Thursday, January 28, 2010

Lap Top returns to DL

Fairfax, VA -- For the third time in as many years, Stale Gum has placed Lap Top on the 15-day Disabled List -- this time with a frayed power cord.

Stale Gum manager Chris Harris commented, "Man, these power cords are just shit. It seems like every six months or so, I have to replace it."

Harris said that the balloting for the Decade Gummie Awards will be delayed (again), but will continue to update the blog using the George Mason computer lab.

Fans of Stale Gum can continue to receive updates via the @stalegum Twitter feed.

Sunday, January 24, 2010

Topps Gimmick Fail

Even if you're ambivalent to gimmicks you have to admit, this is pretty stupid.

(h/t bdj610)

Saturday, January 23, 2010

Card-Ola: 2009 Bowman Sterling

No review, just the video.

Come to think of it, the WBC logo does look like the emblem of the German National Socialist Worker's Party.

Thursday, January 21, 2010

Card-Ola: 2009 Topps Tribute

Now we're getting into the big-time, no fucking around, high-roller, wax! Let's see what I pull.

One box of 2009 Topps Tribute (supplied by Topps)
Six packs per box, five cards per pack

The Video

The Pulls

Base Set: 18 of 100 (18.00%)


3 Blue (numbered to 219): C. Beltran, J. Mize, L. Gehrig
2 Black (1:4, numbered to 99): C. Jones, J. Maurer
1 Gold (1:8, numbered to 50): G. Carter




1 Relic Base Card (47 cards, numbered to 99): D. Snider
1 Blue Relic Base Card (47 cards, 1:7, numbered to 75): A. Pujols
1 Black Triple Relic Base Card (five cards, 1:10, numbered to 50) B. Ruth
1 Autographed Relic Card (55 cards, 1:8, numbered to 99) T. Hanson
1 Autographed Black Relic Card (55 cards, 1:11, numbered to 50): J. Marichal
1 Autographed Gold Dual Relic Card (18 cards, 1:22, numbered to 25): A. Ramirez

The Scans

The Review

Tribute is a hit-or-miss, "lottery ticket," type of product. It was like that when Topps introduced the brand back in 2001, and it remains the same today. When Topps introduced Tribute back in 2001 it caused a sensation as it was their first fore into a super-duper-premium, $100/pack product. (Remember that triple-swatch Nolan Ryan jersey card numbered to 30 copies?)

But times, and The Hobby, have both changed. Had I ripped this five years ago, this box of Tribute would have been excellent. But now after a decade of similar high-end products, Tribute lacks the punch that made the early-00s editions so great.

What's great about this year's Tribute are the base cards. I'm not normally a fan of rainbow-foiled cards, but these are gorgeous. They remind me a bit of the Topps Gold Label cards of the late 90s, but with a mid-90s Fleer Flair-like thickness. Considering the demographic this product is marketed to, it's a shame that most collectors will overlook what may be the most beautifully designed base set of 2010.

Product Rating: 3 1/5 Gumsticks (out of five)

... and another thing.

I received this e-mail from a Stale Gum reader regarding the Babe Ruth relic cards people have been pulling out of Tribute and Topps 206.
"Hey Chris, what the hell is going on with Topps and their Ruth etc. relic cards of late. Looks like they are trying to pass off some wooden benches as game used memorabilia in Tribute and T206. People are getting pissed I'm sense a Topps uprising. I busted a case of this stuff and now proud owner of a Polar Bear Babe Ruth "Babes Ass Was Here" card.

"Here's the latest email I received from Topps:


Thank you for the inquiry, please note on the back of the card it says memorabilia. We apologize for any confusion but memorabilia can include a wide array of items and is not limited to just a bat piece. Again we apologize and thank you for your continued support of Topps.


Love the site. Thanks again.

John Popowich
Art Director
McQdesign Strategies
Calgary, Canada"

To be honest with you, it really doesn't bother me that Topps might have used a piece of a bench or a stadium seat, instead of a Babe Ruth bat. (Upon further review, the left "chip" on the Babe Ruth card I pulled out of this box certainly doesn't look or feel like maple or ash, and probably is from a stadium seat.) What does bother me is that nowhere on the card does it mention what the relics actually are. I'm not a lawyer, I just play one in the cardblogosphere, but Topps is correct when they say that "memorabilia can include a wide array of items and is not limited to just a bat piece." However, if it is not specifically labeled on the card, most collectors would assume (and rightfully so) that a relic card with a piece of wood attached to it is from the bat of the pictured player.

