The View From Wisconsin

Just a random set of rants from a Sports Fan from Wisconsin.

Saturday, May 31, 2008

My Card Collection

I have, for some time now, had a summary of my current sports (and other) card collection in Word format. I finally got around to putting it up in a blog post - probably one of those "completely useless" blogs that are out there, I guess, but no worse than someone who blogs about their belly button lint.

Anyways, in case you're interested, here's the summary about my current card collection:

· 648 different card sets, 60 years

· 47,047 total cards

· 36,045 "single" cards (non-duplicates)

· 55 complete card sets (8.5% of all)

· Oldest card: 1949 Bowman Baseball (Jerry Priddy, Fair Condition; it has a piece of tape over the top edge)

· Oldest non-baseball card: 1959 Topps Football (Jerry Mertens; he is my second cousin)

· Ten newest card sets (more than five cards collected):

o 2008 Topps Baseball (THE baseball card set; 600th set collected; includes inserts, autograph card, gold border/foil parallel; Series 1 complete)

o 2008 Topps Heritage Baseball (Current players on cards styled from older Topps sets; 1959 design)

o 2007-08 Fleer Hot Prospects Hockey (Upper Deck issued Hockey set with prospects and rookie cards)

o 2007-08 Upper Deck Mini Jersey Hockey (High-end set with complete mini-jersey in each pack)

o 2008 Topps Trading Card History Baseball (Hobby-only baseball card set the history of baseball cards)

o 2008 Upper Deck Baseball (High-end cards from independent company that went big; includes the first multiple-release insert set, Yankee Stadium Legacy)

o 2008 Upper Deck First Pitch Baseball (Similar to Topps' Opening Day cards)

o 2008 Upper Deck Spectrum Baseball (High-glossy baseball cards from UD)

o 2008 Upper Deck Yankee Stadium Legacy (Cross-platform set among Upper Deck Baseball Releases; first of its kind, honors last season of Yankee Stadium)

o 2008 Donruss Playoff Prestige Football (High-end, limited edition NFL card series from Donruss, similar to Artifacts/Spectrum)

· 14 different categories of cards (8 different sports, 5 different entertainment sets, 1 military set)

· 76 different manufacturers


· Most cards from one manufacturer: 22,338 from Topps (not including "combo" sets – sets put out under a different "name" but actually made by Topps; 182 different sets)

· 323 different sets (61 different sets from Topps)

· Most cards from one sport set: 17,376 Topps Baseball cards, one from each release 1952-2008; 19,960 total cards including alternate releases

· 33,829 different baseball cards (72% of all cards)

· 36 complete baseball card sets from 1978-2007 (plus complete 2008 Topps Baseball Series 1)

· 9,147 different hockey cards (19% of all cards); 15 complete sets from 1972-2007

· 143 sets with only one representative card; 271 with five or fewer cards from set

· 93 sets with 100 or more cards (64 are baseball)

· Oldest complete set: 1978 Topps Baseball (first set truly collected; longest to complete)

· Largest complete set: six different (1983, 1984, 1985, 1989, 1990 and 1991 Topps Baseball – all 792 card sets; 1991 Topps Baseball is largest set with 2,090 cards)

· Smallest complete set: 1994 NFL on ESPN cards (six cards from a Sports Illustrated advertisement for the NFL on ESPN)

· Most recent complete set: 2007 Choice AHL All-Stars Hockey (45 cards sold as complete set)

· Most cards, one set: 1991 Topps Baseball (2,090 cards, 5% of all cards and complete set; more cards than all non-football or hockey cards combined)

· Largest non-baseball set: 1990 ProSet Hockey (1,186 cards from both series 1 and 2, complete series 1)

· Largest football set: 1990 Score Football (764 cards, 413 singles; set is 28% of all football cards)

· Largest basketball set: 2006-07 Topps Basketball (121 cards, 116 singles; none of the basketball sets are complete; set is 21% of all basketball cards)

· Most cards from one year: 6,866 in 1990 (23 different baseball sets, 7 hockey sets, 5 football sets, 3 basketball sets, and a Marvel Comics card set for 16% of all cards)

