Posts Tagged ‘Allen & Ginter’

cards your great grandmother didn’t throw away

December 12, 2010

Yesterday, December 11, 2010, marked the 135th anniversary of the birth of Roy A. Stamm. Odds are stacked against you having heard of this man before, but considering that you are reading this blog, I would imagine that you would have shared some common ground with him.

Roy Stamm and friends circa 1890

Given my interest in most things historic, I always have an eye peeled for early mentionings of baseball and baseball cards. As a result of my ongoing research, I have amassed a sizable database of historical accounts of the origins of baseball in the New Mexico Territory, including the names and addresses of businesses and homes associated with people who either played baseball or had their hand in the industry in one manner or another… saloon owners, tobacconists, printers and photographers are prime examples of historical folks I collect data on. The bottom line is that you simply cannot know when that sort of information will prove valuable, even though your hunch tells you that you should try to only have to sift through the written archives once. At any rate, I’ve already gone further into all of that than I intended to do here.

With little spare time to spread around, I sometimes must make a decision to ignore the stacks of unsorted baseball cards on (or near) my desk, and pick up a book instead. The result can prove both entertaining and informative. The written account of Roy Stamm’s life struck me like an unexpected bubble envelope stuffed full of baseball cards off my want lists. Although Stamm completed his work in 1954, “fOR ME, THE SUN: The Autobiography of Roy A. Stamm, An Early Albuquerque Business Leader,” the book wasn’t published until 1999, some 42 years following his death.

Stamm the man, his book and his balloon (1890)

The following except from the book followed an incident in 1882 in which a bully had tossed the author, then six-years-old, into a mud puddle on South Second Street in New Albuquerque and attempted to force him to eat a toad. I’m not sure which is worse, the incident or one’s mother finding out about it.

“She was of Puritan Massachusetts and Mohawk Valley Dutch ancestry and had taught school in Kansas. Outraged by this “plain evidence of racial resentment”, she saw that from that time on I rode my saddle horse during most of my childhood (I became so accustomed to this, I’d ride across the street instead of walking!).

This decision was all right with me. Forbidden to play tops or marbles “for keeps” and ordered to hold myself, literally, “above those bad boys,” I used this easy transportation to reach the tremendous distinction of owning the “third largest cigarette picture collection in town.” The first and best belonged to a black boy whose father and brothers were porters in saloons; the second, to a newsboy. Their inside sources of supply were partially balanced by my ability to move around and to trade for pictures desired by others to complete their sets.

All of which distressed mother but, fair minded, she allowed me to retain my well won trophies. No matter how strong and possessive a mother’s instincts may be, unless he is predisposed, a boy’s natural inclinations seldom will permit him to become “sissified.”

The only conclusion I am going to allow myself to draw from this segment of Stamm’s book is that card collectors of the past were as varied and passionate about the hobby as are card collectors of today- and most likely, the future. I did contact Roy’s son to tell him how much I enjoyed the book and to thank him for his efforts in helping bring his father’s words to print. We were not able to pinpoint which cigarette cards were contained within the collection, but I have been having a blast paging thru my copy of “American Tobacco Cards: Price Guide and Checklist” by Robert Forbes and Terence Mitchell and wondering about what treasures may have been contained within Stamm’s collection.

Allen & Ginter: “American Indian Chiefs” and “American Editors” series

I think it is reasonable to predict that Roy may have been fond of the Allen & Ginter American Indian Chiefs series since he was an twelve-year-old boy growing up in the wild west when the cards were issued in 1888. As wonderful as these cards are, I feel the need to remind readers that many of the men featured on the cards were still alive when the amazing Linder, Eddy & Clauss lithographs were reproduced as tobacco cards. Even if Roy didn’t collect the Allen & Ginter American Editors (1887) cards, you can bet your bottom dollar that the Albuquerque newsboy did, and would have traded handsomely to complete his 50-card set.

