Monday, April 25, 2016

A One-Card Post Then Bye Till Saturday

Over the weekend on Netflix, I watched most of the CNN series called "The Seventies." I remember about one-third of the 1970s -- the last third, of course, being born in 1971. The first episode covered television. After that, it was the momentous events of the decade.

I finished the last show in the series tonight. They saved the best for last, of course -- covering the music of the 1970s in the final episode. Chris Connelly -- the ESPN guy who took over Grantland when Bill Simmons left the nest -- made a bold statement to the effect that every kind of rock music ever was done best in the 1970s.

I think that is hyperbole, to be fair. Rap was definitely not done best in the 1970s, even with "Rapper's Delight."

As the series points out, this very song gave "Hip-Hop" its name. That said, it's still pretty primordial and hasn't hit its stride quite yet.

Still, that statement bugged me because I tried to come up with better music from another time. Hard Rock? Nope -- 1980s hair metal in all its glory couldn't match up with Black Sabbath. 

Punk was in its full pomp in the 1970s too -- far better than the Green Day revival that took place in the 1980s. I mean, no other decade had The Clash at its very finest. After all, Rolling Stone had to go to the 1970s for its album of the decade, "London Calling."

How about country music? Arguably, the 1970s were not as good as, say, the 1960s or 1950s. Then, you see Loretta Lynn (Coal Miner's Daughter), Dolly Parton (I Will Always Love You), Kenny Rogers (The Gambler), and the perfect country and western song, written by Steve Goodman:

David Allan Coe is a notoriously temperamental performer who might show up and play for four hours or who might not like the looks of the front row of a crowd and just storm off the stage. He did this a couple of times in Athens at the Georgia Theater, I was told. I had heard the stories and just avoided the shows.

But still -- the more I think about it, the more Chris Connelly has a point. Sometimes, the Good Old Days actually WERE that good.

In some respects, I sometimes feel like baseball cards in the 1960s and 1970s were better than what we have today. What do we have that is good today? 

Well, we get autographs in packs. We get pieces of cloth embedded in cards. We get 20 different versions of the same card, with some even serial numbered. We even have the Topps Now cards, so Topps can issue cards immediately (your shipping time may vary).

What did the 1960s and 1970s have?

Those decades had cards issued in series for well over half the time in question. Then, there might be coins inserted in cards. Sometimes, there would be oddballs issued by Topps. There would be oddballs issued by cereal companies, confectioneries, bakeries, insurance companies, fast-food joints, convenience stories, hot dog makers, and with potato chips. 

Speaking of which, here's an oddball Topps card that I got for a $5 bill (including shipping) on eBay recently:

By that alone, the good old days win in a landslide.

Thanks for stopping by tonight. I'll be in Nashville all week after this for an American Bar Association meeting, so I'll see y'all on Saturday!

Sunday, April 24, 2016

Meet the Brewers #23: Wayne Comer

Wayne Comer did not play until the Brewers' third game, serving as a pinch hitter for Russ Snyder before playing right field against the Chicago White Sox in a 5-4 loss in the third game of the season. 

In 1970, Wayne Comer was coming off a very successful rookie season with the Seattle Pilots. In 147 games (573 plate appearances), he put up good numbers: 15 HRs, 54 RBI, 18 SB (in 25 attempts...not so hot), and slashing .245/.354/.380. He walked more than he struck out -- 82 walks, 79 strikeouts -- at the age of just 25 years old. And yet, he played 57 more games in 1969 than in any other season in his career.

Why the 26-year-old who was coming off a fairly successful season did not get to start is a big question: the other options were the 36-year-old Snyder and 33-year-old Ted Savage, amongst others. 

1970 McDonald's Milwaukee Brewers
Perhaps it was this: during an exhibition game just prior to the season that took place in Oakland, Comer was at bat. He fouled a ball off straight down, and it bounced up and hit him in the head. Oddly, his SABR Biography does not make note of this and calls Comer the Brewers' starting centerfielder. This clearly was not true as he made only two starts -- only one in centerfield -- for the Brewers during the first month of the season.

