Sunday, December 28, 2008

New Year's Baseball Card Questions from Dinged Corners

Grad school hasn't even started back yet and the Dinged Corners crew has me doing homework. They have requested some answers to questions and I aim to oblige.

10 questions and 10 answers. (I hope these are short answer, not essay questions!)

1. If I didn't collect baseball cards, I would collect COMIC BOOKS. I am already a reader. I currently read Justice Society of America, Fables, and whatever my brother let's me borrow.
2. My baseball hero that you may not know is ERIC DAVIS. I have mentioned him several times but he was not a Met and isn't named Tito so you may have missed it. I always thought he was the best in the game. He had all the tools AND a bad back. He did recover from cancer and have a few nice years late in his career. He should have been the first to 40/40.
3. Every New Year, I resolve to RE-RE-RE-ORGANIZE my collection. This will be the third time in the last two years I have reorganized. Who knows, maybe there will be more cards to be saved.

4. If I could spend a day with one person from baseball history, it would be JACKIE ROBINSON. Why wouldn't it be Jackie? I would want to learn something if I got the chance to talk to someone from history! There is no doubt that I would learn something from Jackie Robinson.
5. My favorite kind of dog is a PAPILLION. Here's my papillion, Dobby.6. My favorite current baseball is DAVID WRIGHT. My favorites from the past are Christy Mathewson, Tito Fuentes, and Eric Davis.

7. My favorite team is the NEW YORK METS! K.Rod and Putz to the rescue!

8. My favorite baseball movie is FIELD OF DREAMS. The movie is pure baseball magic. The book is good too. Bull Durham, The Sandlot, and The Rookie are the runners-up.
9. My favorite baseball book is THE NEW BILL JAMES HISTORICAL BASEBALL ABSTRACT. Great stories and great arguments about the best at each position. And stats galore! Moneyball by Michael Lewis and Is This a Great Game or What? by Tim Kirkjian are also really fun reads.

10. What is your favorite card? T-206 CHRISTY MATHEWSON

Wednesday, December 24, 2008

Custom Christmas Gift for my Mom

I have made several custom cards in the past, one including tricky Nixon and the other of the famous Lucy of Dinged Corners.

I never tried to print these out until the idea for my Mom's Christmas gift popped into my head. She is a loyal Stats-on-the-Back reader and a lover of all things family! My gift was a wax pack of 2008 Topps Allen & Ginter's Mosley Edition. (Feel free the click on each image to check out the Stats on the Back!)

Here's the wrapper image. (Only 4 cards to a pack. Must be a super-high end product!)

Card #1 - My Dad (back in his coaching days)

My wife, the real photoshopper of the house, would like you all to know that she removed an umpire's head on the right of this image and replaced it with a shadow. My dad coached baseball for many years. (For all you UNC or USFL fans out there, he convinced Kelvin Bryant to play baseball in high school.)

Card #2 - My Brother (in the on-deck circle)

My brother was the king of all our wiffle ball games when we were kids. I was no slouch myself.

Card #3 - Me (no good little league photos and I was better at tennis!)

Just to explain the German reference, I was pummeled by a German exchange student named Dirk Schimmel. Earlier in the year, he scored a goal from midfield against our soccer team.

Card #4 - My Niece (the snacks are mightier than the goals!)

The uniforms and the snacks are what she loves most about soccer. I agree, uniforms and snacks are WAY more fun than soccer!

I actually printed these out and mounted them on those thick decoy cards. I must admit, they look pretty good.

MERRY CHRISTMAS to my Mom and everyone out there!

Saturday, December 20, 2008

Getting Back to the Basics

I still have a few more packages to send out in the big Save the Cards giveaway. Sorry for the delay. And when that's done, I'll let everyone know what's left. It's been tons of fun. I tried to include lots of cards that were not headed for the dump so that the packages would be a little better. I know Mike Scott is happy. He apologizes for that cranberry sauce comment earlier.

But before all this card shipping, this blog was a simpler blog. I trot out some random card from my collection, make a mildly amusing comment or two, then share some knowledge about the player on the card. With this post, Stats on the Back reclaims it's roots.

1997 Collector's Choice Kevin Mitchell
I don't have many serial numbered cards and this isn't one of them. But it sure looks like one. 653/863!!!!! It seems as though the industrial, British (steering wheel on right side) golf cart is the thing that is serial numbered. 863 is a big number for cards these days. What about for these carts? Is there a golf cart super-collector out there who has the prototype signed by the designer and the guy who screwed in the last lug nut. Clearly this cart is game-used.

