Saturday, January 30, 2016

First Show of 2016- Childhood Memories

Not long ago Mark Hoyle had sent me these cards that got only a tiny bit of a mention in the post.

The reason was a much bigger storm was brewing, and those cards were just the first wave. Rather than get into that storm during the post option number two, and hitting it full force now was the logical choice.

After getting back into cards, and I don't mean the ten or so years ago that I claimed was a return. That time frame was only setting up for the day this blog started, and I seriously got back into collecting. Since full on returning I have had numerous people mention that building an older set was an even more thrilling hunt than the cards I currently collect.

The problem is while the cards design is important to me, I'm not into the classic design most are. Don't get me wrong as I have the 1957 American Airlines magazine I bought awhile back, and a 1973 Dodgers scorecard that has a very classic look to it. Just in The Cat's world those 1957 cards don't get me all excited like some people. For some reason I like the ticket, credit card, drivers license, mascot, stadium style cards that have been done since the early 90's. You would think building these sets, and subsets would have no challenge, but in a world where I don't buy any off of ebay, or have a COMC account it has been a challenge.

All this was fun, and good though until recently. Going through cards I started to think about those people saying I should build something older, and that would represent more of a challenge than the current stuff on the wants. That I have been told is why most start the older sets as to some it goes back to acquiring the cards they had as children, and destroyed during those years.

For me we didn't do baseball cards, and run them into tire spokes. In our corner of the world we only collected football, and Star Wars cards for many a year. While I enjoy Star Wars the passion to attempt the sets from my childhood has zero appeal. For us though football was king, and it all came down to the game we played.

I mentioned this once last year in a post that around the age of ten. It could have been earlier, but we will say ten as I can't recall what the real age was. We dreamed up the idea of a football game using our cards. We played this game for the next four to six years. Initially the game was brutal on the cards as many fell victim to the accordion effect. This was when making a tackle our cards would end up head on instead of the side to side method. We used our hands to move the cards, and the action would be so fast we reacted more than thought about what was happening.

This all gave way to another idea that my friend dreamed up one day. To save the cards from the brutality we were inflicting on them. We would set the cards up, and flip a die on them as a form of a pass. This was the day our little game changed from a running league to a passing league. If it landed on the offense it was a catch. Landing on the defense was an interception, and the new offense took over from that point. The card damage was now being minimized as sometimes cards would get bent in the scrum to lay them out favorable to our play. More than anything the quarterback was the card who was really taking the hit. Flipping a die with a card 20-50 inches, and hoping it lands on your card can mess up a card. Much like the real game we were evolving in our thinking.

Still wanting more the die came into play, and we would run full plays using the die to determine movement f each card. If a receiver became open the flip was still used, but had become more challenging than before. Instead of a four to six cards to land on you had the one card. Two problems with this started to arise that couldn't really be cured. The first was that plays started to take way longer than previous games. The second is we were getting older, and playing football games with our cards was becoming something we did when there wasn't a better option.

Luckily around that time our local gas, and goodies market got in some Fleer Action Football cards. This would be another game-changer that kept the game going if only for a very short time. Now instead of just the Broncos versus Raiders we could do full seasons as we would each run half the league's teams. All we needed was the offense card, and defense card from a team, and we were set. The die came back into play as we had what each number represented. Games became much faster than ever imagined, and could be played on very little space unlike laying out full on teams.

With age we started getting into baseball cards, and doing other things. Instead of playing with cards we preferred the method of actually playing a game of football. The snow had always stopped us before, but now it just made the real life game even better. Basketball came into play, but collecting the cards just never caught on with any of us.

Having only 88 cards in these sets I had gotten into building the set, and had actually built them from two years. Sadly I was young, and had laminated them to keep them in perfect shape. The good news though is I do have some that were never laminated, and will be pulling those out to see if it is a full set, or in need of completion.
That leads me to why all these cards you see here were bought at the recent card show. Once I can motivate myself again I am going to try, and build these sets. While to some the 1950's sets are cool. I like the memories these cards represent, and so I want to see if I can build the entire series. A wantlist will be appearing once the motivation has happened.

