Wednesday, August 29, 2018

My first Three-Way

trade! I've been trading online since the year 2000, but I've only ever done trades that were one person sending cards to me and me sending cards to somebody else. Not this time.

Cnagle on the Trading Card Database put up some vintage vehicle cards for trade, looking for football. I commented that I didn't have any vintage football, but I was interested in 19 of the cards. I asked if he would be willing to hold them until October, which would be my earliest opportunity to buy some vintage football to send him. Well, mutual friend Vrooomed sent me a message stating that he had some football available if Chad was interested in them. He did, and the trade was born. Dan (vrooomed) sent the football directly to Chad and Chad sent the vehicles to me. I will be giving Dan some money but haven't done that yet, which was agreed upon beforehand.

This is also my first all-vintage trade. The newest card I got was from 1965, and the newest Chad got was I think 1972.

My end from Chad arrived, and being vintage, I thought I would show them all off. This is a pretty important trade for me being the first time for a three-person trade and all-vintage trade.
1955 Topps Rails & Sails #16

1941 Wings Cigarettes Series B #10

1942 Wings Cigarettes Series C #10

1942 Wings Cigarettes Series C #11

1942 Wings Series C #13

1965 Donruss Spec Sheet #5

1965 Donruss Spec Sheet #5
 Is that the Orange Crate?? it sure looks like it!
1965 Donruss Spec Sheet #8

1965 Donruss Spec Sheet #11
 Stroppe Motorsports, which fielded this Mercury in the East Africa Safari in 1964, was also active in NASCAR from the 50s through the 1990s. Unfortunately, the drivers here are not labeled, and I can only find results of this rally from 1973-current.
1965 Donruss Spec Sheet #16

1965 Donruss Spec Sheet #25

1965 Donruss Spec Sheet #29

1965 Donruss Spec Sheet #35

1965 Donruss Spec Sheet #40

1965 Donruss Spec Sheet #47

1965 Donruss Spec Sheet #48
 Yes, that IS the Oakland Roadster Show!
1965 Donruss Spec Sheet #60

1965 Donruss Spec Sheet #64
Thank you for the excellent trade Chad and Dan! Before this, I only had two cards from the Donruss Spec Sheet set, one of which (not shown) I got another one of in this trade, but I think is an upgrade to the one I had.  And of course, any time I can add a card to Rails & Sails or the Wings Cigarettes sets is a very good day!

Sunday, August 26, 2018

Classic Cars: My Top 10 lists.

I know this is a card blog, but today I'm going to be talking about cars. Don't worry, I will work a card into the post as well.

Classic cars are my passion. My #1 thing I care about. As I've mentioned in the past, all my life I've dreamed about owning a classic car. I have had this dream my entire life, literally- I can't remember a time when it wasn't on my mind. Every day, 30+ years.

Yet it probably will never happen. I'm not going to get into that again here- it's too depressing- this is going to be a good post, not a whiny one.

Since I can't have a classic car of my own, I've settled for photographing as many of them as I can. And I've done pretty well with that. I have photographed thousands upon thousands of cars, and I've shot pictures of over 125 different brands of cars, from the common like Ford and Chevrolet, to the absolute rarities like Tucker and Horch, to the supercars like Duesenberg and Lamborghini.

I recently, at a car show, saw a King Midget for the first time. It's one of the cars I've always wanted to see, after reading about it in Hemmings many years ago. They are tiny cars, and were actually sold in kit form, though magazine ads! There were not many made and so you never see them. I've been attending car shows and museums my entire life and never saw one before. (They are so small, the owner of the one I saw is running golf cart wheels on it!)

So, when I was talking about that, and saying how it's something I have wanted to see forever, my family gave me a question that I actually had to think about- what were the cars I've wanted to see but hadn't?

I have been thinking about it now for a month and I've only come up with 4 cars, although I'm sure there are more I just can't think of right now, and will when I see them.

#1. 1958 Edsel Wagon

This is by far #1 on the list. It's my absolute dream car.  Although I'm known as "El Camino Billy" I have just as much love for the Edsels, and the 58 Wagon has taken almost mythical proportions. I've never seen one in person in any setting. If I were going to buy a classic car, this would be tied for #1 on that list- which, spoiler alert, see below!.
The amazing thing is, there's one for sale by me locally. The owner had a photo of it on a sign board at a local show I went to a couple weeks back. I was so hyped up that there is one locally, that I might someday see, that I forgot to take a picture of the pictures. Sadly, it's not in running condition...which means I probably could afford it. My health doesn't allow me to fix it though.
This is a Danbury Mint model of the 1958 Edsel Wagon.
It's not the best picture...I took this photo in 2010, but I have better capabilities now, I should reshoot it. It's the only Danbury Mint car in my collection.