Roy Stamm and his UNM football teammates (1894)

Roy Stamm led a fascinating life; regardless of what angle you choose to examine it. However, I will not be spoiling potential future book sales by stating whether or not he included more about tobacco cards or baseball as he drew from his extensive journal that he kept throughout his life. Stamm passed away two years after the release of 1952 Topps baseball cards, 10 years before the first Sharpie mark became permanent and decades before the dawn of blogging. I wonder whether he would have adapted to trading his cards via the internet, or if he would have stuck to his guns and traded only on horseback.

– Kris

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A = g/ll + (n*r): the mathematics of blue sharpie

August 18, 2009

Try as I might, I find it difficult to believe that approximately 1.37 lunar cycles have passed since I last posted any scans of Topps Allen & Ginter baseball cards that I have gotten autographed in person. Obviously the biggest thing that has happened during that time frame was the release of their 2009 product line. Certainly by now, everyone has seen these cards in person. What remains is the possibility that you may not have seen how these wonderful baseball cards can be further transformed with the few strokes of a fine point blue Sharpie.

I would also like to state for the record before I get rolling and eventually sidetracked a number of times, that I am interested in trading for any and ALL duplicates you may have of the “Electron” card from this set. While a few collectors dislike the oddball cards included in the Allen & Ginter product, I love them. Especially the ones that can be used to obtain unique autographs of baseball players and other celebrities, such as the St. Louis Arch for players in the Cardinals organization and the Washington Monument for random political glitterati (if you are so inclined). With that in mind, I couldn’t have been happier when I saw the “Electron” card and marveled at the similarity between the image and the Albuquerque Isotopes logo. Thanks Topps!

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Blake DeWitt (Electron) – 2009 Topps Allen & Ginter no. 79

Having Blake DeWitt sign my first A&G “Electron” card was a no brainer given his kool signature and magnetic personality. Besides, I had a couple other 2009 Allen & Ginter Blake DeWitt cards that needed autographed anyway.

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Blake DeWitt – 2009 Topps Allen & Ginter no. 117

I honestly didn’t get very excited when I looked over the checklist of certified autograph cards that were being inserted “randomly” into the product, but I was thrilled when I read that there was a Blake DeWitt bat card. These game-used relic cards look absolutely fabulous signed.

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Blake DeWitt (game used bat) – 2009 Topps Allen & Ginter no. AGR-BD

*****

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Chris Davis – 2009 Topps Allen & Ginter no. 188

The Texas Rangers decided to send Chris Davis down to Triple-A to work on his hitting and to make it possible for him to autograph this card for my collection when the Oklahoma RedHawks traveled west to the Rio Grande Valley. Davis is a great guy with a monster swing. I guarantee you that even the baseballs he misses are sweatin’ each trip toward home plate while he is up to bat.

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Edwin Moreno – 2009 Topps Allen & Ginter no. 120

The native Venezuelan didn’t have much to say while he autographed this card after a game with the Portland Beavers. Oh well, he still has an interesting signature, and I think it looks fantastic on this card.

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Brandon Morrow – 2009 Topps Allen & Ginter no. 194

I believe I had issues with the design of the 2009 Topps Allen & Ginter cards when I first began seeing scans of them online. But after having cards like this one of Brandon Morrow in hand, I can’t recall what those issues were. This really is a stellar product. In a perfect universe, this card would be part of a 700-card set that would be chock full of rookies and minor leaguers.

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Matt Tuiasosopo – 2009 Topps Allen & Ginter no. 174

Getting Matt Tuiasosopo’s autograph can be more challenging than correctly pronouncing his name. He recently passed through the Duke City with the Tacoma Rainiers.

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Brandon Boggs – 2008 Topps Allen & Ginter no. 346

Speaking of “tough signatures,” check out this autographed 2008 Topps Allen & Ginter Brandon Boggs card. Even the most seasoned graphers require relatively think skin when approaching certain players for an autograph. Boggs offers a glare and a choice word or three short of a tirade with each signature that leaves you feeling grateful that he only signs one. Possibly he is a little more fan friendly for the home crowd in Oklahoma City. It would be interesting to hear from a RedHawks fan on this topic.

