Monday 29 April 2019

Breaking down an early stop of a well traveled envelope

Six days ago. 

I had pretty much finished this post six days ago with the expectation of posting it last Tuesday night after I heard back from the next blogger I picked to be in line to continue this...  I'm getting ahead of myself.

I'll jump in again later to let you know where I had left off six days ago, and why, and will turn what was a fairly short post writing wise into a long one.

Here is the start of the original post:

I received an e-mail the other day from Gavin at the Baseball Card Breakdown blog. He asked me if I wanted to participate in the well traveled envelope challenge started by Gregory at the Nine Pockets blog.

I agreed, and Gavin told me that the envelope was in the mail to me at my P.O. Box in Ogdensburg, New York. It took me a while to get down there, but I finally got down there on Monday and drove the package back home to Ottawa, Ontario.

I carefully slit the envelope open along the top where I could see that it had been opened before, and found a nice little package from Gavin.

2012 Topps Chrome - Orange Refractors #23

The mark on the top of the card seems to be something that was on my scanner, but that has now been wiped away.

I know that Night Owl likes pointing out that his Dodger cards look good on blue bordered parallels. I think that Browns cards look good with orange borders.

2014 Bowman Chrome - Topps Shelf Rookies #TSR-JM

 Another Johnny Football card to add to my collection. I already owned the other Browns card, Terrance West, from this checklist.

This card is the 180th Manziel card in my collection, which ranks him sixth among players on the list, sandwiched between Eric Metcalf (5th at 195) and Bernie Kosar (7th at 176). I would not be surprised if Manziel passes Metcalf by the end of 2019.

2015 Topps Museum Collection #99

This Joe Haden card completes my Browns team set for 2015 Museum Collection. Okay, it is a team set of two, but it is complete!

I like the thicker Museum Collection cards. They aren't something that I often see locally.

2016 Panini Certified - Mirror Gold #194 (#/25)

A nice card serial numbered out of 25. Cool!

Higgins had a good rapport with Baker Mayfield last year, and I'm happy that he re-signed with the Browns this off-season.

2016 Panini Certified - Mirror Orange #220 (#/199)

Another orange parallel, but it doesn't have a border that goes all the way around the card. Still nice, though.

I love when the swatch has part of a number, even though it appears to be from an old style jersey as opposed to the new one that he is wearing in the photo on the card.

How many stickers do you think that a player has to sign? It would be nicer if the autograph was more clear. I wonder if it would be better if a player didn't have to sign as many stickers as they do. Or it still could be because the players don't care to make their signatures recognizable.

2016 Panini - Chainmail Armor #247

This is my second of the eleven chainmail parallels for the Browns team set. I'm sure that will be a slow one to finish. It isn't as though I go out of my way searching for them. They'll turn up when they turn up.

2018 Panini Certified - Mirror Silver #16 (#/499)

Finally, a mirror silver parallel of Tyrod Taylor. It is my first card from that parallel set.

The great thing about these seven cards that Gavin sent? I needed all of them. That doesn't seem to happen too often with random mailings. Thanks a lot, Gavin!

As for the next step for the traveling envelope. I reached out to Shane at the Shoebox Legends blog to see if he's interested in participating, and then I'll have to find something to send him. 

This is where I had left my post. Almost ready to go, but I thought that I'd wait to see if Shane replied before I got home Tuesday night before posting it. If he did, I was going to change the last paragraph above to mention that. Well, instead I'll just add to the post now.

Last Tuesday, I started this post, sent an email to Shane, and then left for my curling club for our Annual General Meeting, followed by my team curling in a semi-final game for the B Division of our Club Championships.

The AGM went fine, and I received an email from Shane during the meeting saying that he would be happy to be the next recipient.

After the AGM, I looked and didn't see our bartender in the club. Being employed as one of our club's bartenders, and with the Club Manager on my team, I asked what was up, and what we were going to do.

He told me that the bartender's grandfather had to be taken to the hospital, and that she needed to accompany him, and that none of our other bartenders was able to come in that night.

