Monday, August 31, 2015

Sets in my Collection #4: 1918 Church & Dwight Useful Birds of America

I missed a few days posting a set in my collection- I guess I can't keep a post-a-day pace even when I want to. Even so, this is my 10th post in August 2015 and that's a lot better- I was in a posting slump for a while there.
I was finally able to replace my photo backdrop, the one I had been using since 2005 was lost in the flood back in February...I'm waiting for something to arrive in the mail that will be shot on the backdrop and posted to the blog.
I also hit 10,000 different non-sports cards, a major milestone for me, but the cards are proving difficult to scan. More on that soon, I hope.

On to the set!

During the time period between 1915 and 1938, Church & Dwight, more well-known for Arm & Hammer, issued 10 series of Useful Birds of America cards in Arm & Hammer products. I love these cards. I have been bird watching my whole life, and when I found out they issued cards of birds, I had to get some. When you can find them they aren't expensive, but they are just somewhat hard to find. I was able to get a big lot of them on Ebay a few months ago which helped me fill out my collection a little bit. I have not looked for more since, I should though...I am just too scatterbrained, I suppose.

I don't have all 10 series represented in my collection yet. They aren't all the same so each one I do have is counted as it's own series.

My earliest series is Series #2, which was issued in 1918. It's a 30 card set and I have 22 of them, or 73.3% according to the Database. That's a number that is pretty impressive when you consider the cards are 97 years old, and I've gotten them all in the last year. Sure, not all of them are in perfect shape, but they are good enough for me.

This is the earliest set in my collection to carry numbers, but unlike the majority of card sets throughout the years, the numbers are on the front. It is also the first card set in my collection chronologically to carry a copyright date.

Cards are smaller than modern standard, but larger than traditional tobacco size.

(yes, I realize I am showing a different front and back of the first of each)

One of the funniest things I've seen in my life was a Blue Jay eating french fries. They eat them whole, by the way. 

My oldest error is also from this set. I have not really talked about it much on the blog yet- I'll get there eventually- I'm a big time fan of error cards.
The bird is printed out of register, making it look blurry. It's not a favorite kind of error, but it's still an error. I had no idea it was included in the lot I bought. Most people would probably have been mad to get this one in the lot, but not I.

HERE is the link to the set on the Database, where I've scanned and posted my entire collection.

Saturday, August 29, 2015

A Day of hobby momentousness that I MUST post about it, even though it's not about cards. (It's a Comic book post)

I am very happy today. It did not start out well. There is a major airshow going on just across the Hudson River, but I am not healthy enough to go to it. It is the first one being held there although it was dampened by the death of a pilot during practice yesterday. Even so, I really wanted to go. I only discovered the joys of seeing cool aircraft in 2009 so still new to me.

Not new to me is comic books. I had my first comic book read to me when I was 5 days old. I've been in the hobby ever since. In fact, I credit my large lexicon to 3 decades of comic book reading.

Most of the comics I've been reading all these years are not my own. I do have a bunch, though, and I grew up a DC reader. In fact, we read every DC book published until 2011 when they threw away their entire history, but that's a whole tangent I don't want to go on here.

A few weeks ago, I restructured the comic section on my website. I am planning, when I finish scanning my cards, to scan my comic covers. (I've scanned a few hundred already, and since last year I am scanning the new books as they arrive) I may not even wait, I've been on a comic kick since I went to the Hudson Valley Comic Expo last month. (it led directly to the restructuring of the comic section). I will probably mix in some scanning of comic covers soon...

I have not seen the majority of my collection since 2002. They have been in deep storage; the last time I had them out was a difficult time, as I was in the middle of  a sorting/documenting project of them when my Dad lost his battle with cancer.
I have not really kept up with my collection chart/stats since then, but I know I basically only got the new issues of the titles I have collected.

I dug out my old paper listing, last touched, based on the amount of dust on it, circa 2004. I determined that I had no Golden Age DC Comics. DC's Golden Age ran from 1935 through roughly 1956. While I've read more than a few of these- I had access to a spectacular collection at one point, and reprints too- I had none of my own.

Once I realized that, I had to change that. I didn't think it would be easy. Back in the day when I was hunting comics to give as gifts, Golden Age books were rare, and usually expensive. BUT...that was before I had an Ebay account. That made ALL the difference.

