Sunday, September 20, 2020

TTM autographs received: San Diego Chicken

The longtime mascot signed my three cards and sent a note back in about a week or so - maybe the plan was to pick up some of the nicer base cards / parallels Panini released 3-4 years ago or even his old-school his early 1980s Donruss cards.

After not knowing where they went and doing an extensive loose card dig, I felt like I might as well send out the cards I had originally put together a couple of years ago - including a 2016 Donruss [#151] and a couple of 1992 Upper Deck Cecil Fielder [#255] cards where the SDC makes a cameo.

Friday, September 18, 2020

TTM autographs received: Roy Face

The longtime relief ace for the Pittsburgh Pirates signed my two cards in blue ink in about a couple of weeks - I don't know if I've ever gotten the 92-year old to sign something in the mail and it makes me wonder if I should have Face when he was still relatively younger, 15-20 years ago.

I had to whip up a letter and put together a request [with $5] - to see if I'd get back a positive result with my loose, straggler cards.

While I cannot believe a person who has lived as long as Face is still signing his 'fan mail,' I assume there is someone that helps him out [hopefully short of signing for him] - collecting all the requests sent, opening the mail and making it where Face takea a little bit of his precious time to sign items the easiest way possible.

Wednesday, September 16, 2020

2020 Topps Archives blaster recaps

Originally anticipating not being able to find anything at a big box store
- I ordered 2 blaster boxes online that was MIA for about three weeks.

While the shipment was out of the seller's hands, it remained idle with the UPS somewhere - until tracking started to pick up again and a package finally showed up at my doorstep.

Box one
1964 Topps Giants pack
#64O-FTJ Fernando Tatis - the back seems off-center and/or miscut

Pack one
#79 Matt Chapman
#42 Jeff McNeil
#8 Kyle Schwarber
#142 Cal Ripken Jr.
#136 Ty Cobb
#60AR-SO Shohei Ohtani
#208 Chris Sale
#216 Robel Garcia

Pack two
#64 Joey Votto
#87 Juan Soto
#27 Mookie Betts
#186 Willie McCovey
#177 Hyun-Jim Ryu
#152 Corey Kluber
#259 Anthony Santander
#219 Rollie Fingers

Pack three
#37 Kyle Lewis
#73 Ryne Sandberg
#60 Carl Yastrzemski 
#180 Gleyber Torres
#133 Tony Gonsolin
#308 David Ortiz - Big Papi
#281 Lou Gehrig
#226 David Wright 

Pack four
#52 Catfish Hunter
#91 Jordan Yamamoto
#156 Clayton Kershaw
#108 Mike Piazza
#121 Frank Robinson
#76TT-320 C.C. Sabathia
#273 Adrian Morejon
#248 Christian Yelich

Pack five
#24 Xander Bogaerts
#57 Ozzie Albies
#109 Randy Johnson
#172 Zac Gallen
#199 Giancarlo Stanton
#60CC-SM Just Dingers - feat. Will Smith and Max Muncy
#271 Jose Ramirez
#265 Ryan McMahon

Pack six
#54 Max Muncy
#93 Mallex Smith
#4 Nick Senzel
#158 Brooks Robinson
#194 Christian Walker
#69AR-GT Gleyber Torres
#270 Jose Abreu
#284 Wil Myers

Pack seven
#92 Matt Carpenter
#48 J.D. Martinez
#197 Danny Jansen
#174 Trey Mancini
#132 Buster Posey
#B55-8 A.J. Puk
#292 Yu Chang
#247 Craig Biggio

Box two

1964 Topps Giants pack
#64O-NH Nico Hoerner - this was bent coming out of a blaster, probably due to my boxes bouncing around different places.

I don't know what to make of it besides trying to store the odd-sized card in an 8x10 top loader and hope the applied pressure flattens the card out eventually - even if it takes a couple of years.

Pack one
#77 Paul DeJong
#23 Francisco Lindor
#163 Max Scherzer
#138 Blake Snell
#112 Stephen Piscotty
#60CC-YH Master & Apprentice - feat. Yelich and Hiura
#258 Roger Clemens
#244 Brendan McKay

Pack two
#7 Shohei Ohtani
#82 Luis Aparicio
#29 Robin Yount
#170 Rowdy Tellez
#143 Brandon Crawford
#307 Chris Sale - The Conductor
#300 Freddie Freeman
#277 Joe Morgan

Pack three
#95 A.J. Puk
#51 Brock Burke 
#3 Charlie Blackmon
#120 Carlos Correa
#127 Roberto Alomar 
#237 Trevor Hoffman - Purple parallel serial #’d 043/175
#254 Rougned Odor
#253 Aaron Nola

Pack four
#26 Keston Hiura
#33 Will Smith
#25 Jackie Robinson
#122 Sandy Koufax
#107 Kerry Wood
#60AR- EJ Eloy Jimenez
#236 Bryce Harper 
#295 Kyle Seager

Pack five
#80 Ramon Laureano
#40 Sam Hilliard
#149 Roberto Clemente
#184 Trent Grisham
#200 Marco Gonzalez
#76TT-316 Randy Johnson
#241 Ronald Acuña Jr.
#246 Kole Calhoun

Pack six
#34 Brusdar Graterol
#75 Mike Mussina
#14 Harmon Killebrew
#146 Ketel Marte
#131 Eric Hosmer
#309 Noah Syndergaard - Thor
#207 Carter Kieboom
#202 Anthony Kay

Pack seven 
#53 Lou Boudreau
#31 Alex Bregman
#113 Hunter Dozier
#134 Jon Lester
#129 D.J. LeMahieu
#B55-23 Logan Allen
#293 Anthony Rendon
#220 Chipper Jones

Sunday, September 13, 2020

A couple of new 2020 pack breaks

2020 Topps Fire value pack

It maybe a case where even one lousy pack of Topps Fire is enough for the year - but I should appreciate the idea these cards are supposed to be a little funky looking, rather than a little more conventional.

