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Saturday, February 20, 2010

Why Is Olympic Hockey Taking Over My Life?

That's a question that I have been asking myself since a few weeks ago when I found myself reading player bios of all the USA women's team.  Normally I am not that into the Olympic games, although I do find myself watching the winter ones more than the summer ones.  For some reason though, this year has caught my attention more than in years past.  I attribute this to three things...

1.  I think the majority of my enthusiasm is due to the fact that for the first time that I can remember, Olympic hockey is taking center stage.  Many of the previous Olympics failed to televise the games or, because of time differences, had the games on in the wee hours of the morning.  Now that NBC has the rights to televise all the events, they are using all of their stations, including MSNBC and CNBC, to show the games (although thus far the coverage has been less than stellar). 

2.   The hype machine is working overtime.  Advertising is being shoved down our throats it seems this year even more than when the games were held in the US in 2002.

3.  The games so far have lived up to their potential, for the most part.  Both the men's and women's games have been highly entertaining.  Even the mismatches have yielded some great goal tending and some amazing scoring.  I am jacked up for Super Sunday's matchup between the US and Canada.  That game can determine the gold medal.

I can't wait for the second half of the NHL season to start but these games have definitely been a welcomed distraction. 

Little Ebay pickup

I bid on a triple swatch jersey of Jason Spezza a week or so ago for the simple fact that it was from the 2009-10 Upper Deck Trilo3y.  I have been wanting to break some of this product this year because it is really cool looking.  I haven't delved into my high end product of the year and this stuff has had my eye since it was released.  I am usually not big on the high end products because I'm always too afraid of boxes with one pack with 3-4 hits and a base card.  Mine would be the one with all commons and nothing for my PC.

I know Joe Collector is planning a group break of the stuff but my Paypal is hurting something fierce.  Maybe I can get in at the last minute.  Maybe monkeys will fly out of my...nevermind.

I picked up the one card and wanted to share it's Trilo3y goodness.  This is my one and only Trilo3y card, this year or otherwise. 

Oh yeah, I almost forgot the best part...Closing auction cost = $1.00 including shipping.

Friday, February 19, 2010

Ice Time and Some Trades

(Phil Kessel's goal against Norway, goal cam view)

I am going to do something a little different today.  Since the games are coming at an alarming rate and most of them are being played in the earlier parts of the day, I am missing out on the live action.  No one wants to read about someone watching highlights and simply regurgitating the score back to you like some Sportcenter reject.

Therefore, I am going to send you in this direction.  Joe Pelletier's Greatest Hockey Legends is an awesome site for any hockey fan or just the casual observer.  I think they do a great job of rehashing the Olympic coverage and rather than rework what has already been done, check out thier recap of yesterday's action.

I will say this:  Both the men's and women's US vs. Canada matchups are setting themselves up to be something of legend.  It is going to be awesome.  The men's game is on Sunday and the women's teams both have to get through Sweden and Finland first before the finals.  I've never been this jacked up about the Olympics before.  It's crazy!!


In trade related news, I just received a couple packages yesterday from some recent trades.  I think one is from the Great and Powerful Troll.  The other is from blog reader Michel.  Both are fasmatasmic!  I will post their stuff as soon as I can.

Thursday, February 18, 2010

A Million Card Shot Heard Round The World

Someone the other day, and I can't for the life of me remember who it was since I probably read 40-50 blogs a day, was contemplating the methods available for purchasing 2010 Topps Baseball.  Holler at me if this was your blog so I can give credit it's due. 

The conclusion that was drawn, if I remember correctly, was that the best option for purchase was the Jumbo Rack Pack because of the number of base cards for set collecting and the number of inserts/overall card that were obtained.  Well, putting this theory into practice, I decided to pick up 5 Jumbos today.  I will post what I got from them later.  I will say this though, he/or she was correct in the number of inserts outweighing the odds.  Plus I ended up with three MCG's out of 5 packs.  I will post the other cards later and update my wantlist when I have a chance but I wanted to post my latest unlocked MCG cards.

