Friday, February 23, 2018

How's the weather up there?

Today were going to take a look at a couple of 1970-71 Topps basketball cards (or as the kids call them... "Tall Boys") that I had in last year's COMC accumulation.

In year's past, I've had quite a few more (from this set as well as the '69-70 set) built up by the time I take advantage of the free shipping after the Black Friday sale, but I think I've just about exhausted the supply of cheap singles that I still need from the site. And trust me when I tell you, COMC is not a good place to buy anything other than commons from this set, as the stars and even most of the semi-stars tend to be very overpriced.

Before getting to the cards, I feel the need to mention that I actually took the time to scan some cards for once, including these, so if you wonder why some of the images look kind of crappy, that's why!

As mentioned on the back of his card, Jimmy Walker was an absolute stud at Providence, so much so, that his all-time scoring record (set in three seasons) stood unbroken all the way until 2005. Spent nine seasons in the NBA, and was a two-time all-star with Detroit. He is also the father of Jalen Rose, although he left before Jalen was born, which in my mind, negates any of his athletic accomplishments.

Em Bryant played for three teams during his eight years in the NBA, and won a championship with the Celtics in 1969. He played in all 18 of Boston's games during '68-69 playoffs, and saw his minutes double to almost 34 a game. Seeing more playing time, his scoring average increased to 11.0 ppg, and he chipped in 20 points during the finals game 7 victory over the Lakers.

Shaler played for four different teams during his 4 1/2 years in the NBA, before moving over to the ABA for a season and a half to play with the Chaparrals. His best season came as a member of the Trail Blazers during their 1970-71 inaugural season, when he averaged 8.9 ppg, 5.3 rpg, as well as 2.7 apg.

After retiring, Mr. Halimon came back to Portland at some point and started driving a bus for Tri-Met. After hearing about him being a bus driver in the early 2000's, a friend and I decided to try and find him, which we did, even going way out of our way just to ride the bus he was driving. I hadn't returned to card collecting yet, so I wasn't even thinking about trying to get an autograph or anything, it was just more about being in the presence of a former Blazer than anything else. That day is kind of a blur at this point, but I do remember thinking that he looked really well for his age. Also, while trying to do some research for this post, I saw that he was also named as Tri-Met's bus driver of the year in 2010, which had to be pretty cool for him.

Another Oregon connection with Loy here, who played college ball at Oregon State. His NBA career only lasted for two seasons, both with the Bulls. It's unknown to me as to why his career ended up being so short.

Not only is this the last card in the set, but it's also the last card in the eight card subset that recapped the 1969-70 NBA finals in which the Knicks defeated the Lakers in seven games.

Looking at my checklist, I see that I am now 44 cards away from completing this set, which means I'm like 75% done, and oh how I long for this set to be done. I'm hoping that this weekend's card show will produce a few more reasonably priced needs, but you know what they say about hope...

Thanks for taking a moment to look at my page.

Wednesday, February 21, 2018

Sweetness... and a baby snake

After doing some rather strenuous work outside yesterday, I'm feeling a bit tired and lazy, so it's just going to be a one card post today:

Part of last year's COMC accumulation, this 1963 Topps Roberto Clemente was probably my biggest individual (not counting auto's) baseball card purchase from the site during the year. Being a Clemente, as well as a high number, this card usually carries a hefty price tag. Obviously mine's got a few condition issues (just a few), but even so, a card like this still sells for $10-15 on eBay, so I didn't think my paying a little under $9 for it was too bad of a deal.

Looking at Roberto's stats for 1963, it was pretty much business as usual as far as his numbers go, although he did have 12 stolen bases that season, which not only was a career high, but also the only time that his swipes reached into the double digits. It's also interesting to note that, in 1963 he set  personal records in games played and at-bats... both of which would be broken in the following couple of seasons.

I'm still not entirely sure if I want to work on the '63 set or not, but either way, this is still a pretty cool card to own... although someday I wouldn't mind getting one that's in a little bit better shape.

