Tuesday, September 30, 2008

Phillie Phanatic Boogies!!!

Phils are enjoying a few days off before Starting the Playoff Push on Wednesday. This is another related music post -- check out the Phanatic letting his hair down. Stay with it, the Phanatic doesn't come in until the 2:50 mark.

I love this - The guy with the biggest feet in the room dancing around with "Little Feat"
Go Phils!

Monday, September 29, 2008

Dewey Beach Music Festival

The Effects @ the Rusty Rudder, Dewey Beach DE, September 26 2008

Spent the weekend following one of my other passions, Music. Every year during the last weekend of September Dewey Beach, the best little party town in Delaware, hosts a music festival with well over 100 bands performing original music. Most of the bands hail from the Mid-Atlantic area and are playing for exposure. All events are free and plenty of adult beverages are consumed. We had pretty crummy weather but the festival was still great fun.

The best band I saw was Tulsa based the Effects, a hard rocking throwback band with a strong Led Zeppelin influence. I also enjoyed a Funk/Hip-Hop outfit from Philadelphia that goes by Da Rezarekt.

We saw several bands from the Virginia Beach area including a pretty good pop band the Influence as well as Jackmove who reminded me of the Squirrel Nut Zippers. I also caught a set by Songwriter JoAnna Lynne, which didn't exactly captivate me, but I did find her background and stories amusing.

Other highlights were the always dependable Fools and Horses from Baltimore, Nashville's Shirock, and the Milwaukee power pop duo Fever Marlene.

The Dewey Beach Music Fest is always a good time and if you're into checking out live bands or original music I highly recommend the event.

And Yes, all this fun did not interfere with us watching that great pennant clinching victory on Saturday.

Go Phils!

Sunday, September 28, 2008

2008 National League East Champions


2007 Topps Co-Signers #1 Ryan Howard
2007 Bowman Heritage #193 Chase Utley
2002 Fleer Authentix #97 Jimmy Rollins
2006 Fleer #29 Cole Hamels

Congratulations to the 2008 NL East Champs. I have been out of town all weekend so I didn't get a chance to post this. Things are pretty happy here at Team Phungo Headquarters.

Go Phils!

Thursday, September 25, 2008

Wally Hilgenberg 1942 - 2008


I was a little stunned to read about Wally Hilgenberg death due to Lou Gehrig's disease (ALS). It kind of also phased me when I flipped over his card and realized he was a few months younger than my father. Lately anytime I talk to my parents, it seems that they are going to a funeral or have been to one in the weeks past. I suppose you never really get used to it, but perhaps the funerals are therapeutic in some way.

Several years ago I read Mitch Albom's "Tuesdays with Morrie". Lou Gehrig's disease is pretty grim, but I enjoyed Albom's chronicle of his visits with his former mentor. The book was short and fit my attention span, uplifting and hopeful.

I found this article on Hilgenberg, with several quotes from Vikings teammate Stu Voight, pretty interesting. Voight refers to an "era when athletes were role models". I suspect Voight is correct and that there are not as many athelete role models today. I am hopeful that some are still out there and I am glad that Wally Hilgenberg was a good one in the short time that he was here.

Mickey Vernon 1918 - 2008



Mickey Vernon died at the age of 90 on Wednesday September 24th. I know little of Mickey Vernon's career, which spanned four decades, from 1939 through 1960, mostly with the lowly Washington Senators. He was somewhat of a local celebrity, who attended Villanova University and resided in the area. The seven time all-star and two time batting champ is on the 2009 Veteran's Comittee Ballot for the Baseball Hall of Fame. Vernon was recently named to the Philadelphia Sports Hall of Fame and will officially be inducted this coming November.

Philadelphia Author/Sports Historian Rich Westcott wrote a biography of Mickey Vernon that was published in 2005. Vernon and Westcott made several appearances promoting the book at the time, but I never made it out to one of the signings. If my memory is correct Vernon also had a movie camera during his playing days and has a pretty impressive personal collection home movies featuring the baseball players of the 40s and 50s.

Mickey Vernon, by all accounts, was considered to be a gentleman and was well regarded in his community. It is good that baseball has such representatives and it is sad to hear of their passing.

