Friday 25 December 2015

Merry Christmas!

All the best to everyone on this Christmas Day, and for the rest of your holidays leading to the new year! May everyone have a safe, healthy and prosperous 2016!

And for the card collectors, may all the hits you pull fit your collections, or be cards that you are looking for.

Well, that's what Kosar sounds like...

Last Saturday, my choir performed its final Christmas concert of the season. This season, for the first time, I was a soloist.

Terry, son of Terry? Whoops, the son is Eric. It's his card!

You may wonder what these error cards are for...

 No, I didn't botch my solo. 

Oh, what was the solo? Well, here is a version of it:

"Snoopy's Christmas", by the Royal Guardsmen, has always been one of my favorite Christmas songs, and when two weeks before our first concert of the season our director asked if anyone would like to perform a solo since our program was a little short, well, I jumped in with this song.

I arrived at our venue on Saturday, and looked at the program - my name was on the front with the Tenors where our membership was listed, and hey, there it is in the middle of the program as a soloist. And they spelled MacLennan right. Great!

The first half of the concert went by, which included my solo. I thought it went very well, people were happy. Awesome! And I had a nice sense of relief at finishing it. I went out into the crowd for the intermission sing-a-long, and ran into a couple of friends who laughed at my name change. I was puzzled. I had looked at my name.

Well, it turned out that I had looked at my last name, but skimmed over my first name. Generally they don't get Angus wrong. But they did. The front had Angus right, but for the solo they listed me as Agnus MacLennan (which is even a misspelling of Agnes!). Ouch.

Well, since our community tv station was broadcasting this, I better go check with their control booth to make sure they fix it when they broadcast it. I talk to the man in charge, and he says that he is pretty certain that they went with Angus but that he would check it and change it if necessary before the broadcast.

Sunday evening rolls around. I turn the tv from football to catch the first showing of our concert. We get to my solo, and sure enough, "Agnus" pops up. Aaaarrrrggggghhh! I'll hear about that one.

I'll be getting a copy of the concert on dvd in the New Year. If people want, I'll try to post it. (It will be another learning experience for me on the computer. That is part of what this blog is for - to teach me how to do some of this stuff.)

In the meantime, I'll let the chorus express my sentiments for this Christmas season:

"Christmas bells, those Christmas bells,
Ringing through the land,
Bringing peace to all the world,
And good will to man!"

Merry Christmas!

Wednesday 23 December 2015

Vintage find while travelling

As with everyone at this time of year, life has been hectic. My laptop at home died. I bought a new one, but haven't used it yet because I had to catch a plane to travel and visit my mom for Christmas in Scottsdale, Arizona.

One fun part of travelling is finding new avenues to buy cards that you haven't already searched through. I stopped at a pop-up store at the Desert Ridge Mall that I found last year that opens for November and December. It was open again this year. In it I found these beauties:

(I'm on a computer at my mom's with no access to a scanner so I'm going to borrow pictures of the cards I found from the Trading Card Database.)

Combined with the three cards I already owned from the 1962 Post Cereal set, this leaves me with only needing Jim Brown, Bobby Mitchell and the three short-prints to complete my team set.
Okay, that means that I have the easy cards but I do enjoy the greater numbers being in my collection. 
I'm going to go back sometime with my wantlist for 1950s and 1960s cards as he had boxes behind the cash for those years. I was happy with the price (and condition) of the cards I got from him so look forward to seeing what else I could dig up.
As well, I want to offer a big thank you to those that have sent me Christmas cards (with added cards!). I hope to make a post on them when I get back home after Christmas. And I'll get to tell the story of dealing with Customs. What fun! (And on that topic, anyone planning on sending me any cards, could you hold off until after my post, or until we talk by email? Thanks.)

Friday 18 December 2015

Black Friday: Autographs

I picked up many other Browns autograph cards than those I've shown in previous Black Friday posts. Sorting the pile of cards beside me, I count 57 autographed cards of 32 different players, with 26 of those cards being serial numbered and 8 of them being some sort of relic. Only 14 appear to be on card autographs, and 3 autographs are signed on either memorabilia or a cut-out rather than a sticker. I'll show at least one card of each player.

