Sunday, March 29, 2009

Box Break 2008 Razor Signature Series

Here it is! What you've all been waiting for! 2008 Razor Signature Series!

OK, I know you're not excited because everybody and their Grandma has already opened some of this stuff. But hey, after a week of bombarding you with Big Lebowski cards maybe you are all ready for a change.

I don't break much stuff on here. Most of what I have to open is junk wax. But I got 2 boxes of this for Christmas and I have been patiently waiting to become smart enough to be able to videotape the break and download it onto the blog. Well, I haven't gotten any smarter and I'm sick of waiting.

I was actually pretty excited to get these boxes at Christmas. Like a lot of people I was disappointed at the thought of exclusive contracts. I don't want to be limited in what products I can get my favorite players in. But, it's ridiculous to get mad at Razor for it. They're just trying to make a good product and make money.

I had listened to Brian Gray on the card podcast multiple times and seemed like a guy who genuinely wanted to make a good product; a product that would appeal to a lot of collectors. He seemed like a pretty straightforward guy. Then he went to Beckett to bust some boxes. We all know what happened there.

The way I see it is one of two things happened:

1. Beckett got the same boxes that everyone gets and was extremely lucky...again.

2. Beckett got loaded boxes. If this is the case then I just hope that Brian realizes that it was a mistake and it doesn't happen again.

Either way, I'm willing to give Brian and his company the benefit of the doubt. I guess you could say he won me over on those podcasts.

So, let's bust one of my boxes and see what I got. Hopefully it comes closer to what Beckett got and isn't too much like what Dave at Fielder's Choice got.

Base Lonnie Chisenhall
Black Parallel Ross Seaton /200

I'm showing the Lonnie because he was the Tribe's 1st round draft pick. The Seaton ended up being the one and only parallel in the entire box.

Ethan Martin Exclusive Signature
Justin Smoak Authentic Signature /699

Razor has made a distinction between the regular autos and the exclusives. I guess the exclusives are considered part of a different set than the other 200 cards.

Justin Smoak is a nice pull. A first rounder, although I don't recall who picked him.

Brett Wallace /499
Casper Wells Exclusive

Brett Wallace is another nice pull. That's the second first rounder. I don't know when Wells was drafted but you kind of have to pull for a dude named Casper, right?

Trey Haley /1499
Robbie Grossman / 1499

Don't know either of these guys. A 6th and and 11th rounder. Hey, Reggie Jackson didn't hit a home run EVERY time.

Casper Wells Exclusive
Brett Hunter /1499

Hey wait a minute! I got a feakin' double of Casper Wells? That kind of sucks. I mean, it's not as bad as getting 24 Todd Burns's like Night Owl did, but I paid more than $1 for this box (My wife did, anyway).

Brett is a 7th rounder.

Jake Jefferies /1199
Aaron Crow Exclusive

Jake is a 3rd Rounder. For some reason I have a good feeling about this kid. Probably the same reason that I still get a twinge of excitement when I look at one of my Greg Jeffries cards. I guess the name Jefferies (or Jeffries) is just beaten into my subconscious as a good card to have. That will probably never change.

Final analysis:

I don't think I have much to complain about. 2 first rounders is better than a lot of people did on this stuff. I like the look of the cards and I like that the autos are on card. I also like that it looks like most of the players took enough time to make a descent auto.

In the base set I like that the cards have what round the players were drafted in and the back has the organization. In fact I like the look of the back of the base cards a lot. Nice and simple and clean.

There were a few things I was disappointed in. I wish all of the autos had something on the card signifying the draft position and the organization, just like the base cards. I was mostly disappointed in my lack of parallels either in the base or the autos. A parallel auto sure would have been nice. Since this product is all about the hits I would have been more excited to pull something numbered a little lower than 200. However, I have no idea how often those turn up in boxes so maybe I got exactly what I should have expected. I was also disappointed that I got a double of the Casper Wells auto, but I guess that stuff happens, and I know I wouldn't be complaining if it was a double of Beckham.

The last thing I would say is I would change the back of the autos a little. What they have written on there now: "...Not only does Razor bring you authentic signatures, we bring you exclusive signatures. Look for the "exclusive" tag and Happy prospecting!" reads a little too much like a commercial. I don't really need a commercial on the back of my autos.

Overall, I'm happy.

I know Brian reads Blogs like Wax Heaven. If he somehow found his way over to this post I'd be curious to hear what he thought about this box and if there would normally be more parallels.

TBL Card Fest: Beardy Part 10

Final installment from Beardy. Also my favorite.

