Tuesday, February 18, 2020

More TTM autographs received in 2020

I got the bug to put together autograph requests through the mail after writing exactly one TTM request in 2019 - to have a purpose I've tried to write to former Angels guys, whose unsigned cards I ended up with, but autographs I don't have in my collection.

It might be a little hard to account for everyone, but I'll make the best I can trying to add more names to my Angels all-time autograph collection - it is nice to get something back that goes into my regional collection, even if it is more autographs of rank-and-file types that played years before I was born.

Pictures of these successes were saved in my scan folder and I decided to use them in a blog post that maybe my last before going on a spring hiatus - not like this place has been is buzzing with traffic, but for the 1-3 dedicated readers I might have, this might be my last post for a while.

Wednesday, February 05, 2020

TTM autographs received: Juan Marichal and Juan Guzman

Marichal signed my two cards in blue Sharpie - I worried I’d have to wait for this one, especially when I enclosed $20, but it only took about a couple of weeks for a successful response.

I’ve had successes trickle in from requests I’ve made in January and maybe TTM is a thing again - maybe getting a Marichal motivates me to try my luck with some of the guys that require a small fee to sign cards [without going through an 'official' middle-man of sorts].

Guzman signed my cards [1997 Fleer pictured] in about two weeks - he had a good debut run back in 1991 and I remember his rookies released the following season meant something for a little bit as he looked like a star in the making.

While his final career tally doesn't look so bad, the former Toronto Blue Jays star never was able to replicate his early successes - due to a number of reasons, the middle of his career was up-and-down as he turned into 'just a guy.'

Monday, February 03, 2020

1987 ProCards Waterloo Indians Lenny Randle #27

I’ve been looking for this card on the down low ever since I saw it on a blog breaking down the Waterloo team set - the particular blog may have been ethered to oblivion so I wouldn’t be able to figure out which it was.

Randle is obviously 'posed' to mimic that time as a player in the 1970s where he blows a ball into foul territory - I know little about Randle except for that ‘feat,’ which sort of made him a cult baseball player for a little bit.

This minor league card probably isn’t as cultish like the one where Keith Comstock makes like he gets hit in the nuts - but it falls under the same silliness theme.

Friday, January 31, 2020

2019 Topps Holiday Walmart Box break

When it’s just about time for 2020 Topps flagship to show up - only now did I finally get my hands on one lousy box of this 2019 Walmart exclusive product.

I had to go to a different Walmart than the one I usually go to - I was able to buy a 2019 Bowman Platinum blaster there last year and thought it might be a place to check out.

This was the only baseball ‘thing’ in the little card section, but it was coming with me - I just hope it wasn't tampered with, being the only box left.

As I broke down the contents of the box, maybe it was decent since I pulled some 'Dollar Tree' keepers - a Fernando Tatis Jr. RC, a Francisco Lindor relic, a Vladimir Guerrero Jr. RC, a Pete Alonso RC and a Alonso RC Metallic Snowflake parallel.

I've seen some gimmicky effects added onto certain cards as variations - so I used the help of the linked Beckett guide to visually check if I pulled a card with a nice festive surprise hidden.

Pack one
#HW20 Harold Ramirez
#HW14 Mitch Haniger
#HW163 Hunter Dozier
#HW103 Yasiel Puig
#HW87 Albert Pujols - Metallic Snowflake
#HW81 Evan Longoria 
#HW73 Zack Greinke
#HW193 Josh Hader
#HW126 Fernando Tatis Jr.
#HW173 Trent Thornton

Pack two
#HW128 Khris Davis
#HW169 John Duplantier
#HW148 Aaron Judge

#WHR-FL Francisco Lindor - relic; looks like a bat piece
#HW2 Charlie Morton
#HW25 Joc Pederson
#HW21 Pedro Avila
#HW72 Christian Yelich

