Wednesday, April 30, 2008

1997 Flair Showcase Diamond Cuts

While these cards look innocent and cool, they are evil. They were part of a growing trend in the nineties that featured cards cut into shapes. This almost guaranteed that these cards would be the first to get mangled in your collection.

The trend has cooled as of late, but is still evident in releases such as SPx. They are hard to store properly because of the odd dimensions that these cards possess. Getting them into plastic is almost a joke. They chip and bend just slightly enough to notice.

Storing these cards in the hard plastic cases that split open sometimes don't work. On several occasions, a cut card will shift just enough in the case to where it will sustain very light damage.

Cards like these are pretty to look at, but deadly to the touch. Corners get snagged. Oddly shaped curves get crushed. It's a complete mess. If you have a steady hand and an eagle eye for detail, these may be the cards for you.

For me, they are just another oddity of the nineties. This particular set has 20 cards.

1 - Jeff Bagwell
2 - Albert Belle
3 - Ken Caminiti
4 - Juan Gonzalez
5 - Ken Griffey Jr.
6 - Tony Gwynn
7 - Todd Hundley
8 - Andruw Jones
9 - Chipper Jones
10 - Greg Maddux
11 - Mark McGwire
12 - Mike Piazza
13 - Derek Jeter
14 - Manny Ramirez
15 - Cal Ripken
16 - Alex Rodriguez
17 - Frank Thomas
18 - Mo Vaughn
19 - Bernie Williams
20 - Matt Williams

Looking over the checklist, there seems to be everyone that a card collecting fan would want in 1997. In 2008, the checklist isn't as impressive. It's still impressive though. Looking from today's perspective, the inclusion of Mo Vaughn and Todd Hundley are questionable.

There are a fair share of steroid abusers and some real superstars throw in for good measure. All in all, it's a nice looking set, but I still think it's evil. Cut cards have been done to death. I think it's time to let this trend die down a bit. It's OK to bring the cut cards out for releases every few years. Just not all the time.

Sunday, April 27, 2008

1992 National Enquirer

As I mentioned in another post, I buy a lot of repackaged cards. Before last December, I never saw or heard of these cards. Since then, I've gotten 4 packs of them which have netted me more than half the set. These have also been featured over the past few months on various blogs, including my own.

I got a pack the other day with this card in it.

For those of you who don't remember the early 1990s, this is Deion "Prime Time" Sanders. He was a two-sport man, playing both football and baseball.

Deion wasn't the first to do this. That honor goes to Bo Jackson.

This card is a parody of a 1990 Score Bo Jackson card that, in its time, was notorious in the hobby. One thing that Bo and Deion had in common were egos. As in outsized egos. Maybe you need this to play two major sports at the same time. Bo appeared in a series of ads for Nike, called "Bo Knows". He'd appear in any number of sports or other settings. The first of the series set the tone with Bo appearing in a number of sports with stars from those sports saying "Bo knows...". At the end of the spot Bo attempts to play the guitar to which Bo Diddley says, "Bo, you don't know diddley."

This post turned out to be more about Bo Jackson then this National Enquirer card but I always like Bo better than Deion.

My question is, where did all these recent packs of The National Enquirer come from? Where have they been for the past 16 years that all of a sudden they seem to be everywhere?

Friday, April 25, 2008

1991 Upper Deck Comic Ball 2

I like to buy repackaged baseball cards. For example, the Target near me sells these packages of cards distributed by The Fairfield Company. It's made of virtually indestructible clear plastic and contains 150 cards. You can usually see 6 of the cards in the package and they usually shuffle a few star players into view. The package I'm looking at now for example shows a 2004 Fleer Inscribed card of Andy Pettitte as an Astro. This year's Fairfield package is a bit different in that, in addition to individual cards there are also whole packs. I can see 2007 Topps Opening Day, 2003 Upper Deck First Pitch and I think there are 2 packs of 1989 Topps in there. I will admit that of the 150 cards in this package, I'll probably throw away more than half, maybe even 75%. Or perhaps I'll start making a Menger Sponge out of them.

