Thursday, March 30, 2017

Random Cards From My Collection #83

Card #55,489 - 2016 Topps #1 Mike Trout

Can Mike Trout jump really high is is this a short fence?

Card #16,799 - 2006 Fleer Tradition #31 Bubba Crosby

The first (and only) Upper Deck produced Fleer Tradition set. At the time, I actually thought it was the best Fleer Tradition set in years. I still like it.

Card #32,549 - 2012 Topps Gypsy Queen #217 Eric Thames

The second year for Gypsy Queen, and already wearing out its welcome.

Card #2,731 - 1974 Topps traded #139 Aurelio Monteagudo

If it weren't for this card, I'd have never heard of this guy. The Phillies got him from the Angels in an off-season trade after the 1973 season and then released him before the start of the 1974 season. 

Card #48,052 - 1991 Topps Micro #618 Sil Campusano

Topps issued these 'micro' cards in 1991 and 1992. I have the entire 1992 set which I just happened to see for sale in a Toys R Us in 1992. $10 for the entire boxed set. The cards are about the size of a postage stamp, and, as I'm sure I mentioned before, are a pain in the butt to own.

Card #38,851 - 2009 O-Pee-Chee #85 Joba Chamberlain

In its final death throws, Upper Deck managed to produce this fairly decent retro set.

Card #44,437 - 2007 Fleer #145 Torri Hunter

2007 was the last year for Upper Deck Fleer branded cards. The only decent set, in my opinion was the 2006 Fleer Tradition shown above.

Card #24,380 - 2008 Upper Deck First Edition #16 Carlos Lee

The ole' random number generator just keeps popping up cards from the latter days of Upper Deck. If you like Topps Opening Day, then you'll love Upper Deck First Edition. Or at least that must be what UD was thinking.

Card #27,027 - 2011 Bowman #101 Aramis Ramirez

If you're a Cubs fan, does that Citi logo bother you? I'm not a Cubs fan and it bothers me.

Card #46,833 - 1992 Topps #414 Jeff Ware

All of the 1992 Topps Draft Pick subset featured the players in street clothes. Jeff Ware is currently the pitching coach for the Lansing Lugnuts, one of my favorite minor league team names.

Monday, March 27, 2017

2016 Upper Deck Champions

I'm not much for collecting sports other than baseball but, as a multi-sport set, I've always liked Goodwin Champions. It's been hard to find. I haven't seen it in a store since 2014. I managed to get the entire 100-card 2016 base set on eBay for less than 10 cents a card. The set has 150 cards but cards 101-150 are short printed with a black background.

Although there are 150 cards only 50 people are represented. Here's card #1 and #51

The first 50 cards are repeated on 51-100 but in a horizontal format. Cards 101-150 have the same people, in a third photo, but in a different order. I kind of like the idea but I think it would have been better if one card showed a pose, maybe out of uniform, and the second showed an action shot. This comes close to what I'm thinking of.

Baseball is woefully under represented and there are no American football cards at all. Tom Glavin is the only baseball player in the set.

Golf is over represented with 7 different golfers, including Tiger Woods. All of the golfing photos show the player in his or her back swing, except for Woods. They could have dropped a few golfers for baseball players in my opinion.

She appears to be teeing off from the outfield in Wrigley Field.

There are a lot of other sports included: archery, climbing, fitness, boxing, MMA (3), wrestling, field hockey, rugby (3), ice hockey (5), skiing, track and field (3), motor sports (5), swimming and diving.

Most of the ice hockey players are in suits on both cards.

The cards are nice. They are printed on heavy card stock, with no gloss or foil. The design is simple, reminding me of the best of Allen and Ginter. The design is way better than the 2014 design.

In past years, Goodwin Champions included non-sports figures but this year there was only one.

Her claim to fame is that she appeared in the 2008 Sports Illustrated Swim Suit issue. The 10-year-old card collector in me is always happy to get sports cards with girls on them and there were plenty in this set. I always like to look up the Wikipedia entries for the people on cards like this. You never know what you're going to learn. According to her Wikipedia entry "Baker is considered curvaceous".

Here are a few more cards I like from the set.

Hall of Fame basketball player John Havlicek with a football.

One of two water polo players in the set. Azevedo is captain of the US National Men's Water Polo Team.

Here's another example of how I'd have liked this set to go.

Loring taught Jennifer Lawrence to shoot for the "Hunger Games" movies.

