Tuesday, June 30, 2015

A Sad Day- Civic Stadium Burns

I had a plan to show off some cards today. That was quickly squashed on Monday evening as the bad news came pouring in. The news came with pictures like these.

What you are seeing is one of the ten oldest stadiums in baseball burning to the ground. Opening in 1938 the stadium was home of the Eugene Emeralds until 2009. Before the move we made it to many a game, and I won't lie. Most of the time I couldn't wait until the team moved into the new PK Park. Looking back now I will miss the games we used to watch there. While I enjoy the newer, and more modern PK Park. As I get older you start to appreciate the older ballparks more than you did when you were younger.

Made of seasoned timber above is all that remains currently of the once great stadium. The wood is still smoldering so odds are there will be even less when things are said and done.

The worst part about all this is the stadium was purchased recently by a group that was about to start renovations on the stadium. Their plan would have prevented it from becoming an overgrown eyesore, and something great again. With this disaster still fresh the group claims they will be reassessing their plans now, and will decide what direction to go now. Hopefully something good gets done with the space as was the original plan.

Monday, June 29, 2015

May 1957 Mainliner

On Saturday I had make the trip east to pick up the daughter from her two weeks with her mom. Things were different this trip though as we decided to meet an hour later than the usual eleven. To me this meant time to go at the usual time, and hopefully hit the Goodwill, and a few antique shops I've had my eyes on for awhile.

Getting up early, and heading out I made great time, and arrived at the usual 10:30 I always seem to arrive. As I hit town I made a mad dash straight to the Goodwill. Last time I was there a couple bobbleheads caught my attention, but not at the price they were asking. Hopefully they would be half price this time, and I would be able to pick them up. The good news is they were half price, the bad news is in the two weeks since I saw them they got trashed. I take that as a sign that they weren't meant to join the Cat's collection.

From there I made it to the second, and the one place I've been wanting to visit for years. Why I never went there is beyond me, but odds are its been for the best. Going there before now I might have come out empty, and never gone back. Heading there on Saturday netted me an interesting treasure.

As you can tell by both the scan, and the post title. It is a United Airlines Mainliner magazine from May of 1957. I found it not long after entering the antique mall, and kept debating about whether or not to buy it. As you can tell, with only a two dollar price tag it came home. Odds are I will try to figure out how to frame it, and hang it on the wall as the cover just seems cool to me.

One of the cooler things about the magazine, and not baseball related was a sort of advertising for the Rose Festival in Portland.

The Festival still goes on to this very day, and has grown probably ten fold over what it was in 1957.I wouldn't even be surprised if the Rose Festival information was the real reason this magazine was saved for so many years.

For me the reason to buy it was these two pages, and the cover.

I like how they turned this article into an advertisement for purchasing tickets through them for games.

Another thing of interest was the green box, and their projections on how the teams will finish. After seeing that I had to go through, and see how they did in their guesses.

American League final standings
  1.  N.Y. Yankees
  2. Chicago White Sox
  3. Boston Red Sox
  4. Detroit Tigers
  5. Baltimore Orioles
  6. Cleveland Indians
  7. Kansas City Athletics
  8. Washington Senators      
I can't decide if they did good, or not. You figure the Yankees were a juggernaut during this time frame so picking them was a no-brainer. Kansas City was in a run of finishing 7th, or 8th with Washington swapping the spots with them. Using that math all you had to do was figure out how the other five were going to finish.        
National League final standings
  1. Milwaukee Braves
  2. St. Louis Cardinals
  3. Brooklyn Dodgers
  4. Cincinnati Redlegs
  5. Philadelphia Phillies
  6. New York Giants
  7. Pittsburgh Pirates
  8. Chicago Cubs
The predictions for the N.L. was a touch better as they nailed down four of the eight. I feel they did better as the four they missed were reversed. Looking back at how the teams did around the time frame they went out on a limb with some of these. This was the one year Brooklyn didn't finish first or second, but finished third as projected. Putting the Redlegs as second was reach as the team was a constant 4th place. If you spend the time I did looking at how they did for the few years before, and after 1957. You will see that getting four was pretty good as the N.L. was a crap-shoot. 

