Wednesday, January 28, 2009

You can grade those?

Every now and then I'll venture in to a 7-11 for a Big Gulp before a day of house hunting, or perhaps to grab a coffee on the way to work when I run out at home (try the Blueberry - very tasty!). And every time I pull out a Big Gulp cup, I think to myself, "Wouldn't it be great if they brought back those little motion discs that used to be on the bottom of Slurpee cups?" You know, these:



I'd definitely buy more Slurpees if they did.

I have a couple of these discs in my collection; not of Strawberry, but of other players. But never in a million years would I think to keep it safe for grading. I'm actually surprised I didn't try to pass them off as pogs during that early '90s craze.

I'm a bit surprised these could even be graded. They must compare everything they grade to other similar items, right? Do people submit these all the time? The back doesn't even look centered properly, at least not centered enough to be considered GEM MT 10. But I suppose the card grading industry is feeling the impact of our crumbling economy as much as anyone else is these days, so they'll probably grade anything you send them. Why not throw a guy a bone and grade his worthless crap as flawless?

This blast from the past can be yours on ebay for "just" $30. The description claims that it's one of two graded as GEM MT 10, but I've got a funny feeling that it was only of two submitted at all.

As for my money, I think I'll stash every last expendable dollar in a savings account for now.

Monday, January 19, 2009

2002 Topps Archives Reserve, #88 of 100

I'm back in business! And to reward your patience: this shiny card from 2002 Topps Archives Reserve. Oooooooooohh...


OK, so it's not so shiny after a scan, but in real life it is - I promise. It's got that refractor technology, which gives it a rainbow-y effect. Most of you know exactly what I'm talking about. If not, well, you'll just have to trust me.

I bought this card off ebay for a buck. Its probably not worth even that, but 1987 Topps is one of my favorite sets of all time (more for sentimental reasons, which I'll explain in a later entry), so this card is a pretty neat tribute.

The front of the Archives card is identical to the '87 version, just with the added shine and the Topps Archives stamp. It's also quite a bit thicker than the '87 is/was. And you gotta love the picture of Darryl waiting to launch a fastball into Shea Stadium's cheap seats.

Things get a little different on the back:


You can see the "original" back is squished a bit to make room for the Archives banner (for lack of a better word) on the bottom. It took me a second to find the actual number of the card since they kept the original number, 460, on the back.

Topps must not have allotted much money to their writers or research department; they dug up that Strawberry and his wife have a son, but they make no mention of his name. Seems a little strange, because I'm assuming the son being mentioned is Darryl Strawberry, Jr., who now plays professional basketball in Italy after a year in the NBA (according to Wikipedia, for the record). You might know him better by D.J., the name he's chosen to go by.

I have to admit: I never knew that on April 16th, 1959 (no clue why that date was chosen), Dave Philley delivered his ninth consecutive pinch hit for the Phillies. His '59 Topps card was number 92, just in case it's the one card you're trying to find to complete the set. I have no idea why this incredibly obscure stat was highlighted.

This is the only 2002 Topps Archive Reserve card that I own.

Monday, January 12, 2009

If it ain't broke...


... Don't fix it. Problem is, my computer IS broke... so it's being fixed. Hopefully the new power supply comes in this week and I can get back to updating the site. Until then, make sure to check out some of the links on the right side of the page for some baseball card goodness to hold you over until Darryl Strawberry Fields returns!

Tuesday, January 6, 2009

A New Addition - or - A Christmas Retrospective

You know how people always ask, "What do you get someone who has everything?" I wouldn't know because I'm not someone who has everything, but I bet people frequently ask, "What do I get Joe, a Darryl Strawberry superfan?"

Nobody probably asks that, either, but from time to time my Darryl Strawberry fandom (my wife would argue that it's bordering on obsession) must enter peoples minds during the holiday season, and it certainly did in 2008. But before I show off the newest addition to my Strawberry memorabilia collection, let's take a quick trip through memory lane...

It started when I was real young, probably five or six, with Darryl Strawberry Starting Lineup figurines. They were small, plastic figures put out by Kenner which would probably still have value today had I not taken them out of the box and staged mini-sandlot baseball games with them. It was a sad day when Benito Santiago severely chipped his right shoulder, causing his arm to completely detach from his body after collisions at home plate. Ouch.

I know I still have my starting lineups somewhere, but I'm almost certain they're still at my parent's house. I'll be visiting them in a few months, so hopefully I'll dig them up then. I had a Mets "batting" stance and a Dodgers "fielding" stance Darryl. I don't think there were all that many different Starting Lineups produced, so if you have any clue what I'm talking about you know which ones I'm referring to.

A good 12 years later (approximately) I unwrapped this under the tree one Christmas:


A 1998 World Series ball, autographed by Darryl Strawberry. I was thrilled; it was one of the first autographed balls I ever actually owned (though I had gone to countless card shows up until then with my dad - which is a story for a whole different blog entry).

Right around that time, if not the same exact Christmas, I got this:


A Darryl Strawberry Yankees shirt from my wonderful Aunt Lorraine! I still have this and wear it on occasion. It's in reasonably good condition, considering it's almost 10 years old, but only because it's worn just on special occasions.

And then came Christmas of 2008. I unpacked a rectangular shaped box, and removed this:


But wait, there's more!


THE DARRYL STRAWBERRY GARTLAN PLATE!!!! AND MATCHING SAUCER!!!! Serial numbered, too:


#298, an early production plate! I don't know what to say about this gift. First, thanks mom and dad; it is truly a priceless addition to my collection. I didn't even know the saucer existed. Second, I suppose I'm open to suggestions as to what I should do with it. Hang it? Find a display case? Dare I eat off it on special occasions, such as a birthday or baseball's opening day?

Something not very messy, obviously. Perhaps a hot dog.