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. 


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.
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


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 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.

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.

Willie McCovey Index

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.

a thousand words

a thousand words
2008 World Champions