Monday, June 30, 2014

Card Show At Mall 205

Meeting Rod on Saturday wasn't the only thing that happened worth mentioning. While it was the best part of the entire day there was a card show, and some thrifting going on as well.

Getting an early start I made the way to Portland, and my first Goodwill. Arriving a little later than planned, but still within the window I had hoped for. I made my way through the store before finding what would be my only Goodwill treasure of the day.

A Ben Petrick bobblehead which was given away at a Hillsboro Hops game during the 2013 season. Ben works on the Hops staff after returning to the area when his career was ended after being diagnosed with Parkinson's disease in 2004. Between 2004, and the Hops arrival Ben was the baseball coach in Hillsboro's high school. This is an extra cool bobblehead to me as Ben played for the Rockies when his career was cut short.

After finding this new treasure it was off to the card show, and some cardboard fun. Hitting the mall a little early the doors were open, and ready for me to get straight to business. The first stop didn't disappoint as it ended up being my best for the set wantlist.

Adding six cards to the 2004 Authentix, and two for the 2003 MVP was a sweet find. My set additions have been real hit or miss when I get to these shows so adding eight was great. From their the player collections got some attention.

.Nicasio is 5-5 with a 5.92 ERA in 14 starts this current season. Rosario has played in 55 games after spending some time on the DL. Despite the injury Wilin is looking good hitting wise with 14 doubles, and 8 home runs. Barring any other injuries, or hold-ups he could end the season with a career high in doubles, and possibly home runs.

Going along with the main players I snagged some cards of guys on the secret player collection list.

All three players are in a make or break year when it comes to possibly joining my main player roster.

Pomeranz is getting a great shot on the A's staff after being traded from Colorado. Still suffering from major inconsistencies like the ones that doomed him in Colorado. Drew is one of the best when he's on his game, but a disaster when he's not. 

Zunino is having a great year as the Mariners starting catcher, and looks to be a shoo in. His spot as the starting catcher in Seattle looks to be getting more, and more cemented every day. My main hold up with Zunino is that the Mariners haven't had the best of luck with starting catchers lately.

Arenado set himself up as the possible Rockies third baseman of the future in 2013. Looking to cement that spot in 2014 he suffered a major setback in May with a broken middle finger. Even with the injury Arenado has put up some decent numbers before the injury. Hopefully he will return to form when he rejoins the Rockies after rehabbing in Colorado Springs.

Rounding out the secret player goods was some Mark Teixeira stuff.

When I first started this blog Tex was on the list of main players. Why I took him off is beyond me as I still seem to be picking up his cards. Thinking about it as I write this I really need to make a decision on whether to keep collecting Tex, or drop the collection. Making this decision is something I really need to do. Sometimes I seem to waffle on if I want to collect a player or not, and nothing shows this more than the Teixeira collection. Making this decision could help me in eliminating unwanted players in the future instead of continuing a collection out of some weird loyalty.

There where other cards I picked up along the way, but I will leave them out of this showing. Some might appear in another post one day, or they might not.

Sunday, June 29, 2014

Meeting The Grapher

On Saturday I was lucky in two different ways. The first is that it has been awhile since I've been able to make it up to either of the Portland area card shows. The second, and what was the best part of the entire show. Rod from the great blog Padrographs had been trying to get some fellow bloggers together at the show. While things didn't work out for others to meet up. I was lucky enough to meet up with Rod, and talk some.

Arriving a few minutes before the official start time of the show. I was deep into the cards when Rod made his way into the mall. Waving at him as he had let me know beforehand that he'd be sporting a Padres cap. Rod made his way over to say hello before doing a quick walk around the show. After the walk we met back up with me still doing my thing. Talking for a few, and looking at cards we started the tour together.

Separating for a few minutes before meeting up again at a table with some autographed cards. Before starting his search Rod handed me a couple cards he'd just picked up for me.