Getting this magazine, or whatever you want to call it was well worth the two dollars. Just the fun look at how these teams did during that time frame was educational to me. I've learned some things I didn't know about those years. Maybe just maybe this will lead to me expanding my baseball knowledge to years beyond my lifetime. I've been curious, but need things like this magazine to get me to branch out.

Saturday, June 27, 2015

Artelopes- Raising My Game

Lately I've had some artelope ideas floating through the head, and waiting to be put on envelopes. The thing was they are a far cry of the stuff I have been doing since starting this project. Since day one all the drawing has had some sort of tie in with the team's logo. My latest batch has had a combination of drawings with the logo tie in, and some that haven't had that.

With the movie coming out in the near future I had minions on the mind. Using that as my inspiration I thought why not have one kicking a soccer ball into the goal. From there the idea of having the goalie not paying attention to the shot seemed like something i could see a minion doing. While my artwork can still use some work it was a fun idea that accomplished its goal of a successful return.

The Union hit me with the business card that honestly was the sole reason for this request. Coming back with the card was the pocket schedule above the card.

My first attempt at drawing an actual human looking figure turned out decent I feel. While I left out ears it was my first attempt though. Who knows when the next attempt like this will happen, but it was something I needed to try.

This request was for schedules as Grand Junction is one of the Rockies affiliates I collect. In the past the team has had a home schedule on the back so I added the usual business card request just for kicks.

Two great returns that got me inspired again, and led to seven more artelopes getting put together, and sent out. Hopefully my luck keeps running, and more returns like these two will keep streaming in. We will be heading to the coast in the near future, and I will be taking all the artelope supplies. Maybe this trip will inspire more outside the box ideas that I can run with.

Tuesday, June 23, 2015

Bo Sunoco's Cards

Back on the third of this month there were some minor league cards looking for new homes. That is where Bo from the blog 'Baseball Cards Come To Life!' came to the rescue. Taking on the entire batch, and making sure they didn't wander the streets aimlessly.

Before taking on the rag tag bunch of cards Bo guided me to his traders. After giving them a look I came across these cards that are the sole reason for post title.

While I had heard of these once, but can't remember where. Before getting these from Bo I had never seen them.

Now that I have ten of the twelve cards maybe one day I will give them a little more research. Today just isn't that day so unless someone tells me about them they will remain a mystery.

Not only did Bo send cards he knew that the Cat has a soft spot for schedules. Knowing about this he mentioned to expect a few tossed in.What he didn't mention is it would be a sweet batch of Mets from the 90's.

This schedule wasn't quite the surprise that the Mets were. Bo mentioned that he was doing a Yankees game, and would be on the lookout for a Yankees schedule. Nailing down a schedule with the Babe on it was a fantastic addition to this entire envelope full of treasures.

Thank you so much for the cards, and schedules Bo. I look forward to a future exchange of cards.

Monday, June 22, 2015

Playing With The Cards

While it might be a day late I can't help but say that hopefully all the dads out there enjoyed their day. For me it was great, but a sad day at the exact same time. It was sad because the daughter is currently doing two weeks at her mom's, and so she wasn't here. With a big summer of plans this was possibly the only time all summer she can pull two weeks so it had to be now or never. It was great because I spent the day doing some things that I've needed to do but haven't.

Most of the day was spent sitting in the hobby room playing with baseball cards, business cards, and pocket schedules. Despite the collections being organized better than they have in years, there is still tons to be done. So I thought it would be great to spend the day organizing while listening to some incredible electric music from Electric Daisy Carnival. When all was said, and done some serious organizing was completed. Not only did cards, and schedules get played with. Some things that have been needing done to make the room look better got done. The room itself is still quite away from completion as well, but some stuff got done. Overall it was a fantastic day that was everything I could have wanted.

