Yeah, I hit the squirrel card.  Get jealous.

No really, it made my day.  Thus far in the 2012 baseball card season the #93 super short printed Skip Schumaker featuring his shoe and the rally squirrel has gotten the most national press and I must admit when I got lucky enough to pull one out of a retail pack, I got a rush.

$67 trip to Meijer—$32 worth of retail packs, 2 loaves of bread, one large container of Folgers Black Silk, 2 packages of roast beef, a dozen eggs, 2 gallons of fat free milk.  Didn’t know I had a squirrel in my cart!  Yeah son!

Not that I love the card or the Cardinals or Skip Schumaker.  I just love being a participant in squirrel mania and I could sure use $100 to buy more cards.

Actual card on my actual dining room table below…..on Ebay now…..out the door tomorrow afternoon….at $54 at time of publishing.



It was night like many others that summer. The sun was slow to set, the lightning bugs were showing their asses, and according to my mom, it was bath time for me.  The younger brother Andy had already had his go in the tub and was playing by himself with the original Luke and Darth figures that sported the very economically sound retractable light sabers built directly into the arm.  The time was in the neighborhood  of 9:30 pm EST.  The location was my family’s two-story townhouse in Greensburg, PA.  It was a Thursday.  Actually, the time and date in the aforementioned are completely pulled from my ass.  It could have been Tues at 8:30.  It also could have been September.  I threw the lighting bugs in for effect too, pardon me.

I turned on the faucet and adjusted it, testing it with my hand until it was good to go.  As the tub began to fill I took a seat on the toilet and read the back of my 1980 Topps Dale Berra which was BY FAR the most coveted card in the house. (actually…we might have had two of them, so …”cards”)  I think we were fascinated with Dale Berra for two reasons. 1.  He was Yogi Berra’s son.  2.  It was my first real experience with the anticipation of things to come from a younger player….sort of a rookie card experience for me even though he debuted in 1977 and had double-digit games played totals in 78 and 79 as well. He was a rookie in my eyes.  His 1979 card was shared with two other players in the lovely, horizontal, black and white, “Pirates Prospects” card and his 1980 was OFFICIAL…no more sharing a card with no-name bums! Solo!  He had arrived! He was the flavor of the day, the new kid, the son of a baseball legend and he was on our team!

Then, for a reason that remains enigmatic to this day, I decided to get into the bathtub with my whole shoebox of 1980 Topps….probably 200-300 cards or so.

I dumped them in the water and for a moment I was like Godzilla emerging from an ocean of cardboard.  I submerged them, pushed them around, belly-flopped on them and I think I put a couple in the toilet too.  What was I thinking?  Who the fuck knows.

I don’t think I washed myself (it was one “those” bath nights….I think I only used soap during 1/3 of unsupervised baths from the ages of 8-11.) and I stepped out of the tub, knelt down and scooped up all my wet cards and put them back in the shoebox.

After that, I decided that I would lay them all out on my bedroom floor and give them a long dose with my mom’s hair dryer.  As I began this treatment they began to curl up and after a few minutes most of the cards in the first round of hot-air restoration looked like tiny colorful toilet paper tubes.  My brother, as well as myself, found this to be amusing.  I do not recall what I did with these cards after this but I do recall that over the last two decades not a year goes by without me wondering if I floated, dried, and curled up a Rickey Henderson rookie or two.

I think I have made it a bigger deal than it was (makes a better tale of woe!) because even without the bath-time I decided my cards needed, the damage from indifferent handling, rubber bands, and flipsies (you do know about  flipsies right?  More later…) would have left any cards from that box in about a PSA 3 state on average pre-baptism.

The real value in this tale comes as a firm reminder that 96.3% of all little children are stinky little morons,  no matter how bright they seem, so we have to be able wave off a lot of their decisions and force ourselves to restrain the fruitless effort of trying to decipher exactly what in the hell makes them do the incredibly random dumb shit that they do on a daily basis.

I have two Michael Pineda 09 Bowman Chromes.

Just put them on Ebay for $13.75 for the pair,  Buy-It-Now

If successful this is approx. a 100%+ price jump in less than 72 hours.

No movement on them yet with the exception of the three people who are watching the auction.

My price is perfect compared to others of a similar mind-set so I don’t know if the delay in the finalization of the trade is stalling potential buyers.

Go to your home Mike!  I have a brand new bubble mailer just waiting in the wings…let me insert you and set you free!

