Sunday, January 29, 2023

Have I ever told you you're my hero (cards)

 I have an obsessive personality, I don't think that's a secret. I also have an obsession with collecting things, especially NASCAR things. I also have a tendency to compartmentalize things, and as such, I always considered my NASCAR Hero Cards a separate collection from my NASCAR Trading Cards. I was thinking about that and I realized that was not something I should have been doing- they should have been counted together as part of one collection. Problem was, I can't get to my Hero card collection. With the injury to my arm that I am still dealing with, plus the health problems that are ever present, I couldn't do it. 

Then I remembered that I had made an Excel chart way back when I got the majority of my hero cards back in 2010- my local diecast dealer was going out of business and basically gave me about a 1000 of them. But that Excel file...I hadn't seen that in a while, and I didn't know if I could find it. Luckily, I had saved a copy of it to my Google Drive, so the information was all there! It showed that the file was last updated back in 2010....which totally checks out. I got some in 2011 and some in 2012 but I didn't get another until 2019. I had no reason to update the chart after 2012 and if I did keep it updated when I got the 2011 and 2012 issues, that would have been wiped out two dead laptops ago. 

Without having to get my collection out at all, I was able to figure out exactly what- and how many- I had! It took me only a couple of hours to type them into my Card Collection chart, and now, for the first time ever, I know EXACTLY what is in my NASCAR collection in full.

But wait, it gets even better! I scanned the Hero Cards when I got them- fronts only, generally- and I actually made a note on that old Excel file of which ones I needed to rescan! This allowed me to go through the album on my original Fotki and fill in the ones that weren't in my Excel chart, like the 2011 and 2012 stuff, and also allowed me to correct the mistakes I made typing it up 13 years ago. 

Unfortunately, most of the original scans are not really any good- I didn't have PhotoScape to correct the flaws inherent in scanning back then, and the colors are sometimes off, so I can't really use the scans, I need to rescan the vast majority of them. But at least now I know what I have. 

One fun thing about Hero Cards is that they are available for teams that don't get traditional trading cards, like Busch North teams, as seen here with Brad Leighton, Dale Quarterley and Carey Heath. They also aren't censored, so there will be Dale Earnhardt Jr. cards with Budweiser on them! Probably the best thing about Hero Cards, however, is that they have a long history. NASCAR didn't get traditional trading cards until 1988. Hero cards have been produced since 1955, so there's definitely a long history there! The oldest I currently have is from 1969, the older ones are rare and expensive. I've never even actually seen the 1955 issue, but I know it exists. They started out as post cards, and some long-time collectors still refer to them as that, but they have not been mailable since the mid-1980s, other than a few exceptions. Some people also call them autograph cards. 

I still have none in my collection from 2013-2017, I'm missing most of  the Gen6 era, and I only have one from 2018, 20 and 21. and two from 2019. I didn't have any from 2022, but when I knew I could add these to my collection in full, I went to ebay and bought a lot of 35 cards from the 2022 season. They would be the first to be fully integrated into my collection, but they won't be the last. In fact, a few years ago a friend sent me a large batch of them, but I never actually went through them because I didn't know what I had or not. Now I do know, so I can finally go through them for the first time- despite having them for about a decade in and of themselves! I can't wait to find out what I can add to my collection from that gift, which is probably around 250 cards, guessing based on size of the package they are in (actually a Barnes & Noble shopping bag, haha)

and I got all these 2022 cards scanned and posted to the Cardboard History Gallery as well : 2022 Hero Cards

It will take me some time- I'm at the mercy of my arm injury, and a similar injury to my other arm took a year and a half to heal - but eventually  I will get them all fully scanned (on both sides!) and integrated into the Cardboard History Gallery. For now just the new additions will be scanned in full. 

Friday, January 27, 2023

Trading Card Database Secret Santa 2022

 Secret Santa 2022 didn't play out at all how I expected it to, first off because the person I sent it to still hasn't gotten it yet, even though I mailed it the first week of December. It went to a country I've never mailed to before so even though I have the receipt I'm not sure how much good it would do. 

I didn't get mine before Christmas either, and I usually put up the post on Christmas Eve. If you noticed it was missing, there's a good reason for that! Tt turns out that my Secret Santa was Dan, aka Vrooomed, who just happens to live in the next town over from me. Dan wanted to meet up in person and deliver it, and I was all for that, but my schedule didn't cooperate enough to do it before Christmas, and then I got sick which felt like it lasted forever, and then Dan got sick, so we didn't get to meet up until January 24th! And because of the circumstances of our lives, we ended up meeting at 9 PM in the parking lot of the local McDonald's! We had a nice chat for a half hour, Dan gave me my present and I finally completed a sale from him that I put together on the Database a week before the pandemic hit. Dan has been holding those cards for me since February of 2020! I'll get to them in another post. 