How can a baseball card blog go without something related to the blog? So, here's a card.

1992 Pinnacle team 2000.
Currently I am missing these three cards for a completed set of these fine cards.
16(Dave Hollins) - 24(Bernie Williams) - 79(Reggie Jefferson) 
If you happen to have one, two, or all three cards I'd love to hear from you, and possibly put this set to bed.

Thursday, June 18, 2015

The Cat Goes Pimpin'

As most the world knows by now, Tom over at "Waiting 'til Next Year" is running a contest. This contest is a follow up on a contest he recently won that was run by another blogger. After winning his prize Tom sorted through all the cards, and is now sharing his good fortune with another two people.

It's times like this that bring out Pimp Cat, and his uncanny ability to pimp contests. While he has thought about making an appearance before he's kept to himself waiting for just the right time to pop out again. Maybe it's because Pimp Cat is picky about using his pimpin' abilities. You can't just show up all the time pimpin', or you'll end up losing respect. Pimp Cat isn't about to do that as he does have standards you know. 

So listen to Pimp Cat, and head on over to Toms blog "Waiting til' Next Year", and not only join the contest. If you aren't reading his blog on a regular basis then start doing it, and do it now. Pimp Cat demands it!

Sunday, June 14, 2015

A Little Twisted

Heading out to the store to pick up a couple items for the wife, and something for myself. I jumped in the car, and for some unknown reason flipped the radio over to the 80's on 8. Getting just down the block came on a song that brought back so many memories.

That song was none other than "We're Not Gonna To Take It" by Twisted Sister.

The relevance of this song goes all the way back to when I was a kid only 14 years old. Back in those days baseball was something we played, and collected very few cards of. In our world football was king, and we collected the cards from our favorite teams religiously. A friend, and myself would trade cards back, and forth without even considering who the player was. His team was the Raiders, and mine the Broncos.

All this was because we played a game with our football cards. A game that we created ourselves, and as the years went by progressed. Originally it was brutal on the cards as we would put a die on the card, and move it with our hands. You would move the other cards, and then suddenly either flip it with the card to a receiver. If it landed on the card that was a catch, and you could move it until another card touched it. The other option was while distracting your opponent with receivers. From there you'd move the quarterback to the running back, and do a hand off. After that it was all a matter of how fast you could move your card before it getting touched. The running back was most popular, and the most brutal. My team the Broncos was led by our legendary running back Gerald Willhite.

Gerald held all the running records in our little football league, and most important survived the thrashing cards took better than anyone. Within a couple years things had progressed to where cards no longer took the beating they were once subjected to. By 1984, and time Twisted Sister hit the scene we actually rolled dice as part of the game. This time frame led to a change from running to passing, and is when a new Broncos player rose to the limelight.

This time frame is where the music came into play. Almost always we played at his house as it was bigger, and had room for the football field we had made out of fabric. While there he would play music which mostly consisted of new wave, but had the Twisted Sister stuff tossed in as well. Amazingly the Raiders would dominate until Twisted Sister started playing. As soon as they started Denver would take over especially when "We're Not Gonna Take It" would come on. No matter the score the Broncos would be leading as the music would turn to Thompson Twins more often than not. It was a fun time that I just can't forget, and comes back whenever I hear that song. 

Saturday, June 13, 2015

Artelopes- The Good Stuff

After getting a potpourri of good, and bad returns in the last four. Friday things got a whole lot better as two more came home. These two didn't disappoint, and forgetting about the other results before these.

Getting this party kicked off was my request to the Bluefield Blue Jays from my nemesis the Appalachian League. With three teams remaining for a finished league I sent artwork to all three teams, and the Blue Jays were the second in getting back to me.

