Saturday, January 31, 2015

Put Your Name on it

A long time ago I had a boss who was really nice.  Sure we butted heads, but unlike other bosses I had, she never got on my nerves much.  She did sometimes, but she never really ticked me off.  The reason I bring her up is because she is the inspiration of a new series I plan to do on here.  I hope to have it featured on occasion, but let me begin with a bit of background.

While I would work, usually the overnight shift, we would be talking and she would talk about owning up to mistakes or standing up for yourself, or just telling the truth, and she would say "Don't be scurred, put your name on it."  I should point out to those who may not know (and I might have misspelled it), scurred is essentially a variation of the word scared.

This blog isn't about standing up for anything, it is about autographs I have gotten and will showcase from time to time.  I plan to show autographs whenever, but some I thought I could post on here in this feature.

Today I will be showing off three autographs I got at a wrestling show almost 10 years ago.  The promotion is called World League Wrestling, or WLW, and is based out of Missouri.  Within the last year or two they moved from Eldon, MO (which is close to the Lake of the Ozarks), to Troy, Missouri which is fairly close to St. Louis. Beginning in 1999, WLW is owned and run by the legendary Harley Race who was born in Missouri.  WLW has a lot of shows in Missouri and most of them are tied to a local charity or fundraiser.

The event I went to was in the town next to me- Boonville, MO.  I went with a good friend of mine, one of my lifelong best friends who is also a big wrestling fan.  He had never seen an indy fed show before, and this was my first WLW show, though I knew quite a bit about them from the internet.

The show itself I thought was fun, and some of the wrestlers were better than I thought.  I wished some of them would have gone on to be bigger names.  One of them did however.  Trevor Rhodes was this redneck wrestler that was pretty talented.  A short while after seeing him, he was signed to WWE, where he would be renamed Trevor Murdoch.

In total, I got four autographs, but as of now only have three scanned, so those are the ones I'll post.

The first autograph I got was of one of the active wrestlers on the roster- Daniel Cross.  He was from Concordia, MO, which isn't real far away, so it was a bit cool to meet him.  I thought he was really talented, and he was nice when I talked to him.  He signed it with "Don't boo me" which was fun because he was a heel.  He also signed it with a Bible verse, which I asked him what the verse was.  I think he was surprised someone would ask him, to which he replied- "uhh, I, uhh, I forgot".  As I inched closer to the next person in the autograph line, he looked at me and said "OH, IT'S..." and then recited the verse.  I thought it was nice because he spent a few seconds to think about it, when he could have just blew it off.

The next person in line was also really nice.

IT'S THE LEGEND HIMSELF!  To be honest, if you go to a lot of WLW shows, its not a shock he signs autographs.  He is a very nice man, but I've heard stories if you ever attend his training camp, Mr. Nice Guy won't be around, he'll be tough as nails on you.  I was happy to get his autograph because my dad told me stories that he had seen Harley Race wrestle when he was younger, so it was someone I could always like with my dad.  I missed most of Harley's wrestling days, but I did remember his time in WCW in the early 90's where he managed Vader among others.  I like how he signed "Best in Sports" when by the time he signed it I was in my early-mid 20's so my best days were well behind me.

As I write this, I realize I may have the order of the autographs mixed up, I apologize.  I wasn't going to name the autograph I don't have scanned, but I might as well.  This was a stacked show with two special guests, and one of them was Mick Foley (aka Mankind, aka Cactus Jack aka.... we could go on all day).  I'll write about him and show the autograph at a later date.

The last autograph to show today was one I was really happy to get.  Now I know that Mick Foley charged for his autograph (which most special guests do at these shows, and Harley may have too).  I didn't know that at the time, if I did, I would have brought more money, but I only had a few bucks left, and as a result almost missed the last autograph.

THAT'S TERRY FUNK!  If I had more money, I would have bought his book and had it signed.  Looking back, I'm almost happier I didn't because I wouldn't have gotten the picture with him.  He was really nice, and as a result, one of my favorite autographs I have ever gotten in person.  Most wrestlers take pictures with these cameras and charge a couple bucks, and they make good money on them.  After I got this picture taken, I referred to the shirt I'm wearing in the picture as my "Terry Funk shirt" for many years.