Even though he was a rookie in 1969, he already had a World Series ring. He served as a pinch hitter for the Detroit Tigers in 1968, going 6 for 48. But, he was on the World Series roster against the St. Louis Cardinals in that last World Series before the addition of divisions and the League Championship Series. He batted once in the 1968 Series and singled, meaning he had a perfect post-season career.

Despite the very good 1969, it seems that his talents were not appreciated in his day. Yes, this is another example of baseball people focusing on batting average rather than on-base percentage. His major league OBP in 807 plate appearances was .331, but his batting average was just .229. His minor league OBP was .367 versus a batting average of .275. 

1988 Reprint of 1970 Flavor-Est Milk Set 
The other thing going on here may be as simple as someone actually understanding park effects. Sick's Stadium in Seattle was a bandbox -- just 305 feet down the left-field line. It was a terrible stadium -- just read the Wikipedia entry about it to hear all the problems. For instance, on opening day 1969, some people had to wait to sit down for three innings because workers were still putting the seats together.

Comer did not last long in Milwaukee. He went hitless for his first fifteen at-bats, got a pinch-hit single in the first game of a doubleheader against the Washington Senators on May 10, then made an out pinch hitting again in the second game of that doubleheader. That was his last game in Milwaukee, as Comer was traded to the Senators on May 11, 1970 for Hank Allen and Ron Theobald.

1994 Miller Brewing Milwaukee Brewers
Comer played in the minor leagues until the age of 30 in 1974. Thereafter, he first went into sporting goods sales. After that, he became a local teacher and baseball coach in his hometown of Shenandoah, Virginia -- a small town along the South Fork of the Shenandoah River near Interstate 81 in western Virginia -- and in nearby Harrisonburg, Virginia. 

Comer was certainly a local celebrity -- to the point where one reference to him came up on a church website for the Vision of Hope United Methodist Church. The reference is in a sermon overview, and it provides something of a window into what Comer really was like:
Many of you know the name of Wayne Comer. A resident of Page County, Wayne was a super-talented baseball player who made it all the way to the Show -- the major leagues. He was a utility infielder on the 1968 World Champion Detroit Tigers, and also played for the Seattle Pilots. . . . Wayne spent several years operating a very successful sporting goods franchise here in Harrisonburg. And upon retiring from that, he did a short stint as coach of the Spotswood High School Trailblazers baseball team.
The sermon continued by comparing Comer to Bobby Knight and the "my-way-or-the-highway approach" and described Wayne's personality as follows:
Now anyone who has ever known Wayne will agree he has no lack of confidence. And many will tell you he's an arrogant ol' cuss.
Yet, as the sermon continued, it talked about how long after retirement, Comer agreed to come help a struggling second grade boy who needed someone to keep tabs on him and provide a control and a role model on how to act properly in class and school. It worked like a charm.

Wayne Comer has just 11 cards of him from his playing career on the Trading Card Database. Of course, that Broder-type "Flavor-Est" milk set is not in the Trading Card Database, so make it 12. Out of those 12, four show him as a Brewer -- the three I've shown here along with his 1970 Mike Andersen Postcard -- the photo for which is the same as this Flavor-Est card.

Saturday, April 23, 2016

Nothing Can Replace #SuperTrader Brad's Blog

Have you ever watched TV ads and tried to determine what the demographic the advertising company is attempting to reach? Or, more to the point, have you ever watched an ad and wondered who actually gave the green light to the particular advertisement? 

Car insurance ads, in particular, seem to want to be cutesy so as to make people like the pitchman in hopes that that people remember and like the company. 

Liberty Mutual has an ad that appears to be an attempt to appeal to millennials, perhaps, and probably millennial women. It's about an Asian-American woman who names her car "Brad." You have probably seen this ad -- the woman stands with the Statue of Liberty ostensibly behind her talking about how she went through everything with "Brad" before she totaled her car and then breaks into her happy dance in the end.