· Most card sets from one year: 51 sets in 1991 (Second in overall number of cards with 6,505, thanks to Topps Baseball; 21 sets are baseball; over 28% of my collection is from the 1990-91 calendar years)

· 16 years with 1,000 or more total cards collected each year (1980-85, 1987-91, 1997, 2005-08)

· 6 years with 2,000 or more total cards collected each year (1989-91, 2005-07)

· 6 sets with 1,000 or more total cards (1980, 1987, 1991 and 2006 Topps Baseball; 1990 Score Baseball, and 1990 ProSet Hockey )

· 20 incomplete sets over 60% complete (16 are baseball, three are hockey; other is 1990 Score Football)

· 33 incomplete sets over 50% complete (including 1980 Donruss PGA Golf)

· Largest incomplete set: 1987 Topps Baseball (1,434 total cards, 678 singles of 792 total, 85.6% complete)

· Largest incomplete football set: 1990 Score Football (764 total cards, 413 singles, 62.6% complete)

· Largest incomplete hockey set: 1991-92 Score Hockey (748 total cards, 355 singles; 53.8% complete; includes Canadian bi-lingual versions)

· 14 sets with more duplicates than singles (singles-to-extras ratio below 1.0; two are "personalized" card sets)



· Favorite set: Topps Baseball (of course; 1956 design in particular)

· Favorite non-Topps set: Score Baseball (favorite design: 1990 set)

· Favorite non-Baseball set: Upper Deck Victory Hockey (Topps 1979-80 Hockey is second)

· Favorite non-Sport set: 1978 Topps Star Wars Motion Picture cards

· Set most likely NOT to complete: 1982 Topps Baseball (78 cards to complete; however, one is Cal Ripken's rookie card, currently valued at $50; highest percentage complete)

· Second set most likely NOT to complete: 2006 Topps Baseball. (Though Topps lists the complete set at 659 cards, there is the "error" card of Royals prospect Alex Gordon that was pulled early in production. Gordon had not yet played in the Majors, which was a violation of Topps' agreement with the MLBPA. Because of this mistake, the card's value skyrocketed to unobtainable levels – $2,500 at last look. Rumor has it that Keith Olberman of MS-NBC has attempted to purchase all existing copies of the card.)

· Card I used to have duplicates of, but sold all of them (to my everlasting regret): 1979-80 Topps Hockey Wayne Gretzky rookie card (one card in EX-MT would be worth $550; I had about five of them.)

· Set I'd most like to own at least one card from: 1951 Topps Blue Backs (the more expensive of the two sets from Topps' original offering)

· Set I'd like to own, but probably couldn't afford to purchase: Any tobacco card from pre-WWI era (1950's era hockey cards are close second)

· Set I still wonder why I purchased: 1991 Topps NKOTB cards (They got stuck in with several other packs)

· Set I had no qualms in purchasing: 1991 Topps Baseball (40th Anniversary set; My only question is, why did I never get any "vintage" cards in any of the packs that I bought?)

· Strangest single card: 2001 TeamBest College Baseball Autographs – Joe Borchard (Card was part of the "Great Card Treasure Hunt" packs in 2005; he is now an outfielder for the Florida Marlins.)

· Strangest Card, Non-baseball: 2006 Upper Deck Hockey Series I special insert card, game-worn Jersey of… Daniel Paille? (The square is part of the collar.)

· Strangest Card, Non-baseball, Take II: 2006 Topps Basketball Own The Game Jersey Relic card of Chris Paul, New Orleans/Oklahoma City Hornets (The piece is also apparently from the collar or cuff.)

· Most unique card: 1998 Pacific Invincible Engravings Baseball Derek Jeter (The card doesn't look like a baseball card)

· Largest Card: 1980 Topps Super Baseball (oversized 5x7 cards, no stats on back)

· Largest Non-baseball Card: 2006-07 Beehive Hockey Oversized from Upper Deck (Card is considered to be part of main set, though only available in multi-packs)

· Smallest cards: 2002 Cracker Jack All-Stars (got them at the 2002 All-Star Game in Milwaukee)

· Card that really isn't a card: 1990 MVP Pins Baseball (actually a cloisonne pin with Jerome Walton's name and face on it)

· Cards that are definitely not a card: Any of the Upper Deck Mini Jersey sets (baseball, football and hockey; they are all miniature uniforms)

· Card that isn't mentioned with the others: Buffy The Vampire Slayer (Television) Promo Card of Sarah Michelle Gellar (I've never counted it, because the set was ultra-exclusive and the card was a promo card.)