#2, A Crosley. Any Crosley! This is kind of iffy one to put on the list- I've seen three Crosleys in my life. Two were in the Auburn-Cord-Duesenberg Museum in Indiana, and one was for sale in a field off the side of Route 149 in Lake George, NY, about 1997. I wasn't able to get close to either of them, and get detailed photos.  This is the best I was able to get. As you can see, not great.
Editorial note: When I was looking through my pictures for later in the post, it appears I DID see a Crosley, in 2014, and I just plain forgot. So, scratch that one off the list!

#3. A Nash-Healey. I was reminded that I had never seen one of them when one appeared on a Chasing Classic Cars rerun I saw for the first time this week. I don't have anything to show for them, not a card or diecast.

#4. A STOCK 1941 Willys Americar. These are almost all turned into customs or drag racers. Most large shows have at least a couple customized versions, aided by the fact that you can get full reproduction bodies as well. But a factory stock version? Good luck. I've seen it estimated that there are less than 50 left in the world.
#5. A Reeves Octoauto.
1953-54 Topps World on Wheels #135
 Yes, this crazy contraption actually existed...but it's believed that none have survived. I'm not sure how many were built, but it could be as few as one. While I throw this on the list...I only really count four of them.

And, that's it. While there are plenty of cars I'd love to see, these are the 4 that jump out at me. There are lots from the Brass Era that I simply don't know about- my knowledge of that era is severely lacking- so I can't search for something I probably don't know exists. I was not quite able to make a top 10 list.

The crazy thing is...I have absolutely no control over if I will ever see any of these, ever.  Other than the OctoAuto, they are out there...the question is, will I ever be where they are? I have a limited ability to walk around, and there are more than a few large car shows where I can't physically see all of it. And a large enough show, there could be cars there that I know are there, but I can't find. Case in point, the Adirondack Nationals, 2016. When driving by after dinner the night before the show officially opened, I saw an Edsel sedan turning into the show grounds. I was able to cover the entire show over the next two days, but I never saw it again, and was not able to get a photo of it! I can only do about 45 minutes before I start to have some real trouble, 99% of the time. Occasionally I will have a lucky day where I can do more, but it's rare. And I still end up paying for it physically later.

Now...I'm going to do something I've never done before. I'm finally going to put down, on "paper", my list of Top 10 Classic cars I want to own. Keep in mind, I love cars, all cars, so the list is subject to change, and if I could afford it, I'd collect cars like I currently do cards. I've kept a working copy of this list in my head for years...I think the first time I ever made a ranking in my head was in the 1990s.

#1 (TIE) a 58 Edsel Wagon and an El Camino
See above for the Edsel. For the El Camino, I'm going to cheat here and list them all as one entry or else half the list will be El Caminos. I first discovered the El Camino in the late 1990s. I had seen them before then, as I had scale replicas of them going back to the late 1980s, but they really made an impression on me circa 1997. I have become known for them- my website, my email address, even my ebay ID are all El Camino Billy in some form or another. I even have the address for my automotive photography page (linked above). So to say I've been obsessed with them, is not an understatement. While there's none I dislike, my favorites are, in chronological order:
1959, photographed by me last year at the Adirondack Nationals.
1970, photographed by me at the 2007 Adirondack Nationals, and...
1973-77, also photographed by me at the 2017 Adirondack Nationals. The body was basically unchanged for those years,  but the grill changed. The 1970 body was used in 1971 and 1972 as well, but only 1970 had the quad headlights, which is what I prefer. The 1959 was a one-year-only bodystyle.

I feel kind of bad that I'm not including the 4th, final and longest generation of El Camino on the list, which ran with just minor changes, mostly in the grill, from 1978-87. I like them too, and would gladly drive one around if I had the chance.

The major problem the El Camino offers is that it's only two seats. There are three people in my family. The Edsel wagon would offer 4 seats at the minimum, 9 at the maximum. If I ever do get an El Camino, it will mean we can't do things as a family, which is not cool.