Dan and myself, I am on the left. Note the wrapped box, which is my Secret Santa present
Lots of Rangers cards in here! Most of these are ones I scanned before I took the photos. The Leaf Steel cards are really cool. 
Both English and French versions of the 1991-92 Pinnacle Amonte card, and a great photo of Adam Graves with the Stanley Cup from 1994-95 Stadium Club highlight this batch
the Stadium Club Members only of Brian Leetch is the only non-hockey card here- it's a Multi-Sport card. 
the white Lady Liberty alternate makes an appearence, and my first Green StarQuest from hockey! 
The Line 2 Line card is SN, and those Epix cards are sooooo confusing. There's 4 versions of each, I think. This is my first of any player from this sport. The NASCAR versions are much easier because there is only one version. 
After getting this batch of cards I may have to do another post on the Richter Scale!
I really should have planned out the photos a little better when I was taking them. The Christian Dube card is also SN. The more I see Pacific cards the more I'm liking them.
More Richters including a die cut insert and a Silver Script parallel...however my favorite card in the entire package is in this shot and it's one of the very few non-Rangers related, and I think you can guess which one. 
the famed Hot Dog card from 1995-96 Pinnacle of Olaf Kolzig! I don't think I've ever mentioned it before, but this was one of my most wanted hockey cards! 
In total I got 85 new cards for my collection, and a big boost to my late 90s/early 2000s Rangers, which was an era I had the least from. 

By the way, how do you like my new photo backdrop? It's a Rangers blanket I got for Christmas. 

So, even though life conspired to keep the Secret Santa exchange from happening for a month, I'm thrilled with the new cards and owe a big thanks to Dan! 

Sunday, January 22, 2023

A lot can happen in a 1000 posts

 This is my 1000th Post on Cardboard History. I am really, truly shocked that I've been able to do follow through on projects isn't great, and I didn't know if I would have the motivation to keep writing. I did, and I still do, even if finding motivation is sometimes a challenge, I know I'm not quitting any time soon. When I started this back in 2014...9 years ago (!) my goal was to get my thoughts and memories down on "paper", to maybe contribute something to the general knowledge base of the hobby. 

What a ride it's been! Something I didn't really expect...I didn't expect anyone to read it in the first place!...was that I've made friends via Cardboard History. People that I care about their wellbeing, and I think, although I don't know for sure, that they care about mine. That's more important than the cards themselves, and I'm really glad there is a group of "blogger buddies" out there. 

When I started Cardboard History, one of the first of an intended series I ever thought up was One Hit Wonders, highlighting people who ever got only one card...and as it turns out, I wrote exactly one post in the series. Irony, perhaps, but it's not because I lost's because I realized I didn't know enough to do it right. I realized that when I discovered the subject of the post had, in fact, received at least one other card in a regional set I wasn't yet aware of at the time I wrote the first one.

When I started, my three main focuses were NBA, NASCAR and Star Wars. NBA is still a part of my collection habits but is no longer the main focus, and Star Wars is pretty much completely out of the picture now, as I'm not a fan of what Disney has done with it. I had exactly 27 NHL cards when I started this, and I was not watching the sport at all...whoo, has that changed! Hockey has become a MAJOR part of my life, a part of every single day, and those 27 hockey cards have since grown to over 28,000. I just can't get enough of the sport and I will watch any game at any time, read any article, collect any card. While NASCAR is still my favorite sport, I have no doubt that someday the NHL will overtake NASCAR and even the NBA and become the largest part of my collection, although that's not going to be any time soon as I have a 25+ years of collecting head start with both sports. Hockey gets a lot more cards a year though, so it's likely.

The way I collect has even changed. Set collecting was the be-all, end all for me from when I began back in 1988 up to around 2015. Frustrated with the sets currently being issued, I changed focus to my "Names Project", which is what I call trying to get one of every person to ever get one in the three sports I collect. It has been much more rewarding honestly, and it's led me to discovering a wide variety of regional and oddball sets I would likely have never even heard of otherwise. I know, realistically, that it's a project that can't be completed, due to the costs and rarity of some of the cards, but it gives me something to focus on, and something to keep working towards, forever. 

Don't get me wrong though, I will still complete sets if I can, because after all, the best way to get every person represented is to get every card in the set, right?!

