Thursday, March 29, 2018

It's Opening Day! Here's a Quickie Video (with beer review)

Aloha, everybody, 

It's the big day we've all been waiting for! Opening Day is finally here, and everyone's team is dreaming of a shot at the World Series. 

In case you're still waiting fr your team to hit the field, and you've got a few minutes, check out my Opening Day Eve Youtube video that I made last night. 

It's got my take on the Great Flood of Chavez Ravine, the Great Robbery of Andrew Toles, the Great luck of Joc Pederson, and the Great Heart of Enrique Kike Hernandez. 

There's also my beer review of a Belgian IPA from To Ol Brewing. Enjoy, and don't forget to hit "like" if you did. an move to up my game...I'm using a new mike for improved sound. 


Saturday, March 24, 2018

To Blog or Tweet - Why is that Even a Question?

Aloha, everybody, 

My buddy Zippy Zappy has been recently ruminating over the differences and benefits of blogging about cards vs tweeting about them. I'm not gonna rehash here, as he already did a great job of breaking it all down in his post. I'm just gonna drop my perspective on leading life as a double agent - as both bloggerista and twitter dude.

(Also, as an homage to ZZ's post, I'll be dropping in some unrelated scans from an old-time Beckett that Dennis from Too Many Verlanders sent to me) 

As ZZ said, the biggest difference between the two arenas are how much you can say...errrr, write. 

My blog has run for a few years, and as the time went on, I found myself blogging less often. A couple of times I even did the hiatus thing and disappeared for a month or two. Part of the reason was this self-imposed feeling of responsibility to blog regularly, and to fill enough space in an entertaining way. 

Then came my life as a writer for a Dodgers blog. That became an additional 1,000 words I had to write per week, and I just found it to be too much sometimes. I don't know how Night Owl does it. He's my hero; he's knocking out like 5,000 words a day! Whew! 

Then along came Twitter. I resisted it for a long time, but once I checked it out, I was hooked. Messages are short and sweet (I preferred the old 140 character limit) and you can drop in pics or gifs. Perfect for a hit and run guerrilla-fighter like me. 

The other great point about Twitter (or not so great, depending on personal and political preferences) is you can drop tweets on any and all topics. My feed tends to be much less about cards, but plenty about the Dodgers and baseball in general, art, photography, funny stuff, and yes - the part Night Owl really doesn't like - politics. 

I don't mean to pick on my friend N.O., he's just an example. Some folks want to escape debate and friction on these platforms, and that's a valid position. Believe it or not, I try to hold back on my political tweeting, but some subjects grab me by the throat so hard, that I just can't ignore them. I've lost some twitter followers because of my politics, and that's their prerogative. 

Last time I checked, N.O. still gets my tweets, so I'm lucky enough that my friend keeps me around and just sweeps past what he doesn't want to get involved in. 

Speaking of being involved, Twitter has really opened up my connections with some of you out there. As ZZ said, he and I talk much more over in Twitterlandia than we ever did in the Blogosphere. I'm also in much more contact and making better friendships with Peter K., Jon from Penny Sleeves, Commish Bob, Mark H, Tony L, Gavin, my hermano Wes, Matt, Julie, and I'm sure a couple of others who, I apologize, slip my mind right now. 

I'm a happy double agent. It works for me. 


Saturday, March 17, 2018

Speaking of What I Collect

Aloha, everybody, 

If you saw my previous post, "What I Collect", you know I collect Mickey Mantle and a few subsets. Today I'm going to show you a mash up of these two chases, and a recent leap forward in that pursuit. 

When I first got into collecting (circa 1991), I spotted this fantastic Mickey Mantle subset. These cards were inserts in 1992 Pinnacle. I really dug that Pinnacle issue, so I ripped plenty of packs. I got a good start on this 30-card set through my own pulls and picking up strays from dealers tables. 

Eventually, the packs and strays dried up, and my chase stalled. Did I say, "Stalled"? It stopped dead in its tracks - for years.

On my last trip to the card show I came across a few more of these Mantles. I couldn't believe it! The dealer wanted an overpriced 75 cents for each, but I jumped! 

The set covers Mantle from his childhood through his career and retirement. 

Here's what the rear of the cards look like...

I couldn't believe I was able to find a few more of these and inch toward completion! 

Are these Mantles magnificent or what? 

As I mentioned, it's a 30-card set, and with these pickups I'm just over 50% towards completion. 

