Saturday, September 27, 2014

Oakland A's fans and schadenfreude

Oakland A's fans are still up in arms over the Yoenis Cespedes trade costing their team the American League West title - perhaps making their aspirations at a playoff run a little dimmer.

Reading bits and pieces on this Web site, I chuckle at the self-assured nature of A's fans who claim the team's second half swoon had nothing to do with the team trading Cespedes - maybe getting an ace pitcher like Jon Lester back is better than a so-so slugger, but losing offense was what killed the A's in the second half.

To understate Cespedes' value, even as a flawed hitter is silly talk - Cespedes was a looming threat in that A's lineup.

He might have had a sub .300 on-base percentage this year and his slugging percentage may not seem all that great - but the guy was a proven slugger in the middle of the lineup that had the ability to 'go off' at any time.

As is, the A's still have a chance to get into the playoffs through the Wild Card playoff game and can match up with the the Angels with a much deeper starting staff - substandard offense aside, it might be a new season come the American League Division Series.

Random pick ups

2014 Topps Heritage short prints - I'm not really chasing down the short print set, but picked up ones I can get signed in-person sooner than later.

#202 Miguel Almonte
#204 Brandon Drury - off-centered / miscut
#207 Patrick Kivlehan
#211 Sean Manaea - off-centered / miscut
#216 Addison Russell - $3.50
#223 Kyle Zimmer

I'm not as anal about condition as I probably should be but when new cards I paid a 'premium' for [$2.50 each] arrive looking off-centered and/or miscut - it makes me think twice about buying from a Web site with an extensive listing of cards, yet no images.

In addition to the SPs, I also picked up some loose 2014 Topps Heritage Minors base cards - even though I prefer different cards to show a player, I usually end up having the same card and hope to get them inked up one way or the other.

2013 Bowman Chrome Prospects Francellis Montas #BCP 129 - I was looking to see if he had any cards and he actually has one from last year; ended up picking up an X-fractor for a couple of bucks because I like how those refractors look.

Friday, September 26, 2014

2014 Topps Heritage Minors four pack break

Pack one
#9 Gary Sanchez
#16 Kyle Crick
#30 Kris Bryant
#45 Nick Travieso
#Topps-RTTS RO Roberto Osuna - Road to the Show insert
#115 Gavin Cecchini
#110 Oscar Taveras
#166 Tim Cooney
#175 Aaron Judge

Pack two
#61 Tim Anderson
#72 Carson Kelly
#83 Clint Coulter
#94 Rio Ruiz

#214 Jorge Alfaro - SP
#184 Sam Moll
#195 Eduardo Rodriguez
#179 Tyler Naquin
#43 Christian Binford

Pack three
#53 Trevor Williams
#67 Jake Thompson
#1 Carlos Correa
#21 Clayton Blackburn
#33 Braden Shipley - Black bordered parallel serial #'d 023/105
#151 Chris Beck
#163 Michael Feliz
#177 Mac Williamson
#187 Tanner Rahier

Pack four
#32 Nick Kingham
#46 Tommy LaStella
#57 Lance McCullers
#74 Domingo Santana

#222 Ben Lively - SP
#196 Justin Nicolino
#42 Brian Goodwin
#158 Jamie Westbrook
#154 Mark Lamm

Thursday, September 25, 2014

2014 Topps Chrome two pack break

I planned to pick up supplies at my local card ship and ended up with a 3,200 count monster box [$3] and six 900 count boxes [$0.75 each] - I also mixed some loose 2014 Topps Chrome packs [$3 each] and also more 2014 Topps Heritage Minors packs [$3 each].

Pack one
#77 Robbie Erlin
#129 Johnny Cueto - X-fractor
#213 Rougned Odor

#130 Albert Pujols

Pack two
#170 David Wright
#31 Clay Buchholz

#174 Chase Utley - refractor
#158 Aramis Ramirez

Tuesday, September 23, 2014

2014 Topps Heritage Minors Manny Ramirez

Seeing this 42-year old 'non prospect' appear in this year's Topps Heritage Minors set makes me shake my head - I try to get cards from the minor league version of the Topps Heritage set signed in-person and this one is just not going to get ink on it anytime soon.