Enders, from Houston, started racing when she was 8.

She is a professional CrossFit athlete. I didn't know there was such a thing.

And finally, according to Wikipedia, Vaughn Gittin is a self-taught professional drifter. Which is apparently some sort of motor sport.

Friday, March 24, 2017

Born in Hong Kong

Here's something you don't see every day, a baseball card for a player born in Hong Kong.

As near as I can tell, Austin Brice is the only baseball player ever, born in Hong Kong. Too bad his Wikipedia page is silent as to how he came to be born there, or how he came to live in the US. He was drafted out of a high school in North Carolina.

Wednesday, March 22, 2017

Movie Review - Kong Skull Island

Hey kids, let's make a new King Kong movie.

It's been a long 12 years since the last King Kong remake. Is this the remake you were waiting for?

I'll give nothing away by saying that the movie is about a giant ape fighting helicopters and giant lizards. And that's pretty much it.

There's a racially diverse cast of people to watch get killed in unpleasant ways.

Academy Award winner Brie Larson in on hand mainly because there has to be a woman in a King Kong movie and she can fill out a tee shirt pretty well.

Tom Hiddleson plays a mercenary guide hired apparently for his jungle tracking skills. Which would surly be needed on what was supposed to be a mapping survey of an unknown island.

Samuel L. Jackson is there because they needed a barely in control crazy guy to lead the obviously hopeless fight against Kong.

The movie was OK for what it was. The special effects were great. Kong was very life-like. The monster fights were, for the most part, whirlwinds of hard to follow activity.

Large stretches of the movie made little sense. The expedition arrives at Skull Island on board a ship with three helicopters parked on it. The ship can't get near shore because there is a permanent storm raging all around the island. So they plan to fly through the storm on the helicopters, which are Vietnam War era gun ships (the story takes place in 1973). The three helicopters take off and some how turn into a fleet of 13. Question: can the doors on helicopter gunships be closed? They fly into the storm with all the doors open, and somehow, everyone isn't soaking wet when they land.

Remember the 2014 movie "Godzilla"? Neither do I, but "Kong Skull Island", while not a sequel, is the second film in the "Monsterverse". The next film, due in 2020 will be called, wait for it, "Godzilla vs. King Kong".

The music is all "Apocalypse Now" with the Doors and Credence Clearwater Revival blaring loudly.

If you're the kind of person who likes to sit through the credits, you'll be rewarded, but you'll have to to have patience. I estimate that nearly 100,000 people were involved in the making of this movie and every single one of them is named in the credits.

Tuesday, March 21, 2017

Trade with The Angels, In Order

A couple of weeks ago I got an email from Tom over at The Angels, In Order requesting access to my 1990's Phillies Google docs spreadsheet. The result? 23 Phillies cards for me, and, for Tom, some cards off his want list.  Here are the highlights (thanks Tom).

1990 Fleer League Leaders #21 Ricky Jordan

Fleer produced a lot of these 44-card boxed sets in the late 1980s and early 1990s. They were mostly distributed in chain drugstores and the like. I don't remember ever seeing them for sale. Ricky Jordan was one of a number of projected great Phillies from that period who never amounted to much.

1992 Stadium Club Dome #100 John Kruk

The last Phillie I needed from this set.

1992 Upper Deck Minors #68 Tyler Green

There were a lot of Phillies in this set. Even with the 4 that Tom sent, I still need 6 more.

1993 Toys R Us #18 Dave Hollins

Another set I've never seen before. It's a 100-card set I presume was sold as a boxed set. I'd have bought it if I'd ever seen it. My kids were little in 1993 and I spent enough time in the store.

1994 Fleer Excel #246 Scott Rolen

A very nice, very early Scott Rolen card. A nice looking minor league set. Glossy front and back with a little gold foil on the front.

1996 Collector's Choice Silver 

1996 Ultra #519 Lenny Dykstra

Tom set 3 cards from this set. I actually had the Gold Medallion version of this card where the background is all gold. Without the background it wasn't clear what Dykstra was doing in this photo.

1998 Pinnacle Mint #30 Scott Rolen

The only Phillie in this set. I only had a couple of card and coins from 1998 Pinnacle Mint but I didn't have any of the matched coins and card. In an earlier trade with Tom (in 2011) he had sent me this:

1998 Pinnacle Mint Bronze #30 Scott Rolen