Crazy Summer

Crazy Summer

PERSONAL

Crazy Summer

I don’t even know anymore…

Matt “Doc” Perry, Creative Geek, Texas

September 7th, 2018

As I sit here, at my desk, in my house, I think about how easy those words are to type, but a year after Hurricane Harvey, how hard they were to actually make a reality again. Last week was the one year anniversary of when our home flooded. I can still remember to torrential downpour of rain that blanketed the roof all day and all night. There was hardly any wind, the electricity stayed on (for the most part), and we were glued to the local TV weather report. We were watching Channel 11 (KHOU) as the TV station flooded and THEY evacuated, which was an ultra-surreal moment.

At the time I was comparing it to one of those Sci-Fi movies where you hear the “news coverage” in the background of the aliens landing and then suddenly there’s screams followed by nothing but static. You see that in a movie and you’re thinking “that’s crazy, the news wouldn’t just go off the air like that, that’s cheesy”. Then it happens in real life and that little voice in the back of your brain, the irony-center, starts screaming at you to pack up your crap and run.

The mad scramble to put stuff on on tables and in closets is what I remember most from the actually night it started. The amazing “tetris” zen that comes over you when you’re trying to stack your entire existence onto a dinning room table, or as high in a closet as you can put things.

I’ve covered what happened next already. The Cajun Navy boat ride. The dump truck journey across town. The shelter. The helpless feeling.

Then the recovery, and the help we received, and the love we felt. That’s still very real a year later.

Throughout the entire repair process, even when stuff was going all pear-shaped with contractors, when things weren’t working out, when things were delayed, we always had people willing to help. Especially towards the end, when it was coming down to the wire.

The moving back in was a mix of glorious triumph and back-breaking labor. Contractors had delayed and delayed and kept pushing things off. We drew a hard line and said that the 4th of July is our drop-dead date. We were moving in. We scheduled the movers for that Friday (the 6th). As of the 5th, they electricians, the plumbers and the painters were still all not finished. They were painting my living room until 4pm on the 5th. At 5pm I had a friend come help me and we put down laminate flooring until 1am. The movers came at 8am.

Since then it’s been a weird mix of finishing little things (like weather stripping and door thresholds, and unpacking as best we can. It’s taken most of the summer and we’ve only just put a good dent into it. We’ve unpacked about half, but also reduced down quite a bit, and donated most of what we don’t plan on using going forward.

I’m sure it’ll be months until the final boxes go away, but we’re comfortably moved in and unpacked enough that we’re really not missing much. Except the crockpot. I still can’t find the damn crockpot, lol.

Cards

As for cards, there’s really not a ton to say about 2018. I didn’t have anywhere to put them for most of it, so I just didn’t buy any. Don’t get me wrong, I ordered a couple team sets here and there, but I cut way back on ebay and comc orders and hadn’t bought a retail blaster until Optic this month. Sam brought me a couple nice cards the couple times we got to hang out this summer. A really sweet 2017 Museum Collect Rick Porcello tri-relic and an awesome 2006 Papelbon/Breslow duel auto he said he found for $2 somewhere and couldn’t pass up. He also brought me the two photo variation SSPs from 2017 Flagship, Ted Williams fishing and a Mookie All-Star game photo variation. I’d scan them, but the scanner is at my office, which also flooded, which is an entirely other insane story for another time.

As far as major sets go, 2018 was pretty disappointing. Not because I missed out on a set, but because I didn’t really want them in the first place. Maybe it was my overall mood for most of the year, but I just wasn’t in a happy place collecting-wise. When you get right down to it, I just had more important stuff to do.

Flagship is, well, flagship. Heritage was boring except for the inclusion of the B&W “deckle edge” photos, Donruss took a step backward from it’s high-point of reinvention last year and even Diamond Kings was kind of washed out and boring. Stadium club looked nice but I literally never found any. Bowman Platinum was a WM exclusive again and so I never found any of that either. Ginter is “meh”, Bowman is “meh”, and Chrome just came out but 4 cards per pack has always been downright insulting.

The real highlight, for me at least, was Gypsy Queen. I like the design, and the inserts were top-notch this year, but I just didn’t have the funds to try and put a whole set together. So, I got the teamset complete and I’m pretty happy with that. I wouldn’t pass up the chance to build it (anyone have like 400 dupes?), but I’m not going to lose sleep over it.

