Sunday, June 30, 2019

That took longer than I thought it would

I've been working hard on Cardboard History Gallery, and last night I finally completed getting the NBA by Set posted! That was a ton of work...because it's about half my entire collection. I've been working on posting them since either February or March- I don't remember when I decided to prioritize this- and I didn't finish until June 29th! 

It's the only place I store my front and back images in one place, which is kind of why I prioritized it. It's also kind of neat to see when I last scanned a card for a set. For some of the sets I've completed, it will never be updated again, so in the future I'll be able to watch and see how long ago the album was created and updated. For a set like 1975-76 or 1976-77 Topps, for example, what's there is there. I have the entire set, fully scanned and posted. There were no inserts to chase that year, so it's really, truly complete. 
Here's a screencap from when I was composing the post. One of the things I love the most about the Fotki format is that every time I refresh, there's a different image as the sample. To be honest, sometimes I just refresh repeatedly to see the images change. 

Doing this project has shown me just how many backs I lost when my 1st remote hard drive crapped out. I am going to have to do a lot of rescanning at some point. I also discovered that when my laptop crapped out in October, I apparently hadn't backed up some of the back scans, because I found three from 2017-18 that were missing- and my Excel chart didn't have them listed either, which is bad because I was sure I had backed that up properly....I went and checked the Database and I posted the scan just two days before the computer died. I might try to get it running again- a challenging process, and which may not work, and see if I can rescue them. 

Here's the stats page screencapped. 
Am I caught up? Oh no, not by a long shot. I still have to do the NHL, NASCAR, Non-Sport and Other Sports by well as basketball, hockey, baseball and football by person, and most of Auto Racing, having only done the letters A and B. 

I still have a long way to go, but it does feel nice to accomplish something, especially what is, in all reality, the largest part of the website. And even more so because today was a lousy day health wise and I missed out on some great stuff because of it. 

Saturday, June 29, 2019

They could have made this easier.

I'm always working on scanning something, and I'm finally getting to the 2018-19 Donruss cards I got a few months back.

And this has been in the back of my mind to write about since circa January when I got the cards.

Do you see the card number in this scan?
Here's a closeup. You can kind of see on dark blue, it's nearly impossible to read in hand. I wasn't totally sure if it was #182 or #162 at first, but luckily I got the #162 card in the same pack. (hint- if you highlight the image the number is much easier to read)

The card design is typical Panini, but it's not a bad design aesthetically. It's just super hard to read the card number when it's on black over dark blue.

Ironically, the veteran cards have their numbers in white on a black square. White or team-coded yellow would have been much more legible.

Here's the front of the card for posterity.
Even though Michael Porter Jr. got his rookie cards in the 2018-19 sets, he is actually eligible for the 2019-20 NBA Rookie of the Year. He missed the entire season due to a back injury that required surgery. Although Zion Williamson is already projected to be ROY, the Nuggets think Porter will be in the running. Time will tell.

Wednesday, June 26, 2019

Are you a Zzaj fan?

What, you've never heard of the Hatu Zzaj?
For some unknown reason, Fleer reversed the image on this card from the 1987-88 set. I've had this card for almost two decades and I don't think I noticed it until I scanned it this past week.

Sunday, June 23, 2019

A trip to the FASNY Firefighting museum

Yesterday, my entire family went up to the FASNY Museum of Firefighting in Hudson, NY. It was a great place- I ended up taking 1172 photos, which is the third most I've taken in a single day in my life. I'm not going to post them all- I'm not even going to post that many, just some of the best.

The museum actually had a promo trading card, which I will get to later on in the post, which is a first.

 This is the truck Hot Wheels based Old #5 on...a 1928 Ahrens-Fox
 Flags from my family's hometown of Peekskill and some trucks
 They actually had some trading cards on display

 I even took a selfie
 Didn't expect them to have Ancient Rome covered!
 The oldest vehicle I've ever seen! Built in 1725, imported to New York in 1731. Fought fires in NYC until 1844. They imported two at the same time, the second was lost fighting a fire...during the American Revolution!