It all seems rather trite if someone is going to break into a happy dance after destroying their car that they named. 

It probably goes without saying, but I have never understood the whole giving names to a car thing. Anthropomorphizing a car just makes no sense. Then again, this ad is even more disturbing if you treat Brad as a person...

"Nothing can replace Brad!"

I agree -- here in the Blog World, nothing can replace Brad's Blog. After all, he's the Phillies representative in the SuperTraders group. Brad sent me some great cards in a recent mailing, so let's take a look at some of them.

Let's start with some little Allen & Ginter from last year. Both of these cards have the A&G backs on them, so they are parallels of the parallel.

I really did not like the look of the cards last year. I've taken to calling it the Measles set. I showed the cards to my wife and asked her what she thought. Her first response was, "Do those guys have measles?"

Sure looks like it to me. I'm not the only one to say this either.

A few other cards that Brad sent appear to be less contagious. 

Then again, these are from the 1990s. There may be parallels proliferating in a warehouse somewhere in Philadelphia, or England, or somewhere...wherever Gavin Rossdale is these days as his ex-wife dates a country singer.

Speaking of the 1990s, here are a few more additions to the Greg Vaughn collection. 

It's funny how some of my player collections have grown while others have been more stagnant than a swamp. I mean, I haven't added a new card or item to the Jerry Augustine collection since December 17, 2014. Then again, that's largely a function of how few Jerry Augustine cards there really are. I think the only one of his cards that I am missing is the 1981 Fleer error version of his card that actually shows Bill Travers on it. 

That's largely a function of the fact that Augustine simply wasn't a very good player, I suppose.

Brad sent me a couple of true highlight cards -- one a relic and one autograph. Let's see the relic first:

J.J. Hardy is still a very good player for Baltimore, and this nice blue swatch is a cool addition to my collection that I needed. Well, pretty much every relic or autograph is "needed" in some way, I suppose.

Let's see that autograph:

A Leaf Certified Materials of Scott Podsednik! Very cool. Podsednik parlayed his baseball stardom into marrying a Playboy Playmate named Lisa Dergan. Seems like a good excuse to me to post a photo of her.

That will do nicely.

Many thanks to Brad for the great cards and the great excuse!

Thursday, April 21, 2016

You See Your Gypsy (Queen), from Crackin' Wax

By now, I'm sure most of you have heard that Prince Rogers Nelson has passed away at the age of just 57 years old. He played his final shows here in Atlanta at the Fox Theatre just last week, and I didn't even realize he was playing in town until I'd heard he'd canceled the shows due to some health issues. Heck, I didn't even realize that he was 57 years old already.

Prince guarded his music very closely. Unlike most artists, whose music is fairly freely available either on YouTube or Spotify, Prince is difficult to find. Most videos on YouTube either have no music -- just images -- or some awful cover or worse. 

I have to admit -- after Purple Rain, I paid attention sometimes to Prince, but I really didn't listen to him. I remember loving songs like "1999" and "Little Red Corvette" when I was about 11 or 12 years old. Then, a couple of years later I bought Purple Rain in one of those Columbia House album grabs. You remember them -- "Get 10 albums for the price of 1" was BMG's gig, and Columbia House required more purchases after.

Interesting side note: 3 million of the 13 million copies of Hootie & The Blowfish's Cracked Rear View were purchased through Columbia House.  Seriously. Humorously enough, Columbia House has re-emerged as to sell hipsters vinyl as a subscription service -- and it's "Coming Soon!"

Something that is now out is Gypsy Queen. I am not going to pull a Night Owl and tease a song title without giving you the song. So, here's Stevie Nicks in her pomp:

To see my Gypsy (Queen), I decided to sign up for another Crackin' Wax Charity Case Break with Topher & Literal Quirk (though LQ was out or ill that evening, unfortunately). Christopher always keeps the break moving, answers questions, banters with those present and chatting on YouTube, and otherwise tries his best to make watching someone open up 12 boxes of cards interesting.