Excited about the two new cards it reminded me that I had brought some stuff for Rod. First we wandered through the show longer looking at more stuff. I think a few times I probably drove him nuts as I am very slow at these things. I have a tendency to stop at all tables, and gawk for a few minutes. Even if my initial scan reveals nothing of interest to me. Need to work on fine-tuning my card showing a little better to avoid wasting time like that. My daughter went with me once, and the slow pace killed her so she isn't alone now. As we neared the end of the tables Rod mentioned he had some errands to do, and would be taking off.

Before heading out I needed to get the goodies I brought so we headed towards the vehicles. Rod had talked during the show about having some items for me as well, but had forgotten them at home. Luckily he lives fairly close to the Goodwill in the area, and mentioned maybe dropping by his house. Always loving an adventure I thought why not, and followed him homeward.

This was an experience I was glad I did as Rod has some awesome Padres stuff. Walking in my first look was to two things. The first was a very sweet looking frame with a Steve Garvey autographed picture, and a small collection of Garvey Padres cards. It was a very well laid out, and nice looking piece that he was proud of, and with good reason. The second was a much simpler list of the Padres minor league affiliates. I noticed this as I keep track of the Rockies affiliates. This year I haven't been keeping track of like past years, but I still know a little about them.

Talking more as I scanned the room enjoying his awesome collection. I learned that Rod is a huge fan of the Eugene Emeralds. Much like myself he enjoys anything from his team's affiliates so I'll be on the lookout for Emeralds items.

While I could have stayed there all day enjoying his collection it wasn't possible. Rod had some things to do so he started to slowly usher me out after handing me a few treasures for the hobby room.

Rod plans on doing a couple games in Salem, and hopes to meet up at one of the games. Depending on how the day goes as we will be doing things earlier in the day. I'm just as hopeful that we can meet up at the game, despite my extreme disdain for the Volcanoes.

Tuesday, June 24, 2014

The Paperclip

I had planned on saving this post for another day or two from now, but after the mailer from Fuji I couldn't wait. Seeing all those NASCAR cards got me even more excited about the return I got last week. Having some great luck lately when it comes to the raceways. I noticed that there was one of my top five favorite tracks missing from the collection. Wanting to fix this oversight I came up with an artelope design.

I've said it a few times, and this design shows why. Some of my all-time favorite artelopes have been the ones I send to racetracks. This one I decided to go with a simple checkered pattern commonly used for the finish line, checkered flag, and the winners circle. In the end I liked the way it turned out, and the results added to the excitement.

Two cards that remind me why I have started going after racetrack cards harder ever before. The design on the back is a great image of the track during a race. Another great thing is this now puts the collection at seven tracks. Currently there is one envelope pending, and another ready to be sent out. Hopefully I hear back soon from Kansas, and can then cross them off the list. Until then I hope you will enjoy this return from the Paperclip with me.

Monday, June 23, 2014

NASCAR(ds) From Fuji

Not long ago the great Fuji did a mass mailing, and lucky for this cat he was on the list. Included was a batch of cards that really showed why I enjoy Fuji's blog 'The Chgronicles of Fuji' so much. I honestly believe we are long lost brothers who many never meet.

Much like this blog, Fuji runs the gauntlet of things he enjoys, and writes about them all. Take the cards he sent.

Not only did he drop a full mailer of NASCAR stuff on me. These small cards are something I didn't know existed until getting the mailer. If you look at the cards you can also tell how far phones have come in the last nine years. In 2005 when these cards came out these were high tech phones. Now my daughter would disown me if she was handed a phone that looked like that. While she doesn't have a smartphone her regular phone looks nicer than the ones shown on the cards.

Sharing space in the same packet were these nine mini's from the 2003 set. I know the picture only shows eight cards. The missing driver only gets time on here when he does something huge, and I have to mention him. Outside of that he's a huge jerk I refuse to show cards of. Lets move on shall we, I've already given him too much of our time. While this packet is a huge deal the card of him isn't, sorry.

