Friday, October 31, 2014

2014 Topps Stadium Club mini box recap #2

Pack one
#28 Giancarlo Stanton
#155 Michael Wacha
T10C George Springer - Luminous insert
#69 Freddie Freeman
#160 Joe Mauer

Pack two
#87 Joey Votto
#26 Taijuan Walker
#52 Manny Machado
#16 Nolan Arenado
#148 Salvador Perez

Pack three
#25 Juan Encarnacion
#147 Bo Jackson

#50 Mike Trout - Rainbow parallel
#31 Todd Helton
#131 Dustin Pedroia

Pack four
#23 John Smoltz
#179 Felix Hernandez
#SCA-TC Tony Cingrani - auto
#122 Craig Kimbrel
#103 Adam Eaton

Pack five
#150 Clayton Kershaw
#163 Masahiro Tanaka
#FA-23 Jose Fernandez - Field Access insert
#44 Hank Aaron
#120 Jose Bautista

Pack six
#78 Josh Hamilton

#166 Mat Latos - Foil Board parallel serial #'d 1 of 25
#66 Matt Cain
#38 Robinson Cano
#64 Tim Lincecum

Thursday, October 30, 2014

My Oscar Taveras cards - a final look

His potential is what makes his untimely passing a tragedy in the sense that baseball fans care - who knows now what he could have done with a full season in the major leagues? He could have lit the league up on fire through the next 5-10 years, he might have been a star, All-Star or superstar but now he is gone.

The cards featured were the ones I hoped to get him to sign in-person at some point - I'll probably keep them together to put in one of my mini-collections [beyond the glory] as a constant reminder that Taveras was supposed to be destined for stardom.

I had printed an image of the Taveras 2014 Topps Update card [#US-113, the Rookie Debut subset card] earlier in the year - it was great on Topps' part to sneak in a card of Taveras taking a curtain call after his first MLB home run in his first game.

2012 Bowman Chrome #BCP 102 Blue refractor parallel - I found this one in a dollar box and while it wasn't autographed, I thought it was a sweet find.

2013 Topps Heritage Minors #200 - I wish I could have gotten the opportunity to get Taveras' autograph on one of his Topps Heritage Minors cards [2012-14].

2013 Topps Pro Debut #1 - Taveras was also the cover boy for the product's boxes.

2014 Topps Heritage Minors #119 - Taveras may have been a redundant inclusion but he added some star power to this year's base set.

2013 Bowman Platinum BPP #1 - while Taveras never had the chance to pile up a significant run of MLB cards, he had assorted prospect and minor league cards.

2014 World Series recap

Congratulations to the San Francisco Giants for winning their third World Series championship in five years - I wonder how Los Angeles Dodgers fans feel at the moment when they haven't won squat in nearly 30 years.

It's amazing that the Giants didn't have Matt Cain, a past his prime Tim Lincecum was mostly unused and both of their veteran pitchers [Jake Peavy and Tim Hudson] really stunk it up - I was hoping the Royals would have one more run [literally] in them to change things around in Game 7, but the Giants still had Madison Bumgarner to close things out on his way to being named World Series MVP.

To watch the Royals lose was mildly disappointing because they had come so far and even though they snuffed out the Angels early in the Division Series - how they kept surging on was pretty impressive.

Wednesday, October 29, 2014

2014 Topps Stadium Club mini box recap #1

Pack one
#164 Ryan Braun
#136 Jason Kipnis
#177 Eddie Murray
#84 Aroldis Chapman
#184 Cliff Lee

Pack two 
#152 Nelson Cruz
#43 Pedro Martinez

#FA-7 David Wright - Field Access insert serial #'d 91/99
#188 George Brett
#27 Lou Gehrig

Pack three
#80 Roger Clemens
#81 Anibal Sanchez
#14 Travis d'Arnaud
#110 Xander Bogaerts - Rainbow parallel
#56 Nick Castellanos

Pack four
#45 Gregory Polanco
#SCA-LH Livan Hernandez - auto
#170 Ryan Howard
#126 Torii Hunter
#167 Domonic Brown

Pack five
#108 Pedro Alvarez
#117 Don Mattingly
#77 Al Kaline
#FA-14 Miguel Cabrera - Field Access insert
#182 David Ortiz

Pack six
#110 Xander Bogaerts
#55 Andrew Heaney
#FS-8 Jose Abreu - Future Stars insert
#68 Adrian Beltre
#121 Carlos Gonzalez

Tuesday, October 28, 2014

2014 World Series blues

I have watched little of the 2014 World Series - I don't remember sitting around to watch any particular game on TV and I feel like I'm not really missing anything.

