Sunday, March 24, 2019

The Origins Of A Cardboard Addict: Friends

So no one told you life was gonna be this way
Your healths a joke, you're broke
Your buying cards life's D.O.A
It's like you're always stuck in second gear
When it hasn't been your day, your week, your month
Or even your year, but
Wes will be there for you
(When the rain starts to pour)
Wes will be there for you
(Like he's been there before)
Wes will be there for you
('Cause I'm there for Wes too)

"I'll Be There for You" was sung by The Rembrandts which was used as the theme song for the popular TV show Friends, that aired on NBC from 1994 til 2004.

The show starred Rachel Green who found childhood friend Monica Geller and quickly become roommates. The group of friends continued to grow with Joey Tribbiani whose catch line "How You Doin?" became a must use 90's pick up line for guys or maybe it was just kids I went to school with. Joey became roommates with the ecstatic Chandler Bing and moved across the hall from Rachel and Monica. Then you throw in two other friends in Phoebe and Monica's older brother Ross and you have a show. A lot of the show takes place in Manhattan coffee house named Central Perk, creative name, or in Monica and Rachel's apartment which was there popular hang out spots. The comedy follows their lives of love, heartbreak, everyday life struggles and friendships between each other and many other fun guest stars.

It was one of the most popular series of all time and one I wished that would be revived like many other 90's sitcoms have. I believe I have seen every episode now.

With so much going on in the world today, it's great to know that I have some Friends as well to turn to. These aren't sadly local friends, but friends I have made online which are better than real life friends. One of my greatest friends is Wes who recently retired from blogging but still exists on Twitter where we talk on a daily basis.

On Tuesday, I had celebrated my birthday so Wes did was Wes does, sends a surprise. So for my birthday he sent this box of 1997 Scoreboard Playbook football. It  wasn't a product I quite remember that well as I am not sure if I did or didn't bust any, so it would be a fresh memory for my mind now.

Each box of 1997 Scoreboard Playbook came with 24 packs of 5 cards each.

As with 90's collecting, there were no guarantees other than that you will have fun. It's not like today where collecting is all about value chasing. This was a plain and simple rip for fun, not rip for flip which I feel has taken over the hobby. All I see on Twitter from almost every person I follow has a card for sale. Doesn't anyone trade or just collect anymore??

The checklist is a small one of 100 cards and features three different insert sets and one autograph set. I was hoping that the 120 cards in here I would accomplish the base set.

The base set is pretty basic. Each position has their own unique look to them. Quarterbacks look like this Kerry Collins. Which is also a new Collins card for me.

Mark Brunell. Another 90's QB I fell for.

Steve McNair, RIP.

Jake The Snake Plummer! Rookie card as well.

John Elway is still running. He is also running the Broncos front office and could be running himself out of a job if he can't figure out their Quarterback situation.

Running Back design looks like this Emmitt Smith.

Tiki Barber rookie card! New to me.

Ike Hilliard shows us his rookie card and the wide receiver design. I probably should have captured a defensive player as well but picture something similar but sideways.

The inserts weren't too flashy like a lot of them at the time, but they did look nice and had some die cut action.

Franchise Player fell 1:6 packs and captured the players their respective franchises could build around. The design looks similar to a ticket.

Another new Kerry!

And a new Giants card.

Ricky Watters who was very underrated.

Peter Boulware who made defenses aware he was around.

Mirror Image falls 1:24 packs and features top players in the league. I would suspect at those odds you would find one per box.
John Elway. Not going to complain about this pull.

And finally, I didn't land a hopeful autograph. I really wanted a Favre and would have even accepted a Kordell Stewart I need as well, instead I will take the card at the same odds of an autograph in Title Quest.

Not all Title Quest card are created equal. The first two in the set fall 1:192 odds!! Guess what, TD falls at number two. NIIIIIIIIICE! The other Title Quest cards fall at much less odds of 1:32.

No one could ever know me
No one could ever see me (well I am behind a computer screen)
Seems you're the only one who knows
What it's like to be me
Someone to face the day with
Make it through all the rest with
Someone I'll always laugh with
Even at my worst, I'm talking with you, yeah

Sadly I wasn't able to tackle the entire base set as I was two cards off, but it was a really fun rip and huge thanks to my friend Wes for surprising me on my birthday. You my friend are like no other.