The hardest part will be doing the research on all the stickers. Luckily I can say other than the cards sent to me by Mark Hoyle in our trade. All the other cards above, and the stickers were bought for a mere five cents, or one shiny nickel. Not a bad way to get back into trying to build some sets that I've thought about every so often, but just never pulled the trigger on recollecting. I do have a head start on a couple as for some odd reason they have traveled all these years with me. The stickers though are another story as they were used when we got them. I mean what kid doesn't love a sticker??

Wednesday, January 27, 2016

First Show of 2016- Set Fillers, and Player Collections

With 2016 still in its first month you can only imagine my excitement when the wife gave the clear for me to hit the Mall 205 card show. Originally I was undecided on whether to go or wait until another couple months before making the journey. After arriving I found that it would be a great show for the collecting.

Starting things off were some Seattle Mariners cards from what believe to be one of the stadium giveaway card sets. The cards above are just a small sampling of the cards I got from a couple different years of these. At ten cents, or 15 for a dollar I wasn't paying attention to the deal. Sadly it cost me as I should have just cleaned all of these out, and then seen what I could do about finishing them eventually.

Second up came the players I collect cards. Gray, and Blackmon aren't currently on the list of players I collect, but odds are they will be in the near future. During guys weekend in Seattle, Gray took pictures not with just myself, but a few others as well. He seems like a classy guy that made a fan out of this cat.

Arenado, and Trout are mainstays on the player collecting that I don't see going anywhere soon. The Ian Happ cards were just something I saw, and as a fan of the Bearcats just ended up buying. Ironically Happ played for the Emeralds last summer. and I knew this, but didn't think about it when buying the cards.

From there the set needs got some loving as well. Much like all the player cards above these were all bought for either ten cents, or a shiny nickel each. Hitting some Authentix was possibly my favorite find of all the cards on this post. The 2004 Studio Stars is something I need to get a list together for in the near future.

Overall it was a great show, and was fun to run into Rod from Padrographs who I hadn't seen since our first meeting. We talked for a minute as he was on another mission. The above cards weren't the total extent of the purchases from this cat. Next up will be some fun cards that I was so pumped to find.

Monday, January 25, 2016

Hoyle No Longer Means Just Playing Cards Anymore

There was a time frame in my early 20's where we played all sorts of different card games. The longest running became a game we knew as Nerts. To play each person needed their own deck of cards that you could tell belong to each specific player. Not getting to much into the game I will say it was very rough on the cards . So rough that we would go through a new deck every two months at the most.

During this time frame some of us would look for what we thought were cool looking designs on decks of cards. I was the one who traveled the state the most so some of my decks had things like coastal towns, or tourist attractions on them.

What does any of this have to do with baseball cards? No, it doesn't mean that someone out there sent me a playing card from various decks of cards. I collect many a thing, but that isn't one of them so you would be wrong in that guess. What it does mean that I noticed something about most of the cards we had for games that used playing cards. The name Hoyle appeared on so many of those playing card decks that when the name Hoyle comes up I can't help, but think of playing cards.

This all leads me into why the choice of a post title. When first contacted by Mark Hoyle I couldn't help, but think of the playing card brand. As I would learn upon getting the mailer sent my direction by Mark. This Hoyle doesn't deal in just playing cards. This Hoyle deals in so much more than just cards, and showed this cat in a huge way.

Have to love a potpourri of sports schedules from various years.

In this day an age of computer style ticket stubs it's cool to see a classic looking ticket stub. Doing a little more research I learned that the Gulls were the 2014 NECBL Champions. Hopefully this ticket didn't go to waste as who doesn't like to watch a Championship winning team play?

Mark didn't just stick to other fun items. As you can see above he dropped a couple Mariners my direction. Not just any Mariners will do for Mark. He hit me up with legendary names to Mariners fans in Johnson, and Martinez.

