Thursday, November 20, 2014

#TBT Throwback Thursday - Charlotte Hornets Edition #3

The inaugural edition of 1990-91 Skybox basketball cards were unlike anything I've ever seen. I was in Jr. High School when these cards were released and I thought they were the coolest thing ever. Now nearly 25 years later I still think the cards look pretty good. Well, at the front of the cards.

Using the computer graphics for the background, the gold borders and the "glowing" effect used around the basketball made these cards stand out from the likes of NBA Hoops and Fleer. Skybox remained one of my favorite annual basketball sets until Upper Deck came out a few years later and seemingly stole some of the basketball card market share.


Dell Curry has always been one of my favorite players from the original Charlotte Hornets. Take a look at who's guarding Dell. Nice. I've always thought these cards look a little like something you'd find in some type of art deco style museum. I can understand why some fans and collectors shied away from the first few years of Skybox, but there is no doubting that they had a very unique look and created a little niche for themselves in the world of basketball cards.

Tuesday, November 18, 2014

So Long J-Hey Kid

Yesterday marked the end of the hometown kid's run in Atlanta. Jason Heyward was traded to the St. Louis Cardinals for pitcher Shelby Miller. While I understand the trade, it doesn't help remove some of the sting from the announcement. Heyward to me was one of those guys that epitomized what a major league player should be. Hustle. Hard work. Loyalty. I know Jason may not have lived up to some of the hype he had, especially after his rookie season, but he's a solid baseball player and I can't wait to see how he does in St. Louis under Mike Matheny and crew.

I still don't know who will fill his shoes out in right field, but I sure am glad I got to see him play one last time earlier this year. The Braves are a wreck and I sure don't envy new general manager John Hart and the position he is in. This move has proven (so far) to be pretty unpopular among us fans. Then again there is a reason we are fans and not general managers. This was a tough move to make, no doubt about it. Only time will tell if it was a good move.

The question I had to ask myself was what to do about collecting Heyward. I'm not a Cardinals fan. In fact I despise that ball club. However I think I've come to the conclusion that if I can collect Dave Justice cards wearing the Yankees pinstripes then I can collect Jason Heyward wearing the two little redbirds. Seriously though, for several reasons Heyward will remain a large part of my card collection. I respect his athletic ability, his work ethic, his love of the game, being a former Brave, but for most importantly he still falls under one of my collecting goals and that is we share the same faith in Jesus Christ.

So I end this post with a few random scans I had handy of the J-Hey kid. You'll be missed out in right field son. I wish you all the best...of course except when you come home and play the Braves!


2010 Topps Chrome Jason Heyward RC auto photo 11-10-201293533PM.jpg     2010 Topps Chrome Jason Heyward Refractor RC #174 photo 10-8-2012101328PM.jpg
  
2011 Topps Chrome Jason Heyward Orange Refractor photo 5-26-201274518PM.jpg     2011 Bowman Jason Heyward Finest Futures photo 5-21-201184945PM-1.jpg

2013 Panini Pinnacle Jason Heyward Clear Vision (Single) photo JH_zps3bf2ad12.jpg     2013 Topps Allen & Ginter Jason Heyward Mini Relic photo Heyward_zps1425978f.jpg

2013 Topps Jason Heyward Spring Fever photo 3-17-201395819PM_zps9ea2ea61.jpg     2012 Topps Gypsy Queen Jason Heyward Framed Mini Relic photo 6-7-201291339PM.jpg

2011 Topps Chrome Jason Heyward Orange Refractor photo 5-26-201274518PM.jpg     2011 Bowman Jason Heyward Finest Futures photo 5-21-201184945PM-1.jpg

2011 Topps Gypsy Queen Jason Heyward Bronze Framed Paper #879/999 photo 2-22-201295949PM.jpg    2011 Topps Finest Jason Heyward Finest Moments photo 10-21-201191104PM.jpg

2011 Topps Finest Jason Heyward Foundation Purple Refractor photo 10-21-201191100PM.jpg     2011 Topps Marquee Jason Heyward Gametime Mementos #057/199 photo 9-16-2011113850PM-1.jpg

 2011 Topps Lineage Jason Heyward 1975 Mini photo 8-15-201194655PM-1.jpg

Thursday, November 13, 2014

#TBT Throwback Thursday - Charlotte Hornets Edition #2

Continuing with the theme I started last week, this week's Throwback Thursday features 1990-1991 Fleer.