And on completely unrelated note, check out this cute little baby grey rat snake that I came across yesterday:

These are non-venomous and extremely common here, but somehow it's still the first one that I have seen. And don't worry, he (or she) was only in this coffee can long enough for me to move him to somewhere safer, as he was in danger of getting stepped on. It's hard to believe that this little fellow might end up reaching upwards of six feet in length, in fact while I'm on the subject...
... here's a picture (the head is to the left) that my mom took a couple of years ago showing the only grey rat snake that she has encountered in her time here. According to her, she was tending to her garden, and turned to find this guy curled up next to her feet, which gave her quite the start, as one would expect when finding an almost five foot long snake at your feet. It then proceeded to follow her around for the next hour or so, before disappearing just as quickly as it had arrived. I very much wish I could have seen this one.

Speaking of animals, I also saw a bald eagle this morning (flying very low), and while they were a common site back home, here in Tennessee they're much more of a rarity in the skies... so that was pretty cool too. Okay, I'm done rambling now!

Thanks for taking a moment to look at my page.

Sunday, February 18, 2018

DC comics buyout at Ollie's part 2

In part one of this series, I mentioned that if all went as planned, I would be going to the Nashville Ollie's (as well as back to the Cookeville location) to see what might still be available from this sale that has been going on for six weeks and counting, and even though mother nature seemingly tried to dissuade me from doing so, I did end up going last Saturday... and thankfully there was still plenty to be had.

The forecast was calling for 2-4" of rain to fall throughout the day (and it did), being from the Pacific Northwest I am quite comfortable driving in any adverse weather conditions, but the people here are a different story, so I do have some mild concerns about sharing the roadways with them during inclement weather.

About 30 minutes into the drive there, it started dumping, so the next hour or so was spent traveling through a whiteout. Thankfully though, the traffic kept moving at a decent pace (75-85 mph), so my time table was effected in any way. I actually ended up getting there early, and was the first person through the doors that morning.

Once again I'm starting off with a couple of Showcase "phone books". I wasn't familiar with Strange Adventures in the least, but with a cover and synopsis like that, how could I not give it a try?

This series sounds like it was pretty hokey, but for $3.99 it's worth the risk.

This was by far the biggest, both in price and in sheer size, purchase of the day. I had seen this book being shown in some of the YouTube videos that were made right after the sale started, but I figured that after almost a month and a half later that there was going to be no chance of my still being able to find one. The comic book gods must have been with me that day, as it was the last copy that they had. Also, within just couple of minutes after I put it in my basket... another fellow showed up, and by the way he was checking the prices of everything on his phone I could tell that he was buying for resale purposes, and had I not gotten there before him, this book would have been listed on eBay by day's end.

See how big this honker is, I would be very surprised if it weighed in at less than five pounds.

The retail price of this book was $60, and it's currently $40 on Amazon, so even though the $12.99 price tag seems like a lot, it really isn't. Considering that this was the book that I was most hoping to acquire, I would have been happy even if that was all that I ended up getting, but it wasn't... so let's get back to it.

I believe that there are three different Tales of the Batman books out there, all three of which were done by a different artist, on this particular day I able to pick up two of the three (the other one is a couple of books down).

More Batman of course. This is the third book of a three-part series, so I'm going to have to try and find the first two at some point.

For such a relatively thin book, this one has got a lot going on!

This is the one book that I have a little bit of buyer's remorse on, as I didn't read the back as carefully as I should have, but maybe The Outsiders teaming up with John Walsh won't be as bas as it sounds.

This Shazam hardback didn't have a synopsis, and with it still being sealed and all, I just have to hope that it will be good. Me thinks that Billy might have some choice words in regards to this particular title.

I suspect that this will be the better of the two Tales of the Batman books that I ended up getting. I was surprised to find that the Nashville location still had so many different hardbacks available, not that I'm complaining mind you, I'm just sayin'.

No one should be too surprised to hear that I had to make a quick perusal of the toy aisle before leaving, or that I ended up finding something of interest either. They also had the Arnim Zola figure from this series, but it is a very unattractive figure, so he had stay behind.

The Nashville Ollie's also has a fairly decent DVD section as well, and not surprisingly, I found a couple more things of interest, including this boxed series of BBC's Life. This was another great production from the BBC, my only complaint was them having Oprah narrate it for the American audience, while the great David Attenborough narrated the version meant for European audiences. David always narrates the BBC nature programs, so I still don't know why they changed it up for this particular series. I mean if you were going to change it up for the American crowd, you could have at least gotten someone with a more distinguished voice to the job... and someone who wouldn't mispronounce as many words as Oprah did throughout the series!

