Wednesday, January 31, 2018

1960 Cubs cards

As Chicago Cubs baseball collector, I have decided to start blogging about this subset of my collection. Yes, I have blogged about Cubs baseball cards before, but this is a little different. I'm going to start with my 1960 cards and go all they way to 2017. With so many years and sets, this should keep me occupied for quite some time.

I love collecting 60s baseball cards. There are good designs and bad ones but *almost* all fun. The problem collecting these cards are the expense and quite a few less of them out there that are in great condition.

1960 Fleer Baseball Cards

The 1960 Fleer Set of Baseball Greats has 80 baseball cards. Not a great looking set and not a horrible looking set either.  Maybe this is why it was not overly popular at the time. The set showcases the great retired players from the first half of the 20th Century. This was Fleer's first baseball card set and the start of their "retro" sets. The cards in this set are normally a little less expensive that that of the 1960s Topps. A bonus? Yes, all great players, so a winning set for collectors. All but 5 of the players in the set are in baseball's Hall-of-Fame.
1960 Mordecai Brown

1960 Topps Baseball Cards

The 1960 Topps Baseball Card Set contains 572 cards. The boxy, ugly, yet colorful design and horizontal layout make the cards an easy set to recognize. Colors are randomized on cards. The letters of the players name alters. Each card has a small and large images of the players. Yet all of this makes this a fun set.

Cubs cards Cubs 60s
1960 Topps

Here are the Cards in my collection featured in this post:
DB ID   Name             Brand   Team       Year   Series     #
a01235  Mordecai Brown   Fleer   Chi Cubs   1960   Standard  009
c00090  Art Ceccarelli   Topps   Chi Cubs   1960   Standard  156
c00091  Lou Johnson      Topps   Chi Cubs   1960   Standard  476
c00616  Al Schroll       Topps   Chi Cubs   1960   Standard  357
e00049  Walt Moryn       Topps   Chi Cubs   1960   Standard  074

Cards I wish I had in my collection:
1960 Topps #560 - Ernie Banks All-Star
1960 Topps #010 - Ernie Banks

Each year I post, I will pick 3 to 9 cards to feature from that year and/or brand. This might make some years a little more difficult than others.

Friday, January 26, 2018

Fast Baseball

Major League Baseball wants to implement new rules for 2018 to speed up the game:

- 20-second pitch clock in all situations. [for both batters and pitchers]
- 30 second pitch clock between batters
- All Violations enforced with automatic balls and strikes will be called.
- One warning per player, per game, before penalty issued
- One mound visit from manager, coach, or player per inning.

The MLB has already tested the pitch clock and other rules above.  These rules have been a part of the game at the Double-A and Triple-A levels since 2015. I'm really curious how some of the older players deal with this.

Thursday, January 25, 2018

No HoF

Kerry Wood, Carlos Zambrano and Sammy Sosa will not make it into the HoF.  At least not any time soon. All three have been dropped out of future voting. So probably never. Kerry Wood and Carlos Zambrano had great seasons with the Cubs, but the two pitchers did not impress the Baseball Writers' Association of America for other reasons... well all three candidates are too controversial. 

Sammy Sosa has *ALL* the numbers, hitting 609 home runs in 18 seasons. He posted three seasons with at least 60 home runs, and won the NL Most Valuable Player Award in 1998, when he belted 66 homers and drove in a league-leading 158 runs.  Unfortunately for Sosa, he will probably always be to controversial to make it. Corked bat, steroids allegations.  poor teammate, etc...

In 2105 I predicted that Kerry Wood would not make it into the HoF, but discussed how good he was:"380"

Out of the three, I feel Kerry Wood is getting the raw deal.

Wednesday, January 24, 2018

Free agents 30 days out

There are 30 Days until Spring Training and these players still don't have a team:
PosName `17 TeamAge`17 WARCareer
WAR + Accolades
SP Jake Arrieta Cubs 31 1.9 21.7 CY/AS/SS
CF Lorenzo Cain Royals 31 5.3 27.8 AS
SP Yu Darvish Dodgers 31 3.8 19.4 ASx4
3B Todd Frazier Yankees 31 3.4 22.0 ASx2
CP Greg Holland Rockies 32 1.4 11.4 ASx3
1B Eric Hosmer Royals 27 4.0 14.1 GGx4/AS/SS
C Johnathan LucroyRockies 31 0.6 20.2 ASx2
OF J.D. Martinez D-backs 30 4.1 13.7 AS/SS
3B Mike Moustakas Royals 29 1.8 11.4 ASx2
2B Neil Walker Brewers 32 1.5 20.4 SS
CF Jarrod Dyson Mariners33 2.6 15.4 ---
OF Carlos Gonzalez Rockies 32 -0.2 24.0 ASx3/GGx3/SSx2
SP Lance Lynn Cards 30 2.8 14.1 AS

Any bets on Jake Arrieta back as a Cub in 2018? If they can get a short term contract, I say go for it. What is the odds that Darvish actually signs with the Cubs?