By the time the start of the 1990 season rolled around, my personal interest in the team really started to increase. Part of this was the play on the court continuing to slowly improve, but I also attribute some my interest due to the fact that I got to attend many games. My dad ended up splitting two season tickets with a couple from our church. My older brother was never interested in sports much so that left the door wide open for my dad and I to hit up the Hive and catch several games for several seasons to come.


    

My dad was a UNC Tarheels fan...so I had ended up a NC State fan. It made for some fun times growing up. Needless to say my dad was excited when the Hornets drafted JR Reid out of the University of North Carolina. I don't remember JR lighting it up very often, but he was a crowd favorite for many seasons here in Charlotte.

Thursday, November 6, 2014

#TBT Throwback Thursday - Charlotte Hornets Edition

Yes, I'm still suffering from Charlotte Hornets euphoria and the new NBA season. I feel as if I have a reason to watch and follow the NBA again. Granted it is a completely different animal since last I felt this passionate about the league, it's been a fun first week.

During this time I've started to tackle the stacks and stacks of unorganized cards I have sitting on my desk, beneath my desk and behind my desk. Some of these are old trades - which I apologize now if I've lost or forgotten who sent them to me. Some of the stacks are just cards I've amassed from packs, shows or just freebies I've been sent. Either way I'm trying to make sense of my mess as I've neglected for far too long.

One of the stacks I started going through last night was full of old Charlotte Hornets cards. Nothing flashy, mostly base cards. The timing however was perfect with the trip down memory lane. So for the next few Thursdays I'll have a Throw Back Thursday - Charlotte Hornets edition themed posts to share some of these cards I found.

For all of you baseball lovers, don't worry. I haven't turned my back on baseball or my Braves...I'm just not in the baseball spirit right now. Once the Winter Meetings, 2015 Topps and Spring Training hit I'm sure that I'll feel that excitement once again.

1989-1990 NBA Hoops



These are some of the earliest Hornets cards I believe I own. The '89-'90 season was the 2nd year of the Charlotte Hornet's existence in the league. The team was horrible, the win / loss record was even worse, but I remember that you would never know this judging by the fan excitement and home game attendance. 

1989-1990 Fleer



I prefer this year Fleer's design over Hoops hands down, but I hadn't quite gotten into trading cards period at this time so these 2 Fleer cards had to have come in a multi-card trade package or something. I would like to track down the rest of the team however one day.

Wednesday, October 29, 2014

The Buzz is Back!

October 29, 2014 the Charlotte Hornets 2.0 take the hardwood against the Milwaukee Bucks in Charlotte, NC. Unless you are a Charlottean or were in town for the majority of the original Hornets tenure in Charlotte, then you just can't begin to imagine the level of excite that is abuzz today. Yes, that pun was intended.


I still vividly remember going to Hornets games with my dad at the old Charlotte Coliseum, or as we called it "the Hive". The team in those early days wasn't the best in the league, but it was entertaining and boy did the Hornets fill the seats. Who would have ever thought the Charlotte Hornets would lead the NBA in attendance for 6 consecutive years back then?

I miss those days of watching Kelly Tripuka, Robert Reid, Kurt Rambis, Rex Chapman, Muggsy Bogues and Dell Curry hustling up and down the court. The night the Hornets beat the Bulls on a last second offensive rebound and put back from Rambis. Those were the days.

Later iterations of the team would bring in Kendall Gill, Larry Johnson (Grandmama), Alonzo Mourning, Glen Rice and other stars. The playoff win against the Celtics. I was there. I've never witnessed such an awesome sports experience before that moment or even to this day. Just watching this video again gives me goosebumps!


