Sunday, June 29, 2014

40 random cards out of the dime box

I spent about 45 minutes digging through a dime box - there was no rhyme or reason with many of these finds, just perhaps trying to make something out of my cameo at a card show that I stop by once in a while.

1982 Topps Ty Waller #51 - Chicago Cubs Future Stars feat. Jay Howell and Carlos Lezcano

1986 Fleer Kirk Gibson #226
1987 Toys R Us Rookies John Kruk #17 of 33
1988 Fleer Gregg Jefferies #137

1989 Upper Deck Ozzie Canseco #756
1990 Leaf Jim Leyritz #465 - x3
1991 Upper Deck Barry Bonds #154

1992 Bowman Kevin Young #155
1992 Score Barry Bonds #555
1993 Donruss Barry Bonds #678
1993 Topps Barry Bonds #2
1993 Topps Stadium Club Barry Bonds #51
1994 Upper Deck Minors Trot Nixon #4
1994 Upper Deck SP Jeff Bagwell #27 - die cut
1994 Upper Deck SP Randy Johnson #106 - die cut
1994 Upper Deck SP Trevor Hoffman #131 - die cut
1994 Upper Deck SP Will Clark #147 - die cut
1994 Upper Deck SP Ivan Rodriguez #151 - die cut
1994 Upper Deck SP Dave Winfield #187 - die cut
1997-98 Fleer Allen Iverson #300 
1998 Bowman Gabe Kapler #125

1998 Upper Deck Choice Jason Kidd #110

2001 Upper Deck Barry Bonds #267
2002 Topps Barry Bonds #364 - United We Stand subset feat. Jeff Kent, Lance Berkman, Jeff Bagwell and Rich Aurilia

2004 Upper Deck Barry Bonds #262
2012 Panini Gridiron Matt Ryan #11 
2012 Panini Gridiron Joe Flacco #16
2012 Panini Gridiron Ray Lewis #17

2012 Panini Gridiron Calvin Johnson #64
2012 Panini Gridiron Drew Brees #119
2012 Panini Gridiron Eli Manning #125
2012 Panini Gridiron Tim Tebow #136

2012 Panini Gridiron Michael Vick #147
2012 Panini Prizm Tim Tebow #136
2012 Topps Prime Calvin Johnson #90 
2013 Topps Update Series Adam Jones #US 72 - Emerald parallel
2013 Topps Update Series David Wright #US 129 - Emerald parallel
2013 Topps Update Series Max Scherzer #US 193 - Emerald parallel

Friday, June 27, 2014

2014 Topps Archives $5.99 jumbo pack recap

I got $1 off with my Topps coupon book, though I wonder why I bother when all but one card was anything other than lousy base cards - even though these cards are nice, Topps always does some sort retro card product each year, so the nostalgia for me isn't quite as strong.

Top section
#4 Andrew Lambo
#8 Zack Greinke
#66 Craig Biggio
#65 Starling Marte
#121 Kevin Siegrist
#74 Jon Lester
#84 Tony Perez
#19 Nolan Arenado
#42 Junior Lake

Bottom section
#104 Jordan Zimmermann
#122 Larry Doby
#168 Jonathan Schoop
#193 Matt Kemp
#87-OS Ozzie Smith - 1987 Topps All-Star insert
#152 Anthony Rizzo
#186 Gerrit Cole
#199 Sonny Gray
#120 Yadier Molina

Ernesto Frieri - buh bye

It wasn't hard to predict the Angels were going cut bait on Frieri [sooner than later] and he was traded to the Pittsburgh Pirates for Jason Grilli - I hoped Frieri would have turned around, but the guy who was an effective pitcher for the Angels the past two seasons was toast.

2014 Panini Prizm $9.99 three-pack hanger recap

At this point of the year, I'm not sure where I am with baseball cards because at times it's hard to stare at cardboard featuring the same MLB players over and over - my preferred method to collecting most current-year cards is by raiding my LCS dollar and under boxes, hoping to find cards of newer, less established players.  