Allen & Ginter cards from the 2007 set that I have recently gotten autographed include the regular and mini versions of both Alejandro De Aza and Doug Mientkiewicz.

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Alejandro De Aza – 2007 Topps Allen & Ginter no. 199 mini

Alejandro De Aza will sign one card per person per game, but without any attitude. If you are hoping to engage a ballplayer in an extended conversation, my advice is that you look elsewhere.

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Alejandro De Aza – 2007 Topps Allen & Ginter no. 199

*****

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Doug Mientkiewicz – 2007 Topps Allen & Ginter no. 241 mini

Doug Mientkiewicz is one of those baseball players I had seen play on television for years and never once considered what I would say to him if I ever met him. In fact, I never had any reason to think that I would meet him. Then he was sent to Albuquerque on a major league rehab assignment- twice this past month. Turns out he has a great sense of humor and seems to enjoy talking to baseball fans about baseball, driving, and pretty much anything else you care to bring up. Oh, and he will autograph baseball cards all night long with a grin on his face.

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Doug Mientkiewicz – 2007 Topps Allen & Ginter no. 241

*****

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John Koronka – 2006 Topps Allen & Ginter no. 257

John Koronka signed this 2006 Topps Allen & Ginter card recently when the New Orleans Zephyrs blew into town. As much as I like this year’s A&G product, okay… all of them, I think the 2006 series remains my favorite.

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Kris Benson – 2006 Topps Allen & Ginter no. 152

This Kris Benson card gets saved for last. I will leave it for you to decide whether I did so simply because his name is spelled the same as mine, or because he went to high school just a few clips down the road from the infamous Cardboard Junkie. I also briefly considered mentioning Anna Benson’s name in this article, but decided against it.

Well, as the days become noticeably shorter, I cannot help but realize that there remains but one homestand before the end of the regular 2009 season. While I may not have many more chances to get additional Allen & Ginter cards signed, it appears that I will eventually benefit from enough free time to catch up posting my favorites from all of the other cards I have been getting autographed this summer. Lucky you!

– Kris

allen and ginterings

July 8, 2009

How do I prepare for the release of the 2009 Topps Allen & Ginter baseball cards? Well, for starters, I like to look back at the previous sets and marvel at what a fantastic product it is. Tired and in need of being retired? I think NOT. These cards are smokin’!

Of course, we’ve all seen them, and most even have the majority of at least the base cards. As such, plain ol’ base cards don’t merit scanning and posting here. Instead, here are scans of the various Topps Allen & Ginter cards I have gotten autographed in person over the past three months.

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Jeff Weaver – 2007 Topps Allen & Ginter no. 167

It sucks that I’ve only gotten one card from the 2007 Topps Allen & Ginter set autographed in person this year. Of course, that is the main drawback to a product with a relatively small number of players included in it- most of them aren’t going to be appearing in many minor league games.

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Greg Reynolds – 2008 Topps Allen & Ginter no.139

Greg Reynolds applied his fantastic signature to his 2008 Topps Allen & Ginter card recently while passing thru town with the Colorado Sky Sox. In spite of how often I rant and rave about other baseball cards that I like to collect, I would be hard-pressed to name another product that “takes” an autograph as well as the Allen & Ginter cardstock.

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Jason Schmidt – 2008 Topps Allen & Ginter no. 337

Jason Schmidt has been rehabbing with the Isotopes for a short while. If you aren’t sure what he looks like in street clothes, I suggest looking for the 6’4” dude surrounded by a group of people seeking autographs.

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Rich Thompson – 2008 Topps Allen & Ginter no.291

Rich Thompson was “down” with the Salt Lake Bees when they swarmed the Duke City earlier this season. Thompson is nothing short of all-serious on the mound, but an extremely pleasant player to talk to before he puts on his game face, or after his work is done for the evening. If you are wondering what the mini version of Thompson’s 2008 Allen & Ginter card would look like signed, here you go.