Mickey Vernon Baseball-Reference

Mickey Vernon Wikipedia

Wednesday, September 24, 2008

Bomb Scare at Citizen's Bank Ballpark - Over

Comcast Sports Net (CSN Philadelphia) reported three suspicious packages had been found at Citizen's Bank Ballpark.

The bomb scare appears to be over. The Philadelphia bomb squad was called in and the packages were either removed or detonated. The stadium has been opened and tonight's game will be played as scheduled.

Hopefully no real bombs here.

It turned out that the mysterious packages were Hot Dogs wrapped in foil which had been left over from a photo shoot at the stadium.

Monday, September 22, 2008

Goudey Vs Goudey

07 Goudey v 08 Goudey

Actually it is more like Retail vs Hobby. I picked up 3 packs of 07 Goudey out of the Target Bargain Bin and 3 packs of 08 Goudey Hobby at a card show. Previously I had only picked up 1 pack of each product. The 07 Goudey was a bad experience, I was unimpressed with the cards in that first pack, and it appeared to have already been opened - I have avoided that hobby shop since. I chronicled my first 08 Goudey Pack a few weeks ago, it was awesome - read more here.

The 08 will probably have an advantage because it is Hobby over Retail - Lets see what happens.

First three 07 Goudey Packs

Red
19 Brian Roberts
54 Jason Varitek
61 Jimmy Rollins
68 Justin Morneau
75 Mark Mulder
124 Mark Teahan
126 Carlos Guillen
149 Raul Ibanez
150 Joe Crede
173 Konerko
197 Delmon Young

Green
10 Pettitte
27 Chipper
34 Jeter
38 Eric Chavez
62 Joe Mauer
97 Trevor Hoffman
116 Edwin Encarnacion
132 Ramon Hernandez
143 Luis Gonzalez
156 Scott Podsednik
157 David Eckstein
180 Moises Alou
250 Reggie Jackson SP Heads Up
Now the three 08 Goudey Packs

12 Kelly Johnson
13 Tom Glavine
17 Brian Roberts
19 Jim Palmer
36 Fukudome
39 Luis Aparicio
50 Adam Dunn
64 Garrett Atkins
65 Tulowitzki
70 Miguel Cabrera
91 John Lackey
105 Ryan Braun
114 Justin Morneau
123 Chien-Ming Wang
140 Ryan Howard
142 Chase Utley
143 Shane Victorino
149 Jack Wilson
166 Felix Hernandez
169 Raul Ibanez
180 Akinori Iwamura
219 Dave Winfield (SP)
YSL 1540 August 11th 1942: Charlie Keller, Boston Red Sox 3 @ New York Yankees 2
HPC-22 Nolan Ryan Berk Ross Hit Parade of Champions


Card Design
- 2008 - I like the 08s better in general. I prefer the traditional card size, and the sharper color scheme.
Phillies - 2008 - 3 Phils with both Utley and Howard. Easy Win.
Base Cards - 2008 - slight Win for 08, 07 Ramon Hernandez was my one duplicate, and I think I may have 3 of that card now. Liked all of the HOF players in the 08 set.
Inserts/Short Prints - 2007 - Reggie Heads Up beats out Winfield SP and Ryan Berk Ross card. I am not sure what the other Hit Parade of Champions look like, but this one just looks out of place amongst the rest of the Goudeys. The small size makes it feel like a crummy cracker jack prize.
Price - 2007 - $5.06 for 3@ 1.59 each + 6% sales Tax. v 12.00 for 3 08 Goudey @ 4.00 pack

Winner 2008 Despite the price difference, I just like the set better in general. The Three Phillies really put the three 08 packs ahead.

I will be adding some of these to my personal collection, if any of the others are needed by set builders, I am open to offers.

Sunday, September 21, 2008

The House that Ruth Built - And Mariano Closed?

Tonight the first pitch in the final game in Yankee Stadium will be thrown by Andy Pettitte.

Babe Ruth once held the post season record for consecutive innings pitched without allowing a run. Mariano Rivera now holds that record at 34 1/3 innings. It would only be fitting if he could close the door of the House that Ruth Built by Throwing it’s final pitch.

Baltimore Orioles @ New York Yankees, Yankee Stadium. Bronx, New York September 21st 2008 8:05 PM.

