Friday, April 10, 2020

My Mark Grace Rookie Card Collection

I started playing baseball when I was 9 years old with a single year of tee-ball before moving into 3 years of little league.  The ball field was less than a mile from our house in Kingsford, MI and I would ride my bike there just about every day.  LoDal Field would be my summer home not only for the three years I played for First National Bank (FNB) but then graduating up to Babe Ruth in 1989.

Other than being right handed, I was built to play first base.  I was tall and had a long reach, could hit for average and power, but had no speed.  I almost always batted cleanup in the lineup and my later years I was hitting well over 400.  So naturally as a Cubs fan, Mark Grace quickly took over the role of my favorite player, while Ryne Sandberg remained close behind.  I could watch Grace and his sweet swing all day long!

At age 13 in 1988. I was in the prime of my baseball card collecting ages which started in 1986 and extended to 1991.  I loved the 1988 Donruss rated rookies and I was buying wax packs almost every day on the way home from school at Billy's corner store.  So now as an adult getting back into card collecting, I am glad to announce that I plan to build a PSA 10 set of these Mark Grace cards.  This will likely take me the rest of the year, but it will be a fun adventure!

Update December 5, 2020:  Entire major league set completed!  I have submitted the 1988 Peoria Chiefs Team Issue #11 to PSA and should see that come back in mid 2021.

Major League Card Checklist

Wednesday, April 8, 2020

COVID-19 stay at home observations

A few thoughts that have been running through my head the last few weeks while we are under stay at home orders in Minnesota.  The list will expanded periodically.
  • Pants?  Henceforth optional.
  • We have 7 blankets in our living room rotation.
  • Cereal bowls, spoons and coffee cups.  Throw out all other dishes.
  • Coors Light delivery is a real thing.  Two case minimum. 
  • It is possible to eat leftover spaghetti six times.  
  • World War II documentaries are fascinating. 
  • I was dreaming that I heard a turkey outside our living room window.  It was no dream.  Actual turkey outside our living room window. 
  • I've stopped looking for cars at intersections when out walking the dogs because there is no traffic, even on busy city streets
  • Grocery delivery is a God send. 
  • Be learned on COVID-19 from MULTIPLE news sources.  The more you know the better equipped you can be
  • Going INTO the office for business might be a thing of the past.
  • You CAN eat frozen pizza for lunch.
  • Blogging my top 100 characters on Gilmore Girls was probably over kill
  • No man misses shaving.  
  • When you have to drive a car again, it is going to feel weird for the first few miles.  
  • If your spouse hasn't killed you so far, they are for keeps!
  • You CAN take 12 cat naps in a single Sunday afternoon
  • Social media list making certainly has gotten popular again.
  • I miss eating hamburgers at local bars. 
  • I have drank more orange juice in the last month than I have in the last decade.
  • I want to go to church and see Father Joe again
  • We have been eating a lot of Chinese food.  Of course in China they just call it food. 

Monday, April 6, 2020

My Ryne Sandberg Rookie Card Collection

Being born in 1975 meant that I was 8 years old when Ryne Sandberg was a Chicago Cubs rookie.  Living in Upper Michigan, we got WGN on our TV so coming home from school each day, I was able to find a Cubs home game most of the time.  Along with Mark Grace, Ryno would be my favorite baseball players to this day.

Recently I decided I would assemble a PSA 10 collection of his rookie cards.  Previous to this, all I had was a low grade Topps rookie, which still needs to be upgraded. I am a huge fan of oddball cards, so the stickers, the Red Lobster and the All Star insert are a few of my favorites.

I hope you enjoy this Ryno eye candy!

1983 Topps Stickers #328 - PSA Pop 49

1983 O Pee Chee Stickers #328 - PSA Pop 7

1983 All Star Game Program Insert Hand Cut #NNO - PSA Pop 30

1983 Red Lobster Cubs #23 - PSA Pop 41

1983 Thorn Apple Valley Cubs #23 - PSA Pop 50

1983 Fleer #507 - PSA Pop 639

1983 Topps #83

Saturday, April 4, 2020

List of Top 100 Characters on Gilmore Girls

In an effort to not just mindlessly binge watch another series on Netflix, I decided that I would watch with intent -- intent to list and rank my top 100 characters on Gilmore Girls.  153 episodes spanning roughly 115 hours, which was the 3rd time I've watched the series.  While the rule of thumb is that you are not an expert at something until you have invested 10,000 hours, I think that I qualify to make my own list.  Note that this list reflects the original series and is not influenced by the revival.

The best part about my list, is that it is my list. I can guarantee you that no one on earth has the same list, in the same sequence. That is because each person has their own take on Gilmore Girls, and while you may appreciate what I have assembled, you will likely disagree somewhere along the way. The uniqueness of each person in this world is one of the many things that fascinates me. It's what makes lists of this nature, so much fun.