As is, I guess it's kind of a novelty to see him in a 2014 set of cards - even though I probably have at least 30-40 cards of him from his MLB playing days and could have done without another one.

Despite his monster career totals, his immaturity, boorishness, PED use and a handful of other goofs will probably make him a hard sell for the Hall of Fame - still he must be playing for love the game because he has to realize he is SOL if he looks to get back to the major leagues.

Sunday, September 21, 2014

I believe in Albert Pujols

He's the one who needs to carry the 2014 American League West champion Angels team in the postseason - because he's been the one through the fire, he's the one with the rings and he's the one who the Angels paid dearly for several years ago to get this team into position to do some things past the regular season.

Saturday, September 20, 2014

2014 Topps Heritage Minors eight pack recap

I tried to pick up a 'handful' of packs without seeming like I broke the bank - I have a hand collated set coming in, but loose packs allow me a chance to pull some inserts, pull extra cards of players and maybe a pesky short print I may need.

Pack one
#53 Trevor Williams
#67 Jake Thompson
#1 Carlos Correa
#21 Clayton Blackburn
#203 Jeremy Barfield - SP
#187 Tanner Rahier
#196 Justin Nicolino
#42 Brian Goodwin
#158 Jamie Westbrook

Pack two
#86 Kevin Plawecki
#81 Jose Rondon - pictured as an Inland Empire 66er, does say he was traded to the San Diego Padres on the back.
#Topps RTTS-WM Wyatt Mathisen - Road to the Show insert
#Topps MP-FL Francisco Lindor - hat patch card; manufactured patch cards are 'meh' to me, but they are kind of neat and I don't have to worry whether or not they are actually game used by the depicted player.
#163 Michael Feliz
#177 Mac Williamson

Pack three
#61 Tim Anderson
#72 Carson Kelly
#83 Clint Coulter
#94 Rio Ruiz
#Topps RTTS-BP Brett Phillips - Road to the Show insert
#43 Christian Binford
#172 Delta Cleary
#146 Andrew Knapp
#137 Teddy Stankiewicz

Pack four
#9 Gary Sanchez
#16 Kyle Crick

#30 Kris Bryant
#45 Nick Travieso
#208 Taylor Lindsey - SP; pictured as a Salt Lake Bees player, doesn't say he was traded to the San Diego Padres like the Rondon card.
#175 Aaron Judge
#184 Sam Moll
#195 Eduardo Rodriguez
#179 Tyler Naquin

Pack five
#35 Chris Stratton
#27 Mike Foltynewicz
#11 Trevor Story
#3 Andrew Susac
#Topps RTTS-PW Phil Wetherell - Road to the Show insert
#180 Jameson Taillon
#189 Orlando Arcia
#198 Matt Barnes
#105 David Goforth

Pack six
#54 Avery Romero
#50 Archie Bradley
#34 Joey Gallo
#25 Luis Heredia
#215 Tyler Glasnow - SP
#182 Kyle Waldrop
#193 Jesse Biddle
#117 Phil Ervin
#123 Hunter Dozier

Pack seven
#26 Kohl Stewart
#37 Nick Delmonico
#47 Michael Fulmer
#59 Brandon Nimmo
#FB-JS Jorge Soler - Baseball Flashbacks insert

#30 Kris Bryant - photo variation
#145 Isiah Kiner-Falefa
#135 Andrew Thurman
#128 Alex Gonzalez

Pack eight
#24 Roberto Osuna
#13 Cam Bedrosian
#2 Nick Ahmed
#20 Miguel Sano
Corpus Christi Hooks / Pro Debut contest card
#181 Shawn Pleffner
#185 Dane Phillips
#93 Kyle Parker
#106 Trevor May

Miscellaneous adds to my collection

I went to my LCS to see if I could get some packs of 2014 Topps Heritage Minors - as usual, I started rummaging through the quarter boxes to see if I could take some cards home.