Closing out the cards Fuji dropped two big-time legends on me.

 Senior is one of those guys that while I'm not a fan fascinates me. When you can hear an honest opinion of the guy they will tell you all about how he would shove everyone around, and do what he had to do to win. When it came to events on the track it seemed like guys hated him for what he was willing to do. He was the perfect villain that was hated by everyone except his fans. To get those currently are very hard to find as not many will speak bad about him due to his death.

Once the racing was over everyone loved the man. He sounds like the person everyone would be proud to know. Helping out anyone who needed help without asking a question. I've seen the show where they talked about how everyone was thrilled that he finally won a Daytona 500. This side seems to be the only stories you hear about him these days.

These two sides of him are just so fascinating when you think about it. How many guys can you think of that when you are competing against him people want to destroy. Then afterwards want to hang out with, and  share a beer or something? These days if you hate a guy when he's driving you hate him after the race as well. It'd be interesting to see how he would have done in this era of racing. I'm not saying he would or wouldn't have won as many races or anything. Just would he be some villain everyone hated, and never have gotten to see all the great things he did afterwards?

Gordon is another one of those guys I don't mind. He is a driver I'm not a fan of or hate, just another great driver on the track in my opinion. The sad part is Jeff is nearing the end of a hall-of-fame career that could possibly end after this season. His back is so bad that there have been a couple times this season he's talked about having a replacement driver finish the race. While he's toughed them out, he has also hinted a few times that this season could be if not most likely his last.

As you can see Fuji nailed it with this package of great drivers. Going down the road less traveled with this mailer was a good call Fuji. Love the goods you sent my way. 

Sunday, June 22, 2014

Card Stop

Since the wife's accident in April I have bought only one pack of cards maybe two. While I could easy say this sudden stop of pack buying was due to this. I have to come clean, and admit that nothing has really interested me when it comes to packs. We have a big box store in town, and I've went down the card aisle most times we go in. Yet I seem to walk away without any sort of cards in hand.

Don't take this as me falling out of the enjoyment of cards I have had over the last year, and a half. I've still been wanting to enjoy cards, but just not through the packs offered here in town. I have been itching to go to either a card show or card shop in the worst way. Things just haven't allowed that to happen like I had hoped.

Saturday that changed a little as I finally got to go into a card shop. The visit was a great one that shows why I go into this very shop the most. Entering the shop another customer was inside, and talking to the owner about various football cards. As they talked I went to work searching through the 2014 singles.

Anthony Rizzo, and A.J. Burnett were picked up with the sole idea of sending them to a new home. Wilin is a card I need for my personal collection of his cards. I love the look of this card with him wearing his gear, and making a throw. I'd seen some of the parallels on e-bay, and have been wanting to add the regular card at the very least. Thanks to this stop I can now cross off the regular card.

Next I headed to another box, and my last purchase of singles.

Out of these three cards the one I'm most excited about is the Pomeranz. While I am kind of bummed that he isn't with the Rockies. I am pretty excited that he is doing well with Oakland, and not struggling in Colorado still. His cards currently fall under my secret player collection that is constantly changing. Looking at the three cards all three guys are part of that secret collection. Ackley is barely on the list with me taking a really hard look by seasons end at the latest. Until then I might still pick up some of his cards if I come across anything new.

Not coming home with anything mind blowing. I am still thrilled that I was finally able to once again make a stop into a card shop. Next up hopefully will be the card show next weekend.

Friday, June 20, 2014

Vermont Lake Monsters

With more artelopes out roaming the country I was lucky enough to have another make its way home. This was one of the more fun envelopes I've gotten to do lately. That is because Vermont changed its logo this off-season to a more kid friendly logo in my opinion. Writing Vermont was important for two reasons which the team fulfilled. Reason one is that the Lake Monsters are one of the teams I have been collecting schedules from. The second is a new logo means the collection needs a new business card.

