Wednesday, August 30, 2023

Unexpected Cards

 I've said for quite a while that I have to be in a mood to write.  I really was planning on writing 3-5 posts this month, and then starting finding old scans which I can do more posts on.  However I was never in the mood to write.  I have spent a lot of the last month cleaning my computer up and part of that process found me find some lost folders of scans I planned in 2017 (YES 2017) of a series of posts.  Hopefully this fall I will show those.  Currently I'm on a project of finally cleaning up my picture folder.  Not scans of cards, but scans of family photos and just photos in general.  I have a ton of them, and I've slowly started the process.  The great thing about digital cameras is that most of them have built in dates from when the photos were taken, so that allowed me to figure out what a lot of them were.  I'm hoping to clean up a lot more soon, and clear up some space (sometime I copy photos to another hard drive and then have multiple copies).  Some digital photos go back to 2005, so I might in theory be able to cut my photo folder in half just by eliminating duplicates.  I don't trust programs to get rid of duplicates so I'll go one by one.  Long and tedious, but I'll be happy with the finished product, something I've wanted to do for the last five years at least.

I've cleaned other parts of my computer, and I've gained like 10 GB's of storage from it, just from eliminating files no longer needed.  The computer I'm using is over 10 years old, I think closer to 13 years old so a lot of old stuff.  Some of it is bittersweet because my sister Andrea used this computer and on occasion I'll find files she used that I don't need.  I have even found a few other files of hers that I have kept.  I'm not hoping to clear everything off but I would like to clear up enough space to put all my files onto a hard drive as backup.  I have some hard drives and most of the time I'm moving stuff from one to another which causes duplicates, but also a storage crunch.  I hope by the end of next year I will have everything organized and then I can get a hard drive that can hold everything for backup.  After that, maybe I can start diving back into my card collection and a few other hobbies.  I still have a lot of photos to scan also from before digital cameras.  All fun, but a bit time consuming.

That is in addition to around 1,000 photos I took over 5 days earlier this summer, which I still need to blog.  It's not card related, but was a lot of fun.  However today is a rare post in which I do have cards to show.  I have more to show in the future, but I need to scan or take photos of those cards first, so it might be a while.

Before I show off the cards today I want to talk about a couple wrestlers who recently passed.  2023 has not been kind to wrestling and quite a few deaths have been sad.  However last week there were two that got me down.  I'll start with the death of Bray Wyatt.  He was only 36 years old, and according to reports had plans to return to WWE soon.  I won't say he was my favorite wrestler, however I will say whenever a segment came on where he'd cut a promo, I would tune in.  If you want to use the phrase "he was an old soul", that would describe him.  Nothing about him or his character was cookie cutter.  He was like a choose your own adventure in the form of a person.  Whenever he'd cut a promo you would think you knew what was going to happen, but he opened your eyes to so many other possibilities.  I felt WWE was wrong to abandon the Wyatt Family to start his Firefly Funhouse segments, by my goodness did it go over.  As a human, I never heard any wrestler or fan have a bad thing to say about him, and as the son of a wrestler (I.R.S. aka Mike Rotundo was his dad, his uncle was Barry and Kendall Windham, and his grandfather was Blackjack Mulligan), he not only loved wrestling, but loved to keep the magic in wrestling alive.  It has struck not only the fans hard, but his colleagues and other wrestlers as well.  I think the only way it could have been worse was if he had already returned to WWE and was in the middle of the feud.  He will be missed.

