Wednesday, December 28, 2011

What Was Your Best Post of 2011??

Every Newpaper, Website, and Magazine seems to have some sort of list of best of 2011 in Sports, Music, Movies, Books, Trends, Viral Videos, Reality TV, Celeb Marriages/Divorces, Garbage Gossip etc etc.

Well I think it is time we do this for Trading Card Blogging.  (If somebody is already doing this and I missed it, let me know)

I would like to collect your favorite columns from 2011 and put the links into a single posting so that anyone can refer to them at anytime in the future.   I see something similar to the books that you may see in stores that are "The Year in Sportswriting 2011" edited by some sportswriter and contributed by about a dozen others.

A couple of ground rules - 
- one Submission per blog, I would like to highlight as many different authors as possible.  (exception for series - if you put together a summary of a series on your own blog and prefer that entry to be your submission that would be great)

- send a link to my email address (in my profile) - that way I can copy the link directly into the index posting
- I would prefer posts from 2011, perhaps we can put together a separate entry for pre-2011 columns.
- I am also welcoming nominations of posts by authors other then yourself.  perhaps some folks have forgotten or didn't see the beauty of their original posts.
- beyond that I would like to keep things relatively wide open - by Best I really mean favorite - don't fret over it your piece is brilliant etc.  - it is just good enough that you liked it or enjoyed posting it. 

I envision grouping the postings loosely if you could also let me know which of the following categories your posts fits that would be helpful.  Some of the categories I have come up with are:

- Cardboard Appreciation - Posts dedicated to a single card
- Player Collecting - posts for a single blayer
- Team Collecting
- Reviews - including Box/Case/Group Breaks.
- Vintage
- Autos/Relics
- Sets Apreaciation - A look at a certain Card Set from the past.
- Value/Pricing - Post dedicated to the $$ cards are being bought and sold at.
- Baseball in General
- Sports in General
- Pop culture
- Series if you want to go to the trouble of summarizing anything that you have done in a series into a single post I would like to dedicate a section to the favorite series of 2011.    
If you have any other categories let me know - if your post fits more then one category that is fine as well. 

Let me know in comments of what you think and if you have any additional ideas or suggestions. 

I was thinking of publishing something around 1/16/2012 so if you could get submissions to me by 1/9 that would be great. 

Thanks

Team Phungo

Tuesday, December 20, 2011

Disappointment - Bill Conlin

How is it that people we really don't know at all can cause us such unhappiness.

This afternoon the news broke that Philadelphia sports columnist Bill Conlin has been accused of sexually abuse of four minors who are now grown.  The charges are quite damning - Philly.Com story here.   

For all involved this is all awful.


I find it personally devastating because I really respected Conlin as a writer. 


This is a baseball related post because Conlin was recently inducted into the writers wing of the Baseball Hall of Fame.  Conlin's Baseball Hall of Fame Page

I don't want to spend time championing Conlin, but did want to relate a few things I remember him (as a writer) for:

1) He was the man that Steve Carlton first stopped talking to - quickly Carlton would go mute on all reporters.
2) Conlin is credited as being the first media person to project the 1993 Philllies (last place in 92) as NL Pennant winners.

Worthless Stuff

Almost 15 years ago I went to a booksigning for Conlin's book "Batting Cleanup".  There were maybe 20 people.  Conlin answered questions and talked baseball until the bookstore closed.   The signing took place within days of my 30th birthday.  Conlin personalized it "Happy #30"

The collection of Conlin's columns used to reside on a shelf of prized autographed books.  Now I don't know what to do with the book.  I thought at some point, it would be a fun tricky auto for Spot the Sig, but that would neither be fun nor appropriate anymore. 

If I am going to take anything positive away from this it is that it is another reminder that our heroes and idols should be our family and friends that get us through our daily trials bringing light to our days while sharing our joys and triumphs.

Now I am going to go start celebrating Christmas early with my wonderful wife.  No Blogging till after the Holiday.

Friday, December 16, 2011

TODAY ONLY: Lindros and LeClair sign to Benefit CHOP

This afternoon (12/16) Eric Lindros and John LeClair will be signing autographs at the Granite Run Mall near Media PA to beneifit Children's Hospital of Pennsylvania. 

Only 500 Autograph Tickets will be available.  Tix go on sale at 4pm for the 6pm signing.  I suggest you get there early if your interested in the signing.  I think it could be a little crazy.

If I read the info correctly.  the Tix are $25 for both signatures all proceeds go to towards CHOP.   

More info click here

Great signing, great cause. 

Wednesday, December 14, 2011

Card Show Report 2011 12 10 - Bucks Technical High School

This was my first show at Bucks Technical.  After going to a pair of more larger regional shows over the last month the Bucks show was a little disappointing.  There were many 10-15 dealers with a decent variety of items.  There wasn't much of a selection in the cheap vintage category, which hurt my day a bit.

Still Team Phungo was able to bring home some cool items:

2007 Topps Finest Ryan Howard ($4 #d to 50)

I try and collect cards that relate to games I have been to, so yeah I am the one guy that is interested in annoying stuff like UD Documentry or Moments and Milestones.  Trouble is, I am only interested in specific cards in those set.  Howard actually hit a pair of homers in this game as I remember.  The Philllies pummeled Matt Cain.  I think Moises Alou took out his knee running into a wall. 

