Monday, March 30, 2020

I actually bought a football card

It is not something I do very often...I've bought a grand total of three football cards and one of them was from an insert set that had cars in it, so it wasn't even a football football card. But this one was...
When I saw this in a local dealer's box, I laughed out loud and had to have it. It's from the 1999 MVP Draw Your Own Trading Card Winners set, and I guess you might be able to say it is also a car card...but not really.

I actually got it a couple of years ago and had forgotten I had scanned it. When I was uploading the football cards by season to the Cardboard History Gallery I saw it in there and finally wrote up the post. Even though I don't actively collect football I will take people's castoffs and rejects and I have accumulated over 2000 of them that way.

This is my 800th published post on Cardboard History. Holy mackerel, that's a lot. Not stopping any time soon, either....

Thursday, March 26, 2020


I just heard that Curly Neal has died at age 77. Man, that stinks. Curly is a legend, and also the only professional basketball player I've ever met. Star of the Harlem Globetrotters, he would also be known to people outside basketball for being part of the cartoon shows featuring them, including several guest appearances/team ups with Scooby Doo.

 In 1991, Curly and another Globetrotter came to James S. Evans Elementary, where I was a 1st grade student, and gave our school a display. I remember it, but I have no photos, unfortunately. I am 99% sure I did get a photo with him, but it's lost to storage unit/history. I remember he was just as cool in real life as he seemed on TV.

These are the only three cards of Curly Neal in my collection. All come from the 1971 Fleer Harlem Globetrotters set.

Rest in Peace Curly Neal.

Saturday, March 21, 2020

Cardboard History History of Cardboard: 1950-1959

The 1950s is when Topps really began to take over the card market, and in fact even other brands, absorbing Bowman during the decade. Topps non-sports efforts would be at their peak in the 1950s, although their sports dominance was yet to come, but they did make inroads with some tentative basketball and hockey sets, and the football set starting in 1956 which joined the baseball set that launched in 1951, and is still published today. The Topps baseball set is the longest running continually produced brand in cardboard history. The 1950s are also my favorite decade in automotive design, and, probably not coincidentally, also the decade that saw the best automotive coverage on cards, as well.

1950 Topps Frank Buck Bring 'em Back Alive

1951 Topps Animals of the World

1952 Topps Wings

1953-54 Topps World on Wheels

1954 Topps Scoop

1955 Topps Rails & Sails

1956 Parkhurst Sports Cars

1957 Topps Planes

1958 Topps

1959-60 Topps
With my top three favorite Non-Sports sets ever all being produced between 1952-54, I actually have a much better representation of the early 50s than I do the 1960s and 70s. In fact, once you get to 1958 and 1959, the pickings are very slim, as I own exactly two cards from 1958, but wanted more variety than another airplane card, as I do want this to be representative of the hobby as a whole. Topps started the decade doing mostly historical content, but then turned sharply to make really juvenile stuff that just holds no interest for me, and will make the 1960s a challenge to find non-sports cards for. The 1950 and 51 sets actually share card numbering, and no one that I know of knows why that was done, since they are totally separate sets. I'm actually fairly near completing the 1952 Wings set, but the 1953-54 World on Wheels set- which I would now rank 2nd, rather than 3rd if I did the linked countdown today, has a very, very scarce high number series 2 from 1954 that I've never even seen in person, let alone seen and couldn't afford. Starting in the next decade, 2 of my three sports begin to get yearly coverage, though technically Hockey got cards every year from the mid-50s on, many of the early sets are not yet represented in my collection.