Games

I did try and keep my sanity with a little digital entertainment this year. I picked up a tiny handful of games for the PS4. I bought God of War and The Show 2018. The Show is an unmitigated disaster and I’m quite honestly done with the franchise. They managed to ruin something basic like a baseball game in the same way Call of Duty has slowly ruined the FPS genre. Micro-transactions, points, coins, DLC, features locked away behind achievements and GRIND to get even little things. Unholy amounts of grinding for levels and games and unlocks. In The Show it’s all about the “Diamond Dynasty” mode and unlocking cards for players to use on your team. Oh, did you want to use Nolan Ryan as a pitcher? That’s take 4000 strikeouts and 500 games as a lesser pitcher, just so you can unlock him. I’m sorry, maybe I’m more “casual” gamer now, but that’s just not going to happy.

God of War on the other hand, was probably the best game I’ve played in years. Complete story, not too many mindless quests, plenty of game area to explore, awesome characters, breath-taking graphics. It was a complete gem and the best $20 I’ve spent in forever (found it on sale somewhere).

I also played Destiny 2 for all of an hour and was very happy it was given away for free this month and not something people are having to spend money on. Wow, has Bungie ever fallen. It’s that bad.

Art

The plan for the “art studio garage” is working it’s way toward reality. As I mentioned above, we’re about half-way unpacked. The rest of those boxes are sitting in prime studio space, so we’re planning a massive garage sale for later this month or early October. Hopefully with a combination of that and more donating/purging stuff we don’t need, I can be putting together a working studio by the end of the year. I’m really really looking forward to it, not just as a goal, but as a creative outlet. Working IT this past year has been interesting, but my heart will still always lean towards creative endeavors.

The end goal is to really make a push into using the creative space for the things we enjoy doing and using extra money from things like custom cards or cut vinyl or photography or painting to fuel the things we’ve always wanted to do as a family. If I can have fun and support my family with a little side-business, then it’s all worth it.

I’ve played around with a few customs as well, just to keep myself busy. Nothing really noteworthy for the moment, but a couple re-do’s of products this year that were a little weak, and a couple fun takes on classics. I’m sure I’ll show those off at some point.

I don’t really have too much else. Just a busy, crazy summer. Just glad to be home.

I’ll just leave this here…

I’m still alive

So, last post I made back in May was about changing hosts and servers. That was an entire ordeal and a drawn out fight with with the old hosting company. In a nutshell, they tried to hold me hostage and told me my stuff was un-movable. They lied, I moved anyway, they can go pound sand. It’s the makings of a more detailed post later on. All in all, it took most of June. The site was up and down, moved, etc. Wasn’t really any point in posting while it was still up in the air.

In July WE MOVED BACK HOME! So, naturally, I’ve been way too busy with that to even think about posting something. Now it’s August. We’re still unpacking and settling in. I don’t know when normal posting might resume, but I am in fact alive and just really busy, in the best possible way.

Be back soon-ish.

Change of Sever

I’m giving InMotion Hosting one more chance to fix a mess I’ve been having with my site. They’re moving the site from one shared hosting server to another, which will hopefully resolve the IP issue and stop the other hacked accounts from affecting mine. We’ll see. Site will probably be down over the weekend.

Last chance InMotion. Don’t screw this up.

Blog Bat Around: All Autograph Team

Blog Bat Around: All Autograph Team

Cards

Blog Bat Around: All Autograph Team

Bro, do you even autograph?

Matt “Doc” Perry, Creative Idiot, Texas

April 23rd, 2018

All autograph team?

That was the challenge, thrown out there by Torren’ Up Cards, and batted around by the other card bloggers. Pick out the best cards in your collection, and try and put together a team by position.

Normally, I only dabble in autographs, and usually only if their names end with “Holt”, but I thought I might have enough autos from other solid position players to give it a try. I learned two things really quickly. First, I have considerably too many pitching prospects autos. Second, I don’t have anyone at second. I don’t actually have a Pedroia auto (way out of my price range), and the only other Red Sox second baseman worth considering, Bobby Doerr, has past away and I don’t have one of his autos either. That leaves other teams and I had to go searching through the trade bait. Sadly, I don’t have an over-abundance of random second basemen auto’s either. That leaves Brock Holt, as a utility man… aaannndddd the circle is complete. lol.

Also, I’ve seen only a handful of pitchers posted, and that’s just not fair. You’ve got to have an entire rotation, at least in my opinion, as well as a bullpen. Also, DH. Deal with it.

Here we go!