2007 Topps Finest is actually pretty decent as far as these cards go.  The Description on the back is actually particular to the game specified on the card and the player pictured on the card is the one talked about on the reverse (unlike documentry and M&M)

More Phils

83 OPC Mike Schmidt
89 Topps Mike Schmidt Special (Card Number = L)
06 A&G Ginter back mini Chase Utley
75 Topps Mini Greg Luzinski
87 OPC Mike Easler

The OPC Schmidt, Utley Mini and Luzinski cards all went for a buck each while the remaining cards were dimers, I believe.  The Easler is a bit of an oddity in the OPC Phils collection as it isn't part of the Topps set for 1987.  The Utley card is a mini from the first issue of A&G.  A buck is typically higher then I would go for a 75 mini but the bull is worth it.  The 89 T Schmidt card appears to be a box bottom, I haven't bothered to find out where exactly this card originited.
 
Noteworthy
2007 A&G Box Loader N43 Joe Frazier ($2)

Couldn't lett this one got for $2,  this is the 2nd A&G boxtopper I have picked up pretty cheaply in the last year.  Kind of a pain to store, but nice to have a few.

Hall of Fame



All-Star Stand Up Ricky Henderson
2000 Topps #44 Hank Aaron

These were both dimers - Henderson is a popout/stand up card made by Leaf in the mid 80s to commemorate the All-Star game.  These are similar to the 60s era standups that were homaged in 2011 Lineage.

In 2000 card #44 in the Topps set was dedicated to Hank Aaron, ala #7 for Mickey Mantley both prior and since.  As far as I know this is the only year which Topps reserved #44 for Aaron.  2000 Topps is a minimalist design, which I like and consider a hidden gem in the Topps Pantheon.

Tuesday, December 13, 2011

Moneyball 2011 - Art Howe

Understandably Art Howe isn't very happy with his portrayal in Moneyball.  Google his name and you can find a bevy of articles that all mention his complaints.

For my part I will mention that the Brad Pitt version of "Moneyball" is a Movie and is just that.  The Film is based on "Moneyball" the book, which is the work of the talented author Michael Lewis.  That being said the book is only one persons interpretation of the events.


Opinion:  There really isn't anything such as unbiased journalism - we all have our slants and opinions - Michael Lewis is an author and he is in the business of selling books.  As a narrative "Moneyball" has lots of villains - to make the story more effective it was likely best for Lewis to find a way of personifying the villain (the possibly outmoded way of judging baseball talent - scouting) as a person - In the book and the movie this is largely done in the form of A's manager Art Howe - to a somewhat lesser extent the A's scouts were also villified.
 
I think this works for the story, casual baseball fans, and film fans.  And isn't the audience that Moneyball is after?
1979 Topps #329 Art Howe  (image stolen from the Baseball Card Database)

For the record, during each of the finals two seasons Art Howe was with the Athletics they 100 games.  The A's have not won a 100 games since Howe left almost a decade ago.  Howe took the A's to the playoffs during each of his final 3 seasons with the team.  In the 9 seasons since the A's have returned to the playoff only twice, Although they did win a series in 2006 under Ken Macha - Art Howe has never won a post-season series as a manager.  

After leaving Oakland Howe led the Mets through a couple of mediocre seasons in 2003-04.  He was in the Rangers organization as recently as 2008 but appears to be cuirently out of baseball.

Moneyball 2011

Links to  previous MB 2011 posts

etc

Here is a link to a Moneyball and Collecting related article in Beckett that I first saw referenced by Chris Olds via Twitter. 

Friday, December 9, 2011

Last Card Show of the Year

I know I have been blasting Card Show posts repeatedly over the last month and a half, but other then a possible recap next week, this should be the last one of the year. 

On Saturday Team Phungo plans on hitting a new show - This is only in the interest of professional resarch - it isn't because we have a bad card habit or something like that. 

This is a show sponsored by Poppel.com at the Bucks Co Technical Institute in Bristol Twp PA.  I have only ever been to one previous Poppel show at the Granite Run Mall - which may  have had a dozen tables.  From what I understand the shows hosted at Bucks Technical are their bigger shows. 

2009 Phungo #37 Chad Durbin

There are a bunch of low-level autograph guests scheduled for the show including former Phils Chad Durbin, Greg Dobbs, Wes Chamberlain, and Ben Riviera.  Flyers Great Ed Van Impe and Phils Broadcaster Chris Wheeler are other notable guests. 

The Show runs 9:30-3:30 and admission is $3.  Autos are $10 and up.  for more information clikc here and then hit the Bucks Co Technical School Tab. 

On the Hunt

What will Team Phungo be looking for? 

1) My first priority will be completing my 1959 Topps set.  After a banner day at the Valley Forge Show last week and picking up a couple of cards on the Bay this week, I am down to the final 11 cards in this set.  Part of me thinks I am in the zone, the other part of me thinks the hot streak has got to be coming to an end.

2) Phillies Vintage.  I have been pretty busy working on getting my Phils vintage want list into a more user friendly form.  This will get it's dry run at the Poppel show. 

3) At each show, I try and add something to my Type Collection.  Last week I picked up my first 1963 Fleer Card. 

4) Would like to add to list of Hall of Famer's whom I have cards from their playing career collection.  I have been looking at Kiner, Rizzuto and Bobby Doerr cards recently, but haven't found anything suitable in my $$ range. 

