Thursday, September 27, 2012

RIP Chris Stufflestreet 12/02/1972 - 09/22/2012

I only found out today that Chris Stufflestreet, writer of the blogs Vintage Sportscards and 1973 Topps Photography, passed away on Wednesday, September 19, 2012, as a result of a severe heart attack. He was 39, only three months away from his next birthday.

The Hobby Blogging Community loses a writer who was a true expert about the Hobby we all share. His insights on vintage cards were truly great to read, whether it be on his blogs, or on various message boards of which he was a member. Both of his blogs will be removed from the active blogrolls and placed in the Retired but Relevant section of the sidebar at the Sports Card Blogroll.

On behalf of the this humble, little blog, I would like to send my condolences to his family and friends. RIP. Godspeed.


JayBee Anama

Monday, September 17, 2012

It's Time to Play the Games on the All-Time All-Star Team Tournament

This will be the last time I discuss my unemployment on any of my blogs.  It is time to look forward, not back.  I enjoyed my time there, but it is time to move on.

With that said, I finally have all the divisions set on my .dat files, I have the stadiums set so that each pair of teams have a different home field.  It is time to play the games.

Earlier this year, I introduced all the teams that will participate in my All-Time All-Star Team Tournament.  To review, these are the rosters of the All-Star Teams that I created over the past 25 years.  You can see all the head-to-head results of each of these teams by clicking on any of the links on the sidebar.

My last post discussed how each series will play out.  Today, the 162 game series will play out. Each of the eight conferences will have their own post featuring standings and highlights.  The top four teams in each division will advance to the playoffs.

So get out the popcorn folks.  One team will reign supreme.  Who will it be?  You will just have to find out by going to bdj610's All-Time All-Star Team Tournament to find out.


JayBee Anama

Friday, September 14, 2012

Leaving DPI With My Head Held High...and a 2007 Topps U & H Pack Break

Many of my now former co-workers have said their goodbyes, and in about 10 minutes, I will be doing the same.  But before I go, I want to rip open these last two packs of 2007 Topps Updates and Highlights.

As mentioned previously, I have had these 2007 Topps blister packs unopened since I bought them in 2009.  Basically, these cards have been sitting inside waiting to be opened for more than six years.  This won't take too long.

Pack 1:
  • #UH75 Marcus Thames, Tigers
  • #UH316 Brandon Watson, Nationals
  • #UH304 D'Angelo Jimenez, Nationals
  • #UH87 Jeff Karstens, Yankees
  • #UH142 Jeremy Guthrie, Orioles
  • #UH195 Marcus McBeth, Reds
  • #UH130 Eric Gagne, Red Sox
  • #UH206 Tom Glavine, Mets, Season Highlights
  • #UH165 Dallas Braden, Athletics
  • #UH160 Hunter Pence, Astros
  • #UH262 Aaron Rowand, Phillies, NL All-Star
  • #UH249 Billy Wagner, Mets, NL All-Star
Pack 2: 
  • #UH214 Alex Rodriguez, Yankees, Season Highlights
  • #UH208 Mark Buehrle, White Sox, Season Highlights
  • #UH95 Dmitri Young, Nationals
  • #UH306 Paul Bako, Orioles
  • #UH114 Pete Orr, Braves
  • #UH131 Marlon Byrd, Rangers
  • #UH125 Joe Kennedy, Diamondbacks
  • #GN182 Curtis Granderson Generation Now 14 of 31 Doubles
  • #UH121 Justin Duchscherer, Athletics
  • #UH277 Troy Tulowitzki, Rockies/Jose Reyes, Mets Classic Combos
  • #UH248 Roy Oswalt, Astros, NL All-Star
  • #UH268 Carlos Guillen, Tigers, AL All-Star
Two better-than-average packs of 2007 Topps U & H.  Highlights include getting felllow card collector Dmitri "da Meat Hook" Young, a bunch of All-Star cards, the Gen Now of Granderson, and...that's pretty much it.
I have to go.  I'm glad many people have left, if only because I don't want them to see me crying my eyes out.  I have my radio, I have my drinking cup, my Dilbert calendar (everything else I packed and took home a while ago), so I should be set.
I leave DPI Specialty Foods with my head held high.  I know that these last fourteen years, through good times and bad, were very good to me.  I am now off to start a new adventure.  I guess I will go wherever the winds take me. 
Goodbye DPI.  Goodbye to all I called my co-workers and friends.  I wish you well, wherever you go. 
And now, for the first time in more than 18 years (because I've always had a job to go to before leaving the previous ones), I am off. 


JayBee Anama

Leaving DPI With My Head Held High...and a 2007 Topps S2 Pack Break

I'm counting down the hours before I become a FORMER employee of my company.  We're having a meeting to discuss what to do next in about an hour or so.  So I figure it's best to do the second round of pack breaks now.

As mentioned previously, I have had these 2007 Topps blister packs unopened since I bought them in 2009.  Basically, these cards have been sitting inside waiting to be opened for more than six years.  I've got a bit of time now, so let's see what cards are in these two packs of 2007 Topps Series 2.

