Sunday, January 8, 2023

Mike James, Genuine Jockey

A few weeks back, I pontificated about the next new Mike James to be added to my collection.  What sport would he play?  So far I had representatives from the four major sports - would I finally find a professional athlete named Mike James outside of those four groups?

Well I finally did it everyone.  We have our 5th sport to be represented by a Mike James - Horse Racing.

Here's the newest Mike James, courtesy of the 1999 Jockey Star set:

I love the simplicity of the set, especially the little horseshoes to the left and right of the name with just a solid headshot to represent the guy.  The back is pretty basic too but gives some wonderful stats, including Mike James' career earnings to date:

5,443 races...that seems like a lot, right?  I mean I guess they can ride 4-5 in a day given the right setup, but dang that seems like quite a few races to me.

What's even crazier is that, upon a Google search, Mike James is still racing TODAY.  It's much less frequently - after all he had temporarily retired in 2005 - but he had one start in 2021 and four starts in 2020 to give him 11,341 for his career.  Crazy numbers for a guy who is now around age 60.  Even wilder?  His Dad was a jockey too until he passed away in a racing accident when James was just 19 months old.  Makes ya wonder how long this James can and will continue to ride.

One more weird note - on Googling an article comes up from 2010 featuring another young jockey named Mike James.  I'm not going to assume he ever gets a card, especially since I can't find any newer articles about the guy, but you never know - maybe I'll have TWO different jockeys in my Mike James collection someday!

Friday, December 30, 2022

Christmas Goodies from Home...including a Deduno!

It's hard to shop for my specific card wants at Christmas, since so many of the things I collect are pretty obscure if they're listed on the internet at all.  So when my Dad asked if I wanted any cardboard for Christmas, I mixed things up a bit this year and asked for cool autos and relics in general, particularly of New England teams since those are the teams of my youth.  I think my Dad did quite well in meeting that ask - so let's see what he ended up finding!

This first picture contains the most Patriots star power from Christmas, including two stars of my youth (McGinest and Brown) and a few from my Dad's youth (Hannah, Parilli, and Cappelletti).  It's definitely great to get some nice autos across various Patriots legends for my collection, and I learned a lot about Babe Parilli from these cards, as I didn't really know much about him prior to Christmas.  I learned a lot about Cappelletti too, as prior to Christmas I just knew him as the guy Adam Vinatieri (And later Stephen Gostkowski) beat for the Patriots scoring record.

Stephon Gilmore is a pretty talented CB who won a Super Bowl with the Patriots, so definitely cool to have an autograph of his even though he's in Indy now.  I always mistakenly call him Steven, but it turns out he has a younger brother whose name really is Steven, which seems confusing as heck.

Then you have N'Keal Harry, who was a 1st round pick of the Patriots a few years ago but never really panned out.  He's in Chicago now and still not doing much but both of these cards look real nice and that enclosed Inscriptions one is especially sexy.  It's nice when busts are in higher end sets because then you can grab some singles from a set that otherwise would be way too pricey.

This is probably my favorite little lot from this group of cards I got, as I love artificial scarcity in cards and Prime Signatures was full of it!  The Brandon Lloyd /5 stands out here, both because it's so rare and because it's a fun card of a guy you don't picture in a Patriots uniform.  I love all the running bacs here as well, with BenJarvus Green-Ellis being a personal fave of the blog and Vereen and Ridley being cool for being on card autos in a mostly sticker auto set.  And then Brandon Spikes and Jerod Mayo were just ferocious defenders, so it's cool to grab autos of theirs as well.  Mayo's doing great as a coach in New England too, so it's cool his legacy continues to this day.

Now we move on to autos that aren't Patriots.  Some of these I think sellers threw in, while others my Dad thought looked cool or I might like.  I think Surtain stands out in the above image, as he has been a super solid CB since joining the league and I was always a fan of his Dad's work in Miami.  Kenneth Murray was a 1st round pick of the Chargers last year (After a trade with New England) and looks to be a tackling machine in San Diego.  Then Thomas Graham was a 6th round pick of the Bears in 2021 who actually ended up in Cleveland this year.  He's mostly a special teamer, but he's done some good work in spot moments on defense when needed.

My Dad knows I like patch/auto combos, so he got my this pretty cool one of former Titans WR Justin Hunter.  I was collecting a lot harder when he was a rookie in 2013, and remember seeing a lot of Hunter on the blogs/Blowout/etc., so it's neat to finally have a card of his of my own.  He always seemed a decent WR but got no real help from the QB room in Tennessee (With guys like Jake Locker and Charlie Whitehurst...oof).

Last autos of the bunch include two super random guys - Eurndraus Bryant and Dayo Odeyingbo.  Bryant looks to have been an undrafted free agent of the Chargers a few years ago, but I don't think he's in the league anymore.  Odeyingbo is actually a 2021 Colts draft pick, and looks pretty decent this year with 5.5 sacks for a struggling Indy team.  It's always nice to learn a little bit about some random defensive dudes!

Last but not least, we have the Deduno!  And in keeping with recent tradition, I paired him with two VHS I got for Christmas as well - Troll 2 (1990) and Dolls (1986).

The Deduno is the most important part here (LOL), as it brings me to NINETY NINE copies of his Bowman card at this point.  The next Deduno makes 100, so these are exciting times in Deduno collecting!

