Monday, April 30, 2018

An assortment of cards pored over and picked up

The idea I'd only put aside $20 to spend on some loose packs or a jumbo pack of 2018 Bowman meant - I knew I had no realistic opportunity of sniffing any of the new Bowman flagship product at a card shop.

A day after release, I'd overheard the store owner say he was wiped out and from what I understood - you basically had to be on a list, to be able to purchase whatever 2018 Bowman [boxes] the shop had in reserve.

As is, I made do with what I usually do, rummaging through some of the loose cards in boxes and maybe left on counters - just to see what I could take home for the day.

2015 Topps Josh Beckett #613 - feat. Don Mattingly
2016 Bowman Chrome Prospects Starling Heredia #BCP18
2018 Bowman Austin Hays #46
2018 Bowman Walker Buehler #59
2018 Bowman Luis Robert #BP21
2018 Donruss Matt Olson #21 - Diamond Kings; the only reason I picked up this card was it’s actually Ryon Healy pictured and it’s an uncorrected error.

2018 Panini Diamond Kings
#1 Babe Ruth
#4 Lou Gehrig
#7 Mickey Mantle
#19 Roberto Clemente
#28 Jackie Robinson
#30 Joe Jackson
#34 Ty Cobb
#70 Mike Trout

#A9 Ichiro - Aurora insert x2
#50 Kirby Puckett - Framed Red
#62 Mookie Betts - Framed Red

#78 Bryce Harper - Framed Red
#GS2 Justin Turner - Gallery of Stars insert

#GS4 Nolan Arenado - Gallery of Stars insert
#GS16 Reggie Jackson - Gallery of Stars insert

#PP11 Ernie Banks / Anthony Rizzo - Past and Present insert
#P3 Cal Ripken Jr. - Portraits insert x2
#P4 Chipper Jones - Portraits insert

#P8 Tony Gwynn - Portraits insert
#P9 Ty Cobb - Portraits insert x2
#P10 Ted Williams - Portraits insert
#500-HK Harmon Killebrew - The 500 insert

#500-JR Ken Griffey Jr. - The 500 insert
#500-MM Mickey Mantle - The 500 insert
#500-WM Willie McCovey - The 500 insert
#TC2 Aaron Judge - Trophy Club
#TC3 Cody Bellinger - Trophy Club
#TC10 Kris Bryant - Trophy Club

#TC15 Carlos Correa - Trophy Club

Saturday, April 28, 2018

2018 Bowman 22-card rack pack x6

On a random stop at a Walmart, I thought I'd struck gold with six $5.98 packs of this year's latest baseball card lottery product - turns out, I may have only gotten the leftovers of someone else's unopened plunder, though it's all just a crapshoot with the all or nothing hunt for something with Shohei Ohtani's picture [and really with his autograph] on it.

Pack one
#37 Sandy Alcantara
#95 Jonathan Schoop
#14 George Springer
#21 Noah Syndergaard
#8 Hunter Renfroe
#56 Nomar Mazara
#50 Carlos Correa
#43 Joey Votto
#33 Anthony Rizzo
#5 Paul Goldschmidt
#BCP96 Junior Fernandez - Chrome
#BCP40 Pedro Avila - Chrome
#-SK Scott Kingery - Bowman Trending insert
#ROYF-AV Alex Verdugo - ROY Favorites
#BP28 Kolby Allard
#BP33 James Nelson
#BCP83 Ian Anderson - Chrome
#BCP110 Eric Pardinho - Chrome; that 2001 birthdate...makes him 17
#BP57 Luis Urias
#BP26 Alfredro Rodriguez
#BP9 Alex Jackson
#BP93 Royce Lewis

Pack two 
#69 Bryce Harper
#20 Raudy Read
#4 Zack Greinke
#99 Ryan McMahon
#73 Nick Williams
#48 Jackson Stephens
#26 Clint Frazier
#1 Mike Trout
#67 Giancarlo Stanton
#16 Matt Olson
#84 Paul DeJong
#BCP60 Brian Miller - Chrome
#ROYF-WC Willie Calhoun - ROY Favorites
#BP4 Hunter Harvey
#BP133 Tyler Stephenson
#BCP104 Nick Solak - Chrome
#BCP89 Mike Soroka - Chrome
#BCP119 Gavin LaValley - Chrome
#BP147 Forrest Whitley
#BP139 Travis Lakins 
#BP80 Matt Hall
#BP12 Thomas Hatch

