My 'under the radar' blog featuring my baseball card collecting endeavors and hopefully some of my autographs collected in-person / through-the-mail.
Tuesday, April 29, 2014
Saturday, April 26, 2014
Featured autograph - Ryan Braun
Who knows what he has or hasn't done or might look to be doing - but as long as I don't hear, watch or read any slobbering over him like he never did anything in the first place [post 65-game suspension and all that jazz with the PEDs], then maybe he becomes a star to watch again.
As a MLB fan in general, I'm a numbers guy and I'm entertained by the guys who tear it up - even though I don't play fantasy baseballs, I like players putting up gaudy numbers and I want to see if Braun can hit over .300 again and perhaps hit 30-35 home runs and/or drive in 100 or more runs.
If his stats tumble or he doesn't quite lead the Brewers back to the playoffs, then he's just another fallen star - but it maybe fascinating to see where his numbers will end up at the end of the season.
I used to wonder what it was like to be a home grown talent and play for the MLB team 10-15 minutes away from where you grew up - I don't know if Trumbo was entirely comfortable with being that guy and it seemed like it was more of a burden.
I'm curious to see if Trumbo gets better and bounces back from a stress fracture in his foot - though he isn't the Angels problem anymore and general manager Jerry DiPoto may have made a shrewd move when he traded Trumbo in the offseason for couple of lefty starters [Tyler Skaggs/Hector Santiago] who look pretty decent so far.
Friday, April 25, 2014
Autograph request through the mail received: Albie Pearson
Wednesday, April 23, 2014
Featured autograph - Jody Davis
I gathered my regular sized cards I had and a 1985 Donruss Action All-Stars 4x6 card to get signed in-person several weeks ago since Davis is a coach for the Lake Elsinore Storm - when I tried to get his autograph after the game, I goofed and thought Davis was Jamie Quirk, another LE coach who played in the 1980's.
Since I made a mistake, I had to let a couple of collectors get Davis to sign their cards while I found the correct ones - when he finally got back to me, he asked if I wanted him to put 'Jamie Quirk' on the cards I wanted him to sign.
According to baseballreference.com, it looks like he was a mainstay for the Chicago Cubs at catcher for much of the 1980's - he wasn't a great hitter, but his bat was probably more than passable for a catcher back in his day.
Davis' offensive contributions petered out after he turned 30 - but he was a two-time All-Star, a Gold Glove winner who had a monster National League Championship Series against the eventual NL champion San Diego Padres back in 1984.
Tuesday, April 22, 2014
Congrats Albert Pujols!!!
Monday, April 21, 2014
Autograph request through the mail received: Tim Salmon
He was my favorite Angels player but despite his reputation as a beloved franchise great and ambassador - for whatever reason he just doesn't really like being hounded for autographs in-person and it's nice to get these back.
Sunday, April 20, 2014
2014 Topps Heritage blaster recap
#185 Matt Holliday
#27 Jarrod Saltalamacchia
#207 David Murphy
#358 Vernon Wells
#430 Justin Verlander - SP
#362 Eduardo Nunez
#414 Robin Ventura
#336 Andy Dirks
#38 Brett Lawrie
#1 Miguel Cabrera / Mike Trout / Joe Mauer - 2013 American League Batting Leaders
#136 Jon Lester - 2013 World Series Game 5
#21 Jon Jay
#243 Billy Hamilton / Nick Castellanos - 2014 Rookie Stars
#Topps 65 MLB-GN Graig Nettles - 1st Draft insert
#86 Wei-Yin Chen
#423 Alex Wood
#7 Anibal Sanchez / Bartolo Colon - 2013 American League ERA Leaders
#83 Justin Smoak
#288 Jhonny Peralta
#145 Juan Encarnacion
#212 Steve Cishek
#56 Alexi Ogando
#240 Jarred Cosart
#49 Xander Bogaerts / Jonathan Schoop - 2014 Rookie Stars
#142 Michael Saunders
#227 Jonny Venters
#111 Yunel Escobar
#22 A.J. Ellis
#235 Kevin Gregg
#160 Andrew McCutchen
#292 Jim Henderson
#489 Jean Segura - SP
#80 Brett Oberholtzer
#48 Marlon Byrd
#43 Carlos Beltran
#342 Matt Carpenter
#241 Drew Stubbs
#299 Mike Moustakas
#178 Jose Quintana
#2 Michael Cuddyer / Chris Johnson / Freddie Freeman - 2013 National League Batting Leaders
#297 Khris Davis
#135 Jonny Gomes - 2013 World Series Game 4
#339 Zack Cozart
#23 Joaquin Benoit
#33 Michael Cuddyer
#335 Tyler Pastornicky
#274 Ron Washington
#137 Koji Uehara - 2013 World Series Game 6
#322 Brandon Crawford
#NF-TSOM The Sound of Music - News Flashbacks insert
#161 Brett Gardner
#215 Matt Harrison
#398 Daniel Webb / Chris Robinson - 2014 Rookie Stars
#223 Miguel Gonzalez
#219 Michael Young
#311 Brandon Morrow
#366 A.J. Griffin
#428 Madison Bumgarner - SP
#NAP-WM Wil Myers - New Age Performers insert
#39 Chris Carter
#343 Russell Martin
#35 Ryan Vogelsong
#53 Giancarlo Stanton
#400 Bryce Harper
#296 Randall Delgado
#15 Asdrubal Cabrera
#120 Shin-Soo Choo
#202 Wade Miley
#396 Everth Cabrera
#294 David Robertson
#137 Anthony Gose
Saturday, April 19, 2014
Albert Pujols - in case fans weren't aware
Reaching the 500 home run club still means you were a consistent power hitter for a long period of time - not a flash in the pan sort of player who may have had several fluke power seasons or a player who sort of lucked out in a previous era.