He decided that since most of our members weren't going to stick around to watch the semi-final games, we could serve whatever drinks we needed to before going on the ice, and then keep an eye on the lounge through the windows to see if anyone needed anything, and then that one of us could quickly leave the ice, serve them, and then come back into the game. We could then work together after the games to serve the teams that were playing. We're all friendly at our club. Nobody should mind a slight delay if it happened.

Our curling games are scheduled to be eight ends. (An end is like an inning, but in curling it means that each team has thrown its eight rocks.) A rough guideline we use in time allocations to schedule the games is fifteen minutes per end. Our game was to start at 8 pm.

We were down 2-1 in the fourth end, and it was shaping up nicely for us when I saw that a member in the lounge was looking to order another beer. Their skip was throwing his first stone, and talking to our skip, I said that I would go serve the drink after his first shot. That would give me time to serve the beer while their skip was throwing his final stone, and be back in time to help sweep our skip's final stone.

After my skip's first stone, we were set up nicely to take a few points in the end. We were sitting three, and they were guarded, and their skip had a tough shot to make to change circumstances.

I quickly went and served a bottle of beer to our member, putting a gripper on my slider foot so that I wouldn't scratch or get the slider dirty.

Now, I'm a little different than most modern curlers. Most now, when sweeping, will wear grippers on both feet and walk down the ice and sweep the rock. That is how they are taught now.

Since I started so long ago, I learned to sweep by sliding beside the rock, and using my other foot, with a gripper, to push myself along. I had tried to change, but just couldn't get the feel of it.

Anyway, when returning to the game, I stepped down to the ice with my non-slider foot, as you should, and then brought down my other foot.

I looked, saw that their skip did not make his tough shot to change circumstances too much, and that we had a chance to draw in for four and take a good lead in the game with our skip's final shot. I called down and said I'd be there in a couple of seconds to help sweep.

I pushed off to give myself momentum to slide, and having forgotten to remove my gripper from my sliding foot, it did what it was intended to gripped the ice.

I'm a big guy. Momentum going forward doesn't just stop. I fell. Hard.

I kind of landed on my left knee and side, giving myself a nice bruise and hurting my left shoulder when I landed.

I say kind of landed to the left because my right leg decided it didn't really want to go that way. It went right, and I sort of did the splits, feeling instant pain.

Falls happen while curling, and the aftermath tends to catch everyone's attention on the ice. Usually a person is fine, and will get teased about their fall. However we all know that injuries can happen, and a lot of people will check on the fallen curler.

The first question was, did you hit your head? No, I didn't. At that point, I figured I would try to stand up. Nope, that wasn't going to happen. I started inwardly cursing myself at my stupidity.

Since we were on an end sheet, and I was right beside the side boards, I rolled myself to the side boards of the rink and pulled myself up the couple of inches to get off the ice surface. (I didn't want to leave an Angus-sized melt in the ice. Body heat will do that. I'm so considerate.) People gathered round, and I told them it was my leg, but that I could move my foot and toes and didn't think that I had broken anything. They called an ambulance and worked with me to make me as comfortable as possible - elevating the leg as much as comfortable, and putting a blanket over me. I knew which members had taken the first aid courses with me that the club offered.

There was rain in Ottawa last Tuesday, and upon calling 911, we were told that an ambulance would be on the way, but that they were really busy, and since I was conscious, and it was just a leg injury, I was a lower priority and it would probably be at least an hour before one came by.

Hearing that, I figured that with help, perhaps I could get into the lounge and out of the cold arena atmosphere.

A couple of big guys helped pick me up, and were able to help me up the stairs and into the lounge. They pulled out one of our nice padded chairs for me to sit on, and I tried to do so. I had immediate pain on my right sitting area as I tried to do so, but I managed to shift over on the chair to sit only on my left butt cheek.

As it turned out, sitting was a bad idea. I could feel that I was going into shock - I started feeling chilly, feeling dizzy and started sweating. Other friends noticed too, and as I asked for the blanket, and said that I think that I needed to lie down, one of my friends was already pulling one of the sofas next to me so that I could be moved onto it. They said I was going very pale.

Getting into a semi-sitting position, with the blanket, and my leg elevated helped a lot. I was brought some water and a glass with a couple of sips of orange juice to drink, and then sat and waited. It helped a lot, and I was told that I was regaining color.

