Saturday, September 11, 2010

Williams/Buchholz (Goodbye Pierce, Hello Reggie)

For some reason, this scheduled post didn’t get posted on Saturday so I’m posting it now.  Just imagine that you’re reading it on Saturday.

BirthdayToday is my 35th birthday.  For the past 9 years, it really hasn’t been the best day for celebrating.  In fact, I often get a sympathetic reaction just from telling someone my birthday when they are taking down my information.  That being said, I will be out having a good time tomorrow with the family.

Thanks to everyone still reading the sporadic posts here.  It’s been one issue after another this past summer keeping me from posting regularly.  There was the issue of the temperature getting too high to sit up here comfortably.  Next year, I’ll have a better air conditioner up here so that won’t be a problem.  Then there was the issue of my now 5 year old computer really not cutting it anymore.  The hard drive is pretty jam packed, the wireless isn’t so great and it’s about time I upgraded.  Luckily, I will have that opportunity soon and this computer will most likely become one that my daughter can use in her playroom.  There’s also the ennui that a lot of other bloggers seem to be going through as well.  I haven’t been purchasing a lot of cards lately and have lost some interest in writing about the hobby.  There hasn’t been a whole lot of new product out there that has interested me.  I do have my eyes on some products though and should be able to go on a little bit of a sports card splurge after my trip to Disney at the end of the month.

I do have some good news to write about though.  A friend of mine decided that he no longer had the space to store his sports card collection and brought a large Tupperware bin full of cards to me to sort through.  There was a lot of great stuff in there that I plan on posting about over the next couple of weeks.  So, there’s that.

PierceReggieSo, it’s so long Pierce.

Hello Reggie.

Friday, September 10, 2010

Panini Prize Winnings

I’m a little late in posting this, but I now have my Kobe Bryant autographed card that I won in a Panini Adrenalyn related contest.  Upon ripping open the envelope this is what I found:


The card reads, “Once again, thx for coming out and taking such a great picture.”  For reference, here’s that picture again:

100_5079Technically, the contest called for a picture of yourself with the bus, but I snapped these pictures as my wife was taking our daughter to the car as it was starting to rain.  This stop was before the contest was announced so I was hoping that the judges would be lenient.  While I wasn’t anywhere to be found in the picture, I thought that it did a great job of capturing the coolest stop on the Adrenalyn Tour, the Basketball Hall of Fame.  So, I submitted the picture, waited and ended up being selected the winner of the contest.

The really cool thing about this prize was how it was shipped.  They didn’t just take the card, throw it in an envelope and ship it off.  This card came in a special box worthy of their big name exclusive.

100_5351Upon opening the box, this is what I saw.  This is a 2009-10 Panini Rookies & Stars Kobe Bryant patch autograph.  If you’re not going to get an on-card autograph, this is by far the next best thing.  The athlete touched the jersey swatch and it looks a hell of a lot better than a sticker, especially the gaudy silver ones.

100_5354Here’s a look at the back of the card.  The serial number is 128/199.  While I can’t say that I’m a huge fan of Kobe, you can’t deny his place in basketball history and now that LeBron ran off to Miami with his tail between his legs, Kobe is certain to be the best player of this generation.  It’s kind of cool to have an autograph of a player of that caliber.  That being said, if anyone out there had the patch autograph cards from Timeless Treasures of someone like Bill Russell or Larry Bird I definitely think that a trade could be arranged.

Thanks again Panini for an awesome prize!

2010 Topps Levi’s Workshops Beyond the Ballgame San Francisco Giants set


A friend of mine made a trip out to California and while he was out there made his way to a Giants game.  Upon entering the park, he was given a pack of these trading cards.  I had no clue what the cards were at first, but as I did more research, I found out that they were pretty cool.

You can find out all of the details here on the Levi's Workshops blog. What stood out for me was the lack of statistics on the back of these cards.  Instead of stars, you’ll find out what the player’s favorite charity is.  Also, the cards were produced by Shepard Fairey’s Studio Number One.  Fairey started getting popular while attending the Rhode Island School of Design (RISD) and Boston was one of the first places that both the “Andre the Giant has a posse” and “Obey Giant” stickers started popping up.  Fairey had his first art museum exhibition here in Boston at the Institute of Contemporary Art (and was arrested at the premiere for outstanding warrants related to graffiti.)  You can even find his Obey stickers in Punk Farm, a book by one of my favorite children’s authors,  Jarrett J. Krosoczka a fellow RISD graduate.  Krosoczka also used a slightly altered version of the image as promotional stickers for the book.

I’m getting off track here, but what I’m trying to say is that I’ve become a fan of Fairey and his art over the years.  Everyone now knows the iconic Obama poster that he created and I own a Hurley “Dude” t-shirt that copies that style.

SealThese cards give you a good idea of what can happen when talented designers work on cards.  These cards have a vintage feel without exactly copying a design from an old set.  I really wish that this design had been used for a mainstream set because it’s that good.

Not only is it a good looking set, but it is also a fun set.  I’ve always thought that mascot cards were fun and should be included in sets, but that’s rarely the case these days.  You might find them in kids sets, but that’s about it.  Here we’ve got a card of Lou Seal.  Before opening this pack, I had no clue that Lou Seal was the mascot of the San Francisco Giants which is exactly why we need more mascot cards SealBackin sets.

If you flip the card over you will see that Lou’s favorite charity is The Marine Mammal Center.  You can read all about the mission of  The Marine Mammal Center and find out some facts about the organization.

Now that you’ve all seen the card design, am I alone in thinking that these are great looking cards?  There’s nothing flashy, but they’re still great looking cards.  One interesting thing you’ll notice on these cards is that the player’s jersey number appears on both the front and the back.  The pictures are black and white, but that ties into the whole silk-screening workshop Pandathat these are promoting.  The only colors that you’ll find on these cards are red and various shades of black.

Lou Seal isn’t the only animal that can be found in these packs, there are Pandas to be found as well.  While Sandoval hasn’t replicated his outstanding 2009 season, his 2010 campaign hasn’t been terrible and he’s young enough that he’s got plenty of time to bounce back.

This set doesn’t just contain current players though.  You can also find cards of a few of the all-time great Giants players.

WillWill “The Thrill” is definitely one of the better cards in the set as is Willie McCovey.  Check out the rest of the set, including the Junior Giants cards, below.