I never got to see a lot of Terry Funk matches, but I did remember him in his time in WCW, and thanks to Youtube, I got to relive some classic moments he had with Jerry Lawler.  I don't think Terry Funk gets the credit he deserves as he could really tell a story.  However, he is now in the WWE Hall of Fame, so I am even happier I got my picture with him now.

WLW still puts on shows today, they started in 1999, and just announced some new shows.  You can check them out at Harley Race's website.  They don't have as many special guest these days, but still have shows with big names.  He also holds a yearly training camp where he gets some more known wrestlers to help.  He had Bobby Eaton last year and William Regal a couple years ago.  Many names have been through the doors of WLW, and currently Miss Natural (daughter to former wrestler Ken Patera) and Brian Breaker (who was in NXT for a short while).

Among the alumni from WLW:  Trevor Murdoch, Ted DiBiase Jr., Curtis Axel, Ace Steel, Din T. Moore (recently seen on ROH as the Beer City Bruiser), NXT's Simon Gotch, and referees Ryan Tran, and John Cone.  Many more names have been through the doors, and they have had tons of special guests in the past as well.

If you are a wrestling fan and you never have gone to a smaller federations show, you should try it.  I have a blast at the ones I go to, and I hope to make more of them soon.

Thanks for reading and have a great day.

Wednesday, January 28, 2015

You ever have one of those days?

I had one of them today.

I began the day with some Fruit Stripe gum.  Yes, they still make it, I found it at the Dollar Tree of all places.  Despite hardly ever chewing gum, I took it with me today, which I still never used.

I went to Jefferson City, the capital of Missouri today.  It was the first time in nearly 15 years, and had a blast.  I went with my best friend and his mom (and his son too, which you might see in pictures later).

We made a few stops in the City of Jefferson, the first being Wal-mart.  Nothing too special there, but I ended up buying a piece of board for crafts.  You'll see why in a bit.  We followed it up with a trip to the Goodwill store, where I bought a couple Blu-Ray discs.  We followed it up with a trip to K-Mart and then Hastings.  In all, besides the board, here is the haul I got.

I bought the gum at Hastings.  I've never seen A&W gum before.  I hope it is like the root beer barrels I find in candy aisles sometimes.  They also had Dr. Pepper gum, but I passed on it.  The Camp Rock and Space Buddies I got at the Goodwill store for $2 a piece.  I didn't buy them because I like them.  I bought them because my nephews like the Buddies movies, and figured they might like Camp Rock.  The problem is I don't own a Blu-Ray.  However, the main reason I bought them is because they had like 300 each (along with a Cheetah Girls movie) and all of them were sealed.  Seems like Target or another store dumped it on them.  I don't have these movies, so I bought them just for the Disney codes inside.  Both counted as 150 points, so I gained 300 points for $4.  I have gotten quite a few DVD's through the Disney Rewards, so this will help for a future movie.  I'm hoping to get enough points for Bedtime Stories if they ever restock it.

So why did we go to a town about an hour away on a random Wednesday?

The Royals Caravan made their way into Mid-Missouri for the first time in a few years.  I have bellyached for a couple years on twitter to the Royals to come back, and they finally did.  I won't take credit for it, but I hope enough people asked for it so they did.  I hope they were happy with the turnout to return for a few years.  As for the turnout...

Not a bad turnout.  I am also in both of the pictures above.  The next one shows where I am.

We were about 20th or so in line, so I think the turnout was quite well.  In the picture above, I'm talking to one of the radio announcers that was sponsoring the event.

The crowd was... well, they were excited.  Almost fanboy-ish.  Most talked about last year, some about older player, a couple debated if Alex Gordon would have been out if he went for home, and one was... well, he was curious where the bus was going to park. 

All 3 local television media channels were there in addition to the sports talk station that put it on.  Also there was the Jefferson City News-Tribune, the major newspaper in the capital city.  Other media probably was there too, as well as pictures being taking by the local YMCA where it was held, and the Royals took pictures too.  While my friend and I wasn't interviewed, we did manage to make it on camera a couple times, and a man and his son right behind was interviews twice.

JOHN MAYBERRY IS IN THE BUILDING!  It's about to start!  Now I'm getting excited.  I hope I don't say something stupid when I meet them.  It wouldn't be a first, I have a knack of doing that.

