Sunday, May 16, 2021

Card show recap #1 - mission incomplete

I want to normalize being able to go to card shows and inspired by some other bloggers, I was hoping to make a card show stop and end up with glut of cards that was both overwhelming and intriguing to eventually break down - I'd even set things up where I brought at least a 330-count box to store my goodies and some other bags in case there was an opportunities to buy up miscellaneous cards in quantity for cheap.

I was kind of ‘gung-ho’ about jumping into things, but maybe I needed a Snickers as I hadn’t eaten through the morning - it actually made me less patient, where I didn’t really want to nickel and dime myself picking out scrap cards at random tables.

At this card show, the tables start to get redundant after going meandering through the rows a few times without seeing an obvious spot to camp out at - this was the same show, where I discovered the seller with the 'vintage treasures’ guy, but it looked like he didn’t have as much stuff like last time, certainly nothing scattered and loose to rummage through.

To lead off, I spent $5 for 22 cards at the table of a father and his teenage son - the boxes that had baseball were nice and neat, one box loosely organized by set, but sharing space with other sports and the other box, strictly baseball separated by with player labeled tabs / dividers; however, maybe it was only a couple of 3,200 count boxes hanging off to the side of the table.

I probably should have stuck here because I probably could have found 50 cards for $10, even if it was less 'quirky' and mostly basic star cards and strictly commons from the early 1990s - the goal was to find a table that was more comprehensive but that never quite came to fruition and what I was looking at may have been as good as it got.

I ended up with a quartet of Shohei Ohtani cards, that probably made me stick around the table - I found some Panini branded Mookie Betts cards from a few years ago, which has him listed as a Boston [Red Sox] player, but I'll relent to picking up any non-MLB licensed Panini stuff of superstars as misfit cards out of the 'cheapo' bins.

Gary Carter really starred through a time when baseball wasn't even a thing for me - but I acknowledge the Hall of Famer as a legend in his position and two late career keepers in my book is a 1993 Score Select #55 and a 1992 Bowman #385.

I like the Select because it captures him blocking the plate against an incoming baserunner [Mike Scioscia] - with the reputation for being a tough minded catcher who was involved in his fair share of collisions.

I like the Bowman because it shows him in a photo op moment, signing autographs - from what I've read and assumed, he was always a guy who was concerned about his image.

The 1995 Score Jose Canseco #4 is a fun card, showing on the mound - the write up on the back is more like a eulogy however, talking about how his career might have come to an end because he hurt his arm while trying to pitch and needed surgery.

The 1997 Topps Stadium Club Stadium Sluggers Chipper Jones #376 - is apparently a short printed subset card.

2016 Topps Now Highlights & Happy Holidays promo features Kris Bryant, Gary Sanchez, Ichiro and David Ortiz - I was hoping it was a 'real' Topps Now card, but I assume these were mailed out as a bonus for people who bought Topps Now cards that year.

Don Mattingly may have symbolized 1980s baseball and a guy who I heard about when I was getting into collecting - even though he isn't a Hall of Famer, his cards will always be considered keepers in my book.

I've seen his 1989 Upper Deck #200 for the longest time and I wanted ownership of the card. - maybe it's just another base star card, but it came from a premium set that ushered in a new era of trading cards.

I was going through other loose Mattingly cards and found the 1994 Upper Deck #90 - the front shows a horizontal image of Mattingly diving to field a ball, which may be a unique enough action on its own merit.

However, the back really made the card a keeper, where the Yankees great is pictured as batting righty - maybe playing in a game of pepper with his teammates.

I'm the most casual fan of the NBA and I don't really bother collecting the cards, notably when 'here and now' unopened hard to find out in the wild - however I might be open to seeing if I can grab a few loose cards of notable players when I can, probably to add some diversity to some mini-collections topics as needed.
I don't know why I picked up the Richmond card - he was a pretty good player, but not a 'here and now' guy.

Saturday, May 15, 2021

TTM autograph received: Bill Virdon

Off this card show trip, I found a 1961 Topps World Series subset card and sent it off to Virdon - I got a response within a week with my card signed.

I like the idea of 'salvaging' a lesser condition vintage card to a still living signer - though I saw the card itself as a mini-collection add featuring guys making plays in the outfield.

Thursday, May 13, 2021

2002 Donruss Elite Extra Edition Alex Rios #252

I was searching for some random cards on eBay and this popped up - if nothing else I bought this card for some early 2000s nostalgia and the idea it's still a pretty card, regardless of player.

I want to say the card stood out in one of those late season releases as Rios’ only rookie card when he was breaking out as a toolsy top prospect - this may have been in-demand for just a little bit, something that maybe pictured on a hot list of cards.

As is, while Rios never became that all-around superstar, he was a 2-time All-Star - who was part of a World Series championship team with the Kansas City Royals in 2015.

Maybe it’s odd but I can probably point to a little run of Toronto Blue Jays purchases over the past year - I've picked up a Bo Bichette rookie card parallel, a Vladimir Guerrero Jr. rookie SP, a Tom Henke uncertified autograph card, a Derek Bell uncertified autograph card, a Duane Ward uncertified autograph card [for the set], a Dave Stieb uncertified autographed rookie card and now this card.

There was also a Joe Carter TTM success but that was for the set - on a 1984 Donruss rookie card that pictured him with the Chicago Cubs.

Tuesday, May 11, 2021

TTM autographs received: Johnny Edwards

Off this card show trip, I found a 1962 Topps World Series subset card and while the players were not identified - I did some research and saw that it was Johnny Blanchard of the New York Yankees sliding in with Johnny Edwards of the Cincinnati Reds catching for a little play at the plate action.

Of the two players, Edwards was still living and I thought to take a chance and send him the card to be signed - it took about a week for Edwards to respond with my card signed.

He also added three smaller photo prints and returned my letter with a couple of responses to what I'd written him - when I can do it and have success, I like when I am able to send to old school players on their vintage cards.

Monday, May 10, 2021

TTM autographs received: Ron Reed

The former big league pitcher signed my cards in about a week for a $20 donation - Reed was a multi-sport athlete, playing in the NBA for 2 seasons, before focusing on sticking in the major leagues for good.

Sunday, May 09, 2021

It wasn't surprising, but there was a sense of finality

From a guy I dreamed on posting big numbers after the signed with the Angels to this moment - I had to do double take when I saw that Angels Facebook post where all time great Albert Pujols was being designated for assignment.

Reading bits and pieces, he might still be with the team but perhaps being unhappy about his playing time sealed his fate - in what was supposed to be his last year [as a player] as part of the mega contract he inked up during the 2011 offseason.

Through games this season, there was talk about how much healthier Pujols was and how much harder he was hitting the ball according to all that exit velocity data - I told myself, guy is hitting .195 and while batting average maybe outdated, go wake me up when he's hitting .250.

At this point, my sentimentally towards Pujols is a little muted - I won't ever question his intensity, work ethic or his intentions, but he's the No. 1 example where getting old and modern day shifts really accelerate the deterioriation of a superstar player's ability to perform on a year-to-year basis past a certain point.

Wednesday, May 05, 2021

TTM autograph received: Jose Cruz

I got the former big league outfielder to sign my card in about a couple of weeks for $5 - he started to charge to sign TTM in 2020 and while I've probably gotten him to sign something years ago, I wasn't worried sending a particular card signed.