Jose Cardenal c/o home - signed my three cards [1975 Topps, 1977 Topps and 1978 Topps] in blue Sharpie in about three weeks; I remember him mainly for being a coach with the New York Yankees through the late 1990s, but played 18 seasons in the Major Leagues as well.
Looking at Cardenal's stats, he had his most productive seasons in the mid 1970s with the Chicago Cubs - he also played for the Angels from 1965-1967.
Tuesday, December 27, 2011
Max Scherzer c/o Detroit Tigers [spring training] - personalized [To: Lauren] and signed my card in blue ink.
This was mailed on February 24 and arrived in my mailbox on December 27 - this request took a while to get back to me but it is always nice to get a somewhat unexpected TTM autograph success.
Thursday, December 22, 2011
Monday, December 19, 2011
I was browsing the card section at Target when I saw this plastic card 'container' of baseball cards with various stuff for $14.99 - this thing was heavy and it 'clanked around' because of the coins I saw inside.
This isn't the latest or the greatest offering from an actual trading card company like Topps and it's probably designed for much younger collectors - however I decided to pick one up Sunday night since I maybe able to use the durable looking plastic card container after I picked up a similar one at Walmart in the mid 1990s for about $6.
I'm not sure if these are repackaged and sold through retail stores by Fairfield or by a new player in the trading card repack game - maybe Collector's Cache?
Inside the plastic trading card container - was a various number of things that I rummaged through.
10 top loaders - thrown into the box, I'm not sure if I use these to hold my valuable cards...
2 Ultra Pro one-touch card holders - one was with a sticker priced $1.99 and I figure these were probably closeouts from a retail store.
1 Ultra Pro screw down
A set of 1990 Topps coins [60 coins] and one dupe - I don't particularly care about odd sized or oddball baseball items like these, though this set is somewhat attractive and features 'stars of the day' including Nolan Ryan, Ken Griffey Jr., Cal Ripken, etc.
300 assorted cards - including a lot of 192 cards 'on their own' and various 'junk wax' packs; with no expectations, I went through card after card like the card hoarder I am.
A 1989 Topps half a jumbo pak with 51 cards - the company repacking these things couldn't have included the 23-year old stick of gum or the glossy insert card?
A 1990 Upper Deck pack with 15 cards
A 2007 Upper Deck Series 1 and 2 combo pack with 32 cards
A 2008 Upper Deck Documentary pack with 10 cards
Saturday, December 17, 2011
Looking back at his Major League career, Sampen managed to find success as a relief pitcher for two or three years in the early 1990s - by the time he spent his last MLB season with the California Angels in 1994, it looked like his arm was toast.
I've ended up with various Japanese cards over the years and found cards of the imports looking to come over to play Major League Baseball in 2012 - after a stellar pitching career in Japan, Yu Darvish is the most coveted player coming over and there is a lot of hot stove buzz as to which team he'll end up with.
Pitcher Tsuyoshi Wada signed a two-year contract with the Baltimore Orioles and looks to be a candidate for a spot in the starting rotation in 2012 - supposedly as a Dallas Braden clone of sorts.
Norichika Aoki is supposedly as gifted a hitter as Ichiro was - though let's be real here and hope that if he plays in the Major Leagues next year, is at least a bit better than the Ichiro that showed up for the Seattle Mariners in 2011.
Munenori Kawasaki is looking to sign with the Seattle Mariners - I don't know too much about him, though I vaguely recall referring to him as the 'fake Ichiro' when I attended a World Baseball Classic workout several years ago and saw him signing autographs.
Friday, December 16, 2011
Willie Aikens c/o home - signed my three cards in blue Sharpie in about a week. He also returned my letter with a note saying his book is coming out next year and it will answer the questions I had for him in my letter.
Josh Hamilton c/o Texas Rangers [spring training] - signed one card in black Sharpie; I thought I was glad to get this one back but I chose a card with too dark of a background and only the streaky part of the autograph is sort of visible.
I am vaguely aware of Travis Harrison as a local county kid [Tustin High School, Orange County California] who has good power potential - though it will probably take another four or five years before he progresses through the minor leagues and if things work out as planned, reaches the Major Leagues for the first time.
I was pretty eager to pick up this 2011 Bowman Draft Chrome first-year autograph card up - particularly without having to pull it in a pack or a box.