Thursday, March 19, 2020

Unsuccessfull prospects + Black Friday = cheap patches

 I'm an opportunist when it comes to my collection. I collect pretty much everything, and everyone, for my sports. I like to sort on COMC by sport then cheapest, sometimes checking the boxes for game used or autographed and picking off whatever looks nice to me.
 Although I rarely get to see minor league hockey on TV, I enjoy getting cards of them because I can see some unusual (and usually fun) team logos, color combinations, etc.
 Even if I've never heard of the player before, that does not stop me from buying their cards.
 Even if I have heard of them- only Rychel and Shinkaruk were known to me before I got the cards- it gives me an opportunity to learn more about my new sport.
and I really like the opportunity to add cheap patches (or just really large swatches, as in the case of Nantel) for cheap. How cheap, you may wonder? Only the Nantel cost more than 80 cents. And he cost me $1.25, probably because he's SN to 25 copies. Nantel is the only card new enough that he might still make it in the NHL- it's from 2015-16. All the rest are probably not going to make it in the NHL- in fact, the day before I wrote this post, I read an article on ProHockeyRumors that Shinkaruk had signed in the KHL.

Can't beat that, and I added some nice and rare pieces to my collection without feeling guilty about spending too much money. And every single one of them was my first card of the player.

Tuesday, March 17, 2020

NBA Milestone hit

I hit an NBA milestone this week...sort of. I discovered it this week, but I don't know when I hit it actually.

Kevin Durant became the first player from my "missing years" to reach 100 cards scanned in my collection!
Although when I screencapped this I had them sorted alphabetically, he actually ranks tied for 157th overall with Jamal Crawford.

I now consider the break I took from the NBA from mid-2006-07 through the 2010-11 playoffs one of the biggest mistakes of my life. Since I've come back to the sport, though, the card landscape has changed dramatically. Instead of three companies producing cards, there is now only one. And they don't produce that many cards. Couple that with my lower degree of money spent on the hobby, and the fact that I'm splitting what I do have to spend even farther, now that I'm collecting the NHL and non-sports as well, something I was not doing in 2006, it means the cards aren't adding up as quickly as they did in the past.

So, it's taken a while for any of the people who entered the league in my lost years to reach 100 cards. I don't know when I got my first Kevin Durant card- I know it's his base card from either 2012-13 Hoops or 2012-13 Prestige, but I can't remember which one anymore- I could determine it if I pulled out my paper listing- but, finally, he's gotten there...and even gone a little past that, with 103 cards scanned.

Note I say scanned, and not in my collection...that's because I only enter the cards into the chart after they have been scanned. There's a pretty good chance I have more waiting to be scanned, since from 2012-2017 I put aside any that were already posted to the Database, and worked on only what needed scans. I finished that in 2017 and am now scanning all the cards I set aside.

The next closest person is actually Kevin Love, currently with 83 cards scanned, placing him tied for 208th with Brian Shaw and Eric Williams. I've stepped up my adding of cards of him ever since I found out we are very distantly related. I thought it would be Steph Curry, but he only has 78 cards scanned. Blake Griffin has one more card scanned then Steph (being the Panini spokesman pays dividends, I suppose!) and the fifth highest person who entered the league during my lost years is Russell Westbrook, with 68 cards scanned.

That's about what I expected, other than Griffin. I expected Westbrook to not be too far behind Steph, and I was correct.

Derrick Rose, James Harden, DeAndre Jordan, Mike Conley, John Wall, DeMarcus Cousins, Jeremy Lin and Rudy Gay have all cleared the 50 card barrier. All of whom came into the league in my lost years.

Anthony Davis is the highest ranked person from my 2nd NBA period (2012-13 to present) with 62 cards scanned.  Damian Lillard at 56 is the only other person from that time to clear 50.

In case you are interested...or in case I want to know at some point in the future...this is the 100th card I typed into the chart.
2018-19 Hoops #5.

Saturday, March 14, 2020

Mystery of the mangled Marvel cards

I have some badly mangled Marvel cards that I've had so long, I don't remember how or where I got them. I have a couple of theories that I will posit.
 Thor has 8 creases, including several that overlap, several surface scratches, and all 4 corners are shot.
The Leader has 6 creases, three of them in identical places with the Thor card, similar surface impairment to Thor on the front, but worse on the back.

