Monday, December 27, 2010

2010 Pull N Junk Playoffs: Junk - SemiFinal #2

The Micowave won the first SemiFinal.  It is now time to hold the second semi.  This one comes down to Third Quarter Winner, T206 Ryan Howard and the Fourth Quarter champ Chipper Jones.

2010 Topps T-206 #257 Ryan Howard (B-side)

My complaint with this card is the caption on the back refuses to mention Pete Rose.  

This is the A-Side of the Howard Card.  

2008 Topps #500 Chipper Jones

This is a great example of lame photography in 2008 Topps.  I just think superstars should get great photos especially for cards that have hero numbers.

Please help Team Phungo pick the Junk Pull of the year.  For the Semis I have moved the voting to the side bar -->

The winner gets to face the Micowave Oven in the Final.

Friday, December 24, 2010

Is it Real and If it is, Why Do You Want It?

Dallas Green Autographed Baseball - Authenticated by.....Me

There is an interesting Kyle Stack article running on SI.Com regarding the authentication of Baseball Memorabilia.

After reading the article, one question that runs through my head is:  Wow if the MLB has half a million items, why the heck do they all cost so much?  I mean you would think a game used ball should be like $5 if there are 200,000 of them sitting around.         

Really What We Are Buying is the Authentication, not the Game Used (Bat, Ball, Base, Rosin Bag, Turf, Tobacco Spit Bottle, etc).  As Collectors, I think we are aware of this.  The cost of Memorabilia may be driven as much by the price of authentication as by actual demand.  Essentially we are buying a piece of paper attached to the item, that claims the item is real.

Another interesting note in the article is finding out holograms were in use by Upper Deck on Baseball Cards a full Decade prior to their use of MLB authentication.  If UD could see the value of protecting their comparatively inexpensive items from counterfeiting why did MLB not see the need.  Probably at some point MLB wisely noted that authentication would dramatically increase the price of memorabilia.

What Would Team Phungo Want?
Besides perhaps a Game Used Baseball, I think I would like a Line Up Card.  I think Baseball typically run in the $25-$50 range for non-marquee games.  Line Up Cards are around $75 as I remember.  I think a Line Up card would look good in a rec room.  I like the idea of an item that is tied to a specific game and the names on the card would make for a great conversation piece - plus their is only 1 issued per game (2 if you count the other teams card).  I also think a Line Up card is the right size for display.  Jerseys, Bats, Bases and Stadium Seats would facilitate the need of a good size Man Cave, and I am not at that station in my life yet.

Dallas Green
I basically only have low end autographed items, like Baseball Cards of minor stars and non-stars (certified by the issuing card co) and ones that I secured on my own. 

The above Ball was autographed by Dallas Green following a speech he gave at a Local Historical Society several years ago.  It was from an era when I was not really into collecting sports memorabilia or cards, and that sort of makes it special to me.

Happy Holidays

I just noticed Team Phungo hit the 600 post threshold last week.  Wow!  I sort of don't believe it - I am not nearly as prolific, bright or funny as many other card bloggers, and I would never have guessed this endeavor would have lasted 600 posts.  It really wouldn't be possible without everyone else writing their own blogs and checking in here and taking an interest in what I have to say and providing feedback.    

Thanks everyone for writing and reading.  I really enjoy reading all the varied opinions and information on cards and sports and it is a nice respite from the rest of the chaos in my life.

Thanks to You All and Happy Holidays. 

Take a blogging break and enjoy the long weekend with family and friends!


Saturday, December 18, 2010

Phungo Game Report - 2010 12 12 CSKA Moscow 2 @ Dynamo Moscow 3: Kontinental Hockey League

Do not adjust your internet.  The above names in the title are Correct and are real Professional Hockey Teams - In Russia.

Dynamo Moscow Hockey Banner
If my recent posts have seemed distant it is because they are - For those of you that don't know I have been living and studying in Moscow the last few months.  My fiancee, Jo, has been interning here since the summer and I have been fortunate enough to spend the last few months with her.  If you have been watching your blog stats you may have seen several hits from Moscow and wondered what the heck is that all about.  Well that was me, as I have had a bit of free time while Jo is working.

