Wednesday, April 30, 2014

ATBATT's Blog Recommendation Of The Day

And now fellow bloggers and beloved readers, it's time to add a GREAT NEW FEATURE to this humble little blog.

Presented for your enjoyment,
The Blog Recommendation Of The Day 

Of course I'm not going to read every blog on my Righteous Roll every day and then make some kind of critical and educated choice.  I probably read the blogs much like you do - I read a few because they're my favorites, and I read others based on topic, introductory photo or catchy title.  Unfortunately, how much free time I have available that day influences my choices way too much. 

Even though Sir Night Owl and Prince Nick of Dime Boxes are among our greatest writers, some days my window for online fun is limited and I just don't have the time to read all that wonderful cardboard-inspired prose.  Heck, sometimes I barely have time to check on my team's standings and whether or not I snagged anything from the Pack A Daily Circus .

All of that said, the Recommendation Of The Day will be picked from whatever blogs I happened to read on said day.  

Criteria: It's the most enlightening, intriguing and/or witty post I've come across that day.  In other words, I've found a post so cool, it should be shared with others whom I trust will be equally entertained as I was.  

The First Ever 
Blog Recommendation Of The Day:

Chosen for three reasons. Master Collector Fuji reveals he is truly beyond redemption as a committed collector, he offers up a question that's intriguing, and it gives you an opportunity for entry into his contest. 

Honorable Mention 
(won't be a regular feature, but works today):

Before clicking on that, you gotta ask yourself one question...

How often do you hear Clint Eastwood singin' a barn door git to drinkin' song? 

Well, is it often, punk?

Tuesday, April 29, 2014

I'd Walk The Plank For Cool Cardboard

Hey everybody,

This might be my favorite trade of all that resulted from ATBATT's recent "Grand Salami of Trade Bait" campaign - at least up to this point.  I posted up a fistful of Pirates cards, and through a plug from Zawkin of Plashke fame, I met super cool Matt from Bob Walk The Plank , and a fantastic trade was born.

One of the cards I offered up was a beautiful bat relic, numbered to 99, of the great Willie Stargell. Matt said that got the ball rolling for him to trade, and the final card we'll see later, is the one that sealed the deal from my end.  If you've got some Pirates stuff, I highly recommend trading with Matt.  

Let's check out the highlights of the awesome Dodgers cardboard that came from deep in Pirates country over to me...

My son and I were huuuuge Shawn Green fans during his stint with the Dodgers.  He put up incredible power numbers while wearing Dodger Blue and more than held his own against the steroid freaks that surrounded him all around the leagues.

The coolness factor of this card is upped when you flip it around and see the rear of the bat slice as it's encased in a clear window on both sides.  Did I mention the card is numbered 5/10?!  

Some like-a the bat cards, some like-a the jersey cards.  One jersey card, coming up!

How about this Rafael Furcal bat card....

I loved when Rafi was with the Dodgers.  He played solid defense, always got on base, and almost always stole the next base. I especially dig this card because Furcal's in a bunt posture.  Nobody could pull off the drag bunt for a base hit like good ol' Rafi.

From past Dodgers to the everyday second baseman, Dee Gordon, in a beautifully designed card featuring my favorite color...

 I'm seeing the words "the most hated man in baseball" being attached more and more to Yasiel.  Really?  I guess being inside the Dodger bubble I really don't hear too much about that hate business.

Sure, we get frustrated with his wyld stallion style on the basepaths and in the outfield, but we don't hate the guy.  What makes him so hated?  Is it the batflips when he should be running out off-the-wall doubles?  I prefer to think he's just giving the other team a chance to try and get him out before he bolts all the way to home on an off-the-wall double.

Matt sent over a slew of these beautiful Prizm cards.  The above Kershaw is my favorite of the bunch.  What's better than a chromed up, shiny card of the best pitcher in baseball wearing the Red, White and Blue for Team USA ?

Better or not, this next one is very cool also.  Opening Day did a great job with the 3-D effect... 

 Almost finished, here's the star card of the deal for me. When I saw this baby, I knew this trade hadda happen. 

This guy is one of my heroes from the Brooklyn days, and even though most other Dodger collectors probably have multiple autos from him, and his auto can be found pretty easily on the Bay, I still didn't have one in my collection.  This was my chance...

Presenting Johnny Podres, World Series Hero, on a beautiful, refractory, well-designed card.  The auto is clean and easy to read, and it's numbered to 199. Awesome.

Podres was the World Series MVP in 1955.  He mowed them evil Yankees down and pitched a shutout in Game 7, to lock down the only championship the Brooklyn squad ever won. 

