Wednesday, December 28, 2016

Rockin' my Fridge with Vintage Custom Magnets

Aloha, everybody, 

I was one of the lucky Christmas recipients of a custom mini-magnet from Baseball Card Breakdown. Here's the magnet Gavin created...

That Jackie Robinson has joined the other custom magnets on my fridge, and I thought it would be cool to show off the rest of my now vintage, magnet collection. 

Back in the early 90's I was a regular at the Frank and Sons card show, which is where I ran into a vendor who created custom magnets. I figured if my boys' macaroni artwork could grace the door of the refrigerator, so could the legends of baseball.  

Back in those days, before chasing prospects and rookies was a thing, Mickey Mantle was the king of cardboard. 

Mantle cards were the holy grail. I wanted them, the magnet guy made a lot of them, and that was about the only way I was going to see Mantle in my collection, so I bought a few. 

Unfortunately, time has faded the colors, and some of the edges have been bent, but that's what happens to our cards over time as well. 

Here's one of my favorite Babe Ruth tribute cards on a magnet...

Of course, these aren't actual cards. The guy told me he cut pictures out of Beckett magazine to use as his images. 

Here's the Mick with friends...

They weren't all Mantles...

Finally, the biggest rookie card of the day...

Enough time has passed that these custom magnets can now be considered vintage. The macaroni art is gone, but my magnet collection is still going strong. Thanks to Gavin, it just grew by one more. 


Monday, December 26, 2016

Custom Rip Cards? Numbered /25? HOF Inserts? Merry Cardmas, Baby!

Aloha, everybody, 

You may recall my earlier post about the Christmas package I received from custom-card artist, Gavin @ Baseball Card Breakdown. 

Included in that package was a custom ripcard which I decided to not open until Christmas. 

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Lots of you have probably seen what Gavin put inside these ripcards, as they've been showing up in posts around the blogosphere. 

You've also probably seen the various methods bloggers have been using to open the cards. Some were methodical and careful, while others took great joy in ripping it up. I saw one that looked as though the blogger inserted tiny charges of dynamite and blew open the top of the card. 

I chose the careful route, as I wanted to be able to keep it in pristine condition (as much as that was possible) for binder display.

My method was to use an exacto knife to cut around three sides and create a door or hatch that I could carefully lift open to reveal the payoff hiding inside. 

Here's the cut open card...

I knew from reading other blogs that other ripcards contained custom mini-magnets, so I figured mine would as well. For extra coolness, G customized the magnets to fit each blogger's collection. For example, Night Owl received a Ron Cey magnet, so I was in suspense about what Dodger legend would be uncovered in my ripcard. 

Gavin mentioned to me in a Twitter conversation that mine was one of his favorite creations. The wait till Christmas was rewarded...

Out popped the patron saint of ATBATT, none other than ol' number 42 himself. Just how badass is that!?!? 

Thanks so much for including me in the ripcard project, Gavin. You hit it out of the park with your selection and the work itself. Absolutely awesome. 

This magnet gift reminded me of a guy who custom-made magnets back in the day over at the legendary Frank and Sons card show out here. I made a small collection of some of his customs, and Gavin's work is now sitting in a place of honor alongside them on my fridge. 

I'll be showing that magnet collection in a future post, so stay tuned. Until then, here's a preview...


Wednesday, December 21, 2016

Zippy Claus Zapped Me

Aloha, everybody, 

Christmas is just around the corner, so I'll take this opportunity to wish all of my fellow collectors, traders and readers a very Merry Christmas. I may post again before the big day, but who knows who will be reading then, so I'll take advantage and send these holiday greetings to you all right now. 

I've talked about it too many times, but WTH, it's the holidays, so I'll bring it up one more time. The reason I launched this humble little blog was to connect with like-minded folks across the country, but I had no idea just how wonderful it would be to meet you all through our community. 

One of the best guys that I met in the blogosphere (and with a friendship that has expanded to the Twittersphere) is Zippy Zappy, from Torren Up Cards. ZZ has earned a reputation of creative generosity through his legendary Zippy Zappings (trademarked yet?), and the joy of Christmas brought one to me. 