I am not sure who Wes would have chosen as a character from friends, but I wished I was Joey even though my personality and lame jokes puts me more as a Ross. The only problem is, I always liked Monica better than Rachel, so that would have been a little weird as Ross. So I guess I will settle myself as Chandler in the end. However, let's skip over the whole Janice relationship. That voice!

I may look into a few other cards from this set like the autographs to see if any are reasonable enough for me to snag or trade for. It was appealing overall as a product.
Wes will be there for you
(When the rain starts to pour)
Wes will be there for you
(Like he's been there before)
Wes will be there for you

Wes will be there for you
Wes will be there for you
('Cause I'm there for Wes too)

Saturday, March 23, 2019

The Origins Of A Cardboard Addict:Ouch!


I had a lot of ouch moments in the 90's.

One time I was hit in the face with a fast moving football. It was those hard rubber kinds to.

There was another time I tripped and fell on another kids leg playing football on recess and broke his leg while injuring my back.

I also was slammed in the nose pretty hard going for rebound causing a nose bleed.

Then there was the time I caught a fast hit wiffle ball with my barehanded causing a blood blister. Which at the time I had no idea what had happened to my middle finger. Except other kids found it funny when I showed them. The teachers not so much.

Another time I was riding my bike down a steep hill and the brakes went, when I tried to stop I obviously couldn't, I got caught up in some loose sand and flew over the handlebars hitting my face into the ground.

A lot of times there were bandages to help cover up any scratches and cuts, then there were also bandages you ate.

Ouch bandage gum was made by Wrigley in the late 80's/early 90's with each gum wrapper featuring a bandage design and packed in a tin to represent a bandage box. The gum evolved into three flavors in the 90's since it's earlier beginning. It was a product my sister seemed to enjoy multiple times and not something I ever personally bought for myself. However, once in awhile, I was able to get her to share a piece and I didn't think it was too shabby. I still preferred Hubba Bubba but this tin brings back those memories of her carrying it around like she was a nurse. She would sometimes after finishing up the gum put real bandages inside or would use it to store her smaller plastic nurses toys in. Guess who always had to play the patient...yeah.

When it came to the hobby of sport cards, it recently felt an Ouch itself when Press Pass cards left us.

Press Pass produced many great products over the years for football, basketball, non sport and NASCAR which is a sport they did an amazing job with. But, it seemed they weren't keeping up in the hobby so had to close sadly.

Back in the 90's, I had my first try of Press Pass with multiple sports I purchased. Back then I considered all of their cards to be rookies up until I saw that Beckett didn't consider them that way. The hobby was based off from Beckett in those days so you abide by what they valued and called cards. So I moved them all into a binder of their own away from the "true rookies"

Press Pass at the time had multiple collegiate licenses which helped make their products unique on their own. Towards the end of their time in the hobby, they were down to just a NASCAR license, some non sport and football cards without logos which was sad to see.

At least I was able to enjoy them in their prime which to me was the late 90's up until 2004.

The 1998 Press Pass basketball was one of my favorite releases of theirs thanks to a reminder from Wes who sent some along in one of his packages. I have one other Press Pass product from that time that tops it, but that's for another day, another post.

Let's take a look at some of my favorites from 1998 Press Pass basketball,
1998 Press Pass basketball wasn't the biggest set in the world, but 45 cards of rookies was still there to chase. The design was basic, but worthwhile and the photography was well done just like this Paul Pierce card. Plenty of good names to find as well along with Pierce with Duncan and Carter.

Absolutely beautiful parallels you could find. Reflector comes with the same appeal and look of a Finest refractor. I can only imagine what this would have been like as a product on it's own. These had my attention immediately when I found them in packs. There were other parallels in the set like red and torquers, but they weren't stunning like this one.

Fast Break had a fun design and color scheme. This one is of Vince Carter

Super Six gave you a Upper Deck UD3 kind of look with a rainbow foil player appeal in the background. Sort of giving it a 3D look.

There were other inserts to find as well, but these Net Burners were my favorite ones and I believe the most common to find falling one-per-pack if my memory serves me right.  Press Pass knew had to make a great looking die cut card and this is just one example.