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Rich Thompson – 2008 Topps Allen & Ginter no. 291 mini

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Brandon Wood – 2008 Topps Allen & Ginter no. 312

For those of you who track such things, Brandon Wood seems to have doubled up and is now willing to sign two items per fan. I didn’t ask him why he had changed his routine when he was here with the Salt Lake Bees. I also saw him sign the sweet spot of a baseball this year. I found that significant because I once watched as he refused to sign the sweet spot for a fan during Spring Training in Tempe, Arizona, explaining that the sweet spot is reserved for the manager’s signature.

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Chin-Lung Hu – 2008 Topps Allen & Ginter no. 22

Hold onto your caps, it’s a Chin-Lung Hu trifecta! First, a regular sized card signed in English then a second signed in Hu’s native Taiwanese. I’ve heard several people ask Hu to sign in Chinese, and the end result is the same. Listen, I’m a baseball card collector, not an orthograpist, so I don’t know which is correct. For all I know, asking a Taiwanese person to write in Chinese may be equivalent to calling a square a rectangle. Sure, I could ask Chin-Lung at some point, but I would rather congratulate him on a game well played while he is signing my cards.

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Chin-Lung Hu – 2008 Topps Allen & Ginter no. 22 (Taiwanese auto)

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Chin-Lung Hu – 2008 Topps Allen & Ginter no. 22 mini

Obviously there isn’t a heck of a lot of time for chitchat when Hu stops to sign his mini version of his 2008 Topps Allen & Ginter card!

Although I will be collecting the 2009 Topps Allen & Ginter baseball cards, I am undecided whether I will bust out of the gates with the new product, or wait and attack it with blaster boxes once they begin to filter into Target. More than likely I will invest my blaster box funds on a couple of Joel Rosario mounts at Hollywood Park Thursday in an attempt to parlay it into a hobby box.

– Kris

short and sweet (allen & ginter)

August 13, 2008

Not long after our deal for a case of 2008 Topps Allen & Ginter baseball cards fell through, I decided to skip the chase this time around and look for a decent price on a hand collated set. This resulted in picking up an entire set of the regular-sized cards (including short prints) delivered to my door for a little less than it would have cost for me to hop in my truck and drive to Target and purchase two blaster boxes (assuming they would have any).

While I decide whether or not I will work on the mini parallel set, I can continue to pick up singles as needed. For instance, when the Oklahoma RedHawks recently visited the Duke City for a four game series with the Isotopes, it was absolutely necessary to have this 2008 mini Kazuo Fukumori card (no. 98) to get autographed, so I picked it up on eBay.

Fukumori is a man of few (English) words. With the help of his interpreter, I was able to extend my gratitude to Kazuo for taking the time before a game to sign my card.

The most recent homestand also provided me with a golden opportunity to get Paul LoDuca to sign a few 2007 Allen & Ginter cards for my collection. These include the base card…

The mini parallel…

And this “game-worn” jersey card…

I wasn’t really sure how well the relic card was going to take a Sharpie signature, but I am of the opinion that it looks just great.

If you agree with me and happen to have an extra Paul LoDuca bat card from the 2008 set that you can get mailed by THIS FRIDAY, I will be willing to do my best to do a rare “50/50” autographing trade with you. I will only do baseball cards though, so don’t even think about sending a baseball, jersey, photo, helmet, or anything that isn’t a baseball card. Your understanding on this matter this is greatly appreciated.

– Kris

stuck in the middle

August 4, 2008

Around the middle of July, I was happy to announce that Aardvark Trading Co. was going to be in the position to sell hobby boxes of Topps Allen & Ginter baseball cards after preordering an entire case from some eBayer. We were very excited to be able to touch an unopened case, bust it, and then hopefully keep track of the “hits” (as the kids call them) as reported by people purchasing boxes. I thought it would provide an excellent opportunity for interested parties to study a case of cards and over analyze it… to death.

