Monday, May 31, 2010

Set Complete - 2010 Topps

Here is the completer card for 2010 Topps. Didn't take me long :) I will do a complete rundown of the 3 boxes I bought in the coming days.
Now I can focus on knocking out some of the older sets that have stalled out (1948 Bowman, 2009 A&G and 1970 Topps).

Set Started - 1971 Topps (Winston-Salem Card Show Part II)

I had low expectations at the Winston-Salem card show, like I said yesterday, but I did run across something I felt that I had to pick up. A guy had this partial set of 1971 Topps.
I had a poll on here a while back saying that I was going to start 1959 Topps next, but I couldn't pass this up. The cards were lower grade (much like my 55 or 70 set), but I got them for a really good price ($60) and I already had a good many here that I hadn't sorted yet.
After I picked up the partial set, I went to another table where the seller had a bunch of cards half off, so I got this Pete Rose and the below Ernie Banks.

I wonder why Banks looks so surprised? Ohhhh noooo, I done gone and stung myself... Banks was a hell of a player, though, he is definitely one of those who I'd love to meet in person.
The 1971 set isn't the best in the world, not too many HUGE RCs (Blyleven, Garvey, etc) and the black cards are easily damaged. I'm not going to go too crazy in getting these in mint condition, but it will be definitely a fun set to put together.

Sunday, May 30, 2010

Bo Knows Your Mom - Winston-Salem Card Show Part I

For the first time in something like 10 years, a card show was held in Winston-Salem, NC. This is big because just a year ago, card shows were becoming scarce around NC. I had begun to worry that they would go the way of the dinosaur and not be held anymore. I am happy to see a good number of shows popping up around the area now (time to have one in Greenville, guys!!).

A small (very small) show was held this weekend in Hanes Mall. I practically grew up in Hanes Mall. My mom worked there part time almost 20 years ago, just to get out of the house. One of my brothers and one of my sisters also worked in the mall, too during their high school days.

The show only consisted of 5 tables, with mostly junk, but Pete, P.A., Andy and I were able to come away with a few notable things...

Once again with Bo Knows Your Mom. This shot of Bo Jackson in his football pads with a bat over his shoulders is an iconic image from the 90's collecting scene. A kid I grew up with had this as a poster on his wall. This is just a bad ass shot of a player who was freaking awesome, but didn't last as long as many would have liked.

99% of the cards from the late 80's - early 90's aren't worth crap, so you have to find little things you like about them for them to have any 'value' to you. I spent $1.00 on this card and am completely satisfied with my purchase. I had discussed this shot recently and was so glad to find this in the dollar box at this show.

Words could not describe Bo back in his heyday. The reverse of the card says all that needs to be said... BO.

Friday, May 28, 2010

More Randomness

Its a long story, but my old laptop is dead and I am already in posession of a new one. Thanks to me for standing up for myself, and also, thanks to a really cool dude in Holly Springs, NC who stepped up and made up for the computer repair shops huge mistake.

I am heading to the card shop tomorrow to pick up Series 2 for Max and I. I'm really excited to see what CYMTO redemptions I get.

Andy, Pete, P.A. and I are all catching the rare card show in Winston-Salem on Sunday as well.

Very busy Memorial Day weekend for me. I hope you all have a safe and fun holiday.

Sunday, May 23, 2010

Anticipation and Random Thoughts

I have a busy week ahead of me. I am packing to go to Charlotte today for work. It has been a while since I have been to the city in which I spent 11 years of my life. We are having a get-together for work tonight, then OSHA training at the Charlotte office tomorrow. One of my friends there says he is giving me a Ray Durham (Charlotte's own) auto'ed ball, which I think is really cool.

Also, two of the girls who work there both say they have baseball cards they want me to look at. We'll see if they remember to pull them out of storage for me.

I have to be out of town until Tuesday night, so I doubt I will be posting anything, but I will have my laptop with me, who knows.

I should be getting my Monte Irvin TTM any day now.

I hooked Max up with a huge box of stuff last night that should keep him busy for a while ;).

Andy, Pete, P.A. and I are planning on going to the card show at Hanes Mall in Winston-Salem on Sunday. I can't remember the last time a card show was in Winston. I know that I haven't seen one there in the 6 years since I have gotten back into the hobby.

