Wednesday, January 30, 2019

Quick Interview Plug

Just a quick post today ...

I had the pleasure of being interviewed by Ryan of the Japanese Sumo Wrestling Cards and Menko blog. We had a fun talk about a variety of different subjects including cards, card shows, Svengoolie, and other great topics. If you have a chance, please head over and check it out ....

Also, I want to wish my oldest a Happy 6th Birthday today! Despite the frigid, icebox-like temperatures (-30 wind chill), we're still going to have some fun today.

I'll be back soon with another card related post! In the meantime and in between time, enjoy the interview I did with Ryan!

Sunday, January 27, 2019

Wacky Wrestling VHS Boxes #12

The 2019 edition of the Royal Rumble is tonight from Chase Field in Phoenix. With it being Royal Rumble day, you know what that means, time for the twelfth edition of "Wacky Wrestling VHS Boxes". For those who aren't familiar, this is where I chat a little bit about classic wrestling VHS tape covers using scans I've found on the internet.

So, without further adieu, here are four more classic WWF VHS tapes you may (or may not) remember.

King of the Ring 1994

Scan credit: The Canadian Collection
This tape brings back memories for me. The library in town was still in it's original location, which was half of an old house in the middle of town, and it had a decent selection of WWF tapes. Most of the time they'd be rented out but I could always find one or two on the shelf at any given time. This was one of them. I rented this tape who knows how many times and enjoyed it every time I watched it. I remember watching it for the first time and being amazed at how Razor Ramon, who was guest commentator Art Donovan's pick, made it to the finals and how the Bret Hart vs. Diesel match was early on in the show, which would make sense later on in the show. 

When I first saw this tape available on the library shelf, the "champion vs champion" match and also the Roddy Piper vs. Jerry Lawler match advertised on the front is what grabbed me, also there's the giant classic King of the Ring logo, which I honestly miss. The back of the case has the tournament bracket and also mentions the Tag Team Title match with Yokozuna & Crush going up against the Headshrinkers. The tournament itself is pretty fun and the Bret/Diesel match may be my favorite one they ever did against each other, but Roddy Piper vs. Jerry Lawler is quite possibly the worst WWF/WWE main event match ever.

Paul Bearer's Hits from the Crypt (1994)

Scan credit: VHS Wasteland
This is a weird one. As you can probably tell by the title, this particular tape is hosted by Paul Bearer and features a very unique collection of matches, as is the norm with these compilation tapes. Honestly, I was hoping to see Paul Bearer featured a little more prominently on the cover instead of Lex Luger but still, it grabs you. The match line-up is all kinds of bizarre with the highlight being Randy Savage and Lex Luger teaming up against Yokozuna and Crush. There's also a weird six-man tag with Men on a Mission & Doink against The Quebecers & Jeff Jarrett. Look at the back, the featured matches are listed on a tombstone! That's pretty cool. I know that this tape is on the WWE Network and I think I'm going to have to make a point to watch it.

Action Zone (1997)

Scan credit: VHS Wasteland
By the mid-90s, the WWF was starting to cut back on the amount of tapes that were coming out, especially from Coliseum Video. However, some third party distributors were able to put tapes out featuring WWF action with the Coliseum Video and WWF branding on them. This is one such tape. The matches here look like they're probably somewhere from the late spring/early summer of 1996 just going by the names involved. Also, it's hard to believe the Bushwhackers were still around in 1996. The box itself comes across as pretty generic and the photo on the front sort of gives away the result of one of the featured matches. I've never seen this tape but it's one I'd like to see if I can find sometime.

Wrestling Tough Guys (1990)

Scan credit: VHS Wasteland
Finally, here's a "Collector's Series" tape that was released in 1990. The theme here is "tough guys" so you've got people like Ronnie Garvin, Jim Duggan, and the Powers of Pain featured. It's also a short tape, clocking in at just under 60 minutes. Much like the previous tape, the box art feels a bit generic with a giant picture of Warlord clotheslining one of the Bushwhackers and then photos of headlocks being used in matches on the back. There is one match I'm interested in though, that being Ronnie Garvin vs. Haku, that sound like it would be one heck of a fight.

Well, there's four more classic wrestling tapes that honestly have nothing to do with the Royal Rumble tonight. Anyway, the Rumble should be a good show and I'm really looking forward to the Finn Balor vs. Brock Lesnar match along with both Rumble matches.

Monday, January 21, 2019

Blog Bat Around: Thinkin' Problem

When I was a kid, I used to listen to country music as that was pretty much all my grandparents listed to. My grandpa usually had the radio on his favorite station, K99.1 FM, or had the country music video channel on. I've since moved on from most of those twangy tunes but I clearly remember one song called "Thinkin' Problem" sung by a guy named David Ball. I think it was his only hit.

I hadn't thought of that song for years until I saw the latest in the series of "Blog Bat Around" posts in which you name the first player that you think of for a given team. This turned out to be a much harder exercise than I first, well ... thought ... as some of these teams were quite difficult to come up with someone.