The Koji Uehara refractor caught my eye and while it may be rather common - I picked it back up after picking out other cards to fill out the small stash of loose cards I ended up with.

2014 Bowman Platinum Alen Hanson #BPCP 15 - Green refractor serial #'d 288/399
2014 Bowman Platinum Raul Mondesi #BPP 21
2014 Bowman Platinum Raul Mondesi #BPCP 21 - Green refractor serial #'d 073/399
2014 Bowman Platinum Roberto Osuna #BPP 26

2014 Bowman Platinum Colin Moran #BPCP 42 - XFractor parallel; Xfractors maybe my favorite 'basic' parallel in any Bowman brand.
2014 Bowman Platinum Eddie Butler #BPCP 45 - refractor

2014 Bowman Platinum Dustin Pedroia #46 - Gold parallel
2014 Bowman Platinum Tyler Glasnow #BPP 52
2014 Bowman Platinum Tyler Glasnow #BPCP 52 - refractor
2014 Bowman Platinum Brandon Nimmo #BPP 66
2014 Bowman Platinum Josh Bell #BPP 74
2014 Bowman Platinum Trevor Story #BPP 83
2014 Bowman Platinum Hunter Renfroe #BPP 86
2014 Bowman Platinum Robert Stephenson #BPCP 100 - refractor
2014 Topps Chrome Koji Uehara #121 - refractor

Sunday, September 14, 2014

Overwhelmed at the card shop

I just started digging through quarter boxes from past years and I couldn't stop picking out cards - even when I had to cut down the number of cards I wanted to pick up, there were a few others that replaced the ones I'd put away.

Awesome outfield action

1999 Fleer Ultra Willie McGee #58 - he was a very good ballplayer for a long time and it looks like he stuck it out as a fourth outfielder / semi-regular type in his last four MLB seasons.

1999 Fleer Tradition Rickey Henderson #133 - in his late 30's, he was still as spry as he was in his prime.

2003 Upper Deck Dave Roberts #189

2002 Fleer Ultra Chris Singleton #160

1999 Fleer Ultra Andruw Jones #25 - he was an athlete in his prime, too bad he got fat in his 30's.

1999 Fleer Ultra Carl Everett #22

1999 Topps Stadium Club Vladimir Guerrero #80 - the ball is actually by his feet.

1999 Topps Stadium Club Jose Canseco #32 - by this point, his athleticism was gone and all he had were his bat and his roids.

1998 Topps Orlando Merced #119

1999 Fleer Ultra Tony Gwynn #59

Awesome action - these were the silly cards

1992 Upper Deck Minors Adam Hyzdu #244 - juggling

1992 Upper Deck Minors Jimmy Haynes #168 - has some odd frisbee thing

1999 Topps Stadium Club Chan Ho Park #112 - I love this card

Awesome action and misc

1999 Upper Deck Encore Jeff Cirillo #50 - I wonder what he is putting into his water cup.

1992 Upper Deck Minors Juan De La Rosa #73 - losing his bat

1999 Fleer Ultra Mike Lansing #8 - looks like a play where he grabs the ball and gestures to the umpire to perhaps record the force out at second base.

1999 Fleer Ultra Otis Nixon #44 - love the face guard

2002 Fleer Ultra Ryan Klesko #148 - on a knee

1992 Upper Deck Minors Tarrik Brock #189 - x2

Bonus babies - cards where a star player appears on a more common player's card,

1999 Upper Deck Choice Damion Easley #86 - Rickey Henderson

1999 Upper Deck Ray Durham #66 - Rickey Henderson

1998 Topps Kevin Polcovich #79 - Larry Walker

1999 Topps Vinny Castilla #199 - shares the card with Dante Bichette and Todd Helton

2002 Fleer Ultra Bret Boone #120 - Ivan Rodriguez

1999 Fleer Ultra John Wetteland #3 - Ivan Rodriguez

Star on star cameos - a new collecting topic?