Tuesday, January 23, 2018

Cubs season approaching

I'm itching for baseball season to start again.  So here is my first Cubs post of the year and here are the players I believe will get the most playing time in 2018 for the Cubs.  I'll even take it a step farther. I predict how many HR each player will hit.

C Willson Contreras 26 HRs
1BAnthony Rizzo 28 HRs
2BAddison Russell 16 HRs
SSJavier Baez 12 HRs
3BKris Bryant 32 HRs
RFJason Heyward 14 HRs
CFAlbert Almora Jr. 11 HRs
LFKyle Schwarber 30 HRs
UFIan Happ 27 HRs

We will check back and see how close I came in October.  Maybe I'm over optimistic that everyone will play up to their potential.

Honestly, this still looks like a 4-years-in-a-row-playoff team. I'm a little surprised that Ian Happ is still on the team. I thought he would have been traded for a pitching ace with all this offensive potential.

Looking at that lineup, at least 4 players have HoF potential. Overall, It is still a good era to be a Cubs fan. I truely believe Heyward and Schwarber will have better years than 2017.  Cubs management is banking on it.

Sunday, January 21, 2018

The Avengers/Defenders

Marvel Comics has had many superhero groups.  Only two were used to high light superheros. Almost every major superhero that has been on one of these two Teams. The Avengers and The Defenders.  Not including guests, I decided to map the members of both and show the superheros that have been members of both.

The Defenders: * (** founding member)
The Avengers: + (++ founding member)

Angel (Warren_Worthington_III) *
Ant-Man / Giant-man / Yellowjacket (Hank Pym) * ++
Beast (Henry "Hank" McCoy) * +
Black Knight  * +
Black Panther +
Black Widow (Natalia Romanova) +
Captain America (Steve Rogers) +
Captain Marvel (Carol Danver) +
Captain Marvel (Monica Rambeau) +
Clea *
Devil Slayer (Eric Simon Payne) *
Doctor Druid +
Doctor Strange (Stephen Strange) **
Falcon +
Gargoyle (Isaac Christians) *
Goliath  +
Hawkeye (Clint Barton) * +
Hell Cat (Patsy Walker) * +
Hercules +
Hulk (Bruce Banner) ** ++
Iceman (Robert Drake) *
Iron Man (Tony Stark) ++
Mantis +
Moondragon * +
Nighthawk *
Power Man (Luke Cage) * +
Quicksilver +
Red Guardian (Tania Belinsky) *
Scarlet Witch (Wanda Maximoff) +
She Hulk +
Silver Surfer *
Son of Satan (Damon Hellstorm) *
Spiderman +
Sub-Mariner (Namor) **
Swordsman (Jacques Duquesne) +
Thor +
Vision +
Wasp +
Wonder Man (Simon Williams) +
Valkyrie *

Sunday, January 14, 2018

Making a custom dice box. Part V

I stained the metal plate and then drilled holes.  the stain was much darker and more red than I anticipated.  I drilled holes in the top of the box and then threaded the plate on the front of the box.  Now I just need to seal the surface.

Saturday, January 13, 2018

Making a custom dice box. Part IV

Paige designed a dragon head that we both liked on her computer.  She saved it and we transferred the image to the main computer.  We then printed the image to a size small to put on the metal plate.

Estimating the center of the metal plate, I firmly taped the paper around the plate.

With a wood block underneath, I slowly punch down along the printed outline of the dragon head.  I tried to make each punch as close as possible.

The metal plate is now ready to drill holes in and stain.

I have painted the inside of the box with black spray paint.

I also purchased clear paint to seal the exterior upon completion.  This was about $3.50 a can.

Lastly tonight, I glued the corner plates on with gorilla glue.

Friday, January 12, 2018

Making a custom dice box. Part III

In my previous blog posts I had not show the base color that I was using for the base paint.  I described it as a dark charcoal, but here is the exact palette.

Since my last post, I have acquired my $5 dollars in supplies to continue my project.  In the center of the box, I plan on having a metal plate with a dragon punched into it.  The plate will also be bronzed.  Here I have a ruler near it to show it's actual size.  This is a old steel plate that came with some magnets I purchased some seven years ago.
Paige made me some possible rough dragon sketches to uses on the plate on my box.  I doubt that any of these will be used though.  I will know the right one when I see it.

The plate will be held on with some braided cord.  I picked this up for a couple bucks.  It should look good with brown and bronze.

I marked where I will drill the holes to put the braided cord through.

For a couple dollars, I also purchased some bronzed decorative corner pieces to put on the box.

They will probably be glued on the corners after the painting is done.

For a $1.30 a dark brown acrylic for the second layer of paint.  It is a dull, leather color. I applied it with a very soft sponge.  I made sure that the darker charcoal was not completely covered. The photo below is what it looked like mostly dry. I'm not sure it looks like leather, but I do think it looks kinda cool.  If you click on the photo below, you will see the full top of the box.