That part above was the mildly amusing part if you didn't notice. (which is likely) Now for the informative part:Kevin Mitchell was originally a third baseman for the Mets. He was traded for Kevin McReynolds and got huge, both physically and statistically. He won an MVP with Giants in 1989 (47 HR, 125 RBI, and a 192 OPS+).

Stories that may or may not be true about Kevin Mitchell:
  1. allegedly fought with fellow rookie Darryl Strawberry during a pick-up basketball game in 1982 shortly after both were drafted and signed by the New York Mets
  2. during an argument with his then live-in girlfriend, Mitchell decapitated her cat
  3. when asked why he never wore a cup, Mitchell responded, "I couldn’t find one big enough for my junk
  4. as manager of the Sonoma County Crushers in 2000, he was suspended for nine games after punching the opposing team's owner in the mouth during a brawl
  5. once strained a muscle while vomiting
  6. broke a tooth eating a frozen chocolate donut that he had put in the microwave too long and had hardened
What I am sure about Mitchell is that he was really good for 10 years and that bare-handed catch in left field was awesome! I would go so far as to say "David Wright bare-handed catch" awesome!

Thursday, December 11, 2008

Blog Bat Around II: The Ones I Love the Most

Stats on the Back presents:

Blog Bat Around II: The Ones I Love the Most

1987 Topps Pat SheridanI carried this card around in my wallet for probably 10 years. My buddy, Justin, claims to still have his on his person every day. You see, we were members of the Pat Sheridan fan club. Membership activities included sending Pat birthday cards and carrying a Sheridan card in our wallets. Pat Sheridan was a journeyman, regular guy who batted around .250, with no elite skills. Why wouldn't you love this card. This one is worth no more than a nickel, but the one that lived in my wallet is worth even less.

1964 Topps Casey Stengel
This is my favorite Mets card. Casey is lounging in his Mets gear, a little more aged by his awful Mets team. Stengel's Mets weren't quite like his Yankees. I got this card at Paper Heroes in Knightdale, NC many years ago. I probably paid $4. I would occasionally buy an old card but would never pay more than a few dollars for it. I was a set collector then. Now, this card is first on my manager's page in my 1 of every Met collection.

1976 Topps Tito FuentesI featured this card in my 1976 Topps tribute. It is the card that prompted my first all-out player collection. It will be fun tracking down all of his cards. I already have a RC and a certified autograph! Tito had some major personality and it showed on his cards.

1972 Topps Willie MaysYou used to hear stories about people finding great collectibles at yard sales, at flea markets, and in old, dusty attics. That never seems to happen anymore. This card is the one time it happened to me. I was at a small flea market, who-knows-where, with my mom. I saw a small stack of cards in a glass case. The owner told me they were $0.25 each. I searched through the stack and chose a 1961 Topps Whitey Herzog, a Ron Santo RC, and this Willie Mays.
Best purchase ever!!!

T-206 Christy MathewsonI also featured this one back when I was just a wee blogger. It's my best of the best. I paid $35 for it. It is in pretty bad shape but it's an original Hall of Famer. I remember convincing Billy of Tom's Coins and Antiques in New Bern, NC, to throw in a free snap case with my purchase. It may be the most I have ever spent on one card. I wouldn't trade it or sell it. It is my favorite card.

There you have it. Stats-on-the-back would like to thank Gellman at Bleeped Out Sportscards for this blogacious event. Last time I gave myself a C+, but the Mathewson alone is worth a B-!!

Wednesday, December 10, 2008

Giveaway Rewards!

Lots-o-packages were shipped on Monday. But 2 early packages have reaped sweet rewards for me as a collector:

GCRL sent these and more:
1978 Topps Tito FuentesI know you all have been waiting to see my 2 big Tito Fuentes arrivals, but you will have to wait a little longer. How you can you not love a guy who put his name on ALL his hats. GO, GO. 23!

2001 Upper Deck Legends of New York Fuzzy MetsThe orange bits are FUZZY! I need all the Mets from this set.
I only had one before these 3 arrived. Did I mention the fuzziness!

2 Shiny Upper Deck Alex Ochoa cardsAlex debuted in 1996 and hit for the cycle. Then he went away. Reminiscent of Odibe McDowell! The Rock Solid card will replace whatever un-shiny card is currently in my 1 of every Mets binders.

1977 Hostess Dave KingmanDave Kingman was like Rob Deer in 1987 for every year of his career. He hit tons of homeruns and whiffed even more. He is 35th all-time in HR and 10th in Ks.

