Friday, June 23, 2017

TTM autograph received: Devon Whyte

The former Angels outfielder signed my cards in black Sharpie in about three weeks c/o Buffalo Bisons - where he is the hitting coach for the Toronto Blue Jays AAA team.

I think he has intermittently coached with various MLB organizations over the years, but I haven't gotten the opportunity to actually see him in-person - on Instagram, I saw at least one TTM success posted this year and figured I might as well send off a letter to see if I could get ink on three of my random junk wax era cards.

As a player, I remember Whyte mostly as an all-world center fielder with the Toronto Blue Jays - in his prime, no one matched his prowess as a defender for the two World Series Championship Blue Jays teams in 1992 and 1993.

I really wanted to send him some Blue Jays cards, but he spent the first six years of his big league career with the Angels - looking back at his stats after his fine 1987 rookie season, I saw a star crossed player who bottomed out in 1990 and needed a change of scenery.

I wrote out his last name as 'Whyte' as that is how his last name is actually spelled - even though 'White' is the more common spelling of his last name.

Thursday, June 22, 2017

The 30-Day Baseball Card Challenge - Day 29

"A favorite card from before 1950, whether you own it or not."

1909-11 T206 Honus Wagner - while this card is only attainable when you own a MLB team or at least be in the same financial level, for any random collector of any era, the narrative behind this card is hard to ignore.

Wednesday, June 21, 2017

TTM autograph received: Wayne Causey

I don’t remember when I bought his 1967 Topps card, but unfortunately the adhesive on the lip of a team set bag got briefly stuck to the card and caused paper loss - I sent it out just to get some ink on it and it was signed nicely in blue ink in about a week or so.

Go figure, Causey was actually a one-time California Angel, playing in 4 games with the team in 1968 - so I can use the signed card for my Angels all-time autograph collection.

Tuesday, June 20, 2017

The 30-Day Baseball Card Challenge - Day 28

"A favorite relic/manufactured relic card."

2001 Upper Deck SPX Ken Griffey Jr. #KG1 jersey bat relic - when memorabilia cards were still kind of a thing, the concept of having one card featuring pieces from a players' game 'worn' or 'used' material appealed to me.

Besides the really harder to pull super patch cards, with a huge swatch from some patch off a player's jersey - I had the idea these dual relic cards was the next best thing, if couldn't secure the player's certified autograph for one reason or another.

Even if the sentiment towards game-used cards has tailed off due to being too common or with collectors just not being able to trust card companies as far as authenticity of the relics used - dual relic cards still catch my eye depending on the player shown, what types of 'worn' or 'used' materials are used and whether or not the card just looks good.

Sunday, June 18, 2017

2017 Topps Archives blaster recap 2 of 2

Box two
Bonus pack of Baseball Coins 
#C-22 Clayton Kershaw
#C-24 Max Scherzer

Pack one

#65 Stephen Strasburg
#28 Evan Longoria
#14 Marcell Ozuna
#280 Robin Roberts

#219 Jim Bunning

#183 Anthony Rendon
#130 Robinson Cano
#200 Kris Bryant

Pack two
#87 Dellin Betances
#77 Nomar Mazara

#21 Jose Ramirez

#272 Jose Canseco - I took a look at this card and thought the card pictured Ozzie instead of Jose and go figure, this confirmed my suspicion
#249 Tom Glavine

#RS-7 Yulieski Gurriel - Rookie Stars insert

#116 Curt Schilling
#192 Ryne Sandberg

Pack three
#53 Freddie Freeman

#78 Nolan Arenado
#81 Tyler Glasnow
#277 Yoan Moncada
#210 Mookie Betts

#266 Daniel Murphy
#159 Pedro Martinez
#139 Phil Rizzuto

Pack four
#82 Mike Piazza
#32 Juan Gonzalez
#244 Trevor Story
#253 Jean Segura

#283 Adam Eaton

#DJ-11 Derek Jeter - DJ Retrospective insert / 2003 Topps
#191 Sparky Anderson
#147 Jose Bautista

Pack five
#35 Brooks Robinson

#24 Willie McCovey
#56 Eric Hosmer

#217 Kole Calhoun
#235 Chris Sale
#144 Ken Giles
#145 Hisashi Iwakuma
#120 Dexter Fowler

Pack six
#9 Mark Trumbo

#57 Albert Pujols

#250 Bryce Harper

#221 JaCoby Jones
#218 Aaron Boone
#111 Danny Salazar
#121 Marcus Stroman
#150 Jose Quintana

Pack seven
#3 Earl Weaver 
#84 Carson Fulmer
#227 Manny Machado
#237 Joe Musgrove
#255 Reggie Jackson

59B-17 Sandy Koufax - 1959 Bazooka insert
#169 Starlin Castro
#128 Yasiel Puig

Friday, June 16, 2017

The 30-Day Baseball Card Challenge - Day 27

"A favorite oddball card from the 1990 or later."

1996 Denny's Holograms Cal Ripken Jr. #2 - I don't remember if the verbiage was actually used in promotional materials, but I remember something about these cards having '3.5 seconds of game action.'

What I liked about these cards was the fact you can shine them up to a light source and sort of see the player featured doing something - I think most of the previous hologram cards featuring actual players only showed a static image, where you had a 3D effect going, but you couldn't play around with the card like you could with these cards.