Go Vikings

First off a Football Post - It appears that the Vikings are in need of a kick start, and the Phillies Mojo cards seem to have helped them, so this morning I am putting out a Vikings Mojo Post.
2007 Topps Turn Back the Clock #9 Adrian Peterson

Yes I live in Philadelphia, but I am a Vikings fan. Basically I am child of the 70s, back then the Eagles were mediocre, while the Vikings were quite good. I have remained a Vikings fan which is easier in the modern era, as cable tv and the internet can keep you reasonably well informed about your favorite team.

Ok Vikes lets get on a roll and kick some Panther butt today.

Saturday, September 20, 2008

The House That Ruth Built - Perfect Games

My first visit to "the Stadium" was on June 30 1998, The Phillies were playing the Yankees that night. 1998 was the second year of interleague play and this was the Phillies first trip to Yankee Stadium since the 1950 World Series.

Things didn’t go that well for the Phils, Yankee starter David Cone was on his game and the Phils were outmanned. Cone was perfect until 2 outs into the fifth and was an out away from pitching a shutout when Jon Zuber hit a 2 run homer, which was not nearly enough as the Bronx Bombers scored 9 runs including a Homer by Darryl Strawberry. The Yankees won 9-2.

A year later Cone did pitch a perfect game at Yankee Stadium. The Stadium was the site of two other Perfect games, one by David Wells and one by Don Larsen, the only Perfect Game in World Series History.

Friday, September 19, 2008

Cal Ripken - September 19th 1998


On Saturday, September 19th 1998 Cal Ripken played in consecutive game number 2,632. On Sunday he rested.

When he finally ended the streak Ripken did it gracefully. Unlike most of the latter years of the streak, in the closing weeks of 1998 the Orioles were out of the playoff chase. According to the Cal Ripken Wikipedia entry he did not want questions about his playing status to be a source of controversy during the off-season and he also wanted to end the streak entirely on his own terms while he still could.

During his streak there was much debate about whether or not Cal's playing everyday benefited or hindered his team. I have always been of the opinion that regardless of how much a day off may have helped Ripken hit better or get to another ball in the field, that as a team the Orioles were better off with Ripken in the line up everyday. His career numbers without the streak speak for themselves (member of 1983 World Champion, 431 HRs, 3184 Hits, 1695 RBI, 1647 Runs - 2 MVP, ROY, 19 time all-star). You don't put up those numbers against major league pitching without bringing your A-Game for a lot of years. Ripken did that and by most accounts he was also a superior fielder with a high baseball acumen - As a shortstop he was in the right place at the right time, because he studied the game, knew his pitchers, studied opposing batters and understood baseball situations. These are skills that a good baseball organization needs to foster to remain consistently competitive.

During the streak, I saw Ripken play for the Orioles five times. The Orioles won all 5 of those games. I also was able to see Ripken play in the 1996 all-star game in Philadelphia. That day he broke his nose in a freak accident while they were taking the AL team photograph, but the streak continued. The player that subbed in for Ripken was the then 20 year old shortstop Alex Rodriguez. In 1997 A-Rod represented the American League as their starting shortstop, ending Ripken's run of 13 consecutive All-Star starts at the position. Ripken remained a starter but at his new position, 3rd base. At the start of the 2001 All-Star game, which occurred during Ripken's farewell season, Rodriquez took the field at third base, insisting that Cal return to the post he manned for so many seasons. It was the last time that Cal Ripken would ever play at shortstop. And, it was the first time that Alex Rodriguez would play third. It's odd how things work out, who knew that in the near future A-Rod would end up playing many more games at the hot corner.

Ten Years later, I salute Cal Ripken. Thanks for taking the field everyday. Thanks for being a contributing member of your community and thanks for being an ambassador for Baseball.

Thursday, September 18, 2008

The House that Ruth Built

On Sunday September 21 2008, The New York Yankees host the Baltimore Orioles in the final game at Yankee Stadium.

The Yankee’s are a team which has a legacy so great that Topps and Upper Deck have dedicated entire series’ to single players:

And there is a series dedicated to the stadium itself:

Yankee Stadium is the place that the Yankees called home while winning 26 World Championships. A wing of Hall of Famers have played in Yankee Stadium: Ruth, Mantle, DiMaggio, Whitey Ford, Reggie. This Legend played the home half of 2131 consecutive games there:

The more recent versions of the Bronx Bombers have consisted of all-stars at nearly every position. Some are from the system some from trades some were free agents. Jeter, Posoda, Rivera, Clemens, Bernie, O’ Neill, Tino, Pettite, and of Course A-Rod.