I thought it would be cool to use the new logo in the artwork. Starting out I wasn't so sure, but as I got going I realized the monster wasn't that tough. It paid off to as the team sent me this batch of goodies.

I really like the look of both the schedule, and the business card. One thing I've noticed about the cards I've gotten this year. Teams have done an excellent job with the graphics, and overall design of their business cards. The bar has been raised on what teams use as their cards, and I'm thrilled about it.

Thursday, June 19, 2014

Keep The Middle Man

During my lifetime I have heard all sorts of things bashing the middle man. Radio commercials telling you to cut out the middle man. Newspaper ads telling you that you need to eliminate the middle man. Today I am here to sell you on why we need the middle man.

Back some time ago while doing one of my mass mailings of cards to fellow collectors. I sent out some cards to TradingBases member Gary. How long ago, and what I sent I can't begin to tell you. Until Gary contacted me about how up to date my wantlists are, I didn't remember sending Gary anything. Maybe that is my getting older kicking in. After giving him the blog address he went to searching for cards that were on those wantlists. A day passed, and then another before an e-mail came from Gary. That e-mail contained the information that a middle man by the name of Mark would be sending cards from Gary.

Starting off the PWE was one of the three remaining cards missing for my 2013 series 1. Leaving me at only 35, and 279 as the remaining two for completion of that set.

Rounding out the 2013 Topps were some cards towards series 2. I'd give a list of remaining cards, but the list is still a long one.

Not happy with just sending some 2013 Topps, Mark tossed in a couple schedules for good measure.

With a PWE like this I can now say I am a huge fan of using a middle man in trading. Kind of leaves me wanting all my trades to use a middle man even. If every middle man was more like Mark people wouldn't be trying to eliminate them all the time.

Wednesday, June 18, 2014

Monday Funday

On Monday we needed to make another trip south to Eugene. This trip was to get the new plates put on the new car. While it might sound simple, and as we found out it really was. As with last weeks trip the stepson called, and asked what we were doing for the day. Ame as that day he came along for the ride, and had a fun day with us roaming Eugene.

Doing the first stop to get the new plates put on the car. We headed towards Goodwill for a second go round. Last week had a few things I thought about, but in the end decided against. This week I would not be denied. Starting off the fun was the frame aisle, and some goodies for the future hobby room.

These will hopefully contain some sort of poster in the one, and the smaller frame a picture, schedule, or something else baseball one day. As I continued down the aisle I found something that I hoped the wife would have interest in.

Once the living room is complete we will be putting vacation pictures up in the room. Odds are most of those will be Disney related. This will be a cool little picture holder for the desk part of the makeover.

Closing out was a fun little item that I couldn't decide on, and still haven't. I got it for 99 cents so I was willing to take the chance while I decide its fate.

What the picture doesn't show is that the helmet is actually a bank. That made it so much cooler, and adds to the dilemma of whether to keep it for the hobby room, or send it to a new home. Whichever I decide on, it won't be for another month or two odds are.

Overall it was a great  day of hunting as I came away with what I think are some great finds.

Tuesday, June 17, 2014

Not Those Rays

In the Appalachian League there are two holdouts for the business card collection. One of those team is the Rays. No, not the Tampa Bay Rays but their affiliate the Princeton Rays.

Not my best work by far, but it does have a little creativity. I went with a mixture of the old with the new. The yellow sunshine ray is the current logo used by the team. The fish ray is the old school logo used by the team. The bad news is this mixture of old, and new only netted me a copy of both schedules, but no business card.

I will not be sidetracked, and will one day get a card from the Rays. Until then I guess they along with all of you will continue to see artelopes with Princeton Rays logos.

Monday, June 16, 2014

A Sad Day

Just got out of the shower, and was watching halftime of the Germany versus Portugal game. Listening to the domination by Germany I noticed Gwynn written across the bottom. Was sad to see that this legend has passed away at 54.