My very first Golden Age comic of my own arrived to me today, August 29th, 2015. I'm still in a bit of a shock that I was able to add it to my collection for under $10. I'm thrilled, ecstatic even!
Funny Folks #30, cover dated January 1951. It's late in the Golden Age, but Golden Age it is. It's not in perfect shape, but it's actually in much better shape than I expected it would be in my price range. It's all there, nothing is missing. Pretty good for a comic that is older than one of my parents!

Funny Animal comics was a big part of the world of comics in the late 40s and into the mid-1950s, but then they went away...rarely seen since. I enjoy them. I have not read all that many. The comics were just not available to me to read over the years. My love of squirrels is also well-known, so a squirrel based comic is a surefire winner!

I am actually thinking about starting a comic blog...not sure if I would have any readers, though. While I do this mostly for myself, I don't want to totally waste my time, either...I'm going to be taking on a new comic project soon where I finally read most of the comics in my collection. I was given a large collection several years back (nearly 1000 comics!) and I've never read them. I mean to change that. I am thinking about posting a scan of the cover and my thoughts on the issue. I have some time because I may not start the project even this year, so I can think about it more. I may also throw an occasional post like that onto this blog too. It is my blog, after all! :)

If any of my normal card readers are still with me (this turned into a long post!), I was able to get some packages out in the mail today. Thanks to my brother for doing the mailing for me! I'm not saying who is getting mail, though :)

Wednesday, August 26, 2015

Sets in my Collection #3: 1911 Heroes of History/Men of History

The third oldest set in my collection was the one that was my breakthrough into the world of Tobacco cards. For years I thought I would never get back into the early days of cards, but I was finally able to break into that field a couple of years ago, thanks to Ebay

The set is 100 cards, and I have only one of them, for 1%.

History is a passion of mine and there are very few sets that include ancient subjects- my favorite time in history is the Roman Empire. This set includes three Romans in the set, but I have not been able to track down the Nero card, and I forget which other Emperor is included, possibly Augustus.
Regardless of which it was, they are high on my wantlist.

The first 50 cards are titled Heroes of History, the second 50 Men of History, from what I was able to determine on the internet.

The cards are almost current normal size, slightly smaller.

Note that the car references cards #51-100 yet the cards are not actually numbered on card. There was likely an album issued that had the numbers and spots designated for each card, however the peripherals for early cards are extremely rare and the highest number of surviving copies for any set I know of is 4. Four...that's not a typo. (With the caveat that there is more I don't know than I do)

Someday I'd like to complete this whole set- it's all history related.

By the way, I'm not sure how accurate the drawing is. Caesar was balding and actually petitioned the Roman Senate to wear his laurel wreath all the time to try and hide it. (they granted that request)

Tuesday, August 25, 2015

Finally, some protection for the tall boys

I don't know what the fascination is with these oversize cards. Topps has been cranking them out since the 1960s, and Fleer/Skybox got into them in the 1990s as well. They are nearly impossible to store, and forget sorting them with your other cards of the subject! I've had examples of these tall cards in my collection since 1994 at the latest, which is when they began to issue them for NASCAR and the Superman Platinum Series came out. In that time, I've never really had good storage for them. I've had the majority of the NBA examples in pages but that wasn't good- it led to most of them getting curved or worse. I've since taken them back out, but the damage has been done.

Now, finally, there is a good way to store them. I have been looking for cases to hold these cards for years. I've even contacted the case makers to no avail. I even thought about forming a case myself out of sheet metal, but I didn't want to do that in case humidity caused it to rust or something along those lines.

And then, on my last trip into my local card shop, they were there...right in front of me. They must have just gotten them in because there were only one or two missing off the shelf space. I snapped up 12 of them and I may get some more when I go back again because even though I still have 4 untouched, I don't plan to ever stop collecting cards and surely I will get more of these oversize cards in the future.

As you can see, the NBA takes up the majority of them- three full, and the majority of the 1993-94 and 1994-95 Jam Session cards aren't in there yet. The top row is one for NASCAR, one for Star Wars, one for other assorted cars, and one for everything else. Each of the categories of holders has room to expand because I have only completed two of these oversize sets- 1993-94 and 1995-96 Jam Session, ironically neither of which is shown in the photo. An empty container is on the left.

