Friday, September 30, 2016

Lights, Camera, AUCTION!

In a similar vein to my Ebay posting where I show items, I stumbled upon a site last night and thought I would show off some items.  This is not an endorsement of the site or the items, it is purely just a post showing off random items.

A couple weeks ago I heard that famed Cardinals announcer and former Cardinals player and also former Mizzou player Mike Shannon was auctioning off some of his possessions online on a site called  I largely forgot about it until last night when I was on a St. Louis TV station website reading about the going ons in the Central West End distract of St. Louis.  It's one of the nicest areas and the most desirable place to live in the county but unfortunately it has had an uptick of murders there lately.  It started a couple years ago when a former Volleyball player was killed in her car during mid-day in a likely robbery attempt.  Since then crime has gone up.  I keep up on the CWE as some call it because it is close to the hospital my sister had to go to for her cancer treatments.  I walked around the CWE a few times, and once even walked almost a mile in the distract.  I was a bit nervous, not because of being in a big city, but I had to haul two suitcases around the area so it was obvious I was an out of towner and a likely mark.  I had no hassles and it was a very nice area.  It borders Forest Park which is a place you must go to if you visit St. Louis.  It was home of the 1904 World's Fair and the current home of the St. Louis Zoo, St. Louis Science Center, and so much more.

Anyways, while getting caught up on all the news from the CWE, I saw a story on the auction for Mike Shannon's belongings.  Since I had nothing better to do at 4 AM (besides planning future blogs) I decided to take a gander at the items.  I decided to make a blog of it and show off some of the items.

I'm not sure why Shannon is auctioning this stuff off or if it has anything to do with him closing his restaurant in St. Louis this year, but it astounds me the items people choose to sell.  Then again, maybe he wants to see the pleasure of a fan buying this and make a few bucks on the side.   I like this piece, but I don't think I'd bid even if I had the money.

I can understand selling these off, and I don't think that is a crazy reserve.  I wouldn't mind having the trophy, but I don't think I would bid on this either. 

Now this one I'll be honest with, I'm a sucker for this lot here.  If I did have the extra money, I would likely bid on it.  Look at that list of amazing of names its a who's who of star players of the era and reminds me of when I was first getting into the game.  I am also for some reason a fan of beer advertising even though I don't drink.

This is another item if I had the expendable money I would bid on.  I won't lie and say I'm a huge Mike Shannon fan, but the guy did go to Mizzou, and I've heard him on the radio since birth even when you couldn't understand what he was talking about.  His run is almost over but I would like something of his and I like bats.  I don't have many (but I do have a Hal McRae mass produced bat which is cool).

Everyone knows Roger Maris as a Yankee, but forget he was also a Cardinal.  I never got to see him play and I probably disservice him by not ranking him high enough as best players, but I will say that what I do know of him, I felt sorry for him a bit.  I have a DVD of the HBO movie called 61* and it was a really good movie.  It dealt with the race to 61 home runs in 1961 and people hating on him because they didn't want Babe Ruth's record broken.  As the season progressed you could see the damage it had done to him.  I highly recommend the movie if you haven't seen it.  It's been a while since I've seen it so maybe it's time to dig it out again.

You have to admit, the names are cool especially the greatness of those players (and Bob Uecker too).  However I like that this comes from Old Busch Stadium and has the old Cardinals logo on it.  I really liked the circle logo they used and wish they would bring it back at least on throwback nights.  As for the table itself, just imagine the stories it could tell, and imagine those players sitting at the table at various points through the years and through their time as Cardinals.  $1000 bucks may seem steep, but I think that is well worth it, even though I would never be able to sniff it much less bid on it.

This is the final piece I'll show, and its a beauty.  Anymore its a 50/50 guess if an item it really game worn, but since it come from the man's actual collection, I believe it is.  The younger generation may only think of him as the old cranky announcer, but he was no slouch as a ball player.  To be honest this items deserves to be on display at a museum more than it needs to be sold.  I hope if he has other game worn jersey's at least one ends up in the Cardinals Hall of Fame if they have one.  As much as I harp on the Cardinals, they have a rich history and it needs to be properly displayed.