5) knocking out a few checkers from my various want lists of recently issued sets.

Wednesday, December 7, 2011

Card Show Report 2011 12 03 - Philly Show, Valley Forge PA

The December edition of the Philly Show was a real success for Team Phungo.  I was real happy with results of the vintage bins I checked out.  Here are some of the Highlights: 


1959 Topps
Ernie Banks All-Star $6.00
Al Kaline Baseball Thrills $3.50
Commons Gus Bell 0.50, $1 for the Rest - I did spy a Solly Drake for 50 cents after I had already picked up the one above. 

The quest to complete 1959 Topps set is in the home stretch.  Going into the show I needed 20 cards to finsh the set, knocking out 35% of the cards on my want list in a matter of  a few hours was a complete victory.


 Phillies Vintage Bowmans
 This is a section of the Phungo collection that I plan on taking more seriously.  I have completed the 1948 Bowman Phils Set (all 2 cards of it) and have a lot of the 1955 set. The rest of the years are pretty sparse.  Most of the above cards went for $2-$5 each.  The commons were $1 or $2 while the High Numbers went for $5.  The Highlight in there is the 1955 Del Ennis Card ($2.50).

Other Phils Vintage

1963 Fleer Clay Dalrymple ($2)
1940 Playball Syl Johnson ($5)

The Dalrymple is my first 63 Fleer.  $5 for a card that is older then my parents is a buy. The 1940 Phillies Play Ball Set is likely hard to build, it is 15 cards.  One of the 15 is Chuck Klein, which I would imagine commands a bit of a price tag.


Hall of Famers

1969 Topps Willie McCovey
1969 Topps Phil Niekro 
1970 Topps AL HR League Leaders (Killebrew/F Howard/Reggie)
1970 Topps NL Battling LL (Pete Rose, Clemente, Cleon Jones) 

The first 3 cards were all 3 for a buck - The Rose/Clemente LL card went for a dollar. A stinking Dollar for Pete Rose and Roberto Clemente on a League Leaders card - That is like stealing.

The McCovey Card is in rough condition but the others are pretty decent the 1970 cards are in real good shape.

etc
1965 Topps Masanori Murakami RC (0.50)

This is a card I have always wanted but never was interested in throwing down real money for.  Masanori Murakami is the first Japanese player ever to play for Baseball in the US at the Major League level - 30+ years prior to Ichiro.  Murakami had some success with the Giants in his only season in the Majors but was forced to return to Japan due to a contract squabble involving his Japanese team.

Murakami is still alive at the age of 67.  The Giants honored him with a bobblehead at a game in 2008.  More info on his wiki.

Tuesday, December 6, 2011

2010 Phungo Cards Jonathan Papelbon - The New Guy

Running behind as always - A few weeks back the Phillies are welcoming a new closer, Jonathan Papelbon, formerly of the Boston Red Sox. 

2010 Phungo #15 Jonathan Papelbon

Typically I don't get to many shots of closers for Phungo Cards.  There are a variety of reasons - once the game starts I tend to put the camera away, Closers typically are only involved in tight games,  and they only pitch at the end of games when light is less favorable for good shots.  The game this pix is from happened to be one of Boston's blowouts of the Phils and by that point in the game, I was more interested in gettting a decent picture then in the game.

Regardless I am happy to have already produced a Phungo Card of Papelbon prior to him ever suiting up for the Phils.  Hopefully act II of his career will be as successful as his stint in Boston. 

############

I hope to have a card show regarding the Philly Show which was this past weekend up tomorrow.  The Show was pretty successful for team Phungo.  I was able to knock out quite a few cards from my vintage want list and thoroughly enjoyed the day.

Friday, December 2, 2011

Phiadelphia Sports and Memorablia Show returns December 2nd - 4th

Lately the majority of posts here have been card show related.  I am not doing this to make those of you that don't have nearby shows envious - we just happened to have 2 pretty decent shows running a few weekends apart here. 

The Philly Show returns to Valley Forge this weekend.  Team Phungo expects to hit the show on Saturday depending on the status of my sprained ankle.  In the vernacular of espn I am Day-To-Day (but then again aren't we all). 

The Show which is run by the local Hunt Auctions isn't quite as good for me as the CSA shows at the Oaks convention center, but it is still a decent show.  Show Admission is $8, typically there is a $1 off coupon in the local papers, the weekend of and prior to the show. 

Hunt Auctions is always giving more room and attention to their autograph guests - which are almost always out of my price range.  This year for the first time there are signers on Friday Night - Jockey Steward Elliot, and Brad Lidge.  Saturday is dedicated primarily to the 2008 World Championship Phillies team with Ryan Howard, Shane Victorino,  Chris Coste, Charlie Manuel and Pedro Feliz among the guests.  Sunday is focused on the 1983 NL Pennant Winners and includes SIX er I mean FIVE Hall of Famers Schmidt, Carlton, Tony Perez, Joe Morgan, Jim Bunning, and uhm some guy they played with named Pete Rose - All the above are $45 - $69. 

The shows complimentry Auto on Saturday is of local sportscaster Michael Barkann, while on Sunday it is Ike Reese.  The Barkann as the complimentry auto is insulting.  At the Oaks show in the spring they had 2 complimentry autos for a $5 adimission and they were both actual players (Gary Matthews Sr and Art Mahaffey). 

