Chaos and Kanji is the blog where I write about my adventures through Japan!

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Wednesday, November 30, 2011

Birthday Card Store Trip Part 2: Something Good, Some Things Bad

My experience at Alameda Cards & Comics (see my post from earlier today) was exactly what I thought it would be - a short stop with a small sampling of stuff for fun. I was hoping I might come across a nice quarter box or something, but I didn't count on it.

With such a brief stop at this card store, and plenty of time left in the day, I worked the public transit system to get myself to M&M Cards & Comics, a dark, old-feeling shop nestled in a 1960s-feel strip mall. I've been here before - only once, in the year + that I've lived in the bay area. Sure, there are other stores in the area I've only visited once, but those were discovered only recently. Now that I think about it, there are only a few far East Bay stores that I haven't visited more than once at this point.

Why haven't I been back in the past year, until yesterday? It's not a friendly location. I feel like I'm a bother. Plus, it doesn't feel like the kind of card store I'd like to just browse in. Honestly, I could have probably spent an hour or more browsing through cases and boxes, but it didn't feel right.
And, the store reeks of cigarette smoke. Reeks. As I'm writing this, all my clothes from today are in the washing machine. Yuck.
And I remembered most of this from my previous visit. I'm surprised the place still exists, and I'm sorry Dave's Dougout (yes, that's how it was spelled) in Albany disappeared and this place still exists. I wouldn't have made the trip if I hadn't noticed all the set-building singles in boxes sitting under the cases the last time I went. Cigarette smoke can be handled for a little while if I can finish a set.

So I headed down and asked about 2011 Topps Update singles. He pulled them for me, and he had every card I needed to finish the set (6 in all). More on this later.

I asked about 2009 Upper Deck, but he had nothing, so I browsed around a bit. He had a 3/$1 box near the register, so I flipped through those. Lots of basketball and football, but I found some baseball I needed:
 Two cards for set building...
 Two cards for the type collection (I hope - I probably have them already but I didn't check my list)...
 Two cards for the project (still need two 1952 Topps cards and a '64, plus some more modern stuff I'll be getting today)...
 I don't know why I took this Darren Daulton. But I did...
And five cards for the awards and leaders collection.

I also picked up a Billy Beane '86 Fleer and two '94 Pinnacle inserts, to make an even $5. But when I went to check out, he took back the two Pinnacle inserts, saying they shouldn't have been in the box. Uhh??? Apparently the box should only have commons and cheap inserts. I could tell he almost took the Bagwell out of the stack too. Bastard. So I took Beane out of the stack too (he didn't really have a place in my collection anyway). Well, whatever. I don't think I needed the Pinnacle inserts, and they would have been trade bait (they looked cool). So $4 for these random cards, plus the Topps cards to finish my set.

But I needed 6 cards to complete my set. How many are in the scan?

Five. Did he short me a card? Nope. The only card I'm missing is Javier Lopez, a pitcher for the Giants. He's a reliever who's been around for 9 years now, and as forgettable a member of the Giants as Miguel Tejada. Maybe moreso, though I think Lopez played in more games with the Giants this year. Let me check the stats...Ooh, close. Tejada: 91 games, Lopez: 70 games.

He had the Lopez, but the cheapest price he sells Giants (and A's) for is $1. A whole buck for a common? Just because I'm in the San Francisco bay area? I think not! I bet I could get it with shipping on Sportlots for less than that. So I bought the five cards above.

Total spent: $6.50

Yes, the old geezer charged me $2.50 for 5 commons from 2011 Topps Update. Oh, wait, Carlos Beltran was in there. I bet he charged me $1 for that.

Someone recently emailed me (sorry, I'm a little behind in that department) about this store, and here's your response:

M&M Cards is not worth my time. I feel sorry for those in the area who don't have a shop like Stevens Creek Sports Cards, Peninsula Sports Cards, or any of the other great stores in the bay area near them. Even Alameda Cards & Comics, with their limited inventory, was at least welcoming, and not overpriced. The store has so much potential. There's great inventory in there somewhere, but the place just feels so uninviting. Overpriced, stinky, dark, and rude. (Pricing note: my Bowman Draft pack was $4 at Alameda, and they were priced $4 here, so pack pricing isn't too far off the next-nearest store.)
And my 2011 Topps Update cards smell like cigarette smoke. But at least I'm almost done with the set. Could have been done with the whole set, but .. well, it's over with. I should be done with the set today with my visit to San Jose!

