One Man's Thoughts on Sports Card Collecting

Friday, April 5, 2013

Grappler 'Graphs - Part II

For those who missed the first post - 2012 Leaf Originals Wrestling is a higher-end release, with each box containing 5 autographed cards.  The cards are done in the same style (and small, square shape) of the original 1948 Leaf Baseball cards.  The entire set is 51 cards, and there are a lot of pretty big names in the set.  Each card has a few different variations of differing rarities, including colored backgrounds and alternate artwork.  All of the autographs are on card, not stickers.  All in all, a very nice looking set.

Today I am featuring 2 more cards from my first box of Leaf Originals.  Both are former stars of WCW:  Buff "Buff Daddy" Bagwell and "The First Lady of WCW" Missy Hyatt!

My friend Matt had a good laugh when he found out I pulled Buff's auto, as he knows that I hated Buff's character when he was a regular back in the late 90s.  Matt loved the guy (though he may have been saying he did just to annoy me).  I will admit that Buff wasn't all bad, and he did give us some truly memorable TV segments when his mom was briefly a recurring character on the show, highlighted by the infamous "Judy Bagwell on a Pole" match.

Unfortunately I saw very little of Missy during her active career.  Her heyday was the late 1980s-early1990s, and at that time I watched WWF almost exclusively.  She was a manager/valet for a number of wrestlers, including "Hot Stuff" Eddie Gilbert and the Steiner Brothers.  She also spent several years as a commentator, at times feuding with fellow commentator Paul E. Dangerously (better known today as Paul Heyman, the current manager of CM Punk and Brock Lesnar).  I have heard her on radio shows at a few times and she sounds pretty cool.  One thing's for sure, she definitely is NOT afraid to tell you exactly what she thinks of other people in the wrestling business!

Wednesday, March 27, 2013

Grappler 'Graphs - Part I

With Wrestlemania 29 fast approaching, it seems like now is a good time to finally post about the two boxes of 2012 Leaf Originals Wrestling I got in the in the past few months!

2012 Leaf Originals Wrestling is a higher-end release, with each box containing 5 autographed cards.  The cards are done in the same style (and small, square shape) of the original 1948 Leaf Baseball cards.  The entire set is 51 cards, and there are a lot of pretty big names in the set.  Each card has a few different variations of differing rarities, including colored backgrounds and alternate artwork.  All of the autographs are on card, not stickers.  All in all, a very nice looking set.

My awesome wife got my 2 boxes as gifts (If I recall correctly, I think one was for my birthday back in November, and the other was for Valentine's Day).  I actually pulled a really nice hit in both boxes, but we'll save those for the end of this series of posts!  :)

Today we start with the man who showed up in BOTH boxes I opened - "The Russian Nightmare" Nikita Koloff~!

Nikita (real name Nelson Simpson) wrestled throughout the 1980s and into the early 90s.  As you probably guessed from his ring name, he was a bad guy billed from the Soviet Union, who came to America to prove the superiority of the Reds.  He was at one point a World Tag Team Champion along with his "uncle" Ivan Koloff.  The "Russian Nightmare" nickname was given to him by one of his babyface rivals,  "The American Dream" Dusty Rhodes. (see what he did there?)

After retiring, Simpson became a born-again Christian.  He runs a small wrestling promotion called the Universal Wrestling Alliance along with his religious ministry.  For those who are wondering what that Bible verse is (as I was), it states:  "For we must all appear before the judgment seat of Christ; that every one may receive the things [done] in [his] body, according to that he hath done, whether [it be] good or bad." 

Coming next post: a star of the late 1990s WCW whose goofy persona drove me nuts back in the day.  :)

Monday, March 25, 2013

2nd Annual MLB Prediction Contest!!

Hi everybody, long time, no see.    I've been on a 7-week hiatus, but I HAD to come back for a very important reason - it's time to celebrate the dawning of a new baseball season with...

The Common (Card) Man's Second Annual MLB Prediction Contest!  

The idea is simple - pick which teams and players will perform best in 2013 as outlined below.  We can follow along all season, and at the end we will find out (to steal a line from Bryan Alvarez at "who was a prognosticator, and who was a FOOL~!"

The details:
So here's the deal.  All you have to do is pick the playoff teams in both leagues and also who will lead the league in various statistical categories.  I will compile all the entries into a page on my blog so everyone can view it throughout the year.  There will be TWO prizes - one for the points leader at the All-Star Break, and a Grand Prize for the Champion at the end of the season.  I don't know exactly what the prizes will be yet, but rest assured I will do my best to include multiple auto, patch, and/or other "hit" cards that fit your collection.  Last year blogger Play At The Plate won the mid-season prize, and Chunter over at Chipp 'n' Dale took home the Grand Prize.  I plan on putting up my own predictions to play along, but my score won't count as far as winning the prizes is concerned.

