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.

Monday, July 01, 2019

Rest in Peace Tyler Skaggs 1991-2019

I'm not going to mention every person that passes on and the idea of death is inevitably awkward, but it does seem to mean a little bit more when someone relatively notable passes like professional athlete or celebrity - maybe because they are in the spotlight and as far as a MLB player goes, someone who is supposed to be at their athletic peak in their late 20s.

A player's untimely passing makes me think for a moment about the times I've objectified these players as performers on the field, generating statistics I pore over on a day-to-day basis and guys whose autographs I have or don't have in my collection - at the end of the day, professional athletes are just like anybody else with their own lives.

I got my last Skaggs autograph is spring training this past year and he always seemed to be linked at the hip with teammate Andrew Heaney - for the most part, it hasn't been Mike Trout or Albert Pujols that end up doing the most 'fan service,' signing autographs and taking pictures with fans, but Skaggs and Heaney.

Wednesday, June 26, 2019

2019 Topps Series 2 blaster recap

I don’t know the last time I’ve picked up a flagship blaster [a series 2 at that], much less one from Walmart - the lure of some notable rookies made an impulse purchase a reality.

There was a $2 off sticker to peel off and use towards the purchase - accounting for sales tax, the coupon amounted to a $0.45 discount.

Exclusive 150 Years of Professional Baseball Patch Card pack
#AMP-RY Robin Yount

Pack one
#668 Pat Neshek
#578 Patrick Wisdom
#669 Mallex Smith
#609 Kansas City Royals team card - feat. Kauffman Stadium
#367 Ohtani Gets Hot

#475 Pete Alonso - 150 Years of Professional Baseball parallel; a decent lower-end pull of the hot big league rookie at the moment.
#MB-9 Mookie Betts - Betts Highlights
#418 Jason Vargas
#385 Ender Inciarte
#537 Ronald Torreyes
#421 Yoshihisa Hirano

#579 Andrew Benintendi
#364 Kenta Maeda
#670 Eloy Jimenez - I've had my share of assorted Jimenez prospect cards, but this one is his official rookie card.

Pack two
#498 Pablo Reyes
#679 Adam Wainwright
#357 Chris Martin
#521 Arizona Diamondbacks team card - feat. Chase Field
#495 Cleveland Indians team card - feat. Progressive Field

#FF-8 Johnny Bench - Franchise Feats insert; these remind me of an ESPN SportsCenter graphic.
#608 Ehire Adrianza

#437 Albert Pujols - one way to look at his legendary career is the St. Louis Cardinals got all his prime years [and two World Series championships], while the Angels basically paid him to hit his milestone career numbers in their uniform.
#394 Miguel Rojas
#593 John Hicks
#550 Adam Cimber
#507 Cody Bellinger
#487 San Diego Sluggers - feat. Hosmer and Renfroe
#363 Max Stassi

Pack three
#610 Howie Kendrick
#553 Daniel Mengden
#649 Carlos Tocci
#392 Cionel Perez
#641 Bryse Wilson
#526 Sandy Alcantara
#ICR-62 Ernie Banks - Iconic Card Reprints

#GV-6 Alex Bregman - Gary Vee’s Top Entrepreneurs in Baseball insert; I sort of like these 'fun' inserts, though I'm at a loss figuring out who Gary Vee is and what makes his apparent hustle interesting besides being a collector.
#651 Jorge Lopez -
#582 Austin Wynns
#391 Jung Ho Kang
#397 Lance McCullers Jr.
#502 Mike Montgomery
#386 Ryan Pressly

Pack four
#556 Rowdy Tellez
#354 Nomar Mazara

#429 Wilmer Font - this guy has been around pro ball forever, but not someone who has stuck around and done much in the big leagues.
#503 Marcell Ozuna
#415 Bryan Shaw
#440 Dustin Pedroia
#HRC-9 Nolan Arenado - Home Run Challenge

#84AS-WC Willson Contreras - 1984 Topps Baseball Rookies & All-Stars insert
#545 Tyler White
#648 Kevin Kramer
#477 Mikie Mahtook
#485 Wil Myers
#635 Adam Frazier 
#449 Matt Moore

Pack five
#414 Mike Soroka
#450 Greg Garcia
#452 Caleb Ferguson
#431 Lonnie Chisenhall
#497 New York Mets team card - feat. Citi Field
#447 Up High, Down Low - feat. Springer and Altuve
#533 Matt Shoemaker - Gold parallel serial #’d 1249/2019
#MB-4 Mookie Betts - Betts Highlights
#690 Hunter Dozier
#360 Mark Melancon
#463 Wily Peralta
#647 Kyle Freeland
#461 Eduardo Rodriguez
#536 Get Up! - feat. Molina and Ozuna

Pack six
#629 Myles Straw
#680 Justin Smoak
#473 Kyle Wright
#625 Milwaukee Menaces - feat. Yelich and Arcia
#491 Detroit Tigers team card - feat. Comerica Park
#FF-15 Giancarlo Stanton - Franchise Feats insert

#600 Shohei Ohtani
#479 Wei-Yin Chen 
#352 David Peralta
#617 Hernan Perez
#388 Dominic Smith
#372 Yu Darvish
#395 Andrew McCutchen
#565 Andrew Triggs

Pack seven
#547 Trevor Richards
#525 Ian Kinsler
#519 Julio Urias
#584 Josh James
#517 Shawn Armstrong
#380 Chris Archer

#385 Dale Murphy - Short Print variation; I like the image of Murphy caught in a playful moment as he's presumably going through baseballs to sign.
#SS-15 Edwin Diaz - Signature Statistics insert
#552 Davis Hess 
#443 Steven Matz
#646 Jason Heyward
#370 Jacoby Ellsbury
#524 Chad Pinder
#382 Daniel Norris

Saturday, June 22, 2019

Fishing for another species - Salmon

I finally had the random opportunity to rummage through loose cardboard like other bloggers at a card show - I was looking for some random cards to take home [like the 1996 Score All-Stars insert, $2] and maybe some magnetic card holders [to hold some loose PC cards], but never ever anything too serious.

1997 Score Score Goin’ Yard #494 - Artist’s Proof [$3] - as far as the late 1990s were concerned, I wasn't really aware of the glut of Score / Pinnacle inserts / parallels, so I'll take a second look if I stumble upon such cards, especially if they picture a personal favorite.

1998 Topps Gallery #PG-8 - Photo Gallery insert [$1] - maybe I'm simply dating myself, but it's nice to go back and grab these kinds of cards, 20-25 years after the fact.

Wednesday, June 19, 2019

2019 Topps Series 2 Vladimir Guerrero Jr. NNO

I got this card purchase fairly quickly, but the seller was probably doing cartwheels when the card was sent out - I thought this might be a hard to pull short print like the 2018 Topps Series 2 cards of Gleyber Torres and Ronald Acuna Jr.

However, pulling this supposed SP of the rookie slugger has fairly been easier than anticipated and values have dropped accordingly - with the card not being numbered as part of the flagship set [even if the number would be shared with another player's regular card], is this just another rookie-year card and not a definitive, must have?

There here was definitely some FOMO on my part and at times, I want to throw money into a card that might be a keeper - but when I don't use common sense, do some basic research, I'm prone to an impulsive purchase.

Maybe the bottom line here is Topps gave something for collectors to chase in 2019 Topps Series 2 - with the idea, they can still issue a regular Guerrero Jr. rookie card [with corresponding parallels] that is going to be chased in their late season Update Series.