Thursday, December 15, 2011
Floyd Bannister c/o home - signed my three cards in blue Sharpie in about a week.
Bannister's 'bread and butter' years were before the time I started seriously watching baseball and his stint with the California Angels in 1991 seemed forgettable at best - however, despite a 134-143 overall W-L record in the Major Leagues, he was a solid starting pitcher through the mid 1980s and pitched in 200 or more innings in 1980, 1982, 1983, 1984, 1985 and 1987.
Tuesday, December 13, 2011
Carl Warwick c/o home - the 1964 World Series hero personalized and signed my card in blue ink in about a week.
Monday, December 12, 2011
The affable Angels TV broadcaster Mark Gubicza signed these two cards for me in-person several days ago - I haven't gotten him in a couple of years and while my memory maybe a little fuzzy, it looks like 'Gubi' may have shortened his autograph.
The 1989 Topps is OK, but I like the 1990 Fleer card in particular - they look sort of similar with pretty straightforward designs with white borders, but the Fleer looks better in-hand and features an action shot.
I ran into former Angels general manager Bill Stoneman this past Saturday and got him to sign the card I pulled from this break - he still works for the Angels as a consultant after stepping down from the GM position.His claim to fame as a former MLB player was throwing two no-hitters for the Montreal Expos - despite a losing career record of 54-85, he pitched over 200 innings four years in a row and seemed to develop into a quality starter before breaking down in his late 20s.
He returned my third card unsigned and didn't bother to keep it - even though I wrote he can have it for his personal collection.
Sunday, December 11, 2011
I got this in-person autograph of C.J. Wilson in 2010 - he was a very good signer during his time with his old team and I've always been able to get what I've needed signed when the Rangers came to town.
I think I'll end up waiting for his first Angels cards or something Angels related before I try and get his autograph again in 2012 - I don't think he'll be any tougher than he was before and I hope this will be the case.
Saturday, December 10, 2011
I liked Ryan Braun as much as I did any superstar in the MLB - sucks he apparently tested positive for PEDs, but now I'll have one less reason to collect his cards for practical purposes and it's off the Brauny bandwagon for me.
A quick apology and a probably 'one and only' presser regarding whatever he did or didn't do that set off his positive test - maybe the most likely course of action for Braun and the Milwaukee Brewers.
The worst thing would be to deny and challenge - he was entrenched as the Brewers 'face of the franchise' and he is still has a 'lifetime' contract with the organization.
If Braun lets it be and owns up to his supposed mistake, the 'white knights' of the media will have no choice but to bury his story - he can be back playing without much scrutiny after his 50-game suspension is over.
Thursday, December 08, 2011
I never would have imagined in my wildest dreams I'd be counting this Albert Pujols autograph as part of my all-time Angels autographed collection - it is a magazine I got signed in-person back in 2002.
#15 Albert Pujols - we all are waiting to see where he'll end up [HE ENDED UP ON THE ANGELS ALONG WITH FREE AGENT PITCHER C.J. WILSON], how much he'll be getting paid [PROBABLY $250-$260 million] and for how many years [1O YEARS].
Wednesday, December 07, 2011
I thought I'd be getting an assortment of loose cards, but instead I got a pack of 1979 Topps - I ended up pulling the Smith and was thrilled by the pull, but not the centering of the card.
I kind of suspect the pack was resealed and an off-condition Smith card was placed in the pack as sort of a 'bonus' to people who don't know any better - but it is hard to complain about pulling a rookie card of Hall of Famer from a 'grab bag' sort of deal.
I decided to get the card signed since it wasn't in the greatest condition and some autograph collectors like signed rookie cards - I got card signed by Smith in-person three years later at a golf tournament.
Tuesday, December 06, 2011
In addition to the loose 2011 Bowman Draft packs I busted from a card shop in my previous post - I picked up a lousy 14 cards out of the quarter boxes; I can't get too worried about spending a few bucks but I remember the days when I'd find 20-25 cards for a buck at certain card show booths.
Got these from the quarter boxes - where most the Angels / Dodgers cards are.
1973 Topps Jeff Torborg #154 - I have a couple of Torborg cards, though not an Angels card.
1974 Topps Joe Lahoud #512 - I actually have this card in my Topps Diamond account but picked it up since I get to have it in hand and maybe able to trade the redeemed Topps Diamond card for something else.