Closing out Mark went in the direction that was a total surprise. When asking what he could send in return I mentioned these type of cards as a possibility. To see five of them in the mailer was a huge surprise that I never expected. Even more surprising was they were from earlier years than I would have imagined them coming from.

Thank you so much Mark for some great schedules, a ticket stub, baseball cards, and some sweet football cards. Who would have ever imagined that clearing out some unwanted cards would bring in some fantastic cards like these?

Monday, January 18, 2016

I Wanna Be Like Mike

Dating myself a little here I remember being either close to, or actually 22 when Gatorade did a commercial. That commercial urged us all to "Be Like Mike".

While doing research for this posting I had originally planned to ask if anyone out there remembered this ad campaign. Not the campaign itself, but in its original version? I say this because when plucking the original picture this came up.

I guess they did a special redigitalizing of the ad, and showed it during the 2015 NBA all-star game. If we watched the game here at The Cat House then I might have known about the redo. From what little research I have done word is they ended it with #BeLikeMike.

So what does any of this have to do with cards? Even more nuts is what does any of this have to do with not just cards, but with baseball cards? I'm glad you asked.

Last week a PWE arrived from TradingBases member Mike.Contained inside was a nine card page cut into a three card page, and holding six cards.

Starting off with two Rockies cards is always a good thing.Even better is when they fit into the 2008 Documentary Colorado Rockies set that has been getting hit real hard this past month.

Just as cool was the chance to add four more into the Mariners games from the same set. I'd like to say that the Rockies additions were my favorite in this PWE. The problem with that is the Mariners cards had the star power of two Ichiro's, and a Felix.

No matter how hard I try I will never be anything like Michael Jordan. The closest I ever came to dunking a basketball in a game was at a city league game the year I graduated high school. Hitting the jump shot was never my thing as I was a garbage man who grabbed rebounds, and tried to put it back in.

Despite all those shortfalls I can still be like one Mike, and surprise people with awesome PWE's. So I guess maybe I can still "Be Like Mike".

Saturday, January 16, 2016

I'm A Victim Of Billy "The Kid" Kearney

Back when doing the 'Clearing The Clutter' posts I was contacted by Bill Kearney, AKA Billy The Kid.

No not that kid!! 

This Bill does all his work using baseball cards as I learned in his mailer. Not only did The Kid take down this big game cat's wants. He unloaded all six barrels in the six shooter doing it.

Navigating through the wantlists, Bill grazed the Stadium Lights subset by taking two down.

Not satisfied with this minor damage he took another shot, and down went three from the 2004 Authentix.

Moving on, Bill showed that any set on the list was in danger. If it was there it was going to feel his wrath. As shot three went out five cards from 1995 Studio took the blow.

Not realizing what was happening two birds, and an elephant from 2014 Opening Day Mascots were on the menu. Bill quickly dispatched them before continuing his path of destruction.

The bad news for them, but good news for me is all this ruckus drew in a crowd. Mr. Met, Phillie Phanatic, Mariner Moose, and Screech all from 2011 Opening Day Mascots crossed The Kid's path. After the smoke had cleared all five were victims 14 through 17.

As shot six went out four more cards from 2003 Authentix joined the growing list.

By then this cat was feeling two different emotions. The first was fear as Bill had not just hit the wants hard. He had taken down some lists that are very rarely hit. How could he do this to so many different sets, and subsets all in one big swoop? The second emotion was relief as that was six different sets so he had to be out of ammo right?

 It was then this cat learned that The Kid had one big Attax left in him, and it entailed 12 cards from that 2010 Topps Attax set. Seven mascots, and five stadium cards all went down as so did this cat.

In the end I can't help but think you went so far above, and beyond anything I ever expected in return. Thank you so much Bill for what can only be described as an amazing mailer full of cards. Sorry I couldn't link back to a blog as I'd be more than happy. Instead I will just close out by singing your praises one last time.