Anyway, now that my thinkin' problem is over, here's what I came up with. There will be a brief comment after each card. For a bit more fun, I threw in some defunct teams at the bottom of the list. Side note, because I'm not writing this at home, I'm going to be reliant on COMC for images.

Let's begin.

AL East

Red Sox - Nomar Garciaparra

2000 Topps Stars - [Base] #11 - Nomar Garciaparra - Courtesy of

Weird that Nomar was the first guy I thought of for the Red Sox. The obvious choice would've been Ted Williams.

Yankees - Babe Ruth

2013 Topps - Chasing History - Gold Holo-Foil #CH-11 - Babe Ruth - Courtesy of

Kind of a gimme here.

Orioles - Cal Ripken

2012 Topps Tribute - [Base] - Bronze #66 - Cal Ripken Jr. /299 - Courtesy of

Another gimme.

Rays - Fred McGriff

1998 Leaf Rookies & Stars - [Base] #55 - Fred McGriff - Courtesy of

Remember when the Rays signed big hitters like McGriff, Jose Canseco, Vinny Castilla, and Greg Vaughn to try to win right out of the gate?

Blue Jays - Joe Carter

1996 Topps Stadium Club - Extreme Players - Bronze #JOCA.1 - Joe Carter - Courtesy of

The hero of many a Toronto fan.

AL Central

Indians - Bob Feller

1956 Topps - [Base] #200 - Bob Feller [VG] - Courtesy of

Surprised I didn't come up with Jim Thome or Albert Belle. 

White Sox - Frank Thomas

1998 Pinnacle - Hit it Here #4 - Frank Thomas - Courtesy of

I honestly couldn't name one current White Sox player if I tried. Ok, well, maybe Jose Abreu, but that's it.

Twins - Kirby Puckett

1985 Fleer - [Base] #286 - Kirby Puckett - Courtesy of

The first Twins player I remember. Harmon Killebrew would've also been an acceptable answer.

Tigers - Alan Trammell

1979 Topps - [Base] #358 - Alan Trammell - Courtesy of

This was actually a tough one. It took me a second or two longer to come up with a Tigers player.

Royals - Salvador Perez

2017 Topps Gallery - [Base] - Canvas #98 - Salvador Perez - Courtesy of

Another hard one believe it or not. I wrote down Salvador Perez, then my mind said "duh, George Brett!" Too late.

AL West

Angels - Mike Trout

2018 Topps Update Series - Salute #S-19 - Mike Trout - Courtesy of

I might have to find a copy of this card since it's from the 2015 All-Star Game in Cincinnati.

Astros - Jose Altuve

2013 Topps Heritage - [Base] #487 - Jose Altuve - Courtesy of

Seems like everyone is thinking Jose Altuve from other posts I've read.

A's - Rollie Fingers

2009 Topps - Ring of Honor #RH36 - Rollie Fingers - Courtesy of

I surprised myself with this one. Rickey Henderson, Dennis Eckersley, Reggie Jackson all escaped me but Rollie Fingers didn't.

Mariners - Omar Vizquel

1990 Score - Young Superstars #28 - Omar Vizquel - Courtesy of

Again, I'm surprised it wasn't Ken Griffey Jr that I thought of first. Still, Omar was a great shortstop for many teams.

Rangers - Jeff Burroughs

1975 Topps - [Base] - Minis #470 - Jeff Burroughs [EX] - Courtesy of

That came from left field ... no pun intended.

NL East

Braves - Greg Maddux

2014 Topps Stadium Club - Legends Die-Cuts #LDC-2 - Greg Maddux - Courtesy of

When you think of the Braves, why wouldn't you think of a pitcher first?

Mets - Tom Seaver

1971 Topps - [Base] #160 - Tom Seaver [GOOD] - Courtesy of

This was another tough one. Tom Seaver was the first one that popped in my head.

Nationals - Bryce Harper

2018 Panini Chronicles - Rookies and Stars - Holo Silver #9 - Bryce Harper /199 - Courtesy of

Still a free agent currently.

Marlins - Charlie Hough

1993 Topps Stadium Club - [Base] #610 - Charlie Hough - Courtesy of

The ageless and well traveled Charlie Hough was my pick for the Marlins. He's honestly the only person that I can actually remember from the first team in 1993.

Phillies - Mike Schmidt

1974 Topps - [Base] #283 - Mike Schmidt - Courtesy of

Our first gimme in the NL.

NL Central

Reds - Barry Larkin

1992 Fleer - [Base] #411 - Barry Larkin - Courtesy of

I grew up with Barry Larkin manning short for the Reds. This makes sense.

Brewers - Robin Yount

1981 Topps - [Base] #515 - Robin Yount - Courtesy of

Another gimme. 

Pirates - Wille Stargell

1981 Fleer Star Stickers - [Base] #15 - Willie Stargell - Courtesy of

Of course I had to use a card that said "Star" on the top as Willie Stargell was famous for his "Stargell Stars".

Cardinals - Vince Coleman

1985 Topps Traded - [Base] #24T - Vince Coleman - Courtesy of

Not the 80s Cardinal speedster you were expecting? Me either.

Cubs - Kris Bryant

2016 Topps - [Base] #350.1 - Kris Bryant (Batting; Blue Jersey) - Courtesy of

A fun player to watch on a not so fun card design.