I was on edge waiting for the UPS truck for the initial days that followed Topps’ official release. Nothing. Then I finally got the eBayer on the horn and was informed that his supplier had declared bankruptcy. Long excuse short…. there would be no case coming.
Bummer. We got our money refunded without a problem, but already the price of cases (now in hand) had increased to the point that we didn’t think it would be a wise investment given that the market was immediately saturated with product.

Jay Marshall (2007 Topps A&G no. 244 and black-bordered mini)

I managed to get these Jay Marshall cards autographed in person the same day. It was then that I realized that I was going to have to rethink my plan for dealing with the 2008 set. Would I find myself trolling for blaster boxes at Target, paying way more for a box than I cared to from a local dealer, or trying to find a three hobby box deal online?

Walking out of the third different Target store in a 36-hour period on Saturday afternoon, I decided to purchase a hand-collated set online, and invest the difference (both time and money) in the pursuit of the sets I’ve been neglecting- 2006 A&G and 1975 Topps.

Mike Caldwell (1975 Topps no. 347) and a 1975 Dodge Dart Sport

I’ve seen quite a bit of the 2008 Allen & Ginter set via the interweb. I have to say that experiencing cards like these is probably best done with the actual cards in hand rather than seeing them online. So I will save my thoughts on the set until I have one in front of me.

By the way, I’ve also wasted a good couple of days trying to crack the damn Allen & Ginter code, but I believe the code has cracked me. I wonder if that’ll win me a prize off the lower shelf.

– Kris

a case for allen & ginter

July 17, 2008

Who doesn’t remember their first pack of Topps Allen & Ginter baseball cards? Mine appeared in the form of a retail pack from Target during the onset of fall 2006. Intrigued by the wrapper, I knew I was hooked the moment I ripped the thing open (at home, not in the store!). As much as I liked the look and feel of those cards, I thought they were too expensive. The cards also went against one of my personal rules for collecting- namely investing in cards that I feel provide me with even the slightest chance of getting them autographed in person. As you recall, this product isn’t exactly loaded with minor leaguers. In fact, they probably have close to the same number of dead writers as minor league ballplayers. But I also like those, so there you go.

I got a hobby box of the ‘06 Allen and Ginter cards that year for Krismas, and I think I later picked up a blaster box. Still, I never attacked the set seriously. As a result, that set remains on my “To Collect” list.

Billy Butler (2007 – no. 147)

My approach to collecting the ‘07 set, however, was a fish of a completely different color. After suspending my self-imposed rule of collecting cards only to get them autographed, I assembled the entire set of the “regular-sized” cards, and have come within a half dozen or so of an entire set of the minis. I wouldn’t have been able to even complete the base set without having made a number of trades online with other baseball card bloggers and collectors utilizing a couple of baseball card trading message boards. I am of the opinion that the Allen & Ginter cards are the koolest issue since the 1975 Topps series!

Gustavo Molina (2007 – no. 334)

Every now and again, I will luck into getting one of these cards signed in person. As I’m sure you already determined for yourself, these cards look fantastic autographed! Sure, the certified autographed minis are a fun pull, but for my money you cannot beat the experience of meeting a player and watching him ink your card in person. You simply cannot pull that sort of thing from a pack, or a box, or a case.

Rich Hill (2007 – no. 193)

And now you find yourself in 2008, with more than half the pages missing from your calendar. How will YOU approach collecting the 2008 Allen & Ginter baseball cards? If you haven’t already formulated a plan in your head, I suggest you do so in the near future.

