03 April 2016

Checklist Translations: 2008 TSC Sinon Bulls [In Progress]

      In 2008, for the second year TSC (Taiwan Sports Cards) issued a pack-based set for the Sinon Bulls.  The set featured 108 base cards, facsimile autographed parallels, and the usual smattering of autographs, photo cards (and memorabilia cards.  A subset, as card number 109, featured 200 different cards, each limited to 24 copies, dedicated to Tai-Shan Chang's 200 career home runs.

More details to come.

The set is described in this blog post:

The base set, parallels and examples of most of the inserts can be see here:

The standard base card front and back:

15 March 2016

1987 Smokey Bear 38th Annual Fresno Hot Stove League Dinner

     Returning to the "I've never heard of that set" department, I present this set from 1987, apparently sponsored by the U.S. Forest Service and presumably handed out at the 38th Annual Fresno Hot Stove League Dinner.  The Fresno Hot Stove League Dinner, now officially the Hot Stove Gala, began in 1948, started by a gentleman by the name of Al Radka, as a fundraiser for local charities.  1990 was the first interruption after 41 years, when the function was cancelled on account of the expense of bringing in big name players (who had donated their time in years past).

     In 2003, the Fresno Grizzlies brought it back and established the Al Radka Award to bestowe on individuals who have made important contributions to local Fresno sports.  The 55th Annual event was just held this past February, with Tony DeFrancesco, manager of the 2015 Triple-A National Champion Fresno Grizzlies as the guest speaker.

     These cards are 4"x 6", feature black and white photos and fire prevention tips (or cheesy slogans) on the back in the form of cartoons.  The design is very similar to the 1987 Fire Prevention Team set which featured a much more prominent line-up of contemporary All-Stars.  For this set, it appears some, if not all, of the photos have been recycled from other cards or publicity photos.  The Rudy May photo was clearly copied from the 1983 Yankees Photo Album.

     The set is almost entirely comprised of players from West Coast teams or those simply from the West Coast, namely Rex Hudler, who wouldn't play in California until joining the Angels in 1994, but had been a local Fresno high school standout and Ron Robinson, who would never play on the West Coast, but was drafted out of Woodlake High School in Woodlake, California (about an hour southeast of Fresno).  This set caught my eye because it included a previously unknown (to me) card of Dave Henderson.  While Hendu is shown in a Boston cap, at the time of the Dinner, he had already been traded from Boston to San Francisco, granted free agency, and signed by Oakland.

     As of this posting, copies of the set are still available on eBay.  The checklist is currently assumed to be complete.  Scans of all cards are available at the Trading Card Database.

Smokey Bear
Mike Aldrete
Chris Codiroli
Dave Henderson
Rick Honeycutt
Rex Hudler
Reggie Jackson
Wally Joyner
Bill Krueger
Don Larsen
Rudy May
Bob Melvin
Tom Niedenfuer
Ron Robinson
Steve Sax
Dave Stewart
Franklin Stubbs
Jim Wohlford

20 February 2016

Bam-Bam & Tuffy Mailday: This Card Is Cool Edition

     I'd been out of town all week for work and was anticipating some exciting mail when I got home.  In what has become one of my favorite online trading experiences, with RyanG of This Card Is Cool, I send him semi-random junk for his type-card collection, and he sends me stacks of pure Japanese awesomeness!  He included a brief note:

     Very eager: check!  Update want lists: check!

     It is increasingly difficult to find new cards to add to my Sir Hensley Meulens collection.  Before these new additions, my Meulens want list was down to just seven cards (of which, one may not exist).  Now it is down to five (or maybe four for existential reasons).

2013 BBM Legendary Foreigners 2 Deep Impact Silver Signature #42 /100

2013 BBM Legendary Foreigners 2 Deep Impact Red Signature #42 /30

     Feels kind of awesome to own a Hensley Meulens card numbered to just 30.  If I can track down the gold signature (numbered to 50), I'll have the whole rainbow for this set.  Then it's just back to waiting for an affordable copy of his autographed card (numbered to 48) to show up to have the clean sweep of all of Sir Bam-Bam's Japanese cards.

    Ryan also sent some major additions to my Tuffy Rhodes collection, which has been a touch stagnant in the past year.  Well this is quite the revival.

2002 Osaka Kintetsu Buffaloes Team Issue
     I had discovered something like a half dozen team issued cards of Tuffy with the Buffaloes, but this beauty was not one of them.  I love how these keep turning up and I super love that Ryan found one for me!  2002 is a guess on my part, but all of the 2003 cards I have seen actually say 2003 on them.  Could be 2000 or 2001, but I'm sticking with 2002 until proven wrong.

