Saturday, November 09, 2019

Featured autograph - Ryan Zimmerman

I remember being high on Zimmerman as a potential franchise star and when he was a rookie all the way back in 2006 - I made a trade for this ball in exchange for a Ron Cey baseball I got signed during one of the preview days at the National 14 years ago.

It is hard to believe that all these years, the original National was still with the team and was part of a World Series Championship team - I suppose a number of people didn't like his appearance at the White House along with Kurt Suzuki in particular, but it is what it is.

Wednesday, October 30, 2019

Featured autograph - Patrick Sandoval

For my one or two dedicated readers, October was a hiatus month since I spent it out of the country and while I could catch up with blog reading - it's not as fun collecting without actually having cards in-hand to play with.

I've been feeling 'meh' about collecting anyway because it's been a solitary thing when sometimes I tend to crave feedback from outside sources - the last month has made me wonder if I can see where I can pull the plug because I'm clearly not getting what I may want from either collecting the cards themselves or trying to come up with some blog posts that mean something.

As far as the autograph pictured, Sandoval got called up for the first time this past year to see if he has a little potential to contribute in 2020 - I haven't been living under a rock, so with Angels old friend Joe Maddon coming back to manage, the Angels are expected to be in the hunt for more established arms for the rotation.

Who knows if Sandoval gets a serious opportunity to pitch for the Angels - maybe he impresses to find a spot in the rotation, though he might be fighting with guys like Griffin Canning [a probably lock, but he still has something to prove], José Suárez or Jaime Barría to be the No. 4 or No. 5 guy.

Maybe a possibility is Sandoval makes the team - but starts the season pitching out of the bullpen, to control his innings perhaps but also see where the lefty can match up strategically, especially with relievers having to face a minimum of three batters.

Monday, September 30, 2019

Featured autograph - Jaime Barría

After a solid rookie season in 2018, maybe Angels manager Brad Ausmus and/or pitching coach Doug White didn't like what they saw from this guy in spring training this past year - so in his sophomore season, Barría was never able to get into any sort of groove, bouncing back and forth between AAA and the big leagues.

Who knows if Barría will get a serious opportunity to pitch for the Angels in 2020 - but for my all-time Angels autograph collection, I was able to add this certified autograph.

Sunday, September 29, 2019

2018 Choice Trenton Thunder Chace Numata #18

I didn't know anything about this minor league catcher, but grabbed a card of his when I saw a Tweet where his organs were donated to save five lives - as it goes, despite the fatal circumstances of his passing, he's been immortalized in my collection as someone who was able to help those in need.

Saturday, September 28, 2019

2019 Topps Clear Travel Mike Trout #CP-1

I didn’t know what this set was but after reading the Baseball Cards Come to Life! blog and doing some quick searches on eBay, I picked up a copy of the Trout - there maybe a number of oddball and/or regional Topps issues each year that maybe distributed as promos through different brand tie-ins.

To get suckered into paying a premium to pick up any one particular card is a little silly, especially when the oddball mirrors the flagship card of the player except for some cosmetic changes - still, maybe a little FOMO was in play as I missed out on picking up a couple of current year specialty issues outright, like the 2019 Topps Utz and 2019 Topps Walgreens yellow Trouts.

Cards from this set have different numbering as part a promo tie-in for the company that does expedited security screenings at the airport - I was hoping these cards were only released through airports, making the distribution a little bit more peculiar, thus making the cards seemingly harder to find under normal circumstances.

After the fact, it looks like the cards were more likely [but not outright] stadium giveaways at MLB games - since the Clear screenings have expanded to big league ballparks as well.

Thursday, September 26, 2019

2009 Topps Updates Ichiro sketch card

I was digging around some monster boxes at a dealer's card show booth when I found this card - I had to pick it up based on the idea this would be a cool find if it was an actual sketch card, rather than some sort of preprinted copy.