The lack of MLB logos sort of take away from the player images - but I like something different than the usual Topps offerings. 

Red, White and Blue Pulsar Prizm Bonus pack 
#176 Taijuan Walker
#27 Hyun-Jin Ryu
#51 Marlon Byrd

Pack one - four cards per pack; fyi, the cards are facing backwards.
#17 Ryan Howard
#23 Adrian Beltre - Diamond Dominance insert
#181 Wilmer Flores
#124 Mike Napoli

Pack two 
#42 Alex Gordon
#202 Andrew McCutchen
#135 Greg Holland
#178 Chris Owings

Pack three
#19 Matt Kemp
#19 Jose Abreu - Rookie Reign insert
#121 Chris Johnson
#163 Don Mattingly

Tuesday, June 24, 2014

Just my favorite Tony Gwynn cards

2007 Upper Deck Masterpieces #42 - two long time baseball legends who had their farewell seasons in 2001.

1983 Topps RC #482 - it's Gwynn's first Topps card, even though it's all butt.

1997 Fleer Tradition #462 - dutifully signing autographs.

1992 Upper Deck #83 - I have a soft spot for the Bloodlines subset, even though it came from a junk wax era set.

1997 Zenith #2 - Gwynn is obscured a little, but I can imagine him taking a good whack at the incoming baseball.

1984 Fleer Tony Gwynn #201 - the mustard color uniforms might have been garish, but Gwynn makes it work on this card; there is something calming about Gwynn posing for a picture, maybe in the afternoon several hours before a game.

1992 Fleer Ultra Tony Gwynn #1 - when I really knew little about a particular star player, the promotion of a single player insert set probably helped me determine how great they really were.

1992 Fleer Ultra #277 - the 1992 Fleer Ultra was a radical change from the previous year's version; the photos were sharper, the card stock glossy, there was foil stamping and the cards just popped when they first came out.

1999 Topps Stadium Club #126 - one of the great hitters to the end, an apparent underrated aspect to his playing career was his athleticism and ability to play defense.

1993 Upper Deck #165 - shades down, looks like Gwynn is about to roam over to catch a fly ball; maybe just another Gwynn card but Upper Deck took time [unlike other card companies] to make sure the images on their cards were sharp.

1997 Upper Deck #492 - I'm tempted to say the image used was part of a shoot to sort of show how Gwynn shared Ted Williams' love for fishing.

1995 Topps Stadium Club #475 - I'm not sure I'm enamored by this card, but that huge bat is mighty impressive and it seems that Gwynn is being recognized for some achievement.

1998 Upper Deck All-Star Credentials insert #AS-19 - an insert I pulled back in the day, I like the faux ID card design and futuristic graphics used to showcase the player.

1993 Upper Deck SP #167 - the infamous Gwynn card showing him having fun in spring training.

1993 Leaf #28 - love him kicking up down as he slides into home plate.

Monday, June 23, 2014

Steve Cilladi

I have two cards of Cilladi still hanging around in my 'temporary A-Z' box for miscellaneous cards I need to put away - it looks like Cilladi was still in the Dodgers' farm system as of last year, but with his profile status noted as 'released,' I thought he was just another minor league guy whose playing career probably ended.

There are players who seemingly fall off the face of the earth when their pro careers grind to a halt - I tend to dwell over the guys who have 'mainstream' cards, maybe supposed top prospects, guys who may have reached the major leagues or just players who serve as 'fillers' in a Bowman product.

As is, sometimes I pick up the occasional minor league team set [the Cilladi cards were part of a Rancho Cucamonga Quakes team set stadium giveaway a few years ago] - I was never able to get a beat on Cilladi down in-person and the cards I had were lost in the shuffle.

As improbable as it seems, I was surprised to see Cilladi actually made it to the major leagues - it was interesting to read about Cilladi's journey as a part time player who played sparingly, but climbed the minor league ladder to become a MLB bullpen catcher.

Sunday, June 22, 2014

2014 Topps Series II five pack recap

I picked up five random packs for $2 each at my LCS - I pulled another buyback card but these maybe my last loose pack purchases of flagship Topps until update comes around.