2005 Postseason Highlights (Red Sox WS Sweep)

The card features the Red Sox celebrating their first World Series win in whatever number of years...86 I think it was, breaking the "curse of the Bambino."  It also features World Series MVP Manny Ramirez and the Game 4 winning pitcher Derek Lowe.  A nice panel style card that I don't have (as most of you know I don't have much past 1994).  Would be nicer if I was a Sox fan, I guess.


1960 Bobby Thomson

My first card in the 1960's (and only my second not from 1987 or later) and it is a pretty nice one.  Again, it is a Red Sox player but it features Bobby Thomson.  I think any baseball fan (and non-baseball fan) has heard the story of the "Shot Heard Round the World".  No, not those onesThis one.  That was this guy.  A walk off home run to win the 1951 pennant from the Brooklyn Dodgers.  For those not familiar with this event, I'm sure everyone has heard the phrase uttered..."The Giants win the Pennant! The Giants win the Pennant!"

2005 Jay Gibbons

I'll be honest here.  I have no clue who this guy is, nor am I going to bother to find out.

Not bad, Topps.  I am somewhat impressed by everyone's pulls.  Everyone except NightOwl because all he gets is crap.  But everyone else is doing fairly well for themselves.

Ice Time: Day 6 Recap

Day 6 of the Olympic competition was another action packed hockey day, with four matches in the preliminary rounds.  Wednesday's are one of my only days of the week that I get to actually exercise without distraction and I play basketball after work at a local Courts Center.  It is great cardio and, like I said, one of my only opportunities to do something other than sit in front of a TV.  So, by the time I got home, the last women's game of the night had just started.  This post is coming late because of it.


VS.

In the first game of the day, Finland faced Belarus in game 4 of the men's Group C preliminary rounds.  The Fins proved to be too much for Belarus as they stormed on to win 5-1.  Niklas Hagman netted two goals for Finland while the other three were provided by Ranger's Olli Jokinen, Detroit's Valtteri Filppula, and recent rent-a-player/current Ottawa Senator and one time Penguin Jarkko Ruutu.  Belarus' only goal was scored by Sergei Kostitsyn of the Montreal Canadiens.  From what I can tell, Mikka Kiprusoff had a heck of game in goal despite only facing twelve shots.  At least, if you listen to Jeremy Roenick spout off you would think so.


VS.

Game 2 on the docket saw the hometown Canadian women face off against the bronze medal favorites Sweden.  In yet another display of the talent differential between Canada and every other team in this tournament, the maple leaf clad ladies once again destroyed their opponent 13-1.  Sweden's only goal didn't even come until late in the third off a power play that Canada basically gave away, probably because they felt sorry for the Swedes.  Meghan Agosta netted a hat trick while their were goals from 8 other players.  With that loss, Sweden could potentially drop from medal contention with Finland having not lost a game yet.  Canada is the favorite to win gold.  It would take an act of God at this point to keep that from happening.

VS.

The third game of the day was another men's preliminary round.  Sweden went up against Germany in another Group C matchup with possible medal implications.  While Germany had a pretty solid front line and put the pressure on Sweden throughout most of the game, it didn't translate into points on the board.  The Lightning's Mattias Ohlund and Loui Erikkson of the Stars each netted a goal in the second period.  That was all they needed to overcome the 21 shots on goal that Henrik Lundqvist faced. Marcel Muller of Germany got, what I think has been the first 10 minute misconduct penalty of the Olympic games.  Since I didn't see the game live, I'm not sure exactly what happened.


VS.

In another Group A women's matchup, Slovakia faced Switzerland in a later evening game.  Stefanie Marty scored a hat trick and was helped by two other goals to push the Swiss over the Slovakian team 5-2.  The only two goals by Slovakia were both scored by Janka Culikova.  Again, this was another game I didn't watch but judging by the shots on goal and the power play opportunities, these teams seemed pretty even matched.


VS.