#3: 1957 Chevrolet Bel Air.
As any person who's known me for a long time knows, I tend to favor the obscure. Not in this case. The 57 Chevrolet is one of the most popular cars ever- so popular, in fact, that they are just about ubiquitous. And, in the only instance where color really matters, I want it to be red. I have always liked the looks of the 50s Chevrolets, and the big, chrome covered fins of 1957 sure set it off. If you notice, this one, another 2017 Adirondack Nationals photo, is a four door. I actually prefer four doors to two-doors. To me, the only vehicles that look better with two doors are trucks. I actually remember a specific dream I had once, that was in a red 57 Chevrolet. It was so that dream, I remember driving north on the Adirondack Northway, headed to the Adirondack Nationals. My dad was driving, I was in the passenger seat, and my mom and brother were driving their cars- it was the Aerostar and the Cavalier at that time- in a convoy behind us. I remember the windows were down, with the smell of pine trees permeating the air, with the sun glinting off the chrome dashboard. It was so realistic but of course, can never happen. Even if my dad was still here, I probably wouldn't have driven to Lake George with him, as his eyesight was worse than mine, which is saying something. Whenever we went anywhere as a family, my mom always drove. I generally don't remember dreams very much- which is a good thing, usually, but this one, I remember. Just a small portion of. I hope I never forget it.

#4: 1950 Pontiac
Another Adirondack Nationals photo, this one I don't remember the year on. It's pre-2009.
I had never really thought too much about early Pontiacs. I mean, I love all 50s cars- there's not a single one I dislike. But then I got to see a couple of 1950 Pontiacs up close, and I just fell in love. The bodyshape, the grill, the chrome strips running the length of the hood, the hood ornament...which, although not on this car, you can get that actually lights up when you have the headlights just oozes 50s class. The same basic bodystyle was also used on Chevrolets, Oldsmobiles, Buicks and Cadillacs, but the chrome strips on the hood and the grill set Pontiac above the rest for me.

#5 Bullet Nose Studebaker
Produced in both 1950 and 51, the Studebaker of those years had some very unique styling. Most people don't like it, but I love it. Aside from the rather unique nose treatment, the interior cabin had a rather unusual, circular shape on the back end. I've always had a bit of an affinity for Studebakers, and this is my favorite by far. This photo was taken by my mom at the Studebaker National Museum in South Bend, Indiana, in 2003.

#6. a 1950s Ford Pickup
This is a 1955, but this same body design was used from 1953-56. It's not a coincidence that AMT's 1953 kit was the first model I ever built by myself. This is one I photographed in 2011 at the Adirondack Nationals, and it's been customized quite a bit.

#7. an early Mustang
I've always been a Mustang fan, even though they only come in two-door form. They are iconic. There's not a Mustang I don't love- even the Mustang II- but the early examples are my favorites. I photographed this one at the Orange County Antique Auto Show on July 27th, 2008.

#8 ANY wagon
I've always loved Wagons, even when they were not cool. Now, finally, other people have clued in on what I've known forever- wagons are awesome. I remember very well our 1973 Torino wagon, with it's metallic orange paint and brown vinyl interior, that we had until 1991. Great memories of that car. I don't really care what wagon it long as it's a wagon. This one pictured happens to be a 1968 Pontiac, that I photographed at Rhinebeck sometime in the past 15 years.

#9 Any sedan Delivery
Sedan Deliveries were popular in the early days of automobiles, but they stopped producing them during the 1960s. Chevrolet brought them back in the mid-2000s when they produced an HHR Sedan Delivery, but for the most part, they were replaced by vans. (which I also like). this is a 1946 Chevrolet, that has been customized a little too much for my taste- I don't care for the idea of painting the grill and bumpers the same color as the body when they were originally chrome, or removing all badging and trim, but if somebody were to give it to me- you can bet I'd cherish it all the same. I photographed this one at the Goodguys East Coast Nationals at some point pre-2011.

#10 Dodge Daytona/Plymouth Superbird
Each produced one year only, in 1969 for the Dodge, and 1970 for the Plymouth, as shown here, photographed by me at the 2018 Goodguys East Coast Nationals, these were created specifically to race in NASCAR. But, due to NASCAR's rulebook, they had to produce them for the street as well. They are wild. I've always been a fan. The first time I saw one, a white Superbird, I literally ran down the street after it, in a failed attempt to get a better look. I've actually seen a few now- more Superbirds then Daytonas. You may notice these are the only Mopars to be on the list. We've had a bad history with their brands. The only times (yes, plural) we've had to walk home was with Mopars. We've had 4 in my lifetime, and they have ALL been nothing but problems. So, I've said that I don't plan to ever own any Mopars again, even though they are all very good looking vehicles. For these two, I'd make an exception. However, with the lowest price for these being roughly 140,000 dollars- it will never, ever happen.

