Archive for the Newspaperman Category

2016 Stadium Club Clayton Kershaw is my new favorite card

Posted in Misc., Newspaperman with tags , , , , , , on July 8, 2016 by Cardboard Icons

Being a card collector, new cards releases of my favorite players always bring joy into my life.  Roger Clemens will forever be my favorite player, but Clayton Kershaw is my second favorite. And his 2016 Stadium Club card is now my new favorite card.

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Take a look at this card and you see Kershaw celebrating with catcher AJ Ellis.  A keen Dodger fan knows this exact moment when the two embraced at the conclusion of Kershaw’s one-hit, 13-strikeout performance against the San Francisco Giants on Sept. 30, 2015, to clinch the National League West title on enemy territory — at AT&T Park.

I am not a Dodger fan. I am a Red Sox fan. But why is THIS card my new favorite?

Because I was there. And I also captured this moment from near the Giants’ bullpen along left field.

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It was a magical performance by Kershaw, who got the best of the Giants who were led into the game by their ace Madison Bumgarner. It was billed as a pitching classic from the start and while Bumgarner wasn’t great that night, Kershaw definitely was and now I will not only remember the performance based on what I saw, or the pictures I took, I will remember it with the assistance of this Topps Stadium Club card.

New Elite Series inserts added; want list updated

Posted in Newspaperman on July 7, 2016 by Cardboard Icons

As you may or may not know, I’ve been chasing the old school Elite Series baseball inserts.  You know, the ones from the 1990s that helped spark the insert craze. I’d previously completed the first three years of inserts — 1991-1993, including the specials and autographs — and have since moved onto the next three years.

In one of my recent COMC.com shipments I received nine new inserts for my 1994-1996 sets, highlighted by the 1995 Kirby Puckett in the center of this image.

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You can see my updated needs here. Have something I need?  Hit me up via e-mail (cardboardicons @ yahoo.com) or on Twitter @cardboardicons.

What’s in that box? “Basketball Floor Box” edition

Posted in Box / Pack Break, Newspaperman with tags , , , , , , , , on June 19, 2016 by Cardboard Icons

By now if you’re a frequent visitor of the sports card aisle at Target you’ve seen these not-so-fancy looking repack boxes distributed by Fairfield. The boxes show you a piece of wood and boast that the lumber is a piece of game-used floor from the 2011 NBA All-Star Game.

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For $12.99 you get a piece of floor, three packs, a memorabilia card, a Kevin Durant rookie, and a pack of Teenymates. I’m not a basketball collector really, but I will say that the floor piece intrigued me. The Target I was at had two of these boxes, one of these had a plain piece of wood and the other had a two-tone piece that appeared to have some paint on it. I decided that I was intrigued enough to buy it and bring this post to you to share what was inside.

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We’ll start with the wood.  Funny enough when I opened the box the wood tumbled into my hand and I immediately thought it was a piece of a train track from my son’s toy bin. I wondered if there was any stamp of authenticity, but there was none.  Instead I later found in the box a small folded COA that spells out that the floor is from the Staples Center, home of the Los Angeles Lakers and Los Angeles Clippers.  The COA references “nbalab.com” which is Web site I’d never heard. And even to this day if you type up the address, you get a stale home screen, the words “Coming Soon” in the corner, and some verbiage about what the site hopes to bring to the world. In short, I’m still not sure if there is a direct association with the NBA other than the use of the logo and the three initials in the name. What does this mean about the authenticity? Got me. I guess if we have questions we can just e-mail Bill, as it says on the COA. Personally, I’ll take it for what it appears to be: A unique piece of wood purported to be from the NBA all-star game and from the court on which legend Kobe Bryant played. What’s it worth?  Less than $12.99.

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My memorabilia card came in the form of a 2008-09 Upper Deck Ben Gordon white swatch, which feels like some sort of patch and not your basic fabric. That’s a win … I suppose.

The Durant rookie is a 2007-08 Topps Retail factory Set Orange exclusive. They can be had for about $4 on COMC.com … if they were mint, which this one is not due to the fact that it bounced around inside the package.

My three packs actually surprised me as two of them were 2014-15 Prizm retail. I was fully expecting three 1990-91 Hoops packs. Only one of those Hoops packs made it into this box and both Prizm packs had Prizm parallels, which is a win I suppose. The Hoops pack was what you’d expect — a bit of a memory flashback from when I was a kid. And while not much of anything in that set is worth anything, I did get a Michael Jordan base card, which is always fun to see.

