Friday, December 30, 2016

COMC Black Friday Buy

I took advantage of the free shipping option that COMC put out for Black Friday and got these cards. You needed to buy at least twenty cards to quality and I stopped myself at twenty-three Darryl Strawberry baseball cards for my collection. I love free shipping! And I'm sure tons of other collectors and gift givers were also taking advantage of the deal.

As you'll see below, if you make it down to the bottom, I concentrated on 1990 and before cards. First up, 1986.

1986 Fleer Star Stickers, Card #116
1986 O-Pee-Chee Album Stickers, Card #95
1986 Topps Stickers, Card #95
1986 Topps - Glossy Send-Ins, Card #11

My 1986 Strawberry's are slowly building towards completion which is thrilling. Especially as these were cards I would have had something like access to when I was a lad. Though some of these seem hard to get so I'll certainly be happy to get what I can. I remember collecting those stickers and pasting them into books. Do you? Would love to know if anyone has these empty or filled in and if scans are available. I just Googled this: man did it bring back some pre-pubescent memories.

Now we come to 1987.

1987 Burger King All-Pro Complete Panel, Card #19-20 (with Fernando Valenzuela)
1987 Donruss Highlights, Card #42
1987 Donruss Highlights, Card #49
1987 Donruss Opening Day Box Set, Card #128
1987 Fleer World Series, Card #11 (with Ray Knight)
1987 Kraft Home Plate Heroes Food Issue, Card #26
1987 MSA Jiffy Pop Collector's Edition Discs Food Issue, Card #17
1987 Our Own Tea Discs With Tabs, Card #1
1987 Topps Coins, Card #46
1987 Topps Stickers Hardback Test Issue, Card #159

The 1987 cards in my collection, as well, are coming together. My favorites of these are the Donruss cards for some reason. Particularly that Opening Day card. Dig that maroon border. The Fleer World Series card with Ray Knight is also awesome.

Are you ready to move on to 1988?

1988 Donruss Baseball's Best Box Set, Card #182
1988 Fleer Headliners, Card #4
1988 Fleer Kay Bee Toys Team Leaders Box Sets, Card #40
1988 Grenada Major League Baseball in Stamps U.S. Series 1, Card #NNO
1988 Kahn's New York Mets, Card #27
1988 MSA Fantastic Sam's Baseball Superstars Disc, Card #17
1988 Our Own Tea Discs With Tabs, Card #DAST
1988 Tea Super Stars Discs, Card #17 (This might be the same as the above)

1988: Strawberry's monster year. Home slice finished second in the MVP and lead the league in Home Runs, Slugging, OPS, and OPS+. I don't remember much about Kirk Gibson's year aside from his World Series heroics, but looking at their stats side-by-side, I feel like Straw was hosed. How cool, though, is the Grenada stamp?  It's all about awesome. I was a fan then, and am a massive fan now, of the Fleer Headliners cards. They are really neat and I feel the design holds up really well now, nearly 30 years later.

1989: the red-headed step child left out....But, there was one card from 1990!

1990 Collect-A-Books, Card #20

This little 1990 booklet is quite cool, too. I didn't realize it was an actual booklet when I bought it but I'm sure glad I did.

I kind of went a little disc crazy with this order, even going so far as ordering two of the same 1988 Our Own Tea discs. But, here's my conundrum and I'd appreciate your opinion on this. One of the Our Own Tea's is unopened, and the same situation exists for the 1987 Our Own. To bastardize my good Danish homeboy, Hamlet:

To open, or not to open, that is the question:
Whether 'tis Wiser to let be be
And not open the bloody Tea discs,
Or to take Tweezers against it,
And by careful prying open them:...

Please read the original. I did a little nudge to the 1988 and saw Dwight Gooden represented but I have no idea the extent of the insides. I'd really appreciate your thoughts!

Thanks for stopping by!

Monday, December 26, 2016

My Favorite Baseball Card of 2016

Tom at Til Next Year put out a contest for our favorite card of 2016. There are some monster responses already but the promise of even the loser winning something has me aiming for the bottom spot. That's why my favorite card is actually for my least favorite player who finally retired from baseball: David Ortiz. I should have subtitled this: "The Airing of Grievances" and I apologize to Tom for taking such advantage of this "opportunity".