I spent most of yesterday getting the cards rounded up from the various boxes I had them in before, and then I finally integrated my Michael Jordan tribute sets and Starting Lineup cards into my NBA collection proper. For years I considered them separate collections, but now I have them in my NBA collection- with full paper listings and counted as part of my collection. I suspect there may be more out there in my collection somewhere, for years if it wasn't part of my collection officially I didn't really keep track of it...something I regret now. When I find them I will add them in. With the Starting Lineup cards, I may not actually have them. I know I got some of the figures loose without the card. In retrospect I should have held out and gotten sealed examples. After writing Michael Jordan's name in my paper listing over 300 times yesterday, I won't complain if I don't get any new cards of him for a while.

All told, it added 463 different NBA cards to my collection, which puts me only 264 away from 80,000 different. I probably have that many in my un-opened stash already, but I'm not going to rush it. My birthday is fast approaching, in October, so maybe I will fix it so I hit 80,000 on my birthday...but in all actuality I'll probably hit the mark beforehand. I tried to hit a milestone on my birthday last year, and I couldn't read my own handwriting and my number was off, so I hit the mark a week before. Duh!

I also want to end by saying RIP to Indy driver Justin Wilson. He died yesterday as a result of a freak accident at the Pocono race held this past Sunday. (a piece of another car that crashed in front of him fell out of the sky and hit him on the head) I don't have any cards of him in my collection- I don't know if he even got any. If he did, it would have been one of the Greenlight diecast releases. I have only a handfull of them and none of him. I just wanted to say something in his memory.

Monday, August 24, 2015

Sets in my Collection #2: 1910 Hassan World's Greatest Explorers

Back again with post #2 in the series- a little earlier in the day this time. I have decided that I will be going in chronological order, so it will be a true mix of everything...but all my older stuff is non-sports, a sports set won't appear until after post #15. I will probably mix in new vintage sets when I add them to my collection as well, but that has yet to be determined. By vintage in this context I mean anything not current year by the way, not necessarily true vintage.

The second oldest set in my collection is from 1910, and is an actual truly issued by a tobacco company card. For many years it seemed like I would never be able to get into the world of tobacco cards, but I was finally able to do it recently, thanks to Ebay and a great local vintage dealer, who was my source for this card.

The set is Hassan The World's Greatest Explorers, issued in 1910 according to the information I found online. It is only a 25 card set, and I have only this one, or 4%.

The cards are nearly normal size, slightly smaller in width but decidedly not as tall.

This card is extra cool for me as I live in walking distance of the Hudson River- there is not a lot of local references on cards, but this is one of them.

Here's a photo of the Hudson River I took in April of this year. The Mid-Hudson Bridge pictured celebrates it's 85th Anniversary tomorrow. Hard to imagine the card is significantly older!

Sunday, August 23, 2015

Sets in my Collection #1 1909 Philadelphia Caramel Zoo / Introduction to new project

As I've mentioned a few times, I am working on trying to get at least one card from each NASCAR and NBA set, and for non-sports the sets that interest me.

I have, in my 27 years collecting cards, added over 1800 different sets covering many, many different topics to my collection. You will see of course Non-sports, basketball, auto racing, but also baseball, hockey, football, and pretty much everything else- eventually!

I'm going to go through each and every one in a series of blog posts over the next several years. I have not yet decided if I want to go in chronological order, or if I want to pull some favorites and post them, or group them topically- but I know I wanted to start with non-sports as that is how I started collecting back in 1988.

So, I begin with the oldest set currently in my collection, 1909 Philadelphia Caramel Zoo.

It is a 50 card set, and I have only 1, or 2%. I am planning on giving the percentages of how close I am to completing it based on the stats provided by the Trading Card Database.

I love squirrels, and when I saw that the set included one, I had to have it. Even though it was already over 100 years old when I got it, it cost me less than $10 with shipping, Can't beat that!

I know I have shown the front of the card before, but this is the first post dedicated to it solely, and I believe it's the first time I've shown the back. Not a lot going on back there, and it even predates the concept of numbering cards.

