Sunday, September 29, 2019

Homecoming 2019

In my town, the arrival of fall is always signaled by the annual homecoming parade and football game at the local high school. Since the family and I moved back here five years ago, my oldest son and I have made it a tradition to attend the parade, especially since the route brings it pretty much right by our house.

The parade kicked off at the city park at 6:00 and by 6:20 had made it's way to the corner where we set up our lawn chairs. As always, the marching band and color guard led the parade playing a variety of up-tempo peppy songs.

The theme of this years parade was "50 years of TV". I'm not sure how that tied into the festivities themselves but the class floats this year ran the gamut of very good to just ok.

Of course, what's a parade without the local fire department being involved.

Here's the football team, mascot, and cheerleading squad. The opponents this year were the Harrison Wildcats from Cincinnati. By the end of the first quarter, we lead 10-0 thanks in large part to a 56-year touchdown run. However, the Wildcats scored 33 unanswered points to down us 33-10 when all was said and done.

This tractor was near the end of the parade but I just had to take a picture of it. It's not the best picture as the tractor is off-center but to me it just screams "americana". A tractor with a flag on the back of it in the middle of a homecoming parade in a rural town. After the parade, there was a staff and student pep rally complete with fireworks at the football field.

Along with the football game on Friday night, there was also the first annual city fall festival with hayrides, music, and other entertainment. The biggest thing though was the city springing to bring in The Kentucky Headhunters to headline the festival. I remembered them from my youth and songs like "Dumas Walker", "Walk Softly on This Heart of Mine" and "Oh Lonesome Me" and I enjoyed their music as it was more towards the rock spectrum than the country spectrum.

Unfortunately, I didn't get the chance to go as some other things came up (plus it we're in the middle of a heatwave out here), but according to the City they are planning on doing more events and concerts at the park with more "nationally known" acts. Maybe next time I'll get to go.

Saturday, September 14, 2019

A New Type of Repack

Until recently, I'd never set foot in the store Five Below. I'd heard of it before and was told they had some cool things but until recently never went in there. What I saw though was fantastic! If you've never been, it's pretty much a hip discount store with toys, games, snacks, candy, trinkets, etc all for five dollars or under (hence the name). I went in with very low expectations but found that I probably could've bought a number of things. I contained myself and walked out of there with two of these repack cubes for me and a bag full of orange Airheads for my wife.

I kid you not when I say that literally every single repack cube on the shelf (and there were about 18 or so) had a Mike Piazza card visible. Half of them had this exact card showing as well. Since this is an O-Pee-Chee card, I just had to grab this cube. I forget which one the other cube had. 

The front proclaimed several things, including cards from "each of the past five decades". That would mean cards from the 70s, right? Nope. The 1980 Indians card was the oldest card I could find in the lot. I'll take it though. Plus early 80s Topps like the Vukovich and the Parker are always fun finds as well.

Here's an interesting card. I've never heard of Brigham's but apparently it was a regional ice cream chain and also a brand of ice cream found in the New England area. In conjunction with Coca-Cola, they issued a 23-card Red Sox set that shared the 1982 Topps design. I'm not sure if these cards were available at the ice cream shops or at the store in the carton. Maybe someone out that way can enlighten me? Regardless, pretty interesting to find a regional oddball all these years later in a repack in southwest Ohio.

Some miscellaneous 80s cards including John Tudor and Walt Weiss, both of whom look very unimpressed.

Early 90s stuff. Meh.

Another promise of the repack was that it featured one "hall of fame card". Well, together with the Mike Piazza card I showed to start with, there's Alan Trammell and Craig Biggio. That brings the Hall of Fame total to five.

1991 Score. Not a bad selection of players here. Rickey brings the Hall of Fame total to six. 

More modern cards from the 2000s. The Luis Aparicio card has to be one of my favorites from the box.

Here's a few cool horizontal cards that I found. I was genuinely happy when I saw the Randy Johnson card from 2002 Upper Deck Vintage. I'm always on the lookout for cards from that set but I'm not to the point yet where I'd consider officially putting the set together. Also, the Johnson card puts me at nine "Hall of Fame cards" for the lot.

The repack box/cube/whatever also said there were two packs included. The 2018 Topps pack was the one shown and the other was a pack of 1991 O-Pee-Chee Premier.

Here's the contents of the O-Pee-Chee pack. Nothing too terribly exciting here. My keepers will probably be Orel Hershier, Mo Vaughn, Jeff Reardon, and Ivan Calderon. Dave Parker I already have somewhere.