6 years back in the hobby. My wife thought this was another 'phase.' Boy was she wrong, haha.

Series 2 comes out this week. I have my 3 boxes and Max's 2 boxes on order, so I should be able to get them on Saturday. Unless Topps delays it like they did with Series 1. There isn't a whole lot card-wise to blog about, at least new stuff. I'm going to start going through boxes and blog some vintage stuff again.

It also doesn't help that the Orioles are still spinning their wheels. I'm just not feeling it this season. Go Dodgers.

Thursday, May 20, 2010

Taking a Break From The Normal Blog Routine...

So, I grabbed a few boxes from our storage building. The purpose was twofold; I wanted to find a picture so I could copy it and give one to Max and the other was to find my box of autographed baseballs that I had stowed away.

I found both. I was very disappointed that a lot of my signatures have been fading, but I honestly think I noticed this when I packed them up (thus switching a few to UV protected cubes). I also noticed that my Cal Ripken and Jim Palmer baseballs are 'toning.' Meaning, the white baseballs are starting to turn brown. I was sad about this for a little bit, then I thought that I kind of liked how the old brown auto'ed balls looked that I have seen. I'm sure hoping they end up ok and not all splotchy like they are now.

The picture I was looking for is a picture of me from 1994 crouched beside my Jr. Dragster. I raced this car for a year between my 14th and 15th birthdays.
The car was bought for my brother Adam. Dad challenged Adam and I that he would get a Jr. Dragster for whichever of us got all A's on our report card. Let me tell you, it is much harder to get all A's in 8th grade than it is if you are in 5th grade. Adam (who is 3 years younger than me) got all A's and I did not.

So, he got the car. I got to watch. I was so bitter for a long time, but little did I know that my brother would soon discover football (which paid his way through college) and would soon forget his racecar. Not before the local news channel did a story on him and his racecar. Blehh...

I'm hoping you all remember that my dad has drag raced for 34 years and was BIG TIME during this period. The dragster was painted to mirror his Pro Modified car and we would take it wherever he was racing. This got to be a problem because you had to have 2 trucks and trailers because his normal race trailer was not outfitted to handle 2 cars. We began leaving the car with the engine builder.

One Saturday, Adam had a football game, but the engine builder thought he would be there and brought the car. Seeing that Adam wasn't going to be there, the engine builder asked my dad what he wanted to do, since he had the car there and no one to drive it. Dad (I think he finally got that I was the one who really wanted to drive the thing) asked me if I wanted to try it out and of course I was almost peeing myself saying yes I'd love to.

Luckily, Dad had kept Adam's fire suit, shoes and helmet in his trailer and we had everything I needed in order to pass the safety qualifications (don't ask me how embarassing it was that I could fit into all of my brother's stuff, who was 3 years younger than me).

I had never driven anything other than a Honda three-wheeler in my life, so my cousin Eddie and Dad's crewman Bear (yeah, that's his name) took me and the car off to the spectator parking lot (a gravel lot) to get some practice in the car before the first time trials were called to the lanes.

They started me up and let me sit in the car so i could get acclimated to the pedals and the steering.

The car had a 5 HP Briggs and Stratton go-kart engine that was bored out (and utilizing PEDs) in order to bump it up to 25HP. Adam had the car up to 70 MPH on an 1/8 mile drag strip.

My first pass down the strip (Mooresville Dragway) was ok. I was looking at the front wheels instead of looking out at the strip (if that makes sense) and was all over the lane because I felt like I wasn't going straight. After the run (at approx 10.36 seconds, 65MPH), my cousin Eddie pulled me aside and told me to look beyond the front wheels and just keep the car between the lines and it will go faster.

My next pass, I had an elapsed time of 10.28 seconds at 66MPH. I improved greatly. Now, the Jr. Dragsters were really taking off at that time and there were something like 16 kids there with their own dragsters. My engine builder also had another car he worked on, so he parked us both together. It ended up that the two of us were paired together for the first round of eliminations. My partner left the line too soon (red-lighted), thus giving me a free pass to the next round, and my first ever round win. I still have the time slip from that run. I will keep that bad boy til the day I die.

I ended up finishing that race in third place. I was given a trophy for my accomplishments that day (which I still have).