Whether it's stadium seat relics or base-card variations of Carlton Fisk, card companies have an obligation to tell collectors exactly what is (and isn't) in their product BEFORE they release it to The Hobby.

... and yet another thing.

The Autographed Relic card of Atlanta Braves pitcher Tommy Hanson is misspelled "Tomnmy Hanson."

2010 Topps Gimmicks

Just when you thought Topps had gotten over gimmicks, and started to take The Hobby seriously again...

Card #94 in the 2010 Topps Baseball set (on the checklist distributed by Topps) is supposed to be Ivan Rodriguez. Imagine my surprise to have pulled this card #94....

Unlike last year, there were no mentions of base-card variations on the sell-sheets; nor is there any mention of such cards on the wrappers.


Oh sure, in the next few days Topps will issue the now-familiar ropey-dopey press release explaining away this gimmick. Until then, I'm going to go bang my head against the wall.

Sunday, January 17, 2010

National Chichle Parody Contest: We have a winnah!

Gentlemen, BEHOLD!!!!

I give you, the winner of the National Chicle Parody Contest: Beardy's Barry Aaron!

Friday, January 15, 2010

Guess what cards AREN'T in 2010 Bowman?

Take a wild guess.

According to the checklist posted on The Beckett Blog, Andrew Cashner, Aroldis Chapman, and Stephen Strasburg DO NOT appear in the Bowman Prospects insert set.

All three are listed in the "Top 100 Prospects" inserts and Cashner and Strasburg in the "Bowman Expectations" inserts. But, barring a last minute change, the Andrew Cashner, Aroldis Chapman, and Stephen Strasburg cards you see above WILL NOT APPEAR IN 2010 BOWMAN.

National Chicle Parody Card Finalists

First off, I have not forgotten the Decade Gummie Awards. Balloting for the best, and worst, of The Hobby in the decade just concluded will commence shortly.

Now that I've gotten that little piece of housekeeping out of the way, here are the five finalists in the National Chicle Parody Card contest. Keep in mind, the winner will receive a custom-made, one-of-one, cut signature card of Chris Olds.

Finalist #1, Beardy's "Barry Aaron":

Finalist #2, Greg Armentrout's "Barack Ghandi":

Finalist #3, Phungo's "Sy McWilliam":

Finalist #4, dayf, The Cardboard Junkie's "National (Goudey) Chicle":

And just for shits and giggles, I hereby nominate this card as Finalist #5:

Make your selections in the comments below, and I'll announce the winner this Sunday!

Thursday, January 14, 2010

More FAIL from National Chicle.

No, this is not a last-minute entry in the National Chicle Parody Card Contest.

Lou Gehrig with a soul patch. Need I say more.

Wednesday, January 13, 2010

National Chicle Parody Card Entrants.

From Dave Landesberg:

"We knew Don was old, but seems odd..."

From Steve at White Sox Cards:

"Using Topps logic, I wondered what a card of Barry Bonds would look like if the White Sox chose him instead of Kurt Brown in the 1985 draft. Then, also using Topps logic, I would use a picture of his "Killer Bs" partner Bobby Bonilla."

From Beardy, these two entries:

"Figured it was only appropriate after yesterday's big announcement admission."

From Motherscratcher of The Achiever Card Blog:

"This is my first entry. It will probably be the last as I am an exceedingly lazy man."

From Mark's Ephemera:

"See what a hornet's nest you've created?"

From Greg Armentrout:

"Let's see, cards depicting a regular player and named a respected immortal. This should fit that bill."

From Gellman At Sports Cards Uncensored:

"Haha, this is how I think."

From Matthew Glidden of Number 5 Type Collection:

"Enjoyed your contest concept and just crafted one based on a Ty Cobb."

From Matt Stephenson:

From Jeffrey Wolfe:

And finally, from dayf The Cardboard Junkie:

"Drinkin' the Haterade and spittin' on artists... Imagine how miserable I'd be if I DIDN'T like National Chicle!"

"This one was inspired by Paul Lempa, the guy who painted the Chipper Ruth card, in a comment from this post."