Local radio show The Closers did a live show from the event, and are nice guys.  There's no time for that though, here we go.

Louis Coleman was pretty nice.  Ne also was a fan of my friends son.

Christian Colon was also a fan.  Beyond Colon, is announcer Steve Physioc, and at the end is Royals Hall of Famer John Mayberry.  All were very nice and cordial.

After picking up some schedules and such, I got a picture of the American League trophy.  It was smaller than I thought, and sorry I didn't get a great shot.  It was really nice to see though.

So whose, the guy next to the trophy?

Why, that's KayCee!  Known as the Royals historian, he is more known for being the "W guy".  After every Royals win at Kauffman Stadium, KayCee climbs the roof of the Royals Hall of Fame and puts the Giant W up!  It is a pretty cool tradition that just started the last few years, but it is really cool to see at the game.  I talked to him for a bit and he was really nice.  I even got his autograph, which I don't think a lot of people did,

I wanted to take more pictures but was caught up in the moment.  I did take some once I got home to show you the board I got signed, and some other stuff.

I couldn't decide what to get signed, but in the end, I was happy getting this signed.  I thought about a rubber home plate, but I can't complain about this.  One day it would be nice to get more names on it.

Overall they were all very nice.

I even got a trading card of KayCee!  He had a few with him, so it was pretty cool.

Why can't more cards look like this, its a pretty nice card.

In addition, I also got a couple extra autographs from Steve Physioc and John Mayberry.

Mr. Mayberry was really nice.  I asked for the extra autograph card and told him I wanted to place it next to the Dan Quisenberry autographed cards I had.  He said "Sure, Quisenberry was a very nice man".

Once I got home, I realized I forgot to do something while I was standing in line.  I was going to show my wallet card waiting in line.  This is the best I could do once I got home.

I thought I would show off my Royals keychain also.  Speaking of cards, before I used the board to get signed, I actually made cards to get signed, but I never printed them.  I might as well show them off.  I might display them on the board one day.

I thought I did a pretty good job with the cards, and if I printed them out, I would have made doubles to give each of them.  I like the design enough I may use it going forward.

So, have you ever had one of those days?  A day that seemed almost perfect?  I think I can say, yes, Yes I have.  Thanks for reading and have a great night.  If your team has a Caravan and you get the chance, check into going, it can be a lot of fun.

Tuesday, January 27, 2015

The age we live in

I have stated on here and elsewhere many times, that the internet age is good and bad.  The last few days however have been nothing but good for me.  As I write this, I am preparing for my high school's girls basketball team to play in a tournament in a nearby town.  Despite not knowing anyone on the boys or girls teams (it's been 15 years since I graduated), I still like to follow the teams.  When I was in high school, I was a statistician for the teams.  I also shot video and was even a waterboy.  I loved to take the shot sheet and take the unofficial stats.  Besides the fact I got to hang out with the popular kids, I got to watch the games for free.  Some games  I didn't even have to help at and I still got in free.  My favorite games were always the tournament games though.  It gave me a chance to see other teams play since we got there early, and allowed me to check out the other schools too.  One of the things I miss most about high school is my time helping with the basketball teams.  I took stats for the baseball team once, and while I love baseball more, at a high school level, to me, nothing tops basketball.  I never liked how high school baseball used metal bats.  I did enjoy watching the games on occasion while I was in high school, but after I graduated, I never had a desire to watch them.  We didn't have a football team, so baseball/softball, and basketball was it (besides track).  I know we were and still are a small school, but I never got why we didn't try fielding a volleyball team or something.

I bring this all up because as I stated, the Pilot Grove Lady Tigers are about to do battle in the Slater Tournament, and I planned on listening to it on the radio.  That is until a couple hours ago.  The radio station, KMMO, sometimes steams the audio online, and has sometimes had video of the game.  I found out a bit ago that Not only is every game from the Slater Tournament going to be on the radio, but they will be broadcast via livestream.  I just watched some of the boys game from last night, and am now pumped to see the girls play.  If you want to check it out, go to KMMO's website and there should be a link at the top.

The internet age has allowed us to do a lot of things.  That was just one example.  Another one made me excited last night.