Maybe I check on the box score on ESPN when I can but I've pretty much set any interest aside besides bits and pieces I might find out - maybe I'm just weird, maybe I'm not a true baseball fan or maybe I'm just tired of all the narratives that would be pushed around the series by Fox perhaps, by the mainstream media and/or by the baseball analysts who focus on the numbers.

One thing is clear that San Francisco Giants starting pitcher Madison Bumgarner is just a beast - the guy might be some kind of country bumpkin [no offense] in more ways than one, but Bumgarner just takes the ball and sets batters down one-by-one like a machine.

In recent years, there was Tim Lincecum, Matt Cain and Tim Hudson in the Giants' rotation and while Bumgarner has always been well regarded - maybe the other guys have garnered much more of the attention.

Now it's kind of come to be that Bumgarner is the Giants' ace pitcher and there is a certain steeliness and confidence in which he pitches with that seems admirable - especially when he is only 25 years old.

Monday, October 27, 2014

Fairfield assorted 20 pack repack mix #2

This box didn't end up having as much juice as the first repack box - though the cards may not be worth much individually, the nicer cards came out of the five 2013 Topps Archives packs.

2008 Upper Deck Spectrum
#69 Nick Swisher
#84 Felix Hernandez
#85 Ichiro
#DJ 91 Derek Jeter - Retrospectrum insert

2009 Upper Deck Spectrum
#82 Tim Lincecum
#98 Vernon Wells
#95 Ian Kinsler
#SS-TH Tim Hudson - Spectrum Swatches insert / jersey card
#65 Derek Jeter
#33 Troy Tulowitzki

2012 Topps 
#10 Jon Lester
#154 Ty Wigginton
#TM-35 Zack Greinke - 1987 Topps minis insert
#TT-17 Joe Morgan / Brandon Phillips - Timeless Talents insert
#42 Drew Pomeranz
#283 Brandon Allen
#285 Drew Storen
#131 Ian Desmond
#27 John Buck
#194 Danny Duffy

2013 Bowman Platinum
#BPP 91 Michael Wacha
#54 Josh Hamilton - Gold parallel
#68 Johnny Cueto
#BPP 90 Marcel Ozuna

2013 Bowman Platinum
#44 Jarrod Parker
#BPCP 94 Ty Hensley - refractor
#60 Will Middlebrooks
#BPP 67 Joey Gallo

2013 Topps Series I
#54 Jaime Garcia
#236 Joe Nathan
#308 Desmond Jennings
#43 R.A. Dickey
#277 Brendan Ryan
#4 Yadier Molina
#268 David Lough
#247 Luis Perez
#TM-42 Willie Mays - 1972 Topps minis insert
#146 Kyle McClellan
#102 Denard Span
#237 Brandon Lyon

2013 Topps Series I
#44 Anthony Rizzo
#275 Johnny Cueto
#135 Eric Hosmer
#255 Josh Johnson
#23 Jemile Weeks
#100 Mike Moustakas
#231 Melky Mesa
#TM-18 Carlos Santana - 1972 Topps minis insert
#32 Craig Breslow
#180 Casey Kotchman
#258 Doug Fister
#159 Felipe Paulino

2013 Topps Series I
#329 Rafael Soriano
#38 Brian Wilson
#133 James Shields
#120 Ian Desmond
#207 Matt Holliday
#330 Ryan Raburn
#266 Albert Pujols
#CD-18 Chris Sale - Chasing the Dream insert
#221 Heath Bell
#312 Scott Hairston
#71 Kyle Kendrick
#208 Kurt Suzuki

2013 Topps Series I
#16 Andre Ethier
#52 C.C. Sabathia
#137 Edinson Volquez
#34 Felix Hernandez
#179 Detroit Tigers - 2012 ALCS Game 4
#35 Justin Verlander
#288 Starling Marte
#183 Drew Hutchison
#241 Jacoby Ellsbury - Emerald parallel
#164 Lucas Harrell
#56 Joe Blanton
#250 Jon Niese