Pack three
#HW114 Thairo Estrada
#HW176 Freddie Freeman
#HW138 Nicky Lopez
#HW119 Lorenzo Cain
#HW5 Taylor Clarke
#HW175 Gary Sanchez - Metallic Snowflake
#HW44 Derek Dietrich
#HW167 Vladimir Guerrero Jr.
#HW8 Juan Soto
#HW113 Ozzie Albies

Pack four
#HW86 Jeff McNeil
#HW170 Yoan Moncada
#HW80 Scott Kingery
#HW34 Austin Meadows

#HW71 Pete Alonso - Christmas socks SSP?
#HW196 Charlie Blackmon
#HW24 Stephen Strasburg
#HW50 Max Scherzer
#HW93 Josh Donaldson
#HW104 Renato Nunez

Pack five
#HW180 Noah Syndergaard
#HW190 Corbin Martin
#HW139 C.C. Sabathia
#HW66 Griffin Canning
#HW12 Nick Anderson - Metallic Snowflake
#HW13 Hunter Renfroe
#HW11 Ryan Pressley
#HW174 Corey Seager
#HW171 Brendan Rodgers
#HW32 Jose Abreu

Pack six
#HW26 Anthony Rizzo
#HW3 Nate Lowe
#HW164 Kirby Yates
#HW134 Yasmani Grandal
#HW41 Max Muncy
#HW55 Josh Belle
#HW186 Jorge Alfaro
#HW63 Ryne Harper
#HW85 Ronald Acuña Jr. - Presents rare?
#HW88 Pablo Sandoval

Pack seven
#HW57 Matt Chapman
#HW28 D.J. LeMahieu
#HW60 Blake Snell
#HW191 Luis Arraez
#HW179 Tyler O’Neill
#HW71 Pete Alonso - Metallic Snowflake
#HW152 Aaron Nola
#HW45 Byron Buxton
#HW46 Hunter Pence
#HW158 Jorge Soler

Pack eight
#HW78 Justin Smoak
#HW33 Shohei Ohtani
#HW27 Giancarlo Stanton
#HW67 Max Kepler
#HW7 J.D. Hammer

#HW182 Gleyber Torres - Ugly Sweater wristbands SP?
#HW12 Nick Anderson
#HW87 Albert Pujols
#HW90 Hyun-Jin Ryu
#HW18 Dee Gordon

Pack nine
#HW77 Patrick Corbin
#HW9 Alex Verdugo
#HW149 David Peralta
#HW142 J.T. Realmuto
#HW45 Byron Buxton - Metallic Snowflake
#HW77 Luke Voit
#HW110 Anthony Rendon
#HW99 Will Smith
#HW133 Jose Berrios
#HW29 Mookie Betts

Pack 10
#HW38 Luis Castillo
#HW166 Tommy La Stella
#HW35 Alex Bregman
#HW168 Cole Tucker
#HW127 J.D. Martinez
#HW61 Orlando Arcia
#HW49 Spencer Turnbull
#HW168 Austin Allen
#HW117 Amed Rosario
#HW120 Tim Beckham

Thursday, January 30, 2020

40 card St. Louis Cardinals repack break

I spent $5 on 20 assorted MLB team repacks at the end of 2019 and while I've put the cards away the best as I could and/or count certain ones for my collecting topics subsets - I figure to share the results one team at a time, whenever I'm up for an evergreen post.

St. Louis Cardinals - 40 cards
1998 Fleer Tradition Update J.D. Drew #U100
1993 Topps Luis Alicea #257 - men at work
1989 Donruss Cris Carpenter #39
1983 Topps Ken Oberkfell #206

