Thursday, July 31, 2014

Let the Gint-A-Cuffs Begin

Things have been kind of slow for me this month in terms of blogging.  My purchasing binge came to an end for a while to let me catch up on cataloging items and on building want lists and trade bait lists.  

Also, I really just have been lacking in motivation to write.  Green Day?

Sure, I've written several hundred words on the 1982 Topps blog on a number of cards -- everything from today's Mr. 7-for-7 Rennie Stennett to talking about George "Doc" Medich's addiction to prescription medication that cost him his license to practice medicine to two guys who left us way too soon in Bob Welch (who nearly everyone knows about) and Eddie "Buddy Jay" Solomon, who most people don't know.  

Really, though, I've been anxiously awaiting the start of Gint-A-Cuffs VI.  So, when the rules went live last night, I couldn't wait to get busting through the remaining hobby box of 24 packs to see what was in it.  I mean, that box sat there waiting for me for three weeks.  It was like putting a case of beer in a room with 4 teenagers -- yeah, you might get lucky and no one drinks it all, but eventually the beer will be gone.

So, without further introduction, let's start going through my Gint-A-Cuffs box, starting with the Box Loader:

It's a World War II Memorial Landmarks  Monuments Cabinet Box Loader, worth only 5 points.  At least it isn't the Oversized Reprint Box Loader of Yankee Jacoby Ellsbury from the other box, though -- that would be worth only four points.  

So, let's start a running tally:


After that less-that-stellar start, I've already got some catching up to do.  UGH.  Can you help me out, Pack 1?

Here are the point cards from that pack:

Yes, that helps.  The David Price Pastime's Pastimes is a 2-point card -- I hope that he likes Detroit, by the way.  The Goldschmidt surprisingly is not anyone's favorite player, but it is a Short Print A&G Back, seeded 1 in every 65 packs -- and it's worth 6 points.  Finally, swimmer Diana Nyad's framed mini autograph, seeded 1 in every 52 packs, is worth 12 points.

So, that pack adds up to a whopping 20 points.  It would be nice if they all were that high, but I know, and you know, they won't be.  After all, the Nyad is one of my three box hits.


All right, let's do two more packs.  

I'm sure the next one will suck after that last one.  I mean, it pretty much has to be worse unless it has one of the other two hits.  And, if it has one of the hits, it's going to be a pretty long, boring box.

Enough gabbing.  Here are the point cards from Pack 2:

And that was it.  Yes, new Boston Red Sox OF Allen Craig's 2-point Pastime's Pastimes and someone else's favorite player Joey Bats for 2 points -- and that's it.  Four freaking points.


I can't end on that pack.  One more:

That's better.  Oh, did I mention that Wacha is a short-print Mini also?

Well, he is.  So, toting up the points for those two cards, we have a Pastime's Pastimes for 2 points and Tim Lincecum is a favorite player of someone else -- 2 more points -- so that card is +4.  Then, we get to Michael Wacha -- he's a Black Bordered Short Print, seeded 1 in every 130 packs according to the odds.  According to the rules, that makes this card worth 10 points and this pack -- solely on the strength of these two -- is a 14 pointer.

So, at the end of three packs and the Box Loader the total is:


Obviously, I'm not going to keep avoiding Yankees for the whole box -- there are just too many of them -- but to get through three packs and the Box Loader Yankee free was a nice plus.

Now, I just wish I could find some Brewers -- especially my favorite player, Robin Yount.  

Tuesday, July 29, 2014

PWE from the Dime Box

Like many of you, one of my favorite things to do is to go to a card show and dig through the dime boxes.  Nick has taken that one step further, naming his blog after doing that.  The great thing about Nick's searches -- as is the case for many folks -- is that he will make some purchases with an eye toward sending some cards out too.  

I was quite happy to receive the PWE from Nick yesterday, as it contained a number of cards that I need either for my Brewers team collection or for my player collections.  

This card of a guy who lasted with the Brewers for a grand total of 15 games in 1972 and 1973 is also one that I needed for my Topps 1973 Brewers set.  

These six oddballs all go into my Brewers team collections for those years.  I'd picked up the Drake's cards in a team set purchase on eBay a couple of months ago, but all of them were needed for my "comprehensive" Brewers collection -- as was the big Prince.