Hopefully this project will allow me to post more often, as it doesn't really require a lot of thinking or motivation on my part (lol). I could post one a day every day and have about 4 years of posts, so expect this series to be a mainstay on Cardboard History. I have created a tag called "Sets" that each post in the series will be tagged with.

Thanks for reading!

Wednesday, August 12, 2015

Elton Brand Career Retrospective

News I had been dreading, but feared was coming, broke yesterday, August 11th, 2015. Elton Brand announced his retirement from the NBA.

Based on how little he got to play the last several years, I suspected it was coming...but I still dreaded it.

As I've mentioned before, Elton is my all-time favorite player. He is a Hometown Hero, from Peekskill, NY, where my family is originally from. I began following him while he was still in high school, through his years at Duke and then into the NBA. I originally began following him because he was a local, but his character off the court and his playing ability on it locked him in as my #1 favorite player.

Unfortunately Elton suffered several serious injuries that robbed him of his quickness and more than a full season's worth of playing time; he missed almost two seasons at around the same time that I stopped paying as much attention to the sport- but when he came back, the games he played in were usually the only regular season games I was watching at that time (Although, as I have since stated, I now regret that).

As a long time card collector, I naturally have tried to get as many different Elton cards as I could- and I still do. As of right now, I have 408 NBA cards of him, 7 college cards, and three jerseys that I wear. I can't show all of them here on the blog- it would take days to do that- but I will provide a link to my website where all his NBA cards can be seen together in one place at the end. That does not include cards that he shares with anyone else, including league leaders and team cards...just cards of him.

Many years ago, I had somebody create this logo for me to use in my signature line on Trader Retreat, which was the premier card forum at that time. I don't remember who made it for me, but I uploaded it to my website on December 5th, 2005. I don't even know if TR still exists. I still use that email address, although I only check once a week or so.

Now, let's take a look at Elton's career, and some of my favorite Elton cards, beginning with his time in college:
1997-98 and 1998-99 Duke University.
Elton played two years of college ball for a combined total of 60 games. I generally do not collect college cards but for him I make an exception.
1999 Press Pass Autograph

1999 Press Pass Authentics Team 2000 #T1

Elton went #1 in the 1999 NBA Draft to the Chicago Bulls. He did not expect to go #1 but he parlayed it into co-Rookie of the Year honors with Steve Francis of the Rockets.
1999-00 Fleer Tradition Roundball Collection #203RB
Elton played 81 games during his rookie season, starting 80 of them, and it actually turned out to be his third best season in scoring, with 1627 points scored. Elton would play 81 games twice more during his career, he would never get the opportunity to play all 82 games.
1999-00 Hoops X #89

1999-00 EX E-Xceptional Red #14XC

1999-00 Hoops X New Style Parallel #4NS SN 0488/1989

48 different cards of Elton from 1999-00 reside in my collection.

2000-01 was his second and final year with the Bulls, and with 80 different cards in my collection, the largest year for Eltons. It was the season I got my first autograph of him during, and he also got the #1 slot in several Topps sets, which is prestigious.
2000-01 Bowman's Best Flashback Rookie Locker Room Autographs #LRCF

2000-01 Fleer Triple Crown #137

2000-01 Stadium Club #80

2000-01 Topps #1

During the off-season between 2000-01 and 2001-02, Elton was traded to the Los Angeles Clippers for Tyson Chandler and Brian Skinner. It was the only time Elton was traded during his career, and the Los Angeles Clippers became his home for the next seven seasons. Elton reached his peak during this time frame, unfortunately the Clippers' owner was a famously bad person, and also famously poor at team management. The Clippers were the butt of many jokes throughout the years, but Elton's star shined brightly and he became, I believe, the first Los Angeles Clipper player to ever receive MVP votes.

Elton had a great year in 2001-02, and made his first All-Star Game that season. My collection of him dips slightly in 2001-02, coming in at 51 cards.
2001-02 Fleer Authentix #5

2001-02 Fleer Focus Trading Places jersey

2001-02 Fleer Marquee We're #1. This was my first Elton patch card, and it comes from the time before they treated patches specially.

