Saturday, February 26, 2011

Xerces Blue

Let's go back in the time machine or as I like to call it the Clock Defier and take a look at my Allen and Ginter collection.

That's right boys and girls, I've got another wonderful A&G post for everybody to enjoy.

I have slowly been putting together a huge part of the 2009 Allen and Ginter World Champions set.

Recently I have been focusing on the Extinct Creatures and the Future Inventions mini sets.

I was most excited about the Extinct Creatures set mainly for this one card.

The Xerces Blue Butterfly.

This would be the one card from the non-advertised subsets that I was really hoping to one day find. It took a while but I finally found one in my price range. I really love that these cards in the 2009 set have the same basic look as the base set.

The one problem I have with these two subsets is that they don't have an explanation of the subject on the card backs. Just a checklist. A nice looking back, but I need more than a nice looking card so I went to google.

Here's what I found out:

The Xerces Blue became extinct around 1941-43 and was mostly found in the San Francisco bay area. Scientists speculate that the butterfly's symbiotic relationship with ants was the cause of it's demise. Apparently as more people moved into the bay area they brought with them different types of ants and these ants replaced the ones that were common to the area.

Botanists are trying to re- inhabit a close cousin of the butterfly known as the Palos Verde Blue which is considered the LA equivalent to the Xerces Blue. Pretty exciting stuff.

I went through a butterfly period a few years ago in which I would try to paint little butterfly paintings. It's a little lame, but here is one of my attempts at painting a butterfly.
The reason for the interest in butterflies aside from the obvious reason of the colorfulness of their wings was also because of a Indonesian legend. I had a lot of friends at that time from Indonesia and they invited me over to watch the movie The Sixth Sense. That will tell you how long ago it was. After walking in to the house they pointed out a butterfly on the wall.

Apparently in Indonesia if you see a butterfly in your house it's an omen that you will have visitors soon. I haven't checked around to see if this is true or if maybe I misunderstood what she was saying. Her English wasn't the best and some of what she was saying may have been lost in the translation. Maybe she was just making a joke or something and I didn't catch it. Anyway, it always stuck with me and I started painting butterflies that summer. Seeing the entomology cards in Goodwin and also this Xerces Blue card reminds me of those days when I was enamored with painting butterflies. Kind of weird.

Thanks for reading. I hope you guys enjoy the cards.

Wednesday, February 23, 2011

Trade bait post

I haven't done one of these in a while so I thought I'd scan the inserts from the new baseball set that I have available for trade. I need to do another one of these for the stuff from 2009 and 2010 that I want to get rid of.

If you see anything you want or if you need to know the exact numbers of any of these cards let me know.

I also have a decent amount of base cards available for trade as well.

This is my 2011 Want List. I wouldn't mind trading for anything on my wantlists though.

Thanks for reading.

Tuesday, February 22, 2011

My Mel Ott cards are procreating...

I've only bought about 7 retail packs and a rack pack and already I've got3 Mel Ott reprints. I was really happy to pull the first one, but now I'm pulling dups and triples of inserts rather than base cards.

The only good thing about all these inserts is that I've been lucky enough to pull about 7 Kimball Minis so far with only two dups.

I pulled this nice Gehrig reprint. Actually the Delong cards are nice, but the card itself is a little sketchy. It's not a high quality card in the representation of Mr. Gehrig, but I still like it nonetheless. I'm a big fan of reprints.

These stupid things are horrible.

So is this History of Topps thing. Nobody cares about this. I sort of halfheartedly tried to collect Tales of the Game and History of the Game last year, but this is going to far. Really not even worth the time to write about it. Having said that if anybody is looking for these cards let me know. Actually any of these cards are up for grabs except for the Gehrig and one of the Ott cards. I don't know why I'm saving these cards as I'll probably just pull more of them tomorrow.

Later on I'm going to get all my inserts together and do a big trade bait post so that I can hopefully turn all these cards into something that I might want for my collection.

Thursday, February 17, 2011

Go Join Now!! Crinkly Wrappers Contest!

Crinkly Wrappers is a having a very generous contest where he's giving one card each from 1952-2011. Waaaaay better than any Topps corporate lam-0 free (but not really free) giveaway.