This guy even left the enemy and SHAVED to play in Yankee Stadium.

Over the next couple of days I will be putting together a series of entries about the Yankees and Yankee Stadium. I hope you enjoy the posts.

Wednesday, September 17, 2008

Marty Bystrom Mojo

1982 Topps #416 Marty Bystrom

In September of 1980 the Phillies brought up 21 year old rookie Marty Bystrom to be a fifth starter in their rotation. He was much more. That September he went 5-0 down the stretch and was named the NL pitcher of the month. During the playoffs, he started the deciding game of the 1980 NLCS versus future Hall of Famer Nolan Ryan. The Phils would eventually win that game in 10 innings and move on to the World Series.

Tonight the Phillies are sending out another rookie, J. A. Happ, for a critical start during a playoff run. Hopefully Happ will pitch as well as Bystrom did that September some 28 years ago.

Here is some Bystrom Mojo for Mr Happ.

Tuesday, September 16, 2008

NEW LEADER!!

First Place, First Place!!

Still 11 games to go --Enjoy this moment guys then back to work!

Go Cubs! - John Kruk Mojo

2007 UD Spectrum #56 Derrek Lee
2007 Topps #129 Aramis Ramirez

2001 MLB Showdown #91 Kerry Wood

Yesterday we put the hex on the Mets - Go Nats and check some Nationals Cards. Last I checked they featuring Austin Kearns.

Tonight it's all about hexing the Brew Crew. Although the Brewers may just be unraveling themselves. Of course the Brewers are deadlocked with the Phils in the NL Wildcard race, and hopefully these cards will ward off any Curses, Billy Goats, and Bartman's that affect this series.

Go Cubs!

Of course none of this matters if the Phils take care of their own business. The Phils season is down to the last 12 games, they have won 4 in a row - and I hope that their success continues. And to help, team Phungo presents the Phils Mojo card of the night:

1995 Fleer Ultra Phillies Finest #9 John Kruk

In 1994 Philadelphia based Fleer released a set of cards of Phillies Favorite's John Kruk and Darren Daulton. The set consisted of 10 cards of each player with a Photo on the front and biographical info on the back.
Of course now we can see John Kruk on ESPN's Baseball tonight. Kruk is sometimes insightful, and almost always funny, He will forever be one of my favorite Phillies and I am glad that I can catch him throughout the baseball season. Now go out and get the Phils a win Krukker.

Go Phils! Go Cubs! Go Nats!

Monday, September 15, 2008

Go Nats!

2007 Fleer #7 Ryan Zimmerman
2007 Allen & Ginter #3 Austin Kearns
2008 Topps (ser 2) #562 Ronnie Belliard (Gold 282/2008)

What a difference a weekend makes? This has been the Phils entire season. one week they are on life support the next they are right in there with the leaders. The Mets, Brewers, Phillies and now Houston are all incomplete teams and this is keeping one of them from running away with this race.

This all brings us to today's cards. What do the Nats have to do with this playoff chase. Well tonight they host the Mets for the first of four games. If John Lannan does well on the mound tonight, I may partially forgive him for break Utley's hand with an inside pitch last year.

Go Nats!

Plus - Sweeping a critical series late in the year.
Minus - The final game of the sweep was not televised locally because of ESPN's exclusive rights to Sunday Night. ESPN carried the Chisox - Tigers game.

Shenanigans - Astros really get the short end of the stick playing in Milwaukee during hurricane Ike. Not only do the Astros lose the home games, but they end up playing in Milwaukee, which can look like a Cubs home game even when they are playing the Brewers.
But hey the Cubs faitful who made the trek up to Milwaukee were sure rewarded getting to witnees Carlos Zambrano toss that no-hitter. Out of curiosity was that game even on broadcast TV in Chicago - or were they blacked out like us in Philadelphia? The only Highlights I have seen were off the Astros network.
BlogBlogBlog - Fielder's Choice has a fine report on a recent trip to Fenway Park. Also the Nennth Inning has a report on a trip to PetCo and some succesfful autograph hunting.