I raced sporadically over the next year. I got $20 bucks for making three exhibition passes down Dunn-Benson Dragstrip (where the above picture was taken, I think). The other races, I never got past the first round of eliminations.

In what would be my final race in this car (Dad would sell it because it was becoming too much of a pain to keep up with along with his Pro Mod car), I was racing at Mooresville again. Dad was also running Pro Mod at the same race and lost in his first round of eliminations. Having finished for the day, he packed up his car and watched as I went round after round, making it to the final round of eliminations.

One of my most favorite memories is of me pushing my car to the lanes as my dad ran beside me. He stood on the starting line as I was about to try for my first win.

I was up against a kid whose dad took the whole Jr. Dragster thing maybe a little too seriously. Before the round he stopped by our trailer and told my dad that he should put a real driver in my car. Dad wasn't too happy, and neither was I, for sure.

We did our burnouts and staged the cars. I'm nervous as hell and pissed off at what this kid's dad had said (Adam and I were friends with the kid, he had just slept in a tent with us at Bristol Dragway a few weeks before). We leave the line (I with a better reaction time than he) and race toward the finish line.

Now, in this type of racing, you have to guess your time. This makes it fair for a Corvette to run against a Volkswagen. If you go faster than your predicted time, you lose. This projected times also create a handicap start so the slower car gets a 'head start.' Make sense?

My car had been going 10.28 seconds all day, so naturally, I predicted to go 10.28. My opponent (taking it much more serious than most everyone else) had a super souped up dragster that went about a second quicker than mine.

So, I get the head start and lay down a really good reaction time (for once) and am off. I have my foot planted and my little car hurtling toward the finish line. I can hear my opponent coming hard and fast. As I get to the finish line, I let off the gas so as not to exceed my predicted time....

...I got to the finish line first, but exceeded my projected time by 0.004 seconds. So, my car, having run 10.28 seconds all day runs 10.276 seconds. My opponent's dad was able to celebrate a victory over a 'lesser' driver.

My dad patted me on the back and told me I 'did pretty good.' I was able to go the the timing tower and collect a trophy for my runner-up finish (which I still have). I still sit and think about how cool it would have been to sit that kid and his dad on their ass, but if you know me, those type of things don't happen to me.

I hope you all enjoyed my story about my moment in the sun at 14 years old. I really enjoyed racing and if I could afford it, I sure would do it in a heartbeat. I'd love to pilot a Top Fuel dragster at some point in my life. I'm just about to turn 30, so I think I still have time to realize that dream.

Wednesday, May 19, 2010

May 9, 2010 Carolina Mudcats vs. Chattanooga Lookouts game

For our second trip in 2 days to Wild and Wonderful Zebulon, Chris and I wanted to add more names to Max's team ball and try to get him something cool from the Lookouts. Goooo Dodgers. Chris screaming to the players for them to throw him a ball. They did and he gave it to Max.

When we walked into the game on Saturday, I got a free fleece blanket. Woo! I like it. I figured it was going to be one of those cheap ones that doesn't even cover your lap when you are sitting down.

The Lookouts backup catcher signing for us. His name wasn't on the roster I had with me, but that didn't matter. I though he was really cool when he commented on my shirt. (I was wearing my 'The Dude Abides' shirt)

Pitching lessons before the game.

Danny Darwin giving instructions to a pitcher. It was cool to be able to stand nearby and hear the instruction.
We had a really good time. As the players left the field after the game, one of the Lookouts players gave us a cracked bat. Chris immediately said 'Im going to give this to Max.' Max really made a haul, and he wasn't even there, but hey, that's what you do for your best friend, right?

Tuesday, May 18, 2010

..and so it begins

I got a LOT of mail in the last two days. 2 autographed baseballs, an autographed bat and this redemption card.
I know Hanley has been in the news for his well publicized benching. I think it had to happen if he was 'dogging it' on the botched play. I wish the Orioles would send a message to some of the 'veteran' players for their play lately.

I got this card as a redemption out of a pack of 2010 Upper Deck. I doubt I'll keep it, as I know someone who is a BIG Hanley Ramirez fan. It looks good though.

Lots and Lots of New Stuff Coming

Because I have taken some time off, I have been able to amass a good bit of things to write about in the coming days.

I have some autographed baseballs, an autographed bat, a couple minor league games and a blog partnership to discuss.

