Friday, March 31, 2017

TTM autographs received: Burke Waldron

The 93-year old WWII veteran who threw out the first pitch before a Seattle Mariners game in 2016 signed my two cards in blue ink [one personalized] in about a couple of weeks - Waldron also sent a two-page note and sent a small info card for the Latter-day Saints, with the inscription 'And I'm a 'Mormon' written.

Maybe it's the least that can be done for someone who served his country and who has lived as long as he has - but it's nice for Waldron to get his 15-minutes of fame and be immortalized on a baseball card insert of his own.

I made it a point to send to an autograph request to Waldron with two First Pitch insert I found - after it became a thing where TTM collectors reported successes from him.

Tuesday, March 28, 2017

Featured autographs - Manny Margot and Hunter Renfroe

I wanted to see how a dual player 2017 Topps Heritage Rookie Stars subset card would look autographed - it's not really a thing where I always seek multiplayer cards out to be inked up because I worry about completion, but I got Margot first [sacrificing my chance to get a set card signed, since he signs one per person], then managed to finish the card up by getting Renfroe.

Monday, March 27, 2017

Featured autograph - Brooks Robinson

With a donation, I was able to get the Hall of Famer's autograph on a couple of his cards - I saw that he started signing TTM again and wanted to see if I could get a response.

I remember 15-20 years ago when Robinson would sign through the mail for a small fee - I also remember when he basically stopped answering TTM requests because he had some sort of agreement with a card shop for paid signings.

Robinson's autograph may not pop as much with the matte card surface and the darker, painted image used on the 2007 Upper Deck Masterpieces card - but the auto is nearly centered perfectly to go with the horizontal picture.

Sunday, March 26, 2017

Featured autograph - David Dahl

I've wanted an autograph of the Colorado Rockies outfielder for at least the past few years but I've never gotten to see him in-person - I ended up picking up a 2017 Donruss certified autograph for $5 and change and while it's not like actually getting Dahl to sign something in-person, it's good enough just to say I have his scribble in my collection.

Despite being a blue chip prospect who had a fine MLB debut season in 2016 - Dahl has had to deal with some physical ailments, so who knows if he ends up being sort of fragile otherwise, where his ascent as a big league star maybe slowed down a bit.

Dahl had his spleen removed after an outfield collision in 2015 and while he seemed to get over that over the next year - he has been shut down for much of spring training after a stress reaction in his ribcage and isn't likely to start the year on the Rockies' Opening Day roster.

Saturday, March 25, 2017

2017 Topps Heritage Mike Trout pick-up

I picked up this Action variation parallel for my Trout PC - because he's gotten to be so prominent with his premium cards going for big money, I’m merely collecting Trout’s cards ‘as is’ as opposed to really caring about whether I pick up any specific card.

I'll keep any miscellaneous cards I'll pull or find and when the mood strikes - look for at least one nice looking, current year non-auto insert / parallel that isn’t going to cost an arm and a leg.

Friday, March 17, 2017

2017 Topps Opening Day pack breaks

It looks like a fresh box was open on the counter and while I really turn my nose at this more cutesy, 'flagship-lite' alternative - I wanted to bust some packs and for a dollar each, was there anything to lose?

Pack one
#189 Todd Frazier
#98 Lorenzo Cain
#8 Victor Martinez
#M-25 Brewers Mascot - Mascots Checklist
#70 Jay Bruce
#39 Aledmys Diaz
#95 Kyle Seager

Pack two
#106 Xander Bogaerts
#96 Anthony Rizzo
#116 Chris Sale

#ODB-1 Opening Day in Pittsburgh - Opening Day insert
#134 Miguel Sano
#186 Julio Urias
#32 Aaron Nola

Pack three
#161 Brian McCann
#73 Joe Mauer

#SC-14 Troy Tulowitzki - Superstar Celebrations insert
#MA-O Orbit - Mascot Autographs; it’s a friggin autograph of a mascot but I’ll comfort myself in seeing it’s supposedly seeded at a rate of 1:747 packs.
#90 Matt Strahm
#158 Carlos Carrasco
#176 Teoscar Hernandez

Wednesday, March 15, 2017

2017 Topps Heritage blaster recap oddity

I purchased a blaster box the day I picked up my random card shop packs a few weeks ago - I remember listing out what I pulled from my hobby pack breaks first, then feeling like maybe I should go on with the blaster box.

It looks like there were actually nine packs [instead of eight totals packs] in my blaster for a total of 81 cards - I didn't pull a Target exclusive 1968 game rookie insert, so I think I might have been somehow skunked with this retail box, but ended up pulling six short prints [usually pulled 1:3 odds].

