Monday, May 2, 2016

Broomfield, Colorado

These cards were sent by Adam of "Infield Fly Rule."  Thank you for the cards Adam.  I went with the card backs this time, and I kind of like the way it came out.  Even with Wallach cards, from time to time I get a little worn out seeing the same cards over and over and again, and scanning the backs instead of the fronts seems like a decent way to mix it up, especially with a group like this, where every card has a color photo on the back.

Updated Totals:

1991 Score: 170
1992 Donruss: 148
1993 Leaf: 56
1993 Stadium Club: 43

Saturday, April 30, 2016

Sunday Edition (on a Saturday)

This is a picture of my then three year old daughter at an Albuquerque Isotopes game back in July 2013.  She's holding a baseball that had just been handed to her by the Isotopes second baseman.  On a high fly ball down the line, the second baseman made it all the way across the field into shallow left and nearly made a play on what ended up being a foul ball landing just in front of us.  After beating the left fielder, shortstop and third baseman to the spot, he picked the ball up and handed it to my daughter.  For the rest of the night, and the summer, and probably even today if you were to ask, my daughter insisted "her friend gave it to her."  In her mind, she and the player were now "friends."  The ball still sits in a display on my daughter's dresser.  Admittedly, I put it there.  But over the years I've tried to force the issue with a lot of things in her room, and for the most part she has no problem tossing them away or taking them down.  The ball, with a card of the player (pictured below) has escaped her purges so far.

As a kid, at a spring training game, Dave Stewart signed my brother's glove.  Dave Stewart has forever since been revered as a great guy by everyone in my family.  Will Clark signed a ball for me at a Hall of Fame Game in Cooperstown in the early 90's.  He too, can do no wrong as far as my family is concerned.  Two small, 3 second acts, that have bought these men three decades of goodwill from a family of strangers.  Dee Gordon gave my daughter a ball.  But before you dismiss this as a "He gave my a girl a ball so it's ok that he cheats" piece, hear me out.

Perhaps it's the defense attorney in me,  but I tend to side with the accused in most situations.  In my job the accused, at least on occasion, sometimes become the guilty and I must shift from advocating their innocence, to advocating for mitigating factors when it comes to a sentence.  Sometimes this is easier than others.  However, I rarely find it difficult when it comes to sentencings related to drug laws.  In this country, we send citizens to prison, often with mandatory sentence enhancements, for the medical condition known as addiction.  There's plenty of other outlets to read about our broken system when it comes to policing drugs, the for profit privatized prisons, race, and addiction.  I'll just add, that's its all a very real problem that is far worse than anyone wants to admit.

There are lot of great minds, working very hard on this issue, with no easy solutions.  The vast majority of "PED's" banned by MLB, aren't illegal.  Which makes it all the more perplexing that MLB feels the need to dabble into the issue on their own, with legal drugs no less, needlessly making controversy where there need be none.  It shouldn't be any more complicated than if it's bought over the counter or prescribed by a doctor it's fine.  (Let the FDA and various medical licensing boards deal with bad product or MD's a little too loose with the prescription pad)

Which is perhaps why I harbor such resentment towards the people who cry for harsher PED use penalties in baseball.  While I may not agree with how society punishes citizens for say, methamphetamine, I can at least agree that using meth is wildly unhealthy.  As far as I can tell, the primary problem people have with PED's is that they are against the rules.  While I agree that rules shouldn't be broken, I also have very little tolerance for what I consider unnecessary, or unjust rules.  Why are these rules in place?  Why shouldn't an athlete, or anyone else, have every option that modern medicine has provided for their personal well being, at their immediate disposal?

These PED rules aren't meant to protect a player's health.  In most cases, they appear to be counter to a players health.  Especially when it comes to players trying to come back from an injury as quickly and completely as possible.  "Because it's against the rules," just doesn't sway me.  I also need to know why something is against the rules, and the effects of the practical application of those rules.  No one is suggesting Dee Gordon's alleged use was detrimental to his health.  As far as I can tell, the problem seems to be that it made him healthier.  The days of the Lyle Alzado's of the world dying before our eye's, or the manic "roid rage" lunatic beating someone half to death have long since passed, yet MLB (and especially some outspoken writers) insists on casting all PED use, and punishing it, in that light.

The other "outrage" against PED use that I'm supposed to swallow whole without question is that it creates an uneven playing field, giving unfair advantage to those that choose to ignore the rules and risk punishment.  This rather infantile argument fails on two immediately obvious grounds.  The first is that the players breaking the rules know the punishment for being caught.  Every player in the game, in theory, makes a risk/benefit analysis, and in that sense, the playing field is level.  Ignoring that though, the rules as written are a laughably inefficient attempt to level the field.  Players are always going to get away with using banned substances.  Simply allowing their use is an immediate and fool proof way to "level the playing field."  Again, let the FDA and player's physcians worry about what's healthy.