It is going to be a busy few days here at Foul Bunt.

I hope you all are as excited as I am.

Saturday, May 15, 2010

Sorry Guys

Yeahhh, I kinda took a week off unintentionally, but as you all may know, there isn't crap out there to open right now...

I also wanted to let everyone who signed up know that we have cancelled our case break. We did so because with the limited amount of people who signed up, the case still would be far too expensive for Chris or I to undertake. That and if I dropped that much on a case myself, I might as well hire a lawyer because my wife would end up getting half of it.

So, we will try again at a later date with a group break, it just wasn't in the cards right now...

Saturday, May 8, 2010

May 8, 2010 Carolina Mudcats vs. Chattanooga Lookouts

Chris and I decided to catch the Mudcats vs. Lookouts today since I wouldn't be at the card shop. Since the Lookouts are the AA affiliate of the Dodgers, I went on a mission to get as many Dodger Prospect autos for a certain Dodger fan that I know who happens to be my best friend... Yeah you know the guy :) I think we did pretty well.During the game, the mini mudcat came and sat beside Chris for an inning. This was pretty cool, except for the kid who came after and asked Chris and I to move. I told him sorry, we had tickets for our seats. Wasn't trying to be a jerk, but I was raised to not TELL someone to move out of their seats. Was kind of funny though.

I got a bunch of autographs. Initially, I was disappointed because I paid for field level seats, and there was a huge net blocking us from the players. We did find a place near the visiting clubhouse and got some awesome autographs. The above ball is Dustin Yount. Yes, he is the son of Robin Yount. Dustin has been in the minors for a LONG time. He is a former Orioles prospect. He was a really nice guy, though, taking the time to talk to Chris as he was signing.

Before we went to the game, I looked at the Lookouts roster and saw that Danny Darwin was their pitching coach. I thought to myself that it would be really cool if I got his auto. I succeeded. Pretty nice signature too.

I said before that I wa son a mission to hook Max up, really wanting to get him an autograph of the Dodgers' #1 prospect. I succeeded in that as well. Damn, I'm good. Haha. We got several other Lookouts players. Chris got them all on one ball and I went through 5 single balls.

This was our first trip to Five County Stadium in Zebulon, NC. We drive by the baseball water tower every weekend on the way to the shop. I am glad we went. It is a beautiful stadium. I am still partial to Grainger Stadium in Kinston, though.

A cool picture of Dustin Yount and Danny Darwin talking before the game.

Dustin Yount signing for some kids before he came and talked to Chris.

Dee Gordon signing my baseball. He was pretty nice as well.

Danny Darwin signing Chris' ball. I like catching some of the 80's stars who are now coaching.
The game was close until the bottom of the 8th when the Lookouts allowed an INSIDE THE PARK GRAND SLAM. That's right. I'm not kidding. Just WOW.
Any thoughts guys? I'm so happy I accomplished my mission to get a Gordon auto for Max. You'll probably be reading about it on his blog shortly.

Another Autographed Ball

I got this in the mail today: Hank Aaron autographed ball. It was VERY cheap on ebay. I'm not usually a fan of taking a gamble like that, but with what I paid, if the signature isn't legit (and I compared it to 5 balls listed as PSA/DNA and it matched up just fine) then Chris can use it for batting practice. This ball did come with a COA, I just had never heard of the company before - Pro Star Sports. Anyone hear of them?

I have actually seen a lot of autos with PSA/DNA COAs going real cheap lately (a Cal for $35 and a Musial go for $30), I think the market is flooded right now, which is fine by me.

Anyway, I like the ball, so I'm content. I know a few of you aren't too cool with buying autos off of ebay, but I believe in its authenticity, and if I can sleep well at might because of it, then there's no reason I should drop $300 on an Aaron when I have this one for a fraction of the cost...

Wednesday, May 5, 2010

Through The Mail?

I'm going to try a couple more through the mails since I had such success with Bobby Doerr. My next shot is going to be with Hall of Famer Monte Irvin. The package will go out tomorrow morning, so we'll see how long it takes.

Anyone else have any cool older players they would try?

Swept Away

I was asked to post a blog about how the Orioles were turning it around after the past weekend, however, this was before he knew that the O's had been swept by the Evil Empire.