2001 Topps Tribute Casey StengelThis card is thick and shiny. It is a rainbow all by itself, although I am sure there are other versions. Casey is demonstrating how big Eddie Gaedel's strike zone was back in 1951.

Night Owl added these and more:
2008 Upper Deck Masterpieces Steve CarltonThis "Lefty" card is of the SP variety. He came along with a small stack of others that is getting me close to the non-sp set. Cole Hamels was repeatedly hailed as the second-coming of Carlton during this year's playoffs. I am betting Hamels doesn't win 5 Cy Young awards.

2005 Topps All-Time Fan Favorites Tito Fuentes
The tito fuentes collection is rolling now. There is the refractor version of his autographed card on ebay right now. I couldn't pull the trigger on a pinting plate last month. $30 on buy-it-now seemed a tad steep!

Thanks to the Dodger dudes for these cool cards. I hope all those Orels are enjoying themselves in your collections.

Monday, December 8, 2008

Card Oddities

In all the shuffling of cards to send out, I took the time to enjoy their subtleties one last time:

1993 UD Collector's Choice Houston Astros Mike Felder is sporting the less orangey Stros uni and his card shows the new less orangey logo.
Eric Anthony dons the classic Stros duds while his card matches him with the old logo.

Upper Deck matched new & old uniforms and logos on all Houston Astros as well as all Detroit Tigers. Never noticed it before!

1993 Topps and Upper Deck Rick Wilkins

Same photo? Not so fast my friend! Same play, slightly different camera angle. Find the guy in the crowd with the mustache and yellow hat. He is above Rick's head in the Topps card AND he is on the far left in the Upper Deck card.

Topps and Upper Deck had photographers at the same game, got the same shot AND chose it for their card of Rick. Very intersesting!

The latest Giveaway Update:

Padres - Shipped to Rod
O's - Shipped to Kevin
Cardinals - Shipped to Kerry
Expos - Shipped to Jon
Yankees - Shipped to Bo
Steve Finleys - Shipped to Kris
Cubs - Shipped to Ben (Still need address from gritz76)
Tigers - Shipped to Don
Specials Cards - in queue for dunlapReggie (need address!)
Will Clark + some extras - in queue for Mark
Astros - in queue for Aron (need address!)
Royals - Shipped to Zach
Pitchers & leftover Cardinals - in queue for Casey

The giveaway is coming to an end soon. Or is it???

Monday, December 1, 2008

Still Givin' 'Em!

Here is a current list of all those on the Save These Cards bandwagon! (I will be emailing you for an address soon or you can get it to me first.)

- boxed and waiting on me to ship
O's - boxed and waiting on me to ship
Cardinals - need an address from madding!
Expos - need an address from Jon (mad guru)
Yankees - need an address from Bo!
Steve Finleys - need an address from AlbuqwirkE
Cubs - need address from Ben & gritz76
Tigers - in queue for Don
Specials Cards - in queue for dunlapReggie (need address!)
Will Clark + some extras - in queue for Mark
Astros - in queue for Aron (need address!)
Royals - in queue for zman40 (need address!)
Pitchers & leftover Cardinals - in queue for Casey

Wow! That is a long list. Let me know if I forgot anyone. Here is a little preview of a few more teams:

24 Steve Sax (never considered him a Yankee)
18 Roberto Kelly (changed his name to Bobby for 1 season)
16 Dave Winfield (his bats always looked like little twigs)
14 Kevin Maas (What a great first month of a career!)
11 Don Mattingly (For 5 years, there was no one better)
and Brien Taylor (1 of the first big signing bonuses. sad story!)
31 Tim Raines (I think he should be in the HOF!)
19 A.Galarraga (The Big Cat!)
15 Delino Deshields (Larry Walker, Marquis Grissom, and Delino were an impresssive Rookie threesome!)
and 1 Warren Cromartie Sticker CardTigers
Stacks of Stars abound for this Detroit collection!
16 Kirk Gibson
31 Cecil Fielder
31 Jack Morris (10 Shutout Innings! I can't mention that enough.)
47 Lou Whitaker (remember when Magnum saw Lou in that bar)
and 63 Alan Trammell (Magnum saw Alan too!)Cubs
21 Ryne Sandberg (not Ryan, its Ryne!)
21 Rick Sutcliffe (All-Star Beard)
25 Mark Grace
and the Penguin (for my friend Greg!)My goal is still by Christmas. Grad school papers due FRIDAY!!!!