For the artwork you can tell I went with the simple team logo. With my limited capabilities it ended up being a touch harder than I thought it would be. For some reason it seems like at times the ones that look easy end up being tougher than you would think. Some of the ones that look tough end up being easier than expected.

After opening up the envelope, and seeing a business card staring at me I was pumped. Not only did it now put the Appalachian League down to two teams, but it set the tone for both returns. Included, and almost forgotten is the three very well done schedules that were also inside.

I will start by saying that Orlando City FC is a new team in the MLS. In baseball I've had decent luck with teams in their inaugural season, but haven't had any experience with the MLS. This left me not knowing what to expect in the form of a return from this new team.

Originally I had planned on doing what I've done with the other MLS teams I've already mailed. My problem was thinking about how to incorporate the lion into the whole thing. I wanted to do the lion, but not lose the face and be left with the mane. While giving it thought the idea came into my mind to do the goal with an MLS soccer ball next to it. After drawing the ball, and grass I was getting ready to start with the netting. As I got ready to start the process things took a turn once again. Coming into play was why not just do the teams color of purple behind the ball. This way the ball wouldn't get lost in all the other stuff going on. In the end I was pretty pleased with the end results, and glad I went with the purple instead of the goal.

Orlando City did me good, and sent three business cards that are pretty nice cards. I am always a fan of cards that have that little something extra on the back of the card. One thing that I noticed right way on the card, and odds are something most people would never pay attention to. This has to be one of my most favorite things on any card. If you look at the card again you will notice that her position is "Manager Of First Impressions", a very cool position if you ask me.

Not only did they do an excellent job with their business cards. Orlando City FC knocked their schedules right into the goal. What you can't see in the scan is that the cover is made of a thicker glossier paper than most schedules. The heavier paper is also used on the back part of the schedule.

Above is the schedule fully unfolded to show off the matches, and field layout. It's a great look throughout that odds are might have me collecting schedules from the team. I'm not a soccer schedule collector, but probably will be for Orlando City FC for a few years atleast.

The Orlando City FC request has gotten me excited once again to write two more MLS teams, and see what comes back. Who knows if two might even turn into three or more, it all depends on what ideas start flowing.

Thursday, June 11, 2015

More Artelopes

Big day here at the cat house in the artelopes returns. With 12 out roaming the badlands, and nine of those being baseball. It will be a big couple weeks hopefully in getting these back.

One of the two MLS requests as I'm testing the waters for more requests. If the next return fares like this one I'm undecided on if I should try more soccer teams or change direction. As for the artwork I have to admit it was another that wasn't my best work. It ended up being a somewhat sad attempt of the teams logo, but on a much bigger scale.

Sporting Kansas City did send four of the nice looking schedule above. While the schedule is very classy, and personally a great looking schedule. I'm disappointed since the entire reason for this request was to try, and go after the missing MLS teams.

Deciding to go simple with another drawing I sent this out to the Aviators. Much like the Appalachian League yesterday, Rockford is a tough nut to crack. This is year three for the franchise, and they still remain the only team missing from the independent Frontier League. Who knows if I send out one of the business cards I just had made if that will help.

Sending four of the plain looking schedule above. I will give the team credit on the inside as they spent a ton more time creating that part of this schedule than they did on the outside.

Closing out this showing is the one return that finally put me in my happy place. I'm not sure if it is a coincidence that it just so happened to be the best artwork of the three. The idea was simple in using the logo for this new team in the independent CAN-AM League. The bummer is the scan doesn't do this artelope justice. The gold color is my gold colored pen that has the sparkles in it for that extra coolness.

My inspiration is even more obvious on tone of the business cards, and the schedule. While I might normally gripe about the team only sending one schedule I am honestly thrilled about these results. The team sent four business cards as well as the schedule. Odds are the Miners will be added into the collection so this schedule will be staying here, and going into a binder. I'm a fan of the team name, and the logo choice they went with. Throw in the team treated me great on this initial request, and that goes a long way.