My daughter will forever love Dee Gordon.  And if I raise her, as I am trying, to share my strong sense of social justice and morality, I don't believe she will ever have any reason not to.  This suspension surely isn't grounds.  In the next five to ten years, the major pharmaceutical companies are going to come to the realization that an aging population is willing to pay a lot more for a "Viagra" that makes their knees and backs feel and perform like their twenty years younger, than they are for E.D. pills.  And when this happens, you can be sure that the vast majority of the marketing will be between innings and during timeouts of televised sporting events.  The ads will probably find their way onto outfield walls and next to Budweiser signs on jumbotrons.  Perhaps I'm overly cynical, but somehow I suspect that when this happens, MLB will lighten it's stance on PED use.  Of course, they'll just change the name, and sell off the rights to be the official "whatever they change the name of PED's to" of MLB, and claim the moral high ground by still banning the archaic (and illegal) 1970's steroids that no sane individual outside of the body building universe has sought out in over two decades.

Before the season started, I sprung for some very good seats, first row, along the visitor's side for when the Marlins visit the Diamondbacks.  I'd be lying if I said seeing the Marlins first-rate coaching staff up close wasn't my primary reason, but selling my daughter on seeing her "friend" from Albuquerque didn't hurt either.  Now it looks like Dee won't be there.  If she asks why, I'll probably just  re-tell her about the time Dave Stewart signed my brother's glove for what will have to be about the 100th time.

Friday, April 29, 2016

Hackensack, New Jersey

These cards were sent by Ed of Hackensack, NJ.  Ed included a xerox of the "By the Numbers" bit that appeared in Sports Illustrated awhile back.  While Ed's math is absolutely right, it fails to account for other cards acquired since it ran (which he of course would have no way of knowing), as the total is now well over 16,500.

Thanks for the cards Ed.  They're very much appreciated.

Updated Totals:

1986 Topps: 252
1987 Donruss: 374
1987 Topps x2: 725
1988 Topps: 546
1988 Topps UK Mini: 81
1989 Bowman: 128
1989 Topps: 540
1989 Upper Deck: 166
1991 Topps x2: 181
1991 Upper Deck x2: 215
1992 Topps: 160
1992 Upper Deck x2: 228
1993 O-Pee-Chee Premier: 24

Thursday, April 28, 2016

1979 College World Series Patch

I found this patch on ebay recently.  If it's legitimate, and not something someone had produced last week, it's a patch from the 1979 College World Series.  Tim Wallach won the Golden Spikes Award as the Nation's top amatuer player in 1979 while leading Cal-St. Fullerton to a National Championship in Omaha.  The patch measures about 1.5'' x 3''.  If anyone can confirm (or discredit) whether this patch is in fact from the '79 Series, please let me know.  Thank you.

For now, it'll take it's place alongside the limited number of other Fullerton items I have in my collection.

Wednesday, April 27, 2016

Stillwater, Minnesota

This large box of cards arrived from Stillwater, Minnesota, which is now represented on the map of where cards have been sent from.  It was sent by Joel and included the 37 cards pictured below.  I didn't realize it until after I had scanned them, but one of those '87 Donruss is actually an '87 Leaf (naturally it happened to be the most obscured one).

Thank you for the cards Joel.  

On a side note, I have a huge backlog of mailings to get to, so if you sent cards and haven't seen them yet, they're coming, and thank you.


Updated Totals:

1986 Donruss: 117
1986 Topps: 251
1986 Topps AS x5: 460
1987 Donruss x5: 373
1987 Donruss Opening Day: 29
1987 Fleer x2: 167
1987 Leaf: 42
1988 Topps Big x4: 50
1989 Upper Deck: 165
1990 Leaf x2: 77
1991 Fleer: 137
1991 Studio: 63
1992 Upper Deck x6: 226
1994 Flair: 6
1996 Pinnacle x5: 36

Saturday, April 23, 2016

Elgin, IL

These cards were sent by Jim from Elgin, IL.  Jim has been the most frequent contributor to this blog over the last year, and it hasn't really been close.  I'm not complaining.  Included with this assortment was an autographed copy of a 1990 Fleer Bryn Smith.  I'm not a huge fan of autographs, but I kind of love this one.  Not just because of the player, but because it's a great looking signature.

I'm sure I'm not alone in this, but when I think of favorite team(s), the line-up or roster in my head, is probably one that never existed.  Sure, if you ask me who was on a particular team , like '98 Yankees, I can tell you, but in a general sense it's a hodge podge of guys from an era.  The Expos of my youth for instance.  The 25 man roster for the "Expos of my Youth," likely includeds guys that never actually played together (or maybe only did for a season or two), or a 4 man rotation that was never actually used.  It's more of just a general sense of merged memories from say '83 to '92.  But to me, that collection of guys are/were/and will forever be the Expos.  And it's not necessarily the stars.  Joe Hesketh for instance, was a guy I liked.  Objectively, he's not much more than a footnote in Expos history, but he's always going to be one of the first guys I think of when I think of the Expos.  I'd wager every fan has a similar roster in their head, and no two are going to be alike.  No one's is more right or wrong than anyone else's.  Bryn Smith is also a key member of "my" Expos, so I'm happy to add the above card to my collection.

Thanks for the cards Jim.

