Wednesday, December 13, 2017

2017 Topps on-demand mini pack break

I looked this up on Topps.com and I ordered a pack [there was free shipping promo] since for just about a price of a blaster box - I get an 'on-demand' product that is not available at a big box store.

I do see where Topps makes these 'variation' products off their flagship card set alone and by the end of the year - all these releases are just kind of redundant.

Shipped in a bubble mailer, a black box contained a foil wrapper placed inside a 150-count two-piece box.

#351 German Marquez #87-136 Chipper Jones - 1987 All-Star serial #’d 03/25 #56 Danny Salazar - serial #’d 1/5 #249 New York Yankees team card - serial #’d 05/25; just had to picture Starlin Castro among other random Yankees [Headley, Teixeira and maybe Gardner]. #US260 Carlos Correa - serial #’d 05/25 #656 Todd Frazier - serial #’d 01/10 #494 Tom Murphy #422 Andrew Miller #US213 Yovani Gallardo #486 Aroldis Chapman #4 Mark Reynolds #US110 Corey Seager #48 Brian McCann #US173 Chris Coghlan #636 Allegheny Armada - feat. Jaso / McCutchen #36 B’More Boppers - feat. Trumbo, Machado, Davis and Jones. #599 Cincinnati Reds team card #175 Houston Astros team card #246 Hunter Strickland #613 Jonathan Broxton #US66 Jose Osuna #440 Eduardo Rodriguez #US93 Jesse Chavez #526 Jake Marisnick #95 Chris Davis #US241 Ryon Healy #75 Carlos Correa #356 Brad Miller #492 Avisail Garcia #US269 Craig Kimbrel #369 Mark Canha #47 Gregor Blanco #341 Alex Bregman #US159 J.T. Riddle #270 Jake Arrieta

Tuesday, December 12, 2017

When borderline HOF guys get their call

It's refreshing to see Jack Morris and Alan Trammell, a pair of longtime teammates whose accomplishments seem more recent and tangible [they starred in the 1980s and played through the mid 1990s, not the 1880s] - get elected the Hall of Fame through 10-name Modern Baseball Era ballot.

I didn't think either Morris or Trammell were getting into the Hall of Fame any time soon but their candidacy was given second life after falling off the ballot - in particular, I guess something had to give in Morris' case.

While Morris' numbers was scrutinized by the sabermetric movement as inferior to retired star pitchers who aren't getting any serious consideration - there was enough push back [particularly among the people that put him in now] that Morris eventually was able to sneak into the HOF.

Trammell was destined to become the next Bert Blyleven or Tim Raines among sabermetric inclined baseball experts - Trammell was a guy who was part of a shortstop evolution, putting up strong offensive numbers that combined with everything else, were too hard to dismiss.

Monday, December 11, 2017

1991 Upper Deck Charlie Hough #792

I listed this card as an awesome action 'want' because it brings to mind the image of a crafty [knuckleball] pitcher working on his game during a spring training situation perhaps - even going as far throwing batting practice to teammates.

I don’t know if it puts things in any sort of perspective but for a professional baseball player, Hough has always looked like a grandfather - he’s only 43 on this card, but probably looks like he's 20 years older and it’s just hard for me to imagine looking as old as Hough does in five years.

Saturday, December 09, 2017

Featured autograph - Billy Eppler

I was able to get the Angels general manager's autograph in spring training this past year on a blank card - there is a bit of schadenfreude, when Eppler may have closed the deal to snatch Shohei Ohtani away from the hands of other prospective suitors, particularly the Seattle Mariners.

I don't know if the narrative of Ohtani's motivations to join the Halos have been exactly spelled out - but reading the screenshot above, there is a little 'what if' for disappointed Mariners fans, when considering the screenshot from 2015.

Thursday, December 07, 2017

Andruw Jones - a borderline HOFer?

I have this 1995 Bowman rookie card [#23] in a miscellaneous binder and I recoil whenever I see it - I remember buying it for something like $30 at the 2000 National Sports Collectors Convention and thought it was going to be a 'money card' of a superstar for years to come.

Maybe card values of any number of random cards probably declined over the past 20 years as players come in and out of collectors' consciousness - but Jones accelerated the dip in values by how his playing career fell apart after leaving the Atlanta Braves.

He got fat when he joined the Los Angeles Dodgers for the 2008 season and then bounced around for years - even playing in Japan for two seasons before wrapping up his playing career.

After the fact, the most interesting thing is that Jones was probably the best center fielder of his generation and may actually have an argument that he's one of the best to play his primary position of all time - this Sports Illustrated story spells out the idea that he's unlikely to get to the Hall of Fame, but pores over his numerous achievements as well as his decline.

Tuesday, December 05, 2017

Kevin Maitan - all things considered

As an Angels fan, the addition of Maitan is a nice pickup since he's only 17 and was the most intriguing prospect heading into this past year - the Angels' farm system has been depressed for a while and hopefully Maitan starts building on his promise, giving the Angels a nice little core of position player prospects [along with Jo Adell, Jahmai Jones, Brandon Marsh] to build upon the next few seasons.