Life outside the card hobby has also changed. I admit it, I was/am pretty sedentary. I have a lot of pain on a regular basis, 24/7/365. My doctor literally prescribed that I get out more and exercise more, and I have done just that, with the adventures my brother and I have gone on, so many that this has become less about cardboard and more about history as we've been visiting as many museums as I can physically handle. It turns out that museums, and the rides to them, are one of my favorite things to do. I never thought I'd ever walk around Manhattan, but in 2018, I did. I never thought I'd ever see Mount Rushmore, a long time bucket list item, but in 2022 I did. I may not be able to do everything I want to do physically but where I am now is better than where I was when I started this thing. 

My modeling hobby has sure changed, too. In 2014 when this began I was in the middle of a bad slump that lasted from 2011-2018.  I was so disgusted I thought about leaving the hobby many times, and even reached out to a kit dealer to see about selling my collection. My family talked me out of it, and I'm really glad they did. I finally conquered what was causing me the trouble and now I'm building the best work I've ever done, and in 2022 I got a permanent workspace set up that made my building even better. I'm actually excited about the future of that hobby for me, which, when you are as depressed as I usually am, is an unusual feeling to actually look forward to something.   

I do have an "end goal" for this, and the hobby in general, which I've talked about before. I want to open a museum & Hall of Fame for the hobby, something that to my knowledge has never existed. I don't quite know how or if I will ever be able to pull it off, but that's the goal. That's why I don't mind when people send me cards for sports I don't collect, because the plan is for the museum to represent the entirety of the hobby and that certainly includes baseball, football and all the rest. Here's to hoping I can do it someday. 

Thanks for sticking with me for 1000 posts. I don't plan to ever stop, I'll keep this going as long as I have something to say. I know it's customary to do a contest on anniversaries but I'm just not up to that right now. Next year, when I celebrate 10 years, I promise I'll do a contest then. 

Thanks for reading...not just this post, but the 999 that came before this and the 999+ yet to come!

Wednesday, January 18, 2023

Around the USA with the NBA

 I was thinking about the adventures my brother and I have gone on, and it got me wondering how many NBA players came from some of the states we visited, and so I looked it up. Finding it rather interesting, I realized I could get a blog post out of this, and here we are. 

I decided I will do a countdown of the states. If possible (meaning if they appear in my collection) I will show the player who has played the most games in the NBA. 

50. Vermont has never had a player make the NBA. It's the only state without a single player. *sad trombone sound*

49. New Hampshire has only one player in NBA history:

Matt Bonner. 

48, 47 & 46: Three states are tied with two players, Maine, Alaska and Hawaii. 

Representing Hawaii is Cedric Ceballos
Mario Chalmers comes from Alaska
and Jeff Turner from Maine. 

45 & 44: Idaho and South Dakota are tied with 5 players each.

Mike Miller represents South Dakota while...
Luke Ridnour hails from Idaho. Miller is the first player on this list to play in 1000 games.

43. North Dakota has six players.

It was specifically the Dakotas that got me wondering about this concept, and they have both come very early in this countdown. 

42 & 41: Wyoming and New Mexico each have 7 players. 
Bill Bridges from New Mexico and 
James Johnson from Wyoming. 

40 and 39: Jumping from 7 to 11 players, both Delaware and Montana have 11.
Mahdi Abdul-Rahman also played under his original name of Walt Hazzard and hails from Delaware.
Although more known for coaching Phil Jackson also has played the most games of anyone from Montana, 807 of them in fact. 

38: Rhode Island has put 12 players into the NBA, 
And it's not "bad news" that Marvin Barnes played the most games. With 315 games played, Rhode Island is the lowest number of games played by a state leader. There are only two players active today with a grand total of 40 games played combined.

37. Nevada has a lucky 13 players in NBA history, 

Greg Anthony holds the state lead by 21 games. 

36. Nebraska has had 16 players make the NBA, 
with Bob Boozer being both alphabetically first and player of the most games. 

35. is Arizona, with 19 players

Sean Elliott holds not only the record for most games played by someone from Arizona, he also holds the record for most games played with replacement kidneys! 

34. is Colorado, with 20 players

and current coach of the Trail Blazers Chauncey Billups is the only one to have played in more than 1000 games. 

33 and 32 is a tie between Iowa and Utah, which both have 26 players.
Tom Chambers from Utah, 
and Nick Collison from Iowa.

31. is West Virginia, with 28 players

and Hall of Famer Hal Greer is the only one who played in more than 1000 games.

30 is Oregon, with 33 players

A.C. Green once held the record for most consecutive games played, I am not sure if he still does. 

29. Connecticut, one of my favorite states, has put 37 players into the NBA. 
Rick Mahorn has played the most games. 

28 is Kansas, with 39 players.

Alvan Adams played just 12 less than 1000 games.

27 is Massachusetts, the state where basketball was invented, but only 45 people born there made it to the NBA. 

former Sleestak Bill Laimbeer was the only one to clear 1000 games played.