Monday, January 11, 2016

Still Trapped in 2015

With two trade posts still yet to be given their true respect. I started to think about how I can't really move onto 2016 until these traders get recognized. How can I take steps forward in this new year knowing that there are still some loose ends from 2015 out there.

Working on solving that problem today I give fellow TradingBases member Stu his due.

Stu sent a potpourri of goodies that ranged from the 1995 Collectors Choice SE silver signatures set that has taken some big hits recently. Not only did he send some cards for the set he sent some major players. Any group of cards that has Andre Dawson in it is a group I want to be part of.

From there Stu kept it strong with another card to both the Mariners, and Rockies 2008 Documentary.

After those two cards though things went real weird in a hurry. While it is a known fact that I am one of those people that loves me a mascot. Looking at Homer he appears to me to be stoned or something maybe much worse. I can't help, but wonder if many a kid couldn't sleep at night after seeing this card. Its given me nightmares that I'm still trying to cope with.

Closing out this excellent batch were four cards for the player collections. It'll be interesting to see Franklin will ever turn into the star Seattle, and now the Rays wanted him to become. Seager on the other hand has started to cement himself as quite possibly the cornerstone of the Mariners. Getting the long term contract he did was a smart move in making sure he stays for many a year. As I've said a few times recently, and will once again here. Rosario is a free agent looking for a club, and will hopefully find one. Bleacher Report listed him as one of the top free agent if not the top catchers still available. Question is how many teams are looking for a catcher?

Stu thank you for some amazing cards that will fit perfectly into the collection.

Sunday, January 10, 2016

Better Late Than Never

In high school one of our teachers used to have a phrase "Better late than never, but better never late". He used to say it all the time to one of the kids he called ''Never Sweat'. This was the one kid in the class that almost always seemed to show up a few minutes late to class.

What does any of this have to do with baseball cards you ask?

Just before Christmas I got in two different packages from a blogger I've traded with many a time. That man is Duff who runs the great blog Bleedin' Brown and Gold. As those who trade with Duff know he sends out some incredible packages for Christmas. This year was no different as first came a PWE which contained two Christmas cards. 

First was your typical Christmas card with Santa, and the note from Duff.

Second was the much more fun Wilin Rosario auto for the player collection. Currently Rosario is a free agent with rumors of him as a possible signing in the future to become a DH. What teams if any have interest in him as a DH, 1st Baseman, or Catcher are still unknown. Hopefully he will get picked up somewhere soon, possibly even my second favorite team the Mariners would be cool.

Arriving a day, or two later I can't recall was a white box dropped off at the doorstep. Sitting inside the top of the box was another Christmas card.

Inside is the reason for the name of this post, and the high school memory. The note simply stated that the contents of the box were a year late in mailing.

Eager to see what was inside I went right to work, and came across this treasure.

It's no secret that not only are we fans of NASCAR here at The Cat House. We are fans of the candy man Kyle Busch, and his M&M's car. Everything still looks to be wrapped in its original packaging so odds are I'll find some M&M packages inside. That is unless in the future I open it, and find Duff did some secret work, and tossed something else inside. Right now I will say candy is the winner on its contents.

At this point Duff went even bigger, and dropped an even more surprising NASCAR goody

This is a 1:24 sized Casey Mears National Guard car. I can't tell you too much about the car other than it is cool looking, and will look even cooler on a shelf with my other 1:24 cars.

All this leads me to believe that maybe that teacher was right. It is better late than never, and Duff is the living proof.

Wednesday, January 6, 2016

If I Could Vote For The Hall, Roger and Sylvia Would Get My Vote

While many a fan of the two players elected today to the Hall-Of-Fame are sharing their thoughts. I have a pair of collectors who may never get into the Hall-Of-Fame, but still has my vote. Roger, and Sylvia who do all their work at the online trading group TradingBases.

 Not long ago another post thanking a member of the group got a couple trade offers. One of those offers came from Roger, and Sylvia. Despite my slow moving, and coming up with very little to send their direction. The two hit me up with a batch of cards that have me screaming their praises from the rooftops.

