Happy Opening Day!
March 31st, 2014 by slangon

After a long and particularly brutal winter, it’s finally here – Opening Day 2014. It just rolls off the tongue. A day of renewal. A day of hope. A day when your team is undefeated.

In honor of this happiest of days, I’ve created some custom cards of the Mets 2014 Opening Day lineup in the style of W516 strip cards. These were cards issued in the late teens through early twenties and were typically sold via nickel or penny vending machines. You plopped in your penny and a strip of cards would pop out. Kids would generally, I suppose, cut the strips into individual cards, but I opted to keep some of my Mets cards in tact.

Also, please note that although I did my best to try and anticipate the Mets Opening Day nine a week in advance to give myself some time to work on these cards, of course Chris Young wound up with a quad strain out of nowhere and Daniel Murphy went into labor (or at least his wife did). I did end up making extra cards of guys who were question marks, just in case, but I did not make and Andrew Brown card. Because it’s Andrew Brown. I’m just going to show my Chris Young card instead and pretend like nothing happened.

Enjoy and Let’s Go Mess Mets!

2014 SlangKo New York Mets Opening  Day Strip

2014 Slangko Mets Opening Day Ruben Tejada

2014 SlangKo Mets Opening Day Eric Young Jr.

2014 SlangKo Mets Opening Day Juan Lagares

2014 SlangKo Mets Opening Day Curtis Granderson

2014 SlangKo Mets Opening Day Travis d'Arnaud

2014 SlangKo Mets Opening Day David Wright

Slainte.
March 17th, 2014 by slangon

As you no doubt know, today is the feast of St. Patrick. What you might not know is that “Saint” Patrick is not actually a saint, at least not in the canonized sense. Regardless, every year on the anniversary of his death, millions of pints of green beer and countless shots of Irish whiskey are consumed by the sons and daughters of the Emerald Isle in honor of he who drove the snakes off of that sacred soil.

So in honor of the patron saint of Ireland, I have created a custom card done in the style of 1934 National Chicle Batter Up. Or should I say 6 custom cards.

2014 SlangKo Kustom Kards St. Patrick Group Shot

 

When National Chicle issued their Batter Up series beginning in 1934, each of the cards in the low number series (1-80) were printed in a monotone of one of six colors: black, sepia, red, blue, purple and green. The higher numbers were only produced in four colors: black, blue, green and sepia. For my St. Patrick card, I chose #17 in honor of his death date, thus he gets 6 parallels.

There’s the sepia, which was punched out and folded and therefore obviously not worth as much.

2014 SlangKo Kustom Kard St. Patrick Sepia Parallel

Fortunately, I also have the other five colors in mint condition. There’s black.

2014 SlangKo Kustom Kards St. Patrick Black Parallel

 

There’s blue.

2014 SlangKo Kustom Kard St. Patrick Blue Parallel

 

There’s purple.

2014 SlangKo Kustom Kard St. Patrick Purple Parallel

 

There’s red.

2014 SlangKo Kustom Kards St. Patrick Red Parallel

 

And of course, there’s green.

2014 SlangKo Kustom Kards St. Patrick Green Parallel

 

Enjoy the day, everyone. Don’t drink too much green beer.

That Ball is Gone…
February 7th, 2014 by slangon

Having grown up a Mets fan, I’ve spent a lot of time listening to Ralph Kiner talk about baseball. Strike that. I’ve been fortunate enough to listen to Ralph Kiner talk about baseball. Every fan has those special days during the baseball season that they look forward to. Opening Day. That big series with a rival team. The All-Star Game. The Post Season. A double header maybe. For me, the times when Ralph would spend a couple of innings in the booth with Gary Cohen, Ron Darling and Keith Hernandez were definitely among those special days.

When I heard that he passed yesterday, I knew I wanted to do a tribute card for him.

Of course Ralph Kiner is probably known more outside of the Mets fan base as one of the most dangerous sluggers of the 1950′s. I was unsure whether I wanted to make a custom card of him in his prime as a ball player, or as I remember him as a broadcaster. With that uncertainty firmly in hand, I decided to just start tracking down some images that I could use and take it from there. After a few minutes of browsing, I realized that I was way off base in wavering between him as a player and him as a broadcaster. There were so many more facets of this man’s life that stood out, I didn’t want to try and encapsulate them in just one card. So I made five.

Before there was Ralph the ball player, there was Ralph the war hero.

 

2014 SlangKo Ralph Kiner WWII Veteran front

 

2014 SlangKo Ralph Kiner WWII Veteran back

Then there was Ralph who led the league with 51 home runs in just his second year in the Majors.