I will have a travelblog and some interesting card and sports (that means futbol not football) related posts up eventually, but I wanted to start by filing a game report in a semi-timely manner. 

My Apologies - I like Hockey however, my knowledge of the Rules, Players and History of the game is amateur at best. 

The KHL (Kontinental Hockey League) is the Russian professional Hockey League.  for the 2010-11 season the League consists of 23 Teams many of which represent Moscow.  Dynamo is the top team in the league, while CSKA is one of the cellar dwellers.

Neither team in the game we saw featured any players that I knew well from the NHL.  Former Rangers goalie Steve Valiquette was in Goal for CSKA.   

The league has several other noteworthies:  Alexei Yashin, Marcel Hossa, Chris Simon , Former Flyers Robert Esche, Josh Gratton, and Patrick Thoreson, and Alexander Radulov - the one time Nashville Predator who was involved in a contract squabble between the NHL and KHL.  Former Dynamo players of note include Yashin, Alexander Ovechkin and Evgeni Nabokov.    

The Dynamo won the game 3-2 and were clearly a better team.  The entire first period was spent in the CSKA end, although the Dynamo were unable to score.  The Dynamo then scored all 3 of their goals in the 2nd period while attacking our end - so we got to see a lot of the scoring action.    

There were no fights and relatively few penalties.  I think they allow the two line pass (as with current NHL rules).  Dynamo scored all 3 of their goals in the 2nd period, into the net on our end, so we got to see a lot of the scoring action.    

They Dynamo also have Cheerleaders or Dancers.  Unfortunately Team Phungo was screened from the Dancers as they were in a blind spot to our left.   There was a pregame concert as well.  Some Male Russian artist who sort of looked like Howard Stern in his 20s. 

The Game has a very collegiate atmosphere - Check photo of Giant Dynamo Flag above- we originally sat in a section containing many enthusiastic CSKA faithful.  They had several chants and bantered with a similar Dynamo cheering section seated on the other side of the arena.  The CSKA fans had a giant drum that Chief Wahoo would envy.

Tickets to our section a few rows from the top of the arena were likely among the cheapest in the stadium at 300 rubles ($10) which is less then I pay for parking at a Flyers game.  You can buy snacks and beer at the stadium, but you are prohibited from bringing drinks into the seating area.  So most people run out to grab a beer and chug it in the consourse during the intermission.


Minor Arena at the Luzhniki Sports Complex

The Luzhniki Sports Complex was host to the 1980 Summer Olympics (the ones boycotted by the US and several other countries) as several other international sporting events.  There is a Futbol Stadium and at least two Hockey Arenas.  The Minor Arena above is the smaller (capacity 8700) of the two rinks.  The Larger Arena is referred to as the Luzhniki Palace of Sports.

CSKA Defender

I have no idea who this guy is, there is no #26 on the CSKA roster.  But it was one of my better photos.

Face Off

Check it out a Face Off with the puck resting on the ice prior to being hit by either player. 

I had a great time at the game, and Glad we were able to go.  I am interested in many sports and to experience a Hockey Game played at the professional level in Mosow was a very memorable experience.

We will be back home soon and hopefully get to some more regular postings.

2010 Pull N Junk Playoffs: Junk - SemiFinal #1

Mr Met won the first QuarterFinal to advance to the Early SemiFinal of the 2010 Pull n Junk: Junk of the Year Playoffs.  Mr defeated a strong contingent led my Mr Kung Fu Panda, Pablo Sandavol. 

The Second QuarterFinal was won by the Microwave Oven - Ryan Garko was in the Mix but the Wave proved to be to tough.

Therefore the Field for our first SemiFinal is set:  
2010 Topps Opening Day #M15 Mr Met

2009 UD Piece of History - Historical Moments #177 Microwave Oven Invented
Please help Team Phungo pick the Junk Pull of the year.  For the Semis I have moved the voting to the side bar -->

I can't be bothered with tallying the Votes on my own. 