Top L: 2012 Press Pass Sports Town Edition Autographs Gold #ST EA,63/99
Top R: 2007 UD Artifacts NFL Facts Autographs #NF-DA
Bottom L: 2006 Playoff Contenders #175
Bottom R: 2000 Fleer Tradition Autographics Darrin Chiaverini
I picked up four autographed cards of Emmanuel Acho, who did not play with the Browns in 2012, before being traded in 2013 to the Eagles for Dion Lewis (who was having a good season this year with the Patriots before being injured). I think this has the nicest autograph of the four of his that I purchased - one of which pretty much just has the letters EA. Before my Black Friday purchases, I didn't own any of his cards.

Derek Anderson is Browns starting quarterback number 10 since 1999. He compiled a 16-18 record and made one Pro Bowl with the Browns. This is my first Anderson autograph.

Chris Barclay was an undrafted free agent from Wake Forest that never played for the Browns, but played one game for the Saints, and four for the Titans in 2007. This is my fourth Barclay card, and the first autographed one.

Darrin Chiaverini was a fifth-round draft pick of the Browns in their expansion season of 1999. He played 26 games over 1999 and 2000, catching 55 passes and 5 touchdowns. This card is probably one of my favorites that I picked up in the sale. It is my first Chiaverini autograph.

2014 Panini Contenders Playoff Tickets #164 base card and variant, both #/199

A 4th round draft pick out of Lindenwood in 2014, Desir is still with the Browns. These two autographs bring me up to 8 autographed Desir cards.

Top L: 2009 SPx #155, 223/299; Top R: 2004 Bowman's Best #146
Bottom L: 2014 Topps Museum Collection - Signature Series Autographs Copper #SSA-JGO, 41/50
Bottom R: 2010 Panini Crown Royale - Autographs Blue #214, 19/50

James Davis played four games for the Browns in 2010. I now have 7 autographed Davis cards.

I picked up two autographed Adimchinobe Echemandu cards, giving me three in my collection. He played four games for the Browns in 2004. I love how his last name seems to be coming off the back of his shirt on this card.

Josh Gordon is currently suspended from the NFL. There was an article online yesterday that talked about how he has started painting to help slow life down. Hopefully he'll be able to come back to the NFL after his suspension and play well. He has so much talent. I hope the Browns give him a chance to show that he has changed.

I bought four new Montario Hardesty autographs on Black Friday. I now have eight of his autographed cards. Hardesty played in 23 games with the Browns, and sadly seemed to always be fighting some sort of injury.

Top L: 2006 Upper Deck Sweet Spot #220, 423/899; Top R: 2009 SPx - X-Factor Autographs #X-PH
Bottom L: 2000 Bowman Reserve Autographs #KJ; Bottom R: 2001 Fleer Focus - Certified Cuts #CCJJ

I picked up three Jerome Harrison autographs, giving me six. This is the second manufactured helmet card I have from Sweet Spot (the other is a Kosar). Harrison played in 51 games for the Browns, running for 286 yards in a game against the Chiefs on December 20, 2009. His career ended in 2011 with the Detroit Lions after he was found to have a brain tumor.

Paul Hubbard was a 6th round pick of the Browns in 2008, never playing for them. This is my third Hubbard autograph.

I have 185 Kevin Johnson cards in my collection, but this is only my third autograph. I also own an autographed football that I bought from a store in the Syracuse area. Johnson was the Browns second round draft pick in their expansion year of 1999.

James Jackson played in 43 games over 4 years with the Browns. I picked up two of his autographed cards, giving me three in my collection. I love the cut out autograph here.

Top L: 2008 Stadium Club Rookie Autographs #167; Top R: 2011 Playoff Contenders #204
Bottom L: 2010 Topps Magic Autographs #244
Bottom R: 2004 SP Authentic - Scripts for Success Autographs #SS-LM

Some interesting autographs in this grouping...

Former Miami Hurricane Lance Leggett was an undrafted Free Agent signed by the Browns in 2008. He never played for them but I just picked up two of his autographed cards. They are added to the one regular Leggett card that I owned before.

I own a lot of Greg Little cards. This one has become the 11th autographed one that I own.

