Wednesday, January 30, 2008

1990 Fleer Sticker - Cleveland Indians Logo

I used to plaster these stickers all around my bedroom when I was a kid. I never got the ones that I wanted, so I would stick them to various things and watch them degrade over time. I loved every one of those stickers. It showed my love of baseball to every friend who came over. It was almost a status symbol to have the most logo stickers plastered around my room.

Sometimes I would pick up a pack of Fleer just for the stickers. The cards never really did much for me during the 80's. They mostly looked bland compared to Topps. There's only so much warm-up jackets a kid can see before he wants to puke.

I considered these stickers add-ons to the main set. They were something you had to collect along with the regular cards for the set to be complete. The one White Sox sticker I have, I acquired earlier this month is a trade. A 1984 Fleer sticker. That was one of the coolest parts of the trade.

I thought these stickers were largely forgotten until I ran across The Fleer Sticker Project. Now, I'm starting to see them again and I'm hearing about them more often. Upper Deck produced a few sticker inserts in the 1991 release, but they weren't the same. They were fancy holograms, not old school logos.

These Fleer stickers remind me of a simpler time, when stars did not command more money than I will ever handle in my lifetime. I remember being shocked at the amount of money that Darryl Strawberry was being paid when he signed with the Dodgers. Now, that's almost the average salary for major leaguers.

Upper Deck definitely needs to put logo stickers in their Fleer product. Most of us would buy it out of nostalgia.

Monday, January 28, 2008

1986 Sportflics - Fernando Valenzuela

These cards always seemed cool when they first came out. I was also 9 going on 10, when they came out. That could have been part of the attraction. If you look closely at the image, you can see ghosting of all three images. Oooo... scary!

Too bad Floyd Youmans didn't have a card in this set. That would make the Count Floyd reference a bit more relevant. Oh, well. Even though I loved the Expos around this time, would another Expo really made this set any better today? Not really.

Sure, it looks cool, for a few seconds. The novelty wears off quickly though. The only thing I remember doing with these cards is scratching the surface to make different noises. When I was a teenager, I used to see if I could make it sound like that one part of "Life's Been Good" by Joe "F@#*ing" Walsh. You know, that part during the song that sounds like it was done underwater. Yeah, you know the one. You've done it too.

I'm sure the novelty wore off for more collectors than just me. The last time I saw a product from the company it was 1990. Although, Beckett lists another set in 1994. That's three years without a set. Maybe it was because the 1990 set looked like a cheap carnival attraction.

I guess I chose Fernando Valenzuela because like Sportflics, he was very hot and different and in demand for awhile, then he faded away fast. Then, he popped up for one last hurrah before going permanently to the great baseball games only found on ESPN Classic.

Saturday, January 26, 2008

1952 Topps - Ralph Houk

Wow! What can I say about this card? It was well loved in its time. Some kid must have tortured the hell out of this card! Was it a Yankee fan who loved too much? Was it a Red Sox fan who hated the Yankees? Did Ralph Houk kill some little kid's puppy?

You have to ask questions like that when you see things like this. It seems like a case that Gil Grissom could solve. I'm guessing he would say that it must have been a Yankee fan because the tape is so lovingly put on. It must have been an accident, since the card was carefully lined up before the tape was placed on there. Either that or it was a random series of events that led to the mutilation of this card.

Maybe it all started with some kid in Intercourse, Pennsylvania putting this card in his bicycle's spokes way back in 1952. He was a huge Yankees fan and didn't realize that he grabbed the wrong card.

Possibly, his little brother took it and put the card in his bicycle spokes. That little brother probably got hundreds of wet willies and purple nurples for his crime. What are the police going to do with a crime like this? Give the little kid a five minute lecture on how it's wrong to steal, Joe Friday style.

I don't own this card, but I found the image of it during the same online search that brought the fire damaged Willie Mays card into our lives. This is a card only a Yankee fan could love now. Or possibly a Red Sox fan seeking revenge.

Thursday, January 24, 2008

1991 Topps Box Bottom - Robin Yount

I can remember a time, not that long ago, when packs of cards were in grocery stores. I used to walk up to the local Dominick's and pick up as many packs as I could with my allowance. It was a simpler time and I really miss those days.

Then, in late 1990, I discovered something by accident. I had gotten down to the last few packs and noticed writing on the bottom of the box. I lifted the box up and there were secret cards on the bottom. I thought I had just discovered Atlantis or Amelia Earhart.

The rest of that year and the next, I conned my way into getting as many free empty card boxes as I could. Some employees thought I was a nutty kid. Others gave me a wink and a nod. Nudge, nudge. Say no more! Say... no... more!