Regardless, the rest of the show is typically pretty decent.  There are two vendors I like to hit for dimers and off grade vintage cards one is a guy that comes down from Connecticut and usually has a dozen or so dime boxes of all sorts of singles and commons - The other is Uncle Dick who has a flourascent green theme and has lots of cheap vintage sorted by year.  Hopefully I will have some positive news to report on the show next week.

Monday, November 28, 2011

Moneyball 2011 - Ron Washington

 
A few weeks back as part of Moneyball 2011 we profiled Tony LaRussa.  In the interest of equal time today we are going to look at Ron Washington.
 
I had forgotten that Ron Washington had a role in the book.  Washington is the man saddled with the task of moving Scott Hattieberg to first base  - Hattieberg is the broken down catcher w/ the bum arm, but he gets on base at nearly a 40 percent clip. 

The Ron Washington character in the film is minor, yet arguably has the funniest line in the movie.  The 2011 World Series is still fresh in our memories and we all know where Ron Washington has gone since Moneyball.  He was a strike away from being a World Serieis winning manager.  He has also piloted the Rangers to back to back AL Crowns.  I am not sure he is a great manager yet or a good manager with a really good team. 

The toughest season may be in front of the Rangers.  With free agency and player movement you only get so many chances at a title.  The Rangers have a lot of storylines I like - Josh Hamilton, Nelson Cruz, Neftali Perez, Nolan Ryan etc.  I would like to see them remain relavent on the national stage.
1984 Topps #623 Ron Washington (image stolen from the Baseball Card Database)

Apparently Washington's playing career goes back to 1977 when he got a callup for the dodgers.  I didn't see a Topps cards of him as a Dodger - sounds like a Cards that Never Were opportunty for someone.


Moneyball 2011

Links to  previous MB 2011 posts

etc

Here is a link to a Moneyball and Collecting related article in Beckett that I first saw referenced by Chris Olds via Twitter.  

Sunday, November 27, 2011

Card Show Report 2011 11 11 - Dime Box

Before I start our regular posting, I would like to wish everyone a Happy Thanksgiving - I really enjoyed the many personal postings from card bloggers. It is wonderful to read about the joys of time spent with friends and family (and football and food!)  Team Phungo enjoyed the holiday which featured beautiful and balmy weather for this time of year for us folks in the US Northeast.      

Last week we went over some of the vintage cards that Team Phungo found at the Oaks Show, today I would like to go thru some Dime Box finds.  Although many of these cards were from a BARGAIN Dime Box - 12 cards for a dollar.

1974 Topps #95 Steve Carlton ($1)
1983 OPC Dave Winfield (dime)

Ok the Lefty Card isn't a dimer, but for a Dollar I couldn't pass it up.  I already had this card - and it was part of the Phungo legacy collection that survived the arduous path from my childhood to the present day.  But even off-center this 74 Topps Card is a significant upgrade over the heirloom I had in the binder previously.  Plus now I have one for the Carlton PC Page and one for the 74 Phils Binder.

I have seen a few 83 OPC cards out there recently and been picking them up when they are cheap.  I also added a few 83 OPC Mets to the collection at the show.

Various Minis (12/$)
 
I picked up three dozen+ minis in the 12 for a buck bin.  The bulk of these are HoFs from the 2011 Kimballs set.  There were also a couple of A&G including a few of the SP backs.

Various 2012 A&G Inserts (12/$1)
Hard to pass up Ginter inserts even if they are not minis.  Three of the evolution cards are in sequence.



2011 Topps Heritage Prospects Tim Beckham (6/$1)
Topps Heritage Then Now Jackie Robinson/A-Rod (6/$1)
Various Topps Heritage Inserts (12/$1)

The Beckham card is y first 2011 Heritage Prospect card - that one and the Jackie Robinson were worth digging out of the "Premium" 6/$1 bin.  The rest of the inserts came out of the huge haul of 12 for a buck cards I took home.


In the end I picked up a little over 200 cards out of the bargain bins, for roughly the price of a blaster.  Several of those cards went into my Phils Collection, Topps Star Cards, Topps Retro Collection, clearing out some spots on insert and subset checklists,  and a handful of vintage commons.

I have barely recovered from the Oaks Show and the Valley Forge Show is on the horizon, less than a week away. Haven't decided if I am hitting that one yet, but the show does promise a good selection of former Phillies signing autographs. If things go my way there should be a VF show posting later in the week.

Monday, November 21, 2011

Card Show Report 2011 11 11 - Oaks PA - CSA Show

Sorry not enough time to commit to a thorough write-up so I am just going to post a few snapshots and pricing when I remember the $$ - These are some of the Vintage cards I picked up at the show. Later in the week I will feature the dime box specials.  


Phillies Great Richie Ashburn
1955 Bowman #130 Richie Ashburn $2



Home Run King Hank Aaron


1975 Topps Mini #1 Hank Aaron '74 Highlights $2.00
1974 Topps #2 Hank Aaron Special (1958-61) $1.00

More HoFs
1960 Topps #450 Orlando Cepeda ($1)
1962 Topps Warren Spahn All-Star ($1)
1953 Topps Dick Williams ($2.00)
1959 Topps #147 Cubs Clubbers ($1 - w/ Ernie Banks)

The weekend of the Oaks Show was a busy one for me an dI dint' get to spend as much time there as I would have liked, but I did well for the brief time I was there.   The Bowman Ashburn was a steal at the  price of $2.  I already had the Cubs Clubber card, but this one was a definite upgrade.