Thursday, December 16, 2010

Bob Feller: 1918-2010

2000 Fleer Greats of the Game Autograph Bob Feller

Bob Feller is from well before my time but I always enjoy hearing stories about him and his career.  Here are a couple of links from Card Bloggers and Elsewhere:

Phungo Profile from December 11 2008
Vintage Sportscards
Bob Lemke (includes great photo)
Frank Deford SI Article from November 21 2007

You can't beat the old B&W footage of Feller's Fastball racing against the Motorcycle.  

Tuesday, December 14, 2010

Cliff Lee back with the Phils??? and 2010 Pull N Junk Playoffs: Junk - 4th Quarter

Well Mr Lee is our featured Junk player for October 2010 and now there are reports that the Phils have reacquired Cliff Lee via Free Agency.  Awaiting info on how all this is happening.  Phils will either have to bump up payroll or move a big salary.  And the Phils said ti would be a quiet off-season.... 

Now onto the final Quarter Final for 2010 Junk.

The Junk of The Months for October and November are relatively recent, but I will repost them. I No Junk of the month for December yet, I will attach that to 2011, I think.

 2010 Topps Chrome #40 Cliff Lee

 Is Cliff Lee featured on more 2010 Cards with the Mariners then he actually pitched for them??


2008 Topps #500 Chipper Jones 

I just think a player of Jones' stature should get a better photo then this one.  This looks like something I would take with 4 year old Canon from the back of the lower level at Citizen's Bank Ballpark.  Cmon Topps if your going to give a guy a hero number - honor him like one.

For more info on these two cards click here.

There is still time to vote in the other Quarter Finals 

2010 1st Quarter
2010 2nd Quarter
2010 3rd Quarter

Sunday, December 12, 2010

2010 Pull N Junk Playoffs: Junk - 3rd Quarter

We are now contesting the Best (or worst Junk of the Third Quarter)

July 2010

Two Nominees, A Bent Skateboarder and a Mini-Dinosaur?  I like most Minis.  but I am not sure I get Minis of big things. 

August 2010
2010 Topps NFL Football #286 Kellen Winslow

Another damaged card from Topps - This one from 2010 Football - shocking.
Scan is messed up - I am too lazy to fix it - trust me the card was damaged.  

September 2010

2010 Topps T-206 #257 Ryan Howard

No problem above but check the Flip Side
2010 Topps T-206 #257 Ryan Howard (b-side) 
Apparently to Topps "P*TE R*SE" is a Dirty Word - sort of ironing for a guy that made a career out of getting his uniform dirty (as well as the rest of his life)   - Regardless this is Weak.

 You Make the Call who wins Junk of the Quarter for Jul-Sep of 2010
1) Tony Hawk
2) Brachiosaurus
3) Kellen Winslow
4) Ryan Howard

To Vote in a Previous Pull n Junk playoff Check these Posts
2010 1st Quarter
2010 2nd Quarter

2010 Pull N Junk Playoffs: Junk - 2nd Quarter

Onto the best Junk from the 2nd Quarter of 2010


2009 UD Signature Stars #90 Ryan Garko
Garko somehow gets a card in a set that only contained 100 veteran players.


2008 Topps Mark Hendrickson

I bumped the scanner and the error wasn't worth correcting.   Tallest Pitcher in the game getting squashed by Topps Logo. 


2009 UD Piece of History - Historical Moments #177 Microwave Oven Invented

Do I really have to say anything about this?

1 - Ryan Garko
2 - Mark Hendrickson
3 - Microwave Oven

Please Vote in the Comments.

To Vote on the First Quarter Final for 2010 Jan-Mar Click Here!

Tuesday, December 7, 2010

2010 Pull N Junk Playoffs: Junk - First Quarter

I am going to start with Junk first - The Junk pulls are so much more fun.  Here are the nominees for Junk of the Year from the First Quarter.


2009 Topps T206 #26 Chein-Ming Wang
Topps gets the nod here for including Wang in a year end set despite that fact that he barely played (and poorly at that) for a World Championship Team.


Chunky guys from 2010 UD 
Pablo Sandoval
Marlon Byrd
Carlos Lee

I didn't like this set at all.  It was just drab.    