In the final, most anticipated, game of the evening, the Czech Republic faced off against the Slovakian men's team.  This was by far and away the best game, competitively, that I have watched thus far in the Olympics.  With both teams stacked with current and former NHL players, it looked like an All-Star game on the ice.  The Slovakian team features players like Marian Gaborik, Marian Hossa, Zdeno Chara and Richard Zednik.  The Czech team features one of my favorite players of all time, Jaromir Jagr, as well as Patrik Elias, Marek Zidlicky, and Tomas Vokoun in goal.  It was great to see Jagr play again, even if it looks like he lost a step or two.  Jagr at half speed is still better than over half the NHL at full speed. 

Elias scored about nine minutes in to give the Czech's a 1-0 lead.  Right out of the gate in the second period, Gaborik scored with less than a minute ticked off the clock to tie the game.  Jagr scored late in the second to make it 2-1 and then they turned to the trap game like we used to see from the teams of old.  The Slovakian team doesn't have the ability to keep up with that style of play and it proved too much for them to overcome.  Tomas Plekanec from the Montreal Canadiens scored late in the second and gave the Czech team a final score of 3-1.

Today's games should be great to watch, with five more scheduled.  The USA men's team faces off early against Norway, followed by the women's team against Finland in what should be a good battle.  Canada faces the Swiss in a late afternoon game and the women's Chinese team squares off against Russia.  Finally, in one of the matchups I was waiting for, the Russian men go up against the Czech's.  These matchups have always been entertaining and this one hopefully won't disappoint.

Wednesday, February 17, 2010

Trade with the Great Sports Name HOF - Part Deux

As promised, here is my post with some more of the stuff I now possess after the trade with GSNHOF.  This part of the post has some of my favorite cards from the trade.


















-A plethora of miniatures.  In fact, these are all Panini stickers that I know I used to have in a book.  You have to love the shiny logo sticker in the center.
-The last two cards are Topps mini's from 1989.  I remember going to a card show at the Ramada Inn back then and a guy had this whole set selling for $200.  I used to think that was a lot of money.  I wonder what it goes for now?

 
-Here we have a couple Sid Bream Donruss cheese.  I used to have a couple of cards that I had Sid sign at a Pirate game back in 1989.  He used to always sign his stuff with a Bible verse.
-Another miniature Van Slyke.  Also, an 88 Donruss MVP Van Slyke.  Come to think of it, there were two other Van Slyke's on the previous page...dare I say, BIP?
-Next we have a Mike Dunne Sportflic.  The great part about the scanner is it superimposes all three images at the same time.  Almost looks like some of those early 90's Upper Deck gimmicks.
-In the center we have the greatest shortstop of all time, Jay Bell.  At least back then, I thought he was the greatest.  No?  Not even close you say?  Not even the best Pirate short stop of all time?  Huh.  Go figure.
-Estaban Loaiza???  No freakin' idea.
-We have a Paul Miller Pacific.  Not just any Pacific...Spanish version.  
-And last but not least, my favorite card of the mix.  A 1990 Swell Baseball Greats Honus Wagner.  Nothing more needs to be said.  Just look and admire.

There were also a bunch of Pittsburgh Steelers cards which I didn't get a chance to scan before they made it into their new home in my album.  In addition, there were quite a few linebacker cards for my new experimental adventure.

Thanks again sir!! You are a gentleman and a scholar. 

Ice Time: A Day's Worth Of Recaps

There were a ton of games scheduled for today, many of which took place before I was able to get home from work so I wasn't able to watch a whole lot.  A total of 5 games were on the official schedule beginning with the first men's game which I already recapped earlier. 

VS. 

This afternoon, the USA women's hockey team faced the Russian Federation team.  There wasn't much to say about this game.  It was pretty much all USA from the beginning.  Jenny Potter scored her second hat-trick of the Olympic games as Team USA rolled to a 13-0 win.  The Russian team was really disappointing because they came out completely flat.  They finished the game with only 7 shots on goal and took a lot of penalties due to frustration.  

I think I already mentioned the fact that the Russian women do not have a large support in their home country because the men overshadow what the women are attempting to do.  Each year when they get involved in these international tournaments, they have to at least show up so that maybe, someone will pay attention back home and they can start to get the support they need to keep their program going.  This performance didn't help their cause any.

VS.