$2 for the Hank Aaron mini was a pretty good deal as well - One of the projects that is dancing in the back of my head is building a set of the HoF 75 Minis.  There are quite a few of them in that set and they are basically the biggest names from my childhood.
T

Thursday, November 17, 2011

Is this more appalling than a Death bump

As collectors we are familiar with the death bump phenomenon where a card or piece of memorabilia experince a bump in price (typically temporary) follwoing the death of the person on the card/magazine cover/bobblehead etc.



2011 Second Mile Joe Paterno (Image swiped from the - bay)

Apparently the charity, Second Mile, founded/associated wtih disgraced former PSU coach Jerry Sandusky,  issued sets of Penn State Football trading cards.  The Cards were distributed at many Pennsylvania schools.  Related Patriot News Story here.

As of Phungo Press time the search "Second Mile Cards" on a certain auction site returns 90 Items!  At least 4 of the items have bids - one item has a dozen bids. 

Is this worse then a death bump, or is it just fans wanting to hold on to a piece of something that is really pretty much gone?
  

Thursday, November 10, 2011

CSA Card Show in Philadelphia -Burbs this Weekend - FREE Admission Friday AND Sunday!

The Collectors' Showcase of America (CSA) Card show returns to the Expo Center at Oaks this weekend. 

The Show will have FREE Admission on Friday AND Sunday.
 
I think there only has been one prior CSA show here and it was pretty well done.  I thought it was better then the Hunt Auction Philly show that is held a short hop down the road in Valley Forge.

Top of the Autograph List is Jimmy Rollins - other notables are NFL HoFs Gino Marchetti, Tommy McDonald, and Lenny Moore as well as former Heavyweight Champ Michael Spinks.

2008 Topps Heritage #350 Jimmy Rollins

For the autograph guests CSA has yet to post pricing or a scheduling information on their site - other than to mention Jimmy Rollins will be there on Saturday - C'MON GUYS HOW HARD IS IT TO GET UP A LIST OF SIGNERS FOR YOUR OWN SHOW!!!

Team Phungo plans on being there on Friday afternoon/early Evening.  If you can make it out let me know (email in my profile), it is always cool to meet fellow collectors and bloggers.  There is a possibility I will try and trek out there on Sunday but that isn't real likely as of press time.  

Tuesday, November 8, 2011

Nachos Grande Survey - Autographs

Recently Nachos Grande posted a survey related to Autograph collecting.  I collect Autographed cards of all types of players. Most of the players are noteworthy to me for some reason, usually something insignificant, as I generally try and find the $5 an under cards - a lot of those I use for Spot the Sig! fodder.  Others are favorite players and Hall of Famers. 
 
The Phungo Auto collection likely stands at a few hundred cards and I think I can provide some interesting insights into autograph collecting. 
 
1.  What is the best autograph you own?
    Today, Joe Frazier - More on that Later
    otherwise Mike Schmidt on a book.  My best card Auto is probably Steve Carlton Leather Cuts.  
2.  What is the best autograph that you've ever pulled from a pack of cards?
    Paul Molitor (Goudey Graphs 2008), Brooks Robinson 09 OBAK. 


2009 Obak #A48 Brooks Robinson (#59/200)

3.  What is the worst autograph you've ever pulled from a pack of cards?
    07 Sweet Spot Chirs Capuano - The box was only $45 and I still felt stiffed - althought the RC Auto was of Hunter Pence.  
    Brad somebody from the Astros in Donruss 08 Product.  See the card at shows for $2 all the time.
4.  Do you try to get autographs through the mail?  If so, what sort of success (or failure) stories do you have?    No - this facet of the hobby has not capture my attention yet.  
5.  Who was the subject of your first ever autograph?
    It was either Scott Fitzkee (TE w/ the Eagles) or Greg Manning(Collegiate Hoop star w/ the Maryland Terrapins - I think he may now be a radio broadcaster w/ the team)
    As an  adult, I think Jay Bell may be the first auto I got at the ballpark - it is all faded now.       
6.  Do you actively collect any autographs (certain players, teams, brands, etc)?
    I have an affection for certain brands but no aspirations for a set.  Among my favs are Sweet Spot, A&G, UD Goodwin Champs, SI Greats of the Games, 1996 Leaf, UD Goudey
7.  Which is better:  Autographs or Relics?
    Autographs - I for the most part dismiss relics
8.  What do you think of cut autos?
    I don't have any yet - would like to add one to my Type collection but that is about it right now.       
9.  What is your favorite autograph design (say in the last 5 years)?
    In general Sweet Spot.  A&G, and I like the Goodwin Champs design in general. 
10.  If you could get the autograph of any five people (dead or alive) who would you want a signature from (and why)?
    Couple names off the top of my head without much thought - Richie Ashburn, Martin Scorcese, Jim Morrison, Fran Tarkenton, Dali - Ashburn would probably be on that list any day the rest of those folks would likely change depending on my mood.
 
I dashed this off the top of my head, so some of the set/yr names may be a lil off, but I am in the general area.  It is a solid survey that asks some interesting questions.  I sort of fell into Autograph collecting and it is one of the areas of the hobby I really don't have much of a checklist - perhaps that helps keep it enjoyable.

