Thursday, March 31, 2016

Featured autograph - Cole Hamels

I was able to get Hamels to sign this 2013 Topps Archives set card - because of his accomplishments as a big league pitcher, there has been superficial interest in getting his autograph, though I've never really had a chance to see him actually sign in-person until recently.

Wednesday, March 30, 2016

TTM autographs received: Pat Combs

Former MLB pitcher Pat Combs signed my cards in about two weeks - he signed each card with a Bible verse and personalized one of the cards.

Monday, March 28, 2016

2016 Donruss blaster box break recap

There are just enough wrinkles that makes 2016 Donruss a little different alternative besides the usual Topps flagship or Topps Heritage
- for at least the casual baseball card collector, who can embrace the quirks of a non-MLB licensed baseball card product. 

While clean and relatively colorful the Donruss base cards are simply boring however - maybe it's defeats the point of collecting, but it's all about parallels, assorted inserts and one autograph or memorabilia card per blaster box.

Unlike pictures seen on many Topps cards this year, t
here is not much personality going on with the images used for Donruss - having team logos on cards and on uniforms is something I take for granted, but when the logos aren’t there on cards picturing ‘big league’ players, it's kind of a blemish that sticks out.

Pack one
#118 Mookie Betts
#112 Jason Heyward
#167 Jorge Soler
#70 Nelson Cruz - Black parallel serial #’d 152/199
#NB-JM James McCann - New Breed autograph
#D82-48 Robin Yount - Base 1982

Pack two
#131 Yordano Ventura
#123 Corey Kluber
#107 Francisco Lindor
#163 Carlos Rodon
#PA-1 Bryce Harper - Power Alley insert
#D82-44 Ken Griffey Jr. - Base 1982

Pack three
#116 Curtis Granderson
#85 Yoenis Cespedes
#158 Addison Russell
#153 Johnny Cueto
#195 Checklist
#D82-39 Jacob deGrom - Base 1982

Pack four
#94 Collin McHugh
#78 Alcides Escobar
#70 Nelson Cruz
#148 Brian McCann
#18 Jacob deGrom - Diamond Kings
#D82-36 Kole Calhoun - Base 1982

Pack five
#89 Matt Carpenter
#83 Mike Trout
#61 Andrew McCutchen
#190 John Smoltz
#32 Corey Seager - Rated Rookie
#D82-32 Adrian Beltre - Base 1982

Pack six
#76 A.J. Pollock
#51 Dallas Keuchel
#186 Don Mattingly
#181 Cal Ripken
#TP-2 Julio Urias - The Prospects insert
#D82-27 Nelson Cruz - Base 1982

Pack seven
#68 Jose Altuve
#141 Jonathan Lucroy
#132 Eric Hosmer
#S8 Steven Piscotty - Studio insert
#TR-2 Corey Seager - The Rookies insert
#D82-22 Brandon Crawford - Base 1982

Saturday, March 26, 2016

Featured autograph - Spike Owen

I have no real recollection of Owen as a MLB player, much less a one-time Angel, except as a junk wax guy - who generally fit the stereotype of a 'good field, no hit' shortstop at various points in his professional baseball career.

In 82 games during the strike shortened 1994 season, Owen had his best year with the bat - hitting .310 with 17 doubles, 2 triples and 3 home runs in 268 official at-bats.

Thursday, March 24, 2016

2016 Donruss 30-card hanger pack break

#50 Sonny Gray
#140 Adam Jones
#131 Yordano Ventura
#123 Corey Kluber
#116 Curtis Granderson
#94 Collin McHugh
#89 Matt Carpenter
#83 Mike Trout
#132 Eric Hosmer
#124 Francisco Liriano
#117 Shin-Soo Choo
#111 Ryan Braun
#55 Jose Bautista
#145 Matt Duffy
#136 Alex Rodriguez
#128 Cole Hamels
#190 John Smoltz
#186 Don Mattingly
#181 Cal Ripken
#178 Kirby Puckett
#174 Justin Upton
#170 David Wright

#D82-29 Eric Hosmer - Base 1982 Pink

#TP-2 Julio Urias - The Prospects insert

#TR-8 Michael Conforto - The Rookies insert

#43 Jose Peraza
#15 Jose Fernandez - Diamond Kings insert

#S10 Michael Conforto - Studio insert
#SGS-KS Kyle Schwarber - Donruss Signature Series insert auto Green Foil parallel serial #’d 01/10

#D82-3 Lorenzo Cain - Base 1982

Monday, March 21, 2016

Featured autograph - Maury Wills

I was able to get this 1992 Action Packed card of the Dodgers base stealing great autographed - because the card has an embossed surface, I wasn't sure whether someone like Wills would be able to sign the card cleanly without the 'raised' part of card causing the Sharpie to streak.

Sunday, March 20, 2016

Featured autograph - Daniel Nava

I was finally able to get Nava's autograph, though this one is a 'supposed' set card [2014 Topps Allen and Ginter] as opposed to an add to my all-time Angels collection - the Bible verse he inscribes [Matthew 19:26 - “With man this is impossible, but with God all things are possible.”] gives his scribble some personality otherwise.

Friday, March 18, 2016

TTM autographs received: Ron Gant

Former MLB slugger Ron Gant signed my cards in about two weeks using the address of the TV station he works for in Georgia - though he returned several of the cards unsigned, I'm glad he was able sign the lone Angels card.