After the fact, I did some research about this 10-year old insert - from what I assume, the cards from the set didn't have a more common version and this particular card was probably the real deal as far as an artist working on depicting the athlete shown.

Tuesday, September 24, 2019

2019 Topps Series 2 hanger box recap

Flagship Topps is fairly common, but with a chance to pull rookies and rookie-year parallels - there might be a chance to buy something unopened at a big box store on a whim and find a card that might be worth something.

I bought this along with the Topps Heritage High hanger box featured in an earlier post - maybe due to the 'better than a blaster' type posts on other card blogs, maybe I'm looking to spend a random $20 and tax on something than a lone blaster box of any baseball card product.

I prefer a little more variety and maybe a workable compromise I came with to get my fix - was picking up hanger boxes of two different Topps branded cards, rather than a single blaster.

#504 Stephen Tarpley
#506 Ben Gamel
#655 Tyler O’Neill
#656 Jacob Faria
#681 Jeff Mathis
#474 Carson Kelly
#413 Mike Fiers
#576 Jake Cave
#606 Johnny Field
#471 Kevin Newman
#356 Stephen Strasburg
#686 Brandon Drury
#562 Willy Adames
#478 Alen Hanson
#652 Rosell Herrera
#594 Austin Slater
#440 Dustin Pedroia
#497 New York Mets team card
#447 Up High, Down Low - feat. Springer and Altuve
#625 Milwaukee Menaces - feat. Yelich and Arcia
#491 Detroit Tigers team card
#584 Josh James
#517 Shawn Armstrong
#380 Chris Archer
#645 Steve Cishek
#542 Chris Davis
#509 Texas Rangers team card
#406 Jason Castro - gold serial #’d 0461/2019
#FF-9 Bob Feller - Franchise Feats insert
#FF-4 Cal Ripken Jr. - Franchise Feats insert
#519 Julio Urias - 150th Anniversary parallel
#ES-3 Houston Astros - Ballpark Evolution insert
#AJ-25 Aaron Judge
#AJ-13 Aaron Judge
#NNO Vladimir Guerrero Jr.
#84AS-DMA Don Mattingly - 1984 Topps Baseball
#590 Jose Peraza
#378 Brandon Workman
#505 Dellin Betances
#518 Steven Wright
#513 Brett Gardner
#467 A.J. Minter
#381 Juan Lagares
#375 Cody Reed
#358 Leonys Martin
#472 Scott Kingery
#586 Drew VerHagen
#423 Ji-Man Choi
#434 Roberto Osuna
#361 Taylor Davis
#515 Hyun-Jin Ryu
#570 Eduardo Escobar
#695 Eric Thames
#579 Andrew Benintendi
#364 Kenta Maeda
#550 Adam Cimber
#507 Cody Bellinger
#391 Jung-Ho Kang
#397 Lance McCullers
#635 Adam Frazier
#534 Aaron Altherr
#407 Eduardo Nunez
#670 Eloy Jimenez
#487 San Diego Sluggers - feat. Hosmer and Renfroe
#363 Max Stassi - I want to say something about not be able to tell what team he’s currently playing for, but he's was picked up by the Angels and looks to get hip surgery sooner than not.
#502 Mike Montgomery
#386 Ryan Pressly

Wednesday, September 18, 2019

2019 Topps Heritage High recap

Did I need some retail therapy [?] - I don't want to go add more redundant cards to whatever claptrap I have that I consider a collection, particularly when I'm not as emotionally attached to either MLB or its players towards the end of the season.

On the other hand, cards are familiar to me and there might be a little bit of FOMO - as far as getting an chance to buy a retail blaster or hanger box right now to possibly pull a rookie card or rookie-year parallel of a rookie star like Pete Alonso, Vladimir Guerrero Jr. Fernando Tatis Jr., Eloy Jimenez, etc.