Starting Pitchers

Rick Porcello

Tim Wakefield

Luis Tiant

Clay Buchholz

Jon Lester

Steven Wright

Infield

C – Jason Varitek

1B – Mike Napoli

2B – Brock Holt

3B – Kevin Youkilis

SS – Nomar Garciaparra

DH – David Ortiz

Outfield

Andrew Benintendi

Fred Lynn

Shane Victorino

Bullpen

LRP – Brian Johnson

Setup RP – Andrew Miller

Closer – Koji Uehara

Random Bench Players (just to show off more cards)

Card Show 2018

Card Show 2018

CARDS

Houston Card Show 2018

I’ll take all the Benny’s please!

Matt “Doc” Perry, Creative Idiot, Texas

March 15th, 2018

So, I mentioned a couple weeks ago that Sam and I had made plans to go to the Houston Tristar Collectors Show. I scanned everything after we got back, but life got busy, and I hadn’t made a post about what I came home with. There’s nothing truly earth shattering in terms of the cardboard, but I had a great time hanging out with Sam, we don’t get to do that too often. Speaking of, let’s start with the only non-Red Sox cards I picked up. I don’t claim to actively collect Astros cards, but I certainly don’t avoid them either. I’ve always felt it’s good to have a couple rookies cards for obviously talented players. Absolutely nothing wrong with picking up a Bregman and a Correa.

There on the right as two Singleton RCs, Bowman Platinum and Bowman Chrome. Then last years Bowman Platinum for Bregman and an early Panini Prizm Draft Pick card for Correa.

Manny

Let’s just jump right in here and get started. I’m always pleasantly surprised (because I can pick them up for cheap) with how little love Manny Ramirez gets at card shows. People will literally give away cards. I get it, he used drugs, I don’t care. He’s never getting into the Hall, and I’m ok with that. I also enjoyed watching him destroy baseballs. I always mention, every time I make a post like this, that if he hadn’t used PEDs, he still would have been one of the greatest contact hitters ever. He would have had considerably less power, but we’d be including him in every “greatest of all time” discussions about OPS and RBIs. Fun fact, he has 8 less RBIs than Ted Williams. 19th all time. Manny was fun as hell to watch.

Three cards I wanted to point out. First, two rookies that I had never picked up the parallels of. I already had both the ’92 Draft Picks and the iconic ’92 Bowman, however, I had never run across the Topps Gold “winner” variation of the draft picks or the gold foil parallel of the Bowman. Both are awesome additions to my collection. Lastly, that “blue square” card in the upper right corner of the previous photo, that was a Stadium Club “Passport to the Majors” relic, and #1115/1200.

Ortiz

In case it wasn’t obvious, I scanned most of the cards in sections, just to make life easier. There’s a couple of the better card, scanned individually, towards the end, including a nice Ortiz. These were a few random ones that were scattered among the dime boxes.

I couldn’t remember which Heritage inserts I had or needed, so I grabbed both. The Bowman Chrome is a refractor. The three in the middle were ones I just didn’t recognize as having in my Ortiz player collection.

The Bat Kings relic from last years Donruss, at the bottom, was a nice pickup for a dollar.

Sale & Swihart

Couple rookie cards for Chris Sale and Blake Swihart. Cards shows are really awesome for find those $3-5 cards on ebay, for $0.25. Every seller at a card show is trying to move inventory, and half the tables are things like “3 for $1” or “15 for $10”, or some crazy combination like that. The more “base” a card, the more likely it’ll be in a quarter or dime box too. I don’t remember what sort of box these came out of, but let’s just say they didn’t exactly break the bank.

The Sale “Bowman 1st” card is one of those I don’t remember seeing on eBay for less than a dollar, so that was a solid pick-up. I only had one Sale RC previously, and it was from (*cringe*) Lineage. These are a bit more recognized as important rookie cards, and we can’t forget my undying love for Bowman Platinum. These two will fit nicely into my collection.

The Swiharts were nice pick-ups as well. I had the base version of the “1st Bowman”, and found this nice black border. The more recent Bowman (2016 I think) was actually a “gray” parallel, which I sort of forgot they did. I didn’t remember having one of those, so it made it’s way into my stack of cards as well.

Youuuuuuuuuuk

I’m actually pretty proud of digging these two out of someones incredibly dirty dollar box. It was one of those really nasty, obviously been in storage, yellow’ed top-loaders, sorts of boxes. I had to pull them out of the top loaders to make sure they were ok looking, even though I’m not a “condition sensitive” sort of guy, and put them in fresh top loaders as soon as I got home. Both the rookie cards have been on my “Top 10 to find” list for at least a couple years now. Really really thrilled to knock those off the list.