2001-02 Stadium Club Lone Star Signatures
2002-03 was the first year Elton missed significant time with injury, playing in only 62 of 82 games. However, it is when my card collection began to grow the most, between 2002 and 2005, and my Elton collection for 02-03 rebounds to 64 cards.
2002-03 Fleer Tradition #187

2002-03 MVP #72

2002-03 Topps Chrome White Refractor #44 SN115/249
2003-04 saw Elton rebound slightly to play in 69 games. Totally coincidentally, that is also the amount of cards I have for him from the season. My two lowest serially numbered Eltons come from this season, SN1 and SN7.
2003-04 Bowman Signature #16 Red - One of One!

2003-04 EX Essential Credentials Now #7

2003-04 SP Game Used Authentic Patches. Taken from the L in Clippers.

In 2004-05, I started to trail off a little in cards, and my Elton collection is only 34 cards from that year. Elton rebounded to play in 81 games.
2004-05 Bazooka #42

2004-05 Fleer Throwbacks Hardwood Classics. My only NBA Logoman, albeit taken from the tag. Fine with me!

2004-05 Luxury Box Main Reserved #56 SN 22/25

2004-05 Upper Deck #76. San Diego Clippers throwback jersey.
2005-06 was Elton's best year. He only played in 79 games, but he played the most minutes (3099), scored the most points in his career (1953), put up his highest totals in field goals made, attempted, (both regular and free throws), blocks, and he even made a three pointer for the first time in his career. (He only made two- one in 2005-06 and one in 2006-07- he only attempted 20 his entire career, and most of them were desperation shots at the end of the shot clock/buzzer). He also made his second All-Star Game and if memory serves me correctly he finished third in MVP voting.
I really start to trail off this year, I only have 22 different cards of him, and most of them came much later- as in, 2015.
2005-06 Bazooka Gold #86. The blue alternate jersey was always a favorite of mine. I actually got to see this game. In the days before League Pass I only got to see Elton a couple of times a year, when he would play the Knicks and Nets...or the Clippers got a rare Nationally televised game.

2005-06 SP Game Used Authentic Fabrics.

2004-05 Upper Deck Ultimate Collection Ultimate Signatures
2006-07 was the year where I thought I was done collecting NBA cards. I was not overly happy with what was being produced, or the way the game was being played. I realize now it was me, but I took a break between late 2006-2012. I only have 8 Eltons from the year, and I only got three of them when they were new. This was Elton's second best year, as he put up his second highest point total, minutes played, baskets scored, assists and blocks.
2006-07 Bowman #9. Between 2006 and 2011 I believed this would be the last Elton card I would ever get. That has of course since changed.

2006-07 Bowman Elevation #2. This card was damaged in the flood of 2/5/15.

2006-07 Ultra #63

2007-08 was Elton's last year with the Clippers, and it was not a good year at all. Injuries limited him to only 8 games. He still played great when he could, but he couldn't for most of the season.
I only have 5 cards of him from 2007-08, one of which I just got 2 days ago. (You can see it in my 2015 Elton Brand chart up above)
2007-08 SP Game Used #118

2007-08 Topps #10
In 2008-09 Elton joined the Philadelphia 76ers as a free agent. However, he was limited to only 29 games due to injury. I did not get to see him play at all for the second year in a row, I believe. I have only two cards of him from 2008-09, only one of which shows him in the Sixers uniform.
2008-09 Topps T-51 Murad #1
2009-10 saw Elton bounce back, playing 76 games. I have 6 cards of him from that season, all of which I've gotten in the last two years. 2009-10 was also when the NBA took the license away from Topps and Upper Deck and gave it exclusively to Panini, a huge mistake.
2009-10 Absolute Memorabilia Tools of the Trade Prime #TOTT9 SN 01/25. The patch is from either the B or R on the back of his jersey.

