Friday, July 10, 2020

Topps Project 2020 Keith Shore Ken Griffey Jr. #88

I got this card in the mail from Topps and despite its notoriety, it's going into my micro-mini Ken Griffey Jr. PC - Shore's cards were probably the oddest looking Project 2020 cards early on, like he purposely dumbed his cards down to appeal to third graders, but market conditions have made his cards [Don Mattingly and Mark McGwire for example] valuable just the same.

After the boom, now everyone was going to pounce on any future Shore release and the hype was huge as Junior happened to be the next Shore card - because of FOMO I bought one just the same, but I knew there was going to be 70,000 of these cards made instead of the sub 10,000 numbers his early cards did.

Just to show I’m either not looney or maybe just not smart enough at the time, I didn’t get the other card - a Joshua Vides Nolan Ryan because while it might any of these might have been cash money cards, I’m only focused on the Mike Trouts [regardless of print run or future value] and a card or two that caught my eye.

After the fact, I was only off about 20,000 as there were 99,177 Shore Griffey Jr. [and 64,629 Vides Ryan] cards - the lure of the flip value brought in chumps who keyed in on the Griffey Jr., believing very new Project 2020 card was going to be a quick flip for at least $500 each.

After the Shore Griffey Jr. release, the values crashed and no one is going to be bragging about making a mint off any one particular card - I lost about $13 on the Griffey Jr. since I paid the full price [$21.44 including tax] on for a single card.

Maybe the Vides Ryan, paired with the Griffey Jr. wasn't a serious consideration for me but I can pick one up for $10 as well.

Thursday, July 09, 2020

Featured autograph - Pete Harnisch

Harnisch signed my two cards in blue Sharpie, though this I didn’t realize this MIA request was out for the longest time - until I got it back earlier in the year as part of the mail that piled up when I wasn't home for 5 months.

I might have sent this when he was working for the Angels back in 2012, but dating the stamps - this request might have been sent out in 2007 or 2008.

For what it's worth, I remember sending to him 20 years ago when he was still an active player [I think the cards were a 1991 Topps Traded and 1997 Fleer] - but presumably, I got those back within that time frame.

Wednesday, July 08, 2020

Will professional baseball be played this month?

Major League teams have started up summer camps and there is a cautious optimism the highest level of professional baseball will be played - I’m ambivalent because on MLB Trade Rumors or on Twitter, it seems like I'm reading daily news about players choosing to opt out of the 60 game schedule, different players getting sick with COVID-19 and needing to self-quarantine while there are instances where the testing is amateur hour at best.

I’ll watch the games if and when they start up but it's a long 3 weeks from now till that mid season Opening Day start - I'm still hoping to see Anthony Rendon mash for the Angels sooner than never along with what the team can do in a shortened, abbreviated season.

Ironically MLB has turned me off over the past 10-15 years because of the very things they have to do now to protect the self-absorbed players - social distancing and keeping them in this bubble where there might not be any sort of 'non-essential' casual access / contact allowed [ok, to get an autograph if nothing else] between players and fans.

To get overly dramatic, it might be one year from now, two years or five and it might not happen at a MLB game - but I just might cry that first time I get my first in-person baseball autograph from a big league player when an opportunity presents itself.

Tuesday, July 07, 2020

TTM autographs received: Jim Palmer

The Hall of Famer pitcher and longtime baseball broadcaster signed my two cards in blue Sharpie in about a week or so - Palmer has usually traveled with the visiting Baltimore Orioles and I've gotten him in-person several times over the past 20 years, but the last time I probably saw him was in 2012.

I dug some Palmer cards out of my IP boxes a year or so ago but left them loose until decided to finally send a couple out c/o a So. Cal address with $20 enclosed - I don’t want to blow my wad on TTM, but to get some cards inked up, what I might do is stagger my requests.

In addition to sending to subjects who don’t require a fee [yet?] - I’ll have those one or two ‘special requests’ I need to add money to.

Sunday, July 05, 2020

2020 Topps Series 2 hanger box recaps

I waited on an Excell employee to restock the card section at a Target to see if I can score a cardboard fix - to his credit, the guy wasn’t letting anyone touch anything as he busied himself with the job of unboxing various trading card product.

In between watching this guy putting out non-sport stock, I saw 2020 Big League value packs and blasters, 2020 Opening Day blasters and eventually 2020 Topps Series Two hanger boxes and value packs being placed on the shelves or hung up on the hooks - I felt silly, but who knows if I'll ever see the card section of any Target with actual unopened product to purchase.

Maybe the trading cards to look for would be NBA cards, but I wouldn't know anything about that - I was really hoping to see at least some 2020 Bowman Mega boxes I probably missed my window for those this year and I didn't see them being put out.

I grabbed the two hanger boxes of Topps while some father / son duo on stand by grabbed all the 2020 Panini Prizm baseball mega boxes and maybe some 'Pokemon' thing - there might be gold in those Prizm boxes but Panini's unlicensed baseball stuff is junk to me.