Steven Wright

Apparently I’m going all-in on a Steve Wright collection, whether conscientiously or not. All three of these were at my favorite table at the show, the “$2 relic/auto” guy. He’s been there the past couple shows and has box after box of cheap hits. He’s also busted what must have been a dozen cases of Team USA products because the boxes are loaded with huge Team USA patches and autos. I didn’t have my “what prospect was drafted by what team” list with me, so I concentrated on Sox rather than prospects. All three of these beauties knocked off autos I had been looking for for Wright. I’m especially happy with the /25 Ginter mini. Love those.

Bobby Doerr & Dustin Pedroia

Not a ton to say about picking up cards of a legend. I mean, there’s only so many cards like this that can be made. I love the old linen swatches. I like the design of the SP Legendary cuts a bit more than the Tribute, the first couple years of Tribute were kinda rough, but both are really solid cards.

As for Peddy, there wasn’t much I could find this time around. Not that there’s anything wrong with a blue chrome refractor, I just wasn’t finding much else this year.

Brian Johnson

Brian Johnson is an interesting one. He looks to have finally put the pieces together to make a full-time stand in the majors, but he has, by all accounts, the worse possible luck with injuries, line drives to the face, missed opportunities, etc. I’d love to see him do well, which is why I haven’t given up picking up cards of him. I think he still has a lot of potential, unlike a few other prospects that Topps keeps pushing cards of (looking at you Henry Ownes).

Rafael Devers

Just picking up more Devers cards in what everyone is hoping will be a huge breakout season for him. A nice chrome version of the Prospects card (from Donruss), this time from Optic. A simple Bowman, and a nice Bowman’s Best that I didn’t have. There’s going to be a ton of RCs to chase for him this year, but I’ve got most of the pre-rookies already taken care of.

David Price

Ok, I’m going to admit it, I’m not a huge David Price fan. I don’t like the way he handles his business. If you come in and pitch like an Ace, like Sale did, than you can be a huge jerk if you want. Hell, Clemens was the biggest jerk on the planet but everyone let him be one because the guy was winning Cy Young awards. Price needs to have a ridiculously dominant year to earn back a little street cred. That said, I love those Diamond Kings relics, and Immaculate is always a nice brand. I wasn’t crazy about Gallery this year, but the numbered Press Proof is nice too. Good cards for a pitcher I’m not a huge fan of. I would love to take those words back.

Nomar

Out of all my player collections, Garciaparra’s is probably the biggest. I’ve lost track of what’s in it. I organized it by year at some point in an order to get it under control, but I still just pick up any Nomar card I come across. I’m 98% sure I have that Lords of the Diamond from Topps Chrome. I don’t really care. I like it. I probably liked it the 1st, 3rd and 9th times I bought it. The SP Authentic is a Sheer Dominance gold, which I’m pretty sure is a new addition to the collection. The Fleer Tradition was just for fun but also new, and that “Invincible 2000” is, of course, some crazy card from Pacific. It’s “card” on the walls on the front, but blue plastic/acetate in the middle. It’s nuts.

The second picture I actually combined two scans into one: closed, and open. That Fleer Genuine Insider is one of the most unique cards I think I’ve ever seen. The relic part pulls out from the main card. It’s hidden “inside” the card until you pull it out. It sadly has a big chip it in by the pull tab, but I don’t really mind. It’s just a neat idea, low numbered, and I’m happy to add it to the collection.

Bogaerts

Found a couple nice Xander Bogaerts cards at this show. A purple Bowman parallel from 2017, a couple Rookie and Pre-Rookie Bowman Platinum cards, and a regular Bowman RC, which I already had but I’m more than happy to have another copy of. The real nice acquisitions were the 2016 Prime Cuts relic and the “Special Event” relic. I love Prime Cuts in almost any of it’s incarnations, but ’15 and ’16 appeal extensively to my retro inclinations. Being #/149 is just a nice touch. The other card, 23/25, and all sorts of shiny (the scan doesn’t do it justice), is either from Black Friday/Cyber Monday or from the National Card Show. I’m not sure which, but I really like it.

Prospects

It goes without saying that prospects are the main component to dime boxes. People rip case after case of stuff like Bowman and Bowman Chrome and pull out those ultra-hot rookies they’re looking for, and dump the rest, which is great for me since I’m looking to pick up prospects on the cheap.

At the top there’s a trio of Austin Rei cards, who’s one of the better prospects left in the Sox farm system. Bowman Chrome 1st card and two colored parallels (purple and black) from I think 2016 Bowman Chrome. On the bottom, a purple Kyle Hart, a blue Margot and a blue paper Shawaryn.

