Monday, June 15, 2015

JBF Monster #6 (The Finale): Taking a Ride on the Peace Train

As you may know, the war between Off Hiatus and Jaybarkerfan has raged on for nearly six weeks.  It started with a solitary package from Hazel Green on May 4, when the parishioners at the Hazel Green Roll Tide Church stepped away from their usual 2:30 PM (Central) worship time to invade Atlanta's postal system and fill my house with serial-numbered and parallel insanity.  In the wake of that package, many in the blogosphere warned me to tread lightly -- some even offered to prepare my eulogy -- when I declared that I would win the first round after my return fire went into the mail. 

But I survived that and, indeed, JBF agreed that I took the initial round on the judge's cards.

And yet, I felt uneasy.  Monster after Monster invaded Atlanta, bringing slasher pic figurines, about 35 Jesse Orosco 1992 Topps cards, Gigli, and about 20 printing plates.  I kept my cool, though, and did my research.  I hit JBF right in the Mincher, nailed him with All-Star goodies, and plastered him with oversized mascots and Expos media guides. 

In the end -- and after a Canadian invasion featuring an action figure of Canada's First Prime Minister (with huge thanks to reader Angus!) -- JBF and I agreed to an armistice, and JBF called our war a draw.  

I totally agreed with that as well.  But, I wasn't so sure when Monster #6 -- all four boxes of it -- arrived.

I went for the smallest one first because it was the lightest.  I found out quickly that "light" should not be confused with "lesser items."

Wait, what is that black box?  It has a "" hologram on the outside...and this label:

Seriously? An autographed Warren Spahn baseball?

Yes, seriously.  With a certificate of authenticity from Reggie Jackson:

Then there was the white box.  This was the biggest disappointment through all of the war:  

CC Sabathia did not make it in one piece.  Indeed, CC looks more like the Edvard Munch "Scream" mask from the movie "Scream":

But, with just a couple of small casualties, this was just a US Mail screw up.  They did okay otherwise here.  

I mean, think of all the boxes that have been sent back and forth in this war. Speaking of which, let's look at what was inside the second box: 

I guess the second box was really the first box.  

It contained two magazines/programs of note...

...along with the massive stack and container of cards to unpack and sort.  I distinctly remember having a copy of that program with Harvey Kuenn on the front from 1983. But, I'm pretty sure that my copy had the cover come off of it.  Now, it's replaced.

As for that Beloit Brewers program, I have never seen so many advertisements for local taverns in my life. Well, at least since I left Wisconsin.

More on those cards in the box later...

The third box, when opened, looked like this:

Inside those boxes:

Packs and packs of cards, and each box with a relic cards.  More sorting to do!

Then, the final box:

Those three long, 800-count boxes were filled to the brim as well:

What about that weird, thin looking thing? Well, you know the old cliche, "the check's in the mail?"  It was:

A signed check for Jim Gantner to sign autographs at a sports store for $195.  Geez, for that, maybe we should pool our funds and get some of the local luminaries here in Atlanta like Jay Howell and Steve Bedrosian together for a signing party.

But I digress.  

As you could see, there were tons of cards to sort out.  Because I'm an anti-clutter person -- a rare quality in the collecting world, I'd argue -- I had to sort them out immediately.  As in yesterday.  Here's what my desk looked like when I sorted the cards out into stacks by year:

From the size of the stacks, I think that 1991 barely edged out 1988 for having the most cards in those boxes, with 1989 and 1990 valiantly trying to keep up.  

That was sort #1.  Sort #2 was to sort through the cards for PC guys:

Now, there's no way that I either would scan what had to be over 5000 cards in these boxes and show you all of them.  I'll show the the very high-level highlights, though, such as Six printing plates.

Jersey swatches all around -- Braun, Fielder, Burnitz, Bill Hall, Junior Spivey (whom I forgot played for Milwaukee), Cecil Cooper!, Sheets, and Podsednik.

Autographs too -- including new addition to the rotation Taylor Jungmann, who shutdown the Pirates in his first major league start before having the misfortunate yesterday of facing off against Max Scherzer in peak form.

JBF even sent a few Milwaukee Braves cards of my PC guys to me -- Spahnie & Mathews in particular -- along with a 1974 Topps card of the Hammer featuring his early Topps cards.

Great oddball!

And the capper for the whole monster had to be this Christmas card.  Yes, serial numbered 12 of 25, that is, and it's an autographed swatch of a boyhood hero:

Molly! Since it's sealed, I haven't cracked this one open.

As I said on your blog, Wes, your generosity is incredible and I am glad that I was a recipient of so many awesome cards. I am also glad that I was able to hold my own -- with Angus's help of course.  

Hopefully, you'll be able to get over here some time this summer for a Braves game -- whether of the Atlanta or the Triple-A Gwinnett kind -- and even a card show so that you can meet some of the folks who helped me to stock those envelopes filled with Cardinals relics, autographs, and no-name quarterbacks.  This was a ton of fun, and I greatly enjoyed it. 

As you put it, it has been an honor to cross swords with someone who goes as all out for his trading partners as you do.  

Oh, and I can't let this post have the title it has without a musical interlude from Cat Stevens/Yusuf Islam:


  1. JBF does what he wants cause he can and if he don't
    Because he wanna be ignored by the stiff and the bored
    because he's gonna.
    Spit and retrieve cause he gives and receives
    because he wanna gonna get through your head what the mystery man said
    because he gonna.

    1. I do believe I told you so all right.
      I hate to say I told you so!

  2. Wow! I'm just thinking of the hours of sorting. Awesome!

  3. Where does one find all of this!?!?! The mysteries!

  4. Holy Cow! What an amazing lot of cards and other cool things. I think this may be the first time I ever saw a Ziploc card.

  5. WOW mountains of cardboard here. Congrats on the Great Card War of 2015

  6. Just insane. Absolutely insane.

  7. Way to go on surviving the great Atlanta card war. You will be missed by our fellow bloggers after great sorting and storing of cards.

  8. Wow. Some collectors will never see that many cards in their collection during their lifetime. Very, very cool.