Press Pass '98 basketball however was really built around it's autographs at the time, but I was never fortunate in landing any in the 5 to 6 packs of it I bought from the local gas station. I was always hopeful, but no magic was ever found. Then the product was a one box and done there and I wasn't ever able to get anymore.

That was another ouch from the 90's.

Press Pass thanks for the memories over the years. I still seek out your cards especially from the 90's.

As for today, I always hoped I would leave my bad luck of injuries behind in the 90's when it hit the 2000's, but as many of you know, I have had plenty of ouch over the time since and especially the past five years. At least these ones were dealt with by a real nurse/doctor and not my sister carrying around a fake metal bandage case.

Friday, March 22, 2019

The Origins Of A Cardboard Addict: There's No Crying In Baseball!

It was 1997 and my father had just finished up another long day of work.

This day of work however wasn't going to end like the rest. He had to play softball that night for his works team for the final time before he got done his job there. He had been working for them since the early 90's and thought it was time to move onto something new since the stress of the job was overtaking him.

He took me to almost every one of his games. It would however require him to come home an hour away just to get me and go back an hour for the game but he didn't mind. He was a diehard sports fanatic and was hoping his one and only son would be as well.

Which in the end turned out that way.

One of the pieces of memorabilia I have from his playing years is this glove. This glove has has been beaten down over the years by many uses including all of his years of softball. After he got done that job and started a new one, this glove became a part of my past.

I used this glove all the time for playing duct-taped-up wiffle ball (it made the ball travel further but not sting as bad when you got hit by a pitch like a baseball) with my father, who at the time had a stunningly Randy Johnson resemblance with his long hair. I also used the glove versus my best friend Brian at his house for baseball and on my own when I would throw a softball against our garage, I had a sweet spot I would hit making the ball fly in the air so I would dive to make some incredible catches.

Most of the time the glove did well for me and made me happy when I used it, except once when I was about to close out my friend Brian for my third "championship" against him and he hit a line drive that broke the web on the glove. I gotta admit, I cried knowing how much that glove had meant to me.
I could picture myself as Evelyn Gardner from A League Of Their Own and having Tom Hanks coming over to me and saying, "It's a glove! Are you crying? Are you seriously crying? There's no crying in baseball!!!"

By the way, despite my love of sports, I am not a sports movie fan at all. Feels like the same story lines again and again with some player who rises against the odds. However, A League Of Their Own was an excellent movie and if you haven't seen it, I suggest go do so! The 1992 movie stars Geena Davis, Madonna, Lori Petty, and Rosie O'Donnell who play a professional baseball in a female only league while the young men are out war in World War 2. The girls are coached by a grumpy has-been in Tom Hanks and all of which try to find their fame along the way in the league. The Tom Hanks line I used above is one of the iconic movie lines you will hear in the history of movies. The premise of the movie doesn't sound as good as the movie actually is.

Luckily for me, Brian's mom helped superglue the web back together and I was fine.

1997 was the start of many great memories, especially with baseball. It was the year I started watching more Yankees games, the year I got this glove to call my own, it was the year I collected more baseball cards and was also the year I got into collecting Ken Griffey Jr, more on that another time. But, it was also the year that had one of the greatest baseball releases ever in 1997 Stadium Club baseball.

I was reminded of this recently when I had gotten that huge mail day thanks to Wes. I had forgotten how great that product actually was. Especially when it came to the inserts and parallels.

Let's take a look at why I feel this way,

First look at these Matrix parallels that fell 1:12 packs. The base card alone was stunning and as always the photography top notch, but you add this unique rainbow foil layover and your socks will be blown off. Wow!

Falling 1:24, were these Millennium inserts. It's not just a foil one either as it appears to have a wave look/feel to it. Really hard to describe it other than unique.

Also falling 1:24 were these Instavision highlights. You must find some good lighting to see the 3D picture that's silver here.

Also falling a tougher rate of 1:72, today's standards any insert falling those odds is junk, are these super cool Pure Gold inserts. The background is all gold foil with some embossing done on the player.