Still, it doesn't seem like the national media doesn't care as much and a likely scenario is Pujols is going to hit the two home runs he needs sooner than later and that will be that - I'm cautiously optimistic that as long as he's healthy, Pujols is going to play and hit well and the only thing I fear is another injury that may knock him out for a prolonged period of time.
Friday, April 18, 2014
Haven't bought any cards lately
Wednesday, April 16, 2014
Featured autograph - Nolan Arenado
Sunday, April 13, 2014
Featured autographs - Mark Prior
I saw the back of a guy who I assumed to be Prior and dug out my cards and put them on a page - in-between innings, I got the former phenom and Cubs ace to sign.
Friday, April 11, 2014
2014 Topps Gypsy Queen value pack recap
Framed parallel pack
#232 Pablo Sandoval
#59 Wilmer Flores
#3 Robin Yount
#225 Nolan Ryan
#163 Carlos Gomez
#295 Eddie Murray
#N174-MC Miguel Cabrera - N174 insert
#261 Joe Morgan - mini parallel
#182 Peter Bourjos
#43 Juan Marichal
#61 Tony Cingrani
#29 Ralph Kiner
#146 Kendrys Morales
#279 Chris Tillman
#178 Jose Altuve
#227 Chris Davis
#123 Felix Hernandez
#DA-GM Greg Maddux - Dealing Aces insert
#127 Kyle Gibson - mini parallel
#94 Matt Cain
Thursday, April 10, 2014
2001 Topps Stadium Club Mike Sweeney #126
I assume Sweeney was a little more athletic and flexible in he hit his prime - where he was putting up numbers and establishing his MLB career as slugger.
It is what it is, but it's hard to believe that it's a 13 year old card I rescued from a quarter box - it's a relatively modern looking card, with generally sharp photography and a slick, glossy surface.
Wednesday, April 09, 2014
Featured autograph - Rick Waits
Waits pitched in the Major Leagues from 1973-1985 and while he wasn't great [79-92 won-loss record], he hung around for 12 years - I usually laugh and scoff at the cards of rank-and-file guys, but there are players [maybe lefthanders since they tend to hang around even past their primes] whose careers are a trip.
Even though I might not have been around [literally] to follow their Waits' career first-hand - having his cards and doing a little research makes me think about what he did as a professional baseball player.
One of the cards he signed was his 1985 Fleer [which shows him at Anaheim Stadium] and while it's not a big deal - it's ironic I got him to sign where he was pictured on the card, even though the stadium is now called Angel Stadium and the place has probably gone through a bunch of cosmetic changes since 1984.
Tuesday, April 08, 2014
Autograph card fails - Willie Bloomquist
Saturday, April 05, 2014
Featured card - 2013 Bowman Chrome Blue refractor mini Jose Fernandez
Before the game, I actually saw him down the first base line, signing for some kids [they probably didn't know who he was, but that's beside the point] - however when I showed him my cards, he mumbled he didn't have time and walked away.
I felt kind of stupid, since he then went over by the expensive box seats next to the field to sign for a few more kids and one of the seemingly rare female collectors - it bummed me out since I was looking to get a card or two signed.
I thought he was an affable 'fan favorite' who might not have been one of the best players in his time, but was a slick defensive center fielder and a good quote - the way he blew me off makes me thinks twice about my preconceived notions about professional athletes, active and retired.
Admittedly, I did get Van Slyke's autograph at least once at some golf tournament years ago - however, whenever his name was randomly mentioned, I haven't heard good stories about him signing, so perhaps over the years, he just doesn't like seeing collectors.