#634 Asdrubal Cabrera
#615 Skye Bolt
#527 Jorge Alfaro
#544 Daniel Murphy
#645 Tanner Roark
#559 Jeurys Familia
#657 Matt Moore

#562 Wade Miley - the last two seasons have been bounce back years for the veteran lefty, but busting a big league baseball card product, the run of retread players never ceases to bore me.
#668 Leury Garcia
#586 Daniel Descalso
#685 Anthony DeSclafani
#600 Jeff Samardzija
#524 Griffin Canning - I’ve had different kinds of Canning prospect cards, but this is one with the MLB/MLBPA rookie card logo, so that means something right?

#612 Trevor Richards

#699 Caleb Smith - the last two guys [Richards and Smith] are not quite retread veterans, but seem pretty anonymous for me to care about.
#606 Domingo Santana

#20 of 30 Pete Alonso - Candy Lid insert; I think I would have preferred a regular card or parallel, but I can't complain.
#716 Alen Hanson - SP
#THC-541 Yasiel Puig - Chrome parallel serial #’d 206/569

#AW-8 Alex Bregman - Award Winners insert; maybe he gets some narrative votes for the American League MVP, but the writers are intent on making sure the sheer excellence of Mike Trout's year-to-year numbers never gets taken for granted.

#574 Craig Kimbrel - he seems like a probable Hall of Famer, but the past couple of years have been a mixed bag, whether pitching in the postseason in 2018 or starting this past season in the middle of the year.

#673 Hansel Robles - he’s been lights out for a bad Angels team and presumably with a bump in salary in 2020, hope he doesn't turn back into the reliever his old team ended up throwing away.
#583 John Brebbia
#682 Charlie Culberson
#591 Christian Walker
#690 Scott Alexander
#601 Drew Pomeranz
#700 Nick Kingham
#608 Braden Bishop
#515 Sam Gaviglio

#512 Keston Hiura - he might be the rookie whose card I wanted to pull, besides the obvious guys mentioned.

The first time I was ever aware of Hiura, was when he played for Team USA in 2016 - I literally thought of him as just another guy and didn't bother getting his autograph.

I didn't anticipate him being a first round pick in 2017 - while emerging as a future hitting star in the middle of a big league lineup two or three seasons later.

#613 Cal Quantrill
#580 Brandon Woodruff
#679 Aaron Sanchez
#55 Jurickson Profar

Thursday, September 12, 2019

Featured autograph - Ichiro Suzuki

As an in-person autograph collector at one time, Ichiro was the scribble to get back in 2001, along with some other rookie who was doing some things in the Senior Circuit - looking back, I might remember outlasting some of the other yahoos who came by, expecting Ichiro's Seattle Mariners to arrive after traveling from other city.

Ichiro might have been going out to dinner when the prominent 'all-star' grapher back in the day begged, "there's only four of us" and Ichiro came over, grabbed the guy's pen and quickly signed our items - it was such a satisfying get, since it was the most random 'never gonna happen' thing.

Looking back, the Mariners were supposed to play the Angels - but the MLB games were postponed because of 9/11.

Sunday, September 08, 2019

A monster box rummage - yields a pair of 1990s inserts

1995 Select Gold Team Will Clark #9 of 12 - to juice up my notable player binders by decade, it should be a no brainer to pick up loose inserts, particularly if they were the UV coated inserts from the mid through late 1990s.

1997 Pinnacle Team Pinnacle John Smoltz / Andy Pettitte #9 of 10 - I tend to think dual sided cards are a little odd, a little irregular, but it's a shiny insert with a Dufex finish [at least the 'front' with Smoltz pictured].

Wednesday, September 04, 2019

Featured autograph - Bo Jackson

This card caught my eye because it actually pictures Jackson as an Angel and I’ve wanted a Jackson autograph for my all-time Angels collection - I got a reluctant Jackson to scribble on a golf tournament program 10 years ago, but the booklet with celebrity participant bios and sponsors was a throw away item for me, meant to be lost somewhere.

