Sunday, February 28, 2016

Collecting topics - awesome outfield action

More cards from an 87-card mix I put together at a card show for $20 - I tried to build up a 'run' of mini-collection adds perhaps with an emphasis on the assorted star cards [I was finding for the most part] as opposed to strictly commons.

1993 Leaf Stars Ken Griffey Jr. / Van Slyke #7 of 20 - Gold Leaf Stars

2001 Topps Archives Willie Mays #225

2004 Fleer Ultra Albert Pujols #71 - Gold Medallion

2012 Topps Allen and Ginter Willie Mays #BH-21 - Baseball Highlight Sketches

2012 Topps Gypsy Queen Ichiro Suzuki #40 - mini / ‘B’ fielding

2013 Topps Jon Jay #224 - Gold parallel serial #’d 0586/2013

Monday, February 22, 2016

Random pick ups - a trio of Pat Burrell

These cards were a part of an 87-card mix I put together at a card show for $20 - I was kind of in a frenzy since I hadn't gone to go a card show in a long time, so I wasn’t as picky about adding and subtracting cards from the stash of cards I was building up.

If I had the time, I’d go through the cards several times just to see which ones I’d weed out for now - as far as the Burrells, I want to say that cards caught my eye, not exactly the player pictured on them.

1999 E-X Century Pat Burrell #3 of 15 - E-X Quisite insert; the player image is die-cut and there might be a faux shadow box effect going on; according to the information found on, the inserts are ‘printed on cards with an unique interior die-cut design.’ The background on my card is cracked.

1999 Fleer Brilliants Pat Burrell #140B - RC

1999 Topps Finest Pat Burrell #PR20 - Peel and Reveal insert; there is a subtle sparkle effect within the acetate card stock that enhances the pedestrian image, though the fingerprints left through handling the card randomly seems more prominent.

Saturday, February 20, 2016

TTM autograph received: Ed Sprague Sr.

After not bothering with TTM requests, I really want to start sending off random cards again bit-by-bit so once in a while, I start getting something back in the mail - I sent a request to Ed Sprague Sr. and got my card signed in black ballpoint in nine days.

Sprague Sr. is 70 years old and I wanted my loose 1972 Topps card inked up before I put it away in my 'bloodlines' mini-collection - his son [Ed Sprague Jr.] was an 11-year MLB veteran who was a 'junk wax guy' back in 1990s.

Tuesday, February 16, 2016

Featured autograph - Craig Biggio

I'm primarily an autograph collector with roots in collecting baseball cards - if I wanted a player's autograph, I look to get it on a card first since I see where a guy whose autograph might not have been easy to get in-person or TTM has signed their share of pack pulled autographs from recent years.

The card itself is pretty nice with the card stock sturdy and thick - it's kind of a random pick up, but it features an blue ink, on-card scribble of the Hall of Famer and 3,000 hit club member.

I may stick to picking up certified autograph cards of retired MLB players since I don't have the means to constantly pay up for various guys - maybe I still think at the right place and time, I still have an opportunity to get most guys for free, even if the random opportunities do not really come often.

Maybe certified autograph cards are the cheapest way to secure a number of autographs and while it still costs money - maybe it's too much of a business to go through private signings or through a card shop or card show signing.

Saturday, February 13, 2016

R.I.P. Jenrry Mejia's MLB career

I've seen him a few random times in-person and I felt like he is a guy who would always come over to sign an autograph - so I feel like this third suspension for PEDs screws him over when he's kind of a 'bit player' taking the fall, being made an example of when there maybe guys with much more sophisticated means of taking their vitamins.

Maybe a lifetime ban would be easier to swallow if Mejia had been a long time veteran who did stick around too long - but the now former New York Met is still in his late 20s and while I care about the idea of having clean players, I feel like maybe Mejia is sick like the way fans want some of their fallen pro athletes to be, rather than simply be malicious in breaking the apparent law of their leagues.

I hope there is a loophole to allow him Mejia to pitch again because for his apparent mistakes - I don't want to see a guy in his prime losing means to make a better life for himself.

Wednesday, February 10, 2016

Featured autographs - Brandon Laird

At various points last year I had three of Laird's American cards just lying around and I'm thinking what am I going to do with his cards - I didn't even know he ended up in Japan.

After brief stints with the New York Yankees and the Houston Astros, Laird was probably typecast as a 4A player - looking at his stats, the ability to hit for some pop probably attracted some scouts from Japanese teams and given an opportunity to play with the Hokkaido Nippon-Ham Fighters, Laird hit 34 home runs in 2015.

I was probably looking to dump my loose Laird cards in one of my mini-collections - maybe a card for the bloodlines collection, a card for the local [Orange County] collection and maybe a card for the infamous / police blotter collection [since he got into a fight while attending an NBA game with family back in 2009].

However, my friend gave me an opportunity to tag along with him for three days to actually see Laird's Japanese team practice in Arizona - in addition to getting my Laird cards signed, my buddy gave me other cards here and there, so I could make the most out of the trip.