If you're interested, here is the break.

Since the fearsome twosome are both originally from Wisconsin and are still Upper Midwesterners, it is fun for me to hear their accents as they go through the boxes. They sound a lot like the people I grew up around.

Anyway, enough unconnected chatter. Here are a few of the base cards:

The Yount is actually a short print, so there was only one of that card in the entire case and, therefore, I still need to get one of them to complete my team set.

Meanwhile, for the normal Brewer cards, I got either 6 or 7 of each.

I have to admit that I actually really like the design this year. The red lettering pops off the card and is a clean look. The borders aren't obnoxious either. They aren't too dark, and they aren't too boring. And, the player names are reasonably easy to read as well. I'll admit it -- I'm a fan of this set. 

Now, I'm not going to go crazy and try to collect a complete set or anything, mind you. But these cards are just artsy enough to appeal on that level and they look different from previous incarnations.

Good job, Topps.

My Brewers slot also netted me some minis, including two that are serial numbered parallels.

The Segura is serial numbered to 50. Domingo Santana -- who is showing good patience at the plate this year while giving the Brewers a true right fielder and, further, being only 23 years old -- is a purple mini parallel numbered to 250. The Braun is just the regular version.

I have to admit that I am a bit miffed about Topps's decision not to have any Brewers autographs in this year's set. The only Brewers' hits available are a "Laces Around the League" Ryan Braun (serial numbered to just 5), and a Ryan Braun "MVP Minis Autograph" (serial numbered to 25 with a 1/1 black parallel). 

Thankfully, the folks at Crackin' Wax recognized that, so while I put a $20 down payment for the case break in, I actually got a partial refund to reflect the truer, more accurate value of my slot.

I like it when people do the right thing -- though, to be fair, it would have been fine if my refund had gone to charity.

Many thanks go out to Topher for running the break -- and y'all be sure to follow him on Twitter as well!

Even though it will probably gone quickly, here's the best song to sum up losing Prince -- another Minnesota icon:

Wednesday, April 20, 2016

#SuperTrader Package from Mark Hoyle

Mark Hoyle doesn't blog, but Mark is as legendary as any blogger around for his spreading vintage cards and packages around the blog world. No one was surprised when JBF included Mark in the #SuperTrader group earlier this year.

Mark has become more active lately on Twitter, showing off his various purchases of cards and items of Jimmie Foxx, Ted Williams, and even an old Red Sox scorecard from a game between Bob Feller and Sox hurler Lefty Grove. Seeing items like those make me wish sometimes that the Milwaukee teams that I collect were around before 1953. 

I mean, I suppose I could collect whatever I can find from the 1901 Milwaukee Brewers -- which moved to St. Louis and eventually became the Baltimore Orioles. I doubt there is that much ephemera from that team other than, perhaps, newspaper accounts of their games.

Similarly, I could try to find cards from minor league teams or Negro League teams that were based in Milwaukee -- everyone from the Milwaukee Creams of the Single-A Western League, or the Milwaukee Brewers of the American Association (which followed the American Association from Single-A in 1902 up to Triple-A in 1952) or even the Milwaukee Chicks of the AAGPBL.

It's really a long baseball history, but it is mainly a minor league history before 1953 -- one I don't know much about.

But, as y'all know, I digress.

Mark packaged up some Brewers that I had and a couple that I did not in a recent envelope. Here's a sampling:

A 1990 Panini Sticker of the old MB logo is a great place to start. There is a true groundswell amongst Brewers fans to go back to this logo rather than the Miller-beer-influenced M that the team uses now.

I mean, the current one is not bad, but the other one is more recognizable, more inventive, and just cooler. It's not a total corporate logo, either. You can tell the MB was the result of a fan contest, and the current one was the result of a soulless Madison Avenue bull session.

