Sunday, April 24, 2016

2016 Topps Series I hobby jumbo pack

After a prolonged hiatus, I decided to drop by my LCS to stave off some boredom - in addition to small stash of loose cards I put together, I was looking to bust some loose packs.

I balked at the single pack prices [maybe $4-$6] for stuff like 2016 Panini Diamond Kings and 2016 Topps Gypsy Queen - though 'old news,' I knew I hadn't picked up my lone jumbo pack of 2016 Topps Series I for my breaking ritual, so I settled for that.

#18 Francisco Rodriguez
#99 Taijuan Walker
#194 Chase Headley
#17 Billy Butler
#300 Buster Posey
#113 Aaron Sanchez
#9 Eric Hosmer
#267 Chris Heston
#298 Ryan Braun
#230 Ryan Vogelsong
#56 Salvador Perez - World Series Highlights
#172 Carter Capps
#142 C.C. Sabathia
#273 New York Mets team card
#166 2015 NL RBI Leaders - feat. Arenado, Goldschmidt and Rizzo
#65 Pittsburgh Pirates team card
#BB-33 Don Mattingly - Berger’s Best insert
#P-11 Kris Bryant - Perspectives insert
#265 Luis Severino - Rainbow Foil parallel
#WRIG-5 Jake Arrieta - 100 Years at Wrigley Field insert
#PIS-4 Michael Cuddyer - Pressed Into Service insert

#TLR-YM Yadier Molina - Topps Laser Relic insert serial #’d 28/99
#39 Mark Trumbo
#106 Jordan Walden
#347 Jason Grilli
#104 Jeremy Hellickson
#173 Jose Abreu
#159 Erick Aybar
#295 Jonathan Schoop
#102 Doug Fister
#312 Curtis Granderson
#149 Chad Bettis
#66 Kyle Schwarber
#40 Jedd Gyorko
#191 Brian Johnson
#83 Starling Marte
#287 Alcides Escobar
#226 Brian Ellington

Friday, April 22, 2016

Featured autograph - Jake Arrieta

It's fun to dig up at least a signed card [if nothing else] of an ace pitcher who has just thrown his second no-hitter in as many seasons - who knows how long this run of excellence will last for Arrieta, but it's fun to watch a pitcher use his arsenal of pitches to impose their will against opposing batters.

I think I got this card signed [along with three others] when Arrieta was a rookie with the Baltimore Orioles back in 2010 - he had emerged in the minors as someone who could be a decent major league starter, but after floundering for parts of four seasons with the Orioles, it took a trade to the Cubs before Arrieta would start to blossom.

Wednesday, April 20, 2016

Featured autograph - Greg Mahle

The 15th round pick in 2014 made his MLB debut on April 13 with a scoreless inning - admittedly, Mahle's ceiling maybe a LOOGY, but there is still a novelty to seeing an unheralded guy come out of nowhere to reach the big leagues.

Tuesday, April 19, 2016

Featured autograph - Rafael Ortega

Ortega made his Angels debut on April 16, going 1-for-3 with a stolen base and a run and a walk - if Ortega gets an opportunity to stick around, he could be like fellow Venezuelans Gregor Blanco or Ender Inciarte, a couple of outfielders who've maxed out their ability and became dependable parts of a MLB roster.

Monday, April 18, 2016

Featured autograph - Geovany Soto

When Soto won the NL Rookie of the Year with the Chicago Cubs in 2008, there maybe expectations he would be a star for years to come - stardom never did happen, though the current Angel is a perfectly average hitter [.332 on-base / .434 slugging / 102 OPS+] for a semi-regular backstop.

As he gets into his mid 30s and his playing career winds down - Soto still maybe a useful piece that can put together a decent season or two with the bat to pad his modest lifetime numbers.

Friday, April 15, 2016

A shout-out to an outgoing great - Kobe

With Kobe Bryant's career spanning through the entirety of my adult life up through this point, he was a pretty big deal - when he was making improbable shots on the court a reality, when he was winning championships with the Los Angeles Lakers and had built up this persona of a world beater who was relentless in his chosen profession.

Because Kobe's Laker teams had decayed over the last 4-5 years as his health had deteriorated - maybe it's easier for him to leave the game now, instead of struggling to hang on for a little bit longer with no apparent pathway to a championship, much less winning, competitive seasons.

Thursday, April 14, 2016

Featured autograph - Nomar Mazara

I didn't know much about Mazara besides the fact that he was a high profile international signing back in 2012 - as far as I knew, for the past four years, Mazara was just another prospect who was putting his time in the minors.

However the 20-year old was called up and made his MLB debut against the Angels on Apr. 10, filling in for a hobbled Shin-Soo Choo - when I had the opportunity, maybe I should have put Mazara on a non-card item, but his autograph is really odd looking.

As is, Mazara is supposed to be a real good player with an even keel attitude - when he is a star and is signing for more prominent memorabilia companies, maybe his agent should get in his ear about improving his scribble.