Of course, sitting there also meant I was right there for all of our other members to check in on me as they finished their games. We forfeited ours.

I joked around with everyone until finally the ambulance came about an hour and fifteen minutes after being called.

I've already typed way too much about this, so I won't go into detail for the rest of the night, although there is still quite a bit that I can make a good tale of.

The final result though was that I left the hospital around four in the morning, with an undiagnosed hamstring injury.

Although we have "free health care" in Canada, we sometimes don't have the quickest access to specialists. I was told that I would need a specialist to do an ultrasound on my hamstring to see the severity, but that one didn't work overnights, and that the doctor didn't know when the first available opening to have one would be. The hospital would call me during the day to set that up. They gave me a painkiller pill, and a prescription for more, and a needle with a muscle relaxant. I didn't look at the needle, but my sister said it was big. I felt it.

My sister suggested that I return with her to her apartment for the next few nights since she didn't have the stairs between all the rooms that my townhouse had. It was a good thought, and she took good care of me until I left there Saturday night. I didn't have access to my computer, although my roommate brought by some stuff including my cell charger and my tablet. I just didn't want to work on this post with either of those.

Saturday night was an old friend's birthday. Four of us used to get together regularly to play video games, and that was going to be the plan for his birthday. I told the organizing friend that as long I could have a couch to myself, that I would try to attend.

My sister drove me to my house where we picked up my roommate, and then drove to my curling club to finally collect my car. To "sit" in the car, I had to recline the passenger seat and almost lie on the seat while being driven.

We transferred my belongings from my sister's car to my car, and then my roommate drove me to our friend's house for the party. With a crutch, I could climb the stairs into the house, and then lower myself down onto a sofa for our night of gaming. It was a fun night, and it was a welcome change from the previous few days.

After coming home, I still couldn't really find a way to get my laptop to a position where I was comfortable to use it until today. So finally I can finish this post.

So, not only do I want to apologize for slowing down the whole well traveled envelope challenge in the extra week or so that it took me to retrieve my mail from my P.O. Box an hour away from me, but now I'll be slowing it down some more since I can't drive yet to get everything together and get to the post office to mail it to Shane.

I had some extra stuff already scanned, so I still may get the odd post off in the next little while, but it may be slow. I will be reading other peoples' blogs on my phone.

I'll add an update after my ultrasound on to my next post. I don't think that it is too bad. At first, I thought it might be a bad tear, but now I'm thinking it might just be a small one. We'll see what the doctors say.

In the meantime, I'm trying to find some sense of how to deal with this. There are things that I never thought about if you can't sit without pain. I was trying to avoid as much solid food as I could for the first few days. It isn't fun. (Feel free to laugh when you realize what I'm referring to. It is a funny circumstance to think about, just not to live through.) Wish me luck for a good outcome for the ultrasound.

One good thing about the injury. I think this was the first year since they moved the first round of the NFL Draft to Thursdays that I was free to watch the whole draft if I wanted to. I watched most of it over the three days, and was very happy with the Browns' picks. I'm looking forward to collecting cards of the new Browns.

Sunday 21 April 2019

Players with only one card in my collection - 13

Here is another post in a series showing cards of five players with only one card in my collection. I'm using sorting tools at The Trading Card Database to look through my collection on their site to see who only has one card, and then finding the first five names that I haven't posted yet. I'm also using the images from their site.

2000 Pacific #96

Zola Davis only played the 1999 season with the Browns. He was released by the Browns during the 2000 training camp.

There are three parallels to this card to find, and then Zola Davis also had a XFL card in 2001.

1962 Topps #26

Here is what I wrote in a June 25, 2016 post when I picked up this Howard Cassady card:

This is the only Browns card for Howard "Hopalong" Cassady, who played in 5 games with the Browns after being traded to them from the Lions just before the 1962 season. He had 7 punt returns and 10 kickoff returns for the team in those games. I don't know who is in the action photo - Cassady wore 40 with the Browns, as he did with the Lions. (If that is a Browns player with the ball, and it is number 10, before 1962 the number was only worn once by a Browns player, in 1957 by quarterback John Borten.)

As it turns out, I was wrong when I said it was Cassady's only Browns card.