No harm done, though. I do believe they have turned a corner.

MOST of the Orioles' games this year have been very close. A well placed grounder here, a home run there plus a sufficient bullpen and we are talking a complete 180 from their 7-21 record.

I don't know who is to blame. The manager is to blame for some aspects, the lack of fundamentals, mental errors, and general lack of preparedness can rest on his head.

Dave Trembley does not bat for any of the players, though.

I dropped Nick Markakis from my fantasy team in a little bit of reverse psychology. I felt that if I dropped him, he would begin tearing the cover off of the ball. He isn't doing that, really, but he is hitting .314 now. Ty Wigginton and his 9 home runs have been a nice surprise. Brian Matusz continues to prove (although his records doesn't reflect it) that he is a star in the making. Nolan Reimold may be escaping from his funk. Matt Wieters is batting around .280, which is respectable.

One of the huge problems from last year - the revolving door of starting pitching - seems to have been corrected.

I knew the World Series was a long shot this year, but .500 was within reach. Do I think it still is? YES. The brutal first month schedule is almost behind the O's. Whomever put that train wreck together deserves to be taken out and pelted with batteries.

I know a couple of other people who are in the same boat as I am. The Dodgers' starting pitching have been non-existent. At least I can discuss my misery with my best friend.

I'm also glad I am not a Red Sox fan. They are DONE.

Cubs? Poor Chris over at Oncardautos... I feel for you too man.

Pirates? They were outscored 72-12 during their recent 6-game skid.

So, yeah, things could be worse, I suppose.

Tuesday, May 4, 2010

Chris' First T-Ball Game

Today was a big moment in my life. My son played in his first T-Ball game. We asked him if he wanted to play baseball, he said yes, so we signed him up for the 4-year old T-Ball group. The first few practices have been interesting to say the least. Chris seems like he is one of the more advanced kids in the group, which makes me proud. When the other kids are making dirt angels, Chris is standing ready with his glove. Awesome.Chris bats left and throws left, which is cool. I do everything but throw left-handed, I guess that makes me weird.
Coach forgot Chris batted left-handed. No big deal though as Chris scorched a single up the middle.

Here are your Zaxby's Kickin Chickins.

My little buddy ready for his first game. He left his glove at my parent's house, so we had to run out right before the game and get him another right handed glove... Those aren't easy to find either...
I'm so proud of my big boy!!!

Monday, May 3, 2010

2010 Topps National Chicle

When I saw the previews for National Chicle, I thought Uggh, those look AWFUL. I'm glad I was wrong (for the most part).

I opened something like 7 packs of the cards, and I helped Pete open maybe 10 more. I saw some AWESOME relics in Pete's box (I'll let him tell about what he pulled). There are some awesome cards as well... This Johnny Bench is the best looking card I have seen. Wow. The person who painted this one did an awesome job. This is one of the best looking cards I have seen in a while.
Another good portrait, and it is a relic of an Oriole!! Eddie Murray, woo hoo. Looks like some dirt may be on the jersey, which is cool.

Max and Pete both pulled Roberts, so I got 2 of him already. Never a bad day when I get new Roberts cards. Hopefully he will come off the DL soon.

I pulled this and was like oh cool, on card auto... but it is of the artist who designed the card. It is numbered 4/10 which is good, I guess, but I was really underwhelmed with the auto.

I was very satisfied with the cards I saw. I saw some not so good ones though. I wish I had a scan of the Tim Wakefield I saw though. It was a weird looking card. Looked like he was eating the ball.

Sunday, May 2, 2010

Bobby Doerr Through The Mail Success

Oh man. Let me tell you, I had an awesome weekend. We got my whole family together in one place (which is a rarity), Max was able to come along (which meant a lot to me), the Orioles swept the Red Sox, and when I got home, I had some mail waiting for me.

Bobby Doerr autographed baseball TTM success. Doerr was a 9-time all star second baseman for the Red Sox from 1937-1951. He was elected to the Hall of Fame by the Veteran's Committee in 1986.

Upon receipt of this ball, I now have autographed baseballs from the three oldest living hall of famers in Stan Musial, Bobby Doerr and Bob Feller.

I sent the ball off on April 23 and it came in the mail yesterday, meaning it had a turn around time of 8 days. Not bad at all!!