Tuesday, May 27, 2008

2005 Upper Deck USA Baseball Stephen Kahn

Who is this? Team USA pitcher Stephen Kahn.

What is this? An autograph card from 2005 Upper Deck USA Baseball, card number S-38.

Where'd I get it? Atlanta Sports Cards.

How much did it cost? A buck.

Why is this so special? This is how far behind I am on this site - I already gave this card away in a contest. The scan is still on my hard drive so it's fair game for the blog as far as I'm concerned. The card shop I bought this from would probably be my regular shop if I lived on the East instead of the West side of town. The extra 35 minutes driving (at $3.89 a gallon yet) makes it a once every other month type trip, but it's worth it. Tons of cheap boxes and cheaper single cards. They even have monster boxes of junk commons for 10 to 15 bucks a pop, but I haven't been brave enough to pick one up yet. They have an autogamer binder on the counter with a bunch of cards ranging from a buck to 10 bucks. Each time I go I try to pick out a couple dollar autographs for the heck of it. This is one of the cards I picked out. It looked cool at the time but I guess it wasn't quite cool enough to keep. I think it found a good home at any rate.

I really don't know much about Stephen. He was picked by the Brewers in 2002, but decided to go to college instead. After a couple of seasons at Loyola-Marymount he was drafted by the Mariners. As far as I can tell though, he hasn't pitched since 2006. Nice sig though. The card still looks cool. I've decided I like the cards that embed the sticker auto inside the card like this one and 2008 Topps Moments and Milestones. They kind of seem classier than the ones that slap the sticker on top of the card. So, um, yeah. I just don't have much to say about this card. Maybe it's time for another trip out to the shop for more dollar autos.

Thursday, May 22, 2008

2003 Upper Deck Yankee Signature Series Bobby Cox

Who is this? Yankee third baseman Bobby Cox, the Pride of New York.

What is this? An autograph card from 2003 Upper Deck Yankee Signature Series, card number PN-CX.

Where'd I get it? Online somewhere.

How much did it cost? It was a bargain at thrice the price.

Why is this so special? Why is this so special?? Are you serious???

2280 wins and counting.
15 Division championships.
5 Pennants.
1 world Series Championship.
8 time Sporting News Manager of the Year.
137 ejections without once acting like a complete baby.
Moved Dale Murphy to center field.
Traded for John Smoltz.
Drafted Chipper Jones.
Has been an sports icon in Atlanta longer than anyone except for maybe Hank Aaron and Furman Bisher.

Plus he was the starting third baseman for the 1968 New York Yankees, played alongside Mickey Mantle in his final season and was the 1968 Topps All-Rookie third baseman.

Why is this card special... why I oughta...

Wednesday, May 21, 2008

SP Signature David Ortiz

Who is this? Twins first baseman David Ortiz.

What is this? An autograph card from 1999 SP Signature Edition, card number DO.

Where'd I get it? A defunct card shop in Woodstock that I can't remember the name.

How much did it cost? Five bucks.

Why is this so special? I'm going to manage a post a week at least or die trying... I got this card from a shop that was up on Towne Lake parkway up in Woodstock a few years ago. I want to say it was called Double Play or something , but they closed down and it doesn't really matter. They were something like the 4th or 5th shop down my regular list of places to get cards. It wasn't a bad shop, but then again it wasn't utterly spectacular either. It was a little bit out of the way for my usual travels so I didn't get there all that often. They had some good stuff though and you could usually find something cool and obscure on the clearance table.

One day around 2004 or so I was scrounging through their autograph and game used box looking for something good and cheap. Most of the really nice stuff was in a case and the box was filled mostly with underachieving rookies and marginal players. I can't give you an example of who was in that box because I simply don't remember, they were that nondescript. While looking through the pile of unexciting autogamers this card caught my eye. David Ortiz? The guy on the Red Sox who's hitting homers like crazy? Ortiz was definitely a big step above the other cards in the box. So they put Big Papi in the scrub box and put a five dollar price tag on him. Not only that, but they had two of 'em in there. The only rationale for this I can think of is that either Ortiz had not become a big enough star by that point to get moved up to the case, or that those cards had been in there for a few years and no one had touched them. I quit looking at that point because I knew I had found my bargain. I bought this card and left the second one there for any kindred spirits who also like spelunking through the depths of junk boxes for that one diamond.

Wednesday, May 14, 2008

1982 Topps Jeff Reardon

Who is this? Expos pitcher Jeff Reardon.

What is this? An autographed 1982 Topps card, card number 667.

Where'd I get it? I think a card show, but I'm not entirely sure.

How much did it cost? A couple bucks maybe.