I was aware of the Sportflics 3D cards from the 1980s and also when Pinnacle Brands revived the technology for some products in the mid 1990s - these cards are sort of similar to those, but more of a variation of the Sportflics cards 'on steroids.'

Thursday, June 15, 2017

2017 Topps Archives blaster recap 1 of 2

I jumped at a chance to pick up two of these when I saw these on the shelves at a Target - this isn't a product I anticipate coming out each year, but something I take a look at through a blaster box purchase or maybe through some loose packs at the LCS [if available].

Box one

Bonus pack of Baseball Coins - comes in a nice, cutesy, 'micro mini' plastic wrapper that is worthless the moment I tear into it.

#C-10 Justin Verlander
#C-3 Gary Sanchez

Pack one

#92 Masahiro Tanaka - with the horizontal design and how colors kind of pop, the 1960 style is probably my favorite.
#36 Yu Darvish
#245 Johnny Cueto
#270 Mark Melancon
#247 Matt Harvey

#DJ-18 Derek Jeter - DJ Retrospective insert / 2010 Topps

#200 Kris Bryant
- I kind of liked the original year 1982 cards with the ‘hockey stick’ design and while the facsimile autograph sort of clutters up the front of the cards, it’s an attractive card design [I guess for 1982 in particular as opposed to 2017].
#116 Curt Schilling

Pack two
#64 Noah Syndergaard
#17 Melky Cabrera
#88 Salvador Perez

#205 Trea Turner - 1992 was the year of Topps cards I had most exposure to and I kind of felt the set was a little generic, especially with 792 cards.
#223 Jose Abreu

#192 Ryne Sandberg - it's probably been done before, but I like seeing a 'what if' Sandberg with a 1982 Topps design.
#159 Pedro Martinez
#139 Phil Rizzuto

Pack three
#73 Bobby Doerr

#75 Ty Cobb
#201 Roberto Clemente
#248 Andre Dawson

#49 Brian Dozier - Light Blue parallel serial #'d 37/75
#191 Sparky Anderson

#147 Jose Bautista
#144 Ken Giles

Pack four
#42 David Cone
#39 Rob Segedin
#275 Alex Bregman

#293 Jose Altuve - I feel like all the vertical images used in the original 1992 issue cards made that set feel a little redundant, but the occasional, original cards with horizontal player images stood out with seemingly a little more personality.
#246 Wil Myers

#59B-14 Corey Seager - Bazooka insert
#145 Hisashi Iwakuma
#120 Dexter Fowler

Pack five

#66 Adrian Beltre
#67 Edwin Diaz
#16 Jay Bruce
#256 Ian Desmond

#290 Kevin Gausman - I find myself playing the game of whether or not I’d find the similar type of image used in the original year cards.

I’d say at the ‘meh’ images [only counting active players] found on at least a handful of this year’s 1992 style Archives cards - would probably be faithful to their junk wax era counterparts.

#98 Jake Lamb - Peach parallel serial #'d 105/199
#111 Danny Salazar
#121 Marcus Stroman

Pack six
#19 Russell Martin
#26 Yoenis Cespedes
#100 Corey Seager
#252 Evan Gattis
#206 John Lackey

#Topps RO-3 Yoenis Cespedes - 2016 Retro Originals; I guess this was a retro inspired design thought up for last year; like how there is actually a card back built up as opposed to a ‘run of the mill’ insert.

#150 Jose Quintana
#103 Alex Reyes

Pack seven
#29 Josh Donaldson
#51 Robert Gsellman
#72 Edgar Martinez

#236 Braden Shipley
#269 Reynaldo Lopez
#153 Frank Thomas
#115 Andy Pettitte
#186 Monte Irvin

Wednesday, June 14, 2017

The 30-Day Baseball Card Challenge - Day 26

"A favorite oddball card from the 1980s."

1988 P and L Promotions Cape Cod Prospects Frank Thomas #126 - though my collecting prime was when Thomas was neck and neck with Ken Griffey Jr. as hobby kings back in the 1990s, this card was kind of unfamiliar to me until the last 15 years.

I don't have reason to think this card isn't an original issue from 1988 since they have been graded by PSA - but besides the fact the card looks like an unlicensed Broder issue, maybe it was reprinted at some point to capitalize on Thomas' star power.

Monday, June 12, 2017

The 30-Day Baseball Card Challenge - Day 25

"A favorite oddball card from the 1970s."

1978 Family Fun Centers San Diego Padres Ozzie Smith #29 - this card came out before Smith's 1979 Topps rookie, so while it's a regional issue, it has some significance attached to it.

I've gone with larger sized cards as far picking out oddball favorites from the 1950s, 1960s and 1970s - maybe I feel like there was more of an opportunity showcase an image or use unique design elements, as opposed to a smaller trading card.

Since this card featured a rookie, whomever put these cards together had to dig a little deeper - for Smith's 'greatest thrill in baseball' up through his first season in San Diego.

Saturday, June 10, 2017

The 30-Day Baseball Card Challenge - Day 24

"A favorite oddball card from the 1960s."

1964 Topps Giants Roberto Clemente #11 - even though these cards apparently have never been hard to find, I like them because they feature bold images of players like Clemente on a larger sized card.

The card stock is thin, but are pretty clean as opposed to the dingy regular Topps cards of the era - the backs feature a second b/w image of the player featured with a write-up of highlights.