In the most anticipated debut of the Olympic games, we had the Canadian men's team facing off against Norway.  It took awhile for everything to start moving, with the score 0-0 at the end of the first period.  But, as the game went on, the crowd got rowdy and their team responded.  Jerome Iginla got things moving on the powerplay with the first goal followed a minute and a half later by a blast from the faceoff circle by Dany Heatley the caught the back of the net.  

It was all over but the crying after that.  The Canadians went on to score another 6 goals, with Iginla getting a hat-trick (the Olympic site doesn't credit him with the goal at this point but it was his).  In their defense, Norway does not have a single NHL player on their roster although they compete together as a team on a permanent basis.  Canada's roster is entirely made up of NHL stars and superstars.  Final score here was 8-0.  Canada outshot Norway 42-15.


VS.

In this Group B preliminary round of the women's tournament, China tried to rebound after their destruction by Team USA.  The Fins looked to go 2-0 and make their case for a shot at a medal.

The first period play was dominated by Finland but the score didn't reflect that.  China was able to score first when Linuo Wang blasted a slapshot from the left faceoff circle beating Noora Raty over the right shoulder.  Not only was this only China's second goal of the tournament but it was a shorthanded goal.  The period ended with China holding onto their 1-0 lead. 

After the second period started, Finland finally woke back up and started putting the pressure on China.  China has a hard time playing defense in the slot.  They leave their opponents too much time to make plays and set up shop, especially on penalty kills.  This ended up their downfall and they lost in the end 2-1.  This was by far the most competitive women's match game yet.  China, despite their obvious issues, showed a lot of heart and won't go down without a fight.

VS.

This is the matchup I was waiting for all day.  Russia vs. Latvia would feature two of the most high impact players in the NHL today with Alex Ovechkin and Evgeni Malkin.  It also features two Penguin players with Malkin and Sergei Gonchar, as well as former Penguin Alexei Morozov who used to play alongside Mario Lemieux in the late 90s. 

Russia drew first blood scoring right after the end of their first penalty kill within the first 3 minutes of the game.  Danis Zaripov got the first goal on a nice feed from Malkin.  Zaripov was the KHL (Russian Super League) MVP.  Alex Radulov, the former Nashville Predator that left for Russia at the end of last season, scored goal #2 of a rebound of a Sergei Fedorov shot.  With 35 seconds left in the first, Alexander Semin stole the puck behind the net, centered to his Washington Capitals teammate Alex Ovechkin, who put it in the back of the net on a nice wrist shot.

Russia made it 4-0 just 1:42 before the end of the second period when Ilya Kovalchuk's slapshot hit teammate Maxim Afinogenov near the goal and the puck bounced to Evgeni Malkin, who blasted it into the back of the net. 

The start of the third period was crazy.  Herberts Vasiljevs scored Latvia's first goal 33 seconds in.  26 seconds later, Ovechkin answered with his second goal.  A half minute later, Zaripov scored his second goal.  Kovalchuk made it 7-1 for Russia with only 3 minutes ticked off the clock. 

Girts Ankipans was somehow able to score Latvia's only other goal only to have Alexei Morozov adding number 8 with about a minute left.

Russia wins, convincingly! 8-2

Tuesday, February 16, 2010

Ice Time: Olympic Edition (USA vs. Switzerland [Men's])

VS.


Finally the men's round of the Olympic tournament began today with the USA facing off against the sleeper pick Swiss team.  Despite the final score of the game, the two teams seemed pretty even matched with a slight edge to the USA. 

In the opening stanzas of the game, the Swiss were bound and determined to make something happen and played as physical of a game as they possibly could.  The score board didn't relect their play because the USA put one on the board by Bobby Ryan to close out the first period.  By the end of the first, you could tell the Swiss were getting worn out.
Five minutes into the second period, David Backes put up the second goal for Team USA.  The Swiss went a man down at about the 8 minute mark on a hooking penalty that proved costly.  Ryan Malone scored a power play goal, making it 3-0.  The Swiss team missed a great opportunity, one of the best of the game, when Sprunger missed a wide open net, shooting over the crossbar.