Pack three
#74 Garrett Cooper
#11 Jen-Ho Tseng
#64 Clayton Kershaw
#13 Maikel Franco
#63 Robinson Cano
#92 Josh Bell
#96 Raisel Iglesias
#51 Marcell Ozuna
#72 Alex Verdugo
#90 Max Fried
#BCP90 Stephen Gonsalves - Chrome
#BCP142 A.J. Puk - Chrome
#BTP92 Monte Harrison - Bowman Scouts' Top 100
#-FT Fernando Tatis
#BP34 Josh Ockimey
#BP17 Kevin Newman
#BCP148 Trevor Rogers - Chrome
#BCP95 Jorge Mateo - Chrome
#BP46 Cristian Pache
#BP44 James Kaprielian
#BP131 MacKenzie Gore
#BP63 Dylan Cozens

Pack four
#6 Victor Robles
#94 Chris Sale
#53 Charlie Blackmon
#24 Aaron Judge
#87 Tommy Pham
#85 Andrew Stevenson
#65 Marcus Stroman
#61 Dansby Swanson
#9 Zack Granite
#10 Rhys Hoskins
#2 Francisco Mejia
#BCP121 Jose Adolis Garcia - Chrome
#BB-MCH Matt Chapman - Bowman Birthdays insert
#BCP13 Sam Hilliard - Chrome refractor serial #'d 048/499
#BP13 Sam Hilliard
#BP38 Mitch Keller
#BCP61 Matt Thaiss - Chrome
#BCP140 Blake Rutherford - Chrome
#BP55 Kyle Tucker
#BP49 Nick Gordon
#BP115 Cal Quantrill
#BP58 Sean Murphy

Pack five
#62 Ozzie Albies
#42 Harrison Bader
#12 Chance Sisco
#91 Luiz Gohara
#75 Miguel Andujar
#22 Albert Pujols
#38 Andrew Benintendi
#17 Nicholas Castellanos
#93 Michael Conforto
#27 Wil Myers
#BCP141 Blayne Enlow - Chrome
#BTP-34 Alec Hansen - Bowman Scouts' Top 100 insert
#TP-CHI Jose Albertos, Adbert Alzolay and Mark Zagunis - Talent Pipeline insert
#BP1-06 D.J. Stewart
#BP92 Ryan Vilade
#BCP45 Greg Deichmann - Chrome
#BCP27 Jose Trevino - Chrome
#BCP19 Johan Mieses - Chrome
#BP6 Austin Beck
#BP2 Bryan Mata
#BP149 Steven Duggar
#BP102 Matt Sauer

Pack six
#57 Anthony Banda
#77 Avisail Garcia
#58 Josh Donaldson
#89 Brandon Crawford
#54 Byron Buxton
#47 Cody Bellinger
#81 Nolan Arenado
#88 Felix Hernandez
#76 Tomas Nido
#36 Dustin Fowler
#78 Jack Flaherty
#BCP91 Spencer Howard - Chrome
#BTP-40 Lewis Brinson - Bowman Scouts' Top 100 insert
#BP23 Jeren Kendall
#BP134 Wander Javier
#BCP124 Alex Faedo - Chrome
#BCP113 Taylor Clarke - Chrome
#BCP144 Jahmai Jones - Chrome
#BP41 Jason Martin
#BP37 Jake Burger
#BP14 Kyle Wright
#BP135 Bryse Wilson

Friday, April 27, 2018

Mail day - 2012 Topps Bryce Harper #US-183

I don't think Harper can ever match Mike Trout's run of excellence but Harper is still the player big league fans are waiting on to go HAM for years to come - I had seen this card on the Dime Boxes blog and I wondered if I should look into picking one up.

I was looking for a graded copy and lost an impulsive bid for a BGS 9.5 - for just about the same price as a discounted blaster however, I found another listing after the fact and jumped at it, even though I want to have some peace of mind as far as something slabbed.