Starting things off were these nine very rarely hit 2008 Documentary cards for the Rockies. Those cards alone would have been an amazing trade. Luckily for The Cat the pair weren't finished there.

Something I hadn't though of when building the Rockies set was collecting the cards for the other team. Roger, and Sylvia were one step ahead of me. Included in the mailer were seven cards for the games Rockies played in, but were for the team they played against.

The Mariners got their share of goodness as well as the Rockies. Showing that they aren't one trick ponies the duo added in five Mariners cards from the same set.

Not satisfied with the previous damage done to both teams sets. Much like the Rockies, and the cards for the other teams popping up. Seven cards for games played by the Mariners joined in on the party.

Like all the players in the actual Hall-Of-Fame showed they could do more than one thing. Roger, and Sylvia showed that they were well rounded traders. Closing out the trade were ten 1995 Collectors Choice Special Edition Silver Signatures.

I can't say thank you enough Roger, and Sylvia for all these great cards. Sorry, that I took this long to give you your due for sending these fine treasures. What it has done is gotten me thinking that maybe I do need to make one resolution for 2016. I need to get my butt in gear, and get back to people much faster than I currently do. Then once things are completed I need to give thank you's faster than I have been recently. 

Monday, January 4, 2016

My Day Summed Up In Cardboard (History)

On Sunday when we woke up there was what around here is referred to as snow. If you were to ask my opinion it was a thick frost. The problem is later on in the day that snow turned into freezing rain. Monday morning came, and while taking the dogs out I felt like this.

Why you ask? Monday's are my day off, and so I didn't get forced to leave earlier than normal in what is unsafe conditions to drive to work. So no hopping in one of these.

Anyone who did probably felt like they needed to do this before going on any drives today.

I know that I did when the wife announced we needed to head for the grocery store. By then it wasn't as terrible outside, but I still wanted to see everyone following me like this.

It didn't happen though as other drivers didn't care it was slick outside. Two stops later at the post office, and the gracery store. We made it back home where I was feeling.

Now all that is left is to thank Billy the head man over at Cardboard History for 51 awesome Kyle Busch cards. Without those cards I wouldn't have been able to sum up my day in cardboard.

As for the remaining cards that didn't get their time today. If all goes well I want to get back to summing up Kyle Busch's NASCAR season each week. During that time those cards will make appearances in those posts to be done every Sunday evening, or Monday morning.

Sunday, January 3, 2016

2016- Forging Ahead

While most have already posted either bloggerlutions, or plans for the new year. Here at the cat house we are running behind as I was still being hit with working. This was a far cry from the days off I had hoped for to watch bowl games, and hopefully do some blogging.

Much like last year I am going to go the route of giving an overview of things I plan on accomplishing this year. Doing this last year worked quite well except I didn't have the trading goal, or post goals. This led to less trading, and later in the year my posting amount took a serious slide. Trading's big drop was due to the increased focus on doing artelopes. This year I need to get it together, and find a way to balance both trading, and artelope requests. One of the most fun things about blogging is the trading, and interaction with fellow bloggers, and readers who enjoy your work.

Originally I was planning on doing this post by breaking things down much like last year. Back then I laid out a road map each hobby was going in. This year I am going to mix it up, and do it by the blog.

--The Prowling Cat--

Being the main blog, and the one I enjoy doing posts at. That will continue only with some minor, and major tweaks that have already started. The major thing will be a huge change in the things, and way I write.

Since day one I had spent most of the posts sharing things that were bought at thrift stores, or swap meets for the hobby room. While it's fun to share the treasures I've found in these journey's. The problem is starting to arise that the room is really coming together. What that means is the amount of times I find anything has taken a dramatic dive. Yes, I have lots of work still to go on the room, but purchases for the room is at a crawl. I do have a post, or two for sharing, but not like it has been in the past. Another is I need to do a little more trading, and get a better mixture between the two worlds.