I still need a good chunk of 'em. Cards needed: 2, 3, 4, 6, 12,  13, 17, 18, 23, 24, 26, 28 and 30. Looks like my chase will go on about as long as Mantle's career. 


Thursday, March 15, 2018

It's a Blog Bat Around! What I Collect

Aloha, everybody, 

Everyone's favorite blogger - Sir Night Owl - cooked up an idea for a blog bat around, the theme being, "What I collect". 

This is a great idea for two big reasons: 

First, I want - I NEED to know - what all of you collect, because I'm frequently stuck with trying to figure out what to send to my collecting buddies who seem to already have everything, or I have very little of what I think they collect. 

A couple of examples would be Mark Hoyle (Red Sox) and Peter K Steinberg (Strawberry and Kruk). I even have trouble figuring out what to send fellow Dodgers collectors like Night Owl, who has literally, rooms full of Dodgers cards, and GCRL Jim, who probably has every Garvey, Cey, Russel and Lopes card ever produced. More insight on what I can send to all of you is greatly appreciated. 

Reason number two: I'm happy to share with all of you what I collect, because it seems over the last year or so, folks have forgotten I collect more than just Dodgers (although they are the main team I collect). 

In no particular order, here we go - I collect: 

                                  Primary Team: The Dodgers

Vintage Dodgers are the best. I will never have enough vintage Dodgers. From Brooklyn...

To the Boys from Chavez Ravine...

I have PCs of a few all-time favorite Dodgers. First and foremost is, of course, good ol' Jackie Robinson...

World Series Hero, Johnny Podres...

and Ron Cey...

Others are Mike Piazza, Hideo Nomo, Shawn Green, Sandy Koufax, Roy Campanella, and Cody Bellinger. 


The Dodgers are obvious. I also chase various subsets. My favorites are the vintage Topps World Series subsets (none completed yet)...

I'm chasing a few more subsets, such as Baseball Thrills...

You can find more details on these chases in the link. 

I've also got a PC called "The Perfect Games Project". It's a chase of the batteries from every perfect game ever thrown. You can follow the link to see who I've got and who I need. 

Not Dodgers

Most of my trading partners these days might think I collect only Dodgers, but not so. I collect more than a few big-name and HOF players from the past. 

A few examples are Reggie Jackson, Yaz, Nolan Ryan, Johnny Bench, Clemente, Al Kaline, Stan the Man, Rickey Henderson, Mazeroski, Ted Williams, Mickey Mantle, etc. Pretty much, if the guy is in the HOF, I enjoy his cards. 

I also collect defunct teams, mostly the old Washington Senators. 

Other Sports 

I also collect football, but it's limited to the Raiders (Vintage Oakland and LA are both welcome) and the Rams - ONLY LA. I'm not interested in the Anaheim or St. Louis aberrations. 

My newest collection is in hockey. Thanks to Zippy Zappy, my L.A. Kings collection is off to a solid start, but I have no vintage purple and gold, pre-Gretzki, Kings cards. There's plenty of room for growth on this front. 

I hope that opened up a few more possibilities for anybody out there wondering what to send my way. I'm looking forward to know more about what you collect as well. Great idea, N.O.!


Monday, March 12, 2018

Let's Open a Hanger of Topps Heritage!

Aloha, everybody, 

By popular request - or at least by a request from a couple of folks, I'm posting up another Youtube video ripping into a Topps Heritage blaster. 

Why not? I love the cards, and I'm still chasing Dodgers and an elusive Reggie Jackson autograph from the set. It was a lot of fun, and I was able to pull some cards for some of you out there, my trading partners and friends. 

I also threw in a beer review of an IPA from a Las Vegas brewery - Tenaya Creek Brewery. Enough reading! Let's watch! 


Sunday, March 11, 2018

A Scribbled Sunday Night Post

Aloha, everybody, 

I recently received a very nice surprise package from Scribbled Ink. Paul sent over an assortment of past Dodgers and a very cool tchotske that I absolutely love. 

Let's start out with a couple of oddball Orels...

Huge bread conglomerate, Wonder Bread, had to airbrush the LA on Bulldog's cap, but not regional Revco, who apparently paid for the blessings of Topps. 

Here's another oddball that I've never seen before...

World Series co-MVP, Paaaayyyyydroooooo...

Eric Karros on a police issue, wearing the Tim Crews death patch...

After enjoying this card for a bit, I'll probably send this casual-looking Strawberry off to my friend, Peter...

And now a break for a couple of BOOOOOOOOS...