That's a Mini!
These four cards -- well, three cards and a sticker -- were slotted promptly into the player collections for Don Money (a super sweet 1975 MINI!), Rickie Weeks, and Ryan Braun.

Finally, these cards also went into my Brewers collection as first timers:

Betancourt was part of the Zach Greinke trade. McGehee is with Miami now.  Bradley is hoping to become more than organizational fodder, as he is at Double-A Huntsville -- coincidentally, the city where he grew up -- this year after being drafted out of Georgia Tech in 2011.

Nick, thank you very much for the cards.  They are greatly appreciated and were a pleasant surprise to me when I got my mail on Monday.

Sunday, July 27, 2014

Gintacuffs Timefilling Post 2: Highlights from the rest of the Box

As I sit here this morning with my cup of coffee watching Major League, which was on this new movie channel yesterday, I thought that I'd finish off the Hobby Box of Allen & Ginter that I opened already.  I was thinking about drawing it out a bit, but I just don't have that amount of patience right now.

So, here are the highlights of the rest of the box.  I got my requisite 24 mini cards, my requisite number of hits, and a couple of Brewers.  Frankly, on that level, the box was disappointing in that I did not get a Molitor or a Yount -- either a regular size or a mini.

But I did get some decent cards -- and cards that I like too -- nonetheless.  Let's go worst to first.

Yeah, it's a relic, when the guy's claim to fame is being the inspiration for Van Wilder...and that he was named the "top partier" at Florida State University in about 1998, well, color me less than excited.

Don't get me wrong -- I like the Fields of Yore subset -- but why not include more stadiums that have been gone longer than Yankee Stadium? Okay, I don't hate that this Stadium was in the subset even, but why is Wrigley in there?  Must be the Ginter Code.

1980s players seem to be ignored somewhat by the Hall of Fame because their numbers did not reach the levels of the steroid-infused 1990s.  Read that sentence again.  "Steroid-infused."  Dale Murphy has been criminally underappreciated by the voters from the Hall, and I'm glad to see him getting a bit of love in the A&G set.  Makes me wonder why the Archives set couldn't include guys like the Murph.

So the only full-sized card autograph is from a basketball player.  That's fine.  Heck, this card has a great resale value on eBay even.  It would, at least, if the packaging process hadn't devoured the bottom of the card.

My final hit:

It's a white swatch of fabric.  Kind of boring, but it is Joey Votto.

Glenn Waggoner has to be my Rotisserie Baseball representative over Dan Okrent because, well, I didn't get a Dan Okrent.  I would rather have featured Okrent, though, because (a) Okrent wrote the excellent book 9 Innings: The Anatomy of a Baseball Game about the 1982 Milwaukee Brewers and (b) I just beat Okrent last week on a trivia website called Learned League in Animal Trivia.

It's the little things in life that excite me.

Here are my two favorite inserts that I got:

Turner, along with John Constable, were major influences on the Impressionists in France who followed him historically.  The Impressionists like the landscapes and Turner's use of light.  Then, those painters -- especially guys like Gauguin and van Gogh -- started becoming influenced by Japanese woodblock prints and, between the two, we started seeing a breakdown in the "reality" depicted on paintings.  It's an interesting study historically.

I like Diwali because it's a frequent trivia question answer.

Now, for the guys I collect:

Yeah, other than the Jean Segura from pack 1, I got the regular and mini sizes of Aramis Ramirez and the regular sized Carlos Gomez and Eddie Mathews.  Not exactly a box chock full of Brewer fun.

But, it filled the time between Archives and Gint-A-Cuffs!

Saturday, July 26, 2014

GintaCuffs 2014 Timefilling

One of the first boxes of cards that I opened when I got back into collecting was an Allen & Ginter Hobby Box. When I was first getting back into buying cards, it took me a good week to figure out what the heck hobby boxes are and how they differed from blaster boxes and retail boxes and jumbo boxes.  And, I'm still not sure I totally understand why those differences exist.  Well, I do understand why -- I would just rather there not be such a differentiation.