I’d probably have to make the autograph a cut, then send it to PSA/DNA to be slabbed - so it would be harder to fit into my collection of all-time Angels autographs outright, with my collection mostly being trading cards.

FWIW, I don’t know if a trading card booklet would fit into my all-time Angels autograph collection either - but it is still otherwise a card I can add to my regional PC as well, even though a Bo Jackson Angels booklet card seems simply odd in general.

I remember 'Bo' being a two-sport superstar, who was probably as popular was Michael Jordan in the short period of time when he was playing for the Kansas City Royals in baseball and the Los Angeles Raiders in football - but of course his professional career as a baseball / football player was derailed by a hip injury suffered during an NFL game.

Jackson was simply a shell of himself by the time he spent one final season in Major League Baseball, playing for the Angels - still, with the help of eBay Bucks that came in handy, the decision was made to splurge on this pick up.

Saturday, August 31, 2019

A six pack Alex Rodriguez card lot buy

I don't know if anyone is actively looking for any A-Rod cards these days, but maybe for a moment, I can look back with fondness at his wunderkind years when he was considered the best young talent in the game - I still really think about all the seedy, shady stuff he's been involved in over the course of his professional baseball career, but can kind of marvel at his post-playing redemption as an affable baseball analyst / media personality.

2000 Pacific Baseball Ornaments #20 - a unique, Christmas themed die-cut insert.

1997 Metal Universe Titanium #9 - some die-cut action.

2000 Topps Gallery of Heroes #GH1 - some stained glass die-cut action.

2003 Diamond Kings DK Evolution #DK8 - some 3D action.

2004 Fleer Genuine Insider Article Jersey #AR - I don't know if the 'pull out' tab with the swatch of memorabilia really worked, but not a bad looking card.

1997 Donruss Dominators #5 - the snoozer out of this group.

Wednesday, August 28, 2019

Something familiar - a card show trip?

I feel like I've been mostly out of collecting, but the idea of going through the most random of cards still hits the spot - I like cards and I'll continue to engage in picking up 'new' ones here and there.

I watch videos on YouTube occasionally and influenced by a YouTube card collector, I might as well see if his LCS [which is actually a card show] is viable as my LCS as well - as far as I'm concerned, my shop has been closed when the original owner retired and I've got to get my fix somewhere else.

1994 Leaf Limited Gold Ken Griffey Jr. #11 of 18, serial #’d 09132 out of 10,000 - this might have caught my eye, where I was going to see if I could pick up a few more cards from a seller who showcases mainly vintage cards

I would never mistake this person's booth as having anything 'here and now,' though there maybe some surprises in this person's 'poverty' boxes - the newest of these dollar cards is just about 25 years old, but my current interests be damned, I find myself going back through the years for certain players and cards that catch my attention.

1988 Upper Deck Wally Joyner promo #700

1994 Score Select Crown Contenders Greg Maddux #CC2 - regardless of the idea this card is worth a dollar and not any more, this card should add a certain shine to my random binder collection of his cards.

1997 Fleer Tiffany Cal Ripken Jr. #13

1996 Upper Deck Cal Ripken Jr. Ripken Collection #7 - inking it up find for my mini-collections.

1992 Upper Deck Ted Williams hologram #HH2 - not pictured

Friday, August 23, 2019

2019 Topps Gallery Preview Mike Trout #GP-MT

Through this past summer, I was overseas for three weeks, came home for about 5 days and tagged along on an East Coast tour with a group for 8 days - I wanted to set things up where I'd buy miscellaneous cards online so I'd have something to look forward to coming back home.

Though my focus might have been getting away from the routine, like thinking about my cards and graphs - I can't stay away completely, especially when I'm holed up with some down time in a hotel somewhere.

I picked up Trout and Shohei Ohtani singles from this year's Topps Gallery preview set from what I understand - preview packs were inserted in specially marked Bowman Platinum blasters as part of National Baseball Card Day.