But sometimes you get a real gem. I don't know exactly where I got this Nolan Ryan card but isn't it great (although the giant carrots are a bit scary)? According to the 2007 Sport Collector Digest Baseball Card Catalog, the set has 198 cards and features 18-card sequences which tell a baseball story. I only have this one card. The story, of course, must be "Field of Dreams".

And on the back, a trivia question!

Baseball Card Sponge

Firstly, a quick thanks to Steve for allowing me to post here.

Right off the bat, I'm posting a bit of sacrilege--card folding.

This is a single subunit of a Menger Sponge made from some 2008 Topps cards. It's an interesting fractal solid that you can read all about right here. The neat thing is that this type of assembly is done just with folding--no fasteners or adhesives or anything of the sort.

I didn't bother building a Sponge itself, but I did put together a bunch of subunits. Here are a couple of photos.

So now you know what to do with all your common cards, or star cards of teams you hate!

By the way, this idea came from this site, which did the same with Magic: The Gathering cards, if you're into that sort of thing.

Wednesday, April 23, 2008

T-205 John Lennon Mock Up

While searching google for baseball cards, (yes, I have no life) I discovered this mock up card of John Lennon on a T-205 card. The T-205 cards are one of my favorite tobacco card designs. I think they look better than the more popular T-206 cards.

After doing a little more snooping, I discovered a whole page of rock star mock up cards. Other gems include Jack White as a Texas Ranger, Joe Strummer as a Phillie, Ian Dury as an Oriole, Mark Mothersbaugh as a Cub, John Lydon as a White Sox player, Thom Yorke as a Senator and Dave Byrne as a Red.

Great stuff! It really looks like there was a lot of time and effort put into these cards. Most of the cards are based off of vintage cards. The newest design is for Jack White's 1987 Topps card. Great job to Lex10, who I assume designed these cards.

Tuesday, April 22, 2008

1945 Mexican Baseball Cards

Check out this Mexican card of Hall of Famer Ray Dandridge. It came from an eBay auction full of previously unknown Mexican cards. I stumbled across this, and many others like it, on Blue Heaven.

The auction is long over and someone walked away with an album full of these cards for $2,450. Not too bad considering the condition of some of these cards.

Besides being a forgotten set, these cards were printed on thinner stock. They were made to be pasted into albums. Considering the quality of the stock and the torture that most of these cards endured, I'm surprised at the overall condition.

In addition to the regional stars, Mexico had its share of Negro League players playing baseball. Most Negro League stars had no other choice available to them.

This was a rare find and a treat to see. Hopefully more cards will pop up. I'm a bit doubtful, as the print run is believed to be limited. One can only hold out hope that more cards will appear.

I would imagine that for some players it would be their only appearance on a card. No American baseball card company, to my knowledge, produced any cards featuring Latin American players in the forties. This is an opportunity to learn a different part of baseball history that might have been lost forever.

Sunday, April 20, 2008

1992 Pinnacle

This card is part of a subset of the 1992 Pinnacle set called "The Technician".

The card appeals to me on two levels. As an engineer, I like the way that a portion of the card is turned into an engineering drawing. The back is made to look like the title block of a blueprint.

As a baseball fan, I like how the drawing and the explanation of what the drawing illustrates work together to explain a baseball concept.

Sandberg was to play only 57 games in 1994 as he announced his retirement on June 13. Of course he came back in 1996 and played another 2 years.

Sandberg is one of those 'what-if' players for me. He was the 20th round draft pick of the Phillies in 1978. He actually appeared in 13 games for the Phillies in 1981 as a September call-up. I have no memory of this. In January 1982, the Phillies traded him and Larry Bowa to the Cubs for Ivan DeJesus. DeJesus was coming off a year where he batted just 0.192 in 106 games, so the Phillies couldn't have been expecting much offense from him. He lasted with the Phillies until 1985 when they traded him to the Cardinals for Dave Rucker. Sandberg went on to have a great career with the Cubs and get voted into the Hall of Fame in 2005. This was one of those one-sided trades that happen once in awhile. So what if the Phillies had kept Sandberg...