Wednesday, March 16, 2016

2016 Donruss hobby pack breaks x2

Pack one
#68 Jose Altuve
#59 Carlos Correa
#136 Alex Rodriguez

#128 Cole Hamels
#170 David Wright
#166 Michael Taylor
#9 Carlos Gonzalez - Diamond Kings insert

#D82-30 Manny Machado - Base 1982

Pack two
#76 A.J. Pollock
#55 Jose Bautista
#145 Matt Duffy
#178 Kirby Puckett
#174 Justin Upton

#SGS-TJ Travis Jankowski - Signature Series auto insert serial #’d 107/199
#USA-1 Buddy Reed - USA Baseball insert
#D82-1 Mike Trout - Base 1982

Monday, March 14, 2016

More collecting topics odds and ends

Hats-off - players wear caps on the field and batting helmets at the plate, so it maybe nice to see an occasional baseball card image of these players captured without headgear.

1996 Topps Stadium Club Cal Ripken #1 - Virtual Reality

2010 Upper Deck Ichiro Suzuki #SB-172 - Biography insert

Inking it up

1997 Pinnacle Denny’s Frank Thomas #4 of 29

1997 Upper Deck SP Albert Belle #15 of 25 - Inside Info insert; this card has a pull tab feature with player bio / stats; on the reverse image is of Belle signing something.

2001 Upper Deck Legends of New York Babe Ruth #128

2002 Upper Deck Vintage Ichiro Suzuki #DP1 - Day at the Park insert

2006 Upper Deck Prince Fielder #976

2004 Fleer Sweet Sigs Mike Piazza #8 of 25 BH - Ballpark Heroes insert

Players smiling - though different, I count both players with some sort of smile on their cards and players laughing on their cards as part of this mini-collection.

1993 Upper Deck Barry Bonds #HR6 - Home Run Heroes insert

2000 Upper Deck Yankees Legends Mickey Mantle #55

Saturday, March 12, 2016

Collecting topics - nations

2007 Bowman’s Best Masumi Kuwata #67 - serial #’d 391/799; he had a very good career in Japan but he seemed too old to do anything in his lone season with the Pittsburgh Pirates in 2007.

2008 Bowman Chrome Kazuo Fukumori #214 - refractor

Fukumori was a veteran reliever coming over to try and pitch in Major League Baseball, but couldn't get his career going with the Texas Rangers - however I can check out what he did in his pro career and look him up on YouTube making an old-timers game appearance and whatnot.

I randomly picked these cards [along with two random Hideo Nomo cards] up just to add variety to my Japan section of my nations collection - so my collection representing players from Japan seems a little deeper.

Wednesday, March 09, 2016

TTM autograph received: Don Mossi

I sent a 1960 Topps card to Mossi to be autographed - it came back in about a month signed in blue ink around his neck and really through the darkest part of the card.

I think the scan ended up a little lighter than what the card actually looks like in-hand - but I wasn't planning on sending the card to the 87-year old former big leaguer until I realized I'd rather have it signed sooner than never.

Monday, March 07, 2016

2016 Topps Heritage 35-card hanger box

I'm not exactly a fan of Topps Heritage because it's a played out card product to me - it's not like I don't appreciate 'old school' elements in baseball cards, but Heritage is just kind of bland and lacks imagination.

The images used are boring for the most part with no action shots - these Heritage cards either show the players from the waist up and/or boring poses from spring training photo shoots.

The images on the cards look like they are grainy, maybe part of a process [scanned newspaper effect?] - trying to make these new cards look old-timey.

The card backs seems like they are easier to read - so that is probably a good thing.

It’s probably not a consideration for strictly baseball card collectors but the images used and the facsimile autograph - makes the cards seem a little too cluttered to get a random in-person/TTM autograph on.  

For in-person / TTM graphing, I’m mostly an Allen and Ginter guy [until the Topps Heritage Minors product comes out] - going through these cards, I’m not exactly excited to get the guys’ cards I think I can get autographed.

#77 Evan Gattis
#247 Hector Santiago
#179 2016 Diamondbacks Rookie Stars - feat. Godley/Brito
#348 Detroit Tigers team card
#381 Arodys Vizcaino
#193 A.J. Pierzynski
#187 2016 Giants Rookie Stars - feat. Brown/Williamson
#365 St. Louis Cardinals team card
#279 Jeff Bannister
#378 Jason Castro
#132 Ichiro
#399 J.J. Hoover
#267 Mike Scioscia
#181 NL Rookie Stars - feat. Conforto/Nola
#303 David Murphy
#310 Chris Sale
#220 Matt Duffy
#486 Rusney Castillo - short print
#TOPPS NAP-MMA Manny Machado - New Age Performers insert
#TOPPS TAN-YA Carl Yastrzemski / Nolan Arenado - Then and Now insert
#Pittsburgh Pirates team card
#227 Carlos Gomez
#421 Taijuan Walker
#45 Hanley Ramirez
#370 San Francisco Giants team card
#321 Garrett Richards
#72 Mark Trumbo
#88 Xander Bogaerts
#203 Lonnie Chisenhall
#26 Drew Smyly
#191 Jimmy Rollins
#317 Colby Lewis
#312 Vidal Nuno
#17 Brayan Pena
#328 Denard Span