Pack 1:
  • #567 Chris Stewart, Rangers
  • #535 Jon Lieber, Phillies
  • #595 Cleveland Indians Team Card
  • #460 Jose Reyes, Mets
  • #364 Conor Jackson, Diamondbacks
  • #408 Kevin Millar, Orioles
  • #343 Shin-Soo Choo, Indians
  • #MHR312 Mickey Mantle Home Run History Card #312
  • #459 Jeff Suppan, Brewers
  • #579 Taylor Tankersley, Marlins
  • #335 Brian McCann, Braves
  • #465 Jhonny Peralta, Indians (three Indians cards in one pack...must be a record)
Pack 2:
  • #587 Brian Bannister, Royals
  • #653 Sean Casey/Placido Polanco, Tigers, Classic Combos
  • #502 Brian Roberts, Orioles
  • #610 Jim Leyland, Tigers, MGR
  • #473 Xavier Nady, Pirates
  • #586 Willy Aybar, Braves
  • #426 Jeff Francour, Braves
  • #JD45 Joe DiMaggio The Streak #45
  • #420 Jeff Weaver, Mariners
  • #405 Josh Willingham, Marlins
  • #469 Ryan Church, Nationals
  • #388 Torii Hunter, Twins
Two more average packs of 2007 Topps.  Got BFF's McCann and Francour, and one JoeD.  I have full sets of both DiMaggio series (The Streak and the Streak Before the Streak).  This was around the time that Topps went crazy with the insert sets highlighting one SPECIFIC event (see Mantle Home Run History, the subsequent Bonds and ARod Home Run History, the Generation Now set, the Josh Gibson Home Run History set, the Moments and Milestones sets...should I continue???).  While they look great in a binder, they take just too much space.  My Generation Now complete insert set is in a separate binder away from the rest of my 2007 Master set.

Maybe later, I'll finish with the Updates and Highlights packs.  I'll probably wait until I get home.  Here we go.


JayBee Anama

Thursday, September 13, 2012

Leaving DPI With My Head Held High...and a 2007 Topps S1 Pack Break

Not a bad picture from a cell phone, don't you think?

Before I begin, I want to thank all of you who have sent me words of encouragement since I first mentioned that I will be out of a job.  Whether it be through e-mails, comments on this humble little blog, or even on Twitter (which I guess I'll have a bit more time to be on now), the notes have come fast and furious.  I know many of you have been through this situation before.  Heck some of you wrote of your experiences on your blogs and other sites.  I will take everything under advisement, even the possibility of just taking a couple of weeks off, just to clear my mind and be refreshed before continuing the job hunt.

The warehouse is now empty.  The last food item left the dock this afternoon.  Tomorrow is the last day I work for DPI Specialty Foods (formerly Skandia Foods).  I started with the company on May 18, 1998, meaning that for 5233 days, I worked for one company.  Yes, many people have worked longer in one location.  That's not the point.  The thing was that I was told that the average person would work at least 6-10 jobs or places before he or she turned 30.  I managed to stay with one.

After I leave the office for the last time, a new chapter in my life begins.  A new adventure is waiting for me.  I just have to figure out what path to take and go from there.

In the mean time, let's get on to some pack breaking.

A few years ago, I found the above four blister packs at Meijer.  Yes, they were already in the condition you see above, the cardboard packages crumpled from years of neglect.  Since these were the last three on the shelf, I had to get them.  I never opened them, figuring I'd get around to it eventually.  So why not now.

Each blister package contains two packs of 2007 Topps Series 1, Series 2, or Updates and Highlights.  Lots of key cards in this set (including a Derek Jeter #40) could be in these packs, waiting five years to be discovered.  What did I get?  Let's start with Series 1:

Pack 1:

  • #187 Matt Cain, Giants
  • #207 Mark Mulder, Cardinals
  • #56 Mark Loretta, Red Sox
  • #147 Javier Vazquez, White Sox
  • #159 Jason Michaels, Indians
  • #204 Juan Rivera, Angels
  • #142 Trot Nixon, Red Sox
  • #47 Ben Broussard, Mariners
  • #205 Cory Sullivan, Rockies
  • #306 Mike Cameron, Padres, Gold Glove Award
  • #258 Mike Hargrove, Mariners, MGR
  • #112 Jeff Conine, Reds
Pack 2:
  • #73 Moises Alou, Mets
  • #290 Matt Holliday, Rockies
  • #34 Paul Konerko, White Sox
  • #32 Andy Pettitte, Yankees
  • #103 Pedro Feliz, Giants
  • #106 Ryan Garko, Indians
  • #330 Ryan Howard, Phillies (hey, got the cover boy of Series 1)
  • #GN182 David Wright Generation Now 36 of 40 Doubles
  • #11 Julio Lugo, Red Sox
  • #210 Kazuo Matsui, Rockies
  • #263 Kevin Kouzmanoff, Padres
  • #50 Miguel Cabrera, Marlins
Not bad. Two average packs of series 1.  Other than the Generation Now card and a few others, not too much to scream about.  No Jeter, no Cubs cards (wound up with two White Sox ones though).  Oh well.  I'll probably get to Series 2 and U&H tomorrow.