Thursday, April 17, 2008

1992 Topps Micro

So what's the big deal? It looks like a 1992 Cal Ripken, Jr. Topps cards. But it's really a 1992 Topps Micro card. The same in every way as the regular Topps issue except that the card is about the size of a postage stamp. I believe that I originally saw these in Toys R Us. And since I'll buy just about anything that says baseball cards on it, I bought a box. I have no idea what I paid for them.

Topps produced these sets in '91, '92 and '93. I don't think they were ever very popular. Unopened boxes are being offered on eBay right now for $0.99 plus shipping with no takers.

1992 was the first year that Topps produced gold parallel cards. These cards had a gold foil overlay with the players name. The 1992 micro set came with 12 gold cards. They had gold foil on the card background. I scanned these cards a few years ago and must have scanned them at different resolution. That would explain their different relative sizes. They are actually the same size.

Right from the beginning I had a hard time deciding what do to with these cards. I left them in the box for a long time. I put some of the gold cards up for sale on eBay in 1999 and actually got $1.50 for the Nolan Ryan and $3.00 for the Griffey Jr. Right now on eBay you can buy a PSA graded copy of the Ryan card for $30. I may be a sucker for baseball cards, but not that much of a sucker.

Last year I finally pulled out the cards of the players I collect and put them in album sleeves along with the full sized card. The micro card looks kind of cute nestled up against it's big brother card. I left the rest in the box. At least it doesn't take up too much room.

1973 Topps

Okay, I seriously love this set. No lie. It's probably in my all-time top ten baseball sets.

That out of the way, I must ask "What on earth was Topps doing?!"

Look at these cards!

Yeah, the design is classic and the player selection is pretty awesome. No, I'm asking you to actually LOOK at these cards. Specifically the photos. Ever wonder why most Topps cards from this era feature posed and non-action shots? Apparently it's because when they asked their photographers to get them some hot, in-game action this is what the shutterbugs came back with:

Really? That's the best shot of Mike Epstein they were able to find? Was the zoom lens not yet invented in 1973?

Ah '73 Topps. It's as if they forgot they had to put out a baseball card set that year and at the last minute quickly scrambled for any and all in-game baseball photos, identified someone in said photo and sent them off to the printers, making it home just in time to catch the new episode of M*A*S*H.

Really, with no serious competition in those days, it's not that big of a stretch to think that Topps might have put things off until the last minute.

This might seem like I'm being overly harsh with our 35 year old pal '73 Topps, but really these crap-tacular photos are the biggest why I love this set so much.

Here are some of my favorites:

Maybe Steve can help us out here. Did the White Sox actually play some games at Arnie Jipflack's Discount Oldsmobile in 1972? And just which one of these guys is supposed to be Alvarado? If I had to guess based on their position on the field, I'd guess the guy on the left. You know, the guy whose face is turned completely away from the camera. Maybe all the exhaust fumes got to the photographer that day.

Photographer: "Okay, here. You can use this picture for the card of Tommie Agee."
Topps Guy: "Great. Looks good. Just needs a little cropping."
Photographer: "Uhhh.... yeah. I, I wouldn't do that."
Topps Guy: "Why not?"
Photographer: "Well, do you know which one of these guys is actually Agee?"
Topps Guy: "Good point. Better leave the umpire and those two other guys on there too, just in case."

Seriously, this looks like a picture some six year old kid would take from the stands using his mother's Kodak Instamatic while attending his first baseball game ever.

"Honey, that'll never turn out. You didn't have the flash on..."

I've loved this card ever since I first read about it in a Baseball Cards Magazine article that described it as Pat Corrales either doing his impression of Yertle The Turtle or throwing a temper tantrum.

Given the track record of this set, you really have to wonder how this one didn't end up being the photo on Wes Parker's card.

There's a bunch more cards that would have also been worth showing. For all its flaws, you can't say '73 Topps isn't fun to look at.

Tuesday, April 15, 2008

1968 Topps 3-D Test Issue

I'm guessing that the 3-D craze was on the rise again in 1968. How else could you explain the presence of this card. It's difficult to see exactly what is going on with the card. Jim looks to be stuck in the opening credits to The Lucy Show.