Updated Totals: 

1983 Topps: 229
1986 Topps: 250
1987 Topps: 723
1988 Topps: 545

Thursday, April 21, 2016

Expos Money

Craig Calcaterra of NBC Sports "Hardball Talk," posted a piece yesterday on Harriet Tubman replacing Andrew Jackson on the $20 bill.  Which was really just an excuse to do a baseball version of currency.  Calcaterra went $1 Ruth, $5 Mays, $10 Walter Johnson, $20 Aaron, $50 Earl Weaver, $100 Jackie Robinson.  This of course was met with universal agreement from everyone on the internet.  Rather than nitpick with Calcaterra's choices (which are fine), I decided to hi-jack his idea and do team specific sets.  At it's core it's the standard Mt. Rushmore exercise, but with seven guys instead of four, and the added debate of placement presteige (I figure it goes 1/5/100/20/10/50 with 2 as the oddball).  The Expos are the only ones to get a full on photoshop treatment (and poor Steve Rogers doesn't get one because the app I found didn't do non-Grant bearded $50's), but I filled in the rest below sans D'Backs, Rays, Rockies and Marlins.  My general criteria was, no current or recently retired players (for the most part), as there are no recent Presidents (I don't dare share my personal picks for recent Presidents, as both Republicans and Democrats send me Wallach cards).  Hence, none of the teams above.  Also, players can only appear for one team, I have a personal bias against guys who played much before 1930 (sorry Christy Mathewson), and a strong bias in favor of guys who played in the 1980's

Here are my picks for the Montreal Expos, Tim Raines on the $1 is above (Feel free to tell me why I'm wrong for the Expos or any other team below):

 $2 Otis Nixon

 $5 Andre Dawson

 $10 Dennis Martinez

 $20 Tim Wallach

$50 Steve Rogers (sorry, no picture)

$100 Gary Carter

National League East (Pre-Wild Card Non-Sense)

New York Mets:
$1 - Tom Seaver
$2 - Mookie Wilson
$5 - Darryl Strawberry
$10 - Howard Johnson
$20 - Dwight Gooden
$50 - Jerry Koosman
$100 - Keith Hernandez

Philadelphia Phillies
$1 - Steve Carlton
$2 - Juan Samuel
$5 - Mike Schmidt
$10 - Richie Ashburn
$20 - Von Hayes
$50 - Steve Bedrosian
$100 - Robin Roberts

Pittsburgh Pirates
$1 - Honus Wagner
$2 - Kent Tekulve
$5 - Willie Stargell
$10 - Dave Parker
$20 - Manny Sanguillen
$50 - Bill Mazeroski
$100 - Roberto Clemente

Chicago Cubs
$1 - Ryne Sandberg
$2 - Don Zimmer
$5 - Ernie Banks
$10 - Fergie Jenkins
$20 - Ron Santo
$50 - Lee Smith
$100 - Harry Caray

St. Louis Cardinals
$1 - Stan Musial
$2 - Willie McGee
$5 - Ozzie Smith
$10 - Enos Slaughter
$20 - Bob Gibson
$50 - Mark McGwire
$100 - Curt Flood

National League West

San Francisco Giants
$1 - Willie Mays
$2 - Gaylord Perry
$5 - Willie McCovey
$10 - Orlando Cepeda
$20 - Will Clark
$50 - Juan Marichal
$100 - Barry Bonds

San Diego Padres
$1 -  Tony Gwynn
$2 - Gene Richards
$5 - Dave Winfield
$10 - Garry Templeton
$20 - Nate Colbert
$50 - Eric Show
$100 - Trevor Hoffman

Los Angeles Dodgers
$1 -  Sandy Koufax
$2 - Kirk Gibson
$5 - Steve Garvey
$10 - Pee Wee Reese
$20 - Don Drysdale
$50 - Roy Campanella
$100 - Jackie Robinson

Houston Astros 
$1 -  Jose Cruz
$2 - Glenn Davis
$5 - Joe Niekro
$10 - Bob Watson
$20 - Cesar Cedeno
$50 - J.R. Richard
$100 - Mike Scott

Atlanta Braves
$1 -  Hank Aaron
$2 - Tom Glavine
$5 - Dale Murphy
$10 - Phil Niekro
$20 - Warren Sphan
$50 - Eddie Mathews
$100 - Greg Maddux

Cincinnati Reds
$1 - Pete Rose
$2 - Dave Concepcion
$5 - Barry Larkin
$10 - Frank Robinson
$20 - Joe Morgan
$50 - Eric Davis
$100 - Johnny Bench
American League East
New York Yankees
$1 - Mickey Mantle 
$2 - Derek Jeter  
$5 - Yogi Berra
$10 - Bernie Williams 
$20 - Don Mattingly 
$50 - Thurman Munson 
$100 - George Steinbrenner

Toronto BlueJays
$1 - Dave Steib
$2 - Duane Ward
$5 - Tony Fernandez
$10 - Jesse Barfield
$20 - George Bell 
$50 - Jimmy Key 
$100 - Joe Carter

Baltimore Orioles
$1 - Eddie Murray  
$2 - Earl Weaver 
$5 - Brooks Robinson
$10 - Boog Powell
$20 - Jim Palmer 
$50 - Dave McNally
$100 - Cal Ripken Jr.   