2014 SlangKo Ralph Kiner Slugger front

2014 SlangKo Ralph Kiner back

While that was going on, there was Ralph who dated Hollywood starlets and counted Bing Crosby and Frank Sinatra among his friends.

2014 SlangKo Ralph Kiner Ladies Man front

2014 SlangKo Ralph Kiner Ladies Man back

Then came Ralph who carved out a five decade long broadcasting career, bridging generations of fans.

2014 SlangKo Ralph Kiner Broadcaster front

2014 SlangKo Ralph Kiner Broadcaster back

And let’s not forget Ralph the Immortal.

2014 SlangKo Ralph Kiner Hall of Famer front

2014 SlangKo Ralph Kiner Hall of Famer back

Rest in peace, sir.

110 Years Ago
December 17th, 2013 by slangon

As everyone knows, on this day 100 years ago, Orville and Wilbur Wright took to the skies in their Wright Flyer. Also, most everyone has at one point or another seen the iconic photo of the plane, piloted by Orville, at the point of liftoff with Wilbur standing off to the right. But how many of us know the story of the man who took that iconic photo?

This is the second installment in the SlangKo Famous Americans & Everyday Joe’s series.

2013 SlangKo Famous Americans & Everyday Joes The Wright Brothers and J.T. Daniels front

2013 SlangKo Famous Americans & Everyday Joe's The Wright Brothers and J.T. Daniels back

 

Happy Turkey Day!
November 28th, 2013 by slangon

Today’s the day that millions of us Americans get together with our families and sit around and stuff obscene amounts of turkey and stuffing and potatoes and candied yams and green bean casserole and biscuits and gravy and pumpkin pie and turnips and glazed carrots and peas and whatever other traditional Thanksgiving dish your family usually serves into our pie holes.

That wasn’t always the case, of course. Time was when only those living in New England did that. It wasn’t until one woman started a feverish letter writing campaign that spanned 5 presidencies that every American was compelled to ingest at a single sitting what most third world villages eat in a month. This here is a card sharing the story of the woman who wrote to the president who gave birth to the holiday.

2013 SlangKo Famous Americans & Everday Joes Lincoln / Hale front

 

2013 SlangKo Famous Americans & Everyday Joes Lincoln / Hale back

 

Have a great holiday, everyone. Don’t eat too much.

(Programming note: Although I will probably occasionally post actual cards from time to time around here, it seems like this (and this) is kind of the new format around here. I’ll be focusing my attention on a wide variety of custom cards that suit (or don’t) the occasion. I’ve also accepted the fact that designing and building custom cards takes a little longer than scanning some pieces of cardboard and writing about them, so posts won’t coming as frequently as they once did. I’m okay with that. I feel like part of what burnt me out and made me stop posting for 7 months was I got to the point where I started posting because I felt like I had to rather than I had something to say. I’ve also deliberately made the decision to actually physically make the cards as opposed to just posting an image of the artwork. That was for two reasons. First, I never really liked how flat and lifeless the customs looked when shown in that way, and second, I’ll end up building a little stockpile of custom cards that perhaps can be utilized in some sort of giveaway down the road. I’m not sure yet. We’ll see what happens. Anyway, go eat some turkey and watch some football.)

Charm City Cards
November 27th, 2013 by slangon

Continuing with my effort to show off some cool cards that I’ve gotten in the last couple of months that have inspired me to get back on the blogging horse, here’s some random cards that I added to my collection in Baltimore of all places. Back in August, the wife and I took a long weekend trip there to celebrate out 10th anniversary. One of the spots we ended up at was Fell’s Point. While walking around there, occasionally ducking into the closest bar for a Natty Boh, we happened upon a whole street of antique shops. Having nothing better to do and not having kids in tow, we wandered into a few of them and to my surprise, many of them had cards. I think I ended up dropping around $10 in total and this is what I got.

1989 Topps Talking Baseball Pack 1

1989 Topps Talking Baseball Pack 2

1989 TOpps Talking Baseball Pack 3

That’s three packs of 1989 Topps Talking Baseball. I don’t think that those are something that I would normally pursue, but they were there, they were cheap, and they all had Mats cards in them. The first pack has the 1986 NLCS Game 6 and Gregg Jefferies. The second one has the 1969 World Series Game 5, when the Mets clinched their first World Series. The last one obviously has Doc Gooden. I was also psyched about the Ty Cobb card that it apparently contains. I say apparently because even though I got these 3 plus months ago, I’ve neglected to open any of the packs. That’s not because I’m trying to retain their value, mind you. It’s more because these suckers are big (5.25″ x 3.25″) and I have no idea what to do with them once they’re freed from their plastic constrains. I also have no idea what the “talking” part is about since you need a special player to make them talk. Anyone ever played these?