 Amazing artwork on this rig, from the 1830s.
 This rig was used to fight the Great Chicago Fire! It wasn't from Chicago, it was from here in NY. The Great Chicago Fire was so bad that they put out the call for help and the crew from NY went to help.(I'm assuming they put it on a train, the engine was horse-drawn so it may have been driven...the info sheet didn't say)

 This engine was so powerful that they sprayed the hose on the back of a burning house, and it sprayed all through the house and blew the shutters off the front! It was built in Hudson and served in the Capital Region it's whole life.
 These were not labeled, but they sure look cool.
Outside the museum is a section of bricks with writing on them- all listing Firemen involved in the FASNY organization since it's creation in the 1870s. Each of the standing stones around the perimeter list one of the 63 counties in the state of NY. I photographed every one, which you can see on my website.

The museum is a really fantastic place. If you like history, if you like fire engines, it's worth the drive. I took, as I noted, over 1100 photos, and once I removed the blurry ones and the family ones, I got 1112 to post on my website, which you can see here: FASNY Museum of Firefighting. According to their Facebook page, it is the largest museum of firefighting equipment in the world.

They also had a promo card made! The museum has a Dalmatian who lives there, but wasn't there when we were there. She has a trading card, though. We saw a stack of them sitting behind a counter, asked if we could have one, and we could.
The standard size card features full color artwork on both sides. More than we usually get from Panini, to be honest. It's high-quality.

The gift shop also had a set of 18 postcards for sale, which I bought. Some of the photos used are not great, but the entire set was only $1...can't beat that. I'll cover them in a future postcard post. Mainly because I have not scanned any yet, lol.

It was a great time. And then today, we went to a car show at the Newburgh Mall in Newburgh NY, and saw some interesting stuff...
hit the link for more.

Thursday, June 20, 2019

In-Your-Face Defense

1993-94 Hoops #101
Not much more to say than the picture provides.
NBA Draft tonight, NHL draft tomorrow.

Monday, June 17, 2019

NBA Encyclopedia #6: Alston to Anderson

Time to get back to the NBA Encyclopedia. It's been 4 months since the last installment. but we begin here with...

#51 Rafer Alston

2004-05 Topps #125
Rafer Alston was known more for his streetball than his NBA career, although he was a starting point guard for much of his 12 NBA seasons. the famous "And1 Mixtape" is of him, while he was in high school in hometown of Queens, NY. He started 452 of his 671 career games, and played for the Bucks, Raptors, Heat, Rockets, Magic and Nets. He had two separate stints with the Raptors and Heat. The largest portion of his career came with the Rockets, where he played 267 of his games, starting all of them. He scored 6799 points in his career, not counting 2 stints in the NBDL, 1 in the CBA, and 1 year in China. He retired in 2012 and I do not know what he has done post-career.

#52 John Amaechi
2000-01 Ultra #119
 John Amaechi is a man of many firsts. Most notably, his is the first openly gay NBA player, although mostly forgotten now since Jason Collins said so before he retired. (John Amaechi revealed it in 2007, having last played in 2003) Less remembered is that he was the first undrafted NBA player to start on opening night, something I didn't know until researching this post. Somewhere in the middle is that he was the first player to score a basket in the year 2000, a game I happened to be watching and distinctly remember seeing. He played only 5 NBA seasons, 1 year with Cleveland in 1995-96, then with Orlando from 1999-01 and Utah from 2001-03. In between, he played in France, Greece, Italy, England, and France again. He is also one of the few English players, although born in Boston, he is actually British. After his playing career, he has devoted much of his life to charity, also finding time to become a licensed psychologist on 2 different continents, as well as owning a team in both the men's and women's professional league in Britain.

#53 Ashraf Amaya
1995-96 Fleer #270
One of the rarer players to see on a card, he has only three NBA cards issued. This is the only standard size card. Originally from Illinois, he traveled the world in a journeyman professional basketball career that lasted from 1993 to 2004. In order, he played in Turkey, the CBA, Greece, NBA, CBA again, Italy, then back to Greece,  back to Turkey, back to the CBA, then finally Spain. His NBA career was fairly short- 85 games during the 1995-96 season with the expansion Grizzlies, and 1996-97 with the Washington Bullets. He actually started 34 of the 54 games he played with the Grizzlies. I do not know what he has done post-playing career.