Having said all that and how hard it hit me (I was more shocked than sad, but it still made me sad), the day before another wrestler passed away that really hit me.  Terry Funk was 79 years old, and while his death wasn't unexpected, it doesn't mean it doesn't hurt.  I have always liked Terry Funk, but in 2005 I started LOVING Terry Funk.  I went to an independent wrestling show in the next town over which was ran by Harley Race.  As with many WLW events at that time, he would bring in special guests to these events, however this time was extra special.  Not only was Harley going to be there, but he was bringing in Mick Foley AND Terry Funk.  I was ready to go to this and I had a blast.  In fact it was the first I ever saw Trevor Murdoch wrestler (I think it was his farewell show before joining WWE).  The wrestling on the card wasn't great but it was mostly trainees of Harley's wrestling school, but it was still a fun show.  I remember before the show Mick Foley walked by the bleacher (it was at a middle school), and I just casually said "Hi Mick" and he said hi and waved.  My friend thought that was so funny "I said hi like you was old fishing buddies".  During the intermission, they had a line where you could get pictures and autographs with the wrestlers and legends.  I didn't bring a lot of money, but I managed to get autographs from Harley and Mick, as well as another wrestler.  When it came to get Terry's autograph, I was short on cash.  I had money but I kind of wanted his book signed (which as you know I'm not a big book reader).  I however did have enough to get a polaroid picture with him, which he graciously signed as well.  While the legends were the ones people wanted to meet, the line moved quite nice.  However Harley and Mick as nice as they were, were more of the notion of keep the line moving so a hi, thank you, and that's about it.  The other wrestler (named Daniel Cross) was quite nice and we talked a bit because the line did back up a bit.  The reason- Terry Funk was talking with everyone.  When I got to him, and he knew I was short on cash, he offered a picture with him which he'd sign.  He was well past his glory days with all his WWF/WCW/ECW fame (though it was right before he did return to WWE for a bit for their ECW revival), but he still loved interacting with every fan he met.  Like Bray Wyatt, I've never heard a negative thing said about Terry Funk by fans or his colleagues.  Since I still have a subscription to Peacock, I decided to look up the best of Terry Funk, and was not disappointed.  I don't hold it against Harley or Mick for not conversing much that day, but the way Terry Funk interacted with everyone, made me a lifetime fan.  The only regret was not getting his book that day.  However I think I enjoy that picture more than I would have the book any day.  One day I will get a copy of the book and I will proudly display it.  On Smackdown last Friday they paid tribute to both Bray and Terry, and my favorite was Cody Rhodes telling about how Funk was yelling at Cody's dad (Dusty Rhodes) in an airport, calling him an egg sucking dog.  Funk was one of a kind and not only was a star in the U.S. but in Japan also.  That also doesn't include his appearances in TV shows and movies.  He was in Road House and Over The Top, and even starred in a short lived TV show called Wildside.  It lasted 6 episodes and my sister Anitra found it on Youtube so I have some shows to watch.

At any rate, both will be missed and it will take a while for the wrestling community to heal.

So I guess its time to get into some cards.  The title alludes to the fact that I didn't expect these.  My friend said he had something for me, but never implied cards.  That entire Facebook messenger exchange was one I remember vividly.  As we was talking, he mentioned something he got for me.

Friend:  By the way I got something for you.

Me: Thanks, but you didn't have to get me anything.

Friend: No problem, I got it while I was at a funeral


UH!  He got me something at a funeral?  He never mentioned what it was, but he did later explain the situation, and it wasn't morbid or anything.  There's not much to the story that the recently deceased had something that nobody wanted, and my friend thought of me.  Very odd but very intriguing.  As it turns out we talk almost daily via Facebook, but it was almost two months before I actually saw him face to face, so I had time to think about what it could be.  Though after a few days I honestly forgot.  Until he stopped by and dropped it off.

First off when he handed to me, I was a bit relieved because while I forgot about it, I no longer had to guess what it might be.  This has been something that I've seen online a few times because a Craigslist seller has been trying to sell a couple of these for a few years.  Quite cheaply, but I'm not close enough to Kansas City to make a deal.  Anyways, this holds baseball cards, and it was cool to finally have one.  I might use it to display autographed Royals cards.  On the back is a sticker which wasn't supposed to be on the booklet, but I'm glad it was.  I have that same sticker and am tempted to buy a couple more from a seller on Ebay.  The one I have I've had for 20-25 years, and love seeing it on this.

When I opened it I was surprised to find not only Royals cards, but other cards too.  No Mantle rookies, but to me just as exciting, and most of the Royals were ones I didn't own, so bonus.

Some pretty good cards, like John Smoltz and Greg Gagne (who would become a Royal a couple years later).  I always liked the 1993 Score set.  1993 and 1994 cards are my favorite, I'll never find a year or two that had almost every set that had good designs.  I was also happy to get the Gil Hodges card, because that Sonic set is one I've long wanted to build (I think it was one of the sets I wanted to build when starting this blog).  The Cliff Floyd might be a cereal card and even if it wasn't it was still a nice card, though newer than most of the other cards in this booklet.

I was so happy to get this near complete set of 2002 cards.  I thought I had these but I didn't, and its good to have most of them now.  This was one of those police sets and I love to find as many as possible.  I need to update my want lists and see which sets I still need.  The good thing about the KC Royals police sets was they didn't have different versions for each district/city in the metro.  I think Milwaukee does that and there's like 30 different versions of essentially the same card.  Good thing they didn't have dot variations of those.

There was one other card that took me a bit to figure out what it was but I think I did.

This card was a little bigger than a normal card and perforated at the bottom.  After a few minutes I knew what it was.  Local Phillips 66 gas stations sold or gave these away in the early 90s and they included a piece on the bottom which held a pin.  You can find these on ebay, and its the reason I figured it out because I've seen it a few times.  Some may not consider this a card, but I do and I'm glad to have it in my collection.

So I got trading cards from a funeral I didn't even attend.  That's a first.

I don't have any other cards to show but I do have a book I recently got at my local thrift store, which is Royals related so I'll show it.  I mostly got it because I like one of the authors, and thought the subject was a bit funny yet sad in hindsight.