Pack one
#443 Jeff Kobernus
#439 Jackie Bradley Jr.
#388 Yovani Gallardo
#545 Jeremy Affeldt
#SST-17 Jacoby Ellsbury - Saberstats insert
#530 Danny Salazar
#555 Adam Eaton
#624 Alex Presley
#623 Chad Billingsley
#658 Wade Davis
MLB The Show 14 code card

Pack two
#466 Ryan Dempster
#553 Michael Pineda
#592 Simon Castro
#350 Carlos Gonzalez - Gold parallel serial #'d 0807/2014

1974 Topps Chuck Seelbach #292 - 75th Anniversary foil stamped buyback
#626 Tommy Hanson
#342 Brad Miller
#646 Dan Haren
#355 Jarrod Parker
#601 Jason Hammel

Pack three
#540 Ike Davis
#458 Vinnie Pestano
#468 Wilin Rosario
#573 Adam Lind
#478 Billy Hamilton
#333 Wil Myers - Red Hot Foil parallel
#371 Scott Kazmir
#389 Geovany Soto
#420 Lucas Duda
#510 Matt Den Dekker

Pack four
#613 Mark Teixeira
#634 Gaby Sanchez
#550 Prince Fielder
#491 Felix Doubront
#PP-175 Jedd Gyorko - Power Players code card
#397 Tim Lincecum
#496 Jose Abreu
#416 Josh Reddick
#640 Kyle Blanks
#356 Jose Reyes

Pack five
#521 Anthony Rendon
#404 C.C. Lee
#366 Zack Cosart
#619 Chris Johnson - Gold parallel serial #'d 0087/2014
#FS-20 Chris Sale - Future Stars That Never Were insert; the card has some sort of residue running horizontally [it's kind of like a gum stain from days when Topps used to put gum in packs] in front of the card that I tried to remove with nail polish, but isn't coming off.
#451 Luis Garcia
#611 Patrick Corbin
#337 Zach Walters

Raul Ibanez released

The Angels came up with at least several guys who can hit this season [C.J. Cron, Grant Green, Kole Calhoun and Collin Cowgill] and Ibanez wasn't cutting it - I still would have liked for him to run into a hot streak or two but he was simply a bum with the bat as an Angel.

As good of a teammate he was assumed to be in the Angels' clubhouse - he probably would have been better filling in for Don Baylor as a hitting coach than as an active player taking away at-bats from a young hitter with power potential like Cron.

Friday, June 20, 2014

2014 Topps Series II hobby jumbo pack

Not a great break for $12 - I pulled an old school buyback card that without the Topps 75th Anniversary stamp, would be the same as other vg-ex 1976 Topps commons collecting dust at my LCS.

#614 Moises Sierra
#432 Dillon Gee
#424 Jose Ramirez
#531 Dylan Bundy
#415 Andre Ethier
#514 Alcides Escobar
#638 Michael Cuddyer
#428 Skip Schumaker
#410 A.J. Griffin
#597 Mat Latos
#465 Justin Morneau
#652 Edinson Volquez
#336 Ben Zobrist
#455 Danny Espinosa
#656 Grant Balfour
#563 Colt Hynes
#528 Shelby Miller
#527 Travis Snider
#582 Desmond Jennings
#344 Kevin Siegrist
#606 Kenley Jansen
#651 Denard Span
#421 R.A. Dickey
#488 Brian Duensing
#364 Mike Trout
#425 Craig Kimbrel - Red Hot Foil parallel
#415 Andre Ethier - Gold parallel serial #'d 0962/2014
#FN-39 Kolten Wong - The Future is Now insert