While it was from a distance I can say I was honored to have seen the man last year on vacation when we went to the Padres game. He was doing a teaching thing for television on the wiffle ball field. At the time I was thrilled beyond belief, but upset at the same time. The thrill was I haven't seen many players like him in person throughout my life. The upset was he looked rough, and I felt in my heart that he didn't have many years left.

All I can say is it was an honor to have seen you play.

Sunday, June 15, 2014

Canadians, and Volcanoes

Here at the cat house we try to celebrate Birthday's, Father's Day, and Mother's Day as a weekend event. That meaning we don't make Sunday the one day we celebrate these. For Mother's Day we spent the weekend over at the coast with the wife lounging, and me doing the antique store circuit.

With possible rain in the forecast for today we did the Father's Day event on Saturday. Our tradition has been to go to a game for one of the lower level teams in the area. This isn't a set in stone tradition, but something we do around 90% of the time.

This years game we, or should I say me. I say me because as we were heading towards Keizer I informed the wife the Corvallis Knights were home, and doing after game fireworks. Not wanting to deal with the whole fireworks concept as those game are usually the craziest to get tickets for. Especially at the spur of the moment like we were doing Saturday. I proceeded to keep the plan of heading north.

Arriving within ten minutes of gate opening which is how I like to arrive. The hard part is we live over half an hour away so nailing that arrive time can be a challenge. We walked up, and got tickets for the outfield general admission. These are the seats we prefer as you can bring a camp chair, and set up. I always tell people these are the most comfortable seats we sit at in any stadium. Preparing to watch the Canadians, and their new logo in action.

After visiting the teams website I learned this new secondary logo is a tribute to past teams in Vancouver. The logo was predominately displayed on the left side of the teams uniforms. I should have gotten a picture, but never got close enough to any of the players to take a good one. What I can say is from what I could see they are really good looking uniforms.

There were a few surprises at the game we got to experience. The first was while entering the stadium we were handed a magnet schedule.

One of my biggest complaints about the Volcanoes has always been their lack of promotional giveaways. I've always felt the ownership uses the team as a money grab, not caring about the fans. Unless you are a season ticket holder. Then they will give you a baseball, pin, or some other trinket on a rare occasion. Us fans who only get to a few games each season mean nothing. This is why I haven't gone to a Volcanoes game in two years. What drove me crazy is they only gave out one schedule per family. I asked for another, and got denied as my wife was given one. This is the same magnet schedule they will start selling in the team store for fifty cents any day now. You would think they could have given one per person atleast. Every team I've ever heard of gives them out to all fans, not just one per family. Guess if they would have done that it would have been a lost money grab opportunity.

I could go off all day about the Volcanoes so I'd better stop myself now. The biggest surprise of the night was how good of a game it ended up being. After the Canadians giving Salem-Keizer an 11-2 beatdown on opening night, I wasn't expecting much of an exciting game. Add into the mix that before the game I went online to check out both teams rosters. The Volcanoes roster seems pretty lackluster, and short on talent currently. Who knows maybe there will be a future gem in the bunch, but I don't see it.

With little happening until Vancouver added two in the third inning to go up 2-0. There wasn't any other scoring until the Volcanoes closed the gap in the seventh by scoring one run to go down 2-1. The two out rally started with runners on first, and second. A solid hit to left field followed scoring the one run, and in my opinion should have scored two. The second runner was far enough down the line as the cutoff got the ball that both the wife, and I felt he could have scored. In the end he was left stranded at second as a missed opportunity. In the eighth inning Vancouver added the final run of the game for a 3-1 victory. 

Something we never do is leave games early. I have stuck around for games that looked hopeless, only to see a ninth inning rally for the home team victory. Saturday we left in the bottom of the eighth as the wife's neck was hurting. This allowed us to do what has become another tradition. Only this tradition has started to become something we do after all minor league games. A trip to Dairy Queen for either an ice cream, or a blizzard.