#54 Al-Farouq Aminu
2017-18 Prestige Rain #140
 A currently active player, Al-Farouq Aminu is the starting power forward for the Portland Trail Blazers. Born in Atlanta, he is descended from Nigerian royalty, and represents Nigeria in the Olympics. He has been in the NBA since 2010-11 and played for the Clippers, New Orleans Hornets, Pelicans (he was with the team when the name changed) and Mavericks before joining Portland. The Blazers have been where the majority of his game action has been from, 293 of his 670 career games at the conclusion of the 2018-19 season. As he is still active, it is not yet known what his career numbers will be.

#55 Lou Amundson
2015-16 Complete #184
 A rare modern player represented by this single card in my collection, he was a player who Panini chose not to include in most sets. He had a 10-year NBA career but Panini only gave him 1 base card in their entire time covering the sport, which is 2009-10 to present. It is the card above. He is the 12th player in NBA history to play for 10 different teams, and they were, in order: Utah, Philadelphia, Phoenix, Golden State, Indiana, Minnesota, Chicago, New Orleans Hornets and Pelicans (like Aminu, he was part of the team when the name changed) back to Chicago, and finally the Knicks. He largest playing time came with the Knicks, with 35 of his 42 career starts coming in NY. (although he played the most games with the Suns). In total, he played 428 NBA games...but he is actually still active. After being waved by the Knicks, he played a year in the Philippines and currently plays in Japan. His career began in the D-League in 2006-07.

#56 Chris Andersen
2015-16 Hoops #137
 Nicknamed the "Birdman", Andersen is historically important to the NBA as he was the first player to be called up from the D-League. His career began in China, then went to the IBA (International Basketball Association) and the Southwest Basketball League which I had never heard of before researching this post. When the D-League was formed in 2001, he was the first player drafted in the first D-League draft. After only 2 games, he became the first call-up from the D-League, by the Nuggets, where he would stay until 2004. He then joined the Hornets, where he stayed until 2008, although he missed all of 2006-07 and portions of 2005-06 and most of 2007-08 due to drug-related suspension. He then returned to the Nuggets for 4 more years, then he joined the Heat, one of the role players in the Big Three era, culminating in winning a title in the 2012-13 season. He stayed with the Heat for 3 and a half seasons, before being traded to Memphis. He joined the Cavaliers in 2016-17, but tore his ACL during the season- putting an end to his NBA career. He currently takes part in the Big3 League. His final career NBA stats are 695 games, 45 starts, and 3755 points scored.

#57 David Andersen
2009-10 Rookies & Stars Longevity #130
 Although an NBA rookie in 2009-10, David Andersen had been a professional basketball player for more than a decade by then! One of the more widely traveled players, he began his professional career in 1998-99 in his native Australia. He then moved to Kinder Bologna in Italy, where he won the 2000-01 EuroLeague title. While with that team, he was a "draft-and-stash" player in the 2002 NBA draft. After Bologna folded in 2003, he stayed in Italy for the year, before moving to Russia, where he won another EuroLeague title, then to Spain. After that came his two years in the NBA, 2009-10 with the Rockets and 2010-11 with the Raptors and Hornets. He then went back to Italy, then Turkey, France, and finally back to Australia, where he became the oldest player to win his first NBL championship. After three seasons in Australia, he returned to the Strasbourg team in France, where he still plays. He has also represented Australia in the last 4 Olympics.

#58 Alan Anderson
2015-16 Complete Silver #96
 Anderson is one of the more common names in the NBA- you will see 14 of them in this project, and Alan is alphabetically first. He began his career in 2005-06 as a member of the expansion Charlotte Bobcats, and played two years with them. (with a D-League stint as well). He then went overseas, playing in Italy, Russia, Croatia and Israel before returning to the D-League. After a short time he went to Spain and China before returning again to the D-League. At this point, now 2011-12 season, he rejoined the NBA by joining the Raptors. A season and a half with Toronto saw him establish himself as a legitimate NBA player, and he joined the Brooklyn Nets, where the majority of his NBA action occurred (152 of 330 games, 45 of 66 starts, 1109 of 2421 points scored). After two successful seasons with the Nets, he joined the Wizards but missed all but 13 games due to injury. The Wizards chose not to resign him and he finished his NBA career with 30 games for the Clippers, who eventually waved him. He played briefly back in the D-League, and now plays in the Big3 tournament,