Birthday Card Store Trip Part 1: Packs and Packs and Packs! (And Bowman Draft!)

How did I spend my birthday? After a nice shower, I headed out for a couple nice tacos in the Mission District, then BARTed across the bay to Alameda Cards & Comics.

The store should be called Alameda Comics & Cards, because clearly comics rule this place. There was a limited selection of singles, but a good variety of packs from recent and past releases in baseball, basketball, and football. Plus, they carry non-sport.

I picked up a new January Beckett - birthday surprise: I'm quoted in it again - and a few packs of cards, since I couldn't find any singles worth picking up.
 Hercules! Hercules! Hercules!
.... (and Xena, too!)
There we go.
 At 3/$1, I grabbed, well, three packs of these Merlin stickers. I believe this set is on my non-sport want list, but building a set from packs can't possibly be easy. The stickers are essentially the same as Panini stickers - about the same size and feel.
Each pack also had a card, somewhere around the '75 Topps Minis size. There are 24 cards in the checklist, and I somehow pulled two cards of Hercules (#1 and #2).  I didn't watch much of Hercules, but I followed Xena, mainly for Gabrielle. I blame my mother.
You can thank all the obsessive 40-something+ women out there who still make tribute videos of this show (seriously - search Xena Gabrielle on YouTube) for that one. But man, my ears hurt from that awful music. I don't think I've ever seen a good fan tribute video of any show. Granted, I don't exactly watch many of them.

Okay, let's get into something more baseball-ish. Not quite baseball, though:
 These were in a clear cello pack. They're not your average everyday Presidential Predictors, though - they have SAMPLE across the back. (Oh, and that ding in the right corner - I dropped the whole pack right before scanning, dangit.)
The three samples came with this checklist card. Note that the seventh card is missing, shown on the checklist on the back as Hilary Clinton, but it's crossed out with a single black line. The card slipped out in very limited quantities (and I don't have one).

But you're not here for Hercules or 3-year-old election spoofs. You want REAL baseball. CURRENT baseball. You want...
new hotness.

So here you go:
 Bowman Draft Picks & Prospects. The card numbers aren't DPP'd like prior years' issues (DPPP?!?!) so there's nothing to ID these from the DPP set (or all DPP non-prospects green?). I don't follow Bowman enough to really know what the heck is going on here. Only two of these in my pack.
 These are numbered BDPP. Three of these in my pack.
 One Chome greeny, Again, nothing to really say what set this is from.
Last, a refractor BDPP of Pratt Maynard. It's nice to pull something other than base cards from a pack! I'll be keeping four of the seven cards in the pack for the type collection (Maynard, Watson, Hope, and Judy). The rest are for trade!

Later today, I'll tell you about the other store.

Tuesday, November 29, 2011

Three Sets You Forgot About Again (or, why it's bad to release product after the World Series)

Did you know there are three card sets issued by Topps during the two month period leading up to Christmas?

It seems for the most part, they've been ignored by bloggers, because, face it, the season's over. It's a time of rest for several of us, where we can recover from the past year's releases, finish want lists, and go back to some of those older releases we were too busy to deal with between Gypsy Queen and Allen & Ginter, three series of Topps, Heritage, Chrome, Finest, Bowman's multiple releases, and all those high-end wallet busters.

I'm glad for the time off, even if it contains my most-anticipated card show of the year. I am too busy prepping for my move to be bothered with new releases. I'm building my Japanese type list, which I can't wait to tell you about when it's completed. I have two series of Topps issues to properly file away, plus all the new vintage cards to organize - they've just piled up on a shelf.

But while eyes are focused on football, hockey, and (cough) basketball, Topps slips a few more releases onto the shelves.

 Tier One came out a few weeks ago. I haven't even thought of looking for singles.
That would be a sweet card to carry to Japan as mega-trade bait or just for bragging rights.

 Bowman Draft Picks and Prospects is on shelves, I hear. I have no interest in the product, but I'll have to pick up singles for the type collection eventually. Has anybody opened any of this?

And right before Christmas:
Yeah, another Bowman product.

I guess Topps knows real collectors don't buy cards after Update, so they just let the case-busters and prospectors have at it to close out the year. (No offense to player collectors who have to go hunting for even more player parallels, or team collectors who now have to hunt even more prospects they've never heard of.)

It's November 29! Do you know what that means?!

Quick, scour the internet to see what makes this day so special!

I'll wait...

Need more time?