Anyway, back in February, when I cracked that box, Mark Aubrey left a comment saying that I should participate in the Gint-a-Cuffs game this year.  I checked it out, and I loved the concept immediately.  I mean, any contest in which Yankee cards are treated in the same way as I treat them -- as pariahs, to be cast off immediately for fear of infecting the neighborhoods in which they dwell -- well, that's right up my alley.

So, now, I sit here refreshing the Gintacuffs blogspot page about once an hour every hour waiting for Mark to post the rules.  I bought two hobby boxes and tore through one already, though, so while I wait for Gint-A-Cuffs VI to go live, I thought I would hand out the highlights of that first box.


Well, that didn't start well.  I'm glad this is not my GAC box -- that box loader would be a less-than-stellar way to begin.  At least I have already communicated via Twitter with AJ The Lost Collector to make sure that this thing finds a good home with a Yankees collector -- especially one who just gave me such a great Robin Yount Art Card in a contest.

Pack 1
It was the best of packs:

That's the first card of the first pack I opened.  I immediately thought, "dang, I should have opened the other box instead."

It was the worst of packs:

I mean, I don't hate Joe DiMaggio, but Olt has been sent down for being terrible in ways that would make Mario Mendoza say, "Damn, that guy can't hit at all!" And, Soriano's already been DFA'ed.  Wow.

Pack 2
Nothing special.  Justin Masterson Mini, Tony Gwynn base, Mark McGwire Pastime's Pastime (which, I was shocked to learn, was not hypodermic needle use).  The scan didn't break the cards down into individual files.  Oh well.

I'll post more from this box later.  But, needless to say, these first two packs made me think, "God, I hope the other box is better!"

Thursday, July 24, 2014

Surprise PWE Club Delivery!

I got home from work today after my usual battle with Atlanta's traffic in a better mood than usual.  That was because, in large part, I was able to maneuver my little car through a few pockets in front off the usual idiots too busy talking on their cell phones -- or illegally texting, even -- and that made my ride go by more quickly. Of course, I know -- I'm that idiot weaving in and out of traffic whose impatience drives others crazy.  


Anyway, my mood got even better when I walked in the door and found a little white envelope from Jeff from 2x3 Heroes with some really cool stamps from the mid-1970s on it:

I'm not a stamp collector currently, but when I was a small kid chasing stamps was a family event for my brother, my mom, and me.  That Skylab stamp is one I remember well from that time.  I mean, how cool was the first floating science experiments in outer space?

Inside were six cards and a pink Post-It note:

Finer words have not been spoken.

Of the cards inside, two were Braves and four were Brewers.  First the Braves:

Marcus Giles had a stretch in the early 2000s where he was certainly in the conversation as one of the best second basemen in the National League. For whatever reason, though, Bobby Cox always jerked Giles around -- not playing him regularly for a while, playing him begrudgingly and only when Giles had forced his way into the lineup, and then yanking him out of the lineup the minute Giles went into a slump.  Now, some folks saw that timing and thought PEDs were the reason, but this "Sabernomics" article said he was incredibly lucky at first and his luck caught up to him.  For whatever reason, Giles never repeated his early success and was done by age 29.

Ryan Klesko, on the other hand, was awkward to watch while he played left field.  But, he came to bat either to "Evenflow" by Pearl Jam or to "Simple Man" by Lynyrd Skynyrd.  Music, please:

As for the Brewers, I had two of the four cards.  The two I had already:

Robin Yount playing first base while listed as an outfielder on a strange photo from Ultra, while Jean Segura is pictured playing for the Milwaukee "? and the Mysterians."  I am still torn about the Donruss. The borders are too thick and the "D" logo is too large, but at least the photo isn't cropped ridiculously closely as Topps is wont to do.

Finally, here are the two Brewers cards I needed:

The Fielder insert from a 2008 Topps set is nice and shiny while generously listing the heavy-set herbivore at 260 pounds.  The Rickie Weeks comes from the 2012 Bowman Platinum set, and the scan of the card makes him appear to be jumping off the card as if we are all wearing those old 3D glasses.

While I poked fun at the cards and the players pictured, trust me when I say that I am extremely pleased that the PWE Club is back in business.  Hopefully, this will motivate me not to obsess as much about what I am sending and simply getting me just to send the cards out!

Thanks a ton, Jeff!