The product also had a few other inserts lines along with the popular Co-Signers autographs that I never once pack pulled but have bought a few of since. Those odds fell 1:95 packs and up depending on the level of player.

As I said, this product was amazing and I still remember spending time ripping open packs in the car of it  with my father when we bought some from the local drugstore. I think we may had even cleaned them out of it at one point.

Football may always be my favorite sport now, but there was a time when baseball meant everything to me mainly because of the memories I have with it. From watching it, collecting it and using the glove playing it, there were memories made. 

The flashbacks of the Yankees dominance of the late 90's, the cards like these Stadium Club and every nick, tear, and scruff mark on this glove, along with my father's 3 for 4 standing ovation night (at least I was clapping him off the field) in his final softball game will always be a memory that's a part of my past.

Okay, promised I wouldn't cry again when talking baseball but maybe a tear or two fell while I thought back to all of this. Gotta keep it strong and remember, "there is no crying in baseball....or blogging."

Thursday, March 21, 2019

The Origins Of A Cardboard Addict: It's Just A Little (Man) Crush

Ah...Man Crush...Ah

I see ya throwin a football
It doesn't take a scientist
To understand what's going on, Kerry
If you see me watching you with my eyes
Let's not over analyze

Don't throw too deep with it, Kerry (Kerry)

It was late 1990's and I had finally gotten my foot through the door with playing football. My parents couldn't afford for me to do it any other year so I at least had one year to figure out if I wanted to play once I got into high school. High School football was free as long as you kept your grades up.

Being the size I was, I was hoping for a top offensive position such as running back, wide receiver or even quarterback but instead I was a lineman. A skinny but tall lineman.

Even though it's a very important position and I can't stress how important it is as it can win you games, it's still like playing right field in Little League baseball. You weren't one of their favorites or even that great at the sport, but they had to play you so there you go to right field or as a lineman.

Maybe that's just how I felt.

So here I am out there, in white in this photo, getting ready to break huddle so I could block for the Quarterback. That's one of the very few positions I never even had a chance to try in football (high school football opened the door for me to try other non lineman positions) even though occasionally with buddies I would toss the ball around pretty efficiently. I felt accurate, but just didn't have a lot of arm strength which is a big key.

Quarterback is that position you could say a lot of players had a crush on.  It was the position that got all the girls, the attention and was what you could build a team around. The most important position on a team.

And that's why in 1995, the inaugural year of the Carolina Panthers, they selected the player to build their team around in Penn State's Kerry Collins. A player I quickly became a fan of.

So let it be what it'll be
Don't make a fuss and get crazy over cards of Kerry
Here's what I'll do
I'll still collect you
I still think we have a date with destiny

I am not able to explain why I was a Collins fan, just turned out that way. It could have easily just been because I liked the new team in the league and their logo, I was 12 at the time so anything new and flashy for me was exciting. I tried to watch Panthers games whenever they came on TV which I can't remember how often that was, but I think I did get to watch a few.

Kerry didn't have the most successful rookie year with 2,717 yards along with 14 TD's and 19 Int, but played in 15 games for a brand new team to the league so it was a rookie year for them all. However, the team did finish 7-9 and built off from that for the following year under Coach Dom Capers.

For a few years in my youth starting in 1995,  I spent time grabbing a few Kerry Collins when I could and held onto them. I even traded guys like Steve Young, Jerry Rice, Emmitt Smith, and Barry Sanders with friend collectors to land some.

Recently I was able to pull off a trade with @CardpocalypseNC that landed me a few new ones back when Kerry was with the Panthers. He played four seasons for the Panthers and led them in his second year to the NFC Championship game.

I was really starting to enjoy my new collection of Kerry Collins. It was a small one, but slowly growing unlike Kerry's career at the time. 

After a 21 interception season in 1997 and an 0-4 start to the 1998 season, Kerry wanted to sit back a few games to think things over but instead was placed on waivers and traded to the New Orleans Saints where he continued to struggle. It felt like his career was going downhill and his life was as well with his struggles with alcoholism.

So he was sent to therapy and rehab to get better.

Then two amazing things happened for the 1999 season. Kerry not only was back to play football, but he was signed by my Giants who had been in desperate need of a quarterback after Phil Simms retired. So not only was one of my favorite players coming to play football again, but now play with my team!