1999 Fleer Ultra Albert Belle #78 - I want to make a distinction whenever I find a card of a star player [like Frank Thomas does on Belle's card] popping up on another star's card.

Inking it up - seeing pro ballplayers sign autographs affirms the belief that it is still a thing, even if reality dictates it's harder to have a moment with any number of them.

2003 Upper Deck Mike Cameron #313

2003 Upper Deck Sean Burroughs #466

2003 Fleer Ultra Jeffrey Hammonds #187

1999 Upper Deck Encore Eric Davis #75

Pitchers hitting

2003 Upper Deck Vicente Padilla #237

2002 Fleer Ultra Mike Hampton #69 - I count cards showing pitchers running bases, having bats in their hands and basically pitchers doing 'hittery' things in this collection.

2003 Fleer Ultra Mike Hampton #26

1999 Topps Stadium Club Rick Reed #31

2003 Fleer Tradition Update Glendon Rusch #U136

1999 Topps Stadium Club Kevin Tapani #101

1999 Topps Stadium Club Andy Ashby #133

Tools of ignorance and misc

2002 Fleer Ultra Brandon Inge #75 - maybe symbolic of the early 2000's Detroit Tigers teams

1999 Topps Stadium Club Brady Anderson #127 - looks like a play at plate where the catcher has to apply a hard tag on a incoming runner [Anderson] who doesn't slide.

2003 Fleer Ultra Ivan Rodriguez #152

2003 Fleer Tradition Update Jason Simontacchi #U11 - x2

1992 Upper Deck Minors Skeets Thomas #95 - broken bat shot

2013 Topps Prime football Jimmy Graham #74 - I think because he was doing it so much, dunking a football over the goal posts now result in a penalty.

Wednesday, September 10, 2014

2014 Topps Chrome blaster recap

My lousy $3 off Topps coupon was my excuse to pick up a blaster, even though I believe the following:

1.) Retail is feast or famine for something like Topps Chrome - there are only 32 cards in a blaster and while I may pull some cheap refractors and/or inserts, I'm probably not going to find anything that makes me think I spent $20 wisely.

2.) I like shiny cards, but the chromes are condition sensitive and I worry about handling them too much - I like cards I can flip through without being scratched up.

Purple refractor pack
#140 Justin Verlander
#88 Michael Choice
#193 Josh Donaldson
#75 Billy Hamilton

Pack one
#133 Onelki Garcia
#74 Dexter Fowler - X-Fractor
#23 Stefen Romero
#131 Desmond Jennings

Pack two
#163 Greg Holland - with two guys on a card, it looks like a mini project to chase after.
#81 Kevin Siegrist
#148 Avisail Garcia - refractor/ I thought basic refractors were unmarked until I checked out the breaks at the Play at the Plate blog.
#213 Rougned Odor

Pack three
#48 Alex Cobb 
#77 Robbie Erlin 
#130 Albert Pujols 
#158 Aramis Ramirez

Pack four
#170 David Wright 

#EB Eddie Butler - certified autograph / Silver and Black serial #'d 22/25 / the silver marker seems dull on a whited out surface, but it's a might fine pull for a blaster.

Butler has pretty good credentials, though he wasn't as good this year as he was in previous seasons - not to mention, he is going to be making his home starts in Colorado.

#218 Max Scherzer 
#51 Matt Adams

Pack five
#31 Clay Buchholz 
#162 Zack Greinke - refractor
 #189 Madison Bumgarner 
#178 Danny Salazar

Pack six
#132 Chris Davis 
#83 Jon Lester 
#79 Mike Minor 
#29 Victor Martinez

Pack seven
#175 Yu Darvish 
#120 Jeff Samardzija 
#168 Manny Machado - X-Fractor
#125 Paul Goldschmidt

Tuesday, September 09, 2014

Featured autograph - Gordon Beckham

The only autograph I have of Beckham is a certified autograph card I picked up for about $30 and change when I thought he'd an all-star talent - as is, he wasn't good at all and was mostly a disappointment with the Chicago White Sox.