Why is this so special? I don't want to get into Jeff's history because it's sad. Let's just say that even if you're a dominant closer that doesn't mean you won't have problems. Jeff actually had a short stint with the Braves in the playoff run of '92. I'm not going to get into that either because it's more sadness, at least for Braves fans. I'm still glad to remember him in a Braves uni, because he is still one of the great closers from the 80's. If the Hall of Fame ever gets generous and decides to let a flood of closers in, Jeff would probably go in wearing this Expos hat. He won the Rolaids Relief award with the 'Spos in 1985 as the best 'fireman' but his '82 and '88 seasons were statistically his best. Other than one pitch, Jeff was pretty damn dominating in his brief stint with the Braves as well. Reardon won a championship as the Twins' closer in '87. I think I got this card from a show at the Cobb Civic center a long time ago but I can't remember to tell the truth. It's a nice sig though, and you have the facsimile signature to compare it with right underneath.

Thursday, May 8, 2008

2008 Finest Josh Anderson

Special sneak preview to force me to write this post tomorrow!

Who is this? Astros Braves outfielder Josh Anderson.

What is this? An autograph card from 2008 Topps Finest, card #159.

Where'd I get it? The Bay of E.

How much did it cost? $2.25. Or $2.50. Something like that. Too lazy to look it up right now.

Why is this so special? Last offseason when Andruw Jones was dumped like a sack of old rubbish, the Braves started looking around for potential replacements. The consensus for Andruw's ultimate replacement was Jordan Schaefer, who was supposed to be Grady Sizemore with gold glove defense. Jordan hadn't had too much seasoning in the minors though so other options were considered to help bridge the few months it would take for Jordan to roar through the minors and jump into center field at the Ted like Dale Murphy in his prime. The first move they made was to swap reliever Oscar Villareal to the 'Stros for Josh. Oscar came over in the Johnny Estrada deal from Arizona and earned the nickname "The Vulture" for his propensity to end up with cheap wins in middle relief that should have gone to more deserving starting pitchers.

Josh became one of a small herd of "Great glove, great speed. weak bat" minor league outfielders competing for what was now a backup outfield job since they picked up Mark Kotsay and his tweaky back. Braves farmhand Gregor Blanco eventually won the job and has played well enough to steal some at bats away from Matt Diaz. Josh is playing very well at Richmond, but Kotsay will probably have to end up in traction before he gets a call-up. Of course Jordan Schaefer was supposed to be banging down the clubhouse door by now. Unfortunately he got sent down to the minors and got caught trying to put a folded dollar bill into the HGH machine. If only he had exact change he might not have gotten suspended. Frank Wren has done a good job with the team so far, but he hasn't learned an important lesson from his mentor. When you try to pull a pump and dump scheme on a "hot prospect" you have to make sure you pull off the dump after the pump.

I got this card in a righteous snit trying to prove that I could get the approximate contents of a Finest mini box for way less than the local hobby shops were charging. I succeeded, mostly, although I'm still a couple common cards short of a box. That is true in all areas of my life so no big deal. The Braves basically have three "rookies" with autographs sprinkled liberally though out the early sets and I already had sigs of Brandon Jones and Clint Sammons. Interestingly enough, all three Braves official MLB rookies didn't make the team out of spring training and have not played a single inning in the majors this year. This is a decent enough card though, Josh's signature is a little squiggly but distinctive, the auto is on the card (increasingly a rarity) and it's a refractor so I can actually scan the thing. The thing that bugs me about it is it still has Josh not only in an Astros uni, but still has Astros as the team! Did Topps not get the memo about the trade? It could be worse though, just ask Brandon Jones.

Saturday, May 3, 2008

Flaming Carrot #30 Ashcan Edition Signed by Bob Burden

Who is this? The Flaming Carrot.

What is this? An ashcan edition of Flaming Carrot #30 autographed by Bob Burden.

Where'd I get it? Offa eBay.

How much did it cost? I want to say about $12 but it's been a couple years and I forget. More than ten but less than twenty bucks.

Why is this so special? I'm mixing it up for Free Comic Book Day. Hell y'all are just glad I finally posted something! Flaming Carrot is about my favorite comic book ever, it manages to skewer the insipid superhero genre while maintaining a healthy surreal atmosphere full of Zen. Burden lives in Atlanta and is a fellow UGA alum. Flaming Carrot made his debut in Visions Magazine in 1979 and got his own magazine in '81. After a good run in the 80's FC was discontinued until it was relaunched in 2005. Only 5 issues have come out since then, but I've got my fingers crossed for more.

This is a promo copy signed and numbered by Bob. The back of the Ashcan comic has a sketch by Burden as well! This bald fellow with the long nose seems to have the gritty determination of his fellow Iron City denizens. Bob's art is idiosyncratic, but the unpolished feel adds a lot of the charm to the books. Bob Burden is a master at capturing the essence of trashy women with 80's haircuts (don't believe me? check out the covers for issues 7, 10, 13 and especially 20) yet can also express his genius in a more nuanced way. There hasn't been much new FC stuff our since Bob got ill a couple of years ago, but I'm waiting patiently. Get well Bob, I'll be playing some Jarts in the meantime.