Okay, give up? It's my birthday. I turn the evil (if you're from Shakespearean times) number of 33.

I kind of forgot it was my birthday, and had planned to spend a bunch of time scanning all my trade bait and working to finish up the clearance. By the way, teams are still available. If you'd like to make an offer, let me know. The original post is hereBut getting that stuff done won't happen today (or tomorrow, for that matter - I'm now trying for the end of the week). If you know me, you know things can work kind of slowly.

I'm not sure what I'll be doing today. I want some tacos for lunch and kung pao chicken for dinner, but other than that, I have no plans. I'm thinking I'll head out to Alameda to the card shop in the afternoon and maybe find a couple singles.

There are several famous people born on November 29 - Louisa May Alcott, Don Cheadle, Joel Coen, Madeleine L'Engle, Howie Mandel, and Howard Stern, plus plenty more famous names.

In the baseball world, we have Mariano Rivera and Vin Scully.
Yes, I had to borrow an image. How do you copyright a scan?! The card isn't yours to copyright!
I own a copy of the above card, pulled from a pack back in 2007.

Lauren German is the only person of real note born on my exact birthday.

But born on November 29 is cute dumb blonde-style actress Anna Faris. Absolutely adorable - and she's 35 today. Yet she's still playing a 20-something in movies.

Hmm. I know what I want for my birthday. A little more Anna Faris.

Apparently somebody had the time and obsession needed to put together an Anna Faris obsession video and post it on YouTube. Thanks stalker-like person.

And happy birthday Anna Faris.

Monday, November 28, 2011

Topps Decade in Review: 1971-1980

Another day, another decade! This time, I continue my review with the '70s. While the 1980s were fairly mediocre, the 1970s have a collection of sets that are purely forgettable. The 1990s could be considered a decade of improvement - better card stock, better quality printing, and better design; the 2000s were a decade in modern design. The 1970s were evidence of complacency from manufacturing in a monopoly environment.

As always, here is a full decade of Topps, in order from worst-to-first designs (my opinion only).
 I started my journey in 1978, and this post begins with the same year. Could I have been born in a more boring year, as far as card design goes? There is no life in this card. I could have made this design in third grade. "I'll just show off my cursive handwriting here, and we gotta put the guy's name somewhere, so we'll put it in this empty space a the bottom... and what about the position? Oh, let's just put it off-center in a baseball out of the way." Bonus points to Jamie for trying to hit the cameraman with his bat.
 The 1977 was one of four years where flags or banners were used in card design. It's also the least attractive version. While there is some minimal effort in design, it feels like they said "hey, put everything up here, and we'll put the photo under it. Oh, and we need to put the facsimile autograph on, because we haven't done that enough this decade." If you ask me, and you didn't, the best design as far as facsimile signatures go is 1952.
 What makes the use of flags or banners on the 1970s cards less appealing is the fact that all four of them came between 1974 and 1980. This would be the first use, which isn't bad, really - it flows into the card. There is nothing interesting about the text, though.
It's the ultimate laziness to take the same design from 6 years ago, stylize it just a little, and call it a new issue. Who needs team locations in 1980? We can just put the position where the city was, and stick the player name in that big empty space at the top. Done!
This is the first "vintage" set I'm collecting (over 50% and counting!), but it's one of the least interesting. What makes this one better than those above? The iPod guy dancing in the bottom corner of the card. Each position had a unique shadow, adding a little bit extra to the 1973 set over most of the second half of the decade.
 Three years later, the iPod man becomes a full line art drawing, and the set receives an injection of color. The follow-up to the super-crayola 1975s had to have color, and this set does a pretty good job of including it. But I wonder if young collectors were disappointed with the return to plain white borders after the really fun 1975s.
If it wasn't for that little baseball in the lower left with the smiling topps logo, this set would be ranked much lower. 1979 is the last year in this list with a banner, and one of the least interesting. I'm giving this set too much credit just for including the logo, but it's the only set in the decade with the Topps logo on the front. In fact, I think it might be the first time Topps put its logo on the front of a card. (Vintage experts, correct me if I'm wrong.) That must count for something, right?
 I really like the 1971 set. The black borders are a departure from the norm and give the card a look of class. The font is unique, especially with the use of lowercase letters for the player and position. While I'm not focusing on photography, there are several interesting action shots in the set (and the only one I am showing this decade - purely based on random card picking).
These cards remind me of a movie marquee. I'm sure that's the idea, with the 3-D letters at the top and triple-bordering with their own borders (black, red, black, yellow, black, red, black, photo!). The player's name is shown like a headliner at a nightclub. Maybe Horace Clarke is doing stand-up comedy after the game! It's colorful and flashy, and fits right in the decade.
Is there any other set that could be called the best of the 1970s? The colors are bright and the borders aren't white - they're multi-colored! There's a shadowy, detailed baseball with the position, and the player's name is in another color! The team name is also shadowed and in yet another color. This set just oozes color. If you wring out a 1975 Topps, drops of different colors fall to your feet. It's not just a great design - it feels like Topps put all its effort for the decade into this one set - or at least all its effort for a few years. And then, it took the next decade off.