NL West

Dodgers - Clayton Kershaw

2018 Topps Gold Label - [Base] - Class 2 #52 - Clayton Kershaw - Courtesy of

When there's a Dodgers game on MLB Network, it's usually Kershaw that I see pitching. 

Giants - Barry Bonds

1996 Topps - [Base] #300 - Barry Bonds - Courtesy of

Surprised I didn't come up with someone like ... oh, I don't know ... Willie Mays?

Diamondbacks - Randy Johnson

2002 Leaf - [Base] #7 - Randy Johnson - Courtesy of

Again, another one I had trouble with. I had to rack my brain to think of a Diamondbacks player.

Rockies - Todd Helton

2011 Topps Chrome - [Base] - Refractor #87 - Todd Helton - Courtesy of

I believe Helton is/was the longest tenured player in Rockies history. I could be wrong on that though.

Padres - Trevor Hoffman

2003 Fleer Ultra - [Base] - Gold Medallion #15 - Trevor Hoffman - Courtesy of

Another shocker. As soon as I jotted down Hoffman's name, my mind started rattling off Padres players like Tony Gwynn, Phil Nevin, Randy Jones, etc.

Now for the bonus round ... the defunct teams category

Expos - Andre Dawson

1978 Topps - [Base] #72 - Andre Dawson - Courtesy of

I guess you could say that he was one of the first Expos stars. Well, him and Gary Carter. By the way, if you haven't read the great book "Up, Up, and Away" which details the history of the Expos, you should. It's a fantastic read.

Pilots - Lou Piniella

1969 Topps - [Base] #394 - Lou Piniella, Marv Staehle [GOOD] - Courtesy of

A guy who never played a single game for a team that lasted one season. Piniella won the 1969 Rookie of the Year award though as a member of the Royals.

Browns - George Sisler

2012 Panini Cooperstown - [Base] #20 - George Sisler - Courtesy of

The Browns didn't have many notable players in their history. The only other ones that come to mind are Rogers Hornsby and Pete Gray.

Senators (original) - Walter Johnson

2005 SP Legendary Cuts - [Base] #85 - Walter Johnson - Courtesy of

How could you not think of Walter Johnson when thinking of the original Senators.

Senators (expansion) - Frank Howard

1971 Topps - [Base] #620 - Frank Howard - Courtesy of

Really the only player I could come up with for the expansion Senators.

I have to say, that was a fun but challenging exercise. I could see myself maybe taking this in a number of different directions (hockey and even "short term stops"). The possibilities are honestly endless.

Sunday, January 13, 2019

Cards and Snow

It snowed this weekend .... a lot.

According to the local National Weather Service office, my town received 8 inches officially. I felt every bit of that 8 inches as well when I went out this morning and shoveled and salted the driveway for three hours.

But I know you didn't come here to read about my adventures in the snow. No, you came here to read about cards. 

I received cards a few weeks ago from Marc at Remember the Astrodome. Marc is from Texas, someplace where it's warm and they don't have to battle with snow and salt. Let's see what Marc sent.

First off, Marc hit on a bunch of my player collections. There were about 18 new Jeff Bagwell cards included, which helped increase my Bagwell collection substantially. The nice thing is too is that they're from all rages of Bagwell's career.

There were also some Craig Biggio cards.

Some new Nolan Ryan cards as well.

And finally some Eddie Taubensee cards. These are two brand new cards to me. I also

Moving on, from the player collections, Marc included a great number of other cards, including this Cesar Cedeno card from 1981 Fleer. This may seem like just a random card but it's a nice card of a former Red.

There was also a good pile of Reds cards, including these cool cards from the 80s. I really like 1981 Topps and feel like it's a forgotten set. 

90s cards! These are right in my wheelhouse as I love collecting Reds from the 90s. They had some fun teams and lots of great players on those teams like Hal Morris, Reggie Sanders, and Benito Santiago.

I remember this card from my initial foray into collecting when I was a kid. At the time, I'd never heard of Eppa Rixey but I came to realize he was a star for the Reds in the 1920s. In 13 seasons with the Reds, he appeared in 440 games with a 179-148 record and a 3.33 ERA. Before the Reds, he spent 8 seasons with the Phillies and was just as dominant. He was inducted into the Hall of Fame in 1963 by the Veterans Committee.

Closing out the package from Marc, here's some more recent Reds cards, including Johnny Cueto and Billy Hamilton, two Reds who are no longer Reds. Hamilton was non-tendered by the team this winter and signed with Kansas City as a free agent.

Lastly, here's some 2018 Allen and Ginter Reds cards. I spent exactly zero dollars on A&G packs and such last year and I intend on continuing that trend this year. Castillo and Mahle will be battling for a spot in the back end of the rotation this season that looks to already be vastly improved from last year.

There were also some cards that Marc sent that I didn't include here, like some additional Bagwell cards and some Ken Griffey Jr. cards mainly because when I took the pictures, they didn't turn out all that well. I appreciate Marc sending these over. I'm building up some Astros to send back in return, once spring hits and all the snow melts.