2003 DyDo Osaka Kintetsu Buffaloes Team Issue w/Norihiro Nakamura
    Yet another team/sponsor issued card of which I was completely unaware.  Tuffy shares the card with fellow B's slugger Norihiro Nakamura.  It would appear this was given out during a two game series vs. Hanshin on 22-23 March 2003.

2008 Lotte Bikkuriman Pro Baseball Seals #17

    I've been trying to pick up this little foil beauty since it was issued.  Each year, Lotte issues their Bikkuriman Seals (stickers) with little chocolate wafers.  Usually they are anime-type characters, but a few times they issued baseball sets.  I think 2008 was actually the last time they issued a baseball-themed set featuring actual players. These are 2" x 2" squares.  I find it curious that while Japan, like most of the rest of the civilized world, uses the metric system, cards and stickers are still created using firmly standard measurements.

2013 BBM Legendary Foreigners 2 Deep Impact Title Holder Pink TH8 #/100

     Looks more purple in the scan, but the decorative trim is actually pink.  In the typical modern parallel overkill, there are four versions of this card, an unnumbered version with ugly gold(?) trim and parallels with trim in pink (/100), green (/50) and blue (/30).  I still need the green and blue.

2015 BBM 25th Anniversary #087

     It is something of a mixed blessing to collect such a big star in Japan.  On the one hand, it means he keeps getting new cards almost every year (but in no where near the quantities of, say, Dave Winfield), but it also means a lot of his cards can be pricy and out of reach for someone as cheap as me.  BBM is very big on anniversaries, and they seem to issue a set for every single anniversary that rolls around, be it league anniversaries, team anniversaries, event anniversaries or even its own company anniversaries.  This set commemorate's BBM's 25th anniversary issuing baseball cards.  Similar to the early Stadium Club sets from Topps, each card features the players' first BBM card on the reverse.

    Now on to the two new highlights of my entire Tuffy Rhodes collection:

2008 BBM Orix Buffaloes Memorabilia #BsM4 /300

2009 BBM Touch The Game Memorabilia #M02 /200

      Yes, indeed, these are my first two actual Tuffy memorabilia cards featuring actual pieces of bat in the actual card!  No non-game used shenanigans here, I can practically smell the home runs hit with these tiny chips of wood.  It's not that Tuffy's game used cards are really all that expensive, but I can just never find a single seller on Yahoo! Auctions Japan that is selling more than one at a time.  Pile on Kuboten fees, and I'd be paying an extra $12-15 per card on top of the actual sale price.  I just can't justify $25-50 for a single card.  But thanks to Ryan, I didn't have to.   Many, many thanks, Ryan!  These cards are not just cool, these cards are awesome!

27 January 2016

Hensley Meulens, 2016 International League Hall of Fame Inductee!

     Congratulations are in order for the Internationational League Hall of Fame's Class of 2016, Hensley Meulens, slugging third basemen for the Columbus Clippers and Charlie Montoyo, the winningest manager in Durham Bulls history.  Here's hoping there is an actual induction ceremony and a plaque.  I'll have to start planning out my vacation time to attend!

20 January 2016

Hobby Archaeology: 1983 Chicago Tribune White Sox Scrapbook

     1983 saw the Chicago Tribune issue another scrapbook series, this time for the White Sox.  The set was announced on page 17 of the September 11th Sports section, opposite a big article on hot hitting Sox rookie Ron Kittle.  Taking up the whole of the Focus page, the last page of the Sports section on weekdays, these scrapbook "cards" were large at three to a page.  At least for the first six installments, after which they were issued one per page on no apparent fixed schedule.  The set ran from 13 September to 1 October.

     Each entry included a fairly full biographical profile, abbreviated statistics through the previous day's game, a head shot and an action shot.

17 January 2016

Hobby Archaeology: 1984 Chicago Tribune Cubs Scrapbook

     In 1984, the Chicago Tribune produced yet another series of "cards" for the Cubs.  The set was announced on the front page of the September 5th issue, to appear "intermittently" on the Focus page, which was the last page of the Sports section. This time around, rather than stringing them out one or two players per issue, they issued the set in full pages spread across five seemingly random issues from September 5th to 2 October, as the Cubs were making their push toward the post-season.

     The other big change with this issue is that the cards were presented in full color, and designed in a way such that the cut-out card can be folded in half to create a "card" with a front and a back.  The set introduction recommends folding the cut-outs around a piece of heavy paper or cardboard and gluing it in place to make them more card-like.

Image from Collecting Zim