I suppose it could've been worse. He could be trapped in front of the fireworks from Love, American Style if the card came out a few years later. Jim looks a little like the father from the spin-off Wait 'Til Your Father Gets Home.

I have never seen one of these cards in person, but I'd be willing to bet that it looks a whole lot better in person. This card looks like it's got some serious kaleidoscoping flower power graphics. By looking at a photo of an uncut sheet, the background is actually a stadium.

Roberto Clemente is the most sought after card of the 12 card set. It's one of the most coveted sets because of its uniqueness and rarity. According to sources, the test issue was only available in Brooklyn. Others in the set include Tony Perez, Boog Powell, Mel Stottlemyre, Curt Flood and Rusty Staub.

This set is considered by many to be Topps most beautiful set of the sixties. It's a shame that this didn't get further than the testing phase. Kellogg's would copy, but not fully duplicate the basics of this set for their own in the seventies. Those Kellogg cards are said to pale in comparison.

2004 Fleer Authentix #66 - Magglio Ordonez

When I started back into collecting around 2004, I only collected cards from my favorite team. I still adhere to that, but I pick up packs and blasters and boxes because it's more fun that way. It's the thrill of collecting.

I didn't get back into full-time collecting until 2007. I am still amazed at the products that I missed since 1994. One of those would be Fleer Authentix.

I started back by collecting team sets and player lots. I thought that I'd be smart this time around and focus on what I really wanted. It's worked... to a degree. One of the releases that I blind bought on eBay was the White Sox 2004 team set of Fleer Authentix.

When these arrived, I had no clue what to make of them. My eyes were fooled into thinking that these cards were wider than they actually are. It's really an optical illusion created by the design. I loved the concept of making a card into a ticket. I thought it was genius. I still do, actually.

The card even had perforations like a ticket. I thankfully resisted the temptation of ripping the card to see if that was an illusion too. It even has a bar code at the top of the card. It's cards like this that made me gradually creep back into full-time collecting.

Sadly, I may never see cards like this again. I don't think that Upper Deck wants the Fleer name out there that much. They may be embarrassed about the shoddy reputation Fleer had in the eighties and early nineties. I think that all Upper Deck really wanted were the designs to thrust upon us. That's a shame.

We will never see a Fleer Authentix card again. I'm happy that it's one less set to collect, but sad because it was daring enough to be different.

Monday, April 14, 2008

1933 Blue Bird Grape Soda - Babe Ruth

More delicious than grape juice!

The front of this card is an image we've all seen before. It's a photo of Babe Ruth swinging the bat. Not a huge deal. There are thousands of cards featuring the same or nearly identical pose.

What makes this card unique is the back of the card. Geared towards boys, this promotion featured a glove and a ball. Only two different cards are known to exist, both feature Babe Ruth.

This $3.50 Spadling Babe Ruth Professional Glove (genuine horse hide and leather-lined) for 29 Blue Bird bottle caps and $1.39!

Or you could have a ball with the other offer on the back.

This Spalding Official League Ball (cork center) for 29 Blue Bird bottle caps and 89 cents!

Depending on how much a Blue Bird grape soda was in 1933, this could have been a great deal or a cheat. Either way, I'll bet kids were drinking Blue Bird in 1933.

I wonder if any future major league players got a glove from this ad. It seems plausible that at least one player would have. Although, I had an orange Mike Schmidt ball and I never even made it to little league. Things would probably be different if I were a kid today.

I could imagine myself as a kid in 1933. I'd probably bug my mother for money to buy Blue Bird grape soda or try to help out at a local store to raise enough money to buy some. Maybe I'd work for soda instead of money. I could be very focused on what I wanted when I was a little kid. Enough to miss the big picture occasionally. All I know is that I'd be a fan of Babe Ruth if I were alive back then. That is unless Babe was facing my team.

Saturday, April 12, 2008

Holy kangaroo, Batman, it's a Cardsupial!