Because of my love for the "MB" ball-in-glove logo, I'm only going to highlight those cards that have that logo on it that Mark sent. Plus, I rarely talk about junk wax Brewers here because, well, I have most of those cards already.

Rickey Keeton lasted a grand total of 22 games over two seasons with the Brewers -- 1980 and 1981. Keeton's main claim to fame for the 1982 team was that he was not a member of it. In fact, he was traded immediately after the 1981 season to the Houston Astros in exchange for Pete Ladd. Ladd then became the incredibly unlikely closer during September and October for Milwaukee in Rollie Fingers's absence. 

As best I can tell, he went back to Cincinnati (where he grew up). Of course, my information is from a super-dodgy website, so I'm not sure that's true. But it's all I have.

Yes, the first overall pick in the 1985 draft. Sure, he was the ACC Athlete of the Year in 1985 and, no doubt, he was a good player. Why is it, though, that it always seemed like the Brewers never got the best of him? Surhoff played 1102 games in Milwaukee (.274/.323/.380 slash line), then went to Baltimore for a total of 1001 games (.291/.341/.451) and Atlanta for 210 games (.277/.332/.402). 

The 1211 games outside Milwaukee saw him improving as a player into his mid-30s and, at the age of 34, having his best hitting season with 28 HRs, 107 RBIs, and a .308/.347/.492 slash line. I hate to ask the question, but it kind of has to be asked in that context: was it steroids or just improvement, bad pitching, and a better offensive context generally? Tough to say for sure.

Juan Castillo was a scrub. Always was, always will be. He was done in the majors after 3 appearances at the age of 27 in 1989. He played in the Mexican League, though, at least through 1998 and the age of 36.

Amazingly, he played 116 games (372 plate appearances) with a .224/.302/.312 slash line (OPS+ of 62) for a good 1987 Brewers team. Seriously, imagine if this guy hadn't been the second baseman playing the most and, instead, a major league hitter was there instead. 

It probably wouldn't have been enough to make up the 7-game gap between the Brewers and the first-place Tigers, but it would be an interesting simulation to run.

Jaime Navarro left the Brewers coming out of the strike in 1994-1995. He went to the Cubs, where he pitched well, and then to the White Sox, where he did not pitch well. Still, he was probably the Brewers best pitcher for at least parts of the early 1990s.

As an aside, I'm always fascinated by baseball families.  Jaime is a member of one, as his father Julio Navarro was also a pitcher -- with the Angels and Tigers in the 1960s and the Braves in 1970. 

Rob Deer is Joc Pederson's spirit animal. Like Deer, Pederson is one of the three-true-outcomes guys -- either he walks, strikes out, or hits home runs. Like Deer, Pederson will have to learn to make sufficient contact to remain employed as a major leaguer.

Deer loved being a Brewer. He said so himself in an interview 10 years ago, and he loved the fans. Brewers fans will always love Deer for his Easter Sunday home run in 1987 against the Texas Rangers that tied the game 4-4. Dale Sveum then stepped up and won the team its 12th straight game to start the season.

Man, those were some good times. When I see that video, I think not only of that team, but also of my late Uncle Ed. His bald head was reflecting the sunlight along the railing next to the bullpen in right field where Sveum hit that home run.

Finally, let's end with a bit of a whimper. Greg Brock split his career nearly evenly between the Milwaukee Brewers and the Los Angeles Dodgers -- 496 games with LA, 517 with the Brewers. He came to Milwaukee in exchange for pitchers Tim Crews and Tim Leary at the winter meetings in 1986. He was far better with Milwaukee, and 1987 was his best year -- .299/.371/.438. 

Brock's problem in both places was that he was following a team legend. In LA, he could never be Steve Garvey. In Milwaukee, he could never be Cecil Cooper. Everyone tried to wishcast a season like his 1982 season in Albuquerque (44 HR, 138 RBI, 21 2B, 8 3B, 118 R, and .310 AVG in 135 games), failing to realize how altitude and dry air inflates numbers. For that crazy 1982 season, he was inducted into the Albuquerque Baseball Hall of Fame alongside Sid Bream, Kevin Kennedy, and Carlos Salazar in 2012. It appears that he still lives in Loveland, Colorado, on a lake there -- and he even signs some autographs TTM.