1984 Fleer Steve Lubratich #524
1985 Fleer Fred Lynn #307 - my memories of Lynn are mostly from glancing at his 1990 cards, which picture him as a 'washed up' San Diego Padres bench warmer.
Over the last 10 years, I've sort of come around as far learning about him - he was a very good player - winning the 1975 American League Rookie of the Year and 1975 American League MVP with the Boston Red Sox.
Lynn also represented the California Angels in the 1983 All-Star game - hitting the first and only grand slam in All-Star game history.
Was able to find these from the quarter boxes - where many of the card shop's newest cards are and the place where I actually go to first when I walk into the card shop.
2011 Topps Chrome Danny Espinosa #33
2011 Topps Chrome Matt Young #185
2011 Topps Chrome Vinnie Pestano #201
2011 Topps Update Jose Altuve #US 132
2011 Topps Update Dustin Ackley #US 30
2011 Topps Update Anthony Rizzo #US 55
2011 Topps Update Dustin Ackley #US 254
2011 Topps USA Baseball Scott McGough #USA-34 - x3
Monday, December 05, 2011
I grabbed these packs on impulse and pulled bupkis - maybe I don't know what I was expecting when this product came out a week or so ago; maybe I was hoping to be able to find some easier to pull pull refractors or colored parallels in every other pack?
It seems like for sheer entertainment value 2011 Bowman Draft is sort of a snooze fest - I realize they are two completely different products, but why can't something like 2011 Bowman Draft be more like 2011 Topps, where I sort of feel like I can pull at least a couple of OK looking inserts / parallels out of a multiple pack purchase.
#7 Charlie Blackmon
#17 Andrew Brown
#59 Zack Cozart - Chrome
#BDPP 70 Lance Jeffries - Chrome
#BDPP 59 Anthony Meo
#BDPP 101 Hunter Mercado-Hood
#BDPP 38 Taylor Guerrieri
#15 Ezequiel Carrera
#8 Brian Broderick
#82 Henderson Alvarez - Chrome
#BDPP 55 Brandon Martin - Chrome
#BDPP 71 Matthew Budgell
#BDPP 33 Tyler Goeddel
#BDPP 76 Josh Parr
#39 Graham Godfrey
#30 Rubby De La Rosa
#32 Jarrod Dyson - Chrome
#BDPP 67 Henry Owens - Chrome - he was a pretty big deal coming out of an Orange County high school in 2011 and while he's been in various USA releases over the last couple of seasons, this is first base card as a pro.
#BDPP 5 Pratt Maynard
#BDPP 30 Michael Fulmer
#BDPP 46 Adrian Houser
#75 Josh Rodriguez
#50 Craig Kimbrel
#27 Tony Cruz - Chrome
#BDPP 27 Alex Dickerson - Chrome
#BDPP 89 Keenyn Walker
#BDPP 19 Harold Martinez
#BDPP 68 Joe Panik
When Greg expressed interest in the Kemp card - I think the Haren was the first card that caught my eye off his trade bait page that I thought might not be too hard to trade for.
Even though the card still pictures Haren in an Arizona Diamondbacks uniform - it is a nice looking card, even if Haren sort of looks unkempt rockin' the facial hair.
I wish Jeff Mathis nothing but the best as he was finally traded from the Angels - I have nothing against him personally though it is disappointing he never really was able to develop into anything but a glorified bullpen catcher [who probably got playing time because he was a favorite of Angels manager Mike Scioscia].
Thursday, December 01, 2011
The Angels traded for catcher Chris Iannetta and while he has shown spurts of offensive potential with the Colorado Rockies - the 28-year old catcher has sort of had an underwhelming Major League career and as a hitter hasn't done particularly well away from Coors Field during the past three years.
It is weird to go and talk about Mike Napoli as some kind of star, but he has sort of become one in Texas - I think the Angels are hoping Iannetta can mimic Napoli's success and sort of emerge as a catcher who knows what he is doing with the bat.
Going to the Rockies is Tyler Chatwood, who may have been rushed to the Major Leagues, in his first and only season with the Angels in 2011 - he has shown a 'live arm,' but is probably more of a project at this point, striking out only three more guys than he walked in a decidedly uneven rookie season.