#98 Aristides Aquino
#100 Luis Castillo
#155 Luis Robert
#131 Cole Tucker
#116 Andrew McCutchen - Green parallel serial #171/199
#FIU-12 Mookie Betts - Fired Up insert
#SS-1 Pete Alonso - Shattering Stats insert
#40 Danny Mendick - Blue Chip parallel
#12 Eric Hosmer
#62 Kolten Wong
#104 Alex Verdugo
#27 Clayton Kershaw

2020 Topps Archives value pack
#210 Ralph Kiner
#217 Cody Bellinger
#294 Elvis Andrus
#245 Yuli Gurriel
#287 Jonathan Villar
#33 Will Smith
#25 Jackie Robinson
#80 Ramon Laureano
#40 Sam Hilliard
#34 Brusdar Graterol
#B55-20 Luis Robert
#301 Pete Alonso - Polar Bear
#60AR-SO Shohei Ohtani
#186 Willie McCovey
#177 Hyun-Jin Ryu
#152 Corey Kluber
#180 Gleyber Torres
#133 Tony Gonsolin

Wednesday, September 09, 2020

A taste of some actual retail therapy

Whenever I go into Target, I always 'fly by' the card section, but most of the time in 2020, I've come to expect nothing - I was headed to the card section for another fruitless check, when I saw a dolly [near the games section, closer to the toy aisles, where other non-sport gaming cards are located] holding a box with a MJ Holding logo, which I know as one of the companies [there is more than one?] that puts trading cards on the shelves for Target.

I was hoping that was a good omen for the actual card section that matters and sure enough, the shelves that usually resembled a Cold War era Soviet supermarket had been replenished with some actual baseball cards - there were no retail flippers looking to pounce at the seemingly fresh setup, so I was all alone by myself to take things in for at least a couple of minutes.

Maybe what sort of caught my eye were the supplies - since Ultra Pro makes their products in China, I'm not sure if there is still an obstacle to getting new batches of supplies through a pandemic.

However, the various things that hold and protect cards should be as important to the average card collector - there was a 5-pack of Ultra Pro magnetic holders [too bad they were 130-pt and not the 55-pot I usually like to use], a 4-pack package of penny sleeves and an 'odder' toploader combo.

Maybe these retail offerings were repacked from older, inferior stock - but for the moment, I was glad to see them in-hand.

As for actual baseball cards, I'm not sure if 'Topps Fire,' 'Topps Archives' or 'Topps Stadium Club' will ever be sought after 'for value' like the Bowman Mega Boxes, Topps Series 2 or Topps Chrome I've whiffed on - but after a long drought, the former are baseball cards to me just the same [TSC is always a 'fan favorite' in my book] and tried to see what combination I could pick up.

I don't expect to see this card section to be as fruitful in my next visit, but like a good boy scout, I only grabbed what seemed reasonable to me at the moment - a couple of blasters of 2020 Topps Stadium Club, a hanger pack of 2020 Topps Archives [I have a couple of blasters I'd ordered online that are still MIA after three weeks] and a hanger pack of 2020 Topps Fire.

I ripped through my little haul and go figure after finding an IP autograph card I got signed from 2019 spring training maybe the day before - I pulled cards of hot rookie du jour Luis Robert in both hangers and one of the two blasters I ripped.

Tuesday, September 08, 2020

TTM autographs received: Tim McCarver

I think I may have gotten McCarver's autograph once [or not] when he sort of made me follow him after a national TV broadcast [day game] at Angel Stadium about 20 years ago - he said he was running late [to catch his ride out of the ballpark to get to the airport] and then just didn't sign for me [I don't think I would have anything on me like a blank baseball or his actual cards].

Over the years, I have ended up with a couple of straggler cards of his, though it maybe harder to run into him in-persona dn I'm not really sure if he even responded to through the mail requests - the cards may have been pulled from my St. Louis Cardinals IP box to stay loose as I wondered about sending to him.

I have seen some sporadic successes posted on a forum or two, though I'm not sure if they are new or can always be trusted - as it goes, I took my chance and wrote him a letter with my cards [along with $20].

I think the correct distinction is while McCarver is not a Hall of Famer, he is honored by the National Baseball HOF in their broadcaster wing - I thought I had to sweat things out where I might not see my cards for a while and/or my money back at all, but my cards were signed and returned in about 10 days.

Monday, September 07, 2020

TTM autograph received: Rudy Meoli

After being out for a couple of weeks, my first request to Meoli was sent back to me as 'return to sender,' which usually means I used an outdated or incorrect address - in some cases, an 'RTS' may mean my request was refused by the intended recipient, though that did not seem to be the case here.

I did some 'quick research' to find a presumably updated address and sent my request back into the wild - I finally got my card signed in about a week or so.