As for the VHS, you've probably all heard of Troll 2.  It's compared with films like The Room or Miami Connection as something that's just awesomely bad, and I've been meaning to pick up a copy for a long time.  Can't wait to sit down and watch this one with my wife, as she's never seen it.

Dolls is a lot more random, but really really good.  It's part of the Charles Band cinematic universe, who is involved in a lot of my favorite B/C/D movies from the 70's, 80's, and 90's like the Puppetmaster series, Dollman, and Laser Blast.  Dolls is a little different in that it's horror but with a pretty big heart.  The whole "lesson" of the movie is to stay imaginative and in touch with your childlike side, or else these dolls will straight up murder you.  I was pleasantly surprised when I watched it on streaming, and I'm glad to finally own a copy for my VHS collection!

Thursday, December 1, 2022

"Maybe hockey or soccer?" - The newest Mike James

In a recent post, Fuji commented on potential new Mike James to my Mike James collection.  The collection is heavily dominated by four guys (Two NBA players, one NFLer, and the 90's MLB pitcher), but I occasionally find other random Mike James throughout history on cardboard.  And today's newest addition is a hockey goalie.  So Fuji called it!

I present...MIKE JAMES!

I dig cards like these from non-traditional local card companies, and the colors on this overall are pretty great.  Plus it's cool they could get sponsorship from a company as big as Kellogg's.  And a grocery store named Ukrop's - which I had never heard of but which is apparently now Martin's since around 2009.  Regional differences are fun!

As for Mike James, he's the second distinct hockey player in my Mike James collection, but the first goalie.  Born in 1968, there's not a lot out there about him aside from his hockey reference page.  That page mentions a few years with the junior college team the King City Dukes, a college career at the University of Western Ontario, and then two years in the ECHL, first with the Roanoke Valley Rebels and then one final season with these Richmond Renegades.  In the one Renegades season, James went 20-17-1 with 4.61 goals allowed per game and a 85.8 save percentage.  So nothing amazing, but good enough to get him immortalized forever on cardboard, which in itself is pretty priceless.  

So kudos to you Mike James for being the newest Mike James in my collection!  What sport will Mike James play next?  Stay tuned to find out!

Tuesday, November 29, 2022

Watching Items on Ebay: Let The Offers Pour In!

Something I noticed recently as a seller on Ebay was that you have the option to send offers to anyone watching your stuff.  So I can literally be like, "Hey thanks for watching my auction for random bad movie, buy it now for 30% off since you watched it!"  Kind of a neat little feature to reward those who watch items.

I decided I wanted to try being one of those buyers myself, so I watched a few Mike James cards that I needed for the collection.  And soon enough, I had ALL THE OFFERS!

Okay, more like two offers.  But that was pretty darn good for one day.

Both offers were more than fair, so I accepted, paid, and waited.  About a week later I had two excellent, very rare Jameses to add to the collection, both of the former NFL RB.  The first is my first 2013 Crown Royale autograph from his rainbow, numbered to just 10! 

I had cards from the 2013 non-autographed rainbow and the 2014 autographed rainbow, but I was real slow to start on this 2013 autographed version.  It might be my favorite of the three sets, so it's nice to get one of the rarer cards (Though there are two 1/1's, two /5's, and one more /10) out of the way so quickly.  And...spoiler alert...I bought a few more on COMC recently that you may see here in a month.  So I guess I'm making good progress on this set now!

The other Mike James I grabbed is a /25 auto from Totally Certified.

I somehow had none of the cards from this set as well, so starting with one of the rarer ones is, again, a good thing.  I like that the sets just called "Awesome Autographs.:  Nothing fancy, just a little alliteration on a shiny card with a player's auto.  A pretty solid card to me!

So two new cards to my collection, with less than $7 spent combined thanks to offers.  I'd say I found a new buying hobby!  I'll let y'all know if it bears future fruit.

Sunday, November 27, 2022

The Newest Deduno, paired with another VHS

I typically try to purchase Dedunos in lots, either in a big group of Dedunos or as throw-ins that are part of a bigger purchase.  But every now and then I buy one solo if the circumstances are right.

The other day an auction started at 10 cents with free shipping.  I SHOCKINGLY was the only bidder, and for 11 cents (Taxes NOOOOOOO) another base Bowman Deduno was mine.  Here he is along with David Cronenberg's 1983 classic, Videodrome: 

On the card side of things, this get was exciting as it puts me at 98 Dedunos in the collection!  Very close to 100, can't wait to break that magical number.

On the VHS side of things, Videodrome is...wild.  I actually first saw it in college as part of a Cinema Studies course I was in.  Our professor LOVED horror and so in our Cinema 101 class that covered the breadth of cinema and exposed us to many of the most important films of all time, we had one week where we watched the original Halloween...and Videodrome.  

Now Halloween can be argued as cinematic classic, one of the best horror films of all time.  It spawned so many copycats and even today it's an incredible watch with a major following.'s different.  If you've seen any Cronenberg movies (The Fly, The Brood, Scanners, 1994's Crash), they're typically filled with body horror and have weird sex stuff going on, and you definitely get a lot of both of those in Videodrome.  It's a sort of fever dream of James Woods doing all sorts of weird stuff, including putting a gun that's melted into his hand into his stomach in a very sexual way.  It was a wild watch back in college, and it's still a pretty weird one today.  Maybe just as weird as collecting a bunch of one card like I am with Deduno.  But nah...probably weirder!