1976 Topps #483 Mickey Stanley - 75th Anniversary foil stamped buyback; I thought the front of the card was in 'presentable condition,' but the centering on the back is pitiful.
#TM-53 Jose Canseco - 1989 Topps mini die-cut insert
#543 Bud Norris
#575 Josh Hamilton
#361 Edwin Jackson
#583 Ryan Ludwick
#431 Brett Anderson
#469 Jesse Crain
#435 Ryan Braun
#341 Mike Moustakas
#541 Phil Hughes
#609 Jonathan Pettibone
#481 Allen Craig
#600 David Wright
#374 Taylor Jordan
#555 Adam Eaton
#401 Felix Hernandez
#569 Michael Morse
#479 Ivan Nova
#371 Scott Kazmir
#389 Geovany Soto
#577 Steve Ames
MLB The Show 14 code card

Thursday, June 19, 2014

Featured autograph - Jose Abreu

After getting skunked in trying to get something signed by Abreu in-person, I relented to pick up a signed bat - even though he’s probably not a future Hall of Famer, he has some real juice in his bat and the talent is legit.

More than likely, he will put up big power numbers in the next few years - but as a 27-year old rookie, he’s likely as good as he is going to be and he's not going to put up real significant lifetime stats.

Because of how the hype machine works in professional sports, Abreu could put up a fine season in 2015, but basically be obscured by younger and brighter rising stars - not get to get too dramatic, but because he is one large human, he is more likely to suffer injuries that may hinder his playing career.

All things considered, the guy was a Cuban superstar, not some minor league journeyman bouncing around in various stops - he is set for life, even if he doesn't build upon what looks like a great first year.

Unfortunately unless otherwise noted, when it comes to signing autographs - I see him another grumpy foreign born player who doesn’t speak English but is ‘big time’ now.

I didn't realize how brutal he would be in-person and he’s not going to get easier - a schlub like me isn't going to get him to sign a bat, even if I immerse myself in Rosetta Stone lessons for a year.

The bat comes from a card shop in Chicago that had a signing with him and is PSA/DNA certified - admittedly, it’s a typical Rawlings Big Stick [engraved with his name] as opposed to anything close to something he’d actually use on the field.

Wednesday, June 18, 2014

Clayton Kershaw no-hitter

Since I have the Dodgers' TV station and someone is paying for it, I tuned in to watch snippets of the Dodgers game - I like how Kershaw showed some emotion after the final out was recorded, being congratulated by his teammates and eventually his wife.

During the game, the broadcast showed a graphic of the Dodgers' no-hit pitchers and I liked when Vin Scully said - we are here to broadcast the game, not be superstitious.

2014 Topps Pro Debut five pack break recap

I took what was left of an open box and picked these packs up for $3 each - I didn't pull anything except for an autograph of a 27-year old reliever who maybe a diamond in the rough.

Pack one
#104 Gregory Polanco
#11 Mike Freeman
#17 Michael Fulmer
#62 Oscar Mercado
#175 Derek Law
#186 Christian Arroyo
#197 Cody Reed
#218 Yeison Asencio

Pack two
#76 Arismendy Alcantara
#84 Luigi Rodriguez
#79 Keon Barnum

#50 Mark Appel
#215 Clay Holmes
#122 Nick Williams
#128 Colin Moran
#174 Tom Windle

Pack three
#91 Elier Hernandez
#105 Alex Yarbrough
#111 B.J. Boyd
#57 Carson Kelly
#119 Ketel Marte
#126 Kyle Hunter
#141 C.J. Edwards
#154 Alen Hanson

Pack four
#63 Jesmuel Valentin
#75 Brandon Martin
#86 LeVon Washington
#107 Zack Borenstein
#133 J.P. Crawford
#125 Jason Hursh
#117 Patrick Kivlehan
#147 Ismael Guillon

Pack five
#80 Logan Bawcom
#89 Hunter Dozier
#97 Felix Jorge
#PDA-JH James Hoyt - auto; looks like he spent time in the independent leagues, but because of stuff and results, may have shown enough to one day pop up in the big leagues as a reliever who could be cheap and useful i.e. Tom Wilhelmsen, Steve Delabar, Dane De La Rosa, et al.
#113 Gabriel Guerrero
#130 Avery Romero
#136 Tim Anderson
#148 James Hoyt

Tuesday, June 17, 2014

Jordan Pacheco

I suppose Pacheco isn't unique but it must be hard for rank-and-file MLB players like him - he has spent parts of four seasons in the major leagues, so he has had made it against whatever odds he was up against as a 9th round pick back in 2007.