 2010 Topps Opening Day #M15 Mr Met

Any Mr Met card is sure to get a Junk o the Month nomination from Team Phungo 

Ok Your Turn Phungo Readers:

What is Junk of the Month for the first Quarter of 2010:
1 - Chien Ming Wang
2 - Pablo Sandoval
3 - Marlon Byrd
4 - Carlos Lee
5 - Mr Met

Please vote in the Comments.

2010 Pull of the Year and Junk of the Year

We are coming up on the end of the Year and if you have been paying attention, I have been nominating different cards for Pull and Junk of the Month - please save the Pulling your Junk jokes for your own blog..

Well now it is time to Pick Pull of the Year and Junk of the Year.

And I would like to enlist the help of Phungo Readers in Picking Pull and Junk for 2010.  I plan on breaking this years picks down by quarters and having a playoff - March Madness style sort of.

But the first order of business is taking card of the last couple of months

October Pull of the Month
2010 Topps Chrome #192 Chris Heisey
Heisey is from back home area and Team Phungo has been keeping an tabs on him.

Honorable Mention
2010 Topps Chrome Orange #7 Mickey Mantle
Parallel Mantle Cards cannot be dismissed - I do dismiss those HR cards though.  .

October Junk of the Month
2010 Topps Chrome #40 Cliff Lee
Nothing against Lee and this is actually a fine card and photo, but well there is no real reason to commemorate his very exciting 13 games with the Mariners.  That and the one time I made a special trip to Baltimore to see Lee shut down the hapless Orioles he got lit up for four dingers.  

November Pull of the Month
2008 Topps #533 Kyle McClellan

More on this later - it should suffice to say there is a reason this isn't a scan but that I was very happy to pull this card.     

November Junk of the Month


2008 Topps #500 Chipper Jones 

This is another nothing against the player post - ok not much against Larry except how he always finds away to beat the Phils.   But this is just another example of Topps garbage Photography from 2008 Topps.  They really mailed the pictures in on this one - was this picture taken from the back of a section down the first base line or something. 

Well if you guessed I only opened one pack each of the last 2 months you would be correct.

Be back with Pull n Junk 2010 Playoffs in a little bit.

Past Pull n Junk of the Month entries
2010 September
2010 August
2010 July
2010 June
2010 May
2010 April
2010 March

Friday, December 3, 2010

Ron Santo: 1940-2010

Just read via Core Contrarian the sad news that Ron Santo has Passed.

2007 08 02 Wrigley Field Left Field Foul Poles Featuring Cubs Retired Numbers #14 Ernie Banks and #10 Ron Santo (Click to Enlarge)

I never saw him play, but through the magic of Cable TV and the fact that WGN America gets carried in the Philadelphia area I do get to see a fair amount of Cubs games.  Ron Santo appears occasionally and is always referenced in the most beloved terms.  Every team needs an ambassador within their broadcast team and I am glad the Cubs had Ron Santo.

The Photo above is from one of two games I attended at Wrigley Field (both in 2007) - at the time my baseball photos were just for fun and I never did get a good one of the LF pole - but you can be sure the next time I am there I will.

Ron Santo also sang "Take Me Out to the Ballgame" that day.  For a Chicogoan this may be exhausted territory but for me it was one of the highlights of a fun week in the Windy City.

Ron Santo you will be missed.

Sources and Links
Phungo Ron Santo HoF Index

Wednesday, December 1, 2010

Who is Lazier: Beckett or Sports Illustrated?

You may have noticed that Beckett has recently posted images of "Custom" Derek Jeter Baseball Cards representing every MLB Team.

1962 Faux Topps Derek Jeter (Phillies)

If you check the posting every single card is modeled after 1962 Topps. 

How lazy is that - If a Card Blogger would cover the topic they would at least try a couple of designs just for kicks.   

There is also the old conflict of interest issue always popping up w/  Beckett Pimping the upcoming Topps Heritage release.  
Out of curiosity who is lazier Beckett for doing this or for covering the story instead of checking into some real baseball card blogs - how bout recognizing the many blogs doing card by card analysis of individual sets (65 Topps, 73 Topps, 1975 Topps, 76 Topps) or How about giving some love to great recurring features like  The Card Back Countdown or the always amusing  Craigslist Idiot.   

a thousand words

a thousand words
2008 World Champions