What do I have to pick?:
1.) Pick the 6 Division Champions and 4 Wild Card winners (remember there are 2 Wild Cards in each league now).  Each correct guess earns 10 points.  If you pick a team to win their Division and they win the Wild Card instead (or vice versa) you receive 5 points.  For purposes of determining the All-Star Break prize winner, we will use which teams would make the playoffs if the season ended that day.

2.) Pick who will lead ALL of MLB (not just the AL or NL) in each of the following categories.  We're going to modify the scoring for this section this year.  If the player is #1 in that category you earn 20 points, and you earn 9 for second place, 8 for third, all the way down to 1 point for 10th place.  Hopefully the change will make things a little more interesting in the stat categories, as last year it was FAR easier to earn points picking playoff teams than it was picking stat leaders!

Hitting Categories:
-Batting Average
-Home Runs
-Runs scored
-Stolen Bases

Pitching Categories:
-WHIP (last year we did Holds, I think this will be better)

For the Batting Average and ERA categories the player has to qualify for the league title to count.

What if I really blow one of my picks?:
Fear not!  At the All-Star Break, you are allowed to change any ONE pick to a different choice. BONUS - if you promote the contest in your blog and include a link in the comments below, you can change TWO picks at the All-Star Break.

That's it!  To enter, either post your choices in the comments section of this post, or else you can email your picks to me.  All entries must be received by 11:59pm on Monday, April 1st.  We had 10 participants last year, hopefully we can make it a bunch more in 2013!

Thursday, January 31, 2013

Somebody at Topps Screwed Up!

I got my 36-pack box of the new Topps set (details next post!), and as I was collating the cards I noticed Topps did a little something special this year to start the set.  After card #1 (Bryce Harper) the cards have matching jersey numbers and card numbers.  For example, here's card #2:

 And card #8:
 And #19:
 This goes on for quite a while. Take a gander at cards #45, 59 and 74:
 But in the middle of this is card #23, with Jemile Weeks very conspicuously NOT being jersey #23....
I guess somebody at Topps didn't think too hard when told to "put Weeks on card #23."  :)


My awesome wife surprised me the other day with a card I've been drooling over ever since I saw it in the display case at my LCS:

Alas, the patches aren't from clothes actually used in the movie, but awesome nonetheless.

Friday, January 25, 2013

A Trio of NFL HoFer Patches

I actually collected quite a bit of Goodwin Champions this past year.  I really liked the black bordered base cards, though admittedly far too many came out of the packs with edges already scuffed, but I digress. The jersey patch cards looked really sharp this year, and I had some good luck in the football category:

Does Elway ever NOT look like a total dork? I actually pulled TWO of these if someone is interested in one of them.

I love "Diamond Jim" Kelly here in the Hawaiian shirt!

Easily my favorite of the bunch.  Jerry was my favorite football player as a little kid.

That's all for today.  Can't wait to bust some packs of the new Topps Baseball! (even if it does look like the exact same stuff we've been getting for 3 years.....)

Wednesday, January 9, 2013

Hoping for a Big Day in Houston

Hi everybody, long time no post!

The voting results for this year's Baseball Hall of Fame class are about to be announced, and I just thought I would throw my quick 2 cents in. Many have written at length about the agonizing decisions they faced over whether or not to vote for various PED-linked players this year, but in my mind there are 2 players who absolutely should go in who have never (to my knowledge) had any serious accusations leveled against them - Craig Biggio and Jeff Bagwell.  It seems like Bagwell has some vague "guilt by association" cloud hanging around him, but I don't believe anyone has ever directly accused him of wrongdoing.

Without question, their career numbers speak for themselves:

Craig Biggio:
3,060 hits
.281 avg / .363 obp / .796 ops
668 doubles
291 HRs
1,175 RBIs
1,844 Runs
414 SBs

Jeff Bagwell:
2,317 hits
.297 avg. / .408 obp / .948 ops
488 doubles
449 HRs
1,529 RBIs
1,517 Runs
202 SBs

Keep in mind, they both played significant portions of their careers on the hard turf of the cavernous Astrodome.  Certainly their HR numbers would have been higher playing in a more hitter friendly park.

Beyond just their stats, I always admired both guys for always playing hard.  They were a lot of fun to watch, even though I had to watch them beat up on my team far too often!

And how can anyone NOT love Bagwell's intimidating batting stance?

My gut tells me that Bagwell may have to wait a few years to get in, but here's hoping I'm wrong and they go in together!