I doubled the amount of Mohamed Massaquoi autographs that I own from two to four. I really love the look of the Topps Magic cards

I featured Luke McCown, number 7 on the Browns starting quarterback list since 1999, in a post on his Verizon commercial. I picked up three of his autographed cards, and now own six different ones.

Top L: 2010 Topps Magic Autographs #178; Top R: 2001 Sage - Autographs Red #A32, 404/999
Bottom L: 2007 Bowman Sterling - Gold Rookie Autographs #BSGA-TM, 1446/1800
Bottom R: 2008 Playoff Contenders #103
Carlton Mitchell played 16 games for the Browns in 2010 and 2011. I picked up two more of his autographed cards, giving me eight different of his autographs in my collection. He played in seven games of the 2014 CFL season with Ottawa's expansion team. I joked with friends that I must have been his biggest fan here, or at least owned the most cards of him.
This Quincy Morgan autographed card, my third, becomes my second Sage autograph. The other one is the Silver.
Along with Lance Leggett above, Tyrone Moss is another former Miami Hurricane that was signed as an Undrafted Free Agent and never played for the Browns. I picked up three different autographed Moss cards to give me four different autographed ones in my collection of six cards.
This Allen Patrick autographed card is now his only card in my collection. He was drafted by the Ravens in the 7th round of the 2008 draft. I don't believe that he ever played in the NFL yet according to The Trading Card Database he has 394 cards. This one has those silly little helmets on it that makes it fit my collection.
Top L: 2013 Panini National Treasures #291, 20/99; Top R: 2000 SPx #157, 1901/2000
Bottom L: 2009 SPx #101, 110/549; Bottom R: 2008 SP Authentic #265, 207/399 

The Jordan Poyer card cost me $3.75, which was easily one of the most expensive autographs out of this haul. I paid it since it becomes his first card in my collection. He is still playing with the Browns.
Travis Prentice played for the Browns in 2000, catching 37 passes and 1 touchdown. This card is the sixth autographed Prentice card I own, to go with an autographed mini helmet I found at a show. (The only autographed mini helmet in my collection.)
Brian Robiskie is the son of former Browns Interim Head Coach Terry Robiskie (in 2004). My purchases included the first two of his autographed cards that I own.
I picked up 4 Martin Rucker autographs, doubling the autographs I own to 8. Rucker played five games for the Browns in 2008 and had two receptions.
Top L: 2011 Panini Plates & Patches #191, 92/199; Top R: 2001 UD Game Gear Autographs #GW-GS
Bottom L: 2011 Panini Playbook #96, 130/299; Bottom R: 2011 Panini Totally Certified #180, 193/299

Buster Skrine signed with the Jets before this season. This is the only Skrine card that I own.
Gerard Warren was the third overall pick of the 2001 NFL Draft. He played four years in Cleveland and another seven years with the Broncos, Raiders and Patriots. He had 16.5 sacks in his four seasons with the Browns. I'm not sure what the plastic insert is that he signed on this card, but it is pretty neat in person. This is my second autographed Warren card.
This is the second Armond Smith card I own, both autographed cards. Smith played three games for the Browns in 2011 before going to Carolina and playing nine games in 2012-13.
I really like Phil Taylor with the Browns but he just couldn't seem to stay healthy. This autograph gives me three different Taylor autographed cards.
Top L: 2014 Panini Contenders #230; Top R: 2006 Fleer Hot Prospects #207, 289/999
Bottom: 2007 Upper Deck Premier - Noteworthy Autographs Gold #NEW, 45/99

Terrance West is currently playing for the Baltimore Ravens after playing his rookie season last year in Cleveland. This becomes the 11th autographed card of West that I own.
Travis Wilson played four games for the Browns in 2006, catching two passes. In my Black Friday order, I picked up 4 of his autographed cards now giving me 8 different ones in my collection.
(The more I look up these players, and the more I see how many of their autographs I have, I think I may have a problem! Oh, well!)
Finally, finishing up with Eric Wright. I love this card, and I'm really not sure why. He played four years in Cleveland (2007-2010) and had 3 interceptions, including a 94 yarder for a touchdown, in 2008. He then had 4 interceptions in 2009. He followed his Cleveland years with a season each in Detroit, Tampa Bay and San Francisco. I always liked him as a player, and was cheering for his success with those teams. Okay, liking him as a player may be why I love the card so much.
Please comment if you have any memories of some of these players in college or in the pros.

