Thursday, June 30, 2011

Featured autographs - Mike Fitzgerald

"He looks All-American, mom and apple pie."

Former Major League catcher Mike Fitzgerald spent one lone season with the Angels in 1992 and threw out the first pitch before Wednesday's game against the Washington Nationals - while waiting for Fitzgerald to show up to sign autographs around the third inning, I gave a extra card to the mother / son standing behind me.

However, the gesture seemed pointless since Fitzgerald he had a stack of his cards to hand out -I thought they would be personal testimony cards, but they seemed to be regular issue Topps, Donruss, Fleer, etc from over the years.

I guess he was a semi-regular catcher who played in the junk wax era, so he's got to have a lot of cards out - whether collectors wanted them or not.

Fitzgerald signed the two cards I did have for him as he pointed to the 1984 Donruss and said, "oh, that is my rookie card."

The Angels handler who sits with and chats up the former Angels signers kind of nodded her her head to say, 'I see.'

"At least that is what the collectors say," Fitzgerald said.

Featured autograph - Dave Frost

Former Angel pitcher Dave Frost threw out the first pitch before Monday's Angels game against the Washington Nationals - I was able to get his autograph on his 1981 Topps card and his autograph represents another added to my Angels autograph collection.

Sunday, June 26, 2011

2011 Pro Debut two pack break

2011 Topps Pro Debut [$3.00 each x2 at a card shop] - just looking for a quick fix before work Saturday night and I bought a couple of packs.

I'm not as nuts about Topps Pro Debut as I was at the beginning of last year's baseball season - however, I was still curious about what this year's cards look like [like 2011 Topps, duh] and the players I can pull [all minor leaguers.

First pack
#286 Wilin Rosario
#247 Jason Knapp
#85 Kellen Sweeney
#95 Cole Nelson
#51 Derek Norris
#DA 35 Chris Marrero
#159 Mike Olt
#141 Alex Kaminsky

Second pack
#320 Drew Heid
#308 Mel Rojas Jr.
#321 Dustin Geiger
#64 Adrian Salcedo
#53 Christian Yelich
#58 Drew Mittelstaedt
#162 Yadiel Rivera
#178 Jose Dore

Saturday, June 25, 2011

Topps Diamond Giveaway trade - 1975 Topps Dave Nelson

I wasn't particularly attached to a 1983 Topps Bill Madlock card in my portfolio - so I traded it for a 1975 Topps common just to get an old-school [though not quite a 1973 or before vintage] card into my Topps Diamond collection.

Sunday, June 19, 2011

2011 Topps Series II retail jumbo pack recap 2 of 2

Top section
#391 Phil Coke
#581 Fernando Rodney
#338 Jason Hammel
#481 Randy Wells
#519 Corey Hart
#547 Albert Pujols - checklist 5 of 5
#543 Texas Rangers team card
#471 Tim Collins
#638 Ryan Madson
#534 Bud Norris
#TDG-15 Troy Tulowitzki - Topps Diamond Giveaway; unlocked a 2005 Topps Kansas City Royals team card, so this code card was a dud.

#DS-5 Joey Votto - Diamond Stars insert; reminds me of Pacific Baseball inserts from the mid 1990s.
#520 Jorge Posada
#435 Elvis Andrus
#462 Daric Barton
#371 Taylor Teagarden
#456 Ryan Doumit

Bottom section
#658 Mitch Maier
#636 Chris Tillman
#428 Brett Myers
#446 Brandon Beachy
#394 Austin Jackson
#503 Nathan Adcock
#418 Zach Britton
#631 Houston Astros team card
#360 Ivan Rodriguez
#367 Hiroki Kuruda - Platinum Diamond parallel
#DD-22 Troy Tulowitzki / Ubaldo Jimenez - Diamond Duos insert

#KC-55 Stan Musial - Kimball Champions insert

#60YOT-68 Harmon Killebrew - 60 Years of Topps insert
#T60-83 Hunter Pence - Topps 60 insert
#486 Francisco Rodriguez
#467 Wade Davis
#530 Felix Hernandez
#438 Ryan Theriot
#362 Doug Fister

2011 Topps Series II retail jumbo pack recap 1 of 2

Top section
#484 Geraldo Parra
#504 Jhonny Peralta
#640 Dan Uggla
#623 Leo Nunez
#526 Jason Donald
#617 Joel Zumaya
#512 Octavio Dotel
#491 Fernando Abad