And the contents of the Topps pack. I'll probably keep Amed Rosario, Cody Bellinger, Randal Grichuk, and the "Boston B-Boys" card. I'm honestly more happy with the O-Pee-Chee pack than I am this.

There's the contents of a repack from Five Below. I've got another one of these to bust into soon but maybe I'll hold that off until next month. 

Wednesday, September 11, 2019

Cards on Cards Dumps Extra Cards

Everyone's favorite Cardinals fan, Kerry at Cards on Cards, was looking to shed some excess cards recently and I was the beneficiary of a nice bubble mailer a few weeks back. The only thing he asked is that a PWE or something gets sent back his way.

The bubble mailer was quite the eclectic package. Lots of Reds and lots of other stuff. Here are some shiny Reds that will definitely find a home in my Reds binder once it's re-organized. The Johnny Cueto card is some sort of shadow box card from the revived Pinnacle line a few years back.

I've never really been much on the Turkey Red cards but I really like that Frank Robinson card. All of these will also land in my reorganized Reds binder.

And two more shiny cards. Let's look at the threesome on the "Talent Pipeline" card. Hunter Greene was out all of this year after having Tommy John surgery, last I checked Shed Long is still with the Mariners, and Nick Senzel is the Reds everyday center fielder.

Keyvius Sampson has not resurfaced in the bigs since appearing in 18 games for the Reds in during the 2016 season. He was a decent pitcher and pretty much filled a gap in the bullpen and made spot starts as needed. For 2019, he spent the season with both the Giants Rookie League and Double-A teams appearing in all of six games. Here's a fun fact though...he was the KBO league's (as in the Korean League) strikeout leader for 2018.

Here's a nice Billy Hamilton relic card. I was not expecting this but I'll take it.

Speaking of Billy Hamilton, here are some cards of his when he was with the Royals. He didn't fare too well in Kansas City this year and hit a paltry .211 over 93 games. He was picked up by the Braves on waivers in August and has made 17 appearances for them as of this writing.

I love me some shiny cards and these certainly fit the billy. I've really, really liked what I've seen from the Panini Prizm line this year.

Oddballs are always appreciated as well. I've already covered Hills in a post this past summer but this is the first I've seen of cards from the True Value line. For those not familiar, True Value is a chain of independent hardware stores throughout the US (for those in the grocery business, kind of like an IGA) that sell tools, appliances, lumber, paint, etc. The Buddy Bell card above is from their 1986 set, which was the only mainstream set that the company ever produced.

Diamond Kings cards of Hall of Famers. I think it's great that card companies create cards of Satchel Paige with the Browns as that team it nearly all but forgotten about.

A few great cards of Juan Marichal including a card of featuring both Marichal and Bartolo Colon. How can you really go wrong with that?

Some fun Willie Mays cards from 1993 Upper Deck. That checklist card is super cool.

More Hall of Famers, this time from various runs of Allen & Ginter.

And finally, a nice random batch of cards that I couldn't find any place else for in this post. 

Lots of great stuff here from Kerry. I appreciate him sending these over and I'll return fire here soon with some Cardinals cards.

Wednesday, September 4, 2019

Surprise Cards from SumoMenkoMan

A few weeks ago, in the middle of a crazy week at work, I received a surprise mailer from Ryan of the Sumo Cards blog. Apparently, during his travels with Fuji, he'd grabbed a bunch of Reds from a bargain box for me. 

First, a few 1993 Donruss cards. I've always been a fan of 1993 Donruss because of the pretty simple design, although I'm less familiar with series 2 than series 1. The Reggie Sanders and Cesar Hernandez cards are from series 2. I don't recall Hernandez playing with the Reds, turns out he didn't make much of a splash. Just 61 games over parts of two seasons.

Jose Rijo and Pete Schourek were anchors of the Reds pitching staff in the mid-90s. Although Rijo got injured during the 1995 season, Schourek finished second in Cy Young voting and helmed a staff which also included John Smiley and Tim Pugh. Dave Burba and David Wells were late season additions that propelled the Reds to the NLCS that year.

Hal Morris was always one of my childhood favorites and whenever I get cards of his, I'm pretty happy. Plus, I don't have a lot of 1995 Topps, so that's good too.

Speaking of 1995 Topps, two of the Reds top pitchers during the mid-90s. Jeff Brantley is now part of the Reds TV and radio broadcast team. John Smiley's last good run was with the Reds. After they traded him to the Indians in July of 1997, he was pretty much done. His career ended with a broken arm/shoulder injury not long after that.