From what I've read up on, I would assume Harper’s 2012 Topps Update rookie debut maybe his most popular ‘mainstream’ rookie year card even though it is from a subset - I think the rookie debut subset cards are annoying, but Harper's 2012 Topps Series II card is an SSP that is simply hard to find.

Harper does have 2012 Topps factory set cards [a non SSP version of #661 and a factory set rookie insert card] - but the demand for those cards are relatively soft, presumably since the factory sets are usually printed in abundance and contain the pair [as opposed to being pack pulled issues].

Thursday, April 26, 2018

COMC finds - binder stars / decade stars

I had a haul of cards I'd gotten from COMC come in - after I'd started the shipping process, my order only took about a week, which was a pleasant surprise.

On their Web site, COMC lists when to expect delivery depending on the service chosen - I figure I don’t have a claim to anything otherwise if it they ship within the estimated window for the $3.99 economy charge, even if it takes two or three weeks.

I've had misgivings about a typical COMC order taking too long, but I actually got my shipment about five days earlier than expected - maybe the Web site might be an option again as far as picking up the most random cards and having them shipped sooner than never.

I kind of see COMC as a glorified swap meet of sorts - however they always seem to package cards well enough, regardless of shipping method chosen.

It’s nice to finally go through the cards I've had sitting in my account - though there maybe a caveat with some of the random cards I’ve chosen to pick up as far as finding an actual spot for them in my collections.

I’m trying to list and put away as many of the cards I purchased - while trying to feel something for most cards, so they aren't meaningless after the fact.

The following are too random to be stand alone A-Z singles or PC cards - yet I’d rather showcase them as highlights within others cards of the same player, than be obscured as rank-and-file additions within my A-Z inserts collection.

2002 Topps Gold Label Awards Ceremony Relics Class 1 Gold Andy Pettite ACR-AEP [$4.75] - considering their franchise history and late 1990s dynasty run, I'd probably be a New York Yankees fan, if not rooting for the Angels.

I was doing a random search and this card caught my eye - it's kind of shiny card featuring an image of a relevant Topps card in the inset image and a window with a pinstripe jersey swatch.

Pettitte is hardly a favorite but on the down low, maybe I want to build up a micro-mini collection of selected cards - featuring the Yankees Core Four [Pettitte, Derek Jeter, Mariano Rivera and Jorge Posada].

1997 Topps Team Timber Frank Thomas #TT5 [$1.05] - I thought it would be cool to have a card in hand that was printed entirely on some sort of simulated wood material.

I've never seen these cards except for a Rafael Palmeiro on a page of scanned cards - these may have been long forgotten inserts and wanting a ‘sample’ card from the set, a more appealing player choice [Thomas] wasn't that much more than a Palmeiro.

The card fronts actually feature a more conventional glossy surface and not a 'wood' feel like I'd anticipated - it's actually the back of the cards that have a sort of matte / textured surface that may resemble a wood finish.

I suspect it's to make the cards seem like they actually came from a piece of wood - but it looks like someone poured water on the surface to create some depressions going down from top to bottom.

2003 Donruss Diamond Kings DK Evolution Barry Bonds #DK-16 [$1.25] - Bonds may not be going to the Hall of Fame since he was presumably both a perpetual ass and an alleged PED abuser, however I was drawn to his bad ass act when he broke the single-season and career home run marks through his 40s.

2003 Donruss Diamond Kings DK Evolution Tony Gwynn #DK-21 [$0.99] - unlike Bonds, the player was considered a saint where he was universally loved as a professional baseball player and a person, R.I.P.

I was vaguely aware of these lenticular cards but had just forgotten about them over time - I might have thought there might have been a time elapse image where a picture of a player early in his career is contrasted with a current [as of 15 years ago] picture, but this clears things up.

1998 Upper Deck Blue Chip Prospects Todd Helton #BC11 [$1.70] - serial #'d to 2000; it’s not a rookie or anything ‘special,’ but I guess I’d collect the retired Helton on the down low and this one caught my eye as a ‘film cell’ material card.

2015 Topps Update Series MLB All-Star Game Access Albert Pujols MLB-2 [$0.98] - this captures a poignant moment where another big leaguer [Joc Pederson] is hugging Pujols at the 2015 All-Star Home Run Derby for presumably all Pujols has done for Pederson’s developmentally disabled [Down Syndrome] brother Champ in particular.