Check out the Number 5 Type Collection look at the decade.

Let me know what you think of my comments above! I want to close out this Topps series by the end of the year, so expect the '60s and '50s to follow within the next few weeks.

My first baseball cut!

I think my interest in type sets comes from my enjoyment in organization. It goes all the way back to my childhood, when I'd sort my skittles out by color, shelve my books by type (still do), and sort my pantry by type of food. Breakfast items on this shelf, soups over here... I look over my stock and try to be sure I have a little bit of every type of food I might want to eat. I love sampler platters and buffets at restaurants, so I can have one of everything. Yes, some of my dinners end up as type collections. (Why can't I find any Chinese buffets in San Francisco?)

One of the "type" collections I thought of putting together but never really started was a relic set. The list is fairly massive - jersey, pants, shin guards, chest protectors, hats, helmets, gloves, batting gloves, shoes, bats, patches, laundry tags, buttons, MLB logos, balls, bases, bat barrels, bat knobs, warning track, wall padding, and so on. At the end of the list was a cut autograph. Now, there are plenty of cuts, mainly of modern players who have no business having a cut, but I still wouldn't mind getting a real cut autograph of some 1920s player.

Well, I still don't have my cut autograph (I have a football one, cut from a Swell 1990s card), but I do have a different kind of cut (and a different kind of relic): a ticket stub.
This isn't an expensive set to assemble, as far as manufacturing goes. I'm sure game tickets can be bought pretty cheap on the secondary market. Topps could send a representative to the various stadiums and ask people for their stubs as they exit the game, use some free/corporate tickets, or just ask the teams for some fake season tickets from the year before.

As for this stub, the Rangers lost the home opener 8-1, putting their record at 3-4 on the season (the Orioles went to 6-1). Salty didn't even play in the game. Aubrey Huff, with the Orioles, went 4-4 with 4 RBI, a double and a walk. Milton Bradley and Ben Broussard would have been the best choices for the Rangers on this card, as they both got two hits in the game; Ian Kinsler and Josh Hamilton both got hits as well (and are bigger, but shorter, names than Saltalamacchia).

I like the set idea, though. It would be cool to have a card like this for every game played in a season. Arrange to get a set of 50 bleacher tickets or something for each game, and put them in cards. Sure, a full set would then be over 2400 cards (with 50 of each), but that would make pulling one fairly easy. Imagine, owning a Topps card for the games you went to last year, with the player of the game (for whichever team) shown like Jarrod here. Then, on the back, you put the full box score! Make them a reverse book card, even, with the box score in the book part and the ticket on the outside, and you'll have a little room for a short game summary on the back. Put them as box toppers in a larger issue. Maybe they could be the bonus cards in blasters. I'd buy a blaster to get one of these cards.

So that's another "type" of relic card in my collection! This card was added to my collection via the great blog party held over at Jaybarkerfan's Junk!

Sunday, November 27, 2011

Value Boxing: 2011 Topps Update and Bowman Chrome! Pluck those Harper strings!

I found a couple value boxes in the Hilltop Mall WalMart after going through the card show in Richmond, and talked myself into buying one.

Positives: It had a guaranteed code card, plus the possibility for more. It guaranteed an exclusive Harper Chrome card. I have not opened any 2011 Bowman Chrome packs.

Negatives: It's $15 - the same amount I spent at the entire Richmond card show. I only need a handful of Update singles to finish my set, so the odds were against needing the base cards. I would end up with even more inserts/parallels I don't need. I could be paying $15 for just the Harper and the code card, with everything else being extras.

