Thursday, January 31, 2013

EASY RIDER and BASEBALL ... Cool Finds # 2

I pretty much consider myself a free spirit. I like rock'n'roll and ride motorcycles. So I've been wanting to display my classic album cover from the cult movie EASY RIDER.  The soundtrack vinyl album, which is now out of print, was one of my previous garage sale finds.

A quick look at the playlist shows an early heavy metal sound of Jimi Henrix, Steppenwolf and The Byrds.
The film starred Peter Fonda and a very young Dennis Hopper who co-wrote the script. It also starred a youthful future Oscar winner - Jack Nicholson.
I kinda dig the buckskin jacket with tassels. But when I first started riding, helmets were manditory. And to me, helemts were very uncool and cumbersome. In the movie, Hopper wears a hat and Nicholson a make-shift football helmet. (see below) But Fonda wears the iconic "Captain America" helmet.
I wish I had found this in those early days - a.k.a. Evil Knievel helmet - with a glitter stars and stripes design.  It cost me the nice nostalgic price of one dollar.
Now, after I clean it up a bit, I'll display it next to the record album.
Along with Leroy Neiman, many artists of the 1960's and 70's found sports to be the subject of iconic colors. They were predecessors to today's Peter Max and others who junk colors to make "sports art".
Memorable athletes, and memorable games like the 1958 New York Giants - Baltimore Colts NFL Championship (below) was painted by TONY KOKINOS. It was later used as a premium for a gas station give-away. (yes - they used to give stuff away at the gas station - water and air were free)
I happened to go to a sale where the owners were relatives of Tony Kokinos. They had two specimens of artwork out on the driveway. One in particular, of a baseball pitcher, caught my attention. There was something vaguely familiar to this painting.
I knew I had to have it. It was very good. Not great, mind you, but in the eye of the beholder - classic 1970's. So when I got home, I began to search for this image. And after a few hours this ...
Jim "Catfish" Hunter (Oakland A's / N.Y. Yankees) - Hall of Famer and one of my idols.
I picked up a second work as well. This was a signed mixed medium painting of a batter, pitcher, catcher and umpire. The piece just reminded me of the late 1960's or early 1970's.
Further research revealed Kokinos was a prolific illustrator working in New York for several famous magazines like Collier's and illustrating a great number of paperback book covers from the 1950's to the 1970's.
I was pleased to walk away with 2 nice vintage artworks for $5.00 !

Wednesday, January 30, 2013

The FAST And The SLOW ... cool finds # 1

The coolest thing about blogs is seeing other people's stuff and enjoying it without having to invest in it. For my forrays out in the garage sale world, I get to find items on the cheap and still get to experience without the packaging or the price. So, enjoy !
I picked up this die cast metal coin bank of a 1995 FORMULA 1 car raced by Michael Andretti.
The detail on this collectable is very good. I spent the money for several reasons - one, it has gasoline advertising on it (TEXACO) and two, it was in good condition for a toy over 15 years old.
At first I did not realize it was a coin bank, but rather just a fine detailed car. As I examined it, something metal kept rattling around inside. I ended up pulling out 2 pennies and a nickel. So, my luck - I paid 25 cents for the item and it came with 7 cents ! Total cost = 18 cents.
I picked up this Dale Earndhart mini racing helmet for another 5 cents. It is supposed to hold a hot wheel size race car inside. The visor lifts to reveal the car, which I do not have. oh, well - it only Nascar.

A while ago I picked up a box full of action figures (mentioned in an earlier blog). Among the denizens were TEENAGE MUTANT NINJA TURTLES.  Not my favorite line of toys, but seemingly very popular.
Last week I went to one of my regular thrift shops and found a box full of building parts. I love play sets and am always seeking well made structures. When I put the parts together, I was left with 90% of the TMNT Secret LAIR. There are some nice features like a flipping couch, a zip line - going to an open subway car (complete with graffitti) and a breakaway wall and floor.
The center of the lair has a fight area.
There was also a Sewer Submarine in the box.
The last few parts built a 28 inch TMNT Tower. With the addition of the crane, it does tower over 33 inches tall!

When I put them all together, it makes for quite a play set. While I do not favor the comic book turtles, this does make a pretty cool play set for other action figures.

I'll update with some other cool finds in the coming days as well as a report on the progress of my Football League top 100.

Wednesday, January 23, 2013

Careless Upper Deck - Upside Down. No Ka-CHING

Anyone who has read this blog regularly knows my distain for Upper Deck and their piss poor MLS soccer card issues. Printing errors have been part of the hobby since Guttenberg pressed the first bible.