Mark -- thank you for the great cards and yet another fun walk down memory lane. When your team is as bad as the Brewers are probably going to be this year, memories are all the sweeter -- and may be all I have!

Tuesday, April 19, 2016

A Pop-up Home Run & Another eBay Win

I've got two shorter posts combined today. But, as we all know if we lived through the 1980s, it takes two to make a thing go right.

You sure you wanna hear this man? You sure?

Bert from Swing and a Popup sent me a single card PWE a couple of weeks ago with a note saying only, "This definitely belongs in your collection."

He was right. This card does:

That is a 2005 Donruss Zenith "Z-Jersey" card, complete with the sparkling rays background. This is an incredible card, and many thanks go out to Bert for being so kind to send it my way! 

As the title of this post says, this card is definitely a home run.

2005 is a year that would have driven me nuts as a collector -- it was the height of Donruss's over-the-top parallelization of its sets. According to Beckett, Donruss baseball sets had 2077 total "main" set cards and 12,567 parallels to go along with 3,469 insert cards and 5,544 parallels of inserts.

Of course, that seems like a lot. Then, I check out what Topps did in baseball in 2014: 6,773 main set cards and 52,387 parallels. Add in 11,535 inserts and 19,479 parallel inserts -- and remember, we are talking about individual cards here, not total press runs -- and you see why people complain about Topps and its money grabs.

Okay, I complain about Topps and its money grabs. Just so you know, of those cards, there were a total of 706 Miguel Cabreras, 684 Paul Goldschmidts, 624 Mike Trouts, 582 Freddie Freemans, and 544 Clayton Kershaws.  Those were your top 5 players in terms of number of individual cards in the Beckett database for 2014. 

Talk about overproduction era...Let's move on, before I start overanalyzing those numbers.

I dunno. That Crapital One card ad at the beginning of that video was kind of funny. Tim Fite was profiled in Billboard for his album called iBeenHACKED. It's kind of a neat concept album.

So, talking about being hacked and all that, how about an interesting reprint set that I picked up on eBay?

Larry Fritsch Cards out of Stevens Point, Wisconsin -- from whom I bought this -- claims that this set was originally "[i]ssued in 1970 as a statewide milk promotion in Wisconsin."

I disagree with this, because Bob Lemke and the "Big Book" disagree. As Mr. Lemke puts it: "While purporting to be a dairy issue, this is actually a collectors' set produced by Illinois hobbyist Bob Solon." Lemke's paragraph closes by saying, "Ironically, this set was later reissued in a marked reprint."

I have the reprint, obviously, as the back of the card above shows. I bought the reprint because I have yet to see an original set from 1970 for sale anywhere. The Lemke book from 2011 puts the estimated near-mint price on an original set at $25. I'd probably pay that tomorrow if I saw it.

But, it was never a statewide milk promotion in Wisconsin. Wouldn't that be sort of like a statewide ice promotion in Alaska? Or a statewide peach promotion in Georgia? Or a statewide "drive like an idiot" promotion in Massachusetts?

Some things don't need promotion. 

Fritsch did throw in a nice promo card for another of their sets. Does anyone collect the Kansas City Monarchs?

Or Jackie Robinson? The back carries an offer that if you return the card to Larry Fritsch Cards, the company will give you $2 off the complete 119-card set of Negro League Baseball Stars. That set normally runs $19.95 -- marked down now to $14.95 so buy now! -- so maybe the $2 pays part of the shipping cost?

It's tempting.

Sunday, April 17, 2016

An eBay Card Show

My wife is a very understanding woman. She let's me have my "card" time pretty much when I want to have it. Sometimes she'll complain, other times she's pleased for her own mental break, and still other times she wonders aloud how much I've spent on postage lately.