Monday, November 7, 2011

Noteworthy: Yoennis Cespedes

Cuban ballplayer Yoennis Cespedes is in the news
 
2009 Topps WBC Redemption #8 Yoennis Cespedes
I figure this was a good time to reference the Phungo post on the 2009 Topps WBC Redemption of Cespedes.  To read the origianl post on Cespedes click here

2009 Topps Series 2 I think had redemptions for 10 or so WBC players, this is the one I received.  I knew nothing about him at the time, but will cross my fingers that his career takes off - and this card skyrockets in value as well and I can retire :)

       

Friday, November 4, 2011

Tomahawk Chopping running an interesting Group Break

Tomahawk Chopping is putting together a group break where everyone gets to draft cards from a pool of 300+ cards - Everybody is guaranteed an auto and a relic I think. 

deadline for entry is today Friday 11/4 for more info click here.

Wednesday, November 2, 2011

Moneyball 2011 - the Movie

I am a little susprised that the film "Moneyball" received prededominently good reviews.  While I enjoyed the movie, I thought at moments it dragged a bit and I would think that a person that is not a baseball fan would find the film somewhat long.  Slow pacing is a pet peeve of mine - like when I am watching the Cardinals continually rotate in pitchers with a 5 run lead, I suppose that may happen less in the future...
 
Other than that I found Moneyball to be an enjoyable experience.  Brad Pitt played Billy Beane as a thoughtful and challenging leader.  Comedy stalwart, Jonah Hill, plays a straight roll as the stats guy well - The always enjoyable Phillip Seymour Hoffman has an excellent turn as the old school Manager Art Howe,   Bennet Miller is able to balance a little baseball into the story and conveys a bunch of ideas on film that might otherwise be dry - One Base Percentage, Major League Scouting, Bill James, Giving away outs via Sacrifices and small ball, Working Pitchers, etc.  There is a background story regarding the Beane family that is built into the narrative that I don't recall from the book.  The film also all but neglects Jeremy Brown and the draft that the book details which covers at least 2 chapters of the Michael Lewis story. 
 
We all know what happened because this is relatively recent history - but I must mention a minor spoiler alert here - don't read rest of paragraph if you fear this will ruin your experience.  During the epilogue of the Movie it is mentioned that the Bosox won the 04 World Series using Moneyball methods.  It does not mention that they also outspent the rest of the league other than the Yankees.  And I could go on further and mention that a key play for the Red Sox was Dave Roberts critical Steal of second base in the ALCS vs the Yankees. 
 
Moneyball works for a few reasons - Both Brad Pitt and Jonah Hill give likable performances in the lead roles of two guys trying to challenge the status-quo.  There is enough baseball in the film to provide a fan with a few chuckles - several players and people with Phillies connections are mentioned during the film.  Finally as a non-baseball movie about baseball "Moneyball" does successfully bring the romance of the game to the fore (even if they have to tell you they are doing so)
 
Moneyball 2011
 
Links to  previous MB 2011 posts
 
etc
Here is a link to a Moneyball and Collecting related article in Beckett that I first saw referenced by Chris Olds via Twitter. 

Thursday, October 27, 2011

Welcome Back Beavis and Butt-Head!!!

Beavis and Butt-Head are returning to MTV after a 15 year hiatus.  Not sure if I will be watching tonight - maybe I will take a peek during one of the pitching changes that are guaranteed to be happening at that point in the evening during game 6. 

1994 Fleer Ultra MTV's Beavis & Butt-Head #1569 Beavis and Butt-Head Try Yogurt


The above card is from a Fleer Ultra release, during the boys original MTV run.  If you want to find out a little more about this set check out the pack break that Team Phungo ran  over at aPTBNL back in October of 2009.

Tuesday, October 25, 2011

Swag from Nachos Grande

A few weeks back Nachos Grande was soliciting offers for a few cards he had in his trade stack one of those was the Robin Roberts Legends SP from 2011 Topps.  I had the perfect card to trade for RR, that was the Johnny Bench Legends card from basically the same set (Topps 1 v Topps 2 for Roberts).  
 
2011 Topps #460 Robin Roberts SP (Legends Variation)
 
I pulled the Bench card from a retail pack a few months back and the swap of hall of famers made logical sense.  
 
At first I thought this was an image from Roberts 1957 Topps Card 
 
2011 Topps #460 Robin Roberts SP (Legends Variation)
1957 Topps #15 Robin Roberts 

 
While the pose looks similar it appears as if the background is different and it is hard to tell if Roberts is possibly wearing a road uni on the vintage card.  
 
But then I came across the Robin Roberts 1952 Bowman card which may be based on the photo used on the 2011 Topps Legends card.  
 
1952 Bowman #4 Robin Roberts
2011 Topps #460 Robin Roberts SP (Legends Variation) 
 
Despite the differences in angle there are some similarities to the buildings beyond Roberts Throwing shoulder. 
 
In addition to the Legends SP Chris also sent a few other Phillies cards including a couple of Aces from this years Lineage set. 
 
2011 Topps Lineage #121 Roy Halladay
2011 Topps Lineage #102 Cole Hamels
 
Thanks to Chris - who has to be one of the most active traders among us many card bloggers.  I have finally gotten his package together and it will hopefully be in the mail someday on Wednesday. 