1992 Donruss Geronimo Pena #533 - in the air
1992 Upper Deck Cris Carpenter #686
1991 Topps Archives 1953 Harvey Haddix #273 - players smiling
1991 Donruss Pedro Guerrero #25 - hats-off
1993 Fleer Todd Zeile - dirt
1996 Upper Deck Collector’s Choice Alan Benes #695 - inking it up; have it
1993 Pinnacle Bien Figueroa #263 - nations / D.R. / Santo Domingo
1992 Upper Deck Todd Zeile #40
1996 Upper Deck Collector’s Choice John Frascatore #692
1988 Donruss Jack Clark #15
1992 Topps Gerald Perry #498 - horizontal
1996 Fleer Mark Sweeney #557
1993 Topps Felix Jose #67
1994 Topps Jose Oquendo #406 - facial hair
1996 Leaf Brian Jordan #142 - baserunning
1991 Topps Tim Jones #262 - dirt
1993 Fleer Bryn Smith #515 - facial hair
1996 Pinnacle John Mabry #26
1988 Donruss Jack Clark #15
1992 Topps Geronimo Pena - players smiling

1996 Upper Deck Tom Pagnozzi #439 - tools of ignorance; on the reverse; play at the plate.
1994 Topps Luis Alicea #416 - shades; on the reverse image
1993 Topps Bob Tewksbury #285 - grips
1992 Upper Deck Brian Jordan #3 - facial hair
1992 Topps Tom Pagnozzi #448 - Topps sampler run
1994 Topps Rheal Cormier #594 - Topps sampler run
1998 Donruss Royce Clayton #261 - players smiling on the reverse
1992 Donruss Rex Hudler #438

1992 Topps Bernard Gilkey #746 - hats-off
1993 Score Ozzie Smith #532 - posed
1992 Fleer Bryn Smith #590 - facial hair
1994 Leaf Ray Lankford #384 - players smiling on the reverse image
1997 Topps Gallery Alan Benes #26
1992 Donruss Luis Alicea #560
1994 Topps Rheal Cormier #594
1983 Topps Super Veterans Jim Kaat #673

Tuesday, January 28, 2020

Some TTM autographs received in 2020

I got the bug to put together some autograph requests through the mail after writing exactly one TTM request in 2019 - I like getting stuff in the mailbox and tend to believe there will always opportunities to get successes even if the idea of writing someone and expecting an actual response is a little quaint and old fashioned.

John Verhoeven signed my Topps buyback card in about 6 days, giving me a new 'old-school' Angels autograph for my all-time collection - he also returned my letter with some responses, so sending him a request turned out pretty good, when the card was kind of just 'loose' in my collection.

Al Spangler signed my 1978 TCMA The 1960s card in about a couple of weeks giving me a new 'vintage' [considering the player, not the card] Angels autograph for my all-time collection - a couple of years ago, I set aside some cards I’d picked up as part of a couple of loose team sets [Angels and Giants] picturing some old-timers still living at the time.

I’d planned to send off the cards to be autographed but simply forgot about them - while former Angel Jim Coates passed and Del Crandall is now in a assisted living facility, I finally wrote to the other players that are still living at the moment.

- Bob Bolin - 1978 TCMA The 1960's - no response yet

- Eddie Bressoud - 1959 Topps and 1978 TCMA The 1960's - took a couple of weeks

- Jim Duffalo - 1978 TCMA The 1960's - took a couple of weeks

Sunday, January 26, 2020

Rest in Peace Kobe Bryant 1978-2020

I'm not going to mention every person that passes on and the idea of death is inevitably awkward, but it does seem to mean a little bit more when someone relatively notable passes like professional athlete or celebrity - maybe because they are in the spotlight and as far as Kobe goes, someone who was supposed to be larger than life.

A player's untimely passing makes me think for a moment about the times I've objectified these players as performers on the field, generating statistics I pore over on a day-to-day basis and guys whose autographs I have or don't have in my collection - at the end of the day, professional athletes are just like anybody else with their own lives.

I never collected his cards seriously or actually got his autograph in-person and maybe the closet thing I got from him was a glare when trying to take his picture leaving a baseball game with family - Kobe was the biggest deal for the longest time, even through his mess ups and feuds with a notable teammate on his own.