Saturday, September 13, 2008

2008 09 11 Brewers 3 @ Phillies 6

Topps 2007 #UH99 Carlos Ruiz
Topps 2008 #281 Carlos Ruiz

Thursday was a great night all Around as the Phils beat the Wild Card Rival Milwaukee Brewers 6-3. There were many Phils deserving of the Top Card Billing but I wanted to take this opportunity to recognize Carlos Ruiz. Nice Cards just that it's the same picture. Same Set, different
years, same photo - this all points to Lazy Topps.

But wait the Laziness doesn't end there - flip the cards over and....



Both cards use the same stinkin factoid in the second sentence. It is also another game where Ruiz contributed to a victory over the Brewers.

Okay, Enough of the Lazy Topps Rant and on to Carlos. After a disappointing offensive season, Ruiz has been hot lately and He did post an RBI double versus the Brew Crew. However, his most exciting contribution was getting down a suicide squeeze bunt for an insurance run in the bottom of the 8th. I have been to roughly 150 Phils games and can’t remember having witnessed them successfully execute the squeeze play. It was just as exciting as Ryan Howard's moon shot homer in the first.
In addition to Ruiz the Phils received contributions from across the team. Jamie Moyer took the rock on three days rest and gave the Phillies 5 2/3 solid innings. The big man Ryan Howard posted 3 RBIs including the two run homer in the first, he narrowly missed another in the fourth. The bullpen, erratic lately, looked more like the surprising staff that was so stellar in the first half of the season. Ryan Madson pitched 2 innings of shutout relief, Chad Durbin came in to get a critical out and Brad Lidge pitched a 1-2-3 ninth.
On the other side of the Diamond, if you’re going to see Prince Fielder blast a 2-Run homer - it doesn’t feel as bad if it comes when your teams is up 3 runs - even if the ball is absolutely crushed to centerfield.
Plus – The Phils were able to beat Ben Sheets, a quality starting pitcher who has been hot lately. I love a good pitching match-up but it is also something to see a couple of the league's big young mashers like Ryan Howard and Prince Fielder absolutely crush balls over the centerfield fence.
I picked up the cheapest tix available for the game and for the first 6 innings sat 4 rows off the field just beyond first base. The game was over in 2:48 and I was home around 10:30. Saw a quite a few Brewers fans out there. It is good to see them get some support, after being one of the more invisible teams for about a decade.
The Phillies arranged pre-game festivities which honored members of the armed forces, police, fire, and emergency services and also saluted the victims of September 11th. The Brewers and Phillies as well as all the teams in major league baseball brought out their patriotic caps from the 4th of July weekend this year and wore them during Thursday Night’s games.
Damages - $13 ticket, $10 Park, $14 for two beers, and $5.50 for two dogs. Total $42.50.

Wednesday, September 10, 2008

2008 09 07 Shea Stadium Visit

Things have gone rather poorly for the Phils since winning the early Sunday game at Shea. The Phils were 1 game back of the Mets at the time, but that deficit has grown to three games. However, this cannot erase the good time that was had on our trip to New York. What follows is a review largely composed immediately following the trip.

Our trip to New York to check out the Phils and Mets was a good time all around. Team Phungo got to check out Shea Stadium before it closed, There was great weather, and The Phils Won.

We made the sound decision to not embark on a trip to New York on Saturday and fortunately the game was postponed long before the scheduled start time. Sunday provided much better post-hurricane weather and with many fans not present due to the move of the game, we were able to move to improved seats in the shade and behind the plate. Shea Stadium is simply what it is, an older symmetric stadium that doesn't have either the personality of an older stadium nor the fancy comforts of a newer stadium. We were in the upper level where concessions were fairly limited. There was a good dose of Nathan's products, including a Corn Dog, which was tasty although a bit greasy. Beers went for $8 a bottle, the limited selection did include the local Brooklyn Lager. Transportation to the park is only $2 via the 7 train from Manhattan, which is about a half hour ride.
This is the big scoreboard in Shea's Right Centerfield.
The completion of the early contest on Sunday meant there were but 14 remaining games at Shea. The Mets marked the occasion by having the son of Gil Hodges (his name escapes me now) remove the #15 and reveal #14, which was Gil Hodges uniform number as the Manager of the '69 Miracle Mets.
Hodges' 14 is one of three numbers retired by the Mets, the other are Casey Stengel's 37 and Tom Seaver's 41. The Mets as with all Major League teams have also retired Jackie Robinson's #42. The Shea Final Season Banner can be seen at the Left of the Photo. Hodges hit 370 homers during an 18 year career which he finished as a Met in 1963. The bulk of his career was spent with the Brooklyn and LA Dodgers with whom he played for World Champions in both cities.
1959 Topps #270 Gil Hodges