1966 Topps Juan Marichal

I also scored a well scored ’66 card of the Dominican Dandy. Couldn’t leave that one there all alone, no matter how beat up it was.

There was also a handful of ’56 Topps cards, of which I snagged two.

1956 Topps Jim Wilson

 

Not the most exciting ’56 I’ve set eyes on, but I thought it was appropriate to buy a vintage Baltimore Oriole while I was in Baltimore.

1956 Topps St. Louis Cardinals Team Card

 

The 1956 Topps set is one of my favorite sets. I happen to collect manager and team cards. I appreciate beat to hell vintage cards. This one was a no brainer. I also happen to really like that for a few years during the 50′s, Topps would include a key on team cards of who is who. Including the batboy and the trainer.

Lastly, and to me, most interestingly, I picked up a few of these:

1963 Topps Monster Laffs Midgees #82 front

 

1963 Topps Monster Laffs Midgees #82 back

 

When I first saw these, I had absolutely no clue what the hell they were. I just saw the “© T.C.G.” in the corner and decided for 25¢ a pop, why not? I do have a non-sport card collection going on, don’t I?

1963 Topps Monster Laffs Midgees #31 front

 

1963 Topps Monster Laffs Midgees #31 back

 

Once I got back from the trip and was able to hit the internets, I wasn’t too much clearer on what they were. Obviously they were produced by Topps and the name of the set is Monster Laffs. When you search the web for “Topps Monster Laffs” however, things get a little confusing. I got search results for 1961 Monster Laffs, 1963 Monster Laffs, 1966 Monster Laffs, 1967 Monster Laffs and 1968 Monster Laffs. To further confuse the subject, sometimes they’re referred to as midgee’s and sometimes not.

1963 Topps Monster Laffs Midgee #22 front

 

1963 Topps Monster Laffs Midgee #22 back

 

One of the few pages that I was able to track down that actually talked about the set rather than tried to sell it made things slightly clearer, although not crystal clear. According to that site, Topps released 2 different sets of Monster Laffs cards. In 1963, they put out what people refer to as either “Mini-Monster Laffs” or “Monster Laffs Midgges”. These were 1 9/16″ x 2 1/2″ (slightly bigger than tobacco size) cards that were issued in 3 card panels, separated by perforations. Then in 1967, as Topps was wont to do, they recycled the earlier set into a standard card size set. Basically they took the artwork they already had and slapped it onto a regular 2 1/2″ x 3 1/2″ card. I can only assume that the references to 1961, 1966 and 1968 in the search results were misdirected references to one of those two sets.

1963 Topps Monster Laffs Midgee #2 front

 

1963 Topps Monster Laffs Midgee #2 back

 

Going with that information, it’s pretty clear that the cards that I got are part of the earlier midgee set. They are indeed 1 9/16″ x 2 1/2″ and there’s clear signs of them having been ripped off a perforated sheet. Until someone tells me different, I’m going with that. Although, I don’t know that I could honestly say that I would’ve gone out of my way to track these down, or will try and add any more to my collection, I think they’re sort of neat. The jokes are positively groan inducing and who doesn’t love cheesy b-grade sci-fi and horror movies. Not bad for a quarter.

So that’s it for my Baltimore haul. As promised, I have one more batch of blog inspiring cards to show off before I have to figure out exactly what I’m trying to do with this blog. Stay tuned.

50 Years
November 22nd, 2013 by slangon

The president of the United States was shot at 12:30pm on this day 50 years ago.

2013 SlangKo John F. Kennedy front

2013 SlangKo John F. Kennedy back

 

Unfortunately, the president was not the only victim that day. Dallas police officer J.D. Tippit was also fatally shot when he confronted Lee Harvey Oswald shortly after the assassination.

2013 SlangKo J.D. Tippit front

2013 SlangKo J.D. Tippit back

Hello?
November 19th, 2013 by slangon

Anybody there?

Probably not, considering it’s been 7 months since my last post. What can I say? Sometimes life gets in the way of baseball card blogging, right? Well, I guess that’s only half true. Things have been pretty hectic what with jobs and houses and kiddies and whatnot. Honestly, I probably could’ve found time to post a few times between all that though. It was really a combination of all that combined with a rather lackluster baseball season from my standpoint as well as a temporary lack of interest in collecting. Well, maybe lack of interest isn’t quite accurate. I was still randomly acquiring some cards, just not with as much fervor as in the past.

And that’s what brings me back here today.

This past week, I ended up landing a box of cards that I consider to be one of my greatest achievements thus far in my career as cheap vintage card acquirer. A box of cards so great that it actually inspired me to fire up my scanner and computing machine and tell a bunch of strangers about it (assuming that any strangers still check back here anymore).