#59 Derek Anderson
1999-00 Ultra #41
 Derek Anderson always seemed like a big-time player to me- a superstar waiting to break out, but injuries derailed that...he only had three seasons that could be considered a full season, in an 11 year career. Originally drafted by Cleveland, he was traded to the Clippers for 1999-00. He then joined the Spurs, who traded him to Portland, whom he played the most games for. After being waved by the Blazers for salary reasons, he joined the Rockets, who would trade him to Miami, where he was part of the Heat's first title. He played his final two years with the Charlotte Bobcats, retiring after 2007-08. In total, he played in 615 games, starting 390 of them, and scored 7357 points.

#60 Eric Anderson
1992-93 Stadium Club #286
Eric Anderson had a very short NBA career, appearing in 27 games across 1992-93 and 1993-94, all with the Knicks. He scored exactly 42 points in his career, an interesting coincidence. After his NBA career concluded, he played in Andorra, the CBA, Italy, Turkey, and a second stint in the CBA and Italy. Unfortunately, he passed away in December 2018 at only 48 years old, of unknown causes.

Thursday, June 13, 2019

NHL Collection progress after season #2

The NHL season ended last night, and it was great. It seems like it went by really fast, but I'm pretty happy with how it turned out. Of course, I'd be happier if my Rangers or Golden Knights were celebrating, but there's no team in the league I truly hate, so I'm pretty much going to be happy no matter who wins.

Last year, I took a look at how my NHL collection was progressing. Since the season is done now, let's take a look at where my collection stands now, and how it's changed.

As an added bonus, with the new computer I had to get back in November, I can fit more lines of stats on the screencaps of the Trading Card Database stat pages! Don't forget, you can click on the image to see it larger.

Wayne Gretzky still leads, with exactly 20 more cards than last year at this time. Lundquist makes a big jump from 39 to 74 cards! Messier drops from second to third, only 9 new cards added. Brett Hull stays 4th- jumping from 39 to 52 cards, he actually passes Brian Leetch, who fell from 3rd to 5th. Jagr moves from 8th to 6th, and Joe Sakic jumps from 14th to 7th, thanks to a RAOK from Robert of $30 a Week Habit. Mario Lemieux falls from a 3-way tie for 4th to 8th, with only 7 new cards added. Teemu Selanne drops from 7th to 9th, and Patrick Roy jumps from tied for 12th to tied for 9th. Ray Bourque and Pavel Bure fall out of the top 10. The name that is noticeably missing to me is Mats Zuccarello. I thought for sure he would be in the top 25 by now, but he's actually in a 3-way tie for 44th with Chris Chelios and Paul Coffey, with 25 cards.

Not much changes at the top of the leaderboard for the teams, and I suspect that will stay the same for the foreseeable future. The Rangers jump from 588 to 871 cards- you can tell they are my favorite. The Canadiens move past the Devils and the Bruins do as well. When I first started collecting a friend on the Database sent me a whole package full of Devils, and that gave them an early lead. Now they are settling out as I get more. The Kings are actually higher than I would have guessed, moving into the top 5. The Penguins jump from 8th to 6th, and the Red Wings stay 7th. The Maple Leafs jump from 12th to 8th, and the Canucks and Blackhawks stay in 9th and 10th. The Lightning plummet to 15th, after being 5th last year! That's a huge drop. The Islanders only move from 15th to 13th. The Vegas Golden Knights move from tied for 40th to holding down 35th all on their own, with 138 cards. I'm not sure they will make it onto this leaderboard next season, The Mighty Ducks only have 11 cards on them for 34th, but the Phoenix Coyotes and have 24 cards on them and the North Stars have 48 on them- with my current rate of new card additions, I don't know if it will happen. Time will tell.