Switzerland was charging hard in the 3rd period, emptying the tanks of all they had.  They scored their only goal on a powerplay to Ryan Suter for roughing.  It was a strange play that looked like Ryan Miller stopped it but somehow was poked through his legs into the net before the refs blew the play dead.  That was it for their scoring. 

It was actually somewhat of a boring game without much excitement or "razzle dazzle" plays that we have come used to in Olympic hockey.  I will say that the exchange at the end about the merits of pulling a goal tender in the last few minutes was entertaining.  While Doc Emerick and Eddie O were contemplating the extra attacker at the end, Pierre butted in saying that is exactly what you don't want to do, stating the fact that points for and against count in tournament play.  Doc voted to pull Hiller anyway.  Good thing he isn't a coach.

USA wins!! 3-1

And Then There Were Two

So I only had two codes left to enter and haven't been able to get logged in correctly to do it.  I have been experiencing a variety of problems.  When I would try to log in, it kicks me out instantly.  When I would try to enter a code, it says it was already used, even though it wasn't.  After entering a code that worked, it would freeze or go to a blank screen.  But, I know this isn't anything new since everyone else is having the same problems.

The bright side is that as the day goes on, it seems to be getting better.  I was able to enter in the last two codes after work...drum roll, please!
 

  1993 Stan Javier


 
1987 Mike Pagliarulo

So there we have it.  My 7 unlocked cards from the Million Headache, I mean, Card Giveaway.  So who wants to trade?  Let's try to see how much we can screw up that server system.

Ice Time: Olympic Edition (Sweden vs. Slovakia [Women's])

VS.

Sweden faced Slovakia last night in what seemed to be the only untelevised women's preliminary round hockey game.  I checked every NBC station there was and couldn't find it.  Grant it, it was on later in the evening when the news channels generally show their talking head (idiot) shows but come on, NBC.  This is the Olympics.  It only happens every four years so you are missing out on an audience to expand your product.  I won't get into that now.

The first thing that sticks out in this match was the amount of penalty minutes.  Usually in tournament play, especially international tournament play, there is much more attention to the defensive portion of the game.  While penalties do happen, they don't occur as often as they do sometimes in NHL matchups.  Total for the game were 26 penalty minutes encompassing 13 called penalties.  Sometimes the refs just need to eat thier whistles.

The second aspect that looked interesting is the fact that Slovakia actually showed some signs of life, tying the score late in the second at 2-2.  Considering the slaughtering by Canada in their previous game 18-0, I'm sure these girls felt good going into the locker room knotted up with the favorite for the Bronze Medal.  Of course, the rest of the game saw Sweden unload on the Slovakian team, finally outshooting them 48-16.

Sweden wins!  6-2

Pack Break - - 2006-07 MVP Hockey Retail

(This was already posted over at A Pack To Be Named Later but I thought I would post it here too for posterity sake.)


2006-07 MVP Hockey Retail.
8 Cards/Pack

I really have nothing to say about these. They are a typical MVP type release with the focus of the card around the silver foil signature of the player. The rookie cards have the name stamped rather than in script. If anything, it is definitely a good way to gauge signatures of some of the more popular players. Especially with all the fraudulent stuff out there. I'm looking your way Ebay...

Nothing too shocking in this pack. Each one contains an insert card, either a rookie or insert set. I pulled an Eric Staal Clutch Performer. Here is a sampling of what is to be found...



#243 Steve Bernier


#177 Sergei Brylin
I like when players use their numbers in their signatures.  It makes it more personal.


#96 Jussi Jokinen
Jokinen is having a pretty good year so far.  I think over the weekend he extended his point streak to 9 games.  I don't understand why he isn't on Finland's Olympic roster.

#48 Chuck Kobasew
I just pulled a Kobasew auto out of my box of 09-10 ITG.  They look the same.


#73 Marek Svatos


#CP11 Eric Staal - Clutch Performers
This is one insert set that I can honestly looks much, much worse than the base cards.

#157 Alex Kovalev
The strange thing about this one is that I used to have a 8X10 autograph of Alex when he was with the Penguins.  His signature looked nothing like that.  I wish I still had it to prove my point.