· Sets that are truly unique: Topps and Upper Deck personalized hockey cards (I had a pack of nine hockey cards of me in an Admirals sweater made up at; unfortunately, they messed up the name "ADMIRA" on the front and back, making them all "Uncorrected Error Cards". It doesn't change their value, though. My Topps card had a minor error in the stat sheet, but was otherwise correct.)

NOTE: There are two unopened packs of 1990 Score Baseball cards, acquired in the closing sale of a local variety store, that are included as part of the collection; the cards are duplicates, since the set is already complete.

Also, the 2008 Upper Deck Yankee Stadium Legacy set, due to its very unique, cross-release nature, is listed as a separate set instead of being counted as an Upper Deck release. Topps’ 2008 Trading Card History set is listed in the same manner, because the set is available as a "stand alone" set through Topps dealers.

Monday, May 26, 2008

Understatement of the Month

"It's probably a better idea that I didn't make it all the way down there anyway," ... "Because, well, as you guys know, I'm a little emotional."

- Danica Patrick, on her little "saunter" down pit lane after being knocked out of the Indy 500 by Ryan Briscoe

Sunday, May 25, 2008

A Woman Driver Scorned

For all the whining that Ms. Patrick did during the Indy 500 today, she looked like the Most Pissed Off Woman In All of America after that little pit incident that knocked her out of the race. I just wonder what exactly she thought she was going to do when she got down to Ryan Briscoe's pit; was she going to smack him upside the head, ala Kurt Busch vs. Tony Stewart?

Saturday, May 24, 2008

The Long Weekend

What exactly is it about Dark Chocolate, Golden Caramel and Vanilla Nougat that just gets to me? I have no idea. Nor do I have much idea about the following things:

Wednesday, May 21, 2008

The Seven Deadly Sins of Sports Fandom


Many outside observers see similarities between fans of a sports team and religious fanatics – in fact, the term "fan" is actually short for fanatic, thus reinforcing this idea.

Just as there are "deadly sins" in religious practice – things that are unforgivable to other believers if you commit them – so also are there seven types of "unforgivable fandom".

These aren't listed in any particular order, but I think you can pretty much guess which one of the seven is the most unforgivable.

So, here they are, the Seven Deadly Sins of Sports Fandom:

1. The Eeyore Fan – This is the fan who says they're a fan of their team, but they can never say anything positive about them. They think the coach is stupid and needs to be fired; the team's too slow and plodding (or too small and fast); the power play stinks, and the penalty kill stinks even worse; there's no goaltending; and we're never going to win another game. This guy's not willing to admit that their so-called favorite team can do anything right. With a fan like this, who needs enemy fans? This is different from the Chicken Little fan, who thinks the world comes to an end when the team loses a game... though not by much.

2. The Puckbunny Fan – I know what you're thinking, but it's not limited to just the female gender. This fan basically likes the team because one player did something special for them – maybe signed a program, or said hi to them at Kroger's, or some other thing. If you concentrate too much on the one player, you don't notice that there's 22 other players on the team – which goes against fandom of a team.

3. The Bandwagon Fan – If the team's atop the standings, this guy's there in a heartbeat. If the team's in the basement, he's elsewhere. "Oh, you're making a Stanley Cup run? Oh yeah, I've been a huge fan forever. What? Your owner bolted for Minnesota? Ah. See ya later." The lesser sin is the belief of NHL clubs that this fan needs to be courted to pry their cash from their wallets.