#363 Aaron Rowand
#366 Joe Nathan
#516 Mike Leake
#TT2-42 Torii Hunter - ToppsTown insert
#557 Wes Helms
#448 Colby Rasmus
#399 Adam Moore
#599 Travis Ishikawa
#585 Dan Johnson

Bottom section
#337 Jordan Walden
#507 Huston Street
#423 Hideki Okajima
#473 Chad Billingsley
#544 Justin Masterson
#563 Josh Rodriguez
#639 Pedro Beato
#361 Florida Marlins team card
#405 Ian Kinsler
#659 Clint Barmes - Platinum Diamond parallel
#DD-9 Adrian Beltre / Elvis Andrus - Diamond Duos insert

#KC-95 Lou Gehrig - Kimball Champion insert
#60YOT-100 Wade Boggs - 60 Years of Topps insert
#T60-62 Mike Stanton - Topps 60 insert
#402 Jack Cust
#621 Omar Beltre
#450 Mark Teixeira
#650 Josh Hamilton
#570 Matt Cain

Saturday, June 18, 2011

Another generic 100 card jumbo pack - a recap

Generic jumbo pack of 100 cards [$4.99 each at Target] - inspired by this post by Night Owl cards, I grabbed a pack since I'm a hoarder at heart and I haven't been to anywhere close to a place where I can dig around for loose cards that I may only have to pay a nickel for.

Most of these cards are junk and I won't have much to say about them - but perhaps I'll be able to add them to my archive of common cards.

Part One

1987 Topps All-Star Glossy Set Eddie Murray #12 of 60
1988 O-Pee-Chee Mike Young #11
1992 Leaf Doug Jones #253
1990 Leaf Jeffrey Leonard #519
1988 O-Pee-Chee Chili Davis #15
1992 Topps Stadium Club Paul Gibson #694
1992 Leaf Felix Jose #63
1990 Topps Greg Minton #421
1995 Topps Traded Ray Durham #11T RC
1992 Topps Stadium Club Gerald Perry #338
1993 Score Cesar Hernandez #302
2000 Fleer Focus Jeromy Burnitz #206
1994 Pinnacle Kim Batiste #294
1990 Leaf Kurt Stillwell #256
1993 Score Select Gary Gaetti #262
1990 Fleer Candy Maldonado #62
1993 Score Select Wes Chamberlain #217
1986 Topps Rick Lysander #482
1994 Pinnacle Scott Christman #266
1990 Fleer Hubie Brooks #341
1990 Upper Deck Geno Petralli #633
1989 Donruss MVP inserts Will Clark #BC-22

1990 Leaf Dave Parker #190 - random cards from this set are still appealing to me because of the apparent quality of these 'premium cards' and also the mystique created due to not having many of these cards in-hand.
1987 Topps Duane Ward #153
1988 Donruss Will Clark #21
1987 Topps Ed Vande Berg #717
1987 Topps Dann Bilardello #577

1987 Topps Fred Toliver #63 - there is something really melancholy about this particular card, even though I assume it is merely another posed picture of a ballplayer in spring training during the 1980s.

2000 Pacific Crown Royal Card-Supial Nomar Garciaprra #4 - from reading this detailed post about these darned things, I guess I'm missing the Richie Sexson mini that's supposed to be inserted into the 'pouch' of this Nomar card.
1986 Topps Jorge Orta #541
1990 Upper Deck Domingo Ramos #150
1988 Topps Jose DeLeon #634
1989 Topps Danny Tartabull #275
1997 Topps Finest Jimmy Key #211
2003 Bowman Heritage Austin Kearns #53
1989 Fleer Chet Lemon #137
1990 Score Pedro Guerrero #13
1996 Upper Deck Collector's Choice Damon Buford #739
1991 Donruss Doug Drabek #750
1991 Upper Deck Doug Drabek #278
1988 Donruss Jay Bell #637
1989 Donruss Tom Prince #527
1994 Fleer Inscribed Roger Clemens #32
1991 Fleer Jose Lind #43
1990 Topps Traded Stump Merrill #74 T
1988 Score Reggie Jackson #500
1987 Topps Joaquin Andujar #775
1996 Leaf Travis Fryman #68
1991 Upper Deck Mike Witt #429
1988 Topps Glossy All-Stars Cal Ripken #5 of 22