In total there are just over 30 items up for bid in the Mike Shannon Collection and the auctions end around October 28th, so enough time if you truly wanted to scrounge the money together and make a bid on something.  The website is  I'm not being paid to endorse them, I just found it fascinating, and after I saw these items, I saw they have much more items up for auction as well.  If you are a super collector or merely want to kill some time, its worth checking out.  They have everything from Crosley Field Stadium seats to Roberto Clemente signed photos, to a Notre Dame stool signed by Rudy and so much more, even some Ali items.  I bookmarked the site and hope to find more items on there and who knows, maybe I'll do more posts about it in the future.

That wraps it up for today, I know its been a bit slow around here lately, but I hope to be more active next month.  I needed a little break and I'm still on a good pace to break last years post count so I'll work hard on that.  Thanks so much for reading and have a great weekend.

Friday, September 23, 2016

Ranting & Raving

It's been some time since my last rant and rave, so I thought I'd do one tonight with the blog.  This is just me talking about stuff and some are just one sentence, some more in depth.  I don't expect everyone else to feel the same way, and while I may not feel the same way about some subjects as others, I hope it doesn't lose my readers on here.

Hey, I made a custom photo for this post.  It didn't take much.

So you may have noticed I haven't wrote much this month.  Part of the reason is because September isn't a great month for me.  This September hit me harder than most.  It has been 10 years since my dad passed away and it really has gotten me sad.  It makes me think about what I've done since then, and how things would have been different if he was still around.  Then I flip through the radio stations (and yes, I still listen to FM radio, I can't get into streaming radio), and Green Day's Wake Me Up When September Ends comes on and makes me sadder.  I remember working the night before and my uncle actually came to pick me up from work and that's when I knew something was up.  My dad was in and out of the hospital, but this time was different.  As we tried to sleep through the night at the hospital, in the morning, we got to see my dad one last time.  It was sad to say goodbye, and even harder talking about it now.  A few minutes later he was gone, and nothing else mattered.  I don't remember much else about that day other than calling work a short time later telling them I wouldn't be in.  I also remember I was just hired at a Walmart in Columbia and was set for orientation that week, but I stopped by to tell them I wouldn't be in, and I was going to pass on the job.  The rest of the week was a blur.

What made it worse that month was exactly two months earlier getting an email from a pastor's wife telling me that a good friend I had met at church camp had passed away.  This women that passed was a very nice woman and even though I only met her once, something about her just made me think of positives in life.  If I remember correctly, she was the pastor's sister, and was diagnosed with some sort of cancer, possibly breast cancer, and I thought she had beaten it, but it came back.  It was very aggressive, and within a couple months she was gone.  I still have an email she wrote me after the only time we met, and I still read it from time to time.

Those two reasons alone make me not much of a fan of September, or Fall in general, but it was weighing on my mind a lot this month.  I don't have a picture of my friend that passed, but I have plenty of my dad.  However, I decided to post a picture of some awards and trophies he won in his later years doing what he loved- garden tractor pulling.

As I was trying to find some pictures, I came across another picture that is somewhat timely as well.  Just this week I heard that the Isle of Capri casinos had been bought.  I don't go to casinos, but there is one in the next town over, and even though I would like them to add a movie theater and have more concerts or events, I think it does well.  Anyways, I hope the new owners don't change it too much.

Before the boat came in, this is a photo of the land where the casino currently sets.  In the background is the Katy bridge, which, don't get me started on, is still there.  This land though used to be a lot rougher, and I think at the time this was taken by my dad, it was when they built a new bridge to replace the terrible 70 year old narrow bridge over the Missouri River.  My dad took video of the implosion of that old bridge and I need to find it so I can post it some time.  I think I get my passion of videos and photos from him.  I would love to see how many great shots he's take with digital cameras, as this photo and most of his others were still shot on 35mm cameras or disposable ones.