However, the excuse for making an error that a First Grader can see is inexcusable. Here is a perfect example of why Upper Deck should not be making soccer cards for MLS fans ...
Do you see it ?  While we may remember that the San Jose Earthquakes were moved to Houston to become the Dynamo, and then the Earthquakes were reborn, we should also know that the Dynamo play in in orange jerseys, in an orange stadium.
All of Brain Ching's jerseys contain orange.
Can it be any clearer ?
Houston Dynamo are orange - San Jose Earthquakes wear blue.
What amazes me is that a company that can produce the waste plant material like the above, can also issue classic soccer legend cards like the Goodwin series (below).
Although this 2012 Goodwin sample is not without error. For some soccer collector's, it may appear that STEVE BLOOMER played in the USA from the star and stripes shield under his portrait. At closer look, we can see the 3 Lions crest on his shirt depicting the England National Team.
And yet, this modern issue is a great link to soccer history at an affordable price. That is unless you can first find, then pay, the $200-$300 or more for this rare Clarke's Cigarettes issue from 1902.
It is becoming very clear why Upper Deck is losing its licenses for all the sport leagues. I would not shed a tear if they lost the MLS too. I would actually prefer a card maker like In-The-Game to come along and produce unlicensed cards with great history and memorabilia.
Upper Deck has become Sewer Dwellers. If the card maker doesn't care, why should I collect them ?

Saturday, January 19, 2013

The Football League 100: # 17 GEORGE CAMSELL

After a long holiday break and the massive computer breakdown, I have been able to resume my quest for a card of every player selected in the Football League top 100. Through some unusual circumstances I was able to add another card to my collection by way of super collector Alan Zimmerman.
If not for Dixie Dean's 60 goal season of 1927-28, it may well be GEORGE CAMSELL who holds that record.
So impressive was the youngster's feat of 59 goals in 1927 that GALLAHER CIGARETTES (see below) included an individual card in their set of action cards. The 1927 Gallaher's consisted of 50 cards of colored match photos except for the young Camsell.
Card # 37 of the 1927 Gallaher Cigarettes - Footballers in Action
He was included in the subsequent set with his own portrait shot - Gallaher's Famous Footballers.

1928 Gallaher's Cigarettes - Famous Footballers
George Camsell stands as the 5th all-time goal scorer (325 goals) in English Football. He scored 345 goals in  453 matches in total for Middlesbrough. His career, like many, was cut short by the Second World War - curtailing his already massive goal haul.
Hi international scoring rate was even more impressive with 18 tallies in only 9 appearences for England.
He is our number # 17 on the Football League top 100 players.

Friday, January 18, 2013

Keeping Up With The JONES ... Vinny JONES

Playing football can be a hard life. Or if you're VINNY JONES, make life hard - for other players.
1996 Merlin Premier League pog
English soccer's "tough guy" has retired from the game many years ago. But after watching last week's episode of CBS' "ELEMENTARY" - a modern SHERLOCK HOLMES - Vinny is still playing the game.
Sherlock is confronted by a murderous "Moriarity". It is just another role for the soccer player cum actor.
Beginning with the classic LOCK, STOCK and TWO SMIKING BARRALS (pictured below),
Jones has had a succession of work playing the murderous, the silent and the deranged. In this ELEMENTARY episode he hangs his victims upside down and slits their throats while watching "THE ARSENAL" on the TV. Not to be interupted, even by the call girl trying to seduce him while the game is on.
1992 Topps Stadium Club
Vinny played for several London clubs including Chelsea and Wimbledon (with which he won the F.A. Cup). But he never played for Arsenal.
Comic fanboys will forever have this image (see below) of the X-MEN villain JUGGERNAUT. He looks like he could really go through a wall !
Chances are Vinny will never play the role of the quiet and sensative leading man. But he is still appearing on trading cards as seen in Rittenhouse' X-MEN 3: The Last Stand.
While he will not win points for his penmenship, the glare on this autographed card is priceless - and probably included with his audition photos.
See if you can figure out what Mr. Jones is selling in this advert :
1996 Pro Match carature.
Vinny Jones is a great character and worth watching whether he was on the playing field or on the big screen.
Nice one Vinny. Now cut the man down.

Friday, January 11, 2013

Welcome Back Hockey.

They could not have picked a better "winter" to do it, but the NHL has come to terms with the players. While the freeze out thaws, it is shaping to be one of the hottest winters here in Florida.

So it will take some very cool highlights to get fans back in the seats.

Maybe they should start the season with no facemasks or helmets - I'd watch !

These were the cards of 1973 (40 years ago)
GUMP WORSLEY - the last of the maskless netminders
I am looking forward to HOCKEY NIGHT IN CANADA with the fancy suited DON CHERRY.
The NHL could use a "human highlight film" like WAYNE GRETZKY.
These were the cards of 1983 (30 years ago) 
The "Great One" was on lots of card in the set.
Drop the puck !

Tuesday, January 8, 2013

It's ALIVE !

After a long period of broken down computer systems ... I'm back.

BREGENT Classic Movie sketch card. 
I hope to resume blogging .