Walter #06 2007 A+G

Can you believe these Allen + Ginter cards? I think Greg has really outdone himself with this. I have no idea how he does this.

Dude #08 2007 A+G

Another great A+G card.

Jesus #05 2007 A+G

What else is there to say?

Jesus #04 2009 Beardy Original

I'll finish this last segment with another original.

I just want to say to Greg what a pleasure it is to open up my inbox and find new cards for this silly little project. I feel like I'm just kind of piddlefarting around with this next to Greg. He obviously has a real talent for this kind of thing, and I just wanted to say that I feel very fortunate to be able to display his talents out there for everyone to see. I also feel very thankful to be able to have finally found a context for the word "piddlefarting". Thank you Greg for everything.

I hope there is more in store for us from Greg.

I also want to see more from everyone else out there. We are up to 62 cards.

TBL Card Fest: Beardy Part...I don't know...maybe 9?

More from the Bearded Crusader:

Dude #07 2009 Beardy Original

I love these original cards by Beardy. The man is so creative. Possibly the most creative in Los Angeles county. I don't want to call him a hero...because what's a hero?

Walter + The Dude #01 2009 Beardy Original

You want a toe? I can get you a toe. Believe me Dude, there are ways.

Dude #06 2007 Goudy Auto

Look at that. A freakin' Goudy auto. Well done sir. This card is the cat's ass. (I don't know what this means or where it originated, but it's a good thing.)

Uli Kunkel #01 2008 A+G

Uli is exhausted from a full day of nihilisting.

Artimus Jacki + Woo #01 2009 Beardy Original

This is a fantastic card, and not only because I learned that the one guy's name is Artimus. (You'd think that a TBL authority like myself would have known that). Beardy has conveyed to me the idea of making a few T-shirts with these cards as graphics. Being a weird T-shirt type of guy, I think this is a first rate idea. For some reason I think this would make a fantastic one. Who's coming with me?

Alright, I've got one more from Beardy Coming up!

TBL Card Fest: Beardy and Dubbs

Getting back to The Big Lebowski set we have 3 posts worth of cards sent over by Greg (AKA Beardy). They are all really cool, but I think I've saved the best for last, so make sure you are checking back and don't miss any. After these posts go up our set will have reached 62 cards. I couldn't be happier with how this is turning out. All of the submissions are unique and interesting. I've really had a great time compiling these and I hope I continue to do so.

Liam #01 1958 Topps

Liam is Jesus Quintana's unlikely friend and bowling partner. It makes no sense at all that these two guys even know each other, but that just makes it all the more hilarious.

Da Fino #01 1958 Topps

Da Fino is a brother shamus (you know, like an Irish monk), and there is no physical harm intended. He digs the Dudes work. It's fabulous stuff.

Maude #02 1956 Topps

Maude is an artist. Her work has been commended as being strongly "vaginal". Hopefully that doesn't make you too uncomfortable.

Jeffrey Lebowski #02 1956 Topps

This guy's a goldbricker. I've never been so certain of anything in my life.

Here now is the latest submission by Dubbs:

Tony The Limo Driver #01 2008 Mayo

I love this Mayo card with the black and white. It's somehow perfect. It fits right in there. Read in his comments section for the enthralling tail of my brush with greatness in the form of Dom Irrera, AKA Tony the Cheauffeur.

Dubbs has said that this is the last TBL card for a while. Yeah right. It gets into you blood, man. The TBL set will not be put aide or ignored. I suspect we'll see another card from Dubbs shortly (at least I hope so. The kid's got talent).

More shortly.

Friday, March 27, 2009

TBL Card Fest: A Plethora Of Stuff

And yes, I know what a plethora is.

Here is my latest masterpiece. It's not exactly how I want it but you can't always get what you want, am I wrong?

Modestly Priced Receptacle #01 1991 Fleer

You know, we could have spent more but just because we're bereaved doesn't mean we're saps. I mean, we're scattering the faqin ashes.

And here are links to the plethora of cards that I'm talking about:

3 submissions from Steven at White Sox Cards:

The Toe #01 Garbage Pail Kids

The Toe #02 Garbage Pail Kids

The Toe #03 Garbage Pail Kids

1 more from Travis at Punk Rock Paint:

Dude #05 2007 Turkey Red

1 From JoshSamBob at Cardaholics Anonymous:

Knox Harrington #02 2001 Donruss Rated Rookie

Oh BTW, every time I read JoshSamBob I would think of this guy. Can't really explain it. Sorry. Just ignore me.