These were some of the first cards of Kerry's transition to the Giants. I was excited at the time to pull them.

It's just a little man crush (crush)
Not like I faint every time I find your caaaaard
It's just some little thing (crush)
Not like everything I collect, depends on you
Sha-la-la-la, sha-la-la-la

Collins started the 1999 season as the Giants' second-string quarterback behind Kent Graham, but claimed the starting job in Week 11 as Graham struggled with a 5–4 record. In the 2000 season, Collins led the Giants to Super Bowl XXXV, where they lost to the Baltimore Ravens. After five seasons, 68 starts and 16,875 yards, Collins was released by the Giants in 2004. The Giants had signed former league MVP Kurt Warner and traded for 2004's top draft pick, Eli Manning. 
After Kerry left the Giants, my collecting of him disappeared as well. Especially when he landed in the Black Hole in Oakland which is a team I have never cared for. He went from there to Tennessee with the Titans where he played occasionally and was released. He quickly retired but ended up signing with the Indy Colts to backup Peyton after his neck injury but released from there and finally retired for good.

Even though I never kept on collecting him after he left, I still kept my eye on him and rooted for him to succeed.

Kerry's stint with the Giants was his most successful of all of his stops. It was his one hit wonder just like Jennifer Paige's song It's Just A Little Crush back in 1998. And just like I brought this song back to life for the hobby, I have been adding some more Kerry Collins cards back to my collection while I am in a slump with Rodney Hampton.

Collecting Rodney has brought back some great memories and I know adding Kerry into the mix now will as well.

Wednesday, March 20, 2019

The Origins Of A Cardboard Addict: No Doubt

There is No Doubt by now you know about my passion and love of the 1990's and how much nostalgia I have with them. To me, it was the greatest era ever especially compared in the world we live in today.

We No Doubt had the greatest food, music, movies, toys, television and cartoons.

We also No Doubt had a music group known as No Doubt who had many big hits and catchy songs in the 90's such as Trapped In A Box, Spiderwebs and Just A Girl to name a few. I was intrigued by the group, the music and No Doubt the lead singer Gwen Stefani, that I followed them for a long time til Gwen decided to branch out on her own. Which didn't bode well for me as I didn't like any of her solo stuff. It was probably the 90's fan in me who only enjoyed listening to the group that I did back in the day.

As an adult, I have grabbed CD's of music from my past and had No Doubt that I would still enjoy it today. I originally had each CD that No Doubt put out but decided it was time just to condense it down to a Greatest Hits album so I can just have those songs I once listened to revisited again.

There were many great hits on here including some newer releases the group had in the 2000's.

However, one of the catchier tunes No Doubt for me was off from their released album from 1995 Tragic Kingdom in Don't Speak. I don't know what it was about the song, it was just one of those songs that got caught up in your head and you just sang it out.

Even though the song was supposedly about Gwen's breakup with a No Doubt band mate, the only breakup I was worried about at the time was my local grocery store no longer carrying one of my hobby first loves in 1995 Score Football. It was my go-to every time I went to the grocery store No Doubt!

One of my favorite things about Score besides the base card set that appeared to have a ripped bottom design, was No Doubt the Red Siege parallels. These parallels took the base set and added a red foil on it. Nothing too exciting, unless you were 12 like I was. The words Red Siege appeared on the back of the card in case the change of look on the front wasn't enough for you.

These parallels fell 1:3 packs and is a set, just like with the 1995 Summit Ground Zero, I am attempting to build. However, this one is a bit bigger with 275 cards in it.

Recently, @CardpocalypseNC helped me knock a few more down from my needs.
Aaron Glenn played cornerback in the NFL for 15 years and is currently the coach of that same position for the Saints.

Richmond Webb did an excellent job of blocking and protecting Dan Marino.

Charles Johnson played 9 seasons in the NFL.

Leslie O'Neal was a dominating defensive end who played in the NFL for 13 years mainly with the Chargers.

Andre Coleman played roughly four years in the NFL mainly as a kick returner. He has several Super Bowl records including a 98 yard kickoff return touchdown in the big game despite the Chargers dismantling in Super Bowl 39 by the 49ers.

