Sunday, April 30, 2017

The 30-Day Baseball Card Challenge - Day 4

"A rookie card of one of your favorite players."

1991 Bowman Tim Salmon #203

The story behind my fondness for the card is here.

Wednesday, April 26, 2017

TTM autographs received: Jim Rice

I sent $20 and a couple of Topps Allen and Ginter cards to Rice and got them back signed in about 10 days - his average certified autographs don't go for much, but it's more surprising that he's been responding to recent TTM requests.

Cash money always helps, but Rice has been a notorious grouch in-person and he just seems like a guy who'd probably 'more' than is reasonable - to scribble on your personal items sent.

As is, as long as the 'consensus' is that whatever things he's signed are good - then it's kind of nice that he may have loosened up.

Monday, April 24, 2017

The 30-Day Baseball Card Challenge - Day 3

"A card from the first set you tried to complete."

My memory is fuzzy as to whether I set out to complete a set of cards - my peak collecting years was around the early 1990s, but my focus was on star cards and rookies [regardless of what I actually found since my budget to purchase any cards was limited to whatever I could scrounge up].

I might have had a 'bunch' of cards for a number of sets from the day, but there were too many cards - to really focus on one particular set in a given year.

Over the past 20 years, I may have tried collecting an entire set or two, but the enthusiasm wanes off fast - with eBay, there are always big case breakers doing the work so a collector can go out and get a base set of cards without poring so much money into securing cards.

Buying a hand collated set online may defeat the purpose of building sets - but why even bother in the first place, when it's not like a set I may want to try to collect is particularly unique of hard to find.

I think I might have tried to complete the 1999 Upper Deck HoloGrFx set with the Alex Rodriguez card [#54] pictured - I vaguely remember saying in a trade e-mail [probably in 2000] that it was going to be my first set of cards I'm putting together.

I might have bought packs and a blaster when the product and I liked how the cards have a reflective finish to them - it's only a 60-card set, but I think I was still short 10-15 cards before the I basically abandoned the set-building project.

It might be interesting to see if I can knock out missing cards - though a check on eBay shows that I can get the set of cards for $10 and s/h, so I'll just let things be.

Sunday, April 23, 2017

The 30-Day Baseball Card Challenge - Day 2

"A card with more than one player on it."

2001 Upper Deck Hall of Famers Mickey Mantle #90 - The Hall of Records subset.

I picked this card up because I like the idea of this trio of baseball icons on one card - Mantle actually looks kind of odd [if still dapper in 'street clothes'] out of a baseball uniform, but he's sandwiched between Willie Mays and Hank Aaron, likely doing some sort of pregame interview with the NBC microphone in-hand.

Who was the greatest player out of the three [?] - Mantle and Mays were neck-and-neck as far as being a 5-tool player with God-given ability, but maybe Mantle didn't take care of himself and his injuries ultimately allowed Mays to be the bigger standout with 660 home runs.

It has to be said however, that besides strictly the counting numbers - Mantle represented much more to all the baby boomer generation because he was the face of the New York Yankees from the early 1950s through the 1960s.

Hank Aaron seems to have flown under the radar at times - but he hit 756 home runs and seemed to produce monster numbers year after year.

Friday, April 21, 2017

The 30-Day Baseball Card Challenge - Day 1

I saw this 30-Day Baseball Card Challenge floating around on other card blogs' feeds - I figure I'd do the challenge to see if I can allow myself focus as far as what I have invested into collecting cards after all these years.

My main tweak to the challenge is probably posting 'when I choose to do so' as opposed to trying to post every single day until I've gone through the list - I don't want to take three months to finish the challenge, but I'm not in a hurry and there might be some meandering going on.

Also, it maybe something I need to do beforehand, but I've scratched out a rough draft of the cards are going to be featured - so I guess I can formulate my thoughts and kind of just add to it, as needed.

Day 1: "A card from the current year with a photo you like."

I figure I could go into my mini-collection additions for the year and find a card fitting the description - Mookie Betts' 2017 Topps card [#161] was probably the first to come to mind, though at first, I kind of thought it was a 'meh' card with Betts' body facing away, where his face is kind of obscured.

What makes the card great is that it literally captures the moment - modern professional photographers may have all sorts of gimmicks at their disposal, but it still takes experience to anticipate when a great play is being made.

Considering the situation, I wonder if this card qualifies to make another blogger's favorites list - if this was the Betts card he'd actually pulled first.

Tuesday, April 18, 2017

TTM autographs received: Marty Cordova

I've seen TTM successes posted from Cordova, the 1995 American League Rookie of the Year and he turned into 'a scratch the itch guy' for me - while I've gotten his autograph in-person, I remember when Cordova just wasn't into really signing and he'd 'deface' your card with a real lazy scribble of an autograph.

I found some cards for Cordova and sent them c/o his mailing address in Las Vegas - the request only took 5 days to get back to me with my cards signed in blue Sharpie.

Sunday, April 16, 2017

1975 Topps Herb Washington #407

I put this card on my eBay watch list and I finally decided to pick it up for my Topps sampler run [1952-1980] - besides the notable stars, legends and Hall of Famers I may pick up for the collection, I also want to push the narrative of featuring lesser known guys who had their 15 minutes of fame in pro baseball.