Thanks to all who entered. The winner of the Chris Olds cut signature will be announced shortly.

UPDATE: Damn, I almost forgot about Phungo's entries.

Tuesday, January 12, 2010

2009 Gummies: Analysis and Reax

Product of the Year, Best Retro-Themed Product: Topps Allen & Ginter

This was A&G's third straight win in the POY, although the Topps Flagship came in a very close second.

Card of the Year: SP Authentic Derek Jeter 1993 SP Buy-Back Autograph

Only 93 of them were made, but it the Jeter buy-back AU truly is a once-in-a-lifetime pull.

Rookie Card of the Year: Bowman Chrome #185 Gordon Beckham

This was the tightest race as all four nominees got at least 20% of the vote. The BowChro Beckham probably won due to: A) The lack of a dominant rookie in this year's RC-class, and B) The Bowman Chrome name.

Best Base Set, Best Design: Topps

Topps greatly improved the design of their flagship, and the Gummie voters rewarded them.

Best Insert Set: Topps Updates & Highlights Propaganda Posters

Chris Speakman's World War II-inspired posters were the runaway winner in this category.

Best Autographed/Game Used Set: Topps Allen & Ginter Framed Autos and Relics.

The Framed A&G hits are another repeat winner.

Best "High-End" Product: Sweet Spot

A rare victory for Upper Deck.

Worst Overall Product, Worst Base Set, Worst Design: Topps Ticket to Stardom

A runaway winner in all three categories.

Most Meaningless Product: Upper Deck First Edition

Don't blame Upper Deck, blame MLB for forcing UD to make this.

Most Disappointing Product: Topps Unique

Not much "unique" about it. Nice looking base set though.

Worst Insert: Upper Deck 20th Anniversary

If there's something baseball card collector's want, it's cards of hockey players and inanimate objects.

Dumbest Gimmick: Cut signatures of active/living Players (a.k.a. "Franken-Sigs")

Manufactured letter patches came in a very close second. Either would have been a worthy winner of this award.

Best Cardblog: Cardboard Junkie

It's dayf's cardblogosphere, the rest of us are just blogging in it. His third straight victory.

Best New Cardblog: The Collective Troll

Beardy had the early lead, but The Troll (and his fans) came through late in the balloting.

Best Hobby News Source: Wax Heaven

And it wasn't even close.

Best Video Box Breaker/YouTuber: stalegum

You're welcome.

Hobby MVP: Albert Pujols

I honestly thought Jeter would win this one.

Hobby ROY: Gordon Beckham

Beckham beats Tommy Hanson by only 14 votes.

Hobby Top Prospect: Stephen Strasburg

A no-brainer.

Jefferson Burdick Award for Contributions to The Hobby: Mario Alejandro

One of these days, Sy Berger's gonna win this.

Monday, January 11, 2010

2009 Gummies: The Winners.

Product of the Year: Topps Allen & Ginter
Card of the Year: SP Authentic Derek Jeter 1993 SP Buy-Back Autograph
Rookie Card of the Year: Bowman Chrome #185 Gordon Beckham
Best Base Set: Topps
Best Insert Set: Topps Updates & Highlights Propaganda Posters
Best Autographed/Game Used Set: Topps Allen & Ginter Framed Autos and Relics
Best Retro-Themed Product: Topps Allen & Ginter
Best Design: Topps
Best "High-End" Product: Sweet Spot
Worst Overall Product: Topps Ticket to Stardom
Worst Base Set: Topps Ticket to Stardom
Most Meaningless Product: Upper Deck First Edition
Most Disappointing Product: Topps Unique
Worst Design: Topps Ticket to Stardom
Dumbest Gimmick: Cut Signature Cards of Active/Living Players
Best Cardblog: Cardboard Junkie
Best New Cardblog: The Collective Troll
Best Hobby News Source: Wax Heaven
Best Video Box Breaker/YouTuber: stalegum
Hobby MVP: Albert Pujols
Hobby ROY: Gordon Beckham
Hobby Top Prospect: Stephen Strasburg
Jefferson Burdick Award for Contributions to The Hobby: Mario Alejandro

Congratulations to all the winners.

Sunday, January 10, 2010

UPDATE: National Chicle Parody Card Contest.


Yes, it's real.