Part two
1990 Ames Jose Canseco #29
2000 Fleer Tradition Opening Day Jason Kendall #14 of 32 OD
1990 Upper Deck Kevin Appier #102
1991 Topps Rex Hudler #228
1986 Topps Ivan Calderon #382
1989 Best San Jose James Pena #16
1989 Topps Julio Franco #55
1990 Score Rising Star Danny Tartabull #72
1990 Donruss Brett Butler #249
1992 Donruss Bobby Thigpen #708
1991 Fleer Ben McDonald #481
1988 Donruss Dave Schmidt #371
1991 Score Carlton Fisk #421
1988 Donruss Nelson Liriano #32
1988 Topps Pete O'Brien #721
1988 Donruss Chris Bosio #117
1988 Topps Keith Hernandez #480
1987 Topps Storm Davis #349
1992 Upper Deck Andy Benes #323
1990 Donruss Andy McGaffigan #574
1991 Score Darren Reed #368
1989 Topps Craig Lefferts #372
1989 Upper Deck Matt Nokes #150
2005 Fleer Classic Clippings Victor Diaz #117
1989 Topps Dave Martinez #763
1987 Boardwalk and Baseball Top Run Makers Kirk Gibson #29
2003 Fleer Platinum Shea Hillenbrand #208
2003 Fleer Platinum Troy Percival #170
2003 Fleer Platinum Odalis Perez #86
1993 Leaf Jose Oquendo #26
1990 Fleer Geronimo Berroa #575
1990 Fleer Rick Reuschel #68
1990 Fleer John Moses #381
1990 Fleer Ken Howell #561
1992 Fleer Ray Lankford #583
1990 Fleer Dennis Lamp #280
1986 Topps Traded Pete Incaviglia #48T
1988 Donruss Roger Clemens #51
1992 Topps Stadium Club Danny Cox #351
1993 Donruss Butch Henry #348
1990 Fleer Mike Benjamin #51
1992 Score Todd Burns #341
1992 Topps Stadium Club Brian Downing #494
1992 Score Bip Roberts #123
1992 Topps Stadium Club Howard Johnson #430
1988 O-Pee-Chee Jose Uribe #302

1995 Topps Traded Pat Borders #151T
1992 Topps Stadium Club John Kiely #384
1995 Topps Kirby Puckett / Lenny Dykstra #162
1990 Hills Hit Men George Brett #10
1987 Topps Ryne Sandberg #680

Thursday, June 16, 2011

Featured autograph - Jedd Gyorko

Jedd Gyorko has been a hitting machine for Lake Elsinore this year - playing in the California League, he probably has raised his profile as a prospect in the San Diego Padres' system despite his seemingly underwhelming stature.

Featured autograph - Angelo Songco

Angelo Songco is another Dodger minor league currently playing with Rancho Cucamonga whose autograph I've added to my collection - the California League is where my buddy and I get most of our minor league autographs during the baseball season.

Even though I may lament the fact they are now a Dodgers affiliate - Rancho is probably the closest Cal League team to my home and still an alternative place to watch baseball and get in-person autographs.

I guess the recent set of featured autographs I've posted could be considered my 'down on the farm' segment - featuring just a few of the players [whose autographs I've gotten this year] who will be playing in the California / Carolina League All-Star game next week.

Featured autograph - Gary Brown

Giants minor leaguer Gary Brown has been featured here before - this autograph card was actually signed at the Cal State Fullerton alumni game in January.

Wednesday, June 15, 2011

Featured autograph - Jake Lemmerman

Jake Lemmerman is a minor league shortstop playing for the Rancho Cucamonga Quakes - looking at his stats, nothing remarkable stands out but he might be one of those players who steadily rises through a team's minor league system and within a couple of years is within the cusp of reaching the Major Leagues.

Featured autograph - Gorman Erickson

It was trading card giveaway day at the Rancho Cucamonga Quakes game this past Sunday and I was able to get catcher Gorman Erickson to sign his card - the Dodgers minor leaguer has had an up-and-down playing career as a professional starting in 2007, but it looks like his bat is getting a boost this year by playing in the California League.

Featured autograph - Tyler Skaggs

Tyler Skaggs is the former Angels first round draft pick [40th overall in 2009] - who was the key minor leaguer sent to the Arizona Diamondbacks in exchange for Dan Haren in 2010.

What you see in-person, read about online or assume based on how a guy 'looks' in the most superficial sense doesn't mean anything - but I think this profile story from spring training encapsulates everything that needs to be said about the way Skaggs handles his business as a young pro.