26 is South Carolina, with 48 players.

4 of the 48 players have hit 1000 games but Kevin Garnett played in 1462 of them! 

25. Halfway through the countdown is Oklahoma with 50 players

Ron Boone, shown here with the ABA's Utah Stars, is the only one to clear 1000 games played.

24. is Arkansas, with 57 players.
Caldwell Jones is one of 7 players from the state to play in 1000 games- and Mike Conley Jr. is coincidentally 7 games away from joining the 1000 game club. 

23 is Minnesota, with 67 players, a 10 person jump over Arkansas.

Hall of Famer Kevin McHale played the most games, all with the Celtics, but not have hit 1000 games. 

22. is Washington with 69 players...none of whom have been named Washington. 

John Stockton is one of five to hit 1000 games, and the only player in NBA history to be the all-time leader in two major categories (steals and assists)

21 is Wisconsin, home state of 73 players

Terry Porter the only one to clear 1000 games.

20 is Missouri with 74 players

Hall of Famer Jo Jo White holds the state lead by a scant 8 games. Currently ranked 7th, I expect Bradley Beal to hold this record at some point, he's about 3 years away from it. 

Next is a bonus in that I am including Washington DC. Although not a state, it has put 76 players into the NBA, 

Future Hall of Famer Kevin Durant holds the record of most games played already, and is 22 games away from 1000. No telling what he can accomplish as his career is nowhere near over. 

19. is Maryland, with 78 players

Currently active Jeff Green is the only one to clear 1000 games. 

18 is Virginia, with 89 players

six players played in over 1000 games, and Moses Malone played in the most games, 1455. 

17 & 16 are a tie, and interestingly enough, are neighboring states, Alabama and Mississippi. 

Robert Horry from Alabama and Chet Walker from Mississippi. Interestingly, both states also had 3 players reach 1000 games, and it's completely coincidental that both represented with tall cards, as I'm pulling all scans from my alphabetical directory listing.

15 is Tennessee, with 97 players.
Lou Williams is one of 2 to play in 1000 or more games. 

14 is Kentucky, and it's a big jump to 117 players. 

Wes Unseld is one of only two players to  win Rookie of the Year and MVP in the same season. 

13 is Louisiana with 124 players

If you know NBA history you knew Robert Parish would be his state's leader, as he played in more games than any other person - 1611 over 21 seasons. 10 players played in over 1000 games, including 1 still in the league (Thaddeus Young- who trails Robert Parish by 491 games!)

12 is Florida, with 125 players.
Vince Carter was a high-flying superstar when he entered the league, and stuck around for 22 seasons, evolving into a veteran role player. He appeared in 1541 games, one of 5 players from his state to hit 1000 games- all of whom getting to at least 1118. 

11th is Georgia, with 144 players.

Georgia is another state with 5 players who played 1000 games.

Now we reach the top 10!  Is your state still to come? Amazingly, there's still a tie ahead. 

10 is North Carolina with 146 players
Buck Williams is one of 4 players to hit 1000 games. Chris Paul is second, so he could pass him. He's 2 full seasons away.

9. is New Jersey, a small state but big in basketball. 148 making it to the NBA.

and one of the biggest names and personalities of the NBA in Shaq leads the 5 players to hit 1000 games.

8 is Indiana, with 162 players.
Larry Bird may be the first person most people think about when it comes to Indiana basketball, but he ranks just 9th in games played. 2 players hit 1000 games, and Zach Randolph played in 1116.

7. is Michigan, with 166 players
P.J. Brown played in the most games, among 4 1000 game players.

6 and 5 is surprisingly a tie, with both Ohio and Texas having 202 players in NBA history. 

It should be no surprise that LeBron leads Ohio, the man never ages and has already played 1400 games. It's very easy to think he can surpass Robert Parish for most games played. 5 others hit 1000 games. 
Kurt Thomas leads all Texans with 1110 games played. 4 players have hit 1000 games. 

4. Pennsylvania ranks 4th, with 251 players. 

5 players hit 1000 games, and Kobe playing the most is not surprising. 

3. Illinois  ranks third, with 295 players

Andre Iguodala leads a full dozen players to hit 1000 games, and he's still playing! Although he has announced this is his final season.

2. is the best state, New York, with 424 people, 6 off the record. We will hopefully get that lead some day!

One of the all-time greats in Kareem-Abdul-Jabbar is one of 13 players to play in 1000 games, and he's one of only  a handful in NBA history to play in more than 1500 games. 

1 is California, with 430 players. 
17 players have played in 1000 games, and two more players will join that total by the end of 2022-23 barring injuries, and two more beyond that next season. 

I hope you enjoyed this tour around the country with the NBA!