Wednesday, January 10, 2018

Making a custom dice box. Part II

After I let the glue and napkin dry, I painted the napkin with a coat of dark charcoal latex.   This will be the under color that the browns and golds will be layered on (showing the dark in the cracks).

After that dried over night, this is what the top looks like.  So I'm in a holding pattern till I get to the store to purchase the remainder of the items to complete this project.

Tuesday, January 9, 2018

Making a custom dice box. Part I

I have started the process of making my new dice box.  I found a nice plastic craft/screw-nail container that work well for storing my dice.

The box holds up to 20 sets of dice in a nice organized way.
Because the box is smooth plastic, I doubt that I can adhere material to the surface well.

To solve this problem I have decided to cover the top with duct tape.

Now that the box is covered with duct tape. I'm applying glue to the surface of the tape.

I shredded several napkins into small randomly torn pieces that will be applied to the glue.

Now that I have the napkins applied to the glue, I'll let it dry before continuing.

Monday, January 8, 2018

1973 comics to 2017 movies

Defenders Vol 1 4

The newest Thor movie, Thor: Ragnarok, had everyone pretty excited.  The movie appeared to be something new for Marvel with the particular paring of super heroes.  I must say I enjoyed the movie.  But the movie was not a completely original Marvel work of art. In reality, back in 1973, Marvel had Valkrie, Thor, Hulk, Dr Strange, and Loki all together then.  Yes, the story scenario is much different, but there are similarities. Starting Feb 1973, The Defenders vol 1 issue 4 - the super hero group, The Defenders consisted of Dr. Strange, Sub-Mariner, Hulk, and Valkyrie (This was her first appearance with Defenders, issue she joins the team.)

I didn't read these early Defenders growing up.  I did not start reading The Defenders 'till issue 105.
By then, these comics had become much more soap-opera like.

Valkyrie of the old comics is not the same as the Valkyrie of the movies, The spirit of the Asgardian has possessed the body of an earth woman in the early Marvel world.

In the movie, the big sell was having Thor and the Hulk fight. In the 1973 issue 10 of The Defenders, that is exactly what happens. I thought this was the first time the two fought each other, but this comic was 3 time out of 15 times in the comic.  But this comic is a gem with many pages of the two muscles fighting each other.  The fight ended in a draw.

 Few snap shots of panels drawn of the fight.
 Here is a good summary of Thor vs Hulk

Sunday, January 7, 2018

Me, comics, and D&D

Most people that know me know that I have many thousands of baseball cards.  I of course started collecting them as a child when I was in grade school.  My most significant collection is of the Cubs, followed by Cardinals, White Sox, and Red Sox.  What many people don't know about me is that I have hundreds of comic books.  I don't really consider myself a comic book collector.  I just have stuff that I like ;)

My biggest collection is of the Defenders by Marvel comics.  I purchased 4 a kid on a whim and loved them.  I later just made sure I acquired the rest so I could have the whole story from beginning to end.  I also loved Thor, Hulk, and Captain Marvel.  I don't think most 'comic people' really know how big a part of the Marvel Universe had through the 60s, 70s, and 80s.  Also how intertwined they were with the Avengers.  Or even that the Hulk and Dr Strange were Defenders way before they ever were part of the Avengers.  Some characters would even go back and forth between the two.  With that in mind, I may start blogging about the stories contained in all these comics.

One thing that has changed is that in 2017, I started playing two different D&D campaigns.  I had not played this much D&D since I played in the late 70s and early 80s.  Now that D&D has changed a lot with the 5e rules and being adult, it does feel considerably different.  I'm meeting with a friend this Friday to talk about a new campaign to start.  That is also very different for me.  In the past I had always used commercially paid campaigns.  2017 and now 2018 will be home brewed.

Thursday, January 4, 2018

It's Alive... Linux Journal 2.0

I'm a little slow on the draw, but happy to learn that Linux Journal is NOT dead!

as the article says, they have been purchased.  So useful information can still be shared through this resource. So we can still have cute, helpful little articles like this one:

Monday, January 1, 2018

XTDOS game site

Another great gaming site for those great DOS games you have not touched in years - -
Unlike the two sites I posted about yesterday, XTDOS specializes in DOS based games.  And there were some great ones.

Today I played some more old favorites like

Doom II

They even have my old classic favorites like Commander Keen

And man I was a little rusty at WarCraft II

I'm someone who literally owned all the Kings Quest games.  Unfortunately, all are not represented on the site.  The site only has I, II, and II:

Even has the DOS version of Golden Axe.  This was actually the first version I owned before I had it on cartridge for the Sega Genesis, 3 Sega Geneses retro consoles, and the Xbox 360. :) 

But just like the original, you need a copy of the manual to play.