Saturday, February 11, 2017

Nearly Finished with 2016: eBaying at the Moon

As I slowly catch up with the cards and packages I have gotten over the past several months, I'm starting to think that I'll never catch up. This is my final post of cards that I scanned in 2016, but I got a bunch more cards right at the end of 2016 from a card show, from Addiction as Therapy, and from Card Junk that I still haven't gotten around to showing.

So, maybe by the end of next weekend I'll have caught up to this year. Maybe.

Today, though, I have some cool stuff that I bought for myself for Christmas from eBay. It's actually the sum total of four different sales from three different sellers.

We start the show in Chilton.

Chilton is located in Calumet County, east of Lake Winnebago and west of Manitowoc County. If Calumet County or Chilton sounds familiar to you for some reason, perhaps it is because you watched the Netflix series "Making a Murderer." Steven Avery's trial took place at the Calumet County courthouse, and the prosecutor for Avery's case was former Calumet County district attorney Kenneth Kratz.

It's amazing how many different towns made these cards. Chilton is a little city of about 3,500 people, and yet the person who sold this set to me is located in Pennsylvania.

Next, we move west:

Prince Fielder and Ben Sheets are shown here on 2008 cards from the Trempealeau County Sheriff's D.A.R.E. Program. Trempealeau County is located just north of LaCrosse County on the Mississippi River. It's a huge county -- 742 square miles, or just 460 fewer square miles than the State of Rhode Island. I've never traveled in that part of Wisconsin. I'm interested in doing so since I've now found out that the county has three ghost towns. I have a weird fascination with places that have been abandoned.

This seller was located in Chippewa Falls, Wisconsin, so at least that one has an easy explanation for how the seller must have gotten this set.

The rest of these cards all came from the same seller -- another Wisconsinite -- located in Burlington, Wisconsin, and they came from two separate sales. 

The first consisted of forty-eight different team Brewers sets for which I paid a total of $43 with shipping. For that price, it was okay that a number of them were team sets that I had completed long ago thanks to the fact that it filled in some gaps and added some new ones.

Such as:

These two cards come from a four-card set helping to inaugurate the Brewers Walk of Fame at Miller Park. Norstan Communications sponsored the stadium giveaway in 2001, and this lot was the first time I'd really seen a set for sale. It's not that it is that rare -- I just haven't looked all that often for it despite Cynical Buddha telling me about the set in 2014.

Being the uber-completist that I am, I still want to get one more of each of these two cards so that I have a full set in my Brewers oddballs collection.

So this one was both unanticipated and disappointing. It was unanticipated because I did not realize that the DAV (Disabled American Veterans) had issued a card set in 2008 consisting of five cards, which included an odd selection of players: Mike Cameron, Jason Kendall, David Riske, Jeff Suppan, and Rickie Weeks. I'm not sure if any other teams other than the Brewers and the Padres had these sets issued by the DAV -- those two teams are the only ones listed on Trading Card Database.

You can probably see why this one was a bit disappointing, though: even though the pack was unopened, that Rickie Weeks is about as poorly centered as it gets without another card appearing. That's not a mis-scan -- that's how it was cut. So, I suppose I'm still looking for two of the Weeks card -- two that are centered better than this one.

I'm almost done with the 1981 Donruss team set now as well. I'm just missing one of the dozens of typographical errors that Donruss had and fixed in its first set in 1981 -- the Gorman Thomas variation saying that he had reached the 30-HR mark for the 3rd time in his career. For what it's worth, that is the correct version rather than the earlier version which said he'd reached the mark for the fourth time.

For the eagle-eyed, you'll note that the Buck Martinez card is another error that was fixed. The first print run from Donruss flipped the negative for the card, making Martinez a lefty hitter. Buck is more known as a Toronto Blue Jay thanks to his run of 6 seasons there from 1981 through 1986 as Ernie Whitt's first platoon mate, then as a radio and TV broadcaster and manager for the Jays. He left the Jays for a while to work with MASN on the Orioles broadcast team before returning to Toronto in 2010.

