me that Gaylord Perry tried to hide the bat after the incident. What a crazy moment in baseball history.

1991 Donruss, #744 - Dr. Dirt and Mr. Clean with Lenny Dysktra and Dale Murphy
Dale Murphy feels like the poster boy for the straight-and-narrow. Lenny Dykstra is anything but.

1986 Donruss, #645 - Phil and Joe Niekro, the Knuckle Brothers
The knuckleball sure could extend the career of a pitcher. Phil is 45 and Joe is 40 years old in this picture. The two Niekros would pitch a total of 46 seasons between them before calling it quits.

2009 Tri-Star Obak, #44 - Steve Dalkowski
Steve Dalkowski passed away in April of 2020, so maybe you've heard of him. He is said to have been the hardest throwing pitcher ever and he was the inspiration for the character Nuke LaLoosh in the movie Bull Durham. If you have a second take a look at his 1958 or 1960 seasons, specifically the number of innings he pitched and how they compare to his walk and strikeout totals. You won't be disappointed!

2014 Panini Golden Age, #52 - Eddie Gaedel
Gaedel was 3'7" and walked on four pitches in his only plate appearance. Gaedel was one of Bill Veeck's more widely known publicity stunts and he was introduced to the baseball world between games of a doubleheader when he popped out of a cake wearing a baseball uniform with the number 1/8 on the back.

1992 Upper Deck, #82 - Cal Jr. and Billy Ripken
Brothers turning two. Just fantastic. 

For the next Folder of Fun post we'll focus on some of the more iconic cards and players in baseball's history.
Thanks for reading!

Sunday, July 26, 2020

The 500th Vogelmonster

I buy many of my Vogelbach cards from Ebay and Sportlots and I don't tend to show them here. I mean, well, Vogelbach is gaining popularity and slowly winning over a fan base, but he isn't a national name and I don't think there's too much interest from my readers in Vogelmonster cards. 

But, a big card came in the mail earlier this week so please allow me to do a little show and tell. 


This is the 500th unique Daniel Vogelbach card I have in my collection. 

It's not a crazy low serial numbered card, a relic, or an autograph, but I feel it's somewhat serendipitous, that of the 30+ different colored parallels within the 2020 Panini Prizm set, the one which arrives as #500 is the teal wave parallel. 

Cub fans get excited about blue parallels and Cardinal fans enjoy the red parallels. This bandwagon jumping Mariners fan prefers the teal. 

It sure does look sharp!

Saturday, July 25, 2020

Folder of Fun: Page 25

The Folder of Fun, as I like to call it, has been in the works for about three years. That's about the time I stopped buying retail and hobby packs and began tracking down cards which fit a certain general description: FUN.  Here's a link to the first post in this series if you'd like to go back and catch up. 

Here's the second page of the "Tells a Story" section. Good stuff all the way around!

2015 Topps - Whatever Works insert, #WW-3 - Wade Boggs
Wade Boggs used to dine on chicken before every meal. Fun fact: Boggs' Twitter handle is @ChickenMan3010.

2011 Tri-Star Obak, #95 - Fred Merkle
You may have heard about the story of "Merkle's Boner." The boneheaded blunder benefited the Cubs and helped them secure the NL Pennant over the Giants in 1908.

1992 Upper Deck - Diamond Skills, #648 - Rickey Henderson
This card celebrates Rickey's swiping of career bag #939 and moving past Lou Brock to become to the all-time stolen base leader.

1990 Score, #550 - Dave Dravecky
I remember watching the replays of Dravecky breaking his arm pitching on ESPN. Ghastly stuff.

2017 Topps Stadium Club, #241 - Elvis Andrus
I'm going to miss the exploits between Andrus and Adrian Beltre. If you go to YouTube there are plenty of video compilations documenting the fun between these two players, but this one probably sums it up the best.

1992 Topps, #40 - Cal Ripken, Jr.
Ripken posing next to Gehrig's plaque. That's a spectacular card.

2010 Topps - Tales of the Game insert, #TOG-23 - Manny Ramirez
Honestly, I could probably add this whole insert set to the Folder of Fun, but this is the only one I own and I'm okay with that. Manny sure was a different character.

2010 Tri-Star Obak, #53 - Moe Berg
If you don't know about Moe Berg he is one of the more interesting and overlooked players in baseball's history. There was a book written about him, The Catcher Was a Spy: The Mysterious Life of Moe Berg. I was given a copy back in 2012 for my birthday. It's a good read, especially if you history and baseball.

1991 Conlon Collection, #184 - Moe Berg
Here's the backs of the two Berg cards:
If you're not into reading, there was also a movie put out in 2018, The Catcher Was a Spy.

