Saturday, March 28, 2015

More 2015 Donruss pack breaks - x4

It's nice to pull any autograph from loose packs and while the retired player shown is not exactly the type of guy I'd associate with a 2015 baseball card product - it's a card I can add to my award winners collection, since Horner was the 1978 National League Rookie of the Year.

Pack one
#189 George Brett
#185 Frank Thomas
#47 Mark Trumbo
#91 Dallas Keuchel
#135 Ryan Howard
#130 David Robertson
#23 Hisashi Iwakuma - Elite Series
#4 Dustin Pedroia - Diamond Kings

Pack two
#153 Brandon Belt
#149 Hunter Pence
#54 Nelson Cruz
#101 Albert Pujols
#105 Adrian Gonzalez
#96 James Shields
#39 Byron Buxton - Preferred insert

#172 Edwin Encarnacion - Stat Line parallel serial #'d 259/400

Pack three
#166 Alex Cobb
#69 Alexei Ramirez
#63 Anthony Rizzo
#131 Josh Donaldson
#126 Ichiro
#70 Bob Horner - Signature Series auto serial #'d 18/49
#36 Francisco Lindor - Preferred insert
#7 Johnny Cueto - Diamond Kings insert

Pack four
#176 Bryce Harper
#171 Rougned Odor
#84 Nolan Arenado
#76 Aroldis Chapman
#80 Yan Gomes
#73 Devin Mesoraco
#27 James Loney - Elite Series insert
#206 Adam Wainwright - 1981 Donruss

Thursday, March 26, 2015

2015 Donruss Yasmani Tomas Preferred

I guess I've been on sort of a Donruss kick - the base cards are bland and seem like filler, but the parallels and inserts give the product a little bit of life.

If Tomas plays, he'll have his share of cards, ones that will actually picture him in an Arizona Diamondbacks uniform - but I figured to pick one this VIP Reserved insert, serial #'d to 99, just to put away for now.

There have been rumblings that Tomas isn't going to be a particular great player especially if the Arizona Diamondbacks are insistent he stick at third base - he could have a season like fellow Cuban Jose Abreu in 2014 or might find himself with no immediate place to play, despite his immense power potential.

Wednesday, March 25, 2015

Upper Deck finds

At my LCS, I rummaged and dug through two monster boxes consisting of 1989 Upper Deck and 1993 cards [from a few brands including Donruss and Upper Deck] - I grabbed a bunch of cards that fit a number of mini-collection themes and in all, I had at least 120 cards I wanted to take home.

However, it's not like the cards were discounted since they'd been collecting dust and were in mothballs for the last 20-25 years - I still had to pay a quarter a card and probably at least $30 if I took home all the cards I found.

I had to slow down and whittle down my stash into something more reasonable - I put away the 1993 cards I pulled, figuring I could just pick up a full 1993 Upper Deck set instead of fooling around with loose cards.

I could probably pick up an 1989 Upper Deck set or at least end up with a lot of assorted cards - but there is still a little mystique with UD's inaugural brand, so I relented to pick up a handful that really appealed to me.

1989 Upper Deck Ken Griffey Jr. #1 - nah, just kidding

1989 Upper Deck Kevin Gross #31 - on the reverse image, pitchers hitting 

1989 Upper Deck Roger Clemens #195 - through his first legitimate run as a pitching superstar

1989 Upper Deck Mark McGwire #300 - I've always associated the image as one that might be used on a poster.

1989 Upper Deck Rick Sutcliffe #303 - pitchers hitting

1989 Upper Deck Dave Winfield #349 - hats off

1989 Upper Deck Oil Can Boyd #415 - showing emotion
1989 Upper Deck Dennis Rasmussen #645 - on the reverse image, pitchers hitting

1989 Upper Deck Mike Aldrete #738 - my best guess is he's swinging at a ball in the dirt.

1989 Upper Deck Jim Abbott #755 - this might have been his most popular rookie year card.

1989 Upper Deck Omar Vizquel #787

2015 Donruss Dominator Joc Pederson #23

This doesn't really fit into my collection but I picked up to complement a 2012 Bowman Chrome autograph I pulled several years ago - even though the card is unlicensed, it's nice and shiny.

Turning it over though, I see one big mistake - the highlights listed are not about Pederson at all, but Kennys Vargas of the Minnesota Twins.

Tuesday, March 24, 2015

Regional collecting

My team is the Angels and while I may say I'm interested in a number of non-Angels players like everyone else - I'm a one-team guy when it comes to collecting.

As is, I'm probably stuck to loose Angels inserts and base I may end up with like this Garrett Richards card I found - I can't get into high end cards, because it's all about Mike Trout, I kind of missed the boat on him, but now everyone is into him as the hot, young superstar.

I don't like the idea of trying to complete team sets [too tedious, especially when it comes to junk wax years], but want a collection of different, Angels cards - I think I do have to de-emphasize my interests somewhat because while I covet Angels cards, but I don't want it so I'm held hostage by the need to have all Angels related cards [even if the player pictured aren't really favorites].

An idea would be to scour for cards of prospects, so I have some better cards of guys who maybe future Angel stars - though guys anointed as top prospects turn into busts, guys who seem like future stars are disappointments and guys get traded or even find themselves cut prematurely.

