Wednesday, November 25, 2015

Thanksgiving Break: Nov. 25th - Nov. 30th

Thanksgiving is always a fun time of year for me that is spent with family, so I'll be on break until the end of November and will have a new post up on December 1st.

Our tradition consists of watching the Thanksgiving parade in the morning and then going up to my mom's house about 30 minutes away where she and my aunt get everything fixed up. We spend the majority of the day there just relaxing, watching football, and having a good time with everyone. I'd like to hear about what everyone else does, feel free to share in the comments.

Hope everyone enjoys the parade, their turkey and the football games!

Also, a quick public service announcement to please support your local card shop on Black Friday and Small Business Saturday. It's a great way to help them out.

Happy Thanksgiving!

Tuesday, November 24, 2015

You've Got Mail #5: Wes (jaybarkerfan)

Back in the summer, I ordered a flat rate box of cards from jaybarkerfan (aka Wes) as he was doing some housecleaning and offering up boxes of cards for those who are interested. A few weeks ago, the box finally arrived loaded with all kinds of goodies ...

It's always fun when I unearth some crazy oddball cards like this. The red bordered cards are part of a late 80s Reds team issue from Kahn's, I'm thinking probably '88. Then there's some Expos craziness with a Larry Walker Hostess card and a Casey Candaele Toys R Us. Finally, a Pete Rose K-Mart and a Chris Sabo Post Cereal. These are great!

Here's a really nice James Allen die cut autograph card numbered 42/100. I looked him up and it looks like he last played in 2014 with Bakersfield, sporting a 4-7 record with a 6.23 ERA, 64 K's, and 22 walks in 36 games. Yikes.

Speaking of numbered cards, Wes threw these in as well. I really like the Bailey gold mini and the photo looks like it's from after the game where he threw his first no-hitter.

Here's a bunch of older stuff that was included. The 82 Donruss will go towards my build of that and the 80 Topps helps out there. The others will go in the Reds binder.

There was also some newer stuff thrown in including 2010 Upper Deck

This really nice Frank Robinson Allen & Ginter mini.

Adam Dunn and Austin Kearns ... the former Reds outfielders of the future. Kearns was involved in the disastrous trade that saw him and Ryan Wagner sent to Washington in exchange for Bill Bray, Gary Majewski, Royce Clayton, and one or two others. The Reds ended up getting a few good years out of Bray while everyone else contributed roughly nothing. Dunn ended up having a pretty good last few years in the AL and just recently retired.

Two of the First Home Run insert cards. It's rare that you come across Josh Hamilton Reds cards so that's pretty cool. I dig the Bryce Harper too.

Closing out the Reds portion are these TCMA cards from 1980 commemorating the 1961 Reds, if only I could find more of these I might put together the team set.

The Reds cards were great but where Wes really did the damage was my 84 Topps set build, here are some highlights ...

There was a bunch more fun stuff included too that I didn't have time to scan in but suffice to say my 84 set is over a quarter of the way done now.

Thanks for the box Wes! I can't wait to see what the next box you send has in store for me!

Sunday, November 22, 2015

Wacky Wrestling VHS Boxes!

To help celebrate on of WWE's longest running traditions, the Survivor Series, I wanted to focus on one of the other things I collect, old WWF video tapes from the 80s and 90s. The idea for this came from an ongoing feature that Matt over at Dinosaur Dracula does during his annual Halloween Countdown where he looks at, as he calls them, "Vicious Videocassette Boxes". So here, I'll be doing what I call Wacky Wrestling VHS Tape Boxes.

Unlike today's DVD and blu-ray cases where the back of the case is littered with the list of special features and barely has room for the movie description, VHS cases had to be attention grabbing and had to convince you to rent (or buy) the tape since there were no special features to entice someone to take a chance. The box art, front and back, was the ONLY chance to make an impression. The majority of my wrestling video experiences came in local video stores and the library, all of which had extensive collections of wrestling tapes available for rent.

This will be an ongoing series that will show up whenever one of the four tentpole WWE events (Royal Rumble, WrestleMania, SummerSlam, or Survivor Series) is taking place. Each entry will have four tapes featured. Yeah, its not baseball cards but hey, VHS boxes are made from cardboard too, right?