Chris Duncan (2007 – no. 301)

Several weeks ago, the masterminds behind Aardvark Trading Company invested in an entire case of the product. Don’t worry; we aren’t in a position to bust the entire thing ourselves. Instead, we will be selling sealed boxes to interested readers of this blog, and customers who navigate the internet to our website without ever having stumbled across our babblings here. With the cards scheduled for release at the beginning of next week, we hope to receive our case by Saturday, July 26th. We anticipate being able to begin shipping out boxes immediately after that. We are hoping that the people who purchase a box from us will let us and the other readers know of any interesting discoveries, and together through the power of the internet, we can study the anatomy of a case of baseball cards. Tell me you’ve never wondered…

Ryan Shealy (2007 – no. 67)

NOTICE (8/4/08): Our case never arrived! Please click HERE for an update…

Mike Rabelo (2007 – no. 69)

Whether you purchase your 2008 Topps Allen & Ginter cards from your local dealer, elsewhere online, or with the AMAZINGLY nice and creative folks at Aardvark Trading Company, you will be encouraged to trade cards with us as we build our personal sets and you work towards whatever goal you set for yourself. I will post a needs list on the TRADE portion of our website soon after I bust my first box- or possibly my second.

– Kris

allen, ginter, gwynn, shelton, mench and mini mench

April 25, 2008

There’s no use crying over the fact that none of the players on the current Albuquerque Isotopes roster have cards in the Topps Allen & Ginter series. Instead, with Sharpie in hand I march around to the other side of the stadium and take advantage of injuries and log jams in the Rangers’ and Brewers’ organizations, and knock out a few autographs when the Oklahoma Redhawks and Nashville Sounds roll into the Duke City.

Tony Gwynn Jr. (2007 – no. 221).

Do NOT allow the smile on Tony’s face on his card lead you to believe that is what you will see when you ask him for an autograph. Patience and thick skin will help you with your attempt to get Gwynn to sign in person.

One evening last summer a couple of the graphers gave me a hard time after Tony Gwynn Jr. and Joe Dillon walked out of the locker room together and I chose to ask Dillon to sign instead of Gwynn. My view was that I’d rather have the autograph of a player who is nice and more than happy to sign than one who would end up muttering inaudibles (or worse) under his breath while signing (assuming he would agree to in the first place), or make a dash for the team van. Besides, I still needed to get Joe’s signature on his lunchbox (see end of post) that had been issued by the Isotopes after he had moved to Japan. Autographing is all about setting your personal priorities and remaining flexible.

Chris Shelton (2006 – no. 70)

I bet that if I had had 125 of these cards (coincidentally the same number of career hits Shelton had collected by the time the inaugural Allen & Ginter cards had gone to press), Chris would have happily stood there and signed every single one.

Kevin Mench (2006 – no. 324)

What in the world? If I hadn’t watched Kevin sign this card in person, I would never have believed it was a signature, and not someone’s test to see if his or her Sharpie was in good working order. Surely he couldn’t replicate that again in a million years!

Kevin Mench (2007 mini – no. 97)

Well color me wrong. Kevin scores big points for consistency.

Unlike the Topps 52s, simply assembling complete Allen & Ginter sets will satisfy me, and every autograph I obtain will be considered a bonus. With that in mind, I only need a handful more of the 2007 minis to reach that goal. I ask that you stop thinking about your fantasy baseball team(s) long enough to visit my need list and let me know if you have any duplicates for trade. I would really like to complete the 2007 set before the 2008 cards are released.

– Kris

———

In the interest of keeping things in order… here is a photo of the Joe Dillon lunchbox mentioned previously.

dos mulas para la hermana sara

March 8, 2008

I am impressed. Just a few days ago I sent a letter to John “Mule” Miles and included a couple of his baseball cards from the ever-popular 2007 Topps Allen & Ginter set. Unable to choose between the base card and the mini, I sent them both and asked him to sign one if he had both the time and the inclination.

Mr. Miles responded in less time than I can manage to turn around a Netflix offering- and was nice enough to have autographed both cards. What a sport!

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It leaves me with hope that as I get older, I might find ways to become more efficient with my time. Of course, I doubt my mailbox will be flooded with autograph requests when I’m 85.

I would like to find myself in a position to meet and chat with Mr. Miles. I suspect it would prove to be a riot. My favorite quote from him is, “I didn’t hit for percentage, I hit for distance.”