But that's not all! Beyond the cards, even the trade package had something cool...

Sweet baseball stamps of some great HOFers.  Nice touch. 

THANKS for the great trade, Matt.  Looking forward to the next one.  

Sunday, April 27, 2014

A Card Collector's Reaction To Donald Sterling

We begin with "Wake Up, Everybody", a song from Harold Melvin and the Bluenotes.  It's a favorite from my past, and today it came up on my ipod.  I was struck by how relevant this 1975 song still is today...

For some odd reason, the video loads in my preview, but doesn't show in my browser.  If you can't see or hear it, here's a Youtube link

Dorie Miller was on the USS West Virginia during the attack on Pearl Harbor.  Miller carried numerous wounded sailors, including the ship's captain out of harm's way.  He then manned a .50 caliber anti-aircraft gun until all the ammo was gone - possibly downing one of the attacking Japanese planes.

 Private George Watson.  During World War Two, when Watson's ship was severely damaged and sinking, the men were ordered to abandon ship. As the enemy continued to strafe the water, Watson swam out "over and over" and helped those who were wounded or could not swim to get onto life rafts.  Exhausted from his efforts, he was pulled down when the ship finally sunk.  Watson had no known next of kin, so his Medal of Honor was placed in the Army Museum in Virginia.

Bobby Green, Lei Yuille, Titus Murphy and Terri Barnett.  When Los Angeles was exploding with street level rioting in 1991, white truck driver Reginald Denny was severely beaten and left for dead, all on live television.  These four people were in their homes watching on television and felt moved to go down there and do something to help. 

This group of good samaritans, strangers until that day, teamed up to help save Denny and get him out of there. Green, a truck driver himself, drove the truck, with Murphy directing from the running board because the windshield was shattered. Barnett escorted the truck in her car , while Yuille took care of Denny during the trip.

Twelve African-American New York city firefighters killed while bravely doing their jobs and selflessly helping others in the Twin Towers on 9-11.

"I'm not concerned with your liking or disliking me.  All I ask is that you respect me as a human being."
 - Jackie Robinson 

Saturday, April 26, 2014

Is Everybody Racist?

The biggest story in the NBA today isn't the latest playoff score, it's all about the audio tapes that portray the owner of the Los Angeles Clippers, Donald Sterling, dropping racist verbal bombs on his girlfriend during an argument with her.

Granted, some parts of his rant may have been rooted in relationship jealousy - as he was apparently reacting to her posting photos of herself with athletes Magic Johnson and Matt Kemp on Instagram - but other parts definitely seem to be rooted in racist thinking.

Reading just a few of the “reaction” stories currently buzzing around us has enlightened me to the fact Sterling has gained quite the reputation for racist thought and discriminatory action.  Is it deserved?  Well, paying out millions of dollars for settlements over racial discrimination accusations in his real estate holdings, and people in the past quoting blatantly despicable remarks allegedly said by him are not exactly arguments in his favor.

Racism at the highest levels of professional sports is certainly not unheard of.  In 1987, Al Campanis, General Manager of the Los Angeles Dodgers, exposed his mind on a national television interview on Jackie Robinson day back before it was a Day.  He casually informed the audience, and I was among them, that he believed there had not been an African-American General Manager or owner in baseball up to that point because blacks lacked “the necessities" for the job.  Just for laughs, he also let on about blacks not being able to float in water.  Say what?

Anybody remember Jimmy the Greek?  How about Marge Schott or John Rocker?  The list of folks who exposed ignorant or hateful beliefs at the wrong time just goes on and on and on.

Have you ever been sitting with work or school buddies or the in-laws and somebody lets out with a statement you just know is wrongheaded (read racist), and you don't even know how to react? 

I was once standing inside the doorway of a crowded restaurant on a posh section of Wilshire Boulevard in Los Angeles, just waiting for my turn to be called for seating, when a very well-to-do looking woman came up to me and demanded fresh silverware for her table, as hers was unacceptable.  What was really unacceptable was her bloody assumption that I was a busboy.

On another occasion, some guy in a pickup truck tried to run me and my motorcycle off the road, while yelling at me for being a "dirty Mexican". That one was a bit less subtle.

I remember some folks ridiculously claiming we entered a post-racial new age when Barack Obama was first elected president. Instead, his election seemed to just ignite the fires of racists from the backwoods to the halls of Congress. Indeed, if it was that easy to kill racism, it would have died when Jackie Robinson broke MLB's color barrier.  But it didn't.

High profile types like Sterling and Jimmy the Greek will continue to pay hefty fines and/or lose their cushy jobs. You might start avoiding that certain uncle at family gatherings, but will anything really change? When will dragging people behind trucks - just because they're different - ever stop?