Hodges number isn't retired by the Mets for the two season that he spent as a player but for the 1969 season when he was the manager of the Miracle Mets. The 69 team along with the 86 Mets and several other NL and Divisional crown winning teams are
recognized with banners beyond the outfield wall at Shea.
Notice that there in no 2007 Banner on that wall!

This is roughly the spot where Bill Buckner let that grounder bounce through the five hole during game 6 of the '86 World Series.
The Arthur Ashe Tennis center is located on the opposite side of the rail line from Shea. The Men's semis of the US Open were occurring during the Phils Mets game, you can see the jumbo-tron above the stadium. I blew up the shot and I think that might be Christie Brinkley on the screen. In the left center portion of the shot you can see the globe created for the 1964 Worlds Fair.
Here is a slightly closer look at the globe.
and Finally, next time we see the Mets it will likely be in the new Citi Field.


Ballparkdigest
is an excellent resource for stadium information here is a link to their Shea Stadium Page.

The only other thing we had time for in our New York excursion was dinner at Anthony Bourdain's Les Halles.We were in a rush to get to the train after dinner so I did not get a picture. The restaurant was pricey as expected but very nice, with good food and great service.

Tuesday, September 9, 2008

Phungo Playoff Meter 2008 09 10

This is not working out so far. Phils get off to poor start vs Marlins rally but fall short 10-8, while Mets beat the Nats by the same 10-8 score. Phils fall to 2.5 Back.

2008 Topps Trading Card History #22 Pedro Martinez

Phungo Playoff Meter

Introducing the Phungo Playoff Meter - We will be charting the Phillies Stretch run by graphing out the Phils status using Baseball Cards. As of now the Phils are 1 1/2 games behind the rival Mets.
2006 Topps #UH232 David Wright NL All-Star
2007 Topps #656 Classic Combo Carlos Beltran - Jose Reyes

Hopefully the Phils can get on a roll, bypass the Mets, and the Phungo Playoff Meter will evolve from Mets Cards to Phils Cards.

Monday, September 8, 2008

2008 09 07 Phillies 6 @ Mets 2

Just some quick pictures from our trip up to Shea Stadium to see the Phils take on the Mets. Fortunately we caught the first game which the Phils won behind another great performance by the ageless Jamie Moyer. Greg Dobbs had the big hit on offesnse knocking out a 3 run homer against Pedro Martinez.
Another good day in the sun for Jamie Moyer. I was pretty happy the Mets announced the postponment of the game early on Saturday. The weather on Sunday was near perfect for baseball.

Here is a picture both Mets and Phils fans can enjoy.

There are several banners of Mets greats hung from the rafters in the lower concourse. This is one of Tug McGraw.

Here is another one more for the Mets Fans.
Luckily, The only time we saw The Big Apple make an appearance was not for a Mets Home Run but during the 7th innning stretch.

More pictures, highlights, and commentary later in the week.

Friday, September 5, 2008

2008 Goudey - Phils need MoJo Pack - YAHTZEE!!!

The Phils have a big weekend series with the Division Leading New York Mets - I am thinking that opening up a pack of 2008 Goudey (Hobby) Might give them some much needed MoJo!

#62 Brad Hawpe

Paul Molitor
#81 Roy Oswalt
YSL 6035 Tino Martinez 8/18/2000 Yankees 8 Angels 9
#192 Alex Rios
#10 Phil Niekro

whoa actually I mean -

GG-PM PAUL MOLITOR AUTO!!!



Thats pretty much how it happened. I have read on a couple of other blogs how people have skipped right passed the this year's Goudey Auto's and sure enough it happened to me. I was just about to get stressed because the pack was a card light and then I realized hey this Molitor card has a signature.

