Tuesday, December 30, 2008

Thursday Night at the Movies - The Spirit

A special Tuesday night edition of Thursday Night at the Movies. We saw the trailer for this months ago and it looked pretty interesting. I will freely admit that I knew nothing about the Will Eisner comic that the movie is based on. I've read a bit about it on Wikipedia which you can here. The comic ran from the 1940 to 1952, no wonder I don't remember it. There is now a 2008 DC version. The movie is very much in the style of Sin City. Sin City was a Frank Miller comic made into a movie by Frank Miller. Frank Miller also made The Spirit. Style wise similar but a different story. Not as much slow motion blood flying around as Sin City, but I'd advise not taking the kiddies to see this. We thought the movie was pretty good. My wife though it dragged a bit, but I call that story telling. It was a bit corny and certainly overacted in parts. They gave Samuel Jackson (who plays the Spirit's arch enemy "The Octopus") a big can of ham and said go with it. But it is, afterall, based on a comic book, and stays true to that.

The Spirit is a crime fighting superhero who apparently can't be killed. The movie is also an origin story so you'll find out why he can't be killed and why he and the Octopus ("I've got 8 of everything") are enemies.

2008 Donruss Threads

I was curious about these cards since Donruss hasn't had a license from Major League Baseball in 2 years. How can they make baseball cards without a license? First of all, the cards have a disclaimer on the back as below. We don't have a license but we're makin' cards anyway.

The cards are nice, with a high gloss and a white background. The quarter circles on the bottom half plus the player name and logo are in silver foil. On the back are player physical stats (height, weight, etc) and stats for one special year. For Schmidt it's his World Series year, 1980. There is also a little biographical note. The baseball stitches in the upper corners are just printed on, not embossed.

I've only got four cards but it looks like Donruss is employing several methods to stay legal. First of all, the team name is not featured although it is mentioned in the bio note on the back of Schmidt's card. Also care is taken to not show a team logo or name on the photo. So notice how Schmidt is twisted around so no team identification is shown. In the other two cards I have, the one is a player wearing catcher's gear so the uniform shirt is obscured. In the other, the player has squared around to bunt and his arm and bat obscure the front of the jersey. And if that doesn't work, then they doctor the photo like this Carlton card.

The Phillies away jerseys when Carlton was playing featured a Phillies P logo on the shirt opposite the number.

Monday, December 29, 2008

1909-1911 T206

Every once in awhile I'll try a bid on a really old baseball card on eBay. Every other time, I've been unsuccessful.

This time, I tried a bid on one of the granddaddies of baseball card collecting, a 1909-1911 T206 tobacco card. And to my wonder, I was the only bidder.

I paid $11.92, including postage, for this beauty.

We'll clearly, it's not a beauty. In fact its got some serious problems, such as 4 rounded and soft corners, several major creases and it's cut badly. Plus there is some residue on the back which looks like the remains of tape or glue. But on the other hand, it's not missing any of it's surface and the color is excellent. Considering it's almost 100 years old, it's in pretty good shape.

I have a collection of old postcards (mostly having to do with Cliff Walk in Rhode Island). A number of these date to the same era as this baseball card. But this is the oldest baseball card I own by far.

A few months ago I acquired a 1940 Play Ball card which is now the second oldest card I have.

Hooks Wiltse was a pitcher who played for the New York Giants from 1904 to 1914. His last season was in 1915 with the Brooklyn Tip-Tops. He has a career record of 139 and 90, most of that in the years 1904 through 1912. His best year was 1908 when he was 23 and 14 with an ERA of 2.24. He pitched 330 innings that year. He had a brother nicknamed Snake who was also a pitcher.

Hooks died in 1959 at 80 years of age, when I was 8 years old.

It's hard to tell from Beckett how much this card would be worth if it were in better condition. As near as I can tell, Beckett would put it in the $200-250 range. According to Beckett.com this is card #520, although I don't know how you can tell since there isn't a number on the card. There were 2 other cards of Wiltse, #519 with him pitching and #521 with a cap on.