So far not much ranting, so I might as well dive in there.  Sometimes I take a break from news.  Not because  I don't care, but I think if we get too involved with every story, it waters down opinions on every thing else.  At any rate sometimes you can't just skip stories because you don't like hearing about it, but sometimes you can bypass most the coverage to get just the essentials. I haven't been too invested in the Tulsa shooting this week or the riots in Charlotte, but then I heard something that made my ears perk up a bit.  I was listening to talk radio and they mentioned the shooting that started it all in Charlotte happened and a really nice hotel near or in downtown.  This caught my attention because I visited Charlotte once and I actually stayed at a Hilton downtown, so I had to check it out on Google Maps.  I quickly found out it wasn't at the Hilton, but it did happen at a hotel two blocks away.  The protesting and rioting was happening on the same streets I walked a decade ago.  Since I don't know many of the details, I'll refrain from commenting on that aspect, but I will say I hope everything gets better in Charlotte and everywhere.  I would like to visit Charlotte again some day, but I don't think I will anytime soon.  Not because of this, but this doesn't help.  I have a few other places I'd like to visit first.

This photo is just a random photo, I like to post on occasion.  I was preparing a speech for a FHA/HERO (now called FCCLA) regional meeting when I was the recreational leader.  Maybe this was when I was running for a Region 13 State Presidential candidate.  I ended up losing but I'm not bitter about it.

I have two more pictures to post, they are from a website I had that I just shut down last week.  It was a site dedicated to Mizzou, but it wasn't updated in two years, so I took what I wanted off the site and deleted it.  I was using the Weebly website for a few pages, but I shut them all down because I had no use for them.  If I want to make more sites I'll use Blogger or another site.  Here is what I wanted to show though.

I used this as the header for the page, which I thought was good at the time, but the players look too stretched now.  I posted game pictures and some other stuff on the page but it never too off.  I planned to write commentaries of the games and such, but only wrote about the 2012 Spring game and the players drafted into the 2012 draft.  It sat dormant for a couple years before I tried to bring it back later, but it didn't get far.  A couple months later, I started this blog.

Here is another image I used on the site.  I like it still, but I think I could have done better.   It was one of many ideas I've had that I never followed through on.  Oh well.  It was fun while it lasted.

So I guess not much ranting on this one, but I thought it would still be fun to show off something.  I really hope to go back to regular posting soon, but I have to get in the mood, and I need to find stuff I haven't posted yet.  I almost showed off stuff I just showed a couple weeks ago.  At least I know I have more stuff to show and will be showing it soon.  It's late and with that I guess I'll wrap it up.  Sorry if it was confusing to read, I was sidetracked the last 3 hours watching TV so it took forever to post.  At any rate, thanks for reading and have a good night.

Wednesday, September 21, 2016

Quarter Packs

Last month on my vacation I showed some quarter packs of cards I got.  Today I'll finally show them off.  Since its been a few days since my last post, let's dig in.

Cy Young and Greg Maddux were the cards showing, and I figured I had the Maddux, but wasn't sure on the Young.  Turns out I did, but its a set I've wanted to work on so glad I didn't pass it up and I needed it.  Still its a quarter pack, so it was worth it.  The other cards were good too including a pair of Trammell's which I didn't have, so this was a good pack.

The first Larry Gura was the top card, and I forgot what the bottom one was, but I knew I didn't have the Gura, so I got it.  Inside was a boatload of Royals, and this pack was well worth the price.  It gets me excited to go back and maybe get more. 

The Clint Hurdle was the top card and I think the Gubicza was the bottom.  Pretty sure I needed the Hurdle and I did.  It was another solid pack, including Cecil, Bip, and Bo.  I can't complain about any of that.

A Royals in every pack and plenty worth a buck total.  This pack might be the weakest, but again, I'd pay a quarter and I did.  David Wells and Craig Biggio aren't bad surprises.  Each pack had I think 25 cards, so I paid a penny a card, and obviously all were worth it, but even if I don't collect them, the ones I do make up for it.

So I know its late, but I have finally decided to to list them.  I haven't been in the mood to do much lately, thinking about a lot of things, and then I get caught up with stuff I need to do and forget.  This week I've been checking out the new shows this fall and haven't been too impressed yet, but there is still hope.

I was preparing a blog the other night talking about writer's block, and all of a sudden much like Jerry Maguire, I just kept writing and writing, so I decided it was too long for a post or two, so I might continue it and see where it goes.  I need to keep working on the Olympic cards I promised as well, but it might be pushed back a bit as I haven't worked on them.  I hope to have a new post tomorrow though.