The 1962 Post Cereal card shows Cassady in his Lions uniform, and the card has his team listed with the Lions, but under the text of the card it says that he was traded to the Browns. That means that I have to find a copy of that card now.

As well, there is a card of him in the 1962 Kahn's Wieners set in a Browns uniform. I don't think that I've seen any 1962 Kahn's cards in person.

Further looking into the inset photo. If it was from the 1961 season, the year before the card, then if it is a Browns player, the only two players that wore a number starting with a 1 are quarterbacks Milt Plum (16), and Len Dawson (18). I really don't know who is in that photo.

2000 Advance Auto Parts Cleveland Browns

Marquis Smith was drafted by the Browns in the third round of the 1999 NFL Draft out of California.

He played 46 games, starting 20 of them, over his Browns career, from 1999-2001.

I am not aware of any other Browns football cards of Marquis Smith, and I think that reinforces why I love oddball sets so much.

1952 Bowman Small #74

Joe Campanella was drafted by the Browns in the 3rd Round of the 1952 NFL Draft. With a quick search, I wasn't able to find out how he went from the Browns to the Dallas Texans, but according to Pro Football Reference, Campanella played all 12 games of the 1952 season with the Texans, before finishing his playing career with the Baltimore Colts from 1953-57.

The back of his card mentions that he plans a career in construction after his playing career ended. He didn't do that. He went into the restaurant business instead. He partnered with Alan Ameche in opening the Ameche's Drive-In restaurants, and after leaving his partners, he started his own restaurant, Rustler Steak House.

After the Colts fired their General Manager in 1966, they approached Campanella with a job offer as Vice-President and General Manager of the Colts. Campanella accepted the position, wanting to work with the Colts coach, Don Shula.

Sadly, in February 1967, Joe Campanella was playing handball and became short of breath and asked to stop playing. He didn't make it off the court, and died in Shula's arms at the age of 36.

In 1952, Bowman had two football sets, of small and large cards. I still need to find the large card.

Other than these 1952 Bowman cards, Joe Campanella had a 1956 Topps card with the Colts, and then a reprint of the 1956 card along with a gold parallel in the 1994 Topps Archives 1956 set.

1954 Bowman #84

Another nice old Browns card of a player that wound up never playing for the Browns.

John Bauer was drafted by the Browns in the first round of the 1954 NFL Draft. He was then involved in a six player summer trade with the Green Bay Packers that featured quarterback Bob Garrett going to the Packers and quarterback Babe Parilli going to the Browns. The Packers then traded Bauer to the New York Giants in September 1954, and he played his only two NFL games with the Giants that season.

This appears to be his only football card.

Happy Easter!

Saturday 20 April 2019

40 Card Value Pack - 2018 Panini Playoff Football

In my continuing search to actually get a Baker Mayfield card in a Browns uniform, I decided to grab a 40 Card Value Pack of 2018 Playoff Football cards.

Let's see what I found:

I needed the Gordon card. Nice start to the pack.

This may be the first Khalil Mack card I've pulled that shows him in a Bears uniform.

A couple of good, young quarterbacks among these four cards. Hopefully Mayfield will surpass them in the AFC in the long run.

A second Browns card, which is making it a good pack, but I already have the Njoku card.

I like how the card border colors are by team colors, especially on the Dolphins card.

I like how Anderson seems to be watching the ball right into his hands.

The Seahawk green on the border of the card blends in to the field that Baldwin is running on.

Here are the last two cards that bring about the end of the veterans section of the pack. 

Time to move on the Goal Line parallels, inserts, and the rookie cards.

First two parallels, and then, what's this?!?!


That makes this a great pack for me, but I still have the rest of it to show.

Both of these inserts are a little shiny, which I like, but I definitely prefer pulling the Zach Thomas card over the Steeler.

Adams and Landry both had good rookie seasons. I'm sure their teams will expect them to take another step forward in their second seasons.

It will be interesting to watch how Lamar Jackson progresses as a passer. Watching him in the final regular season game against the Browns last year, you could really see what a good runner he is, but if his passing doesn't progress then I think teams will learn how to play against him and limit him in the future.

Well, that's the pack, and as you might expect, I'm pretty happy that I bought it.