Wednesday, March 25, 2009

TBL Card Fest: Last One Tonight

This is the last of them, and they are, appropriately, from Beardy (AKA Greg Pipitone). I know there will be more to come but this will bring us up to date. I never in a million years thought something like this would take off the way it has. We are well on our way to 100 cards (42 already) and I think we may blow right past that.

One of the greatest things (for me) is that Josh Wilker at Cardboard Gods has linked to our little project. You may be able to tell from links to the right, but (and no offense to the many awesome card blogs that I love) I kind of set Josh's Blog apart and it is a particular thrill to me to get linked to from there. Somewhere in my crazy head I think of how cool it would be to check my email one day to find that Josh has photoshoped one of his cardboard gods into something to fit into our little set.

But, back to the matter at hand. Here are the last of TBL cards that I have to post. I'm sure more will show up shortly.

Autobahn #01 Heritage Relic

This is what Greg was referring to on Dubbs post. As far as I'm concerned, we can never have enough Autobahn cards. And now we have a piece of gig worn tie to go with our vinyl. We have been getting to crazy pulls when it comes to Autobahn.

Stranger #01 1956 Topps

It's funny, I was reading a post by Night Owl for the Blog Bat Around and thinking about the 1956 set and how I should try to become more familiar with it. Then I check my email to find that Beardy already has a good appreciation for it. I like the set even more.

Smoky + Walter #01 2009 Beardy Original

Here is (I think) an original form Beardy, and one of my favorites. If this came form a set, I'm not sure what it is. I guess if I'm wrong people will let me know, but I've never seen a card like this before.

I sure hope I haven't overlooked anyone if they've sent me cards that I didn't post or if they put some on their blog that I haven't linked to. I'm certainly a lazy man. Quite possibly the laziest in Lorain county. Please let me know if I have overlooked something and I'll correctify the situization directly.

One last thing. I'm working on the links to the right but it might have to wait a few days. Once I get that going and explained, then everyone can start to let me know what I did wrong and how to make it better. Just have faith in me because I think it will the numbering and descriptions will make sense.

Thanks again all.

TBL Card Fest: Tastelikedirt Take 2

Tastelikedirt jumps back into the foray with this awesome card.

I have to admit, I really laughed for about a minute when I saw this card. I've enjoyed all of the cards so far but only a few have really taken me completely by surprise and this is one of them.

Jacki Treehorn #02 Cut Sketch

I mean, what the hell can I add to this? Awesome.

Getting down to it.

TBL Card Fest: More from Dubbs

2 kick ass submissions from Dubbs. I'll have to count em up, but I think we have more Wlaters than anyone else so far.

Walter #05 2008 Legacy

Here is a Walter card from everyones favorite set...Yankee Stadium Legacy!!! Hey Walter doesn't care. He had friends who died face down in the muck so we could enjoy this ridiculous card set. He's stayin'. Drinking his milkshake. Enjoying his milkshake.

Walter #04 2009 Topps Distinguished Service

You know, as big a screw up as Walter is, I have little doubt that he was a very good soldier. Anyone else think that? Or, am I completely off on this one?

More to come.

Isn't this fun? I should have done this 3 days ago.

TBL Card Fest: Beardy Part 6 or so

More from, you guessed it...BEARDY!!

Donny #03 1956 Topps

I am the Walrus. I am the Walrus.

Saddam #01 1958 Topps

Look at this. Look at the situation with that camel fucker in Iraq. Now the guy works at a bowling alley.

Creedence #01 Heritage Relic

Awesome Creedence pick, although it is the yellow pick. I wouldn't hold out much hope for the Creedence card with the green and red polka-dotted pick.

Be back shortly.

TBL Card Fest: Beardy #4

Here are more cards from MVP Beardy who has submitted 25 cards to the cause. He's the Dick Perez of the Big Lebowski Card Fest.

Jesus #01 1960 Topps

Jesus. That creep can roll, man.

Walter #01 1960 Topps

Walter isn't fuckin' around here. Apparently he's the only one who gives a shit about the rules.

Dude #02 1974 Topps

Glad to see the Dude found his glasses. Unfortunately, he didn't find the money, even after taking another look.

Dude #01 2008 Turkey Red Relic

I freakin' love this card. It's unfortunate that the rug had to be destroyed in order to make the set considering how well it tied the room together. Also it held sentimental value for Maude, so yeah...that's kind of sucks too. But hey, awesome card.

Back with more soon.