As I hinted yesterday with the Princeton Rays post. Odds are artelope posts will be the mass majority of posts here for awhile as I have the now nine requests out there lurking. Besides those nine there are currently three more waiting in the wings for me to write the letters. After those there will be even more as I'm just in the mood to be getting these sent out. When that itch is going I have to scratch it, and run with the feeling.

Don't get me wrong though. There will be some of the usual stuff scattered in every so often. Until then I hope you enjoy the artelopes.

Wednesday, June 10, 2015

Artelopes- 2015 Princeton Rays

With short season leagues prepping for their start here in the next couple weeks. I felt the motivation to once again get a set of artelopes going out into the world looking for schedules, and business cards. The first set were sent out on the first with one making it home already.

For some reason Princeton doesn't bring out my best work. I'm beginning to think that it has to do with the fact that they are one of the few business card holdouts of the Appalachian League. Last year the count was at two teams, but that changed back up to three with the Yankees taking over Pulaski. The Appalachian League has been a brutal chore in finishing the business cards. My connection in Eugene has been where most the cards have come from. For some reason he can get the teams to send them half the stuff in their office. Here in the cat house the returns always seem to be the same, two schedules.
 Speaking of two schedules.

The past couple years the Rays have done two different schedules. This year it seems the team went with just one style, and sent me two of that schedule.

Just this past week I got in a new secret weapon that will hopefully help solve the Appalachian League rubix cube. Staples had a sweet deal on business cards, and I got some printed out. The plan is to add one with each of the hard to get teams, and hope it helps finally crack them. The theory is being tested already as I included a few in some sent out this Monday. Soon we will see if it works.

Sunday, June 7, 2015

One Of The Reasons Bloggers Are The Best

Since starting this blog just over two, and a half years ago. I continue to learn that bloggers are a rare breed in their collecting. While in many circles collectors focus on only their own collections, and adding cards or what not into said collection. A large majority of bloggers are looking out for their fellow bloggers collections just as much as their own collection. This is just one of the many things that I personally feel separates the blogging community from any group. It inspires me each, and every time I go into a card shop, or card show. Not a time goes by these days that while going through cards I'm thinking about who could possibly use a certain card. Maybe one of these days soon some of those cards will actually make it to those people I've picked them up for.

I mention all this because around one month ago Duff from the blog Bleedin' Brown, and Gold had sent me an e-mail. Inside he gave a warning that he was sending some schedules, and Cedar Rapids Kernels business cards my way. A post that was made last month with some sweet additions to the collections. The meat of this e-mail was to let me know he comes across a fellow schedule collector while at a certain card show. In blogger fashion he talked to the collector about me, and let him know he'd pass along his e-mail so we could hook up a trade. It's always awesome when a new collector pops up, and even better when who knows if this crossing of paths would have even happened without Duff's help.

After exchanging a few e-mails a trade was born, and now completed.

More than any other sport I am a baseball collector in not just cards, but in my pocket schedule collecting. The Rockies schedules, and Mariners schedule were one the wantlist for a few years now, and some I'd honestly doubted would ever appear in the Cats collection. Las Vegas was another I'd doubted on a certain level, but not with the same doubt as the Mariners, and Rockies. Just those few alone would have made this an amazing trade in my eyes. Things were only beginning in this trade though.

The Saltdogs have been kind of a weird team when it comes to my schedules. When I first started schedule collecting the inner child in me picked some of the teams I gathered schedules from due to name or logo. Some of those have slowly fallen to the wayside, and a few times the Saltdogs almost joined that list. They have been saved by some classic looking schedules that I enjoy seeing each year, and every time I come across them in the binder. The Aces fall under a fascination I have with teams from Reno, and Las Vegas. Something about these flashy cities draw me in, and so I collect schedules from their baseball teams. 2013 was a crazy year in my hobby as I was in a schedule hobby funk, and mailed teams more for business cards than for schedules. What this did is create a huge hole in the collection for 2013 that I'm still trying to fill.

