Sunday, June 28, 2015

Signature Sunday

As as Pirate fan, it's been a big change the past couple years to be adding rather than subtracting at the end of the season.  And late season pickups like Marlon Byrd have been a big part to the success the team experienced heading into the fall months.  The down side if that most of those guys have missed out on having cards as a Pirate.

But with a little photoshop magic and some good signers, I've been able to fill in some gaps in my collection.  Kyle Farnsworth is a guy who it feels like has been around forever.  But he was a decent bullpen addition plucked off the scrap heap for the Pirates.  There aren't a ton of photos from his short Buc tenure out there, but I was pretty happy with how this card turned out.

Sunday, June 21, 2015

Seeing Green

Reading through some of my posts over the last few months, I've realized I've become the "get off my lawn, you dang kids" kind of collector.  The hobby has changed over the last decade.  I don't like it, and it has led to a dramatic decrease in my overall interest in level in collecting cards and sports in general.  But the train has left the station and there's no going back.  So unless I want to start acting like one of those guys set up at card shows that still pine for the days when they could sell a Ripken base card for $3...guess I'll just have to change with the times.

But someeeeetimes the grass really is greener on the other side.  Or more accurately, emerald.

The rainbow madness has burned me out on collecting.  But it was actually the idea of chasing rainbows from sets that didn't include Jack Wilson that sucked me into team collecting.  And Leaf Certified Materials?  That was the cream of the crop.  The formula was pretty straightforward - white, red, blue, gold, emerald, black (no camo, pink, or any other wonky colors).  I have a pretty good collection of the more common colors from the various years.  But the Emerald /5 are just a tough find.  I have one Jack Wilson, but that's it.  I'm sure most sold around the time of release (for good money) and are tucked away in collections.

But as luck would have it, I saw one surface on ebay a few weeks back.  Not exactly a star player.  Or even...a player anyone has heard of.  Jeff Miller was a middle reliver who I had never heard of in 2005.  He entered the Pirates system as a college draftee in 2001, and moved pretty quickly through the minors with decent success at each level.  I assume in 2005 he was added to the 40 man roster, and in desperate hopes to include players that Topps hadn't already produced cards of Donruss included some real head scratchers in their 2004-2005 releases.

Miller actually had a pretty good season as a reliever in 2005, posting a 3.36 ERA.  And the Pirates, you may recall, more or less sucked.  Yet one way or another, not only did Miller never get MLB action, the Pirates jettisoned him from the organization.  He pitched for the Giants AAA team in 2006 with nearly identical numbers, but by 2007 played a couple games in the Independent League before retiring., not a star player.

Still, the sheer excitement of landing a Mirror Emerald for $4 shipped more than makes up for the lackluster results Mr. Miller had in the years since this card hit the market.

Tuesday, June 16, 2015

The Long and Winding Road

The last couple weeks have been a whirlwind.  Quite honestly, my interest in cards has been in a tailspin for a while now.  And life hasn't helped.

While it was far from perfect (the pay wasn't great, the commute was killer), the teaching job I loved came to a pretty abrupt end when I learned a couple weeks ago that the alternative school I was at would be closing.  Better yet, we had one week's notice and weren't allowed to tell the kids.  So I spent a week as a lame duck, with our students blissfully unaware that the school that for some of them was very much a last chance was going to be locking the doors behind them.  It was emotionally rough to see some kids I had really grown to care about get thrown back into some real shitty situations.  The not having a job thing can be problematic too.

Quite honestly, it's been tough trying to work up the interest to post and keep the blog feeling fresh.  Prime example?  The photos for this post have been uploaded into this post for nearly 3 weeks.  I just haven't mustered up the energy to actually add words.  Sad, huh?
These were all flea market pickups.  Better yet, they were all a dime.  Normally I'd be pretty thrilled about some of these.  Hell, rookie cards of some of the best players in the NFL for a dime?  Puhleeze.

Don't get me wrong.  I don't want to quite blogging.  I don't want to quit collecting (the slightly obscene COMC bill I ran up this weekend during the Spring Cleaning specials would testify to that).  But I just don't get the same warm and fuzzies about cards.
So don't mind me if I'm still a little sparse for the time being.  My batteries need recharged.  Or maybe just replaced.
But I'll be back with some insightful quips before too long, I'm sure.

Monday, June 1, 2015

Simply the Best

Simply put, there aren't many superstars today who are great TTM signers.  And then there's Dirk Nowitzki.  Not only is he a Hall of Fame bound player, but the guy will sign just about anything put in front of him.

I have a few TTM autographs from Dirk over the years, but when I found his RC in a dime box, I couldn't have been happier.  I sent the card at the beginning of the season, and it finally came back in the middle of the playoffs.

My basketball collection is tiny compared to football or baseball, but this instantly becomes one of my favorite basketball cards I own.  I can't gush enough about how much I respect a guy who makes that kind of time for fans in today's multi-billion dollar sports world, where more and more players won't even touch a pen unless there is a check attached.