Monday, July 31, 2017

So I won a Nascar tire. Now What?

Two years ago, during the Iowa Wild hockey season, I signed up for a drawing from Freedom Tire at one of the games. Actually, I thought I was signing up for the opportunity to win a set of four new tires, which I actually could have used for my RAV-4.
As the 2nd period intermission ended, they announced my name as the winner of the Freedom Tire drawing. With a big smile on my face, I ran back up to the concourse for what I thought would be a gift certificate for a new set of rubber.
In reality, what I actually won was a NASCAR tire from an actual NASCAR race.
According to the Freedom Tires rep, the tire belonged to Regan Smith, who drove the #78 Furniture Row Racing/Farm American Chevrolet at the 12th Annual NASCAR Sprint Cup Geico 400, held Sept. 16, 2012 at Chicagoland Speedway. While Smith started 7th, he finished 34th, completing 176 laps before blowing his engine.

The tire markings show this tire belonged to team R78 (right-side tire, Car #78) and was supposed to go onto the right rear as part of his sixth tire change (RR-6), but it wasn't used due to the blown engine. Although it's a "slick," or smooth tire, it even has divots molded into it, which are used to measure tread depth
So, it's a brand-new tire, which was to have been used during the 2012 Geico race. The guy from Freedom Tire was pretty excited that an actual servicemember won the tire, especially since it had the "Support our Troops" logo on it. Apparently, the Goodyear Tire & Rubber Company, honored and supported the U.S. Armed Forces that year with the launch of its “Goodyear Gives Back” campaign,  designed to generate support for the U.S. Armed Forces and their families.
Race fans could visit the Goodyear Gives Back website and bid on authentic, race-used Goodyear NASCAR and NHRA tires autographed by drivers who used them in races, as well as other unique items including authentic motorsports experiences and memorabilia, with all proceeds going directly to Support Our Troops.
Needless to say, I had some interesting looks from fellow Wild fans as I left the game with this tire tucked under my arm.
Now comes the tricky part - What does one do with a full-sized NASCAR tire?
I could probably make a table out of it, maybe two, if I cut it in half. It's too big to use as a tire swing, and it's too nice (not to mention, big) to waste for a planter. I suppose I could put it on my Rav-4, but I'd need at least three more to go all the way around.
Since wining it, it's been sitting in my garage collecting dust. If anyone can come up with a good idea on what to do with it, please let me know.

Friday, July 28, 2017

A COMC autograph collection

As many of you know, I've been getting a plethora of free cards from the COMC website by helping with their daily Inventory Challenge. You get 100 points for every 50 cards you identify correctly and every 1,000 points earned is worth $1 of store credit.
Its taken me quite a while, but I've now accumulated 906,480 points, good for 37th place on the Overall Leaderboard. My goal is to hit the million mark and get the red "C" Badge. According to my Dashboard stats, I've now purchased a total of 764 cards from this fun site.
For my July shipment, I opted for a mixture of on-card and sticker signatures of my beloved San Diego Padres, as well as a few colorful and different cards for my Friar collection.
I'll begin with these autographs - a 2004 Bowman's Best Tim Stauffer Autograph RC (#TJS); 2009 Sweet Spot Autograph RC, S/N 477/699 (#109); 2000 Crown Royale Sweet Spot Signatures Ben Davis (#23); 2015 Topps Chrome Rookie Autographs Cory Spangenberg (#ARCS); 2010 Bowman Chrome Prospects Refractors Autograph James Darnell, S/N 475/500 (#PCP115B); and a 2017 Bowman Prospect Autographs Dinelson Lamet (#PADL).
Lamet's an interesting 25-year old Dominican international free agent RHP, After starting the season at El Paso, he's now 4-4, with a 5.02 ERA, 68 strikeouts, 20 walks and unfortunately, given up 11 home runs. He did, however, beat the NY Mets in his MLB debut on May 25, with 8 Ks, 2 BB, and an earned run in 5 innings pitch. He was 12-10 with a 3.00 ERA at El Paso last season.