Detroit Tigers
$1 - Ty Cobb 
$2 - Mark Fidrych
$5 -  Mickey Lolich
$10 - Lou Whitaker 
$20 - Norm Cash
$50 -  Alan Trammell
$100 - Al Kaline   

Boston Red Sox
$1 - Ted Williams  
$2 - Manny Ramirez  
$5 - Jim Rice 
$10 - Carlton Fisk
$20 - Wade Boggs 
$50 - Dwight Evans 
$100 - Carl Yastrzemski   

Milwaukee Brewers
$1 - Robin Yount  
$2 - Dan Plesac   
$5 - Paul Molitor 
$10 - Cecil Cooper
$20 - Gorman Thomas
$50 - Teddy Higuera 
$100 - Bob Uecker

Cleveland Indians
$1 - Chief Wahoo (sorry) 
$2 - Sandy Alomar Jr.
$5 - Bob Feller
$10 - Albert Belle
$20 - Sam McDowell
$50 - Kenny Lofton
$100 - Larry Doby  

American League West
Oakland Athletics
$1 - Rickey Henderson
$2 - Vida Blue
$5 - Dennis Eckersly
$10 - Dave Stewart
$20 - Catfish Hunter
$50 - Bert Campaneris
$100 - Reggie Jackson  

Seattle Mariners
$1 - Ken Griffey Jr.
$2 - Jim Bouton (I know it doesn't really fit)
$5 - Alvin Davis
$10 - Jay Buhner
$20 - Harold Reynolds
$50 - Mark Langston
$100 - Edgar Martinez

Chicago White Sox
$1 - Harold Baines
$2 - Ozzie Guillen
$5 - Frank Thomas
$10 - Minnie Minoso
$20 - Luis Aparicio
$50 - Bobby Thigpen
$100 - Nellie Fox   

Kansas City Royals
$1 - George Brett
$2 - Hal McCrae
$5 - Willie Wilson
$10 - Brett Saberhagen
$20 - Amos Otis
$50 - Frank White
$100 - Bo Jackson 

California Angels
$1 - Chuck Finley
$2 - Wally Joyner
$5 - Jim Fregosi
$10 - Frank Tanana
$20 - Chilli Davis
$50 - Brian Downing
$100 - Bob Grich  

Minnesota Twins
$1 - Kirby Puckett
$2 - Frank Viola
$5 - Harmon Killebrew
$10 - Kent Hrbeck
$20 - Tony Oliva
$50 - Bert Blyleven
$100 - Rod Carew  

Texas Rangers
$1 - Nolan Ryan
$2 - Oddibe McDowell
$5 - Jim Sundberg
$10 - Jeff Russell
$20 - Ruben Sierra
$50 - Charlie Hough
$100 - Ivan Rodriguez 







Wednesday, April 13, 2016

Portland, OR

This nice assortment of 14 cards was sent by Kerry of Portland, Oregon.  Included in the bunch is a 1987 Fleer Glossy, though it's even more difficult to tell it's a glossy in the scan than it is in person (which is no easy task either). 

I go out of my way not to show people's home addresses in these scans, and when I mark it on the map, I don't use full names and try to place it near a major intersection rather than on the person's actual location.  However, I can't resist pointing out that Kerry appears to be located a mere few blocks down Cesar Chavez BLVD from another well known card blogger, Gavin of Baseball Card Breakdown.  Perhaps the two of them have crossed paths, if there's a local card shop, I have to imagine they're both regulars.  Who would have guessed Portland to be such a hotbed of card bloggers.

Thanks for the cards Kerry.

Updated Totals:

1986 Donruss: 116
1986 Fleer Mini: 33
1987 Fleer Glossy: 11
1988 Leaf Canadian Great: 27
1988 Topps UK Mini x3: 79
1989 K-Mart: 43
1990 Fleer: 259
1990 Topps Super Star: 14
1991 Stadium Club: 59
1992 Stadium Club: 33
1993 Donruss: 76
1994 Upper Deck: 63

Tuesday, April 12, 2016

Arlington, TX

This card was sent by Kin in Arlington, TX.  As his sticky note indicates, it's not the first time Kin has sent cards, just the first time he has from his new Arlington address.  He's now represented on the map in two States.  Thanks Kin.

Updated Total:

1993 Flair: 30

Friday, April 8, 2016

Kenner, LA

The Junior Junkie sent these four cards.  That guy has got his brand down, with the custom return labels, business cards, and stamp.  At some point I'm going to make the effort to go out and have a stamp made.  Among the four cards sent was a 2013 Leaf Memories "Gold" numbered to 5.  It's the 1991 Leaf in the upper right corner, it just has some foil added to the front.

I find these things to be gimmicks, but I still pull the trigger on them when the price is right.  Earlier this year a 1987 Topps 2016 buy back popped up on ebay.  I bid about 50x higher than I've ever paid for an '87 Topps Wallach and still lost, which is to say I bid $2.50.  I haven't lost too much sleep over it.

Thanks for the cards, and congratulations on your recent addition T.J.

Updated Totals: 

1988 Topps: 544
1990 Donruss: 313
1990 Fleer: 258
2013 Leaf Memories Gold: 2

Thursday, April 7, 2016

Lake Barrington, IL

This envelope from Barrington Lake, IL, arrived with a large black and white photo and a print out of the box score of the 1984 Expos/Cubs game the photo was taken at. Wallach had a double (off of Dennis Eckersley) and scored the Expos only run.

Also included were three cards, and a 1991 Expos Spring Training Pocket Schedule that I did not previously have.  Thank you very much Mr. Storms.