Monday, October 24, 2011

From Russia with Stickers

Here are the contents from a couple of packs of Panini Futbol Stickers I picked up while in Russia last fall.

I honestly don't know much about soccer but wanted to pick these up just to check them out.

For more information on these packs check out my posting over at A Pack to be Named Later.


SuperSomething of Russia (Shiny Foily sticker)

Mashir Chukarov
Sergei Skoblakov
Valery Klemov
Renat Yebaev

Names are translated to the best of my meager ability


Boris Rotenberg
Tomas Vehodl
Alexander Salugen
Chede Odea
Alexander Ryzantsev 


Over at APTBNL I also had a pack break for some stickers from Munich's FC Bayern Muchen team.

Wednesday, October 19, 2011

Moneyball 2011 - Tony LaRussa

Tony LaRussa is only a bit player in Moneyball - he was Billy Beane's final manager.  LaRussa was also the final manager for the Athletics under the Walter Haas (Levi's) Ownership.  Haas operated the A's as a bit of a hobby and/or trust for the city of Oakland.  Haas was the type of owner that a fan would love - Winning was important, if the team lost money it didn't really matter.  The Moneyball era ownership of Steve Schott (distant relative of Marge) was of course distinctly different.
 
Schott would operate the A's on a much smaller payroll.  LaRussa was no longer affordable to the new regime and left Oakland for St Louis, where he remains today and happens to managing the team in a pretty big series which you may have hard opens this evening.


1989 Topps #224 Tony LaRussa

Tony LaRussa is probably as well a documented manager as any in history other than maybe (maybe) Joe Torre.  I have myself read more about LaRussa then any manager that is not affiliated with the Phillies.
 
His body of work is impressive.  The 30 years of managing and the 2728 wins(3rd all-time) are both monumental numbers.  Another impressive accomplishment are the two World Series Titles and the now 6 League Pennants.
  
But there will always be things that bother me about LaRussa.  One is he always appears so smug/arrogant, as if he is smarter than everybody in the room. Another problem I have is the constant fawning of the media - This isn't LaRussa's fault, but it bothers me regardless.
  
I particularly wonder why LaRussa is rarely questioned on his involvement with the Steroid era.
 
Tony LaRussa was in the heart of BALCO country at the outset of the Steroid era.  Two of the big names on the three pennants winners in Oakland were Mark McGwire and Jose Canseco.  McGwire is one of the men that LaRussa has brought back to the game to be his hitting coach.  A number of other players by LaRussa led teams have been connect to PEDs at one time or another, yet this is something we rarely hear about.  During the Phillies Cardinals NLDS McGwire was practially invisible - tough call - TBS didn't give Greg Gross much air time either and the Phils weren't hitting at all.  But Mark McGwire and Greg Gross are both very different in magnitude.  Perhaps TBS senses that we have suffered from steroid fatigue and they have moved on, but I think the PED portion of Tony LaRussa's resume cannot be ignored
.
A closing note - in that final game (link at top of the post) Billy Beane came in as a defensive replacement for....


Mark McGwire


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Moneyball 2011
Links to  previous MB 2011 posts
etc

Here is a link to a Moneyball and Collecting related article in Beckett that I first saw referenced by Chris Olds via Twitter. 

Tuesday, October 18, 2011

Moneyball 2011 - Bennett Miller

Moneyball was directed by Bennett Miller, who has very few film credits listed in IMDB.  My quick -net searches have revealed the Miller is a casual baseball fan at best, but it appears that he is interested in making biographies. 
This card may not seem closely connected - but stay with me here...
 
 
The Clutter family card above is low level on my wish list for 08 Heritage Inserts.  I swiped this image from the dormant Bargain Baseball Cards.  It is typically pretty hard to tell when a blogger stops.  Most folks don't really announce it, it just sort of happens.  Regardless the evidence that their blog existed sticks around for a while perhaps forever. 
The demise of the Clutter family was documented in Truman Capote's book "In Cold Blood"  I believe ICB is considered one of the earliest works of the non-fiction novel  - A style in which the author wasn't at the events but reconstructs them as if he or she were.  This is a technique that would later be used frequently by 60/70s pop culure author Tom Wolfe is such books as "The Electic Kool-Aid Acid Test" which chronicled the acid-fueled adventures of "One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest" author Ken Kesey. 
One my ask what this trading card has to do with Baseball or Moneyball...  
Well, As a director Bennett Miller has only a couple of films under his belt, his previous big budget film was 2005s "Capote" about Truman Capote.  Miller was one of the years nominees for Best Director, an award that went to Ang Lee for "Brokeback Mountain".  The titular character in "Capote" was played by Phillip Seymour Hoffman who plays A's manager Art Howe in Moneyball.
I suppose I can mention that it is quite fitting that a posting about a man who directed a non-Baseball movie about baseball and is admittiedly not a big fan of the sport - contains very little about baseball


Moneyball 2011
 
Links to  previous MB 2011 posts
 

 
etc

Here is a link to a Moneyball and Collecting related article in Beckett that I first saw referenced by Chris Olds via Twitter. 
 

Monday, October 17, 2011

A new MNF theme song??

As you may know, Monday Night Football has dropped Hank Williams Jr as their pitch-person for their opening credits.
 
This has created an opening that I would love to see filled by one of my favorite songwriters.
 