Lousy manager BOOOOOOOO!! (But I like the schedule)

Ex-Giant BOOOOOOO!!! (But I like these Electric Diamond cards)

I loved Nomah in his short stint as a Dodger. I haven't heard him on any of the Dodgers Spring Training broadcasts. I wonder if they dumped him as a color man? 

I liked his insights as an expert batter, and he has genuine personality behind the mike. The Dodgers didn't seem to know how to use him. They even tried some horrible segments last season with Nomar bouncing around Dodger Stadium sampling different food and drinks. It was ridiculous. I miss you, Nomar! 

Finishing out the cardboard portion of the package are these two little beauties, which celebrate the Boys of Summer winning it all back in 1955.

In this one we can see Jim Gilliam, a young Sandy Koufax, Campy, Jackie and Gil Hodges. 

Here's Duke Snider being met at home by Pee Wee Reese and Jimmy Gilliam. I'm not sure who the guy on the right is. 

And finally, that tchotchke I talked about at the top of the post. How sweet is this mini Eric Gagne? 

Gagne looks more like he's wearing a bandit mask than his trademark goggles, but I'm not going to nitpick this puppy. 

The base makes me think it's some kind of game piece, but I don't have a clue about its true context. 

No matter, this piece is very cool. THANKS, Paul. Great stuff! 


Saturday, March 10, 2018

What's Good for a Rainy Day? Some New Piazzas, of course!

Aloha, everybody, 

Time to play some catch up with backed up trade posts. Today's cool batch-o-cardboard came to me from Johnny's Trading Spot. 

Good ol' John sent over a great smattering of Piazzas (and a few others) that were all new for my collection. Let's get right to 'em...

Mike and his contemporaries were lucky to come along in one of the golden eras of cardboard. Sure, we refer to it as the "junk wax era" because there were so many sets popping out of the woodwork, and so much overproduction. 

I subscribe to the theory that was actually a hidden blessing. So many sets led to competition, creativity and variety in card designs. No Topps monopoly meant card companies beyond the grandfather brand could use real team logos and didn't have to play stupid airbrush games, or only use photos of our cardboard heroes from behind. 

How about a great play at the plate...Spring Training style...

It might just be the Dodgers-tinted glasses that I wear, but Piazza seems a perfect fit for the design and photography styles of the day...

Really digging this shot of big Mike waiting for the inevitable home plate collision. They even used it for the close up on his name plate. 

Speaking of cards I dig. Here's a meaningless (in the grand scope of things) but beautiful, little work of baseball art. 

Finally, another great action photo...

A great haul of Piazzas. THANKS, John. More cards coming your way as soon as I build another stack for you. 


Friday, March 9, 2018

It's a Friday Night Youtube Video and Beer Review

Aloha, everybody, 

It's Friday night, and I'm chilling here at home, so I put together a short and sweet Youtube video giving a few takes on the state of the Dodgers at this point in Spring Training. 

Stop on by and give a watch, if that kind of thing appeals. If that doesn't work for you, there's also a segment with a beer review. It's a very pleasant surprise - an IPA straight outta Belgium. 

Watch and enjoy! 


Sunday, March 4, 2018

A Dynamic Duo of Trades

Aloha, everybody, 

Back when the 2018 Topps flagship first hit the shelves (doesn't that feel like a million years ago?), I ripped a blaster's worth here and that generated a quick slew of small trades. Here are a couple. 

This first one actually sprung from The Lost Collector posting some of his pulls on Twitter. I spotted a couple of Dodgers and pounced! 

Gimme, gimme, gimme, them cards of the Southpaw Assassin!

How about a Topps Rookie Cup gold? Yeh, I want it. 

 Here's another nice slice of Cody cardboard...

AJ was cool enough to toss in a couple of extra Boys in Blue:

 I remember looking forward to Garcia when he made it to LA, but he turned out to be a bust. At least the guy looks good on a card. 

Finally, a little bitta Brooklyn (in reprint form)...

Thanks, AJ! Good stuff. 

Next up, a couple of non and ex-Dodgers from reader Jimmy L.  
Noone better to start us off than a legend...

Here's an ex-Dodger - at least he was one in the coach's box. Don't forget to read that caption: 4 for 4 with 3 HRs, Retires 5 days later. 

One of my favorite (recent) past Dodgers...

We'll close out with the man that I love to hate; love to collect. 

Great cards for a great first trade. Thanks, Jimmy! Looking forward to many more.