You've seen the previews. You've read the negative reaction from around the cardblogosphere. And I know what you're thinking. How can I get in on the action? How can I simultaneously make fun of Topps for such a bad concept AND come away with a one-of-a-kind prize?

Fear not collector. Introducing the Stale Gum, Topps National Chicle Parody Card contest.

Just make your own National Chicle-inspired parody card, and e-mail it to me. If I judge you to have made the best fake card, you'll win a genuine one-of-one custom "Franken-Cut" signature card of serial plagiarist/Topps apparatchik Chris Olds.

Yes, this is a real 100% authentic signature of Olds, cut out of a greeting card acquired by yours truly, and mounted into a custom 2.5" X 3.5" frame.

Don't delay, enter today! And to inspire you, here are some examples of what I'm looking for.

Friday, January 08, 2010

National Chicle Baseball has "FAIL" written all over it.

As much as I like retro-themed sets, Topps may have pushed it a little too far with 2010 National Chicle Baseball.

Seriously, do we really need... this?

That's supposed to be Babe Ruth (although it looks more like a bloated Chipper Jones) depicted in the uniform of a team that did not exist until 18 years after his death.

But wait there's more...

Yes it's Ichiro, but in a Seattle Pilots uniform.

Why? Why not just airbrush a Brewers uni on the guy and be done with it?

And then there's this crime against cardboard...

So, is NCB supposed to be based on a 75-year-old football card set, or a 20-year-old baseball one? And who is this even supposed to be? Obviously it's not Frank Thomas, but it can't be Gordon Beckham either because he doesn't play first base. Paul Konerko?

What the fuck is this? What was Topps thinking?

(h/t Beckett Blog)

Thursday, January 07, 2010

2009 Gummies: FOUR DAYS LEFT!

First off, with about four days remaining until the polls close, there have been more 2009 Gummie ballots cast then last year -- almost twice as many, in fact! For those that have voted, I thank you, and for those about to vote (FIRE!), I salute you.

If you've yet to cast your ballot for The Hobby's highest honor -- the only awards chosen by the collectors -- well then, what the are you waiting for? VOTE DAMMIT!

And in case you've forgotten, nominations for the Decade Gummies are still being accepted. For a list of the Decade Gummie categories, click here.

Tuesday, January 05, 2010

Card-Ola: 2009 Bowman Draft Picks & Prospects

One Hobby box of 2009 Bowman Draft Picks & Prospects (supplied by Topps)
24 packs per box, seven cards per pack

Part One

Part Two

The Pulls

Base Set: 46 of 55 (83.64%)


Prospects: 13 of 75 (17.33%)
World Baseball Classic Stars: 30 of 35 (85.71%)


24 Gold (one-per-pack)
2 Blues (1:12, numbered to 399): B. Pounders, S. Wilkerson
15 Chromes
28 Chrome Prospects
1 Chrome Refractor (1:11): B. Canizares
1 Chrome Prospect Refractor (1:11): B. Nommensen
1 Chrome World Baseball Classic Stars X-Fractor (1:24, numbered to 199): R. Martin


1 Chrome Prospect Autographed Refractor (21 cards, 1:71, numbered to 500) M. Bashore
1 Chrome Prospect Autographed X-Fractor (21 cards, 1:159, numbered to 225) D. Storen

The Bottom Line

No Stephen Strasburg, no Dustin Ackley, no Donovan Tate, 35 more WBC cards (including such "Draft Picks" and "Prospects" as Derek Jeter, Bernie Williams, and David Ortiz), and only one decent true "rookie" (Tommy Hanson). That, and what few cards of '09 first-rounders there are, are only available as gimmicked autographed chrome cards.

Save your money, kids. 2010 Topps comes out in just a few weeks.

Product Rating: 1 1/2 Gumsticks (out of 5)

... and another thing.

Gordon Beckham, who's face appears on all the wrappers and wax boxes, does not have a card in '09 BDP&P. What's that keyboard cat?

Yes Keyboard Cat, that's what we call a FAIL!