Prior to his solo career Steve Poltz fronted the Rugburns, a lively bar band based out of San Diego.  One of their tunes was an energetic rocker named "Football Tonight"
Poltz along with DMC of Run-DMC have re-recordes the Rugburns song with a modified lyric in the hopes of getting the MNF gig.  Here is a Link for more information on the song.
 

1988 Topps #596 John Kruk (signed by Steve Poltz)  


You may know Poltz from his song "You Were Meant for Me" which was recorded by Jewel in 1996.  Baseball is a bit of recurring theme in Poltz's music - His first solo album included the song "Silver Lining" which mentions Phillies and Padres Alum John Kruk.  One of his lesser know songs "Brief History of My Life" is an homage to a childhood spent listening to both music and baseball on the radio - Poltz mentions Vin Scully, Ernie Harwell, Jack Buck, and Jerry Coleman in the Song.
 
Poltz also counts one time Padres Infielder Tim Flannery (who also now records and performs music during the off-season) as one of his friends.
  
If you like the song, Steve Poltz, the Rugburns, or DMC spread the word - Anytime I have seen either Mr Poltz or the Rugburns they had great shows, and always good enough to hang out and chat with after the shows. 

Thursday, October 13, 2011

2011 Phungo Cards - Randy Wolf

The Phils are out of the postseason playoffs.  while I have not completely recovered from their ouster at the hands of the St Louis Cardinals I still enjoy baseball enough that I am try to watch the other playoff games whenever possible. 

There are very few players with Philly connnections on the four remaining squads, but one of those players is Phungo Household favorite Randy Wolf.


2011 Phungo #16 Randy Wolf

Wolf is never going to be the A starter for a team with World Series aspirations, but he is a decent lefty who can hold down that 3 or 4 spot on a good team.  Tonight he will try and hold off Albert Pujols and the rest of the Cardinals lineup in game 4 of the NLCS.  I would like to see Brewers advance in the playoff just so I can have a former Phil to root for in the Series. 

The Brewers are facing another former Phils Pitcher in Kyle Lohse, but I really don't count him.  He was only here for a brief post trade deadline stint, and I think he only lasted an inning in the sole game I saw him pitch for the Phils. 

Broken News: Drinking in the clubhouse may be one thing.....

Recently spotted on Twitter:






Thanks Buster and Good Luck to Mr Leyland

Tuesday, October 11, 2011

Phungo Question: Death of the Autograph?

Will there be an end to the autograph?
 
The amount of communication we do via the keyboard/keypad medium has increased rapidly over recent years.  With this decreased use of the written word schools are struggling with the value of teaching cursive writing - From what I understand, today when it is taught, cursive writing is not a skill that is really focused upon.
 
I am not really interested in debating the merits of teach handwriting here - that is for the educators to discuss.  But I would like to discuss the impact on the hobby of collecting signatures.
2008 Topps #54 Victor Martinez - Image Swiped from Baseball Card Database



Let me first note that Mr Martinez's signature is not always printed as on the 2008 Topps card above.  In fact if you want to check on ebay you will find that for the most part his signed cards look pretty good.  But this card does provide a fairly noticeable autograph that is really not a signature as we commonly think of them.

My Questions are: 

- If autographed cards are still considered hits 20 years form now, will half of them be of a hand printed signature?
  
- If your one per box hit were of a printed "signature" would you be disappointed?
 
- If your a kid an can barely write your own signature, would you place any value in getting a ball signed by a ballplayer?

Monday, October 10, 2011

2010 Phungo Cards Jimmy Rollins and the End of a Disappointing Season

The Phillies 2011 campaign has come to an end as their offense goes scoreless in their final 17 innings of play.  Their gifted starting roation was good enough to help lead them to a 102 win regular season, sadly the Phillies won only 2 additional games.
  
 
The playoffs were more disappointing then shocking, although up until the very end I thought they would find a way to win game 5.  To me the critical loss for the Phils was game 2 when they got a 4 run lead with Cliff Lee on the mound.  Lee couln't hold that lead (for only the 2nd time in his career) and the Hitters couldn't build on their early runs despite facing the Cardinals spotty bullpen.
  
 
I know there is still a lot of baseball going on out there, but right now I am mourning the end of a good Phillies Season, followed by a rather sad playoff ending.  The end of the 2011 season could also be the ending of the Phillies portion of several players careers - including a couple that were on the 2008 World Series Champs.
 
2010 Phungo #11 Jimmy Rollins
 
Jimmy Rollins is the longest tenured athlete in Philadelphia.  He has been playing shortstop for the Fightins since September of 2000.  The 2007 NL MVP has played over 1600 games w/ the Phils accumulating 1866 hits.  Rollins will turn 33 before the calendar year is out and is expected to want a long term contract when he hits the free agent market this winter. 
 
He is maddening to watch sometimes, Offensively Rollins has not had the production he did earlier in his career.  He does not get on base like a prototypical leadoff hitter, but when healthy he can steal bases if needed and he still has some pop.
 
I am of the opinion that the Phillies should move on without Rollins.  The Phils are already locked into several long term deals with aging players and I am not sure that adding another one to the mix is the right thing for them to do right now. 
 
Regardless, if Jimmy leaves, I will miss him and hope that he finds the right situation to be an impact in the league (as long as it ain't against the Phillies).  If he stays, I hope it is at the right number and he can stay healthy enough to contribute to the Phillies future teams.
 

a thousand words

a thousand words
2008 World Champions