Football is a real soft spot in the schedule portion of the schedules. With the wantlist only having a few teams contained on it. This part of the year is usually spent contacting either teams, bowl games, or race tracks for business cards. Miami, and Utah usually get letters, but outside of that there are collectors in Cincinnati, Las Vegas, and Denver that are out there to trade with. Any missing years are due to failing to make a trade with any of these three collectors.

Basketball is an even tougher hit than football with the entire collection being three college teams. Making a trade that drops one schedule off this list is a huge deal. The worst thing about this schedule is once again it's another reminder of how many 2013 schedules are still missing in the collection.

I haven't made a schedule trade like this for awhile now, and it felt pretty good. All this goodness came thanks to another blogger showing why I think this is such a great community to be part of. Someone coming across two collectors that might have never crossed paths, and putting them together.

A special thanks goes out to Mick who sent all these wonderful schedules. Hopefully we can get another one together in the near future.

Wednesday, June 3, 2015

Minor League Cleaning

During the time frame I was home sick I spent some serious times in the hobby room. Not only was some big napping going on, but I got some organizing done in the hobby room as well. Realizing that there are some cards, and other goodies that I no longer really need. I will be posting these every so often to try, and find them new homes. First on the list is some sets, and loose cards of the minor league variety. I will start by saying that if any of these players made the big club they didn't become huge names.

Starting off the party is the 2001 Salem-Keizer Volcanoes. My guess is Foppert is the big name in this set by being the only player who actually made it to the Giants.

Another of the three Volcanoes sets I am offering up.This set has 17 of the cards autographed in person during the 2003 season. I believe there might be a couple players like Travis who made the Giants roster. I'm not a Giants fan so I can't tell you who is who from the group. What I can tell you is none of them are superstars.

Last of the Volcanoes is the 2004 set. After that I stopped buying them, and haven't even gotten close to consider buying them again. 24 of these have been autographed in person with not one name on the team anyone I have even heard of.

43 cards in total these are the 1990 CMC cards that pop up every so often. If you are looking for players from a certain team, and want those or want the entire batch they are here for the taking.

I will be holding all these cards until the 12th if they are unclaimed. Then they will go into the bin, and heading to the thrift store. If you would like to claim any, or all the cards leave a comment, and they are yours.

Monday, June 1, 2015

A Little Bit Of Everything

In what you can call a loooong overdue post. Here I am to finally give Tom his moment to shine. Running the blog 'The Angels In Order', Tom hit me up for some missing schedules for his Angels affiliates collection. More than happy to help our a fellow blogger we worked out a deal.

Growing up in Utah before moving up here in the Northwest. I still gravitate towards a couple teams from the area I grew up in. Those two are the Salt Lake Bees, and the University of Utah. This also explains why I collect the professional teams from Denver. Growing up the Jazz were the only pro team in the state, so Denver teams were it. Adding this 2011 magnet into the Bees collection was something I couldn't pass on.

Completing the trade was a potpourri of other schedules with a few for the collection, but most are for the traders. The collections schedules were big additions that would have made this trade well worth it. Tom wasn't done there as in typical blogger fashion he threw in a pair of fun additions.

What cat doesn't enjoy adding to the family tree with a set of Fort Worth Cats? Having some decent seasons, and winning three Championships in the teams existence. Sadly the team will not be playing the 2015 season. Forced to relocate the team couldn't find a new home, and then got the bad news that the ULB was closing up shop due to financial problems.

Closing out the fun was a set of these fun award winners card set. Looking at them took me back to a time when I collected cards for the fun not the future cash they'd be worth. Who would have ever guessed that all these years later things would go full circle, and I'd collect for the fun once again. I'm so glad that those days have arrived once again.

Thank you for the sweet schedules, and awesome cards Tom. I look forward to more trades in the future.