Saturday, August 18, 2018

Featured autographs - assorted certs

Sifting through the miscellaneous cards I've collected, maybe I want to start showcasing some of the 'hidden' gems over the years - I still think back to an old prehistoric Beckett Baseball Card Monthly story / contribution where a collector had these loose cards on his bookshelf [I specifically remember a 1992 Topps Stadium Club Will Clark as the picture used for the story] and how he cleaned up his bookshelf, through the cards he kept and cards he discarded.

The title of the 1990s article [something like Bookshelf of Doom] - was a riff off the Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom movie of the 1980s.

Getting back to the cards, these were certified autographs I've collected over the past 15 years - they may have had spots in my personal collection listings, but when I revamped my PC a few years ago, these cards may have been rendered irrelevant.

I dug them out recently, so they aren't loose - to file them away in my A-Z inserts collection:

Phil Hughes [top right] - he was pretty hyped up as a young New York Yankees pitcher and FWIW, he was also a one-time card collector who used to post on Beckett Message Boards [circa 2007].

I thought this 2004 Donruss Elite Extra Edition auto was a great get for $5 at a spring training card show 11 or 12 years ago - but Hughes' star potential never really materialized over parts of his 12 year MLB career.

Eric Chavez [top left, top center] x2 - Chavez was a rising star third baseman back with the Moneyball A's of the early 2000s and I wanted to put away a couple of nicer looking certified autographs issues from early in his professional baseball career.

I kind of have an obsession with early autographs of professional athletes, particularly when their autographs devolve over time - Chavez's autographs tended to look like chicken scratch and were never as good looking as the ones on these cards.

Kevin Youkilis [bottom center, bottom right] - these certified autographs were a couple of my first COMC purchases in 2012; Youkilis was a Boston Red Sox fan favorite but not surprisingly, age caught up with him as he entered his 30s as a big leaguer.

Corey Hart [bottom left] - this card was most likely a pack pull and may have been worth a little something, when it was likely his only prospect era certified autograph; Hart was a two-time All-Star and a fan favorite in Milwaukee when he was doing good through his prime years, though he was essentially done as a productive MLB player after 30.

Wednesday, August 15, 2018

My 2018 Topps Stadium Club finds - the best of the rest

#6 Carlos Gonzalez - eyes on the prize; having a bounce back Coors Field aided season.

#34 Manuel Margot - did a drone take this awesome outfield pic?

#291 Edwin Diaz - love that fire

#64 Ender Inciarte - dirt dog

#230 Archie Bradley - pitchers hitting, awesome action, facial hair, hats-off card.

#127 Yadier Molina - play at the plate and a star on star card feat. two longtime NL Central stars [Votto].

#27 Michael Conforto - awesome outfield

#215 Wilson Contreras - play at the plate

#287 J.T. Realmuto - forced up in the air.

#15 Hanley Ramirez - mascot love for the deposed Boston Red Sox and if overzealous journalists and bloggers were to be believed, a supposed drug kingpin.

#188 Bob Gibson - old-timer legend action

#260 Amed Rosario - he almost looks like he is catching a pass in the NFL.

#219 Josh Donaldson [red foil] - game face action.

#272 Salvador Perez [red foil] - player hamming it up for the camera.

#23 Carlos Martinez [red foil] - shades

#268 A.J. Pollock - retro uniform, umpire butt shot.

Tuesday, August 14, 2018

1977 Topps Mark Fidrych #277

I picked this card up for a sampler run of PSA graded Topps cards from 1952-1980 - to be quite honest, the project has been in mothballs and with 7 of 29 cards towards my run, completion just isn't foreseeable at this point.

Once in a while, I might get impulsive and see if I could make a 'token' addition to see if I can even get halfway through - I don't know if it is possible to pick up a 'culturally significant' card for each of the years and I don't want to go through the trouble of doing so.

I've worked myself up as far as reading up on and wanting notable old-school / vintage rookie cards of Hall of Famers for my personal collection - but maybe the reasons for wanting this particular non-HOF rookie card are a little different.

Even as I'm only vaguely aware of Fidrych's impact as a cult figure during his only full season in Major League Baseball in 1976 - I consider his rookie as a trading card 'relic' of sorts, something I can look at and consider as a portal to the past.

Monday, August 13, 2018

My 2018 Topps Stadium Club finds - my Top 10

A subjective exercise of picking out my favorite cards after grabbing 26 of them at a card shop stop for National Baseball Card Day - in particular these stood in among others considered [for full disclosure, a follow up post will be made to highlight those other cards].