The top 2 swap, but the real story to me is that 2018-19 is so high! I have not been buying as many cards this year, so it truly surprises me that it's so high. I didn't even do a hobby box of either series of Upper Deck's flagship! The only hobby box that I did this year was MVP. My brother also got me the factory set of MVP, with was 255 cards in and of itself. I got two blasters of O-Pee-Chee for Christmas, as opposed to one last year, which is a bunch of cards as well. That's just a huge surprise for me, and I am really, truly shocked. Gee, maybe the Knights do have a chance to make the leaderboard next season if I'm as lucky again next season.

Not a surprise for me here. 1990-91 Pro Set's lead may not be insurmountable, but it holds on for another year. 1991-92 Upper Deck remains in second, but closes from 299 cards to 406, a big difference. 2017-18 Upper Deck jumps up to third, and 1990-91 UD moves into 4th- with a big assist from AirPete, who's been sending me 20 or so at a time lately, which I am a little backlogged but plan to post about as soon as I can. This year's Panini Stickers is MUCH higher than I realized- a thank you to my Mom and to Kenny of Torren up Cards- I didn't buy myself a single pack of the set this year. In fact, I've never seen one of them in the store at all. I added 45 cards to 1992-93 Ultra but it still dropped from 3rd to 5th!
Looking at the brands, Upper Deck still has a huge lead over O-Pee-Chee. The margin actually expands, though. Last year, UD led OPC by 1452 cards. Now, UD leads OPC by 2177. OPC has plenty of room to grow though- they issued several sets with more than 600 cards, and I have less than one pack's worth. MVP jumps from 7th to 3rd, and Topps moves from 5th to 4th. Pro Set drops from 3rd to 5th. Panini Stickers makes the biggest jump- 18th to 8th!

Now, having concluded screencapping the stats the Trading Card Database provides, I move to the two stats I came up with.

Lowest SN:
How's 1 of 1 strike you? This is the Blue Cyan plate from 2011-12 Rookie Anthology of Henrik Lundqvist. This is the card I mentioned having in my COMC folder waiting to be shipped last year.

Oldest card:
1951-52 Parkhurst, that I got at my first card show since circa 2005, which happened in February of this year.

And that's where my collection stands as of right now. According to the Database, it's 14,218 cards, although my stats don't quite jive with that- but I don't know which one to go by, because I've found plenty of input errors on both places I keep my stats.

As I said last year, my collection would not be where it is today if not for the generous help of my fellow collectors. I'm not sure what I've done to deserve such kindness, but I am forever grateful. Of those 14000 cards, at least 8 or 9 thousand of them came from other collectors. Probably more, and I'm not exaggerating.

Tuesday, June 11, 2019

Cardboard History Gallery Update- time for an upgrade!

I've been working hard on my Cardboard History Gallery- you know, the page where I'm posting scans of my entire collection in albums sorted by set, person and team- and on June 6th, I filled the 130 GB that came with my original purchase of the website in October 2018.

Although I still have a long way to go before it's "done"'ll never truly be done as long as I continue to collect...I guess current would be a better term...I managed to get a LOT on there:
Now that I've upgraded- to 400 GB- I should be able to get everything on there that I need to...maybe. (I still have 5 more upgrades I can do, if need be). Now that I've paid the fee to upgrade I don't have to worry, I can upload when I want to. For a few months I hadn't really been working on it because I needed to conserve the money.

Currently, I'm working on NBA by set. When I began the project I was only going to post to the By Set sections as I scanned stuff, then go back and fill in everything that came before. But, it's the only place I store my front and back scans in the same place, and I decided I liked seeing them all together, so I decided to work on the "By Sets" section now instead of later. I've already got the By Team done (probably my favorite part of the website) and I had begun working on By Person, finishing non-Sports and other sports, but those are on the backburner for now. I will get to them in due time.

I decided to tackle the NBA by set first, since it's the largest section by far. (The NBA by Team took more than 50% of my 130 GB!) I got up to 1999-00 Topps Tipoff before I filled up- card #41 was the last one posted before I ran out of space. Not that it really matters, I figure I should include that info because I might be curious someday.

It's a little depressing seeing how many back scans I've lost, but it will at least give me something to do after I've finished scanning everything...whenever that may be.