Pack one
#220 Joe Mauer
#275 2017 Philadelphia Phillies Rookie Stars - feat. Jake Thompson/Roman Quinn
#61 Marco Estrada
#109 Chris Iannetta
#462 Jackie Bradley Jr. - SP
#227 Steven Souza Jr.
#7 2016 ERA Leaders - feat. Hendricks/Lester/Syndergaard
#180 Stephen Piscotty
#190 Tommy Joseph

Pack two
#55 Josh Phegley
#88 Kyle Seager
#101 Jose Iglesias
#267 2017 Milwaukee Brewers Rookie Stars - feat. Orlando Arcia/Brent Suter
#486 Ji-Man Choi - SP
#493 Sam Dyson - SP
#73 Nick Hundley
#47 Collin McHugh
#82 Leonys Martin
#96 Gerardo Parra

Pack three
#316 Kendrys Morales
#384 2017 Arizona Diamondbacks Rookie Stars - feat. Braden Shipley/Matt Koch
#97 Javier Baez
#93 Aaron Nola
#229 1988 Topps Jeff Musselman - Rediscover Topps
#26 Howie Kendrick
#352 Kevin Kiermeier
#12 2016 American League Strikeout Leaders - feat. Verlander/Archer/Sale
#16 2017 San Diego Padres Rookie Stars - feat. Manny Margot/Hunter Renfroe
#33 Jhonny Peralta

Pack four
#102 Richie Shaffer
#11 2016 National League Strikeout Leaders - feat. Scherzer/Bumgarner/Ray
#259 Ken Giles
#121 Jeff Samardzija
#482 Albert Almora - SP
#85 Brett Gardner
#279 Washington Nationals team card
#297 Ezequiel Carrera
#278 Jeurys Familia

Pack five
#348 Julio Teheran
#320 Jayson Werth
#310 Tyler Saladino
#266 Los Angeles Angels team card
#BF-BR Brooks Robinson - Baseball Flashbacks insert
#64 Russell Martin
#256 Matt Harvey
#184 Jeanmar Gomez
#178 James Shields

Pack six
#271 Jason Castro
#196 Brandon Crawford
#118 Travis Shaw
#156 2016 World Series - Game #5 - feat. Aroldis Chapman
#461 Mark Trumbo - SP
#137 Adeiny Hechavarria
#129 Colorado Rockies team card
#388 Yonder Alonso
#181 Corey Kluber

Pack seven
#59 Jose Peraza
#156 2016 World Series - Game #6 - feat. Addison Russell
#43 Arodys Vizcaino
#325 Chris Davis
#302 Khris Davis
#274 Nelson Cruz
#15 Logan Morrison
#9 2016 National League Pitching Leaders - feat. Scherzer/Lester/Arrieta
#92 R.A. Dickey

Pack eight
#233 Scott Schebler
#369 Robinson Cano
#175 Michael Saunders
#48 Seth Smith
#467 Gregory Polanco - SP
#291 Wily Peralta
#191 Alexi Amarista
#191 Zack Cozart
#158 Cubs Fly The W

Pack nine 
#86 Danny Valencia
#292 Carlos Ruiz
#176 Brandon Phillips
#157 2016 World Series - Game #7 - feat. Ben Zobrist
#12 Jake Arrieta - 1968 Topps Game insert
#44 Eduardo Nunez
#91 Chicago Aces - feat. Lester/Arrieta
#343 Marcus Semien
#104 Carlos Santana

Saturday, March 11, 2017

2017 Donruss hobby two pack break

With a look inspired by an updated take on 1990 Donruss, the base cards are sharp, though still otherwise feel generic - maybe my small sample size of two packs doesn't quite tell the entire story, but it's hard to buy into these cards when they don't really stand out.

Pack one
#117 Ryan Braun

#74 Kyle Schwarber
#131 Odubel Herrera
#89 Nolan Arenado

#TP-2 Austin Meadows - The Prospects

#RV-24 Khris Davis - Retro Variation
#194 Yu Darvish

#RV-15 Mike Trout - Retro Variation

Pack two
#116 Giancarlo Stanton
#73 Jon Lester
#130 Marcus Semien

#88 Tyler Naquin

#29 Edwin Encarnacion - Diamond Kings subset
#158 Adrian Beltre

#RV-29 Johnny Cueto - Retro Variation
#149 Matt Holliday

Monday, March 06, 2017

1974 Topps Tom Seaver #80

I picked this card up for a sampler run of PSA graded Topps cards from 1952-1980 - I've always associated old-school [anything between 1974-1985] or vintage [1973 and older] cards as something 'old and valuable,' especially when the cards came out before I was alive.

I kind of want to see if this particular project becomes a more significant, satisfying chase - while eBay effectively saturated the market, it makes it easier to look for cards whose values were inflated 25-30 years ago, even if they weren't quite the big money old-school/vintage cards serious collectors continue to chase today.

So far I only have 3 of 28 cards [a 1960 Willie Mays and a 1961 Eddie Mathews are the other two I bought years ago] for this project - there maybe a couple of other cards I can use, though they maybe tied to another part of my collection, so I might only decide to use them if they are the final two cards I need.