The three cards from Wolverine : From Then 'Til Now 2 all feature over a dozen creases and bends, including at least three that break the surface of each card. So many that it's not really possible to determine how many, or where each one ends and the next begins. The corners are gone, all as rounded off as a playing card, and the surfaces all feature significant wear, including color loss, as well as indentations front and back. They are some of the worst conditioned cards in my entire collection.
Although the two cards from the Marvel Universe shape are in better condition than the Wolverine cards, I know that I got them all together. They are just so intertwined in my mind that I just know it, even if I no longer know where that was.

These cards are a mystery to me. You would think, by 1992, I would remember where I got them, but I don't. One thing I know with absolute certainty is that I was not the cause of the damage on the cards. I have only ever known them like this. Here are the theories about how they entered my collection:

#1: I traded for them at school. Cards were popular in my school, I was not the only collector, nor was I the only comic collector. While several of my classmates collected, most of them did not treat their cards with the same deference that I do, and did. I can tell, at just a glance, which cards I traded from my classmates based on condition alone. (All these years later, I still have not replaced them all yet). I generally remember the trades I made with my friends, but the one thing that makes me think that may not be the case is that cards were not that big a deal when I was in 2nd grade, they didn't become big until 4th grade, and it was mostly sports cards that we collected. And the cards I traded for are rarely ever creased- they are covered by surface scratches and have bad corners, but I can't think of any other cards I traded for that are creased this badly.

#2. They were given to me by a dealer. 1992 was the year I began to attend comic shows with my brother, who had been attending for several years. I was 7 years old for most of 1992, it's possible a dealer at one of the shows gave them to me in lieu of throwing them out. I also would have been known to my local comic shop due to weekly visits and one of them may have given them to me as well.

#3. Found/Dumpster dove. I've found cards on the ground before. I've also pulled cards out of the garbage on more than one occasion. I don't think these were found on the ground, though, because while they are in bad shape they do not show any signs of being run over or being wet.

#4. My dad brought them home. I honestly think this is the most likely source. My dad's normal job was working on USPS trucks, but on the weekends he worked at a tour bus company. Part of his weekend job description was to clean the bus and throw out anything that was left on the bus...but a lot of the time he brought things home instead. (my hoarding and dumpster diving tendencies are inherited) Sometimes hilariously, like food or scuzzy hats he intended to give to us until mom stopped him. But sometimes really cool stuff...including some cards. I know for a fact that he brought home some baseball cards, and even my very first hockey cards came from him bringing them home. Most of the cards are in rather poor condition, which also lends credence to the theory.

With them being in my possession for nearly 30 years now, there's little to no chance I'll ever find out where they came from...I've been wondering for literally decades now.

Thursday, March 12, 2020

NBA suspends season...I'm suspending trading

This has been a crazy night. I was watching hockey, specifically, the game between the Blackhawks and Sharks, when they said that there was a major announcement from the NBA at intermission. When intermission hit, they led off with the NBA has postponed it's season, effective immediately! They planned to finish off tonight's games, but even that didn't happen, since it was revealed one of the referees may be infected.

This is all on Rudy Gobert. the Jazz center was so confident that this was media created hype (It's not, but the stupid think it is...and he believed them) that he made it a point to go around and touch everything he could...unconfirmed rumor that he even licked the microphone two nights ago. Last night he began feeling it was confirmed that he does, indeed, have Covid-19. The game tonight was cancelled minutes before the start of the game, and, last I knew when writing this (1:24 AM) the players from BOTH teams were still quarantined in their respective locker rooms.

The NBA had no choice but to postpone or outright cancel the remainder of the season. 6 teams had played the Jazz in the last 10 days (the time this current coronavirus takes to show itself) and they have all played other teams since then. That doesn't count the Thunder, who were scheduled to play them tonight. And then you have the referees- including, as mentioned, one who reffed the game they most recently played, and was in the arena tonight for the Pelicans-Kings game, which was cancelled.

Since it does take a while to show up...that means he was sick when he did that, and may have infected other people due to his hubris. Yeah, I have a new least-favorite player in the league.