Atta boy! That’s what I like to read.

– Kris

saving time in a cigar tin

March 1, 2008

I don’t think I’m crawling too far out on a limb by admitting that I often daydream of discovering a long-forgotten baseball card that has been safely squirreled away in some dark, dry corner of my world. It wouldn’t even have to be a significantly valuable card to make me happy either. A simple unexpected link to the distant past would be nice.

Who hasn’t heard a story of some couple tearing out a wall in an old home and finding a nest of old circus posters rolled up and serving as makeshift insulation between the studs? Of course such fantastic discoveries would never be possible if somebody hadn’t placed neat objects in the wall in the first place, then sealed it up and allowed time to perform its magic.

With that in mind, I did seal a couple of Barry Bonds cards in the walls of our house while I was remodeling our bathroom back in 2006. I don’t know who will find them, or under what circumstances, but I hope they appreciate the gesture. I also hope that the finder discovers some value in those cards, however value of such things may be determined at that point in the future when they are discovered.

This past week another stellar time capsule opportunity came knocking on my front doorstep and I simply could not refuse to answer like I would if it had been a couple of Jehovah’s Witnesses trying to hand me the latest issue of The Watchtower.

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Having pooled resources, the city of Albuquerque and our historic neighborhood association have begun a project to replace broken and/or uneven sections of sidewalks, including a couple of segments in front of our house. Just before the work crew began pouring the concrete, I was able to bury a small tin box about 4 inches below the surface for some lucky son-of-a-gun to discover long after I have posted my last blog entry. The sidewalks segments that were replaced were constructed in the early 1920s, so I would hazard to guess that the tin might easily be sealed underground for the next 100 years, or possibly longer.

I’ve decided to share with you the contents of the time capsule since I don’t think there is much of a chance that any of you are going to spoil the surprise.

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The box is a slender black tin that once contained 10 small cigars from Dannemann Brasil. The width of the tin prevented me from including any regular-sized baseball cards, but that didn’t matter since I had already decided to only include 2007 Allen & Ginter minis. The cards include Prince Fielder, Connor Jackson and Mike Napoli. I thought it was appropriate to include one of the Groundhog Day cards given the subterranean nature of the capsule.

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Each of the cards was sealed in an individual plastic sleeve, then two were sealed in another sleeve, and finally the four were encased in another plastic bag. The person who discovers this package will likely win some type of scientific award for having finally solved the old riddle of what ever became of the world’s tape supply.

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The tin also contains a single penny dated 2007, and four small bags of silica gel desiccant that I think will help draw any moisture that might happen to form inside the tin away from the cards. The bags are clearly labeled “Do Not Eat – Throw Away.” Hopefully that will prevent the finder from thinking the bags contain tea and brewing himself a cup of stupidity. Of course, they would probably be better off eating that stuff than anyone currently busting boxes of cards from the 1980s and dares to stick that old Topps gum in their mouth.

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Finally, I placed my business card in the tin to help prevent the finder from wasting too much time wondering “who” would have done such a thing. Then the tin was placed in plastic and wrapped with tape several times over. Not that I expect the item needs waterproofing since it is going to live under a sidewalk in the high desert… but just as insurance in the event that my sprinkler system goes bananas and I flood the neighborhood.

I sat on the front porch of my 100-year-old house and watched while the workmen poured the concrete and smoothed the surface of the sidewalk with trowels. I thought about time and history, and my small role in it- chuckling to myself while watching the workmen trowel the sidewalk surface a second time after a neighbor’s dog tracked through on his way to make his own deposit of more urgency amongst my irises.

Then a strange thing happened. That same night I received an email from one of the people who lived in my house exactly 50 years ago. He had stumbled across the results of my historical research of the property on one of my other websites, and was intrigued enough to introduce himself and tell me what it was like living here half a century ago. Don’t get me wrong, I’m NOT suggesting that the two events are related in any way, but it was very nice to get a surprise from the past just hours after leaving one for the future.

– Kris