Updated Totals:

Wednesday, April 6, 2016

Ebay Acquisitions

I can be a huge hypcocrit at times, espcially when it comes to my collecting "rules."  Maybe hypocrit is a bit harsh, but I certainly contradict myself alot.  A good example of one such contradiction is seen above.  I hate inserts.  I literally have taken to throwing out a good number of inserts from packs of the Topps base set the last few years.  I have no use for two cards in every pack that don't help me complete the set.  Just go ahead and replace them with a stick of gum, and an entry card to win a trip to the All-Star game or to order a hat of my favorite team.

Yet, I can't get my hands on enough of these 2005 Rookie cup inserts.  Call me what you will, but I love these stupid things.  That one in the middle is orange (Go Orange!), I swear, no matter how red it looks in the scans.  The seller I bough these from had free shipping for multiple cards, so I bought his only other Wallach, a somewhat elusive 1989 Bowman Tiffany, as I hadn't picked up one of those since 2013.

Updated Totals:

1989 Bowman Tiffany: 6
2005 Topps Rookie Cup Orange: 13
2005 Topps Rookie Cup Green x2: 10

Tuesday, April 5, 2016

Springfield, MO

With these cards sent by anonymous "friends" in Springfield, Missouri.  I have now been sent cards from 40 different States.  Arkansas, Hawaii, Mississippi, Montana, Nevada, North Dakota, Rhode Island, South Carolina, Utah, and Wyoming remain the only States yet to send cards.

You may notice  that mini '82 Topps rookie in the middle of the picture.  It's actually a 1990 Topps Double Header freed from it's plastic display stand.  It's the first one I've ever been sent, and only my second copy.  My first copy is still in the plastic display, so this one will find it's way into my binder of unique Wallach cards.

Thanks for the cards "Friends."

Updated Totals:

1986 Topps: 249
1986 Topps AS: 455
1987 Topps: 722
1988 Topps: 543
1988 Topps AS: 531
1990 Topps Double Headers: 2
1993 Flair: 29

Thursday, March 31, 2016

Watertown, NY

"The Night Owl" sent these cards.  The one in the upper right had that purple sticky note attached.  A while back I sent Mr. Owl some Dodger cards and included that die-cut Wallach because at some point I remember reading that he wanted one.  However, I am ridiculously slow in getting cards sent out to people and by the time I sent it, I guess he already had one from somewhere else.  I included a note with the cards asking he not disclose that sent a Wallach card because it was bad for my look, given I am "literally trying to collect them all."  Night Owl obliged and didn't disclose my "secret," and then was nice enough to send the card back.  As an aside, I am not completely unwilling to part with Wallach cards and have shared some with other Wallach collectors from time to time.  I'm not trying to a be a jerk about this.  There's plenty of junk wax to go around, I'm just trying to take far more than my fair share.

The cards sent were wrapped in that piece of paper which describes the 1995 Gator Bowl (actually played Jan.1 1996).  I remember that game well.  A freshman quarterback named Donovan McNabb tore up the Clemson Tigers to the tune of 41-0.  Syracuse also had a pretty good senior wide receiver named Marvin Harrison.  I think a lot of our sports perceptions are based on when we were born and the first impressions you make when you start to follow sports.  Being born in 1979 means I'll always think of Georgetown and UNLV as legitimate A-list college basketball powers, no matter how much they are currently struggling.  I'm sure teenagers today don't share that opinion.  It also means I think of Syracuse Football as a legitimate college football power.  In 1995 I fully expected Syracuse to thump lowly Clemson 41-0.  It wasn't a surprise, because Clemson was (is) a mediocre to slightly above average program that a perennial top 20 school like Syracuse should thump.  I'm sure that perception isn't shared by kids today (or Vegas).  But I'm equally sure that at some point in the next five to ten years, the college football universe will be restored to it's natural order, and Syracuse will go back to thumping the likes of Clemson, and all will be right in the world.

Thanks for the cards Greg.

Updated Totals:

1987 Topps: 721
1994 SP Die-Cut: 15
1995 Collector's Choice SE: 31
1995 Topps D3: 12

Wednesday, March 30, 2016

Cincinnati, Ohio

These 14 cards were sent by Jason from Cincinnati, OH.  By my quick count, it's the second time Jason has sent cards.  Thank you Jason.

That 1983 Topps in the upper right corner is worth a second look.  It's the most off-centered copy I've come across.  You can see the pink outline from the top of the card below it on the original printing sheet, and the back shows even more of the other card.  When you're dealing with hundreds of copies of the same card, this sort of thing is cause for excitement.

Also of note, and I should have mentioned it in the last post, which is actually the one that pushed me over the milestone,  I've now been sent over 4,000 Wallach cards in the mail from readers.  That's incredible, and greatly appreciated.

Update Totals:

1983 Topps: 228
1988 Donruss x3: 670
1988 Topps AS: 530
1989 K-Mart: 42
1989 Topps x2: 529
1991 Donruss x2: 179
1991 Donruss MVP x2: 148
1992 Pinnacle: 82
1992 Studio: 31

Tuesday, March 29, 2016

Peoria, IL

These 35 cards were sent by Tom of Peoria, Illinois.  There are actually two Tom's from Peoria that send cards, this batch came from the Tom with the Saints Prison Ministry (See a scan of their news letter below).  Thank you for the cards Tom.