See that? It was in a plain brown wrapper, but the fact it was from ZZ meant there was nothing plain inside. I began oh-so-carefully snipping at the outer wrapping like I was trying to defuse a nuke. 

Hmmm...bubble wrapped goodies of various shapes and sizes. You can't see it in this photo, but through the plastic wrapping I thought I saw....

"THE ROLLING STONES".....what? No way. 

More careful snipping revealed the stash! 


Sure, cards are nice...but as anyone who has known me for more than five minutes knows, I'm a big Rolling Stones fan, and ZZ just dropped a 3-cd anthology of Stones musical goodness on me! 

Bonus: The CD booklet with photos and liner notes. This is really important to me. Most people buy digital music these days, and like them, I recently bought the latest Stones release in digital form. The drawback booklet, no liner notes, nothing to read - and hold - while listening. This time I got one! THANKS, ZZ!

I know, this is a card blog, you didn't come here to read about the Glimmer Twins, you want to know about cardboard singles. Let's check out what else was in that bubble wrap...

Leading off is the NL's shiny new ROY, Corey Seager, on a shiny, shimmery card. Beautiful. 

Here's some more Seager goodness, this time he's sporting number 12, 

ZZ specializes in prospects and rookies, so natch he sent a few more of those to me. 

Here's Rob Segedin, former Yanks prospect, now a Dodger. In his first game, Segedin had a franchise rookie debut record, 4 RBIs...

Another Dodger who just joined the big club in 2016...

 Really nice to get some Urias pre-Dodgers cardboard in my collection. Here he is with Oklahoma City...

For those of you who noticed Julio's left eye and don't know the story, his near-closed eye is a result of a birth defect. He's had one surgery to correct it, and I believe there is another one to come. Good luck, Julio! 

Richy here was sent to the Phillies as part of the Chase Utley trade...

This blue Richy is numbered 166/199...

I didn't mind Richy being traded so much as I hated to see first-round draft pick, Grant Holmes get sent to Oakland. The Dodgers got Rich Hill, whom they just signed to a three-year deal (might be worth it), and Josh Reddick, who was a bum as a Dodger, and somehow duped the Astros into wasting millions on him for 2017. 

Alex Verdugo is still with the Dodgers. Look for him to play beside fellow Dodger Adrian Gonzalez for Team Mexico in the World Baseball Classic. 

ZZ keeps close connections with Japan, which allows him to get cool stuff from overseas. Like these cards from my favorite Japanese team, the Hanshin Tigers...

My scanner does no justice to this beautiful card of Atsunori Ito. The card is from close to the end of Ito's career. He's now a coach with the Tigers. 

Here's a Tigers team card...

I love the team displayed in one riot of bats ready to take on all comers. If only they played as well as they look on cardboard. 2016 wasn't a good year for the Tigers. The Colonel will stay dry until 2017. 

And then there was this...

A custom job commemorating the patron saint of ZZ's blog. 

Am I the only guy in the blogosphere who doesn't make customs? 

Oh, almost forgotten was this little guy...

NOW I've been Zippy Zapped.  Thanks for everything, ZZ. Whew!


Monday, December 19, 2016

You Can't Have Too Many Trading Partners

Aloha, everybody, 

You already know there are as many baseball card styles of collecting as there are collectors out there. For example, while many of you are completing sets from particular years, that way of collecting just doesn't float my cardboard boat. 

I do however, chase team sets of the Dodgers from the 50's to the 80's. If you want to know what to place in my Christmas stocking, just gather some Dodgers from those classic/vintage sets and I'm a happy card-collectin' geek. 

That's exactly what Dennis from Too Many Verlanders did. I sent him a little something in Operation PWE, and he sent over a fistful of Dodger cards to me as well. 

In our email conversation we played with the semantics of whether this was a trade or a gift exchange. In the end, terminology really had little to do with it, as Dennis is a regular on my Operation PWE list, and he already had some cards set aside for me just because. 

Call us trade partners or friends exchanging gifts, either way, it means Dodgers for my binders! And that's what Christmas is all about, right? Let's see what I got in my PWCS (plain white Christmas stocking). 