The best thing about this whole game is the fact that baseball is now back, and in full swing. Due to where we live which is close to halfway between Salem, and Eugene. Throw in Corvallis being closer then those two teams. We pretty much have the chance to catch a game every day of the summer if we wanted. How many games we do catch is always the mystery.

Wednesday, June 11, 2014

Just Another Manic Monday

Our plan for this past Monday was to head down to Eugene, and pick up tickets for the 3rd of July game. Knowing me as well as she does the wife knew the trip would include a stop at the thrift store. As I said that was the plan.

After doing her appointment, the wife called to ask if the step-son could head down with us. Never being down to the stadium, having the day off, and being a fan of the Oregon Ducks. More than anything he just wanted to do something. Personally I didn't really mind taking him along as he's a good kid.

Making the forty or so minute drive down we arrived at the stadium, and headed over to get our tickets. We are pretty excited as we got third row down the first baseline. Its a tough game to get great seats for as this is the one game that sells out, and fast normally.

Sitting next to the ticket booth was a schedule holder that cried for me to take some for both the collection, and for trading.

After filling that need, and seeing there wasn't any other people waiting for tickets. I asked if I could get a business card for the collection. Since getting my original card the team has gone through the new logo thing. Before the team just had trees, but last year they introduced the much cooler Bigfoot. I had to get my hands on a business card that showed this new logo, and as you see I'm glad I asked.


This has to easily be one of the top ten business cards in my baseball business cards collection.

As we prepared to go the son asked the guy if he knew anything about Ducks football tickets. His only bit of information was he could go to a certain building on the other side of the stadium. Slightly bummed by the answer, I asked if he wanted to go around to find out? There is a Ducks Store that I've thought about going to out of curiosity, but have never motivated myself to do. Asking if we minded, and getting the answer that it was something new, and we weren't in a rush. Off to the Ducks Store, and ticket office.

Walking towards both I have to admit that I was fully impressed. While I'm not a fan of either the Beavers or Ducks. After seeing the facility I can see why the Ducks do so well in recruiting. The place blew me away, and had me wondering what some of the other schools like LSU, Alabama, and Texas are like? The wife, and son both stopped, and took pictures it was so awesome. The wife isn't even a Ducks fan so that tells you how great the place is. As we went to the ticket office I spotted Ducks football schedules, and bagged me a bunch.

Leaving the office we headed to the Duck Store where we left empty handed. As we left the wife mentioned we could make a stop, and get me some new shoes. This stop didn't go well as they didn't have my size in the shoes I wanted. Never fear as when we got home the wife went online, and ordered the shoes. Even got them for ten dollars cheaper than they were at the store so take that Sports Authority.

Making the usual thrift store stop, and another empty trip. We came home with my new found goodies, and me thrilled despite the coming up empty in our last two stops.

Tuesday, June 10, 2014


With short season baseball, and college wood bat leagues going now as well. It was time to start sending out for the one of two college wood bat league teams that I collect schedules from.

That team is the Willmar Stingers from the Northwoods League. For some reason I have this fascination with any team that uses a bee, wasp, or hornet in their logo. Why I have no idea as I hate all three, and am usually afraid of getting stung when I see one of the three. Even being unable to explain this fascination this is the results of my latest mailing to the Stingers.

Attempting to draw the team logo, which I think I did a decent job with. Envelopes like this one is so cool because when I compare it to when I first started these. You can tell I'm getting better, and willing to attempt ideas that I wouldn't when this project first started.

Getting this envelope leaves me with three more out in the world waiting to return home. I do have three new ones that should be heading out soon. So right now there is a possibility of seeing a revolving door of these being shared.

Monday, June 9, 2014

Feeling Patriotic

On Saturday morning I was able to convince the wife that a trip over to Corvallis, and a stop into the Goodwill. It cost me a trip out to breakfast which I was more than willing to do.