Thursday 17 December 2015

Black Friday: 25 or less

No, I'm not limiting myself to 25 words with this post.

One thing that my Black Friday purchases did was greatly increase the amount of low number serial numbered cards that I own. I added 23 cards to my collection numbered out of 25 or less. Let's see them!

Top L: 2004 Leaf Certified Materials Mirror Gold #26, 13/25 - $3.25
Top R: 2006 Gridiron Gear Performers Platinum #PR-32, 6/25 - $1.00
Bottom: 2008 Absolute Memorabilia #MOF-24, 5/25 - $1.00
Here are three former Browns starting quarterbacks - numbers 6, 9 and 10 of the 24 since 1999. I love the sweet 49er swatch on the Garcia. (The back says it was game worn.)
L: 2010 Certified Mirror Gold #35, 8/25 - $1.00
R: 2007 Absolute Memorabilia Tools of the Trade Spectrum Red #TOT-77, 2/25 - $1.75
Here are two cards of former Washington State Cougar Jerome Harrison. I love how nicely the hologram tools of the trade show up in this scan.

L: 2012 Limited Spotlight Gold #26, 20/25 - $1.25
R: 2011 Topps Prime Silver Rainbow #148, 17/25 - $1.29
So little to pay. (Yes, I went there!)
Top L: 2008 Leaf Rookies & Stars Longevity Parallel Black #167, 3/25 - $1.50
Top R: 2009 Prestige Xtra Points Green #24, 22/25 - $0.90
Bottom L: 2014 Totally Certified Mirror Platinum Red #22, 5/25 - $1.30
Bottom R: 2009 Certified - Certified Potential Gold #20, 9/25 - $1.00
Can't complain about these purchases.

L: 2007 Playoff NFL Playoffs Gold Holofoil #167, 22/25 - $1.48
M: 2007 Playoff NFL Playoffs Gold Holofoil #24, 2/25 - $2.12
R: 2007 Playoff NFL Playoffs Gold Holofoil #23, 2/25 - $2.11

I was thrilled to get the matching numbers on the Edwards and Winslow cards. The best part of them, though, is pairing them with the following:
L: 2007 Playoff NFL Playoffs Black Holofoil #24, 2/10 - $3.63
R: 2007 Playoff NFL Playoffs Black Holofoil #23, 2/10 - $3.63
This pair shares the same serial number with the previous pair. I thought that was cool when I bought them. (Enough to break the order of this post by posting some #/10s before the next cards.)
L: 2014 Panini Hot Rookies Red Zone #292, 20/20 - $1.75
R: 2014 Absolute Spectrum Purple Anniversary #47, 11/20 - $1.00

I look at these prices and remember why I bought so many cards during the Black Friday sale.
2011 Topps Triple Threads Relics Emerald #TTR-50, 7/18 - $3.05
I think this is just a great looking card.
L: 2014 Panini Crown Royale Purple #177, 7/10 - $3.22
R: 2014 Topps Chrome Mini Gold Refractor #69, 5/10 - $4.25
Ray Agnew is the son of  the former 11 year NFL defensive lineman of the same name.

L: 2013 Panini Momentum Black #73, 1/5 - $4.52
R: 2014 Panini Select Green Prizm #22, 5/5 - $3.94

Say what you want about their stays in Cleveland, when there are only five of these cards, and I have one, I'm not going to complain.

Not a bad haul to add to my collection.

Wednesday 16 December 2015

Black Friday: The dark years

In my last post I implied that there were Browns cards that might not be as welcome in my collection as might be expected. Those would be the Browns cards that are listed as Ravens.

With my Black Friday purchases, I picked up a few 1995 cards, and a bunch of 1996 cards.