Monday, March 23, 2015

2015 Donruss Jimmy Rollins #136

I was leafing through some 2015 Donruss base cards and found this Jimmy Rollins - he is sort of depicted as a member of the Los Angeles Dodgers baseball club and actually has him hitting at Dodger Stadium even though he hasn't played one single game there as a Dodger.

It's not a big deal, it's originally an image of Rollins as a Philadelphia Phillies player - but I do think it's kind of odd to see the on-deck batter in the background with a red undershirt, wearing a red batting helmet.

Featured autograph - Courtney Hawkins

Hawkins still has holes in his swing but with his power potential, should find himself in the major leagues eventually - the outfielder had a fine spring with the Chicago White Sox and things maybe looking up.

I wasn't sure about his signing habits but I had assorted prospect cards and a Future Stars 8x10 print I bought several years ago - so I was hoping to get at least the picture signed and maybe a few cards signed when I got out to Arizona for several days.

Hawkins was actually 'one per' guy, where he only signed one thing for a person at a time, but was actually cordial - he made sure to sign for anyone who wanted his autograph at Sox camp going out and coming back from practice.

It doesn't change things from a autograph collector's perspective but I guess 'one per' is just how Hawkins rolls - when he was signing, he asked another collector if he was going to be around and told him that he'd sign more for him then as opposed to signing more than just one card at the particular moment.

Friday, March 20, 2015

2015 Topps Opening Day blaster recap

Even though there are a handful of fun inserts I should be eating up - for me, Opening Day is kind of just exist as sort of filler.

Many of the cards came fresh out of the packs with the corners smashed - I guess I get what I pay for, but it's a waste of a cheap and fun break if I have to send more than half of the cards back to Topps.

While I'm not a stickler for condition, particular with base cards - I want 'clean' cards as opposed to ones with visible imperfections.

Pack one
#137 Dellin Betances
#154 Tanner Roark
#181 Jose Fernandez
#M-02 Atlanta Braves Mascot - Mascot insert
#90 Daniel Murphy
#38 Johnny Cueto
#40 Clayton Kershaw

Pack two
#94 Sonny Gray
#51 Aramis Ramirez
#197 Brian McCann
#SC-24 Adrian Beltre - Superstar Celebrations insert
#171 Andrelton Simmons
#83 Corey Kluber
#53 Jean Segura

Pack three
#69 James Shields
#87 Josh Hamilton
#162 Chris Davis
#110 Dalton Pompey - Blue parallel
#FF-15 Danny Santana - Franchise Flashback insert
#183 Dustin Pedroia
#113 Matt Barnes

Pack four
#71 J.D. Martinez
#36 Clay Buchholz
#166 Masahiro Tanaka
#STA-TC Nationals Park photo by Tom Cicotello - Stadium Scenes insert
#77 Mike Trout
#109 Brandon Finnegan
#96 Madison Bumgarner

Pack five
#122 Justin Verlander
#67 Josh Harrison
#163 Rafael Montero
#FF-08 Julio Teheran - Franchise Flashback insert
#169 Matt Adams
#104 Anthony Ranaudo
#136 Drew Smiley

Pack six
#9 Yu Darvish
#144 Robinson Cano
#4 Lonnie Chisenhall - Blue parallel
#STA-LD Safeco Field photo by Lica Djelosevic - Stadium Scenes insert
#177 Billy Hamilton
#138 Gregor Blanco
#151 Rusney Castillo

Pack seven
#180 Doug Fister
#146 Ben Zobrist
#105 Jose Abreu
#HTD-13 Elvis Andrus - Hit the Dirt insert
#17 David Ortiz
#98 Adam Wainwright
#128 Chase Headley

Pack eight
#20 Miguel Cabrera
#178 Carlos Santana
#168 Kennys Vargas
#HTD-02 Lorenzo Cain - Hit the Dirt insert
#74 Derek Norris
#182 Adrian Beltre
#130 Matt Holliday

Pack nine
#85 Zack Greinke
#188 Mookie Betts
#31 David Wright
#M-25 Theodore Roosevelt - Mascots insert
#102 Gio Gonzalez
#132 Peter Bourjos
#170 Marcus Stroman

Pack 10
#41 Carlos Gonzalez
#190 Cliff Lee
#126 Oswaldo Arcia
#SC-18 Mike Napoli - Superstar Celebrations insert
#52 Roenis Elias
#107 Erick Aybar
#140 Hanley Ramirez

Pack 11
#56 Elvis Andrus
#10 Pat Neshek
#175 Manny Machado - Blue parallel
#FF-12 Nick Castellanos - Franchise Flashback insert
#89 Brian Dozier
#120 Jay Bruce
#57 Salvador Perez

Wednesday, March 18, 2015

Featured autograph - Kyle Kubitza

I don't know much about Kubitza except the Angels picked him up during the offseason - I got him to sign a couple of cards in the Arizona Fall League a few years ago, so his autograph is already in the collection if he plays in a game for the Angels at some point.

Dare I dream that the 24-year old turns into a solid, but unspectacular player if and when he gets to the big leagues with the Angels - I don't think he's ever been regarded as a top prospect, but I'm just hoping Kubitza establishes himself as a useful MLB player for more than just a couple of years.