There's one more "Tells a Story" page on deck. Stay tuned!

Thursday, July 23, 2020

Throwback Thursday - Card Show

Here's a picture my mom passed on to me a couple of weeks ago. I thought about filing it away in a photo album from my youth, but I think it'll hang out in one of my display cabinets in the man room for the time being.

Take a gander and soak it all in.
You may have noticed the 1989 Score rack packs on the table, or maybe the stacks of 1989 Donruss hobby boxes. The binder being flipped through shows 1989 Topps and there's a stack of cards, in the foreground, which show an '89 Topps checklist on top.

What I noticed was a beautiful family picture. Well, it would be nice if my sister were more visible (far left), but we're all there. With coats being present, I'm thinking this picture was taken during the spring of 1989, which would have been the tail end of my 5th grade year. To give you a little context I had opened my first pack of baseball cards at a friend's birthday party the previous fall. I was in the midst of becoming a true baseball fanatic and the Cubs were playoff bound!

For what it's worth, I have no idea who is photo-bombing the picture in the back-middle, underneath the exit sign.  Also, I am clueless as to who was holding the camera. Perhaps one of my grandparents went to a show with us?

Everyone in my family collected during the junk wax era and we would often head out on a Saturday or Sunday to a local card show. My mom is undoubtedly looking for cards of Mitch Williams, as "Wild Thing" was becoming all the rage during the summer of 1989. My sister collected cards of Andre Dawson and I was on the hunt for Ryne Sandberg. My dad was all in on Gregg Olson, who we share a surname with. It was pretty cool getting into the hobby at the same time another Olson was making a name for himself in MLB. For those who don't remember, Gregg Olson was drafted in the first round by the Orioles in 1988 and he made him MLB debut that same summer. He had a sterling '89 season and captured the AL Rookie of the Year award. 

Besides this being a candid photo of my family enjoying time together, I think my favorite part is my father, standing behind his family, with his warm and gentle smile.

Good picture. Great memories.
Thanks for stopping by!

Wednesday, July 22, 2020

Folder of Fun: Page 24

The Folder of Fun, as I like to call it, has been in the works for about three years. That's about the time I stopped buying retail and hobby packs and began tracking down cards which fit a certain general description: FUN.  Here's a link to the first post in this series if you'd like to go back and catch up. 

Page 24 brings us to a new section in the Folder of Fun: the "Tells a Story" section. Some of the cards actually breakdown an event or recount something memorable on the backside, but others don't and are here just to jog my memory of something notable.

2014 Topps Allen & Ginter's, #70 - Dr. James Andrews
What I probably need here is a card of Dr. Frank Jobe, because he is the one who performed the first Tommy John Surgery in September of 1974. To my knowledge Dr. Jobe does not have a card.

1976 Topps, #416 - Tommy John
The back of this 1976 card gives the old "On Disabled List" line for Tommy John's 1975 stat line.

2011 Tri-Star Obak, #23 - Pete Gray
Pete Gray lost his arm in a childhood accident, but that didn't stop him from becoming a professional ballplayer. A Winner Never Quits, which I haven't seen, is a biography of Gray's life. 

2016 Topps Chrome, #FPC-2 - Mo'Ne Davis
Mo'Ne took the baseball world by storm when she lead her team to the 2014 Little League World Series.

2000 Upper Deck World Premiere, #76 - Jim Morris
The cinematic feature, The Rookie (2002), was based off of Jim Morris' career. As a teacher and baseball coach, this movie easily falls in my Top-5 Baseball Movies.

1996 Topps, #96 - Cal Ripken, Jr.
I give Cal a lot of credit for bringing some national interest back to MLB after the strike, which shortened both the 1994 and 1995 seasons. McGwire and Sosa a few years later sure helped a bunch, too!

2011 Tri-Star Obak, #66 - Danny Goodwin
Danny Goodwin was drafted #1 overall by the White Sox in 1971 from the high school I graduated from twenty-five years later, Peoria Central High School. That, by itself, is pretty cool. But get this, he was draft #1 overall AGAIN in 1975 by the Angels. Goodwin is the only player to be drafted #1 overall twice.

2007 Uppder Deck Ovation, #90 - Curt Schilling
This card documents the "Bloody Sock Game" in 2004. If you recall this occurred during the ALCS in 2004 over the Yankees. The Red Sox would break the curse of the Bambino later that fall.

1990 Score, #696 - Nolan Ryan 1989 Highlight
This one celebrates Nolan Ryan's 5,000 strikeout. I believe 1990 Topps had a multi-card subset in their 792 flagship product which did the same thing. Sometimes less is more. 

I have two more pages of these momentous cards to show off. 

Thanks for stopping by!