I always enjoy some early 80s cards. The Reds of 1981 were starting to come off the high that was the 1970s "Big Red Machine" but still had some steam left. However, due to the split season, they didn't make the playoffs.

Here's something I wasn't expecting, a Tom Browning rookie from the 1985 Topps Traded set. Browning had an excellent rookie campaign in 1985 going 20-9 with a 3.55 ERA over 38 games. He finished second in Rookie of the Year voting and 6th in Cy Young voting

Here's a card of Mike Bell, the brother of current Reds manager David Bell. I'd forgotten Mike Bell ever played for the Reds.

Some mid-2000s action. I really like the Austin Kearns card. I remember the days when Kearns and Adam Dunn were supposed to anchor the Reds teams of the future. 

And a few shiny Bowman Chrome cards to close things out with.

Much thanks to Ryan for sending these my way. It was nice to receive a completely unexpected package.

Sunday, September 1, 2019

Two Packs of Topps Fright Flicks

When do you consider the Halloween season to begin? For me, I consider it "fall" or Halloween season pretty much when stuff starts appearing in stores. A lot of stuff started popping up in late July this year (looking at you Cracker Barrel and Michaels) however, for the sake of this blog, I'll say that Halloween season starts September 1st. Well, guess what, today just happens to be that day. I figured what better way to kick off Halloween season here on the blog than with two packs of Topps Fright Flicks that I've been holding on to for this very occasion.

For those not familiar, Fright Flicks features stills from 80s horror movies with a  somewhat comedic or cheesy caption. I think it's a pretty unique set, it's not for everyone though as some of the cards are honestly a little gory. However, they are definitely unique. My long-running goal is to put this set together as I think it'll be an interesting addition to my collection.

Pack 1

#41 Darn It, I Forgot the Marshmallows! (Nightmare on Elm Street II)
#26 Sorry - Wrong Answer! (An American Werewolf in London)
#24 Well I'll Be a Monkey's Uncle .. Oh Yeah, I Am. (An American Werewolf in London)

I already had the "Nightmare on Elm Street II" card according to my want list. The other two cards are from the "American Werewolf in London" film, which I can honestly say I've never seen.

#40 No Job is too Big for Your Local Exterminator! (Alien)
#29 Now You Put on the Bunny Outfit! (An American Werewolf in London)
#22 I Tell You, That Nuclear Plant Is Safe! (The Fly)

Yay! Three cards I need here! As you can see, the set not only covers horror but also sci-fi which I guess maybe "The Fly" could be classified as. Not sure, I'm not into those kind of horror movies. I did see "Alien" once and sort of enjoyed it.

#73 I Said I'd Give Blood But This Is Ridiculous! (Nightmare on Elm Street III)
Sticker #2 Long Live The Queen (Alien)
#21 Now Don't Get Cross! (Fright Night)
#7 Baby, You're the Greatest! (Vengeance: The Demon)

And I'll close the first pack with three more cards I need. I'm not sure if I'll keep the stickers yet. I've heard of "Fright Night" and "Nightmare on Elm Street III" but I've never heard of "Vengeance: The Demon" however a quick search on IMDB shows that it's better known as "Pumpkinhead".

Pack 2

#31 Mirror, Mirror, on the Wall, Who's the Grossest One of All! (Nightmare on Elm Street III)
#36 What Do You Mean? I Just Had a Manicure! (Fright Night)
#41 Darn It, I Forgot the Marshmallows! (Nightmare on Elm Street II)

The second pack begins with two cards I need and one card I don't.

#11 Open Wide and Say Aaah! (Aliens)
#10 Darn! Now I'll Have to Learn Shorthand! (Fright Night)
#59 The Label Said Not to Open Before Christmas! (Aliens)

Three more cards I need! After seeing all these "Fright Night" cards, I think I might have to find it to watch.

#81 Hey, You're Right - I Can See Myself! (The Fly)
Sticker #8 Predator
#79 Phooey - Nothing's Good on TV Tonight! (Nightmare on Elm Street III)
#62 Charlene, Something Inside Me is Yearning to be Released! (Aliens)

And three more cards I need close out the pack. I'll freely admit, that card from "The Fly" kind of grosses me out.

I love the backs of these. The old-school movie marquee on the bottom with the card number is so cool. Each card also has a brief ghost story on the back. These were my favorites from each pack. 

Out of two packs, I ended up with two duplicates (the same card strangely) but these definitely made a dent into my set build.