In 1992, I didn't notice any cards to my recollection. If I did, I didn't think much of them. My collection seems to have started in 1990 and ended in 1991. I have a couple of professionally cut box bottom cards from earlier years. I have a 1986 Carlton Fisk in my collection. The ones from 1990 and 1991 will always hold a special place in my heart because I feel like I earned them. I even remember thinking that Donruss was cheap because they didn't offer cards on the bottom of their boxes.

These pop up in my boxes of cards from time to time. Some are cut better than others. Some I have several of. They always intrigued me though. I guess it was because they looked like the regular cards but were slightly different. Some of the Fleer cards from 1990 fool me to this day until I look at the back and see the gritty brown cardboard. Maybe kids would be more into cards if they found cards on the bottom of the boxes. Hey, it worked for me.

Wednesday, January 23, 2008

1910 Piedmont T206 - Billy Campbell

This is a card only a collector could love. The average person would shriek in horror at what was done to this card. It looks like the owner crumpled it up with the cigarette pack. Look at that paper loss and the creasing. The corners are so round that you can probably start to roll the card on its side. This shouldn't be worth anything, but it is.

If I presented someone with a 2007 Topps Update card of Darin Erstad in this same condition, they would look at me like I was crazy for trying to sell it. Unfortunately, people didn't care for their cards like most do today. Therefore, this condition is fairly common for a card almost 100 years old. It's a shame.

I wonder if this was the same Billy Campbell who won the Paul McCartney look-alike contest in 1966. Somehow, I doubt it. Although, if Beatle fans can think that the real Paul McCartney died in an automobile crash in 1966, then this guy could be his replacement. He looks more like John, in my opinion.

The sad fact is, I would probably cherish this card if it was in my collection. Not because of it's condition, but because of it's age. Plus, I bet it would tell wonderful stories of where it has been, if it could talk. Maybe an uncle gave it to his baseball loving nephew in 1910. He might have taken it everywhere with him. It may have gone with him to war or stayed glued to a scrapbook or taped to a wall. We may never know if it's been handed from person to person like a doobie at a college party.

We can only judge this card by it's present condition. It has lived a full life, but what that life was is anyone's guess.

Tuesday, January 22, 2008

2007 Topps 52 Chrome Refractor - Eric Patterson

The scan does not do this card justice, but this is actually a chrome refractor. The nice shiny and bumpy chrome smoothed away by refractor technology. To help keep track of this card when it eventually leaves my collection, it is numbered 391/552. If you run across this particular card, you know it came through my hands first.

I got this out of a retail pack of 2007 Topps 52. Yeah, I'm as surprised as you are. I figured the best I would ever get would be a couple of short print cards. This came from a pack that was in a blaster. I would have freaked out if this were a White Sox card, but the North Side of town doesn't hold the same luster for me. It's still a nice looking card.

I find it a bit of a daunting task trying to figure out some of these variations. I'm still trying to figure out 2007 Topps Co-Signers variations. What they call bronze, I call orange. There are usually so many different parallels on each Topps card, it usually boggles my mind. I'm still trying to figure out between Green Linen and Windsor Green in Upper Deck Masterpieces.

I'm actually surprised that Eric is in the Cubs system. His brother Corey gave them fits. I could hear groans all over Chicago when another Patterson emerged on the Cubs roster. It reads on the back of this card that his long term position is undecided. It's between second base and the outfield. The Cubs need another second baseman, like they need another year of futility. So, like Corey, he'll probably play in the outfield and give flashback nightmares to Cub fans.

It's still a nice looking card which is better looking in person. I just wish that they would retire that 1952 design and move on to other years.

2002 Select Rookies & Prospects - Jeremy Lambert

When I got back into collecting full time, I tried to make up for lost time. I was suckered into those giant boxes of assorted packs at K-Mart. It was nice, at the time, because I was happy to see what I missed. Apparently, I missed a lot of crap. Which is fine by me, but I also missed some good releases.

This autographed card of Jeremy Lambert, I found hot glued to the side of the cardboard infrastructure inside the box full of old packs. That really can't be good for the card. It took a full five minutes to pry the clear wrapper that was "protecting" this card from the inner-workings of this cheap box. Amazingly, the card showed no damage for all the effort.

Jeremy's autograph looks like a fat man trying to hold onto a motorcycle that popping a wheelie. The fat man is not very successful as he tries to hold on to the back tire. That's gotta hurt! That's slightly more imaginative than Jeremy's baseball career. After spending many years in the St. Louis organization, he found a home with the Boston organization in 2004. He never made it into a major league game and he was out of baseball in 2004.