Thanks everyone for reading, and have a great night.

Wednesday, September 14, 2016

Custom Olympic Trading Cards Part 2

The plan wasn't to do another custom post back to back, but I've gotten sidetracked and been a bit busy with other stuff lately so no time to write posts.  These are handy so here we go.  If you missed part one, it is the previous post which explains everything.  These are a little more uniform in design, but I still had some issues with the centering of the names but otherwise, most are good.  Let's dig in.

I really did a terrible job centering on these, but it was only because it was late and I was trying to churn them out quick.  Once I realized the mistake I tried to fix it on other cards, but didn't feel like going back.

I did a better job on these, but still it looks a bit off.  I should be working on a new batch soon, and one thing I might do is make the font slightly larger.  They are okay now, but I think it would look better slightly bigger.  I'm not sure if the logo's are too large or not, but for the most part I have their size down pretty good I think.  I could always modify them if need be though.

A couple more with centering issues.  In addition I had to stretch the Ramirez card more than I wanted and it didn't turn out as good as I hoped.  Oh well, I will work on that on future custom cards.

I liked this photo, but I had to crop it more than I wanted.  The original photo had her entire shadow shown and more sand as well.  Oh well, it's still a good card, one of the better ones in fact.

I don't know if I ever heard of Kiribati before and this wasn't even on my radar, however, I read about a weight lifter who was dancing all the time, so I checked it out.  I think that is a cool enough story to warrant his own card.  Plus Kiribati is another country you would likely never see actually having an Olympic card, so that was nice too.

Initially I didn't want to include Shaunae Miller in my custom cards.  I didn't care for how she leaned forward at the finish line to win (and beat the Americans) the Gold.  However I decided to include her for a few reasons, one being the exact reason I wanted to exclude her.  Watching the Olympics is more than rooting for your home country.  Its about desire, passion, elation, heartbreak, and so many more emotions.  While the United States were upset with her victory, I'm sure the Bahamas were jubilant.  That is the spirit of the Olympics, and since she didn't break any rules, I can't be upset too long.

Another reason is I wanted an athlete from the Bahamas, and I actually liked this photo.  Like I stated on the previous post, I included over 30 countries and I wanted to include the athletes people talked about most (besides a guy who may or may not have been robbed), and Shaunae Miller was definitely discussed on social media moments after her win.

Okay, so if you didn't follow the Olympics, you might not know any of these people so far.  Heck, I don't know some and I did watch it.  So let's show the last two cards of this batch that have a much wider appeal and should be more well known.

I really like this card aside from the centering issues.  Besides the basketball portion of the Olympics, the Tennis had a lot of star power however, most of the big stars really did much.  A lot of upsets and Novak Djokovic was no exception.  What I like about this card is you can see his frustration.  I think that with the exception of the next card, this is the best shot I used for a card.

So time for the last card.  It is the best shot of the set, and a bigger name than one of the biggest names in Tennis?  Hmm....

You knew I had to make a card of the fastest man alive, and I would have been a fool not to use this photo.  To me the amazing thing is not just the lead and that he was able to have that reaction, but he could have been even faster.  He is retiring in 2017, and he's had some injuries as of late so not only is it amazing that he could still outpace everyone, but it makes for an interesting dash for his replacement.  People have wondered if he is better than Jesse Owens, and while 4 years ago I would have still said that was absurd, I am a little more willing to listen to the argument now.  It's tough to compare athletes from different eras and decades, but I think these are two of the best ever to compete in track, and anytime Mr. Owens gets discussed I am okay with that.

So that is it for today, aside from a couple insert cards I designed, I am out of Olympic cards for now.  It means I'll have to work on more, and don't worry, I have plenty of American athletes, I have just been holding off on them for now.  I can't say when my next batch will be posted, but I hope to have it done by the end of next week.  I don't want to stretch it out too much, and now with football season here I find more distractions than ever.  Especially now that Fall TV programming is coming back too, and the temperatures are cooler allowing me time to go to storage and clean up too.  So I might be busy for a while, but still hope to get these done soon.