Now granted the team taking the court tonight isn't the original team. I've heard some outsiders saying that they can't understand why a new team name, new logo and colors would make that much of a difference. It's all about the product on the court. I couldn't agree more. While all the nostalgia will be fueling the tonight's game and most of the this season, it's still about the win loss record at the end of the day.


Post All-Star break last season the former team in Charlotte put up some great numbers and had an impressive 2nd quarter record. They made the playoffs only to face LeBron and the Miami Heat with a banged up Al Jefferson. Had things gone a little differently those last few weeks of the season they may have had a higher seed. Had Al not hurt his foot who knows what may have happened. But that was last season. This is a brand new season in every sense of the word. In addition to the players that have come back, the Hornets have added a few key free agents - Lance Stephenson from Indiana and Marvin Williams from Utah. Add those guys to drafted rookies Noah Vonleh and P.J. Hairston and I'm excited for this upcoming NBA season.

If you've been a regular reader of my blog then you've probably noticed by my lack of posts that I've hit that proverbial collecting wall. I often find myself going to Target or Walmart and not even looking at the card aisle these days. I really want to finish my 2014 Topps Allen & Ginter set, but I can't even find the time nor desire to collate the cards I do have so I can make a want list. I fear I've lost some readers and better yet that trading relationship I once had with many fellow bloggers. I do have to say however that my excite over the Hornets returning to town and to the court may flow over to cardboard. While I still have a very small collecting budget to work with, I'm finding myself starting to look at cards again...and even buying a few on the cheap end.  Take for instance these...

 

Big Al has been one of the best free agent signings by Charlotte, period. I really enjoyed watching his constant effort last season. His chemistry with Kemba Walker has been great and I'm looking for good things this season. I know this card shows Al in his old uniform and most likely the white swatch was taken from an old uniform as well, but for a buck I didn't mind making this one of my first Hornets 2.0 cards.

 

Cody Zeller had a pretty good rookie season last year and while I didn't pick up many of his cards, this was another early Hornets cards that I was able to snag for cheap. Panini appears to have done a nice job w/ the NBA Hoops brand yet again. I look forward to picking up cards of Cody and other players in their new Hornets uniform as the basketball card collecting season moves forward.

Monday, September 15, 2014

Latest additions to Sucktember's Atlanta Braves collection

As much as it pains me to watch my Atlanta Braves recently, I still manage to find myself with new cards of the various players.


I picked up this really beautiful 2012 Leaf auto of Alex Wood. This guy continues to impress me, but man he just can't seem to catch a break as the offense continues to let him down with their lack of run support.

   

   

Freddie just celebrated his 25th birthday and while he remains one of my favorite Braves players, his bat has gone silent...just like everyone else's on the team. Talk about a rough time for a team in general to be slumping. Yup, Sucktember is here again for my Braves.



Tossed in a new John Smoltz and Jeff Francoeur for good measure.

Saturday, September 13, 2014

Presenting the Week 1 Pepsi NFL Rookie of the Week

Wide Receiver for your Carolina Panthers...Kelvin Benjamin!

2014 Panini Black #18
2014 Panini Crusade #27
For those of you not in the Carolinas, Kelvin is the guy that helped make the ultimate decision that Steve Smith was no longer needed in Carolina. Of course there was so much more that led the team to the decision, a decision that didn't set too well with most Panthers fans. That was until the we saw Kelvin on the field in both pre-season and last week's game against the Bucs.

Kelvin stands 6'5" and weighs in at 240 lbs. They guy is a beast. Tall, fast, strong and has big hands. In week 1 he caught 6 passes for 92 yards (15.3 yard average) and a TD.

I know it's still very early, but Kelvin is already make some fans here in Carolina say "Steve who?" I don't own many of Kelvin's cards yet, but I may have to change that soon. The Panthers take on Megatron and the Detroit Lions at home this Sunday.