JOHNNY DAMON now follows me on twitter!  Yeah it's not like we are buddies, but this made my night last night.  Johnny Damon is one of my favorite players ever, and just for him to acknowledge me a bit mad me happy.

I was watching Celebrity Apprentice last night as I have all season, and I've been following Damon on twitter.  Most of the cast has been live tweeting so it is a fun way to go behind the scenes.  At one point last night, Johnny tweeted something along the lines of "Who should I follow".  So immediately I replied ME ME ME!.  Well, I was nicer about it, I replied along the lines "it would be an honor if you could follow me".  Looking back it sounds a bit creepy, but I'll take it.

I love twitter more than I ever thought I would.  I follow some other bloggers on there, and other people too.  When I started, I followed only news sites and people I run into every day.  Today it has evolved into a lot more.  I interact with quite a few musicians and comedians, as well as businesses.  You may notice the name Spanky Brown on that picture.  He is a very funny comedian that I talk to a lot on Twitter and Facebook.  He has an internet radio show every morning, and while I haven't been able to listen in a while, it is worth checking out.

The internet age to me has its ups and downs, but lately I can't complain too much.  Sorry for not much substance today, but I hope to have some cool blogs in the next few days.  Thanks for reading and have a great night.

Monday, January 26, 2015

Team Set Tabulated: 1974 Topps Traded and 1984 Ralston Purina

Since Christmas, I have been sorting my Royals cards.  I have moved them out of the binder and into a 3200 count box and have been (slowly) putting them into databases and spreadsheets to figure out what I need.  Since then, I have completed an additional 19 Royals team sets, thanks to my best friend Jason, who has a blog over at Talkin' Truman (I can't wait to see his future posts).

Since I have quite a few team sets completed, I figured it was time to showcase them in a series I will call Tabulated (or more precisely- Team Set Tabulated).  Some of the sets and cards have been featured before, but this will be showing all the cards in the set and anything additional I may add.

Today I will show off the two oldest team sets I have completed, which aren't that big.

I'll start with the 1974 Topps traded set.  Since I wasn't born until 1982, I never had these cards, but I can't say I like them too much.  Airbrushing happens still today, but these cards really made today's attempts seem less... criminal I guess I could say.  I am happy with the advances of airbrushing and the advances of the Traded or Update sets Topps releases today.  Back in 1974, a big TRADED was about all they did.

The first two cards were part of my dad's collection.  Though my sister who sometimes reads this may disagree, Fernando Gonzalez kind of looked like my Uncle Jim in this photo.  Not if you stare too long, but really quickly.  The Nelson Briles card is the one I needed to complete the team set, and I bought it off COMC in late December.

The numbering of the traded sets back then also sucked.  All they did was use the same card number as the player had in the original set (at least I think they did), so unless you had an official checklist, it would be tough to find out if you had a complete set.  I do like how they made the design of the back look like a newspaper.  I would like to see this design in modern sets.  Maybe even make the cards look like webpages.  That would be a nice insert set in my opinion, especially for traded players and such.  Even create a website with full stories on the player.  Make a code allowing you to unlock the story.  That could possibly create some new interest in younger fans.

I completed this 2 card set from COMC alone.  I bought the George Brett card in November 2013, and the Quisenberry card last month as part of their Boxing Day promotion.  As a fan of oddball sets, I'm happy I completed this one.  I may even take it a step further and work on the entire set in the future.  As I've stated many times on here, I miss the days of cards being part of promotional sales for various products.  I may be more selective as an adult to what products I buy, but I would give a product a second look if free cards were included.

I like the design of these cards.  They aren't too plain, and while the poses are a bit odd, I don't see any airbrushing on them.

While at first glance it may seem a bit distracting, I like the checkerboard background of the card.  It has all the main details and has a bit about them too.  While I like complete stats, oddball sets I think can get away with just the previous year stats and lifetime stats.  If made today, there would too many stats to include that wouldn't be needed.  Do we really need WAR's and all the other sabermetrics included on the cards today?  Again, this would be a good time to add codes to the card to unlock additional stats and such online.  Better yet, do like I do, just go to Baseball Reference for more stats.