Overall, I'm at a healthy rate of surpassing last year's post count and I hope to beat it, so I don't plan on slowing down on here soon.  I might take a couple days off here and there while I catch up on stuff, but luckily, I'm almost caught up on other stuff, now I just need to scan and find what I did with those scans.  I have a couple posts I've been sitting on for a couple months just because I was so busy now I can use for rainy days.  At any rate, I know this is posted a lot earlier in the day than normal, but I wanted to post something and assure you all I haven't stopped writing.  Thank you for reading and have a great day.

Friday, September 9, 2016

Custom Olympic Trading Cards Part 1

Before the Olympics began I mentioned I should do some custom cards for the Olympics especially after the disdain from some collector's on the ones released by Topps.  Since then I have pieced together a set and have finally got a few done, enough to post a few.  I never fully finished the design details so almost every card varies somewhat, but I really don't want to go back and redo them so here I present them in the final version.

There have been a few challenges with this though.  First and foremost, this is my biggest attempt of a set yet with a total of roughly 75 or so cards including 2 insert sets.  I thought it would be a challenge, and it has.  So much so that I don't really want to finish the set, but I figure if I posted some it would motivate me to do more.

Another challenge has been that I've done something people complained that Topps didn't do on two fronts.  First I used photos from the actual Olympics and all the cards feature athletes who competed at the games and not hopefuls.  While I decided against including Paralympic athletes solely because I don't know much info about the games and don't want to make a larger set, I did do something again Topps didn't.  I included athletes from countries besides the United States.  In fact I believe once the set is finished, 35 countries will be represented including if my memory is correct the top 20 countries by medal count.  Sure America will have the most cards but I tried to be fair.  The athletes I chose were based on how well they fared, who was the most talked about, or who I personally liked.  Almost all the athletes I chose were ones that were talked about at the games and some may be remembered for years to come.  I admit I have some bias in choosing some and possibly picked a gold medal winner for a country I didn't have represented yet, but I think you will enjoy the diversity.

So with all that said, let's take a look at the first batch of cards I made.  Again, most will vary from each other, but for the most part the changes aren't too big of a deal, just some bordering of the names and such.

The first card I'll show is one that was a request I got on twitter.  I posed a question about who should I make Olympic cards of in the Olympics, and I only got one request, so let's show it first.

You can thank Bean's Ballcard Blog for the suggestion of the Swiss Beach Volleyball team.  When the suggestion was made, I immediately knew it would be a fun one to work on.

I made two sample or prototype cards to get a feel for the set.  I like the border of gold as I thought it worked well.  However, I wasn't happy with the oval background for the names.  I also wasn't set with the font or if I wanted to include the sport.  My reasoning on including the sport or not is I figured if these were real cards, I would have all the info on the sport on the back.  Also since a name is included and the country, if you like the card, you can still go to Google to find out more about the athlete.  That may seem like flawed logic, but as I started to make more cards, I felt the box had too much info in it already especially for athletes with long names or from long named countries.  As seen on the Rugby Sevens card, I just didn't care for it.  The swimming one above is one of a kind because I wanted to show the three silver medalists in the one swimming event.  Plus I figured if I included Michael Phelps on this card, I wouldn't have to make another card for him.  Let's just say I'm not his biggest fan.

Don't fret though, I did redesign it slightly later on.

I like the rectangle box better.  The problem with this card is the country isn't identified.  Sure I also could have included that on the back if I made one, but I did want the countries listed on the front.  Again, since this is a one of a kind card with three countries represented, I'm okay with how it turned out.

Before I changed to a rectangle though I made another card with and oval.

I think it actually turned out pretty good really.  As you can see, Bekzod's name is a little long so including the sport in addition to name and country would make it a little crowded.

One thing I realized as I started making a few of these was most of the shots fit better horizontal instead of vertical.  The first attempt at the vertical cards were a challenge.

I actually thought this turned out fine, but making the lettering turn out good is a nightmare to me using Paint.  So I knew I couldn't keep doing it this way.

Then the challenge for Os became his name and country is much shorter than most and that is a lot of empty space.  I had a lot of issues with centering on the fonts so I hope my next batch turns out better.

The vertical cards look fine with the country and the sport, but with so many different events in certain sports it wouldn't do much justice including them, so again it would go on the back and for now just type in the athlete's name and country for more info.