When Steve put out an invite to write for Things Done To Cards, I figured "What the heck?" I wasn't wasting enough time on my own blog. By the way, I'm Cliff, aka Capewood over at Capewood's Collections. I'll try not to shameless promote my own blog while I'm here.

What to make of Cardsupials? These were an insert set to 2000 Crown Royale. I've gotten 2 of these now in repacks. This one features Scott Rolen (a Phillie, so good for me). Next to Scott you see Ruben Mateo. This is actually a Cardsupial Mini Card and is tucked into a little pouch
on the main card. Get it, it's tucked into a pouch. Hence the play on words.

The mini card is 1 3/4 inch high and 1 1/4 inch wide.

I've seen a lot of baseball card designs in my time and I often wonder about the creative process. Where do baseball card design ideas come from? I've actually considered making a list of design elements. So what's this card got? High gloss finish? Check. Gold foil? Check. Landscape orientation? Check. Fuzzy background? Check. Pouch? Let's add that to the list.

Ok, so once they've got the design, the next choice is what players to include. This is only a 20-card insert. I've got Scott Rolen and Nomar Garciaparra. Rolen had a good 1999 season with the Phillies hitting 0.298 with 26 HR and 89 RBI. Garciaparra hit 0.357 with 27 HR and 104 RBI with the Red Sox. Both good choices for a short insert set. The rest of the set is rounded out by the usual cast of characters you'd expect to see on an insert set in 2000. Ripken, McGwire, Gwynn, Bonds, etc.

But with this set, the designers had to come up with a second player to go with the main player. Mateo was paired with Rolen and Richie Sexson was paired with Garciaparra. Mateo hit 0.238 in 32 games in 1999, his first year in the majors. I'm not that familiar with him but someone must have thought he had potential. He hit 0.291 in 52 games in 2000, which was pretty much his best season. He was gone from major league baseball after the 2004 season. Sexson had 31 HR in 1999, his third season. He's still a regular player and has had a decent career. If the choice for the mini-card was meant to be solid, second-tier players, then Sexson was a good choice, Mateo not so good.

The third choice was who to pair up? And here is where I have a problem with this set. Why pair Scott Rolen and Ruben Mateo? Were Rolen and Mateo twins separated at birth? Is Rolen Mateo's mother (which is carrying the marsupial analogy way too far)? Was Rolen a mentor for Mateo? Probably not, they played in different leagues. They both wear red batting helmets? Let's see, Garciaparra and Sexson are wearing blue batting helmets, so helmet color it is!

It you made it this far, thanks for reading.

Friday, April 11, 2008

Do You Want To Write For Things Done With Cards?

Well, do ya? If you think you want to take a shot at it, go for it! There are a million different perspectives on each card. So, if you have a funny story or an amusing rant about a card, you might be the right person to join this blog!

There have been 50 previous posts, so I'm sure you're used to the style of the writing. Can you expand on that style or bring something uniquely different? Join the fun!

E-mail me to be added to this blog. Include your main blog in the e-mail, so it can be added to the links. There are only a few things that I ask. In order to be added to this blog, you must have a blogspot account. Even if you have another blogging account, like wordpress, you can still sign up over here. It's easy.

Try to keep from doing the same card. If someone has beaten you to a particular card, wait a bit before posting that same card.

Also, try to keep it somewhat clean. It's like CBS, occasional swearing is fine, as long as it's content appropriate. If it's just swearing for swearing's sake, it doesn't need to be on this site. Kids read this. Other than that, have fun and let your imagination soar.

My goal is to try to have new content on here everyday. Post as much as you want or as little as you want. Even though it may seem like it, I'm not by the computer all the time and I do sleep. The minute I see your request to be added, you should be added.

Tuesday, April 8, 2008

Inaugural Cards

It seems that every new team that has popped up since 1993 has gotten their own parallel set of cards by Topps. They commemorate each teams inaugural season. This example is a 1998 Topps Harold Baines Tampa Bay Devil Rays Inaugural parallel card. Say that five times fast!

These cards look exactly the same as the base card, except for one small minor detail. A foil logo somewhere on the card designating it as an inaugural card. I've heard that these cards were limited to a print run of 5,000, but I haven't found anything concrete to back that up.