The middle row has a bit of a mystery. I thought I had bought two of the same Sam Travis cards, and at first glance they’re identical… except, around the Bowman Chrome logo in the corner. One has a “7”? What the heck? The one WITHOUT the 7 is numbered 004/150. The other isn’t numbered. They are both the same back, same card number (BCP170) and both have the same card code at the bottom (CMP023936). They are both the same color, same pictures, same backs. If they’re both blue chrome parallels, I don’t know why one is numbered and the other isn’t. Anyone have any clue?

Edit: Figured it out! Bowman Chrome lists prospect variations as follows… Refractor #/499, Bowman 70th Logo Blue, Purple Shimmer (Hobby), Purple #/250, Blue #/150, Blue Shimmer #/150, Green #/99, Green Shimmer #/99, etc, etc, etc…

So, I’ve got a 70th Anniversary Blue (un-numbered) and a Blue /150. Neat!

Benintendi

Gathering up Benintendi cards, even duplicates, was an actual goal I had going into the show. I have at least one copy of his rookie cards from most major products through my purchases of team sets last year, but getting a second (or third+) was something I was looking to do. That and find any that I might have missed.

Along the top we have a fairly hard to find insert from Bowman Chrome two years ago, the Bowman Scouts Top 100. Then a yellow paper parallel of last years Bowman. Finally a Bowman Chrome “Fantasy Impact”, blue parallel, #/150.

The middle has a couple additional copies of cards I already had, but they’ll go nicely into the newly formed player binder.

At the bottom, three cards from Panini’s college card offerings. Two EExE and a 2015 Contenders for the University of Arkansas.

Here’s a couple more Benny’s. The Finest at the top confuses me, since there’s another (different photo) card for him in Finest, so I picked this one up hoping it’s a photo variation. The Chrome Freshman Flash insert was a new addition, and the 1st Bowman was just nice to have another copy of.

Along the bottom, that purple Bowman’s best is 213/150 and a really nice addition, I didn’t have it or it’s base version. The mojo refractor in the middle is from Series 1 this year, and the other Bowman’s Best is confusing given it’s lack of RC logo.

All really nice pickups if I do say so.

The rest…

Here’s the rest of the cards I felt were scan worth. Lots of awesome stuff from this show, and couple I’m really happy to have in my collection.

A 2013 Topps Sterling #/99 Red Parallel auto for Jon Denney. A 2014 Topps Chrome Mini Gold Parallel #25/25 for Wendell Rijo. And finally, an Emerald Green Bowman Platinum Mauricio Dubon #07/99. Yeah, I realize Rijo and Dubon were traded, but those were really nice cards and I couldn’t pass them up.

Next up, a really nice 2017 Topps Mini Orange parallel of David Ortiz, #23/25. After that, a 2017 Museum Collection patch for Rick Procello, #30/50. And finally, a 2014 Bowman Platinum Matt Barnes Team USA auto-relic, #/740. The irony of barely being able to hit a sticker with a pen on the Barnes card is not lost on me.

Two awesome Immaculate Relics up next. The Porcello actually came from Sam, who handed it to me as we were walking in to the show. My first card of the day. Sam always finds the coolest stuff. The Mookie came from the previously mentioned “cheap relics” guy for $2. Not going to pass that up. Both from 2017 Immaculate and both #/99.

Now we’re cooking. Two awesome cards for two different reasons. First a black bordered mini from 2006 Ginter. Not only did I not collect when Ginter started, but the minis are a pain to even try and find. Finding a black bordered Ted Williams, for next to nothing, was awesome. Beside that, a really neat yellow printing plate for Sam Travis, 1/1 obviously, from 2017 Panini Absolute. Beautiful plate.

Last but not least, two exciting prospect autos for two talents who are actually still in the Red Sox system, and who haven’t been sold off by “Dealin’ Dave” in the front office, yet.

A 2014 Elite Extra Edition Josh Ockimey Auto, #/799, isn’t ultra rare, but while the talk surrounding the young prospect took a dip last year, he reportedly has the tools to bring it all around and be a considerably big league talent some day. Time will tell.

The same could be said about the next card too. 2017 Leaf Valiant Tanner Houck, orange parallel auto, #11/25. Just being /25 was enough to convince me to pick it up for just a few dollars. Any of the other colored Leaf cards are sitting on eBay for $30+. First round draft pick, top 100 prospect, all good things.

Well, that’s it for card show scans. I had a blast going with my good friend and picking up some really nice cards. It was a Saturday very well spent.

Thanks for reading!