Sunday, May 30, 2010

The Joy of the Completed.....ummmm....Sub-set...I guess!?!

Yesterday brought with it an opportunity to stop in to my LCS and have a browse through the endless shoeboxes of singles, trying to whittle away at some want lists. The urgency of doing such things has been heightened ever since I found out that my LCS will be closing its doors in the near future. On one hand this is completely understandable given the current state of the hobby and the difficulties "brick and mortar" stores face trying to survive. On the other hand I think we are due for some kind of resurgence in the hobby in the next few years, provided some things change. Anyway, in the end I brought home a large stack of cards belonging to several sets I am working on, plus a pile of stuff from the 25-cent box.

Last year, while waiting for Baseball to become relevant again I decided to try my hand at putting together a Football card set. You can read all about it here. I knocked off a few more singles and inserts from my want list including these two cards from the 'Worlds Fair' insert set, highlighting the 1893 Chicago World's Fair.

WF2 - 1893 Chicago World's Fair

WF11 - Eadweard Muybridge

I know that the established premise of this type of post is to be "The Joy of the Completed Page", however, seeing as these cards are the same size as the original Mayo tobacco cards they do not fit into the tobacco sleeve pages. The only way to store them is in the tobacco card top-loaders. Now that the set is complete you can sit back and enjoy a little cardboard history lesson as well as check out some truly cool cards.

The 1893 Chicago World's Fair was held to celebrate the 400th Anniversary of Christopher Columbus discovering the New World. This 14-card set highlights some of the people and events that gave this World's Fair its significance.

Eadweard Muybridge was a photographer who would come to be known as a pioneer in the development of motion pictures. His exhibit at the worlds fair showed off his "zoopraxiscope" technology, technically creating America's first movie theatre, predating what we term today to be motion pictures.

George Ferris debuted his 260-foot tall invention at the World's Fair. The cost to ride was $0.50 and the ride lasted for 20 minutes. Total number of people to ride the Ferris Wheel was 1.5 million.

The Court of Honor housed all the main buildings that were designed for the World's Fair. The statue pictured stood 65-feet tall, overlooking the Grand Basin.

Despite not being given an official place at the World's Fair, Buffalo Bill Cody set up his Wild West show just outside the Fair which included his famous re-creation of Custer's Last Stand.

Due to the exterior of the buildings being white stucco and the illumination provided by powered street lamps at night, the buildings in the Court of Honor shone brightly and became known as 'The White City'

One of the more prominent displays at the Fair was electricity. Thomas Edison and General Electric had originally bid for the contract to provide the electricity to the World's Fair. They were outbid by a fellow Fair attendee and a card subject later in this set.

Having no sense of the importance of its architecture I will not even try to fake it. All I know is that over 18 million people visited it and it was made entirely of materials native to the area.

The John Bull Locomotive was brought out of retirement by The Smithsonian Institute to make a self-powered trip to the World's Fair. On its 150th birthday (in 1981) The Smithsonian fired up its engines once again, making it the oldest running steam engine in history.

As the partner of George Westinghouse and the main competitor to Thomas Edison and General Electric, Nikola Tesla's more efficient alternating current electricity won the bid to power the 1893 World's Fair.

The 'Viking' was a replica of a 9th Century Viking ship called 'The Gokstad' that was excavated 13 years prior to the World's Fair. The ship itself sailed across the Atlantic, from Norway, to participate in the Fair.

As far as I am concerned, THIS is the best card of the set. Totally scooping Allen & Ginter (as far as I know) we have the first trading card of The Hamburger!!! This staple of any carnivore's diet made its public debut in 1893.

Scott Joplin was known as 'The King of Ragtime' and at the 1893 Chicago World's Fair he introduced the world to Ragtime music and subsequently the entire Chicago music scene. If you love music then you need to read about Scott Joplin here.

Frederick Law Olmstead was essentially the creator of the 1893 World's Fair. It was his design and his vision that led to all of the amazing buildings that housed the World's Fair. His work as a landscape designer included New York's Central Park, Stamford University and the University of Chicago.

I have many more singles to show off from the LCS trip and will be doing so over the next few posts. Also, I have to catch up on some generous mailings from fellow bloggers.

Having gone back over this set it truly reinforces my love of history and how card manufacturers can succeed in a product if enough care and thought is put into a historical set. I am three cards away from the 'Celebrated Citizens' collection from the same release. Once I complete it, I will definitely share with you.


Friday, May 21, 2010

Let 'The Long Weekend' and some SERIOUS catch-up begin.....

Who would have thought that having taken a week's vacation would have brought me back to an almost three week long hiatus from blogging? Sometimes it is crazy just how much things can get in the way of what is supposed to be a relaxing and soothing pastime. Leaving two schools to fend for themselves technologically for a week breeds some bizarre firestorms that lead to numerous meetings trying to bring people back to a sense of reality and security.

Thankfully the long weekend is here and I can begin to finally reclaim my blog and get back to boring the heck out of you, faithful reader. Also lending to the neglect of LFB2B is the extensive reclamation of our home office. Anyhow, enough excuses. Let's start with some recent news, acquisitions and pack rips.