David Ortiz is one of the most selfish, obnoxious, and hypocritical baseball players I've ever had to watch and he, along with the true despicable's of the 2011 Red Sox, are the reason I turned my back, for good, on him and the team. From ownership on down. According to David Ortiz, anyone that doesn't blindly love him and praise him and who is remotely critical of him and his performance and behavior, is a hater. I don't hate David Ortiz: I just don't like him or his antics. He's a media-obsessed d*ck; which to some degree is a commendable thing because it's established a brand and name recognition for him that will serve him well in retirement. And, please, for the love of whatever, stay retired. Don't do the Favre thing. Or the Clemens thing and play partial seasons. Please don't. Stay away. It's bad enough we had yet another stupid farewell tour -- and I hope it's the last of them. But we know the machine of Red Sox Marketing (get ready, Chris Sale, for the worst years of your career -- you thought Chicago was bad? Hell, maybe you should be on Twitter!) will cart him out for a gazillion celebrations and love-fests and whatever during this next season. And I can't wait for the Big 4th Anniversary Celebration of the 2013 World Series Team! Woot-Woot! I need therapy. & what sucks is I work five minutes from Fenway Park, and the temptation to go to games is great. But I cannot give them any more of my money.

Affiliated with MLB's steroid scandals, Ortiz somehow evaded the criticism that hounds better and more Hall Of Fame worthy players than himself such as Barry Bonds and the aforementioned Clemens. He even received a somewhat full pardon from Commissioner Rob Manfred, which is so, so, so wrong. David Ortiz passes himself off as a role model, and this may be partially true. But, his career took off because of PED use (as opposed to Bonds and Clemens who arguably had Hall of Fame careers before they dabbled) and this fact must never be overlooked. He's also a big freakin' baby. Year in and year out we in the Boston market had to listen to him complain and complain and complain and complain about his contract status until the ownership inevitably caved-in and offered him extension after extension and extension. Resting on his laurels, Ortiz felt he was worth it but the dangling of contract extensions --and the setting of incentives and milestones -- was necessary to keep him motivated. And by and large it worked. A role model: Ha! Who can forget his beating the ever living sh*t out of the telephone in Baltimore? Who can forget him interrupting a press conference with then manager Terry Francona to argue and complain (again) about an official call that stripped him of a RBI? Or, the classic bitch-fest about blaming the media for his being hit by a Yankees pitch for the first time in his career. A role model keeps his cool and doesn't look upon opposing players, umpires, or others with a truly frightening amount of rage in his eyes.

In a similar vein, I dislike, strongly, how nearly every baseball player to Ortiz is "my guy" or "my boy" & the hug-fests and excessive fraternization that take place seemingly at every ballgame. This mentality and sentiment defeats a bit the nature of on-the-field competition. Ortiz clearly wanted to be liked and that's fine too, but I always felt it was a ruse to not get beaned by opposing pitchers. So when he was pelted in that Yankees game I felt very pleased. You want to be chums, fine. But not on the ball field.

I am, myself, hardly a saint. But I am also not a public figure in the way that he is. (I am also a hypocrite considering my favorite baseball player of all time is a recovered drug abuser.) Googling "David Ortiz Angry" present many images and videos. Keep your cool, dude. I get you're ultra competitive but it's a GAME! Grow up! You're supposed to be this big lovable guy. Who is also a dismissive pig who routinely calls out people for being "bitches" which is sexist and derogatory. A role model! Ha!

Anyway, after all that favorite card of 2016 shows Topps' designers having some fun at David Ortiz's expense. His insert Walk-Off-Wins card is a classic in design genius with the Red Sox logo strategically placed over Ortiz's crotch. I sincerely hope it pissed him off. It is indisputable that David Ortiz had some major clutch hits during his time as a Red Sox (both under the influence of steroids and presumably clean), so he was a natural choice to receive a card in this insert series. The deign of the card and the logo aren't his fault, nor is the picture selection. But frankly, the arms up is so iconic, for lack of a better word, because of the importance of the grand slam home run he hit in the 2013 playoffs against the Choking No Farm System Dave Dombrowski Detroit Tigers.

The logo, of course, should be bigger. But we know what effect steroids have in the nether-lands.

Thanks for stopping by!

PS: My runner up for the best card of 2016 is a card that never was. It was among the most memorable of the year, hands down and sunglasses down too.

Anyone of the above three would have made an ace, high selling ToppsNOW card and it was an absolute let down they did not select the image of Roughned Odor punching Jose Bautista in the jaw. Even Bautista's late slide would have been an acceptable card, for me. Bautista's a dick - a dirty player. Dan Duquette's comments at the winter meeting were excellent. That was at least his second late slide of the year and I don't like or condone violence -- it's a game for crying out loud -- but Odor was reasonably justified in protesting the intent of the slide.

Thanks, again, for stopping by!