Now that he is on the Angels, I do see Beckham as a warm, live body to put at third base to spell David Freese - who seems to have been micromanaged by Halos manager Mike Scioscia as if not to overextend him.

Maybe the change of scenery revives Beckham a little bit - even if his future beyond this season maybe a little uncertain.

Monday, September 08, 2014

2014 Topps Chrome value pack recap

Orange Refractor pack
#190 Carlos Gonzalez
#114 Sonny Gray
#203 Jimmy Nelson

Pack one
#24 Yosmil Pinto
#149 Jose Reyes
#207 Anibal Sanchez - refractor
#204 Dustin Pedroia

Pack two
#22 Taijuan Walker
#97 Ian Desmond
#102 Matt Moore
#58 Anthony Rizzo

Pack three
#16 Yadier Molina
#CC-MT Mike Trout - Chrome Connection die-cut
#214 Jason Heyward
#204 Asdrubal Cabrera

Featured autograph - Wade LeBlanc

He failed in his one start audition to fill in for Garrett Richards, but LeBlanc has got some stick-to-itiveness, to be back with the Angels even after being designated for assignment three times this season - his current role is undefined but at least he is a part of an Angels team looking to finish the season strong and make a postseason run.

Sunday, September 07, 2014

Featured autograph - John Buck

I got this autograph in-person when Buck was still with the Seattle Mariners early this year - Angels starting catcher Chris Iannetta has had a strong season [.372 on-base / .415 slugging] at the plate, but Buck sort of gives the Halos a veteran catcher as an option to rest Iannetta, when Hank Conger hasn't done much.

Featured autograph - Shawn O' Malley

In the team's 14-4 win over the Minnesota Twins, the newest Angel was 2-for-2 with an RBI in his MLB debut - it's nice to have a random in-person autograph I got years ago as a 'new' addition to my all-time Angels autograph collection.

Thursday, September 04, 2014

Assorted former Angels players' cards

A collection of cards I have stuffed in a box somewhere are cards of Angels players whose autographs I still need for my all-time Angels collection - I want to keep cards handy of guys whose autographs I still need in case there is an opportunity to get them signed in-person and/or to have cards set aside for possible through the mail requests.

However, the collection is sort of vague because how many players in Angels history have I not accounted for - it's not quite a comprehensive collection, so I wonder why don't I just have an an wantlist of players I need, without the guise of having a pile of unsigned cards?

The collection consist of cards featuring players who have played with the Angels at some point in their MLB careers - but maybe they've moved on or retired.

If I have multiple cards of individual players, I hope to get them all signed, but then again I only need one - it's a plus if the player is pictured in an Angels' uniform, though I'll deal with the cards picturing players in other uniforms as well.

Ideally I'd like to get cards in the box signed sooner than never, though the collection has become sort of a cardboard morgue - the push to put together TTM requests has really slowed down and maybe I'm lazier to try and track down autographs of former Angels that way.

If I end up purchasing a certified autograph card or an in-person / TTM autograph - then the cards in the box are pushed back into 'general population' within my main A-Z archives.

Monday, September 01, 2014

2014 Donruss II value pack recap

Top section
#259 Patrick Corbin
#338 Matt Adams
#332 Madison Bumgarner
#325 Francisco Liriano
#317 Brian McCann
#308 Jose Fernandez
#330 Brandon Belt
#322 Cole Hamels
#313 Yovani Gallardo
#356 Doug Fister
#354 Anthony Rendon
#351 Yu Darvish
#6 Evan Longoria - Studio
#13 Yan Gomes - Elite Series
#251 Enny Romero

Bottom section
#287 Justin Masterson
#280 Erik Johnson
#274 Xander Bogaerts
#269 Nelson Cruz
#265 Julio Teheran
#262 Alex Wood
#261 Wade Miley
#357 Gio Gonzalez
#355 Bryce Harper
#353 Brett Lawrie
#348 Jurickson Profar
#343 Ben Zobrist
#337 Lance Lynn
#38 David Holmberg - The Rookies
#232 Carlos Gonzalez - Diamond Kings