In the end, though, she knows that I need my downtime. She started to understand more of what I do by watching the deposition sequences in "Making a Murderer" and realized how taxing it would be to be on either side of a deposition. Those days are the ones that are the most difficult. It's 8 hours of constant attention, constant thought, sometimes constant talking, sometimes constant boredom, and sometimes fear that my deponent will not remember my pleas not to answer questions that lead them to say, "I don't know, but I'd guess that Joe did that."

Don't guess in a deposition.  Just don't.

So, with her newfound understanding of what I do at work, she has been more forgiving about me being on eBay.  I've bought a decent amount of cards there lately.

For instance, I've been working on my 2014 Topps Jonathan Lucroy pinwheel rainbow of cards:

While they all look to be the same size, that Gold is actually a mini, the yellow is a retail parallel, and the black and the blue are both chrome refractors. All but the yellow are serial numbered as well.

That marks a total of 21 different parallels of that card now for me. Everything I am missing has a serial number of 10 or less, so I might just call it complete and let Dolly Parton sing about my Lucroy of Many Colors.

Another recent purchase was a full set of the 2012 Waukesha Police card set, which was sponsored by Waukesha Sportscards, which always seems to have a few more sets laying around the store on eBay to allow the cards to stay cheap.

In theory, kids are supposed to cut those ones on the blue backgrounds out and stand them up. I'm pretty sure that isn't happening, but that's why you see a dotted outline on each card and a little scissors on each. Safety cards have gone backwards over the years. In the past, there were multi-paragraph stories on the back. Now, it's grammatically incorrect sentences lacking punctuation and written as if e e cummings were responsible for the design.

Oddly, though, there are a decent number of cards in the set that look like Gomez rather than the rest -- where it appears that the player is emerging from a stage, maybe, or out of a school window or something? 

Call the police -- there's a madman around.

It's a true oddball set from a time where few oddballs exist. I'll take it.

I've continued my Lucroy spree -- as if me buying more cards of him either will keep him a Brewer or hasten his way out of town. I'm not sure which it is.

The 2016 Black & White parallel came with a Saltalamacchia B&W parallel for just $0.99 plus shipping. The relic from 2012 was actually a bit pricy and I should have backed off on it, but...I wanted it. Same goes for that 2007 Bowman Chrome Draft Picks & Prospects card that is actually a refractor. Finally, the Gypsy Queen Black mini from 2014 came with a Warren Spahn short-print from that same year that I needed as well for just $1.94 plus a bit much on shipping ($3.50). To be fair, either one of those cards could have been sold for that price.

So, it would have been a bargain at twice the price!

Speaking of oddballs and bargains, I ponied up a little less than $5 to get a new Ryan Braun card. Just as the Lucroy mini plus Spahn short print made sense to buy, so too did this one.

I mean, I could buy a Wal-Mart pizza or breadsticks and hope I'd get the one card in the set that I need, or I could simply pay less than the price of half the pizza and get it for sure. I went with the sure thing. Call me boring ... just like staying home instead of joining over 93,000 people at the UGA G-Day game yesterday.

Maybe I should have gone to see Ludacris, though. Of course, I got to watch it on Periscope and it's on YouTube, so staying home and seeing it was much better.  

And cheaper too.

Finally, we have two new Robin Younts from eBay.

Once again, I probably should not have spent the money on these that I did. The top one is one of those 5x7 money grabs that Topps put out this year called "Anthology." This one, though, is a gold parallel -- and damn, why does there need to be parallels in these types of sets other than to accentuate the money grab? -- so it's serial numbered 7 of 10.

The other one is actually a really cool manu-relic from 2016 Topps -- the Commemorative team logo pin relic. Just like I'm a sucker for Brewer cards, I'm a total sucker for the old Ball-in-Glove MB logo.

The only question is -- how low do I go?

I don't know. I really don't, Luda.

But Gooooooooo Dawgs!

I'm ready for college football season.