Monday, April 23, 2018

Featured autographs - one time Angels

For my Angels all-time autograph collection I like the idea of picking up random autograph cards [pack pulled or not] of players who played for the team at some point in their careers - it gives me an opportunity to scrutinize bottom of the barrel certified autographs and consider grabbing them if they picture a current or former Angel, particularly someone otherwise unfamiliar and/or whose autograph I don't have.

Friday, April 20, 2018

Bat Blog Around: My All Autograph Team

I've leaned towards being more of an in-person / through the mail autograph collector than strictly collecting cards, so this newest Bat Blog Around was something I wanted to take part in - I may or may not have better autographs for each position, but I basically went through older blog post posts to see if I can build up a lineup.

1B Rod Carew

2B Ryne Sandberg - I always thought he was the best second baseman of all time, though he starred when I first started getting into collecting and I was oblivious about other greats like Joe Morgan or Rogers Hornsby.

3B Albert Pujols - had to squeeze the guy featured on the Blog Bat Around header somewhere.

SS Maury Wills - I went with a player who made an impact when he first burst into the scene, a vintage player with a unique looking, embossed retro card from the 1990s.

OF Albert Belle - he was a fun player to watch because he was simply nuts and despite his issues, I have to give him his due.

OF Mike Trout - as is, I ride or die with this guy, regardless of how big the spotlight is on him these days.

OF Bryce Harper - he's the most intimidating batter in all of MLB.

With brutish strength to hit the ball 500 feet - he always looks like someone ran over his dog or something.

C Buster Posey

SP Justin Verlander

DH/PH Shohei Ohtani - the expectations are so big for him, but he's 23 and he'll have his share of growing pains.

CL Mariano Rivera

RP Sparky Lyle - I didn't know much about Lyle, except I needed him for my award winners collection, but he was a do it all reliever who collected 238 saves in his playing career.

RP Goose Gossage - I can just imagine Gossage and Rivera co-existing in the same bullpen, with Gossage mostly talking Rivera's head off about how he was the more valuable late inning reliever.

Friday, April 13, 2018

Shohei Ohtani 2018 Topps Now pickups

Save for any autograph or limited parallels offered, I've picked up Ohtani's Topps Now cards from the past two weeks, including both versions [English and Japanese Kanji] of his first MLB hit card - as you read this I've probably put an order for likely another Topps Now card, noting his first MLB triple, which drove in 3 RBI.

It's pretty special to see Ohtani living up to the hype, rather than falling flat on his face and I'm just enjoying the ride as generally a fan of his MLB team - I think I tend to think about 'the next' [once in a generation talent to emerge] if the current best player in the planet has gotten too big time [like a music band that explodes through mainstream consciousness and is viewed as having sold out in a sense].

Over the last 15-20 years, maybe Albert Pujols was considered best player, then Bryce Harper was supposed to be the guy, then Mike Trout has been the guy for the last 6 years - point is someone like Ohtani is out there as someone with a chance to be a unique talent on their own to fawn over and speculate about as a new favorite.

Ohtani has gotten through his first couple of weeks in Major League Baseball with flying colors, but it's still two starts on the mound and a 26 at-bats as a batter - I want to still see how far he'll go and maybe there is a fear that he might be overused and gassed as the season wears on.

As far as collecting Ohtani cards, I don't know if I'm going to keep up with the Topps Now business past April - however as long as Ohtani is providing highlights, there is something about having an opportunity to grab new and unique MLB licensed Ohtani cards to feed the beast with chasing unopened products, looking for miscellaneous Ohtani cards.

There will probably be a number of pack pulled [likely non auto'd parallels] Ohtani cards I'd like to pick up in his rookie year - but without thinking too much about it, the Topps Now cards should continue to be no brainer purchases.

Thursday, April 12, 2018

Beyond the glory addition - Don Wilson

I didn't know who Wilson was until I probably stumbled upon a YouTube video of him pitching in the 1971 MLB All-Star Game - as much as I think I soak up baseball history like a sponge, my focus when talking about old-school [pre 1980] and vintage [pre 1974] players are mostly devoted to the legends / icons.