#71 Jose Theodore

Monday, February 15, 2010

Ice Time: Olympic Edition (Switzerland vs. Canada [Women's])

VS.

In both of their second games tonight, Canada put the screws to Switzerland in a 10-1 effort.  Unlike the other night where they blanked a much inferior Slovakia team 18-0, Canada couldn't shake the Swiss team until the third period.

Through the first two periods, Switzerland hung in there, scoring a goal and only trailing by 4 at the end.  However, Canada quickly put on the turbo and scored 5 goals in the third to win.  The Swiss team was outshot 62-12 with 25 of those shots coming in the 3rd period.  By midway through the 3rd, you could see that Switzerland was out of gas.

One thing that was noticeable though is the fact that the Swiss team are a much more formidable opponent for both the US and Canada.  If it wasn't for their 3-0 loss to Sweden in the first game, they would probably be the favorites in their grouping.  I was actually impressed by their goaltenders and their performances. Florence Schelling (who looks a lot like Katie Holmes) faced 55 shots on goal and made 45 saves.  Dominique Slongo faced 7 shots coming cold off the bench and allowed no goals.

I am looking forward to the US vs. Canada matchup everyone has been waiting for.

Canada wins! 10-1

IT'S ALIVE!!!

At least it was for about 10 minutes.  I was able to cash in on five of my redemption codes and then the whole site exploded in a firery inferno.  Right in the middle of entering a code, too.  I hope I didn't lose that one...I couldn't stand to lose out on another shot at a late 80s gem.

Here is what I've unlocked so far:

1989 Dave Parker


1972 Steve Mingori


1987 Omar Moreno


1987 Kirby Puckett


1988 Scott McGregor

So for the most part, our fears were correct.  1987, 1988, and 1989 are what seem to be coming up more often than not.  Now when you try to get to the site, it either comes up blank or with all the items on the screen in a garbled mess.  Hopefully it will come back up soon.  If not, I won't be heartbroken.  Although, I think I need some more 1987's.

Olympic Hockey vs. NHL Hockey: Rules edition

I got into a fairly heated conversation the other day with a hockey naysayer regarding the importance of hockey in the Olympics. I get into heated discussions almost on a weekly basis with various people about the merits of hockey and why it is better than other sports. Although it gets old having to defend a sport that you love, I will continue to do so until I convert the world to my opinion. That's what being a fan is.

So as a fan, it is my duty to educate the un-educated. With the Olympics well under way, I felt it was necessary to highlight the subtle nuanced differences between the NHL style of play and Olympic play. Didn't know there was a difference? Then this is for you. These are some of the differences that I can think of. If anyone knows of anything else, feel free to share.

1. NHL rinks are 200'x85' with 11' behind each goal. Olympic ice is 210'x98' with 13' behind each goal. This is why defense is key in most Olympic hockey. Since this year is in Canada, the games are going to be played on NHL style rinks.

2. Regular season NHL ties are broken with a three per side shootout. Playoff hockey has overtime until someone scores. In the Olympics, ties are followed by a 10 minute, sudden death overtime. If it is still tied, then they go to a shoot out using five per side.

3. In the Olympics, goaltenders have free reign behind the net. The NHL has the goalie limited to the trapezoid behind the net.

4. Icing is called after the opposing team touches the puck in the NHL. The Olympics and International play in general uses a "no touch" icing rule where as soon as it is behind the goal line, it is whistled. The NHL needs to go to this.

5. Five minute penalties for fighting in the NHL. Olympic play fighting gets you a match penalty and a game ejection.

6. If a penalty shot is called, the NHL player takes his own shot. In Olympic play, anyone can take the shot, which makes for some interesting matchups.

7. Not really a rule rather than a trend but you tend to see more tripping, boarding, and cross checking penalties in Olympic play. On the flip side, you don't see as many interference calls or slashing and hooking calls.

At this point, I can't really think of anything else. Let me know if I missed anything.

Adding Fuel to the Fire

THE CARDS YOUR MOM THREW OUT!!