There's talk that the NHL may suspend the season as well, perhaps as soon as tomorrow. The teams that share cities with NBA teams...all play in the same building. I know, from when I toured MSG, that the Rangers and Knicks both go through the same door to get to their locker rooms...and the Knicks are one of the teams that played the Jazz in the last 10 days. I'm scheduling this post so if they do, it may actually be done by time this goes live.

I'm not happy this is going on, but the historic aspect of I've never seen anything like this. The last time I am aware of for games being cancelled or postponed for health crises was the 1918 Stanley Cup Finals. The influenza outbreak that year is one of the worst health crises that ever happened in history- second only to the bubonic plague in number of people killed (including some of my own family members). They acted too late in least two of the hockey players died from it that year. If it could kill healthy athletes, imagine what it would do to a sick person.

Now, the sports teams are being proactive and are attempting to prevent that from happening. In 1918, they didn't quarantine anyone, and in fact, that's what made it so much worse. When a soldier got sick in WWI, they sent him home, usually infecting anyone he came into contact with along the way. It led to thousands of deaths that could have been prevented had they done in 1918 what they are doing in 2020. If only people would be smart enough to pay attention...

Unfortunately, most people are incredibly stupid and think it's made up by the media. It's not. The NBA stands to lose millions of dollars. Italy and China have been crippled. This is real, this is dangerous, and it's directly affecting me.

With my health problems, I can't risk getting it. They say the main people who are being affected the worst (IE, dying) are those over 65, which I'm not, but my mom is, and those with diabetes and those with compromised immune systems...both of which I have.

So, as such, I'm not doing any trades for a while. While I could still send out cards, I really don't want to go touch the things in the post office. I don't want my mom or brother to either, and then get in the car and start touching the same things I touch all the time. So for now, best to avoid it.  I'm also not planning on attending many of the things I had planned to...nor are we going to do any NYC museums for the foreseeable future.

I've been taking precautions to keep from getting sick for years. With my litany of health problems, I've had to, since I'm more susceptible than normal, healthy people. Healthy is one thing I am not. I trust myself. I DON'T trust other people around me...especially as there are so many people like Gobert who are specifically NOT taking any safety precautions and are trying stupidly to prove it's made up by the media. And even if it's not somebody doing could be somebody who walked down the sidewalk next to one of those people, and got coughed or sneezed on. Nobody's "safe"...this could hit anyone. I'm going to take the steps I can to avoid it hitting me. Since my health problems are dangerous enough as it is, I do not need to put myself further at won't. If that means I miss out on some things I want to do, it's a price I'll pay. I'd rather miss one year of a show than die and miss everything forever. I usually get sick after large shows anyway, although lately I've been able to avoid that...I want to keep that the case.

Prevention really IS the best medicine, at least in this case.

Tuesday, March 10, 2020

Washington's Headquarters

My brother and I continued our quest to hit the museums in NY with one that wasn't actually new to us...both of us had taken a class field trip there when we were in school! However, I'm sure it looks a lot different now than it did in the 80s when he visited, and 1995 when my class visited!

Washington's Headquarters is in Newburgh, NY, and was the next to last headquarters George Washington used during the American Revolution. The actual house he used, the Hasbrouck house, was built in 1750, and it's actually the oldest building I've been in. It was opened as a museum in 1850, and claims to be the oldest public museum in the entire USA! The collection outgrew the Hasbrouck house, and a dedicated museum building was built on the property in 1910.

The one thing I didn't care for in this museum is that the items in the collection are not labeled. If you want to know what each thing is, you have to remember the number and then go check the computer kiosk that is in some of the rooms in the museum. It's cumbersome, time consuming, and far more difficult than it needs to be. And with the museum only being open 4 hours there's not enough time to check everything. I only checked the items I was most curious about, and have zero idea what most of the items in the museum actually are, or are from. However, even though the museum is dedicated to the time Washington was in residence in the 1780s, it actually covers much more than that, with artifacts dating back to ancient Sumer and all the way up to WWII.