I have fallen way behind in posting the cards that have been arriving in my mailbox, so if you sent cards and haven't seen them show up here yet, don't worry, they're probably sitting on my desk.  I hope to get to them all soon.

Updated Totals:

1986 Topps: 248
1986 Topps AS: 454
1987 Donruss Opening Day: 28
1988 Donruss x2: 667
1988 Topps: 542
1988 Topps AS: 529
1990 Donruss: 312
1990 Topps x4: 363
1990 Upper Deck: 195
1991 Donruss x3: 177
1991 Donruss MVP x2: 146
1991 Fleer: 136
1991 Leaf: 65
1991 Score: 169
1991 Score Franchise: 127
1991 Ultra: 62
1991 Upper Deck: 213
1991 Upper Deck CL: 151
1992 Donruss: 147
1992 Fleer: 85
1992 Score Super Stars: 4
1992 Triple Play: 75
1992 Upper Deck: 220
1993 Donruss: 75
1993 Fleer: 37
1993 Fleer Final Edition: 9
1993 Topps: 118
1993 Triple Play: 25


Thursday, March 17, 2016

Racine, WI

These eight cards were sent from Dan in Racine, Wisconsin.  It's a nice assortment of cards, and includes the somewhat elusive '92 Topps Kids.

Thanks for the cards Dan.

Updated Totals:

1985 Topps: 265
1987 Topps: 720
1989 Topps: 527
1990 Bowman: 79
1992 Score: 66
1992 Topps Kids: 35
1993 Topps: 117
1994 Topps: 79

Friday, March 4, 2016

Coralville, IA

These cards were generously sent by Matt of Coralville, Iowa.  Iowa is now the 39th State I've received cards from, and is no longer on this list of lollygaggers who have yet to send cards, a list that includeds; Arkansas, Hawaii, Mississippi, Missouri, Montana, Nevada, North Dakota, Rhode Island, South Carolina, Utah, and Wyoming.

There's another list Iowa is hoping to get off of in the near future, that being the list of schools that haven't reached a Final Four since the Tournament expanded to 64 schools.  The last time the Hawkeyes reached a Final Four (1980), Lute Olson was still their coach and the Tournament only had 48 schools.  I'm still bitter, as Lute's #5 seeded Hawkeyes, knocked of the #1 seeded Syracuse Orangemen coached by Hall of Famer, legend, and #2 all-time winner in D-1 Basketball, The Great Jim Boeheim.  1980 was the final year of the "Louie and Bouie Show," and the Orangemen finished 26-4.  I wouldn't mind seeing Iowa make a run this year as they're an easy program to root for.  On the flipside, if this late season collapse ends with early exits in Indy and the NCAA, perhaps they'll dump their current hot-head coach and find a better fit.  Thanks for the cards Matt.

Updated Totals:  

Monday, February 29, 2016

Overland Park, Kansas

These 19 cards were sent by Kent of Overland Park, Kansas.  Included in the bunch were seven autographed cards, which probably doubled the number of signed cards in my collection.  Thanks for the cards Kent.

Updated Totals:

1982 Topps: 903
1983 Fleer: 101
1984 Topps: 208
1986 Topps x3: 247
1986 Topps AS: 453
1987 Topps x4: 719
1988 Fleer: 216
1988 Score x2: 218
1989 Topps: 526
1989 Upper Deck: 164
1990 Topps: 359
1991 Donruss MVP: 144
1994 Upper Deck: 62

Friday, February 26, 2016

Bellevue, NE

These cards were sent by Andy of Bellevue, NE.  Bellevue appears to be a suburb just south of Omaha, so I assume Andy has the good fortune of being able to attend the College World Series on regular basis.  Thank you for the cards Andy.

Updated Totals:

1988 Topps: 541
1989 Donruss: 285

Wednesday, February 24, 2016

Encino, CA

These cards were sent by Cooper of Encino, California.  This is the second time Cooper has been generous enough to send me cards.  Thank you very much for the cards.

Updated Totals: 

1986 Topps AS: 452
1991 Donruss MVP: 143

Tuesday, February 23, 2016

Wallach Plaque at Goodwin Field

The above is a plaque that stands at Goodwin Field, home of the Cal-State Fullerton Titans baseball team.  Wallach led Fullerton to a National Championship in 1979 (only Fullerton's 3rd season as a D-1 program) and won the Gold Spikes Award along the way.  Given that MLB drowned the Expos and all of their history in the bathtub before the Expos had a chance to retire #29, this plaque is about the closest thing there is to a Mecca for the dozens of Wallach fans like myself.  I finally made my pilgrimage this month.

There's also a "Wall of Honor" (or something to that effect) that runs along the outside of the park along the third baseline that has Wallach and his #29 featured.  I made an unannounced detour to Goodwin with my wife and daughter while we were in Anaheim recently to finally visit this site that I've seen on television for so many years.  I half expected that I may have to hop a fence to make the visit (I figured security wouldn't go too hard on a guy in an Expos hat with a Wallach card in his wallet getting sentimental about a plaque, if I were caught in the process), but as luck would have it, there was softball game going on that morning and the kid working the gate was nice enough to let us all in for free.  So I had my wife take a few photos, and I snapped one off of my #WalletCard and checked this item off my bucket list.  I'd like to make it back one day, ideally for an NCAA Regional, but I don't find myself in California very often.