And that's 10 already...but I could easily keep going with more and more cars, and I wouldn't be surprised if it hit triple digits. I just love them all.

Thursday, August 23, 2018

NBA Encyclopedia #4: Aldrich to Allen

Welcome to the long-awaited return of what I plan to be a cornerstone of Cardboard History, my Encyclopedia series! It's been a year and a half since I last published in this series, and that's not good at all. My goal for myself is at least one post in the series per month going forward...hopefully more than that. These posts take quite a bit of effort and time to create so I am not sure how often I can create them.

#31 Cole Aldrich
2011-12 Hoops #168
A role player in the NBA, Burnsville, Minnesota native Cole Aldrich has bounced around to several teams trying to find a permanent spot in the League. He has appeared in 339 games over 8 seasons with the Thunder, Rockets, Kings, Knicks, Clippers and Timberwolves, where he played most recently, appearing in 17 games during 2017-18. The Timberwolves waived him at the conclusion of the season, and as of yet no other teams have signed him. His best season was 2014-15 with the Knicks, where he started 16 of the 61 games he played, and scored 338 points, his career high for a season. One of the few modern players to never attempt even a single 3-point shot.

#32 LaMarcus Aldridge
2016-17 Complete Silver #303
A genuine superstar, Aldridge has been a 6 time All-Star and 5-time All-NBA player, he has put up 16,871 points in 869 games, ranking him 94th all-time in scoring. His first 9 seasons were in Portland, then he went to the Spurs as a free agent, returning to his home state of Texas. The second pick of the 2006 draft, he has started every game he's played after his rookie season, and is usually the focal point of scoring for the teams he's been on. The Bulls, who drafted him second, traded him on draft night for Tyrus Thomas and Viktor Khryapa, a decision they have probably been regretting ever since. He led the league in shots made in 2014-15, his last with Portland.

#33 Chuck Aleksinas
1984-85 Star #150
A player I know very little about. Hailing from Litchfield, Connecticut, his only NBA basketball was played during the 1984-85 season for the Warriors. He played in Spain and Italy, most recently the 1989-90 season. This is the only NBA card he ever got. He appeared in 74 games and scored 377 points during that season.

#34 Cliff Alexander
2015-16 Complete #300
A somewhat obscure modern player. He appeared in 8 games for the Trail Blazers during 2015-16, and that was the end of his NBA career. He played in the D-League/G-League in 2016-17 and 2017-18, and currently plays in Germany. He scored 10 points in his 8 games.

#35 Cory Alexander
1998-99 Autographics
A native of Waynesboro, Virginia, Alexander had an unusual career. Drafted by the Spurs in 1995, he played the first two and a half years of his career with the Spurs  He was waived during the 1997-98 season, but he didn't have long to wait, being signed by Denver 5 days later, where he played two and a half more years. He spent 2000-01 with the Orlando Magic, then was out of basketball. After not playing at all in 2001-02, he played in the D-League in 2002-03, then spent the 2003-04 season playing it Italy. He returned to to D-League in 2004-05, and then, he got called up and played 16 games with the Charlotte Bobcats, 4 years after last playing in the NBA! His career totals come out to 1677 points scored over 307 games. Currently a broadcaster for ESPN's college basketball coverage.

#36 Courtney Alexander
2001-02 EX #25
Courtney Alexander seemed to be a player with a long career ahead of him, but he only played 3 seasons of professional basketball. A native of Bridgeport, Connecticut, he was taken as a lottery pick by the Dallas Mavericks (via the Magic, who actually made the pick) in the 2000 draft. Dallas traded him to Washington midway through his rookie season, and he played a season and a half there, including his career-high in scoring of 33 points. The Wizards traded him to New Orleans and he played one season there...and that was it. He signed contracts with two other NBA teams, but both cut him from the team before ever playing a game. He does not appear to have played internationally or in any other lower-level professional leagues. His final totals are only 187 games played, and 1690 points scored.