Sunday, December 28, 2008

10 Questions by Dinged Corners

The nice ladies over at Dinged Corners are asking hard questions of us bloggers. Like Stats-On-The-Back, I decided to answer with a posting of my own.

1. If I didn't collect baseball cards, I'd collect vintage postcards. I already have a collection, mostly postcards featuring The Cliff Walk in Newport RI. When I'm not known as Capewood, I'm known as Cliff Walk (my real name) so you can see why I might be interested in these. Especially when they have captions like this one.
2. My baseball heroes include one you probably wouldn't know from my blog or comments, and that person is Jim Eisenreich. Jim has Tourette's Syndrome, a little known inherited neuropsychiatric disorder. In order to play baseball, he had to take medication which at time would incapacatate him. In spite of this, Jim helped lead the 1993 Phillies to the World Series. He and his wife operate the Jim Eisenreich Foundation for Children with Tourette's Syndrome.
3. Every New Years I resolve to do what with my collection? Actually, I don't make New Year's resolutions about my collection. This year however I resolve to get my cards cataloged as I buy them rather wait until the end of the year. I got involved with trading over the internet with fwllow bloggers this year and it would have been easier if I knew what new cards I had.

4. If I could spend a day with one person from baseball history, it would be Richie Ashburn. Growing up in Philadelphia I listed to Ashburn do color on Phillies broadcasts for years. I don't remember ever actually seeing him play but I must have. After I moved to Texas, I found out how to get a baseball card into the broadcast booth and the next time the Phillies came to town, I planned to try and get him to sign a card. But he passed away, on the road with the team, before coming back to Houston.
5. What is your favorite kind of dog? When I was a teenager, my parents bought my brothers and I a Keeshond for Christmas. She's my favorite kind of dog. Here is a picture of her at the dog groomers in 1973 just before all her fur was cut off. We never did a good job of brushing her. She lived to be 15 years old.
6. Who is your favorite baseball player? Mike Schmidt of course.
7. Who is your favorite team? The World Champion Phillies, of course.
8. What is your favorite baseball movie? Field of Dreams. The Natural is my second favorite.
9. What is your favorite baseball book?
10. What is your favorite card? I was chasing this card for years before finally winning an auction for this somewhat beat up version that I could afford. This is Mike Schmidt's rookie card.

Song of the Week - One Of Us by Joan Osbourn

I have 6,202 songs on iTunes. This is one of them.

This happens to be one of my favorite songs. So much so, in fact, I can remember where I was when I first heard it. I was driving home from work and heard it on the radio on Street Road near Davisville Road in Bucks County PA. It's from her 1995 album Relish which is full of good songs.

If God had a name, what would it be
And would you call it to his face
If you were faced with him in all his glory
What would you ask if you had just one question

And yeah yeah God is great yeah yeah God is good
yeah yeah yeah yeah yeah

What if God was one of us
Just a slob like one of us
Just a stranger on the bus
Trying to make his way home

If God had a face what would it look like
And would you want to see
If seeing meant that you would have to believe
In things like heaven and in jesus and the saints and all the prophets

And yeah yeah god is great yeah yeah god is good
yeah yeah yeah yeah yeah

What if God was one of us
Just a slob like one of us
Just a stranger on the bus
Trying to make his way home
He's trying to make his way home
Back up to heaven all alone
Nobody calling on the phone
Except for the pope maybe in rome

And yeah yeah God is great yeah yeah God is good
yeah yeah yeah yeah yeah

What if god was one of us
Just a slob like one of us
Just a stranger on the bus
Trying to make his way home
Just trying to make his way home
Like a holy rolling stone
Back up to heaven all alone
Just trying to make his way home
Nobody calling on the phone
Except for the pope maybe in rome

Friday, December 26, 2008

Frosty Friends 2003 - 2008

Let's finish off the Frosty Friend's posts. Relax after a hard day returning gifts of hitting the day after Christmas sales.

2003 was one of the more complicated and larger of the ornaments.
2004 was another large one.