Tuesday, February 15, 2011

Discount pack hit

A few days ago I mentioned the cool sketch card I pulled out of one random pack of Star Wars. I shouldn't have been that surprised because I have had pretty good luck in pulling nice relics and autos from this one store that I shop at. I still didn't think I could ever pull something like this.

In addition to getting the pack of Star Wars and I also got a few packs of 2008 Topps Mayo as well as a few packs of Looney Tunes Comic Ball cards.

The comic ball cards are reserved for a Pack to be Named Later. The first of my two Mayo packs produced a pretty good selection of cards.

First card out of the pack was Paul Gauguin.

I love to pull artists and other non-sports people out of cards. Some people hate them, but I think it's cool.

I pulled an Archie Manning.

An Adrian Peterson base card that I still needed.

A Mark Bradley base card that I still needed. He's a former OU wide out.

A nice mini of Steven Jackson. A running back for the Rams.

a couple of lame base cards.

and lastly a really nice white jersey relic of Archie's son:

Peyton Manning. These relic cards are nice. The other relic I pulled was also from this same box at the store. I wonder if their is one more hit left? I almost don't want to buy any more packs from the box as it would be a let down from these two packs.

The other pack yielded a nice Bradshaw base card.

And a Darren McFadden mini.

Yale back. I guess the Yale and Harvard backs weren't serial numbered in 2008 like they were in 2009.

I mainly took a chance on all these random packs because Topps Baseball wasn't in stock and I sometimes like to buy random stuff to see if they will have something cool. This is one of the best outings that I have had finding base cards and hits for my collection. I believe every one of these packs was discounted in some way. The Mayo was buy one get one free.

Thanks for reading. I hope you all will have as good as I have had recently in pulling awesome hits from your packs.

Saturday, February 12, 2011

Trade with "e rayhahn, rayhahn"

The great thing about trades is that you get cards that you have had your eye on for a while or at least have a general idea of how they will look. Sometimes though you will get a card or two in the trade that you have never seen before. An insert set that you didn't know existed or a complete product that you didn't know existed.

In my first ever trade with David over at "e rayhahn, rayhahn" I managed to get both cards that I have had my eye on for a while as well as cards that I didn't really know existed.

First up is a card that I have wanted since I saw it on one of the blogs a few years back.

This is one of the nicest David Wright cards that I have received in a trade and that's saying a lot. I've received a bunch of nice Wright cards over the past few years.

The first thing that caught my eye and the main reason why I needed this card was of course the dirt on the pants. I think that's the coolest thing to see in this card because of the implied "Joe Hustle" type of effort he was putting in on this particular game.

Up next is a card of Dwight Gooden in a repo of a 1975 card. Gooden would have been 11 in 1975, but still it makes for a good card.

The next section of cards is from Topps Archives. I don't know if this was an actual set or just an insert set within a much larger set.

Either way, I really like the 1973 card set as I'm trying to work on collecting this set. I've put most of that off for the past few months, but at some point I need to get back on track collecting this nice set.

Another set that I really want to get into is the 1965 set.

Spahn has a statue outside of the OKC Redhawks stadium and is listed on the back as residing in Hartshorne, Oklahoma. I still don't know why he lived here. Oh well. Interesting fact is that he gave up the first home run to Willie Mays.

This looks like one half of a 1967 Rookie Stars card of Tom Seaver. Missing from this card is Bill Denehy.

Here is one half of a 1968 Rookie Stars card of Nolan Ryan. Missing is Jerry Koosman.

These Topps Archive cards are pretty nice. Reprints are cool, especially when the originals are too expensive, rare or in these two cases don't really exist.

Thanks for the cool cards David. Thanks for reading

Friday, February 11, 2011

My first sketch card pull!!

Still no hobby packs of 2011 topps baseball at one of the hobby shops. So I decided to pick up some random packs of goodness.

I haven't bought any non-sports cards in a while so I bought a pack of Star Wars the Clone Wars which is apparently based on an animated TV show. I didn't realize that as I picked up the pack.

The base cards are a little lame, but the sketch card is pretty nice.

I'm guessing it might be a reproduction of a sketch card and not a true 1/1 sketch card. I tried looking at the texture of the card to see, but I couldn't tell.

The back wasn't much help either,but at least it has a real on card auto. I did a little sleuthing and came to the conclusion that it was a Brian Rood auto.