One direction that is a possibility will be sharing the room once it is completed. Hopefully by summertime that will be a reality. Who knows though as not long ago I started to change the plans I had for the room. Those plans included a change in the cabinets, and more room for pictures.

Another of the huge changes will be coming in the collection. I have some big plans in my head that will once again freshen up my enjoyment of baseball cards. As crazy as it sounds the best thing about having three hobbies is when a hobby starts to fade I have another to focus on. In my mind that keeps me from getting bored. Honestly I think I have some form of hyperactivity that has never been diagnosed. Business cards has been my favorite for many years now, but baseball cards, and schedules keep rotating.

So, my idea is this. I am going to go through the few binders that my baseball cards currently sit in. Do some reorganizing of how things are set up. Add in some sets that are currently just boxed up, and not in binders. I'm just starting to feel that what fun are these sets if they are sitting in a box, and not where I can enjoy them. Seeing the pictures of other bloggers, and their binders full of cards has inspired me to do the same. Luckily I still have the unopened box of 100 nine pocket pages bought over a year ago. Odds are the thing that I won't have enough of is the binders. Those are always plentiful at the local Goodwill so not a problem there. The problem will be figuring out what color binders I want to find. If you've followed long enough you know that I like to color code my binders by what is in them.

The wantlists will be getting some changes too. Lingering out there are a couple cards that I picked up in the past at a card show. Those cards are for sets, or subsets that I've wanted to try, and complete. I plan on sitting down, and bindering these before making a wantlist.  I know this will include atleast three new sets, and it might even be more.

 Even bigger will be a huge undertaking that will be making an appearance on the site eventually. As a kid I collected the Fleer Team Action Football cards. Almost all the cards are gone except a select few that might make one set. The stickers I know are long gone, and I'd be lucky to find maybe one or two laying around in a box. Most people like to collect  50's, 60's, or 70's baseball sets because of the nostalgia. To me these football cards, and the original Star Wars cards do that. I will be thrilled to death any time I can even find one of these cards as I know they aren't the most popular cards ever made. That seems to be the story of my collecting life though. I'm always trying to build the stuff that had very little interest, so adding any cards are quite an adventure.
--The Prowling Cat's Hobbies Madness--

Going into 2015 I had big plans for this secondary blog. Odds are you won't recall, but my plan was to do a post a day. That fell apart real fast, and ended setting a bad trend. After the year was over I had only done 32 posts overall. In 2016 I will do better, and that I can guarantee.

If you are one of the few fans that either enjoy the artelopes project, pocket schedules, or business cards. You will need to visit the blog, and follow, bookmark, or put it on your blog reading list. Right now its only link is on the sidebar here under 'My Blog List'. As a treat you can click on the logo above to go there right now. It's not a blog that I will be promoting the crap out of, but it will get mentions here every so often.

For those that don't know about the artelopes project here is a simple rundown. Not long after starting 'The Prowling Cat' I came across a post about how a certain baseball player would respond faster to letters that had drawings on them. Inspired I thought why not start doing this with the teams I wrote to for pocket schedules, and business cards. The hope was that these would increase the odds of getting a business card from the teams still missing in the collection. By sticking out, or being something memorable to the teams these are sent to. Some have taken a couple different attempts before getting results, but if you asked me I would say it has been working.
         In the posts about these I show the artelope, and give a rundown of what the idea was behind the drawing. Finishing up the post with what the return was. They aren't the longest of posts, but are fun to share. 

Much like the road map for 2015. Hopefully these are all things within reach as I feel they will help enjoy the three hobbies more. The trading will hopefully become easier if I can hit a couple more card shows this year. The longer I blog it seems the more I am able to keep other bloggers interests in mind when visiting either a card show, or card shop. Sometimes I even do better in hitting others wants than my own. No complaints though as the trading has been fun, and is the thing I enjoy most in these hobbies. So, here is to another year of hobby fun in 2016.