Saturday, April 19, 2014

Gypsy Queen Trade Bait - Minis Wanted!

I've decided not to pursue the master set for 2014 Gypsy Queen due to the fact that I don't like it. I am going to chase to the mini base set because mini sets are a helluva lot of fun. I just finished up the 2013 GQ Mini set and I felt pretty triumphant.

That said, I've got some SP's, inserts and tons of GQ base to trade away in exchange for minis! Here's a taste:

My scanner did some weird autocropping. I hate my scanner.
SP's: #315, 325, 326, 336, 341, 342, 343


Here are the minis I HAVE, anything else I need
#7,14,29,32,34,48,67,74, 75 ,76, 78, 100, 105, 117, 133, 135, 142, 145, 146, 152, 156, 157, 167, 179, 183, 184, 187, 197, 203, 204, 213, 242, 248, 252, 261, 275, 276, 278, 279, 285, 312, 314, 316, 325, 330

Let me know what your base needs are. I have around 400 base cards.

Friday, April 18, 2014

The Hobby in 1910 Part 2

The Hobby in 1910 Part 1

Welcome back to 1910. It's been a long morning in Chicago as you roam the street corners hawking papers.

You hope to sell off the rest of your stack in time to head down to the park and hear the rest of the game. Your hero, Joe Tinker, has been on fire over the last week.

With a little luck you're able to sneak into West Side Grounds before the game even starts! You find a seat in the bleachers and set in to watch the game.

The man sitting next to you opens a pack of cigarettes. You politely ask for the card and are handed a beauty. It's been a good morning. 

Welcome back to 2014. You're looking at "Calling Back the Elk", another gem from (T73) Hassan Cigarette's Indian Life in the '60's tobacco card set. There is so much to appreciate about this card from an artistic standpoint. The color is absolutely gorgeous even after 104 years. I can't emphasize enough how high quality these cards were for the time. It's not unrealistic to think that manufacturing the cards may have been more expensive than the pack of cigarettes they came with. 1910 was a big year for tobacco cards and Hassan was printing "Topps Chrome" compared to most companies who were more on par with "Topps Opening Day".

If you think too hard about this card, it's actually pretty sad. What the "white man" saw as a silly superstition was likely a religious act performed by a desperate Indian tribe who had lost their lifeline due to slaughter for sport by the new Americans. One of the most glaring inaccuracies of this set is that it lumps all Indians into one. In reality there were thousands of separate tribes with unique languages and religions, many that are now lost to time. At one time, elk could be found in every corner of the United States. Today they are limited to the Rocky Mountains and the Northwest US. 

Thursday, April 17, 2014

Custom Alex Gordon Allen & Ginter

I'm no graphic designer, but I do have Photoshop and I enjoy playing around. I finally built up the courage to make an Allen & Ginter style card. There are a TON of quality custom designers in the blogosphere, and I'd really appreciate some feedback on what I can do to improve it. I went with a straight Dragan effect on the player image, but it didn't really give me the look I wanted. All feedback is appreciated!

Edit: Here's a Molina draft too

Wednesday, April 16, 2014

Blue Border Binder Beauties #6 & PWE Mailday from Ethan

If you haven't joined the party on Twitter by following @VFTSB, then hop on it! I'm 17 followers away from giving away 8 packs of '88 Donruss to a random follower. I KNOW! You're thinking, "'88 Donruss? You mean that super rare high-end set from 1988 that changed the face of cards forever?!" Yeah. That's not the one, but it's still pretty great.

First off, I happily received a PWE yesterday from my friend Ethan at Playing with my Cards

I don't actively PC Bob Hamelin, but every time I get one of his cards I smile. He's one of the most un-photogenic and awkward Royals of all time, which fits my tastes.

Every slide should be accompanied by a wave to the crowd.

Hendu doing his best impression of WWII anti-Japanese propaganda cartoons

I bet you didn't know that Dave Henderson was a Royal. That's okay, he served mostly off the bench in half a season before the strike that ruined baseball happened.

Ethan finished it off with one of my 2013 Archives set needs and one of my favorite 2012 Prizm cards. Thank you Ethan!

Time to crack open the BBBBinder!

Card #98

2013 Topps Update US98 Salvador Perez

Can it be Upgraded?: Unlikely
What's to Love?: If you're not keeping an eye on Salvador Perez, then you're being dumb. Sal is now in his 4th year of play yet he's only 23 years old. Later today a heavily hyped prospect named George Springer will debut against Sal and the Royals. Springer is almost a year older than Perez. Sal is a 5-tool catcher. He's got a great glove, he's got a great arm, he's got a great bat, he calls a good game and he's likable. That's all you need to be a superstar in the BBBBinder.

Card #88

2014 Topps Opening Day 88 Yoenis Cespedes

Can it be Upgraded?: Sure
What's to Love?: 2013 OD BBB's are the best BBB's of all time. The wrapper redemption blue sparkles from 2013 are probably #2. 2014 OD would be my #3, though the "shine" of a new product may have some influence on that. The Yellow-Green-Blue combination isn't the best on this card, putting this one into the rare category of two positives equaling a negative. Gorgeous A's unis are a positive. Blue borders are a positive. Together.... I dunno. Could the MLB patch under the team logo get any bigger?

Card #159

2013 Topps Chrome 159 Chris Johnson

Can it be Upgraded?: Yeah
What's to Love?:  Topps really embraced the BBB in 2013. They added a light blue parallel to Topps Chrome that didn't get a lot of love from collectors despite having a lower print run than the normal blue refractors. There's nothing special about this card and I can't say I know anything about Chris Johnson. Mark slot #159 as one that needs to be upgraded. 

Monday, April 14, 2014

The Hobby in 1910 Part 1

The year was 1910. The Cubs dominated the National League and the Athletics of Philadelphia sat atop the American League. Ty Cobb had just batted .380, Walter Johnson struck out 313 batters and Dizzy Dean had just been born. You are ten years old and you've just finished up a shift in the factory. You trot downtown and meet your friends for a smoke.

 As you finish up the last of your smokes you head down to the general store to grab a few more packs. 

Frank grabs a pack of Obak and pulls out a Buck Weaver for his collection. Charles grabs a pack of Lucky Strikes and pulls another (T206) Christy Mathewson. "Ugh, the collation sucks balls." Charles proclaims as he tosses the dupe in the gutter. You're a little more mature than Chuck and Frank, so you grab a pack of Hassan. Inside, you find this...

"Boom baby!" You jump around and rub it in the faces of your pals. You've spent all summer collecting (T73) Indian Life in the "60's" cards from Hassan Cork Tip Cigarettes. The Oriental Smoke. This card, Buffalo Charging Hunter, is one you don't have yet and it'll fit in nicely with your collection. It's been a good day.

Okay, welcome back to 2014. Last summer my LCS had a few of these in the shop that he'd been holding on to for years. The T73 Indian Life in the 1860's set is not that popular among collectors, therefore they're cheap. I grabbed a few and started on my quest to chase down every card in the set. The last thing I need is another series of blog posts, but these cards are too perfect not to share.

I hope you'll also enjoy seeing this gems. The gorgeous artwork was ahead of its time and still manages to drop my jaw 105 years later. The cards are far from politically correct and they're usually far from correct period. The information is laughable at times, but you have to remember that in 1910, there were still Indians living off the land in a few remaining tribes. The point of these posts won't be political, we could easily talk about the racism and genocide these people faced at the hands of the white man, but there's enough of that out there. Instead, I just pay want to pay homage to the roots of our hobby and the treasures of 1910.