Pack breaks - 2010 Pro Debut II and 2011 Bowman

I bought four packs of cards during a card shop trip

2010 Topps Pro Debut II [$3.00 each x2] - I'd bought a couple boxes of these cards in the off-season but picked up a couple of random packs for 'fun.'

Pack one
#264 James Baldwin III
#287 Aaron Crow
#225 Arodys Vizcaino
#PDA-SHE Steven Hensley - certified autograph serial #'d 153/199
#350 Hector Noesi
#243 Freddie Freeman
#327 Aaron Sanchez

Pack two
#325 Connor Hoehn
#256 Nick Bartolone
#337 Austin Romine

#265 Jeremy Hellickson

#TT 44 Zack Wheeler
#382 Jedd Gyorko
#390 Stephen Pryor
#231 Donnie Roach

2011 Bowman hobby [$3.00 each x2] - after picking up a jumbo box, five jumbo packs, eight retail value packs, two hobby packs and a three-pack blister, I may have gone overboard because I thought it would be 2010 all over again.

With the Stephen Strasburg craze, I couldn't find any 2010 Bowman anywhere - however it seems like just another year, particularly with Bryce Harper still in the minors and not likely to generate more hype unless he miraculously gets called up this year.

Besides the Harper autograph, this product may have bottomed out
- a look on eBay is revealing as base sets are going for about $15-$20, base prospect sets maybe around the same and Chrome prospect sets maybe going for a little more.

Harper base cards maybe $4 or $5 and Harper base Chromes maybe just a little more
- maybe it is the time for the casual collector to pick up at least one of each in case Harper fulfills his great Major League Baseball destiny.

Pack one
#7 Carlos Santana
- gold parallel
#BCP 22 Jose Carreno
#BCP 85 Mason Williams
#BBR 9 Jay Austin
- Bowman's Brightest insert
#43 Derek Lowe
#69 B.J. Upton
#78 Mike Stanton
#5 Ryan Dempster
#BP 22 Jose Carreno
#BP 91 Blake Smith

Pack two
#BP 85 Mason Williams
#BP 77 Matt Klinker
#155 Troy Tulowitzki
#145 Derek Jeter
#142 Todd Helton
#216 Brent Sinkbeil
#FF 17 J.P. Arencibia
- Finest Futures insert
#BCP 91 Blake Smith

Featured autograph - Yasmani Grandal

Yasmani Grandal just maybe the best catching prospect in the minor leagues - he still has a ways to go before reaching the Major Leagues, but he is probably going to get there sooner than later despite the Reds' catching depth with Ramon Hernandez and Ryan Hanigan in the Major Leagues and fellow catching prospect Devin Mesoraco playing in AAA.

Featured autograph - Josh Fellhauer

Bakersfield Blaze outfielder Josh Fellhauer doesn't actually appear on this 2010 Topps Heritage Cincinnati Reds team card - but he does currently play for the California League affiliate of the Reds, so I got him to sign the card earlier in the year.

As much as I'd like to have actual player cards for guys I'm getting autographs of
- sometimes stocking up on team cards or something fairly generic [but not something 'blank' because professional baseball players don't like to sign those] is something I need to do, so I can something signed when I couldn't find and/or pick up a card of a particular player in time.

Monday, June 13, 2011

Diamond Giveaway trade - 1967 Topps Don Drysdale #55

I thought trading a 1960 Topps Frank Malzone for a 1967 Topps Don Drysdale was a coup for my little, itty bitty Topps Diamond Giveaway card collection - even though looking at eBay's completed auctions, the value of the Drysdale maybe $2 or $3 at the most.

Considering the condition of the delivered cards from the Topps Million / Topps Diamond giveaway contests - if I have it delivered in-hand, the actual value of the Drysdale card will be around a buck or less.

Saturday, June 11, 2011

Featured autographs - Lethal Lefties completed

Jim Abbott was the last pitcher I needed to complete this 1993 Upper Deck Teammates subset card #53 - I got him to sign the card at the Angels game against the Yankees on June 5th.

Thursday, June 09, 2011

Featured autograph - Rick Reichardt

Rick Reichardt was the Mike Trout of his era - unfortunately despite being talked about as a top prospect who had been signed to a hefty signing bonus, Reichardt fell short of his promise as a Major League player and was more or less a disappointment.

Reichardt threw out the first pitch before Monday's Angels game against the Tampa Bay Rays - as he signed my 1967 Topps card during the game, he mentioned the picture was taken at Yankee Stadium.