After the move to Baltimore was announced in November 1995, I lost a lot of interest in football. I didn't watch as much for the rest of the year, but I did watch the final Browns game where the fans were pulling apart fixtures in the stadium. I really didn't watch much football at all in 1996. And I really didn't buy any football cards after the move was announced. I wasn't too inclined to support the NFL and any related products.

When I got back into collecting I knew I was going to collect 1995 cards, but wasn't sure what I was going to do about 1996 ones. When I started getting some in lots, I realized that I still wanted to buy the cards where players were in their old Browns uniforms even if the cards said Baltimore Ravens.

I added around 80 cards from 1996 in my Black Friday purchases and will show about half of them here.

Okay, the two far right cards are 1995 - I accidentally mixed them while I was scanning refractors. I just wanted to show refractors, along with the regular cards, from 1995 and 1996. I bought more than these but wanted to pair up players' base cards with the refractors if I could.

I love the clear plastic on these Collector's Edge cards. I believe that I've now completed the Browns cards from the set. (And they identify as Browns cards.)

I love the holograms, and they seem to show up nicely on the scans. The Zeier is a gold parallel.
To me the Pro Line die cuts would be better if it weren't for Baltimore written across the top.

Too bad I can't get a Topps Laser card with Cleveland Browns on it, I do like them. And then there is some shiny cards that don't scan that well. The Stadium Club Matrix card pops nicely, but the background is better when you can move the card back and forth. It has a great photo of Michael Jackson!

I picked up a bunch of Score inserts, mostly Artist's Proofs, but also the Field Force shown on the bottom. It was nice to add some more Keenan McCardell cards to my collection.

A sampling of base Pacific cards with Silver and Blue parallels.

A sampling of Pacific Invincible base cards on top with Silver and Blue parallels below.

I added two of the gold Super Bowl parallels for the NFL Experience set, with the team set of Printers Proofs.

I like the receiver photos on all three of these base cards. The Michael Jackson Skybox Impact card appears to be from the same game as the Stadium Club card above. It looks like this is after he landed.
There were two versions of the McCardell autograph in the Pro Line set. I already had the gold version (the seal in the bottom right corner) and just added the blue one for $3.45. It was one of the more expensive cards that I purchased. Keenan has a nice signature.

I needed the regular Derrick Alexander, and picked up a bunch of Browns Artist's Proofs for the Zenith set.

The next couple of Black Friday posts will deal with numbered cards, and a lot more autographs.

Tuesday 15 December 2015

Black Friday: 1992 - Autos and Touchdowns

Not all the stuff I picked up at my mailbox a while back was from my Black Friday purchases. There was also a card that I picked up on e-bay, an important autograph to add to my collection. The card has a little crease mark on the front, but I'm more interested in the back:

Thank you Pro Line for including Hall of Fame players in your set. This card goes nicely with the Paul Warfield Pro Line autograph that I own.

From COMC, I also added a second Pro Line autograph from the 1992 set:

Rob Burnett played 14 years in the NFL, the first six in Cleveland, six more in Baltimore after the move, and the final two in Miami. He finished with 73 sacks, of which 40.5 came with the Browns.

These, added to the Tommy Vardell that I already owned, leave me only needing to find the Eric Metcalf and Van Waiters autographs to complete the Browns autographs out of this set. Just a matter of time...

Speaking of Touchdown Tommy:

Top: Courtside Foilgram #2
Bottom (l-r): Courtside All-American #AA3; Courtside Promo #30

Until I started collecting again, I don't think I knew of Courtside. The Foilgram card, as with a lot of chrome cards, didn't scan very well, but I just have to show the back. It is awesome!

Only 15,000! Lucky I've got one now!

Okay, maybe not so awesome.

Courtside, I didn't know. Wild Card, well, I showed some of it off last post. Here's some 1992 Wild Card:
Top (l-r): Running Wild Gold #33; Red Hot Rookies Gold #10; Red Hot Rookies
 #10        Bottom (l-r): Field Force Gold #3; 100 Stripe #239; 10 Stripe #423

This last photo of cards exceeds the amount of touchdowns that Vardell scored in his four years with the Browns (3 rushing, 2 receiving).

I was also able to grab a few other cards I needed from the Wild Card set:
(l-r) 10 Stripe #170 ; Running Wild Gold #22 ; 5 Stripe #174

Okay, not as many stripes as with 1991, but I already owned more from this set.