Monday, January 04, 2010

Card-Ola: 2009 Triple Threads Football

Base Set: 3 of 100 (numbered to 799) J. Delhomme, R. Moss, T.J. Houshmandzadeh


1 Emerald (numbered to 149) S. Slaton
1 Gold (numbered to 99) B. Quinn
1 Sapphire (numbered to 25) C. Johnson


1 Sepia Combo Relic (numbered to 15) P. White/S. McGee/N. Davis
1 Gold Rookie Rising Autographed Relic Book (numbered to 9) M. Thomas

Decade Gummies: Nominations Still Open

Just a friendly reminder, but nominations are still being sought for the Decade Gummie Awards.

Voting in the Decade Gummies will commence as soon as the 2009 Gummies are over.

Saturday, January 02, 2010

2009 Gummie Awards Selection Special.

Don Pardo: "And now, from Fairfax, Virginia; almost live! It's the 2009 Gummie Awards Selection Special. And here's your host, Chris Harris!"

Chris Harris: "Thank you, thank you, very much Don Pardo. And I'd like to welcome you all to the 2009 Gummie Awards Selection Special. In just a few moments, we'll unveil the nominees for the 2009 Gummie Awards, but this year's Gummies will be extra special as we will honor the best and worst in The Hobby for the entire decade past."

"Over the next few weeks, we will unveil the Decade Gummie nominees. But now without further adieu, here are the nominees for the 2009 Gummie Awards!"


Topps (flagship)
Topps 206
Topps Allen & Ginter
Upper Deck Goodwin Champions


SP Authentic Derek Jeter 1993 SP Buy-Back Autograph
Topps 206 #262 Tommy Hanson
Topps Updates & Highlights #UH-189 "Photo Day Fun" (Young, Hamilton, & Kinsler)
Upper Deck USA National Team #USAB-SS Stephen Strasburg


Bowman Chrome #185 Gordon Beckham
SP Authentic #245 Matt Wieters
Topps #658 Rick Porcello
Topps 206 #262 Tommy Hanson


Topps Allen & Ginter
Upper Deck Goodwin Champions


Topps Updates & Highlights Propaganda Posters
Topps 206 Minis
Topps Allen & Ginter Mini Myths, Monsters, and Legends
Upper Deck X Xponential


Sweet Spot Signatures
Topps 206 Framed Autos and Relics
Topps Allen & Ginter Framed Autos and Relics
Upper Deck Goudey Graphs


Topps 206
Topps Allen & Ginter
Topps Heritage
Upper Deck Goodwin Champions


Topps Allen & Ginter
Upper Deck
Upper Deck Goodwin Champions


Sweet Spot
Topps Unique
Triple Threads


Topps Attax
Topps Ticket to Stardom
UD A Piece of History
Upper Deck X


Topps Ticket to Stardom
UD A Piece of History
Upper Deck X


Upper Deck First Edition
Upper Deck Icons
Upper Deck Spectrum


Bowman Draft Picks & Prospects
Topps Unique
Upper Deck Goodwin Champions
Upper Deck Goudey


Bowman Draft Picks & Prospects World Baseball Classic Stars
Upper Deck 20th Anniversary
Upper Deck Historic Firsts Predictors
Upper Deck OPC 1975 "Reprints"


Topps Ticket to Stardom
Upper Deck A Piece of History
Upper Deck Goudey
Upper Deck X


Cut Signature Cards of Active/Living Players (a.k.a. "Franken-Sigs")
Manufactured Letter Patches
Topps Wal-Mart/Target, Black/Throwback Blasters
Topps Heritage "Stealth" Variations


A Cardboard Problem
Cardboard Junkie
Dinged Corners
Sports Cards Uncensored
Stale Gum


A Pack to be Named Later
Beardy's Baseball Blog
The Collective Troll
JD's Wild Cardz
New Card Smell


Sports Cards Uncensored
Stale Gum
Tuff Stuff
Wax Heaven




Albert Pujols
Alex Rodriguez
Derek Jeter
Ryan Howard


Colby Rasmus
Gordon Beckham
Rick Porcello
Tommy Hanson


Bryce Harper
Jason Heyward
Stephen Strasburg
Yu Darvish


Keith Olbermann
Mario Alejandro
Marvin Miller
Stephen Judd
Sy Berger

Voting in the 2009 Gummies will commence TOMORROW! Stay tuned to Stale Gum for information, and keep in mind that nominations for the Decade Gummies will continue for another week.

Guess Who's NOT in 2009 BDP&P?

Here's a hint.

And no, this isn't the first time they've put a player on the wrapper, who isn't even it the set!