Washington probably had as much big league success as any random person who wasn't an actual baseball player can have in Major League Baseball - but as a world class sprinter, he was given a chance to do his thing for a little bit, even if stumbled in the biggest stage one can find themselves in.

Friday, April 14, 2017

Some TTM autograph requests sent out

I was heavily into TTM 15-20 years ago, but now the hobby is a ‘once in awhile’ thing for me where I don’t want to sink so much $$$ over resources like stamps - while slaving away to put together requests [it's not that hard, but it's kind of tedious], feeling like my only option to get stuff signed is to send things out as opposed to getting things inked up regularly in-person.

I think I'd like to be a machine where I consistently send out requests - but I usually hold off until I get an impulsive tick that needs to be scratched.

Will Clark c/o San Francisco Giants - everyone seems to get at least one from him TTM but the only time I got him was in-person last year.
Christian Arroyo c/o Sacramento River Cats - I hope to get at least one cards signed from the third base prospect since I've never had an opportunity to get him otherwise.
Paulo Orlando c/o Kansas City Royals - scrappy outfielder who has established himself as a viable big leaguer after only getting to the major leagues at 29.
Chuck Seelbach - he was the Detroit Tigers relief ace back in 1972; I pulled a 1974 Topps buyback card from a pack at least a couple of years ago and want to see if I can get it signed.
Mickey Stanley - he was a 4-time Gold Glove winner and spent 15-years with Detroit Tigers from the 1960s through nearly the end of the 1970s; I pulled a 1976 Topps buyback card from a pack at least a couple of years ago and want to see if I can get it signed.
Koji Uehara c/o Chicago Cubs - everyone seems to get at least one from him TTM.

Saturday, April 08, 2017

TTM autograph received: Steve Blass

Blass signed and returned my card in about a week or so - the former big league pitcher from the 1960s through early 1970s still has some notoriety attached to his career, usually mentioned whenever a pitcher [or even a position player] has apparently their ability to throw the ball.

Wednesday, April 05, 2017

Featured autograph - Danny Espinosa

Espinosa isn't exactly Chase Utley in his prime, but he has already helped the Angels win a game with a clutch 3-run home run - hopefully he hits quite a bit more home runs over the course of the year, even with a flawed low batting average / high strike out, all-or-nothing approach.

Monday, April 03, 2017

2017 Topps Gypsy Queen value pack

I like how Topps has used different color schemes to make the Gypsy Queen name plate on the front pop a little bit more - at first glance, I thought the fronts were a little too cluttered but these cards look so much better than last year’s version.

Exclusive green parallel pack
#116 Robbie Ray
#218 Ken Giles
#76 Scott Kazmir

Pack one
#9 Matt Harvey
#289 Max Scherzer
#146 Ricky Nolasco
#GQAR-BH2 Bryce Harper - Portrait Art Reproduction insert
#23 Blake Snell

#130 Chris Tillman

There is also a Gypsy Queen nameplate on the back which seems a little redundant - but sort of makes the card backs kind of fancy looking besides something merely being run of the mill drab.

Pack two
#250 Yoan Moncada
#219 Lorenzo Cain
#70 Leonys Martin

#217 Josh Harrison - Green retail exclusive value pack parallel
#279 Ryan Braun
#213 Elvis Andrus

Pack three
#265 Eugenio Suarez
#64 Khris Davis
#109 Dan Strailly

#FT-YM Yoan Moncada - Fortune Tellers minis
#107 Tim Anderson
#33 Tom Murphy
Security card

Sunday, April 02, 2017

The Angels, In Order odds and ends

No matter how big or small, it's fun getting a random group of cards in the mail from a fellow collector - especially when the cards are focused towards my mini-collections.

These were sort of, kind of new
1992 Upper Deck Billy Ripken #250
1992 Upper Deck Howard Johnson #256
1992 Upper Deck Ryan Bowen #354

1992 Upper Deck Mark Gubicza #459 - he has been the color guy for Angels TV broadcasts and I'm pretty sure this is the card partner Victor Rojas has made fun of him over, for the hockey hair / Jaromir Jagr mullet.
1992 Upper Deck Tom Gordon #476

1992 Upper Deck Roger McDowell #484
1992 Upper Deck Paul Gibson #489
1992 Upper Deck Marvin Freeman #491 - double check to see if I have this one.
1992 Upper Deck Matt Young #505
1992 Upper Deck Kevin Gross #515 - pitchers hitting on the reverse
1992 Upper Deck Anthony Young #535
1992 Upper Deck Chris Bosio #615 - I thought I had this card somewhere.
1992 Upper Deck Bill Swift #620
1993 Topps Tim Costo #577

1993 Topps Al Martin #623
1994 Topps Doc Gooden #150

1994 Topps Devon White #511 - I like how he presumably going through his fan mail, though I wonder if he ever answered any of them.
1996 Topps Doug Drabek #105 

Had these already
1979 Topps Luis Tiant #575
1992 Upper Deck Ben McDonald #163

1992 Upper Deck Melido Perez #190 - go figured, I just picked this card up from my LCS; I love how some kid [check the wallet] has a dollar 'thrown out' for Perez to sign.
1992 Upper Deck Darren Lewis #565
1992 Upper Deck Mike Remlinger #585 
1992 Upper Deck Mike Hartley #613
1996 Topps Alex Fernandez #194