No, this isn't Manbo, it's the surprisingly enjoyable Manborg.

I hadn't seen this before, and had no idea what to expect, but I ended up really liking it. It's cheesy as all get out, and the budget for this picture had to be like $5, but they made it work. I really can't put into words why I liked it, but I would recommend giving it a chance, especially if you come across it for $1.99.

So as I mentioned at the beginning, I took an oh so slight detour before heading home in order to hit up the Cookeville store again. I was most curious to see if anything new had been put out in the week since my previous visit. It's about 75 miles between stores and it was of course, still raining... now I was driving right into the storm, so for the next hour and change it was like driving straight into a monsoon. The highways here were not designed to accommodate a lot of rain, so they tend to acquire standing water pretty quickly, which made the drive a little more interesting as well. I saw one car that, judging by the angle of it's resting place, had hydroplaned off the road on the opposite side of the highway. And a car in front me hit a pool of water and almost lost it, as the driver obviously panicked when he/she started to slide and almost over corrected right into a concrete divider, which obviously would have been bad for them... and for me, as I probably wouldn't have been able to avoid hitting them, especially since there was a semi on my right, so was no where else for me to go.

Anyway, I made it to Cookeville in one piece (not that I thought I wouldn't), and ended up finding a few more things:

Without even trying I seem to have acquired a mini-collection of these Showcase books. This was yet another title that I wasn't familiar with, but since sounds sort of Thundarrish, I am looking forward to reading it.

I'm expecting this to be really good too, and how great is that cover?

There was quite a few different titles that hadn't been out the week before, but the above three were the only one's that jumped out at me. I thought it was kind of interesting too, that all three of the copies that I got, appeared to be the only copy of each title available.

All in all, I would say that it was another successful outing, and certainly worth all the driving. After making the trek to the Knoxville location a couple of days ago, I now have at least one more entry for this series, but I'll probably get a few card posts in before I get around to the haul that was brought home from that trip.

Thanks for taking a moment to look at my page.

Friday, February 16, 2018

A reprieve

I'm taking a quick break between the Ollie's comic book posts today so that I can show off a recently received buyback from Chris, aka The Collector.

Chris really made me work for this one too, but this was one instance where I didn't mind putting forth a little extra effort to make sure it ended up being sent my way.

After their move to Oakland following the 1967 season, Topps got a little silly with their not wanting to show any Athletics players sporting their former KC logo in the 1968 set. And not only were Topps efforts silly, they were also terribly inconsistent throughout the set. Of the players shown wearing hats, Topps either airbrushed the logo out to create a solid green lid -- some of which still had a logo visible on the brim -- or in Dave's case (among others), they went the more aesthetically (sarcasm) pleasing route and blacked out the entire body of his hat.

Not knowing very much about Mr. Duncan, I was kind of surprised to see that he had such a long and successful career as a pitching coach. During his 32 years as a coach, he earned three World Series rings to go along with the one he won during his playing days, which came in 1972 as a member of the Oakland Athletics.

Chris, thank you very much for the card, it's always nice to be able to add a pre-'73 buyback to my frankenset. And if I am able to attend the card show next weekend I will be keeping an eye out for your Donruss basketball wants (among other things), and even if I don't go, I already have a couple of cards set aside for you... so either way, you'll be receiving some cards from me sometime in the next couple of weeks.


Thanks for taking a moment to look at my page.

Tuesday, February 13, 2018

DC comics buyout at Ollie's part 1

A little over a year ago now, a new Ollie's Bargain Outlet opened up in Cookeville (TN), which is about thirty minutes away from me, and even though I've wanted to go since it's opening, it wasn't until two Saturday's ago that I finally did... what can I say? I hate long car rides, and anything over ten minutes is considered by me to be a long car ride.

Before going, I was really curious to see how this Ollie's would compare to the one in Nashville (that experience can be read about here), and after going, I can say that they're pretty similar, although the one in Nashville is quite a bit bigger.