So as we all sit here wearing out the F5 button on our keyboards I decided to try and call Topps and see if they had a pre-recorded message on their customer relations number that explained the Great Million Card Debacle.  They didn't.  Since your only options are to press 1 for dealers with problems, 2 for consumers with problems or 3 to enter a parties extention...I pressed 2.  It rang....

And rang.....

And rang....

I let it ring for 2 1/2 minutes.  Nothing.  So here are the issues so far.  Let me know if I am missing anything:

1.  The site http://www.toppsmillion.com/ automatically redirects everyone to a new mirror site aptly named http://www.toppscards.com/...

2.  The countdown clock that was original there to entice everyone of us into thinking we were getting closer and closer to jackpot...is gone.

3.  The site features a nice Jackie Robinson card, with three 1989 Topps cards hidden behind.  Not only that, but they are reverse negatives of the actual cards.

4.  The orange banner on the left side of the page has a transparency to it that reveals another six 1989 Topps cards duplicated twice, possibly three times.

5.  The advertising for the giveaway not only features cards from the extensive library of Topps cards but also, Score and now Leaf?  Last I checked, those belong to Donruss, I mean Panini.

6.  No one answers the phone on their customer service line...

I think we've all been had!!

Trade with the Great Sports Name HOF

The latest package is brought to you by none other than Tim at the Great Sports Name Hall Of Fame. If you haven't seen this blog, what are you waiting for. Plus he collect Fred McGriff cards so he can't be all that bad. Anyway, I have been doing quite a bit of potential trade hunting lately and this one is one of those "I have no identity" trades that brought me a very eclectic mix of cards for my half-assed new collecting ventures.

As most of you may already know, I have sort of taken back up the baseball collecting. So in order to keep things consistent with my collecting of Pittsburgh stuff, Pirates have been the team of choice. I have also been contemplating putting together some collections of linebackers in football. I am not real sure where that is going to go yet because it is still in it's infancy. Of course, I am always looking for Steelers and Penguins. So in lieu of all these things, I present to you part 1 of the most interesting mix of cards I have ever gotten in a trade (that is it's official name) complete with comments.

PIRATE BOOTY...



-We start with Moises Alou in all his anorexic glory. I'm sure he wasn't but compared to guys of today, he is a stick figure.
-Brian Giles was a legend, according to Upper Deck. I'm not sure about that but I did always like Brian. Another example of squandered talent by the Pirates organization.
-Orlando Merced...I'll get to him later.
-3 guys I don't remember playing for the Bucs in Meares, McWilliams, and Oberkfell. Of course Ken's card is one of the '89 Bowman oversize monstrosities which I always hated because they do what this one did at the top because it doesn't fit in a page or sleeve correctly.
-I like the 2 Jason's here. Kendall is on the ground looking for a missing contact lense while Bay is watching his long ball travel out of the stadium.



-Here we have Mike Easler holding a mic. Probably getting ready to rap the National Anthem Pittsburgh style.
-Jim Winn...what a name for a pitcher...Winn.
-There are 2 Bobby Bo's on this page. BB was one of my favorite Pirates of all time (besides Bonds) and I was crushed when he went to the Mets. I've had a deep seeded hatred for the Mets ever since. At least they are still paying for him in their team salary.
-Scott Bullit and Lloyd McClendon from the same Topps set



-Next up is Oliver Perez. It's a more recent card, and therefore, I have no idea who that is.
-Ah, Denny Neagle in his Glamour Shots Senior Yearbook picture. How cute.
-Cecilio Guante...I don't know whether I like the scowl on his face more or the old school Pirate logo.
-I remember Paul Wagner a little but those other two guys in the middle row...?
-Here is a big head Barry card. I was always a fan of Barry despite his controversies. I was also always a fan of these cards. I always thought someone should have made an animated series out of these caricature sketches.
-Good ol' RJ and his drawn back batting stance. He was at a Little League clinic I went to as a kid. Obviously his teachings didn't rub off because here I am blogging instead of gearing up for spring training.
-One of my favorite cards of the batch...Jerry Reuss. I always remember pulling cards of him as a kid and wondering why somebody's grandfather was still playing baseball.

This post is getting long so it's being broken into two. Stay tuned for the rest.