First, our trip to San Diego was everything a vacation should be. Relaxing, interesting, fun and left us wanting to return to California. Next year it looks like San Francisco or Monterey will be our choice. Petco Park is quite the site to see and even further erodes my tolerance of Skydome/Rogers Centre.

Our seats were 9 rows back of the field, on the third base side of home plate, just beside the visitors on-deck circle. The zoom lens on my camera made for some really cool photos of the action.

We happened to be staying at the same hotel that the Milwaukee Brewers were housed in and even had the opportunity to share the lobby bar with a few of them after the game. I am always hesitant to approach athletes outside of the confines of their "workplace" simply because I would not want to be approached were the roles reversed. Is that weird? Just wondering.

Of course, while in San Diego, one of the first things I did was look up the nearest card store. There was one listed within walking distance of the hotel so of course we made our way there to have a look. When I walked in to 'City Center Sports Collectibles' I was like a kid in a candy store, there were boxes and boxes of waiting-to-be-opened baseball cards as far as the eye could see. The inventory went back several years and it quickly ceased to be a issue of IF I would buy anything and became a question of WHAT I was going to buy.

'Sweet Spots' from 2007, 'Cracker Jack' from 2005, 'Legendary Cuts' from 2006, my mind raced. Part of me struggled with the thought of spending a large chunk of my vacation budget on a box of cards but another part struggled with walking away from such an opportunity empty handed. I offered the owner what I thought was fair for the 'Sweet Spots', his counter-offer was tempting but still could not stifle "the voices". In the end I balked at the large purchase and just grabbed a "fix" of a handful of 'National Chicle' packs from a freshly opened box.

Most of the cards have now been broken up, dispersed or sorted. However a few of the cards I remember pulling were these four Hall of Famers from the SAME PACK!!! Good times!!

A great card of Adam Wainwright and the St. Louis Archway.

I pulled a National Chicle back of Jair Jurrjens.

Bunting goodness with Luis Castillo and a Reid Gorecki SP in the style of 1954 Topps.

I also pulled a relic card of one Larry Jones, which is now finding a new home in Squidbilly Country.

I kept wanting to go back to the card store and claim the tin of 'Sweet Spots' but "the voices" would not let me and, if nothing else, I NEED to trust "the voices".

When we got home there were a few envelopes welcoming me as I came through the door. Some were trades with other bloggers, and for those I will give them the proper respect and dedicate to them their own post. The other envelope, which I will share now, was the result of some negotiations due to some unfortunate corporate red tape.

Topps has been reaching out to collectors through social networking sites like Facebook and Twitter. A commendable effort and a great step as far as I am concerned. One of the things Topps has been doing on Twitter is daily giveaways. You simply re-Tweet a message and you are entered. I happened to win this 1969 Topps autographed Al Kaline card. Unfortunately, due to certain legalities and restrictions with the giveaways, Canadians were technically ineligible to win. Thankfully, the man who is responsible for the Topps Twitter account, Michael, took it upon himself to make the best of the situation and sort things out as best he could.

The best he could do was this AWESOME card!!!

A 2002 Bowman's Best Blue Parallel David Wright Game-used Bat Relic Card!!!!!!!

Thank-you once again to Topps and Michael for not doing what I expected and just saying "Whoops, sorry. Tough luck but those are the rules." Truly classy!

Hopefully soon I will be posting more pics from the Padres/Brewers game we attended and I will definitely be writing up the trades that arrived while I was away as well.

Before I go, I did also want to make mention that I will be working in the next while to expand the dimensions of 'Long Fly Ball To Because......." I have found it necessary to begin searching out a new supplier for my purchases as my LHS will be closing its doors in a few months. As part of this adjustment I want to start offering group breaks through the blog and potentially posting video breaks as well. There will be more to come in the near future once things become a little more concrete. I just wanted to plant the seed right now for those who might consider being a part of something exciting and new.

Thanks for sticking with me during this brief break and I plan on doing a much better job of keeping LFB2B up to date and considerably more interesting.


Friday, May 7, 2010

A Friday Night Well Spent

Another VERY brief post here as I am on my way out the door. Driving 90 minutes to Toronto to see a Legend!


Thursday, May 6, 2010

I Got Mine....You Got Yours??!!??

I have been home from my vacation for 5 days now and have yet to have the time to even start posting stories, pack rips and mail days. However, thanks to dayf, and in particular this post here, I have one wicked-amazing-kickass-giddy-as-an-eight-year-old-at-christmas-super-awesome Series 1 Baseball Card set headed my way.

As far as I am concerned, at $25.00 this set is a STEAL!!!!!!!!!!

I first was introduced to this set by Wax Wombat and this '5 Questions With....' installment.

At only 1000 sets being produced I suggest you jump on this offer sooner rather than later. I have already placed my order and will eagerly await its arrival in the mail. I suggest that you take the following steps.

#1 - Get right over to The Infinite Card Set Blog and IMMEDIATELY order this set.

#2 - Go to Wax Wombat's '5 Questions With Gary Cieradkowski' and learn who this man is.

#3 - Prepare to be awed.

The only dillema I am left with now is, do I open the pack when it comes or leave it sealed??