The only problem I have is that I have no idea who the character depicted on the card is supposed to be. I don't watch the show so I'm at a loss as to who this could be. If anybody out there has a clue please let me know.

The odds for these sketch cards fall 1 in every hobby box, so I guess I did pretty well for my one and only pack that I purchased. If I liked the base cards more I would go back and grab some more packs.

Wednesday, February 9, 2011

Leonardo da Vinci - Allen and Ginter style

One my favorite things about Allen and Ginter is the non-sports subjects in the set. Actually it's probably one of the main reasons why most people like this set so much. I've neglected this years set as I've been mostly focused on collecting and blogging about the 2009 set.

As a guy who likes to paint and draw I especially like the artists that are included in card sets.
This past year A&G had at least one artist included in the set by the name of Leonardo da Vinci.

I did a similar post last year with the inclusion of Vincent Van Gogh. I'm not sure if I can go too in depth in this post as I'm more of a fan of Van Gogh's work than I am a da Vinci fan.

Anyway, here goes.

One of his most notable paintings is the Mona Lisa.

Nobody knows who "Mona Lisa" really is, but people have a lot of different theories on who it might be.

Some people have theorized that it is basically a self portrait of Da Vinci as a woman.
I'm not sure if that was a conscious decision or just a case of how artists sometimes subconsciously or consciously paint a self-portrait of themselves when they are doing a portrait of somebody else. I don't know if I necessarily believe that in this case, but I have noticed that sometimes painter's styles seem to favor a particular body and facial type.

Here is another shot with the two faces superimposed on each other.

You can decide for yourself.

Another famous painting is The Last Supper.

Which has something to do with the DaVinci Code movie which I still haven't seen.

He was a student of human anatomy as well as the anatomy of birds and how they fly.

He was not just a painter but also a scientist, mathematician, engineer, inventor, anatomist, sculptor, architect, botanist, musician, and writer.

The most interesting invention of his is that he invented the human powered Ornithopter.

As you can see that it's basically an aircraft based on the anatomy of a bird.

Here is a nice sketch of the wings.

This is a really nice shot I found on flickr from photonquantique. He graciously allowed me to use his photo from the exhibit: From the Mind of Leonardo. A look into the exhibit can be found here:

The Mind of Leonardo

Check out Photonquantique's Photostream sometime. He's got some nice photos in his flickr.

You can see from this sculpture how the wings that da Vinci conceptualized influenced another artist by the name of Bob Kane.

You might know him as the creator of Batman. He used these sketches as a design motif for the cape that Batman wore. I don't think of Batman as a flying super hero, but apparently in the first versions of the comic the wings gave him the ability to sort of fly.

This is a cover from Detective Comics #27, which is the first appearance of "The Bat-Man".

No one benefited more from da Vinci's inventions than the genius himself:

Wile E. Coyote.

Here is a perfect example of the genius and his contraption in action.

Just like Wile E. Coyote this post is finished.

Thanks for reading. I hope everybody enjoyed the post.

Go PACK Go!!!

I didn't have a chance to post up my feelings on the Super Bowl until now. I'm really glad the Packers won. I have been a fan of there's for years and I think it's really cool that they won especially Aaron Rodgers.

I was going to show off all the cool Packers cards that I had pulled or had have had other bloggers send over to me in trades, but I feel like it's too late now.

I will however take this chance to show off some cool cards from my trade buddy Cameron over at Reds and More....

We've traded a few times now and he always seems to find some really nice cards to send over.

In honor of the current Super Bowl champs here is a card of Ryan Grant. A really nice player who missed out on the super bowl run this year as he got hurt in....

This is one of the few cards that I own that I immediately know that it depicts a game that I actually watched on TV. How crazy is that? Not too crazy when you think about it being a play off game. Playoff games are a little more memorable, especially when the person on the card starts off the game with such a horrible performance only to end the game breaking a few franchise records.

This was his first playoff game and things were a little rocky at first. He fumbled twice which led to two Seahawk touchdowns. Down 14-0 the Packers would rebound and win 42-20.

Grant would finish with 3 TD's and 201 rushing yards and the Packers would score 42 points which were all franchise records.

I remember how in his two turnovers and later throughout the game his teammates kept cheering him on. It's one of the few times in an NFL game where I saw professional players pat someone on the back and look genuine doing it. They really seemed to care for each other as teammates.