#37 Joe Alexander
2008-09 Topps Tipoff #118
An interesting life, but widely considered one of the most disappointing lottery picks in recent years. Drafted 8th by the Bucks in 2008, he played a grand total of 67 games, scoring only 282 points during his 2-year NBA career. He is the only lottery pick I am aware of to play less than three years in the NBA, although he may be joined on that list if Giorgios Papagiannis does not play in 2018-19. A persistent leg injury has hampered his career, costing him more than a full season, including a comeback attempt with the Warriors in 2013. After the Bucks traded him to Chicago during 2009-10, he was sent to the D-League, he moved on then to Russia, Israel, Italy, and second stints in both the D-League and Israel, where he currently plays and is in all actuality playing quite well. He was the first NBA player born in Taiwan, and also became the first American to have his jersey number retired by a Chinese high school, where he lived for a time. Has dual citizenship between USA and Israel.

#38 Victor Alexander
1992-93 Ultra #62
An American player who found much more success in Europe than in the NBA. Drafted 17th by the Warriors in 1991, he played for them until and including the 1994-95 season. They then traded him to the Raptors, who, for reasons unknown to me, refused to play him. They traded him to Cleveland, but he failed the physical, thus voiding the trade. They tried again, sending him to the Knicks, but the Knicks waived him instantly. After sitting out 1995-96, (though technically a member of the Raptors, who he does have cards with) he then moved on to Europe, playing in Spain, Greece, Israel and Russia, with multiple stints in each country save Israel. He actually returned to the NBA in 2001-02, appearing in 15 games with the Pistons, before returning to Russia. Playing with the Pistons, even for only 15 games, must have been a thrill, considering Detroit is his home town.  2003-04 was his final season internationally. His final NBA stats are 2542 points over only 286 games.

#39 Steve Alford 
1990-91 Hoops #81
Franklin, Indiana's Steve Alford is known much more for being a college coach, but he does have 4 years of NBA action on his resume. Taken 26th overall by the Dallas Mavericks in the 1987 draft, they released him halfway through his second season, which he finished with the Warriors. He then went back to the Mavericks for two more years and that was the end of his career, totaling 744 points in 169 games. He instantly stepped into coaching in college, becoming a head coach the very next season. He still is a coaching, currently head coach of UCLA. His son Bryce played briefly in the D-League but has no cards.

#40 Jarrett Allen
2017-18 Hoops Rise N Shine #RS-JAL
Austin, Texas native Jarrett Allen is just beginning his NBA career. The Nets' first round pick in 2017, he appeared in 72 of a possible 82 games during his rookie season, starting 31 of them, and scoring 587 points. He is considered one of the main building blocks of the Nets' future, and is projected to be the starting center for the foreseeable future. It's of course unknown what path his career will take, but it looks like he may have a long career from what he's shown so far.

Tuesday, August 21, 2018

$30 a Week Habit sends me more than 30 cards

Recently, I got a box of cards from Robert of $30 a Week Habit and My PCs One Card at a Time, who sent me a box of hockey goodness. Now, there were too many to show all of them, but here are some highlights:

4 new sets were added to my collection, with probably the highlights being 1976-77 O-Pee-Chee and 1987-88 O-Pee-Chee. The other two, not shown, are 2003-04 Heads Up and 1998-99 Finest, which happens to be the only one of the 67 cards he sent me that I have not scanned yet, I think!
One of the three 1976-77s he sent, which I am guessing are ones he upgraded in his on-going set build, is my first career issue of The Hammer.
It's my third card of his, but the other two were both issued long after his career ended. While I still have a lot to learn there are some names from the past I've already learned, and his is one of them.

Since I can't show two and leave out the third, here's Bob Nystrom:
 He seems to have been enjoying that photo shoot!

My Joe Sakic collection got a huge boost from him, with 16 of them joining my collection! It moved him into my top 10.
This one may be the most intriguing to me, as I have no idea what set it came out of. Robert or anyone else, do you know?

But there were more mainstream cards as well, going as far back as when the team was in Quebec:
 to Colorado...
 and even as an All-Star!
There were other players and sets represented as well, including some serious star power both retired and current, and even some inserts.
 (as an aside, the 1992-93 Topps design grows on me more and more every year. I've been familiar with this design since 1996 when I first saw it on an NBA card, yet I like it now more than ever. I don't know how to explain that)

In total, I got 67 new cards in the box, and all of them will be a part of my collection for many years to come. Thank you again Robert!