In 2006, the little guys were making 'smores.
And in 2007, they were making ice cream.
The current year ornament we display on the mantle place.
Since we have so many of these, a couple of years ago we bought a small tree to display them.

Thursday, December 25, 2008

Frosty Friends 2000 - 2002

The Walk family Christmas tree. Hopefully, reading my blog isn't the best thing you have to do today.

Wednesday, December 24, 2008

Tuesday, December 23, 2008

Trade with Spiff

Spiff, who runs the Texas Rangers Card blog, proposed a trade of random Phillies/Astros cards for Rangers cards. I said let's do it and a few weeks later a box of cards arrived in my mail box. In the box were about 210 baseball cards. I already had a bunch of them but 55 were cards I didn't have which I think is a pretty good average for a random selection. Even better than that, 5 of the cards are going into my card reference books since I didn't have any of them.

This is a 2000 Upper Deck 2K Plus insert. It was a 1:23 insert in 2000 Upper Deck Series 1. It has a heavy gloss, refractive foil background with copper foil. It's strangely attractive. This was also available as a die cut (numbered to 100) and a gold die cut (numbered to 1).
The Billy Wagner card is a 1996 Bowman's Best Preview. This was a 30-card set inserted into 1996 Bowman. The '96 Bowman's Best had either a gold or silver background. This looks just like the silver background version. The only way to tell them apart is that the Previews were numbered with a BBP prefix. The finish is similar to Topps Chrome. I already had the gold and silver Refractor versions of the previews. All I need now is the Atomic Refractor version.
The 1986 Fleer Limited Edition was a 44-card set which Fleer produced for sale at McCrroy's Department Stores. There were no McCrory's in the Philadelphia area where I was living then so I never saw any of these. Fleer produced a similar set in 1987.
The 1988 Fleer Exciting Stars was produced for Cumberland Farms convenience stores. There were Cumberland Farms in the Philadelphia area but I missed this when it was new. This was also a 44-card set. Fleer produced a number of 44-card sets in the mid to late 1980's like this.
This is one of the checklist cards from the 1992 Classic Best set of minor league players. This set also featured a tribute card to Mike Schmidt which I already had. I had no idea that this checklist card featuring Mike existed.

Now all I have to do is fill the box Spiff sent with Rangers cards and send it back.

Monday, December 22, 2008

Phillies....or not!

If you've been following my blog (and if you are, thanks!) you may have noticed that I've been posting some old Phillies cards recently. That's because I've been scanning a lot of those old cards. I'll post some more as I get further into this project.

So what is so interesting about these two cards?

Lonborg and Sanders were both involved in a big trade between the Phillies and the Brewers in October 1972. The Brewers sent Lonborg, Sanders and Ken Brett (George's brother) to the Phillies for Don Money, John Vukovich, and Bill Champion.

If you look at these cards you should direct your attention to caps and the shirt collars.

First the hats. Do they look a little unnatural to you. It was (and still is) a common practice to doctor player photos to show them in a different uniform. When Topps was putting this set together, there were no pictures of either player as a Phillie. So they got out the air brush and painted their caps red and faked up a Phillies logo. They left the shirt collars alone however.

Lonborg went on to play for the Phillies for 7 years. Sanders? Don't remember him as a Phillie? Sanders was a Phillie for 30 days. On November 30, 1972, the Phillies traded him to the Twins with Joe Lis and Ken Reynolds for Cesar Tovar.

Lonborg - Phillie

Sanders - Not!

Sunday, December 21, 2008

Song of the Week - Welcome to the Working Week by Elvis Costello

I have 6,203 songs in iTunes, this is one of them.

This song is more or less dedicated to my daughter who starts her first full time job tomorrow. She's been working part time at the local public library shelving books. Now she'll be working full time, cataloging books. In a few weeks, she's be starting on her Master's Degree in Library Science.

I wish I could have found a good video of this but this was the best I could do.

Now that your picture's in the paper being rhythmically admired
and you can have anyone that you have ever desired,
all you gotta tell me now is why, why, why, why.