Probably while I'm at work.  You never know.


JayBee Anama

Tuesday, September 11, 2012

Two Thousand Nine Hundred Seventy Four...

(Other than changing the number of years and my daughter's age, this post was originally written last year...)

Two thousand nine hundred seventy-four.


That's the number of people who lost their lives when everything was finally taken into account.  Countless lives were affected by this national tragedy.  Even if you didn't know anybody on those planes, at the World Trade Center, or the Pentagon, you grieved along with those who did.  You stood there in shock, in a daze, just glued to the television or radio. 

Our lives have not been the same since.  My daughter, now twelve, asks what we (her parents) were doing that morning.  "We were just going about our lives," was my reply.  "We watched the morning news, getting ready for work, and couldn't believe what we were seeing on the screen."  She was just over a year old.  She couldn't have understood what was going on then.  But she will learn that what she sees as "normal" now, really wasn't before that Tuesday morning.

Two thousand nine hundred seventy-four.  It is the number of reasons why we never forget what happened eleven years ago today.

On this day, the eleventh anniversary of the September 11 attacks, my family and I send our prayers to those who lost loved ones that Tuesday morning. 

We pray for those children who lost their parents that day. 

We pray for those children who would never meet their fathers because of the events of that day. 

We pray for the firefighters and policemen and women who risk their lives doing their jobs, running into the face of dangers as many are running in the opposite direction. 

We pray for those servicemen and women fighting for our freedoms away from home, whether or not we agree with the conflicts they battle. 

We pray for our leaders, regardless of their affiliation, that they make the right choices to keep the citizens of our country, and others, safe. 

And finally, we pray for peace.  Peace amongst ourselves as family, as a community, as a nation.


JayBee Anama

Tuesday, September 4, 2012

You Mean I Skipped This Again??!

In some ways, maybe losing my job is a good thing.

I mean, after 14 years in one place, maybe I should see more of what it's like out there in the working world. I can go back to school if need be to freshen up on skills that I may have forgotten over time. I can finally visit places that for years I have not been able to go because of my schedule. I can get more involved in my kids' activities (my son wants to follow in his sister's joining band as a percussionist).

And then, reality sets in (ie, becoming broke), and I realize that I really need to look for a job.

All kidding aside, with eight more days before my company shuts its doors for good, I am really starting to scramble. I have all the information I need once I become displaced (I wasn't laid off, I wasn't fired, the company is closing...that's why I'm going to be out of work), and will take advantage of a lot of programs that came with the unemployment packet (AllKids insurance for example...thanks Blago).

The good news is that I will be able to focus a bit more time on my blogs. Meaning I can devote more energy to this dog-and-pony-show-of-a-blog, the All-Star Team Tournament that I've neglected, maybe adding more to the Topps 300 (and then some...), and most importantly, the Sports Card Blogroll). The bad news? I might have to stop buying cards for a while...or at least until I find a job.

Anyway, it's been two months again, and I have once again failed to update the SCBR. Some blogs being removed are at seven months of inactivity. While I promised to be a bit more timely, as you can probably guess, it hasn't been a big priority of mine lately. I apologize for this...AGAIN. On with the show.

On July 7, the last time I updated the big Blogroll, I ended with 361 active blogs. Within the last two months, I have added six new blogs to the roster, and returned HOF blogDinged Corners to the active ranks (both Patricia and Lucy posted in August...I had to do it). So now, there are presently 367 blogs listed on the site.

The following sites will now be removed due to six (or seven) months of inactivity:
Yikes, that's thirteen blogs being removed, which will now bring the total number of blogs down to 354, a net loss of (-7) blogs in two months.

Regarding "A Cardboard Problem." Marie and Sooz (both can be followed on Twitter as @baseballzochand @yanxchick / @soozonsports are very busy ladies who have real lives outside of the Hobby. Sooz (aka Susan Lulgjuraj) recently got a gig with the Number One Source in the Hobby, and after months of being a contributing editor, she is now the Football and Hockey editor for Beckett Media. Congrats to Sooz on the job. A couple of months ago, she sent me an e-mail:

Hey James,

I started a new card blog. I haven't written on A Cardboard Problem in a long time. I don't know if Marie is going to keep that up.

My response to her was that I had no problem adding her new site (Cards By Sooz) and that if ACP reached six months of inactivity, I was going to add their site to the Blogroll HOF. Why? ACB was an extremely well written blog by a couple of serious collectors who, at one point, had more than 6,000 unique visitors per month. They were one of the pioneers of Hobby Blogging and set an example for other bloggers to follow. Both are still active (did I mention that you can find them on Twitter?) but the blog is not. So it is my great honor to add A Cardboard Problem to the Blogroll Hall of Fame (joining 88 Topps Cards, the Baseball Card Blog, and Dinged Corners). Congratulations ladies. Well done.

So once again, I ask, implore, beg and plead, as I always do when writing these posts. If you or someone you know has a blog about the Hobby we all love, please send me an email at and let me know about it. If your blog was on the big SCBR and was removed from inactivity but are planning on rejoining the big Hobby Blogging Community, let me know as well so I can put your blog back on the roster.


JayBee Anama