Still, he seems like a fringe MLB player who could play 10 more seasons [as a utility guy] in the big leagues or can find himself washing out in the minors or overseas - besides the guys who seem to be brimming with talent from day one, it's novelty to obsess about pro ballplayers who seem like they are merely one rung above your non professional athlete and have had to work hard to get to the major leagues and stick around.

Biding my time with quarter box digs

Even if I end up with dupes of the 2014 Topps Series II cards I picked up - I want to make a point to pick up cards of 'rank and file' players who maybe appearing on their first MLB card.

2014 Topps Kevin Siegrist #344
2014 Topps Taylor Jordan #374
2014 Topps Ed Lucas #387
2014 Topps Gonzalez Germen #485
- x2
2014 Topps Rob Wooten #494
2014 Topps Tanner Roark #602
2014 Topps Moises Sierra #614
2014 Topps Archives Nomar Garciaparra #218 - SP
2014 Topps Archives David Price #236 - SP
2014 Topps Archives Freddie Freeman #87-FF - 1987 All-Star insert
2014 Topps Archives Miguel Cabrera #87-MC - 1987 All-Star insert

Monday, June 16, 2014

R.I.P. Tony Gwynn 1960-2014

I took this photo of him back in 2009 while he signed a couple of Hall of Fame postcards for me - he had a long time partnership with a Ford dealership in El Cajon California and it was always news to So. Cal collectors when an autograph signing appearance date would pop up.

I only knew about the signings in the last 15 years and managed to attend several of them - towards the end of his playing career, it would really be crazy getting to the car dealership early and staking out a spot in line.

As Gwynn retired, the appearances seemed to get a little more low key and manageable to attend - sometimes Gwynn would be grumpier than other times, but he would always to take the time to sign.

I'm not sure he did this all the time, but he'd usually extend the signing time an hour extra - a funny thing he always did do was bust the balls of 'collectors' who would line up a second time.

Gwynn was savvy as far as sniffing out the pros and at these signings and there maybe at least 20 of them that he regularly saw [plus everyone else who might have gotten back in line] - he'd make them wait in a separate line if he knew he'd sign for them already and make signing for fans who hadn't gotten an autograph a priority.

Maybe if he felt like he was done with everyone among the general public who made time to attend the signing - someone would need to give him a good reason before he relented to sign and finish up with the pros that stuck around.

A Hall of Famer who played much of his career in the 'junk wax era,' there was no doubt I first learned many of Gwynn's exploit through cardboard - I want to say he's a 'baseball card hero,' where I might not have actually seen many of his accomplishments as a player, but was aware of his reputation because of what was printed on the back of his baseball cards.

Sunday, June 15, 2014

2014 Topps Series II blaster recap

I dug for my Topps coupon book and looked for the $5 off a blaster box - I tore through the 8-card packs quickly before heading to work and while I knew I wasn't going to pull some big hit card out of retail, flipping through the cards seemed very boring.

Commemorative patch pack
#CP-36 Domonic Brown - these manufactured patch cards are sharp, though Brown hasn't exactly been a demon with the bat this year.

Pack one
#347 Matt Cain
#377 J.J. Hardy - Gold parallel serial #'d 1658/2014
#BM-22 Michael Wacha - Breakout Moments insert
#447 Christian Bethancourt - Target red parallel
#516 Mike Belfiore - Target red parallel
#605 Tim Beckham
#567 Donovan Solano
#400 Clayton Kershaw

Pack two
#540 Ike Davis
#448 Brett Lawrie
#FN-58 Kevin Gausman - The Future is Now insert
#574 Tyler Clippard - Target red parallel
#653 Jose Iglesias - Target red parallel
#627 J.P. Arencibia
#465 Justin Morneau
#597 Mat Latos