The Corvallis Goodwill is the one I rarely get to visit as it is out of the way when it comes to my roaming trips. This is the store I've always commented on about being the one you can find cards at sometimes. Getting cards there is very rare though as most times it is overpriced junk wax. I wonder at times if the person pricing cards was a collector in the 90's, and still believes those cards are worth millions. When I do find some cool cards there, and they are decent priced I buy them.

While it is starting to sound like I bought cards from this little trip, that couldn't be farther from the truth. Going through the store there were only four bags filled with cards. All four were potpourri's of cards with baseball, basketball, and football from the junk wax era. One I did notice seemed to have come from a Sammy Sosa collector. My guess is about a third of the cards were various Sosa's.

What I did come home with left me feeling patriotic, and screamed for me to bring it home. As I was getting ready to leave empty-handed a quick glance to my right along the wall revealed a baseball display. Contained within this display were five bobbleheads, and a Will Clark statue. Having two of the bobbleheads, and the other three being way to overpriced for my liking. Only one was going to be honored enough to make the trip home with me. The winner was Mike Cameron, and this bobblehead.

Seeing the red, white, and blue part on the base is why I felt so patriotic when I looked at Cameron. My belief is that it has nothing to do with patriotism, but represents Cameron being in an all-star game. Either way it's a cool bobbler that I'm proud to own.

Saturday, June 7, 2014

I Got My Stripe

My newest big project other than the business card for every baseball team has been getting a card from racetracks. The project started last year has been a slow going process. This is due to me not sending out for them on a regular basis.

After seeing the artwork I do for the envelopes, and the returns these tracks send you would think I'd try to complete the project ASAP. For some reason I haven't, but maybe this latest return might change that.

For all you non-race fans out there Darlington is one of the toughest tracks on the NASCAR circuit. So much so that the motto of the track is 'The track to tough to tame'. Being one of my top five tracks you would think I"d have a business card already, but until Friday the spot for their card was empty.

Using the inspiration of what they refer to as the 'Darlington Stripe'. I thought it would be cool to use that as the artwork. For those not in the know, the 'Darlington Stripe' is made from the car hitting the wall. They come around the track inches from the wall every trip around, and sometimes they are closer. Way closer... As they hit the wall it scrapes the paint off the side of the car, and leaves a stripe along the wall. It's not uncommon for the race winner to be one of the victims of the 'Darlington Stripe'.

When I looked at this card my first thought is it was even cooler than I expected.My original hope was that it would have some reference or something to the stripe. What they did is way better than I imagined could be done. All the numbers across the bottom with the stripe through them are the actual cars from the NASCAR Sprint Series. While they could easily have just put numbers with the stripe, they did the colors as they are used in NASCAR. Adding the actual colors gives it an even bigger coolness factor in my opinion.

All this puts another down, and now leaves me just needing to get my next one or two envelopes out to some tracks. I have an idea for Miami-Homestead, but just haven't put it on paper. Need to get working on it as odds are it's another cool card that I'm currently missing out on.

Friday, June 6, 2014

Artelopes- Naturally Spiked

Since the wife's accident in April my card buying has come to a complete stop. A trend that I will hopefully be able to break later on this month. What this has done is made blogging about cards a wee bit tougher.

At first I did a few artelopes to end out the month. That even slowed down as my motivation has just been gone. Then just over two weeks ago I got a few moments of motivation, and threw together seven new artelopes. Today three of those returned, but for the purpose of this post only two are getting shown. The reason is return number three is something I'm quite proud of, and will thus give it a post all to itself. Until then tonight's masterpieces for your viewing pleasure.

Playing in the New York-Penn League. State College Spikes are an affiliate of the St. Louis Cardinals. My goal for this artelope was to get a new business card as the team has changed their affiliation since getting my current card.

The artwork was a simple "S" with a deer spike going through the "S". This was inspired by the logo used by the team on their hats. I couldn't get the "S" like their logo one so I went with a little different version.