I can understand wanting to celebrate something as special as a brand spanking new team. These cards make it very difficult for the team or player collector to complete their collection. I wasn't into the hobby in 1998, so I'm not sure how these cards were distributed. Were they in packs or were they available only at hobby shops?

If I have the correct print run information, it would seem that seeding these cards into packs would be the best way of distribution. I could be wrong though. 1998 saw the parallel cards of the Tampa Bay Devil Rays and the Arizona Diamondbacks. I think this is a pretty cool idea. I just hope that the next team to switch cities or the next new team introduced gets a reception like this. I'd hate to see something more than a parallel set.

Nirvana Australian Card

This is a card that was issued in Australia. That is all I know about it. I wish I knew more, but I'm at a loss.

I can't believe that 14 years have passed by so quickly. It seems like last year when I was flying home from Dallas, Texas. In reality, it was 14 years ago today. I didn't find out the news of Kurt's "passing" right away.

I came home from visiting my grandparents in Texas just shortly after noon. I had managed to avoid any television in the airports. I did pick up a Rolling Stone at the Dallas/Ft. Worth airport and decided to do my next art project based on a photo of Kurt Cobain.

While I was in Texas, I passed on Nirvana's album, "Bleach" on April 5th and bought "The Worst Of Jefferson Airplane" instead. I was still a little miffed at Nirvana bowing out of Lollapalooza a week earlier. I figured that I had a second hand copy of "Bleach" anyway.

I even went to a used CD store that afternoon and bought the Nine Inch Nails album, "Pretty Hate Machine". It was the only NIN CD that I didn't have at that point. I spent almost an hour in the music store and I heard nothing about Kurt.

My mom got to the control before I did during dinner, so we watched what she wanted. It was one of the national Evening News programs. I can't remember if it was CBS or NBC, but that's when I found out. I just sat there, silent, finishing my dinner. I wasn't the biggest fan of Nirvana, but it was the end of my musical innocence.

I thought I had prepared myself for things like this. I grew up listening to The Doors, Janis Joplin, Jimi Hendrix, The Blues Brothers and The Beatles. I knew about young loss. I was just a month and a half into age 5, when John Lennon died. My parents kept me from hearing about John Belushi until I somehow knew.

This was my first experience where I was smack dab in the middle of everything. I was a fan right when it happened and old enough to completely comprehend everything that it meant.

I took refuge in my friends, music and baseball. I was graduating high school. Music was always there, yet it took on a whole different meaning. My friends came and went over the next two years. Baseball would betray me a few months after this day in 1994. It was a whole new world.

1994 Fleer Pro Visions - Ozzie Smith

I get that Ozzie Smith was nicknamed "The Wizard". Why does he need to be in an Oz-like setting on a trading card? At least they didn't make Ozzie stand in front of some portrait studio background featuring a yellow brick road and an Emerald City.

Isn't the Emerald City actually Seattle? That's a far away place compared to St. Louis. Although St. Louis is a great city. I vacationed there in 2007. I just wish I had planned the trip better. I can't switch my fiancee's birthday though.

The Cardinals weren't in town, but I did get to see the inside of the stadium from my hotel room. It would've been perfect if there was a game on. I did see the outside of the stadium. I loved the walkway with all of the messages from fans and the Cardinals accomplishments.

Ozzie Smith is a big part of that. I always loved to see Ozzie play, when I was a kid. He always seemed to be a likable guy that I could hang out with. I'm sure he spent all of his free time wishing that he could spend time with me. Then again, probably not.

I did enjoy his acrobatics in the infield and his stellar play there. Fleer could have commissioned a better drawing of Ozzie. It captures his likeness very well, but the red robes make him look like he either stepped out of the shower or joined a religious cult.

I suppose he could be trapped inside the Legend Of Zelda game. It looks a little like that and a generic Oz.

1994 Upper Deck #140 - Jose Canseco

I'm not sure I ever want to find out what Jose Canseco was doing with a shovel. I know that I don't want to find out why Upper Deck felt compelled to put this image on a baseball card.