I still have one more section I want to create but I will get to that in due time as well, and post about when I create it.

Sunday, June 9, 2019

A trip to the Norwalk Maritime Aquarium

We found out that on Saturday, June 8th the Norwalk Maritime Aquarium, in Norwalk, Connecticut, would be having a fish themed car show.  Naturally, this I had to see, so my brother and I went over. I had never been there before, but I really love aquariums, so I knew it would be a fun trip. I ended up spending way more time looking at the fish than looking at the cars- about 3 to 1 ratio I'd guess. I ended up taking over 1000 photos, and I will share some highlights here. I also got to pet a jellyfish, a manta ray and a crab, and I set my record for most pictures taken in a year- my old record was 13050. I'm now over 13500, and September and October both have huge photo events coming up. I expect to set a record in 2019 that will never be broken.

 This is the main entrance. Those tall towers date to 1911, I think the sign said.
The Aquarium is right on the Norwalk River, and the train bridge was built in 1896. It actually goes OVER the Aquarium!
 My brother pets a jellyfish!
 These teeny tiny jellyfish are half the size of a dime
 a crab
 The manta ray petting booth

 They come right up to you!
 They seem to like getting a pat on the back!
 This one wouldn't swim away until I reached in and pet the top of it!
This came out blurry, as most of the fish pictures did, but it looks like it's wearing lipstick!
Finally, a clear fish photo. Note the others are all blurred- the fish move very quickly and are nearly impossible to get good photos of.
 really big sea turtle. There were three of them in the tank
 A school of fish that shares the tank with the sea turtle.

 an eel
 A lionfish
 There's a puffer fish hiding back there. Literally hiding- there was a sign saying he was new to this aquarium and hadn't gotten used to his new surroundings yet.
 More jellyfish

 Big tube of Jellyfish that had a color changing light on it

 This fish stopped to look at me!
 a big ray at the bottom of the shark tank
Not a big fan of sharks, but if they are in the place, I will photograph them.
 A sturgeon
 Sturgeons with their mouths open
 I don't know what it is, but it was barely moving much, so I was able to get a clear photo.

 A lobster! Finally a lobster in an aquarium!
 The crab I pet
 Horseshoe crabs and starfish

 The Otters were hilarious...very energetic and fun. They never stopped moving, so I wasn't able to get any great shots of them, although I tried...and then went back and tried again, but this is the best.
 A garter snake.
 An Eastern Newt.
One of the two otters took a little snooze, so I was able to get one clear shot!

 a long, thin fish and some snails
 a seahorse and a crab
 very active turtles

 The seal exhibit is both in and out doors
 There is a small overlook where you can look down to the seals or over to the Norwalk River, first sight of the car show
 Looking straight down from the overlook. As someone scared of heights and not a fan of walking on grating, I had to get off this as quickly as I could...
a crocodile
 they had a monkey, but he was just sitting in that box staring at people.
 poison dart frogs

 big frog

 got him with the tongue out!
 They had model ships on display
 The building the Aquarium is in dates back to the late 1800s at least, the aquarium has only been in existence since 1988.
 To fit the aquatic theme of the car show, they referred to this Austin Healy as a Frog Eye Sprite...usually they are called Bug Eye Sprite.
 I took this picture to show the remains of the ladder that once led to the roof, but aimed higher up to get the bird in flight. Success!
 This is looking directly up at the grate I was standing on before.
 A Daimler, a brand I hadn't photographed before.
 A Rambler Marlin
 A Chrysler Cuda. Yes, Chrysler. In France, where this was originally sold, they were badged as Chryslers, not Plymouths as in the USA and Canada.
 a Plymouth Barracuda
 A Frazier custom built in 1954
 A 1937 Gougeon Streamliner, a one-off custom build.

 I think the above fish are all bass

 My brother crawled under and went in with the Meercats! I decided against it.

This was a really spectacular place. My pictures don't do it justice, it's instantly become a favorite place for me to go. I will be going again- at least once a year, perhaps more. It's more than just an aquarium, and there is construction going on- they are working on an expansion. So in the future, it'll be even better!