A nice auto on a good looking card of a Hall of Famer! I have to admit I am actually giddy!

This is easily the best pack drawn auto I have ever gotten. Hopefully the Phils will also come up with some big hits of their own this weekend as well.

in other news:

Team Phungo is scheduled for our first ever (and most likely only) visit to Shea Stadium this Saturday. We are hoping the weather cooperates or well I am really hoping that it is miserable enough that game officials have the foresight to move the game to Sunday afternoon. Regardless check back next week and I hope to have a game report and some photos from one of the final games at Shea Stadium.

OK now I am going back to being giddy.

Go Phightins!!!

Thursday, September 4, 2008

2008 Topps Football Jumbo First Pack

Kick Off time for the 2008 NFL season. To mark the occasion I am opening up the first pack of the year. This is a Jumbo Pack of 2008 Topps.

Here are some of the Highlights - The First card of the year was the Chad Johnson. Overall the pack came with 29 base veterans 2 foil vets (one of which was a dup of a regular base). 10 base rookies and 6 inserts. The 3 inserts not pictured are Brett Favre TD 401 (v the Lions 2006-09-24), An Armed Forces Fan - Ryan M Lenser Green Bay and a Gold Card of DeAngelo Williams 814/2008.

Overall the pack was fair, I didn't get any Vikings or Eagles who are my favorite NFL teams. I like the Honor Roll - GinoMarchetti card. Any Baltimore Colts card is fine a bonus for me. Other Highlights among the base veterans were Kurt Warner, Bobby Engram (PSU), Justin Tuck, Troy Polamalu, Reggie Wayne - Leaders Rec Yds, Tony Romo. The Rookies included Rashard Mendenhall (RB-PIT), Lawrence Jackson (DE-SEA) and Kenny Phillips (S-NYG)

Plus - got 1 extra card - thanks topps.
Minus - 47 cards and No Vikings No Eagles yet I get a Stinkin Brett Favre TD Card
Grade - C
Cost - 10.60

Not a great first pack a couple of stars and some interesting inserts. Will probably pick up another pack or two until I get some Vikings.

Wednesday, September 3, 2008

2008 Allen Ginter Blaster

The crack research staff at Dinged Corners had theorized that the blasters for A+G may be frontloaded with hits and good pulls. I was interested in testing this Hypothesis and in the name of research, I picked up a blaster of 2008 Allen & Ginter at Walmart. This, as I said, is strictly research and definitely not due to a card collecting addiction. Yes strictly research - first some pretty pictures:


#212 Pyotr Tchaikovsky, Composer
#AGR-MYMichael Young Game Used Relic
#242 Ngwenya Takudzwa
TWGV17 - Worlds Greatest Victories Brown vs Board of Education


Obviously, the Michael Young Relic is notable and pushes the blaster into the Win Category - or at least it would if the card was not damaged - It is difficult to see in the scan but the protective plastic covering is bent forward in the bottom center of the card.

The first of the other notables is Tchaikovsky, My girlfriend is pursuing a degree related to Russian Language so whenever we run into anything in this realm it's a bonus - nice historical and cultural card. I found it a little disconcerting that Topps used an important historical moment like Brown v Board of education to hock their crack the code game, regardless I am glad to have drawn this card. Finally, the most Rugby player Ngwenya Takudzwa just to show you the toughness of this Allen & Ginter product.

Here are the details on the rest of the box:

Hit - Michael Young Damaged
Base 39/350
SP 4/50 (#324 Kotchman, #335 Phillip Hughes, #336 Allen Fischer - arm wrestling champ, #343 Bengie Molina)
mini base 3 (Jose Reyes, Lincecum, Teixeira)
mini A&G back 3 (1:5) (Miguel Tejada, Adam Laroche, Josh Willingham)
Checklists 2

Other Inserts
TWGV17 - Greatest Victories Brown vs Board of Education
US 18 - Louisiana - Papelbon
US 39 - Rhode Island - Konerko
US 46 - Virginia - David Wright
WDS5 - Mako Shark
WL12 - (1:12) Finland - Tarja Halojen (Conan O'Brien)

Base Highlights -
A-Rod, Vlad, Former Phil Aaron Rowand, Maddux, Wild Bill Hickock, Grand Canyon, Chpper, Iditarod champ and former Pirates Shortstop Jeff King, Dickens, and Olympian Mark Spitz.