So now that I’ve reeled you in with that lead up, I will not be showing that particular box of cards here today. No sirree. I have a few other pretty sweet cards that I’ve scored over the last 7 months that I’d like to share before I get into the meat of the matter. For instance, there was a plain white envelope that I received way back in June that spewed forth several impressive (to me at least) pieces of old cardboard.

Starting with this guy.

1960 Topps #568 Dell Crandall All-Star

1960 Topps Del Crandall All-StarI bet you all forgot that I’ve been trying to complete the 1960 Topps set, didn’t you. Hell, I almost did myself. Landing a high number from that set sure helps to remind one of one’s goals. Especially when it’s one of the especially awesome looking All-Star cards from the set.

Next up…

1955 Bowman #259 Don Mossi

1955 Bowman Don Mossi

It’s everybody’s favorite pretty boy, Don “The Babe Ruth of Ugly” Mossi. While this particular Don Mossi card may not present Don’s unique features in their most un-flattering light, it sure does give it a go. By the way, ugly jokes aside, did you know that at the time that retired in 1965, he had the highest career fielding percentage (.990) of any Major League pitcher.

Moving right along.

1951 Bowman #14 Alvin Dark

1951 Bowman Al Dark

These early 50′s Bowman sets have been slowly but surely moving up the ranks as some of my favorite sets ever. I really love the painterly look of them. There’s also something about the look of them that I can’t quite put my finger on that works really well with the condition that I usually get them in. Something about the rounded corners and yellowed borders works really well with the bright, saturated colors of the player image. Here’s more about the man on the card.

And finally… the pièce de résistance…

1952 Bowman #40 Gil Hodges

1952 Bowman Gil Hodges

Yeah, it’s jacked up. Yeah, it’s got tape on it that’s older than me. Yeah, the corners are rounded and the edges are ragged. But it’s Gil Hodges. From the 1950′s. As a Brooklyn Dodger. You know all that mumbo jumbo I was talking about a second ago with the Al Dark card, about how these early 50′s Bowman cards tend to work really well with the condition that I usually get them in? Well I think this Gilbert card is an even better example of it. There’s just something really cool to me about the combination of that really crisp artwork with those deep greens and blues with the muddy brown of that tape and yellowish gray of the cardboard itself. I also absolutely love the Ebbett’s Field stands in the background with all that raw steel and sky. This card easily is one of my favorites out of all my collection.

Anyway, there’s some cards. I’ve got a few more that I want to show over the next week or so, but I think the blog might be turning in a different direction after that (if I can stick to it that is). Although I may still occasionally show some cards that I’ve added to my collection, I’ve been thinking that from here on out, I’m going to focus this space much more on custom cards.

Stay tuned to see if that’s true.

The Most Wonderful Day of the Year
April 1st, 2013 by slangon

Opening Day is finally here. I’m pumped, even though my favorite team is the Mets. So pumped in fact that I actually decided to post today. Huzzah.

For those of you who care about things like this, ladies and gentlemen, your 2013 New York Metropolitans.

Leading off and playing center field…

2013 SlangKo Kustom Collin Cowgill

Batting second and playing second base…

2010 Upper Deck Daniel Murphy

Batting third and playing third base, your captain…

2010 Topps Turkey Red David Wright

Batting clean up and playing first base…

2011 Gypsy Queen Future Stars Ike Davis

Batting fifth and playing right field…

2008 Goudey Marlon Byrd

Batting sixth and playing left field…

2011 Gypsy Queen Lucas Duda

Batting seventh and catching…

2008 Allen & Ginter States John Buck

Batting eighth and playing shortstop…

2012 Topps Heritage Ruben Tejada

And batting ninth and pitching…

2009 Upper Deck Jonathon Niese

Play ball.

Happy Beer Drinking Day!
March 17th, 2013 by slangon

Despite my apparent sabbatical from the blog recently, I couldn’t miss the 4th Annual Condition: Poor St. Patricks Day Parade of Cards, once again led by the Grand Marshal, the Mets’ own “Irish Hammer” Daniel Murphy.

So without further ado, let’s get to the wearin’ o’ the green. Grand Marshall Murphy, lead the way.

2010 Topps Heritage Daniel Murphy

1994 Fleer Tommy Greene

1994 Bowman Rick Greene

1991 Bowman Willie Greene

1965 Topps Dick Green

1962 Topps Pumpsie Green

1962 Topps Dallas Green

1961 Topps Fred Green

1960 Topps Gene Green

2009 Topps Update Tyler Greene

2009 Topps Update Nick Green

2007 Goudey Shawn Green

2007 Goudey Khalil Greene

2006 Topps Todd Greene