Pack three
#402 J.J. Putz
#613 Mark Teixeira
#372 Austin Jackson
#SST-11 Joe Mauer - Saberstars insert
#463 Samuel Deduno - Target red parallel
#660 Jose Fernandez - Target red parallel
#479 Ivan Nova
#336 Ben Zobrist

Pack four
#634 Gaby Sanchez
#550 Prince Fielder
#366 Zack Cozart - Red Hot Foil parallel
#497 Fernando Rodney - Target red parallel
#351 Matt Garza - Target red parallel
#371 Scott Kazmir
#455 Danny Espinosa
#656 Grant Balfour

Pack five
#380 Tyler Chatwood
#521 Anthony Rendon
#594 Justin Maxwell
#FN-44 Taijuan Walker - The Future is Now insert
#581 Tony Cingrani - Target red parallel
#621 B.J. Upton - Target red parallel
#563 Colt Hynes
#528 Shelby Miller

Pack six
#404 C.C. Lee
#527 Travis Snider
#TM-98 Ryne Sandberg - 1989 Topps mini die-cut insert
#483 Shane Robinson - Target red parallel
#495 John Axford - Target red parallel
#389 Geovany Soto
#358 Christian Yelich
#517 Norichika Aoki

Pack seven
#458 Vinnie Pestano
#608 Jeff Locke
#461 Steve Delabar
#512 Neil Walker
#TM-88 Matt Kemp - 1989 Topps mini die-cut insert
MLB The Show 14 code card
#513 Jordan Pacheco - Target red parallel
#505 Homer Bailey - Target red parallel
#473 Mike Napoli

Pack eight
#468 Wilin Rosario
#381 Drew Smiley
#357 Lorenzo Cain
#PP-126 Jackie Bradley - Power Players code card
#454 Brandon Beachy - Target red parallel
#548 Jered Weaver - Target red parallel
#401 Felix Hernandez
#562 Didi Gregorius

Pack nine
#338 Carlos Santana
#564 Alejandro De Aza
#526 Avisail Garcia
#BM-23 Derek Jeter - Breakout Moments insert
#586 Luke Hochevar - Target red parallel
#615 Drew Storen - Target red parallel
#419 Lucas Harrell
#578 Tyler Thornburg

Pack 10
#558 Nolan Reimold
#644 Grant Green
#FN-52 Freddie Freeman - The Future is Now insert
#487 Jim Johnson - Target red parallel
#538 Jon Jay - Target red parallel
#569 Michael Morse
#410 A.J. Griffin
#652 Edinson Volquez

Saturday, June 14, 2014

Featured autograph - Buster Posey

In another 'mess up,' I might have lost another binder of cards, including this signed card of San Francisco Giants star Buster Posey when the Chicago White Sox played the Angels - fortunately I was able to recover my 'book' the next day at the ballpark when I checked with guest relations and the woman I spoke with checked a lost and found log.

I must have gotten the card signed in spring training in 2009 - besides a 2008 Bowman Chrome certified autograph I paid way too much for, I've never gotten the other guy on the Posey signed card.

I probably should leave the card 'as is,' as I got the guy who turned out to have a more prominent MLB career as opposed to the up-and-down disappointment - but I'd like to finish it off somehow.

Albert Pujols - stuck in a rut

Watching his numbers sink of the past two months has been painful - it's like every at-bat is a ground ball out to the left side of the infield.

He hasn't been able to hit with any authority and while I thought he was going to build upon a pretty good start - he hasn't been able to get on good, sustained run.

Teammate Mike Trout went through a slump but I guess he's 22 and it's easier for him bounce back - I don't expect Pujols to hit like when he was in his prime, but it's been torture looking at Angels box scores with him doing little or nothing at all.

Maybe if he puts together a string of good games, he gets back to on track towards a decent season - but is this how it's going to be every year he is in an Angels uniform?

As I superficial as I sound, I don't want to be rooting for an 'all-or-nothing' has been - I don't want this supposed superstar put up garbage stats for the team I follow.