TBL Card Fest: Motherscratcher and Dubbs

There are more new submissions over at Cheese and Beer to the Big Lebowski Card Fest. This thing has taken off so fast that I'm doing a very poor job keeping up. I've been trying to spread out the posts on the cards that have been emailed to me. It occurs to me now that maybe the people who have worked so hard on these great cards would be happier if I, you know, actually posted them. So I should be able to get all of the remaining cards I have up tonight. The plan is to post them in about 6 posts a held hour apart.

So, keep checking back throughout the night for all of the TBL goodness as my co-conspirators and I get to joking and making with the funny stuff.

Here is the only one I've completed. I actually finished it this weekend and haven't had time to produce any others. I have some ideas, though. Those of you who know my love for Turkey Red should not be surprised.

Jesus #02 2007 Turkey Red

Here is Jesus Quintana shining his ball. Unfortunately doing this very thing (or something similar) with land you in chino for 6 months. Live and learn.

Here are is the link to Dubbs 3 latest submissions:

Bunny #02 1988 Topps

Malibu Police Chief #01 1990 Topps

Autobahn #02 2008 Upper Deck Timelines

For those of you who have sent me submissions and are wondering what the heck I'm doing with the labeling, there is a method to my madness. Once I get the cards up I will work on updating the links to the right hand side of the blog. Hopefully once you see it it will all make sense and make it easier to find the cards you want to see.

Thanks for your patience everyone.

Keep checking back. I hope this plan comes together.

TBL Card Fest: Beardy Part 3

Getting back to The Big Lebowski Card Fest, we have more cards from Beardy who is quickly establishing himself as the MVP of the set.

Dude #03 2008 Turkey Red Relic

Far out, man.

Bunny #01 1958 Topps

Here we see Bunny Lebowski taking a break from relaxing by trying to strike up a business deal with the Dude. Never one to pass up an opportunity, she tries to bring Brandt in on it for a little extra cash. Dude seems interested but nothing comes of it.

Nihilists #01 1974 Topps

Here we have the Nihilists in the midst of their extortion scheme. It's a solid plan.

On Deck: Me
In The Hole: Beardy
Balls Deep: Dubbs

Tuesday, March 24, 2009

Blog Bat Around #5: Pointless Memories

Blog Bat Around #5. Dayf has presented a topic that on it's surface should be fairly easy to complete. Just give an accounting of your favorite experience acquiring cards or memorabilia. How hard could that be? Well, for me not so easy. Nothing really is coming to mind. I'm hoping as I write this a few things will pop into my head that I can write about.

So, I'll just start with some of my earliest memories and hope that I end up with a post. I'm sure what I'll end up with is a long rambling post about not much of anything that hardly anyone will read in it's entirety.

Right now I can't think of anything other than stories like:" There was this one Christmas that I got a 1984 Topps Mattingly Rookie Card. It was great. The end." But, that isn't very interesting.

The first thing I collected was those old sticker books. I remember the football stickers but not baseball. For some reason I had 1,000 Ed "Too Tall" Jones stickers. I may have had the baseball books as well, but for some reason I have no memory of them. Back then the entire goal was to fill your book. My brother and I would love to accompany my mom to the store because we knew that meant more stickers. You could get stickers and baseball cards at any convenience store that you walked into.

I think we got those books for about 3 years. Most likely 1981-1983. That's my best estimate. It taught me a very valuable lesson. At one point I snuck into my brother's room to look through his pile of stickers and doubles. This was serious stuff, you understand. I found a few that I liked and took them. I don't know how I was found out, but I was. I've always been a terrible liar and I assume that the guilt was written across my face.

By brother came up a few stickers short one day and raised holy hell. All attempts to blame my mother, the dog, or anyone else with means (and not necessarily motive) proved futile. I was dead to rights. Here was my father's solution. My brother and I put all of our stickers into one pile. I got a single double of any sticker that had a double. My brother got all of the rest, despite my protests. Even though we BOTH knew that some of the stickers were mine. I didn't get it then that it wasn't about being fair to me. I'm sure the punishment also included a spanking, which was the single worst thing that could befall me in my youth.

This little escapade taught me a very valuable lesson about stealing. Don't, under any circumstances, get caught.

My next experience would come a few years later with Cabbage Patch Kids. That's right. Cabbage Patch Kids. They were very popular, especially with the girls. It was the first thing I can remember people waiting and fighting at stores to get. Hell, even some of the boys had them.

I didn't get it. I thought they sucked. What the heck would I want one of those for? Do I look like some sort of Pansy or something? This didn't stop my mom from getting my brother and me each one. I think it was the thrill of the chase for her. She may have thought that once we had it we would come around. Well, we never took them out of the box. They just got kicked around in the attic or basement. Out of sight, out of mind.