Faith and Family First... Ben Zobrist was very popular in his short time with the Royals, and as well as with the Cubs.  Even after he left Kansas City less than a year after he arrived, Royals fans still rooted for him.  This book was written during his time in Tampa with the Rays, and is co-written with his wife (at the time) Julianna.  Ben loved his wife, so much so that since Julianna was an aspiring Christian singer, Ben used one of her songs as his walkup song from time to time.  Most fans didn't care for the song, and to be honest weren't really fans of her.  Their time in Kansas City went without incident, but it was his time with the Cubs that the real story began.  I admit I don't know all the details, but from what I understand, Julianna may or may not have cheated on Ben and it basically tore Ben apart.  So much so that he left the Cubs to straighten things out, but to no avail.  I haven't followed since the initial divorce papers were handed to the other, but Ben never returned to baseball.  I saw this book and thought it was funny they'd make a book which in the end was something maybe they should have read.  Though I also wanted the book because I like Ben.  I don't know when I'll read this, but it will be on my shelf when/if I do.

I didn't want to spoil it, but later this year I plan on doing a book club post with books I've read this year.  I set a goal of reading more, and I have.  I've read more books this year than I have in maybe the last 10.  A lot are sports related, and will be fun to post about.

Before I wrap things up, I found the photos from the WLW show I went to.  I even found a photo from the WLW website at the time (well a few weeks later) after the show.

This photo was on their site for a few years (the WLW site hardly updated), and from left to right for the non-wrestling fans are Mick Foley, Harley Race, and Terry Funk.  If you look right under Funk's arm in the crowd it a guy in a black shirt.  I am that fan.  The fan in the gray shirt is my friend Matt.

Harley liked signing "Best In Sports" even despite I was well past my playing days, lol.  I've seen a few autographs signed by him with that.  I wish my Mick Foley autograph wasn't coming apart, but still its in good shape.

My friend teased me "it looks like your sitting on his lap".  I love that photo.  I wish I still had that shirt.  For a while I called it my "Terry Funk shirt".  I will really miss him.  In the background is a couple wrestlers, I don't remember who the masked one was. It might have been Dan-o-mite, but the other one was Daniel Cross.  I also got his autograph at the show, but can't find the photo.  I loved going to wrestling shows, but realized yesterday its been 13 years since I've been to a live event of any kind.  I really should go to a show soon.

So that wraps things up for today.  I don't know when I'll post next, but I do have a few planned and while not card related, one is the aforementioned book club one which is chock full of sports books.  The other is somewhat history related with no sports, but it will be a fun post.  If you follow me on Facebook you have seen photos and that is what it will be about.  I saved a few bonus photos for my blog.  Thanks everyone for reading and I hope you all have a great day.


  1. Very nice post. I'm glad you got the opportunity to meet Terry Funk like that. I liked him as a wrestler.

    1. Thank you, he was very nice and after I met him I enjoyed his wrestling so much more.

  2. I'm not much of a wrestling fan but I certainly recognized local (Long Island) hero Mick Foley!

    1. It blew my mind that a few years ago I found out that he was actually on the same high school wrestling team as actor Kevin James.

  3. I've probably said it every time you've mentioned it, but I'm very envious of you for getting to meet Harley and Terry. And of course, that photo of you with Terry is just awesome. I would have to think that that's one of your more prized possessions.

    Mick Foley was signing autographs at an antique car show in Portland a few months after his "Have a Nice Day" book came out. I was there, got an autograph, but overall the experience nearly as fun as yours sounded. There were so many people, probably close to a thousand, and it felt very impersonal; almost like a factory assembly line. It was so disappointing, that aside from remembering that I was there, I seem to have blocked out most of that day.

    I'm not a wrestling fan anymore, but I went to a lot of shows in and around Portland during my teens and early twenties. Basically anytime someone said they were trying to restart Portland Wrestling, I'd be at their first show, which more often than not, ended up being their only show. They were always fun though, and what's more, the tickets were always cheap; which worked out well for someone like myself who usually didn't have too many nickels to rub together.

    1. The Portland wrestling scene sounded very interesting. Sandy Barr and his promotions have been of interest of me lately even though I don't think I've ever seen any footage. The other day I was reading about him bringing in Tonya Harding in 1994 and how it pretty much ruined his promotion because it was so costly.

      I think a lot of wrestlers probably have to treat autograph signings as an assembly line, but for the ones that don't it makes meeting them so much special. I went to a baseball signing a few years ago and it was somewhat similar. I think they genuinely like to meet the public, but also don't want to just sit around while a bunch of people just line up like its a petting zoo. Plus you never know how many are actually fans and how many just want to sell the autograph as soon as they leave. Its why whenever I've met famous people I've always tried to think of something they've done that brought me enjoyment to make the meeting seem more personal.