Box one

#678 Jose Rodriguez - I think I’ve been a fan of this Major League Baseball for about 30 years and while I wouldn’t know everyone who has ever played within that time frame, I feel like I had a better grasp of the rank-and-file guys 15-20 years ago. Now, it’s like my brain doesn’t have the space to acknowledge such players [even on my team] who have come up in recent years.
#654 Tim Lopes
#407 T.J. Zeuch
#451 Justus Sheffield
#492 Paul De Jong
#439 Dee Gordon

#617 Bryan Reynolds
#579 Kevin Kramer
#493 Christian Walker

#432 Walker Buehler
#619 Rick Porcello
#660 Brandon Nimmo
#480 Ozzie Albies

#490 Austin Slater
#450 Jorge Soler
#367 Giancarlo Stanton

#625 Detroit Tigers team card 
#651 Arizona Diamondbacks team card
#390 Emmanuel Clase
#682 Ronny Rodriguez
#502 Willians Astudillo 
#641 A.J. Pollock
#531 David Bednar

#637 Trevor Story
#380 James Karinchak
#457 Kevin Gausman
#511 Jordan Hicks
#589 Eric Lauer
#486 Dawel Lugo
#699 Sheldon Neuse
#501 Tampa Bay Rays team card
#417 Colorado Rockies team card
#592 Chris Dickerson
#664 Yonny Chirinos
#518 Shin-Soo Choo
#667 Adam Haseley
#381 Kyle Garlick
#402 Vince Velasquez - I always chuckle at the fact his father is a long-time So. Cal autograph collector who I still remember trying to ask Frank Thomas at the 2010 MLB All-Star Fan Fest whether or the Nugenix spokesman knew about his 1990 Topps NNOF error.
#693 Jon Berti
#560 Chad Pinder

#401 Jake Fraley
#470 Yan Gomes
#686 Josh Reddick

#606 Martin Maldonado
#525 Jake Cave
#572 Manuel Margot
#588 Tommy Kahnle

#464 Randy Dobnak
#414 Gio Gonzalez

#369 Kolten Wong
#459 Kwang-Hyun Kim
#488 Reynaldo Lopez
#639 Kolby Allard
#551 Clint Frazier
#689 James McCann
#442 Thomas Eshelman

#540 Kean Wong

#WOD-50 Wade Boggs - WARriors of the Diamond insert
#498 Brandon Workman - Rainbow Foil parallel

#FTH-8 Fernando Tatis Jr. - Fernando Tatis Jr. Highlights
#FTH-29 Fernando Tatis Jr. - Fernando Tatis Jr. Highlights

#WOD-23 Pedro Martinez - WARriors of the Diamond insert
#85-AS-25 Jose Altuve - 1985 Topps Baseball 35th Anniversary All-Stars

#TR-58 Babe Ruth - Topps Turkey Red insert
#TR-67 Steve Carlton - Topps Turkey Red insert

#TR-76 Will Clark - Topps Turkey Red insert
#TR-87 Nick Solak - Topps Turkey Red insert

Box two - go figure, maybe the first 40 cards out of the two hanger boxes [up to #401] were all the same and the reality of being so thirsty, only to be screwed over by random collation really hit me.

FWIW, I only listed the section of the brick where it was mostly a different run of cards.

#576 Sergio Romo
#626 Nate Lowe
#557 Adam Ottavino
#440 Carter Kieboom
#427 Edwin Diaz
#447 Griffin Canning
#471 Lorenzo Cain
#379 Ivan Nova

#549 Freddie Freeman
#425 Mike Foltynewicz
#395 Scott Oberg

#404 Raimel Tapia
#414 Gio Gonzalez
#369 Kolten Wong

#459 Kwang-Hyun Kim
#488 Reynaldo Lopez

#85-AS3 Roger Clemens - 1985 Topps Baseball 35th Anniversary All-Stars blue parallel
#673 Anthony DeSclafani - Rainbow Foil
#FTH-23 Fernando Tatis Jr. - Fernando Tatis Jr. Highlights
#FTH-9 Fernando Tatis Jr. - Fernando Tatis Jr. Highlights

#WOD-47 Rod Carew - WARriors of the Diamond insert
#85AS-30 Darryl Strawberry - 1985 Topps Baseball 35th Anniversary All-Stars

#TR-60 Lou Gehrig - Topps Turkey Red insert
#TR-52 Brusdar Graterol - Topps Turkey Red insert
#TR-84 Ozzie Smith - Topps Turkey Red insert
#TR-97 Stan Musial - Topps Turkey Red insert

Wednesday, July 01, 2020

1987 Fleer Bobby Bonilla RC #605

I might be dialing things back to ancient history, but I grabbed this card because it reminded me of a trading card magazine that touted Bonilla as the better card ‘investment’ over his Pittsburgh Pirates teammate, Barry Bonds - I want to say Sports Card Trader was the publication, which probably no one in the 21st century remembers, though I occasionally read it as a young collector in the early 1990s.

Bonilla had a productive career, though he’s mostly immortalized for Bobby Bonilla Day - my mother is the accountant in the family, but maybe how the deal works is if even if you end up paying a guy more over time, maybe the yearly amount almost ends up being spare change found in cushions [considering what the New York Mets were supposed to be making], rather than one lump sum being paid out.

I think it might be neat to build up micro-mini collection of these one-time stars and treat the cards like they were still hot commodities - putting them in top loaders and/or semi-rigids and hoarding them as snapshots of a re-imagined collect past for me.

Tuesday, June 23, 2020

New pitchers hitting pick ups for me

The Darvish and Tanaka were part of lots I found on eBay - I thought I might have bought the cards from a local stateside seller, but the cards looks like they were actually mailed from Japan.

They are only really checklist cards but it's a novelty to see these big league pitching imports at bat in games - for the teams they played for before coming over to the United States.

The other cards were part of my acquisitions - the 1986 Fleer Classic Miniatures Gooden [#19] is sweet while the other two were nice finds as well.