2013 Topps Series I - die-cut pack designed as a hanger
#141 Carlos Santana
#22 Clayton Kershaw
#213 Alex Rodriguez
#263 Ted Lilly
#85 Sean Doolittle
#187 Nick Maronde
#111 Casey Kelly
#CD-25 Mike Moustakas - Chasing the Dream insert
#215 Gordon Beckham
#279 Vicente Padilla
#168 Kyle Farnsworth
#211 Jarrod Parker

2013 Topps Series I - die-cut pack designed as a hanger
#28 Prince Fielder
#155 Mat Latos
#113 Starlin Castro
#115 Tim Hudson
#17 Shin-Soo Choo
#149 Yovani Gallardo
#254 Sean Burnett
The Million Dollar Chase info card
#56 Joe Blanton
#250 Jonathon Niese
#152 Jose Contreras
#177 Elliot Johnson

2013 Topps Archives
#27 Manny Machado
#88 Derek Holland
#102 Matt Moore
#169 Pedro Alvarez

#83-BH Bryce Harper - 1983 All-Stars insert
#178 Giancarlo Stanton
#1 Babe Ruth
#69 Eddie Mathews

2013 Topps Archives
#182 Andre Ethier
#35 Adam Dunn
#74 Miguel Montero

#MT-DJ Derek Jeter - Tall Boy insert
#66 Tim Hudson
#125 Kyle Lohse
#199 Eric Hosmer
#33 Corey Hart

2013 Topps Archives
#77 Tony Cingrani
#144 Paul Molitor
#184 Kyle Seager

#MT-BP Buster Posey - Tall Boy insert

#GH-JR Jackie Robinson - Gallery of Heroes insert
#154 Yovani Gallardo
#4 Marco Scutaro
#78 Johan Santana

2013 Topps Archives
#163 Hyun-Jin Ryu
#15 Mike Morse
#58 Cole Hamels

#MT-DM Denny McLain - Tall Boy insert
#142 Willie Stargell
#175 Yogi Berra
#18 Jon Lester
#62 Jacoby Ellsbury

2013 Topps Archives
#182 Andre Ethier
#35 Adam Dunn
#74 Miguel Montero
#117 Carlos Santana

#83-BP Buster Posey - 1983 All-Stars insert
#70 Ozzie Smith
#147 Hiroki Kuroda
#155 Wilin Rosario

2013 Topps Chrome
#67 Ryan Vogelsong
#132 Ricky Nolasco
#155 Adam Eaton - refractor
#49 Andrew McCutchen 

2013 Topps Chrome
#189 Alfredo Marte
#CC-MH Matt Harvey - Chrome Connections insert
#55 Mike Olt
#122 Adrian Beltre

2013 Topps Chrome
#160 Ian Kinsler
#177 Mike Moustakas
#213 Gio Gonzalez - refractor
#166 Jackie Bradley Jr.

2013 Topps Opening Day
#172 Manny Machado
#93 Justin Upton
#SC-8 Ryan Zimmerman - Superstar Celebrations insert
#35 Justin Verlander - blue parallel serial #'d 1666/2013
#24 Tommy Milone
#160 Johan Santana
#43 Pedro Alvarez

The one hit included with the 20 packs was a 2003 Flair J.D. Drew Diamond Cuts jersey card #DC-JD - Drew was a fine ballplayer when healthy but was more than a little detached, so he wasn't a traditional fan favorite.

Sunday, October 26, 2014

Damn

Top prospect Oscar Taveras and his girlfriend killed in a car accident.

Fairfield assorted 20 pack repack mix #1

I'd read blog posts talking about the hits pulled from the 20 pack boxes at Target and was feeling impulsive, so I grabbed two $19.99 boxes for myself - in the window of a couple of boxes I saw, there were multiple Topps Allen and Ginter's packs, multiple Topps Chrome packs and multiple Archives packs.

I thought these boxes might be worth a gamble, even though the packs inside are probably still retail discards and I don't think I was going to pull anything good - while there were no loose 1988 Donruss or 1989 Topps sticking out, that told me nothing.

The one hit included with the 20 packs was a 2011 Bowman Sterling Nolan Fontana Team USA jersey card #USAR-NF - very random, but it's a hit.

I pulled a 2013 Topps Gypsy Queen Jake Peavy mini serial #'d to 50 which I thought was my best hit - so this break was probably par for the course until I looked closer at a couple of other cards.