As you can see I came up short with the business card. They did do a good job with the schedule being they are a short season A league team. Just wish I could have nailed down the new business card. Hopefully doing the artelopes project will mean the team will remember me though, and send one at some point.

The second return was from the Northwest Arkansas Naturals.The Naturals play in the double A Texas League, and are affiliated with the Royals.

On some of the teams logo's they use the crown to show off the Royals affiliation. Originally I had planned on putting the crown over the "N" in Northwest. After doing the Spikes envelope I thought why not go bigger instead of just doing the same idea over, and over again. I have this tendency to do one drawing idea, and then continuing to do it over, and over throughout the drawings that same day. This time I caught myself doing the trend, and stopped after three envelopes had already gone that route.

I do think it was cool that they threw in Royals schedule. While I don't collect Royals schedules it was still pretty cool that they threw one in. I've only ever had this done with MLB teams when requesting spring training schedules so it was a good surprise.

Monday, June 2, 2014

Making Plans

With Northwest League baseball getting ready to start within the next couple weeks. Today we got our first tickets to a game. Hopefully this won't be our first game of the season, and if it is something has gone seriously wrong. The tickets we got are for the 4th of July game where the Salem-Keizer Volcanoes will be playing against the Hillsboro Hops.

As a reader this might not seem like a big deal. Around the cat house though this will be huge. The reason is that the Volcanoes are the closest Northwest League team to us. Despite this we haven't gone, and watched them play a home game in three years. That game will forever be remembered by my friend, and myself. I never imagined one inning could last an hour, and a half, but they made it happen. If it wasn't for all the fun we had talking to the Mariners scout odds are we'd never have sat through the entire game.

We have gone, and seen the Eugene Emeralds which usually have a worse record numerous times in those three years. To me the Volcanoes are probably the least fan friendly team around. I'll have to give Hillsboro another shot, but I think they are a very close second. Atleast according to our experience for the one game we did last season. Throw in that both stadiums are quite possibly the plainest stadiums I have ever laid eyes on.

Despite all this I have to admit that we are looking forward to watching the 4th of July game. How can you beat baseball followed by fireworks? In our house you can't...

Adding to the tickets were the good news that schedules were out.

Hopefully next week we have the same type of luck as the plan is to get tickets for the 3rd of July in Eugene. The Emeralds will be on the road for the 4th so they are doing fireworks on the 3rd. Will be a great way to start my vacation by hitting two games with fireworks.

Sunday, June 1, 2014

A Mailer, and A Story.

Drained from finishing up the daughter's room on Saturday. My attitude got a pick me up as when the mailman came with an unexpected mailer. The treasure trove of goodies came from Tom the operator of the great blog Waiting 'til Next Year.

Sitting here wondering how do I let the man know how much I appreciate this fantastic surprise mailer? An idea came into my head to tell a story.

I got a phone-call from an old buddy who said the gang was getting together at the bar, and I need to come on out. Not willing to disappoint I hopped in the car, and headed over. Walking in I was met by the sight of three buddies hanging out.

As the beer started flowing, and the celebrating continued.

We came up with the plan to head out, and do some fishing. Luckily one of the guys knew of a stream close by. All we had to do was cross a field, and head into the trees. All four of us were on board with the plan. Leaving the bar we headed out arriving at the field. Once there we prepared to make the jump over a small fence, but were quickly stopped in our tracks. Looking over I spotted.

A 'Baby Bull'.

Thinking that crossing the field might not be the best idea we formulated a new plan. Deciding that maybe the fishing might be better down stream we headed into a different batch of tree. Coming to a spot that lookied promising as I noticed the trout were jumping.

That would be the only trout we saw all day as none of us caught any fish.  Overall it was a great experience being able to catch up with my three buddies.


Giving it more thought I kind of wondered if a story like that would do this great batch of cards justice. The worst part is I couldn't think of anything better so Tom just know that you made this cat very happy.