A guy who did play and came up with some big plays was Greg Jennings.
His catch on 3 and10 in Green Bays territory set up a nice first down conversion when we needed it. The Steelers had cut it to a 3 point game by that time. He had 4 catches for 64 yards and two touchdowns.

Keeping with the football theme here is a nice card of former OU receiver Malcom Kelly. He plays for the Redskins. Sorry to say this, but I don't think the Redskins are going to be seeing the post season any time soon. Hope that doesn't offend any 'Skins fans, but I can't see it happening. I really like these Score inserts. They're much better looking than the base cards.

Cam sent over a bunch more cards, but I wanted to show these three off only. The rest were really nice too, but that's a lot of scanning and writing for me these days.

And lastly GO PACK GO!!! I'm pretty happy that a team that I root for got to the big game and won it.

Tuesday, February 8, 2011

Contest over at Things are funner here!! GO ENTER!!!

Their is a cool contest over at: Things are Funner Here

Go enter now !!! whoo hooo!!

Sunday, February 6, 2011

Going out on a limb-Rack pack vs loose packs.

The other day I sort of went out on a limb when I proclaimed that Rack packs were better than loose packs. I probably shouldn't have made that claim without doing my patented loose pack VS rack pack nonsensical product comparison that I usually do when a new product hits the shelves.

So in the interest of science or fairness or just plain boredom I'm now going to do the second half of the comparison and see how just three random loose packs will compare with one rack pack.

I spent 5 bucks on the rack pack and 6 on the three retail packs. The rack pack was from Target the loose packs were from WalMart. I'm not sure how that will factor in to the fairness of the comparison, but who cares? This is only going to be mildly interesting to the few people who haven't overdosed on the flagship these past few days.

I mixed up all the base cards so that I could keep the mess on my desk somewhat in check so I'm not going to do a base card comparison. This is mainly about the inserts.

First off the inserts I pulled were almost identical to the rack pack:
One diamond parallel.
One Topps 60 card. Another Yankee.

Two of these Topps 60 years of Topps Cards. As a comparison the rack pack yielded one 60 Years of Topps card and a 60 Years of Topps Lost card.

These 60 year inserts are confusing me.

I didn't pull a Diamond Duo, (Thank Goodness!!!) but I did pull another Kimball mini. Love the minis!!!

I also didn't pull a Diamond Giveaway code card, but I did pull something that I think is nicer:

A Mel Ott reprint.

A 1933 Goudey card.

Pretty cool. In case you were thinking that I would leave the post focusing on inserts only I had to add a few base cards in the post.

First up is one of only a hand full of cards that I've ever pulled in my collecting that were damaged.

I thought it was some weird parallel at first, but the foil Topps logo and a "national league leader" type name plate was printed vertically across the card. It's sort of hard to see, but in the lower left corner you can make out a little "T" in the name arch. In the right corner where the team logo is you can see the national league letters over the logo. Kind of interesting.

It's kind of amazing that in these pitcher shots the pitcher looks like he's throwing the ball directly up in the air. I can't imagine that pitcher reaching the plate.

Awesome card shot. I count at least 5 ankles on this card. Ankiel=ankle. I know, it's lame. Everytime I see an Ankiel card I think of ankles.

Really nice shot of Ichiro. I love this guy's cards. This looks like the ball is just leaving the bat.

Something I didn't notice before was this little item on the right border on the back.

It's a little random fact about the cards themselves rather than a stat line or a 6 degrees of Mantleness.

In case it's too illegible it says,"in the 1980 Topps set, card number 200 was Willie Mays.

I hope everybody's isn't sick to death of seeing more Topps flagship. I don't think that my experiment really proved much. I was surprised that my three packs yielded that many inserts. I guess part of that is that their are so many of them this year. I still haven't pulled any of those History of Topps cards, and I'm glad I didn't. They look like the worst designed cards in a looong time. Hopefully I won't pull any of those or at least maybe I can find somebody going for that set so I can trade them away.

I'm not sure if my experiences are a good indication of what to expect from retail. I guess just looking at the odds on the back of the wrappers would be better. But that's no fun. I'm going to keep on doing my lame-o experimenting as I collect this set.