Today's headlines about Sterling don’t surprise me at all.  They just remind me once again of the ugliness that is racism and discrimination.  If it's never happened to you, it's definitely happened to someone who lives on your block.  Racist belief is callously thrown around from tiny kitchen tables to the boardrooms of the rich and powerful.

Unfortunately, I wasn't surprised or shocked with all this news concerning Sterling.  I wasn't even slightly flabbergasted.

However, the eternal question remains: Where do we go from here?

Friday, April 25, 2014

When A PWE From JBF, Isn't

Hey everybody,

As most bloggers out there know, Wes from Jaybarkerfan's Junk is an outstanding trader and more.  The guy is much more than a trader, as he generously sends out PWE bombs to his fellow bloggers just because he's cool like that.

I've received PWE's in the past, but today I'm showing off some cool cards that came my way in a YBM - a yellow bubble mailer.  Of course that package contained a nice fistful of cards, but I'm trying to get this posted before the start of the Dodgers game, so in the interests of time, I'll just show off some of my favorites.  Let's get to it...

I love cards of Pay-dro, the World Series hero.  This is a great looking, high gloss card, and the orange provides a nice contrast against the Dodger Blue.

You go Pay-dro, with the old school stirrups.

Next up, speaking of old school, some vintage featuring the greatest pinch hitter ever...

How about this blast from the past....

We were all so young back then. 

Speaking of young players, how about the breakout kid of 2014?  Dee Gordon is surprising almost everyone with his newfound bat skills and consistent play at second base.  In addition to that, pitchers around the league are looking up and seeing Gordon look like this very, very often...

SAFE! (again)

What about some hits, you say? Let's start off with an autograph...

Justin's claim to fame was after finally making it to the big club, he was dropped to make room for Manny Ramirez.

Here's my first swatch of El Jaguar...

How about a guy who's young at heart, and the last manager to take The Dodgers to the Fall Classic...

There were lots of Gypsy Queen Dodgers in the package, so I chose one to represent all...

Thanks a bunch for the great cards, Wes.  Enjoy the weekend, everybody.

Wednesday, April 23, 2014

When Bloggers From Across The Rockies Meet

Hey everybody,

One of the great joys of blogging is meeting up with a fellow blogger or reader and putting a human face to this hobby that we share.  That opportunity to meet another blogger recently popped up, and I went for it. I'm certainly glad I did.

Ohio-based Duane, from that little ol' blog known as Democratic Roadkill was coming out to California to enjoy the Long Beach Grand Prix, and he put out a feeler for any L.A. bloggers.  I replied, and after a couple of emails and texts, Duane and I were sitting in front of a couple of cold ones and exchanging cards and card collecting stories.

Duane collects A&G minis, Cleveland Indians and Pittsburgh Pirates. Indeed, he is The King of  All A&G miiiiiiiinnnnnnniiiiiiis. Unfortunately, I had just locked down a large trade for the majority of my Pirates trade bait, and both my Indians and minis coffers were low, so I really had almost nothing to offer.

Fortunately, Duane is such an outstanding guy, that didn't matter too much and he was willing to swap my measly offerings for some great Dodgers cardboard.

Check out this sweet slice o' vintage - The Dodgers celebrating their WS win after sweeping the dreaded Yanks in 1963.  Here we get the backs of Walter Alston, Marv Breeding and Lee Walls. I think that's Sandy Koufax in the middle of the mob having his arm painfully twisted behind his back (?).  Maybe that explains his later arm troubles and shortened career. Hmmmm....

Below is a very cool Goudey 4 in 1 featuring Dodger stars past and present...

Andruw Jones was nowhere near a star when he was with the Dodgers.  As a matter of fact, he was a complete waste of a uniform, but this black-framed masterpiece is no waste of cardboard...

Check out this numbered 18/50 "Rip Card".  I had never even seen a rip card until this showed up.  What's a rip card? It contains a bonus mini that is obtained by ripping the back of the card open.  Duane had already secured the mini inside, but this is a special little oddball that is now a one-of-a-kind in my collection...

Did I mention Duane is the King of All Minis? Here comes a parade of some great Dodger minis that came my way....



We enjoyed a few hours of talking cards and the eternal chases of our hobby.  We also talked about the story behind the name of Duane's blog.  I'll let you meet Duane and let him tell you all about that himself.

Thanks for a great time, some great cards, and a great new blogger friendship reaching across the country, Duane.  Looking forward to the next trade, meeting, chance at Grand Prix Hospitality Suite passes, and whatever else, Duane !!  It was a real pleasure to meet ya!