#163 Ryan Zimmerman - it's a butt shot without Zimmerman's face on his own card, but his and the fans' reactions tell me all I need to know about the 'awesomeness' of this one.

#9 Zack Godley - pool shot

#190 Ian Happ

#263 Willie Calhoun - full extension

#56 Jon Lester - a veteran star pitcher hitting

#79 Mike Clevinger - retro uniform, retro hair; a 'fun' factoid about Clevinger's professional baseball career was he was originally an Angels minor leaguer.

#107 Keon Broxton - the angle makes things seem a bit more majestic.

#209 Dillon Peters - The Dime Box mention makes this a keeper.

#167 Dexter Fowler - the player is obscured but the horizontal card allows to get more of the ballpark in the picture.

#53 Jake Lamb - a play at the play card that belongs to a third baseman and not the catcher.

Wednesday, August 08, 2018

2018 Topps Now Shohei Ohtani/Ian Kinsler #423

When the pitching half of Ohtani was shut down I thought his run of Topps Now cards was done for the year - there might have been closure as far as keeping up with the chase.

However, Ohtani has had some hitting highlights chronicled [1st pinch hit HR and 1st multi-HR game] - as well as this dual card with Ian Kinsler [since traded to the Boston Red Sox].

Ohtani needs to get back on the mound to continue the two-way 'Sho' but being in the Angels lineup on a regular basis has shown the athleticism and elite power that makes for a potential superstar - is there any conceivable way where he gets 500 at-bats in a season to see if he can hit 35-40 home runs?

I haven't gone out and chased many of Ohtani's pack-pulled cards, but I've continued to pick up his Topps Now cards - at least through his rookie year.

Tuesday, August 07, 2018

My decade stars collection - quirks

While baseball card collecting leads itself to being a hoarder, with the sheer number of cards - I see building up a book of decade stars is something I do with leftover cards and not a priority.

Maybe I get a little jealous at the binder guys who seem to have cards that pop like parallels and wonder if I should seek them out as well - as is, what I pull or find is basically what I end up with.

Jason Heyward and Joc Pederson are not 'highlights' of my collections - but they take up a page or two since they were hyped up prospects.

While basically 'meh' players who might be considered disappointments - they still have their moments of usefulness and I'll display their cards, hoping they still have potential to have an all-star season or two.

I don't have a particular order where cards are laid out on a plastic page - though I like to make it where the cards on a plastic page [pockets 1, 3, 4, 6, 7, 9] are facing into the center.

On the image posted, the Heyward cards displayed are on the center of a page, so whether or not a cards face a certain way doesn't matter - on the Pederson cards, they are all facing away from the page, which is a 'no-no' in my book, but what can I do when I don't have enough cards to make it where cards in pockets 3, 6, 9 are facing inward?

I guess technically, I can make things work, though it requires a bit of a mental stretch on my part - the Bowman Platinum card [pocket 3] has Pederson's image actually looking towards the corner border of the card, while the minor league card [pocket 6] has Pederson's image staring squarely towards the Hardee's logo and the Diamond Kings card [pocket 9] has Pederson's image looking away from the page, but there is a border on the card that sorts of 'boxes in' the image.

Monday, August 06, 2018

Sorting things out - a couple of random cards

I tried filing away some loose inserts squirreled away in loose blaster / mega boxes into a 3,200 count box I have for my archive of insert cards - I pulled a couple of cards to go into a couple of mini-collections and if I can use a card in another collection, I should be proactive in grabbing pulling it because it would get lost.

My A-Z inserts collection maybe designed - as a final destination for miscellaneous finds or pulls.

I saw I had doubles of a Erik Goeddel certified autograph - I pulled one and went out and bought another, not realizing I had a copy already.

I added one to my bloodlines collection since his brother Tyler plays professionally - Erik has bounced around a little bit and ended up with the Los Angeles Dodgers this year.

The relief pitcher looks like he has posted decent numbers, though he is more of a long relief / mop-up guy - as opposed to having a more prominent role out of the bullpen.

Tyler was also picked up by the Dodgers this year and is currently playing in the minors - Tyler was a rule a Rule 5 pick by the Philadelphia Phillies in 2015 and spent the 2016 season in the major leagues.

I also set aside a Team USA jersey card of one time minor leaguer Hayden Hurst - professional baseball didn’t work out for him and now he is a rookie tight end in the NFL.