The Damage - $21.19

The inserts were pretty good. Looks like I may have gotten the GU Michael Young instead of a state card. The three state cards I received in this blaster were also present within a blaster break by Cardboard Junkie. There was a world leader rather than a base mini and I also came out slightly ahead on the mini A&G backs. Also one of the mini's was the Mako Shark for which I have not seen pack ratios. The A&G LaRoche mini overlapped a base card in the blaster. As far as raw numbers I came out with 52 cards (+2 checklists) which is 4 more than the 48 expected.

I had only picked up a single hobby pack of Allen Ginter prior to the blaster, this did result in a single duplicate of the Serena Williams base card. The mini from that pack was Lance Berkman - His base card was present in the blaster.

The big minus was that I didn't get one Phillies card. 39 base cards 6 minis 4 states and no Phils.

Despite this omission I am happy with the box - and based on the results I would have to agree with Dinged Corners. The relic puts the blaster above average - also the other inserts tended to run slightly better than expected.

Monday, September 1, 2008

20080830 - Exton Mall Card Show, Exton PA

Almost every week there is a card show at some mall in my area. Whenever I have a free weekend and the show is at a convenient location I try and stop in and check out what is a available. This week I was mostly perusing the cheap dime and nickel boxes. Here are some of the highlights.

In the 3 cards for a dime box:2004 Bowman Chrome #147 Rickie Weeks
2007 Allen & Ginter's #146 Carlos Quentin
1986 Topps #717 Dave Winfield All-Star/1985 AL Leaders Runs
1991 Donruss #28 Tino Martinez

I fear this guy may not be returning to the Exton show. He always has bunches of Bowman Chrome in a 3 for a dime box. This week he had a whole bunch of 07 Allen & Ginter, I came home with 28 of those including the Carlos Quentin above. The Winfield card falls under my Hall-of-Fame clause. Whenever I am picking up a stack of cards I try and make sure I get at least one HOF player in the bunch.

In a mix of some nickel and dime boxes I found bunches of Phillies and former Phils:

1996 Pinnacle Zenith #105 Bob Abreu
2007 UD Goudey #3 Aaron Rowand
1993 Leaf #507 Jim Eisenreich

The pre-Bobby Bob Abreu card is a nice find - not as a nice as a Pre-Roberto Bob Clemente card, but a nice addition to the collection. I picked up lots of retro-cards at the show; Some Heritage, some of the Topps T205 and T206 cards from a few years ago, UD Play Ball and some Goudey like the 07 of Phillies Fan favorite Aaron Rowand. I like this leaf set with another fan favorite Jim Eisenreich, The b-side of the card features the player in front of a local landmark. In the case of this Eisy card he is superimposed upon Philadelphia's city hall. Other Phillies cards in this set have the Liberty Bell for a backdrop.

Fun cards in other dime boxes:

1993 Topps # 529 Shortstop Prospects including Chipper Jones
2008 Allen Ginter #282 Jeanette Lee

It's not his true rookie, but it is an early Chipper Jones card - so early that he is a Shortstop prospect. And of course the beautiful and talented Jeanette Lee. I was a little surprised to see the 08 Allen Ginter commons in the dime box and probably should of devoured some more of these, but only had time to pick out a few.

I also picked up a couple of packs of 08 Goudey and will be opening those up through the upcoming weeks.

There was a whole stack of 08 A&G Game used at one booth for $3 a card, which I didn't bother sifting through.

The Damages:
3 for a dime box , 113 cards (A&G, BowChro, NFL Bow Chro, Phils, Orioles, Vikings) 3.00
miscellaneous singles, 7 cards (Chipper, Heritage) 1.00
nickel box, 62 cards (Phils, Orioles, Yount's, Retro/Heritage) 3.00
Dime Box, 30 cards (Phils, Retro, 08 A&G) 3.00
Grab Bag, 50 cards -25 decent (Griffey, David Wells, Hudson, Glavine, Helton) 1.00
08 Goudey - 3 packs 12.00
Total 23.00

well worth it for A fun day at the show.

a thousand words

a thousand words
2008 World Champions