 Wallet Card on the plaque 

Me pointing at the plaque with my daughter popping into the background 

Goodwin Field

The "Wall of Honor" or something like that

Monday, February 8, 2016

Plymouth, MN

These 125 cards arrived from Jim in Plymouth, Minnesota.  It's a very nice assortment of Wallach base cards from one of my favorite periods of cards (prior to '92).  Thank you for the cards Jim.

Updated Totals:

1983 Topps: 227
1984 Fleer x2: 98
1984 Topps x3: 207
1985 Fleer: 67
1985 Topps x2: 264
1986 Topps x3: 244
1986 Topps AS x3: 451
1987 Topps x7: 715
1988 Fleer x5: 215
1988 Score: 215
1988 Topps x2: 540
1988 Topps AS x2: 528
1989 Bowman: 127
1989 Fleer: 241
1989 Topps x7: 525
1990 Donruss: 311
1990 Topps x3: 358
1990 Fleer x8: 257
1990 Score x3: 169
1990 Upper Deck x2: 194
1991 Donruss: 174
1991 Donruss MVP x2: 142
1991 Fleer x6: 135
1991 Score: 168
1991 Topps x4: 179
1992 Donruss x6: 146
1992 Fleer x2: 84
1992 Leaf x5: 66
1992 Pinnacle x4: 81
1992 Score x2: 65
1992 Studio x3: 30
1992 Topps x9: 168
1992 Ultra x10: 107
1992 Upper Deck x5: 219
1993 Topps: 116
1994 Leaf x2: 36

Sunday, February 7, 2016

Sunday Edition (Oscar Edition)

I like movies.  I'm sure I'm not alone.  Like everything else in my life, I find a way to make them competitive, and as such, I've always loved the Oscars (even now with the new ridiculously bloated Best Picture nominations).  Below are my picks, in order, for this years Oscars (based only on what I've seen), followed by my own Top 10 list.  Feel free to tell me why I'm wrong.

Best Picture
1. Mad Max Fury Road:  As you'll notice below, the two best movies I saw this year weren't even nominated.  Go figure.  Of the nominees, I'm going with Mad Max by the narrowest of margins over the Revenant.
2. The Revenant: I'll take no issue if this movie ends up winning.  Where my enthusiasm for Mad Max has admittedly wained since seeing it last summer, I find this movie continues to grow on me.
3. Spotlight: This was a great movie, and that's coming from a guy that doesn't really like Michael Keaton.  I don't dislike him, I'm just not a huge fan, but he, and everyone else in it, was great in this movie.
4. The Big Short: This movie will likely piss you off.  Sure Wall Street is corrupt, yadi yada yada, but why the hell didn't anyone tell me those guys make so much?  I would have gone to school for that instead of law.
5. The Martian:  A very entertaining movie that has no business being nominated for Best Picture.
6. Bridge of Spies:  A fluffy Tom Hanks version of a gritty cold war spy movie.  I didn't care for it.
7. Room: Felt like a 20/20 or Dateline docudrama.  Just an all around depressing movie.
Didn't See: Brooklyn

Best Actor
1. Leonardo DiCaprio, The Revenant: I'm going with Leo because for reasons that elude me, Johnny Depp wasn't nominated for his performance in the excellent "Black Mass."  Sans Depp, Leo is the easy choice.
2. Michael Fassbender, Steve Jobs:  I thought this was a weird movie that held my attention and and was somewhat interesting, and it was more or less two hours of Fassbender's face talking about Apple products.
3. Matt Damon, The Martian:  He was good, but again, why is this run of the mill popcorn flick getting Oscar nominations?
Didn't see: Bryan Cranston, Trumbo; Eddie Redmayne, The Danish Girl

Best Actress
1. Brie Larson, Room: She annoyed me even more than she did in the otherwise good "21 Jump Street."  But she's the only nominee I saw.  Emily Blunt in "Sicario" was robbed.
Didn't See: Everyone else

Best Supporting Actor:
1. Rocky Balboa, Creed: How do you not vote for Rocky when you have the chance to give Rocky an Oscar?  Even in a loaded category like we have this year.
2. Christian Bale, The Big Short: Bale was weirdly awesome as he is in just about everything he does.
3. Mark Ruffalo, Spotlight:  When Ruffalo is good, he's great, when he's not, he comes across kind of whiney and pompous.  He was very good in "Spotlight."
4. Tom Hardy, The Revenant: Suffers from being out performed by DiCaprio and Gleeson, but was still excellent in his own right.
5. Mark Rylance, Bridge of Spies:  I didn't care for this movie, and thought Rylance was equally forgettable.

Best Supporting Actress
1. Jennifer Jason Leigh, The Hateful Eight:  The easy (and correct) choice and it's not even close.
2. Rachel McAdams, Spotlight:  She didn't detract at all from a great film, and I could at least remember her role in the movie when the nominations were announced.
3. Kate Winslet, Steve Jobs:  I had go back and look to see who she was because I didn't remember her from the rather mediocre movie.
Didn't See: everyone else

Best Director
1. George Miller, Mad Max Fury Road: A visual masterpiece.
2. Alejandro Inarritu, The Revenant: A visual masterpiece, but I'm tired of listening to him give acceptance speeches.
3. Adam McKay, The Big Short: How he made this into an entertaining movie is beyond me, but he did it.
4. Tom McCarthy, Spotlight: Turned in an entertaining and fantastic movie based on difficult subject matter, all while not being too preachy.
5. Lenny Abrahamson, Room: How this ABC Movie of the week looking piece of garbage is getting so many nominations is beyond me.