The results:
The five packs of Topps were a bust as far as set building goes. The inserts and parallels weren't helpful either - Cahill is already in my collection. I can send the Mortensen and Arencibia to a good home, and maybe somebody would like to trade for the Irvin?
 I like how you can't see the names on these scans. It makes them look mysterious! That would be Jacoby Ellsbury on the left, and Adam Lind on the right. I don't think I need any of these cards. I need to verify/update the type collection list to see where I really stand with BoChro.
Wait, something of some value! An on-card autograph! Nice! Not as nice as, say, four more code cards in the Topps packs. Or maybe a color prospect refractor. But (just like the three cards above) this could fit in my collection, or serve as trade bait. 

Not bad, but not what I hoped for. Although I have yet to unlock that 1989 Topps goodness from the code! (Hey, all I care about are the rings, anyway!)

Remember when Stephanie Tanner called Kimmy Gibbler a whore? Neither did I.
Full House for the win. And the laugh at the end: perfect.

And to close out the Thanksgiving weekend, I must post this:

San Leandro Card Show Report - Oddball City!

The show of the year.. or half-year....... umm...

The best semi-annual show in the Bay Area was held yesterday in San Leandro. As expected, there was vintage all over the place. And by vintage, I don't just mean poor-condition late 1960s Topps low numbers. This show has cards you don't see anywhere else. As Jim put it, there are cards here that you don't even see at the National. If you're looking for regional pre-Topps issues, you're in the right place. If I had $1000 to blow at the show, I could come away with a hefty stack of cards that would make most of you jealous. Or a Goudey Babe Ruth. I didn't have $1000, but I still made a major dent in my want lists via discounts.
My first stop was the show promoter's table. He has a couple display cases with inexpensive lots and sets, and found a good number of cards that fit my wants. I picked up a few vintage lots, plus several oddball lots and sets. The scan above is from a large-size issue that is folded like a greeting card, but the inside is blank. The scan below is from a 1989 postcard set. I picked up both as part of 6-card lots.
From there, I headed across the floor and bought some 2011 Topps singles. My series 2 set is complete. Update was nowhere to be found, so when I go to the card shop Wednesday I'll try my luck there before heading to Sportlots. I also picked up singles for a couple of you guys. Matt of Card Anathema, I have all four series 2 cards you have listed on your site, as well as an Allen & Ginter single. Reader Kenny of Japan, I have all three base cards you were looking for from series 1 (Braun, Bautista, Jeter).

After those two essential stops, I began my strolling of the floor. I picked up a 1947 Centennial Flour card of a Seattle Rainiers player, a 1950 Hollywood Stars "card" that's printed on glossy paper, and several other random old sets. I grabbed a few Prime Nine singles (including the two seen below) and nearly finished the 2011 awards and leaders collection. All I need now are (long retired) Sam Thompson and Cap Anson, Jason Isringhausen, George Kottaras, Joe Maddon, and Matt Wieters, and all the additions from this year's awards and statistical leaders are complete! I'm going to see what I can find at the card store.
Other than the above-listed players, I need exactly 999 cards to complete the Awards/Leaders Collection. This is thanks to a seller who had a "Bargain Box" of vintage priced as low as 10c. I have a 1956 Topps (in well-loved condition) that was a quarter, and a whole mess of 1960s through 1980s regional stars and semistars that have been elusive until this point.

As for the set run for my projects, I tackled that and a few other needs with another dealer. I now only need '52 Topps (2 copies), '64 Topps, and a light handful of early 2000s. I can't see spending $10 or more on a '52 Topps card for this project, so I continue to hold out for better. I thought I had 2 '64s today but I was wrong.

Mr. Diamond King (Kevin), I picked up some Mark McGwire inserts that I hope you'll like.

I struck out looking for stuff for Sam. By the way, your package came today! Thanks! I gotta get yours in the mail still. The same goes for several others I'm still looking for: Jeff L, Hackenbush, and Kyle.

But those negatives aside, this was a good finish to my baseball card year. There are collecting "loose ends" to tie up (including those mentioned above), but I'm happy with my finds.

The show wasn't the only part of my day, though! Dan (The Other World) and friend/reader Jim made plans to meet up, and along with Jim's friend, we all headed over to a pub for drinks and food. It's always fun to talk baseball cards with fellow collectors. My cousin told me she read my blog today, and while she supports me, she has no interest.

I need to thank Jim for a nice plastic case full of even more 1973s - I'm now over 50% and I think I've bought a total of 10 cards from the set myself! I almost picked up some singles at the show, but put my money towards other collections.