Wilson may have starred for the Houston Astros, compiling a 104-92 won-loss record in 9 seasons with the team - but due to a fatal accident in his car, he never did build on the promise he had shown at various points of his career.

Tuesday, April 10, 2018

Beyond the glory addition - Bob Moose

Rummaging through the old-school / vintage quarter box at my card shop, I picked a 1974 Topps card [#382] featuring a player with seemingly funny looking hair - go figure, I don't have a mini-collection devoted to hair styles, so maybe I could add this to my facial hair collection.

After finding out more about Moose through this Card Corner feature on the Baseball Hall of Fame Website, I decided to add his card to my beyond the glory mini-collection - there is kind of a cross over with my infamous mini-collection but my beyond the glory mini-collection is more inspired by professional athletes who may have had a narrative attached to their playing careers besides just making some mistakes and getting in the news for it.

A card of notable professional athlete who prematurely loses their life is added into this collection - maybe someone who passes while still being an active player or someone who passes in a somewhat of an odd set of circumstances.

I learned Moose threw the wild pitch that led to the series ending run in the 1972 National League Championship Series - a successful MLB pitcher otherwise, he passed away at 29 due to a car accident.

Monday, April 09, 2018

1997 Score Blast Master Tim Salmon #18

I figure there just hasn't been much to talk about with the Angels the past week or so and I'd feature this random insert I picked up - I was watching a replay of a YouTube live broadcast featuring a collector showing off his player pick-ups and spotted a card from an insert set I've never heard of.

I liked how the card popped, so off to COMC I went, where I didn't want to pick up the same card the collector did - but for a dollar, I was able to add a card from the set, featuring a regional favorite.

Friday, April 06, 2018

2018 Donruss 60 card hanger box

On a whim, I bought one of these from a Target - I like the 1984 themed retro cards though it's just hard to appreciate baseball cards with no team logos.

I like the variations because they give me something extra to look for - though from my understanding, they aren't that much harder to pull than any other cards.

#139 Orlando Arcia
#70 Jean Segura
#99 Michael Brantley
#220 Leaders in L.A. - feat. Kershaw / Seager
#127 Yu Darvish

#67 Xander Bogaerts
#95 Odubel Herrera
#121 Ryon Healy
#201 Rookie Stars - feat. Judge / Frazier
#56 Freddie Freeman
#102 Nelson Cruz
#129 Alex Wood
#72 Brian Dozier
#113 Madison Bumgarner
#205 K.C. Masterpiece - feat. Hosmer / Cain
#53 Zack Greinke
#81 Logan Morrison
#107 Jonathan Gray
#133 Dee Gordon
#75 Jake Arrieta
#21 Odubel Herrera - Stat Line serial #’d 238/344

#172 Nolan Arenado - Holo Green parallel
#263 Matt Carpenter - Holo Green parallel
#154 Clayton Kershaw - Holo Green parallel
#242 Mike Trout - Holo Green parallel
#181 Chris Archer - Holo Green parallel

#123 Rod Carew - variation, black and white photo
#254 Mickey Mantle - variation, wearing cap
#3 Evan Longoria

#163 Kris Bryant - variation, Sepia ‘KB’

#153 Corey Kluber - variation, Klubot
#17 Brian Dozier
#39 Ryan McMahon
#69 Jackie Bradley Jr. - variation, ‘JB’
#166 Jose Altuve - variation, ‘Tuve’
#15 Justin Bour
#37 Amed Rosario
#134 Marcell Ozuna
#197 Ryan Zimmerman
#179 Evan Longoria
#240 George Springer - 1984
#152 Jordan Montgomery
#261 Robinson Cano - 1984
#170 Kyle Seager

#231 Joey Votto - 1984
#141 Anthony Rizzo
#183 Kris Bryant
#245 Corey Seager - 1984
#158 Corey Seager
#191 Mookie Betts

#226 Mookie Betts - 1984
#164 Dallas Keuchel
#247 Ryan Braun - 1984

#244 Clayton Kershaw - 1984
#156 Miguel Cabrera
#265 Evan Longoria - 1984
#174 Felix Hernandez
#234 Francisco Lindor - 1984
#150 Gary Sanchez

#259 Madison Bumgarner - 1984