One other challenge I've had but might have corrected on future cards is the sizing and locations of what I call my watermark, my RCR logo. Also the Rio logo as well.  Some appear massive on some cards, and some seem small such as the case on this Inbee Park card.  I don't want them to overpower the photo itself, but I also want them in case someone did try to make copies of these and tried to sell on ebay.  I make these with no intention of selling.  I do that for a couple reasons.  First and foremost, I don't own the rights to the photos.  If I took these photos, I would possibly change my mind, but until then, I don't want to risk anything.  Another reason is because I don't think they turn out great enough to make it worthwhile to sell.  Again, if I could clear those obstacles (the second would include using something besides Paint to make the designs, then finding the right cardstock to print them), then maybe I would consider it.  I also don't want people to confuse these with real cards so that's another reason I don't actually print or try to sell these.  However, if you feel they are worthy to be printed and want a copy for your own personal collection, then by all means have at it.  I just ask that you don't try to sell it or pass it off as a legit card.  i admire the many bloggers who make custom cards, but unlike most, I make these more for my enjoyment and entertainment and not so much for others.  I only post them because I'm either out of ideas for a post, or because I want to challenge myself to post these to make better ones next time and to show off my skills, however lacking they may be.

So that's it for the first batch.  I have many more I have designed but will include them at a later date.  I've also started working on one of the insert sets I planned.  I'll keep them under wraps for now.  I'm still thinking of a border for the other insert set.  As you can tell, I like borders.  So with that I'll wrap it up for tonight.  In case I'm not around this weekend, I hope everyone has a great one.  Mine will included listening to Mizzou on the radio and catching the Chiefs on TV.  Thanks for reading and have a great night.

Thursday, September 8, 2016

Are You Ready For Some... You Know

So the real games begin tonight.  NFL is back, and last weekend was the return of NCAA Football, so with that how about something related to both, and even some high school football too?

I've recently bought a few things that I guess I haven't shown yet, so now is the best time to do it.  Let's dig in.

Okay so this is basketball, but still.  I found this in the Halloween costumes at Savvy Seconds and I got it.  I like baseball and basketball jerseys so if I find them at a good price I get them.  I tried to find out who this was, but I couldn't confirm who it was.

This is a high school football jersey.  It is local to the town Savvy Seconds is in.  My school never had high school football so I never got into it, but again I found it in the Halloween section and cheap so I got it.  I thought for a second it might have been the number of a friend of mine who played for the Pirates and was named one of the top players in the state, but he wore 21.  No matter what, I'm still happy I got it.

On the same trip I found this which is something I've wanted for a while but never wanted to pay much for.

I got a Tiger Tail!  These are readily available around here, but I never wanted to pay full price for it, so finding it for a buck was a great deal.  People around here put these on the back of their cars (usually sticking out of their trunks) to support the Missouri Tigers.  The question now is do I really want to put it on the back of the car or just keep it on display?

Oops, I forgot the NFL aspect, so let's dig into my hard drive for this photo.  This I found on someone's twitter a couple years ago or even last year after a Chiefs game.  I think it was after they won their first playoff game in 20 years.  So sorry for promising an NFL item, but hope this will do.

I do have one more item, and I thought I already posted it but couldn't find it.  I bought this at Red Racks during my vacation last month.  Year I still have stuff from vacation to show (even stuff before that too).

With the news of Tim Tebow signing with the Mets organization today, it is timely.

This is probably one of the better helmets I've gotten.  Just under $5.50 (no sales tax) I just couldn't pass up another helmet.  This one I don't think I have to much to put on display, so I might get on that soon.  I thought about since it is the Fall season getting a scarecrow to sit outside and put the helmet and a jersey on it.  I even have some shoes and pants that I could put on too, but I'm afraid someone would steal it, so I better not.

So that wraps up some odds and ends to get you in the football mood.  I haven't gotten into football yet but once I listen to the Mizzou game Saturday and seeing the Chiefs take the field Sunday on TV I think I'll get into it.  If not, the Royals are still in the playoff hunt and that is my main focus right now anyways.  Thanks for reading and have a great night.