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I’ll spare your time with the Teenymates. Move along, nothing to see there.

Would I buy another? Probably not, but that doesn’t mean you should buy one if the piece of purported floor intrigues you.

Rookie Card Upgrade: 1965 Topps Steve Carlton

Posted in Newspaperman, Rookie Card Upgrade with tags , , , , on February 11, 2016 by Cardboard Icons

It’s been a while since I’ve posted something here.  I honestly had tried three posts in the last two weeks but I could not get them uploaded.  It took me a little while to realize that in my near eight years since I started this blog I managed to use up all the space they allotted me for images. I had to figure out an alternative plan.; now I’m using Photobucket to host my images.

So here we are, back in business.

We’ll start with this awesome Rookie Card Upgrade.

Steve Carlton’s 1965 Topps rookie card is one that I have owned for quite some time.  And a few years ago I decided to have my copy graded so that I can add it to my showcase, It was slabbed at a 3.5 by Beckett Vintage Grading. I was content with that for a while.

974bb813-721c-4145-a738-a385409fac01_zpsovpo7q7dThen of course I managed to find a fantastic higher graded copy that was at a pretty decent price that I decided it was worth the upgrade.

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So now with this acquisition, that 3.5, which is well-centered, is available. $50 delivered to if you’re interested. Hit me on Twitter @cardboardicons

I’ve always wanted to … 

Posted in Newspaperman with tags , , , , , , on August 12, 2015 by Cardboard Icons

  
I go to a fair amount of baseball games.  Not a lot by any stretch of the imagination, but I go to four or five a year.  Over my 30 years of baseball fandom I have always wanted a game-used ball.

  
I’ve never caught a home run ball, not a foul ball, not a ball tossed to me by a player between innings. None.

In recent years MLB stadiums have begun selling game-uses items and I’ve always dreamed of buying something.  The items always seemed too expensive or I simply hesitated.

Well, Tuesday night, all of that changed.

My wife and I got free tickets to the Giants-Astros game in San Francisco.  They were 10 rows from the field, a gift from my sister, who has gotten them from a co-worker season ticket holder who couldn’t make it.  As it happened, Giants stud Madison Bungarner was on the mound.  Tickets for his starts are always at a premium.

What we got was an absolute gem from Bumgarner, who hurled a 5-hit, 12-strikeout complete came to earn his 13th win of the year; his 80th career victory.

It was probably the second most dominating pitching performance I had seen in person. It rivaled a game in 1999 in which Hall of Famer Pedro Martinez struck out 12 Oakland Athletics.  And it slightly edges out a Curt Schilling performance about a half decade ago in which he nearly no-hit the A’s. Schilling lost the biggest-hitter with two outs in the bottom of the ninth.

I digress. After the game I went to check out the game-used merchandise and there were four used balls from the game left for sale.  Two were thrown by Astros pitcher Scott Kazmir and two were thrown by Bumgarner.  One was a foul tip that Jed Lowrie got a piece of in the second inning ($40) and the other was the ball that Houston outfielder Carlos Gomez singled to right on the ninth pitch of the game.  The Gomez-Bumgarner ball was originally $150, but had been marked down to $69.

  
I took the Gomez-Bumgarner ball. True it was more expensive. Yes, it was a hit and not a strike. But I liked that it was a star versus star and ultimately I could pinpoint exactly which play the ball game from.

As it turned out, it’s a pretty neat piece of “history.” Tuesday marked the first day in Major League history in which ALL 15 home teams won their games. The FIRST TIME EVER. 

After the game I caught the replay on TV and archives the video showing the entire at-bat, and the specific pitch in which this ball was thrown.  That was kind of fun.

Some other facts about the ball and game:

*This was Carlos Gomez’s 883rd career base hit.

*The ball was used for one play, handed from umpire Dana Demuth to catcher Buster Posey then tossed to Bumgarner who threw the pitch. Gomez then hit it to right and it skipped to Hunter Pence who then threw it to all-star shortstop Brandon Crawford, who then threw the ball out of play.  It was later authenticated by MLB — customary practice for game-used items being sold at stadiums.

*The ball was thrown during Bumgarner’s 80th career victory.

*Bumgarner struck out seven batters in a row, tying the Giants record.

*The picture below is a screen shot of Gomez on third base later in the first inning after the single.  My wife and I are in the shot. 🙂