I am wondering if you like the design yet?? No Doubt I am!

Warren Sapp was a beast on the field for the Buc's. If only he could have stayed on the field and not off where he got into trouble often.

Rashaan Salaam was the man you wanted to collect in 1995 coming into the NFL as the Heisman winner, the only problem, he didn't pan out and only lasted 4 years in the NFL. Sadly he is no longer with us as well as died three years ago.

The rookies looked even better and this was a time when college football was in an NFL product the right way. Not like it is done today. No Doubt 90's cards did everything right.

I currently have 13 of the 275 so I have quite the journey left on these. But, No Doubt I will try and complete it all. You can find my haves HERE in case you have any kicking around to trade or donate to my cause. No Doubt I would enjoy them!

While I have this CD out, I might as well listen to a few tracks. No Doubt it will take me back to the 90's and I won't mind that at all since I turned another year older yesterday.

Tuesday, March 19, 2019

The Origins Of A Cardboard Addict:Note Booking Another Year

It was March 19th 1983 and I was, well, born into this world.

I hope it was a great day for my parents and not really a memorable one for myself. Who remembers when they were born really? I actually don't have a ton of recollection early on in my childhood, just a few bumps that I run into along the way in my mind I will write down. Some times that helps bring back more so I can gather my past. Since my parents weren't really picture taking type, documenting my past isn't that easy and without that visual part it hurts trying to remember things as well.

However, I do my best with what materials I got left from my childhood.

And one of those materials brought back many memories when I dug it out again for this post. One of the most memorable birthday gifts I ever got was a 1 subject notebook. You see, not only did I write all of the time, I also kept track of my card collection in these since I didn't have a computer and I also did some scrapbooking that way. When people didn't have much money for gifts for me, they all knew that a notebook was the way to go.

Today's reveal is my oldest scrapbooking experience. So get ready for a ride.

On the front cover still in very light color ink is a note from my mother on the front of this. To My Little Boy Mat(t) Love Mom. My mother didn't write many love notes so this was also a keeper just for that.

The scrapbook isn't quite as organized as I remember it, but I took these photos in order of appearance in the book. Some of the clippings were taken from the local newspaper, while others were found in the NY Post that my father would pick up every so often. Especially when our teams would succeed.

Ah, the Knicks. Back when basketball was great. And a time when the Knicks were to.

The Giants schedule and results from 1998. I always forget that Arizona was in their division at one point.

TD and Elway! I always wanted them to win the big game and they finally did. TD was a baller! If only he didn't get hurt.

Giants schedule and results for the 1999 season. Also stats and standings.

Anytime I could find pictures of Knicks taking down the Miami Heat, I was all over it.

Jeff Van Gundy one of the greatest Knicks coaches ever.

Irabu. Was supposed to add the IT factor to the Yanks. Well, not so much.

However this guy did.

Mo, Big Daddy and the Straw!

Giants Schedule and scores from 1997

Dave Brown. ugh.

My boy Rodney!

Rodney again! I have seen that photo used on many of his cards.

Champs baby! Well, not the Super Bowl kind.

My three favorite Knicks all time on this page. I have an Allan Houston autograph, but in desperate need of John Starks and Patrick Ewing.

yes, I was a Duke fan as well. I still root them on today but don't watch it as in-depth as I did then. but, I will say, Coach K is a legend.

More Yanks!

And the home run chase was on! One didn't cheat their way to their number however. I spent so much time watching game highlights to make sure Griffey stayed ahead of McGwire but one way or another, Mark found his way to the top. I was excited to watch it at the time, but after finding out he cheated to do so, well, that made me take a turn on baseball.

Speaking of baseball, I don't expect any cards for my birthday this year besides the one blaster I shared on Twitter already, but if I do, I will share them there again. But, expectation is low. I was at least hoping for a eBay gift card.

I don't ask for notebooks anymore as a lot of my book keeping is left on this blog. I have been slowly adding my sets to the checklists on here so if you wanna check those out every week and see if you can help that would be awesome.  I also keep my numbers of my teams players, etc done on here as well which desperately need updating.

Well, I hope you all enjoyed a Part Of My Past. If you did, than that's all I need this year for my birthday. Thanks for reading!