100. Trixie - Richard Gilmore's mother
99. Zack - Lane's husband, lead singer of the band
98. Tobin - Night manager at the Independence Inn
97. Martha - Sookie and Jackson's middle child
96. Jimmy Mariani - Jess's Dad
95. Rune - Jackson's cousin, goes on blind date with Lorelai
94. Terrance - Paris Geller's life coach
93. Asher Fleming - Yale Professor, boyfriend to Paris
92. Harry Porter - Mayor of Stars Hollow
91. Davey - Sookie and Jackson's oldest child

90. Mitchum Huntzberger - Logan's father
89. Marilyn - Richard's cousin
88. Jackson - Sookie's husband, supplies vegetables to the Inn
87. Gigi - Christopher and Sherry's daughter, stepsister to Rory
86. Andrew - Stars Hollow resident
85. Graham Sullivan - Yale student, introduced to Rory by Emily
84. Archie Skinner - Reverend in Stars Hollow
83. Sookie - Friend of Lorelai, Chief at the Inn(s)
82. Froggy - Terrible waiter at Luke's diner
81. Zach - Graduates with Lorelai

80. Norman Kingsley Mailer - Writer, coffee drinker Independence Inn
79. Juliet - Logan's friend, member of the life and death brigade
78. Rosemary - Logan's friend, member of the life and death brigade
77. Paul - Lorelai's classmate at business school, dates Lorelai
76. Princess - Lost dog found by Richard and Emily
75. Jacob - Cousin to Paris, they attend a Chilton dance together
74. Trevor - Rebound date for Rory after Jess
73. Fran Weston - Owner of Weston's diner, original owner of the Dragon Fly Inn
72. Jess - Rory's second boyfriend, Luke's nephew
71. Liz - Luke's sister, maker of jewelry for the renaissance fair

70. Morey - Husband to Babette
69. Gypsy - Wisetalking town mechanic
68. Lindsay - Dean's wife
67. Madeline - Classmate of Rory at Chilton
66. Nicole - Taylor's lawyer, marries and divorces Luke
65. Yiung Chui - Lane's cover up boyfriend for Dave
64. Beau Belleville - Jackson's brother
63. Babette - Loud talking neighbor to Lorelai
62. Mrs. Gleason - Kirk's neverseen Mother
61. The 2nd Troubadour - The 2nd Troubadour

60. Alex - Dated Lorelai after meeting at a lecture
59. Richard - Lorelai's father, Rory's grandfather
58. Christopher - Rory's father
57. Lulu - Kirk's girlfriend
56. Brian - Guitarist in the band, lives with Lane and Zack
55. Honor Huntzberger - Logan's sister
54. Headmaster Charleston - Headmaster, Chilton
53. Henry Cho - Chilton student who dated Lane.
52. Lane - Best friend of Rory, wife of Zach, drummer in the band
51. Rachel - Luke's former girlfriend

50. Lucy - Friend of Rory at Yale, roommate with Olivia
49. Olivia - Friend of Rory at Yale, roommate with Lucy
48. Anna Nardini - Mother of April, with Luke
47. Mrs. Kim - Lane's mother, owner of the antique store
46. Sherry - Christopher's wife, mother of Gigi
45. Francie - Rival of Paris at Chilton
44. Jason (Digger) - Short term business partner of Richard, dates Lorelai
43. Jamie - Boyfriend of Paris, attends Princeton
42. TJ - Liz's husband
41. Shane - Girlfriend of Jess

40. Michel - Concierge at the Inn(s)
39. Todd - Dean's friend, goes on date with Lane
38. Sophie Bloom - Owner of the record store
37. Tana Schrick - 16-year-old prodigy, Rory' freshman year roommate at Yale
36. Ian Jack - Divorced father of Julia at Chilton, asks Lorelai out on a date
35. Tom - Construction manager for Dragonfly Inn
34. Clara Forester - Dean's little sister
33. Dave Rygalski - Lane's first (and secret) boyfriend
32. Tristan - Classmate of Rory at Chilton, antagonizes Rory
31. April Nardini - Luke's daughter

30. Ceaser - Cook at Luke's diner
29. Emily - Lorelai's mother, wife of Richard
28. Paul Anka - Lorelai's dog
27. Miss Patty - Stars Hollow dance instructor
26. Brad - Classmate of Rory at Chilton, Broadway musical star
25. Rich Bloomenfeld - Love interest of Lane, she touches his hair
24. Sasha - Jess's Dad's (Jimmy) live-in girlfriend
23. Mia - Owner of the Independence Inn, takes in young Lorelai and Rory
22. Louise - Classmate of Rory at Chilton
21. Janet Billing - Runner, roommate of Rory in her freshman year at Yale

20. Colin - Logan's friend, member of the life and death brigade
19. Nanny - Paris Nanny, attends graduation
18. Paw-Paw - Michel's dog
17. Grant - Stars Hollow town troubadour
16. Taylor Doose - Town Selectman, Grocery, Soda Shop Owner
15. Cyrus - Digger's dog, master of a little to the left
14. Marty - Naked guy, likes Rory at Yale
13. Kirk - Performs dozens of jobs in Stars Hollow
12. Doyle - Yale Daily News Editor, boyfriend of Paris
11. Max Medina - Rory's professor, proposes to Lorelai

10. Al - Owner of Al's Pancake World
9. Dean - Rory's first boyfriend
8. Finn - Logan's friend, member of the life and death brigade
7. Gil - Former sandwich shop owner, member of the band
6. Joe - Pizza delivery man
5. Logan - Rory's boyfriend at Yale
4. Paris - Rory's friend, rival
3. Rory - Daughter of Lorelai, also named Lorelai
2. Luke - Owner the diner
1. Lorelai - Daughter of Richard and Emily, mother of Rory

Honorable mention:  Carol Springsteen, outcast family member from the Springsteen Harvard alumni family with multiple jobs including waitress and bunny for birthday parties