Welcome to the workin' week.
Oh I know it don't thrill you, I hope it don't kill you.
Welcome to the workin' week.
You gotta do it till you're through it so you better get to it.

All of your family had to kill to survive,
and they're still waitin' for their big day to arrive.
But if they knew how I felt they'd bury me alive.

Welcome to the workin' week.
Oh I know it don't thrill you, I hope it don't kill you.
Welcome to the workin' week.
You gotta do it till you're through it so you better get to it.

I hear you sayin', "Hey, the city's alright,
when you only read about it in books.
Spend all your money gettin' so convinced
that you never even bother to look.
Sometimes I wonder if we're livin' in the same land,
Why d'you wanna be my friend when I feel like a juggler
running out of hands?

Welcome to the workin' week, oh, welcome to the working week.

Saturday, December 20, 2008

Friday, December 19, 2008

Thursday Night at the Movies - The Day The Earth Stood Still

No, not that 1951 chestnut, but the 2008 chestnut. "Klaatu barada nikto" indeed.
Like the original, feature a large robot like creature which can shoot beams from its one eye slit. It features a human looking alien. It features a woman who comes to trust him and a military which doesn't. The plot is similar. It's very much like the original but its very different as well. We like it. We're not sure we liked the ending but at least the ending followed from the plot. I don't think we'll be seeing The Day After the World Stood Still. I recommend it. Keanu Reeves plays the alien, Klaatu. He is at his most Keanuish in this movie so if you don't like Reeves you may not like the movie.

Before the movie we saw a "First Look" at The Watchmen which is due out in March 2009. We saw an abbreviated trailer for this a few months ago which prompted me to read the graphic novel. I loved the novel and the movie looks like it's going to be pretty faithful to the novel.

Thursday, December 18, 2008

2008 Bowman Draft Picks

I bought two blaster boxes of the Bowman Draft Picks at Target. The $20 box has 8 packs of 7 cards each. Each pack has 2 base cards, 2 Prospects cards, 2 Chrome cards (either Chrome base or Chrome Prospects) and 1 gold card. The gold cards are parallels of just the base cards. This is pretty much what you got with 2008 Bowman and the design is exactly the same as the regular Bowman. I'm going to feature the cards from a single pack as it was, by far, the best pack.
All of the base cards feature the Rookie Card logo and feature green borders, just like the Rookie Cards in the regular set. I don't recognize any of the players I got on the base cards. Christian was a free agent draft by the Yankees in 2004. He played 24 games this season and hit .250. He also stole 7 bases in 40 at bats.
I don't know any of the players on the Prospects cards either. Just like in the regular Bowman set these card's numbers are prefixed with PP. Green was the Tigers #3 draft pick this past June. Who knows?
I only got 3 Astros cards and no Phillies cards. This pack yielded a Chrome Astros Prospects card. Trinidad was a free agent sign by the Astros in 2002 and hasn't made it out of AA ball. I'm not holding my breath. Chrome cards have a tendency to warp, and these Chrome cards are badly warped.
The other Chrome card was an X-Fractor! At least, that's what I think it is as there is no indication on the back. It's got the funny X-Fractor patterns in the finish. The card is numbered to 199. White was the D-Backs #4 pick last June and I can't find him in Baseball-Reference.com
This pack had 8 cards. The extra card was this Future's Game Jersey of Jamie D'Antona. He was the D-Backs #2 draft pick in 2003 and just made it to the majors this year where he hit .176 in 17 at bats (spread over 18 games). He also hit .365 with 21 home runs in AAA Tuscon as well so maybe I've got something here.
The Bowman Gold card parallel used to be a thick card but these cards are no thicker than the base. Van Every was the 29th round draft pick of the Indians in 2000 and finally made it to the bigs this year for 17 at bats. Looking him up on Beckett.com I see his first cards were as a Bowman Draft Prospect in 2007. Really, a prospect after 7 years in the minors? Topps couldn't find a better guy than this to feature in this set?