My Top Ten
1. Sicario: Everyone involved with this instant classic turned in an absolutely epic performance.  Brolin, Blunt, and Del Torro were all robbed of nominations.
2. The Hateful Eight: Tarantino's best movie since Pulp Fiction.  Pure cowardice that the Academy chickened out due to Tarantino's "radical" view that police shouldn't shoot innocent civilians.
3. Mad Max Fury Road: Everything an action movie should be.
4. The Revenant: Somehow a beautiful movie full of bleak brutality and pain.
5. Black Mass: Suffers from comparisons to "The Departed," but still a great movie.
6. Spotlight: Very entertaining
7. The Big Short: Somehow explains the incredibly complicated in a concise, smooth flowing fashion.
8. Ex Machina: A super cool movie, that was likely hurt by it's release date.
9. It Follows: A weird, if not all that scary, movie that you'll have a hard time forgetting.
10.  Straight Outta Compton: No mention of the classic "It's on" Eazy E LP, and sugar coated the Eazy E/Dre feud in a manner very forgiving to Dre, but still excellent.  Just too diverse for the Academy I guess.

Saturday, January 30, 2016

Selbyville, DE

Grant of Selbyville, Delaware sent this card recently.  Thank you for the card Grant.

Updated Total: 

1986 Topps: 241

Friday, January 29, 2016

Avon, Connecticut

These eight cards were sent by John from Avon, CT.  Included were two copies of the somewhat elusive 1985 Fleer card.  At 66 copies in my collection, 1985 Fleer is the scarcest of any Wallach basecard put out by Topps, Donruss, or Fleer during the 1980's.

Thanks for the cards John.

updated totals:

1985 Fleer x2: 66
1985 Topps x2: 262
1986 Donruss: 115
1986 Topps AS: 448
1989 Bowman: 126
1989 Score: 151

Thursday, January 28, 2016

Ebay Acquisitions

I tend not to do a lot of Wallach card shopping on ebay.  For the most part, it's just too expensive.  Or at least, not as cost efficient as other online alternatives.  However, I still check it daily for cards and other items that may pop up.  Recently I picked up some cards.  Above is a lot of 68 1982 Topps Wallach's I picked up at a very good rate.  Whenever I pick up a large lot like this, the hope is always to find some sort of oddball in the group, one with a weird ink variation or that is extremely miscut.  Something like that.  This group included one of the more miscut '82 Wallach's I've seen.  When you're dealing with duplicates in large numbers, this sort of thing is exciting.

I also recently picked up a lot of 111 Wallach cards on ebay.  A good number of them (28) ended up being '86 Topps Stickers, and decent amount of other assorted mini's and stickers as well.  Generally speaking I'm not wild about mini cards or stickers.  They just don't seem like "real" cards to me.  But if I can pick up a bunch at once like this, I don't mind.

My third, and final, recent ebay pick up I'm showing with this post is a lone 1989 Upper Deck card.  I bid on it more out of curiosity than anything else.  The seller listed it with "free shipping."  I "won" it for 12¢.  I expected it would probably arrive in an envelope that was obviously sent from someone's place of business, but it didn't, it was sent in a PWE with a regular stamp, and in a top loader.  Unless this guy is stealing stamps, I can't see his ebay enterprise being a success.

Updated Totals:  

1982 Topps x68: 902
1983 Topps Stickers: 33
1984 Topps x2: 204
1984 Topps Stickers: 8
1985 Topps x3: 260
1986 Fleer mini x2: 32
1986 Topps Stickers x28: 31
1987 Fleer: 165
1987 Topps x3: 708
1988 Donruss x2: 665
1988 Fleer mini: 14
1988 Topps: 538
1988 Topps AS: 526
1988 Topps Sticker: 21
1988 Topps Super Star x4: 21
1989 Bowman: 125
1989 Donruss x5: 280
1989 Fleer: 240
1989 Score: 150
1989 Upper Deck: 163
1990 Bowman: 78
1990 Donruss x3: 310
1990 Topps Mini Leaders x2: 6
1990 Topps Sticker: 2
1990 Topps Super Star x5: 13
1990 Upper Deck: 192
1991 Donruss MVP: 140
1991 Fleer x2: 129
1991 Score x2: 167
1991 Score Franchise: 126
1991 Topps x2: 175
1991 Upper Deck checklist: 150
1992 Donruss: 140
1992 Leaf: 61
1992 Pinnacle: 77
1992 Stadium Club: 32
1992 Studio: 28
1992 Topps: 159
1992 Upper Deck x2: 214
1993 Donruss: 74
1993 Leaf: 55
1993 Upper Deck: 94
1994 Collector's Choice x2: 31
1994 Leaf x2: 34
1994 Ultra: 34
1995 Collector's Choice x4: 26
1995 Collector's Choice SE: 30
1995 Donruss x3: 29
1995 Score x2: 32
1995 Topps Cyber Stats: 13
1996 Collector's Choice Ser.II: 19
1997 Collector's Choice: 20