And thank you Jim, Dan, and James for a great afternoon! I threatened to post this card, which was at the entrance to the restaurant, so here it is:
Nothing like a little Police set to really hit those oddball sets! Honestly, this has no place in my collection, but I still had to take one. Mr. Rendez is Canadian, and apparently likes riding his cop bicycle without a helmet.

Oh, yes, Dan also asked about where I find my videos. They usually come from Attack of the Show, but I find more through suggested videos and other videos from the same users. WolfgoreShow has been a user I've pulled heavily from this past month, and I have one of the longer videos he put together.

This is truly disturbing. You will need hours of ponies to clean your soul after watching this satanic video.
Disclaimer: I don't do drugs, legal or otherwise.

When I worked at Blockbuster, the Olsen Twins videos were always checked out, including videos from this series, based around mysteries and adventures. I'm not exactly sure what the point was other than letting Mary-Kate and Ashley sing (badly) while doing fun things, like having parties and going to space camp. In the highly profitable world of children's programming, the Dualstar twins were co-queens.

This video clip isn't the best WolfgoreShow clip, by any means, but the slow speed, crazy video jump cuts, and added sound effects (especially at the beginning) turn a harmless child's show into a sometimes suggestive, sometimes rude, and sometimes just downright wrong trip.

Just what you need on a Sunday morning, right?

Saturday, November 26, 2011

Signs of the Times: More 2005 Origins Nostalgia

I picked these two tin signs off eBay recently. I believe this means I'm going after the set. Yet another tough set to complete on my list!
 The Beltre is pretty bright with that light tan background. I like the simple clean design.
Compare that to the Prior - an ornate, busy design with four team logos, ivy, detailed fonts, quadruple-bordered frames, a signature, and banners, all over the place. Yet it's still a nice sign.

I'd love to see a set of cards (or tin signs like this) done up to look like various styles of advertising. Sell me Ryan Braun!

Card Show Report and Reminder: Richmond and San Leandro

There are two parts to this post, so I'll get the short and sweet part out of the way first.
Altuve Liquorfractor! Now I need some Hope Anniversary, Platinum Anniversary, Black, Gold...
First, a reminder that the semi-annual card show at St. Leander's Church (just across the street from San Leandro BART, plus there's parking on-site available) is TODAY! I will be there at some point in the morning - doors open at 9AM and the show runs 'til 4. Address: 575 W Estudillo Ave (corner of San Leandro Blvd), San Leandro. Admission is $3 and well worth it. Plus, there's a snack bar in the back if you get hungry or thirsty.

Second, a report on the Richmond Hilltop Mall card show.

The show is held on the bottom floor, with most of the dealers set up near JC Penney. If you've been to other mall shows in the San Jose area, or the Tanforan shows, you have an idea of what you'll find. Max was there (it's his show), with his usual cards, photo plaques, etc. There was another dealer with a large bit of football, but the other sellers had non-hobby stuff - some good Christmas gift ideas, certainly, but not many cards.

I arrived around 11am, and despite it being Black Friday, I had no traffic/parking problems. If you're in the area and want to see what Max has available, swing by - but it's not worth a long drive. The show returns December 13-18, and hopefully there will be more card dealers.

I'll show you my finds later. I spent $19, but my money was well-spent. I also picked up a Value Box which you'll see sometime soon.

Friday, November 25, 2011

A Contest Hobbyist... AKA a Great Christmas Gift!

I opened the package a little early for Christmas, but I was pleased to find a small stack of cards that I won from The Card Hobbyist in his one year anniversary contest! I'm not sure how Patrick did it, but I ended up with a card right off my want list, and three other great cards:

I believe the 2007 Heritage Kinsler is a SP (#411 - I don't have my Beckett to check), plus there's a nice 2007 Topps Ethier gold (#1992/2007) and a scary/cool refractorized shot of a football player I don't know! Granted, I don't really know the names of any football players. This guy could be tearing it up right now and I wouldn't know. Is this a $1000 card? Could be (doubt it though - when has a regular refractor been worth $1000?), but I have no idea.

The real keeper in the lot is this "vintage" card:
Yes, "vintage" with "quotation marks" because 1980 isn't quite vintage yet, depending on your point of view. But Nolan Ryan is one of my favorite players, and this card can head right for my collection!

Thanks a ton, Patrick, for the contest and the cool cards! Keep the posts coming! Here's hoping for several more years!

Did you eat too much turkey yesterday? Do you feel like chicken tonight?
Hope you're having a great Black Friday!