What a crappy card to be hot glued to a cardboard maze inside a cheap box. Did Jeremy envision his card to end up here when he autographed that sticker? My guess is no. He probably thought it would be going for thousands of dollars, many years into the future after a great Hall of Fame career that gave him enshrinement with 100% of the vote. Nolan Ryan, Tom Seaver and Carlton Fisk did not get 100% of the vote when they went into the Hall of Fame, neither would you have.

What was I expecting for a cheap box of leftover packs? I have no idea. I was looking for a cheap, easy way to reconnect to the hobby. I guess in that respect, the cheap box has succeeded. I did get some interesting cards in that box, just no other autographs.

Sunday, January 20, 2008

2007 Topps Moments & Milestones Auto - Martin Prado

I also found this lurking in the box of Moments & Milestones. I had never heard of Martin Prado before, but he looks to be a halfway decent middle infielder for the Braves.

Much like his quick scribble of an autograph, Martin's place in major league baseball is uniquely his. On September 12, 2007, he hit a ball in play, dropped his bat and headed towards first base. The bat stood perfectly upright.

No matter what Martin does the rest of his career, that will probably be what he is known for.

As for the card itself, I'm not a fan of players that sign an autograph where only one letter is actually legible. The card looks nice though.

Saturday, January 19, 2008

2007 Allen & Ginter Relic - Carl Crawford

I finally did get that box of Allen & Ginter last year, but I bought it off of eBay. I had to wait a little longer than I wanted to, but I paid much less than I would at the card shops. The waiting was killing me. Especially, when one of the guys who beat me to the Allen & Ginter boxes at the friendly card shop pulled out a Bruce Lee belt relic which sold for just shy of $300.

My first pull from the Allen & Ginter release was from a pack that I bought at the unfriendly card shop. It was a Barry Zito relic. Nothing spectacular and his career had already peaked by that point.

The first pull from the box was this Carl Crawford relic. The relic itself is not that remarkable, but the card and the frame that surrounds it looks outstanding!

This was a wonderful idea for a relic design. It looks like it would have come from the original set as a redemption or something. This card is sharp! It also helps that I like Carl Crawford. I was really hoping the White Sox would somehow wrangle him away from the Rays. I'd be comfortable with Carl Crawford patrolling center field.

I'm very happy with this pull. It's a great looking card of a great player. The frame makes this card. If it weren't for the multi-colored palm leaves and linear framing, this could have been a very boring card. This just proves, once again, that Allen & Ginter is one of the most pleasing and consistent card releases of 2007.

Thursday, January 17, 2008

2007 Ultra Faces Of The Game - Adrian Beltre

I was stupid last summer. I bought two boxes of Ultra SE when it first came out. I bought one off eBay for somewhere around $80, probably slightly less. Then when my local friendly cards shop ran out of Allen & Ginter boxes hours before I made it there, I bought another one.

I was excited when I first got the box home. You see, my eBay box had not arrived yet. I had been waiting since the original release date in May for Ultra SE to arrive. It kept getting delayed for some reason. I opened up the five packs from the box and got the guaranteed hits, but it was an underwhelming experience.

When the other box came, I discovered something I thought would never happen to me. I got a double on a uniform card. It was essentially the same pack in both boxes. The double I got was a Vernon Wells and I probably will post that later in the year.

This card was chosen for this post mostly because I think it represents the two boxes very well. Adrian has a face that almost says, "You paid how much for a box of this? You just got ripped off!"

In reality, I did. Not long after the set was released, the price of a box dropped in half. Maybe this had something to do with the retail version being released in department stores. I used to love Ultra releases, but this left me with a bitter experience. I've definitely learned from this experience. When it sounds too good to be true, it probably is. The hits were there, I just didn't care for them that much.

2007 - Topps M&M Cyan Printing Plate - Ryan Zimmerman

This 2007 Topps Moments & Milestones Cyan printing plate of Ryan Zimmerman was my biggest pull in 2007. I was extremely excited when I pulled this. I may have even shrieked. Probably not, but I was excited nonetheless.

This is the only printing plate I have ever pulled. A true 1/1, or so they tell me. I have since found out that in some of the lower priced sets, there may be more than one of these 1/1 color plates because of the print run. Sometimes they just wear out. Not so with Moments & Milestones! The print run is ridiculously low, so this is a true 1/1.

I won't even dignify this post with a link. I'm guessing that people had the same reaction to the prospect of a printing plate as I did at first, basically, "Huh? Why?" It's been collecting cyber dust since I got it. Sure, there have been watchers, but I think they were gauging my potential sale for their own printing plate. Someday, someone will want it. I was just happy to pull it.