Friday, June 13, 2014

Featured autograph - Hunter Renfroe

I got the San Diego Padres outfield prospect to sign a few cards for me when his current team [Lake Elsinore Storm] had their baseball card night last weekend - the Friars just don't have any impact hitters at the Major League level and Renfroe should find himself with the parent team soon enough as a hitter with the ability to smack the ball around.

Getting Renfroe was a consolation prize for some notable big league failures - anytime I can be out somewhere getting autographs of ballplayers in-person are times I can't take for granted, but it's tough when some players don't want to do it because they say you are too old.

Hounding the minor leagues are a little more fun when I can get out to games since there most guys are willing to sign - it's not as much fun as getting players already in the major leagues, but I get to see a future MLB star or two, with my Sharpie getting some action.

What's up with Justin Verlander?

For a number of reasons [a douche about not signing autographs, Kate Upton, yadda, yadda, yadda], I'm not feeling sorry for the guy - and as much as I can do so as a fan looking in, maybe I'm enjoying this mid-career crisis in 2014 where Verlander has struggled in first half of the season.

Maybe it knocks him down a peg, where he is humbled when he isn't the best pitcher in Major League Baseball - it makes for some drama to see this one time ace in flames, wondering if things straighten out for him anytime soon.

Verlander has to turn it around at some point, but maybe he had his prime years come and go - and now is sort of reverting back to being just another 'very good' pitcher as opposed to an untouchable world beater.

Thursday, June 12, 2014

R.I.P. Bob Welch 1957-2014

The 1990 American League Cy Young Award winner passed away earlier this week - maybe the first time I probably heard of him was when his was winning games left and right in that award winning season and Sports Illustrated had a feature about him.

I read about his bout with alcoholism and also his World Series heroics in 1978 - looking back, he was a very good pitcher for so many years with the Los Angeles Dodgers and Oakland Athletics, despite not exactly considered the ace of any of the pitching staffs he was a part of.

I got his autograph once or twice back when he was a pitching coach for the 2001 Arizona Diamondbacks - though I still had a small stash of baseball cards I would have liked to have gotten signed at some point.

Wednesday, June 11, 2014

Featured autograph - Mike Trout

An early season slump threatened to derail Trout's season [temporarily] - but it looks like he's locked in again and he's more or less the front runner of the 2014 AL MVP.

Wednesday, June 04, 2014

Featured autograph - Mark Appel

The Houston Astros look like they are starting to turn the corner with some top prospects promoted to the parent club - however this tidbit from Baseball America sheds some light on their supposed prized pitching prospect and the outlook isn't quite as optimistic.

Tuesday, June 03, 2014

Quarterbacks out of the quarter bin

There are a bunch of 2014 Upper Deck football cards at my LCS quarter bin - I plucked a few of them out to pack my other random finds with some immediate 'star power.'

2014 Upper Deck football Andrew Luck #1
2014 Upper Deck football Peyton Manning #10
2014 Upper Deck football Joe Montana #15
2014 Upper Deck football Drew Brees #35
2014 Upper Deck football Ben Roethlisberger #40

As is, my method of collecting random football cards is to arrange them in a A-Z archive / Rolodex of sorts - so maybe once in a blue moon, I might find a card I can get autographed [for guys who end up still doing that sort of thing at random events for free, not the guys who charge $200 to sign, like Manning, Montana,].

My baseball finds - at times it's a struggle to find anything when scraping the bottom of the barrel, but I'm always looking to stumble upon random cards for random needs.

1976 Topps Brent Strom #84 - x2
1976 Topps Kurt Bevacqua #564
1977 Topps Bill Russell #322
1977 Topps Roy Howell #608 - x2
2011 Topps Rod Barajas #575
2013 Bowman Chrome Onelki Garcia #BCP 118
2013 Panini Extra Edition Jake Bauers - Status parallel serial #'d 031/100
2013 Topps Chrome Nick Maronde #24 - Xfractor parallel
2013 Topps Chrome Paco Rodriguez #182