Not earth shattering pickups by any means, but the Trout [which came in the mail at some point before I got home] - is a nice looking card that cost me a couple of bucks, unlike something harder to find like a non-auto variation and/or short print.

Monday, August 12, 2019

1983 Fleer Joel Youngblood #641

Credit goes out to this blog for remembering Youngblood's odd feat - the fantasy card posted is nicer, but I settled for picking up a copy of the original issue card after I read the post.

Despite not knowing much about the player at all, Youngblood has been the inspiration for one of my personal offbeat terms [Youngblooding] - I use to describe sort of a long 'dual duty' day of any nature with the idea that not every day is straightforward and relatively speaking, sometimes I'm going to be stretched out to do a number of things.

The wallet card idea seems ancient history now but I might just put my Youngblood in a top loader of sorts, bag it in a team set bag and keep it - where I can grab it out of my pocket most of the time.

Saturday, August 10, 2019

2019 Topps Allen and Ginter blaster box recap

I feel I've been more apt to do retail blaster breaks after I’d tried to wean myself off them in recent years - a casual retail break here and there is reasonable, right? I think 2019 Topps Heritage High Number is coming out within the next week, so that maybe one or two more impulse blaster box purchases to make.

As far as Topps Allen and Ginter, I try to pick up a hand collated set at some point - just to have a flagship brand of cards to get autographed in-person or TTM, if there are opportunities available.

Otherwise, I guess I fall towards one of the collectors who just doesn't get all the 'odd' nonsport, non-baseball player content - maybe if I busted more than a loose blaster or so per year, maybe the novelty of this product would mean more.

Pack one
#6 Luis Gonzalez
#196 Cedric Mullins - mini
#166 1st Tiger Mask - Professional Wrestler
#GG-19 Chipper Jones - Ginter Greats insert
#14 Chipper Jones
#114 Jose Berrios

Pack two
#110 Salvador Perez
#264 Yonder Alonso
#385 Gil Hodges - SP
#161 Sister Mary Jo Sobieck - mini; First Pitch Celebrity
#MS-9 Andalusian Horse - Mares and Stallions insert
#213 Egg

Pack three
#209 Ryan O’Hearn
#32 Sandy Koufax
#96 Andrew Benintendi - mini
#39 Jesus Aguilar
#BSS-1 Ronald Acuna Jr. - Baseball Star Signs insert
#7 Albert Pujols

Pack four
#103 Johnny Bench
#139 Harold Baines
#361 Victor Robles - SP
#GG-21 Clayton Kershaw - Ginter Greats insert
#LL-3 Martha’s Vineyard Sign - mini; Lost Languages insert
#107 Nolan Arenado

Pack five
#202 Luke Voit
#238 Trevor Bauer
#30 George Springer
#NTTZ-12 Gorilla Infant - mini; New to the Zoo insert
#HOF-14 Space Shuttle Discovery - History of Flight insert
#206 Corbin Burnes

Pack six
#48 Dennis Eckersley
#130 Torii Hunter
#367 Masahiro Tanaka - SP
#IE-13 Heracle’s Club - Incredible Equipment insert
#CC-3 Vizla - mini; Collectible Canines insert
#41 Robinson Cano

Pack seven
#148 Corey Kluber
#220 Josh James - mini
#MS-4 Tennessee Walking Horse - Mares & Stallions insert
#FSRA-TP Travis Pastrana - relic; Motocross Competitor & Stunt Performer
#141 Miles Mikolas

Pack eight
#247 Maikel Franco
#229 Orlando Arcia
#400 Randy Johnson
#BSS-20 Aaron Judge - Baseball Star Signs insert
#388 Casey Stengel - mini
#240 Dee Gordon

Thursday, August 08, 2019

2019 Topps Series 2 Gold parallel David Fletcher #520

I was out of the country for three weeks and maybe I wanted to set things up where I'd buy miscellaneous cards online so I'd have something to look forward to coming back home - go figure, I didn't follow through on that plan, though I did make this one low-end purchase while overseas.