Dennis started me off with a batch of 1979 Topps. I'm almost finished with this team set, but a couple of nice thing about doubles are, the new ones can serve as upgrades, and replaced cards are now freed up to help out some set collector out there, or a Dodgers collector who's low on vintage. 




Young Don Sutton in a beautifully nostalgic Spring Training photo from 1973 Topps. 

Dennis got me down to needing just one more card to complete 1977 Topps...

This is one of my favorite Steve Garvey cards.The Garv at the ready. Hat pulled low, forearms pumped, stirrups not effing around, and a slight smile that says, "Hit it to me." All in a gritty 70's film style. I've been wanting this baby for quite a while. Now I've got it! 

It wasn't all vintage. Dennis tossed in a bonus tribute card of big Don Drysdale from Upper Deck Legends...

The photo shows Drysdale holding a ball marked #3 and the date 10/5/1963. It was taken following Game 3 of the 1963 World Series. 

The Dodgers swept the Yankees in '63. Drysdale pitched a three-hit, complete game in Game 3 and won 1-0. A great photo from a great day. 

It was also a great fistful of cards. THANKS, Dennis. Let's not wait an entire year until we send each other cards again! 


Friday, December 16, 2016

Yes Virginia, There is a Customs Cardboard Santa

Aloha, everybody, 

Most of you know that Gavin from Baseball Card Breakdown creates awesome custom cards, and it was my pleasure to receive a Christmas blast of his cardboard art. 

If you don't know Gavin's site, make sure to bookmark it and visit often because he's one of the coolest guys in our community. He's a straight up guy who isn't afraid to speak his mind, and he loves the right bands. Sometimes he confuses the order between the Stones and the Beatles, but nobody's perfect. I'm happy to say, although we haven't met in real life yet, I consider him to be a true friend.  

I hear you out there. Enough with the Brotherhood of Cardboard sappiness. Let's get to the cards!! C'mon, yo! Gimme a break. It's Christmas - and besides, Gavin definitely rocked the part of Custom Cardboard Santa this year. 

These cards are so righteous, I don't even know which is my favorite yet, so in no particular order (but leading off with a snow flurry of cold blooded baseball rivalry)...

How awesome is this card immortalizing this infamous face off between LA and SF? 

"Bring it!", said Yasiel. Gavin brung it. 

Bumgarner says, "Don't look at me." Sorry, bum. I can't stop looking at this awesome Rowdy Rivals card. 

Next up is the greatest baseball announcer of all time...

G sent me a mini Scully custom before like the one above, but that one was masterfully aged to give the impression it was truly an old card. Now I have a gem mint 10 version (maybe 9.8). Either way, it's Merry Christmas to me! 

You want more Scully? How about Vinny in the style of Upper Deck?

Heya, Red! 

On the rear, a great shot of the master in his office...

The caption quotes Vinny's farewell speech to the fans. Priceless art, folks. 

The following cards were almost a letdown because they were "just" normal cards. 

Of course, they're not really letdowns, because ya gotta love DOdgers on playing cards, and they're new to my collection. 

Back to the snowstorm of Dodgers greatness...

What's a cardboard stocking stuffer without an autograph? 

Pena was a light hitting backup catcher who double-dipped with the Dodgers. I suppose he was a nice enough guy, but that and a bat with holes in it won't get you very far in the bigs. 

At least the kid's got an autograph I can read. I'll take it! 

Finally... the big, secret gift that I wanna shake to see what's inside...

A Tony Gwynn Holiday Blast Rip Card! Holy red-nosed reinderrs, Batman! That shite is cool! 

I messaged Gavin today on Twitter and told him I wasn't sure if I should open it. Part of me wanted to keep the card in pristine condition. 

Gavin's response? "Rip it" 

And so I will. As Devo advised us, I'm gonna rip it good. But not yet. 

It's a Holiday Blast card. It's numbered to 25, for the 25th. So I'm going to keep this baby on ice until Christmas day. 

Tune in after Christmas to see what was waiting inside. 

*Shake, shake,shake* 

THANKS for the holiday cards, Gavin. They are truly a blast.