2009-10 Panini Crown Royale #14

2009-10 Upper Deck #146. I am not sure when this image was taken. I suspect it was taken during 08-09, and that these jerseys were dropped after that season. UD usually used photos taken the previous season, and I know from some of the rookie cards I have that they did not use current season photos. I know I never saw Elton play in this jersey.
2010-11 was when I started to watch again, during the playoffs mostly. It was Elton's rebound season, which saw him play 81 games, set his career high in steals, and put up 1000+ points and 100+ blocks for the 9th and final times during his career. I again have 6 cards of him, all of which I got after the fact.
2009-10 Absolute Memorabilia Spectrum #74

2010-11 Prestige Bonus Shots Black #90 SN 3/10

2010-11 Rookies & Stars Longevity #12- the first Elton I got in 2015
2011-12 was the second lockout, which shortened the NBA season to 66 games instead of the usual 82. It was Elton's last season with the 76ers, and although his stats were down due to only playing 60 of those 66 games, it was still a good season. Then, at the end of it, the Sixers waived him due to the salary cap shenanigans that resulted from the lockout. The Sixers have been tanking ever since. Due to the Lockout, Panini only produced a handfull of sets, and I only have one Elton from the entire season- and it's a set I have only one card from as well. I did a box of 2011-12 Hoops but was not lucky enough to pull Elton's card from it.
2011-12 Gold Standard #101
In 2012-13, Elton signed with the Dallas Mavericks, and while he did play in 72 games, his minutes dropped dramatically- for the first time, he didn't have to be THE go-to guy on the team. It was the last year Panini truly included him in card sets. I have 11 cards of him on the year, 7 of them I actually got during the 2012-13 season.
2012-13 Absolute Basketball Spectrum Silver #9 SN 2-10. This was the first set released to show Elton in a Mavs jersey.

2012-13 Panini #56

2012-13 Panini Brilliance Game Time Jerseys Prime #47. The entire card is mirror foil so it does not scan all that well. There are also two layers of white in the patch.

2012-13 National Treasures Material Treasures #40. This is the only card I have from this brand, not just this set. They have done National Treasures for several years but they are too pricey for me, and had I not gotten this card as a gift the entire National Treasures brand would be missing from my collection. Note that in this caption by brand I am not referring to Elton Brand.
In 2013-14 Elton joined the Atlanta Hawks and it was the beginning of the end. He suffered through 57 DNP-Coach's Decision over his two years with the team, although only 9 of them came during 2013-14. Panini stopped doing their job as well, and only issued ONE card of Elton (with 6 parallels) during his entire 2-year stay with the Hawks. Disgraceful. And, to be honest, a large reason why I have not gotten as many cards as I normally do during 2014-15. They can't be bothered to do it right, why should I spend what little money I have on something that they get so wrong repeatedly? In 2013-14 Elton only played 36 games, and scored only 96 points for the entire season. He actually scored more points in 2007-08 when he only played 8 games due to injury. The majority of his time on court during 2014-15 was at the very end of quarters when they just wanted to waste time. I watched every single Hawks game on League Pass during the two seasons he was with them; it was a wholly frustrating experience for me. During 2014-15 Elton wore #7. It was the only time in his career he did not wear #42.
2013-14 Pinnacle #131. The only card issued of Elton as a member of the Atlanta Hawks.

All in all, Elton played in 1041 NBA games, starting 867 of them. He scored 16,757 points, 8977 rebounds, 2166 assists, 931 steals and 1820 blocks.
In a league that has had over 3000 players play in an NBA game, he ranks in the top 100 of several categories: 94th all time in games played, 89th in scoring, 20th in blocks, 49th in rebounding, 70th in career minutes played, and that's not even getting into the PER stuff.
He also led the league in offensive rebounds twice.

Off the court he runs several charitable organizations. I know of at least two, but there may be more. I have no way to research them to provide more info.

If you would like to see All of my NBA cards of Elton. I have a special album for the on my website, which you can look at Here. My copy of his 2002-03 Topps base card has gone missing so it is not present in the album.

I also have three jerseys I wear, which I will show. I would have a Hawks jersey too but they don't make it big enough.
Clippers red, from 2002-03 season. This is one where it's just painted on and it's cracking so I don't wear this one too often.
Clippers Blue Alternate, also from 2002-03. This is an official jersey, where everything is sewn on. This is the jersey I wear the most. It was, for many years, also the only one I had a photo of myself wearing. I was going to share the photo but I can't find it now.

1971-72 Buffalo Braves throwback. I am not sure if the Clippers ever actually wore this as a throwback, but I found it for sale at retail and had to have it.