2005 Skybox Autographics Future Signs Autograph Blue Akinori Otsuka (Print Run of 639) (#AO); 2007 Bowman Heritage Signs of Greatness Mike Thompson (#MT); 2009 Upper Deck Signature Stars Autograph RC (#181); 2001 Bowman's Best Autographs Sean Burroughs (#BBASB); 2006 Bowman Chrome Prospects Autograph Jared Wells (#BC230); and a 2014 Bowman Chrome Prospect Autographs Edwin Moreno (#BCAPEM).
Otsuka, who's one of my favorite Padres players, was hired this year as the bullpen coach for AAA El Paso. His son, Tora, a 5-9, 175 pound OF/2B, recently committed to the University of San Diego Toreros. He's a 2017 graduate of Rancho Bernardo High School in San Diego.
I'll continue with these 2012 SP Signature Kyle Blanks (#SD6); 2011 ITG Heroes and Prospects heroes Jerseys Silver Dave Winfield (Print run to 150) (#17); 2016 Panini National Treasures Alex Dickerson Jersey Autograph RC, S/N 39/99 (#157); 2009 Donruss Elite Extra Edition Donavan Tate Autograph, S/N 172/999 (#52); and a pair of 2011 Playoff Contenders Draft Ticket Autographs, one of Burch Smith (#DT4), the other Kevin Quackenbush (#DT85).

I just had to pick up some old School Padres, as well, including these 1999 Topps Traded Autographs Junior Herndon (#T42); 1997 Donruss Signature Autographs Rafael Medina (Print Run to 3,900), S/N (#71); 1998 Donruss Signature Autographs Millennium, S/N 209/900 (#26); 1996 Leaf Signature Autographs Andy Ashby (Print Run of 3,500) (#10); 1996 Leaf Signature Autographs Scott Sanders Silver (Print Run of 1,000) (#202); and a 1996 Leaf Signature Autographs Mark Newfield (Print Run of 3,500) (#168).

You know I couldn't have a COMC shipment without at least one Tony Gwynn card. This 1990 All-American Baseball Team (#14) perfectly fills that need. Here's a 2011 Topps Attax Foil Swinging Friar (#228); 2017 Topps Heritage Ryan Schimpf RC (#24); 2015 Panini Prizm Prizms Tie Dyed Cory Spangenberg, S/N 49/50 (#187); 2015 Topps Heritage Wil Myers Foil, S/N112/999 (#621); and a 2013 Topps Mini Pink Cameron Maybin, S/N 23/25 (#324).
You have to love that Swinging Friar. Schimpf is another one of those interesting players. At 29 years of age, he's getting to be a bit long in the tooth. Originally drafted out of LSU (where he was a 2009 College World Series Champion) in the fifth round of the 2009 draft by Toronto, he was picked up by the Padres in 2015 as a free agent. he made the Padres' 2017 opening day roster as a third baseman, However, with Schimpf, it's either feast or famine - he hit three homers in consecutive games last April, but was also in top 10 in strikeout rate, walk rate and fly-ball rate. He was sent back down to El Paso in early June..
If you like bright colors, you can't go wrong with these 2014 Bowman Yellow Cards of Ian Kennedy, S/N 59/99 (#7); Andrew Cashner, S/N 06/99 (#182); Chase Headley, S/N 72/99 (#54); 2014 Topps Yellow Will Venable (#64); 2015 Topps Chrome Pink Refractors (#132); and a 2014 Bowman Chrome Prospects Series 2 Pink Wave Refractors Jose Urena, S/N 59/65 (#BCP45).

How about a few Dave Winfield cards? Winfield, drafted by the Padres in 1973, was one of five players to be drafted by three different professional sports (In Winfield's case, it was four - the Atlanta Hawks (NBA), Utah Stars (ABA), and Minnesota Vikings (NFL), after graduating from the University of Minnesota in 1973.

Here's his 2002 American Pie Sluggers Gold (#11) and Blue (#11); 2015 Topps Triple Threads Amethyst, S/N 198/354 (#42); a pair of 2005 Upper Deck Fame, one green, S/N 164/200 (#15), the other a base card, S/N 352/560 (#15). I also grabbed a 2016 Bowman Chrome Draft MLB Draft History Ozzie Smith (#MLBDOS).