Here are the last four 1992 cards that I added to my collection with my Black Friday purchases.
Top (l-r): Collector's Edge #TS4; Collector's Edge Prototype #6
Bottom (l-r): 1992-93 Upper Deck NFL Experience #24; 1992 Classic Gold #4

I've always loved the plastic Collector's Edge cards. The idea of the serial numbers on them was a neat concept, but as time goes by I think I prefer the fact that the corners on the plastic stay sharp.

I already had the Michael Dean Perry card from the NFL Experience set, but needed the Kosar and always seemed to forget to look for it, so I was happy to see it as I was looking through COMC.

I already had the regular version of the Bill Johnson Classic card, but didn't have any of the gold parallels so it is also a nice addition as well.

You might think that I think that all cards that I add to my collection are nice additions, and you would mostly be right. However there may be some exceptions to that in my next post. See you then!

Friday 11 December 2015

Black Friday: Semi-Stars and Stripes

During the Black Friday weekend sales I managed to purchase some cards that probably would have made me faint had I pulled them from a pack. Thank you internet sellers!

Let's start with the semi-stars part of this post.

There were nine different Browns autographs to be found in the 1991 Pro Line set. Shortly after the set came out I managed to trade for a Bill Belichick autograph. Last year, I picked up the Paul Warfield autograph. Black Friday allowed me to double my Browns autographs from the set.

I consider Michael Dean Perry to be a star, however his spotlight was considerably dimmer than his well known appliance brother, "The Fridge". I have a couple of Michael Dean's autographs from the 1992 Pro Line set, but was very happy to add this card to my collection.

When younger, while watching games and collecting our cards, a friend and I would always find names that we just liked; names that sounded like they should be football players. In the late 80s the Browns had Mack and Slaughter, and then they added the name Hoard. We may have been thinking horde, but it still made for a great name.

Leroy Hoard is another former Michigan Wolverine that was liked by Browns fans; another player to point out to Braylon Edwards when he says that Browns fans would never like or cheer for any Michigan players.

I remember going to card shows and seeing the odd stripe card from Wild Card. I don't think that I ever saw anything higher than a 10 stripe in person. It is something to be able to get my hands on these stripes now.

Getting the 20 and 100 stripes of Michael Jackson brings me down to needing two of his striped parallels. Eventually I'll complete the collection of a player but I still need the 50 and 1000 for Jackson so it may take a while for him.

Maybe I'll be able to complete one of the following players' sets first.

I picked up a lot of cards that I really love during Black Friday, but these have to be two of my favorites.

Like with Michael Jackson, I only need two stripes for a set of Kevin Mack stripes, the 20 and 100. That might be more attainable, but I still wouldn't be surprised if I manage to complete a different player first. It all depends on what is out there to find.

When I decided to buy my first Browns jersey it was going to be a Clay Matthews one. Then a couple of days before I went to the store to order it, he signed with the Falcons. I wound up getting an Ozzie Newsome jersey instead. I was happy to see Matthews pick up 6.5 sacks at the age of 40. He might not have the sack numbers that a lot of football fans would consider to be a Hall of Fame player, but he wasn't asked to constantly rush the passer. If he had been, he would have put up the numbers. He deserves to be in the Hall of Fame. I still need his 20, 50 and 100 stripes.

Wild Card also put out a second set in 1991 - a Wild Card Draft set. I had already picked up a few of the stripes from this set but I managed to add these stripes of Cleveland draft picks from that year.

Here we've got Southern Miss Golden Eagle Michael Jackson, Auburn Tiger Ed King, and San Diego State Aztec Pio Sagapolutele. These stripes bring me closest to completing the set of Sagapoluteles; I just need the 1000 stripe. That's all.

I also picked up one last 1991 Wild Card Draft card during my Black Friday weekend shopping. Here is the redemption card for 1992 Browns draft pick "Touchdown" Tommy Vardell of Stanford:

And I'll let this card be preview of my next post when I will show the 1992 cards that I picked up, with more "Touchdown" Tommy, more Wild Card stripes, and more Pro Line autographs.