2007 Upper Deck
#46 Juan Salas
#308 Matt Holliday
#391 Jeff Conine
#8 Josh Fields
#328 Jose Garcia
#395 Cole Hamels
#126 Shane Costa
#129 Mike Sweeney
Scoreboard Challenge info card

2009 Upper Deck Spectrum
#23 Carlos Quentin
#39 Dan Uggla
#85 Ichiro
#17 Alfonso Soriano
#1 Brandon Webb
2013 Topps Series II
#633 Victor Martinez
#530 Wade Miley
#459 Jesus Montero
#407 Juan Pierre
#408 Coco Crisp
#549 Huston Street
#TM-62 Paul O'Neill
- 1972 Topps Minis insert
#384 Jake McGee
#540 Michael Bourn
#642 Austin Jackson
#492 Jose Molina
#613 Jhoulys Chacin

2013 Topps Series II
#560 Yunel Escobar
#575 Justin Morneau
#471 Trevor Cahill
#486 Jason Kubel
#517 Pedro Alvarez
The Million Dollar Chase info card
#CD-15 Giancarlo Stanton
- Chase it Down insert
#338 Mike Trout
#483 Yordany Valdespin
#378 Joe Kelly
#554 R.A. Dickey
#577 Matt Harvey

2013 Topps Series II
#416 Jordan Lyles
#452 Raul Ibanez
#417 Blake Forsythe
#544 Tyler Chatwood
#597 Marco Scutaro
#456 Pablo Sandoval
#492 Jose Molina
- Emerald parallel
#422 Alfredo Marte
#609 Scott Baker
#409 Logan Morrison
#539 Phil Coke
#356 Greg Dobbs

2013 Topps Series II
#333 Santiago Casilla
#342 Matt Dominguez
#499 Billy Butler
#383 Matt Harrison
#518 Nolan Reimold
#364 Carlos Pena
- red border parallel
The Million Dollar Chase info card
#590 Liam Hendriks
#354 Casey Janssen
#538 Brett Wallace
#572 Lorenzo Cain
#431 Blake Beavan

2013 Topps Series II
#506 Andy Pettitte
#563 Nate Eovaldi
#389 Phil Hughes
#548 John Lackey
#637 Ben Revere
#388 Justin Turner
#MM-6 Ike Davis
- Making Their Mark insert

#331 Jose Reyes - short print / variation
2nd Chance Vintage Card Giveaway contest card
#421 Jordy Mercer
#490 Cody Ross
#528 Darin Mastrianni
#398 Mike Fiers

2013 Topps Series II
#644 Ryan Lavarnway
#397 Mike Aviles
#525 J.P. Arencibia
#633 Victor Martinez
#570 Devin Mesoraco
#TM-62 Paul O'Neill
- 1972 Topps Minis insert
#521 Evan Scribner
#384 Jake McGee
#368 Chris Young
#643 Matt Garza
#607 Chris Carter
#339 Nick Swisher

2013 Topps Series 2 hobby
#377 J.D. Martinez
#404 Ryan Madson
#559 Travis Snider
#532 Todd Helton
#WBC-11 Pablo Sandoval
- World Baseball Classic insert
#393 Andres Torres
#418 Evan Gattis
#463 Jason Hammel
#566 C.J. Wilson
#378 Joe Kelly

2013 Topps Allen and Ginter's
#142 Garrett Jones
#241 Matt Cain
#275 Josh Beckett
#10 Sandy Koufax
#221 Salvador Perez
- mini
#ATY-JR Jim Rice
- Across the Years insert

2013 Topps Allen and Ginter's
#200 Dustin Pedroia
#157 Adam Jones
#295 Dan Uggla
#CAP-IN Inca
- Civilizations of Ages Past insert
#81 Al Kaline
- mini
#303 Wade Miley
- short print

2013 Topps Allen and Ginter's
#154 Mike Morse
#179 Bonnie Bernstein
#300 Bud Selig
#185 Guillaume Robert-Demolaize
#HHH-AUG Augustus
- mini
#ATY-JV Joey Votto
- Across the Years insert

2013 Topps Allen and Ginter's
#273 Alcides Escobar
#261 Dwight Gooden
#134 Roy Halladay
#PS-PP Peterhof Palace
- Palaces and Strongholds insert
#4 Ty Cobb - mini
#310 Brandon Phillips
- short print

2013 Topps Allen and Ginter's
#188 Bill Buckner
#288 Chris Davis
#239 Craig Kimbrel
#MM-AP Apache
- Martial Mystery insert
#147 Ian Desmond
- mini
#349 Jason Dufner
- short print