Featured autograph - Mark Langston

To be quite honest, sometimes getting the autograph of a former Angels player like Mark Langston have lost a little bit of its allure - because I've seen him enough times at Angels games or perhaps to another Angels related event.

I recently got him to sign a couple of cards I brought - when he showed up the Angels game last Saturday.

However another loose unsigned card or five or six usually finds its way in my hands at some point - it never ends when you are autograph collector or borderline baseball card hoarder.

Langston was a 'junk wax' era guy, so he has his share of cards from the mid 1980s through the 1990s - I still have nearly a page of his cards to get autographed.

Featured autograph - Wally Joyner

I was too young to be aware of Major League Baseball when 'Wally World' hit the scene back in 1986 - though Wally Joyner was probably one of the first 'local stars' I heard about when I got into baseball card collecting back in the late 1980s through early 1990s.

Looking at his playing career, I don't think he was never really considered a star again after his first two years in 1986 and 1987 - though it doesn't mean he wasn't considered a solid Major League player who put got on-base, hit for average and hit for some power when healthy.

Tuesday, June 07, 2011

Featured autograph - Mick Kelleher

Mick Kelleher is a former Angel who is currently the first base coach of the New York Yankees - he signed his 1982 Topps card for me after the Angels game last Saturday.

When the Yankees come back to play the Angels in September - Kelleher is scheduled to throw out the first pitch before the middle game of the series on September 10.

Featured autograph - Mike Witt

Mike Witt signed my card during last Friday's Angels game - I should have brought the 1983 Topps Angels leaders card to Angel Stadium a couple of weeks earlier, when I ran into the other guy pictured on the card and got his autograph.

Featured card: 1992 Donruss Chris Cron #698

I vaguely know former Angel Chris Cron through the few baseball cards he has - from his brief stint as a Major League player back in the early 1990s. Apparently he has made a career as a long time manager in the minor leagues.

More importantly however, one of his sons [C.J.] was selected by the Angels with the 18th overall pick in this year's draft
- I'm going to have to pay attention to the younger Cron, since I've never even heard of him until I read some blurbs about him a couple of weeks ago.

It looks like C.J. Cron is a big, hulking slugger type
- he maybe a guy who can get to the Major Leagues in a couple of years, if he progresses as he should.

Despite not expecting C.J. to be able to help the parent team in Anaheim anytime soon - it seems like there is a power outage and the Angels probably need guys in the farm system capable of hitting the ball out of the park.

Autograph in-person failure - Dean Chance

I thought I had an opportunity to get former Angels pitcher Dean Chance's autograph at the Angels game last Saturday against the New York Yankees - when he threw out the first pitch before the game.

Wristbands were handed out for the first 100 people and I was about 25 back - however, I had to wander around and watch batting practice for that other team [even though I was told by the longtime female usher as I got my wristband, I couldn't wander past the area where Chance was signing other than use the restroom perhaps].

When I finally came back towards the line at the start of the game, I was lumped towards the end of the line for people who were guaranteed an autograph - when Chance started to sign at around the top of the third inning, he only got through about 25-30 people before the signing was abruptly cancelled due to health issues.

I was really disappointed, though I sort of understand Chance maybe at a fragile age at 70 - he isn't like some of the younger Angels alumni who have participated in signing for fans after throwing out the first pitch.

My friend and I spotted him after the game and thought we could get his autograph then - some people saw him too and we followed him out one the side gates at Angel Stadium, but Chance still refused to sign.

Friday, June 03, 2011

A few old school Angels cards picked up

1968 Topps Bobby Knoop #271 - I got his autograph already but not on a baseball card I can easily file away in my Angels autograph box. He is scheduled to throw out the first pitch for the Angels 50th Anniversary on 8/18.

1968 Topps Tom Satriano #238 - he is the last scheduled former Angel to throw out a first pitch for the Angels 50th Anniversary on 9/26. It looks like he has been rescheduled to appear on 7/6 [which was a TBA date] instead of 9/26.

I also picked up a 1981 Topps Joe Rudi #701 for a quarter - I got his autograph at the 2000 National in Anaheim, but it was on a throw away ball of sorts I got during batting practice that I may not have discarded, but have long since forgotten about.

He is throwing out a first pitch for the Angels 50th Anniversary on 9/24 and I want to get him on a card like Knoop - so I can file it away with the rest of my Angels' signed cards.