From the Series 2 flagship of Topps, I could try and hunt down a Fernando Tatis Jr. Gold parallel for the going rate or pay $2 for the rookie parallel of the guy on my local team - it's an apples to oranges comparison where Tatis Jr. is one of the hot rookies this year with superstar potential.

There is still a collector in me who kind of wants to chase some of the rookie-year issues of rookie stars like Tatis Jr. - but for now, the Fletcher card works as a ‘have not’ placeholder.

Thursday, July 18, 2019

2019 Bowman Platinum blaster recap

During a random stop at a Walmart I'd never been into, I wondered if they would have any of this year's Platinum and while this maybe just another baseball card product to be forgotten - I wanted to see what these cards were like.

There were loose packs and blasters on the display box unlike my 'local' Walmart, which doesn't have much of a card section - I grabbed a blaster box for some quick retail therapy and to say I got my sniff at these for year.

Exclusive parallel pack
#33 Jake Lamb
#18 Ronald Acuna Jr.
#TOP-76 James Marvel
#TOP-87 Pedro Castellanos

Pack one
#TOP-59 Andrew Knizner
#24 Corbin Burnes
#9 Alex Bregman

#4 Albert Pujols

Pack two
#TOP-68 Rylan Bannon

#PPP-31 Anthony Seigler - Prismatic Prodigies insert
#59 Cedric Mullins
#68 Starling Marte

Pack three
#TOP-76 James Marvel

#20 Pete Alonso
#76 Rafael Devers
#87 Ryan O’Hearn

Pack four
#TOP-87 Pedro Castellanos
#94 Jose Abreu
#100 Giancarlo Stanton
#65 Aaron Nola

Pack five
#TOP-94 Nate Pearson

#PP-8 Gleyber Torres - Platinum Presence insert
#39 Max Muncy
#30 Anthony Rizzo

Pack six

#TOP-100 Yordan Alvarez
#25 Paul Goldschmidt
#13 Matt Chapman

#2 Shohei Ohtani

Pack seven

#TOP-65 Will Smith

#RR-20 Kevin Newman - Renowned Rookies; I kind of like these cards, because if I feel like the design feels inspired by foreign baseball card issues.
#60 Trey Mancini
#73 Austin Meadows

Sunday, July 14, 2019

2019 Topps Now Taylor Cole / Felix Pena #503

To keep up bit-by-bit with this collecting thing, I had to go grab a couple of copies of this card because it was nice for Angels to come together with a combined no-hitter in the tribute game for Tyler Skaggs - it would have been nice if at least the back photo was of the players coming back to throw their #45 Skaggs jerseys on the mound as a nod, but it might have been in bad taste [to 'sell' that image on a card so soon].

Besides the occasional online purchase [as shown] to scratch the itch - I've felt my dog days are here and I'm kind of disinterested at the moment.

Part of what I do has been trying to supplement the strictly card collecting part with some in-person graphing - but the opportunities haven't been as obvious, things have tightened up and I've got to suck things up as my graphing buddy has been MIA.

I’ll get back to things at some point, and even it is a struggle at the moment - but I don't know if I can do things as a collector if I don't get to go out and see some players and try to get their autographs.

It maybe the hot weather and being holed up inside my house - but I feel like these have been the times where I don’t want to mess with my cards so much.

Maybe my brain turns into mush and I don’t do anything while still lurking on other collector's blogs, social media and forums - I feel like I’m always on the fringe from where everyone else is at the moment and can’t entertain the idea of falling into whatever else interested in.

Monday, July 08, 2019

2019 Topps Series 2 Rod Carew Photo Variation #631

I don't really seek these out because they become too hard to find or seem outright common to care about, but I grabbed this card for a price of an unopened pack - with the card in-hand, maybe the image [of Carew swinging to get his 3,000th hit in 1985] seems just a little pixelated or perhaps wasn't touched up as much, so it doesn't look as sharp.