Saturday, March 04, 2017

1993 Topps Gold Derek Jeter #98

In addition to the Bowman rookie card I picked up a few weeks ago, I also grabbed this rookie-year parallel card - maybe I find myself a priced out of the modern card collecting game [with the focus on guys like Mike Trout and Kris Bryant], so maybe I'm 'going back' to looking for cards I've overlooked over the past 25 years.

The 1993 Topps Jeter rookie card is kind of boring with an image of a young Jeter superimposed into a generic outline of a baseball field - the card is sort of a post junk wax era 'junk wax card,' but the foil stamping makes the card looks just a little bit more attractive.

Thursday, March 02, 2017

2017 Topps Heritage 7-pack break

I'm not exactly a fan of Topps Heritage because it has been played out card product to me - I feel like there should be more effort to come up with something original when it comes to baseball cards as opposed to dipping into your 'heritage' as sort of a crutch to stand on.

I do appreciate some 'old school' elements in baseball cards, so it's not like I don't get what these cards are about - I grabbed 7 random packs from a card shop and also a blaster box from a Target to see if I can get into these new cards for a little bit.

It may not feel authentic, but the thinner card stock is cleaner and the cards look fairly sharp - it seems like there was no effort to make the cards look like the originals, which may not be something people who collect Heritage seriously may like.

I read a little primer on the original 1968 Topps cards - but despite the inconsistent pattern scheme on the borders, I'm okay with the cards looking a little bland and maybe lacking a little imagination [just considering the cards themselves and not the wrinkles and gimicks that come with a 2017 release].

The card backs are bright and bold - so that makes them easy to read.

I realize 1968 Topps wasn't a set that used facsimile autographs of the players as part of the design - so the fronts of these 2017 Topps Heritage cards look less cluttered.

Pack one
#280 Chase Headley
#283 Pittsburgh Pirates team card
#301 Martin Prado
#358 San Diego Padres team card
#NAP-14 Kyle Hendricks - New Age Performers

#307 Yordano Ventura - R.I.P.
#373 Nolan Arenado - All-Topps subset
#272 Wei-Yin Chen
#336 Colorado Sluggers - feat. LeMahieu/Blackmon

Pack two
#224 Matt Szczur
#58 Tony Watson
#62 Nick Markakis
#144 Ryan Zimmerman

#491 Jason Hammel - SP
#30 Tyler Flowers
#353 Zach Britton
#297 Ezequiel Carrera
#278 Jeurys Familia

Pack three
#286 Dellin Betances
#394 Texas Rangers team card
#225 Francisco Rodriguez
#165 2017 Detroit Tigers Rookie Stars - feat. JaCoby Jones/Dustin Molleken

#412 David Ortiz - SP/Color Swap variation?
#63 Alex Wilson
#42 2017 Miami Marlins Rookie Stars - feat. Austin Brice/Yefri Perez
#124 Chad Qualls
#378 Max Scherzer - All-Topps subset

Pack four
#188 Jedd Gyorko
#51 Derek Norris
#218 Jim Johnson
#111 Tanner Roark

#Topps Tan-10 Juan Marichal/Clayton Kershaw - Then and Now insert
#231 Matt Garza
#241 Travis Jankowski
#388 Yonder Alonso
#181 Corey Kluber

Pack five
#80 Eddie Rosario
#319 Washington National Rookie Stars - feat. Brian Goodwin/Spencer Kieboom
#132 Cheslor Cuthbert

#117 Chicago White Sox Rookie Stars - feat. Carson Fulmer/Yoan Moncada
#497 Kevin Gausman - SP
#243 Byron Buxton
#393 Toronto Blue Jays Rookie Stars - feat. Matt Dermody/Danny Barnes
#35 Anthony DeSclafani

#368 Manny Machado - All-Topps subset; it's totally not obvious who is partially pictured on the back of Machado's card.
Topps info card/Bunt pack code card

Pack six
#201 Martin Maldonado
#219 Pedro Alvarez
#107 Roberto Osuna
#105 Adam Lind

#149 1987 Topps Ray Searage - Rediscover Topps; damn, this is just what I wanted from a pack of 2017 Topps Heritage.

It's going to be another 19 years for 2036 Topps Heritage to come out featuring 'Today's Stars in The 1987 Design' - where pulling a buyback card from 1987 Topps would make sense, though I probably could have pulled any junk wax era card from this latest Topps promotion.

#77 Yadier Molina
#345 Jarred Cosart
#210 Carlos Rodon
#343 Marcus Semien
#104 Carlos Santana

Pack seven
#220 Joe Mauer
#275 2017 Philadelphia Phillies Rookie Stars - feat. Jake Thompson/Roman Quinn
#389 D.J. LeMahieu

#372 Anthony Rizzo - All-Topps subset; it's totally not obvious who the smiling mug on the back of Rizzo's card belongs to.

#26 Gary Sanchez - 1968 Topps Game insert
#221 Toronto Blue Jays team card
#66 Kyle Hendricks
#192 Zack Cosart
#158 Cubs Fly the W