Thanks to my need for completeness, I'm still one card away from completing the Leaf 1986 team set -- and that card is actually the Cecil Cooper Diamond King you see above. This one went into my player collection, while the Jim Gantner card went into my team set.

Something I did not realize before I read Matthew Prigge's Brew Crew Confidential blog this week is the anomaly around the Brewers issuance of team number 17. In the 1970s and setting aside the Pilots year, the number 17 went from Pete Koegel (1970-1971) to Paul Ratliff (1972), Joe Azcue (1972), Bobby Mitchell (1973-1975), Bob Hansen (1976), Steve Bowling (1976) and Ken McMullen (1977) before Jim Gantner pulled it on for the 1978 season. 

Since Gantner retired after the 1992 season, however, no one else has worn the number. That's 25 years ago. Are the Brewers intending to retire the number? Is it just that no one wanted 17? Were there too many times that Winger played over the loudspeakers so that everyone was turned off by the number seventeen?

Inquiring minds want to know. I want to know.

The main reason I bought this big team set lot, though, was the fact that there were a number of police card sets included in the box. It did not yield as many new sets as I would have liked. But there were at least a couple.

These 1996 cards don't even say anything about the police on the front, but they are police cards. I really do not like this design, but that is true of a lot of sets from the mid-1990s. The graphic designers in Milwaukee were just as susceptible to crappy design sensibilities as anyone else was, I suppose. 

There's a danger involved when a police card giveaway is sponsored, in part, by a sports card store. That danger is that so many sets will be created because the store wants to keep some in stock to sell.

Waukesha is a Milwaukee suburb -- not all that much interesting to say about it, to be fair.

The other lot I bought from this same seller cost just $4, and it was about 20 to 25 Robin Yount Police cards. Sure, there were some duplicates in this and a few were the ubiquitous Milwaukee Police Department, but here's the results from that lot:

Adding seven new Younts to the collection for $4 is always a bonus. 

That wraps up the 2016 scans. Musically, 2016 was a bit of a desert, in my opinion. The biggest alternative music act was Twenty-One Pilots, a band I am very much on the fence about. On the one hand, their music isn't all that bad. On the other hand, their music is entirely like listening to a mixtape of alternative music from the past 20 years. There's a little 311, there's a little Sublime, there's a little Ben Folds Five, and there's a little Jimmy Eat World in it. Really nothing new.

But hey, let's close with a song.

It doesn't stress me out. Not at all.


  1. I forget Martinez played for the Brewers.
    I think the most famous thing Buck is known for from his playing days is the double play with a broken leg..

    Buck was also featured as one half of the announce team for the EA Triple Play Baseball series with Dan Schulman.

  2. Finally, we can all put an end to the awful year that was 2016.

  3. i love all the oddballs!!! DAV Kendall is superb! great adds to your collection. Here's to a new year, although I already have my doubts about it.

  4. Excellent pickups! Regional issues are always a great find. I especially love the DAV cards. I won't be able to see Rickie without a bad taste in my mouth for quite sometime. I shudder to think of the money I spent on Weeks cards between 2003-2004!

  5. Wow, what a haul of police sets! I think it's funny you bought one from a seller in Pennsylvania.
    I'm not on the fence about Twenty One Pilots. I liked them for a short time, but that was before seemingly every local radio channel I listen to (except the country channel and ESPN radio) started playing their songs. It seems like every time I would change the station I would be greeted with Tear In My Heart, Heathens or Stressed out. Ugh. I'm not sure how one band can be played on the alternative channel, the rock channel, the adult contemporary channel and that weird channel that doesn't employ a DJ. That's four of my six pre-sets in my car!

  6. Wisconsin is truly the capital of oddball sets. As a Packers collector, I've been trying to chase down all of the annual police sets they have produced over the years. Looks like there's just as many Brewers sets in the mix.

    Btw... outside of collecting a bunch of junk... one of my favorite things to do in my spare time is watch YouTube videos about abandoned places. I've been curious about ghost towns and other abandoned places since I was a little kid and my brother took me to Bodie.