Thursday 18 April 2019

A few random packs

I stopped by a local card store to see if they sold Ultra-Pro 2 pocket pages by individual pages. They did, and I picked up what I needed, but as I looked around the store, I noticed that they had a small box of cheap loose packs by the entrance. I looked through them and decided to buy these three packs.

This pack of 2006 Upper Deck First Pitch was fifty cents. As you can see, it contains five cards, one of which should be an insert.

(L-R): 2006 Upper Deck First Pitch #94 and #34

The pack started with two Cubs, with Burnitz being a former Met.

I like the layout of the cards. I like seeing the division on the card with the team logo. It seems different to me.

2006 Upper Deck First Pitch - Goin' Deep #GD-3

Here is my one insert. I kind of like it. It reminds me of playing in the home run derby on one of my friends' video games.

2006 Upper Deck First Pitch #171 and #2

An enjoyable open for fifty cents.

The next pack cost me a dollar, and it was the only one there. I would have bought more if they had them.

So we should have 14 cards plus a special insert. I didn't see any odds on the other inserts listed on the front.

L-R: 1994 O-Pee-Chee #11 and #199

I think this is the second year that the O-Pee-Chee cards had different designs with the Topps cards. Branded with an O-Pee-Chee logo, you can see with the position on the front in both English and French.

1994 O-Pee-Chee - All-Star Redemptions #8

This counts as my insert card. It is a nice Ken Griffey card, but should your insert really be a mail away offer card?

I don't remember ever actually following up on one of these mail away offers.

1994 O-Pee-Chee #169 and #241

1994 O-Pee-Chee #12 and #31

I forgot that Howard Johnson moved on to finish his career with the Rockies.

1994 O-Pee-Chee #7 and #162

Okay, I'm not a Braves fan, but this is an awesome catcher's card of Javy Lopez. I think it is a pretty good use of a horizontal card. I wish it was pulled back a little bit to see if the plate is right there, and to get his full glove in the shot, but it is pretty good as is.

L-R: 1994 O-Pee-Chee #254 and #206

1994 O-Pee-Chee #251 and #235

1994 O-Pee-Chee #21 and #262

I still don't know why some card sets still went with Denny for El Presidente, as opposed to Dennis. I wonder if he was even asked what he preferred.

I also like the swing on the horizontal card. That is a photo that could be used on one of the unlicensed cards.

Here is a look at the back of the cards:

If you look at the Raul Mondesi card, you'll notice that it is missing the card number on the back. It looks like it is an uncorrected error.

It is great to see the complete stats on the back of the cards, including the minor league stats on the newer major leaguers like Mondesi was. The Mondesi card has the bilingual text on the back.

A veteran like Martinez had no room for a write-up, but it is nice to see stats for his whole career.

I also like that the backs have different photos on them than the front.

I may have bought the odd pack of these cards back when they came out, but I was more into mostly collecting NFL cards in 1994. I don't remember what these packs originally retailed for. If I saw more for a dollar, I would probably pick them up.

Finally, in the discount pack bin, I found one single pack of football.

I already have my Browns team set for this set, but I still figured that I would buy this 1995 pack for fifty cents.

There are no card numbers on these cards, so there is no real identifier to use as a caption for the scans.

It is nice to get a Browns card as the second card in the pack, and it is one of Gavin's Guys from Granite. I don't believe that this Vardell card was among those that I sent him recently so I will put this one aside for him.

And the next card in the pack is a Browns card too! Awesome! The funny thing with the Byner card is that Byner wore the number 44 in his first stint with the Browns from 1984-88. When he came back to the team in 1994, Vardell was wearing his old number.

I notice that some helmets in this set don't have their logos on them. I'm sure there is some licensing aspect to it, but I don't know any details behind it.

Robert Smith had a really good, short career. He retired after the 2000 season, his eighth season in the league, after rushing for over 1500 yards that year.

The twelve card pack had three teams represented with two cards each. That is a little surprising. I'm sure that some people would complain about getting two Browns in a pack, but that sure makes it worth the fifty cents I spent on the pack.

I think opening these packs, and getting a post out of them, was definitely worth the two dollars (Canadian) that I spent.