Sunday, October 14, 2018

1978 Topps Paul Molitor / Alan Trammell RC #707

Centering on this copy is off a bit and maybe the edges on the back show some imperfections, but this card was a scratch the itch add to my PC - maybe the card will look different once in-hand, but maybe the most important consideration is the yellow space above the red bottom border looks fairly clean without smudging.

As a manager, Molitor just got fired by the Minnesota Twins - but I’m trying to find a narrative as far as my recollections of him as an active player.

Seeing a loose junk wax era card of his, I might have thought 'The Ignitor' was a minor star at best, winding down his playing career with the Milwaukee Brewers through the end of the 1980s - he had a 39-game hitting streak in 1987, but there wasn’t as much attachment to him as any kind of ‘real star’ when I first started collecting.

With no particularly feelings attached to any particular player - I look at his numbers, how good he was, how many home runs hit, how high the batting average was and how many runners were driven in.

I thought there might have been a pronounced decline of some sort in his 30s, but Molitor was quite productive - looking at his stats from 1988-1992, he was putting up ‘Paul Molitor numbers’ and played in over 150 games in all but one of those seasons for the Brewers.

I noticed how he might have been a great player after all, because he was a hitting machine for the Toronto Blue Jays in the mid 1990s - the perennially contending Blue Jays finally won a championship in 1992 and in the organization’s defense of a World Series title, Molitor was another quality veteran added for repeat World Series championship run in 1993 [he was named MVP of the 1993 World Series].

After waiting for quite a while, Trammell was finally inducted the Hall of Fame this past year - he played through 1996 but his last hurrah as a star player probably ended through the 1980s.

As is, he was pretty familiar as a junk wax era guy - maybe it doesn’t mean anything at all but he was also pretty accommodating about signing, the times I’ve gotten him as a retired player, so he gets a thumbs up in my book.

Friday, October 12, 2018

1982 Topps Chili Davis rookie card #171

I'll always associate Davis with Angels teams of the late 1980s through the mid 1990s and picked this multiplayer card up to group with random Angels cards I may put together - he was a player who wielded a big stick and seemed like the last guy a pitcher wanted to go head-to-head with in a crucial game situation or frankly, in a brawl.

I remember getting his autograph in-person about 20 years ago and to make small talk - I said something like, 'it's too bad you aren't an Angel anymore.'

Davis responded back, saying something like he had no regrets, since he was playing for the New York Yankees - he only played 35 games for the 114 win juggernaut 1998 team, but played in 146 games in his last MLB season in 1999.

Unfortunately after one season, Davis was just fired by the Chicago Cubs as their hitting coach and his status in the major leagues is up in the air - whether a team is willing to offer him a job and if he is looking to continue coaching.

Tuesday, October 09, 2018

Card shop finds - a random quartet

I don’t want to get crazy with impulsive non-baseball card quarter box digs if I ever stop at a card shop - so I grabbed a few that caught my eye for a moment and added them to my other purchases of supplies, some other loose cards and several loose packs.

2018 Panini Contenders Draft Picks football Patrick Mahomes II #79 - though he threw two interceptions in his team's 30-14 win last Sunday, he's probably been one of the hyped up NFL players this season; if nothing else, in my bloodlines collection, I wanted to pair this card up with a card of his father Pat Mahomes, who was a former MLB pitcher.

2018 Panini Donruss football Christian McCaffrey #22 - I had a random card of his father Ed, who played in the NFL during the 1990s, so I grabbed a card of Christian's to tie things up [for now] in my bloodlines collection.

2018 Panini Contenders Draft Picks football Adrian Peterson #4 - this card of longtime star running back can go to my beyond the glory collection or my infamous collection.

I would probably inclined to go ‘beyond the glory’ since he has been through a lot in his football life, as well as personal life - in my world of mini-collection cards, there is no need to glorify the mistakes this pro athlete has made.

2018 Panini Player of the Day football Russell Wilson #36 - as the Seattle Seahawks teams around him as been torn down and rebuilt over the years, maybe the narrative surrounding his career has lost its luster.

While Wilson has been singled out as a divisive figure in the locker room for any number of reasons - I still like the guy enough to pick up a card of his.

Saturday, October 06, 2018

A couple of newish Shohei Ohtani finds

2018 Topps Heritage High Numbers 1969 Collector Cards Shohei Ohtani #69CC-SO [$4.99 BIN plus $1.00 s/h] - I've tried not to worry about the glut of Ohtani rookie year cards because it's just hard to really keep up, but this was a cutesy looking retail exclusive insert.

I've still spent money on random card things, but felt like I’ve bought less retail blasters - it maybe the case where I don’t get a chance to get this card at all unless I get it outright.

I may have paid a premium for this card, but maybe it evens out with how much it costs to have it shipped to me - that sounds stupid when I realize the card will probably be in a PWE, but it is what it is and I don’t mind as long as the card arrives safely.

2018 Topps Now Shohei Ohtani / Juan Soto AL / NL Rookies of the Month #824 [$4.95 BIN] - the final regular season Ohtani card through his rookie year, though there maybe a card for when he wins the American League Rookie of the Year award.

I’ve kept up with just about every Topps Now Ohtani card released through his rookie season - a caveat is that no autographs or parallels perhaps, but those weren't realistic pickups for me.

Maybe the cards will be nice to go back through - especially if Ohtani is still is on that dual pitcher / hitter track.

Because it won’t be his rookie year anymore, I don’t think the plan is to get all the Topps Now Ohtani cards in 2019 - though I’ll keep an eye out for any ‘interesting’ ones.

Saturday, September 29, 2018

TTM autographs received: Bartolo Colon

The longtime MLB pitcher and fan favorite signed my trading cards I sent back in August c/o the Texas Rangers - even as he has labored through the past two seasons, it's still a thing to see the 45-year pitch for a big league team.

Who knows who is going to pay him to be on their team in 2019 - but it would be nice to see him have one more good run before he finally calls it quits.

Thursday, September 27, 2018

2018 Topps Now Jose Briceno #780

With another so-so season for the Angels, my emotional investment tends to meander towards apathy, even though I've still kept up for the occasional Shohei Ohtani / Mike Trout highlight - I picked up this card because it features a more rank-and-file rookie, someone who [for now] might not have that many big league cards out.

I liked the picture in particular though Briceno is sort of obscured with a butt shot - there are several random cameos on the card, with the most obvious and notable being Ohtani.

Wednesday, September 26, 2018

TTM autographs received: John Kruk

The former MLB player signed my trading cards in about a month c/o the Philadelphia Phillies - the particular card isn't the ideal card to get signed with Kruk wearing a dark jersey top, but it was a random card I plucked out of a card show monster box 'just because.'

Getting the card eventually inked up justified the $0.25 purchase - regardless of how it ultimately looked.

Since he worked for ESPN for 12 years, I've had Kruk's cards in my 'media guys' box for seemingly the longest time - then moved the cards over to my Philadelphia Phillies box when he was hired as part of the broadcast team.

Because I was never able to get the chance to get Kruk in-person, he became a 'scratch the itch' guy for me - especially when I saw some TTM successes posted this past season.

When Kruk was on ESPN, particularly on the Sunday Night Baseball crew, I may have seen him in-person a grand total of one time and he didn't feel like signing - the same time, I think I did end up getting former teammate Curt Schilling, so regardless of everything else, the former MLB ace was a slightly better get than the slick hitting, portly fan favorite.