Hit the button dammit~!

Actual cards pic’d below….crispy little bastards!

UPDATE: SOLD!  About 2 hours after I posted this….$16.50- the $1.50 to ship….$15.00, $7.50 a piece…up from $3 per just days earlier.

The first card that stands out in my memory from childhood is the 1979 Topps Dave Parker.

The brilliant Bucs yellow of his uniform stands out like afternoon sun against a cloudless sky blue backdrop.

The blue “PIRATES” banner below the picture adds to the color-appeal of the card and Parker looks like he is trying to figure out which player on the opposing team he would like to kill.

Plus, in addition to being one of the best Pirate players at the time, he was called “The Cobra” and rocked a sweet earring….exponentially rocketing him up the “bad ass” charts in my eight year old mind.  The only men I had ever seen sport an earring were pirates in books and movies….hey…wait a fuckin’ minute…PIRATES!

Dave Parker became the king of my world and I could actually hold him in my hand and hide him from my brother.  Between us we had at least a few hundred 79 Topps at the time but there was definitely only one Dave Parker card.  It was RARE.

The person who Parker was at the time, plus the way the card took me visually was a key moment in the beginnings of my love for both baseball and its cardboard mementos.

I have a weakness for pitchers.  I always wanted to be a pitcher (did one year of JV in high school) and had a tiny window in high school where I actually got some time on the mound but I was a mechanical mess.  I never could get my body working for my arm.  I think my fastball topped out in the low 70’s,  and my breaking shit moved maybe 4-5 inches at best.

Anyway, I love pitchers.  Love to watch them, love to fantasize about being one, and unfortunately have shown a love for investing in them baseball card-wise.

I had arguably one of the sweetest Dontrelle Willis collections ever amassed. <—Get it?

Stay away from pitcher speculation.  It’s a tough gig.  I know this is not an original thought and is fairly common as far as speculative advice goes but I am here to reaffirm it.  Too many variables….starters become bullpen jockeys, injuries, short careers, etc.  Think of all the pitchers that have had a handful of brilliant seasons only to have their arm explode. How much is your Bret Saberhagen 1984 Fleer Traded going for on the Bay?  I just looked…last one sold for $3.00+$3.00 shipping.

I mean let’s be real.  Speculating on baseball cards…in any manner….is a losing proposition for most of us….the overwhelming majority of people who try to turn a buck on rookie guessing…lose money.

I have sold probably 2000-3000 cards on Ebay and for the most part it was an act of stemming the blood loss after bangin’ open packs with the cable bill money.

I got both of the Yu’s in packs in 09.  Just had them sitting around and noticed that even though the base chromes aren’t making anyone rich I could probably move them out instantly at the right price.

Sold for $7.75+$2.75 ship.  Bye Yu.  I’ll follow up at the end of the season to see where these are price wise.

I also found and put to auction a Scott Savol Donruss Americana Auto (I guess he was on American Idol?) My wife says he was a douche bag and has no idea why anyone would pay even $3-4 to have his autograph.  I think she might have had a crush on him or something.
"Glory Days"

I’ll be 41 in May

The only constant in my life with the exception of certain family members has been baseball and baseball cards.

Oh, I’ve had moments in the romance in which boredom, dismay, booze, women, and a million other things have caused me walk out on my lady but I always come back….sometimes urgently and at others I merely lope along and shuffle back into her patient embrace.

I was born in Anderson, IN in 1971.

In 1978 we moved to Greensburg, PA.  It was there I discovered the Pirates, packs of Topps, and neighborhood whiffle ball with the Filosemi brothers.

I’ve lived in IN, OH, PA, WV, NJ, and Germany.  I almost stayed in Germany after my tour of duty was over.  I was very taken with Germany and Europe as a whole. I didn’t open a single pack, watch a single game, or read a single article regarding baseball in those two years.  It was my longest stint of complete abstinence from the whole affair.

Most of the nostalgic feelings I have about my life involve baseball and/or baseball cards.  Christmas memories run a close 2nd but the game and its related themes win out by at least a nose.

I’m still a loyal Pirates supporter believe it or not.  Things are looking up right?

I’m not sure what I am doing here or what kind of life/form/direction this blog might take.

Regardless, I am at a time in my life where I think I want to put some of what’s in my head into my fingers and send it out into cyberspace.

We’ll see what happens.