It was in the Hasbrouck house that Washington turned down Kingship, and also where he quelled the mutiny of the soldiers. Really historically important stuff.

 The Victory Tower was constructed in the 1880s. It's the only part I really remembered from my class field trip in 1995.
 A look at the Hasbrouck House, the part facing was built 1750. The museum building I mentioned above is on the left.
 Looking out over the Hudson River.

 That's one ornate gate.
 Not sure why the windows were built in medieval arrow slit style, but they were.
 Note the stairs. You are allowed to go up them, but only on the guided tour. I knew I couldn't handle them- both mentally or physically- and so I didn't.

 This is the north side of the Hasbrouck house. Some of the windows are actually original.
 The face of the museum.

 These are some of the system put in place in the Hudson River at West Point to blockade the river.
 This spear-looking thing was also part of the underwater defenses. Somebody fishing ended up bringing it up...others of the exact same thing are still in the Hudson.
 I've always loved grandfather clocks.
 This scale model of the Hasbrouck house was built in 1865!
 Life-size portrait. I also bought a post card showing the same image.

 Detail of some of the rocks in the Hasbrouck house. This side of the house was added in 1760.

 Some interior shots.
 Minuteman statue.
 Newburgh, NY.

 It was pretty cloudy the day we were there. The sundial was not very helpful.

 Although I was not about to go up in the tower, my brother did! He took these photos while up there. A great view...which I will never see in person, LOL. You are looking at Beacon NY, the Newburgh-Beacon Bridge, and south, where West Point is off in the distance, respectively.

While he went up in the Victory tower, I went over and photographed the museum contents. Again, I don't know what most of the items are other than the obvious general description.
 powder horns (I think)
 These are musket balls.
 Wall of swords was pretty cool looking!
 More swords, an axe and a pike.
 bag of some sort
 rifles with bayonets

 loom, circa 1820. (I actually looked this one up)

 Various medals and tokens. There are a WIDE variety of Washington tokens and medals produced. Literal books have been written on them...some dating back to during his actual lifetime. Some also very, very rare.
 and some also very large!

 This event was held 101 years to the day before I was born. It was held at the museum which was then composed solely of the Hasbrouck's also where the Victory Tower was unveiled. This is an original invitation.
 Not sure what that is-I looked it up, but it wasn't clear. However, it was salvaged off the USS Maine in 1898.
 Persian tiles.
 The oldest artifact in the museum- a cuneiform tablet! (circa 4000 years old, exact date unknown)
 Half of the coin collection. Oddly enough there were not any Washington quarters on display! Nor was there any paper currency bearing either Washington's portrait (yes, Martha was on currency). The only paper currency was the three WWI era Mexican notes shown.
 Roman artifacts. Coins on top, rings below.

 This is looking out the upstairs window of the Museum. That road, I suspect, may be partially original. It's cobblestone below at least three layers of pavement, I suspect the cobblestone may have been in place when Washington was here. Certainly when the museum opened in 1850. It's the bumpiest "paved" road I've ever been on. I don't think the city of Newburgh has done any road maintenance at all in the past 50 years at least...the whole area is bumpy and chopped up. I think they just put down new layers on top of the old.

Overall, it was a great trip! I enjoyed it even more now than I did in 1995. I wasn't yet the history buff then that I am now. Best of all, it's so close to home...less than 30 minutes, and admission is only $4 per person. Worth every cent.

If you can ever get the chance, I HIGHLY recommend visiting, because it's a lot more fun than what I was able to capture. I did end up taking more than 400 photos. Washington's Headquarters.

Here's a bonus picture: If you took the time to read the sign I posted about the Victory Tower, you saw that the roof had been blown off by a hurricane in 1950 and was locked up and roofless for almost 60 years. Here's how it looked in 1995.
My mom took this photo on my class field trip. That's either me or one of my classmate's shoulders in the bottom left there.