Was this the method in which Jose introduced steroids into the clubhouse?

"Raffy, let me shovel you a fresh batch of juice."

It may have been an intimidation tactic on Jose's part. Would you deny a man who was about to bean you upside the head with a dirty oversize shovel?

"Would you like an injection in the butt or a shovel across your skull?"

You'd be surprised how many said "shovel across the skull." If you said "injection in the butt", then maybe you have a career filled with tape measure home runs in your future. A not so distant future filled with cheers and highlight reels. There's no need to worry about the distant future. The good times will never end, guaranteed.

Well, everything that's "fun" must come to an end sometime. The excess of the nineties, led to the prudish behavior of the 21st century. Steroids may begin and end with Jose Canseco, but the other players didn't have to follow his advice.

OK, I've changed my mind. I want to know what the hell Jose is doing with that shovel!

Large Tobacco Leathers - Walter Johnson

I'm not sure where this came from. Categorized as L1, Walter Johnson is number 135. I haven't been able to find much information on these.

What I have found comes from this website. Between 1913 and 1915, these could be redeemed with Turkish Trophies cigarette coupons.

There were 25 baseball players, numbered 111 - 135. Other leathers in the series included flags, college mascots, generals, girls, Indians, college seals, actors and actresses, among other assorted pictures.

I can't imagine these being very popular today, but you never know what the public will go for. I never thought Beanie Babies would fly, but there are several fanatics still out there.

I can thank dayf for letting me know about these. It's something I would never imagine being produced. I guess some people in the early twentieth century had a leather fetish. It seems a little too early to be a result of war rationing. Say what you will about these leather collectibles, but they do look nice.

Wednesday, April 2, 2008

2007 Spaceballs Promo Card

Out of all the cards that I've profiled, this is by far the most disturbing. This is a 2007 San Diego Comic Con promo card for the upcoming Spaceballs: The Animated Series. It measures 5 x 7 inches and I'm assuming was given away at the convention. The last time that I was at a comic book convention, Star Trek: TNG was still a rumor.

I'm wondering exactly how this series will work. Will it really suck? It seems like the time for expanding the Dark Helmet story has passed. I was assuming that a second Spaceballs movie would have been written spoofing the second trilogy of Star Wars and poking fun at the sci-fi movies since 1987. I was wrong.

Instead, Mel Brooks has interrupted his Broadway milking of his biggest hits to approve a cartoon series. I suppose I should be psyched about this, but I'm not. I can quote the movie pretty much verbatim. My biggest concern would be towards the legacy of the movie.

How can someone step in and replace John Candy? He has some big shoes to fill. I don't mean from his weight. John Candy had a certain presence that I can't see anyone replacing. Any attempt at imitating would seem hollow. Just look at John Caponera's Harry Caray ads for AT&T. Even though John's imitation was sincere and he did have the late broadcaster's approval of the imitation, it came off as being creepy and in poor taste.

And now for the real thing.

Since I've subjected you to those, here's what you really came for.

Tuesday, April 1, 2008

A Babe Ruth Cut Signature

Technically, this is not a card, but it has been graded as such. This leads me to believe that the companies that grade cards will let anything slip through. Would this have been graded if Jesus Flores had signed this piece of paper instead of Babe Ruth? Somehow, I don't think so.

This lovely, yellowing specimen graded at PSA 10 can be yours for $9,500.00 or best offer, plus $10.00 shipping on eBay. What a bargain. It could possibly be cheaper to steal some plutonium and convert an old DeLorean into a time machine to get a fresh signature.

This signature isn't even signed in ink, it's in pencil! No matter how carefully preserved over the years or how bold Babe Ruth applied his autograph, I find it hard to believe that this has stood up this well over the years. I look at some of the letters I wrote twenty years ago in pencil and I can barely read them. I haven't touched them since I wrote them.

Maybe I'm just too skeptical, but it just seems too good to be true. If it looks like a duck, but meows, chances are you have a cat in a costume. I hope that this doesn't turn out to be one of those cases. A Babe Ruth autograph is a wonderful thing to see. I'm just not ready to believe in this one. Not just yet anyway.