Tuesday, January 15, 2008

2008 Allen & Ginter - Jessica Simpson Mock Up

Thanks to dayf's inspiration over at Cardboard Junkie, I finally got enough nerve to try my own All & Ginter card for 2008. After several minutes trying to figure out how to alter the card without it looking like something that happens after you drink Viper, I found it was fairly easy. My photoshop skills are a bit more rusty than I figured for things started from scratch.

Everything eventually heads to New York, so I chose my first subject as someone only a New Yorker could love right now. Jessica Simpson. Some say she's responsible for the Giants win. I say the players are responsible. I don't follow football a lot, but if it's on I'll watch it. Baseball is more my game, but I have no problem with other sports. I'll even watch bowling if there's nothing else on, but not golf. That's where I draw the line.

I figure a Jessica Simpson card wouldn't be the end of the world in this year's set. I could certainly think of worse subjects and at least this is somewhat sports related.

Fire Casualty: 1960 Topps - Willie Mays

This is something that should never be done to a card. I ran across this example while doing research online. This card was "saved" from a card shop fire. I'm not sure that saved would be the right word for it though.

I would think that this card would hold a lot more sentimental value than actual value. Still, it's a 1960 Topps card of Willie Mays. That's got to be worth something. At best, this card would make a perfect placeholder for a set builder or a great conversation piece.

I know some things can't be prevented easily, but it still pains me to see a card in this condition. Especially a Hall of Fame player's card in this condition. True, this is a base card, but I think it epitomizes the meaning behind "Things Done To Cards". It stopped being a base card the moment the flames started to eat away at the card. Now it is a one of a kind card that people instinctively turn away from.

2006 Bowman Heritage - Lance Broadway

You know I couldn't keep away from the White Sox cards for long. I got this 2006 Bowman Heritage card of Lance Broadway in a trade with Wax Heaven. It was a great addition to the trade on Mario's part. I was very happy with the trade, to say the least.

Lance has a huge upside for the White Sox. He has made the most of his major league chances. He is 1-1 with a 0.87 ERA in 4 games with 14 strikeouts, 5 walks and 5 hits allowed in 10.1 innings pitched.

The most surprising thing I learned about Lance was that before the White Sox drafted him, he threw 2 no-hitters while attending Dallas Baptist University. That sounds like a promising start. He might make the White Sox rotation in 2009, but there's still an outside chance that he'll make it in 2008.

2007 Tristar Elegance - Evan Longoria

Evan was selected by the Rays with the third overall pick in the 2006 Major League Baseball Draft. Longoria, called the "best pure hitter" among college players in the 2006 draft class by Baseball America, was given a $3 million signing bonus.

Evan is supposed to be the Rays third baseman of the future. He has been compared to Ryan Braun, the good one. He is pictured here in a Montgomery Biscuits uniform with an authentic game-worn patch in a subset called Showtime.

Evan hit .307 with 21 HR and 76 RBI in 105 games for the Biscuits before a late season promotion to AAA Durham Bulls. He is projected to possibly make his major league debut in 2008.

I only purchased one pack of 2007 Tristar Elegance. This was my Jersey pull. I was excited when I got it, but it has been gathering cyber dust in my eBay store since the pull with nobody watching. I priced it at the average selling price for the time I posted it. I'm sure it will go when Evan makes a splash with the Rays. Still it's a pretty cool pull and I was excited to potentially get close to what the pack cost me for this one card.

This is why I rarely purchase products like these. I was lucky and got a pretty good pull for a $45 pack with 5 cards. I didn't go into the Tony's card shop with any intent on purchasing this pack. The Allen & Ginter box that I went in for sold out that morning, so I improvised because I wanted some new product to sample that day and didn't want to go to the other overpriced shop a few towns over.


Welcome to Things Done To Cards. You may know me from my other blog, White Sox Cards. I’ve decided to branch out a bit. This blog will be about different types of cards other than a typical base card, for the most part.

Things you may see on here are autographed cards, relic cards, oddball cards or thoroughly loved cards (that means really put through the wringer). While these “loved” cards may be base cards, they may not be recognizable as such.

This blog may be updated daily or sporadically. It depends on what I find in my collection, in my pulls or found somewhere in the vast realm of the Internet. If I’m motivated enough (read: bored enough), I may even do mock ups of cards.

Since this blog will be in its infancy right now, who knows what direction it will go. For those of you wondering if this is just going to be cards of White Sox players, rest assured, it will feature all players from all teams. The White Sox are not the “be all, end all” for me. I like other things about baseball including other teams and players who never even smelled a White Sox uniform.

Hopefully, this will be a fun experience for everyone. Enjoy!