Sunday, December 29, 2019

A Milestone

Hey Mr. Hershiser, how many years old is this blog? 

1991 Topps #690, Orel Hershiser

He's right. My first entry is dated December 30th, 2018, which means tomorrow makes it a year already. 


My intention from the start was to post once a week—every Sunday—and I'm happy to say that I've held to that schedule the entire year. I think the format works well (hope you do, too), and I'm certainly going to try to stick to it for year number two.

All in all, it was a fun first year of blogging. 

If you're a reader, thanks so much for spending some time here throughout the year. If you're also a fellow blogger and collector, thank you for providing inspiration through your blogs and collections. I'm grateful.

Goals for the second year include completing a few more sets, creating more custom cards, and running a contest of some kind. But I think I need a larger readership before I try the contest. 

If you know someone who might enjoy this blog, would you do me a favor and share it with them?

Here's to another great year of blogging and collecting for everyone.

Sunday, December 22, 2019

Art Prints

The original version of Tron hit theaters when I was still just toddling around. Even as I grew into childhood, though, I wasn't much of a sci-fi/tech/computer kid. I didn't watch the film back then in the '80s, and although I've seen it since, the story line still doesn't do it for me all these years later.

The artwork, however? That's a different story.

A big reason I appreciate that portion of the franchise is that one of my favorite concept artists, Syd Mead, was a main contributor. Look at the colors and circuitry within the mainframe's world. Definitely look at the light cycles. Yep. Syd Mead.

And a few months ago I had the opportunity to pick up some prints that feature Mead's design work.

The shapes, the angles, the colors. There's 1980s goodness everywhere you look.

Now, these prints were made in 1982, the same year the film was released. I should also mention that each print is pretty small: 3.5 inches by 2.5 inches. And I should also mention that they were produced by a company called Donruss.

Okay, okay. They're trading cards.


But just look at how cool they are.

And because an original art print from Syd Mead probably costs more than I'd like to spend, I'm going to consider these art prints. Is that alright?

Sunday, December 15, 2019

Two Timeless Beverages

While preparing a big stack of 1990-91 Upper Deck hockey cards for a trade, I came across a bit of an anomaly. Have a look at the player names on these two cards, which happen to fall right next to each other in the set:

#124 Paul Coffey and #125 Bob Beers

Ah, coffee and beer. Two timeless beverages that many people can't seem to do without. 

Do you think someone at Upper Deck was exhibiting their sense of humor by placing these two cards next to each other? Well, at first I wasn't convinced. But not much farther into the stack I came across another two, also consecutive:

#98 Garth Butcher and #99 Daniel Shank

Butcher and Shank. Hah. 

Well, now I had to look through the rest of the set. 

And I did. Thoroughly.

Although I didn't find any other consecutive cards featuring food or drink pairings, there were some other food-related names scattered throughout. In fact, along with the Coffey and Beers, it turns out that you could put together a pretty decent meal. Here's the menu:

#543 Kari Takko

Appetizer: Takkos

#99 Daniel Shank

#30 Basil McRae and #146 Jari Kurri

#462 Steven Rice
Main course: Lamb Shank in a Basil and Kurri sauce, served over Rice

#173 Adam Oates and #131 Dirk Graham

Dessert: Oates bar with Graham cracker crumble and icing 

Icing. Please don't boo me for adding that hockey rule to the dessert.

Overall, a pretty good meal from one single hockey set, yes? 

I'm sure there are plenty of other food-related names out there in the sports world. (Coco Crisp, anyone?) Can you think of any? Leave some examples in the comment section.

Sunday, December 8, 2019

The 1982-83 O-Pee-Chee Dating Game (Episode 7)

Welcome back to The 1982-83 O-Pee-Chee Dating Game, where we'll randomly select three eligible bachelors from the set and you, the reader, will choose which one wins that date with a special lady. How do we know they're bachelors? Why, it says so right on the back of their hockey cards, that's how!

Previous episodes are available here.

We didn't receive any votes for episode 6, so we'll leave voting open for the time being. Now let's start the 7th round and introduce our bachelors selected by the randomizer! [APPLAUSE]

Bachelor number 1: Defenseman from the Toronto Maple Leafs, Jim Korn
Bachelor number 2: Center from the Chicago Black Hawks, Denis Savard
Bachelor number 3: Defenseman from the New York Rangers, Ron Greschner

It's an Original Six showdown!

Now lets find out more about these gentlemen from the back of their hockey cards.

Ron, Ron, Ron. You've got to be a little more friendly than that.

Time to choose your winner. Who will it be?

Bachelor number 1: Collegiate man and water skier Jim Korn.

Bachelor number 2: Denis Savard, who just bought his own home and can probably do a good spin-o-rama on the dance floor.

Bachelor number 3: Ron Greschner, who can put up some really good point totals from the blue line despite being the most quiet bachelor we've ever had on the program.

Sunday, December 1, 2019

Custom Combination: Brett Hull

While putting together some information for a 1990-91 Score hockey set review earlier this year, I was reminded of something:

It's that many of the new brands of hockey cards released in the early 1990s were surpassing Topps in the photography department. Specifically, while Topps was still featuring a few too many images of hockey players standing around during warmups, new brands such as Upper Deck and Score were taking better advantage of hockey's speed and grace and dynamic nature, using more action shots on their cards.

Have a look at Brett Hull's 1990-91 Topps card, for instance.

1990-91 Topps Brett Hull, #77

By itself, there's nothing wrong with this card. You get a clear shot of Brett Hull smiling confidently right at you. (And why not, when you score a million goals a year?) And I completely understand that it's nice to feature some of the league's star-studded players up close and without helmets obscuring their faces and glorious hockey hair.

But when you have too many of these images in your set, it gets a little stale. Especially compared with another Brett Hull card from the 1990-91 season.

1990-91 Score Brett Hull, #300

Now that's an image.

When I look at this card from Score, I think If only Topps used an image like that.

Well, I finally put thoughts to [digital] paper and created a custom card mash-up.

The Score image wouldn't work very well on the vertical Topps layout, but there's good news: A horizontal layout did exist for the 1990-91 Topps set. It was reserved for the team cards.

1990-91 Topps St. Louis Blues Team, #220

So with a little bit of editing and cleaningand mixing and matchingI came up with the following "what if" card.

Topps matched the colors of their card borders to each team's uniform very nicely for this set, and you can see that here. Also, the stars running across the top of the card happen to follow the action and direction of Hull's follow-through, and that really helps nail this card down as a success in my book.

I think the adolescent version of me would have been pretty happy finding this card inside a wax pack during the 1990-91 season. 

And you know what else? This is my ninth custom card, which means I've got enough to fill up a binder page. Here's how they look:

Thanks as always for reading.