So that's all for today, as I finish completing more sets and organizing the rest of my cards, I will showcase more team sets.  Smaller sets like these I will likely do a couple at a time, larger sets will be one at a time.  You can see my want lists and completed sets on my Google Buzz lists on the links at the top.  I work on them from time to time, and once I finish sorting all the cards, I will rehaul the want list a little better.  Thanks for reading and have a great day!

Saturday, January 24, 2015

Carboard doesn't grow on a Dollar Tree

I got out some and hit a few stores yesterday.  Nothing too major, but my final stop was at a Dollar Tree.  If you've never been to one, I can't say you're missing a lot, but everything is $1 or less.  I can find some stuff there so I go back whenever I get the chance.  One thing they sell is various cards.  Some are newer Topps or Panini packs for $1 (usually only 5 cards in a pack), but what catches my eye is usually the repacks.  They are packs from the website CardsOne.  They have many cheap deals on their site, but I've never bought from them online.

In total I got 5 packs of cards for $5.  I can't tell if I got my money's worth, so I will show off some of them today.  Most of the packs had 30 cards in them, some had 20.  Mostly baseball, but a few random other sports.

I sorted thes by pack, but I forgot the order in which I opened them.  Oh well.  This pack had an odd mix of baseball.  Not that I needed more '90 Donruss but a Lou Whitaker card is always a win in my book.  The Alex Cintron card was cool to me at first glance.  I thought it was a minor league card.  Then I realized it was for a Major League set.  Horrible design for a MLB set.  The Chris Jones card beside it IS a minor league and looks better.  Its over ten years older too, so that makes the Fleer card that much worse.  The Wade Boggs cardis like a playing card.  Almost like the MLB Showdown cards, but its not the same set.  Not bad to have to my collection, I like him, so as long as I don't start collecting all his cards, this will be a good one to keep.

This was a mixed sport pack so these were the only 3 of the 30 not baseball.  Nothing too outstanding and none I need, but I admit I kind of like the Scott Burrell card.  The football card would look better if he didn't have an exposed gut.  Did I get $1 worth from the pack?  Ehh, I'll call it a draw, nothing I needed, but the Boggs card is cool.

The next pack starts with a SE card of Mark Portugal.  Say what you want about the Collector's Choice sets, but as a kid and even today I like this set.  It was cheap and had a fairly nice design.  I might seek out a few of the cards from the set one day.  EXPOS ALERT! GO CRAZY!  I notice a lot of bloggers like the Expos.  I can't say I'm in love with them, but do wish they were still in Montreal.  I don't recognize the name, but a shiny card has got to be worth something right?  Next to it is another shiny card from the same set.  Jay Bell was a Royals player for a bit, so I like this card.  I want to thin out cards of players on other teams, but this might be an exception.  Beside it is another Jay Bell I might keep.  For now at least, until I get some more of him in a KC uniform.

OOH, some old cards.  Floyd Bannister was also a former Royal, so this is a good one to have.  I'm torn on the design of this set, I may have liked it more if I collected it as a kid.  Next to it is how it was packaged- 3 John Tudor's in a row.  A few months ago this would be a good get, now I am thinning out my Red Sox collection so its not needed.  Though I think I will hold onto one for now at least.  I will say to me despite 3 of the same card, this pack was worth a buck.

A nice Orel Hershiser card to begin with.  With all the subsets and inserts Topps makes today, why can't they make one detailing every game of the World Series.  Shoot highlight every postseason game.  I'd rather see that then the same 4 people in every insert set.  The Bobby Castillo card made me smile because I can't tell if his glove is oversized or not.  It looks like it to me, but it could be the camera angle.  Next is Charlie Hough.  His 22nd year pitching when this card came out, unless you are Jamie Moyer, that's almost unheard of today.

I might keep the Miguel Tejada since he spent a short (very short) time in KC.  I also rooted for Oakland for a few years too, so it won't be a terrible thing to hold on to.  I forgot about the Chrome versions of the Victory cards, I didn't have many, so this was a nice one to see.  It was actually on top, so I decided to get the pack based on that alone.  The last card I never had a card from this set, so I liked it.  It is a nice basic design that I'll have to seek out now.

This also included some basketball cards.