Guess where they are now...nobody knows. They're lost. Can you imagine? An original Cabbage Patch Kid in it's original packaging? It was always there, just something that occasionally got in the way when you were looking for something else. Then, like Keyser Soze, it was gone. Man, the value of that thing would probably dwarf my entire collection, and my collection includes the complete factory sets of 1986-1991 Topps, so that's saying something.

I know that has nothing whatever to do with baseball cards or collecting, but I'm just typing here. And, besides, the rules did say memorabilia.

Anyway, I told you that story to tell you this one. I had no interest in the Cabbage Patch Kids, but that doesn't mean I wasn't aware of them. I'm not an idiot. You're not dealing with morons here. Like I said, I just thought they sucked, especially for a boy. So when they came out with Garbage Pail Kids in 1985, now that was something that I could get behind.

I was in love with Garbage Pail Kids. I HAD to have them. Not only were they hilarious, they also conveyed to my mother that I was in fact A BOY and the Cabbage Patch Kid was the wrong thing to get me. But you couldn't find the damn things anywhere. They would sell out immediately. My mother must have put in hours (I'm not kidding) calling and driving places with my friend's mothers in the hopes of getting them.

Well, mom, as usual, came through with a whole box. I could barely contain myself. My friend Chuck was there and we ripped into them. Mad Mike, Up Chuck, Drippy Dan, Crater Chris...these were all my friends. I It's probably the happiest I've ever been to get something card/memorabilia related. Thinking back about it, I can't believe the stuff that Topps got away with. They would take the same picture and put another name on it and card. It would be like if they used the same picture for Adam and Andy LaRoche. Wait, what? Oh. Never Mind.

I saw about 8-9 months ago that a box of unopened series 1 Garbage Pail Kids (not the UK version) went for $1,600 on Ebay. Holy crap! I think back to how great it would have been if I had just put that box to the side and still had it now. Then I think: "Did I get $1,600 worth of fun out of opening that box?" You bet your sweet ass I did.

I can't say for sure but maybe it was the Garbage Pail kids that got me into baseball card collecting to begin with. Sure, I had some cards, but I don't remember really collecting until 1986. That's when I first heard of Beckett. Then I was ruined for the next 5 years with dreams of hitting it rich with my collection. I'm sure that isn't anything out of the ordinary.

Because of that I have a special place in my heart for 1986 Topps, otherwise known as the ugliest/laziest card set ever produced. But the last specific story I wanted to talk about happened a few years later in the magical year of 1989.

It was late winter. Cinderella was on the radio, Richard Moll was on the TV, love was in the air, and my right foot had started to hurt like a son-of-a-bitch. I noticed it on monday. By friday it was almost unbearable. So much so that I nearly got into a fight with Tammy, a girl who undoubtedly would have removed my ass and handed it to me. My friends and I were going to my house, and then up to watch the wrestling match at the high school.

I had been complaining all week. My mom, begrudgingly, took me to the Urgent Care. They diagnosed tendinitis and gave me some pills. I lived with it. 2 days later everyone piled into my dad's conversion van (this thing was awesome) and we headed to a huge card show. I limped around it for a long time until I couldn't take it anymore. I had to go out to the van and lay down. That must be when my mom really stated to think "maybe this kid isn't faking it". I really don't blame my parents for not really believing me up until then because I had really established my self as something of a pussy by then.

This is such a strong memory because of what all of my friends: Chuck, Chris, Dan, and Doug did. They kept coming out to give me more cards and packs of cards. Some fairly expensive. The stuff just kept coming. I didn't ask how they got some of them, but I suspect they were adhering to the lesson that I learned in the "football sticker book affair" as it later came to be known. It really was kind of cool, getting all of that loot for no real reason, and it's why that show sticks out in my mind more than any other card show that I attended or any other thing that has happened when collecting, and far more than when I got this or that specific card.

Just to wrap up that story, because I know you will go out of your mind if I don't (it's so damned interesting) I ended up in the hospital. After trip to the doctor the next day I was sent to Cleveland and admitted to the hospital. I had osteomyelitis in my foot. They damn near had to amputate (seriously). I was in there for around 2 weeks. I got so much shit it was like Christmas every day. I can't imagine the piles and piles of presents I would have gotten if they had actually taken my foot. It might have been worth it.

Well, I suppose I've rambled on for far too long, as usual. None of my stories are particularly interesting, unusual, or groundbreaking, they're just what I have. And they're better stories than the time a few months ago I sniped a Shin Soo Choo auto off ebay for around $5.

For anyone who stuck with me to the end here I have 2 things to say.

1. Thank You

2. Why?