When I arrived on that fateful (too dramatic?) Saturday morning, I headed for the books section first (most people seem to do the same) and couldn't help but notice a giant table with stacks and stacks of what appeared to be mostly trade paperbacks. As I made my over to the table and started looking through every thing, I kept thinking how odd it was that they would have all these (ignorance is not bliss), especially since the Nashville location didn't have anything like this last summer.

Since I was going somewhere (see below) after Ollie's that day, and I was trying to get home by a certain time, I didn't look through everything quite as thoroughly as I should have, that being said, I still found some really great stuff.

It was only later that night, after doing some Googling, that I found out what's what... namely, that Ollie's had bought a huge (19 truckloads, according to their ad) inventory of DC books, which included graphic novels, omnibuses, TPB's, etc. And as per usual, I was probably the last person to find out about this once in a lifetime sale, which at this point has been going on for a little over a month now.

After finding out about the sale, I decided that if everything worked out alright, I would go to the Nashville location, as well as back to Cookeville for a more thorough searching the following Saturday, which I did, and all those goodies will be seen in part two. And if all goes well, I will be going to Knoxville for the first time in a couple of days, and wouldn't cha know it, they just happen to have an Ollie's as well, so I wouldn't rule out a part three.

Since I haven't read any of these books yet, I can't really provide too much commentary, so I'll just go with my standard VHS post format, which is to show the cover, and in case anyone sees something of interest, the synopsis on the back.

I picked up quite a few Batman books, most of which will be in the next post.

People seem to be split on the "Showcase Presents" series, mostly because they were reprinted in black and white. While I do wish they would have been done in their original colors, most of the titles are from the pulp era, which means that most of those original books tend be on the pricey side, so I can forgive the black and white printing if it means that I get a chance to read them. Plus...

... it's pretty darn hard to complain about getting over 500 pages of something like this for $2.99!

I'll have a few more of these in the next post as well.

This one sounded really good, plus it's got a really fantastic cover.

My only complaint about this liquidation sale is that I wish there were more JSA titles.

After reading about some of the other stuff that people were finding at their local Ollie's', I had thought that there was going to be an overabundance of New 52 books, but after thinking back at what I saw during this trip, as well as what was seen during the second outing, I can't say that I really saw too many of The New 52 titles. Although for the record, I don't hate the New 52 stuff as much as some people seem to. Other than this book, which is a hardback by the way, and the "Showcase Presents", everything in this post was $3.99 apiece. I would also find out after my second visit, that a lot of these were the only copies to be had at this particular location.

Since I was already there, I couldn't leave without perusing the toy aisles, and while they weren't very impressive at this Cookeville location, I still managed to find two things that had to come home with me:

I initially thought this Stay Puft was from one of the countless newer toy lines that were paying homage to the original film(s), but instead it's from the recent remake/reimagining, which I haven't seen, and have no intention of ever seeing... but once he's out of the package, I can just pretend that he's from the original. Also, he light's up:

It would have looked better in the dark, and my finger's sort of in the way, but you get the idea.

This guy's from the recent picture as well, and even though I don't know anything about him, he was just too cool looking to leave behind.

And here he is lit up.

After Ollie's, I went to a place called Mountain Top Comics and Collectables, which is also in Cookeville. I only found out about this shop recently, even though I've driven by it every time that I've gone to Nashville, and never had a clue that it was there. Since this post is getting a little long, I will provide a more in-depth review at some later date, but for now I will just show one of my two purchases (the other item is going to be a gift so it will remain unseen):

This shops toy selection was amazing, I could have dropped a thousand dollars in just a couple of minutes, provided of course that I actually had an extra thousand dollars to spend.

As always, I had no idea that McFarlane had done a Grinch line in 2007, if I had, I would have gotten them all at the time. Not surprisingly, these now sell for quite a bit, but I got this "Two Sizes Too Small" figure for considerably cheaper than what it goes for online.

I've mentioned it here on the blog many times, that I am a dedicated package opener, but on this particular figure, I'm actually slightly hesitant to open it. I'm sure it's just because of the price tag that they seem to carry, as I'm not accustomed to opening things that have actual monetary value. I guess just so I don't end up with some kind of opener's remorse, he'll remain in the package for a little longer.

If you liked this post, you might also be in the next one, as it will feature the spoils from my trip to the Nashville Ollie's, as well as another stop at the Cookeville location the following weekend.

Thanks for taking a moment to look at my page.