I can't remember if this was the year Latrell choked his coach or not, I might have to look into that.  The Tim Hardaway card isn't bad, I even rooted for the Heat during that time frame.  The Sean Rooks card is... well, I have one now.  I hope not for long, but I don't know anyone interested in basketball cards not containing Lebron or Kobe or Jordan.  I tried selling a small box of them once for $5 on craigslist with no takers.  I only buy singles today.

This pack is worth the $1.  BUT WAIT!  TWO MORE BASKETBALL CARDS! A JORDAN ROO...

If I pulled a Jordan rookie, I would have taken a picture of it then immediately went to a card shop to trade it in or get cash.  Instead I got two cards I will keep.  I have always loved Reggie Miller.  One of the best 30 for 30 films in my opinion is Reggie Miller Vs. The New York Knicks.  Take time to watch it if you never have.  If you remember the games, it makes it so much better.  I have very few Reggie cards, but its Miller Time!  This was possibly my favorite pull of the day.  Next to it is a close second.  Another team I rooted for in the NBA in the 90's was the Charlotte Hornets.  Larry Johnson and Alonzo Mourning were another two I loved.  This will go into my very small binder of other sports (it also holds NASCAR and wrestling cards).  This pack alone might have been worth the $5 I paid.

Kevin Seitzer will always be a Royal to me.  I've seen a few of his Brewers cards (I used to own a few), but he's always a Royal.  Definitely keeping in my collection.  Next to it is Gene Garber.  I haven't checked to see if I needed it, but since it's the only Royals card I pulled in 5 packs, I'm happy to have it.  Next to it is the Royal Killer- Tori Hunter.  I wanted him to sign with KC just so he wouldn't have to play against us.  It seemed every year for a few years he would play us on Opening Day and somehow find a way to beat us.  The card is really nice though so it deserved to be shown.  I only included David Hulse because the only game I went to as a kid, I got to see him play.  Nothing amazing, I just know I saw him play.  It might have been from the same year.

Another Lou Whitaker card.  I might have this one already, but how sad is it I got more Whitaker cards than I did of the ENTIRE KANSAS CITY ROYALS!  NOOOOOOO!  Not another 1991 Fleer card.  I have nightmares coming tonight.  Next to him is Larry Walker.  I never had this set, but if all the cards had designs like this one, I may chase it down.  That has to be a green screen doesn't it?

Finally is Blas Minor.  His name is Blas! How could I exclude him?  Plus its brownie points for being a 1994 Score card, one of my favorite sets.  Since this pack had a Royals card, and a Seitzer card, I'm happy with the $1 price.

More cards from that pack.  Nice LT card (maybe I shouldn't call him that, Lawrence Taylor might take offense).  I used to keep Willie Randolph cards, but I've moved on from him now.  So the only keeper in this is the Warren Moon card with a cameo by Derrick Thomas.  If I set goals, one would be to add more DT cards to my collection.

Let's blow by the rest of these.  1987 Topps is starting to reach 1991 Fleer levels to me.  I've gotten too many of them in the last year, but some decent ones at least to be included.  On the flip side, I am loving the Flair cards more each time I see them.

Not a bad set.  Don't need doubles though.  I'll keep one Paul Byrd for now since he was a Royal once.  I'll keep one Schilling since I used to collect him.  A bit disappointed those four cards were all in a row.  If that's not bad though- check this out.

4 IN A ROW!  I should glue this together and make a Detroit Tigers clock for someone.  Too bad they weren't Tim Wallach cards I know a guy who collects them.

I liked the 2001 Topps set.  This card was on the top, so I bought the pack hoping to find others, alas, I didn't.  The Stan Jefferson is the first update card I got from that set as a kid, so it does bring back memories.  A few years ago I bought the entire set just for the Greg Maddux rookie, so I don't need another Stan Jefferson card.  Bill Krueger looks scary in this picture, wonder if he has a brother named Freddy.  Bubblegum shots are always fun.  Hey, at least he wasn't spitting tobacco.

The final four I'll show.  Oversized Bowman, blech!  Though Jimmy Key is cool, so I guess its okay.  David Cone will slide into my Royals cards.  A nice addition.  The stickers were a nice touch too.  Finally is Wally Backman, I remember him most from RBI Baseball.

So that was the highlights of $5.  I guess I got my money's worth from it.  It would be nice to pull more early 2000's stuff or late 90's stuff sometimes though.

Thanks for reading and have a great night.