Survivor Series 1997

Since this is Survivor Series Sunday, I figured the best way to start this off would be with the only Survivor Series VHS tape I own, the infamous 1997 Survivor Series that featured the "Montreal Screwjob", the background of which is way too complicated to get into here (but if you want to read about it, click here).

Since this was the next to last Coliseum Video release, you can tell not much effort was made to the back of the box as it is gray and void of any graphics whatsoever. The front doesn't look like much effort was put into it either, with the graphic from the event poster and a nondescript triangle on the bottom promoting the Shawn Michaels/Bret Hart match. I haven't watched this particular tape in ages but that last time I did, it was just weird seeing the old blue Coliseum Video title screen show up at the beginning, seeing as the roots of the "Attitude Era" were firmly planted by the time this show happened and Coliseum Video seemed like an ancient relic from the past.

WrestleMania VIII (1992)

This is one of my favorite WWF events of all time and the box just absolutely grabs you the minute you see it with lots of bright yellow sent against a purple background. The show itself is pretty epic too. Beginning with the Vince McMahon narrated opening that sets the stage and the opening shot of a packed Hoosier Dome to the closing pan out, it just leaves you with a warm and fuzzy feeling of your childhood.

The event itself featured two huge showdowns. The first between Randy Savage and Ric Flair for the WWF Title in what turned out to be an absolute classic thanks to the wrestling, the story behind the match, and the drama during the match with Miss Elizabeth. The other was what was billed as Hulk Hogan's final match against Sid Justice that had a huge surprise at the end of the match (back when the phrase "huge surprise" meant something in wrestling). There was also a classic match between Bret Hart and Roddy Piper for the Intercontinental Title which was a great straight-up classic wrestling match.

SummerSlam 1990

Here's a show I rediscovered just recently as I hadn't seen it since probably the mid 2000's. The box for this just screams summer and blazing, brow mopping heat with the orange hue and the yellow sun in the top center. Sort of makes you want to have a big ice cream bar and jump in the pool.

While it's not the best SummerSlam on record (1989's version was way better), it still had some memorable moments with Kerry Von Erich winning his only WWF singles championship and, in probably the best match on the show, The Hart Foundation beating Demolition for the Tag Team Titles thanks to the debut of the Legion of Doom. Also, you had the first steel cage match in SummerSlam history with Ultimate Warrior against Rick Rude and a showdown between Hulk Hogan and Earthquake.

Hulkamania Forever (1990)

Last summer I stopped in to the retro game and movie store that is a few doors down from Maverick's Card Shop in Dayton. The store is laid out like an old video store with movie posters all over the walls, arcade games, and racks of DVDs and video tapes everywhere. In the back, was the "special interest" section where all the sports tapes usually reside, that was where I found this. Unfortunately, the majority of old WWF tapes are cut up like this and jammed into these clamshell boxes. This is the fifth in the series of Hulkamania tapes which were nothing more that Hulk Hogan "best of" tapes featuring matches that were taped exclusively for home video.

I haven't watched this tape since I bought it as I don't have my VCR hooked up currently but judging by the back of the box, it sounds like fun with matches against Randy Savage, Ultimate Warrior, and Ted DiBiase and a series of matches against Earthquake.

I'll continue this series in January when Royal Rumble comes along with a look at four more tapes in my collection. Hope you enjoyed this trip back in time. 

Friday, November 20, 2015

The Nutter Center Sports Card Show - Part 3: Bargain Bin Finds

It's said that variety is the spice of life ... well, you can't get much more variety that what I found in the bargain bins at the card show a few weeks ago.

My new project, 1981 Donruss. I didn't realize how much I liked these cards until I actually got a few in my collection. There's just something about them to me that screams "hey, these are pretty neat!" Sure, it's not the best Donruss effort ever but it's an affordable debut set that I can definitely get behind and it won't break the bank to build it. I really like the all gold uniform sported by Stargell.

A couple nice cards of Pete Rose as a Philly. The highlight card will go in with my slowing growing 82 Topps set build. I find it fascinating getting cards of former stars of the Big Red Machine teams in their post-Reds years.

A few nice Royals cards. The fountains card is just beautiful. I was surprised the Beltran was hiding in a dime box. Just goes to show you never know what you'll find.

Here's where the variety really starts to kick in. Check out all these random cards that I dug out! Griffey, Sandberg, Andre Dawson, Tony Gwynn, Javy Lopez and Tulo! The red cards of Joe Mauer and A.J. Burnett are serial numbered from Topps Unique, a brand I've never heard of. Tons of cool stuff.