4. The Split Loyalty Fan – This one's slightly more tolerable than the Bandwagon Fan, because this guy (or gal) basically admits they're a fan of their team... but when another team's playing (and not playing their team), they're rooting for them. Prime example is someone who roots for Dallas – except when they play the Predators. This fan sometimes splits their loyalty based on conference affiliation; they figure they can root for a team like the Penguins and the Predators, because the two aren't in the same conference. Before Inter-league play in MLB, this one was really easy for baseball fans; you could easily root for your favorite team, and follow a team in the other league that you never saw. The fan of a minor league team sometimes feels like this is their bane, because affiliations with NHL teams have a tendency to come and go. That loyalty is a bit different, of course – but if it carries over to your major league level fandom, then it fits.

5. The Player Loyalty Fan – This fan roots for a team because of a particular player. If that player leaves, there goes the fan along with him. You don't believe that this kind of player exists? Well, how much you wanna bet that most of the Tootoo fans would book from here to whatever team he ended up with? And as much as we joked about Upshall's hair, do you think there's a whole bunch of people who dumped the Preds for the Flyers?

6. The Reverse Loyalty Fan – Predator fans know this one: the "PredWing." They're fans of team X... until they play team Y. Then they're fans of team Y, wear their team Y jersey, taunt their fellow fans that they stand beside and cheer their "other" team on any other night. These people one of the greatest forms of evil, because they are disliked on both sides of the aisle – essentially leaving them as a homeless fan.

7. The Enemy Fan – The ultimate sin. Not only are these fans not a fan of your team, but they are fans of your opponents. Your BIGGEST opponents. Yankee fans to the Red Sox Nation; Angels and Dodgers fans; Cub fans to Brewers fans – you get the idea. But this guy (or gal) makes it even worse by intentionally hanging around the opposing team's fans. This is the guy who only goes to Red Wings games at the Sommet Center, or only to Cub games at Busch Stadium. There is just some sort of sadistic joy that these people have of intentionally running up the enemy flag in the one place where they'd be most disliked. This one is the unforgivable sin of Fandom; I mean, come on – if you're going to root for another team, do it on their message boards or at their home arena, and not in the Lion's Den.

Saturday, May 10, 2008

One of those days

Ever have one of those days, when nothing seemed to go right?

Today was one of those.

First of all, our little fur child Brookie had to go to the vet for a follow-up booster shot. She hisses a bit, a little more than usual, but we get out without too much difficulty. As I'm paying, Sarah is trying to get her out the door of the vet's office. Brooke squirms, and Sarah unintentionally squeezes her right where she just got the shot.


Right on her left hand. Actually drew some blood, got some really nice marks. She went and cleaned up while I got Brooke to the car. No problem at first, but then by that afternoon when I got up, her hand was swollen and puffy.

So we went over to the Aurora Health Care Urgent Care - and discovered they closed at 3:30. Plan B: call the doctor's answering service and head towards Waukesha Memorial Hospital. Doctor gives us a call back, tells us go to the ER.

Sarah gets her hand checked out - turns out she needed both a tetanus shot and some antibiotics. While she's getting her hand x-rayed (preventative medicine), I decide I'm in no shape to go to work so I step outside to use my cell to call in sick. I come back in, get a coffee from their cheapo vending machine and wait til I can go back inside.

That was when some father with his kids tried to get a bag of chips out of a vending machine there in the waiting area. The bag got stuck at the top, and a security guard was trying to get the thing down by shaking the machine.

I offered to help by giving it a good body check with the shoulder.


I was mostly in shock after the glass came raining down on me. I have all sorts of cuts on my fingers, a small cut on my nose and even a little cut on my right ear - all from flying shards of glass. If you've ever seen it at a hockey game, when a player gets checked against the boards and the glass shatters - that's what it was like. They had to literally vacuum me down to get all the shards off of my sweatshirt.

So, while Sarah's getting her shot and getting antibiotics, I'm sitting there in the intake, embarrassed as hell, my hand hurting like hell, and bleeding with cuts on both hands. And guess who else now had to get a tetanus shot?

So we end up spending more time at the ER than intended - and a nice hefty $60 (PER PERSON) co-pay for the visit. And I end up with one of the top-ten most embarrassing moments in my life.

Shown above at right is a photo of the damages. Notice that they had to break out every single "CAUTION WET FLOOR" sign in the building.

I really hope the kid enjoyed his bleeping potato chips.