Tuesday, February 09, 2016

2016 Topps Series I 72-card hanger box

#327 Anthony Rizzo
#190 Jeurys Familia
#328 Anthony DeSclafani
#163 Joaquin Benoit
#115 Aaron Harang
#269 Giancarlo Stanton
#77 Clay Buchholz
#158 Henry Urrutia
#15 Ryan Howard
#26 AL Home Run Leaders - feat. Davis, Cruz and Trout

#289 Nick Hundley

#126 Papi and the Prince - feat. Ortiz and Pujols
#181 Minnesota Twins team card
#185 AL ERA Leaders - feat. Price, Keuchel and Gray
#315 San Diego Padres team card

#108 Ben Paulsen
#BB-10 Bill Mazeroski - Berger’s Best insert

#350 Kris Bryant - Rainbow Foil parallel
#FP-5 Evelyn Jones - First Pitch insert
#WRIG-22 Rafael Palmeiro - 100 Years at Wrigley Field insert

#P-4 Bryce Harper - Perspectives insert
#MLBD-9 Yu Darvish - MLB Debut insert
#AM-5 Nolan Ryan - Amazing Milestones insert
#62 Trayce Thompson
#64 Corey Kluber
#35 Luke Hochevar
#118 Jose Fernandez
#218 Andrew Miller
#228 Matt Garza
#304 Charlie Furbush
#208 Kurt Suzuki
#68 Odubel Herrera
#239 Huston Street
#82 Michael Bourn
#296 Yordano Ventura
#258 Devon Travis
#145 Jon Niese
#74 Troy Tulowitzki
#133 Aaron Nola
#201 Adam Jones
#194 Chase Headley
#17 Billy Butler
#300 Buster Posey
#113 Aaron Sanchez
#9 Eric Hosmer
#267 Chris Heston
#298 Ryan Braun
#230 Ryan Vogelsong
#234 David Robertson
#276 Francisco Cervelli
#349 Ben Revere
#58 NL ERA Leaders - feat. Greinke, Arrieta and Kershaw
#139 Yasiel Puig
#53 George Springer

#221 Ryan LaMarre
#MLBW-4 Los Angeles Dodgers - Wacky Packages sticker insert
#259 Paul Goldschmidt
#232 Michael Conforto
#138 Francisco Liriano
#19 Delino DeShields Jr.
#293 Hyun-Jin Ryu
#92 Darren O’Day
#196 Hunter Strickland
#244 Matt Carpenter
#86 Wilmer Flores
#271 Kevin Kiermaier
#213 Matt Shoemaker
#319 Adam Wainwright
#134 Yadier Molina
#55 Jesus Montero
#116 Brett Gardner
#38 Jed Lowrie
#264 Jake Arrieta

Sunday, February 07, 2016

2015 Topps Allen and Ginter X set

I've typically picked up a hand collated set of the regular Allen and Ginter as my personal 'flagship brand' to get random in-person / TTM autographs on - there might have been a point where picking up a 2015 set was something I wasn't going to do anymore since I maybe burnt out on trying to attempt to do particular sets.

I did end up picking up a regular A&G set to continue the tradition perhaps, though it's like I'm getting further away on actually working knocking out set cards for the Ginter lines [2006-2015] - Topps produced an 'X' version of the Ginter product last year as an online exclusive, with the black stock for the card surface being the only difference.

I don't think the 'X' was a success by any means and it may have taken a few sales promotions on to sell many of the boxes - I picked up a hand collated X set, probably because the black stock for the card surface is a wrinkle that makes the 'X' set a little more attractive than the usual 'dull' white card stock.

Maybe my 'X' set purchase loses it's importance if I break the cards down to try and get autographs on - I think the plan for my 'X' set is to put them into plastic sheets to display in a binder somewhere, so I can look at them once in a while without worrying about getting them inked up.

Saturday, February 06, 2016

2016 Topps Series I 36-card jumbo pack

I picked up a retail jumbo and a 72-card hanger box of this year's flagship product - as seen on other card blogs and eBay, I like how Topps has incorporated many unique images in a card design that feels a bit different than in past years.

A minor quibble would be over the Perspectives inserts - I guess people like them for the strong image selections, though the 'Perspectives' banner is distracting to me and perhaps I would have liked a more 'traditional' way to label these inserts.

#350 Kris Bryant
#37 C.J. Cron
#84 Mookie Betts
#184 Travis Jankowski
#112 Matt Kemp
#209 Max Scherzer
#290 Zack Godley
#47 Gio Gonzalez
#127 Zach Lee
#237 Carlos Ruiz

#155 New York Yankees team card
#162 2015 AL RBI Leaders - feat. Donaldson, Davis and Bautista
#170 New Order - feat. Gomez, Correa and Altuve

#21 Mike Moustakas - World Series Highlight subset
#318 Washington Nationals team card
#66 Kyle Schwarber - Gold parallel serial #’d 1365/2016
#WRIG-5 Jake Arrieta - 100 Years at Wrigley Field insert

#P-24 Nolan Ryan - Perspectives insert
#MLBD-24 Satchel Paige - MLB Debut insert
#WOW-10 Jose Abreu - Walk Off Wins insert
#70 Kendrys Morales
#97 Ender Inciarte
#88 Ubaldo Jimenez
#45 Ryan Zimmerman
#150 Clayton Kershaw

#146 Stephen Piscotty
#141 Colin Rea
#52 Julio Teheran
#160 Chris Sale
#344 Jonathan Lucroy
#193 Trevor Bauer
#28 Brian McCann
#215 Adrian Gonzalez
#6 Jimmy Paredes
#107 Kevin Siegrist
#320 Jake Peavy