Two guys making an impression in Chicago. Soler is going towards my Stadium Club build and Abreu will get a nice place in my 2015 binder.

Here's a batch of really cool Prizm cards. I know Prizm isn't everyone's bag but for me it's cool looking cards on a budget and that just can't be beat.

Another pair of random cards. Eckersley is one of my favorite non Reds players ever so anytime I can find a nice card of him, I'll gladly pick it up.

If you think all of that was a good variety, now here's where it veers completely off the tracks!

Four really nice Bengals cards. I'm not a big buyers of football packs but this years Panini Prestige is just too nice to pass up.

I could've thumbed through the hockey box for a good 30 minutes but these were the only two I picked out as I have aspirations to get some packs of Series 1 hockey soon. Just in case you're wondering, yes one person had a Connor McDavid rookie card and no, I wasn't about to pay $250 for it.

Vintage hockey is so hard to come by in my area that I'll get just about anything I see when it comes up, even in this case when I have no clue who Ron Schock is.

Kellogg's cards are always pretty cool, especially when they're out of a dime box.

A good variety and sampling of the new Topps WWE Heritage cards. British Bulldog was one of my favorites growing up, Charlotte is the daughter of 16-time world champion Ric Flair and has a big match coming up this weekend at Survivor Series against Paige, and Finn Balor is one of the hottest stars in NXT right now (and has some of the most awesome entrance music ever), plus it's a silver parallel.

The obligatory Reds pickups. Jesse Winker will hopefully be a star for the Reds and he should be ready by the end of the 2016 season. I met Corky Miller at the annual Reds Caravan one year and he's a really cool dude.

Closing out the bargain bin digs with two extremely nice Lou Gehrig cards, one for my Stadium Club set build and the other just because it's a very, very nice card.

Just because some card shows are small doesn't mean that you can't find good stuff. Look what I found after two hours and digging through some bargain boxes. I'd say this is definitely a card show I'll be heading back to soon.

Monday, November 16, 2015

The Nutter Center Sports Card Show - Part 2: The Good Stuff

In my last post, I talked about my experience at the Nutter Center Sports Card Show. Now it's time to dive in and take a look at my purchases, starting with the good stuff ...

These are the two "non-hit" singles I bought. I've been searching for an Eric Davis rookie card for a while now and I'm finally happy to have one. The Bench card was a spur of the moment purchase and I'm really glad that I decided to pick it up, it's a beautiful card.

The first hit I purchased was this Joe Oliver autograph from this year's Topps Archives set. This came from the same guy I got the Davis and Bench cards from. Just need the Jose Rijo card to go along with this. 

Until I saw these, I wasn't sure what my opinion was of the manufactured relics. Some people hate them, some like them. I was indifferent until I saw these. The Palmer was priced at only 50 cents and the Kiner was $2. I had only planned on getting the Palmer but once I noticed that the Ralph Kiner one was commemorating Ebbets Field, I grabbed them up.

I collect pretty much anything that catches my eye and this certainly did. With the orange patch and the fact is was George Springer, I had to get this.

I love memorabilia from old ballparks that no longer exist so I think that's probably why I picked this card up. It's a seat relic from old Crosley Field where Big Klu reigned supreme in the 50s. 

Here's the aforementioned Reds team set from Topps Update. The player selection is so-so but at least I've got a Michael Lorenzen rookie, a few All-Star and Home Run Derby cards, and a nice card of one of my favorite players right now, Tucker Barnhart.

My final major purchase were these factory sealed hockey sets from 1990. The guy I got these from had about five of the 1990 Topps hockey set he was unloading at $3 each. On top of the stack of these sets was a plain white box. Curiously, I asked if it was another Topps hockey set, he opened it up and much to our surprise, it was a factory sealed set of 1990 Score, so I bought that too. Not sure what I'm going to do with these now though. I'm not one to leave cards in their rectangular prisons for too long  as I'm of the opinion cards need to be able to be seen, not stuffed in a box. I'm thinking these will go into a binder and I'll save the boxes for extra cards.

Now that you've seen the best, the third and final part is coming up in a few days about the rest of my purchases from the dime and quarter boxes. Stay tuned ...