2013 Topps Archives
#81 Will Middlebrooks
#119 Ian Kinsler
#194 Yadier Molina
#45 Chase Headley
#83-TG Tony Gwynn
- 1983 All-Stars insert
#46 Justin Morneau
#91 Brandon Beachy
#128 Mark Trumbo

2013 Topps Archives
#193 Jim Palmer
#3 Carlos Beltran
#97 David Wright
#69S-WRYC Ted Williams, Frank Robinson, Carl Yastrzemski, Miguel Cabrera
- 4-in-1 Sticker insert
#RC-BH Bryce Harper
- 1989 All-Stars insert
#18 Jon Lester
#62 Jacoby Ellsbury
#133 Jurickson Profar

2013 Topps Gypsy Queen
#44 Evan Longoria
#307 Shelby Miller
#NH-PH Philip Humber
- No-Hitters insert
#219 Jake Peavy
- mini sepia serial #'d 20/50
#285 Matt Garza
#96 Mike Fiers

2013 Topps Gypsy Queen
#194 Brandon Phillips
#291 Howie Kendrick
#CP-SP Salvador Perez
- Collisions at the Plate insert
#37 David Wright - mini
#327 A.J. Pierzynski
#251 Doug Fister

2013 Topps Gypsy Queen
#139 Shaun Marcum
#162 Bruce Sutter
#SS-AJO Adam Jones
- Sliding Stars insert
#74 Josh Rutledge - mini
#141 Alex Gordon
#176 Tony Perez

2013 Topps Opening Day
#168 Miguel Montero
#32 Jered Weaver
#SC-6 Adam Jones
#79 Tyler Colvin
- blue parallel serial #'d 0355/2013
#154 Nelson Cruz
#107 Lance Berkman
#200 Evan Longoria

Saturday, October 25, 2014

2014 Topps Update jumbo pack recap

I figure I'll end up busting at least one loose hobby jumbo pack of the latest Topps / Bowman offerings - whether or not the odds are in my favor picking up only one lone pack, I assume there is still a better chance to pull anything of note in hobby.

As I flipped through the boring base cards and thought who would want another card of some of these guys - I pull a redemption card for a Jorge Posada Strata autograph.

I don't know what relevance a Posada insert of any sorts has in 2014 Topps Update - but it sure made me feel better about my little 'do or die' gamble.

#US-63 David Murphy
#US-37 Leury Garcia
#US-33 Grady Sizemore
#US-59 Brandon McCarthy
#US-58 Raul Ibanez - Angels cut him when he was hitting .150 and even though he's not on the active roster, he is the one at the 2014 World Series.
#US-69 Dellin Betances
#US-319 Ricky Nolasco
#US-127 David Phelps
#US-251 Ike Davis
#US-3 Tom Wilhemsen
#US-134 Tony Cruz
#US-302 Tom Gorzelanny
#US-165 Justin Morneau
#US-248 Brayan Pena
#US-180 Chris Taylor
#US-168 Austin Jackson
#US-145 A.J. Pierzynski
#US-141 Chris Dickerson
#US-130 Tony Watson
#US-286 Brandon Barnes
#US-142 Jon Lester
#US-74 Antonio Bastardo
#US-12 Brian McCann - gold parallel serial #'d 0765/2014
#PPA-AW Adam Wainwright - Power Players insert
#US-57 Jacob DeGrom - Red Hot foil parallel
#FF-MM Mark McGwire - Fond Farewells insert
#TM-RA Roberto Alomar - 1989 Topps Die-Cut minis insert
Jorge Posada Strata Signature Relic redemption card 
#US-324 Alexi Amarista
#US-225 Luis Avilan
#US-274 Chris Withrow
#US-117 John Lackey 
#US-35 Marcus Stroman
#US-113 Oscar Taveras
#US-268 Matt Shoemaker
#US-153 Kurt Suzuki
#US-103 Starlin Castro
#US-283 Tyson Ross
#US-11 Robbie Ross Jr.
#US-252 Adrian Nieto
#US-95 Vidal Nuno
#US-24 Tony Sanchez
#US-150 Jon Singleton
#US-263 Kyle Seager
#US-282 Glen Perkins
#US-155 Devin Mesoraco
#US-238 Giancarlo Stanton
#US-156 Ronald Belisario
#US-179 John Baker
#FN-GP 2 Gregory Polanco - The Future is Now insert